When I Fall

A/N: OO;; Sorry for the horrifically long absence. I just dropped by to post this "too-big-to-be-a drabble". Reality Check and On the Catwalk are taking a little nap right now and Ever After is sorta dead. I apologize—I'm a junior in honors classes at a crappy high school. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. I might make up for it with another chapter of On the Catwalk. No promises, though. -.-

Anyway, this almost-drabble is ABSOLUTELY NOT Bat/Harl. Just to make that clear. I was watching "Mad Love" last night and I had to write something because it was so deep.

Hope you like it.

The train circles him back to the abandoned Aquacore building in a short while, but he wasn't planning on going inside. His focus is on the scummy alleyway next to it where a little broken clown girl lays not moving. When he digs her out of the garbage and filth, picks up her injured, torn, and limp form, he can't help but feel a sting of guilt.

These injuries are not fatal, he reminds himself, but the ones dealt to her spirit may as well be. He cannot decide whether this is a reality or a tragedy. Maybe this final run-in with the Joker will make her wake up. Maybe. But still he hoped.

A compartment on his belt calls Gordon and the Commissioner promises to be there in 10 minutes. Batman can't leave her like this. She was unconscious with a broken arm, dislocated shoulder, and more bruises along her spine than he cared to count. The five-story drop should have killed her. But it hadn't.

She breathes shallowly against his shoulder against his shoulder, involuntarily shivering as the frigid night air whips past them. He pulls the cape more securely around them both and tries not to think of earlier events.

"Circus…he said it was the circus…"

"You're wrong! My Puddin' does love me, he does!"

A tiny, weak voice breaks him from his reverie.

"You were right all along…B-Man."

The little clown girl whispers, opening those crystal-blue eyes halfway to stare up at him sadly. Tears edge out of their corners and he can't help but pity her.

"He doesn't care about me. I've wasted…my whole life chasing after him and now look at me. Guess…the joke really was on me."

Her next breath is reedy as if there might be some internal bleeding and he quiets her with a tone softer than the ones he'd used earlier.

"Rest. You need your strength."

She takes one last breath, clutching his cape weakly as waves of unconsciousness began to lap at the back of her eyes.

"You're strong enough for the both of us. Guess I never saw that…'til now. Always been…right here…to catch me…when I fall…"

She slumps back against him. The whine of sirens begin to fill the air as the cops and ambulance arrive. But he was still there, transfixed by her quiet words. His lips move to whisper three words.

"Poor little fool…"

END

Sad, ain't it? Well, that's it. Let me what you think: review!