crazy_carolyn_s (crazy_carolyn_s) wrote in racheldawesfic,

A Fanfic Based on an RP storyline

Title: Blind Vengeance
Author: Moi
Rating: R (for violence, swearing, and some sensuality/innuendo)
Pairing(s): N/A, as of now
Character(s): Rachel Dawes & The Joker, as of now
Summary: She knew she needed to do what Batman and Gordon had failed to. She needed to kill the Joker.

A/N: I apologize for dropping off the face of the earth like this, but work and other issues have gotten in the way of my writing. I’ve been working a bit on “Ink and Bandaids” and “Perdition’s Call”, but no real progress has been made. In result, I figured I’d give you at least something and supply my favorite roleplaying storyline. This takes place after TDK and, as you might’ve guessed, my version of Rachel survived the horrific accident. Unfortunately for her, she is no longer the same woman (both physically and emotionally) When you read for Rachel, envision her as Rachel McAdams since A) she’s been physically transformed from surgery, and B) she was Nolan’s original choice to play Rachel in TDK. I don’t think this will be a romance (I admittedly labeled it as that since it’s the most popular genre :P), but it might be; I don’t know what my writing partner has in mind (which is what makes this so much fun). Enjoy!


CHAPTER ONE: The Confrontation
Rachel Dawes was unspeakably tired, the telltale signs of insomnia etched haggardly across her features like a vivid, ghastly caricature of the woman she once was. Splashing a handful of water across her face, she bent over the sink and braced her diminutive form against the porcelain, water droplets dripping from her chin as she looked up and observed her transfigured countenance. Although there was little to no visible scarring, she was most assuredly no longer the Rachel Dawes that everyone had once known and loved. After the blast three years prior, her body had been transferred to an advanced facility in London for burn victims, but only Gordon had been informed of her survival. It was agreed upon that Bruce and the others would be spared of this news since, due to the massive trauma inflicted upon her body, she would mostly likely perish during the night. Her features had been charred and useless, as well as a vast majority of her pale flesh.

