The Trouble with Toadies
By JaDErUst

Disclaimer: I don't own Jonathan Crane, Edward Nygma, or the entire Star Trek Franchise. I wish I did though... Then I'd be rich!

This is part of the Bright Nova, BiteMeTechie and TheNoblePorpoise's CAT series (making it a fanfic of a fanfic?) so if you like Captain, Al, and Techie go tell them... And if you don't like Captain, Al, or Techie they're the ones to complain to as well!

The Official Timeline (a blatantly stolen thing...):

December, 2006 - "The Unkindness of Ravens" by Bright Nova

December, 2011 - "Posterity" by Bright Nova

March, 2012 - "Vacation Time" (unfinished, so far) by Bright Nova

April 1, 2012 - "TINSTAAFL" by Bright Nova

April, 2012 - Untitled fic by TheNoblePorpoise (if she doesn't post it soon, we're going to have a severely damaged Squishykins on our hands)

Early May, 2012-"The Trouble with Toadies" by JaDErUst

May, 2012- "The Meaning Of Lurve" by BiteMeTechie

September, 2012 - "Moose Tracks and Thankful Men" by BiteMeTechie

October, 2012 - "Headstones of Henchgirls" by BiteMeTechie

October 31, 2012 - "So Long, and Thanks" by Bright Nova

December, 2012 - "A Very Squishy Christmas" (finished but not posted because it has spoilers for VT) by Bright Nova

April 2013- "Wishy Washy" by BiteMeTechie

July, 2013 - "Black and Blue" by BiteMeTechie

August, 2013- "Half finished untitled beat the living crap out of the Riddler fic" by BiteMeTechie

September, 2013 - "Lakeside Property in Hell" by Bright Nova (uposted, go bug her)

October, 2013-"A Minion's Memoirs" by BiteMeTechie

And there's also an unofficial CATfic (unofficial because it doesn't fit the timeline) called "An Ally in the Alley" by armageddon-incarnate

It was a bit like a night at the Iceberg. Costumed men and women were everywhere, eying each other with a mixture of suspicion and fellowship. However, unlike the Iceberg Lounge, almost no one was seated, instead they wandered about chatting and arguing with each other. Instead of alcohol being served the smell of stale soda hung heavy in the air. Instead of lovely Raven or Dove (or any of Oswald's other girls who never attempted to to hug him, call him Squishykins, or feed him more then he paid for) there were... Well... He thought a few of them were women... The most disconcerting difference had to be the conversations that surrounded him. Instead of voices bragging about heists or complaining about Batman was...

"...and in Episode 33, Amok Time, Spock clearly demonstrates how he is clearly superior to Kirk by-"

"You fool! Episode 33 is Mirror, Mirror! Amok Time is Episode 30!"

"...Your mom!"

Sipping from his paper cup of $2.00 tap water Jonathan Crane, Master of Fear, fought the urge to sigh heavily again. Why was he here again? he wondered for the thousandth time. Oh yes. The girls.

It was a month ago when the long road to this... event began. He'd been in his lab, minding his own business and listening to a recording of one of his test subject's screams. He had fallen behind in his note keeping so he'd decided that day would be the one where he would lock himself in his lab and work until he had finally caught up with things.

Of course, this decision hadn't been echoed by his henchgirls who had decided that this was the day of 'bringing lurve to Squishy' and had been at his door offering food, hugs, attention, and otherwise bothering him all day. Eventually, he'd finally exploded, screaming in Al's face for them to leave him alone and slamming the door in the surprised looking girl's face. That's when he'd gone to the scream tapes. There was something soothing about determining the exact extent of a person's fear by the sound alone and methodically jotting down notes and possible improvements for his toxin. It had gotten so quiet, he had become so relaxed by the sound of screams, that when there was the sudden sound of high pitched squealing coming from somewhere in the lair he'd snapped his pen in half from the surprise.

Wait a moment... Scratch that.

The high pitched squeals had in no way, shape, or form managed to surprise him. He'd broken the pen in a sudden fit of annoyance...

