Summery: The Joker crashes a banquet. Helena gets to walk away with a threat hanging over her head. She drops everything and takes the first plane out of Gotham.

Started: February 2008

Finished: October 2011

Helena Cole works at Donovan Enterprises. She refers to herself as a cubical dweller though she was sure her official title was something or other. It wasn't the most exciting job, but it paid well. That's why she stayed.

There was a banquet to celebrate a merger between Stanton and Donovan Enterprises. Normally, she didn't go to those things but decided play princess and attend. She crashed it practically as the Belle of the ball. She wore a bright yellow strapless gown; form fitted to slightly below her hips then came together to a 'v' in the middle. The skirt was long and flowing, peeking out was a pair of strappy 'red carpet worthy' sandals. She entered and glanced to her left then right nervously. One of her co-working friends noticed her and whisked her away into the high end crowds. She separated from her group saying that she was going to get something to drink. She did but then picked out a nice quiet wall space to lean against. She overlooked the people and the fashion and the décor.

Suddenly she spotted people in masks caring guns coming in at the East entrance, then the North. Shouting, lots of shouting ensued. 'Get out,' was her next thought. She snaked around the corner and began running toward the elevators.

A few yards in front of her, the doors open, and from around the corner out walk the Joker and 3 of his goons. (Think of the scene in Terminator 2 where Sarah Connor first sees him and falls on her behind.) He was wearing a long purple coat and a horrid scowl. An AK was at his side. He was heading towards her, with a strut worthy or a runway.

She fell on her backside. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. 'Oh, oh, oh my god.' She thought to herself of her impending death. He raised the gun and took a shot at the ceiling and she screamed. His feet stopped only to be planted on either side of her knees. She tried to inch her way back but her skirt wouldn't allow it. He raised the barrel and used it to push her shoulders down so she was on her back. She shut her eyes tight.

"Hey," he tapped her shoulder with the barrel of the gun to get her attention. "Hello beautiful." He smirked and looked her up and down. He touched the barrel to her cheek, she flinched. He moved it down to her neck. "What made you choose yellow?" He asked referring to her dress. She looked up at him, confused at his question she strained to find her voice.

"I…I just like the color."

"Mmmm. It looks good on you," he responded. He moved it down to her shoulder. "Do you like events like this?" He seemed interested.

Her eyebrows showed her confusion. "No, not really." He moved the gun barrel down her chest.

Her pleas where almost inaudible. "Why'd ya come then? A rich boyfriend?"

"No," she whimpered. He moved down further to her stomach. She closed her eyes. He took 2 steps until both his feet where on either side of her waist. He laid his rifle down beside her and bent down nearly sitting atop her. Bringing his face to her chest and moved up slowly, inhaling her scent. (Think X-Men 2 when Night Crawler attempts to assassinate the president ; ) She pushed herself against the floor. 'If he's not going to shoot me, what IS he going to do?' she wondered with dread. He smelled her expensive perfume. She tried to hold her breath but his proximity was stifling. He reeked of unidentifiable chemicals and paint. His eyes caught hers as he looked down and lowered his face.

"Do you know who I am?" he asked licking his lips.

"Joker," she whispered through teeth she clenched to keep from chattering out of fear. Her arms were drawn up tightly to her chest. He appeared to take pride in her knowing who he was. He smiled, then took a card seemingly out of thin air, waved it in front of her and tucked it into her dress. When she heard loud noises coming from the banquet room she bent her head up to look in the direction of the double doors expecting to see people run out, expecting to see someone get shot. He looked up too.

"No one's coming out. No one's leaving." He looked back down to her. Tears slipped out of the corners of her eyes.

"Do you know what I do?" he asked her.

"You're a terrorist."

"No-no-no-no. What do I do?"

"kill people…rob banks-"

"And…" he licked his lips again. When she didn't answer, he took out a switchblade and flicked it open beside her cheek. She gasped. "I carve smiles….into people's faces." He placed his other hand on the other side of her face; she inadvertently leaned into it when the knife touched her. "Sometimes, I like to get up close and personal with my victims. That's why a prefer a knife." He looked at her pouting his lips. "Hey, I got an idea and I think you'll like it. How 'bout I let you leave. I wanna see how long it will take me to catch up with you." He slowly rose up off of her. "I musn't keep my public waiting, for what I'm about to share with them." He walked over her. She tilted her head as far back as it would go to watch him as he walked away, afraid to move. "Catch ya later," he threw over his shoulder.

She bolted out of the elevator and didn't even tell anyone what was going on. She was a coward and she knew it. The Jokers words 'catch up with you' held her senses in a caustic grip. She ran for blocks not paying attention to if it was in the direction of her home or into the mist of traffic. She wanted to exhaust her fear but she ended up exhausting her body instead. She ducked into the nearest restaurant. Sitting at the counter in the farthest corner, she struggled to catch her breath.

'What can I do? Where can I go? I gotta get away from here.' She thought. 'I have no money on me, I don't want to go back home. I have to go back home. I have my cards there.' She rambled to herself. "Can I get you something to drink? You don't look so good." A guy from behind the counter asked. She barely regarded him, but still he returned with a glass of water. 'Why do I think he knows everything about me?' She asked herself. 'Maybe because I left my matching yellow purse with my driver license, address and other information in it on one of the tables at the banquet.' She answered herself. 'Damn it,' she thought. She didn't want to go home because she thought he might be waiting for her, to torment her or to congratulate her on making this his worse chase in his entire life. She glanced around at the tables and all the people who thought they were safe. Then she noticed a tip lying at an empty table without a second thought she got up. She pocketed the money, slinked out of the restaurant and waved the first taxi. She rushed out of the car, through the double doors and to the elevator.

Rushing to her door, she realized she had no purse which meant no keys or card to get inside. She cursed and went back down to the desk, then returned to her door. She cautiously entered her floor. She hadn't really thought much about her safety at home, she had grade 'A' security. Now it was like the only thing that was separating him from her was a thin pane of glass. It was as if all he had to do was wave his hand and it would disappear. She hated the necessity of having to change her clothes, but she had to, she couldn't wear that dress anymore, it was much to constricting. Letting it drop to the floor, she threw on the first things she saw. She threw on pair of orange bondage pants and a teal camisole. Helena was out of her house in 3 minutes with all her plastic, her cell and a sensible pair of shoes.

She took a taxi to the airport. On the way there her mind raced some more. 'Is there anyone I can stay with, at least for a while?' She asked herself. 'No I can't, I don't want them to get hurt….I should tell someone, but who?' She doubted the authorities. She knew the stories well enough. The Joker was like a plague you hoped you'd never contract.

She finally arrived and booked the fastest and furthest ticket. She was going across the country and her plane was leaving in an hour. She went to the bathroom. It was there that she finally slowed down and took the time to see how she looked.

Her long blond hair was mussed and her make-up was smudged. With warm soap and water she washed it off. She could not wait until she was in a hotel bath with candles, far away from here.