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Fic -- Naughty Or Nice
happy Roscoe
Title: Naughty Or Nice
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 3050
Characters: James Jesse, Sam Scudder, Len Snart, Mick Rory, Digger Harkness, Mark Mardon, Roscoe Dillon, and Hartley Rathaway.
Summary: The world's most degrading heist.
Warnings: Profanity.
Notes: Set in the Bronze Age, although because of the compressed timeline I gave people modern tech like cellphones. (Sometimes my stories set in the past are written as though they took place in that decade, and some are modernized due to the compressed timeline. It comes down to personal preference).

“So we’re broke,” Sam announced one mid-December afternoon, and the Rogues looked glumly at each other around the table.
“Pickings have been slim lately,” Len muttered darkly, stating the obvious, and Mick’s face lit up with an idea.
“So we do a heist!”
“No shit, mate,” Digger said with rolled eyes as Mark shook his head pityingly. “The issue is finding one we can pull off without getting our arses kicked in by the Flash or the cops.”
“My surveillance suggests there won’t be any money transfers at any of the major banks in the near future,” Roscoe noted grimly. “We may have to knock over a department store instead.”
“But the haul wouldn’t be worth it!” Hartley objected, and there was a collective sigh from the whole crew. It would be a bleak Christmas for thieves.

James cleared his throat and had a distinctly smug grin on his face, which rarely boded well. “I’ve got a plan, actually.”
“No more rubber chickens,” Sam reminded him crossly, and the Trickster looked offended.
“That was one time, and this plan has nothing to do with them. No, I’m suggesting we rob the big jewellery store in the Infantino Mall.”
“It was at least three times…but go on,” Sam said, intrigued. Either James would come up with a good idea or he’d make a complete ass of himself, and either option was welcome on this gloomy day. Most of the other Rogues looked skeptical, but were willing to hear him out because they didn’t know what else to do.

“Okay, so you know how there’s a ‘Meet Santa’ thing every weekend during December? Get a candy cane, tell Santa what you want, take a photo and all that? And his helpers are dressed as elves. We go in there dressed up like elves, and nobody pays any attention to a group of men with big satchels in the mall until it’s too late.”
“I’m not wearin’ no bleedin’ elf costume!” Digger protested, slamming his beer on the table, and everyone else seemed to agree.
“What a stupid idea,” Len groused as he stood up and prepared to walk out.
“Got a better one?” James asked pointedly, and the older man paused.
“No, but I’ve got dignity. Forget it.”
There was generalized nodding at this sentiment, but Sam spent a few moments pondering things while the rest of the Rogues scoffed or got up to leave.

“I’m in,” Sam finally declared, and everyone stopped dead and stared at him. “Yeah, it’s silly, but the basic concept’s sound. So you can either participate or be broke this Christmas.”
“I’d rather be broke,” Len muttered, but Sam grinned broadly at him.
“You wanna buy something for your sister, or have her go without?”
That was a low blow, and everyone knew it. Roscoe sighed, now reluctantly convinced; of course Lisa needed nice gifts.
“I’ll steal something for her,” Len grumbled irritably, but his resolve was obviously wavering.
“Suit yourself, but if you’re gonna steal then you might as well get in on a big job like this one,” Sam shrugged with that huge shit-eating grin. He knew he’d already won the argument.
“Fine! Whatever.”
“I’m in,” Hartley added, and one by one the other Rogues grudgingly agreed as well.

“Great!” James smiled, extraordinarily pleased that the others had signed on. He’d never come up with a heist idea for the group before, and such successful plans always carried a certain cachet amongst the crew. “I’ll look into getting the elf costumes, and somebody’s gonna have to study the mall and store schedules to come up with a timetable. I really think this will work!”
“If it doesn’t then you’re outta the group,” Digger told him, only half-joking. “Nobody makes a fool out of Captain Boomerang.”
“…you mean besides the guy who made your stewardess outfit?” James chuckled, and the ensuing fistfight provided the afternoon’s entertainment for the rest of the Rogues.