Damn. That made it sound like the girls were the cause too.

Fine. Propelled for reasons that eluded him right now he'd decided to snap his pen in half at a moment in time that, coincidentally, coincided with the start of his henchgirl's squealing.

Glaring, he had stared angrily at his ink stained hand and tossed his notebook away. Ripping his headphones from his ears he glared at the door, noted that the squealing hadn't stopped yet (usually they stopped within seconds of starting) and swore venomously. "Now what?" he'd growled, stalking towards the door.

He'd found them in the kitchen, Captain and Techie clinging to each other and squealing that high pitched whine that had surpri... anno... that he'd heard while Al read a sheet of printed paper with a look of entertainment on her face. Arms crossed, he'd glared at them from the doorway and when they hadn't noticed him there he'd balled his hands into fists and shouted; "What the devil is going on here!?"

Instantly the noise stopped as all three girls looked over to him. Silence reigned for half a second then Techie and Captain threw themselves forward, running towards him, stopping only millimeters from crashing into him and sending him sprawling. Hands clasped before them, eyes pleading, they began to babble endlessly speaking so fast and high pitched that he wasn't able to discern what they were saying.

"It says Michael Dorn is going to be there too," Al said from the kitchen table, still looking at the sheet of paper.

Captain and Techie began squealing again.

Eyebrow raising against his will he had looked to Al who seemed be the only sane one among them. "Who?"

"Oh my god!" Techie gasped. "You don't know who Michael Dorn is!? You have to know who he is! He's Michael Dorn!"

"Michael Dorn plays Worf," Captain supplied helpfully. "You know, TNG and DS9?"


For a moment they gaped at him then Techie's eyes slowly began to widen. "Do you... Do you even know who Captain Kirk is?"

Glaring down at her he'd frowned. "Isn't he one of those people in Star Wars?"

Horror crossed their faces and suddenly Techie was grabbing onto his arm and dragging him towards the television. "We need three seasons of OS stat!"

"Don't show him that," Al sighed, looking up. "He won't like it. Shatner sucks too much for anyone to like OS."

"Shatner does not suck!!" Techie shrieked, releasing him and going to attack Al instead.

Briefly he had considered staying long enough to see if their fight was going to be any good or trying to find out what this was all about, but then he realized that he just really didn't care all that much. Grabbing a new pen from the drawer he'd gone back to his lab, locked the door behind him and turned the volume on his headphones up until the sound of screams drowned out all other noise.

That had been a month ago. This morning he'd entered the kitchen and all three of them were already dressed and waiting for him. That was odd enough. Usually he was up before them despite the fact that he usually woke at 10AM or later. However, what was more disturbing was the outfits they wore. Captain had her hair up and wore a red and black long-sleeved jumpsuit that had a strange inverted triangle shape on the left breast while Techie wore an extremely short solid blue dress with the same strange symbol attached. Al was the only one that was different. She was wearing all black with what looked to be electronics attached to her clothing and face and... Was that a circular saw for a hand?

Blinking at them all, he had decided to ignore them for the moment and got himself a cup of coffee. He drained half the mug before he felt ready to deal with the girls. "What are you three wearing?" he asked, leaning up against the kitchen counter and eying them wearily.

If anything the smiles on the three's faces grew. "I'm a OS science officer," Techie declared proudly, crossing her legs and nearly giving him a glimpse of her panties. If he had been looking at her legs that is. Which he wasn't. He never looked at them. At all.

"I'm a TNG Captain," Captain said proudly. "Call me Captain."

"I am Al of Borg. Resistance is futile. Your life as it has been, is over. From this time forward, you will service us."

He had stared blankly at them wondering why he had even bothered to ask. However, before he could stop himself, another question fell from his lips. "Why?"

As one, all three girls rolled their eyes.

"Where have you been for the last month, Squishykins?"

"We're going to the Sci-Fi and Comic Book convention downtown!"

"You promised to go with us!"

"I did nothing of the sort," he'd protested, glaring at them for daring to claim such a thing.

