A/N: Yep, been up late typing this one. Oh well, I just wanted to give you guys a sure-to-be top-notch chapter of this. Something more Crane-filled than the last one. And oh, by now, you've probably found out that he was in the movie. I was grinning in the theater-actually, trying not to grin. Oh, seeing those eyes on screen again and brilliant acting execution of course...Ahhhh, does my heart good. XD
Chapter 11: Session 9: Someone is Always to Blame
On Sunday night (earlier that day with just Cate at Starbucks had been absolutely wonderful), Amelia dreamed that she was on a getaway cruise in the Caribbean. For mile after mile, the blue-green water was visible, extraordinarily beautiful to look at. That vivid sea was superior to that drab bay the Gotham docks were situated near.
She had lain out on a lounge chair, both shades and sunscreen on. A lazy, pleasant smile crept onto her relaxed face. Finally, after so much work did she get the opportunity to be perfectly compos—.
Suddenly, an annoyingly loud noise interrupted her vacation. It happened to be the alarm going off on her clock.
Amelia's eyes snapped open. "Shit…"
She didn't want that dream to be elusive to her, not yet. She'd figured she still had a couple hours. But, no, her digital clock said 7:45, regrettably.
What made this Monday morning even worse was that she just remembered she had a session with Crane today.
"Nooooo," she groaned into her pillow, her voice muffled even as she released a borderline scream of vexation. She even went so far as to punch the pillow a couple times.
Why had she increased the number of days she would see him? Oh well, that wasn't entirely her fault, she corrected herself in her mind. Once again, it had to be his, for he apparently had to make her life a living hell and not cooperate with her remotely.
Difficult patients were a trial. She frowned at the thought later when she fixed herself a couple of scrambled eggs and a few strips of succulent bacon. Especially this one.
Oh, she knew she would be in for an absolute treat today. What next? Would he strangle her to within an inch of her life? Would he up the ante on his sarcasm?
The problem was Amelia never knew what lay in store when it came to Crane. He would present his whackjob ideas in a logical manner to her one minute, and then be pressed up against her, trying to unnerve her the next.
While driving to work, remembering the latter too well, she wrinkled her nose disgustedly. The fact that he had actually been physically aroused by her lapse in total calm…Ugh, she couldn't bear him, that vile, vile man! How dare he have been so callous, so ruthless!
A foreign voice cut in then, taunting, But, you enjoyed that closeness.
I certainly did not! the rational, saner voice shot back, Why would I?
He may have been wiry…but there were definitely some muscles und—
Are you kidding me?! Shut up!
Hearing voices in her head now…Perhaps Crane started to gain the advantage of her sanity slippage after all. He drove her to this madness through his indiscretions during their little chats.
Amelia gripped the steering wheel tightly.
"…And he has proven to be not only a challenge but a test to my own sanity as well," she coolly admitted to the tape recorder, though she was actually complaining. "Much less in temper that he's all but destroyed. How am I to be professional if he keeps doing this to me?"
"Dr. Harland?" Andy was already there and of course Chris.
Their charge between the two muscle-bound men only stared blankly ahead, looking at her yet not. His mouth set in a grim line, he didn't utter a word. Even when Chris and Andy left, he remained frozen in place, not intending to move.
Amelia glanced at him with a raised brow. "Aren't you going to sit down, Mr. Crane?"
He was still in his position, and for a minute, she thought he hadn't heard her. Then, he settled himself onto the chair grudgingly.
"Very well then, let's begin." She straightened herself up in her professional posture before heading over to her chair.
At the same time, she was a bit on edge since she could sense his blue eyes following her every move. Well, no doubt he glared at her, quietly furious over her for what she did to him on Thursday. Likewise, she still held some hard feelings toward him for being so quick to defend his pride and in that barbaric manner. Looking back, she felt no ounce of sympathy toward him today. She'd tried in the past, but he had failed her.
As she settled herself into the chair, with ankles neatly crossed, she inquired, "How are you faring in solitary?"
She waited one minute, two minutes, three…He kept silent throughout, only staring yet not staring at her while flexing his fingers. Amelia took this opportunity to note that the syringes on his left glove were removed.
However, the glove itself was not, deemed useless without its weapons.
Great, all it would take would be for his man to supply needles to him, she thought sourly, proceeding to internally curse herself. If she could figure out that guard's name…
Maintaining his muteness when five more minutes had elapsed, she sighed. "OK, then, I'll assume you're doing fine in there. I'll try another angle. How do you feel about being put in solitary? Angry to be in the padded room? Maybe guilt over your actions? Have you learned anything?"
If she squinted, Amelia swore she could see the cloth of his mask move, as if his jaw clenched. It wouldn't have surprised her. It would explain why he was adamant about not talking to her.
A ripple of uncertainty passed through her. This wasn't working. He had never stayed silent for this long. This act of defiance both puzzled and vexed her. Surely, she could not have offended him so much.
