Escrita por: Madame_Anarchy
"Joker, explain this" Bruce said angrily after suddenly throwing a newspaper in front of Joker, who was sitting in the kitchen's table drinking some coffee.
"Oh come on, did you expect me to turn into your housewife and stay here flipping pancakes for you every day?" Joker answered, clearly overjoyed for annoying Bruce, an old habit of his
"Please, tell me no one got hurt or killed" Bruce said serious, still angry
"Nah, I've been good. I instructed my guys not to shoot anyone unless extremely necessary and I think no one tried to play clever inside the bank this time" Joker answered
"What were you after? I have more than enough to give you anything you like, you don't have to do this anymore"
"Now I'm getting mad at you, you know me so much better than this! I don't care about the money, how many times will I have to say it?! I do it because I want to do it! Plus, I've been missing for too long and other villains know I'm alive and in Gotham so if I stay behind in my schedule of spreading chaos around here, eventually someone will come after me to figure out why I'm not blowing things up anymore. Don't you get it? Best thing we can do to fool everyone is to pretend you're still trying to capture me. I was expecting you to do something about it yesterday, but you gave me a no-show. Do some acting next time" Joker said exasperated
"It would be a lot easier if people thought you're gone from Gotham or in Arkham, we wouldn't have to prove all the time we're enemies! Do you think I like the idea of you killing people around just so we can act in front of the cameras? I don't think you try too hard to not hurt anyone!" Bruce accused
"First, where is the fun on just telling people I'm dead or gone for good? People will like Batman way more when you capture me and Gordon screws up by letting me escape, which he won't but you can get me out. And second, I've told you! I've been good, ok? I didn't kill anyone in a good time now and haven't let my guys kill innocent people, that rule doesn't apply to mob members, but that's a story for another day"
"I still don't like this! You have no limits out there and you know it! I don't want people to hate you more than they already do. I don't approve you helping people bring drugs inside Gotham, robbing banks, blowing hospitals up, kidnapping people, cutting their faces, really, why can't you just let this city in peace?"
"You look at me straight in my eyes while I say this, Bruce, I won't say it again. I've never asked you to stop being Batman and I never will. I don't want to leave you, I want to be with you at all times. But staying inside your house waiting for you to return and not doing anything at all is just not the life I want for myself. I couldn't stay out of trouble even if I wanted to, do you really think I'm going to be remotely happy doing something else? Have I ever said that I'm not ok with you arresting some people that actually work for me too? That maybe I needed that fucking hacker you sent to trial a month ago? What if I told you that I won't be with you anymore if you don't become a villain like me? Hun?"
Bruce thought for a moment, trying to take what he said into consideration and finding a way to make thigs sustainable for them.
"Ok… I agree. What is the point of being with someone if it means giving up on who you are? It wouldn't be you. Wouldn't be me either. But can you just make a good effort on not killing or hurting innocent people? Make the mess you want, make people freak out as much as you like, just don't kill them, I mean it. I'm gonna be honest with you, being with someone that can cause the same pain I felt when I lost my parents to other people just for fun, it's also not the life I want for myself either, Joker… And it hurts for me when people say they hate you, regardless of who it is. I bet you don't like what villains say about me, specially when you know it's not true. I know it's best if no one knows about us, but I hate hiding it so much… Keeping all my secrets makes me exhausted sometimes"
"Fine. I don't like it, but I think is the best agreement we can get from each other. You let me spread some chaos and I let you reestablish some order. So we can both come home later have sex and flip pancakes together with what is left of our energy. How does that sound? Deal?"
"Deal" Bruce said looking away from him, clearly not liking their deal but knowing this is as close as they will ever get on a healthy antagonism for each other.
"Good, you know I'm a man on my word" Joker said knowing Bruce had this problem on letting things go when he wasn't completely satisfied with them
Bruce got some coffee form himself, added sugar and sat by the other side of the table, still with a lot in his mind. He was still angry. Made him remember of how much Joker was able to get the very worst of everyone, how vicious and evil he could be. He was the personification of most things Bruce believed to be the worst of society when he was out there. But inside the Manor, when they were together, he was so different. It had the whole spectrum of feelings that a "normal" person had and he was a great partner: Thoughtful, funny, caring, honest, respectful, reasonable for their individual differences and even fragile for his own personal problems. As crazy as it seems, he had his insecurities like any person. Bruce saw him cry twice. First of despair, sadness, and fear. And later of happiness when he invited him to live with him upstairs. How can someone be like this?
"Bruce, really, I can practically hear you think from here. Just sound it out, we can work things out better if you tell me what is going on in your head" Joker said after sipping some of his hot coffee. He was also angry Bruce didn't understand that his opinion was not the ultimate truth about how the world should be and how things should be done. He thought Bruce was arrogant about it, but taking that into consideration, so was him.
