Jonathan Crane (doctorcrane) wrote in gotham_lights,
Jonathan Crane

  • Mood:

Robert Young's Residence - 1:29 am - December 1st

Crane hadn't slept in more than two days, consumed with putting together his 'project' for Shreck as if it were work on his beloved fear gas itself. And in a way it was. From raiding his closet to find the remnants of an old Renaissance Faire costume, to stitching himself a new pair of gloves to match his mask, to borrowing a full-body straitjacket from the supply closet at Arkham, it was. With every step - cut the front out of the jacket, and buckle up the back - with every motion - slip the paperwork to the girl at the front desk to notarize, and make sure she doesn't see what it is - he was getting closer. Closer to funding, closer to fulfillment of his dream, and all he had to do now was get the paper signed.

And maybe, it occurred to him, as he slid out of his car a few blocks down from the home residence of Robert Young, it was a good thing he hadn't slept. At the moment he was too concerned about getting this done and getting to bed that how wrong it was didn't apply. Get the paper signed, get it to Shreck, and worry about remorse when he'd gotten eight hours - twelve? maybe he'd call out tomorrow or something - of sleep. That was all the mattered.

Blinking to clear his vaguely sidetracked mind, he shuddered briefly as dark eyelashes scraped the inside of his burlap mask, almost soundlessly. Whisper of noise or not, it was like nails on a chalkboard to him, and immediately he was a hundred times more awake. Well, at least burlap was good for something, he decided, as he reached for the briefcase in the passenger's seat.

Snapping it open, Crane went to the compartment hidden under the main space of the case, and withdrew a handful of vials stored there. Examining them briefly, he snapped one into each of the injectors at his wrists - which he'd sewn into the gloves to administer the gas when he turned his hands a certain way. And then, once he was certain they were in place and they weren't going to go off randomly, he placed the remaining vials in slots in his belt.

The briefcase closed and replaced on the passenger's seat a moment later, and he turned to close the door only to stop. On whim of his sleep-deprivation addled brain, he grabbed the silver zippo he kept in the center console of his car, flicked it open and on once to make sure it worked, and then shoved it into his pocket.

With that, he stalked towards the house, and as he did so, he was immediately glad he'd brought the lighter. Why? Because it occurred to him that he had no real weapon. Oh, sure, he had the fear gas, but that was only something he could use after he got the signature he needed - after all, it was a little hard to get a raving lunatic to sign something. And something someone didn't know what did - which he doubted that Young did - made a very poor threat. Fire, however? Fire was a universal, primal human fear. If Young didn't comply, he'd simply threaten to burn his house down.

Cheap, maybe, but definitely effective.

And it wasn't like he'd actually do it. Max had, after all, offer to make this little mess even more worth his while if he made it look like an accident - or at very least innocent - and he doubted burning the place down would accomplish that. Nor would breaking the window and that, now that he was at the side window, certainly looked like the only way in. Unless the door was unlocked. Which he doubted, seeing as how this was a business man's house. Still, he decided, it couldn't hurt to check ... and it was, unfortunately, locked. A frown poisoning his features, he considered the potted plant next to the sliding glass door. It was either smash the window, or stand out here like an idiot until someone spotted him and called the police.

... Well, here goes nothing.

Picking it up, he hefted the plant through the window with as much force as he could muster, trying to make more than just an unsightly hole in the glass. And while luck hadn't been on his side a moment ago when he'd tried the door, it was now, as the entire pane crumbled cheaply. Glass makers, it seemed, just weren't what they used to be in Gotham anymore.

Of course, right now, he couldn't waste his time with silly anecdotes - or sudden regrets about his decision to break and enter. He'd just smashed a window. Young had to have heard that, and an alarm was probably going off somewhere, even if it was a silent one.

Stepping gingerly over shards of broken glass despite the fact that the riding boots he was sporting would protect his feet from them, he moved into the house. There was a second of hesitation, somewhere between the foyer and the staircase, as he tried to decide where a business man, newly home from vacation would be. And then, deciding that if it were him, he'd be upstairs in bed, he headed for the stairs, only to hesitate a second time as something caught his eye. A bottle of opened brandy on a table by the stairs - if he was going to set something on fire, or threaten to, he'd need fuel.

Grabbing it, hastily, he made his way up the stairs, not bothering to be silent - that was rather difficult in riding boots anyway - and barged into the first room. And thankfully, Young was there and did not have a gun - a prospect which had occurred to him as he was halfway through the door; business men had guns, it was a fact in this city. Thank God, Young was the exception to the rule.

He was not, apparently however, the exception to the 'Calling the Police When Someone Breaks Into Your House' rule. In fact, as Crane barged in, he was setting the phone back in its cradle. Oh well. With any luck, he'd be done with this before any authorities showed up.