Six days later, the Rogues disembarked from a plain black van in the mall parking lot. Seven were dressed as elves, while Hartley had lucked out in the draw and got to remain in civilian clothes as the getaway driver.
“That silly bloke already dresses like an elf outta choice, so why does he get to stay behind?” Digger said loudly, and Sam elbowed him.
“Digger’s not wrong. This is the most ridiculous heist I’ve ever been on,” Roscoe complained, so Len shot him a dirty look. If they were going to do this job, they’d damned well do it professionally.
“You’re welcome to go home and lose your cut,” Len said as he adjusted the festive-looking sack he carried. Each Rogue held a large bag which was filled with empty boxes -- to look like gifts -- and the contents would be replaced with a haul of jewellery once the robbery had begun. Or at least that was the plan.

“So we walk through the mall undetected, and then everybody pulls out their weapons as soon as we reach the jewellery store, capiche?” James reiterated, mostly for Mick’s sake.
“Yes, we went over this,” Mark said with an aggravated sigh, electricity slightly sparking around his eyes. “Let’s just finish it so we can get drunk to forget.”

The mall was a madhouse from the moment they stepped inside. Harried parents, excited children, and teenagers laden with too many shopping bags abounded, and the din was terrible. It had perhaps been a good idea to leave Hartley behind after all, and Roscoe didn’t seem to like the noise much either.
“It looks so festive!” Mick exclaimed delightedly, and the others gave him an odd look before proceeding in the direction of the jewellery store. Len was distinctly sour, but that seemed to be an increasingly common thing for him these days.
“All those happy people buying shit for their families,” he muttered, and even Digger knew well enough to leave the subject alone.

The Rogues continued cautiously through the mall, and things were uneventful aside from having to wade into the human tide going in all directions. But then an angry man approached them and everyone tensed, hands on the weapons under their tunics.
“Excuse me, gentlemen, but you’re late and going in the wrong direction,” the man said indignantly. “I’m going to be docking half an hour’s pay because you really picked the wrong day to pull this. Have you seen the goddamned line?!”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Sam asked, wrinkling his brow. This obviously wasn’t a cop or even a mall cop, so the weapons were left hidden.
“It’s Saturday afternoon and Santa has no helpers!” the man shouted at them, clearly nearing the end of his rope. He’d had a long day and was in imminent danger of the kind of tantrum only a middle-aged man could throw.

“Yeah, well, we aren’t the guys you’re looking for, mate,” Digger said dismissively and waved a hand, but Mick stepped forward with an excited expression.
“Sure we are! We’d love to help out!”
“What the fuck are you doing?” Len hissed at him, and Mick fixed him with a happy smile.
“Karma, Len. We do a good deed, have a good time, and the universe will let us have a rich haul!”
“It doesn’t work that way--” Roscoe objected, but Mick was already following their new boss back to the centre of the mall, and the remaining Rogues looked at each other helplessly.

“What are we supposed to do?” Mark asked worriedly. “Now we’re down a man, and that jackass might foul things up somehow!”
“We’re already a bit late for the security shift change,” James muttered, biting his lip. “You know what, I think we’d better wait for the next one in two hours.” He quickly texted the change in plan to Hartley back at the car.
“I’m not playing elf for any children,” Mark announced with a scowl, but Sam just sighed heavily.
“We might as well. We can take off just before the shift change, rob the place, and then get out. It’s better cover than sitting around for two hours or leaving and coming back.”
“Dammit…” Len growled, rubbing his temples aggressively. He’d already gotten a headache from the unholy racket in the building, and was decidedly not looking forward to any more of it. But Sam was right, and it might be the only way to salvage yet another mess of a job. He was going to kick Mick’s much-too-cheery ass when all of this was over.

