|Enigma ~The Riddler's Daughter (i_riddle) wrote in we_coexist,|
@ 2013-10-25 14:03:00
|Entry tags:||edward nigma, enigma, zz:status complete|
Nightmare Valley (Eddie and Effie Log)
“DADDY!” Effie yelled as she ran into his room as he heard him having yet another nightmare, flipping on the light (before wincing at the brightness and flipping back off, instead turning on the small lamp by the bed), leaning on his bed as she wrapped her arms around him. “It’s alright, your safe…” she whispered. “I promise, it’s alright…”
At the sudden brightness of the light Eddie's pupils dilated and he was blinded. Another scream and he heard Effie's voice filtering through the fear.
His chest rose and fell at a rapid rate and his heart raced.
When his vision finally returned to normal he looked up at his daughter and shifted into her arms, curling his own around her desperately. Eddie buried his face against her shoulder and closed his eyes, trying to will his body to cease its shivering.
For a moment he took comfort from her, clinging almost desperately to her night clothes with his long fingers. And when his breathing finally began to steady Edward sniffled and pulled back some to look at his daughter.
He never wanted her to see him like this, weak and afraid. But he had been broken and he needed to mend. This was all he knew how to do.
She smiled down at him, gently kissing his forehead. “It’s alright, daddy,” she whispered again, both that he was vulnerable to her, and that he was safe, one of her hands gently rubbing his back as she held him. “Just a nightmare..nothing to fear…”
But even as she said the words, her own cheek burned, reminding her of her own nightmare, the terror she had felt when she looked at those scratches.
Logically, she knew they were from her own fingernails, having scratched herself in the night, she could even prove it by pulling her own skin from beneath her nails...but there was still the horror in the back of her mind that it had been real, that her...older self really was lurking in the back of her mind, trying to take control again.
That she was just as crazy as Jonathan was, and it wasn’t just her subconscious trying to sort through old memories and her amnesia.
There was everything to fear. Fear walked the streets, skulked around Arkham, visited his memories and had touched...no burned a hole in his heart.
He huffed and finally settled, body ceasing trembling despite his heart still racing pretty quickly.
He clung to her, trying to stay stable and have something constant. He didn't need Jonathan when he had Effie, but Jonathan...well, Scarecrow had ripped out his heart and crushed anything remotely resembling a relationship or constant that Edward had in his life.
But he couldn't take Effie. Eddie wouldn't let him. Even if it meant killing Jonathan to save her, opening the hole in his heart wider, he would.
"...I saw him again..." Eddie managed through a dry mouth, looking at his daughter sadly.
Effie shifted slightly, reaching around her father, not releasing him, but managing to pour a glass of water, handing it to him as she held him. At his words, she hugged him tighter. “Oh daddy…” she whispered, before gently combing her fingers through the red brown strands of his hair, gently petting it. “He’ll never harm you again, Daddy...I will destroy him first.”
It was...odd, to hear the words coming from the innocent version of the girl, but it was clear she meant every word, the promise of death dripping from her tongue. She would burn down Arkham around Jonathan and Scarecrow before she allowed them to touch her father.
Edward uncurled an arm from around Effie, taking the glass of water. He drank deeply, comforted by the moisture returning to his mouth.
He set the cup aside when it was empty, which didn't take long, and pulled Effie close against himself once more.
"Thanks baby," Eddie said softly.
The words, the threat of destruction wasn't uncommon for her, not as she might think. But he did know she meant it. He hoped that Jonathan wouldn't be stupid enough to come around here and try anything.
“Do you want to...tell me about it?” she asked softly, petting his hair. She would understand if he didn’t, she didn’t think she was ready just yet to explain her nightmare with Enigma. “Orrrr, we could put together puzzles!”
Eddie shook his head at her. It wasn't because he couldn't talk about it, he just wasn't sure how to put what he was feeling...seeing into words. He had no real way to explain to her the terror, the nightmares, that face.
When she mentioned puzzles, Edward sighed with relief and nodded, "Puzzles sound fine baby. Better than sleeping." That was the honest truth.
Slowly Edward released his hard grasp on his daughter and waited for her to lead.
