Categories > Comics > Batman

Catharsis Parts I and II

by Sharkbites 0 Reviews

Tired of Harley, Joker reflects on life in Gotham and thinks about a certain felonious feline who makes it worthwhile. R/R. One shot. DCU. Rated M for suggestive adult material and language.

Category: Batman - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Romance - Characters: Catwoman,Joker - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2010/08/23 - Updated: 2010/08/24 - 7878 words - Complete

Title: Catharsis

Genre: Romance, psychological, noir

Status: One shot.

Rating: M for mature situations.

Era: DCU

Disclaimer: I do not own, please do not sue. The characters belong to DC Comics and Warner Bros. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's note: Annoying plot bunny that would not leave me alone. R/R! Enjoy the show!


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He told her to shove off again. She was cute in an annoying Chihuahua pup sort of way but she had the maintenance of a house broken puppy. It was time to snip the umbilical cord. For the thousandth time, Harley Quinn had foiled his plans. She had poured hot coffee over his expensive trousers which created a hot and cold sensation between his thighs, not to mention a very sensitive part of the Joker's body that he might have trouble using for the next few days.

"Ooopsie," she said in a very nervous tone. She wanted to control the waves of anger that she could feel emanate from the clown.

"Oopsie is not going to stop me from doing what I am about to do, sugar." The jester said in a bitter voice. His lanky frame rose from his seating position. A stain in front of his crotch was not the least bit funny. If it happened to someone else, it was a treat. The Joker had a different set of rules for this sort of thing and right now, he was in no mood for laughing.

It was one thing to burn a fish plate she had heard about on some cooking show on cable. It was quite another thing to burn off his manhood, literally. She was never going to be the next Martha Stewart, but he had to admit, he thought it was adorable seeing her try, just like a kitten trying to get the feather toy or a dog trying to catch his tail. He could not help but be tickled pink seeing her try to attain something she would never achieve. He exploited that by withholding affection to her. You give something away too much and it loses its value. He had her by the toes and that is the way her preferred it. She was at his mercy, she was his real life puppet.

Still, that is one attribute that he admired in his faithful Hench girl. She expressed passion and zeal. His goons saw it as a job which was all the more reason for him to dispose of them like used tissues. Harley Quinn was his crown jewel because of that extra thing. Harley did it with bells on and she did it for free. The rest of them were dead weight. They expressed as much gusto as Spock of the Starship Enterprise at a Voodoo ceremony. She was the spice to an otherwise boring dish.

She was not just a helper who displayed almost religious loyalty to her Prince, she was his playmate, his squire. She was almost like a daughter to him.

She was a wild card but not in the way that he would have preferred. She showed potential, like a willing young recruit that was willing to do any dirty job at the sleazy strip club for money but her Achille's heel was, ironically enough, her carefree attitude. Harley Quinn, derived from the term harlequin from the Italian motif arlechino. She took an archetype, a representation and a proud symbol of his being and bastardized it. To call Harley Quinn a clown, much less compare her to Him would be like a tawdry comedian from one of those late night comedy central specials to Lenny Bruce or Buddy Hackett. It was an insult to the moniker. Her forte was never really a clever one. Her name itself was a by-product. There was no originality, much like pop stars today. They were always stealing from the classics and trying to twist it into something they called their own when it really was just plagiarism. She used the clown's fame to bolster herself.

"Do you know what a copycat is, Harley?" Joker queried as he got closer to the shivering girl in the corner. Her cortisol levels were tantamount to his adrenaline rush. It was pleasure seeing her at the level where she belonged.

"You are a serf trying to be a princess, reality TV trash trying to be the next Liz Taylor. You are a Gucci knockoff!" Joker hissed.

"Puddin', no!" Harley Quinn shrieked.

It was an insult to a narcissist like him. She was like a grown child still living with their parents and asking for clothing and shelter after they have been shown the tricks of the trade. Naughty girls have to be punished, he thought. He got rid of her the only effective way he could, by tossing her out of a ten story window of their loft on Seventh and Hobart. Harley found it when she was looking for stray cats to feed on. It was some private practice that fell apart during the quake several years ago and now, the clown claimed it; a vulture to carrion.

"You have been a very bad girl, Miss Harley Quinn, a very bad girl….." Joker said in a low pitch which was reminiscent of a lion growling.

He was relieved that he had finally rid himself of the little whore. He also cleansed his nose and throat of excess phlegm. He sat back down and grabbed a bottle with accompanying cup and began to mix himself a drink. He was hardly a social drinker. He also smoked too but it was never to a level where he would get emphysema or have problems with his liver. His immune system was mutable. It was a gift, he thought.

