Have I proofed? Hell no. I'm too strapped for time. luvthyjoker
, enjoy! And, if you come across any glaring typos or other horrid mistakes, let me know and I'll fix it. On to NaNo! ::mad cackles::
This Date is dedicated to Meg Farley, who drew for me the best art I’ve ever had drawn in honor of my stories. You can find all of her fantastic work, including the two pieces she did for me, on her Deviant Art Page. She’s also a big Joker fan and an avid gory horror movie aficionado. Combine those two, and you have a nifty Date Night just begging to be written. It didn’t hurt that she’d always wanted to be murdered in a story. It was…::does the Fosse hands::…DESTINY
Some notes of importance:
· Joker in a pimped out ride is my attempt at dream realisation. I listen to a lot of the songs J has on his iPod (because they’re…identical) and I often find myself wishing to God I had a pimped out ride in which to better listen to a lot of my tunes. And, yes, I turn and nod knowingly at people at red lights. I’m my own Joker. Deal.
· The Lindey Hop is a real dance. Look it up.
· The Stage Door Canteen is named for a song on my iPod-d. Look it up.
· This is my second fanfic written after my Head J became Reconciled J. Folks who read it may see one J or the other here and there. That’s what happens when you’re writing fanfic about a character that’s been played by more than one person, has been animated, committed to graphic novel, and is the manifestation of the Trickster archetype known by many names, the most popular being Loki and Coyote. That said, there’s a bit of The Mask in there, too. How else would he know the Lindey Hop and Jitterbug? Better to have one Reconciled J merged with your own personal J than have 1001 “crazy” clowns scampering about in your head, especially when you suffer from coulraphobia.
· In-Jokes: If any of you get ‘Garmonbozia,’ ‘Respectable Street,’ ‘Shah-day, not Shar-day,’ J’s dislike for apologies, and the playing of “Soul Bossa Nova,” at the time Joker really starts to work his mojo on Julie, email me and, if you’re right, I’ll give you a cookie online…everywhere…and people will all be like WTF? Unless you want me to tell why you’re getting the cookie.
· J wearing a Paisley shirt for special occasions is a nod of appreciation and affection for Sweet Sophie (paisleydaze). The ellipses and tildes are all in honour of Jill (gunslingaaahhh). Without her, Billshat would remain nameless and not nearly as hilarious.
The Artist’s Date
He sat in the front seat of the vehicle with Sidney at the wheel. On the iPod there blared “Deuces” by AcHoZeN. It made the car throb, and rightfully so, considering Joker’s henchmen had stolen one of the most pimped-out cars that ever dared roll upon the dingy asphalt roads of Gotham City.
Sidney slowed the car to a halt at a red light and Joker rolled his eyes. As long as he was in this ride, he was compelled to turn to the people next to him at a red light and nod knowingly to the beat of his tunes. Slowly, Joker turned his head to see a family of five sitting in a gigantic SUV. It towered over his 1976 Buick Regal, sparkling in its purple glitter finish in the setting Gotham sun. He smirked and nodded at the family, who stared back in horror at the most wanted man in Gotham, styling in a blinged-out 33-year old vehicle that shook with hydraulics that trembled to be used.
On impulse, Joker rolled down his window, and let the sound of “Deuces” blast out at the family. He motioned for the father and driver to roll his own window down. The man did out of some misplaced politeness.
“Don’t you knowww it isn’t polite to starre?” Joker asked the man.
Joker smoothly aimed his sawed off shotgun out the window at the man. “You can’t stare if you don’t have eyes, isn’t that right-t?”
( Joker sees himself )
About that time the light turned green and the man gunned his SUV. Joker cackled with glee as Sidney began to pull forward at a normal rate of speed.
“Y’know boss, it’s kind of hard not to stare at this car.”
“Which is exactly why I plan on turning the goons who stole this monstrosity for my use into mince meat at my earliest convenience. For nowww, though, I have a preeety little little ladeee to pick up for our penullltimate date and I don’t want to be late, so can we put the pedal to the metal just a tad-d Sidney, hm?”
Sidney sped up just a little. He didn’t want to draw too much attention, despite the car. If they were stopped by the police, there’d be a bloodbath and Joker would be picking Julie up in a cop car instead. Despite his career in crime, Sidney tried to keep the bloodshed to a minimum, especially with Joker involved. It was a difficult job to say the least.
“Boss…” Sidney began.
“Is it… Is it really necessary to go on this date? I mean, can’t you just leave Julie to her own devices?”
“Bustin’ Loose” by Check Brown and the Soul Searchers undulated from the gigantic speakers that had been installed in Joker’s sweet new ride. It was all very surreal to Sidney.
“Whhhaaaat-t? And let her splash my face all over the place? If anyone is going to do thaaat, it’ulll be mee, Sidney. No no no no…No. Time to show Julie that lovely romantic evening I promised her. You know what to do.”
Sidney sighed. He knew. He wished he’d never brought that newspaper to J’s attention…
Wind the clocks back a couple of weeks…
Sidney bought a Gotham Times and saw an illustration of Joker on the front page of the newspaper. Not a photograph, not this time. It was a flawless pencil illustration of his boss splashed across the front page with the caption “Public Enemy Number 1.” What was he, now, James Cagney?
