Object of Obsession
Doctor Hugo Strange sighed exhaustively as he leaned back in his fancy, leather chair; looking past the knick-knacks he had on his desk. His focus was on his lone, female patient, whom sat silently in her own chair.
The female patient sat in an odd manner, as to which one of royalty would sit, with her hands folded neatly in her lap and her ankles crossed. Nonetheless, she was fidgety with her hands.
Doctor Strange rearranged his glasses so they fit more comfortably on his nose and such. "How are you feeling today, Miss Hathaway?" The Doctor asked his patient.
The female patient, named Xack Hathaway, slouched in her chair childishly and brushed some of her long, matted hair out her face. "Alright...I guess," she answered, not wanting to look the doctor in the eyes. Xack had always been too shy to look at people directly, unless she was comfortable around them. In no way shape or form was she ever relaxed around Hugo Strange. He always made her feel uneasy.
Dr. Strange remained silent on his part, and the awkward silence was making Xack's anxiety rise through the roof. She knew he knew it too.
Xack cleared her throat and mustered up the courage to force her emerald eyes onto her doctor. "I-I don't like to be called 'Miss Hathaway', you know," she pointed out to her doctor in a weak voice. "It's just Xack."
A small smile began to crack on the edge of his lips. "My apologies. I do get used to addressing my patients in that manner." His expression then turned a bit more serious. "Now to discuss why I wanted to talk with you today. You seemed a bit more...content yesterday, but now you appear to be in your former state of mind." Xack's gaze slowly trailed away from her doctor's face nervously. "Might it have something to do with the Joker crying angrily in the night before?"
Xack tilted her head down as if she was ashamed of that fact. "H-he said he...had a plan on escaping this place. You know he can always escape from here somehow." Tears were slowly welling up in her eyes. "He wanted me to come with him...but I-I told him no, --I mean, after all..." She looked back onto Dr. Strange, "You said I was leaving here tomorrow, so...you know, I...didn't want to go with him..."
Xack ended up almost curling up into herself and fidgeted with her hands even more.
Doctor Strange nodded. "Of course, as long as you maintain mental stability until your release."
Now Xack was the one to nod in acknowledgement. "Yes. I know. I'll...I'll be good. I haven't talked to Joker for a long time, so..." she trailed off, biting her bottom lip as thoughts of the clown prince came to her.
"For the sake of your sanity, it would be very wise to keep your distance from him until your release. I know there have been improvements in your behavior with the times you spent with him; however..." He leaned forward in his chair, causing the leather to make an unflattering noise. He smiled eerily at her. "No good ever comes out from talking with the Joker."
Xack furrowed her brows suspiciously to his last statement. In some way, it almost sounded as if he wanted her to continue her "relationship" with Joker.
"Um..." She didn't know what to say now to Dr. Strange. "Oh-okay. I mean, I said I haven't talked with him in a long time. The way he's been acting lately...I don't...I don't think he really likes me anymore." She sounded unsure of her own words, but shrugged regardless. "Maybe it's better that way..."
"By the tone of your voice, it does not seem like you want to forget about Joker that easily. Since this will be our last session together, will you finally answer me one thing?" Dr. Strange paused before he said, "How do you really feel about the Joker?"
Xack could see that her doctor had the most intense expression on his face, as if he really wanted to know what sort of feelings she had for her clown friend. No matter how much she wanted to tell someone about the things she and Joker had discussed together and in secret, she was too embarrassed-- too loyal of the Joker to ever talk about it.
Much to Dr. Strange's disappointment, the antique clock in his office chimed, signalling that it was the end of his session with Xack. The stout man grumbled some incoherent words under his breath as he risen from his desk. "I suppose this is goodbye, Xack," he said somewhat solemnly, gesturing a hand to his door as two Arkham orderlies arrived to escort Xack back to her cell. "It has been a pleasure having you as my patient."
Dr. Strange walked around his desk to courteously shake Xack's hand, but as the girl stared down as his chubby appendages rather anxiously, he quickly retracted it. "Ah, I had almost forgotten your fear of human contact. You may be leaving tomorrow; however, you very much need to work on that--"
"I'm not scared. I just don't like to be touched," said Xack defensively as she walked up to the orderlies.
Xack ended up sighing though, not wanting to be rude before leaving. "I-I'm sorry about that. I'll try to work on it. ...Goodbye..."
The orderlies pratically sandwiched Xack between themselves as they took her out of Dr. Strange's office and through the halls of Arkham Asylum, but not before one of them had a good hold of her arm, making sure she wouldn't attempt any escapes on their end.
