I haven't written much in a while because, yeah, I admit it. I got bored with fanfiction. I probably won't be writing much more... I thought of the idea for this yesterday, on the bus to school. And since I stayed home today, what else was I gonna do? Watch T.V? Watch Collegehumor? Sleep? Draw? Do anything besides this?



Disclaimer: I don't own Batman: TAS...or any Batman, actually. In fact, one could go so far as to say I have nothing to do with Batman at all...um...yep. I did write this, though...what else don't I own? Loads of stuff...if there's anything in here you own, don't sue me. This goes for ANYTHING! Hear me, corporate lawyers?

It was suspicious. But Bruce had no choice. There was no doubt in his mind that the Joker had set up a trap, and that submitting to his demands could only have a negative outcome. But that didn't change the fact that the demented clown held thirty people hostage. Sixteen of which were children. He couldn't ignore the direct demand that Batman turn himself into the Joker. Which was why he found himself standing in front of the Toy Store, which now served as the Joker's base.

"You know you don't have to do this," Gordon shouted to him from a few feet away. If he even tried to get closer, gunshots rained down from Henchmen hidden on the roof.

"Of course I do, Jim," Bruce replied sternly, before entering the store stoically. The inside of the Toy Store was huge- like a cavern, stretching high. It was a remodeled version of the Gotham Toy Store, which Bruce himself had been a patron of when he was much younger. That had been destroyed years before by a particularly explosive blast for which the Joker was to blame. Thirteen people had died- Bruce refused to even consider letting thirty more die.

"Why, Batsy!" Came that familiar voice over the intercom. "I'm so glad that you've come to play!"

"What do you want, Joker?"

"Go to the board-game section," The deranged clown replied, ignoring Bruce's reply. Or maybe he hadn't even heard it. Bruce walked through the dark store, whose stuffed animals now made strange shadows fall against the linoleum floors. He listened intently, so that the Joker wouldn't be able to sneak up on him- but he suspected that the clown wouldn't try. There was something different about this hostage situation...the Joker hadn't killed a single person yet.

"Sorry." He swung, and was surprised to see a board game being flung at his head. He ducked just in time, and the game- Sorry!- crashed onto the floor, it's pieces flying haphazardly through the aisle.

"Joker." He hissed.

"Who else?" The Joker answered nonchalantly. "Now, sit down." Batman noticed a small round, red table, with two chairs placed before it.

"What is this?" Batman demanded with a frown.

"A table." Joker replied sardonically, smirking at the bat. "Sit down, and I'll tell you the rules to this little game we're about to play."

"We aren't playing any games." Batman growled. "I'm here to get the hostages. Where are they?"

"Somewhere," Joker answered with a shrug. "Probably with a bomb on their laps." His smile grew. "It would sure stink if it went off." Batman reluctantly took a seat, and the crazed grin grew. Then Joker took his seat. "All you have to do is beat me at a few board games. I realized that you and I hardly get to play anything besides Bat and Mouse, and that gets tiring. So...why not play some fun games? For every game you win, I'll let a little insect loose. For every one you lose, I get to blow one up!" He giggled, and clapped his hands.

"No." Bruce answered firmly.

"Why not?" Joker complained.

"I'm not resting the lives of innocent people on a game of Chess."

"Not Chess," Joker scoffed. "Monopoly, Connect Four, Go Fish. Chess is boring." He grinned. "Besides, do you really think you have a choice, Bat-Brain? I mean, you're already here. You're already sitting down. And they're already held up in a room filled with bombs and henchmen." Bruce's frown tightened.

"Fine." He muttered finally. Joker grinned.

"Yay! Don't worry, Batsy- I'll go easy on you."

Joker tried to hide his frown. How the Hell was Batsy so good at Monopoly? He had all the best properties, and was somehow managing his money well... He had to be a businessman. Geez, this guy was freakin' AMAZING! And that was pissing Joker off. He only had a thousand bucks left, and Bats had this big pile of 500s. Rich boy.

"Six..." Joker mumbled, before moving his sack of money six spaces. No. HELL NO! No way that that had landed him on Boardwalk...That just wasn't fair! It had a hotel on it! "How much?" Joker asked mournfully.

"Two thousand." Batman answered, and, to his credit, didn't act too smug. He just looked bored.

