The shrill buzzing of the alarm clock echoed throughout the bedroom, and Harley groaned as her eyes fluttered open and she reached her arms toward the ceiling in a slow stretch. She hated when he went on these early morning jobs. Instead of coming to bed as soon as he returned home, The Joker would always retreat into his study, sometimes giving Harley a quick kiss on the cheek or a playful slap on her bottom as she watched him take off his coat and shoes.

Harley would sigh and then get comfortable on the bed, turning on the clock radio and listening to the jazz station as she lulled herself to sleep with a magazine. She would hear The Joker's quiet murmurs in the other room as he made calls to his men on the street, and sometimes his phone would ring and soon his voice would rise in anger at unwelcome news. He would eventually slam his phone onto his desk and then he would be quiet again, possibly snipping letters for his newspapers or even drawing up new plans for a heist or putting together a detonator.

Depending on how late and how tired The Joker was, he would either crawl into bed beside Harley or quietly come into the bedroom, grab a pillow and move back into his study where he would sleep on the old sofa. Harley didn't mind it; she understood that, depending on the job, he sometimes couldn't get any sleep. There were some mornings where she would wake up and still find him working at his desk.

The alarm was still buzzing loudly and Harley turned to look at him. He was lying flat on his back, his left arm resting above his head and his lips slightly parted. She determined that he must have come to bed really late because he didn't wash off his face paint and it was slightly smudged off his left cheek. His soft snores were vibrating in his throat but he lightly groaned when Harley nudged him.

"Mistah J?" she whispered, pushing his side. "Turn off the alarm..."

The Joker suddenly lifted his head and blinked at her and then, finally realizing what that noise was, he turned toward the clock and turned it off. He grunted as he placed his head back on the pillow and brought his arm down, placing it around Harley who had moved closer to him. "Five more minutes..." he grumbled.

"You always say that," Harley smiled. "But the night before, you always tell me to make sure you get up..."

"So...I'm a hypocrite," he replied, squeezing her to his side and rubbing his hand up and down her arm. "I came to bed about two hours ago."

"Oh...maybe you shouldn't go today..."

"I have to, Harley..." he moaned. "I have guys at the site who have been tailing this asshole for a while. I can't just cancel the job because I'm sleepy."

"You need your sleep..." she said softly.

"Then stop're wasting my five minutes..." He smirked when he heard her giggle. It was true that he hadn't gotten enough sleep for the past few nights, but he already had plans laid out, plans that had taken him hours to complete the night before, and when he had come to bed, Harley was fast asleep.

Her petite frame had been gently nestled under the thick comforter as the cold air blew into the slightly cracked window. He had rolled his eyes as he shut it, wondering why she even kept the window open even though it was mid-December. After he had gotten out of his clothes and into his pajama pants, he crawled into bed beside her, the warmth of her body and the smell of her hair making him even drowsier. The Joker had lightly kissed her behind her ear and whispered, with a lazy growl, "Sweet girl..." She only sighed as she hugged her pillow tighter.

Harley lightly ran her small hand across his bare chest, and he sighed deeply. He suddenly licked his lips, saying, "Why the you open the window at night?"

"I like the cold air to come in," she whispered. "I like being cold when I'm going to sleep."

"It was below twenty, Harl," he grumbled as he rubbed his right eye, smearing the black paint. "There was ice on the ground and you had the window open. I was freezing my ass off when I came in..."

"I like being cold at night," she repeated.

"That's why I put a ceiling fan in here..." he mumbled back. They were quiet for a moment as Harley moved her caressing hand lower onto his stomach. She could feel goose bumps grow on his skin until he finally grabbed her hand, chuckling, "Stop..."

"Does that tickle, Daddy?" she asked coyly, biting her lip.

"A bit..." He felt her hand try to sneak its way back onto his stomach. "Harley..."

"Come on. It's soothing for me."

"Not for me..."

"Please? I'll stay on your stomach...not your sides..."

The Joker turned his head and looked at her in the darkness. "That's a damn lie," he said simply.

Harley giggled. "No, really. I won't tickle; I promise."

He allowed her to lightly run her nails across his toned stomach as he gripped her close to him. She would feel him squeeze her shoulder when her fingertips would trail along the edge of his sides, just under his ribs. She knew this was a very ticklish spot on him, and although she made a promise, she just couldn't resist making him squirm.

It was the only way she knew how.

She quickly ran her nails along his left side and he let out a surprised yell as he twisted away from her. Harley let out a loud giggle, saying, "That got you up..."

The Joker was now sitting up on the edge of the bed and Harley reached out and tickled his other side. "Girl!" he said abruptly. "I'm warning you..." She didn't heed the warning, so she ran a finger down his back.