In spite of everyone's skepticism on her likelihood of survival, the British surgeons had given her multiple skin graphs, hair plugs, and several other reconstructive surgeries until she was practically good as new. There had been little to no scarring, and Rachel was considered a legend among the employees for being able to survive such a horrendous accident. The only question now was why she no longer felt driven to protect Gotham like she once had. Although she still fought alongside the forces of the MCU, she no longer felt as though she were supporting a just cause, for Gotham had gradually become a degenerate cesspool within the past fifteen years.
Having been blinded by Bruce’s optimism and Harvey’s warm, firm insistence upon justice, Rachel had naturally been lulled into a false sense of security. That is, until he’d come into the picture.
Quivering, Rachel returned her gaze to her reflection and felt her heart beat rapidly within her chest. Her features were an amalgam of terror and revulsion at that moment, for there was no one who could affect her emotions quite like the painted terrorist of Gotham. Even now, after all these years, she could still vividly recall his stained teeth and the deep, penetrating eyes that had excavated her amidst their first meeting. It had almost been as if he’d been striving to read her innermost thoughts…to see what made her tick, but fortunately at the time she’d been a strong woman.
Key word being had been. After her recovery overseas, she’d returned to live in Gotham under the alias of Evelyn Monroe, and was granted the DA position as soon as she proved herself capable of astute cognition. Unfortunately, she now had a fear of being kept in dark, confined spaces or any sudden loud noises, and was prone to having terror-driven fits. Even with medication, she still felt as if she were losing ground and slipping into the depths of madness.
She needed Harvey… Harvey, whom had been her anchor in the most chaotic of storms. But now what help could he be to her? She’d been informed that before his tragic death, he had murdered several people, and all out of revenge for her. The notion that she’d fueled his downfall plagued her to no end, and the guilt was perhaps more maddening than the loneliness that came with disregarding her old life. Gordon was the only one privy to her transformation, and although she desperately wanted to come forward to Bruce, she knew it was too much of a risk. The Joker had tried to use her to get to Batman before, so what was to stop him from doing so again?
Shakily turning off the faucet, Rachel towel-dried her face before checking the clock on the bathroom wall. 5:30 AM…she needed to be in at the office by six, but she almost had to wonder why she even bothered. The Joker had once claimed that the majority of the MCU was on his payroll, so what was to stop the DA’s office from following suit? No one believed in justice or doing the right thing any longer, and Rachel felt that the burden of upholding the city’s righteousness had been thrust upon her shoulders. Now that she’d walked in Harvey’s shoes for about a month, she truly had to wonder how he hadn’t gone insane before the accident.
Grabbing her pea coat and purse, Rachel stepped into her black heels before threading her arms through the coat, then heading out the door in a blur of disconcertion.
Brushing back a stray lock of hair, Rachel continued to type up an affidavit for the DeSalmo case, her foot tapping beneath her desk along to the song playing on her laptop. She was in an unusually cheery mood that evening, but that was probably only because she’d had a successful day at work. It seemed that achievement in her job was her only source of solace nowadays, and to anyone who’d known her before the accident, this would have seemed quite bizarre. Rachel had always been a cheerfully (not to mention abnormally) optimistic person, but now she was frightfully reclusive and only sought human contact when she absolutely, one-hundred percent needed it.
Just as she finished up the last paragraph to the legal document, she heard a knock at the door and sighed.
"Miss Monroe?"
"Yes, Craig?" Rachel asked, not even looking up from her work as he lingered in the doorway.
Cautiously stepping inside, Craig made sure to lower his voice as he explained "I got the information you requested earlier. I think you'll be very pleased."
Looking up in surprise, Rachel closed her laptop and swiveled around in her chair. "You mean you found the Joker?"
Craig cleared his throat. "Well nothing specific, no, but I got an anonymous tip saying he'd be in the Narrows this evening." Noting the sparkle in Rachel's eye, he gave her a warning look and admonished "Now Miss Monroe, you know how dangerous it is out there, and how-"
"I know" Rachel firmly cut in "but I've got a few tricks up my sleeve. Don't worry about me, alright? I've dealt with men like the Joker before."
Craig sent Rachel a skeptical look, but he gave a begrudging nod and turned to leave her to her own devices.
With a deep breath, Rachel grabbed her purse, briefly checked her answering machine for messages, and then exited the office with a strident confidence to her step.
Clip-clopping along the sidewalk, Rachel spared her car one last look before turning and continuing on her way. The streets were dark and eerily quiet that evening, but this was to be expected in an area such as the Narrows. This is where the guilty went to thrive -- this is where the hopeless went to die. Rachel had dealt with cases in this area all the time, and for every four criminals she helped throw behind bars, it seemed as if four more came to take their place. It was this ratio that made Gotham the cesspool of crime that it was.
Re-adjusting the hat and fake glasses she'd decided to wear as a minor disguise, Rachel spotted two men smoking along the curb and decided they were the anonymous tipsters. After she'd left the office, Craig had texted her with an announcement that two informants would be waiting there to meet her.
Approaching the men with a determined stride, Rachel stopped in front of them and looked them directly in the eye. "Are you the men who called with information on the Joker?"
The first man, whom Rachel immediately dubbed 'Skinny', removed his cigarette from his lips and nodded. "Ay, that we are, madame. What will you give us in return, hmm?"
Rachel narrowed her eyes. "How about this city's undying gratitude? I could easily charge you two with something, you know. Your kind is never innocent."
The other man, whom she inwardly called 'Blue Suit', gave a laugh and gleefully shook his head. "And just what makes you think we'd let you get away with that, hmm? We have connections."
"So do I" Rachel curtly returned, her hand reaching beneath her coat before she whipped out a pistol. When the men recoiled in surprise, she held up a piece of paper with her free hand and took a step forward. "After I give this to you, I expect you to do everything the paper says."
"W-well what is it?" Skinny demanded.
"Instructions for how to lure the Joker" Rachel cautiously explained. "I need you to spread the word that I've got information on Batman's true identity. Don't use my real name, though -- say I'm a special informant who's going to be at the parking garage on High Street. I expect you to spread the news all across the Narrows, because if the word doesn't even reach the Joker, our plan will have no effect."
Blue Suit nodded and softly agreed "Alright, fine. I still have a score to settle with that creep, so you can count on my full cooperation."
Skinny chewed on his bottom lip for a moment, then nodded as Rachel breathed a sigh of relief. "Ok" she gratefully acknowledged, "do whatever you can, and hurry...I don't have much time before people begin to wonder where I am. I'm a very busy woman."
Skinny gave her a one-fingered salute, then took Blue Suit by the arm and urged him back toward their vehicle. Releasing a breath she hadn't even been aware of holding, Rachel closed her eyes before turning and heading back toward her own car. If things went according to plan, in only a few hours she would finally have the showdown she'd been itching to put into play.
Even though the instructions had given a specific time, Rachel found that the Joker was at least an hour late. Not only that, but High Street seemed abnormally deserted that evening -- not even a drunken straggler was caught walking along the sidewalks. Annoyed, Rachel began to pace by her car as she checked her watch for the umpteenth time, but that's when she heard a peculiar noise out by the entrance to the parking deck. Freezing in place, the DA swallowed and shakily reached into her pocket for her gun.
By now she could hear the slow, reverberating footsteps of someone entering the vicinity, yet Rachel made absolutely certain that he couldn't see her. The figure was in shadows, but before long the Joker's ugly, horrific face was illuminated by the parking deck lights. It somehow made him more sallow in appearance than usual, and his eyes glittered with an animalistic sheen that made her skin crawl.
Rachel could hear him whistling a peculiar tune, but other than that, all was silent save for the footsteps that kept drawing him nearer and nearer. Careful to remain hidden behind the cement pillar by her car, the DA watched as the Joker approached and finally stopped alongside the vehicle.
The moment the clown prince turned his back to her, Rachel carefully approached him and pressed her gun against the back of his skull. "Don't move" she hissed. Before he could respond, she smugly observed "You're getting careless, Joker. Either you figured it was a nice night for a stroll, or you decided you didn't need your men to come help you deal with a woman. As much as I hate misogynistic pigs, I'm grateful to the little slip-up."
Her hands were shaking so hard she feared the gun would go off, yet Rachel managed to regain her composure as she gazed up at the man she simultaneously loathed and admired. She didn't admire him in a normal sense -- no, that would be beyond insane -- but rather, she admired the fact he was always five steps ahead of society. Perhaps it was because mankind couldn't accept the fact that he was both crazy and smart, because raging psychopaths, murderers, and criminals weren't supposed to be intelligent. It was this stereotype that kept the Joker in control of everyone's fates, for society's denial allowed him to remain on top.
With a quivering breath, Rachel pushed the barrel of the gun more forcefully into his head as she urged "Well? Don't you have anything to say for yourself? Don't you have any regrets to confess before I pull the trigger?!"
Deep-down she was hoping he'd bring up her and Harvey, but she wasn't going to hold her breath. His apology, after all, would never keep her from doing what needed to be done. Batman may be above killing the Clown Prince of Slime, but she was not. If she didn't pull the trigger now, hundreds, maybe even thousands more would die, and it'd be all her fault if she let him get away. She couldn't live with that. Not anymore.
It all seemed simple. A little too simple, perhaps. Far-fetched -- like a bad joke. Even simple was the passive source. Yes, the Joker's kind was always simplistic, expendable -- but nonetheless a necessary cog in the ever turning wheel. Despite this rather warped theory, a bullet had embedded itself quite snugly in the informants' laughably undersized brain for his careless entrance. The blaggard didn't even knock before crossing the threshold! Well, that was just terrible manners, and he had a responsibility to maintain a high level of professionalism in the workplace. Heh.

Regardless of the persona non gratas' lack of social conduct, when word of Batman comes traveling down the ole' grapevine to his recently acquired door, could not ignore such golden possibilities. The very prospect of obtaining certain deep-seated details, of slowly slicing away the bloody armor to expose his pathetic weaknesses, of just knowing the Bat up close and personal, made Joker positively giddy.

Still, he wasn't that ignorant to the reality of the situation, and was only half disappointed to find a gun shoved to the back of his head upon his late, albeit fashionable arrival. The voice which followed was distinctly female, as his deceased informant had suggested, but eloquent. She was far too well spoken for a common thug, he decided. Interesting. Realistically, that put her into one of two categories: either she was there by the order of some organization -- possibly the mob -- or she had taken it upon herself to purge Gotham City of his 'evil reign', and thus restore its otherwise sparkling reputation. Or...not.

His lips twitched and curved up at the blaring challenge in her tone. Perhaps the night wasn't a total loss after all.

The shake of her arm was quite amusing. He could feel her uncertainty, her nerves, and let out a breathy little chuckle. She was anxious -- how adorable. That failure of control over her emotions, however, signified she definitely wasn't a mob girl. No. Most assuredly not. They were trained to mask any feeling, and instead made to paint a sheen of indifference over their biological reactor function. It was the old adage of shoot first, ask questions later.

That left the possibility of heroism in its wake. What fun!

