Obsession

Aggravation

"No matter what, I'll always own you!" Those harsh words of Joker echoed through Xack's head and it didn't seem that they wanted to go away anytime soon. As the girl continued to struggle badly to get away, Joker cackled with glee and it amused him that she was even trying to get away from him.

"You don't own me!" Xack retorted to the Clown Prince as she tried to push him the other way, but it didn't seem to work. "Whatever gave you that idea?"

The Joker chuckled, "Why dearie, because who else would want a crazy girl?" Xack gasped and her eyes started to well with tears. "Your mommy and daddy are dead -- and your other family members don't want you either, do they? So...who does that leave you with?..." Xack tilted her head downwards to avoid Joker's piercing eyes. "Don't know? It's just a simple guess. Should I tell you the answer anyways?..." He still got no reply, nor any head notions. Joker seemed a bit surprised by this. "Xackie girl, you should very well know that it is I, who still wants you for myself."

"No!" Xack cried out in agony, and then she shoved Joker away from with all the strength she had left inside. Her eyes grew wide as Joker looked shocked by this, but as he attempted to grab her once more, Xack raised her right hand and then swung it down hard across his face.

Joker couldn't believe what had just happened; even Xack didn't think she would ever do such a thing. The girl wasn't a slapping kind of person at all -- in fact, this was the first time she had ever slapped someone! She never would of figured she needed to slap this evil monster in front of her, but...she did. Joker's eyes grew wide and his yellow pupils seemed to have gotten smaller with shock. He touched his cheek lightly and felt the stinging sensation still there. It stung, but it wasn't a flow-blown slap at Xack's greatest strength. The Joker looked towards the floor, but then his eyes fell upon the girl again. Now, instead of that shell-shocked expression, a twisted smile came onto those lips as he advanced towards Xack slowly. She saw this and started to back away herself.

"You...you stay away from me!" Xack shrieked with terror at Joker. The clown continued to give the girl a most menacing look, as if he was about to murder her or even do something more gruesome than that! Xack was not about to wait around and find out, so she turned on her heel and began to dart towards the doors of the store. She figured that wherever Eddie is, he's a lot more safer than her right now.

The Joker was no slow-poke though, he immediately caught up with her by grabbing both her arms and putting them behind her back. "No!" Xack cried, and she grunted a bit when Joker jerked her back closer to his body.

Xack shivered in revulsion as Joker put his lips to her ear, "Do you really think you're going to get away that easily?" The Joker spoke lilt, but also menacing at the same time. Xack just breathed in and out heavily; unable to answer him back. "Now dearie, let's leave before I get even more angry with you..." The Clown Prince started up his whimsical, psychotic laughter as he dragged the poor girl to the doors of the store. Just before they exited, his eyes grew wide when he heard a voice from above.

"Joker!" Joker looked around himself and then upwards to see Batman hanging from the ceiling by his bat grapple. "What do you plan to do with her?" Xack and Joker watched the Dark Knight lower the grapple a bit further to the ground and then -- at just the right distance, Batman let go and landed on his own two feet; just as a cat would if jumped from a very high place. The Joker gave Batman a toothy and frightening grin as the Dark Knight narrowed his eyes in suspicion.

Joker shrugged and sighed, like he was relieved by something. "Batsy, why do you care about saving a crazy girl?" He asked as if he was trying to start some friendly banter.

"Why do you want her so badly?" Batman threw at Joker.

The Joker cackled, "Now, now, Batsy. I can't give away my plans and secrets to you -- not just yet, but she is coming with me, whether you like it or not..." Suddenly, Xack was jerked in a direction once more as Joker started to quickly make his way for the doors again, but Batman quickly jumped out in front of him. This expeditious action made Joker skid to a stop, but failed in a result of falling to the floor; causing Xack to tumble down as well since he still had a good grip on her arm. In a weakened state, Xack got the courage to shove Joker away and go back towards the second floor stairs, so that she could get her brother and get out of this nightmare...for a while.

