|Norman Osborn will always be a (ex_supervill870) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2014-01-16 12:19:00
Who: Becky & Crane
Where: Passages hotel.
When: Uh... backdated to some point before things.
To say she was nervous would have been an understatement.
Becky was beyond nervous. She’d never had a boyfriend, never really been on a proper date, and now she was meeting a guy alone in a room, a guy who didn’t even exist out here in the desert. A guy who was apparently destined to become a villain, and who she just so happened to have slept with during a party on a ghost ship. Jonathan had been nice then, and she liked talking to him, but this was different. What if he was disappointed? She wasn’t the girl she’d been that night; she had inhibitions, a lot of them, and she didn’t think herself very interesting. What if they just sat there in silence, and that was that? Funnily enough, she wasn’t worried about him hurting her. Maybe she should have been, but she wasn’t, and her nerves came from the apprehension every girl felt before going out with someone they liked. Except this wasn’t a date; he’d never called it that. Neither of them had. And she liked talking to him, she’d liked him at the party, but even she had to admit that she didn’t really know him. She was trying not to hope for too much but she did anyway, and that just made her feel stupid and even more nervous than before.
Deciding what to wear was an entirely different battle. Somehow yoga pants and a t-shirt, her usual attire, didn’t seem appropriate but the last thing she wanted was to overdress and make an idiot out of herself. In the end, after raiding her closet while her cat watched, she ended up in a sweater, jeans, and boots. Casual, but not so much so that she felt grungy instead of pretty. She pulled her hair up into a ponytail and set off, deciding to walk over taking a taxi. The weather was still nice, a little on the cool side, but not bad. The walk was nice and it calmed her a little, though her nerves returned as soon as she arrived at the hotel and grabbed one of the keys from behind the desk.
She picked a door at random, not wanting to wait too long and start freaking out all over again, and stepped inside to wait.
As nervous as Becky might have been feeling, Jonathan Crane was dealing with his own feelings concerning the upcoming meeting. It wasn't quite nerves that he was feeling, but there was a sense of anticipation that made his senses tingle and his stomach turn over on itself. People might roll their eyes at his declarations about wanting a friend or two in this world, but the truth of the matter was that Jonathan Crane had spent most of his life alone. His great-grandmother had been a constant, though distant, presence in his life, her presence mostly dictated by what he wasn't doing right, or what he was doing wrong. He had never been close to her, had held no real affection for her. His classmates during his early years were in the same boat. They were people that Jonathan was around, but for no other reason than they happened to be assigned to the same teacher for the school term. When the day was over, no one invited him over after school, and he was largely excluded from social activities. Mostly, it didn't bother him. His grandmother kept him busy at home, and books filled the times when he had nothing else to do. Knowledge was a better friend than people ever could be, and he soaked it in, read everything he could get his hands on.
But now, sitting in New Arkham, Jonathan was painfully aware of his own loneliness. The others that existed in the same world that he lived in all looked at him as though he were a monster hiding in sheep's clothing. They expected things from him, things he was determined not to deliver, but the way they looked at him, talked to him, behaved towards him, it grated on him and made him chafe. He just wanted someone, anyone, to look at him and not expect a monster to come forth. Specifically, he wanted Becky to look at him that way.
He had been a different person at the party, still himself, but not. Lost, unburdened with the memory of who he was or was supposed to be, he had lived without reservations or preconceptions about what sort of behaviour was acceptable from him, and that had been liberating in a way he had been unprepared for. The aftermath, settling back into his world at New Arkham, had felt painful in comparison. The walls were too close, the eye that the orderlies kept on him too narrowed. He longed for a freedom beyond these walls, the sort of freedom that Eddie had gained but would never fully appreciate in his opinion.