"Lemme mortgage some stuff..." Joker muttered, flipping over some cards. Batman shook his head.

"If you do that, this game will last forever." Joker smiled at his arch nemesis, and winked.

"At least you have good company."

30 Minutes Later...

Thirty bucks was all that was left of the Joker's great empire. Batman owned most of his old properties, and all that remained of the game was the sack of money jumping over hotels and houses, in a pitiful attempt to escape bankruptcy. Joker gritted his teeth. He flipped the board over, and slumped back with an unhappy and exaggerated frown on his face.

"You cheated." He grunted. Batman looked at him pointedly, and he sighed. "Fine, already? I'm a man of my word." He grabbed a walkie-talkie, and growled, "Let one go, boys. Just one."

"Commissioner!" Montoya shouted, pointing a finger at the door. Gordon turned, and a smile broke out onto his face. He restrained it, and helped get the loose hostage to the ambulance, to check for injuries.

"You okay, sweetheart?" He asked the young girl, who was crying profusely as she was led to the paramedics. She shivered, and allowed herself to be placed onto a gurney to be checked.

"My Mommy's in there-" She choked out.

"Get her to the hospital," Gordon told one of the EMTs. "She shouldn't be here."

"Yes, sir," He nodded in agreement, and hopped into the car. Sirens screaming, the ambulance drove through the parting crowd towards Gotham General. Gordon turned. Bullock and Montaya glanced at him. He frowned, killing his earlier smile.

"Come on, then! We're not out of the woods yet. We've got twenty-nine more hostages. Make sure the perimeter's secure. Batman's still in there!"

"Does he have a beard?" Joker asked. Batman shook his head. Joker frowned, and flopped down some more tiles.

"Does she have a green hat?" Batman asked. Joker nodded hesitantly. "Ashley."

"Goddammit!" Joker screeched, flipping over his Guess Who board. The cards spread across the floor, and Joker was sure he saw a small smirk spread across the Dark Knight's face. "You're cheating." He accused.

"How?" Batman replied, looking slightly amused. "I'm the World's Greatest Detective, remember? Games like this are easy."

"That's not fair!" Joker yelled, going into Temper Tantrum mode. After all, he could be as angry as he wanted. Batman wouldn't do anything. He still had the hostages.

"Let another one go." Batman reminded the clown, who pursed his lips.

"Best two out of three?"

"I'm playing the games, Joker. Don't try your luck. I'd probably just crack your skull." Joker laughed.

"That's a good one, Bat. As if you could." Batman didn't reply, simply glaring at the clown. "Fine." Joker muttered. "Let another one go, Bozo," He growled into the walkie-talkie. "You know," He added, glancing at the bat. "You have an anger problem."

"Here's another one, Commish!" Bullock shouted. A man who looked extremely shaken stumbled out from the Toy Store, sweating profusely, with a large gash down the side of his face. Gordon dashed towards him once he was past the 'Shooting Zone', and helped him towards another ambulance.

"Are you okay, sir?"

"My- my son-" The man whispered. "He's in there-" In his shock, logic no longer existed. He broke from the Commissioner's light grasp, and ran towards the building.

"No!" Gordon screamed, reaching out to grab him. A bullet swam through the man's shoulder, crashing like a meteor into the parking lot. "Get in there!" Gordon shouted, as he rushed towards the man. Expecting to be shot any minute, the Commissioner swung the father over his shoulder, and ran towards the ambulance. "He needs surgery," Gordon told the paramedic, who was already putting the man onto a gurney.

"I understand, sir," The EMT answered, before hopping into the front seat, and speeding past the spectators.

"You sunk my battleship!" Joker screeched, before laughing. "Finally." Joker already had sunk two of Batman's boats. Ships. Whatever. Batman had done well with deducing and business, but when it came to guessing, he was an equal to any old schmuck off the street. "Hm...F6."

"Hit." The Batman muttered, looking very pissed off.

"Again?" Joker asked gleefully. "Must be my lucky day." Batman glared at him, before asking,


"Sorry, old Pal. Miss. Again."



"Ooh. Goody."


"Sorry. Nope."


"You sunk it."

"Really? Already?" Batman shifted- he looked like he was squirming uncomfortably! Joker laughed. "Oh, don't worry. I have loads more things to sink before someone dies."

Ten minutes later...

