Disclaimer: I wish I owned TDK and JOKER, but I don't, so don't sue.

Hey, JAc here.

I really wanted to thank my reviewers.

Larenmlbc and darchayez-thanks to you guys.

Thank you also-to the three other people who added this story to your fav. list

or alert list. I didn't know if you wanted to be mentioned-lemme know!

Thank you so much for reading, please review-I really appreciate it!-It keeps me going!

-Thanks, JAc :)

Jolene

jolene jolene jolene jolene
I'm begging of you, please don't take my man
jolene jolene jolene jolene
please don't take him even though you can
your beauty is beyond compare
with flaming locks of auburn hair
with ivory skin
and eyes of emerald green
your smile is like a breath of spring
your voice is soft like summer rain
I cannot compete with you jolene
and he talks about you in his sleep
and there is nothing I can do to keep
from crying when he calls your name, jolene
jolene jolene jolene jolene
I'm begging of you please don't take my man
jolene jolene jolene jolene
please don't take him even though you can
well I can easily understand
how you can easily take my man
but you don't know what he means to me jolene
well you could have your choice of men
but I could never love again
he's the only one for me jolene
and I had to had to have this talk with you
my happiness depends on you
and whatever you decide to do jolene
jolene jolene jolene jolene
I'm begging of you please don't take my man
jolene jolene jolene jolene
please don't take him even though you can

-The White Stripes (originally written and performed by Dolly Parton)

The car had come to the end of its journey in one of the roughest parts of one of the most dangerous cities in the country. Despite the fact that the conversation he had just been involved in was consuming his thoughts, it hadn't gone unnoticed to the Joker that he and his new companion had been steadily creeping into the worst part of town over the past several minutes.

The woman reached in her pocket and pulled out a small, black box. She opened it and pulled out a long, black cigarette. Putting it to her mouth, she was about to light it when the Joker spoke up. His voice was bordering intimidating as he spoke sarcastically to her.

"Smoking kills, you know." It was more of a statement than a question and more of a mockery than a statement.

She smiled with the cigarette dangling from her lips. Her soft demeanor brutally contrasted her actions and speech. Everything about her was a contrast and by this point, even the Joker wouldn't deny that he was beyond intrigued, almost bordering enthralled, and quickly developing a short-term infatuation.

"They kill huh? . . . Well so do I . . ." She spoke softly but firmly. Her voice was unwavering even with the cigarette pressed firmly between her lips, unwilling it to fall.

"And if I know…" She paused and held a black lighter up to the cig. She finally lit it and the smell of smoke, clove, and juicy fruit filled the car. He was amused; even her choice of cigarette was interesting. Grasping it between the fingers on her left hand, she glanced out the window and exhaled graciously. She repeated herself. "And if I know . . . then why are you telling me that they kill?"

She inhaled off the cig, smoke penetrating her throat and lungs. She turned toward the man she'd picked up earlier; his eyes were already trained on her face. Thinking briefly about what was just said, they both instantaneously started laughing.

The entire last part of their ongoing conversation was simply too perfect. His response to her smoking habit ultimately mocked her intelligence because it was as if he were saying she did not know the risks involved in smoking. Her response to him was ironically humorous because she actually did kill people just like cigarettes. The fact that they both understood the damage of smoking only added to the hilarity and made what they said unnecessary.

All of these things combined meant that the conversation had been ultimately pointless, which was funny because they were so intelligent that pointless conversation rarely, if ever, occurred for either one of them, let alone the fact that they were now together. It was too perfect and both of them understood the humor in the situation. Two nearly complete strangers and here they were laughing together and conversing as if they were old friends reunited and catching up. As if they were as 'normal' as the rest of society-the exact same society that they were mocking for their pretended 'normalcy'.

After a few minutes, their laughing died down. The Joker openly smiled showing his teeth and looked out his window. The woman looked down with an equally pleasant but closed mouth smile. She realized then that she still had her cigarette; smoking had almost become a part of her and she had forgotten that it was there. She took a long drag and adjusted comfortably to the newly acquired silence in the car.

It was then that she realized that she had been getting too comfortable with her passenger. She also felt that he was getting a little too comfortable in her presence, which actually made her uncomfortable.

She wanted his fear. Fear was not respect, she knew this, but she still thrived on it, loved it even, and she . . . She did not love.

She thought quickly, deciding that using their current whereabouts would most likely prove to be affective in bothering her new companion.

Fear was not the only thing she wanted. She wanted something else as well, something that wouldn't be realized by him until she wanted him to, something that would not come into play until much, much later.

