To Be Mine

Xack groaned as she slowly lifted herself off the ground. Wondering where she ended up now, her eyes circled the new surroundings. All around Xack were mirrors; a whole circle of mirrors with her own figure reflecting on each and every one of them. The young girl walked up to some of the tall mirrors and pushed on them, hoping that one would fall over so she can get out of this odd area. Unfortunately, as weak as she was, none of the mirrors budged or gave the slightest hint they could be moved. Xack started to panic, and now she gazed up to see if there was anything above that could suggest of an exit. The only thing on the ceiling were spotlights, and Xack had to shield her eyes to protect them from their brightness. As her eyes came back to ground level, she grunted and slouched in frustration. "Isn't there any way out of here?" She thought.

Xack went back up to the mirrors and pushed on different ones, but they didn't move either. She then leaned on one and rested herself as she thought of what to do now. "The slide...I went down the slide, so I should be able to climb back up." She smiled inside as she knew it could be an escape back to the upper level of the carnival. "I hope I can climb back up the slide--" As she turned around to head to the spiraling slide, Xack gasped in shock when she noticed it was not in sight anymore. She quickly jogged to where it should of been, but there were no traces that a slide was even here! Now Xack was more worried than ever. Does someone know she's down there? If so, then why doesn't anyone get her out? Just how is she supposed to get out? "Hey!" Xack hollered, hoping somebody can hear her. "You can't leave me here!" The girl then rammed mirrors, colliding with them left and right of the somewhat small area. The side of her body became sore, but she didn't care. All that mattered to her now was getting out. Xack was sobbing now, with new tears coming down her cheeks as she kept abusing her body into the mirrors.

Finally, she gave up. She slumped in front of a mirror and continued to cry quietly. "They can't...they can't do this to me..." Xack sobbed quietly, and bumped her head on the mirror. She just sat there for awhile, giving in to her depression and driving out all the little hope she had left. After much time went by, Xack slowly stood up from the floor. As she did though, her eyes caught sight of a figure reflecting off the mirror in front of her. She gasped so loudly and eyes grew wide with fright. Xack couldn't believe it, but she turned around to see if whether it was true or not. To much dismay, it is true: Xack saw Joker -- the real Joker -- leaning casually up against the circle of mirrors behind her; grinning mischievously as always. Xack could see that Joker once again changed his outfit, but this time, it was back to the usual purple tailcoat with the leather pants. Like she thought of before, she wonders how and when he changes his costumes. She would of loved to ask how he got into this mirrored area, but she knew he wouldn't do such a thing. Still, just how did he get in here? It wasn't from the slide, so it must of been from the mirrors.

"I'm all dressed for the occasion..." Joker held out his hand for Xack to take. "So how about you?"

Xack didn't want to believe that any of this was happening. It seems now she's trapped in the mirrored area...with Joker? She screamed, and it is rare to hear such a sound come from her, for she can't really produce a shriek like that at all. Xack screamed out of all the fear that she felt in her body, and the fear of the Joker right in front of her. Xack feared him greatly now; so afraid to even be near him.

Joker laughed hysterically, titling his head back as his voice echoed off the mirrors. "No one can hear you, Xack!" He cackled. "So why do it?"

Xack spun around to try and run from Joker, but at the second she turned, she realized that all around her are mirrors; there is nowhere to go! When she turned back around, she jumped in shock as she saw that Joker was already in front of her, almost pinning her to the mirrors. Joker was loving this; loving every minute of it. He was grinning from ear-to-ear as he watched Xack give off pitiful cries of fear and cower from him slightly. Even though he wants the girl for himself -- to make Xack want him -- but he still loved to toy with her. Making her fear him, and then the next minute, he'll try and make her 'love' him.

Xack cringed as Joker ran a hand through her hair, and with that same hand, he rested it on her hip. The girl gasped at this since she hated to be touched, but that didn't matter, for Joker took his other hand and entwined it with Xack's. "Wha-what are you doing?..." Xack breathed, shying away from Joker's odd gaze.

Joker jerked her body closer and replied, "I want to dance with my pretty, little lady." He chuckled as he took his hand off of Xack's hip and shifted around the inside of his coat until he seemed to find what he was looking for. Joker pressed a button, and suddenly, the whole area was filled with music. Carnival music was heard, but it wasn't cheery and jolly like the sounds that children listen when they go…no. This music was rather dark, disturbing almost. It sounded as if she was at the 'carnival of horrors'.

