Currently dashing the hopes of my parents. (lolasenvy) wrote in knivesandlint,
Currently dashing the hopes of my parents.

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Idolatry Conclusion

Story Title: Idolatry Part Twelve
Summary: We are all the keepers of our own souls
Genre: AU OC
Pairing: Desdemona/Joker, Bruce Wayne/Lily, Matilda/Dick Grayson
Rating: R
Disclaimer: If I owned them, I'd be too busy fucking to write my name...
Author Notes: This one is dedicated to my muse, jokerluv Congrats! I'm so happy for you! 84 Chapters and counting! Final installment in series coming!

"Are you comfortable? Hmm?" she asked, "Then we'll begin."

Hugo stared out into the darkness, trying to recognize the voice. He struggled against the duct tape that held him bound, as he wondered where he heard the voice before. She pulled each instrument of torture out slowly, allowing the light to reflect off of it before she set it on her tray with a resounding tap. "Hey, lady, all this isn't necessary." Hugo started, "Whatever it is you are after, you got it." From the darkness, he heard her hum softly as she snapped her rubber gloves. "Ah...Hugo." she purred, "Let's not make this any more unpleasant that it must be."

Hugo searched his brain, "Wait, you sound really familiar." he commented, "Desi, is that you?" He stared as she leaned into the path of light, her expression hardened and serious. "Where is Desdemona Crane?" Matilda asked. Hugo stared at her in shock. "Matilda? Is that you?" he huffed. Hugo sighed relief, shaking his head to steady his nerves. "It's me, Uncle Hugo. Don't you remember me? I'm friends with your mom." Matilda swallowed hard, reaching for one of her metal tools. "You're not my uncle." she said coldly, "We are not of any relation. Now, where is Desdemona Crane?"

Hugo stared at the reflective tool in Matilda's hand. "What is that?" he asked. Matilda looked down, her sore and swollen eyes lingering on the object in her hand. "These are drill bits." she responded. "There are so many things that we have two of. Chiral, most of it. The same, only in reverse." Matilda sniffed as she loomed over Hugo, "Things we can lose and just keep on breathing. Hands, feet..." Matilda walked away from Hugo, turning her back on him. "Give me a reason not to do this to you. Just tell me what I want to know and I could just leave." Matilda looked back at him, and her desperate expression truly frightened Hugo.

"There is an office space..." Hugo began. Matilda set the drill bit down, grabbing her notepad and taking careful notes. When she finished, she looked maniacally at the paper before lifting her eyes and staring at Hugo. She walked over slowly, kicking the chair back and send Hugo onto his back. "What is this? I told you what you wanted!" Hugo protested. "Yes, and until I know this info is correct and that you won't tip dear old Desi off, you're gonna stay here." Matilda packed herself up, slinging the bag over her shoulder. "Don't worry, I'll be back either way." She assured, turning to leaving Hugo behind. She ignored him as he yelled out to her, clutching her notepad with a satisfied expression on her face.

Desi left the building, hopping into her car and speeding off. Across the street, a pair of binoculars focused as Matilda stared down at the windows of the building. "One down." she mumbled. She sat in the storage space, staring down at the hideout as hours passed, watching the every action of her parents. She barely left the window, missing even Dick's funeral to memorize the actions of the unsuspecting criminals. Sleep was fleeting, and with it came nightmares where she relived that terrible night over and over again. Matilda could only see the emptiness in Dick's eyes as she heard her mother howl with laughter in the night before she was back up, staring out and contemplating what she would do.

"I'm worried about Matilda." Lily said, removing her earring as they walked into the bedroom. Bruce said nothing, removing his jacket and hanging it up. Lily stepped out of her shoes, "I understand we all grieve in our own ways, but not coming to the service with us?" Lily shook her head, "Doesn't seem right to me." Bruce called to Lily from the closet as he continued to undress. "No you don't understand. What she's going through, I'm not going to pressure her." Lily walked to the door of the closet, "What don't I understand Bruce?" she asked. Lily crossed her arms as she stared at Bruce, indignant. "I don't want to fight." Bruce replied flippantly, "I'm just saying I know how she feels, having a loss that you cannot cope with the grief of."

Lily twitched, mouth agape. "So, because I don't dress up as a rodent I don't understand grief now?" she demanded. Bruce looked angrily at her, "I don't have time to make you feel better about the state of world right now." he spat, "I have bigger things on my plate at the moment." Lily bit the inside of her cheek, looking to the ground. "Congratulations, Bruce." she responded softly, "It takes some men years to learn to be that cold to the woman they love. You did it without even trying." Lily slapped Bruce across the face before storming to the door. She stopped in the doorway, "And my feelings about Dick are just as valid as yours." Lily wiped her tears as she took off down the hallway, carrying her shoes.