"Good evening, Mister Young," Crane started, finally, voice a hideous rasp, thanks to the voice changer in the mask.

"Who the hell are you?"

"I'm afraid that's not important," he answered, advancing on the desk. "What is important, however, is this."

He produced the contract Shreck had given him here, slamming it down on the desk with such force that it sent shockwaves up his arm to make his teeth hurt. Inconveniences aside, however, it looked intimidating and that's what he'd been going for.

Hard, hawk-like eyes considered Crane for a long moment, and then slowly, Young lowered them to the paper that had been so violently thrust before him. A moment passed, and then Young snorted, returning his gaze to Crane. "I'm not going to sign this."

"I think you will," Crane corrected, pulling the zippo from his pocket before brandishing it, lit, along with the brandy bottle at the business man. "If not, I torch your house."

"The cops'll be here before then."

"Mister Young, this is the Gotham City Police Department we're talking about, here. Your house will be embers before someone even responds to your breaking and entering call."

Here, Young's eyes flickered back to the paper. Maybe if he signed the paper, the psychopath would leave, and he could call his secretary and his lawyer in the morning and make sure what was written within would never come to pass. Or maybe, he could sign it and then distract the Ren Faire Reject until the cops showed up. Either way, it'd save him a ton of fire insurance paperwork, which in this town - especially where costumed weirdoes were concerned - made all the difference.

Licking his lips slowly, he reached for the pen on his desk, and second later, the paper was signed and he was pushing it in Crane's direction. "There," he started, watching with a frown as the lunatic pocketed the contract. "Happy?"

"Very. Thank you, Mister Young."

And yet despite the fact that the contract was signed, and this was the part where he was supposed to gas the business man, Crane didn't move. This was wrong. No matter how desperate he was, this was a sane man he was supposed to screw with, this was wrong. But it was too late to back out now - if he just let Young go, the guy would either talk to the police or talk to a lawyer and either way, he'd be screwed.

So, gas it was.

"Ah, one last thing."

Young frowned, etching lines on his brow. "What?"

But there was no answer, or at least no spoken one. Instead, Crane raised his hand, now free as the zippo had gone back into his pocket when the contract had. A sharp, metallic hiss, the smell of burnt ozone in the air, and then, "Enjoy your insanity."

For a second, the business man simply looked confused and then, slowly, absolute horror crept into his eyes. And as much as a small part of Crane would have enjoyed sticking around to see just what results a sane person on his wonder drug would have yielded, it was time to make his escape. Moving for the door, he managed to hear two things on his way out: the first, a scream of terror, and the second a single word.



He couldn't help but freeze just outside the door, as his mind danced madly from Jungian Psychology to Sleepy Hollow to the main character, Ichabod Crane, to his own surname. Scarecrow could be an allusion to the Shadow archetype, the Shadow archetype - or so he'd been forced to believe by his Lit Professors in college - was prevalent in Sleepy Hollow, and well ... It wasn't a hard leap from one to another, particularly if you were as sleep-deprived as he was. And if he could make the connection, could someone else? Was Young still a risk?

Maybe he could still torch the place. Maybe he could find something electrical and set that to burn, thereby protecting his own identity and making it look like an accident. Maybe, hell - it was a good idea. And he was too suddenly petrified and too tired to try and rationalize why, exactly, it would be wrong.

Making a sudden mad dash down the stairs, he stopped only long enough to pour the bottle of brandy on a lamp, light it on fire, and knock if over - not even bothering to consider the idea that he probably almost caught himself on fire in the process. Then, with resumed haste, he exited, making a bee line for his car. Throwing himself in it, he jammed the keys in the ignition, and drove like a madman out of there.

He stopped only once his heart had stopped hammering, rolling into an abandoned gas station just inside the docks district and half a town away from his home. That had been ... exhilarating? No. No, that definitely wasn't the word, or so he was trying to convince himself. That was a job. That was that. He'd been desperate, he'd done a job, and he couldn't dwell on it because ... because it wasn't done.

He still needed to call Max and let him know and get the papers to him. But he couldn't do it from his home - he'd seen enough of those idiotic 'cop shows' to know that the police could get your phone records. And maybe that's why he'd stopped here, because he'd seen the pay phone, a memorial to a fallen empire. To two fallen empires - both the gas station, and Tekmore now.

Stifling a small smile, Crane pulled himself from the car and both wordlessly and thoughtlessly, he crossed the distance to the pay phone. Shoving a handful of change into the slot, he dialed quickly and a second later, Max was on the other end of the line.

"Mister Shreck? It's Doctor Crane. I apologize if I woke you, but it's done." A pause. "... Yes ... I can bring the papers by as soon as you like, though I suggest you have them to your lawyer by mid-day tomorrow at latest to avoid suspicion. Yes. ... Thank you."

