Disclaimer: I do not own the rights "Batman" or any of its characters, including Scarecrow, nor do I own any rights to the comics or the films. I own nothing save for any original characters I have created.

A/N: If you've not yet seen The Dark Knight Rises, I highly recommend that you not read this story as it contains spoilers.

Your Honor

Jonathan Crane wraps his thin fingers around the judge's gavel. He flexes his arm, relishing the weight of the object in his bony hand.

It's funny, he thinks to himself, that something so small can grant so much power.

Crane has managed to persevere through constant tribulations and grievances—the botched takeover of Gotham, his captures at the hands of Batman and subsequent imprisonments at Arkham and Blackgate—due to his ability to evolve and adapt to his current environment. The role of respected psychiatrist had suited him for quite some time, and so he played the part well and thoroughly, never letting slip his true intentions and goals. When that facade was shattered he was free to become his true self; as Scarecrow he was without inhibition and did as he pleased. In Arkham he was silent, biding his time, and when he was transferred to Blackgate under the Dent Act that silence continued.

Crane is not the same man he was yesterday, and he will not be the same man tomorrow that he is today. And in a city on its way to annihilation, tomorrows are becoming less and less of a guarantee.

He wouldn't leave Gotham, even if he could. The city may be dying but Crane is flourishing. Never before has he been allowed to truly demonstrate his skill in such a refined way; his current position is much more elegant than dealing chemicals and rubbing shoulders with undesirables.

There is no delaying the inevitable, and if he is going to die along with the rest of Gotham then he is going to enjoy the time he has left on Earth. It has occurred to him that his impending death does not bother him as much as it should; perhaps it is because he finally has what he deserves, what is rightfully his.


With a swift, fluid motion Crane bangs the gavel against a sound block.

"Order, order in the court," he commands, his voice cracking. The courtroom falls silent and his lips turn upwards in a smirk of satisfaction.

The death of Gotham may be rapidly approaching, but for Crane life has just begun.