Harley stared at the ceiling fan that spun quietly over their bed, its soft hum and gentle breeze making her eyes droop heavily. She glanced at the alarm clock on her bedside table and sighed when she saw the bright red numbers telling her it was past one in the morning. She then turned toward The Joker's empty spot on the bed and placed her hand on his pillow. It was stained a light green along with a few sticky black smudges. Harley knew it was from him not washing his face before he came to bed, something he would do when he was too tired. Sometimes, he would even fall asleep in his suit, leaving his coat on the floor along with his shoes.
As she closed her eyes, she heard his study door open and his footsteps slowly travel down the stairs. Soon, the sound of him opening a cupboard door reached her ears. He was probably making a late night snack, a sandwich with the pot roast Harley made earlier that night or even just a glass of orange juice. She grinned as she imagined the way he would always gulp it down greedily and then let out a satisfied sigh as he set the glass on the counter.
Harley giggled as she cuddled against her pillow. "Silly Daddy..." she mumbled as sleep began to creep over her.
A few minutes later, The Joker quietly opened the bedroom door and stepped inside, carefully slipping off his shoes. "Harley?" he whispered. He crept over to the bed and leaned over toward her. "Oh, sweeeetie?" he cooed. When he noticed that she wouldn't budge, he chuckled softly and moved a few strands of hair from her face.
The Joker had come inside to ask if she had a pen since he couldn't find his, but upon finding Harley sleeping, he decided to search for it himself. He walked over to her vanity and picked up her black leather purse that sat beside it. Being very careful not to make a sound, he opened it up and sat on the vanity seat. He smirked as he rummaged over a make-up compact, three lipsticks, two nail files, a wad of dollar bills, and a good chunk of change. He shook his head but found her red pen and took it with the peppermint that was buried in one corner of the purse.
"You forgot the kitchen sink, Baby Girl," he sighed as he dropped her bag back onto the floor. He unwrapped the peppermint and popped it into his mouth before giving Harley a gentle peck on the forehead and making her softly groan. The Joker chuckled again as he left the bedroom and went back into his study.
Harley was running down a dark alley, the water from the puddles soaking through her jester's shoes as she panted and pumped her arms. Her body felt as if she had been running for hours, but she couldn't stop. She had to keep going. She had to go home.
He would be looking for her and she knew that if he couldn't find her that he would move on and leave her behind. She couldn't find her phone; he had to have been calling, desperately waiting for her to answer. She whimpered at the realization that she hadn't even talked to him that day. Where had she been all this time? Why was she on the other side of Gotham City?
All that didn't matter. She had to keep running. He was looking for her.
Her feet began to feel heavy, as if sudden weights were secured around her ankles. She carried on, however, stomping as fast as she could against the force holding her back and slowing her pace.
Soon, she reached the top of the street and she could see their home, the abandoned theatre in which the seats had been unbolted and the screen ripped to shreds. He had found it for them, had fixed it up to make it decent for living. They slept in what used to be the projection room that stored a humongous reel, and just down the hall, was his study that was, in the past, a manager's office.
Harley could see movement in front of their home as she slowly inched closer down the alley, but she couldn't see him. All she could see were his men, loading the Escalade with duffle bags and boxes.
He was moving out! He couldn't find her, so he was going to another part of town without her!
But she was only about a mile away now, but she couldn't step fast enough. Then, she saw him, just a flash of purple coming out the front door.
Then her stomach turned and her throat tightened. He had his arm around someone...a woman...wearing her outfit!
She tried to shout to him, letting him know of his mistake, but her voice was stuck and she could only whisper.
Why would he do this? Could he not see that this woman was an imposter? Perhaps he did know! He replaced her because she wasn't needed anymore. He couldn't find her, so he found someone else!
How could he! she thought to herself as the tears began to form in her eyes. That double-crossing, two-timing...!
Harley awoke with a start, sitting straight up in bed in a light sweat. She wiped the tears that were growing in her eyes. Her mouth was dry and she swallowed the nervous lump in her throat.
She knew where she was now, in their bed...alone. She took a deep breath as she frowned, still balancing between the realness of her dream to the actual reality that was around her.
Where was he? Why wasn't he in bed? Didn't he realize that she was alone?
Harley stumbled out of bed and tried to find her robe, but quickly grew impatient and stormed out of the bedroom, staggering down the hallway to The Joker's study.
Her head drooped as she stopped at the door, not noticing that Mike, one of The Joker's men, was giving her a confused look as she began knocking loudly on The Joker's door as she stood in a red tank top and black panties.
