A/N: On the "Ask the Squishykins" tumblr, Twinings and I are currently offering ourselves up for two full weeks of filling fic prompts for our readers, varying in length from a hundred to a thousand-plus words. The project has been dubbed the Free For All Fic For All—or FFAFFA for short. This is one of those stories—and this is the boilerplate author's note you'll see on all of 'em. The current round of FFAFFA runs until July 16th, so if you want a custom fic written to any particular specifications, drop by and ask for it!
Prompt: The Joker shows up at the Penguin's funeral.
Notes: I REGRET NOTHING.
When the Joker made an entrance at the Iceberg Lounge, it usually involved one wall being blown out and the loss of several cocktail waitresses who either didn't survive, joined up with his gang, or quit upon the realization that this was the sort of thing that happened on a monthly basis in Gotham. That, at least, was consistent and to be expected, though, so beyond the inevitable clean-up and loss of employees, the regulars were used to it. It was such an unremarkable occurance that many people didn't even bother to stop eating when it happened.
So on a busy Sunday afternoon, when he and his gun toting entourage somberly entered through the front door, Harley boo-hooing loudly into a handkerchief and wearing what were sure to be someone else's best pearls, everyone panicked. The bartenders ducked down behind the bar and several waiters dropped to their knees, cowering and using their serving trays as shields.
The Joker looked around, eyes lighting on the maitre de, who hadn't had the sense to leave his podium and paid the price when he got sprayed in the face with what looked like breath spray but clearly wasn't. The Joker shoved him aside. "One side, padre!"
The poor man collapsed on the floor, giggling hysterically as his face stretched into an unnaturally wide grin. Harley stopped sniffling long enough to angrily push at him with her foot, "Stop laughin', ya bum! This is a funeral! Ain't ya got no respect fer the dead?"
"Friends," the Joker, now behind the podium, didn't seem to notice as patrons started slithering out of their chairs, taking refuge under their tablecloths, "we are gathered here today to celebrate the life of a man—a bird—whom I called…Oswald Cobblepot."
Harley cried a little louder and blew her nose noisily.
"I'm no good with speeches," the Joker said seriously, "so if you'll sparrow few seconds, I'm going to wing it."
He seemed to wait for something. Laughter, maybe. Nobody but the matre de on the floor obliged him.
The Joker snapped his fingers and machine gun fire erupted. "I said, if you'll SPARROW few seconds, I'm going to WING. IT."
A few diners laughed uneasily. This seemed to satisfy him. That didn't stop him from shooting one of the waiters, of course, but the damage to the group of hostages at large was minimal.
"I counted myself a lucky duck to have known the Penguin, though he wasn't a terribly talonted criminal mastermind, and was often an unpheasant individual, he was never a birden in a team-up and was aviary dependable fence and that's nowhere near ostrich."
The captive audience's uneasy laughter became a little more unhinged, a little more desperate. If anything, that seemed to please him more. He was apparently very proud of himself for ostrich/a stretch.
"Owl tell you, I don't really give a flock who knows how much I admired the Penguin, I don't care whose feathers I ruffle saying so," with shining eyes the Joker looked around the room, pounding his fist on the podium in his fervor, "No egrets!"
From under a table, someone groaned. A burst of machine gun fire later and blood spilled out from the edge of the tablecloth, staining the floor crimson.
"I know, I know," the Joker closed his eyes, put one hand over his heart and raised the other dramatically, as if to stop any protests before they got rolling, "—you all know what a standup guy he was. 'Give it a nest already!' you say, 'Ozzie was so great, I could give a eulogy too! Toucan play that game!' but, I must speak from the heart."
A few scattered fake giggles were nearly drowned out by Harley's sobbing.
"I have lost a friend, this day, and I hate it wren that happens," the Joker wiped away an imaginary tear, "Caws of that—"
A door burst open toward the back of the club and out strode Oswald Cobblepot. He must have only just gotten dressed because he was in the process of fiddling with his bowtie. "Joker! You get—"
The Joker's demeanor changed in an instant, from sadness to joy. "Pengers? Pengers! My fine finny fink!"
"What is the meaning of all this—"
The Joker strode forward and embraced the roly-poly mob boss, "I thought you were dead!" The embrace became a strangulation as the Joker wrapped his hands around the loose ends of the Penguin's tie, crossed them and started to crush his larynx. "I thought. You. Were. DEAD."
There was nothing but shocked silence from all sides. Even Harley stopped crying.
The Joker continued to strangle the Penguin right in front of them. None of Cobblepot's bodyguards were anywhere to be found. "You don't want to disappoint all these nice people who came to your funeral, do you?"
Oswald struggled, clawing at the Joker's hands. His top hat fell off and his cigarette holder clattered on the floor.
"Come on, be a sport and die, so we can get back to the wake," the Joker said conversationally, as though he weren't in the middle of a murder, "Harley baked a rum cake!"
Just as Cobblepot's lids started to flutter closed over his rolling eyes, Batman arrived, flanked by the police.
Ten minutes later, the Penguin was being rolled away in an ambulance and the Joker was being stuffed in the back of an Arkham transport van, restrained in a straitjacket next to Harley Quinn.
He turned to her as the doors started to close. "I ask you, what kind of louse holds a funeral and doesn't have the decency to be dead?"