Chapter 24: The Fun House

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It had been a week since Jeremiah laid out his conditions for my being here. So far, I found that complying to his rules proved to be quite fruitful. We couldn't get enough of one another, and I found myself completely smitten with him. Making him happy made me happy, so I didn't have a reason to go against his wishes. But when the amount of attention I received from Jeremiah began to dwindle as he became busier plotting his revenge on Gotham Bank, I found myself becoming restless. The Riddler's middle man often visited with floor plans and information, and when Jeremiah wasn't consumed with incorporating the Riddler's resources, he was on the phone with another criminal to undermine him. The actual heist was supposed to take place next week, and as far as I could tell Jeremiah felt confident that we would be successful. For the past couple of days I had felt particularly neglected and bored. I had busied myself with exploring the hideout and I came to realize that there was much more to this building than I had previously been exposed to. Jeremiah called it the Fun House, since it was quite literally underneath a fun house, but I suppose it was also because it was filled with clowns... The first floor consisted of strictly business related rooms, this included the main room where his men worked, an interrogation room in which prisoners would be held and tortured, an arsenal room, and then a lab where bombs and all other forms of chemical warfare were developed. It was all quite impressive, as he had truly sophisticated his craft. On the second floor was what I called the "politics" level which consisted of the kitchen, dinning room, liquor and wine cellar and a living room equip with an oil painting of my husband hanging above the fireplace. I assumed that this was the place where he would have meetings with top criminals, surrounding them in luxury before they give him what he wants or he slits their throats. Then there was the third floor which I found to be the most important to Jeremiah. I was the only other person besides himself who had access to it. It consisted of his bedroom, his study, and another room that was sealed tight. I'd attempted to ask him about that room before but he shot down my curiosity with a cold remark on how "if he wanted me to know he would have told me already". I ignored the point for now, accepting that I would eventually get it out of him. After all, I was a trained psychiatrist... Despite its enormity, I was bored by noon after having exhausted all my means of entertainment. Alone time had given me some time to think and I had so many fun ideas rattling inside of my head, mischief to cause on Gotham. I had come up with an elaborate plan to make Gotham fall "mad in love". I decided that I would use Ivy's expertise on plants to find the best herb for a love potion and then I would bring it back to Jeremiah's laboratory to formulate the liquid with a mixture of Jerome's insanity gas. Selena would then help me access the sewers, and I would seep the potion into Gotham's drinking water. I wanted everyone to experience what I had, a love that robs them of their sanity. I would then watch as the city tore itself apart... But alas, I wasn't allowed to leave. I planned on talking to Jeremiah to convince him to allow me to follow through with the crime, my debut as a threat in Gotham. I had never considered myself a boastful person, but the chemicals had changed me... I wanted everyone to know that I was the wife of Gotham's king of crime, and I only felt it was necessary to be inducted as the queen. Although committing a crime on my own was strictly against his rules, I figured that all he needed was a little persuasion. My idea was brilliant, after all. I found Jeremiah in his study, a place that he often became consumed with his work and plans. It reminded me of the one he had at our first home, but I tried not to let myself dwell too much on the past. We were both different people now.  I knew that he didn't want to be interrupted when he was in here, but he would have to make an exception for me. I entered his study, the door creaking as it opened. Jeremiah's back was to me, hunched over a desk scattered with blueprints and diagrams. He seemed to be having a conversation with someone. "This won't work. You'd have to be an idiot not to see that..." He growled in a very low and eerily familiar voice. I searched my memory for the sound but it didn't take long for me to find the deranged red head with the scarred smile. Jerome Valeska. Why would he be talking like his late brother? "Of course it will, I've gone over every possible outcome and we succeed in all of them." He responded to himself, this time in his normal voice. What did he mean by we? He hadn't even realized that I had come in... "J?" I piped up, a tinge of fear in my tone and then he grew silent for a moment before straightening himself. "What do you want?" He voiced coldly. I watched him carefully as I took a step closer. "I wanted to see you... I thought we could talk." I said softly, sensing his annoyance as he abruptly turned around. His eyes surveyed me for a second before he seemed to relax. "What about?" He inquired, leaning back against his desk and yet he still proceeded to tower over me as I came up to him. I suddenly felt sheepish, like a child asking a parent for a new toy. "Well, I was just thinking... I've been very good, so I was wondering if maybe I could have some fun in Gotham City? I have this amazing idea to drive the citizens crazy, you see first-" I began but then I was brutally interrupted. "No." He stated simply, and I found myself taken aback as I had a whole speech ready to convince him, a speech which he clearly had no interest in listening to. "But-" I started again and he moved from leaning on the desk to standing to his full height, and his dominance over me became woefully apparent. "You know the rules... You can't leave the Fun House, nor cause your own crimes. I honestly don't know why you would even ask me." He jabbed and I felt a wave of discouragement and hurt hit me. "I've done everything you've asked of me, I thought that maybe this once you would let me do something that I want to do, instead of being cooped up inside every day!" I pleaded with him, my frustration building. "Oh, because you have it so bad here in this three story mansion? I don't have to hear this ungrateful bullshit, leave." He dismissed me harshly and I gasped at how callous he was being. "I'm not ungrateful, I just want you to liste-" I started and was yet again interrupted. "This conversation is over. Go." He ordered this time more forcefully. I stormed out, willing myself not to let my anger turn into tears as I blinked the liquid from my eyes. How could he be so mean? So unsupportive of what I wanted? I needed space from him, from this castle he had locked me in. It was my choice whether I stayed or left this place, not his. I felt everything so much deeper than before. Love, lust, anger, hurt, defiance. The chemicals were like an amplifier and the mixture of emotions was becoming nauseating. I went up the elevator to the first floor and I went to the arsenal room. In addition to weapons, there was also clothing for his followers. I was already wearing a white top and black jeans and boots. I threw on a gun holster equip with two guns and then I put on a leather jacket that was red on one side and blue on the other. I pulled the hood up, keeping my head down as I headed for the front door. I was greeted by one Jeremiah's men who was there to stop me. Shit.

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Currently working on my next update! Thanks for being patient guys! I loved this last episode of Gotham, and I really like the idea of Jeremiah being more unhinged in reality but puts on a face to control those around him. What do y'all think of this chapter? Lilly/Harley is kind of like a newborn vampire if that makes sense... She's hungry for crime! Let's see what kinds of trouble she gets herself into. Stay tuned! 💋💕
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