Categories > Movies > Batman Begins

Other Side

by birgitriddle 1 review

Jonathan Crane has another side to him. What starts out as an innocent imaginary friend ends up being something much more terrifying. Written in my own AU universe which takes elements from Batman ...

Category: Batman Begins - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst, Drama - Warnings: [!] [?] - Published: 2006-03-11 - Updated: 2006-03-12 - 2259 words

"You need to eat more."

Jonathan Crane looked up from his paperwork, annoyed that someone would interrupt him in the middle of his work. Not seeing anyone directly before him, he looked around for the source of the voice. He found it behind him, it being a nondescript intern.

"No, I don't need to eat more, Miss...," he prompted for her name, for he was not in the habit of learning the names of interns.


"Well, Miss Zimmerman, while I appreciate your concern, I certainly do not need a caretaker. I eat well enough on my own," said Jonathan as he looked down at her through his glasses.

"You never come to the break room during the lunch hour. I've never even seen you eat and since you're so skinny I just thought-," Jonathan cut off the intern in mid-sentence.

"It's none of your business whether I eat or not. Nor is the shape of my body any of your concern. Please stop wasting time and go back to work," his words were dry and to the point with a tinge of annoyance to it. Jonathan turned back to the paperwork, intent on ignoring the intern no matter what else she said.

The intern sighed in exasperation and muttered, "At least I know how to take a break," under her breath as she walked away. When the intern had left his office and the door closed, the voice that accompanied Jonathan everywhere spoke up.

Stupid girl. Do you want me to scare her away? said the voice inside Jonathan's head. Behind those words was the presence of a malicious and mischievous person who never meant well to others.

Under his breath, Jonathan asked the voice, "How many times have I told you that the interns are not your toys?" There was a sense of frustration in his voice as if he had gone through this before.

But you let me play with the inmates, said the voice with a pout.

"That's different. They're criminals and no one cares about them. Now be quiet. I'll talk to you later after doing my rounds," Jonathan sighed, annoyed at the fact that he had been disrupted a second time.

The voice went quiet and Jonathan went on with his work and was only interrupted once more by the intern from before who had forgotten to leave the papers she had intended to give to him.


Dr. Jonathan Crane was a psychiatrist at the Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane who formerly taught psychology at a university, but was dismissed for his unorthodox teaching methods. His specialization was in emotions, particularly their effect on the mind and body. Of special interest to him was fear.

Doctor Crane also had a secret that he never told anyone.

He had another side, a darker side which was the source of the voice in his head. Occasionally, this other side would take over and often Jonathan could not recall what went on during those times. The psychiatrist in him supposed that this would be diagnosed as DID, but he knew the dangers of a self-diagnose and made sure to stay away from doing them. He would never go to someone else for it either for what kind of psychiatrist would go to a psychiatrist?

He had convinced himself that there was nothing to worry about and that he had everything under control.

How very wrong he was.


As a child, Jonathan was very lonely. He didn't have very many friends, so he made his own. Most people wouldn't be bothered by a six year old having an imaginary friend, but it bothered his great-grandmother who was a rather devout Christian. Unfortunately her kind of devotion was the kind that blinded and she thought that Jonathan's imaginary friend was some sort of demon. It wasn't surprising that this was her conclusion for she never liked her great-grandson and she always thought the worst of him.

The young boy soon learned to never talk about his friend to anyone lest his Granny would punish him. It also didn't help that as children grow up, they are expected to shed their childish games including their imaginary friends, but Jonathan's imaginary friend never went away. Instead of fading away with age, the imaginary friend grew stronger and strangely enough, became more real to Jonathan.


Usually in class, Jonathan raised his hand often to answer questions even though he was teased for it. But today, he didn't raise his hand at all and kept his eyes down, trying to avoid the teacher's attention. The teacher thought it very strange, but didn't mind since he often had to ignore Jonathan's eager hand so the other students would get a chance.

Unfortunately some of the other boys in class also noticed Jonathan's strange silence and decided that it would be their mission to get him to talk. It wasn't unexpected that they would do this for Jonathan was their favorite target. And if there was anything they could do to torment the boy they called Scarecrow due to his scrawniness, they would not hesitate in doing it.

When Jonathan did anything strange or different, they took this as a cue to do their worst to get to the bottom of it. Problem was that almost everything Jonathan did was odd to them. As much as they focused their attention on him, they barely knew anything about him nor did they care. To them he was just a scapegoat; a nobody.

In the school yard, several of Jonathan's tormentors had made sure to set up their ambush before their target could escape out of the school. They situated themselves on a low wall, keeping an eye out for their victim.

When they saw the unique figure that was Jonathan, the boys took the rocks they had chosen and threw them at him. Instinctively, Jonathan covered his head and tried to run for it. When they saw that their prey was escaping without uttering a single word, two of the boys leapt off the wall in quick pursuit with the laughter of the others encouraging them. Jonathan tried to hurry away, but tripped and fell in his panic as the boys caught up to him.

"Scarecrow, why aren't you talking?" teased one of the boys as he kicked the fallen form of Jonathan. Still refusing to talk, Jonathan tried to crawl away, his glasses knocked off by the fall. The other boy pulled Jonathan up by the back of his shirt collar and held the struggling boy's arms behind his back.

