Batman and all related characters and elements belong to DC Comics, Negima and all related characters and elements belong to Akamatsu Ken.

I make no money at all out of this story.

Enjoy and Review. Or else Papa J will pay you a visit and force you, gunpoint, to read Negima Chapter 355 and watch the Final Movie at the same time. And no one can endure that!

Lessons

There were a million different facets to Joker's darkness, so he he distributed them fairly between his adopted offspring. He used to say each girl had her own style, and they all, to some degree or another, reflected a part of himself.

He taught Yuuna how to be a crazy, indiscriminate shooter, and she excelled on it.

He taught Chao how to be an evil schemer, something she turned out amazingly efficient on. It was almost as if she had done it before...

He taught Misora how to be a slimy, back stabbing, conniving coward.

He taught Yue how to be Wicked Cultured.

He taught Kazumi on blackmail and sabotage.

He taught Hakase on experimentation with live human subjects.

He taught Chisame on hacking, virus spreading, and worst of it all, Internet trolling.

And they all made him proud.

All but Chachamaru, who always was too nice, too kind, too noble to do anything but failing all her lessons. The most she got to do was not filling completely the dish of milk for the kittens. And she made up for it giving them twice as much the next day.

However, none of the others ever could bring themselves to hurt her despite that. So maybe, in a sense, her failure was contagious.

The Long Sleep

By the time Asuna finally woke up, as predicted, her old personality was gone, but that didn't mean her memories had vanished as well. So she recognized the grinning man sitting before her tomb as soon as she saw him.

"How long has it been?" she asked, mechanically.

"The full predicted span, plus thirty extra years," he said. He wasn't wearing one of his purple suits now, but a tighter, all black ensemble, very sleek, with his hair shorter, almost a buzzcut. "I bet you really gotta go pee now, don'tcha?"

"Not really, " she stood up with some difficulty, feeling her limbs really stiff. He didn't help her, instead choosing to suck on a lollipop. "How comes you're still alive?"

"I died decades ago, actually, but Hakase, God bless her soul, placed my awareness in a bio-technological chip that can be implanted into any other body," Joker smiled sheepishly, tapping on his skull.

"Where's everyone else?"

"Dead as disco, Asuna."

"Even Evangeline?"

"Well, a lot of things happened..."

"Huh. And yet, you found a way to endure."

"You know what they say, Asuna. Only the good die young. Well then, ready to go?"

She nodded and followed him out of the chamber, looking all around at the devastated, gray world. "I see my sacrifice wasn't worth much after all."

"I called it from the start," Joker shrugged. "No good deed goes unpunished, that's my motto!"

She only walked behind, head low. She absently caught the circus makeup kit he tossed her way.

"It'll be like in the old days, Asuna," he promised. "Well, other than the obvious differences. But as long as we have each other, it doesn't matter, right?"

"I suppose it doesn't," she said apathetically, beginning to paint her lips red.

"By the way, I'm curious. What did you dream about all that time?"

"Nothing that matters anymore."

He looked back and poked at her right cheek. "Don't look now, but you're ruining your makeup. Do you have any idea how hard is to find that stuff nowadays, young lady...?"

She rubbed the furtive tear off. "Sorry, Dad."

Her old personality was gone. But all the memories still remained there.

Now that's a Crime

"Author-san," Asuna crooned sweetly, holding the chainsaw closer to his face. "We're here to talk about Chapter 355. And about the possibilities of either you making up to us writing a quick fix, or, well..."

Sitting at the back of the room reading a newspaper, the Joker yawned. "Try not to take too long, girls. We still gotta visit Kishimoto, Anno and Kubo before the night's over..."

Negimaru

"And then, after you dress up as Asuna, you go out and..." the Joker left the sentence unfinished on purpose.

Chisame lowered her head and said absolutely nothing.

"It's slander! Inflamation and sulking of my good bad girl name!" the real Asuna seethed, her hands moving as if trying to strangle the air. "My own sister!"