The grin that appeared on Techie's face had been... mildly disturbing, but he glared at her until her grin slowly faded and she looked away. "Please come with us Squishy?"

"We'll clean the lair!"

"We'll bring you test subjects!"

"We won't call you Squishy for a whole week!"

"We won't call you Squishykins either!"

"I'll cook."

Both Techie and Captain had glared at Al. "No you won't."

Sighing deeply he had drained the rest of his coffee and walked out of the room. "I'm not going with you," he had said firmly. "End of discussion."

He took another sip of water. So how had they managed to drag him to the convention anyway? Honestly he couldn't really remember, he must have blocked those memories out, but now he was here and he was board. Star Trek had never really been one of those things that appealed to him. The sheer idea, men exploring space like intergalactic pilgrims, seemed dull to him and the one episode he'd seen in college had seemed to confirm that fact. Anyone who could get as amused as his roommate had about some man getting hit on the head with stuffed blobs was obviously a moron.

"Squishy! Squishy look what I found!" he heard Techie shout over the din of conversation and he winced slightly as he caught sight of the girl barreling towards him. Grinning widely she shoved a plastic figure at him and stood waiting for his praise.

Briefly he glanced down at the misshapen figure, grunted, and looked away as if pretending he didn't see her. Maybe if he pretended hard enough she would believe it too and go away.

Techie shifted on her feet, frowning slightly. "It's an original Spock figure from the 70s," she said as if that would help then pouted when she realized he was going to continue to ignore her. "Come on Squishy! You're at a Star Trek convention! Loosen up! Have some fun! Meet strange alien races and make enemies of them!"

"Investigator Comics #27, and #38" Al said appearing from seemingly nowhere and holding up two plastic covered comic books for Techie to see. "First appearance of Owlman and the introduction of Sparrow."

The look that crossed Techie's face was priceless. Her jaw dropped, her eyes popped open, and she began to make choked gasping whimpering noises as her fingers stretched towards the items. "H-How did you... W-Where did you..."

Grinning evilly Al gestured towards one side of the comic hall where a panic was just beginning to break out. "Stole them," she said cheerfully. "Aren't they nice? Near mint condition and everything..."

"Gimmie!" Techie squealed making a dive for the comics as Al pulled them out of her reach.

"Sorry but I can't let you have them. I might want to buy a house someday."

Techie pouted then began to plead, dropping to her knees and grabbing Al around the legs. "Come on Al! Please please please please can I read them!? It's Owlman! The very very first Owlman ever! And the very first Sparrow ever even though he was annoying and didn't get better until he changed his name to Dayhawk but still! Please let me read them! Please! Please! Please! Please!"

The evil grin on Al's face was slowly spreading and he took another sip of his water and wondered what the girl was up to. Whatever it was couldn't be good judging from the glint in her eyes. "I'll let you read them," she promised. "Under one condition."


"You have to go up on the costume contest stage and tell everyone how much Shatner sucks."

Silence. Techie stared up at Al with large horrified eyes and he couldn't help but smirk. To think his girl- Ahem, he meant 'To think that she'- could get such a reaction out of Techie through comic books and teasing about a fictional character was... Well, for a moment (until his better judgment came back to him) he was proud. She was learning.

"NEVER!" Techie shrieked, leaping away and to her feet. Pointing one finger at Al she posed dramatically and shouted at the top of her lungs; "Do not say such words, blasphemer! Kirk does not suck! He was the BEST Starfleet Captain EVER!"

Tucking both comic books out of sight (a neat trick since her costume consisted of a nearly skin tight bodysuit and the hardware) Al smirked and put both hands on her hips. "Yeah?" she asked, voice slightly raised. "Picard's better."


"Actually I gotta agree with her," a tanned man with a wrinkled forehead said coming to stand next to Al. "Picard faced far greater and more dangerous challenges and managed to overcome them better then Kirk ever could."

Techie's mouth dropped for a moment then she exploded in anger. "Yeah, well Kirk was the first! He faced things before Starfleet even know that they had to be faced!"