"Oh, Rupert. Where are you? Oh that's right, I put a pencil in your forehead." Joker giggled as her surveyed the cocktail menu.

"What the hell…." He thought. "You always made the best White Russians, Rupert."

Joker finally settled on his choice for the evening, a Red Death. He took some Southern Comfort and ameretto before he began to mix the alcohol. He proceeded to add a few more key ingredients before he sat back on the chair, finally able to relax his body and mind. He added a small umbrella and began to add a couple more twists.

Joker snorted as he sat back on the swivel chair and gave it a couple of twirls before he stopped. It was the kind that you would find in a psychiatrist's office. That is why the jester from Hell chose it. It proved the irony of this rate race called life. He took a sip from his drink and closed his eyes as he savored the light fruity mixture while reflecting on his life philosophy.

All humans were slaves to a binary that they denied for some imaginary social construct. Even the Batman was a victim of this mindset which made the clown shake his head. Poor delusional fool. He would rather live in this fantasy than embrace the ugly truth for what it was. The Batman was a Rubik's cube and Chinese box all rolled into one. For years they had shared a fateful dance and overtime, other layers were added which made their encounters rich and at the same time, feel so very crowded.

"Nostalgia is such a bitch, sometimes." Joker smiled. "She comforts me and at the same time, she can be a cruel mistress." He took another sip of his drink. "Should have added some more lime juice", he said to himself. It was nothing fancy but it helped curb the clown's nerves which he overworked thanks to his overworked brain. The sensation of the cocktail was fruity, not strong which was perfect for the occasion. It calmed his overstressed mindset. Things began to clear. Thoughts that plagued his mind such as a clumsy goon or Harley overcooking food seemed smaller and insignificant now. They were irrelevant and completely flushed from his thoughts. He felt cleansed, free from grime, pure even. He was free from the stress of faulty workers. They were like children, children that needed the strictest form of discipline. That was all in the past, however. His focus was on the present. His mind focused on things that gave him happy; drawing funny faces and adding moustaches on people he did not like, dying kittens and Asperger's syndrome. Anything rotten and rancid lifted his dour spirits because no matter how hard things tried to thrive, ultimately, they did die. There was no escape from this rollercoaster ride called life. He just gave people a Fast Pass, like they do at Disneyland sometimes.

There was another component that made him happy and it had nothing to do with death. This IT was actually a living thing, from what he could tell. He was like a favorite toy. No matter how hard he tried to destroy this man, he could never break. Kittens had their yarn, teenagers had inhalants, Joker had the Dark Knight as his favorite past time.

Joker giggled as he recollected his moments shared with his enemy. He was this enigma that garnered all his attention and energy. Their complex games and encounters, colliding philosophies, mutual physical scars and mutable dance fascinated the clown.

"Where did the time go, Bats? All these years. If we were a musical folk group, we could have so many Greatest Hits collaborations, 'I shot the Batgirl, but I didn't shoot the Dark Knight', 'Die Robin Die, tweet tweet!" Joker guffawed.

On one hand, these extra…..ingredients in a soup added some extra toys he could play with and yet, it was also a curse.

Nowadays, things felt so….stifling.

"Sidekicks," Joker said to himself. "Annoying little brutes," he thought to himself. Joker tapped the drink using the straw. The tapping noise was like a metronome for a pianist. It helped form a more stable train of thought as his mind flashed with various ideas, images, and dirty words. "They are like children, I suppose. But tell me, what use does Batman have with all those rugrats?" Joker said to himself as he sipped again. The image of the dark detective changing diapers and potty training those kids made the clown giggle. The acidic taste in his parched throat engorged his thought processes. He began to recall a more simple time when it was just him and the Bat. Yes, there was less 'complication', less grandiosity but it was far more intimate. The exchanges were personal and the memories unforgettable. The gimmicks were simple but came from his little black heart.

"It was just like the days when music relied on analog and not autotune and digital before an extra set of characters was added to the cast." Joker observed. "….and then came the kids".

Joker recalled the time he first saw a twelve year old boy. He was far more colorful than his tall dark and handsome mentor. A complete contrast to the Dark Knight, he thought.

"He bastardized what he stood for. How do those drab colors help? It's like putting a bull's eye sign in the middle of your chest! How stupid can you get?"

