Ohayho everyone! CJzilla with her first venture into the Batman archives! Ever since I was little, the Joker was a source of endless fear and facination. I thought it was high time for me to write about my infatuation with everyone's favorite psycho harlequin. So without further ado, here it is.

Synopsis: Based on "The Batman" TV series. The Batman is critically injured during a fight with the criminally partnered Mr. Freeze and the Penguin. With the Dark Knight unable to be a crimefighter, Gotham seems to be facing a dark, free-for-all villain take-over. But then an unlikely substitute appears. The Joker. Determined to see the Batman on his feet again, Joker dons his archenemy's cape and responsibilities. Gotham is forced into a stunned silence at seeing the Joker fighting crime. Some say that Joker's even more twisted than once thought, others call him an unlikely guardian.

As I trample over this city, alls CJzilla has to roar is this: R&R! Love on me... Hate on me... I don't care.


Disclaimer: I own nothing of The Batman or the characters therein. I own no quote of Stephen King but I do own the reviews and your sanity!

"You can't deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants."

Stephen King, "Hearts in Atlantis"
US horror novelist & screenwriter (1947 - )

Ain't It Funny

Chapter 1

Two's Up

A night of decorous and elaborate celebration struck Gotham's most prestigious art museum. An ancient ruby phoenix, recently unearthed outside of the ruins of ancient Babylon, was being displayed in the famous art hall. The rich and decorated flocked around the old cut stone, bubbling over with the exquisiteness of the piece. Under the brilliantly lit museum's florescent lights, the darkness of the outside was forgotten. But the night had ways of hiding dangers and leaving everyone unaware of the menace until it was too late.

As the rich and powerful were pouring over the Mesopotamian ruby, all were taken aback when the glass of the skylight was suddenly frozen. In that same second, the brittle ice was shattered, raining down on the display and guests. The flabbergasted people barely had time to draw in another breath when a chilly supervillain dropped from the shattered skylight.

Mr. Freeze descended quickly on a rope, giving the wealthy an icy feeling running up their spines. The tall and sinister ice manipulator set his feet to the marble floor and looked over every person in attendance. You could picture the super-criminal smiling greedily if that large shaft of ice was not encasing his neck and head.

Mr. Freeze was seasoned enough to know that where there was the rich and powerful, there was some sort of security. The icy man briefly combed the area before he spotted the Gotham P.D. making their way through the stunned throng of people. The officers barely had time to lay their hands onto their weapons when they were instantly frozen; solid, like some of the artwork in this museum. Mr. Freeze let a cool chuckle escape him as he lowered his ice-generating hand. The rich people were scared speechless as they stepped further and further away from the supervillain.

"Ladies and gentlemen." Mr. Freeze hailed, his chilly, hoarse voice cutting through the frightened silence. "The party has arrived."

Just then a shrill, clumsy and slightly bird-like scream was heard from above. In just that second, another supervillain plummeted from the skylight above. The Penguin, a short, chubby man with a crooked top hat and three-piece tuxedo fell to the floor, his umbrella bowed upwards. Victor Fries narrowed his eyes in an effort to keep from rolling them. Penguin was considered the second in the list of top super-criminals roaming Gotham; how the inept bird-lover MADE it to the list, let alone getting to the top two was beyond Mr. Freeze. But business was tough these days and partnering up was the safest and most lucrative way to go.

"Quack!" The icy supervillain slowly turned to his partner-in-crime. Penguin was scrambling to get off of the floor.

"You know, if you just lay off your birdseed, you would have made a far grander entrance." Mr. Freeze quipped, seeing that Penguin's umbrella gave under his weight.

The much shorter super-criminal finally got to his feet, straightened his hat and shot the taller man a glare. Penguin huffed.

"Technical difficulties." He snorted before turning his back to the ruby phoenix. The short red-headed man's green eyes widened and he yelped. "Freeze! Just LOOK at what you did!"

Mr. Freeze put up with Penguin's nasally manner of speech and overreactions, but this time he felt his eyes roll.

"You got ice ALL over the phoenix!" Penguin carried on. "Do you know how long it'll take to buff out the watermarks?!"

"I don't care nor am I sorry, Penguin." Mr. Freeze then turned his attention back to the quivering rich people before him. His eyes fixed on the large diamond jewelry adorning most of these people. "If you're done embarrassing yourself, get that big red rock out of here while I collect some ice."

