"It is not enough to conquer, one must know how to seduce."

Voltaire (1694-1778) Mérope; 1743


I just wanted to be brave. I just wanted to finally forget my hesitance. I only wanted to prove myself to me. I didn't care about the world; at least…I told myself that. It was innocent, but you, you just had to make it more didn't you? You asked so many questions of me, now I have one…Why?! Why did you do it? Why couldn't you leave me alone?

I still remember quite vividly all those years of grade school, even college. I remember the stares, the jeers, the hurtful words. I remember how they judged me without even knowing, without even questioning the possibilities of my condition. I remember still others telling me how strong I was. They called me strong? I was only falling. It was a cloudy, dark shadow I hid behind. I studied until my brain couldn't hold anymore, I spent my time alone. It was better for studying, I claimed. I was only hiding. I just…didn't want to be hurt again. Damn you for knowing that. Why couldn't you have stopped there, surely you could have understood that I wanted nothing to do with you? It wasn't personal, no…never…I just wanted to stand up for myself. I wanted to stop hiding, but even then…Even then…I was still hiding.

No one saw me. Why would they? I was ordinary, I never really stood out. I was just a name in the class roster. Becky…Rebecca Albright. It was miniscule, a label. No one cared. My parents did, those souls, but parents have to love their kids, right? My nature was quiet, almost as if a repellant of its own. I was helpful, but I never volunteered for anything, hell I never even volunteered on my own to testify against you. He talked me into it, you know…Batman. I just wanted to be normal, I was tired of hiding…but I was I always wearing a mask. After I spoke against you, I thought it was over. Yet, you couldn't take it. You just couldn't fathom how I could stare into your disguised face and not be frightened. There are far more things on Earth and in the heavens to fear than you, but you took my unspoken vow and made it your challenge. You're a freak, I hate you, I hate…

Dark streets and your voice, that muffed voice and that smell of gas and burlap…They still haunt my dreams where you stand, a God of fear be-decked in suit and sack. Your icy, glass eyes are the only strident things. They peer from beneath that coarse stitching and they pierce my soul, dancing, always dancing as if you're watching an enthralling play, but you're watching me…and that stare makes my skin crawl. I was always ordinary, but…no…I can't…and I won't…You watched me intensely awaiting for my screams that proved I was afraid of you. You watched me, daring me to rebuke and reject you. Are you dissatisfied in the end that my fears never calculated you into the equations that made my screams so shrill? Are you angry that I rejected you? No one had ever stared at me with the intensity you had. That penetrating stare still chills me.

I could never be like you. It didn't matter then. I couldn't let it go, I couldn't lose control. What did you see in me? Why me? There are many people who share your past, so why chose me? I wasn't special. My scarecrow, why me? Why do I see it? Why haven't I thrown it away? It sits in my closet…that outfit. Why does it fit me like glove, as if I was made for it? Why do I still have it?

Those questions, I dare not answer. No, not now, because more are strumming my mind, raw strings, each more terrifying and telling than the last. Why is Arkham Asylum so cold? Why am I walking down this hallway? Why? Why? Why?! Why am I wearing it?

Here stands Brave Becky. Brave. Plucky. Becky…They thought they knew me well…

A king. I am the King of Fear, of Horror. Odes of screams are my waltz. I became this quite suddenly, but a king cannot complain of his birth, he did become King after all, right? It began so simply. I was crowned in thorns from my birth. Bastard, unwanted, you get the drift. I suffered for my intelligence, for my appearance, but I plowed through. I told myself that it didn't matter, that the world was only a chip on my shoulder. I was only a kid when I decided to forget the world…Only a kid…so disillusioned.

I threw myself into studying psychiatry, pharmacology. I graduated from Gotham University as Valedictorian and at twenty-five…so young…I graduated from the medical school in the same institution. You see, I tried to hide from the world too. And let me tell you: it never works. That anger, that hate, it just builds. Builds until even in the face of being used, the world is a chasm, but you stand there above it all. And it feels wonderful.

I was invisible behind my desk as director of Arkham at first and then, I met him. He offered me a chance to hold a city random. Ra's al Ghul…how could I stand down an opportunity such as that? Perhaps no one would know what I had I done, but I would…and I thought that was enough, but when that glorious night known to all Gotham as "Fear Night" came—an appropriate name, don't you think? It just rings with screams. Ah…but I digress. When I found out that my toxin, the concoction I had brewed and tested painstakingly, was being dispersed I had to play, Becky. I just had to. And I loved the fear that ran rampant in the streets, it was better than murder and blood. It was madness and I was the king of the mound.

All rejoice before me, Scarecrow! Grovel at my feet! I am fear! I am! I am King, but even I am not vain enough to admit I was complete. Alone kings are not complete and despite your efforts to convince yourself otherwise, I am not incapable of love. Once I saw the woman who embodied my queen, I couldn't deny its existence.

A god needs a goddess. You were dancing there, brave so brave. I wanted to break you; I'll admit it was petty anger at first. I wanted revenge. Who would dare testify against me so neutrally? The answer was you. You, always you. I tried to bend you, I tried to break you in ire. I wanted to see your mind crushed because of me. I wanted you to scream because I was the Master of Nightmares. No one escaped the Master of Fear! Until you. Plucky, brave, Becky! I hated you for it! I had so many chances to end the pursuit, but suddenly I loved the chase. Your flushed face, your breath…it entranced me. So sweet was the scent of your fear, of me, but ah…you still fought. I couldn't stand you! But then…

I was finally in the presence of your symphony. I held the wand aloft and the epitome of your song came, but your screams became my noose. While they were beautiful at first, abruptly I realized it was not my mercy you were begging for. Had you been anyone else, I would have become infuriated—actually I expected I would have—but first came respect. You were you, it would have been a sad disappointment to chase you, my little mouse only to see you give up. Then I couldn't breathe; your terror took on words.