"The right words are Defamation and Sullying, Asuna, " Yue observed.

"Same difference!" Asuna roared.

The Joker held a hand up humorlessly. "It's. Not. Funny."

Everyone else went into a respectful silence. Evangeline only snorted and examined her fingernails.

"Tell me, where is that place where you usually act, Chiu-chi?" he asked, voice as soft as a bloodied knife under a silk tissue.

That night, at the old and dingy rendezvous place, the guys backed away as they saw the curtain being pulled away. To reveal a sultrily smiling white skinned nightmare, sitting cross legged in a gorgeously pink Dokuro-chan costume. Huge spike mace in hand.

"Hello, boys... Asuna won't be able to come today... She's grounded for a week, long story... But don't worry! I'll be your sexy entertainment tonight!"

They screamed as he jumped on them, licking his big red mouth all over, swinging the mace around.

"Pipiru piru piru pipiru pi!"

It's Only a Game

They sat teary eyed and sobbing before the TV and the console as the end credits ran.

Finally, Harley approached them warily. "Girls...?"

They all bawled in unison, but Eva, who only kept a stoic Kuudere wannabe face and bit her lower lip, gulping down regularly.

That was the last time they played Batman: Arkham City.

Tales of Yue's Harem

Yue woke up covered in sweat and other bodily fluids, with Dad on a side and Mom on the other. The fact they weren't her biological parents was more than enough countered by the kind of people they were, but still. She exhaled and started to get up, heading for the bathroom.

A chalk white hand grabbed her by the waist. "Don't. Let's make a few more giggles."

"I really need to go, " she deadpanned, squirming free and stepping out of the bed. After some much needed toilet time, she entered the shower and began washing herself, breathing in relief as the cold water relaxed her...

Then, again, chalk white arms wrapped around her slim waist. A Hamill-esque voice cooed in her ear. "When I say I want something, I want it."

She closed her eyes and relented.

...

Harley-Mama offered to feed the pets today, but Yue said she actually prefered doing it herself.

"Good morning, Bud," she put a plate with food for a hyena. It shook its tail happily and began eating.

"Good morning, Lou," she put a plate with food for another hyena. It shook its tail happily and began eating.

"Good morning, Shenzi," she put a plate with food for a third hyena. It shook its tail happily and began eating.

"Good morning, Banzai," she put a plate with food for a fourth hyena. It shook its tail happily and began eating.

"Good morning, Ed," she put a plate with food for a fifth hyena. It shook its tail happily, laughed crazily, and began eating.

"Good morning, Von Katz-chan," she put a plate with food for a cat girl wearing nothing but a collar. She shook her tail happily and began eating.

"Good morning, Du Chat-chan," she put a plate with food for another cat girl wearing nothing but a collar. She shook her tail happily and began eating.

"Good morning, Collete-chan," she put a plate with food for a beast girl wearing nothing but a collar and her glasses. She shook her tail happily and began eating.

"Good morning, Emily-san," she put a plate with food for another beast girl wearing nothing but a collar.

"Hmph! It's... It's not like I like this stupid food or anything! I'll only eat it out of mere politeness!"

"I cooked it," Yue said.

Emily shook her tail and ate happily.

"Good morning, Beatrix-chan, " she put a plate with food for a girl wearing nothing but a collar. "You know, you are fully human. You don't have to go with this..."

"I don't mind," she said quietly, then began to eat with soft but noticeable contentment.

...

During the breakfast, Ayaka and Asuna were arguing all the time as usual, but now it was over the right to sit at Yue's left. Again. The right was Nodoka's property, and no one had dared to question it since Nodoka pummeled Dad down with an encyclopedia over rights for it.

While they fought, Makie took the seat at Yue's left, making constant accidental bumps of her hips against hers. All the while Yuuna and Kazumi winked at her, and Haruna insisted on spoon feeding her.

