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[personal profile] madwanderer
Title: Of all Things
Author: [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com]/[Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com]
Fandom: Nolanverse
Pairing: Batman/Joker, Bruce/OMC
Genre(s): Gen, slash, lime, dark, violence (blood, knives etc~)
Prompt: “Got a taste for the theatrical, like you.” - Jim Gordon on the Joker in Batman Begins
Rating: R
Word Count: 7,886
Summary: The rest of the world can't really see the way Joker does, but can Batman?
Disclaimer: Full disclaimer here.
Note: For Round 7 over at [livejournal.com profile] knightvsanarchy, go Team Anarchy~
So, I've been sitting on this idea for about a month or so and since I got more time for this round I thought what the heck might as well. Also, this could be taken as a continuation of Stripped (no seriously I mean that, I made a lot of references to my own fic without realizing it ahahaha) but can stand alone pretty fine. Title comes from current song play Rilo Kiley's The Execution of All Things. And yes, my mind ran away with the prompt and had babies with it because this became longer that it was supposed to. I made edit it later and add more just because I can. :P And now I'm hungry.





The third time he was caught Joker stayed in Arkham for three months before he escaped. It had been so disgustingly easy- even for a man like him. The door had been there, open, beckoning him to walk through. But he had stayed to play- just a little.

The new doctor had honestly thought he'd be able to help him. It had been funny to see him there at his desk, earnestly asking him all the wrong questions in a vain attempt to get through to him. Joker had gone along, throwing in a few hints here and there of what was really going on in his head.

“Chaos can't be all that you want,” the good doctor had decided, folding his fingers over the clipboard.

“And why not?” Joker played with seams of his uniform with disgust. This color just won't do, he decided finally, honestly why orange?

The straight jacket had never been on when he was with the doctor. He claimed it wasn't healthy for such “fragile, impressionable minds.” Countless of nurses and doctors had warned him against it (“He's the Joker!” One hysterical orderly screamed. “He's got no fragile mind! He's a monster- a sick twisted motherfuc-!”). Joker was glad the doctor didn't listen. It had given him time to stretch after the hours of restriction.

“There has to be more than just this need for chaos and madness,” he pressed, leaning forward in his chair. “We, all need something or someone, there must be something else you need.”

When he had finished saying that Joker had laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Because really it was just too funny not to.

.


Tuesday, 9:05 pm

On the night of his escape the Joker towered over him, laughing. He regarded the doctor's look of fear and shock with a tilt of his head. He wasn't expecting it? Really?

“You're right about one thing doc,” he reached down for the man's head. “There is something I need to do.”

He died less than a minute later, a smile stretched out past his lips and into his cheeks. Joker walked out the front entrance, skipping to an imaginary tune in his head. He had a sho-o-w to do...



Wednesday, 5:56 pm

Bruce scanned the news quickly. Joker's escape was on all the channels. Speculation ran amuk and vague wonderings were thrown about carelessly by reporters. He turned these wild ravings down and turned up the volume to an interview with an officer:

“At the present moment we have only found the head doctor. He died at approximately nine pm last night. No one else was harmed, however a few patients have gone missing. The public is warned that these men are very unstable and should not be approached at all costs.”

He felt his private cellphone vibrate and reached for it without thinking twice. It had to be news.

“He's left a note,” Gordon's exasperated voice filtered through.

“I'll meet you in an hour.”

“Where?”

Bruce shut the phone off without bothering to answer.



Wednesday, 7:30 pm

Joker watched the flashing lights from above the city and contemplated the shadows briefly. Surely Bat would fly about sooner or later. He had probably heard alllll about his...escape. He was possibly even listening to the whole story right now. Alone? Or maybe in company? Or perhaps-?

-it didn't matter, so long as he was watching.

He looked down at the address scrawled on the napkin with distaste. He couldn't believe it- that man has come back to Gotham after all he'd been put through? Well, after all Joker had put him through.

Laughing to himself he turned on his heel and left the premises. He'd need supplies now and those henchmen hadn't kept their blubbering promises about being back within the hour. He'd kill them later- now they were vital to his muses.

He hummed, swaying slightly to the sound.



Wednesday, 8:16 pm

Coleman Reese paced his room. He had only been back in town for a week after constant reassurances from Wayne Enterprises of a safe return to a normal life. They had offered him full security to his home but he had stupidly rejected it, thinking that the Joker would be put away for good this time! He groaned and sat down but then he sprang back up. The Joker knew, he knew. So it wouldn't be long before he came along to terrorize him again and then-

A knock to the door was the only warning he got before it was opened.

He turned and faced the man standing there. He still looked like he had in those tapes. Tapes that had driven Gotham mad with fear practically a year ago. Tapes that had haunted him as well. His face looked horrible this close; he could see the scars, the wrinkles, the gleam of lipstick-

“What?” Joker twirled the chain of keys- how did he-? “You honestly thought I wouldn't visit when you got back?”

