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Title: An Experiment in Posthumous Subsistence
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Batman/Joker
Word Count: 11,774
Summary: “Before you break my face,” the Joker said, squirming beneath Batman’s body, between his sore knees, “can I just say that none of this is my fault?”
Notes: I definitely wrote this with TDK characterizations in mind, but visualize what you will.
PODFICCED (homgwah!) by the absolutely wonderful, beautiful, and lovely cyranothe2nd.

 “Before you break my face,” the Joker said, squirming beneath Batman’s body, between his sore knees, “can I just say that none of this is my fault?”

Batman snorted rain water out of his nose, tried to blink it out of his eyes. It fell in sheets from his cowl, coursed down his cheeks under the rubber. He tightened the hand he had curled in the Joker’s collar, twisting until neck flesh got caught between the folds of garish green fabric. His other fist, poised at shoulder-height above the Joker’s face, wavered.

“Bullshit,” he snarled.

The Joker shook his head. His hair was a matted wet mess around his head, and his makeup was running down the sides of his neck, pooling in chalky swirls on the sidewalk. “I promise. I promise that I, ah, had nothing to do with--” He broke off into a hoarse giggle, tongue darting out to touch at the distended corners of his mouth. “I didn’t do anything. I mean, is this really the sort of thing I’d do?”

Batman drove his fist down into the Joker’s face, the sharp edges of his gauntlet catching red and blue light from the police cars screaming past in all directions. The Joker’s head snapped sideways. Batman watched his cheek split against the pavement, and felt the drumming of heels against cement. He jabbed his own heels into the Joker’s ribs from either side, squeezing his thighs around the heaving chest.

The Joker was still laughing, wheezing for breath around Batman’s stranglehold. “I really didn’t,” he said, rolling his head to peer at Batman out of one swelling eye. The dark greasepaint had nearly washed away, and come off on Batman’s knuckles. Enough for Batman to make out the telltale webbing of burst blood vessels, and the jagged tear of an eyebrow. “Trust me, this is the sort of thing I’d take credit for.”

Batman punched him again. He put all his weight into the blow, desperate to feel bone crack. It didn’t. He let go of the Joker’s collar and shook him by his lapels, snapping his head back and forth on the flopping stem of his neck. The Joker sucked air, and managed to liberate one arm from between his own side and Batman’s leg; enough to wrap his fingers around Batman’s wrist. He was surprisingly strong, for the merry chase on which he’d led Batman over the roofs and through the sewers, and how much of a beating he’d taken before Batman had managed to pin him down.

“I. Didn’t. Do it,” the Joker hissed, still grinning, grinning. He licked his lips. “We’re right out on the street for everyone to see. Have you no shame?” He laughed, pushing himself up futilely against Batman.

Batman looked around, then, at the chaos of stampeding people, and cars trying to pass on the wrong sides of the road, horns blaring. There was so much yelling, so much hysterical screaming. Gunshots in the distance, the dull far-off impact of vehicles crashing together. The Joker was right; this was stupid. It was a wonder they hadn’t been run over or shot.

Batman straightened up, getting to his feet. Blood rushed back into his legs, and they nearly buckled. He dragged the Joker up by his lapels, and subtly leaned on his listing body for a second, until his own feet stopped tingling. They’d been there for a little bit, in the middle of the sidewalk.

He turned toward the nearest building, dragging the Joker after him. The Joker went limp, knees nearly touching the ground. Batman didn’t slow to accommodate his recalcitrance. Instead, he tried the handle of the nearest door (a back door-- a delivery entrance for a bakery). It was locked. He slammed the hard edge of his arm guard against the handle, twice, three times, until it broke. He kicked the door in.

It was dark inside; the dark of a power outtage. No emergency lights, or digital displays, or dull blue glows from refrigerators or ovens. Batman unclipped the little flashlight from his belt, and then thought better of it, and slipped on a slender pair of night vision goggles, instead. No reason to give the Joker equal ground.