"Yeah, but-"

Another man stepped forward, this one with pointed ears and an egotistical air. "Kirk's definitely better. I mean look at their service records... When Kirk was 37 he was captaining Enterprise while Picard at 37 was stuck on Stargazer. Flagship vs freighter? The better man is clear."

Eyebrow raising, Crane watched as more and more people slowly came forward to take part in the argument. He had no idea what these people were talking about, but it was amusing nonetheless.

"Well Picard was never obsessed about killing a cloud!"

"Picard failed the Starfleet entrance exam! Kirk was like the top of his class!"

"Picard was assigned to protect the Klingon Empire from Romulans, Kirk could only be trusted to guard grain from fuzz balls!"

"The only way a Klingon would have gotten on Kirk's bridge was if he was dead!"

"You idiot! The Klingons had become allies by the time Picard took the helm!"

A mob was beginning to form, the heart of it being Techie and Al who were yelling at each other gesturing wildly about which fictional Captain was better. Crane was beginning to get the same tingling feeling he got while in the middle of a heist just before Batman showed up. It was time to make himself scarce before things took a turn for the worse. Getting to his feet he skirted the growing yelling crowd and stepped into the much calmer area of the dealer's booths. Ambling through the the stalls he mentally noted the hysterical man speaking to one of the convention's rent-a-cops ("Number 27 and 38! 27 and 38!!") and smirked. Almost bumping into a man with blue skin, white hair, and antenna he wondered what would possess a man his own age or older dress up like it was Halloween...

He caught a glimpse of a busty woman dressed in a corset signing autographs and had the sudden impression of a blond, non-leaf covered Poison Ivy. The image caused him to shudder from vague memories of being held by vines, fire, and being saved by his henchgirls of all people (not to mention the scarring experience of being forced into a relaxing vacation against his will) but the thought was an interesting one. Now that he thought about it he knew quite a few people who went out in costume on a regular basis. In fact, he supposed you could count himself as one of them as he did go out and...

... He was different from these people. He had created Scarecrow. He was Scarecrow. These people were just fans of some long dead, space buried man who'd made a television show. No comparison really. Besides, no one could respect a villain without a theme.

Still wandering through the hall he saw a large area devoid of the dealer's tables but instead filled with people all standing in lines. Tables lined the far edges of the room large pictures or names hung on the walls, presumably to allow the people in line to know who's autograph they were waiting for. Noting Captain standing near the back he almost turned around and went another way but saw the look bordering on mania on his henchgirl's face and decided to investigate.

"No cuts!" a large woman with a V-shaped ridge over her nose and pointed ears.

He glared at her until the woman gulped loudly and hurried off. Turning to Captain who had failed to notice him he crossed his arms and asked; "Can I leave yet?"

Captain turned slowly, her eyes gleaming feverishly as a slow smile crossed over her face. "Hi Squishykins," she said, her voice empty and hollow. "Having fun?"

He raised an eyebrow at her. "Does it look like I'm having fun?"

"You look... Happy sunny fun-time."

His eyebrow raised further. She looked as if she had been brainwashed or had suffered a lobotomy somehow. Mentally he smirked as he considered adding lobotomy to his experiments then dismissed the idea as he realized that the procedure would actually remove most of his test subject's ability to fear. Even so, it was an interesting idea. "I can assure you that I am definitely not 'happy sunny fun-time'... Whatever that means... Now, what are you doing here and when will you be done so we can leave?"

"I'm waiting."

"Obviously. For what?"

"To get to them."

Sighing deeply he resisted the urge to snap at her. "Who is 'them?'"

"All of the Captains," Captain said dreamily. "William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula... All the Captains, Squishykins!" Slowly she turned away from him to stare at the back of the man in front of her. "All the Captains... All of them."

Staring at her blankly for a few moments, he finally turned and walked away. He headed back towards the food court, hopefully Techie and Al could snap their leader out of this, but stopped when he saw the rent-a-cops running towards the court as the sound of Techie's battle call ("Beam them up, my hearties! Beam them straight to hell!") rang over the convention. Al's own shout ("Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant. You must comply! Worship Picard, bitches!!!") quickly followed as a table overturned and crashed It was official. His henchgirls had all lost their minds. Now what?

