Disclaimer: I do not own nor profit from the Dark Knight or any part of its franchise.


The monitor was fuzzy. Definitely not blue-ray quality, but it would do.

Bruce sat on the edge of the bed, adrenaline coursing though there was really no action or immediate physical danger to call for such a response. But the figures on the tape, he knew they would hold the key to that lingering question. Could Joker possess the ability to change?

Would he?

According to officer Timmons, Joker had committed several counts of crime. Vandalism, destruction of public property and theft. Small counts in the face of Joker's colorful past, but criminal charges all the same. The city was out for Joker's blood. It had been hell to fight to have the Joker placed under his care. Not to mention the deep internal struggle with himself just for *thinking* of the idea in the first place.

Would Bruce's faith be rewarded?

He fast forwarded through the more mundane parts of the video. A small trickle of people coming in and out, movements made funny by the enhanced digital speed. It wasn't until he caught sight of one purple-sleeved individual that he stopped it, rewinding a little until he caught the Joker's entrance.

The jester swaggered in, coming to a stop at the counter and swaying back on his heels. Bruce couldn't believe it. The ever-impatient Joker was just standing there quietly.


If the video had any sound at all, he was sure the green-haired man was humming to himself.

After a minute or two, Joker started looking around, lips moving as he called out. Still nothing.

Shrugging, the Joker vaulted over the counter, accidentally knocking over a discount sign in the process.

With bated breath, Bruce watched as the Joker helped himself to a few scoops of -what looked to be plain vanilla- ice cream. With a sigh, Wayne shook his head.

"Joker..." He uttered mutely, tendrils of disappointment creeping in.

He was in for a shock in the end, however.

After scooping his own ice cream, Joker strolled over to the back billboard that had the prices colorfully displayed in chalk. After artfully drawing something on it, Joker took a step back to admire his handiwork. It was hard to tell from the angle of the camera, but it looked like...

...A frowning picture of a...


The jester took a moment to smile. then he snapped his fingers, almost as though it had been an afterthought. Digging into his pockets, Joker produced a big wad of cash, counting the amount meticulously. Looking pointedly at the fallen display sign, Joker shrugged and produced a single large bill, tossing it on the counter before skipping his way out.

It wasn't until he was halfway out the door that an employee rushed to the counter. It looked to be a pig-tailed hair brunette, hastily fixing her uniform as another man -equally as disheveled in appearance- rushed up beside her.

They both watched the green-vested man's departure, before quickly taking stock of their inventory. While the girl employee was looking over the ice cream, the male -who was not dressed in the same uniform, but rather street clothes and a leather jacket- spotted the cash on the counter.

His eyes bulged, and he pocketed the bill before the girl could see.

Bruce clenched his fist.

They talked for a little bit, then the blonde male left in a rush, the girl picking up the phone immediately afterwards.

Bruce Wayne released a breath he didn't realize he was holding, hand still clenched into a fist. He was in complete disbelief.

So the Joker...

...had been telling the truth?


Joker was going mad. Here he was, cooped up in the Billionaire's suave digs, and he was currently in his own room. At night.

Not in the same one as that hot piece of- whoo!

Nope. Instead here he was. All alone.

Not happenin'.

Joker strolled merrily out the room, choosing what seemed like a random pathway through the hall. But he had an odd sense of direction. Even when he was young. Small, lingering signs pointed the way.

Such as the tiny, telltale scuff in the lavish hallways that spoke of normal tracks in the otherwise unnoticeable decor of the room. He followed it, humming an upbeat tune before stopping at a particular door. A dark mahogany sealed with a gleaming polish.

He knew.

Somehow he just *knew*.

This... why this was Brucy's door.

Straightening his vest as best he could, Joker stood upright, clearing his throat and raising his hand to knock.

Before his gloved hand could make contact, Joker froze.

He could just *feel* the glare burning the back of his neck.

Suspicious, the jester turned slowly.

