A/N: If you guys can't tell…well, you actually might not be able to…I LOVE Batman. Nolanverse, anyway. I have several other stories that will be posted with time. This is a multi chapter, but it'll probably be short. I will also be updating Playing a Game With a Bat soon, I just have to finish typing.

Disclaimer: Does anyone else hate these? I don't own any of the characters owned by DC Comics…

(-memories-)

(thoughts)

Bruce sighed as he wandered towards the back door in the theatre, of all things, alone. Of course, he hadn't arrived single, but tonight's date had run off with the play's leading actor to go hit the clubs. He'd brought her here to impress her, telling her that he loved the opera (he didn't). Now, he walked absentmindedly down the hall, somewhat steadily approaching the old door. In his mind's eye he kept reliving the nightmare over and over(-take it easy-BANG!-) He didn't even realize that he was outside until a cool breeze hit him, ruffling up dark brown hair. He shivered slightly. Springtime in Gotham was always chilly. Bruce stuck his hands deep down into the pockets of his Armani suit, head bent down so that he was staring at the street. As he meandered the alleyway, his mind unwillingly strayed again to the memories of the night his parents were murdered (-give me the money! Pearls…Mom, no!-).

As wrapped up in his thoughts as he was, Bruce didn't notice that there was someone behind him until he was too late( -man coming up behind them-give me the money!-). There was a sudden sense of the world spinning(-dizzy, red lights flashing, red covering the ground red, red, red, redredre-) out of control as he was grabbed roughly and spun around, but everything froze when he felt the cool stinging of metal on his throat. They'd pulled a knife on him (-Wanna know how I got these scars?-). Bruce twisted around viciously, thrashing and kicking, yelling at the top of his lungs in a ferocious roar that would have sent a lion running. But it did no good, seeing as he was silenced with a hard punch to the jaw (-You're father would have been ashamed-), which sent him staggering backwards, at which point he tripped over a random board (Why was that there?). Two of the multiple people surrounding him quickly took advantage of his dazed state, grabbing his arms and forcing him to remain still. He was still struggling when an eerie, creeping laugh floated up from the shadows. The vigilante stilled as a man, dressed in a purple suit, with garish scars painted red extending from his mouth, stepped out from the shadows, laughing manically.

"Oh, puh-leeze! Stop it!" The Insane clown giggled, sauntering up to the helpless billionaire.

"This is just too good!" He continued, the large smile on his face only extended by the hideous scars.

"How are you, Mr. Wayne? I didn't get to meet you at the little party you threw Dent." Bruce shied away slightly as the Joker pulled one of many knives out of his coat pocket(-party-Rachel-Waiting-). The psycho raised an eye brow.

"Not scared of, uh, little old me, are you Mr. Wayne?" He chastised, laughing quietly. At this, Bruce frowned, growling not unlike his alter ego would. Both of the Joker's eye brows rose at this.

"Got a bit of a tem-per, don't we Mr. Wayne? Or, uh, can I call you Bruce?" He asked, mockingly. The vigilante snarled again before realizing that he should be terrified right now(-Mind your surroundings!-). Hadn't he been the one that ran to his panic room when the Joker came to call at the fundraiser? Well, it was a little too late for that. The Joker put on a show of looking around the alley, spreading his hands wide( -a little opera goes a long way-BANG!-).

"But then again, this is all, uh, fi-mil-iar, isn't it? Didn't Mommy and Daddy die behind a, uh, theatre too?" At this, the demented clown broke into peals of psychotic laughter(-screaming, perals, red, cold-my fault, my fault, myfault, myfaultmyfaultmyfaul-).

"You sick freak!" Bruce shouted(-Just a freak, like me!-), straining against the thugs holding him back. The Joker looked over at him, a slight frown marring his features.

"I'm not a freak. They all try calling me that. They just don't get logic- the only way to live in a world this corrupt is without rules. Just ask the Bat how his one rule worked out for him, hmm?" The insane clown ranted. Bruce snarled at the jab towards Batman.

"You're crazy!" He snarled, outraged. At this, the Joker lunged forward, pulling up his knife so that it dug a little way into Bruce's neck.

"No. I'm. Not." This was the only time that Bruce had seen the Joker as angry, as Batman or Bruce Wayne. His instincts ordered him to recoil, which he did. Quickly.

"You know what?" The Joker breathed, his rotten breath assaulting Bruce's nose.

"I think I should give Gotham another wake up call. They're spent the past year chasing their protector. Maybe I should show them who they should really fear. Inspire a little chaos." With the final word in his little speech, the Joker took the small blade and drove it to Bruce's abdomen, causing blood to bloom out of his shirt(-red lights flashing, red spreading over the pavement, red on Mother's pearls-) painting red flowers on the starch white of his shirt. The vigilante groaned as the Joker kicked him for added measure. The freak turned back to his minions, motioning for them to release the injured billionaire. They complied by shoving him to the ground roughly. Bruce curled in on himself, wrapping his arms around his midsection in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Only vaguely recognizing that the thugs had left, and that there were sirens in the distance (loud sirens), the semi-delirious vigilante sat slumped, shaking with silent laughter (He's not insane). It's just so ironic…so cliché. That was exactly how his parents died (maybe he should stay away from the theatre), and it was just so funny. So he laughed as blood, like precious rubes, spilled out of him.

