Notes: another missing scene, and one I would have greatly liked them to include in the film even if it didn't quite happen like this! I wouldn't have said no to all sorts of handcuff and frisking-related activities...
Part two: between Gordon's miraculous recovery from being pretty dead and the Joker being securely stationed within a holding cell.
'Can you please just give me a minute?'
The shotgun was jabbed firmly into the back of his neck. Honestly, some people were so rude. Why couldn't they wait their turn? He was very clearly occupied attempting to de-mask a comatose Batman without getting what looked like a pretty incapacitating electric shock. Did he look like he was free for a quick chat?
The Joker shifted his knife away from the neck of his prize as he turned to see who was so insistent on getting his attention. A shove sent him sprawling off balance as he was confronted by the insufferable, always so boringly earnest face of Lieutenant Gordon. Well that was unexpected.
'We got you, you son of a bitch.' Gordon growled, keeping the gun aimed squarely at the chest of the man sprawled on the floor.
'You know I do seem to recall shooting you.' The Joker muttered almost to himself as Gordon kicked his knife away; thankfully it wasn't his favourite one. He shifted on the uneven concrete as he gazed mockingly up at the detective. 'You are a tricky little policeman, aren't you.'
With a click and a whir the springs and cogs in his brain had already started to process what this meant for his plots and schemes. He would never admit to having A Plan of course. Plans are for dullards who couldn't see the beauty in the a bit of random anarchy. But you can't just throw dominoes randomly at a barrel of gasoline and hope one will set it off; to get proper chaos you had to set the dominoes just right in front of the detonator switch. Then with a little push they would do the work for you. He decided that the sudden reappearance of this domino would just make the inevitable self-driven collapse all the more satisfying.
A veritable flock of SWAT personnel suddenly descended on the scene along with half of Gotham's remaining police force. The Joker mused how just a little matter like chasing a DA in a police van across half the city with a couple of trucks and the odd bazooka could grab everyone's attention. He loved this crazy city with its populace that had such taste for explosions. He just hoped they weren't too full yet – he had a full menu planned and there were several more courses to come. But first it was time to make his new guards lighten up a bit.
The new arrivals seemed only too keen to take over from the recently revived Lieutenant Gordon in gun-pointing duty, but were curiously reluctant to actually touch the costumed man on the floor in front of them. His twisted, painted face seemed to grin mockingly at them even as he lay still with his eyes shut, as if he had just decided to lie down in the street and take a nap. The beginning of quiet snoring noises were enough for Gordon.
'Alright; come on now. We're not having any of your games.'
'Just five more minutes, Mom.' The purple-suited figure muttered, rolling over slightly. His thumb snaked its way towards his painted mouth in grotesque imitation of a sleeping child. A few of the cops looked at each other in confusion across their raised guns. This was the guy who had masterminded several vicious public murders, and just taken out half the task force assigned to transport a vital prisoner?
Gordon didn't want to waste time. He motioned for help from the Sergeant of the first SWAT team, and between the two of them they dragged the Joker into a roughly upright position.
'Is it time for school already?' He rubbed his eyes with gloved hands. 'I want waffles. Unless you've got Fruit Loops. Nothing like starting the day with a bowl of sugar and colourings. It made me in the man I am today!'
Instead of waffles or cereal he received a stony silence as his hands were cuffed in front of him. His temporary new friends seemed a depressingly humourless bunch. He also noted that the formerly rather unconscious body of his favourite Flying Rodent seemed to have disappeared. Naughty Batman wouldn't have been in on Gordon's little plan as well, would he? He raised his assessment of his opposite number one higher and awarded him a gold star for sneakiness in playing possum. This was going to be even more of a challenge if Batsy kept up the good work. He chuckled internally and almost vibrated with suppressed excitement at all the fun to come.
They abandoned the attempt to frisk him when they came across the fifth knife, which sliced open the palm of the cop unsqeamish enough to volunteer for the task of patting him down. The others still seemed reluctant to touch him. He clucked in mock sympathy as the injured man hissed and cradled his wounded hand to his chest, blood dripping like glistening jewels against his navy uniform. The Joker thought it beautiful, and had a sudden urge to put a matching ruby smile on the officer's face.
Gordon returned from letting Dent in on the good news to find an ashen faced officer clutching his bleeding hand and a nervous looking SWAT team holding their guns just a little bit too tight, as the smudged and dishevelled clown in front of them gazed dreamily at the drying blood. He shook his head in tired resignation. 'We can finish this back at the station where there's better light. Just load him in the van; he's handcuffed and has nowhere to go. I'll ride in the back with him and make sure there's no funny business.'
The Joker tutted as the officers moved him towards the vehicle. 'Now Lieutenant, how boring a journey it would be if there was no fun.' He didn't resist but didn't cooperate either, and they had to bodily lift him into the back of the van. Their movements were clumsy and he could sense they were afraid of him. He allowed himself a small chuckle that he could still inspire fear even when he was handcuffed and supposedly harmless.
His painted face remained expressionless while they reposition his handcuffs through a fixing on the side of the van. As they clambered out, Gordon climbed in and took a seat on the thin metal bench fixed to the floor on the other side of the vehicle from the Joker who was humming something tuneless while staring at the ceiling. The doors were shut and bolted from the outside before the van pulled away. He gave a deep sigh and shut his eyes. Finally he could be done with this charade and see his family again. Then the tuneless humming abruptly stopped.