"You wondering why I live here?" She wasn't asking; she didn't really care if he was wondering or not. She was, once again, simply sharing her views. Without waiting for his response, which only proved her lack of consideration for his reply, she began speaking again. "I live here because . . . because this," she gave a small chuckle at the irony of the statement that she was about to make, "this . . . is the safest part of town."

This statement, which would have shocked anyone else, merely intrigued the Joker, making him inquire her reasoning behind the awkward statement, causing him to look directly at her. Had it been anyone else who had suggested it . . . who said that this crime ridden part of town, the part of town that consisted solely of human filth and desolate buildings that had been abandoned long ago, the Joker would have thought they were ridiculous and dismissed them and their foolishness, but something about her, something about this particular woman told him that she would be able to completely back her statement. She would fully explain herself and her thoughts. And he knew, even before she began to speak, that she would impress him in her reasoning.

"You see," she began. He noticed that she often began her statements with this particular introduction. "Most people think that this is the worst part of town when the reality of it is that this is the safest part. It is well known that this part of town contains most of the city's best known and most feared criminals, correct?" she glanced in his direction and he simply nodded 'yes' in response.

She continued. "Which means . . . most 'normal' people, most idiotic people, would avoid this particular part of the city like a damn plague . . . you know what?" She sporadically broke off into a stemming thought. "I feel like naming a specific plague. Let's say . . . Bubonic . . . Anyway, back to the point."

Her random insertion of an unimportant and fictional detail made the Joker smile beside her.

"So, people avoid this part of the city like the Bubonic plague, not even coming near it. Well, the way I see it, all the criminals will go out to other parts of the city to do their bidding. I mean, there's no point in robbing any houses in such a poor, low-class part of town; there'd be nothing to rob!" She was smiling along with him now. "So, essentially, you don't really have to worry about getting anything stolen or being mugged. If you live here, the criminals aren't going to rob you. I figure that they must view it as pointless . . .

" Another reason why they wouldn't do anything here is the attention . . . The way I see it is, if you live here, and you're a criminal, why would you ever want to draw attention to yourself? It wouldn't make much sense to commit crimes in the area of your own residence, which would invite all the cops and detectives to come into the area.

"Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all of the local criminals are smart or anything even resembling intelligent, but the fact that they are street savvy is undeniable. They know that if they commit crimes in the other parts of the city, they will not only be more successful in their findings, but will also keep the attention of authorities away from their place of residence," she said.

She had all but finished making her point by now, which, just as the Joker had suspected, proved to be one worthy of his attention.

"Plus," she added a moment later, "I know I won't be bothered. I figure the rest of the populace is too chicken shit to come into this part of town."

With that the both of them began laughing again, as if they completely understood each other and why it was the 'normal' people who should be avoided.

She spoke with truth, not wanting to blatantly scare him, but wanting to instill fear through subtlety mentioning certain things. She would then shift the focus to less important topics, making them the main point and bringing them into the fore front, hoping that he would be too focused on the first part to notice. Unfortunately for her, her passenger was quite a bit smarter than she'd noted, which meant that he had caught onto what she was doing before even she knew.

They got out of the car and circled around to the back of the car. She leaned nonchalantly against the trunk with her legs crossed at the ankles and her arms folded across her chest and still smoking her black cigarette. The Joker was leaning next to her, his stance a bit more hunched than hers. They were looking out at the street, which was cast in a dingy golden glow amongst the blackness. They weren't saying a word, as if they had been friends throughout their entire existence. They had that comfort of a long friendship, without the knowledge of all the little secrets that often create a burden and complicate the relationships of average people by adding an uncomfortable air to the situation.

She inhaled a last drag then tossed the butt in front of her. She looked half disgusted at it, or perhaps herself for the degrading habit. She side-stepped around him and headed towards a shabby building's entrance.

'This must be her apartment,' he thought.

She turned her head and glanced over her shoulder, a pair of smoldering eyes now turned to focus on the Jokers naked face. He shrugged himself off of the car and began to follow after her. She turned away, but waited for him to join her in walking. He was at her side in less than two strides. Although he shuffled when he walked, he was somehow able to cover huge distances with a small amount of steps. She threw open the glass door to the street entrance of the apartment building and they were immediately greeted with a small section of hallway to the left and a flight of stairs almost directly in front of them. He followed her up the weatherworn stairs. They had huge dips in them where they had been walked on the most. The walls were a dirty, piss yellow with wood paneling about half-way up. She seemed to be bounding up the stairs.

