"Sharon, we got all the police officers taken care of. Go get Dr. Shapprin and give these files to Maddy."
Sharon shakily held the files and left the patient room quickly, following her boss's orders. Tonight was catastrophic. A surprise appearance from The Joker, Commissioner Gordon's squad, and another police squad crashed through the hospital like a trio of tornados two hours ago.
Sharon wasn't on the third floor where all the action was at the time, but when you hear that many screams coming from your patients, you know who they're screaming about. No one else can make people in this city scream in terror so much. It was Joker. He was in her hospital. God knows why, but he was here.
Death follows everyone in this city like a plague. Death and fear. She was so sick of it, she didn't even bother to read the newspaper or turn on her television at her apartment to see the daily death toll every night.
Within minutes her whole evening had changed. Sharon wasn't afraid to admit that she was unnerved by the chaos so suddenly thrown upon the already stressed hospital. She slipped the papers on the reception desk and timidly snuck into one of the supply closets.
Sharon closed the door after making sure no one was around to see her in this pitiful state. She listened to her shaky breaths as she slid to the floor in the corner and let the stressed tears pour out.
She wanted to hide in the silent dark closet forever, with no one to judge her or pressure her or scream for her help. She just wanted silence and peace.
Why didn't I leave this city the first chance I had? When Joker first threatened the city, why didn't I leave? This city was nothing but hell now, growing greedier, filthier, and more dangerous every day.
The closet door suddenly burst open with a slam as it hit the inside wall. Sharon immediately leaped up to a stand, about ready to apologize to a co-worker, but her voice vanished with her ability to think clearly when she stared right into the deep shadowed black eyes of The Joker himself.
It was him. His scarred mouth was covered by the tall zipped-up neckline of his gray coat. Fresh white face-paint was smudged on his forehead, overshadowed by his short brimmed hat with strands of green hair hanging own by his ears.
"Why hellooooo..." He purred as he slowly closed the closet door behind him and switched on the light. "Remember me?" He unzipped his coat, revealing a scarred grin with more emboldening red face-paint.
She stared at him with horror. The clown prince of crime, barley three feet away from her in the small space, speaking to her in his bloodcurdling voice. Sharon's own measly voice had died completely despite her desperate attempts to regain it and scream for help.
"You don't remember, how disappointing." Joker put one arm up on a shelf, spreading himself out and increasing the space he was taking up in the room to intimidate her. He raised a pointed finger at her and cocked his head. "You're the nurse in the elevator with the dead kid. Bullet wounds remember? I asked you about them."
She remembered, quivering. The man in the elevator. Sharon actually talked to The Joker in an elevator, like two normal people. How could she have been so stupid!?! She could have been killed, all alone in that elevator with him!!!
Joker chewed slightly on his scars and raised his head so the light above them shone down on his white face a little more. "You spoke to me then. Can't you speak to me... oh maybe NOW?"
Sharon finally blinked with the slight raise of his voice and looked away from him, gasping a little. "...S-sorry." A daunting feeling of knowledge consumed her. She was going to die tonight. She knew it.
"That's better. At least you have manners." He mumbled, his eyes flickering up and down her figure. "Look, uh..." He shifted his position, edging slightly closer to her unnoticeably. "...I don't really have a lot of time... and uh, I'm hoping to get this little inconvenient errand out of the way quickly. Sooo, IF ya don't mind..." Joker leaned in closer to her as she turned away, a new set of fearful tears bubbling up in her brown eyes.
"Jennifer Hansen... is mine. My girl. Harley, you see, Harley Quinn." He explained, ignoring the nurse's newly stretched eyes in disbelief. "She's not here anymore, obviously, but she wants some more morphine and... everything else... medical that I don't care about."
Sharon still gaped at him in shock like a mentally disabled little kid. Maybe she wasn't going to be much help after all. With her gaze glued to his haunting face, Joker snuck his hand behind him to finger a gun in his pocket.
"Nursey? Are you listening?" He highlighted a warning tone in his voice.
She blinked again and shook her head slowly. "S-slap me..." Sharon requested dazedly.