He suddenly rolled back toward her and, before she could jump off the other side, he grabbed her wrists and held them down onto her pillow, climbing on top of her and straddling her. "Oh, you, you, you..." he scolded as she giggled and squirmed underneath him. "You...sneaky little girl. You have a very hard time listening to Daddy, now, don't you?"

Harley bit her lip and nodded playfully, making him chuckle. "Well, Daddy's gonna have to teach you a lesson...because...when it comes to payback...he can play dirty, too." He held down her wrists with one hand while he teasingly wiggled his fingers in her face.

"No, Daddy!" she squeaked, laughing. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry! Don't!"

"Hmm...I forget," The Joker said, bringing his free hand down to her body. "Where my baby ticklish?" He placed his fingertips on her side and she tried to scoot away. "Nah, nah. Not there. How" He reached behind her left knee and Harley squirmed as she laughed.

The Joker finally brought his fingers onto her stomach around her navel. "Oh, wait...I think it's here!" He ran his fingertips quickly over her skin and she squealed.

"Ah! No, Puddin'! Stop! Haha! That...tickles!"

He suddenly let go of her wrists and held them at her sides as he climbed between her legs. "I know how to really make you squirm..." he growled as he put his lips to her stomach. He gave her sensual kisses under her navel and along her sides, and Harley moved her body in a slithering motion as the sensation of his lips and scars caressed her skin.

"Oh...Mistah J," she sighed as she jumped under his kisses.

He quickly brought her wrists underneath her behind her back and pulled her panties down just below her hip bones, and Harley had to keep from moaning too loudly as his kisses traveled along the curve of her hips. Not only did this always make her squirm, but it also always made her weak in his grip and she would succumb to his control, happily letting him do what he wanted to her.

Not being able to bear it himself, The Joker released her wrists and pulled her panties aside, roughly inserting his tongue into her and lapping at her. Harley threw her head back in a loud gasp as her left hand instinctively gripped his hair. "Oh! Yes...oh my God, baby..." she moaned as he took her clitoris and sucked it hard. This made her moan louder and he obeyed her noises by letting a finger slowly glide into her. He stopped sucking her and instead licked her clitoris gently as his finger slid in and out of her wetness, making her moaning turn into soft, raspy breaths. He continued in this way until another finger slid inside her and when he felt she was able to bear it, he sat up and pulled his fingers in and out of her in a rough thrust-like movement, making the palm of his hand slap against her pubic bone.

Harley felt that her neck could twist in ways only a contortionist could manage as he did this, and The Joker watched her as he gave her pleasure. Her cries of ecstasy echoed through the bedroom until she finally told him what he wanted to hear. "Fuck me, Daddy...please!"

He sighed a low growl as he obligingly put himself between her legs again and brought his erection out of his pajama pants. "This pussy is mine," he demanded. "Isn't it?"

"Yes," Harley answered in a desperate tone.

"Say it..." he said as he roughly entered her, making her let out a loud moan.

"Ahh! Yes! It's yours!"

"What's mine?" he snarled as he pounded brutally into her.

"Ohh! My pussy! My pussy is yours! Oh, God!" She gripped his shoulders as she whimpered against his thrusts.

He brought his lips to her ear and embraced her, bringing his hand behind her head and gripping her neck. "That's a good girl..." he moaned into her ear, making her whine. "Mine...all mine..." His hips started to move slower and she knew that he was nearly finished, and she reached between them and began to rub herself.

"Oh, yeah, baby," he whispered. "Play with yourself...that's it..." He gripped her neck tighter as he felt his climax build as her moans echoed in his ears. "Oh, baby...yeah...come on my cock..." Her satisfied squeal made him finish and he growled against her, his scarred mouth under her jaw. When he finished, he took in deep breaths against her, the smell of her hair mingling with the smell of sweat on her skin.

Harley moaned as she began to relax into her pillow again, but she soon found The Joker raising himself from her and going into the bathroom. "Puddin?" she quietly called after him as he turned on the sink.

"Hm?" was his reply.

"Did...did you enjoy it?" she asked sheepishly.

The sink tap suddenly shut off and he came out of the bathroom, drying his hands and wearing a confused expression. "What?" he asked back. "Of course, I did. You couldn't tell?"

Harley sat up and leaned against the headboard. "Well, I usually...hold me afterwards..."

The Joker sighed as he tossed the towel behind him, making it land on the floor. She had only been living with him a few months and he had a feeling that she would be getting used to the cuddling. He regretted not stopping it as soon as he should have; he was afraid this might happen.

"Harl...I gotta go..." he simply told her.

"Oh..." she said, a bit dejected. "Okay...want me to make you breakfast?"

The Joker grimaced and took a deep breath. Great, he thought to himself. Here comes the cling...

