A/N: I'm not a real comic book junkie, but as it happens earlier last month I happened to stumble across the Batman story arc "Hush." I was really impressed the depth and intensity all the characters were given, and also the darkness of the whole plotline. It was interesting, and, as such, I thought I might write a few vignettes on many of the key characters involved.

However, I only read the second book (I think), so some of my plot points might be a little bit off scale. It that's the case, kindly tell me.

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters within this story or anything else associated with them. It's all Warner Brothers and DC comic's baby, not mine.

Hush's story is the first of eight, following with the Joker, Clayface, Catwoman, Harley, Tim Drake and Bats.

Enjoy. :)


Hush Little Baby, Don't You Cry...

(Hush)

He's hated Bruce since they were boys.

Bruce never knew it–still doesn't know it–but Thomas has a hatred for him that nearly rivals that of his now (fortunately) deceased parents.

It might've been jealousy–maybe it still as–at Bruce's fortune, his intelligence, his looks...but Thomas knows that at the root of everything, his hatred for Bruce stems from his father saving the parents–the mother.

He had despised them, planned out the perfect murder and the perfect life following afterwards only to have it taken right out from under him. The beautiful dreamworld had been stolen by a stupidly courageous doctor who thought that it was his mission to save the Elliots.

Oh, Thomas hated the Waynes and Bruce for that. Even after his mother eventually died–and Bruce's father and mother ironically afterwards–Thomas knew that his thirst for revenge was not even close to being quenched. The Waynes' death wasn't even half of what Thomas wanted from Bruce. Not even close.

So Thomas schemed. Day in, day out, from age ten to twelve to sixteen, Thomas brewed up a plan for his revenge, waiting for the opportune moment to start moving.

It finally crystallized. By the time Thomas was seventeen, he knew exactly what he'd do.

High school graduation came, and later, college. Harvard classes, six grueling years of medical practice...Thomas Elliot became the Dr. Thomas Elliot, and in this step he became the very person that Bruce might've been had his parents not been so brutally–Thomas spits on the word–stolen from him. No one–not even that 'great detective' Batman–would suspect him of being anything else but a well-mannered and incredibly successful man and surgeon.

It's irony.

And Thomas loves irony.

Especially now.

Seated in the rotting corpse that the Joker and his dependent-personality girlfriend call their home, with Poison Ivy lounging in one of the far chairs and Clayface blinking in a mask that will only be his temporarily, Thomas knows that his entire scheme with these always-failing 'super-villains' is indeed ironic.

They all are going to back stab each other, all going to lie, cheat and steal and in the end try to kill each other for the glory. It's how it always goes with the scum and how it always will go. Chances are, even though this entire scheme is his brainchild, they'll try to knock him off first and get credit.

Right now they're promising alliance. They're sitting at the table with their dangerous smiles and ice-cold eyes and telling each other that they'll guard each others backs no matter what the cost. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, they all say, promising protection.

The irony is, they're all bull-shitting each other and they know it.

Thomas realized long before he befriended these pathetic excuses for humans that they'd try to kill him off within the first days if they could. He had–like any good strategist–anticipated it long before this very meeting and made sure to net everything into place. No dangerous variable was left out of the equation, no lingering possibility of failure hidden in the corner.

Thomas is thorough. He does his homework.

They will all fall before he goes down. He has made sure of it in every one of his plans, and has become almost certain that this revenge–this sweet, sweet revenge–will play out exactly like he wants it.

Bruce Wayne, and the poorly disguised alter-self as Batman, will die, and with them both all the villains and heroes that continued to keep the men (man?) legends will perish, too.

It's payback, Bruce, he tells himself quietly as the Joker cracks a knock-knock joke and Harley laughs hysterically

Payback for the fortune and life I dreamed of.

Poison Ivy makes kissing noises at the Clown Prince and he freezes.

Payback for what I failed to get..

Nygma drums his fingers on the edge of the table and watches Thomas quietly.

Payback for everything that I wanted to be but you took.

"It's about time we had a genius around here," the Joker says, still watching Poison Ivy warily out of the corner of his eye. He smiles with those disgusting yellow teeth before continuing. "I was beginning to think we were all out."

This is payback for everything.

Thomas smiles behind his bandages and bares his teeth.

"Oh," he says, "but you're never out of geniuses. You just have to know where to find them."

Payback for it all.

Irony.

...yes, Thomas loves irony.