Laughing at Second Chances
Title: Laughing at Second Chances (1/?)
Author: Ed Scott
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... none of
who are me.
Summary: Harley is getting a second chance after the Tim Drake arc in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
Warning: Crossovers: All things Batman, except the Adam West show and Superfriends.
Pairing: X/Harley Quinn
Rating: PG 13
Feedback, It's the coin of the realm.
She felt terrible. She had thrown up five times today due to her guilt. How could she have done that to Tim Drake? Why couldn’t her Puddin’ just give her a child? It was impossible for her to sleep. She kept hearing his screams of pain and she never comforted him. If she wanted to be his mother, shouldn’t she have done that? This wasn’t the first time she wished she were dead.
But she couldn’t die. She was being given a second chance. To make amends. To earn redemption. To clear her soul of the darkness that consumed it.
Harley Quinn, the Maid of Mayhem, the Clown Princess of Crime, was dying, after falling hundreds of feet. She saw darkness, and went to sleep. Welcoming death that awaited her. She awoke in a white room, then a guy in a bad pimp suit joined her.
“Mr. J? Puddin’? Are you there? Where am I?”
“You’re in Purgatory, Toots. Your Mr. J is currently getting a bath in Hellfire. You see, the kid you kidnapped shot him. By the time he returns, you won’t be enthralled to him anymore. We’re not here to talk about the Joker. We’re here to talk about you, Harleene Quinzel, PhD.”
“Yes, you. You are being offered a second chance at life. To help someone who needs a friend right now.”
Harley whines, “I don’t want a friend. I want my Mr. J.”
“Forget him, Toots. Your only other choice is to spend eternity here. With nothing to do, and no one to talk to. It is very important that you become friends with the guy that needs new friendship. He is starting to feel neglected by his friends. They are going to college and he is not. He could help you as much as you help him.”
Harley sarcastically asked, “You want me to marry the guy or give him a tumble in the sheets?”
“That is entirely up to you. But, he has had the one night stand and it did not work out. The girl he was with went psycho on him and his friends. She would have fit in with you and your newly deceased boyfriend. If a man of evil didn’t get to her first. He needs a friend, someone who will listen to him and encourage him. Not treat him like a non-entity. That story of the Joker’s of where he said he was raised in a bad household, was all a lie. This guy lived in a bad household. His father beat on him and his mother. The beatings got so bad, his mother took to drinking with her husband. The boy just took it.”
“I’m crying here.” Harley did not believe him. Whistler knew this, and showed her Xander’s childhood. What she saw broke through to her psychologist’s teachings. She could not figure out how a boy raised in such an environment could turn out the way he did. Her rational mind knew why he lied to Buffy. She fell for the forbidden romance, until he turned to evil. She was glad seeing the evil that Angelus did, but was repulsed at the thought of enjoying such misery. It was all very confusing to her.
“Why am I confused? I like seeing what that vampire did, but I’m also sickened by it. Why?”
“While you are here, your mind is clear. It allows those here to figure out what they want to do. Consider it going through years of therapy and coming out sane after one session. You will return back to the way you were if you decide to return. But there is one condition. You have to stay out of Gotham for five years. That should be enough time for Batman to stop looking for you. So, do you want to go back and be friends with Xander? Or do you want to stay here?”
Theatrically, Harley thought about it. “Let’s see. Going back to earth, or stuck here for eternity. Decisions. Decisions. Ok, I’ll go. He looks like a nice guy. I can bag him, no problem.”
“It’s done then. For the time being, use the name Haley Quatermaine. As long as you don’t put on that clown costume again, you should not have any problems. However, you will have to stay at LA Memorial Hospital for a week, because you were in an auto accident. When you go back, you will be very sore. Use the time to reflect on your life with the Joker. You should be released within two weeks. Just walk through that door and you will start your new life.”
Harley walked through a door of blinding light. Considering where she was, it was very bright. As she came to the door, she collapsed. When she woke up, she found herself laying on a hospital bed hooked up to every possible machine. She removed the mask and hit the nurse’s button that she found by her left hand. The nurse was surprised to see her awake. She went to get a doctor. Harley thought about what just happened, saw the trash can and proceeded to empty her stomach. The guilt of what she did to Tim Drake hit her as strong as Superman would.
This was going to be a long stay. She found a little satisfaction in that if she were healthy, she could leave the room on her own and not be in a straitjacket. She was going to enjoy the new freedom she had and not do anything to mess it up. This time.