Author's Note: The content gets stronger still. If you were expecting bunnies and rainbows heading into this fic, then I don't know what to tell you. It's JokerxHarley for pete's sake!

---

He woke up feeling curiously warm and with a smile on his face. His mind buzzed frantically but his limbs felt relaxed and settled. Beside him, Harley stirred and shifted in the bed.

He felt her curl her body around his, her hands coming around his waist to reach up over his chest, stroking his nipples. He reached back with one arm and patted her hip, sliding his hand to rest in the small of her back. He heard her sigh happily. He was feeling oddly content himself. And peckish.

"Harley, why don't get you get Daddy some breakfast." He murmured and she kissed his shoulder and got up.

"Okay, Mistah J." She spoke softly but the cheery lightness in her voice was back and he smiled into his pillow as he heard her leave the room.

He stretched, rolling over onto his back, spreading his legs wide. The little bed was just a couple of inches shorter than he was and he was looking forward to moving on. He turned his head to one side and saw blood spattered across the sheets.

Heh. Oh yeah.

The memories of the night before flitted through his mind like playful snatches of a beloved song and he shut his eyes and enjoyed their recollection. Yes, last night had been good fun. His throat was dry.

He opened his eyes and looked at Harley's bedside table. There was a glass of water there and he propped himself up for a sip and as he did so noticed Harley's hot pink mobile phone next to it.

Hrmmm.

Thoughtfully, he picked it up and flipped open the lid and began to scroll through the names there.

Amy, he knew that one, Becca, Corrin, Debbie, Felicity, Guy…

Guy!

A very sly and nasty smile moved up The Joker's face as he selected Compose New Message.

Guy, he wrote, beginning the message with his typically precise spelling, then realising his telling error, quickly deleting it and starting anew: i nd 2 c u. cn i cum over l8r? x mandy

Chuckling he put the phone back down and lazily scratched himself, wondering why it was taking Harley so long to get his breakfast. Didn't she know he was hungry?

The phone beeped.

Oooh, already! Guy was keen on his little Harley-Pie, that was for sure. He quickly snatched the phone up and read the message.

Sure thng gr8 2 her frm u. addy 6/148 hills drv, upper west xxx

Heh. He memorised the address, then deleted the message and put the phone back down.

Harley came in bearing a tray, a sunny smile and a bloody chest. She'd even put a little flower on the tray. That's what he liked to see. Attention to the little details.

"Here we go, Mistah J," she sang to him, her hair a bird's nest around her face. "Your little Harleykins has brought you sustenance."

She placed the tray on his lap as he sat up, rubbing his hands gleefully. Harley had really outdone herself today! There was bacon and sausages, hashbrowns, eggs, lots and lots of hollandaise, haloumi, three types of jam and plenty of toast, his sugar bowl and a bowl of cheerios. And coffee. And orange juice. He mixed a spoonful each of strawberry, blackcurrant and mango jam and dolloped it onto his toast then carefully sprinkled a teaspoon of sugar over his sausages and bacon. Mmmm.

Harley watched him happily, then leaned over and breathed in his ear. "I know you'll be needin' it after your work out last night!" She giggled coyly and he pushed her off. Eating.

She was unfazed, and picked up her phone. "Huh, that's funny."

"What's that, Pooh?" he said, not looking up from his meal.

"I thought I heard a message come in." she looked at him questioningly and he widened his eyes, shrugging slightly.

"I didn't hear anything."

"Huh." She put the phone back down and he felt a little naughty.

"In fact," he continued innocently, "Your phone hasn't rung once the last three days. "

She flinched a little and he grinned around a mouthful of sugary bacon.

"Well," she said stoutly, "None of those bums matter now you're back."

And turned a look of such sickening adoration upon him that he wanted to photograph it, then kick her in the face. And photograph that.

