Disclaimer: I do not own BtVS or Batman.
She was wet. That was the first thing her brain seemed to realize as the young woman came into awareness. The second thing she realized was that she couldn’t see, that was right before she realized her eyes were closed. Opening them took some effort and a lot of pain, then again everything hurt. She couldn’t actually open her right eye all the way and she was fairly certain it was swollen. The numbness of her hands and the tightness in her shoulders led her to believe that she was hanging from her wrists, she couldn’t quite move her head to see it though. Cackling laughter filled the room and suddenly images were racing through her brain, memories of the night before.
Clown Makeup. She had never liked clowns, she blamed having Xander as a babysitter once upon a time. She didn’t fear them like he did, but she certainly didn’t like them. There was the incident where their nightmares had come to life and his was that creepy clown. Her memories (for they were her memories even if they were technically fake) of that day involved her locked in the janitors closet because of killer china dolls. She didn’t like their eyes. Never had.
“Awake now I see.” Dawn focused on the now, glaring out of her one good eye and attempting to glare from the eye that was merely a slit. “Now that’s not the friendly greeting I was hoping for.” The Joker bent down at the waist, his face mere inches from hers and a now empty bucket clutching in one of his hands.
“Not the evening I was hoping for.” Dawn informed him, her voice raspy and her throat hurting. Everything hurt. He’d done her over pretty well actually, all because she was a good person and he wanted to know why she cared. So he said. Dawn had a feeling it was more to do with the fact that she’d just moved in with her boyfriend, Dick Grayson, and Joker knew that the Batman was always near when it came to the Wayne family.
“Too true. Not the evening I had hoped for either my dear.” Hands were in her hair, yanking back her head. His face was even closer to hers now. Dawn swallowed convulsively, a little afraid of him though mostly angry. She’d been in kidnapping situations before so she was well used to them. She knew the rules. Don’t be a pushover but don’t be too irritating or cocky. There was a middle ground one needed to find in order to live long enough to be rescued. Sadly the middle ground with Joker was a lot harder to find.
“Poor you.” Her voice held obvious sarcasm and man before her twisted his mouth into an angry grimace, pulling her hair harder and leaning in until their noses were practically touching.
“Be careful who’s buttons you push my dear. It’s been 5 hours and I might have given the Bat 6 to find you, but I never said in how many pieces he would find you.” He jerked away from her, ripping out some of her hair in the process and idly brushing it off his hands. He began to pace in front of her, twitching his jacket into place and smiling pleasantly. “Be thankful I’m a gentleman, my boys outside aren’t used to having such a pretty piece land in their laps and I’ve kept them from fulfilling their baser urges, but such things can change. Do you want me to let them in?” He stepped forward, his hands reaching out to tug her torn shirt back into place over her bra.
“Tell you what, you untie me and then let them in one at a time. We’ll see how it goes,” Dawn stood a little taller, her shoulders screaming as she lifted her hands so they weren’t hanging dead on the ropes that felt a bit looser than they had before she’d passed out. The man before her laughed loudly once more, bending over and slapping his knee for a moment before standing and wiping below his eyes.
“Oh you are adorable.” He clutched his hands together and stared at her for a moment before turning and grabbing something from amidst the table behind him. His Toy Table. She’d already felt the rubber chicken, it’s stomach filled with bars of soap. She’d felt the cricket bat, the ceramic pie covered in whipped cream, the crow bar. She forced her chin up, refusing to flinch when he swung up his newest toy … but it didn’t hit her. It was a mirror.
“I don’t suppose you have a comb I could borrow?” She asked after a moment of staring at the horror of her face. She needed stitches on that scalp laceration. Her hair was a mess. Her lip was split. Her swollen eye was an angry red that was going to turn into a purple so dark as to be black. At least it would if she lived through the next hour.
“No I’m afraid not,” Joker was smiling pleasantly again, turning and setting down the mirror on the table as Dawn flexed her fingers and clenched her teeth. That hurt. Still, pain was better than the numbness, it meant her hands were still there. She had a chance. Her fingers flexed, her wrists twisted just a bit, that’s all she needed, tiny twisting movements. He hadn’t tied her as tight as he could have. He should have.
“That’s too bad.” Dawn replied blandly, her eyes were checking all of the windows she had spotted during her beating. If she had less than an hour left than it was about time to help her rescuers. Her wrists were raw, her fingers burned with the blood that was coming back into them and she was fairly certain her cheekbone was broken.
“The Bat Boys should be here soon, they don’t like to be late to an engagement. Especially not when the door prize is as pretty as you usually are.” Her purple suited menace chuckled to himself as he sifted through the toys on his table, lifting one only to discard it and choose another to inspect. She wiggled her wrists a bit more, eyes glued to the Clown Prince’s back as she loosened the ropes a bit more. She continued to wriggle as her eyes shot to the windows once more. There was a shadow that hadn’t been there before.
“You’re being too quiet.” Her eyes flashed back to the clown and she saw that he was staring at her once again, a look of irritation in his eyes as he stalked forward.
“Saving my strength.” She replied evenly, her fingers wrapping around the rope just above her wrists.
“Oh? Hoping to save yourself?” He was mocking her and she knew it, his finger tracing down her jaw line and trailing down her neck. She smirked at him.
“You aren’t that lucky,” She pulled up with her hands as she jumped a bit and slammed her knees into the Jokers stomach just as 2 figures came bursting through the windows, trailing broken glass. She could hear the sound of fighting from beyond the door as well. Looked like everyone was there for the party at Gotham Docks.
“Batman, you’re early,” The Joker was standing up, his hands raised in surrender as Robin came over to finish untying Dawn.
“Better than being late,” The young woman intoned, her voice still rasping as she half collapsed against the young man holding her up. She was taller than him by a good few inches but he likely out weighed her due to the muscles she felt beneath the shoulders of his cape. It was odd to think of Tim as having muscles and actually using them. He was such a bookish kid. Her eyes were drawn to the far door, the sound of a body thunking against the wall there made smirk a bit. She knew who was on that side and why he was on that side.
Thinking of Nightwing made her miss whatever Joker had done that had Batman flying backwards a few feet. Robin let go of her to lunge at the Clown and Dawn took that moment to stumble over to the table of toys. Joker threw a something at Robin, Dawn didn’t pay a whole lot of attention, she was busy searching for … there. She picked up the rubber chicken by the neck and waited until Joker tried to run past her before swinging it around and catching the Super Villian in the face with the bottom full of bars of soap. He dropped like a brick, his usually pointed nose now broken. She set the chicken back down on the table and put her hands on her hips, staring down at the unconscious man that had kidnapped her less than 6 hours before.
“That wasn’t quite the ending I had envisioned.” Robin commented a moment later. Dawn turned to look at him and then at Batman.
“If it makes you feel better you can tell everyone you broke his nose.” She offered after a moment. Her brain was taking a little longer than usual to come up with a response.
“Oh no, it is much more amusing if everyone knows that the Clown Prince was taken down by his own weapon, which was in the hands of the very women he’d kidnapped.” Robin told her with a grin.
“Oh really?” A gruff voice tinged with worry came from behind her and Dawn turned to smile up at him. She didn’t dare collapse against him like she wanted to because someone might see, but just knowing he was there made her feel a million times better.
“He deserved it,” She informed him, backing up a step as he moved forward with his arm raised. Sirens filled the air and in moments the room would be filled with uniformed police.
Nightwing took 2 steps forward and gently brushed his lips against the top of her head before stepping back, "No arguments here." When GCPD came through the door a moment later Dawn was sitting on the floor near an unconscious Joker and Batman stood over them as Nightwing and Robin leaped out the window.