All rights go to the respective owners and writers of all story plots and characters used in this work of fanfiction. I own nothing and make no profit whatsoever.

Warning: Rated M for profanity, graphic violence, sexual content, and dark themes.

[Joker/Sofia Falcone (not OC)] [AU] [Gotham/Suicide Squad Crossover]


Prologue

Outside the window of Oswald Cobblepot's dreary office stood a rose bush. Much like one behind Father's. It shivered against the strong winds of the season. Its thin branches sagged with neglect and decay as the red petals of its beautiful flowers fell like droplets of tears.

Father would be appalled, Sofia thought. As queen of the garden, the rose deserves the utmost treatment and respect, his gentle voice echoed from the back of her mind, and must be treated as such. Otherwise, we have no business in her presence. Much like you, my dear Sofia.

A faint pang pricked at the edges of her heart.

"Fire your gardener," she said, interrupting Oswald's rant.

He stopped mid-sentence, a look of confusion crossing his pale face. "Pardon?"

From where she sat on his grey, custom velvet settee, she faced him and then gestured to the window. "Your rose bush. She's been neglected. No respectable gardener would allow it, which means you're paying for mediocre work."

With a jerk of his body, Oswald leaned into his cane and turned toward the window, his piercing, grey eyes landing on the bush. He blinked as if it were the first time he noticed the plant.

"Yes, of course," Oswald said absently. His weight shifted, and he turned back to Sofia with a polite smile. "I'll see to it that he never finds work again."

She smiled back, placated. Placing her glass of water on the round end-table to her left, she sat up straight, careful to not pull the stitches weaved along the side of her abdomen.

"I agree," she said, "it's about time the families respect the Cobblepot name. After all, the black market would still be a cohort of troglodytes if it wasn't for your intellect and sophistication."

A blush colored his sharp cheekbones a light pink. "I'm glad someone finally sees it."

"I will speak to them, Oswald."

His eyes widened with surprise. "You will?"

She nodded. "Yes, and they will listen."

Oswald exhaled a soft laugh. His mouth opened and closed as if he couldn't decide what to say, and after a few moments, he composed himself. He gave her a small bow of appreciation. "Thank you, Sofia. You won't regret it."

Sofia smiled back, accepting his gratitude. After her father's passing last week, she became the new Donna, or head, of the Falcone business—legitimate and illegitimate—and when the hospital finally released her, the criminal underworld wasted no time in trying to hustle her with offers, favors, and threats—typical gangster stuff she'd deal with later. For now, her interest was set on one person—Oswald Cobblepot, the third most powerful person in Gotham city.

She was second.

"Well, I'm famished," he said, pulling down the front ends of his black tailcoat. "Where would you like to eat? It's my treat."

Sofia thought for a moment, although she'd already decided the place. "Norma's," she replied, "I haven't been there since I left Gotham."

Oswald's merriment wavered. "Perhaps somewhere else," he offered.

"Oh, come now, Oswald. It'll be great. It has a lovely view of the river, and they make the most delicious Tagliatelle. It is to die for."

"I'm sure it is, and we would've had a grand time," he said with a tight smile, "if we could set foot there."

"What do you mean?"

"That's Joker's territory."

"Oh," she said, dismayed, "that's a shame."

"It is." He jerked away and limped to his desk, the end of his cane tapping softly against the oak hardwood floor. "To go to that side of town, we'd need an invitation, and he rarely gives those out without making you pay something ridiculous."

"How much does he charge? I'll pay it."

Oswald paused in his step and then spun around as if to shout, but then remembered whose company he invited over.

"Sofia," he said, carefully, as if he were speaking to a child who didn't understand the difference between hot and cold, "if the Joker was the kind of man who accepted money as payment, I'd own that part of town. But he's not. He's an unreasonable, egotistical, sadistic asshole." He paused and bowed his head. "Pardon my language."

"Well, what does he take as payment?"

Oswald shrugged. "The most humiliating thing he can conjure up in that psychotic brain of his. He once asked me to host a show at the Lounge of me tap dancing with a family of penguins while he tossed those- those," he waved his hand in the air as he tried to think of the name, "those fish crackers at me!"

Sofia held back a laugh. "GoldFish?"

"Yes," he deadpanned, "GoldFish."

"That is cruel."

"I despise him, Sofia. Before the Lounge, I owned a restaurant on Kanigher Avenue that served the best goulash. My mother's recipe. It was the first business I ever owned, and he blew it up!"