Coleman swallowed, “Are you going to kill me?”

Joker grinned and moved forward, knife slipping out of his sleeve with swiftness. He pressed it to the redhead's cheek and tapped it against him.

“First, you'll have to do something for me Reese...”



Wednesday, 6:56 pm

Batman crept above the buildings, keeping on eye on Gordon's car as it drove out of the MCU garage. He watched as the weary commissioner began his journey home. He ran, moving over the buildings with skill and precision, landing each jump and proceeding quickly onto the next one to keep up.

He stopped at a red light as the car did and moved to the end of the ledge. From this height and point he would appear to the Commissioner- others would mistake him for a shadow. He stayed there for just a moment, waiting for those brown eyes to flick up to him before quickly moving onto the other building.

He didn't have to look behind him to know that the car was following him.

.


7:27 pm

“He says he's skipping town for the next couple of days,” Gordon muttered presenting the plastic bag.

Batman took the bag and noted the paper's relative cleanliness and the disordered scrawl before reading it:

Dear Batsy,

I'll be leaving for a couple of days- maybe a week or two or three. Don't miss me too much dear~

I'll be back with a surprise!


Joker



Bruce resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Of all the-

“Seems like the note was meant more for you than for the rest of us,” Gordon murmured. “We've got most of the Arkham patients back but there's still one missing. He's not potentially dangerous- we think he may be hiding in one of the theaters, he's got a friend who works there-”

Batman didn't bother to listen to the rest as Gordon leaned back into his car, searching for something. He didn't care much about the patient- he had seen his file already.

[Dave Haley. Twenty-two. Ex-actor that accidentally killed his previous mentor for rejecting him in a part for Hamlet by pushing him off the stage. Nervous with random mood swings, he'd been taken there for his own safety (attempted suicide).]



Gordon could handle it.



Thursday, 3:45 am

Joker took in his new appearance. His scars had been filled in, hair bleached, and clothes changed for new ones- he looked so... ordinary. He pouted at his reflection before shrugging. He had to do what he had to do. He dried his hands and turned to the clutter of papers in the room. It was a small room- one of many in the Narrows. The yellow wallpaper was barely visible underneath the thumb-tacked newspaper clippings and drawings he had put up. The floorboards creaked with each step he took. His hand moved up automatically to stop the swinging bulb that barely lit the room. The bed had papers scattered over it and a spring or two popped up between them. For anyone else this room would have been hell but for Joker it was more than enough. He was also glad to see that none of his henchmen had decided to fiddle with his quarters.

He had warned them previously what would happen if they did and he was glad they listened. But who wouldn't do so after witnessing an ex-colleague's severed hands in a bowl of cereal next to the coffee pot? Joker chuckled at the memory and leafed through the papers patiently.

Nooow, where did I leave it? Ah-ha! He grinned triumphantly as he extracted a file of papers. Just what I was looking for. Hmm papers are here but... keys?

Joker twitched, resisting the urge to scratch the latex on his cheeks. He lifted a paper with his index finger and smiled, there you are.

.


5:25 pm

It wasn't long before the long cue began to die off. Joker kept a bowl of grapes by his side the entire time, watching them go up, one by one, to the stage to put on the little act. They had been given the script while waiting in line and the ones who had gone on first were allowed a second chance- just one more. He picked off a grape and inspected it minutely.

It had been washed, and it shone bright underneath the stage lights yet he could still see the white blotches here and there. He popped it into his mouth and let his front teeth crush into the delicate skin that ruptured at its center. His tongue pushed it back to his molars and his ears listened to the delicious crunch that seemed in sync with the girl's heels.

He waved for her to begin. She did so in a strong unwavering voice:

“My story's a little different. You see I wasn't just here because of the things I did but because I wanted more than that- I wanted to watch him live and then torture him and then die and-”

Her voice rose and fell along with the lines- she knew what she was doing. He popped another fruit in his mouth and continued to watch. She was doing wonderfully. He took in her frantic movements, the darting eyes, and her voice. She'd do. She finished off, down on her knees, hair loose from her bun and splayed out all over her face as tears ran down her cheeks.

He grinned, ignoring the stale taste in his mouth from the grapes.



Friday 7:15 am

Adriana wandered about the others, listening to their excited whispers and chats with only half an ear. They had been standing here for a good fifteen minutes now. Mr. J had said to be on time or else- what he meant by “else” she didn't know. As she looked over the stage and took in the theater's expansive space she suddenly jumped. A pair of green eyes from one of the boxes were staring at them.

She squinted- the lights from the stage were so bright, blinding so as to help any poor actor with stage fright, usually helpful. Now it was merely a nuisance to her. Those eyes looked so oddly familiar... Suddenly it hit her- oh yes. The theater director.

