Part 4 Chapter 1
"Dannie?" he called out as he ran his slender finger along the smooth wood grain of her dresser, "How long have we known one another? Say about six months? Enough time to…oh you know, learn your habits and nature to a religious basis."
Danielle sat on the edge of her bed attentively listening to his magnetic voice call upon her. She watched his tall trim frame walk menacingly in front of her, grabbing her eyes and toying with her emotions to a rather easy manipulation.
"I've seen how you work. I've seen how you manipulate others to get just what you want or need, take advantage of them, use them to your every whim."
And then like a thunderous bolt of lightening, yet precise and clean all the while, he was right next to her ear. Whispering and taunting in his lovely gravely voice.
"And I like it…"
Just like that he was snatched away by some unnecessary urge and he left her side to return back to her dresser. Once again running his finger along the top of it.
"You've got potential you know? Just sitting there!" he turned back to Danielle and leaned down in front of her. Grasping onto her delicate fingers and rubbing the tips of them in a soothing delicious swirl, "In these very tips Dannie, you've got what it takes to become something great."
Again, he was snatched away so suddenly. Briskly tip toeing his fingers along the dresser, as if they were legs taking its owner on a stroll. His breathtaking throaty laugh strangling her to nothing more than a lifeless doll.
"All you need Dannie, is someone who has knowledge of Gotham. Someone who can guide you, protect you, love you…to take under your wing?" he sneakily snatched a lone standing picture frame and swiftly turned it around.
The picture frame housed Danielle's beloved photograph of her father pressing his hand over her heart. And this man, though Danielle didn't see his actions, had the nerve of hiding The Jokers eyes from his predatory doings. He ultimately loathed the very creature that provided Danielle with her beautiful and unimaginable mind. Because in the end, The Joker was competition.
"I could do that Dannie…I could be your guide, protector. I could love you if you let me."
There he was again, dangerously lingering under her ear. He was so quick, so sudden; she could never predict his next move.
"I could take you," he placed a gentle kiss on her skin, like ice and fire mixed into one. "I could take you exactly where you've wanted to go. All your life you've been waiting for dear old daddy to come home and let him show you how to use your wits correctly."
Another kiss, this time close to the corner of her eye and he just laughs again. That indescribable chuckle in his throat and she can't pull away from it. Even if she wanted to.
"Daddy isn't coming back," his raspy tone spurts against her closed eye. Using his magical spell to cast her into a sea of never ending devotion. "He's left you angel…left you right when you thought your life was going to be enjoyable again. You just wanted mommy and daddy to be with you again, no more of that nasty Oswald interrupting your happy family. Just you, and mommy, and daddy. All nestled under the warmth of your lovely home. Happy and original like a damn apple pie…Dannie?"
His hands cup the back of her head and he massages so intensely. But it's like a soft kneading, delicate yet forceful. She presses her forehead against his; he always makes the troubles go away. No matter what, he always makes them go away.
"But now look my precious angel…look what your daddy did to your happy family. It consists of a depressed mother now, who struggles day in and day out to support you. She can barely pay the bills, barely afford decent meals to feed you with, barely making enough to hang this," he wiggles his fingers in the air, a disgusted frown made, and points at the ceiling and atmosphere of where she lives, "apartment made of flimsy cards over your head…"
All she could do was fight back her tears as he held her. He was so strong in his assurance, so strong in his words. And she was weak, like the lone flower that sat on top of the hill, lonely and waiting for someone who understood her, to come and pick her and show her the world. Show her how to use her fantastic and brilliant ideas and plans rightfully. Someone who knew how she thought.
"Dannie…he's been gone for eleven years. He isn't coming back…"
Her eyes closed tight, fighting against his words, "That's why I'm going to see him tomorrow. I'm turning sixteen and there isn't anything anyone can do about it. I've been trapped, concealed from seeing my own father for eleven years."
A furious sigh and then his sweet loving and seducing tone comes back to haunt her, "But angel, he left you because he doesn't love you and Harley anymore. Why else would he have left Dannie?"
"My father does love me! He left to protect me from becoming like him. He didn't want me to get hurt, I know how he thinks…going to Arkham was his only choice for a chance at me leading a normal life."
"But that isn't what you wanted is it Dannie…you wanted to be just like him. And he shot you down…denied you access to becoming something great…are you sure it was out of love for his daughter? Or could it be jealously of having his own child upstage him in the end?"
"He was excited about me, he wanted me to be greater than him! You don't know him like I do Jasper, he loves me. And I love him."
A courteous head tilt later and he was kissing her neck, "Maybe so…but don't you think that after eleven years alone from his family he'll consult back to his original ways? Think about it Dannie," his wide grinning lips press against her throat so passionately, "you've never been around your father when he's The Joker…"
"It's a chance that I'm willing to take."
