A simple smile
(a story about thoughts, and dark places)

Joker raised his hand and thrashed Harley once again across the face, this time
knocking her into a near by wall. A small cry escaped her lips as she hit the wall and sunk to the floor. He walked over to his small and so fail looking girlfriend and looked down at her, almost with sympathy. Or so she thought, then her kicked her in the rips once or twice. She held her side crying in much pain. Oh this time she had really missed up alright.
He knew she most definitely deserved what she was getting tonight, after all it was because of her he had lost the loot, one of his best thugs was dead, and they barely got away from Batsie. Not to mention her poor driving got a huge dent in his new car. He knelt down and looked at her for a moment, she looked terribly sad. And her tears told him she was in pain.
He smiled at her blankly for a moment before driving one last punch into that pretty little face of hers..BAM!. That was it she was out light a light, her picked her up and tossed her over his shoulder. And carrying her like a sack of potatoes he dumped her on to the foot of bed. Normally after she had disobeyed she would be put in her room, but he had to make sure she didn't die so he tossed her there. He changed her out of her costume and wiped the white make-up off of her face, and dressed her in a loose fitting night shirt, and left her there to sleep.

As she slept she felt completely nothing, not even hint of the pain that would strike her in the morning. But she did dream, because she slept each night to dream. To dream of things that are lovely, things that are sweet, and all the harmful agony of the days of past and days to follow can't reach to touch upon her face, or muss her locks of golden hair. Or so her hair used to be anyway. She tried her best to take care of it, for long ago when things weren't all the ways they are her hair was lovely, long and always so nicely cared for. Now it's faded, and it doesn't have the fluff it once had.
There is a very good reason for it too, when she wears her costume she ties it in a pony tail and lets it down her back, or puts it in pig tails and keep it in her headpiece. Either way it gets full of sweat and gets messed up and so very greasy. All in all though she wouldn't like the way it looks much it would be about a thousand times easier just to cut it short. But that probably never happen, as mistah J likes it long.
When her lovely dream of being in her Puddin's arms ended she awoke, she soon realized she was at the foot of his large bed, and she was in very much pain. She started letting tears fall from her eyes, they were silent though. For she wasn't crying because of her pain, the fact that it seemed her whole body hurt. No, she was crying because she was sad, because her Puddin' was angry with her, because when he was mad at her all she wished for him to be happy again. At least happy with her, how dearly she loved him and how it hurt her to seem him mad with her. For his laughter and his smile she would do anything, she would sell her soul for it. Or perhaps she already had, she never much liked to think about unhappy things, though they often vexed her poor mind.
And poor Harley how she loathed herself so much of the time, she couldn't stand making him mad with her like this, others times too you know she would do things that would make him mad and she would cry so deeply and hate herself for doing those stupid thing. Like the way she would always push him until he hit or, annoy him until he tried to kill her. She hated herself for all that never knowing that it wasn't really her fault. Always just have the awful taste of self loathing.
The only consolation to her pain was to be near to her Puddin'. To feel his arms around her, to hear his cajoling voice that always seemed to ring with laughter. To be so close to him. Those were the only things that could ever ease that ongoing pain. She did not dare climb up to ware her Puddin' slept so soundly for if he awoke she would surly be in great trouble yet she longed for nothing more than to lie next to him. To feel her body against his, to run her tiny fingers though the ringlets of his green hair. That was her only pleasure in all of her life, nothing would ever be able to compare to the utter bliss she felt being so near to him, it was the simply joy she lived for, to see his smile. That was all she could ever really ask for. A simply smile.
And as her eyes were slowly lolling back into a kind of sleep her mind drifted to times and places that echoed the yesterdays of the past, and the tomorrows of what is to come. She remember in a dream start the way she met him, it had none of the romantic and sweet nature of what she remembered. She never remember the things she herself said bad about Him. She forgot the beatings, the tear filled nights, the panic, all the sorrow and every lie he ever told was always true in her mind some place. For if He made no sense then that meant her would had ended. For He was her world.
But in the darkest and darkest part of her mind she knew differently. There is that tiny part that she strives very dearly to keep hidden, not so much to keep it hidden from others, but from herself. Because she's been down far too long to ever get back up, even if she ever found the will to want to. Because you see in that dark place in the very back of her mind there lies a secret that she keep from herself, it's a shred of sanity, a shred of the doctor, the young girl, the humanity, whatever you call it, it's a piece of her. It's where every thing that's good comes from, it's what she might have been in a far away time and place, where things might have been different. You might say it's her potential.
In any case that part of her knows something that the rest of her doesn't want to ever really know. It knows the Joker, it knows him as she saw him as a doctor, it knows him all too well. It knows every feeling he has for her, it knows all the lies he told her, it remember every beating, every time she admitted all the rotten things about him. That part of her knows at times he uses her, a times he couldn't care less about her, that part of her knows that she's probably never have a family, that part of her knows even if they do marry nothing will change. That little place in the dark holds everything that she never ever wants to know. It keeps it from leaking into her mind and driving her mad, or away from Him. Either way if that information ever reached her it would only hurt her. That's why it's hidden.
And what she remembered of how she met Him it was perfect, he was perfect, it was love at first sight. It was destiny, it was as it was meant to be. It was love of course, she even remembers things that didn't happen, she remembers things that were never really said to her. She remembers "I love you" s that were never uttered. In her mind it was a match made in heaven. Her memories of her time as a doctor in Arkham were far from faint, she thought of them many, many times, and each time they seemed to be a little better than she remembered the first time. A little more romantic, a little more justified, a little less insane.
Then she was startled awake by a foot in her side, she moved slightly to avoid getting kicked again. He tossed a lot in his sleep, he almost convulsed at times, nightmares you know. But as she moved she felt those broken ribs, it took a lot to keep from screaming out in pain. She was laying on her back looking up at the dark ceiling as tears spilled down her face, and as she went to wipe away her tears with her right hand sense her left arm felt pretty bad. Then she noticed that her make-up was off, and her clothes had been changed. A smiled played her lips even though the tears and pain she smiled. Because He had taken the time to put her in something comfortable and take off her make-up. And she smiled because she knew even through it all he cared, and you see that was so special because Joker cared about no one.

