This is the end of our tale. The final chapter. The truth is that it is the only way the story can end-with a single question.
Her arms were wrapped around him like eternity, encircling him in forevers. An endless relationship. A marriage of man and woman, conjoined by shaking arms. But then her hold loosened.
She stared up at him bleary eyed. Her heart felt heavy and her soul like lead. She was sinking into the grief of her fate. "Let's go home Anna." His hand wrapped around her waist guiding her away from the scene. The building was a burning heap of rubble and crumbling ashes.
"Home?" Home. She missed the rutty kitchen sink with pipes that clunked. The linoleum flooring that never stained.
"Yes, the hideout." She knew deep down that the Riddler had not meant her home but still the fact took her remaining strength away. She loathed him into exhaustion.
"That's your home, not mine." Bitterness laced her voice, turning the individual words hard with the sentiment.
The Riddler closed his eyes and sighed. He wished dearly that Anna could just let it go. So what, their first date had ended with a kidnapping. So what. She was lucky it hadn't ended with a funereal. She could be a real jerk sometimes.
"La-la-la- I can't hear you. I think the explosions and smoke have made you delirious." He placed his hands in his ears and humorously moved his head to and fro in a teeter totter motion.
As his head shifted back and forth, space to place, Anna felt a panic. She was going to be stuck in captivity with the Riddler for an eternity. A forever of death, murder, and destruction. "Please just let me go home. I've had enough. I don't think I can stand anymore deaths."
"Why on Earth did you decide to live in Gotham then?" He let out a small grin showing the upper half of his teeth. She was being silly. Gotham had the highest crime rate in the world (despite the bat's charming efforts).
"I wish I didn't." Anna looked towards the grimy skyscrapers above with an empty gaze.
"I can make that a reality you know. I'll admit it'd be hard on me, not having my contacts but". He placed his hand on his chin silently shifting through all the schematics. Furniture to bring. Items to sell. Appliances to buy. It was possible. "I'll manage."
Costa Rica was rather nice. Funds could easily be transferred. Banks were no less difficult to rob in outside lands. He could adapt. "In fact, it would be the easy. Setting up robberies. Staging heists. Ransoming politicians. No batman to stop me!" He went from pondering to ecstatic in seven seconds.
"Anna I would love to move. What do you think of Costa Rica?" He grabbed her hands and swung them to his chest.
The thought of being alone with the Riddler in a foreign country nearly had Anna hyperventilating. She'd be dead in the first week. If the Riddler's sudden mood swings didn't kill her, his criminality certainly would.
"No. There is no way in hell I am going to Costa Rica with you."
"It doesn't have to be Costa Rica. It can be France. I'm easy going. I'll adapt." He gave her a quick wink. He spoke to Anna in way that would make a bystander think that the decision to move from Gotham was her idea.
"I do not want to move." She spoke bluntly in hopes that the madman would understand her meaning. She was terrified he may not. Her body quivered. She was not moving to Costa Rica.
"Oh. In that case...let's get out of here. The smoke is giving me a headache." The Riddler held his temples, sparing an annoyed glance towards the warehouse.
"I suppose I'm not getting my deposit back from Cobblepott." The building was in a charred heap. Cobblepott was not going to be happy. He was going to have to make amends later -if he wished to keep reunions civil.
"Now I know this is going to be difficult for you Anna, but I strongly advise that you don't try and escape on our ride back to the hideout."She felt his hands pull her head up from the ground firmly holding her in place. His green eyes lacked compassion and compromise.
"No signaling to other cars that you are a hostage. No desperate SOS signals. No taking off your seatbelt as we pass a cop car. I have seen it all, and I can promise you that if you try it. "
"I will throw you into the trunk of the car. I don't want to. Especially after last time. But I will." He would not enjoy the consequences. He would likely end up putting a bullet into someone's head fulfilling his predetermined role as a monster.
"So behave." He looked into her eyes beseechingly. He hoped she would not make this anymore difficult then it had to be. He hated trying to get past police on his own blasted luck. But above all else he hated being a villain especially, when he just wanted Anna to like him.
The car ride was painfully silent. Each inhale and exhale was a deafening boom of noise. Each crinkle of leather a cacophony. The rumble of gravel excruciating.
"How can you stand it?" Anna blurted the thought out without heed.
"Stand what?" He was watching the road just as intensely as he was focusing on the sounds and words Anna made.