And he kept gazing at her incessantly, those pupils boring into her, as if searching her soul. He attempted to detect any vulnerability from her behavior, anything that could give her true emotions away. She readily met his gaze stoically with an eyebrow perked up asking what he was doing.
Of course, he wouldn't reveal anything. Apparently, Crane had resolved to subject her to the silent treatment. Thinking this caused her to slightly roll her eyes, which he automatically noticed. His eyes intensely locked onto hers, narrowing at her in a dare.
Amelia bit her lip before continuing, "You don't feel anything either, I gather. Then, how about you answer this since you're being so selective? What were your motives for forcing yourself on me Thursday?"
She spoke of this rather lightly, though her face abruptly became impassive, cold. How could she not refer to it as Crane forcing himself? For a brief moment, she'd found herself helpless in her limited space, and he could have done whatever he pleased. To get the message across, she had to refer to that incident as brutally as possible. Perhaps it would sink in. And damage his psyche with all that remorse.
Well, she could dream, couldn't she?
It was then that he stopped flexing out his bony fingers and lifted himself up on his elbows. The look in his eyes was decidedly deadpan to the point of condescension.
"Forcing myself? Are you implying that I would try—?"
"You'd do anything to get others to fear you," Amelia interrupted, more matter-of-fact than accusatory. "Wouldn't you?"
Crane snorted. "I draw certain lines…"
"Oh, I'm sure you do." She heard the biting sarcasm in her voice. "I didn't know villainy had standards."
Thoroughly irritated now, Crane opened his mouth to speak before closing it, pausing.
Then, he retorted, "If I didn't know you any better, Doctor, I would have wondered if you'd insinuated this incident. You tried to get a rise out of me, and it just so happened to wor—"
"I gave you a rise all right!" Amelia snapped bitterly, focusing on retaliation first and, admittedly, tact second. Once she realized her error, she barely blushed in embarrassment. Had she really just been that crude? Irksome patient or not, she behaved disgracefully.
Crane appeared to pick up on the double entendre as well, for his mouth hung slightly agape, presumably mortified at her audacity to say that.
She cleared her throat mainly to avert her attention on her faux pas. "Well…Ahem. Here I go with being unprofessional again. But, Mr. Crane, I must say that you have made it exceedingly difficult for me not to lose my temper. Yes, I will acknowledge that I incited your angry response last week. However, it's no excuse for what you did either."
After seemingly recovering from her earlier mistake, he allowed the sneer to return once more. "Oh, of course not, Doctor. I'll take all the blame if that's your way of dealing with the—"
"That's not what I meant, and you know it." Amelia couldn't help but cut in again. "No need for you to start patronizing."
Crane sat up more, leaning forward and by doing so narrowing the space between their chairs. "It's too much fun not to, especially with the gold mine you unloaded on me just now. Quite a Freudian slip, wouldn't you say?"—his smirk widened—"Such innuendo even I wouldn't have expected from you. I do say that since you referred to me in that way, you are severely sexually repressed. What's the problem? Been too long without a man?"
Wow, he seemed intent on knowing the details of her love life. How many times had he alluded to her relationships with men? She felt certain that he was obsessed with her, oddly so.
Amelia scoffed, "You express so much curiosity on my state of mind when it comes to living alone, Crane. Unhealthy curiosity. Do you honestly want to see me every day in this room?"
"Hm, not particularly."
"Then let's get back on topic. What were your motives for me on that Thursday?" she asked flatly, already getting bored with this session and how little they'd accomplished so far. "I'm very anxious to know that instead of your opinions on my so-called Freudian slip. Honestly, you're a thirty-something-year-old man with a high IQ, and yet you discussed what I accidentally said as if you were a fifteen-year-old boy."
Maybe this went to show that, no matter a man's personality type or any other aspect, he would consistently be a chauvinist pig. Besides, Amelia could sense the minutes ticking away.
Meantime, Crane shrugged. "I suppose I will humor you for once. All right, well, the reason I did what I did was to purposely frighten you. To make you surrender to me."
She snorted angrily. "Are you sure you weren't trying anything apart from that?"
"You're letting the idea of what I could have potentially done pervert your thoughts," he pointed out jeeringly. "It was because I like to use fear. Fear can be a weapon. Fear can elevate you to a metaphorical pedestal of power."
Finally, things were getting interesting. Whenever he went on a fear-related rant, he got to the heart of the matter. This easily helped her with her notes and her overall study of him.
She pretended that she didn't know what he implied and that she was borderline intrigued by a key word. "Power?"
This produced a hungry reaction out of him. His eyes lit up at the mere mention of power. And she thought that she could see him trembling excitedly just slightly. His lips twitched.
"Yes…," he whispered rather caressingly, and that definitely revealed what he loved most in life. Amelia attempted not to snort disgustedly. "There is a kind of power you hold over someone when you legitimately scare them. Mostly, I tend to utilize it for revenge—fear, I mean. Think about it, Doctor. Has someone done anything to hurt you so irreversibly that you could not forgive their action? Didn't you want to embark on your own personal vendetta to make sure they would regret it? Come now…I know you have."
