Batman and Joker: Blood Ties - Version 3

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
What would happen if Batman's origin story was slightly different?
How would that impact on the personality of the man he would eventually become and on the key characters who are linked to him?
This short story explores the origins of Batman, re-imagining the key events and characteristics that would define him and the lives of those around him.

Submitted: January 14, 2020

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Submitted: January 14, 2020

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Tyres screeched and the car scraped against the kerb but the boy managed to get it under control well enough to avoid driving head on into anything.

The boy who was driving, a lanky blonde kid of around thirteen or fourteen, whooped as the stolen car whisked at breakneck speed along one of Gotham’s less-travelled roads, which was deserted now at midnight.

He was driving with one hand, holding a beer bottle in the other.

“Slow down man, we don’t need no cops to see us,” the second boy, of around the same age as the boy who was driving, a boy of average height with auburn-coloured hair who sat in the front passenger seat, had to shout out over the noise of the radio set to full volume.

The boy who was driving barely heard him over the din and it would have made no difference if he did. He was used to doing as he pleased.

Few minutes earlier, in an alley the two boys had seen the old, worn-out sedan, which they were now driving. The driver had left the engine running and got down to throw up outside, to avoid making a mess in his car.

The two boys used the opportunity to sneak past the drunk who reeked of cheap booze, get in the car and drive off, with the drunk hollering after them.

“It’s time to change the music,” the boy who was driving shouted, reaching out to the radio to switch stations, as they rounded a corner.

The boy in the passenger seat looked up to see a couple with a young boy in between them crossing the road barely 20 feet in front of them.

He shouted to the boy who was driving, who looked up and twisted the steering wheel to the right while stepping on the brakes, trying to avoid running over the family.

But it was too late.

With a massive sickening thud, the car rammed into the couple, first into the man who was thrown on to the hood of the car and slid off leaving the windshield cracked and bloodied. Then then the car ran over the women.

With a screech, the car came to a stop in a plume of smoke as something in its battered engine gave away. The two boys looked at each other, horror and disbelief etched in both their faces. Both turned back at the same time to survey the damage done.

The man and the woman were lying faced down, unmoving on the road with their limbs in disarray and a small pool of blood was starting to slowly form around the body of the man. The woman seemed to have managed to push the kid out of harm’s way in the last second and he lay stunned, just sitting where he had fallen on the road.

Both boys slowly got out of the car and the boy who was in the passenger seat started moving towards the couple but was pulled back roughly by his arm by the boy who had been driving.

“What the hell are you doing man?”

“We have to get out of here. We’re dead if they find us here.”

The boy who had been in the passenger seat tried to shake him off.

“Get off me. I’m calling for help. They might still be alive.”

“No,” the boy who had been driving said roughly trying to pull him from the road to a dark alley nearby.

“They’re done for and we’re next if we stay till the bloody cops come.”

Without waiting for an answer, the boy who had been driving ran off into the alley.

The boy who had been in the passenger seat stood for a moment, his eyes still wide in disbelief.

The kid who had been sitting on the side of the road had gone to kneel beside his mother and was shaking her body mumbling “mom, mom, mom …………………”

After getting no reply from his mother the kid stopped shaking her, put his hands on his head and started screaming.

The boy who had been in the passenger seat stood still, chilled to the bone, affected even more by the grief and despair of the scream than he had been by sight of the two bodies.

As he stood rooted to the spot, lights started coming on in the buildings on either side of the road.

The neighbours had heard the commotion.

With one last look of dread at the kid who was still screaming beside his mother’s body, the boy ran off into the dark alley as fast as his legs could carry him.

* * * * * **

(Two decades later)

There was a scream, followed by a gunshot which echoed through Gotham Bank.

The Joker, the worst among psychopathic freaks that Gotham seem to produce by dozens each year, had earlier stormed the bank and taken multiple hostages, the bodies of some of whom now lay littered along the floor.

The response from the police, had been uncoordinated and ineffective as usual and three of the four officers who had managed to get in to the bank were either dead or wounded too badly to be of use.