"Being a murderer. Doesn't it trouble you?" She didn't say the words cruelly, but still Edward flinched.
"Only if I get caught." He felt a quell of guilt. He meant for the statement to be humorous not psychotic. He wished she could understand the effort he went to for her.
"You are not normal." She was not going to risk a temper tantrum on the highway by telling him he was crazy.
"I suppose I'm not." He smiled brightly at the following silence. Then darkened at the flashing thought of Anna escaping.
He could just see it happening: 'Excuse me sir, do you know why I pulled you over?' He would shake his head no. Maybe fumble for his falsified license and registration. And his real gun. He wasn't stupid.
'Why no I can't imagine why. Was it my devilish good looks?' He'd start out with a smile. Maybe a wink.
'No not at all. It was the girl hanging halfway out your window and screaming bloody murder. ' Then he'd look over his shoulder. He would see Anna gripping his window clawing her way out.
'Why officer I had no idea it was illegal to help a girl in distress recover from carsickness.' The lie would be obvious and blatant. The officer would reach for his weapon. He his.
The officer would be faster. 'On the ground freak. I'll shoot. '
"Ow" He looked at Anna dazed. His hand was crushing hers. Whoops.
"Oh sorry." His hand left hers.
"Want to play eye spy?" He was feeling nervous. He needed a game to take the edge off. He was fairly close to turning into the nearest motel and spending the rest of his life at the Super 8 Motel. The horror.
Anna felt a cloud of awkwardness fill the car. She frowned looking at the passing Gotham streets. Up ahead there was a flash of neon lights. All advertising for some form of cheap entertainment. "Eye spy with my little eye something red"
"The Stacked Deck. Go again that was too easy"
"Ok. Eye spy with my little eye something ..." She nearly smiled at the sight in the spans of her window pane. "blue."
"Anna come now, try a little bit harder. That was obvious. The police car up ahead." The Riddler paused. "The police!"
He ran a stop light, hit the curve, and almost killed a pedestrian. All because he kept turning his head to make sure the lone cop car was not tailing them. He checked to see if Anna was in the car still.
"Please behave Anna. For the sake of my sanity". At least what was left of it. He was staring at the road swerving into tight corners driving forty miles over the speed limit. Anna clutched his arm terrified of death.
"I will. Just please, please slow down." He did. Reluctantly.
When they reached his new hideout he smiled at Anna using all of his teeth. Rows of sharp white edges.
Anna was feeling a strong sense of déjà vu. She had gone through this scene in one too many acts. Get kidnapped. Get rescued. Get kidnapped. It was a never ending cycle of pain.
"Welcome back Anna." He gestured grandly at the abandoned gas station. "I've missed you dearly." Anna felt tears streak down her cheeks on their own accord. Leaving slippery trails of wet behind. She did not want this. She did not want his love. His affection. His kindness. She wanted her home, the warmth of her couch cushions, the half brewed coffee. She wanted to get a thousand and one miles away from Edward Nigma.
"Now, now, no tears. I won't have it. " His hands touched her cheeks moving along the wet streaks baffled by the pattern. She was pretty even covered with sadness.
"You're safe now. No more bad men, just me" He smiled his smile with those rows of sharp rows of white. As if that was much better. Out of the fire and into the center of hell with the devil himself for company.
He held her with a cold certainty as Anna weakened and succumbed to blind hysterics. There were tears, yes. Clear streaks of blurred and youthful fear. Unnecessary acts without heed. She did not know his heart.
She likely would not. But his heart was his own. Just as any man with a will and title had the right to possess.
It was his to break, take, or give. He had broken it into fragments before. He had stitched it back into place with hate and mean acts that served no other purpose other than to hurt. He had taken his heart into a prison of darkness carrying little for others. He had become a Narcissist.
He now was giving his heart freely away to Anna. She may have refused it. Abused his honesty, his patronly kindness. He had returned her insults with quick bouts of anger and elaborate vengeances. He was not the best of men but he knew his heart.
He knew its every tremor and beat just as he knew the wide plains of his genius. He knew the way it sped at the small frightened breaths of Anna at the beginning. The way it ached when her lips curled upwards into the crinkles of her eyes. His heart was Anna's. He would be damned if anyone who held Edward Nigma's heart would not give him ownership of their own reddened organ.