They hadn't been the same lately, none of them...

...

Yue extended a bag for the jewelry store clerk. "Please?"

The man froze in place, then took his hand back from the alarm button he was about to press. "Oh my God. You... You are so pretty..."

Yue blushed. "No, actually, I'm the ugly runt of the family..."

"Take anything you want! I only ask for a picture of yours!"

Haruna chuckled. "Oh, but you can get so much more for that!" She put a hand on Yue's head. "As long as you agree to give us a monthly fee..."

One hour later, Yue once again fixed her panties into place as they left the store. "I can't believe you talked me into that."

Haruna chuckled, her arms full with merchandise, a ring on each finger. "You looked sooooo sexy, Yuecchi!"

Mana looked down at her shotgun sadly. "I didn't get to shoot anyone..."

...

"Holy Smoke!" Harvey Bullock gasped, while seeing Yue, Nodoka and Natsumi leaving the mall loaded with bags. "The Joker Gang!" He aimed a gun at them. "Make like statues, lil' freaks!"

"Oh! Good morning, Bullock-sama!" Nodoka bowed. "Y-You look good today!"

"You aren't in service hours, are you?" Yue asked.

"What? No, but what does that have to do with anything? Drop that stolen junk and reach for the sky! Now!"

"We didn't steal any of this, " Natsumi said. "These were all gifts for Yue."

"What the hell?"

Yue sighed, then put on her best lingering smile, walking to her and poking his large stomach with a finger. "We have no reason to fight here. We're only enjoying a quiet day out, and so are you. So why don't we enjoy it to our fullest...?"

Half an hour later, Natsumi whistled as they left the nearest public restroom, hoarse male pants still coming from the inside. "I didn't know that was humanly possible, Yue!"

Ayase shrugged, fixing her panties again. "You learn a lot of things with Eva."

...

"Now listen, please," Yue addressed the assembled gangs later that evening. "I'll be honest with you from the start. Father wanted to gas you all when you were assembled here, to take over your territories. It took me a lot of... convincing... for him to allow me attempt a civilized resolution to this conflict, so I truly hope you will appreciate it and cooperate."

Everyone from Firefly to Bane to Riddler only stared at her, as if in disbelief.

Then she noticed her top two buttons were still undone. But she didn't bother with them. She had them where she wanted.

Yue sniffed the air softly. "Why, Croc-sama, you smell nice today. Did you happen to shower?"

Croc glowered. "YOU NOTICED!"

"Oh, and Crane-sensei, did you like those books I lent you?"

Scarecrow nodded. "Certainly very... enticing, indeed..."

This was going to be easy.

As she left the warehouse with Auntie Ivy's newest phone number, a few millions in cash in her pockets, a gift freeze gun, a few mind controlling hats in a bag, and a signed agreement in her breast pocket, Yue told herself, "I'm not whoring myself out, I'm only exerting my superiority through my femininity..."

More or less satisfied with her self reassurance, she marched back home.

...

"Father, Mother, Sisters, " she announced while walking into the funhouse, "I got a 50% of all profits made in—"

Then confetti rained all over her, as her whole family sprang out of the corners. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, YUE!"

"... Ah. You remembered." A beat. "I hadn't, actually."

A longer beat. "I think I can guess what are my gifts supposed to be..."

...

She woke up sweaty, covered by all sorts of bodily fluids and scratch marks, with Father on a side, Evangeline on a side, and Nodoka on top of her. No Robin-kun on sight anywhere, though. A true pity.

"We'll get him for you this Christmas," Nodoka yawned, licking her lips. You can't hide anything from a mind reader.

"I don't think I'll be able to walk for the rest of the day, " Yue said.

"We'll bring your meals here," Nodoka placed a soft kiss on her lips.

"... That's great, but could you carry me to the toilet, Nodoka?"

...

Two weeks later

Alfred Pennyworth raised an eyebrow. "The Joker has relinquished control of his gang over to Miss Ayase, Master Bruce? Are you fully sure?"