Penguin watched his partner stalk after some old broad with a huge diamond hanging off of her meaty neck. Oswald Cobblepot snorted and turned his green eyes back to his even greater prize. It was a BIG ruby, shaped like a bird! His mouth just watered at the sight of its bird-like beauty.

"We'll get you back to the coop, my beauty." Penguin hugged the large stone. "And when we're all alone, I'll buff you spotless."

In that second, a flash of light caught the man's eyes. Not even a moment later, a window busted and in rolled a can of tear gas. As soon as it rolled to Penguin's feet, it opened, releasing the blinding gas with a hiss. Penguin rolled his eyes, nearly jarring his monocle from his right eye. With a flick of his umbrella and wrist, the can was spun into the air. Then Penguin hit it baseball-style with the butt-end of his umbrella and shot it back out the window. Setting his umbrella on his shoulder, he knew who sent the tear gas grenade.

"Hey Popsicle!" Penguin barked to Mr. Freeze. The icy villain looked back at his partner. "We got the coppers outside. Stop messing with the people and help me with the bird!"

Mr. Freeze ripped off some old man's diamond cufflinks and threw him back into the crowd.

"Relax Penguin." The master ice manipulator called back to his partner. "The entire Gotham police department can barely stop you. How much of a problem are they going to be with you and me holding the museum and wealthy hostage?"

Still there was that irritated look on Penguin's face.

"I know, but they're annoying. I don't want my ruby bird shot up into bits before I have a chance to add it to my collection." The small man retorted. Mr. Freeze felt himself getting irritated.

The tall criminal walked over to his partner and helped tie a harness around the large precious stone statue. The two supervillains secured the statue and were watching it being hoisted upwards. Just then a familiar sound came to their ears. It was the whistle of a Bat-a-rang, one of the Batman's most infamous weapons. In that second, two Bat-a-rangs shot through the air and sliced through the two cords hauling the ruby phoenix to the skylight. Penguin let out a girly shriek as the bird-like statue fell. Mr. Freeze had barely enough time to shoot a big block of ice around the statue before it fell to the floor. The priceless statue was unharmed but the villains were very peeved off.

"You timing is inconvenient, as always Batman." Mr. Freeze shouted into the air. Penguin gripped his umbrella, readying himself for a fight with Gotham's superhero.

With their wealthy hostages fleeing the museum, Mr. Freeze and Penguin knew who was stalking the shadows. Without a warning and without a sound, a tall, dark figure appeared out of the darkness. Any villain would recognize that midnight black cloak, grimace and dark air. It was the Batman. Penguin groaned.

"You picked the wrong score to smash, Bats!" He snarled, as a blade popped out of the ferrule of his umbrella. The superhero's eyes narrowed.

"Partners?" Batman commented, his dark voice cut through the criminals' brains. "Didn't you two learn anything from the last team-ups you've had?"

Mr. Freeze shifted the large sack of diamonds on his shoulder and glared at the hero.

"Penguin's no Firefly, Batman." The icy villain voiced. "He's got the IQ of the rock we're stealing."

"Hey! Catwoman was less catty than you, Freeze!" The shorter criminal growled. Then he folded his arms and looked back at the hero with a smug smirk. "But you know what they say, penguins love the cold."

The Batman advanced on them.

"Not much could come from a dumb criminal partner-up other than empty expectations and full prison cells." The hero returned. "Give up and save yourselves from further embarrassment."

"Oh yeah?!" The Penguin challenged as Mr. Freeze dropped his sack of diamonds and readied his icy weapons. "Just try and stop us!"

The Batman never cracked a smile, even though by all counts, this appeared as if it was going to be an easy fight. Penguin was short sighted and impulsive while Mr. Freeze had a short temper; the two together could only mean a quick fight. The Batman stood there, watching the two villains for as much as a twitch. The hero kept his money on Penguin to strike first, since the chubby man was not one inclined toward patience.

As if he was asked to, Penguin grunted with frustration and dove at the Batman, swinging his blade. The hero backed up and avoided the strikes, looking for an opening.

"You're running out of feathers to pluck, Cobblepot." He stated, Penguin's blade slicing the air around him. His remark got Penguin angry.

"This birdie's not grounded yet, Batman." The short man growled, thrusting his blade, intent on running the masked hero through with it. "But I'll have no problem slicing off your wings!"

