Title: Even Bats Fall

Summary: Bruce Wayne is finished playing Dark Knight. Done. The Joker is MORE than displeased. Can the clown ensnare a falling bat? SLASH. Joker/Batman

Disclaimer: I do not own nor profit from the writing of this fanfiction. All characters are property of DC, Christopher Nolan, and etc.

"I told you so..." The singsong tone warped the hideously familiar cackle from the gloom of the cell next to him.

Batman grunted, spitting the drying taste of copper onto the cold cement, his head still flaring with flashes of pained light. The cops were not as forgiving as the Dark Knight should have hoped for, but he could take it. As he knew full well. As Gordon himself knew.

"I beat your little game, Joker. Harvey's name is clear. You have no sacrificial lamb for Gotham any longer." Batman growled, fighting to stay conscious. Thankful they had not decided to take either his mask, or his Kevlar away from him. He could assume it was for good behavior. But it wasn't. Probably due to some behind the scenes workings of a certain police commissioner.

"Who says he was my sacrificial lamb?" Joker murmured gleefully, dragging himself to the bars between them, pressing his grin onto cold steel to get as close as he could.

Once again, the maniacal genius had the Knight stumped, and that was no easy feat. Joker had stated himself Dent was his ace in the hole. Batman's drawn back growl was filled with a surge of irritation, "...WHAT?"

"Bats, you never spend any time with me anymore. And making the effort to gather and kill your so called 'innocents' is becoming a real humbug." The Joker's tone came across as -for lack of a better word- whining.

Disbelief etched itself in the Batman's visible features, those brown eyes just *staring* at the clown.

He. Could not. Be SERIOUS.

"What? I can't be frank for once?" The Joker questioned, hurt. Or at least feigning it. Bruce could not be fooled into thinking this... this murderer was capable of such humane emotions.

When the Dark Knight remained silent, the green haired man took it upon himself to fill the void, hands loosely gripping the bars.

"Do you remember... remember the time there was that *really* nice party? And I was chatting with that lovely broad, and I, uh, happened to mention I like a little fight in 'em, and *you* said then I'll LOVE you?" The Joker drawled, smile on his face as if recounting a fond memory.

Batman distinctly remembered the danger during that particular fundraiser, the trouble Rachel was in, and the feel of his fists on the Joker's henchmen. Through clenched teeth, Batman demanded, "Your point?"

"The answer is yes." The Joker said simply.

Batman frowned, an uneasiness growing in the pit of his stomach. Should he really be playing this game? "...Yes what?"

"Yes I love you."

Bruce did not think his eyes could get any wider. Though they instantly narrowed to slits, his voice gruffer than normal as he snarled with raw emotion, "You're *insane*..."

"So I've been told." Joker agreed nonchalantly, as if he had just disclosed tomorrow's weather rather than having made a fond declaration to his sworn enemy.

In the very cell next to him.

They weren't in Arkham. Oh no, not yet. Batman had been caught sooner than anyone but the Joker had planned. Who knew a crash course in automotive could prove so useful on an expensive bat cycle?

Seeing the bat all trussed up for him, with just gangly strips of metal between them... it did wonders for the deranged psychopath. Just when he had thought his libido had been on permanent recall, here comes along the Dark Knight. Yanking it back from the void. As Joker eyed the Kevlar imposing figure, the armor doing nothing to hide the taut muscles and trim physique of the other, he realized he could not have chosen a better looking vigilante. And the way the man fought... Just watching him made him harder than the glaciers in the arctic. Such speed. Such strength. Such brutality in his quest for justice. For the better side in humanity that the Joker knew to be a farce. Ah, the naive Bat.

So noble. So... imperfectly sane.

The perfect yin to his yang.

Though the other would fervently deny such a thing down to his very core.

As if to prove him right, a low growl emerged at the Bat noticing Joker's savoring gaze. The grin fit dashingly on the clown's painted face.


"That's all right, I'm not, uh, expecting an answer any time soon. Not ever. At least, not the *real* one..." Joker cackled, lithe tongue darting out to wet painted lips, leaning back on his heels as he studied the Dark Knight intently.

"Shut up." Batman growled, keeping his gaze from the flash of the pink appendage, slumping further into his seat as he felt his consciousness bleed from him. Almost in time with that nice little bullet wound Harvey had given him, his lower right abdominals twitching in pain. At least it had been a clean wound. Entry and exit. None of those messy shells to deal with. No leaking organs. Pure luck. Though Bruce's body protested as he felt himself start the slow spiral downward.

