I love you all for being so patient. Finally rode out the second wave of midterms and seeing as I have about a week before prepping for finals, I figured I'd reward both myself and all of you with this update. That and I was threatened with Chuck Norris…low blow. My creativity has been locked away these past few weeks so I had to let it out. Why does school torture me so? I'm a goddamn film/art student, why the hell do I need biology?! *rants and raves*
Riddler: On with the story.
Hey I wasn't finished Edward, I mmph-
Riddler: Thank you Jin
Jin: Tis no problem there but I be headin' out fer the tournament soon so be best to be wrappin' this up. Though I think I might be stayin' fer this since I be waitn' so long fer it. Course I wouldn't mind so much if'n it weren't fer the ears. See they're all pointy up and wigglin' unlike they were before. Be gettin' that way when I'm happy or excited and I haven't been either in a very long time.
Riddler: Well ok let's get on with it.
Hold it boys. We have to do this right *holds up signs*
Riddler: We do not own Batman: the Animated Series or Yu Yu Hakusho
Jin: We don't even be ownin' ourselves
Riddler: The only character that is owned by RW is Thorn
Now that none of us are getting sued let's go
Thorn frowned in his sleep. It was quiet, too quiet. In just the little while that he had taken up residence in C block he had come to realize certain patterns, one of them being that no matter what time of night or day it was, the hallway was never quiet. There was always some sort of noise and the silence didn't feel right. A tightness around his ankle announced that he had tangled his foot in the chain again but he couldn't bring himself to open his eyes and deal with it. There was a stiff feeling all along his cheeks and his head, especially around his eyes, hurt. He winced as, off to his left, a door opened. His mind froze. A door opened, not a cell, an actual hardwood door. The memories swarmed his senses with a vengeance for his childish hope. He wasn't in the asylum anymore. He had been taken away from his family.
He felt rather than saw the person who had entered the room sit down on the edge of the bed. The mattress dipped with the weight and Thorn flinched when he felt the rough and slightly cold hand brush his hair away from his face. That hand wasn't right. It wasn't callused from work like Jonathon or Jervis. It wasn't heavily scarred like Harvey or Joker. It wasn't warm and soft like Pam or Harley. It was just wrong. He opened his eyes to glare at this person though he didn't quite know what their crime had been. Scratch that, somewhere in his gut he knew that this person was helping that giant flying rodent to keep him from his family. He was slightly shocked by who he saw looking back at him. He knew this man, nearly everyone did. Black hair styled to perfection, dark brown eyes set on either side of a slightly pointed nose and under a broad forehead. His jaw was strong and clean shaven and slight hints of cologne invaded Thorn's nose. He was in the custody of none other than Bruce Wayne. His scowl deepened and he quickly backed away from the men, snarling like a cornered dog. The look that passed over Bruce's face was concerned but not really surprised. To the untrained eye, it looked like a genuine expression of pity and sorrow for the poor child but resignation that he was bound to behave this way due to his months within Arkham. Thorn immediately hated it. It was fake, it was condescending, and it was meant to hurt. Another snarl from Thorn saw Bruce out of the room, leaving behind the tray on which Thorn's breakfast lay. The boy just scoffed at it, refusing to touch even the slightest morsel. He wouldn't be staying long.
Edward Nigma, better known to most as the Riddler, was marched back down the halls of Arkham after his latest escape. As soon as he entered C block, the faces of his fellow rogues looked up, eyes hopeful and ears desperate to hear the good news. Pam pressed her hands nervously to her chest; Harley fiddled and occasionally chewed on the edge of one of her corn blond pigtails. Harvey flipped his coin at double the speed and frequency than normal. Joker shuffled his deck of cards for what must have been the tenth time. Jonathon's leg bounced as he muttered nursery rhythms in a steady string for almost an hour and Jervis, whose arm was still in a sling after his encounter with the Batman during his own escape, was on chapter eight on his recitation of 'Alice in Wonderland'. Upon meeting the eyes of his fellow rogues, Edward's shoulders slumped and he shook his head sadly. He had not found Thorn either. It was almost like a sick and twisted game now. One of them would escape, cause enough mayhem to avoid suspicion, and attempt to find Thorn before the Bat found them. All eyes fell on Jonathon and he gave the faintest inkling of a nod. It was his turn and, as he turned to his bed and caught sight of the stuffed wolf he had given Thorn, he vowed that he would not return without the boy. A few hours later an alarm would sound, signalling another break out and Scarecrow's cell would be found empty.
