A/N-I've recently read the note on the front page concerning reviews…I have a lot to catch up to…anyhow, this chapter is going to be the end. I decided that I couldn't make an entire chapter out of the way I intend to end this. So this is the end. It will have a sequel by the name of "Oh, Father of Mine." I don't plan on doing it anytime soon, though. I want to take a break from this world to finish some other things. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy it!
Chapter 12- Saving the Day
Jo groaned and opened her eyes to see…herself, staring back at her from across the room. A mirror with the top right corner showed a distorted image of Jo…who was, thankfully, unsmiling. Suddenly, she became acutely aware of Harley and the Joker chattering in the distance.
"She didn't change, Mistah J!" Harley said, awed.
"How can that be!" the Joker growled in reply.
Jo glanced down at herself. Now she was only held in place by a single band, buckled across her waist. She held her hands up to her face to find them their normal, fleshy color.
"She's awake!" Harley squeaked.
Joker approached Jo as she undid the buckle and quickly got to her feet. He circled her and, instead of running--which was the teen's instinct--she stayed put. Finally, he got right into her face and breathed a single question.
"How what?" Jo snarled back at him.
Harley watched with frightened eyes as father and daughter engaged in a deadly stare down. Joker returned the girl's snarl and lengthened his inquiry.
"How were you able to resist the toxin? My venom?" he hissed.
Jo didn't glance away. Instead, she continued to glare, thinking all the while. How had she been able to resist the change? Finally, she turned her back to the Joker--she couldn't stand to stare at him any longer--and asked, "When you and mother met, were you…like this?"
She turned back and gestured to his being. He looked down at himself. Looking back up at her, with his ruby smile in place, he said, "Yes. I was."
Jo sighed. "Then perhaps it's somehow…this toxin…encoded into me. My make-up, genetically speaking?"
Joker paused. "Hmm…that's possible…I suppose."
Suddenly, from above them, there was a loud crash and a shower of glass. Batman landed between Jo and her father, facing the Joker.
"Oh, Batsy, it took you long enough!" Joker laughed.
In the distance, Jo could see Harley running to retrieve a weapon of some sort.
"Jo, hide!" Batman called as Harley reemerged with some sort of large gun.
"Watch out!" Jo cried as she ducked behind the operating table.
The Joker snapped his fingers and his two thugs had rushed at Batman. Jo watched, peeking around the table, as Batman landed a powerful kick in one of their stomachs as the other grabbed him, putting him in a choke-hold. The thug turned, allowing Harley to take aim at the Dark Knight.
"No!" Jo shouted, running out and shoving Harley aside.
Harley fired and missed by a mile. Behind Jo, who was now on the floor watching Batman break free from the thugs, she heard her father growl angrily. He reached out, grabbing her by the hair on the top of her head. Then, with her kicking and screaming, he began to lead her away.
"No! Batman, help!" Jo yelled.
"That's not going to happen anytime soon, kiddo!" Joker announced gleefully.
As must as she hated to admit it, the Joker was right. Batman was caught between a rock and a hard place with those two thugs. He was winning but slowly. Harley, meanwhile, was unconscious from where Jo had accidentally shoved her against the wall too hard. The Joker tugged at Jo's hair again, pulling her farther away. This time, he wasn't going to get her.
Using perhaps a childish method of defense, she stomped her father's foot and whirled to bite the arm attached to the hand that had her hair.
"Ow! Why you little--!" Joker yelled, as Jo backed away and he advanced on her. "You're going to regret that!"
Suddenly, a shadow appeared behind the Clown Prince. He turned slowly, seeing Jo stare up at it, and tried to swing a punch at it. The shadow caught the punch and returned it tenfold. The Joker collapsed, unconscious. Stepping over him, Batman smiled at Jo.
"Had enough fun with these guys?" he asked.
Jo's eyes widened. She knew, somehow, that she had just had a rare blessing bestowed upon her. She had heard Batman make a joke!
"Plenty," she said. "Take me home."
Two weeks later, Catherine Massa and Jo found themselves standing in a corridor in Arkham Asylum, accompanied by Batman and Commissioner Gordon.
"You don't have to do this, Jo," Gordon said kindly.
"That's what I've been telling her," Catherine said.
"I want to," Jo said. Then, turning to Batman, she added, "Show me where."
The Dark Knight nodded and led her down the corridor and into a door at the end.
"Do you want me to go in with you?" he asked.
She shook her head.
"No. But…wait out here for me?"
Smiling, Batman nodded. Shutting the door as he left, Jo turned. The room was large and an off-white in color. It was divided in the center by a large, thick glass that ran the length of the room and attached itself to a table. Jo took a seat at a chair that had been placed under the table. On the other side of the glass, which also had a door, a guard and an asylum worker led the Joker in--dressed in a white uniform without a straight-jacket--and sat him down at a chair on the other side. The worker left, but the guard remained. The Joker scowled at Jo through the glass, but a look of curiosity was in his eye. Jo picked up the receiver of a black phone that was on her right and motioned to its twin that was on the Joker's right. He picked it up.
"Hi, Dad," she said.
End Notes: Okay, the end! I hope everyone enjoyed it! Now, I mentioned the sequel in the author's notes. I do think I will hold true to what I said about my starting it. It won't happen anytime soon. However, I will do the sequel. Just…in my own time! Thanks for reading!