Stephanie rubs the sleep out of her eyes.
Batman sits in the darkness, his chin resting on two clenched fists. In front of him rests a severely battered severed head.
"Christ. What is that?"
He is unmoving.
He looks up at her with emotionless eyes.
"I don't know."
He stands, his gaze returning to the bloody thing.
"I can't remember the last few days."
Steph stares at it with him.
"Me neither. God, that looks…"
She turns away. A shadow passes her, and the shuffling footsteps of the Batman echo through the cave.
"I'm going to find Alfred."
She moves to follow, but is distracted by the sight of something new in the cave.
"When did we get a freezer?"
But the Batman is already gone. She steps up to the freezer. A familiar figure lies inside it.
She wrenches it open.
"Shit, shit, shit!"
She pulls Tim's stiff body out, lays it gently on the floor.
Her hands run over his frozen skin.
"God, oh god, oh god."
She puts her head onto a silent chest.
Her gaze falls on the head. Its eyes have come open. Its lips move slowly upward, and she finds herself confronted with the stupidest smile she has ever seen. It laughs breathlessly. Her eyes drop, and she reaches a shaking hand over Tim's lifeless husk. It drops midway and she sobs. She curls up on the cold floor and cries.
"God, someone help me."
Elsewhere, God is partying like there's no tomorrow. The Lord looks down upon his moves, and he sees that they are fresh. The other dancers are cowed by his prowess. They can only look upon his disco outfit and despair. Amid his wondrous moves, God catches glimpse of a real cutie. He wastes no time and becomes a swan and struts his stuff.
The cutie does not acknowledge him. He feigns disappointment, though no-one present is capable of detecting disappointment on a swan's face.
"That one always worked."
It's all good, though. God knows. He changes into a bull and trots over to the next decent-looking thing.
"Hop on my back, babe. I won't abduct you."
This time is no more successful. He snorts and leaves some droppings on this part of the dance floor.
"Time for another flood, maybe."
He takes the form of an old man once more and shrugs.
"Oh, who am I threatening? I've already decided all your deaths. It's already happened, it's happening right now, it's yet to happen."
"I'm so bored."
But he rekindles his joy once more, and whips out some incredible moves. None of the witnesses will ever forget: God owns the dance floor. But suddenly there is a zombie on the dance floor. God blinks.
"Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday."
God's dance grows less frenzied.
"What are you?"
"Solomon Grundy, poet."
God's moonwalk is hesitant.
The zombie frowns.
"Solomon Grundy, big poet, big."
God raises a confused eyebrow. Grundy raises a fig.
"Solomon Grundy, eating a fig."
The zombie's legs start moving.
"Solomon Grundy, doing a jig."
Horror dawns on God's face.
"Why don't I know everything about you?"
"Solomon Grundy, starting to dig."
The zombie whips out a shovel and starts beating it into the floor. God is sweating.
"Lucie, darling, is that you? I'm sorry I blamed you for everything, okay?"
The zombie looks like it's having a hard time keeping up its tempo.
"Solomon Grundy…" His eyes swing around in search of inspiration. "-hig."
It is in vain. God pinches his nose.
"Dear me, that's horrid."
The zombie does not look pleased by this cruel criticism. He grabs hold of the deity and hefts it into the air before promptly returning it to the ground, face first.
"Aw, hell! How is this even possible?"
God's question is not answered, unless Grundy's face-smashing is a form of communication.
"I am who I am," the deity announces in a peeved voice.
Grundy smashes his face into the floor once more.
"Hen kai pan," the deity mutters.
Smash goes the face.
"What is the meaning of this?"
His face is a mask of annoyance and confusion as it slams repeatedly into the floor.
"It's all so…pointless."
Soon the old man passes out and offers no more comments. Solomon Grundy beats god to death. Somewhere far, far away, Nietzsche smiles.
He fires two shots into the ceiling.
"Everybody down! This is a robbery!"
He turns to the bank teller.
"Didn't ya hear me?!"
Then he freezes. The teller is Man-Bat.
Man-Bat is wearing a suit.
There are little glasses perched atop his hideous nose.
He looks at the robber through the glass separating them, maybe with worried eyes.
The robber lowers his gun. Man-Bat picks up a cup of tea. He drops a sugar cube into it, then another. He picks up a spoon. He stirs.
"I'll be going now."
The robber backs away. Man-Bat pours some milk into his cup. The robber leaves the bank. Man-Bat sips his tea, its deliciousness evident on his face. He puts it down. He sighs, shaking his head.