'Well then, what do you say to a game of Eye-Spy?'
Gordon opened his eyes and stared at the man sitting across from him. 'What?'
'Eye-Spy. Or Twenty Questions. Something. But I prefer Eye-Spy. Let's see, I'll go first – I spy with my little eye, something beginning with… S.'
'I'm not playing games with you.'
'Why not?' The Joker pouted, looking suddenly like a petulant child. 'This is going to be a very dull trip if you're not willing to join in. Are you just afraid you'll lose?' His face suddenly twisted again and his grin widened to become mocking. 'Or maybe that I'll somehow gain a deep understanding of your psychological makeup from a simple word game and use it to expose your deepest weaknesses before eating your liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti?' He hissed between his teeth but soon bent forward in collapsed, breathless giggles. Regaining control and panting slightly he grinned across at the Lieutenant. 'Just lighten up will ya!'
Gordon unsuccessfully tried to keep a composed expression in the face of this sudden outburst. He decided that the twisted man before him evidently craved attention and decided not to give him the pleasure of responding. The Joker, for his part, knew that it was always just a case of experimenting until he found the right buttons to push. He tapped his toes up and down experimentally, as if testing the water for temperature.
'So how far did you take this little faking-your-death scheme then, hmm? How serious were you. Did you go the whole nine yards; did they send a condolence card to your wife?' The Joker spotted the sudden stab of pain in Gordon's eyes and brought out the mock sympathy again, clucking.
'Oh, oh deary. Did you really go to all that trouble just for little old me? You shouldn't have! I mean really; think of the pain your poor wife and kiddy-winks must have gone through, thinking you dead. Tut tut. Then you're going to turn up and say "Sorry – it was all a big lie! I'm not really dead!". Now that's the sort of thing that can really screw a kid up.' He leaned closer to the Lieutenant, conspiratorially. 'I should know. Keep an eye on that boy of yours; you wouldn't want him turning out like me.'
Gordon wanted so much to wipe the smeary, sardonic grin from the face before him that he could taste it. 'I'm not going to give you what you want; a nice set of black eyes your mob lawyer can take to a judge to get you out of those cuffs by lunchtime. You can talk all you want, but I'm not biting.'
'Spoilsport. And as if I'd like to leave your charming and witty company so soon.' He drawled, sarcasm evident, then resumed humming tunelessly to himself.
Gordon hoped that he might make it the last couple of blocks without any more comments from the clown. He would be much happier when they were both within the familiar and solid walls of the MCU. He gave a short smile as he wondered whether the Joker would be so cocky when he was securely in a holding cell with a few of Gotham's more volatile and less civilized residents. Maybe after a few hours he'd change his tune and become a bit more cooperative, ready for Harvey Dent to deal with in the morning. Now that was going to be a talk Gordon would enjoy watching from behind the two-way mirror; Gotham's White Knight against this twisted terrorist-for-hire. He didn't give the clown good odds.
A short while later the Joker was standing irritably next to the booking desk while a ham-fisted custody officer went through the pockets of his coat, which he had recently been divested of.
"…another knife, and another, and…' the man pulled the modified vegetable peeler '…whatever the hell this is.'
'It's a knife, genius. And be careful with it – I'll be wanting it back shortly.'
The custody officer raised an incredulous eyebrow. 'Sure you will – because they're good that like at Arkham, letting the crazies keep their weapons.'
'I'm not crazy.' It came out as slightly more of a threatening growl than he had planned, causing the two officers on either side of him to tighten their grips on his arms. He decided he'd better lighten the tone again. 'Do you mind? You're cutting off the blood supply to my hands here. They're getting all tingly.' He waggled his now glove-less fingers to demonstrate.
'Get started on the rest of the processing and take two sets of prints to be sure.' Gordon instructed the officers. 'I need to get the mayor on the phone.'
'You mean you're not coming to sit with me while I get my picture taken?' The Joker shouted over his shoulder as he was led down the corridor. 'Got better places to be, Lieutenant? I'm insulted.'
Twenty minutes later Gordon had one even more smeary-looking Joker locked securely in a holding cell, two complete sets of very ordinary looking prints and some pretty unusual mugshots.
Gordon turned to the Sergeant he had tasked with the processing. 'Why is he still wearing that makeup?'
The burly looking man shuffled his feet slightly. 'Well, to be honest sir he was pretty dead-set on not washing it off himself. We tried holding him down but after the officer with the sponge nearly lost a finger we thought it was best left until the tranqs kick in.'
Gordon sighed and looked at the man sat calmly in the cramped cell. 'He might be staying like that for a while then; he's not having as much as a Tylenol until the DA has a chance to talk to him.' The passive face stared silently back with its permanent mocking grin. If he had been so inclined Gordon could almost have imagined that the faded and smudged clown looked like the cat that had got the cream; like he was just where he wanted to be. The detective shook his head and narrowed his gaze, only to see a clearly deranged and very securely locked up killer once more. The Joker continued to sit passively and observe the goings-on outside his cell.
The mayor chose that moment to arrive to see both the newly resurrected head of his major crimes unit and the man who had put his premature obituary in the newspaper.
'Gordon! Back from the dead?'