It’s too white.
Too white that it could make someone go.... Crazy.
Maybe if there's a little bit more color to it, it'll be more... More.... Exciting.
Maybe splotches of red here and there.
Oh! Can't forget the yellows and blues there and of course, greens.
The perfect colors for a show.
The corners of his lips tugged slightly upwards. There's a little hop in his steps as his mind wandered, eyes scanning the hallway he's walking in. He hummed his favorite song as his body spontaneously moved to the beat lightly. But it's not long before he finally reached his destination. He took a little pause, the same white door staring back at him. He encountered it enough times to make him sick to his stomach. His guards pushed the door open, letting him in. Their eyes wary.
He took a few seconds before finally striding in. His steps confident. Without knowing who's on the other side of the damn door. He kept turning his gazes all around the room, refusing to look at the person seating at the end of it. He eventually sat down on the chair, eyes busy fumbling with the cigarette he had on hand, paying no mind to the other person. It'll probably be another psychiatrist, another one who couldn't stand him yet again.
It was your voice that finally snapped him out of his trance.
His movements immediately came to an abrupt halt. His eyes widened. That voice. How long has it been since he last heard it? He felt a sudden pang in his chest as he slowly gazed up at you. Finally putting all of his attention.
There's a tinge of disbelief in his voice. Brows furrowed together as if he's only imagining the sight of you.
"Yes it's me, Arthur".
You tried to smile but he didn't budge. His eyes relentlessly scanned you, thousands, thousands of thoughts ran through his mind. But almost automatically it seemed to settle on one thing.
You look prettier,
even more than the last time he saw you.
Which was many, many years ago.
Upon that realization, he could feel another pang right in his chest as his breath constricted. The familiar bubble forcing its way into his throat, and this time, he didn't try to hold it in. A series of laughter soon echoed in the room. He choked on his breaths as he laughed. Eyes crinkled while he gazed upwards, his orbs moving from right to left, unfocused.
Oh, the irony.
"Ha..... how long has it been already?"
He finally spoke as he calmed down. A hand reaching for the lighter conveniently laid on the table. He set the cigarette alight, sucking in deep before releasing it back to the air.
"I'd say... Too long" he breathed out, orbs finally settling towards you. You could felt your breath hitched, you knew this was coming. You knew. And yet, you still couldn't shake the feeling off of your chest.
"I know. I'm... sorry... Arthur." he immediately scoffed at that remark. Lips forming a smirk.
"No. No. No No. No. Don't be. You're here now aren't you? That's all that matters" his tone turned gleeful. Eyebrows raised up, lips smiling wide. And you knew him too well to know that he wasn't being sincere. He was indeed mocking you. You cleared your throat awkwardly.
"So is there anything you want to tell me today, Arthur? So I can catch up on things?"
"Aren't you here because you already have caught up on things? You wouldn't be here otherwise." he snapped back, his tone dangerously stable and low but his smile remained. Eyes still focused on you. Only you. It sent chills down your spine. You tried speaking back but no words escaped your lips.
"But I get it! I get it! I'll tell you everything because you're finally here" he took another long drag of his cigarette before his hand settled down on his knees. His body leaned back on the chair.
"Ask away" there's a glint to his eyes, the ones you never saw before. You tried resisting the lump forming on your throat before speaking
“Okay... How are you feeling today Arthur?"
"Mmhm great! Never been better actually"
"Especially because the only woman I kept thinking about is finally here, in front of me" his smile grew even wider if that's possible.
"I missed her so much you know" there was a little pause as he took the cigarette back to his lips. Eyes casted downwards.
"But she was busy apparently. Too busy. And i get it. Totally get it." he raised his hands in defense.
"Who wouldn't be in this time and age?"
"But.. do you know something?" he leaned towards you. Wetting his lips slightly before whispering
"I just thought we had... Something. Something special... Me and her. But I guess not. It seemed that my head just got too imaginative sometimes." he scrunched his nose as he smiled again. You felt as if you're being slapped with cold water. You knew his condition better than anyone else. You knew his story better than anyone else. You knew him better than anyone else.
And yet you left him.
You abandoned him.
You. Abandoned. him.
Guilt gnawed at you, if it was only peeking and tugging at your shirt before, now it was strangling your neck, cutting your source of air. If only you were there for him. If only you kept in touch with him. If only you tried. Maybe this wouldn't have happened. Maybe Arthur would still be Arthur. The man you adored. The man you loved.
You blinked a few times. Taking a few deep breaths in attempt to calm yourself down. But your actions didn't go unnoticed by him.