But the illustration was striking in that you could see the man underneath the war paint and that was alarming to Sidney. How could the boss ever go out without the war paint if he were ID’d by an artist who had too good of an eye?
He took the paper back to their mill house and, finding Joker in the kitchen swilling down copious amounts of Irish Breakfast tea and scarfing down five pieces of toast, Sidney opened the folded paper in front of him and let him see for himself.
Joker stopped in half-chew and just stared.
“Not just me, but me – me!”
Joker shoved the rest of the toast in his mouth and slowly took the paper. He studied it like an archaeologist staring at pottery chip in Egypt. Then he cut his eyes to Sidney.
“Oh… She’s goooood.”
“Why do you say ‘she,’ J?”
“A man wouldn’t draw me this well. There are layers to this picture. The one who drew this is in-vest-ted-d. She may have drawn it for the Gotham Times to try to catch me, but she’s enthralled with the subject matter. A man would not be that – ah – fascinated-d. Ha. Let me see herrrre…”
Joker rifled through the pages of the paper and found the credits.
“AHA! What did I tell you, Sidney? Right…herrrre… Julie Carlsbad. Well, let-t us go.”
“Well, to see Julie of course! I’ll take my laptop with me so’s I can locate this little minx… Shame on her for exposing me like this! This just…won’t…doooo.”
Sidney got the car, a plain blue Nissan Sentra at this time, but it was being looked for, so they’d have to change cars soon. He waited out front for Joker, who soon emerged in his long violet coat and gloves, his laptop clamped under his right arm. He was tossing Cupid up in the air and catching it with a flourish. This was the end of Julie Carlsbad, Sidney just knew it.
Joker opened the front door and jumped in. Only with Sidney did he occasionally ride shotgun…often literally. Upon closer inspection, Sidney noted that J was wearing his special maroon and cream Paisley shirt, a dark blue tie, and his signature green vest and navy pinstripes. He probably had on the Argyles as well, but Sidney couldn’t see without craning his neck and he didn’t want to seem that obvious.
“Paisley shirt, boss? That special of a day?”
“Well, you don’t often get to meet a not-so-secret admirerrr, Sidney. Better to be spiff than to look all ratty, don’tcha think-k?”
“I’ve never had an admirer, J, so I can’t really say.”
“HEE! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Stick with me, Sidney. I’ll show you how to be a smoooooth operator before you can say ‘It’s SHAH-DAY not SHAR-DAY, you fucking moron!’”
Sidney joined in on the off-the-hook cackling as they pulled away from the curb and out into the sparse traffic. Still laughing, Joker opened up his laptop and started ticking away furiously. When they came to the first red light, Sidney asked Joker which way he should go.
“Straight-t. Just keep going straight until I find herrr…”
So Sidney kept going straight until he reached the bridge to the Narrows. He was about to continue on when a purple-gloved hand grabbed his arm. “No no no, Sidney. Don’t ever everrr take me over there. I’ll cross thaaat bridge when I come to it in an armoured police vehicle, you got me?”
Sidney let his eyes crawl over the Gothic structure of Arkham Asylum, watching over Gotham’s disenfranchised like a hungry gargoyle. “I’m sorry, boss. I didn’t think.”
“Don’t apologiiise. You know I hate that. Just...turn around. I think I found her.”
Sidney dutifully turned the Sentra around and zizzed back from whence they came. He began to get directions from the Joker.
“Okaaaay, Sidney, turn right here on Grey Street. Go approximateleee, one point-t five miles, then turn right onto McKatet. Hey, Sidney, I sound like one of those Garmans. I prefer Gar-mon-bo-zia, though. Ha.. Yes, here’s McKatet. Now…make a left here onto Wheaton, and then turn immediateleee onto Respec-ta-bull Street. Who knew there was a Respec-ta-bull Street in Gotham City, Sidney? I didn’t know there was a thing reee-spec-ta-bull about this hellhole! HAHAHAHAHAHA!”
Joining in the laughter, Sidney continued to drive until Joker screamed, “Staaahhp! Right there, this building. Full of studio apartments, I’m surrre. She is an arteeest after all! Be right back, Sid. Don’t go anywhere!”
Joker jumped out of the car, leaving his laptop behind, then popped his head back in. “Surrrf the ‘Net if ya wanna, Sid-d. I know how you like to watch those Hulu-hoop shows. Maybe you can catch that movie you’ve been wanting to watch about candy.”
“Sure, boss,” Sidney said, agreeably. Of course, Joker meant Netflix and the movie was called Candy, but J wasn’t known for his savvy on the Internet except for tactical maneuvers, so Sidney had learned to just grin and bear it.
Julie Carlsbad had her back to the door of her studio apartment. He stood looking at the wall, the canvas that was vexing her behind her, sitting in silent mockery. She just couldn’t seem to get the painting right. She’d drawn him many times but, the larger she tried to go, the less it looked like him, at least in her opinion. But Julie was her own worst critic.