Shoving his hands deep into his pockets he decided that his best course of action was to simply leave. This madness seemed to be contagious and the last thing that he wanted was to be caught up in this mess. Shoulders up, head down he walked through the crowds of fans making his way towards the door.

"Riddle me this, riddle me that. Who's afraid of a big, bad, bat?" a cheerful and familiar voice said from someplace nearby. The sound of it made him pause and scan the crowd until he saw a flash of green that he would recognize anywhere.


The green figure froze then slowly turned, a false wide smile plastered on his face. "Jonathan! Isn't this quite the surprise." Waving slightly to the small crowd he had gathered around him he grabbed Crane by the arm and dragged him off a few steps. While that would ordinarily be a reason to glare and gas the other man, Crane found himself too interested in finding out what his fellow rogue was doing here, especially considering that the man was in full Riddler regalia. "I never would have expected to find you here, Jonathan. So what are you doing here anyway?"

"For some reason the girls believe that I would enjoy this event simply because they're fans themselves."

"The girls are Star Trek fans?" The look on Eddie's face was one of pleased surprise. "I never knew that. OS, TNG, DS9, or Voyager?"

His eyebrow raised again. "Does it look like I would know?"

"Well... No, but-"

"So what are you doing here?" he intrrupted.

"Me?" Eddie scanned the room looking slightly nervous. "Research. Research of course. Star Trek is a rather interesting subculture full of possible uses for riddles. For example, the language of the Klingon species created for the show is so complete that the works of Shakespeare and the Bible have been translated into it. With that in mind I could write riddles implicating a target related to Star Trek when I was really after a Shakespearian manuscript or a religious relic."

"Interesting," Crane said, folding his arms and looking at the other man. "So what are you really doing here?"

Eddie blinked at him for a moment. "I really am here just for research," he said earnestly.

"Hey Mister G!" a brunette with glasses and a smile on her face said walking up. "Sorry to say, but the costume contest's been delayed due to some problems. The Trekkies are rioting again and one of our vendors is reporting that two of his rare comic books have been stolen."

Crane stared at girl as Eddie nodded, a slightly alarmed look on his face. "Thank you for the heads up Ellen."

"I don't think I've told you yet Mister G, but your costume this year is absolutely fab. I mean you look just like those pictures of the Riddler you see on TV. You could be his brother!"

Glancing over at Eddie, Crane raised an eyebrow at him as Eddie smiled weakly. "Why thank you Ellen."

Still smiling widely Ellen nodded and took a step back. "Well I better get back to trying to get the costume contest back on track. Good luck! I hope you win this year!"

"Thank you," Eddie sighed deeply, one gloved hand coming up to rub his temples as the girl ran off.


Turning slowly to Crane, Eddie smiled weakly. "This convention's a bit of a guilty pleasure for me," he confessed after a moment of silence. "I go every year."

"They know you by sight."

"Ellen? She only knows me as Frank Gorshin and besides, she's a fleshie through and through. Her family owns the convention hall and she likes to work the costume contests."

"Bit risky going as yourself then."

"So sue me," Eddie said, pouting slightly. "I just broke out of Arkham a week ago and didn't have time to work on anything new."

"You sew your own costumes?"

"You can knit."

"Touché," Crane sighed, uncrossing his arms.

The two men stood in an awkward silence for a long moment before Eddie sighed deeply and rubbed at the back of his neck. "Want to see something rather humorous?"

"Like what?" Crane asked doubting that there was anything in this entire place worth seeing.

A Cheshire cat grin crossed the other man's face as he stepped away without a word. Crane waited a moment, debating on whether or not he should follow the other man then, sighing deeply, went after him. Eddie stopped at a small stall in the dealer row, greeted the man behind the desk by name and scooped up a pile of comic books from the man's counter space. "They sell these at the newstands downtown to the tourists."

