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

Coffee Republic


Avery was woken up by a distinct ringing sound, followed by a thump thump crash that nearly made her jump out of her skin. Her groan was muffled by the pillow her face was buried in.

Thump thump crash. Thump thump crash. With a sigh, she rolled over so that she was facing her back. The white-washed ceiling rippled and swayed as her eyes opened for the first time in over twelve hours, and a more distinguished groan left her lips as her head began pounding in time with the loud knocks on the door.

"I'm coming!" She had meant to scream it, but it had come out scratchy and hoarse. Maybe she was catching a cold? Or maybe it was all that cheap wine you drank last night.

The knocks were getting louder and more frenzied. Jesus, this person really didn't give up. Avery swung her legs over the edge of the bed, stifling a yawn as she padded out of her bedroom and down the corridor. Maybe it was a journalist? Doubtful. A handful had barged through her door to speak with her (including a detective from GPD), but that had been days ago.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm coming." She mumbled under her breath, swinging open the door and immediately being enveloped in a crushing hug.

"Darling, I haven't seen you in over a week! Why didn't you visit?"

"Mom?" She wanted to add a what the hell are you doing here, but she figured it would be healthier to appreciate the good mood while it lasted.

"You could have told me that's why you disappeared from the parade! I was so worried about you all week. Oh, you look a state. Have you not brushed your hair?"

Avery frowned. Of course. She came because of the article. There was a note of bitterness in that thought that surprised her.

Avery gently pulled Jasmine's arms away from her waist, stepping back and flashing a brief smile. She felt guilty for being suspicious of her own mother, but why had she come now? It couldn't be simply because she was worried. If that was the case, she would have come a few hours after she had read the article.

"Uhh, would you like some coffee?"

She didn't really know what else to say.

"Two sugars, no milk."


It was depressingly awkward, sitting in that living room with her mother. The only sounds that floated back and forth between the two was the clinking of mugs against saucers and the slurping of coffee.

It saddened her a little.

"The weather's nice today, hmm?"

"Yeah." To be honest, she hadn't looked outside her window in days.

"So..." Avery could see her mother struggling to find a topic of conversation, but after a few minutes she finally settled on the very one that her daughter didn't want to talk about. "Where do you think he was, these past two years?"

"Arkham?" She offered, tracing the edge of the mug with her pinky.

"No, no, that's ridiculous. The Police Force would have told us if he'd escaped."

Avery doubted that.

"Hiding, then." she cleared her throat, posture stiff and eyes never leaving her mug. "I, uh... haven't really been watching the news lately. Has he been up to anything?"

"Apart from a few small-time robberies, no. The people at Gotham Cable think he's building up to 'something big'."

"Bigger than the parade?"

"I suppose so."

They were plunged into silence yet again.

She probably should have tried harder to have a closer relationship with her mother. There was this wall between them - there had always been, since her father had died - and she found that no matter how much coffee she served or how much she chatted about the weather, she couldn't even chip at it.

"Avery, I must be honest with you. No more beating round the bush." Jasmine stared down at her coffee, slender fingers wrapped round the cracked mug. "I didn't come here simply because of the article. I need a favour."

Knew it. Her earlier guilt drained away, replaced with that same scalding bitterness she had felt before. She had been brutally attacked by the Joker and nearly murdered (to her mother's/Gotham's knowledge, at least) and this was how her mother reacted?


"Avery! Don't use that tone of voice with me."

Avery exhaled heavily, then smiled. It felt more like she was baring her teeth. "What?"

"I am going to a party in two days, and I want you to come with me. I'm not asking you to donate blood. So don't pull that face. You've always loved parties." She was in full scolding-mother mode.

"Why do I have to go?"

"Because all the important people are going to be there."

"Why are you going?" That was what confused her the most. Her mother was well off, but she wasn't bathing in the money.

"Just because your father died, doesn't mean I have lost my status. He was an important member of Gotham."


"Avery!" Her green eyes widened at her daughter's audacity, and with a huff she rose from the beige couch. "You are coming with me to this party. I am your mother, and you will do as I say."

"Fine, I'll go. Just leave." Avery turned away from her mother, staring down at her clasped hands.

"Goodbye, Avery." Jasmine said icily.

She span around and made her way to the door, only to be interrupted by her daughter.



"Where's Sam?"

The question caught her off guard, and after a few seconds of hesitation she answered. "With a babysitter."


"I have things to do."

Avery knew she was going to regret saying this, but there was this anger bubbling away inside of her that she couldn't repress.

"He needs you, Mom. Just because you weren't there for me doesn't mean you shouldn't be there for him."

The door slammed shut.


It had been an hour since her mother had left, when the doorbell rang. Avery was sprawled pitifully on the couch, eyes shamefully tinted with red and small sniffles escaping her mouth.

Ring, ring, ring.

Her gaze flickered over to the couch opposite, where her mother's navy clutch lay. She didn't want to face her mother, but she knew she had to apologise. Grabbing the clutch, Avery wiped her cheeks with the cuff of her grey sweater, sluggishly walking down the corridor. She felt guilty. Her mother had been there for her - physically, at least.

But when it came to comfort and advice, a statue might have made a better parent. Jasmine Williams was a notoriously cold woman, and her daughter was known to be the exact opposite. Slightly compulsive-obsessive, sure, but that didn't mean she didn't want a hug from her mother every once in a while.

Her hand grasped the cool door-knob, and with a half-baked apology on the tip of her tongue, she swung open the door. And screamed.

"Surprise!" Her shrill shriek was cut off as the Joker grabbed her by the back of the neck, slamming her head against the doorframe with a sickening crack.

Her knees buckled, bright spots bursting in front of her vision as she toppled over and collapsed on the floor. He rolled his eyes, stepping over her unconscious body and gently shutting the door behind him.
♠ ♠ ♠
I'm baaaaack from holiday!


The next chapter was so much for me to write. It'll be up in a day or so, I've already written like half of it. Three cheers for a more Joker-filled story from here on out, hmm? Please comment, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.