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FEVER

By Laura

Romance / Adventure

Blurb

(Updating on AO3/FF.Net)

Chapter 1

Author’s Note: Hey everyone, I’m uploading this because I’ve been thinking about pairing the Nolanverse Joker with a specific OC I had in my head. I’m not yet sure how long this will be, but I would really appreciate any comments on the story so far, as well as the characters introduced in this chapter, in order to see what would be the most interesting plot line to follow :)

Elena stared at the screen before her, her eyes boring into the words she’d read what felt like a million times. She’d been sitting at her local cafe for an hour, cursing the fact that she arrived at the same time the high school down the street let out.

At first the voices were barely noticeable, but they inevitably grew louder as the cafe was filled to what seemed to be its full capacity.

“Goddamn it,” she sighed, closing the browser. I’ll have better luck at home, she thought to herself.

Elena stood up quickly, offering her seat to a girl who had been standing with her drink awkwardly near her. The girl, who looked to be 14 or 15, gave Elena a shy smile before taking the seat.

Exiting the cafe, Elena began to walk the couple of blocks to her apartment. Downtown Gotham was teeming with people enjoying the late June weather, a testament to the lazy summer days that awaited them in the coming months. Though not originally from Gotham, Elena had called the city home for the past two years while she attended university. Now that she had finally graduated, Elena looked forward to her gap year with joy, looking forward to job hunting and travelling.

She entered the luxurious apartment complex where she lived, waving hello to the security guard at the front desk, James. She rode the elevator to the second floor, which only had one other apartment. Now, Elena new how fortunate she was. She had a good head on her shoulders and her parents never let her forget how hard they both had worked to give her and her siblings a good, no, great life. So she never misbehaved, attended school like it was expected of her, and didn’t touch any of her savings. Not that she needed to, her monthly allowance of $5,000 suited her basic needs, and she didn’t spend carelessly.

Elena dropped her purse on the floor of her spacious living room, something she loved doing since no one was around to tell her to pick it up. Since it was still early, Elena figured she had time to go to the park and maybe read. After taking a quick shower, she put on a loose lavender crop top, paired with light denim jeans and flats. Elena picked up her bag off the floor, grabbed a book she’d left on the kitchen counter and exited the apartment.


Gotham City was admittedly a step down when it came to comparing other cities Elena had visited. Her hometown, Bilbao, boasted beautiful European architecture and sprawling beaches. She loved visiting the museums and restaurants with her siblings. Gotham was, well, charming in its own special way, Elena supposed. The university she’d attended there was one of the best in the country, and the fact that Wayne Enterprises’ main headquarters was located there also meant that the city enjoyed a successful financial district. However, it would be a serious mistake to think that all the changes the city had gone through made it safe to live there. Elena had heard too many stories about classmates getting assaulted, and an acquaintance she’d met during her junior year was still recovering in the hospital from a home invasion gone wrong.

No, Elena had no silly notions about Gotham. Yet she felt that if she lingered long enough, she could empathize with its citizens.

As she made her way to Gotham Gardens, Elena felt her phone buuuzzinngg in her back pocket. She reached for it and furrowed her eyebrows at the sight of the caller ID; she picked up nonetheless.

“Hello, Eric?” Elena answered.

“Elena? Hi! How are you?” Eric’s voice replied from the other end of the line.

“I’m fine, is everything alright?” She asked as she hurriedly crossed the street.

“I am doing well, thanks. You might be confused as to why I’m calling- well, you sound confused,” Eric chuckled. “It’s nothing serious, it’s just that I am now realizing that last time I saw you at the college computer lab, we accidentally swapped flash drives and I need mine right now for some work that I am doing. Are you busy?”

Elena raised her eyebrows in realization, thinking that her former classmate might be right. “Oh god, I haven’t even checked it. I’m out right now, but I think that I might have it on me, just give me a sec...” Elena stepped to the side, trying to get out of everyone’s way. She took a peek in her bag’s inside pocket, and sure enough there was a black USB drive with the letter E written in gold sharpie.

“Yup, I’ve got it on me. I was headed to the gardens, but I can meet you wherever you’re at. Send me your location, yeah?”

After receiving directions from Eric, Elena realized that they weren’t too far away from each other, so she decided to walk.

The building which Eric indicated was very nondescript, nothing from it stood out to her. It was located a few blocks from downtown Gotham, and if she’d kept walking east more, she would have been in the Narrows, just not quite. It wasn’t a great location to meet someone, but it wasn’t the worse, either.

