Disclaimer: I don't own the goddamn Batman or the...Scarecrow.

Author's Note: Felt pretty sick when I wrote this last night, and wasn't remotely sure if it worked. After receiving confirmation from Pierides and LittleBiscuit that it was not, in fact, a nonsensical mess (plus poking from a RL friend) I decided to put it up here. :-) Hope you guys enjoy!

Midnight Shift

"Crane."

He's lying flat on concrete, inches from the chair and he hurts. An ache spreads like his joints are all unscrewing in a sticky, gory mess while matches press between vertebrae. It doesn't stop him from smiling, wondering absently if the blood slicking his mouth looks impressive. "You're late."

This earns no immediate response, no narrowing of the eyes or public-service-announcement rasp. The Batman studies him without apparent urgency, intent as always. Eventually he speaks again. "Where are the notes?"

Jonathan closes his eyes but keeps the smirk. His head throbs. "Gone. Useless. You're—" something trickles down his throat and he starts to cough, retching instead. Nothing snapped this time, but he can't breathe fully around the injury to his stomach and it makes his eyes burn. The spasm ends. He wonders briefly whether finishing would be worthwhile. "…an example to us all. Ever…ever efficient."

"Was it the mob?"

He laughs, the sensation a serrated blade jerking under his ribs. Jonathan notices there are tears on his face with some surprise, but it is a minor detail. Insignificant.

"Why would the mo…mob, want anything? They're finished."

"Then who?" The Batman crouches beside him, elbows on both knees. He only sighs, falls still. "Crane."

"Stop stalling. It's bad form."

"Do you expect me to interrogate you?" Jonathan has no interest in the conversation anymore, and makes his feelings known through silence. "You need a hospital."

"Because they have such an impressive record." It's not important enough for him to roll his eyes. A Kevlar glove lands on his shoulder and he hisses.

"Can you walk?" asks the Batman, unmoved. Receiving only a glare in reply, he lifts Scarecrow with little effort.

There are no protests.


Handcuffed inside a tank ("Smart, but pointless" earned nothing), Jonathan leans against the window—letting buildings lose focus as they pass. There are very important looking buttons, pedals, and levers surrounding him. Not much space though.

"Don't sleep," growls the vigilante without turning from the road.

This time, Jonathan does roll his eyes. It makes the world spin. "Too late."

There is a quiet grunt.

"Batman." It comes out a murmur, and the lull afterwards hangs heavy. I'll never understand you. I'm not going to stop. Do you really give a damn? You're a self-righteous ass. Your pity is pathetic. It's only a flesh wound. What is this supposed to accomplish? You're speeding. You could have left me. Have you ever wanted to commit murder? I'm not grateful. I'm not scared. Why should any of this matter? What's the acceleration? Don't get the idea that I'm sorry, but…I don't feel good. I don't know what I'm talking about. There are nights when I still see things. Kill him already.

Please.

"This has been a long night."