Joker: Arkham – Chapter 4 – Pleasure and Pain

Touch, touch in the flame’s desire
Feeling the pain’s denial,
And your fingers in the fire

Look, look in the candle light
Seeing the flame of life
And my spell is so alive

Taste the love
The Lucifer’s magic that makes you numb
The passion and all the pain are one
You’re sleeping in the fire

I gaze as the flame and fire burn
And cry out the name for which I yearn

Taste the love
The Lucifer’s magic that makes you numb
The passion and all the pain are one
You’re sleeping in the fire

~ Sleeping in the Fire (W.A.S.P.)

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

“I see you got a puppy, Joker. The rules here seem to have escaped you.”

He looked up slowly without lifting his head, shifting his gaze to the glass in the door.

She’s not really that ugly. Just enough, perhaps. “Rules are for the weak – and the dead.”

Rising from his splayed seat on the floor, he moved to stand at the window. When he saw the hefty Charlie lurking beyond her starched white shoulder, he grinned.

“Dr. Arkham, my lovely – when might he be ‘in’?”

“I’m not sure; truth is, I don’t think the fools upstairs even know where he went. Dr. Tanner has your case, anyway – why do you need Dr. Arkham at all?”

“We’re in love, you see; he left me with child and so we must discuss options.”

“I suggest you have it and stop bothering me.” With a truly ugly smile, she added, “I’ll leave a note for Dr. Tanner that you have some issues you want addressed – will that help?”

“I doubt it.”

Matching her smile, he studied her damaged face. It looked like the paintbrush of Two-Face, but she’d been remade before Harvey had been reborn.

“Your burn scars are lovely in this light, by the way.”

“Fuck you.”

“Tempting, but alas – I’m not your type. So – how bored are you? Care to let me have the little one for a few hours?”

“I’d love to – but this door isn’t opening on my watch.”

Joker tilted his head, staring at her cheek and forehead. “Who was the artist?”

Glaring, she answered, “Don’t worry – I’ll let your doctor know you need more of his time.” She began to walk away, leaving a confused orderly in her wake.

“I’m sure Dr. Arkham will understand.”

The scarecrow figure turned, her hands clenching into fists. “Understand what?”

“How you think you know how to run his hospital better than he does; it’s obvious to me. When he returns, he’ll take one of his habitual witching hour strolls though all the darker areas of this place. Imagine his surprise to find me here and him all uninformed of it.”

She was good, almost without reaction. Her tell was in her right fist – the staccato strike of it to her thigh, a tiny movement.

“No one’s heard from him in nearly a month. If they do, I’ll be sure to get the word out to him about you. Now shut up and leave me in peace.”

Charlie crept forward as she left. “I’m sorry, Mister J –”

“Oh, no … shh, shh, shh … it’s all right. She’ll find a way, like it or not.” Slumping against the door, he sighed. “Tell me about your grandmother, Charlie. Is she hard to please? Gets on your case?”

He listened with half an ear, but all he could feel was the passage of time into the wee hours. Eventually, the security guard who had helped the Batman began his graveyard shift. Charlie was chased away and scolded, and then the silence filled the air around him, packing him in.

Waiting, growing more angry and empty as each sloppy thudding heartbeat rattled in his chest, the Joker knew that he waited in vain.

~ ~ ~

It seemed that Dr. Tanner had received Nurse Helen’s note. As the Joker lay on the white tile, naked, dripping and freezing, he made a mental note to repay her in kind.

Three impossibly large brutes in gray orderly’s scrubs, the doctor’s dayshift brute squad, waited for their boss’s next command. He had managed to injure two of them: one sore groin and a broken pinkie finger, respectively, but it wasn’t enough to take them out of the game.

“I didn’t know he was so … fit,” Nurse Alice commented in a breathy whisper.

Dr. Tanner frowned. “He only bothers to build his strength in order to be more capable of harming others.”

