Disclaimer: I don't own it-don't sue my ass-I'm broke!

Hey,

I am DEEPLY and TRULY sorry

that it took me soooo long to update.

Trust me, if it could have been done sooner,

it would have.

I thank you all for sticking with me and

being as patient and kind as you have been!

Thank you to all the people that put my story on alert/fav.

Thank you!

Thank you to my reviewers-I am ever so gracious

and in debt to you all. . .

LA Knight

(go check out her story called: Five Queens and a Joker)

brutal.acrimony

555LordBacon666

Laurenlbc

(thank you for reviewing each chapter)

ryuzaki25

THANK YOU ALL!!

-JAc :D

I've noticed, people, they all have motives.
Different, yet all the same.
I fumble through every word that is spoken,
and I barely knew your name.
I'm tongue-tied, it runs through my blood and my insides;
Some things we can't escape.
But if we try, if we try, we can leave this behind.

It's been a lifetime, a lifetime we waited for.
A simple question, kid, "are you with me or not at all?"

Your eyes wide, always ahead of the curve tide,
quiet, and confident.
Oh, we stood there, awkward and youthful, we tangled;
A piece of my soul escaped.
Oh, we are restless and tired, sleeping with giants,
A model make out with the egos of fire and it seems like it's been a lifetime

a lifetime we've waited for.
A simple question, kid, "are you with me or not at all?"
Are we wasting time or is it wasting us?
It's been a lifetime waiting for now, now.
Well, you've got to find a way,
you've got to find a way,
you've got to find a way,
you've got to find a way,
you've got to find a way before you fold in.

It's been a lifetime,
a lifetime I've waited for.
A simple question, kid, "are you with me or not at all?"

It's been a lifetime, a lifetime we waited for.
I need an answer, kid, you're either with me or not at all, no, no.
Are we wasting time or is it wasting us?
It's been a lifetime, a lifetime, a lifetime, a lifetime, yeah.
Well, you've got to find a way,
you've got to find a way,
you've got to find a way,
you've got to find a way.
Said you've got to find a way,
you've got to find a way,
you've got to find a way before you fold in.

-The Academy is. . .

A/N: Sorry, that the title is misleading, no sex. . .for now. :D


It had been nearly three weeks since the woman, Jolene, had an amazing conversation unknowingly with the man Gotham feared most: the Joker. It had also been three weeks since she'd said farewell to her wayward passenger. And while she went on with her life, not giving the man a second thought, the Joker was not quite so able to let Jolene escape his twisted mind. In fact, he'd been keeping quite close tabs on his latest little infatuation. He was far too busy himself with other business of damaging the city's tarnished soul and brutally murdering it's people's hope to personally keep his focus on her, so he'd been having several of his henchmen track her continuously in shifts. He was given brief updates on her whereabouts either throughout the day or as one bulk update in the evening, depending on which of his men was watching her at the time.

He was quickly becoming increasingly aggravated with his men and their lack of discovery on Jolene, and he was not someone that it would be wise to aggravate. It wasn't that he hadn't learned anything about her; it was that he wasn't entirely sure how much of what he had learned was vital.

He'd discovered that she lived the majority of her life in lonesome solace. All of his men reported similar tendencies without collaboration, however, while her tendencies added up, her actions from day to day varied so much that it was as if he was having ten different people tracked instead of just one.

One day she would go out early in the morning, jump in her car, drive across town to the city park and stay there all day, sometimes all night. Had it been anyone else, the Joker would have thought her an idiot to be in the park that late. However, because it was Jolene that was in the park after early evening's pass, he only viewed her as even more fearless then she already was. The thought of a fearlessly bold individual made his blood burn; she was excitingly dangerous.

The next day she might be at the library all day, helping out the elderly head librarian sort through books and gliding up and down between the long mahogany shelves, merrily humming as if she was a damn princess. He didn't like thinking of her that way; he liked her twisted viciousness not the giddy little idiot that she was portraying in her false state of glee. He wanted to see her free and uncontrollable, like the natural wildfire that he just knew she was.

He wanted, longed even to see that side of her. He got a glimpse, only a slight glimpse of it when she executed that police officer. He had determined that he very much wanted to see more of that side. Just a glimpse of it wasn't enough for him; he simply had to see the full picture. He knew that if she was that explosive on such a basic, sporadic instinct, that she would be phenomenally and utterly obliterating if she were to plan and build up anticipation to a kill. He wanted to see now. . . But, he would wait; all truly pleasurable things took time. He knew he'd see it soon, but it wasn't completely set up yet. Besides, he had other things to attend to. He couldn't spend all day thinking about her.

