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Fic -- Demons
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Title: Demons
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1000
Characters: Roscoe Dillon
Summary: Roscoe finds he has to spin more plates than expected.
Warnings: None
Notes: Barter was a supernatural-themed businessman who helped Roscoe take the body of Thomas O'Neill, and was thus the only person privy to his secret (as the name suggests, he did favours for people in exchange for a trade). He was a recurring villain in the Hawk and Dove series. And Hawk was publicly accused of kidnapping O'Neill, when in fact he'd unwittingly helped Roscoe to possess O'Neill's body.

“Senator! Senator O’Neill, are you all right?”
Roscoe awoke with a shout, jumping to his feet almost instantly. “What do you want?”
“You were calling out in your sleep, sir,” his aide replied cautiously, more than a bit surprised by his behaviour and incredibly fast reflexes. “Is everything all right?”
“Yes, of course. Why wouldn’t it be?” Roscoe lied. Truth be told, he was still rattled by his dream, and the sudden awakening had disoriented him. He’d almost lashed out and hit the woman in an effort to protect himself.
“Maybe you should go to bed instead of sleeping at your desk. I’m sure it’d be more restful that way,” she suggested.

His eyes darted back and forth at his surroundings and he relaxed a bit, quite relieved to find himself in his office and mostly alone. Fortunately the black amulet was still clenched tightly in his fist, which eased his mind somewhat.
“I’m fine, Deborah. Just a lot of work and late hours, that’s all. And now I’ve gotten some sleep, so I can keep going for a while,” he answered with a friendly grin. He hoped she’d be satisfied with the explanation and leave him alone.
“I’ve really been worried about you lately, sir. You just haven’t been sleeping well or acting like yourself since you were kidnapped by that crazy superhero. Are you sure you’ve been dealing with it properly? Maybe you should see a doctor.” She didn’t want to say anything about the circle of salt around his desk, but it seemed very strange and quite unlike him.

Roscoe let out an annoyed grunt. He had to maintain the impersonation of Thomas O’Neill and couldn't say what he wanted to tell her, but resorting to murder would be a step too far.
“Thank you for your concern, though I’m quite all right. It’s certainly been stressful, but I think the experience has shown that I’m strong enough to keep doing my job, and to take on even more tasks. And it’s proved why I need to make a difference as an elected official, so we can keep those vigilantes in check,” he replied with as much patience as he could muster. Such a speech also served as practice for his role as politician, a profession which was still new to him.

“If you say so, sir,” she replied doubtfully, clearly still uneasy. She turned to leave and inadvertently stepped on the salt circle as she walked away, scattering many of the grains under her foot. Roscoe visibly jumped as she did so, wearing a look of abject horror.
“Damnation,” he muttered as he frantically rebuilt the circle, and Deborah wasn’t sure whether it was a profanity or just plain statement of fact. Once he’d finished fixing it, he turned to her with a furious expression.

“Do not do that again,” he told her firmly. His tone remained smoothly calm, but his fear and anger were obvious and she took a step backwards to the door.
“I-I’m sorry -- it was an accident.”
“I understand that. Please be more careful in the future,” he said with a sharp look, and sat down within the circle. He was still angry, but trying very hard to maintain the façade of O’Neill and to just end this entire troublesome conversation. It would become increasingly difficult to fool the world if his own aides raised further questions about his behaviour, so he had to nip it in the bud. At the same time, he couldn’t risk going unprotected when there were certain forces at loose in the world…forces which might be angry that he’d escaped Hell and want to bring him back.

He put his head down on the desk and sighed, feeling genuine exhaustion. The stress of his workload, the charade of impersonation, and always remaining vigilant against threats certainly took its toll. “You know, Deborah, you’re right: I am very tired, and not quite feeling like myself. I think I’ll take the weekend off and get plenty of sleep, and go to see a doctor on Monday. And I’m sorry for snapping at you, which was really out of line. Can you forgive me?”
She smiled in relief, because that sounded a lot more like the senator she knew. “Of course, sir. I’ll hold your calls until next week, and I hope you feel better soon. Some rest will definitely do you some good.”
“Thank you,” he said with a broad grin, waving cheerfully as she walked out of the room.

