I MADE IT TO 25K!!!!!  I can't believe it.  How about another excerpt in celebration?  (Warning: blatant ripping from Mad Love. XD)


Bleary-eyed, Harleen stumbled into her office the next morning. She'd been out pretty late with Paul last night... he might be kinda boring on his own, but if you point him in the right direction, he could actually be pretty fun. She flipped on the light in her office and groaned as the brightness assaulted her eyes.

She dropped her briefcase onto the floor next to her desk, then flopped down in her chair with a grunt. She was so out of it, it took her a moment to notice the flower on her desk. Her brow furrowed. It was a beautiful, single long stemmed rose, dark red, perched in a small glass vase. It was very beautiful indeed. She giggled, surely it must be from Paul. She noticed the small note attached to the stem. Gingerly, she pulled it off of the flower, turning it over to read it.

"Can't wait to see you again. -Mr. J"

Harleen stared blankly at the note. Mr... J? She gasped, standing up. Mr... Joker? What other Mr. J's did she know? It had to be him.

He... he gave her a rose.

She giggled a little as a slight flush creeped onto her cheeks. She felt the tingle of those butterflies in her stomach again. She set down the note and picked up the rose instead, closing her eyes as she inhaled it's rich scent.

He gave her a rose!

She was so filled with giddiness that it took her a second to fully understand the repercussions of what she was looking at. He... had been in her office. He'd been out of his cell. She glanced around her office suddenly, as if expecting to see him standing there in the corner. Shouldn't she tell security about this?

The answer was yes, she should... but even as she was thinking it, she knew she wouldn't. What would they do about it, anyway? He's already on the highest security Arkham has to offer, she rationalized to herself.

Dr. Leland's words echoed in her mind, "Don't let him play you for a fool."

Harleen's expression soured, her quixotic mood from a moment ago fading fast. She looked down at the rose in her hand. Part of her vaguely wondered if he somehow knew that red was her favorite color. She sighed, carefully placing the rose back in it's vase. Determinedly, she picked up his note and marched out of her office.

A moment later, she was standing in front of the Joker's cell. He was reclined on his bunk, reading a large and dusty book. She cleared her throat, and he glanced at her over the spine of the tome, raising an eyebrow at her.

She held up the note. "Is this from you?"

He lowered the book slightly, a grin forming on his face. "Why, yes... yes it is."

"And just how did it manage to get there?" she said, looking stern.

"I put it there, of course," he said with a sly expression.

"And don't you think that the guards would be interested to know that you've been wandering around here at night?"

"Doctor..." he said slowly, putting down his book and walking the short distance across his cell, standing in front of her on the other side of the glass, "We both know that if you were going to tell anyone, you would have done it by now." He still had that sly smile on his face, and his eyes gleamed.

She looked up at him, standing only inches away from her. He was a lot taller than he looked like he should be. Harleen felt as though he surely must be able to hear her heart beat through the glass, it was beating so hard against her chest. She steeled her expression, though. She wasn't going to give in to his charms.


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