“...And we’re sure this is Jonathan, yes? Beyond a shadow of a doubt?”
“One hundred percent. Right, Jonathan?” Ed asked warily, admittedly still uncharacteristically baffled at the entire situation.
The creature in front of them let out a sharp exhale. It could talk - he could talk; the both of them swore they heard something or other about fear when they found him like this. By this point, though, they had figured either it was somehow more difficult to form coherent thoughts in this state or that Jonathan simply had nothing to say. Neither case helped anyone understand exactly what happened and why.
“Well, if we’re brainstorming here, I must say I’ve only ever seen one surefire way to make a beast human again.” Jervis appeared to be deep in thought, but confident nonetheless.
“...Do tell.” Edward wasn’t so confident in Jervis’s ability to find a legitimate solution, but all logic had already been thrown out of the window, effectively forcing him to at least hear out whatever whimsical makeshift remedy the other man had thought up.
Jervis looked at the ground for a moment. “I was going to say true love’s first kiss, but I don’t see our friend being the loving type… Do you think he has a type? We could always go and nab one of the prettier doctors from Arkham - unless we’re under the implication that opposites attract!”
“Really?! That’s your solution? Not only is it completely and utterly unrealistic, but you’ve even admitted it won’t even work within your own purview of it!”
“I don’t see you coming up with anything better, mister Nygma. In fact, I don’t see you coming up with anything at all!”
Ed sighed indignantly. “You know, early Greek philosophy defined not one but several different types of love.” He looked over at Jervis. “What I’m saying is that maybe… Maybe if your dumb little plan has some logical backing to it, then this ‘true love’ or whatever you called it could very easily exist outside of romance.”
The scarebeast looked at the green-clad man and cocked its head.
“Oh! Platonic love, then?” Jervis chimed in optimistically.
“Possibly. Philia; loyalty and affection between equals. Whereas eros is a more traditional and sensual sort of romantic love.”
“You truly are a genius, mister Nygma! Now let’s hope you aren’t just getting my hopes up… Although there’s only one way to know for sure, isn’t there?” Jervis approached the now curled-up scarebeast, smiling sweetly as he placed a gentle kiss on its … cheek? He assumed that was its face, at least. Regardless, nothing happened.
“I think… We may need the other type. The romantic one. Eros, you called it…?”
Ed huffed, astonished that either of them were still playing along with something so stupid. “Or maybe he sees you as more of a nuisance and less of a friend. Allow me.”
“I’ll have you know I take full offense to that! Besides, I know how Jonathan treats his friends, so I know I’m one of them. While I’m not going to stop you from trying, I frankly think it very bold of you to-”
“Do you want this to work or not, Jervis?”
Silence fell as Ed reluctantly held the beast’s hand in both of his, looking away for a moment before finally kissing it. It was a stupid idea anyways - nothing more than a childish waste of time. He could be consulting any number of Gotham’s finest scientists instead of doing… Whatever this is. There was no way it was ever going to work. No way in hell-
When Ed looked up, he was face to face with a disheveled Jonathan. There was no ten-foot tall creature making itself comfortable on the concrete, spewing low-dosage fear gas with every breath - just Jonathan, who promptly placed a flustered hand on his neck.
“No way…” He muttered to himself. “S...see, Tetch? I told you platonic love would work!”
Jervis chuckled. “Of course, mister Nygma, although I had myself convinced you didn’t think anything would work.”
Jonathan pulled his hand away, holding it in his own. “I don’t know about you two, but I… I think this was all one big coincidence.” He paused. “Let’s leave it at that, shall we?”
Jervis nodded and the two dispersed, leaving Ed leaning against the wall of the nearest building in the alley.
He crossed his arms and rolled his eyes. His disposition quickly switched to one of bewilderment, however, when he started to put everything together. Was it romantic love? Was it love at all? No, he thought, that’s stupid - it really was just a coincidence… Right? Even if it was, he swore he could see Jonathan blushing in the moment.
With all possibilities considered, Ed gave chase, not wanting to lose track of his friend in the darkness. “Hey, Crane, wait up! I just wanna talk!"