Other days, she didn't leave the house. It was on these particular days that the Joker was aggravated even more so than usual. He realized that getting little updates on her throughout the day put him at ease and took him comfortably out of his element, if only for a few moments. He found that he didn't often think about her, but if he wasn't updated on her state, he would realize that something was missing from his day and then she would be the only thing he could think about.

When he wasn't getting his little updates, he would get aggravated enough, but when she became a complete distraction from his work, that is when he burned; fuming with infuriation, which only made him more distracted and even more angered. He didn't have the time or the patience to deal with such distractions as highly intriguing, sexy, murdering philosophers.

When Jolene didn't leave her house, she gave the Joker's men little to work with. They could only report the very little that they could see through her side window, the one with the plant on its sill. The other few windows she had in her apartment were shaded with dingy, cream-colored drapes that concealed the men's' already obscured view.

The men already had limited sight because of their placement. They were forced to remain either at street level or on the roof top of the building across from hers in order to catch the slightest hint of life from her apartment.

The first time that she had stayed home all day, the Joker figured that the man that had been assigned to watch her during that period was one of his men that liked to give a bulk update at the end of the day, rather than several smaller ones throughout. He loved and loathed days like this. He hated the fact that he had to wait all day for an update, and yet enjoyed the anticipation; her life had become like a book to him, reading a new chapter of it each day. It relaxed him. So, naturally, the first time she had stayed at home, his man hadn't reported and he had assumed that he would be getting one of these enjoyable end-of-the-day reports. When his man showed up at a quarter to midnight, the Joker was sitting in a well-worn, leather recliner, reading a newspaper, and awaiting the update to arrive so that he could once more remove her from his weary mind and move forward from his crazed life and into sleep.

The Joker said nothing; he simply looked up from his paper in expectance. When the man said nothing, the Joker became annoyed and asked him of what his little Jolene had been up to that day. . . His Jolene. . . Oh, he liked that. And she would be his, oh yes, at least until he got bored of her.

After the man explained that she hadn't left the house all day, the Joker lost it. On the surface he had remained cool and appeared unbothered by the fact that nothing new had been discovered on his Jolene. But underneath, underneath his surface he was boiling. Behind his collected façade, he was a time bomb that was suddenly ignited. Still, he maintained his composure, even as he shot the man through his newspaper. The man died a squirming mess a few feet before him and the Joker could only sigh at the big hole in his paper now disrupting his reading.

He internally told himself that he hadn't taken the man's life because of Jolene. He'd needed a good kill and was meaning to be rid himself of this particular fool anyway; the man's insolence only gave the Joker more reason and egged him on, as if he really needed a reason anyway.

Each of his men reported that she woke up promptly at six a.m. every morning. She spent the bulk of her time wandering about the city seemingly without purpose, but he knew better. The Joker knew that nothing he did was without purpose, and while most people made the assumption that this factor set him apart from other people, he also knew that this wasn't entirely true. It was the degree to which he manipulated his actions and what he revealed to others, amongst other things, which made his persona so different from regular people; the fact that he was either insanely-genius or geniusly-insane also helped. He realized that rarely did people do things without purpose, even if a person was doing something subconsciously; if someone fell asleep in a chair, it was because they were tired, if somebody blinked it was because their eyes were dry, if someone killed-well, then it was usually him. People didn't do things without a reason, not even him, not even if he claimed to. People had a reason for what they did; especially people like him . . . like her.

So while she appeared to live spontaneously, the Joker began putting two and two together rapidly. He began keeping a calendar of her whereabouts and had his men now recording her actions moment-to-moment. If she sat in the park for a half-an-hour, he wanted to know. If she wrote for three minutes, he wanted to know. He needed to if he was going to use her properly. With his men's updates and his calendar, he figured out things about her that probably no one else in her entire life had before; and he loved it, and he was a man that did not love. He loved that he knew what he could use to twist her in his hands like putty, a fairly electric and sexually charged piece of putty, but a piece of putty none-the-less.