Her heart was his and no amount of tears or anger could change that. He had killed women as they sat and wept. Not directly of course. The weeping came after the failed riddle attempt. He had watched anger cloud the mental faculties of supposedly brilliant police men. They died quickly in his death traps.
Anna was not some sniveling woman or angry police officer.
She was Anna. His Anna. His heart.
Ripping out one's own heart was not practical nor a plausible solution.
"Stop crying. It won't change things. I won't let you go. I will not let you escape and I will not suddenly leave you be." He pushed her hair behind her ears, pressing small hard kisses to her forehead. No more.
"Can't you understand I need you? You've become an extra body part for me, and one I cannot afford to lose." This incessant crying had to stop. The barrage of angry words must cease. He would have no more.
"What happens when all of this is over?" Her eyes were blood-shot and swollen. Edward Nigma's were white and glossy. Like a mirror that reflect what it chose and hid what it refused to see.
"Have you thought of that Edward. What happens when I can't love you? What happens to me?" The Riddler's riddle was not that he was cruel nor was it that he was evil. His riddle was that he could never see the truth of things.
His view of the world was twisted and his actions twisted with it. Gnarled choices made, as frail attempts to right wrongs and mold happiness. The Riddler was a miserable man. Unhappy in life not because of his brilliance but because of a lie.
He told himself he was a genius to hide the fact he hadn't a friend in the world to share his thoughts with. He told himself they were unworthy to disguise his anger at their rejection. He hid under the fact of his high IQ to make up for abandonment. Bank heists and robberies all meshed together a clear puzzle of a man that wanted to reshape a world to fit him. Because he would and never had fit in.
He tried to and failed. In his failure he became worse and worse with each turn. Until finally all that remained was the villain. The burnt char of past and present culminated into a solid figure.
"You will have your happily ever after. We get married have kids. Live behind a white picket fence and live the fairy tales you believed as a child. The end" He rubbed her arms up and down pretending she was shivering because of the cold and not the finality of his bluntness. He was frowning. His hands shook as he held her waist. Drawings of invisible circles covered her hips.
Anna understood this man better than the Arkham psychologists could ever hope to. He was the Riddler because the character of Edward Nigma had failed him. He cared so deeply for what others thought of him, and so he became something capable of holding their attention. As Edward Nigma he was a failure, in career, class, and life. Unloved and unappreciated. Taken advantage of, and wished outside of existence on thoughtless whims. Ignored.
So he became the Riddler to take from the people what he was owed.
He was owed the attention his parents starved him of. Constant forgotten games, contests, and dinners. There was not a day that he could remember he had not had to tear his father's eyes from the television set by meanness and wicked scheme. A misplaced cigarette ember upon a velvet cushion. A sudden power outage. A drugged cola. He was not a nice child and his father was a cruel man. He never did forget their father son discussions about the sudden misfortunes occurring to daddy darling. Inside his room; door locked as boy and father stood away from escape and prying eyes; he always lied knowing there was no proof, and father needed none. The pain had taught him how to use his quick wits and to never reveal his secrets. It had also filled his heart with a hidden rage.
He was owed love. His childhood he hadn't the love of a mother. He was just an extra cost on an unbalanced budget. She had wanted an abortion but couldn't go through with it. He wished she had, at least then he would never hear of the misery he created when her lips became soaked with booze and mint schnapps. She had taught him to take everything he needed with no remorse and to demand attention from everyone else to prove how much better he was than them all. So much better than her.
School was a palace of knuckle dragging apes who could not understand true intellect. He was bullied and beaten for his victories. He cheated and lied his way into the top not to avoid the work, but to prove he could. He became a wordsmith and magician, the trickster of riddles. He was both hated and riddled in return with brutish attack. He learned to hate back and hurt back. Joey broke his own wintery white leg tripping in the dark of the school hallways a week after Edward's rubbery nose was broken. He learned to destroy.
Anna was a gift that made no sense in its payment. He was owed something fortunate to befall him and he would have it paid to him. His heart had never known such feelings and aches and he was going to keep it that way. He had waited long enough for his cosmic repay and he would have no more of her struggles. Had he not laid bare his heart for her? Had he not forestalled his anger for her benefit, his callous nature? Why had it not been enough?
She came by fate. By all that made him a man he'd have her by force if that was what it took.