As Joker got back up on his feet, he caught sight of Xack going up to the second floor of the store. Batman just had to crack a tiny smile on the edge of his lips as he watched the clown stomp his foot and began to pout. "Oh...now she got away from me again..." Joker crossed his arms and glared at Batman angrily, but looking silly at the same time. "You're smiling? Pah! I hope you know I'm the one who always has the last laugh around here!" The Batman took a back-step as he saw Joker growl and take a dive at him. Just as Joker landed on the ground hard, he looked up in time to see Batman get out his bat-a-rang and ready to throw at the clown. Joker grinned as he got up to kick this device out of Batman's hands. As Batman went through his utility belt to get another, Joker had already taken off to the back of the store, where all the TV's and cameras are. The Batman growled as he knew Joker was not about to give up so easily.

Just as Xack got to the second floor, her eyes grew wide with fear as she saw Punch and Judy holding Eddie up in the air by his arms. Eddie saw Xack from across the room and cried out, "Xack, help me! Make them let go!" The girl watched her brother kick wildly at the air and squirm around frantically to make the two lugs let go of him. Xack cocked her head in slight confusion for she wondered why Joker's henchmen weren't going after her. Perhaps -- she thought, that they're waiting for their master to come up and give them orders on what to do with the boy. "Xack!" She heard her brother scream again.

Xack bit her lip and fidgeted with her fingers. It's one thing to try to fight off Joker, since she knew he was about her size -- well, considering the fact that her frame was wider than his, and that he was a bit taller than her as well, but Punch and Judy were a much larger frame than she ever will be; they were a lot taller than her too! Xack looked around herself to try to find something that could help her brother.

"Um..." Xack began nervously. "You better let go of my brother, or I'll... I'll..." Her eyes darted around at all the movies scattered on the floor -- due to the panicked people and such from leaving, but Xack picked one up and read the title of the movie to the husky villains. "Or I'll give you this -- uh..." She read the title of the movie out loud, "'Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children...movie?" Xack gazed back at the two henchmen, in hopes that they'll buy the stupid offer.

Eddie's eyes lit up when he heard his sister speak the title. "Final Fantasy VII movie? I've been looking for that!" He squealed with delight and tried to squirm out from Punch and Judy's grasp again.

Xack looked back at the movie and shrugged, "I've been looking for this too, but we can't take it now -- it would be stealing!" When she was about to toss the movie to the floor, she thought of a really foolish idea, but went with it anyways. She took a few steps towards the two henchmen and threw the movie at them. It hit Judy in the face, and feeling that, the large creature gave her a disgusted and pained look. Punch looked at his colleague and knew what that look meant to Judy. Eddie smiled as the two dropped the boy to the floor, but to Xack's dismay, now the two were coming after her! Xack quickly gestured Eddie to come to her. "Come on, Ed! Let's get out of here...before those two decide to pummel me to the ground!"

Eddie quickly dashed past the charging henchmen and took Xack's hand in his. Then the two made their way to the ground floor once more, but only to find Joker prancing around and Batman getting frustrated on trying to catch him. Batman took a second glance at the two children and shouted at them, "Go, now!" Unfortunately for Batman, Xack continued to stare and even squint her eyes to get a better look at his features.

Her eyes widened as she whispered, "Bruce?..." Batman left his mouth agape and turned to look into Xack's eyes for a few moments, but it was suddenly interrupted when Joker came around and gutted Batman in the stomach with his powerful kicks.

Xack blinked and snapped back to it, then she and her brother darted outside before Joker took a second opinion on going after the kids.

As soon as they got outside though, the children ran straight into Alfred, who tapped his foot irritably and had a stern look to his face. "Well now..." he turned to look at Xack a bit angrily. "Are we all ready to head back home, or do you prefer to disobey me again, and end up back in Joker's clutches?"

Xack sighed and titled her downwards. "No more..." she mumbled silently. "I just...want to get out of here..."

Alfred nodded, "Very good then. Let us return to the car and head back to the manor before any reporters show..." The three quickly walked back to the car that Alfred wanted them to get in the first place, but now they were really heading back to Wayne Manor.

As they all got in the car, Eddie looked around and asked, "Hey...do we still have the games we got?"