Bruce Wayne rubbed his aching forehead with a hand. "Somehow, she seems to control half of the city now..."

People Skills

"Why me?" Ako asked. "Why should I do it?"

"I did it last time," Yuuna said.

"You're the one of us with the best people skills," Akira remarked. "People just trusts you when they see you. Because you don't wave guns around like Yuuna—"

"HEY!" Yuuna protested.

"— or jump around crazily like Makie—" Akira continued.

"My sugar intake is just a little bit too high!" Makie chirped.

"— and I must admit, I'm just bad at talking to strangers, " Akira lowered her head humbly.

"They aren't strangers! We come here every Saturday night to collect, we already know them all by name and everything!" Yuuna pointed out.

Akira pouted. "But I think they dislike me."

"Fine, I'll go," Ako sighed and got off the van.

She walked straight into the circle of smoking hookers waiting for her. "Good evening everyone, I've come to collect Father's protection fee..."

"See? It wasn't so bad, was it?" Yuuna asked once they were done. Akira was driving, since she was the only one looking mature enough to pull a convincing fake driving license.

"Yeah, but it apparently was a weak week, " Ako looked at the sum again. "Or they have skimmed me. Either way, Dad will be angry."

"You should have slapped them," Yuuna yawned. "The only language they get is that of the pimp slapping hand."

"I'm not really the slapping type," Ako cringed.

"Which one of us is, though?" Makie wondered. "Not even Eva-chan, who is much harsher than that..."

The next week, Haruna showed up at the old alley wearing a pimp suit and cracking her knuckles. Gains went up 42% that Saturday.

Upgrade

"Be careful, Robin, " the Batman warned Negi as they surrounded the warehouse. "During his latest stay at Arkham, Killer Croc somehow recovered most of the intelligence he lost during his years of reptilian involution. At the same time, though, his madness increased greatly. He even changed his name to—"

—-

"— KILLER CRACK!" the towering crocodile man addressed his gang. "Yeah, that's it, boys! From now on, we're going to deal the heaviest, most addicting drug in the market! Soon, the streets of Gotham will be flooded with OT 3! Mega Crossovers! Yaoi and Yuri up the freakin' wazoo! This stuff floored even the Joker! By the time we're done, the police will be on their knees begging us to stop! They'll give us anything we want!"

"Boss, we got the latest shipping of Ponies from the Ala Iridia cartel!" another henchman peeked into the meeting room.

"Great! And after this... We'll expand to Fanart! I've made our first contacts at Deviantart!"

"What will we do about 4-Chan's offer?"

"Turn 'em down. We ain't falling so low, man..."

The Final Solution

After Cosmo Entelecheia's defeat, however, one question still stood- How to save Mundus Magicus in the long run? To solve that perplexing riddle, Ala Chiroptera and the Jokerettes decided to keep joining forces for an intense session of... brainstorming. Since Batman denied the 'sex' part.

"What am I doing here anyway?" Joker lamented. "Hello! Villain here! Mass murderer, even!"

"Hush, Daddy, " Konoka put a finger on her lips. "It's time to listen to Ra's-sama's idea now."

"My point is, " the Demon's Head was stating gravely, "The denizens of Mundus Magicus clearly value and respect their world and its environment more than the inhabitants of Earth. So I suggest implementing my latest plan to annihilate 90% of Earth's mankind, thus allowing everyone in Mundus Magicus to move here, ushering on a new age of prosperity and peace under my command."

"Other than those last three words, I see no problem with that, " Homura nodded.

"Next!" Batman growled.

"With my latest bio-transforming project, we will transform all the population of Mundus Magicus into superior lifeforms- Plants, " Poison Ivy proposed. "Then, we will transplant them all into Earth's deforested areas, helping us all to achieve an optimal ecologic balance. Everyone will win!"

"Ehhh!" Tamaki said. "That's not the way we want to see Fate-sama's wood!"