The one remaining officer was pinned behind a counter by multiple gunmen. Having not even had time to don a bulletproof vest, the officer had no option but to seek cover.

He checked his ammunition and cursed under his breath. He had only two bullets left.

Gripping the pistol, he was about to make a desperate dash to try and reach the hostages, when he noticed smoke spreading across the bank.

As he cautiously held his position for a moment to assess the new development, he heard several thuds followed by few rapid bursts of gunfire.

Cautiously poking his head from behind the counter, he was greeted with the sight of several of the thugs who had stormed the bank lying inert on the floor, although he could see no bullet wounds or blood on their bodies.

He heard a scuffle in a corner and turned to see a masked man wearing dark clothes disarm one of the assailants who had lunged at him with a knife. Using a baton which he wielded with great skill and speed, the masked man dispatched his opponent easily, knocking him out cold in just four or five strategically-placed blows.

As he turned around, the officer pointed his pistol at the masked man.

“Easy there officer, I’m on your side, I’m not the bad guy here,” the masked man spoke in a deep voice, slowly raising his hands.

“Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?”

The officer was wary despite the man’s assurance. Being too trusting in Gotham as a cop could only land you in the mortuary.

“We have no time for introductions officer. Joker is still here with his gun pointed at the hostages. It doesn’t seem like you’re getting any back-up soon.”

“You have to trust me. We have to do this together.”

The officer knew that he had no choice.

He nodded and put away his pistol, instead picking up a gun from one of the unconscious assailants.

“So, what’s the plan?”

Considering his skills, which had to be extremely good for him to have dispatched multiple armed robbers without even using a gun, the officer knew that the masked man could probably come up with a better plan than he could, to save the hostages. The way the masked man held himself and moved suggested a high level of training, probably military.

The masked man told him and the officer nodded. It was not exactly the art of war but it would have to do.

The officer cautiously approached the back area of the bank, his gun held in front of him. He had put on a bulletproof vest belonging to one of the now inert assailants.

The masked man had disappeared as silently as he had appeared. He definitely had some skills.

As he rounded the corner the Joker stood in front of him with a pink-coloured pistol pointed at the head of a trembling and dishevelled young woman, who had her eyes on the floor.

“Good evening officer. How are you doing this fine day? Lovely weather isn’t it?”

The officer made no effort to respond to the theatrics of the Joker.

The Joker pouted, putting on a disappointed face.

“That was rude officer. Didn’t your parents teach you any manners?”

“I’m afraid I’ll have to punish your rudeness. Please put down your gun.”

The officer slowly put down the gun and kicked in towards the Joker. The Joker’s one remaining goon bent to pick it up.

The masked man was a blur as he whirled in from the opposite room slamming his baton across the face of the goon and thereafter hammering it into the hand of the Joker.

The pistol cluttered from the Joker’s hand and the officer grabbed it in the air, not willing to risk it falling, going off and hitting any of the hostages.

The masked man punched the Joker hard in his face and he staggered back, blood seeping from his broken nose, adding to the lines of red make-up painted on his face.

“My, my, who do we have here?”

“A new vigilante, a new hero of Gotham. How very exciting.”

“I finally have someone new to play with.”

“I was really getting fed up with the cops.”

“Happy to meet you sir.”

The Joker bowed to the masked man, removing his hat a bit clumsily with his good arm, the other now broken by the heavy blow from the masked man.

The masked man made no reply, only leaning forward to grab the Joker by the collar.

The next few seconds were a blur.

The Joker let go of his hat, drawing a thin blade that had been concealed in its lining, stabbed the masked man with it and shoved him towards the officer.

Caught by surprise, the officer collided with the masked man and fell down.

With a cackle of laughter, the Joker was off before the officer managed to pick himself up from the floor and get hold of a gun.

The officer turned his attention instead to the masked man who lay on the floor, clutching his stomach. He tried to stand up on his own but slipped on his own blood and fell to his knees. He was fast losing blood.

