A/N: Perhaps you noticed a certain (tiny) dropped thread in chapter 5; well, this was what it was supposed to lead to, except I ultimately decided that the idea just didn't fit into the flow of the actual story. So, consider this a deleted scene, or an "Easter egg" of sorts; it doesn't really add anything to the plot, it's just an amusing little tidbit from Alfred's p.o.v. with a huge helping of dramatic irony, spanning chapters 5 and 6…
Shortly after Harley walks in on Batman and Joker making out then attacks Batman in chapter 5…
"There you go Batsy, now spank her!" Joker called through his laughter.
But Harley wasn't giving up that easily—she slammed her head backwards, bashing Batman's face as hard as she could. The mask took most of the blow, but a tiny crunch told him that something inside the mask had been damaged; he didn't have time to wonder what it was, though.
BONUS CHAPTER: Stop Me If You've Heard This Before...
Alfred was having a perfectly dull night. His butlering duties were finished for the night, so all he was really doing was waiting for Master Wayne to return from his…extracurricular activities. Hopefully not in need of stitches or minor surgery—there was only so much Alfred's nerves could handle.
Before leaving, Master Wayne had assured him that it was unlikely to be a busy night—a routine patrol, he had called it. Alfred wasn't so sure—after all, that painted fiend had escaped from Arkham for the second time six months ago, and things had been just too quiet. Master Wayne had run himself ragged searching for the clown, but after three months without even the smallest hint of his whereabouts, Master Wayne had finally resigned himself to the fact that the Joker had, perhaps, done something rational for once and disappeared. And surely Alfred was only imagining the barest hint of disappointment in Master Wayne's expression when he'd shared his conclusion with Alfred.
Alfred made himself a cup of tea, and was just settling down in his favorite chair to watch a bit of telly before bed when the mobile phone rang. The emergency phone, which Alfred never let out of earshot, and which only one person could call. Not that that person ever did unless he was mortally wounded—Master Wayne would sooner drag himself bleeding through the front door and stitch himself up in secret than ask for help. Any time he called the emergency phone, it was serious.
Clamping down on the panic that rose up in a torrent, Alfred answered the phone.
There was no need to worry about revealing Batman's identity by calling him that; the call was made from a mechanism inside Batman's mask, and could only be activated by Master Wayne's voice. No one else could possibly access it.
There was no answer, and Alfred's worry increased tenfold.
"Master Wayne, are you hurt?"
He strained his ears and thought he heard the sounds of a struggle.
"Master Wayne?" he repeated more urgently. "Can you hear me?"
No answer. Then, after a moment, an odd sound reached his ears. Was that…clapping?
Then, there was a distorted rustling sound, a quiet gasp, then a long moment of silence. Then, finally a voice.
"See, Mistah J? He's just a guy in a bat suit—I'm the one who loves you. I'll always love you. So now you can stop this nonsense with Batman and we can be together forever—right, Mistah J?"
Oh dear. Harley Quinn. Speaking to the Joker. About de-masking Batman. This was bad.
And now the Joker was chuckling, which was never a good thing. Harley exclaimed, "I knew you'd understand, Mistah J!"
Joker kept chuckling, and all Alfred could think was that this was very bad. Was Master Wayne unconscious—was that why he hadn't answered? But Alfred was certain he'd heard a struggle, and the Joker and Harley were unlikely to be fighting each other in the presence of an unconscious Batman, right?
Alfred jumped up from his chair, keeping the cell phone pressed to his ear. Something had gone terribly wrong, and Master Wayne clearly needed his help, and for that, Alfred needed to use Master Wayne's so-called Batcomputer to track his location.
The Joker spoke up for the first time. "You wanna know what's so funny, Harley?" he asked, his tone deadly, despite the occasional chuckle still slipping out. "I actually believed that you had potential."
Alfred blinked. That certainly didn't sound good. Perhaps Joker and Harley had been fighting after all? But where was Master Wayne in all of this, Alfred wondered as he entered Batman's lair—the temporary Batcave, with its eerie all-white walls—and approached the huge supercomputer.
There was a sudden gasp from Harley. The Joker growled. Then, after a moment, a third voice spoke up.