Not immediately of course. He wasn't about to associate with the needy outcries of the desperate male. He was far better than such evils. Whether she came to stand by his side now or later was a matter of time. And time moves all the more quickly in fast forward.
He before had been reluctant in utilizing this form of fond action out of a prideful belief that his mere affection would hold her still. It was not affecting her with the desired result of friendliness and he desired her attentions now. He would wait no longer for meager smiles and humor ridden glances. He wanted what she denied, and he would have it without her consent.
"Anna have I ever told you how I became the Riddler? What led me to become the man I am today?" He began fumbling with a Rubik cube. Solving it again and again without expression.
"A little bit. But" She hated that face when it became bereft of emotion. It was frightening.
"Not everything correct?" He frowned as he messed up on a single sequence of the cube. Disgraceful.
"No." She was feeling very wary of this tale.
"You asked me earlier why I do what I do so I'll give you the formal answer. I do it because I never want to feel the way I felt as Edward Nigma." He felt a string of unpleasant emotion rise so he absorbed himself with the cube.
He began with the past. Stories of an abusive father a hateful mother. "She never wanted me. She thought of me more as a bill than a blessing." The cube was solved.
The unfortunate school days. The even worse times as an employee who overworked himself to gain a remembrance from his boss. He was always screwed instead. "He didn't appreciate my brilliance. He thought I would just silently fade into the background. I didn't." The cube was solved again. Too easy.
"That was my first time. As the Riddler you know. I started out planning to just scare my boss, then I got so mad, at how someone so stupid, could be so high up in a company of scumbags that I went above and beyond. I almost killed the man. And I will always wish I did" He wasn't even looking down at the cube, but knew it was solved yet again.
"I am the Riddler, Anna, because Edward Nigma could have never done the things I have done. I was a failure because I let people walk all over me, thinking that the longer I waited, the more patience I had, the more likely I would be remembered." He let the cube fall from his hand.
"But Anna, when I finally took what I needed, when I put on the mask I became a success. I had money, fame and infamy. My father used to call me a moron but after I switched the labels on his pill case I showed him who the real moron was. I am cruel because it works better than being an intelligent nobody surrounded by morons. I am the Riddler" He felt strangely hollow. Empty.
"You weren't a nobody because you let people push you around. You are a nobody because you think that just because someone is less intelligent than you they are less than human."
"I don't think that about you. I don't. Not really anyways. I think sometimes I really want to blow your brains out but not really. The truth is I just like you plain and simple." He fluctuated between anger and sorrow. He was too confused to pick one emotion so he remained impartial.
"I am not a nobody anymore Anna. I'm past that. Everyone knows my name, the mask, the famous crimes. I am a legend. But it isn't enough. I want something I cannot borrow, or steal. I want you." He said it with pride, power, and a pitiful need.
He reached towards her not trying to force his way in but simply making known his intent. He gripped the back of her head by a means that was not cruel but warning. Should she try and refuse him again he would not be capable of retaining the colored sea of jagged emotions crashing throughout his mental channels. Electrified waves of action and reaction.
He splayed both of his hands on the nape of her neck, thumbs relaxed warily onto her pulse point. Just in case. Should she refuse such a basic and harmless bout of human affection... he would not be caught off guard or without the proper disciplinary actions.
He leaned in towards her, his eyelids falling nearly shut. Her lips hadn't an ounce of makeup on but they were so pink, so beautiful. Her mouth came agape and his palms got sweaty.
She couldn't believe this was happening. He had begun by placing his hands around her neck to choke her and now he was kissing her with his tongue pressing against hers.
He closed his eyes fully as he felt her tongue press into his not willingly of course but as a means to push him away. He pushed harder. She would not do so not to him. Not ever.
He dropped one hand away from her neck to pull her waist and body wantonly against his. He'd stop soon; he would not push her much further. He just needed her to feel what he felt for one moment in time. Just a moment to see the insides of his brain. Well maybe not his brain necessarily, but him certainly.
He pulled away looking at her rosy cheeks and shocked expression with shining eyes. Her eyes looked fearful. She did not love him.
Her eyes held shock and confusion but not what he wanted. It would never be enough. He was always trying to prove himself the smartest, the most brilliant, the world's greatest criminal. But here, just like when he tried to make his father proud, when he wanted his classmates' respect, a mother's attention; he was failing.
He was going to have to let her go soon. He couldn't force her to love him. Batman was right It would be a failure.
