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Ever since the condemning of the Bat, the Joker has been using coded tabloid ads to tip him off about his plans. Tonight, the hours of deciphering another curt message send him to a meat plant on the outskirts of town.

Bank heists, hostage situations, every sort of social event the Joker would contrive over the past six months has been thwarted by none other than Batman before the police could even get a whiff of what was going on and where. The Joker, true to form, has eluded apprehension so far. Sometimes, Bruce gets the feeling he is being toyed with, drawn into those places and situations simply to be appraised by the clown from a safe distance; he rarely sees him in person anymore, but he always senses the Joker watching him. Such surmise is never a good thing to have fermenting in the back of your mind. It tends to make you anxious, prone to making a mistake. It's best to deal with it openly.

The air is filled with cold filth, and the sound of Bruce's steps on the concrete floor are jarring in this deafening silence. It's quite dark, and he can't sense anyone being in this building against their will, he can't feel the fear normally suffusing every situation orchestrated by the Joker. There definitely is a situation though; no guards or workers in sight. The realization he might be deliberately lured into something slowly worms its way into his thoughts, but he braces himself against it. He needs to find this man, he needs to put him away for good, and he makes the decision to stay alert no matter what.

He smells it first, and as he looks down, he sees a trail of smeared blood. He kneels to make sure it's fresh, and he follows to the place its owner was dragged. The knot in his stomach begins to tighten in a familiar way, and he does not like it. The Joker is close, he knows it, the tightening knot is pleasant anticipation and nausea at once, and he definitely does not like it. He arrives at a dimly lit storage room, where on a steel table lies a mangled, fat corpse of Arnold Flass, the Joker's pooches sinking their teeth into morsels of red meat portioned off the body by the Joker himself with a neat autopsy knife. The Joker throws another piece and one of the dogs jumps up trying to catch it while airborne. He watches their busy maws lovingly, seemingly oblivious to the arrival of a spectator. Bruce hates those dogs; he knows it, the Joker knows it, and the dogs apparently know it too, as it didn't take them more than a few seconds to register his smell among the steaming aromas of their dinner.

At the first growl, the Joker's eyes brighten up in the black greasepaint pits. The dogs bristle, their teeth bare and their muscles tense, ready for the command. Bruce quickly grabs a small tranquilizer gun, flinching at the Joker’s chirping tone as he exclaims, “Go greet him, girls!”. A small step back, and he manages to fire at the charging animal, but he is a second too slow to take care of the remaining two at the same time. Rending pain in his thigh stops him in his tracks, but he aims the gun. Before he can shoot, the Joker is right in front of him, only a colorful flash, and two blackjacks hit him on either side of his cowl with terrible force. Stunned, Bruce sways, hears the whimpering of the dog as it’s kicked away from his leg. The Joker picks up the tranquilizer gun. Bruce will never forgive himself for underestimating this man’s speed and precision as a dartful of acepromazine hits the back of his thigh at a spot not protected by kevlar.

“I just love it when they bring their own solutions,” is the last thing Bruce hears before his legs collapse under him. He claws at the hanging halves of pigs for purchase, and then, he doesn’t know anything anymore. He doesn’t know how long he has been out, and as he begins to come around he knows he is still heavily sedated, loosing and regaining consciousness at a few minute intervals. He knows he is stripped naked, his wrists tied behind him as the Joker does something to him, and it’s hard to understand at first, but he registers receiving an enema, then another, then being washed with warm water while slumping on a cold floor, then an intrusive brightness from the Joker’s pen light as he checks his pupils. Then, Bruce falls asleep again.

He wakes up kneeling, his thighs spread and his ankles tied with rope to a steel bar or pipe—whatever it is, it’s bolted to the ground. His arms tied behind him, his mouth gagged with rope, pulling his head backwards. The rig connects the head, the arms and the legs at the back, holding him upright and forcing his body into a rather uncomfortable arch. He is still weak, as the futile attempts to flex his aching muscles tell him. He can’t see quite well what is in front of him in this position, but he knows the Joker is there, watching. His dazed mind puts the two and two together, and he begins to understand what is going on. A tiny rivulet of cold sweat trickles down his back.

