Title: Arkham Internship (subject to change)
Author: Selenameeka
Rating: Right now, PG. May change later.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, except for Cady Clein. I wish I did though. Oh, the fun I'd have.
Major characters for this part: Dr. Crane, Cady Clein

Time: Pre-Batman Begins (by nearly two years), an AU, not really connected to the comics, only movie and my made-up ideas.
Summary: Cady Clein recently changed her major to psychology. Being so close to graduating with her Masters, she decided to take on a fuller than normal schedule to be able to graduate on time. At the same time she was also been granted an internship at Arkham which she excitedly accepts and soon develops a "crush" on the blue-eyed doctor. However, the toll of long hours at the asylum and with school take a toll on her. She soon starts seeing strange things happen at the hospital to some of the patients of Dr. Crane. The deeper she investigates, the more she finds that she's in over her head.

Bad summary, I know. Not all of it is written out yet.

Author's Note: I've been kicking around this idea for months. Personally, I see Dr. Crane as a Schizoid Personality with Narcissistic tendencies and OCD. So, that's how I'll write him (and try to keep it in line with the movies-Cillian Murphy did such a wonderful job!). I've come up with my own back story for him (and it'll include some surprises), though some of it will be familiar.

Also, I fixed the grammatical mistakes. Whoopsie.

Prologue:

Cady enjoyed the library. It was quiet, but that's how she liked it. It was hard to concentrate in her apartment when her roomie keept blasting the music or jabbering on the phone. She had a paper to finish. Technically, she already finished it. However, the more she read it over, the more she wanted to add or take away. It unnerved her. No matter what, to her, nothing was really ever finished. After an hour of just rearranging and editing, she finally sent it to the printer. Sighing, still rather unhappy with it, she walked towards the front to retrieve it.

The walk is relatively short, maybe two minutes from where she sat. That was enough time for her to think of another title, though. The Psychology of Fear just didn't seem like...well, it really sounded like she took it from a book. She didn't, but the fact that it sounded like one bothered her.

Making her way up to the printer, she noticed that it was empty. Her heart stopped for a moment. Who'd steal her paper? She worked very hard on that! Her thoughts turned into the different methods of killing the person who thought it wise to steal something she worked so hard on as she glared at the offending equipment. As if the printer itself could have, somehow, forgotten to print it out.

"Damn it." she muttered under her breath.

"Excuse me, are you looking for this?"

Cady turned around, surprised. A man stood behind her holding out the ten page report. She smiled slightly and took it from him.

"Yes. Thank you. I thought maybe the printer ran out of paper or something." she suddenly felt guilty about her earlier thoughts.

The man's expression was detached. His blue eyes were made just that much more noticeable by his dark hair and silver metrosexual glasses he wore. He raised an eyebrow at her last word.

"I didn't mean to pick it up. I had printed out a bit of information and grabbed your paper by mistake. It's...decent, you know."

Cady wrinkled her nose slightly. "Really? I keep changing parts of it."

He nodded slightly. "Most papers that I've seen are rather trivial, at best. It could be better, but it's a start." His expression was still detached, as if he was studying her.

Shifting her weight to her other foot, Cady shrugged. "It's a subject I'm familiar with. I assumed many others were as well. However, I can't find much on the reasons behind it. It's all just, how to make people afraid, how to stop a panic attack, or the most common phobias." Cady knew her body language was mocking the sincerity of the authors she used for her work. At that moment, she didn't really care. She was rather tired of the paper, actually.

"And, what do you think are the reasons behind fear?"

His question startled her. She hadn't expected him to ask so much about her paper or even talk to her this long. How long did it take her to reach the printer? Two minutes at best? How much did he actually read?

"Well..." she started. The way he watched her was making her nervous. It was as if he expected her to get his question wrong. "It's an emotional response to a situation that a person feels they have no control over."

His lips thinned into a sarcastic smirk. "Yes, any first year psychology student could of given that answer. If you made it into Dr. Robbins' class, surely you must have a better explanation than that?" The last words dripped from his mouth in a condescending tone.

Cady narrowed her eyes for a moment. He was egging her on; putting her down intentionally. That realization made her skin crawl. "That's what it is. However, the difference between a rational fear and an irrational fear isn't just what the phobia is, but how it effects you. The really interesting thing is why we come to fear something. Anything can become a fear, but why is it that some people are only moderately affected while others can no longer function? I have a theory that it's not just learned."

He looked uninterested until she mentioned her theory. One of his eyebrows shot up again and he tilted his head slightly. "Oh?"

Cady shifted her weight to the other foot again and sighed slightly. "Y-yes. Fear is learned, but certain fears are so prevalent that it could indicate a genetic factor. People tend to fear things that can cause some sort of pain, fear what's unknown, or fear death. Only do mentally unstable people develop a fear of something thats basically harmless, and it's not because it's cute. It's because they think it could hurt them in some way."

She could see that look in his eyes that she assumed meant he was getting bored with her 'theory.' His lips thinned again, but she continued.