Both her confidence and impatience seemed to have grown, for he felt her dig the unyielding pistol more firmly into his skull. So she liked it rough. Cute. The Jokers' tongue darted out and swept in a singularly wet motion along the expanse of his slightly chapped bottom lip, then clicked up on the roof of his mouth. His shoulders suddenly hunched forward, his head bowing just so, and an unexpected crescendo of hysterical laughter pierced the air. This poor woman had absolutely no idea how easily he could disarm her. One slight movement, and the knife he had readily poised up his sleeve would slash across her throat like a ribbon, spilling out torrents of crimson blood all down the front of her torso. She would die slowly, bleeding herself out, and the Joker would merely sit back and watch as her skin grew cold and pallid.

His eyes leaked with vast amusement, causing charcoal-black paint to seep into stark white. "If – heh -- if you're going for intimidation, girly, I'd try a...ah...well, a diff-er-ent approach", he giggled, eerily sotto voce. Slowly, he brought his hand up to tap against his mouth, feigning a yawn at her oh so somber questions. "Regrets? Oh, puh-lease. Having regrets would mean I care, cupcake."

Without warning, the hand at his mouth shot out and around, and, grabbing onto her wrist with ironclad force, he spun on his heel to face the source of all this hoo-ha. The clown smacked his lips in anticipation of the fun that was to come, whilst repositioning the gun to his temple. "And they call me im-mor-al-uh. Were you really gonna shoot a guy in the back of the head?" His eyes widened a fraction and he gasped, mockingly, "Tsk tsk. Naughty girl."

Leering, the Joker let his gaze travel over the woman's form, lapping once, twice, thrice, at his lips in a most rapacious manner. "Say," he used his free hand to jab a finger in her direction, the other still firmly encased around her wrist, "you look awfully familiar." Tipping his chin down, he hummed as if scanning his memory bank, and then let out a giggly "Aha!" while pointing repeatedly at her. Despite her little hat and specs disguise, her identity was quite clear; she wasn't fooling anyone. In fact, he found her negligible efforts to conceal her identity rather insulting. "Monroe!", he all but hissed, eyes alight with renewed mischief, "Evelyn Monroe. Little Miss DA herself." Clamping a fist at his chest in a sardonic show of admiration and respect, he grinned widely, the obscene scars stretching his mouth to garish proportions across his face; the white greasepaint streaked with sweat revealing snippets of flesh of the man beneath.

"Go on then, beautiful. Do it." The Joker sneered, leaning forwards ever so slightly. "Pull. The. Trig-garr." Lasciviously, he slithered his tongue along the wrinkled ridges of his scars, tasting the acrid flavor of paint. "Ohhh-hmm, I'll make such a pretty mess all over the floor", he spoke in a singsong voice, and rolled his obsidian eyes to the left, as if visualizing the very scene.

For a moment Rachel actually thought she had the upper hand, but that's when the Joker's lack of verbalization -- which she'd taken to mean defeat -- had ended and a loud, blood-curdling laugh escaped the recesses of his dark soul. Cringing at the obvious mirth over her situation, Rachel felt her body shake harder, only this time instead of fear, it was with rage. "What the hell is so funny?!" she snapped, now digging the barrel of her gun harder into his skull. "I could kill you right now, no questions asked!"

And yet...could she? Did she really have what it took to pull the trigger on this man?

As she was contemplating all of this, she foolishly let her guard down and gave a yelp when the Joker suddenly whipped around. His grip was bone-crushing as he viciously yanked her forward, her teeth gritting as sharp, tiny pinpricks of pain burst through her wrist. She was surprised when he placed the gun back at his temple, but she tried not to show her confusion. What was he trying to prove?

As the Joker taunted her, Rachel tried not to listen. Bruce had warned her of his manipulative ways -- of how he was beyond capable of turning the tables in his favor, but she was helplessly entranced by his words. Shuddering when his tongue swept across his lips multiple times, Rachel dropped her gaze to the ground and fought off a wave of nausea. The way he was looking at her reminded her of their very first meeting -- of how he'd held her at knifepoint, bruised her cheeks with his fingers, and excavated her very soul with his eyes...those dark, obsidian, soulless eyes that riveted one in place to the point of paralysis. Rachel never liked feeling helpless, but she certainly felt she was in over her head at this moment. Had she really thought she could single-handedly destroy Gotham's criminal mastermind?

And then, she heard it. Raising her gaze in an instant, Rachel's heart hammered in her chest when he declared that he recognized her. Her upper lip curling in disgust, Rachel shunted from the Joker's presence as he invaded her personal space, her stomach roiling from the stench of his foul breath. "Get away from me" she warned, her eyes icy and electric. "I swear to you, I'll shoot, and I won't aim to kill -- for a man such as yourself, that'd be far too merciful."

Aiming toward his shoulder, Rachel steeled herself when the Joker continued to heckle her. He wanted her to shoot him? Why? Somehow the thought of his own death seemed to excite him, and this just nauseated her all the more. This man -- this monster -- was despicable, and she knew he'd just love to be the cause of her ruin. If he died, he knew she wouldn't be able to live with his blood on her hands, but now she understood more than ever that this wasn't her choice to make. She needed to do what both Batman and Gordon had failed to. She needed to kill the Joker.

Taking a deep breath, Rachel tried to move, but the clown prince's grip was still bone-crushingly firm. A new fear chilled her to the core, and his lascivious mannerisms were not helping to ease her mind. The Joker, after all, was more than likely a lonely man due to his horrific escapades, and anyone, no matter what their stance on rape, was bound to go against their opinions if desperate enough. Swallowing the bile at the back of her throat, she tried to calm herself when she recalled the tazer in her back pocket. If he tried anything funny, she'd shoot him, taze him, and then shoot him again.

With a warning look in her eye, Rachel urged "If you want me to pull the trigger, stand against that car." When the Joker merely stood there, she gave a fierce "NOW!" and fired a warning shot into the air.

Pocketing her gun and pushing him against her vehicle, Rachel scowled as she irritably explained "I have to make sure you're unarmed, so don't try anything funny." Although it pained her to be so close to the man she loathed, she curled her arms around him from behind and began to pat him down. Making a face, she felt her discomfort grow since she could just imagine his expression, a shudder wracking her frame as she felt along his torso. She made special care to avoid his more personal areas, because she assumed no man would risk placing a knife or gun next to their most 'prized possession'.

After this bothersome task was complete, Rachel retrieved her gun and pointed it back at the Joker's head. "On your knees" she urged, her voice finally firm opposed to shaky. "If you're going to die, I plan on putting you down like the dog you are."

After brief calculation, the Joker concluded -- much to his delight -- that this chit, this Miss Monroe, was practically glowing with desperation, masked carefully by a stalwart attempt at bravery and a determination which seemed almost mocking. Commendable – laughable -- but nothing more than mere illusions. She wanted him to believe her resolve was not yet broken. Borrring. He could see past her bullshit, spotted all the telltale signs of a woman in the thrall of distress. Trembling flesh as her fingers twitched with nervous energy around the gun, barely contained quivers that revealed an innate fear as he leaned closer. Yes, she was afraid of him. And none of her years dealing with Gotham's vilest scum could prepare her for what he was. Foolish girl. He was The Joker; he stood in stark contrast to the pathetic murderers and rapists she locked away daily. How dare she presume to think otherwise!

