Categories > Comics > Batman0 Reviews
"What's the matter, Jonathan? Did my actions," I pause for suspense, choosing my words effectively, "...frighten you?"
Hmmm. Exciting. I do enjoy ignoring people.
Especially people that manage to irritate me simply by being alive.
I'm sitting on a hard wooden chair, a chair that I'm trying to convince myself is comfortable, making no effort whatsoever to communicate with anyone else in the dismal little cell, a room that's scarecly bigger than the master bedroom of an average Gotham house. I've been in here all week - a week that's dragged painfully slowly in some places, and shot past in a blur in others - and the Warden has it imprinted in his tiny and ineffective mind that by locking a bunch of his asylum inmates in a cell with each other for a while, it may encourage us to be more social.
Hah, deranged super criminals socialising with each other? We're more likely to wring each other's necks and throttle each other in our sleep, to be perfectly honest. But us getting along with each other? As in, all of us getting along with everyone? I'd like to see that happen.
Well, I suppose if I really did want to to see it happen, I'd just have to turn around to face the rest of my 'cell mates'. However, that's not an option at the present time. I've got my back to the rest of the room, mainly for one reason, but also because I have no interest in interacting with anyone other than the person I'm counting on speaking any minute now.
The silent one. His is the only voice I can actually tolerate, which is a bit sad, really, considering how rare it is.
I'm perfectly calm; I'd even go as far as to describe myself as 'cheerful', and I'm staring rather intently at the wall. It's not a particularly attractive section of brickwork, but examining this corner of the room closely has turned into the second most interesting thing I've done all day. The most interesting being the subject that I'm sure the tall spindly man who's currently standing behind me, trying to force his tongue out of the knot I appear to have tied it in, is going to bring up any second now. I can't help but smirk to myself, because although it was a serious action, I meant it with all my soul, and I was in no way on earth taking the piss, it did revoke a rather amusing reaction from the 'victim' I'm sure he'll think of himself as.
I didn't victimise him. At all. And I stand by that judgement. I could see plainly in his eyes and body language that he wanted it just as much as I did. It's just that now he's having difficulty coming to terms with reality, which although isn't uncommon in an asylum, is still quite entertaining.
"Why- why did you do that?"
Finally, the silent man speaks.
I don't turn to face him, but I can hear the waver in his quiet voice and I smile, almost picturing his expression. He spoke much quieter than usual, that is, if he ever spoke at all. Jonathan Crane doesn't speak much, other than asking the odd question, conversing - or arguing, more accurately - when invited with the other people in the cell, or chatting with me. It appears, that I'm the only one he can tolerate for over an hour also, and I'm the only one he actually cares to be around.
I decide to feign ignorance. "What?" My voice is clearer than his, and several decibels louder also, something that appears to unnerve him slightly more than he already is.
He hesitates, as if he's trying to decide which word to use. I can almost hear his inner turmoil, thrashing and buzzing around his head in a huge tidal wave of sparkling confusion. "...that," is what he settles with.
I know exactly what he means, but it amuses me more than it probably should that he's doing his utmost best not to use 'the word'. He's trying to avoid the subject, but speak about it at the same time. That is something only a genius or a fool would do. And I don't think this man is a genius. At least, he's not a genius to my vast intellect. I hear his feet shuffle on the hard stone floor, waiting for my answer. I take a deep breath, square my shoulders as if I'm preparing for something difficult - which I'm not really - and turn in my seat so that I'm facing him, eyes locked with his.
He winces visibly at the word, although he makes a great effort to mask it. I examine him up and down, drawing the easy conclusion that he's definitely more interesting to look at than the scraped and grafittied brick wall of the cell we're both sharing with four other ignorant inmates, none of which are anywhere near as attractive as the man standing in front of me, either. He stands roughly a head taller than me, and I'm certain that if I said out loud that he needs more sun, spiteful Ivy would prick up her ears and agree with me, because judging by the ashen pallor of his somewhat waxy skin, he hasn't soaked up even half of his fair share of Vitamin D in his life. He's standing awkwardly where I left him, his chair, a duplicate of my own and just as uncomfortable, askew from the the scuffle in which I pulled him to his feet.
Gathering that I'm not going to get more of a response than what I've just received from him, I speak up again. "It seemed like the right thing to do," I say truthfully, thinking back to roughly five minutes ago, recalling something vital to the situation. "And you seemed to want it just as much as I."
I crack a grin at his ridiculous expression. He's totally bewildered and fighting for words, trying to deny it as well as trying to figure out whether he did want it or not. But it's obvious to me that he did. The way he gazed at me, the look in his eyes as he sat listening to me speak, the deep, dark brown eyes that are now peeping out from behind the shaggy mop of brown hair at me. I could tell; I'm no fool.
