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

Coffee Republic

Morning, Sunshine.

She had never really been knocked out before. - or had her head smashed against a doorframe. The pain was extraordinary. It was like electricity, sparking from her temple and shooting down her neck, crackling down her arms and bursting at the very tips of her fingers. Avery didn't have a high pain tolerance at the best of times, and she could feel hot tears burning behind her eyes, threatening to spill if she opened them.

A groan slipped out of her lips, and in some distant place, far far away, she heard a snicker in response.

"Wakey wakey." Warm leather tapped against her cheek and she squeezed her eyes tighter, stomach turning uncomfortably as she felt her damp hair, plastered against her left temple. Whether it was from sweat, tears or blood she wasn't quite sure. She hoped to God it wasn't the latter.

Above all things, she was thirsty. Her throat felt scratchy and dry, like it usually was after a long night's sleep. How long had she been out? The room was cold, unbearably so, and a breeze of icy wind was tickling her cheek. The sun had to have set, for it to be so cool in the middle of summer.

The leather sofa creaked under her weight as she sat up, and the joints in her neck seemed to creak with it. He was being so very quiet and it was quite hard not to glance up from her hands and see if he was still in the room. She knew he was, though. His presence was just there, you could feel it like a weight pressing against your skin. Demanding that you look at him.

It took five seconds for Avery's resolve to crumble. She looked up, and suddenly wished she hadn't. He was painfully close, lounging on one of her wooden chairs with his dark eyes focused firmly on her. It was the first time she had seen him properly, and it chilled her to the bone.

"Morning, sunshine."

His voice was what triggered it.

Avery immediately broke down into hysterical tears. The Joker's lips curled slightly in disgust as she sobbed, head in her hands and her shoulders shaking.

He wasn't quite sure how it had happened, but he had somehow wandered into the softer side of Gotham.

"Please don't kill me." she hiccuped, even though they both knew that it wouldn't help anything.

Avery glanced up at the Joker through her fingers, only having to look at his scarlet-smeared scars for a split second before it triggered a fresh batch of violent sobbing. It was pathetic.

"Stop crying." he snapped, scraping the chair back with an agonizing screech as he stood up. If anything, she cried harder. "Stop fucking crying!"

The pure venom in his voice shut her up, the only sounds escaping her throat being the occasional whimper.

"That's much better, isn't it?"

The light hanging from the ceiling was too dim and too soft, the dark shadows playing over his face only making him appear more nightmarish. She grimaced and bowed her head, gaze fixated on her lap. Avery briefly wondered if this was all a dream, if she was hallucinating from the anxiety she had felt all week. A small spark of hope lit in the pit of her stomach, but it was soon extinguished as the Joker grabbed her roughly by the chin and yanked her head to face him. The pain that spiked from her temple certainly felt real, as did the feeling of his fingers digging into her cheek.

"I'm sorry." her voice was hushed and thick with tears.

She was afraid to talk at a normal volume when he was so close to her face. She could see every crease in his makeup and every bump on his scars and it made her feel sick.

"I'm sure you are." The anger was gone as soon as it had came, and he released her, turning around and snatching something off of the table. A breath of relieved air rushed out of her lips. "It's not nice to break promises."

Her sigh of relief broke off into a stuttering gasp.

"I-" she began, no doubt about to offer some ridiculous excuse.

"And not only did you break your promise, you lied as well." he had grabbed the newspaper off the table. He cleared his throat, one eyebrow raised as he read. "He circled me, a predator seeking out his prey, and I had never felt so petrified in all my life. I'm not very impressed with this writing so far, toots." Avery felt a small flare of both embarrassment and indignation, but was smart enough not to do anything about it. For now, at least. "Awh, you think my scars are grotesque? That's hurtful."

"There's really no need-"

"Ah ah ah, I'm not done." his voice darkened and Avery couldn't help the flinch that followed.

"Blah blah, I shoved you against the wall, held a knife against you throat, more predator-prey analogy -" his eyes stopped skimming, and he snorted. "I felt like a bird in the eyes of a snake?"

It was a half-question, but she didn't answer.

"Oh, this is my favourite part." his voice was filled with barely repressed rage. Avery grimaced. She knew exactly what part he was talking about - it was the part that she knew she was going to pay for the moment she had seen him in her doorway. "Doll, I'm flattered by the gesture, but I wouldn't waste my time trying to rape you. I have better things to do." He spat, dropping the newspaper to the ground.

She wasn't quite sure what she was supposed to say to that.


"Gotham certainly liked my article."

It was a reckless move, she could tell by the way the Joker's eyebrow raised and his lip twitched slightly as she said it - she wouldn't have noticed the movement, if it weren't for the fact the scars on his left cheek jolted as he did it.

"Oh, those idiots will lap up anything to do with my grand entrance. I've been gone a while. They were probably all bored out of their minds without me."

The Joker snickered at his own pun. Avery didn't quite get the joke; she was more focused on the hand that had just slipped into his pocket. Fear wrapped its icy fingers around her throat as she caught a glint of silver metal.

"Are you going to kill me?" It sounded cliche, but it was the only thing running through her head as she stared at that knife. Who wouldn't be consumed with thoughts of their death? The terror she felt was suffocating, rolling off of her shoulders in thick waves. It was so strong and so tangible, she was surprised the Joker wasn't feeling it - then again, he was the one in control, wasn't he?

"Not yet. That would be too easy for you. You're going to do something."

Her body relaxed at his words, although the word yet made her slightly uneasy. At least her death wasn't immediate. Maybe she'd be able to see Sammy before she left.

"What?" her face felt stiff from tears, and she scrubbed at her cheek with the cuff of her grey sweater.

"I'll give you... two days. To admit that you lied in that article." The way he said it made it seem like he had thought it up on the spot. Avery doubted that - this was how he had planned to humiliate her.

"I can't do that!" she blurted out. "Everybody will despise me. I'll be a social pariah!"

This article had been the only time her mother had been proud of her. She could only imagine the disgust that would take its place.

"Oh, boo hoo."

She could feel the hot tears well up in her eyes, but she blinked them back.

"Will you let me go if I do it?"

The Joker shrugged.


That was obviously the best answer she was going to get out of him. Fighting to keep the tears back, she whispered 'okay.'
♠ ♠ ♠
I have decided I'm going to upload every weekend. ;) I started GCSE studies a week ago and it's already taking a toll on me, so I won't be able to post on weekdays most of the time. This isn't the strongest chapter I've written, but it was fun to write. I hope I managed to portray Joker decently. Its quite a risky chapter too, with the whole rape plotline. But I said this was an experiment. xD

I actually do envision him swearing, even though he didn't in TDK. Goodnight, sweet dreams!