Deciding to indulge her orders like some obedient pup, without so much as cracking a joke when she patted him down, the Joker let only the smallest of breathy chuckles escape his lips. Although practiced in her approach, it didn't take an expert in applied blahblahblah to notice the reluctance with each brush of hand. That made the job lax, negligent, thereby rendering it altogether pointless. He had quite an impressive arsenal upon his person, a multitude of concealed weapons; though she was so caught up with disgust, she didn't find one in her haste. Amusing, and somewhat disappointing.

Obliging the command, the Joker dropped to his knees, eager to see just how far she could bend. He watched her movements reflected in the shiny surface of the car door. Apparently she thought she had the upper hand. She was getting far too big for her boots...

"Maybe you know this already, but in some ways," head tilt, tongue cluck, lip swipe, grin, "-a man can really like. Getting. Fucked. By a woman." His eyes found hers in the reflection, brows raised suggestively. "It's all about technique-ah," blink, nod, bare teeth, leer. "See, if you had..." he gestured vaguely with a hand, "stolen into this car lot...pushed me down on my back," the hand clenched, fingers flexing into a fist then releasing, "-heh, jumped on my lap and just taken me," chuckle, teeth clank, smirk. "...wellll, then I probably wouldn't have minded getting fucked by you." Probing at the left scar on the inside of his cheek, the Joker worked his jaw, tipped his chin, then looked through his lashes. "Does that lil' scenario do anything for ya, toots? Hmmm? Does it heat you up in any spe-shul way?

"I think I'd like that a lot. The idea of...YYYYYUUUUUHHHHH!" The Joker threw his head back in a mock throe of ecstasy, a large smile splitting his face. He knew he was getting to her, riling her up, distracting her. "Can you imagine? May-beeee I'll ah, have to let you try your hand with that kinda fun later," wink, lip smack, swallow. "To make my point-uh, technique is what matters. That would be a great technique for you to use, Evelyn Monroe, if you wanted to fuck with me. Buuuu-uuuut..." He sighed dramatically, hunched his shoulders, then sniffed pointedly. "...instead you chose a different technique. You went below the belt. Cornering me with your little gun like a vig-il-ante. Making me, heh, get on my knees for you. See, men don't like it when a woman fucks with their ego."

The Joker's chest heaved as he steeled himself for the lunge. If she were smart, she'd have acknowledged he had two hands free and found some way to bind them, thus slowing any mischief they could cause. Two hands can do a lot of things. Two hands can change the game...

In a move so quick he hadn't debated it, said hands had reached behind and found purchase on both her legs, which he harshly tugged, pulling her feet from the ground. The gun went off, a bullet gnawing a hole into a nearby wall. And then he was falling heavily on top of her, knees planted on either side of her waist while he snatched at her wrists, holding them together and firmly down with one hand. "Oh, princessss, you're in trouble now..." Giving a crooked little smile, lewdness gracing its tips, the Joker pressed his hips against hers and rolled them; a hardness prodding at her. He arched an eyebrow, knowing what her obvious assumption would be. Then slowly, so slowly, he reached down into his pocket, producing a blade which he flicked open and placed at her mouth. "You didn't reee-ally think you'd be the one to stop me, didja?" The knife began to stroke, the cool point dragging along the swell of her bottom lip, down her chin, across her jaw and came to rest at her temple. "Such naivety," he remarked, expression alight with mirth. "Such idiocy."

Humming absent-mindedly a tune of no particular origin, the Joker considered his options, tapping the blade every so often against her flesh. "Let's play a game," he finally declared and, hauling himself up and to the side, kicked the gun across the pavement, well out of reach. He pocketed the knife once more and impatiently waited for Evelyn to stand. "C'mon, c'mon - get up!"

Oh God, he was talking again... That horrible, twisted, disfigured red maw was flapping a mile a minute with one of his damned diatribes, and Rachel was having absolutely none of it. That is, until she realized exactly what the Joker was saying.

Unable to mask her horror, Rachel felt naked and vulnerable as her gaze met with his through the car door reflection, her jaw clenching as an all too familiar rage began to bubble within her breast. How dare he speak to her that way? He had no right to treat her like a common prostitute, nor did he have the right to act all godlier-than-though when he was the one with a mile long criminal record! But then, their marked differences came in how they viewed said faults, because the Joker was actually proud of his 'dastardly deeds'. Rachel was not. No, she was ashamed of her actions, yet she knew that someone needed to shut this crook up once and for all. And if she died in the process? So be it. The way she saw things, she'd already died the moment Harvey had been pronounced dead. And not just dead, but dead because of her. It was she who'd caused him to pull the trigger on those men, and it was she who'd driven him to madness. The Joker may have had a large hand in his undoing, yes, but it wasn't his soul that Harvey had been fighting for. It was hers.

Eyes narrowing, Rachel kept her pistol trained firmly on the back of the Joker's skull, yet he kept making such snide, disgusting remarks that left her both stunned and nauseous. Sexuality and the Joker were two things that did not belong together, as far as Rachel was concerned, and the idea of him even thinking about such lewd scenarios nearly seemed comical. True, he was a man, but Rachel could never view him that way; not when he was so monstrously inhuman.

Nearly yelping when the Joker threw his head back in mock ecstasy, Rachel's nose wrinkled in disgust and she took a subconscious step back. Whatever this creep was getting at, she wanted absolutely no part of it. His crude jeering and condescending tone was rapidly grating on her last nerve, yet deep-down a sick, twisted part of her was genuinely curious by what he had to say. That was the part of her that she fought tooth and nail to ignore, but little by little she was beginning to fall prey to his ability to disarm without actually disarming. In fact, Rachel wasn't even aware that her gun had slightly lowered, yet she was jolted back to reality the moment his gloved hands yanked her feet right off the ground.

Stunned, Rachel heavily plummeted onto her backside with an unceremonious 'oof!', the wind briefly knocking out of her as pinpoints of color danced before her eyes. If it weren't for her befuddled state, she might have had a chance to sit up and take charge once more, but unfortunately fate was not so kind. She could feel the Joker heavily falling on top of her, and in that instant she was genuinely afraid. Freezing up like a cornered mouse, she turned her face as his hands encircled her wrists in a bone-crushing grip. Gritting her teeth from the pain, she couldn't help but scream when she felt the Joker's hips press into hers.

No, no, oh God, no!

