The Last Laugh
Copyright Â© 1999 Joeytickler@aol.com
Many of the characters herein are trademarks of DC Comics, Inc.
No attempt is made herein to dispute said ownership, and their use herein
should not be construed as an attempt, real or implied, to move said
characters into the public domain. The author is not affiliated with DC
was another cold, wet night in Gotham. The shadowy figure known as
could hear the sounds of traffic and life in the distance, but here in the
mist-swept waterfront area there was only the occasional buoy bell. She
pulled her cape closer around herself to ward off the chill.
and Robin weren't around; tracking down the Riddler in Metropolis. So,
when the bat-signal appeared in the sky, Batgirl knew she would have to
respond. The news had been grim. Commissioner Gordon, her father (although he
didn't know her true identity-a tribute to her skills of acting and
disguise), told her that the Joker had once again broken free from Arkham
Asylum with the help of his henchwoman/ girlfriend, Harley Quinn. The two of
them had gone on a one-night crime spree, committing three armed robberies
within six hours, leaving the police breathless trying to catch up.
had been three days ago. Since then, there had been nothing. And where
the Joker was concerned, silence was almost worse than action.
had begun by checking out the three places that the Joker had hit.
Two chemical companies and a wholesale hardware superstore. In the last, he'd
gone down the aisles with a shopping cart, complete with bicycle horn and a
big picture of himself on the front. He'd shoveled more than $5,000 worth of
hardware and plumbing supplies into it and then just walked out. The store
staff hadn't wanted to tangle with the two hyenas that Quinn had had on a
were precious few clues as to what the Joker was planning. The chemical
companies were easy; the sick genius of the Joker was particularly adept at
fashioning new toxins and poisons. But plumbing supplies? This felt like
something big. But you never knew with the Joker; he could be making the
world's biggest toilet. But Batgirl wasn't going to bet on it.
Joker's getaway van had been found parked not too far from here, and
particular section of the waterfront was, as Mayor Hill would say, "in need
of serious economic improvement". Nearly half the warehouses were abandoned;
a perfect hiding place.
was a slight letup in the drizzle, and Batgirl decided to give yet
another of the dark, seemingly lifeless buildings a try. The Batman had
taught her nothing if not persistence. If she had to, she'd personally check
every bolt-hole in the city until she was able to ferret out the Joker's new
hiding place; unless he made his move before then.
lock was child's play for Batgirl, and the door swung open with only a
slight creak. Her small hand-held flashlight pierced the darkness of the
warehouse. Old crates were stacked up to the rafters, and the shadows were
deep. She looked at the shipping label on the outside of one of the boxes;
wasn't a sure thing, but a warehouse full of novelty-store gags was a
clue that the Joker might indeed be here. She spun around as she heard a
voice behind her, grabbing a batarang from her utility belt.
lookey what we got here, Mr. J," said a high-pitched Brooklyn voice.
"One of the bat brats!" Harley Quinn had an over-sized revolver pointed
straight at Batgirl. She judged that it was too big to be holding regular
ammunition, but there was no telling what it did have inside.
second-stringer? Just who does Batman think he is?" the Joker himself
stepped out from behind a tall stack of boxes. "Still, you know what they
say. One down, two to go. Get her, Harley!"
Batgirl hurled the batarang at Harley Quinn's weapon, but it was
too late. It hit, but an instant after the white-faced moll pulled the
trigger. Batgirl tried to dodge out of the way, but the projectile from the
specialty gun exploded right next to her, enveloping her in a cloud of
tried to hold her breath, but was caught unprepared. She inhaled a
little by accident, and immediately started coughing and choking. That
brought more of the gas into her lungs, and she knew it was too late. Her
vision swam a little, she felt slightly disoriented, and then she started
laughing. It started off as a slight giggle, but it quickly swelled into
uncontrollable guffaws. She flicked a switch on her utility button just
before she completely lost control of herself.
"HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Oh N-no! L-laughing gahahahahahas!!!!"
collapsed to the ground, clutching her sides and laughing non-stop. The
laughing gas swirled around her, not dissipating, clinging to her body in a
great blue-gray cloud. "Hahahahaha!!" It wasn't humor, it wasn't anything,
just an overwhelming compulsion to laugh. "Hahahahahaha!! Hehehehehe!!" She
was completely powerless.
the meantime, Harley had picked up the laughing-gas gun and was hanging
to the Joker's elbow. "Y'know, Mr. J.," she said, "If she could find the
hideout, then Batman probably can, too."
"Mmmmmâ€¦ you know you may have a point, there, Harl. How 'bout it, Batgirl?
How'd you find our hideout?"
Noohohoho!!!! Hahahahaha!!!" Batgirl couldn't have answered
if she wanted to. Her lungs were aching from laughing so hard, and she was
too weak to even stand. The incredibly clingy laughing gas wasn't even
starting to dissipate.
talk, eh?" said the Joker. "We'll see about that! Harley, bring her
along to the play room. I'm going to see how our little science project is
doing" He turned and walked away into the shadows, letting his trademark
hysterical laugh trail off in the darkness. Batgirl could barely see him
through her tear-filled eyes.