With a quiet rustle of fabric and slight gust of warm air, Bruce knows the Joker is now near him. The pen light examines his eyes, blinding him momentarily, and the next thing he sees is the skeleton-white face of his captor, the yellow teeth bared in a grin that could only mean a lot is in store for him. And that he should probably start praying by now. His heart beats as fast as it can despite his blood oiled with sedatives, and his eyes are wide open as two warm, slightly moist hands cup his face affectionately. The Joker tells him nothing. They both know what is going to happen, and Bruce really doesn’t need verbal abuse nor berating to get in the mood; he is petrified enough as it is, and he couldn’t be more beautiful to the clown right now. The Joker takes in the smooth skin stretched over the usually lethal, but now quite useless muscles. He revels the sight of Bruce’s face, ghastly white, half scared, half angry, and scrubbed clean of the black eye make-up. His pulse, slow at first, quickens its pace as he leans in to nuzzle Bruce’s neck and feels that the man is trembling. His painted lips spread tentatively over the warm flesh, and he sucks. Ragged, exhaled air ghosts through his hair. Bruce jerks as much as he can, but he can’t quite lean away from him. The Joker smiles at the quiet, tortured groan that escapes Bruce’s throat.

The mouth is moist and hot, and it’s enough for Bruce’s skin to cover with goose bumps. The Joker’s kisses aren’t just skin-deep, they go further to poison his blood, goad it into a place Bruce really doesn’t want it to go. He tries to rationalize, accept that the Joker is a sick bastard with a fixation on him, comfort himself with trite reassurances that no matter what happens, it’s not his fault, he can’t help it, and so forth. None of it matters at the moment, and none of it is convincing nor comforting. The soft lips nibble at his earlobe while the warm hands caress his torso, teasing his hardened nipples. As it goes on, minute after minute, the stupidest thoughts come to Bruce’s mind. The part of his brain still submerged in drugs remains morbidly analytical, and Bruce starts to consider the Joker, to his own dismay. He wonders if the expert movements of those hands and the way that tongue savors his flesh are purely intuitive or learned. He wonders whether it’s the Joker’s thing to capture people and have his way with them, or is it just his own sorry fate. The thoughts slowly turn into meaningless realizations similar to splashes of colorful light behind your eyelids when you’re about to lose consciousness. Bruce tries not to sigh while the Joker sucks at his nipple, his hand gently wrapping around his half-erect cock and squeezing.

He did not expect this. He did not expect it to feel like this. He knows he is drugged, but there is something more, crouching at the back of his mind, allowing his cock to grow completely hard under the Joker’s ministrations. He wants to want to fight, and the lack of will to resist makes him nauseous for a second. He tries to tell himself it’s just the drugs mixed with the cruel laws of nature, but he still knows there is more to it. He fails to suppress a whimper when the Joker rubs the leaking slit of his cock with his thumb, his tongue still rolling over his reddened nipple. The hot air exhaled by the clown feels just a little too good against his skin, and another meaningless realization hits Bruce; the Joker does not stink like he would have expected him to. He smells of blood and sweat, but something about this odor feels clean and appealing. Then, he remembers the way he was washed and prepared, the neatly cut pieces of Arnold Flass, the shiny and groomed fur of the rottweilers, he peruses the Joker’s clothing he has for some reason catalogued in his memory, and he can’t help feeling some kind of sick appreciation for the man’s deliberate thoroughness and concern for details while still maintaining his role of the chaos incarnate.

A momentary lapse of awareness makes Bruce jerk and groan angrily, and the fear that remained in hiding for a few minutes, coiled under his skin, springs up once again. Perhaps the drugs are wearing off. Bruce hopes they are, but he knows it won’t happen fast enough as the Joker snarls his fingers in his hair, his other hand still stroking and squeezing his cock, his tempo slow and teasing, but his grip firm enough to make Bruce’s skin flush both with pleasure and anger. He must be filming this, Bruce thinks. He’s going to blackmail me. He wants to humiliate me. He can’t be doing this just-

