Batman and Joker: Blood Ties - Version 2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Why is Joker the entire opposite of Batman?
Is it a mere coincidence - or is it due to a far more sinister reason?
This short story explores the possible links in the origins of Batman and Joker and how those links shape the very crux of their personalities.

Submitted: January 14, 2020

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Submitted: January 14, 2020

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Commissioner James Gordon knew that they had cornered him for good this time.

All the exits were covered and they even had heavily armed units underground in the sewage channels, with all the police officers wearing masks that would protect them from the Joker’s debilitating laughing gas.

Gordon took the mega phone into his hand.

“Joker, come out unarmed with your hands up. We are prepared to use lethal force if you draw any weapons.”

“You have two minutes to decide. This will be your last warning.”

What Gordon didn’t say was that he would much prefer to have the Joker carried out in a body bag than to handcuff him again.

His last attack on the biggest hospital in Gotham, where the Joker and his ungodly crew of freaks had tested out a new strain of laughing gas had left dozens dead and a lot more permanently brain-damaged.

For both the Mayor and Gordon this had been the last straw.

The Mayor had personally told Gordon just hours earlier not to capture the Joker alive.

Gordon too was no less fed up of the usual charade of putting the Joker in the Arkham Asylum, only for him to constantly escape with his gang and continue terrorizing a city that had seen far more than its fair share of psychopathic freaks.

From the small, drab one-storey building that he had been forced into, the response from the Joker was cackles of hysterical, manic laughter.

Gordon shuddered. This vile freak was still laughing although the corpse of his supposed love interest, Harley Quinn lay outside in a tangle of limbs, still so fresh that blood continued to seep from the multiple gunshot wounds on her body.

The Joker was truly deranged and beyond any hope of redemption.

Gordon raised his arm and the head of Gotham’s elite SWAT unit nodded.

It was time.

However, just as the unit was about to move in, Gordon noticed that he was in the shadows, the rays of the sun blocked by something hovering over him.

Gordon looked up to see Batman’s plane or helicopter or whatever the hideous contraption that he used for flying, hovering above him.

Batman’s magnified voice blared down from the Batplane.

“Officers, please stand down.”

“I will arrest the Joker myself and bring him out of the building.”

“DO NOT use lethal force.”

There was confusion among the officers, many of whom now turned to Gordon for direction.

Furious, Gordon took up the mega phone again.

“Batman, land your aircraft immediately.”

“This is police business and we will handle it.”

“Your disturbance is putting the lives of my officers in danger and I will not tolerate it.”

“Land now and get out of the way or we will fire at you.”

There was no response from Batman but gas cannisters which released thick, heavy smoke started raining down from the Batplane.

Even before Gordon has given his command, his officers started shooting at the Batplane, which hovered unaffected by the bullets clanging against its armoured plates.

The Batplane blew a hole in the side of the building that the Joker had took refuge in and started spraying some gooey sticky liquid on the officers, completely covering their headgear and making them temporarily sightless.

In the confusion, Gordon began to hear gunshots fired from different guns than that of his officers, with barely the muzzle flares visible in the thick smoke that surrounded the area.

But Gordon knew what it was.

It was the Joker making his escape and all because of the damned Batman deciding to play god as usual and taking things to his own hands.

Gordon cursed and emptied his own pistol at the Batplane, which surveyed the scene for a moment and then flew off in the direction of the bay, with several police helicopters in pursuit.

But Gordon smashed the mega phone on the pavement in disgust, knowing that the Batman would give them the slip as usual.

On the drive home after having to explain the train wreck of the operation to an incensed Mayor, for the first time Gordon wondered what the hell Batman had been up to.

Batman interfering with the law was nothing new but he had never before brazenly and deliberately sabotaged an attempt to apprehend a criminal – and that too the Joker, the Batman’s greatest nemesis.

Gordon shook his head in frustration and not for the first time in his life wondered at what goes through the dark mind of the caped crusader, who was now public enemy number two of Gotham, just second to the Joker.

At home, Gordon poured himself a glass of water, looking at the clock and realizing that it was well past midnight.

His wife, Leslie, had been up when he got home, trying to soothe him, something which she was quite good at usually, but which had no impact on him today.

Finally, she had gone to bed, leaving Gordon to brood on his own.

Gordon heard a faint rustle on the fire escape.

Slowly clutching the pistol which still was in his holster, he turned around swiftly and pointed it at the figure before him, his silhouette covering the full moon in the night sky.