The boy was peanuts compared to his 'Father'. He had his talent, he had his skills but he was no match to the Dark Knight. It was like asking for a coke and you got the 'light' version. It just was not the same. It was stripped of its essence and replaced with some cheap sugar substitute to make up for the taste. This would go on for a few more years and a couple more kids.

"I turned his brains into beef tripe. You are not really trying anymore, are you?" Joker said in a low voice as he twirled the skinny black straw in his glove.

Even Two Face and Penguin got involved which added insult to the clown's ego because it reduced him to a garden variety villain. No longer was he within the center periphery of his enemy. He had to take a number and that was an insult to the harlequin from Hell because he commanded full attention like a showgirl. Additionally, they were all repetitive gimmicks. That was different from what he had. What he possessed was an art. It was iconic and his own. What Harvey, Tubby and the Queen of Weeds had were mere devices, a cheap trick. Simple props they used to express themselves. They were never really capable of utilizing their talents, unlike him. What the Joker had was sophistication and took it beyond a familiar backdrop. Where they were predictable in their contrivances, be it an even number, the feathered or floral kind, he was more refined in his touch. Like Rembrandt and his shadows, Joker had a touch or a style that none of them could mimic. The rest of them were nothing more than simple cosplayers with cheap tricks and devices that had as much soul as a moth.

"Wannabes," the clown sneered.

Still, not everything was bad in this box of chocolates. There were some surprises that he had to admit, he found pleasant.

He will never forget the first time he saw her. At first, he thought it was another one of his brats stealing a gimmick. That was until he noticed the smaller more delicate stature, womanly curves front and back as well as that gorgeous set of red hair. It reminded him of that painting of Lilith by John Collier. The sight of those feathery tresses was pleasant to his eyes. They reminded him of the rich color of blood. Perhaps that is why she stood out to him. Unlike junior, she had that subtle touch and yet, she stood out to him, like Venus in a clam. She was like the Bat, only younger and sexier. Joker being male could not help but take note.

She was definitely the Bat's protégé but she had something that her brutish male counterparts lacked and that was the finesse of a woman's touch. She could have been no more than twenty to be sure. Anything younger and he would have felt like a pedophile indeed.

"That certainly explains why you preferred the boys younger, eh Bats?" Joker sipped again, chuckled and sighed as he reminisced about his encounters with this exotic new stranger. Her cowl was modeled after His, but she projected a beauty and innocence that was ripe for the picking underneath that mask. The way her body moved and contorted, it was divine, like an artist at work. The youthful exertion of her thrusts and grunts when she hit him aroused his inner animal in a way Batman could never do. She was like a siren, almost. He remembered setting up elaborate set ups and plans just to see her, be within her reach….. to have her touch him, to feel that contact from a lovely creature.

Still, Batgirl could not compare to that other femme fatale. While Batgirl projected a more confident and outgoing personality that got his attention, he preferred women of an unattainable and mysterious nature. There was another sublime creature that aroused his intellect as well as his loins. Oh sure, Harley provided the….relief whenever she could but for a food connoisseur, it was like eating the same sandwich every day.

"Chef Boyardee could live off the same crap he made day by day, but I am a man of wealth and taste." Joker sneered.

When the clown was not distracting himself with his latest idea, he admired things of beauty be they art, Italian suits, and yes, women, especially if they were elusive. It reminded him of the Batman except without the brutish treatment and husky voice. Catwoman was such a being. She was so delicate and so refined and yet so bold. He will never forget the aching feeling he got in his pants when he first saw her in her black leather cat suit. Every curve and outline was carefully crafted and pleasing to the male eye. "Oh you devilish creature, aren't we? You leave nothing to the imagination, darling. Such finesse and fine splendor like a panther." The green haired man chuckled. It was no wonder that even she was able to hinder Batman's focus at times. She was like a pearl, a thing of rare beauty in this drab and desolate city. He preferred her with the long hair although short was okay too, in a sexy soccer mom sort of way.

"Ah, such elegance and grace. It only makes you that much more…tantalizing." Not even Harley could compare to her. Catwoman was everything Harley wasn't. Harley was clumsy, brash and loud mouthed. HA! What can she offer? Her gifts included playing the trumpet out of a part of her body that was not her mouth. Meanwhile, Catwoman was subtle, quiet and most importantly, classy. She was the kind of woman you could probably have a glass of wine with while listening to Coltrane, something that the clown often fantasized about doing with female company. She shared a polished taste with him. Harley's ideal choice of a drink was purple soda or Kool-Aid.

