Chapter One: Guenhivyre Pendragon

Bruce Wayne was—quite literally—stuck in the middle of a charity party for the Gotham Central Library's new wing when he heard the news. Well, when everyone heard the news, seeing as it's next to impossible to shut up a plasma screen television mounted on the wall and cranked up to maximum volume. Summer Gleeson, the news reporter, popped onscreen abruptly, with a special news bulletin, she said.

"The Gotham City Police have just informed me that there has been a breakout at Arkham Asylum. The two inmates that escaped are a teenaged girl identified only as "Stitches", along with none other than the Joker. Residents are advised to keep indoors as the police continue the search! We now go live to—"
The rest of her words were cut off by a collective gasp from the crowd, followed by an outburst of worried chatter and gossip about what all just heard. Bruce's eyebrows knitted together in a frown and his mouth became a grim, taut line. The Joker, the clown prince of crime, was as insane and deadly as one gets, not to mention he'd appointed himself the mantle of Batman's archenemy. No one knew who he was, where he came from, or why he'd become so mad; all they really did know was that they couldn't identify him, as his fingerprints and other forms of DNA identification had somehow been burned off or the like thereof, that he had absolutely no living family whatsoever, and that he never seemed to care about money or stealing: everything he did, every crime he committed, was all one big game to him, and he did everything for the sole purpose of fighting Batman. He'd even stated he didn't want to kill Batman—anytime soon, that is—because without him, the Joker said he'd be bored, that he wouldn't be able to have fun anymore.

A picture flashed across the TV screen, of the two escaped inmates. One, Bruce knew by heart and would probably never forget, as the Joker was the stuff of nightmares. The other, he didn't know or if he did, he knew the face only vaguely. The girl was about 15, if his guess was correct, with a mess of hair that fell over her left eye, and a wide smile full of sharp teeth that had been filed down to points. And yet, something about her held a look of sadness, as though there was something that kept her in a perpetual state of mourning, though what, he had no clue.

Great. He's broken out of Arkham again, and he's found another wounded person to manipulate. I wonder how my day could get any worse. Bruce thought, mentally and physically grinding his teeth.

It was at that very moment that someone carrying a tray laden with goblets of red raspberry wine tripped and lost her balance, the alcoholic liquid splashing all over and soaking the heir to the Wayne empire from head to Armani loafers.

He took that moment to reflect on the sheer stupidity and irony that was always brought about by the use of that last phrase and resolved not to use it when he was out on his "night job" ever.

However, Bruce always had a habit of bouncing back when it came to this sort of thing, especially when there was a woman involved. And this time, she was really cute. The vandal who'd ruined his second best set of Armani's was about five feet and four inches tall, with neatly kept, shoulder-length black hair, startling green eyes, and was dressed in the halter top-and-kilt get-up that was the standard of the employees who worked in the Scotsman's Hotel.

"Oh my gosh! I'm terribly sorry, Mr. Wayne! I don't think I'm ever going to be able to live with myself, I just ruined your suit and your shoes and now Mr. Scotsman is totally going to fire me and I've got you completely soaked! I'm so so sooooo sorry, can I do anything for you? Oh my gosh, where are the towels? I—"
Bruce held up his hand for silence and to his amazement, she complied.

Good lord, the girl talks like a speeding train, was what went through his mind. Out loud he said, "Look, it's fine. It's no big deal, Ms.-?"

"P-Pendragon. Guenhivyre Pendragon." She stammered, paling.

"Guenhivyre Pendragon," he repeated, looking surprised, "As in, the queen of King Arthur?"

She nodded fervently, her mouth hidden behind her hands and her eyes wide as she trembled under the gaze of what was becoming quite an audience. Bruce smiled his playboy smile.

"For that, consider yourself forgiven," he said, pressing a fifty into her hand and giving her a wink, "Just go fetch a couple towels, okay? In return, I'll make sure Mr. Scotsman overlooks this little incident."

Blinking with shock and relief that she'd been let off the hook, Guenhivyre Pendragon nodded and took off in a flash, returning only a few minutes later with the towels and mumbling yet more speedy words of apology. Despite her fast talk, the look on her face, not to mention red flushed cheeks, and the words she said proved to Bruce Wayne that she was sincere. He would have asked her out on a date, had not she disappeared almost instantly after he was dry again. He allowed himself a small smile.

She'd taken his mind off the Joker, but only to throw it back onto the fact that women were still harder to battle with than his enemies. Because with women, it was a completely different playing field.

A/N: Yes, she's meant to be a Mary-Sue. Yes this fic will involve canon-crossing. Yes, if you flame me, I'm reporting you. If you don't like my writing, you don't have to read it.