Bruce Wayne sat in the Batcave at a computer console, staring at a map of Gotham City. If I were him, where would I go? he thought.

"Would you like anything to eat?" Alfred asked, entering the room.

"I'm fine, Alfred," Bruce replied, still staring intently at the screen. They sat in silence for a few minutes, then Bruce suddenly stood up. He had the answer. "I'm going out, Alfred."

"On Christmas Eve, Bruce?" his butler asked.

"Crime doesn't take a holiday," Bruce replied, suiting up.

"I knew you'd say that," Alfred grinned. "Just don't get too hurt, okay? I don't want to have to mop you up on Christmas."

Bruce laughed. "I'll try," he said, climbing into the Batmobile.


Batman pulled up to the Westlong Mall, a little outside Gotham City. He'd checked some other malls, but he figured that this one would be most likely to be targeted. Sure enough, police cars surrounded the area. Bruce walked over to one of the cops. "Where's Commissioner Gordon?" he demanded.

"He's not here; this isn't technically Gotham City anymore."

Darn, Bruce thought. I'll just have to do without the Commissioner tonight.

He entered the mall through a skylight in the roof of the building. He hung in the rafters for a moment to watch what was going on.

The Joker was holding a little girl to his chest and waving around a gun, to the absolute terror of the other shoppers in the mall. "Now if you don't do what I say," he cackled, "some harm might come to Little Miss Perfect here!"

Batman had had quite enough. He floated majestically down from the rafters. "What is your diabolical plan this time, Joker?" he demanded. The Joker let the girl go to confront the Bat.

"Why so serious?" he asked. "I just wanted to steal from the rich," he indicated the stores in the mall, "to give to the poor! Is there something wrong with that?!?" The Joker spat out the last word.

Batman stepped forward and got into the Joker's face. He pulled the psycho up by the cuff of his shirt. "Look," he growled, "I have to deal with crazies like you all year long. But when you try to pull something on Christmas Eve, Joker, well, that just makes me angry. Very angry." He dropped the Joker to the floor, and noticed that all of the hostages were still watching. Hmm. Joker must've locked all the doors. Bruce had an idea. This probably wouldn't work if Harley Quinn were here, he thought, but luckily she isn't. He scooped up two shopper in his arms an, creating a zipline with a Batarang, flew up through the mall's skylight.

Now he was on the roof, still clutching the two frightened shoppers. "Don't worry," Batman said, "this won't hurt." He glided down safely and set them on the ground. They thanked him quickly and left.

Suddenly Batman heard footsteps around him. He grinned to himself. Sometimes the Joker could be so predictable. The Joker had unlocked the doors to distract him with some thugs. Well, this would be a piece of cake. "C'mon Batman," one of the thugs taunted, "show us what you've got!"

He showed them.


Five minutes later, Batman came back into the mall to see the Joker carrying goods and trying to make a quick getaway. "Did you really think that you'd be able to escape that easy?" Batman asked. "Besides, police are surrounding the whole area. You're not going to get out of this one, Joker."

The Joker thought for a minute. And here he was, thinking that this would be an easy job. But no, the stupid BatJerk had to come in and ruin everything. Ah well. "Look," he finally said, "I don't care if it's Christmas, Easter, New Year's, or Hanukkah, but you're in for a real bashing tonight, Bats."

Oh great, Bruce thought, the Joker wants to fight. Couldn't he just give it up? But the Joker was a psycho and psychos never give up. But he prepared himself to fight anyway. Suddenly, a figure swung from the second floor of the mall. He knocked the Joker senseless to the ground. And as the figure got up, Bruce could see that it was Tim Drake, his former sidekick.

"Long time no see, Tim," Bruce said. "I was beginning to wonder if you weren't going to come over for Christmas like you always do."

"Well, give me a break, Bruce," Tim said. "I've been busy. And besides, I stopped by the Justice League party, but I must've missed you."

"I forgive you," Bruce said jokingly as they walked out of the mall. "And thanks for taking out the Joker."

"No problem."