But perhaps something could be gained through these rooms that Becky had found out about, rooms that could be entered, where people from worlds that shouldn't cross could meet, talk, see one another face to face without the barrier of a journal resting between them. He had stood in front of the door for a long while, simply staring at it, his hand resting on the doorknob but refusing yet to turn it and open the way. Perhaps she would not be there, perhaps this was all a joke to humiliate him further (and if it was, he would show them that they should not humiliate him! They should not poke fun at him! He was better, he was-), but he wanted to believe differently in her, that she was not like the Cat was, or the Bat man, that she was better and more accepting.
He could not linger any longer, could not face the possibility of keeping her waiting longer than she already may have been. A breath was held and Jonathan turned the knob to step through, appearing not in the bathroom as should have been there, but the small room in the hotel where worlds crossed and merged. He was dressed simply in tan trousers and a white button-down, and he was grateful for the lack of asylum-issued clothing for once. His gaze sought her out as he closed the door behind him, and yes, there were the nerves. She was the same as he remembered, yet not, and for a moment, he felt like the world was laughing at him.
But he did not retreat back through the door he had just come, instead leaning against it and giving her a small nod of his head. "Becky, I presume?" Jonathan asked, his voice raspy from nerves, carrying not an iota of confidence in that moment.
Waiting was just as nerve-racking as the preparation. She didn’t know whether she should sit or stand, pace or keep still, and she circled through all four before perching on the edge of the bed with her hands tangled in her lap. The door was eyed with nervous anticipation, and she hummed to herself under her breath to calm her nerves. Anyone who could see her would probably think she was nuts, but her social interaction had been limited growing up and, well, these weren’t normal circumstances.
Becky was on her feet as soon as the doorknob turned, and a faint blush spread across her cheeks as she stared at the man who came through the door. Her fingers toyed and tugged on the sleeves of her sweater, a sign of her nervousness, and her first thought that was he looked normal, not like a villain at all. Her throat was dry and she was grateful that he spoke first, giving her a chance to breathe and think for a few seconds. “Yes, that’s me,” she said, the blush deepening of its own accord. She managed a shy smile and, gathering her courage, took a few steps forward, close enough to offer her hand without invading his personal space. “It’s-- It’s nice to meet you, Jonathan. Properly, I mean."
To say that Jonathan was shy was putting it mildly. It would be more accurate to state that he had little to no inherent social abilities, having never really learned to talk to people during his younger years. So the fact that he was able to greet her first was saying a lot as to the effort he was putting forth. And it seemed that she was just as nervous and timid as he was. The blush upon her cheeks caught his eye, and he found himself drawn towards it, a hint of a smile coming to his lips. "And you as well, Becky," he answered, stepping away from the door to meet her halfway, a hand extended to take her own, all long fingers and awkward size. He could feel his heart pounding a mile a minute in his chest, and while this had seemed to be a good idea on paper, in the journals where one could think for some time about the words they penned, in person, it seemed less sure, less confident.
"I apologise in advance for my awkwardness," Jonathan said as he drew his hand back, meeting her gaze for a moment before he let it fall just over her shoulder, a lick of his lips in nervousness. "I am not used to talking with anyone other than the doctors that I see as of late. Or Edward." But Eddie was another story all together, and one he wasn't entirely sure of any longer.
It was just a handshake, nothing at all, and yet she was acutely aware of how his fingers felt, palms touching, the contact more than she engaged in with most people on a daily basis. They’d been much more intimate at the party but Becky was trying not to think about that, because she knew her blush would deepen and she’d start tripping over her words like an idiot. She went back to toying with her sleeves when he drew his hand back, for lack of anything better to do, and somehow his own nervousness made her feel better about hers. It would have been worse, she thought, if he’d been cool and confident like he did this all the time.
She thought his advance apology was cute, even endearing, and she couldn’t help a small smile afterward. “You don’t have to apologize,” she told him, her voice starting off quiet and reaching a normal volume near the end, as she fought off her shyness. “I don’t really talk to many people either. I don’t mind.” She didn’t think doctors made very good conversationalists, and Edward, the Riddler, he seemed overwhelming even over the journals. “Edward, is he still with you?” He’d said that he would be getting out soon, but she didn’t know when ‘soon’ was and the thought of him being in some facility alone, with no one to visit, made her sad; she had some experience with that.
