"Have you ever had a girlfriend Joker?"

He gazed at her hard for a long while.

"No… I've never had one of those."

"Well what about a… what about a boyfriend?"

His head shook slowly, his expression unmoved.

"No. I've never had one of those either."

"Well you can't be…" Her eyes widened in disbelief.

He laughed lightly.

"No Dr. Quinzel, I assure you, I am no virgin."

"Then you've had lovers?"

"I've had what you might call lovers, yes."

"…What do you mean might call?"

"The term lovers, Dr. Quinzel, refers to something rather indicative. It of course can evoke many sort of connotation, but in a very literal sense, it would be difficult for me to justify the term with what I've experienced."

She starred at him.

"Do you… do you mean you've never felt love for anything?"

"Oh no Dr. Quinzel! Please, do not misunderstand me. I have loved many a thing, with great ardor, great passion, I have loved!"

He paused, looking away from her suddenly.

"My meaning dear is that, towards me, no one has ever felt such an emotion."

Her breath caught abruptly in her throat.

"No one?" Her voice just barely came out.

He did not say anything; just stared ahead, as though lost in another place in time.

She felt her heart sink, weighed down by an inexorable pain, and her vision at once blurred, her eyes washed over by tears.

She looked away, unable to endure the torment the sight of him suddenly brought.

How could anyone bear such suffering and still smile as he did?

It wasn't right, for anyone to be deprived as he had been, to never be shown affection.

She looked up at him, wiping at her eyes.

Everyone deserved to be loved… by someone.