Author's note: The basic premise for this one-shot came from Mr. War, and a conversation we had.
The fundraiser was in full swing when an unusual trio made an entrance, a middle aged couple with their daughter, a clearly reluctant companion in her early twenties. That dynamic was not strange in and of itself, but the family looked... odd.
The well groomed man wore an old fashioned pinstriped suit more suited to the 1950's. His pencil thin mustache, along with his slicked back hair, were shot with grey, but his manic grin and energetic demeanor made him appear much younger.
His wife wore a nearly obscene tight black dress with a plunging neckline. Despite the restricting nature of the dress, that gave her legs nearly no range of motion, she floated across the floor with an unearthly elegance. Perhaps the strangest thing about her was her deathly pale white face, accented by her blood-red lips, and framed by her long raven-black hair.
Their daughter clearly favored her mother, but had her own style all the same. She wore a far more modest dress that was accented with white trim. Her own long black hair was braided, and hung past her waist. Her coloring was much like her mothers, but her most apparent feature was her complete lack of expression.
"I still don't understand why you insisted that I come along." The young woman said in a monotone. "You don't need me to give away money."
Her mother smiled softly. "It's good for you to make connections dear. Your brother won't ever have a head for this sort of thing, and your father and I won't be around forever. After all, don't you want to be able to leave your mark on the world."
"Oh, I will. I'd just rather not do it in Gotham. There's too much competition here." The young woman said as she picked up a glass of champagne. "Why are we even at this fundraiser. It's not even a good cause."
"Granted the cause is uninspiring, but this us the upper crust of Gotham." The mother admitted, then went on to explain. "A city filled with such depravity must have at least some quality members in its high society."
Their conversation was interrupted as an older gentleman made his way over to introduce himself. "You three look to be new in town, perhaps I can help you become acquainted with our little gathering of socialites and philanthropists. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Patrick Leahy, and I work for our esteemed host Mr. Wayne on the board of directors at Wayne Enterprises." He held out his hand with a practiced smile.
The oddly dressed man took the offered hand, and shook it enthusiastically with both of his own. "Gomez Addams. This is my wife Morticia, and our daughter Wednesday. Always a pleasure to meet a man in a position of power in a city as lovely as this one."
"There's no need to sugarcoat it, we know there's much work to be done to make this a great city once more." Patrick said, as Gomez continued to shake his hand. "It's an uphill battle, but we're making progress."
"Nonsense." Morticia said with a small smile. "While you certainly have your undesirables, there is much to be proud of. Just think about your violent crime rate."
Patrick paused as he tried to figure out if she was being sarcastic, or just ignorant. Deciding she was just behind on current events, he changed subjects. "If I may be so bold, your daughter is lovely. I have a son about her age that I've been trying to get to accompany me to these events for years now." He said as he extracted his hand from the vice-grip of Gomez's handshake. "How did you convince her to come?"
"They asked." Wednesday said flatly. "I may not like this sort of thing, but I'll always respect my parents wishes."
Patrick laughed heartily. "If only my son was so respectful of his family. Perhaps I could introduce the two of you. You could become a good influence on him."
Wednesday turned to Morticia. "This is why you wanted me to come isn't it? I don't need help finding a boyfriend mother."
"Now Wednesday, there's no need to be rude." Morticia admonished. "As for finding a boyfriend, I just think it would be nice if you found one that survived more than a month or so."
Blinking at Morticia's odd word choice, the man started to point out the who's who of the party. Before he could do so, a gunshot rang out, and all attention was drawn to the elevator.
A man wearing a purple suit waved a shotgun around as he exited the elevator. The man had scraggly shoulder length hair that had been poorly dyed green. White greasepaint with black circles around his eyes, and a wide ragged smile made from red greasepaint, gave him the look of a poor man's clown. The wild look on his face, accompanied by the jagged scars beneath the red paint, made him seem even more dangerous than the shotgun he held in his hands. This was the madman known only as 'The Joker.'
The Joker began asking around as he sampled the food and drink. "Where is Harvey Dent?" Taking the time to look each guest in the eyes as he waved the gun in everyone's face, he clearly was interested in everyone's reactions. Behind him, a mass of hired guns circulated. Each one had some sort of clown mask on, marking them as his men.
Eventually the Joker reached where the Addamses were, and Patrick bravely insisted that no one was going to be intimidated.
The Joker looked at Patrick, nodded in agreement, and said, "You know, you remind me of my father." Lightning fast, the Joker grabbed the older man by the head, and brought up a small knife to the man's mouth. "I hate my father."
"Shouldn't you be threatening some pretty young woman?" Wednesday said calmly. "Not too many people will care if you cut up some old man."