She lay beside him and watched him eat, her head propped up on one hand, absolute contentment on her face. Now and again she lifted a hand to her chest and gently fingered the reopened cut there, pleasurably wincing a little each time. Her throat was once again ringed with purple bruises, the bite mark on her cheek was almost black and she bore many other little spots and specks as the evidence of their night together. He knew she liked to have something she could look at the next day. In point of fact, he'd caught her in front of the mirror on several occasions in the past, playing her fingertips over her various bruises and cuts, smiling daffily. Sometimes she was even touching herself while she did it, and he found that very cute. It was certainly sexier than when she put on any of that ridiculous underwear and paraded herself about in the desperate bid for his amorous attentions. Sure, it was nice she wanted him so badly, but it was more arousing that even when he wasn't around she still had to find a way to evoke him.

He cleaned his plate and burped loudly, to which Harley obligingly giggled. No sooner had she taken the tray off his lap and placed it on the floor beside the bed then she was snuggling close against him, her naked breasts brushing against his arm, her hand slipping beneath the sheets. Joker rolled his eyes.

"Again?" He asked her and she made puppy-dog eyes at him.

"But Puddin', it's been three years." She said piteously, "Can you blame ya Harley for feeling like her motor needs a little hard drivin'?" and fluttered her eyelashes at him.

He assessed the situation. Now that he had his property back, it was really time to get onto what was most important – namely, Batsy, and letting Batsy know he was back. If the three years had been killing Harley, he hated to think what they had been doing to his dear, Dark Knight.

It was also important that he not be too lenient with Harley, lestways she become too demanding. She was already more than demanding enough thankyouverymuch.

But Harley liked to be reminded who she belonged to. It made her feel secure. Best not leave her doubting. Better clinch the deal and screw her again.

But first… there was the little matter of her behaviour.

He smiled at Harley, a mean, sinister smile and she saw it and her gaze grew wary.

"Harley," he said. "You weren't very polite to me yesterday when you got home."

She bit her lip, her eyes growing rounder. He continued.

"In fact, you haven't been terribly nice to me since I got here. Have you?"

"Puddin', I – " she began.

"Don't interrupt." He snapped. "I went to all the trouble of finding you, despite injury and strife, and what happens? You give me the cold shoulder! Feed me this line about our relationship being over, and leave me alone in this wretched place for no less than three days – all by myself! You talk back to me! You shout at me! And then you have the gall to get angry when I find ways to amuse myself while you're off on whatever selfish, self-centred little missions you're gallivanting about the town with!" His voice had risen as he spoke, and he was rising up off the bed. She was cowering back against the pillows, her head ducked and a look of mournful wretchedness on her face.

"Puddin', it's just that – "

He shook his head sadly, dropping his voice again. "There really aren't any excuses, Harley. Are there?"

She sniffled in response.

He leaned across the bed and stuck his face close to hers, making his voice gentle.

"Are there?"

Tears had welled in her eyes and her lower lip was stuck out as she raised her eyes to his, chin wobbling hopelessly.

"I'm s-sorry," she stammered, "it's just I been so c-confused. I d-din't know w-what to do. Please, please don't be mad at me Puddin'!" And she leapt forward placing the palms of her hands on his chest, entreating him. "Please! I couldn't stand it after all this time!"

Heh. Yes, he imagined that would be hurting quite a lot. He enjoyed the thought for a second and then took her hands in his, lifting them off his chest.

"But Pet, you can't ask me to go easy on you, 'after all this time'. You've grown far too lax – too undisciplined. I couldn't responsibly let it go, could I?"

She stared at him with wide, wet eyes for a long broken moment before lowering them, her shoulders sinking, her hands going limp in his.

"Do whatever you need to." She sniffled. "Just please don't be mad at me."

He smiled, wide and bright.

"I'm glad you understand, Baby. It convinces me we really can work out anything together." He stroked her head gently for a second then slammed his other fist into her gut.

She barely made a sound as he kicked and punched her, knocking her onto the floor. She raised her arms at one point to cover her head, but he knocked them away, and then slammed her head into the wall a couple of times to make the point. After that she lay there, whimpering a little, but otherwise just keeping her eyes squeezed shut and her lips pressed tight together. He wasn't getting a lot of enjoyment out of it – he felt oddly indifferent and detached, in fact. It wasn't like other times when it was all for kicks (heh – literally!). The thing was, he wasn't really angry at all. Sure, he'd been angry over the last few days, but he wasn't especially the type to hold a grudge against his little Punkin Pie For too long.

