Title: The Villain is the Victim

Author: weird_katharine

Rating: PG-13

Genera: Angst, Drama

Warning: Description of lobotomy.

Summary: The Riddler's experience during Lock Up. He and the Scarecrow talk about living in fear, and becoming the thing you always hated.

Disclaimer: I don't own Batman or any other recognizable characters.

Authors Note: Just a short scene-setting chapter.

During the next few weeks, Jonathan Crane had his own problems and didn't spend much time worrying about the Riddler. He had never liked Edward; he was a pretentious fool with pathetic delusions about the power of the rational mind. Any scant pity he had was reserved for others, like Jervis, or poor Harley. Everyone in the asylum was breaking down, in their own way. He couldn't help but notice, though, that Edward in particular was heading down hill with no breaks.

The pattern of that first night repeated itself, with Edward sitting up awake until nearly dawn. He had always been a bit of a night owl, but now he was too afraid to let his guard down and relax into sleep. When Bolton saw what was happening, he set out to make it worse. He would send a guard around to search Edward's cell or just bang on the glass whenever he managed to pass out. Insomnia could be almost as effective at paralyzing the mind as fear, Crane knew. It was a simple and effective method of torture. The need for sleep could become as desperately painful as the need for food or water. It caused mood swings, inability to make decisions, and even hallucinations.

Crane saw the signs when they were all together in the dining hall, almost the only time the inmates were allowed to gather. None of them talking, all of them bruised under their cloths, all of them eating even though no one was hungry. Not finishing your meal was considered "uncooperative". Edward's eyes would suddenly dart away to look at something that wasn't there, then drift uneasily back to his tray.

Jervis, who was such a strange mix of delusion, bitter rage, and otherworldly sweetness, would sometimes reach over and awkwardly pat him on the arm. Jervis actually liked Edward, and he was a veteran when it came to things no one else could see. When such things were still allowed, the two of them used to have long, nearly incomprehensible conversations full of word-play and free association.

That was the thing about a Lamborghini-class mind, Crane mused. It just blew that much harder when you threw a wrench in the works.