"Don't… Let me."
Alfred nearly cried in relief—that was unmistakably Master Wayne. Alfred had never been happier to hear Batman's (as Alfred teasingly called it) caveman growl.
But…why had he ignored Alfred's questions all this time? And what exactly was he talking about? Harley Quinn was crying and sniveling in the background, and Alfred wasn't sure if that was a good thing.
Alfred pulled up the program to access the emergency tracking beacon in the Batsuit, but nothing showed up. Bloody hell. The tracking device must have been damaged in a struggle—and, it dawned on Alfred, perhaps the emergency communication device had been damaged too? Because Alfred could hear everything on Batman's end, but apparently Master Wayne couldn't hear him. Perhaps Master Wayne hadn't even intentionally called him?
Master Wayne's voice returned. "Let me handle this," he requested. "Put that down."
Alfred hadn't heard any other voices, so logically, Master Wayne had to be addressing the Joker. If so, he was being oddly civil to his archenemy, Alfred mused.
There was a pause, then, finally, "Alright then," Joker said, also sounding remarkably civil and somber. There was a brief clatter of something metal hitting the floor. "Handle it."
Another small scuffle—Harley's whimpering ceased, and Alfred could only assume that the sudden thud was her hitting the floor.
Alfred nearly hit the floor himself at Joker's next words.
"Wow. That was kinda hot," Joker said. He sounded like he was grinning.
Dear lord, surely the lunatic wasn't flirting again? That always sent Master Wayne into a violent fury. Alfred waited for the sound of a fist knocking the clown out, but strangely, it never came.
"What do we do with her now?" Master Wayne asked, apparently ignoring the Joker's provocation. That was odd.
"Hmm, damn it, I left the wood-chipper in my other pants," the madman joked.
"There's a closet in the other room."
"That'll do," said Master Wayne.
There was another pause, then Joker, sounding uncharacteristically nervous, asked, "Can I—?"
Alfred had no idea what the man was asking for, but Master Wayne must've silently acquiesced to whatever it was, because after another pause he asked, "Better?" Master Wayne's voice sounded much closer and clearer than a moment ago, and Alfred deduced that he must've put the mask back on.
"Much," Joker replied, sounding much more like himself. "Now, let's take out the trash and do what we came here for, shall we?"
Alfred's brow furrowed. Master Wayne and the Joker were…cooperating? But towards what end, and why? And why on earth had Harley Quinn been—apparently—fighting them? Since when did Harley Quinn do anything other than trip over herself in her enthusiasm to please the Joker? Going against his wishes was unheard-of for her, so why..?
Everything about this was confusing.
Alfred frowned and decided to sit back and listen for any clues to Master Wayne's location or goal—there wasn't much else he could do, really.
After a moment, Master Wayne spoke again. "So…we don't have to have a big psychoanalytic discussion about this, do we?"
"I, uh, suppose we can save that for next time," Joker replied.
Next time? Had Master Wayne somehow secured the Joker's cooperation for some kind of mission? What on earth could possibly compel those two to work together? And how was Master Wayne going to handle the fiend knowing his identity?
"Good…You want to give me a hand with this?"
Alfred listened intently, hoping for a clue as to what the two were collaborating on.
"Seriously? She's like ninety pounds soaking wet."
"Harley wet is the absolute last thing I want to think about."
Alfred's lip curled in distaste. Honestly, Master Wayne. Gutter humor? Haven't I taught you better than that?
"Wow. Are you proud of that one?"
Master Wayne didn't reply, but Alfred heard the sound of something being dragged across the floor, and guessed it was Harley.
After a moment, Joker said, "You know, I always wondered why the host of Harvey's fundraiser wasn't even there when I showed…And, heh, when I couldn't find Harvey, I was gonna take Brucey hostage instead."
Master Wayne made a noise somewhere between a laugh and a scoff, and said, "You were going to try."
"No, that's the thing—you couldn't have really fought me in front of everybody without your mask, not without raising some pretty big suspicions."
Oh dear. Things certainly weren't looking good in the secret identity department. Alfred could only imagine the kind of trouble the Joker was bound to cause now that he knew who Batman was under the mask. Alfred made a mental note to upgrade the security systems as soon as possible, and perhaps hire a small militia.