"Uh no no no. Don't feel bad about it sweetheart, if that makes you uncomfortable I won't talk about it anymore, hm?" he immediately placed both of his hands around your face, startling you. His thumb making circles on your skin as he gazed at you almost lovingly.
"I- I'm fine Arthur, thank you" you forced a smile on your face. He smiled back.
"Ahh that's better."
"I always love it when you smile (y/n)" he admitted and you realized just how much you missed the way he spoke your name. You pursed your lips as you tried to swallow the nonexistent lump on your throat. The rest of the session went out pretty smoothly, as Arthur kept to his words and didn't speak about your past with him, even the slightest bit.
"Ah I guess it's time" hearing the knock on the door, Arthur reluctantly got up while flashing you a big smile. At least it seemed that way. His back was already halfway facing you before he turned.
"Oh I almost forgot" he leaned towards you abruptly and your body failed to react. He captured your lips in his, both of his hands engulfed your face once again. Caressing you ever so gently. He tasted like cigarettes, just like how you remembered it. Arthur pulled away after a few seconds. Eyes crinkled as he smiled. If another person saw him they would think that he was truly happy.
"I still can't believe that you're finally here (y/n)." he breathed your name out, his hand tucked a strand of your hair.
"Here, in front me" He gazed at you again. And it gripped your heart, squeezed it ever so painfully.
"Welcome back, sweetheart" smile still etched to his features, he stood back slightly, as if he's gazing at a piece of art. He nodded to himself before his hands finally left your face. His body eventually turned against you, leaving the room as instructed. He sneaked one last glance inside before smiling again, hands waving eagerly.
"I'll be waiting for our next session!" he blurted out before completely disappearing.
And you were left feeling completely and utterly shaken.
"He's different towards you. He seemed more... Open and relaxed. None of those traits he ever showed to the others here"
Your superior's words rang in your head as you took a seat back in the same room for the nth time this month. You blankly stared at your desk for a few seconds.
Of course he would be different towards you. That's what you hoped, coming all the way back to Gotham the moment you knew he was being held in Arkham. When his face was shown all over the news. When you saw him shot that man in his own show. And him smiling afterwards.
A sudden shiver erupted in your body at the thought. Your hands curling up slightly. He's changed. Obviously. His whole demeanor at your first encounter was not what you had expected. The confidence radiating off of him. The timid and unsure Arthur was no more. Nowhere to be found.
The door creaked open, disheveling your thoughts all at once as the man himself came in. A big grin slowly appeared from his features as soon as he laid his eyes on you.
"Hello, sweetheart" he immediately sat down. Eager to talk. You didn't even realize you were holding your breath the entire time, only releasing it after he was completely in front of you. You forced a smile on your face
"How are you today, Arthur?"
The session soon passed by, as Arthur kept talking about his days and thoughts and even about the jokes he had on mind. It was inevitably coming to an end, but before it really did Arthur suddenly leaned in, his lips pursed slightly.
"Hey, (y/n) can I ask you for a favor?" you quirked your eyebrows. It's the first time that it happened. You nodded slightly, still unsure about the idea.
"In our next session, can you bring me some... face paints? I've been feeling really restless these days and I thought..." he paused for a second. Eyes casted downwards.
“That it can make me feel at ease for a bit." he looked up at you. His eyes were pleading. The images of his clown self immediately emerged in your mind.
"Because I find that the process of it is somewhat.. therapeutic. It's funny though because I used to truly hate putting that make up on" he chuckled, sipping on his cigs.
"But now, I think it's the only part of me that's still... Me" your heart ached at his confession but your mind screamed at you. The scene of him shooting down the man replayed itself in your head like a broken record. A part of you didn't want to see him like that. A part of you didn't want to accept that side of him even existed. But after everything was robbed from him, his mother, his identity, his self, you understood his words.
Some face paints couldn't hurt anyone, right?
You licked your lips, pondering the idea. Arthur looked at you expectantly with his big green eyes. You sighed, utterly defeated.
"Okay Arthur. I'll see what I can do." his face instantly lit up at your words. Teeth showing through his lips.
"Thank you (y/n)."
You couldn't forget how sweet he sounded.
When you presented him the items he admittedly said longed for, his excitement burst right away.
"Can I put this on now? I wanna show you. You never saw me in my make up before haven't you?" he blurted out gleefully. Truth to be told you didn't want to see it. You didn't want to admit it but you're scared.
Scared of that side of him.
"I do this so often I can even do it without a mirror, watch." he picked up the brush and started painting his face a bright white. He looked somewhat ecstatic, smiling and humming, occasionally bringing his cigarette into his mouth, inhaling its toxic smoke. You sat there as you watched him do his magic. Your heart clenched at the sight of him every time the makeup took a step closer towards completion.
