Hello, hello. This idea has been on my mind for awhile now, so I thought I'd give it a go. It's basically about this girl who grew up with the Joker; his only friend, if you will. He disappears after high school and she realizes he's a psychotic clown ten years later and… yeah… you get the point. I won't give away too much ;D

This first chapter introduces us to a bit of the Joker's earlier life and someone who had a large part of it. I think the 2nd chapter will include a bit more (high school, most likely).

Please enjoy : )

Disclaimer: Batman/The Joker belongs to DC Comics; the OC belongs to me.

One

His tattered sneakers swung lightly with each slow swing, his deep brown eyes drawn downward, half-concealed by unruly blonde curls. An old, oversized t-shirt fluttered against his thin frame in the breeze, and a pair of faded shorts hung loosely on his hips. His hands gripped the chains on either side of him tightly, his rough-looking fingers tapping against the smooth metal slightly.

His unkempt appearance was well-known by students and teachers alike at our school; his cold and reclusive behavior was even more recognizable. Each day he arrived at school with his torn backpack and concerning attire, children would whisper amongst themselves while teachers would quietly question it. Each day he sat in our classroom, not a word escaped his lips. His lanky body would be stiff and unmoving, his eyes blank and indifferent as the day progressed. His hair was wild, his fingernails jagged and containing traces of dirt. His odd behavior concerned adults and kept peers away from him.

When the time came to change seats, the classroom was in a bustle as friends waved over other students to sit near them. I chewed on my lower lip as I saw a close friend of mine motion enthusiastically to the seat next to her. Slowly glancing at the usual empty seat next to him, I swallowed and slowly made my way over to him. Gnawing at my lip with more pressure, I slowly sank into the seat, ignoring the quiet gasps from around me. He did not look at me as I sat. He maintained the same blank stare, while I soaked in the shocked expressions from fellow friends.

Recess came around, and I saw that he was sitting alone on the swings as he had everyday, his eyes locked on the woodchips below him. Walking over to him, I took a seat on the bright red seat next to him and kicked around the woodchips, idly tracing patterns in the soil beneath. Again, he did not look up at me. I began to swing gently, humming to myself quietly. As I hummed softly, my eyes rolled to the side to observe him. He continued swaying slightly, his face expressionless. There were no words exchanged between us during that day; I simply hummed to myself, ignoring the disgusted looks from my friends while he swung quietly.

The next day, our teacher had allowed us to eat lunch outside during recess. It was a beautiful spring afternoon, with soft white clouds lining the light blue sky. A fresh, crisp breeze blew gently through the playground, and the sun was warm and comforting on our bare arms. I noticed him sitting on the swing and decided to take a seat next to him again. Grasping my paper bag in my right hand, I trotted over with a bit more confidence than the day before and sat on the red seat again. As I adjusted my body in the seat, I had noticed that his hands were empty. He had no lunch bag. I slowly opened my bag, and saw a peanut butter sandwich, a juice box and a bag of carrot sticks resting in the bottom. Reaching in, I took out the sandwich. Glancing over at him, I gently tore the sandwich in half, getting some peanut butter on my fingers in the process. Picking up one half, I extended my hand towards him, offering it to him. Instead of his usual blank stare, I noted that his eyes were cast down on the sandwich half, a flicker of surprise evident in them for only a moment.

"It's, um, peanut butter," I spoke to him for the first time with a shrug. He stopped swinging for a moment, his feet coming to rest on the ground. His left hand slowly loosened its grip on the chain next to him and reached out to take the sandwich. I couldn't help but feel a small smile grace my lips as he took the sandwich and raised it to his mouth, taking a hesitant bite. I smiled to myself as I began swinging, being careful to balance the bag on my lap, and happily bit into my half, savoring the rich flavor. I began humming to myself again as I ate, licking some peanut butter off of my finger.

"I hum 'cause it makes me happy," I spoke again, noticing that his half was gone. Reaching into my bag, I took out the bag of carrot sticks and extended it toward him. His nose crinkled slightly, but he reached in and took a stick anyways, looking at it hesitantly. I took one as well and bit down on it, feeling it crunch beneath my teeth. "My mom's always hummed to me, so I guess that's why I do it too."

He was quiet, as I expected, but his eyes were turned slightly towards me. I think for the first time in those few days I'd been in his presence, he was listening to me. As we ate the remaining carrots and shared a juice box, I began talking more to him. I told him my name and talked to him about my younger brother and my dog Pepper. I told him that my favorite food was vanilla ice cream and that I hated the bright pink bows my mom clipped in my hair every morning. He said nothing the whole time I spoke, but his eyes were continuously turned to me. He was listening to me, I realized, and it made me smile slightly.

After I ran out of things to talk about, I swung gently and began to hum again. Out of the corner of my eye, as he began to sway lightly as well, I saw his grungy fingers begin to move slightly against the cool chain. He was tapping his fingers… to my humming. My lips curved into a smile again and I continued humming, the breeze ruffling our hair and the lunch bag lying empty between us.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Weeks continued on, and I'd learned from seeing one of his spelling papers, that his name was Jack Napier and that he was eight years old. At recess, we would sit on our swings, while I talked about different parts of my day and he quietly listened. Some days, I would simply hum while he tapped his fingers, the silence comforting and familiar between us.