Alfred smiled and nodded, "Yes, they are in the trunk of the vehicle, young Hathaway. We will deal with that once we get back to Wayne Manor." He suddenly looked concerned when Xack gazed out the windows of the car in a most puzzling, but somewhat sad expression on her face. "Miss Hathaway...are you all right?"

Xack blinked and was silent for a moment before she asked softly, "Is...is Mr. Wayne...Batman?" Alfred sighed, for he had no comment to that.

Batman growled as he lost sight of Joker, and now he just caught a glimpse of Punch and Judy heading back to the ground floor where he is! As the Dark Knight slowly and cautiously walked around the store, his eyes grew wide when he saw the stacks of TV's -- in all different sizes of course, all bear the face of Joker on them! He turned to look at them all when Joker laughed manically and snickered as he calmed himself.

"Now, now Batsy! Just which one of these TV's do you think little-ol' me is behind?..." The Joker covered his mouth to keep his cackles at a soft tone. Batman frowned at this. "Come on -- guess! Guess!" Batman suddenly heard pounding footsteps coming from up behind him, and he spun around to see Punch and Judy charging toward him with their fists out and ready to take the Bat down. Joker sighed happily in relief. "Ah...right on time! Take the Batman down!" Batman shuffled to the side as Punch and Judy threw in their fists, which now made their attacks look rather clumsy.

Just as Batman was about to go for his bat-a-rang and get out of the way from the two brutes, Punch came up from behind him and wrapped his arms around his waist. Batman grunted in pain as Punch started to squeeze him tightly, cutting off any oxygen to the body. The Joker merely laughed in triumph. "Crush, crush, crush, crush, crush, crush!" Chanted the Clown Prince excitedly, and then, he was seen no more on the TV's.

"No..." The Batman wheezed, and he knew he better get out of this situation quick or else he would die! With a free hand, he pushed a button on his utility belt and out popped a few smoke bombs in his hand, which were the same shape and size as any old marble. Batman quickly threw them to the ground, and at the moment upon impact, the smoke started to squeeze out of the little object. Punch and Judy's eyes started to burn and become slightly bloodshot from the gas going unto their faces, so with that, Punch dropped Batman to the floor so the large creature could cover his eyes to keep them from flaring even more. With their guards let down, Batman quickly recovered the bat-a-rang that he dropped and now he threw it in the direction of the cowering henchmen. The bat-a-rang had a rope attached to the end of it, and as it reached the villains, the device wrapped itself around them; constricting their movements if they so tried to get away.

As the smoke cleared, Batman slowly walked towards the captured Punch and Judy. He crossed his arms and looked to the right and left of them. "Okay...now where's Joker?" Batman asked them both, but neither Punch nor Judy spoke. They never do anyways, and Batman thought it was just useless to ask them anything.

Batman turned his attention to the stacks of TV's once more. He remembered Joker saying that he was behind one of them, although, The Clown Prince was probably just trying to agitate, or even annoy Batman by saying that. By now, Joker could of already escaped, but at least Batman could stay and hopefully find some clues as to where Joker was hiding out at.

As Batman neared the TV's, he suddenly jumped in surprise to see them move. Unfortunately, he couldn't get out of the way in time, for mostly the stacks of TV's pushed out and fell on top of the Caped Crusader. Luckily for Batman though, the weight or impact of the televisions did not kill him, but it did leave him immobile and hurt.

"I can't believe you came back here..." Exclaimed the Joker with shock in his voice, and Batman grunted when the clown pounced onto the TV's that fell on him. Joker leaned down towards Batman and grinned maliciously at him. "By the time you get out of this mess, me and my marionettes will be out of here -- and again, we'll find a way to get rid of you, and get the girl I want." He then hoped off and hurriedly untied his two henchmen. "Ta-ta, Batsy, and farewell!" The Joker laughed hysterically as he, Punch and Judy had left the scene without a trace as to where they could of gone now. Batman growled in defeat, but still he tried to get himself out from under the piles of TV's before any police showed up to see him there.

