A/N- This is in response to the FFA Dominoes challenge here at TTH. My plan is to do a crossover with every ‘verse I can and have these drabbles loosely connect, while still standing alone. The pairing I’ve chosen here is Dana/The Joker.
Disclaimer- I don’t own Buffy, that belongs to Joss. And I don’t own The Dark Knight, that belongs to DC and WB.
All the World’s a Game
Dana sat back on her clean, white little cot and rocked, her arms hugging her knees. She didn’t know why the others like her--the slayers--had brought her to this place.
“Because I’m sick. I’m sick,” she answered, aware, somewhere in her mind, that she had not voiced her question aloud.
“We’re all sick
here, kiddo,” the voice on the other side of the metal door--the heavy door, as she was told to pretend--said, a laugh in his voice.
But there was always a laugh in that man’s voice. She imagined that he must be smiling all the time and could not think of a single reason for such a man to be in this place for sick people. She could just go to the door and look through the little rectangle. But she could not force herself to stand.
Buffy had told her to be good. Buffy had told her that these people would take care of her. And Dana was afraid of what might happen if she went to that door.
“You know what, neighbor,” the gleeful voice said, leaking through the open rectangle.
Dana’s mouth opened to respond, but stopped as a vision that was not her own crossed in front of her eyes. It was another slayer’s life, this time back in Medieval Europe. Dana watched for a moment as the blonde young woman, her hair extending well past her waist in wavy locks, stalked her prey. Finally, she saw--felt--as the woman’s prey caught her instead, twisting her neck almost completely off her body. Dana jumped as her own little white cell came back into view, and she rocked and moaned a little.
“Oh, neeeeiiiiggghhhbooorrrr?” the voice asked again.
Buffy’s friend, Willow, had helped Dana all she could. Had eased her a little closer towards sanity. But the flashes still came. Flashes from her childhood, flashes from other slayers’ lives and deaths. They were not as frequent, but still every bit as potent.
“Y-yes? Yes? What is it?”
She had had to force herself to answer the strange man. Why wouldn’t he just leave her alone?
“You know, you’ve been just wonderful company,” he drawled, a chuckle in his light/heavy tones. “And we haven’t been properly introduced. Tell me your name, doll.”
Dana rocked back and forth. Buffy had said to keep a low profile. To be secretive when it came to the other patients. She had called them “dangerous.” But Dana was a slayer. How dangerous could this other man be?
“Dana,” she said. “Yours?”
A quick, ear-piercing laugh seemed to ring all around this asylum. She could almost see the man’s grin as he responded, “Joker.”
“That’s… that’s not a name.”
“Ouch. It suits me just fine, though. Why don’t we meet face-to-face? Come on, little Dana, just walk over to your door there…”
At this, Dana leaped off her bed, shoving herself down into the furthest corner from the door. The man’s voice turned soft, coaxing.
“Come on. All I want to do is see another face… It’s so lonely here. Just walk up to that little window. I know you can do it.”
“I can’t. I can’t. I have to be good. I can’t.”
“Now!” screamed the man, all happiness now gone from his voice.
A fire raged in Dana’s veins. An anger at being unnecessarily shouted at. Buffy had explained. She was a slayer. She was proud and strong. There was no reason for this happy man to be yelling at her.
Slowly pushing herself to her feet, Dana stalked as closely to the door as she dared, careful not to touch it. She might be tempted to “open” it, if she touched it. She bent a little at her waist, her messy chocolate hair falling over her shoulder, as she got her eyes right up to the little rectangle window.
“There you are! My, what a pretty little girl to be in this big, bad place,” the man said, the voice coming directly across to her.
All she could see was his eyes, sparkling at her. But they didn’t look as happy as she had imagined. Instead, she they looked malicious… dangerous and heavily lined.
“Now, was that so hard?” he asked.
“What are you sick from?” Dana asked.
The man laughed again, throwing his head back. And Dana’s eyes widened. He had been hurt by someone too. His mouth, on other side, had been cut to force a smile onto his face, permanently. Remnants of white and red make-up still surrounded the scars and his lips. Putting his eyes back into view, she could tell that he was really grinning now, not just from his scars.
“Gotham, dear. I’m sick from Gotham. Care to help me with that?”
Gotham, Gotham, Gotham. The word played over and over in Dana’s mind until it finally reached some sort of meaning. That was the name of the city that Buffy had said this asylum was in. Gotham.
“How?” she asked.
Buffy had told her to be good. To help those who could not help themselves.
“Rumor has it that you’re, uh, pretty strong. Want to open these doors for us? Hmm?”
Dana’s hand, almost of its own free will, seemed to reach out for the door, to push it out of her way. She stopped, just inches from touching it.
“I can’t,” she said, backing away. “Buffy said to be good.”
The man’s voice was harsh again as she moved further and further away, out of his view.
“I said open it! Open the door!” he screamed.
Dana slid back down onto her cot as she heard the orderlies begin to respond to the man’s--the Joker’s--ravings. Covering her ears, she began to rock back and forth again.
Buffy had said for her to be good. That she needed to stay here and get help, so she could get better. Something told Dana that nobody had told the Joker any of that.Edit 8-7-11: So, yeah... this has been made into a single one-shot. Sorry that I never got around to the rest of the FFA stuff... perhaps next time.