He'd realized that she was leading a rather planned life. She'd spend one day at the park, writing all day and people watching; she would observe them-sizing them up, for what, he still wasn't sure. The next day, she'd spend at the library, reading, writing, working; he thought that she had probably earned the majority of her income that way, but when he sent one of his boys to find out, Jolene's pretty little name was nowhere on the payroll. . . Odd, very odd indeed. And then other days, the days that he absolutely loathed, she spent in her apartment and he didn't learn a damn thing new about her. She moved in patterns like this for days. Then, it happened.

It was two-seventeen a.m. and the Joker opened the hard-wood door to the shit-hole of an abandoned house in which he and his little operation were working out of.

"Honeeeey, I'm hommme!" He said. His men would have snorted in retort if they didn't think they'd get shot or worse for it; he came 'home' and gave that announcement of his entrance at least once a day. He tried to sound like Ricky Ricardo off of 'I Love Lucy', but it came out more like a creepy member of the Adam's family.

He stood in the entrance way to the living room, which was cast in an eerie blue-darkness from the TV, and glanced at what his men were watching. It was some idiotic program that had two rather large-chested women wrestling in a boxing-ring filled with milk, in front of about a few hundred people. The Joker just rolled his eyes and gave an aggravated smirk at his men, who were now drinking beer and cheering at the screen. One of his men, sitting closest near where the Joker was standing, offered him a beer. The Joker just looked down at the man and raised his eyebrows before grunting loudly and turning to exit the room.

He headed towards the kitchen area across the hall. It was a little square kitchen and it was painted yellow but had long since been covered in a thick film of dirt and smoker's ash. When the Joker entered, one of his men was sitting at the small round table that sat in the middle of the room. It was the only man that was left from his original group of men, the group of men that he had before he got captured by the Bat and taken away by the Swat team the night his little social experiment backfired on him.

He hated that night, and hated thinking about it. Those people on the ferries, what a disappointment, pfft. They only had to do one thing, one little thing, and they couldn't pull through. He thought angrily before brushing it off and out of his mind. He went to Arkham, and the majority of his men were dragged off with him; those that weren't either ditched town or got killed for ripping off the wrong people after he was committed. When he felt he'd been there long enough, after his little wounds were healed and he had come up with new, even more destructive ways to corrupt the city, he escaped. When he did so, the only man that came back when he put word out in the underground was this one; he thought is name was Johnny? He couldn't recall, didn't really care, but he remembered thinking how cliché the guy's name was when he'd first discovered him. Usually, the Joker didn't want to know his men's names, not because he was weary of attachment to them, but because he found that if he knew a person's name, he often came up with an imaginary life for them, which usually included their families, in turn, giving him all the more reason to kill his men off and cause their families pain, but then he'd be out a man. This was always the dilemma. He'd rather avoid the entire situation and never learn their name's in the first place. However, he realized that he actually enjoyed Johnny's company, it wouldn't save the man from dying at his hands, but he still liked him.

Johnny wasn't like his other men. He was really quite intelligent and loyal. He liked loyal, when it came to his men, sometimes. He was always at a cross-roads with most things, the same thing with loyalty. He figured that if his men weren't loyal to him, that they would be more like him and he'd enjoy them more. At the same time, loyalty meant that they wouldn't rat him out, then again, fear did that job of keeping them in line just fine. Johnny was quiet and he did what he was told without questioning his boss. He was like the Joker's original permanent set of men. He always kept two sets of men, one that was his constant team and the other that was a team of random, less-intelligent men that he assembled for a 'one-time-use' only. These were the men that he would use to rob banks or use in blowing Gotham to hell; they were expendable.

The Joker nodded at Johnny, who was sitting at the table, drinking a beer and playing solitaire, a cheap cigarette still burning in the ashtray set before him. Johnny nodded back and the Joker made his way to the fridge to grab a glass of milk.

The Joker really was rather odd; his men drank booze and he drank milk, it was almost a joke. He turned back to Johnny-boy while leaning against the counter and drinking his milk. It was such an odd sight that Johnny would have laughed had he not known him better. Johnny briefly looked at his 'boss', calling him that was such a bizarre thing in itself that Johnny had to inwardly smile, before getting up and exiting the room. He could tell when the Joker needed his space, and when he did, you gave it to him.

The Joker finished his milk and tossed the glass into the sink. Hearing the glass make contact with the steely surface of the sink before shattering into pieces, the Joker just cocked his head to the side and peered at it like a dog trying to figure something out. He then shrugged and, before heading out into the hallway, looked at the solitaire game. He made a few more moves before smiling to himself. 'Too bad, Johnny boy woulda won,' he thought.