"Let go of me!" shouted Jonathan, his voice oddly pitched and squeaky. Immediately it was obvious to the boys why Jonathan kept his mouth shut all day and they all laughed loudly while Jonathan's face flushed with embarrassment. The rest of the group caught up with them, laughing at Jonathan as well.

"Scarecrow's voice is all funny! No wonder he wasn't being a know-it-all today!" jeered one of the boys as Jonathan continued to struggle against his captor.

The situation then became worse.

The sound of giggling from behind brought to the boy's attention a group of girls who had gathered at the school entrance. Jonathan grew even more embarrassed for one of the girls was the one he had a crush on. Knowing he couldn't save face at the moment, Jonathan took advantage of the momentary distraction and wrenched his arms from the bully's grasp and snatched his bag off the ground before running as fast as he could. Used to running away, Jonathan was fairly fast and he had managed to get a very slight head-start down the road. It was enough for him to turn the corner and disappear into the cornfield alongside the road before the bullies could catch him.

He knew the bullies would give up once he got into the corn and so would normally hide there if things got rough. After taking care to not disrupt the corn stalks, Jonathan breathed a sigh of relief when he was far enough in. Looking at the stalks surrounding him, he noticed that he had wandered to where the field's scarecrow was. He glared at the fake man made of straw and old clothing, hating the reminder of his "nickname".

"I look nothing like you," he said as he stared down the figure.

It didn't answer of course.

Choosing to ignore the scarecrow for now, Jonathan checked his bag to make sure that everything was there and in the process, remembered that he left his glasses behind.

"Granny's going to kill me for losing my glasses...again," said Jonathan with a weary sigh. When he looked up again, he caught a glimpse of the scarecrow and he scowled. Annoyed, he went to it and kicked it so that its wide brimmed hat fell to the ground. He was surprised by its fall and as he bent to pick it up, he had the strangest urge to keep the hat.

Again Jonathan sighed, this time in annoyance, as he realized where this urge came from. His other self, the one who gladly took the name that the bullies gave Jonathan, wanted the hat.

"No. You cannot have it," said Jonathan firmly to himself. In reply to this, he felt a pang of annoyance from inside him. This further served to irk Jonathan.

"Where were you when they were after me?! You've promised to protect me and you never do!" As soon as he stopped speaking, he realized how silly he must seem, talking to himself in the middle of a cornfield. He didn't have much time to ponder this for he heard a familiar voice speak in his head.

Good things come to those who wait, Jonathan, said the voice with a mischievous giggle. Whenever the voice spoke, Jonathan always became nervous, fearing that he was insane. It didn't help that the voice had a very strong and practically real presence in the back of his mind when it chose to. Sometimes, he even swore that he could feel something behind him.

"Maybe Granny was right and you are a demon after all," he muttered under his breath.

The voice heard Jonathan and merely said, If I'm a demon, then Jonathan is a demon too.

"Go away. I don't need people finding out that I hear voices. They bully me enough already."

There's only one voice here. So you're not hearing voices, said the voice as if this was obvious, Are you going to take the hat home?

Throwing his hands up in the air, Jonathan relented, "If it will make you stop talking, I'll take it home." The voice didn't say anything in reply, but Jonathan still felt the distinct feeling of smugness from the voice as he stowed the hat in his bag, hoping his Granny would not catch him with it.


As Jonathan went through his high school years, he grew taller, but his figure and gait became even more awkward than before. As always, he remained an object of ridicule and in response; Jonathan retreated more into himself and into his studies. When he was sixteen, his great-grandmother stopped coming into town and when people asked him about her, Jonathan simply said that she feel down the stairs one day and broke her leg and decided that living in a nursing home was better for her. Only Jonathan knew the truth behind her disappearance and he wasn't talking.

Also during these years, Jonathan came to trust the only person who knew his secrets: the voice in his head, who Jonathan now called by the name of Scarecrow.


One night, all of the trust Jonathan had put in Scarecrow was lost.

When he arrived at his home, breathing hard, Jonathan mentally swore at the giggling voice in his head.

They had just caused a serious car accident which wouldn't have been so bad if it had just the football player involved. Unfortunately also in the car was the jock's girlfriend who Jonathan had a crush on for years. The worse part of it all was the incessant giggling from Scarecrow, who was amused by the probable death of the girl.

Jonathan always had a suspicion that Scarecrow was insanely jealous of his crush for some bizarre reason and this incident confirmed it.

Scarecrow was now half singing and half giggling which Jonathan could barely make out; all he could decipher out of the nonsense was "she's gone" and "all mine". Jonathan found it so very odd that Scarecrow would be more excited over the death of a girl whose worst sin was ignoring Jonathan than the death of one of the high school bullies.

It was one thing to cause Granny's "accident" for Jonathan hated the old woman, but it was another to kill the girl he liked. It was time for this game of Scarecrow's to end, Jonathan decided.

Right at that moment, Jonathan forcibly silenced his imaginary friend. Scarecrow stopped giggling as soon as he realized what Jonathan was doing and started to fight back. Unfortunately for him, Jonathan was still the stronger of the two and eventually Scarecrow was silenced.

Feeling strangely empty and alone, Jonathan set about getting rid of the evidence that would link him to the car accident. He thanked Scarecrow for at least having the foresight to use a mask in their outfit as he took it off and burned it in the fireplace. As the clothing went up into flames, he swore never to do something so foolish again.
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