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The Dark Knight - Batman/Joker - Morbid Fascination - Oneshot
[alice] roads
sadie_k_adder wrote in leahs_corner
Title: Morbid Fascination
Author: sadie_k_adder or Sadie K. Adder
Genre: Angst
Fandom: Batman (Nolanverse)
Pairings: Batman/Joker
Rating: PG; it's a little dark, but there's nothing too overwhelming.
Warnings: TDK Spoilers
Summary: Batman and the Joker do complete each other, whether Batman likes it or not. Set some time after TDK; first person POV.
Notes: Basically, this is me testing the waters of the fandom, trying to decide how and where I feel comfortable. So there's a lot of dialogue and a lot of background; I find that when I'm just starting out writing for a fandom, character and story understanding are mandatory if I want to write good slash. So hopefully this is just a cautious taste of what is to come later. :)

Morbid Fascination

I wasn’t always above the law, and I hate to consider myself that way. The system had been broken for a long time, and the only way to fix it was to rise above it. It wasn’t as glorious as one might assume, either. It was dangerous and dark and confusing, and many of the innocent I swore to protect hated me for my choice. They were blind to their own protection, but I had to let their disdain roll off of me. Batman can’t get his feelings hurt; he can’t become emotionally involved. Day by day I take the pain and the hardships…but I know it’s for a greater cause—one that my father believed in. And I believe in my father. I learned that to affect great change you must often make great sacrifices.

The only thing worse than sacrificing yourself again and again for a hugely ignorant populous is easily seeing those sacrifices turn into nothing beneficial. Like taking two steps forward and three steps back, or walking into a brick wall when you thought you had a clear path, I was seeing my hard work turn into nothing. It was all due to one man—a man I had locked away.

After Harvey died I became the villain. The Joker had been defeated. People were terrified during his reign, but they seemed to have a masochistic complex. They longed to look on the front page of The Gotham Times and find some horrible news of a homicide. They were angst mongers, all of them. They quickly forgot about the horrors the psychopath had put them through—but they did not quickly forget what I had done. In taking the fall for Dent, I had carved myself into their new Villain. Until the Joker made his return from behind Arkham’s walls.

I couldn’t find his contacts. I couldn’t get to the bottom of his attacks. He had influence everywhere, or so it seemed. Prison walls couldn’t hold him. A padded cell did not stop him from committing crimes against the people of Gotham. Thieves and murderers in clown masks continued his reign while their malicious King of Crime sat behind bars, pretending to know nothing of the world beyond his walls.

Then, taking the blame for the atrocities committed by Gotham’s fallen white knight proved fruitless when the Joker seduced a young intern at Arkham. Harlene Quintel was supposedly a smart, compassionate person with a good head on her shoulders…but then again, so was Harvey Dent. Both were corrupted at the hands of the Joker, and turned into something less than they could be—maddened by grief or passion or whatever emotion the Joker saw dominating them. I despised him so deeply the hatred made my heart want to leap out of my chest in a fit of blind rage.

But truth be told, I was also fascinated by him. A brilliant man like the Joker could inspire so much good… What made him choose to inspire chaos instead? I couldn’t get the answer out of him.

I was so lost in these many thoughts as I concealed myself among Gotham’s rooftops that I didn’t hear the soft footsteps approaching me until the young woman broke into my thoughts with her words. “I have a message for you, Batman!”

I whirled quickly to find myself standing in front of Harley Quinn. She flashed me a large smile that might have been pretty, were it not for the mad obsession behind it. She was bold in coming to me. When she wasn’t with the Joker there was an innocence about her that handicapped me. Joker tried to prove there was no innocence. If I harmed innocence, I was helping his cause. “What do you want, Harlene?” I growled, even knowing she despised the use of her real name.

The cheerful look on her face faded quickly and she glared at me. “Harley Quinn!”

I turned to leave, and she quickly bounded after me, exclaiming, “Wait, wait! I have a message for you!”

“Tell the Joker to deliver his messages himself,” I snarled.

“He’s waiting for you right now,” Harley chirped. “He’s at that old abandoned theatre on South Street. He wants to have a word.”

I turned slightly, showing her the profile of my masked face. “The Joker never wants just a word.”

“This time he does,” Harley insisted. “He says it gets boring when you avoid him. You’re lucky he says such nice things about you.” She sighed longingly. “‘Batman’ this, ‘Batman’ that! I wish he paid so much attention to me!”

