I slid up to the manor within minutes of leaving the beach. A thin layer of snow gently fell onto the green ground, covering Gotham in a blanket of white. The snowflakes, each individual, danced around me and landed on my hair and shoulders. A sudden shock of cool air went down my back. My hair felt as if it were being pulled backwards but when I looked, I noticed it turning white.
Johnny must be cold.
I ran inside the towering oak trees for doors and slammed them shut.
"Johnny!" I called out.
"Johnny?!" I shouted louder.
Okay don't panic, the worst thing to do now is panic.
I decided to ascend the staircase which led to our room. I hadn't seen it in a while. Opening the door I saw him sat on the ornate rug in the middle of our sitting room, playing with his toy trucks. He looked up at me, smiled then looked away with a look of concern in his eyes.
"What's up Hunny?" I asked, sitting cross legged next to him.
"Is Bane really my daddy?" His cutsie inner four year old came out.
I held his shoulder, making him look me in the eye. "I hate to say it but yes. He was different when we met. He was nice, sweet and the most gorgeous man you'd ever meet. But people change, don't they?"
"Like your hair!" He stood up and ruffled my hair up causing him to collapse in fits of giggles.
"Mummy, I don't like the masked man. He's scary and made me lift the cars so that the prisoners could be free. Am I a bad person for doing that?"
"No baby, you're not." He smiled and hugged me, squeezing me tightly.
"Hey mum! I have something to show you, it's from the Batman!" He held my hand and dragged me out of our room. Running down a long corridor we arrived in a posh living room which main feature was a grand piano. Johnny jumped over to it and began to smash some off key notes. The bookcase, grand and regal, slid open to reveal a lift.
"Come on!" He pushed me into it and we waited.
"Johnny, where are we..."
"Ssh, we are almost here!"
As the lift arrived on the ground floor the stench of bats filled my nostrils. We trod carefully out onto the metal flooring of which was suspended over a rocky waterfall. Looking up, I noticed computers and gadgets and the suit.
"We're in the BATCAVE?!" I gasped.
"Yeah! The batman said to stay here. He showed me it when the clown had put that thing in my arm!"
"The clown? Where is he at the moment?"
"He's in the asylum."
"But where's grandad?"
"Ohh, I don't know." Is he back home with mum?
I picked up the closest phone and dialled the mobile phone to my parents home. My mum picked up, her bubbly voice making me chuckle.
"Hellooooooo Pennyworth household! Mrs Pennyworth speaking."
"Mum, it's me!"
"Ohh Jane! How's the trip been? Has Johnny behaved?"
"We're fine, for now anyway. Have you seen dad?"
There was a slight pause." Well no Janey-kins I haven't. What's going on there?" Her voice went from bubbly to concerned.
"Bruce said he left to visit you but I guess he never showed up."
"Jane, is he alright?"
"I don't know."
"Mum, there's a note here!" I looked over to my boy who had found a scraggly piece of paper with sodden foot marks.
"I love you mum. Got to go, bye."
"Jane I ..." I cut her short by putting the phone down. Johnny approached with the letter in hands.
"Help. They've found me. The bat cave is no longer safe. They're taking me somewhere. It's the clown. Get out of there. Now!"
"What does it mean?" Johnny asked. "Wait! The jokers in the asylum so that's where Grandad will be."
"Let's go." I looked around for some way to escape but only saw a water fall.
I threw Johnny onto my back and began to run. Ice formed beneath my feet as I glided threw the waterfall and out into the city streets.
"Which way to Arkham, Johnny?"
"That way!" We had no time to loose. We sped through the streets, Johnny guiding my every move. We eventually arrived at the medical building. Tall and gothic, it towered over the frozen waters around Gotham. The red lighting surrounding the building only added to the fear of what could've happened to my dad.
We walked into the reception area. Nothing. Creeping behind the clinically clean desk I clasped my fingers around the gun lying there.
