Escrita por: Madame_Anarchy
Batman got closer and with one hand, grabbed and raised the Joker. Before he could try to escape or make a move to defend himself, the bat gave him a very strong punch on his stomach, making the clown gasp for air. Batman throwed him on the ground and was about to start getting rid of those purple pants when he heard something that made him freeze in the inside. Something that changed everything. Crying. The Joker was crying. A sudden realization came like an avalanche of thoughts in Batman's mind. What had he done? How could he have gone so far, so low. He dragged the Joker to the light so he could see him better, he couldn't believe that was happening.
It had been a while since he saw his nemesis on clear light. He was looking terrible. Frighteningly thin and with bruises all over his visible skin. His makeup and hair were poorly painted, and he looked truly tormented, as someone who has not slept in ages. Plus, he was still sobbing and crying loudly.
Batman was, for the very first time, ashamed of all he had done. This has gone way too far. When had he become this animal? He was about to say something, but for his surprise, the Joker stopped crying and a horrible silence took place in the dark alley. "Could he be dead?" He went to the floor to check if he was still breathing and fortunately, he was. But then he noticed something else was wrong. His clothes were looking slightly wet, but there was no rain. Batman removed one of his gloves and placed it on Joker's forehead. He was burning in fever. And one last thing was visible in the light: blood. There was blood spreading over the clown's sleeve on his forearm. Batman rolled the shirt up and saw a very ugly cut made in the direction of the vein flow. It looked severely infected, probably the source of the fever.
The bat did the only thing he could possibly do and took the Joker on his arms and carried him straight to the batmobile. He just couldn't let him die there, couldn't keep up with all this madness. He drove him to the batcave, panicking all the way, trying to think what to do next before it's too late.
When they finally arrived, Joker still unconscious, Batman measured his fever with a thermometer he had in a drawer where he kept some painkillers. He was not pleased to see it was 40ºC (104ºF) genuine case. He didn't have a medicine for that, so he did the only thing that crossed his mind. There was a small room on the batcave, with a bed, a table and a bathroom. He carried the Joker there and without undressing him, went under a cold shower with him, trying to make his body temperature drop by force. He has no idea how long they stayed there, but after a good while he decided it was enough. Batman got a some of clothes he had left in a small wardrobe in the room and after drying them both, he dressed a still unconscious Joker with dark jeans and a black T-shirt that were both way to big for him.
Batman measured his temperature once again and thought it dropped enough to let him in the bed alone, while he got something to clean his wound. He regretted giving Alfred a month of vacation now. He needed help but couldn't afford exposing Joker and leaving him in a hospital. He had far too many enemies and going to jail right now would only get him killed. So he decided to make him his responsibility, making him recover enough, until he could take care of himself again.
He did a good research and thanks to his contacts, he managed to find the proper medicine to treat the wound and antibiotics, since the infection was probably spreading through his blood. In less than one hour he went to the hospital to pick up all he needed and to a random (not so cheap) store to buy clothes that could fit the Joker better.
Bruce had to put his Batman outfit once again, which was a bit inconvenient, but necessary. Joker's identity was also still untouched since, apparently, his make up was waterproof. Batman opened the door, afraid the Joker could be awake, but for his luck and also concern, he was still unconscious.
He proceeded to try waking the Joker for a bit, just to make sure he wasn't allergic to anything he brought. When the clown opened his eyes, he got startled to see Batman close to him.
"Are you awake?"
The other responded pushing the sheets closer to his body and getting some distance from the man in the black armor. He seemed very scared.
"I know this is hard to believe, but I'm not going to hurt you" He said with his batman voice
A very sincere face of confusion coming from the Joker made Batman awfully embarrassed.
"Here" Batman handled him a list with names of medicine "Are you allergic to any of these?"
He read it fast and briefly answered
"Not that I know"
"Are you feeling any pain?"
"My arm…" He said thoughtlessly "I messed up, it's hurting like hell"
"I'll take care of it" Batman replied sadly, observing the other's left arm had many other cuts on it. They all seemed to be caused by self-harm. "I'll give you something for the pain, is that ok? But it will make you sleepy"
"I don't want it. In fact, where am I? I want to leave…" he said weakly
"It will help while I clean it and make stitches… You're at my batcave… you.. you…"
"I what?" The Joker asked impatiently but still not loud enough to make it sound like he demanded an answer.
"Nevermind, I'm not letting you go until I'm done helping you"
"I'm fine, just show me the way out" He answered leaning back a little to rest on the head of the bed, eyes closing slowly.
Batman instinctively responded to that placing his hand on the other's forehead to check his temperature again. It was raising once more. He wasted no time and gave him two types of medicine, one for the pain and another for his fever. The Joker was unconscious again by now and the bat was left alone to his task of cleaning the cut and making some stitches.
He had some experience handling intravenous medication and needles since he had to treat himself alone many times. He gave him some intravenous antibiotic and waited about one hour until it was over. After that he left to his own room, locking the door of the room where Joker was. They would have a lot to go through tomorrow.