"You were always a shadowy one, Miss Selina. Don't you realize it only makes them want you…more?" The clown said in a cryptic tone. "What secrets do you harbor? What are your fears, dreams? What do you find funny? What do you look like naked?" The clown chortled to himself.

The jester recalled one time when he was looking out of a window when he was hiding out from his enemy when he noted the feline fatale sauntering across a ledge. It was like she was floating in air. Whereas Batman stomped as he walked, Catwoman paced in an alluring manner. The way her back arced and bended as she moved, he could not help but take a peek. The way her muscles and taut body coiled beneath her black skin tight suit aroused basic male instincts within the clown.

"Oh, that naughty pussycat. I would love to use that whip on you for making me think these dirty little thoughts….you little whore…." Joker purred. He had heard rumors that she was once a streetwalker. It didn't matter to him now that she was experienced. He wanted to touch her, feel her pulse underneath his hands before he would crush it like velvet. "You naughty cat!" Joker leaned back and placed his feet on top of the desk, changing positions so that he would feel comfortable in his chair. He reached down between his legs and continued fantasizing about the Feline.

"For the right price, I bet you would finish this job…." Joker moaned as he continued touching himself and began to pull until he found perfect rhythm. He thought about her collar on top of her supple neck. He then thought about pulling it down slowly imagining the diamonds amongst other goodies she must have hidden underneath that suit. Joker grabbed himself and concentrated his thoughts on the beautiful specimen on his mind. He focused his thoughts on what she might smell like. It was long ago but he remembered a distinct perfume on her neck. He could still feel the mounds underneath her chest and the soft of her back. Just once, he would have loved to have cornered the Cat. He pictured her soft skin underneath her feminine mounds and running his gloved hand down, feeling the velvety hairs on her folds and waiting for her to let out that long sought after purr emerge from her throat.

By this time, Joker was writhing slowly in his chair and his breathing was labored. His muscles arched and contracted and his concentration woozy from his thoughts. The drink did little to hinder his concerntration. In fact, it only made him more determined, more focused.

"Just once, I would love to make you purr….." Joker moaned softly. He fantasized about pressing his groin against the soft of her buttock. She was the epitome of poise and seduction. He wanted to take that element of control away from her for it was he who always pulled at people's heart strings. Now, in private, she was doing that to him and he wanted to take that back.

Finally, there was sweet release.

"I will make you mine. If I can Batman get down on his knees then prepare to fill your dance card, Selina." Joker chuckled and sipped more of his cocktail.

I wrote this as a creative challenge. My reason for writing this is largely due to me noticing how Joker is always calling Batman pet names. It got me thinking, why doesn't he do that with either Batgirl or Catwoman? I think adding an element of Joker being a little more flirty with Catwoman would add to his 'creepiness' factor. Whether he means to or not does not matter. Again, I wrote this for fun.

END OF Part I.

What do women want? For some, a trip to St. Bart's was the ideal expression of love. Other's subscribed to the idea of the Wife of Bath's suggestion of 'sovereignty'. Others found happiness in a pint of mint chocolate chip. One thing was for sure though; women were complicated creatures. Selina Kyle was such a woman. Tonight though, she gained pleasure as she dangled a precious gemstones in front of her smoky eyes.

The Quartz pendant glistened in the moonlight. Its pale body glimmered against the evening while the carrier turned it from one end to the next, marveling at its beauty. It belonged to Old Mrs. McGregor, a socialite with a husband who had business dealings with wine and horse racing. He made enough to fund their grandchildren's college trust funds and beyond. She would not miss this. Mrs. McGregor collected these things like a crack addict collected their next fix. There was no emotional connection. Just owning it gave her some sort of power. Well, know it was time to turn the tables. Catwoman surveyed the Madame's bedroom before she plucked her prizes from various jewelry boxes and decorative cups from where they were contained. She found a goldmine, literally, in Mrs. McGregor's keep. It would have been the perfect shopping spree had she gotten the Cat's cradle locket as well as the lapis-lazuli Bust of Bast but alas she could not find them. Perhaps they were family heirlooms she had given to her granddaughters. Either way, Catwoman marveled at the large collection she found on West 28th street in Bourbon town, a suburb in Gotham known for its art district.

Sure, she could get expensive jewelry the old fashioned way via plastic and an electronic signature but would that really help the children in sweatshops who have to mine and chip these specimens while paying them for pennies a day while the shopkeepers and owners sell them for eight times as much? Besides, the challenge of the legwork and working out complex plans to work her way around to get to the amber bracelet or emerald dragon were more her forte'. In a way, it was like being in a real life video game complete with time settings, a maze and a new level each time she succeeded and yes, there were bad guys at the end.