"Don't you think you've bothered him enough for one day?" The dark figure in the dim lighting inquired gruffly.

Joker squinted, taking in the ebony outlines of the vigilante in the suddenly small hallway. But he would recognize that voice anywhere.

"Batsy!" Joker yelped excitedly, arms wide in greeting, "I didn't know you had VIP to Wayne's place. You guys, er, hang out a lot?"

Batman caught the small spike of spiteful jealousy in the clown's tone, no matter how much the jester tried to bury it with his anxious fiddling.

The vigilante sighed, fighting the amused smirk that threatened to lift the corner of his hardened lips.

If Joker only knew.

"I have VIP everywhere, Joker." Batman countered, turning to go back out the open balcony.

The curtains fluttered with the breeze, almost as anxiously as Joker's suddenly fluttering heart, "Hey, er, Bats. Where ya goin'?"

Batman paused in the open night air, turning to observe the silent jester. Those gloved hands wringing together in a nervous motion.

"What are you, under house arrest? Come with me." Batman acknowledged with a slight jerk of his leather helm, devil horns pointed to the open darkness before them.

"Hoo hee hee, don't hafta tell me twice." Joker giggled gleefully, scrambling out after him. Then the jester thought about it and stopped, turning to look behind him as he whispered, "What about Brucy?"

Batman smirked at the man's thoughtfulness. A completely different side to the maniac he was accustomed to. He merely rumbled, "I'm sure Mr. Wayne wouldn't mind a peaceful rest after a day with you."

"Okay, but if he finds out, *you're* tellin' him." Joker shrugged, stepping out into the chill air next to the caped crusader.

Batman chuckled. The man was capable of mass murder without batting an eyelash. Could take the whole police force without a nervous tick in his body. Could burn cities to the ground. And what worried him was disappointing billionaire Bruce Wayne?

His slipped sound brought a light to the green haired jester's features. But the smirk on his Bats face didn't disappear this time around.

"Like I said, he won't mind." Batman repeated humorously.

The leather-clad vigilante turned to grip the railing, one booted foot on the lower rung.

"So..." Joker stepped up next to him, peering down the 40 story drop before rubbing his hands together and glancing sideways at his favorite Bat, "How we gonna do this? I don't have wings, ya know."

With a noncommittal grunt, Batman signaled the wily man over to him. Without hesitation, the Joker sidled next to him, "Hoo hoo hee, this is gonna be fun."

With another smirk, no other warning, Batman gathered the smartly dressed Joker in his arms and leaped over the ledge.

Any other person would be terrified. Screaming even. But Joker was utterly *thrilled*.

He cackled in pure delight, clinging as tight as he could to the Bat. He wasn't afraid in the slightest. Batman had his muscled arms secure around him. And Joker, if nothing else, was a seeker of danger.

With the Joker's face being so close, Batman flinched at the first loud hoot, his audio receptors filtering the volume a nanosecond too late. But the joyous shots that followed were more bearable. Batman took a moment to look at the criminal he held. Even with the facepaint, he was able to discern the handsome figure underneath. It was almost if Joker went out of his way to hide his physical beauty, the scars hardly masking that by themselves.

It was in moments like these Bruce forgot what the criminal had done. Joker was just...

Purely childlike.

Joker, sensing his regard, returned the stare.

Over the roar of the wind, Joker commented, "This is nice and all Bats, but do you mind deploying your cape, or do you have a death wish?"


About that.

Batman immediately activated the electronic current, allowing it to release into hang glider mode as he kept his hold on the jester. Just in the nick of time, too, as the pavement came screaming up at them.

Joker giggled as Batman kicked up, hopping on the rooftop of a passing truck before the twin pack booster he had installed in the suit roared to life, jettisoning them straight back up into the air.

"Helluva kick!" Joker exclaimed, once the air was no longer strangled in his throat by the immediate g-force of their sudden acceleration, "Kinda cuttin' it close there, Batsy. Distracted, perhaps? Don't imagine too much of your gal pals having this much fun on a first date."

