Chapter 1: I'm Dr Harleen Quinzel
It was Employee Orientation. The date was March 3rd.
The young woman walked uphill to the Arkham Asylum doors covered in kudzu and Ivy which always seemed to be growing out of the cracked ground. The huge stone building towered high above her, she was 5'7, and it's shadows seemed to engulf her small frame.
She went up front to the large metal gate and noticed the way it mimicked a graveyard's fence. It was old and black and twisted to form the words Arkham Asylum. Nervously clearing her throat, she pressed the small red button and a couple of seconds later, a voice from the other end of the buzzing intercom spoke. "Yes? How may I help you?"
"Hello. I'm Doctor Harleen Quinzel."
"Oh? I wasn't aware you were already starting." The voice stated.
"Um, I am." The blonde doctor replied.
"Okay. Let me verify you. Hold on a moment." The intercom clicked off and a few minutes later the large gate swung open with a creak, the hinges squeaking from years of rust. Harleen walked through and waved as she was greeted by the many doctors inside. They exchanged pleasantries and smiles, a few of them congratulating her on her new job. A few seconds later Dr. Joan Leland, Head Psychiatrist of the mental institute, walked up to her once she realized the new employee had arrived. Her black heels clicked over the clinically white floor and she gestured to Harleen with a kind grin that reached her eyes.
"Welcome, Doctor Quinzel."
"Thank you, Dr. Leland." Harleen smiled back with a nod.
The older woman chuckled lightly while taking Harleen's hand in hers. "Please, call me Joan."
She smiled and nodded. "Alright, Joan. You can call me Harley."
Joan led Harleen to her newly prepared office down the twisted halls of the large asylum. Harleen noticed that the asylum was incredibly huge. There was an Arkham North, West, East, and South, not to mention the huge buildings in-between. Each of the buildings had their purpose, most of which contained high level crazies. Ones that wouldn't think twice at taking a bite or two out of you.
A long hour later one of the other female doctors walked into Harleen's office. It was one of the eldest and more experienced doctors, Dr. Gretchen Whistler. She had interviewed many of the patients in Arkham, most notably Killer Croc aka Waylon Joans.
She raised her thin, gray eyebrows. "Dr. Quinzel?"
She smiled. "Call me Harley, everyone does." Harleen nodded, waving a small hand lazily in Gretchen's direction.
"I'm surprised you want to intern here at Arkham." The older woman stated, her firm voice a little shocked as she took in Harleen's young appearance.
"I've always had a thing for extreme personalities. You can't deny there's an element of glamour to these super criminals."
Gretchen shook her head, gray hair set in place from hairspray that had been layered on. "I'll warn you right now, these are hardcore psychotics. Most would rather kill you than speak to you."
"I'm sure I'll be fine, Doctor."
She shook her head again, her eyebrows furrowed. "They'll eat you for breakfast. I mean it, one or two of them will enjoy it too. Be careful." She warned once more.
Harleen nodded quickly as Gretchen opened the door to her office and left her to her work. Today she had no patients but she had a feeling that this was going to be a very interesting job.
The very next day after she had showered, brushed her teeth, and put on a little makeup, she went to work with a wide smile on her face. She knew what she wanted, and she was going to get it. She just had too. Her whole life she'd worked for this.
Harleen finally got to Arkham Asylum's metal front gates and pressed the red button to the intercom next to the speaker.
"Yes? How may I help you?"
"It's Dr. Harleen Quinzel, ready for work."
"Okay. Hold on, Ms. Quinzel."
Harleen bristled. She didn't go to college all this time to be called 'Ms.' Harleen scrunched up her nose like a child.
"Doctor Quinzel." She corrected.
"Hm?" The voice asked, momentarily confused. But soon the person realized their mistake and cleared their throat. "Oh, Yes. Doctor. Right, I'm sorry. My mistake."
Harleen nodded, knowing they could see her through the security camera. "It's alright."
The gate swung open and she walked into Arkham North, the entrance to the asylum. Arkham really was a large place. It would be quite easy to get lost. Thankfully she had a map.
When Harleen got to her office, she sighed and put her stuff down. Throwing her long, white coat over her chair.
Just then, Dr. Leland walked in after knocking on her door."Good morning, Harleen."
"Good morning, Joan. But, Joan, like I said before. Call me Harley." Harleen giggled causing Joan to smile as she walked over to her and clasped her hand lightly onto her new colleague's shoulder.