The joker's eye's widened, and he smiled widely as he slowly turned to look at Wednesday. "What do we have here? A volunteer? A pretty little thing like yourself probably shouldn't be giving advice like that." He said as he let go of Patrick, and lifted Wednesday's chin with the tip of his knife. "I imagine quite a few people wouldn't like to see this face all cut up."
She raised one of her eyebrows. "Shouldn't you at least buy me dinner first? You're hardly going to win points by jumping right into things."
The joker started laughing hysterically. "Oh, I like you." He slid the flat of the knife along her porcelain cheek. "You're a feisty one."
"I was wondering." She started to ask.
"The scars?" He said, tracing them with his knife. "Everyone always wants to know about the scars."
He held her face with one hand, tilting her head around as he held the knife close to her face. "I used to have no sense of humor, kind of like you, all straight laced and serious all of the time. My best friend was always telling me, I needed to smile more. He'd try to make me laugh, but I just couldn't get the joke. One day he dragged me to this bar, and to get me to loosen up, he slipped a little something extra into our drinks."
"I don't remember most of that night, but I do remember the brawl that broke out." He licked his lips. "I remember when my friend was thrown behind the bar, and he got cut up, real bad by all the glass. When I tried to help him, he was laughing hysterically. The mirror behind the bar had broken when he hit it, and an enormous shard had fallen on him, cutting his belly wide open. You see, my friend was dying, but he was laughing anyway."
The Joker held his knife up as a visual aid. "He said to me, he said, 'I know how to get you to smile.' Then he reached up with a shard of the broken mirror, and gave me this." The Joker motioned as if her were cutting himself with the knife. "Slicing me a wide grin from ear to ear. Then he says to me, as his last words no less, 'There, now you're always smiling!'"
As the Joker told his tale, Gomez and Morticia began wandering around the room, when they noticed a woman who looked as if she was planning on confronting the madman.
Rachel Dawes was a principled woman who never allowed fear to keep her from doing the right thing. Seeing the Joker hold his knife to the pale young woman made her feel that she had to do something to help her. She would draw the criminal's attention to herself. Hopefully she could stall him long enough for help to arrive.
"I hope you aren't planning on interrupting them. That would be rather rude." Morticia said as she glided over to block Rachel.
Rachel was stunned into temporary silence. Taking a moment to try and figure why the young woman's mother would want her daughter in such a dangerous position, she just drew a blank. "Isn't that your daughter? Why on earth would you just leave her alone to face that psychopath?"
"So he is a psychopath. That's good, I wasn't certain." Gomez said as he pulled out a cigar. He clipped and lit the cigar as he talked. "I thought he might have been a children's entertainer. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference." As Gomez brought the cigar to his mouth, he found himself staring down the barrel of a shotgun.
Holding the gun was one of the Joker's thugs. He was wearing pantyhose over his head, and a crude clown face was painted onto the sheer fabric. "You think you can just walk around as you please? Stay put you stupid-"
"We were in the middle of a conversation young man." Morticia said in mild annoyance as she tightened her grip on the silk handkerchief she had wrapped around the thug's neck. "I don't understand why everyone is disregarding common courtesy today."
Dropping the gun as he tried to claw at the handkerchief, the thug was dumfounded that he couldn't pull the silk away from his throat. He would have been even more concerned if he could see that Morticia was choking him with only one hand, twisting the silk to tighten it.
Gomez caught the shotgun as it fell, and casually unloaded it. Pocketing the shells, he set the empty gun on a nearby table, and continued to talk to Rachel. "Wednesday is a big girl, she can talk with whomever she wants. We cut all of the apron strings long ago, when she was five-years-old, like any other caring responsible parents would.
Wednesday's expression never changed throughout the story. Once his laughter died down, she asked the question that had actually been on her mind. "Actually, I just wanted to know why you're looking for Harvey Dent anyway. Your scars are nice, but I could already tell they had been made by an amateur."
He blinked at her. That was the second time she'd surprised him. Oh yes, he'd keep an eye on this one. She could be fun. Breaking out into a small fit of giggles, he pulled her close, and whispered as he waved his knife randomly. "I'll let you in on a little secret. Who I'm really looking for, is the Batman."
"You've found him." A deep, gravel voice said. They both turned to see a man dressed in black stylized combat armor with a cape and eared cowl, Batman.
Immediately Batman's fist crashed into the Joker's face, sending the insane clown stumbling away from Wednesday, who merely watched with mild interest. It was clear right from the start that the caped vigilante was by far the superior fighter, but what the Joker lacked in skill, he made up for in sheer tenacity. It also helped that he had brought so many lowlifes to help him.
The insane clown would laugh regardless of whether he landed a hit, or received one. Each of his hired goons would attempt to turn the tide of the fight, but Batman was so far beyond them in skill that he was still clearly winning. Guns and knives were sent clattering across the floor as Batman disarmed each thug with brutal efficiency.