Taking one of the comics from him Crane eyed the bright cover with mild amusement. The bright yellow cover showed a rough rendition of the Gotham skyline as Batman (wearing a comical version of Batman's black, grey, and yellow costume for some reason) swung through the air towards a group of terrified looking thugs. "Is this supposed to be Batman?" he asked a smirk crossing his face against his will as he flipped through the comic book.

"Yes, although anyone with half a brain would realize that it looks nothing like him. He's too short for one thing... Look, here's one when he's facing the Joker."

Crane looked over Eddie's shoulder, skimming the pages to find that the Joker was killing people, for some twisted reason that only he could understand, while Batman insisted that the time was not right to go after him. He snorted. As if Batman would ever not go after a villain when they were on a killing spree. He barely left them alone when they were trying to lay low.

"Rather amusing really," Eddie said flipping through a comic book featuring himself. "The artwork is terrible, the plot line full of holes, and the we resemble characters that would be better suited to star in a children's cartoon rather then on Gotham's Most Wanted." He chuckled slightly. "Look, here's one that has me operating out of a little used gym that's called 'The Little Used Gym' and boxing with Batman in front of a large audience. As if the Bat would ever be called out just because I had called him a coward... He'd wait until he got me somewhere dark and lonely and knock my teeth out."

Raising an eyebrow as Eddie chuckled again, Crane wondered why the other man was taking this so well. With his ego you would have thought that he would be furious that the writers of this trash had gotten things so wrong, but he was nothing but amused. Perhaps it was because all publicity was good publicity or whatever that old saying was? Noting a cover proclaiming his name on the cover he picked it up, wondering how badly he himself had been skewed.


Eddie looked up in alarm as Crane tore the comic book in half. "What are you talking about?" he demanded as the booth owner began to protest loudly.

"That filth!" Crane growled, dropping the comic to the ground. "Just because I'm not very fond of birds doesn't mean I have a phobia of them!"


"I've even kept a trained bird once or twice to help me on crime sprees."

"Really Jonathan, I thought you would be able to handle these better then that."

"And I didn't get rid of the damn things because I was afraid of them! I got rid of them because they seemed more like something Penguin would use!"

"Dear me man, you really have to get a hold of yourself."

"Why? So that-"

The wall behind him exploded into flames. Hitting the ground hard he stared up dizzily for a moment. 'Now what?' he thought to himself as he heard people begin to scream in fear. Closing his eyes he smiled, relishing the sound of screams, but then his eyes flew open as he felt something hot beginning to engulf his back. Swearing, he jumped to his feet, tried to beat out his back, then felt himself being knocked to the ground again as Edward pulled his legs out from under him and began beating out the flames with one of the rolled up comic books.

"You're supposed to drop and roll," Eddie muttered as the flames died out.

"Shut up," Crane growled, glaring at him (and at the inked face of his own mask on the comic book in Eddie's hand). "Why's the hall on fire? Is it Firefly again?"

"Damned if I know. We'd better get out of here before the police arrive though."

"Picard's a wuss! He drinks Earl Grey tea!"

"Don't mock the tea!" Al shouted, pounding her fist into the Vulcan cosplayer's face. There was the sound of a fist hitting flesh and a muffled snap as his nose began to bleed. "Never mock the tea!"

Looking up from the Klingon she was strangling, Techie sniffled the air as a frown began to cross her face. "Do you smell smoke?"

Al froze mid roundhouse kick and looked up. "I do smell smoke... Why is there-"

There was an explosion from the other side of the convention hall and people began to scream and run. Eyes going wide Al and Techie glanced at each other in alarm before diving into the fleeing crowd. "I don't see Squishums!" Techie shouted, climbing onto a table so she could see over the crowd.

Fire was beginning to spread as more and more people fled the building. Jumping between the tables to avoid the frantic crowds Al finally spotted their boss dodging between the tables, Eddie on his heels. "I see him!" she shouted over the roar of fire to Techie.

"Good! Is he okay!?"

Al watched as Crane tripped a man in a Hutt costume ('Why was that guy at a Star Trek convention anyway?' she thought to herself) up in order to get out of the burning building faster. "Looks like it!"