Unlike him, apparently.
"How-" He begins to speak, but I cut him off, adding another point. I'm not going to let him talk himself out of this.
"Plus, you didn't seem to object." I lean back in the chair, clasping my hands behind my head, smiling pleasantly at him, a devilish glint in my eyes.
It wasn't a joke kissing Jon, but I do quite like the outcome it's had on him as well. He'd very much enjoy it if our positions were switched; if he were the one grinning like a Cheshire cat and bursting with confidence, and I was the flabberghasted one trying not to bite my fingertips down to the bone.
"Well," he starts, clearing his throat, although his tongue is tied pitifully. "It is rather hard to speak when someone is trying to force their tongue down your throat." As he speaks, a bright blush creeps up his neck and into his cheeks, burning brightly for all to see. Probably why he's now nodding his fringe further onto his face, trying to bury himself in his hair. But I can see through him still.
He enjoyed it. He can't deny it.
Leaning forward so that all of my body weight is on my legs, and resting my hands on my knees, I cock my head to one side, giving him a sarcky questioning look. "What's the matter, Jonathan? Did my actions," I pause for suspense, choosing my words effectively, "...frighten you?"
The astounded look on the Scarecrow's face as he snaps his head upward to glare at me is priceless. "Of course not-"
I cut him off again, which I can tell is desperately annoying him, but I'm having fun and I'm not planning on stopping any time soon. And I'm only dragging out the time to what's undoubtedly coming next, a charade that I'm growing tired of admittedly. "Are you frightened of me?" I fix him with an intense emerald stare, and I see him blush deeper and drop his gaze uncomfortably. I'm smirking again.
"Would you like me to do it again?" I ask the question simply to witness his reaction, even though I already know the answer, and even if he answers differently I'm going to do it regardless.
He nearly chokes, his eyes wide as saucers. "Why...?"
I'm getting impatient now; he's dragging this out too far. What does he mean 'why'? He's prolonging the inevitable more so than I'd prefer; he's less than a metre away from me and I'm getting restless with how badly I want to close the gap, bundle him up in my embrace and capture his lips once more. "Well?"
He pales. "Uhm..." Trailing off, I watch him glance behind him, but our cell mates are too engulfed in a very noisy game of cards to notice us. Well, to Jonathan they are. To me, oh no. I know exactly what they're all doing. Reading their body language and feeling the atmosphere, I can tell exactly what everyone sitting around that poker table is doing, or at least attempting to do.
Harley's about as interested in what's going on over here as she is in the game; she's too busy mooning over the man in purple next to her, cooing and giggling at everything he says and hanging on his every word, running her slender fingers through his matted green hair and stroking the side of his face amorously even though he's clearly not even acknowledging her existance. She's pulled her chair so close to his that she might as well be sitting in his lap, and so engulfed in him is she that she's quite unaware of anything else in reality, let alone the blushing brunette and rambunctious redhead whom she's been sharing a damned, dismal cell with for a week.
The Joker however, is doing his best to ignore her, talking very loudly at a million miles an hour as is his way, laughing manically at his own jokes which take everyone else a moment to comprehend properly before he's spouting another, and although he's aware of Jonathan and I over here in the corner, he's not paying us much attention because he's dealing the cards. It's not that he finds dealing difficult, but he's concentrating very hard on trying to draw attention away from the fact that he's actually cheating hideously; he hasn't shuffled the deck fairly once in the entire game, but in his favour and now he's the one hording the majority of the little white chips on the table. Nobody appears to have noticed directly - apart from me, of course - but Two-Face is shouting that 'it's not fair!' and Ivy has a sneaking suspicion of him too.
Oh yes, Poison Ivy is always well tuned to her surroundings, even if she's clearly no match for me. She's not holding her cards; she refuses to because they're card, and 'some innocent tree had to die to make them' is what she'll probably whine if I ask her why she's not participating. But I won't, because I can't stand her. She's so irritating and breezy and she infuriates me almost as much as Harleen Quinzel does. And almost nothing irritates me as much as that girl.
However, the red-haired woman does have a lot more sense than she initially lets on. She's perfectly aware of everything in the room, and she's soaking up the atmosphere like a sponge in water almost as easily as I am. She has her eyes slightly narrowed and her chin slightly raised, so that her nose is in the air higher than it is usually; although it's barely noticable, I have noticed it due to my immense skill in the area of intellect.
She knows that Joker's up to something shady and that his mind is whirring like a piece of complex machinary; she's seen his eyes darting from the deck to every player simultaneously, then back again - too quickly for someone of average intelligence to pick up on - but she's not quite sure of his guilt in the crime of cheating, because his hands are perfectly steady, his long fingers are curled naturally around the cards as he continues to flick them out confidently, grinning as he does it.
