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A dark silhouette swished a glass of wine resting between his fingers. The moonlight shone in, bouncing softly against the ruby liquid even as it eclipsed the night sky. “Gotham,” the figure whispered, its voice deep and calm. “It's so frustrating to see its ugly face, so old and yet so… frantic. So unusual, and yet it is strangely beautiful.”
The man turned his head from the window, his gaze narrowing towards the far side of the room. “Wouldn't you agree, Mr. Wayne?”
The Dark Knight seemed to shift his weight just slightly, the same moonlight caressing across his armor, bringing him into view. “How long did you know?”
“I need you to listen,” Batman said quietly, that rumble of his voice even more firm than that of the man in the chair. “Gotham is mine, Te—“
The man raised his hand to silence the Dark Knight. “Please, I go by Mockingbird these days. Care for a drink?” The man delicately rattled the decanter that had been resting on the table beside him, but the gesture was met with a silent scowl buried under Batman's mask. “You look depressed, Bruce. What's the matter? Not missing your little dance partner, are you?”
“You killed him,” Batman said, taking a single step towards the man. “Or at least, you tried to.”
“Don't act like the world isn't better off,” the silhouette insisted. “You never would have done it yourself, but the fact remains: Gotham is a safer place without him.”
Batman remained stolid, shifting only ever so slightly beneath his cape. “Would you rather I pretend that you were trying to do my city a service?”
A small smirk traced across the man's face. “Oh no, you're too smart for that, aren't you? But it shouldn't matter to you why I did it, only that it's done.”
“You don't really believe he's dead, do you?” Batman asked, eyes narrowing.
“Honestly?” The man took a brief sip from his glass, mulling over the question in his mind. “No, not really. Even when a body splatters against the pavement, one never can be sure these days.”
Batman was quiet a moment, reaching into his utility belt to pull out a tape recorder. “Then I guess you won't be surprised to hear this.”
"Tweet tweet, little bird. So a clown falls off of a rooftop... heard this one before? I figured not. So a clown falls off of a rooftop and everyone thinks he's finally gone for good. They have a nice laugh about the whole thing -- but then! The plot thickens! It turns out there are greater powers at work than a couple of fools and a tower (oohoohoohoo, catch my tarot references?). Turns out that The Devil has yet to be played. How will big daddy Mockingbird weather the coming storm? Maybe he gets his wings clipped... maybe he finally meets his match. We'll just have to wait for the show won't we? Hehehehehe... ahahahhahaaa... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"
“I found it at the scene,” Batman explained, sliding the recorder across the table.
The man paused a moment, then reached for the device, rolling it around in his grasp. “Hmph, thought as much. Not that it matters. The only reason I did this was to get the jester's loyalty, and now I have it. In turn, the team has... bonded. They'll do nicely for me in the future.”
“I don't know what you're planning… and God help me, I don’t know why Harley Quinn could possibly be crucial to it,” Batman said, beginning to make his exit, “but whatever it is, take it out of my city. I won't tell you again.”
“You know I can't promise that,” the man responded. “I have plans, and I will see them through, no matter where they take me.”
Batman turned briefly to look back over his shoulder, glaring. “If you don't leave, you'll be walking into a storm. Don't say I didn't warn you.”
“Please, Bruce.” The man's knowing smirk widened, now genuinely amused. “I am the storm.”