"I'll fly really, really fast several times around Mars, until I take it back in time to a year where the collapse wasn't imminent yet," Superman said.

"What will you do when the years pass again and Mundus Magicus begins collapsing once more?" Hakase asked.

"I'll fly really, really fast around Mars again, " the Man of Steel promised.

"Clark, in five seconds, I'll be pulling the Kryptonite ring out, " Batman warned.

"I'm going now. Up, up and away!"

"I... will... tap into... the powers... of The Green... to... achieve a perfect... communion and balance between..." the Swamp Thing started.

Asuna, impatient, clapped. "NEXT!"

"I'll assimilate the whole world and all its fascinating knowledge into my Warworld, " Brainiac smirked.

"NEXT!" Batman howled.

"I shall turn Mundus Magicus into the second Apokolips!" Darkseid tightened a massive fist. "Under my reign, it shall be preserved- as an endless monument to my darkness! Its fire pits shall never die, forever spreading the threat and message of the Anti Life!"

Chachazero's eyes sparkled. "I'm in love!"

Eva groaned, and pushed Darkseid down some stairs.

Negi looked crestfallen. "Are you sure you don't want to hear my plan about the elevator?"

"NO!" everyone told him.

Then Killer Croc stepped in, rasped roughly, and announced, with a huge grin full of fangs, "We'll throw a rock at it!"

Silence everywhere.

Finally, Chao said, "... You'll throw a rock at Mundus Magicus?"

Croc nodded. "A really big rock!"

"How does that help at all?" Fate asked.

"REALLY big!" Croc repeated himself.

Everyone else in the room traded glances.

Now, seven hundred years after the fact, we still honor Killer Croc as our greatest hero and Mundus Magicus' savior.

The rock continues being in exposition in the Waylon Jones Imperial Museum of Ostia.

How Could You?

"... It isn't what it looks like," the Joker said hastily.

"DAD!" Yuuna cried. "You're doing it! With a bunch of other girls! Behind our backs!"

"I thought you were in jail!" her father growled. "I have my needs, too!"

"You couldn't wait for us to break out? Or break us out yourself? Instead, you had to hook up with these... these skanks?-!" Haruna asked.

"Hey, watch your language, has been!" the clown makeup-wearing Fujiyoshi Harumi protested.

"We're only robbing a bank!" Harlequin-clad Hitou Nami said blandly. "It's not like we're sleeping with him..."

Pierrot-costumed Kimura Kaere rasped uneasily. "Yes, well, about that..."

Yuuna's eyes lit up in murderous red. Then she jumped up reaching for Kaere's throat.

The hostage bak manager pleaded weakly, "Can we go now...?"

"No, " Kitsu Chiri kept her gun trained on his head.

"Hey, that's MY favorite handgun you have there!" Mana noticed

Two Far

"Okay, Dent, " he hissed, crossing his arms behind his back. "When my twins wanted to date you, I blew my top, I'll admit it, because it's what any good or bad father would do, already homicidal or not, when told his darlings are going to date a half-hideous two-bit psycho with a Drama Queen complex."

"Harvey isn't half-hideous!" Fuuka whined.

Joker pointed at the still healthy half of Dent's face and cringed in disgust. "Of course he is! Just look at that! Ewwwww! Anyway, Harv, I still played along. I tried to be nice, and nice is something I just don't do..."

"Father, I brought another kitty. Actually, he followed me home. Can I...?" Chachamaru shyly appeared at the door.

He waved a purple gloved hand at her. "As long as it stays at your room. Go away, don't interrupt me..."

"Thank you, Father..."

Dent chuckled. "You know, they've made you—"

"Say it and I pop your eyes out and feed them to rabid weasels stuck up your buttcrack!" Joker threatened. "Look, bottom line is, I consented their going out with you! I even endured that 'father in law' crack you once did!"