"I. Win." Joker announced, smiling at Batman deviously. The Bat looked at his Battleship grids with a tight face, hatred, and guilt obvious in his demeanor.

"Joker?" Joker smiled.

"Yes, Batsy?"

"Best two out of three?"

"Sorry. No way."

"Ladies and Gentleman of Gotham's finest...I'm pleased to say that some guy just died in here. Sucks for him, huh?" Gordon glanced at Bullock, who frowned right back.

"Damn it."

The fact that someone had died jolted Bruce into action. I can't just play games anymore, he realized. I need to get away somehow. But if I even try, Joker will instruct his 'boys' to kill the hostages.

"Go Fish time!" Joker announced, as he began to shuffle cards, whistling as he did so. Bruce peered into the darkness of the store. If he could get the Wallkie-Talkie from the clown, he could knock him out, and get to the hostages. But getting the device would be difficult, and there was always the chance that the Joker had another card or two up his sleeve. "Batsy?" Batman glanced down at the thin pile of cards in front of him. He bit back a sigh, and pulled them off of the table.


"Go Fish, Bats-a-roonie."

It had been twenty-five minutes since the death of one of the hostages, and no more had come from within the Toy Store. Gordon didn't know what Batman was playing at, but he had somehow managed to procure the safety of two, and the death of another. He didn't want to think of the danger the vigilante himself was in- he never liked to think of that. He was always bleeding, or unconscious, or stumbling half-dead through crimes. But he always beat the Joker.

So, that's what the commissioner told himself as he stood in the cold, waiting for another hostage to come out while Batman did the job of the police force.

He'll beat the Joker.


"Go Fish. 2?"

"Yeah, I've got it." Joker grunted, tossing a 2 over to the Bat, who carefully placed it into another pile of matches. "What about 5? Have you got one of those?" Batman nodded.


"Here." Joker muttered, transfixed as Batman placed down his final card.

"I win."

"Yeah, you win. You win." Joker growled. "I heard you the first time."

"I only said it once..." Batman muttered.

"In my head, it echoed over and over again." Joker replied with a sweet smile.

"Because it's so empty, no doubt."

"Did you just make a joke?" Joker asked, eyes wide in surprise.

"At your expense," Batman rationalized.

"It's still a step up, old Buddy. You'll be insane in no time! Whoo-hoo! You'll be living in the nutty farm, in a nice tight jacket that doesn't let you scratch your itches, in a padded room, so even the ceiling can be your bed!"

"Just let another hostage go." Batman hissed. Joker grinned deviously.

"How about I don't?"

"We had a deal-" Batman began, standing. He loomed over the Joker, who simply chuckled.

"I'm proposing a new one. Sit down, or they're all toast. Warm, buttery, dead toast." Frowning, Batman did as he was told. "What if the next game counts for three hostages, instead of just one? If you win it...yay. Time is saved, and so are people. If you don't...wah-wah. Boo-hoo." Joker smiled. "What do you say?" Batman glared at him.

"You're asking me to gamble the lives of innocent people." Joker shrugged.

"One, that's what you've been doing since you got here. Two...what Gothamite is innocent? I mean, even the kids in there have probably killed a hooker or two in their lifetimes." Batman glared at him, and Joker smiled. "Just a suggestion, mind you. You can continue this slow, agonizing pace. I guess you like playing games with me..." Batman continued to glare, but asked in a deep, rough voice,

"What game would it be?"

"Nope, nope, nope! That's for me to know, and you to find out."

"You're insufferable." Batman growled.

"I know you are, but what am I?" Joker replied gleefully.

An hour since the death, and still no word from the Joker. Gordon was starting to get worried- even more worried than he had been, which was saying a lot. Two cigarettes had already been taken by the ravages of stress.

"Commish?" He turned. Bullock nodded at the phone in his hand. "It's the SWAT team. They wanna know whether they should come."

"What did you say?" Gordon asked.

"I told 'em that I'd ask you." Bullock replied.

"Give it to me." Bullock gave the Commissioner the phone. "Hello?"

"It's Jack Sullivan. What the Hell kind of circus are you running over there, Jim?" Gordon pinched the bridge of his nose, in no mood to deal with territorial banter.

"You know that I don't choose the crooks that decide to go around killing and stealing."

