I do not own Jonathan Crane (aka the Scarecrow) or Jervis Tetch (aka the Mad Hatter). They belong to DC Comics. I also do not own Calvin and Hobbes. The quotes used are from Lewis Carroll's Alice and Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Most of the quotes are from a poem before chapter 1 of Through the Looking Glass; I don't think it has a title. This was written purely for fun.
The air was serene, something that the streets of Gotham never allowed for. Technically still within the city limits, the forest of pine and oak trees stood. The fir and leaves were covered with the white powder that continued to fall from the heavens, coating the ground. The usual noise that came from such a large metropolis was absent, replaced with the soft sound of snowfall. All else was silent, leaving the forest in a peaceful slumber.
The quiet was interrupted when the soft crunching of snow began to sound. They were coming in rapid progression, signifying someone moving at a quick pace.
"Hurry, Jonathan!" Jervis Tetch called over his shoulder as he ran up the inclined plane. His breath became visible as it hit the frigid air. His heavy snow boots continued to crunch the freshly fallen snow. His blue overcoat ended just above where the snow began. A stray breeze rustled his teal and blue-green checkered scarf before he brought gloved hands up to pull down on the snowcap covering his head. He paused in his steps to look behind him at his friend, several paces back. "We're almost there!"
Jonathan Crane's dark eyes lifted from the ground up to the Mad Hatter. "Where exactly are we going, Jervis?" he responded in a bored tone.
"You'll see!" Jervis answered in a sing-song voice, sounding a lot like a little kid. He trotted ahead again and disappeared over the hill.
Crane rolled his eyes and looked back to the wintery scenery. He gazed back behind him at the pair of snowy footprints leading to where he now stood. Another breeze swept through the wooded area, making him hunch his narrow shoulders slightly. He pulled at the lapels of his coat before returning his long hands into his pockets.
His eyes followed the trail of footprints up past him and up the hill. He looked behind him again. With Jervis constantly running ahead, it would have been so easy to just turn around and head back into Gotham. This was hardly what he had planned for the day. He and Jervis had been planning that heist for weeks, down to the day and hour…
…and lo and behold, the fates had decided to dump nearly a foot of snow on Gotham City. It seemed like just about every business had closed early for the day, ruining their plans. Needless to say, Jonathan was not happy. Jervis wasn't exactly thrilled about their hard work gone to waste either, but he did find a silver lining. On an impulse, he had decided that if the businesses got the day off, then so did they.
They would have a snow day.
And so, Jervis had dragged Jonathan Crane out into the snowy atmosphere. Both were still partially dressed in their criminal attire, only adjusted to accommodate to the weather.
Jonathan sighed deeply, watching his breath become a cloud of vapor in the cold air. He began following the Hatter again, not nearly as anxious to get wherever they were going as his shorter blonde guide. His eyes began to wander across the scene again, taking in the picturesque environment. Something about the snow always calmed him. Even on a day when he could potentially get the funds to purchase more materials for his fear toxins had gone completely wrong, he didn't feel all that furious anymore. The sound of snow falling…the crispness of the air… Well, Jonathan Crane was in no way a poetic man, but days like this were just beautiful.
He heard a triumphant laugh from over the hill, bringing him back to the present. He finally came to the crest of the hill and felt his eyes shoot wide.
Down a relatively flat slope was a clearing. Pine and oak trees circled the snowy area, making the place secluded and peaceful. The opening in the air allowed for more falling snow to be seen against the deep green pines. It was like a scene from a Christmas card.
He slowly glanced down toward where Jervis was standing. The Mad Hatter stood halfway down the incline, his hands on his hips and a looking over his shoulder with a proud grin on his face. "Pretty nice, eh? A Wonderland, no rabbit-hole required."
Jonathan's eyes returned to the clearing. "How on Earth did you know this was here?"
