Jervis watched Alyce's unconscious form hunched across from him in the police transport van. He had woken up shortly after the police had arrived to cuff them and take them away. Although he had a pounding headache, his nose was throbbing, which indicated to him that it'd been broken, and they'd been defeated, he was still happy. Of course, he was sorely disappointed that they'd been captured so soon, but Jervis was happy because of two things.
The first was that he had finally, after many years of loneliness and emptiness, found his Alice. Sure, her name was spelled differently, but it was pronounced the same. Not that that fact mattered much. Alysyn has been the only woman who could understand him – who understood his line of thinking, thought his quirks were becoming, and just enjoyed being around him without really asking for a whole lot. Hell, he'd been the one to offer her freedom of mind and spirit – to be all that she is without letting social prejudices get in the way. She just went along for the ride and ended up gloriously falling for him in the process. Furthermore, his love had power. Lots of power. This led him to wonder how she ended up being captured herself.
The second thing he was happy about was that their experiment had worked. The devices that Alyce had magically imbued for him worked wonderfully. They were something he and his lover would definitely be creating again in the future. If it hadn't been for Theresa, the Jabberwocky would be no more, and they would be both revered and feared by the criminal community. Of course, Jervis knew that the Joker would have something to say about it, but with Alyce at his side, he had little to worry about. Yes, one day their dream of turning Gotham into a true Wonderland will be fulfilled. There was a lot of work to be done in order to get to that point, however; once certain people were weeded out and plans for turning the city into their dream were finished, it shouldn't be that hard to…persuade people to conform to new ways of thinking and doing things.
As he looked at his companion, Jervis noticed that, aside from a horrid bruise beginning to form on the right side of her delicate face, she was grinning.
'I wonder what she's dreaming about. While I'm happy that things have turned out well, I'm not too happy about going back to Arkham. I'm certainly not smiling about it, at least. I hope she's dreaming about me…'
A few minutes later, Alyce groaned and began to stir. The officer sitting beside her glanced over and readied his tazer in case she decided to try and get free of her bonds. Jervis narrowed his eyes and started to move, but a nightstick slapped across his chest from the officer sitting next to him stopped him from head-butting Alyce's watcher.
"You try anything, Tetch, and I'll beat you so hard you won't know today from tomorrow," his holding officer said threateningly.
Jervis just quirked a red eyebrow at the man, shrugged, and said amusingly, "I don't know today from yesterday, tomorrow from the next day, nor last week from next anyway. It won't be anything different, I'm afraid."
The officer rolled his eyes. "Freak. Though not as much of a freak as your little girlfriend over there."
He gestured over to Alyce, who was now wide-awake and seemingly staring off into space. Upon hearing Jervis' guard, though, she snapped her attention towards him, making her guard tense slightly and wrap his fingers even more tightly around his tazer. She appeared to try and summon up a spell, but nothing happened. She tried again, and again nothing. Alyce hung her head.
"My dear, whatever is wrong?" Jervis queried.
"My powers have been bound, Jervis. I can't use magic. I can feel it coursing through me, but it's being kept held in check," she answered with a sad sigh.
Jervis curled his mouth up in fury. Theresa. That Boojum was the cause of this new development. He just knew it. Why Alyce didn't listen to him in the first place was beyond him. He should have forced her to just kill her ex-friend turned adversary and been done with it. However, he knew that if he had done that, Alyce would probably never speak to him again. Besides, her free will is one of the things he loved about her. She listened to him up to a point, but she had her own way of doing things that wouldn't be the same if he had ended up controlling her. No, he liked her just the way she is, despite her little flaws.
'Even I'm not perfect,' he thought wryly.
"Jervis? Would you believe me if I told you that I saw my parents just a little bit ago?" Alyce asked, that same melancholy smile she'd had when she was knocked out back upon her lips.
"Why wouldn't I?"
"Just curious. I did, you know. Want to know what they told me?"
"Hey! No talking!" Jervis' officer exclaimed bossily.
"You're very rude," Alyce said to the man. "I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to Hatter. You can ignore us, you know."
Jervis grinned when the officer just glared at her. "You were saying, my dear?"
"My parents told me that my powers will be unbound in the future. They didn't tell me when, but I imagine within the year. Also, they told me that the gods will not strip me of my powers because my path with you was set before I was born. I really am meant to be with you!"
At this exclamation, both officers rolled their eyes, but didn't say anything, deciding to let the mad people talk to each other. This wasn't exactly protocol, Jervis knew, but apparently, these guys didn't care. They, or at least he, were going to Arkham, so they probably figured that what their superiors didn't know wouldn't hurt them.
