A Return to Hell
by Melissa Minners
Disclaimer and Other Information: It should be noted that all of the characters and many of the locales in this fan fiction are not mine. They are owned by The WB. This fan fiction is somewhat of an homage to the series, though I have used a little liberty here with events. The story takes place some time after No Kill Policy, so if you haven't read that particular fanfic, I suggest you do before reading this one. Warning: Parts of this fanfic may be graphic at times. Reader's discretion is advised. I hope you enjoy.
It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.
The blonde shook her head and slumped to the floor, having grown tired of pacing her circular cell. She lay her head in her hands, a frustrated groan escaping her lips. Leaning back against the plexi-glass of her cylindrical cell, she realized how ironic it all was. She didn’t have to remove her hands from her eyes to be able to see her surroundings. She’d been here a hundred times before. This was her playground. This was Arkham. The non-descript rooms with cylindrical plexi-glass cells in the center, housing the worst of New Gotham’s criminal minds, was the workplace of Dr. Harleen Quinzel, and the candy store of Harley Quinn.
Sighing, Harley Quinn leaned her head back and stared at the ceiling. How many times had she been here before as Dr. Quinzel, pretending to help, when actually she was really there to pick their minds. To use their knowledge to further the agenda of Harley Quinn – to take over New Gotham and present if to her one true love, the Joker. Harley Quinn had first met the green-haired object of her affection here at Arkham. Then, he had just been one of her cases – she had been plain, simple Dr. Harleen Quinzel back then. A few sessions with the man changed all that. He had a way of making Harleen see things in a new light, making the things he’d done – the crimes he’d committed – seem credible. Over time, she realized she was falling in love with her patient – a realization that both terrified and excited her to no end. She also realized that she was changing as well – her outlook on life had fallen into step with that of the Joker.
Not understanding how the world could lock up a man as brilliant as her Mr. J, Dr. Quinzel decided that she would be the one to change their minds. But she knew that appealing to the board members at Arkham would be a fruitless endeavor. She would have to break Mr. J out of Arkham and that would take some serious planning. That planning took over 5 years – Dr. Quinzel wanted everything to be perfect for Mr. J upon his return to New Gotham. To that end, she created an alter ego for herself – one that she would go by when dealing with the criminal underground of New Gotham. All that dealt with her in this fashion would know her as Harley Quinn, a tribute to the Joker – harlequin dolls had the same features she had fallen in love with. The white face, the impish look, the twinkle in the eyes – it’s what made her want to please him, take revenge on his rivals and present him with a New Gotham that he could call his own.
And seven years after his incarceration, Harley Quinn had almost achieved that goal. And it all fell into place quite by accident. She’d run into an old schoolmate, Wade Worther, now Wade Brixton, and they had discussed his revenge scheme at length. She’d given him as much assistance as she could in the beginning and sent him off to complete his task. Meanwhile, Dr. Quinzel had been appointed a new patient, one that needed help with anger management – a Helena Kyle. Imagine her surprise and utter glee at discovering that not only had Barbara Gordon been her guardian, but that she was the daughter of Bruce Wayne – AKA: Batman! And later…to discover that she was also Barbara’s protégé – Huntress, a superhero in her own right.
When Wade’s plan failed and he managed to get himself killed, Harley decided she needed an edge. Something to put her on equal footing with the meta-human powers of Huntress. And so she approached a scientist who had been working on the theory of meta-human transference – a theory that had always intrigued her. Dr. Romenic worked wonders in the short time she had given him. He was able to transfer a meta-human’s hypnotic powers to herself, making her persuasive nature even harder to resist.
Armed with her new abilities, she decided that all she had to do now was get her biggest enemies out of her way. What better way to do that than to turn Helena and Barbara against each other. She had tried to do so on her own – had employed all her special charms and enjoyed doing so. And sometimes, her non-meta tactics worked wonders. Like when she got Helena to reveal the name of Barbara’s new beau. That was a priceless bit of information. And once she had the meta-human powers, she was able to turn Helena completely against Barbara. It was a special delight for Harley to get Helena to betray Barbara by giving her the plans to the Clocktower. And even more of a joy once she discovered that Barbara’s new beau was there when she arrived. She took a special amount of pleasure killing him.
