Disclaimer: I don't own any of this. Rights belong to Marvel, DC, 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers.
Wolverine in Arkham
Chapter Eleven: "Never Ends"
Bang Bang-bang! Bang-bang Bang!
Batman fumbled slightly, as he took a morphine shot from his belt and glanced over at the Joker. The clown finished empting his gun into Logan's head and loaded a second clip now aiming at the throat. Bang bang bang! As usual, the clown was laughing like a maniac, even as blood splattered up and coated his clothes and white face. Bang-bang! Bang!
"Ever try to kill a roach, Bats?" Joker called, not looking over, as he tossed the empty gun aside and took out a crowbar, beginning to beat the mutant's body with it. With each smack to the skull there was a strange clanging sound, the bone refusing to crack, so Joker switched to the neck, hacking like he was attempting to decapitate Logan, using only the blunt force of his crud tool. "Little freaks always seem to survive no matter how many times you stomp them." Flipping the crowbar in his hands, Joker stabbed the end down into Logan burned and bloodied chest, burring the tool, like spear into the mutant's ribs. "Killing roaches was always so much fun! They do die eventually you know… well most of them anyway. Hahahahee! You just gott'a get creative!" He continued to stab, racking the tool across metal ribs, like he was digging in a garden.
Wordlessly, Batman pulled himself up and tried to slip away. Blood was soaking the left side of his costume, streaming from both his arm and his side and despite the morphine and his best efforts, a cry of pain escaped him as he attempted to climb onto the stage.
"Ah ah ah Bats!" Joker chided, turning and jerking the crowbar from the mess of blood and flesh that'd been The Wolverine. "Wolvie's served his purpose, but the night's only getting started for you and me."
Realizing he didn't have the strength to run, Batman turned, letting his cape fall around him, as he faced his enemy and reached to his belt with his good hand. "Where's the computer, Joker?" He demanded then couldn't help but look over the clown's shoulder at the mutant's body.
"You're just dying to know are you Bats?" Joker teased, "And don't worry about the freak. Just incase he isn't really dead, I'll drop the body in a vat of acid once we're done." Joker laughed and tossed the bloody crowbar from hand to hand.
Batman glared at Joker. "Why? I thought he was…"
"Working for me? He was. But allow me let you in on a little secret Bats. Thirty Chemical Reaction Atmo-whatsit Bombs aren't cheep! Heheh! Luckily for me the seller cut me a killer deal! All the CRAC bombs I need, for the low low price of two heads." He held up two fingers and counted off. "Wolverine's and yours! Course, he never said how to go about getting them. Wolvie proved most useful." Joker poker the crow ar toward Batman's injured side, causing the Knight to flinch away. "Awfully good at what he does, heehee. Though I must say what he does isn't very nice."
Narrowing his eyes Batman, suddenly tossed back his cape and threw down a couple smoke pellets, attempting to dash around Joker and slap cuffs on his wrists. He stumbled and despite the smoke, Joker dodged, swinging the crowbar and hitting Batman across the shoulder with a raucous laugh.
"That the best you can do Bats?" he shouted and brought down another hard blow to the Knight's back, knocking Batman to the floor, before he had the chance to dodge. Giggling through the smoke, Joker kicked Batman in the stomach then the face. "Don't give up now! We got all night! AHAhahHAha!"
Tucking the crowbar into the back of his belt, Joker leaned down and grabbed Batman's blooded arm, mercilessly using it to hoist Batman up and drag him over the floor and up the stage. It was all Batman could do to not scream in pain, as he fought against unconsciousness.
"The GPD knows you're here, Joker," Batman coughed, "I told them…"
Joker threw him down behind the left stage wing. "Don't make me laugh, Bats. You never let the chumps know where you're going." Pulling Batman up again, he started tying him to a wooden post. "Besides," he laughed, "In a few moments it won't matter. Heehee… The show's about to start."
Pulling the last crazy knot as tight as he could, Joker stepped back and waved toward the computer and several screens, which showed various sections of Gotham. The timer said 35 seconds and was rapidly counting down.
"Hahahaha! Enjoy the show Batsy! …. It's the last you'll ever see."