Silence hung in the air, the only sounds present was his brush strokes and the occasional breaths of smoke his lips exhaled. After the final stroke of red was brushed against his lips, it tugged upwards. Eyes looking at you fervently. Your heart throbbed.
"How do I look?" you swallowed hard. Not used to the sight in front of you. Wasn't sure of what you actually feel towards it.
"Uh.. I don't know what to say, Arthur" his lids fluttered close as his smile spread wider. As if he already expected your answer.
"I didn't ruin my own make up didn't I?" he tried to play it off, his tone teasing.
"No. You're too good at that" he chuckled before taking one last long drag at his cigarette and shuffled closer to you. He got up and bowed slightly, his face a mere inch towards your own. His orbs scanned your face, exploring your expression.
"My dear (y/n)" He sighed your name out, his chained hands caressed your hair delicately.
"You're always so kind to me. You're always so, so-" he brought his face closer, nose sticking in your hair and he inhaled deep.
"So beautiful" he breathed out, eyes focusing back to your own. You shuddered in your seat under his sharp gaze. Your heart beating loudly against your rib cage.
It almost felt like...
It almost felt like you were at the mercy of your predator.
"I often imagined how you'll react when we meet again." he hummed softly.
"Will you smile? Will you be moved to tears? Will you hug me and say I've missed you? Will you kiss my cheek like you always do?" his hand continued to smooth your hair, occasionally entangling the knots here and there.
"Will you be afraid of me? Will you come to hate me? Will you look at me with the same eyes as them?" you couldn't respond. It's as if your mouth was glued together. As if your instinct told you to stay put.
"But just like you, you surprised me yet again, always" he cackled a little
"Never have I imagined to meet you at this place. As my psychiatrist even" he gazed at you, searching your eyes. His green orbs carried something foreign in them, something you're unfamiliar with. Your heartbeat kept getting louder and louder with every passing seconds, you could literally hear them in your ears. And his clown makeup didn't help at all. Your stomach twisted in knots as you're getting more and more anxious.
"You've been so good to me (y/n). Too good." he purred in your ear. His breaths ghosted your skin, sending goosebumps all across your body.
“A-Arthur, I don’t think you should-“
He clicked his tongue disapprovingly. Cutting your sentence short. His hand continued to smooth your hair down, reaching the tips of it. You could still feel his hot breaths fanning your ear. He inhaled deeply, trying to imprint your scent in his mind.
His tongue suddenly appeared, licking your earlobe seemingly out of nowhere. You yelped in your seat, clearly startled by his action. Arthur laughed loudly at your response, the tune sent shivers and adoration through your body.
It’s been such a long time since you heard him laugh like that.
“Why so serious, my dear?” he retracted back to his seat, eyes gleamed with adoration. He smirked before taking a new cigarette, lighting the stick into life.
You didn’t want to admit it, but at that time, he looked so radiant, majestic even. The confidence radiating off of him. The charisma and dominance dripped from his every gesture. Even though he just sat there, sipping on his cigarette. Inhaling and exhaling the smoke from his overly red lips. His hand ran through his deep dark locks occasionally. Slicking it back up.
It felt like he was an entirely different person at that exact moment. Like a new persona emerged from deep within. And you couldn’t stop being mesmerized by the sight. The fear and fascination stirred inside your head. Confusing you.
His deep green orbs focused at you intensely. You felt small under his fervent gaze. You unconsciously held your breath again. The silence was thick in the air. Both of you only exchanged gazes. No words spoken.
Thankfully the knock on the door came, breaking the stillness inside as you immediately cleared your throat. Straightening your posture while blinking rapidly.
“Okay, that’s it for today, Arthur. Hope you’re feeling better”
He didn’t get up right away, instead, his gaze lingered for a moment. A wide grin followed suit. He closed his lids briefly.
“Of course, sweetheart”
He got up from his seat, eyes still fixed upon you.
“Ah, Arthur, you can take these with you.” You gestured at the paints and brushes. You didn’t believe you manage to speak under the scrutinizing look he gave you.
“oh really?” his tone was surprisingly flat. It looked like he didn’t care about it too much.
“You’re always so sweet (y/n)” he smiled. Taking them in his hands all at once. He cast one last silent look towards you before striding out of the room. Closing it with an audible click.
so here it is!!! the second chapter! I feel like this chapter is more like a transition to chap 3 in a way??? Anyway, I hope you guys like this and i hope this doesn't disappoint :"
There's mention of violence in this chapter so please beware if it triggers you.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
You opened the room to be surprised by the sight of Arthur already sitting there, waiting for your arrival. He shook his legs lightly, seemingly engrossed by the tune only he could hear. He turned his head towards you upon hearing the creak at the door. Giving you a wide grin as usual. The only difference was the clown makeup already painted on his face. You froze slightly at the door frame, startled by his appearance, swallowing hard before making your way to your seat. You could felt his eyes gawking your every movement.
