Harley Quinn couldn't quite recall the precise moment that she'd realised.
Rather, it seemed that it had been a series of small incidents, all building upon each other to form a united whole – that had finally dropped upon her like a lead weight. It was only in reflection she could single them out, unravel the mystery of how it had all come to be.
That time she'd tripped in one of Arkham's many winding corridors and he'd whipped out an arm and steadied her to stop her sprawling on the unyielding cement floors.
Or the first time her nose had been bloodied in battle and he'd wordlessly handed her a hankie.
How he'd cradled her in his arms when her knees had turned to jelly after a particularly exhilarating car chase, ending in the purple convertible dangling halfway off the Sprang Bridge.
She lay in her cell and mused upon each one as though they were a petal from a flower, rare and beautiful, pouring over each lovely detail with excrutiating exacting.
The look in his eye the first time she'd pranced in front of him wearing her harlequin garb.
The barely suppressed grunt when she pressed up against him during a caper.
The ghost of a smile that drifted across his lips when she'd executed a spontaneous cartwheel only to slip on a puddle of blood and go careening wildly out of control... it had hurt, but it had been worth it, to see that smile.
She loved to make him smile.
Harley sighed happy and snuggled up further under the thin standard-issue blanket. It was chilly in the old Asylum, but thoughts of him kept her warm.
And her blood heated further when she reminded herself that it would not be long now – not long at all – before he paid her one of his customary late-night visits.
She didn't know how he managed it. Getting past all that security, evading detection, leaving no trace he was ever there. She didn't need to know, so long as he came. He was so clever and brilliant, nothing was really a challenge to him and night after night he came to her and they had their most secret and sacred time together – within the very walls meant to imprison, they found freedom in each other's arms.
Harley blushed at the wicked thoughts now dancing through her mind and stretched her arms up above her head, giggling a little. Never before had she known a lover like him. Not one so certain, so skilled and so absolutely focused on the final outcome, a sure reflection of his lifetime spent in innovation and genius. Nobody could stop him when he put his mind to something – and he brought those skills to bed.
Nobody could imagine – not Ivy, not Riddler, not Two-Face or any of those darn silly doctors – of the sort of tenderness and generosity of which he was capable.
Nobody knew that hidden side to him but Harley – and it was her secret. She would guard it as jealously and passionately as any treasure.
In her cell, there was no day or night. She had no way of knowing the time of day so deeply encsonced within those thick walls – but her heart told her when he approached. She felt his presence, as surely as she would feel his strong fingers sliding up her bare flesh – and it had the same impact on her – a wave of gooseflesh, a delicious wave of sensitised nerves bursting into awareness. Her nipples peaked and she bit her lip and sat up straight in bed, staring straight at the glass wall that only temporarily separated her from him.
His shadow stood at it now and her heartrate sped up, her throat going dry with anticipation.
There was a series of quiet beeps as he entered the code, a whisper as the glass wall slid away and then he was finally within her cell and she was throwing back the covers to rush to him, aching to be folded into his warm embrace.
"Quinn," his deep, humourless voice intoned.
"Batsy!" she squealed, unable to restrain her ecstasy as she flung her arms around her Dark Knight and felt her lips claimed by his, by the one who had rescued her from the Joker's mad hold, who had sworn to stand by her as she was rehabilitated and who had finally, one night, confessed his love.
In hearing it, so generous and stark a confession against the Joker's stinging gestures, she had awoken to the power of her previously hidden emotions for this strange and complex man who dressed up every night as a Bat and slaved to save the city – and her very soul.
He had become her Awakening.
Well, this is it folks, the end of the line for me – as your resident diehard JokerxHarley shipper, anyway.
This is the real reason I've been so unproductive with fanfiction lately: I've just stopped caring about that couple. I tried to hide it. I tried to find the passion again. But I just can't. It's gone. I've actually come to hate it and because I never expected to feel that, it's been really difficult for me to be honest with myself.
But I finally have decided I just have to go with this. BatmanxHarley has simply been growing on me, steadily and surely. I tried to suppress it at first, but that's not how love works. Love demands to be noticed and finally, I had no choice but to pay attention.
So this is my 'official transition' – a way of introducing my new path going forward. From now on, expect a series of fictions slowly building up and developing Harley and Batman's relationship. Yes that will include smut!
Thanks heaps for all of your support - I truly do appreciate it and will always treasure the amazing times we had together. I hope some of you may make the transition with me and give this wonderful unique pairing of BatmanxHarley a chance.