"That's wonderful, Alyce!" Jervis cried out just as happily.
"Yeah. At least I know I won't lose my powers permanently…"
"Freaking Metas..." one of the guards muttered under his breath before they all heard a knock from the front of the van.
The metal window slid open and the driver said, "We're stopping off at police headquarters first to put McArthur in a holding cell until she's tried, then we're heading to Arkham. Get McArthur ready. We'll be at HQ in less than five minutes."
At this, Alyce looked over at Jervis with a slightly worried, scared demeanor.
"I've never had to go through this before. What's it like?"
Jervis, despite his own worries that she might not be put in Arkham with him, smiled comfortingly and answered, "It's mostly just a bunch of questions and answers, my dear. Tell them the truth, nothing but the truth and so on and so forth. The judge and jury will decide whether you are of sound mind or not, and the judge will give you his sentencing."
"How long will it be before I go on trial?"
She sounded as though tears were beginning to form, and Jervis' heart went out to her.
'I wish I could just hold her right now. These Bandersnatches wouldn't let me, though. Ingrates.'
"That depends, my love. First, they'll probably have someone evaluate your psyche. Then, you'll be given a lawyer or public defender. It took a couple of days before I first went on trial," Jervis replied.
"They don't have ginuea pigs as jurors do they? That would be awful. And I thought it was sentence first, verdict afterwards," Alyce said, her expression turning from scared to a bit sour.
Jervis chortled. "Ah, but you have all ready had your sentence."
"I suppose I have," Alyce commented. "I was sentenced when Theresa and the Jabberwocky looked upon me as a threat."
"Exactly," Jervis said with a grin.
The transport van came to a stop and the back doors were opened.
"All right, McArthur, out you go," the officer looking after her said, giving her a harsher than necessary tug on her arm.
"Can I at least say goodbye to Jervis?" she asked pleadingly.
"No. It's bad enough that he seems to have influenced you. You don't need to be giving him a kiss goodbye. Now move it!"
Jervis glared daggers at the officer, but said nothing. Alyce looked as though she was going to have an emotional breakdown, and all he wanted to do was comfort her. Hold her in his arms and tell her that everything was going to be okay. He couldn't, though, and this only made him hope even more that she would be sentenced to Arkham. At least then, they had a very good chance of being able to see and touch one another again.
With tears brimming in her green eyes, Alyce looked intently at Jervis and said wholeheartedly, "I love you."
Although a little sad, Jervis held his head up high. He couldn't let her see him break down. He had to be strong for her.
Smiling, Jervis replied with equal sincerity, "I love you too, Alysyn. Good luck. We will see each other again soon. I promise."
With that, the guard jerked on Alyce's arm one last time, guided her out of the van, handed her over to a couple of waiting officers, and jumped back in. The doors slammed shut, the van came to life, and they were once again on the road – this time to Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane.
One month later…
"How are you feeling today?" Dr. Joan Leland asked. "Still feeling depressed?"
"You ask a lot of annoying questions," was the irritable response Alyce gave, not for the first time since being imprisoned. "And if you must know…I am and I'm not."
It was bad enough that her magic was bound, being imprisoned within her body and not being able to get free. Now, she herself was imprisoned. Alyce's trial had come three days after being put into a holding cell in downtown Gotham. A psychologist had come, as Jervis had said they would, to evaluate her mind. After a few hours of endless questions and answers, the psychologist had deemed her mentally unstable and suggested that her lawyer push to have her placed in Arkham Asylum. After all, she had aided the Mad Hatter, had killed a small handful of civilians, and did otherwise unethical things. She was now a full-fledged criminal – who apparently wasn't of completely sound mind.
Commissioner Gordon had spoken with Theresa and discovered that she was the one who helped incapacitate her. Alyce suspected that the Jabberwocky had something to do with this, because Gordon requested that Theresa be allowed visitation rights. This was probably just so she could recharge the binding spell that was placed upon her, as these kinds of things had to be redone every so often. Alyce was placed in a cellblock with other more dangerous criminals, so it wasn't all that bad. Jervis, after all, was only a few cells down the hall in the "men's section". Arkham was weird in that it didn't have designated women or men's wings. Everyone was placed together according to his or her danger level. Although the women were generally kept at one end, while the men were at the other in order to keep some sense of privacy.