“You’re early today, Arthur”
He gave you a big toothy grin.
“I couldn’t wait to see you today, (y/n)” he admitted. His voice breathless. You tried distracting yourself by looking at a couple of papers at your hand.
“Mmhm. And why is that?” You questioned, eyes still reluctant to face him.
“I dreamt about you the other day” Your movement immediately came to a halt. Ears solely focused on his words.
“You were by my side. We were laughing together.” His tone ecstatic. He paused a little. Studying your reaction.
“We’re not in here, trapped by the white walls, trapped by the rules of hypocrites.” His voice got dangerously low. You realize there’s no smell of cigarettes filling up the room today.
"We were happy. Together. Nothing can stop us. It's like the world is at the tip of our fingers."
“That’s why I want to see you sooner today. I've missed you.” He concluded with a smile. You chuckled nervously. Unsure how to respond.
“Well, that’s good. You’re dreaming of getting out of here. Dreaming of getting better!” you exclaimed. Your hands curling slightly under the papers, hoping that he wouldn’t notice.
“Will you be at my side when I’m out of here?” He suddenly asked, his question startled you again.
“Of course I will, I’d love to see you get better myself” You finally mustered the courage to look at him.
“That’s why you have to get better!” you tried to sound cheerful, only to be met with a cold pair of eyes. His eyes.
You realize how unconvincing you sounded.
“You know I can’t.” he muttered lowly. Eyes staring at you sharply. You’re about to retort before his whole demeanor changed in a split second. His overly wide smile was present again.
Something felt terribly wrong today.
“Do you remember what you said back then, sweetheart?” He leaned back in his seat, bringing his hands through his locks as his gaze focused on you.
“You said you’ll support me in everything that I'll do.” His eyes seemed to travel back in time. Relishing in the moment you spent with him. Your own mind flashed back to the time you actually said it. You meant every single word you uttered before. You were encouraging him in his tough times. When he was not confident in himself. When he was unsure about his self.
“You said you love my jokes. You said you love my laughs the most.” He continued to press you. There was a pause before he continued.
“Did you love it when I killed those 3 men? Did you love it when I killed that Murray guy on tv?”
You’re not sure If you heard him right. Was he really asking you that? You furrowed your eyebrows in confusion. A slight terror creeped inside your system.
“S-sorry what are you-?”
“I think that's my best joke so far. Don’t you think so too?” he put all of his weight on the back of his chair, slightly tilting it backwards, lifting it a bit from the floor beneath.
“Arthur” you spoke his name warningly even though your heart was beating loudly. The situation turned south too quickly. He chuckled loudly as a respond.
“What? Don’t you think it’s funny?” he said gleefully. Pushing your buttons a little too much. You didn’t want to agitate or upset him, knowing his unstable condition, especially right now, in this situation. You kept silent for a moment. Letting him have his time as he laughed louder, seemingly having one of his usual fits.
Or so you thought.
He sighed loudly, finally, after calming himself down. He stared back at you. His expression turned rigid after he saw yours.
“You lied to me" he uttered, the baritone of his voice got deeper. You thought after all the time you've spent with him, you'd be better at anticipating his sudden changes of moods but you didn't. His low voice still sent shivers down your spine
He abruptly lifted his index finger to the air. Effectively shutting you up. His head shook lightly, Left and right it goes.
"Nah. Nah. Nah. Sweetheart. You don't have to say anything"
"I adore you too much to even care about that" he spoke wholeheartedly. You couldn't really tell if he's being honest. Nothing was certain.
"Sorry. I told you I wouldn't talk about this and now I'm blabbering. There's just been so much in my mind these days"
"Would you... mind telling me about it?" you questioned cautiously. He smirked upon hearing it.
"I've been thinking of escaping lately" your blood immediately went cold at his sudden confession. You couldn't believe what you just heard from his red painted lips. As if sensing your confusion, he reaffirmed his words.
"That's all I've been thinking about after meeting you." his smirk turned into a full blown smile. It even reached his ears. He seemed delighted to have finally told you his plan.
"Why do you kept thinking about that Arthur?"
"Mmm." he pursed his lips in an overly dramatic way.
"Because I can't stay here forever. Not when you're finally here"
"But you can still meet me every other day here, right?"