I didn’t need to affirm or deny a rendezvous with the Joker with Harley. I made my exodus over the side of the building, gliding until I could touch down safely. Things were never so simple with the Joker. I didn’t believe for one minute that he just wanted “a word” with me. Still, I made my way to South Street, driven by an invisible force—hatred…or morbid fascination.

* * * * *


The building was dark and quiet inside—a contrast from the bright city lights and loud noises outside. I engaged night vision before going any further. I’d allowed the Joker to get the drop on me one too many times. Trouble was, it was hard to predict him, though he seemed to figure out how to read me like a book. This made it easy for him to surprise me, but very difficult for me to surprise him.

“Good evening, Batman,” a familiar voice penetrated the silence.

Simultaneously, the lights turned on, and everything went white. I winced inwardly and switched off my night vision, annoyed that I had used it in the first place, thereby falling right into whatever trap he’d set. My eyes were open, but I couldn’t see anything—not yet. I pretended I had no vision problems as my eyes adjusted to the light.

“No hello for me? That cuts me deep, friend.”

“I’m not your friend,” I snapped, feeling that familiar anger start to bubble up inside of me.

“Then why…do we keep meeting like this?” The voice was right in front of me now, and I started to make out the outline of the madman.

“Harlene found me. What do you want?” I got straight to the point. When I had my vision back I was fully prepared to try once again to bring him back to Arkham. Until then, I’d distract him with conversation. It was a good plan…but one that always failed anyway.

“Pitiful Batman! Like a beaten dog returning to an abusive owner! You just can’t get enough of me, can you?”

“What do you want?” I all but roared, feeling especially heated as the menace himself slowly formed in front of my eyes.

The Joker was always a sight to behold, but even more so lately. He wasn’t an arrogant man—that much was evident from how little self importance he exhibited. Still, there had been such a smug air about him since his break out from Arkham. Or maybe I just perceived him that way in my irritation. He licked his lower lip and smiled the would-be charming smile of a sociopath. “I want to have a little chat.”

He walked a few paces away to a padded bench in the theatre lobby. He sat down and crossed one leg over the other, looking like a businessman gone wrong. “Won’t you join me?” He pressed, raising an eyebrow at me.

“I can hear you just fine from over here,” I responded.

He sat there for awhile, looking very pensive, occasionally licking his lips or running his tongue over his teeth. At last his gaze met mine again and he gave me a very exasperated look. “Very well, I’ll just come right out with it. The truth is always far more interesting than a lie is, don’t you think?” He wasn’t expecting me to answer, so he carried on. “You’re not playing my little game anymore. I dangle live bait in front of you, and you let the cops get to me first. Some kid robs a gas station, on the other hand…and you’re there in a heartbeat to stop the fiend from taking off with five dollars. Did I wear the Batman out?” He leaned forward, giving me a piercing look as he did so.

I simply glared back, trying to wear as apathetic an expression as I could maintain. “I go where I’m needed,” I said finally, when his silent stare became unnerving.

He laughed and I suppressed the chill that dared to crawl up my spine. He stood up, apparently forgetting that he’d wanted me to sit with him. “You go where you want to,” he said, his expression hardening as he slowly approached me. “Justice isn’t blind, and you know it.”

“You’re right,” I growled, taking my time with my words, letting him draw even closer. “I go where I want to.”

The maniacal smile returned. “Defeat shouldn’t be in your vocabulary, Batman. My life was dull before you had the misfortune of meeting me… I’d probably snap if I had to face a world without Batman again.” He sniggered.

“So that’s it then? You wanted to give me a pep talk?” I pressed.

The Joker stopped walking and shrugged emphatically. “I have a gift for being persuasive.”

I took a step closer. “You’ve convinced me, Joker,” I said, adopting a slightly casual inflection—hopefully to put him off his guard.

He took a couple more steps, which was just enough. “I hate to sound needy,” he said, releasing a small sigh and pausing to lick his lips once again. “But I truly do need you. If you weren’t here I’d probably go insane.”

He started cackling, and I instantly reached out to grab the collar of his jacket with one hand, my other forming into a fist so I could swing a punch. The blow brought a trickle of blood out of his nose, but it also caused his laughter to increase. I hit him again, the feeling bringing me great satisfaction. He laughed even harder. He was daring me to hit him again—he was enticing me toward breaking my one damn rule. I let go, and he stumbled backward before falling down. His laughter seemed to fill the whole lobby. I turned away with a loud growl of annoyance.