“Please officer……….. help me get out of here.”

The masked man said, grunting in pain.

The officer was about to radio it in, asking for an ambulance but the masked man grabbed at his hands trying to stop him.

“No. No hospital. No police.”

“I can handle this. I just need to get out of here.”

The officer took a moment to make his decision. The man had saved the lives of the hostages and his own. He owed it to him. He could hear the voices of his fellow officers as they entered the building. The hostages were now safe.

He helped the masked man to his feet and half-helped and half carried him to his car.

He knew only one trustworthy man who could help the masked man.

* * * * * **

The officer sat beside the masked man, who was lying on a bed.

His wound was now stitched up but he had lost consciousness a while ago.

Nothing more could be done for him, besides hoping that he would wake up.

After nearly an hour, the masked man stirred and tried to sit up.

The officer helped him.

The masked man slowly sat up and inspected the stitches.

“It’s not pretty but it would do, thank you.”

The masked man’s voice was still faint, he was weak from the loss of blood.

The officer nodded.

“It wasn’t me. My friend had some medical experience in the army.”

Just then Alfred bustled in to the room with a tray handing a glass of water to the masked man.

“So finally, our guest is awake Master Bruce.”

“Is there anything else I can do for you?”

The masked man shook his head.

“Thank you for everything. I’m good for now.”

With some difficulty the masked man extended his hand to Alfred who shook it slowly, being careful not to hurt him.

“Alfred Pennyworth, pleased to make your acquaintance.”

“James Gordon, likewise.”

James turned to the officer, who also introduced himself.

“Bruce Wayne.”

James nodded to Bruce, reaching behind him and taking down his mask.

Beneath his mask, Gordon was a man in his mid or late thirties with an untidy mop of auburn-coloured hair.

“Thanks Alfred, can I talk to James for a minute?”

Alfred nodded and exited the room.

“Thank you for your help today. You saved a lot of lives – both hostages and mine.”

Gordon looked away with a sigh, making no acknowledgement of Bruce’s appreciation of his work.

“I’m afraid I owe you a lot more than I could make up for by my what I did today Mr. Wayne.”

Gordon’s face had fallen. His face reflected something more than the pain from his wounds. He looked ashamed.

Bruce looked at him in surprise.

“What do you mean?”

“I was there to help the hostages alright. But mainly I was there because I was listening to the police dispatch. I heard that you were on the scene. I knew I had to come and help you get out.”

“You see, my reasons were not as noble as you would imagine them to be. It was selfish. I wanted you to live so that I could make up for my mistakes and we could have this conversation. So that I could apologize to you and finally try to make peace with something terrible that I did twenty years ago.”

Bruce was taken aback but made no comment. He suspected that he knew what Gordon was about to say next.

Gordon looked at Bruce in the eye.

Steeling himself and gathering his courage Gordon continued.

“You see, I was responsible for the death of your parents Mr. Wayne. I was one of the stupid kids in the car which ran over your parents and left you an orphan.”

“We were drinking and we barely knew how to drive. We were beyond reckless. And people paid with their lives for our mistakes.”

“I know this can never make up for what we did, but I am truly sorry.”

Gordon looked down in shame, his moment of courage gone, unable to face Bruce anymore.

Bruce got up without a word and went to the window, his mind whirling with conflicting emotions.

He had imagined this conversation in his head a hundred thousand times. He had imagined lashing out at the people responsible for killing his parents, screaming at them the enormity of his loss and watch them cringe and shudder under his accusations, their faces full of guilt and remorse.

It was what had driven him to become a cop. He had wanted to help seek justice for others; the justice that he could not seek for himself.

Until now.

Bruce grabbed the window bars until his knuckles turned white. He took a deep breath and turned around.

Gordon looked at him with the look of a man awaiting his execution.

Bruce knew that he would not retaliate, perhaps not even try to protect himself if he were to inflict violence on Gordon. But he had no need.

“Thank you.”