Anna closed her eyes to shut out Edward Nigma's watering eyes. It was painful to see the way he looked like child. So innocent. He was breaking down and it hurt to watch.
She wished she didn't but she did. Her hand pulled at his arm, and she was holding his shoulder. She pulled him down towards her and pressed her lips onto the plane of his cheek. Softly. Gently.
It was wrong of her to encourage him, but who was not so human that they could bear to see the remaining fragments of a man's sanity flake away completely.
"Anna you don't love me do you?" He held her firmly away to hold her eyes with his.
"I'm sorry Edward but I can't" She wanted to look away. But his gaze was hard and inescapable. There was so much pain.
"Why not?" The question was guileless. Simple.
"Because you hurt people and you enjoy it." It was the root of his issues. Not everything but most of it.
"But I have saved you too. I've taken care of you better than any other man could hope to do." He pointed it out proudly and as an attempt to prove the hero. He was so much superior to the rife filling Gotham.
"Edward..." Her voice came out tiredly.
"Anna, do not lie to me. You've cared for me. There were good moments too." He would not have her pretend that he was some awful ogre who had taken the princess from the castle's stronghold. If anything he was the prince who had rescued the peasant.
She would not deny it. She had fun shopping having, him act like a comedic seven year old. He had been good to her. Not completely bad. "There were good moments. But Edward I need some sort of normalcy. I was not meant to live a life of crime or next to it.
"I have one last question, Anna. Humor me. If let's just say we met under different circumstances and I wasn't the Riddler would you consider at the very least giving me a chance?" His eyes were glowing green embers of affection.
" Edward, things are not different. "
"I know what is. Tell me what if." He petulantly held a hand at his hip and the other on his chin.
"I suppose I would have. Yes I would have." It was the truth.
"Thank you. Anna. One day you are going to remember this conversation and understand why I am the Riddler and Edward Nigma. And one day I'll figure out how to be both." He pledged it with his hand upon his heart.
"I promise" He knelt down to grab the fallen Rubik cube that often he would fiddle around with when his temper rose or his annoyance flared. He did so as a coping mechanism to prevent his temper from flaring. It prevented abuse with Anna. It had never failed to grant him peace.
"Anna I hope you can solve this one day. And I hope you will be ready." He handed her the cube and grabbed a phone.
"What are you doing?" She was confused by the phone.
"Calling the cops silly. There has been a kidnapping recently and I believe it's time for the lady to go home." He smiled at her sadly and wisely.
"You're joking. You're tricking me." There was no way he would willingly let her go.
"Hello Gotham Police Headquarters this is Edward Nigma. The Riddler. No this is not a prank you moronic oaf. I have Anna Riddel here with me the address is 1141 Jigsaw Grove. The abandoned gas station. Do not make me wait" His tone was hard, angry, and final. But it was truthful.
"Where are you going to go?" She was curious what he would do.
"I think I will wait here with you. It's funny, batman was right. You don't love me." He sat in the floor close to her an motioned for her to join him.
"No I don't. I'm sorry." She sat next to him.
"Don't be. It was my fault I came on too strong and well burnt a lot of your stuff up. Besides, I'm not going to give up on you. Not yet." He chuckled pushing his hand upon her shoulder half-heartedly.
"Don't worry I'm done with the kidnapping. I think I will try another route." He laughed harder, shaking his head.
"What's that?" She was wary. Oh so wary.
"It's a secret but I know you'll figure it out soon enough. You're smart enough." He winked.
"Promise me it won't be violent." She held his mischievous gaze. She be dammed if he kidnapped her again.
"I'll pinky swear on it." They both smiled at the gesture of their intertwined pinkies. It was an unbreakable promise that he would keep. He never lied, well mostly never...
The sirens came. Flashes of blue and red covered the concrete ground as they both walked away. Edward in cuffs, and Anna with a weight on her heart. She ended her captivity with the Riddler, but a part of her was lingering with Edward Nigma, the man with a dramatic flair and egotistic excitements. She hated to admit it but she might just miss that part of him.
In the back of the squad car Anna fiddled with the Rubik cube in silence and Edward waved at her with a wide smile, handcuffed and happy. "Don't solve it yet darling. Wait a while but don't you dare cheat. Pinky swear!"
She held up a pinky and Edward fell back into line.
