Avery was losing at chess. Badly. Not that she was surprised, this was Edward Nigma after all. At this point she was just trying to survive until he made a mistake. That's how Arkham was. No one was here to get better. Everyone just survived until they could escape. Whether by playing nice and faking sane, or by kicking ass and taking names, it was all the same. One way or another, all roads led to Gotham.

"Why'd you come back?" Edward asked, taking Avery's rook with absurd ease.

"Felt like it," Avery shrugged, moving her King out of harm's way.

"No seriously," he looked up from the board. "From what I heard you had it pretty good."

"And here I thought my escapades were a complete secret from you guys."

"I'm serious, Avery, no one knew where you were, but we heard rumors. They said you were living the good life," Edward moved his pawn. "Checkmate."

"Fucker." He was right. Her king was trapped. "I guess I was," Avery shrugged, beginning to clean up the board, "I always wanted to travel …"

"But …"

"But, I don't know, it jus wasn't Gotham." The Riddler opened his mouth, probably for some smartass retort about all the crazies, but Avery was already walking away. Losing at chess, even to someone like Nigma, plus the conversation had significantly decreased her mood.

Avery had settled into a routine in the past few days: Wake up, eat, group, banter with Joker, eat, one on one, banter with Riddler, eat, banter with Sasha and Hunter, sleep, repeat. All the while ignoring Adasen and avoiding Crane. It was relatively easy as neither seemed to want anything to do with her.

"That wasn't very nice," Crane was lounging in Avery's chair. He took up the space in a much more dignified manner, sitting up straight. His ankle was resting on his opposite knee, his long arms rested on said ankle. He was studying Avery again. It was how he always started a conversation, by sizing up his opponent.

"I don't play 'nice'." Crane cocked an eyebrow. "What is it you want?" Avery perched herself on the coffee table, eyeing him. He hadn't changed much from Arkham either, and she still felt like someone had filled her with ice whenever she saw him.

"To talk," he replied, like it was the most natural thing in the world. "We haven't had a real conversation since you arrived." He's lying, a voice in the back of her mind warned. I know that.

"You're not serious?" Avery barked a humorless laugh.

"Very much, Watts." It was Avery's turn to raise her eyebrows. "Its been years since our last … conversation."

That's when the pieces clicked.

Avery's heart was racing, but her limbs refused to cooperate. Spiders and cockroaches and snakes and everything else creepy and crawly were all over the floor, covering the couch and crawling onto her. She tried to scream but her mouth wasn't cooperating. Nor were her limbs as she tried to move away from the creatures.

"Wonderful creation, isn't this?" Scarecrow crooned by her ear, his breathe turning into maggots that filled her ears. Avery screamed. "Yesssss …" he hissed.

"I'm not interested in your conversations," Avery stood up and walked to a guard. "Can I go back to my room now?"

A/N: …. Sooooo … Hi … it's been a while – or more than a while – since I updated. I'm sorry for that … School I guess … Writers block … computer problems … I have a lot of excuses, but, yeah. This one's kind of short. I haven't written in a long time, honestly. Getting back on the horse was more difficult than I thought it would be.