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: I have written Crane fics for a few other holidays, and this year I thought it would be really fun to write a Valentine's fic featuring both Crane and my OC that I created. For those of you who have not read my other fics, Teagan James is a character that I first introduced in Intoxicating. If you have not read it, this story may not make much sense to you. Anyway, I hope you enjoy, and as always thank you so much for reading!
Petals and Smoke
Dr. Jonathan Crane was not a fan of holidays—save for Halloween, of course, and for obvious reasons—but he held a special breed of contempt for Valentine's Day. He loathed everything about the fourteenth of February, from the seemingly endless throngs of hapless men flooding stores to grab cheap flowers and plush animals, to the nauseating splashes of sugary pinks and violent reds that assaulted his eyes in the form of décor. He found the shopping advertisements in particularly poor taste; he wasn't sure what was worse, the heavily-edited photos assuring women that if they adorned their bodies with just the right amount of clinging lace then the man in their lives would find them irresistible, or the countless commercials featuring women fawning over diamonds as if their affection could be purchased with a pretty rock. The almost vulgar display of commercialized, feigned passion disgusted him every year, and he could scarcely understand why anyone would deign themselves to find any part of it appealing.
But this year, he had decided to celebrate the holiday—albeit in his own way.
When Dr. Leland had first introduced Teagan James as Crane's new intern, he had regarded her as little more than a nuisance to be tolerated and endured for the duration of her internship, a pest that he would give no more thought to than he would a weed in a garden or a fly buzzing in his ear. But even a man as proud as Crane could admit when he was wrong, and he had been wrong about Teagan; in addition to showing an interest in his extracurricular studies and experiments, she had proved to be a very useful test subject.
And he was fond of her—more so than he cared to admit.
She was always so eager to assist him, so eager to please, that he felt that she deserved a day where he would both acknowledge her affection for him and celebrate it. Although not a sentimental young woman, Crane had no doubt that Teagan would be elated beyond words at the thought of spending Valentine's Day together—especially when she saw what he had planned just for her.
"What exactly am I looking for?" she asked Crane as they looked out their apartment window, her eyes darting along Gotham's seemingly endless sidewalks and flowing streets.
Crane pointed towards a small jewelry store across the street from their apartment building. He passed the store everyday when coming home from work, and oftentimes the elderly owner and his wife would give him a friendly wave—on the one occasion that he had run into them outside the front of their store and been forced into conversation, they had asked him if he had a wife or girlfriend. When he had answered no, the woman had replied with "oh, but you're so good-looking!" and reached forward to pinch his cheek. Hot embarrassment flushed his face red, and he'd quickly muttered an excuse before making a hasty departure.
That had been over six months ago, and Crane remembered every excruciating detail like it had happened yesterday.
"The jewelry store? What—"
Crane put a finger to his lips in a shh gesture, and Teagan fell silent, gazing at the store with a mixture of confusion and excitement. Minutes past, and even as they approached an hour of waiting her eyes never once faltered from their target.
Finally her patience was rewarded when a man staggered out of the store—no doubt there to purchase jewelry for that special someone in his life—his hands tearing at his shirt collar, his mouth wide open in a wail of terror. Even from their distance, Crane could clearly see the expression of sheer horror on the unfortunate man's face.
Teagan's eyes lit up, and to Crane's delight she actually pressed her palms together and clapped with glee. She smiled as customers fled from the store and into the streets, startling those walking on the sidewalks and bringing vehicles to screeching halts. Green, hazy smoke drifted out of the store's door and mingled with the Gotham air; a bouquet of flowers lay scattered on the ground, silky red petals crushed beneath the stampede. A melody of car horns and agonized screams floated from the streets below up to their apartment and Teagan giggled, both entranced and overjoyed by the mayhem unfolding.
When the owner and his wife stumbled from the store, fear etched into every line on their face, Teagan's grin was infectious and Crane could not help but smile, pleased with his success.
"Did you enjoy your gift?" Crane asked her, already knowing the answer.
Her eyes widened in surprise. "That was for me?" Tears of happiness slid down her cheek. "Oh, Jonathan."
Crane handed her a rose. He was, after all, a traditional man at heart.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Teagan."
She smiled. "Happy Valentine's Day, Jonathan."
He was looking forward to next year already.