(A/N:) This was originally suppose to be a chapter to "Where Night is Blind", but the third chapter of that fic took on a mind of it's own, and this didn't fit anymore, but Lasgalendil, another friend of mine on this site, heard me read this and thought it was good as a stand alone. I agree. So...this may be random, but I was reading "The Spider and the Fly" by Mary Howitt and I was inspired to write this. This is Scarecrow's point of view, and could be thought of as a different way Scarecrow could think about Harley. The name of this one-shot means "fear of beautiful women"...I couldn't find a name for "fear of getting your heart ripped out".
Disclaimer: I'm nothing more than a college student who's apparent enjoyment is loading herself down with plot bunnies that really breed like bunnies. I don't own The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, or any character belonging to that franchise or DC in general. Sometimes I think that may be a good thing.
A hand encased in the darkest of raven leather gestured to him, nimble fingers coy and sly. Every nerve in his body was alight in a cry of warning, of caution.
No.Do not follow, turn away.
Yet the shadows sang to him, she sang to him. She bid him follow, and he loved danger, the feeling of its spidery caress across his skin tantalizing. He wasn't frightened, not of this slip of a girl. He was the Master of Fear in repose; it was he who was to be feared. The fingers pulled him closer, but he was not strung, he came of his own accord. He ignored all caution, it was probably only Jonathan again. He really could do without his hesitance. He was a man of sure tastes, not waning wants. He wanted and he would have. It was the witching hour and he would bewitch.
His feet echoed around him through the corridor, darkness invading every nook of the hallway. Moonlight filtered in from windows that lined his way, but never shattered the pitch, the recess where she continued to gesture. He followed, no hesitance in his step. In his mind the whispers continued, but he pushed them aside. Jonathan could hush. Scarecrow was in control and he would do as he pleased. He stared ahead, each step gaining confidence, speed. He would catch the nymph that teased him and attempted to string him.
Suddenly a movement, the flash of a glittering blonde tress caught his eye as abruptly the darkness disappeared and the woman turned a corner. A giddy, bell laugh followed her. Scarecrow grinned, eyes darkened and mouth stretched ferally. So it was cat and mouse she wanted to play? He quickened and with a speed appropriate of his lanky, long-legged figure, he whipped around the corner as well.
Laughter, her musical laughter called to him. He strolled forward boldly into the dimness. The light began to leave, growing less and less until he could no longer see. Yet still the laugh, her daring song played—beguiling little siren. He pressed his palms against the walls, feeling the even texture of paint grate against the tough skin. He pushed off the wall, renewed, mind bidding him to win. He would have his prize, he would cherish his prize. He ran, praying that her tenor came closer. She seemed within his grasp, within the bleakness of no light. Yet he knew the tricks of the dark. He slowed just a moment, took a step, and reached out tentatively.
Nothing. He felt nothing assault his fingers, but his toe met with something. He kicked curiously again at the obstacle in his way, if obstacle it was. It was as if someone had lifted the shades from a multitude of windows above. Soft, tendrils of light flooded his path then. There a was a stair, a winding stair.
No. Turn back. The stairs will take you away. You will not return.
'Shut up!' He screeched and as if to spite the voice in his mind, placed a foot on the stair and agonizingly slow, took a step. He chuckled darkly at the wailing erupting in his mind. He was in control, him, and no one would take his freedom for now. Far too many lovely prospects were available to even think of relinquishing power. He alighted another stair, and another. There was no sign of his temptress, but she was not far. He could sense it in the air, like the tantalizing and lingering taste of vanilla and wine. She was still there, a seductive vesper, and he would not give up. He continued to pick his way up the flight of steps, and soon enough he came to be rewarded.
A dark, wooden door that stood at the summit of stairs opened. She was silhouetted against the light that flooded onto the top of the stairs from the room. He heard her snicker.
"Come," she beckoned and slowly backed into the room, her arm outstretched towards him.
Her voice rose again to amusement and with one last, flick of her wrist towards him the door shut upon her visage. He felt his lips twitch into an devious grin. What a cunning little dove, she was taunting the hawk, but how he loved games; especially games that offered such a reward as the woman he pursued. He swiftly brought himself to the top of the stairs and he reached out a hand to the doorknob. A shriek that broke the silence of his conscious caused him to hiss, he grabbed his head and shook it. He gripped the knob against the obvious plead within, and opened the door.
Upon peering inside, the room was silent, empty. He glared ahead of him, if he had just missed his tempting little butterfly because of that annoying voice...Jonathan–
That decadent scent, that alluring aroma that could only be hers, wafted to his nose. He turned gaze from wall to the centerpiece of the room. It was a canopy bed, crimson curtains drawn about it. He tilted his head, brown hair falling to shade his eyes as he nimbly walked towards the mahogany frame. His body was stiff with anticipation. He grabbed the fabric hiding the mattress from his view and none too gently threw it aside, mouth set into a mocking smile. His expression fell, however, at finding the golden donned mattress void of body, yet evidence of one having been there creased the downy comforter and pillows.
She had filled the space and he drank the sight that her body had lied there at some point. How he wished to recline there, hold her there, reveling from behind curtains, tucked in secret, as he played the orchestra of passion, teaching her merrily of its hauntingly saccharine song, so light and yet so dark. He bent down to touch a pillow, but once again he was halted.
Lie upon this bed, immersed in slumber or euphoria and thou shalt never awake again. Leave now, whilst the choice is still there. Run! Get out! NOW!