Reluctantly, the Rogues wandered towards the noisiest part of the mall, and all of them winced when they saw it. There was a vast horde of impatient children and stressed out parents milling about, and in the middle of it all was Santa and a very jolly Mick.
“C’mon everybody, form a line!” Mick shouted joyfully, occasionally handing candy canes to the better-behaved children. His face got even happier when he saw his colleagues cautiously approaching the disaster scene. “Fellas! You made it!”
“Oh thank God,” Santa murmured as he wiped his sweaty brow. “Reinforcements at last.”

The agitated manager seemed only moderately pleased by the others’ arrival, and handed a bag to each elf except Roscoe.
“These are candy canes, and you guys will give them to the kids as they reach the head of the line. And you look responsible enough to work the camera, so you’re gonna take the photos of them with Santa,” he told Roscoe, who seemed flattered.
“Well, I am very responsible, but I’m not really a photographer…” he began, but was completely ignored and firmly pushed in the direction of the camera. Finally he shrugged and acquiesced to the job; how hard could it be?

“Kids make me nervous,” Sam muttered to Digger as they surveyed the pseudo-line that was beginning to coalesce. “They’re so small and unpredictable.”
“Nah, they’re okay. You just need to know how to talk to the little buggers,” Digger said magnanimously. He strode over to an older boy who was standing outside the line. “Hey mate, I’ll give you a candy cane if you go to the back of the line.”
“Sure thing!” the kid said eagerly and was handed a treat, but he didn’t move.
“You’re supposed to get in line, mate.”
“Bite me, you’re not my dad,” the boy sneered, and actually gave him the finger. Sam had to drag his furious friend away for the sake of the heist, clapping a hand over his mouth to muffle all the profanities.

Meanwhile, Len gingerly tried to shepherd the kids and parents at the front of the line, encouraging them to be calm before unleashing them on Santa. The candy canes had absolutely become bribes by this point, because they seemed to be the only thing which shut up the kids for at least a few minutes.
“Santa needs a break for a moment or two,” Len told the families within hearing range, having taken pity on the man after seeing his obviously exhausted expression. But it only made them grumpier.
“This is ridiculous -- we’ve been waiting fifteen minutes! And you smell like cheap beer,” one mother said disgustedly to him. “Why didn’t you shave today?”
“Because Santa don’t pay his elves enough to deal with this,” Len replied with a dark glare before turning away. He was beginning to doubt that the haul from the job could ever be worth this experience.

But James and Mick were having a great time. Both loved kids, and James in particular enjoyed performing for an audience, so they were in their element. And the crowd responded much better to happy elves who wanted to be there than it did to the grumpy Rogues, so the two of them got more things done than anyone.
“Why can’t the others be as great as you?” one mother asked James as she pointed derisively at Len, and the acrobat grinned good-naturedly.
“I ask myself that question every day, ma’am,” he replied with a flourishing bow, and pulled a coin from a child’s ear in the same motion. The delighted applause from half the line warmed his soul and inspired him to even greater levels of hamming it up; he’d ceased to care about the heist, and figured this would be the most fun he’d have all day.

Roscoe squinted through the camera’s viewfinder and sighed. So many photos had been messed up because the kid was blinking at the wrong time or screaming on Santa’s lap, and he was having difficulty with the harsh lighting in the place. Even more photos had been marred by blurriness or washed out by a flash that was too bright. “Is this really the ideal set-up?” he asked the manager, scratching his head in puzzlement. He reluctantly admitted to himself that he knew very little about photography and its equipment, and had no idea how to fix the flaws that had been there when he arrived. And normally he loved a challenge, but knew he wouldn’t get the chance to properly tinker and experiment here because of the impatient crowd.
“I don’t know. The usual photographer’s off sick,” the man frowned. “Just do what you can.”

It was, of course, only moments later that an irate father stalked over and waved a photograph in Roscoe’s face. “Excuse me, but this photo is terrible!”
“That’s because your son kept scowling at the camera,” Roscoe said calmly, but the look on his face made the man want to back off. The father quickly slipped back into the crowd with a concerned expression, and the man playing Santa beckoned over the photographer.
“You guys aren’t half-bad,” Santa told him with a grin. “You don’t take crap and some of you are good at getting people to behave. I hope you’ll be here tomorrow!”
“Fortunately not,” Roscoe grimaced, but then smiled a bit. “Well, I suppose I can’t speak for those two,” he conceded as they watched Mick and James keeping the throngs happy and entertained. “Maybe they’ve just found their true calling.”