Joker lifted his gaze without raising his head and stared at her, ignoring the rest. If one took an average cokehead supermodel blonde and poured her into a tight white uniform with an illegal skirt length, they’d only be halfway to making a creature like Nurse Alice. She didn’t wear her damage on her face as the night nurse did; it glittered in her hard and vacant blue eyes like a cancer. She was an allegedly incurable nymphomaniac and addict, and her aphrodisiac of choice was pain – someone else’s pain.

“Let me wash his hair,” she muttered.

“He’d just break your fingers. Gentlemen? The hose again, I think.”

Impassively watching them all, he searched their expressions and body language for anything he could use.

When the cold water hit him the second time with enough pressure to slide his body back over a few lines of tiles, he kept his face out of the spray the best that he could and concentrated on not allowing his limbs to shiver.

Eventually, no doubt at some unseen gesture from the doctor, the water struck his head and face point-blank. He managed to close his eyes in time, which barely helped, but could only lie there as his hair was flushed clean and the brutal scars on his cheeks painfully exposed.

“Enough. Bring him.”

The short club was expected, connecting three times with torso and head before he lost consciousness.

~ ~ ~

Strapped down, still nude and dripping, he took stock of the combined pain and pleasure that assaulted his body at once.

Needles had pierced his chest – five of them. A small and delicate hand grasped one of them and pulled it out. Something hot and constricting had claimed his cock – a mouth.

The Joker opened his eyes and flicked his tongue, gaze roving around the room before he bothered to look down at the nurse. What she was doing, and planned to do, was obvious and predictable.

Dr. Tanner had stepped out but the orderlies were ranged around the treatment room and staring at the nurse, their simple hungers written plainly on their thick features. One of them winced in misplaced empathy before the needle grazed his scrotum.

Glancing down, he sighed. “I thought you were a creature of vision, sweetheart – not so basely common. Ah, ah – don’t talk with your mouth full.”

“You don’t think I’ll do it?” she asked, her red lips hovering over the slick head.

“Hoping you will, I’m afraid. Sorry to disappoint.”

She claimed his cock again, sucking deliciously. One hand stroked up the muscles of his abdomen over the strap as the fingers of the other pierced his sack with the shining needle.

Joker gasped, his back arching as far as the restraints allowed. “Do it again, cupcake; oooh, you’re talented after all, aren’t you?”

When she released him only to clamber up onto the table over him, he laughed. Spreading her knees to straddle his hips, she grabbed his cock and guided it in, leaving the needle stuck in his sack.

No obstructions as banal as hose or panties were hidden under the white skirt, and as she fucked him hard and fast, she watched his face. Now and then, she looked over at the three men and warmed to their rapt stares.

He was close when the door opened and grinned at the disgust in the doctor’s voice.

“Alice! Stop her, you idiots!”

Joker sighed when they pulled her off. “I see why you ‘treat’ her more than me, Doc – nice, very nice.”

“Stupid bitch!” Dr. Tanner glared at her. “Dwight, take her out of here, now; then go to the infirmary and have them look at your hand.”

As soon as the door closed behind them, Joker whistled. “She’ll be all over him before they even get upstairs, you know. I hope you give yourself regular shots of penicillin.”

Ignoring the joke, the doctor asked, “How are we feeling today?”

“Better now.”

“We’ll have to see about that, won’t we?”

The way he selected another needle and pulled it out of the Joker’s chest with a smile told him that they had been his doing; Alice had merely been borrowing his toys.

With deliberate and fascinating malice, he jabbed the needle into the top of the hard and slick shaft of the Joker’s cock. It twitched, stealing a grunt from his patient’s unpainted lips.

“Aw, Doc – didn’t know you liked me that way.”

Glaring down at him, he fished a little recorder out of the pocket of his white coat, his voice turning clinical and distant.

“The subject appears to be masochistic but this may be an affectation adopted for the purpose of shocking others. Yet his control over his physical responses is … impressive.”

“Gonna make me blush,” Joker quipped, giving him a wink.

“William, come here – cover his eyes.”

Five digits and a palm, wide and out of reach of his teeth, blocked his sight. It didn’t leave him in darkness by any means, but the red flare of the light through the fingers was distracting.