"I was just thinking… how can you be so different to me than you are to everybody else? No offense but to me the idea of you caring for another person was inconceivable. Even in a level of friendship or simply feeling empathy for others, I thought someone like you couldn't feel such things and you proved me wrong at least a million times"
"Ha ha… someone like me meaning… a psychopath, a freak? Frankly, I wouldn't give a shit for how people classified me in Arkham even if they ever reached a conclusion…" He said clearly offended Bruce used that expression, he hated that one in particular
"Wait, nobody ever said anything conclusive about your… personality?" Bruce tried to ask, but knowing he failed in his choice of words
"Oh, you and your euphemisms, you know I hate when you do that, so stop! What is it with you today? You suddenly don't know me anymore? Psychopath, sociopath, insane… none of the above… they never agree on any of these. I guess I'm constant about being inconstant in my behavior. Also, they have to assume I'm not lying. I would never say I'm with someone or that I even care about anyone, they can become a target, a bait… you see, not everyone has the luxury of being considered insane, many villains go straight to jail and stay there. Arkham is like a candy shop of drugs compared to it. And I hate those people so why would I help them put a label on me if I blow things up to prove control is a bad joke? I don't know what's up with those questions and evaluations, it's all about context! People are such hypocrites… Everyone has selective empathy, at least I have the decency to admit it, as ugly as it is"
Joker said it all very angry, Bruce rarely saw him like this when they argued, although he was expecting a nasty conversation due to the topic.
"Oh my God, what is it now?! Stop looking at me like this without saying anything!" Joker said irritated raising his voice
"I… Nothing, it's something stupid, nevermind… Ok, you spread some chaos, I put things back in place. I don't screw your plans completely and you try not to kill innocent people. Fine… I… have things to do downstairs" Bruce said fast and getting up from his chair, leaving his coffee untouched
"Bruce, wait…" Joker said getting up fast to reach for him, a bit scared by his sudden change in mood. He reached his shoulder and made him turn around gently. "I'm sorry I almost yelled at you just now… what is it?" He said in a softer tone, noticing Bruce looked a bit sad all of the sudden
"I just… got upset when you said that I'm treating you like don't know you… I'm trying to know you more every day, it just hurts me you said that" he admitted
"Oh, there is nothing stupid about that. See, you have to tell me these things, when I get angry I just say things and later I forget it might have made you sad… You know what, I'm not a very easy person to understand and you're still trying… Honestly, I think this can work, let's put up a little show for these people, I'm sure will have some good laughs"
"Yeah, why not… If we're doing this let's have some fun. So you better stop skipping our training because I'm not taking it so easy on you out there, it's a show after all. Let's give them something to watch" Bruce said brightening up
"I like where this is going, Batsy, I like it" Joker said giving Bruce some pats in his shoulder. "Now, sit here with me and finish your coffee, I'm sure whatever excuse you had to go downstairs can wait a little"
They sat together silently until Bruce was halfway on drinking his coffee.
"I was just thinking, I never told you this but I think you should know…" Bruce started. "Do you know why I gave you the perfume?" Bruce asked
"I have no idea how you knew that was the one I like, but I thought it was because you wanted me to trust you more, right? I think things were already changing between us by then"
"Yes, you're right, but I mean… do you know why a perfume?"
"I think I know where this is going… I also thought about it… tell me, I want to hear your version of it"
"I remember your scent from the first time I was in the same room as you, it's not something I ever give much importance but yours caught my attention. Reminds me of you more than anything else, more than your clothes, hair, makeup, scars or even your voice. When I recognized it in a store I bought it for you because I wanted to give you your life again, your essence. You hardly looked like yourself back then, felt like I've taken it away from you" Bruce said in a reflexive way
Joker smiled and answered "Sometimes it's scary how much we're connected… You remember that bookmark I gave you when we first went out in public? Well, in Japanese a word can have more than one way to be written in kanji… the guy asked me which symbol I wanted for 'perfume'… and I chose the one that actually means 'essence'. He told me that kanji also stands for essential, spirit, pith, core and soul. Felt like I was thanking you for the right thing"
"What scares me is that I came to this kitchen furious about what you did, I was so ready to argue for hours, yell and all. But you always disarm me. And now we're having this moment here, talking about gifts we gave to each other… really, how do you do it? I was pissed at you like… half an hour ago" Bruce said as he looked at the watch he had in the kitchen
"You think I disarm you? You practically put a spell on me since the beginning, I don't think I can live my life without pissing you off and kissing you anymore. By the way, I need both constantly so get ready"
"Oh, like I never noticed" Bruce said rolling his eyes dramatically. "I think I have an idea for how we can start, but it needs your personal touch"
"You already have a plan? Well, let's listen to it so we can all improvise when the time comes"
"Come with me downstairs, let's start"
"Oh mine I lived long enough to hear this. Ok, Batsy, to the Batcave!" Joker said getting up from his chair
"Hey, that's my line!" Bruce said joking, also getting up and starting to walk to one of the secret entrances with Joker
"Did I piss you off? Great! Now I just need to make you kiss me and my job is done for today!" Joker said mockingly
Bruce pulled him by the arm while they walked and gave him a fast kiss.
"Nailed it" Joker said after Bruce stopped kissing him before they continued their way underground.