He shrugged. "The coin landed tails, and the bad side wanted to joke for once. We were drunk..."

"What I don't tolerate, however, was turning my kids into your copycats!" he pointed at Fuuka and Fumika.

"They took that decision on their own," Two-Face coldly said.

"Actually, we flipped coins," Fumika said.

Joker rubbed the bridge of his long, pointy nose. "It's a complete lack of style! Most parents only have to tolerate piercing or tattoos! You two had to go and douse your faces with freaking acid?-!"

Fuuka sighed and ran a hand over her scarred left side. "It's the permanent marking of love...!"

Fumika sighed and ran a hand over her scarred right side. "It's more telling than a plain old and boring marriage ring...!"

Asuna passed by. "Oh, hey. You changed your looks or something? No, don't tell me, let me see... You switched hairstyles today, didn't you?"

Dent looked at her face with mild fascination. "Mismatched eyes, blue and green..."

Joker pushed a gun against Dent's throat. "Out of my face now, Harv."

Six Pony Princesses in Amber

"I don't know," Joker stared blankly at the six new Jokerettes. "I'm not convinced!"

"But Puddin'!" Harley whined. "At least give them a chance 'til we can spring our babies outta juvie!"

"Harl, I can't possibly go around the Gotham underworld followed by six colorful miniature horses! The idea is making people laugh, not making people laugh at me!" he growled.

The purple one with the horn lifted a hoof. "I know a lot of useful magic!"

"You're no Evangeline!" he replied.

"Didn't you like the new clothes I made for you?" the other unicorn asked.

Joker looked down at his new outfit, sneered, and reluctantly allowed, "I've worn worse, like that time someone convinced me to walk around barefoot, with my hair long and spats, but..."

The cream-yellow furred Pegasus gave him that sad, soulful pleading stare again.

Joker averted his gaze and grunted. "Oh, like that's going to work on me..."

"C'mon, just give me a chance! I'll first beat that Bat-plane or whatever its name is in a race, and then, BAMMO! I'll kick it right down the sky! Yeah, that's the ticket!" the rainbow-maned one cheered herself. "I'm awesome like that when I put my mind into it, Boss!"

"DON'T CALL ME 'BOSS'!" Joker shouted.

Cream-yellow furred Pegasus' stare grew a bit sharper. Joker felt somewhat uncomfortable, but continued his evaluation after a few rasps. He looked at the pony with the cowboy hat on. "Why haven't you talked yet? I had you pegged as a more loquacious type."

She opened her mouth to answer, but before she could, the pink furred one intervened cheerfully. "Oh, that's just because OM doesn't have her accent down yet at all!"

Joker lifted a green eyebrow. "Izzat so?"

"Yeah! By the way, didn't you like how I decorated the hideout?" Pink Fur gestured all around, with a huge bubbly smile. "I think it's my best decoration of evil party lairs yet!"

"Oh, you did it?" Joker blinked. "I must admit it isn't bad at all. The balloons are a nice touch. Did you paint Batman with a Ridiculous Moustache on all of them yourself, or you had them custom-made?"

"All of them self-made!" Pink Fur proudly pointed at her chest. "It took me all night long, most of it spent on figuring the goofiest possibly kind of moustache!" She offered him a tray just as soon. "I also made cupcakes for you!"

Joker blinked, then grabbed one cupcake. He took a bite, and hummed, recognizing the taste. He grinned, and joyfully told Harley, "This one can stay!"

Cream-Yellow Fur's stare grew even fiercer.

Jiiiiiiiiiiii...

Joker gulped. "And this one too!"

Elsewhere, Nodoka swung her legs on her prison bunk bed. "Yue-Yue?"

"Yes?" Yue asked from the book she was reading.

"Father will come for us soon, won't he?"

"Let's just say we'd better start listening to Haruna for a change and start helping her with that escape plan, Nodoka..."

The Perfect Deathtrap

"It needs a large tank with fish down there," Akira opined.

