A Piece Of Glass

By Breech Loader

Me: This fic is a bit weird. It's mostly first-person (although who the first person is varies), and I'm not even going to freaking try to draw attention away from the fact that the Author name is the same as the OC's name and this is a great chunk of Self-Insert. But I watched 'The Dark Knight' again and Heath Ledger is just that good as The Joker. I don't wanna do him (I don't want to go to Arkham) but the character is just that fascinating.

I haven't fully decided if I'm going to try and do Joker/OC just yet. If I did, I don't know if it would be love or just him being a sociopathic bastard anyway.

Anyway, I'll cut it short. Let's just say that the Joker loves to mess with people's heads, and being in Arkham didn't change that, my god no. But things don't go quite the way he'd planned. Still, if everything went as planned, it wouldn't be any fun.

Chapter One: Shatter A Cracked Vase

The funny thing about the Joker, aka Prisoner #4479, is that he doesn't have friends or enemies. He has people he has use for, and people he has no use for. And the people he has use for are the people who aren't dead yet.

Call me Breech Loader. The guards call me Bridget Loranski but I don't like that name. The first person I killed I did it with a Breech Loader, and that's all you need to know for now. Well okay, maybe a little more. I'm a freak. Not like Eddie, bless his obsessive-compulsive socks. Oh no. The way dear Waylon Jones is like a croc? That's the way I'm like a cat. No, no, I'm not Catwoman. Under the cat, she's still human. Besides, she's not here. Blackgate's the place for people like her. As for how I got this way? It's nothing but a tale of corruption and horrible mutations and car chases and explosions. I'm sure you wouldn't be interested.

But enough about me. Don't get involved. Don't draw attention. It's a lesson you learn early at Arkham. And it goes doubly so when you're talking about the Joker.

Funny story. First time he came in here, they wanted the paint off. He wouldn't take it off. So they turned the fire hoses on him and took off the makeup that way. He wasn't happy about that. Not at all. Not that it made much difference; they still don't know his name. But he stole some black shoe polish for the eyes. Then he traded with my Johnny for some white shit to make into face-paint. But then he couldn't find anybody who'd trade him for some lipstick. Crazy, crazy world, huh?

So he bit some bastard guard's finger off, and used that. And now... well, now he gets all the makeup he wants.

There is a method to the madness. You know something? I get the joke. But I don't say so, not because I'm any less fucked up, but because I'm not suicidal. The plan... when I saw the blogs, I got the plan. It was brilliant. But I don't say that either. Doctor Quinzelle... she was the part I didn't get. There's only one explanation for that, and no, I don't want to die just yet, so I don't mention it.

I don't want to die. Not when I'm making so much progress. I mean, they still keep my hands cuffed but I'm still making progress. Besides, the cuffs are pathetic. I only wear them to keep the doctors happy. And to keep them from trying methods of restraint that might actually be effective.

I'm not crazy. Just a little... off, you could say. I see the world differently to most people.

Don't get involved. Don't draw his attention.

Oh no. Oh, no... Oh shitty death...

I looked too long.

You have to admit, he's fascinating. In a fucked up sort of way. Kind of like... all of us. Me too. Or I wouldn't be here, would I? On this side of the bars. On this side of the glass.

He slams his tray down on my table – which is rapidly evacuated by anybody who doesn't have a death wish - and then he starts eating, picking up food with his hands and shoving it into his mouth like an animal. The Joker isn't allowed cutlery. The orderlies don't even trust him with the plastic shit that I'm allowed. Still, llike me, his hands are always cuffed, "Why so... curious?" he asks. His voice is a soft hiss, occasionally interrupted by him licking his lips, or sucking on his scars. It's got a sort of playful, fluting quality to it.

"I must be crazy too, or I wouldn't be here, would I?" I answer without thinking. I do that a lot. They call it making progress. I call it being stupid. I realise what I've said. The Joker is right on the other side of the desk. I stand up so fast the chair falls over. Great. Now he knows I'm scared of him. Then again, who isn't?

I'm about to make a run for it, sit with somebody safer, like Pam Isley or Arnie Wesker - hell, Waylon Jones, the Killer Croc, is safer than this bastard but then his hand snaps out like a cobra and he grabs my wrist. Pins it to the table. With my hands cuffed, that effectively pins both my wrists to the table. I look around. Nobody is going to help me, and we both know it.