“It would be so easy,” the Joker managed between chortles. “You’re strong enough that one well planned hit could do it. Or you could disarm me and stab me with my own knife! Or we could always try to redo Act I and you could actually let me fall to my death this time… The possibilities are endless, Batman.”

“I won’t kill you, Joker,” I said harshly, turning around to look at him as he slowly rose to his feet again. “It’s not my place.”

“Not your place?” The Joker exclaimed. “Who else can kill me but my worthy adversary? You—“

“You pretend that you want me to kill you,” I cut in loudly, angrily, “but I know the truth. You’re a coward. You only hound me to kill you because you know I won’t do it.”

The Joker approached me again, a triumphant gleam in his eyes. “You prove me right once again with the mere fact that you have to tell yourself that. You have to make me out to be less wicked in your own mind. You have to believe there’s ‘something more’ to me than crime and murder. It’s the only way you can convince yourself to keep me alive. I can break down your morals into nothing. There is no such thing as ‘morals.’”

“You tell yourself that to justify what you do to people,” I growled. “By your logic, you can break me down into you. And by your logic, I can build you up into a human being.”

Perhaps it was in a fit of anger, or perhaps it was out of mere defiance that the Joker suddenly pulled a knife out of his pocket and swung at me. I managed to duck, and then brought my arm up to block his, disarming him in the process. I punched him in the face once more, knocking him to the ground again. This time he appeared to black out. I knew the wise thing would be to bind his hands and feet, gag him, and then take him to Gordon. Instead my curiosity got the better of me.

I knelt beside the fallen madman and flicked a strand of greenish hair off of his forehead. My eyes narrowed as I considered the man behind the make up. I was close enough that I could see every detail of his fabled scars. I pondered why on earth he could possibly have done such a thing to his own face—for that was the assumption I had made about him a long time ago. He was mad enough to do that to himself, and not mad enough to let someone else do it to him.

“You know, you are much too close for comfort,” he said suddenly.

His eyes were still shut, and he still didn’t move. My heart was pounding; I had almost jumped back out of shock. Batman didn’t make sudden movements so I managed to keep myself still. “Then do something about it,” I said.

The Joker was always one to rise to a challenge. I was surprised when all he did was sit up, and give me a bemused look. He licked his lips. I grabbed his collar and he grabbed my arms—his consistent, natural reaction. I felt unattached from myself as my lips met his. This had happened once before, but I had dismissed it from my memory on purpose. It was inexplicable, it was irrational, it was insane…just like the Joker.

He took a moment to gain any sort of comprehension of what was happening. At first he started out, seemingly so out of practice. Then his lips moved fiercely, languidly. His tongue, ever licking, couldn’t get enough of mine. There was curiosity, there was a thirst to know me. There was something so feral about the way his tongue slid over my lips, hoping that by tasting me he could understand me. I wondered if I was sub-consciously thinking the same thing as I explored his scarred mouth.

The kiss didn’t last long. His hands had moved up to my biceps, and though the material of the bat suit was strong, I could still feel his death grip. Likewise, I had grabbed either side of his jaw, severely smudging his makeup. When I pulled away I was trying not to gasp for air, and he was breathing heavily. I threw him back down and stood up. He licked his swollen lips, their usual vivid red quite faded. “I told you you go where you want to go,” he taunted, a slight smirk lighting up his face.

I had nothing else to say to him—not at that moment. At that moment I left the theatre without another word. I returned to my temporary penthouse for a night of restless sleep and maddening dreams. I went on to be my alter ego, Bruce Wayne, the following day. It wouldn’t be long and the Joker would hold Gotham hostage in a state of terror. It wouldn’t be long and the Joker would threaten double homicide or something even worse. It wouldn’t be long and the Joker would summon me to him by whatever means necessary.

And I would go to him—drawn by hatred…or morbid fascination.

THE END

---

Notes: 1) I don't think Harley Quinn's cameo was necessary, per se, but it was fun for me to explore her character a bit. Plus, I think she lightened the fic, even if just for awhile. :)
2) Um...I guess I have no other notes. It was really fun to write the dialogue. The Joker can be difficult because I want to give him just the right inflection so there have to be a lot of pauses and emphatically spoken words. I hope he comes off right for the most part. And I hope everyone enjoyed the ficlet! ♥

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Re: Such a Promising Beginning.......^-~

lol Thanks! I'm trying to decide if I want to continue this one or leave it a oneshot and start something new. But if I continue it, I'll definitely have to touch on that first kiss. ;)

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