The hand in his hair pulls him so his body arches backward even more, and suddenly, the Joker is pressing against him. Bruce can feel a lean, muscled torso rubbing against his, and his cock against the Joker’s erection trapped in his pants, and he knows this isn’t an act on his captor’s part. He really doesn’t want the relief this knowledge brings him. He doesn’t want the heat building up in his stomach with the slow friction of their bodies, and he doesn’t want the tingles surging down his spine as the Joker’s mouth settles beneath his jaw line, leaving a hickey. He tries to think of his parents. He tries to think of Rachel and her half-empty coffin, containing only some charred remains and too many grudges to count. He tries to think of Alfred telling him that it was nothing that he did, it was him and him alone. And then the Joker licks his gagged mouth looking into his eyes, and Bruce can’t turn away from the pure obsession burning into him, and for a moment he really believes all of it is his fault. He made the Joker like this, he has been propelling him for all this time, and now it’s time to pay.

The Joker sees it all in his eyes whether Bruce likes it or not. He sucks his lips, biting gently. Bruce’s breath is quick and ragged, and he changes his mind about the drugs. He wants to stay sedated and groggy, he doesn’t want to know that he actually likes the feel of the other man’s frantic heartbeat against his chest, the way his rock-hard cock is pulsating against his own through the layer of clothing. He registers a small change in the Joker’s demeanor through the veil of his own shameful anger. The strong, wiry arms squeeze him hard enough to bruise and the clown tenses up against him like a boa snake, the sharp teeth clenching over the tendons in Bruce’s neck so hard as if he had every intention of biting off a piece. Bruce screams at the sudden pain, and then, the overwhelming surge of endorphins does its job. He whimpers quietly while the Joker’s mouth descends down his torso, leaving a trail of burning, wet kisses in its wake. His mind is purged for a few glorious seconds.

He can’t help the breathy moan when that mouth reaches its destination. The Joker sucks the head of his cock, and his tongue slowly moves over the tip, one hand wrapped around the shaft, the other cupping his balls, gently squeezing and massaging. The growing clarity is becoming painful with the pleasure Bruce receives. Some part of him tries to hang on to the dissipating drug and give in, the other is already submerged in bitter disgust. His moans are stifled and laced with shame, and the Joker hums in appreciation. The clown’s mouth engulfs him, sucking, the tongue moving faster and faster while warm fingertips rub his perineum. Bruce is panting. His burning rage doesn’t help; it only seems to bring him closer to the release. And then, without a warning, the Joker stops, and Bruce wishes he was dead the moment the treacherous, disappointed whimper escapes his throat. He clenches his eyes shut and gives his muscles another try, twisting and jerking. He’s trying to convince both of them he does not want the Joker’s hands on his body. His strength is returning too slowly, but the soft mist leaves his head way too fast.

The Joker snarls at the struggling and hisses at the furious growls. His fingers grab a fistful of Bruce’s hair, and he tilts the insubordinate head to face him. All Bruce wants his eyes to tell this madman is how much he really hates it, and how much revulsion he has for him, but the way the Joker looks at him brings a disheartening realization he can’t quite convey it all. He wants to cry, but the Joker cannot have that. His eyes sting when the clown licks his cheek. Another futile attempt at twisting away earns him a blow to his jaw, and Bruce is almost grateful for the momentary blackout. The pounding pain and white noise occupy his mind for a few seconds, giving the Joker some time for rearranging. He can taste blood in the back of his throat.

The sharp edge of a knife ghosts over his jugular vein, its touch nothing but sensual. Bruce knows the Joker wouldn’t kill him, but he doesn’t know to what lengths he might go in order to subdue him. He hates himself for being grateful to that threat, he hates himself for finding comfort in the fact he is tied down, and that he’s denied any kind of control. He hates knowing that he is about to be fucked and he hates being pleased with having absolutely nothing to say on the matter. Not even his rampant rage could eradicate this knowledge. He truly believes now all of it is his fault.

