Author's Note: After much internal conflict, I decided to post this here. Written for a request at the Crane Kink Meme (LiveJournal).
Warning: fear toxin sex, dub-con/non-con, mild gore/violence
Disclaimer: I do not own Batman.
A City Asleep
"Gentlemen," he said, though his company passed for anything but, "if you'll excuse us a moment."
One of them sniggered, another drew a crumpled bill from his pocket and folded it begrudgingly into the palm of his cohort. They had the sense not to speak; stifled rude comments as they left the lab. The door keened shut. Jonathan removed the mask and smoothed his hair, setting his second face with his glasses by Rachel's thigh.
Gallons of his hallucinogen were pumping through Gotham's pipes like heroin through bloated veins. Every piece of the puzzle was falling into place. He wanted to celebrate his victory over the sickly, seething city and its cancerous inhabitants. A thrill ran through him, made his fists flex and his pulse rocket. All those simpletons at the university, all those stupid, insipid students, all the mindless cattle and criminal scum… And one lonely idealist, forced to face her fears.
"Do you remember when I offered you that psychological evaluation, Miss Dawes?" he asked, knowing full well she couldn't understand him. At best, his words were slurred raindrops against her ears, pooling into a smooth mess. He leaned over her, obscuring her vision; her eyes were unfocused, pupils wide black spots rimmed with blue. He imagined the lights were blinding her but she didn't blink.
He ran his thumb along her bottom lip, her mouth open in stupor. She didn't make a sound, not that he expected her to. Such a concentrated dose worked in stages: she'd be in shock for a while, then her senses would sharpen unbearably, and then the hallucinations would set in. When the toxin finished ravaging her system, she'd understand like he did what fear and control were. She'd need him.
Johnny Crane, hero boy.
Jonathan cast a brief glare at the lump of burlap, then returned his gaze to Rachel. Her head swung listlessly from left to right. He placed his hands on either side of her face and stilled her.
"You won't remember any of this," he murmured. Not the way I want you to.
Jonathan lowered his lips to hers, the wrong way around. It took her a moment, but her head stopped swinging. When he ran his tongue along her lip, she surged into the kiss as though she thirsted for him, her mouth full of sand.
He didn't know what it was about her that made him half insane. Perhaps it was her ridiculous morals or misplaced bravado. Perhaps it was that every time she shadowed him through the courthouse, firing accusations like arrows, he wanted to grab her by the wrists, slam her into the wall, and give her something to really object to.
But now she was malleable and quiet. He could appreciate the rounded edges of Rachel Dawes, hidden precariously between the sharp corners. Her chest rose and fell with staccato breaths. Her sweater was worked up to her waist by her subtle writhing, a sliver of pale flesh bare against the cold table, pinpricks rising on her skin.
His hands smoothed the tangles of her hair, down to her throat. Fingerprints paused over the pulse point – it hummed choppily, sweetly. His lips closed over it; he bit down to taste the heartbeat, and she bucked.
Jonathan circled the table, ever looming like a bird of prey. One leg hung off the edge. He lifted it by the ankle and set it down, fingertips ghosting over the swell of her calf, along her knee to the hem of her skirt. She'd remember it as a dream but he'd know it as a vivid reality, and that would be more than enough.
Rachel shrieked suddenly. He looked up: a web hung in the light above her, a spider skittering along its threads. It was black and no larger than a thumbtack. With his free hand, Jonathan calmly snatched it from the light, crushing it slowly in his fingers. No obstacles.
"Shh," he said, wiping tears from her face. She made a guttural whine. "It's just a bad dream. Close your eyes." He placed his fingers gently over her eyelids, drawing them shut. Her lashes fluttered a moment, fighting him – then her head stilled again, her whimpers fading into consenting mewls.
With that out of the way, he rolled her skirt up her legs, lifting her to bunch it over her hips. He kissed her again, their faces parallel. Her tongue darted about aimlessly, as though she were trying to make words with no sound. He wrestled it into submission and pulled her panties down her thighs. As they went over her knees, ankles, slipping off her toes, he sucked gently down her throat to the dip between her breasts.
Jonathan slipped off his jacket and tie, unbuttoning his shirt. He slid his feet out of his shoes and socks, then took off his trousers and briefs. His clothes a uniform pile on the floor, he crawled onto the table, nudging her legs to either side of him.
There was a flicker of her eyes, and for a second he swore she'd looked directly at him. But he'd blinked, and her eyes were closed again and even the incessant flexing of her hands had stopped, like she was waiting.
