The vibrations of the rising giggle in his throat rippled through the palms of her hands as Harley stared darkly into his taunting eyes. She sneered at him as her own eyes began to well up with tears, and she didn't know why they were there but she knew that what she was doing to him felt right.

"Stop it..." she hissed at him. When he only let the giggle escape his lips, she leaned into him and began to squeeze harder.

He abruptly stopped as he gagged, causing Harley to ease her grip but keeping a firm hold on his neck. The Joker smacked his lips as he grinned at her. "What...heh...what do you think you're doing, Harley?"

She sighed as her lips parted, a tear finally rolling down her cheek. "What I should've done months ago..."

"You're not capable of killing me, baby girl." He grunted as she pressed into his throat and his eyes grew wide, but Harley could still see the amused light they still held.

"You've underestimated me before, Mistah J," she whispered.

She felt his Adam's apple slide under her thumbs as he swallowed hard. "You want to do it; there's no question...but you never would..."

"Why wouldn't I?" she snarled at him. "Our relationship is nothing but a big joke to only wanted to show the world...what you did to poor, naive Harleen Quinzel..."

The chuckle returned, deeper this time as she squeezed. "'re in on the joke, Harley. You've had a few laughs, right? This moment, for instance...thought you could have a chance to feel power...much like what I your the your pretty little head..."

He paused to catch what little breath he could, then licked his bottom lip. "Feels good...doesn't it? Haha...wanna really feel good, Harley Girl? Keep squeezing...don't just watch your victim die...feel...him...die..."

She leaned back momentarily as his growling voice made her shiver, and she lightly gasped when he felt that his erection was still present underneath his boxers. Harley stared down at him, amazed and livid at the same time. "You really are sick..." she whimpered.

The Joker's attempted laughter was only a shudder in his shoulders as his breaths grew shorter. His grin grew into a smile as he gazed into her bright blue eyes. "And you...really are beautiful, Harley...especially now...I've been waiting to see the blood-lust in you..."

"Why do you do this to me!" she screamed at him, squeezing tighter, her thumbs now making a prominent impression in his throat.

They stared at each other as she felt his pulse race in his jugular under her grip. She choked, sobbing, "I don't need you in my life, but I can't leave you! Why do you have this hold on me!"

She was now pressing her palms into his neck and she could hear him gagging, the throbbing in his veins going faster. Harley bared her teeth menacingly at him as he calmly looked into her eyes. She sighed, her tear-stained face turning red with anger. "Why...can't I get rid of you?" she muttered.

His eyes were starting to flutter back as his pulse slowed and he stifled quietly under her grasp, "I...ask...myself that...all the...time..."

Harley's heart pounded in her chest as she heard his words, but before she could free him from the clutches of her now white-knuckled hands, the fluttering of his eyes suddenly ceased and the tremor of his pulse waned, leaving nothing but an hysterical Harley resting atop the lifeless body of The Joker.

"Mi-Mistah J?" she whispered, nervously. She loosened her grip and she could see perfect outlines of her tiny hands on his pale neck. "Mistah J...hey..." she told him, desperately.

She shook him but he didn't stir, and Harley placed two fingers just under his jaw and gasped when she felt no movement. "No..." she whimpered to herself. "Oh...God, no...what did..."

Harley slid off his hips and feverishly ran her hands along his side and over his stomach as she tried to hold the growing cries that were trying to escape her body.

"Puddin', no, no..." she breathed over his naked torso as she raked anxious pecks on his skin. "Oh, did I do? I'm sorry, baby..."

She quickly freed his lifeless limbs from the cuffs on the bedposts and placed them at his sides, and her sobs finally freed themselves as she gazed at him. "No! Dear, God, nooo! Baby! I didn't mean can't! You just can't!"

Harley hid her face in his chest and cried into him. "Look what you made me do! Oh...god dammit! Why! You bastard, why!"

She climbed on top of him again, foolishly thinking that the warmth of her own body would somehow bring him out of his endless sleep. "I love you, baby...I love you so much...I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"

She looked at his face and more tears fell as his dark, beautiful eyes stared lifelessly at the ceiling fan above their bed. She sniffed as she reached up and gently shut his lids.

