Summary: A sequel to "What a Little Moonlight Can Do"
Genre: AU OC
Pairing: The Joker/Desdemona
Disclaimer: I don't believe anyone owns the Joker. Joker for all! But I bet DC comics and Warner Bros. might disagree.
Author Notes: This one is dedicated to moomingirl and bad_obsessions. You really should the "Moonlight" series for this to make sense. Comments are teh awesome!
Luck is a funny thing. For some people it's a rabbit's foot. For others, it's a number or an article of clothing. Still for others, its a garbage strike. Desi fell eight stories into an abyss of fast food cardboard and banana peels. She laid there, her head resting in a pile of coffee filters, for what must've been an hour. Her shoulder felt... well, wrong, and for a moment, she wondered if this was Hell. What exactly does brimstone smell like? she wondered.
Finally, she reached up with her left arm and pulled herself up. Sitting up was almost torture, and her midsection burned like nothing she had ever felt before in her life. She threw a leg over the dumpster, and without her other arm to brace herself, fell off the dumpster and onto the pavement. Desi cried out in agony, tears tracing their way down her face.
She laid on the pavement for a moment, contemplating death. Death would be so encompassing, so perfect. She took a deep breath, and her thoughts settled on the Joker. She saw him, in that moment: the look in his eyes when he stabbed her. She thought of his laughter as she fell. Desi brought both knees up to her chest, forcing herself to a squat before standing.
She had inexplicably lost a shoe in the fall, and as she stood realized she couldn't put weight on her left ankle. She sniffed once, and began the long walk toward the hospital. Her throat was raw and sore, and she could taste blood in her mouth, but her thoughts remained in one place. He doesn't trust me. she wondered, How do I fix this?
As she crossed street after street, her pace keeping her moving, her hatred mounted. This is all Batman's fault. she thought, The bastard set me up and then watched as J thought that I betrayed him. Her eyes were dark, like a spacious room with the lights out. Her pain was immense, and acted to focus her mind in a way she never had before.
By the time she reached the hospital, she had developed a mantra which played ceaseless in her mind. I am on a path of destruction. I want pain. I want suffering. I want no one to escape. They cannot kill me, I am dead already.
Batman returned to the scene after delivering the Joker at Arkham. He searched the ground, but found no body. He didn't even find the signs of a body having landed. Puzzled, he inspected the dumpsters. Finding the single shoe, he called Gordon, telling him to check local hospitals.
Desi sat in a small room with her paper cup of water. She listened intently as the doctors outside gossiped about her.
"Did you hear how she came in?"
"She reset her own shoulder. Yeah, right there in admissions."
"Did you see the clipboard?"
"I heard the police are on their way to talk to her."
"Hey, can I get you something, maybe for the pain?" A nurse asked Desi. Desi looked blankly at the wall. "I have something for my pain." she responded flatly. The nurse looked sadly at her, "Well, don't worry honey, I'm going to send a doctor in right away about your stomach." She gave a reassuring smile and walked out of the room.
Bullock arrived at admissions, but as the nurse directed him to her room, they both found it empty. Desi stood behind the hospital. Clenching her teeth to muffle the yelp, she bent down to remove her single shoe and began limping barefoot, until she finally collapsed in front a church.
The light was almost blinding was it streamed in through the windows at the mission. Desi hadn't yet opened her eyes, yet she could see hazes of pinkish yellow through her eyelids. She felt her stomach, and noticed her clothes missing, a large bandage taped to her stomach.
"You are a lucky young lady." A reassuring voice said. Desi coughed, "That depends on your definition of lucky."
She opened an eye to spy up at a young black woman, standing over her with a mug in her hand. "I don't know, a knife wound that deep that seems to just miss every major organ seems pretty lucky." Desi tried to sit up, moaning painfully.
"Easy, now." the lady responded, extending an arm to help brace Desi. Desi sat up, "I think lucky is not getting yourself stabbed in the first place." she said sarcastically. The woman handed her the mug of black coffee. The warmth of it felt good on Desi's throat, and she drank it down quickly.
