Title: Lost and Found
Prompt: Crossover (The Dark Knight/?) This is for Round of the Knight vs Anarchy Team Challenge.
Disclaimer: I do not own any Batman, Joker, or The Mad Hatter. I also don't own the crossover character. They all belong to their respective owner(s). No money is being made off of this, so pretty please don't sue.
Pairing: Batman/Joker (love..love) It's very mild though.
Rating: PG-13 (just to be safe)
Word Count: 2,460
Warning: Teenage angst. Harry Potter spoilers (but this is not a Harry Potter crossover) Oh, and Mad Hatter creepiness
Summary: A DC character runs away from home and gets lost in Gotham. Can you guess who it is?
Author's note: Okay, I was a little too excited to wait for a beta reader to respond, and I wanted to get this out quick enough for Round 2 of the Knight vs Anarchy Team Challenge. I'm sorry if this is a bit rough around the edges, but hopefully, you'll like it. Please feel free to point out any errors you find. Constructive Criticism is always helpful. Anyway, this is a crossover. The runaway is someone from something. Can you guess who she is without doing an internet search?
The blond teenager stepped off the bus and sighed. The transfer bus traveling to Metropolis wouldn't be here for hours. Plus, she had only been in Gotham for a few seconds, and already the city lived to its dark and dank reputation. The bus station's yellowing walls probably hadn't seen a paint job in forever, and every surface and chair had been graffitied multiple times; even the people waiting looked dingy. She must have been the only one not wearing faded or dark clothing. Did this town have an aversion to color? She could smell the smog in the air, and grimaced. She already hated it here.
"Wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my stupid stepdad," The girl muttered to herself, "marrying my mom and moving us to stupid Nebraska."
And to top everything, she was starving. She had eaten all the food she brought with her but hadn't had an opportunity to buy more. The bus had made absolutely no food stops driving here. Sure, the driver would stop for gas, but the crazy lady wouldn't let anyone off, saying, "I won't be responsible for any lawsuit because your sorry asses didn't get your butts back on the bus." In fact, she wouldn't even let them stop for bathroom breaks. The passengers could only use the one in the back of bus. By the time they got to Gotham, the back smelled…well, very rank.
"Stupid bus," the girl said. After driving for hours, the bus driver had to be a crazed robot not to be hungry, but suggest one food/bathroom stop, and the driver hates you for life.
As the girl explored the station, she saw a wondrous site. At the other end of the station, a vending machine stood glowingly proud. She half-skipped, half ran to the wonderful machine. She could almost taste the chips and sweets. Once she reached her destination, her heart sank. Out-of-Order.
"Noooo," She said and kicked the machine, "Stupid Machine!"
She yelled the last phrase a little too loud , and then instantly turned around. For a very long minute, most people stopped their activities to stare at her. Seeing her glare back, people continued their routines.
Great, she thought, now, I have to be embarrassed too.
The girl had reached her breaking point. She needed food, and she needed it now. Even though she would have to leave the bus terminal, she didn't care. As far as she was concerned, no robber or murderer would mess with a very hungry teenager.
She walked right up to one of the ticket counters and said to the worker without any hesitation, "Where is the nearest place to get food?"
The older man, who appeared as drab as everyone else at the station, looked at the girl and responded, "there's a diner down the road," he paused for a second, "but you shouldn't go out alone."
"But I'm starving," the girl said, "and the train to Metropolis isn't for hours."
The man gave her a thoughtful look and then smirked, "Okay, Kid, I'll write you the directions."
As the desire for food was a very good motivator, the girl had no trouble finding the diner. Although the building appeared just as rundown as the bus station, the girl felt like she had found Heaven.
By the time she left the building, her opinion had dramatically changed. The food was horrible. There had been greasy, dry, cold, burnt, stale, and burnt food. Even the food in Nebraska wasn't that bad.
"Stupid city," the girl said, walking back to the station, "the food's as gross as everything else here. I'll probably have pieces stuck in my braces for days.
She just wanted to leave this place, go to Metropolis, become famous, and shove it in her stepfather's face. Because of him, she had to leave California and her friends (she wouldn't go back to California because she knew that'd be the first place they'd look). Because of her stepfather, she had more chores and rules. Because of him, she now had a stupid stepbrother. Because of him, she had to share her mothe….
The girl heard a muffled cough. Someone was behind her! Before she could run, two strong arms grabbed her, pinning her arms to her sides as she wiggled around to escape.
"Now, now, little Alice," the man said in a sing-song voice, "don't struggle. I'm just inviting you to join me for a cup of tea."