Effie smiled, glad her father didn’t ask about the scratches on her cheek as she slid out of bed and got his wheelchair. “Let’s go to my room, the bed is bigger and we can curl under the blankets while we work on them,” she said with a brighter smile.
She...didn’t want to go back without someone there with her.
He was glad she wasn't making him stay in that room by himself. What if...
He didn't want to think about it. Instead Edward pulled from Effie completely, while she left to get his wheelchair, and he reached over to his bedside table and plucked the upset looking penguin plush from it.
With Baditz-Maru in tow, Eddie slid into his wheelchair with a soft thud and waited patiently as Effie pushed him put of the room.
The wheels made a very brief whiff sound against the polished floor as he moved and it sounded louder than usual. But perhaps that was because the Warehouse was practically vacant save for them.
With a breath, heart finally easing back into a normal pace, Edward set the plush penguin in his lap and closed his eyes for a moment.
Effie happily pushed her father to her room, gently tilting him back to get over the slight lip before wheeling him over to the bed to get settled amongst the pillows and stuffed animals all over it. As he did, she moved over to her stereo, humming as she sorted through her CD’s, popping in the Justin Beiber CD the City gave her, cranking it up and bouncing back to the bed, fishing a few puzzle boxes out from underneath. “We have the Eiffle Tower, we have the Arc de Triumph, we have the White House...Wayne Mannor…”
Edward crawled into the bed, settling himself down between a variety of plush toys, making sure the one Effie had gotten him (well technically he had gotten it for himself) nearby within reach.
He ignored the obvious choice of pop music that was playing from the CD player, and looked over the selection of puzzles instead.
So many choices.
"Wayne manor. We can set fire to it once we've finished it!"
“Da-ady,” she said, chastizing him, but she put the others away, upending the 3-D puzzle onto the bed so they could put it together. “You have issues.” She stuck out her tongue at him as she started flipping the pieces face up, curling her legs under her as she sat.
It was nice, having a quiet moment with her father, and hopefuly he would soon forget about his nightmare and go back to being his normal, annoying self. No one deserved to live in fear.
He shrugged at her only. She could never understand the level of hatred he felt for Batman. The villains true loathing for the hero. He knew she had fought the Bat, they had done so together, but he had known the Batman much longer than she had.
Instead of arguing the point, Edward simply began to collect pieces of the 3-D puzzle and pushed the styrofoam bits together.
“Hey, I think this is Timmy’s room,” she said as she started putting together pieces, giggling. “You can almost see the posters through the window...and since they have clothes on, can’t be Dick’s…”
Okay, so she only knew what was in Tim’s room from the comics, but it was idle chat that kept Edward from dwelling. “I wonder what posters Alfred would have...tea kettles?”
"Maybe. Or feathers dusters?" Edward said with a giggle, pressing a few of the pieces together that obviously didn't go. He sighed and cast one of the pieces aside, picking up another.
"Who buys posters anymore?" Edward commented, knowing he was in a room covered in posters. He didn't even know what color the wall was considering the lack of color he was seeing because of the posters covering the walls.
“I do!” she said, sticking her tongue out at him. “And Bruce, who bought me some of these...and I know Jonathan has one of a pumpkin in his coat closet so there!” she put two more pieces together, humming happily along with the music.
Of course, Jonathan’s was actually covering a giant blood stain they couldn’t get out of the wood, but either way, it supported Effie’s case, so she wasn’t being picky. She looked up at her own ‘wallpaper’, smiling at the cat and the sparkly unicorn near them. “Don’t you like my posters?
Eddie shivered at the mention of Jonathan, almost crushing a styrofoam puzzle piece in his fist.
"Your posters are dreadful but if you like them then I have nothing to really say about it either way," Edward said with a shrug. He flattened the piece of puzzle back out, and hooked it easily into another piece that fit.
Effie felt bad that she upset her father, going silent as she tried to fit more pieces together before suddenly reaching out, hugging her father. “Love you, daddy,” she whispered, wishing she could take away all of his fear and pain.
Edward leaned easily into Effie's embrace, taking a moment to wrap a long arm around her and pat her back gently as if it were he comforting her instead of the other way around.
"Love you too, baby," Edward nodded, pressing a kiss against her hair before pulling back from her.
