Disclaimer: I own nothing. Absolutely nothing. We must all suffer for our art.
Author's Note: Sorry I haven't updated in awhile. I promise to try and be better about that. To all my beautiful reviewers, you are deeply appreciated, and this chapter is dedicated to you.
Harley Quinn was used to a lot. As a matter of fact, not many people could say that they had been through all of the things that she had. Being a henchgirl of The Joker made Harley pretty much used to anything. Hell, she'd seen and been victim to The Joker's numerous attacks, had seen enough blood to put Moses' plague to shame. She had been close to death many times, had been pushed out of a window, and had tangled with the Bat on several occasions, causing more bruises than she even dared to count.
And all of this she could endure. She was simply used to it by now. It came with the territory, so to speak. And yet there was one thing she had never gotten used to, something which, for all of the joy her new life with her Puddin' brought her, she felt she could never get back. But she wanted it more than anything.
Now, glancing out of the window in her old cell at Arkham, Harley missed it even more. A dark haze clouded the sky outside, and Harley sighed. Of all the things she had to give up in her life, she never imagined that she would have to give up the shear beauty of sunlight.
It seemed foolish to say, as most would argue that the sun rises every day, just as it falls every night. But Harley knew different. Many years back, before she had moved to Gotham, she had lived in a place where it hardly ever rained, and there was very little pollution fogging up the sky. It had been beautiful. It had been safe. It had been light.
Gotham City was a different story. Even when the sun did shine, it didn't capture the same warmth, the same light that the sun she once knew did. Somehow, the sun in Gotham always seemed dull and lifeless, like it knew how broken and worn-down the city had become, and perhaps it just didn't have the energy to try and brighten it up. Batman wasn't the only creature of the night. Somehow, everyone in Gotham had become one as well.
Harley leaned her head against the hard, flat pillow on her cot, clutching her clown doll to her chest. She had to admit, though, that meeting The Joker was the best thing that could have happened to her. When she was a doctor at Arkham, she may not have been a prisoner, but she certainly wasn't free. Her life revolved around work all the time, and a mix of white coats and gray walls made it easy to forget that the sun even existed. Perhaps that was why working with The Joker had been so freeing for her.
With The Joker, all he wanted was to see the world smile with him. It was no wonder that he had stolen Harley's heart from the beginning. He made her see the sun again, and with him, she saw it every day. She saw it in his vibrant, emerald hair, like thick grass lazily swaying under the sun's rays. She saw it in his purple suit, the one she got to see once she broke him out of Arkham, that put her boring, white doctor's coat to shame. She saw it in his ruby-red smile, a red like the blood she saw daily when she was with him. Blood which flowed warmly and richly from a freshly-opened wound like sunlight streaming through an open window.
Harley sat up in her cot and stared once more out of her window. The sky was dark, and the moon was barely visible through the clouds. The Bat-Signal was creeping through the clouds, as well, a beacon of hope for ordinary citizens and a warning for criminals and rogues. Somewhere out there, Batman was probably hunting down another criminal. Perhaps she'd see them tomorrow, or possibly tonight, depending on how fast the Bat worked. Hatter and Two-Face were still out, as well as Ivy. Harley missed having Red across the hall; they had so much fun with their midnight chats, talking while everyone else was trying to sleep. Then the guards would come around and try to shut them up, but once they left, they just started right back up. Of course, sometimes Red was preoccupied, tending to whatever flower she was allowed to keep in her cell with her. It always surprised Harley that, no matter what temperature or time of the year it was, Red always managed to keep her plants alive. It just made no sense, especially when they were in Arkham where there was even less sunlight than outside. "How can a plant grow if it has no sunlight?" Harley murmured to herself.
Harley looked down at the toy in her hands, its bright, red smile illuminated against its white face. She stared at the toy some more, then looked out at the night sky. The full moon had come from behind the clouds, lighting up the sky with a pale illumination. Harley smiled and laid her head back down, tucking the doll underneath her arm. "Red really cares about her plants. She loves them all, just like if they were people…so maybe that's it." Harley eyes fluttered slightly, then closed completely. "Maybe they can grow with love."
Somewhere, farther down the corridor, in the high-security wing, someone laughed.