In Need of a Shave

He needs a shave, to go with the image of the suit. Wouldn't wanna look unprofessional during the business meeting he has in mind. He doesn't really care about what they will think, but following a dress code, his way, is fun. Insert something new and different into your life every day. After all, how often do you see an anarchist trying out a rule? But it's no fun following it word for word, code for code, so you gotta change it a little and make it your own. Take a pinch of normality, stir, grind, twist, hack, and voila, here's your abnormality. And who said that cooking isn't fun? It's all about ingredients. A bomb here, a grenade there, maybe a bazooka to spice things up, and always a knife, you gotta have a knife. How else are you gonna cut things with artistic precision? Good cooking is art. Ask the French, or maybe not. The best cooks are in Gotham.

He is almost dressed, sans the coat, and when he's shaved, he'll be ready to go. He caresses his chin, feeling the rough, spiky stubble. Now, that feels nice under the finger tips. He'll go with the classic wet-shaving. There are few things that feel better than steel against skin, your own or someone else's, as long as you have a steel object in your hands and you chafe it against or glide it down a patch of skin. That feels very nice. It's a very intimate occurrence, contrary to popular belief. It's the best way of really getting to know someone because no one lies to you when you're holding a knife against their throat. They are all so incredibly honest then and he loves honesty. Everyone thinks he's so immoral, but he has principles. He just abides by them in a different way and people are so scared of something different. Something that's different becomes the unknown, and no one wants to wander into the realm of things unknown. That's cowardice and it's such a widespread disease. It's an epidemic, really, and he has the cure; all that is necessary is a little push. But that can wait, he wants to have some fun first. Pleasure comes before business and he has so many tricks up his sleeve that he wants to test.

For a good wet-shaving, you need a good double-edge razor – check, he has quite a few – and shaving cream and, if you want to, a shaving brush, but fingers will do the trick just as well. He searches the pockets of his coat and fishes out a double-edge razor. He frowns; there's still some blood on it, and he thought that he cleaned it. Blood must always be cleaned off steel, steel objects demand good care, or they'll get rusty, or lose their original sharpness before you can say slaughter. He cleans the razor under the water pouring from the polished chrome tap and when it's done, he squeezes some shaving cream from the tube he finds in the bathroom cupboard, the mass oozing onto his open palm. As he begins to apply it to his face, he feels better. It's a familiar sensation. He feels naked without paint soothing his skin and when he's uncomfortable, he's just extra irritated. So, better make it quick.

He begins to take off the shaving cream with the razor, never looking into the mirror. What's there to see, anyway? He doesn't need to look at himself to remind himself of who he is. Insecurity's never been a problem. As he's slicing off the cream, together with the microscopic hairs, he fumbles around the bathroom. His hands are deft; he could do this with his eyes closed, or even in his sleep. Nice things. All very neat and organized. He chuckles to himself, shakes his head and pops open a tube of hand cream with his unoccupied hand, Oriflame Silk Cashmere written on it. He's always wondered about the scent of silk and cashmere. Usually the silk shirts or blouses are attached to sweaty skin and are sodden with tears, then blood, and that never smells that pretty. Well, any fun has an unpleasant side, in his case odours. Now this, this is nice, he has to admit. Probably the girlfriend's, or has he made her his wife already? Couples today, all living together, but no one getting married. He produces a tsk and sniffs the cream once more. Satisfying his curiosity, he throws the tube of cream on the floor and returns to the sink.

He's done shaving his face. He cleans the razor once more, carefully, making sure there are no remnants of cream or hairs on the blades. Then, he pockets the razor and splashes water on his face. He dries himself with a soft towel, 100% cotton, says the label. These people, he thinks and chuckles again. Now, the good part. He takes the necessities from another coat pocket and begins by applying the cool white paint on his face. Now he is looking into the mirror because he always likes the process. His true colours exploding to the surface. They'll remember him. One has to make a memorable first impression and he's all about that, mhm-hm. Then, the red. And finally, kohl around the eyes. He washes his hands and wipes them in the 100% cotton towel. One more look into the mirror. Paint arrangement, perfect. Tie – a bit askew, he fixes that. He grabs the coat and the fabric pours over his shoulders. He's ready.