Struggling desperately about, her eyes grew wild and frantic as she felt her proverbial walls closing in on her at top speed. She had nowhere to go...nowhere to run, and this fiend was rolling his hips into hers as if she were some plaything he could torment whenever he pleased. Infuriated, Rachel was this close to nailing him in the groin with her knee, but the Joker surprised her by unearthing a knife from where his 'excitement' had supposedly been. This discovery was so odd that Rachel didn't know whether she should be relieved or frightened, for being raped before death wasn't much better than being knifed first.

Feeling the steel rest against her lips, Rachel's blue eyes narrowed darkly and she gripped at his wrists, her nails digging into the flesh as a rush of adrenaline surged through her veins. Yes, yes, cut him...let him feel the pain she felt! Anger was coursing through her soul as she scratched and scratched and scratched, yet the Joker hardly seemed to notice her vengeful clawing, and this naturally made her all the angrier.

You didn't reee-ally think you'd be the one to stop me, didja?

The words rang hollowly in Rachel's ears and she swallowed, her eyes blazing as she felt the sudden urge to bite those hideous scars -- to tear them straight from his ugly fucking face. The animalistic response frightened her, and she quickly closed her eyes as if this could somehow stave off the blood-thirsty yearning. This reaction probably came off as fear to the Joker, and in a way it was. It was the fear of not knowing what she would do next...of not knowing what she'd become.

Finally, she decided on saying "It was worth a shot -- if Batman won't kill you, someone else has to step up to the plate. It's the right thing to do for everyone...maybe even the right thing for you." Feeling his knife trace along the swell of her bottom lip, her chin, and then pausing to rest along her temple, Rachel tightened her fists as the Joker remained intent on calling her every name he could think of. She was not stupid! Naive, perhaps, but definitely not stupid. She'd single-handedly managed to trick him into coming out to the parking garage, so surely that amounted to something?

As Rachel mulled this over, she suddenly heard the Joker's suggestion of a game and froze. He wanted to play a game? Oh no, that was never for the Joker ended in mayhem and destruction, and she knew this because she'd been the catalyst for his most successful game. Driving Harvey into madness had been a source of amusement for this fiend, so who was to say he wouldn't attempt the very same with her? And a way, hadn't he already succeeded?

Repulsed by this thought, Rachel barely even reacted when the Joker lifted himself up and kicked her gun off to the side. Blinking dully as he commanded her to get up, Rachel nursed her injured pride and begrudgingly pulled herself into a sitting position. Eyes sparkling with defiance, she slowly rose and insisted "I will not play one of your stupid games, Joker. You may think I'm naive, but I'm not foolish enough to actually become your little puppet!" Eyes darting toward the gun that was well out of her reach, she mentally cursed and glanced toward the nearest exit. Perhaps if she stalled long enough she could make a run for it?

I will not play one of your stupid games, Joker.

Ooh, feisty. Spirited. Spunky. Fiery. Plucky. Hmm...he liked that word. Pluck-y. He also liked the word courgette.

You may think I'm naive, but I'm not foolish-

Foolish. Yes. Foolish happened to be a very apt description of precisely what she was.

-enough to actually become your little puppet!

Puppet. Pupp-et.

Rewind: I'm not foolish enough to actually become your little puppet.

What an interesting choice of words, and each spat with an acidity designed to act as a defiant slap in the face. Mere delusions, of course. Nothing more than the rantings of a woman very much engrossed within the deep recesses of denial. The crux of it came to this: Evelyn Monroe was already a fully working puppet. A puppet to the state, a marionette to society. They controlled the wires, influenced behavior and thought, made wild dictations on morals and principles, manipulated traditions and cultural practices, and she would move accordingly. Sad, really. And a tad amusing. She had been groomed for a life of civil obedience, her baser instincts stripped from birth, her inner chaos extinguished. Still, he was certain that with a little patience and some fine-tuning, he could fan a flame which would rip through what remained of those silly ethics and values.

"Meh, spoilsport," The Joker whined, bottom lip childishly jutting out in an exaggerated pout. "I was sa-ho looking forward to pulling on your strings-ah," -lip smack- "And watching you get hopelessly tangled." He moved in then, clutching at her shoulders with an unyielding might, and backing her -- quite forcibly -- into the side of the car. "Ah, an observation, if I may." Clearing his throat, he rocked on his heels, rolled his eyes off to the side, then locked them back with hers. "Trying a man who's handy with a knife? Um, hmm...nope, not such a good idea," he shook his head to emphasize the point. "Trying a man who's reeeally handy with a knife? Well, now that's just a bad idea." The pitch of his voice dropped considerably, mouth curling a splitting grin as he leaned in, breaching her personal space. "Me?" -lip smack- "I'm not handy with a knife." There was a hint of a self-congratulatory smile which reached his eyes, and his voice once again fell in decibel to a soft whisper. "I'm a virtuoso."

Could he work courgette into this conversation? Tricky. Maybe later...

Licking at a scar, The Joker titled his chin down, sent Evelyn a mocking glance and then reversed with the tiniest of steps. A gap once more between them, albeit pitiful in size, he removed his gloves at a leisured pace, pulling on each of the fingers with a tug of teeth. He considered them both in turn, rubbing the buttery texture between rough digits, his face a mask of concentration before he pocketed them.

"Good leather is difficult to find," he remarked conversationally, tongue poking out to probe at a small wishbone-shaped scar marring his lower lip. "The hide needs to be soft and sa-hupple." -lip smack- "Soft skin makes all the difference." The grin was back, wide and hideous. Quite suddenly a hand had shot up, cupping her throat with, considering his general lack of impulse control, restraint, and his thumb stroked steadily against a drumming pulse point at the arc. "Your skin is soft, Ev-ee-lyn." There was an exchange of unspoken words, tacit threats with the promise of bloodshed should she decide to continue with her little act of rebellion.

C'mon, Mizzzz Monroe – let's plaaaay...

He released his hold, movements slow but holding purpose. This gave her the time to draw up her own conclusions about what nasty bit of fun he might want.

Play...I like to play...

Truthfully, he hadn't been in much of a mood to indeed play since escaping Arkham, months prior. There was important work to be done as a result of his incarceration; work which took precedence over tricks and gags, fun as they were. In his six months at Arkham, he had been given nothing but the hospital's finest care. The Joker had rarely been near a window or natural light for the duration of his stint, ergo, he deduced the time of the day by the treatment administered.

What kinds of games could we play?

If his mind was being poked at by the doctors, then it was daytime. If his body was being used as a punching bag by the orderlies, the sun had gone to bed.

So many many choices...

Monthly physicals conducted by the infirmary were required, so the doctors knew of said abuse, yet turned the other cheek. As long as the trauma didn't show, they pretended it hadn't happened, despite what marks and bruises he bore beneath the hospital-issued garb. Never did the injuries make it to his face, for members from Patients Rights Advocates of Gotham, along with the ACLU, would occasionally drop by for unannounced audits. Any obvious signs of abuse -- even to The Joker -- could result in a withdrawal of donors' funds desperately needed for the hospital's research.

