Warning: this story contains a depiction of a non-consensual sexual situation. However, it's not what you think, ultimately.



She woke with a start, the paper sticky with drool against her cheek. Blinking, she sat up, disoriented, her head aching and her mouth dry.

She should've been home hours ago.

She glanced to one side, out the tall windows that overlooked the Asylum grounds from her office. The last time she had looked out, the sky had been dove-grey and troubled, but still bright. She had left the overhead light switched off, needing only the lamp on her desk to aid her work.

Now it was night, the relentless pattering of rain a dulled soundtrack and her office was shadowy beyond the pool of light her desk lamp cast over her.

Outside the inky darkness beyond was brilliantly illuminated by a branching streak of lightning, making her jump and spatter ink across her notebook from the fountain pen still clutched in one hand. She glanced out the windows, the glass made opaque by the night and counted the seconds.

A moment later and a clap of thunder shook the windowpanes.

She couldn't leave now. The thought of making the mad dash across the Asylum parking lot beneath the stinging rain, surrounded by a dark emptiness that was by day the grounds, made her shiver.

When the rain let up a bit. Then she would go.

She straightened up and glanced around her uneasily. Her back was stiff and her head felt like mashed potato. She wanted to stand up and stretch, walk around a little.

Her office was sparsely furnished, offering few nooks and crannies to add depth to the darkness, yet she felt a sort of silly nervousness about moving beyond the protective circle of golden light.

So instead she turned back to her notes, staring blankly at the spattered ink stains before shaking her head a little, swallowing a gulp of cold coffee from her nearby mug (Because I'm a Princess, that's why! it proclaimed in pink) and dragging a paperback towards her, the pages opened to a chapter onto sex and the Joker.

The Joker. Her star patient. The sort of patient she'd dreamed of being able to call her own when she first made eyes at Professor Graham and turned so her skirts swirled up.

Almost a year later and here she was. Arkham Asylum and treating the Joker, the world's most notorious – and unfathomable – psychopath. It had been worth it.

She shivered a little as she recalled him, the intricate details of his person, so much more than she had ever expected from the photographs and the often jittery television footage.

So tall and so slender and yet solid – she knew he was strong and leanly muscled, not painfully thin the way Jonathon Crane was. Unusually tall. Taller even than most of the guards, who generally outweighed him by a hundred pounds. Yet his head towered above theirs and of course, with that colouring, he stood out, seemed greater than they were for all their muscle.

The skin, so shockingly white that she felt it might take only a warm damp cloth to wipe it off. Perfect it was – not a single imbalance in the colour anywhere – that she could see. The whole of it one long stretch of ice-white, tinged blue in the crook of his elbows, across his neck and in the hollows of his eyes; anywhere his blood pumped hardest.

The green hair – a lovely colour it was really, not the ugly lurid stuff punks got from a bottle – but sort of deep and rich and layered in different shades, thick and curling slightly. She knew he was proud of it, could tell by how often he lifted a hand to run through it.

And those eyes! Purple – she would never have believed it had she not stared into their depths herself. The white skin, the green hair – that was common knowledge. But the glass-clear richness of those eyes had been truly startling – no more so than the ever-shifting range of emotions that ran through them, but always coming back to one finally – amusement.

Amusement as they stared off across the room, rolled up to the ceiling – and looked at her.

Then, of course, the mouth. That famous mouth. Long, wide and sensual and as red as her favourite lipstick – cherry ripe. The way it spread into a smile.

Involuntarily, she shivered at her desk, recalling the very first time he'd smiled at her. The curious rush of emotions – the fear she would pee herself, the coiling knot of intimidation in her stomach, feverish excitement to be in the same room as he, and some other horrible, nameless urge that kept her attention riveted to him absolutely.

She'd never known a smile could have so much power before.

He frightened her, she couldn't deny it. Perhaps it was unprofessional but she was only human at the end of it all and the sort of intimate knowledge her role required of her meant there were little of his deeds that she didn't know. Entire bookshelves were dedicated to him and she was steadily working her way through them all.

