you're too young & eager to love
11 August 2016 @ 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.
 
 
you're too young & eager to love
08 August 2016 @ 04:01 pm
 
She’s happy.

She tells herself this, and it isn’t untrue.

She revels in the powdery taste of makeup on her tongue now that she can lick across the Joker’s cheek to gnaw at the sharp angle of his jaw when, bored in bed, she crawls atop of him. Sometimes he’s indulgent, tracing his smooth hands over her back, his cock twitching when she nuzzles her pretty blonde head against his thigh or takes one of his fingers into her mouth and bites. If he’s feeling particularly playful and generous, he makes her come from electric shocks or the vibrations of the tattoo gun. Once, he let her hang silk rope from the ceiling and she had tangled their two bodies together with all the artistry of a trapeze performer. The bindings had kept her thighs open wide and her muscles tight. Every thrust from his narrow hips had sent her slipping and tightening within the silk till she was whining in her long throat and scratching at the tattoos on his chest.

Happiness is the razor sharpness of a knife against her nipple, laughter in her ear and metal teeth on her collarbone. It’s an orgasm so painful that it crests into pleasure and leaves her breathless.

But …

But the Enchantress had shown Harley a glimpse of the future, even if it was a fraudulent one, and Harley can’t help but still think of it even after her prison break. She’d had kids and a husband who wore a suit of charcoal rather than a faux-alligator coat, as purple as the jam she used to suck from her fingers as a child. He smiled more, in the wish her secret heart of hearts had produced, and there was nothing insane or terrifying about it. But her mind, the ravaged organ that the Joker had created, knew better – that was not them. That was rot. Was cavities. Was sickness.

That was a lie, and the Joker didn’t like it when she lied.

So he promises her a chaotic life, a romance, and a tragedy, all wrapped up in a bow as red as cherries. He takes her by her pigtails and bites those promises into her neck, her shoulders, her breasts, her thighs.

It’s enough.

It’s enough for a mad love.



She wants a home. A place to nest. He finds them an abandoned factory in the center of Gotham’s crime life. He has his men refurbish most of it, but they keep the rusting iron railings and a few of the broken glass windows for authenticity’s sake. There’s three levels, all hers to decorate, but the two of them gravitate lower and lower – floor by floor – until they’re down in the belly of the beast, the closest to the devil. They’re both used to basements anyway (they like the windowless space, the way the darkness encroaches on the corners of the room, and the murky cement smell).

She turns the room red, like so many bloody, pumping hearts, and doesn’t mind when he organizes his knives and guns on a rack that takes up the entire left wall. The boys lug in a mattress larger than a king. There’s an electrician sporting a bloody nose and a bruised carpenter that work for an entire day to customize a lifted frame with lights that never stop burning. She has matching fur chairs in the corner. A closet full of high heels. Her mallet and baseball bat mounted on the wall for easy access. There’s even room for her vanity, her powders and creams and long-stemmed brushes haphazardly spread across the top, and his bar - crystal decanters full of acid-colored liquors and half-chipped glasses stacked in offering for greedy hands.

When he comes home from a hard day’s work, he throws his jacket over one of the chairs and accepts the drink Harley inevitable pushes into his hand.

To her credit, this routine lasts for a week before she puts her pouting, wet lips on his ear and tells him she’s bored.

“Boredom, Harley-girl,” he tells her, tapping her nose with one ringed finger, “brings disaffection.” He seems to taste the final word, half-hissing it. “And we can’t have that, can we?”

It takes a few minutes of rustling through some very old boxes, but the Joker comes back triumphant. He holds out a clean lab coat, pristine in its whiteness, and a pair of dark, professional glasses in one hand and twirls a syringe full of milky medicine in the other.

He leers, a little mad with the proposition of reliving their old days, and Harley laughs with excitement.



Part of the solution to appeasing Harley’s insatiable curiosity comes in the Joker’s limitless generosity. He has never, not once, truly denied her anything. He has taken only that which she never needed to begin with and withholds only so that she might learn the joy of savoring. Maybe occasionally her muscles ache and burn or threaten to snap, her mouth splits or her eyes purple with bruises, but then he’ll rub his hard fingers into her skin and drag his mouth over her curves and work away the pain. Open her up and let her see the dark, monstrous, beautiful thing he’s created.

Harley knows. Harley understands. He only hurts her because he sees that she can take it, because in her surrender there is a declaration of loyalty and love, a willingness to please and prove.

But there are things that trigger him, and some of them are trivial to Harley, like the arrival of a new, unwelcomed guest to their family.

As far as he sees it, the squirming, crying, wiggling mass of fur tearing apart the bedsheets is an unsanctioned destructive addition.