He was a tad too eccentric for her tastes but most of the girls around her seemed to be gushing over him. She flinched as a squeal went up in their midst- these girls were just so loud. And the boys weren't far behind either- a few of them were just as bad. She rolled her eyes and went back to her lines, turning up the volume on her iPod- at least she could drown them out before Mr. Jay decided to make his presence known

.


7:23 am

Joker crossed his legs and eyed the excited youngsters with distaste. Their wardrobe was the first order of business. Almost all of them were wearing some sort of formal garb along with pretentious accessories that clashed with the wardrobe and their heels wouldn't stop clicking- outrageous. Weren't these kids supposed to be eccentric and whatnot? Hell, even he wasn't wearing anything formal (denim black jeans, dark purple shirt and a dark sweater) and he was supposed to be the stage director!

One girl wore a long sleeved dressing shirt with ruffles at the sleeve ends- still a dress shirt, he thought grudgingly. The boy he'd handpicked himself was in a full formal clothing apparel, strictly blinding white shirt, dark pinstriped pants with a jacket that matched to boot! And their hair- so dull and straight and wavy and was that oil he smelled?

Tutting he uncrossed his legs and got up. He stepped out of his box picking up his briefcase as he went. He shuffled down the stairs, muttering all the way. They were lucky they were good at what they were about to do. If they hadn't been he'd have shot them all for annoying him so early in the morning.

He stepped into the lobby and entered through the double doorways, straight into the main floor. One girl stood off to the side from the rest and stared at him as he made his way towards them. Slowly the others took notice and their chattered died out.

He stepped over the wall separating the floor from the orchestra pit and continued on. He set the leather case on the stage and flicked it open casually. He rummaged around and successfully extracted the sketches, slamming them on the stage floor. He smugly took in their collective jumps and flinches with pride- he still had it.

“You all are in charge of your costumes,” he turned around and placing his palms on the stage he pushed himself up. He could almost imagine the picture he was setting up for them- as a director he could have just used the stairs, but stairs were for squares (heh that rhymed!). “I don't care how you do it, just get something equal if not similar to this.” He handed them their sketches without looking up at them, simply handing them at random based on their shoes. “I expect you to have them no later than Sunday,” Joker moved to the center stage and clapped his hands eying them all coolly, “let's begin.”



Friday, 10:33 pm

Bruce leaned into the model's ear, whispering his line with exaggerated drunken ease. She giggled and nodded. He watched her get up from the table and move in the direction of the restrooms. He turned to the other girls and the men sitting beside him. They all chatted amiably cigarette smoke and alcohol tinging their breath with each word- while they waited for the inevitable departure of Bruce Wayne.

He kept his face carefully entertained as a joke was explained. He only had half of his attention on the scene. He really didn't know why he was here. He should be out in Gotham looking for Joker.

“Hey, ready to get out of here?”

He nearly jumped at the words whispered in his ear. It was only the model who'd returned from the bathroom. He turned to his companions and bid them good night, insisting once more that the tab was on him. Once outside, the girl waved to a young man across the street. Winking she left the two together and hailed a cab for herself. Once inside the limo the man was all over him, expert hands reaching for his belt and fly with ease. He didn't even bother to tell the driver to get them out of the parking lot, he simply took him there forgetting for a moment the possible repercussions.

The man was napping on his shoulder, completely sated with his soiled briefs lying on the automobile's floor when Bruce instructed the driver to start driving.



Saturday, 7:06

Joker combed back his hair and waved a dismissive hand at the men posted outside the theater. It wasn't like they were really necessary, nothing out of the ordinary would happen here. Not yet at least, he thought with a small giggle. He looked up at the boys and girls rehearsing.

The hell-? He clucked his tongue at them.

“No, no, no, no!” He shook his head and moved forward. “You're doing it wrong. Again.

He climbed up on the stage, must I teach you everything?! He might as well have called the whole thing off- the damn idiots weren't going to get it right at this rate.

He sighed. No. He had to let them try. And these morons would get it right.

“You're telling, not showing! The audience needs to see you talk through your hands, your facial expressions, your body- not just through your voice!”



Saturday, 3:12 pm

Bruce scanned the note mercilessly for- he would never utter the number to himself- the fifteenth time in the past two days. He groaned and covered his eyes. There was nothing. No trace, no clue- nothing. There had to be something he'd overlooked. The Joker wasn't one to just leave notes without leaving something that would fuck his mind later on for having missed it. He got up and paced the room, ignoring the sounds from the lift at the other end.

“The agency called,” Alfred called out. “They were wondering if you were going to miss the rest of your lunch dates this week or if they should still send their girls in vain.”

