Paper Girl

By London

Disclaimer: Batman is owned by DC.  I'm just using him.

            Gotham City.  You gotta love this place.  Parties, crime, corporations, the criminally insane, Wayne botanical gardens; Gotham at it's best.  Actually, I moved here about two months ago from Metropolis.  Gotham, compared to Metropolis, has a darker air to it.  I like that.  I like dark and dreary.  I enjoy the fact that this city is the home to severe mental cases, including Batman.  Does that make me sick?

            Ah.  Wayne Manor.  I come by here every day to deliver their evening edition of the newspaper.  You'd be surprised at the amount one can make when they take on delivering newspapers to the outskirts of town.

            The red Toyota car pulled into the drive that led to Wayne Manor.  Behind her, a purple stretch limo turned in as well.  The owner of the Toyota, Jenny Pierce, picked up her pace as the limo tailgated her.

            "What the hell?" Jenny said.  She hit the brakes and dropped down to twenty miles an hour.  The limo almost slammed into her.  A window rolled down and a strange man leaned out the window waving to her.  Jenny watched in her rear view mirror as he produced a gun and started shooting at her.

            Jenny stepped on the gas and plowed towards Wayne Manor.

            Jenny was out of her vehicle before it was fully stopped.  Paper in hand, like a good papergirl, Jenny beat on the front door.  The limo pulled up and was silent for a minute.  Jenny wasted no time in trying the door handle.

            Jenny fell inside and kicked the door shut.  She went up on her knees to lock the door.  From behind her, down the hall, she could hear hurried footsteps.  Two gunshots rang out and hit the door.  Jenny screamed when she saw the hole only inches from her shoulder.

            "Hello?!" An English man said.

            "Alfred!" Jenny said running towards him.  Alfred had met her at the door every night for the last month and a half.  They usually only shared small talk, but tonight was going to be different. "Get down!"  Jenny pushed him into the closest room, which was the drawing room.  "There's a guy with green hair out there."

            "Master Dick!" Alfred yelled towards the stairs.  He turned towards Jenny.  "Are you hurt young miss?"

            "No.  No, I'm just…riled up" Jenny said.  The front door was pounded on repeatedly.  Jenny looked around until she saw the poker for the fireplace.  She ran over and picked it up as two more shots were aimed towards the door.

            "Honey!  I'm home!" A voice called out in a sing-song fashion.

            "Alfred?" Dick Grayson called from the stairs. "Al?  Is everything all right?  I heard…something."  It was apparent that Dick saw who was at the door. "Joker."

            "Hello…Dick" The Joker said making his name sound like a derogatory word instead of a name.  Jenny crept out with the wall as her cover.  She had the poker in her hands like a baseball bat. "I'm here to see dear Brucie since he help put me away last time."  The Joker aimed the gun towards Dick.  His hand and the gun stuck out just past the line of the wall. "I suppose I could always give you the message though –"

            Jenny struck out with the poker and knocked the gun from the Joker's hand.  She stepped around the corner and swung again.  The poker connected with the Joker's left arm and chest.

            "Party pooper!" The Joker groaned.

            "Alfred!  Call the police!" Jenny yelled.  She went to swing the poker again, but a hand caught the poker.  Jenny's eyes widened as she stared at another clown.  A low laughter erupted from the Joker.  As it grew louder and higher, another gunshot rang out.  The Joker's laughter sounded almost hysterical now.

            "Dick!  Look what happened to your girlfriend" The Joker chided between laughs.  Jenny was standing still.  She registered that something was wrong.  It wasn't until she felt her shirt becoming wet that she looked down.

            "She's not my girlfriend" Dick yelled running down from the stairs.  Jenny touched the growing area of blood.  The other clown, a woman in black and red, Harley Quinn, pushed her against the hallway wall and smiled as Jenny slid down. "She's the paper girl."

            "You're joking" The Joker said with his devious smile.  Dick looked at him defiantly.  The Joker broke out in another round of hysterical laughter.  Harley laughed with him this time. "Where's Bruce, kid?"

            "Dancing on your grave" Dick said.

            "Can I, Mr. J?" Harley asked.  She was pressed against the Joker's side and his arm had wrapped itself around her waist.

            "But you shot the last one, Poopsie" Joker said.  He raised his gun towards Dick.  There was movement behind the Joker.  Harley looked over their shoulders to look.

            "Excuse me" A breathless voice said.  The Joker turned around.  There was a loud crack and both clowns hit the floor.  Almost doubled over was Jenny with the poker.  Blood was seeping down her shirt and pants now.  She took a step back and took a deep breath.

            "Are you okay?" Dick asked.  From somewhere he had found a roll of duct tape.  He looked at her concerned while taping the Joker to Harley.

            "Oh…Yeah" Jenny said pressing her hands to her wound. "Just a scratch, Mr. Grayson."

            Dick was quick on taping the Joker and Harley, but he did an effective job.

            "Master Dick" Alfred said. "I have telephoned the police.  They'll be here as fast as they can."

            "Thank you, Alfred" Dick said.  Both men looked over at Jenny as she let her back hit the wall.  They both went around the Joker and Harley.  Jenny slid down the wall leaving a trail of blood.

            "It's starting to hurt now" Jenny said before everything went black.