Alfred, he wanted to say, to check in for a status update. How far the virus had gone, mortality rates, police reports, evacuation procedures. Not with the Joker right here, though, right in earshot. If they all got out of this alive, he sure as shit didn’t want any clues as to his identity, or Alfred’s involvement, floating around.

Instead, he gave the room a quick visual check. They seemed to be in a kitchen. Alone. He turned around and pushed the door shut. It bounced ineffectually against the jamb; he’d broken the latch.

“Stay here,” he said, shoving the Joker into the nearest corner. The Joker folded like a sack of damp rags, slouching down against the wall with his legs straight out in front of him. Batman turned away to find something with which to block the door shut.

The instant his back was turned, the Joker leapt on him, getting one arm hooked around his neck, the other making quick stabs for his belly. The armour took the worst of the blows, and Batman felt nothing but a shallow blunt impact.

He twisted, ducked, and flung the Joker over his head, catching him a solid shot to the kidneys on the way down. He grabbed the Joker’s wrists, squeezing until he could feel bones grate. “Drop it,” he ground out.

The Joker laughed in his face, writhing on the linoleum floor. Batman saw the knife glint in his right hand, eerily green in night vision, and worked to prise the fingers away, cracking them back farther than strictly necessary.

The Joker yelped, and snorted, and let the knife drop. Batman kicked it away, into the darkness, and punched the Joker in the stomach, doubling him over.

“Stay. Here,” he growled, shoving at the Joker’s chest to make his point. The Joker nodded, panting, tongue lolling.

Batman shifted away, wary until he was sure the Joker wasn’t going to make another lunge for him, and went to the nearest fridge. He ripped the power cords out of the back, set his shoulder against the side, and heaved it across to cover the door. It tipped and fell, scattering food with an enormous crash.

Batman turned quickly back to the Joker, who was still there, obediently lying on the floor, a tangle of shivering limbs.

“What next?” the Joker asked.

Batman frowned. He hadn’t really thought very far ahead, yet. “I’m going to tie you up,” he said, adlibbing. “And leave you here. Then I’m going to go back outside and help people.”

The Joker nodded, pursing his lips. They looked ridiculous, puckered up. He couldn’t appear honestly serious if he tried, Batman thought.

“And-- and that seems like a good plan, to you, does it?” said the Joker. He grinned, quick, and clacked his teeth together. “Tie me up here, all alone, and just… leave?”

“I tie good knots,” Batman said, but he wasn’t so sure. If Arkham couldn’t even make a good attempt at holding the Joker against his will, what could a bit of nylon and Kevlar twine do? He didn’t think the hesitation showed in his voice.

The Joker sat up slowly, gingerly. He put two fingers in his mouth, felt around, and withdrew a shard of tooth. He spat blood on the floor. “All right,” he said, extending his wrists together. “Do your worst.”

Batman stepped forward, grabbed both of the Joker’s hands, and yanked them around behind his back. He made quick work of the knots, doubling them up, running the cord around the Joker’s middle, down to his feet, back up to his hands, around his throat. By the time he was satisfied, the Joker was twisted into an extremely uncomfortable looking pretzel, hardly capable of movement, much less escape.

Batman nodded, taking a step away. The Joker looked up at him through a clump of brassy, grease-slick hair. “Satisfied?” he asked. His voice was a croak, after all the choking, and with the rope digging into his Adam’s apple.

Batman didn’t bother answering, just turned on his heel and barged out of the kitchen’s swinging double doors. The front of the bakery was just as deserted, but brighter from the few remaining street lights outside, and the wild jostling beams of flashlights from passers-by. Batman took off his night vision goggles and stood for a moment before the tall front window, looking up and down the street. There was the nearby sound of smashing glass, and he shook his head. Even now, when imminent death was at a premium, people were still bothering to loot and steal. What were they planning to do with the computers and movies and expensive sports equipment? For all Batman knew, society was in the middle of collapsing for good; there might not even be internet or a functioning national border after today.