And as he headed back towards his car, a small part of him couldn't help but wonder what kind of inferno Young's home was by now.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
A slow drizzle began to permeate the air as Crane placed his phone call, starting out as a heavy mist before cautiously edging its way toward light rain, and across the street, Two-Face pulled the collar of his trenchcoat up against the impending weather. He could hear sirens howling distantly - however, he had the distinct feeling that they were coming for him. After leaving his calling card for his gang two nights prior, they had scrambled to get themselves back in his favor, and the evening had marked an eventful meeting, at the least.

Two-Face fingered his coin, idly, wiping a smear of moisture off the edge. On the one side ... his gang was his again. On the other ...

Carefully, he cleaned a drop of blood out of one of the gouges in the marked side.

Not like we're going to miss one more schlub, anyway, Two-Face shrugged to himself. Replacement though it might have been, the coin was behaving itself nicely.

He glanced around, more than ready to make his way back toward his hideout, when he caught movement across the street out of the corner of his good eye. Sniffing at the night air, he caught a faint smell of smoke, of something burning. Maybe the sirens weren't for him, after all ... but his fingers still itched. It was a good itch - the sort that meant that soon he would have to flip the coin again. His favorite sort of toss, too...

The sort of random toss that had the power to save, or the power to kill.
Unaware that he was being watched, at least for the moment, Crane shuddered against the cold that the drizzle had suddenly brought with it and paused mid-stride to cast his eyes skyward. Snow, he could have dealt with - at this stage, it would have been falling to lightly to bite into him - but rain, as light as it was, he could not. Not when he was dressed in clothing that had been either meant to be worn during the summer months or inside.

Well, he mused, at least he'd be home soon.

Lowering his gaze back to the street, he continued to head towards his car only to be stopped again, this time by the sight of someone standing across the street. Or at least it looked like there was someone standing across the street. He'd left his glasses in his car and farsighted or not, the blur of burlap around his eyes was making it hard to see. And the fact that fog was snaking out of the ground, cold rain on warm planks and asphalt, didn't help either.

Still, if it was a person, and they'd seen him? It was another liability on a night when he wasn't too keen on having any.

So, suddenly, his feet were moving him in the direction of the figure, hands loading another cartridge of his gas into his gloves as discreetly as possible. If it turned out to be nothing, there was no problem and at least he could say he checked. And if it was actually someone? Well, they'd have to be taken care of.
As Crane approached at the corner of his vision, Harvey calmly placed the coin in position atop his thumb and flicked it into the air. In the relative stillness of the street, the sound stood out more like the ding of a service bell than the soft ching of a simple half dollar.

Reaching up, he plucked the coin out of the air and put it to the back of his hand so quickly and silently that, to an observer, it would be hard to tell if there had even been a coin in the first place. All that remained now was to wait for the right moment. It would never do to rush the hand of Lady Luck, after all ...
Immediately, Crane froze, dropping his head to peer out of the holes in the mask that constituted eyes. Ok, so there definitely was someone there. And they'd done something that stood out over the whine of sirens in the distance like a sore thumb. What, exactly, that something was, he didn't know - he hadn't seen the flash of silver in the gloom - but he didn't like it.

Nor did he like the idea of confrontation all of a sudden. Sure, it couldn't be the Batman standing there as there were no pointed ears on the head, but somehow, he knew he was out of his league. And so he stood perfectly still, hoping that the rising fog and falling drizzle would render him relatively invisible.

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, Two-Face edged closer, the hand over the coin shifting ever so slightly, his eyes barely glancing down.

Before Crane even had time to consider dodging, the barrel of a .22 Colt pressed into his temple, and Two-Face spoke harshly next to his ear.

"Give us one reason not to pull on you."
One reason, concealed beneath the fabric of his glove, immediately sprung to mind. Not bothering to consider the implications of gassing not one but two sane people in the course of one night - especially when attacking this one would save his life - he moved to do so. But he never got that far, instead catching the bad side of Harvey's face out of the corner of his eyes.

Two-Face? Harvey Two-Face Dent?

Yes, he was definitely out of his league, but it wasn't fear he felt suddenly. It was the same kind of wild, warming elation he'd felt after fleeing Young's residence. He was at the mercy of a legend. A legend. A District Attorney - which he could respect as a doctor of criminal psychology - and then a Master of Fear - which he could respect because, well ...

No explaination was needed on that one, really.

Lips twitching into an intrigued smile under the mask, he answered finally, voice like two stones grating together. "The first one coming to mind? Those sirens are for you, and neither of us really have the time for bloodshed."
Two-Face considered for a moment, then turned to face Crane, his voice a lilting whisper. "True, another shot would turn the hounds in our direction. But. What's got you in such a hurry?"
He shrugged, the gesture slow and practiced.

