This is a story idea I have had in my head for a while. Let me know what you think! Reviews greatly appreciated.

I own nothing other than my OC. This story is set during TDK, so you will see a lot of dialogue from the movie.

They sat in the cold kitchen of the abandoned restaurant, forced together by the one thing they shared in common: their money. The Gotham mob bosses had close to seventy million dollars stolen from the Gotham National Bank; and now, all of their money was missing, as was the one managing it. Lau had contacted them hours earlier, requesting they meet in secret at the location he selected. Stakes were rising in Gotham, with Harvey Dent and Batman scourging through the city criminals. Something had to be done, but no one was thrilled to learn that hundreds of millions of dollars were now gone.

Gambol and his cronies sat opposite of Maroni and Chechen, a sneer plastered over his face as he watched two lackeys bring a TV to the table.

"What the hell is this?" one crony shouted. The TV flickered on, and Lau greeted the angry faces of his clients.

"As you're all aware, one of our deposits was stolen," Lau explained.

"Just by a whack job in a cheap purple suit and make-up," Maroni scoffed. "He is not our concern. Our problem is that our money can be tracked by the cops."

On the TV, Lau nodded. "I was made aware of this by Maroni's sources. All five of our banks have been compromised and the Gotham police, with the help of the new, overly-enthusiastic DA, are on the move to seize your funds."

"So you took our money?" Gambol asked, his voice grating with irritation.

"You have no other options," Lau explained slowly. "I could not wait for your permission. Your money has been moved to a secure location."

Gambol's fists clenched on the table. "Where?"

The TV flickered as Lau spoke. "No one can know but me. I have –"

"What stopping police from getting to you?" Chechen asked, his accent thick.

"I have taken a plane to Hong Kong, far from Dent's jurisdiction. Rest assured, your money is safe."

Slow, forced laughter tore the men's eyes from the TV. The Joker swaggered his way into the room and towards the set of tables. His suit was the vibrant purple Maroni had described. His make-up was smeared haphazardly over his features, giving him the appearance of a maniacal clown with a messy red Glasgow smile. Everyone had seen his image on the news; the lunatic hadn't been shy when robbing GNB. He plopped down in a chair that sat across from the TV. His voice was nasally and rehearsed.

"And I thought my jokes were bad."

Gambol's eyes flashed with anger. "Give me one reason why I shouldn't have my boy here knock your head off?"

The well-dressed lackey stood quickly and made his way over to the clown, ready to do as he was told. The Joker, who had stabbed a pencil into the plastic table, was blabbering about a magic trick. When Gambol's man was close, the clown grabbed him by the back of the neck and slammed his head down onto the pencil, impaling him through his eye socket. When the lackey slumped to the floor, the pencil went with him.

"Ta-daaa! It's, ahhh, it's gone," the Joker whispered, his hands moving with dramatic flair. He looked up and straightened the lapels of coat. "Oh, by the way, this suit wasn't cheap. You oughtta know, you bought it!"

Gambol stood, his chair almost falling over from the force. Chechen stopped him, wanting to hear what the Joker had to say. The clown looked to Gambol expectantly, waiting for the boss to sit down. When he did, the Joker began to crudely explain his radical theories. His lips smacked as he spoke, his tongue darting out to graze the corners of his jagged scars.

"You see, I know why you choose to have your little, hm, group therapy sessions, in broad daylight. I know whyyy you're afraid to go out at night." His voice dropped an octave. "The Batman."

As he continued, the mob bosses looked to each other, their confident expressions sinking at the truth of his words. The Batman and Harvey Dent were revealing their weaknesses and bringing attention to their illegal activities. While Harvey Dent was limited to Gotham's jurisdiction, Batman was certainly not.

"He'll find him, and make him squeal!" the Joker exclaimed, his finger pointing aggressively at the TV. "I know 'em when. I. See. 'Em."

Chechen leaned back in his chair. "What do you propose?"

The skin of the Joker's scars bunched at the corners of his mouth as his lips stretched upward in a smile. He brushed a strand of acid green hair from his brow. "It's, ah, simple. We kill the Batman."

Soft chuckles filled the room.

"If it's so simple, why haven't you done it?" Maroni questioned, his calm voice dripping in mockery.

The Joker's answer was straightforward. "If you're good at something, never do it for free."

And he wanted half; half of all of their money. The laughter that broke out among the group of criminals was louder this time. Maroni sat back in his seat, shaking his head.

"Your proposal is, well, tempting, to say the least," the Italian began with a smile. "But if we want to have the Batman killed, we know a hitman to call. We have someone else, someone much cheaper."

The Joker's brow rose. "Someone else, hmmmm?" He shook his head. "No, no, no. If we don't handle this now, uh, little, Gambol, here? Well, he won't have a nickel for his grandma!"

Gambol, who had run out of patience ten minutes ago, exploded. He slammed his palms against the table and rushed to move towards the clown, but the Joker was too quick. He stood with the mob boss, opening the side of his coat and showing off his collection of small explosives that were connected to the string wrapped around his thumb. Gambol stopped in his tracks, his eyes widening at the audacity and insanity of the man in front of him.

"You think you can just steal from us and walk away?" the mobster seethed. With his mind made up, he put a bounty on the lunatic's head, and the Joker took it as his cue to exit. Keeping the inside of his coat visible to the group, he removed his card from one of his pockets and placed it on the table.

"Why don't you giiive me a call when you want to start taking things a little more seriously, hm?"

He kept his back to the door as he made his slow exit, waving his thumb and jingling the metal of the explosives he carried. When he was gone, the tension in the room lessened considerably. The group was silent. Gambol remained standing.