He pushes his fingers into the purple gloves, but doesn't leave the bathroom yet. It's so tidy. As if that can help the couple wriggling like a pair of worms on a fishing hook in their neat, white, clean bedroom. They've lived a comfortable life, so sure that nothing bad could ever hit them in their little organized world. Avoiding chaos only brings it to you faster. Will they never learn? He heaves a deep sigh and goes through the contents of the cupboard, throwing on the floor everything that doesn't interest him. He takes a crimson red lipstick and a toenail clipper. The clipper is a brand new addition to his pockets; he doesn't have one in his collection and he's sure he will get to use it somehow eventually. The possibilities have no limits. He pockets the toenail clipper and, holding the lipstick in one gloved hand, exits the bathroom and walks right into the bedroom from the en suite bathroom.

The couple is wriggling on their chairs, just as he has expected them to. He tied her to an upholstered chair. She sure put up a fight. He always likes that. Passivity is so boring. It was easier, and sadly more boring, with the guy, already being in a wheelchair. Just because the guy can't walk, it doesn't mean he can't have the same rights as everyone else does. So, he's giving him the same treatment that he's giving his girlfriend/wife. If you want equality, then let's have equality. The guy is very still in his wheelchair, scared shitless. The woman, however, is a spitfire, exercising herself in her chair.

He turns to the man, who visibly shrinks under his gaze. "Thank you for the shaving cream."

The man stares back at him in wonder. That was probably the last thing the guy expected from him, a thank you. He sure likes to surprise them. Surprises surely are a forte of his. People never know what he'll do next.

Then, he focuses his attention on the woman. Young, pretty, lithe, definitely. He pulls the silver patch of duck tape off her face and she gasps for air first, then growls at him.

"Let us go," she demands.

"I am, uh, borrowing this," he tells her, waving the crimson lipstick in front of her face.

"You are a psychopath," she hisses and wriggles some more.

He tilts his head to the left with amusement. Oh, he mouths, then says, "You a psychiatrist?"

"I don't need to be one to see right through you and see what you are," she replies with contempt. She has spunk and she sure talks back. It's a nice change after all the whimpering and crying and begging. But, she's so wrong.

"See right through me?" It's not so easy. He has to explain and he has a favourite way.

He licks his lips and kneels by her side, contemplating her features. "Wanna know how I got these scars?"

That shuts her up and her eyes tell him that she's not particularly interested. Afraid? You should be. It really isn't so simple.

"My girlfriend and I," he begins with a cheerful voice, but she interrupts him.

"I don't want to hear it!" she screams.

He rolls his eyes and growls a little. Such bad manners. And she thinks of herself as a lady, the mistress of her little suburban paradise with a white picket fence? He seals her mouth with the duck tape again.

"Didn't your mommy teach you to listen when someone is talking?" he asks. "It's very rude to interrupt. Look at 'im," he nods in the direction of the boyfriend/husband. "Quiet, like a little mouse. I am not exactly a, ah, a fan of imitation, but I suggest you copy him this once, hmm?"

He doesn't expect a response, but she nods nonetheless, finally recognising the seriousness of the situation. Good girl. He pats her head with a gloved hand and returns to his tale.

"So, my girlfriend and I bought a new place, just like this one. Neat and bright and shiny." He smiles a little when a tear trickles down her face. He wipes it away gently, then wipes his gloved hand against her pants and continues. "Life was perfect. I was gonna propose, buy a dog, have 1.4 children. And then, one day, this stranger enters our house and demands money." His voice becomes more agitated. He loves to play the part of a comedian when he's not working. "But we don't have more that 20 bucks in our wallets, we keep the money in the bank!" He moves his face closer to hers. She hates it, so he loves it even more. "He threatens us with a gun. My girlfriend is too brave and he shoots her, pow, dead in the next second. He's," he closes his eyes as if searching for a good word, "frustrated, so he takes his time with me. See?"

He cranes his neck and points to the scars on his face. "We shouldn't have contradicted him...And now, here. I. Am," he concludes with a deep voice and a whimper escapes the woman's throat. "He left me alive, and killed her. So, how should we arrange it here? Which one of you wants to play the part of my girlfriend, and, which one the part of...little old me?"

The couples' eyes widen at the same time. He lets out a giggle. "I knew it. No one wants to be me," he says with false disappointment and pulls out a knife.

Muffled screams ensue and he grins, ready for some dynamic fun. He needs it before he meets with the predictable, boring mob bosses having their little therapy session in the middle of the day, such big guys and so afraid of a bat.

It's time to bring some chaos into this perfectly organized suburban paradise. Too much perfection can be dangerous, didn't you know?

And, pleasure always comes before business.

It sure has been one hell of a shave.


AN: The Joker likes to spice up his every day, doesn't he? I really hope I did his character some justice, because I am a little scared to write about him. He's such an amazing and complex character, and I would hate to butcher him. Although he's partial to butchering himself. Hmmm.

Reviews are always welcome.