He was looking at the stairs, but glanced up momentarily and was greeted by the pleasant image of her rear. He really didn't know what to think of it, being that it was very near to his face and all.

Being the Joker, he thought that the humanistic practice of holding something as disgusting as the ass of a person in such high regards was pathetic. He viewed these body parts as simply mechanical, things that were meant simply to serve purpose. However, something from his instinctive side, the side that co-owned his body with two other sides, was guiding his body now, and it was telling him that he liked what he saw. He usually did things based on the instinctive, lusting side, which was usually lusting for blood, death, or destruction. The other two sides were his logical side and his manipulative side; all three of these sides were extremely intelligent and were always fighting for dominance of his body.

He shifted his focus as they came up the third flight of stairs. He wondered if anyone besides her lived here, but didn't really care; he would find out more later. She pulled her keys from her pocket and unlocked only one lock on her third floor door. She obviously actually believed her own words and didn't feel that anyone would ever break into her apartment.

Her apartment was located on the top floor and was quite small. It literally consisted of three rooms. They entered a living room that was nearly barren of furniture. There was a couch with two side tables and a lamp on one of them, an outdated television in the corner, and a coffee table in front of the couch. The furniture was old and shabby looking. The living room had an adjourning kitchen to its left. The kitchen also looked like it hadn't been updated since its creation. It still had its pathetic avocado colored fridge, which was obviously an original. The cabinets looked equally as broken; some didn't even have doors on them. There was a bedroom directly behind the living room couch with a bathroom to its left that could be entered through either the bedroom or the living room.

The only thing that stood out was the very same thing that saved the apartment from being completely bare; the entire apartment was scattered with books, newspapers, journals, notebooks, and anything that could be read or written in. They were everywhere: on the tables, on the couch, on the top of the T.V. and they were practically carpeting the floor. He hadn't been in her bedroom, but he imagined that it would be similar, with papers strewn about the room.

There was also one other thing of interest. There was a single, pathetic little plant sitting on the sill of one of the only two windows in the living room. It only had two leaves and it was struggling to maintain both of them simultaneously. Almost as soon as he had given it a single thought in his infinitely genius mind, than the woman walked over to the plant with a small dropper and squeezed exactly three drops of water on the plant. It almost immediately seemed to perk up a bit and regain some of its color.

"I know, it looks pathetic," she said as if almost reading his thoughts. "But, you see, sometimes deprivation makes things stronger, better. Survival instincts kick in when things have to fight to maintain life. It allows observers to see their true nature, the true nature of things. I guess that kind of applies to my views on society," she laughed mildly. "It's same thing, different group that it is being applied to. Give enough . . . or should I say take away enough from people, society, anything really . . . and they'll . . . they'll . . ." She was desperately searching for the correct set of words.

He interrupted her abruptly, saying what she was not, "They'll eat each other to survive. It's ridiculous really, the true lack of discipline that these people will have under the correct circumstances."

It was at that moment that they both realized that a true connection was made. It wasn't sexual, or violent, but rather a true human connection between two animalistic individuals. They were staring at each other.

She broke the stare and moved away from the plant and sat down on the couch. She shoved several newspapers and a book off of the cushion next to her to the floor. The Joker took it as a sign to sit next to her. She tried to turn on the television, but was met with only static. Not wanting to get up and adjust the rabbit ears, she sighed and turned it off.

"Oh well, it would've probably just been boring shit anyway," she spoke nonchalantly. "I mean, there was probably nothing major, just some local shooting, robbery, whatever." She laughed, which made the Joker look at her curiously. She broke off to start talking again.

"We'd have known if the Joker attacked," she paused, setting up the joke, "We would have heard 'boom' and screams and felt a quake. The sky would be a cloud of black dust right now." She laughed and he laughed with her.

'Oh, if she only knew.' He thought.

After a moment passed, she decided that she would get up and adjust the T.V. after all. She turned it on and started fiddling with the antennas. The Joker found himself glancing around the room in his usual bored fashion, which always came off as if he was interested in something, rather than bored of everything. Eventually she got a strong enough signal that she could move away from the antennas and maintain somewhat of an image. It wasn't in focus, but it was clear enough to watch.

The channel was set to a local news station and the newscaster was reporting something mundane about the nation's crashing economy. There was more news about recession and a story about a local woman that took in so many stray cats and dogs that she made it on the news getting taken away in chains. Then something caught the woman's eye and she immediately sat forward, leaning into the T.V. The news reporter was babbling on about the mob's supposed involvement in the distribution of the fear inducing toxin that tormented the city of Gotham around a year ago. The woman looked aggravated.

