A/N: OK, just editing here, guys, mainly changing Amelia's age. For some reason, I originally had her at twenty-seven then forgot and had her at twenty-six after this prologue. Weird...I wonder if this falls under the Writers Can't Do Math trope on TVTropes, ha. It was just me wanting to use an odd number for once in terms of a character's age, but nope, went right back to even number again. Anyway, I know it's a really, really minor detail but one that would have bothered me if I didn't fix it.
This is to those of you who are possibly re-reading the story or whatever. To those who are new to it, welcome, I hope you enjoy. It's a doctor OC/Crane story, but it will be so much more than just that going on, I promise you.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, not even Scarecrow (but, ohhhh, if I did...;D)
Gotham, Monday morning at eight o'clock, and the city buzzed with activity. Mostly, it was over half of the population going to work. Whether they were lawyers in the courtroom or mere office workers typing away in cubicles, they all headed to their destinations in clockwork fashion. The same thing happening every day, from Monday to Friday, the fine citizens driving or walking briskly.
Unfortunately, for Dr. Amelia Harland, she found herself somewhat concerned over her potential tardiness, as she was stranded in the midst of a traffic jam. At least fifteen vehicles waited in front of hers, but all she could blankly stare at was the bumper of a Prius.
She had been in this very spot for ten minutes, but it felt like years as each vehicle in the pile-up slowly crept past the green stoplight. She didn't even have a rough estimate as to how many light changes there had already been. All she knew was that she'd been reluctant enough as it was to go to work. This horrible traffic jam just made it all the worse for her, most definitely trying on her patience.
Amelia had sincerely believed that post-university (a Ph.D. in Psychology, naturally), she wouldn't dread these slow Monday mornings. However, it seemed that no matter how old you were, you could never shake the nervous anticipation and the onslaught of exhaustion that Mondays brought.
More than ever, as she crept up a few more feet in her black Honda Civic, she longed to travel back in time. To last night, when she was settled cozily in her couch with her calico cat Persephone curled up in her lap. She'd watched HBO and been overall lazy. But, it was a nice kind of laziness to seek refuge in, to relax. To escape.
Now, though, she hoped to get her busy job over at Arkham on time. She couldn't exactly let her current patient down.
Initially, Amelia had chosen this career path to understand the human mind better, more intimately than most people. Especially with criminals, who were mysteries all in themselves. With criminal psychology, she could attempt to understand why these disenfranchised people opted to take out their negative thoughts and emotions on others. She didn't know why she thought that prospect attractive, figuring them out like that. Maybe due to her keen insight, she could help these criminals as much as she could before they were released. After that, if they would be back on the streets, they would hopefully be productive citizens and never think of committing crimes again.
She did like to help, no matter how demanding her position was.
At twenty-six, a year out of grad school, she'd had five cases under her belt and had been quite successful with them. Her naturally soft voice tended to coax these patients into admitting deep, dark secrets they would have shuddered to reveal otherwise. It was relieving for her to do some good in the world, as far as Amelia saw it. And she appreciated that her patients could relax around her, eventually being candid with her. Indeed, these patients had since been released from Arkham and hadn't been involved in any violent acts since. Every breakthrough was the ultimate success story to her, not her salary.
Finally, after waiting impatiently for five more minutes, she got through the stoplight. Now, it was a straight shot to Arkham Asylum, where she worked in the Intensive Treatment building for patients more addled with their problems, more troubled. As rewarding as her career was, though. Amelia was nonetheless tired. With one hand, she reached out toward the cupholder to get her Starbucks iced mocha. Quickly, she drained the dregs of her cup to get her caffeine fix in.
All the while, she let the radio play to also get her day going along with forcing herself to stay awake. Currently, "Pictures of You" was playing on her preferred variety station, a mix of bands and solo artists, pop, rock, and contemporary. Amelia idly hummed along, fondly remembering what she could of the late 80's as the Arkham gates came into view.
She had a patient today she'd been working with for five months. Her progress was astounding, even though she was never once a criminal, only a sufferer from multiple personality disorder. However, she was learning to find her inner self despite this condition. Amelia couldn't be prouder.
It might have been the Starbucks kicking in, but she felt self-assured and ready for her work today. As long as she helped people, there was nothing to complain about.