He swallowed, and turned toward the door. He caught just a quick flash of movement reflected in the glass, and managed to fall into an instinctive duck before the Joker smashed a thick wooden cutting board through the window, just where his head would have been.

Batman swept a leg out, knocking the Joker down, and stumbled back, sick with adrenalin. He landed a quick, vicious kick in the Joker’s midsection, and followed it with another, because the first had felt so damn good.

“How the fuck--” he demanded.

The Joker was too busy laughing and choking up blood to answer him, and Batman had to stop kicking just to get his breath back. He put one hand out to steady himself against the remaining window. He saw the tattered remains of rope around the Joker’s wrists, and only then noticed the sickening, unnatural angle of the Joker’s shoulders, of his hips.

“You-- you--” Batman said. He wasn’t often at a loss for words. He blamed the rather unorthodox events of the evening.

The Joker mimicked him silently, mouthing the words with a wry, sneering tilt of his head. He extended one trembling arm. “Help a buddy out?” he said.

Batman just barely restrained himself from delivering another kick, and didn’t take the Joker’s proffered hand, the bent fingers wiggling at him. “Fuck you,” he said. “That’s just...”

The Joker gave a hee-hawing bark of laughter, and slowly got to his own knees. Batman didn’t wince when the Joker wrapped one arm carefully around himself, set his teeth, and shoved his dislocated shoulder back into place. But he did convulsively lean forward and brace the Joker for the second shoulder, and then lent the flat of one foot to holding the Joker’s legs down for the relocation of hips and, freakishly, one knee.

The Joker dropped back against the floor when it was all done, gasping, picking at the bits of rope still fastened around his arms, chafed through at the ends.

“How,” Batman demanded, hating that he had to ask, “did you get out?”

“Besides the silly putty joints?” the Joker asked, squinting up through the gloom. “You left me on the floor of a kitchen filled with knives, Battyman. How do you think I did it?”

Batman couldn’t reach his forehead through the cowl, but if he could, he would have been giving himself a fierce temple massage.

He took a pair of handcuffs from his belt. “Are you left or right handed?” he asked.

The Joker narrowed his eyes. “Right,” he said.

Batman said, “I don’t believe you.”

“Fine by me.” The Joker shrugged.

Batman put the cuff around his own left wrist, and then snapped the other side to the Joker’s right. He wanted to put the Joker at a disadvantage by restraining his more useful hand, but he wouldn’t trust a single solitary word that came out of this man’s mouth. He might as well leave his own more useful hand free.

The Joker didn’t seem surprised, just rueful. “Are you sure you want to do that? I mean, with all the, ah.” He licked his lips, touching top and bottom quickly. “With the mutant undead, and all. I’ll just drag you down.”

“You’ll die, if you do,” said Batman, at once. He pulled, and the Joker got to his feet, led by one raw wrist.

The Joker squinted at him, stinking and too close in the pale orange light. “What makes you think that’s a problem?”

Batman didn’t answer. He stepped out over the window sill, over the broken heaps of glass. “Let’s go,” he said. “I’ve got people to save.”

The Joker slogged along behind for the first few steps, stumbling in mad circles behind Batman, dragging his feet. Batman gave a couple vicious tugs on the handcuff, and the Joker quickly fell into line, coming up beside him.

“All right,” he said, and slung one arm over Batman’s shoulder. “Where to, chum?”

Batman punched him in the gut again, and then had to stand still for a few seconds, waiting for the Joker to regain his breath. Which he did promptly, and with a rock-solid knee to Batman’s groin.

Even through the armour, it hurt like a bitch. Batman hit the ground before he could stop himself, and Joker was on him again, the two of them crashing back onto the wet street. They rolled once, got the handcuffs tangled and punched at one another with only one hand apiece. Batman forced himself to sit up, pushing the Joker back with his free elbow, and that was when the knife came out.

Of course. Batman hadn’t checked the Joker for the knife he’d only just admitted to using. How fucking stupid.