Sometimes what she read came to haunt her in her dreams, in quiet, menacing images that had her waking violently, gasping and soaked in sweat.

But she couldn't stay away. All the horror of his intent, the heinousness of his actions were sickening, dragging her down so that she felt suffocated by his sin.

Yet he hadn't turned out to be at all like she thought he would.

Manic at times, certainly. Sly, a little sleazy – sure, but there was something playful about it, as though he were just teasing.

Mostly, though, he was articulate and intelligent, charming, polite and – well, even funny.

That was strange, she knew. Strange to think that. He was the Joker. He prided himself on being funny.

Still, she hadn't expected it.

Harleen flicked through the pages, strained eyes pouring over words she'd read a dozen times, words that pondered the fluid and unnameable sexuality of this strange and intriguing man. She tapped her lip with her fountain pen, the heavy metal clacking against her teeth and glanced at her computer monitor. She could see in the translucent reflection that her eyes were red-rimmed and squinting.

It was fascinating and seductive, to spend hours reading about the lives recklessly taken, the bloodshed and misery so gleefully enacted, to shut the pages of a book with her head reeling and her psyche tainted by all that barbarism and then spend an hour in the company of what was, simply, a man – a compelling and interesting man, a man who smiled easily and often and glibly discussed the charms of Billy Crystal and handmade socks, who made her giggle with sly little impersonations of the other doctors and who astounded her with his knowledge of obscure mythology and symbolism.

Was he really the same as the creature she read about?

She shook her head a little, quickly. That was silly. She knew that he was.

His menace was still palpable. Not simply in the way the other inmates avoided and deferred to him, or how the guards refused to go near him in numbers less than four unless he was fully restrained. It wasn't just because the Asylum constantly fielded requests for papers and dissertations on him and even Doctor Arkham spoke of him with a curious and frankly unprofessional sort of awe, as though he were more than a man.

It was something threaded into the fibre of his being, something he wore like a smile – within his smile even. A sort of magnificent danger that was awe-inspiring and riveting. As beautiful and deadly as a tiger, as bewitching as flame, drawing her closer even though she knew she could be consumed and destroyed.

He was tall and bone white with green hair and a frightening smile, but it was more than this that made him stand out against the others. He exuded a sinister aura of power that was as vibrant and clear as the light catching in the strands of his hair, as solid and unmistakable as the flex of sinewy muscle beneath his Asylum uniform.

Perhaps part of its secret hid in the fact he observed everything, remarking upon tiny details that had her insides shrinking with a sense of sudden vulnerability, as though she were being peeled opened and examined.

He noticed when she had a new pair of shoes, or had put another rinse through her hair. He noticed when she stopped wearing the small gold hoops in her ears and replaced them with tiny garnet studs.

He even noticed when she changed her perfume, from Baby Soft to Fantasy.

Most especially he noticed when she was tired, or when the strain of the Asylum was wearing her thin, or the bills and debts that were piling up made her hands shake. He never missed when the gnawing pressure she felt constantly to perform was especially sharp. He always saw the shadows beneath her eyes she thought she had powdered away, the tension around her mouth, the tremble in her hands.

"Lighten up, Doc," he'd say, "frowning gives you wrinkles you know."

At first it had been disconcerting having a man – and such a dangerous, wicked man – notice so many little things about her, remarking on them as though noting the weather. Then she reasoned it was a reflection of his genius, his active and lively mind, searching for anything with which it could occupy itself whilst incarcerated in the Asylum.

Harleen leant back in her chair, peeling the glasses from her nose, her eyes aching a little at having been forced to look through them all day. Usually she remembered to take them off once she was in her office, but she'd been just so intent on her work that afternoon that she hadn't even noticed. This case was devouring her – what had begun as the effort to obtain secrets which she could use to make her fortune had quickly become an all-consuming pursuit for the heart of this monster, this man. For what lay beneath the smile and the laughter, the cruelty and the menace. For what was hidden, clustered deep in the confines of his insanity.