"I have some good news."
Harleen looked up with excitement. "Yeah?"
Joan nodded. "You have your first patient interview today."
Harleen gasped, her eyes wide with wonder. Who could it be? "I do! With who?"
Harleen was shocked and thanked Joan for telling her the good news, working hard until it was time for their first session.
She was completely prepared and already in the interview room 5 minutes before she was supposed to be. As Harleen predicted, she was already beginning to get nervous.
Soon the guards arrived and dragged Dent in, pushing him towards the chair ahead of her.
Despite the guard's rudeness, Harleen smiled politely and nodded. "Please, sit down Mr. Dent. It... is Mr. Dent I'm talking to, right?"
Dent growled, twitching and shuffling in his chair. "Use our real name."
Harleen nodded. "Two-Face? If you wish. Please. Sit." She wasn't about to argue with him, at least not yet…
He glared. "What do you want with us?"
"I wish to understand you." She smiled. "I have read the reports, seen the tapes, and now I want to hear your side of the story. If you don't mind, of course."
His lip curled up evilly. "Heh... We'll see..."
She cleared her throat. "I assume you need to toss your coin in order to decide how or if you will answer my questions?"
He nodded. "You ready to find out?" Dent abruptly tossed the coin up into the air and a split second later, caught it.
"Well?" Harleen questioned, blonde eyebrows raised.
"Came up bad. - " He grunted. " - Sorry."
"Not a problem." Harleen leaned back against her chair and sighed. This was going to be much harder then she thought…
Out of nowhere, the guards tried to take Mr. Dent's coin away from him. He struggled as they grunted. Holding him down, they had trouble restraining him as he thrashed about.
"NO! NO!" He screamed.
Harleen was taken back, appalled at the behavior of these so-called 'guards.' "S-Stop! I don't want you harming my patient! Please give him his coin back!" She scowled, glaring. "And if you touch him without my permission again, you will regret it."
Two-Face stared, surprised. The guards did as they were told and gave Mr. Dent's coin back to him, backing off cautiously.
After the struggle was over and Dent finally had his coin back, he turned towards Harleen in his chair and smiled as kindly as his scarred face would allow.
"We thank you, lady."
She smiled back, regaining her professional attitude. "I'm Dr. Quinzel - and you're welcome."
He nodded and looked her dead in the eyes for the first time since she'd met him. She took this chance and officially started their session on a good note.
"Good. Now let us hear what fate has in store for you."
He grinned widely.
Harleen went home feeling a million times better then she had a couple of hours ago. Dent had opened up slightly and had even behaved the whole session. Something she was told he'd never done before.
She was a very happy doctor, yet she wanted more. He seemed too normal to be interesting to her. She wanted someone more dangerous, but who?
Then it dawned on her. She knew exactly who she wanted.
He was the one man Gotham feared more than the Bat.
The next day, Harleen sucked up to Joan by helping her with her work. Once she thought she had buttered Joan up enough, she dropped on her the question that had been nagging at her the whole day. Her interviewing the Joker. Joan was shocked and immediately she was worried. She'd told her no right off the bat. Harleen begged but Joan wouldn't listen so she was stuck with Two-Face until she proved herself to her boss.
Soon, it was time for another session with Dent and although he wasn't the Joker, Harleen was still sort of eager to talk to him. After all, he was a super criminal.
Besides, he had a very interesting mind. Bipolar, but interesting none the less. Although Harleen never did truly think he was insane. Just confused, split between his two personalities. That's everyday stuff for a Psychiatrist. It was crazy that she wanted a truly insane patient. Not just a tragic one.
The guards pushed Dent inside the room and he fell to the floor with a hard *Thud!*
"I'll kill you for this!" He growled at the guards.
Harleen waved the men off which caused them to quickly leave after she had given them a warning glare. A second later, she looked back at Two-Face. He obviously wasn't in a very good mood.
She didn't blame him.
Harleen smiled with a quiet sigh. "So? Look at your coin... does it want you to tell me about that day in the courtroom? I'd really like to hear about it."
He flipped it, the coin landing right-side up on the unscathed head.
He nodded, shuddering slightly. "It was painful."
"I was naive. I thought I could make a difference. Falcone was going to go down for what he had done."
"But... He had other plans..."
"Look at my face!" He screamed, turning away. Ashamed of his features. Harleen flinched at his sudden outburst. Not use to being screamed at.