Batman ducked the first slice, ramming his head into the Joker’s chest, and took the second jab high in the side. It slipped through a gap in the armour and bounced over a couple ribs. He snarled, got his own crotch-shot in with his free fist, and rolled to the side, pinning the Joker’s knife-hand with his own body. Their handcuffed arms were trapped beneath them.

“This is just getting silly,” said the Joker, breathless. His chest was bleeding where Batman’s pointed ears had stuck into him.

“Fuck you,” said Batman. The pain of the stab hadn’t hit yet, but he knew it would any second. The wound didn’t feel dangerously deep, but if that knife was sharp enough, it would have left scoring across his ribs. There was nothing quite like the ache of a chipped bone to cheer someone up.

“Truce?” said the Joker.

On Batman’s far side, the Joker’s hand flapped in the air, still holding the knife. He didn’t have enough room to use it, but Batman still twitched away, pressing more of his weight down onto the Joker‘s trapped arm.

“Truce,” he agreed. “Just until I can get you to the police station and throw you in the drunk tank.”

“Of course,” said the Joker. He tipped his head sideways and back to meet Batman’s eyes. “That old chestnut.”

“I’m not letting you run around out here.”

The Joker snorted. “Why not? Have you seen this place recently?”

Batman craned his neck to look around. It was quieter than it had been when they’d been out on the street a few minutes ago, but there were fires raging in nearby buildings, their windows lit up red. The smoking hulks of wrecked cars surrounded them, sprays of cubed windshield glass making the street glitter. A few hundred feet away, a fire hydrant had been rammed by minivan, and was gushing a geyser of water a dozen feet into the air.

In the distance, people were running. Some normally, limbs in a sharp panic, carrying children or supplies. Some… not so normally. Slower, lurching, with a calm sort of purpose behind their sudden lunges and stumbling advances.

“Because you’ll make it worse,” he said. “Somehow you’ll make it worse.”

“Are you kidding me?” The Joker grinned at him from disturbingly near. His yellow teeth snapped. “This is beautiful, this is fun. I wouldn’t mess up something like this.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of. I have to stop this madness, not dance around in it.”

The Joker shook his head. “You got me there.” He licked his lips, quick and wet, pressed his tongue into the corners. “Dancing is what I do best.”

Batman tried not to cringe at the mental image. “We’ll get up on the count of three. One. Two--”

“Wait, wait.” The Joker got his feet braced on the pavement. “On three, or after three?”

Batman snarled and lifted his unhindered arm, curling his fist.

The Joker laughed, turning his face away. “All right, all right, fuck. You have no sense of humour!”

Batman heaved, and brought them both to their feet. “I’m leaving the cuffs on,” he said, “until we’re somewhere secure.”

“Sure,” said the Joker.

“Give me the knife.” Batman held out his hand.

“Sure,” said the Joker again. “If you give me your tear gas and your grappling hook and your armour.”

Batman snorted. “Not a chance.”

The Joker cocked one shoulder. “Same to you.”

“I need this stuff to protect myself, and to protect other people. To protect you.” He said this last between gritted teeth.

The Joker shook his head, weaving the tip of his short knife through the air. It looked like a paring knife, Batman through, for cutting vegetables.

“I’ll protect myself,” the Joker said. “And I promise not to stab you in the liver or anything.”

“The knife.” Batman held out his hand.

“Your, uh, arm thingies, there.”

Batman looked down at the curved blades on his forearms. “No.”

“Then no.”

Batman took a step forward.

The Joker leapt back. “Ah, ah, ah! I can put this thing through your curiously unprotected eye faster than you can choke the shit out of me, Bats.”

Batman hesitated. Face-to-face like this, at an equal disadvantage with the cuffs, the Joker might be right. They stared at one another for a long minute. Some people ran by on the other side of the street, feet pounding the pavement. Neither of them spared a glance.

“Fine,” said Batman. “But you’re walking in front of me.”

The Joker shrugged. “Fair enough.”