He gave her a confused look, but didn't need to be told twice. He let go of the gun and swung his hand around to slap her hard across the face.
She only stumbled one step and caught herself against the shelves of medical supplies. Recovering from the stinging, she found her mind was able to think a little clearer now. "Jennifer, she's Harley..." Sharon whispered to herself. "She's Harley. She's hurt. And you're helping her."
"Hey now, Nursey, I'm just getting the supplies. Don't go thinking I care about the little rat!" He sneered. "Like I said; I want to get this over with quickly and the happier I am, the less painful of a death you'll have!"
Sharon nodded, still fearful but having enough curiosity to help him. Jennifer, the girl who was shot twice and went into multiple life-saving surgeries in the past couple of days, was Harley Quinn. Sharon looked up at the medical supplies on the shelves, thinking.
"Can I meet you outside? I... I'll get everything she needs." Sharon whispered, knowing that sneaking the supplies outside to him would be easier than getting them all right here, with other patients and doctors around.
And she didn't want her body to be found in a supply closet. She wanted to die in an old alleyway where no one would find her for days.
Joker laughed. "You're going to run, Nursey. I'm not stupid!"
"No I won't. No one can run from you, you've made that clear to the whole city by now." She whispered with bitterness, knowing he would take that as a complement and not get angry at her.
Joker smirked, staring at her shyly turned away face. She wouldn't run. She wouldn't tell anyone. This nurse had no doubt in her mind that she would die tonight after she helped him, but it looked like she already had faced and accepted that fact.
"Alright. I'll wait near the blue and green dumpsters for two minutes. If you don't show up by then, I'll hunt you down. Sound good?" He suggested, knowing he was running out of time. Harley would wake up in a lot of pain soon, back at the furniture warehouse where he left her.
Sharon nodded shakily with a couple of new tears dripping out of the corner of her eyes. "Yeah..." She kept her gaze to the floor as Joker breathed a laugh and stepped out of the room quietly.
Her whole body throbbed tenser and harder with each second. Harley grimaced and squirmed with the pain as she tried to slip back into the less-painful stillness of sleep. She couldn't escape the hurting and it was starting to grow overwhelming. Sweat beaded on her skin and her fists clenched into the bed sheets she was laying on.
Harley didn't know where she was, and she didn't know where Joker was, but her trust in him allowed most of her worries to be calmed. She couldn't stand up or wander around looking for him, and she felt in her gut that doing so would be pointless anyway.
Her ankle was wrapped up and feeling better than before, so she knew Joker didn't abandon her. Well, he didn't completely abandon her. She knew that there was nothing to do right now other than wait for him, or wait for death. Either way, the pain would eventually leave and she would feel better.
Where ever you are, Joker, please, for god sake hurry!
Sharon checked Jennifer's medical charts in her hand. Well, Hartley Quinn's charts, she supposed, since 'Jennifer' was her disguise name. The nurse still couldn't believe how cleverly the clown duo had slipped into the hospital earlier that night.
The rusty old car Joker leaned on had the trunk opened, along with the backseat doors. Sharon glanced back and forth from her papers to the boxes and bags of medicine in the car. Morphine, Stitching equipment, IV bags...
Joker kept his eyes on her the whole time. She seemed to have no fear of him, but only an ordinary person would think her to be stupid. She wasn't stupid, she was smart. She accepted the fact that he would kill her once she was done, maybe even right when she took her eyes off of that chart.
It seemed as if part of her was already dead to begin with. Seeing the bloody wounds and traumatized people that Joker terrorized day in and day out where she worked had dulled her value of life.
Death could even be what she was looking forward to. An escape from his crushing grip on Gotham, a release from the pain she witnessed every day.
"Alright, that's everything. These are her medical charts. They say what she needs and how much of it." The nurse handed the clipboard to him, shakily taking her hand away once he had a hold of it.
Joker didn't even glance at the papers. He tossed them in the car on top of the supplies and closed the backseat door with a loud slam, making the nurse flinch from the noise.
She kept her gaze away as he stared at her. She waited for him to whip out his knife, or a gun, or any other type of weapon. Maybe he'd just strangle her with his bare hands. Her mind wandered, thinking of worse, slower deaths he could deliver.