It was always like this with her when having to be brought from whatever rooms of the asylum, and she couldn't wait to having to be done with it all. Xack hated to be escorted like she was some sort of hoodlum like most of the other patients. The orderlies were never going to take any chances though. There were times in the past where Xack had to be restrained by them.
But now...relief was beginning to wash over the girl. No temper tantrums or fits of insanity had come in such a long time. Xack wanted to keep it that way and start anew as soon as she left Arkham. After some years of being locked away had given her a lot of time to think and now...she wanted another shot at life.
When Xack's mind was beginning to wander about meeting her brothers for the first time in a long time, she snapped back to reality as the orderlies were nearing an all-too-familiar cell with the numbers '223' in brass.
She swallowed hard and sweat was beading up on her face when she was close to passing it. She tensed, hoping that the person on the other side of that cell door wouldn't speak to her after all this time...
...But alas, such was not the case...
A voice that could be both mirthful, and oh-so wicked at the same time. No one could do it better none other than him.
Xack had stopped in her tracks and turned her head to see a shadowy outline in the cell next to her. She became fearful when the figure's eyes were upon her: large and red with tiny, pinprick yellow pupils peering right into hers.
She didn't know what to say to him. She-didn't-know-what to say!
"H-hi...Joker...," were the only words to rasp from her mouth. Xack wanted desperately wanted to bolt right back to her cell, but her legs had turned to jello and remained rooted to the spot she stood. The curiosity of the orderlies got the best of them to care of Xack's emotions, for they wanted to hear what the clown had to say to her.
God, she wished somebody at this asylum actually gave a damn about her...
The Joker chortled to himself and shifted around in the straight jacket he was bound in. "Ah, so how was your time with Dr. Lardo today, hmm?" He mused at his own words. "Did you happen to talk about lil' old me today?"
Xack shifted nervously on the spot, thinking of what to respond with. "Ye-- no, I didn't," she lied, and Joker knew it too by immediately belching out his laughs.
"You're such a terrible liar, you know that?" Joker lilted, stomping his feet playfully. "So tell me, what did you say to the shrink-e-dink?"
Xack opened her mouth to say something, but then clamped it shut, knowing it was probably best to not humor him.
The Joker growled when stayed silent. "You were so much more fun to chatter with when you had first dropped here. How does one change so fast?"
The orderlies finally regained their sense of duty and tugged on Xack's arm, wanting her to move along now and be done with Joker.
Xack gave the men a quick glance before her eyes went back to Joker's cell. "I'm...I'm leaving tomorrow, you know."
Joker scoffed and rolled his eyes. "How could I ever forget?" He said sarcastically. "It's all I ever think about!"
"R-really?" Xack wondered, but then shook the idea away. "I won't becoming back, you know. I don't think it's good for me to keep seeing you-- and..." her eyes darted to all sorts of spots around her, trying to come up with the right words to say next. "So...you wanna say...goodbye?"
Joker snorted angrily in response, and Xack knew it was probably the only thing she was ever going to get as a 'goodbye'.
Tears came back to her eyes, and she blinked them away. She didn't want it to hurt, but after all she's been through at Arkham and with him...it hurt deeply that it was going to end like this.
Then the orderlies continued on their way with Xack in tow, with the girl hanging her head in such a depressing way.
"Goodbye, my little Xack Hathaway..." The Joker whispered with a devilish smile stretching across his bleached face.
"See you later! Heheheheeh!"
The orderlies opened Xack's cell door and watched her walk into it before they shut it behind her and walked away to attend to other things.
Xack certainty had enough of the dreary setting of her "room" here. All she really had was an uncomfortable cot to sleep on, and that's about it. As far as using the restrooms, she would have to push a buzzer next to her door to use the facilities. It was extremely unsettling for her to do that, since she much enjoyed her privacy no matter where she was.
At least she was fortunate enough for the asylum to let her keep her drawing utensils and sketchbooks in the cell with her, otherwise she would be bored out of her mind! She dearly missed playing videogames, that's for sure!
Xack yawned and sat on her bed, pulling out her sketchbook from under the mattress to perhaps draw something, but then changed her mind for she was too sleepy to concentrate.
"I'm going home tomorrow..." Xack said
quietly to herself, and they were words that made her feel so content inside. She laid down and stared up at the ceiling, deeply in thought about today's events that transpired. "And there's nothing that will keep me from staying here any longer."