“Can the subject control his responses when he is unable to tell when the pain will occur?”

“Yes, if you keep talking about it – and breathing.”

A third needle’s tip was stuck in the skin of his scrotum. Just before it pricked, the doctor’s breath caught, allowing the Joker to remain still. He attempted calm as well, but the needles were bringing him achingly close to a thwarted climax.

“See?” he taunted.

Figuring it out, Dr. Tanner fell silent, even attempting to hold his breath.

Joker didn’t focus on him or his needles; if he did, he might come too soon and he wanted to experience this game without anticipation now. Unexpectedly, his thoughts veered to the bat. Surprised, he examined the phenomenon.

The image of the abruptly vulnerable cock, as hard as the armor that no longer protected it, danced between the red clamped fingers.

Texture … and taste … spiced with the hunger and dismay of the man. A man … trapped and drowning inside that winged shadow…

Striking without warning at all, a needle stabbed into the wet slit of his straining cock, half of it sliding in. His body convulsed in an instant, the blazing heat of it slamming him up against the straps. That blunt restraint heightened the sensations and his seed exploded before the doctor could even withdraw his needle.

William had jumped back, betraying his fear. Still wracked by aftershocks of pleasure, Joker eagerly looked down to see a Rorschach splash of pink-tinged cum covering the twitching muscles of his abdomen.

Breath short, he let his head fall back onto the table. “I think I’m in love.” Flicking his tongue out to lick the thick scar in his bottom lip, he shifted his gaze to the angry face of the psychiatrist. “‘Affectation’? Astute call on shock value, I admit I’m all about it – but that … was gooood. Maybe you should go back to Harvard for a refresher course, hmm? Or change careers altogether.”

Through gritted teeth, Dr. Tanner ordered, “Take this monster back to his cell.” He plucked the remaining needles out as roughly as he could, all of them leaving thin trickles of blood behind.

Pleased that none of them attempted to clean him up, he got the first freed hand into the slick mess and palmed it over his wet hair before the two remaining orderlies could stop him.

Catching the disgusted surprise on the doctor’s thin face, he smiled. “Waste not, want not.”

“Move it, fast – get it out of my sight this instant.”

The giants obeyed, one of them pinning his wrists behind his back as the other one grabbed his legs. They wrenched his shoulders carrying him down the hall like that, his head bent at an odd angle against one barrel chest, but his carnal contentment didn’t let much else register until he was thrown back into his cell.

Delighted to see he had company there, he laughed when he fell on his hands and knees. Twisting and rising as fast as he could, Joker cupped the head of his bleeding cock, smearing blood on his fingers before holding them up like claws.

The orderlies were confused and angry, afraid of their boss’s wrath. They advanced but having let him go, they were reluctant to try grabbing him without their clubs.

George yelled out, “Get out of there, Charlie, come on, quick!”

Joker advanced a step. “Never know what weird diseases a crazy man’s got, huh? Watch out – might catch something nasty!”

“Leave him alone!” Charlie tried to get in front of him, actually intending to protect him.

“Get back, Charlie,” Joker told him. “They’ll grab you and pull you out if they can – then where would we be?”

“You stupid moron!” William shouted at him. “The freak’ll kill your ignorant ass – you wanna die?”

“Go away! You hurt Mister J, and I’ll … I’ll –”

“Leave him,” George said, already turning away. “Stinking prick ain’t no loss. Dr. Tanner hates his guts anyway.”

William frowned but started to back out after him. “Have a nice death, Charlie – you stupid fuck.”

The door slammed and locked, and the Joker wilted. He would have fallen to the stone floor again, but Charlie caught him. Picking him up, he laid him down on the bunk relatively gently for such a challenged person.

A rough wool blanket was spread on the bunk under him, a privilege he’d lost a month ago. The orderly drew it up and wrapped him in it. At his feet was a folded pile of orange cotton – a clean uniform.

Slightly irritated when the meaty hand began to pet his hair, he closed his eyes. “Thank you, Charlie.”