“What do you want you bastard?”

“You have some bloody nerve to turn up here, after what you pulled off today.”

“Hands where I can see them, I’m going to cuff you.”

Gordon’s voice was full of menace but he avoided raising his voice to make sure that Leslie would not be disturbed.

He didn’t trust the Batman anymore and sure as hell didn’t want Leslie walking in now.

Batman raised his hands in surrender and slowly sat down.

“I know what you must think James, that I betrayed you and the city, for some agenda of my own.”

“It’s true. I did. But I need you to know why.”

Gordon stood still continuing to point the pistol at Batman but knew that he was probably safe. If the Batman wanted to kill or harm him, he would have done so already.

But Gordon was still very much on edge.

“For the sake of our past and all what you’ve done for this city, I’ll give you two minutes to explain yourself and then I have to cuff you.”

“You put thousands of lives at risk today by letting go of one of the most dangerous criminals on earth and attacked and humiliated my men.”

“That is too great a crime even for the Batman.”

Batman nodded.

“I know James. I know how tough a choice you have.”

“So, for once I’m going to be entirely honest with you.”

Gordon tensed as Batman moved but instead of reaching for any weapon Batman slowly reached behind his head and took off his mask.

Gordon shook his head, taken aback as he saw the familiar face of the man before him.

“My God!”

“Bruce Wayne?”

“BRUCE WAYNE???”

It was a few moments before Gordon once again collected his thoughts and found his voice.

“Why the hell would you reveal to me your identity when you spent years doing everything possible to hide it from everyone?”

Bruce Wayne looked down with shame in his face, for once completely at odds with the Bruce Wayne Gordon had come to know, devoid of his charismatic smile, oozing with confidence.

“It’s about the Joker.”

“I couldn’t let you kill him.”

“Because……………….”

Bruce looked up to Gordon with a silent plea behind his eyes, which now appeared weary, exhausted and defeated.

“Because he is my son and it’s all my fault.”

Gordon sat down, completely dumbfounded.

“What the hell?”

“You’re telling me that the biggest criminal mastermind of Gotham is the son of its biggest hero?”

Batman nodded with a sigh and put his face in his hands.

“It’s a long story James.”

“I don’t give a damn,” Gordon was adamant. “I definitely need to know it.”

“Alright, I owe it to you,” Bruce sat silent for a moment composing himself.

“I’ll start at the beginning.”

* * * * * **

His father was barely paying any attention to him as usual, which further infuriated Damian Wayne.

“Why dad?”

“Why do I have to go to all these stupid fundraisers?”

“All my friends are going to be at Ralph’s birthday party playing games.”

“Why can’t I ever go?”

Bruce was engrossed looking at some of the new designs of Lucius Fox and had no time for his eight-year-old son’s tantrums.

“Damian, I’m busy.”

“I told you, you have to go this time.”

“You have plenty of friends. You’ll be invited to plenty more birthdays. But this is important.”

Bruce turned away once more to his computer with a sigh. Raising a son alone was no easy task.

Damian stood dejected knowing that he had been dismissed, that his father would no longer bother to talk to him on the subject.

He walked back to his room, eyes brimming with tears of anger.

His father was a complete tyrant, forcing him to practice martial arts, fencing and swimming, learn a bunch of foreign languages while at the same time expecting him to score the best grades possible in school, all of which Damian had little interest in. More importantly, it left him with very little time to play with kids his own age and he often felt left out in school.

As he walked back to his room, fuming, Damian saw ahead of him one room which he was not allowed in, although Bruce and Alfred disappeared into it all the time, at times for hours.

Furious at his father, Damian decided to spite him by going into the room.

The door to the room could only be opened by entering a combination.

Damian smiled cheekily. He had secretly spied on his father and Alfred enough to know the combination.

Slowly peeking into the room, Damian was initially disappointed.

It was quite similar to their library.

Only when he looked around properly did he discover the secret of the room.

One of the bookshelves had been pulled away from the wall to reveal a secret door, which Alfred might have forgotten to close behind him.

Damian could hear Alfred going about his work and managed to hide behind a table in time as Alfred came into the room carrying a box which he started rifling through.

Using his chance, Damian quickly darted in through the secret door, down the stairs, into a large cave.

Damian forgot his irritation with his father as he looked around him.

The cave was an interesting place, clearly being converted into what looked like a secret lair.

There was a large screen mounted on the wall, costumes or uniforms of some sort with a mask and a bulky car with a design that he was not familiar with.

