They glared at each other.

The Bat wanted to end it all now, salvage this pitiful clown-girl from the depths of insanity and have one-less problem to worry about. For years, this had gone on, a deadly, frustrating maze of annoyance and sympathy, forever looping in and out of empathy.

In truth, the Bat just wanted her to leave her madness behind.

The jester despised the Bat: he had been the sole reason why she had snapped. HE had hurt her beloved. HE was the reason why she constantly had to put up with the asylum, trying so hard to make her Puddin' happy. All. His. Fault.

They were caught in a paradox, both unable to change the other person. The Bat could not make the jester love someone else and the jester could not make the Bat see that her way was correct.

The Bat pitied her, understanding that she HAD tried in the beginning. She had probably just wanted someone to notice her. She was so desperate to make something important of her life, even if it meant going through drastic measures to see that her goals were reached. In the end, she had let herself fall, succumbing to the temptations and charms of the wicked and the insane. He was beginning to wonder if she was still even reachable after all these years.

The jester wanted to kill the Bat on the spot, taking comfort in that she and her beau would no longer have to worry about a caped freak spoiling their relationship and fun. With the Bat out of the way, she and her Puddin' could be together forever, causing mischief and mayhem to the streets of Gotham without ever being interrupted. They could, perhaps, finally be truly happy…

The wind blew down the narrow alleyway where they stood, cradling their forms with cold night air. They were too engaged, however, to notice.

Why could have been the outcome if the past was different? Would they have met at a different time as friends instead of enemies? Would she have stayed a doctor, met a good man, and have retained the sanity that had been lost for so many years? The various questions whispered silently around them like a vapor, fading into the heated gloom.

The jester's nails dug into her fists, her face no longer playful and mocking. The game was over and the real battle was going to start. She wouldn't lat her Puddin' down this time. She would defeat the flying rat and make him proud.

Scowling fiercely at her adversary, the jester pulled her large mallet to her side, feeling it's powerful bulk in her grasp, almost as if it was assuring her that this was her time for vengeance. The Bat was gonna pay for all the wrong things he did to Puddin'.

The Bat reached for his weapons, ready to subdue the crazed female the moment she moved. There was no reaching her now, justice had to be served.

The two people felt their emotions scathe each other like a flame. This was it. The scuffle was about to start.

"I hate ya, Bats," the jester said, her eyes burning him with their obsessive glow, radiating with madness.

The Bat shut his eyes briefly, pitying the fanatical girl. Fate had made her the wicked puppet of the Joker. He could not change the past.

"I know," he replied.