Chapter 11

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Jonathan looked in the bathroom mirror at the dark circles under his eyes. He'd slept less last night due to his work marking and Daria's sleep muttering which he'd tried to write down as much as possible. After rereading it he concluded that Daria's dreams were memories from childhood and had been altered to be more physically and emotionally violently from the fear toxins manifestation in her mind. The constant stress can be fatally harmful for her mind and body. Jonathan would most likely keep her on Monday when the withdrawal would reach its peak.

When do I get my fun Johnny? These past weeks have been boring! The Scarecrow's voice was a growl inside his head. Can I play with Daria yet? She seems to have some emotional connection with you... how... unusual! Lets use it to our advantage hehehaha! Jonathan gripped the sink with this fingers, grimacing his other half's loud cackle.
Then Daria's scream was heard from down the hall.
She was awake again and in her usual post-nightmare panic.

"M-make it stop Jonathan," The minutes had slowly gone by as Daria was rocked backwards and forwards gently. She had her head over his left shoulder and hugged herself tightly. The professor was finding it not so easy to be so soft and kind with her as it was almost foreign to him. As a child his grandmother had treated him harshly. Once when angry at him, she'd thrown him into an abandoned church filled with crows which swooped around him in fear. His scientist father had experimented on him. His own son was nothing more than a lab rat. Jonathan Crane had been starved of affection for years as a child.

After calming down, Daria went to go take a shower. His Scarecrow alias, meanwhile, continued to ponder on on about his dry patch of victims over the past month. It was probably due to Jonathan's focus on Daria. It was unusual for him to focus on one 'subject' for so long. Jonathan tried his best to distract himself by humming and smelling the relatively fresh coffee in the French press. He pushed down the plunge and poured himself a small cup. When Daria came back down with her wet hair in a bun she was wearing a large purple hoodie and black jeans.
"Thanks for the coffee," Her voice was back to its usual sarcastic tone. Jonathan realised he'd not thought to pour her some. She went over to pour herself a cup with one of the slightly dirty cups in the sink.

"That was a very fast shower," He commented in order to break the uncomfortable silence.
"Yep," She took a sip from the blue mug and made a face, causing him to laugh.
"What?" His grin faltered slightly when her face remained like that for a moment.
"That's not coffee, that's sludge," without further word she took his coffee and dumped it down the skin along with her mug and then restarted the kettle. "But don't worry yourself; I can make the real stuff," Jonathan had to agree that his simple coffee skills weren't amazing. He could be quite boring in the kitchen. Daria took his mug out of his hand, rinsed it in the sink and then refilled it with the batch she made.
The new cup of coffee tasted much better than before: lighter and less gritty. As he took a second long sip he could see Daria smirking from behind the cup she held. "What? What are you planning Daria, we need to get you better so we can recommence the trials,"
"I never said I agreed to your demands about filling me with poisonous drugs, or anything to be honest" She placed down her cup, Jonathan mimicked her. "You'd have to catch me for me to reconsider,"

Then Daria bolted out of the kitchen like an energetic child, he could hear her running up the stairs. "What a silly mistake," she would reach a dead end immediately.

Jonathan chased after her. She'd hidden behind the bed and huddled into a ball trying not to laugh at her terrible hiding spot. He lifted her up so that she was laying on the bed and then he leaned over her.

"Give up, I have you now," She giggled at his order.

"Whatcha gonna do?" She looked at him as if trying hard to push him on edge. "Are you going to use your fear gas on me? I better after another go I'll be immune to that crap,"

"That would only enhance your current issues," his voice went solemn. In his mind the Scarecrow really wanted to dose her with fear gas and watch her writhe under him. Jonathan tried to eradicate the intrusive thought before realising he wanted something ever-so slightly similar.
Daria began to wriggle out, trying to roll off the bed to find a better new hiding place.
"Oh, not this time Daria!"
He then cupped her face, starring into her green eyes with his blue ones. Jonathan brushed his lips against hers before leaning in for the kiss. Almost hungrily she kissed back, to his surprise. They kissed and held each other tightly. Both felt ecstatic from the other's taste and touch. Both Daria and Jonathan's complicated desires had been crawling under their skin for days, desperate to burst free but awash with confusion and guilt. 

"I feel scared," the two lay on the bed. "It must be the side effect of having been pumped full of fear toxin though". She quickly added, so Jonathan would not think that it was from his kiss. She knew in her heart, and from her early psychology classes, that arousal for fear and desire often had the same physiological symptoms. It was the mind that had the final say, and lately Daria's mind was brimming with images of her worst fears. 
 Jonathan's hair was slightly messy and his white shirt was unbuttoned. Beside him Daria wore her bra and jeans. "I'd say 'we shouldn't be doing this' but then again we shouldn't be manufacturing such dark and potentially weaponizable drugs and you shouldn't be testing it on your university student..." 
The professor turned on his side to face her, his dark brown hair softly fell over his eyes. He agreed with her, but he also didn't want to end what was happening.
"Daria, when are you one to obey the rules?" he questioned, she smiled and laid her head on his chest. She wasn't scared too much of what she was doing. She was scared of how quickly she'd fallen for him. Especially after what she'd been doing to her. For a psychology student, she sure was exhibiting 'socially incorrect' psychological behaviour and she was completely aware of it, as she was certain Jonathan was too.

They got up after twenty minutes and returned to their lukewarm coffees. Jonathan went to the basement room while Daria went to the couch to read.
Time passed slowly for her. The words in her book looked like unattractive blurs. She absolutely hated doing nothing. Adding to that the past hour was racing through her mind. The two had kissed and touched each other – no, nothing more. The majority of their clothes had remained on.
In the basement, Jonathan was unable to finish writing. The past hour was replaying in his head.

It wasn't long before the two ended up in the same room again.

"Do you want me to make lunch?" Daria asked, without looking up from the book she wasn't even reading. The man lingered in the living-room doorway.
"I was thinking of going to a place close by here," Without hesitation, she snapped shut what she was reading and stood up. "Oh? Outside?"
"Yes, we'll be going back to the normal routine after Monday," The monotone Jonathan had returned. Daria didn't even bring up the previous spark they'd had. It seemed as though he was already trying to forget.

"Do I frighten you?" His voice was soft. Even those words had seen a shiver down her spine.

"Not exactly, I'm interested by your Scarecrow counterpart though, Perhaps he is who I should be afraid of," She was smiling as she said it. Then she looked away and stood up, bringing her empty coffee cup into the kitchen and passing Jonathan through the doorframe.
Jonathan smiled her answer. He felt, calm. Something that hadn't been felt in a long while. She spoke so calmly, and with interest, about Scarecrow. 

Yet he was still placing the work first. Daria would be subjected to his modifications to his toxin in the coming week. If the toxin proved successful not only would he have a perfect new weapon to play with in Gotham, but he would be able to cease his torture upon Daria and hope she still felt for him the way he was feeling more and more towards her. 

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