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Raven

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“It doesn’t look good,” you hover over The Joker, analyzing the gunshot wound that keeps on bleeding through his green shirt.

“It’s not bad,” he growls, pressing his abdomen.

“Where are you, prick?” someone yells and the echo carries over the words around the abandoned building.

“Do you believe you can escape?” another voice resonates in the vast premises.

“Tick-Tock, Clown!” another man howls in the quietness, certain The King of Gotham has no escape.

“Fuck…,” J tries to get up but he slides back down against the wall.

“I think it’s pretty bad,” you state the obvious. “You’re injured, out of bullets and they are near: your crew won’t find you in time.”

“Shit…,” he groans in pain, the throbbing ache intensifying with each passing moment.

“I’m gonna help you,” Y/N shares her scheme and although the news should make him happy, it doesn’t.

“W-what do you mean?!” The Joker stutters even if he knows the implications of such statement. You’re quiet and he continues: “Why would you do something like that?…”

You smile at his bafflement, the affirmation completely surprising him:

“Because you’re the only one that never asked.”

“You shouldn’t use it on me!” J’s truthful reply is interrupted by the henchmen entering the desolated space where the fallen Prince of Crime has found refuge. “Who am I supposed to talk to if you’re gone?” the genuine question makes you realize there’s actually a soul in this world who’ll miss you.

“We didn’t really talk too much,” you softly chuckle and turn to confront the men halted in their tracks seeing you’re positioned in front of The Joker.

“The freak is here,” a goon whispers loud enough to be heard by the ones arriving behind him.

“Hey Y/N!” their leader detaches from the crowd. “What are you doing here?!”

The lack of an answer combined with the feral expression on your face prompts the mobster to wave his pistol as a sign for truce.

“Let’s not do anything hasty, shall we?… …. Hm?… I’m aware you had so many offers over the years; consider mine again: if you wield your powers to finish the green haired asshole, I will triple the amount of money from the highest bidder!”

You scoff at the absurd idea, describing how stupid you considered the monetary proposals suggested by numerous individuals in the past:

“And what am I supposed to do with the riches once I cease to exist?!”

A bullet shrieks by your ear, ending up in the wall behind where J collapsed a couple of minutes ago.

“Sorry I missed, boss!” the man apologizes and this is enough to set you off; you turn your head to gaze at The Joker, delivering a last warning.

“Close your eyes or you’ll go blind!”

“Don’t let her clap her hands!” the kingpin shouts but it’s too late: a deafening bang fills up the air and the strong light emanating from your body burns J’s closed eyelids. He covers his face with bloody fingers while the screams and smell of torched flesh makes him nauseated; it’s so disgusting he gags yet the insane King can’t help a smirk at the sweet victory, even if comes with such a heavy price.

Gurgling noises and muffled cries persist for another 15 seconds before they abruptly halt.

“Meet me in dreams,” is Y/N’s final sentence and immediately after the sound of flapping wings queue The Joker to finally open his eyes.

The view is cringe worthy: puddles of steamy, boiling tar scattered all around bearing witness to the consequences of your rage: nobody’s alive anymore except J and the Raven picking at the clothes you wore earlier.

His cell phone goes off and he has difficulty searching the purple jacket for the item he has no need for.

“Sir! We’re coming! Almost on the 32nd street!” Frost reports in a frenzy and The Joker sneers, wheezing from the effort of trying to stay awake.

“Nice timing,” and he hangs up, muttering to himself: ’”Goddamned jerks…”

The bird suddenly flies in his lap, curiously checking him out.

“I think I’m gonna pass out…” the damaged Clown slowly blinks before losing conscience which is alright since he had to speak to you anyway.

Every time you meet in dreams, you are always waiting for him on this deserted, calm beach staring at the waves in the distance. Today is not different.

He takes a sit by the woman that saved his life, silently analyzing her features: The Joker knows he won’t see them again except in this place.