"Then maybe you should monitor Arkham a little more, huh? Maybe then, psycho freaks like the Joker wouldn't be running free every other month."

"I'm not an Arkham Security Guard, Jack. I'm a Police Commissioner. Despite what you might think, there are some regular psychos in Gotham that need taking care of. Ones that can be taken down by a regular police officer with a gun and a Penal System that isn't based on insanity."

"But you leave the big baddies to your pet Bat, huh?" Gordon ground his teeth.

"I have no time for this. I have to-"

"I got you. Do you want us to come down, or not? Well, it doesn't matter. We'll be there." The dial tone came swiftly, and Gordon cursed softly.

"Commish?" Bullock ventured.

"They're coming."

"Damn it."

"Yeah." Bullock turned to the building, which was covered with Searchlights and overly-large Plastic Toys.

"Sometimes I hate this place." He paused. "I don't think the Bat is gonna make it."

"This is your kind of game, huh?" Bruce didn't reply, still unsure as to why the Joker had chosen such a game for the game that was worth three lives. It was, after all, the type of game one would associate most with the Batman. "You're doing well, pal." The Joker grinned at him. "Very well. Hell, I think you might even beat me."

"I've got it." Batman muttered.

"Do you?" The Joker asked, acting surprised. "Go on, then...surprise me."

"In the Kitchen, with the Knife, by Professor Plum." Joker removed the answer, then clapped, grinning eerily.

"Good job." He took up his walkie-talkie. "Hear that, boys? Let three more go."

"Three more?" The Henchman on the other side asked, sounding confused.

"You heard me." Joker hissed, his joyful demeanour crashing into an angry homicidal one. "Let them go,"

"Holy shi- Commish!" Bullock gasped. Gordon turned from lighting his cigarette, and his eyes bulged. Once they were free from the 'shooting zone', Gordon and a few other police officers helped the three hostages exit the ring of paparazzi lights and spectators, and enter the ambulance.

"My daughter-" A woman cried. "She left- where is she?" Gordon managed a smile.

"She's at the hospital. She's fine. A little shook up, but fine." The woman began to weep openly, and Gordon instructed the paramedic to drive fast. As the ambulance sped away, Gordon smiled at Bullock. "He's doing it. I have no idea how he's doing it, but Batman is saving the day again."

"Don't get ahead of yourself, Commish," Bullock warned. "We've only got five safe. There's already been a causality." Gordon almost wanted to tell the detective to loosen up, and look on the bright side, but he agreed with what he had said...they weren't in good shape yet. They were still in a dangerous situation. Especially with the SWAT team on the way.

"How about five lives?" Joker asked. Batman looked at him stoically, and Joker sold a 500-watt smile. "It'll speed up time, won't it?" Batman glared at him, and Joker's smile grew. "Come on...you've only lost one game so far. What are the chances you'll lose this one? You'll be saving five kids. I know their names, if you want to hear them. Jessica, Ashley, Josh, Becca, and little Caleb." He wiped an imaginary tear from the corner of his right eye. "I would hate to see them suffer any longer for your discrepancies. Every second you teeter between whether to not play, or keep playing, or which game to play...that's another second they're stuck with Bozo, and Rocko, and all my other fun pals." His grin grew wicked. "Those little kids aren't as good at fighting as your little kid. They can barely even walk yet...did I mention Caleb is five? I bet he's only killed one hooke-"

"Fine." Batman interrupted. "I'll do it." Joker grinned.

"You're too easy, Batsy."

"Good evening, Jim. You look great." Gordon turned, with a glare. Jack Sullivan smiled at him. "Now, how many are in there?"

"Now? Twenty-Four. Five have come out, and one was killed."

"I'm guessing the ones that lived got to live thanks to...?"

"The Batman." Sullivan nodded briskly.

"Well, we have a slightly more...hands-on approach. We're sending in shooters. We're not letting that Clown live another hour. We like to make sense at my department." Gordon began to reply, but Sullivan walked away, towards the building.

"I really don't like him." Gordon admitted under his breath.

"You ain't the only one, Commish," Harvey agreed, looking after Sullivan with a distasteful expression on his face- in this situation, he and Gordon were on the same page.