The millionaire cursed under his breath. He had completely forgotten about Patty. He hadn't even looked at the time-

“I thought it best if I brought you lunch,” the butler set the plate on his desk. “Still testing?”

“He's left something here Alfred,” Bruce muttered, making a wild bite at the sandwich, chewing slowly before swallowing. “I just can't see it.”

“Perhaps it's just note.”

Bruce sighed resisting the urge to glare at his butler.

“Food for thought Master Wayne.”



Saturday, 8:45 am

Joker tilted his head as he watched the boys and girls break into a screaming match. It wasn’t in the script but the past three days of rehearsal had given them some inkling of what he was expecting from them. He grinned- they were learning well.

As the last shout died off, he clapped. They stood back, smiling expectantly. He stood and took them in one sweeping glance. They were all wearing their costumes, perfectly tailored to suit the sketches he had given them with a few personal touches of their own.

“I see you’ve taken some liberties with the costumes,” he commented pacing before them. “Billy, the chain would be better if you ripped the shirt a little more. There that’s it,” a rip and a tug later he smiled. “Good. Now Dave come here.”

The young blonde moved forward and sat down on the stage before jumping off. He stopped a mere two feet from him. Joker looked him up and down and tutted.

There's something missing... Make-up's good. Clothing fine. But what is it that- oh yes, that.

Joker pointed down at the boy's shoes. The boy looked down and blushed, shuffling.

“What did I tell you about your shoes last time?”

Dave squirmed under his gaze before replying quietly, “that they needed to be broken in and dirty.”

“Are those dirty?”

“No.”

Joker raised a brow at him, “well then what are you waiting for?”

The boy- really he was much too young- looked up at him in confusion. Joker resisted the urge to slap him and his own forehead. Instead he pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Rain. Outside. Get those shoes dirty. Now.”

Joker didn't even bother to look up as the kid all but ran out the door. Well now that that was taken care of...

“Adriana, mess your hair up some more.”



Sunday, 8:45 am

Bruce kept an ear turned to the television as he checked the note again. The same words still stared back at him. He had checked it enough times to be sure that there really was nothing (Alfred's subtle hints about paranoia and obsession had kept him away from running another test).

The blue ink caught the light and as he looked the words over he wondered if perhaps he really was gone. He shook his head. Of course he wasn't. Joker didn't just leave. It wasn't in his nature to simply leave him alone.

He blinked.

Had he actually commented on Joker's nature? Since when did he think of him as a person? He was a criminal who needed to be put back behind bars and-

“Master Bruce, the caterer is here with the samples,” Alfred's voice filtered through the intercom.

Bruce sighed. He got up and moved away from the computer, leaving the note on the table. He couldn't stare at it all day.



Monday, 4:48 am

Joker mounted the stairs with a sigh. It had nearly been a week and everything was running smoothly- well, as smooth as they could given the circumstances. But Joker knew that without a doubt things had be perfect two weeks from tomorrow. There was no other option- everything had to be just right for the play.

He fished out the keys in his pocket and opened the door easily, kicking it closed behind him. Throwing the suitcase on the floor, he immediately took the sweater off and the rest of his ordinary clothing. Tomorrow the kids would rehearse without him- he needed sleep now. He pulled at the latex on his skin, peeling away the source of his itchiness.

He fell onto his bed, pulling the covers over him, and ignoring the papers that dropped from the cushion to the floor. He could care less if the damn things were extra scripts or notes on the damn show- he was exhausted. Those stupid fools were just beginning to sink into the characters- and that was more than he expected from them. If they kept going this way, things might actually turn out better than he'd hoped for.

As much as he hated to admit it, their skills were necessary for what he was about to do. He groaned and rolled over. He hated having to depend on others' competence- they usually had none.



Monday, 2:56 pm

Billy stretched and yawned. How long had they been at this scene? He rolled his eyes. Mr. J sure was obsessive over the perfection of the scenes. He had had them practicing seven days a week, from seven till well past midnight. He wasn't complaining. Oh no, he was pretty happy at having landed a job with such a great director.

This play was also the best that Gotham would see in months. Who would have thought such a great playwright would come here? Of all places, Gotham? He'd seen almost all of Mr. J's works in London and they were so fascinating.

It was a chance of a lifetime to work with this man- mysterious and handsome as he was he was a legend whose face had never been seen. He vaguely wondered why. He was a sight to behold when he was in his element, directing his own work.

“Guys, let's take a break,” Dave interrupted the scene. “I think we all need to get some lunch before we go on any longer.”

Billy watched as he and the other two boys disappeared off to the sides. He and the (three) girls looked between each other and shrugged.

“Pizza?” Adriana suggested.



