The thick rope beneath my foot shook horribly as my muscles struggled to keep up with the constant demand of balance. The tightrope act...I knew he would prey on my weakness for heights! I shakily breathed in lifting one leg up.
"Yes, just like that!" A clown encouraged. I'm thrilled that they're giving me guidance on this. White is getting full of himself, offering me help like this. I should be happy though; at least now I can learn the ways of tight-roping. I have good balance but...in front of hundreds of people with only a net to catch me and the pressure of completing the routine and-
"Gah!" I shouted as the rope slipped, smacking me in the jaw as I hit the grass. I groaned rubbing the affected area. Ouch! The rope is really rough...
"Ah-! Miss, are you alright?" He cried, helping me to my feet.
"Y-yeah...," That startled me. Even thinking about it is making me flustered.
"Maybe we should take a break-," He started, tugging me in the direction of the exit.
"No!" I snapped, ripping my arm from his hand. I only have a short amount of time to do this. I need all the practice I can get. The clown sighed, helping me back onto the platform only a short two feet off the ground. I sucked in a deep breath walking onto the rope again. It quivered beneath my shaking feet. I took a deep breath, lifting up a leg and leaned forward feeling the rope beneath my thin clown shoe.
"Oh? That is quite good Jackie!" It took every bit of willpower not to squeak with surprise and fall off. I glanced over to the jester as he walked into the tent, waving off my instructor. He hastily nodded before booking it out of the tent, leaving me alone with the smiling White.
"W-what do you want?" I barely was able to ask. I need every bit of concentration I can get on this. Especially if I'm going to be performing with White in this act!
"To practice with you of course! Isn't it only natural to work with your partner?" White mischievously simpered jumping up onto the platform. I gulped down my terror. That's right; besides balancing on this cursed thing I have to dance with White.
"Don't worry my dear! The tightrope act is one of my personal favorites." He hummed, walking across the taunt rope as if he was walking on the ground. I quickly lowered my foot keeping both on the fickle rope. My legs shook terribly as he stopped a mere foot away. Skills like his take a life time to perfect I'm sure but the ease that he can do it still pisses me off. He held out his hand, motioning for me to take it. I glared at the offer.
"You're planning to push me off during the performance." I accused, skipping beating around the bush. I'd rather torch the stupid vegetation and get right to the point! His eye widened with surprise.
"Nonsense! I would never jeopardize a performance like that!" He huffed. He actually looks insulted.
"Jackie my dear why can't you just trust me?" He asked, feigning hurt.
"You've proven to me again and again that I can't." I snipped back. He frowned, pushing his brows together. His features smoothed out as he sighed, snatching my hand. I latched onto the clear support cursing myself for using him. He yanked me into his arms easily keeping me on my shaky feet.
"My dear, I don't even need to push you off to make you fall." He chimed playfully, breathing hot air over my ear. I shuttered from the close quarters. Geez...
"Enough fooling around. Let's just practice." I snapped. He smiled leaving me to fend for myself as he backed away.
The steps were simple enough; four towards him five back ten forward then repeat with five more steps and three less and...I sighed.
Tonight is going to be hell.
"Welcome ladies and gentlemen! Tonight, we have a breathtaking performance that will conclude the acts so I implore you to stay. Enjoy the show~," White claimed, tightening his arm around my waist. I rigidly waved my hand at the hundreds of people that showed up, trying my best to keep up a smile.
"You said there wasn't going to be too many people," I grumbled, sneaking a scowl in White's direction. From the corner of my eye I saw his cheek raise into one of his rare genuine smiles.
"I never said that, my dear. If you're beginning to hallucinate then I suggest you back out." He teased. My smile faltered as I pinched his back.
"You know I can't do that!" I hissed under my breath.
"Then stop b****ing about it!" Black snarled.
The acts went by too fast. This is supposed to be a two hour show but it felt like minutes after White's opening announcement he pulled me close to him and leaned into my ear.
"It's time." My heart pounded painfully from the message. He released my waist, gentling pushing me towards the intended ladder. My hands trembled as I made my way up the wooden slates clambering up to the platform. I sucked in a deep breath, gazing right into White's eye who was clear on the other platform a good twenty feet away.
But I wasn't nervous.
