Crane is IMPOSSIBLE to write, I swear. I was trying to show a different side of his personality, and it was hard. Also, writing Crane and Batman interacting is a...different experience. Not sure it worked, but...eh, if it didn't, we'll just call this OOC and hope the storyline can carry itself. ;) Enjoy?
Crane laid Batman unceremoniously on the floor of the patient room number 102 of Arkham. Crane had chosen this room carefully, as it was in the furthest wing of the asylum, where the new patient would be least likely to be noticed. Standing, the young doctor brushed his hands together quickly, as if ridding himself of the Batman for the moment. He glanced over the dark man, noting the crack in the Batman's mask where Crane's briefcase had struck him. Crane felt his hands fairly itching to remove the man's mask, to know what the whole city of Gotham fairly burned to know. Who was Batman?
As he made to reach for the mask, however, Crane recoiled with what perhaps might have been a smile. The desire to know the answer to that question was overtaken by Crane's pride and desire for the ultimate challenge. It would be easy to guess what fears drove this man if he knew who he was, and could guess at his past. To study a nameless, faceless man…to see his fears brought to the fore, driving him to inescapable terror…Crane shuddered and left the man alone, locking the door behind him.
The doctor straightened to his full height, taking a deep breath. He ran a slightly shaky hand through his hair, wincing as he felt the disarray it was in. His state was a firm reminder of the fact that he had just carried a larger man through the rotting streets of Gotham. He had temporarily forgotten that fact in his euphoria over the capture of the Batman, but now the knowledge returned to him with a vengeance. He felt his throat clutch a little as he glanced down to his clothes and hands, and breathed deep to dispel what tension he could. A grim smile crept to his lips. After all his study on phobias, he still retained a few of his own, so strong he had not yet been able to overcome them. A doctor, like himself, would call this particular fear Automysophobia, or fear of being dirty, to put it very simply. While Crane knew it was an irrational fear, it was something that had haunted him as a child, and living in such a city as Gotham had only intensified his fear as he grew up. He had mostly overcome it by now through his studies, and it was now one of his lesser fears, but it still popped up at inopportune moments.
A shower. A shower would calm his nerves and alleviate his fear. He would deal with the Batman afterward.
Crane stepped out of the shower, gently towel drying his hair as he reached for his glasses. Immediately his hazy apartment sprung back into focus, and Crane quickly threw the now unwanted towel away as he made his way to his bedroom. He glanced at the clock, noting that it was almost 4 a.m. No pointing in going to sleep now, and besides, if he got to Arkham early he could file the Batman's paperwork quietly before the aslyum began bustling with people. He dressed quickly, picking up his dented briefcase with a frown and heading out into the dark streets of Gotham. This was probably the most dangerous time to be out alone, but Crane was not afraid of being mugged. Not since he'd made the toxin. Not since Scarecrow. Even thinking about the dark side of himself that was rapidly growing more and more strong made the back of his eyes ache fiercely as he struggled to keep control. With a short grimace that no one but Crane would have noticed, he clambered into his car and started the engine.
Driving to Arkham, Crane's thoughts revolved around Batman. He was already planning how he would study him, what he would do first. This would be his greatest triumph, he could not afford to make mistakes as he could with the other patients. The other patients were disposable. Batman…Well, Batman was ultimately disposable, but for the time being, Crane would be careful. He wanted Batman to remain lucid and sane as long as possible before Scarecrow ultimately crushed him. That part of him surged up again, seeking power, and Crane's knuckled tenses white around the steering wheel as he battled his internal monster. /Not yet/ he soothed it/not yet./ The darkness stilled a little, but did not disappear.
Crane dimly recognized that he had reached his destination, and pulled out his badge for the guard stationed at the gates to see, noting that the man in the generic costume of the security guard looked new. He must have been, for the guard smiled and gave a, "Good morning, Dr. Crane!" as he took the badge from Crane's fingers. Most of the new workers stopped trying to be friendly with him after a week or two. Crane just nodded curtly and waited while the guard checked him in. The guard disappeared for a moment, then reappeared, handing him the plastic card with another smile. "Kinda early for you sir, ain't it Dr. Crane?" He asked.
"Not really." Crane said without looking at him, tucking his badge back into the interior suit jacket pocket. He heard a nervous chuckle, and then the gates were opening. He drove through without a backward glance.
Crane gathered the paperwork he'd filled out for the Batman, all falsified of course. No good would come from anyone knowing what was truly going on. Coming around the corner, he saw the secretary on duty and pushed down a sigh. Miss Ryle. She had been working the night shift for a few months now, and had quickly developed an interest in Crane. It would not have been readily apparent to most, but Crane made it his business to notice what drove people. The girl smiled widely as she saw him, straightening in her seat. Crane forced himself not to walk away, remembering that the girl's eagerness to please him would be very helpful to him today. Putting on the most amiable expression he could manage to further move the girl into willingness to help, he strode up to her and laid the papers on her desk.
