Disclaimer: Until DC finds a way to scrub the image of a Batsuit with Batnipples on it from the recesses of my brain, I am unapologetic about prancing around in their universe changing things as I see fit. In fact, I'm considering seeking monetary compensation for the emotional scarring they caused.
This story is part of the CATverse, the official story listing of which can be found at freewebs dot com slash catverse. It takes place in Arc Four, after "Metropolitan Tomfoolery" by Twinings.
Oh, how the Scarecrow loathed the smell of turkey.
This being the last week in November, the last Thursday to be precise, it meant the reviled scent was hanging in the air everywhere. Every shop he passed, every restaurant and every home seemed to leak the smell of turkey with all the trimmings.
And he hated it.
Not because he disliked the stuff…if he were honest with himself he was rather fond of it…but he hated the smell of it because it reminded him of them.
He didn't like being reminded of them in any way. It was bad enough that he'd actually been to their graves twice since he'd found out they were gone…that spoke of sentimentality, which was something he'd rather die than admit to feeling.
Especially since he didn't feel it. At all.
But every so often his feet would carry him to their gravesites before he realized it was happening.
Now as a man of science, Crane figured it was some subconscious desire to make certain that the graves were still undisturbed. The idea of his three henchgirls-the women who put him through more tortures than he ever thought himself capable of withstanding-being dead seemed just too good to be true.
Of course, if they were still alive right now, he'd be sitting down to a turkey dinner of his own with them, rather than glaring at every festively decorated shop window he passed with his stomach rumbling loud enough to wake the dead.
Crane stopped walking abruptly. When was the last time he'd eaten? He'd grabbed a snack here and there just to keep his stomach from feeling like it was glued to his spine, but when was the last time he'd actually bothered to sit down and eat?
A quick silent tally later, he figured that he hadn't eaten a decent meal since…
October. He couldn't be certain when exactly..
Liar. A little voice in his head rebuked. You know exactly when it was.
Alright…so that was a lie…he did know when.
The day before the Captain, Al and Techie had disappeared, they'd made him an absolute feast. The 'kitchen' table had been laden with all his favorite foods and he remembered that at the time, he wondered what exactly they were up to.
It seemed like a rather odd gesture to present such an exquisite spread at that point in time…the middle of October, no holiday involved…it had intrigued him and brought out his more suspicious side.
The side that told him they were acting like children who had broken one of their father's favorite paperweights and were giving him affection to make up for it, hoping that when he found out about their indiscretion, he'd be more lenient with their punishment.
The Scarecrow gave himself a mental slap. He never thought of them as daughters, or any other kind of family, for that matter. They were just the hired help. Hired help trying to ingratiate themselves further to their villainous employer by staying in his good graces with food as an apology for some wrong doing or another. That's all there was to that.
It didn't really matter now, though, did it? Whatever they were apologizing for with that banquet would remain a mystery.
Another secret taken to their graves with them.
Now that annoyed him.
Almost as much as the fact he found himself back at the gates of Gotham Central Cemetery.
Damn these feet of his…they seemed to have a mind of their own sometimes. Here he just wanted to go out for a walk and where had he wound up?
Crane glared at the wrought iron gates irately.
Well, just because his feet thought he needed to be here, didn't mean his mind agreed. He was not going inside.
Besides…something more interesting had just caught his attention.
More specifically, the smell of stuffing.
The sense of smell is the one most closely tied to memory, and for some reason, this precise scent pushed recollections of the girls on him more forcefully than the turkey had.
It also caused his stomach to roar with insistence that it was long past dinnertime.
But where was that mouth-watering aroma coming from?
The only place nearby that seemed a likely candidate as the source of the smell was a rather run down old church, which had long since been converted into a homeless shelter and soup kitchen.
But surely a government run facility such as that wouldn't have any kind of food that smelled quite this…delicious.
Then again, perhaps it was just his nose playing tricks on him. He was starving, after all…it could be that his hunger was making him find this scent more appetizing than the food it was attached to actually was.
Of course, there was only one way to find out…
Behind the building which used to be Saint Joseph's, there was parked a battered blue and white VW bus, it's back doors open and three women swiftly emptying it's contents and leaving packages and boxes of all shapes and sizes on the back step of the homeless shelter.
After all, it's not like all those muckity mucks at the Wayne Enterprises Thanksgiving Five-Thousand-Dollar-A-Plate Banquet really needed all that food…and the caterers had left their van wide open and unattended.
Really…the stuff was practically begging to be stolen.
As the last of the boxes was dropped on the stone stairs, one of the women placed her hands at the small of her back and leaned backwards as far as she could until a vertebrae popped loudly.
"Well…that's my good deed for the year," Techie said, straightening up and shrugging her shoulders a few times to finish working out the cramps in her back, "And thus, the balance of the universe is restored."
"I feel kinda like Robin Hood," the Captain said with a grin, "Robbing from the rich…giving to the poor…"
"Just so long as you don't start wearing bright green tights and prancing around singing 'We're men, we're men in tights'," Al replied, slamming the doors of the van shut.
"Don't give her any ideas."
"Oh! I love that song!" The Captain exclaimed, giggling wildly before launching into a slightly out of tune rendition of the song.
Techie glared at Al, "Way to go, Number One."
Al slapped a hand over her eyes against the sight of the Captain skipping to the passenger side of the van, singing the whole way, "This is going to be like when she sang A Hundred Bottles Of Beer On The Wall all the way to Metropolis, isn't it?"
Techie crossed her arms over her chest, staring after the Captain, "If it is, can I gag her and stuff her in the back of the van?"
Wondering what happens next? Check out "A Very Squishy Christmas" by Twinings to find out!