"I owe my employer something." And pause, and then, "And besides, I'm not too keen on the idea of having the dogs on my heels, either."
"Information." Harvey considered a moment, then made a small, high-pitched sound of amusement at the back of his throat. "What say you give it to us, then," he grinned. After all, it IS our turf.
For a moment, Crane was silent, trying to decide what reaction Harvey would have - if any - to the contract he was currently carrying around. Not like he could do anything with it, since it had Shreck and Young's name on it, even if he took an interest in it. So maybe, maybe it wouldn't hurt to be honest.

"I doubt it's anything you'll find useful, but I found out that someone is trying to steal the remains of the Shreck Empire away from its current owner."
Harvey snorted, the derision in his good eye somehow even outdoing the deformed one. "Like Shreck was any shining citizen. You must be new here. Incriminating product's like two-dollar bills."

He smirked, his expression balancing out once more. "They may not be officially money, but everyone uses 'em."
"Denying that would make me a hypocrite," he agreed. After all, if you looked at things from a certain point of view, being dressed as he was was pretty incriminating. And so were the vials of fear gas, but that was beside the point - the point at the moment was this:

"But if someone handed that information over to someone higher up ... it could cause problems."
Both eyes narrowed, and he pressed the Colt's barrel a little tighter against Crane's temple. "And are you the sort who does that kind of thing?"

If he was, of course, he was toast. It didn't matter what side the weirdo was on ... if there was one thing Two-Face couldn't stand, it was a goody-two-shoes.
A snort of a laugh followed, faint but unaltered by the voice-changer in the mask. "I think blackmail works better than being a tattle-tale."
Two-Face blinked, as he noted the brief difference in timbre. So, he's disguising his voice. ... Someone's smart. Even if it IS a ridiculous mask. Slowly, carefully, he drew the gun away, but kept it in sight.

"So," he glossed. "That's why you're hanging around here."

Fellow black-hearted criminal or not, however, he still wasn't quite sure what to think of the newcomer. Unfortunately, the sirens were growing progressively louder: time was hardly working for them.

A pause followed, in which Crane noted as Harvey had that the sirens were getting louder. This was not good. For either of them, and so he suggested, "We should move."
Harvey shot him a sour look. "We hope you don't mean that all three of us should move in the same direction."

Ah, yes. Two-Face counted himself as three people. Interesting, he decided, but something that could be considered later when he was away from the sirens and Max had the contract.

And so, frowning, he considered the question. If they went together - which would be immensely enlightening, he was sure - they had a better chance at surviving, should the authorities catch up with them. But if they went apart - which meant he could finally get some sleep - there was a chance that Two-Face might get picked up by the police. And that would be, well, boring from a psychological stand point.

Still, however, it was ultimately up to Harvey, and so he presented their options with a shrug. "Good for us if the dogs catch up. Bad for us if we don't want to get caught."
"Well, then, if it's our choice ..." He held up the coin. "Heads we stick together. Tails, you split."

And hell, who knows. If we get tails, we might just flip again for the priveledge of taking a potshot at 'im on his way out.
"Fair enough," he answered, glad the the mask kept the gleeful interest both out of his voice and off of his face.

He was going to get to see Harvey Dent flip his famed coin? It was like telling a child they could go into a toy store and get whatever they wanted. And sure, maybe tomorrow morning he realized it hadn't exactly been a rational decision, but if he survived, he wouldn't care. He'd gotten to see one of Gotham's major players at work.
And for as much emphasis and weight as Two-Face put on the coin's decision, he left out little of its usual decorum. Time, after all, was short. Flipping it into the air, he reached out and grabbed it before it could even complete its arc, opening his hand to reveal the silver disc, scarred side up, rather than waiting and placing it on the back of his other hand.

"Tails." He held it up for a brief second, before putting it back in his pocket.

So be it, he thought, mild annoyance tainting his expression. Had he done things properly, had he flipped it right, had he had the real coin at his disposal, maybe things would have been different. Maybe he would have gotten a few more things out of the weirdo. But for now, he would have to settle for going back to the hideout and falling into bed - an option that was beginning to look more favorable by the second, as he could feel his medication wearing off, pain creeping in at the edges of his senses.
Pity, but he had left it up to Harvey, and he had to respect the decision he'd made. Even if it had been one of pure chance.

"I suppose I'll see you around, then," he said finally, already moving in the direction of his car.
"Maybe you will," Two-Face glossed, fingering his coin pensively before slipping his hands back into his pockets and strolling off across the pier, toward the back roads that would lead him back to the hideout.

"... Maybe you won't."