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Fic: Always Laughing

Title: Always Laughing
Author: Brokaw22
Disclaimer: The norms
Rating: T
Story Synopsis: Tim finds out the secret of the universe, and he just can't make himself care anymore.
Note: This entire fic is based off of this: http://dragonspaz.deviantart.com/art/Everything-s-a-Joke-146787896 After leaving a comment I was told to go for it, so here it is.
Thanks to Kathy for beta work.

 

Tim tried to care...tried to just continue doing what they do...tried to keep everyone else from seeing just how much he didn't give a damn anymore. He tried to push away every thought about how nothing anyone did mattered...tried to keep up appearances for everyone else's sake. It was hard, but he managed to do it for a long time, before he just couldn't anymore. It was a joke. Their entire existence was one huge, terrible, not-funny joke, and the only other person who even knew about the joke was The Joker. The world (and using that term made Tim want to break down into hysterical laughter, or possibly sob for awhile) was a cruel and evil place. It was all just one gigantic lie, and if Tim had been written with a larger sense of humor he'd laugh until he cried, because all it took was one long look at the place they lived in to fully realize that none of it was real...none of it really mattered--because they lived in a frickin' comic book.

 

He never bothered to tell the others when he figured it out. He didn't want to ruin their perception of what was real. He didn't want them turning into him. They still had the delusion that who they were, what they did, and how they conducted themselves mattered, and Tim didn't see any reason to destroy their lives, no matter how worthless it all really was in the end. When he figured out that The Joker wasn't really crazy, and the so-called madman had just figured it out, too, Tim wasn't sure that he could handle that knowledge. It was all just too much to take in. Realizing that everything they did was essentially meaningless was far easier to assimilate than realizing that The Joker was just doing the only thing that could be done in such a situation. He passed the time in a way that gave the illusion of any of this meaning something.

 

After Tim had managed to put all of the little pieces together, he started visiting The Joker in Arkham. It started out as just another set of meaningless conversations that would essentially end nowhere, or so it seemed to the others. Joker laughed at his first visit...mocked him for his inability to cope with the fact that the world around him was nothing more than childish entertainment. Tim didn't care about Joker or his mocking; he still kept coming back, because it seemed like the only sane and rational thing to do. It didn't take long for The Joker to just accept Tim's visits, and, after a while, Joker got used to Tim stopping by--and even started to enjoy it when Tim came around. At least that's what he told Tim. Tim, on the other hand, began to rely on his conversations with The Joker in a way he never thought possible. It only took a short time for The Joker to become the only person Tim could talk to--the only person he could relate to--especially since he couldn't even pretend to care about the people he had once called family and friends any more.

 

He tried...he really did, but he just couldn't. Every single time one of them started complaining about their lives, or tried to get him to talk about his, Tim just shut down. He couldn't handle it. Sometimes he even had to bite his tongue to stop himself from just screaming, 'None of it is real and none of it matters.' He wanted to care--wanted to be the person he used to be before he figured it all out. He wanted to be able to lie to them and tell them that it'd be alright--wanted them to believe that lie more than anything. He wanted to just go back to the way that it used to be, even if it was painful. The way his life was before may have hurt and made him depressed, but at least he cared; at least it mattered to him. Now? Now there was nothing. He couldn't give himself a reason to even pretend to care when he knew nothing really made an impact anyway, which is why, when The Joker asked him to work for him, Tim saw no reason not to. After all, it wasn't as though anything they did really affected anything anyway.

 

Tim didn't regret taking The Joker up on his offer, either--not even when Dick was the first person to find him after he had been beating some nameless faceless person (if it even was a person) to a bloody pulp, with The Joker laughing the whole time behind him. It hurt to see Dick's horrified expression, or at least it would have if it was real, but it was just one more thing that held no substance. He listened to all of Dick's words, with barely a hint of actually paying attention, but there was nothing in Dick's voice that could convince Tim to go back to the life that he used to lead. It wasn't like there was any point, and trying to get Dick to understand that was a mistake. He knew that even before he opened his mouth--but it was made even more apparent the moment that Joker started speaking. Tim only had to break The Joker's jaw to keep him from telling Dick the truth of their situation, and even then he was still spluttering the words through his bleeding and disfigured mouth. Tim had to literally drag him away before Dick could stop him and learn the truth himself.

 

That was the way it was now, the two of them went out every night they could doing whatever they felt like to pass the time, and sometimes if Tim didn't think about it, he'd just let his body pretend it could actually feel something real, and he'd smile and laugh at the pointlessness of it all. He'd go as far as he wanted--doing whatever he wanted to do with no real boundaries except the ones that he felt like giving himself that particular night to change things up a bit. After all, it wasn't much fun if it was always the same thing. It all just became even more hilarious when his former allies stopped treating him like one of their own, and started treating him like he was just one more villain. When he faced off against his former family members, Tim spent the entire fight laughing his head off at how mundane their stupid rules really were, because they weren't even their own rules. They were rules someone else made up for them to make them more entertaining. It was all just too funny not to laugh at, especially when the laughing made them hit harder, wasting energy that wasn't even real.

 

He did have to wonder when they were all going to stop asking him what exactly The Joker did to him. He felt as though it should be painfully obvious, especially after so long, that The Joker didn't do anything. Tim hoped that they would stop asking soon, because he was getting sick of having to beat Joker senseless when they asked. Every time the subject came up, The Joker got closer and closer to telling them the truth, and there was no way that Tim could allow that to happen--no matter what. It was becoming a problem, however. After all, there were only so many times a jaw could be broken, (at least in a real world that was true) and there were only so many teeth he could knock out at once. (and he was pretty sure that held true here--sort of.) Either way, washing the blood from his hands (if it even was blood) was taking longer and longer each time he had to drag The Joker away before he could give away the secret of their universe.

 

It was all just too much...too funny...too ridiculous not to just break down into hysterics every time he was alone. Their world was nothing. They fought for nothing. He thought of all of the people they had lost to each different crisis, and he had to laugh harder each time, because they weren't real. They mourned over people who weren't even real. How could he be expected to do anything but laugh at that? When he thought back to all of his own grief, he couldn't even hold himself up anymore. The laughter just poured out of him, leaving him heaving for breath on the floor of his cell across from The Joker's, clutching his abdomen, and laughing harder, because he shouldn't even be able to feel the stitch in his side, because the pain wasn't even actually there. It was all fake. Everything was fake. Even his laughter was fake, and it always just made him laugh even more. He couldn't stop...he could never stop...not anymore. It'd been too long since he'd stopped laughing, and no one could make him stop, because there wasn't a single person who wasn't completely artificial.

 

The thought made him laugh even harder. “Artificial life...it's all just artificial life...how could this not be funny?” He gasped for breath as he stared at The Joker's cell across the hallway.

 

The Joker smiled through the bars at him--a larger smile than he had ever given him before. “Yeah, now you get it, kid. Now, you see why I'm always laughing.”

 

The End

 

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
the_protagonist
Mar. 29th, 2011 02:48 am (UTC)
Oh! Oh, Timmy. Poor guy. Tim will fight for anything, but you can't not see that logic.

Really loved this one. Thanks for sharing.
brokaw22
Mar. 29th, 2011 03:11 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for saying so. I'm glad you like it.
spastasmagoria
Mar. 29th, 2011 08:36 am (UTC)
A joke you have to explain just isn't funny. Glad you caught up to the punchline, Timmy ;)
brokaw22
Mar. 29th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
lol Well, he caught up to something.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )