"I don't see why you're so upset, we got what we wanted, and we got away from Batman in time."
Edward Nigma had been panning a heist for two weeks. As soon as he had chosen his target, an emerald encrusted necklace valued at around thirteen-thousand dollars, he knew exactly who could help him. Eva Torrez, of the Black Rose as she preferred, was known throughout Gotham's underground for her masterful disguises. For her, this job was simply a matter of dressing as the jeweler's assistant.
The old man may be an expert craftsman, but he wasn't very perceptive. Unfortunately for them, the bat got wind of their plan and was soon at the scene. Though neither could put up much of a fight against the much stronger Batman, they were able to escape with their loot. So, why was Edward still slumping in his chair like an immature child?"
He hasn't said a word since they got into their getaway car. Don't get her wrong, a moment of silence with the Riddler was like a precious gem, hard to find and sad to lose. Still, the blank stare that replaced his usual confident smirk unnerved her. He wasn't his self, that aggravating self that drove her crazy, the man she, secretly, cared for.
She hid her concern though, not one for sentiment gushes, displaying impatience with him instead. Walking to the other side of the room, she stood right in front of his lounge chair so he had no choice but to look at her. So there they were, Edward seated, Eva above him holding on to either side of the chair's arm rests, both shooting one another cold glares. Eva was the first to speak.
"What's your problem? Why are you pouting like a five year old who wasn't allowed a cookie? He turned his head to the left muttering something under his breath.
"I didn't get to leave my riddle," he whispered.
"That's what this is about?" she asked incredulously, "So you didn't get to leave a stupid riddle, big deal." He bolted up, and being a few inches taller was able to glower down at her.
"What's the point of committing these crimes if I can't use them to show my intelligence? Without the riddles or puzzles, I'm just another petty thief."
"I can't believe this," she yelled, "So you used me to boost your own ego?"
Edward just sat back down, exasperated, "Why don't you just leave already? You can take the necklace it you want, I don't care." She looked out the window, tempted so much to do just that, but logic got the better of her.
"As much as I'd love to, I can't. My hideout's too far away and the Batman's out there looking for us. I'm staying the night." She waited, thinking he'd protest, but no, he stayed there without a word.
She left him behind to wallow in his self-pity, hoping that a nice hard drink could calm her down. Sometimes she didn't know how she tolerated that insuffe5rable…it didn't matter. Once it was morning, she'd leave this place… but not before she raided his fridge.
The kitchen was overly clean; Edward didn't much appreciate mess, everything a bland white or beige color. She hadn't expected much, rouge didn't exactly have luxury living spaces. The fridge he had was old, but it worked well enough. The cool air from the machine felt nice, but, finding no liquor in it just helped fuel her frustration. Angrily shutting the door she searched for something, anything that could improve her mood.
Her eyes lanced of a notebook. Perfect. Sketching some new designs or writing a short story, could take her mind off everything. Opening it though, she became confused. Night flower? Dark blossom? Shaded beauty? So many words were crossed out, and towards the bottom a couple of phrases too. This… belonged to Edward. It was his work on a riddle. A riddle that… included her? Looking through the book, she found countless of other brain teasers and even some sketches of traps intended for Batman, but she couldn't find that finished riddle anywhere.
Did he not finish it? Is that why he was so upset? Come to think of it, he didn't really want to go tonight, but she, hating to be off schedule, pushed him into it. He didn't seem as smug as he usually was. He must be embarrassed that he couldn't come up with a riddle. She looked at the neat clean writing on the paper. She was a little flattered; the thought of Edward letting her into his world through the most important thing in his life brought a smile to her face. Still, the thought of making him squirm at this piece of logical, made her grin impishly. With the notebook clutched tightly in her hand, she went to see Edward. Unsurprisingly, he was still sunk deeply in his seat.
"You know it you stay there too long; you'll start to grow mushrooms." She heard him sigh.
"Are you still here?"
"Yeah, and you really should keep your stuff out of sight when you have a visitor. They might find things," He turned to her, puzzled, "What are you…"
He froze. She was holding his book.
"You didn't leave a riddle because you weren't done with it," she stated rather than asked, "And you weren't done with it because… you wanted to add me into it."
"I don't know what you're talking about," He said stubbornly. He wasn't about to voice the effort he had put into in. Edward had never been good with women, oh sure he could charm them easily, but when it came to someone he actually liked, he reverted back into that shy teenager that couldn't just spit it out. To be honest, he didn't know why he cared for her. She was temperamental, unprofessional, and had way too much baggage… but the way she pulled him out of his characteristic narcissism was a puzzle. And, everyone knew how he loved puzzles.
"Well that's a first," she flashed him a smirk that could rival his own, "Night flower? Dark blossom? Shaded beauty? They sound so similar to Black Rose, or is it you being nice and giving me a nickname?" He was cornered. How, he wished it was by anyone else. Batman, Falcone, anyone would be more merciful that the woman in front of him.
"I… it wouldn't of worked without you," he forced his face away, so she couldn't see the hint of blush on his cheeks, "To find me, Batman would've needed to find you too. It just would not have worked.
"But it seemed like you could've added me easily, you are the Riddler after all."
"They're… too different," he said, remembering why it was so difficult to come up with something, "A Riddler and a rose. They don't work."
You could tell by the strain of his voice that he wasn't talking about the riddle anymore. He thought they didn't work. To be honest they did seem like a strange team. Most other duos just… fit. There was the deadly comic pair of a Joker and Harlequin, the wonderfully whimsical Hatter and Alice, even the frightening scarecrow and his mistress. But, a Riddler and a rose? That made no sense.
So, when Edward sank back into his seat, Eva just went to her room to sleep. He didn't see her the next morning. He figured she'd left early, and after last night's ordeal, he supposed it was best. If he spent too much time with that woman, it would certainly be his undoing. Better for her to go now, and leave him alone, to his work, something that never made him think so much.
Imagine his surprise when he heard her deep voice from behind him that night. She stood there, wearing something that made him flush so much, he was thankful that it was so dark. Beneath her fitted green jacket was a simple black top, whose only adornment was a large white question mark. The violet denim shorts she had, which showed off her shapely legs, were complemented be matching ankle boots, gloves, and a domino mask.
"I thought about what you said, and though it pains me to admit, you were right, a Riddler and a rose don't fit." Edward didn't respond. His were wide and his mouth slightly agape. Eva enjoyed it actually, making him silent, somehow she felt like only she could bring out this response in him. Even so, she missed his smirk, the glint in his eyes, the way he'd look down on her. She wanted his ego back… so she could have fun taking it away again.
"I realized that the only way we could fit was if I was a Riddler too. That's not say I'm always going to dress like this, only when I'm with you."
"But," his grin came back, "you're horrible at riddles, it took you ten minutes to answer one of medium difficulty." She put her hands on this chest, neither knowing how or when they ended up standing so close to one another.
"Okay, Mr. E. Nigma. Riddle me that, riddle me this," she paused.
"Well?" She leaned in to whisper in his ear.
"Who is the man I most desire to kiss?"