They circled each other carefully, and then the Joker stopped. “Which way are we going?”

“That way,” said Batman, guessing and pointing. The nearest police station wasn’t for another four miles through the downtown slog, and Batman knew that the most direct route had been swarmed by the mutant undead earlier tonight, and was probably still impassable.

The Joker took one large step forward, and Batman jolted after him.

They made good time for the first couple minutes, and then they got out of the quieter areas, and into good and proper anarchy. On Cavalier street, a mob of people was racing down the middle of the dark road toward them, bristling with improvised armament, trampling one another. There didn’t seem to be any organisation, just a mutual desire to flee in approximately the same direction. Batman scanned the crowd quickly, searching for infected.

Everyone looked fairly healthy, at a first glance. The Joker shifted in front of him, from one foot to the other.

“Bats--” he said, as the screaming horde grew nearer.

Batman dodged sideways, climbing up the hood of a car crushed into the side of a coffee shop. He dragged the Joker up after him, and they stood on the roof, letting the body of the mob go by. The car was jostled, nearly tipped, but no one seemed to actually notice them. Batman searched the bloody, tear-streaked, frenzied faces, and saw nobody he recognized.

The Joker was crouched near Batman’s feet, cuffed arm bent up behind to accommodate Batman’s height. Batman realized, after a second, that he was jabbing the knife at the civilians passing closest, aiming for faces and throats.

Batman yanked him back just in time to save a young woman from getting shanked. She didn’t even look up.

“Are you out of your mind?” Batman roared.

The Joker snorted and giggled, and didn’t stop until Batman booted him off the far side of the car, leaping down after him at the last moment to keep their respective wrists from snapping.

“One more time,” Batman ground out, lifting the Joker by his lapels and giving him a solid shake. “Just one more, and I’ll break your neck.”

“Your one rule,” said the Joker, stepping on Batman’s feet.

“Fuck my one rule,” Batman said, shocking himself just a little, because he meant it. He would get the Joker in a full Nelson, dislocate both shoulders again, and crack his neck right over. It might even be easy, if he was quick about it.

The Joker’s manic smile never wavered.

“You’re a piece of shit,” he told the Joker. “You should have been drowned at birth.”

“Who says I wasn’t?” the Joker asked. “Did I ever tell you how I got these scars? My old man was a fisherman--”

Batman spat in disgust, clapping one Kevlar-clad palm over the Joker’s mouth. “Don’t,” he said. “All you ever do is talk. You waste so much fucking energy talking, I don’t even know how…”

He trailed off, because the Joker had gone suddenly tense in a way that Batman’s previous threatened beatings had never produced. And he was staring wide-eyed over Batman’s shoulder.

Batman spun around before he could think better of it, or consider that it might be a trick. He was just in time to jam his forearm into the gaping mouth of what appeared to be a massive undead lumberjack, if the demolished flannel and blue jeans were any indication. One of the creature’s eyes was missing, the side of its face torn away to hang in strips of gooey flesh against its jaw. Unwillingly, Batman thought of Harvey, but he didn’t have time to berate himself for the comparison. Another monster, a woman with her shirt shredded open and most of her abdomen bitten away, had come up on his left side, and he couldn’t get his handcuffed arm up in time to block her.

He ducked, jamming his shoulder into the heaving gut of the first infected, and felt the second one fall on him. His uncuffed arm was trapped against the infected man’s mouth, holding the gnashing teeth at bay. Any second, now, the woman would get her teeth into the soft unprotected square of his jaw, and bite down--

She slid sideways off him, and Batman’s cuffed arm was yanked painfully as the Joker followed her down, jamming his knife into her throat, hacking at her struggling body. Batman didn’t have time to be horrified, or wonder at comparative morality. The huge lumberjack had gotten Batman into a sort of bear hug, fingers scrabbling at his back.

Batman managed to twist enough to get his arm free of the teeth, which were cracking against his gauntlets, and drive the fine-edged blades on his forearms into the creature’s gut. Again and again he sliced, desperate to get even a few inches of space to turn and kick, or to land an uppercut on the man’s flapping jaw.