But soon after that, he just sat in the alley, dazed, staring off into the night sky. When his mind took in the fact that it was dark, he absentmindedly thought that he should be putting on his cape and cowl right then (he should be fighting the Joker. He laughed again). He never really took stock of the fact that the sirens were growing closer(-getting too loud- it was too quiet-). He sat, deep in thought about the fact that he'd always thought that he'd die as Batman, not playboy Bruce Wayne. The sirens are even closer, blue and red lights flashing (-red- red smile, red alley, red pearls-) at the entrance of the alley, screeching to a halt only meters away from the semi-lucid billionaire. He didn't really notice. At least, not until one of the cops got in his face. Being all but completely out of it, his alter ego's instincts took over, and he lashed out, vehemently kicking the cop from his position slumped against the wall.

"Holy crap!" One of the men, probably a rookie, shouted, leaping out of the way.

"What's wrong with him?"

"Who is it?"

"Somebody call the Commish!" another said, and Bruce dimly heard someone run to a squad car. There was a burst of static before someone started talking into the black radio, asking for the Commissioner to be called down to the alley (-Gordon-one man…-) behind Gotham Theatre. Bruce only stared at the sky as three more squad cars pulled up. One of the cops started talking to someone, and the vigilante vaguely recognized the other voice from somewhere. There were soft footsteps approaching him, but Bruce didn't bother to look up and someone crouched down beside him.

"Sir?" The person asked, and Bruce whipped his head up.

"Gordon?" he rasped, eyes unfocused.

"Mr. Wayne?" the head cop asked, shocked beyond surprise. Bruce nodded weakly, and his head tilted to the side.

"When did you get here?" Subconsciously, Bruce was using his Batman voice, because he wasn't used to talking to the Commissioner as Bruce Wayne. Gordon started visibly before calming down.

"A few minutes ago. Mr. Wayne, we need to get you to a hospital." Bruce's immediate reaction was to say 'No hospital,'(-his father's hospital, sitting on the bench, listening to the heartbeat-) but somehow it would seem suspicious.

"Why?"(Couldn't he just go home to Alfred?) Gordon looked confused, and a little worried.

"Mr. Wayne, you're bleeding out all over the street(-just like another night-)! Were you knifed, or shot, or something else?" Bruce raised a finger, indicating the first one. (How come the Commissioner was so smart?)

"Who did it?" The Commissioner asked, bending down a little closer.

"It was the Joker, Gordon. I had him locked up. He was in Arkham. Gordon, how did he escape?" (Where was he now, attacking some innocent civilian?). There was such a pleading, lost look in Bruce's eyes that the Commissioner wished he'd had an answer. But his attention was caught on the first part of the sentence.

"What do you mean you caught the Joker?" he asked softly. Bruce looked up at him like he was the delirious one.

"You were there!" (He had been, hadn't he? It was too hard to remember that night right then.)

"Where?!" The Commissioner asked desperately.

"At the Prewitt building. I left that freak hanging by his ankle sixty stories off the ground." As Gordon took in all that he was saying, his mind calculated this new information with all of the other information he had gleaned over the past years and, bingo, his mind produced an answer. It was unbelievable, but an answer.

"Batman?" the name was scarcely above a whisper. The billionaire he was talking to raised his eyebrows.

"Ding ding ding! Tell the man what he's won!" He exclaimed sarcastically (The Commissioner should have figured it out earlier.)

"All this time?"

"Obviously."

"But…what happens with all of those injuries you get? Who takes care of those?!" Gordon asked, incredulous.

"Alfred."(-know your limits. Batman has no limits-) The billionaire stated simply. Gordon vaguely remembered an old British man who had come to pick up Wayne when he'd been at the police station after his parents were murdered.

"Gordon." The weak rasp brought Gordon out of his musings.

"Yeah?"

"Gordon, I can't keep doing this,"(He couldn't…right?) Bruce said, and Gordon knew by looking into his eyes that the billionaire believed it.

"Yes you can. You went through that whole Joker thing. We can't have you quit now when he's about to attack again. Besides, when you survive this, you'll scare him." (Like you could scare someone like that.)

"But first, we need to get you into the ambulance." Bruce nodded like a five year old and allowed the Commissioner to help him to his feet.(It hurt, but better not let the Commish know that) Immediately, two other cops(-cops, pulling him away-MOM! DAD!-) rushed forward to help him. Finally, they managed to stumble towards the ambulance and lay Bruce down on the gurney without causing him too much lifted the stretched into the little metal box (-dark well, bats screeching, Why do we fall?-) and drove off.

Bruce drifted to sleep listening to the continous beeping and the yells of several medics (-You can't give in! You can't!-)

.