Tuesday, 9:35 am

One week had passed and still no sign of the Joker. Gordon hadn't called him up either. Still that hadn't stopped him from going out looking for the damned clown. He was surely up to no good and as tempting as it sounded for him to have skipped town, Bruce was sure he hadn't. The Joker was still in Gotham, somewhere.

Somewhere, plotting, and setting a trap for the innocents of Gotham. Or worse, just another repeat of the restaurant (Bruce refused to acknowledge those events with vehemence).

He shifted restlessly in his seat among the committee. He schooled his look of boredom into one of feigned interest and focused on the person speaking. Something about figures and charts and increases, and decreases-

Bruce was asleep before he knew it.



Thursday, 6:37 pm

Joker sat amongst his kids and watched them gobble the ice cream eagerly. After such a successful rehearsal it was the least he could do. They didn't have much time left to enjoy anyway.

“Mister Jay,” Dave sucked on the spoon carefully. “Where did you get the idea for the play anyway?”

He blinked- he had forgotten the kids could speak. They had all been so absorbed in the ice cream that the entire theater had been blessed with silence for the first time in a week.

“Idea?”

“Yes, the inspiration for the complex characters?”

“Inspiration?”

“There must have been something that caused you to write this Mister,” one of the younger girls (Madison if he wasn't mistaken) asked- Joker flinched, her voice was so high pitched. “You can't just write without wanting something to come out of it, a message or a morale. And a man like you must have so many ideas of reform for the poor patients in the asylum, why else would you-?”

Joker was laughing before he could even stop himself. He ignored their stares as he clutched his sides. It was just too much for him.



Saturday, 1:29 pm

“Mr. Wayne I'll be frank with you- you need sleep.”

Bruce snapped his head up from the table. He looked around, blinking slowly. Huh, so the meeting had ended- it hadn't been his mind playing tricks on him... though to be honest, he was sure the men that had occupied the chairs around him had didn't have white make up on or wild green eyes.

He shook his head and smiled up at his CEO.

Fox leaned his hip into the desk before beginning once more, “there hasn't been any major problems I'm aware of- most of the problems around here has been kept relatively low. And the Joker hasn't been spotted for nearly two weeks-”

“Eleven days,” Bruce uttered involuntarily.

The older man stared at him, eyebrows raised. Bruce fiddled with his tie before looking back up to the man, “he's up to something.”

Fox stared him down. From his seat Bruce literally felt eight years old again. Sometimes he forgot that he had more than one person who still cared about him and his well-being. He sighed and scratched his head.

“I'll get some sleep tonight.”

“I should hope so, the committee might actually consider asking your opinion in the next meeting.”

Bruce got up and grinned, “right.”



Wednesday, 11:33 am

Joker watched as the kids left the theater. He smiled a little in spite of himself. He was so going to enjoy what was to happen to them. More than he probably should but it was something to look forward to. After their latest chat (they actually thought he was willing to listen to them) they all deserved what was coming to them.

He returned his gaze to the stage and tilted his head to the side. Hmmm... he hadn't given much thought on the scenery yet. He still had his henchmen working on getting some of the set together (chairs, couches, tables, knives, curtains, hooks) but it wouldn't be put up till around tomorrow afternoon. After that he'd line them all up and kill them on stage. They needed the blood anyway and this way the stains would be real instead of that cheap Halloween stuff that the kids kept using during their special scenes.

He rubbed his hands together and sat back down. He had to sketch a little and find out exactly how to organize the furniture first though. If he didn't have it set up right then it would ruin everything and he'd have to start over again. If that happened he might have to stay away from his Bats for another three weeks.

And Bats was starting to miss him- he was sure of that.



Friday, 3:33 pm

Bruce rolled over in bed and glared at the lights flooding in.

“We've had this conversation before I believe,” Alfred begins, setting the breakfast on the table. “Three o'clock was pushing it Master Wayne.”

“Alfred, of all the things I do or don't do, I think if I get little more sleep I'll be fine,” Bruce muttered groggily.

“Be that as it may other don't think as such. The agency called again- a Miss Patty if I'm not mistaken was stood up again and although she admits she is flattered for having been asked a second time, she has requested you not call her up until you are sure you'll show up for lunch.”

Bruce groaned. Again. He had forgotten again. Patty was nice, she really was- he had hooked him with that-

He hook his head and sat up, reaching for the orange juice blindly. He stared up at the ceiling and bit the inside of his cheek. What would Alfred say if he heard what the girls were really doing for him? The girls had become used to it and they eagerly participated in his secrecy- a few of them found it... cute- how it was cute, he'd never know.

“Oh and Mr. Fox called- he says that the committee wondered about your absence at the meeting this morning and if perhaps you finally found rest in a more suitable environment.”

Bruce smiled.