Who hurt you? With every beat of my suddenly stricken heart I realized I was not staring upon some foolish girl, but I was staring down at me. Rebecca…your screams became a song that pierced my very soul. Only you, dear Becky, could have altered my attitude towards you. Once angry and petulant, I became sympathetic and caring. I wanted to hold you, gather you into my arms, but I couldn't. You would recover soon, thus I fled, suddenly unable to stare at you. I feared you then.

Becky, the only one to ever elicit fright in me because you were a mirror, a compliment, I had to have you. Though you saw the burlap exterior, I am a man still yet with a heart and brain and blood that warms me. But I am incomplete. A master needs a mistress.

I wanted you. I stitched you your gift, a compliment to me, an offer to you. You rejected me, I wanted to apologize for the terror I put you through, but don't you see now that it was necessary. I regret that I acted so rashly before and even then. Becky, you were the second woman to deny my heart, you reminded me of a pain I had long wished forgotten. You tore open the torso, pulled out my straw. You rejected me! But Becky, I never would have killed you, no…I don't care what you said, I could see through you. You were frightened and that first step is the hardest.

For a moment I was only a man wanting a woman who was hesitant. It wasn't meant to be then, but I had laid the seed to root. And I hear footsteps, quick, almost whispering footsteps. All around me the Asylum spreads in a eerie silence akin to a morgue, but something rustles.

Nimble nibble like a mouse…who's that nibbling at my house? Is friend or is it foe, perhaps an elegant raven for Scarecrow?

I know why I came. I wanted to face you. I just wanted to…

Finally give up lying to yourself? I knew you'd come, it was only a matter of time and despite your thoughts, I can be a very patient man. And my, my you are…

There, you are there looking at me with such a smug expression, lounging on your cot. Yet I'm not perturbed. I'm relieved that there's no ire in your eyes, no hurt. And I shouldn't be. I should hate you. I should…

Throw away that mask you wear. Come closer, and…Heh, I see, you've been a sly little vixen tonight; stealing the guard's keys or perhaps you used another method than merely stealing. Just thinking about that makes me shiver in pleasure. I want to know what you've done, but then…

I step inside. I am wearing your costume and I can see that you approve. Your eyes roam, but I do not look away, I do not shrink. I lean against the door and watch you stand, and in the little light that steals into your cell from the hall your eyes shine and they are…

Looking at you, my eyes find your face and see your burlap mask and a bag dangling from your fingers. That outfit was not made for you, no, on the contrary you were made for that costume. You see it now, don't you? You are ready to hit back at the world that so ignored you, ready to be more than just Rebecca Albright. You realize that you were only wearing a mask. My hand cradles your face and you do not pull away, you do not whisper curses at me. You should…

Drop my mask? It's already gone and I feel Goosebumps along the arm that your other hand traces. I lean into your hand and you lean closer. What do you see in me? Why am I beginning to understand? I expected your breath to be cold, deathly, but it's warm against my mouth and when you plunge and I gasp in surprise I find your lips are…

Soft. I cannot just sit idly by; I must have more and you allow me. How does it feel to kiss the God of Fear? I'll tell you how it feels to kiss my Goddess. It is terrifying, it is a drug high. It is a nirvana where you feel your heart ramming against your chest and you're not sure whether it's because you can't breathe fast enough between bruising kisses or because you're stimulated. You feel like you're dying, but at the same time you are…

On top of the world, dancing a dangerous waltz; my mind soars. I know what I have consigned myself to, but I am not afraid. I am sick of being afraid, sick of hesitance, of the stares, and the words. My hands wind into your hair and tug painfully, but it spurns you on. You always knew who I was in the end. We are…

Composers, Gods, we are the Monarchs of Fear. We create the hosannas of voices, rising in harmony in a shrill, glass breaking octave. We are powerful and the sheer realization makes me pause and I pull back and stare into your eyes. Do you know what I see? I see the end of impossibility. We will make this world fall to its knees. Screams will announce our presence and…

Panic will infect the streets. I understand it all now. I pull away reluctantly as well, but you are watching me and I hold out the bag. Within it rests your own attire my scarecrow. I see your eyes fill with glee and I turn to allow you the privacy to dress in more fitting attire. I do not have to wait long before I feel your fingers sliding along my hip. You lean against me and I feel your mask against my ear. It is cool, but your voice is warm, churning my stomach, and for a moment I am breathless.

"Lead the way, my Mistress of Fear."


Rebecca Albright is a character from Feb. 1998's "New Year's Evil: Scarecrow #1" in which Scarecrow poisoned a neighborhood and being a witness, this girl here, testified against him. He then terrorizes her, but she always seems to escape. Finally he gets her with his toxin and finds out that she was bullied much like him in her younger years and she suffers fears related to that. It floors him and suddenly he sees himself in her. He decides he must have her and he makes a costume for her. She rejects him and he almost kills her, but Batman saves her.

This storyline thus follows after it, making it seem more Nolanized. And as you can see, it seems Rebecca has changed her mind. This was a characterization exercise to see Crane and Rebecca interact.

There is nothing to explain it, but "From Now On We Are Enemies" by Fall Out Boy was an inspiration for this piece along with "Seduction", prompt 27 from Livejournal's 50scenes community.

Disclaimer: I understand your surprise and rest assured that I do not own anything other than my plot and interpretation. This shall be just one more of my one-shots that I hope you enjoy and with it I shall continue my conquering of Batman Begins/The Dark Knight.