"Aaaahh…such great music, eh Xackie?" Joker spoke happily, and he gently put his hand back on her hip. "I composed this all by myself. Aren't you proud of me?" Joker waited for an answer from Xack, but she was too frightened to speak. A low, disappointed growl of sorts came from Joker.

Joker began to dance slowly, twirling about, and then moving at an odd pace. Xack had to use her other free hand -- trying to push down the revulsion growing inside -- and wrapped it around his neck so that she wouldn't fall to the floor from his intense spins. Joker smiled slyly. "Isn't this nice?" He squeaked happily to Xack. "No bratty brother, no police, no 'Brucie', and no Batman; just you and me, like it should of been a long time ago..." Tears started to come again as Xack couldn't help think that befriending Joker in the past was such a bad idea. Never would of thought that Joker would be so obsessed with her in having and tormenting her in any way possible.

Joker narrowed his eyes at her arms and finally realized that she wasn't wearing her robe anymore. "Aren't you cold?" He asked her rather dumbly. "Don't worry though, your Uncle Joker will keep you warm..." Xack grunted as she was brought even closer to Joker.

"I...I'm not yours..." Xack said weakly. "Just leave me alone, please..."

"Now why would I do that?" Questioned the Joker sinisterly, and then he dipped Xack and pulled her back up just as quickly. In the process, Xack clung to him tightly for the fear of falling on her back. "I'm never going to leave you alone..."

"No..." Xack sobbed, and she let out little pitiful whimpers, along with a few tears that came down her cheeks.

Joker chuckled through clenched teeth as he watched Xack tilt her head downwards as she cried silently. "Why so blue, Xackie-poo?" He asked with a hint of a tune in his voice. "After the bath, you'll always be happy!" When Xack started to struggle a little, Joker leaned his head back and let out a triumphed, psychotic laughter that filled the room and drowned out the music that played. Xack shook her head slowly, knowing this was all wrong, and she didn't want any of this to happen. She just had to do something.

Xack, again, gazed at the mirrors and started to think. "Joker...must of gotten into this small area from the mirrors, but...which one?" With the last strength she had in her body, Xack grunted as she used all her weight to shove Joker into the mirrors behind him. His back hit the glass hard and he collapsed to the floor harshly. Using this little time given to her, Xack began to -- once more -- ram the mirrors in hopes that one would fall to the floor or somehow open to her. "Come on...there has to be some way out of here!" She thought.

Joker growled and barred his teeth as he watched Xack try as hard as she can to escape him. He was full of rage now; so strong was his anger that he wanted to beat Xack to her death. He just couldn't do it, though. He couldn't hurt the one thing he wanted most in his crazed life. He shot straight up and bolted for Xack by grabbing her arm to spin her around so that she'll face him. An animal like growl escaped his throat as he threw Xack to the floor. Xack cried out in shock and slowly stood up, trembling badly with the fear that Joker might hurt her now. "You slapped me, shoved me, threw a burning chemical in my face, and now, you push me into the mirrors! I'm getting tired of you refusing me Xack!" Joker spoke angrily, even though he still had sarcasm in his voice, Xack knew he wasn't to be messed around with now. Xack just stood there, paralyzed with fear.

Xack gasped when Joker snatched her wrist tightly, digging his nails into her skin until she let out a pained yelp. "Just what am I going to do with you, little girl?" He asked somewhat glumly. Xack left her mouth agape, unable to speak. Joker sighed depressingly and examined Xack with tired eyes. He gazed right into hers and thought at just how beautiful her eyes were. Green...he loved that color. Joker knew he had to do something about this situation. He didn't want to abuse the girl, but he had to do something...but, what? He knew it had to be a way he could terrify Xack with, but at the same time, he could enjoy as well. So...what could it be? Joker's eyes shifted to Xack's slightly pouty lips. He didn't realize it, but he just starred hungrily at them for a long time. This made Xack grow more frightened at what Joker could be thinking at the moment.