"Look, just because you know who I am now—" Master Wayne paused; then, triumphantly, he repeated, "You know who I am now."
"Yeah, we've established that."
"Don't you think that that's much better leverage than hostages?"
Finally, Alfred thought, a reason for this madness. He listened intently, hoping for more information about the hostages.
"We made a deal," Joker retorted, displeasure audible in his voice.
"We can make a new one. Let all of the children go."
So the Joker kidnapped children in order to ensure Batman's cooperation with…what, exactly? The puzzle pieces slowly clicked together, but several pieces were still missing. Alfred kept an eager ear pressed to the phone for more information.
Joker didn't like Master Wayne's suggestion. "You're all about throwing yourself under the bus for other people—you'd rather let me out you than let me kill those kids."
"In the long run, protecting my anonymity means I can save more people," Master Wayne argued. "So let the damn kids go. If I back out of the deal, you can tell the whole world my name."
Good man, Master Wayne, Alfred commended his effort.
Joker, unfortunately, wasn't impressed with Master Wayne's logic. "You're forgetting, Batsy," Joker said, "I don't like to share."
And there it is, the Joker's unnerving possessiveness towards Master Wayne. But—surely the madman wasn't implying that…that he would actually keep Master Wayne's secret?
There was a silence, and Alfred was sure Master Wayne was as stunned as he was.
Finally, Master Wayne said—no, growled, "No, you're forgetting, Joker," there were urgent footsteps, a quiet, surprised inhalation. "I'm not going anywhere."
Alfred's eyebrows drew together in confusion. Clearly he had missed something. And…what on earth was that noise? It was very…wet…and somehow familiar—he just couldn't quite place it in this context. Before he could figure it out, there was another noise—a very feminine whimper accompanied by a scuffling sound.
The wet noises ceased.
"Oh, for fuck's sake!" Joker shouted.
"No! You're not killing her," Master Wayne growled.
"Then choke her out again!"
Oh, of course—Miss Quinn was awake…And, the Joker wanted to kill her? Why?
"If I do that too many times, the lack of blood flow to the brain could cause permanent brain damage."
Joker snorted. "Like anyone would notice."
Alfred wondered for the hundredth time why the poor girl stayed with that animal—he did nothing but use and demean her. And…why wasn't she part of whatever scheme the Joker had roped Master Wayne into? Neither of them seemed to want her around.
"Hold her still. I have something better."
"Cyanide?" Joker asked, sounded hopeful.
"Chloroform. Give me a rag or something." There was a pause, a muffled fwump sound, and Master Wayne said, "What—?" there was a brief pause, and he sounded utterly repulsed when he spat, "Really?"
Joker replied with a cavalier, "Oh, don't look at me like that—I just made her year." The response gave Alfred no clues as to what he was missing. Then Joker said, "Close your mouth, Harley. Drooling from both ends is just rude."
Drooling…from both…ugh! Alfred's face twisted in disgust as he got that one. Just what the world needed—more gutter humor. Clearly, this was where Master Wayne learned it. Alfred wasn't pleased about the Joker's perverted sense of humor rubbing off on Master Wayne.
Master Wayne's only response was a terse, "Hold her still."
Alfred's imagination supplied him with an image of Batman using the chloroform on Miss Quinn. He still wasn't sure why she was apparently not on the same side as the Joker and Master Wayne in whatever this endeavor was.
"How long will that knock her out?" the madman asked.
"It's diluted, so, about thirty minutes, give or take," Master Wayne answered.
There was a sudden clamor of footsteps, a dragging noise, a door opening and slamming shut.
"Thirty minutes? Let's not waste 'em," Joker said.
Then came the sound of more pounding footsteps that grew louder as they presumably approached Master Wayne.
Alfred tensed, wondering whether that madman was about to attack Master Wayne.
A soft, involuntary grunt escaped Master Wayne, and Alfred wondered if the Joker had struck him. Then there were more of those odd, wet noises.
"Let—mmph—let go," Master Wayne ordered—although it seemed like his mouth was otherwise occupied.