Batman watched the scene with a tight frown. In the shadows he held still and silent knowing he was due for a chat with Edward.
"I know that you don't willingly wave the white flag of surrender often so what made you change your mind." His eyes were hard coals searing Edward's gusto. He felt uncomfortable as well as irritated.
"I'm loathing to admit it, but you were right and I was well...blinded. She doesn't love me." he would never admit to being wrong to glorify batman. Not ever.
"And you're going to let her go. Just like that." He knew Edward well enough to know that he never just up and quit a scheme, only utter defeat stopped him. Seldom he quit, unless on the rare occasion, his sense of self-preservation decided to kicked in.
"Just like that. But just because she doesn't love me now doesn't mean she won't love me, now does it?" He folded his chained hands into his lap smugly.
"You so much as go near her Riddler..." There it was. He knew the sudden quit was an act. His hands gripped Edward's collar in anger.
"Relax. I am done with that nonsense. She didn't love me because I was the Riddler. The big bad rogue." His hands patted batman's gloves reassuringly. The sudden contact had the bat quickly removing His hands from Edward's collar. No doubt from experience with Crane.
"Listen here bat bait, I'm reforming. I'm going back to being Edward Nigma. And then I'll finally prove you wrong." He would prove batman wrong one way or another. Maybe it wasn't how he always pictured it but it was still savory. Oh how he regretted the defeat couldn't be the sounds of anguish as a school bus dropped onto the caped crusader. Take what you can get Edward cautioned himself.
"No you won't" Batman had to force the hard line of his lips flat.
"Yes I will! I'm going to be an exemplary citizen of Gotham. A class act. There will be nothing you can do to stop me!" He jumped onto his chair holding his hands at his hips showing his sincerity at the declaration with two clearly unshackled sets of limbs. He picked the locks during their conversation. Whoopsies.
Some villains needed something other than threats. Some villains needed a reason to change, to reform, and start behaving. Edward needed a challenge. And for Edward the obsessive need to prove himself right over the batman was a great incentive. Bruce Wayne hoped sincerely he could prove batman wrong. Just once.
Batman's lips curved upwards a single millimeter. Not enough to notice but enough for him to feel.
Edward growled at batman's annoying need to be the ever righteous town crier. He was such a tattletale. There was no need to call the guards in to recuff him. Just once he'd prove that infernal bat wrong. Just once.
Two months had passed. Anna had been fumbling around with the cube for a month. She hated the moments where she would get through three rows and then blamo. Straight back to the beginning.
After so many close calls, Anna had finally solved the Rubik cube. It was a painful ordeal that took hours of free time. But that is why they call it free time.
Anna expected some grand show to appear after the accomplishment but nothing happened. She set the block down onto the front page of her newspaper in disappointment.
Something on the front page caught her attention: Edward Nigma, aka The Riddler Released from Arkham. She grabbed at the paper causing her Rubik cube to fall to the ground.
The cube smashed into various blocks. Inside the blocks folded away was a note, and a glittering object-a gold ring! A glittering ring set with a sharp clear stone that refracted the outer light of her kitchen acutely.
She opened the note carefully, halfway frightened the paper would combust. The handwriting was hurried yet clear. It read:
"I suspect in your frustration to solve my puzzle you have likely smashed the object upon the ground. I am Edward Nigma, don't look so surprised. You're predictable." He was so aggravatingly full of himself Anna nearly set the letter afire. Wouldn't he be just shocked that she had solved his dumb puzzle on her own.
"I told you I wouldn't give up on you and I meant it. I hope I have become the sort of man you would give a second chance. I hope I've at least tried and successfully reformed. If not, pawn the ring. It is worth- well I'm not really sure. A pretty penny I suppose." She bet the ring was stolen. She frowned as she realized she did not really want to return it.
"I have one last question for you- just keep the question in mind. You won't have to answer yet. Some answers will come more slowly. Think of it as the one riddle only you can solve." He was stalling. His writing was rushed and jarred.
"So" There was quite a bit of space between these lines, almost as if he was trying to dramatically forestall his question.
"Will you?-E. Nigma."Anna held the ring and smiled. She placed it on the paper, and began reading the article.
He was starting a private eye detective agency and planned on providing services to solve crimes that even baffled even the great batman. He was making a-to use his own words "a clean start". He was going to become a model citizen.
Will you? She wondered.