Desperately Batman pulled at the restraints, "Joker!" he snarled, "You have to stop this! It isn't what you want. You got me. Disable the bombs!"
"Oh, but this is what I want Bats," Joker said, his voice falling down to a dangerous pitch, as he turned to face his captive and grabbed Batman, by the chin, taking a penknife from his pocket. "You're always such a hero, aren't you? Always coming to the rescue. Bet you can't stand the idea of failing, can you…?"
Joker smiled widely, "We'll find out now! You get to watch the whole city go down in flames and toxins! All Gotham will die laughing because you failed to stop me. AhHAhaha!" He pressed the flat of the knife to Batman's lips. "And once the show's over, we're going to celebrate. We'll have a blast! HAheehee! With as much fun as tonight will be, it's going to be a shame that I'll have to hand your head over in the morning."
Joker glanced over his shoulder at the timer, "Now count down with me Bats! Ten, nine, eight…"
"Joker! Please!" Ignoring the knife and the pain, Batman twisted, fighting to loosen Joker's knots.
Joker gripped Batman's mouth in a tighter hold and turned the knife, allowing the blade to cut the soft flesh of his captive's lips. "Seven, six, five!"
Batman was growling now, struggling like a bound tiger, furry and frustration making him oblivious to everything, but the ropes and the timer.
"Four, three… Get ready… Kaboom!" Joker smiled triumphantly, but then hesitated. Batman was staring at the screen, but showed no sign of anguish or devastation. Instead, there was a flash of relief and then he grew still, before glaring at Joker. "That wasn't funny," he stated bitterly.
Joker turned to see the city, looking just the same as it had a few moments ago. No explosions of toxic gas, no fires, no civilians running crazily around, in fits of laughter or screams of panic. Nothing. It was the same old Gotham nightlife, neon signs, taxis and shady pedestrians.
"Hey what the… No fair!" Dropping the knife Joker turned to the computer and angrily punched at the keys. "What did you do Bats? No way you could have found them all! I would have seen you!"
Batman was breathing hard and frowning. "If this is a trick, Joker…"
"You want to see a trick Batman?" Joker shouted turning viciously around and grabbing his captive's throat. "I'll show you a trick! What did you do to my bombs!"
"I didn't do anything." Batman replied coldly.
"I *cough* told Bats not to worry about *Ahk-cough-cough* the bombs. He should have listened."
Joker spun around to see Logan stepping around the wing curtains. There was absolutely nothing left of his shirt and blood covered him from hair to boots. His hand was holding his neck, but it was difficult to see if any injuries remained unhealed.
"Wolvie!" Greeted Joker and fumbled hastily into his jacket.
"Looking for this Joker?" Logan asked, lifting the automatic pistol Joker had emptied into him. Extending his right claws, Logan slashed the gun to pieces, allowing them to clatter to the stage floor. "Oops. I'm guessing our partnership is over."
Throwing the last piece of the gun over his shoulder, Logan let out a snarl and charged, six claws forward. "NAahhhgah!"
Joker jumped aside, circling around the post Batman was tied to. "Now Wolvie… You're not…"
Logan swung around after him, stabbing in a blind rage and barely missing both Joker and the Batman. "Don't call me Wolvie, Bub!"
Joker backed hastily away, bring out his crowbar, but he hardly had time to raise it, before Logan's claws cut it to pieces. A wild look came to the mutant's eyes, as he lifted his claws for a death strike.
BANG! "Pudding!" Squealed Harley. Bang-bang!
At least two of the bullets hit him and Logan staggered, Joker slipping out from under his claws.
"Harle give me that gun!"
Harley was standing at the hallway leading backstage, but before Joker could take two steps in her direction there was a whirl and a clang, as a batarang knocked the gun from her hands and down under one of the curtains. A second whirl and ropes flew forward, wrapping neatly around the sidekick, pinning her arms to her sides.
"Puddin! Ah!" she fell over and Joker halted as Batman shook off the remains of his bonds and stepped between him and Harley.
"Bats, you got to save me…hulk!" Joker choked as Logan grabbed his collar from behind an swung him down to his knees, pressing his claws close to the Clown's blood stained face.