He exited to the hallway and passed up the 'drunk men watch sleazy women's fake-ass wrestling milk-match '08'. He laughed at the ridiculous title his mind had come up with for it. He was about to head up the stairs, but remembering something, he paused and back-tracked a couple of steps to the living room. He 'coughed' loudly to get his men's attention before talking. These men were nothing like his old ones. They were more like the expendable ones. He would have to exchange and upgrade for new ones soon.

"Sooooo. . ." he said to his men expectantly.

No one wanted to ask, but somebody had to. One of his men finally broke the silence.

"Uhh, sooo what, boss?" he said idiotically.

The Joker grunted and jerked his body impatiently. He was almost in disbelief that his men were actually this clueless.

"Ahhhh, Jo-leee-een!" he said exasperated. His men instantly perked up. John was standing in the corner with his beer in hand; he chuckled lightly at the other men before taking a swig of his beer and exiting the room out of the side entrance. Being in the Joker's presence long enough, he knew what a short temper he had and wasn't going to stay around long enough to watch it in action.

Again, nobody wanted to be the first to speak. The Joker could tell it wasn't going to be good. He rolled his eyes up to the ceiling before speaking. "Come on, come on, get on with it!" he demanded impatiently.

Finally, one of his men spoke up, "Well. . . uh. . . boss. . .she's uhhh. . . she's." The Joker was moving his arms in a gesture telling his man to hurry up. "Well. . . it's not bad, boss. . . she just. . . well-" He was cut off when the Joker let out an exasperated sigh before shooting the man square in the chest. It was almost comedic, the way that he took the man's life.

"Sooo, anybody else want to waste my time?" he said sinisterly. He wasn't really asking.

Immediately there was a change in the room's atmosphere and now all of his men were eagerly talking at once. He couldn't really distinguish what was being said. He held up his gun and made only one single motion over the room. The men fell silent at the waving of his gun.

"Nowww. . . I can't hear you if you're all speaking at once," his words slithered out of his mouth like a snake. One man, who was sitting on the floor near where good-ol Johnny-boy was previously standing, finally spoke up.

"She. . . uh. . ." he was stumbling like the first man. The Joker simply aimed his gun at the man's head; he immediately started talking faster. "She wasn't home. . . I mean, that is, she left. She must have left between shifts," he knew that she was supposed to be watched at all times and quickly had to explain himself before he too was killed. "She was being watched, but she somehow managed to. . .get out. At first, we just thought that she was going to be staying home-" The man was cut off by the Joker.

"She wouldn't stay home; this isn't her day to stay home," he angrily explained to the man. In his aggravation, he was admitting more to his men than he'd have liked to. The fact that he knew that this wasn't her day to stay home showed that he was giving her more attention than he should have-than she deserved, which would probably translate to some sort of weakness in his men's eyes. They'd be lucky if he didn't just kill them all on the spot. He was contemplating it, when the man started speaking up again.

"Well, that's. . . well, we thought that maybe she was sick or something, so we waited. But, then, around seven p.m., or so, we noticed that she didn't go to the window to feed the plant. She does that every day, never past five. So when it was seven, we knew that something was up. So, I decided that I would go up to her apartment." The Joker looked up at this, his hostile eyes glaring with an impatient anger. "I was going to pretend that I was a repair man who had the wrong apartment."

"Yeah, a repairman with no tools or uniform," the Joker sneered sarcastically.

The man shrugged off the Joker's comment, partly because he was too idiotic to understand what he'd meant. He continued, "So, I went up to her apartment and knocked on the door. When no one answered, I picked the lock and went in. There was nobody there."

"That it?" the Joker asked cooly.

"Pretty much. I mean-" the man was cut off by the Joker's gun. Nobody, nobody went anywhere near Jolene. He was dead before he slumped over on the floor.

"Well, now that that's done," the Joker made a motion for two of his men to get the bodies and bury them in the back. At this rate, he was going to need a bigger back yard. "Now, listen to me, especially good, or you'll end up like your little friends here," he motioned towards the dead bodies that were about to be carried into the night. "You watch her. Your eyes so much as leave her for only a matter of seconds. . . You so much as break to take a piss, well. . .boom for you, and they won't even be able to recognize you by your dentals," he smiled at that. "I want tighter shifts, two men a shift. One at street level, one on the roof. That is, when she returns! No, actually, I want her found, now. Find her, now! Go." None of his men made a move, save for the ones moving the bodies. "Goooo!" With this they began moving in all directions, any direction.

