Chapter 6: The Assignment

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I didn't sleep much that night, my mind plagued with questions I couldn't answer. Why was the Joker was protecting me? Why would he care to come to my graduation? He was the mob boss that Selena had told Ivy and I about, though we hadn't known him by name at the time. He had supposedly just come into Gotham, but I knew that if he was at my graduation seven months ago, then he had been in Gotham far longer than anyone thought. Perhaps he was always here... I felt nauseous from the whole ordeal, and I started thinking that maybe the legacy that Jerome and Jeremiah had left somehow included me. That would explain why their leader was so fascinated by me, as I was the queen of crime in their eyes. The title was foreign but I wasn't opposed to it. I had been the wife of the most notorious criminal in Gotham, it would only make sense that I would be remembered as such... But that was all over now. Lilith Olsen died along with her husband that fateful night. Now I had no place in that world other than to treat those coming out of it. It was a dangerous maze, my mind was. The more I thought of my husband, the darkness within me would gain strength and feed poisonous lies to my head. You're a fake. You are a criminal. I shook my head, willing these voices to go away. I battled my mind all night, closing my eyes tightly as I was afraid the voices might materialize. In my turmoil, I somehow managed to fall asleep. I woke two hours later to my alarm clock and I sighed. I was used to not sleeping much due to my night terrors, but this was an all time low for me. I threw my hair into a pony tail and put on my glasses before throwing on a dress shirt and pencil skirt. I found bruises and scratches on my skin, put there my my attackers the night before. I stepped into my black heels which I had forced myself to attach work memories to in order to cloud the memories of Jeremiah they evoked. I finally looked in the mirror to find a dark bruise on my chin from when I was punched and I covered it with makeup to my best ability. I was thankful that Ivy and Selena didn't bring up my unlikely admirer at breakfast, but we were all thinking about it. It was the elephant in the room, my guardian angel that had turned out to be a deranged murderer. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised, as I had unintentionally attracted one before. While the whole situation made me sick, I decided that I would rather go to work than stay home and be subjected to my thoughts. Therefore I went to Arkham, and I noticed that the lockdown had lifted, presumably because The Joker was put in jail so there was no longer a threat. I entered the building, swiping my card to start my shift and then I slipped on my white coat. I saw Zack and Sarah were already there, and they were whispering to each other in the corner. They kept looking over at me and while I wished to be unbothered about it, I wanted to know what they were talking about. "What? Is there something in my hair?" I mocked them, looking at a strand of my blonde hair. They stopped their gossiping and just stared at me with an expression I couldn't quite place, was it fear? I then felt a hand on my back. "Dr. Harleen, good morning." Dr. Carlisle greeted me and I turned and smiled at him. "Good morning to you too Doctor." I nodded at him. The board of psychiatrists were standing behind him, concerned expressions on their faces. My heart rate spiked as I wasn't sure why everyone seemed so worried about me today. "What's going on?..." I asked them and Dr. Carlisle cleared his throat. "We have received a new inmate... And you have been selected to treat him." He informed me and I was beyond puzzled now. "Okay great, so why is everyone looking at me like I'm dying?" I poked fun, trying to make light of the situation with a smile. My mentor shook his head with a sigh. "Harleen... You've been assigned the Joker." He told me and my breath caught in my throat. Shit. "I thought he was going to jail?" I asked, trying to make sense of this all. "He didn't pass the psychological exam... Apparently he's completely insane. Harleen, I know that we are asking a lot from you... But I've already been in to see him and he's refusing any treatment. We need our miracle worker..." Dr. Carlisle said, referring to me and I took a deep breath. While I was completely terrified, I reminded myself that I had been through worse. Loosing my husband was the hardest thing I had ever endured in my life, and therefore everything else was child's play in comparison. "I'll do it." I finally said and they all looked surprised. "I can do this." I said to reassure myself more than them. My mentor nodded. "I know you can, here is his file... Your first appointment with him will be tonight. You should prepare yourself as much as possible..." He warned me as he handed me the large file. I thanked him and then I went to my office room to look over the Joker's files. Each psychiatrist was given their own room for them to keep their patient's information and any resources they may need to treat them. I sat down, pulling my chair up to my desk and adjusting my glasses as I opened the packed file. Inside were records of the various crimes he had committed along with information on his personality. My eyes widened at what I saw before me, unable to believe what I was reading. Over the past year, The Joker has murdered over 200 people in the wake of his robberies, mass poisonings, and bombings. I was surprised that I hadn't heard of him sooner, given how extravagant his crimes were. But I had made it a point to stay away from anything involving Jeremiah's beliefs being carried on as I wanted nothing to do with it. No one had managed to get an accurate picture of him as he had remained hidden until now, so all articles of him included a picture of a clown as it was his trademark. Dr. Carlisle had already done a diagnostic session with him, as there was an entire sheet detailed with his interaction with the Joker. I looked at my mentor's notes carefully, my mind picking out the words that stood out the most. "Unstable. Arrogant. Psychopathic. Dangerous." I gulped as I finished flipping though the file, knowing that I would need to think of a plan of attack to treat this man. I decided that the first session would just be an introduction, and I'd see what he wanted to talk about depending on how open he was. What I lacked in confidence I made up for in determination. I could do this. The Joker was being held on level "D", only inmates that were considered highly dangerous would be subjected to this floor. It had the highest security, as guards were the only ones allowed access to the level, so therefore I had to call his floor to release him from his cell for his appointment. I felt my anxiety increase as I gathered my clipboard and paperwork before I made my way to the counseling room. There were two guards standing outside as I walked up to the door. "He's already inside." One of them informed me and I looked at him in question, curious why they had left him alone in the room. "Don't worry Doctor, there are two more guards inside with him." The guard told me and I felt a little better, centering myself before I opened the door. I kept my face on his chart in my hand, putting on a confident facade. "Good Evening Mr. Joker, My name is Dr. Quinzel. I will be treating you during your time here at Arkham." I informed him, making my way to my seat. "Hello Doctor..." He said, his voice gravely yet familiar. I finally looked up from my work and my heart stopped. I couldn't believe what I was seeing... My husband, Jeremiah Valeska, alive and staring back at me.

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