A/N: I decided to start a Joker story. I will continue my Draco Malfoy story "All Around Me", of course, and "Saying Goodbye Is the Hardest Part." I really loved the movie 'The Dark Knight' and the Joker (RIP Heath Ledger), which is why I decided to write this one. Joker will be in the next chapter, but he won't "meet" Jessica until probably the third one. I know this chapter is pretty boring, but it's just being used to introduce Jessica and Bruce as well as the circumstances of her coming to the manor. If you like it, please review! It'll make me super happy wonderful readers!

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters or scenes from "Batman Begins" or "The Dark Knight." I do own Jessica Wayne, all original characters and the plot. Now happy reading!

EDIT: I decided to rewrite the first few chapters to place them into first person and correct any errors.

This was it. There was no going back from this point. Nothing could take me out of this dismal state that had taken over. Nothing could extract his evil laugh from my mind. Memories of my life before Gotham seemed to be a part of another existence. I'd let him win- but not completely. There was still a tiny light inside of me that pushed me to fight this, to fight him. Despite the terror he'd instilled inside of me, I wasn't willing to give up yet. I refused to allow him to take over. I would escape; escape until I was as far away from him as possible. There would be no next time. I would be free once and for all, no matter what it took.

It had only been two agonizingly long weeks since my parents had perished in that car accident. One reckless action on some stranger's part ruined my life, and they didn't even have the decency to turn themselves in. Nearly a week after the accident, just two hours after the funeral, I learned my fate from my parent's grey haired lawyer. To my astonishment I was placed into the care of my cousin Bruce Wayne, playboy extraordinaire, until I turned the ripe age of eighteen. Everything I'd ever known was to be dropped so I could live it up in good ol' Gotham city.

Now as I sat in the passenger seat of my Aunt Stacey's black Escalade, I was desperately trying to extract any memory I had of Wayne Manor. It had been five years since I'd spent two weeks of my summer at the manor or even spoken to Bruce. I suppressed a sigh as my thoughts traveled back to the fact that my parent's hadn't even bothered to let me in on who my future guardian would be. Though, I couldn't completely blame them; nobody ever expected me to be thrown into this situation.

I diverted my eyes from the dashboard to the scenery that appeared outside of the tinted window. The whole layout of Gotham could be seen from this height. Tall buildings cascading over traffic jammed cars and a population far greater than my hometown of Reston, which was set just two hours south of the notorious city. Though they weren't very far in distance, the numerous differences between the two definitely weren't helping this small town girl's nerves.

"We're almost there, now. Just five more minutes," the falsely cheerful voice of my aunt stated. The sound of her voice brought forward one of the many questions I'd been pondering over for the past couple of weeks. With only five more private minutes left together I decided now was a better time than any to get this off my chest.

"Aunt Stacey, why didn't my parents choose you as my guardian? I mean, you live in Reston. You're the one I actually know," I stated tentatively, hoping I wasn't touching on a sore subject, though I couldn't hold back some of my boiled up anger.

Her face turned serious as she pondered over the question, though I was sure she'd already wondered the same thing herself. "Well, maybe they wanted you to get out of Reston. Make things a bit easier for you by…starting fresh," she said after a few moments of silence.

"I understand that," I said truthfully, "but Bruce Wayne? Everyone knows he's just a young bachelor. Besides, he's only ten years older than I am. How am I supposed to be controlled by someone who can't even control himself?"

"I know, darling, but apparently they thought he was responsible enough. You know your parents wouldn't have left you with someone they didn't think could take good care of you," she said as she turned onto a deserted road with nothing but forest on either side.

I sighed in agitation, mostly because I knew she was right. I'd been forced to leave my family and friends to come here. Hopefully my parent's had been right.

My doubtful thoughts were forgotten for the time being as we pulled up to the large, black gates that guarded the entrance to the manor. Aunt Stacey pushed a black button that was on an intercom stand beside the car.

"Name, please," came the familiar British accent of what sounded to be an older man.

"Stacey Myers. I'm here to drop off Jessica Wayne," she answered clearly into the speaker.

"Of course, Mr. Wayne has been expecting you. Please, come in," he said. With those words the large gates slowly opened, allowing us access to my new home for the next year. Aunt Stacey pulled in and drove the car around the circular driveway until we were directly in front of the manor. I looked over at the double doors as I stepped out of the car, my legs feeling slightly shaky. A young man with short, dark hair stepped out wearing a tight fitted black t-shirt and black jeans. There was no doubt that this was Bruce Wayne.

