"I want a baby."
She'd meant to say it loud enough for him to hear but it came out in a raspy whisper only she could hear. Upon shutting her mouth she wondered if the words had even come out at all.
Harley's comment was met only by the soft sound of the Joker's pen scribbling notes, pausing only to tap impatiently on the desk's edge, then continuing in a frenzy of letters and symbols across the page. He was hard at work and Harley had been shunned to the tacky, orange upholstered armchair in the corner to keep out of his way.
Harley strongly considered repeating herself but thought it best to keep quiet. While cold and dark inside this warehouse it was much colder and much darker outside. She was very willing to prevent having to spend the night there.
She peered over her shoulder at Joker who had his eyes in a deadlock with his work.
'Batman...' she thought, picturing him and feeling a pang of rage in her ribcage. 'My Puddin's always so stressed. If Batman weren't always shoving his wings into other people's business maybe Mistah J and I could catch a few z's now and again!'
Harley sighed. What a thought! There were so many flaws to her logic. First off, without Batman villains would flock the streets. There would be no need for such a line of work and her Puddin' would be out of a job. So many issues spawn from just that. No home, no food, no family.
Or even if Batman were gone surely someone else would take his place. He couldn't be the only one out there like him.
And what would happen to herself? A pregnant henchwoman isn't exactly a picture of speed and agility when scaling rooftops and lurking down alleyways. The Joker had told her many times she was deadweight, in which case she would try harder. But if she were pregnant...no. There was no trying harder. There was just bedrest.
But did the Joker even need her? Would he be happy to be rid of her?
The thought raced through her head.
It was the worst case scenario.
He wouldn't have any reason to keep her around.
He might even have less reason to keep her around if Batman were gone. No hero, no villain. No villain, no henchwoman. She honestly always believed he loved her but had it even once escaped his lips.
And a baby! A baby can't throw a punch or aid in a bank robbery. It can't fend for itself.
Harley was at a loss.
Still, the thought of a life WITH the Joker instead of NEXT to him appealed to her more than anything.
Through her hopeful eyes the room around her transformed. The walls were no longer cold steel but average sheet rock painted off-white. The bars on the few windows melted into lavender curtains. Shag carpet spanned the room which slowly inched inward, ceiling, walls, and all, to create a living room. She was no longer in the corner, cast aside, but curled up in the plush cushions of a loveseat gazing into the flickering flames in a stone fireplace. The Joker's desk also evaporated and he was sitting by a window reading the Sports page and sporting not only reading glasses but a pipe.
Harley could see it all, even smell it, taste it. A hickory candle burned in another room. A timer buzzed and her apple dumplings were ready. The tobacco of Mistah J's pipe, the crackling of the flames, the sunlight through the window. Then, the most enticing sound. Small footsteps from the next room.
In waddled a small boy, barely old enough to keep himself upright. He had his right thumb stuck into his mouth and the other grasping a blanket so old and worn it could've easily been unravelled.
Harley stared in longing for that little boy. He had her blonde hair, long and shaggy around his round little head. He wore what seemed to be footy pajamas, purple and green plaid. And he looked back at her with those eyes. Those unbelievable eyes. Gold and green, large and curious, absorbing anything and everything they could.
He made his way toward her, hobbling almost, as the blanket threatened to entangle his feet. Upon reaching her both of his hands, stubby fingers extended as far as they could go, rose high above his head and in the quietest most innocent tone he said, "Mommy."
Harley didn't notice her tears until she realized just how much she wanted to scoop him up and hold him tight against her breast. To hear his heart beat along with hers, to kiss his forehead, to sing him to sleep.
But when Joker's chair slide back it was gone. The sound brought her back to the chilly, lifeless room. Joker was shifting through papers and drawers behind her and she could sense his displeasure from across the room. The content man smoking his pipe and watching in love and admiration at his son and wife was gone.
Then her eyes cast down.
In her arms she held nothing.
No tattered blanket and no little boy.
She felt a small sob escape her throat. Behind her the rustling stopped momentarily before continuing again and finally his footsteps retreated out the door.
Harley knew it could never happen. There was no way. So she looked at her empty palms and cried for the son she could never have.
"I want a baby..." She wailed but no one heard.
Chapter End Notes:
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