There was an unearthly racket coming from all around them, the slap of a hundred feet on the pavement, a slobbering congested sort of roar. Batman caught a glimpse of another dozen infected coming toward them, running as best they could with stiffened joints and missing body parts.

The Joker scrambled around Batman’s feet, suddenly, tackling the big undead around the ankles. All three of them fell in a heap, and Batman pushed himself up with his elbows planted in the infected man’s pulpy chest.

“Let’s go!” he bellowed. The mass of infected were bearing down on them, the frontrunners maybe fifty feet away.

The Joker didn’t seem to have heard him. He was jamming his knife again and again into the man’s throat, severing the head by inches. Batman caught a glimpse of the woman, spread-eagled on the road behind them. She was partially decapitated, her head dangling by a flap of skin at the back of her neck. There was blood everywhere, chunks of meat and bone scattered on the ground.

Batman felt sick. He bent down and grabbed the Joker by the collar, hauling him backwards and to his feet. “We have to go,” he snarled, and started running. The infected gave chase with a lumbering sort of gait that was, while probably too slow to catch them over a short distance, frightening by virtue of their seeming tirelessness, and the constant supplementation of their numbers. More and more infected appeared in darkened doorways and from alleyways, getting up from behind cars and lifting their heads from the corpses of victims.

Batman realized the Joker was still laughing, running along behind him. When Batman looked back over his shoulder, the Joker’s face was a mask of blood and gobs of flesh, the whites of his eyes rolling.

Batman kept running, dodging cars and strollers (empty, thank God) and shopping carts and dead bodies. He couldn’t see any uninfected people, anymore; they’d all fled back the other way. The two of them were running straight into the heart of the infection, it seemed.

Batman felt at his belt for his grappling hook. It was gone. Goddamnit, he’d specifically designed this belt so things didn’t just randomly fall off. Although, admittedly, he’d never drawn the plans to include attack by undead.

He scanned frantically for a ladder, a fire escape, anything to get them up above this chaos. There, just there-- He changed direction and yanked the Joker toward a store awning, which had collapsed over a sign proclaiming -ARKET. He scrambled up the canvas, finding toe-holds against the thin metal skeleton of the thing. It bowed and gave under his feet, and he just managed to leap and catch the edge of the roof with his free hand before it gave way. His arm was nearly yanked out of its socket when the Joker hit the end of the cuffs.

“Fuck!” he yelled, taking every bit of will power he had to keep his grip on the roof.

The Joker didn’t waste any time before scrambling up his back, lunging to get his own handhold. They dangled there, side by side, bloody and breathless. Batman nearly jumped out of his skin when something brushed his foot. He looked down. The infected were clustered below, their ruined faces peering up, bodies more disfigured than he’d thought possible. There was a boy missing the lower half of his body, pulling himself along on his hands, and with his teeth. Another’s arms had been gnawed away at the shoulders. The stink of burst intestines and rotting blood was unbearable.

And they were jumping, trying to catch his ankles, drag him back down.

Batman heaved himself up, ignoring, for the moment, the tortured strain of his left arm. The Joker came up over the edge of the roof beside him. They crouched for a moment, looking back down at the infected.

“I don’t think they can climb…” said Batman, unsure.

“It might be fun to watch them try.” The Joker cocked a look at him. “Especially the ones without hands.”

Batman promptly leaned forward and vomited over the roof. It splattered on the infected below, steaming and bluish, but they didn’t seem to mind.

The Joker dissolved into peals of high-pitched giggles. “Bit of a weak stomach, eh, Bats?” he asked, slapping one hand on Batman’s shoulder-- the sore one.

Batman whacked his hand away, and shook his head to clear it. “I have a concussion,” he said. He wasn’t sure if it was true or not, but not only was it pretty likely, he couldn’t stand to lose face in front of this madman. “Let’s get out of here.”

