TITLE: This Wasn't In The Comic Books
RATING: K+ for hinted sexual topics
SUMMERY: They act like it's a comic book, but then the Joker's in his bed, and the rest are in his living room. When did everything get so strange?
DETAILED SUMMERY: Bruce Wayne starts his crime-fighting career as Batman, only to find out the equally traumatized villains he fights are a lot more keen on getting along then actually fighting him. What ensures is so far from any story ever written that he's not even sure it's real. Especially that part about falling in love with a clown.
FEEDBACK: Not too important, you can almost consider this crack if you'd like. If you have to post feedback, don't have it be all about my grammar or spelling, I'm Dyslexic and wrote this between 12-1 in the morning.
AUTHOR NOTES: Okay, long story sort; stuff in personal life got bad, I'm back in the city of my birth and feeling better. I think it might have been depression but I'm not sure (got it in both sides of my family, I'll probably get it one day anyway). I couldn't write, so I didn't. This is my attempt at trying again. My Heart Is In Chains will continue as soon as is musely possible. OH: and in this story, think of everyone in their younger twenties (except for Crane, he's in his thirties and hating being the oldest). This is also mostly crackish, as mentioned before.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own or make money of this work. I do not claim to hold the rights to use these characters or their universe. Please do not sue me. The Joker owns the Batman.
Stop me if you've heard this one; a billionaire is traumatized, loses his parents, seeks revenge, becomes a vigilante. Sounds awesome, right?
It sounds like a comic book. It's perfect in some strange way.
Bruce knows that it was a bad idea from the start. He thinks about it every night, between nightmares of pearls and gunshots and the sound of bat wings hitting his face.
Who dresses like a bat and fights crime? It's a fantasy story, an action movie, one of the thousands of comic books out there.
He drops out of college, he goes to some mountain somewhere he tries not to remember the name of, he learns things most humans shouldn't be able to do, and he returns to Gotham renewed.
He's younger then he should be, younger then the comic books say, but that's alright because he's strong and tough and he knows what he's doing.
The first one, it starts simple. He's got a red plastic hood and a stupid cape and Bruce can hear giggles under his mask as they fight. The body he punches is soft and undefined and he thinks briefly that the man who works for the mob is younger then him.
Then the Red Hood is falling, falling, falling and hitting that vat of chemicals and oh God, no human can survive that. He's about to shoot a cable into the mess, but a shaking hand crawls out and pulls at the side. Bruce doesn't like it, but he leaves.
The Joker appears two weeks later. The minute Batman fights him, he recognizes the moves, the way the man's skin twitches under his fists and realizes that The Joker is The Red Hood and oops, this is totally comic book style, but it still turns over his stomach, that he made this monster with white skin and green hair.
Joker is the first, but he isn't the last. Soon after him is The Scarecrow, The Mad Hatter, Deadshot, Magpie, The Riddler, The Penguin, so many more. They don't do things exactly like the comic books, since Bruce is suppose to be the one in bright colors and wearing tights and the villains are suppose to be dark and depressing. They are all younger then they should be, and Bruce can see those invisible bruises on their souls that Bruce has too.
The first time Bruce caves, when he differs from the script, its for Jonathan Crane.
Professor Crane isn't really crazy. Well, he is, but it's a subtle, eyes flickering around sort of crazy. He's very smart though, and fuck, Bruce can see that more then he can see his insanity.
Bruce drags Scarecrow back to Arkham because he can't stand the sight of Blackgate (he'd never take anyone to Blackgate, knowing Joe Chill is still in there) and the ex-professor wails, crying for his research, insisting that he's trying to remove fear, not traumatize anyone and something in Bruce clicks.
He breaks into the police station and finds Crane's confiscated notes and good God, the man is right. He's saying the same things that Batman does every night. Confronting fears are important, it's the most important thing in the world and the scientist sees that. He's just going about it the wrong way.
Bruce hides all of Crane's research, everything he can find, in a private storage building. He sneaks into Arkham on a night he knows the Scarecrow is on sedatives. He scrawls the address on the back of Jonathan's hand.
They have a silent agreement after that. Somehow Jonathan knows that Bruce cares about his research and in return for a few days peace after breakouts, sometimes a few tiny tip-offs as return gifts, Crane keeps all of his research right where the Batman can get to it.
Bruce adds his own notes when he feels like it's helpful, which it almost never is, if the professor's answers say anything.
He tells himself that Crane's research will save lives, will save the depressed and those with social anxiety and that he's not helping a dangerous criminal.
It isn't like this in comic books at all.
The second is Osweld Cobblepot. Bruce isn't fond of the fat, young, bird hobbyist, but this script difference isn't like Crane's.
He's a few hundred feet from Blackgate and he can't make the last steps. He knows that The Penguin can see that almost-panic in his face and the feeling of relief that comes when the mobster starts freaking out and Batman gets to message Gordon that he feels it best to move Cobblepot to Arkham on suicide watch.
He knows Osweld is faking it completely, based upon the smirk on his face while they drive to Arkham. But he still whispers thankful and gives him a smack as a don't-tell incentive.
The Joker, popping up a few months later (after he opens up a second and third storage unit for Magpie's collection, smuggled copies of Lewis Carrol's works to Hatter and bribed the doctors to let Scarecrow read Edger Allen Poe), demands that Batman do him a favour as well.