The crowds, the shouts, the screams, the cheers, the laughter...I didn't care about any of that. The sound emptied from my ears filled only with silent concentration. I want my choker back more than anything. I want to get out of this mad mess of things and away from the Jokers. I slowly breathed out keeping my gaze on White the whole time. Each move he made I copied precisely timing myself to keep up with his slowed pace. Every step he made forward I moved back. As the music picked up speed we moved towards one another on the rope. When we reached the middle he held out his hand engulfing mine in his.
My heart pounded frantically; while we were practicing I always messed this part up. It was the end, the finally of the performance. Relying on each other's weight to counteract the other's. I leaned towards the side as he did the same. The song ended with an explosion of fireworks on either side of us, creating a scene of chaos. Only his steady gaze kept me from losing my cool over the mind numbing sounds and lights exploding around us. A mischievous glint flashed through his eyes as he jutted his head forward catching my lips with his. A fiery warmth splashed across my chest as I leaned into the sweet kiss. If I lean back I'll fall. I suffocated the spark which tried to light, burying it beneath my pain. It's not worth it. The false love he offers will only hurt me. I slipped my hand over his front pocket taking out my choker. He jerked back, startled. Hundreds of emotions flitted through his eye but most of them shock. Immediately I knew what his twisted game was.
He meant for me to fall. Throughout the entire performance he performed flawlessly ensuring that I wouldn't fall until this part.
"I win." I sadly stated. I've done it...I've beaten Joker. I'm free with no strings attached. He can't do anything to me now. His eye widened as his mouth slightly parted before he sorrowfully smiled. He dipped down, picking me up in his arms. I stiffened and remained as still as I possibly could. Any sudden movements and I'll throw both of us off.
"Thank you all for coming and to all a goodnight!" White joylessly cried. As the eruption of cheers blew out my ear drums White trotted to the nearest platform keeping a firm grasp around me.
"Congratulations, my dear. When can we expect to see you again?" He asked, setting me on my feet. I glanced over to the smiling jester. The time for the final blow has come. Hesitation staked my tongue. This will hurt him...my eyes hardened. But they've hurt me plenty.
"Never." I said through the cheers. His smile dropped. He scrunched his brows together and leaned in, hoping that he heard wrong.
"I beg your pardon-,"
"Never, White." He looked down to me, observing my cold blooded eyes. I don't care about anything anymore. They need to know when to stop.
"I am never coming back Joker." Horror seemed to lit up his eye as I pushed him away. He searched my face looking for any trace of humor but found none. His face fell, heartbroken to the furthest extent. The agony which was obviously present sent needles through my chest. Without warning the scenery shifted. I bit my cheek, suddenly anxious before swallowing my fears. No; this is better anyway.
"What the f*** do you mean 'you're not f***ing coming back'?!" Black hissed. Black and White stood next to each other, rigid with tension. Black folded his arms looking severely pissed as White leaned on Black's shoulder, as if supporting himself while the news took effect.
"Joker." I called, looking them both in the eye. At once their movements synchronized as they leaned forward slightly.
"Yes?" Their lips moved accordingly slurring their speech to one. Good; that way this is at least a proper goodbye. My throat seemed to close as I tried to utter the simple sentence I wanted to express 'I am never coming back because you both are jerks?' No, that won't do. That only makes me sound like an idiot. 'I hate you?'? Too tacky. They both stared unceasingly as I gathered my thoughts. I want them to know that they hurt me and that, because of their actions, I'm leaving as a consequence. Why is it so hard to say goodbye?
"What happens when you push someone off a cliff?" I finally asked deciding on a more roundabout way. Maybe they'll catch my drift this way since they love games so much.
"I don't understand-,"
"You fall. Right?" I pushed as my stern voice became more obvious. Joker looked over me uneasily, trying to think of a way to come back at me but came up short.
"Yes." He responded, unable to come up with a better response.
"And when they hit the ground?" I said, keeping the trill of anguish out of my voice.