The Joker stood with him, slowly. Batman noticed that his cuffed wrist was bleeding profusely, the skin rubbed away nearly to the elbow. That one eye that Batman had socked earlier was swollen shut. His shirt was soaked in blood, and Batman knew it wasn’t all from the infected. The Joker seemed to notice his own injuries about as much as the infected noticed theirs.

“Police station’s that way,” the Joker said, pointing up the road, where bunches of infected were lumbering, occasionally putting on a clumsy burst of speed, tripping over themselves. At a distance, they looked almost comical, childish.

“I should know,” the Joker continued. “I blew it up a couple hours ago.”

Batman’s head snapped around. “What?!”

The Joker hopped from foot to foot. “I used nitro glycerine,” he said. “It was a controlled demo, if you will.”

Batman stepped forward, lifting his hands to put his fingers around the Joker’s throat, but the Joker batted him away, as strong as Batman was weak.

“Calm down,” he said. “I don’t think anyone was hurt. Well… maybe a couple people. But they were cops! That doesn’t really count, right?”

Batman broke the Joker’s nose with one quick punch.

The Joker stumbled back, taking Batman with him, cupping his face. “Truce!” he said between his fingers and a sudden fresh glut of blood. “We agreed!”

“You complete piece of shit,” Batman growled. “You contemptible, loathsome, slimy pile of--”

The Joker shook himself, taking his hand away from his face but for two fingers pinched around the bridge of his nose. “Enough with the compliments,” he said. “Don’t you have people to save?”

Batman jammed a hand into his belt, fumbling for the little pouch where the handcuff key was.

…Except, of course, that it wasn’t.

The Joker held up a tiny spark of metal between his fingers. “Looking for this, I suspect?”

Batman gaped, and then took a quick step forward. The Joker twisted around him, dodging Batman’s outstretched hands, and flung the key over the roof. Batman watched it sail out into empty space, and then drop. Straight down into the mass of undead.

He flung himself after it, and then aborted his own movement just at the edge of the roof. “You--”  He curled one empty fist. “Why--” He just didn’t have the energy to think anymore.

The Joker lifted both hands in a placating sort of gesture. “All right, before you get mad, just think about all the fun we’ve had tonight. You wouldn’t want that to end so soon, would you?”

Batman stood stock still, his cuffed arm at full extension, with the Joker keeping as much distance between them as he could.

“Also,” the Joker said, “consider how much I don’t want to be hamstrung and thrown into that crowd of hungry taxpayers down there. I appreciate a good gangbang as much as the next guy, but that might be a little much.”

“Fine,” said Batman. “Fine.” He turned and stalked across the roof. The Joker leapt to catch up with him.

“So, where are we going?”

“We are going to help people. We are going to evacuate civilians until we can’t move any more, which will probably be sometime tomorrow night. We’re going to help the police, and neutralize the infected threat, and we’ll do it all without a single solitary smile.”

The Joker snickered. “What’s your killing policy now, eh? You think these things deserve to live, too?”

Batman ground his teeth. He hadn’t quite decided, yet. For all intents and purposes, these monsters were alive. They moved and had purpose and must have been able to think, to some extent. However, he’d seen them come up from injuries no human could withstand, start twitching and scuttling with their hearts plucked out of their chests, or so horribly burned that their skin fell away at every step. They couldn’t be alive, not really. Not salvageable.

“We’ve all seen the movies,” the Joker said, quietly, at his side.

Batman tried to imagine the Joker sitting down to watch Dawn of the Dead, and couldn’t. Night of the Living Dead, maybe…

“And after that?” the Joker said, when Batman didn’t answer.

“After that… I’ll be handing you over to the relevant authorities.”

The Joker stopped, snapping Batman’s arm tight yet again. “What relevant authorities?” He smiled in what Batman thought was likely supposed to be a winning manner. “They’ll be so busy, they won’t have time to deal with little old me.”

