A/N: Okay, so the usual disclaimer – I own nothing here, lay claim to nothing but Jane and will not and never have made any money through this.
Right… so now that's done. I'm gonna just say a few things about this story. It's obviously J/OC and while I know there are loads of these stories out there and probably better than mine, I had to add my two pence worth, cause as of yet, I haven't really read a Joker I like. They are all too nasty for me. I've read the novel and watched the film and saw nothing in there that would convince me he would be sexually abusive. I've not read a lot of the comics so have no idea what his relationship with Harley is like. So this is the Joker my way, although I will try to keep him in character to the film. If you don't like the sound of it, hit the back button, cause I'm too old to care about flames, although construct crit, is always welcome. Forgive typos please, not checked other than by mine own eyes and they're old and rusty these days.
Jane Kimble's job was always the same and she was used to it. She cleaned at Arkham Asylum. She was part of a five strong team that marched through the dank depressing corridors and tried to bring a little light relief to the otherwise abysmal cells that held the inmates.
Jane would mop over the floor of the cells and offices that were on her level and while she was doing this; inside her head she was writing her stories. Jane Kimble held a dream; she wanted to be a writer. Not just any old writer, Jane Kimble wanted to be a romance novelist. The paperback kind; she had no aspirations for hardback New York Times Bestseller list, no, she just wanted to write stories that would make ordinary women like her warm and fuzzy inside. Her dream was to write books where knights on white chargers (or in suits and riding in Taxis to their law firms, she wasn't fussy that way) still existed and women were meant for one man and one man only.
It was a load of bunkum, she knew that. Love like that just wasn't real, wasn't practical. But she saw no reason to make the dark dreary world everyone lived in even worse by reading dark and dreary novels. So she made up heroines and heroes in her head while she worked and then when she went home to her one room apartment she tapped on her typewriter till well into the witching hour and she felt okay with life.
She had two finished novels that were boxed up on top of wardrobe but she had yet to find the nerve to send them for publishing. That would be like bearing her soul; she would do it one day. Just not yet. For now she was as happy as she could be.
And then he entered her world. Or really, to be completely accurate, he entered a cell on her level for cleaning. She knew who he was even before she saw his 'name' on the name plate outside his cell. It didn't bother her; one inmate was very much the same as the next. It didn't bother her at all, she was used to the way the inmates would react to her presence, some wouldn't even notice her, others would talk to her as if she was their mother. Each one was different and Jane ignored them all. She spoke to none of them, never made eye contact as she worked over their cells, aware of the safety of the guard stood in the door, usually reading a newspaper, while he waited for her to finish and move to the next cell.
Some of the guards she was fine with, some of them she hated. But her face remained perfectly blank as she worked, her mind whipping her tales up, her eyes not seeing the dirt that just couldn't be removed but her dark haired, long and lean, (usually Texan) heroes as they overcome whatever obstacle was in their way to the path of true love with the heroine (whose appearance was always rather vague to Jane and so was never out rightly mentioned in her text).
So Jane was quite happy ambling along in life as she was. No real aspirations in her career; there wasn't much further she could go with a mop and bucket anyway, except the next floor up. She was content in creating fictional happy ever afters between perfectly prefect people who could never exist outside of the paper she wrote on. She had no aspirations of ever having a life like her heroines; she wasn't perfect, didn't possess the perfect body and never would. She never dated; not that she was ever asked that much, but when she was she would refuse, for she saw no point in pursuing something that she could never complete. Jane had long ago resigned herself to the fate that she would live her life alone.
So taking on the Joker's cell, to Jane, was just another part of her job. In the small room that the cleaners used as their H.Q., they had actively sympathised with her for having to clean his cell. She'd shrugged and sipped her coffee quietly; one cell was very much like the next, and one more loony to clean up after wasn't going to break into her creative thoughts.
She'd shuffled her bucket along and waited patiently while the guard unlocked the door and then handcuffed the Joker to the chain above his bed.
"All yours, Jane," he said quietly and leant against the doorjamb with his paper. She moved past him into the cell and didn't give the Joker another look. She could see out of the corner of her eye where he was sitting in the pale blue garb given to all the inmates. His hands were chained above his head, but his knees apart and his bare feet were touching at the heels and pointed outwards. She briefly wondered if he got uncomfortable before sliding back to the point in her mind when Rose (her latest Herione's name) was telling Sam (the Hero) just why she loved him. It was crap of the first order and she knew it, but it made her happy and that was good enough.