God, I have to stop playing Super Mario with Holly, she thought. The idea of having 'lives left' like dollars in a bank account ruffled her sense of confidence. The Catwoman was an invincible and elusive creature who had no defined plane in either her nightly game plan or real life. That was reserved for stiffs who worked at Lexcorp and had big money to invest….or lose. Time only mattered when she was in a stranger's house and she had to figure out where the loot was. She had to mentally configure the place first and make a mental blue print of where she was. Then she had to decipher possible hiding places, behind paintings, a jar in the bathroom reserved for sanitary napkins, even. A jewelry box was to cliché' and basically screamed 'STEAL ME' which is what Mrs. McGregor's mistake was. Pride and narcissism were the reason why her Quartz crystal were no longer in the confines of the heart shaped box on her dresser but in the felonious Feline's hand.

"You are just too handsome….." Catwoman purred as she stuffed away the necklace in a small pocket that she carried near her chest. "You are going to fund the new Canadian lynx habitat at Grohman's zoo." She smiled the way a dominatrix would before a quivering executive on the floor.

The city skyline had an open breadth that reminded her of the plains of Africa, except instead of open grasslands, there were rooftops of various heights and stature and instead of small crevices and tall grass so that she could use to hide, shadows from the sky scraping apparatuses provided her with the perfect camouflage. There were times when she had to fight for her territory, specifically the East End such as mobsters and gangsters that tried to encroach on her land. Though she did not have a license or the key to the city, even they know that this was Catwoman territory and she would not hesitate to protect what was hers like a good mother. She was not a predator, that suggested lack of compassion or failure to see the nuances and she was far from being prey material. At best, she would be considered like one of those amoral gatekeepers with no real leaning and they just existed. Her name would suggest something significant and even mythical around these parts. She was the East End's answer to the Batman.

It was a powerful position but it was also an incredibly lonely one. There was acknowledgement for her contributions but it was just empty words devoid of true emotion. That is not to say that the 'Thank you Miss Kyle's' notes from sixth graders did not warm her heart when she opened up the Arts Center near Bolbin. There was praise to be sure but that was different from intimate contact. She caught this thought when she passed by an open window by Third and noticed a couple sharing a warm meal. It was nothing fancy, just some pasta dish with wine with Pavarotti in the background. The kids were at the movies most likely.

These people did not have problems like hers which were magnified. They dealt with medical bills and the rent. Their problems did not involve dealing with psychopaths on a daily basis. They did not have to worry about being up at 4AM at a warehouse waiting for a small clue such a nod from a certain henchman about a dirty deal before she could make her move. They did not have to worry about being shot in the septum by Black Mask.

Those simple problems were miles away from what she had to deal with on a nightly basis.

Still, she reminded herself that the grass was not always greener on the other side and yet, there was always a part of her that pondered the possibilities when time allowed for it.

"Bruce, how do you do it?" She thought. "Just once, I would like for us to take off the masks."

Bruce or Slam would have been perfect. Hell, a man who could accept her for her dual personalities was a treasure. Bruce came close like a moth to a flame but he let his insecurities and personal habits get in the way of something that could have bloomed between them. Slam Bradley just disappeared and never returned. The magic that was once there had disappeared like a feather in the wind. The fire was still there but it had withered. Its memory was a burning passion in her mind but she had eroded the sentiment by blocking it with coordinates, time tables, dirty cops and money.

It was the perfect distraction.

Although she was an independent woman, Selina still enjoyed the company of a man, preferably one who knew his jazz and a way around a drink. She was not high maintenance like that. Something simple yet subtle was her preference. For someone to recognize her talents was a bonus. Bruce acknowledged her gifts but you could still tell that had not entirely approved of them. For this, he kept her at a distance. He never allowed for a chance to get close to her. There was that one time when they did go out for dinner and a movie at her behest but they went back to what they used to be. Not quite enemies but not quite lovers at the same time. Their relationship had as much depth as a veil in a gypsy's Bedouin. It was there but it was transparent. Not consistent and it was always slippery. That kind of instability was good when it involved a faulty crook but not her heart.

Any emotional sting that was threatening to blossom was quashed when Selina noticed a twinkle at the far left corner.