But she continued anyway. "I am looking at your face. A combination of first, second, and third-degree burning. It looks... very painful."
He growled, screaming again. "I'm ugly! I'm a monster, a freak!"
Harleen shook her head. "I beg to differ. You are not ugly. Not to me."
"Really?" He questioned. She noticed a sparkle in his good eye.
The clock ticked several times until Harleen spoke again. Readying herself for another outburst. "Is... that all it took to make you the way you are now?"
"What?" He asked as he looked up, confused.
"The burning of your face," She quickly explained. "The accident. Is that all it took to make you who you are now?"
He frowned and shook his head. "No."
"Care to tell me what else...?"
He didn't speak the rest of the session so she had the guards take him back to his cell. Afterward, Harleen went back to work on her files in her office.
The day went by a lot longer then she had expected which put a damper on her some-what good mood so when she got home, she called a friend and spoke to him about her new job. He wasn't as ecstatic as Harleen was, but then again... He always was a worry wart.
It flattered her that he cared.
After Harleen got off of the phone, she did some chores around the house and gave in to a much-needed sleep.
The next day when it was time for their next session, she decided to prod a little further into Two-Face's past. He needed to open up to her more.
A guard pushed her patient inside, shoving him to the floor. Because he was handcuffed, he was unable to break his fall.
"Agh!" He screamed. "What is it, Boles? Are you enjoying this?!"
Two-Face asked Frank, a guard who had a scar on his right, blind eye.
"Not in the slightest," Frank replied sarcastically.
Harleen growled and told them all to leave so they could officially start their session.
"Let's go back further. You were a rising star, a beacon of light for this city. A white knight riding in to save it, with the Dark Knight not far behind."
He looked up, his good eye twitching slightly at the mere mention of the Batman.
"You can leave him out of this. He's wrong. They all are. No one understands the beauty of fate's hand. I am grateful to Falcone. He gave me a clarity; a purity that few will know. Everything boils down to a simple choice, this way or that way... good or bad."
"Do you really believe that?"
"How could I not?"
"Interesting." She smiled. "So all you need is that coin and everything is simple?"
"Fate is what makes it simple."
"Oh? But you still need that coin, right?"
He nodded. "Yes…"
"Well, what about this coin?" Harleen threw a regular coin on the table. "Or this?" And another. "Or these?" And a handful of coins.
"What are you doing?!"
"Proving a point. Fate didn't make you answer my question, I did. I replaced your coin with my own our first session. See? You answered me because I wanted you to."
He glared back at her in shock..
"I'm sorry, but I had to prove a point. I didn't mean to upset you." She said sincerely, feeling a little guilty.
He didn't say anything, so she had no choice but to send him back to his cell.
The next day, Harleen decided to record their session.
"How is he today?" She asked one of the more kinder guards.
"Prisoner has been quiet. Since getting those coins he has spent most of his time examining them."
She nodded, leaning forward as they brought him in. "Good. Hello, Harvey. Are you ready to talk?"
"Leave us. We don't want to talk. Not to you." He glared.
She sighed. "Please. Take a seat. I have one last thing to discuss then I'll give you something in return."
"I don't know. I can't decide. It's all too confusing."
"Of course it is..." She sighed. "I want to talk about Mr. Wayne."
Harleen shrugged. "Indulge me."
"He's... our friend." He answered, sadly.
"Hardly surprising. You two are quite the same. A traumatic event created you, an equally traumatic event altered him."
"Sort of. But there's no... no risk, no danger. it's all just money, wine, and girls. That's not like me."
Harleen wrote some notes down and looked up to find him staring at her. He looked sad, deep in thought.
She scheduled Mr. Wayne a visit for him in the next 2 1/2 hours. She was surprised at how eager the billionaire was to see a criminal.
Later, when it was time for Bruce's visit, she led Harvey into the visiting center and told him that she had a gift for him.
Almost immediately, Bruce walked through the double doors, taking a seat in front of the glass, and grabbing the white phone bolted to the stone wall.
Dent was shocked. He picked up the phone and spoke lightly, afraid he was hallucinating things again.
The billionaire nodded. "Yes. It's me."
"I thought you would never want to see... us... again, after the...-Ahem-...incident."
He shook his head sadly. "I'll always be your friend, Harvey. No matter what happens to you, no matter what mistakes you've made, I'll help you as much as I can through this. I promise."
Harleen smiled, awing as she left them to their private conversation.
That night Harleen knew she was on the verge of curing Dent.