The Joker just shook his head. All he wanted to do was to come home for one of his two nightly breaks, get his update, and go finish out the night with this evening's tasks. Now he was agitated and down two of his men because of it. And it was all because of her. He needed to get a move on if he was going to remain some-what one schedule.

It was nice spending his time thinking about his Jolene, but he had other things to do. He had yet to fulfill all the tasks on his list for that evening. He had covered kidnapping a, not-entirely random, Gotham citizen. In fact, the person he had kidnapped just happened to be a GCPD police officer. He had asked the man a few random questions, mainly basic things about why would he want to be a police officer for a society that could not be saved. He also asked the man if he thought that he'd still have a job with the Batman now. The man's reaction to this was exactly what the Joker wanted, exactly. The officer thought about it and started rambling negative things about the Bat.

The Joker had the entire thing filmed, right up to the man's violent death. The Joker finished by holding the camera in front of his face and speaking to it.

"Is this what you wanted? Hmmmmm? For the Bat freak to do everything for you?" He paused. "Dear Gotham, I'm done with the Bat, aren't you? Let me know when you want to take things," he was about to use one of his favorite lines, "a little more seriously. I'm giving you a chance to end this madness." He let a small chuckle reverberate from his chapped lips. "I mean, weren't things sooo muuuch better before the Bat appointed himself king of your little city, hmmmm? I'll give you one week, one, to show me some. . . 'Public display of affection'," he used air quotes. The citizens would understand what he meant; he wanted something done that would be affectionate in his eyes, which meant he wanted something blown up or some other display of disgusting human nature, maybe a human body being displayed in broad daylight. "I'll give you a week for you answeeer! After that, I'll just have to take what's mine. And, trust me, you won't like it, if I have to take it from you! You practically gave the city to him, why not try giving it to someone that could do you some good," his voice was horridly dark, ringing with menace. He cackled for effect and was about to turn the camera off when he remembered to add something. "Oh, and, same rules as usual; each day you take, up to the seven that I'm graciously giving you, someone dies. It's not a threat, I'm simply . . . impatient and I enjoy killing and torture-so I'd hurry up, because the person I choose to kill, well, it might just be-you!" With that he began cracking up. He turned off the camera and explained to his men where to send the tapes, to every major news channel as usual, and where to dump the body, directly outside of the Gotham City Police Department main division headquarters. With that, he returned home and got the unpleasant little surprise of Jolene's current whereabouts.

The next few things on his list were simple. The tasks included a rather odd shopping list. On the list were a pair of new suspenders and a few new bags of unders, some fertilizer, diesel fuel, wiring, a small alarm clock, three gallons of whole milk, a plant stand, make-up, a couch, a toilet, and a concrete truck. He needed new suspenders because he snapped one at some point; the milk was for his unquenchable thirst, several of the items were for making amateur pipe bombs. The Joker had decided that he would throw the cops off track in using such unprofessional techniques so he used pipe bombs. Usually, the Joker was proud of his work and wanted everyone to feel fear, but when he was blowing something up solely for the purpose of blowing it up, he rather enjoyed taking the cops off their track and confusing them by displaying acts that weren't so true to his nature. It made them wonder if it was really him or another arsonist; as if anyone else would dare to touch his city.

He could have easily had his men run his errands for him, but, in his recently acquired aggravation, he decided to go out and do it himself. Besides, the last time he had one of his men get him underwear, the man came back with boxers that had little hearts and cats on them. His man thought it was hilarious and that the Joker would get the joke and laugh with him. And he did, right up until he shot the man. If the guy really wanted him to appreciate the joke, he'd have bought boxers with hearts and dogs, he liked dogs. Cats. . . Cats were useless to him. His list was long and would eat up some time, as well as provide an outlet for his mind to get off of Jolene for a little while.


It had been three days. . . Three days, since the Joker learned of Jolene's little departure, and he was livid. He was absolutely infuriated. It would have helped if he had more to do, but this was the calm before the storm. This was a week dedicated to planning and preparing for next week. He knew that the people would fail him again; three days had already passed, and there had yet to be a single murder or act of terror. He knew that nobody could compare to the sheer havoc that he reaped on the city, but he wanted to see at least a little conflict. There were only four days left; he knew that it wouldn't happen. Chaos was a skill that was learned. 'Fuck skill,' he thought. 'It's a fucking gift!'