No Tumbler to take him home.

No Alfred to tend to his injuries, the old Butler ex-special forces, and used to many aggravating wounds himself.

What was the... point anymore? He was taking the wrap for Harvey's crimes. To a city that easily turned its back on him time and time again. Yeah, he had told Gordon he could take it. Batman knew he could take it. But Bruce Wayne... he was feeling a little more... depressed. He recognized these numbing feelings for what they were. Recognized the tell tale signs of a dangerous concussion paired with blood loss and a hint of shock.

But part of him -the part that mourned Rachel and the loss of Harvey's soul- wondered if it truly mattered anymore. Why not succumb to the beckoning of death's dark hands, tempting him so with the promise of a deep deep sleep. Without despair. Without torment. Without the bitter disappointment that returned at the dawn of each day, as Batman limped home to the sounds of sirens in the distance. Where he shed his nightly cloak to become Bruce, only to hear the whispering slander of his name throughout the day.

The Joker frowned, but not at his Bat's hidden response. Oh no. More from the fact that he had hoped the cops would not fall too much into their darker natures when apprehending Gotham's self-incriminated son. Harvey he had pushed to do it. So it was understandable his was the worst wound. But the cops? They did it all on their lonesome, believing the web of lies the Bat and his cop buddy thought would 'save the city' or some such nonsense.

They really did a number on him. And it did not sit well with the clown.




"You should really not go to sleep-" The Joker started to advise.

Batman was not in the mood. Not now, not ever with the clown. He flashed a dark look at the other, almost startled when he thought perhaps he saw a glimmer of what... *concern*... on his face? Head hanging limply, a cold sweat breaking beneath the heavy armor, Bruce growled, "Shut-"

"Not good for your health, Bats. No no no no."

"-*up*." Batman hissed sluggishly. His vision of the painted menace blurring. Why was everything moving?

He was no longer sitting, but had somehow ended up on the floor. Then the pain and Bruce's foggy mind connected the falling portion he must've missed. He heard a cursed hiss from the next cell over, and some clanking and rattling.

And suddenly the Joker was there, concerned hands on his person, painted face swimming in his vision.

He didn't wonder at the locks that should've separated them. The cuffs that should be limiting the Joker's free hands. No. His concern was closer to home.

Particularly on the strange warm thrill at having the touches of the dangerous man on his person. Bruce's mind recoiled at what that could imply.

Batman's reaction was instantaneous.

"GET your hands *off* of ME!" He roared, finding enough strength to stand, tossing the maniac across the cell. But just as quickly as it had come, it faded, the Dark Knight sagging to one knee, barely holding on. He could feel the warm trickle of blood dripping from his wound, body unconsciously curling itself, favoring his right side, his arms currently unable to hover protectively over it.

They hadn't treated him. Probably thanks in part to the reinforced Kevlar, and part to the killing spree he had Gordon pin on him. He had had worse. Some of 'em with the same exact man that for some reason was expressing an unhealthy dose of interest in his own wellbeing.

"Temper temper." Joker admonished, standing and dusting off his green vest, adjusting his tailor made baby blues underneath. They had liberated him of his purple coat, once they had discovered one too many of his sharp and explosive surprises. Everyone's a critic nowadays. They had even taken his shoes.

His *shoes*.

As if every other average joe hadn't invested in hidden blades rather than steel toes.

"I'm just trying to make sure you don't go and do something rash. Like, heh, *dying*, for instance." Joker explained, approaching the downed Bat once more, albeit a little more cautiously. Should've known a wounded Bat still had some kick to it.

His brow creased as he remembered a previous interrogation he had with the crazed clown. Joker, in all seriousness, had told Batman that he *completed* him. It was nice to know he was more entertaining than your average, run of the mill, mobster. But this amount of attention was not... well, *normal*. Bordering obsessive, really. Then again, when was anything EVER normal when the Joker was concerned?

"Your concern is touching but... I'll be FINE. Go back to your own cell." Batman retorted gruffly, forcing his burning gaze to focus on the mad man rather than close to the blissful sleep that intended to embrace him forever.

Joker frowned at that, circling the other as he made his way as if to do just as the Dark Knight prescribed, "You always did make it an annoying habit of playing the lone gunman oh so well, Batsy."

