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Fic -- Family Obligations
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Title: Family Obligations
Rating: T for Teen
Word Count: 830
Characters: Axel Walker, Len Snart, Mark Mardon, Roscoe Dillon.
Summary: Good intentions aren't always enough.
Warnings: Lots of profanity, possibly some unpleasant imagery. And there's questionable treatment of a vulnerable person.
Notes: I thought about the Rogues kicking out Roscoe when he was mentally ill and clearly in need of help, and concluded that the alternative might not have been much better. They aren't particularly gentle people.

“You know, this is kinda fucked up,” Axel remarked as he peered through the window on the door. “And it really fucking reeks in there.”
“Then clean the room,” Len growled at him, and the boy laughed.
“I don’t care that much, dude. Do it yourself.”
Mark scrunched up his face in contempt. “Why do we keep some stupid punk around if he doesn’t even do the dirty jobs for us?”

Len pondered this and nodded, handing the teenager some rags and a filthy bucket.
“Yeah. Axel, you clean up the shit after you’ve given him the food.”
“What?? It wasn’t my idea to bring the nutjob in here! You fuckin’ do it!”
Len treated him to a glare that quickly changed his mind, and he put up his hands with a disgusted expression.
“Fine, whatever. Just don’t expect me to be nice to him.”

Len unlocked the door and Axel tiptoed into the room, casting a wary eye at the man hunched over on the floor. The man looked up and scratched himself, then turned his attention back to whatever he was doing.
“Hey Crazy. Got some dinner for you,” Axel announced nervously. “You gonna behave?”
“Yes…” the man replied, sounding distracted. He rattled the chain around his ankle as if to prove it, and Axel put the plate of beef stew in front of him. The inmate wasn’t allowed to have utensils, so he began to scoop up the food with his fingers. He seemed comfortable on an old mattress and blankets which had been placed in a corner for privacy.

“I’m gonna clean this place up,” Axel told him, and gingerly picked up the feces and food remains which littered the room, his nose wrinkled in revulsion. The man paid him little mind and continued eating, although he occasionally chuckled to himself.
“What’s so damn funny?”
“One day you’ll be in here too, when Len gets tired of you. I hope you don’t talk too much.”
“What?” Axel demanded, eyes narrowing. “What the hell are you talking about?”
The man was humming quietly under his breath and didn’t answer. He continued eating, and when Axel leaned over to pick up a soiled rag, he noticed that the man in stripes was writing something on a grimy piece of paper.

“You may not look,” the man suddenly snarled, clutching the paper and pencil to his chest. He’d reacted so quickly and violently that Axel jumped back and prepared to defend himself.
“Whoa dude! Keep your fucking paper!”
“Thanks,” the man replied cheerfully, now all smiles, and Axel decided he was done cleaning. Len could finish the job if he was displeased with the state of the room. Axel snatched up the excrement bucket and backed out the door, keeping one careful eye on the inmate as he left. But the man didn’t try to follow, and seemed rather content as he continued eating and writing simultaneously.

Axel disposed of the dirty rags and washed the basin as well as he could, and then spent a long time scrubbing himself. The situation disturbed him in a way he couldn’t quite understand, so he sought Len afterwards to talk about it.
“Why do we keep that weirdo in here?”
“He’s…family,” Len replied, the word obviously sitting distastefully on his tongue. “We keep an eye on family, we look out for `em.”
“By locking them in a shit-filled room?”
Len gave him a dour look. “Better than being on the streets or in Iron Heights. He won’t starve or freeze, and nobody’s beating him here. He’s doing okay, this is more than what he’d do for us.”

“Maybe we should take better care of him, since he’s supposed to be family and all,” Axel suggested, and there was a rare note of seriousness in his voice. Len just shook his head in annoyance, frustrated that they were conversing about a topic which deeply irritated him. He didn't like the Top, and would have preferred not to keep him around.