"Why?"

He shrugged. "Why does he walk around with that ridiculous hair and those tacky suits? Why does he laugh when there is absolutely nothing to laugh about? Who knows! But one of these days, I swear, I will destroy him. He and his stupid club."

With a huff, he shuffled around his desk and then plopped into his tall-framed office chair, pouting like a small child.

Sofia smiled to herself. Oswald could be so sulky. Holding a hand over her side, she lifted herself from the settee. He turned his head and nearly jumped to his feet when he realized she'd moved.

She held up a hand. "I'm all right," she assured.

Oswald watched her closely as she made her way to one of the two tufted armchairs resting in front of his desk. With conscious movements, she sat in the cushioned seat and took a moment to catch her breath. Usually, she liked to pretend that the gaping hole in her belly didn't make every movement a chore, but she trusted Oswald enough to show frailty. He, after all, knew what it was like to walk around with an injury.

"I understand your frustration, Oswald. I had many enemies in Miami. One in particular that thwarted me at every turn. And I can tell you there is no sweeter satisfaction than when you're finally rid of them. So I will help you when you decide to make your move."

Oswald stared at her for a moment as if he wasn't sure he'd heard her correctly. "I beg your pardon."

Sofia brushed her dark hair behind her shoulder and crossed her silk-clad hands over her lap. She'd been looking forward to this conversation since her arrival in Gotham.

"Since my father's passing," she began, "I've been looking more into his accounts and estates…and I'm not happy with them. He's lost much of it over the past ten years to that clown. I want it all back."

For a moment, she thought he'd spring from his seat, tell her to gear up, and exit the room with a flounce. Instead, his excitement dwindled.

"The families would never approve," he lamented, melting back into his chair.

Sofia chose not to take that as an insult.

"Oswald," she called, drawing his attention back to her, "I'm a Falcone, which makes me more powerful than any of them combined. I don't need their approval."

"Your father already tried to take him down, and it nearly destroyed him."

"This is true, but do you know why he lost?" His puffy eyes narrowed as they always did when someone knew something he didn't. He shook his head. Sofia gave him a sweet smile, the kind that deepened her dimples. "Because he didn't have you, Oswald."

The skepticism flicked right off his face, and to reel him in further, she leaned in as if she was about to tell him a juicy secret.

"You and I," Sofia said in a soft voice, "can do what no one else has ever done… We can destroy the Clown Prince of Crime. Once and for all."

With Oswald's sovereignty of the black market and his connections to the other gangs scurrying in the night, she could wrangle enough power to overthrow Joker and his unruly empire—utterly ruin him. Even if the families refused to help her, in the end, they'd be left with no choice because the clown was as violent as he was powerful. He'd turn the city into a war zone—something her father learned the hard way ten years ago. No one spoke about those times anymore, at least not to her, but she knew the story. The war for Gotham lasted for weeks, tore up buildings and lives like a tornado, and to save what was left of the city, Carmine "The Roman" Falcone gave up his position on the battlefield and retreated, leaving the Falcone name to diminish with the fires that had engulfed the streets.

But that was a long time ago, and Sofia was not her father. She'd gladly watch the city burn if it meant the other side couldn't have it.

Oswald's grey eyes stared at her for a long time before they blinked. Clearing his throat, he sat up in his chair and glanced around the room to make sure there were no prying ears, even though he knew no one would dare linger at Cobblepot Manor without an invitation.

Leaning over the desk, he turned his face to her and asked in a low voice, "do you really think so?"

"I know so," she replied, "and why stop there? Together, we can take down each and every self-proclaimed ruler of Gotham. Demolish the entire court. This could be our city."

Oswald nodded as the wheels turned in his head, the corners of his mouth turning upward. "As King and Queen of Gotham," he added.

She grinned. "Precisely."

Suppose she really wanted to butter him up. In that case, she'd tell him the other Italian families were just small-time gangsters compared to him—that if Sofia wanted something done, he was the person to ask—but she refrained. He'd been waiting for a chance to take down the most powerful player in the city for a long time, since before he became Penguin. Therefore, a little push would suffice for now.

A wide grin stretched beneath Oswald's beak-like nose. "I have a feeling we're going to be the best of friends, Sofia."

She gave him a close-lipped smile, coy and sweet, and said, "we already are, Oswald. We already are."