Focused on avoiding collision with the towering skyscrapers around them, Batman merely growled, "Shut up and hold on, Joker."

"Heh, you're welcome." Joker retorted gleefully, to which there was no response.

Then again, he hadn't quite expected one.


Joker grinned wildly as he caught sight of all the little dots that were people, innocent bystanders making the mistake of strolling Gotham streets at night. Tongue out, he released one of his arms to fish in his pockets, producing a very large and shiny coin.

He had heard about this thing, where if you dropped a coin from the Eiffel Tower-

"Joker, I wouldn't do that." Batman warned in monotone, head not even turned to look at the jester.

"I know YOU wouldn't, why do you think *I'm* doing it, hee ahee?" Joker snorted, hand poised to make the drop. The green-vested jester was tempted to make a whistling sound like it was a bomb about to be dropped.

"Whaaaaaat? It's not like I have a very high chance of actually, er, *hitting* anybody. Do you know how fast we're going?"

"Forty miles per hour-"

"Really? That fast huh?"

"-and I also know how good a shot you are-"

"Aww, Batsy, that is soooo sweet of you to notice."

"-so you so much as *attempt* and I will drop you and you can make your own way back. We'll see just how willing Bruce Wayne is in welcoming you back after that."

"It is JUST a little coin. You wouldn't really..."

"..." Somehow the dark caped man managed to be louder than the howling wind in his disapproving silence.

Joker slumped, stuffing the coin back in his pantsuit pocket, "...party pooper."

Batman was impressed.

Even as Joker stewed in his sullen mood.

Here was a man who had defied the top dogs of the mob. Who went against every law, both written and nonverbal, for mankind. Someone who would take every opportunity to randomly shoot someone because he could. Because it was funny.

Like now.

And yet he refrained

Simply because Batman asked him. Just like when he was Bruce Wayne. Fox's words echoed in his head.

Everyone deserved a second chance.

Was Batman really the glue to patch Joker's pieces back together?

He didn't notice the Joker's mood shifting. From glum to curious, as he silently observed Batman's thought processing. At least, he didn't notice until Joker piped up, "So, er, Bats. Where we goin'?"

Batman snapped out of it, turning to glance at the timid Joker. Probably afraid the vigilante was bringing him to Arkham.

It was odd seeing the Joker so unsure.

It was sort of endearing.

Normally it was Bruce being placed on the balancing beam.

Bruce and Bat smirked with a low growl, "You'll see."


Randy Ackerson was minding his own business, when out of the blue, he was yanked from his feet skyward, the tightness of a cord around his ankle barely noticeable amidst the onset of panic and hysteria.

He didn't even notice the crackle of booming thunder.

The blonde teen shrieked like a little girl, dangling upside down a few stories up, his vision momentarily blurred in his shock. When it cleared, it was sharper than ever, powered by the rush of adrenaline through his veins. And the sight of a grim-faced Batman, barely visible in the dark of the night, nearly had Randy pissing himself then and there.

"Wha-Wha-what do you want? What's happening!?" The terrified teen questioned.

Batman glared at him wordlessly.

Lightning struck the dark clouds, illuminating the vigilante's features like an unworldly creature of the night.

Of all sounds, Randy heard lighthearted humming, footsteps on the slick rooftop, along with the sudden appearance of a colorfully dressed man. Randy's eyes nearly bulged when he recognized that painted face. It had been all over the news months ago with the bombings and ferry fiasco. And recently now with the bank robberies and arson terrors.

"J-j-j-j-JOKER?" Randy let out a frighteningly feminine shriek. He started bawling his eyes out.

Batman AND the Joker? Working together?! He was screwed. He was totally screwed!

"Yeeeeesssss, and, uh, who are YOU?" Joker frowned, confused. He turned to Batman, still in the dark why his Bats was even playing around with this nobody, "Who *is* he, Bats?"

Batman gave a slow blink, acknowledging the jester's presence with a glance, before turning back to the bawling Randy.

