AN: I've been watching, reading and writing such downer stuff lately. So here is some mindless, ill-prepared happiness.
Author takes no responsibility for sudden and debilitating brain-cell damage.
Dick stares at the cold ground of the cave, lost in thought. Two days ago, the Batman had walked out of the cave without any explanation of where he was going. He'd just looked over his shoulder and said, dramatically:
"I'm going to disappear for a while. Hold the fort."
There was a flash of thunder and he was gone. Since then there had been no sign of him. The files held no hint of the case he was investigating, nor how he had managed to summon lightning indoors. But later that night, Nightwing would discovered something that might be related. He would have a run-in with the Scarecrow.
It started out as always: Unnerving, bizarre, dangerous, some slight bondage. But in the end all obstacles are cleared and Nightwing has only to catch the fleeing Scarecrow.
But as he enters the room his quarry ran into, he is not confronted by anything expected. There is no fear toxin, no terrified people coming to claw his eyes out. Instead there is something far more horrifying.
The Scarecrow is humming an upbeat tune as he paints the walls of his hideout a bright yellow.
As Nightwing stands there, trying to discern at what point his perception of the world went awry, the Scarecrow's head snaps up to look at him.
"You are my sunshine, my only...Oh, hello. Be with you in a moment, just need to liven up the place. Why, oh why is my hideout so awfully gloomy? It's a wonder I could even live here."
Nightwing immediately calls Oracle.
"I need back-up. He got me with some new version of the toxin."
The Scarecrow twirls around the room in that hideous, boneless fashion of his.
"Oh, I just can't wait to repay my debt to society! Even if I don't really think I owe them anything. I'll just stop experimenting. If they don't want to step over the threshold and reach the next step of psychological evolution, that's their problem. If they're too damn infantile to understand my research then so be it!"
He instantly calms down, puts a finger to his lips.
"Maybe I'll start a bakery when I get out."
Nightwing's breath comes fast and shallow. He can feel his heart beating unnaturally. The room seems to spin. Definitely poisoned. Has to be.
"Oracle, I need backup. Now, now, now!"
Barbara's cool and collected voice buzzes in his ear.
"Did the Scarecrow just say he wants to be a baker?"
There is a moment of silence. The Scarecrow stares at him, the mask revealing hints of a broad, dopey smile.
"You heard that?"
"I definitely heard it."
"What's wrong with being a baker?" The Scarecrow asks, worry and hurt playing in his voice.
There is another moment of silence.
"Okay, if there's nothing wrong with me, then there's definitely something wrong with him."
The Scarecrow laughs loudly and shrilly.
"How silly! There's nothing wrong with me. I've never been happier!"
Nightwing bites down on his fear and handcuffs the villain. The Scarecrow is calm on the way to Arkham, passing his time by apologizing for every slight he has ever done anyone. It is a harrowing ride.
The Scarecrow is still blushing and apologizing as the orderlies lead him away. Nightwing can only shudder as he imagines what other horrors might be taking place in the city at that very moment.
A little girl sits in absolute darkness, playing menacingly with a ball. It bounces. Up and down, up and down. The very air itself seems thick and heavy, as if even it has been brought low by this perversity. Is there no one who will bring an end to this affront to humanity?
Suddenly! A voice like an ice-cream jingle booms through the dark night:
"It's over, Baby Doll."
Her head snaps up, eyes wide.
"I didn't mean t…I mean: Who's there?"
"Your best daydream," growls the darkness.
As Baby Doll stumbles along in the dark a bright figure appears in front of her with a flash, all the colors of the rainbow bombarding her sensitive eyes. She falls down, shivering as a brightly clad hand inches closer. She screams like a grown man.
AN: There's little plot in there, but let's pretend there is. To be continued.