Yes, Man-Bat. It's a sad and beautiful world.
Penguin ushers a group of children out of his office, flabbergasted. He lights a cigar and disappears into a thick cloud of confusion, removing a deadly duolocle from his face.
"I do not know what came over me."
The room is cold and dark.
"I cannot understand it."
A gloved hand rests on chilled glass.
"I still love you, I swear it."
Tears flow from under red visors, freeze to his face. Sobbing he presses a button. The glass cage opens.
"At least the money I have made from this unusual line of employment was enough to finance your cure."
A woman steps out, her senses dulled from years of cryogenic suspension.
"Oh, Nora! I understand if you wish to leave me now."
She pats the glass of his helmet.
"Don't cry, Victor."
She shivers, hugs the bizarre outer shell of her husband.
"Though I refuse to believe any of this is real until you show me those videos."
He blushes furiously.
"I, um. Of course, dear."
Mr. Zsasz blinks at his reflection. He is mostly happy.
A clown emerges from the manor 's washing machine.
"You are my destiny!"
It is a clown of the singing variety. Very rare.
"You share my reverie!"
He looks around for a Batman.
"You are my happiness."
There is not a Batman in sight. There is a butler, though.
"That's what you are."
The butler makes a face before making himself scarce.
"You are my sweet caress."
His hands move through the empty air, mimicking the journey of fingers from pointy ears to square jaw.
"You share my loneliness."
He makes a sad face. There is no-one watching. He grins as his clown-vision zeroes in on the Batman, fifteen rooms away.
"You are my dream come true."
He winks at the empty air and proceeds with his song, regardless of the lack of a visible audience. For he knows what every modern man knows. There is always someone watching.
Black Mask looks into his hot dog cart and starts cursing and vomiting.
The phone rings cruelly. Great White Shark grimaces. Finally the noise stops. He sighs, trudges over to the fridge. He's hit simultaneously by the annoyingly bright light and the yet more hideous revelation that someone has eaten his double-flavored ice cream. He growls, slams the door to before beating the fridge repeatedly. There is a knock on the door. It opens. His face scrunches up in sincere hatred.
The henchman seems untroubled, which only further infuriates Great White. The phone starts ringing again. It takes controlled breathing and a good, long look at the soothing palm trees on his shirt to keep him from falling victim to spontaneous combustion.
"Is it Man-Bat again, sir?"
He flashes his sharp teeth in a pearly smile.
"No, no, it's my other stalker." A blood vessel pops. "Of course it's Man-Bat, you brain-dead, festering shit-stain!"
The blow to the henchman's self-esteem is visible to the naked eye. The phone stops and White immediately softens.
"Now spit it out. What do you want?"
The henchman tugs at his collar.
"Well, sir, it's…the business has started falling apart. We really need you back."
White's shoulders slump and a tortured groan spills through his pretty teeth. The phone starts ringing.
"Just leave me alone!"
He covers his head in his hands and runs away. He enters his boudoir and slams the door behind him, then throws himself into the warm embrace of his sofa. He sobs a little. Something dead and friendly falls on top of him. His teary eyes turn upward. He sniffles.
"Oh, my heavenly Hawaiian beauty. Only you understand me."
He rises, hugging the finely clad torso tight. He hums and soon his legs are performing a waltz. There is a knock on the door, and the ringing of the phone echoes. He hums louder. The torso hums in response. It is their song, beautiful and stalwart. His mangled face rests on the squishy shoulder.
"Make the world go away," he sighs.
Zatanna lifts her head off the floor, running a hand through her disheveled hair. She blinks and looks at the Batman for answers. He is evidently not as hung over.
"Was there a party?"
Batman wanders off.
Batman steps out of sight, advancing toward a strange hammock. He touches it tentatively. Poison Ivy's voice whispers in response.
"It's alright, baby. It's alright."
Batman shakes his head. The message is not meant for him, not meant for this place. He smiles grimly. He is sure it will be delivered eventually. Maybe not here, but somewhere, through some hammock. He wipes a tear from his eye. It will be a miracle to remember.
Stephanie stands shakily over the thawing corpse of her boyfriend. Her lip trembles, her eyes are red, wide and completely dead. The severed head still smiles at her misery. She stumbles forward thoughtlessly, pale hands reaching out to a lever. She cranks the Bat-dream-machine up a notch.
Over in the real world, Killer Moth looks at the plate of delicious jelly with remorse.
"It-It wasn't me."
The office people shake their creamy white, melting heads slowly.
"It was always you."