A/N: (Fights off barrage of rotten vegetables form angry readers) Yes, I know I've been thoughtless in not updating for a while. Please forgive me! My life decided to get more hectic by totally having my schedule flipped which left me no time at all to actually sit down and write for my lovely reviewers (all 6 of you). Let me know what you think! Reviews are crack and I'm an addict!

You know you're in love when

You can't sleep, because your reality

Is finally better than your dreams

- Dr. Seuss

Chapter Three

Harley slept in that morning; her dreams too good for her to get up and leave them. Besides, they'd seemed so real that is was almost heartbreaking to wake up and let them go back into their little box. However she had a mission for herself. She was going to do some research and find The Joker. She had to. He'd given her a gift and now it was her duty to thank him properly. Or, at least, that's what she told herself.

She steeled herself and got dressed. What in hell was she supposed to wear? She couldn't just throw on anything when he walked around rocking a three-piece suit.

A predicament but not an impossible one. She finally settled on some skinny jeans and a black tank top. As she grabbed her bag, she looked at the mask on her vanity and carefully placed it in the bag. Maybe she'd even wear it, who knew?

Harley crept into the kitchen, almost to0 the back door, when her father walked in. She froze as a shiver of revulsion trickled down her spine. He looked at her with his ice blue eyes. She'd inherited them from him but he's were darker and more watery and definitely not as piercing. A twin of Blanche.

"Where are you going?" he asked as he went to the cupboard to get some breakfast.

"Gymnastics," she mumbled as she opened the door.

He snorted disbelievingly.

"Not dressed like that you aren't."

She sighed and mentally berated herself for lying so badly.

"Just – look why do you care anyway?" She finally gave up on making up stories.

Darcy turned around and gave her the once over. Harley suddenly felt the need to cover herself. It was always the same with him when he stared at her. It was as if he was looking right through her clothes and into her darkest secrets, like he knew everything. Well, she wouldn't let him know where she was about to go, not if her life depended on it. Because, really, when she thought about it, it did.

She shook her head and opened the screen door, walking out. She could swear she could hear Darcy chuckling at her which only mad her walk all the faster. She had to get away. The man's very presence made her want to gouge his eyes out. The man was pure evil with his black hair and blue eyes. Sure he was handsome and tall. She could see why Blanche loved him, and she did, in fact, love him. She loved him more than life itself even when all he did was walk all over her and order her around. It was horrible watching him yell at and hurt her mother and she couldn't do anything for fear of his anger turning at her. She'd get him back someday. It sounded stupid and cliché but she would. It was only a matter of time.


Joker's POV

He lay down in the seat of the old Ferris wheel, looking up at the sky. It was probably blue beneath all the smog Gotham created. He wondered if a city's insanity could actually pollute the very air. Probably. After all, he thought as he smiled and flipped his knife in the air, anything was possible if you tried hard enough. He should know that better than anyone. He smiled and stretched his arms over his head. He'd given the droogies the day off; there was no point in them coming if there was nothing to do. Anyway, it wasn't like he needed any help blowing things up. He'd gotten on pretty well without them until now. They were merely an entourage.

Every villain needed a day off and this was his. Over the last few months, torturing Batman had been a constant theme, and obsession. He was fun. He was like the ants he used to burn with a magnifying glass when he was eight. They squirmed for a while and tried to fight but they gave up eventually. Just like Batman would. However, Batsy had proved to be of stronger stuff than he had thought. Batman had truly wanted to kill him. He'd had him hanging over that skyscraper and he'd seen how much Batman would've loved seeing him splatter on the pavement.

That was the thing about Batman, he thought as turned on his side, trying to get comfortable (Yeah metal amusement park rides aren't exactly the most comfortable place to chill), he was simple. Compassion was his greatest strength and his greatest weakness. If some other Johnny Criminal didn't get him sooner or later, he'd kill himself from the exhaustion of trying to save everyone all the time. He was so easy to read after a while of messing with him.

Which is why it was unnerving for The Joker to not be able to read a simple girl. Who would blow a kiss to him? He shook his head sadly, Gotham was crazy. It was perfect for him.

He sat up and shook out his hair. He showered today for the first time in forever and threw his suit in the one washing machine the place had. You'd think with all the upchuck from the rides there'd be more than one. However he liked it here. It was faded but you could tell it had been interesting in its heyday.

He walked by the Bumper Cars and let his hand run across the links in the fence, thinking; which in his case could have fatal consequences to anyone who happened to be in a five foot radius.

Her name was Harleen Quinzel; he'd gleaned that from her school ID. She was from the same school as that other girl. (What had her name been? Cathy, Karen?) Did that school teach that it was okay to walk down alleys or was it just coincidence? Sure it was Catholic School but did they really believe that there was a God great enough to protect little girls from him?