"It's obvious we are made to fear things that could hurt us in some way. A survival technique. But, not everyone is afraid of snakes, or spiders, or needles. I think that what you fear is also a genetic aspect."

He stood there for a moment before he spoke. "Have you any proof?"

Cady shook her head, smirking. "It's unethical to do experiments of that nature and it's even harder to do experiments on whole families. I read about some twin studies, but nothing substantial."

The man nodded. "I see. Well, like I said, the paper is a decent start. If I may give you some advice? Expand on your theory some more. Maybe add some personal experiences. And," he looked away for a moment then back at her before he began again, "Change your title. It sounds...like you took it from a book or something."

Cady looked down at her paper. "Thank you, Mr...?" By the time she looked up, the man was walking out of the front doors.

She sighed, making her way back to the computer she had claimed for the last hour and a half. There was more adjusting to do.

*

It had been nearly a week since she had turned her paper in. Normally, she wouldn't have cared how long it had been. It was just so weird that nearly exactly a week later she had a meeting with her teacher about it. Didn't he have a stack of other papers to go through? Didn't he say something about how they probably wouldn't get the papers back until near the end of the semester? And of all things, why was he taking his sweet time in there with his first appointment? She had arrived early, but it was now nearly twenty minutes past the hour. Sighing, she stood up and walked over to a window. Peering out, she could vaguely see the campus in the misty rain outside. It looked so serene. There was hardly any life outside. The only students brave enough to wonder in the chilly, autumn rains were bundled up tight and kept to the overhangs. She leaned closer to the window, then made the mistake of looking down. Startling herself, she jumped slightly.

"Ms. Clein?"

Cady jerked around to see two men standing near her professor's office door. One was Dr. Robbins, the other was the man she had seen at the library that one night.

"Yes, I'm sorry. I startled myself." She laughed hesitantly, mentally slapping herself for sounding so stupid.

"Why would you do that?" Her teacher asked, laughing along with her.

"I didn't mean to. I was just looking out of the window and realized that we were higher up than I had thought."

The man with the blue eyes blinked at her response, a slight smile on his face. "Afraid of heights, Ms. Clein?"

Cady felt like he was studying her as she thought of an appropriate response. She didn't know him, so there was no reason to divulge personal information. She smiled slightly. "Bad experiences."

The man looked like he was going to ask her something else, but her teacher interrupted.

"Ah, how sad. But, onto business. Sorry to keep you waiting, Ms. Clein. Dr. Jonathan Crane and I were just discussing your recent paper. I hope you don't mind that I allowed the doctor to read over it himself. He was very impressed."

Dr. Crane looked to the taller man, his lips thinned. He sighed slightly and turned his attention back to her, his tone slightly annoyed. "Yes, as Dr. Robbins said, I was slightly impressed. I only had a brief glance at it the other day. Tell me Ms. Clein, have you ever thought of working in an asylum?" His eyes narrowed slightly. The glare of the lights bounced off his glasses and Cady missed his expression.

Cady shook her head. "I haven't given it much thought, yet. I just recently fell into my Psychology major."

Dr. Crane nodded at her response. "Would you be interested?" He said, flatly.

"What Dr. Crane means, is, that you've impressed him enough that he's willing to take you on as an intern." Dr. Robbin's smile was wide. He seemed happier than Dr. Crane did about the opportunity.

Dr. Crane turned his head and looked at the taller man again. His glasses hid his expression, but his lips had thinned again and Cady surmised he was quickly becoming annoyed. Even though Dr. Robbins was taller and bigger than him, Cady had a feeling that this Dr. Crane was the type to have an ace up his sleeve. He was also the type that liked to be in control.

"I am in need of an assistant, yes. It's only a plus that you come highly recommended."

His stare was back on Cady. The weight of it and his slightly condescending tone made her want to refuse. However, her mouth said otherwise.

"That would be great!" She exclaimed.

Dr. Crane was slightly taken back by her response. If she hadn't been paying so much attention to his eyes she might of missed the minor change in his expression. Before he said anything, he slipped off his glasses. That made Cady feel like he could somehow see her better. The thought sent a chill up her spine.

"I'm glad you seem thrilled. However, I want to warn you before you really give me an answer. I'm the director of Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane. As my assistant, I'll be needing your services to help with the paperwork and filing. The pay is bad, and even though you'll be attending college full time still, I'm going to need your complete devotion otherwise. If you don't think you can handle the responsibility, then please decline."

Cady stood there for a moment in thought. Her eyes switched from one man to the other. She didn't go out much as it was. With her scholarships and her parents helping out with school and her living expenses already, the pay didn't mean that much to her. But, her change in major so close to graduation made her class schedule extremely full. Still, one didn't get a chance like this often. Cady took a deep breath to clear her mind before she answered him.

"Yes, I accept."

A thin smile made it's way across Dr. Crane's face. "Good." He said, putting his glasses back on. "You can start tomorrow. I'll expect you to be there at 8am."

Tomorrow? Tomorrow was Saturday! Any thoughts of celebration were quickly dashed from her mind. Cady just smiled and nodded.