Disclaimer: DC owns all these characters and WB owns DC and Time Warner owns WB and I'm pretty sure the rest of the world.
Author notes: I've wanted to do this for a while: a henchman's look into our clown's lives. Wheee! I started this fic quite some time ago and then dropped it until RisqueSno started driving me batty to finish it. (Heh…batty.) I said, "I don't know. I think there was something about it I wasn't happy with." She then called me many nasty names. Upon another review, I love this fic! I must've dropped it because I got distracted by other stories which caused this one to be over a year in the making. How sad am I? I must point out that this takes place very early in the Joker/Harley relationship.
He hated his name. It didn't fit his chosen profession in the slightest, not that he really had much of a say in the matter. However, he was able to make up for the name with his massive bulk. If he was smart, he would of have tried making it in football, but he was never accused of having much in the brains department. Back in his school days, he was far more content playing the bully rather than the jock anyway.
Still, the name Lionel had to go. His last name was Whitefield so he had taken to introducing himself as 'White'. Most people he associated with nowadays didn't even know what his real name was and what's more didn't care.
One day White was channel surfing and he came across a documentary on "The World's Most Dangerous Jobs." He had laughed and took another swig from his beer bottle. You were never going to find him on that show, but White knew the truth: he, in fact, had the world's most dangerous job. Those deep sea fishers didn't come close to what he had to deal with.
White had been working as one of Joker's boys for about five years and, as far as he knew, that was some kind of record. Most of the people he had worked with when he began the gig were dead and the others simply got out before they ended up that way. He supposed he could leave too, but it was well known that the Joker paid the best out of anyone else he could opt to work for. (The clown had no choice if he wanted to keep people coming back for more punishment.) Besides, there were certain perks. His boss spent so much time incarcerated that White got plenty of time off to simply relax and spend the great deal of money he had earned.
The key to his survival was relatively simple and it rings true in any career: understand what your boss wants. Now, your normal, average, everyday paper-pusher could choose not to abide by this rule. As a consequence, he might find himself unemployed. The consequences White faced were much more dire, so this rule quickly became the guiding light in his life.
Don't get him wrong; White didn't claim to have to have some kind of in-depth understanding of his boss' psyche. If all those shrinks couldn't figure him out, who was he to talk? But White did know enough to get by. He just happened to stumble across the secret to his survival during the first job he pulled as a new member of the crew. He had noticed that those who grabbed the boss' attention were always the first to go, because Joker didn't like anyone taking the spotlight from him for even so much as a millisecond.
White could never bring himself to make eye contact with his boss. Hell, even after all these years he couldn't recall a single time that his eyes had ventured up any further than those spats. Sometimes it was purple house shoes, sometimes chalk-white bare feet. Whenever the Joker addressed them as a group, his eyes went instantly to the floor and he tried his damnedest to stay towards the back. While others tried to rise in the ranks, White kept himself invisible. He never spoke unless it was absolutely necessary and even then he said as little as possible.
White knew that despite all the time he had spent working under him, regardless of all the pain and suffering that he had undergone on various heists, the Joker had absolutely no idea who he was. To him, White was just another one of the new guys. This might upset some people, but it was exactly the way White wanted things and he intended to keep it that way.
The Joker was known for being wild and spontaneous, but the routine was never truly that different for White. It really didn't matter where or when a job was pulled or what gimmick was being played, all that mattered was that he did exactly as he was told. The only two true distinctions were whether the job was just a run-of-the-mill "we're really running out of funds" gig or a planned battle with the Bat. He hated those, mostly because he was forced to wear that stupid make-up. They were unavoidable though, so he'd psyche himself up and try not to get beaten too badly.
The important thing was that he was able to keep out-of-sight, out-of-mind. So long as he knew what to expect, White had no problems and nothing within the past five years had really thrown him a curve ball…until now.
White had no idea where she'd come from and he really didn't care. All he knew was that women normally spelled trouble and any kind of woman the boss was interested in had to mean tons of it.
He'd showed up to 'work' like he was supposed to, just as he'd done a hundred times before, only to be met with some chick dressed in red and black. (She apparently dug the clown look too.) There was no explanation, no introduction. It was as though she'd always been there, like some fixture in the room he just hadn't noticed yet.
I think I'd have noticed you, doll, White caught himself thinking. His eyes widened as he realized the danger that mere thought represented and instantly dropped his gaze to the floor again. Yup, my shoes are still white. Good to know.
The whole situation made him very uneasy. One little thing could change the status quo he had become accustomed to and this was no little thing. Since when was the boss interested in 'company' anyway? Was he supposed to listen to her too…or would that just make the boss mad? God, he hated this. With any luck she would end up very dead, very quickly.
End Notes: I've never really gotten this in-depth in the development of a new character before. It's not something I really ever intended to do, but it's not like there are many established henchmen in the Bat-universe I could use. Anyway, you're going to be seeing a lot of him, so I hope he meets with your approval. I'm not really expecting as much attention from this piece as it's not as 'shippy' but I promise there's JHQ coming up.