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ELLIS

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You always drive back to Gotham on lonely, deserted roads, trying to avoid traffic as much as possible.

“J, we’re close to our cabin, we should stop and spend the night; just me and you, yes?” you smile, attempting to be cheerful and lightening up the mood.

“I don’t feel like it!” he bitterly replies, keeping his eyes on the road.

“We’re almost at the turn we have to take to get there. Come on… please?”

“NO! I told you I don’t feel like it!” he snarls, clenching his fingers on the steering wheel. You place your hand on his thigh, caressing it with your thumb:

“Baby, it’s not my fault the meeting didn’t go well.”

He pushes your hand away, still fuming. You look outside the window and take a deep breath, watching the sun going down behind the trees.

“J, come on, don’t be like this…You know I love you,” you tilt your head towards him, hoping he will change his mind.

“Right!!” he scoffs with a sour expression on his face.

“What is that supposed to mean?” you ask, getting restless.

“It means whatever you want it to mean!” the Joker snaps, quickly glancing your way.“You don’t love me, nobody does!” he hisses, being in such a foul mood he can barely concentrate on driving.

“Yeah…I wonder why…” you mutter but he heard you and it makes him even more enraged. You start massaging your temples; you really don’t need this after all the stuff that happened lately.

“J…why did we get married?” you ask, closing your eyes, thinking how much you wish your lives were different.

“Because we’re idiots, Y/N, that’s why!” he angrily raises his voice, accelerating. “Thank God you had the miscarriage three months ago because the kid would have probably had your attitude. I don’t think I could handle two of you!”

He hears you sniffle and your voice breaks down when you address him:

“Why…why do you say such cruel things?” and you start sobbing, deeply hurt by his words. “Stop the car…” you manage to speak through tears. “Stop the car!!!!” you suddenly hit the window with your first and he slams the breaks, unnerved.

You get out fast, taking your wedding ring off and tossing it in his lap:

“Here, consider yourself divorced!” you slam the door, frantically wiping your tears. He just grunts, annoyed and screams back at you:

“Fine! I don’t need you anyway!”

“I don’t need you either!” you yell, whimpering, feeling so miserable you can’t wait for him to go away.

“I hope you die in these woods!” The Joker growls, taking off in a frenzy, aggravated.

“I won’t give you the satisfaction!” you shout, crossing your arms on your tummy, watching him disappear in the distance. You turn around and start walking back towards the hidden unpaved, unmarked road that leads to your cabin. It should be about 10-15 minutes away by foot. You recently passed the spot by car so it shouldn’t be too far. Add about 2 more hours of walking until you reach the destination and you should be there before it gets really dark.

You walk rather slow, deep in thought; being outdoors does make you feel a little bit better. It takes you more than 2 hours, but you are finally at the hideout. You go inside and turn the lights on, looking through your supplies to see what you could munch on.

You decide to make a tea and wrap yourself in a blanket, then head out to the porch so you can enjoy the silence you crave so badly.

You have your little backpack with you and search inside until you find the ultrasound picture you kept from when it was confirmed you were pregnant. Your eyes get teary again and you kiss the small image, talking to yourself:

“He only wishes you would have been like me…” you sadly smile and your grieving is interrupted by the sound of tires approaching.

Oh, no, what is he doing here? you panic, covering your head with the hoodie in a failed effort to calm down.

He gets out of the car and slams the door as hard as he can, staring you down.

“W-what are you doing here?” you inquire, shriveling down under your fluffy cover. J walks the stairs up to the porch, barking your way:

“I wanted to see if you died on your way here this way I can bury you. It would have given me great pleasure.”

“I’m not sorry to disappoint,” you sneer, still holding the little picture to your chest.

“What’s that?” The Joker points towards it, even if he already has an idea.

“Nothing you care about…”, you chew on your words, making an extra effort to keep your composure as you return your treasure to the backpack.

He takes a seat on the bench that’s the furthest from you, legs up on the railing, trying to light up a cigarette when you unexpectedly rush to yank it out of his hand and toss it to the ground, stepping on it:

“You quit two years ago!”