"You die-? Jackie, where does this pertain to me-,"
"You pushed a too hard, Joker. I fell and broke my neck on that cold ground that you've lain out for me. I will tell you this; I am never...," the word stuck in my throat before I was able to force it out, "coming back. Understand?" I scolded, acting as if reprimanding misbehaving nine year olds. His eyes grew wide as he finally understood. I turned my back unable to bare looking at their heartbroken faces. My heart squeezed with agony; why am I still hurting? I should be proud of myself! I stood up to Joker. The Joker. But why do I feel like the lowliest of the low? Why do I feel like complete crap-? I jumped as two hard hands clamped down over my wrist. I spun back, bewildered as I spied his smoldering glare.
"You son of a b****...," He snarled, shaking with anger. My eyes widened like a deer caught in the most sinister headlights.
"How dare you, my most precious toy, treat me like that." He demanded with a look that drove nails into my feet, rooting me in place.
"I'm not a pathetic little toy that you can play around with-!" I shouted back, struggling with all my might to wrench my hand from his iron grasp.
"Wrong. You are not a toy," Joker yanked me forward, digging his fingers into my hair, "you are my toy." I shivered as his hot breath blew into my ear. I clutched his wrists, driving my nails into his skin. He snarled as the jester side dipped down, ramming his shoulder right into my gut. I hacked up and nearly fell to my feet as he dragged me down the hall. What? Is he going to lock me up in a cell? This a**hole! He promised to let me go-! I yanked and pulled with all my might failing to even slow him down. Prisoners who saw the ordeal watched in horror. He's treating me like a filthy prisoner-! Do I really...mean that little to them? That they feel the need to continue to poke and prod me to the point of tears or, worse, death?
He pulled me around a sharp corner leading me down a long twisting hall. Huh? Which hall is this? I ran my gaze down the unfamiliar crevices and marks of the long stretching hall. This place...I tugged back on his grip with renewed vigor only earning myself a gruff jerk forward. Black told me to never come down this hall. Why is Joker taking me down here? No, better yet, what is he going to do with me? For the first time I can remember fear gripped my heart, threatening to rip it out of my chest. Is this an actual torture chamber? I held back a fearful scream as I tried again and again to free myself but to no avail. If I'm going to be killed then I'm not going down without one hell of a fight-!
He roughly yanked me into his one arm, wrapping it around my waist on both sides to prevent escape. Joker's warden counterpart reached into the pocket right over his clock, pulling out a gold tinted key that glittered uncharacteristically beautiful. He jammed the key into the hole without mercy, clicking the lock open before kicking the large heavy wooden doors in.
My eyes immediately scanned the room for a potential escape. The room was large, considerably bigger than his own room/office. A king sized round bed with red sheets and a black comforter was nestled into the corner with large bed frame hanging over it with intricate square patters. Black drapes swung low on the bed like a veil as though to hide its graceful presence. The room had a large soft plush red rug with the same disorienting designs as on the bed in a gold stitched manner. A black velvet couch rested before a large and highly decorative fire place with wood in it but no charred markings. Engraved over another wooden door's frame was more gold embroidery. I stiffened in Joker's grasp as the warden counterpart snatched hold of my flailing arm dragging me across the carpet.
"W-what is this place?" I shakily asked, unable to absorb what was happening. This isn't a torture chamber? T-then what is-!? As one, Joker picked me up flipping me over and smacked my helpless body onto the soft sheeted bed. I jerked up on the bed and spun around, backing away from the mad men.
"J-J-Joker what is this-?!"
"Do you like it?" He seductively asked with half lidded eyes and a mischievously blank smile drawing his lips up. As one he raised his hands removing his hats and dropped them to the side of the bed. In the same motion he slipped off his jester scarf and warden tie.
"Li-like it?" I stammered. What's gotten into him?! His smirk only grew as he fondly looked over my breathless and frightened state, slipping out of his jackets. My next words stuck in my throat as I spied his tight rigid muscles pronounced beneath his black shirt. I've never really been able to see them like this; they are freaking built-!
"This was always meant to be your room, my dear." He purred, crawling onto the bed like ravenous wolves in for the kill. My heart pounded hard struggling to break free of the restricting ribs and flee for dear life. I kicked back trying to leap off the other side of the bed. The warden counterpart circled around my backside holding my shoulders firm as he dropped his chin to my shoulder. I jumped, freezing as Joker's jester side leaned in.
