A/N: Yay a new chapter! It's pretty long… please review it only takes like a second so seriously. Read on!

Russian roulette is not the same without a gun

And baby when its love if it's not rough it isn't fun.

- Lady Gaga, Poker Face

Harley walked down the street on her way home from gymnastics. She was sued to walking everywhere by now: Her Dad was always working late ( not that she wanted him to drive her anywhere, anyway) and her mom wasn't allowed to drive. Besides, walking was good exercise and she liked the sound her sneakers made pounding against the pavement. She reveled in the late spring air and did a cartwheel or two. It was late so no one was really around to see her in her red leotard and black shorts, not that she cared anyway.

Her apartment was just at the line where the Narrows and the big business buildings met. Her Dad was trying to slowly build his way up in advertising but kept hitting the proverbial "glass ceiling." Harley chuckled at the irony.

Joke's on you, you stupid pig.

She turned a corner down an alleyway. It was her usual short cut home. Although she normally didn't go down alleyways at night, she was looking for someone.


She turned around, holding her gym bag to her chest. She unzipped the bag and fingered her pocket knife, taking it out and sticking it in her pocket. She looked down, something had kicked a can; probably a squirrel.

Right, she thought wryly, because Gotham is just full of cute woodland creatures.

The sound of footsteps brought her out of her sarcastic thoughts and she glanced up. A figure was standing at the other end of the alley. It looked like a man with his head cocked to the side. Her heart started thudding loudly in her chest. There was a certain vulnerability that came with being a woman, especially when said woman was walking down a dark alley in one of the nation's most crime ridden cities. She took a couple of steps forward, going against all instinct, then instinct won out and she bolted for the end of the alley. She skidded to a stop in front of a chain link fence. Shit.

Harley looked behind her to see if the figure was following and wasn't surprised to see him walking calmly towards her. With a frightened yell, she threw her gym bag over the fence and started to climb. She screamed as she felt her foot being dragged down. Gripping one of the links she grunted and kicked her foot out of the stalker's grasp. She heard a satisfying grunt of pain, then a growl of frustration as she was pulled down one again, successfully this time. She hit the pavement on her elbow and groaned.

The next thing Harley knew, her head was bounced against a brick wall and she was gazing into the grease painted face of one of the scariest people she'd probably ever meet.

He had his hand on the scruff of her jacket and was looking into her eyes with a hard expression. They were brown and soft, like he should've been a nice person but some dark force had beaten it out of him. She thought she must've smiled a little and mumbled something about angels really existing because he scowled at her and pressed his blade even deeper into her neck, drawing a thin line of blood.

"Didn't your mother ever tell you that little girls shouldn't walk by themselves at night?"

Oh God, she thought, Even the way his breath smelled was driving her crazy. It was a strange mix of blood, summertime, night, dust, and gunpowder. She blinked a few times to clear her head.

"My mother has the mentality of a ten year old beauty pageant finalist, so no, she didn't," she was surprised at the composure of her own voice but silently prayed that he wouldn't kill her because dammit she was not going to die a virgin.

He scowled at her, making his scars twist, then abruptly stepped back and laughed loudly.

Harley jumped. She had definitely not been expecting that reaction. He pointed at her with his knife, smiling slightly.

"You're a fiery little thing, aren't you?"

She didn't answer; she was too busy trying to detach herself from halfway up the brick wall. He walked towards her and put both his hands against the wall next to her head.

"You're lucky. Now, I'm gonna let you, ah, run along," she started to leave but he grabbed her arm and she turned back towards him. He reached for her hand and popped her dislocated finger back into place, keeping his eyes on hers' the whole time.

The touch of his calloused hands on hers made Harley shiver involuntarily and look down, embarrassed at her reaction. She didn't even feel her bones slide back into place.

He squinted at her sideways and lifted her head up, putting his hand around her neck and propping up her chin with his thumb.

"This time." She nodded frantically and started to run home, tears stinging her eyes. She stopped and turned.

"I love the improvements you made to Katie's face," she said as she blew a kiss and ran away, walking on cloud nine.

Joker's POV

He cleaned his knife on his jacket and started after her for awhile; a confused look on his face. There was something about that girl he just couldn't put his finger on. He flipped his blade a few times and chewed on the inside of one of his scars. Not being able to read someone as soon as they opened their mouth unnerved him.

At first she had seemed like nothing but a bratty rich kid but then he saw the fear flicker in her eyes and pegged her for a wannabe street rat. Not that she couldn't fight, of course, he could feel his lip swelling from the kick she's given him in the mouth earlier. It was when he grabbed her arm and she turned around that he's seen two things: one, absolute calm and resignation. Two, a healing shiner under her eye and finger shaped bruises along her arm. She definitely wasn't the care fullest of girls and he could tell. He just didn't know whether or not she was worth following home. Unless…

He smiled and turned back into the alley with his heels. Her bag had fallen over the fence when she'd tried to get away and he went to get it.

He climbed over the fence and fell less than gracefully onto the concrete. Laughing a little at the pain he got up and cracked his back then bent to pick up the fallen gym bag.

A dark smile crossed his face, making the scars twist upwards the way they were meant to.

This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Harley ran up the stairs to her apartment and slammed the door, breathing heavily and leaned against it. She couldn't believer her luck! Out of all the dark alleyways in Gotham she'd picked the right one. It was obviously meant to be if it had been that simple to find him. And, she thought, if she found him that easily once it couldn't be that hard to find him again.

A crash came from the other room – her mother. Harley pulled herself off the door and pulled back the sliding door to the kitchen. Her mom was in the middle of the floor, kneeling in broken glass, trying to mop up a water spill. From what she would tell, she had knocked over a vase and decided to clean it up, not even minding the fact that her knees were bleeding all over the white linoleum.

