Disclaimer: Batman is owned by DC Comics and whoever else owns it. I in no way claim it as my own; I'm just borrowing. Any OCs are mine and the plot is also mine.
A/N: R&R whether you love or hate it.
The delay was due to an inner debate about the last chapter's vague clue. I decided it was too vague. That led to the choice to have our bird girl give another clue and then another for good measure in this chapter. I choose the use of lyrics because the clues were related to song, tying the clue together pretty well.
The lyrics are from Nightwish's Know Why The Nightingale Sings. I in no way claim them as my own.
Don't worry; she won't constantly be dropping clues. That would be annoying.
If you've forgotten - as the answer was way back in the first fic - Crow and Chelsie want nothing more than to be set free. Only that act can win her little birdy-wirdy heart.
Chapter Three - Know Why She Sings
After "outside time" had finished, the inmates were escorted back to their cells, Crow now sitting on her horrible little bed.
Once the two villains had come out of their thoughts earlier, all three had agreed to wait a while before busting out of Arkham. This was, mainly, to give the pair of villainous boys time to contemplate her clue to the fullest, and Crow inwardly, without telling them, decided she would give them a long time to think it over.
Crow had time to spare, so she could wait for one of the two to find an answer to her riddle of sorts. She could wait a few months tops, and then she would fly, fly away when neither of them figured out her one thing.
She really expected that within a few month's time, she'd be flying free in Gotham, having gone on a solo flight.
Blinking, Crow receded into Chelsie's mind, deciding to give her counterpart some time in the light.
Thirty minutes later, it was lunch time.
Walking into the cafeteria, Chelsie looked around the huge room as she fell into the lunch line.
She was certain whatever they fed the patients would be most horrible, such confirmed when she managed to get a bowlful of awful, grey goop.
Walking off, she looked around for the two villains, soon seeing the Joker standing up and waving her over from the very last bench.
Curiously, no other patients would sit by the two, the others likely afraid of such superior nutters.
With a sigh, the host headed in his direction, Jonathan on the opposite side of the bench.
Opting to sit by the better smelling of the two today, she sat by Jonathan.
"Chelsie?" the ex-doc asked, wondering why she was out.
She looked over to him, surprised, "How did you know?"
He smiled slightly, answering, "The look in your eyes is different from your counterpart."
The Joker, now seated on his side, questioned, "Why-uh are you ou-t and abou-t, Chels?"
"Crow said I could have some time in the light," she said, suddenly frowning. "I think she wanted me to taste... this."
At the last word, she poked at her bowl of what was apparently gruel.
The Clown laughed, "She is tryin-g to kill ya, kiddo."
Jonathan chuckled, having to agree with the sentiment.
"Ehh... I know we're just lowly nutters," began the host, staring at a spoonful of gruel, "but don't they have some kind of health code? Did they not learn anything from the musical Oliver!?"
"Does that mean you're going to ask for more?" quipped the ex-doc, the Clown consequently giggling.
Chelsie laughed, "I don't think so."
"Well-uh, you'd better hold your nos-e and down it, dollfac-e," advised the Clown after swallowing a mouthful of his own, "other-wise, they'll feed you themselvesss."
She shivered, then took a bite of the gruel, grimacing and looking queasy as she swayed a bit, the two watching.
Putting down her spoon, the host covered her mouth, struggling with keeping the horrible concoction down.
Jonathan gazed down to her bowl, "They gave you quite a bit, possibly because you look frail."
Both villains did not hesitate, digging their spoons into her hefty share and taking about half of it between them, a gesture for which she was grateful.
Hand falling from her mouth, Chelsie sighed, having kept the horrid food down by no small miracle.
Looking between the two men, she apologized, "S-Sorry..."
Eyes shifting back to the food, she tried the Joker's earlier suggestion, holding her nose and shoveling in the gruel.
Thankfully, the method worked and she eventually downed her serving entirely, releasing her nose.
"Good job-uh," said the Joker approvingly.
Most patients, upon their first attempt to eat their new meal, would proceed to barf it back up promptly because it was that god-awful.