"Well isn't that just pathetic." She leaned back into her former position and turned to face the nameless man she had picked up earlier. She still hadn't noticed his scars. He stayed within the confines of shadow in order to hide his true face, the face that normally instilled fear in people.

"I mean . . . all these people lately, they have all been doing it wrong . . . messing with society, I mean. Think about it, they're all trying to instill fear and panic, right? I mean the mob, that Crane guy, the Batman. They're all wrong. Take for instance this Joker guy," she captured his full attention. It wasn't that he was so arrogant that his attention perked at the mention of his name, it was that, aside from the Batman, he considered himself in a completely different league from the other criminals mentioned. "I mean, he's brilliant, superb, impressive even. But even he is going about it all wrong." This line really caught his attention and he looked directly at her, while maintaining an unemotional look on his face. She looked at him and continued. "Okay, he's not going about it all wrong . . . Well, actually, not at all. In fact, disregard that statement; he's doing a fine job of breaking down human society. Yes, he's going about it in a great way indeed, but not the best way . . . Okay, look. He is using blunt force and threats to instill fear into the masses. To prove . . . well, whatever it is that he is trying to prove, which is fine, but not really the best way to go about things." She paused and thought about what exactly it was that she was trying to say. She stood up and took a different approach.

"What does everybody do?" She looked at him expectantly and was met with only a quirked eyebrow on his barely visible face. "Come on. What does everybody do?" She waited again for an answer and was met with nothing. She let out an exasperated sigh, thinking that she wasn't getting anywhere, when in reality, the mysterious man was yearning to speak and aching because he couldn't. He refused to give his identity away and give this woman reason to discontinue sharing her interesting views with him.

He just waited for her to continue. She gained speed and excitement. "Everybody drinks coffee. Everybody drinks coffee and everybody takes showers. Essentially, these are the things everybody does: take showers and drink coffee . . . both require what?" This time, she didn't wait for an answer. "Water! They both require water. You see, what I've done is apply this to all things-not so much what everyone does, but what everyone needs. People need communication, they need transportation. People need these things . . . They need water. See, each one of these things is in traction; they all have a route to which they must follow. Block the route and you take out the thing needed. Take out one of the things needed, you take down the entire system."

He understood what she was saying. He embraced it and stored it in his mental bank for later. He was enthralled. Yes, he determined that he simply must learn more about this woman. His mind was already rapidly beginning to work things out. He often viewed things in snap shots, which was one reason why he was able to work things out in his mind so quickly and be many steps ahead of those around him. That very well may have been the main reason he was becoming so interested in this woman before him; because, although he was still ahead of her, it was only by a few steps, while everyone else seemed to be behind by miles.

He dragged himself out of his mind, which, while it wasn't difficult to do, meant that he was being taken out of where he was most comfortable. He was met with a set of lovely eyes staring at him, which surprisingly did not bother him. He was still shrouded in darkness, so he knew she wasn't staring at his scars. He was staring again as well. He realized that he should be leaving at that point. He needed to be gone before she saw his scars and figured out who exactly he was. Then he would have to kill her and that wouldn't have been nearly as fun as studying her and ultimately destroying her. Besides, he thought that the world was a little bit more interesting with her in it . . . At least for now anyway.

At that he got up and headed towards her front door. She stood almost immediately and followed. He walked down the stairs and to the hideously cracked door that lead out into the darkness and out of the dingy light of the stairwell hall. He opened the door and stepped out into the night before turning to her. She was leaning against the doorframe with her hands in her pockets. Even in such a relaxed position, he could tell that she was ready to pounce at any life threatening movements. He knew that she wouldn't even give a reaction to just any movement; it would have to have been a threatening movement.

"I really must be going now," he said, unwarily facing her, knowing that he was only an outline at best in the blackened outside.

She simply nodded her head in agreement, feeling that it was probably best for both of them. If he didn't leave soon, she knew that she would change her mind about not killing him and she didn't really want that to happen. It was rare to meet someone that, may not have agreed with her views, but at least accepted and respected them for what they were. She felt that, although he was not necessary piece of society, nobody really was in her mind, the world would be a little less . . . Well, really just a little less without him.

She was about to turn around and head back up to her apartment when a voice quietly called out to her.

