A/N- Thanks for all the great reviews! I'm glad to see so many readers come back after such a long time between updates. Also, I'd like to note that I'm going to have to start jumping ahead a bit in months in order for this story not to drag. I'm experimenting with a way to do this that's very simple, let me know what you think. Well, onward, and I hope you enjoy this one.
Chapter 9- Do My Ankles Look Fat?
"I'm hot," Harley complained, lying back on the extra long sofa in the middle of the large living room.
She stretched her legs across the Joker's, who sighed with disgust. He scoffed and pushed at her ankles, causing her legs to fall to the floor with a thunk. Harley blinked, growling softly under her breath. After at least ten minutes of maneuvering, she managed to sit herself upright on the sofa once more. She huffed and sighed, trying to regain her breath, before turning and punching him on the arm.
"Ow!" he squealed, turning to return the favor.
Before he could even launch the move, a black-gloved hand grabbed his fist and held it tightly in place. Joker bent his head backwards and gazed up at a glowering Batman. The Dark Knight tightened his grip and the Clown yelped in pain.
"Still thinking about punching back, Clown?" he asked.
Joker shook his head like a five year old being scolded might. And the "no" that followed did nothing but back up that image. Batman let go of his fist, and Joker shook it and held it close. He looked over at Harley and put on his best puppy-dog eyes.
"Harl…" he drew out. "He hurt me!"
She blew an exasperated sigh out through her partially open lips, sending a small spray of spittle onto her puddin'. She put her hands down on the sofa, bracing herself, and, with minimal effort, shoved herself to her feet.
"I don't care. You deserved it!" she snapped, much to the Joker's surprise. She then added, gazing down at her feet, "Are my ankles getting fat? And my feet? They look swollen. What do you think, Bats?"
Batman blinked as Harley looked innocently up at him. The white make-up was beginning to melt away around the edges of her face, and it was apparently too hot for her to even consider her jester's hat. Instead, her blonde hair was pulled up, sloppily, and bunched at the very crown of her head. The outfit she had pulled from her homemade outfit collection was easily the best looking of the set…simply a jester-patterned red and black dress. Her stomach was extending, slowly, to cover the view of her feet; however, it had not quite done so yet.
"Is there any answer that is a good one?" he asked.
She scoffed and made no move to reply. Instead, she turned her attention to her currently ungloved hands, holding them flat out, palm down in front of her.
"Are my hands getting bigger?" she asked, a small whine in her voice.
Joker and Batman exchanged looks while Harley's eyes were elsewhere distracted, surveying other parts of her body for possible swelling. Joker quickly shook his head, silently pleading with the Dark Knight to not say anything. Of course, Batman had no intention of saying anything of the sort. He was not, after all, stupid.
When the subtle sound of shoes on carpet came to the groups ears, the three of them looked up to see Alfred, followed by the auburn-haired Officer Morgan, arrive in the living room. Alfred set before them all a silver tray laden with a teapot and several cups, all surrounded with several arrays of cookies.
"I thought you all might enjoy a snack," he said.
"Thank you, Mr. Pennyworth," Batman said.
"Very good," Alfred replied, turning on heel and departing the room.
Meanwhile, Morgan had moved to stand directly in front of Harley, who was looking quite upset by now. Morgan placed a sympathetic hand on the pregnant woman's shoulder.
"What's wrong, Miss Quinn?" the officer inquired.
Harley sniffled. "I'm…I'm fat and disgusting."
Batman's, Joker's, and Morgan's eyes widened as Harley's tears suddenly flowed freely. Morgan instantly stepped forward and hugged her.
"Oh, that's not true at all! You're beautiful and glowing with life, Harley!" she said into her shoulder. Then, turning on the two men in the room, she added, "Isn't she, guys?"
Batman responded instantly and positively with, "Yes, glowing." However, both Morgan and the Dark Knight looked down at Joker, who was always the snag in the plan. He stared between the two, both of whom looked as if they might do him grievous bodily harm if he upset Harley further. With a defeated sigh, Joker affirmed what the two before him had said.
It was at this that Harley looked up, staring shyly at the clown over Morgan's shoulder.