When you said you didn’t speak much, it was true; if he tries to remember the first instance you showed up in his life, the moment blurs out and disappears in the background of his troubled mind. You would just randomly pop up while he was alone, keeping each other company for hours and often barely uttering a sentence. The eerie Y/N preferred J’s presence simply due to his lack of interest in her unusual power and he tolerated her because she never sought any kind of reward from their awkward connection. In the matter of fact, J never even tried to touch you; it was relaxing to be with an individual that plainly didn’t want anything from you whilst the rest of the world begged for attention: how many requested you aid them and manipulate your ability in order to annihilate their enemies? How many promised compensations beyond measure in exchange of your mighty gift? Way too many.

Yet The Joker didn’t care about it; the most he would do was to share his favorite drink after a new brand of grape juice hit the market.

And now the person he shared with was gone forever.

“Your team is almost at the warehouse,” you address him, bending your knees until your chin touches them. “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”

“I’m not worried,” J indifferently replies. “Told you it’s not serious.”

You snicker at his stubbornness, pointing out the evident reality:

“That’s why you fainted and started to dream about me?”

Your escort huffs, struggling to confess stuff hard to articulate in these circumstances.

“Thank you for…umm…for…”

“You don’t have to thank me; it was my choice and I fulfilled my destiny. It’s over and I’m free. I’ll still visit, ok?”

“Mister Joker! Sir, can you hear me?” Frost’s voice interrupts J’s dream: the gang is searching the deserted property for their leader and the only thing he notices is The Raven flying in circles above his head.

***********

Three weeks later, 9:37pm

The Joker extends his arm and you land on it, gently digging your claws in his skin for equilibrium.

“Where were you all day?!” he scolds and you caw, evoking complaints from the man that can’t sleep without his bird. “I wish you were a nightingale, this way you can chirp some cute songs.”

You fly on his shoulder to peck at the diamond earring, annoyed at his remark.

“Ouch! Ouch!” he shrugs, but doesn’t chase you away. “I recognize crows appreciate shiny things, but it hurts.”

Poking escalates and J vaguely apologizes on his own terms:

“I meant Raven! Raven!!” he repeats and struts inside The Penthouse where your pillow awaits. “Are you hungry?” the Prince of Crime offers a bunch of crumbs and expensive seeds he ordered for the spunky pest. You hop on the nightstand and play with the food, not particularly captivated by the lavish feast.

The Joker rolls in bed, gesturing for the pillow next to him.

“My girlfriend’s out of town, you can crush on her side of bed,” the affirmation makes you float to her cushion, instantly plucking the fabric with your beak, then jump up and down, cawing some more.

The Clown laughs, entertained at the temper tantrum.

“I know you don’t like her and the feeling is mutual,” he caresses the soft, black feathers as you continue to shred Lara’s pillow. “Stoooop! These are fresh sheets!” he pleads and distracts you by showing his patched up abdomen from under the t-shirt. “Look, my lesion is healing; wanna see?” a corner of the bandage is peeled for the guest to properly inspect the stitches.

Y/N bounces on The Joker’s chest, cautiously examining his wound.

“Cool, huh?” he grins and reaches his hand for the book resting under his pillow, surprisingly enough containing your favorite poem. “The Raven. By Edgar Allan Poe,” J emphasizes and you spread your wings with delight, quickly rushing to his neck and cuddle against the playing cards tattoo.

The King of Gotham holds the book with one hand and pets you with the other, his husky tone recites the verses you love so much.

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary…” the beautiful, dark rhyme soothes a tired Y/N scarcely recalling what it means to be human.

Yet being near HIM reminds her on how much she longs for what was lost when she willingly sacrificed herself to save the one that didn’t ask to be saved.

*************

Following morning, 8:21 am

The Joker is swimming outside on the terrace and you’re having a blast in the inflatable pool he set by his lounge chair for the enchanted, feathered companion. This is a thousand times extra enjoyable when his new girlfriend is not home!

She’s a complete nutcase, totally obsessed with The Clown and certainly doesn’t understand why he’s paying so much attention to a filthy, gross creature.

Who the hell gets a crow as pet?! Apparently her boyfriend, although he didn’t tell her who you truly are. Why bother? It’s a secret you and J share; nobody has to find out, although plenty of concerned parties would spend a fortune for an update: Y/N hasn’t been spotted recently and it’s troublesome.