"Great!" Techie said landing next to Al. "Why's Eddums with him?"

"I dunno."

"In any case, there's only one thing left to do." Techie surveyed the quickly burning building calmly, her hands on her waist.

"What?" Al asked, raising an eyebrow. "Find Cap?"

"Nah, she'll be fine," Techie said waving a hand dismissively. "We gotta save these comics!"

Al's eyes widened in horror. "The poor defenseless babies!" she shouted. "Quick!" She pointed over to the left where the fire was only beginning to rage. "I scouted the most rare comics over in that direction! Be sure to grab Earth's Greatest Comics #3 for Frightbird, Investigator Comics # 140 for Questionnaire and Owlman #1 for The Knave!"

"And you!?"

"I'll be saving the Star Trek stuff!"

"Be sure to not leave a single Kirk behind!"

"Not on your life! Shatner sucks too much to save his crap!"


Muttering curses under his breath, Crane began to run, searching the crowds as he did so. He was looking for the easiest way out, he told himself and tripped a man dressed as a giant slug as he did so in order to help prove his point to himself. He wasn't looking for his henchgirls, he didn't care if they were looking for him, and he didn't care if they were in danger from the fire or not.

"I see Al! And there's Techie!" Eddie said from his shoulder, pointing up.

He looked followed Eddie's finger just to make sure that his henchgirls weren't going to be in the way of his escape... And they weren't. Techie was leaping from table to table grabbing stacks of comic books and making a hurried sort through them while Al was shoving as many action figures that she could into a bag.

His face darkened.

In a moment he was outside among the still frantic crowd, Edward keeping close to his side as they watched the building go up in flames. He heard sirens and saw two figures with huge bags on their backs dart away and most certainly did not let out the breath he was holding because he hadn't been holding his breath in the first place.

"Well there goes those two," he heard Eddie mutter. "Now where's the other one?"

"On the roof," he said, noting a dark figure laughing hysterically as flames rushed around her. His face darkened even more as he glared up at his henchgirl and he felt his fist clench.

"That doesn't look safe... Hey, where are you going?"

"To the lair," Crane growled, marching away through the gaping crowd towards home.

For a moment, Eddie stared at his fellow rogue's retreating form. Then, shrugging, he shoved his hands in his pockets and followed. After all, he didn't really have anything better to do...

He sat in the middle of the common room that he'd once considered his and wondered how his life had ever ended up this way. His entire life had pointed to a promising future. He'd gotten good grades in school, entered a prestigious university... he had even managed to get his PhD and become a professor while still young. Of course said professor position had been obtained through luring the other man to his death... And of course he had murdered his own mother on Mother's Day somewhere along the path, but still... He was supposed to have had a promising future. Not that he could complain about the path his life had taken him down, he truly enjoyed being Scarecrow, but...

He sighed deeply.

But sometimes he wished he hadn't fired off that gun that fateful day in class.

Not every day, but days like today? He missed the desk job...

Captain took a long swig from her glass of water then slammed it down on his coffee table with rage in her eyes. "Four hours!" she shouted, then shoved some Pepper Steak Chinese food into her mouth. "Four freaking hours I wait! Do you know how hard it is to stand in line for four hours!?"

"Lines suck," Al agreed between mouthfuls of Kung Pao Beef. "That's why we only make large withdraws at banks these days."

"Mmmh! Mmminnn muck," Techie said nodded energetically as she chewed on her Mongolian Chicken.

Eddie, absorbed in the comic book he was reading, tried to fish a bite out of his carry out container twice before he realized that is was empty. Frowning at it, he set it aside then put the comic back in a large pile with all the other 'liberated' ones. "Anymore Owlman comics featuring Questionnaire? I'm finding that villain to have some interesting ideas."

"Sure," Al said rummaging through the comics and pulling out a complete book. "Silence has a great Questionnaire plot... But you'll probably want to read The Lengthy Thanksgiving first so you know what's going on."