"Do you like it?" My heart fluttered as an inferno swept all of the butterflies up, burning them to a crisp. I-I'm scared...!
"Y-you said you would let me go-!" I weakly argued, doing anything to distract him. His warden side chuckled darkly as he lightly kissed the base of my neck.
" 'My life permanently here in the circus and jail for my choker, violin and freedom to live and work wherever I please'. Isn't that what you said?" The Warden asked, thumbing my bottom lip.
"E-exactly and-!" I gasped as his jester counterpart bit my neck before making amends, planting small kisses over the wound.
"You never mentioned anything about taking you for a lover." Joker finished with the jester side smashing his lips to mine. I stiffened and tried to jump back but his warden's stomach stopped me, instead wrapping his arms around my waist. His legs came up on either side creating an inescapable human corner as his jester counterpart leaned against me. I clenched my teeth and shoved against the jester part's chest but to no avail. The warden side spread hot kisses over my neck without mercy ravaging my sides with his greedy hands. I tried to kick the jester side off in response. L-Lover?! W-What is he talking about? He doesn't even care about me and -! He easily avoided the feeble attacks pulling me onto his lap. I trembled in his grasps, utterly helpless and at his complete mercy.
Why does Joker constantly feel the need to tease and degrade me like this? He gives me this desirable feeling of love and then viciously tears it out of my grasp, takes advantage of me and calls me his. He doesn't really love me. He only uses me whenever he gets bored. I loved him and he treats me like trash.
It's not fair.
A light cry bubbled past my lips as warm tears streaked down my face. Why? I don't understand-! Sobs jerked my chest as I bit back hysterical cries. Why? Why does he treat me like this? What have I ever done to deserve this kind of empty attention?
"Why...," I croaked past his needy lips. Joker's Jester part pulled back slightly, eye widening.
"Ah...," He trailed off, kissing the falling salty water in an attempt to stop it. I cringed away cowering into his darker counterpart.
"Why...," I uttered again with a cracking voice.
"Why what my dear?" He asked in a slightly strained voice. Joker's warden side stopped all together, resting his hands over my stomach as he settled with his chin resting on my shoulder, as if waiting for my silly tears to stop.
"Why are you torturing me like this? Out of all the people of wonderland, of all the role holders and even Alice you have at your disposal why would you choose me? I don't understand-!" I hiccuped. His greedy smirk vanished in its entirety, replaced instead by confusion.
"Torturing?" Black hissed. I jerked my head down and up in a sharp nod, struggling to keep my voice at an understandable level. White studied my face for a few moments before sighing.
"Ah...methinks that the lady has misunderstood our motives." White crooned, wiping away my tears with his thumbs.
"Misunderstood what?! It's clear that you just want to play around with me and then toss me aside like nothing! You enjoy putting me through hell and making my life a miserable-!" I cut off with a choking sob at the end, unable to continue. White smiled warmly, changing his restraints to a warm embrace.
"Who in the f*** told you we were going to throw you away?" Black demanded, tightening his grasp as if to assert his dominance. I cringed from the fury in his voice, once again at his complete and utter mercy.
"It's insulting to know that you think so little of us my dear." White purred, pressing his lips to my forehead.
"We are not so inconsiderate when it comes to our most precious toy." He pressed his forehead to mine with a smile, running his fingers gently through my hair, "we take good care of the toys that we like. And you, my dear, are our favorite out of all the toys we've ever had the pleasure to play with."
"T-toys-?" I mumbled. The way he's explaining it is strange. "W-what do you mean?"
"Alice is a toy for us to play with. The other role holders too are there for our enjoyment. But you, my dear, are our toy. Do you understand?" He asked.
"I-I don't get it. T-toys are played with and then thrown away-!" I heaved, wiping away the next batch of tears.
"You're an idiot. What in the hell makes you think that we'll dispose of such a fun toy?" Black spat, humming as he pressed his lips to the back of my neck in a more comforting than greedy way.
"Listen to it this way, then. You are very precious to us and we will always cherish that no matter what you say or do. You leaving us...is a frightening prospect. We would be completely and utterly useless things that weren't even smart enough to keep the thing that they love most near them." White clarified, gently patting my head. I lowered my gaze. H-he said it...
"L-love?" I stumbled out.