The room they had found themselves in was much like a regular hotel room. There was a bed that took up the majority of the room, but there was also a small sitting area tucked into one corner, a round table with two padded chairs that pretended to be comfortable, and it was there that Jonathan took a seat, gesturing for her to sit as well. It was better than standing awkwardly in front of one another, waiting for the tension to break. "It seems we have more in common than we perhaps thought," Jonathan finally said, hands folded together atop the table, all angles and long limbs that felt longer yet with how slender he was. His knee bobbed up and down for a moment, tension in his body, and then he forced himself to be still.
When the conversation turned towards Eddie, his expression grew a little harder, his jaw standing out slightly as he looked down towards the table top. "No," Jonathan said simply. "He was released several days ago. There's still no news of when I might be let out of there as well." It was a reminder of how distanced he was in this world, and how there were people there who would prefer that he never see the light of day from anything other than behind bars again. His hands unlaced, fingers rapping on the table before he curled them into a tight fist.
At least he had the presence of mind to suggest they sit. Had it been up to her she likely would have just stood there, awkward and unsure, for the entirety of their visit. She watched him sit and didn’t move until he gestured for her to join him, which was when she flushed, nodded, and hastily sat down across from him. Better than the bed, at least, even if it did feel a little formal. After a moment of trying to subtly get comfortable Becky tucked a leg beneath herself and rested her elbows on the table, chin propped up on one hand. “I guess we do,” she agreed, with a quick smile. They hadn’t exactly talked all that much at the party, not beyond sharing a sense of being lost, but thinking about the party just made that funny feeling in her stomach start up all over again.
She regretted pursuing the topic of Eddie as soon as she saw his expression change, and she bit down on the inside of her lower lip as he spoke. “Oh.” It was quiet, almost tentative, because she wasn’t quite sure what to say and I’m sorry suggested pity; she didn’t think he would appreciate that. “I’m sure you’ll get out soon,” she said a few moments later, trying to sound positive, and she watched him curl his fingers into a fist. It took a few moments, and a deep breath to steel herself, but she reached across the table and covered his hands with hers, an attempt at something-- reassurance, comfort, things she doubted he received in the facility he was in.
Comfort wasn't something that was often expressed towards Jonathan, even as a child. His mother hadn't wanted him, his grandmother had suggested that they put him down, talking about him as though he were a sick animal instead of a human child, and only his great-grandmother had taken pity upon him. Pity didn't come with love, however, and he was sure there had been days she regretted her decision to take in the tiny child her granddaughter had birthed. So when Becky's hands came to rest atop his own, Jonathan looked first at her hands, so small in comparison to his, and then he lifted his gaze to look at her.
He didn't say anything for the longest time, but eventually, he gave a small shake of his head in the negative. "I wish that I could believe that was true," he said softly, changing the lay of their hands only so he could turn his own over, holding her hands gently in his own. "But there are people here that will attempt to stop that from happening. And I don't have the resources to prevent that." There was resignation in his voice, for as much as he wanted freedom, a world that wasn't dictated by the doctors and orderlies that ruled his life here, the threats from Catwoman continued to echo in his mind, and with it, a growing sense of anger that she would attempt to keep him here. That was quickly tamped down, shoved away where it wouldn't bother him, because Becky did not need to see him like that. He wasn't that person, after all, the one they all thought he would become, and he wouldn't let them win by giving in like that.
"But I'm glad you came to see me. That we can meet like this." His thumb ran over the back of her hand, a gentle touch that came without him even thinking about it. "Since Eddie left, it's been rather quiet. No one visits, not that I blame them for that." There wasn't really anyone he would want to visit. Eddie made promises, of course, but he doubted they would be followed through with. He had his things outside this building, after all. Why would he return for someone like him?