"I believe you owe him an apology, Randy Ackerson." Batman rumbled. Joker now looked even more confused, turning his unwanted attention towards the unruly young man.

"Wh-what? How do you know my-? I didn't DO anything to the J-Joker!" Randy blubbered, swinging frantically in the sudden outpouring of rain.

"Lying is not good for your health. A hundred dollar bill ring any bells?" Batman rumbled warningly, unmoving in the downpour. His still figure, draped in his gleaming cape, made him all the more menacing to behold.

Joker's face scrunched up in thought. This was about money? He couldn't recall any schmuck that stole from him and well, heh, LIVED to spend the fortune, so to speak. Not that Joker cared about useless paper so much. Oh no. It was the *principle*.

"Hundred dollar-?" Randy paused in his incessant crying to make the connections, only to grow in horror, "T-that money was *HIS*?!"

"It really doesn't matter whose money it was, Randy. Fact of the matter is, you stole it. And certain individuals were charged with crimes because of that." Batman uttered darkly.

"But he's done so much worse than-" Randy started to protest loudly.

"Do you really want to argue on this, Randy? Think real hard before you answer." Batman cut him off, tone spiked in anger.

"N-no." Randy whimpered quietly, dangling as he anxiously awaited his fate.

Joker, himself, was having a *blast*. Hoo hoo, to think, *his* Bats defending his, eheh, honor, so to speak. He kicked back, amusedly taking in the unfolding scene before him. He musta really racked up the brownie points. It was sweet of the Bat to do this.


Now he knew his Bats would never really SAY anything to reward him for his darn good behavior. But that's why Joker liked him so much. Batsy may be a man of few words, but he definitely voiced his opinion loud enough through his actions. A real show rather than tell kinda guy.

Batman had gone silent once more, and Randy turned uncertainly to the colorful jester beside the dark figure.

"What's to stop him from ah- shooting or stabbin' me or somethin' anyway?" Randy, who looked completely horrified at himself even as he said it, asked.

"...ME." Batman growled.

Randy swallowed, hard. Then turned back to the Joker, "S-s-so sorry Joker."

Joker looked unfazed, brows mid raised as he shrugged, "I don't know if I can-"


"Haha, just kiddin' Bats! Of course I accept your apology, Rrrrrandy." Joker chuckled.

That sinister gleam in the maniac's eye shot a deep shudder through Ackerson's spine.

Nodding, Batman turned and started walking away, leaving the surprised kid hanging in the wind.

"H-hey wait! What do I do now?! I can't get down from here!" Randy exclaimed, struggling with the cord still snagged around his ankle.

Batman stopped, turned and went back to the boy. He retracted the wire faster than either of them could blink. So quick when there was no longer anything keeping Randy up he almost seemed to hang in the air for two beats. Then the blonde plummeted over the edge, wailing. But Batman had strolled over for a reason.

Quickly snagging the boy's collar, Batman had the boy hanging right side up, dragging his pimply face closer to his own as he ordered, "You will *give* the money back. *And* alert the proper authorities. I want this man's name cleared. You *DON'T* want to see me again."

"O-okay." Randy's lower lip trembled.

Then Batman dropped him, not even looking over the ledge as he turned and walked away. Joker's brows were raised, impressed by the turn of events. He heard the clank of a whiny body hitting the fire escape landing, below and out of sight, as well as the yelp of the brat. Shoulda known Batsy wouldn't a killed him. Curious himself, Joker took the few steps to the ledge, glancing over.

Sure enough, there the gangly kid was. Sore, scared, but very much alive.

Randy looked up as the Joker leaned over.

"But I don't have the money anymore..." He sniffled, "What should I...?"

Joker, not an ounce of sympathy in his bleeding heart, shrugged, "Figure it out kid. Here, this'll get ya started."

He flipped the quarter out of his pocket, grin lighting his face as it landed loudly in the middle of the panicked boy's forehead. The sharp smack was just as satisfying as the whelp's startled shout.