On a table close to him was a vial with some strange liquid with a label which had a code and the words ‘Dr. Jonathan Crane’ written across it.

Damian took the vial in his hands. The shiny green liquid within it fascinated him. He took off the stopper.

And all hell broke loose.

He could only remember a foul smell and his world dissolved into an unending series of nightmares.

Dimly, as if from far away, he heard Alfred shouting, “No, Master Damian,” and then shouting for his father.

Damian fell down and lost consciousness.

* * * * * **

It was nearing dawn as Bruce finished the story.

“So Damian was exposed to the gas used by Dr. Crane, went insane and that changed him to the Joker?”

Gordon was still struggling to believe and make sense of the story.

“I still don’t know for sure the extent to which the drug affected him,” Bruce said standing at the window.

“It did change his personality and seem to have wiped out his memories. He can’t seem to remember me or Alfred. But I think somewhere deep down, he remembers certain things.”

“It can’t be a coincidence that he became exactly the opposite of myself, exactly what I detest the most.”

Gordon nodded in agreement, realization dawning on him.

“You believe in meticulous planning and order but he believes in chance and chaos. You believe in the value of life and he takes life without reason, just for the pleasure of it.”

“You two are polar opposites in every sense.”

“I agree, it can’t be just a coincidence.”

Bruce turned to Gordon.

“So you see James, I made him.”

“No treatment could cure him so I hid him away, put on a cape and became Batman.”

“I’ve always planned on doing more for the city, to fight crime by more than just my wealth and Batman, which was just an idea at the back of my head initially, became an obsession – which I devoted my whole life to.”

“I lost my son because of my crusade to save the city, so I had to make it worthwhile.”

“It shaped who I became as Batman. Since I couldn’t put down the Joker, I couldn’t kill the other criminals no matter how bad they were. I had to give them the chance to redeem themselves – the chance I could never give Damian.”

“I thought that Batman was my penance, the repaying of my debt to the world.”

“But I was wrong. I was a coward and my sins have come back to haunt me.”

Bruce took a step forward.

“I know that it doesn’t make it right but I couldn’t let your men shoot him like an animal.”

“He was ……………………. he is my son.”

Gordon looked away from Bruce and his pleading eyes.

He didn’t agree, but as a father himself, he understood.

Under the circumstances he might have done the same.

“So what do you want me to do now?”

Although his thoughts were a confused jumble, Gordon knew that he needed to act.

“You have a decision now to make James.”

“You can choose to arrest me and hunt down Damian.”

Bruce paused.

“Or?”

Gordon wanted to know the alternative, Bruce’s counter-proposal.

“He is my son. This is my mess. Let me bring him in.”

Gordon shook his head.

“Sorry Bruce. Even if we capture him alive this time it will be death sentence. No matter how unfit he is to stand trial they will charge him and execute him this time.”

Bruce sighed, his shoulder sagging further in defeat.

“I know. I’m not asking you to keep him alive. But I can’t have him hunted like an animal.”

“Let me be the one to do it.”

Gordon looked in surprise at Bruce, noticing that the once charismatic and confident face of Gotham’s billionaire philanthropist was now lined with age and clouded with grief.

Bruce was already mourning Damian.

As the Police Commissioner, he could not allow it. As a father, as a friend, he had to.

“Alright, I’ll give you few days. But it must happen by the end of the week at the very latest. I won’t be able to buy you any more time than that.”

“You also need to help me to come up with some story to cover this up Bruce.”

“Maybe we can plant evidence to show that the Joker had bombs all around the city which would have gone off, if he was killed.”

“We need something to shift the blame away from Batman.”

“Gotham is bad enough already. Batman is the only hope. We can’t have people losing faith in Batman too.”

“I understand,” Bruce’s voice was composed but subdued.

“I don’t know how to thank you enough James.”

Bruce slips his mask back on.

Behind the mask he is once more invincible, his expression indistinguishable.

With a nod to Gordon, Batman leaves once more from the fire escape.

Gordon goes back to bed, to at least get an hour or two of sleep.

His young daughter, Barbara is fast asleep tucked protectively under the arm of her mother.

He strokes his daughter’s hair softly, feeling a great sense of sadness for Bruce Wayne, for the harsh life he had to face.

To have his parents murdered in front of his eyes as a boy and thereafter to lose his son and blame himself for it.

It seemed as if there was no guardian angel to guard Gotham’s guardian angel.

 

 

 


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