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

Smile for Me


I felt...different after that, after stitching up Croc. It had been a while since I’d done something that was good, not neutral or evil. It was like I’d had fog in my head that was beginning to clear away. I was uneasy and hopeful at the same time, wishing for something. What it was, I didn’t know.

Scarecrow came around for the first time since he’d given me the weird toxin. There was a bandage around his wrist, but otherwise he looked normal, wearing a slightly rumpled suit, glasses askew. When he walked in he glanced at me, using a long finger to push them back into place.

“Joker. What did you call me for?”

Scarecrow was stiff and uncomfortable, shoulders hunched. I wondered what Joker had done to him as Scarecrow shifted in his seat and winced. It must’ve been painful. The thought made me smile.

“Scarecrow, old buddy, ha!, I need some help of the chemical sort,” Joker chirped, hands gripping his seat as he rocked forward.

“Get Ivy then,” Scarecrow said flatly, eyes darting from the door to Joker’s face and back.

Joker shook his head like a dog, hair falling over his eyes.

“Nope, ha, nope. Sorry. Ivy is a tad, hoo, bit mad at me right now.” He winked and stage whispered, “I stepped, ah, on just a few of her pretty plants. Oops!”

Scarecrow’s mouth twisted with distaste as he leaned away from Joker.

“I have my own work, Joker. Use someone else.”

The amusement dropped from Joker’s face, tongue darting out to lick at his scars. I inched away from him, not wanting to be caught in the line of fire.

“You, er, don’t have a choice, Crane. We all, HA, know who the top dog in this city is. ME. So, uh, you’d better goddamn listen, or do I have to, haha, teach you another lesson?”

Joker waggled his eyebrows at Scarecrow, who flinched. He closed his hands into fists at his sides and nodded sharply.

“Fine. What do you need?”

Joker’s grin reappeared and he pulled me against him, hand curling over the tattoo on my neck. It was a familiar and comforting gesture, a reminder that I had someone to belong to. I smiled, relaxing into him.

“I need something to put a, haha, bunch of people to sleep. Quickly. Doesn’t matter if it kills a few of, hoo, a few of them, either.” He put his elbows on his knees, hand cupping his chin. “And I want it, ha!, by tomorrow.”

“You’ll have it.”

Scarecrow stood quickly and strode out without a goodbye. Joker tugged me onto his lap, running his hands under my shirt and up my scarred spine.

“I think, ha, Quinnie, that it’s time to celebrate.”

Joker left for his job with Killer Croc after that and came back bleeding. I was perched in front of the TV, eyes on the news. It was centered on the party Joker had crashed, cameras from the faces of shocked rich people to blurry security footage of Joker and Killer Croc. Batman had shown up, a hulking black figure that made my teeth clench, but he didn’t catch them. I jumped and turned when the door slammed open. Joker was leaning against it, breathing heavily. Blood leaked between his fingers where they gripped his ribs. He grinned at me with bloody teeth and winked.

“Hey, Quinnie. Help, ha, help a guy out?” I hurried over and put an arm around his waist, leading him to the couch. “You did a good job, ah, on Croc. Think, hoo, you can stitch me up now?”

“Yeah. I can do that.”

Joker shrugged his jacket off and unbuttoned his shirt as I got the trunk that held all his stuff. He opened it himself, not allowing me to see inside. I caught the needle and thread he tossed at me and examined his wounds. They only appeared to be on his chest, which was pale as always, covered with scars and old bruises I could ignore.

The gaping cuts across his right side mattered more. It wasn’t life threatening yet, but there was a lot of blood. As I went to work I realized that Joker’s blood was different. Thicker, almost congealed, and too dark. Nearly black, with no red tint. I paused, needle pricking his skin.


He sighed, letting his head fall back.

“Don’t fucking pussy out on me now, Quinnie.”

“No, it’s not that, it’s just...your blood is wrong.”

He laughed hard enough to make the cuts bleed worse, and I frowned.

“Quinn. Quinnie. Don’t, uh, worry about it. There’s, ha, so many chemicals in me I’m practically, hoo, practically Poison Ivy.” Joker narrowed his eyes at me in warning. “Now stitch me up.”

Nodding, I dug the needle into his skin. He just laughed.
♠ ♠ ♠
The Joker: I want a nice, clean game, gentlemen. The Penguin: That'll be a first...