Who: Helena and Jonathan What: Helena has a little problem to take care of Where: Arkham When: Directly after this Warnings/Rating: Violence. A lot of violence. Helena's deteriorated mental state. Crane getting nailed in a non-sexy way. An incomplete crucifixion.
Jonathan Crane is responsible. Of all the words that her dad had put in that post, those were the four that came back to nail her in the skull, every damn time she closed her eyes. Jonathan Crane. Everything was a lie. Everything. Shaking hands pushed through hair shorn short -- god, that was fucking real enough -- but there was no fucking band. No people. Only this dingy little apartment that she'd managed to find herself in with a guitar she couldn't play. He'd done this again. He'd fucked with her family, with Gotham, with her for the last damn time.
Pushing off her bed, she grabbed the first pair of black jeans she could find. The knee was a little torn, shreds of white showing, but it didn't matter, it just didn't fucking matter as she pulled a black hoodie on over her t-shirt. The only thing that mattered was getting her hands on Crane, who liked playing God with his chemistry set and fucking all of them up. She shoved her feet in her trusty boots, not bothering to lace them up before she snatched her keys off the worn wooden foyer table with a jingle jangle and left. The apartment was too small, and Gotham wasn't feeling any bigger once she stepped outside. The whole world was feeling too damn small as long as he was out there still.
Her teeth ground together hard enough that a sharp pain shot through her jaw and she stopped for a second, looking at her reflection in the window of her car. Crane was responsible. She'd been almost, kind of happy and none of it was real. With a low snarl she yanked the door of her car open (not her pretty little Prius anymore, that was in the river somewhere, but a beat up old Hyundai now) and crawled into the seat that had seen better days even before she purchased it a few days ago.
She'd have to disinfect it later. Her hands kept shaking as she flipped through the keys until she found the one she wanted and slammed it into the steering column to get the car started. Yeah, yeah and she almost flooded the engine when she hit the gas pedal to get the car actually going. Whoops.
Crane wanted to play God with them? She'd show him, give him a lesson he was sorely in need of. Cause that was the only way he was going to learn, wasn't it? She navigated the streets of Gotham, weaved in and out of the cars with her foot a little too heavy on the gas and narrowly avoided running over some guy with a shopping cart coming out of Home Depot.
Home Depot. She swung the wheel hard to the left and pulled into the lot. Rope, she needed rope. He'd had that noose around his neck when he'd been at the party with Kitane. Rope, and a hammer, and some nails. Yeah. Her steps were quick, determined after she parked the car and headed inside. Took less than five minutes before she was back in her car and speeding towards Arkham Asylum.
She didn't park on the road leading up to the wrought iron gates. Helena knew better. Instead she threw everything she might need into a black backpack and headed over the fence. Where would Crane be? Where would the itty bitty Scarecrow go? He was running Arkham. Offices. Her gaze tracked the windows that weren't barred and had little yellow shafts of light coming from them. While she'd hung up her suit, she hadn't hung up her crossbow. Holding onto the wire with both hands, feet firmly against the wall, up she went. One window, two windows, three windows, four. Five was jackpot. There was a little Scarecrow all alone, goons in the hallway.
She smiled a thing with no mirth as she went up a few more feet and pushed off hard from the wall. Once, twice, momentum gained as she rappelled down and the window shattered under her trusty boots and the force of her weight. "Hello Crane, wonderful night isn't it?" She said, maybe a little happy as he went one way and she went the other, crossing the room to slam the door shut on the hands of one of his goons. Slam, slam, slam tenacious fucker, his gun clattered to the floor inside the room. And as soon as it was closed, she yanked one of the file cabinets over to blockade it. That'd give them some time.
She went for the gun first, finger on the safety as she ejected the magazine. The slide stayed with her as the rest of the gun went out the window, bye-bye. "You could not imagine how much I've been looking forward to this," she told him as she advanced on him. And as soon as he opened his mouth, she leapt, both hands grabbing his ears before she slammed his head down on the desk. Oh, whoops, there were papers there. Better sign them Crane. She slammed his head down again until a splurt of blood appeared on them. Next! Yanking his head up, she waited until his gaze met hers and then she smiled again, one hand releasing his ear so she could grab the point of his chin. "Stay awake for this, kay? It's been a long time since I got to hear you scream." And it had been Kitane last time. It was her turn now.
And down went his head again. Bigger blood puddle this time. Oh, she could do this for hours, but the goons out in the hallway were yelling. "Oh, I think they want to cut into our time together, Crane. Don't they know you've deserved this since you cut my mother open?" Obviously not, because it sounded like one of them was trying to shove his way through the door keeping them separated. Hiss. "Maybe I shouldn't keep you waiting though," she said thoughtfully as she came around the desk, one hand still holding tight to his ear as she bounced his face off her knee, momentarily silencing his grunts for his goons to get in here.
"I think they're trying," Helena told him as he reached for her and she moved out of the way. Stepped on his hand for good measure. "Come back later," she called out to them and laughed. Crane was going to be busy. She walked over to tip another file cabinet over in front of the door. There. That would keep them busy for a little while longer. Her step was light as she grabbed a chair and pulled the back over to the wall. It was going to be needed if she was going to get him up.
Sliding her backpack off her shoulders, she opened it up, removed the hammer, the nails, the rope. The last she set aside for later, just in case, but the hammer she hooked through one of the belts loop of her jeans and tore open the box of nails. She was still picking them out as she walked over to the moving Crane and kicked him in the ribs. Did it again, because it was almost like that game, Whack-A-Mole except this one was Kick-A-Crane. Great fun. Coming to an arcade near you. The next kick got a little hop like she was kicking a football out on a field somewhere, nails clattering down around them. Long ones, made for wood. She would have liked railroad spikes, but it wasn't like she could go into Home Depot and just ask for those. (She had looked though and there were none.)