The Joker leans like a sharp, gleaming knife in the doorway, watching, and runs his tongue over his glinting teeth. "Harley-Pie," he growls, grabbing and turning the lithe blonde in mid-embrace, the rumble and shape of her name reverberating from his pale chest into her shoulder-blades. "What have I told you about surprises?"

Harley leans back into the dismal warmth of the Joker's hold. She can feel his fingers in her hair, scratch scratch scratching against her scalp, tangling in, rooting for a hold. “You like ‘em?”

He tsks, chides, and something inside of her begins to panic. A low-boil flutter in her stomach. Her fingers curl at her sides and she pushes further into him, her round ass flush with his sweatpants-clad cock, his free hand coming to rest on her left hip, fingers tapping. “No, no, no, no.” Each negative lands a warning shot from those tapping fingers, and she can feel it in her bones. “I love it when the surprise is mine …” He snaps the last word possessively, his jaw clenching, his teeth biting the air by her ear.

She giggles and feels the panic dissolve into something else, something warm and bubbling with toxicity. She feels like an animal, yes, caged by his arms and his hold, but it’s a welcome and wanted captivity. Harley purrs and turns her cheek into his, feeling his breath on her face. “Aw, puddin’, c’mon, ain’t he cute though? You two could cuddle.”

As if on cue, the pup has rolled from the bed, dragging bits of sheet with him to their feet. It has dark feral eyes and a spotted coat, little tufts of hair foreshadowing a small mane down its spine. It’s bristly and mangy and makes a noise like a baby’s cackle when it tries to tear into the Joker’s ankle.

The Joker raises a hairless eyebrow and his mouth splits into a grin. “Why, he sounds like me.” His manic drawl lilts upward.

With mild reluctance, he lets go of Harley’s hair and pats her ass dismissively, bending and picking the pup up by the scruff of its neck. It wiggles, whining in the air, trying to gnaw at his hand.

Harley giggles again, biting her thumb. “I was thinking Lou. He looks like a Lou, don’tcha think, puddin’?

“A Lou for a loon, why not?” He barks his signature laugh. “As long as I get to teach him to kill.”

She smiles wide, showing her teeth, laughing too.

She would never admit it to him out loud, but Harley knows that some triggers are also opportunities and while this isn’t the same as having a son, she figures it’s a start.



Not all of the neighborhood is excited at their domestic bliss. There is some trouble. There are still self-righteous cops who refuse to be on the Joker’s payroll, the Commissioner, and then, of course, there’s the Batman. Gotham’s personal rabid dog, ruining all of the city’s fun.

Harley thinks of his brooding eyes and hard mouth. He had smelled like honor and pain and river water the night he’d taken her in. She remembers his fist the most – the blinding white before the soothing pain and the cloudy darkness.

But the Bats has too many rules and restrictions; he’s easy to avoid, if need be, and even easier to slip from now that their army has grown. Which does not mean that they still don’t have the occasional run-in. Usually it’s because the Joker is itching for a taunt or has sent some present that has ruffled the Dark Knight’s perpetually stiff feathers and lured him out into the moonlight. Harley thinks he’s a bit of a bore, so stern and serious, with no color about him, but she follows her clown king out into the rainy streets and finds the fight.

Mr. J, he doesn’t want to win, not really. He just wants a little chaos. He crashes a car into an upscale restaurant, mostly by accident, after negotiations with a new alliance goes sour. Harley had left the meeting with a bag of diamonds and a bloody bat, so it’s a fine start to the evening; she doesn’t’ mind the thought of more butchery.

The havoc is too loud, too noticeable, and they aren’t surprised when the Bats arrives. It’s what they wanted. The Joker has another car by this time, as though they’re littered on the streets, ready for his taking, and he’s opening the passenger side door for her from the inside when she does a sudden, graceful pirouette to avoid a sharp batarang. She giggles when the Joker slams his fist on the horn in three rapid honks, like a welcoming, and wiggles her fingers at the gloomy, hulking figure in the back of the adjacent alley.

“Howdy, Bats! Didja miss me?” She winks, pops her gum, and puts a hand back on the open car door.

“He’ll only hurt you, Harley Quinn.” The Bats laments in the rain, like a prodigal wise-man.

“You ain’t ever been in love, have you?” She calls back sweetly before ducking into the car.

Later, when his foot is pressing the pedal to the floor and their hands are clasped over the stick shift, she tells the Joker that she feels sorry for the Batman. He must be lonely, she explains, and feels a pout twisting her mouth.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have what they have.



And that’s it, really. She doesn’t need some magical witch-bitch to take what she has and mangle it into a new, more societally-correct picture. The truth of it is simple: the Joker knows her, inside and out, and everyway in-between. He molded her, but she allowed it, wanted it.

He freed her, ripped her from life’s constraints, and she had swan-dived into a chemical vat to embrace it. It was not death the Joker provided but rebirth.

An awakening into a world of beautiful, crazed laughter.

What other domesticity could she desire?