"Yes, love. This is a description which none other toy has fit before." White said.
"And we would go absolutely f***ing nuts if you ever try to leave us again. Get it?!" Black growled. Through the corner of my eye I spied his face flushing madly as he hid it in the crook of my neck. H-he's blushing?
"L-love...," I muttered again, relishing at the ring it had. They love me...this whole time when they've been referring me to as 'their toy' was really their way of saying love...I frowned.
"That's twisted." I pouted, wiping the last of my tears away. Both chuckled at the shorter description.
"True." Joker hummed, pressing his lips to my forehead.
"Which brings us to the question at hand; Jackie, do you love me?" White began, combining to Joker at the end. He smiled, as though knowing my response.
"I...," I trailed off, searching my heart. Love...do I still love them? After all that they've done to me? My chest throbbed painfully. T-this feeling...
"I have no idea anymore." I whispered, ashamed that I couldn't give him a proper response. Joker froze, looking me right in the face.
"Hah?" He asked, edging towards anger.
"I mean, I did...but...I'm not so sure anymore. You really hurt me, Joker." I admitted directly, trying to look fierce in my helpless state.
"Seriously?!" Black boomed, tightening his grasp. I hacked as he constricted my stomach painfully before letting up.
"I see...it seems that we cracked our most precious toy, Black." White hummed, disappointed. Chagrin washed over his face as he gazed apologetically.
"F***." Black growled, resting it on my shoulder. Silence enveloped us as they both avoided my gaze, deep in thought. I silently bit my lip. What do they think of me now? Are they disgusted by my embarrassing reaction?
"So...what now?" I asked, trying to break through their silence. White sadly smiled, giving me a quick peck on the lips. I jumped slightly with a tiny blush resurfacing.
"It seems that we will need to start again. Hello young lady; my name is Joker. And yours?" He playfully asked, brushing his fingers across my cheek. I chuckled hardily; he did that the first time we met too. He caught me crying and playing my violin...
"Jackie." I answered sourly while scrunching up my nose, knocking his hand away like the first time. My heart squeezed in a pleasant way as he softly gazed over my face. Joker is very sweet when he wants to be. Maybe...maybe it's possible to love them again? After all I did fall before so what's stopping me this time?
"F*** this is stupid. I'm going to bed." Black snapped. I cried out a strangle laugh as he yanked me down with him. He nuzzled his head into my shoulder, keeping his hands clasped over my stomach. Geez, doing whatever he wants despite the fragile circumstances...I turned slightly in his grasp pinching his nose.
"I never took you for the cuddling type, Black. And don't you think this is a bit forward? We just met and you expect me to sleep in the same bed as you?" I lightheartedly teased.
"Just try to leave. It's f***ing comfy here." Black playfully growled. White chuckled, lying down next to me. I slightly blushed at his rigid muscles which easily shown through his tight black shirt.
"Ah, my apologies young lady. It gets quite cold here in the prison so this is for survival." White crooned, thrilled that I was playing along. He snuggled a little closer taking my hand and placed it to his clock. It gently ticked up and down sending warm pulses through my hand. I remove my hand, embarrassed. His clock...White smiled as scooted up a tad, pressing my ear to his chest. I sighed at the steady ticking, unwinding my tense muscles.
Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick-
"Do you hear that my dear? This clock ticks for you and you alone. My ticking clock is yours if you promise me your beating heart." My blush deepened, embarrassed at the sucker punch. That's not fair, attacking me like this. My chest squeezed, indecisive.
"Sorry." I mumbled.
"The f*** are you saying sorry for?" Black grumbled. I sighed, trying to think of the right words.
"Do you really think you can do it?" I asked, closing my eyes.
"Do what sweet heart?" White praised, brushing his hand over my cheek.
"Can you, Joker, recapture and mend my broken heart?" I asked with a slight note of unintended pain. He remained silent for a moment. I cracked my eyes opened as he kissed my nose, smirking.
"Joker always loves a good challenge." He teased.
Ohhhhh~ Joker you sly dog you! Tell me what you think! This WILL continue I assure you but I need ideas to go with it! Review or PM me to tell me your ideas. Don't be shy! I'm open to suggestions-! Thank you all my little chickadees~