Joker kicked a rock away from the car, walking slowly behind her. Sharon closed her eyes. "Make it quick... please." She whispered, wanting this hellacious night to be over and done with.
Joker stepped closer to her from behind, chillingly brushing her light brown hair over one shoulder. "Nursey..." He started to ask. "How long will all of that junk last, exactly?"
"Five days or so." Her voice quivered as she fought the instinctual urge to move away from him. He brushed one last curled strand behind her ear and moved in front of her. Sharon still kept her eyes closed, afraid of the sudden pain of his knife stabbing into her gut.
"Five days isn't that long. I can wait until then." He stated plainly, catching her name printed on her name tag before turning back to his car. Sharon Atkin.
She confusedly opened her eyes as his car door opened. "Wait? For what...?" She lifted her hand to her hair, needing personal proof that she was still alive.
"To kill you, my dear Sharon." He flashed his teeth in a smile as he stepped in the car and left her, alive, in the back alley way of the hospital.
Harley jumped a bit when the bed curtain whisked open, but she burst into a grin as Joker leaned over her and dropped some boxes on the other side of the bed. "Good Morn-ing." He mumbled, climbing on the bed with her.
She sighed, hiding a grimace of pain. "For a second I thought you left me." Harley smiled and shifted her position so she was a bit closer to him.
"I did." He nodded truthfully as he lifted her shirt up. Harley closed her eyes, not wanting to see more of her own blood. She clenched her jaw shut as he pulled out some stitching equipment from one of the boxes and calmly went to work on her wound.
Harley spoke to distract herself. "Where'd you go?" Joker didn't answer her. She opened her eyes and took a closer look at the boxes he brought. "Joker, where did you get those?"
"The hospital." He told her, as if he did nothing but run to the grocery store. He focused on stitching her up gently, ordering himself not to overdo it, since he loved sewing up skin just as much as slicing it open.
"You went back?!" Harley whined, giving him an angrily shocked look.
"Yeahhh." He grabbed a pure white towel out of the box and cleaned her up. "What?" He glanced up at her emotionally hurt face. "I couldn't just let you..." He sighed, then found a roll of bandaging tape. "...die, Harl."
Harley spared him the argument of all the dangerous things that could have happened to him at the hospital. Joker held out his hand to pull her up into a sitting position, and she took it with a whimper of pain.
Once she was sitting upright, he wasted no time in wrapping the bandage around her middle. She used his shoulders for support as she told herself to stop worrying about him all of the time. He wasn't her two-year old son, or clueless little brother. He was The Joker.
"The only one you should be worrying about is yourself." Joker finished with the bandage and laid her back down. She told herself the same thing in her brain at the same time.
Harley grimaced again with the movement. The new pressure around her stomach made the pain pulse stronger, but she knew it was helping her wound heal in the long run.
"And I have a present for you..." Joker murmured as he pulled a second box closer to him and dug around inside it. "Aha!" He whipped out an IV bag, already filled with a very familiar liquid. "Morphine, Harls!"
Harley giggled. "Yay." She went along with his cheerful mood. He held the bag up and inserted the needle into her arm, watching her face tighten with the sting and then relax with the pain reliever drug. "Oh, thank god." She sighed, for once in her life glad to have the medication.
"You're welcome." Joker chuckled, making her burst out laughing. Harley closed her eyes and felt the pain disappear slowly as the morphine spread throughout her veins. She was so grateful and so relieved. "I love you, Joker."
"I know." He rested his hand on her stomach and watched her peacefully fall asleep again. She was worth everything he went through for the past few days. She was his girl, his harlequin, his anchor in the thrashing ocean.
The henchmen were his too, but not in the same way. They were his to use and then discard. They were nothing but playing cards. Harley wasn't a playing card. She was his to use and to keep, eager to be used again another day. Besides, if you discard everything you have, you eventually get nothing at all.
She was the one card he would never get rid of, but also the one that would get used and worn down the most.
Joker held the IV bag up with one hand, so gravity could drain the morphine down. He leaned over her and kissed her forehead before whispering four quiet words in her ear.