"Worked well against you, *Joker*." The way the Bat's rich voice rasped his name, the tone dipping deeper, made the clown shiver with anticipation. The vigilante may not know it yet, but their paths were destined to be intertwined. Forever and ever if the Joker had a say in it.

As much as he enjoyed a good show of pain, it tugged at a not so good feeling as he watched his Bat struggling.

...DYING, so to speak...

Or at least close to it, if the stubborn man gave in to the cruel joke of sleep. It was absolutely NOT funny. In this case.

"Not..." The Joker took a step, head cocking to follow the movement, delighting as those eyes tracked him suspiciously. Then another, "...quite, Batsy."

Then he lunged in, startling the other, kneeling man.

Bruce found surprise widening his eyes once more, but for a different reason altogether. A hungry mouth, warmer than his own, claimed his lips. The searing heat of the Joker's tongue invading the slightly parted opening, plundering the treasures of the cavern within. An electric jolt of pure emotion twinges down his spine. Something he thought long gone after Rachel was taken. A gloved hand cupped the back of his dark cowl, urging the frozen Dark Knight deeper into the one-sided invasion.

If there was any chance he would've relented to slumber eternal, it was completely banished now, as he tried to wrap around the complete shock that had taken a hold of his senses.

The Joker, his archenemy, was kissing him!

With a growl rising from deep in his chest, rumbling fiercely up his throat, Bruce wrenched his head away, stumbling onto his back from the force of his escape. Anything right now was better than the unwanted contact. No matter how his body strangely rebelled at the loss. This was Joker! How could he possibly-

"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?" Bruce snarled in his full Batman rage, managing an intimidating aura, even sprawled down as he was. He sorely wished for the use of his arms. Punching the Joker's face in did always make him feel better. It couldn't be any different to solve the dilemma of his turbulent vortex of emotions right then.

"Saving your life..." Joker replied, giddy at the intense reaction while his fingers brushed his painted lips. Never could he have imagined a kiss with The Batman would be so... electric. He felt more alive than when he was burning down a building. Or carving into some schmuck's face. Or even sparring with the Bat himself. He wanted, no needed, no he *craved* more. As he blatantly stared at the man currently propped up from the ground with one bound elbow, one knee raised, Joker murmured softly, "Mm, I think I want seconds..."

Bruce could feel his heart pounding in his ears, all tendrils of sleepiness had vanished. He especially did NOT like the way the other hovered over him, as a crazed jackal would a wounded falcon. A hungry glint to his blue eyes. This was the Joker. The lunatic who always had something up his sleeve.

And he was threatening to kiss him again, a pink tongue darting out to wet painted lips.

"Stay the HELL *away* from me, Joker." That graveled voice warned with as much venom as he could muster. But this only served to dredge up the exact opposite reaction Bruce was aiming for.

"Ooh, Batsy wants to play coy?" Joker cackled with amusement, taking a step forward, "I DO so ENJOY this kind of dance..."

With a growl, Bruce scrambled to his feet, pointed devil horns tilted forward as he glowered, "Touch me again, and I *will* hurt you."

The Joker skipped forward, following the Bat step for backward step, as he crooned, "Ooh, is that a *promise*? I do so love foreplay..."

Bruce did not like the look in those blue eyes, as if they swam up out of the charcoal pool of Joker's grease paint just to snag him and drag him back down with the clown. Green curled hair hung messily around his face, as if trying to hide the wickedly painted smile. The scheming face. And the way the man held himself was always with such... confidence. Sure his hunched shoulders could do with better posture, but it actually enhanced the air Joker carried with him of mayhem and danger. And that little dash of crazy that was purely him.

It was all too distracting.

Joker himself, was busy drinking in the sight of his sole obsession for what seemed forever, yet not enough. It made him giddy to see the Batman backing away, as though any part of the Dark Knight could really be afraid. Of who? Little old Joker? Heh eheh heh. For all the form-fitting Kevlar the man wore, the dark suit just hugging obscenely to those wondrously cut muscles and tapered down waist, the Joker felt the Bat was just ASKING to be fucked. And who better to do the job, than little old him?

"Heh eheh heh heh..." That dark laugh sent a thrill of danger down Bruce's spine, his throat suddenly dry. What had he ever done to garner the Joker's attention?