Bruce massaged his cheek, walking slowly after her. "Lily, I just meant that..." he said loudly. Lily called over her shoulder, "Don't worry Bruce. If it's big and shiny enough, I'll forgive you right?" Bruce stopped, swallowing but saying nothing. "That's what I thought." Lily called bitterly, "It's everywhere you want to be." Lily slammed her door, sending an echo through the house as Bruce sighed, rubbing his temple and removing his tie. Settle this later. he thought, She's right, check on Matilda now. Bruce started downstairs for the Batcave, and whatever you do Bruce, don't buy her something to apologize.

Matilda stood in the alley in Dick's oversized trench coat, waiting in the dark. Steam wafted up from the subway grates at the end of the alley and water dripped from the fire escapes as the back door opened and the Joker swaggered out into the Alley. He passed Matilda as she pressed against the building without notice until she timidly called out to him. "Dad?" she called. The Joker stopped mid-stride, gliding as he spun around slowly toward the voice. "I don't know what to call you?" Matilda admitted. The Joker removed a cigarette and began to pack it, "You alone?" he asked. Matilda nodded quickly, "Are-are you?" she asked, "Mom isn't here is she?"

Joker quickly popped the cigarette into his mouth and tilted his head, lighting it. "That's the good thing about your mom." he commented lightly, "She appreciates her alone time." Joker studied Matilda for several minutes. "You don't look good kid." he chuckled, "If I didn't know any better, I'd worry." He took a slow drag, the cigarette glowing in the dark of the alley. Matilda sniffed loudly, looking down at the garbage filled street. "You should have listened to your parents." he chided, "It's a tough world out there." Matilda nodded, tears streaming down her eyes. "I can't do anything since Dick died." she confessed, "I can't eat or sleep. She tried to tell me. It's all my fault."

The Joker exhaled smoke as he watched, nodding his agreement to her points. "What's the point, Matilda?" he huffed. Joker stomped out his cigarette, looking out at her. "You were right. You both were. I never should have run off like I did, trying to rebel or whatever." Matilda sobbed. The Joker scoffed, "I know that. I don't need you to tell me I'm right." Matilda whimpered softly, "And for what? I just piss off everyone that ever really cared for me and lose all the people I have met." The Joker clicked his tongue loudly, "Yeah, the Bat is fickle. You break one little law..." He shook his head slowly.

"Would you talk to mom for me?" Matilda asked, "See if she'll maybe forgive me?" Matilda rubbed her arms to warm up and the Joker took a deep breath and held it. "I don't know. Your mother can be a cold fish when she wants to be." he explained. Matilda looked at him desperately, "If anybody can do it, it's you. She'll do anything for you, dad." Joker shrugged, "Well, that's true." he admitted. His eyes narrowed, "But why should I do it for you?" Matilda took a step way from the building and toward him. "Because I can tell you all sorts of things about Batman. I will too, if you'll just take me back and promise me that she won't hurt me again."

The Joker turned the offer over in his head, contemplating how grateful Desi will be when she is told he tracked Matilda down and brought her home. He smiled to himself, looking over at Matilda and opening his arms. Matilda walked into them and sobbed as he held her to him. "No one will hurt you again." he soothed, "I'll handle your mother." He stroked her forehead with his rough hand, "You just go home and pack all the important things and in a couple days we'll come and get you." Matilda held to him tightly, her head under his chin. "Could you just come?" she asked, "I'm still kind of scared of mom. I'd feel much better if when I saw her you were bringing me to her. Please daddy?"

The Joker rested his cheek on the top of her head. "You got it kiddo. Just give me two days." Joker assured smoothly, his most manipulating tone at work. "Now let's stop that crying, I want a nice big smile." Matilda sniffed one last time and looked up at the Joker with a weak smile. "It may take a little, but we'll make it better than it ever was." he manipulated. Matilda nodded, her smile growing. "Thank you dad." she whispered. She hugged him again, and as the Joker slowly brought his arms around her, he replied softly, "Say that again, kiddo."

Matilda inserted the key into the door of her apartment. She hadn't stepped inside since the night she and Dick prepared together. She shed his coat and brushed by boxes in the dark on her way through to her bathroom. She peeled each piece of clothing and dropping them as she walked through. She stepped into the shower and turned the cold tap full blast, shocking herself as she washed the dirt and grime from several sleepless night on the city away. She winced slightly as soap seeped into the large gash across her stomach. She stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around, her hair dripping as she paced through the vacant apartment.

