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Clowning Around - JLA Watchtower RPG
jla_watchtower
mistahjay
Clowning Around

Gotham.

The Gotham Underworld, to be exact. The actual location isn't important; one of a seemingly limitless number of old, abandoned warehouses, underground bolt holes, secret sewer caverns, or hidden basements beneath innocent looking skyscrapers. What was important was that it was there, secret enough that the rabble would not be tempted to lay siege, but obvious enough that the dimmer members of the court would be able to find there way there. Was was vital was that, despite the recent...quiet period, the underworld realize that the throne was strong. Busniess continued. Money changed hands freely, and without fear of meddlers, especially caped meddlers in black pajamas, would only attempt to interfere if things suddenly turned unforgivably violent...or they were feeling particularly suicidal.

What was nessicary, was that the Clown Prince of Crime continue to hold court. Slow spells were not dry spells, they were...a repreve. Gotham needed to grow, needed to repopulate, needed to fatten its larder, because what was the point of a skinny cow? Becides skim milk, and who really likes skim milk? Yes, the Joker thought, he was just letting the law think it was winning, allowing the Bat to think his silly little intimidation taticts were working. Even now, in the exalted company of the criminal elite of Gotham City, the Joker brooded in his seat, his mind entierly on the beginnings of a scheme for a new adventure in crime, one that would be all the more thrilling when contrasted with the recent months of...mundanity. Yes. Batman wouldn't know what hit him...

Sneering unpleasently, the Joker reveled in the shiver that went through the hardened, calloused crowd, knowing full well that he didn't even need to break out the laugh all that often anymore. When the Joker moves, he is a force of nature, and you just prayed he was going for a drink and not a hidden explosive trigger or gas grenade. Leaning forward, slowly, soaking in the glory of the collectivly held breath of the room, the madman finally parted his lips, to speak!

"...does anyone have any threes?" The Joker asked, tapping his fingers against the table. "Anyone? Any threes? No cheatsies, remember!"

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eddie_nygma From: eddie_nygma Date: February 18th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Riddler raises a wry eyebrow.

"I thought we were playing poker. Go Fish, now, is it?"

He stacks the cards neatly in his hands.

"I'm puzzled, though - how are you not a piece of Swiss cheese? I heard what Harvey did on his way out.."
From: mistahjay Date: February 18th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Joker looks at the Riddler, for a moment, going rigid, eyes cold, filling the entire room with the sort of silence that preludes massacres and earthquakes.

...and then he laughs. "Pffthahahah!" Slapping the table again, Joker grins, "Puzzled. Hoo! Good one, Eddie! You've still got it, old sport, still got it. I ment 'three cards', naturally." The Joker's hands extend, somewhat...

...and push back, revealing that the "throne" he had been sitting in since the evening began is, in fact, a wheelchair. The observant may notice that the Joker's clothes are much less, well, elaborate than usual, as if he had to be ready to slip in and out of them quickly, and designed to cover as much of the body as possible...he even has a wheelchair leg blanket. Purple and green, naturally. "As for bad ol'Harv, well, I don't mean to tell tales out of school, but when you are two minds about everything, it makes prioritizing one's aim...difficult."

How much of this is just the Joker's infamous endurance and dumb luck coming into play, and how much is an act designed to reinforce confidence in the criminal underground that, despite Two-Face's attack, the Joker is alive and well, remains to be seen. One good thing about having a rictus-grin: it made bluffing a hell of a lot easier.
eddie_nygma From: eddie_nygma Date: February 18th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
"You're a lucky man, that's all I've got to say. Your gang busted you out from the medical wing of Arkham, did they? Or were you transferred to Gotham General?"

As he talks, the Riddler deals out three cards to the Joker.

"Let's hope your luck doesn't extend to the cards this evening.."
From: mistahjay Date: February 18th, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Tsk." The Joker clicks his tounge, slowly realigning himself up against the table, while going over the cards, careful to keep his trademark grin in place. "You really have no appreciation for build up, Edward. I mean, where's the fun in just /saying/ how I kept from being sufficated with a pillow?"