Upon psychiatric evaluation, Alyce was diagnosed with Bipolar Personality Disorder with psychotic features*. After it was described to her, Alyce couldn't help but wonder just how long she'd had this "illness". Honestly, she didn't think there was anything wrong with her, but apparently, her long periods of anger and euphoria, followed by periods of depression was considered abnormal. Needless to say, the doctors prescribed her with Lamotrigine. If that didn't work, they said they'd try something else. Eventually, she would participate in group therapy sessions along with her regular sessions with Dr. Leland.
"I'm sorry, Alsysyn, but you know I have to ask," Leland stated after she was done jotting notes down.
"I still don't think I'm crazy," Alyce said, crossing her arms over her chest and looking like she wanted nothing more than to rip her so-called doctor's head off. "How long am I supposed to be here again?"
Dr. Joan Leland was nice, but Alyce could only take so much of the same kinds of questions before she'd had enough. As it was, she hadn't been granted recreation time yet because she had attempted to strangle a nurse who was trying to feed her what she liked to call "poison". Alyce hated the way the meds made her feel. She knew they weren't going to kill her, but she didn't like taking them. They made her feel dizzy, headaches were common, she had night sweats, and often a dry mouth. It sucked, frankly, and did nothing to allow her to meditate to try and lift the binding spell herself. She also wanted to meditate to try and figure out a few other things, but the side effects of the medication wouldn't let her. Knowing that her magic was there, but not being able to use it was taking an emotional toll on her.
"Your illness, as well as the trauma of your parents' deaths and the way you were treated by your peers, has given you a blatant disregard for society," Leland said. "It's not entirely your fault, though, and I'm here to try and help you. Answering your question…I've said before that you'll be here until you are well."
There was a pause where Alyce glared harder, and the doctor quickly changed the subject.
"I understand that you are some sort of Meta-human, which is why Miss Bonham was granted visitation rights. She can somehow keep your abilities at bay. If it weren't for her, you would be stuck in a special holding facility."
"That wouldn't do," Alyce said.
"Why is that?"
"Because then I wouldn't get to see Jervis," Alyce answered. "I suppose I should thank my mental illness, then, huh?"
Leland jotted something else down on her notepad, and then, "I know we've briefly discussed this before, but…what is your relationship with Mr. Tetch like?"
"Beautiful. He understands me, and I understand him. We're in love, Dr. Leland."
"And are you certain that he didn't manipulate you in any way?"
"Yes, I'm certain!" Alyce snapped. "Are we done yet? I'm really not in the mood to talk to you today."
Leland sighed. "Very well. I'll see you again next week. In the meantime, you've been granted recreational periods with your fellow patients."
At this, Alyce perked up a little. So far, the only person she could see and hear, not just hear, was Harley-Quinn. The cell next to Quinn's was currently empty, and she was informed that it was usually Ivy's regular haunt. There was a woman that went by the name of Magpie in the cell next to her, but all that woman did was rave on about needing shiny things. She wasn't a good conversationalist.
"Will Jervis be there?" Alyce asked as Leland got up and tapped on the door to her office.
Leland glanced over at her with a raised eyebrow and answered, "Yes, though be warned that you two will be heavily watched."
"That's okay. At least I'll get to do something other than eat with him. Maybe play chess or something."
Leland gave a hint of a smile and the door opened, revealing the guard that was to take her back to her cell. Walking back to her confined room, Alyce couldn't help but shiver slightly – just slightly – at the various ramblings and looks other inmates gave as she passed by. While she was supposedly just as insane as them, it still freaked her out a little. Though she also had to smile. These people were just being themselves. Much like her, they had once been a part of normal society until one day they decided to say, "Screw it all". Unfortunately, these same people were caught by those who thought themselves above the rest, and ended up here.
'We're all mad...'
After her cell door was opened, the handcuffs were removed and she was instructed, as usual, to step behind the yellow line and place her hands against the wall until the door was closed. Once the metal door with only a large Plexiglas window to peer out of was secure, Alyce was free to move about her ten foot by ten foot cell. She adjusted her orange, two-piece uniform, pulling the loosening pants up a little and pulling her shirt down so it wasn't scrunched up uncomfortably around her waist.
Alyce stepped up to the window, which was roughly one foot by one foot, on her cell door and looked across the corridor towards Harley. The clown woman was quite different looking without the make-up and harlequin garb. Though she still looked perky.
"Don't worry. All those silly questions will pass. I had to go through it when I was first incarcerated. We all did," Quinn comforted, giving Alyce a reassuring smile.
"Was my look of annoyance that plainly written upon my face?" Alyce queried with a small laugh.