"Penny for your thoughts." Batman said, standing in the corner. "There's no point." Matilda replied. She turned her back on him and sifted through a box. "You might find that talking about what's going on in your head can help." Batman offered. Matilda grabbed the towel from her body and squeezed he water from her hair. "That is what's on my mind." she said flatly, "There's no point." Matilda dropped the towel on the floor, and her nude form glowed in the moonlight as Batman looked away modestly.

"You're looking away aren't you?" Matilda said, her back still to him, "Not because you're in love with Lily either. You would have looked away before you even met her." Matilda slipped Dick's college sweater over her, letting it skim over her new underwear as she turned to face him. "You look away because you're a good guy, Bruce. That's who you are, even in the dark." Batman continued to look away until Matilda sidestepped and caught his eye. "I'm decent." she explained. Batman's eyes returned to her and she rolled on her heels. "You know exactly who you are." she commented sadly, "Quite an achievement for a man in a mask."

"I was just being polite." Batman commented sheepishly. "I don't know who I am anymore, Bruce." Matilda admitted with a sick laugh. "If I'm not the daughter of three violent criminals, or the lover of a good man, or the partner of a crime fighter then who am I?" Matilda paced, unsure of where to go. "The truth is, I'm tired of fighting." Matilda huffed, "I'm tired of losing." Batman walked over to her, "The fight is what builds character. There were times when I was unsure of who I was. You can't give up, for Dick's sake." Matilda walked into the kitchen and scouted for the Vodka out of the freezer.

"Do me a favor, Bruce." Matilda said as she poured the Vodka, "Tell me you care, tell me you understand, tell me whatever bullshit you need to so that you feel better." Matilda lifted the glass, pointing at him with it, "Just don't try to sell me on the silver fucking lining about Dick. Be better than that at least." Batman watched her turn the glass up, drinking the alcohol quickly with a bitter face. "Do you have any idea how flawed our approach has been?" she said, pouring another. "The Joker leaves his home exactly 42 minutes before any meeting he has. Not 41 and not 43. Makes me wonder what the relevance is, but you know." Matilda shrugged, spilling vodka onto the counter. "You'll have to excuse me, I haven't really eaten the past few days. Been too busy." Matilda leaned over the counter, finishing the second glass.

"They're so predictable..." She stammered. "Makes me wonder why I left in the first place." Bruce watched her, his worry mounting. "What have you planned?" he asked. Matilda detected the worry in his voice, "What I should have done in the beginning." she replied coldly. Matilda tried to pass him, only to have him stop her. "I say this with all the love that I can Bruce." Matilda warned, "Don't get in my way." Batman looked down at her sadly, "My dear friend, I hope I won't have to." Matilda stared up an him bitterly for several minutes, and he smelled the Vodka on her as she pushed past him and sat on the floor in the empty bedroom. "You can leave at any time." she called coldly. There was no response.

Bruce peered in on Lily as she slept. He crept in, kneeling beside the bed and reaching over touch her face. Lily rolled to face him, opening a single eye. Bruce knelt at eye level, freshly showered with a towel wrapped around his shoulders. "You slept in here last night?" Bruce asked. Lily rubbed her face, moaning softly. "Mmhmm." she moaned, "I didn't want to sleep in that big bed alone." Bruce traced her lips with his thumb. "I've been thinking about it, and you're right. You are just as much a part of this family as Dick or Alfred were. I shouldn't have spoken to you the way that I did. I shouldn't cut you out or push you away like I did." Lily pulled his arm and Bruce slid across the bed to kiss her. "You know, I don't suit up and go out like you do. I'll never know what that's like." Lily tilted her head to catch his eye, "But I stay here, waiting. That isn't easy, and you will never know what that's like."

Bruce kissed her, relieved at her demeanor. "So, am I forgiven?" he asked. Lily smiled, "I'll think about. Hey, what's going on with Matilda?" Bruce made a face and Lily sat up interested. "You were right about that too." he admitted, "I looked in on her last night, and she's right on edge." Lily stared at him somberly. "Well, what are you going to do?" she asked, "You have to help her, bring her here or something." Bruce scratched his head, grimacing. "If I push her, she's just going to rebel or do something dangerous." Bruce looked at Lily, who bit her thumb, concerned. "I'll keep an eye on her, don't worry." Bruce assured. He rubbed her cheek and Lily nodded. "I even bugged her apartment. She'll be ok." Bruce hugged her, trying to hide his concern as he comforted her.

