This is a new story for my friend since

Lovers of Arkham isn't going so hot :P I hope you all like it!

This story will mostly deal with Joker, Jason Todd, and some Batman.

Remember to check out My Scarlet Dagger my Zsasz story I just finished :)

This is kind of a prologue, the real action is to come.

Reviews are lovely~ Echo


Love, Rage, and Insanity

Chapter 1: Fool

Leaning back against the trunk of a large tree, Jason stretches his foot out, testing a thick branch about two feet in front of him. It seems sturdy enough, and he steps up on it, crouching forward so he is on all fours. The branch stretches out further than the others, near a lit window of the building he is beside. He crawls forward, taking careful movements and testing his weight on each section. Finally, he comes to rest on a section of branch just above the window. He can see inside, the shadow of the night covering his lean and lithe body. He's wearing dark blue jeans and his favorite leather jacket over a gray tank top. His black sneakers are on the ground beneath the tree, he had left them to make it easier to climb. He leans forward to see in the room, a slight wind blowing wisps of his black hair over his eyes. He brushes them away with an irritated grunt before moving back into position.

Viewing in, he sees the goal of this whole challenge. A woman, dressed in a black slim dress and stockings. She has dark skin, and black hair that is swept to the side, slightly covering one eye. She leans back, legs crossed in a relaxed position. Her expression is anything but relaxed though, her brown eyes focused on the clip board settled on her lap. Her forehead furrows in thought as she nibbles the tip of her pen in concentration. Jason watches each movement, eyes following carefully. He eyes her body, pausing at her chest a moment before snapping back to her face, mentally shaking himself. You aren't a creep Jason... He reminds himself. You have reasons...you need to learn about her.

Nodding to himself, he keeps watching. A man walks in to the woman's office. He is tall and slightly tan with black hair. He's wearing the suit of a butler, and has an affectionate smile as he talks to her. Jason grits his teeth, he doesn't like the way the butler stares at her. Mine. He snarls mentally, leaning forward before scrambling back, almost losing his grip. Concentrate! He screams at himself inside. He refocuses on her, attempting to see the writing on her clip board. It's too far, so he moves closer, risking the branch snapping from his weight. He feels the wood beneath him curve downward in protest, but he stills, letting it get used to his weight. He's lower beside the window now, and closer up. He leans as far as he can, trying to get a glimpse of her clipboard, hoping it has any information he desires. Finally in view, he grimaces. On the clipboard is a sketch, of the Batman. Jay grips the branch in anger, and it gives in with a loud snap, and he and the branch begin to plummet to the ground. He scratches at the side of the building, slowing his fall enough not to injure him badly. He hits the ground hard on his back and groans. He hears the woman's window open a few floors above him.

"What was that Laurence?" The woman asks her butler, who joins her side, their bodies casting shadows on the ground a few feet from where Jason lays. The former Robin curses under his breath and rolls against the building, bracing himself against it to say out of view.

"It was probably the wind milady. Would you like me to investigate?" Her butler responds. Jason can see her shadow move away from the window, out of sight. The butler's shadow stays menacingly in view. The woman takes her time answering, Jason holds his breath.

"...No. I don't think there is a need Laurence." She finally answers, Jason takes a deep breath when he hears her window shut. The butler's shadow recedes away.

Nice going, Jason. He sighs audibly, standing up. Wiping twigs off his jacket, Jason turns to look for his shoes in the darkness. Finally finding his worn sneakers, he slips them on before walking back to his motorcycle he stashed at the entrance to the island. Looking back, the woman's house is a wonder. On a raised hill overlooking Arkham Asylum, her home has a powerful look to it. Inside the gothic asylum, lay his enemy. The man who's information he had wanted to view on the clipboard. Joker... Jason spits at the ground before pulling his helmet on and riding off in to the night.

Speeding through Gotham, Jay grips the handlebars tight in rage, knuckles turning white.She was just drawing the Batman! He roars loudly, the sound drowned by his engine. He makes a sharp turn down a dark alley, and parks his bike. He hurries up to his small apartment and tosses his helmet and keys on his bedside table. His room is practically empty, with wooden floors and yellow walls. There's a small kitchen in the corner he never uses, and a bed with a white mattress, pillow, and sheet. On the wall there's an array of news articles pinned. He takes off his jacket and throws it on a single hook that came screwed into the wall. The table beside the bed has a drawer where he keeps the minimal clothes he had bought. Sitting down, he runs his fingers through his hair, bright blue eyes set on the floor. Don't think about it. He tells himself, and lays back on the bed, hands behind his head. He closes his eyes, a small smile gracing his lips when he thinks of her.

He had first seen her on the street, walking down one of Gotham's busy roads. Jason had been sitting on a bench nearby, eating a burger he had bought at a food joint. He watched her as she hurried down the road, eyes glancing back and forth as if she knew she was being watched. That's what had caught his attention in the first place. She stood above a manhole cover, glancing around nervously. She scanned her surroundings. Jason averted his gaze a moment, looking as if he was examining the greasy burger in his hand. Looking back at her, he stood up. She was gone. He watched a hand close the manhole cover and she had successfully vanished without a person noticing, or so she thought.

He waited a minute, finishing his meal before he walked over and glanced around, mimicking what the strange girl had just done before sliding his body in the hole as well, closing it behind him. Dropping down onto the walkway beside the sewer water, he glanced around. The tunnel was dark beside an eerie yellow glow casted by the few lights along the walls. The water was a murky green and he grimaced at the smell it emitted.

He couldn't see the woman any more, but he could hear sounds further down the tunnel. Following them, he heard two hushed voices. Turning the corner, he pressed his back against the wall, using the shadowed area between the lights to cloak him.

"Which way did Batman say he escaped to Milady?" The woman's butler, Laurence, as he learned later, asked. The woman shook her head, brows furrowed in irritation.

"Somewhere in this tunnel, but it's difficult to find him. He's practically invisible under the water." She said, gazing down at the smelly sewer water with a scowl.

Laurence nodded, "Perhaps Batman was able to find him on his tracker?" He said quickly, obviously wanting to get out of the disgusting tunnel.

"Maybe..." She agreed. "You go and ask."

"But Milady-"

"Go Laurence." She commanded, not letting him argue. He frowned, reluctant to leave, but still turned and climbed a ladder out of the sewer. The woman turned to the water and knelt, whistling. Jason saw a slight movement in the water, and the woman smiled in response.

"Go on, go home. You had your fun." She said softly, and the movement in the water turned down a side tunnel that led towards the asylum. The woman chuckled a bit with a grin then turned to leave as well. She paused, looking around a moment. Jason pressed back in the shadow as much as he could. She gazed in his general direction but turned, climbing up the ladder to the outside. Jason hurried to the ladder, and climbed up. He was curious who the woman was, and what that was in the water. His questions went unanswered though. When he reached the surface, he was in a dark alley, and the woman and her butler were gone.

Jason, now laying in bed, rolls over to look out the single window of his apartment, watching a small gray cloud pass by the bright moon. He smiles, enjoying the memory. That night had started his search, his curiosity overwhelming him. He had managed to learn that the woman lived in the house on Arkham Island, and her father had led the asylum. He never did learn what the thing in the water was. His next goal is not the water thing though, he wants to learn her name.

Finally closing his eyes, Jason sleeps, his anger of the woman's sketch fading as he finally finds his peace in dreams.