‹ Prequel: Give Me a Smile
Sequel: Smile With Me
Status: Finished

Smile for Me


Someone is laughing at me HA HA HA it’s dark so dark and people are touching me GET OFF GET OFF GET OFF OF ME flashes of light and I can’t see, hearing Scarecrow breathing through the mask, “Quinn, what the, ha, hell?” and I’m clawing at the darkness GO AWAY there’s a snap and my fingers are in agony, and the darkness clears up.

Joker was sitting on my chest, making it hard to breathe. His hands were at my face, smacking my cheeks. I winced and turned my head away, snapping, “What are you doing?” He rolled off me and sat up, grinning.

“You just, ah, fell over and started screaming, Quinnie. Tried to scratch my lovely face.” Joker smirked and picked my hand up. “So I, haha, I broke some fingers. Oops!” My right index, middle and ring fingers were crooked. As I began to calm down I realized how painful they were. “O-Ow,” I whimpered, taking my hand from his and holding it against my chest.

He stood and walked to the table, tossing me a roll of tape. I caught it with my good hand, examining it. “Wrap your hand up in that,” he ordered, turning back to his plans. “Thanks.” I carefully taped my fingers together before speaking again. “Scarecrow’s drug is still inside me, isn’t it?” Joker shrugged in an agreeable way.

“When will it go away?” He shrugged again. I swallowed, feeling sick and scared, wishing I could drain the blood from my body just to get the toxin out. “Can you help me?” Joker growled low in his throat and spun around, hurling a knife at me. “No. I’m not your mommy. Shut up and let me work.” I curled up against the bed and cried.

The fear toxin lingered. I drifted through the next few days, going in and out of the nightmare world. I would come back from it to hear Joker laughing at me, or yelling when I interrupted his thoughts. The attacks could strike at any time, at night I might wake up with Joker leaning over me and adding new cuts to my arms as he whispered, “I could’ve slept longer, Quinnie.” My head always hurt my throat ached from screaming, and my hands shook.

Footsteps. Someone is walking towards me, laughing, hissing through a mask, ARE YOU SCARED YET? Scarecrow leaning over, dragging his needles across my skin. I scream and crawl backwards, fall into a pit, blackness, the dark, can hear scratchy noise of Scarecrow’s syringes being dragged along a wall, people are touching me LET GO LET GO and someone is screaming far away and I reach forward....

I came out of the attack to hear voices in the room, different from Joker’s familiar cackle. I was face down on the bathroom floor, soap suds dotting my skin. I’d been washing my hands when the attack struck, making me fall. “Mmph.” I rolled over, smelling flowers. My eyes shot open when I recognized the scent.

Poison Ivy was here. I sat up and saw her, sitting at the table a few feet away from me. She looked the same, red hair rippling down her back, green tinted skin, curves that were almost unreal, plants her only clothing. “Smiley. It’s been a while,” she said without turning. “Uh. Yeah. It has.” She looked back for a moment and winked.

I stood carefully, holding my injured hand close. I’d kept the tape on, but my fingers were bruised and mottled, healing crooked. Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, and Clayface were sitting at the table, chatting casually. Clayface looked like the unassuming guy I’d first seen six years before.

He glanced over at me and made an odd face, clearly wondering where he’d seen me before. Scarecrow just stared straight ahead with a bored expression. “Um, where’s Joker?” I rasped. Clayface peered at me, frowning. “Your voice is weird.” I flushed and looked away.

Joker walked in a few minutes later, nonchalantly wiping blood off his hands. “Hello, everyone. It’s, haha, nice to see you.” They nodded at him. Joker looked to me, “Get out of here, Quinn.” I nodded and scurried out, sitting against the tunnel wall until the murmur of their voices rose and faded.

Clayface was out first, one of his hands dripping mud. I remembered the terrified, whimpering noises he’d made when Joker tortured him for betraying us and smiled. I wasn’t fond of Clayface. He looked down at me, frowning angrily. “What’re you grinning at?” I hid my scarred mouth with a hand and shrugged.

He huffed and stomped away, getting steadily goopier as he lost focus. Poison Ivy strolled after him, calling his name. He solidified and waited for her, offering an arm. She took it and they walked off together, talking quietly. She said something that made him blush and winked, then looked back at me to blow a kiss. I waved feebly.

When Scarecrow walked out I grabbed his sleeve before I lost my nerve. He glared down at me with cold blue eyes. “What do you want?” “Please, the toxin...I keep going into the nightmare world. Please, Scarecrow, make it go away,” I begged, letting go of his sleeve.

He looked suddenly interested as he crouched in front of me, hands touching my throat, taking my pulse. His skin was icy. I resisted the urge to run as far away from him as possible. “I must have forgotten to give you the antidote....What an adverse reaction, too. Pulse is a little fast...the toxin or just nerves?” He looked up at me, fingers leaving my neck. “Have you been exposed to any of my toxins before?”

“Yeah, in the, the Narrows.” His eyes lit up, and for a moment he almost looked friendly. “The Narrows? You mean my first widespread experiment. That was a good night.” I shuddered and tried to move away from him. It had been an awful night for me, and anyone else infected. “Can you make the fear go away?”

“I could, but I won’t. I’d like to further observe the long term effects of fear on the insane. Didn’t have enough time in Arkham. I see you often enough that it will work...” He appeared to be going off into his head again, planning to let me have the attacks over and over. I grabbed his arm, ignoring the way he looked up with a snarl.

“No. Take the toxin out now, or I’ll tell Joker and he’ll, he’ll give you a grin like mine,” I hissed. Scarecrow watched me for a second before shrugging casually, digging in his pocket until he produced a small yellow pill. “Take this. It will chase the toxin from your blood.” I took it, staring suspiciously. “If this is more fear toxin...”

“It is not.” I wondered if he could tell how scared I was. Probably, but he didn’t say anything. I swallowed the pill and sat back. It tasted bitter. “Good. You can go now.” Scarecrow smirked at me and stood, hands in his pockets.

“Ordering me around? Don’t get too brave, Smiley. After all...” He pulled his mask out and put it on, pushing his face close to mine. I screamed and curled up, hiding my face. “I know what you fear,” he finished, laughing quietly as he walked away.
♠ ♠ ♠
The Joker: [talking to a gargoyle] What are you laughin' at?