“Give it a rest before you make me mad!” J growls, taking out the full pack of cigarettes but you snatch it from him, breaking and tearing it to pieces, frustrated about everything and taking it on his nasty habit.

He takes a deep breath, trying not to lose his temper and warns you:

“Stop your shit, Y/N, you’re pissing me off!”

You don’t even care and continue:

“Go back to Gotham, I want to be alone! I don’t want you here, go away!” you shriek through your clenched teeth, heading back inside, trying not to cry.

“I don’t care about what you want; this is my hideout too!” you hear him grumble and don’t care for the rest since you step inside the bathroom, closing the door. You are so ready for a shower and a bit of sleep to calm down the tension you feel in every muscle of your body.

15 minutes into it and J parts the curtain to the side, making you jump since you didn’t hear him sneak in.

“Make room, I want to take a shower too,” he commands, getting inside.

“Go take a shower in the other bathroom!” you plead, irritated he’s so inconsiderate.

“I like this one better!” he kind of shoves you to the side, getting under the warm water.

“Fine, you can have it!” you give up, grabbing your towel and step outside when he tries to snatch you.

“Where are you going? I wanna wash your hair!” he angrily yells after you, unhappy you’re defiant…again.

“I already washed it myself!” you slam the door and J continues his tirade, tossing shampoo and body wash bottles around the bathtub in his tantrum.

I just need some peace and quiet, why can’t I have that? you think while resting your back against the door for a few seconds, sensing your anxiety is going to reach new levels soon.

The Joker took his time in there but now he’s finally done. He searches for you inside the cabin but you are not there. He peeks out of the window and notices you are dozing off on the couch to the left side of the porch, covered in blankets. Perfect time to rant some more, you are definitely going to hear about how much you annoyed him today!

But when he sees you are in a deep sleep, something stops him. The corner of the ultrasound picture sticks out a bit from under your pillow and he slowly pulls it out, glaring at it for a few good minutes before putting it back with a remorseful sigh. He takes a deep breath and grabs more blankets from the pile on the table and covers you with them, keeping just one for himself. J also brings the gun from the car and seats on the chair next to yours, awake all night because he believes a wild animal might creep up on you.

When the first rays of sunshine pierce through the thick fog, he finally loses the battle and closes his eyes, exhausted. He wakes up three hours later, wrapped in a dozen blankets, not feeling the cold he braved last night anymore; it gets so chilly in these woods after sunset.

He finds breakfast and hot coffee inside but you are gone again. Probably hiking at your favorite spot, J assumes, munching on a few goodies from his plate. You’ve been away for a while and he decides to search for you, he doesn’t even know why. You aren’t too far, just about a mile away behind the cabin, legs crossed in the grass, reading a magazine under your umbrella and enjoying the warm temperature. You hear him approach and you don’t lift your eyes up. He doesn’t say a word and just imitates your position a few steps away from you.

“What are you doing?” you coldly question him, not thrilled of his presence.

“Nothing,” The Joker barely bothers to answer.

You exhale, turning the page and fighting not to pay attention to his nonsense:

“You can’t stay in the sun, you know you burn easily,” you grunt, indirectly inviting him to get lost.

“So? Why do you care? Mind your own business!” and he lets himself go on his back, enjoying the hot sun.

“You’ll burn badly, go in the shadow,” J distinguishes your low voice urging him to move.

He ignores your warning and after a few more moments he opens his eyes to see your umbrella by his head, shielding half of his body from the sun and you walking away.

She’s so obnoxious, I really hate her, is the last thought he has before closing his eyes again and falling asleep shortly after since he’s so tired.

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

You are nowhere to be found. The Joker searched the cabin and around it but you vanished.

Good, maybe she fell from a cliff and my problems are done, he maliciously grins, relieved and hoping for his wish to come true, but after a few seconds the evil smile freezes on his lips as he notices your backpack is gone. And the small post-it on the fridge he didn’t see before makes him cringe:

“I’m going back to Gotham.”

Crazy woman, walking alone in the woods, J growls, taking the car keys out of his pocket and heading outside.

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

You discern the sound of the engine getting closer and closer and quicken your pace, not understanding why you can’t have a moment to yourself when you are very entitled to it. He passes you by and turns the car sideways, slamming on the breaks, gets out of the car and awaits your arrival, his blue eyes so dark it would make you hesitate on your decision.