"Like your food?" came the guard's voice and for a second it started her enough to look back at him over her mop handle. But it wasn't Jane he was talking too; she sighed, displeased at being interrupted just when she'd decided that Rose was not going to give in so easily.
"Ya call that food?" came a low voice that had to be the Jokers. She vaguely realised how it didn't sound quite the same as it had when his videos were aired over the GCN channels. Frowning now she fixed her head back on Rose and carried on mopping.
"It's all you deserve," the guard laughed nastily. "Bread and water once a day is too good for you."
"Stale bread and water," the Joker corrected him and giggled. The sound startled Jane slightly but she just rolled her eyes and went back to Rose giving Sam what for over thinking he could just waltz back into her life after leaving years before.
"Whatever," the guard replied and went back to his paper annoyed that he'd failed to aggravate the Joker.
Jane finished around the toilet area and stood up to stretch out the kicks from her back.
"Hey, pretty. You clean real good, don't ya, angel?" the Joker called towards her.
"You're wasting your time with her, freak," the guard muttered from his paper. "She's smart that one; won't talk to you loons."
Jane looked up at the guard, her head still spinning her tales. She let it slide by her and dragged her bucket and mop towards the door. The Guard saw she had finished and let her out, smirking at the Joker when he shut the door and left him in his chains instead of undoing them.
Five days later and Jane realised that she was witnessing the slow death of the Joker. Or at least it would be if they kept up the treatment they were giving him. She didn't know why they just didn't bring in the death sentence and be done with it if that was what they were trying to do. She found herself noticing his condition; he was growing paler by the day and he was content to lay his head back on the wall and watch her, not making any reply to the taunts the guards would throw at him when they first chained him up. Jane stole a look out of the corner of her eye several times over the next two days and came to the conclusion he was definitely starving to death, and she wasn't sure how that sat with her conscience. Not to mention the fact that it was interfering with her imagination and she found that when she was in his cell she couldn't concentrate on her plot lines at all. That, she most certainly couldn't contend with, so she made a decision, one that would change her life forever.
The next day she set about swiping the floor of his cell; when she reached the window she turned and saw the guard was engrossed in page three of the newspaper. She stepped forwards and she slipped her hand into her pocket and drew out a sandwich; then, not looking at the Joker at all, she lifted her hand and brought it in front of his face without even looking at him. She half smiled when she felt the sandwich leave her hand as his lips touched her fingers. She took the mop up just as the guard looked up at her and frowned. He grunted when she just carried on mopping the floor. She made sure she kept the Joker covered until she saw from the corner of her eye that he had finished chewing; she hesitated slightly and scratched at her hip, drawing another sandwich from her pocket unseen by the guard. She held it out and felt it taken from her fingers again. Satisfied that her conscience would allow her this she sighed softly and set too, cleaning his toilet.
Several days went past with Jane becoming more and more adventurous with what she slipped him. She tried to make it as healthy for him as possible but still easy for her to give it to him without looking at him or without the guard noticing. She tried to give him several slices of oranges each day as well, hoping that the juice in them would go some way to keep his fluids up. He certainly never looked much better, but then Jane would risk no more than a quick sideways glance when she first entered his cell and she never allowed herself to meet his eyes. She wasn't that silly. But it did mean that her conscience was absolved enough for her plot lines to proceed without another care.
She was in the canteen. having her only break of the day when someone said something that made her look up from her paper.
"The freak doesn't seem to be getting any weaker, does he?" one of the guards looked up at Jones, the other guard who had spoken.
"I have no idea what you mean."
"We aren't stupid, y'know, we don't care how he dies as long as he does," Jones replied dryly and yawned.
"Yeah, well, he ain't going to last forever on bread, is he?"
Jane looked back at her paper quickly, not wanting them to see her listening or, most probably, blushing at the guilt that speared through her.
"Jane, what do you think?" Jones asked her. "You clean his cell every day, you notice much?"
"I really don't take much note of any of them," she replied without looking up.
"You don't take much note of anything around here, do you?" Jones laughed. "Can't get much out of you on the best of days."