Jonathan looked over to her, "You'll get used to it within a few week's time."
Chelsie just sighed, resigned to the fact that her stay would indeed be that long.
Lunch had went by comfortably for the most part, Chelsie/Crow once again in her cell, Crow now out.
During lunch, she'd actually learned that Arkham's schedule had recently been revised, Jonathan explaining that those in charge felt there were wasted hours in the previous schedule.
So, that meant that the cell doors weren't the only things to have been changed in Arkham recently.
It made her curious about the new management.
An hour later, everyone was greeted by a guard at their door.
"Sos, Miss Crow, you wanna go to the courtyard or the rec. room?" asked the guard at Crow's door, waiting for a reply.
Unbeknownst to her, the Clown and ex-doc down the hall listened in carefully.
"Choices, choices," she said with a smirk. "Rec. room it is."
Once out of her cell, her escorting guard took her down the row, leading through the building to the rec. room.
Now inside the rec. room, Crow walked over to the long, barred window at the back of the room to the left that looked out upon the Narrows.
Consequently, she began to softly hum her precious song, a tune that gave her some sort of comfort in a place where comfort was certainly lacking.
Eventually, however, she was interrupted.
"Crow?" asked a voice from behind, Crow turning around to find Jonathan.
Her eyes trailed off, finding the Clown behind him, stormy gaze then flitting back to the ex-doc.
"Yeah, shug?" she asked, turning back around to gaze out at the Narrows.
"Could you give me a second clue?" Crane inquired hopefully. "After all, no one thinks quite like you or your host."
Crow laughed, replying, "True enough, teddykins. We are unique... And I suppose that maybe I could give you a second clue."
Both the Clown and ex-doctor looked thoroughly pleased with her decision.
Crow grinned, turning to face her two favorite villains, then suddenly began humming a new tune.
Suddenly, she sang one lyric, "Know why the nightingale sings is the answer to everything."
Speaking normally, she announced, "And that's your new clue, my lovelies!"
Giggling, she took off across the room and situated herself in a pace in an open area.
Both men watched her take off and stood in thought before Jonathan spoke up defeatedly, "I believe that was even more vague than the first."
The Clown near his side cackled and inwardly agreed.
Suddenly, Crow managed a half cartwheel, paused to rest on both hands before she slowly lifted the other and brought it behind her back. She then closed her blue-grey eyes with a deep, relaxing breath.
Curiously, the Clown wandered over, inquiring, "What, ah... wha-t are you doing?"
"Meditation," she replied concisely and said nothing more.
Jonathan wandered over then, commenting, "That isn't the normal position for meditation."
"No, it isn't," Crow agreed, then offered an explanation. "Mine is dubbed "Kunoichi Meisou no jutsu," created and termed by a fanfiction writer that Chels knew way back when. It translates roughly as--"
The Clown interrupted, translating, "'Ar-t of Femal-e Ninja Med-i-ta-tion' or, ah... 'Femal-e Ninja Med-i-ta-tion Techniqu-e'."
Resigned to the fact that Crow obviously wanted alone time, the ex-doctor stalked off, heading to the window where she'd once stood.
Meanwhile, the Joker curiously sat down Indian-style by his bird girl and attempted meditation as well, a sight so very strange to anyone paying attention. Occasionally, however, one russet-colored eye would open and observe the blackbird before shutting once more.
Jonathan turned from the window in time to watch the spectacle as he leaned against the wall by the barred glass, his blue eyes making sure the Clown kept his hands to himself.
'Why aren't we clawing at that Clown's neck?' demanded the Scarecrow within Jonathan's mind, his tone agitated. 'We should kill him for trying to take what's rightfully ours, doctor.'
Jonathan replied calmly, 'I doubt our Crow or Chelsie would forgive us if we were to kill the Joker. Otherwise, I would be more than happy to dispose of him myself.'
'Then what of her new clue?' questioned Scarecrow, annoyed ever more by her vague, strange ways of thinking.