Joker lets the 'When I can use the ambiguity to lure Two-Face into my sinister revenge scheme.' part of that sentence remain silent, a testament to the countrol and sublty he's learned over the years, and blinks at his cards. He's got nothing, but damned if he'll give Riddler the satisfaction of seeing him flinch.
phear_itself From: phear_itself Date: February 19th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
This takes place following the events of One Shot.

Scarecrow looks carefully at the other players.

"One card," he says simply.

He is not afraid of what he's been dealt.
eddie_nygma From: eddie_nygma Date: February 19th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nygma tosses a card on the table in front of the Scarecrow.

"And our other aerated ally seems to have recuperated as well. The expert surgeons were able to find the needle in your haystack, Crane?"
phear_itself From: phear_itself Date: February 19th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
He nods, his mask grinning a stitched-together smile.

"But how I escaped their custody is something which not even you will be able to puzzle together, Riddler."
eddie_nygma From: eddie_nygma Date: February 20th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
The Riddler waves a hand, dismissively.

"I've got bigger things on my mind, Dr. Crane. Our winged rodent friend, for instance."
phear_itself From: phear_itself Date: February 20th, 2008 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Scarecrow sniffs. "Please, Nygma. You know better than to confuse chiroptera with rodentia." He looks around. "Still, I suppose your point is well-made. The Bat's activities are always of concern to all of us."
From: mistahjay Date: February 21st, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Bat, Bat, Babbity Bat." The Joker snarls at the mention of the name, "Always about him, isn't it. He never calls, never writes, never pops by to see you on your birthday, or after you've been shot..."

The Joker idly tosses a few chips in, because when betting, you always raise. Always. It's how things are done. "...kind of funny, how we have been reacting to, or around, him recently, no? There was a time when /he/ would have to come to /us/ to fight crime. Now he's gone all information age and suddenly you can't jaywalk inj this town without tipping the man off...compounded on the fact that a certain line has been crossed." The Joker pauses, realizing that several lines have, in fact, been crossed. "By which I mean one of us was attacked at her home. I mean, gads, blowing up a lair is one thing, but your civilian apartment? Not right, not sporting!"
eddie_nygma From: eddie_nygma Date: February 21st, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Please, Crane. Of course I know the difference between a bat and a rodent. It's poetic license to compare the two - one needn't taxonomize everything."

Nygma matches the Joker's bet, and nods.

"The stock of the Gotham rogues has surely fallen on hard times.."
phear_itself From: phear_itself Date: February 22nd, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Poetry." He snorts. "You wouldn't know true poetry if it came up and asked you a riddle." He tosses his own chips into the pot. "Poetry is a window -- clarity -- into the soul. You obfuscate everything with your games. Clarity is your antithesis."
eddie_nygma From: eddie_nygma Date: February 22nd, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Clarity is the business of science, Dr. Crane - and surely, yours is the shriveled, yellow soul of a scientist. Poetry is the art of creative obfuscation - 'All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.'"
From: mistahjay Date: February 22nd, 2008 06:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Edward, have you been borrowing chapeaus from Jervis?" The Joker has to ask, raising an eyebrow at the reference. "Do we have any idea who blew up Selina's house, by the way?" Even if she had been...absent, lately, Catwoman was still one of them, as much as she ever was one of them, and it wouldn't do to tolerate this sort of thing.

Well, okay, so Harvey getting cut up was your fault, Joker admits to himself, but he started it!
clownluvin From: clownluvin Date: February 23rd, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
After Valentines and waiting and waiting for Mistah J to show up and whisk her away to freedom, Harley had taken matters into her own hands.

Trying to kill her was one thing, but forgetting that holiday? That was something else. All she could think as she checked place after place was that he had better have a damn good reason. Or she'd give him one.