"Leave her be," Banks, the other guard, said quietly. "She works well and we don't want to loose her because of your tongue."
"I could use my tongue on her," he cackled and Jane just ignored him as usual. It went without saying that if you worked with men long enough they would show their true pig forms at some point. The guards at Arkham were no different; it was just another reason for Jane to add to her long list of why all men (other than imaginary ones) should be avoided at all costs.
And then came the week that that sparked off the rest of her life.
"Hello, Plain Jane," Stephen Bond laughed as he watched her enter the Joker's cell with her bucket and mop. "How's your job been without me to cheer you up?"
Jane made no indication she had heard as she began to wash the floor of the cell. She figured he'd give up soon, he always did. He'd been on his annual leave and she'd been annoyed to see that his first day back was spent with her.
"Hey you, freak, do you like our little Plain Jane?" Bond stood leaning in the doorway as he slapped the rolled up newspaper into the palm of his hand repeatedly. "I see you watching her; they say you're always watching her."
Jane knew that Bond was just trying to make her feel uneasy and she rolled her eyes wishing he'd get bored and give up so she could slip the beef sandwich to the Joker she had in her pockets.
"She's not dumb, at least she's not dumb in the sense of not be able to talk." He laughed at his own joke and Jane wondered what would be reflected on the Joker's face, would he laugh as well? She couldn't take the risk and look. She inched her way backwards towards where she knew he was sitting, just waiting for Bond to get bored with his little game of 'wind up Jane'.
"She don't talk much though, do you, Jane? Nothing to say I suppose; stupid bitch," he snorted and finally bored with his game he unrolled the paper and opened it to read.
Jane let her breath out on an almost silent sigh and without making any noise she took the sandwich from her pocket and held it up sideways; she'd mis-judged her position and her hand made contact with the Joker's mouth, thumping him quite hard. She dropped her hand and couldn't help the gasp that came from her as she looked around at him without even thinking ofabout it. He was grinning at her and it frightened her more than she thought possible. She looked away quickly.
"Seen something scarier than that freak, Plain Jane?" Bond laughed looking up briefly to see her staring at the floor in horror.
"Spider," she whispered and side-stepped from the Joker, her heart beating fast.
"Stupid girl," Bond laughed and went back to the paper he was reading.
Jane took a deep breath and looking out of the corner of her eye she lifted the sandwich and watched as the Joker took it from her; but she refused to meet his eyes and instead quickly resumed washing the floor.
"C'mon, girl, what you doing in there?" Bond looked at his watch. "I'm dying for a leak. Oh, dammit, he's not going anywhere. I'm going for a piss; don't leave the room till I come back!" He threw the paper on the floor and went out of the locked door letting it slam behind him.
Jane began to sweat as she finished the floor and made her way towards his sink and toilet. It was round about now that'd she slip him the rest of the food, but she realised she didn't need to hide it with Bond gone. She propped the mop against the sink and fished in her pocket for the rest of the sandwich and the orange slices.
"Gonna look at me yet, Janey?" came the sing-song voice of the Joker. Jane stepped as close she dared and held the sandwich out to him. He took it and chewed happily. "He's right ya know. I watch you all the time," he giggled. Jane lifted the orange slices and was glad when he took the lot, but he carried on talking despite his mouth being full. "You move quite beautifully." His voice was muffled with the food. "I could almost imagine I was at the ballet and you were Cinderella; that is if I liked Ballet, which I don't and you really don't look anything like Cinderella either."
Jane began cleaning his toilet just as Bond came back in still doing up his trousers. She finished and dragged her bucket towards him but he blocked her way and grinned down at her.
"I think you should ask. You never ask do you? Did your mama never teach you to say please and thank you? Come on, just a please will do."
"Please," she whispered not looking any further than the tie around Bond's chubby neck.
"Not good enough, say "Please, Mr Bond open the door and let me out."
She repeated his words in a low monotone voice.
"Ah, damn, you're just no fun," he muttered and moved out of the way to let her through.
She kept feeding the Joker; sometimes she'd slip him oranges to give him some juice. Bond continued to talk to her each day, baiting her and getting no response until he gave up and hid behind his paper. But on Friday something was different in him; word had gone round that his wife had left him. Jane was not surprised but she was more wary of him.