Except that the girl he'd killed had been selling herself. Not that she'd needed the money, her clothes had all been designer, but for the sole purpose of going against her Father. She'd met him at the wrong time. He'd literally just gotten out of Arkham and she'd just walked up to him, not threatening or hookerish at all. But he was still drugged up then. Oh yeah, Arkham kept their patients all nice and comatose. They just barely passed state inspection. It made him wonder what the hell they did with all the money that Wayne brat gave them.

That move had been his last move on the city so far. He had a plan. Well, a vague skeleton of a plan, anyway. He had to take it slow. Whatever had been in the water at Arkham was still in his head, slowing his thoughts down so he couldn't think as quickly.

He growled and slammed his head against the fence, clearing his mind. Pain helped, it was a constant in life and it was calming on him. Besides, not wearing his paint put him in a bad mood but there was no point in wearing it if no one was around to see it. It was a disguise to scare people and hide his scars. He wore it when he was The Joker, not when he was himself. Although, who "himself" was he couldn't remember anymore. He lost that guy a long time ago.

There was a bang and he reached into his jeans for his switchblade, calling to his dogs in Russian at the same time. Whoever was bothering him would be sorry even if by the end they were smiling…

He ducked his head, raising his hackles so to speak, and flipped his knife. This was gonna be fun.

Harley's POV

Harley had been watching him for the last twenty minutes or so. At first, she'd thought the tan, blond man was one of the henchmen but the more she watched, the more she noticed things about him.

Such as the way he carried himself even when he wasn't all painted up and in his suit. He walked like a predator. He was a predator. It saturated his very being; who he was. The man was built for chaos. It was glorious.

She likened it to watching a lion pace in its cage. You could tell it was wild but you were sure it could be tamed.

Until it got out and ripped someone's face off.

Then there was the other usual habits like licking his scars (they weren't even that noticeable until you got up close), the way he never stopped moving, his forearms, his beautiful hair, his skin, his…everything. However he still scared the shit outta her. Which is why she jumped about a mile when he started walking towards her. Apparently when you walk into metal trashcans they make noise. So now not only was her knee hurting like a bitch but a pit bull, a Doberman, and a Rotweiller were all stalking towards where she was with their teeth bared.

She reached into her bag and looked for something, anything to distract them. Her hand found a bag of Doritos. Perfect. She threw them at the dogs and they sniffed at them for a second before proceeding in ripping them apart and snapping at each other. She breathed a sigh of relief before being pulled to her feet by the back of her shirt.

"Well, lookee here," he turned her around so she was facing him. He was smiling slightly at her but his eyes were smoldering with rage. He probably hadn't realized how easy it was to find his hideout. God, he was gorgeous even without the costume. Movie star gorgeous, besides the scars of course. She wanted to touch them but he was holding her arms at her sides and studying her face with an intense expression. She suddenly became self-conscious and glanced down shyly.

"What?" she asked. He let her go as if the sound of her voice burned him.

"How'd you figure it out?" there was no more of the mocking charm in his voice now, only curiosity. He almost sounded like a regular guy. Almost.

"I figured you'd be somewhere that used to be fun. And ya know," she made a general gesture to the surroundings.

"Clowns," she smiled a little but dropped it when she saw his expression.

He was chewing on the inside of a scar and gazing at her through heavily lidded eyes.

"Righ – t" he popped the "t".

The conversation as quickly turning boring and she knew she had to keep it interesting in order to stay alive.

"I got the mask you gave me."

"Did you try it on? He said it as if it were obvious/

"Um…not?" she pulled it out of her bag and looked up at him. He rolled his eyes at her and grabbed the mask, turning her around.

"Ya know, any other normal girl tries things on when they get them," he said as he tied the mask around her head and made sure it was secure before circling her and looking at the effect of it.

Harley sniffed dismissively at him.

"Well maybe I'm not normal then."

He snorted and grinned widely.

"You obviously aren't. You just sought out and found the most wanted criminal in Gotham, accepted a gift from him and now you're talking to him – still," he stopped his circling and crossed his arms, starting at her.

"Why?" he drew the word out, distorting it.

Harley took a deep breath and leveled her gaze, so she was staring directly into his eyes.

"I hate my life, I saw you kill Katie and it was brilliant, you're a fucking genius, my Dad likes little girls, my school is corrupt , I think you're the first and only interesting thing that will ever happened to me," she took a breath to stop herself as the reality of her words blossomed inside of her and continued.

"I got a million of 'em. What more dot you need to know?"

"You, ah, you want to stay here?"

Harley nodded frantically.

He looked at her a little longer, and then smiled. This girl was crazy. He liked it. It would be interesting to see how she lasted.

An idea hit him. Batman would never see it coming. And wasn't it horrible ironic that she was a Catholic School Girl? Yes, he would twist her, it wouldn't be hard. He'd twisted Gotham's white knight; a green little girl would be much easier.

"Harleen Quinzel," he tilted his head to the side.

"Harley Quinn," rolling the name around in his mouth, he steered her into the warehouse.