Party Crasher (a fic inspired by a friendly anon)
Joker ducked into the first unlocked apartment he could find, just needing a quick place to hide and breathe after robbing his favorite explosives outlet and before he attempted his heist on the nearby First National Bank of Gotham. Harley was not far behind.
A room full of startled faces turned in their direction upon hearing the door slam. If the decorations and cake were any indication, Joker would have said he’d stumbled into someone’s party.
An evil, toothy grin spread across his face, seeing an opportunity to spread a little mayhem before tonight’s rendezvous with his Bat.
“Hello there, kiddos!” he shouted, drawing himself up to his full impressive height. “Let’s get this party started, shall we!?”
Silence, followed by screams. Joker let the familiar sound wash over him until it became…not so familiar somehow.
“Oh my gosh! Is that the Joker!?” a little girl with straight, blonde hair cried in…was that delight? He suddenly realized why the screams had seemed off. They were the sort of ecstatic screams he normally heard from Batman’s adoring public. An especially loud squeal of joy came from a little brown eyed boy in a wheelchair near the back of the dining room. He wore a large crown that read “BIRTHDAY BOY” in big purple and green letters.
Before he could do anything else, a man with glasses in a plaid sweater and khakis pressed into Joker’s personal space.
“Thanks so much for coming on such short notice. Your outfit is spectacular, by the way. You really made me believe the Joker had just barged into our house.” A nervous laugh. “Oh, and I see you’ve brought a Harley with you!” A small wave from his partner in crime. “Not a problem. We’ll have your payment after the party’s over.”
“Mr. Joker! Mr. Joker! Can I take a picture with you, please?” the boy in the wheelchair begged excitedly. The starry eyed expression he directed at him reminded Joker of how Birdboy typically looked at Batman.
Oh, how he wanted to. He wanted to pose for every picture these kids asked for, sign autographs, tell them his stories and listen to theirs. Anything at all that they wanted because they were HIS FANS! Those beautiful gems of people that were so few and far between. But…
“As…fun as that sounds, kid, I think I need to g-”
A swift punch to the shoulder by Harley silenced him. He was beginning to wonder if he’d ever get to finish a sentence.
“S’cuse us for a minute, kiddies.”
Some disappointed groans and confused mumbles came in answer as Harley yanked Joker back into the entryway near the front door.
“What do ya think you’re doin’?” Harley snipped in a hushed tone.
“What do you mean what am I doing? I’m getting out of here, as planned. We have to be at the bank by 5:15 and it’s already,” he stopped to examine his Tweety Bird watch. “nearly 4:45. We don’t have time for this.”
Harley shook her head, pigtails flying where they may. “No, puddin’. Those kids are your fans and I know how important they are to you. Like that one girl from Uptown you still keep tabs on that gave you the glittery nail polish and candy.
Joker couldn’t help but smirk. “I still don’t know how Leana knew how much I love Tootsie Rolls.”
“You see? Now go in there and spend a quick minute with those kids.”
The villain’s face lit up like it was Christmas and practically sprinted back to the heart of the party.
“Birthday boy!” He called, pointing to the boy. “What’s your name?”
“James!” he replied, eyes still twinkling. He was wearing a grin that could have put Joker himself to shame.
“Well, Jimmy. Howza ‘bout we get you that picture?”
Plenty of hugs and please’s and thank you’s (and a quick piece of cake) later, Joker and Harley knew that they actually had to leave for their appointment at the bank. But before he left, Joker made sure to grab one more big hug from James and conspiratorially whisper to him: “Turn the TV to Channel 6 when I leave.”
The kid nodded as if receiving a secret mission, then smiled again. ”Thank you, Mr. Joker. This was the best present ever.”
“No problem, kid. Happy to meet you.” A gentle swipe of his brown hair. “I’ll be in touch.”
With that, the two were gone.
James quickly rolled himself over to the TV, eager to see whatever it was that Joker had wanted him to see.
“What are you doing, baby?” his mom asked. “You still have guests and presents here.”
”I know, mom, but Joker told me to.”
She smiled, shaking her head and let her son do as he pleased when she heard the door open once more.
“Hey, everyone! Who’s ready to smile!”
The party went silent as everyone looked at the man who had just come in looking a lot like the Joker.
James’ parents glanced at each other before they heard a delighted squeal come from their son.
“Look, everybody! He’s waving!” he cried and the entire room filed in to press around the screen. Sure enough, the man and woman who had been at their party mere minutes earlier were covered in concrete dust and framed by smoke and fire.
“Happy Birthday, James! It was a BLAST!” Joker cried as another explosion sounded behind him.