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73. Whadaya Want From Me

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Disclaimer: Hello all!!!!!!! My most sincere apologies for not having updated in what may have been close to a year (maybe less, but it was still forever!!!) I got into nursing school at Umass Boston, which is awesome, and the other good news is that I won't be taking crazy summer classes which means…UPDATES!!!!! YAY! I hope you enjoy this chapter. I've been seriously bitten by writer's block, but I feel I may have overcome it. I also want to point out that Adam Lambert was my inspiration for this next chapter(you need to hear this whole album-it's awesome!); his song "Whadaya Want From Me" is awesome, and the title of this chapter…and I do not own it

I had never before this moment, seen the Joker's eyes so intently focused on mine. I was pretty sure he had no idea how to respond to me, but then again, he probably knew exactly what to say. He somehow had this way of permeating my brain, knowing what I was going to say before saying it. I really hated that about him, and yet, loved it irrevocably. It made me feel like we were connected on more than just a cognitive level—that maybe, just maybe, our souls were entwined and destined to do this for eternity. Fuck, if I'm supposed to do this with him for eternity, it's no wonder we've been reincarnated into this situation. Fail!

I forced my thoughts out of my head as I stared intently into his dark chestnut brown eyes. In the dim lighting, against his strikingly light hair, they appeared almost black, completely void of all color; certainly fitting for his black, void of color soul, to which I decided I had been ethereally bound.

Finally, his tongue swept habitually across his full lower lip as he prepared to speak, "And…what if I don't—give in to you, as it were," he suggested, mimicking the way I had just spoken to him. I blinked purposefully and took in a deep breath as I finally tore my eyes from his. I ran a hand through my hair, took another moment to breathe and then locked eyes with him.

"Then, I'm gone. I just don't know that I can do this anymore. It's out there—I'm in love with you—completely and totally," I let out a small laugh at the situation, "You asked me what I want from you—well you damn well know what I want from you. I think the question remains, what do you want from me, because I've spent the better part of three years trying to figure that one out. From the moment you showed up in my apartment back in Gotham, I've been trying to figure out what the hell it is you want from me. If you don't love me, if you don't give a rat's ass about me, then why the hell are you still with me? What the fuck do you want from me, Jack Napier?" I demanded, deliberately using his birth-given name. I hoped to his a heartstring, one that maybe would allow him to remember what it meant for him to be Jack Napier and in love—what it meant to be in love and how it felt to love and be loved in return. Man, my thoughts were beginning to sound like "Moulin Rouge". Great movie! No! Focus, Giada!

The Joker's eyes flared up wildly at the instant I had spoken his actual name. My plan backfired. His lips pursed together tightly as though he were trying to control some kind of inner rage that had broken free from within. I should have known better than to assume I could predict the Joker's reaction to something. I knew better than that! Hell, I had known him for three years—I could predict that he was unpredictable! I should have predicted that my anticipated, or hopeful, reaction would have turned into this. He appeared fuming. I felt my heartbeat quicken at his hateful glare, but I knew I had to stand my ground. I knew what I was doing and I knew I had to do this. I was strong. I knew I was a strong woman. I had been through too much shit in my life to not be strong enough to stand up to the Joker; to stand up to the man I claimed to love.

"What do I want from you?" The Joker finally spat back at me, angrily, "do not ever use that name…not in public, not anywhere," his eyes were black now and full of hate. I had seen those eyes look upon me with desire, with lust, with evil plotting and to me, with love—but never the hate and angst they now bore. Of course I had seen his hateful eyes glare boldly at several people throughout our time together, and it had always pleased me when those eyes of complete and utter abhorrence gazed so profusely at Pixie. But now, in this moment, they glared complete and utter repugnance at me.

I bit my lower lip as I suppressed the sinking of my heart into my stomach. Give me strength. I know it's there. I took in another deep breath and made my eyes focus on his. I took in the negative and hateful energy from his glare and used it as my own strength. I felt my inner rage turn into power as my eyes cast forth a fire that I had not released in some time.

"I'll speak your name whenever and wherever I want, because that is your name and that is who you are," I replied curtly and hoping the end would send a horrible sting.