"And automatic weapons mounted on the walls!" Yuuna said.

"Well oiled, shirtless and muscled older men branding axes all across the catwalks!" Asuna piped in.

"Make sure we have a good getaway ready in case it fails!" Misora asked.

"Don't be silly, it won't fail!" Haruna laughed, while she skillfully drew the trap's schematics, adding everyone's suggestions no matter how outlandish they happened to be. "This trap's got everything! No way even Batman will escape it!"

"How do we lure them in, though?" Ako asked.

"We could make Natsumi pose as a hostage and use her as bait again, " Chizuru proposed. "It never ceases to work!"

"One of these days we gotta get ourselves an actual hostage..." Natsumi mumbled. "Preferably one who doesn't end up falling in love with Misora."

Sitting on Misora's lap, Cocone stuck the tip of her tongue out to the actress.

"You know kidnapping people is a bad thing to do," Chachamaru said before looking down at the schematics. "Just to make sure everything is okay, I'll wait at the end of the trap with the cannons mounted. I believe that should be enough."

"Th-There will be enough left of Robin-kun at the end of this, won't it?" Nodoka worried.

"Sure thing!" Haruna chuckled. "We discarded Chachazero's suggestions, didn't we? Okay, it's done! Now all we have to do is starting to build the actual darn thing! Call on some henchmen and tell them we have work for them!"

Batman broke the tank down killing all the killer fish. Akira was suitably horrified. He dodged the gunfire from every wall until they ran out of bullets, and Yuna cursed. He punched all the well oiled, muscled and shirtless older men out, and Asuna cried as their perfect features were rearranged. Misora's getaway failed and she was caught in a net. He used a sonic disruptor to interrupt Chachamaru's electric activity and turned her off for hours.

The worst part, though, was Robin didn't ever show up.

Proof of Loyalty

Johnny Marconi was sweating rivers, on his knees and with his hands tied behind his back, a piece of tape covering his mouth.

He had been there, waiting behind the Joker's funhouse, under the icy autumn rain, for hours now, hearing the sounds of heavy discussion, mostly onesided, coming from the inside, until he saw the tall girl with long and light green hair walking out to meet him. She had a gun in a hand.

"I'm very sorry, Marconi-san," she bowed to him, with all the politeness in the world. "But Father wants to test my loyalty to the family. He says I'm too soft for this business, so he ordered me to shoot you in the head to prove myself. Please forgive my rudeness."

He whimpered under the tape and shook his head violently. He'd pay anything, he'd stop skimming on Joker's take, he'd do whatever they wanted, but he couldn't die like that! No!

Chachamaru put the gun against his forehead and pulled the trigger.

It shot confetti all over him.

"You took the wrong pistol. Again," her father icily told him when she walked back in.

"Sorry, Father. I promise I'll be more careful next time. But you only asked me to shoot him in the head, and I did just that. You never specified it had to be a lethal shot..."

"Never mind, I'll do it myself!"

"Actually, since you never specified what I had to do with him after I shot him, I took the liberty of untying him and sending him away..."

"AHHHH!" Asuna's voice came from the kitchen. "WHO TOOK MY MUFFINS?-!"

Joker shot Chachamaru that kind of stare. "You gave him Asuna's muffins, too?"

"He seemed hungry. I'll cook more..."

A hiss of frustration. "Yes. You do that. Some exercise will do me good, so I'll just take the car, drive searching for him, and find him and shoot him myself before he leaves the state..."

"..."

"You didn't give him the car's keys too, didn't you?-!"

"He promised he'd have it sent back with someone tomorrow."

"Next time, I'll make you shoot him with a bazooka!"

So next time, she accidentally took the confetti-shooting bazooka, as well.

Together

"I've patched your wounds now. You'll be okay until help arrives, " Negi promised, squeezing her small hand tightly, and smiling down at her.