Dusting himself off, Joker turned to find Batman waiting on the other end of the rooftop, silently observing him. Strolling over to the dark figure, Joker grinned broadly, "That was nicer than flowers, Bats. So thoughtful of you."

"Hm." Batman grunted, offering an arm. Joker gladly sprang into the vigilante, nearly toppling both over the edge. Bruce merely gave a harsh sigh, adjusting the Joker's firm hold, then leaping into the night, Joker in tow.

He could act indifferent all he wanted.

But Joker knew better.


"I see the rumors are true..." Gordon trailed, over the chocking fit he had in his initial shock. Not trusting of the purple sleeved mastermind, Gordon eyed him warily as he addressed the Bat, "I thought the Wayne kid had this one under his care. Hell of a custodial battle against the courts and Gotham, I hear."

"Too much to handle for Mr. Wayne. Thought I'd lend a hand. Help keep Joker in line." Batman replied, glancing at the smirking jester, "You know how pent up animals tend to get wild."

This only broadened that manic grin. Joker chuckled, before casually strolling away over to the Bat signal, bent over as though thoroughly examining it.

Batman remembered the crazed man's spouted fantasy, and thanked everything that he wore a mask and that it was dark out. He shifted his stance.

"You would vouch for him?" Gordon asked, voice lowered though they both knew Joker could hear them.

Batman weighed a hard stare straight at the Joker. Without turning back to Gordon, he said without hesitation, "I would."

Joker continued his deep investigation of the flood light. But nothing could hide the corner of a genuine, painted smile that Batman caught on the side of Joker's face.

After observing the two, Commissioner Gordon nodded. Clearing his throat, he clapped his hands together once, rubbing the cold out as he declared, "All right. Good enough for me. But I'm warning you, Batman, he steps out of line *just* once-"

"You leave that to me." Batman reassured firmly. His tone left no room for argument.

They stared at each other for a moment, silent in their mutual understanding and regard of the other.

Then Joker burst through the silent bubble, as he inquired loudly, "Oooh, hee hee. Where can I get me one of these bad boys? They for sale, glasses?"

"No, the flood light is NOT for sale." Gordon immediately snapped, turning to berate the younger man, "Now step away from it before you hurt yourself, or worse, break it."

"Ooh hee hee hee, touchy touchy, co-mmiss-ionER." Joker giggled, stepping away nonetheless. Boy was this good stuff ridiculous and bor-ing. He gave Batman a speculative look, "I was just, ah, admiring its design. Large enough to utilize for other things, wouldn'tcha say, Batsy?"

Though he burned a hidden crimson underneath the suit, Batman remained rigid, saying perhaps a little too sharply, "I don't know what you're talking about."

Joker's brows raised at the quickly delivered retort, seeing more than Bruce ever wished he see as he read further into the Bat's response.

Joker hmmed thoughtfully. Perhaps old Brucy and his Bat did a little storytelling, then. His grin widened at that prospect, throwing a secretive smile in the vigilante's direction.

Which Batman promptly ignored, turning back to Gordon to focus on matters at hand. Which, coincidentally, had *nothing* to do about perverse lunatic fantasies and more to do with information gathering about the Syndicate.

He would just have to hope the Joker would forget this little slip.

But the way the Jester was undressing him right then would those icy blues, made it highly unlikely.


"I never did thank you, for tonight, Batsy." Joker purred as Batman dropped him off back in the same balcony.

When the jester remained attached to his side, Batman pried himself bluntly out of the hold, "Don't mention it."

"Okay," Batman definitely did NOT like that scheming green in that painted face, "I, ah, heh heh, won'T."

Then Joker promptly proceeded to attack him.

Caught off guard, it wasn't until Joker had painted lips over his own that he realized what the maniac was after.

Tearing the man off him, Batman stepped back, heart racing. He didn't like how the Joker easily made his blood race through his veins, a heated flush jetting through his system at that brief contact.