The streets were almost empty, as were the buildings, and Elena was glad the sun was still out, the light putting her at ease.

She wondered whether she should knock, but the huge metal door looked like it trapped any sound. Before she could start looking for a doorbell, the heavy door creaked and started moving. Elena jumped slightly, startled at the sudden movement that she didn’t cause.

What in the...

Her panic was short lived, as the door quickly revealed Eric on the other side. He greeted her with a huge smile.

“Hiya!”

Elena rolled her eyes, but found a smile start creeping on her lips. She was actually glad to see him; they had one group project together and shared mutual acquaintances during their time at school. Not keeping in touch was a result of their lives post-graduation starting, not lack of affection.

“Hey,” she greeted back, leaning in for a hug.

“Come in, come in! You look great by the way! What have you been up to? I heard that...” Eric spoke to her, the boundless energy she remembered starting to pop up again.

Elena took in her surroundings, which weren’t really much. The space was an abandoned office building, but it seemed that they had made do with what they had, setting it up so it looked like it was half still in use, half neglected.

The two began chatting back and forth, letting each other know what they were each up to.

“So, you work here?” Elena asked Eric as he brought her into an old office she guessed was his.

“Yeah, here and there, you know. Work keeps you on the move,” he answered nonchalantly with a wave of his hand.

Eric offered her a seat before taking his seat behind his desk.

“Computer programming? IT?”

“Yeah, a little bit of everything. It keeps me busy, you know, keeps food on the table,” Eric smiled charmingly at her.

Elena smiled back. Nothing really seemed out of place. Must be a startup company.

“Oh, before I forget, here it is,” Elena grabbed the drive from her bag and put it on Eric’s desk.

“You haven’t checked this, right?” He asked, taking it in his hands and turning it over.

“Nope, I honestly even forgot I owned a flash drive,” she chuckled lightly.

“Same here. But this one is special. Let’s just say my boss would not have liked it if I lost this, so thank you for bringing it here and-”

Before Eric could finish, they both heard a loud CLANK! from down the hall, then a lot of voices.

“Uh oh, I think he’s hereee...” Eric mumbled. He placed the drive in one of his desk drawers and stood up, smoothing his shirt.

“Is everything alright?” Elena asked, wondering if she should be worried or not.

“Yeah, yeah, everything is fine it’s just, ah, maybe I should have met up with you...” Eric trailed off again, looking off in the distance. Elena stood up, noticing that her friend didn’t really look nervous, but sort of distracted, like he was thinking.

Maybe his boss doesn’t like visitors.

“Okay, here’s what’s going to happen,” Eric said quickly, his voice still calm. “You’re going to see somethings, some, ah, people, and you might be surprised at first, but please, please don’t say anything that will get you, well, killed. Actually, don’t say anything at all, just let me do the talking,” Eric says, walking up to Elena and placing both is hands on her shoulders.

Elena nodded carefully. Did he just say I could get killed? For visiting him at work?

“Okay, let’s go.”

Eric and Elena walked out of the office, Elena trailing Eric slightly since she didn’t know where they were going. Eric led her deeper into the building until they came to a huge conference-type room, which was filled with at least 8 huge men, all dressed in black. Elena and Eric could see them through the glass door. The men all stood against a wall, with one man pacing in front of them.

Elena took in his appearance: dark purple suit, dull orange socks, stringy wet hair with the ends dyed green. She felt her jaw tighten, and she gave Eric a questioning look. He had to be messing with her, she thought.

Eric didn’t make eye contact with Elena, instead optioning to reach forward and pull the door open. Elena felt her breath hitch in her throat, starting for feel uncomfortable. What the hell is happening?

Elena kept her eyes squarely on the back of Eric’s head as the two entered the room.

“Ah, ah, it’s so nice of you to join us,” the man in the purple suit spoke. His voice, while not unpleasant, Elena noted, did have a certain tick to it that she couldn’t quite place. It just sounded odd.

“Sir,” Eric spoke, his voice serious. “I have someone with me.”

Elena raised her head and thought that she should avoid looking at the man, but her curiosity got the better of her. After a quick glance, there was no mistaking the appearance, the voice.

“I can see that,” the Joker said, taking a step forward. “Do you not get enough days off for-ah, dinner dates?”