She knows that Harley can't see past Joker's cold green eyes or his wicked, cherry-red smirk, and although her heart is gradually sinking like an inflated balloon drifting to the floor because she's beginning to realise that he's ignoring her, her brain is still practically melting because she's so close to him, her face flushed, cheeks tinted pink as she's swooning audibly over his shoulder, finding any excuse she can to brush her hand across his, lay her head on his shoulder, or just touch him in any way she can without being shooed away impatiently.
She knows that Two-Face - although if I ever dared to so much as address him as such, I'd be suspended two feet off the floor, my collar balled in his fist, the word 'Harvey' being spat in my face as his fingers tremble around his sacred coin - is trying to discreetly sneak a peek at both her and Harley's cards because he can tell they're not any competition; for a start, they're women and according to him aren't supposed to understand the rules of poker, and because he knows they're not paying a particular amount of attention to their hands. He's desperate to beat Joker; he'd give anything to win and witness the look of defeat on his face - so he's therefore not paying us the slightest bit of attention (not that he ever paid us attention anyway) - and is becoming quite pissed off because of the terrible hands he's being dealt, which are causing him to groan and swear very loudly.
And finally, she can almost taste the tense awkwardness in the air between Jonathan and I, and she's perfectly aware of what just went on between us - like the typical woman she can never deny she is, she was watching when I jumped to my feet and closed the gap.
She was watching when Jonathan's eyes grew wide and uneasy.
She was watching when my tongue slipped into his mouth and he gasped.
And she was still watching when I pulled away and threw myself back into my chair- although she's being oddly civil for once and not mentioning it out loud, which I'm sure would just cause more uncomfort and awkwardness.
Though she's not brought up the subject audibly, she's not attempting to mask in any way the fact that something of at least minimal interest is going on over here; her misty green orbs are still situated on us, flickering from my bright emerald gaze, to Jon's hazy chocolate one and back again, as if she's waiting to see what will happen next and not caring if any of the others notice her staring and follow her gaze.
Well, I can't say that I'm not waiting to see what'll happen next either. In fact, it's Jon that's slowing the whole thing up. He spies Ivy's gaze on us and whips back round to face me at lightning speed, his face going redder than Harley's lipstick, which she's proceeding to slather all over the Joker's white cheek in the form of a thousand unwanted, unacknowledged kisses. Jonathan's knees begin to shake ever so slightly, and I get a funny feeling that he's going to collapse from nerves any second now. I'll have to put a stop to that.
"What's wrong?" I ask, my voice all sugary sweet all of a sudden, one part sarcasm, three parts sympathy. "Scared you won't enjoy it?" My eyes darken significantly and I wiggle my eyebrows teasingly at him, watching his body language change from scared to a miniscule fraction less scared, and I feel a grin tugging at the corners of my mouth.
He takes a deep breath, and I notice Ivy straighten up a little in her chair from the corner of my eye, awaiting Jon's answer almost as eagerly as I.
"No," he says firmly and steadily spoken, looking me right in the eyes, his blush fading slightly. "Scared I will enjoy it."
I'm nearly speechless. Nearly. That's not the answer I was expecting, however it's an answer I'm more than willing to accept. He seems to have noticed my expression of mixed feelings, as a small smile trickles across his face like water on a textured surface, fuelling my cocky confidence.
"Well then, Jonathan. In that case..." I stand up abruptly, knocking the chair to the floor with a loud, indignant clatter and gaining the attention of everyone else in the cell, their eyes all landing on us and gawking as if we've just stripped naked, painted ourselves yellow and strung up the Batman with shoelaces. "Fear no more."
And with that I reach up on my toes at the same time he stoops his head downwards, and our lips meet in the middle once again, the kiss a lot more welcomed this time than last, and this time I'm not the only one trying to push my tongue down the other's throat. Jonathan's arms snake around my neck a little unsurely, and I wrap mine around his slender waist pulling him closer to me, crushing his body to mine in encouragement. My eyes are closed delicatly, but I can feel everyone else's gaze on Jon and I burning us like heat rays, and they all gasp. Then I hear the Joker begin to giggle whilst no doubtedly slipping himself an extra ace or two, his voice slightly hoarse from the insane amount of talking he's done over the last hour or so. "Well it's about time, isn't it boys?" he says to us, and I feel the whisper of a blush in my cheeks before I recover and manage to regain my cool.
