The Only Emperor
Roleplaying Log: The Only Emperor
IC Details

Harley Quinn and the Joker, after many months apart, are reunited.

Other Characters Referenced: Amanda Waller
IC Date: December 08, 2019
IC Location: Belle Reve Penitentiary, Louisiana
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 02 Jan 2020 03:16
Rating & Warnings: PG
Scene Soundtrack: Don't Let Me Down - The Chainsmokers ft. Daya
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Everything was going to hell in a handbasket fast.
And the Joker loved it.

Admittedly, he didn't expect one of the god's-honest Justice League or — Avengers — or Boob Brigade — or whatever they're naming the underpants-outside teams these days to show up and complicate things, but the appearance of the hyperpowered blonde was an unusual delight to a very usual maniac, and so the Joker had to make a few modifications to the plan. For one, he didn't get to blow up Killer Croc. For two, he didn't get to blow up everyone else. For three, he didn't get to put a bullet in Waller's temple and — really, the plan didn't end up with anywhere near as many dead bodies as he'd hoped, really.

He'd intended on ending this little contrivance, and god's honest, it took everything God had to stop him. And really, doesn't that count?

"Come on boys," the Joker howls, producing a Mister J Funtime Doll from a nearby flunkie's hands in the cisterns beneath Belle Reve. "Tomorrow's another day! Let's get going while the asses are still red!" While he was expecting the cacophony of explosions above to confuse the matter, he's never without a little bit of an encore to go with the finale. Ushering a few men heroically into the sluice behind him (more like haphazardly push,) the Joker absently shoots whoever's not fast enough to ask 'how high' when he says 'jump.' "Now," the Joker remarks, the smouldering revolver trailing smoke in his hands. "…that I have everyone's attention," he continues. "It's time for the after-credits scene."

"…bring her to me."

Somewhere along the line, Harleen Quinzel lost track of what was actually happening around her. She heard her paramour's voice through the loud speaker and everything else bent around it.

There was the fear of being blown up, of course, what with Amanda Waller having her deadly set of buttons. Buttons of the like that Harley had never really been able to find a good way to work into the conversation with the Joker, the way things had been.

And then there was the whole part of the operation where she's fairly certain her vision was obscured by fat baby cupids (or was that just a fat guard sailing through the air?) and fluffy clouds (perhaps the debris of a wall that had sent said fat guard sailing) and rainbows (the leftover of whatever sedative they'd pumped her full of, perchance, as her body burned it off).

She's dusty and her appearance is desperately unattended after the few months that she's been locked away and left mostly alone. But she's still her. And when the young once-psychiatrist in her once-brilliant orange jumpsuit is found, she follows with a childlike obedience, a giggle in her throat, and a lightness in her step that nothing can steal from her.

Because He came.

For her.

Everything that stands between point A and point B - the remnant of the guard that Waller is trying unsuccessfully to rally, mostly - are just the details.

It was definitely just a fat guard.

Of course, if Quinzel still were to have him on the shrink's couch, she would have posited the theory that the bombast and destruction was not really at all a kind of rescue, no matter how richly he tried to paint it as such. (He didn't, really, not at all.) She may have come to the conclusion that taking one of his people — no matter how poorly treated — may have been more an attack on his sense of self than anything else. That his response was predictable, overwrought, and inevitable, insofar as he attempts to reassert the value of his id as he comes to terms with potential loss. Potentially, then, compensating for something in his youth…

Pish posh, the Joker may have replied.
He's got several places he'd like to reassert for that bitch Waller. :)

It took ever long for him to track down the exact place. After all, a place that secrets away maniacs for a government black-bag squad is definitely not the sort of establishment that they list on Airbnb. But the wriggling black bag that's hobbled past him into the cistern was all worth it. The Joker watches the boys — most with a bloody nose at the least — hustle. There's only a third as many now, really. The cost isn't really the sort of thing that the Joker would normally consider. But the Batman will take notice of this, even something that falls outside of his precious Gotham.

And everyone else will know exactly what it means to cross the Clown Prince of Crime.