We could play a...spirited game of Chutes and Ladders...

But the doctors' unwillingness to intercede with the nightly visits didn't bother him nearly as much as what they stole. While they let his body endure ongoing trauma from the orderlies' attention, they had insisted upon letting the fresh scars on his face heal. The ones given to him by the Batman during their last meeting.

Monopoly, maybe? I get to be the top hat! You can be the little doggie.

The Joker had tried to claw at the welts when first admitted, but was quickly restrained to keep from aggravating the injuries further. He wanted the fresh cuts to be aggravated! He wanted them to become as ragged and hideous as the ones which sat upon his countenance. They were a badge of honor. They were a present...

...from him.

To his utter dismay the scars healed, and healed well. His physical connection to the Batman had all but vanished. He endured his stay at Arkham, driven by sheer will. He would see Ol' Pointy Ears again. He had to see him again, to allow him the opportunity to gift some new scars. The Batman. He was what kept The Joker's focus and mind sharp whilst locked up. The thoughts of all the fun they would share when he escaped. The thoughts of all the games they could play together...

The Joker took three steps back, then another. He was presenting her with the illusion of an escape, which lay directly behind him. Perhaps if she were quick and agile enough, she might make it past him, might indeed find her freedom within reach. Implausible, but not impossible.

Maybe we could play a few rounds of Truth or Dare?

Hunching his shoulders and cocking his head sharply to the side, The Joker's eyes shone something akin to childlike playfulness, his smirk conveying an altogether different vehemence.

Hmmm... How about cat and mouse?

He licked his lips in recollection of what had befallen all those who'd wronged him at Arkham. Since escaping, he had spent the months tracking down the orderlies who had delivered his beatings, and repaid them in kind in their own homes. He had trailed the doctors who allowed said beatings and who'd insisted that his scars heal. He gave them a few scars to think about. It was like a pretty little fairytale come true. And at every scene, he left his calling card. But there had been no Batman. The Joker set up a great many ploys, concocted vast tricks and gimmicks, and waited, biding his time for Bats to make his appearance, but he just wouldn't show.

Fairytale shattered.

Was he no longer worthy of the Caped Crusaders attentions? He bristled at the thought. Batman's lack of appreciation was really starting to piss him off. No matter. Time to try a different technique; time to dangle this tasty little morsel out there as bait. Bait the bat, bait the bat.

Thoughts came to him as he took in the sight before him. Ideas. He let his mind run with the pictures that played on the screen of his mind. They took him to dark corners of consciousness -- and he liked it. He liked it a lot. The things he could do to her, right here, right now; they would bring him tremendous...satisfaction. Horrible, beastly things that she probably -- definitely -- wouldn't like as much as he. If she could see the visions he had...she'd be terrified. She would scream and beg for mercy. That, in turn, would only heighten his own pleasure. And the Batman -- he could be on the prowl this very second. Could be looking for her -- unlikely, but nevertheless feasible. And if Batman found her, Batman would find him. And they could play together! Mmm, mmm, mmmm, wouldn't that be fun?

"See, I'm offering you a way out here," he nodded, flung his arms out wide, inclined his head toward the exit behind him. A way out: a chance. Harvey, Harvey, Harvey Dent liked to toy with chance. "And it's an ee-zee game. Honest. Real simple. I think yer gonna like it."

I. Know. I. Willllll...

"Uhh-huh. And hey, you may even get to ah, sucker punch or two. Sounds fun, hmm?" Tipping his chin down, The Joker peered at her through his lashes, wetting his lips purposefully, hungrily. "So, all ya gotta do is make it past me," giggle, nod, leer. "And you're free to leave. I won't be on your heels. Nope. Cross my heart and hope you die." There was a menacing undertone to his statement, and he smiled lazily at her. "Buuu-uuut, should you" when you "fall short, well...we'll discuss that later. Now, go on," he waved a hand in the general direction of the exit. "It's right there. You can do it! Run, Evelyn. Run!"

Rachel should've expected this. The Joker was all about mockery, doling out a false sense of security before an attack, and forcing everyone to see who they truly were, so why should now be any different? Why should now be a time of reconciliation and seeing the error of his ways? There was no reasoning with this man, and she realized now (far little too late) that she'd been a fool for thinking she could stop him.

Moving as if to speak, Rachel cried out when the Joker's hands ensnared her shoulders and whirled her around. Spinning as if on a rotating pedestal, she soon found herself crushed against her car and squirmed, his rancid breath hot on her face as she began to struggle for all she was worth. She could hear him chiding her for underestimating him, but she was far too busy watching his hands to ensure that he wasn't about to stab her. Finally permitting her gaze to meet with his, she instinctively pressed harder into the car when the Joker breached her personal space, her head turning so that she could avoid his twisted smile and dark, nefarious eyes.

It occurred to Rachel then that she might flee; that she could do a repeat of their first meeting and strike him, but her genuine insecurity had frozen her inhibitions and rendered them useless. What could she do? This madman was speaking to her, but for once she found that her silver tongue was at a loss for words. Some lawyer she turned out to be!

Giving a subconscious huff at her musings, she barely had time to react before the Joker's strong hand came about her throat. With a sharp intake of breath, she seized the invasive appendage in one hand while she felt him thumb her pulse, her wide eyes turning to his as her heart fluttered wildly in her chest. The unspoken threat was beyond clear, yet Rachel wasn't quite ready to throw in the towel. Harvey would've been disappointed to see the fear in her eyes...she was stronger than this. She knew she was, and for that reason she vowed not to give the Joker what he wanted. Her fear and pitiful pleas were inevitably what he craved, but she'd never give them to him; he'd have to pry them from her cold, dying body if he ever wished to hear any sort of admission.

Rachel's internal musings must have given her the strength she desired, for the Joker's hand slowly left her throat and she breathed easily once more. He was speaking again -- dear God, didn't this man ever shut up?! -- and she glowered as he opened his arms wide in acquiescence. He was letting her go? Oh, no. No, no, no, no, he was up to man of his stature and his sadism ever released a captive for no reason. He was like a cat; he'd play with his victim until it was long dead, and even then he wouldn't relinquish his hold. So what did he want? To see her flee and then grab her? To watch her run for her life and then literally stab her in the back? None of this quite seemed "fun" enough to satiate his sadistic thrills, so her curiosity (and her terror) were naturally piqued.

So, all ya gotta do is make it past me and you're free to leave. I won't be on your heels. Nope. Cross my heart and hope you die.

