Five months.

Five months since he had completely corrupted his shrink's fragile mind. Five months since she had broken him out of Arkham. Five months of running about the city of Gotham, looting, creating violence, and giving ole Batsy something to do.

Five months too many for the Joker.

Harley was driving him absolutely crazy, with her constant fawning and her hyperactive personality and her pathetic, lovesick stare. Sure, she had proven herself to be useful in cases of helping him fight Batman or keeping the henchmen in line, or even sometimes downright making him smile at her charm and sweetness, but she was so damned annoying! All she ever did was coo and cling all over him and get him foaming at the mouth with her nonstop chatter about marriage and babies and making "Ha-Ha" in the bed every night.

"Puddin'? What'cha doin'? Are ya goin' out? Can I come too, pweeease? We never go out anymore! Let's go bother the Commissioner or something. I'm borrrred! Hey, Puddin'! Puddin'…"

God, he couldn't take it anymore!He was a man, damnit! He was sick of this lovey-dovey-kissy-goo clown poop! He was tired of her sheepish, ridiculous expressions for adoration. He needed to end it all now before his devious, beautiful brain exploded from irritation.

So, the clown decided that it was most decidedly time to end the young harlequin's life. Smiling wickedly in the gloom of the hideout as Harley slept soundly on their creaky mattress, he began to plot…


"Oh, Punkin-Piiiie?" Joker's voice was dripping with sweetness, enough to make even the most devoted of sugar-cravers to wince back with uneasiness.

Harley looked over at her beloved man, a smile spreading widely across her face at the sight of his pleasant mood. "Hiya, Mistah J!"

"Oh, Harley," he cooed in a sing-song voice, "Harley-girl, sweetness, beloved, do you know what day it is?" (He was trying really hard not to laugh at the feigned tenderness of his own voice)

"What day is it, Mistah J? I don't remember lookin' on tha calendar and seein' any holidays."

Sweet-fluffy-chicken-feathered-mother-of-mercy, she was so oblivious!

"Oh, but surely you remember, my pet. It's a very special day…an anniversary of sorts…"

Her eyes widened with realization and she began hopping up and down with giddy excitement. "I know! Our five-month anniversary! I been with ya for five wonderful, glorious months, Puddin'!"

Wonderful and glorious my bony foot, he thought to himself darkly but decided to keep the act going. "That's riiight. You're sooo clever, my dear! And to celebrate, I got us something very nice…"

She blinked as he showed her a new, un-opened bottle of fine wine, a purple and green bow wrapped neatly around it. Her brow seemed to furrow slightly.

"Uh, but Puddin'…I, um, I don't really like to drink…I mean, my Mom did a lot of it after Papa died and…"

"Nonsense! It's a very special occasion. Come sit down over here and try some. Finest in all of Gotham, if you ask me. And maybe when you're done, I'll give you a special surprise…"

Harley, not wanting to displease him, complied and held out a glass, watching cautiously as he poured the glimmering, alcoholic beverage. She sniffed at it like a curious puppy, but finally took a sip, smiling lovingly up at him as he drank some as well.

"How is it, Harl?"

"I like it, Mistah J. It's, uh, yummy, I guess. I haven't really had a drink in a while."

"Poor, Har-Har! No fun for a long time, huh?"

"Yeah…'till you, Puddin'"

Hm. His smile faded a bit when she said that, for a moment he almost felt guilty. Oh, really, he thought reassuringly to himself, don't get too distracted, Joker, old-boy. Remember, she's been driving you bonkers for so long!

Harley's glass was now empty and the clown grinned and refilled it with wine, watching with amusement as Harley's lip trembled slightly at the prospect of having to drink more. At last, she weakened and drank the second glass down, prompting him to refill the glass again. Soon, she was beginning to sway slightly, a dopey smile on her face.

"So…What's this (hic) surprise you were talkin' 'bout, Mistah J?"

"Oh, just a little something I've been planning since yesterday…a sort of special surprise, really."

"Yayyyy! I wanna go see it now."

"Not yet, my sweet, let's finish off this wine first." He needed her to be as drunk as possible. He had decided to kill her quickly and painlessly, a present for her loyalty and services as his hench-wench. Killing her quickly while she was floating away with intoxication was probably the kindest killing he could administer.

Two more glasses of wine. Harley was giggling up a storm now, her eyes swerving as if someone had left her on a sit-and-spin for several hours. She was totally drunk out of her mind now, he decided. She was ready. He would do it now.

Getting up, he took her hand and led her to one of the empty rooms of their hideout, holding her up in case she'd fall. She leaned on him happily, purring with delight.

"Harl? Remember that little surprise I keep talking about? You're going to get it now."

"Rrreally?" She slurred, "Goody! I can't wait."

He chuckled. "I bet you can't." Digging in one of the pockets of his purple coat, he got out a blindfold and held it out to her.

"If you want the surprise, you have to put this on. You can't peek."

She giggled and clumsily put the blindfold over her eyes, waltzing awkwardly over to a corner of the room. A perfect shot.

He got the gun out and began to load it, his bony fingers trembling with excitement. This was it, no more annoying hench-wenches, no more cheesy romantic talk, no more interrupting his hilarity with her stupid puns. This. Was. It. One quick bullet to the head and Harley would never have to leech all over him ever again. This would be her final bow in this great, sick romance-play of theirs.

As he fumbled with the bullets, Harley danced around in a drunken circle, humming happily to herself.

"Hey, Puddin'? Am I gonna like this surprise?"

"Oh yes," he muttered distractedly, "It's a real killer, Harley."

Damnit, why couldn't he load the fucking gun? His hands were shaking.

"Puddin'? Is it gonna be the best surprise I've ever had?"

"Yes, yes, now pipe down a bit, Daddy needs to get this done first so that you can get it."

Click! Ah, yes! The gun was loaded. He could do it now. His mouth was stretched back to a wide, malevolent smile, his heart pulsing rapidly at the thought of killing. He aimed the gun for her head.


"What, Harley?" He frowned at her interruption.

"I love ya soooo much. I can't wait for our next tango with Bat-Breath. We'll have some laughs, won't we, Mistah J?"


"Puddin'? Won't we?"

His hands, his scrawny, fucking hands were trembling. He tried to pull the trigger, but found that his hands wouldn't let him. He just couldn't kill her, couldn't bring himself to destroy the very thing he had molded. She was annoying and she was too energetic and she gave him a migraine, but he just wasn't able to end her life now.

"Uh, hey, boss," a henchman said, striding in the room suddenly, "The boys and I were thinkin' about going out tonight and blowing some of our dough. Can we-"

BANG! The poor fellow collapsed to the floor, blood flowing out of the bullet hole in his head.

"Don't ever interrupt me," Joker hissed to the stiffening corpse.

"Mistah J," Harley squeaked out, still swaying slightly from the wine, "What was that bang for? Was that the surprise? What's goin' on?"

He turned his focus back towards her and sighed.

"Puddin'? Didja forget about me?"

He dropped the gun suddenly and brought his lips to hers. The kiss was nice somehow; reminding him of what a pleasure it had been seducing her during their sessions. Their lips lingered on each other for a moment and Joker decided that, a handful as she was, Harley was just too special to kill, too…pure. For the first time, he felt something foreign and warm. Was it…love…? No, he couldn't admit to that…right?

He pulled away at last and Harley, his little harlequin, alive now and forever, removed her blindfold, staring at him with shining eyes.

"That was the best surprise I've ever gotten," she whispered in a hushed voice.

He grinned.