He just knew she needed the discipline. Letting her think he was angry would probably be more hurtful to her, but she'd also spend a lot more time needling and wheedling at him to forgive her and that'd she do anything if he'd just forgive her. It was always easiest to pull that sort of thing just before she went into Arkham – he liked to think of her crying and hysterical in her cell, requiring constant sedation so keen and unrelenting was the pain of knowing he was angry at her and not being able to do anything about it.

So this way was easiest to make a short point. What did she need to do for him to forgive her? Why, whatever he wanted. If she'd do anything, she could take a beating. She seemed to need the pain anyway, to remind her. Who she was. Who she belonged to.

He stopped before she could fade out, go somewhere else where the pain couldn't reach her, then pinned her to the carpet. A huge eggplant coloured bruise was flaring up on her head and a trickle of blood escaped the corner of her mouth and she opened her eyes and looked at him with absolute surrender, calm and willing.

It aroused him and a second later he was inside her and pounding for all he was worth.

He held her down and rode her as hard as he could, with all the viciousness and savagery he had in him, every ounce of strength he possessed poured into it. At first he could tell that she liked it, she kept her body relaxed, her legs splayed, kneading at his shoulders with her hands and staring into his eyes. He knew that was difficult for her to do, sometimes, and that made it all the more powerful. He grinned at her nastily, lecherously, and kept up the pace.

Time passed, he didn't know how much, and still he kept at it and she began showing signs of discomfort, of pain. Holding back from ejaculation was not an issue for him and the more Harley began to whimper, to twitch, to wiggle beneath him, the harder she tried to hold back her cries, to not let her tears fall, the more little jolts of pleasure ran through his body, the full body bliss he preferred.

It was unpleasant, but necessary. Well, unpleasant for her at any rate. Him, he was rather enjoying himself. After all, if she wanted him to stop, she could just throw him off, couldn't she?

Harley had shut her eyes and was grinding her teeth. Her body had tensed up, which wouldn't be helping, but it seemed a knee-jerk reaction. He drove on, regardless.

"Please," she managed to whisper between clenched teeth. "Please."

"Isn't this what you wanted, Baby?" he cooed and she sobbed.

"Please, Mistah J. I think I'm bleeding."

"Really? And he leant down, leering, whispering against her bruised cheek. "You just feel all nice and wet to me."

But he still needed her functional.

He drew out of her and sat up on his knees, hauling her by her messy ponytails towards him. She hesitated only a second before taking his cock in her mouth, slick and speckled red with her blood. Now THAT was good. He didn't really notice the feeling of her mouth around him, no it was more the way she looked. Her face was swollen and blotchy, her eyes red rimmed and filled with the sort of despair and desperation that only a truly mad love could elicit. He let himself go and when she felt it, a wild fervour suddenly bloomed upon her face and she pushed herself forward, grasping his buttocks in both hands and swallowing.

He chuckled, feeling absolute delight with how things had played out. Yes, yes, his Harley was back, there was no doubt about it, and he cupped her face and patted her cheek gently whilst letting out a long, gusting sigh.

"Good girl." He smiled down at her and her face lit up.

Feeling somewhat weak in the knees, he crawled back over to the bed and pulled himself up on it and she followed, wincing a little. He let her snuggle up close to him, sheltering her beneath one arm, and reaching his other hand down between her legs, cupping her softly. She still winced. She felt swollen and enflamed and he felt the wetness of blood on his fingertips.

"Hows my little Punkin feeling?" he queried her and she stared blankly out across the room, genuinely considering the question before answering.

He stroked his thumb gently over her mound and slowly her face lit up with a soft look of pure, unmitigated realisation, her swollen lips curving upwards in a delighted smile.

"I feel reborn." She said joyously, and he laughed.

---

Harley had been the only one.

Oh sure, there'd been others. But Harley had been the only one

There had been Terry, of course. Dear, dear, demented Terry. She had really believed, really, truly, utterly believed she could change him. Make of him a whole and sane man. He used to lock himself in the bathroom and giggle over it, over her blind, frenzied naivety.