He raised a pointed finger, eyes narrowed as he warned gruffly, "That's enough, Joker."

Joker shrugged innocently, taking a few casual steps to the side, as not to set off the charged Bat, "Can't blame a gal for wanting to get fresh on a first date, can ya Batsy?"

"This is NOT a-mmff!"

Then Batman found himself with a colorful handful of expensive suit and needy jester, mouth made busy by the greedy lips encasing them. It shot a molten heat straight to his core, his fists flexing uselessly at his sides, where they had frozen mid-motion to thwart the impulsive clown. Bruce Wayne was beyond flustered at the immediate turn of events.

Batman was livid.

But he couldn't pinpoint it's origin. Was he mad at the Joker, or himself?

Attempts to shrug off those purple sleeved arms was a struggle, so Batman began fighting for each backward step he could to make. The Joker, obligingly, followed step by gained step, wily tongue too busy prying into the tightly sealed lips of the affronted Bat. Joker knew Batman had the strength of possibly a hundred men put together. So the mere fact that kissing him, well, had these sort of results...

Well it was an ego boost at worst, and an entirely huge turn on at best, his painted face grinning at his luck.

They both ended up stumbling over an open window at Bruce's back, toppling the kevlar-clad behemoth onto polished marble floors. Before he could gain his breath or his footing, Joker immediately had the man's wrists pinned above his pointed head, grinning down at that fierce scowl.

"Joker..." Batman rumbled warningly, chest heaving as he pulled testingly against the jester's firm hold. As he feared, it would not budge.

"So did he tell you...?" Joker asked, looking pleased with himself. He leaned down, mouth next to those pointed ears, "Did Brucy tell you what we talked about during one of our, heh, dates?"

Batman jerked his head away, snarling, "I don't know what you're talking about. Now move before I *make* you move."

"Oh haha ha, but you can't Batsy. Not when I do THIS." Joker pointed out with a sensual grind against the vigilante's trapped form. It drew a pleasurable hiss from the Bat underneath him, that strong jaw too clenched to let anything else slip through. Chuckling again, Joker sat back and looked at Batman, "You can't tell me he didn't. Not when I can see so clearly he, ah, he DID."

"You are trying my patience, Joker. Stop this." Batman snarled through gritted teeth.

"Hoo hoo, always the fighter arentcha? Even against the inevitable! Hee ahee hee."

"What? The inevitable feel of my fist ramming that smug smirk off your painted face?" Batman rumbled, bucking angrily.

But the Joker was as wily as he was strong. He had spent years in straight jackets and against numerous meatheads much stronger than him. But that's what they mostly were. Muscle heads. Men who were more brute and brawn than anything. They didn't know how to use simple tricks to pin a stronger opponent. Didn't know how to turn the tables when they were outmatched. Outgunned.

Batman, of course, was a different breed.

He knew these tricks. Was trying everything that should have worked against someone doing what the jester was doing.

Unfortunately, Batman had one slight miscalculation.

This was the Joker.

And he was the Batman.

And there was *NOTHING* that could keep the painted Prince of Crime away.

"Always, eheh, with the jokes, eh Batman? C'mon, I just wanna thank you..." Joker chuckled, admiring the flustered Bats as he dipped into another grind. Batman had his jaw clenched, resolute in not letting any sound through.

When he caught his breath, the caped crusader bit out, "I don't WANT your-"

"Oh but I *INSIST*." Joker growled, his obsession taking over his painted features.

Before Batman knew it, he heard the unmistakable click of his utility belt coming unbuckled. That latch was hidden. Was supposed to be untraceable. Trust the Joker to find the unfindable.

Batman growled, voice equally deep, "*NO*."

He punched the Joker across the jaw, hard. The painted man had caught his fist, but in what Batman had believed was a second too late. Only to realize...