It was easier when he wasn’t looking at her; eye contact always made things more personal, strengthening the connection, but she didn’t pull her hand back. Instinct made her skittish but Becky was determined not to let her nerves get the best of her, not this time. Her gaze dropped when he turned his hand over and she wasn’t even aware of having held her breath until he held her hand in his and she exhaled softly. “There has to be something you can do,” she said, looking back up to meet his gaze. “They can’t keep you locked up without reason.” And there was nothing she could see that would be reason to keep him in an institution. She might not have known him very long but she still hated the resignation in his voice, and she vowed to talk to Eddie again, to see if something could be done.
“I’m glad we can meet like this too,” she admitted. It had been lonely, moving to a place like Las Vegas where she knew no one, and she was still adjusting to college life. “I know what quiet can be like. Too much of it…” She trailed off and shook her head. “What do you do to keep yourself occupied? Like-- hobbies, or things like that.”
His thumb continued to run over the back of her hand, gentle circles as he listened to her speak, the warmth of another person's skin against his own grounding him to the here and now, keeping him from drifting off into the sort of anger that he knew could grip a person when faced with circumstances that seemed so insurmountable. "The people through my door seem to enjoy doing what they please without solid justification for their actions," Jonathan said after a moment. "The simple fact of what I may or may not be capable of is enough for most of them to be content if I never see the light of day again." He let out a long sigh, his hand stilling after a moment, simply holding to her hand, the anchor to the peace.
The question as to what he did to stay occupied drew his surprise, gaze lifting to meet hers as he thought on his answer. "I spend a lot of time reading," he responded. "I was in school before coming here, and have always enjoyed an academic life. Books don't judge, after all, and I've always found comfort in that." He paused, considering. "And yourself?"
She’d be far too embarrassed to ever say it aloud, but she liked the feel of his thumb tracing circles on her skin. Comic books weren’t her strong suit, but after her conversation with Eddie she had Googled a few things, watched the movies he talked about, and she thought she had a fair understanding of what his Door might be like. And, okay, maybe Becky hadn’t looked too deeply into the things Scarecrow had done in the comics, but that was neither here nor there. She just wanted background information, that was all. He was a real person, not a fictional character, and it wouldn’t be fair to judge him on the basis of what a bunch of writers had made up. “That doesn’t sound fair,” she said with a frown. “What about them, and what they’re capable of?”
He looked like an academic, she thought. “What were you in school for?” She didn’t think herself much of a student, never one for lectures and tests and the like, but she could understand the simplicity of books, the lack of judgment, though she preferred the escape from reality. “I listen to a lot of music,” she said, after a moment. “And, well, I sing. The university, sometimes they put on musicals or performances. It’s good experience,” she said with a small shrug.
"I don't think that matters," Jonathan said matter of factly. "They seem to take special offense to me in particular, which I can understand based on the actions of my predecessor, but there comes a time and a place where they simply need to understand that I am not that same person." He quieted after a moment, his brows knitting together slightly before he let out a long sigh, shaking his head. "Whatever is meant to pass will pass, and I'll simply learn to deal with it." He just hoped that getting out of here was part of what was meant to pass. In here, there were too many restrictions, too many eyes upon him, and he needed to be out from constant surveillance for the first time since arriving here.
Jonathan looked up at her question, brows arching slightly in surprise. "Psychology and psychopharmacology. It's been something I've had interest in since I was a young child." Upon hearing of what she did in school, he couldn't help the small smile that ghosted its way upon his face. "I couldn't ask you to sing for me, could I?" he asked after a moment, hesitant in the question, prepared for refusal.