After they’d been working for about a hundred minutes, Sam checked his watch and swore quietly under his breath.
We’d better get moving, he texted the others, and most of them immediately dropped what they were doing.
“Hey, where are you going?” the manager protested when Roscoe and Len walked away from the centre of activity, and Len shrugged.
“Smoke break.” They weren’t entitled to one, but obviously didn’t care about keeping their jobs.

Only Mick and James hesitated. Mick stood where he was, thought about it for fifteen seconds, and then reluctantly gave his remaining candy canes to a gaggle of very lucky kids. He walked off in the direction of the jewellery store, but couldn’t resist a glance back at the confused people in line and sighed.

James also thought about it for a few moments, and then kept on entertaining the crowd.
“What are you doing?” Mark asked with annoyance, realizing that James had no intention of leaving.
“My job. I like performing, it’s how I got started in life,” James said casually as he juggled some teddy bears. “I’ll meet up with you guys tomorrow.”
“But you organized this heist!”
“Sam knows the details just as well as I do…and he likes bossing people around anyway. Let him call the shots.”

But Len overheard this and decided to take matters into his own hands. “Jesse! The only reason we’re dressed in these ridiculous clothes and endured this soul-destroying afternoon is because of your stupid scheme! This is gonna end with all of us or you’re gonna get tied up in that fucking elf costume and left for the Flash!”
“Jeez, chill,” James told him with a poker face; if the pun was deliberate he gave no outward sign of it. “If it means that much to you then I’ll go.”
“Then get your ass moving, because we’ve got six minutes until the shift change!”

The Rogues abandoned all pretence of subtlety and ran for the store, pushing past startled shoppers and knocking down a few parcels in their wake. Each man had his own reasons for the rush: Roscoe was desperate for a diamond necklace for Lisa, Len needed some money to pay his gambling debts, James wanted the prestige of planning a successful heist, and Mark just wanted this tiresome day to have been worth it.

But the Rogues were shocked to find the place in disarray when they arrived, because a more timely gang had already taken advantage of the shift change. The two groups came face to face as the other crew was halfway through the job.
“Who the hell are you?” one of them asked the elf squad with absolute incredulousness, and Sam stepped forward dramatically. In the heat of the moment, he’d forgotten what he was wearing.
“We’re the Rogues,” he answered in his most badass tone, and his men pulled out their weapons. The other gang stared at them, squinted, and started laughing.
“Oh my God, you are!” their leader gasped as he doubled over in near-hysterics. “What happened, did you lose a bet?”

The Rogues looked at each other frantically, totally unsure of what to do next. Even Sam, who always kept a cool head in the field and seemed to have a plan for everything, appeared at a loss. Should they attack these people to save their image and the haul, or would it be a better idea to negotiate and share the bounty? But then the other gang pulled out their phones to take pictures, so Len broke away and ran. The other Rogues quickly followed, having decided this was the least humiliating option; they really didn’t want any photos to end up on the Internet. They ran until they reached Hartley in the getaway van and drove back to headquarters at breakneck speeds which were decidedly unsafe, but at least they weren't followed. There, Mick was unanimously encouraged to burn the elf costumes to ashes, and all the Rogues made a solemn vow: “This day will never be mentioned again.”

Three days later they robbed a liquor store for a grand total of $880 and some booze. Christmas turned out to be rather quiet that year, although at least there was plenty to drink.

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OMG! Too hilarious! XD I read this to Jason, and we were both laughing by the end (although the entire story was very funny to read!) Awesome Christmas story my sweet! =D

Thank you very much, glad you both enjoyed it :D It was lots of fun to write!

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