He rubbed his temples and groaned softly after she’d closed the door, because this gig was proving more difficult than anticipated. Rather than getting some rest, he’d probably spend the weekend implementing some new (and more secretive) methods of protection against supernatural forces, and he certainly wouldn’t be going to see a doctor. It was doubtful that he’d get a significant amount of sleep, because he'd never gotten much since his first trip to Hell. But all of this was worth it to live again, to have a new body and feel the sun on his skin….and if this senator business paid off, he could get some real power. For the first time he could really be somebody, and prove all the naysayers wrong. No Rogue had gotten as far as he had, and he was confident none ever would.

“I’m on top of the world…” he declared under his breath, always wary of eavesdroppers listening in. But the first step was to keep himself safe from infernal threats, so he reached into a hidden compartment under his desk and pulled out an ancient book he'd gotten from Barter. The tome smelled of dusty leather and radiated an aura of dark magic which made him uncomfortable, but these were desperate times. He thumbed through its well-worn pages until he'd found the section on protective spells, and then spent the rest of the night immersed in careful study. He would do whatever was necessary to ensure his success.


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That sounds like a rather nerve wracking existence! I gather going to hell and back will do that to a man ;)

You know, I'm pretty sure that's what changed him so significantly -- Roscoe really seems like a different character before and after his death. He did acknowledge that Hell was very traumatic, so I think it really messed him up badly.

Plenty of Rogues have died and gone to Hell, but his experience was very different -- most didn't stay there very long, and when they came back, they returned in brand-new bodies courtesy of divine beings. Roscoe didn't have that. He's been to Hell multiple times, and got out solely through his own wits and had to find his own bodies to inhabit. The other Rogues came back as living people, but he is a disembodied ghost. So I'd absolutely expect he'd have a very insecure and nerve-wracking existence -- and he has good reason to be proud of his accomplishments (hence his famed arrogance). His life/death has been very different from the other Rogues.

I have lots of feelings on Roscoe, could you guess? :>

Your Roscoe feels are a source of endearment and enjoyment for me ;)

Thank you, I'm glad to hear that :D I get the feeling I annoy people with it sometimes.

Yeah, but I don't want to annoy folks. I'm just choosy about those I talk about it with -- I don't discuss it with people I know are hostile to him, for instance. And I usually don't do it unless someone else has started the subject. It's a survival mechanism :>

I can understand not wanting to hear any flack about it, but I just don't understand why people feel the right to criticize what makes someone else happy. I've always been of the mind set that if you don't like it then step out of the way and let it roll on by. Life is way too short to be a hater, and there is too much good stuff out there to enjoy to read stuff you're not interested in you know? Everyone has a right to put their stuff out there for those that are interested though, and anyone who would get annoyed with it needs to get over themselves because they are not the only person in the universe... people like that just really annoy me to think their preferences are the only thing that people should write :/

Heh...well, I'm an Aspie, and one thing Aspies do a lot (and get flack for) is ramble about a favourite topic. I'm slow to pick up on social cues, but when people started giving me shit for it as a teenager, I tried to stop. Now I'm kind of afraid to go on about the things I like, to be honest -- doesn't help that most people have zero interest in Roscoe. So I'm careful about who I talk to these things about, and when I ramble in a general sense (like on my blog or something), I assume most people won't read it. More often than not, I keep most of it to myself and occasionally talk about it if someone shows an interest. This, unfortunately, is what happens when people are not kind to Aspies :\ (That said, I do have sympathy for someone who gets lectured on a subject that have no interest in, so it's a two-way street. I just wish people were nicer to each other, that's all.)

But I appreciate your support, so thank you :)

I agree wholeheartedly. People spend entirely too much time being asshats to other people when taking a moment to just be nice or say nothing at all is more preferable.

Pretty much :\ I mean, I have a temper and sometimes I say things I shouldn't. But it's a good goal to aspire to.

I think we all have those moments ;)

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