"You're smart..." he sucks on those awful scars on his face, "I like you. Of course, that doesn't mean I won't kill you. Now sit down." I hesitate, "Sit DOWN!" he snarls, like an angry dog.

I sit. My hands start opening and closing nervously on reflex, "I get the joke," I tell him.

"Do you? And what..." his grip tightens on my wrist, "is the punchline?"

"Crazy. Not crazy. It doesn't matter what they say," I reply, "What's important is... which side of the glass you're on. If I wasn't in here... I wouldn't be crazy. If you'd been put in Blackgate, you wouldn't be crazy. That's the joke."

My wrist hurts. I feel like my hand is going numb. To my surprise, he actually loosens his grip. Not much. But I can feel the blood returning to my hand at least.

"Not quite. But close. You... have a sense of humour," he smiles. It's creepy, "You know, my last guard didn't have much of a sense of humour. Didn't know when to laugh. I had to get rid of him." I don't take my eyes off him for one moment. Hardly dare to blink. He grabs my chin, and holds me so I have to look at him. With us both in cuffs, that brings us horribly close, "You... You I could keep around for a while."

"For a laugh?" I ask scornfully, "Or just until you've figured out the funniest way to kill me?" Damn.

"Kill you?" he raises his eyebrows as if he's genuinely surprised, "Now why... would I want to do that?" he smiles, and it's not a nice smile. He's weighing me up, "I always did say there should be more Wild Cards in the deck..." he flicks his wrist and produces a playing card – a Joker. Of course. He tosses it casually onto the table.

Then he twists suddenly, and I'm slammed onto my back on the dining table and he's looking down at me. Breathing fast. Got a hold on my hair. Got his elbow jammed in my ribs to keep me from sitting up. It's actually very painful. What I wouldn't give for a gun, or even a shiv... anything to defend myself. It's all happening way too fast for thought...

Oh shit oh shit oh shit...

It's not a look of attraction. Oh no. Thank god for small mercies. Just one of interest, like he's the therapist telling me all about how to be normal. I hate those guard bastards but why won't they hurry up and just get a hold of him and make him let go...

"I bet... I bet you get real sick of the docs telling you how you should be normal?" he asks, sucking on those scars. He licks his lips thoughtfully, "Like you said, you're only crazy because you're in here... but they say you're crazy... until you're not."

"Funny thing about being crazy..." I wince as he looks down at me, "Is nobody ever believes you. Even when you tell the truth," Where's a fucking orderly when you need one? They're all over you if you put one foot wrong for them, but when this sort of shit is happening... "You know that though... don't you?" It's the first question I've asked since this whole... thing started.

"You could be fun..." he looks at me with horrible interest, "What's your name... beautiful?"

'Beautiful'. Now that's definitely a joke. People don't call me that. Not somebody who's got more in common with Killer Croc than the human race. It's all a game to him. So I play along. It's the easiest way to not get hurt, if I'm lucky, "Bridget. Bridget Loranski."

"I see..." he squints, leans even closer, "And what's your real name, Ms Loranski?" he hisses.

We both know exactly what he means, "Breech Loader."

"Well... Breech... I bet you've got a real good reason for people calling you after a gun," he smirks, "I don't like using guns; not really my style. Unless you're real careful... they're just too quick. BAM!" he slams a fist on the table, making me flinch, "And it's all over. What fun is that? Why... do they call you a gun? You quick?"

"Guns are... the only thing in this world that are only meant to kill," I squirm. His hand is pinning my wrist and the other has a handful of bone-white hair and he's way too close. He smells like he's been avoiding showers for a week. I try not to panic. He'd love that, "A shiv- a blade, now that's a tool. You can use it for all sorts of things. Killing's just one of them. But a gun... that's special. The only thing you're meant to do with a gun... is kill people. That's why they call- called me after a gun."

"Hmmm..." he lets go of my hair and wrist just before the guards get to him, and sits down as if we'd been chatting about the weather and I hadn't just been in fear for my life. I get off the table in a hurry and sit back down. The entire cafeteria's been watching like hawks for the punchline, but I'm not dead.

I'm not dead.

I bet he loved that attention.