Gordon waited for him to go on but when he realized that Bruce was done, he looked thunderstruck.

“What do you mean, thank you? I killed your parents, I destroyed your childhood, I robbed the city of two people who would have done so much for it.”

Bruce nodded his head.

“There were so many times I imagined taking my revenge from you. But that’s in the past and I’ve thought it over. You committed a terrible mistake and people died, but you were just a foolhardy kid. That barely justifies being damned to hell.”

“And more than anything else James this would probably be the reply that my parents would have wanted me to give you.”

“So thank you for your apology. And thank you for saving my life and the lives of all those other people today.”

Gordon brought up his hands to his face and wept.

* * * * * **

Bruce was walking slowly, allowing Gordon to keep up with him.

The wound was healing but full recovery could take a few weeks.

Gordon looked about the Wayne Manor in wonder and shook his head ruefully.

As a boy from the street he had never known such wealth.

Joining the army had brought some money but this was wealth beyond his imagination.

“I was thinking James, I can help you in your work.”

“You have skills but no resources.”

“As you can see I have plenty and I’m more than willing to share them with you for the good of this city.”

“You got stabbed badly by the Joker. If you’re to do this seriously you clearly need protective vests and I don’t mean the crap bulky ones used by the police. You need proper equipment, you need better intel and you need a base.”

Gordon nodded in agreement at Bruce’s offer. He knew that on his own, the impact he could make was limited.

“I’m not going to say no to that Bruce. A base and equipment would be pretty handy.”

Bruce and Alfred took Gordon through a small corridor in Wayne Manor, at the end of which stood a metal door. The door opened to a partially-completed staircase which led to a massive cave.

There was a loud screech as soon as they entered the cave and all three men bent down in alarm as thousands of bats who had got disturbed by their entry flew off in confusion.

After a moment the bats settled down and the three men stood up cautiously.

The cave clearly required work, to be converted to a base from a bat cave.

But all three men were keen to get started.

It would be the beginning of a partnership that would define the future of Gotham.

 * * * * * **

He knew he had kept it somewhere in the damned drawer but couldn’t find it.

He cursed as his hands started trembling. He knew what was coming next. He had to find the drugs before the memories started pouring in to his mind, overwhelming him.

He saw something shiny and grabbed at it and bought it to the light, only to find that it was a damned pen.

As he threw away the pen in frustration his foot touched something.

He laughed with relief. Finally. He found the bottle.

He opened the stopper, readied himself and took a deep breath, filling his lungs with the chemical fumes from the liquid.

He sat on the floor, leaned against the drawer and waited for the drug to kick-in.

But it was too late.

Memories, distorted by time and drug use flooded his mind.

Assaulted by the barrage of memories he rolled on the floor, hysterically sobbing and laughing at the same time.

It was always the same memory, although details changed slightly from time-to-time.

He was driving a car along a deserted road, whizzing past buildings which all became a blur.

And then all of a sudden there were three people on the road. A woman, a man and a boy in between them.

He twists the wheel with all his strength but he collides with them.

It’s always the eyes of the woman that gets to him, blue and empty yet cold and accusing.

Reflected in her eyes is the face of a lanky blonde kid of thirteen or fourteen.

As the drugs finally kick in he slips into a merciful oblivion.

The oblivion which he had sort through drugs after the terrible incident twenty years ago. The drugs have been his friend, but have taken their toll, changing his personality, wiping out most his memory and making him into an addict.

Later, when he wakes up he notices that his cheeks are cold.

He wipes his fingers across his face and detects a hint of wetness.

He remembers vaguely a sense of sadness but dismisses it without a second thought.

As he reapplies his make-up while looking at himself in a mirror he starts giggling uncontrollably, which results in streaks of lipstick running across his face which only makes him laugh even harder.

Finally, after over-coming his bout of laughter he finishes the job and surveys his work.

It looks perfect.

Reflected in the mirror is the face of a clown, the face of Gotham’s public enemy number one – the Joker.


© Copyright 2020 Saminda. All rights reserved.

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