She worked her way across the floor and stood up, pretending to ease her aching back, her hand finding its way to the Jokers' face. He took the offered food and she carried on pleased it had gone unseen by Bond who was looking edgy as he flicked though the paper, still leaning in the open doorway. She jumped slightly when she heard the door suddenly close. She looked round suddenly feeling uneasy; had she been seen?
"What's up?" Jane asked quietly but Bond ignored her and instead stood watching her.
"You missed a spot, Jane," drawled the Joker and laughed insanely.
Bond glared at him and then looked back at Jane with a sudden glee in his eyes that made her doubly uneasy.
"He says you've missed a spot around the john; best take his toothbrush and make sure you get it real clean for his freaky behind."
Jane looked at Bond showing her surprise at his words before using the mop to swipe the floor around the toilet again.
"I said, use his toothbrush," Bond said firmly.
Jane straightened and frowned at him. "What?"
"You heard; use his toothbrush, won't make no difference. Have you seen his teeth?" Bond was looking at the Joker with nasty delight now. But it faded into anger when the Joker just grinned insanely back at him.
"No." Jane shook her head and moved towards the door. "I'm done here anyway."
"I said, scrub his john with the toothbrush." Bond gripped her arm tightly to stop her moving and yanked her towards the sink. He picked up the toothbrush and shoved it into her chest painfully. "Scrub!"
"No!" Jane didn't raise her voice. "That's disgusting and inhumane."
"And you think he's human? Don't you know who he is? Are you as loony as you look?"
"I know who he is and what he's done; but that still does not give me the right to use his toothbrush to scrub his toilet."
It was the most both of them had ever heard her say and while it made the Joker laugh delightedly it made Bond livid.
"You have a lovely voice, Janey, you should use it more often. Perhaps you could sing for me while you clean…" Joker spoke up, his voice one shade past sane.
"Shut up!" roared Bond at the Joker still pressing the toothbrush painfully into her. He turned back to Jane and glared at her, backing her painfully into the sink. "You think you're better than us, don't you?"
Jane remained silent, her eyes showing her fear of the man holding her.
Y'know? I know a very good magic trick using a toothbrush. I can make it disappear right up someone's nose, you should try it, Janey, it's quite simple; you just need a firm hand and a quick flick of the wrist." The Joker was talking quite calmly, but every so often he'd giggle.
Bond glared at him, not really taking much note of his words but Jane did.
"I couldn't do it," she whispered still staring at Bond, wondering what on earth she'd done to invoke this nightmare.
"What difference does it make anyway?" Bond shook his head dismissively and suddenly grinned at her. "You clean very well, y'know that, don't you, but everyone says you're made of ice because you won't talk to us much. Shall I find out if I can melt you?"
Jane felt pure fear drip over her as moved the toothbrush in a circular motion over her breast. She struggled against him bringing her foot down on top of his with all her might. He stepped slightly from her and gripped her upper arms and began shaking her violently until Jane felt her teeth rattling.
"You think you're better, don't you? Just like my fucking wife, you're all fucking bitches! She's taken everything, even the ruddy furniture!" He suddenly stopped shaking her as if he suddenly realised what he was doing. Jane's head was swimming, her neck was in agony and her upper arms were burning from his grip. But she knew she had to break his grip; using all her strength she came forwards and lifted herself slightly, her forehead making a sickening crunch as it met his nose. She wasn't strong enough to do any damage but it had the desired effect of making him let go of her as he fell back from her, his hand flying to his nose.
Jane was no better; pain so intense she thought she'd pass out racked through her head. She gripped it and fell sideways, her vision blurred as tears filled her eyes. He came forwards and back handed her violently across the cheek. She cried out and fell sideways right onto the Joker. She would have rolled right off but he brought his legs up to hold her against him. She clutched at him as she tried to see and think around the pain. She gave up momentarily and slid off him towards the sink as she passed out.
"I'm gonna teach you a lesson!" Bond glared down at where she was coming around again. One hand went to the belt at his waist as his other hand went to her throat. She heard his trousers undo and pure ice flowed over her; she kicked out at him catching his side but he just tightened his hold on her throat.
"And they call me insane," the Joker said very slowly with no hint of humour anywhere in his voice.