His mouth was—? Alfred's brain seemed to stutter to a halt as he realized exactly what that wet noise sounded like. Lips. Snogging. But Master Wayne wouldn't be—
"Never," came Joker's breathless reply. "Bed. Now."
Bed? Alfred's brain full-on exploded. Master Wayne and the Joker were snogging and there was a bloody bed in the room and they were…oh god.
The sound of a muffled thump along with bedsprings creaking met Alfred's shell-shocked ears, followed by quiet laughter that was quickly stifled by more of that wet noise.
Alfred couldn't make up his mind whether to throw up or run screaming and check himself into Arkham, so he compromised by remaining glued to the spot in shock.
"Mmm—question," the Joker said when they paused for breath. "How much of this suit can you leave on?"
"Why? You got a Kevlar fetish?" Master Wayne, god help him, sounded like he was smiling.
"If I do it's your fault… So?"
"Well, all I really need to take off…is this."
There was a click as Master Wayne presumably—this can't really be happening—removed part of the Batsuit.
Alfred didn't have long to be horrified, however, because the Joker's sudden earsplitting laughter jolted him out of it.
"What is that, a rape panel?" the Joker cackled.
"What? No!" Master Wayne sounded supremely offended at the suggestion, and Alfred shared the sentiment, despite his traumatized state. "It's for when I have to pee."
The Joker laughed again, and said, "It's okay Batsy, I get it now—carrying chloroform, the handcuffs, that thing—" his voice grew serious and he asked, "Are you secretly a rapist?" Then the lunatic resumed his insane laughter.
"I have chloroform so I can subdue and relocate suspects for interrogation." Alfred couldn't help but be proud of Master Wayne's mastery of the British art of calling someone an idiot using only the tone of one's voice. Alfred had managed to teach him some actual wit after all.
"Oh, interrogation," the Joker said in a very—Alfred shuddered—seductive tone. "You mean foreplay, right?"
"Bullshit. You were two seconds from ripping my clothes off in that interrogation room, and everybody knows it."
"I was two seconds from ripping your throat out."
"Shut up or I'm starting without you."
Oh dear god. Master Wayne sounded like an entirely willing—and eager—participant in this insanity.
"You're not helping your case there, Mr. Rape Panel."
Master Wayne chose not to respond—not with words, anyway. There was more of that wet kissing sound, along with a metal clinking noise that could be a belt buckle being undone, followed by the unmistakable sound of a zipper, then the soft rustling of clothes hitting the floor.
Master Wayne chuckled at something, sarcastically saying, "Subtle."
"Subtlety's boring," Joker replied. There was a moan, then Joker said, "Edge of the bed. Move."
There was a short pause full of creaking bedsprings as Master Wayne presumably complied, then Joker said, "Good Batsy," and there was a faint thud as if something dropped to the floor. Something—or someone…Had Master Wayne come to his senses and knocked out the painted madman?
"What are you—oh!" Master Wayne gasped. "Fuck."
That would be a resounding no to the coming-to-his-senses question. And there was more of that wet noise, except it sounded different somehow. Then it abruptly stopped.
"Problem?" the Joker asked.
"You don't trust me," the madman accused, sounding more irritated about it than he had any right to be. Who in their right mind would trust the Joker?
Master Wayne huffed. "What do you expect? You blackmail me into this, and—Fuck."
There was more of that wet noise, but Alfred ignored it—blackmail, his mind gratefully seized that idea. Master Wayne had been blackmailed into this—whatever it was. Of course. Hadn't Master Wayne mentioned hostage children earlier?
Alfred sighed in relief—Master Wayne was only snogging the Joker in order to save captive children. He wasn't actually enjoying it—
Master Wayne promptly shot a hole in that theory by nearly moaning the criminal's name before he stopped himself.
"Jo—ohhhh," Master Wayne moaned as the wet noises continued.
After a moment, Master Wayne blurted, "You're a hypocrite," and the wet noises abruptly stopped again.
It finally occurred to Alfred to wonder how Master Wayne managed to say anything at all if he had been—as the wet noises suggested—snogging the Joker.
"Excuse me?" Joker asked, sounding inexplicably offended.
