Disclaimer: Batverse belongs to DC although the CATverse is slowly taking over. Can you feel it? Can you see it? Join us while you still have time...for we will crush all those who oppose us!

CATverse A/N: The timeline is here: http: / / www . freewebs . com / catverse--but if you're too lazy to look there, know that this tale occurs directly after Bright Nova's story A Better Mousetrap.

Regular A/N: Sorry, Cap. It went in a direction I wasn't expecting. Hope you didn't have anything planned...


The only thing that traveled faster in Gotham city than news, was gossip. The speed with which it spread was directly proportionate to the fame of the persons involved in the rumor and the juiciness of the tale. The dirtier the story, the more likely you were to hear it whispered in both high society and in the Iceberg Lounge.

This having been said, the weeks during which the Scarecrow and his minions had been separated and off doing their own things, was ripe to be gossiped about. After all, the Captain had roomed with the Riddler, the Scarecrow had been seen in the company of Quiz and Query, and Techie…well, she had survived a month with the Joker and nobody but Harley Quinn did that.

When the Scarecrow, the Captain, Al and Techie had finally reunited, they were blissfully unaware of the rumors flying about the sleeping arrangements that must have been utilized with each of their respective roomies during that month, right up until Al overheard something while 'shopping' for a new lead pipe.

What Quiz and Query were doing at the Home Depot, Al hadn't the faintest idea, but they were--if not friends, then at least not enemies--and she found herself drifting close to them as they too 'shopped', just to be, of all things, sociable. She wasn't eavesdropping, really; she had intended to pop up and say hi, maybe even join the conversation, but as she approached, their conversation took a turn for the…not so very kosher.

Now, Al wasn't exactly a prude--indeed, she delighted in bringing up not-proper-for-dinner-conversation topics at the most inopportune moments just to make her cohorts blush--but what she heard from Quiz and Query truly shocked her.

"The Riddler just hasn't been himself lately, has he, Q?" one of them remarked, picking up an inch thick wooden dowel and testing its girth in her hand.

The other sneered. "Ever since we came back and that whore left…"

The first one snorted and swished the dowel through the air impressively. "He just doesn't appreciate us anymore, Q."

"Maybe we should go to the Scarecrow? He certainly seemed to appreciate us."

"Yeah," the first snickered and her tone was suggestive, "Right up until dawn broke and you asked him if he wanted a second go 'round."

"Fifth!" the other chirped, "it would've been the fifth go 'round."

The smirk on the first Q's face was audible. "Who ever would've guessed that someone like Jonathan Crane would have such…ahem…stamina."

The lead pipe that Al had been toting after selecting it with such care somehow managed to go flying out of her hand, striking the metal shelf behind the two other henchgirls.

She realized her mistake half a second too late. She had just let go of her only weapon…and what's more, she was outnumbered.

Thankfully, she had the presence of mind to duck out of sight while Quiz and Query were distracted by the falling shelf full of tools and her mind reeled with the new information she had been presented, so much so that she barely heard the string of expletives that were spewed by the other two career henchgirls.

Al glared at nothing in particular, her feet stomping towards the exit unbidden.

Squishykins…Squishykins had…well, he hadn't cheated on her, exactly (he wasn't hers to cheat on, after all) but he had…he'd…he had slept with the Riddler's henchgirls!


And he hadn't seen fit to share this little tidbit of information? Oh, that…that…

All the way across the parking lot, Al tried to come up with a properly scathing adjective and found none, so she settled for the most accurate descriptor in her vocabulary.

That MAN!


The foundation shaking slam! of the door to the Scarecrow's lair jarred the three inhabitants to the point that they actually looked up from what they were doing; Techie from her crossword, the Captain from her bowl of pudding and Crane from his medical journal. After they glanced at the source of the interruption they went right back to what they were doing, until…

"Squishykins!" Al exclaimed, a look of unadulterated fury on her features. "You manwhore!"

Everyone looked up sharply, the girls looking startled and Crane glaring.

"I beg your pardon?"

"You…you…you!!' she flailed her arms as she screeched. "You KIRK!"

The Captain and Techie glanced at each other, identical looks of confusion on their faces. Their expressions said the exact same thing. If Al is comparing her beloved Squish to Captain Kirk, she must be really mad.

His eyes narrowed dangerously until he was merely looking at her through slits. "Explain yourself, woman, before I gas you for the sake of peace and quiet."

She huffed and put her hands on her hips abruptly, glaring at him and enunciating every singe syllable of her next statement. "You. Slept. With. Quiz. AND. Query."

The seriousness of the situation was apparently lost on the Captain and Techie, because they both burst into hysterical and completely inappropriate laughter, the Captain nearly dropping her pudding bowl.

"He slept with--" the Captain gasped, laughing and holding her side, "Oh, Al, good one!"

"Squishums and the Riddler's henchgirls!" Techie chimed in. "As if!"

Al didn't respond or crack a smile at a great joke well executed, just continued glaring at the villain in question.

After a few seconds, the Captain and Techie noticed this fact and went eerily silent, looking from Al to the Scarecrow and back again in disbelief.

"You're not kidding?"

Al remained quiet, eyes still locked with those of Crane, a hint of betrayal in their depths. They continued to stare at each other until Crane shrugged one shoulder.

"I don't see how it's any of your concern."

Al's stance softened suddenly, as though she'd just been punched in the chest and she staggered back. She had expected him to deny it--vehemently, in fact, or maybe blush and shout--not a nonchalant confirmation.

Whatever possessed her then, she couldn't name, but she drew herself up to her full height, stalked over to him, drew back one hand and slapped him across the face, her movements so sudden that he didn't have time to block or react.

His cheek became one big angry red welt as Al tramped across the lair and out the door once more, her comrades watching her retreating back before turning accusing eyes on their master.

He looked at them innocently--or at least, as innocently as a costumed villain possibly could. "What?"

"Jonathan!" Techie exclaimed. "Shame on you! Having a threesome!"

Again, his eyes narrowed, this time with boredom. "Those who are seen leaving Two-Face's lair at dawn shouldn't cast stones."

The Captain turned her attention from Jonathan to Techie, scandalized. "You what?!"

Techie blushed so hard she turned purple and shouted in the Captain's face. "At least I'm not pregnant with the Riddler's baby!"

There were two identical shouts of "WHAT?!", one from inside the lair and one from outside--apparently, Al hadn't gone as far away as her angry stomping suggested., and burst back into the room, all her anger at the Scarecrow for his little 'indiscretion' forgotten in favor of staring in disbelief at her friend.

The Captain glared at Techie, a look so hard and burning that the other woman actually took a step back. "This was NOT how I wanted to break the news!"

"You're pregnant?"

The Captain looked at Al and the Scarecrow, appearing somewhat panicked before she threw her arms out from her sides dramatically. "Surprise!"