"That! Is the problem." he pointed his index finger at your face. Emphasizing his every word. He brought his face closer to the table, his body leaned forward.
"I can't see you whenever I wanted to. I can only talk to you within a certain period of time. I can only see you certain days a week. Such a shame isn't it?" he groaned, seemingly exasperated by the fact.
His tune was light, like he was telling a story to you. Like he was having a casual conversation about his day. Except it consisted of him admitting that he wanted to escape the place. Your mind doubted him but your heart tugged. You felt something similar had happened before. You just couldn't pinpoint what or where exactly.
"So yeah. That's what I have on my mind recently"
You stayed silent for a while. Unsure of how to respond to that kind of statement. A moment passed before Arthur frowned, the line contrasting the big red smile painted on his lips.
"Why are you so quiet, sweetheart? Aren't you happy for me?" you gazed at him warily. Many thoughts ran through your mind at the same time
Is he joking? Is he serious about his words? Is he only trying to make a fool of you? Should you believe him? Should you call someone right now?
Should you leave?
"Why are you frowning?" Arthur sighed exasperatedly when you didn't answer his question, painted brows furrowed together as he faced downwards, seemingly thinking about something.
"I don't like that face" he muttered mostly to himself, but you could hear him crystal clear. He clicked his tongue several times as his legs tapped against the floor violently before his head jerked up abruptly, his lips tugged upwards once again.
"Oh I know. How about a joke?"
There's something about his question that sent shivers down your spine. You felt as if you're experiencing something that already occurred in the past. You couldn't grasp it, but your mind was already paranoid. You backed up slightly in your chair. Panic slowly rising in your system.
"Knock, knock." he smiled.
"Arthur.." you croaked out, Your heart began to thump erratically. He only smiled wider as he gestured towards you with his chin, wanting you to continue his line.
"W-who's there?" you managed to speak, but it's barely even audible.
He urged his face closer to yours. His teeth showing.
He spoke in a sing sang voice before surprising you with a bouquet of artificial flowers. He seemed to have made it from random cloths and colored it himself. The petals were the colors of his makeup. Red, blue, and white. You gulped hardly at his sudden action, only exhaling when your system had calmed down a little.
"You scared me" you muttered quietly. Hands on top of your chest as you felt the thundering of your heart quieted slowly.
"I did?" he chuckled. He forces his way to your face, placing his forehead against yours. Green orbs glowing. Seeing him up close only played your heart to beat louder again.
"You're being too adorable, sweetheart" he spoke and a giggle slipped past him. His hands were back to your face, his thumb grazing it gently. You could never move whenever he's doing something like this. Your body just automatically froze at his contact. Even though each time, you felt as if it was getting more and more intimate. Except for the first kiss he gave you.
He then placed his head on top of yours, obstructing your sight with his chest. He exhaled loudly, hand tightening slightly against your cheek.
You unintentionally inhaled his scent, the smell brought back memories you once shared with him. You could felt your heart ached. Everything was so different now. So so different. Arthur kept silent on top of your head, his thumb making little circles across your skin. Another moment passed before he finally spoke
"I'm sorry, darling but-" he caressed your face again.
"I need you to sleep for a little bit." your brain failed to register his words as you felt two strong hands wrapped around your throat, knocking the air out of you. Your own hands instinctively reached out for his, trying to pry them off but to no avail. His grip was too strong. Too strong for a woman like you. You trashed wildly against his hold but he stood there firmly, not even budging. Your lids blinked rapidly as you struggled for air.
"A-ar-thur" you could feel tears pooling in the corner of your eyes.
Why is he doing this? Is he finally going to kill you for leaving him? Is this his true intention all this time?
You should've known better
"Sh sh sh it'll be all over soon sweetheart" he whispered lowly from on top of you. Burying his cheek in your hair. Lips moving against your strands.
Maybe it's the fear, maybe it's your brain losing oxygen but you could felt your consciousness slipping out of you too quickly. Darkness soon engulfed your vision, with images of clown Arthur, the joker haunting your every sight.
Your body went limp as your eyes fluttered shut, a tear slipped pass your closed lids. Arthur released his grip cautiously, laying your upper body onto the desk. He studied your unconscious figure for a moment before placing a kiss on your forehead, smearing a little of his red paint across your skin.
"Sweet dreams, my love."
So here it is!! chapter 3! I re wrote this two times because I didn't like how it turned out. :/ I keep adding and taking things here and there before publishing it because I wasn't quite satisfied. I hope you guys enjoy this chapter and I hope it doesn't disappoint!!! The next chapter will prob take more time because i'm getting busier at the moment so please bear with me ;) Hope you guys have a great day!