"You said to never start with the head. Remember?"
Oh dear god, that wasn't snogging, Alfred realized, his jaw dropping in surprise and disgust.
The wet noises resumed and Master Wayne moaned again. Alfred tried very hard not to think about what he was listening to.
"Damn…Finally found a way to shut you up though. I think you missed your calling." The Joker must not have liked that insinuation, because Master Wayne hissed and hastily said, "Ah—kidding, jeez! It's not a chew toy!"
The Joker's resultant laugh sounded muffled—and unfortunately, Alfred now knew exactly why. His treacherous imagination even supplied him with an unfortunately vivid image—Master Wayne, wearing most of the Batsuit, sitting on the edge of a bed, and the Joker on his knees in front of him, with his mouth wrapped around his—
"Get up here, now," Master Wayne growled, mercifully interrupting Alfred's mental horror show.
From the sounds of it, Master Wayne did; there was a loud creak and thwump as someone was thrown onto the mattress, giggling. Something muffled the giggles, and as the only thing Alfred heard from either man was inarticulate moaning, he felt safe in his assumption that those wet noises really were from snogging this time.
Nevertheless, it was obvious from the sounds of the moans and kisses and heavy breathing that things were quickly heating up.
Alfred hadn't heard a single thing that would help him locate Master Wayne. In fact, he'd heard plenty suggesting that Master Wayne didn't need or want to be rescued, God help him.
Seconds later, Master Wayne spoke up again, asking the Joker, "Condom?"
At least he's being safe, Alfred thought in a detached sort of way.
"Drawer," the Joker replied.
Alfred wrenched the phone away from his ear and threw it to the floor. That was it. That was his limit. Master Wayne had just asked the bloody Joker where he kept his condoms. Alfred could not, would not, listen to any more of this.
He stared at the cell phone on the floor as if afraid that it would jump up and bite him.
After a moment, he took a deep breath and turned back to the Batcomputer. He would do something useful, and he would put this insanity out of his mind.
He would…call Commissioner Gordon! Of course. He might be able to track down the hostages Master Wayne was bedding that lunatic to save.
Alfred pulled up the Commissioner's cell number and used the Batcomputer to call it—Master Wayne had done some kind of technical wizardry on it to make it impossible for anyone to trace calls or eavesdrop on or record conversations. It also automatically disguised the caller's voice on Master Wayne's end.
After a few seconds of ringing (during which Alfred glanced at the cell phone on the floor and tried not to think about what was happening on the other end of that line), the Commissioner finally answered, sounding weary.
"Who is this?" Gordon asked, suspicious of the distorted voice.
"Don't hang up. I'm an associate of Batman's."
"If you don't already know, the Joker was responsible for the missing children today. Batman is…dealing with the Joker, and you should take the opportunity to look for the hostages while the Joker is…er…occupied."
Gordon, bless his soul, didn't ask for details.
"Hold on a sec," he said.
Alfred heard the sound of computer keys clacking for a moment.
Gordon's voice returned. "There haven't been any reports of missing children today…nothing at all that looks like the Joker's handiwork. Are you sure your information is correct?"
"I overheard the two of them talking about hostage children—"
"No mention of a location?"
"Number of hostages?"
"They didn't say."
"I suppose it won't hurt anything if I tell you I'm already trying to find Batman and the Joker. The Batsignal lit up tonight, and when I rolled back the security footage, I saw the two of them talking—couldn't hear anything, but Batman looked incredibly disturbed and the Joker looked like Christmas came early. They left together. I'm looking into Batmobile sightings, trying to track them down."
Alfred had a fleeting impulse to call Gordon off—God forbid he find them and walk in on whatever debauchery Master Wayne was getting up to with that madman—but before he could make up his mind one way or the other, Gordon made a sudden triumphant noise.
"Ha! Another reported sighting…if I can get a third sighting with an approximate time, I'll have a direction and can follow their path…I need to get off of here, unless you know anything else?"
"No," Alfred said, "but—if you find them, don't mention this call or anything about hostages. It might get the children killed."
Alfred interrupted, making it clear the conversation was finished. "Good luck, and—be careful, sir."
