Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to "Batman" or any of its characters, including Joker and Harley Quinn, nor do I own any rights to the comics or the films. I own nothing save for any original characters I have created.

A/N: I thought it would be fun to try something different than my usual writing and create a one-shot dedicated to one of my favorite pairings of all time, Joker and Harley Quinn. Unfortunately we never got to see this pairing in a Nolanverse setting—but hey, that's what fanfiction is for! I know that not everyone likes to see Harley Quinn paired with Ledger!Joker, and that's totally fine—this fic is for those who do. Anyway, I hope you enjoy and thank you for reading!


He brushes her blonde hair away from her forehead with grime-caked fingers, his tongue jutting out in concentration between lips red and slick with the grease of lipstick. With a damp rag he sets to wiping her face, removing the layers of foundation she had no doubt carefully applied that very morning along with black streaks of mascara and pale-pink lip gloss; he does not attempt to be gentle nor does he set out to deliberately hurt—his only desire is to accomplish the task at hand by whatever means necessary, and if a heavy hand is required then so be it. Her skin begins to redden slightly beneath the cloth but still he continues his work, not stopping until he has satisfied that he has wiped away every drop of Dr. Harleen Quinzel's makeup and created a blank canvas for his own masterpiece.

He dips a brush into a small pot of white face paint and places a hand under her chin, lifting her head until her blue eyes are looking into his and the beginnings of a blush pinkens her cheeks. With swift yet methodical strokes he runs the brush across her face, bristles thick with clumps of paint; throughout the process she remains still despite the deep burning she feels when his skin meets hers. When her face is suitably coated—albeit with small patches of her peachy skin still somewhat visible—he sets the brush down and admire his handiwork for a moment, his hand still resting beneath her chin.

He remembers the first time he saw her walk through the interview room door at Arkham Asylum and the way she had greeted him with "Mr. Joker" and a smile that was entirely too bright to be professional. He remembers her eyes brimming with tears as he spun artificial tales of tragedy and loss, and how she had broken the asylum rules and placed her soft hand in his to soothe him, and how she had really broken the rules when he'd leaned forward to kiss her and she had kissed him back with lips that held months-long yearning.

And now she sits before him with a look of overwhelming delight and awe on her face as if she can hardly believe what is happening, as if the breakout that had happened only hours ago was merely a wondrous dream of explosions and blood and flame.

The intoxicated daze remains as he applies the kohl, rimming her eyes and painting her lids before smudging it with his thumb and leaving behind caked smears. Her eyes shine brightly inside their black frames, sparkling with mirth and anticipation—this is something new, something dangerous, something that she has wanted all of her life without knowing it. Harleen Quinzel might be dying but she was coming to life.

He purses his lips together and makes an exaggerated kissing face; she giggles and repeats the gesture. The red lipstick glides across her lips with careful precision, his hand slowly moving with painstaking effort and grace. When the red grin is complete he smiles widely to reveal yellow teeth before leaning down to press his lips against hers; his kiss is rough, demanding, and he purposefully ruins her meticulously-formed smile with his mouth. When they pull apart he cackles loudly at his destruction of both the smile and of Dr. Quinzel; of all the chaos and carnage he had created prior to his imprisonment in Arkham Asylum, this moment is among his proudest.

"Thanks, puddin'," she says quietly, and he cackles again. Oh, how far she's coming from the wide-eyed, innocent and ambitious woman in the interview room. The thought fills him with renewed amusement and he laughs until his chest aches for air and relief. A small giggle bubbles through her lips and soon she is laughing as well, tears of mirth streaming down her face as their laughter mingles into a great murmuring roar.

She is his, now and until the end of her life—his triumph, his prize, his victory.

His Harley Quinn.