She had bought his weeping schtick, her restrained and refined little heart had positively gone to gloop at it and he knew he had her within his tightly closing fist.

She had been disappointingly easy to control, all too keen to do what he directed and all he had to do was threaten to leave her if she didn't. She'd led such a wretchedly lonely little life, had become so entwined with her mission to deliver him, that the very notion of it horror-struck her into compliance.

One week she couldn't even contemplate hurting another living soul, the next she was battering him with a lead pipe. And so it went on and her descent had been somewhat entertaining to witness.

But Terry - sigh – Terry never took any real pleasure in it. She found it necessary to believe herself a victim, persuaded and coerced – she never just cut loose and let go and really had fun with it all. He found that so disgustingly hypocritical it was almost endearing; but ultimately not enough.

It was difficult for him, to recall the precise details. He knew there had been a lot of blood, there always was, and a lot of tears but a great deal more laughter. He knew he had amused himself with cruel taunts and vicious threats of leaving her, of despising her, of forgetting her and that she had become no more than a little wind-up doll for him to toy with.

All of the facts were there, of course, buried somewhere in the great labyrinthine library that was his mind – but it never seemed important enough – not to mention at all relevant to whatever he was up to – to concentrate with enough focus to call them all to mind.

Terry had been no more than a ftzing little buzz of a synapse firing; useful at the time but ultimately meaningless. This had been before Harley of course, and he'd definitely had his fun toying with her vulnerable little brain, but ultimately Terry had turned out to be… a disappointment.

Kinda like a sketch, really. A first draft.

Then Cassandra – heh heh – cunning little Cassie. She'd been drawn to him for the same reason anyone foolhardy enough to be was: power. His power. His magnetism. His charisma.

It thrilled and titillated her. In many ways she was another Terry – someone trapped so deeply within a cocoon of their own making, that he was like a typhoon, hurtling around them and wrenching the web away, revealing the inner selves their ambition had always clouded but never entirely consumed. Cassie had approached him out of curiosity, drawn to his mystery and legend. It was an impact he had on all people he encountered, though with varying effects. Most were terrified of it. Some were titillated. Still others were both.

Cassie had wanted romantic, passionate sex and he'd given it to her – at first. But escalation is a lovely thing, utterly charming in its inevitably.

As she became more and more sucked into the hurricane's eye that stood at the centre of all he wrought simply by existing, she was more and more desirous to push it to the edge – to experience "the real" him. He'd given it to her – within reason, after all she still needed to comply with his wishes and he had so many wishes – he'd beaten her and slapped her, humiliated her and fucked her until she bled and she became more and more undone.

Not that Cluey Cass had ever loved him – oh, no. Ultimately, she used him as much as he did her. Through him she saw her future assured – millions and millions of dollars pouring into her lap as she flogged his name like a dead horse. Cass would do anything for a rating.

But she had, nonetheless, been enthralled by him and keen to please.

Of course, she'd been less than nothing to him. While her and that miserable television station kept him locked up, she was his access to silk suits and leather wingtips, clean spats, fine cigars and wine – and all the other little sundries he required. Which included fixing the particulars of the little TV show they did to his liking. It had been to his advantage to screw her, but it had felt like an interminable chore at times. The only thing that could get him off was knowing if he said stoop, she'd say how low. And then making it happen.

Then there had been that goddamned godforsaken alien planet he was banished to with a mess of losers and wannabes. And there'd been a girl. Who seemed to think she was some sort of clown. Bad outfit. Very bad. No style at all.

He hadn't been paying that much attention to her and had not yet once found himself motivated to scoop the depths of his brain for the accompanying detail that had no doubt been stored away. That irritated him, actually. He hadn't yet found a limit to the amount of information he could file in there, but if he ever did, then hidden information about that girl was taking up precious space. She had latched onto him, for the same reason all the others did; he was so powerful and so charming and so compelling, blah-de-blah-blah-blah.

She was gutsy, he could give her that much, she actually touched him without direct permission. Then again, it was fairly difficult for her to get direct permission when he never actually looked at her or spoke to her. There had been an element of amusement in it, of course – there he was, stranded with a bunch of muscle-bound, super-powered macho villains, and he was the only one getting any tail. So he'd allowed it, because he liked to rub these sorts of things in.