At that point, when Penguin's blade and arm were pushed forward, he was open. The Batman seized the villain's wrist, cranked it to the side. The penguin-bodied villain had no choice but to drop his umbrella as the hero threw him through the air. The chubby man flew through the air before he righted like a cat and landed beside Mr. Freeze.

"I hate it when you do that!" Penguin snarled, straightening his hat.

Now it was Mr. Freeze's chance.

"I'd stop right there, Batman." The ice manipulator stated to the hero. Then he raised his hand to the air. "Or all of Gotham's art will freeze… permanently."

The Caped Crusader stopped mid-step. He eyed Freeze's suit and saw the ice crystals forming on his fingers; a freezing blast was not too far behind. The Batman inwardly cursed the value of the art around him and how delicate they were.

Penguin gave his signature laugh at the crime-fighter.

"Boy Scouts are so predictable; you can't commit a crime if your life depended on it." The bird-like villain jeered as he gave the hero a mocking smirk. "Go back to selling cookies, you goodie-goodie."

The Batman merely narrowed his eyes and stood there like a statue.

"Get your precious little paperweight out of here, Penguin." Mr. Freeze grunted, fed up with the Penguin's gloating. "My arm's getting tired."

Penguin sighed like a little kid and did as he was told. Taking a whistle out of his pocket, the bird-based villain blew on it. Not a sound was heard, but that was just to human ears. Within three seconds, two of the Penguin's Eurasian Black Vultures descended from the skylight. The two massive birds grabbed the remnants of the harness around the ruby phoenix statue. With a flap of their huge wings, they ascended to the skylight and disappeared into the darkness.

Penguin tipped his top hat to the crime fighter.

"It's been a hoot, Batman." The bird-based villain gave a sharp-toothed grin. "But this criminal gaggle has got to fly away."

The villain gave an owl hoot just to mock the Batman.

"First of all, Penguin, a gaggle is a crowd, not two criminals trying to pass themselves off as a crime duo." The Dark Knight remarked. "And second, no one's flying away from this fight."

In the flash of a second, the Batman's hand emerged from his curtain-like cape. A sphere flew out of the crime-fighter's hand and struck Mr. Freeze in the hand. In an instant, Freeze was hit with blinding pain. Howling in agony, the ice-controller held his hand to his stomach as he fell to his knees. He whimpered, never feeling such an intense blast of heat in his life. Looking up, he felt rile burn inside of him. The Batman was walking slowly toward him.

"Super-heated plasma, Freeze. Enough to melt even your chilly personality." The crime-fighter stated.

Mr. Freeze growled, holding his burning hand. The Batman had not forgotten about Penguin; he had the portly ex-billionaire in his sights. Penguin was standing there, his jaw on the ground, seeing Mr. Freeze taken to his knees so easily.

"Last chance, Penguin. Give up and go quietly back to your roost in Arkham." The superhero stated. The Penguin snorted.

"This old bird is too young to be caged." He returned pulling on the crook handle of his umbrella and exposing a long, katana-like sword.

The Batman took Penguin's challenge and dove at him.

Meanwhile, outside, the art museum was completely surrounded by Gotham P.D. Police Commissioner Ellen Yin and Police Chief Ethan Bennett stood outside the blockade created by their heavily armored police force. Both came to trust the Batman but every time there was a supervillain team-up, they couldn't help but be concerned.

Commissioner Yin swallowed as she watched the commotion from inside the museum. Following protocol to the letter, all civilians were removed from the area and given to the medics if need be. The surrounding stores and offices were evacuated and all press was kept at safe range.

"What are you thinking, sir?" The ebony-haired oriental beauty heard her Police Chief as her. Apparently, her thoughts surfaced on her face.

"I want an opening, Ethan." She used his first name; her words were not an order. "Two villains in one area are always bad news. I want those two freaks out in the open and in Tazer range. I don't want a repeat of past criminal team-ups."

Ethan Bennett looked between his good friend, ex-partner and now boss and the art museum. The tall, fit black man managed a smirk.

"Bats can handle anything these villains can throw at him, including Freeze and Penguin." He reassured Yin. "But we can guarantee some of the art in that building isn't going to come out in one piece."

"Then why do I have a bad feeling about tonight?" Ellen spoke, her eyes glazed over with concern as she intently watched the art museum. The Gotham P.D. could only wait for an opening, or when the Batman gift-wraps both villains for them.