"But I'm right here Danielle. I can take you places you've only dreamed about going. I can make you the greatest villain the world has seen yet. All you have to say is okay, and I'll take you away with me, away from this ragged life you're living. Forget about your father…and come with me instead. I can show you how to use that mind of yours…"
"I'm not leaving my mother, and I will not…forget about my father."
He pulled away from her neck with an angry growl, teeth snarling as he then pressed his cheek against hers, "Why are you so stuck on him!"
"Because I love him," and she with passive elements in her turn, allowed her lips to press against his cheek and kiss him. She shortly after pulled away and smiled sweetly at his still frowning gesture, "Hey now," she captured his cheeks with her hands and pulled his view back in front her, "you know I don't have a thing for guys with frowns."
Jasper let a short grin take over his furious frown as he stared into Danielle's beautiful purple depths, "Don't you love me Dannie?"
"Jasper…" she smiled and pressed her nose lightly against his, "you know it's hard for me to express those sort of emotions so openly. Besides, I think deep down you know."
"But you say you love your father openly," he livened his act with a cute saddened voice to make her swoon over him, "why can't you say it about me?"
She pressed her smile into his cheek and kissed him, "I honestly don't know. I guess it's just something I picked up from my dad."
"Why must you make every little thing in this world revolve around him!" his tongue tickled her ear and she giggled as she was pushed backwards onto the bed. "Let the world revolve around you Dannie, if you were with me I'd-"
"I've learned a lot about my father Jasper, and one of those things is that everything in some way, revolves around him. He gives purpose."
He hovered his body above hers and soon his own tooth filled smile shone brilliantly against her eyes, "I love you Dannie. I love you Danielle Diamond Quinn."
"How do you know, you haven't even kissed me yet…"
"Tomorrow when you turn sixteen my precious angel, there will no longer be a rule against that. These lips," he pressed a finger against his mouth, "will be able to touch those lips," and finished by pressing his finger against her smile.
"I was never much for rules, why not give me my present early Jasper?"
"Now now, best not break your mothers rules. 'No lip on lip action until my baby girl turns sixteen' correct?" his enlightening chuckle furthered her into adoration and she was quick to slip out from underneath him.
Danielle grabbed her sweatshirt and eased it over her head with little effort, "I think if you weren't twenty one, my mom would be a bit more comfortable with you around."
"But, despite the fact that you are the child of The Joker, you're quite mature Dannie. You wouldn't do anything to defile the trust of your mother." With a swift even movement Jasper was right by her side, cuddling his way into her heart, rubbing his nose into her neck as they exited her room, "Even if you do, deep down, you really want me. And don't play stupid, I know you do."
"Ha!" she turned toward him in a soft loving gesture and wrapped her arms gracefully around his waist on the inside of his dark blue trench coat, "I certainly do not."
"Humph, I'm sure you don't," he slipped his hands into his pockets, and smiled mischievously down at her, admiring how her eyes sparkled like perfect gems.
She bit her lip, still smiling as she reached up to his crisp red fedora hat and pulled it off, placing it atop her own head and giggling.
"Why do you like that hat so much?" he asked already knowing the answer. His eyes fell into a cleverly placed shadow as she fit the hat on and ran her fingers along the brim.
"Because it reminds me of him. Of course his was purple, but I can remember him wearing his whenever I see yours," she took the hat off and placed it rightfully back on top of Jaspers head, "You look a lot like him…your eyes when they fall into shadows, the length of your face, even your smile at the corners remind me of him," an uplifting smile was presented to her and she grinned back as she ran her fingers across his lips.
Jasper leaned down and whispered in her ear with his carefree gravely tone, nipping her mind with impish audacity, "Dannie, is that all you see me for? The next best thing in terms of your father?"
"No, no not at all," the quick reply of her plea was meant to win him back, begging for forgiveness of making him feel belittled. "You just remind me a lot of him, I can't help it Jasper, you do. Anyways, I like you for other reasons besides the clothes you wear. You make me laugh; you make me see the brighter side of things. You're always there for me, no matter what. And you always make my troubles melt away…even when I'm stubborn and tell you not to try." Danielle gave him a squeezing embrace, trying with all her might to let him understand, "You know that."
"Dannie love," fierce fingers tickled down her back, "I so wish you'd just tell me that you love me. They're such simple words. After all I've told you so many things about me, things I've told no one else in this world…I trust you and I'd wish you'd trust me. Trust that I'll love you forever. I'd never leave you like your father did."
