To those who read the first one, I'm hoping to take this story to a much darker level. I know it doesn't happen often, but I want this to be better than Ace in the Hole. At the very least it's better planned out. I already know (and have written out) a few key plot-nuggets and can't wait to get to them. I hope you enjoy this one as much as the first, and please, lay some feed-back on me. I really want to know what you think about this one guys. Reviews help me write, so keep 'em coming even if it's to say that "you award me no points and may God have mercy on my soul"

Harsh, but I can take it.

I know this one's short, but it just felt right to stop there, so I'll post the next that much sooner.

-Heath's Harley-

The ceiling and walls were fighting again.

I could hear them screaming. Nonsensical, horrible sounds that grated on my ears like sandpaper. I slapped my hands down on my ears and rolled over, trying to block out the endless wailing by curling into myself, but they were too loud.

God, why wouldn't they just stop?

I just wanted quiet in my dark little hell. Why couldn't I have quiet? Just for a moment, so I could get the sleep I desperately wanted. The sleep Dr. Leelan had promised me when she'd changed my medication.


"Now these will make you tired, Harleen."

She always used my full name, no matter how many times I corrected her. She thought it would help with my 'identity issues'. Whatever that meant.

"It's going to take a few days for your body to get used to the new medication. You might loose your appetite, but I promise they will help." She smiled, all bright and clean behind her large glasses, "They're going to make things better."

So far they'd only made things loud.

I gave up trying to block out the noise, which had faded to a dull roar behind my ears and rolled onto my back. I suppose things could be worse. Just last week I'd been strapped in an honest to god strait-jacket. Before now, I'd thought they were the product Hollywood. An archaic vision of Asylum life. Wasn't it fun to learn otherwise?

So, yes, things could be worse. I could be back to sleeping on the floor because the lack of mobility in my arms made it nearly impossible to remain on my tiny cot. (I was a wiggler when I slept) Back to the medication that made me dizzy and nauseous and entirely too forthcoming when it came time for my weekly chat with Doc Leelan. I suspect that had been a large factor in deciding my poison. As it stood, I was the closest thing they had to an insight on the Joker. His routine check-ups had become little more than formality at this point, from what I'd heard. Every doctor they sent to get inside his head either quit or was subsequently 302'd into the Asylum themselves.

A wave of crushing depression washed over me with the thought of my Puddin'. It had been months since I'd so much as glimpsed him! Doc Leelan was very strict about her inmate proximity violations. She hadn't been pleased when we were caught tangled in the darker billiard section of the rec room. Even more so that I'd managed to get into the male rec room in the first place. She'd sentenced poor Harley to another long season in isolation, then switched up my meds to keep me quiet.

So here I was, arms free and listening to the sounds of my walls arguing with the ceiling. They called out something I couldn't decipher and I watched the padded prison writhe like some great shimmering beast, set on devouring me whole. Or perhaps this was the belly and I'd already been swallowed.

As if to answer my unspoken question, they was a bang…more muffled than really loud, but enough to make me start. Fighting through the haze of chemical suppressants, I managed to push myself up and stare almost strait at the cell door. The walls were growling again, fight amongst themselves…trembling. I could feel the tiny shutters of fear zipping through the floor and snatched my hands up to my chest. Because whatever could make the very walls quake in terror couldn't be good for frail, little Harley.

I imagined a great slithering beast just outside the door, it gnashed great teeth longer than my arm and twice and thick, letting trails of saliva hiss to the floor. Its eyes were empty sockets that seemed to lead to nothing at all. As I gazed into them I felt myself falling. Falling into the bottomless pits while the creature parted its jaws to give a laugh so chilling it made my breath come in shallow pants. The sound was warped and dark, terrifying and it was getting louder. It surrounded me with wave upon wave of deep, horrible sound, distorted by the walls and my fuzzy, sluggish brain.

Something scraped against the metal outside my cell and I whimpered, pressing myself back against the wall like a frightened animal. I watched through the pitch blackness and prayed that the creature remain outside. Please let it leave me alone. But the wall was suddenly cracking, the cell flooding with light so harsh it made me cry out and throw my arms over my face to keep my eyes from sizzling right out of my skull.

"Please no." I whispered into the soft wall, and willed my body to melt into the corner. Let me simply disappear, I begged silently, but of course, nothing happened. I could see the beast now, fuzzy through my cracked eyelids. It growled something and I whimpered again, curling further into myself and blinking away tears. Was this how I would end? Devoured in a nut house all alone? No! I couldn't. This monster couldn't have me!

It was close now, so close I could nearly feel its proximity and it towered over me with another rumble of senseless sound. My heart was racing, and I felt trapped. Too close. It was far too close. With a cry, I swung my arm out toward the monster then froze when its claws stopped my strike and curled around my wrist.

No…not claws. Not sharp. This was skin, almost soft but for calluses. Still breathing heavily, I turned my swimming vision upwards toward the thing and nearly choked on a gasp.

Golden light swam out around this human-like figure as it knelt down before me. As I watched, the sterile white of the outside walls swam together into wings around his back. This was no monster.

It was an angel.

Golden cherub curls framed a face so perfect it was almost painful to look at, or perhaps that was the overwhelming relief at seeing him. I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out except half sounds. My tongue felt swollen and clumsy behind my lips, so I simply closed them and let the tears fall down my cheeks. The eyes that met my own were deep pools of obsidian, and that held me so still my body began to ache as I let out a soft sob.

The angel pulled me against his chest with a little chuckle and I simple let my emotions swell over me.

"Don't worry, sweethear-t." He spoke against my matted hair, "Daddy's here to make it alll better."


So, I'm not really too pleased with the title, but I'm going to suck it up and go with it. In some ways it works with what I have planned for this story, being that there really is a bigger picture, even if Mr. J won't fully reveal it yet.

Tell me what you think, and don't hold back. Also! Know that the next chapter is already written along with various scenes in this story, so I'm hoping to update a bit faster this time. At the very least I have so many ideas for this story…I'm all aflutter with excitement! :D

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the first installment, though I know it was a bit lacking in Joker-goodness. Don't worry, it just get's darker from here.