She sighed and her mother looked up at her, eyes wide. She looked like a little kid that had gotten caught doing something she knew she shouldn't. It would've been better if she had left it alone; water dried quickly. But it was things like this that her mom wouldn't comprehend no matter how hard she tried.

Harley smiled warmly at Blanche and walked towards her, squatting down next to her. She grabbed the rag her mom was holding and spread it o the floor to soak up the water.

"Hi Mom, can you stand up for a minute?" she took her mom's arm and stood her up.

"Hi Darling," Blanche said as she hopped up on the counter and swung her legs while blood dripped onto the floor. Harley couldn't help but be a little mad. Her mom was acting as if her legs weren't even hurting but she knew they were. Blanche was exceedingly good at putting unpleasant things to the back of her mind and becoming numb to them. It was one of the many things Harley envied her for. She shook the thought away from her mind and went to the medicine cabinet to get the first aid kit. If her mom wasn't cleaned up before her dad got home, there'd be hell to pay.

It was her job to be the babysitter. She didn't always mind, though. Sometimes Blanche had rare maternal advice to give. It didn't always make a whole lot of sense but Harley tucked it away in her mind so she could remember it and save it for later.

She filled a glass with water and handed it to her mom with two little white pills. She obediently took them and swallowed the pills. They were meant to calm her and slow down her thoughts so she could make sense of them easier. Conveniently, she sometimes forgot to take them.

Harley got some disinfectant and sprayed it on Blanche's knees. She looked up to see if it stung but her mom showed no reaction and calmly sipped her water. She was looking at her daughter with a hard expression. It was strange to see such a serious expression on her mother's face. She was usually dazed and childish at best but something was very different here. Harley stopped dabbing at her mom's cut and looked up at her.

"What?" she checked herself mentally. Sure, she looked sweaty but she was always sweaty after gymnastics.

"You're bleeding," she pointed to Harley's elbow with a troubled expression. Harley cursed. When she fell off the fence in the alley she must've hit her elbow. Of course, she wasn't really paying attention to herself at the time. There was a rather gorgeous criminal threatening her life so an elbow scrape was low on her list of things to worry about.

She let it bleed and continued cleaning her mom's knee.

"It's nothing. I fell on my way home," she lied badly.

Blanche grabbed her wrist and lifted it up to see her elbow. She gazed at it with narrowed eyes, glancing between her daughter's eyes and the offending scrape. She let it fall.

"Wanna know what I think?"

Harley laughed softly to herself.

"Sure, mom. What do you think?"

Blanche looked up from under her eyelashes. For a split second, Harley could see how beautiful her mother had been in her competing days; when she was the young hopeful from Oklahoma who genuinely wanted world peace. The girl who had no idea it would end through a night with an Irish business man. No way of knowing who to turn to when she got pregnant except for the Irish business man. Mental illness had wasted her away but the girl was still there underneath it all. She was just harder to see now a days.

"I think there's a boy involved," se said as she giggled beneath her hand and leaned back a little as if it were the funniest thing in the world. Harley couldn't help but laugh a little with her. Her happiness was infectious. She rolled her eyes and put a band-aid on her knees.

"Don't forget to kiss it better," she added. Harley smiled wryly and kissed her knees.

"There; all better."

The water spill had dried up by then and she went to pick up the rag and sweep up the broken glass. She threw it out and turned to her mom who was watching her with her head cocked to the side.

"Well, is there?"

"Is there what?"

"A boy involved silly head."

Harley stood up slowly from sweeping up the glass and threw it out. Should she tell her mom? Not who the person was, of course, but what she felt. Would she be able to help?

"Well…kind of…"

Blanche hopped down off the counter and brought her over to the living room, plopping her on the couch.


"He's older –,"

"How old?" she suddenly became serious. The pills must be kicking in. She'd have to tread carefully.

"Not much older. I'm not sure the exact age. He's sort of a celebrity."

"Ohhh, what's his name?"

"Ummm," she really had no idea what his name was. Actually, all she knew about him was what she'd been able to collect from the newspapers.

Blanche got up, suddenly distracted and bleary eyes. She was saved.

"That's nice, sweetie. I'm a bit tired. I'll just go lie down."

The pills had kicked in. Harley let out a relieved whoosh of air and went to her room; which was conveniently next to her parents'.

Her room was just the right color of red. It was light, like watered down blood with little black diamonds painted in at random. It was the one place she could really just relax and be herself.

She flopped down on her bed and exhaled. It was a good thing her mom didn't notice the Excedrin PM she'd slipped in with her actually medication. Sure, she shouldn't be giving her mom strange pills but it wasn't like she did it often. It's just that she didn't feel like talking.

Besides, explaining that she loved a hardened criminal to her mom wasn't exactly number one on her to-do list.

She snuggled into her various pillows and teddy bears. It was late; about ten thirty and she was tired. Harley sighed at her alarm clock and went to get into her pajamas. She threw on a large, plaid nightshirt that barely touched her thighs. Yes, it was a little skimpy but she had boy short underwear on so it didn't really matter.

Any, she thought, it's not like anyone will see me.

She glanced at her vanity. A sparkle in the moonlight from her window caught her eye. She walked towards it and gasped. A Venetian eye mask lay on the table. It was one of the most beautiful things she'd ever seen. It was white except for a black diamond painted over one eye, the ties were a dark red and there were red sparkles around the edge.

Harley picked it up and glanced at it. There was a note taped to the bottom and she snatched it away, turning her back to it and plopping down on her bed again. She read it once and sighed happily. Then, she held it close to her heart and fell asleep.

You left your gym bag.

- J