"Well if it isn't little Jessie Wayne," he said with a smile that showed off his pearly whites as he walked over to me. Once he'd made it over he immediately embraced me in a hug. "I'm so sorry about your parents," he whispered sympathetically in my ear.

I hugged him back for a few moments before pulling away, muttering a 'thanks' as I did so. Though it was sad to realize, at least now I had someone who had an idea of what I was going through. Bruce had witnessed his parent's death when he was only eight years old.

I heard another set of footsteps coming down the staircase and looked over to see an older man dressed in a black suite with a tie.

"Jessie, this is my butler, Alfred. I'm sure you remember him from your last visit here," Bruce stated.

I was now able to put the familiar voice from the intercom to the face as I smiled up at Alfred. "Of course, you always gave me those extra scoops of strawberry ice cream after dinner during my stay," I recalled with a smile.

He nodded with laugh. "Yes, I was. All children should be allowed those extra scoops," he said in his very pronounced British accent.

I had been too caught up in the conversation to notice the two men who had suddenly appeared and were now taking my bags up to what I supposed was my new bedroom.

"I'm Stacey Myers, Catherine's older sister," my aunt stated as she shook Bruce's hand.

"Of course, Catherine always spoke very highly of you," said Bruce.

"Thank you. She always spoke well of you, too, as did Kevin," she told him, a hint of sadness in her usually strong voice.

I allowed them to carry out their friendly conversation, not wishing to hear my parent's being spoken of in the past tense. Instead, I admired the impressive architecture of the building and what was visible of the surrounding grounds. It truly was a gorgeous place.

"…Oh, I can't. I've got to be heading back home. I'd like to be there before my husband burns down the kitchen while attempting to make dinner," she said with a chuckle.

"Well in that case I won't hold you any longer," Bruce responded politely, his 'upper class' demeanor clearly showing. Growing up I always got great enjoyment out of poking fun at this conduct.

Aunt Stacey turned to me making it visible that she was now trying to push back tears. "Call me anytime you need me, ok," she said into my ear as we embraced one another.

"Don't worry, I will," I assured her as I took in her warm vanilla scent one last time, doing my best to imbed it into my memory.

"I'll call you tomorrow afternoon to make she everything went okay your first night," she said before placing a kiss on my cheek. I watched with a weary feeling in the pit of my stomach as she walked over to her car and, with one final wave, drove down the driveway and out of sight.

I turned around with a quiet sigh and gave Bruce a light smile to reassure both him and myself that I was okay.

"Come on, I'll give you a tour of the manor and show you your bedroom," Bruce stated as he slid his arm around my shoulders and guided me inside.

The tour took a total of two hours, leaving my feet sore from walking down long halls and up numerous staircases, my bedroom saved for last. Bruce opened the wooden door to reveal a large room with cream colored walls. There was a queen sized bed in the center of the wall across from the door with a navy blue comforter on top of what appeared to be satin sheets of the same color. A bathroom was located to my right and to the left was a walk-in closet. A glass door was beside the bathroom that led outside to a small balcony. A huge plasma television was programmed to come down from the wall with the press of a button. I looked down to see my bags sitting on the floor, which was a cream colored plush carpet that perfectly matched the walls. To put it simply, it was a beautiful room that was simple; right up my alley.

"I hope you like it. I wasn't sure what your favorite color was so I just chose something neutral. If you want to change it-" Bruce began nervously.

I cut him off when I turned around and said, "It's amazing. Nothing needs to be changed." I gave him a grateful hug which he warmly returned.

"I'm glad," he said happily before we pulled apart. "I'll leave you to get settled. Dinner isn't for another hour and half so you can unpack and do whatever you'd like until then. If you need me I'll be in my office," he said before closing the door, leaving me to myself.

I decided to get the dreaded unpacking done first, which only took about half an hour. Once that task was finished I stuck the empty suitcases onto a shelf in the closet before taking a moment to admire my new room. Now that everything was still I realized how exhausted I was. I'd been suffering from a case of insomnia for two days straight before coming here; nerves had the tendency of getting the best of me in tough situations. Maybe a nap would refresh me slightly before dinner.

After removing my shoes I sunk into the comfortable bed that my tired body adjusted to perfectly. I looked up at the ceiling as the day's events sunk in. Maybe this wouldn't be as hard as I thought it was going to be. I closed my eyes and allowed the sweet bliss of sleep to take over.