"What the hell? It's too shiny to be granite." She nodded and headed toward the direction of the sparkle. Maybe somebody dropped a ring? It was too large to be a nickel, that was for sure. Calcite was not usually that strong. In parts of Bronson Street near the Farmer's market, they illuminated but this was not caused by water filtration. She arrived at her destination and stood over the source of the twinkle. The confirmation made her stomach squirm. She immediately recognized the content. It was part of that Cat's Cradle pendant she had been looking for. She picked it up and inspected it. It was said to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why would someone quarter it? She then noted another sparkle a few yards away. Again, she knew it was not because of the type of cement used. It was another cat signature. It was curled up in a ball. The one she got first was sitting. Then again, another spark a few yards away, this time it was across the ledge. Someone was using the Hansel and Gretel method to get her attention. Whoever was responsible clearly did their homework and wanted her to notice.

"Who are you?" Catwoman snarled. She stuffed the two cat samples in her purse, leapt and swung over to the other side.

It would take six or seven more 'pots of gold' before she reached her final destination.

The trail led her to the top of the old Jolly King Candy Factory on Third. She had wished that she did not make the discovery that she found waiting for her.

"You. I should have known."

"If you ask me, I think you put too much emotional investment in those trinkets. Eventually, with a little bit of help from a nuclear reactor, they would mean nothing." The thin figure said in an unsettlingly familiar falsetto. The telltale green wisps of hair and angular features made Catwoman's muscles clench and her heart raise in tension.

"So will your bones when I am through with you." Catwoman hissed. She reached behind her and grabbed the whip in her hand.

"I am not in the mood to be kinky right now, princess, so please put your toy away." Joker said as he sipped from his cup of tea. It was so odd seeing him in such a….pristine manner. Usually Selina envisioned the clown in some sort of restraining jacket, not drinking earl grey. It seemed so unlike him. She did not know whether to be impressed or disgusted with his casual manner.

"Give me one reason why I should not ground your bones to dust. That thing was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars." The Feline Fatale said in a low growl. Her shoulders were arched up, prepared for battle.

"You think mundane things like that matter to me? Wake up and smell the oolong, precious. I have flushed more money down the toilet than you have wasted spending on those stupid gowns which are nothing more than Oscar night knock offs." Joker scoffed as he stuffed a sucker in his mouth.

"What are you doing?" Catwoman sneered.

"You want to lick my lollipop?" Joker chuckled.

At this point, Selina was at level, one and that was mildly irritated. This was the 'why doesn't the red light change?' kind of anger. She was still able to maintain control.

"No thanks, I'm trying to watch my figure." Catwoman replied coolly, still holding onto her weapon of choice.

"Pity, I don't see anything wrong with it," Joker said in a low tone. It was the kind men used to suggest something without being overt about it. He leaned his head toward the side. His acidic green eyes scanned Selina's womanly curves. A confident woman usually, Selina felt mentally violated. She had heard about the rumor that the clown infringed on the commissioner's daughter in a manner that she would not wish on her worst enemy. To think that the bastard was capable of being sexual in anyway was a thought that made her nauseated. Just the thought of him and Harley Quinn possibly acting like cats in season made her want to vomit. "On the contrary, I think you are very lovely, Selina…" Joker said in a breathy tone.

It was a stab in her leg. Her mind was constricted and her whole being was suspended. The innuendo was one thing but for him to reach such a private area that she had shut away from her own psyche was too much. This was like bin Laden hacking into the Pentagon's secret files.

"Have I struck a nerve? Or two hundred, pet?" The clown said sardonically. "Are you afraid of me? You really shouldn't be. You and I, we are two of a kind."

To equate himself with her was like an amoeba trying to compare itself to a gazelle.

"You are crazy." Selina hissed.

"No, I am just ahead of the curb. Just because I don't have a nine to five job, married with children does not mean I don't know how to feel or understand you." Joker said softly. He rose from his chair. Sitting down, he looked like a gargoyle perched on a buttress. Standing up, he projected this power and prestige that she could not deny, no matter how hard she reminded herself that he was clinically diagnosed with every disorder known in the book. Perhaps it was because she was within feet of him she noticed some features up close. She had never been this close to him for this long without having some sort of gag try and kill her. Selina let go of the whip but her guard was still up. The man was a snake and with only one flinch, he could poison her.

"You don't understand me. You are delusional. You kill for sport. You are no different than a poacher." Catwoman shot back.

"I am a clown, you are a cat. We are criminals. We are both enthralled with the Batman." Joker snapped at her.

"You kill people. I don't. I steal." Catwoman counteracted.