She was not in the best of moods when she showed up at the third place on her mental list and took an oversized mallet to the door. Sometimes it was best to stick with what you knew.

Three hard blows to the entrance knocked it off its hinges. Sure, she wasn't Jack Nicholson, but what she said next had to be said after knocking down any door, "Here's Harley!" she said in a low voice, painted with the East Coast Yiddish accent as the door knocked off its setting.

And look, this time she was right. Finally!

"Here you are!!"
From: mistahjay Date: February 24th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Harley, old girl!" The Joker doesn't stand up, on account of being unable to, but his smile widens apon Harley's entrance, as if not noticing the fact where she looks like she wants to kill everyone in the room. "Wonderful! I was just getting hungry. Harley, be a sport and get us a bowl of those chips, and perhaps a round of drinks?" The Joker pauses. "Well, no beer for me, on account of the delicacy of my condition..."
eddie_nygma From: eddie_nygma Date: February 25th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Nygma's eyebrows are up, as he glances between the new arrival and her paramour.

"Miss Quinn - delightful to see you. It seems as if everyone's escaped Arkham this week.." he says evenly.
clownluvin From: clownluvin Date: February 26th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
The wind from Harley's sails of righteous, romantic anger deflated almost instantly at the statement 'the delicacy of my condition'.

She waved off the Riddler with an easy, "Yeah, yeah, sure whatever," and then her full attention was on the Joker and once she got closer she suddenly looked like someone had kicked her in the stomach.

"Oh..." her first impulse to hug him and not let go she managed to push aside if only because you didn't jostle wounded people. She knew that. "Okay, you just sit tight puddin', Harley's here to take care of you now!"

She went to get the chips and drinks because he couldn't be walking around in that condition! Bringing them back, along with soda for the Joker (no beer for you, you said so yourself!) she set everything down, "Just tell me what you need and I'll get it for you. Anything, puddin, anything at all!"
From: mistahjay Date: March 4th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Normally, it wouldn't be noticeable, but we are talking about the Riddler and the Scarecrow, here. It's twofold;

First, the Joker winces, anticipating the rib-crushing, stitch reopening hug. Oddly enough, this is not followed up with the standard preventitive measure, being a harpoon gun, or perhaps some sort of sticky time bomb.

And then, when Quinn isn't looking, almost unconsciously, a little smile shows on the Joker's face; the difference between the status quo being that said smile looks like something human beings might wear, instead of the Clown Prince of Crime.

It's gone by the time Harley's back, and Joker probably doesn't even know it showed. "Lemon lime!" The Joker siiiiiiighs dramaticly, holding his hand to his forehead, "Cruelty, thy name is 'Harl'. Or, well, cruelty. Either or."

The Joker lowers his hand then, grinning. "Now, I'm no doctor, but I believe, gentlemen, that is called a 'straight'. Harley, are you going to join us next hand?" Because two people playing to give him money is better than one, see.
clownluvin From: clownluvin Date: March 4th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Quiet you, you're not getting beer. You said so yourself!" Harley said sitting right next to him at the table. Her poor baby! She was going to have to take care of him. Which always was a lot of work.

But it was worth it, most of the time. All of the time. Maybe. She had this mental image of Red face palming at her. But Pammy just didn't get it.

"Sure, deal me in, Puddin'." Harley said. She could beat the other players either honestly or by cheating and either honestly, or by cheating, some how lose to Mistah J.

Because that was the way things went.
eddie_nygma From: eddie_nygma Date: March 6th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Nygma most certainly notices the moment of humanity, but he's not stupid enough to let on that he noticed - the Joker's likely to kill anyone who jeopardizes his efforts to re-establish his menace.

"A lovely picture of a happy and contented pair. You two should settle down in a house with a white picket fence, and an extremely tiny two-car garage."

He manages to smile a little as he gathers the cards for the next hand.
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