"Of course," Gordon said, and hung up.
Alfred sighed, ending the Batcomputer's phone program.
He glanced over at the mobile phone on the floor—was it still connected, or had it hung up when he'd thrown it?
He was almost too afraid to pick it up and check.
How long had he been talking to Gordon? Alfred tried to calculate whether they would be—he shuddered—finished by now.
Only one way to find out.
He stood, walked up to the seemingly innocent cell phone, and gathered up every ounce of his courage before bending to pick it up.
He straightened, and took a deep breath before hesitantly putting it to his ear.
Heavy breathing and a growling moan and skin repeatedly slapping against skin and "Fuck, Batsy—harder!"
Alfred blushed—actually blushed—and threw the phone down again.
He stared at the detestable thing, stunned.
Finally he pulled himself together, tore his eyes away from the damnable phone, and walked away. Listening to more would only further scar him for life.
Besides, Master Wayne is clearly on top of things—Alfred flinched at the double-entendre and rephrased his thought. Master Wayne obviously has the situation in hand—bloody hell, that wasn't much better. Alfred gave up, sighed, and headed for the elevator.
He had half a mind to wait for Master Wayne to return, demand an explanation, and then give him the mother of all talking-to's, but he just didn't think he could survive it. Especially on the off-chance that Master Wayne didn't come home alone.
No, Alfred thought a vacation sounded like a bloody brilliant idea right now.
He'd earned it.
A/N: Well, there you go :) Poor traumatized Alfred.
So, do you guys possibly want more of these little sequel-ish snippets from the same story-verse, or are you all like "No. Story's over. Let it die with dignity." ?
Please review…doesn't have to be fancy. I'd be thrilled if you simply copy/paste your favorite part of any (or every) chapter into the review box and put a smiley face by it. Helps me know which parts went over best with you lovely readers…You could also do the same with your LEAST favorite parts and add a brief explanation of why you don't like them, so I'll know what might need to be reworked.
The aforementioned edits are done, btw. Not a ton of changes, except Batman is less OOC in ch2, and Harley's nightstick dildo is now musical. It plays the theme song to the COPS tv show. Fun times.
As always, thank you for reading/reviewing/favoriting/following/BEING AWESOME :)
And, if anyone cares, here's my AOHCR soundtrack…Some of these songs have nothing to do with the plot or even the pairing, they just helped me zone out and get in the right mood(s) to write this :) I'll put little asterisks by the ones that are actually good B/J songs on their own.
Bad Romance – Lady GaGa (had it on repeat for this bonus chapter)
Hold It Against Me – Britney Spears (chapter 5, obviously)
Shut Up – Nick Lachey
Crazy On You – Heart
Wango Tango – Ted Nugent (I can't even listen to this without cracking up laughing near the end… "Now look for a garage... Do you see a garage? Wait a minute…Hey! There's one up ahead—the damn thing's open! Ahhh! Get in there!")
*Miserable – Lit
Breathe On Me – Britney Spears (I had this on repeat while writing chapter 6. Sexy freaking song :) )
Figure You Out – Nickelback
*Over and Over – Three Days Grace
*I Hate Everything About You – Three Days Grace
Addicted – Saving Abel
Gimme More – Britney Spears
Lovegame – Lady GaGa
Toxic – Britney Spears
Ooh La La – Goldfrapp
I Almost Told You That I Loved You – Papa Roach
Freakshow – Britney Spears
*Addicted – Kelly Clarkson
*Sick Love Song – Motley Crue
Gasoline – Britney Spears
Lie To Me (Denial) – Red
Tainted Love – Soft Cell
I Wanna Be Bad – Willa Ford
Little Smirk – Theory of A Deadman (this one's more applicable to Harley's attempts at revenge)
*Love The Way You Lie – Eminem and Rihanna (if you ignore the gender differences, this one's good for B/J and ANY codependent love/hate relationship)
Chacarron Macarron – La Yanta (this song is NONSENSE. No, seriously, there are no words. It sounds like the drunkest drunk to ever drink. If you ever need to just burst out laughing, pull this up on your iPod. I swear. Instant chucklefest. I DARE YOU to try to keep a straight face listening to it.)