"Your turn." Bruce placed another checker into the hole. Granted, it wasn't as bad as he'd thought whatever game the Joker would choose would have been. But he'd always sucked at Connect Four. There was no real thinking involved, other than looking for the other player's next move. He was good at that- he'd already thwarted three attempts at four-in-a-row. "Ooh...Goody. My turn." The Joker made a move that Bruce analyzed for a minute to find some reason behind it. After supposing that the Joker didn't have any secret purposes for his move, he placed in another checker. "This is gonna take a while. How about this...we play three times. If all three are ties, then the five die."

"We didn't agree to that."

"So?" Joker replied. "I'm the one with the Walkie-Talkie. I could make 'em kill all of those hostages right now, and it'd be fair in my book."

"I thought you were a man of my word."

"I lied!" Joker replied, before bursting into laugher.

"Now, boys...I didn't tell you to go and call the SWAT team." A chill traversed up Gordon's spin as the Joker's creepy voice smothered the air. Sullivan glared at the intercom device.

"Too bad, Clown. This is my show now, and you'll be dead by the end."

"Huh. I don't like that script. Bongo?" Gordon's eyes nearly popped out of their skull as a rocket launcher poked over the roof's edge. The missile zoomed down, towards Sullivan, who attempted to dodge, and jump to the side. Gordon and the other police officers ran back, and the small missile exploded. Sullivan's helmet blew off, and though his face was bloody and very nearly maimed, he was still alive when the smoke eventually cleared.

"Gordon-" He managed, before 'Bongo' shot once more- this time with a sniper rifle that Gordon couldn't identify from his position on the ground. The SWAT leader stayed down. The spectators screamed, wanting to see the action, but not be in danger in seeing it. Phones and cameras sprang out, while little children cried, screamed, and clutched their parents, who futilely tried to comfort them. The paparazzi were on fire, shouting questions to Gordon, taking pictures of the corpse, recording the images of the fire on the parking lot, which still remained from the explosion.

"No comment, you dumb asses!" Bullock shouted to the men and women of the News Crews. He glared at them, then demanded of Gordon,

"What do we do now?"

"That was a nice show!" Came that annoying voice over the intercom. "I doubt that that will launch him higher in his career!" He broke out into that sick laughter, which echoed the parking lot.

"Wait." Gordon answered distantly. "And if you're religious, praying won't hurt."

"Pretty neat, huh?" Joker asked, gesturing to the Video Feed. "That guy had it coming. Even the Commish didn't like him!" Bruce didn't reply, trying to hold back the bile and violence. Yes, Joker had killed two people already. On his watch. But there were too many people still in danger to get sloppy. "So...wanna start the next game?"

"Your turn," Joker said, grinning wickedly at Batman, who was staring at the game with a terrible expression of pain on his face. Joker smiled proudly, and leaned back. "Any time now, Batsy." He had three little checkers in a row, with a chance to make them four on either side. Batman glared, then said,


"Don't try changing the rules, Batsy," Joker told the man seriously. "That'd be cheating, and I follow the rules. As a vigilante, maybe you don't, but I try to uphold the strong laws that Milton Bradley set forth in the rule book." Batman glared back with a face that said, 'STFU'.

"Isn't there something I can do to save them? Obviously, this isn't just about the games-"

"That's where you're wrong, Bat-brain," Joker interrupted. "This is about the games. Do you think I care about those lame Toy Store patrons bleeding in that other room? Psshaw! I kill more than thirty people on a regular day. Hell, there are so many murders I've committed that you haven't gotten me for... these people are peanuts. All I want is a nice Game Night with you. And that's what I'm going to get. And if it takes a few murders to get you to play Operation with me...Well...Who cares?"

"Well, I'm not playing anymore." Batman growled stubbornly.

"Then they'll all die." Joker hissed, calling his bluff. Or at least he thought it was a bluff.

"Go ahead. I'd rather them die, than spend another second with your barbaric henchmen, while you dwell in this deluded fantasy you hold that you can keep me here, playing these games." Joker's face fell in shock and anger.

"How dare you-!" He screeched, before pulling out his Walkie-Talkie. "They'll die, yo-" His eyes widened in pain and surprise when Batman launched himself over the small table, tackling him. The Walkie-Talkie slid a few feet away, and when Batman reached for it, Joker pulled him back. "I knew you were lying-!" The clown laughed joyfully. "You don't change!" Batman punched him in the face, and stumbled away. When he grabbed the Walkie-Talkie, he pressed a finger to his cowl, and said,

"I need a satellite scan of the Gotham Toy Store on 53rd street. I need to know where the most heat signatures are in the building." Joker crawled over, taking out a knife.

