A/N: On one of the tumblrs I run, Twinings and I offered ourselves up for one full week of filling fic prompts for our readers, varying in length from a hundred to a thousand-plus words. The project has been dubbed the Free For All Fic For All—or FFAFFA for short. This is one of those stories—and this is the boilerplate author's note you'll see on all of 'em.

Prompt: Scarecrow and Hugo Strange together at a conference.


Shoulders collided with each other as two men coming from different directions pushed their way into the already full elevator. There was barely enough room for them, though the second took up much less space than the first, but they managed. Medical conferences were always crowded affairs, but in Gotham especially so.

They shared a meaningful look as the elevator doors closed, each noting that the other held a briefcase comparable to the size of their own. A couple of doctors somewhere in the back of the small space discussed where they were going for dinner; the husband of one of the others shifted and put a possessive arm around her shoulders; another still checked her cellphone.

The doors opened on the second floor of the hotel; two of the occupants left. The third and forth floors, one each; the sixth, three more.

On the eighth floor stop, the elevator was at last empty of all other riders. The two men with briefcases looked at each other with as much cautious appraisal as humanly possible while still staring at the elevator doors.

"Strange."

"Crane."

"I imagine you are here for some nefarious purpose," the first said dispassionately.

"I assume you are here for the same," the second answered.

"I don't suppose you're planning anything for the Sedgewick's Grand Ballroom…"

"Are you, Doctor Crane?"

"I have my sights set on the third floor of the hotel." Crane gave Strange a sideways glance as the elevator continued its journey upwards. "A few…former colleagues are staying there."

"I see." Strange adjusted his tie as the elevator numbers ticked by, 10, 11, 12… "For my part, I am preparing a…warm reception for the featured speaker in this evening's Dangerous Obsessives, Imaginary Lovers and Their Prey presentation."

"Then I expect you will be staying out of my way."

"Provided you do the same for me."

"Naturally, Doctor Strange." The doors popped open on the fourteenth floor and Crane stepped out of the elevator, tipping his hat to the man still inside. "Even men such as we must have some lingering measure of…professional courtesy."