Mr. J!" Harley slipped on a breathing mask, grabbed Batgirl's ankle,
and dragged her across the warehouse floor. "Oomph! You ever think about
losing a little weight, kiddo?"
exhausted giggle was Batgirl's only reply. She was barely able to
but noticed that the gas followed her as she was dragged across the floor. It
was only now starting to dissipate, but she was too weak from the non-stop
laughing to do anything about it.
the time her head had cleared for the most part, she found herself
strapped down in an elaborate padded reclining chair, her wrists clamped
firmly down at her sides and her ankles similarly secured. "Okay, Harley,
this has gone far enough. Let me out of this thing right now or I'llâ€¦"
she replied. "And they call me crazy! You're not goin' anywhere until
you tell me how you found our new hideout."
decided to go with the truth. It might just throw her off. "I just
in all the empty warehouses until I found you. The whoopie-cushions were a
yeah," Quinn replied. "Like I'm gonna believe that! Looks like we'll
have to do it the hard way. Hard for you, that isâ€¦" The harlequin-costumed
criminal walked to the foot of the chair and yanked off one of Batgirl's
yellow boots with a single tug, then the other. She checked to make sure the
metal bracket was still secure. It was.
what are you doing, you nutcase!?" Batgirl asked as her boots were
Oooh, you're going to pay for that, toots. Right on your tootsies,
are you talking about?" Batgirl was apprehensive now. There was no
telling what this psychopath would do. In a way, she was even more
unpredictable than the Joker.
the way you reacted to Mr. J's new laughing gas, you sure seemed to
like to laugh! So let's see how you really do like itâ€¦" And with that she
immediately launched her fingertips at the soles of Batgirl's helpless feet,
fluttering against the arches wildly.
reaction was immediate, and everything Harley could have hoped for. Even
though she was almost completely exhausted from laughing from the laughing
gas, Batgirl erupted in laughter. "No! Please! Not that!! Anything but that!!
No tickling, not after the gaaaaaahahahahahahahahas!!! Hehehehehehehehe!!!"
right, Bat-brat. Kitchey kitchey koo! You gonna tell me how you found
us, or do you want me to keep tickling? I got all night."
let out a moanâ€¦ all night? She'd die! But all she could
"Nohohohohoho!!! I t-told you! Plehehehehehese stop!!! Hahahahahahahaha!!!!"
it your way; this is gonna be fun!" And Harley kept up the non-stop
tickle-torture. First the arches, then the toes, then the crevices between
the toes; that was the worst. She would drag a foot-long feather between each
one of Batgirls helpless wiggling toes, and each one was more maddening than
the last! This went on for what seemed like days, but in reality was probably
think I know how to make you talk," Harley said, and temporarily stopped
the merciless tickle-torture. Batgirl was covered in sweat, gasping for
breath, completely exhausted. If Harley hadn't stopped when she did, Batgirl
might have cracked, told her anything to get her to stop.
"Oh no! What are you doing now?" Batgirl asked.
see. Or rather, you'll feel. Hahahahaha!" And Harley started brushing
something warm, and sticky, and faintly sweet-smelling all over the soles of
Batgirls feet. Every inch was covered, and the brushing itself tickled enough
to start Batgirl laughing again. But she knew that this was just the
preliminary. When she was done applying whatever-it-was to Batgirl's soles,
Harley walked to the head of the reclined chair and snapped what looked like
an oxygen mask over Batgirl's mouth and nose. She turned a knob on a tank
connected to the mask, and Batgirl could see a familiar blue-gray gas coming
through the tube. Her eyes shot wide with panic; before she could even beg
Harley not to do it, Batgirl started to laugh uncontrollably again.
the gas is bad enough by itself," Harley explained calmly. "But I'll
bet it'll be a thousand times worse being tickled with the gas on too!" She
stuck two fingers in her mouth and whistled shrilly. "C'mon, babies!
Treatsies! It's your favorite snack-molasses!"
heard in stunned disbelief, then heard the barking-laugh of Harley's
two pet hyenas as they raced through the warehouse to the foot of the chair.
Instantly each took a foot and started to lap up the sweet molasses off of
Batgirl's helpless soles. She desperately tried to wiggle her feet and toes,
anything to get away from the hyena's hot lapping tongues, but nothing
stopped them for an instant. And with the gas coursing through her lungs, she
couldn't have stopped laughing if the tickling stopped completely. She felt
like she was going to explode! Mercifully, she blacked out instead.
up, Batgirl, everything's all right, now." The voice was deep, warm,
comforting. She opened her eyes. The Batcave!
tried to sit up, but immediately thought better of the idea. Her head
swimming. What happenedâ€¦? Then she remembered. The Joker and Harley. The gas.
The tickle-torture. The hyenas.
had just gotten back from Metropolis when we picked up your emergency
signal. Good thing we found you when we did; from the looks of things, they
were putting you through Hell. Did they ever tell you why they were torturing
wanted to know how I found them. They didn't believe me when I told
them I was checking each warehouse."
with you laughing so hard, you couldn't have told them anything even if
you'd wanted to," Batman said. "That was the joke."
lay down in the bed and slept some more. But she did promise herself
that if she ever had the chance, she'd get the last laugh.