All the ladies who'd been shipped along were far too ferocious, independent and outright dangerous to safely hit on and most thought too damn well of themselves to express interest in any of the idiotic cretins he'd been obliged to share precious air with. He seemed to recall spreading a couple of insinuations that a few of the ladies had teeth where no lady should have teeth, to further disconcert a couple of the boys. It had been funny watching their faces, that was for sure, and the way they covertly avoided said ladies afterwards.

But the girl, yes the girl had followed him around and pawed him and chattered in his ear, and adored him and while he just couldn't muster enough interest to kill her, she was virtually useless. He seemed to recall allowing her to give him a blowjob a few times when he'd been particularly mind-crushingly bored, and he'd amused himself after he discovered that anything he tossed aside she would run and fetch. But she just hadn't merited anything more. She had nothing to offer him after all.

But then, when he hadn't seen Harley for a while, when he hadn't thought of her for a time, when he drew her recollection to be one of the forefront thoughts in his mind, she seemed to have two faces. One gently laid over Harley's own, like a reflection or a projection, its features mingling with hers, blurred and indistinct. It always made him laugh softly, quietly to himself, increased his fervour to destroy and desecrate. The sight of it always made him believe ever more fervently in his grand vision, drove home the inherent meaningless of order and structure, what empty comforts these were for the mindless masses. The joke was – ha ha – he wasn't sure why that vision should make him feel ever more so.

Sometimes, in the long hours he spent strolling the borders between wakefulness and slumber, numb and blanked out, moving through the vast and twisting paths of his mind, delving further and further into its rotting core, he'd catch sight of her. Fleeting and smiling.

He didn't know who she was. He couldn't ever really see her face properly. Except that she had a soft smile and blonde hair. Sometimes she had a great round belly, and sometimes she was slim as a reed. Sometimes she came close enough to kiss him and sometimes she kept her distance. Most of the time he was vaguely curious about her, but not perturbed. She did no harm there, buried in the depths of his mind, so he was happy to let her play.

Other times it was as though she reached out, reached into his chest, delving though the flesh and bone and marrow, and plucked gently at some sticky, stringy strand of him, striking a resonant chord. When she did that, he wanted to smother her. But then she would vanish.

But those times were scarce.

Sometimes Harley, with her own blonde hair and loving, smiling face, reminded him of her, whoever she was, and that somewhat agitated him.

Those times were scarcer.

He knew that somehow, Harley was a connection to this woman, and through that, to his – other self? No, that wasn't accurate. But something. Something. Something he couldn't name or describe, mainly because he didn't really care enough to. It was only rarely bothersome after all, usually in Arkham when the whole place was shut down, or when he'd been out on his own for an especially long period of time.

To be truthful, he wasn't even sure if she had ever been real of if she was just an abstract embodiment of what he'd been – before

Either way – she stood as no impediment to what he was now

And there had been one other time – just the once – where he had felt the shadows of some past fantasy stroke a ghostly finger down his neck. Councilwoman Kenner, her name had been, and she meant nothing to him except for what reaction he could get out of Bats. He'd been going to kill her. He could already feel the heat of her blood pouring over his hands, the desperate pumping of her heart as her life left her, with the spray of sea water and the roar of the boat engine a savage snarl, the beat of the helicopters like monstrous wings tearing the sky, her hair soft and slippery and snarled around his fingers. A cacophony of intoxicating sensations that had him licking his lips with anticipation.

Then, he'd looked at Councilwoman Kenner and seen another woman's face. Another blonde. Pretty and soft looking. And for some reason he'd let Kenner go.

Later on, he had been furious with himself and had immediately tracked Kenner down and slaughtered her. And her children, for good measure. Then he'd decided it was what he had intended to do all along – her fear was all the more tasty for thinking she'd escaped and Batman's blistering fury had been all the more luscious. Yes. Just driving the point home a little harder.

But that – that had been yeeeeeeears ago. He'd been only three or four years old at the time. A little childishness was to be expected. And ultimately, it had just helped him improve and push ever harder to exceed himself.