Maybe it was easier for Becky, because unlike those in Gotham she had no experience with this other Jonathan. The only man she knew was the one she was seated across from now, and she’d only known kindness from him, not cruelty; he’d had the opportunity to hurt her at the party, after all, when they’d all been without their inhibitions, and he hadn’t. If he didn’t hurt people when there was nothing stopping him then why would he do it now? Someone needed to believe in him, she decided. Someone needed to counter all the negativity Jonathan received in his world, and she didn’t mind being that person, not one bit. She wasn’t afraid either, despite those who’d done their best to warn her. “They will,” she assured him. “It might be difficult at first, but they’ll come around. They’ll see that they were wrong. They have to.” She nodded when he said he would learn to deal with it because, really, until things changed that was all he could do. “It’ll be okay,” she said, softer, more soothing.
She knew what psychology was, of course, but she wasn’t as clear on psychopharmacology. Pharma was like pharmacy, which was medicine, drugs, but that came too close to the things she’d read about on the internet and so she didn’t give it all that much thought. “That sounds interesting. Interesting, but difficult,” she admitted. “You must be pretty smart.” Which she didn’t think she was, and she wondered if he would get bored with her, eventually, when that ended up becoming more obvious. But that concern vanished when he asked if she would sing for him, and she couldn’t help blushing. Singing in front of people was something that was required for her program, of course, but it had taken time and effort to get to the point where she didn’t freeze up and lose her voice. Even now, she was still far more confident on her own, with only an imaginary audience before her.
But she didn’t want to tell him no. She wrung her hands together and offered a nervous smile. “You could,” she said slowly, biting down on her lip. “I-- I’m not that good, though. Is there something you’d like to hear?”
"They don't have to do anything they don't want to do," Jonathan said after a moment, and there was no use hiding the sullen note in his voice. He wanted to believe that he could show them that he was different, that he could get them to let their guard down long enough for him to see their weaknesses, their fears, but a nagging voice in the back of his thoughts told him that might be easier said than done. But that was neither here, nor there. No, right now it was about the young woman who had voluntarily met with him, the young woman who he was fond of in a way that was wholly foreign to him.
The conversation turned back to their schooling, and he gave a nod, eager to move on to topics that were easier for him to speak of. "It is a challenge," he admitted, "but I've always enjoyed pushing myself with learning. One of my strengths, so to speak." He managed a smile, a slight lift of the corner of his mouth, a slight warmth creeping its way into his gaze. He saw the blush upon her cheeks, the faint colouring of her skin, and that made the smile warm a slight bit more. "I'm afraid that I don't know much about music myself," Jonathan confessed, leaning forward on his seat, reaching out to take the hands she wrung together to hold them in his own, a move that was more confident than it should have been. "Sing something you enjoy. It doesn't matter to me what it is."
“No,” she admitted. “I guess they don’t. But sooner or later, when people are wrong, they accept it. Denying the truth is just silly.” Surely, these people would stop acting like stubborn children eventually and start behaving as mature adults. Of course, Becky had no idea that he was interested in anybody’s fears or weaknesses. She thought he actually did want to be a good person, with no strings attached or ulterior motives involved.
She smiled, something fond touching the gesture. “You like a challenge.” It was kind of cute, in a way she couldn’t explain at all, even if she wasn’t that kind of smart and probably never would be. The fact that he noticed her blush only made it worse, and she was almost as nervous about singing for him as she’d been about coming here in the first place. She would have studied more had he not taken her hand, and her surprise overrode her nerves as she looked down at their joined hands. “Okay,” she conceded. There were endless choices, really, but she decided to go for safe and familiar; ever since she’d found out what door she was in she’d been listening to the soundtrack, and she liked the songs.
It was with reluctance that she slid her hand free of his and moved to stand, finding it easier that way. She took a few deep breaths and pretended she was in school, practising, as she began to sing.
Jonathan went silent as she drew away with the decision to sing for him made. The arts were never something that he had really enjoyed, but he had to admit that there was something about her that made him want to enjoy them. So he leaned back and he listened as she sang, hands balanced upon his crossed leg, fingers drumming along with the beat that her voice set. Eventually, he closed his eyes to listen more fully, and as she continued, a smile touched upon his lips, quiet and serene and so unlike him.