"I am not…him," he responded angrily, unable of speaking his own name. His eyes darted about the cigar lounge and then stopped as he intensely focused back on me.

"You are right—as of currently, you are not him. But you were him. And you can be him again if you really wanted to," I replied, pausing before I continued, "It must be so lonely not being able to let yourself love someone—to not be able to let yourself feel anything. You're so numb to everything in your life that you can just kill and laugh at it. I get it. But now I'm here and I've been putting myself out there for three years. For some reason, I've fallen in love with you and all I've ever wanted was for you to somehow find it within yourself to love me back. It kills me—it absolutely devastates me that you allowed yourself to love Pixie—you loved her enough to ask her to marry you. I'm almost 30 years old, Joker! I'd like to get married someday, too! And on top of it all, you have a child with her. She is the most incapable mother I've ever seen and yet somehow she was able to get you to love her and to ask her to marry you. Fuck that, Joker. Seriously, I'm done. I can't do this game with you anymore. I was sane at one point, and you've proven your point—anyone can go insane from just a bad experience. Well how about this, my horrible experience has been with you and it has lasted three fucking years. I don't expect I'll ever fall out of love with you, but I really can't allow myself to be around you anymore. You've all but physically killed me—I don't know that I even have a soul left," I stood to my feet, barely able to stop myself from shaking. I couldn't believe what had just come from my mouth. Was I really going to keep myself away from him? I had to hope I could.

"And when I get back to Gotham, Pixie will die," I finished finally as I turned and left him at the table. I never got a good look at the expression on his unpainted face, but I could only imagine that it was still full of hate. He was, after all, the harlequin of hate. I never should have tried getting him to tell me he loved me. I knew somewhere inside of him, he did love me. He had admitted it to me that very night, for Chrissake! He was either being incredibly stubborn, or he truly did feel nothing for anyone or anything. I hoped it wasn't the latter.

I hastily made my way up the stairs, through the café and out onto Hanover Street. I had felt his eyes on me as I made my way up the stairs, but I knew he felt nothing but the blackness that had evaded his soul. Hell, I was mad enough to kill people. It was no wonder he turned out that way! It's a difficult job containing anger and hate. Worst of all, I hated that I had hate within me. I needed Bruce. I needed him to fly me back to Gotham so that I could be with him. Bruce made everything better. I couldn't even enjoy my vacation from the Joker in my hometown, which made me just sad inside. I loved Boston more than any other place I'd ever known, and he had ruined it all in an instant. But I knew I couldn't let him win. I couldn't let him have that kind of power over me anymore. I knew I was now bat-shit crazy for sure, but I also knew I couldn't let him have that kind of satisfaction. I had to let him think I was still sane as ever. And part of me was—the part of me that knew Bruce would be a much more suitable partner for me—better to love and be loved by, but I knew my heart just wouldn't have it.

As much as I wanted to go on a hate-filled, the Joker-broke-my-heart-again jihad, I knew I had to do the one thing my brain was screaming at me to do—and that was to call Bruce. I immediately whipped out my phone, disregarding the time, which was almost 1 AM, which meant it was near 2 AM in Gotham, and dialed Bruce.

Bruce's groggy voice broke the ringing in my ear, "Hello?" his voice cracked slightly.

"Bruce, it's Giada," I answered him, trying to steady my voice from shaking the way my legs were barely able to uphold my slight frame. Bruce's voice instantly became alert.

"Giada, what's going on? Are you okay?" he asked, as concerned as ever for me. I had to admit, a huge part of me loved Bruce, and I knew I could be completely happy with him, but I also knew I loved him as a dear friend.

"You'll never believe this—or maybe you will…the Joker followed me here. I just can't get away from him anywhere I go, no matter what I do! I'm like a fucking magnet for him!" I exclaimed, as I discovered that I was practically in tears. It seemed everything I had finally caught up with me.

"Christ," Bruce's voice was hard but flat sounding, "I'll be there in no time at all, Giada. I'm getting you out of there and you and I are going somewhere he won't find you," Bruce explained. I had been all for getting my vacation from the Joker, but the thought of leaving with Bruce and going someplace he would never find me made my heart yearn for the man I had so recently told to keep away from me. I was absolutely fucking nuts! I had to do it. I already had Bruce on the phone—there was no going back now. I was at the edge of the cliff and jumped off.