Suddenly, Joker made his move by grabbing Xack's face roughly with his hand. Very slowly, he edged his face to hers -- slowly, ever so... Now, Xack was just too scared to know what was going on, and still, she didn't know what exactly Joker is doing. His face inched closer -- probably closer than ever before, and Xack knew this is probably the closest he's ever come to her face. It didn't seem he wanted to intimidate her, for his face kept inching even closer. Joker's eyes closed halfway as his nose nudged hers gently, and his mouth was on the edge of touching hers. He barely brushed his ruby-red lips to Xack's when--

Gasping, Xack jumped when reality finally set in what Joker wanted to do, and it terrified her to the point of immobility. She then quickly backed away from him, but not much, for her back hit the mirrors behind her. Xack shook her head in disapproval as Joker walked up to her; grinning with pleasure. Xack tried to runaway, but Joker quickly pinned her up against the mirrors. She cried out, not knowing of the clown's true intentions at this point. Just why is he doing this to her. Why? When Xack attempted to turn her face away, Joker grabbed it and held it firmly in place.

"You've been very naughty, dearie…" Joker muttered to her provocatively, his voice hoarse. Xack was terrified of him, and he's loving it.

"No!..." she whispered breathlessly, fearfully. Joker smiled as he began to invade her personal space again. "No! Please, no!" Xack pleaded frighteningly. "No! No! NO!"

Xack knew trying to hurt Joker again would just make him even more angrier than he already is, so she just stood there; helpless, weak, and so frightened as Joker brought his face to hers. He suddenly stopped, and smiled at her devilishly. She seemed a bit confused, and worried as Joker's now intended target seemed to be her neck. Her head leaned to the side and shivered as she felt Joker's lips on the thin skin. Then, a furious growl was emitted into her, which made her shudder badly in surprise. Crying out again, she tried to wiggle herself out of Joker's grasp, but his grip on her was too strong. He wasn't about to let her go that easily; not this time. When Joker released his mouth from her neck, Xack fell back against the mirror like a doll barely trying to hold itself up on its legs. "I'm not done yet..." Joker thought, and pressed his body against hers. Feeling his body so close, Xack felt her stomach lurch in a most sickening way.

"Please, stop!" Xack pleaded once more as her eyes were forced to gaze into Joker's.

Joker merely cackled in his throat, which to Xack, it sounded strangely and disgustingly...horny. Joker tilted his head to the side just slightly as he brushed his lips to hers, barely touching; teasing her. A small gasp escaped her open mouth as she felt his horrible lips. Xack's head started to spin. Feeling dizzy, fogged…faint.

Then...'it' happened.

Xack's eyes grew wide as Joker pressed his lips firmly against hers, engaging her in a gentle kiss. To her dismay, Joker removed his hand away from her face and now wrapped both around her back to make her body crush even more to his. Xack whimpered into his mouth and grasped the front of his jacket in attempt to shove him away, but as before, his embrace was just too overpowering against Xack's weakness. Unfortunately for Xack, Joker's kisses turned from gentle to brutal; kissing her wildly. Xack whined in pain as Joker's fingers dug into her back, trying to force her even closer to him. She never kissed anyone before, but she can say that this is just...wrong. Xack didn't know if this was even called kissing! If Xack was to ever get her first kiss, she wanted it to be in a romantic way, not like...this. Even though she felt too exhausted to try and fight back, she still held onto the front of his coat for support of herself. Her face contorted as images of this went through her mind. She tried to think of happy thoughts, but this kept coming up over the rest of everything. The thought of his lips on her, the thought of his jagged, yellow teeth...and even the thought of his grossly long, turquoise tongue--

Xack wanted this to end, and she wanted it to end now! When she started to wiggle her way out of his arms yet again, she could feel the Joker laughing into her mouth, knowing that he would come on top and that she was just too weak. She slumped in defeat, letting her body become like the limp rag doll, but this didn't discourage Joker to not continue with his sick kisses.

Finally, which felt like many hours to Xack, Joker slowly took his mouth away from hers, but his lips still lingered just slightly to scare her. As soon as her mouth was free, Xack began gasping for air, since she was barely restricted of any breathing. Joker's smile pleaded as he watched her trying to intake the air. Suddenly, he rudely dropped his precious to the ground as if she had some sort of contagious disease.