Monday, 11:19 pm

Sitting on the main floor of the Opera House, Joker finished the last words to his note. Waving off the children and their enthusiastic goodbyes he got up himself and hurried home. Tomorrow was the big day and he still had to do a couple of things. Mail the letter, have one last rehearsal, force Dave to quit his incessant nagging about how Billy showed more skin than he did- blah blah blah.

Once home he threw the suitcase on the floor and stepped over to the lone desk in the corner. He signed it with his usual customary J and searched wildly for an envelope. The drawers of the desk were littered with all sorts of things- not an envelope, not an envelope, hey I've been looking for that marble! Not a envelope, oh helloo...

He extracted the paper with difficulty and gave a cry of triumph when it sprang free. Ignoring it's rumpled state he stuffed the note inside. He licked the envelope and considered the upper right hand side. That's where the stamps usually went.

Did it really need one? He was doing the sending after all, not the damn post office. Well if he wasn't going to write a return address then how would Bats know it was from him? Tapping his chin he looked at the blankness of it.

His eyes widened a little as an idea flitted through his mind. With a grin he jumped up and retrieved a tube of lipstick from his box of necessities. He grinned as he traced his lips.

Batsy's going to have a fit.



Tuesday, 12:45 pm

Bruce stared at the note in his hand for a long time. He was used to getting mail. He really was. Sure, Alfred sometimes brought it in for him but sometimes he'd be busy and he'd pick it up himself during his lunch breaks at the Wayne penthouse.

Today had been one of those days. He had been on his way back from a meeting (the committee had commented on how well rested he looked and Bruce had been proud in not falling asleep before them) when he thought to get the mail. He didn't even bother to look at the pile until he reached the penthouse. Once there he had been in the process of taking off his suit when he froze at the sight of a letter peaking out in the midst of the magazines and business letters.

Reaching out for it with shaking hands he had picked it out and stared at it. It was how Alfred found him ten minutes later, still midway through relieving himself of his tie.

“Master Wayne, the service would like to know if you were taking your customary date tonight and-” the man stopped beside him and stared as well. “Oh my...”

Bruce groaned and covered his face in his hands.

So... Joker knew.



Tuesday, 2:12 pm

Joker felt a thrill of excitement run up his spine as he watched the line of people purchasing tickets slowly grow larger. They were all expecting a great performance from Europe- filled with suspense, drama and nudity. Well he wasn't one to disappoint. It would be a grand performance if all went according to plan.

And yes nudity would come in as well.

Closing the door he turned to look back at the actors and actresses. They were all as giddy with excitement as he was, lined up behind him and attempting to peek out. Grimacing he shook his head. Shooing them away from the door he pointed to the stage.

“Rehearse the last scene again.”

Scrambling they hurried back down the rows of seats, ignoring the use of stairs and pushing themselves on the stage through the orchestra pit. Well at least they listened. It was more than he could say for the rest of the idiots that had worked under him. He grinned at the dead bodies up on the stage- the poor kids had bought it when he said he'd picked them up from a Halloween store. They hadn't even noticed the smell that was beginning to set in.

Well, he wasn't one to point it out just yet.



Tuesday, 1:06 pm

Bruce opened the envelope carefully. The damn thing felt slippery and smelled like the oil the Joker had reeked of in their previous encounter. He pulled out the note with some reluctance and sat back to read it.

Batsy~!

You must have missed me, didn't you? Well since I know you've been sooooo impatient to see me how about you come to theater tonight?

There's going to be a special show you know- it's been all over the Gotham Times and I've heard it's going to be spectacular.

Be there at seven, before the doors close.

J.



He turned the envelope over and stared at the ticket within. Gotham Opera House, Box Five-

No. He stared. He wasn't. He-

Mr. J's latest production: Execution

Bruce stared. What the-?



Tuesday, 3:29 pm

“Fuck,” Joker breathed as he watched the boy on the stage.

This kid who had been so perfect for the part was failing him. Now? Of all times? He covered his face. Now where in the hell was he going to get a person to take the part on such short notice? He looked up and sighed. Well if you want something done- do it yourself.

He nodded and clapped his hands slowly, “Dave dear, mind meeting me on the roof around four-thirty? I want to go over some lines I want you to include...”

“Of course Mr. J!”

He smoothed his hair back and nodded for them to go on. He'd fix him up later. Now, was not the time.

.


4:31 pm

Dave breathed in the air around him before coughing. He shook his head and wondered when Mr. J was to arrive. He had said to meet him up on the roof- odd place to meet but directors on a whole were odd. He walked over to the ledge and raised his brows- people were still lining up.

Their first performance was in a couple of hours so they were probably still waiting in hopes of tickets. He smirked- finally, his big break had come. Finally. And to be perfectly honest, he totally deserved it. He deserved this part, he deserved it all. He deserved more.

He liked Mr. J. He really did. Maybe he if could convince him for drinks after the show? He had always left with the other guys (they were fun) but if he could have had it his way, he would have followed his theater director. He knew he wouldn't have been denied.

