~*~ A Clown for a Valentine~*~

Disclaimer: I don't own anyone in the Batman world. =D

A/N: This one-shot is for a certain cat-friend - and any lovers of the Joker hehe.

'Why so serious?'

He laughed, and flicked the little flip-knife into the corner of my chin. The car had stopped, and he'd finally opened the boot. The night air rushed in, chilling me but waking me at the same time. Light from the street-lamp a few paces away spilled down on us.

I stared up at the man leering over me. The first thing I saw was the shabby purple suit, or rather, the fake little flower sitting in his flannel. The kind that squirts water. It was natural for me to notice such detail. My day job, and frequently night-job, was a policewoman. I turned my attention beyond the suit, to the man in the suit.

He wasn't really a man. His face was coated with corpse-white paint. A lipstick red smile curved upwards and outside his real mouth, just like a clown. It struck me that the scars that followed the mouth in a curved smile were possibly self-inflicted. Worst of all were the smirking eyes, drowned in the stained mascara that had dried just above the cheeks. There was hollowness in that smirk, and madness too.

Why so serious? What kind of a question was that to ask your victim?

What do you think? That's what my brain was shrieking in reply.

Ordinarily, I would have punched anyone who asked that question, given my present situation. My mouth was stuffed with garlic, taped shut and my feet and hands were bound with rope and fishing wire. An altogether pleasant arrangement.

But I wouldn't be punching this man, even if I managed to escape. The face paint, and the suit, teemed with those mad eyes, were enough to warn even an apprentice policewoman. The whole of Gotham knew this man's face – though I suspected only the masked knight – the Batman – knew the Joker's true identity. Of all the women sitting at home that evening, feeding their cats alone, I happened to be the unfortunate victim whom the Joker selected for a Valentine's Day prank. Or worse.

'Ah. Legs.'

The Joker was staring at me, deciding what to call me. Since he had kidnapped me in the middle of a quiet night at home with my cats, I was dressed thinly in an old t-shirt and shorts, my bare legs exposed to the night air. Hence the charming nick-name.

'What's a gorgeous woman like you doing at home feeding the cats on a night like this?'

He rubbed his hands together, not caring that anyone might walk past him in the street that very moment, and see him talking to a woman stuffed and gagged in the boot of his car. Of course, that was characteristically Joker behaviour.

'What's that?' He put one of his gloved, purple hands to his ear and a laughed. 'I can't hear you my love!'

In a gesture of a sadism rather than kindness he tore the tape from my mouth.

I didn't scream. I wasn't that stupid. The only way to survive was to meet a clown on the same wavelength. Amuse them with a trick or two.

'I don't date psychopaths.' It was all I could do to hold onto my nerve. If I hadn't been trained to keep my mouth shut in situations such as these, I'd most likely be dead. This second.

'Where are you taking me?'

The Joker sighed. I got the feeling asking meaningless questions such as whether he would spare my life or not trifling. 'It's time for the tape to go back on.'

He pulled out the black roll of tape from his jacket pocket and tore off a new bit to attach to my face. How romantic.

'There!' The black tape was re-attached. The Joker admired his handiwork, grinning. 'You look almost as handsome as me!'

Then he bent down, seeing my furious expression. I quickly altered it, remaining as calm as possible. The Joker was a ticking time-bomb waiting to go off.

He clicked his fingers and moments later two masked men joined his side. Probably waiting in the front of the van. They hoisted me out of the boot, one of them undoing my feet, the other my hands.

'Now, my sweet,' said the Joker grinning, 'one false move and my little friend here will slit you from side to side.' He pointed the dagger in the side of my stomach.

I nodded. Didn't have to be told twice. The two men led me, with the Joker taking up the rear, down a side street. The light at the end of the alley told me he was leading me somewhere inside. If he wanted to kill me, he probably would have done so by now. At least, that was the reasoning with most crims. But the Joker was different. Not even the most hardened crims would associate with this man. I gulped.

He saw my fish-like expression of fear, and gave me an almost affectionate smile.

'Nothing like a woman in distress to give the ol' heard palpitations! Not to worry my dove, I'm not gonna kill you. We're just going to sit down, and have a nice, quiet, romantic dinner for two. All expenses paid of course. What man could ask for more, than the company of a beautiful woman on Valentine's Day?'

Was I hearing right? Had I been knocked over the head too hard? All the Joker wanted was a quiet dinner for two? Now I had heard it all. I hesitated a moment, tripping over the wet pavement crack.

'Into the alley toots.'

And I felt the sharp press of the dagger against my skin. I knew he wasn't joking.

* * *

He he keep reading to find out how the Joker spends his Valentine's.....