Eddie stuck a couple of pieces together and then began erecting Wayne manor.
Effie beamed, helping him put together Wayne Manor, humming happily as the building started to take shape before them. “Centuries to build it...and we’re creating it in under minutes...poor Wayne’s always were rather stupid.”
She giggled at her own joke, smiling at her father.
"It's their downfall, really. They don't even notice it either which makes it all the better," Edward replied casually.
He erected one of the walls, settling the pieces into the built foundation. Another wall then came up, and the rest. Finally, Edward began on the roof, humming softly to himself -- unknowingly of course that it was one of the singsong rhymes Scarecrow had beaten into his brain. Literally.
Effie watched her father as he put Wayne Mannor together, tilting her head as she listened to him humm a nursery rhyme. She wondered if he had ever sang to her as a baby, ever even held her before she had been taken from him before she stood, leaving the room for a long moment.
She returned with a large metal bowl, waiting until her father finished before she lifted up the puzzle and placed it in the bowl, offering him a lighter. “I’m not setting my bed on fire,”
When the manor was completed, Edward leaned back for a moment to admire the work. Oh t was a fine piece of architecture and it would be a shame to set it aflame. But oh how he couldn't resist.
Upon being handed the lighter, Edward accepted it, lifting a hand to place over his heart, "Here it is, the turning of the Century. No longer shall this residence plague Gotham with its poison. No longer shall it stand proud or tall against the skyline of the neighborhood and no longer shall it be an omen to we children of the street."
He flicked the lighter, the small flame sprouting up merrily. "Good bye, Wayne..."
In another breath Edward tossed the lighter into the bowl and the entire puzzle became enveloped in flame. Edward sighed contently and watched it burn.
Effie rolled her eyes at his words, leaning against her father as she watched the flames consume the puzzle pieces. “You’re weird,” she said after a moment, grinning up at him. She snuggled even closer, almost in his lap as the flames ate away at Wayne manner, something flickering in the back of her mind.
Edward leaned back as best as he could with his cast and curled his arms around Effie. "Ah, if only we had marshmallows," Edward commented absently.
And if only Wayne manor actually was on fire. Perhaps if they ever made it back to Gotham then Edward would set the place ablaze.
“Mm, I think I have some in the kitchen if you want me to go get them,” she said, but her mind wasn’t really on her words, instead they were on the flickering flames, and the images inside. Pictures of laughter and pain and a whole lot of things Effie didn’t know about and yet somehow did know.
And the rush of blood across her face as someone’s throat was sliced open, so real and warm that she started to scream.
"Sure baby, if you'd like," Edward managed before he noticed the sudden shift in her demeanor. It seemed she went silent for a moment, as if she existed on a whole different plane of time and reality.
Then there was the screaming.
He winced and held on to her, patting her shoulders and back, trying to calm her. He wasn't sure about what caused her change, but he didn't like it. "Shhhhh, Effie...it's okay.."
“Enigma.” The voice was brittle from screaming, but still had the light, airy tones that Effie used over Enigma’ practiced, darker...more sensual voice. She rasied her head, looking up at her father. “My name..was Enigma...and I was not a very nice person.”
There were still..pieces, missing, tiny shards that would make all the edges lined up...but the picture, like all puzzles in the end, was pretty clear without them. And the image made Effie...Enigma...want to vomit.
"Nobody is ever a genuinely nice person, baby. Even the so called good guys. I cam guarantee you that each of them has killed, plotted and schemed, lied...about something. Nobody is good," Edward explained, "What you call yourself is up to you. It's your definition of what you are, but you will never wash the blood from your hands completely. And neither will I."
Effie was born into Darkness, however. Destined to away and toe the line of good and bad. Edward had created that world for himself.
"All you can do is live your life the way you know how, take your past as it has been and define yourself in the future to come."
“I kinda like Effie still,” she said, looking at him, tilting her head, studying him in a way she hadn't really after losing her memories. “You were a dick,” she stated, lightly hitting his chest. She would never be the girl she was before Erik broke her, nor could she be the girl she was without the memories torturing her.
She had to somehow be someone new...and she wasn’t sure how yet.