The Joker was chuckling, and Batman found an unusual tightness around his Kevlar-armored wrist. He yanked his wrist back, not enough to get out of the Joker's tight grip, but enough to see the titanium-weaved rope that was currently tied securely around it. Bruce's black-rimmed gaze widened. The Joker smiled.


He backpedaled on the ground, fighting ferociously as he struggled to throw the suited man off. Flashes of the hospital, the limousine, attacked his nerves, enflaming his senses. His movements seemed sluggish in their slowness, his strength not up to par. How did the Joker affect him like this? It was maddening.

Cackling, Joker followed the clipped Bat inch by gained inch, reaching for the other balled fist Bats kept out of reach.

"C'mon Bats. Ya know you wanna hit me again. Do it. Just HIT me!" Joker spurred on, voice hitting that deep baritone it would in his growing excitement. There was a growing madness in the painted man's gaze. Taunting Bruce. Beckoning him to just give in.

They were both outcasts of this world.

Why not enjoy their loneliness together?

Batman growled, flipping the Joker off of him as he turned to get on his knees, preparing to stand.

Big mistake.

He was shoved to the ground by a powerful ball of painted jester, his wind temporarily knocked out of him as his chest hit the ground. He tried to jerk his free hand out of harm's way, but it was pointless. And much too late.

With growing horror, he found his wrists bound together before he could blink, gloved hands meeting at the small of his caped back. With a final, desperate move, he kicked to bring himself on his back, kneeing the Joker in what he hoped was a painful spot. But it met air.

The Joker, wisely, had sprang back. He knew what a cornered tiger was like, even bound as the dangerous vigilante was. And he was on to those hidden projectiles in the Bat's armband arsenal. He had made sure the rope would be securely fastened below them. Something his Bats was discovering, as that scowl darkened, powerful tugging proving fruitless.

Batman made to stand, but Joker was back again, pinning the armored man to the ground.

"Atata ta," Joker admonished, "that trick in the jail cell won't work, uhhh, twice ya know? Hasn't anyone told you ya need to pull somethin' new outta your sleeve once in a while?"

"Should have known you wouldn't change." Batman spat as he fought to get the Joker off of him, growling, "Made a mistake trusting you."

"Whaaat? You can TRUST me, Bats. I told ya, I only want to THANK-"

"I told you. I. Don't. Want-"

"Someone's *lying* again." Joker sing-sang, tsking as he admonished once more, "Really Bats. You and this truth thing usually go, er, hand in hand. I guess that's not the case when it's, heh heh, something you *really* want, eh Bats? Something you can't even ADMIT to yourself, much less to little old ME."

Batman stilled at that.

It wasn't possible.

The Joker could not really see into the darkest depths of Bruce's mind.

Into that locked chest he kept hidden from view. Even from HIMSELF.

This was something his closest, Alfred, had ever seen.

Unless... The old butler had and had just never told...?

Batman shook his head.


The Joker was wrong.

He was just up to his old mind games. Always loved to see Batman squirm.

There was just no way the Joker could be right.

"No, you're wrong." Batman uttered, his graveled tone caught in an undercurrent of anxious anger.

There was no way the Joker could be right. Not with something like this.

Bruce had his sanity at stake.

It was enough realizing he couldn't kick Batman out of his life. But the Joker too?

"Don't worry Bats." Joker crawled closer, "You'll come to your senses sooner or later. I hear it's not too healthy to have your own head shoved into your own ass for that long. No-P-e, not prescribable, that one."

The imminent danger of the jester's proximity and his own bound hands made alarm sirens go off in his head. No way was this going in a way he would have planned. Or wanted.

Not if his sane part had anything to say.

"Damn it, Joker. For the last time, back OFF." Batman warned, propelling himself back by sheer leg power alone, hoping to reach a wall to use as leverage to stand. Efforts to tug off the binds were fruitless.

"Playing hard to get, Batsy?" Joker chuckled, creeping closer.

The vigilante didn't designate that with a response, other than his trademark, hardened glare. Batman hit the wall, immediately attempting to stand.