Very few people were so endowed as he with the gift of consuming people with hatred, mind manipulation, killing hope, and completely obliterating cities. However, at the moment, he was completely consumed himself, by an annoying, little creature that went by the name Jolene.

She still hadn't returned, and there was no sign that she was going to any time soon. Her apartment was dead; even her phone refused to ring. The Joker had his men bug her phone line the day after she left. He had too much time on his hands. The little 'home videos' he had to film daily took about an hour, an hour and a half at most , including the kidnapping, the set-up, the filming itself, and the killing itself. He usually had an idea of what he was going to say in the little speeches he gave during the videos, but, for the most part, they were made up on the spot.

This meant that he had another twenty-two to twenty three hours to think about her. He didn't need to do much preparing for the next week; he'd already been working out the way things were going to go during his time at the lovely little resort called Arkham.

Since she'd left, she'd been all he could think of. He knew that it wasn't because he cared for her, and the thought of caring about her was practically a joke. He realized that he was obsessing over her partly out of sheer boredom and partly because he didn't know where she was. If he knew where she was, he wouldn't think about her. She'd just be another thing, another little, minuscule piece of his massive daily routine. At least he liked to think that way. He was beyond infuriated, past miffed, and completely angry. Essentially, he was really, really pissed off.

One of his men rapped on the door a few times before entering. The Joker just launched a knife at him, hitting the man square in the heart, without taking so much as a look in his direction. The Joker grabbed his coat off of the back of a chair and made his way downstairs, stepping over the man's body. He didn't have to look to know it wasn't Johnny, not that it would have mattered much, but he knew that Johnny was smarter than the rest and would have known not to disturb him.

As he passed by the living room, he calmly, but firmly, spoke to his men, who were watching the same shit that they always put on the tube. "There is a bit of a mess upstairs that needs tending to," he said as he started to walk towards the front door. Two of his men moved past him and went upstairs. He was heading towards the door when he delightfully heard one of his men yell, "Holy shit!! Mike!! He fuckin' killed Mike, man!" The other guy didn't say anything, he just started moving the body; it must have been Johnny–Boy.

The Joker was about to turn the handle when he remembered something. He turned around and stood in the living room doorway before talking briefly.

"Oh, and if I ever. . .ever see you guys watching that shit. . . I'll cheerfully," he paused and smiled a genuine smile, "gouge your fucking eyes out. The crap you watch is utter trash. Watch something more. . . educational!" He smiled and headed out.

He was walking. He wasn't sure where, but he was walking.He was thinking about her and how he was having her watched, well, at least how he was having her watched, before she left anyhow.

He wasn't expecting for it to get that far. In fact, he fully intended on lightly studying her for a few days, just long enough for him to use against her when he kidnapped and then tortured her through manipulation. Manipulation was one of his favorite games; it was his absolute favorite manner of torture. It was only after a person was completely broken on the inside that he would mutilate their outside to match their poor, abused minds; it was only after they'd been broken internally that he was able to gain the full benefit of his game. The fact that they were so easily dilapidated, so easily violated was another reason the Joker had such an intense lack of respect towards humanity. They were always underestimating the power of the human mind and just how fragile it truly was. All it would take is a few traumatizing events occurring in rapid recession to change someone forever, it did for him anyway. . .

At least he thought it did.

The truth of the matter was that he couldn't really remember that much about his past. He could only see fragmented pieces. It was much like the average person thinking back on life, on childhood, and knowing that they had developed in some way over the past few years, when in reality they hadn't developed at all. He could remember things that happened more recently better than things from the past. That was one of the main problems in his mind; he could be ten, twenty steps ahead of everyone around him, everyone in society, with the exception of his latest little Jolene, but he could only remember in fragments. He envisioned the way things were going to turn out in snapshots when he was thinking ahead, but when he was trying to remember things, it was like the snapshots were blurred, or in black and white, without shades of gray. But unlike others, it was never the important events that stuck out in his mind, it was always the minuscule details that he remembered. He was always so attentive to detail that he wasn't really surprised that he could only remember things happening blow by blow, or blow up rather.