"Good morning, Dr. Crane." The girl said brightly, turning away from what she had been working on to acknowledge him. Her hands fluttered nervously about for a moment before clasping together and settling on her lap. Crane did not miss that, nor did he miss the small bite of the lip that the woman eventually gave into as the silence stretched on for a moment. Crane briefly wondered what it would be like to study someone who so obviously adored him, to see the adoration turn into terror, then brushed the thought aside as Scarecrow reared up in excitement, focusing on the task at hand.
"Good morning, Miss Ryle." Crane returned non-commitingly. He gestured to the papers on her desk. "We received a new patient last night, referred to me specifically. The man seems to be operating under the crazed assumption that he is Batman. An odd fixation, to be sure. I will be wanting complete isolation in this case, and no one is to go in or out without my permission. Please make a note of that when you file the paperwork, will you Miss Ryle?" He asked, his eyes firm and icy behind the ever-present angular glasses.
Miss Ryle glanced at the paperwork obligingly, starting to organize it as she spoke. "This is definitely a different case for you, Dr. Crane, isn't it? I thought you had sworn not to take patients that thought they were someone else. Something about identity crises.." The woman began, but Crane cut her off.
"Identity crises springing from obsession. Yes, I had said as much, and normally I would not be taking on such a patient, but it was an offer I couldn't refuse. Besides, this man has taken the fixation in question to a wholly different level. It seems he has constructed himself a Batsuit and taken to roaming the streets. The authorities still have not been able to extract the man's true identity, and so they called my services in." Crane explained quickly, tamping down the frustration at having to explain himself to this woman.
"I see." Miss Ryle returned, but from the slightly vacant look in her eyes, Crane could tell that she most certainly did NOT see. "When you say you want no one going in or out, Dr. Crane, does that include the orderlies?" She asked in confusion, glancing up at him as she efficiently began to file the paperwork, making notes as she went.
"By all means." Crane returned with a nod. "I will take care of this patient personally, and that includes seeing to it that he is properly cared for." He said, and noticed the woman's raised eyebrow. He could almost hear her wondering mentally what was causing the Doctor's intense interest in this man. He quickly provided her with a reason, wanting her to have no curiosities that could spoil this chance for him. "The patient is at a particularly volatile point in his mental state. There is no way to know what things he will react poorly to. Until I can ascertain just how far his psyche has been damaged, he must be left completely alone. Do I make myself clear?" Crane intoned darkly.
Miss Ryle nodded quickly in response. "Of course, Dr. Crane. I'll make a very clear note of it." She said, pulling out a pen and doing so as she spoke.
Crane nodded back. "Very well. Thank you." He said, turning to walk away. He had a brief though and turned back after a moment, laying his dented briefcase on her desk. "While I'm thinking of it, Miss Ryle, could you see about getting me a new briefcase?"
Crane peered through the small glass window of the padded cell in at Batman. It was hard to ascertain through what little he could see of Batman's dark, bulky form if the man was still unconscious or not. As a precaution, the doctor removed a syringe from his pocket that he had brought for just this circumstance. Keying in his authorized code, he slipped in the door and shut it behind him quickly.
Immediately, he was assaulted by a dark blur of crime-fighting muscle and anger. Turning quickly in the bigger man's grip, allowing the blows that were raining down on him, Crane thrust his hand up into Batman's chin, forcing his head up enough to reveal a small line of skin. He plunged the needle into that obliging spot, depressing the plunger and stepping back as soon as Batman let go of him. The drug acted quickly, and soon Batman was leaning against the wall wearily, all the fight having gone out of him.
"A mild tranquilizer. I reduced the dosage just enough that it would not knock you unconscious, but merely take the fight out of you. You understand the precaution, of course." Crane said quietly, brushing himself off and noting the new bruises he had acquired.
"What do you want with me, Crane?" Batman growled. The taller man leaned more heavily against the wall, but his hard gaze made up for any temporary lack of strength.
"Time will answer that question." Crane returned before changing the subject. "I am surprised to find you awake so soon. The blow you sustained to your head was a substantial one." He commented calmly, as if he had had nothing to do with that particular injury.
"I noticed." Batman ground out, anger tinting his words as he rubbed the back of his head briefly. "Sleeping in the bat suit, however has never been a comfortable experience, so regaining consciousness was inevitable." He said, a slight frown marring his features as he glanced at his suit.
"Well, I hardly think my clothes would fit you, so I'm afraid you will have to live with that." Crane said in a brief moment of dark humor. Batman looked as though he might have smiled at that remark, had he been in a different situation. Crane came abruptly back to his cold, impersonal self, wondering what had come over him. "I have appointments I must get to. I stopped by to administer that sedative to ensure your tranquility and make sure you were still alive. Glad to see you are." Turning for the door, he unleashed a small smirk, something he rarely did, as he commented, "Couldn't have you die before the fun began," and shut the cell door behind him, relocking it. Through the glass window, he could see Batman strike the door in anger, his mouth wide open in a shout, presumably Crane's name. Crane simply readjusted his glasses and walked away.
Well? What think ye?