Harley's heart began to race as his frustrated footsteps grew closer and she closed her eyes sleepily as the study door flew open, making her lurch forward as The Joker caught her.
"Harl?" came his voice, sounding distant in her half-awake ears. "What the hell are you doing? Where's your robe?" he growled.
"Where is she?" she mumbled.
He raised an eyebrow. "What?" He led her inside his study and closed the door as she pushed herself away from him.
"Don't leave me...please!" she shrieked at him, clenching her fists at her sides.
The Joker just stood at his door, his arms crossed as he looked at her, utterly perplexed. "What are you talking about?"
"I tried...to come home..." she murmured as she hid her sleepy eyes in her hands as she paced in front of him. "I saw you...with her...who is she? Why was she here?"
He couldn't help but laugh at how upset she seemed to be over nothing. "Harl...what are you -"
He was interrupted by a sudden, woeful moan as it emitted from Harley's throat. She rested her elbows on his desk and put her fingers in her hair. She sniffed, mumbling, "Why? What...did I do...wrong?"
The Joker started to become amused by her hazy theatrics, but he came up behind her and put his hand on her waist. However, she bolted upright, stumbling away from him as she pushed him. "Get away from me, you bastard!"
"Hey! Cool it, little girl!" he snarled out of mere reflex as he gripped her wrists. He was beginning to grow impatient with her empty accusations, but was even more puzzled when her tears suddenly flowed harder. "Harley...what's going on?"
She surrendered under his grip and buried her face in his chest. "I'm sorry, Mistah J! Please...don't leave me! I don't wanna be replaced!"
The Joker released her wrists and embraced her, trying to hold back his laughter as his girlfriend was leaving tear stains on his vest. On the other hand, the sheer strangeness of her demeanor was enough to force his chuckling from his throat. "Replace you?" he asked softly. "Why would I wanna replace you, you funny little girl?"
"I...thought I saw you...you were leaving...with her..." Harley panted through her tears. She wiped her cheeks and looked at him with imploring eyes. "Please say you're not cheating on me."
He furrowed his brow at her and tongued the inside of his scarred cheek. He cleared his throat and gave her a serious look. "I'm not cheating on you..."
"How do I know that's the truth?" Harley frowned at him.
"Harley..." he said, rolling his eyes. "Wake up, honey."
She hid her sleepy expression in his chest again as she gripped his shoulders to keep from losing her footing. He let her finish crying as he gently rubbed her back. "I may be crazy, baby doll, but I'm not crazy enough to cheat on you."
Harley sniffed. "Really?" she asked, squeezing his arms tighter.
"Yeah...I mean...you know where I keep the guns..."
A smile sneaked its way onto her tired face. "What time is it?"
"Three o clock," he answered with a grin. He ran his fingers through her hair and kissed her cheek. "Way past your bedtime."
"I...I'm sorry, Puddin,'" she began to cry again. "It was very real...I was so scared you were actually leaving...I would've been alone."
"I don't know what I would do if you ever left me here alone," she continued. "I just...couldn't stand it...please don't go, Mistah J...I'm sorry I fuck things up sometimes...I'm so sorry..."
The Joker rolled his eyes again at her persistent insinuations, but he just sighed as he pulled away from her to go to the sofa for his coat. He wrapped it around her and held her hand. "Come on, baby," he whispered. "Daddy needs to sleep."
Harley felt his hand enclose around hers and she hid her face behind a lapel of his coat as he escorted her back to the bedroom. She heard him snicker to himself, "Sleepy girl...banging on the door in her underwear..."
Her cheeks flushed slightly when she began to realize that she had been in a drowsy stupor, spouting fantastic accusations to her tired and bemused boyfriend.
Before she knew it, she was back in their bed, still enveloped in his coat. She was growing drowsy again as she heard the water running in the bathroom as The Joker washed off his face paint. She closed her eyes, letting the soothing sound lull her into a light doze.
An hour later, Harley awoke with another start but was relieved to see that The Joker's spot on the bed was now filled. He was on his back, his eyes drooping, and when he felt Harley's sudden move, he turned onto his side and placed his hand lazily on her hip, pulling her closer.
She sighed as he wrapped his arms around her, making her hide her face in his neck. His lips found her ear as she heard his tired voice say, "Sleep, Harley Baby..."
Harley closed her eyes, and as she drifted deeper into slumber, she couldn't determine if his final words of the night were just the beginning of a sweet dream:
"You're my girl..."