"You still bend the law for your own benefit. Nice try, sweetheart." Joker purred. He came close to her. She did not want to look defensive but she still maintained her ground. Predators could smell fear. Don't shake his hands or touch him anywhere that he can hide any bags of tricks. Her whip was out so at least she gave the signal that she was not hesitant for physical combat. Catwoman knew that Joker was not good at fighting with his hands so he made up for it by using gags and tricks to counter his enemy. At best, he could have been no more than one seventy. He was within feet of her now. He was much taller than she initially thought. It was the Cuban heels.

"I have grown a few inches since our last encounter, amongst in other places. You wanna look?" Joker said sadistically. Catwoman felt her stomach twist at the words. Filthy, disgusting language.

"Is that your poor attempt at trying to get a girl's attention? You are going to try a lot harder than that, clown." Catwoman replied with a sneer.

"You complain about me talking dirty and yet you used to prowl around like a female in heat. Such self righteousness, Catwoman. I would expect it out of your boyfriend but not from you!" The harlequin said in a dark manner.

It was like a claw had slashed her stomach. The clown had entered her most private chambers and brought out a memory that she wished to forget. She drowned it in the recesses of her mind, like a rape, but Joker dug it and brought it back to the surface. Dusty old bones of what used to be were staring at her in her face.

"That's none of your business. For all you know, I could have been a waitress with amnesia." Catwoman retorted defensively.

"Selina, please. You don't think I didn't notice the pattern? Common streetwalker found nearly dead, a few weeks later, a woman in a cat themed costume makes rounds. I must admit, I did enjoy the little tail. It just made me want to pet your tush. That doesn't mean I do not have appreciation for your latest make over which I must say, is quite stimulating…." Joker chuckled and arched his hips up one time at her direction.

Catwoman felt the acids in her throat. His attempt at being lusty crossed the borders of sexual harassment. If he is like this with women, lord knows how he was with Harley.

"I must say, I am quite fond of your little make overs. I did not know what to expect. You are full of surprises, Miss Kyle…." Joker proceeded to run the back of his hand across her white cheek but she quickly reacted and grabbed his skinny wrist. He hardly put up a fight and seemed momentarily arrested but within a few seconds he reached up and added pressure to the back of her head. Her cervical vertebrae had been breached with such a force that it paralyzed her. Pain contorted her and made her feel like her body was on fire. Moving, even breathing, added immense discomfort to her. Her legs were paralyzed and made her lose her standing.

Taking advantage, Joker pulled her close and made her stomach and chest against his, giving her semblance of balance and at the same time, touching her in a manner that she would not have let him unless she cut off his manhood which she could feel on her thigh and he was pressing hard. The clown smiled widely for he had taken the queen off of her throne. He held the cards now. He was the one who was going to designate this deadly dance.

Sick, fucking twisted asshole, she thought.

"You and I are kindred spirits, Selina…." Joker said in a soft voice. "We both have similar goals, similar passions, just different forms of expression….."

Go to Hell you maniac! Catwoman thought. Her eyes bespoke the only words she could not say because her jaws were locked from the pain on her back and legs.

"You think Batman was the only man who took note of such grace and beauty? You women are such teases…" Joker said in a low manner. He began to pull at her collar and undid it slowly until her neck. He breathed onto it. He gained pleasure from seeing the femme fatale at the mercy of his touch. Now, he was the one in control again.

Fuck you, fuck you! You bastard!

"You think he's the only man who probably had wet dreams thanks to your wiles? You think we enjoy it when you do it? The Queen of spinach does not count because apparently she likes to lick carpet but I am sure you don't, don't you love? You thrive on making men weak on the knees, tempting us with what kind of goodies you have underneath the cat suit. You and I, we could make such beautiful music together…and children too…." Joker giggled. The lioness had been reduced to a weak kitten and he savored every moment.

Her teeth clenched. She wanted to run her hand between them so that she could add pressure to that special place between his legs using her finely chiseled claws. Just a few more inches, she thought. No matter how hard she tried, the nerves screaming for her to stop outweighed her desire to squeeze his balls with her claws.

"Cat got your tongue, love?" The Devil had azure colored eyes, skin white as chalk and finely carved features that would have made a wood puppeteer envious. Catwoman had realized that throughout this whole evening, the clown had not displayed his trademark smirk. That devilish glare she had gotten so used to was nowhere to be seen. Instead she saw a man with a more serious demeanor. Why had he not finished her off yet? She was practically a lamb waiting to be slaughtered.