"Tell me everything you know Joker!" he snarled, "Who brought me to Gotham! Who wants Wayne dead and who was Patel working for!"
"I don't know!" whined Joker, "Patel was working with one of the other doctors, Van Dyke! But I'm not sure who their boss was on the outside. He never told me his name! He and Van Dyke had you captured ad brought to Gotham."
"Who was it! You told me you had answers!" Logan's claws pressed closer barely cutting the white skin. Tell me now, or I'll skin you from head to foot!"
"Eek! I don't know. I lied! Bats help me!"
Logan growled, but Batman stepped over and grabbed his arm. "I'll answer some of you questions, Logan," he said darkly, "But I'm not letting you kill Joker."
Snarling Logan swung his claws at Batman, but the Dark Knight slipped out of reach, moving as smoothly as shadows, despite his injuries.
"I'd like to see you try an stop me, Bub." Logan growled.
Batman stepped to the other side of Joker, facing Logan with the kneeling clown between them. "I will stop you. But if you want to know who was behind all this, you will surrender him to me without a fight."
Logan lifted his claws pointing them at Batman's mask. "You got the answers, I reckon I can make you talk, once I finish Funny Boy off."
Batman glared. "No you can't," he stated.
"Ooh intense! Hehehe." exclaimed Joker. Batman glanced down at him and he shut his mouth.
Logan looked at Batman for a moment. The Dark Knight was nearly a foot taller than him, but it was the stone hard intensity of his glare that was the most imposing. Lowing his claws, Logan sheathed. "Alright Bats. The clown lives for today. Now tell me what you know."
"The man who brought you to Gotham was most likely Hugo Strange. The collar you had on when you attempted to murder Bruce Wayne was built with his technology and he escaped Arkham only two months before your appearance. He has a grudge against Wayne and was under the care of Dr. Kurt Van Dyke, before his escape. Van Dyke used to work for Wayne Industries, before he was fired for malpractice and may also be carrying a grudge."
"Hugo Strange?" Logan asked, "Where can I find him?"
"I don't know. I've been trying to locate him, but he's been doing a good job at keeping his head down."
Joker shifted trying to slink away, but Batman took out some custom bat-style handcuffs, locking the clown's hand behind his back.
"Why didn't you tell the police all this? What happened to the collar thing?"
"It was stolen from the GPD evidence room shortly after I submitted it to them, so it was never be brought forward at your trial. I didn't know who stole it, but I now suspect it was Van Dyke." Satisfied that the Joker was secure, Batman looked at Logan. "What happened to the bombs? When did you defuse them?"
"When he had us set them up. Had to shake off the goons, but that wasn't too hard. The fuel he was using is in a black bag downstairs, along with a list of the bombs locations."
"I knew I shouldn't have let you…" exclaimed Joker, but Logan kicked him in the face, before he could finish. "Shut it, Funny Boy, 'fore I change my mind and shave off your green scalp."
"And we use to get along so well," Joker lamented.
"Thanks for the answers," Logan told Batman, "Sorry 'bout the uh… stabbing." He glanced at the blood soaked cape of the vigilante, "You should probably get to a hospital or something." He began to turn away, but in a swift movement, Batman grabbed his wrist and slapped steel around it. "I'll think about a hospital, once you are locked away. All of you."
He tried to twist Logan's arms and get the cuffs on the other wrist, but with a roar Logan broke the hold and swung about, kicking Batman hard in the wounded side. Gasping in pain, Batman staggered and tripped over the Joker, falling down beside him. Nonetheless, he kept a firm hold of the cuffs still attached to Logan's arm. "Surrender Wolverine!" he ordered.
"Watch where you're falling Bats! I already have enough blood on me," laughed Joker.
"You're both crazy!" snarled Logan, extending his claws and leaning down to cut the cuff chain. However, just as the links broke, Batman whipped out a small can and sprayed Logan in the eyes. It was mace and Logan stumbled back with a roar, clutching at his face.
Struggling up, Batman attacked with a punch and two hard kicks in the mutant's gut. Ignoring his own pain, he lunged at Logan and finally managing to force the mutant down into what was usually an inescapable hold, pinned face down and his arm twisted behind his back.
