Dark Lady Devinity
A/n: This was originally going to be a fic for Halloween but it got so far and it didn't know where it wanted to go. And then it took a different shape and had a different sort of meaning. So enjoy. Also, Robin is way more fun to write than Batman.
Someone had obviously said the wrong thing.
It was clear from the way the body was angled on the floor, limbs sprawled out on the ground. Blood had pooled underneath the corpse and crimson spots stood out clearly on the cheap prisoner costume like garish polka dots.
"That combo of red and orange is so not his colour." Robin joked half-heartedly, already scanning the room in case the perpetrator was still in the building.
Batman ignored the boy and flicked aside a bright red apple. He dipped two fingers into the clear liquid that drenched the floor and the body. He wasn't surprised to find that it was plain water. The overturned barrel and the apples littering the floor were enough indication of what activities had been occurring before the party changed for the worse. The dark knight stood up and turned to face Commissioner James Gordon.
"The death appears to have happened quickly and although the facial expression shows fear, it's not the degree of sheer terror that I'm used to seeing." Batman said. "This is unlike him."
"From the eyewitness statements, it appears that he was too angry to use the fear gas." Gordon replied. "The Scarecrow just reacted. Apparently this is one of his hideouts and he wasn't pleased to find a party in full swing instead of his normally quiet lab."
"Who throws a Halloween party in an abandon warehouse in Gotham City? Especially on the actual night of Halloween?" Robin asked. "Didn't the fear canisters and lab equipment clue them in? Where are the fear canisters anyway?"
"We found them in the next room. From what I can gather, a few of the boys brought them there to throw down the garbage disposal. These particular canisters have a more delicate trigger mechanism so a few broke open. One boy clawed his own eyes out. I doubt anyone heard their screams over the loud music." Gordon said. "None of them survived."
Robin didn't look impressed. He found himself wondering if people were getting stupider and it made it difficult to pity the victims. Batman was not so quick to judge as there were still unanswered questions.
"Did the witnesses say why there was only one victim?" Batman asked, indicating that he meant the boy that was killed directly by the Scarecrow.
Gordon nodded. "One witness said that the Scarecrow started to 'freak out' and give a very 'wordy' lecture. They assumed that he was an 'uptight nerd' and never thought to question the costume. The victim, a 'jock', decided it would be amusing to hold the Scarecrow's head under water and force him to play bobbing for apples. He reacted violently and was able to break free from the victim's grasp. Scarecrow then proceeded to shoot him. I believe that he was holding onto the gun until he could get to his fear toxins. We also found a substance outside that suggests the Scarecrow swallowed a large quantity of water and vomited."
"That sounds more like self-defence to me." Robin said. "I always love it when the insane and highly dangerous criminals are the ones that didn't do anything wrong." The last statement dripped acid-like sarcasm.
"We should find the Scarecrow before he hurts anyone else." Batman said, giving Robin a pointed look.
The younger male acknowledged the look and he knew that a wet, angry Scarecrow was a particularly dangerous Scarecrow. That was not going to stop the sarcastic comments however. Yet Robin would focus on the task at hand.
"Commissioner, I have the last of the eyewitness statements." A young, novice cop said as she walked into the warehouse. Gordon nodded and then turned to ask Batman what he planned to do. The dynamic duo was gone.
"One of these days I'm going to find out how he does that." Gordon said.
In most aspects, Batman was the far more skilled half of the dynamic duo. He was the world's greatest detective and a skilled fighter. He had highly honed senses and he was both intuitive and intelligent. Yet youth had many of its own advantages and there were times when Batman was thankful for Robin's younger senses.
"Do you smell wet burlap?" Robin asked, wrinkling his nose.
The dark knight had not noticed the faint smell at first but once he knew it was there, he was able to hone in on it. He followed the scent and came across a fading trail of damp footprints. Robin was able to interpret Batman's movements and the boy circled around in the opposite direction. It didn't take long after finding the footprints to roughly estimate the Scarecrow's position.
They found him sat on the ground, long arms wrapped tightly around himself. He was muttering something but it was difficult to tell if it was violent threats or something pitiable. However, that would not stop them from taking him back to Arkham Asylum.
Robin crept forward first, always ready to make the first move. Usually his bright costume and quirky sentences were used to distract criminals but this time Robin was hoping that the Scarecrow would notice the red and yellow so that he wouldn't be startled. However, the mentally disturbed man didn't notice until Robin had taken hold of his arm and, unfortunately, he had been startled. Robin grunted as he was elbowed in the face and knocked backwards.
Batman was on top of the Scarecrow before he could escape down the alleyway. Robin quickly got to his feet and rubbed his jaw.
"Getting hit by the Scarecrow is like getting hit by an angry, giant spider." The boy said, thinking that Dr. Crane's long limbs were extremely spider-like.
"Let me go! I haven't even done anything yet." The Scarecrow yelled, struggling.
"You killed that boy in the warehouse." Batman said sternly.
"He attacked me first." Scarecrow argued. "I hate that apple game."
Then the man shivered and started to cough. He did not seem to be very healthy, which was an indication that his personality was more Crane than Scarecrow right now. Usually, the less of the professor there was in the criminal, the less one saw of any physical difficulties.
"We're going back to Arkham." Batman said, seemingly uncaring about the thinner man's wellbeing. Only Robin, who knew him better than anyone except maybe Alfred, would have noticed that the dark knight's grip had loosened slightly.
"Why should I be locked up like some insignificant wretch when I am not the one in the wrong? I am the Master of Fear! I should be respected." Crane yelled. He sounded emotionally distressed and perhaps he had been sat in the alley remembering the times he was bullied as a child. "How could feeble minds dare think it was safe to trespass here on this night of all nights?"
"People are idiots." Robin said in answer to the last question. "You might want to take that mask off. I bet that thing itches like a bitch."
"Never!" Crane yelled in pure rage as Batman growled, "Robin" in a warning tone. The Scarecrow was attempting to squirm out of the dark knight's grasp so he could face the boy wonder and give him a lecture.
"Hey, don't bit my head off." Robin said, waving his hands as a sign of surrender. But he didn't answer Crane's first question about being sent back to Arkham. How do you explain to someone that there were times when they needed to be locked up because there were monsters outside the cage as well?
Robin didn't stop with the sarcastic, annoying comments until after they had returned Crane to Arkham Asylum. Once again Batman was relieved that Robin was young. It was better for Scarecrow to be temporarily frustrated with a snarky child then to be emotionally shattered in some dark corner. The boy was a brilliant distraction for enemies in a fight and he used this to distract the more pitiable, mentally ill criminals away from their darker inner places. It was necessary for Poison Ivy, the Mad Hatter, Harley Quinn and countless others. It was one of the reasons why Batman kept bringing the mentally disturbed Scarecrow and the others to Arkham:
Someone had obviously said the wrong thing. And someone had to find a way to fix it.