Her heart rate rose every time she was near him and her palms grew damp. Her sleep was haunted by nightmares and food had begun to taste like ash in her mouth. No more did she train at her local gymnastics centre; no more did she spend Friday nights with a bottle of wine and her college friends. Her head spun with thoughts of him, overcoming all other concerns, dulling all other cares.

In a very real sense, she was risking her life every time she entered the room with him.

He had broken minds far more experienced than hers. Twisted and tormented a series of poor souls who left the Asylum broken and changed. She had to be constantly on her guard, constantly aware that any remark or action on his part, no matter how seemingly innocuous, could well be designed to pry open the lid of her mind and go scrabbling about in there, playing with all her secrets like they were old toys.

Yet, it wasn't just her mind he could capture and torture – slim though he was, she knew he was strong and he was far bigger than she was and she could never be a match for him. Never. She'd read about the sort of things he'd done to the unsuspecting, the bloodbaths he'd gloried in, the curious and twisted tortures he loved so much. Yes, if he suddenly got it into his head that he wanted to hurt her – that she was going to be his next victim – then there might very well be nothing at all she could do about that.

And yet…

He'd left her a rose.

It was there, pressed between the pages of her favourite book about him, a collection of first-hand accounts reported by hostages and victims, policemen, doctors and henchmen. Detailed, intriguing and yet always strangely impersonal. Hers would easily outrank it.

But the rose, yes, the rose. Her first glimpse that this man hid secret depths she yearned to plunge into. He'd wanted to thank her, he'd said. Thank her for caring about his wellbeing.

Just a gesture – a courtesy.

Except she'd seen him, hadn't she, running his eyes up the length of her legs, touching his lower lip with the tip of his tongue. He'd made a few suggestive remarks as well, hadn't he, comments that had made her squirm with discomfort, his eyes gleaming to witness it.

"You're so endearing when you laugh"; "I love to be looked at - do you love looking?"; "A pretty gal like you – a fella couldn't help but wonder".

And that awful thing he'd said, so many weeks ago now, in one of their earliest sessions:

"You ever been raped, Doc? I bet you've put the thought in a few minds."

Harley gulped and shook herself as she recalled that moment then glanced over to the window of her office. The rain continued to pelt down beyond, but the night was absolutely pitch dark, concealing the world beyond from her. But in that bright little pool of light, anyone could glance straight into the window and see her clear as day.

Her stomach tipped at the thought and she got hastily to her feet and darted over to the window, yanking the long, heavy curtains across, her heart curiously pounding.

Just as she finished arranging them, there was a click behind her.

She whirled around, then fell back against the window in fear, the curtains flapping around her.

He was there. In her office. Back pressed against the door, smiling quietly at her from across the room, hands behind his back.

Heart in throat she was numb with terror as she heard a slow metallic click and realised he'd just locked the door.

"M-Mr J-Joker – " she stammered, forgetting in her terror that he'd insisted she dropped the formality as he stepped forward, slow as a stalking predator. "Yo –you're not s-supposed to be o-out of your cell."

Her voice betrayed her, quavering and high.

Joker did not stop but continued to advance across the rug, smile growing.

"Are you telling me, Doc," he whispered in the stillness of her office. "That you haven't been waiting here for me?"

A smile slid up his face, a cruel and wicked smile and she balked beneath it, clinging to the curtains for dear life.

"I don't know what you're talking about – " she gasped as he advanced, padding softly across towards her, the full long length of him throwing alarming shadows across the room.

He paused at those words, cocked his head and lifted an eyebrow at her. "You don't?" he said playfully. "Well, all right then. We'll play it your way."

Her chest heaved as she watched him approach her, her trembling hands knotted in the thick material of the curtains behind her. "What do you mean?"

He was at her desk now, pausing to run searching fingers across the monitor of her computer, surveying her possessions with careless thought, fingertips skipping down over her notebook. She blushed hard as she recalled the words she had written there, only moments ago.