He thought maybe that blonde face skittered somewhere ensconced within the folds of his grey matter, but he'd never bothered to check. What was the point?

And that was it, really. At the end of the day, Harley was the only one who was memorable

Harley was the only one who actually stuck. Who could make him quiver with rage or shake with laughter or feel some visceral hunger to have her nearby and doing whatever she had to in order to make him happy. Who had something to offer, something that could actually put a smile on his face, or have him turning to share the joke with her even when she wasn't there. (Though that would always infuriate him) Harley actually went to some real effort. She found herself a costume – a fantastic costume – she had an alias, a fun alias, a fabulous alias. She had accessories and trademarks.

Harley got pleasure out of what they did – she loved it, in fact. Revelled in it. And even if she didn't, she learned to – for his sake.

Yes, he had power over her. Yes, she was aware of the power he had over everyone. But she loved him far beyond that. She loved the twisted, perverse ways in which his mind worked, she loved him for his brilliance and insight, for his poetic spirit and his love of the classics. She had a million things she loved about him, but ultimately, she just loved him. He, who had committed some of the most heinous acts perpetrated by any one man in history. He, who mocked life, law, faith, civilisation and society and who venerated chaos, mayhem, murder, anarchy and absolute disintegration. He, of whom other super villains were afraid. He, whose twisted mind had bent not only the likes of The Spectre, of Judge Death but J'onn Effing J'onzz. For the likes of him to say take me as I am, and have someone actually take him up on it, well…

Harley didn't expect him to change. Harley didn't want him to change. Harley appreciated him for all that he was. She adored him for it. She gave up everything for it. There was no half-way for Harley. No, she poured her heart and soul into everything she did, including loving him. It was… impressive. It was worthy

Yes, Harley really was the only one.

---

She didn't have a car, but that gave him the opportunity to test her ability to bounce back into the game. She didn't do too badly at all, considering. A quick carjacking in the back alley, she waving it down as the damsel in distress, he gave the driver a bullet to the forehead, and they had themselves a decent set of wheels.

He could see she was exhilarated, riding high on the adrenalin from the theft and he smiled indulgently at her. She was so much more… effervescent now. Back to her old self. She'd been so sedate before, and it just didn't work for her.

She was dressed in cut off jean shorts decorated with strands of rhinestones and pink marabou and a little pink top with the words in sparkly letters across the front: Daddy's Girl. She'd dug it out of the very bottom of one of her drawers, explaining with a bashful smile she'd bought it in the kid's section of Walmart one time, unable to resist. But she hadn't yet worn it. It made him laugh.

"Where to, Boss?" she chirruped and he gave her the address. She didn't comment on it, or react in anyway except to say: "Anything you say, Mistah J!" which indicated to him she hadn't been there before.

Which he found disturbingly reassuring.

One Hundred and Forty Eight Hills Drive was in an upscale neighbourhood. The apartment block was a boutique set, only eight in all.

Yes, fitting abode indeed for a top player on the city's venerated Basketball Team.

He had Harley stand in front of the keyhole when he rang the bell.

"Who we visitin' Puddin?" she queried him curiously as the chime went off inside.

"Shhhh," he giggled, a finger to his lips, ducking back against the wall.

There was a click from inside and the door swung open. He watched Harley's expression change to one of astonishment.

"Guy?"

"Mandy? God, what the hell happened to – "

"SURPRISE!" Joker cried and jumped in front of Harley, shoving Guy backwards into his apartment. He stalked in after the man who stumbled away from the leering clown in shock.

Harley followed him quickly and shut the door.

"Mistah J, what's goin' on? What are we doin' here?"

Guy was only two inches shorter than The Joker and as his eyes swept from Harley back to Joker, he was clearly struck with a moment of heroism.

He lurched forward, arms out and prepared to grab, and Joker ducked out of the way, sending Guy slamming into the wall. Guy shook his head dazedly and swung again. Joker dodged it neatly, side-stepping, then spun towards the door, grasped the umbrella from the stand and drove the blunt point of it straight into Guy's gut, winding him. He then flipped it over and swung it upwards, catching Guy hard on the jaw with the handle.