But the Joker was on him faster than he could blink, pinning him down.

"At tatata, stop tryin' to spoil the fun."

Growling in his struggles, Batman bit out, "This is NOT fun."

"Of course not. Not *yet*." Joker stressed, before yanking off the unclipped utility belt. Bruce's eyes widened, making an instinctive grab for it, only to have his elbow jerk in that direction.

Joker made himself comfortable on the floor between Batman's bent legs. Bruce pressed back against the wall, eyeing the Joker as he tried to calculate the mad man's next move, the endless counter moves he could make trudging slowly through his numbed mind. It was infuriating.

Had the Joker slipped him something? Poison gas? Psychotropic drugs?

If only it were that simple or clear cut.

Batman would rather face the entire mob, their starving dogs, and his parents' killer again. At least with them he knew what to do. Beat 'em to submission, near death even, then toss them in jail. Or Arkham.

"Jo-gah!" Batman's voice was strangled as that mouth devoured him whole.

His covered helm hit the wall hard in his jerked reaction, the Joker crouched between his legs, doing things with his mouth that had Bruce's world on fire. The jester was too talented for his own good.

Batman swallowed, hard. He tried to keep his sounds to himself, but the way Joker's cheeks hollowed while that devil tongue did its magic, had grunts and strangled moans spilling out, uncontrolled, from Bruce's parted lips. He tugged once, twice, at his binds before his strength just completely failed him. He cursed himself. Cursed the Joker. The last must have slipped through, because the busy jester chuckled, the extra vibration wrenching a sinful groan as Batman curled forward, abs bunched in the delicious tension.

Bruce and Batman were having an internal war, struggling desperately to not give in.

But Joker, as he had proven time and again in the past, was very convincing when he wanted to be. And this was something he wanted very badly.

Gloved claws dig into suited legs, the extra sensation making the vigilante's muscles tremble.

Batman tried weakly to close the space between bent knees, but this only had the Joker forcing his legs wider apart, that painted grin wider at the Bat's feeble attempts.

Batman knocked his head against the wall, willingly this time, in an effort to reign in his senses. A part of him knew he just had to tap into his strength reserves, to fight the Joker. Shove the maniac away. But it was like the connection between his brain and motor functions had been severed. Neither were working properly at the moment, not helping Bruce's case one bit.

Joker's ministrations intensified, sensing Batman's resolve attempting to solidify.

Batman choked, heat flushing rapidly through him, bound fists clenching. The Kevlar creaked under the strain, his shoulders aching from their taut state, his chest heaving.

Joker grabbed the back of his Bat's resisting hips, taking in more and more of that glorious length into his mouth. He could taste the salty tang of pre-cum, and it was marvelous. So close. His Bats was so close, he could. Just. *TELL*. He hummed in delight, finding Bat's jerked shout in reaction absolutely delicious.

The Dark Knight was curled inward, pointed cowl hanging over his busy, mopped head. It was a glorious picture, Joker was just sure of it. Handcuffed Knight, in Wayne's dimly lit hallway, so completely at Joker's mercy. His Bats was strong. Strong enough to toss the Joker around, even handcuffed as he was. But this way Joker had so much *control*. It would be entirely too funny, if the Clowned Prince of Crime wasn't so busy getting hot and heavy off the idea.

To think he could have won so many fights, so many games, if he had just given Batsy a blow job. Heh eheh heh.

He could feel the raw power at his fingertips, covered in that tough leather suit. Massive strength crumbled to nothing under his fingertips. He chuckled again, drawing a large groan out of the other. Ooh, Bats was a tough one. But Joker enjoyed the challenge.

Bruce knew this was a losing battle.

The trick was not letting the Joker realize that as well.


a/n: horrible place to stop. I know. I just read it and know it sucks to stop here. But I'm going to be stepping away for a while, and thought I'd throw this out there. Any suggestions for how Joker finds out, feel free to toss 'em my way. Just warning that I won't be getting back for quite some time.