"Oh, you know," he replied with sly amusement. "The whole innocence and corruption thing. That little shtick you've perfected to an artform."

He flicked through her notes, the pages purring softly as they vibrated in the air before landing softly one on top of the other. She watched him with her heart in her throat; hoping desperately he would not pause to read the words she'd written about him, discover her hidden thoughts.

"I don't know what you mean by that," she repeated herself and then he was snickering, turning away from her notebook to face her, long lanky limbs and hunched shoulders suddenly unbearably menacing, especially in light of that awful smile, the smile that was now levelled at her.

"Oh, I know you don't, cream pie," he oozed charm. "Sweet, innocent little thing that you are, right?" He chuckled quietly and took another step towards her and then her heart was plummeting downwards, straight into her groin, leaving her quaking with terror.

"You have to go back to your cell," she didn't recognise her voice, so strangled and thin it was. "Right now, please."

He pouted then, less than three feet from her, his wide mouth turned down in an exaggerated sulk. "But it's so cold down there," he implored her. "I might catch a cold. Do you want me to catch a cold Doc?"

"Of course not," she was breathless, her breasts rising and falling as he came close enough his shadow fell across her, his eyes suddenly dark though his teeth still gleamed. "I'll have the heating turned up for you."

He licked his lips and she thought she would faint. "It's hot enough in here for me, Doc. And you – you look a little steamed."

Then his hands were on her and she found herself spinning round, flying across the room to sprawl awkwardly against her desk, barely registering the rustling and thunk as her notebook slipped to the carpet.

She struggled to get upright, desperate not to lose sight of him, terrified of what was to come and yet unable to allow herself ignorance.

He was in front of her then, pushing her against the desk, his body pinning hers against the hard wood and she steadied herself by grasping it in both hands so tight her knuckles blanched white.

Trembling, she lifted frightened eyes up to his face, speechless with fear as she gazed upwards into that deadly purple gaze, the smile on his face now fully dangerous.

"Doc, Doc," he shushed her and then his hands were soft on her hips, causing her breath to hitch. "You look a little peaked. Been burning the midnight oil?"

"I'm – I'm attached to your case," she stammered, hoping to God he would be flattered and spare her.

His smile grew and his eyes glimmered and then he was lifting her, making her gasp, pushing her back onto the desk so she was perched there.

He let go of her hips and placed a hand on either side of her on the desk, leaning right down over her body and she recoiled, gasping for dear life.

"That's funny," he remarked. "I'd like to get attached to yours."

Her eyes widened as she struggled to comprehend what he was saying, what the implicit glint in his eyes reflected. Then his hand was lifting, softly stroking her hair, his eyes flickering over her face with now an almost thoughtful expression.

His touch was so soft it seemed imagined; setting her scalp to tingling as his fingertips played over her tightly pulled back hair. She held her breath as he stroked her, gulping as she caught the flicker of his tongue against his lips, and then he chuckled and reached backwards, wrenching at the band that tied her hair up, yanking it free.

It hurt and she yelped and then his other hand was in her hair, rough now and messing it up, pulling it between grasping fingertips and she squeezed her eyes shut and cowered beneath the assault.

When he was finished he straightened and surveyed her new dishevelment with a pleased grin. "There, that's better," he said. "That's the thing about you coiled tight little dollies. Temptation. You make guys like me want to unravel you, and that's very distracting, you know."

She was flinching away from him, the tears beginning to prickle in her eyes, fear making her numb. He placed a hand on either side of her again, his long lean form towering over her.

"Did you know that, Doc? How do you expect me to concentrate on my therapy when you march around in those boring suits and that tight-bound hair, frowning and pouting all the time? Do you have any idea what that does to a guy like me? I'm human, Doc, and my blood is red."

Oh no. He couldn't – he couldn't be saying what she thought he was. Not that. Please, anything but that.

"Please," she managed to whisper as the first tears brimmed in her eyes. "Please, I don't mean to distract you. I don't mean to tempt you."

His smile was dark and cruel and then his hands were on her knees, sending a rolling shiver up her body.