Jervis began examining the snowy area. "This is where I come to read. Isn't it frabjous?" he asked happily, clasping his hands together in adoration. He brought his arms out and began carefully stepping down the snow-covered hill, looking like a tightrope walker trying to keep his balance.
The auburn-haired man watched as Jervis reached the flat. He felt an eyebrow rise when the blonde man knelt down and drove his arms into the snow, scooping it toward him into a pile. "And what exactly are we doing here?" he asked.
"I already told you," Jervis said as he began patting down the snow and shaping it into a ball. "We are having a snow day." He paused to glance over his shoulder at his companion, a toothy grin appearing. "When was the last time you built a snowman?"
As Jervis continued shaping the snow, Jonathan felt his brow slightly furrow. Did Jervis seriously drag him out into the middle of the forest to build a snowman? "Not since I was a child," Jonathan reluctantly replied.
The Hatter came to an abrupt stop and turned to give his friend a mildly concerned look. "Just what do you do on snow days?" he risked asking.
Jonathan began walking down the incline toward Jervis. "I work," he answered blandly.
Jervis stared up at him with a shocked expression. "You can't be serious…"
"Can't I?" Jonathan replied, looking down at Jervis without bowing his head. "You don't honestly go out and play every time it snows, do you?"
"But of course!" Jervis answered happily, smiling again. "With how rarely it snows here and back home, you have to take advantage of it."
Jonathan's eyes lingered on the Englishman as he began shaping the ball of snow again. "Don't you think you're getting a little too old to play in the snow?" he questioned, somehow not all that surprised by the Mad Hatter's childish reasoning.
"'We are but older children, dear, who fret to find our bedtime near'," Jervis recited perfectly from memory, not missing a beat or looking away from his work.
"Alice in Wonderland?" Jonathan asked, rolling his eyes.
"Through the Looking Glass," Jervis corrected him. His eyes lifted to meet with his friend's. "Close, though." He brushed off his hands and stood up, approving his handiwork.
Crane studied the ball of snow with unexcited eyes. "What a masterpiece," he said caustically.
"While your sarcasm is to be admired, I thank you," Jervis shot back, his eyes darting to the tall man. He gave Jonathan a hard pat on the back. "Have fun."
Jonathan watched with confused eyes as the blonde man stepped a few paces away and began doing the same task. He looked back down at the ball of snow before glancing to Jervis again. "You can't be serious…"
"Can't I?" Jervis retorted mockingly, shooting Crane a devious eye.
Jonathan's brow hardened and his eyes narrowed at the mimicked comeback. He drew his hands out of his pockets to cross his arms in outright refusal. "I am not building a snowman," he growled.
Jervis pouted for a moment, his blue orbs appearing sad. "You're no fun," he mumbled to himself. He stood upright and faced Jonathan. "Why can't you just let your guard down for a single moment and have a little fun once in a while?"
"Some of us have standards we live by, Tetch," Crane answered crossly.
"You think I don't have standards?" Jervis asked in a huff, putting a hand on his hip. He exhaled irritably. "Who out here is going to criticize you, the trees? That rock over there? Me? What are you afraid of?"
Jonathan instantly straightened as his arms shot to his sides. His hands were tight fists and his eyes were locked on Jervis. Fury was clearly written on his face. "What did you just say?" he snarled through clenched teeth.
Jervis's eyes slightly widened at the realization of what word he had just used. He put his hands up defensively and laughed lightly. "Slip of the tongue, dear. In all seriousness, though, why don't you ever let yourself have any fun?"
"Building snowmen is hardly my definition of fun," Crane said with a bite to his voice.
"Ah," Jervis began, lifting a finger and his grin widening, "but you have never built a snowman with me before." He brought his hands together again and gave Jonathan a pleading look. "Please?"
Jonathan made a face. Gracious, Jervis was really acting like a child…perhaps it was the snow. He took another glance around his surroundings, his ill feelings melting away. He found himself staring down at the large snowball before him.
