After leaving Wayne Manor, I occupied my time by becoming more familiar with Gotham. I purchased clothes that I deemed appropriate for work, and had a monstrous meal at a vintage cafe in the center of town. For the most part, I wandered around aimlessly, avoiding the shadier parts of the city. To my misfortune, I had to pass through the most dangerous streets to reach my lonely abode.

Once again, my curious feet carried me to wear I last saw the Bat. I found myself hoping that I would see him, despite the remaining daylight steadily succumbing to darkness. I was disappointed that seeing a costumed man was all I had to look forward to in my life, but nevertheless, I discreetly looked for him. The fire escapes appeared bare, nor did I notice anyone parading across the rooftops. I even overturned a couple of trash cans. With a dramatic sigh, I headed in the approximate direction of my apartment. I felt an abrupt gust of air on the back of my neck, and I turned around in surprise. He landed in front of me in a crouched position and straightened his legs until he was over a foot taller than me.

"You shouldn't be looking for me," the Bat mumbled, his lips hardly parting as he spoke. Without realizing it, I took a large step back, frowning at my cowardice. Apparently my search wasn't as subtle as I thought. My eyes slowly drifted upwards to his menacing stare. I guessed his eyes were a deep brown hue, but it was difficult to tell due to the curve of his intricate mask.

"I'm not looking for you," I said in denial. "I'm looking for my apartment," I snapped, crossing my arms against my chest. My body remained rigid, still considering the Bat a potential threat. For all I knew, he could be a serial killer. I earnestly hoped that I wasn't his next victim. The Bat must have decided to spare me, because he replied to my bitter statement.

"In the trash barrel?" he asked pointedly. I opened my mouth to say something, but settled on a pathetic scowl. "You're going to get hurt," the Bat threatened angrily, turning to leave.

"Wait!" I called, walking forward. "Who are you?" The Bat didn't respond, instead choosing to turn down a shadowy trail. His actions were rather bat-like, I mused. I listened to his light footsteps fade away, then squinted down the alleyway after him. He had disappeared, like a ghost. I grumbled at his brisk visit, continuing on my way.

A raw hand grasped my shoulder, and I glanced back, expecting the Bat. I recognized the man as one of the dealers from last night. He grinned slightly as he remembered me, then steered me down the alley. I struggled against his grip, but failed to pull away.

"Ey boss!" he yelled. "I found tha bitch I was tellin' you bout last night!" I noticed the same crowd of men, but with a few strange additions. There were six guys dressed as clowns loading crates from the dealer's van into their own. I laughed sorely to myself. Gotham was just one big fucking costume party.

"The Crow isn't uh, here at the moment," a voice drawled. I looked around for the person speaking, and my eyes landed on a smiling figure standing amongst the clowns. His greasy hair was a worn green, with obvious blonde roots. He wore poorly done white face makeup, and had black smeared around his eyes. I wasn't truly frightened until I saw the scars that extended from his mouth to his cheeks, covered in red lipstick. Well, at least I thought it was lipstick. He was dressed in a dirty green vest, which was covered by a purple trench coat. I winced at his getup.

"I suppose," he began with a devilish grin. "That none of you are useful to me anymore." He tapped his chin, as if thinking, as the men from last night looked at him in fear. He gestured for an armed clown to come over to him, then took the gun from his hand. As I watched in horror, he planted a bullet in someone's forehead, and his clowns followed his lead. Within a minute, the dealers were bleeding out on the concrete, and I was standing next to the man who found me. A knife glinted in the head clown's hand.

"Scarecrow's not gonna like this," the man muttered, pressing me to the front of his body like a shield. I groaned at my predicament. I was the only thing standing between the clown's knife, and the condemned man. "We had a deal," he continued boldly. "You got the drug!"

"Did I?" the malign clown snarled, his voice rising. "I think all I received was a couple bottles of air." My captor shivered against me, pulling me closer to him by my waist. The clown's glare turned to me as he flashed a yellowed grin, then looked back to the man. "Now, I uh don't think we want anybody finding out about this." He took a step forward, until I could feel his breath. I ducked as he plunged the knife into my captor's neck. Rolling away, I narrowly avoided landing under the dying body.

"What's your part in all of this, beautiful?" the clown inquired, smoothing back his oily hair with a gloved hand. He lifted me by the collar of my blouse, and observed me curiously. I self-consciously tried to adjust my scrunched up skirt, currently regretting my interview outfit. He trailed his leather gloves across my lips as I leaned away from him. "Wanna know how I got these scars?"

"Bad day at the circus?" I guessed with a smirk of my own. His upturned lips opened as he released a piercing chuckle. Then he pressed his white scarred cheek to my smoother one, and spoke into my ear.

"Never heard that one before, darling," he sneered. "But I don't like when people talk back to me," the clown hissed. I resisted the urge to gulp. "I uh, think our little sojourn has concluded." When I felt the cold metal of his knife forced to my neck, I panicked. I recoiled harshly from his nonchalant grip, pushing myself off of him. I scanned the area, then dashed down a side street before he could aim his gun at me.

"Well?" I heard him exclaim. "Get her! Or I'll, uh, kill all of you!" When I turned again, another gloved hand came over my mouth. As he pulled me farther down the alleyway, I ripped his hand off irritably.

"I've had just about enough of this shit today," I said angrily. "So I suggest y.." I trailed off when I realized that I was face to face with the Bat. "You couldn't have appeared a bit earlier, huh?" I complained pathetically.

"I was preoccupied," he replied. To my surprise, he expanded on his statement. "The Scarecrow was planning on delivering a certain drug to the Joker. I had to make sure that he didn't receive it." I was pleased to know that I had fresh information for him.

"It was still handed over," I countered. "But Bozo the clown found out it was fake, then killed everyone." The Bat looked at me in bewilderment, probably wondering how I knew that. Nevertheless, I continued. "Frankly, I don't think either side was going to hold up their end of the bargain." From what I gathered, the Scarecrow was exchanging a drug with the clown for something in return, most likely money. I doubted either side was on friendly terms at the moment.

"The Joker had you?" he said with a growl. "And you lived?" I realized that the clown was called the Joker, a rather fitting name, I decided. I quickly explained to the Bat how I encountered the Joker, and may have slightly exaggerated my simple escape. Abruptly, he stopped walking and tilted his head as if he was listening. I heard a pair of gaudy footsteps nearing us.

A grinning figure planted itself beneath a street light, casually leaning against it. The Joker brushed his faded green hair from his face, and straightened his tie mockingly. The clown extracted a knife from his trench coat and flipped it open, his smirk never leaving his disfigured face. Why the Hell did I move to Gotham?

Author's Note:
Thanks for reading! I'm planning on editing this chapter to make it slightly less confusing, so please bare with me until then. I know, the chapters a sort of short, but when school gets out I'll be able to update more frequently. Please review, whether you like it or think it sucks...any and all reviews are appreciated!