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Fic -- Memento Mori
happy Roscoe
dillonmania
Title: Memento Mori
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1215
Characters: The Top, Death of the Endless
Summary: The three times Roscoe met Death.
Warnings: Reference to suicide.
Notes: Canonverse.

"Nobody's creepy from the inside, Hazel. Some of them are sad, and some of them hurt, and some of them think they're the only real thing in the whole world. But they're not creepy. " -- Death, from Death: The Time of Your Life



The first time Roscoe meets Death is terrifying, at least for the first few moments. But she has a way of putting people at ease.

“What is this? What happened?” he asks suspiciously, looking around. He was certain he was alone a few minutes ago. “I went into the woods to die, but…”
She smiles kindly at him. “Well, then you died. And here I am.”
“Who are you?”
“You’re a smart guy, I think you can figure it out,” she says lightly, still smiling. She points at his corpse, which lies face-down in the grass, and he blanches. He really is dead.

“So what now?” he asks, slightly saddened but mostly just resigned about the situation. He’d known he was going to die, so it isn’t a shock, but this certainly wasn’t what he’d expected of the afterlife.
“I take you to my realm, and you go where you’re assigned,” she tells him. “We can talk for a bit if it’d make you feel better, Roscoe. I know how much you like to talk.”
“Was that supposed to be a joke? At a time like this?” he demands, more than a bit miffed at her lack of decorum, and she laughs freely in that friendly manner of hers.
“Sorry. I find it helps to lighten the mood, but I won’t do so if it upsets you.”

“I presume I’m to be punished for my life of crime,” he says flatly, more statement than question. She shrugs.
“I don’t have anything to do with that. I just take you where you’re supposed to go, and I don’t judge people. Every person’s different and has their own reasons for doing things. You didn’t live very long even by human standards, but you still had a pretty interesting life, I think. Most people don’t get to experience half the things you did.”
“I suppose that’s all true,” he concedes. Regardless, he has a feeling that he’ll somehow pay for the things he’s done, and doesn’t want to put it off for much longer. Anticipation can often be worse than the punishment itself, after all. “I guess I am ready to go now.”
“Right,” she says, smiling, and takes his hand. And together they walk to her realm.

***


The second time he meets her, she grins wryly at him as he looks around in confusion.

“Hello again, it’s good to see you,” she says in a friendly tone, and takes both his hands in hers. His head whips around anxiously as he struggles to take in his surroundings; he’d killed himself during a bout of madness, and is still disoriented from it all.
“What? Who? Why?” he asks with befuddlement, feeling extremely frightened.
“Roscoe, it’s me. You’ll be fine once you’ve gotten your bearings. Calm down.”
“You!” he exclaims, and tries to wrench away from her, but she holds on to him.
“You’re not going anywhere. Remember where you are, remember who I am…but you’re a slippery one, aren’t you?”

“I got away from you,” he says in distress and sounds close to tears, but she smiles gently at him.
“Temporarily. It happens. Everyone comes to me in the end, you know. Even gods. Even my siblings.”
“I’ll get away from you again,” he insists with defiance she finds charming, and she hugs him tightly.
“Maybe. But I’ll always see you again, Roscoe, it’s the way of the universe. Are you feeling any better? Need more hugs?”
“No hugs, not from my enemy,” he replies petulantly, but she puts her arms around him again anyway. Despite everything, it’s reassuring in a strange way he doesn’t completely understand.

Eventually he calms down and seems to regain his equilibrium, although he’s quiet and a bit sad. He now remembers the brainwashing which had addled him before his madness and suicide, and realizes how much it ruined his life.
“I wouldn’t have killed myself if I’d been sane. Such a wasted opportunity,” he laments, shaking his head. Now he’ll have to escape Hell a second time -- if that’s even possible -- in order to return to the living again. All that hard work to break free earlier had been for naught.
“Suicide happens to far too many people, particularly those who belong to my sisters,” she tells him with a sad smile. “Though I can at least bring some peace to them after they’ve died.”

Roscoe sighs heavily and rubs his face, feeling more tired than a dead man ought to be. “Let’s go, then,” he says grimly. Hell awaits him again, and he’s afraid of the torment and the pain; the demons there are an unending nightmare dedicated to inflicting agonies upon their victims. But he’s given a bit of comfort when she takes his hand, and during those too-brief moments it feels like everything will be all right.

***


The third time he meets her, he’s spitting mad. His old nemesis Captain Cold had frozen and shattered his borrowed body during the Rogue War, killing him instantly.

“Can you believe what Cold did to me?” he demands furiously, and she hides her grin behind a hand.
“You probably should have expected it. The two of you never did get along,” she reminds him in a gentle tone, much like the older sister he’d always wanted. “Nice to see you yet again.”
“This is only a temporary setback!” he vows darkly. He’s already plotting his next escape from Hell and revenge on Len, which will be terrible indeed.
“If you say so,” she says with that familiar smile. “You’re proving to be remarkably tricky; I don’t usually meet people three times.”
“It will be more than three! It’ll be five or more, because Hell cannot hold me!”
“It’ll keep you eventually,” she tells him. “They’ll maintain a tighter leash on you each time, and you can’t outsmart them forever, you know. They tend to take escapes rather personally.”

His shoulders sag a bit and the wind seems to go out of his sails. “Can’t you put in a good word for me? I don’t want to go back there…I really don’t.”
“That isn’t part of my jurisdiction,” she says gently, putting a friendly hand on his shoulder. “There are other beings who handle those matters, and you actually have some input on where you end up, believe it or not.”
“That’s utter nonsense. I hate it there, I would never willingly choose to go.”
“Maybe, but you feel like you deserve to be there, and you’ll be assigned to Hell until you believe you belong somewhere else.”
“Great,” he mutters unhappily, shaking his head. Apparently he’s the architect of his own misery, which has been a constant in his life that he's never fully grasped.

“Ready to go yet?” she asks, her hand still on his shoulder, and he sighs deeply.
“I suppose so. Maybe I’ll see Lisa there, it’s been a while.”
“She asked about you when she died,” Death says kindly, and he perks up immediately. “I told her you’d be delighted to see her again.”
“Well, I mustn’t keep a lady waiting,” he replies in a cheerier tone. “Lead on, and I will meet you again someday.”
“We’ll see about that,” she says with a smile, and he holds her hand tightly as they walk away together.

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