As a token of bad omens, a news helicopter flew above the art museum.

Inside the news helicopter, a news personality was narrating the frightening scene.

"As you can see the Gotham P.D. is at another stand-still as reports are coming in that supercriminals Victor Fries a.k.a. "Mr. Freeze" and Oswald Cobblepot a.k.a. "Penguin" are robbing this downtown art museum." The handsome news-anchor voiced into the camera. "Witnesses have confirmed that the Batman is inside the building and contending with the two powerful yet mental supervillains."

All over Gotham, the live news report was being aired on countless television sets. Everyone from random channel surfers to concerned fans to news-savvy civilians was tuned into this momentous fight. Across the snowy screen of an old television placed on a stolen shipping crate, the latest news was broadcast to an empty port-side warehouse. Among the many pilfered crates from various local novelty stores, there were gigantic teddy bears, jack-in-the-boxes and marred masks. There was an owner to all this twisted madness, an owner who's cruel ticks and deadly jokes would leave you dying of laughter. The Joker.

A trickling of soft, crazed laughter came through the darkness of the warehouse. Following the light shining off of the many dangerous toys, a figure was hunched over a desk beaming with a single lamp. Upon coming closer, green hair, the tattered remains of a straight jacket and festive, overly-long purple sleeves were seen. This was the bizarre appearance of a maniacal harlequin whose unnerving instinct for the absurd earned him a reputation as the most dangerous criminal in the annals of crime.

Snickering to himself, Joker was painting on a novelty prop bomb that he had converted into a real bomb, containing his very own Joker-venom. A toothy smile was stuck on his permanently white-painted face as he slathered an equally "happy" smile onto the bomb.

"There!" He cheered, taking the bomb off of his work station. The man twirled ballerina-style before hugging the highly dangerous explosive to his face. "Explosive Laughter, by Joker."

The madman threw his head back and burst into ecstatic laughter.

"Another crowd's going to be blown away by the comedic genius of the Joker!" Joker went on, talking to the cannonball-like bomb. "Several hundred of these little babies will give everyone in Gotham something to scream with laughter about!"

Joker felt another wave of uncontrollable laughter bubbling out of him when his painted ears caught the sound of the television.

"-fire erupted suddenly! Decades of priceless artwork are contained within this highly prestigious art museum and it's going up in flames!" The anchorman exclaimed. Joker spun to the TV, his smile faltering with curiosity.

He walked over to the fuzzy television and hit the top of it. The old TV's signal grew clearer and Joker could see one of Gotham's premier art museums and waves of fire were coming from the building. Joker rolled his red eyes.

"Yet another serious commentary of a seriously expensive bonfire." Another smile spread across his face as he eyed the flames. The flames were high and powerful making the psychotic harlequin think that he should dabble in arsony, just to know what it feels like. "Nice presentation but I'd think the reception is a little… scorching!"

And Joker nearly crumpled to the ground in another laughter fit. But over his yucks and guffaws, something caught his attention again.

"We have visual conformation! The Batman and Mr. Freeze have emerged from the burning museum!" The camera fixed on the two sparring figures exiting the smoke-choked building. Joker couldn't look away now.

Freeze? At an art museum? Not the icy villain's forte. Just then something shot out of the smoky entry of the museum. An… umbrella? The umbrella flew through the air and struck the Batman in the chest. The masked hero was blasted off of his feet and came to a stop on the asphalt of the outside street. The attacker was soon seen.

"Penguin?!" The Joker gasped. "Holy horrible foes, Batman! You've got a two criminal concoction!"

The man clapped his dirty hands to his face and made a theatrical frightened face. But the joke grew sour when Joker saw Mr. Freeze and Penguin taking the Batman to the cleaners. Joker's smile fell into a deep frown when he saw the Batman on his knees and those two jokes of criminals standing over him.

"C'mon Batty! You're better than that!" Joker took the TV and shook it. Just then the old TV crumbled in his hands and the screen went black. "NO!"

The insane harlequin raced out of his warehouse, intent at finding the nearest television. Driving the Joker was a strange urge to see how this fight ended.

Back at the art museum the Dark Knight was feeling the effects of the twisted villainous partner-up of Mr. Freeze and Penguin. Between Freeze's mastery of ice manipulation and Penguin's martial arts, the Batman was always moving, always one step behind their deadly combination attacks. Winded and hurting, the Batman was considering fleeing the fight or never walking away.