Oh, Hell No! She thought, slamming her head back into his neck. His arms slightly slacked, enough for her to elbow him in the chest. The man dropped her. Wasting no time, she turned around and kicked him in the groin as hard as she could. Seeing him collapse and yell in pain, she ran away from the crazy man as fast as she could. As long as she got away from him, she didn't care where she went; well, until she realized she was completely lost in the dark and standing on a sidewalk in a completely deserted street.
"Dammit, I hate this city," she half-yelled and almost completely covered with tears, "stupid stepdad."
As the anger subsided, a horrible realization crept into her mind. She was lost and alone. She hadn't brought her cell phone, because she was afraid she would be tracked on the GPS but now, she had no way to call for help.
Stupid me, the girl thought sadly. She just hoped she wouldn't die.
"Where are your parents?" A harsh voice said.
She turned around and screamed.
A black….well, she could only describe him as a monster or some inhuman creature. He was gigantic with pointy ears and black wings.
"Where are your parents?" He said again.
"Please," she cried, "don't eat me."
"I'm not going to eat you," The monster said gruffer and louder, "now where are your parents."
"I ran away," She said in tears once more.
"What have you accomplished by running away?"
She wouldn't have responded to anyone else asking her, but this…well, while she could see now that he was a man and not a monster, he still looked like he could tear her in two…she'd answer him.
"Nothing!" She yelled.
"I'm taking you to…" He stopped mid-sentence.
At first there was a creepy silence, the kind of silence a horror movie would love, and then she heard it. In the shadows of a nearby alley, a quiet laughter strengthened and walked towards her and the Not-monster.
The laughter's source moved into the light, and the girl gasped. Even though she never watched the news (boring), she knew who this man was. With all the ugly, greasy clown makeup, the noticeable scars on his face, the horribly mismatched clothing, and the huge knife in his hand, this could only be The Joker.
Terrified, her only thought was that she wanted to go home.
"I saw her little run in with the..ah.. Mad Hatter. Figured you wouldn't be too far behind, Batsy.
"Stand behind me," Batsy ordered.
The girl didn't want to stand behind him. She wanted to run and hide. Who cares about being lost when you're faced with too scary, creepy guy? But her feet were too scared to protest the order. At least, she wouldn't have to look at the clown.
"Joker," Batsy growled.
"Aw, I wouldnta hurt the kid, Bats," Joker said, "she weeears braces. Already painful enough. I should know. I used to wear braces. They attracted their fair share of pain. The bullies, they hated those shiny pieces of metal. Thought my face would look better without them. One day they decided to rip them out. Now, I don't need a metal smile. I have a permanent one." The crazy clown cackled.
The girl slapped her hand over her mouth.
Bats completely ignored the Joker's story and said, "How many…?"
"…people did I kill this time to get out of Arkham?" Joker said, "Honestly, Bats you can be so predicable sometimes."
Without even seeing Bats's face, the girl could feel the man's glare at the clown. She hoped she never pissed off anyone that much.
"Okay, okay, Batman," the Joker said with a mock sigh, "I think it was eight or maybe nine. Ten, if you include the little sweetie behind you."
Wow! By the time she had processed the Joker's statement, Batman was already on top of the clown, beating him to the ground. The Joker seemed to be enjoying every minute, cackling and striking back where he could. The girl spotted the Joker's knife lying on the other side of the street. She hadn't even seen Batman snatch it away from The Joker, but both men were fighting so fast and intense she couldn't be sure what happened.
The girl knew she should run, as fast as she could, but she was completely transfixed by the fight. She also knew she couldn't help without being hurt (and with her luck today…). Instead, she found a safe place to sit down and watch the action.
Kicks, punches, an assortment of knives and other makeshift weapons, gadgets, headbutts…..it was nothing like TV. Sound of clothes tear and men grunting just bedazzled her. She felt frightened, exhilarated, joyful, and slightly envious…all at the same time. She wished she could fight like this.
Wow…this is so cool, She thought.
Of course, thirty minutes later, she was not so thrilled. She was tired, worn out, and bored. They were still going at it like they were having sex on Animal Planet. Neither one seemed interested in ending the fight. In fact, they both seemed content to keep at it for hours.
Realization struck the girl. That's it! She thought, they totally want to do each other.
"Why don't you two just kiss and make out, already," She yelled to them.
Both men froze.
"You act like Ron and Hermione," She saw their blank looks.
"You know…The Harry Potter series?"