'Obviously, our Crow is enamored with birds,' noted the doctor. 'But what would be special about the nightingale in particular? I know that nightingales are named thus as they frequently sing at night as well as in the day. The name means 'night songstress,' I believe. And it is, in fact, the male which sings at night.'
Scarecrow thought this information over a moment before commenting, 'Is the term 'nightingale' a parallel of ourselves? We mainly conduct our "business" at night.'
'It sounds plausible enough,' agreed the ex-doctor. 'And the hidden question in the lyric seems to be 'know why the nightingale sings?' even as it is made an answer in the lyric. So why does the nightingale sing? The male nightingale sings at night to protect its territory and to attract a female.'
'I think the male nightingale part is just leading us astray, doctor,' Scarecrow returned thoughtfully. 'Perhaps we're supposed to think of Crow in relation to the nightingale, and she's obviously a female. Why does the female nightingale sing?'
The Clown, with his eyes shut and one popping open to observe his bird girl at intervals, began to meditate on Crow's newest clue.
Obviously, the woman was obsessed with birds.
'Think like a bird. Like a nightingale,' his jumbled thoughts managed to string together something slightly cohesive. 'Birds sing. Nightingale sings. Male nightingale sings at night. Nighttime. Nighttime.'
His thoughts carried on in much the same manner until he came to the conclusion that her clue had to do with singing. Obviously, the question in her lyric was also an answer.
The question was 'know why the nightingale sings?' and therefore would have to have an answer.
'Male nightingale sings at night,' his thoughts reaffirmed his earlier conclusion before adding a reason as to why the male nightingale would sing at night. 'Attract a mate. Protect territory. Answer to everything.'
But that was a dead end, he realized, so he began to think of the nightingale in relation to his bird girl. What did the little blackbird woman have in common with a nightingale?
Jonathan replied to Scarecrow, 'I don't know. Perhaps the first clue attaches to the second. We reasoned earlier that the first clue had to do with what a bird could want. I concluded that the first clue must've been related to flight because she always mentions "flying solo," and this second clue obviously revolves around song.'
'Argh! This is maddening!' complained the ex-doctor's counterpart. 'We should be intelligent enough to understand this, but we can't think like her!'
'And that is the key to all of this, isn't it - to think like her?' questioned Crane in thought as his eyes still watched Crow. 'Perhaps the clues aren't meant as literally as we've taken them. Perhaps, in her unique way, the clues relate to her. She is a bird and she sings. As a bird, we have to deduce upon what she wants. And we also have to find a reason as to why she sings because, after all, she's constantly humming her song now.'
Scarecrow grinned inwardly; the ex-doctor might've been headed in the right direction.
Pushing his back off the wall, Crane walked over to Crow.
"Crow," he spoke, looking down at the bird girl.
"Hm... Yes?" Crow inquired.
"I have a vague idea of where your clues are directed now," began the ex-doctor, "but you must admit that they are both maddeningly unhelpful."
The Joker opened his eyes, watching the blackbird.
The brunette grinned, replying to Jonathan's remarks, "Gee, teddykins, I thought an ex-shrink with your kind of education could crack my code, no problem... I'm just a li'l ol' bird girl; how am I so hard to figure out?"
The Clown laughed, eyes shifting up to the ex-doctor.
Jonathan flushed and Scarecrow inwardly felt uncomfortable; did she believe they weren't intelligent enough? She did seem to be insinuating disappointment in their intellectual capacities.
"Oh, well. If a li'l ol' bird girl's clues are just so tough for a well-read sorta guy like you, I guess I'll simply have to give you another," she reasoned with a sigh of disapproval.
Crow then sang another lyric, "Migrating with the geese, my soul has finally found peace. Doesn't matter that man has no wings as long as I hear the nightingale sing..."
Finished, she waited a beat before commenting, "That's a pretty big hint, sugar puffs. It's almost like I've given it away... And don't expect any more clues for a long while to come. You've got enough to ponder on for now."
Frowning at yet another infuriating clue, Crane simply sat beside Crow as she still balanced firmly on one hand.
Both the Joker and Jonathan/Scarecrow fell into silent contemplation thereafter.