It had taken nearly seven months, but finally Gotham was recovering. A sense of normalcy was beginning to wash over the population.
For her efforts and help with the crisis Cady had been awarded her doctorate in Psychology by the University. Although she had many job offers, she instead went back to school, choosing only to do freelance work with the bigger psychiatric institutes including Arkham Asylum. It was clear that many were still being effected by the toxin Crane had unleashed. The antidote that was available couldn't help the more serious cases. So, when she re-enrolled in school, she made sure to sign up for as many science classes as she could find that were applicable. She vowed to find a way to help them even if it meant she would have no life. Even if it meant she would have to learn to think like Crane...
Cady sat on a bench in the stuffy court room. Her feet didn't touch the floor. They swung back and forth as she waited for the proceedings to begin. Sitting there, next to the others who were to be used as witnesses, she felt out of place. She felt like a child. Dr. Quinzel smiled down at her.
"It'll be okay." The woman, only a few years older than Cady, said.
She just sighed, her eyes glued to the defendant's chair. It was empty. There was the sound of people talking. Doors opened. Everyone turned to face the back of the room. A few guards walked in, a man in an orange jumpsuit between them. His dark hair was perfectly combed and parted. His glasses, although expensively made to accent the face, hid any expression. If it was any other time, if the man was wearing a business suit, Cady would have said he looked professional. Like a doctor. But, even in the bright orange he looked handsome. They neared the chair. He walked closer. Her heart started racing in her chest. He walked by, looking straight ahead. She let out a breath, relaxing into her seat. Rachel, sitting with the new DA, turned around to look at Cady. She had a small smile painted on her lips, but her eyes held worry.
"Are you okay?" She mouthed.
Cady just nodded. She was fine. She had to be fine. Rachel turned back around. The officer entered. He spoke. Everyone stood up. The judge walked into the room from her office and sat down at the desk. The officer spoke again. Cady wasn't paying attention. Her mind was focused on what she was going to say. On not thinking about the man now sitting in the defendant's chair with a cold demeanor about him. The trial started. Each side laid out their case. Crane's lawyer touted temporary insanity and threats against the doctor's life. The DA's office countered with a whole slew of other things. Cady wasn't keeping up with it. The man was guilty, she already knew. She had seen the evidence first hand. She dealt with the evidence first hand. She still felt guilty herself for not catching it sooner.
She watched as both sides called witnesses. She was one of the last to take the stand because of her association with the man. Her time came. When they called her name her heart stopped. She felt like she was walking to her death with every step she took. She took the stand. Raised her right hand. She repeated the words the officer told her to speak. She sat down. Looked at the object of everyone's attention. It was a mistake. She could see his eyes through the glasses. They were glowing. Burning into her. His face was expressionless. His eyes told her everything.
Never again. She thought. Never again will I allow him to win.
And for the first time, she saw a look of fear flutter through his eyes. It faded, quicker than a butterfly taking flight. Replaced by a twitching of the corner of his mouth upwards. To everyone else, he sat like a statue. To her, she saw the smile. The challenge.
And for the first time, as she sat there starring back, she wasn't scared of him.