His eyes went skyward as he sighed, his shoulders slumping. "I can't believe I'm doing this…" he breathed in a half-defeated, half-embarrassed voice as he knelt down.
"That's the spirit!" Jervis cheered, his eyes agleam and throwing his hands up in the air in celebration.
The next twenty minutes were spent rolling around two balls of snow until they were so large and heavy that they couldn't move; Jervis insisted that that was the proper way to begin building a snowman, although Jonathan remembered otherwise. As they both worked on their own snowman, they discussed what they were currently developing in their respective laboratories. The conversation turned to literature after a few minutes. Much to Jonathan's surprise, Lewis Carroll was not among the authors they talked about. Instead, the topic was mostly Washington Irving, the writer behind the classic The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Jonathan always enjoyed discussing literature, and it was only when he was with Jervis that he could really talk about it. Both were quite fond of classic literature, and it was only in the other's company that they could converse about the topic.
Jonathan brushed off his gloved hands to remove any loose snow before returning them to his pockets. He stared at his completed snowman with mildly amused eyes before glancing over toward where Jervis was still working. "Mine's done," he announced.
The Mad Hatter glanced at Jonathan and a smile appeared on his face. "Let me see!" he said excitedly as he trotted over toward his friend. He circled around the snowman to stand by Jonathan's side.
He found himself staring at a snowman quite akin to what he had seen in the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. Jonathan had somehow managed to shape a screaming mouth into the poor being's head, his stick arms thrown up in hysterics.
Jervis brought up a hand to his chin, studying the peculiar snowman. Jonathan stood by, his hands in his pockets and admiring his handiwork. He glanced down at Jervis when the blonde looked up at him. "Why exactly haven't you built a snowman since you were a child?"
"My grandmother didn't approve of what I created," Jonathan replied, a small hint of distaste in his voice.
The two were silent for a moment, just staring at the horrified snowman.
"I was a strange child," Jonathan explained at length.
"Weren't we all?" Jervis murmured in response. He looked back up at his friend, a bucktoothed grin forming. "Well, it has you written all over it. I like it!" He began trotting back over toward his snowman. "I'm almost done with mine. You'll never guess who it is!"
Jonathan peeked around his snowman at Jervis's, instantly picking up on the hearts Jervis had created out of sticks across the snowman's figure and what looked like a crown on its head. The Queen of Hearts…somehow Jonathan wasn't at all surprised.
As Jervis continued working, Jonathan began pacing around the snowy area, looking around at the trees. The snow continued to fall lightly from the heavens. He came to a stop and leaned against the bark of a pine tree, watching Jervis. His eyes fell to the snow by his feet. A mischievous smirk slowly appeared on his face and he glanced back up at the blonde man.
Jervis was humming a nameless tune, continuing to work. He drove a stick into the middle section of his snowman, creating an arm. He began the secure the bark-covered limb into place—
He felt something hit his left shoulder, the force making him take a step forward. He went rigid, his eyes shooting wide. He whirled around and looked behind him.
Jonathan stood leaning against the tree, forming another snowball in his hands. His devious eyes locked with Jervis's shocked ones.
"Did you just—?" The Mad Hatter was cut short when another snowball hit him square in the chest.
Jonathan's smirk widened slightly when Jervis shot him a look of irritation. "No snow day is complete without a snowball fight," Crane explained, kneeling down to grab more snow.
"As if our lives aren't violent enough as it is…" Jervis protested. He was about to continue when Jonathan readied himself for another throw. The Hatter let out a little shriek and scurried around to hide behind his snowman.
"Now, see here, Jonathan…" Jervis began in a huff. Jonathan wasn't listening as his blonde friend continued ranting. His eyes were locked on the snowy Queen's head. He winded up his throw and hurled the snowball forward with all his might.
He grinned when the ball hit the snowman's head dead on. The force behind the throw sent the large ball of snow rolling backward off of its shoulders.