Sick, fucker. She was in debt to him. He had the upper hand. The time she caught the neighbor's thirteen year old son while she was changing was less humiliating than this. At least the boy caught a peek. Joker was touching her. At this point, she wished she was somewhere on the docks dodging bullets from a gangster's plan gone wrong. At the same time, she felt her nipples harden underneath her suit. She wanted to think it was from the chilly late winter in Gotham.

As if Selina's mind was not busy thinking up ways with which to grab at the clown's esophagus, she then felt a cold touch around her buttock and it was not done to keep her in balance. He groped, pinched and added pressure to points that were reserved for Bruce.

The Joker was actually fondling her.

"Oh, shush shush, I am just looking. I guess the workouts from running all over the rooftops have paid off in the most exquisite way." The clown said with a smile.

Looking does not involve touching, jackass!
He then reached around and grabbed and pinched her pelvis and hips, a little too close for comfort.

I am going to turn your brains into a stew!

He then reached around and pressed her stomach.

"So nice and firm. Harley's gotten pudgy lately, too many bon bons and too much Oprah, but not you, no. You could never let yourself go like Harl…." Joker whispered into her ear.

"I remember reading in an issue of Vanity Fair that you love Pinot Noir. What a coincidence, so do I. We both love purple, so it must be love, right?" The harlequin said just above a whisper. The skyline had highlighted both of their profiles. They looked like two lovers sharing a tender moment over the city. The only thing missing was a rose, a red and white dinner table and an expensive dinner courtesy of Rosso's Italian Winery.

"Fu-fu…" Catwoman sighed.

"Shush shush shush," Joker said while pressing his thin fingers on her lips. "Let's wait awhile before we take it to that level. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say how much I admired you." Joker chuckled.

I'm going to KILL YOU!

"You really should thank Pammy for this. Don't tell her I called a carpet muncher, okay, love?" Joker said softly before he took the same fingers from Selina's frosty pink lips and applied them to his own, kissing them before he returned them back to Selina's mouth.

Immediately, the effects of the pressure points had worked off. She felt like she could breathe again. She was writhing on the floor. She had gotten her strength back but she had not had all her energy back again. She felt wobbly as if she had been given a bad drug.

"I synthesized some of her chemicals. Found it in one of Harley's used pair of panties. Don't ask me how." Joker said sardonically. Catwoman coughed. Precious air filled her lungs again.

"Thirty more seconds and you would have lost consciousness. Two more minutes and you would have gotten into cardiac arrest. Remember that next time you think about cutting off my goods." Joker sighed. Catwoman grabbed her throat, still coughing. The numbness on her legs slowly subsided.

The Joker had let her live and she was close to kissing death. She was teetering on the abyss and this agent of death brought her back and with a kiss. Has the world gone Looney Tunes?

"Before I forget, here is a token of my appreciation. Never forget this night." The jester said in a warm tone.

He placed a heart shaped box at his feet. It also had two baby pink and lavender hydrangeas attached. They were her favorite. The box was red complete with a light pink ribbon. She had forgotten it was Valentine's Day. There was only six more minutes left.

"Parting is such sweet sorrow." He blew a kiss at her. "Remember this next time you want to turn my insides into soup. Ciao."

The clown walked off into the twilight. It was not until he was gone that Selina had regained full composure. She treated the box as if it had a bomb or one of those beer nuts snakes people used on April Fool's. Joker had wanted her to live for some reason. If he wanted her dead then he would have done the job no questions asked. She was not about to leave the box in case the wrong person gets to it so it was entirely up to her to investigate its contents. She opened it with caution, carefully setting aside the flowers. She slowly pulled away the ribbon. Immediately, she set down the box and moved quickly waiting for some explosion or gas to emerge from the 'gift'.

Thirty seconds later, nothing.

She had wished that he pulled something dangerous. At least it could ease the feeling of unease she had gotten from his little lovesick game.

Upon inspection, she was caught by surprise.

There was small note.

"Be mine"

It was simple and yet profound, especially coming from the sender. What was beneath the note made her heart skip.

It was the lapis lazuli Bast head.

He got it for her.

How he knew she did not want to know. She wanted to keep it as one of life's little mysteries like the chicken or the egg or how Raquel Welch and Dick Clark were able to slow the aging process.

Although the idea of skinning him alive was not completely flushed out of her mind, she had to admit, she was impressed with the Joker's….personal touch into this. As independent as she was, even she knew that all women had a secret yearning for contact with an alpha male. Joker had played his cards right.

She sniffed one of the exotic flora.

"This isn't over yet, clown." Catwoman smiled.
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