Status: i'm abroad right now, so it'll be difficult to upload chapters - i'm still writing them though :')

Coffee Republic

Be My Baby

Avery felt sticky. It was the kind of sticky that came with humidity, oppressive and almost syrupy.

Her room had always been a bit stuffy - had she forgotten to open the window before bed? She tried to groan exasperatedly, but found that the sound died off with a whimper, low in her throat.

God, she was thirsty. She swallowed audibly, opening her eyes and blearily gazing up at the ceiling of her bedroom. She could even see the particularly attractive crack, marring the delicate cream paint.

Only she couldn't, not really, because this was not her bedroom.

Her eyes widened, and all her senses became very sharp, very fast, fuelled by the sudden adrenaline racing through her veins.

Her inner nosiness journalist reeled off all the facts she could grasp at from her disoriented position.

1) the place smelled like musty water.
2) she was sticky because she appeared to be lying in a puddle of said musty water.
3) someone was singing.

A familiar tune, actually.

"Be My Baby?" she rasped, bewildered.

The familiar tune was cut off and replaced with a familiar snicker. Avery immediately stiffened. Eyes burning with unshed tears, she swallowed again, the sound seeming magnified in the strange tension currently strung across the room. They seemed to be held in some strange, twisted limbo – both of them were waiting for something, while not being quite sure what that something was.

“What time is it?” To her credit, she managed to keep her voice steady.

The Joker muttered something under his breath that she couldn't quite pick up on, before saying almost conversationally: “Ten past eleven. Am I keeping you from some sort of appoint-ment?

There was a thin layer of amusement to his tone, but as always, the darkness lurked underneath it.

Avery closed her eyes, the burning intensifying. She would be at Le Petit Café right about now – in fact, she always ordered ten minutes after arriving, so at this very moment she would be asking Cynthia for a caramel latte and a vanilla cheesecake. She would be sitting in her favourite spot, right by the Dorothy-esque curtains. She would be gazing out into the sun-bathed streets of Gotham, and she would be perfectly content.

Something dark shifted in her then – it was the same raw, unadulterated anger that had roared into life the day she had met the Joker, and she had been unable to see his face. How dare he come crashing into her life, how dare he unlock this deep, bottomless anger that fucking terrified her, how dare he rip her perfect, ordered world to shreds.

She jumped up, quite suddenly, too suddenly – swaying for a split second as her blood rushed dizzyingly in her head. He was sitting on one of those white pull-out chairs, violet trench coat tossed haphazardly over the back of it, hands resting on his knees. He looked completely at ease, and that enraged her all the more – so much so, that with what could only be described as a battle cry, she launched herself at him.

A small oomph left the Joker’s lips as she crashed into his chest, sending him sprawling across the floor, the white lawn chair tipping on its side with a small clatter. Avery clambered on top of him, striking him across the face with an inexperienced fist, seeming only to scrape his cheekbone before sailing through thin air. There was a strange electricity crackling in her bloodstream, in the air all around her, and so she kept hitting him, anywhere she could reach. It didn't take long for the Joker to react, grabbing her arms with a growl and twisting them behind her back, relishing in the small yelp that followed. The deep, burning anger still spurred her on, and so she did the only thing she could think of: she head-butted him, shrieking like a wounded animal the entire time.

His grip on her wrists weakened slightly, torn between the instinct to cup his injured nose and the will to keep her in place. Still screaming like a mad woman, she ripped her arms away and ran for door; but, unfortunately, only made it a few steps in the right direction before she was shoved to the ground. She flailed her limbs frantically as their roles were reversed, no longer having the energy to shriek. A strong hand wrapped itself in her long brown hair, and promptly smashed her head against the floor, one two three times in quick succession.

The entire fight had only lasted about 30 seconds, but it felt like an eternity – and she was filled with a sinking feeling as she realised that she had lost so quickly, growing limp by the third awful smack.

The Joker leaned over her slightly dazed body, lips incredibly close to her ear. “You… you are going to regret that.” The last two words were a snarl, and Avery shuddered underneath him, goosebumps rising where his hot breath had brushed over her skin.

“Just… just leave me alone.” she whimpered, quite pathetically, squeezing her eyes tightly shut as if that would help quell the throbbing in her head.

I want my mother. I want Sammy.

“You’re acting like such a goddamn martyr, Aveeeery.” His over-exaggeration of her name made her wince, regretting that small admittance of fear in the bathrooms. “But I gave you a choice. Or does that liiittle head of yours –“ he rapped his knuckles against the back of her skull, “Only remember what suits you, hmm?”

“Maybe things got a little fuzzy after you slammed my head into a door-frame.” She muttered, eyes still shut.

He cackled then, finally sliding off of her and getting to his feet. Avery picked herself up off the ground with slightly trembling muscles, until she was sitting with her knees folded underneath her, staring down at her wrists with a perplexed expression.

“Why didn’t you tie me up in the first place?”

“In all honesty, doll, you didn’t seem the type to fight back. You’re too…” he waved his hand in the air, as if trying to pluck the correct word out of it. “…soft. Like all the other people at that stuffy gala – they always beg, though,” he sneered, voice suddenly shifting to a shrill high pitch as he mimicked: “please mr joker man, don’t kill my stupid little brat! I’ll give you all the money you want!

Avery furrowed her brow, watching him as he switched from calm, to scathing to amused – she would never be able to understand the Joker’s capricious moods.

“But, it looks like that’s what’s going to happen now.”

“What?” she had lapsed out of reality for a second.

“Tying you up.” He fixed her with a burning stare, “You’re a screamer, and while they’re the fun ones, they always have to be restrained for the next part.” He sighed melodramatically, as if that was a heavy burden onto himself.

“The next part?” the fear in her voice was unmistakable, and it was not assuaged by the malicious, practically wolfish grin that crept across the Joker’s scarred lips.
♠ ♠ ♠
Yes this is a filler but you guys know I have a tendency to bridge two important events with a filler, so you can at least expect something semi-big to come next chapter. ;)

And yes, the Joker was singing Be My Baby by The Ronettes. *sweats* I write him slightly lighter in this one compared to my other story, which is very gritty-doom-and-gloom, and it's fun for me :3

Oh and while Paradise Circus by Massive Attack is the theme for this story (which you should all listen to), the entirety of their album Heligoland fits this really well, so check it out if you wantt

Okay that's all, thank you for reading <3