Author's Note: This is a story I submitted for a contest over on deviantart, which I won! Not as. . .explicit as my usual works because it was for a contest and they said to keep it PG-13.

Jonathan was crying. Sobbing, really. Knees drawn up to his chest with his arms folded upon them and his head on his arms, rocking back and forth, back and forth in a rapidly failing attempt to console himself as he sat on the floor of the holding cell that he had so recently shared with his partner.

The agony was almost unbearable. An unseen but nevertheless powerful force was reaching into his chest with razor-clawed hands, slowly peeling back the thin layers of lean-muscled flesh and gleaming ivory ribcage to reveal the nearly motionless organ beneath. This oh-so important fist-sized mass of tissue should have been pulsating slowly in the natural way of a figure at rest, coaxing rich, glorious crimson blood to thrum and sing through his veins, thereby aiding his being in its very existence. Its physical purposes were thus accomplished - emotionally, however, its strength was weakened immensely. Hairline cracks of terrible emotion spidered and widened and grew upon and within the organ - until it would shatter like a sphere of pure crystal as the tortured being to which it belonged shuddered and shrank into himself as he was incinerated alive from the inside-out.

Jonathans heart was breaking, and he wanted to die.

The room in which he was being held captive was small, barely five paces from the thick steel door to the rear wall, and painted a rather bland white - though the deep midnight dulled all color to various shades of gray. An old wilting mattress, courteously equipped with a thin ratty sheet and a severely flattened pillow bearing a few highly questionable stains, was wedged between the rear and fore walls, to the right of the doorway if you were looking into the room and that was where you stood. The ceiling was low, reaching not even a foot over Cranes head if he were to stand erect. A single foot-by-foot barred glass window - beneath which Jonathan sat - was stationed in the middle of the rear wall; soft gentle moonlight - from which Crane in other circumstances would have found even a little comfort - filtered through this to provide the cells sole source of illumination.

He was all alone, trapped within these four solid walls that were rapidly pressing in upon him - the ceiling likewise rapidly descending - as if in suffocation. As if exerting a great and terrible effort to pinch and smother his fragile being out of existence - as if his body and mind and very soul were worth absolutely nothing at all.

He didnt even flinch when a large roach, its thorax and wing casing the deep hue of freshly-ground coffee, skittered out from beneath the bed and across the filthy concrete floor, only to disappear through a small mouse hole in the opposing wall.

In a few admittedly rare instances, when he was feeling particularly. . .soft, Crane would have even pitied the mouse for the ultimately frightening encounter in which it was about to very unwillingly participate. (Though of course in most cases the doctor would have listened in eagerness for the tiny creatures alarmed squeaks as the large formidable-looking insect invaded its home. He would take any fear from others that he could get, animals - though not quite as enjoyable as humans - being no exception.)

They had been here for around the latter quarter of a full day now. That forever-damned flying rodent had caught them during a collection of medication from Cranes new hired mass-producer at the prearranged drop-off point in an old dilapidated warehouse deep within the Narrows, resulting in the couples immediate imprisonment in this desperate-desire-for-mobility-space-inducing chamber, deep within the complex beehive that was the Gotham City Police Department Major Crimes Unit, the officers throughout buzzing into their walkie-talkies and cell phones like so many of the tiny militarily-organized creatures who belonged in the natural structures for which the surrounding area was quite a well comparison.

Not four hours ago Crane and his more masculine lover had been sitting together on the mattress, eachs arms wrapped about the other as in quiet murmurs they plotted their escape from this (in Jonathans feminine blue eyes, at least) most dreadful place - but then a pair of gruff (both in manners and appearance) policemen had wordlessly stormed through the door and wrenched the clown from him, the lovers lips brushing together one final time before the smile-scarred maniac was dragged off in handcuffs to be drilled for information pertaining to the whereabouts of some of the dark metropoliss other finest criminals that were (unfortunately for both the common citizens and the law) still on the loose. (Crane had thankfully escaped this fate by cooperating with his Scarecrow persona in putting on the most Im-just-a-loopy-mumbling-psycho-whos-completely-off-his-rocker-and-is-very-out-of-it performance they could muster.)

And then Jonathans hyperactively-paranoid thoughts had begun to rapidly run away with him, leading him to terrible places within his twisted mind where he had absolutely no desire to go.

What if his lover. . .didn't come back?

What if he had somehow miraculously escaped and left Crane here to rot, all alone to his very last days in this ever-constricting place of imprisonment and despair?

What if the Bat lost all of his so diligently practiced self-control whilst he was interrogating his by-far worst enemy. . .and killed him?

And thats when Jonathan had started bawling?

Gods, how he hated himself for being so pitiful, so weak. So. . .feminine.

Crane of course realized that there were many actual women who were perfectly capable of having (or at least putting on) a strong disposition; but he, as he had known all too well ever since his first night with the king of Gothams underbelly, was by no means among them - even disregarding the obvious gender difference.

Oh, why did he have to be so, so. . .fragile?

Jonathan was wrenched out of his menopausal thoughts by the sound of heavy bolts shifting as a key was turned in the lock and then the cell doors unnerving creak as it was opened. With red-rimmed eyes and shining cheekbones he looked up, sniffling - and the splinters of nearly obliterated muscle that comprised what was once his trembling heart rejoiced at the very welcome sight of him being shoved carelessly into the room, the two officers from earlier roughly removing his wrist restraints and then abruptly yanking the door shut behind them on their way out.

His clothing was rumpled and his makeup smeared (admittedly as they generally always were) and he was stooping slightly worse than usual - but thankfully he seemed to be unhurt.

Fresh pearlescent tears - though this time they were of complete overwhelming happiness - spilled down over Jonathans cheeks as he returned the lunatics tired smile with an overjoyed one of his own.

"Oh, Joker!" Crane threw himself at the clown and hugged him tight, his mates immediate response being to wrap his arms around him to return the gesture in something more than reflexes as he held and rocked him from side-to-side in a soothing manner, and sobbed anew into his neck. "D-dont ever d-do that to me again!. . .D-do you know what I, I went through?. . .Do you, you know how much that. . .h-hurt m-me?. . .Oh, oh Joker - I, I c-cant s-stand i-it. . ."

"Ssh. . ." Joker crooned as he oh-so gently lowered himself and his lover to the mattress, pressing the weaker man against the wall slightly to aid their embrace in providing a false sense of security for the distraught doctor - for the Clown Prince of Crime knew that, from much past experience with him, Crane was most likely to give in to their shared desire for joint pleasure when he felt. . .comfortable with their surroundings. Safe.

Joker tenderly captured Jonathans velvet lips with his own.

Their kisses were gentle, sweet as they slowly ignited a small flickering candle flame that would quickly flare up into an all-out forest fire of devouring passion which would soon envelop them completely were it left unchecked.

And left unchecked it was.