"Even if it were out of love that you had to leave? Jasper don't you get it? He left because he felt he had to leave!" she buried her face in his chest and sighed, "Why are you so jealous of him?"
"I'm not jealous! I'm angry because he consumes your thoughts! I should be consuming those thoughts! I'm here for you everyday, every minute! I'm here with open arms trying to fight for your damn love, and you grab me and then push away…"
Danielle's eyes were dull as she looked painfully up into his, "I'm sorry Jaspy. I'm sorry."
So quick in his movements he brought his lips to her hairline and kissed there sweetly, "I know baby love…I know. I just love you so much and it hurts to see you so unhappy."
"Everything okay sweetie?" Harley asked as she passed by the hallway slowly, caring for the concern of her daughter, "I heard yelling."
"Yea mom," she pulled away from his chest and smiled, "everything's fine, Jasper was just on his way out."
Unhurried steps filled the hallway as Jasper made his leave, his smile bright and chilling as he paused his gate in front of Harley. He removed his hat and let his black slicked hair be shown, neat and crisp besides the two usual curling locks that fell across his forehead. His hat placed over his chest as he gave a courteous bow, "Miss Quinn, dinner was excellent as usual," he stood straight and reapplied his hat.
"Thank you Jasper," an overly induced use of fake thanks was used, although he didn't seem to be fazed in the least.
Danielle grabbed onto his hand and walked him to the door, "I'll be right back kay mom? I'm just going to walk him to his car."
Careful eyes watched Jaspers moves, but all he did was smile. Harley turned her back on them and walked to the coffee table in the living room, "Five minutes Danielle, that's it."
Danielle opened the door and led Jasper outside, where they walked hand and hand down the apartment hallway and out the entrance door.
"I think she's beginning to like me Dannie," his chuckle called out.
Danielle looked up at him and laughed, "She hates your guts."
They walked down the darkened path that led to Jaspers car, and once there they both stood awkwardly not wanting to let the other go.
"Dannie, I'll see you tomorrow. I promise I'll be here bright and early to watch Saturday morning cartoons with you, just like every Saturday. I haven't missed a day yet have I?"
"No you haven't, but I'm waiting for the slip up."
He cocked his head to the side and pensively held her chin, speaking in that whispery gruff voice he just knew she couldn't get enough of, "Just think, tomorrow you'll be sixteen, and I'll kiss you and steal your heart." His tongue jokingly licked the corner of his lips and he cocked his head in the other direction, "And then when you're eighteen I'll steal your-"
"Hey!" she slapped his chest teasingly and giggled at his own lighthearted titter.
Jasper ran his finger down her cheek and then charmingly pulled away from her body and towards the car door handle.
Lightly raised brows and attentive green eyes struck her soul, "Yes Dannie love?"
"Can I keep your hat overnight? Just until morning?"
That stretching grin and his sweet humble voice, "Is it for remembering me or your father?"
"You know I have other things that remind me of him. Your hat reminds me of his hat, not him necessarily…it reminds me more of you than it does him Jasp."
"Then if it reminds you of me in even the slightest concurrence," he removed his hat once again and placed it on top of her head, "I want you to hold it near and dear to your heart."
She smiled and shook her head, perplexed by her actions, "I don't even really understand why I act this way around you. You've seen how I act; I'm just like my father when you're not around. I feel fake."
"Dannie, you're not fake. This side of you is you. You may have The Jokers wits, but you have Harley Quinn's heart. And your heart acts stronger than your mind in some cases. That's something that you can never get rid of. Something I don't want you to rid yourself of. You're a wonderful combination my angel, one in a million and I love that about you.
"Jasper…" she looked away as she felt his fingers play with curios abandon in her blond hair.
"I love everything about you. From your witty comebacks, to your careful and gentle breathing when you sleep. I love how when you wear you hair up in a high ponytail, your bangs hang loosely at the sides of your face. I love how when you get angry or upset your cheeks get red and hot. Dannie, I love you, I love how you curl your toes when your happy, and I love that when you're sad you let me know by curling up in my lap."
"Jasper I've got to go back inside, my mom's going to start worrying…"
"No, just listen to me Dannie love, just listen," he took hold of her hand as she tried to leave, "I love how when your confused the corner of your right eye starts to twitch. I love how you threw that glass of soda at the waiter because he brought you the right order, but you played it off like you ordered something else. I love your jokes, I love your laugh, I love you and your crazy wacky sprees. But you know what I don't love? I don't love how you wont let me be apart of all that. Think about you and me together Dannie, forever and ever. I'd do anything for you, and I'd make you the greatest villain, just like you've always wanted."
Her eyes strolled away from his as she gave him a quick and short kiss on the cheek, "I'll see you tomorrow…okay?"