Jonathon sprinted until he could no longer hear the obnoxious alarm but still kept a swift pace. He tried to keep to back alleys, only venturing out if he absolutely had to. He finally slowed to a stop in front of the city orphanage, breathing coming in hard pants. While Pam had already checked the orphanage, Jonathon knew that unless the public was extremely enthused about something, the system tended to move very slowly. It very well could have taken the entire month that Thorn was gone just to have his files sent over so Jonathon carefully picked the lock and slipped inside. He searched every single scrap of paper within the office, looking for anything that had Thorn's name on it. Nothing did. Cursing as he left the building, Jonathon pulled his stolen coat around him tightly as the skies opened up and let down buckets of rain.
"Oranges and Lemons say the bells of St. Clement's." Jonathon wandered down the street, wracking his brain for places that Thorn could be.
"You owe me five farthings say the bells of St. Martin's." Bruce looked up from his plate at the dinner table to stare at the child he had finally forced downstairs. Thorn didn't look at him, instead seemingly fascinated with the storm outside.
"When will you pay me? Say the bells of Old Bailey." Jonathon searched everywhere he could hope to find any public announcements. The library, city hall, he had even snuck into the police station. None of them had any information.
"When I am rich say the bells of Shoreditch." For some reason he couldn't put his finger on, Bruce didn't like that poem. It could have just been his mind playing tricks on him, but, for a second, Thorn sounded eerily like Scarecrow. Then again, Bruce had noticed a few other things that unnerved him about the boy. He had a way of staring at something as if he was looking right through it, almost like Jervis Tetch. The sole time he had heard the boy laugh, it possessed the hyena like sound of the Joker. His mischievous yet hateful smile was a near perfect mimic of Harley Quinn. He could have gone on but for some reason he really just wanted to shut the kid up.
"When will that be? Say the bells of Stepney." Jonathon shook the rain water out of his already soaked ginger hair and trudged on. If nothing else he could find a place to rest for the night where he could also mix up his fear toxins. Proper questioning could be accomplished then. He smiled, spotting one of the many abandoned apartment buildings within the Narrows.
"I do not know says the great bell of Bow." Thorn's head whipped to the side as Bruce delivered a brutal backhand, snapping just as quickly to the other side as that cheek was assaulted. Back and forth it went until Thorn was sure that his neck was going to snap. For some reason that Thorn didn't know, he began to laugh. Quietly at first but it quickly built up to barks and shrieks of laughter.
"Here comes a candle to light you to bed." Jonathon tried to get comfortable on the hold dusty mattress. Before drifting off into a light sleep, he made a brief prayer, his first in years, that Thorn was alright.
"And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!" Bruce couldn't take it anymore. That laugh cut through his ears. Grabbing Thorn's shirt collar, he slammed the boy back into the wall. The laughter stopped as he fell limp to the ground. 'I can't…I can't do it. I can't survive here. I need to get home. I can't deal with him.' Thorn's thoughts swam as his vision blackened and he began to drift off.
'Then let me take it from here.' Thorn didn't recognize the softer sounding voice.
'Who are you?' The voice laughed softly.
'A friend I suppose.'
'Oh, ok.' Thorn felt himself drift deeper into sleep as the separate consciousness slipped into the forefront and locked the boy away in the farthest reaches of his- now their- mind.