"Thanks, Robin-kun, " Yue made the tiniest of smiles, looking truly grateful. She tried to look over his shoulder, at the Black Mask False Facers hanging, unconscious and tied up, hanging down from the warehouse's ceiling. "Are you sure they won't get free?"

"I gave them a dose of a tranquilizer Batman uses when he needs someone down for a long while, " Robin said. "They'll be out for a few hours. When they wake up, they'll be in Blackgate."

Yue nodded as best as she could and gripped his hand tighter. Even through his glove, it felt so warm. "Why do you do this?"

He half-laughed. "Well, sorry, but I'd have to tell you my origin story for you to truly understand, and Batman doesn't like when I do that..."

"I don't mean your 'mission', " the wounded girl said softly. "Why going to such lenghts to keep me alive? I'm a daughter of your worst enemy. I've hurted many people. I've kidnapped you, forced you into a kangaroo wedding, and tricked you into making a Pactio with Nodoka. Why don't you hate me? Why don't you let me die? Why do you... still smile at me?"

"Why were you here?" he asked back.

"Eh? Well... This was one of our old hideouts before the False Facers took it. Father forbid us from coming back... God, he'll be so angry... But I left something very important behind, so... I snuck back in for it. But they found me, and then you arrived..."

"What was it?"

Weakly, she held a portrait of a very young Nodoka with herself.

"That is why I do this as well, " Negi said. "Love."

Her cheeks grew colored. "L-Love?"

He nodded, holding her a bit closer. His voice was grimly serious for someone so young. "People always thinks Batman and me do this because of revenge. But in truth, we do it to protect, not to punish. Everyone deserves being protected, even you, even your father. Both from others, and from yourselves."

She spoke after a long silence. "That's a very cute thing to say."

"Just don't ever tell Batman I told you. It'd ruin our dark reputation as grim nocturnal crusaders."

"I promise I'll never tell anyone, " she spoke sincerely.

Again, he smiled.

"Robin-kun."

"Yes?"

"Would you... kiss me, please?"

"W-What?"

"It's not a trick this time. I know I'll never have you, but only this once, I'd like to know what's to be kissed by a pure, kind person. I beg you..."

"B-Bu-But I..."

"Oooooooohhhhh, I feel... so cold... suddenly! I don't know if I'll make it after all... If only I could die... with a loving kiss in my mouth..."

"Miss Yue, please don't die!" he panicked.

"Please, Robin-kun..."

He sobbed, paused, and then nodded rigidly. He lowered his face and tenderly kissed her mouth.

Yue closed her eyes, trying to memorize the moment forever. And just as soon began to kiss back, as powerfully as she could, way too much for someone supposedly on the brink of death.

Robin-kun was still, after all, a gullible kid.

She didn't let him go until she noticed he was having problems breathing.

"Y-You weren't dying!" he realized, blushing and panting.

Yue smiled. "I felt like going Heaven, though."

Then a dark angel's shadow fell over them. "Robin, " the Batman said.

"Ah! S-Sir!" he gasped aloud, blushing anew.

Batman looked at the beaten gangsters. "Good job. Are you okay?"

"P-Perfectly okay, Sir. But... Miss Yue here..."

The Dark Knight crouched down next to her, analyzing her wounds critically. "You'll be fine. Robin, I'm glad to see you've learned first aids well, too."

"Th-Thank you, Sir!"

Yue half-smiled. "A bit overboard with compliments tonight, no, Batman-sama?"

Ambulances and patrol cars were heard coming in loudly.

Batman said nothing.

"By the way, I'd like to ask for two final favors, " she humbly said.

"Which ones?" Batman asked.

"I'd like to keep this, " she hugged the portrait against herself.

"I'll talk to Gordon. Next?"

"I'd like... for Robin-kun to keep holding me until they get here, " she looked down.

"Well, I won't do it, " the Bat stoically said.

Again, Yue smiled and relaxed her head back against Negi's body. "Thanks."

Maybe I'm, after all, in the wrong family.