The boys hustle her through the connections deep in the sewers. The Joker didn't want this one to get bungled by air strikes or whichever costumed marauder is in charge of Louisiana. Captain Bucktooth? Hero Hick? Shotgun Sam? How does this even work outside Gotham? Is there a craigslist? Even so, the guards are not making it easy, what with their machine guns and their orders to shoot-to-kill and the like. But that's what this is for: A magnum redecorates the interior of one guard, the staccato crack of the ground electric as it goes off no further than a few feet from Harley, giving her escorts barely enough room to breathe as they almost hurl her into the sewer access. And then the bullet's owner comes into view.

Yes, me. With a gun in my hand and a 'missed you' balloon in the other. Wait. The inflating doll is thrown past Harley, and it might just be holding a STOP sign, not a Valentine. Though admittedly, the two do rhyme. Even so. The Joker is still dressed to the nines, wearing his Belle Reve jump uniform and headshot-proof helmet crisply. It's really the custom harlequin red-and-black carnation that makes it. He grins. His balloon is latching onto someone in the background, filling the exit. There is the audible sound of balloon rubber squeaking wildly. And suffocation. The balloon probably explodes at some point. That's the gag. But the squeaking is really kind of loud. It also smells awful in here, being next to the sewer. If the sound doesn't drown out what the Joker says next, the smell just might.

"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world," the clown extols. "—care to walk into mine?" 8)

What comes next is likely little surprise: there is screaming as Harley punctuated by a piteous “Hey! No! Owwwwwwwww~’” as she is shoved into the sewer and lands smack on her backside. The end may be coming. There are bullets in play. She rubs her aching heiny as she twists to lay low against the filthy, freezing cold cement floor.

But then He’s there.

He’s right there.

Her screeching turns to shrieking and laughter. Giddy, shrill, gleeful, adoring. Surely the Beatles in the height of the ecstatic mania that gripped the nation would understand the downright lovesick reverence in the note and pitch. "Puddin'!"

Whatever came before and still is—the stench of sewage, the feel of the dust that cakes her hair and partially restores her deadly pale, the guard being suffocated by a bunch of vinyl—all finds a way to wind up forgotten and deemed utterly inconsequential when stood next to the glowing temple built of her adoration. It glows in her chest and charges her smile to a megawatt shine as she surges up and forward the rest of the way to meet the Joker where he waits. At the very last few paces, she jumps instead of running and moves to throw her slender arms (and the rest of herself, really) around him. She clings in the way of her well-worn romance novel covers, plastering herself to the sharp line of him despite the disparity of height, the colors of her own forced uniform blending with the ones he donned by choice.

For her.

“Any night of the week,” she promises with all due dedication, rededication, her voice low and thick with bubbling over emotion. Of course, this is just before she drags him towards her—no room in her grip for protest—and tilts her head to duck under the brim of his helmet so she might seize his lips with her desperate own.

Bullets go streaking by as the diminutive and fey thing is shoved through the gate, only moments before an inflating Joker Balloon corks the portal with comedic results. There are sounds, there, on the other side, of automatic weapons fire, and a muted shrapnel explosion. Somewhat less than hindered, the balloon continues to expand, as a gloved hand paws from it, scraping blindly for the open air.

The Joker almost forgot to glance her way, if we're being truthful. She is such a muddled, normal thing on the ground, scattered through the filth and ruined like a wedding dress on the first night. It would be easy, the cruelest mind presupposes, to leave her. And for a moment, it would be. It isn't about anything but the torrid wrench of something lost in the moment, a single shining thread of the performance that would leave everyone's jaws to drop. Imagine, if you will, Waller's consternation if he were to put the bullet between her lips himself. That no one — and that means absolutely no one — will touch what's his but him. If he can't kill Waller, and he can't kill her Squad… wouldn't it be just the image of it all? Wouldn't that teach everyone. Wouldn't that just make them laugh?

His whiplash grin tells a sane person everything they need to know.

His mind only changes the moment she throws herself into him. There is a scent that madness has, a gravity to the twisted thing that makes it too easy to fall into line. Her attention is fierce, her squeal temporarily reaching a fever that he meets. She grips great fistfuls of his uniform, crushing the flower between them as her softer lines sling constrictor-like along his scarecrow frame. Her kiss is aching, desperate, wanting, her whole self pressing into him. The Joker's green eyes open, they roll into the back of his head for a moment, lost somewhere between euphoria, psychosis, and vicious annoyance.

And then something in him breaks.