“Oooo, I’m in so much trouble!” she said, clamping her hands to her mouth. “I broke out of jail!”
"Nobody said you had to stop being Effie, or Enigma. That's your choice," Edward said with a shrug. And when she made the comment about his behavior all Eddie could do was shrug again. He had done a few things in his life he wasn't proud of, and it had taken a severe beating to make him are straight. Finally.
"You didn't break out, technically. You were broken out, so thwy can't hold you responsible for that. And obviously it isn't that big of a deal considering the lack of man power searching for you." Edward noticed that the cops didn't even seem concerned in the least about the escapee. They would've hunted her down by now if the issue was that pressing.
“Everyone else is expecting me to be,” she said, referring to the Effie vs Enigma problem. “They expect when I get my memories back for me to be her...or if they aren’t, for me to be Effie.” Though she was sure Bruce would accept her anyway she was, and the other friends she had...well, she didn’t know yet that Damon had vanished, and Tink was rarely around...hell, even Ruffio was gone.
All she had left was her husband, her father, and her boss.
“They would be searching harder if they knew what I had actually done,” she said, making a face, still feeling sick. “I was the one who killed those girls.”
She had never told anyone directly that she was responsible for the Violetta murders, with Erik it had all been silent gestures and Bruce just put two and two together to get four. It was the largest body count to her name in either world and the idea both thrilled and disgusted her in equal measure.
Which made for an odd expression on her face as she thought about it.
"Effie, you can't love your life for Tony, for Bruce, for Dinah Lance or for me. You have to live it for you, and you alone. Because ultimately every decision you make you have to live with it. It might affect the people around you, but if they cannot truly accept you for who you are, not who you're trying to be, then you don't need them in your life. Myself included."
When she mentioned the Violetta murders, Eddie sighed and shrugged at her, "Baby we all do things we regret. You're not the only person that has ever taken a life. I shot a young woman recently with the intent to murder her in cold blood, I've kidnapped people, killed my own henchmen....a number of things. And I regret, but we all have to move on and not dwell on our shortcomings."
“I don’t know how,” she whispered, and it was true. Effie’s entire life had been lived for others...for her father, for Duela, for the Titans, for Slade, for Erik...for Bruce. She had no idea who she even was under the masks she wore to please everyone else.
She was an actress without a script.
She listened to the rest of her father’s words, soaking it in, before something clicked in her head and she hit him with a pillow. “You shot Annie?! I liked her!” Okay, so they had never met face to face, but she made Tony happy which made Effie happy.
She paused for a moment, before hitting her father again, huffing. “Stop shooting people I like!”
"Perhaps you can start working on that by inserting the word 'No' into your vocabulary. Do what makes you happy. If that's pleasing people, then do that. If you hate it then don't do it."
When his act dawned on her, thankfully with less violence than it had with Tony, Eddie ducked the swipe of the pillow. "Yes. I had no idea the connection she had with Stark, you see," Eddie began, "And I've sort of made a promise to stop trying to kill and kidnap people."
Edward pulled a handkerchief out of his shirt pocket and held it up to Effie. The cloth was silken and ivory, embroidered with red roses. "That belonged to Beauty, and it's a constant reminder of what I did to her. She gave it to me in hopes I would remember our promise."
“Ya shouldn’t do it anyway! It’s mean!” she huffed, staring at the handkerchief. The part of her that was Enigma, the cruel, evil bitch wanted to rip it out of his hands and burn it, taking away the promise her father had vowed. She actually sat on her hands to keep from doing it, closing her eyes against the urge.
“What happened to living for yourself?” she asked, her eyes slowly opening, the flames reflecting in the dark orbs. “The daddy I know wouldn’t be that nice...he would have hit her with his cane.”
"Sometimes you lose yourself along the path of life, baby, and it takes a wake up call to remember who it was you were to begin with," He explained to her. The daddy she was used to was evil, insane and rotten all the way around.
He had to change to live. Most of him was still that same conniving, riddling evil genius, but he had to suppress it as well. For himself. Not for anyone else. He had to make sacrifices for his daughter, because she was the most important thing in his life.