He tsked, rolling his eyes as if looking within his skull. He could not do that. He chuckled, but leave he would. He'd leave this room. He cast his gaze around until it settled on the sole way out. He ran a hand through his hair and made his way to the wood door that barred his way and opened it with the expectation of a child into a pantry.
He might as well have been met with the sight of the most gourmet of sweets. There she stood, upper body swathed in moonlight and decked in ebony. She seemed to be frozen in the hallway, gaze directed ahead. Only the flaxen of her hair caught the moonlight from a skylight above. Her arms were clasp before her, and with a silent, victorious laugh to himself he took a step forward. Her head seemed to tilt then, such an innocent gesture, a stark contrast to her previous meddling nature, her instigation of a chase. He saw her body still even more tensely and then her arms rose above her head.
She pirouetted and twisted to face him, but streams of her golden locks hid her face from him and she bowed gracefully, her movements alluring and ethereal. They caught him and he found himself following her as she swept back into the darkness just beyond the lone beam of nightlight.
Something caused him pause in the dark. Not the voice, though he could feel the unease. That was chased away however by a soft touch along his jaw. He leaned into it only to find himself abandoned. The brush of fingers around his chest. He reached for them only to find himself clutching at nothing but thin air. It sounded like the soft jingle of the smallest bells, her laugh. For a moment he felt her hand tug his, but as soon as it pulled it was gone. For scant seconds he did not move again.
Bid this goodnight, sweet dream and leave. Be pleased at her silent compliments, but turn back and go. You know what you are playing with. She is–
Scarecrow growled. He pushed the thoughts away, refusing to acknowledge the voice. He finally pressed on through the darkness. His body met another door, this one the sweet and pungent odor of cedar. He inhaled deeply. His hand found the handle, he twisted it, he prepared to press his weight against the door to continue his search, the door opened minutely, and–
NO! It is a trick! She is too enthralling, too sweet! The sugar is ash, the scent of death! Turn away! GO! This is your last chance! Surely you can see it! Do not be a fool, think rationally, a pretty exterior...It can hide a soul of teeth and poison. She will devour you. Those who enter her parlor never return, nor those that enter her bed, and her pantry is not worth a coin. Turn away, fool soul. Turn away, I beg! I BEG!
For once he hesitated at these words, so desperate, so loud. Could there be weight to the warning, should it be followed?
"A dead end, no, no!"
Came a soft cry from within the room. It reached his ears through the ajar door he still held open. Caught? At his mercy. He chuckled and despite a scream in his mind he opened the door.
He stood in the doorway, eyes dark in delight.
There she stood, gaze on him, sapphires filled with terror. It was beautiful.
Gold framed a creamy complexion, rosy mouth parted in fright. Hands no longer clothed in black clutched such a thin gown of darkest scarlet.
He took one step forward, eyes on such a lovely prize. It was his turn to offer her a hand. He only thought of reward, of victory as she demurely dropped her grip.
Tricks. It's all tricks.
She took a step, then another. He opened his arms to welcome her and shut his eyes. He basked in accomplishment, dark cunning.
Silly little fly...
His eyes snapped open at that pitying, melancholy declaration.
Too late...the silly little fly...You're–
He stared down at the woman in his arms. Her eyes were no longer frightened. They were filled with maliciousness. Her mouth was upturned in a pure corroded smirk. He tried to pull away, but her arms wrapped around him. She kissed his jaw and he was paralyzed. She drew back slightly and raised her hand and then with a dark laugh, she plunged it into his chest.
He screamed, hearing his pain reverberate off the walls around them, which had begun to darken. He collapsed to the floor and felt his heartbeat quicken in...in...fear. Then came the searing agony, wordless screams issuing from his mouth, as she tugged. He almost thought he'd lose consciousness, but then it stopped and he fell to breathing deeply. He cast his stare to her.
In her hand sat his rapidly beating heart. She stared at it in curiosity and then smirked sadistically. She brought the pulsing organ to her lips and they fell on it gently, but then she shoved with force further and her teeth sank into the covering.
He shrieked, hand flying to his chest as blood stained her mouth and the floor, but she was still devouring his heart. He screamed, feeling it as if it was still within him. His screams grew in volume.
"STOP! STOP! ST-"
He bolted upwards, strangling a shriek in his throat. He instantly fell back into a durable mattress, breath coming in short, fast pants. His heart was loud in his ears. He felt its vibrations against his ribs.
It was a dream, nothing but a dream. He hardly dreamed. He turned over on his side, trying to regain his bearings. He was in Arkham Asylum, not in a strange house. He was not chasing after a woman, a seductive little...
Harleen, that had been Harleen. He drew up his legs to his chin and for first time in his life, Scarecrow wept.
"Jonathan..." He whispered. "Jonathan..."
What was this? Scarecrow was the Master of Fear! He was a nightmare incarnate. He wasn't suppose to be afraid. This fear wasn't satisfying, it was crippling, agonizing.
Harley Quinn was dangerous, was she just as deadly to him too? Would he actually be only a victim to her like he so wished to see others?
He had always been the predator. Why that dream? Why now?
Harley was manipulative, he could see it. She was just as versed in psychology as himself. She could be partner or threat...And Scarecrow was realizing something, something that had gnawed at him. He was coming to realize that he was terrified. Harley could be a spider and for once in his life...
"Jonathan!" He gritted his teeth and his voice was pitiful. "Jonny!" He clutched his chest, that image haunting him still.
...For once in his life...he was terrified he may be nothing but a silly fly.