1592: Arkham Asylum – Chapter SevenPosted: November 14, 2016
Title: Arkham Asylum
URL: Chapter Seven
Critiqued by BatJamags
Running the Asylum count: 16
Out of Character count: 21
Hello once again, patrons! I’m your guest host (thinking about that too hard is inappropriate for children and will be censored by the Hays Office) BatJamags, and this is Arkham Asylum.
Last time, two schools got blown up right the fuck out of nowhere, the Joker was an idiot, the author sucked at show, don’t tell, Lamb Chop Stu was an idiot, more Harley bashing happened, and Namtab made his triumphant return while proving himself to (still) be an idiot.
The Joker watched with a false grin as his little companion jogged around the greenhouse.
At least we’re jumping right into it this time. No Captain Obvious author’s note.
It had been a couple months now since he had chosen to steal Lamb away from Arkham, and without being able to find a proper doc, they were making due. A bit of creativity, Scarecrow’s unwilling help, and Ivy’s knowledge of biology had turned into an exercise program of sorts, and the girls had turned finding nutritional things the white haired boy could eat into a competitive game.
Because of course the women are working on getting food for the men. It wouldn’t be bullshit otherwise.
And neither Ivy nor Scarecrow is qualified for physical therapy. One’s a botanist and one’s a professor of psychology in most continuities (though sometimes he’s a psychiatrist at Arkham).
Right now, the Joker had told Lamb to run around, and so he jogged. But already his limbs shook and he gasped in shaky breaths. His steps began to falter, and the Joker knew that if he allowed it, Lamb would run until he collapsed. He had done that before. He tended to do things like that when the Joker asked something of him.
His need to please might surely be the end of him.
HE’S SO NICE AND SO TRAJEK OMG ISN’T THIS THE BEST CHARACTER EVAAAAAAAAR?
“Enough. Come here.” Immediately, Lamb stumbled over to him, and those strange purple eyes looked up at him, mouth morphing into an slight, approval-seeking smile. He bared his teeth in a mockery of a grin, still hating how weak his Lamb was despite the improvement. “Well done.” The answering expression stretched Lamb’s threads and they tugged his mouth tightly.
I hate this version of the Joker. I really do.
Out of Character count: 22
The Joker laughed and began to lead his little puzzle away by the hand, singing as he went.
I thought you were done with the pretentious non-names. Wait, no I didn’t.
“Joker had a little Lamb, little Lamb, little Lamb. Joker had a little Lamb whose hair was white as snow. Everywhere that Joker went, Joker went, Joker went, everywhere that Joker went, his Lamb was sure to go. He followed him to work one day, work one day, work one day. He followed him to work one day and watched some things explode!” Lamb giggled, and the Joker’s smile grew more natural.
That was how this fucking thing began, wasn’t it? The author inserted the Joker into a nursery rhyme, and tried to write a story around that.
He led Lamb outside and into the rain. Rain wasn’t all that common in Gotham, but neither was it rare. It rained, on average, 30 days out of the year. Joker didn’t care for it all that much however, as it smelled horribly when compared to the vague memories he held of sweet rain mixed with freshly cut grass, a plant that didn’t seem to really exist in the majority of Gotham at all.
Somehow, I don’t see the Joker’s flashbacks being about how pretty the grass is.
Also, shut the hell up, author, Gotham is rainy as fuck. Aside from the perpetual nighttime problem they seem to have, it will just start thunderstorming whenever it’s dramatic.
Lamb’s footsteps patted after him obediently, though when he looked back he saw the boy looking up at the sky with his hands out as he walked. He stopped walking, and Lamb, distracted as he was, ran into him. He caught him before he fell, pulling him close so that they were chest to chest.
*Grabs a bottle of brain bleach and pulls it closer*
I repeat: your Stu is like a child. Ergo, this shit is creepy.
“Do you like the rain?” He didn’t nod, but looked up toward the dark clouds above them and grinned. It was wide, showing clean, white teeth, and he didn’t even flinch as the threads tugged and began to bleed again. Joker began to frown, and then grinned widely, falsely, and tugged the other into a waltz.
You’re not going to try to make a “Singin’ in the Rain” reference, are you? Because I’ll need something heftier than Benny the Imaginary Handgun to bash you for that. *Lifts up cane*
Kane: You called?
*Kane disappears in a cloud of smoke*
For the record, the cane is a replica of the one from The Wolfman (the 30’s version with Lon Chaney Jr.). I have one, and it’s actually rather heavy. You probably could use it to cave a feisty werewolf’s skull in.
