Author's Note: This is the finished draft of a roleplaying session between me and my friend Jessi. She played Batman so I had the privilege of being The Joker. I loved it and had a great time. I hope you enjoy.
Warning: This may be a different view of Batman and The Joker than some of you are used to. This is not meant to adhere to any particular canon author's vision of the characters.
The two guards shoved the Joker inside the dank smelling shoebox that passed for a room and slammed the door behind him. The slamming of the door seemed to echo several times inside his head. He winced, and then straightened warily, scanning the room for his visitor.
"Can't you operate during normal hours?" The Joker asked, pitching his voice to be as piercing as possible. He scratched his head grumpily. "I mean, some people sleep during the night. I'm not the star-spangled banner. There's no need to check if I'm still here." He muttered under his breath, "Especially not after Harley deserted me to be with her 'real friend'."
Batman grinned an emotionless smile in the dark; his teeth seemed to glare out in the dusky room.
"Perhaps if you treated her better," He ventured in his gravelly voice. It sounded as though it had traveled for several years and was covered in dust.
"I?" The Joker put a hand over his wounded heart. "I treat her poorly? Look at what she did to me! The bungling headcase does nothing but lie at my feet for me to trip over, and then when I really need her, she goes off with her gal-pal and leaves me alone in a place that smells like construction workers' armpits! Who manhandled who here?"
Batman pulled out a chair with a metallic screech and sat down. He put his arms on the table and stared thoughtfully at the Joker.
The Joker narrowed his eyes at him. "There's no way you came here to talk to me about 'how to handle a woman', Batface."
"I'll bet she drives you crazy with her loyalty," the Crusader added drily, obviously ignoring his comment.
"That little minx wouldn't know loyalty if it bit her on the nose!" The Joker exclaimed. "She changes with the weather!" He almost, almost threw the chair in front of him across the room, but he restrained himself.
Batman laughed harshly. "Yet she always comes back. I certainly don't understand it."
He sat down in it instead and let a Grinch-like smile cross his face. He folded his long, bony fingers on the table. "Why? Are you in loooo-ooove?" He snapped his fingers, eyes lighting up. "That's it, isn't it. Poor, old, Batsy sees me with a girl on my arm and dies in the throes of jealousy." He tipped back his head and laughed. "It must drive you BATS."
The smile was gone from the Joker's face in the next second. "But, if you're so concerned with my Harley, why haven't you rescued her from that garden variety psycho she keeps trotting after?"
Batman frowned. "She is averse to being rescued from anyone, as you well know." His grimace deepened, and almost seemed mournful. "I don't understand her. "
The Joker slapped his palm down on the table. His expression was incredulous. "Again with the hench-wench. What is it with you? I thought we came to talk about me."
He laughed his harsh, short laugh again. "Does it bother you?"
The Joker stared at him. "You know you get under my skin, sweetheart."
He expected that to get a reaction out of the Crusader, as it always had, but it slipped over Batman's head without ever making an impression.
Batman shrugged. "You brought her up. I thought perhaps you had this burning desire to unburden yourself." His eyes glittered maliciously from behind his mask.
This wasn't the way the game was supposed to be played.
"Me?" said the Joker indignantly. "I didn't so much as SNEEZE her name! You must be going deaf! I never mentioned the brat!"
He was beginning to get restless.
The more he thought about it, the more maybe he thought Harley had gone south. What's his game this time? Did something happen to the old Harls? If he's looking for me to confess, his Bat-radar's broken. I didn't do it.
The more he thought, an even more frightening idea he came up with. What if... what if she's accusing me of domestic abuse? He gave a little, nervous giggle inside his head. It would be just like her! I bet that black widow spider of a friend put it up to her. She's corrupted my poor Harley's thinking. She can't defend herself from a psycho like that. If there's anything the Bat hates worse than murderers, it's got to be molesters.
The Joker began to sweat inside the numbingly cold room.