"I have to work." he reminded her. Lily nodded, shifting to rise. "Did you get any sleep?" she asked. Bruce scoffed, smiling sarcastically. "I got a board meeting today." Lily walked to the closet, "Spelled 'b-o-r-e-d' I bet." she joked. Bruce laughed, standing and walking out to his room. "Yeah...that about sums it up." Lily watched him go, grabbing her phone and quickly dialing up Matilda. She waited for pickup but was sent to voicemail instead. "Mattie? It's Lily, I was going into town today and thought we could have lunch. I hadn't heard from you and I worry, so I thought. It's just, we gotta stick together, right Doll? Call me, even if you can't do lunch." Lily waved her hands, unsure of what to say, "Take care, Mattie." Lily closed the phone, rolling her eyes at the lame message she just left. "Eloquent as always, Lily." she sighed, tossing the phone down.

Bruce listened in on Matilda the entire day. Mostly he heard silence, punctuated with sporadic sobbing or angry outbursts, always Matilda alone. When he heard her leave, he decided to check out the apartment while she was away. He arrived to find she had spent the previous night destroying everything personal she still had. There were shreads of dresses and ripped up pictures littering the floor. Bruce looked about, a feeling of dread filling him. He had seen this sort of behavior before, many years ago by another extremely bright but broken woman. Bruce walked to the bar to write Matilda a note, flipping through the pad for a clean page. The pad fell open, exposing a letter already written and dated for the next day. Bruce stood mortified as he read it.

I had to go to the bank and clean out my safety deposit box. It shouldn't take by just a few moments and I'll be right back. The packed bags are all that I'm taking. Burn all the rest as far as I'm concerned. Thank you again for this opportunity. I see now that this was a huge mistake, and I look forward to making it right.
Your daughter, Matilda

"Oh Matilda, no." Bruce mumbled, closing the pad. He looked around sadly and left the apartment, careful to avoid being seen should Matilda show up. Matilda was, in fact, across town watching her parents hide out as she had been almost every waking moment of the past week. As the Joker and Desi both stepped out and walked to her car, Matilda took a deep breath and watched the sunset. "It's what we are in the dark." she assured herself, putting on the oversized coat and heading out to cross the street and sneak into her parents hideout. She found the backdoor unlocked, and realized that it must be common knowledge in this neighborhood who lived here. Matilda thought of every time she had locked her own door for safety. "What a sucker I was." She scoffed, looking around. She studied every nook of the place, finally sitting on her parents' bed and studying her mother's bedside table. "Tomorrow." she said, smiling as she touched the framed picture of her as a child that Desi still kept.

"Tomorrow." Bruce explained. Lily paced the living room, frantic. "She's obviously not well. We have to do something." she said desperately. Bruce sat silently, thinking. "You should just go kidnap her and bring her here." Lily continued, "If we can't talk sense to her then we'll have her committed." Bruce stared at her, surprised at her ire. "If we do that and he already so far gone, we risk her turning completely and becoming my enemy." Lily sat and rested her face in her hands, a hopeless look washing over her. "I have to find out what the Joker has promised her. There's only one thing to do." Bruce explained, "I have to be at that meeting tomorrow. It's her only chance." He looked at Lily and she looked back at him silently. Lily got up and crossed the room, climbing into his lap as he wrapped his arms around around her. "If you want to be a part of this family then you must accept some extremely ugly truths sometimes." Bruce explained. Lily pressed her head to his shoulder, "Not Matilda. I won't believe it, can't believe it." Bruce rubbed her back slowly, "Nothing would make me happier than for you to be right," he said ominously "but you must be prepared for if you are wrong."

Joker walked along with a song in his heart. He hadn't said a word to Desi, and knew arriving with Matilda in tow and she'd worship him for it. Didn't I promise you I'd bring her home? he thought smugly, I am, after all, a man of my word. He took the stairs to her apartment, reaching the door and opening it without knocking. He went from room to room, looking around for Matilda with humored disapproval, spying the note that lay on the counter for him. As he read, he glanced at the bags by the door and raised his eyebrows. Without warning, Batman stormed into the apartment and grabbed the Joker. "Where's Matilda?" he demanded. Batman held to the Joker's coat as he looked around the apartment for sign of her. "What have you done with her?" The Joker studied his expression, amused. "Nothing yet." he replied. He waved the noted for Batman, who glanced at it and back at him. "Coming to her rescue?" he commented, "I was invited, you know."

