A/N- Well, it's been so long since the idea for this fic first came to me. I honestly don't remember how it did so. A part of me wants to remember that maybe I was role-playing in my head (scarily, I do this often) and came up with it, but another part of me wants to remember that I came up with it with a good friend of mine, SlinkyAndTheBloodyWands. Whatever the case may be, I do know that she helped me pick the title for this, so a major thanks (once again, whatever would I do without my little plot demon/bunny?) for that. As for the timeline of the fic, it is after the Batman episode "Mad Love" and after the final episode of Angel. Now, on with the fic!
Disclaimer- I do not own Batman or any other related character. That belongs to DC Comics and WB. I also do not own Angel or any related character. They all belong to Joss Whedon. This applies to all chapters.
Men leave, children grow up, parents pass away. The ones who are there, from cradle to grave, are our sisters.
Patient number 1311838081986--Harleen Quinzelle a.k.a. Harley Quinn--sat in a high-backed leather chair with a bright smile on her face. Finally, after several weeks, the casts, slings, and bandages had been removed. Her wounds from the Joker pushing her out a window had healed at last. Doctor Joan Leland sat, staring at her from across her desk. The doctor had tried not to let her frown show--as was always her custom--as she looked at her former colleague.
In those several weeks, the Joker was still believed dead, for he had not resurfaced. And Dr. Leland had tried to take this rare opportunity--Harley's separation from the Joker--to try and rehabilitate the once promising psychiatrist. All her attempts had failed. Miserably. Harley remained her ever-bubbly, ever-psychotic self.
Now, as Miss Quinn smiled at Leland from her chair across the desk, the good doctor removed her glasses and rubbed the bridge of her nose. Sighing, she replaced them and shook her head in Harley's direction. Only then did the harlequin's smile faded into a look of polite confusion.
For the most part, Harley was never violent with her therapists. Not like the Joker or some of the other inmates of Gotham's Arkham Asylum. Only when the subject of the Joker being the wrong man for her was breeched did she ever grow violent. So, in light of her previous failures to bring Harley back to sanity, Dr. Leland had done some research. During which, she had discovered some very interesting facts about Harleen. The most interesting of which was the existence of a half-sister. According to Harley's own account--since the report had been written in her own hand a few years ago--the two had been reared up together and had become quite close. It was only when Harley's mother--the parent that the two girls shared--and her new husband--the second girl's father--wanted to move away from Gotham that she had made the choice to stay with her father. The girls then grew apart. Harley, taking an interest in such things as gymnastics and psychiatry, and her sister--Winifred Burkle, taking an interest in physics.
"Dr. Leland? Is everything alright?" Harley asked, cutting into Leland's thoughts.
She looked at her and smiled. "Yes, Harley. Everything is fine. In fact, I've actually got some happy news for you."
"You've found puddin'--I mean, Mistah J?" she asked, everything from her smile to even her blonde pigtails perking up.
"Uh, no. But, perhaps you'll be just as happy to hear what I have to say. It was strenuous, but we've managed to locate Winifred Burkle. Do you know who I'm talking about?"
Harley's eyebrow arched. "Of course. That's my sister. How did you manage to find her?"
Dr. Leland let out a short, mirthless laugh. "Well, it wasn't easy. There's actually no record of her for about five years. But, we have found her. She's living with two men by the name of Liam Angel and William Pratt. She's not far from here. Just a few cities away."
"Well," Leland said slowly, removing her glasses again. "I've talked it over with Commissioner Gordon and Mayor Hill. They both agree that it's a good idea. Harley, you will be the first to take part in a new program here at Arkham. Now, obviously we can't do this with our more dangerous criminals here, but the idea is that instead of some high class--forgive me--snooty psychiatrist trying to rehabilitate you, we place you--under guard of course--in the care of a relative that you've proven to be closest with. In the hopes of rehabilitation, do you understand?"
"Snooty?" Harley asked, a slight laugh under-toning her voice.
Leland sighed again. "I'm simply trying to show the idea to you through your point of view. Do you understand, Harley?"
She sat still for a moment, her eyes narrowed and her tongue sticking out slightly at the corner. She had crossed her right arm over herself and had her left arm up, her index finger tapping her temple.
"I think so, Doctor. So, you're going to send me away…to stay with Fred, right?"
"With a few guards from the police force, that's right."
"For how long?"
"However long she'll have you…and if that's indefinitely, however long it will take."
"Does she know?"
"Not yet," Leland said, standing and smiling. "I was waiting to see if you wanted to write to her and tell her yourself. I'll have to observe and read the letter before it's sent, to ensure that you don't tell her anything that isn't true, but if you want…"
At this, she slid a piece of stationery paper and a pen toward Harley. For the first time, the bright, insanely joyous light that always lit Harley Quinn's eyes faded for just a moment. She seemed to be considering the paper. Finally, the light reappeared, and she picked up the pen.