A sinister laugh filled the deadly quiet halls. The wards. Empty. The staff. Probably fled from fear. Now it was just the clown, dad, Johnny and I. Wrapping my fingers around Johnny's hand we began to tip toe towards the laughter. It grew louder and louder and resonated through me. Looking through the port hole windows, I could now see that the former patients were dead. Hung, shot or 'smiled'.
We carried on down the hallway. And reached the last ward. His ward.
No turning back now.
I gently twisted the door handle and pushed the door ajar. There sat Alfred. He was hunched over, tied to the only chair in the room. He looked towards me, tears in his eyes.
"Dad." I whispered. He violently threw his head back and forth telling us to leave but it wouldn't happen. I looked around the door and saw a small string tied to it. Tugging on my fingers Johnny began to slip in, not disrupting the trap that lay ahead.
The boy began to undo the string attached to the door. His scrunched up face helped as the knot began to untie on its own in mid air.
A short, high pitched welp drew my attention back to where Johnny was, or should have been.
The clown had him in his grasps. Minimal make up and a ripped suit showed his inner anger.
"Ohh, come on in Beautiful. No need to be scared."
I shoved the door open.
The string flew backwards and set off a fire which surrounded the room. I looked towards the clown who's inner human was showing.
"They ... They said I was crazy. They said that powers didn't exists. They called me a liar and tried to kill me." This was followed by a short insane chuckle. "But now I have you ... And him. And they'd believe me now. Oh yes they'd believe me. But whoops, I killed them all. AH HA HA HA HOOH!"
He threw Johnny to the ground, bits of his scraggly hair being caught in the flames.
"That's a funny thing belief." He started towards me. "You see it's that which made my class mates think I was crazy. They'd ... They'd say - well why would your dad do that to you?" He gestured towards his face. "They'd shove me in mud puddles and destroy any self respect I had left. And then when my dad killed my mother, the only person in the world who loved me ... Well then, then they were scared. They were scared I'd become him. And they were right."
He grabbed me and leant me towards the fire, my hair dangling close to the dancing flames.
"Bane did this to me. He'll do the same to you!"
I put my hand on his chest where his flesh was showing and let off a soothing ice sensation. Perhaps the mad man would calm down if he explained the situation.
He slapped it away and leant me into the fire more. Closer and closer. The flames circled my head.
"Why did you take my dad?"
"Why does anyone take anything? I needed to let you know I was still out there, that Bane is not your biggest concern. That I am like him."
As the psychotic clown sunk I was dropped into the flames. I threw my hands straight out and covered them in cool ice to stop them slowly eating me apart. I looked up from where I had fallen. The clown was on his knees while Johnny looks after dad.
"Look, I'm sorry for what your parents did to you. I'm sorry for what bane has done to you. But I can help."
"Jane don't, it's a trap!" Dad called.
The clown looked up, the make up running like a oil slicked river into his hands.
"You ... You can't help me. No one can. I am my father. I am what they said I'd become. I'd thought I'd make you into what I've become. But it hasn't worked. I am alone in this world and will die like the citizens by the hands of this masked man."
I crawled over to him and took the mans hands. Opening them I up I began to trace his life lines and heal his scars with my powers. He didn't look at me, just watched as his hand healed. Johnny and dad headed into the corner in case he wigged out. The joker looked up to me and smiled. The maniac that had once tried to kill my son was now looking like a human being who needed love and care.
"You have to go, if bane sees you ..."
"Do you want me to heal your scars?" I cut him short.
"Your face, do you want me to heal it?"
"I guess but ..."
I put my hands around the scars on his face and shut my eyes. I thought back to happier times like when Johnny was little. His first trip to the beach, his first snow day, his reaction to his favourite show. On opening my eyes I saw a man who wore a little clown make up. His hair was long and scraggly.
He was no longer the Joker. He could live a normal life now.
"Jack Napier. My names Jack Napier and I live in the Narrows."
I smiled at the newly changed man. I know it sounds crazy that a man who tried to kill Bruce, Johnny, Dad and many other can change so quickly but he just did. Johnny wondered over and placed his hands on Jacks temples.
