A/N: Be forewarned! This is a Gargoyles and Batman crossover fanfic that will include violence, swearing, fluff, crack, and OCs at random intervals. You don't like it? Don't bother reading it. If you do, great! I'd love some R&R!
All things Batman-related (C) to DC Comics
All things Gargoyles-related (C) to Disney Enterprises
The Macallister siblings (mentioned) are all (C) to me
David Xanatos rested his elbows on the desk, steepling his fingers as he carefully studied the two men sitting before him. The thought crossed his mind, not for the first time, that this meeting wasn't going anything liked he'd planned. He turned to regard the man on the right.
This individual was considered to be the most notorious, dangerous criminally insane mind in all of Gotham City. And with the way that too-wide, too red smile kept Xanatos guessing at the thoughts behind it, he could understand why the Joker was thought to be so deadly. The Clown Prince of Crime was also wildly unpredictable, so Xanatos counted his blessings that the grinning nightmare before him had chosen to arrive at the meeting without killing anyone. That meant he was interested.
The other man, however, was the one who really had him concerned.
Roman Sionis—or Black Mask, as he'd chosen to introduce himself—had been the one to contact Xanatos, not the other way around. Someone had leaked information, valuable information, from his company, and the crime boss hadn't hesitated to seize a hold of it. He'd called David Xanatos, telling him that he knew what the young tycoon's latest project needed, and was willing to share the knowledge…provided of course, he be let in on the deal.
Sighing, Xanatos turned from Joker, who seemed to have no further questions, and looked at Black Mask, who stared coldly back.
Two unfriendly sets of red eyes on him. He was reminded in an ironic way of Demona.
"And what information do you have for me, sir?" he asked.
"You always start out business deals like this, kid?" Roman shot back, clicking his tongue condescendingly. "I figured you were ambitious, not stupid! You don't seem to know exactly how high the odds are stacked against you, here. You ought to reconsider how you address your superiors."
David Xanatos smiled back coldly in response.
"You're forgetting I have plenty of defenses, Mr. Sionis," he remarked, "So if you're thinking of a coup-de-tas of this meeting, I wouldn't recommend it. Allow me to rephrase that to your liking. Ahem! Would you please share with me this information of yours, Mr. Sionis?"
The Joker looked between them, eyes half-lidded in boredom, as though he was watching the most monotonous ping-pong match in his life.
"Better," Black Mask grumbled roughly, reaching inside his suit and withdrawing three photographs. He set them face-up on the surface of the desk and flicked them over to Xanatos, one by one. "Your machine needs the right kind of blood to fuel it. They've got the blood you need, and plenty of it. Could last you a long time."
Xanatos straightened the photos and looked at them in curiosity. Three young adults, two girls and a boy. Siblings, he decided, if the identical jaws, too-pale skin, and violently red hair were anything to go on. Though he found repugnant the thought of sacrificing people to his machine, the advancement had to be made. And besides, if the scientists on the development team were telling the truth, the kids were mutants anyway. That made it a little more excusable. Still…
"Thank you, sir. Most helpful. However, I fail to see what you want out of this. And anyway, I only need two bodies for the holding chambers. For now, anyway."
At this, Black Mask's entire posture shifted, becoming much more threatening. He looked like a big cat, waiting to maul unexpecting prey.
"Exactly!" he snarled, and within seconds there was a switchblade embedded deep in the wood of the desk, pinning one of the photographs in place, marring the face of the young woman beneath. David winced, though not out of pity for the young woman's visage so much as the ruined desk. Imported, hand-polished cherry wood. That wouldn't be easy to replace.
"You want to kill one of them?" he asked, gesturing toward the switchblade. "Her, I'm guessing?"
"Oh, you've got no idea!" Black Mask roared, bringing both fists down hard on the desk. "Those Scots have been a thorn in my side long enough! And as for that little bitch…"
He reach to his side and unsheathed a long knife, a dagger, nicked and worn with age, and covered with black, dry blood. Xanatos shuddered and Joker raised his green eyebrows in mild curiosity.
"I've got unfinished business to attend to, there. Business I started seven years ago. And I'm not going to just let her run around this city alive." Black Mask growled. "I want her dead as a doornail. Her guts ripped out, her scalp sliced off, her-head-mounted-on-my-wall kind of dead!"
"I…I see." Xanatos nodded, swallowing over the knot in his throat. "Sorry I questioned you so rudely."
"Damn right you are." the older man snapped.
"Well then," David sighed, getting to his feet, "I suppose you—"
"I'll escort myself out," Black Mask growled, turning on his heel and striding from the room, slamming the door sharply behind him. The Joker turned and smiled.
"Oooh. Someone's got a temper. Old Roman'll get you in the back if you aren't careful, pretty-boy." he chuckled.
"I gathered as much."
"Yeah, sure. Well, this little…powwow has been fun and all, but I gotta go. Business to attend to, chaos to be had…typical stuff in a job, sure you know what I'm talking about."
"Of course," Xanatos replied. "I'll contact you in a month then, to give you details about how to get these Scots?"
Joker threw his head back, guffawing hysterically and clutching his sides. "Oh stop! You're too much! So hilarious!"
"I wasn't aware I said anything amusing…"
"Oh, kid, you've got no idea! Where's a camera? We oughta be recording this to show at Christmas parties!" the Crime Clown doubled over with laughter, seizing hold of a chair to keep from collapsing to the floor in his mirth. This went on for a few moments more before he stood back up and straightened his suit, turning his deadly smile on the younger rich man. "You'll hear from me in a month alright, but only an idiot tries to tell the Joker how to catch his man. Anything too obvious'll get the Batman on my ass in a heartbeat."
This time it was Xanatos's turn to laugh. "The Batman? Please! I've dealt with legendary creatures and mutants who could fry my face off! A mere mortal man in a Halloween suit doesn't scare me!"
The Joker's stare turned cold, the smile left his face, and he crossed the distance between them, seizing the front of David's suit and getting right up in his face.
"There is nothing 'mere'," he said in icy tones, "About that mortal."
A second later, he'd turned on his heel and strode toward the door, leaving Xanatos to stand in shock. He opened the door, turned his green head and waved.
"Toodle-pip!" he said in a mock English accent, and the air in front of David Xanatos's face hissed. He dodged the razor sharp Joker card just before it embedded itself in the wall behind where he'd been.
"What the!" he gasped.
"Oops," the Joker shrugged, putting on non-convincing airs of apology, "Clumsy me! Butterfingers, you know! Tsk, tsk. Happens all the time. I'll be seeing you around, Xanny…heh heh heh heh…."
"You know, sir," Owen finally spoke up after the Joker had been gone for five minutes, "I think for once you're in over your head. That meeting didn't go anything like you'd planned."
Xanatos nearly jumped; Owen had been so quiet, standing off in the corner, that he'd forgotten his right-hand man had been there at all.
"No, Owen, you're right. It didn't go according to plan at all."
He reached up, gingerly took hold of the Joker card, and carefully yanked it out of the wall, turning it over in his hand as he smiled.
"It went much, much better."