Tucking some of her pale blond hair, in a tight ponytail, behind her ear, Amelia strode purposefully down the hall, her red pumps clicking on the tile floor. Shortly after the nine o'clock appointment with her patient Clarisse Harris, her supervisor Dr. O' Riley had called her office saying that she needed to speak with her regarding a new case. She felt nothing short of reluctance as she apprehensively made her way to Louise O' Riley's office.
What was it? Couldn't it wait until after she finished up with Clarisse? She only wanted to make certain that somehow, some way, her patient would be well-tended to and looked after once she switched cases. Inevitably, she would have to at some point. That was the way it worked in Arkham.
"You wished to see me, Doctor?" Amelia inquired upon knocking politely before entering.
A bespectacled brunette woman glanced up from her laptop. "Ah, Dr. Harland, you got my message. As I told you, I think it's time to take you off the Harris case. She's been improving drastically in the past two months, undoubtedly thanks to you. Now, granted, she very well may have to talk to a different doctor for a few additional weeks. But, you have done amazing work in your short time here, Dr. Harland, and that has not gone unnoticed. I haven't, for one, seen an Arkham doctor accomplish so much in so little time since…"
O' Riley fell silent abruptly, not daring to voice one particular elephant who stood imposingly in the room. It took Amelia a moment to realize just who exactly O' Riley spoke of. She knew bits and pieces of his backstory such as how, at age twenty-eight, he had already made quite a name for himself. One of Arkham's finest doctors…but one more Gotham tragedy.
"Thank you, Doctor, that's high praise," Amelia replied quietly, internally wondering whether to be truly flattered or not. Given the fate of the former doctor, she was skeptical over the compliment.
"Well," O' Riley cleared her throat, her mind still on the tragedy, no doubt, "considering you are showing great promise here, I believe that I should recommend to you more complex cases. In fact, one of the regulars just got readmitted last week. He was arrested after he was caught…drug dealing, in the technical sense. To the Joker, Two-Face, the Riddler…Anyone he could find."
"Sounds like whoever it is, he's desperate."
Damn. She had to give up her pet project of her now former case for that…that poor excuse for a human being? Inconceivable!
She couldn't possibly dream of one-on-one time with a man who didn't have the capability to see the light. Someone could have saved him once, preserved his sanity, but it wouldn't have been a doctor here at Arkham. It should have been a relative or a close friend.
"Pardon me, Dr. O' Riley, but shouldn't a more experienced psychiatrist work with him? I'm not sure if I can possibly tackle this. He is one of the more extreme villains who've been locked up in here. I might find my personal safety threatened," Amelia said honestly, addressing her concerns.
"That's why there will be guards posted nearby, whenever you need them. As for competency, you have proven to me and many others from our staff what a natural you are at your work. In fact, this is what I want you to do. I want you to tape record the sessions. This is a very important case study, which will be beneficial for your career. After this, you might be able to transfer out and have your own practice. Or get promoted to a higher position in our staff," O' Riley explained more thoroughly.
Of course. The potential to receive even better pay and a more esteemed position hung over her head. Inwardly, Amelia acknowledged to herself that this wouldn't be a simple task or even a pleasant one. Or rewarding if he resolved to break out of his cell one of these times, defeating the purpose of what could easily be her life's work. She knew she certainly wouldn't be too happy with Scarecrow if he had the audacity to take that away from her.
From the sounds of things, this case study could make or break her.
"When do I start these sessions with him?"
O' Riley looked as though she checked something on her laptop before confirming, "Tomorrow. He's been in one of the most tightly secured holding cells, but it's hard to say when he'll attempt to break out. The sooner you start the sessions, the better."
It was only logical that this be the case. It didn't mean that Amelia detested it any less. As of tomorrow, she would be dealing with a formidable foe who could rival her in every possible way.
Well, let the game begin.
A/N: Ah, yeah, Crane is mostly based on the Arkham Asylum version, which I found delightful and mysterious. Glad that you never got to see his face either. The shrill laugh though...eh...It was just OK. My portrayal is based on that and the (couldn't resist) Cillian Murphy version. I seriously wish my friends and really just more people in general have heard of this amazing and talented actor, seriously. He's like second to Johnny Depp in my book. Come on, Academy, give these two Oscars NOW! Just because they just so happen to be good-looking doesn't mean that it detracts from their acting ability. The Academy's really bad about that.
But, think about it, guys. Sean Penn, though talented, is disgusting to look at and they've given him TWO Oscars. This is a theory I'm working on, the correlation between actor attractiveness and lack of Oscars, just kidding. Don't get me started on how talentless I think Channing Tatum is. XP