Yet you avoid looking at him and attempt to go around when he rolls his eyes, fed up with your behavior and stomps towards you, lifting you up and slamming you on the hood, making you seat there against your will while you struggle to get down. J is blocking your way, not budging when you struggle to escape.

“Where are you going, hm? Are you really trying to get on my nerves?” he pins your hands behind your back, watching tears of frustrations forming in your eyes but you are too strong to let him win and swallow your vexation, finally looking at him.

“I’m walking back to Gotham,” you mutter, defying his blue gaze.

“It’s a long walk, Doll,” he pushes you up on the hood even more, making sure you can’t move.

“Why do you care? You don’t care about anything, not even…about…” and you can’t control yourself anymore and start sobbing, thinking about the mean things he said to you yesterday that hurt you so much. J knows exactly what you are referring to and sucks on his cheeks, gulping, finally speaking up on the subject:

“I did care about that…”

You shake your head in denial, whimpering, dismissing his words so he repeats:

“I did care about that.”

“N-no you d-didn’t,” you cry harder and The Joker sets your hands free, backing out just a bit so you can slide down towards him.

“I did, I cared about that,” he insists, rolling up the sleeve on his left arm to point out the huge “ELLIS” tattoo on his forearm. “Why do you think I got the name on my skin and didn’t remove it? I will always keep it, do you hear me? I did care…” his voice breaks a bit and wipes your tears, lifting your chin up, forcing you to look at him again.

Ellis is the name you two picked for the baby when you found out you were pregnant, fit for a boy or a girl. You were so excited and over the moon you didn’t have patience to wait any longer. But it wasn’t meant to be…

Since you can’t stop crying and he grows impatient, J yanks you in his arms, hugging you while you want to push him away.

“I did care…” he continues to whisper in your ear over and over again until he feels your body relaxing and your arms go around his waist, hugging him back really tight. Since you still won’t stop crying, he caresses your hair, tightening his grip on you too. He senses tears menacing to roll down his cheeks but he brushes the awkward feeling away, because it’s not like him to show any weakness. Instead, he chooses to be The Joker and he has to admit to himself it really takes a lot of effort this time around:

“…Say, Princess, are we still divorced?”

“U-hum,” you manage to squeal, sobbing on his chest.

“That’s too bad, I was hoping to get some tonight,” and he kind of sadly smiles when you pinch his side.” Since I’m here and you’re here, can we at least have an affair?”

“Stop your stupid jokes,” you scold him, sniffling. He kisses your temple and helps you down, regaining his posture, but still holds your hand.

He seems surprised when you push yourself against his body and make him pay attention to what you have to say:

“You can lash out at me, but…” and your voice shakes ”…you can’t say anything mean about our poor baby, do you hear me?” There is so much pain and grief in your voice that he has no choice but to nod yes.

“Don’t ever say anything mean about Ellis… promise?” and you cup his face, waiting for the answer.

“I promise,” he agrees so fast he shocks himself.

“Good then, now you are allowed to drive me back to Gotham,” you announce and take your backpack off, going around the car to get in on the passenger’s side. “Did you lock the cabin?”

“I did,” J reports and can’t help bickering as he starts to drive away:

“Allowed to drive you back, Pumpkin?! Like it’s what, a privilege??!!”

“Damn right it is!” you raise your voice and look out the window, ignoring the outburst.

“Pffttt, lucky me…” he grumbles but takes your hand and kisses it. You don’t object and scoot over towards him, silently leaning your head on his shoulder.

“Hey, Kitten, are we still divorced? Or do you want your ring back? I have it in my jacket.”

“I guess you’re allowed to give it back to me when we get home,” you decide with an indifferent tone.

“Allowed to give it back??! Like it’s what, a privilege??!” he mocks, taking the turn towards the main road.

“Damn right it is!” you elbow him and he frowns, aggravated:

“Pffttt, lucky me…”

“You are lucky!” you cut him off, lifting your eyebrows with an attitude.

“Maybe just a little bit…” he admits and it makes you smirk, clenching to his arm even more.