Title: Hating This
Summary: A series of various one-shots based off of the, oh, so popular "What If…" Harley ever left Joker and got her old job back? Be warned, the time stream might not always line up, some shots might not have anything to do with the other and Harley herself will not be paired with ANYONE. Hints of het and slash on all other fronts, though.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, stop bothering me with the disclaimer.
Warnings: Oh, I couldn't possibly list them all. Possibly, I will simply warn against fluff, angst, blood, yadda yadda. The rating might go up at some point, as well, so be prepared for that, considering my record. This is also in connection with 'Personal Victory', 'Remade, But Still Real', and 'Not So Overlooked'.
Dedication: I can't flippin' believe I'm doing this again, but…yeah, this is for fan boy for rongo as well as RobinsGurl (spelling?) and others. Again, I can't believe I'm writing this, when I expressly told myself I would not make this a chapter or multiple-part series. And yet, here I am you little pesky gremlin with your wishes for continuance—you get another one, dammit! But I'm not doing anything fancy this time nor exhausting myself with details, so HA-Ha!
Style is knowing who you are,
what you want to say,
and not giving a damn.
Here I Stand-:-
The door to single person therapy opened with a tired and somewhat commanding thud as Harley entered, this time without her stupid clipboard to take notes on. She was too angry at Bartholomew to take notes to give the little jerk. Who did he think he was to order her to get more insightful details on the Rogues? Was he really that stupid to think they were talking to her? He had the damn, fucking case file from when Croc tried to bite her—yes, bite with his teeth and claw with his bare hands to choke the life out of her—and she had to get to the medical wing to get the cut on her head sterilized and add in a few stitches to be covered with a butterfly band-aid!
No. If he wanted their secrets, he could figure it out for himself. His therapy with them was close to useless, so she would try something different today.
Sitting on the damned too soft and too damn stuffy chair she was required to sit in to oversee the patients, she listened to the clock tick on the wall, passing the seconds like money at a toll as she crossed her legs and tried not to pick at the stitches just cresting the bangs on her forehead. Damn, that was itchy…
Just as her butt was starting to contour to the shape of the seat, the door opened up and in walked two guards, each at either side of Edward Nygma like gargoyles about a painted with spray paint, but still relatively sightly stone angel. Eddie didn't look very happy, not with the slight limp he had going on with one of his legs and his hands bound in handcuffs—procedure, hah—but he kept up his air of being better than either of the two men pushing him onwards. Harley had sat up eloquently to wave 'Hi' like before when the others didn't hate her (much) but remembered herself and just tried to look less irritated with the world in general as one of the guards unlocked Eddie's chains and the other looked to Harley.
He, as well as all of the guards and Arkham staff in general, still got this look across their faces when they were supposed to talk to her. Somewhere between fear, being confused about why she was welcomed back as a doctor and, well, wondering (if the situation arose) if they should run away from the dainty woman they and if they were built and fit enough to hold the door and lock it before she stabbed them with her ball-point pen. The bastards.
"Just, um, call us when you're done with this one, doc."
This one. She would have to have a word with Leland about the more muscled and less matriculated staff using the patients' names. Maybe then there would be less of a reason for the Rogues to fantasize about ruining the guards if they'd treat the patients like human beings.
"Thank you," Harley replied, stone faced and adding on a smile that got them out the door much faster.
When she and Eddie were left alone—him in the other chair that lay down low like a bed, but tilted up enough so he could look at her without snapping his neck with a cramp—an awkward and uncomfortable silence descended upon the room. A black hole of something like hatred radiated off of Eddie and a well of substantial guilt settled into Harley like the feeling of being about to vomit, but not quite there yet.
"I can't believe they expect me to talk to you," Eddie finally spoke up, never one to stay quiet for long in therapy as the rooms and the doctors—even if the doctor was Harley—made him extremely uncomfortable.
Harley, despite promising herself that she wouldn't take offense to anything the redhead said to her, folded her arms across her chest and leaned backwards into her chair with a huff. Some of the air from inside the leather of her seat slowly squeezed out and she moved further into it like it was a big mushroom and she was Alice of Wonderland.
