Disclaimer: I don't own either of 'em. The cabbie is a shout-out to Joe in Night Monkey's wonderful fic Plausibility.
Author's Note: 'Catch' is one of several oneshots branching off the premise that Dr. Quinzel worked with another theme criminal before Joker. This scene would be after Harleen's gone rogue.
"Why did you do it?"
She's slumped against the passenger seat window, blood oozing slowly down her face. That leather jacket she likes so much—the one that reminds him of an oil spill—is torn. Bleeding, but she's mostly all right. Or so he tells himself. The police are busy elsewhere and Jonathan concentrates on driving.
"Jon?" The dark red slathering her lips makes him feel sick, how it comes off on her teeth and comes out dying. His hands are white.
"Nah, now Jonny," She shifts, and he doesn't look because that would be suicide, "I…Why'd ya do it? Why'd ya…why am I here?"
Her palm is on his leg, fingers flexing and contracting gently. "Tell me, puddin'…"
He slams on the breaks, hears a horn blare behind him and barely manages to swerve into an illegal parking space while some idiot taxi driver flips them off. His forehead is resting on the steering wheel and he's not breathing right. It comes in gasps, shudders that keep him from telling her to get off of me! Don't touch me, don't do anything just sit there Harleen and keep your mouth shut! He pushes her away. Humiliated, useless and unable to do anything about it.
Jonathan doesn't think about whether the Batman or Joker is responsible. He doesn't think about her strapped into a stretcher, if it was wise to take her out—guns and needles moving without a moment between them. He doesn't think about injuries that have been missed or exacerbated or the way her eyes will look on a corpse. He just doesn't want Harleen to die smiling.
Oh-so-carefully, a set of arms encircles his waist. Her cheek is on his shoulder. Mute. Heavy. There are points where he suspects she's about to speak, one inhale slightly deeper than the rest. Nothing comes of it. She's warm. It fails to register that his jacket is probably ruined. Harleen has a good grip and she isn't going anywhere.
"I'm sorry hon," murmurs the Queen of Spades in her burnt sugar voice. "I think I get it."
He puts his foot on the gas and says nothing.