Arkham Asylum.

December 21, 23:06 EDT.

It's quiet, as usual. (They sound-proofed the walls long ago; too many nutty screamers). Nothing but the sound of the snow that falls against the slit of a window so softly. Like droplets of blood that ooze across concrete and drip into sewers and is washed away; forgotten. It makes such nice bursts of color against the boring whiteness of the snow; whiteness of the pure and innocent, suddenly tainted. It's enough to bring a chuckle to his lips and an obscure smile to his face.

The innocent are always the most fun; the most fragile; the best laughers. They have yet to be corrupted by fighting, and loss, and fear. They love a good joke, and he's chalk full of 'em.

The innocent wander in; hearts going pitter-pat in their chests, feet scuffling nervously against the floor, except the one. The one who stares straight ahead without any feeling at all. His red color is flashy, and eye catching like a good explosion.

His little bird has come to pay him a visit. What a treat.

000

The wind outside is shrieking; angry and fierce. Joker can very much understand it's frustration; sitting across from his bird-boy and two of his little worms. (They're worms; they slither in subtle discomfort while seated in their plastic chairs. Birdie should be rid of them). One has long golden hair, tied in a tight ponytail. He can only imagine how beautiful such hair would look while caked in blood, and grime, as the owner of said bright mane gasps for breath while he stomps on her wind-pipe. The other is one he recognizes; sheathed in lemon-yellow and is very distracting. His hair is copper colored; a mix of orange and red, like fire. How he would enjoy setting the boy to flame; how right his colors would look then.

His birdie is utterly still, with his hands knotted together and set on the table like a good boy. Bats taught him manners; it pleases him.

"I need answers."

Joker's face stretches in such a wide grin, (that only goes further when he sees Captain-Yellow and Green-Arrow-Girl quit their fidgeting and stiffen right up). His eyes twinkle with a murderous, pleasure-induced light. "And I have some to give, Boy Wonder, if you're interested in a little joke?" His eyes flicker between the child's companions then back at him. Birdie slams his fist down on the slab of plastic hard enough to make the duo jump, and Joker frown in disappointment. Bats has turned Robby into such a sour-puss.

"Rob, is he really going to tell us anything?" Lemon-Boy whispers; Joker can practically hear his heart fluttering in the best way possible. Tinged with anxiety.

Boy Wonder keeps a straight face; completely silent, and impassive.

It makes Ketchup-And-Mustard-Fire-Boy only shift more. It's becoming irritating.

Ponytail is only slightly more tolerable. (He'd still love to chop off that hair of hers, and strangle her with it). She's sitting still; staring at the multiple dents, lines, and wares in the aged grey plastic. Anywhere but him.

How rude.

"What's wrong, little girl? Don't like clowns?" He can't help himself. He cackles when her head jolts upwards like she's just been shocked, and tries to control her trembling fingers. Baby-Bird clasps his hand over top hers, to steady them. His masked eyes still don't leave Joker.

"I told you guys not to come." Robin's voice seems to have emotionally aged fifty-years; exasperated, yet understanding, in a way. It intrigues the infamous criminal.

"Pfft," Ginger leans back in his chair carelessly, seemingly wiping away all the tension in his body. (His shoulders are still the slightest bit rigid, and his lips pressed a tad too tight). "We're not scared of him."

Blondie pulls her hands out from under Batty's sidekick's, and fixes Joker with a level stare. "Like we're going to let you run off to an insane asylum in the middle of the night, all by yourself." She doesn't add that she's terrified of losing anyone else. How they both are.

"My, my. What loyal friends you got. Lucky little whelp aren't you?" His laughter is loud and crazed in the silence of the interrogation room. Baby-Bird's friends are both on edge again. Don't they know how to laugh?

Sometimes, laughter is all you have, you know.

000

Only an hour into their lovely little meeting, Birdie sends his young buddies on their way. It's a pity that they're left intact. Not a single scratch or bruise to show proof of their time here.

But this is when the fun will begin. A real side-splitting laugh-riot.

"It's unusual for Batsy to let you out on the street at night. Shouldn't you be snuggled under the covers with your favourite teddy-bear?"

Robin only grins; cocky as ever.

A metallic jingle is heard as he fishes around in his pocket, and pulls out a ring of brass keys. Keys to his cell. Keys to many of the other inmates, as well.

"Freedom, for some answers. Plain and simple."

It sets him off in another round of brilliant howling. Robin patiently waits until he is finished; he's learned you can't rush the criminally insane.

"Oh, Little Bird," His red lips are turned into such a joyous smile, he nearly has the illusion of regular happy-go-lucky clown. "How the good have fallen."

Robin's own lips turn downward at the corners, and the keys are shoved back into his pocket. "We were attacked, in Mount Justice. Someone set the whole place on fire."

"And you think I had something to do with it? Why, I'm flattered," He snickers, bemused. "But I prefer the blunter approach." A shiny new crowbar; stained crimson. Breaking bones, and hearing screams, and laughter. Always laughter.

"I know you had something to do with it!" He's bolted up from his chair and his frame is shaking like a frail leaf in the Autumn wind. "No one else could have done it so easily." The word is a hiss; a shot of steam from a boiling teapot.

"Done what?" He cocks his head, oily green hair falling over his pale face. "Kill?"

Robin's teeth audibly clack together and clench hard enough to shatter into pieces. He remembers the haunting memories that flood in an ocean of anguish. Fire; fire everywhere. Shouting, crying. M'gann and Aqualad are long gone; the heat making quick work of them. Superboy clears a path among the debris; too small for him to fit through, but enough to allow the other three to escape.

"Live." Is all he says, before the structure of the mountain starts to crumble, and Wally has him and Artemis whisked out of there before they're all doomed.

A part of him wishes he'd been burned alive. Better that, than have Superboy's agonizing screaming on a constant loop inside his head.

"I've been here, this whole time." Joker's smile is maddening; Robin has to grip the edge of the table to keep from wrapping his hands around the man's throat and squeezing until there's nothing left. His tone is so amused;"I don't really believe in killing during the holiday season, Boy Blunder."

The keys are thrown down onto the table, and Robin stalks out of the asylum; wrathful and unrestrained.

Later that night, he's broken out. The key isn't a fake like he'd assumed at first glance. It's so funny, and he can't wait to see Bats' face when he tells him his sidekick was the cause of his escape. He'll just die laughing, you'll see.

He laughs, and he laughs, and he laughs, because the snow is just too white and he can't wait to stain it red with the blood of his pretty little birdie.

Because no one deserves to look so... so...

serious.