|abettercriminal (abettercriminal) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2012-09-30 03:20:00
As soon as the motion sensors went off in the apartment, the clown’s phone received an alert. The blips and beeps sounded like a bell ringing from the front pocket of his suit jacket, and when he flipped it open the screen glowed blue light over his face in the darkness of the van’s back seat. The Joker’s upper lip curled, canines flashing, and he thumped one gloved fist against the steel frame of the vehicle on the driver’s side.
“Turn it around,” he growled. “Back to the apartment.”
That Blondie was in big trouble was evident to the clown’s goons. They had all lived in terror since the moment when her keepers had returned, empty-handed, with no idea how Harley and the babydoll had given them the slip. Those two hadn’t lasted long, and the first unlucky man that Joker spotted had been charged with the unpleasant task of cleaning up their... remains. ‘Bodies’ would have been far too generous a word for their state, and the clown hadn’t even cared about the bloodstains on his expensive purple suit. He had a few spares laying around, and he could always have another made.
That baby, however - she was damn near priceless, a neater leash and collar than Harley would ever have agreed to wear on her own. It had all been perfect, and then that little green weed had shot it all to hell. Instinct made him want to stamp her out as soon as he could, but for now he focused his efforts on finding Harley. Her nosy girlfriend could wait for her punishment.
The front door of the apartment slammed open beneath his bootheel and the crash echoed through the hallway. Pausing to listen, the clown could hear a faint growling coming from the bedroom, and underneath - a pathetic sound, a mewling that brought a sneer to his face. Three long strides and then he was lunging through the door to the bedroom where they’d played at happy family, and he grabbed the blonde woman by the throat and threw her up against the nearest wall. One of the hyenas snapped at his leg and he kicked out hard until he heard a yelp, never taking his eyes off her tear-streaked face.
“What happened, Blondie?” His voice dripped with sarcasm, eyebrows bunching up underneath the white makeup to form an angry line across his brow. “I thought you were supposed to be a good mommy, huh? Turns out you’re just a selfish bitch like all the rest. Tossed her aside the first chance you could, did you?”
Harley heard the door open, but it wasn’t enough to get her out of bed. Not even the forceful entrance the Joker made or the yapping of her hyenas was enough to get her to react. His grabbing her by the throat had her moving because she had to, but she didn’t react. She knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she deserved this. It was her fault that Belladonna was gone, her fault that Bailey had flown the coop, and her fault that she hadn’t been able to control the idiot she was currently in. If he killed her, well...she couldn’t blame him. She hadn’t listened. She’d made a mistake and if she died for it, then so be it.
But...did he honestly think she hadn’t cared? Her red, watery eyes went wide as she quickly tried to find her words. “No, no, I didn’t toss!” Harley wanted to make that clear. “I thought...I didn’t think she’d take her. I thought she understood! Please, Mister J, you gotta believe me, please,” she begged. Her hands wrapped around his wrist but she didn’t try to pull him off of her. She only tried to get him to listen. “I’m sorry, so so sorry, please. I just wanted to be happy. All of us. Bella-” But she shook her head as best she could. “I want her back, Mister J.”
The Joker noted with no small amount of pleasure that the girlie didn’t even try to fight back. The hostile young woman he’d first found in Gotham, the one who shot him, was all gone. Dried up, whisked off and replaced with Mommy Extraordinaire - and now she was gone, too. All that was left was this pathetic little husk of a girl, reduced to tears and begging.
“Lies,” he mumbled through red-painted lips, running his tongue over the scarred insides of his cheeks. He leered at her for a moment, tightening his grip on her throat just enough so that her toes lifted off the ground. “If you wanted us to be happy, a real family, you never woulda run off to your freaky little redhead. You knew that I was only keeping you two under supervision to keep you safe, and you deliberately disobeyed me!” His voice rose in a harsh crescendo and then abruptly broke off. He relaxed his hold on her neck and lowered her unceremoniously back to the floor. A blank expression slid into place over his features and he leaned in close, breath hot and dry against her flushed skin.