With his good looks and his fame for blowjobs in the theatrical circles J must have heard about it. A sound behind him, made him turn around. He flinched at the cold feeling that began to spread. He looked up into green eyes, clutching at the other's jacket.

“ 'Night Dave,” Joker whispered.



6:45 pm

Bruce texted Gordon fifteen minutes prior to seven. Just a little tip of what he wasn't sure would happen tonight. The people crowded the lobby with idle chatter and forced laughter. He shook his head as he descended the steps up to his box when suddenly a man came forward to stop him in his tracks.

“Mr. J sends his warmest regards and deepest regret for being unable to attend the play with you tonight,” he bowed. “However he charged me to ensure you stepped into your box on time.”

Bruce blinked, “oh...” So Joker was employing a disguise- it must have been good if people didn't recognize him for who he was, “right.”

He continued on towards his box and blinked when he noticed the door close behind him. Weren't theater boxes usually closed by curtains not by doors?

.


6:55 pm

“Where's Mr. J?” Adriana wondered as she peeked through the curtains. “He and Dave should have been here by now- five more minutes and we're supposed to start!”

“He'll be here,” Billy patted her head. “Hey where's Anna by the way?”

“Retouching her make-up with those-”

“Adriana, Billy get over here!”

The two jumped and turned around. There was their director in all his eccentric glory wearing... wasn't that-?

“Unfortunately Dave can't play his part,” he shrugged. “Family emergency- needed to go home. I'll step in. Come now, four minutes we've got to set up now!”

Billy moved quickly, listening to the man's directions with enthusiasm. Adriana eyed the stains on his wardrobe for a moment longer before nodding. She had a part to play after all.

.


7:00 pm

Bruce eyed the crowd below him. They had long since been seated and as it was they were all pleasantly chatting, eyes eagerly forwards, hands jittery with excitement as they held the playbill. He threw his own copy to the ground and pulled up his opera glasses.

Men, women, all of Gotham's upper socialite class was here. He waved as some of them turned to look at him. A large woman sat in the first row, furs covering her arms and earrings dangling wildly with each laugh she huffed. He turned away from and watched as the lights slowly dimmed and a person moved across the stage to stand in the center.

A light shone down on the solitary figure dressed in dark ripped jeans, a ripped bloodied purple shirt and dirty stained shoes. His hair was blonde and his face was shaved clean. Once he lifted his eyes to appraise the crowd, Bruce stopped breathing.

Green eyes darted up to him and there was a flicker of a wink before the actor began:

“The play has no setting. It takes place here and there, everywhere and no where. I will see you but you will not see.” he clapped his hands and the curtain rose. “Well then, here we go.”



8:23 pm

Bruce watched, agitated as the play progressed. He grew more disturbed as time wore on. The atrocities occurring on stage were disgusting yet the audience went along with it, laughing and gasping at all their cues. How could these people watch this? How? He turned his gaze on them in scrutiny. There was that same woman again, smiling. Earrings so still and yet she laughed like all the rest in one booming chorus. How-?

His eyes widened in shock. No... He couldn't have.

He fumbled with his theater glasses and directed them down at the center main floor. This had to be somebody's idea of a sick joke.

He turned to the stage in disgust, Of course it was.

.


Of course he was enjoying himself. The audience was just eating it all up. Ohhh and he was changing too. He was already beginning to ah- notice the real play. Hahaheehee

Joker walked to the left side of the stage, assuming his narrating pose once more.

“Now we meet Sally and her girlfriend Silver. These two have an entirely different situation. In fact there's...” he looked around and whispered conspiratorially, “rumor of cheating! And you know a dyke isn't one to have her woman stolen from her. Oh no... She goes wild!”

Joker stalked over to the still girl patting her head. Soon the light would shine on her and his puppet would dance to the lines and songs she had learned. He had been right in saying she'd do perfectly.

“So watch her and her story unfold!”

.


8:36 pm

Adriana had no idea what was going on. None of her colleagues had ever worked as good as they were doing tonight, It was so too much for her to live up to. But as Mister Jay touched her head, she felt a thrill run through her veins. She could do this. It was all instinct. She knew what she was doing.

She rose as the light turned to her and the music began. Mr. J turned to take up his player's place, feet dangling as he sat at the edge of the stage. She moved her body, feeling the energy and the sway of the music.

She picked up the knife and held it close to her as she began to tell her story...

“...I wanted more than that- I wanted to watch him live and then torture him and then die and for her to watch it all!” She pointed to the tied girl before her (Anna). “I became his hunter, chasing him down and then finally bringing him before the rightful justice he deserved. He shouldn't have said yes- he knew we were together. HE KNEW!”

