The clowns had left the establishment, Joker not really offering up any say or idea about what he had done in his return to that shoddy and down ridden apartment complex. The ride had been uneventful, no cops, no Batman, just a long stretch through the narrows back towards the harbor side of Gotham to off load their goods and secret the transportation into one of the numerous warehouse doors. Hopping out and into the stone surface of the once lively sublet of a former docking and shipping foundry, he'd follow his one motto of not laying his hat down in one spot for too long. Already the man was moving his base of operation from one run down piss hole to another, with a guy off hauling the bags of drugs and money that Harley had used as a front for the real reason they were there. Most anyone with half a thought Joker didn't do small time jobs like that, nor anything quite as low key. Luckily Joker kept with the half thought mentality in his hired help, case in point as they wandered pass Humpty sitting at the table having poured his intrest into some sort of mechanical device. Getting one of the goons to pass off the money for counting and the drugs for sorting, he'd move to walk up to had once been the foreman's office. The man assumed Harley was behind him in tow as he'd strip off his jacket and allow it to fall from his form expecting her to catch it. Into the dimly lit room the couple would stroll, a cot and desk along with numerous cabinets and a giant glass window that had been given a woman's touch with drapes for privacy. Already the man was walking towards the dusty and possibly splintering wooden desk, neck being wrung to loosen his tie and allow himself a less constricting form of comfort. He hadn't said nary a phrase save for one word answers the entire time, and was now regarding the tattered green stretch of fabric across the desk. A exhausting sigh coming from him and allowing the man to give his shoulders a slumping, bleary blink of charcoal smeared eyes before he'd turn and lean into that edge, gloved hands propped upon to slouch against as he'd give her an almost bitter look as she'd do her thing about their lair of sorts.
No words had been spoken between the pair when he returned, she feared he was mad at her and she might have been right. She cursed herself for not doing what needed to be done, and that was to of course the kill the woman. She would have shot her, she would have, but the knife, being handed the knife was too hard for the little doll. She made orders to the men, soft ones, careful not to raise much of a notice from Joker, he was in a bad mode and it didn't take a genius to figure that one out. She moved forward, following behind him, she bent down to pick up his trench coat, hanging it up somewhere where he could find it. Then she'd continue with her rountine, removing her battle attire, she didn't care if she did so in front of him. Boots came off first dropping her a considerable amount of inches. Leather pants, stuck to her hot and sweaty skin, leaving her in flimsy panties, she'd remove the corset next --- that body soft, yet toned. Curvy of course. She was just a tiny version of a pin up. And of course it was scarred, not as badly as his of course, but a puckered, risen and smooth about of skin remained on her stomach. The old gunshot wound, a constant reminder to her, that she was a survivor and she was not to feel remorse. But of course, what had happened earlier? Pulling her pigtails from the ribbons in her hair she'd allow it to drop and hide her face. Hanging up her attire, she'd disappear into the bathroom. Running the water, she'd fresh up and then exit the bathroom dressed in her normal 'out of battle' warb. Black dress shirt, that was of course barely buttoned and a pair of panties. She noticed he was still leering at her, and that's when she had done what no one had done to him since before the killing, she spoke to him. "Puddin, I'm sorry for not killing the woman...it's just, I've never used a knife before."
His movements didn't change once while she moved about, the man now having for the most part become immune to the sight of her stripping and disrobing at this point of their lives. Not to say the woman was detestable to him, far from it, it was just now the excitement he got from her was just the thought of sex more than the sight of it. Besides, his mind was too wrapped up in other details, that while she pulled piece after piece of clothing off of herself, it was if she was reading a book. He heard the sounds of water and the slow slip of steam that rose forth, before the entrance of the squeaky clean pixie and the notice of his mood. He didn't budge when she said something to him, and Joker didn't think he was in a lousy mood persay. More befuddled, or perhaps exasperated. Whatever the case, he was sure of one thing in particular, and that was that he wanted this past week's trip down memory lane to be good and done now. And as far as he could tell, with the final body left a sopping mess, he'd had done his vengeful deed to a T and was now capable of moving on past that. Finding his voice, he'd appear to look disintrested as he spoke to her but watched the smudged and dirty window's activity at the work floor below. "I don't care that she lived or died Harley. I got what I was looking for there, and more even. The world's a... funny place. Who knows what'll crawl out from under the over turned rock."