“The little pup’s far away by now. Your girlfriend took her away and we aren’t ever getting her back. Why would she do that, if she really cared about you? Why wouldn’t she understand that you did everything you could to be a good mom? Up until you betrayed me. When you betrayed Bella, by taking her where she wasn’t safe.”
“No!” She wasn’t lying and he needed to know that. He needed to believe her. Harley reached out, moving her hand from his wrist to his cheek, uncaring about the scars that she felt beneath her fingers. They were a part of him, a part of what made him who he was, and a part of why she loved him. “No,” she repeated, much softer when he relaxed his grip. Her hand flew to his shoulder as she wobbled and tried to find her footing, leaning back against the wall for support. “Mister J, I swear, I didn’t think she’d do anything. I thought we’d be safe with her too. I thought...” but Harley didn’t have the strength to continue that line of argument. “I was wrong,” she admitted softly, looking up at him with big blue eyes, sad as the sky on a cloudy day. “I made a mistake, I’m sorry, Mister J. So sorry.”
Harley clung to him, wrapping both of her arms around his neck and held on tightly. There was a small part of her that wanted to defend Ivy, to insist that the woman had a reason for what she did, but then she remembered that Ivy had taken Belladonna and she didn’t want to say a kind word about the redhead. Her gaze hardened and she found her footing, more surely than she had before. “She’ll answer for what she did. She will. But Mister J, we were doing so well,” Harley pleaded, loosening her grip on him enough to look him in the face, for him to see that she was serious. “We can be a family. Bella, she proved that.” She chewed on her lower lip for a few minutes before asking, “You love me, doncha Mister J?”
Despite himself, the clown flinched underneath her touch when she reached out and brushed her fingers over his scars. With so few nerve endings left intact he could hardly feel it, but still he jerked away, gloved hands releasing his hold on Harley without ceremony. Don’t touch, the hiss rose up in his throat but didn’t quite make it past his lips, as he bit down on his tongue hard enough to draw blood and clear his head. The sharp taste of copper settled his tight-strung nerves and pushed away the sensation of a swallowed knife, dull and dangerous in his mouth.
“We all make mistakes, Miss Q,” he growled softly, taking a step back into the shadows and simultaneously pulling out of her desperate grasp. “But you made an awfully big boo-boo. I don’t know how you expect me to ever forgive you,” he said, giving a twist of his tongue that actually feigned some sort of wistfulness. He turned away as if he needed a minute to collect himself, although it mostly served to disguise the grotesque smile that flashed daggers through the darkness.
“It’s gonna take a lot of work, girlie. How do I trust you, huh? How can I be sure you won’t turn your back on our family ever again?”
Harley didn’t care about the scars, so when he flinched, she looked at him with a hurt kind of surprise in her blue eyes. She wasn’t like the rest of them. He didn’t need to hide anything from her, or be ashamed, or angry. That he jerked away so roughly was hurtful and she inhaled sharply, a slight wibble on her lips that she tried to stifle. He slipped into the shadows, growling in a way that was simultaneously arousing and terrifying. The Joker held an immense amount of power over her and it was all too easy to get her to slip into that submissive, obsessive creature that would literally do anything for him. She moved to follow him, taking a step forward, but then he made it seem like he wasn’t going to forgive her.
Sure, she’d made a mistake. She’d trusted Ivy and she was unbelievably hurt by that betrayal, but she was more devastated by the idea that the Joker couldn’t - or wouldn’t - forgive her. Harley stopped moving forward and gave it honest thought. How could he trust her? How could he make sure that she wouldn’t risk it again? Well, if it was my own baby- she thought, and that was her little ‘Ah Ha’ moment. They could have a baby themselves. It would make their family even better, even stronger. Surprisingly, she wasn’t even thinking about the fact that it would require them to have sex. She just wanted a baby with him and the sex was just a bonus.