Guy grunted and went down, dazed.

Harley was watching from a corner, pressed up against a wall with wide and startled eyes.

Joker drew his gun and cocked it at the boy.

"Are you comfortable there? Okay? Good!"

"Wh-what do you want?" Guy stammered, clutching his stomach and gazing up at Joker disbelievingly. "Is this some kinda joke? Is Mick behind this? Mandy?"

He looked desperately at Harley who ducked back against the wall, an expression of uncertainty creasing her pretty, bruised features.

Joker rolled his eyes. "Do I look like a joke?" He demanded. It was actually funny how many people assumed he couldn't really be who he was – that he was so much the stuff of legend that they couldn't possibly ever encounter him. Which was fair enough, he supposed. Why would the proletariats be privileged enough to merit a visit from his own grand self?

He inspected Guy. My, my. Whatever had Harley been thinking? Guy wasn't a patch on his own charming, handsome self, but then he hadn't really expected he would be. Still, he was disappointingly average. Reddish-brown hair, deep tanned skin, a vacant, deer-in-the-headlights look on his dopily gentle face. Long features, heavy brows. Quite muscular – of course, he'd have to be – but altogether, at the end of it all, common. He felt curiously vindicated.

Guy didn't seem to know what to say in response. His eyes flickered to the gun and then back up at Joker's face, then across to Harley who continued to cower uselessly against the wall, chewing her lip, then back to Joker once more.

Joker cocked his gun. "I'd lay odds you're assessing whether or not you can knock me over before I get off a shot." He smiled, wide and vicious. "Trust me. You can't."

Guy relaxed, his brow creasing downwards, grimacing with frustration. "Just take what you want and leave."

"Oh please, " Joker snorted derisively. "As if you could have anything that would possibly be of any interest to me. I, on the other hand…" and he sidled his glance over to Harley. Guy followed it.

"Mandy?" Guy said again.

"Guess again, bright spark!" Joker whooped gleefully and spun the gun around one finger before aiming it again, striding over to where Guy was and pressing the butt of it against his temple. Despite himself, Guy flinched, then became very still, his breath rising.

"The simple fact of the matter, Guy, is that I don't like people touching my things." Joker explained reasonably. "Call me mean, call me greedy, call me possessive but I don't share my toys. You get me?"

Guy looked confused and glanced at Harley again. "Mandy?" he said for the third time and Joker lost his temper.

"No!" He said backhanding Guy with the butt of the gun. "Mine!"

Guy spat out a mouthful of blood and looked up at Joker, perhaps suddenly realising for the first time exactly the situation he was in. "I'm s-sorry man, I didn't know!"

"Oh Guy," Joker clucked his tongue in a friendly fashion and crouched down beside where Guy sprawled and trembled. "Of course you didn't! How could you! With her new name and new history – and I'm sure you've never seen her out of that adorable costume she usually wears."

Guy's eyes were like saucers by now and he stared, open-mouthed at Harley while Joker's words sunk in. Joker tolerated it for a moment, then grasped Guy's jaw and swivelled his head back around to face him.

"So I'm going to forgive you." He said benevolently and stood back up.

Guy blinked as he absorbed the words. "I'll – n-never do it again!" He promised and Joker chuckled.

"Well, I know that! Shake?" And offered his free hand to Guy who, after a very long pause, took it tentatively by the fingertips and allowed Joker to give it a jerk. When he survived the contact, an expression of disbelieving relief began to wash over his face. Joker savoured it for a second.

"The thing is, Guy – " he went off on another tack, turning away from the basketball player and pacing, waving the gun about in his hand. "Thing is – there's just one problem. And that is you've seen me at – well," and he glanced down at himself. "Not exactly at my best." It was true. The Joker was wearing black slacks and a green, button-down suit shirt. "This is a fashion faux-pas the likes of which has not been seen since Bjork and that swan monstrosity at the Oscars. Now, understandably, I've been subjected to reduced circumstances of late, so it wasn't something I could really help. However, there's simply no way I can walk out of here, leaving you with the ability to splash this awful and damaging information all over the internet – or worse yet, to the cops! It could be – " he paused and tapped his chin with exaggerated thoughtfulness. " – deleterious to my reputation!" and he beamed at Guy, a full one-hundred watt smile. And yeesh, he'd forgotten his broken crown as well. Yep, the kid had to die.

