impertinences: (words you spoke)
you're too young & eager to love ([personal profile] impertinences) wrote on August 11th, 2016 at 01:06 pm
The formatting for this piece is all types of fucked. It's correctly posted on the Archive. I'm too lazy to fix it here.

-

“You escaped those who would pluck
your fruit.
Not that they didn’t try.”
- Sappho


She wears these purple stilettos, strappy and precarious with decorative bowknots on the back, and they drive all the boys mad.
They aren’t the kind of shoes her mother would approve of, and they aren’t, admittedly, the best for a professional environment. But a girl has to have a little color, especially when she does such a good job keeping her pencil skirts black and her psychiatrist’s coat a pristine white. To further the image, Harleen wears her thick hair in tight buns, high like a ballerina, or low and at the nape of her neck. As a young girl, she had grown up watching Audrey Hepburn movies, idolizing the graceful curvature of the actress’ body and maybe Harleen’s hairstyles harken back to an adolescent love of Holly Golightly. Her mother didn’t like those movies either. She frowned at their unrealistic, romanticized plots - the too-handsome leading men always saving the redeemable starlet. It puts bad notions in the minds of young, impressionable girls.
Her mother, however, is worm meat and has been for a few years now. So Harleen wears the shoes and styles her hair as she likes.
It isn’t enough.
Look at the little girl playing dress-up, the guards murmur under their sour breath as she walks down Arkham’s corridors, her purple heels clicking and patient evaluations clasped to her chest. She’s got a sturdy clipboard with an attached gel pen and a fresh French manicure. An alligator briefcase holding a prescription pad and a legitimate, board-certified psychiatric degree. But she isn’t a professional to these men, and she certainly isn’t a bonafide MD. She’s too young, too pretty, too rich. She hasn’t earned an honest day’s pay in her entire life. She sucked off her father’s trust fund and went to college and nobody said anything about the pretty blonde who missed classes but still passed with flying colors, who sometimes slipped from an office of a professor’s or two at odd hours, who grew up right and grew up tall on hot Indiana nights.
Or is that Tom Petty singing about a girl named Mary Jane?
Or is she Alice, tumbling down a dark hole, following a white rabbit?
Or is she Dorothy, swept up in a twister, landing in the emerald Land of Oz?
She can’t say. She knows she’s looking, searching, hoping. She knows she wants to be seen and understood. She wants validation.
She finds it in her first real patient and, in finding him, she finds a bit of herself and all she’d been wanting. The Joker does not doubt her. He bares his soul, quicker than most, and lets her poke around. She prescribes him lithium, Thorazine, Clorazil – pinks and whites – pills that taste chalky, but each one seems to help.
He tells her it isn’t the medication healing him.
It’s love.
And laughter.

--

I know, child. I see.
June Moon who is no longer June Moon, who is ancient and pagan and terrifying, who is destroying the city with her fiery brother, is staring at Harley. Her gleaming, bright eyes bore into Harley’s. Harley knows the Enchantress isn’t speaking, not aloud at least; she’s even vaguely aware that her squadmates are nearby and also caught by the witch’s gaze, also hearing her mind-voice. Some part of her understands too that the Enchantress is seeing the rest of them the way Harley is being seen. Like her insides are being turned outward, like all her secrets are being spilled.
So much suffering. So much unfairness. I can change all of it, child. I can show you greatness if you will only come to me, kneel for me.
This voice is unlike her other voices. This voice is deep, melodic, yet feminine. This voice does not ask her to hurt. It does not tell her to kill, to cry, to scream. This voice sooths and offers.
Harley wants to take.
And because she wants, she’s allowed to see.

