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Crane's not sitting on a Nexus couch today, no. He's pacing back and… 
11th-Oct-2009 10:44 pm
[Crow] Flew in the face of logic
Crane's not sitting on a Nexus couch today, no. He's pacing back and forth like a caged animal, all restless energy, in full costume.

"What is it about Halloween that appeals to you?" This may or may not be the question that's bothering him. "If it doesn't appeal to you, why do you dislike it?"
12th-Oct-2009 03:45 am (UTC)
"Trick-and-treating!" Harley answers brightly as she watches Professor Crane. She wonders briefly if he's alright, but then gets distracted and lets out a little giggle. She's draped upside-down on a nearby couch, you see, and even the Scarecrow looks funny when he appears to be pacing on the ceiling. She swings her legs a little bit as they dangle off the back of the couch. "Isn't it your big day, Professor?"
12th-Oct-2009 04:19 am (UTC)
Upon seeing Harley, some of Crane's nervous energy seems to take a backseat--just kind of switches off, for lack of a better term--and he smiles visibly under the mask's mouth stitches. "I imagine you end up with a rather impressive haul." He can kind of picture her demanding more than candy from anyone foolish enough to open their doors to her, but he doesn't say as much.

"It is my favorite holiday." Now he sounds mildly rueful, "It's the 12th tomorrow, and I haven't had any inspiration yet. --Oh, little things, obvious things, razorblades and syringes, but nothing original and nothing grand. Nothing worthy of his attention... or my investment." Something about Harley makes him babble more openly than usual.
12th-Oct-2009 05:25 am (UTC)
Harley pouts for just a second before realizing that Crane's smile only looks like a frown from her position, and clumsily goes about righting herself to see it properly. "Not too--" She flails a little. "--shabby!" It's not one of her more graceful moments but she grins as she finds herself sitting straight up again. A smile is worth the blood rushing back away from her head.

"You'll think of somethin'!" Her voice maintains her pep. "You're Mr. Fear in Gotham! A crowd'a kids already in spooky masks, a little gas, some mass hysteria and you're set! Right?" She brings her fingers up on top of her head to mimic bat ears. "You got lotsa time to get a really good plan goin' to draw out Fatman."
12th-Oct-2009 03:48 am (UTC)
People get to dress up, try on different roles, extort candy and treats, and try to spook the crap out of each other. Some people act sluttier. What's not to like?
12th-Oct-2009 04:19 am (UTC)
My second question was more for completeness' sake, you'll get no complaints from me about the holiday in question.

And you wouldn't be able to point out anything specific that you enjoy most?
12th-Oct-2009 04:29 am (UTC)
Ja. It's the whole cumulative, topsy-turvy, break-from-the-normal atmosphere of the holiday. People's minds tend to be more interesting during it.
12th-Oct-2009 05:08 am (UTC)
Victor is at her current default: exhausted but happy, and way worn down. She's surrounded by books about birds. Glossy encyclopedias, to scientific works, to art books full of page-sized paintings with captions. "I freaking love that sense of freedom. Back before I realized I could do whatever I want anyway, Halloween was when I could manage it."
12th-Oct-2009 05:23 am (UTC)
He smiles, and for once, it isn't an unpleasant smile. "The casting off of socially-mandated inhibitions? The anonymity of the mask, the terror and uncertainty of the lesser--" Okay, Crane, cap it there. "It is a feeling like no other." And it's why, privately, Crane thinks that Arkham has such a high fail rate. Nothing can compare to putting on a costume and feeling like a god whenever you like.
12th-Oct-2009 05:28 am (UTC)
She smiles back, this huge aha-we-have-an-understanding grin. "Exactly. And it's like... for a day, I didn't really feel like an outsider. Everyone else was wearin' funny clothes and goofing off, too. You can twist social norms without a double thought. You can play pretend for a while, without getting asked if you're on something. It's beautiful."
12th-Oct-2009 10:50 am (UTC)
Sarah hadn't exactly planned on meeting Crane today -- she was still working up her nerve to complete their "deal" -- but it would be rude (and probably dangerous) to avoid him, now that they've crossed paths.

She wonders what has him in such a frenetic mood. "I like Halloween," she says softly. "I like the costumes..." She follows him with her eyes. "Are you all right, Dr. Crane?"

