(A/N): I thought about it, I reached into my tin box where I had my 50scenes prompts, and I decided. Here's the sequel to "Cat's Cradle". Prompt #40 offered the inspiration for this. It was a Writer's Choice selection and I exchanged it with the optional prompt #55, "Caution".

Disclaimer: I blame all my fans and Christopher Nolan, DC, and Warner Bros. Without you I wouldn't have to disclaim my ownership of anything. xD! Thanks for creating Batman and the movies!


She hummed in the passenger seat, and Jonathan knew she sensed the heaviness in the van. Yet he didn't know how to dispel it. What could he do? Open his mouth and let everything just seep out? No, she was smiling, she was happy, and that was all that mattered to him.

"Jonny, is something wrong?"

His eyes glanced over to her. He shook his head even though internally he was nodding, 'Yes, how come you wanted to come back again? You are a glutton for punishment? Can't you see he's just using you?'

"No, I'm fine, Harley. Just watching for the Batman."

Harley sighed, "Jon, when you're upset you really stink at lyin'. I hope ya know that. Something's wrong." His hands tightened on the steering wheel. "Jon, we're friends, you can tell me. Did Jay hurt you? You can tell me, I won't tell on you. Everyone's got to let out a little steam."

"I suppose they do," he said with a mild edge to his voice, tipping Harley off that he didn't want to talk about it any further. "Joker didn't do anything. To me." He didn't look at her, only focused on driving her, remembering the Joker's voice on the phone when he had called him to ask where to bring Harley.

"Oh, Jonny-boy, did my Harls reject you? Or maybe…I bet ya didn't even tell her. You knew she'd tell you no didn't you? And you just couldn't let your little hopes becrushed. I don't blame ya, Jonny, not a bit, it takes a lot to admit defeat."

He clenched his jaw. Cocky, yellow-toothed bastard! He wasn't admitting defeat because he didn't want Harley to crush him like many of the women before her. He wasn't afraid of heartbreak; he'd had his share, and endured every agonizing moment. In fact, he wasn't telling her because love was overrated.

Love did nothing but expose your vulnerabilities to the cold extremities and open you up for attack. It blinded you and landed you at the mercy of people like Sherry and the Joker. They placed their hands about your neck, teased you with sweet promises and then like a snake they injected poison into your veins, left you for dead, and laughed about it.

Love was a lie. It was—

Who was he fooling? Jonathan sighed and pulled up to the rundown theatre. Lights shone from within, casting a yellow glow upon the dirty asphalt.

He heard Harley begin to move; she'd been quiet since his last statement. He turned just in time to hear the van door open. His eyes met hers, both blue, but hers much more vibrant and alive than his, he thought.

"I saw the marks on your neck," he whispered to her. Her eyes widen and he expected anger; she'd reacted like that before, but instead it seemed she just deflated. Her face fell and she looked away from him.

She grabbed her bag from his floorboard and wordlessly turned around, beginning to walk away. In an instant Jonathan got out the van and followed her; he'd not let her get away. She quickened her steps, he matched it. Suddenly she ran, but his legs were longer than hers. He caught up to her and grabbed her shoulders.

It all happened in a few seconds. Her bag fell to the ground and he twisted her around until she was facing him. They were at the theatre entrance, but it didn't stop him. He pressed her against the door.

"Goddammit," he glared at her, searching her face, "do you honestly think he loves you? He doesn't, Harley, and you know it. All he wants is to secretly laugh at you as you crawl back to him time and again. You think he's only the one who cares about you, accepts you?"

He scoffed at her, "For being so smart you're so blind, Harley. The Joker doesn't love anyone but himself and he's been that way for a long time. I can't tell you who he was, but he's not and will never be the man you want him to be. He's just going to keep hurting you and belittling you until he finally grows bored and wants a new bauble."

His chest constricted at the tears that gathered in her eyes. He knew he was crushing her heart, but he couldn't—no he wouldn't—stand by idly any longer and watch the Joker tear her apart. She was his friend. He loved her for Christ sakes!

He realized in his perusal of her status that he was breathing fast, on the brink on tears himself. He didn't stop himself, though. If he fell into hysterics, screw it then. He leaned closer to her and brought a hand to her cheek.

"And do you know what he'll do once he's done with you," he whispered and she bit her lip; his eyes locked on the movement and leaned his forehead against hers, pressing himself closer. "You know what'll he do, and it's up to you to end this before it gets ugly. Harleen," he breathed against her lips, "you deserve so much more than he can give you, remember that."

He hesitated no longer; as soon as the last syllable left his lips he pressed them against Harley's. He didn't kiss her with hunger or violence, like he surmised she was use to. His mouth was gentle, soothing, but nonetheless passionate. She tensed slightly beneath his ministrations, but didn't fight him.

When he pulled back, his contact having been brief he only paused a moment to stare into her eyes. He hoped his kiss had promised her what he couldn't voice and his gaze had related that it was her move now.

He turned around and walked back to his van hearing the building door close soon behind him. He'd let his guard down, Scarecrow had bowed to the Harlequin. Now the choice was hers.