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

Smile for Me


The happiness from earlier was gone. His nails were biting into my skin, and we were going fast enough to stretch the cut down my spine. It was bleeding again, but I didn’t say anything. The familiar flutter of fear was back in my stomach, less hidden by shock and anger. I expected him to bring me home, punish me for disobeying.

Instead, I was brought to an empty building covered in condemned signs. It was a little too dim for me to see clearly, which was worrying. I got the sense of being in a very large room, possibly another warehouse. Joker’s painted white face glowed from the gloom, black eyes in shadow.

“Where are we?” I asked quietly, rubbing my wrist when he finally let it go. “Dunno. Ha, some place,” he said casually. “I, haha, I killed the boy, Quinnie. It’s done. Get over it.” I grit my teeth. “I can’t.” My eyes were beginning to adjust to the dark, enough that I could see him. His head was bowed, shoulders tensed up as he shifted from foot to foot.

“Alright then. Hit me.” I hesitated, unsure if I’d heard him right. “What?” “Hit, haha, hit me. Let it all out.” He let one of his crazier cackles loose. “I can’t hit you,” I protested, but my hands were clenched. He hopped closer, taking my fist and pressing it to his face. “C’mon. C’mon, QUINNIE! HIT ME!” he yelled, pushing against my hand.

His eyes were shining, desperate and insane as he held my gaze. I pulled back and swung, feeling my fist hit his cheek with a satisfying crunch. Hurt like hell, but the ache in my knuckles was nothing compared to how good it felt. Joker didn’t even flinch, just laughed softly. “Again, Quinnie, ha!, I can take it!” I kicked out at him, beating my fists against his chest, screaming awful things until my throat was raw.

Then I collapsed into him, breathing hard. The clumps of my hair that were beginning to grow back hung in my face, damp with sweat. My fists were throbbing and the cut on my back had not been helped by all that movement, but it didn’t matter. “Feel better?” Joker asked, more amusement than usual in his voice.

I waited until my breathing calmed before answering. “Yeah, actually.” He nodded, untangling my fingers from his shirt. I was thankful I’d had enough presence of mind not to punch him with the hand that had broken fingers. The rage I’d felt earlier was fading, replaced by exhaustion, satisfaction that I’d been able to take my anger out on someone.

I wondered if that was why Batman does what he does, if he’s so angry he’s made a life out of punching people. “Good. Let’s go, hmm, home.” Joker took my hand, gently this time, and we left.

I had forgiven Joker, gotten my anger out and been enchanted again by his charm, but I dreamed of Mark that night, woke up feeling like his blood covered my hands even though I’d washed it off before sleeping. I went to the bathroom anyway, washed my hands again and again until Joker came in to yell and give me more scars for his lack of sleep.
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The Joker: For once, I'm stuck without a punchline.