"I still can't believe I waited in that line for that long!" Captain growled, gripping her chopsticks so hard that one of them broke. She didn't seem to notice that it as she took a bite out of her food as if nothing had happened. "But it was a four hour long line for all the Captains! That has to mean something, doesn't it?"

"The art in this one looks different..."

"That's because you were reading the old Golden Age stuff before. This is a lot newer."

"Is anyone even listening to me!?"


"'Course I'm listening, Cap!"

"I'm paying attention... I can't believe that I'd never heard of Owlman before now... So many missed riddle opportunities."

He glared up from his Chicken and Broccoli at the easy chair he had once thought of as his own at the henchgirl he had once decided that he could put up with. "No."

"So anyway..." He rolled his eyes and made a stabbing gesture at a hunk of broccoli. "...I finally get to the front of this stupid line, I'm the very next person who gets to pay exorbitant amounts of money to have these people sign a photo and what happens? THEY GO ON LUNCH BREAK!"

"Poor Cap," Al and Techie sighed although the sound that came from Techie's mouth sounded more like 'Moor Mmmph.'

The first thing he'd do after he'd finished eating would be to gear up. Then, he'd take all his fear gas and fill the building with it to bursting. A small part of his brain tried to point out that this was a foolish idea. While it would relieve the stress by causing his henchgirls to scream and writhe in fear (and wipe the smirk off that freeloader of a rogue that was lounging on his couch) it was probably not the best idea to send your own help to the hospital (or morgue). Not until you didn't need them at least... Why couldn't he not need them?

"So after waiting four hours in that stupid line I was going to have to wait another hour and a half while those stuck up actors had their little lunch break!" Captain shouted, throwing her hands up in disgust. Her carry out container flew through the air, landing on Eddie's shoulder. The man may have protested, if he hadn't been so absorbed in his comic, but instead he brushed the half empty box to the ground without even looking up. "What was I to do? I did the only thing I could think of!"

"You set the hall on fire," he muttered darkly, glaring at the girl.

"I SET THE BLOODY PLACE ON FIRE!" Captain shouted, leaping to her feet. "Then, after it was a raging inferno, I tracked down those lazy sons of bitches and got all of their autographs! All of them!!!" She paused, panting for a moment then sat back down, a wide cheerful grin crossing her face as she pulled out a stack of signed photos. "Plus I got Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, Lenard Nimoy, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, and Michael Dorn! And extras! I got lots of extras for e-bay!"

Al and Techie cheered causing Eddie to glance over at them and him to glower more. Of course now that they were all back at the lair setting the hall on fire had seemed to be the only logical course, but someone should have warned him that he was going to be caught up on a mad revenge trip. That little explosion had happened to ruin his second best suit due to being set on fire while still in it! Then Al and Techie had been too busy saving comics and action figures to help put him out... And then Edward of all people had to smother the fire out with nothing else but that horrible excuse of a comic, the Batman horror-book that featured him! The indignities hadn't ceased. Edward, of course, was due to develop an inordinate fear of the colours black and white (that would take care of chess, crossword puzzles, and books for him) the next time they were together in Arkham, but he wasn't sure how to punish the girls. It had to be something horrible. Something that would teach them the meaning of fear.

Captain, her rant done, frowned as she realized her food had gone missing, then frowned more when she saw the dark look on Crane's face. "What's the matter Squishy?"

He ignored her, going for another bite of food instead, but this only seemed to attract the attention of the other two. As one they all gazed at him, exchanged looks, and retreated into the kitchen. A few moments later Techie carried out a large cheesecake while Captain managed to get Eddie out the door (comic books in tow as he continued to read) and Al brought out his scream tapes from the lab she was never ever to enter no matter what. They giggled as they forced him to try the cake, then, putting the earphones onto his head, they handed him a notebook and proceeded to be quiet for the rest of the evening as they pursued their comic books and action figures and predicted how much they could get for some of the more promising ones on e-bay.

Full, with his notes on his knee and only screams reaching his ears, Crane eyed his henchgirls wearily and decided their punishment could be put off for another time.

Edward was still going to get it though.

Oh yes, that man was going to get it indeed...

After all, someone at to be punished for this mess...