“UGH!” She growled at the wall in front of her. “UGH UGH! Why can’t you just be easy?”
On closer inspection, there was a small picture on the wall. It was a picture of the Joker, printed from the Internet. She was talking to him.
“Well, hello there…”
Julie let loose a full-throated shriek as she spun and threw her back against the wall, knocking loose the picture she’d been been addressing in frustration. When she saw who it was who’d said hello, Julie screamed again.
J looked at her, vague amusement twinkling in his kohl-rubbed eyes. She was a tall young woman with stick-straight blonde hair that featured swaths of green, red, and blue throughout. Her fox face was make-up free, but was decorated with an almost leopard-print of freckles right across the nose and cheeks.
“Jumpy thing, aren’tcha?” he observed, pulling off one glove, then the other, with zero concern in his voice or body language.
“Get out get out! I’ll call the cops! Omigod, get out!”
Joker noted that Julie was mustering all the forcefulness she could in her naturally meek voice.
Bending toward her and cocking his head to the right in one smooth movement, Joker simply said, “NO!”
He didn’t even shout it, he just said it with conviction. And this turned on the faucets. Julie began to cry with fright. “How – how did you get in here? Please, just go! Please?”
“I’m a criminal, remember, Will-O-Wisp. I got in using my – ah – superior criminal wiiiiles. So whatcha painting therrre, hm?”
“No no! It’s none of your business, just please leave!”
“I said-d NO!” Joker started toward Julie who began to jump on the balls of her feet out of panic. He didn’t care. He wanted to see the painting and he wanted to get closer to her to see just how panicked she’d get. Part of him hoped she’d pass out from the excitement because she wasn’t nearly so frightened as she was embarrassed and excited. Oh yes, she had a bad crush on somebody and his name began with the letter J. Joker began to giggle under his breath as he approached her.
“Please don’t kill me.”
“Oh, I think you’d rather me kill you than look at this painting of yours, Chick-o-stix. So what’s it gonna be – a peek at the picture or a blade in the breastbone?”
Julie quieted down and pressed herself even harder into the white plaster wall behind her as Joker rounded the canvas to see what all the hubbub was about. He found that he was staring back at himself. She was really good, this artist. The painting was from a photograph taken of him by a security camera on an armoured car service’s truck. The vehicle had been packed to the gills with cashola the Joker had wanted. He didn’t care that he was being filmed and photographed murdering the driver and commandeering the vehicle. He just wanted that money so he could buy more toys and people, not that there was any difference between the two. People were just toys that didn’t know when to shut up usually. The photo Julie was working from was of Joker looking directly into the camera and sporting a winning, shit-eating grin. His right cheek was spattered lightly with the blood of the former driver and his green hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail. All-in-all, it was a pretty flattering photo of him, and the painting was even better, or it would be when it was finished.
“Oh, I like this, Julie. When it’s finished, I may even buy it from you.”
“I – I’m not finishing it. It’s horrible. I can’t get it right.”
“Wwwhaaaaat-t? No, see, you have no choice. Well, actu-a-leee, you do. You can either finish this painting or I’ll sit for you.”
Julie froze, her eyes widening into large circles of surprise. “Whaaat?”
“Oh, you’re imitating me now, too?” Joker produced his Cupid and flicked it open, pointing it Julie with an admonishing gesture. “It’s not polite to make fun, didn’t your motherrr ever teach you that-t?”
“No! I mean yes! I mean….I don’t know what I mean! I was just – shocked is all. You’d sit for me? Me?”
Joker shot Julie a smouldering glance and let his tongue dance across his lips in a playful seduction. “I saw your art-t in the newspaper. You’re verrrry good at what you do, ragamuffin. Too good. Anyone who cares to take notice can see the real me underneath the war paint in your lit-tle illustration. That won’t do. So…”
And Joker swept his curly locks away from his face as he plopped down on the cracked vinyl sofa near the canvas. He looked up at Julie, who remained frozen against the wall. “So….” He continued. “I’ll sit for you if you stop drawing those little pictures for the Gotham Times. We can’t have the Great-t Unwashed identifying the man beneath the clown as you obviously already have with your keen little artist’s eye…”
So an agreement was made. And, over the course of two weeks, Joker visited Julie every day and sat for her as she painted him. It turned out that, yes, she was a great admirer of his. Crazy about him, to be exact. And she was fascinated with his face, how it was constructed and how the scars had only served to bring out the best aspects of his features. He didn’t mind Julie discussing his scars, but he did wonder why she never asked how he got them. During their time together, Joker learned that Julie was a hopeless romantic. It was in her movie collection.
While he was waiting for her to get the paint mixed and ready, Joker studied Julie’s vast movie collection. Besides a fair amount of horror, she also had a huge collection of old-fashioned romances like The Strawberry Blonde and Bringing Up Baby. There was another movie that caught Joker’s eye, too, and it gave him a little hitch in the underpants to boot: The Secretary. Now that was a movie only a certain kind of woman would have in her collection… Just thinking about it made Joker narrow his eyes and let his grin spread out across his face like the Grinch who was about to steal Christmas.