~Prologue~

Sterile, white, padded walls, lighting that was just barely too bright, and a harsh, almost deafening silence. This place was as opposite and contrary to the man who inhabited it as rain was to wildfire. He sat with his back against the soft wall, staring at the one and only entrance to the room, watching for any sign of movement through the tiny, bullet-proof glass window in the door. He was wrapped snug and safe (or so they hoped) in a straight jacket, however the restraining material could not keep his nervous energy contained.

He sat crouched, like an animal waiting for its prey to inch a little closer, his back hunched, his tongue darting in and out of his hideously scarred mouth like a nervous tick, and one foot tapping, almost as if he couldn't tolerate to be still for even a moment. A low growl escaped from his throat, if for no other reason than to interrupt the unbearable silence.

They hadn't let him keep his 'war paint' of course. It was removed well before the trial. He had to look pretty for his mug shot after all. However his scars kept smiling even after the red paint was washed away, and his eyes were still dark rimmed, like the eyes of a man that's never known sleep. Or perhaps the black kohl had seeped into his skin, staining it grey forever.

The trial itself was short as these things go. The defense had no difficulty pushing through the insanity plea, though there was some small deliberation over whether to send him to Blackgate at first. But in the end Arkham was decided on as home sweet home. However at that point it was believed most people just wanted the clown at Arkham so they could forget about him.

See, things were changing around Gotham. The Dent Act, passed so shortly after the death of the city's 'White Knight', was emptying Arkham of its criminally insane, filling Blackgate to the brim instead. But that wasn't the only interesting news being printed at the time. No, most interesting of all was the news of the Batman's little crime spree.

Oh, but he knew the truth about that. He knew the blood on the Dark Knight's gloved hands belonged on Dent. He had planned it that way. But no, the Bat and the Commissioner were ever scheming, and plotting, and they unraveled his little game.

And oh how angry he had been…

To think that Batman had gotten the better of him after all. Though he took some small consolation in the fact that the city now hated their true hero, and celebrated the killer, it was still only a runner-up prize to what could have been his gold medal. And to add the final rub of salt in his now festering wounds, the Batman had disappeared.

He had promised the vigilante that their games would go on forever. But it appears that the Bat choose to duck out of the show early. And now what was he supposed to do? Rot in Arkham it appears, just as the citizens of Gotham hoped.

The anger boiled in him again, along with the absurdity. A picture played in his mind of the Batman hunkered down in a cave somewhere, sitting on a sofa watching day time television the rest of his life.

"There is no me without you…" He said in almost inaudible whisper, followed by a low, grunting chuckle that didn't stop, but grew in volume and violence until the Joker was screaming in uncontrollable laughter.

It was then that a shadow moved behind the door, and a figure could be seen through the small round window. The door opened, and one of the last remaining Doctors of Arkahm Asylum entered. He stood calmly studying the medical notes on a clipboard, and waited for the fit to be over. He was used to this by now.

It only took a moment for the Joker to calm himself. He had been waiting for the good Doctor to call on him after all.

"Evening Jerry." He drawled.

"Dr. Arkham." he corrected his patient calmly, looking up from his clipboard. "I've told you before, not even my wife calls me Jerry."

His doctor was always so patient, so understanding, just as any good shrink should be. But that's what made pressing his buttons so much more fun…

"Ah, that's right. She moans out 'OH Dr. Jeremiah Arkham!' all night in bed. I forgot." He giggled.

Arkham didn't rise to the bait however, and remained as infuriatingly calm as ever. Completely ignoring the comment he asked, "And how was your week in solitary patient 4479?"

Tit for tat. The Joker didn't miss the emphasis put on his patient number. Seeing as he had no existing records, and thus no name besides Joker, the number was the only form of identification the asylum staff had to refer to him with, despite their patient's obvious dislike for it. Simply a number in the masses, how utterly mundane.

"Oh just peachy. Better then Tommy-boy's week at least I'm sure. How did the plastic surgery go?" He asked with a dark grin.

Arkham pulled out a pocket recorder and with a click spoke in quick monotone into the device. "Subject still shows no remorse over violent actions."

"Hey, why should I feel bad? He asked me to bite him. Oh-so-nicely too…"

The doctor pocketed his recorder again and addressed his patient. "You should be happy to know that your little antic with Mr. Thomas Bart has gained the public eye once again. He's suing the asylum, and it has been decided that more stringent security measures need to be in place concerning your care here."

Arkhams tone sounded annoyed, and slightly regretful. "The City has decreed that your medication needs to be upped. And that you should be kept under sedation whenever possible. Any hope of you making progress in therapy sessions is considered secondary now to the safety of the public and the staff here."

"Aw and I was almost beginning to feel sane again doc."

Arkham sighed, "I am not generally one to give up on my patients, even the vexing ones," Joker pulled a mockingly innocent face, "however, my hands are tied in this case. You'll be starting your new medication regimen this evening."

Dr. Arkham turned to leave the room, but paused at the door, ready for his patient's next question. It was the same question he asked the doctor at the end of every conversation.

"Any interesting news?" he asked in a low voice.

Jeremiah did not like to encourage a patient's obsessions; however, he knew in this case the key to the little compliance they got from the Joker was to tell him the truth.

"Still no sightings."

And with that he exited the padded cell.

Joker finally surrendered to the silence of the room, lost in whatever shambled mess the man called thought.


AN: I can only hem and haw over this for so long. So I'm finally posting it. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, because I'll be damned if I didn't read this a million times and realized I made some stupid error after I published it lol.

Joker's patient number (4479) is indeed a nod to The Joker Blogs. For those of you who caught that kudos, for those who don't get the reference, check them out on Youtube, they are pretty good. (And as a side note, the creators of TJB have said that the number is based on Ledgers birth date 4/4/79)

I don't know if I'd like to tag a song with each chapter for this story, as more often than not there really won't be one that fits, or is inspired by one, but I will give this chapter 'Deranged' by Coheed and Cambria, as the line "There is no me without you" was lifted directly from the song, and well, it's kinda the Jokers theme song from Arkham City lol.

The next chapter (Whenever I get sick of hemming and hawing over that one too) will kick off at the beginning of TDKR, and will introduce Nyssa. Before I get there though, I have a few notes to share about her. Nyssa Raatko is a character from DC comics. In the comics she is daughter to Ra's al Ghul, and half sister to Talia al Ghul. However, for this story I've chosen to change quite a few things about the character.

I specifically did not make her related to the al Ghuls by blood because long-lost-relative characters tend to annoy me sometimes. Even when these characters show up in canon (I'm looking at you Daken and X-23). So I did this to try and make her feel a little more natural/plausible to the story. I also changed her personality around quite a bit, though there are a few elements I kept, so you can see why I'm tagging her as an OC.

Hopefully the next chapter will be finished in a reasonable amount of time. .;