Bruce is prepared for so many things - horrible visions of freezers for bodies and piles of cash flashing before his eyes - but the way the Joker grabs him and curls his gloved hands around his cowl and then kisses him like there is no tomorrow, it is in no way, in any possible universe, what Bruce expected.
Jack Napier (the name he never admits to knowing) tastes like gunpowder and chemicals, the poor food from the cafeteria in Arkham and something that tastes like death. On anyone else, death would taste horrible, but the Joker uses it like people use perfume and somehow it's a perfume made just for him.
The things they do to each other that night make Bruce cringe for days afterwards, and he pities the clown that is walking out there somewhere with an odd gait and is far too full of giggles for anyone's tastes.
The Joker's favours aren't anywhere near routine, they don't follow the script in the slightest and every time Jack pulls off plates of armour to lick and bite at Bruce's skin, it's not anything like a comic book should be. Batman isn't dressed in primary colors, the Joker isn't dressed all in black. Bruce isn't the one that tries to teach lessons and Jack doesn't beat people up in the middle of the night. They disobey everything that the stories say about them, but they would never change.
Nobody notices. They don't notice that Crane's research was published via Wayne Enterprises under a false name. They don't notice that Jervis just seems to spontaneously have more hats then he has clothes. They don't notice that Edward Nigma has never run out of crossword or number puzzles since the night he pulled Bruce from a burning building. They never notice that Joker often sprouts hickories and has a swagger unique only to those that have "gotten some", as Penguin often complains.
It's so far from comic books that Bruce isn't even sure how he's gotten there some days.
Those days are the days that often involve the Joker giggling in his bed, ducking around behind things whenever Alfred appears. Somehow Jack knows who he is, but how he found out, the clown will never tell. Bruce doesn't know either, though it was probably obvious with the gadgets and the psychical description. He also suspects a certain man whose fond of question marks.
The years begun to lengthen and Bruce Wayne is the most wanted bachelor in town. What started with Hugo Strange, Hush, The Joker, has spread through every wave of costumed villains that have tried their best to kick his ass. The nights that aren't full of beating up criminals are often spent attempting to handcuff avoiding Rogues, desperate to annoy him for details on his latest lady friend they just happened to read about in the tabloids.
The day he admits he might have gone too far is the day Alfred bursts into his room, a hand on the scruff of one Jonathan Crane and is staring horrified at the less then clothed clown blinking awake beside Bruce.
It's the worst day of Bruce's life since the day his parents died, and the night gets even worst.
Crane can barely stand, and for the first time, he's the one cowering in fear. Bruises and cuts are everywhere that can be hidden with clothing, and he looks like he hasn't slept in days. Lyle Bolton appears to be the answer to the this, and the Scarecrow spends more time begging Batman not to return him to Arkham then he does saying anything about what Bolton's been doing.
How Bruce convinces Alfred to let Crane stay in a guest room is a mystery. The butler still looks slightly sickened everytime the Joker pops up to laugh at the terrified professor, and the way Jonathan himself is clinging to Bruce's arm probably isn't helping matters.
That night is the first night he ever breaks into Arkham, and releases inmates.
It wasn't the plan, it wasn't even his idea, but there hasn't been a breakout in the last three months since after Jack and that is too quiet for him. It appears the clown has missed the worst of the new head of security.
It really wasn't hard in the end, making the decision to let them go. First it was just turning off the electric doors, then unhandcuffing a few people, and then he was distracting the guards while some of the patients quietly found all of their things and prepared to leave.
Many of them vanish into the dark and back to their hideouts, but he can't really shake some of them. Jervis is far too terrified to even let go of his arm, and Nigma seems to have just come along for the hell of it. Floyd, tagging along from the sociopath wing, seems more to be walking in the general direction of Wayne Manor then actually following him, and Dent isn't actually following him at all, he's just wrapping a protective arm around Edward's shaking shoulder.
Alfred is less then pleased with all of them, but considering Jonathan and Jack are sitting in the dining room, it's not really that bad. The villains like him, and Alfred keeps watching him with a look that says he thinks there is a lot more to this then first thought.
The next week follows the news story of the biggest breakout in Arkham's history, and Lyle Bolton is fired for it, a feat watched and cheered on by the Rogues now taking over the living rooms. That week also sees the Ventriloquist adding to the sleepover Joker has organized, Harley Quinn leaping in to become protective of her best friend, Zsasz cornering Batman several times with the idea of passing along messages, Deadshot leaving to try and find Lyle, and Victor Fries frequently stoping in for tea.
They still act like villains and heros, but Bruce knows in the way his wards are perfectly fine with playing boardgames with their guests, and in the way Alfred isn't shooting him death stares anymore, and the way Jack does things to him that still blow his mind, that they are never going to be like heros and villains will be.
It's not even about the comic books anymore.
As Joker has said, as the others have said; "us costumed freaks have to stick together."
Maybe that's more important then what the script says.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: So that was horribly written, but hopefully as least slightly entertaining. May do some more stories in the same sort of universe. Also I feel so bad for Two-Face, I keep forgetting about him until someone reminds me. (There was vague EdwardxHarvey, anyone catch that?)