"Okay my beautiful Dannie," he let go of her hand and watched her wander away back up the path and into the apartment building. Satisfied that she was safely back inside the building he got into his car and left.
Danielle entered back into her apartment suite and sat with an exaggerated sigh onto the couch next to her mother, "So."
"Yes?" Harley asked as she worked on folding clothing from the dryer, setting them into neat organized piles.
Annoyingly, Danielle pestered into the area of Harleys ear and whispered as she tapped on her shoulder, "What did ya get me?"
Harley's hand waved her away as if she were a pesky fly, "I'm not telling you silly girl, you'll just have to wait until tomorrow."
"Well that's not much fun now is it…" Danielle crossed her arms over her chest and pulled her legs up onto the couch, "Can I have a hint?"
While she continued to fold the clothes, Harley let out a quiet laugh and shook her head, trying her best to ignore her daughters pestering.
She set down a pair of folded pants and continued onto her next clothing item, "No."
Happily stated now, "It's small then, right?"
"No Danielle, it's neither big nor small."
A loud smack echoed throughout the room after she clapped her hands together, "Okay, then it's medium. We're on to something at least. Tell me, is it fuzzy?"
"Go to bed Danielle," she tried her hardest not to laugh but failed miserably at her attempt.
"Mom, I'm turning sixteen tomorrow. You know what that means," her once joyful and gleeful tone now turned into a saddened, almost pleading one.
Harley set down her chore and looked over at Danielle, "I told you I don't want you to go and see him."
"But he's my father. I love him mom, I love him so much and I have so many questions for him. I need to see him; please will you take me to Arkham? That's the only thing I've asked for my birthday is a chance to see him again. And I know you've worked hard on gaining back the trust and respect of the government and state, in fact I'm proud of you mom for being declared legally sane. But me? Even if the government thinks I'm sane too, in my heart," she giggled, "I'm not. I'm just like him. It's my destiny, my life…to be like him. And even though he doesn't want me to be like him…because he doesn't want me to get hurt? I still want to be. All my life I've wanted to. I want him to guide me, show me the ropes, take my hand and show me how to use this brilliant mind he gave me mom. I want to give him the chance to make that option, before I result to something else."
Harley sighed and rubbed the side of her nose in thought, "Danielle, I don't want you to go to Arkham. I don't want you to go and see him, because truthfully I don't want you to end up like your father. I know it's in your heart to be like him, but I don't want to see you end up hurt, or in Arkham as a patient, or worse…"
"Mom, I know you don't want me to end up like him. Either way, if you take me or not, I'm going to end up exactly like him. And maybe if dad understands that no matter what he does, I'll end up becoming a rogue, maybe he'll come back to us and-"
"He will not be coming back here," defiance and sureness bolstered out of her small frame.
A large smile covered Danielle's face instantly, "Mom, I know you still love him."
"I do not. What he did to you and I was inexcusable. He didn't discuss his plans with me, he just left and had us waiting at the door for six years before we finally realized he truly wasn't coming back. How can you do that to someone you love Dannie? I'll admit, I still care for him, for his well being, but I do not love him."
"He still loves you and I though."
"Yes, your father still loves us. I know that for a fact."
Danielle stood from her spot on the couch and waited patiently before leaving to go to her bedroom, "I just need to see him mom. The only way for me to go is for you to take me. Jasper won't. And even though the state said that you could see him for sake of discussion of his child and because you're sane, you don't have to. Just take me, please mom, for my birthday at least."
She patted her thighs in struggling thought, "I guess in the end it really doesn't matter if you see him or not. And he is your father, you have the right to see him," she too stood up and shakily sighed, "Alright DD, you can see him. We'll leave at twelve tomorrow okay?"
"You're…you're serious? You're actually going to take me?" her chest heaved in rapid movements as her breathing quickened into a happy state.
She walked over to her daughter and gave her a hug, "I'm actually going to take you. Now go to bed, you look tired."
"I love you momma!" she exclaimed as she threw her arms in the air and pranced happily on her way to her room.
Harley tapped her toes against the carpeted floor, "I love you too Dannie."
Excitedly she turned off the lights to her room and jumped into her pajamas before pouncing into her bed. She flew the covers over her body and smiled at the thought of seeing her father again, the man she always looked up to for reassurance.
Danielle set Jaspers hat down to her left and quickly reached into her pillowcase to reveal her fathers old bowtie. She brought up to her cheek, letting the smoothness of it caress her skin, "I'm finally going to get to see you again dad…and I know you've probably changed back to your old ways…and I know I've never seen you that way…but I love you and I always will. And I know you love me too."