As Joker and I rushed through the streets, I heard:
"Joker! Ace!" I froze.
"That was Dia!" I called to Joker, who was still running. He too, froze.
"Oh no. She's encountered the Other Half!" Joker cried. We both turned, and sprinted in the direction of the voice. More cries came from the same direction, and we followed them, through side alleys and back streets. Just before we came to a main road, Joker threw out an arm, stopping me in my tracks."Wait." He whispered.
Sure enough, there was Dia, surrounded by the doppelgangers of myself, Joker and Queenie. We watched as Dark-Queenie walked up to Dia, grabbed a fistful of her shirt and said:
"Do what you like with her." I winced as she kicked Dia in the shin and watched, horrified, as Dark-Ace and Dark-Joker removed their Doppel-blades from their sheaths. As they approached Dia, she mumbled something incomprehensible, and fell to the ground, blacking out.
I could wait no longer. I charged forward, pushing Joker aside.
"AWAY FROM HER YOU FREAKS!" I yelled, kicking Dark-Ace in the back, and making him stumble and fall forwards. Joker ran out of hiding and punched Dark-Joker in the jaw before he could react. Both the Doppelgangers crumpled to the floor, submissive to the will of their other halves. Joker and I looked at each other. We were both kind rather shocked. Neither of us expected to ever fight alongside the other..
I darted forward and scooped Dia into my arms. There was no sign of Dark-Queenie.
"We better go. Dark-Queenie may have gone for reinforcements." I said quickly. Joker nodded, and we dashed back through the streets. As we did, a crowd of Doppelgangers emerged from the shadows, Dark-Queenie and Dark-King at their head, Dark-Jack behind them.
"Going somewhere, boys?" Dark-Queenie sniggered. She clicked her fingers, and the crowd closed ranks around us, forming a large ring. I gulped, and stole a glance at Joker from the corner of my eye. His expression was just as stricken as mine.
"What are we going to do?" I hissed.
"I don't know.. You're the clever one, think of something!" He hissed back.
"Okay. On the count of three, we run forward, take out doppel-King and Queenie, and then leg it for the house. They can't touch us once we're inside. They can't even cross the threshold." I decided, making up the plan as I went. To my utter surprise, Joker did not argue with me. All he said was:
"Okay. On your mark."
"One." The doppelgangers, who had also been conferring, began to draw their blades.
"Two." The doppelgangers to a step forward.
"THREE!" I yelled, and charged at Dark-Queenie. A kick in the stomach and a punch in the head sent her to the floor, but not before she slashed my shin with her blade. Beside me, Joker had dispatched Dark-King, and come off with a cut cheek, and a bloodied nose.
"RUN!" He shouted, and we sprinted through the streets, me a little behind him, on account of Dia, the dead weight on my back. I clutched one of her wrists with my hand, keeping her up, but the rest of her sagged and threatened to hit the floor. Looking back, my heart beat faster. The doppelgangers were closing in.
Come on... I thought to myself. Only a little ways back to the house... I put on a tremendous burst of speed and caught up with Joker, and we sprinted, perfectly in step, the last few feet of the way.
I staggered through the gates and into the grounds just as a doppelganger's blade struck the place where I had just been. But instead, it just hit an invisible barrier. There was too much light here for it to enter. I grinned, and walked up the path to the house, where Joker had opened the door. Then I walked through the doorway, set Dia down, and collapsed, exhausted.