While Xack was on the ground, she started to sob quietly again. "Not much of a kisser, are ya?" Joker wondered with a touch of disappointment in his tone. He used the back of his hand to wipe the edges of his lips, to rid away any traces of saliva. He gazed around at everything and put a hand to his chin, thinking. "Now, where were we before?…" Joker looked down and a toothy grin appeared on his face. "Oh yeah, I remember now…" Xack shrieked as Joker's fingers wrapped itself in her hair, jerking her head upright to face him. "It's time for your bath! HA HAH HAHAHAH!" Joker's triumphed laughter filled her ears, and he forcefully pulled her up off the ground. Taking her arm in his hand, he practically dragged her over to one of the mirrors and kicked it down hard. Such strength…just how come Xack couldn't bring a mirror to the floor? Was she really that weak?

A long, dim-lit tunnel appeared behind the mirror, and Joker started to take her down through it. "No Joker, no!" Xack cried as she tried to pry his fingers from her arm. Joker laughed all the way, knowing this would be it: finally, Xack would be his!

All of a sudden, a faint voice was heard from above. The two stopped in their tracks to listen to this. "…Xack…Xack!" Joker gasped at this voice. "Xack!…"

"No…it can't be!" Joker squealed, and he felt enraged by this. "Batman! No!"

"Batman?…" Xack could feel her spirits rising again. She then started to scream for him. "Batman! Batman, I'm down here! Batman, I'm -- aaaaaaahh!" Xack cried when Joker yanked on her arm roughly to make her stop.

"Don't think Batsy can save you so easily, Xack!" Stated the Joker harshly. "I'm not going to let you go easily. You're mine, Xackie! Mine!" Xack began to sob a little as Joker leaned in his face towards her. "Yes…mine."

Batman swore he could of heard her voice. Xack's voice… "Xack!… Xack!" He called out again. Listening intently for a few seconds, he heard nothing more. He cautiously entered the room he believed Xack to be in. Batman was not in the mood to fight any of those Joker clones; besides the fact, they were just innocent people that are in Joker's control, which Batman wanted to know how, but he knew he would find out later. What mattered now is to find out what Joker wants to do with Xack at the moment. "Whatever it is, it must be more devious than making her a clown in his service…" Batman thought.

He looked around, and there really wasn't much in this worn-out room. The walls appeared to be ready to fall apart at any moment, and Batman was even kicking up some concrete as he slowly walked forward into a narrow hall. Just as he took a few more steps into the dim-lit room, part of the floor gave out, and now he was falling through. Fortunately though, he landed into the next area below with no harm done to him. He considered himself to be lucky that he was alert and ready for anything. Kneeling slightly from the fall, he stood up and draped his long cape over himself as he quickly scanned the surroundings. He saw himself in a much larger room with mirrors circling him, and everywhere he turned, he could see the reflections doing the exact action. Of course, he did catch sight of one of the fallen mirrors, and beyond it, a long narrow passage. Assuming that Xack might of passed through here, he hurriedly went into this darkened passage and kept up his speedy pace until he was fully out of it. It was long, and he was taken aback when he saw what truly lay under the carnival.

Batman could of never imagined a colossal storage room ever being here! Just how does Joker ever find the time to do something like this? It didn't matter to Batman, he just wanted to find Xack and get her out before Joker could do something dreadful to her. This storage room held boxes, but in the form of colorful presents, which made Batman to wonder what could be inside of the ones that were twenty-times larger than himself. This whole place was full of them, not to mention a few dangerous looking props lying on the floor here and there.

Batman began to call out for Xack again, "Xack! …Xack!" He listened carefully for any signs of her voice…but he heard nothing. Sighing quietly, he continued to search the place for the girl, and even the Clown Prince himself, if Batman happened to run into him. "Xack!"

Then, Batman heard a soft voice. He couldn't quite make it out, but he followed the strange sound; going around the oddly shaped presents as he got closer to this voice. He suddenly stopped by a few, with ones stacked on top of the other. He listened again, and this time, he knew the voice was coming from one of the presents. Opening the second present on top, he peered inside and his eyes grew wide. There was Xack, sitting in a corner of the box, hugging herself and crying loudly. "Xack!" Batman carefully tried to get her out, but when he barely even touched her, Xack flinched away.