"I-I-I w-won't tell a-anyone, I s-swear!" Guy stammered, holding his hands up in front of himself protectively and Joker cocked his gun and giggled.

"No. That you won't. Nice knowin' ya, Guy," he said and braced himself for the recoil.

"NO!"

Startled, Joker looked up. It was Harley. Harley had pushed herself off the wall and was standing there, staring at him with a look of grim determination on her face.

"Harls?" He queried, confused. What was going on? He'd put her back together right – he was sure of it.

"I can't let ya do it, Mistah J." she said staunchly, striding across the hall to where Joker and Guy were in the living room, Guy kneeling on the plush pile rug and Joker towering above him.

Joker was momentarily unsure how to play it. Shoot Guy? Shoot Harley? Shoot Harley then Guy or shoot Guy then Harley? But Harley could be very quick – she could conceivably stop him.

By then Harley had drawn up to his elbow and was pouting up at him unwaveringly, hands on hips.

"Give me the gun, Puddin'." She said firmly and he laughed at her. She had to be joking!

Guy took opportunity of their distraction to lurch to his feet, making a break for the door.

"No!" Harley shrieked, and gave him a quick kick in the gut, sending him sprawling on the hall tiles. Joker watched with astonishment as Guy squealed like a pig, then Harley had spun around and snatched the gun from his hand, faster than he could blink, and aimed it between Guy's eyes, standing there with her legs spread and the gun gripped between both hands.

"Sorry Guy – ya shoulda known, this pie is Puddin's!" She declared, a vicious glee in her voice he hadn't heard in such a long time.

Then she pulled the trigger.

The gunshot echoed through the quiet apartment, bouncing off the walls like the ringing of a bell. Guy flew backwards, slumping lifeless to the floor, a mess of blood and brain matter splattering the tiles.

Joker turned to Harley, his jaw slack with impressed surprise. His girl stood, panting, her face spattered with blood. As he watched she grinned slyly at him, lifted the gun to her lips and blew across the smoking barrel.

"Anythin' for you, Mistah J." she said sweetly.

Now that was sexy.

He threw back his head and shrieked with triumphant, delighted laughter, it ricocheting off the walls as sharp as the gunshot just moments before. He doubled over in his mirth, slapping one knee and leaning heavily on the back of Guy's white leather sofa for support.

Then he opened his arms up to his Harley and she came bouncing into them and he hoisted her up so she could wrap her legs around his waist. He squeezed her tight and laughed as she pattered kisses all over his chin and neck.

"That's my girl!" He chuckled. "Daddy's so proud!"

"Aw, Puddin'!" she simpered and blinked up at him adoringly. "Can we go pay a visit to Amy now? She has been such a tyrant lately!"

Still laughing cheerily, he carried Harley towards the door, stepping over Guy's prone figure as he did so.

"You know, this outfit is cute and all, Harley, but I can think of another one you wear better." He remarked and she squealed and hugged him tighter.

And then, after that – it would be time to reunite with Darling Batman. He could hardly wait.

---

Well. That was fun. Heh. Hope you enjoyed the ride.

I am very keen to portray Joker accurately. He is a very difficult character to "get" and I can easily accept I may very well be "off" about things, so your constructive criticism is very much welcomed.

The women Joker is referring to in the middle section of this chapter are all from canon.

The first – Terry – can be found in the mini-series Batman: Secrets, collected in a trade paperback.

The second – Cassandra – can be found in the mini-series It's Joker Time.

The third – Jewelee – is currently appearing by Joker's side in the mini-series Salvation Run. The series is not yet over so this section is based only on what we've seen so far of their interaction (though I've fabricated the blowjobs and Joker's rumours) so it could be canonically incorrect soon enough.

The fourth is Jeannie, of course, from The Killing Joke. Remember, her existence is not considered definite.

And the fifth is Rebecca, from the mini-series Going Sane, soon to be released in trade paperback.

You should read all these stories, if you have not already done so.