A scream emitted from her throat when one of his hands suddenly grasped her wrist and she stared in horror as his eyes came back to life, this time glowing with rage. Harley's startled words were stuck in her throat, but she belted another terrified shriek when she sensed the movement of his other hand and of the sharp pain in her side as the knife he clutched drove itself into her.

"Harley!" she heard him cry out to her as she continued to scream as she fell off the bed landed on her injured side. His hands were on her shoulders and he was shaking her, but she kicked at him and felt her foot land in his stomach.

"Ah!" he grunted, but he grabbed her again. "Harley! Wake up!"

"Let me go! Oh, God! I'm so sorry, Puddin'!" she continued to wail as she tried to push him away.

A swift slap across her cheek made her open her eyes and she saw that she was on the floor beside the bed, and The Joker was kneeling over her. She gasped when she realized that he was still alive, but gave him a confused expression when she saw that he was now dressed in his purple shirt and pinstriped pants.

They were both staring at one another in disbelief in a tense moment of silence, but Harley quickly sat up and looked around. "Where..." She looked down at her side and found no knife wound and she looked at him again. "What happened?" her voice trembled as she spoke.

The Joker shook his head as he rolled his eyes, offering his hand to her. He frowned when she hesitated and he grabbed her by the wrist and eased her to her feet. He brought her to his chest as she hugged herself, her wide eyes still looking around the bedroom.

The bed was disheveled, the comforter on the floor and the satin sheets crumpled. She felt him lead her to the edge of the bed where he made her sit. "Mistah J...what-?"

"Well," he sighed. "I came out of the bathroom and saw that you had fallen asleep at the end of the bed. Kind of a let down...I thought you wanted to have some fun..."

"Asleep?" she asked him, now utterly perplexed. "But I remember...I remember you coming out of the bathroom and...we started kissing...and then we were on the bed..."

He chuckled. "Hm...nice to know I got action in some way..."

"So...I dreamed it?" Harley asked, relieved.

"Afraid so, baby doll. Like I said, kind of a let I put you to bed and went in to my study a while."

He tried to ease her back onto her spot on the bed, but she resisted, saying, "You're dressed, though...I thought you were-"

He shrugged as he sat beside her. "I'm bored. I was gonna go out and let you sleep...I was looking for some socks when you started screaming."

Harley leaned against the headboard and put her face in her hands as a tear sneaked its way down her cheek. His rough thumb carelessly wiped it away and he stood up. "Go back to sleep, Harley."

"But...I dreamed that...oh, was horrible..." she sniffled.

The Joker rolled his eyes again at the sound of her trying to hold back more tears. "Tell me later," he called to her from his closet as he picked up an already worn pair of socks. "Like whenever you get the itch to do laundry again..." he mumbled.

"What, Pud?" she asked.

"Nothing, nothing..." he grinned as he approached her. "Bedtime..."

He leaned in to kiss her but she stopped him by putting her hand on his shoulder.

Harley wanted to tell him what he had told her in her horrific dream, tell him that she had conquered him, eliminating his claim over her and ending his life for good. She also ached to describe to him the extreme anguish that had shaken her when she realized that possessing utter control over someone, especially him, was something she herself couldn't handle.

The Joker looked into her blue eyes as she gazed up at him, and he could see that she was hesitating to tell him what was running through her mind.

The Joker gave her another moment and then placed his hand to her cheek as he gently kissed her.

Harley blinked, startled at the tender feeling of his caress, and she sighed as he whispered, "You smell nice."

She grinned as she slowly laid herself under the sheets and tucked them under her chin as The Joker turned off the bathroom light. "Puddin'? When will you be -"

"Good night, Harley," came his stern voice in the darkness as he opened their bedroom door.

Harley bit her lip as she listened to his footsteps trod down the stairs and then out the door, where she heard the usual sound of the car revving out of the lot and down the alley.

- END -