Xack sobbed, "I don't -- I don't want to go. I don't want to go with him…" She continued to cry. "I want -- I want to go home."

When Batman attempted to try and get her out again, she slid away from him in fear. "Xack it's me! You know who I am!" Batman tried to reassure, and then he held out his hand for her. "Please, we have to get you out of here before--" Poor Batman couldn't finish, for Joker came in and kicked him to the ground hard. From the floor, Batman watched Joker grab Xack out of the present and held the sobbing girl close to him.

"She isn't going anywhere with you!" The clown growled at Batman. "She's staying with me! She's mine!" Batman was shocked to see Joker so enraged by his intrusion.

Batman quickly stood up and edged toward the two slowly, and at the same time, Joker backed up with Xack at his side. "Why are you doing this Joker?" Batman asked sternly. "Why are you doing this to her?"

"Because she's mine, Batman! I saw her first!" Joker shrieked furiously, and jerked the girl even closer to him. "When I first saw her, I knew she had to be mine! She had nobody but me in her little, miserable life -- but then, all those doctors kept talking to her…turning her against me! Now her family comes in to play…that little chubby brat of hers…I hate them all! They turned her against me! They are to blame!" Joker sidestepped a few presents as he finished his sentence.

"You did that yourself!" Batman retorted angrily, coming closer to him, and as he lunged a bit to grab at Xack, Joker quickly took larger steps back. "You treating her this way, what you're doing to the innocent people -- her family, just how can she admire you, Joker?"

Joker snickered quietly. "That's why she's here now… The other people aren't permanent clowns…not yet. Work your little 'magic' and heal them, I don't care! What matters to me now is to make Xack my clown girl! She's different from the rest. If she falls into my chemicals, her clown effects will be immediate!" Joker laughed manically before continuing. "Don't you see Batman? She'll be just like me! Wouldn't that be swell?"

Batman frowned. "I don't think Xack agrees with you…"

Joker scoffed and stopped as he hit a wall behind him…with a private elevator next to him. "What does she know? She's just a depressed little girl right now…" Joker hit a button on the elevator doors to make the machine come down for him. "Bye-bye Batsy! Hee, hee, hee…" The doors opened up and Joker immediately shoved Xack in and jumped in himself. Just as Batman hurriedly reached the elevator, the doors closed on him and the other two were quickly carried up to another level.

Batman smacked the elevator doors. "Damn it!" He muttered under his breath.

As Batman tried to think of a way to get inside and climb after Joker, the clown and the girl already reached their destination, and as the doors opened up, Xack's eyes bulged out of her head at the horrific sight in front of her. "Where-where are we?" Xack shrieked with terror.

Joker took her arm in his hand. "Your nightmare," he answered sternly, joking all at once.

As the two stepped out of the elevator, Xack couldn't believe at what was all around her. She even had to blink hard a few times to make sure she wasn't in some horrible nightmare; not sure if she was still at the carnival or not. From the carnival, to the wacky storage room, and now…a chemical factory? "This is where I make all my chemical concoctions -- gas and all!" Joker slapped a hand to his forehead as he laughed for no apparent reason…as always. "And now, you're going to be a part of it." He pushed Xack out of the elevator and onto the catwalk -- actually, as Xack gazed around at everything, there were metal catwalks all over the place! Above, below, going straight, horizontal, vertical…all directions! Xack gasped as she looked below herself more carefully, and realized, there was a vat, very identical to the one she previously saw at the stage of the carnival. The same green chemicals were in it as well. Joker grabbed her arm once more and made his way down the stairs to the side of the elevator, which led down to a catwalk right below the chemical tank.

"I always keep a pair, in case something happens…" Joker lilted proudly, dragging Xack across the platform. "And now its finally come down to this…"

"No!" Xack started to shake her arm viciously from Joker's hand. "No…no! No, no!" She cried, grunting in fear as she was being pulled along. "Please, don't do this to me Joker!"

Joker peeked over the side of the catwalk to see they were directly over the chemical vat. He swirled her around over to the edge, with her hitting the short railing that kept her from falling to her doomed bath. "Any last words, Xackie? Any last words from the depressed you?" Joker grinned evilly as Xack seemed to be left speechless at this time.