He picked her up off the floor where she lay, he acted careless and annoyed as he did it. He acted like he wished she would get up and walk herself to bed, he carried her into his room. And laid her on the end of the huge bed, he told himself the reason he was letting her sleep there tonight was because he wasn't finished with her service and she might still be useful, so it would be a waste to let her die then. He removed her costume carefully, and told himself he wasn't being careful because he was worried about hurting her considering her state, rather he was being careful because he didn't want her to wake up. Then she might keep him up all night for some reason.
After he slipped the cotton tee-shirt on her motionless body, he took a wash cloth from the bathroom and let some water run on it for a second. Then he removed her mask and headpiece letting her blonde hair fall down in tumbles onto the bed. Then he started cleaning off the white make-up with the wash cloth. It was only because he didn't want make-up on the sheets, of course. Because what did he care if she slept with it on. Nothing, that's what he told himself. Nothing, he cared nothing for her, she just happened to be useful that's all. And when she is no longer of use he would be rid of her. Yes, nothing, nothing, nothing.
Then he stopped thinking about that for he didn't like to have to re-assure himself so much, it unnerved him. He often did the same thing with the matters of Batman, always trying to assure himself of one thing or another. But one thing he was sure of was that he didn't need her. He didn't need either of them actually, you know they were just for fun, but then again what wasn't. But why was he comparing Harley was someone who actually played a part in his game until the game ended. She was just a pone, so to speak. She wasn't important enough to be discuss with the same sentence as Batty, Harley was just another toy in the toy chest of Gotham city.
But he had no mind to think about either of them right then, then he chuckled to himself as he muttered that he had no sane mind anyway. Then he headed for the bathroom, he was dyeing for a shower. He took off his clothes as he walked into the bathroom and just tosses them wherever they wanted to go, Harley would pick them up anyway. Then he opened the shower door, turned the water on, nice, and cold because it was hot even now at night. He let it run for a minute before stepping in, the cold water hit him as almost a shock. It felt very good. It was cold and almost stinging a little but he liked it, the water rushed down his ivory white body.
He took the bottled of shampoo and pored it into his hand. Then he ran it though the short ringlets of his now cut short hair, it was just easier to care for. Besides Harley would get over it soon enough, and she did admit it looked good. Then he let it rinse out and took the conditioner and pored a large amount on his hair and carelessly ran it through. Then he left it in while he soaped himself off, and leaned against the black tile wall just letting the water pour down his body, and thinking almost subconsciously about how very white he must look against the black tile wall.
Then he rinsed his hair and got out, he toweled off. Then he put on a pair of silk black boxers and walked over to his bed. He looked down at Harley for a moment, and thought to himself how very sweet she looked. Harley was so simply and childlike, it was too easy to keep her services. He smiled, looking down at her, she was a lovely little creature really. But he had, had enough of her for one night, it was time to let sleep take over like a drug.
He pulled back the silk purple sheet and laid down looking up for a moment before closing his eyes. Which he didn't want to do because thoughts would drift in from dark corners of the universe that was his mind, but closing your eyes was unfortunately required for sleeping.
And as he laid there, he did think, he thought about many things, but really it was all nothing to keep something from coming into his mind. Because something was never good. Everyone knew that nothing was much better. Because nothing could never hurt. Or could it? He wasn't sure actually, because you know nothing is also something, because it couldn't be nothing if it wasn't something. So could nothing hurt as much as something could, being that it was something too? Puzzling you know.
He tried thinking about all sorts of things before a thought drifted into his mind. It was but a little and meek thought that seemed like it could do no harm so he let it linger. It was a thought of Harley, but he was almost asleep as it drifted in. And in the back of his mind in a little tiny, ittsy- bitsy metal box tired in chains, and hidden in a back storage room, and on the door is a sign that says, Do Not Enter! And in the little box was the thought that had gotten loose, it was all about Harley.
At that minute he didn't realize that it had escaped, he thought it was just some other thought of her. But it wasn't, it was the thought that maybe, some how, it was conceivable that he cared for her in some way. It plagued him with it's words, it asked him why if he cared nothing for her was she sleeping now at the foot of his bed, and why if he cared nothing for her did he keep her alive, and so many other why's. He gave answers to all the questions, yet neither he nor the thought felt satisfied with the answers
Weather or not he loved Harley was a different matter than if he cared something for her. The thought of caring for her was stupid though, really he thought, 'How could I care for her, she always gets on my nerves, she's as dumb as a door nail and she's never been any help to me.' And he laughed at the tiny thought for it's stupidity. The thought did not laugh, rather he answered him by saying once more that if she's so annoying, so stupid, so useless, why not kill her?
He thought no more about it. For it would only torment and he ventured to think of his next plan. Yet as he did he couldn't help but think about how much she loved him, and how she seemed so happy just to see a simple smile play his lips. This so annoyed him he kicked her, then he felt her move away slightly. He laughed to himself as he thought that she probably thought he was just tossing. Still he couldn't help but get the most unnerving feeling that the thought was still wondering around his mind some place, that maybe, some how, he could care for her?

The next day when Harley woke up Joker was already awake, he bandaged her up and she made breakfast, and spent the day feeling nothing but love for him. And him? He wasn't sure what he felt for her, that was something he might wonder about for sometime.