“They’ll make time,” Batman said. He started walking again. They were coming to the far edge of the roof. He peered across the distance to the next landing. It was maybe twenty feet. He could glide it no problem alone, but with a passenger?

A maintenance ladder led to the ground below. He crouched, and swung his legs over. “Here. We’re going down.”

The Joker took a couple deep breaths, air whistling through his broken nose. “Aye aye, Captain,” he said.

Batman scanned the surrounding area. There were a few infected down the street, and they were sure to notice any sudden motion, but hopefully their reaction time would be sluggish enough to allow a swift get-away.

On the ground, with the Joker nearly dropping straight onto his head, Batman took stock of their bearings. He set off down a little side road.

“Where now?” the Joker demanded, clattering along behind. “Pretty sure that’s back the way we came.”

“I need to get to more populated areas,” Batman said. “I need to help people.”

“The eternal quest,” the Joker muttered. “Got it.”

Part Two


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2012 02:36 am (UTC)
“I tie good knots,” Batman said

For some reason, that line just cracks me up. Out of context, it's so random. XD

“All right,” he said, and slung one arm over Batman’s shoulder. “Where to, chum?”

I've been imagining this as a movie, as I do most fics, but for some reason this stood out in my mind as a great comic book moment. Just as a single frame. It's *so cuuuute*. :D

Batman tried not to cringe at the mental image. “We’ll get up on the count of three. One. Two--”

“Wait, wait.” The Joker got his feet braced on the pavement. “On three, or after three?”

This. Them arguing about something so mundane. I love it :3

“You’re a piece of shit,” he told the Joker. “You should have been drowned at birth.”

“Who says I wasn’t?” the Joker asked. “Did I ever tell you how I got these scars? My old man was a fisherman--”

YESSSSSSS. <<<<3333 idk, just <<<<<33333

"They crouched for a moment, looking back down at the infected.

“I don’t think they can climb…” said Batman, unsure.

“It might be fun to watch them try.” The Joker cocked a look at him. “Especially the ones without hands.”"

The thought of them perched on a roof, making small talk about zombies below them like they were a pair of birds, is just too priceless (not to mention slightly unnerving, which is just even more awesome, because it's so *them*). I love it.

“We are going to help people. We are going to evacuate civilians until we can’t move any more, which will probably be sometime tomorrow night. We’re going to help the police, and neutralize the infected threat, and we’ll do it all without a single solitary smile.”

SO BATMAN. SO, SO, SO VERY BATMAN. I /cracked up/ at this line, just YESSSSSSSSS.

I'm probably forgetting a few quotes here and there, as I got halfway through part 2 and then had to go eat dinner and such, then came back to drop a comment. But I just want to say, this is excellently done. The thought of the Joker in a Gotham zombie apocalypse is just so priceless. He'd have a blast. XD

And it just says it all about the two of them that, out of all the mayhem going on, Batman decides to handle the Joker first. D'awwwww \<3/

Oh hey, a commercial for "Walking Dead" just came on TV. Ironies of everyday life XDDD I'm sorry this comment is so spastic, but I want to get back to reading part 2 :D
Mar. 13th, 2012 04:24 am (UTC)
We’re right out on the street for everyone to see. Have you no shame?
Lol! And no, not where Joker’s concerned he doesn’t…
I tie good knots.
Holy shit, the dislocating/relocating (?) was fascinating and weird and horrible. LOVE.
“Because you’ll make it worse,” he said. “Somehow you’ll make it worse.”
I think I’d really like to see how…
I love how you write the fighting and the constant drive of these two. Really lovely!
Mar. 31st, 2012 01:16 pm (UTC)
Oh my phuck. I love it.

i knew i would from the first line, when Joker's swearing tisn't his fault. ^_^
May. 6th, 2012 04:02 am (UTC)
MORE from you with this pairing!
May. 6th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
Haha! We'll see, we'll see! Glad you enjoyed it. :)
Oct. 10th, 2012 04:11 pm (UTC)
Great story.
Oct. 10th, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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