“Have one with me. We can have our own baby, go through all of it. Together.” She held herself tall, her back straight, her shoulders squared, and her voice was clear as a bell. Babies brought people together. That much, Belladonna had proved. Their own child, with parts of both of them, could only bring them together even more. “I want a baby, and I want one with you. Those five weeks were perfect and I want it back. I want it back so much that I’ll wait nine months for another little one.” Harley wasn’t thinking about the kind of issues a child born to the two of them might have. All she cared about was having a child with him. That would prove that he could trust her.
The Joker found it all a bit sickening. The simpering girl was staring at him with stars in her eyes, as if he could do no wrong, as if his hands painted the stars in the night sky and brought the sun out of hiding in the morning. As if he was her god. It had worked out even more perfectly than he’d dared to hope, with Harley practically prostrating herself at his feet and begging for his forgiveness. With a sharp buzz of pleasure, the clown fixed his disapproving grimace into place and remained turned away, as if he couldn’t bear to look at her. Ivy might as well have just handed over the key to the doll’s obedience, he mused to himself - it would have saved her the trouble of drugging her new-mama girlfriend and dumping her through the door.
It was satisfying, yes, but there was a disconnect. The Joker felt the heated emotions that radiated off Harley’s skin and poured from her mouth, but they hardly registered as more than blips in the roiling blackness that sat behind his eyes. He was glad that she was no more than putty in his hands, but at the same time he was conscious of the emotions that he was supposed to project back if he was to keep manipulating her to his every whim. His instincts made him want to cackle in the night and grin his horrific grin, all teeth and claws and animalistic sounds that threatened to rise from his throat. It was far more difficult to play at sincerity, but that was what the little doll required if she was going to stay curled up in his lap like a good little pet. Sickening.
“I might be willing to consider it,” he said after a loaded pause, voice low and coarse like gravel underfoot. “But not while that little weed-bitch is hanging around.” Here he whirled on the heel of one scuffed leather boot, careening back into Harley’s personal space between breaths. His eyes flashed wild and bright from within the black paint smeared on his face, and his leather gloves creaked as he made his hands into fists and waved them in staccato bursts of emphasis.
“She doesn’t deserve to keep breathing after what she did to our daughter, huh? Am I right? What do you think is going to stop her from coming after you once she finds out you’ve got your hands on another one? You think she’s going to respect you enough to let you have a baby? Not on your life, girlie - and certainly not on mine.”
There were so many moving pieces to the puzzle, but Harley couldn’t - wouldn’t - see them. How could she? Seeing the pieces would mean admitting to knowing that she was being manipulated and the whole point was to willfully ignore it. She knew what Ivy thought of her, what she’d think again if it ever came out what she’d just offered the Joker. Herself, on a silver platter. Ivy would never forgive. If she knew. Harley honestly wondered if she could hide something like this, and for how long. Ivy would find out, that much was inevitable. She wouldn’t be able to hide a baby once it was born and she sure as hell wouldn’t be able to hide the pregnancy once she started to show too much. Plus, was it even possible for her to get pregnant? What about the boy she had on the other side? Did that matter?
There were so many questions, but she knew the one he wanted an answer to. She also knew what it would mean and she didn’t want to agree with him. Ivy had betrayed her. Couldn’t she handle it on her own? But he can’t trust you, came Ivy’s voice, sounding all too pleased about that. Harley frowned, trying to work through her options and trying to do it quickly enough that he didn’t register her hesitation for what it was. “It won’t be just another one, Mister J. It’ll be mine. She was mad that Bella had been taken away from her birth mother.” Harley knew full well that it also had to do with him, but she couldn’t say that.
“Just forget about Ivy. She’s not worth it. This, it’s for us. It’s not for her.” She took a step forward then, making the distance between them even smaller. The sincerity and determination in her voice was just as obvious in her tone as it was on her face. Harley reached out for him again, taking his hand if he let her. “Do you care about me? Do you want me?” She needed that reassurance, that there was potential there for him to fall in love with her. Things were perfect with Bella. They were perfect with Bella. She just wanted that back. Her big blue eyes were trained on his face, watching for any sign that he did want her.