Her face was still showing trace amounts of make up on it, it was one of those rare days that she didn't have her own set of supplies, she had to use some of his, so the cakey like grease paint was stubborn in it's removal, her eyes still showing a faint hint of sobbing tears that ran down her face. "Well if it's not dat, then you're being awful quiet for some reason." She hadn't cared that he was not looking at her, she would simply make herself noticed by him. Coming around his back, she'd lean into him and pushed her semi-clean face against his throat, her body drapping over him. Protective and blanket like, she'd listen to his words, but seemed more engulfed in the purr and rumble of his voice as he spoke and allowed it to rattle through his rib cage. A hand came out to stroke at his chest, she was obviously looking for some kind of sign that he was not upset with her for softness. "Whatta mean, you found more?" She whispered to him, her lips faintly moving against his neck as she spoke to him. Content to take her place as that second skin on the Joker.
The second skin at times was nerve wrecking, but this was not one of those times. He almost seemed to give into her coming upon him and writhing about like some sort of pet snake, that man poised to allow her to have a contact closer than anyone else had ever been allowed in a very, very, long time. Stringy green hair was left all but coiled and tamed back, allowing her free reign at that skin that past the white mask of a clown of nightmares. His tongue would dare to sneak out at his cracked lips, and he'd give her an answer. "I found answers, I can stop penciling options A and C, and realize that B was write. No more.. multiple choice. But I guess sometimes answers aren't always the ones you like the best. Maybe I'm cracking up-- more." He attempt to adjust his gaze onto her, which was more difficult with the spider monkey nature of a preening and approval seeking Harley. His hand would move to detach her and allow himself again that breathing room he sought. The desk was moved to and he would reach into his vest jacket, unpinning his signature knife and settling it upon it before reaching around his back to untuck the gun and quickly unload it before clip and empty weapon were placed next. "Get the knife out of my ankle sleeve for me Harley." If she desired a symbiotic closeness, he'd atleast get her to help him unarm, now searching through his deep pockets.
Her second skin rountine was also how the little baby doll would get to the root of his problems, or simply just be there to comfort the man who seemed to need it. She'd push her lips up against the back of his neck, kissing and cooing him, well her hand continued the calming strokes over him. Listening to him, she'd move herself closer to him and when he questioned his own sanity, she was quick, she moved to him, sharing the chair he was sitting on, her knee going to rest against it as she curved her body to look at him. "Don't say things like that, ya aint." She leaned forward as if she would dare to kiss those scarred lips, hands moving up to touch his head, but of course that action was cut short by his request. Nodding slowly, she'd lean down, allowing her body to press against his, using him to balance, and moving with all the skill of a former lap dancer, she'd grasp the handle of his knife and pull it out. Carefully, she'd return to her position no longer using him for a balance, she chose to exercise her olypmic prowless.
His hand fell upon the knife's handle and moved to settle it down across the table and in some sort of obsessive compulsive order that played out only in his head. Now allowing himself to recline a bit in the chair, his hand moved into the vest and withdrew the final object. The small cracked yellow frame, that cheap plastic illusion to springtime, and the small smiling infant within it's borders. It was if he had a momentary lapse of sanity, followed by a squint, and he'd discard it on the table as well before regarding Harley and talking to her still in the tone of a man whom was almost trying to hide their conversation from the outside world. Joker always had a way of conversing with her in the most intimate of fashions, something the had perfected in his heyday in Arkham with her. "If it makes you feel better Harley, I didn't kill her either." No sort of further indulging in the photo, instead Joker acted as if it had been just another armament, a tool of his for maiming and the like. Of course psychotic thrill killing terrorists didn't really tote around pictures of infants either.
She felt herself lose control when she saw the picture frame on the table, the woman almost toppled over him and fell to the floor but she managed to catch herself. All she could stare at was the frame and the picture of the infant in the picture frame. She had assumed the woman in the apartment was pregnant, it never crossed her mind that she had been. Harley's hesitation from the killing, came from the idea of leaving a child oprhaned. Or even killing the child. And well there was a sense of comfort to know that Joker did not kill the child, there was that question, "What did you do to her?" she whispered to the mad man, the terror was raising in her throat as she made a harsh whisper to him. Those eyes barely making contact with him, she tried to focus in on the child, trying to find the woman in the apartment in her, and the man who was there with her in the babe. "Did you just leave her there?"