Just as Joker was planning to push her over the railing, a strong hand grasped the clown's shoulder. Spinning him around, Joker now faced the angered Batman. "No last words for her," Batman stated, and he quickly punched Joker away from Xack. The clown grunted as he was flown across the metal catwalk. Joker groaned as he laid their dazed for a few moments.

Batman turned to Xack and ordered, "You have to get out of here, now!"

Xack held her hands together and her body shook in fear. "I-I don't know where to go!" She cried, sobbing softly. "How do I get out of here?"

Batman firmly grabbed her hand and he began to guide her to Joker's elevator. Unfortunately, just as they were getting close, Joker got his wits back together and stood up from the floor. Hurriedly, he dashed over to Batman and kicked him down. Xack shrieked and coward, not knowing what to do at this point. Besides the fact, she knew she was starting to lose her sanity.

"She's not going anywhere!" Joker hollered, approaching Batman while holding a gas can of sorts. "Say 'cheese', Bats!" Joker had his finger on the trigger, but was just a tad slow to react, for Batman flipped back up on his feet and kicked the canister out of his hands. Joker growled and pushed Batman over to the railing, hoping he would fall into the vat. As Joker attempted to shove him over again, Batman kicked him away. Joker was getting tired of this, and he knew the only way he would get Xack was to go through Batman first. "So be it…" Joker growled in his mind, and he jumped up to a catwalk above. Smiling wide, he went into his purple coat and withdrew a rubber chicken. Batman, even Xack, were confused at why Joker would have such an object. Batman looked up and watched the maniacal clown throw the flimsy chicken at him. "Catch!"

Batman jumped out of the way as the chicken exploded on the metal path upon impact. Xack slid to the side as the explosion just missed taking her with. As some of the smoke cleared, both Batman and the girl saw a chuck of the catwalk gone! Joker slammed his fists on the railing, and then ran along the path and away from Batman below. The hero didn't hesitate to take out his batgrapple and use it to get to where Joker happened to be. When on the same level, Batman hurriedly tried to catch the evil clown.

Joker cackled as he took out playing cards, but as he turned around, he was stunned to see Batman standing right in front of him already. Before Joker could even cut the Bat with one of his playing cards, Batman had already gutted him hard. Joker drowned out the pain as best as he could, so to swing a fist at Batman's face. Unfortunately, Batman couldn't dodge in time, and thus, he took a blow to the jaw. Xack watched below the fists and kicks taking its toll on the two, and she knew they both had to be bruised by now, but it was hard to tell. Batman and Joker really didn't show signs of it.

"Xack! Get out of here, now!" Batman called down to her, and Xack gasped as Joker kicked him away from the railing.

Panting and trembling badly, Xack hurried as best as she could to the elevator and pressed a button to the side. She then heard a beep, indicating the elevator had arrived. She sighed softly, but as the doors opened, she shrieked and backed away quickly as a couple of husky figures stepped out onto the catwalk. Joker gazed down and a toothy smile appeared. "Aaaah, perfect timing!" He exclaimed, and even Batman stopped the fighting to see who Joker was talking about. Batman saw Punch and Judy looking right back at him. Batman assumed that the two henchmen had finally come back to their senses after their last little fight with him. Joker beckoned for the two to join him. "Come up here and help me take out the Bat!" Punch and Judy did as their master told, and the two began to stomp up the set of stairs to the side of the elevator, and now making their way over to Batman.

Batman frowned, and again, took his batgrapple and made his way up to another catwalk above. Joker chuckled as he took a superhuman leap to the same level as Batman. Unfortunately, the clown had to wait for Punch and Judy to take the stairs up. Of course, he couldn't wait around to fight the Batman, for that squabble immediately began once more.

Joker took out a few playing cards and swiped them at Batman. The hero grunted as Joker gave him a few good slashes into both of his upper arms. While trying to dodge the razor sharp cards, Batman took out a smoke bomb and threw it to the ground. Joker's psychotic looks turned perplexed as a small area of smoke surrounded them. Using this time, Batman kicked the clown away. Joker was flown to the floor. As Batman was about to catch Joker, Punch and Judy had finally reached them both, and they didn't waste any time in taking up Batman's arms in theirs. Batman grunted as he furiously squirmed to get away.