“Raven Queen!” J emerges from the pool since he has to take it easy; the doctor said no more than 15 minutes of physical activity every day. “I have a little present,” he yanks at the towel on the lounge chair, unraveling a box full of gold rings, Rolexes and chains under it.

Oh my God, so shiny and sparkly in the morning sun!!!

You fly from your pool straight into the container, happily tapping at the treasures. The Joker dries his body and chitchats with his bird, excited you enjoy the shimmering gems.

“You can steal them and hide them,” he winks and you sure are taking advantage of it as soon as possible. “Do you have a nest?” J inquires and teases afterwards: “Did you find yourself a Raven King?”

That’s pretty rude, you think and swiftly attack him, careful not to scratch his face in the process.

“Cut it out!” The Joker demands and gives up the fight really fast. ”OK, OK, I surrender!” he chuckles as you rise up, gliding in the wind gushing above The Penthouse. The plan is simple: charge at the toxic green locks and pull on the strands, assuring at least two or three hairs will be removed as revenge. J takes a defensive stance, preparing to catch and keep you captive in the fluffy towel until you calm down.

BANG! the gunshot halts the fun and The Clown Prince of crime watches in horror as The Raven falls to the ground in front of his girlfriend.

“Babe, are you alright?” Lara squeals, kicking the bird at her feet. “I told you having a wild animal as pet it’s an awful idea! I saw the crazy bird attacked you, it might have rabies!!” she kicks you again and the small body convulsing on the hard concrete makes him lose his marbles. “Thank heavens I returned sooner than expected,” the woman explains, nervous to detect the angry Joker stomping towards her.

“What the fuck are you doing??!!” he screams and violently pushes her, slapping the gun out of her hand. Lara stumbles on her own steps, not comprehending why her partner is livid rather than showing gratitude.

“What do you mean?” she gulps and J bends over to pick you up when you let out a cry, the sinister noise resembling a human’s wailing. “The bird was attacking you, I was afraid!”

“It wasn’t attacking me, we were messing around!”

“Messing around?!” the woman mumbles, confused.

“Get a hold of Frost and tell him I need a veterinarian! NOW!!!” The Joker barks as he enters The Penthouse.

“Jesus…,” Lara sniffles and texts, irritated at his behavior. “Why is he so mad about?! The dumb beast is nothing but an outbreak of infection and bacteria!” she maliciously grumbles, sending the message to Jonny.

Something whooshes by her and before she has a chance to see what it is, a bunch of ravens and crows unexpectedly storm at the petrified Lara: they are answering your call, mercilessly tearing and scraping at the enemy.

“J!!! J!!!!” she runs without noticing where she’s going, panicked at the multitude of birds relentlessly chasing her; it’s a miracle she stumbles upon the tiny shed which stores pool supplies and manages to squeeze inside.

The birds keep on bombarding her temporary hideout as she begs for assistance:

“J !!! J !!!! Please help me!!! J!!!!”

Yet The Joker can’t hear: he raced upstairs to the master bedroom and placed you on the comforter, trying to assess how severe the injuries are; one of the wings is bleeding and there are probably broken bones also.

“Don’t die…” J whispers because it sure seems Y/N is fading away: the bird can barely breathe and for the first time in ages he feels sad. “If you leave, we won’t be able to meet in dreams…”

The King of Gotham crawls in bed, unsure if he should caress you or not; what if he dislocates something else by accident? Instead he kisses the top of your head, the velvety feathers tickling his lips.

The sudden glow radiating from The Raven makes him close his eyes tight: it’s so strong it burns just like when you used your powers to rescue him. It doesn’t last longer than 10 seconds and sensing the light dimmed, J decides to open his eyes. A few black quills still drift in the air and he glares at the tearful Y/N, shocked to see her:

“Everything hurts,” you start sobbing and the bloody arm, plus the bruised torso urge him to cover your naked body with the corner of the quilt. “H-how am I h-here?!” you stammer and grab his thumb while The Joker is in a trance, speechless at the witnessed phenomenon because it’s impossible to come up with a logical reasoning.

Such a shame neither of you realize that even affection coming from a rotten heart can be pure enough to shatter an unbreakable curse.