“Did they hurt you, Mister J?”

“They tried … but they’ll never understand a guy like me.”

He hadn’t noticed until the warm blanket surrounded him, but he was freezing. The water had been cold and he was still soaked.

“Let’s see … blunt, sharp, cold … they’re only missing hot and loud.”

“Sir?”

“Nothing, Charlie, nothing. How did you slip in here?”

“The door wasn’t locked.”

“Brave man, good man.”

“You rest, Mister J, okay?”

Joker gave him a tired smile. “Wish they hadn’t decided to wash me.” Shuddering, he felt himself being dragged down by pure exhaustion. “Charlie, listen close – if anyone opens the outer door to this hall, you have to wake me, hmm? It’s very important and I trust you to do that, yes?”

“Sure, Mister J,” he answered, a slight flush to his neck and face betraying his pleasure at being entrusted with anything deemed important.

Reaching out of the blanket to pat his cheek, Joker sighed. “Good man.” Curling his hands up against his chest, he smiled again when the orderly began to carefully tuck the blanket securely around him.

As sleep crowded in, it was hard at first not to fight it off. Yet the solid warmth of his companion sitting on the floor next to the bunk allowed him to slowly let go. The man was crazy, duped into a loyalty the others might be surprised that they couldn’t break – but he trusted it like nothing else.

The Joker knew something they didn’t, of course. In all of their casual abuse, neglect, and disregard of a man like that, one bit of kindness, of giving the person a sense of his own worth in another’s eyes, was more binding than any other tie in that person’s miserable life.

Charlie was afraid of him. He knew he had power, even if he didn’t grasp what it was. He knew others feared him, too. To have that powerful and fearsome person befriend him gave him the first taste of power he’d ever had. Even more, to have that person depend on him for something – could potentially warp him into a loyalty that would never be broken.

Joker had seen it over and over in his fight for Gotham’s soul, as he had gathered his minions to him and gave them jobs to do. No matter what the cops, doctors or even the Batman did to those addled rejects, no matter what the Joker did to them, they would be loyal – fiercely … murderously … loyal.

Secure in the knowledge that he had woven the net of the orderly’s emotions and needs perfectly to suit his purpose, Joker was able to close his eyes … to trust … to sleep.

~ ~ ~

He couldn’t determine what had woken him. The cell and hall were as silent as ever and the orderly, desperate to let him sleep, was as quiet and patient as the dead. Joker’s body still shivered now and then but less frequently or intensely, and his hair and skin were dry.

It was difficult to tell how long he had slept and useless to ask the man who had watched over him.

I’d spend more time explaining what a clock was and then I’d have to explain time… “Hello, Charlie,” he whispered, though his soft tone still managed to startle the man.

“Mister J! Feel better?”

“Yes, thank you.”

His fingers rose to touch his scars. The absence of the greasepaint was always felt like a physical pain, leaving him more exposed than he had been on the tiled floor of the washroom. The stare of his enthralled companion made him turn his head.

“Got some things for you, sir.”

“Did you – but I didn’t get you anything. What did you bring me?”

He dug in his pants pocket and produced a small zippered silk bag. Joker rose on one forearm and took it. Charlie turned where he sat and unzipped it for him. Inside was a tube of scarlet lipstick, liquid eyeliner, a set of dark eyeshadow colors – and a little rectangular mirror.

“Where?” he whispered.

“Stole it from the pretty nurse.”

“Ah, you beauty! Gimme a kiss!”

The wet slip of tongue against his lips startled the man, but he pressed his mouth to the Joker’s without a qualm otherwise.

Granny must ask him for a kiss often; wonder if the old girl does it on the lips? First things first, lessons later. “Hold the mirror, would you?”

Struggling with the blanket, he managed to sit in a slouch with it still covering his back and lap. He began to darken the pale and slightly bruised skin around his eyes, giggling with delight. Pursing his lips, he rolled the lipstick up and drew a bloody streak of color over them. Turning his head, he filled in the scars until a vicious smile trailed and curled across his face once more.