He said nothing at first, he could feel the sudden shock of what Harley had realized settling on her now. The man kept himself composed however, his own sharp reatures tightening as he'd meld his lips together to reveal a stoic and ugly red frown, brows shifting upward to attempt to right whatever thought was bubbling through his head then. He was thinking now, as if the events of a mere hour ago were becoming some sort of fog while his hand pressed to his head and he continued to wrap his thoughts around just what he had done. Then the lids narrowed, and he'd begin to recite what had happened with a dour tone in his voice, the past bubbling up with liquid resentment. "Of course I left her there. Years ago, the state in it's wisdom had taken her child from her, unfit parent they said. Her honesty was.. surprising.. considering what she's become. And of course, you came in, and you took her finances, and her medicine. It's a shame you didn't leave something to help her cope, selfish little thing, taking things from her. But I suppose I was the worst of all.. after all I came in and took her husband from her." That clown would allow his head to slump forward and his hand moved to grace along her jaw line when she turned back to him and added the last part in as though it was a realization of his own. "Twice." He looked away, and rose to his full height to depart his seat. Those thumbs slipped into the straps of his suspenders, unwinding them down from his body and allowing his arms to stretch outward. The bombshell he had just dropped on Harley was dull to him, a bit of knowledge that meaned little to him. "So why not leave her there.. she's got nothing left after all."
She breathed in deeply realizing that the two clowns where talking about two different people, Harley was speaking of the child, and Joker was taking of the woman. She listened, almost as if he was painting a picture fo her. She'd been staring at him, almost if he was going to reveal he'd done one of those unforgivable things in Harley's mind, not he had not. Now she breathed, the state had takend the child from a drug addled mother, but wait, was Shane the father? Then Joker continued, what she had become, and she'd taken ordered the men to take the money and the drugs, she'd sell them or destroy them. She couldn't decide. She almost giggled at the man when he called her a selfish little thing. Leaning into his touch, she listened to the man drop the bombshell on her, twice. The realization hit her like a ton of bricks, "You were her husband, before Shane, that was your wife, Jack's wife. And that means the baby...was, yours...that's your daughter." she had spoke without thinking, and that might have been Harley's biggest mistake ever, but she could no longer contain the thoughts in her head, she spoke every single thought that ran through her mind. She began to stand, backing up against the table with all the weapons, just in case.
He turned to her, listening to her deductions as though she was giving him insights he himself wasn't aware of. When she spelled out everything that was happening, he'd stare a hole in her and notice her soft retreat from him. Was it his kid? He wasn't even entirely sure himself, but that man was advancing on her now, knowing the gun was unloaded and she was about as good with a knife as Humpty was with stairs. The man was on her now, backing her away and finding his voice and angry rasp that indicated he was upset with the prospect of what was being deduced more than she was. "Jack? Jack!?" He kept her in close quarters, cutting off any potential for her to avoid being within striking range if he flew off the handle. That poor little doll was as much his comfort toy as his pillow to scream in when he was angry. Snatching up the photo, it was placed close enough to Harley that one of those baby blues could only take in it's stained and dated imagery. "JACK!?" Her head was grabbed, scooping her skull in the back of his spidery fingers, while he started cackling now and laughing. "You stupid, dumb, girl. All this killing.. it's not been for me. It's been for you. It's always been about you." And he'd throw the picture away, a meaningless momento of times he'd never cared about in the first place, and drew up that knife she had cast away. Holding it by it's handle, brandished fiercly, he'd reintroduce her to a familiar setting. Him with that crazy look, her under duress. Wicked smile coursed his features as he'd whisper now in a loving tone, still fringed with psychosis. "Say it with me Harley. Pat's dead. Mick's dead. Shane's dead. Jack's dead."
She grasped for one of his blades as he dared to move toward it, but it felt akward in her hand and her grip was light on the blade, it was dropped quickly when she managed to slice the air near him and cut herself in the progress. She'd shriek once, and then again when he grabbed her. His favorite little punching bag was now in striking distance, being grabbed, she did something uncharacteristic for Harley, she fought with him, her bleeding palm would touch against his skin, and clothing leaving her blood all over him yet again. She moved her head as to not look at the child, if it was his, she could have seen it, and that that fucking bitch, his wife, the first one would have had something that Harley would never have. "If all this killing was for me, then you would have killed her. You would have killed her in front of me laughing." She growled, her own dementia just as bad as Joker's when it came to somethings. "You would have killed her, so she died screaming. How is all this killing for me?!" Was she scared? Yes, did she care about what he was saying, yes, but she did the best at hiding it. His loving tone rang in her ears, and she said it, "Pat's dead. Mick's dead. Shane's dead and Jack's dead."