"Yeah. Was Leland asking you the same questions again?"
"Heh, yeah. Honestly, I've already told her about my childhood, told her how I felt about the murder of my parents, and stressed that I worked with Jervis of my own accord. Can't she move on to new things to ask?"
Harley let out a giggle. "This was only your fourth session with her, Alyce. I'm sure she'll come up with something new eventually. When I was working here, it was protocol to repeat the same questions for the first four or five sessions to ensure that the patient is telling the truth as he or she knows it."
"Well, I'm about to just make something up to get her to move on," Alyce replied wryly. "I like the woman. She means well, but I just don't think I really belong here. I don't think any of us do, for that matter."
There was a long pause, and then Alyce said loudly so that Jervis could hear her from a few cells down, "Hey Jervis!"
"Yes, love?" came the loud response back.
"Guess what? I was granted recreation time with you!"
"Callooh! Callay! They're finally letting you come play!" Jervis cheered, making Alyce giggle girlishly. "How were you treated today, my dear? Well, I hope."
While she couldn't see him, Alyce could hear the underlying threat to anyone who would do her harm in his voice. After she'd attacked the nurse, Jervis had softly berated her for her mannerism, telling her that if she wasn't careful, she could be the brunt of many self-righteous guards' nightsticks and tazers. He was helping her through this, which she was thankful for. Of course, Harley was there as well. The Joker wasn't much help, as he found the whole situation funny. She was the newbie, after all, so he found her situation hilarious. The others, like Two-Face and Ventriloquist, just seemed to observe her more than anything.
"Nothing out of the ordinary, Jervis," Alyce called. "Same kinds of questions again."
"How dreadful. We shall have a long talk in the common room later, my sweet," Jervis replied.
There was a pause, and then, "Alyce? I'm sorry for putting you through this."
Alyce sighed. He'd apologized to her a few times before, and each time she'd given him the same response.
"It's okay. As I've said, I should have listened to you in the first place. Though if I had killed Theresa, then my powers may have been stripped, rather than just bound. That wouldn't be good for either of us, love."
"Too true, my sweet, too true. Well, at least we're here together," Jervis replied.
"Will you two shut up! I'm trying to think!"
"Can it, Nygma! Let the lovebirds talk," Harvey Dent, a.k.a., Two-Face ordered.
"I'm sorry, but they've done nothing but talk about the same things every day since they've been here!" Nygma exclaimed.
"How would you know, Edward? You were only brought in just last week!" Jervis cried angrily.
"I need a shiny thing or I'm gonna kill someone!" Magpie yelled.
At this, Alyce looked through her window at Harley, who looked back at her, and the two just busted out laughing. The whole situation was rather funny, what with the boys' bickering, then Magpie's sudden outburst. Soon, she could hear the Joker's distinctive laugh echo from the far end of the hall, and then everyone joined in before a guard told them all to shut up. They just laughed harder.
'My gods…they're like one big dysfunctional family,' Alyce thought with a grin. 'Perhaps I've found my home? A new family? Yes, I think I have…'
With that, she walked over to her bed and lay down, closing her eyes. Recreation time was in a few hours, so she decided to try a small nap. She'd finally gone down the rabbit hole and was living a new life. This life, like her previous humdrum one where she was following the rules of society, had its hardships, but so far, it was by far better. Much better. While she was physically not free, her spirit was free. That was something she had wanted to have happen for a very long time. Furthermore, she had found love that she was meant to find in the process. Not lust, but real love where both she and Jervis wanted to please one another – to make each other happy.
This was the start of a new beginning, and Alysyn McArthur found that, despite the annoyances, she was enjoying every minute of it.
NOTE: Well, that's all, folks! For now, anyway. I do plan on writing a sequel, which I will probably start within the next month, give or take a few weeks. The * in the second part of the chapter is for the Bipolar Disorder. If you guys don't know what all that disorder entails, please look it up. People can have psychotic symptoms with it, and Lamotrigine really is one of the medications to treat it. Also, forgive me for not doing a better psychiatry session between Alyce and Leland. This story/chapter isn't suppose to get into that. That will be touched on more in the sequel, and I hope to be able to pull it off well. I'm am by far no psychologist, so we'll see if I do a good job or not.
Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed. I really enjoyed getting your comments and responding to them. I'll even thank those who have favorited my story, but left no comments. At least I know you like the story enough to favorite it, heh. Still, it would be nice to hear from you "invisible" folks. Until the sequel, I bid everyone a fond farewell. Take care, guys. =)