“One day, we’re going to have to talk about what happened to you,” she stated, before smirking. “Knock, knock!” Jokes were a trait Effie had, years ago, that she had long given up as she turned to puzzles and riddles in an attempt to be like her father.
But they were still rattling around her brain, and her father needed something to make him feel better after what she had just said.
The merest of thought about what had happened to him, at this point in his life, was liable to have him screaming again. His mind pushed the idea away when she started off a joke.
Edward smirked and looked fondly at his daughter, "Who's there?"
At least with jokes he didn't have to find a different way to distract himself from the event.
“Cargo!” she said, bouncing in anticipation of the punchline, beaming up at her father, rather proud of her joke and eager to see his reaction.
"Cargo who?" Edward inquired, tilting his head at her curiously. She usually wasn't one for jokes, as puzzles and riddles ran more in their family, but he anticipated the punch line anyway to see what she would come up with.
“Nuh uh! Car go beep, beep!” she said, poking his nose lightly with each ‘beep’ before giggling manically. She smiled at him, waiting for his reaction.
When she delivered the punch line, Edward sighed with amusement. "That's a good one, baby. I like it." It was satisfactory. Up to par, considering it was a knock-knock joke.
He held her close and looked over at the bowl that held the smoldering puzzle. "I think its time to cool Bats down. What do you think?"
“Mm, if we must,” she said, teasing before sliding from the bed and getting a glass of water, slowly pouring it over the puzzle so that it was extinguished. “I used to tell jokes all the time,” she said, not looking at him. “I couldn’t stop, everyone I met, I had to tell one to, every moment I was awake, I had to create one..”
She finally raised her eyes. “It was a compulsion..the doctors said I would outgrow it, but I just switched jokes for riddles when I set off to meet you in Gotham, after mom and dad died. Hundreds of puzzles and riddles.”
She set the glass down, curling up in bed next to him, resting her head on his shoulder. “We’re both crazy,” she teased lightly, to offset the news that Edward had passed his OCD down to his own daughter. Some people didn’t react well when finding out they made their flesh and blood literally crazy.
Joking was probably a reaction instilled by her brain to combat the tragedy of her parent's unfortunate demise, and Edward honestly chalked it up to that. She had needed a way to cope and jokes, or riddles seemed to be the way her brain found the solution.
"We're not crazy, baby. Just very misunderstood by the world around us. We live outside of our time, and the world had yet to comprehend our magnificence."
He couldn't help what had happened to her. He had caused that, of course, the chain reaction spiral into darkness and oblivion. The death of her parents was his doing, but she would never know. That would be the secret he took to the grave with him, and not even torture would bring it out of him.
She beamed at his words, hugging him tightly. It meant something to her to have someone that finally understood, and didn’t just look at her like she was losing her mind with each compulsion she gave into.
“Love you, daddy,” she said, having no idea of his thoughts, of the pain he had brought to her life. And thankfully, she would never know, or she may truly lose control.
"Love you too, baby," Edward said, curling an arm tightly around his daughter. A lot had changed in his life since that point, the defining moment where he had made his daughter murder her own foster parents. He was a completely different person. Or at least he was going to try to be.
With a sigh, one that was full of both regret and longing, Eddie closed his eyes for a moment and basked in Effie's warmth.
“So...what do ya wanna do now? Besides snuggle,” she said, giggling as she pulled a rainbow coloured, unicorn clad blanket over them. The Justin Beiber CD ended and she picked up her remote, changing it to another bubblegum pop cd before titling her head and looking up at him, waiting for his reply.
Edward thought for a moment after the question was posed. The idea of snacks had aroused something inside of his stomach that wasn't about to let up.
"Hungry. Mid-night snack?" Food was always a good alternative to boredom and it wasn't like Edward actually gained any weight.
“Mm, Okay!” she said, beaming at him before standing and getting his wheel chair again, turning I so he could slide in. “What are you thinking? Fried chicken? Cupcakes? Gummie bears?” She leaned down, kissing her father’s cheek.
“Thank you,” she said softly, for his ears only. “For being my daddy.”
It was all she had ever wanted in her life, acknowledgement and love from the man who gave her half (or more) of her DNA. These moments with him...they were the closest thing to her heart and she would never give them up, even if Eddie returned to his evil, vile ways.