“Oh, yes … that’s it.” Putting the precious contents back into the bag, he zipped it and tucked it under the folded clothes.

Retrieving the mirror, he used it to inspect the finger bruises on his throat. Crestfallen when he saw that they had begun to fade, he sighed.

“That okay, Mister J? It’s like you like it?”

“Aw, yes … hush, sweeting – it’s perfect.” He slipped the mirror under the clothes as well before he turned back to the orderly. Scooting closer to the clothing, he patted the bunk. “Come and sit with me, Charlie. We should start your lessons before they come back and make you leave.”

“I won’t go! I’ll fight them!”

His fists were huge as he stood. Dr. Tanner’s giants were bigger but not by much. Joker took his wrist and tugged it to make him sit beside him.

“Shh, shh, shh … be still, baby…” Leaning in, he kissed his cheek, leaving a red mark there. “Now you have to do what I say or the magic won’t work, hmm?”

“Yes, sir.”

Reaching out with eager fingers, he opened the man’s drawstring bow and pulled it out of the gray scrub pants. A considerable length of sturdy cotton: a million possible uses in one practical item.

Charlie flinched at the rustle of the pants being pulled down in front, the feel of fingers creeping in and grasping.

Joker gave the soft flesh a tug and a squeeze, smiling at his gasp. “There it is … wakey-wakey.”

“Mister J,” he whispered, fingers plucking weakly at his wrist as the hand worked it hard and ready.

“Hush, now. It feels good, yes?”

Too flustered to answer, the man’s eyes nearly rolled back in his head. Joker thought about swallowing him down, but he didn’t want to rub the taste of the bat out of his throat.

He did catch it when it blew. Holding his messy palm out in front of the man, he offered it to him.

“This is the magic, Charlie – this is how it starts. It was inside you and if you give it to someone else, put it inside them, it can do astounding things.”

Lifting a big hand to hover over his palm, Charlie asked, “Gran, too?”

Giggling, Joker fisted his hand and kissed the man’s cheek again. “You’re quick, you know that?”

The doe eyes that met his were shining with fear and pride at once. “What else?”

“I’ll show you how, yes? Let’s move the blanket to the floor.”

“You’re cold – you need it.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll warm up. Spread it out.”

Joker rose and handed it to him, smiling as the man’s eyes couldn’t help sweeping over his nudity. Blushing and looking away, Charlie tossed the wool down and spread it flat with his shoes.

“That’s it. Now, let’s get you out of your clothes, mmm? Shoes, too. Laces? Splendid.” One-handed, he started to help by tugging on the clothes.

The simple man’s fear spiked in short breaths and widening eyes. “Have to?” he asked, thick fingers pinning the Joker’s wrist, stopping his tugs.

“Oh, baby … being naked is scary for you, isn’t it? Don’t fret, sweeting, nothing to worry ‘bout. You wanna learn, don’t you?”

Swallowing hard and nodding, he kicked off his shoes. Wide dark eyes locked onto the Joker’s as the big hands slowly stripped off the scrubs. Joker moved in and pulled down the once-white underwear, sinking to his knees on the wool.

“Lie down on your stomach, there’s a good boy. You can keep your socks on if you want.”

The body on the blanket twitched at the sound of the outer door opening and started to rise, but Joker flattened him with a palm on his back. The steps outside were not the guard, the doctor, or his goons – that only left the nurse.

“Be still for daddy.” For the benefit of his audience, he stroked his palm down the back and curled it over the ass, giving it a pat. The hand lifted to his cock next, the fingers thumping it to semi-life. “Oh, you do look delicious.”

A light clack on the glass in the door made him smile. Glancing at it, he watched the angry expression on Nurse Alice’s pretty face morph into one of cruel rapt pleasure. Tossing her a wink, he turned back to the orderly.

“Going to put it back in now.” Opening his fisted hand, fingers prying the cheeks apart, he wiped the cum into the crack of the ass. The first finger massaging it into the clenching muscle ring made the body twitch again. “Shh…” Confident that no spark of instinct would turn the bigger man against him, Joker pressed him down.