Elena sneaked a peak at Eric from the corner of her eyes, and she realized that he wasn’t nervous. He’s worked for him for a while, she realized.

“She’s my cousin,” Eric easily said.

Elena let her eyes wander around the room before they inevitably settled on Gotham’s most infamous criminal. She took in his appearance, tilting her head slightly. He really wasn’t that scary, once you really looked. It’s probably the makeup that unsettled people. Oh, and the scars.

“Hmm, this is not a family business,” the Joker replied, turning back to his men. They stood alert, ready for instruction. “But... you can both stay. Stay and watch.”

Eric nodded, though the Joker could not see. Elena didn’t dare utter a word, knowing how unpredictable the Joker could be.

“Thank you all for attending your monthly HR meeting,” he started, his pitch rising slightly. “We are gathered here to-day because one little piggy was too eager to have a couple extra bucks in his bank account, but he didn’t take into consideration how that would bear on the rest of you,” the Joker continued, his tone mocking.

The men just stared at him, too scared to respond.

“WHO is in charge of the numbers, hmm? Eric, do you know?” He turned quickly to look at Eric.

“Martinsson is, sir,” Eric replied dutifully.

“Hmm, yes, Maarrtinnsssonn, Marty, Marty, Marty,” the Joker stepped up to a man who looked to be no more than 30 years old. The man in question, Samuel Martinsson could only stare straight ahead, afraid of what was in store for him.

“Do I get an explanation? Hmm?” The Joker cooed at him, leaning in closer with every word. “Have I not treated you, ah, well?”

Elena knew that whatever answer the man had to give was useless. The Joker had already made up his mind. He knew it, Martinsson knew it.

“I am feeling, though, nice right now, in the presence of a lady,” the Joker turned back around, giving Elena a look she couldn’t quite place. “So, let’s play a game, hmm? You-” he pointed at Martinsson, “- are going to get a head start to leave this building, and your friends are going go after you. Think of it as a retirement party,” the Joker said in that mocking tone again.

More like hunting party.

“You have 15 seconds! Run! Runnnn-ah!” The Joker yelled out in glee.

Martinsson didn’t hesitate, not looking at the men around him before making his way to the door. The Joker, less patient, lounged at him, kicking him in the back. Martinsson stumbled, hurriedly making his way out of the room.

Elena thought she should feel bad for the man. But what good would that do? The man was as good as dead, she knew. Pity was pointless.

The other men in the room followed him out, knowing what they had to do. Elena turned her head, looking at Eric, stunned. She didn’t want to witness a murder. She didn’t want to be here at all.

“Eric...” she croaked out. Eric still wouldn’t look at her, but she could see him shaking his head as if saying, not now.

“Now this-ah, thing here,” the Joker walked towards Eric and Elena.

The three’s attention was stolen momentarily as a single gunshot rang in the air. Elena’s body let out an involuntary shudder.

Seeing as the Joker was distracted, Eric decided to speak first. “Elena was the one who revised the computer code that allowed us into Arkham’s archive in April, sir.”

Elena looked at Eric incredulously. I revised what?

“Hmm?” Was all the Joker said.

“She also helped me with the system that allowed us to view all of Gambol’s accounts,” Eric added, his smile fading once he saw the look on Elena’s face.

“Are you kidding me?!” she whispered to Eric, thinking back to when she helped him with his ‘extracurriculars’. So that’s what that was.

“I’m impressed,” the Joker said, yet he sounded all but. This is it, Elena thought. Sell yourself, bitch, make yourself important. I mean, you really did help him with all of that... Even though you didn’t know you were helping a criminal mastermind...

“I, uh, I’m good at that stuff, you know, numbers...” Elena said, trying to keep her voice level. She made sure to make eye contact with the Joker, who didn’t look too sure and, if she was honest, looked like he was thinking of ways to get rid of her.

“I am also good at keeping my mouth shut,” she added quickly. The Joker quirked up an eyebrow, his interest now piqued. “I mean, I have been for months, you know, working with Eric and helping...”

“Helping me? Ah, yes. Well, I don’t see why not-ah. A position has just been vacated recently, I don’t know if you hearrddd,” his mouth turned up in what Elena assumed was a smile, and his tongue darted out quickly, licking his bottom lip.

Elena nodded slowly, knowing that refusing would be futile. “I have no other plans to look forward to,” she tried to smile, but it felt awkward on her face due to the current situation.

“You start tomorrow.”

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