This time, the clown was ready. When she reached out and took his hand in her small one, he did not flinch. He did not pull away. He stilled under her touch when he fingers brushed the bare skin between his gloves and the hem of his purple sleeve. This was the crucial moment, Harley’s tipping point: would she fall at his feet in ecstatic adulation, or would she continue to sneak around behind his back and spill their secrets to her little bitch companion? He had to play his cards right - and the Joker took his card games very seriously. Now was the time to pull aces out of his sleeves and come out on top, if he was ever going to win her over.
Allowing some of the harsh lines to vanish from his features, he turned his hand over and gently closed his fingers around hers, deliberately rubbing over the backs of her knuckles with his thumb. He slipped into a reserved and earnest expression (it had taken a lot of practice in the bathroom mirror, but he thought he’d mastered it), meeting Harley’s solemn gaze from beneath half-lowered lids and licking over his lips as he needed time to prepare his words. It was all an art form, a master at work with his very own easel and painting right over a poor, naive girl’s eyes. At least it was for her own good, he reminded himself. She would be better off with him, for however long she proved useful.
“I told you the first time we met, Miss Q. I don’t want, I need. You think I’m anything without you? Without our family?” He put so much feigned emotion behind his words that it physically pained him, but he subdued the grimace with a smile that he knew she would interpret as vulnerable. Lonely.
“I just need to know that you love me. That you trust me to take care of us, okay? Because I can’t let her get away with this. You know that as well as I do. She hurt our family, and now she needs a little talking-to.”
Harley smiled encouragingly when he took her hand. This was so much better than earlier. Now he helped initiate it, touching her intimately and innocently all at once. She loved it. She loved him. Every nuance of his face was searched for any hint of malice or deception, but she chose to believe that he honestly needed her. “Oh, Mister J,” she cooed, tugging her hand free to wrap both of her arms around his neck as she pressed her body flush against his. Oh yes, he needed her. He needed her and a little baby, and she would give him everything he needed.
“I love you, of course I love you,” she insisted, her fingertips playing with the curls of his green-blonde hair. Harley understood completely that Ivy needed to know that their family was off limits. “You do what you gotta do, Puddin’. She’s gotta know she can’t do the same thing to our new baby. And we gotta get to makin’ a little one. We could get started now,” she continued, positively bouncing on the balls of her feet. She didn’t care that he’d just had his hand around her neck earlier. She didn’t care that she honestly didn’t want to see Ivy hurt. The redhead could handle herself and Joker was right. She needed to know that their baby would be off limits. Harley wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.
“I definitely think we should get started right now.” Harley grinned and that was really his only warning before she kissed him, lips parted, tongue searching to deepen the kiss to show him just how much she really did love him.
With each moment that passed, the Joker had an easier time pulling and tugging his fake emotions into place and holding Harley close in his orbit. His instinctual urges to shove her away were overpowered by his acquired fondness for wielding authority over her, and the satisfaction he got when she followed him around like a lost puppy. With a stomach roiling in revulsion and a head packed thick with heady desire, he pasted a smile on his lips and made himself look pleased with her evident delight.
He’d been about to tell her that she should hold her horses, the words forming in his salty mouth, when she caught him off guard with a passionate kiss. He should have known it was inevitable, what with the sappy doe-eyed look she’d been wearing for the last few minutes, but his eyes were still open when she was diving at him wholeheartedly and it was nevertheless a bit of a shock. Still, he kept a cool head - and even managed to be receptive to the assaulting nature of her kiss, painted lips parting in acquiescence to her searching, questioning tongue. This wasn’t proving so difficult after all - he was only human, despite any accusations otherwise, and he had loved a woman before. Long ago, in a far away life, he had felt passion. Desire. God forbid, he’d felt love once.
And so it was with renewed fervor that he placed one hand on the back of Harley’s head, gloved fingers twisting in her blonde hair and tugging her mouth away from his just long enough for him to draw a breath and utter a few sparse, breathless words.
“Ivy first. Then you’re all mine.”