Now, they both stared at her like she was nuts. Well, two crazy people weren't going to embarrass her. She pressed on, "They fought like cats and dogs, but ended up falling in love and getting married."
No one said a word, and then The Joker's eyes brightened, "She's right! We are in love."
The Joker knocked Batman to the ground and started madly kissing him, smearing bright red lipstick all over his face. The girl thought she saw Batman reciprocate, but in a flash, both men were both standing and The Joker's hands were cuffed behind his back.
Batman held the Joker's cuffed hands and with his other hand wiped the lipstick off. He then pulled a device from somewhere in his suit. A moment later, a…well…monstrous vehicle appeared and a hatch opened.
The girl gasped. No one was driving the car, and it looked better than the Back to the Future or any other movie car. Batman threw The Joker in the backseats, (which had cage-like contraption to keep the clown in place and separated from the front seats).
"Get in the car," Batman said.
For some reason she didn't move and instead said, "My mom told me never to get into a stranger's car."
Batman gave her a hardened look…maybe a glare and then said, "Get in the car."
"Okay," She responded scared. Her mom was going to kill her.
The girl got in. The Joker bounced around the caged backseat, giggling, cackling, singing, and noticeably working his way out of his handcuffs. Batman didn't seem to care, so the girl wouldn't worry about it.
"He'll be like that for awhile," Batman said.
"Oh," she said.
Batman started driving the weird car. If this is what it felt like to ride in a tank or on a fighter jet, She wasn't surprised that many people found either one to be thrilling. The car went super fast and made futuristic noises. Vivid bright screens showed different schematics and images. She watched a screen that had little orange people walking about.
"Is this to track heat signatures?" She said.
"Something like that," He muttered.
"Cool," she said, "it's just like on TV."
Apparently, Batman seized that opportunity to jump back to their earlier conversation.
"Now where are your parents?" Batman said.
She sighed. She was in so much trouble.
"Blue Valley, Nebraska," She finally answered.
After a minute, Batman responded quietly (probably in hopes that The Joker wouldn't hear), "you have my condolences."
"See!" The girl said, momentarily forgetting everything else, "even you know Nebraska's a terrible place."
Although Batman kept his eyes on the road, she swore she could see a smile on his face. The Joker just kept cackling and bouncing around, although his song lyrics now included "love…Nebraska Batman Love….Love….knives and Nebraska love batman love…"
For about a second, the girl felt completely safe, okay, and happy. Sure, she had just experienced about the worst day in her life, but she was alive. Still alive to see tomorrow. Even if that included her stupid stepdad. Then his smile was gone and realization set in as to how much trouble she was in. The girl wouldn't be surprised if she was grounded for the next ten years.
"I'm taking you to the police station," Batman said, keeping his eyes on the road.
She panicked. Oh no! Now, she was going to be grounded and arrested!
"You're not going to be arrested," Batman said, "but you will most likely be grounded."
Was he a mind reader too?
"No, I'm not a mind reader," He answered her unspoken question, "You're not the first runaway I've found."
The Joker loudly sang, "Joker and Batsy, sitting in a tree, loving and fucking yesiree."
"Shut up, Joker," Batman yelled, but The Joker just changed his tune to, "All you need is love, Bats, love HaHAahA loove love."
Although he was still watching the road, the girl could feel Batman's anger radiate.
"Put on your seatbelt," He said to her gruffly.
She wasted no time following his order. Her mom would be impressed how quickly Batman got results.
"PPPPutTTT on Yar SeaT Belt Put on Yar Seat Belt Hee Hee Hee!" The Joker sang.
Batman must have realized how harsh he sounded, because a second later he said in a softer voice, "Here," he handed her something out of one of his pockets(?).
A cell phone?
"Call your parents," Batman said
She sighed. It was now or never.
Knowing she wouldn't be fortunate enough to get an answering machine, she dialed home. Sure enough, a second later the call was answered.
"Hello?" Her stepdad said.
"It's me," she said defeated.
"Courtney Whitmore! Your mom and I are worried sick. Where the hell are you?" Her stepfather yelled into the phone.
"Pat," Courtney said looking at her surroundings and driving companions, "you wouldn't believe me if I told you."
End Notes: I figured the streets were deserted because everyone heard that The Joker was on the loose. I can imagine Gotham citizens would be very afraid of running into him. Well, except for the other crazies (like the Mad Hatter).
I think the terminal clerk gave Courtney directions and let her go alone because he had a bad day, and he hated whiny customers (especially teenagers). I hope you enjoyed, and reviews are always great.
Oh, and by the way, did you guess who she was?