"Well, Eddie," she replied, not having enough energy to be really, really mad at him, so her voice came out sort of childish, "Would you prefer to go back with Bartholomew and his depriving you of your mind games? Personally I think he only took away your cross-word puzzles last week because you mouthed off to him about…whatever you, Jervis and Professor Crane were talking about at lunch."
Eddie gave her a glare, probably a little put off by the fact that she sounded angrier with him than he did with her, "At least Bartholomew can offer somewhat stimulating, if not altogether wrong, viewpoints on my so-called condition."
"Funny, last time we spoke, I recall you calling him a no-talent hack without a scintilla of showing any signs of getting closer to reaching out to you."
At this point, he had taken from lying completely back in his seat, to sitting, feet firmly on the floor and both hands clutching his knees. She had brought her legs upwards, Indian style and had a smug look on her face.
"Why are you here, Harleen?"
The way he put emphasis on the name only her mother had really called her, which after sneaking into her and a few other Rogues records in the archives room last week—the reason he was limping around, compliments of the captain of the guard, oaf that he was—he knew for a fact she hated, he held back a smug smile of his own when her face turned sour. If she was still with the Rogues, she might have slugged his arm like the tomboy she was.
"Well, for one reason, I hate Metropolis so I couldn't move there," she began, shrugging and bringing one hand up to her breast pocket to bring out what Bartholomew told her specifically not to give the Prince of Puzzles, "For another reason, I needed to eat and nobody else would hire me—and don't tell me Pengy would have, because I asked and he told me to do various things I haven't ever heard him say and actually made me laugh a little—and for the last reason I will divulge this session,"
The objects she had grabbed from her pocket were brought to light and she plopped them into Eddie's lap. Half a page from the Sunday paper she had torn out, folded neatly in a little square and a freshly sharpened—yes, sharpened, as in, the piece of lead sticking out at the end had pricked her finger earlier that day, despite the whole piece of wood being only the length of her middle finger—pencil, were now his possession and she cherished his look of utter astonishment that happened no longer than two seconds.
"I just love pissing off Bartholomew. Leland's a sweetheart worth paying attention to, but I won't lie about Bartholomew's methods being a tad flawed. He's well intentioned, but, well…you've been treated by him for something like five months and you hate his guts. That tells me a little something about what he says I can and can't do."
Eddie pretended not to pay any attention to the woman as he picked up the pencil and held it up towards the lamp attached to the ceiling. He rubbed his thumb nail against it twice so it wouldn't punch a hole through the cross-word.
"You realize they don't give me pens and pencils for a reason, right?"
Harley rolled her eyes and tried to resituate in her chair to a more comfortable position. A position that she couldn't find.
"Oh, what, you're going to stab me? Come off it, Eddie, you hate blood and threw up the last time you cut your hand trying to make a sandwich."
"I did not throw up!"
"Yeah-huh! I was there; I had to clean up your puke with the bits of hamburger in it while Jervis tried to give you rubbing alcohol and bandages."
Eddie just sat there a moment, cringing in remembrance, "You are so disgustingly vulgar."
"Yeah," she smiled, exasperated with the Indian style position, and flopped her legs over one of the chair's arms. It reminded Eddie of that time when all of the Arkham inmates had performed a trial with Batman and she had to take the stand before Janet what's-her-name.
Eddie said nothing more as she got comfortable and, like a man possessed, he started writing in the letters in the boxes they belong to and answer questions not completely worthy of his time—Harley guessed—but it was the best he'd had in a while so he would take what he could get. Harley didn't coax him to say anything and just observed the way his eyes traveled over the questions to find the answers and watched from the wrong side as he jotted down the answers he could get. She had already done that one at home on a piece of scrap paper and had gotten everything but the very last three answers that would have given away the theme to the crossword. Even if he didn't talk to her for the whole session, she could still think of it as a won situation. If he got all of the answers, then he could feel accomplished before going back to his cell and she could see why she had failed on the scrap paper.