"Then perhaps its a good time to consider another line of work." The woman replied, sitting beside her on the cot, "You're a strong young woman, and pimps rarely fail twice." Desi looked at her while she cleared Desi's hair from her face. Why does everyone in this town seem to think I'm a prostitute? she wondered.
She looked around the shelter at the many women. Some looked better off than her, some looked far worse. "So that's what you do here?" she asked, "You help women out of bad situations?" The nun looked around the room and then turned back to Desi. "We provide direction for those who need it. We hope you'll stay with us." she continued, "Once you are healed, we can arrange for you to be on one of our many work programs."
Desi cleared her throat, "I have someone. You know, unfinished business and all." She looked down at the cup, "It's complicated." The nun gave her a pitiful look, "Hon, I know you may have feelings for this person but if they're leading you to this..." She placed her hands around Desi's. "It's your pimp, isn't it?" Desi smiled, her eyes wandering, "Not exactly."
Over the next week, Desi stayed at the shelter recuperating. She sat in group therapy across from women, silently thanking herself for not being anything like them. How horrible it must be to used in such a way? she thought. As her bruises and wounds healed, her thoughts long fell on the Joker.
She imagined him locked up in Arkham, all his wonderful props and makeup taken from him and her rage built. Her heart filled with hope as she laid in her bed imagining freeing him from that place. Could I really do it? she wondered, That would show him he was wrong about me. I think I could do it, too. Desi turned over in bed, remembering all the places she stashed weapons and money. When the nuns did rounds the next morning, she was nowhere to be found.
It had been a week since she stood on that rooftop pleading with him, and the loft had been ripped apart by the police. It was a wreck, every notebook scattered, most things missing completely. Desi wandered into the bedroom, shocked to find the bed still there, almost as it was left. She immediately threw herself into it, smelling around for his scent. She searched like a junkie for anything connected to him.
Finding nothing, she went to the window where they had made love. There were smears where she had clutched the wall, his makeup on her hands. She stared at it like a mother looks on a headstone, then pulled the second board away to reclaim her pocketknife, a small sketchbook and two large bundles of money. She replaced the board and turned around in the room noticing a small tray knocked under the couch.
Approaching it, she knelt beside the couch and reached under it for the tray. She lit up as the tray emerged to reveal his collection of makeup. She immediately gathered it up, kissing each tube and placing them gingerly into her messenger bag. She looked around the room once again and sighed deeply.
He was like a ghost, haunting everywhere she looked. He was the echo without voice, he was feeling without touch. It had been a week without him, and she never felt so lost. Her body had no purpose without him to give it, and all her words sounded flat and empty without him to hear them.
She lingered there for a few moments before snapping out of it, grabbing her bag and heading to the tailors, humming "Ain't no Sunshine" all the way. In the shelter supplied t-shirt and shorts, she looked like anyone, and even the delivery boy failed to notice her as she walked into the tailor's shop.
She lingered in the back, waiting for all the regulars to leave before approaching the counter with her sketchbook. Flipping to one of her sketches of him, she set the book on the counter. "I need one of.... these." She said, pointing to the picture. She looked up from the book as all the joy washed from the tailor's face.
"We don't do this." He answered seriously. Desi looked back at the book, then back to him. "This is where this one came from." She said, tapping on the sketch. "Come on, you can make this." The tailor made a cross face and replied, "Look, he's locked up and we don't want to have any part in this."
"Well," Desi started, pulling a large group of bills from her sack, "He's gonna need one soon. So you can let me buy your conscience by commissioning this suit or feed you worry by warning you that I will have to tell him you refused."
The man looked at Desi for several minutes before taking the money from the counter. Desi smiled and rose from the counter. "It will be ready on Monday." he mumbled. Desi turned quietly on her heels and left the store.
She hit the sidewalk confident, and checking that off her list, she started walking to Gotham Public Library. Time to find out about Arkham Asylum. She thought.
If you're lost, check out the first story, "What a Little Moonlight Can Do"
Final Chapter and links to all previous chapters here