Bond was livid now; all his emotions were burning out of control and Jane was his target. She gripped handfuls of his hair and tugged viciously before shoving him sideways into the sink. He caught his shoulder painfully and cried out.
"Slip yourself under here," the Joker called and without even beginning to question which was more dangerous, him or Bond, she scrambled under the bed till she was behind his legs. His feet were touching at the heels and turned outwards, his knees far apart and it gave her an excellent view of Stephen as he recovered slightly and dropped to his hands and knees glaring at her under the bench.
"Get out here, Jane," Bond shouted at her. "Get out here now, I'll kill you for this, you little whore!"
"Well, this is exciting," the Joker emphasized the word 'is' and then laughed manically.
"Shut up!" Bond raged at the Joker and shuffled forwards on his knees. "Get out here girl, or I'll shoot you where you cower!" He fumbled for his gun and Jane shuffled about, beginning to completely loose her nerve.
"Y'know, it's no fun to try and play with people that just don't know the game," the Joker mused and stretched his legs out straight in front of him, effectively blocking Jane from Bond's sight.
"Move your legs! I will shoot you if I have to!" Bond hissed and waved his gun at the Joker. "Move now!"
She heard the safety catch come off and she closed her eyes in sheer terror. She inched forwards, her hand reaching to hold the shin of the joker as she pulled herself forwards. He grunted at her touch and moved his legs again blocking her way out again.
"Are you trying to protect her?" Bond suddenly realised what was happening and it confused him. "You're a bloody murderer, you kill people, you hate people and you're trying to protect her? Surely you'd enjoy watching."
"Have you never heard of the saying "Never bite the hand that feeds you"?" He threw his head back and cackled loudly and insanely. "Besides, not much fun to be had in only watching, is there?"
"Jane, just get out here." Bond gave up trying to understand the clown and leant forwards to peer around the legs of the Joker.
"Please…" Jane didn't know what to do. She had only once before been as terrified as she was now and that had ended really badly.
"Sit tight, angel, if he wants you let him come get you," the sing song voice of the Joker was oddly calming and she reached out again to touch him.
"I'm gonna need them sweetpea, not too tightly now." His voice was low pitched and made her let go of the material she had gripped at the back of his knee.
She watched Bond reach towards her; she cowered backwards as he crept closer to the Jokers legs.
The Joker suddenly laughed loudly and in one swift movement he lifted his legs and wrapped them around Bond's neck and twisted his whole body sideways, using the chains above him to take his weight. Jane heard the snap of Bond's neck breaking and she couldn't help the whimper that left her mouth.
"That was just too much fun," Joker declared and let Bond fall to the floor dead; his unseeing eyes staring straight at Jane who couldn't move, couldn't look away.
"Ummm… you really can't stay under there all day, sweets." The Joker lifted one foot and kicked savagely at the dead man's head making it flip away from her sight. It seemed to release her and she began to shift forwards till she could crawl out from between his legs. As she emerged he suddenly closed his legs around her holding her tightly. She twisted in his hold and he gave her enough room to turn and rise to her knees in front of him, her eyes wide and filled with terror still.
"Do you have anything else to give me?" he lilted at her, his tongue flicked out and he lowered his heard slightly his eyes not leaving hers.
"Huh?" she knew it was stupid, but it was the most her brain could come up with.
"I've looked forward to your little titbits each day, in fact, I rather think they've kept me going." He spoke so conversationally that Jane found it hard to process his words. She blinked several times and then shook her head, turning it slightly to look at the dead man on the floor.
"He's dead," she muttered and could feel nothing through the shock that blanketed her.
"Well, ten out of ten for powers of deduction, Miss Janey," Joker drawled quietly making her look back at him.
"He was going to rape me," she whispered and her face went paper white. His eyes widened and he opened his legs wide.
"Toilet, over there, now!"
She ripped away from him and managed to make the toilet just in time to loose her lunch as she was violently sick. Finally she dragged herself back from the toilet and running the tap in the sink splashed her face with the cold water. She staggered backwards her feet connecting with Bond, she flailed her arms but lost her balance and she ended up toppling on top of him. It dragged a scream from her throat as she scrambled to get away from him.