The Joker cuts and alters the rig; Bruce is no longer forced into an arch, and now he is being repositioned for what is coming next. Even though he’s dazed from the blow, he realizes his movement margin is a little wider now, but he won’t even try to jerk or struggle. The knife presses against his shoulder blade while the Joker forces him to bend over, pushing his face down against the concrete. A small incision tells him to stay like this, and Bruce obliges. He feels as if his blood has turned into bile, closes his eyes and sucks in breath. He is going to be fucked and he wishes he could want it to be over, but instead he’s anxious. He’s not afraid of pain. He’s afraid he’s going to like it. He knows it. His skin crawls while the Joker nestles behind him between his legs, and his cock twitches when fingernails graze down the small of his back and his ass, the warm hands spreading him gently.

Bruce gasps sharply at the moist tongue sliding against his entrance. He trembles in disgust and pleasure while the Joker continues, his tongue circling, prodding, his mouth sucking the sensitive skin, then licking again. He wraps one of his hands around the head of Bruce’s cock and squeezes, forcing him to bite down hard on the rope. For a split second Bruce wonders if it was some kind of courtesy on the Joker’s part to gag him. He knows damn well he would never beg the clown, but he knows even better how much he fucking wants to. Yet, he doesn’t need to worry about that. All that will ever leave his mouth are those strained, ridiculous whimpers he will never be able to live down anyway. He inhales the smell of greasepaint the Joker left on his face and neck, and he desperately tries to hold back his cries. The fire in the pit of his stomach becomes unbearable and he’s about to come, when the cruel hand pinches the base of his cock, staving off his release. The tongue goes on about its torture, and Bruce can’t bite down any harder.

It ends abruptly, again. There’s only the sound of his own panting and the thumping of blood in his ears. Bruce’s memory replays scenes for him, over and over again, Alfred telling him it was nothing that he did, Rachel slapping him, Rachel’s funeral. He can’t stop the tears this time. The Joker settles beside him now. There’s a sound of spitting. Bruce knows he’s being watched, but he won’t open his eyes. He feels the clown’s mouth near his face; he’s taking in the smell of his shame. He hears the lascivious smack of the Joker’s lips, he tries to worm away, and then the hot, scarred mouth is at the nape of his neck. The Joker bites down hard and sucks like a leech, and Bruce screams. His mind is empty for another moment, but the tears are still flowing. The teeth don’t let go--the Joker is holding him down like a feline subduing his mate. Bruce can’t help but find the simile ridiculous. This isn’t the kind of thought one should have at a time like this. His eyes feel hot, his throat stings, his muscles are sore and he can feel the blood with every breath that he takes, and among it all the Joker’s teeth on his neck give him some goddamned comfort.

A spit-coated finger starts to slowly prod at his entrance. Bruce tenses up, and the Joker bites down harder, pushing it inside. It burns, and Bruce is covered in cold sweat. It takes so long, and it feels so repulsive, and so fucking good, and it hurts. The Joker sends another finger inside. They scissor and stretch him, and move incessantly, and Bruce needs to bite down on the rope when they brush against his prostate. His cock is aching and pulsating. It would only take so much right now, but the Joker releases his clasp over his neck and sits upright, adding another finger, his other hand pinching the base of Bruce’s cock once more. The ring of muscle begins to relax despite Bruce’s every effort to prevent it, and now the fingers are moving somewhat smoothly. The Joker increases the tempo, watching how all the muscles in the tied body before him flex, watching the sheen of sweat covering the cool skin, and he presses down over Bruce’s prostate, being rewarded with a spasm and a cry of undiluted pleasure and humiliation. He swallows, his tongue darting out to moisten his dried lips, and withdraws his fingers.