"Oh, I think you do, Doc," he whispered. "I think you very much do."

He shoved her legs apart then, moving quickly between them and full panic bloomed within her and she struggled to wrench away, even as he grasped her hard and held her still.

"Take your hands off me, you beast!" She beat at his chest with little fists, desperate with terror, but he did nothing more than laugh and easily subdue her, snatching her wrists up in his strong hands and leering down wickedly into her face.

"Fight it, Doc," he encouraged her. "Then later you can reassure yourself you were innocent."

She gasped in mingled outrage and shock and tried desperately to push him away from her body. He wrenched one of her arms out to the side then twisted it behind her back, the motion bringing him forward, so close to her his breath was hot on her cheek. She cried out with pain and stilled, her arm feeling precarious in his grip.

"Now, now, Doc," his voice was mocking and low, his breath tickling her ear as she turned her face away from him. "I'm sure we don't need to make it that convincing. How will you write al those important notes with a broken arm?"

She sobbed, her shoulders sagging in defeat as he kept her arm pinned behind her, and then she felt the cruel brush of his lips on her cheek.

"I don't want this," she begged and he laughed softly against her.

"Thing is, Doc," he whispered to her, his mouth trailing gently across her skin. "I've seen the way you look at me. You can hide your desire from Arkham and Leland and the guards and even from yourself but you can't hide it from me. I've been the object of it long enough to know what it feels like. And you, good little girl that you are, will never, ever treat yourself. So I'm here to do you the favour of making you. Just a little thank you for how sweet and attentive you've been to me."

She slumped forward, her head falling onto his shoulder, her sobs rising high and thin. "You can't – " she pleaded with him. "You're wrong, you're wrong. I don't want this. Please, please let me go. I won't tell anyone, not a soul."

"I love how committed you are to your part," he said confidentially and then suddenly his free hand was slipping between her forced-open legs, held apart by his hips. She struggled briefly, sending a stab of shooting pain through her arm and then gasped and pushed futilely at his shoulder. It wouldn't budge.

Then his hand was beneath her skirt, the fingertips soft against the tender flesh of her inner thigh. He stroked the seat of her panties with one teasing finger and she shuddered at the horribly vivid sensation it caused. Then his hand was pushing aside her panties and one long, thin finger was sliding into her. With one horrible shock of horror, she realised that she was wet.

Her cheeks burned as he laughed.

"There," he purred in her ear.

"No," she protested feebly and he laughed harder then released her arm. It throbbed as blood rushed back through it and then she was making a grab for his hand, repelled by the obscene sight of it working between her thighs, made nauseous by the intensely pleasurable sensation of his finger gently working her.

In response to her hand around his wrist, he snarled and snatched it away with his other, then jammed his finger deep in, making her gasp.

"I'm here to give you what you want," he growled into her face, his expression terrifying in its fury. Then abruptly it shifted and he smiled at her, eyes sparkling: "Whether you want me to or not."

A thrill ran through her then, sickening in its honesty. Her clit tingled and she sobbed. She was at once revolted by the desire in her own body, revolted and delirious, the war she waged within far harsher than even his rough hands on her. He withdrew his finger then grasped her blouse and tore it open, the buttons flying in all directions.

"No!" she cried out as she was exposed, vulnerable to his roving eye and he laughed to hear the protest then grasped her bra straps and yanked them down off her shoulders, exposing the nubs of her breasts. He licked his lips lewdly, then cupped one in either hand as she choked, felt her cheeks flame red when he lifted his eyes to her, his smile foul with lust. Then he grasped hold of her nipples, pinching and pulling at them until they grew swollen and painfully sensitive and though she cried out and moaned, he did not relent.

"Please stop," she wept. "We can't do this. It's wrong, it's so wrong."

She'd never been treated so roughly before, with so much disregard and this realisation had her suddenly and unexpectedly thrusting her groin towards his before she realised what she was doing and jerked back.