"Easy, easy," the calm, slightly gravely, voice of the Joker seemed to ease the panic that had caught hold of her. "He isn't coming back to finish it, if that's what's worrying ya," he stated and then giggled at his own joke.
She looked over at him and took a deep breath, desperately trying to steal her nerves.
"The calvalry'll be here soon, they'll clean this up." He nodded his head as he spoke watching as she turned to the toilet, flushed it and then washed her hands.
"I would be very interested in knowing if you have anything else for me in that wonderful pocket of yours," he cackled slightly. "Recent activity has given me an appetite."
She crossed to him slid her hand in to her pocket and drew out a roll which she tore a piece from and held it out to him.
"You saved me," she said quietly her knees buckled and she slid to a kneeling position in front of him. He leant forwards and gently took the bread from her fingers, he winked at her.
"I believe we could be called even," he said around the bread in his mouth. "Come closer, it pulls on my wrists." He indicated the cuffs which held his wrists to the ring above his head. Without a seconds hesitation she obeyed and scooted forwards between his legs again. She used his thighs to bring her up onto her knees and then she tore another piece and held it out to him. He took it from her and closed his eyes as he ate. She watched him closely; she'd never allowed herself to look at him outright before, but with his eyes closed and his face bare of paint, only the nasty scars on either side of his face made him look different. She could see that the green dye in his now very greasy hair was still there and in faint places around his hair line she could see where the white face paint still clung.
"Want to know how I got them?" he asked suddenly and snapped his head down to pin her with his eyes.
"Got what?" she asked, holding out the last piece of bread. He frowned at her before taking it.
"Why, these beauty lines, of course? My smile," he cackled and looked hopefully down at the pocket the roll had been.
"I don't have any more," she apologised but didn't move back from him nor remove her arms from his legs. It just didn't cross her mind as she looked at him. "I'll listen if you want to tell me," she said quietly.
"Y'know, I have a different story each time I tell it," he laughed. "I've told so many stories I forget which one is the truth."
"I doubt that," she frowned at him and then winced as it pulled at her bruised face.
"Oh?" He quirked an eyebrow at her. "Why is that then?"
"They look painful now, they must have hurt like hell when it happened," she replied quietly.
"And that's something you have first hand knowledge of Janey, isn't it? Why's that, hum? C'mon, babe, tell your Uncle Joker how you know pain so well."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," she whispered and looked away, her eyes went to Bond's dead body and she shuddered.
"Nope, stop that." He shook his head at her. "It's gone, in the past, you've got to look forwards, honey, always forwards. There ain't no good thinking about "ifs and buts"; you gotta ride the whirlwind and look forward to the chaos." He nodded his head and Jane was instantly reminded just who she was leaning all over; but she still didn't move, her head was beginning to ache badly and her face felt as if it was on fire.
"So what chaos caused them?" She indicated his cheek with a pointed finger and before she could even think about it he had her finger caught between her teeth. He giggled and let her go but not before he'd flicked his tongue over her finger.
"Did no one ever tell ya it's rude to point?" he laughed. "Opps, your nose is starting to bleed. I think you need to get checked over, Janey, he roughed you up quite a bit."
Jane lifted her hand to her nose and was startled to feel the blood trickle over her fingers. She frowned and winced as pain radiated through her face and head at the movement. The edges of her vision were starting to darken and she felt sick again.
"I don't feel so good," she whispered and slumped downwards. He tightened his legs around her stopping her from slumping to the floor; he frowned as he took in her white face, the red of the blood starting to pour in earnest.
"Don't shut your eyes just yet, babe." He squeezed her to make her look at him. But she didn't, she turned her face to one side and rested her head on his thigh. He watched as the blood pooled onto his trousers and his frowned deepened. "Ahh, come on, Janey, we've just started to play this game, you can't bow out on me now, babe, where's the fun in that?"
He looked at where Bond was still lying with his trousers undone and the gun still in his fingers. He knew someone would be along soon to find out why they were taking so long, but he wasn't sure how much time she had left. He began whistling softly, just waiting for all hell to break loose; it made him giggle just to think about it.
A/N: Well, if you're here and you didn't chuck up half way, great and thanks. If you can hit the review button and let me know what you thought, that would be even better. Night.
BTW "ride the whirlwind" is a quote from Billy the Kid in Young Guns.