He's playing his piano in his apartment, trying to find some solace in what is left of his life, trying his best to find that balance that he knows he's missing, when there is a knock at the door.

He doesn't hear the door at first, as he continues to play and hums along with what he's playing, stopping to write a note or two. It's when he's stopped to write something down, that he finally hears the knock.

There is a brief moment where he raises an eyebrow and looks at the door and wonders who it could be. He's been keeping to himself mostly, he hasn't invited anyone over to spend the night (though, he's getting very bored and tired of always being the one who has to have the trysts at his home, variety is the spice of life after all), so he has no reason to expect company. So, he slowly gets up, hesitant, because he's not sure what is in store for him. With the way that Joker has been leaving surprises in his apartment -- surprises he's still finding, unfortunately -- he's not sure he trusts anything these days, especially if it comes to his door.

He opens the door to find a man wearing a big winter coat, work boots, and a baseball hat.

"Hey, boss. Got that letter you wanted me to deliver."

Joe freezes. "Boss?"

The man suddenly looks panicked, "Yeah, Boss, don't you remember? After the...", the man leans in to whisper, "trains, we worked with you most of the week, until you told most of us to get lost. Jimmy got arrested, but he took that pill, just like you told him too, and Frankie and I are just waiting for your orders."

"My ord--get in here," He pulls the man into the apartment and Joe shuts the door behind him, "Listen, I don't know what you think you're doing or who you think I am, but I'm not your 'boss', and I really...don't think you should be talking about illegal things out in public."

"You said you'd say that," The man says, as he takes his hat off and wrings in between his hands, nervously. The look on his face has gone from scared to nervous, moving back and forth, and he doesn't seem happy to hear that you're not his boss. "But you are, and you asked me to give you this letter."

The man holds out the letter and you take it and immediately toss it on a nearby table, "No, you are really mistaken, I'm not your boss! Just...please leave."

"Boss, wait, no you...I don't really want to do that, you gotta believe me that you're the boss! You're just having an off day, you see, and..." The man is pleading with Joe, and Joe is feeling worse, because he knows what this man is trying to say, because this man must have been one of the three people Joker hired. That you only know about it, because Joker left you a note telling you so. As if you'd want to use more hired guns.

You don't. You never wanted to be a part of any of this in the first place.

"Don't worry, you just gotta hit your head and you'll be back to your old self, see!" The guy continues, trying to grin, "and we can get back to work!"

"Hit my...get out of my apartment." Joe growls, "Before I call the police. Do you think it's really wise claiming someone to be your 'boss'?" Joe opens the door and gestures for the man to leave, and the visitor looks panicked, as he reaches into his coat pocket. Joe immediately goes on the defensive, but the man just takes out a little green pill.

"Boss, please, you gotta believe me!" He says, holding the pill, and Joe eyes it for a moment, not knowing what it was, and pushes the man out.

"Get out of my apartment and do not come here again. I will call the police." And say what, exactly, he doesn't know. Oh, officer, some man came to my apartment building hinting that I was his boss in the train explosions, you know the explosions from a few weeks ago? But I swear I had nothing to do with it! Yeah, that'd go over real fucking well. So he shoves the man out into the hallway, and the man begs him not to.

Which, is rather odd.

The man looks at Joe with terror in his eyes, as he takes the pill, and puts his hat back on, and he walks away from the apartment. Joe shuts the door and locks it, but not before he starts to hear faint laughing.

The laughing grows a little bit by volume and intensity, but stops as Joe hears the elevator dinged open and the doors shut.

It's the sound of the laughing that causes the hair on his arms to stand up on ends and he goes over to his apartment window, overlooking the street. He opens the window a crack as he hears the laughter again, only this time it's full on maniacal. It has a hint of terror to it, not of someone who wants to laugh, but is being forced to.

That type of laughing is what haunts Joe's dreams. Or, more specifically, his nightmares. He only has nightmares now.

The man who came to Joe's apartment is now in the middle of the busy street, laughing with all he has, and cars are trying to dodge him left and right. Until, he walks right in front of a large delivery truck, and is immediately killed.

Joe immediately drops away from the window, slamming it shut, pulling his blinds down and lands on the floor, breathing hard, trying to find any type of air at all but nothing is working. He can hear the commotion outside, the screaming, the cars that keep piling up outside.

He starts to panic - what if someone saw that man come to his apartment? Does his building have cameras? Does it have a security guard? He keeps himself low as he goes over to the door to double and triple bolt it, trying to remember if this can get linked to him.

As he turns around, he sees the letter he grabbed from the man and tossed, and he recognizes the writing on it. Because it's his own. It's also Joker's.

Joe swallows hard. He opens the envelope slowly, and finds himself relieved when nothing comes out with it. Inside, there's a paper folded nicely, dark green ink scrawled over it.

Joey, old boy! If you're reading this, then Hank did his job and delivered the letter to you when I told him to. And if you did what I think you will do, then you told poor Hank that you're not his boss and you told him to leave.

Which, once you say that, Hank has to take a little pill that I gave him. If he can't convince you that you're the ‘boss', then what good is he?! None! And if Hank leaves your apartment building laughing, then Frankie has to take his pill and run him over. No loose ends, Joey. Isn't that what you prefer?

This little game is just to remind you who is really in charge. Who is really the boss here. You want to pretend that you control everything and your life, then that's fine because then you're really more insane than I am.

The only reason you're not dead is because I need you to be alive for me to come back. That's the only reason.

You're not in control. I am. Don't forget who you're dealing with.

Joe walks backwards as his legs lead him into a wall, and he crunches the letter in reaction. He runs into the kitchen and immediately starts searching for matches, and when he finds them, he sets the letter on fire and throws it into the sink. And once more, when the letter is burned up, he washes it down the sink.

This isn't the first time he's had to do this. This isn't the last time he'll have to do this.

Because it's true. He's not the one in control.

Fighting himself is getting harder and harder these days, and the will to stay around is getting smaller and smaller.

As Joe stands at the sink, watching the water wash the burnt letter down the drain, he realizes that he doesn't actually have anything worth sticking around for anymore.

That's just as frightening as anything else.

The sirens are outside now, and Joe finds the nearest bottle of alcohol and sits at his kitchen island and starts to chug, anything to drown the guilt out.