"No, we can't," she cried as he dropped his hands to her buttocks, yanking her against him so that she could feel the frightening hardness of his erection. He was even stronger than she'd imagined and she felt a thrill as the full awareness of her helplessness hit her in one burst.

Yes, she was completely helpless as he growled and pushed her skirt up further, then tore apart her panties, ripping the flimsy fabric away and spreading her legs wider, leering down at her as she wept and turned her face away in shame.

Utterly helpless as he slowly, so slowly, reached inside the fly of his trousers and withdrew a frighteningly large cock, rigid and blushing scarlet at the tip in its excitement. The excitement of forcing her to take him.

And when he again grasped her roughly by the buttocks and pulled her onto him, nearly splitting her apart with that monstrous erection, she could do nothing more than moan and let her head tip back while he growled and nipped at her throat. The feeling of him inside her was overwhelming, his huge girth seeming to completely occupy every inch of her body, drawing all awareness to that one point, that one vulgar point between her legs where they were now joined.

She barely had time to register the fact that the Joker was now fucking her on her desk in her office at Arkham Asylum – quite forcibly and against her will – before he began a violent and cruel thrusting. He fucked her in a way she'd never been fucked before, holding her utterly still as he drove each blow home, treating her like nothing more than a receptacle for his pleasure. She was aware that for all his words, he was doing this because it was what he wanted, that he had lusted for her and yearned for her to the point he had to escape from his cell in the dead of night and seek her out.

He fucked her hard enough for it to hurt and she knew he did so purposely, every sensation of him sliding within her demanding all of her attention, her body struggling beneath the assault to adapt to it.

She was shamed by the slickness of her body, how it had betrayed her in the face of his overwhelming virility and found herself clinging to his shoulders and moaning in despair as he laughed wickedly and pushed her back down onto the desk, leaning over her in triumph.

That cruel and malicious stare was too much for her to cope with and she began to struggle once more, trying to wiggle out from under him. But he merely grasped her wrists and pinned them on either side of her, close down by her hips, never pausing or halting once in the fury of his thrusts.

She felt herself being lost in those eyes, devoured by that smile, and each jarring slam home of his hips into hers, the shocking girth of him inside her, sent shockwaves of intense sensation hurtling through her body. He'd possessed her, she realised. Just as she'd mused earlier, this case would consume her – and now it had. She was enslaved to him.

Suddenly an awful and rapidly mounting feeling of bliss began to rise within her and she moaned as her treacherous body prepared for the final betrayal.

"Stop, " she pleaded him, hiccoughing between tears. "You have to stop. Stop now, please, stop! You can't – we can't – "

But on he continued to go, ruthless and uncaring in the pursuit of his ecstasy, in the drive to bring her down as far as possible

"Are you going to come, Harleen?" his voice was mean and delighted.

She cried out and pushed up against him, determined to resist. "No, no I'm not!"

A dark chuckle, the powerful feeling of him pounding her, searing every inch of her inner walls. "I think you are."

As she stared up into that smile, she knew it was hopeless and with a final protesting moan she gave in to her darkest moment.

The orgasm was powerful; startling in its raw and filthy beauty, the waves of pleasure seeming to echo and intensify knowing she had not wanted this (she didn't, she didn't'!) but had been forced to it just the same. He bent down and licked her lips as she came, sobbing and writhing the whole time, his laughter beating soft against her face, ridiculing her.

And then he was slowing down, scooping his hands under her back and lifting her upright once more, nipping her cheeks as she moaned helplessly and felt her ecstasy ebb away, leaving her drained and numb at what had just transpired.

"You see, little Doc," he licked her ear, pulled one nipple hard between a finger and his thumb. "I know you better than you know yourself."

Suddenly, a crash of thunder made her lurch and she was sitting upright at her desk, loose pages from her notebook stuck to one cheek, heart pounding as she heaved and darted frantic eyes around her office.

Alone. She was alone.