"Name?" said her former passenger from about ten feet away. He could have figured it out on his own within three minutes, but something made him want to hear it from her. It was a bit funny to him, considering that he usually wanted people to shut up, and here he was almost-almost wanting to hear her voice again. He constricted his giggle to remain in his throat so that he could listen to her response.

"Excuse . . . ?" She was asking him what he said and, for the first time in the evening, he was irritated at her question. He did not enjoy repeating himself; he felt that if a person did not hear him the first time, it was because they weren't listening-and why should he have to take his time to repeat himself if it was their fault? He let it go, not because it was her, but because, well, actually, he didn't know why.

" . ?" His voice was beginning to sound like it usually did and he knew that he needed to leave soon. Sleep was eroding his ability to appear 'normal'.

She waited for a moment. She wondered if she should make one up like she usually would if a stranger asked her for her name. She quickly decided she wouldn't.

She said one word, and only one.

"Jolene."

"Jolene," he repeated. "Well, Goodnight, Jolene," he said like some sort of twisted gentleman before turning on his heel and walking down the street.

She called out to him, "Goodnight, stranger." The statement of him being strange was truer than she could understand at that time. Oh, but she would understand. He would make her.

She didn't ask for his name, which meant that she respected his privacy, in turn, meaning that he respected her, to a degree at least. Or maybe she simply didn't care, which he would have also respected, considering that a lack of caring was also a quality that he carried and prided himself on. She stared at the odd man's back as he headed down the road.

"Life's fuckin' weird," she said to herself before turning around and heading up the stairs. The Joker simply walked down the road, tired, a bit slap happy, and giggling to himself. He found himself repeating her name anxiously.

"Jolene. Jo-lene. Joleeene. Jo. Joey. Jo-eeey. Jo-Jo," uck, he didn't like the last one. He repeated her name and every variation of it almost all the way back to his home. Oh, yes, he definitely would have fun with her.

He whispered her name one last time before erupting into a fit of laughter that was completely true to his nature. The falseness that he had forced into his voice earlier when she was around was completely gone and all that remained was a disgusting, wretched laughter. His laugh sounded like children dying, like death, like defeat, like emptiness, like . . . Hell. The sickening sound filled the streets like air.

He didn't view her as a doll or a toy or a plaything, but not a person either; no-she was above humanity. She was intelligent, on a certain level even, not his of course, but definitely above the level that he placed other humans. He knew that he would have fun with her; maybe they could even have fun together. Either way he would be satisfied.

He disappeared off down the street having become assured of one thing: He. wanted. her. Not in a sexual way, but he wanted her . . . And he always got what he wanted.

Always.


IMPORTANT A/N: If you already read chapter three, before today, you'll notice there is now a song up there. This is the song fron which I got the name Jolene. I was unsure as to whether or not I should put it up there because, although the White Stripes version is phenomenal(yeah I probably speeled that wrong), the content of the song was not so close to the story as the others have been/will be. Then, after much personal deliberation, I decided that indeed I was mistaken and the song actually DOES relate to the story...I'm quite big on song dialisis, but this fanfic is not a song fic. I put the songs at the begining to foreshadow the chapter and because it relates to what is going on. I immensly appreciate if you read the lyrics and really think about what they are saying, for ALL the songs used, but if you don't , I don't mind- nor am I offended. I am so appreciative for people just reading and reviewing this-that that is sooo much more than I could ever ask for. So thank you-the reviews keep me writing. I realised that it is like encouragement, NOT blackmail. I am not threatening you- I will update whether people review or not, but I find that by me encouraging you to update, what you say encourages me to write more and update faster, because I feel like people are actually caring about my story. So, again, thank you.

The plant: To clear this up so that you don't even bother wondering: NO she will NOT be Poison Ivy, no matter how much I love the character.

Jolene: Even though the title of the story is Josephine Rising, her name is Jolene. Josephine Rising is simply a reference to the phrase Napoleon Risin(as in Napoleon Bonaparte). He was an amazing war general, who crowned himself. But through his viscousness, he had one weakness: his queen Josephine. He was a God of war. To give you an idea of his love for her: his dying words were "Josephine, Josephine." Soo, if you want more on that-visit wikipedia for a breif history.

The Character (Jolene's) image: The song has nothing to do with her image. However, if you feel that this is what she looks like; if this is your view of her, then let it be. In honesty, I probably will not give her a definate look. I prefer to leave the image of my characters (meaning not the Joker/Batman/etc.) to remain abstract, so that the reader can make up their minds about her and what she looks like.

JAC: Sorry that was sooo long. I hope that clears things up. Thanks guys. Please review!