“Why do you care, kid?”
“I guess I just hope something like this doesn’t happen to me someday. I wanna think that I won’t be chained up in the basement if I go nuts.”
“You won’t go nuts, kid, you don’t have it in you. He’s been unstable since before you were born. And you’re not a fucking dickhead, so of course no one would treat you that way.”
“You called me a dickhead yesterday,” Axel said with a petulant scowl, and Len had to laugh a bit.
“Right, I did. Well, it ain’t the same. One day you’ll understand that,” Len replied as he walked away, thus signalling that he was done with the discussion. Axel watched him leave, and then went to raid the Rogues’ stash of money for in-house purchases. There was at least enough cash to buy the crazy guy a new bucket and some fresh notebooks, so Axel set out to make his life more comfortable.

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Ha ha I gather Roscoe's words broke through to Axel about what he could end up facing if he wasn't careful. It's sad that Roscoe wasn't treated better. He may have been better off in a nut house me thinks

He probably would have been. People treated him really, really badly during Johns' run, and it isn't at all surprising that he ended up so troublesome and anti-social. Part of that is his own fault, of course -- if he wasn't such a jerk, people probably would have been kinder to him. But he was also seriously mentally ill, and EVERYBODY (Flashes, Rogues, the prison system, Zatanna) treated him horribly anyway. So of course he got worse. Anyone would have gotten worse in those circumstances.

Anyway, what happened to him would be a good warning to any observer paying attention. I doubt most people were paying attention in canon, but I wanted Axel to realize it here.

Yeah, neglecting a mentally ill person no matter what their hubris should not happen. Especially by the supposed heroes :/

Neglecting him was bad enough, but the heroes even treated him abusively. Wally kicked him in the face and mocked him about it, Zatanna made an unkind comment to his face about him smelling bad while he was crazy and homeless, etc. They behaved terribly towards him. So of course he behaved terribly right back, and probably made him worse than he would have been otherwise.

That is simply horrible :( Wish there would have been other heroes there to set them straight about how they had treated him. That would be a nice AU to write where he was actually taken care of :)

That would have been nice, yeah! But Johns clearly didn't like Roscoe and thought he deserved it (he said he deserved to get killed by Len), so that was never gonna happen. And then of course that spilled over into the fandom, which also clearly thinks he deserved it. People aren't as civilized as they like to think they are, especially when it comes to people they dislike.

And yeah, that would be a nice AU...maybe I'll write something in that if I can get the inspiration :)

People can be douche bags :/ And I'm sure the fact that Johns said that made those fandom jerks jump right on his band wagon *growl*

I would love to see you write that! :) It sounds like it would be a fun angsty roller coaster ;)

Oh, I don't doubt it. It's easy and trendy to dogpile on a character if even the creator shits on him. Helps if the creators writes him as unpleasantly as possible! (I'm still shaking my head over Johns saying Roscoe deserved to die because he was an elitist -- when Johns himself was the one who wrote him that way).

Well, I'll see if I get the inspiration! Currently I have a bunch of fic ideas kicking around -- but nothing is really happening with them.

Johns is a freaking elitist, does that mean he should die as well?

I hope you do become inspired, I have been hoping to do something creative before spring break was over, but nothing :( I have just been too tired to want to.....

I've got no clue how he feels about real-life people...but I can say I was very dismayed and yet unsurprised when I read that. Suddenly all the extreme negativity towards Roscoe during Johns' run made sense.

I can totally understand why you're too tired and struggling with inspiration :\ I hope things ease up for you and get less crazy soon *hugs*

I did start drawing something, not done yet, and it's only a portrait (so I didn't have to do any thinking just drawing LOL!) Hopefully I'll finish it tonight and post it... we will see how I feel. I'm going to finish my emails and take a nap before my class tonight then we will see :P

Glad to hear it; what did you draw? :D

I posted it a couple days ago on my LJ :) It's a character from Black Sails

Nice! I'm not familiar with that show, but it's a great pic.

Thanks! I've grown attached to the character... me and my roguish types ;)

I hear that, I'm the same way :D

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