His cock had stopped bleeding, obediently hardening for him when he grasped it and rubbed the head across Charlie’s slick hole.

The big fists clenched on the wool, striking the floor under it when Joker began to push inside.

“It hurts!”

Leaning down, he kissed the wide back, smearing streaks of red on the shuddering skin. “Oh, yes, babydoll, it will at first. Mmm, feels good for me, though – so tight.”

Driving in deeper, he turned his head to look back at the glass. The blue eyes there were wide and enthralled. Charlie made a choking sound and began to cry, every muscle in his body tensing up.

“Ooo, sweeting … that’s niiice.”

“Hurts…”

Fingers reaching up, he stroked the side of the wide face with the knuckles. “You please me, Charlie – you make me so happy, make me feel so good. Don’t you wanna make me happy?”

“Y-yes…”

Bracing that hand on the back, he reached for the mirror and broke it diagonally on the metal leg of the bunk. The smaller piece fell on the blanket; the other became a jagged shiv in his loose grip.

Setting the point on the canvas of the back, he began to draw shallow cuts. The crying intensified beneath him as he juggled his thrusts with his art. He thought about simply slicing into the throat and continuing on as he bled out, but that seemed like a waste.

Inspiration dawned all at once and he had to stifle a laugh. Nothing quite like an ace in the hole – and why settle for a bird in the hand when you can throw it at the one in the bush and wound them both? “This is the magic, Charlie – this is how you can save the day. Are you listening? Oh, baby, shh … it’ll get better soon.” Laying the piece of mirror on the small of his back, he leaned down again to kiss and comfort. “That’s it – that’s my brave boy.” Timing the words for each thrust, he ground out, “You make … daddy … so proud…”

His guts clenching, heat spreading through his groin, he buried his cock and rode the man hard. A few strokes like that and it was over far too quickly. He laid his forehead on the man’s back and groaned, flicking his tongue out to lick the salty skin and bloody streaks as he came.

As soon as he could move, he pulled out and sat on the blanket, tucking the pieces of mirror back under the pile of clothes. Fingers stroking and grasping, he coaxed the orderly up to sit next to him. “Aw, there, see? You’re okay. Come here,” he whispered, clucking and soothing.

If he could have crawled into a ball in the Joker’s lap, he would have. Slipping his arms around him, Joker held him to his chest and petted him.

He didn’t look up at the door when the steps outside retreated. She would either tell what she’d witnessed or not, though it hardly mattered. Most likely, having seen her mirror being used as a weapon, she would keep quiet to avoid any blame in allowing him to get hold of it.

The outer door banged shut, the sound spiking the upset of his newest toy. Eventually, if he didn’t kill him, they would find a way to extract him – in the meantime, he had work to do.

“Charlie? Listen, sweeting – when you go home –”

“Won’t leave,” he protested.

“I’m afraid you’ll have to – if you wanna give the magic to your grandmother, to make her all better. I gave it to you so that you could help her. Then you can come back and picnic with me again, hmm?” The man clung to him tighter, but the heavy head nodded once. “That’s right; just do what I did to you. If she doesn’t understand, like you didn’t, just hold her down and do it. After, she’ll get better. Yes? You trust me, don’t you, baby?” Another nod bumped his shoulder. Grinning, he added, “You did very well. How are you feeling?”

Voice muffled against his chest, he muttered, “Still hurts…”

“I know, but it’ll stop soon. Later, when I’ve rested, we’ll try again and it’ll get easier.”

The body in his arms winced and started to shrink away from him, a little cry of fear and pain escaping his clenched lips.

“Now, Charlie, do you want daddy to get angry with you? I don’t wanna be angry. You have to be my sweet, good boy or I’ll leave you, give you back to ‘em – without teaching you anymore.”

Bursting into a fresh round of tears, the orderly grabbed at him, almost crushing him. “No, Mister J, please!”

“Hush … shh, now, now – poor baby. Shh…”

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