"And furthermore—" Jervis came to another stop when his snowman's head landed in his hands.
Jonathan burst into hysterics when Jervis let out another shriek and he saw the snowman's head launch into the air. Jervis darted behind a tree as the Queen's head hit the ground and shattered. Jonathan tried to stifle his laughter with little success, trying to compose himself.
Jervis peeked around the tree, a small grin on his face. Ah, how he loved it when Jonathan actually relaxed enough to allow himself to laugh…it was a rare occasion that his friend laughed while out of costume. He glanced over at where the Queen's broken head lay, putting on an expression of mortification. "You beheaded the Queen…" he pointed out obviously. He lifted his chin ever-so-slightly in confidence. "I accept your challenge. For the Queen!"
Jonathan, having finally stopped laughing, smirked. "Let's see what you've got," he said provokingly.
Neither men were known for their physical attributes when it came to strength, but they both had remarkable accuracy. One had to be able to hit a target when working on the other side of the law… Most of the snowballs met their mark, but they didn't hurt. The two ran around the trees surrounding the clearing, hiding behind them and hurling snowballs at the other.
Jervis risked a peek around the tree he was hiding behind. His eyes scanned for any hint of Jonathan's location. He didn't want to admit it, but Jonathan had the upper hand in their battle; his thin and lanky form allowed him to hide much easier than Jervis.
He jumped slightly when he felt a snowball hit his arm. He looked off in that direction, but found no sign of his friend. He blinked, a confused look on his face. "'Curiouser and curiouser…'" he whispered to himself.
Another snowball came flying at him. A small squeak of surprise escaped from the Englishman as he ducked behind the tree. He peered around the tree again at where the ball had come from.
He squeaked again when he was hit once more. His head whipped around to where he thought Jonathan was hiding and threw his snowball. After another snowball hit him in the side, he threw his arms up in defeat. "Alright, alright! You win!"
A triumphant laugh of victory sounded amidst the trees. Jonathan finally stepped out from behind an oak, a small smile on his face. He approached Jervis as he began dusting off the snow from his overcoat.
"My, Jonathan, you gave me a run for my money," Jervis said with a laugh, looking up at the auburn-haired man with a grin on his face. "Shall we call it a day?"
Jonathan glanced around at the clearing, pausing to study the two snowmen. "Hmm…yes, I believe we can," he replied.
Jervis's eyes strayed to his beheaded snowman, sorrow subtly creeping onto his face. "Ah, her poor majesty," he sighed. He took off his snowcap and held it over his heart, his sandy hair looking wild. "May she rest in peace."
A moment of silence was given to the decapitated snowman before Jervis looked back up at Jonathan with a grin on his face. "Shall we have some hot chocolate at my place?!" he asked excitedly.
Jonathan felt a small grin grow on his face. "Sounds like a plan," he answered.
Jervis clapped giddily and turned on his heel, pulling his hat back on. Jonathan's eyes lingered on the clearing for a moment longer before he turned as well. The two walked side by side away toward the forest's edge, leaving behind two of the strangest snowmen that had ever graced the wooded area.
Jonathan wouldn't have admitted it aloud, but he could honestly say he had fun today. He wasn't sure if it was the snow that allowed him to drop his callous nature, or if it was Jervis.
"'And though the shadow of a sigh may tremble through the story,'" Jervis mumbled, a content little smile on his face, "'for 'happier summer days' gone by, and vanish'd summer glory—It shall not touch with breath of bale the pleasance of our fairy-tale.'"
A/N: So, over the weekend, my humble little corner of the world had close to a foot of snow fall. It got me out of work on both Saturday and Sunday. With all that extra time, I wrote this. Hee hee, I figured if I got to have a snow day, then so did they.
I can see Jonathan Crane building a snowman like that (after being forced into it, of course). I also see him as the kind of man who could be calmed by the sight of falling snow.
And Jervis is like a little kid. Haha.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading! Feedback is always welcome.