((edited for clarity))

Edited at 2009-10-12 03:04 pm (UTC)
12th-Oct-2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
"Ah, hello again." Crane looks over in her direction, twisting a little and musing on her answer. "What kind of costumes?"

"Fine, fine." He dismisses her concern with a wave of one spindly hand, "We had business, didn't we... a fear dulling substance, wasn't it?"
13th-Oct-2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
"Oh, all kinds. The more creative, the better. We have costume shops in our city, but most of the ones sold are cheap sets. I like ones that have effort put into them." She also loves costumes for little children and pets, but she's not about to tell Crane that. It'd probably make him gag.

Ah, so he hadn't forgotten. She feels mixed emotion over that. She approaches him tentatively, not wanting to violate his personal space for both their sakes. "Yes, and I'm sorry I didn't contact you sooner. I have the materials you requested, but then there was a mass kidnapping, and then... well, some other things happened." She self-consciously plays with the ring on her left hand that wasn't there the last time Crane saw her.
12th-Oct-2009 03:10 pm (UTC)
Metody has no idea who Dr. Crane is. He's heard of him once or twice, but he isn't going to make the connection between Fear Gassing Doctor and Man Dressed As A Farm Thingie on his own. So he pauses and grins.

"I guess all the things you do in the community - decorating, and celebrating together, and then everyone handing out candy to the kids and having parties. It's nice. I like community holidays."

For Metody, they're all community holidays.
12th-Oct-2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
"How sweet," Crane muses dryly, "A day whose nucleus is terror and superstition, bent to such an innocent purpose."
13th-Oct-2009 12:13 am (UTC)
"There's also re-warding - " There is a brief pause while he considers etymology. How odd, he's never thought about how similar those words sound. " - re-establishment of wards against things. But - doesn't it sort of make sense that a day dedicated to honoring the dead and pushing back the frightening things would become a community event? People tend to feel better when they're together."
13th-Oct-2009 06:07 am (UTC)
"Pushing back the frightening things?" Crane laughs, and it's a hollow and dry sound, "Nonsense. Halloween is the day that civilization peels away its own mask and reveals that underneath, it will always be terrified, always be seething in its own reflexive adrenaline responses to noises in the dark, and faces grotesque and different. Primal man's fear never left us; only the targets change."
12th-Oct-2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
"Dressing up."
12th-Oct-2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
"Masks included, or not?" These are important details!
12th-Oct-2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
"Depends on the costume."
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13th-Oct-2009 06:06 am (UTC)
Mm, far be it from me to assume all holidays are trans-versal.

Halloween evolved out of ancient Celtic ritual thousands of years ago. On October 31st, a celebration they called Samhain, which acknowledged the presence of the dead as ghosts walking the earth.

Today children put on masks and go about begging for candy.
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13th-Oct-2009 05:45 am (UTC)
"For some, reality barriers are thinner. For others, the stars are right. Humans recite the old, old chants in search of power and there are some who listen."
13th-Oct-2009 06:06 am (UTC)
"You get points for the most original answer I've heard yet." Crane squints, "But you didn't mention what you, specifically, like or dislike about it."
13th-Oct-2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
Squinting at this man in yellow-gold does nothing more than bring into sharper focus the fact that sometimes he seems more real than his surroundings... until the eyeballs move slightly, as they always do, then he might seem a bit blurred about the edges, or refracted slightly, or even somewhat out of perspective, as though being looked at through glasses with entirely the wrong prescription. That strange, eye-pulling sensation. Then it is gone again.

"What do I, specifically, like or dislike about it? I like to watch the humans recite their chants, work their misguided magic; I like to see who answers and what they do. Yet on the lighter side, I'm ever amused by how much the season brings out ordinary humanity's desire to scare themselves as long as they're safe in the knowledge that what they're scaring themselves with is only fiction. I'm even entertained by the free-range candy harvesting by children and the last pale shades of the Masquerade played out by adults. The innocence and abandon of humans during the season makes me laugh. And it makes me hunger. And it's all the more poignant and bittersweet for the fact that the reality barriers do not grow thin for me, nor can I hear the chants and obesiances of the power-hungry. Rather, I must content myself with watching, and knowing."
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