"Really, puddin'? You think I'm glowing?" she asked.
Again, Morgan and Batman glared. Joker nodded.
"Of course, Pooh. You're beautiful!" he said, with as much mock sincerity as he could muster.
Harley let loose with a squeal of delight and bounded onto his lap, which garnered an "oomph" from him. Batman shook his head, and Morgan sighed.
"Whatever," the officer said, turning to the Dark Knight. "Want me to start getting everything ready?"
Harley and Joker looked up at him quizzically. "Ready for what?"
"Your doctor's appointment. You've another one, remember?"
Harley snapped her fingers. "Oh, yeah! Doctor Clownson did schedule one for me. I'll go get cleaned up."
Joker stood, rubbing out the wrinkles in his purple suit—which was, of course, devoid of all its usual gimmicks. "Well, I suppose I should as well."
However, as he tried to make his way around his nemesis, Batman grabbed him by the shoulder and shoved him back down onto the sofa. Joker growled, glaring up at him.
"What was the meaning of that?" he asked incredulously.
Batman shook his head. "You're ready enough. We don't have the time to wait for you and your vanity to be happy with your appearance."
Joker grumbled and pulled his jacket straight, crossing his arms and his legs in a most cartoon-like stance of indignation. Batman shook his head. Whatever kept him quiet was fine with him.
Again, Batman and Joker found themselves in the waiting room. Batman was busy keeping a keen eye on the Clown Prince, while Joker was busying himself with a parenting magazine. Every so often, he would scoff and mutter something like, "That's no way to make the kid learn!"
Batman didn't ask what the suggested punishment was…nor did he ask what Joker would do in its stead. He was already positive that he didn't want to know. After a few moments of the dead silence between the two, and the terrified stares from the other occupants of the waiting room, Dr. Clownson stuck her head outside the examination room door. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail and she was just placing a pair of non-prescription reading glasses into her white coat's pocket.
"We're ready for you both," she said.
Batman and Joker both stood, and, just as they were entering the room, they could hear the very audible sigh of relief from the people left behind them. As soon as the door closed, Joker grinned wickedly back in the room's direction, as if planning some grand prank.
"Don't even think about it," Batman said, wondering just how often he was going to have to say that during these nine months.
Harley was sitting, completely dressed and upright, on a standard examination table. She smiled and gave a tiny wave at the two of them. Doctor Clownson moved so that Joker and Batman could stand on either side of Harley. The doctor pulled a blue folder up and began lightly leafing through its contents.
"Well, I'm most happy to report that all is well with both the mother and the child," she said.
Harley let out a huge sigh of relief, and Clownson eyed her.
"Why so surprised, Miss Quinn?"
Harley shrugged. "I don't know. With all those tests—urine, blood, so on—I was just worried, I guess."
Clownson smiled. "Sadly dear, that's just the routine situation. You'll do that every time you come by and see me."
Harley turned her nose up in disgust. "Wonderful."
Clownson shook her head, chuckling. With a sigh, she was back to business, looking between mother and father.
"Now," she said, holding up the folder to emphasize its presence, "I have here, within this folder, the sex of the child. However, some couples prefer it to be a surprise. Would the two of like you to know the sex of the baby?"
Joker's mouth opened to answer, but Harley cut across him.
"No," the jester woman said quickly.
Joker turned incredulously towards her. "What?"
"I want us to be surprised, puddin'. Let's not know," she explained.
"But I want to!" he said, turning to Clownson.
"Don't tell him!" Harley said, urgently.
Clownson closed the folder. "Sorry, Mr. Joker, doctor-patient confidentially. Ultimately, Harley has the choice."
"Good," Batman said. "If you had told him, he would have just taunted her with it."
"Would not," Joker protested.
All three turned to look at him. He blinked at them.
"Yes, you would," they all said in unison.
Joker crossed his arms and huffed. Batman shook his head.
"Well, you're going to have a fun ride home," Harley said, smiling up at Batman.
The Dark Knight simply sighed.
End Notes: Okay, I hope this chapter was at least a little funny. Well, you all know the drill by now. Read, review, vote for the sex of the baby, if you haven't already. See you next chapter!