Glaring up at him in disbelief, Rachel shook her head and coolly returned "Don't worry, I'll leave, but not under any terms of yours. If I'm to go, I'm going to do it of my own accord and under my own rules, and if you don't like that...well..." She lifted her shoulders in a shrug. "I suppose that'll just be your own problem, now won't it?"

Surreptitiously observing the space around her, she mentally noted that the exit was approximately twenty-five feet away, and that no immediate structures were blocking her path (save for the purple-clad blowhard in front of her, of course). Around them were only a few cars, and there were unfortunately no weapons aside from her gun on sight; that meant she'd have to improvise.

"Rule number one" Rachel cautiously began, "I get to take off my shoes first." Careful not to break their gaze, she slowly bent over and began to remove one shoe after the other. With one heel in her hand and the other tucked under her shoulder, she anxiously wet her lips and sustained "Rule number funny business. If I make it past you, I expect you to be a man of your word." Eying him coolly, she took a small step to the right as if she were preparing to walk around him, her words more shaky due to nerves as she concluded "And rule number might want to see a doctor!"

Bursting forward with a sudden rush of adrenaline, Rachel rammed her shoulder into the Joker's midsection and caused him to stagger away from her. This movement allowed her to pivot around him, and as she did so, she used her shoe to deliver a sound blow to the back of his head. Seeing red, she didn't stop beating him despite her better judgement. No, she felt compelled to turn the creep into mince meat, so with an ireful shriek, she began to clip him repeatedly across the head with her heel, her bare foot every so often joining in with a sound kick to his middle.

"You fucking bastard!" she screamed, feeling a sense of release upon seeing him on his knees. "I'll kill you for all you've done! I swear to God, I will!!!"

Don't worry, I'll leave, but not under any terms of yours.

This gal - a laugh a minute!

If I'm to go, I'm going to do it of my own accord and under my own rules, and if you don't like that...well...

Well? Well what? Shh! SHHH! Here comes the punch line. Drum roll, please...

I suppose that'll just be your own problem, now won't it?

From one pro-fesh-onal to another, Mizzz Monroe, I have to say -- that was a terrible joke.

Rolling his shoulders back and then drawing them into a hunch, The Joker stared Evelyn down, a knowing grin reaching ear to ear and causing his scars to pucker hideously. He listened to her sound off the first two rules with a sort of bored indifference; making no attempt to show he had acknowledged either, save for the raising of a brow.

And rule number three...

Ooh, I'm all ears...

His fingers twitched by his sides and pulled into fists as she took a side step,

You might want to see a doctor!

The Joker knew what she was going to do before she did it, and made no move to cut short her impending progress. As she launched forward, slamming the brunt of her shoulder rather forcefully into his midriff, his face did not register surprise or hurt, nor did it evince that he was bracing for the hit. Nonetheless, he played his part well and dropped to his knees on cue, appearing to present her free rein over the situation. "Aww...ohhh," he brought his hand to his stomach as he moaned, grimacing for dramatic effect. And when the sharp point of her shoe repeatedly struck the back of his skull, he only upped the ante with louder groans. "Ohh...aaahhh...ha haaa heh." What seemed exclamations of burning distress were actually an act of feigned pain, which quickly waxed into peals of laughter. "Heh heh hah, aahh...aha ha, ah, hmm, ya got me pretty good there, dollface."

Yet she didn't stop.

She was like a woman possessed.

And it...was. Beautiful.

And the more she belted, the more excited he got. Who would have thought it; the kitten had claws!

Encouragement was what she needed now, to reeeally let loose.

"C'mon, again! Hit. Me. Again-uh!"

You fucking bastard!

Well, that wasn't very nice.

I'll kill you for all you've done! I swear to God, I will!

God. G. O. D. God has no business here...But looky-looky, this is the joke! Can't you see, Eve? Don't you get it? No? Surely you must! It's not about justice for you. It's about choices. Kill first, moralize later.

"Again," he hissed, twisting his upper body around so he could face the blows. "Yessss. Again. Har-derrrr!" Blood was trickling, sweat was pouring. His knees quickly followed suit, swiveling about to join his torso.

"Hmmmm...aaaaggghhhh..aha hah heeh hooahh... Morrre. Make. It. Hurt-uh." The wounds, although pathetic in comparison to others, hemorrhaged and leaked, obscuring his already smudged greasepaint further. "Ahhaaaha" lip swipe, swallow, leer. "That all ya got, baby? C'mon. Hit. Meeeee."

Her sense of right and wrong had been chipped at. Next on the list would be her iron resolve. Then her faith. And finally her sanity.

Time to raise the stakes.

Thus far, The Joker had been fairly passive, physically. His hands had stayed at his side, and he hadn't once made a grab for her. Alas, that was boring.

Boring. Is. Borrrrrr-ing-ah.

Flexing his fingers, he considered their positions and distances and, content with his calculations, threw his arms forward, palms closing around their target. The grip on her thighs was unforgiving. Sitting back on his haunches, The Joker pulled her down and arranged her astride his lap. One hand kept a firm hold on her waist, effectively keeping her still and in place, while the other seized at the wrist of the hand clutching the makeshift weapon. "Oooh, I enjoyed that, sweetheart," he drawled, licking his lips habitually between each word spoken. "I enjoyed that a lot." And he had, truthfully.

"But, y'see, this is why I don't care to ah, fight with girls. Cause I'm a gen-tullll-maaaannnn." Giggling, he added as an afterthought, "And 'cause there's just no challenge in it. Mmmm-hmmm. Know why? No? Well, I'll tell ya," And taking in a deep breath, as if preparing for some grand speech, he cheerily announced: "Girls. Can't. Fight."

But you sure can pack a punch, darlin'.

The grip on her wrist tightened. Tightened until circulation was cut off, and she had no choice but to drop the shoe she had held so desperately, not two minutes ago. He released her waist and snatched at both wrists, holding them in place behind her back. Leaning in, nose to nose, The Joker tsked softly in her face, scorning, mocking. "You really shoulda left when you had the chance, y'know." Titling his head back, he shook it suddenly and quite unexpectedly, like a dog, and spots of blood found their merry way to Evelyn's cheek - as did his tongue. He greedily lapped the gore away, savoring the sweet taste of her skin and, whilst there, took a long whiff of her hair. "Deee-lish-ous," he smacked his lips nosily, right beside her ear.

Resisting the urge to gut her, The Joker managed, with some considerable grace, to shift her to her knees and, from there, pull them both to their feet. He glanced over his shoulder, at her car, and smiled lazily. "Time to go, beautiful."

Yes. Let her drive herself - quite literally - to her own destruction. Fun, fun. What fuuuuun.

They were at the car in a flash of billowing purple. "Nooo funny business now," he advised, voice having a sing-song quality to it. He tried the door on the driver's side and found it to be unlocked. "In," the pitch had changed; it was no longer light-hearted, but deadpan, serious. "Get. In."