Seeing that he was on the losing side of this battle, the Joker switched tactics. Grabbing a discarded pistol from the floor, the Joker lunged toward Wednesday. "I think we had something special for a minute, but I'm still going to have to kill you if Batboy doesn't do what I want."
"That's understandable." Wednesday said passively, the gun pressed against her temple not concerning her in the least.
Batman let the thug he'd been choking out slump to the floor. "Drop the gun."
"Of course!" The Joker agreed. "Only first, I want you to take off your mask. Show us all who you really are." Glancing around to decide his next move, he shot out the nearby plate window, and swung Wednesday out through the opening. Holding her by the hand, he held her precariously over the perilous drop.
As the fight started, Morticia let go of her handkerchief. The oxygen starved thug collapsed to the floor gasping for air. "You should be less concerned with interrupting others, and probably help your employer. Though I doubt you'll make a difference."
"To think Tish, Wednesday was concerned about being bored tonight." Gomez said as he puffed away on his cigar, enjoying the show as thug after thug tried to kill Batman.
"It's not how we thought tonight would go, but entertaining all the same." Morticia agreed.
Rachel could only look on in disbelief. Both parents, and daughter, were treating the situation as if it were hardly worth their attention.
"Look querida. Wednesday is a hostage now." Gomez pointed out with an out of place smile.
Rachel couldn't believe these insane people. Their daughter had a gun pointed to her head, and they were acting as if there wasn't any danger at all. Perhaps they were in shock. Yes, that had to be the explanation. Not everyone could be as cool under pressure as she was. "Don't worry, Batman won't let anything bad happen."
"Oh, I wouldn't be concerned about that dear." Morticia said laying a hand on Rachel's shoulder. "Wednesday wouldn't hurt him. Not yet anyway, she's not that kind of girl. We raised her better than that."
"Let her go!" Batman demanded.
The Joker blinked. He was too amused to even laugh. "Ooh, poor choice of words." With that statement, he let go of Wednesday's hand, and she fell, disappearing out of sight. He laughed hysterically as Batman rushed past him, diving out of the broken window.
Batman looked around, growing panicked as he couldn't see the woman anywhere. Rolling to look up as he fell, he saw her clinging to the side of the building just below the broken window. Relieved, he pulled out his grappling gun, and fired it above the woman.
Wednesday took a moment to enjoy the cool night air, and the pleasant feeling in her hand where the skin had scraped away when she clamped down on the concrete ridges of the building. She watched on in curiosity, as Batman sailed past her, and then pointed some kind of gun toward her.
An almost inaudible whisper caught her attention as the grapnel line shot past her to attach to the building somewhere above. Curious, she reached out, and gave the line a sharp tug. The grapnel tore free, and she felt the weight of the man on the line. She found it interesting that he was lighter than he looked.
Losing interest she let go, and started to climb back up to the party.
"Oh my god!" Rachel exclaimed, as the Joker let Wednesday drop. Once she saw Batman jump out the window after her, she allowed her heart to calm down, and once more tried to reassure the woman's parents. "It's going to be alright. Batman will save her, he won't let her get hurt."
Not hearing a reaction, Rachel looked over to see Gomez and Morticia were no longer there. Scanning the room, she found them over by the hors d'oeuvres, chatting calmly while they ate shrimp. She was so stunned at their lack of concern, she didn't notice the Joker until he was right in front of her.
"Well, look what we have here. You're Harvey's squeeze, aren't you?" The Joker asks rhetorically as he grabs hold of Rachel by her wrist. "I think you'll make a great consolation prize for my efforts tonight."
Pulling Rachel along roughly, the Joker flings her into the waiting arms of one of his thugs, who hoists her up to his shoulder. "Come on boys, we've got work to do, and we can't play with Batsy any more."
As the criminals made good their escape, the paralyzed crowd started to slowly react again. Grateful that they had all survived the encounter. There were all manner of responses to what had just happened. Some found their way to the bar to calm their nerves with alcohol, others broke down crying. Still others found they didn't know how to react, and remained stock still, like deer caught in a pair of headlights.
Amidst it all, Gomez and Morticia made their way over to the broken window, and waited as Wednesday pulled herself up and into the room.
"Did I miss anything?" Wednesday asked as she surveyed the room dispassionately.
Flicking the remains of his cigar out into the night, Gomez nodded. "I'm afraid your green-haired friend ran off with another hostage."
"Pity. He was rather interesting." Wednesday said as she picked up a fresh glass of champagne. "I don't suppose we can leave now? I imagine it's only downhill from here."
"Yes, I agree." Morticia said as she took Gomez's hand. "It's been a lovely night, why spoil it by having to deal with the police?"
With that, the Addams trio made their way to the elevator, and left one of the more interesting fundraisers that they'd attended that year.