Be aware of your surroundings, one of the hardest lessons for Bruce to learn during his misguided training into the League of Shadows. He was used to focusing on a single goal. On a target. All his rage, all his senses attuned to it. So when his back hit the steel bars of his cell, his eyes widened a fraction, knowing he had made a grave mistake. Before he could spin away, Joker -having planned it all from the start- lunged forward to make full use of the Bat's error.

Wayne was knocked breathless as the slim, yet unmistakably powerful, form of green and blue and purple pinned him to the spot, his handcuffed wrists clanging painfully against the metal bars behind him.

"Atatata ta, Batsy. It would seem *I* lead this dance." Joker reprimanded, loving the power he held over his counterpart.

The dull thrill of outwitting the Mob bosses was nothing compared to checkmating *his* Bat. He could hardly remember how he could stand the grey monotony of life before his colorful Batman entered the picture. The fact that his Bat sported one dark color scheme had no say in the analogy at all.

"I'll let you in on a secret, Bats." Joker whispered conspiratorially, using all of his strength to keep the dark armored man pinned, the struggles increasing, "Gotham. Harvey Dent. The social experiment... they were all elaborate plans. But all, erm, elaborate ruses. Now the real plan, the *master* plan that defines ALL the plans before it, well... boils down to one single goal. Or rather, heh heh, one single person."

The scowl on Bruce's face darkened. He did not like where this was headed. He did not relish the fact that the Joker could even pin him there, his wounds apparently taking a bigger toll on his energy reserves than he had first believed. His bound arms didn't help matters, the muscles twitching in anticipation of colliding angular knuckles against a cackling face. And the Joker could tell, if the widening grin was any indicator. The mad man always did take a certain pleasure from making Batman angry.

"And I should care because-" Bruce started to demand, gaze narrowing.

But the Joker interrupted in a gush of excitement, leaning closer as he cackled, "Because it's you! Hee hee aheh heh..."

The green haired menace dipped down, murmuring into the stiffened neck, "It has *always*..." Bruce's eyes widened as he felt the wet warmth of the Joker's tongue, trailing from his collar upwards. You would think the Kevlar would protect him from the sensation, but for some reason it merely enhanced it, making a quick flush rise in his cheeks at the bold and shameless move. He quickly turned his head in revulsion, eyes screwed so tight they were almost shut. But he couldn't afford that with the Joker so close. So dangerously close. The Joker didn't mind at all that his Bat turned away, it made it easier for him to end his lick on the masked ear piece, humming as if it was the simplest thing in the world, "...*always* been you Bats..."

Bruce didn't realize he had frozen solid until he turned to stare at the clown as if he had lost more than his head, struggles renewing as he snarled, "You *are* INSANE. Get OFF!"

"Oh ho ho, I *intend* to Bats. But, Uh... you first." The Joker snickered.

Before Batman could growl a suitable retort, his utility buckle had clanked on the ground, and a slim hand had wriggled its way into the waistband of his form-fitting Kevlar suit. Bruce gave a startled choke, helmet clanging hard against the bars as he threw his head back, the instantaneous pleasure of that talented hand gripping his cock more than he could bear.

"F-fuck!" That raspy growl was the most delicious sound the Joker had ever heard, delighted that HE had been the one to extract such a lovely specimen. But the clown was known for his selfish, greedy nature. That, and he always wanted *more* when it came to his Dark Knight.

His Batman.

Bruce Wayne cursed again, his hands reflexively gripping the steel to keep him from fallings, knees weak from the jolts of Joker-inflicted heat. He would really rather prefer the clown stabbing him than this... this perversity! He was the Dark Knight!

This was the Joker.

The Joker!

That didn't stop the audible moan ripped from his throat as that hand did sinful things to his throbbing shaft.

"Didn't expect the dick of the Bat to be so, er," a pointed lick, hooded eyes, "satin soft. We live the pampered life outside the shadows of the night, Batsy?"

That snapped the Bat out of it, as he strengthened his resolve and gave the Joker's forehead a taste of his armored helm. His own head rang, but he was sure it was nothing compared to what the Joker must be feeling. The painted man staggered back, holding his head and whining about 'fuzzies'.

The scene almost made the Bat miss his opportunity.


But he couldn't be stuck in the same building, let alone the same cell as the man. He just couldn't! The crazed, obsessed maniac was gonna molest him. Or worse, kiss him again. He hadn't fought back when the officers beat him. Hadn't resisted when they cuffed him and dragged him down to the precinct. Hadn't even made a peep as they drawled out his rights while kicking him out in the back alley.