He gave her a small push, trying to encourage her in her decision to yield. After an impatient moment, he grabbed the back of her neck and shoved her face first into the car. Slamming the door behind her, The Joker quickly rounded and rolled over the hood in typical 'movie cop' fashion. He even held his fingers in the shape of a pretend gun as he went. Chuckling, he yanked open the passenger door and sat himself down. He spotted her purse and swiped it up, resting it upon his lap, and fished around inside till he found what he was searching for. "Put the keeeey in the ignition," he instructed, sucking his cheeks in, then clucking his tongue. The key dangled on the end of a long, lithe digit, which he held out for her to take. "We're gonna go for a little drive down...To. Dixon. Dockssss." Reaching into a padded breast pocket, The Joker pulled out a cheapish looking cell phone, which he flipped open and started to tap out a text on. "C'mon, c'mon --drive. We haven't got all day." And, mumbling seemingly to himself, though loud enough for her to hear, he muttered "Women" accompanied with an apt eye roll.

At first Rachel genuinely thought she had the upper hand. The Joker's groans had implied that she had him right where she wanted him, and he'd even acquiesced into positioning himself in such a way that she had easy access with her strikes. Each time her shoe connected with the back of his head and shoulders, she felt a disturbing sense of empowerment. It was almost as if each blow dissolved a little bit of her tension, and instead of attacking him out of self-defense, she was envisioning Harvey's face and all the people he'd wronged.

Thwack. Thwack. Thwack.

Her blows only grew reluctant when the Joker began to speak in his low, serpent-like tone, her bottom lip quivering when he urged her to hit him again. Of course he'd say that...the sick freak enjoyed making people come in contact with their more baser instincts, and Rachel's primal response was no exception to the rule. But no...she wasn't an animal like him. Not by a longshot.

The snarl she gave next, however, easily belied her inner musings as she clobbered him once again. How dare this fiend beg for more and plead for the pain? It wasn't supposed to be like this, for there was never any pleasure in harming those who desired vengeful affliction! This realization naturally infuriated Rachel all the more, and she gave a frustrated scream as her heel clipped the Joker across the face. In this moment he chose to retaliate, her growls of frustration only growing louder when it seemed as though he was mocking her with growls of his own. That self-righteous, smug sonofabitch!

Squirming once she felt him pull her into his lap, Rachel's immediate response was to lean far, far back so that their balance was nearly knocked off-kilter. Her upper lip curling in displeasure, she wriggled as the Joker's arm curled around her as if they were beginning the preparations for a sick, twisted little dance. Admittedly it was a dance without the need for legs, yet Rachel found that she had plenty of use for them since she was kicking them wildly back and forth. Her efforts proved faulty, and an infuriated noise rumbled in her throat as he spoke.

Girls couldn't fight? How sexist and untrue!

Moving to strike him, her features morphed into a mask of fury once the Joker caught her wrist and prevented her from making her mark. She wanted to pound him -- to destroy him -- but he was far too busy talking to give her the chance. Talking, talking, talking...always talking! With a whimper, she soon discovered that the Joker's grip on her wrist hadn't slackened, and she dropped the shoe due to a sudden loss in circulation. Body quivering with rage and suppressed fear, she cringed when he leaned in so that they were nose-to-nose, her eyes narrowing as he spoke of how it'd been unwise of her to stay.

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Before she could even think to give a vicious retort, he shook his head like the mangy mutt he was and covered her in his blood. Mouth agape in mute horror, she gave a shaky intake of breath to show her disgust, but that couldn't possibly compare to what he did next. Feeling the warmth of his slimy, disgusting tongue on her flesh, she made a noise of displeasure and squirmed to get away from him, but all he did was right her on her own two feet again.

"Drive? Why? Where are we going?" Rachel demanded, immediately wiping her cheek with her sleeve. Her eyes were narrowing with distrust -- not that they'd be filled with anything else -- and she grimaced. The warning note in his voice proved that he'd finally grown tired of their games, so at least she'd possibly gotten under his skin for a small moment.

Watching as he opened the door for her, she was about to make a snide remark about his "gallantry" towards women, but he soon had her by the scruff of the neck and was forcing her into the car. With a grunt, she heard the door slam behind her and she peevishly watched him slide across her hood. Fucker. If there was one thing she abhorred, it was being manhandled.

Mechanically sitting up and buckling her seatbelt, Rachel heard the Joker's noisy entrance into her car and bristled. He was digging into her purse -- gee, help yourself -- his hand now dangling the key obnoxiously in her face. After she'd snatched it from his grasp, she eyed him skeptically and demanded "Why the Dixon Docks? What's out there? You're not exactly pointing a gun at my head, you know, so the way I see it, I can drive you straight to the MCU to visit Gordon."

A foolish threat, she knew, for she was fully aware that he was a walking arsenal of weaponry. He could cut her to shreds if he so desired, but her adrenaline was admittedly making her more confident than she should've been. Nonetheless, Rachel stuck the key into the ignition and put the car in reverse, all the while careful to keep her eyes on anything but the clown beside her. Just hearing him breathing made her skin crawl, so the least she could do for her poor, shattered nerves was avoid eye contact at all costs.

At one point the Joker made a snide comment about women, but Rachel rolled her eyes and decided to ignore it. The Clown Prince of Slime, after all, didn't know a damn thing about women, and it was obvious by the way he treated them. She'd heard about Harleen Quinzel's unfortunate little "incident", and although Rachel could pity the woman, she wasn't entirely surprised about the doctor's fate. Harleen had constantly flirted with disaster simply for the sake of fame, and it had all come at the cost of her sanity.

Gripping the steering wheel tightly between her fingers, Rachel found that she was subconsciously leaning away from her captor as she drove. The streets were uncharacteristically sparse that night, and it frustrated her that no one would be able to rescue her. Perhaps the Joker had been right. Perhaps everybody really did fend for themselves, and she was only living in a world of lies and delusions. Maybe even Bruce didn't care. He, after all, hadn't come for her at the warehouse...

Blinking back tears -- Rachel absolutely refused to let the Joker see her cry -- she finally demanded through tense, gritted teeth "When we get there, what should I do? Just drive off the docks since I know you're going to kill me, anyway? Face it, and I both know it's true. Nobody who's ever heard one of your scar stories has survived, and..." Pausing, she grew deathly pale and swallowed. He'd never told her a scar story as Evelyn Monroe, but perhaps he wouldn't catch on to the admission... Hopefully he'd just assume she was speaking of Gambol and herself (as Rachel). But whatever his inner thoughts were, she could feel his gaze penetrating her from out of the corner of her eye, and she braced herself for the onslaught that was sure to come...
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