Or a stupid fanfic.
If fanfics had skulls.
If Lamb was bothered by the dance, it didn’t show, and though his movements were sluggish, tired as he was from his run, he knew the steps. He was graceful. Joker’s grin weakened a bit. His Lamb had been taught this dance at some point…
I would just like to note that I’m very uncomfortable with this.
It didn’t matter though, he decided, as he saw the happiness in those violet eyes peeking through the wet white bangs the rain had plastered against his skin; turning them a light grey. His Lamb liked to dance in the rain with him, and the rest didn’t matter.
He stopped suddenly, Lamb’s steps faltering and the young man falling into him. Lamb’s smile vanished, replaced by a curious expression as he looked up at Joker, making no move to pull away though they were flush against each other.
Joker stared down at him, usual grin in place and eyes wild. His lamb was a strange little thing wasn’t he? The clown prince had a tendency to pull him close, into hugs and casual touches, but Lamb never reacted as expected. He never looked uncomfortable, or even interested. Joker was used to extreme reactions to his touch.
BAD TOUCH BAD TOUCH
During his schemes, he sometimes pulled strangers close, and they always looked even more terrified by being so near him than they did by the possibility of their own deaths. Harley, on the other hand, was always extremely delighted by his touch, and would immediately flush and, when alone, try to seduce him into sex with her.
*Picks up cane*
*Puts down cane and picks up Benny the Imaginary Handgun*
*Puts down Benny the Imaginary Handgun and picks up the Door Launcher*
Can you seriously stop bashing Harley? It’s getting old. You know what? Every time you bash Harley, I’m going to bash you. With multiple blunt objects.
Lamb, who never reacted any differently to his touch then he did to anything else, was incredibly strange by comparison.
I’m sure he’s very speshul.
“You hungry?” Joker asked suddenly, pushing those thoughts aside. Lamb smiled slightly, and nodded. “Good. Let’s get some applesauce.”
Oh, thank god. I was a little worried for a moment there.
He led the white-haired young man away by the hand, Lamb allowing himself to be dragged along, and Joker decided it was kind of nice to touch someone and not have them fear him or lust after him.
It was, much like Lamb himself, a novelty.
Why do I always seem to find the fics where people try to humanize the psycho-clown?
I’ve made it through most of the fic coming up with ways to snark these, so I feel like it would be cheap to cut them or fold them into another blockquote, but I’m legitimately out of ways to make fun of that.
The Joker watched in silent contemplation as Ivy showed Lamb how to tend to one of her plants; one of the moving ones, which had little vines that occasionally came out and petted the soundless youth. Lamb, for his part, seemed to be enjoying himself, and would smile and pet the plant back whenever this occurred. Joker sat a ways away, foot jumping up and down irritably, his green eyes occasionally falling on the dark purple bruise on Lamb’s cheek and narrowing in anger.
First, I’m sick of hearing how the plants wuv Lamb Chop Stu.
Second, this fic needs to stop telling us about events that we should’ve seen when they happened.
They had tried, he and Ivy and Harley, to teach Lamb how to defend himself. He had gotten a little better with his runs and exercises, and had gained enough weight that, though he was still thin and bony, his ribs and spine were no longer so clearly defined, and his cheeks were simply bony rather than sunken in. So they had tried to move on to teaching him defence.
Ah, my old enemies. It’s been a long time.
However, this time, I’ve placed landmines under the door, so that when they come through…
*Respawns dressed in a banana-yellow fedora and trenchcoat*
They won’t come through, they’ll just headshot me in the head from the air vents.
And then I’ll respawn looking like Dick Tracy for some damned reason. Not that I mind, of course.
He had obediently copied all the movements they demonstrated to him, shifting his body gracefully into each defensive pose with an occasional silent giggle, as though it was a game. He had done well; every motion perfect. Joker had felt a swell of pride at his little Lamb’s excellent learning ability.
Lamb Chop Stu, stop being perfect, please.
But then, they had tried to teach him how to use those maneuvers on a real opponent. He had done so well against the dummies. His blows hadn’t been very strong, but they had been precise, and Joker just knew he would be great in a real fight.
That is, if he would willingly attack another person.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
But he wouldn’t. When they had moved on to real people, Lamb would not raise a hand against them. He made no motions to defend himself against Joker, or Ivy, or even Harley.
At first, they had believed the matter was as simple as that he cared too much about them, and was afraid of hurting them.
