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Story Notes:
**DC pwns all.**

spoilers: none. In fact, I'm blatantly ignoring some things (like Arkham's death or departure or whatever it was happened 8 years back).

This is a work in progress, something I've been mulling over for about a year. I'm posting as I write, so any comments and critiques might affect future chapters, probably in a good way. I can take anything you dish out, so don't be shy with criticism. Thanks.
Author's Chapter Notes:
I'm trying to set this up for you, give a general overview -- a thesis, if you will. I plan to go into the past and bring you better up to speed, but this should promote the general idea.
"Doctor Arkham... Jeremiah," Doctor Isaac Riley said softly, "I really think this might work."

Arkham stared the man down in silence. What he proposed was preposterous. He looked at the doctor; a man in his fifties, acclaimed by his peers, known for his differential techniques in treating difficult cases, but nothing like this. What he was thinking was off the wall. There was no way a man in his right mind could possibly be this serious about an endeavor this ...abstract.

Riley wanted to shift in his seat under the cold gaze of his administrator, but refused to show the slightest sign of fear. Instead he leaned forward and placed his hand on the Doctor's desk, "He's shown interest in this sort of thing before -- not here, at the hospital, of course, but outside of here. In his ...free time."

Jeremiah was unmoved.

"I've spoken with some of his associates," Riley knew this would get Arkham's attention.

"You mean Miss Quinzel," he stated flatly.

"No," Riley almost faltered, "I spoke with the Bat. Robin. They have had more true one-on-one experience with him in a day than we've been able to milk out of him in all the time he's spent here. He talks to them."

"... Go on."

"When Joker is an inmate here," Riley said with renewed conviction,"he is under constant superveilance. Near constant. He plays with us. He doesn't respect us. He will never give us anything useful, because he knows we're looking for it."

Arkham leaned back in his chair to listen.

"But when he's with Batman, someone he respects... I'd damn say nearly admires, he opens up in both conscious and unconscious ways. I've been holding interviews with these men -- and believe me, it was hard to get the first one -- so I can analyze Joker's behavior when he isn't being watched. Doctor Arkham, this could be a way to peek into his subconscious, find a thread of something honest! Something real we can work with!" Riley was getting animated, "Jeremiah; we don't have to write him off! It doesn't have to be pointless!"

He struck a chord. It was what nobody said, an unwritten law about the Joker; hopelessly, horribly, evilly insane. Every doctor has limits, but nobody truly wants to give up hope for someone to be able to find the key. While compassion for the man that the Joker used to be is near non-existent, the hope that they could temper him somehow, get some sort of control, stop some of the deaths, save someone's life... nobody could give up a secret hope in their heart. You can't lose hope, assume there is someone that can't be brought home, at least a little. Give that up and you might as well turn in your coat. Jeremiah cleared his throat.

"Doctor Arkham... Batman himself will oversee the entire operation, although it took some convincing to get his support. We have Cash and all his hand-picked guards. We have a grant from Mr.Bruce Wayne himself," he was bringing it home, now, "Doctor. We have to try."

Isaac Riley, the Joker's latest psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, overseer of the madman for over a year with no progress -- and yet no sign of fatigue -- was nervous before their next therapy session. Joker was led into the room, hands in mitts on two inch chains from his belt, ankles bound together with a twelve inch length of tempered steel links, and strapped down to something like a dentist's chair. For the last three months, Joker had not uttered a single word during the sessions he attended. This wasn't anything new, the doctor was aware, but it relieved him to know he wasn't being toyed with. Joker was usually quietest around the more proficient doctors, the ones that might catch something tiny that slipped out during his own psychological manipulations and tricks. In a way, the silence was a badge of honor for Dr. Riley.

Joker settled into his seat as comfortably as he could and stared the doctor in the eyes, like usual. Riley was used to it and no longer got the creeping horrors. Isaac Riley set his pen onto the notepad in front of him and steepled his fingers together. Joker stared, impassively. The doctor looked at him with a serious face. "We want you to make a movie."


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