His free hand slips under her, his other arm and wrist wrapping around her neck, tightly enough that she can feel the lurid heat radiating from the freshly-fired revolver that is still tightly in his hand. He paints her with the blood that is still on his hands, the blood that is still on his clothes, his face. And he returns to her everything she gives. There is the slightest pain in how tightly he holds her to him, a ratchet tension that tells her exactly how far she is allowed to stray, exactly what he'll do if anything else comes between them. He chases the frenetic crush of her taste and her lips with his, as if he were trying to crumple everything of her down to a single grape-flavored sensation. The heat of his and hers is enough to simply dislodge his helmet entirely. It is a maddeningly imprecise thing, the helmet hanging awkwardly to the side, dangling for dear life by the chin strap.

The squealing of the guard behind her is loud, obnoxious. Not all of it originates from the expansion of the rubber doll. Every so often it cracks loudly, in something that is almost assuredly bone breaking. The mortar in the brick of the archway shifts, cracking visibly as the balloon expands. It's supposed to explode, right? Which one did he have Larson pick up? Was that Larson? Maybe it was Louis. Maybe it's the one that does both. Either way, after about another minute or two of this, the guard isn't complaining anymore, at least. Which gives them one twisting moment.

He kisses her until the blood-red on his lips is hers. The heat of his breath is hers. He takes - all of that energy. And more.

The Joker never stops. "I hear Thursdays is half-off calamari at that quaint little place you can't stand," he remarks naughtily.

Everything Harley has, she gives to him at the simple, wordless urging of the way he kisses her back. The wordless confirmation of the holes she has tunneled into his heart like a worm for herself to hide in. She twists herself into one of her holes, and she’s home.

He leaves her breathless after a last contented sigh empties her lungs.

“Jes’ take me home and I promise ta make up that Waldorf salad ya like,” replies she, more to the point, as she stays wrapped around him. He needn’t fear something coming betwixt them; she leaves no room for it. “Little extra nutty and all the lime jell-o and whipped cream ya could want.”

She bites her lower lip as the world threatens to crack apart around them. As Waller in her den of denial still scrambles to reclaim order from bedlam and her power from the shambles in the Joker’s wake.

If one has a choice when faced with an unknown motivation, Quinzel once asked a patient, to choose between two realities… Why choose anything less than the one that makes you happy?

She doesn’t know that he considers leaving her. Doesn’t know how he considers the way abandoning her—ending her—would do more to enrage Waller. She instead only sees a man who came for her when everyone else abandoned her to the pit of Amanda Waller’s cruelty. Endless questions with no answers. The solitude. The blind eyes.

And so Harley chooses to love and believe in him all the more for it.

“I knew ya’d come fer me,” she murmurs quietly against the curve of his jaw as she refinds the command of her lungs and breathes him in as though she’d nearly forgotten his scent and his scent was life. Every part of him intoxicates, as she in return lavishes praise and love upon him. “They said ya wouldn’t, but I knew.

The helmet dangles there, slipping down around the Joker's neck until it is duly dispensed with in their nest of orange and tan, a wanton click with what precious few fingers are not engaged with gunmetal or madness leaving the strap to bounce the awkward thing into the muck. Normally, the Joker wouldn't be caught dead in this kind of tawdry place, the sort of place that sullies his wingtips and fouls a man's sense of aesthetics.

She drives him to it, he could suppose.

There's nothing, of course. That much he would say, the sort of thing that led him to think of a replacement, time and time again. She just doesn't get it, he'd tell himself. But then he thinks of the comedia dell'arte ending. And the feeling it stirs in him buys the columbina minutes of his time.

Only mildly discomfited by the prospects of the night's end, the Joker breathes in the space between them, his eyes wide and distant, his whip grin dancing with the possibility. She doesn't think anything at all of his invitation. "And here I thought you'd like to stretch your legs a bit," he says deliberately, never once moved to breathlessness. He laughs, lightly, the stretched sound fey in his naturally mild harshness. "You don't know what's it's been like out there."

"More and more mad every day…" His fingertips, hand heavy with the weight of the gun, slip through her, combing through her crooked self, her hair and her dull flax, minding her as suits him to do in the moment. "But then," he supposes, "There really only is one emperor."

She would, he supposes, make a beautiful corpse.
And she is so fine when she doesn't know any better.

"Whatever the lady wants," he decides, his eyes rolling to his man with the keys.

That's the joke.

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