Damn him. He had a valid point in bringing this up, holding the power to do whatever you wished to someone who mistreated you. If she had a choice to go back in time and enact her revenge…
Amelia soon forgot that Crane sat directly in front of her as she looked back in her recent memory. What was the one thing a person did to her that she'd deemed unforgiveable? And of course, the answer came to her clear as day. Wouldn't she love to hurt him back? Wouldn't she long to put him in bankruptcy if she had the capability to?
Wouldn't she give anything to ensure that his reputation fell in shambles? Wouldn't she willingly tell the truth to the masses?
His worst fears realized, and she would be the cause.
No…No, she couldn't. She wouldn't be able to aspire to redemption if she'd ruined him like that. To exact vengeance on one person would result with her becoming mad with that intangible item of power.
Waking herself up from that deep contemplation, Amelia blinked slowly, half-disbelieving that she'd wasted time pondering this. She shouldn't have had to question her morals. How could she have seriously contemplated this horrid concept? Especially since it originated from Crane's school of philosophy, which wasn't too reliable at all.
He looked at her in eager anticipation, tilting his head to the side. "Well? Would you find out his fears and use them to destroy him?"
Despite idling those minutes to turn over his words in her mind, Amelia shook her head almost immediately. "No. I wouldn't. I'm not like you."
Crane pursed his lips, nodding gravely in agreement. "Nobody is. I am one of the few people, if not the only one, to know the true secret to gaining power. It is through neither money nor fame."
Such a tyrannical mentality, ruling through terror instead of compassion. What happened to this man to turn him cold, cynical, with no bit of empathy only apathy? It appeared that way to her anyway. And yet…
"I don't understand," she murmured introspectively, not meaning for him to overhear.
"What is it you don't understand if I may be so bold?"
Unfailingly polite at times as well—there was once a time when that quality wasn't just an occasional glimmer with him.
Amelia sighed reluctantly but settled on telling him nonetheless. "When you discuss fear as a whole, you're at your most coherent, at your sanest."
Crane reacted to this conclusion with a smile but not a very nice one. "To be aware of insanity, one must be particularly sane, Doctor. You work here, for instance. You would call yourself sane, wouldn't you?"
She didn't feel like speaking to him, as revolted as she was by his demented mindset that he'd been presenting analytically. It was as though during his days as talented doctor, he'd only served as a fly on the inside of these walls.
Amelia couldn't tolerate what he threw at her, speaking to her like she was his colleague, not his assigned psychiatrist.
Shockingly, to her, Crane switched the topic back to a previous one. "I believe a hidden part of yourself wants to expose that man to his fears, whether he likes it or not. How did he upset you, Doctor? Unfortunately, I could not decipher your dream too in-depth."
A surge of rage took control of her. "You know nothing, Crane. And that stays that way unless you like being subjected to needles that aren't yours."
She vaguely implied the ones filled with anesthetic, which would knock him out. The last ones had been applied to the back of his neck. And she could bet that that kind of pressure did not feel too pleasant.
Crane leaned back in his chair, clicking his tongue like always. "Why the threats? There is confidentiality between us. I wouldn't tell a soul your story."
"I don't believe you," Amelia said in full return to her ice queen form. "And besides, you are aware that I'm taping these…for future reference."
"Why? This isn't a courtroom. You are not a court reporter."
"Because I've never told anyone!" she confessed, yelling in frustration that another Freudian slip seemed to have occurred. "I'm allowed to have my secrets. I'm human. I'm entitled not to share anything with you. You're only going to use that trauma against me because you're really a coward who likes to pretend he isn't frightened of anything! Not even your memories."
As she glanced at her watch to check the time, a flash of hurt was visible in Crane's eyes. After that short millisecond, when she looked up, he chuckled mirthlessly, leering at her. "I don't pretend, Dr. Harland. I don't fear anything, not even fear. No phobophobia, in other words."
Amelia acted like she hadn't heard a word. "It's been forty-five, Crane. This session is over for the day."
A/N: Villiany has standards...Ah, sigh, a kinda obvious TVTropes reference for those who've been on that site before. There's a trope called Even Evil Has Standards, and I think Crane might have that to a degree. To a degree. I mean, he still is evil in a way. And I don't believe in ever portraying Crane as sappy because that's not the type he is. That's sort of a fanfiction pet peeve with me. When guys who are supposed to be the villians are just the Disney versions of themselves in portrayals, all soft and...I don't know, just in a way I try to avoid doing. Weepy, I guess. I don't like weepy.
However, Crane getting "hurt" in this chapter does mean something, as it's been the first time he might have remotely cared about what scathing remarks Amelia said to him.
Oh, and yeah, got a little edgy with this one, maybe slightly crass earlier in the chapter with Amelia's "Freudian slip." She's annoyed that the implication of that slip had happened, and she's not going down without a fight with him now. And speaking of such, it seems that she might be staring to get inexplicably attracted to Crane just a little bit...
See you guys next chapter.