Title: Sympathy From The Devil

Universe: Nolanverse, Post-TDK

Rating: PG

Characters/Pairings: Bruce Wayne, The Joker, Jim Gordon, Batman/Joker

Word Count: 772

Warnings: mentions of character death, slash, etc

Summary: Sharp things know, what a grievous blow. Charged to discover, left with red and grey. The muse falls to the sea, leaving questions. How can one find such a question?

Prompt: "bad day."

The world was bleak and grey; only fitting for this worst of worst days. Alfred Pennyworth, most beloved of father figures to him, was dead. He had been in great shape and health for a man of his advancing age, still spry and quick witted as ever. It had not been a sudden heart attack or stroke, or something similar that had done him in; it had been a criminal, a villain.

A new villain to the city of Gotham who had wanted to make his presence known. One called the Riddler, wearing a ridiculous suit and bowler hat covered with question marks and a cane with a question mark on top.A few pictures of him had surfaced through various cameras in the city. He had seemingly happened upon Alfred by chance when the butler had been walking through the shipyard to get to Bruce's hideout and had been killed.

The man was also unlike the regular criminals in the city (he deliberately kept himself from thinking about who else fit that description), in that, other than the manner in which he committed crimes and the like, he also left calling cards.

In the forms of Riddles.

The one he left on Alfred's body had been picked up by the police before he could get there as Batman, but he had gotten a look at it on Gotham PD's rooftop by Commissioner Gordon; talking and doing things as Batman was the only thing that had kept him from breaking down then.

The riddle, a small nondescript piece of paper, had said: Sharp things know, what a grievous blow. Charged to discover, left with red and grey. The muse falls to the sea, leaving questions. How can one find such a question?

It was obviously a riddle to test the wit of the person reading it, whether or not it was for him, the Batman, or whoever specifically.

He could hear the muffled, or not so muffled in some cases, crying of people surrounding the wooden casket. His eyes were dry. He felt this great need to cry and let it out, but couldn't. Not because he was Bruce Wayne or a man, or anything like that...it just wouldn't come. Perhaps when he got home to the empty mansion he would be getting to, then perhaps then he could cry.

The sky was overcast and it starts to rain as soon as the Minister speaks. People huddled closer together, black clothes and eyes filled with tears, underneath their umbrellas. He could distantly hear someone, perhaps it was Jim Gordon, ask him for something, to open up an umbrella for himself, but the words just went in one ear and out the other. His skin felt cold and numb long before the rain ever touches it.

The next words of the minister get drowned out by a sudden burst of thunder, startling some people. He wasn't startled by the noise, but by a sudden hand holding onto his. He turns and his breath catches in his throat. The clothes may have been different, the hair a different color, the scars hidden and no color touching the man's face, but he would recognize that face anywhere; no one had eyes like the Joker.

"Jack?" He says hoarsely, rain dripping down in little lines down his head, but which he didn't really notice or feel.

"I'm sorry, Brucey," whispered the Joker, squeezing his hand.

They both turn back to the service as the minister finishes up.

"Ashes to ashes..."


"Dust to dust..."

Women weeped, men shook with tears, some openly crying, and he stood their, stoic and dry eyed. He turns to look at the clown prince.

"I know you've figured out his riddle." Said the Joker. And he had. "And I know who hired him."

All he could do was stand there, cold and shaking in the rain while he listened to the man.

"I had to torture a few guys, ha ha," said the Joker quietly, looking away. "But...what do you know...they decided to talk! How nice of them. Ha..."

"... send this man back into your loving embrace, oh Lord..."

The Joker turns his head to look Bruce directly in the eyes, piercing him.

"I love you."

Bruce weeps.