Joker had gotten up off the floor and now approached Batman slowly, holding just a lone card in his hand. "Now Batman, how would you liked to be sliced?" Asked the clown in a menacing tone. "The neck, perhaps?" Batman leaned back as Joker spoke these words.

When about to close in, Batman elbowed the two henchmen in the stomach -- spun around quickly -- and punched the Joker with an enclosed fist. With Joker dazed for a bit, Batman quickly took up hand cuffs and rope, and tied the two lugs to the short railing.

"Oh Batsy!" The Joker called to Batman in a happy tune. Just when Batman turned around, he wasn't alert enough to avoid a spray of gas to the face. This gas though, wasn't the normal 'laughing gas' citizens were familiar in hearing from reporters. This particular gas was used to make Batman's movements more sluggish momentarily.

Joker laughed as he leaped back down to the catwalk below, quickly took out a rubber chicken, and threw it to Batman above. Batman's eyes grew wide as the object was thrown to him, and with that, it blew the catwalk…along with the hero. Joker watched with glee as part of the catwalk fell down into the chemical vat below. Even if Batman didn't die from the explosion…he would surely fall under the drugs of Joker's chemicals.

Joker couldn't believe it. Batman…was truly done for? It had to be, Joker witnessed the catwalk exploding…and falling into his chemicals. There was just no way Batman could avoid that fate, after all, Joker did spray him with the gasses. "Batman becoming a clown jester? My little slave? This-this is so fantastic!" Joker's lips twitched, leaning his head back, he let out the loudest, triumphed laughter anyone has ever heard from him. Laughing, and seemed to never want to end. Even a few 'tears of joy' ran down his white face. Joker knew his cruel deeds weren't done yet though. No. He had one last thing to do… He wiped away these tears and peered down below and saw Xack, looking back up at him with frightened eyes. He grinned in satisfaction, knowing that Xack witnessed Batman's falling.

Xack gasped as Joker made his way from the catwalk above, to her. Xack quickly turned back to elevator and pressed a button to make it open up for her. "Please…please open up. Please! Please!…" She slapped an open hand on the doors, but they still didn't want to open for her. This made her wonder why. Did Punch and Judy somehow 'lock' the elevators as they exited them? She didn't know, but she knew that it was too late now to try and escape… Xack cried as Joker pushed her up against the elevator doors. She wasn't going to have at this again, so she ducked under his arms and ran out onto the catwalk. Joker smiled. There was no escape for Xack now. She was his.

Sobbing, Xack screamed out, "You monster!" Her lips trembled and eyes were bloodshot for all the crying she had done. "I hate you! I hate you Joker!" She coward a little as Joker walked up closer to her. "How could you do that to Batman? How could you!" Putting her hands to her eyes, trying as best as she could to wipe away some of the tears, she shout out again, "I hate you! I hate you, you monster! I want nothing to do with you! I hate you! Monster! You creature!"

Oddly enough, the clown just smiled eerily, and this terrified Xack. Joker wasn't offended at all by these harsh words. Knowing that making her take a bath in his chemicals would change dramatically how she felt about him. Xack didn't see it coming when Joker swiftly pinned her against the railing. She gasped as her back hit the railing from behind, and all it would take was just a simple push, and she would fall into the tank below. Xack turned her head away, and Joker growled that she wouldn't look at him. He grabbed her face to make the sobbing girl stare into his cold, red eyes.

"Please…please…" Xack sobbed quietly.

Joker cocked his head to the side, smiling with glee. "'Please'…what?" Joker wondered innocently.

"Oh, God…" She thought miserably, "He wants me to say it." Xack breathed in and spoke softly, "Please Joker, don't do this to me…"

Joker chuckled roughly in his throat and leaned in towards her. Fearing that he might do his sick kisses, Xack arched her back, trying to keep herself balanced so she wouldn't fall backwards. "Oh Xackie…" Said the Joker, sighing slightly. "You'll be happy though! Don't you want to be happy?"

Xack slowly shook her head. "Not like this…" she replied, her voice trembling a bit. "Please don't…" Joker thought for a moment. Putting a finger to his chin and looking up to the ceiling -- pretending to think, at least. Suddenly, without warning, he pushed on her shoulders hard. Xack screamed as she was flipped off the railing…and now falling into the chemicals she hoped to never end up in. Now…all she could hear was the air rushing past her ears…and the horrible sound of the clown's psychotic laughter.

