There it is again. The reflex to run, to escape, to find a way to get as far from the city as possible, all because of things Joseph can't remember. Things are still creeping back, of course. The notes are there, because he's so weirdly detailed about it, but it's because he wants Joe to freak out about things. And, it works. To a point. He takes his friends to Vegas for the weekend, because he needs to get out, even though he's looking at both of them all weekend knowing who their other sides are. It's something he can't get away from. There's only so many times that he can push people away, as it's been pointed out to him time and time again, but it doesn't stop him from trying.
He doesn't want to be a criminal mastermind. He doesn't want to be a bad person. He doesn't want to be a murderer, even in self-defence. He doesn't want to be cruel. He doesn't want to get people killed. He doesn't want to watch someone he cares for to get stuck in the spiral that he's in. But here he is. But, at least he's not worse off, he tells himself. He's not making desperate pleas, he's not jumping off waterfalls, or getting tattoos that he doesn't mean, he's not setting things on fire, or stabbing people through the chest. Things could be worse, right? Things could always be worse.
So when the clock hits midnight and he feels the shift starting to take over, he's prepared for this. He struggles against Joker trying to push forward, and he stifles a maniacal laugh. He fights off his hand going for his eyes to take out the blue contacts covering the green eyes. He fights and struggles with his own body, with his own mind, as he has a singular goal.
"Joker, you and I are going to have a talk," Joseph says as he gets to the bathroom and opens the medicine cabinet, revealing various toiletries and medications.
You seriously think I give a fuck about anything you have to say, Joey? What good are you-- the voice is trying to push forward, and Joseph reaches for a bottle of pills with his hand. Joker laughs in his head, This won't kill you, this won't kill me! Why waste good drugs?
"I'm not trying to kill us," Joseph says, as he pops the top of the pills and looks at the label. Fluphenazine. Brand name Prolixin. Joseph can sense the confusion and then anger in the other man, and smirks. "It's an antipsychotic," Joseph says, "High potency. And we're going to talk.". At that, there is a struggle and Joseph fights against Joker tryin to take control as he pops as many pills as he can, knowing that his regeneration will fix things soon enough. For now, this will have to do. He's the first man to admit that the mind is a powerful thing, and isn't too sure what is going to happen.
For hours, there is a struggle between Joker and Joseph, as he grips the edge of the sink in the bathroom tight. In one particular 'power' struggle, the edge of the granet is broken off thanks to the strength of both men, and the desire of both of them wanting to be in control. Joseph can tell that Joker is changing, he's getting weaker, he's...developing a difference sense of observation.
Joseph closes his eyes. He takes a deep breath. And he knows he's not fully in control right now, but there isn't a power struggle like there usually is. It feels like a mutual understanding. He opens his eyes and lifts his head, looking straight into the mirror. He doesn't see himself in the reflection, but he sees the other man. But something is different.
"Joker. We need to talk."
The other man doesn't respond at first. He just sighs deeply. And then, Jack will be just fine, he replies, a exasperated tone to his voice. I imagine there's a lot of questions you have. Honestly, I have them too.
Joker. We need to talk.
It's been years, perhaps decades since you've been able to come to the forefront and Breathe. Going crazy, going off the deep end completely and there is nothing that you had been able to do to stop it. Or, well, there was. Of course there was. You could have taken the drugs they gave you the first time you had been thrown into the Asylum, but what was the fun in that? You had come to Gotham to make a name for yourself in comedy, but comedy wasn't what the city responded to. They responded to Batman, and you knew the only way you could make a name for yourself in this town was to team up. Not that the flying rodent had anything to say about it, but it was settled. You became Joker. You told a million lies and a million truths and no one could ever tell which was real. You killed people. You stole. You hurt those you loved, because everything needed to be bigger, needed to be better, needed to get Gotham's attention.
To go insane, to just fuel it...to being sane now, it's whiplash. It feels like it was just yesterday when everything went wrong, but it wasn't. Now, the memories of all these weeks spent 'awake', sharing a body with a man who just wanted to live his own damn life, and here you are, destroying this man's life. Or is it your life too? The only chance you have to have freedom? You can feel Joker stir, getting restless, and you can tell the other man is getting restless too. He calls you Joker, and you sigh heavy.
"Jack will be just fine." You can't hide the annoyance in your voice, because you don't want to be tied to your insanity, but you'll be stuck with that the rest of your life. "I imagine there's a lot of questions you have. Honestly, I have them too." It feels strange, looking into a mirror and speaking to your reflection, but you've had moments like this before. You've tried to have conversations with Joker, and it never worked out, because you couldn't split yourself in half. But this Joseph guy, he seems to have a decent set of brains in him. And with the moments that you're sane, though you know it's not going to last, at least you can try to talk to him.
That's an understatement. Did you say your name was Jack? Joseph is confused, and well, you saw that coming. "It's a long story," You tell him, "And if we share a mind, you'll just get all the memories back anyway, is there really a point in me wasting time telling you about it?" The other man agrees that he doesn't want to waste time.
"What it comes down to, is that I'm...things went wrong for me. I've done horrible things. Things that I regret. Things that I never want to repeat, but I know he'll make me do them. I can feel him, getting anxious. You can feel it too, can't you?"
You watch as your reflection nods. Or is it you nodding? Are you going insane again? "I don't understand what is going on, but I want to apologize for everything that--"
I don't want your fucking apologies! Joseph yells out, interrupting you. You have destroyed my life, you, Joker, whoever the fuck you are. You have single handedly ruined the good life I had going for myself.
"Well you're not exactly the picture of perfect sanity or innocence either, Joe," you snap back.
You sense the fear. You sense the worry. And before you are able to ask any questions, he says it anyway, If there is ever a time, where you're around all the time, how do I know that you're not going to destroy everything? How do I know you're not going to kill everyone?
The question is a good one, because he should wonder about that. He should worry about that. You don't fault him at all. "You wear contacts to cover the eyes. Dye your hair. At least you don't have to wear makeup yet." You watch him, as he gets angry and punches his fist into the wall, leaving a mark, Don't placate me! Just answer me!
You scoff, "You don't even know if you're not going to destroy anything, if you're not going to kill everyone, so how can you ask me that? I can feel your rage, you know."
This is all your fucking fault! This whole shift, it's taken everything from me, I am so fucking tired of people taking everything from me, for… Joseph is angry. He's hurt. He's...a bunch of emotions that you hadn't been allowed to feel for decades because you haven't felt sane in decades and it overwhelms you. He shouts back at you, How do I know you're not going to destroy everything?
"You know I can't answer that. You had to get pills to talk to me, Joe. You didn't even know a sane person existed under Joker until now. But what scares you is something I can't answer. You want to know if you'll always be stuck like this. You want to know if you're really going crazy. You want to know if you're ever going to become Joker. I can't answer that, because I don't know. Don't ask stupid questions hoping to get an answer you think you can live with."
Staring at your reflection, and your reflection staring back at you, there is nothing but silence. And you wonder if you're going crazy, or you wonder if Joe is wondering if he's going crazy and that you're just hearing it, and underneath all of that you can feel Joker getting stronger wanting to crawl his way back to the front. Regeneration, pushing out all the medication Joe shoved down his throat.
"What I do know is that you want to talk shop? Then talk. Because you know it's only a matter of time before these drugs wear off, and you might as well get information while you can."
Fine, Joseph says, resigning to the fact that you're right, Then talk.