"Let's play, Batsy!" He shouted, stabbing Batman in his leg. Batman fell back in surprise, but gained his balance, just in time to swipe the Walkie-Talkie from the Joker's hands.

"Stay down-!" Batman shouted, before punching Joker again.

"Do you even know me?" Joker laughed, before dodging Batman's next punch, grinning past the blood. This was way more fun than losing at Monopoly, or winning at Battleship. This was where they were both in their element- blood, sweat, and violence. Batman elbowed Joker's face, and the clown laughed. "Come on- you can hit harder than that!"

Bruce swung his fist, and the Joker fell back. As the clown wiped blood from beneath his broken nose, Bruce heard Alfred say,

"The room in the back, sir- third door on the left."

"Thanks-" He managed, before he dodged a knife. He caught Joker's arm, and pushed it backwards, effectively making a clean break. Joker howled in pain, before smiling.

"That was a good one." Batman tossed him to the side, before pressing a button on his belt that contacted Gordon.

"Joker's down. I'll tell you when it's safe for your men to answer." He stalked away, and Joker stared after him.

"Is that it, then? You're going to save the hostages, and the day?"

"Yes. That's it." Batman answered, without turning.

"Then I should probably tell you that I activated a bomb." Batman turned slowly.

"Are you lying?"

"I don't know," Joker replied, smiling crookedly up at the man in black. "Lying sounds like something I might do, but so does blowing up a Toy Store. I'm about 85% sure I've done it before." Bruce breathed out slowly, refusing to let this newest development stop him from saving the day.

"Where is it?"

"I dunno. Somewhere with loads of people, probably."

"I don't have time for this." Batman hissed. "I'm saving them, and then I'm coming for you."

"Can't wait to see you again."

Gordon listened to the Voice-mail on his cell phone, and raised an eyebrow.

"Joker's down," He murmured to Bullock.

"Finally," Bullock growled. "I'm getting sick and tired of that freak killing kids." Gordon nodded in silent understanding, and mutual hatred.

"Should we tell the press?" Montoya asked, glancing at the paparazzi, who were still screaming for answers.

"Let 'em stew," Bullock replied.

Batman entered the back room with a glare that could have sent anyone to faint. Except, apparently, the twenty clowns that were holed up in the room, along with some employees, parents, and kids.

"What're you doing here?" One of the clowns demanded, before swinging at Bruce. Batman easily deflected the poor hit, before he swung the man's arm around his back, broke it, kneed his groin, then swung him over by his broken arm. The man groaned in agony, and Bruce silenced him with a solid thwack to the head.

He didn't like people that held children hostage.

The other nineteen clowns were just as easy to defeat, even when they came in greater numbers. When they were finally all unconscious, Batman began untying the hostages. Once the rags were removed from their mouths, they began to cry and thank him. Their gratitude, however, just made him feel guilty. There should have been one more person thanking him. He frowned, as he spotted a staircase.

"Don't leave yet." He instructed the hostages. The parents hugged their children, and the employees huddled together in mutual fear and confusion. He swept up the stairs, to see a huge clown smirking at him. "There's always one of you big guys, isn't there?" He muttered.

"Come and get me, Bat." The clown growled in that cliché deep voice. Batman did so, and beat him within a minute. Leaving the unconscious giant, he headed up to the roof. He peered around the corner of the stairwell. Snipers at every edge of the roof, making sure that no police officer would get too close.

'Only Bats,' Joker had said. 'Anybody else comes, they'll be blown all the way to Monday...and who likes Mondays?'

Gordon had taken the warning seriously when he came within an inch of the so-called 'Shooting Zone', and a warning shot was fired.

'I think you're a fun guy, Commissioner, and Bats seems to like you, so I gave you a shot...get it? Shot?' His voice had changed substantially as he added, 'Next time, Bozo won't miss.'