Harley would have loved to see the look on Barbara’s face when she told her that Helena had betrayed her. She would have killed to see Barbara’s reaction to discovering that Harley had not only taken over the Clocktower, but had kissed her new love, Jason, before driving a knife into his heart. Harley chuckled at the memory of Barbara’s voice on the phone, so sure of herself, so certain of Helena’s innocence, until Harley told her about Jason. She had known she had hurt Barbara then – gotten her right down to her core.
Somehow, she never believed that her plan could have failed. She found a way to wire the Clocktower to a local satellite and send her hypnotic suggestions to all of New Gotham, driving the entire city mad. Harley had planned to spring the Joker from Arkham and then rule New Gotham by his side. But she hadn’t counted on Oracle finding a way to counteract her powers – hadn’t counted on being betrayed by her most prize possession, Helena Kyle. It had all gone downhill from there, Oracle and her friends regaining control of the Clocktower with Huntress’ help. Harley had actually welcomed the death promised in Barbara Gordon’s eyes that night. It would have been better than the hell of realizing she had failed Mr. J, or of Mr. J finding out how miserably she had failed him.
Harley banged the back of her head against the plexi-glass cell in anger. But Helena had betrayed her there as well – stopping Barbara just before she committed to the act. Had Barbara killed Harley, it would have driven her over the edge – Harley was certain of that. To kill someone, no matter how much the enemy was despised – that was a big no-no in the superhero handbook. Someone like Barbara Gordon wouldn’t have been able to live with that. But Helena had spoiled everything!! Harley pounded her fist on the cell floor.
Somehow, some way, Helena Kyle was going to pay for what she had done! They were all gonna pay for what they’ve done to me and my Mr. J!
To make matters worse, the hypnotic meta-human powers she had attained were only temporary. They were gone in a matter of days. She could no longer control the will of mortal man with one look. And now that she was locked away in this cell, she could no longer practice her powers of suggestion on her unsuspecting clients either.
A man entered the room which housed Harley Quinn’s cell. To the average observer, he was nobody – a cleaner dressed in blue sent to tidy up the room. But as Harley stared at the mole-like features of the slightly stooped cleaner, she realized she knew this man. A twinkle returned to Harley’s eyes as she realized that for the first time in a year, things were starting to turn around for her.
* * *
“I can’t believe you just did that!” Dinah shouted, laughing, as she ran out of the front entrance of New Gotham High School, tugging her friend along with her.
“Well, she was hot!” Gabby giggled. “C’mon, admit it. Even you think she’s hot.”
Gabby looked at her friend expectantly, eyebrows raised, a mischievous gleam in her eyes. She elbowed Dinah and wagged her eyebrows, causing Dinah to burst into peals of laughter.
“Okay, okay!” Dinah yelled, between gasping for air. “But did you have to…”
“Of course I did,” Gabby interrupted. “How else was she gonna know I was interested? I’m having enough trouble getting dates as it is with you hanging around.”
Dinah’s eyes narrowed.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked.
Gabby stared at Dinah, hands on her hips. “Are you kidding me? I’m openly gay. You and I hang out all the time. People just assume…”
“But I’m straight!” Dinah interrupted. “I’m going out with Matt Kendall for Pete’s sake!”
“Doesn’t keep people from assuming your also with me,” Gabby explained. Gabby laughed at Dinah’s shocked expression. Gabby looped an arm through Dinah’s and started walking down the block. “Don’t worry about it. Who cares what they think?! Me, on the other hand – that’s who you should be worrying about. If I don’t get any play soon, you’re gonna have to start living up to your new reputation.”
Dinah stopped dead in her tracks and turned to look at her friend. Gabby had a serious look on her face for a moment. Then she winked and wagged her brows again and the two blondes erupted into fits of laughter.
* * *
She watched as the two giggling teenagers walked down the block and turned at the corner. She’d watched the whole scene between them, had been watching them for some time now. She was never worried about being seen, safely viewing from behind the darkly tinted windows of her Firebird. She smiled at the mirth between the two girls – they were obviously close friends. She remembered a time when she had felt that close to someone – when she had shared such heartfelt laughter. That had been long ago and since then, the laughs had been far and few between; mirth had been a fleeting emotion. It seemed that recently, all she had known was pain and loss. Tears filled her eyes as the girls passed out of sight. She started the Firebird and pulled away from the curb, leaving New Gotham High School behind in a cloud of dust.