"Think of things that make you happy. Forget the past and look towards a brighter future. Help us stop Bane."
Jack embraced us and ran off. I hope he'll be okay.
"What just happened?" My dad came over to us with a confused expression. His silver hair glinting in the clinical light.
"But ... But."
"Mummy and I are superheroes!" Johnny shouted.
We all got up and left Arkham, hoping we'd never return. However that was the least of our problems.
To stop Bane, we needed the batman. We need to find Bruce Wayne.
Once back at the manor, Johnny and I had to act like we wanted to be there. We wanted to be with Bane and that we wanted this revolution to happen. This continued for the following four months. Each night Bane was away tending to his army, we snuck into the Batcave and worked to find Bruce. Dad stayed down there seeing as the masked man thought the clown had killed him. He also believed that the clown killed himself as he could not come to terms with the imprisonment on the island.
On the month aniversary of our soon to be deaths Bane held a meeting in the ballroom. He had called us down in our frocks and suits from the night of dads party.
Part way through the meeting he called us in.
"There they are. My beautiful family. Come and show yourselves to the lovely gentlemen."
My navy dress hung from me and I'd forgotten how to walk in heels. Johnny's hollow eyes showed fear and tears yet potential to take down this mad man.
The doors were opened and we were revealed to a room of thugs and familiar faces.
One step. Two steps.
We slowly edged in, not wanting to disrupt the meeting in hand.
"And as you can see, we are not ordinary. With the proper training we could help you all in the next month before we die to get what you deserve."
Johnny went to cower behind me but Bane threw him to his side.
"Jonathan, the man in the mask. Scarecrow I believe his name is. I want you to take it off him without touching it."
Johnny shot his eyes in my direction.
He screwed up his face and did as he was told. Slowly the mask, which revealed an attractive Jonathan Crane, slid into the air and flew straight into Banes clutches.
The men who surrounded clapped and shouted at the boys talent.
"Jane, my beautiful girl, try and defend yourself against these attackers."
Bane had his strong arm around Johnny's neck.
I had to do it.
The meeting area was slowly moved backwards and the mobsters and criminals watched me.
Suddenly, men in black suits ran into the room. Any weapons they had were aimed at me.
"What's going on?" I blurted out.
"An active demonstration, try not to die."
Men attacked from all angles causing my icy heart to explode. I shot icicles at the ceiling, I shoved ice barriers up from the ground, I did everything I could to stop them.
It was over. The men lay unconscious or dead - this was not what I wanted to become.
I took in a deep breath.
One of the men in the suits came behind me and held a Broken shard of glass to my neck.
Bane appeared in front of me, eyes like daggers. He wasn't happy. I'd failed and I'd now face consequences.
I was escorted out the room with all it's occupants glaring. The oak tree doors were shut and we were alone in the hallway.
Just Bane and I.
"You failed that task. You embarrassed yourself as well as me."
I began edging backwards as Bane made his way towards me.
"I tried my hardest okay!" I blurted out. It was bad enough I had to pretend I liked this man as well as sleeping in the same bed as him and being his 'wife'.
I wanted this to stop.
But it wouldn't.
He came at me and instantly I threw my hands up, revealing a large ice barrier with it.
"Now you show me what you can really do."
He edged further forward and punched at the ice. It shattered into a millions pieces and tumbled to the floor.
Grabbing my throat I voiced my thoughts.
"Fine, hurt me again. Punch me endlessly. Kick me until my ribs puncture my lungs and my legs break but believe this. I will never stop trying to get away from you."
He released at once.
"It's not yourself who you care for most. If hurting your body won't break your mind then perhaps separating you will."
"Jonathan will stay with me from now on. You will be locked in Arkham for a week as punishment for your failure."
My jaw dropped.
"No." I uttered. "You can't do that."
"Looks like I have."
I was forced backwards by one of Banes right hand men. He held me close.
"Say goodnight Miss Pennyworth."
Gas to the face, I was out cold.
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