Even in the darkest hours, there is still hope. Hope that someone will save everyone. Unfortunately, if Joker had observed carefully enough at the exploding catwalk recently, he would of noticed that Batman somehow managed to shuffle out of the way as some of that metal path had been blown. Though gassed, the hero got the nerves to react quickly enough to avoid a terrible fall.

The gas had worn off -- and in the nick of time -- as he gazed down, he watched the clown laugh horribly and shove the poor girl off the railing. Batman knew he had no time to be in shock of this, for even a mere few seconds could save her life from being a psychotic clown herself. Batman took a dive off the railing above, falling faster than Xack was. With one hand, he took up his batgrapple and shot it at the catwalk for support, and the other…he caught Xack just in time. Now…the two were hanging by a thread; the thread of the batgrapple…which happened to be close enough for Joker to grab at…or cut down.

"Batman! You're…you're alive!" Xack cried as she wrapped her arms around his neck. "Please Batman, don't let me fall!"

Batman brought her closer and mumbled softly. "I won't."

"Well, well, well…" Said the Joker as he grasped both hands to the railing as so he could look down on the two good people. Batman starred up at him, while Xack did the same, gasping. "It seems you somehow survived the fall, but it doesn't matter, because look at you two now." Joker shrilled with happiness and jumped for joy as he saw their rather sticky situation. "Ah, how perfect this is! Both the Bat, and my little precious to fall into my vat of chemicals. Just wonderful -- really!" Joker slowly took out one of his playing cards and hovered it close to the thin rope of the batgrapple. "I hope you two brought your bathing suits!" He started cackling as he worked on slicing the rope.

"Batman!" Xack cried, putting her face in his shoulder so that she didn't have to watch how their lives would come to an end.

Batman had to think of something -- quick! "Xack! You have to take out my batgrapple! Now!" Xack seemed confused by his demands. "Xack, the grapple I'm using now! Find another one on my belt!"

Xack did what she was told and tried as hard as she could to find this 'grapple' he mentioned. Then, something caught her eye: an object with a claw attached at the end of it. This seemed to resemble a 'claw gun' of sorts, or whatever Batman had said to take. Xack took up this device and awaited her next orders. "Aim it at Joker!"

What did he say? 'Aim it at Joker'? Was Batman crazy? Xack wasn't that good when it comes to shooting at direct targets, but what did he want to accomplish by doing that? Then, it dawned on her: If the batgrapple entangles with Joker, than she can somehow drag the clown into the vat instead of Batman and herself! Xack carefully aimed the batgrapple at Joker, but she didn't have time to try and perfect it. When it seemed to be in position, she fired away, Xack smiled inside while Joker gasped in surprised as the grapple locked with his ankle. Pushing a button on the device, and pulling as hard as she could, the grapple slowly pulled Joker over the edge. Letting go of the device in her hands, Batman and Xack watched with wide eyes as the clown fell past them…and splashed into his own chemical bath. With this, now Batman can haul himself and Xack back up to one of the catwalks.

Joker knew he was defeated…now, at least. There would be other chances of triumph of course, but this, he thought was well planned out. As he floated to the top of the green liquids, images of himself and Xack flashed through his mind. The way she smiled at him when she was happiest…they way they spent their time together at Arkham. Now…it was gone. How ironic, for the clown to fall into chemicals that made who he is now. Even though less acidic than the real chemicals, but still…they were there. Joker suddenly broke out into fits of laughter, all except…he wasn't happy, he was depressed. He couldn't cry at this moment, so all he could do…was laugh at his defeat. His loss, and the irony of the chemical bath. His laughter…echoed off the walls…and if there were people at the carnival…they would hear it.

When Batman helped Xack get back on the metal catwalk, the girl immediately collapsed into him. Hugging him tightly, to want to be close to someone with true feelings…and she cried into him hard. Batman stood there, not sure what to do, but then, he decided to embrace her as well. He didn't count this as a 'win' or a 'victory' over Joker and his plans. He still had to get a sample of the chemicals and make a curable medicine to this madness. For now though, he just wanted to savor the time he had with Xack, knowing that she's safe with him now. In their minds, all was quiet. Joker's plan was ruined. Foiled. It was over.

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