He could see now this was a mistake.

It wasn't the police he should be worried about. It wasn't Gotham's bleak future or the lengthy jail time. Or the criminals he would be stuck with. He could handle them all. All but one.

Batman had miscalculated.

It was Joker.

And his innate ability to crawl under Bruce's skin. To get out, under, or around anything that got in his way. Which, apparently, was straight in the direction of the Dark Knight. And Bruce had yet to figure out why.


As if the psycho could ACTUALLY be in love with him.

First of all, the Joker didn't even know WHO was under the batsuit. Secondly, the few times they had met it was to beat each other to a pulp during one of the Joker's grander schemes. And thirdly, it was so- so... INSANE.

All of it.

And Bruce was done.


"To hell with this." Batman muttered darkly, stomping his boot on the ground to elongate hidden spurs at his heels. Much like Joker's switchblade in the shoe trick, except backwards.

With hairpin accuracy, he drew up his leg and kicked back between lowered and bound wrists. The cuffs broke with a satisfying 'chink' and his shoulders were relieved of the constant pressure as his arms hung loose. With a rumbled roar, Batman charged the Joker before he could recover, slamming him into the bench at the back wall of his cell.

His wounds didn't appreciate the movement, but the adrenaline prevented him from noticing too much. That is, of course, until a certain painted clown traced a hand down his ripped torso, fingers resting atop the bullet wound. An obscene amount of blood was flowing free from the reopened hole, and the Joker seemed entranced.

"A few more hands up... and it would've cracked your little heart..." The Joker snickered in a daze, looking up at the furious features of Gotham's Dark Knight.

"You win, Joker." Batman breathed cryptically, fists bunched in the fabric of the mad genius's custom made shirt and vest.

The Joker perked up at that, his eye clearing, "Do I now? Eheh heh... What do you mean?" His voice was lyrical, pleased.

"I'm done." Batman grunted simply. Seriously.

The whimsical tone dropped from his voice as the Joker asked, confused, perhaps a little nervously, "What do you mean...?"

What *did* he mean?

But as usual, his mind had made itself up long before his consciousness could catch up. Batman was just as surprised as the flicker of intense emotions he could see fluttering across that painted face as he replied with dead calm, his rage -for once- under control, "With this. With everything. With YOU. Gotham is on its own."

There was dead silence from the clown. Then he started writhing and hissing and clawing like flames licked at his boots, a crazed gleam to his eye as the Joker screamed, "No-n-no no no NO NO NO *NO*! You can't j-just LEAVE! YOU CAN'T LEAVE ME!"

"I'm through with your games. Your sick MIND tricks. I can leave. And I WILL." Batman growled, deriving sick pleasure in seeing the Joker himself shaken, for a change, "There's no room for me to stay. The police won't stop this time. Will never stop. What's the point in fighting crime AND the officers of the law at the same time? Your ace-in-the-hole, Dent, has forced my hand in this. Batman will *never* be welcome here."

Those mad hands scrambled before finding an iron purchase on Batman's shoulders, Joker's frantic smile twitching, "*NO*!... No... I'll draw you out, kill some people. Maybe, heh heh, maybe the whole city if I must."

Batman barely blinked, "Won't work this time, Joker. Not this time."

The Joker leaned closer, ignoring the pained pressure of the Bat's forearm against his windpipe -an obvious attempt to keep him back- as he hissed, "I'll find you."

It was an ominous promise.

Batman leaned forward as well, pausing only when his mouth was near the Joker's ear. The words were said so deeply that the painted man strained to hear. It was said with such finality, that the Joker knew the Bats was serious this time. Rage flickered instantly on his chalked features when he heard the words, but then he was down for the count, the Batman hitting him with some sort of gas.

The words haunted Joker's slipping hold on reality, as he slumped to the ground, staring with disbelief at the dark figure rising up. Towering over him. As the other always seemed to do.

But it was his words that tore at the Joker's heart, sending shivers of rage to clump down his throat, swallowed by whatever substance the Bat had sprayed him with.

How the Joker prayed for a kick in the ribs, a slug to the face. Any physical torment was better than this.

Than those words.

Joker's lids fluttered close with a grimace contorted on his painted face.

"NO..." The Dark Knight had promised, "You WON'T."