"Ruddy, self-righteous ponce," Spike said, rubbing the back of his neck.
Months had passed since the fight with the demons of Wolfram and Hart--the result of the destruction of their L.A. branch. In the fight, the crew of Angel Investigations had lost Cordelia, Fred, Wesley, and Gunn. Okay, so Cordy and Fred had been lost a little bit before the big fight, but in the overall sum of what had led to the end...yeah, they were lost in the fight. Fred's body had been inhabited by an Old One by the name of Illyria, who had joined Angel, Spike, and a dying Gunn in the big fight. If it had not been for the appearance of a small battalion of Slayers--a la Buffy--they would've surely lost. Angel and Spike were beaten nearly to death--all puns aside--and even Illyria had taken a few hits. However, the Slayer crew had healed them up real nice, they had joined forces, and then Buffy had stationed Angel, Spike, Illyria, and a Slayer by the name of Charlene--Charlie for short--here in a out of the way town just two cities away from Gotham. According to Buffy and her witch, Willow, it was a hotbed of vampire activity. They had not been wrong.
So, the Slayer Organization had bought a house under the names Liam Angel and William Pratt and placed the two ensouled vampires, demon god, and Slayer there. When they weren't fighting the forces of evil, they were training, which brought Spike's thoughts back to his aching neck.
Angel and Charlie entered the living room. Angel had a smug smile on his face.
"Aw, come on, Spike. Don't be a baby. I didn't hurt you that bad, did I?" he asked as Charlie giggled.
Charlie was short, with long red hair--currently braided down her back--and almond shaped blue eyes. She had a few freckles on her cheeks, and judging by her childishly formed face, most had trouble believing she was twenty-five. Technically, she was still a Slayer-in-training, and this "assignment" with Angel and Spike was kind of like a field test for her.
"I was holdin' back," Spike replied, slumping into a nearby chair. "If I had been trying, you'd be dust by now."
"Sure, whatever," Angel replied, causing Charlie to giggle again.
Grumbling, Spike watched as Angel stepped over his outstretched legs to get to the small end table where the group had agreed to deposit the mail. On it, there was a small mountain of white--with a few off-white--envelopes.
"Spike, I thought you were supposed to sort through these. Like you said you would…Last night," Angel growled.
"Fine," Spike said, leaning up and scooping the envelopes into his arms.
Reading through the labels quickly, he either tossed them back on the end table, the bill pile; toward Charlie; or on the floor, being his junk pile.
"There," he said, tossing the last on the floor. "All done. Happy?"
Angel growled again and stooped to pick up the last letter he had tossed on the floor.
"This one looks important, Spike. It's from Arkham Asylum…and it's addressed to Fred," he said.
"Probably either a wrong address or something. Gotta remember, Angel, no one knows that Fred died."
"Someone has arrived," said Illyria's voice from the doorway, causing everyone to jump. No one had realized she had entered the room.
Charlie made her way to the window. Out in the driveway, a large prisoner van had pulled up and two armed guards were escorting a blonde woman out of it. Another woman, this one with short dark hair and skin, led them.
"Wait here," Angel and Spike said in unison to Charlie and Illyria.
The two rushed outside--not fearing the sun, for it was an hour past sundown--to greet their unexpected guests.
"Uh, right, there. Hi, hello. Who are you people?" Spike asked once he arrived at them.
The dark haired woman stepped up. "My name is Doctor Joan Leland. Surely you knew we were coming? We sent you a letter explaining everything."
Both Angel and Spike traded glances. "Letter?" they asked.
"Yes. It was addressed from Arkham Asylum. It explained our new relative rehabilitation program. That we were bring Miss Harleen Quinzelle--this woman here--to live with her sister, Winifred Burkle."
"Fred's sister?" Spike asked, eyeing the blonde woman indicated to be Miss Quinzelle.
"Arkham?" Angel growled glaring at Spike.
Spike stared back at him and shrugged, as if to say, "who knew?"
"I'm sorry that this is such a surprise, but may we speak with Miss Burkle?"
At this, both Angel and Spike sort of shuffled their feet. After a few moments of it, Dr. Leland asked, "Is there a problem? Can't Harley--I mean, Miss Quinzelle, speak with her sister?"
"Well, you see, doc," Spike began, but was cut off by a sweet little Texan accent.
End Notes: And…cliffhanger. Sorry, guys. But, maybe it's enough to hold your interest? Now, a note on Angel's and Spike's names. Well, we know that Angel had several names, one of which being Liam. So, I just sort of combined Liam and Angel into a first name last name form. As for Spike's name, according to Wikipedia, Joss Whedon mentioned once that Pratt was Spike's last name. So, in short, the names belong to Whedon too, not my creation. Well, please R & R! Thanks!