"Stay down Logan."
"You really don't know me, Bub," Logan said and, with a roar of pain and anger, he twisted, throwing Batman off, as his arm popped out of joint. His boot smacked hard into Batman's mask and he grabbed the vigilante's collar pulling him forward toward his face and lowering his voice. "Also, you smell like Bruce Wayne. You barrow his cologne as well as his mace?"
Batman didn't answer and Logan let go of him, getting up to leave. "See you later Bats."
Carefully, holding his wounded side, the Dark Knight stood and watched the mutant disappear down the stairs. A few minutes later he heard the roar of a Harley Davison zooming away toward Gotham. "Until next time, Wolverine," Batman mutter through gritted teeth and made sure the Joker and the rest of his crew were securely cuffed and tied up.
Commissioner Gordon was in his office, pacing, anxiously shifting his eyes back and forth from the television to his phone. He knew the Joker's timer must have run out by now, but so far there'd been no explosions, no word from the units out searching for him… and no word from the Batman either. As so often happened in such matters, Gordon found himself putting his whole trust and hopes in a friend whose name he didn't know and whose face he'd never seen.
He poured himself another drink and the clock on his desk continued to tick away, as it got later and later. He checked on his field units, but there was still no news and it was becoming less and less likely that'd they'd find anything. Now every time he turned his back to the window, Gordon could feel his neck prickle and the slightest sound or imagined sound would cause him to turn, like a skittish cat. Surly he would hear from him soon.
Suddenly the blearing ring of the phone broke the tension and Gordon practically pounced on it, shoving it to his ear, before it could ring a second time. "Gordon," he answered.
"You'll find The Joker, Quinzel and two of his thugs waiting for you at Happy Woods summer camp," came a deep voice, "It's twenty minutes north of Gotham on highway 3109."
Gordon jotted the info down on the pad, but frowned. It wasn't like Batman to use a phone. Usually, the mysterious vigilante delivered criminals himself. Also, while most people wouldn't have notice, Gordon had heard the deep voice of often enough to recognize a tense raggedness in it that wasn't normally there.
"Are you alright? What happened?"
Gordon heard a slight growl as the Batman gritted his teeth. Weather it was in pain or frustration, Gordon couldn't tell.
"The bombs are taken care of. The Xonium was disassembled and it's here at the camp, along with a map of the bombs locations. Mhf." Gordon heard Batman's teeth grit again.
"Do you need me to call you an ambulance?" he asked hesitantly.
"No," growled Batman, "I'm fine. I'll take care of myself. Just get your men out hear quick."
"Right!" Gordon said and pushed a button to call in the secretary. "What about that mutant? Did you…"
"Wolverine got away," Batman said.
"Shall I put an AP out on him?" Gordon asked, but there was no answer. It was only after a few confused moments that Gordon realized the Batman had hung up. "How does he do that?" he muttered, "Even on the phone."
"Sir?" the secretary asked, sticking his head in the room, "Is everything alright. Did…?"
"Everything's fine, Simon, Tell Bullock to get his team out to Happy Woods Summer Camp asap. Apparently we won't need to worry about Joker anymore tonight." Gordon smiled slightly as he hung up the phone. "On behalf of Gotham, thanks again, My Friend." he muttered.
Twenty-five minutes later Batman took a ragged breath of relief, as he saw flashing police lights turn into the camp. Where he was crouching in the darkness of the balcony, he watched the police stream towards the main building, led by detective Bullock. Glancing through the windows, he could still see Joker and his crew tied up and bickering with each other. They weren't going anywhere. Leaving the police to do their job, Batman shot a zipline down into a distant tree trunk and glided off into the night. This fight was over but the battle would never end.
... For now.
AN: I really enjoyed writing this story and would love to hear some reviews! Please please let me know what you thought! Also, if you have any questions about the story or see any loose end you want me to clear up, let me know. I have ideas for some sequels, but I'm not sure when I'll get around to starting them. Thanks so much for reading!
And check out the art for my sister did for the story. At Deviant Art http:/ gaileandblake . deviantart . com /gallery / #/d4ty2wu