"You like playing God, Crane? Screwing with all of us? Making us dance to your tune?" She grabbed a handful of nails with one hand, the box finally dropping to the floor as she reached down to grab his hair with her free hand. "Let's see how you like it." She started dragging him over to the chair, ignoring his hands until he seemed to realize that something much worse was about to happen and clawed at her. "No, no, no!" Wall, meet Crane's head. That slowed him down, dazed him maybe. She hauled him up and slammed the back of his head against the wall for good measure. "Now stay awake for this," Helena told him as she stood on the chair, wrestled the hammer out of her belt loop. "I could tell you that it isn't going to hurt, but then I'd be lying."
One nail out of her handful was thrust between her lips, held there while she wrangled his arm up. Would he stay? She punched him hard in the stomach to make sure before she placed the pointy end of the nail against the center of his wrist and struck hard with the hammer. Again. Blood, screaming, she ducked as he swung his free hand at her head, grabbed a handful of his hair and shoved his head into the wall. "If you keep interrupting me, this is going to take longer!" Again. She should have done this months ago. And as soon as she was done with this wrist, she'd do the other, and then his feet.
Put-a-Crane-up-for-a-night. It was a damn shame she wasn't going to be able to do this in a field where she could make him into a real scarecrow.
There was a part of him that had hoped he might get away with it. That the drugs would be enough to put them at ease, to keep their suspicions off of him, but it didn't seem to be the case. It was Stephanie Brown that tipped him off, the slip of conversation they had had that clued him that they were on to him. Almost immediately after that, Jonathan had begun making preparations; increased security, a bolt hole within the city he could retreat to, supplies stashed here and there. His base was, of course, New Arkham, but he needed to have another place to go in the event of an emergency, and an emergency was closer than he preferred for it to be.
He had been expecting the Bat to come swooping in, as was his custom, so when the window behind his desk shattered and the lithe form of the Huntress swung into his office, Jonathan was more than a little surprised. There was little time to react before she was in motion, his head ringing, the sound of his guards crying out in pain, a file cabinet being tipped over to block the door, then pain, pain, and more pain. He wasn't in any sort of shape, had done little with his life other than academics, so he was hardly in any sort of shape to fight back. His efforts were mostly limited to wild flailing, kicking, scratching with nails that had grown too long to be proper for a man. There was nothing pretty about it, but he was wise enough to recognize that this was a fight he needed to win.
But winning wasn't happening, not even close, and he was lucky to even get a single hit upon the woman. As she dragged him towards the wall, the smell of blood in the air (his blood, he recognized, flowing freely from the gash she had opened on his forehead), his panic started to mount. He dimly recognized that she had brought nails, a hammer, and given that there was a decided lack of construction going on in his office, he could only imagine what she was going to use them for. There was another shout given, screaming out for the guards that weren't only yards away, behind a barricaded door, so they might as well have been miles away for all the good they were doing him. And that's when the world went decidedly fuzzy as she slammed his head against the wall.
His ears were ringing, a slack thing with little fight as she dragged his arm to press it against the wall. Jonathan turned his head to the side to watch what she was doing, and it was hard to recognize that it was happening to him. As the first nail was driven home between the delicate birdbones of his wrist, Jonathan let out a scream of pain, the sound quickly dissolving into a gurgle of wetness. His wrist was searing hot, the pain lancing up into his fingers, all the way down into his arm, and for a brief moment, he wondered if this was worth it. Was the experimentation, the drugs in the water, the torment upon a city… was it worth this sort of torment to his own person?
The answer was twofold, yes and no, yes because it was fun, and he knew why he had become Scarecrow, knew the joy that came in manipulation, in power, in pulling on the strings of a person's psyche to pull out the reactions you wanted to taste. But it wasn't worth it in the same breath because fuck all, he hated pain. And it was only getting worse as she drove a second nail into his other wrist, and the scream this time was gravelly, hoarse, and there was no escaping it, no way to gain any sort of leverage without pulling the nail through his arm, and he wasn't in any state to go that far.
"Please," he gasped out, his vision swimming with pain as he struggled to focus on her, the sounds of a further struggle in the hallway beyond lost on him. "Please," he started again, fingers twitching, blood streaming. He seemed more right then like the young man he was, just into his twenties, a student, a scholar, brown hair plastered with blood and sweat to his forehead, hazel eyes strained with pain and agony. "Please, stop!" It wasn't begging, not even close, but it was the most he could let out as the fire lanced down his arms.
Please. If she'd been capable of mercy within that moment, she might have granted it. But it was gone, and something cold had settled in its wake. She turned her face towards him, little splatters of blood, like a child had flicked a red paintbrush in her face, crossing her features. It had spurted on the first strike of the nail. She wiped it off on the arm of her hoodie while her other hand reached for the discarded box of nails.
"Please," she repeated back to him, parroting before she flung a nail at his head. Another. Another. She'd get to his pasty white feet in a minute. "Please, you say. You're never going to stop until someone else does it for you. Say hello, Crane. Say thank you. And maybe if you mean it, I'll call someone to come get you down when I'm done with you." Another nail, right between the eyes. Ping as it fell to the floor. Her mouth opened for more, but then she realized she hadn't heard anyone slamming against the door for a few moments. An interruption? She picked up another nail, put the head between her lips, and smiled. Time to get back to work.