That was quite an array of choices, random but satisfying, and Edward slid into his chair as he tried to make up his mind about what he wanted.
When she thanked him, Eddie smiled a little and settled back against the seat of he chair, "You're welcome, baby." He meant it. Jonathan had changed him, for the better or the worst.
She hummed happily as she steered him towards the elevator to go downstairs, allowing her father to make up his mind on what he wanted. She already knew she was getting an ice cream sundae...and probably a little bit of whatever Edward chose. “Daddy...can I ask you something...personal and private?” she asked, worrying at her lip.
He continued to think about what he wanted, reveling in the idea of a sugar-induced high. His thoughts scattered, however, when she asked him about needing to inquire about something personal and private. He shrugged, and nodded, looking over his shoulder at her, "Sure baby. What is it?"
She took a deep breath, steading herself before speaking. “When you...have sex...with someone the first time...does it matter if you’re good? Or will they hate you? Also, does it hurt? And if it does hurt...can you stop?” Her words started to jumble together towards the end, tripping over one another as she rushed through them, bright red, unable to believe what she was asking, but needing to know before...things happened.
Instantly Edward was amused by the question considering her history, but he sighed anyway and mulled it over.
"I remember that the first time I did it it was weird. Mainly because I had no idea what I'm doing but most of the time nobody cares if you're experienced. It hurts for girls, not really guys. But it doesn't last," he explained. It had been so long since he had first done that.
"If it isn't enjoyable just tell Bruce to stop and I'm sure he will. He loves you, and I don't think he would force you to do something you didn't want." Or Eddie would find a way to kill him.
“I never said I was going to do anything with Bruce!” she said, huffing, embarrassed. “But...you really think he wouldn’t be mad at me if I didn’t like it and wanted to stop?” The last bit was asked in a small voice, a touch of hope in it. She didn’t want to upset Bruce, but she was terrified of doing...thing with him, despite the fact she really, really wanted to.
"Well you two are married, baby, so it's only natural that you would do something with him," Edward said with a shrug. That was most logical.
At the next part, Eddie shook his head, "I don't think he would be mad at you at all. Especially not if he loves you like he says. I'm sure he will understand and give you the space you need."
“I still don’t’ remember the wedding,” she said softly, worrying at her lip. “Just...a blur.”
She shrugged, steering her father into the kitchen. If that was the only memory she truly lost after all this, it wasn’t so bad. She had others...small moments with Bruce that meant everything to her, a wedding was just a day, she had a lifetime and more to build on. “Did you decide what you wanted yet, daddy?” she asked, changing the subject as she wheeled him over to the dining table.
"It'll come back to you. There are probably photographs some place, or video tapes. I'm sure one of the many people that came have some recollection." He wasn't going to mention the family tension, the fact that Jonathan had basically proposed to him without actually asking and Jonathan helping her Enigma ready.
Those memories hurt too damned much.
Instead, Edward nodded. "Cupcakes. Green ones."
“Premade or homemade?” she asked, fully prepared to dig out her cookbooks and make him some if that’s what he required...even though she did have some chocolate mint ones already made from the store. She smiled at his words, kissing his cheek again, hopeful that she would get something back.
She wanted to remember that day, even if it didn’t really matter...if just to know it was there, besides the pictures she had seen in her and Bruce’s apartment.
She sighed softly, suddenly missing Bruce desperately. She wished he was here with them now, but he had been working so much lately that it didn’t matter if he was...his mind was on his projects as always.
“I might..stay tomorrow at Stark Tower, if you don’t need me,” she said, looking at her father as she waited for his answer on the cupcakes. “Just the night.”
"Home made. Nothing better than home made," Eddie said with a nod and without any hesitation. She didn't have to make them, persay, but that would be ideal.
"That's fine, baby. I think I'll be alright here without you for an evening," Eddie said absently, trying to make his fear subside at the thought of being all alone in the Warehouse for the first time by himself since the attack and his recovery.
“I’m only a phone call away and I will leave JARVIS with you,” she said, smiling sweetly. “You’ll be safe. I just...need to see him.” She turned away, getting out the ingredients to make the cupcakes for him, once more humming happily. She couldn't wait to see Bruce the next day.