"Okay. Where should I meet you?" I asked, forcing myself to speak.

"I'll be at Fenway Park in an hour and a half. Until then, go to your favorite club or bar where it's crowded and he can't find you," Bruce instructed me.

"You're gonna land your plane in Fenway?!" I retorted with an exclamation. Fenway Park is where the Red Sox play ball during MLB season. I had spent countless years going to Sox games throughout my lifetime. The thought of Bruce's plan using it as a landing strip made me giggle inside, seeing as I had never had the opportunity to even step foot on the field.

"Giada, focus. Yes, I'm landing inside Fenway Park. I will meet you outside the park on Lansdowne Street. I'm not taking the private jet. I'm taking the helicopter,"

"You're flying from Gotham to Boston in a fucking helicopter?! I exclaimed, forcing myself to walk away from the North End and into the financial district that housed my favorite clubs and bars.

"Giada, it's me we're talking about. It's no ordinary helicopter," Bruce chuckled finally. I smiled, glad to have lightened the mood between us.

"Okay. I'll be there. And Bruce, thank you,"

I felt like I could sense him smile through the cell phone, "Anything for you, Giada. Now go have a drink and maybe dance a bit until I get there," Bruce responded.

"Okay, but just an FYI, last call is 2 AM here, and it's almost 1. It gives me a good hour at the bar and then another 30 minutes on the street. Though, I'm sure it will take me 30 minutes to walk from Hurricane's to Fenway," I explained.

"Why don't you take the train? You shouldn't walk alone at night, Giada," Bruce lectured.

"First of all, the trains shut down a half hour ago. Second, I'm one of Gotham's most wanted criminals. I think I can manage hiding myself in the night as I make my way to Fenway. Trust me, no one is gonna fuck with me, and if they do, I'll fuck them up," I responded. I surprised myself by how tough I sounded. Then again, I had been a drug addict and basically fending for myself against scumbags since high school. I could certainly handle a little walk down to Fenway.

"I'm going to pretend you won't kill anyone," Bruce responded flatly, "but in any case, yeah, I expect you can defend yourself. See you soon, and take care of yourself," Bruce hung up the phone before I could say anything further, such as 'fly safely!' or 'you too!'. I shoved my phone back into my pocket and continued on my way to Hurricane O'Reilly's, which was not too far from where I was.

Making my way down Canal Street was like walking back in time…when I was in college with friends, drunk and stumbling our way to a taxi to bring us back to the dorm. Oh, the good ole days when life was less complicated—before I was a criminal mastermind. The thought of being a criminal mastermind was both thrilling and terrifying—I was almost terrified of myself and what I was capable of doing. Part of me didn't want to leave the Joker. Part of me wanted to leave and go far away with Bruce. I had to leave with Bruce. I already executed that plan. I couldn't tell him to forget it now. I committed to a plan and I had to execute said plan. Although, the Joker would probably assume I was leaving Boston—he probably had it all figured out that Bruce was on his way to get me and sweep me away to some far off land. Maybe I should stay and blow his mind. Maybe he would figure I would go with Bruce and then figure he knew I would go and stay instead. My mind was running in circles. There was just no way I could do the unexpected here. The Joker probably had every situation anticipated. I was stuck. I had to go with Bruce. And yet, something made me stop walking to Hurricane's. Something made me turn and head towards the last place on Earth I ever thought I'd go. It was as if something ethereal had possessed my body—I had no control over myself as I strut myself away from Hurricane's. I didn't know where my body was taking me, so I gave in. Why fight the unknown?

I didn't regret this decision until I finally arrived at the place of my destination. My heart skipped an anxious beat as the familiar entry-way presented itself to me. There was a long line out the door—men and women all waiting to gain entry into the club: The Jokers Wild.

"What do you want from me?!" I angrily whispered under my breath to no one in particular as my eyes gazed upon my former place of employment. "How is it I always end up here?"

I took in a deep breath and let loose an unwilling sigh. Something made me come here tonight. I might as well go on inside, "Fuck it," I said aloud, as I walked up to the bouncer, who knew me quite well.