I was often tempted to ask him why his clothes were so tattered or why he never spoke, but I knew that he wouldn't respond. Jack hadn't said a word to me since I'd begun spending time with him. Oddly enough, I didn't mind it. There was something about him that I liked. I only realize now that it was the fact that he listened to me. My other friends, who had no longer played with me after school or bothered to invite me to eat with them anymore, never actually listened to me. Jack was different. Jack was always listening to me.

One particular day at recess, we had sat at our usual spots on the swings and swung lightly. That day was very different from the usual days, though, because that day was the first time Jack spoke to me. We had swung silently, and I had been quiet that whole day. My down behavior had not gone unrecognized by Jack; his eyes were watching me expectantly as we sat. When I heard his voice, I almost jumped from surprise.

"What's wrong with you?"

It was weird, hearing him speak. His voice was like other boys in our class – slightly squeaky and high, but there was something very peculiar about his. It wasn't chipper. It wasn't normal. His voice was monotonous; something very odd for an eight year old boy.

When he spoke, I looked up in shock, my eyes wide and my mouth slightly agape. "I… um… what?"

His dark eyes bore into mine as his mouth curled slightly into what appeared to be annoyance. "I asked…" He licked his lips slightly, "What's wrong with you?"

"Oh," I nodded slightly in comprehension and then glanced up at him. "What do you mean?"

"You're not humming."

Ah. He had noticed? I swallowed hard as he said this. Shrugging lightly, I attempted to force a smile to my lips. "I guess I just don't feel like it today."

"Why?"

I felt my lower lip quiver as my eyes dropped to the woodchips below. I felt his dark eyes on me still. Letting my shoulders drop, I breathed out shakily. "Pepper died last night… she was real sick."

He was quiet after I said this, his eyes shifting forward slowly. After a minute or so, I saw that he had begun to swing again. I swallowed and began to swing softly. He didn't speak again for the rest of the day.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sometime throughout elementary school, I'd realized that Jack Napier was my best friend. Each year we had class together, we would always have seats next to one another. Recess didn't change; we would share my sandwiches and juice on the red swings together, with me chatting happily or humming quietly and him listening intently. Jack and I spent time together in school, but oddly enough, neither of us had seen the other's home or family. Not once had we spent time together outside of school, and we both appeared to be content with that.

In fifth grade, I noticed a change. Jack began to leave class around the same time, one fifteen, with a stiff looking woman adorning a tight bun and glasses. She would lead him out of the room and bring him back an hour later, her lips drawn in a tight line. He would sit down and not say anything, just continue with our arithmetic assignment quietly. I never questioned him where he went. It would only be awhile later that I discovered from overhearing our teacher, Ms. Swenson, that he was required to see a social worker everyday for 'concerning behaviors.'

I realized that Jack was different from other students because of his reclusive mannerisms and refusal to speak often, but it wasn't until seventh grade that I realized just why he was pinned for having 'concerning behaviors.'

The concerning behaviors made themselves known during our lunch period. Luckily, him and I both had fifth period lunch together, which made up for the fact that we had no other classes together. Jack was placed in a gifted program, which had an advanced science and math class, both subjects which I struggled with. He was incredibly smart in both areas, but never commented on his above-average intelligence. Each day we would sit together at our table, sharing my lunch while he helped me with my homework. He began speaking a bit more, explaining a math problem or showing me how to read a graph for my science class.

Our table was next to the "jock" table, where a mean spirited boy by the name of Timothy Williams had sat with his goons. I had especially disliked Timothy because of his persistent bullying of me. I was considered a nobody in junior high because of my association with Jack; my previous friends had refused to have anything to do with me anymore. Timothy loved to take advantage of this fact and would pester me consistently, especially in our history class. One day during lunch as I walked past their table to put away my tray, his leg had sprung out in front of my path, tripping me and sending me crashing to the ground. He laughed hysterically as I struggled to sit up, my face flushed red and my eyes watering in humiliation in pain. As he laughed, I was vaguely aware of Jack strolling over to the table with a fork in hand, his face calm and collected. As I sat up shakily, a blood-curling howl filled the cafeteria.

Timothy fell backwards, his face contorted with pain, his hand grabbing blindly at his arm. Jack stood next to the table, his eyes glittering in malicious amusement as he observed the boy flail in pain. My mouth gaped open slightly in shock at the sight before me; the silver fork Jack had in his hand was now embedded in Timothy's arm. Jack had stabbed him. With a fork.

I looked up from my position on the floor in horrific disbelief at my best friend. His eyes slowly shifted from Timothy to me, the dark orbs locked on mine intensely. His gaze never broke off of mine until a minute later, when the lunch supervisors had ran over and grasped onto him, shouting incomprehensible things and pulling him towards the hallway where the principle's office was. As Jack was hurried out of the cafeteria, my body shook with fear as I saw Timothy lying on the ground, his bloody arm shaking with pain and his face wet with tears.

That was the day that I finally realized that Jack Napier had indeed showed signs of 'concerning behavior.'

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AN: So, what do you all think? Please give me feedback, it helps so much! If you like this enough, I'll update soon. : )