He laughed at the way his own mind worked. God his jokes really were awful. He thought back to Jolene.

He still wasn't quite sure what he thought of her. It wasn't that she was special or deserving of his time like his precious Batman. Nor was it the fact that she was so intelligent a conversationalist. The reason that he so forcefully wanted to learn more about her, so intrusively having her life observed for him, was something that was, not beyond him, but simply something he was not ready to strike at.

Nothing was ever out of reach for him or any other member of society for that matter; it was whether someone was inclined to reach for what they wanted or not, whether they were willing to go for what they desired. The Joker knew this and he knew that he would get her in his possession, he would reach, and when he did he would squeeze, hard- like a boa constrictor to a mouse, he would slowly grind her, squeezing the very life-giving air from her dying lungs. . . but not just yet.

There were several things that initially drew him to her. One such intriguing thing, he'd determined, was the fact that she was indeed an oxymoron. Even though she could have it all, she didn't, not because she wouldn't apply herself, but because she actually didn't want to. She didn't want it all. She was just like him and just like the Batman. Batman could have had fame, fortune, recognition for his actions, but he didn't, and that was one reason the Joker respected him, in some weird way, and even related to him. The Joker knew that he too could have used his genius for good to benefit society, instead of evil, but he chose the latter of the two instead, mainly just because it was more fun that way.

She, on the other hand, questioned a society that lacked moral, yet she seemed to have no moral code of her own, seemed not to. However, he knew people like her. He was people like her, and he knew that people like him, had a reason for everything, everything. Yet, here he was, walking down a street, her street, wrapped in his coat and shrouded in the darkness that consumed the night, confused as all hell about her.

He started laughing, finally understanding what she had meant when she couldn't determine whether or not she was more or less than a human. He laughed harder. Even she didn't know what to think of her own self. He was in a fit by now. It was just too funny; a woman who had something to say about everything, something intelligent at that, and here she didn't even know what to say about the one thing that she should know most about: herself.

He completely broke off from the outside world, laughing until he was nautilus and continuing still. He would be doubled over and damn near heaving by the time he was over it. He was only completely satisfied when it seemed he was about to start hyperventilating. His laughter usually died after it had seemingly taken the life, the very soul out of everything else around. It was as if even the buildings and winding streets shook in fear, as if Satan, himself, had just sprang forth and devoured the world in disease, consuming it in a flood of viscous rot.

He stopped in front what he remembered to be her apartment. Except for to show his men the exact location of her apartment he had not been there himself since that night three weeks ago.

He thought on her for a few more moments. Knowing as much as he did about her, the Joker realized that not a damn one of these things were what was truly drawing him to learn more about her. Besides her twisted intelligence, the one thing that kept him from grabbing and squeezing, the thing that interested him more was the fact that she was already broken.

Half of the fun of ruining a person was breaking them. Once someone was broken, he had little use for them. It didn't matter to him the extent to which a person was broken, the fact was that, if a person was broken, they were useless to him. . .to society, and, therefore, should be exterminated promptly, which he also enjoyed. The broken were difficult to mold because they were so shapeless and yet, it was this same exact factor that made them easily pliable. It was no challenge either way, which meant that it was simply too boring, too mundane for his liking.

But there was something about her. The reason that she was an oxymoron was the reason he assumed he was so interested in her.

He smiled remembering what she had told him about assuming. 'Never assume.' This was true and yet not. He always prepared for everything; assuming that whatever could happen, would. This was another action of his that attributed to his being twenty steps ahead of everyone.

His thoughts returned to why she was deserving, if she was deserving of his time. In actuality, he was making excuses for his growing obsession. She was also an oxymoron in that she was broken, and yet, had more spirit in her than almost anyone the joker had met. She was quite a lot like his Batsy. Batsy happened to share a lot of her little attributes, which was another reason that the joker gave for his interest in her. The Joker gave her one last thought.He was standing directly outside of her building, in front of the cracked glass door. He exhaled a breath, blinked a few times, licked his lips, extended his hand. . .

And pushed.


Qick A/N: The house, I had somewhat envision in the same decrepit way that the house in FightClub (the movie) is...you know, really broken down and whatnot!

JAc: Thank you again sooooo much for your loving reviews! I really and truly do appreciate it! I'll try to update A LOT sooner next time. Keep reviewing, I'll keep writing it for you!- Thank you INFINATELY for your support, it means worlds...AND universes! :D