"She isn't at the bank." Batman commented, watching the Joker's expression began to fail. "If you came here for her..." he reasoned, "Wait, how did you know to check the bank?" As the Joker's expression soured, humor found Batman. "But if she isn't here, and she isn't at the bank..." Batman commented. The Joker looked up, "And she isn't with you..." he replied. "No, but you are." Batman said snidely, turning and cuffing him. The Joker writhed, furious. Meanwhile, Desi's eyes opened to find Matilda looming over her. "Good morning, mom." she said calmly. Desi tried to lunge, only to be punched back down by her daughter. "Sit down." Matilda commanded, "He's not here to help you. He won't even know something is wrong for another 38 minutes." Desi wiped her mouth as she looked up at Matilda. "Well done, Tilda. What is it that you want?" Desi leaned back, her arms sliding under her pillow. "Justice." Matilda replied, "And I removed all those weapons so you might as well stop feeling around for them."

Desi looked hatefully at Matilda as she pulled her hands back. "Too little, too late for justice isn't it?" Desi spat, "I mean, justice sure won't bring anybody's cuddle bunny back. Right, Matilda?" Matilda replied by delivering a right hook with all her might, landing right across Desi's cheek. Desi went down, clutching her face as she looked up at Matilda. "Ok Matilda, I'll give you those two. I popped your old man, that's fucked up, I had it coming." she affirmed. Matilda's expression was vacant as she looked down on her. "Didn't you tell me once that bravado is half the job?" she commented, "Well, I disagree mom. I think real muscle doesn't have to raise its voice above a whisper." Matilda's tone was even and soft, and Desi was unsure what she was capable of. "This has ended. If Batman did what I think he would he's already got dad, and you are going to Arkham where you belong."

Desi lit a cigarette, laughing at her. "Get real. I'll just walk right back out again. Why should this time be any different?" Matilda snatched her cigarette, "Because this time, Desdemona, I will be waiting to put you right back in. You wanted to be the most important thing is my life." Matilda added with a chuckle, "Well you got it." Desi lunged at Matilda, who didn't flinch at she grabbed her wrists and turned her down onto the bed. Desi thrashed wildly against him as Matilda put for knee in her back as she secured her wrists with duct tape. "He didn't really get to J." Desi shouted, "He didn't, and when he finds out what you've done to me he's going to massacre you. Just wait." Matilda lifted him, carrying her to the door. "Looking forward to it." Matilda replied, tugging her along and reaching for the door as it opened. Standing before it was Batman, relief coming over him.

Matilda shoved Desi over the threshold and into his arms. "I knew you just couldn't mind your own business." she commented. Desi raged as Batman walked her down the steps and to the prisoner transport. Gordon opened the transport, where the Joker was sitting, chained down. He watched as she was chained down, all mirth leaving him. Matilda stepped out of the building, looking at Batman. She pointed at the center of her chest. "Crime. Fighter." She said slowly as she pointed, "That's what I am, even in the dark." Gordon stepped up, "That's great work. I'm gonna run them in." He turned to Matilda, extending his hand. "Thank you." Matilda shook it firmly. "She killed a good man a week ago." she commented, "I witnessed it." From the truck Desi shouted, "I missed the real target." Gordon smiled, "Ill be in touch." He turned, leaving Matilda and Batman on the stoop.

"That was relatively easy." Batman joked. "What do you see when you look at me?" Matilda asked seriously. A harsh wind blew across them, sending his cape and her coat sailing to the right. "A partner." he answered, "A friend." Matilda nodded once, a slight smile forming on her face. She sniffed, walking past him and down the street alone. "Where are you going?" Batman asked. Matilda turned, "To pay my respects." she said simply. "Don't worry, I know the way home when I'm done." Matilda then turned and continued to the cemetery as Batman watched.

If you're lost, check out the first story, "What a Little Moonlight Can Do"
Part One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten Eleven Twelve
...And it's Sequel, "Ain't No Sunshine (When She's Gone)"
Part One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten Eleven Twelve
...or Part Three, "Fearless"
Part One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten Eleven Twelve
...or Part Four, "Mother's Ruin"
Part One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten Eleven Twelve
...or Part Five, "Desdemona's Return"
Part One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten Eleven Twelve
...or Part Six, "Idlewild"
Part One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten Eleven Twelve
..or Part Seven, "Idolatry"
Part One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten Eleven
Tags: featuring: batman, featuring: bruce wayne, featuring: gordon, featuring: two-face, genre: au, genre: movieverse, genre: multi-chapter, pairing: bruce/ofc, pairing: joker/ofc, rating: nc-17
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