"You will go back to Arkham, Joker..." Batman muttered as he pulled himself up to his feet. "I will find you..."

Probably in a matter of minutes just after Batman had left the store, the police did arrive to see what kind of damage both the villains, and even the Caped Crusader had done to the store. There wasn't really much evidence left by Joker to conclude the whereabouts as to where he could of gone to hide, but that isn't stopping Detective Ellen Yin from finding out where the clown, or even Batman, could be.

Detective Yin lightly kicked around the movies and electronics lying around to see if there was anything left behind by either Joker or Batman, but there wasn't. "Do we have any leads?" She asked out loud to all the policemen in the store. The woman looked disappointed to see the heads turning the other way when she looked at them. Detective Yin sighed and put her hand to her head as if she was coming onto a headache.

"Actually...there is something..." Detective Yin glanced over her shoulder to see Detective Bennett slowly walking up to her. "The cameras actually caught Joker going after somebody in this store, that's why he attacked here..."

"What about the Gotham National Bank?" Detective Yin asked him. "Did the cameras there have any clues as to what Joker plans on doing?"

Detective Bennett sighed sadly and shook his head. "Nope, Joker got to the security cameras before his latest scheme took place. No evidence there as to where he could of gone, or what he's gonna do with the money." Detective Bennett saw the frustrated look on his partner's face, and knew he better say or have something that will cheer her up. "But...as I said before, the store cameras showed Joker going after the same girl he vowed to have in his statement letter from Arkham."

Detective Yin's face lit up a little. "Really?" She sounded somewhat relieved by this. "Do you know where she is? What's her name?"

"Her name?..." Detective Bennett was silent as he thought of her name. What was it again? He knew it was some sort of a boys name, but what was it? Cody? Drew? Peter -- no. None of those sound right. Kyle? Jack -- yes, her name sounded like that. Jack... Black... Xack -- yes, that's it! Her name: Xack Hathaway. "I remember now," he said proudly. "Miss Xack Hathaway, and she's staying with..." he gazed around himself and leaned in closer to Detective Yin. "And she and her brother are staying with Bruce Wayne..."

Detective Yin leaned back a little and raised an eyebrow, "Why are you whispering this?" She wondered.

Detective Bennett shrugged, "It's kind of secretive. You never know who might be listening to this; and I trust you to keep this a secret -- you know, about where the kids are." Detective Yin smiled and nodded slowly to reassure that this secret will be kept.

"What's going on here?" Came an authoritative, gruffly voice that got closer to the two detectives. Detective's Bennett and Yin looked to the side to see their chief, Angel Rojas walking proudly as ever towards them. Detective Bennett groaned and had a displeasing look on him. He knew he never got along with his superior, for Chief Rojas was always on his case about that Batman. While Detective Bennett believes that Batman is actually helping the police with the psycho criminals, Chief Rojas accredits that Batman is humiliating the police force by doing these good deeds; making it look that this one lone man catches these crazies better than the police can.

When Chief Rojas halted in front of the two detectives, he scratched his nose and asked somewhat demandingly, "So what did you find out about Joker, or at least the Batman for that matter?" His eyes shifted to Detective Bennett, and then to Yin.

The detectives looked at one another and then back at Chief Rojas. "Chief Rojas..." Detective Yin began. "We believe that there might be some sort of connection between Joker and a young woman he is after-- "

"And that this girl knows something about Joker," Detective Bennett suddenly added.

Chief Rojas crossed his arms and appeared to look somewhat irritated about this. "So...you're saying that Joker has been after this girl you mentioned, before hand?" Both the detectives nodded. "Then why haven't you two brought her in for questioning?"

Detective Bennett sighed and said defensively, "It's just that -- I met this girl at Arkham not that long ago. I didn't want to bring her in because I heard she's been through alot; with her parents' death, and now Joker after her..." he shook slightly when Chief Rojas got in his face.

"I don't care what the hell she's been through!" Roared Chief Rojas, and Detective Bennett saw his mustache twitch in anger. "If she knows something about Joker that we don't, then we have to question her about it! Whether she likes it or not, she better tell us what she knows about him... She better talk..."

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