Bruce counted mentally. As far as he could see, about 32 thugs. All dressed like clowns...Gotham was really coming apart. He took a breath, tried to ignore the pain in his leg, and swung a bat-arang. It was a good shot, and took out three henchman for a second. Just a second. Then they were back in action, cursing. One particularly stupid thug took out his Rocket Launcher and shot it, inadvertently taking out five on his own team. Bruce knocked two heads together, then took one of the thugs he had just knocked unconscious, and used him as something like a batting-ram, knocking over four more henchmen by throwing the unconscious one at them. Then, as quickly as he could, he knocked their heads against the ground.

"Get up." His eyes slowly rose up. There were just too many guys. He had already gotten rid of eleven of the enemies, but there were still twenty-one left. And they were all armed. And he had a stabbed leg.

The odds were against him.

"Up, I said!" The man said, holding a machine gun tight in his sweaty hands. Batman slowly stood up, refusing to cringe when his leg shot pains up and down. "Uh-" He obviously had not thought this out too much. "Um...over to the ledge! Show the cops we've got you!" Batman didn't move. "What'd I say! Get to the ledge!" Eleven machine guns, eleven guys. He could do it.


He threw the bat-a-rang first, then ran as fast as he could, knocking over a few henchman. He felt a pain in his leg, and was reminded of some movie he hadn't seen in years...'I felt like something just jumped up and bit me..' He refused to acknowledge the pain, though. Until it was too late. With two henchmen left, he crumpled to the floor. Blood gushed out from his legs- he'd been shot five times- twice in the leg, twice in the arm, and once, despite his armor, in his abdomen.

"Gotta say, I thought you'd last longer." Bruce turned weakly, to see Joker standing in the doorway, his clothes bloody. A single thought pounded in his mind: The hostages. Had he killed them...! Joker noticed his gaze, and laughed.

"This is all me, Batsy. And a little bit of you, too. You think those kids would actually listen to you? They ran out the second you left the room!" He paused, then said in a faux concerned voice, "My, you seem to have been shot!"

"Do we kill him now, Boss?" One of the remaining thugs asked. Joker shrugged.

"Nah. If we do that, then we won't be able to play again." The thug blinked.


"Don't argue...um..." Joker paused. "Who are you, again?"

"JoJo." The man replied.

"Oh." The Joker sighed mournfully. "Sorry, I completely forgot...I don't like you." He whipped out a gun that Batman realized he must have had the entire time. He shot, and JoJo dropped down like a bag of bricks. The last thug stared at the corpse. Joker smiled. "One is such a lonely number. See ya." He shot, and the final thug dropped. He turned to Bruce, and blew at the end of the pistol with a smirk. "So...what to do with you?"

"Turn yourself in. You're surrounded." Bruce told him harshly...which was difficult to do, as he was hardly conscious.

"Sounds like a bore." Joker answered. Batman grabbed the gun that laid beside the feet of JoJo, and raised it shakily.

"Turn yourself in, or I'll shoot you."

"You don't kill, and I can live through any lame shot you'd be willing to dish out," Joker replied knowingly.

"You killed four people today, and were willing to kill more." Joker smiled.

"Yeah. Not such a bad day, huh?" Bruce pushed himself up, and when the Joker aimed the gun, he simply staggered forward. When he was an inch away, leaning shakily on the clown, the Joker chuckled, "You're pretty dedicated today." Bruce slammed the gun onto the clown's head, and fell along with him when he collapsed into unconsciousness.

"Gordon," Bruce managed, pressing the button on his belt. "He's down. They're all down. It's safe." He paused, breathed heavily, then added, "Bring a paramedic." He climbed to the edge of the roof, and waited until the police and the SWAT team began to rush towards the building. Gordon gazed at the roof, and spotted him. When he saw the poor condition the Dark Knight was in, he ran faster than anyone else.

Bruce leapt from the roof.

"Alfred...I need a ride."

When Gordon reached the roof, Joker was already beginning to wake up. He always had been annoyingly energetic. Gordon ordered his men to cuff the deranged clown, before he ran to the edge of the roof. The Batman was nowhere in sight.

"Feel free to join me for Monopoly!" Joker shrieked into the night, as the paramedic tended to his former employees. "All you have to do is get a room at the finest hotel in Gotham! Arkham always has room for one more!"

If you're wondering, that was the end.

I think.


Yep. I so called it.

So...what became of the bomb you ask? I dunno. I guess he really WAS lying. Huh. What'dya know.

Or maybe there just has to be a second part to this... =D

...but probably not. =)