He'd listen to her words hungrily, still more excited by all of this at the sudden gnashing of teeth by Harley than anything else. He was caught up now in the smear of her blood and the tightness that he had her in now. Listening to her try to bargain for a understanding, he'd keep his cool despite gritted teeth. Feeding into all those dead and dying souls, he'd keep that thick grin warping on his face and replying as he'd occasionally readjust his grip so as to prevent her from breaking free of his grasp. Those sharp features tightened into a scowl as he spoke to her. "How is this all for you? I made you watch each of them die for a reason. They were all loose ends, ties to past I never cared to care about until you decided to you wanted to get *serious*. So how fair is it to pull you kicking and screaming away from what you were, if I didn't show you I'm just as willing to burn it all down. Harley.. they're all dead to prove to you that you've got my undivided attention. It's never gonna matter what we were.." He was holding that wrist out, the clumsy wound leaking fluid. His free hand was moving to tear at her dress shirt and begin to force a binding on it, before a quick tie to stop the bleeding, a unintentional metaphor for his spiel. Closer, quieter, a much more intense verbal pattern to show he was being sincere as possible. "I needed.. to prove to you.. about my sincerity. Pardon me if I work things out with brutal irrational murder."
She listened, and allowed him to speak, he was right, she had been 'dragged' from her old life kicking and screaming, she was the one who wanted a commitment from him. She wanted to be his wife, she wanted the ring, she wanted the wedding, she wanted the symbolism of it all. She fought with him when she thought about his actions in the last week and how, "and yet you let the one who really mattered to me live." , she growled at him ignoring the gesture of him binding her hand, she'd care later much later. "I protected her from you, but really she needed to be protected from me. Joker, I've spent my entire life with you being everything she wasn't. Tell me that I'm not like her." And she had, she'd been the one who didn't beg him not to leave, didn't stop him from doing what it was that he loved, oh no, she'd been the one who followed blindly into his mad caps. She'd been the one painting her face just like us, not caring about scars, throwing herself into fights with the Batman, killing and getting hurt. And what did the original do? Nothing, got knocked up, hunged on drugs and managed to get her kid taken away. Her rage, well it was still there, she was able to look down and see that her hand been bound, muttering she'd add, "Thank you."
There was few things he could properly convey, it was clear Joker had a alien concept to actually explaining emotions and feelings. This was always apparent from the way he approached trying to help her comprehend exactly what had been transpiring what was occuring with all these things. Her thank you got one final tug to tighten that hand to a unnecessary tightness. His breathing was heavy and angry, though the momentary rage no longer seemed to be directed at her. That intensity didn't let up, his on words crawling up from his throat with an uneasiness. "I'm not the one who wanted her dead. That was you, and I gave you the chance." There was a sudden blasphemous smile on his face now as he'd come to realize something, his words hinting at child like teasing. "You're afraid of her. Or jealous." A spiteful laugh came from him now, unable to help how amused he was at this situation. "Go ahead Harley, be jealous of a ghost. You can keep chasing the white picket fence I never promised you long ago. Such a silly little thing you are, you know what the big difference is between you and her?" He was mounting to subdue any more struggling at her attempts to wrestle free from his mean antics, teeth shown as he'd continue to grin. "You can keep up.. and she never could. So no Harley, my dear, you're not like her. Not by a mile." There was a agonizing pause as he'd speak with that sardonic and teasing tone again, as he leaked one last little surprise on the poor frazzled co-clown. "After all.. you're still breathing." The liars smile.
She was still choosing to look at her hand instead of him, she listened to him talk, and she'd pout. Mumbling to herself about "if ya knew who I dated before you, ya wouldn't be so forgiving them to d'em." was she jealous, well she used to be very jealous of the wife, she used to hate the wife, she got what she wanted, she got the wedding, she got the "you may now kiss the bride", she got the ring and the dress. But then all of a sudden it dawned her, her understanding of Joker before, he became Joker was this, he was not a rich man, oh no, he was a powerful man. Harley got a wedding, he stole it for her, he got her a much prettier ring then the wife did, she got the kiss in the middle of a gun fight. And then he told her what she longed to hear, she could keep up, she was everything the wife couldn't be, she was murderer, she was a professional get away car driver, she was loyal, she was his back up. "I used to be..." she said holding up the hand that was bound, and the hand that had her giant rock and wedding band on it. Smiling, she looked up finally. He told her that she was still breathing, and with him that close to her, she reacted the only Harley could when it came to killing and Joker, and of course the killing being his wife. She'd lean forward as her lips, full and pouty pushed up against Joker's, he killed her? He would be rewarded, she'd make sure of it.