"Nah, baby," he said. "I'm good." He changed into his pinstripe pants and started to put on his shirt. "I'll be out all day, so...why don't you go downtown or something?"

"Okay, I guess so...I need a pedicure, anyway," She displayed her toes and wiggled them at the end of the bed.

He couldn't help but chuckle at her tiny feet. "I'll say you do..." he agreed, running a finger up the sole of her left foot and making her giggle.

Harley pulled her hair back and got out of bed as he put on his vest. She went to his small closet by their bed and took down his tie. "Are you, um...gonna be home late again?"

"I don't see how that's your business," he stated in a deep tone. He didn't see why she had to know; after all, if he was home late, he was home late. What difference would it make if he had to tell her ahead of time?

She was slightly taken aback by this comment, but walked softly over to him and placed the tie around his neck. "Okay...I was just wondering..."

He sighed as she placed the tie under his collar and did her best to make a Windsor knot. He chuckled as he brought up his suspenders and said, "Come on, Harl. I'll do it..." He went to take over her tying, but she stopped him.

"Wait, wait," she said, grinning. "I think I got it." He placed his hands behind his back and watched her face twist in concentration as he felt her small hands play with the silk fabric. "Dammit..." she whispered. "I can't get...this part..."

The Joker clicked his teeth and sighed, "Here. Watch..." He took his tie and slowly demonstrated. "This is a very important process. See? Wide over the narrow part...thennnn...wide part under and through the loop...then back down...then beneath the narrow end, to the right...through the loop again..."

Harley watched with wide eyes, trying to take in every step as he continued, "Up through the loop, back down through...then, ta da! You tighten it, you put on the coat, then you go out and impress the ladies."

Harley giggled and played with the perfect tie with her fingers. "Watch it, bub."

He smiled. "Or what?"

"Or I'll make a different kinda knot with this thing..." She pulled him to her lips and they shared a soft kiss as he grinned.

"You watch your mouth, or I'll do more than use it as an accessory..." he growled back.

"Ooh..." she cooed. "Them's fightin' words, Daddy..."

He chuckled as he put his arms around her and cupped her bottom with his now gloved hands. She squealed as his lips pressed hard against hers, but sighed when he suddenly stopped and pulled away. He cleared his throat and walked to where his coat was hanging. "I gotta go, Harley. Be good..."

Harley sighed and crossed her arms. "Okay...I'll see you tonight, I guess..."

"Mmhm," he replied and shut the door after him.

Hours later, she was dressed and putting on her makeup, thinking about their morning. She didn't know why he didn't want to cuddle up with her after they made love. He always stayed in bed afterwards and they would talk, go back to sleep, or just simply lie there, his arm under her neck and his nose to her ear.

"Maybe this job is really important, after all," she decided. "He was in a real hurry this morning and this job has been keeping him up at night, too."

Later, she went downstairs into the kitchen and saw Mike, one of The Joker's men. He always left Mike behind to stay with her, just in case she needed to be driven anywhere for errands and basically to keep her company. Harley knew that he trusted her to be alone with one of his men since he had already threatened all of them that if they so much as looked at her too long that he would gouge out their eyes.

Harley sighed and smiled as she thought of this and poured herself a bowl of cereal.

"Mornin', Mikey," she greeted him as she sat at the kitchen table. "I need to go downtown later this afternoon. You think you could drive me?"

Mike smiled. "That's what I'm here for, Miss Quinn," he replied.

"Harley," she corrected him. "I keep telling you..."

"Sorry." He was quiet for a moment, but then he suddenly said, "Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. Your phone was ringing off the hook this morning."

Harley looked at him, confused. "My phone?" She peered into the den and spied it on the coffee table and shook her head when she realized that she had forgotten to take it to bed with her to charge. "What did it say on the Caller ID?"

"No name...just a number," he said.

"Hmm..." She walked over to her phone and looked at her missed calls. "Four times? Weird..." She trotted back up the stairs to the bedroom. "I'm gonna go put it on the charger and see who this creep is..."

Harley plugged in the phone and looked at the number. She felt a little hesitation as she glared at it. The only person who had her number was The Joker. Who could this be?

"Maybe a wrong number..." she told herself, but dialed it all the same.

After the fourth ring, Harley's breath caught in her throat when the call picked up, saying in a voice that carried a soft whisper, "Hello?"

Harley quickly licked her lips and stammered, "I--I just got a call from this number...may I help you?"

There was a tense pause on the other end of the line, then the voice changed its tone to that of quiet relief. "Harley..."

Her eyes grew wide when she recognized the voice. "Jonathan? How did you get my number?"

Crane chuckled. "I have my ways..."

"Okay..." she said cautiously. "Why do you have my number?"

The doctor was quiet for a moment, but then took a deep breath and said, "I want to see you..."