"You see, Breech," his voice rises a little louder, so that everybody can hear, and he waves his hands vaguely, "People take life so seriously. They just don't get the joke..." he runs his tongue around his scars, "Oh, life is so short. You should savour every moment... Do whatever you feel like... because today might be your last day alive... and one day... IT WILL!" he lunges forward. I reel back in fear. But there's no physical contact. Still, my fear makes him laugh, "Take it easy. Relax. Hey, live a little," he leans back, hands behind his head, as if we're in a health spa and not the nuthouse.

I look at him. He's waiting for me to speak, "You say the only sensible way to live in this crazy world is without rules," I say finally, "You say you're the sane one and everybody else is crazy."

"I do say something like that."

"I say that there are no rules. None that really last, anyway. There is no right and there is no wrong. There's only what the majority believes is right. If the majority believed that... that wearing a codfish was fashionable, that would make it so. Once upon a time... I happened to be a very unfashionable person." I finish.

I stare at my hands, flat on the table. I've said too much. Given him too much to work with.

"My therapist says I'm making progress," I say finally. It's true, you know. Doctor Crane's the best doc in Arkham, he should know.

"Oh, really? And does he know how... unfashionable you really are?" the Joker asks.

"He says I'm making progress," I repeat.

There's a pause, "Do you want to?"

I don't answer. I don't have an answer. I just look at the table.

"Never do anything you don't want to do. Do what you want to do. That's how I live. People ask me why I kill people and blow shit up and I'm sure somewhere there's a very satisfying, very plausible reason for it... a great Freudian excuse, possibly involving an abusive father or something... but it wouldn't be true. I do this stuff because I want to... and so do you," he smiles creepily.

"If you weren't... on this side of the glass..." I hesitate, "You'd make one helluva philosopher."

"I get to people," he replies, as if it's something to be proud of, "You can feel it... can't you? Me getting to you? Taking away all that, uh... progress? What are you going to tell Doctor Crane?"

"Doctor- Jonathan Crane isn't my therapist," I tell him.

"That's right... or at least, he won't be, when all those little tips he gives you, uh... pay off, and Doc Hugo Strange declares you fit for parole tomorrow," the Joker licks his lips slowly.

"How do you know..."

"I just do," he smiles eerily, "I'm very good at finding things out. So, Breech Loader... who did you used to be?" he hisses softly, licking his lips and smiling thinly as he changes the subject.

"An intern. As a lab assistant," It's a lie, but I've made the leap, and it's too late to take it back now, "College is expensive. I had to pay for it somehow. So yeah, I worked at a lab for creating little medicines to cure some of life's little problems for a while, and then I plugged a clerk. Of course, you don't get put in Arkham for a little thing like that. I probably should've stopped at one, but after I'd pulled that trigger once... it got easier and easier. So... here I am. And I'm making progress." I'm emphasising the words desperately.

He doesn't believe me any more than I do.

"Remember, Breech," he grins, "There are no bad hands. Just bad players."

I stare in confusion. And then, to my immense relief, the bell rings and the orderlies clear the cafeteria. I finally relax. It's over. It's recreation time, at least for some of us. Some of us are just too dangerous to be given recreation time. I'm one of the lucky ones. Joker is not.

He stands up and walks away from the table, to be escorted by specially chosen armed guards, back to his cell, and doesn't look back. I'm just starting to stand up again when I see something.

On the table, wedged between my first and second finger, is the Joker's little parting gift; a long, sharp piece of glass. He could have killed me at any moment with it. But he didn't. I'm still useful, somehow.

I stand there for a long moment. A moment that feels almost empty. And then, because I've almost forgotten what it feels like to hold something sharp, I pull the long shard of glass out of the table, and slip it into my orange prison slacks.

And a tiny part of me knows that now... I'm a part of one of his plans.

And a tiny part of me is glad.

Me: I seriously doubt that the OC is a Mary Sue when she is, frankly, insane, but that's for you to decide. I mean, like Breech says, it's all about perspective. But please, all opinions are appreciated (although if you really hate it I'd like you to at least be polite about that). Constructive criticism is definitely always appreciated, otherwise how could I make my work better?

Oh, and I'll also say that if you like The Joker, you should find and watch "The Joker Blogs" (on YouTube and also on Facebook) sometime. Like, right NOW. No, I did not have any part in their production. It's just that they are what GOD would be like, if he was riding a motorcycle constructed of PURE AWESOMENESS.

Now review. What are you waiting for? Get the hell on with it! Tell me what you think! There's so much more to come!