Title: Lock and Key
Challenge: Prompt Bingo on LJ
Prompt: Damage
Summary: [pre-Joker, Joker / Alice] They may have met for the first time in the forest outskirts, but Joker was much more familiar with Alice than she might believe.
Rating: PG-13

. o . o . o . o . o . o .

His first thought was that he'd never seen such a perfect prisoner.

She moved without hesitation, unobtrusively ghosting her way towards the cells. Her pace careful and precise, she worked to fit her key to the nearest latch, opened the door, and neatly locked herself away. Skirts fluttering around her as she sat, small hands folded delicately in her lap, settling herself down silently on the cold prison floor.

"Ooh, what do we have here? New arrival?"

Blinking at his counterpart's low snicker, he tilted his head and watched, curious, as Joker approached the cell, riding crop hoisted high in his hand.

"Well? Going to pay your respects to your new masters, eh girlie?" Joker smacked the bars of the cell for good measure, smirking smugly at the loud, rattling clank of leather against iron; and, waited for the usual frightened shudders and pleas of appeasement with an almost palpable glee.


"Hey." Joker abruptly stilled, breath escaping him in a sharp hiss. He glanced back over his shoulder. "I think you're going to want to come look at this."

That got his attention.

"Hm?" Arching a wry brow at his companion, he casually levered himself up from where he'd been leaning against the prison wall. Slowly and deliberately stretching out his limbs, he grinned. "Don't tell me you're having trouble with the new prisoner already, Joker? How unusual."

"Yeah, yeah, laugh it up. Now stop screwing around and get over here, damn it."

"If you insist. Though, I don't know why you'd- Oh."

She had the most lovely eyes.

" 'Oh.' " Joker drawled sarcastically. Shaking his head in disgust, he jerked his riding crop pointedly towards the cell. His voice dropped to a tense, almost whisper. "Is that what I fucking think it is?"

"So it would seem." A lazy step forward had the prison shifting momentarily around him and, entering the locked cell, he crouched down. One hand moved to cup the girl's cheek, tipping her face up for a better look. His good eye widening briefly in surprise as her image rippled, leaving the briefest glimpse of another girl - older, more refined, poised - in her place before fading back like a spent mirage. A low chuckle left his lips. "Or, at least part of it anyway."

Joker gave a low snort. Arms crossed over his chest. But said nothing. His show of irritation not quite managing to mask his fascination as he watched the pair in the cell.

"Hello Alice. It's a pleasure to finally meet you, we've been hearing so very much about you." He leaned forward with a gentle smile. Fingers tangling in the honeyed locks of her long hair, he brushed a polite kiss over the the tendrils. Crooning softly to the apparition as he did so. "I expect we're going to become the best of friends."

- - - - - - - - - -
End Notes: Just for the record, trying to keep the Joker's separate without resorting to White and Black? Rather difficult at times. But I had a ridiculous amount of fun writing this so it's all good.