The following morning, they woke up on the couch, still in the same position they had been watching the movie in.
"Shit. Did we fall asleep during the movie ?" Becky asked after yawning.
"You did. And I couldn't move, since you had your head on my laps…" he remarked seriously.
"Oh. Do you want breakfast ? I think I actually have food for once." The red-head got up, stretching and dragging her feet on the floor.
"I should get going… I have some work to do."
Becky sighed, rather disappointed. "Hm… I was hoping you could stay." Since she had no class for a week, it would have been pleasant to spend that time with him.
Her lover got up, and walked towards her. "I'll come by tonight. I'll call Harley and the Joker later today, okay ? I'll ask them when we can meet. I'll tell you more tonight."
"Okay." She kissed him and let him walk out of the apartment. She had gotten so used to having him by her side that being alone was painful… She used to enjoy it, though. It gave her time to read.
After having decided that she wasn't hungry, she sat back in her couch and picked up one of Jonathan's books. That one was about the expression of fear in infants; predictable, for a book Crane would be reading. The young woman sighed and started to read it.
"Hello, who's this ?"
"Hello, child. It's me, Professor Crane."
"Professah!!! How are you doin' ?" Harley exclaimed on the other end of the phone.
"Fine… I was wondering… Would it be possible for us to meet ? I mean, with the Joker as well."
"I'll call him. Puddin' !" she screamed.
"What the fuck, Harley ! Why are you screaming ?" Jonathan could hear the Joker mumbling.
"Professah Crane would like us three to meet !"
"Hey Profesah, why do you want us to meet ?" the blonde asked.
"Well, I'm not the one who wants to… Becky is…"
"Becky ?! You mean, like, she works with you ? Is she your girlfriend ?"
He coughed, embarrassed. "To both of your questions : yes."
"Yay ! Mistah J, we're gonna meet the professah's girlfriend !"
"He has a girlfriend ?!" the surprise in his voice was rather insulting, but Crane decided to ignore him.
"Hey, is tonight at eight good for you ? My puddin' and I have plans for the two following nights, so it's the best we can do. Are we going to your lair ?" Harley excitedly said.
"Yes, that's fine with me. My lair it is. Thank you, child."
"See ya tonight !"
The Scarecrow hung up. Harley Quinn was always so hyper, it made him wonder how the Joker could put up with her. Then again, the Clown Prince of Crime wasn't so pleasant himself.
He decided he would stop by Becky's house to pick her up at seven; that would give them enough time to prepare.
"Alfred, what do you think ? Is Rebecca collaborating with Crane ?" Bruce Wayne asked, sitting at the gigantic computer of the Batcave. His butler was dusting some "trophies" (a coin of Two-Face, some guns belonging to the Joker…) behind him.
"Well, I'm not the greatest detective in the world, Master Bruce. I don't think my opinion could possibly be of any help." The butler answered, still dusting.
"Please, do anyway. I've been working on this for so long, reading the same data over and over, and receiving stupid clues from Nygma; I would need to hear something new. Something simple." Batman sighed. He had not slept in three days; that was common for him, but tiring nonetheless. He had no way of getting new information : he had already read the autopsies of the victims, inspected their homes, interrogated their family and friends… He knew everything there was to know : he knew the victims had tried to rape Becky, and that they had been killed with the Scarecrow's usual methods. What he couldn't understand was who had committed the crimes. The Caped Crusader had been told the Hatter and Alice had helped him to kill Bill Baker, and he knew the Riddler was there as well. However, The Riddler had not mentioned Rebecca; he didn't know whether the girl had helped Crane or not. If she hadn't, why would he have done that ? He may have been infatuated with the girl in the past, but he had now sworn to destroy her. The Scarecrow wouldn't simply kill Rebecca's assailants just to help. And how could he have known about them anyway ? He had to get this information from the girl, meaning he had seen her. But that was preposterous ! He wouldn't see her without killing her ! He wouldn't help her ! And there was no way the young woman would have done that by herself : she wasn't a chemist, it would be impossible for her to recreate Crane's fear gas. And even if she had managed to get some fear gas somewhere, she wasn't a criminal. She hated criminals; she couldn't have lowered herself to that level.
"I think… I think perhaps Crane has done something to Rebecca. Maybe he drugged her, or asked Tetch to put her under mind-control… That's the only logical explanation. They obviously committed the crimes together, all of them… Maybe he forced her to kill them."
"What makes you say that, Master Bruce ? Wouldn't the girl be capable of crimes herself ?"
The Dark Knight chuckled. "No. She's just a weak kid, Alfred."
"Hm. Things aren't always as they seem, you know…" the butler stated pensively.
"I know, but they are in this case. I know Crane, and I know what is capable of. Forcing Rebecca to assist him in these murders would be his style. If only I knew where to find him…" He groaned.
"Well, you know where to find Becky, don't you ?"
"If I visit her again, she'll tell Crane. He would be capable of killing her, or taking her out of town. No, I have to attack at the source…"
"Perhaps you could ask Catwoman if she knows something."
"Perhaps I'll have to."
"Hi, Batman. It's been a long time. Too long…" Catwoman purred, standing on the rooftop. She was being seductive, as always; but the Dark Knight currently had something more important on his mind.
"If you say so… So, have you got anything ?"
"No… I'm afraid I haven't seen the Scarecrow. Care to tell me why you want him so much ? It's not like his last crimes were out of the ordinary…"
"Actually, they are. I think he may have done something to Rebecca Albright, and is forcing her to help him."
"Albright ? Can't remember her, who's she ? A journalist ? A socialite ?"
"A college student. Crane is obsessed with her; tried to kill her in the past, when she rejected him. He's convinced she should become a criminal like him."
"What makes you think she didn't follow him by her own will ?" Selena asked, raising an eyebrow. "Women are not that weak, you know."
"Rebecca's not a normal woman. She's the target of a criminal."
"Yeah… I'll go and try to get some information. I'll tell you if I see or hear anything."
"Thanks, Selena." The woman took her whip off her belt and jumped from the building.
"Hey you. We have a meeting with the Joker and Harley in one hour at my lair." Crane said, entering Becky's unlocked apartment.
"Oh. Well, I'm ready, so we can leave right now I guess." The young woman answered, rising from her couch.
"I doubt you can go dressed like this, love. You should put your costume on." Jonathan suggested softly.
"Oh. My costume's in my room. I'll go get it. Wait here." The red-head rushed to her bedroom.
Crane sat on the couch. He picked up the book Becky had just put down; he smiled when he realised it was one of his.
"Dude, I think she's slowly turning into you."
After a minute, the young woman reappeared, her costume in her hands. She turned red when she saw Jonathan smiling at the book.
"Oh. You left them here, so I figured I could read them…"
"Don't apologize." He chuckled. "It's good that you read about psychology. It's pleasant to know I can have intelligent conversations with you on that matter…"
She coughed. "Hum, can we go ?"
"Of course." He rose and took her by the hand.