Batman was silent for several moments. He appeared to be deep in thought, though his eyes never left the Joker's face. "Why don't you just kill Ivy, if it bothers you so much?" Batman asked suddenly. "The compulsion to be charitable has never seemed to drive you before."
The Clown Prince of Crime resisted a relieved grin. Me, me, me, this is more like it. "I'm hurt," The Joker said, putting his hand over his heart again. "You're assuming I haven't even tried. That unripe lesbian is immune to Smilex. I'm not the only rogue chemist on the block, Batsy. If I could bump her off to keep my hench wench from wandering down the garden path ever again, I would."
He gave Batman a pout. "That's why I was hoping you'd do it for me. Thou shalt not kill doesn't apply to plants, does it?"
He suddenly leapt across the table and clasped his pleading hands right under Batman's nose. "Please? If you're good, I'll even stop killing people for a while. A gesture of thanks for doing something useful once in a while." He expected a good, hard shove, or maybe a punch to the face. His excitement died down when he saw a lack of anger on the Dark Knight's face.
Batman shook his head firmly. "I'm not going to help you commit murder Jack. " He looked around with an air of observation. "This place is supposed to be curing you of that."
The Joker pulled back, crosslegged on the table, and snorted. "Ppppth. As if you believed that this gang of good ol' boys is capable of anything other than playing golf." He grinned. "Besides, I'm a celebrity. Why should I give up that, just to humor a few people who aren't right in the head? If you're so convinced this place has curative powers, why don't you enroll for a season or two?"
He watched uneasily as his foe refused to be deterred.
Batman smiled his dead smile again. "I rather meant that, if nothing else, a desire to be away from here would keep you from doing the things that cause you to come back."
"I am aware of what this facility lacks, but no one listens to me." He spread his hands in a helpless gesture.
The Joker shrugged. "You'd have to make it a lot worse to keep me from that...honey." He gave Batman a half lidded stare that could have been seductive if he hadn't been grinning the whole time. "I like it here. The people are so easy to break. Don't you agree?" He folded his hands under his chin. "I know what really drives you mad. I took someone from your side and made her a little Harlequin doll...on my side." The Joker sighed. "If I could do that to her...I could do that to anybody. Couldn't I?" He pushed that last thought viciously. I dare you to ignore that one.
Batman shrugged. "I've always thought that, yes." He frowned again. "But still, I find hope that she doesn't stay with you. This tendency to stray may save her yet." He spoke with the half-hopeless, half-careless air of someone who saw no reason to lie to the Joker, really.
The Joker laughed in order to keep from trying to strangle the life out of him. That wouldn't do, really, and he wanted to keep Batman as long as possible now that he had the Bat's attention. "Do you tell yourself that every time a junkie hesitates before putting a needle in his arm?" He did a falsetto. "Oh, I'm sure he won't shoot up -this- time. He's getting better! Look at that regret."
Batman said drily, "It's the only thing that keeps me going in the darkness."
The Joker leaned off the table and hung upside down, giggling. "I don't need that kind of slim hope. I go because of what I know I'll find. Something funny just waiting to happen." He let out an ear-splitting laugh. "I see Paris, I see France, I see Batman's underpants!"
Batman stood up abruptly. "You have always had an abominable sense of humor, Jacky boy."
The Joker gave him a smug smile. I knew I got you with that one. "Don't blame me for your homoeroticism. If you didn't want people to stare, you wouldn't be cavorting around in your underwear and your mother's leotard."
"I don't blame you for much," Batman said lightly, before nodding to the guards behind the one way glass.
"Wait," the Joker protested. "Wasn't there a point to this conversation?" He sat up too quickly and gave himself a head rush. He was still clutching his head when the guards came in to take him back to his cell.
Batman smiled as the guards lifted the Joker bodily from his chair. It was his first real smile, but it was a cruel one. "No."
The Joker wailed all the way down the hall, audible well after he was out of sight. "It's not faaaaaa-aaaair...I was asleep! He woke me up when I was finally..." His voice grew fainter. "...asleep!"