I simply have no words. At this point, I’m beginning to think the Jesus reference really was intentional. I just hate this character so much. He’s perfect at everything and everyone loves him and he looks SO PRETTY, and he’s always youneek and speshul, and his backstory is extra TRAJEK, and I JUST WANT HIM TO GO AWAY!
So Joker had called in one of his minions. The faceless idiot had attacked Lamb with the intent of the young man reacting to defend himself, but Lamb’s arms had remained at his sides, and he had accepted the punch that came at his face without fighting back.
So the minion had no face? That’s interes-
Kane: You called?
Have you been making magical faceless abominations again?
Kane: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
I’ll talk to him later.
Thus the bruise. And the bloodstain on the warehouse floor from when the Joker had angrily killed the man. And the rotting corpse in a dumpster somewhere; or wherever it was his other minions had carted it off to.
No matter how great he could fight in theory, Lamb was unwilling to raise a hand against another human being.
It was sweet in its’ own way. Joker found he wasn’t even particularly upset with Lamb about it.
Even if the Joker got all possessive of someone like this, I feel like he would lose patience rather quickly, especially upon discovering that the person in question couldn’t make himself useful in a fight.
The problem was, he was tired of these long-distance games between he and Batman. It had been just over three months since he had last taunted the caped crusader face-to-face, and he was getting antsy; just itching for a proper confrontation.
His leg bounced faster.
Lamb would be alright? Wouldn’t he?
Oh, shut the fuck up.
Joker’s eyes fell on Ivy.
She could look after him. And it wasn’t like Joker got caught every time he fought the bat. There was always the possibility he would get away without a stint in Arkham. And if he didn’t, Ivy would be here to take care of Lamb until the next time he busted out.
He would be fine.
Actually, Ivy’s going to feed Lamb Chop Stu to her plants and go on a crime spree with Harley.
Wait, nevermind, that’s in-character!Ivy.
Unwilling to acknowledge the tiny sliver of doubt in his mind, the Joker grinned, and stood up to go off and plan.
He would need to do something big for his bat, after how long it had been.
What are the chances we’re going to see this plan? I’m taking bets, here.
Batman grit his teeth as he looked through the files. He had, after hitting a literal dead-end with the murdered officers, decided to look closely at them with the intention of figuring out who it was that had, either paid or threatened, them into bringing the John Doe to Arkham.
Ah, he’s looking through the [files] on [thing] from [place]. He apparently already looked through these files, but he’s looking closely now, which changes everything. And if he didn’t look “closely” before, then where the hell does Namtab here get off calling himself a detective?
What he had found angered him.
I had gone looking for bad Batman fanfiction. What I had found angered me.
The officers were so obviously dirty, he couldn’t understand why no-one had ever picked up on it. There were several payments of various amounts from various sources, some of which had been easily traced back to known criminals or criminal organizations. It had been child’s play to look into the details of their lives and see how close they were to being criminals themselves.
Yet no one had noticed.
That’s kind of how corruption works. Y’know, a lot of people “don’t notice,” and then they “don’t notice” the check they receive in return.
And Batman should know this, but this is Namtab, and therefore expected.
Hell, we don’t even know if this is Bruce Wayne. Could be AzBats or Crazy Steve (long story on both counts) for all we’ve seen of him.
He sighed and ran a hand down his face. There were too many dirty cops for the commissioner to catch onto them all, and they were dead now, so it made no difference.
Holy shit, every dirty cop in the city is dead now? I think that’s a bigger case than Lamb Chop Stu.
The only reason he was this angry about it, was because he couldn’t trace all the payments, and had found himself no closer to learning why they had brought the John Doe to Arkham, or who he was, than he had been a month before.
Wow, you’re an idiot, Namtab.
Suddenly, an alarm sounded out, echoing around the cave. Batman looked up, and began typing quickly. He grit his teeth and put his mask on.
Looks like the Joker was back to his old tricks.
One: Tenses. You’re using them wrong.
Two: How do you know it’s the Joker (aside from the fact that he’s god in this fic)? Is it like the DRD alarm where you’ve got a specific sound for Joker-related disturbances?
Great, now he’s using them to end chapters. At least I’ve only got one more chapter, and therefore only a couple more of these weird-ass line breaks, to snark. Well, another short one today, but there’s not really any need to double up, so I’m out.
Running the Asylum count: 16 [STILL NO CHANGE. I’LL LEAVE IT IN, JUST IN CASE IT GETS SOME USE IN THE LAST CHAPTER]
Out of Character count: 22