--

She can smell espresso. It’s bitter and sweet, vanilla-esque. There’s a green cup next to the brewing machine, and there’s a sugar spoon for stirring cradled delicately in a flower-shaped, ceramic spoon rest. It’s a quaint, charming touch, just like the plush tea towels hanging from the silver cabinet hooks and the magnets depicting cartoon hyenas on the stainless steel fridge.
Harleen has made the water in the sink too hot; she can’t feel it, although she’s up to her elbows in bubbles and dishwater. Her fingers aren’t doing any scrubbing. She’s too surprised. This is her kitchen, she realizes, which is a silly thing to comprehend because didn’t she know that? This is her dispenser of soap next to the faucet, her fruit basket with the connected banana hook, her rack of red and white wine bottles.
This is her wedding ring and those are her children at the table, their laughter like sparklers, bright and clean.
This is her

(dream)
life.
She takes her hands out of the water and goes to wipe them, instinctively, on the front of her skirt. It’s charcoal grey and clingy, the type of pencil skirt she’s always favored. Harleen hesitates, uncertain as to why she would want to ruin the polyester, and goes for the nearby tea towel at the last minute.
She almost rubs her knuckles raw. The fabric feels wrong. The skirt feels

(torn, ripped, six inches short and tight leather)
wrong.
And for a moment, she has the strangest thought; she thinks she’s put on fishnets instead of sheer pantyhose.


--

Nobody talks about how much tattoos hurt. They say it’s like a slow cat-scratch, an annoying vibration, or picking at a sunburn. It turns out they’re dead wrong. It feels exactly like what’s happening: countless needles rapidly stabbing into the skin and dragging. Different spots only heighten or lessen the sensation.
Fortunately, Harley has learned to love pain, so she’s a giggling mess when she gets her Lucky You. The Joker watches the process, shirtless and stretching, pacing back and forth. His metal teeth catch the fluorescent light of the lamp when he grins. He still has his guns in his shoulder holster, the black leather straps cutting across his pale skin. He taps the guns’ muzzles distractedly from time to time, watching his girl, focusing on how her white tank is ripped and pushed up to expose the vulnerable flesh of her stomach.
She’s so much prettier this way, all wild and full of sparks, gasp-laughing as the needle gets closer to her sensitive hip bone. He remembers her in her business blouses and impractical heels. How delicious her surrender had tasted and how unafraid she had been to let the chemicals strip away her everyday façade and reveal her true self.
He gets hard thinking about it, feeling how proud he is of what he’s created.
He steps closer, watching, and yes, it’s almost as good as seeing her convulse from electric shocks. It might be better because here she’s unrestrained. She’s on that table by choice. Exposed by choice. She’s so trusting, his Harley-girl, so sincere in her belief that he won’t interrupt the tattoo session and replace the vibrating gun for one of his knives.
The Joker laughs. It punctuates Harley’s, and she doesn’t have to ask what’s humorous at all.

--

Let it go, child. Let it all go. The Enchantress waves her hands, somehow elegant despite the havoc she is causing. Behind her, a tunneling vortex of light and destruction continues to grow.
Harley doesn’t think she’s stopped staring in a long time. But she isn’t sure if a second has passed or half an hour. She knows her heeled boots are still on the ground, there’s her signature bat hanging from her limp left hand, and Flagg is still on her right.
Why resist?
Why, indeed.

--

She feels an itch under her silk shirt. A similar sensation on her left forearm and little pinpricks of feeling on her thighs.
(one two three diamonds, HA HA HA HA, I’ll Wait Forever, an arrow-shot heart)
It lasts for a second or two before fading. Her husband is in the kitchen now, bringing with him the scent of
(chemicals and clowns)
expensive cologne. He is both familiar and strange. He smiles when he sees her, pressing a kiss to the side of her blonde head in passing. He’s headed for the espresso, dressed for
(murder)
the office.
The sight of him, so handsome, so normal, makes a burst of warmth flower in her chest. It’s strong and surreal; she worries she’s having a heart attack. Surely this is the same sensation – the odd numbness, the sweat, the heat, the breathlessness. Harleen is unaccustomed to the type of joy she’s feeling. It’s enough to drive her mad.
She laughs instead, a bubbling bright sound from her throat, her mouth spreading wide in a smile.
Her husband looks back at her from over his shoulder, catching her eye. He has a curious grin on his face too, full of questioning and bemusement.
It’s absurd. It’s hilarious, ridiculous, over-the-top.
Harleen can’t think of his name.

(J. Kerr, Joe Kerrrrrr, Ha HA ha)
It makes her laugh all the more. She’s roaring with it.

--

“Puddin’,” she says, or maybe she doesn’t. Maybe her mouth just shapes the word.
Something in the Enchantress flickers. She takes a step closer. If possible, her gaze thickens.
At the same time, Harley blinks.
 
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