Anna actually flinched at her scream and a gasp came from somewhere within the crowd. She smirked and tapped the knife at her chin. Improv, Adriana- you have a talent there, use it, Mr. J had said.

“So now that he's gone, I need to punish her as well...” Adriana knelt down and pulled Anna into her lap, draping her across, splaying her fingers across the white expanse of her neck. “She's so pretty when she's being hurt you know...”

Anna let the knife nick the clothes first, delighting in the way the younger girl squirmed and writhed under her touch. Mr. J was right, this was fun. She dug the knife deeper into the skin and laughed at the way Anna screamed behind her gag- such a perfect performance!

.


8:46

Joker watched in amusement as the blood began to ooze further. Adriana licked it up, removing the gag and moving over to kiss Anna. And that's when she'll finally notice...

Joker giggled at the scream that ensued. Adriana's eyes flew open wildly, hands reaching out to curl around limp wrists. Sobs, tears and finally yes! Joker grinned at the brown eyes that darted to look at him. There it was- she was seeing now... But not for long.

The girl lifted the knife in her hand and uttering her last lines (“You did this...”) in Joker's direction, she sank the dagger in her chest.

He laughed and stood up, “see what I told you folks? Crazy! She knew what she was doing! She just didn't see, not many of you can either.”



9:13

“Now, my turn!”

Bruce moved into the shadows of the box, retrieving the bag he had sent ahead. If Joker already knew who he was, then it wouldn't have mattered whether or not he had seen the suit- he probably expected it for his strange wild play.

“You see, I don't know how it happened or why it happened. I was just a runaway ya know? But I ran to the wrong part of the woods- literally!” Joker laughed. “I used to hang out with this guy. Sadistic guy I mean... he had issues. You think these people had issues?” Joker laughed pointing to the people behind him on the dark stage. “This guy had even more! So one night, we're up in the woods-” Bruce is moving out of the box now, back down to the lobby. “-we're up there and he's got this funk going on. I was always serious around him, so serious- I was a depressed emo runaway. So he decides he wants to see me smile. Just once. He takes his pocket knife and he does this to me!” Bruce emerged on the main floor watching as the clown pulled away at his skin, revealing his true scars beneath. “He did this to me! Yes, the cause for my insanity- yes him! And there he is!” Joker points at him. “He did this.”



9:26 pm

Batman hit him across the face sending the giggles the other way. He loomed over the man, angrily

“You.”

“What about me?” Another giggle.

“You killed those people didn't you?!”

“Why-” laugh “whatever gave-” wheeze “you that idea?”

Slammed body to the floor, more wheezed laughter, and suddenly a strong grip lifted him up again. Well... isn't this familiar...?

“You are going back to Arkham, and this time you won't be getting a shrink.”

Oooh! There's that whispered growl again. Joker's sides trembled with suppresses laughter. Really Bruce? You still want to play that game?

He shook his head. Well the audience was still there, watching- perhaps a different audience yes, but an audience nonetheless. He licked his lips, and rolled his eyes up, mockingly.

“If you honestly think that's best Batsy... But really you know that place won't keep me there long. I'll get out...” He pressed himself forward, one leg curving deftly around the the other's. “And when I do, this place will still be the same hellhole of insects buzzing around in search of trash scraps.” He used the leg as leverage to pull himself up closer, arms coming up around the hands grabbing in his shirt. “But you'll be different won't you?” His tongue reached out to wet his lips again. “Those people...” he groaned at the delicious friction between his hips as he inched up higher. “...you should have known by now...” Joker's tongue moved slowly over the skip exposed to him, feeling the guardian's shiver as his muscle worked over the soft folds parted to the puffs of air sneaking between them. “...they were never dead.”

Joker felt one gloved hand let go of his shirt and move around his waist. He was suddenly shoved into the shadows, away from the pondering lights below. A noise of approval flew to his throat as a hand instantly came around to pull him close. He felt a mouth close over his ear, then down by his collarbone. He arched his back, exposing his neck fully and gasped as teeth sank into skin. In that moment, the stage and play between them was forgotten and it was just the two of them: Batman and Joker, here above Gotham, lights and people below forgotten, lost in the moment before they had to go.

Batman sucked hard and lifted up to breathe quietly, “I know.”

Joker's laugh became a purr as the man pulled him flush against his body with a low growl.




A/N: YES, I WAS TEMPTED TO WRITE THE ENTIRE GODDAMN PLAY COMPLETE WITH JOKER RECITING THE STAGE DIRECTIONS IN HIS HEAD BUT I RESISTED BECAUSE I NEEDED SLEEP. >_>;; also there might be a continuation idk but later laters- when I can actually spell continuation without help from spell checker. Oi vey. If you see any errors/mistakes/general suckiness point out my failure please so I can correct tomorow~




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February 2011

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