He took her by the hips, pulling her toward him, guiding her knees up until her legs wrapped around him. To her, all this was a faraway fairytale, blurred sensory reception, something happening to someone that wasn't her, somewhere that wasn't here. She would believe that when she woke up, and he'd talk her through the nightmares he'd cause every night.
Get on with it.
Her mouth closed for the first time when he pushed into her. Her teeth caught her bottom teeth and tugged, skin going pale. Creases formed at the corners of her eyes as she screwed them more tightly shut. Jonathan moved silently against her, pressing his lips to the exposed flesh of her stomach to stop himself from moaning. She was warm and she didn't fight him, didn't scream. Rachel's hands balled into fists at her sides, shoulders shivering, back arching.
He went faster, hitching her sweater over her breasts, fumbling momentarily with the clasp of her bra. Her nipples here hardened peaks – whether from the stark chill of the table or his mouth around the sensitive skin, he wasn't sure. Experimentally, he bit. A scream erupted from her, shrill and clipped at the end. Her body convulsed as though he'd sent shockwaves through her; her fingers unfurled, weaving into his hair and ripping.
Cursing, he grabbed her wrists. She made a sound between a growl and a shriek, rocking violently from side to side. Frustrated, he slid out of her and attempted to hold both her hands in one of his, and force her shoulders down. She wrenched an arm free. Jonathan was occupied trying to keep her from falling off the table when she batted him in the face, nails catching his cheek. She swung again, something grainy hitting him. Rachel let go of her makeshift weapon; he took wrists, sure of his grip this time, and pinned her arms above her head.
The mask was lying across her stomach, three tiny holes in it where her fingernails had torn. Empty sockets stared up, the twists of her burlap accusing.
You're losing it, Doctor. You can't do it.
Jonathan growled. Rachel thrashed again; her eyes were open, strangled cries filling the musty air. She wouldn't go back to being tranquil now – she was too far gone.
He felt irritated, as if a monumental experiment had failed. He'd almost had her, he'd almost…
Let me in. You want her to fear you, but you're just not that scary, Johnny. But she'll fear us. Me.
He needed to think, needed to reason, needed some peace, but she was howling and his fingers were slipping and –
He shoved the mask on with both hands, not caring as she clawed at his arms, carving long, thin red tracks. He grabbed her again, fingers closing roughly around her face, jerking her up. Her eyes spun before locking on him, her mouth opened to scream.
"Stop it," said Scarecrow adamantly, his voice a stereo hiss. Rachel blinked, a shudder rippling down her body.
He let go and she fell hard onto her back. Scarecrow thrust in again, moving with much less grace than Jonathan, who watched as fat tears rolled down her cheeks and into her mouth. With thread stitching his lips shut, Scarecrow couldn't bite. He sunk his nails into her hips, dotted little red crescents over the curve of her waist and up her breasts. Once or twice, he dragged his fingers through her skin and listened to all the different pitches of her pain: high and keening, low and mournful. He felt her fear in every tiny tightening of her muscles.
Rachel knotted herself into a confused frenzy. Lips crushed against a burlap sack, she screamed as she came. Jonathan blinked back into consciousness: with the snap of Scarecrow's fingers he felt almost high on control. He collapsed on top of her trembling body, struggling to pull the mask off. Rachel didn't fight or thrash.
Jonathan lay there a short while, watching his breath harden on her slick skin. Then he dressed himself and her, adjusting his glasses and nudging her bra strap back up her arm. He pulled his watch from his pocket and checked the time.
She was so still she might have been sleeping, aside from her eyes: wide and wandering, just like before he'd undressed her. As if nothing had happened. She would be unconscious soon, slipping into an inner dementia. He stuffed Scarecrow (quietly cackling and cheering for an encore) into his briefcase and ascended the stairs.
"Take her to the car," he told Falcone's men. They were sitting only a few feet away from the door, staring at their hands or fiddling with their phones, trying too hard to be inconspicuous. Jonathan had known they would be listening, but not even their petty perversions could pollute his victory.
They nodded, avoiding his eyes, and rushed into the lab. Running a hand through his hair, Jonathan walked briskly to the elevator. He pressed the button for the ground floor and waited patiently for the elevator to shudder into a climb. He had a few things to gather from his office before he'd meet Rachel in the car and tell her all about their private plane.
Ra's al Ghul was already here and the city was going to shriek. But they had a flight to catch and as much as Jonathan longed for the screams of millions, he would happily settle for just one.