I feel Jonathan's blush heat up again against my face, but I also feel his smile in the middle of the kiss, and I can't help but return the gesture. The Joker continues to chortle in that aggravating way of his and it makes me frown mentally, and Ivy chuckles quietly to herself in a way that makes it seem like she woke up this morning knowing this would happen and she's more amused at everyone else's reaction that the fact that Jon and I are locked at the lips.
We pull away slowly, much slower than before when Jon stumbled backwards in shock, and I grin at him, attempting to swallow the childish laughter that's suddenly bubbling up inside me and threatening to overflow. He carefully untangles his reedy fingers from my scruffy red hair, a smile creeping back onto his face as well - I'll admit it looks rather odd on him because Jonathan's not exactly the smiling type. My heart is pounding slightly, but nowhere near as hard as Jonathan's must be; I can almost hear it battering violently against his delicate ribcage, causing permanent internal bruising, and his face is still flushed the colour of Ivy's treasured rosebud plants.
"Waaaaait, wait, wait, did I see that right?" rings a pronounced Brooklyn accent.
I peer over Jonathan's shoulder to fix the speaker with an amused look, and Jon turns too, letting go of me completely but staying right by my side, lowering his head like a child caught in the wrong, as if he's afraid someone will toss a chair at him. The Joker is still gasping with hysterical laughter that he doesn't appear to be in control of whatsoever, Two-Face gives us a strange, disgusted look before losing interest completely and fiddling around in the pocket of his exaggeratedly contrasting coat for that damned coin of him, and Ivy's giving us both warm smiles, something I've never seen on her face in all the years I've known her.
And that's a long time. She was here and watching silently when I was dragged protesting and struggling into Arkham, and we've both been here ever since, me either joining or being joined by each of the inmates in this room, depending on whether they were interned into the asylum before or after I was.
"Uhh..." Jon begins to mumble, but I can already tell that he'll be unable to form a legible sentence for at least the next few days, so I kindly take over.
Addressing Harley, who's still gawping at the two of us like the foolish bimbo she is with her question still hanging in the air around us, I clear my throat before saying, "Yes. I'm one hundred percent certain that if your eyes were focused on the same thing as everyone else's, you saw correctly." I pause, then decide to add, "That is of course, if your eyes aren't deceiving you, which they have been known to before." I flash a glance in Joker's direction, but he's calming himself down and fixing his eyes on Jonathan, who shuffles slightly closer to me.
"So," Harley's voice is whiney and high pitched, and it grates at my tolerance, making my palms itch and my fists clench. "You an- Did you- Scarecrow jus- Huh?!"
I laugh at her feeble attempts at forming a simple sentence in standard English, and throw an arm around Jon's skinny waist, partly for effect, but mostly to comfort and reassure him because I know he's getting increasingly uneasy and he looks as though his knees may give in at any second. Harvey has returned to shooting me glances of both disgust and surprise, but I'm ignoring him and watching Ivy closely; the redhead's got a strange glint in her eye that I do not recognise and it's confusing me. I narrow my own eyes slowly and she simply smiles, looking away.
Eye contact finally broken, I decide that we've all been gawking and glancing long enough. Turning my back on the rest of the people in the room, I bend down to pick up my disgarded chair and return to my original sitting position, my back to the room (and everyone in it), facing the wall. Jonathan quickly snaps out of his shaky trance in my absence and hurriedly pulls up his chair beside me, though not as close as Harley's is to Joker's, his head ducked so that his shoulders are around his ears; it's as if he's trying to hide.
He needn't worry, though.
No sooner do I sit down, the poker game immediately resumes as if nothing's happened, albeit with a slight change in atmosphere and conversational topic. Ivy's not looking at us anymore; her gaze fixed on the huge yellow moon that's peeking in through the tiny, barred window at us, her head resting on her folded arms as she sighs with longing, pushing her cards towards an abashed Harvey, who immediately flips his coin and upon seeing the solution dives straight into inspecting the cards carefully, searching for anything of value, but in vain. The Joker's right back to his game; it's as if it was never interrupted, and he's still ignoring Harley who's whispering hurriedly into his ear, hardly pausing for breath.
I pick out a few key words of what she's saying, but I soon lose interest; did I mention I've never been able to stand her? Yes? Well, then the magnitude of my dislike towards her is understandable.
Feeling eyes on me, I turn my head to meet Jonathan's soft gaze, which is significantly brighter than it was ten minutes ago. He bites his lip to surpress a smile, but I don't feel the need to. I reach over and rest my hand on his, giving it a squeeze, a genuine smile stretching across my pale face to reach my eyes, my eyes that are twinkling with him.
A/N: I'm scared of computer/Internet crash at any second, so I'll keep this short. I had to whizz through editing, so my apologies for any mistakes...