Sputtering, she looked down at herself disbelievingly, finding her blouse still neatly done up, all buttons intact, and her hair pulled back though slightly dishevelled from her sleep. Her hands flew over her body, reassuring herself it had been not been violated – she could swear she felt the fading sting of his cruel hands still.

But there was nothing. Her blouse was neatly tucked in and her panties were intact. The Joker had not escaped from his cell to force himself on her while she sat alone in her office. It had been nothing more than – than a dream.

"Holy cow, what a dream," she remarked weakly, letting her forehead fall down into her hands. It had been so vivid, so startling in its detail, in the intense sensation it had roused within her.

She swallowed hard and pushed her chair out violently from the desk, standing up on trembling legs to look carefully around her office. Outside, the storm continued to rage, rattling her windowpanes with rain. It was pitch dark and she realised she had no idea how long she'd even been asleep – at what point reality had faded into the dream.

Beyond the pool of light thrown by her desk lamp, her office was dark – and bare. Empty of anything but her and a couple of bookshelves. She turned around and around, one hand gripping the back of her chair as an anchor, peering into every corner. Yes, she was alone. Completely alone.

She brushed her thighs together and became aware, with a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, that she was aroused. The dream – that horrible, violent dream – had titillated her. She pushed her thighs together more firmly and felt a tingle in response before letting out a shuddering, dismayed breath. It was obscene. What was wrong with her?

How could images of such violence and humiliation have aroused her so?

She sat back down at her desk, wringing her hands together and struggling to collect her thoughts. She would have to ask Joan about it. Joan would understand. Joan would explain – explain that – that it just reflecting her fixation on this case. After all, he was such a powerful figure, one she was straining herself to try and understand. It – it could only be normal he would take on some sort of controlling force in her mind and what more primal, more basic than a sexual aggressor, reflecting back her desire to get through to him?

Her desire to get through to him – and perhaps her fear of being consumed by this case. And so the two contrasting emotions manifested as a rape fantasy. Very simple really and perfectly normal.

But… but what if it wasn't normal? What would Joan say then? If it wasn't normal, she might say the case was having an unhealthy effect on her. Might take him away from her.

She felt a jolt of fear run through her at that thought. No, she couldn't risk it.

A flash of bright memory sparked behind her eyes, the Joker's hips pistoning between her thighs, his hands pinning her down and how shockingly real it had felt and she was staggered by the wave of desire that shuddered through her, leaving her shoulders slumped over and suddenly breathless.

She couldn't recall the last time a fantasy had such a profound effect on her.

Then another thought occurred to her, another thought so terrible and frightening it brought bile to her throat, one hand leaping to cover her mouth, her body trembling with horror.

What if it wasn't subconscious manifestation of her attempts to penetrate his psyche and preserve her own?

What if it was nothing less simple than the fact that she was attracted to the Joker?

That it was, in fact, everything the Joker had said to her in her dream?

Harley felt her heart sink like a bitter stone, dragging its way through her gut as she stared blankly at the textbook open to a page where an image of the Clown Prince grinned out at her with a sinister glint in his eye.

The same look he'd given her in her dream.

Tears sparked in her eyes as she stared at that strange and remarkable face, remembering the intoxicating feel of the dream Joker's rough hands on her body, the helpless response of hers.

What if he'd been right?

What then?


You may have noticed there's a point at which the narrative goes from being merely dramatic to being quite melodramatic. This is very intentional.

I understand if it's not possible on first reading, without knowing where it's all going, but it's my hope you'll be able to go back and giggle through the sex scene now, aware that it's Harley's little fantasy and that's why it reads like an especially lurid romance novel. The silly exaggeration of the prose is meant to reflect the intensity of Harley's fantasy world.

I often find myself giggling when I write Harley's internal dialogue, even the parts at the end there where she's rationalising. She's such a funny, dramatic little creature with so many childlike qualities. So yes, she obeys all the clichés and stereotypes in her dirty little fantasy. I don't know if others pick up on the humour though. I hope so! My sense of humour is strange, I confess.

And, of course, dream Joker is right. But Harley can't face that truth yet. Poor Harls.