His blood races at a hundred miles per hour when he tampers with the fly of his pants. It takes him too long to unzip it, but he can’t help it; he has every right to be giddy. He spits in his hand and spreads it over his cock, trying to breathe hard and endure; even the slightest touch combined with the sight before his eyes could bring him over the edge if he isn’t careful. The Joker, attempting to calm down before he finally gets to claim what’s his. He smiles to himself at the quaintness of it all. One of his hands rests on Bruce’s shoulder, squeezing it gently in a mocking gesture of encouragement while his other hand helps his cock push inside. Bruce hisses and groans when the head moves past his entrance; it must hurt quite badly since spit isn’t exactly the best kind of lubrication, but the Joker won’t settle for any kind of chemicals to separate him from what is his. He feels he’s entitled to a little whimsy such as this one, and he shushes Bruce in a saccharine whisper. He runs his fingers through the soft, dark hair, and he pushes inside a few inches deeper. His eyes roll back, because in his wildest dreams he could not have expected Bruce to feel so good, the visual and aural aspects only adding to the experience. The thoughts fermenting in his little Bat’s head that his precious eyes give away so endearingly and the red-hot emotions sizzling just underneath the sweat-slicked skin are just the proverbial icing on the cake. The Joker’s smile grows wider and his eyebrows furrow as the powerful jolts of pleasure surge through his body with every inch he buries deeper. A little thrust of his hips and he’s all the way in. Bruce is soaked in sweat. He’s almost bitten through the rope. It’s all so very sweet.

The Joker leans over Bruce’s tied arms, wraps one of his hands around Bruce’s throat and the other one around his cock. He’s a considerate man, and he courteously waits a few seconds before he really starts to fuck him. The pause takes a lot of him, but what he can’t stand is being accused of lacking couth. Still, it doesn’t seem as if it has relieved Bruce in any way; he screams, and gasps, and squirms, and trembles, but his cock is still hard and leaking in the Joker’s firm grip. The clown gives Bruce a few strokes and squeezes in an attempt to mollify him. It must be the poor thing’s first time. The hand around Bruce’s throat tightens, and so does Bruce. The Joker lets out a gravelly moan and closes his eyes, his upper lip curling up in a carnivorous smile. He keeps strangling, carefully minding the changes in Bruce’s pulse, the tension in his muscles. He buries his face in the slick flesh of the man’s back as he leans in a little more, the tempo of his thrusts fast and solid. He listens to Bruce’s body, feels the struggle for air through his skin, senses the pain in his veins. His tongue slithers out of his mouth and laps up the beads of cold sweat. He sucks on the skin, and the taste tells him it’s time to loosen his grip.

With the first euphoric gasp that reaches his ears, the Joker starts to fuck him harder, aiming at the right angle. He bites down hard on his shoulder blade with an animalistic groan, and strokes Bruce’s wet cock faster. Soon enough, the sounds coming from Bruce’s mouth become unabashed and wanton, and the Joker feels a slight shift in his attitude. He could swear his darling is starting to be responsive, bucking against his hips unwittingly. He nuzzles the bleeding flesh of Bruce’s back and settles for a softer rhythm for a while. It does feel quite different when there is a certain consensus, he thinks to himself and smiles, his tongue playing with the blood. He starts strangling again, and this time he meets less resistance. Bruce is beginning to get it. Or maybe he’s just gone. The Joker listens again, and he knows it all. He allows him to breathe, and with what he hears and feels, he starts to lose himself. Bruce is warm and willing beneath him, he can tell. Bruce loves every last little second of what he does to him, because it is him. Bruce will never be able to look at himself in the mirror again, and the Joker smiles, kissing the side of his neck and squeezing the head of his cock when Bruce comes. He screams. He pushes against the Joker, he tenses up against him spasmodically, melts against him. And the Joker is right—he loves every single moment of it, down to the feeling of the clown coming inside him. The Joker is right about everything.

There’s only one more thing to do before they can call it a day, though. While Bruce is slumping, giving in to his after-shocks and breathing heavily, the Joker admires his relaxed eyebrows and a string of spit trickling down his mouth, pooling on the concrete. He zips up his pants, buttons up his shirt, and roots in his pocket for a knife. It’s a special knife he has bought for this occasion, and he has decided he is only going to use it once. After that, it’s up to Bruce. He runs his hand down Bruce’s hip and assesses the canvas for his opus.

Bruce’s breath hitches with the first incision, but he can’t quite move, nor does he want to. It doesn’t really hurt right now. The Joker is carving something into his behind, and it does take some time for him to finish. Carefully weighing each letter, his tongue darting out and an expression of complete engrossment on his face, he leaves his brand on the hide of what is his. He squints at the finished work, knowing that writing something like Joker was here on Bruce’s ass is in very poor taste, but what matters is that Bruce will have a pretty definite attitude toward this mark, and he knows that it’s going be an attitude the Joker will enjoy watching. Now is the time for the parting rituals. The clown sits next to Bruce and helps him to sit upright. He cuts the rope connecting his head to his tied arms, and jerks the sodden strings out of his mouth.

