Ever since he had learned about vampires and demons and all that fun stuff, very little had shocked Joker over the years. Even Buffy's refusal to kill Angelus hadn't shocked him, because deep down, he had been expecting that. He knew that when the Slayer looked at the big bad Angelus, all she saw was her former boyfriend. That was unfortunate for her (because it led to her untimely death) but it was expected none the less.
But seeing Angelus right here, right now, and having the bastard's fingers wrapped around his neck and seeing that damn smirk was very shocking. Joker had never expected this to happen. He didn't know how or why it happened, but he was not happy about this sudden turn of events. This threw quite a few wrenches in his plans to say the least.
"What's the matter Xander?" Angelus asked. "You don't look very happy to see me."
Harley kicked Angelus in the stomach, causing him to drop Joker and Willow. The insane Slayer pulled Joker out of the way as Spike rushed his grandsire. He attempted a spear but Angelus dodged it and used Spike's own momentum to toss him out of the way. Connor hit Angelus in the face twice before his third hit was blocked and he was sent to the ground by a hard kick to the head.
"Connor!" Fred cried out, effectively bringing Angelus' attention on her.
Angelus licked his lip. "Well aren't you a pretty one?" he said with an evil grin. "Look at you. You're all neck, aren't you?"
Joker pulled a stake out of his pocket. If looks could kill then Angelus would already be dust in the wind. Harley was trying to do her best to hold him back. "Don't do it Mr. J," she pleaded. "Just get out of here. I'll take care of him. You just need to go."
"Yeah Xander, let your groupie do your dirty work," Angelus taunted. "Hide behind a woman, just like you always do. It's what you're best at."
Joker shoved Harley away as hard as he could. "I didn't hide a woman the last time I staked you," he growled. "And I'll be damned if I'm going to hide behind one as I stake you again."
Angelus and Joker began to circle each other slowly. Spike, Connor, Fred and Harley were watching in a nervous anticipation. Joker couldn't even see Willow anymore but he assumed she was watching too.
"Do you really think I'm going to give you an opportunity to stake me again?" Angelus asked. He sounded like he was amused by this whole thing, which just pissed Joker off more.
"Oh I don't think you're going to give me anything," Joker replied. He had such a tight hold on the stake that he was shocked he hadn't snapped it in half yet. "But I'm going to take my opportunity, whether you like it or not."
Angelus chuckled. "No, you see, I made a mistake last time by letting you take your opportunity. And unlike Spike-y over there, I don't make the same mistake twice."
"No, you just make new ones," Willow growled. She came out of nowhere and blasted Angelus with some sort of green light. It hit him right in the side and it lifted him up off his feet and sent him crashing down on to the nearest parked car.
Joker burst out laughing. "Now that's a neat trick," he admitted.
Spike looked at Willow in amazement. "Where in the hell did you go?"
Willow shrugged. "I just made sure I wasn't noticeable until I wanted to be. I wanted him to see how it felt being taken by surprise."
Joker kissed her on the head and ruffled her hair. "And that is why we adore you Will."
Harley growled. That little display of affection looked like it sent her mind over the edge, which wasn't necessarily a good thing for someone who was already insane. "Mr. J!"
Joker shrugged innocently. "What? That didn't mean anything darling, I swear!" The words sounded insincere even to him.
Angelus got up slowly. "You're going to pay--"
"Capture!" Willow yelled, cutting him off before he could finish his sentence. This time a blue light erupted from her hands and it wrapped itself around Angelus so he couldn't move no matter how hard he struggled. "We really, really don't want to hear your crap at the moment," she informed him.
"Uh Will, I hate I to break it to you, but his mouth is still free to move," Spike said. "He's still not going to shut his mouth."
Joker started walking towards Angelus with the stake. "I can fix that real quick."
Willow stopped him before he could stake Angelus though. "Wait a second," she said. "I've got a better idea."
Angelus snorted. "Yeah, I doubt it."
Willow glared at him. "Shut up."
Amazingly enough, he did shut up. But from the look on his face, it didn't look like he really wanted to be quiet. Probably another spell at work, Joker thought to himself. "What exactly do you have in mind?" he asked Willow.
She grinned. "How about when we make Gotham literally burn, we start with him…literally."
He began to grin as he realized what she was implying. "Will, I could kiss you again because you're so brilliant."
Harley grabbed him and pulled him away from Willow. "You better not!" she exclaimed. "Or I swear to God, I'm going to--"
Joker glared at her. "Har, you're really becoming a pain in the ass," he warned her. "Do you know what I like to do with those?"
That shut her up real quick.
Spike leaned over towards Fred and Connor. "Anyone else smell trouble brewing?"
Connor nodded. "Oh yeah."
Fred also nodded. "One of those three is going to end up dead before the night's over."
"My sentiments exactly. How long do we give them?"
Joker, Willow and Harley glared at them. "We can hear you," Willow informed them.
Spike shrugged. "Yeah, well I wasn't trying to be subtle."
"You don't know how to be subtle," Fred pointed out.
"Exactly, so I didn't even bother to try."
At least he knows his weaknesses, Joker thought. That has to count for something.