It was Maroni who broke the silence, his hands rising in defeat as he spoke. "Now look, everyone, I don't like him, but he makes a good point. The Batman is our biggest threat right now."

"Are you actually considering giving him half?" Gambol asked, his temper flaring again.

The Italian laughed. "Come on, Gamble, really? Of course not. I'm thinking we should call Eddie."

"We haven not needed Eddie in long while," Chechen replied. "You have location?"

Maroni nodded. "I have contact information." He stood and smoothed out the fabric of his expensive suit jacket. Looking to his allies, he continued: "If you pay someone to do your dirty work, my friends, never let them out of your sight."

His sources had last put Eddie in a small, rural town an hour and a half outside Gotham. Maroni sat in the back seat of his town car, watching as the urban life transformed into dirt fields and yellow, rolling hills. They had passed through downtown ten minutes prior; that is, if you could call a single gas station, a row of small dirty shops, one grocery store, and post office a "downtown." They were now traveling down an unkempt and pothole-filled road, the car bouncing violently. A two-story country house eventually appeared on the horizon, and the driver brought the car to a slow stop outside the property. Maroni exited the car, buttoning the middle button of his pinstriped suit with one hand and waving the dust from his face with the other.

The yard was fairly large and was covered in patchy green and yellow grass. The large sycamore trees on either side of the house were naked, their leaves swept away by autumn winds. At the creaking sound of a screen being opened, Maroni looked to the front door and put on his best smile. The woman who now stood on the porch looked different from what he remembered. She had the same curly, flame-colored hair and her eyes were still the same vibrant blue. It was her face that was different, its shape fuller and filled with color. She now had the curves of a woman her age, as opposed to the body of an adolescent boy.

"I thought I smelled spaghetti," she said coolly, but a faint smile played across her pink lips.

Maroni chuckled. "Is that anyway to greet an old friend, Eddie?"

"I would hardly call you a friend, Maroni, and I go by Edith now," the woman corrected him, folding her arms across her chest. "Why are you here?"

The mob boss motioned towards her house, his eyebrows rising as he asked silently to be let inside. Edith rolled her eyes and moved to enter her house; she closed the screen, but left the door open for him. When he entered, he was struck by the simplicity of the decor. While he understood her need to be out of Gotham, he had pictured her living in some kind of luxury, especially with the amount of money he knew she had earned. He stood in the small entryway; his judging eyes scanning the dingy living room to his right.

"You can have a seat in there," Edith called out as she appeared out of a nearby room. She pointed toward the living room as she approached.

Maroni followed her and slowly took a seat in a soft, worn armchair. He watched as his hostess took a seat on the sofa beside him.

"You had close to half a million dollars, and you chose this rat hole?" he said in disbelief, his eyes grazing across the ceiling. "Jesus, what did you do? Shoot most of it up your arm?"

Edith's eyes flashed in anger. "Fuck off, Maroni," she growled bitterly. "Not that it is any of your business, but I've been clean for almost a year. I spent most of my money going in and out of rehabs. I finally got straight, you Italian piece of shit."

Maroni chuckled, forgetting how crass the woman was. It was what he had loved about her and why he had chosen to trust her so long ago. When the crime families joined in alliance, it had taken a lot of convincing on Maroni's part to get the other bosses to accept her. It had taken him years to trust her, and he remembered the day he met the skinny, homeless teenager as if it were yesterday. Seven years ago, one of his lackeys brought Maroni to a drab alleyway in the Narrows that sat outside one of the popular dive bars. A group of his men had gone to the bar for a drink, but only one had come back. He had followed the lackey into the alley, where the bloodied, lifeless bodies of his men were strewn about. An emaciated, sorry excuse for a human being sat a few feet away, head slouched and body crunched forward. Maroni couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman, but he knew they were alive as they were shaking violently. Bloody hands gripped an empty gun; arms were covered in bruises and track marks. Maroni grabbed a fist full of messy red hair and forced the woman to look at him. Her blue eyes pierced through him then, just as they were now.

Sinking into the armchair, Maroni leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees.

"I have a job for you," he explained. "It's a big job."

"What makes you think I'm even remotely interested?" Edith replied. She leaned back and crossed her shapely legs.

"Come on, Eddie. Don't brush it off without hearing what I have to offer."

The red head pursed her lips. She had spent the last year recovering from the person that Gotham had made of her, and she was stronger now, no longer owned by heroin. She wasn't owned by anyone, for that matter. Not even the mob. She closed her eyes and shook her head at his proposal.

"I don't think –"

"Four million dollars."

Blue eye snapped open. "What?"

Maroni gave her a toothy grin. "Four million dollars. One hit. The other bosses are in agreement with the amount."

Edith's jaw was nearly touching the floor. She studied Maroni intently, her lids narrowing. "What's the catch? Who's the hit?"

"You been keeping up with Gotham news?"

"Here and there. Seems like a shit show, as always."

"It's a bigger shit show now, Eddie. They're cracking down on us: Gotham PD, the DA, and the Batman. Plus we have this clown causing trouble and stealing our money."

"You want me to kill the Joker?"

"Nah," Maroni scoffed, his hand waiving the thought away. "Though Gamble did put a half-mil to a mil bounty on his head if you want a second gig, but I'm talking about Batman."

Edith laughed out loud. "Oh, of course!" she exclaimed. "The four million makes perfect sense now."

"Take it or leave it, Eddie," Maroni replied. He stood and moved towards the front door. He turned to the female assassin before stepping outside. "By the look of this place, I would say you need us more than we need you. You know how to reach me."