When the gag is removed, Bruce remains silent and his eyes tell nothing. He stares at the Joker’s face, studies the patches of revealed skin underneath the make-up, wonders how much of that stuff is now covering his own skin. His mind has flat-lined. What do you say to someone who has just done something like this to you? Do you say you’ll pay for this, or I fucking hate you, or you’re a sick, sick man, you need help? Bruce knows there’s nothing for him to say and he knows it by the way the Joker is looking at him. His eyes have a very warm color. He gazes right through him. No matter what Bruce might say or do, it will be irrelevant, because the Joker has laid his claim to him, and it will always be this way. Even if he someday captures him and makes sure he won’t get out, Bruce will belong to this sick bastard, and nothing can change it.

The Joker cups his face in his hands with a sweet smile. He leans in and kisses him, his tongue demanding permission to get in. Bruce doesn’t respond, but he doesn’t flinch, doesn’t even try to twist away. His eyelids half-closed, he allows the clown to taste him, and the urge to cry comes back with a stinging realization he wants to taste him too. This kiss is just fucking wrong. It’s too tender, too languid, too long, not long enough. He lets out a ragged sigh when the Joker pulls away, his eyes glazed over, his tongue rolling in his mouth as if spreading the taste over his palate. He swallows and licks his lips reverently. Bruce’s vision fogs. He feels something hot and wet running down his cheek, and then, the Joker’s tongue lapping it up. He clenches his eyes shut, feeling the imminent outburst of something, and then the clank of the knife hitting the ground behind him and the sound of footsteps end it all. The Joker has left.

Bruce waits for the blistering emotion he has no name for to subside. He looks around and sees clearly he’s alone in a deserted meat plant, his suit is cut into pieces and piled on the floor a couple feet away, and he needs to get out of here. His tied hands fumble behind him for the abandoned knife. He grabs a hold of it and starts to maneuver around the ropes. He’s free in a matter of minutes. The suit is useless as the Joker apparently had no patience for the intricate system of clasps and locks; he just cut along the mesh parts and helped himself to what was inside. He was considerate enough to leave Bruce his underwear, and now he walks up to the pile, stumbling and dizzy, attempting to grab it. His movement coordination is quite feeble and Bruce wonders if it’s the asphyxiation or the drugs. Or maybe it’s just overload taking its toll. Bruce never had a stronger orgasm than that. He realizes the tears are still flowing, but there’s no time for self-pity. He puts on his underwear, the carved skin stinging at the contact with fabric.

Bruce sits down. His mind is blank, and he knows he can’t go anywhere by himself in this state. He needs to call Alfred, but how the fuck can he look him in the eye and tell him what happened? It was nothing that you did, he keeps repeating in his head like a mantra. He reaches for his utility belt and sits for a little longer, motionless. Finally, he makes the call.

After that, Bruce just shrouds himself in fakeness. He tells Alfred he’s alright when he arrives. He tells him what happened. He doesn’t tell him everything, and Alfred understands. Alfred understands the guilt, the shame and the responsibility that is now Bruce’s only connection to sanity. The responsibility to the Joker. Bruce is the reason the Joker was driven to do all of this, Bruce is the reason behind his craziness, Bruce is the reason for the Joker’s distress and imbalance. A sane person would never do what the Joker has done. Bruce owes him the reprieve, Bruce needs to make sure the Joker is in a hospital, getting proper treatment. This is what Bruce would say, and this is what Alfred can decipher to an extent.

What Alfred won’t ever know is that Bruce has kept the knife the Joker used to brand him. What Alfred won’t see is Bruce crying in the shower, scalding water falling on him in punishment, his cock hard in his hand. When Bruce comes, he thinks of the Joker’s fucking tongue lapping up the tears off his cheek. He watches his semen being washed down the drain and retches. He’d like to be washed away along with it.