Walk a mile in another man's armor

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Walk a mile in another man's armor

Post by redeagle321 on 12/19/2011, 10:29 pm

Just a day in the life of Donovan Roper, AKA cassius (My oc in our Gotham- based RPs) I decided to write it in first person to give a slightly different peek into the guy's psyche.

I've had this on my hard drive for some time, but never found a good reason to put it up untill the recent renaisance of fanfics on the site. Figured I'd hop on the train and post something. Maybe someday I'll gather up the guts to post some of my other shorts I've whipped up.

Rated PG-13 for Alcohol and some violence. But if you came into a Cass fic without expecting some alcohol, you probably don't know the character that well.

So without further ado;
=====

“No, please! Dear god, I beg you, you can’t do this to me!”

Yeah whatever, I’ve heard ‘em blab on and on before, this chump was no different. This guy should’ve thought about the consequences when he decided to not pay the Penguin back, huh?

“I can pay you TRIPPLE what the bird is paying you! You’re throwing away a fortune Cassius, a FORTUNE!”

Y’see, it’s at this point I tend to drown them out. If he can pay me so much, then he should’ve paid the Penguin back by now. In case you can’t tell, I have no sympathy for this shmuck. I found him hiding from me under his desk, blabbing about how he can get the money for the penguin. You know, the money he borrowed to blow on drugs in the first place. I’d think about being sympathetic if he borrowed it to afford food, or clothing, or that classical garbage, but if you blow it on THAT? Pft, the mercy goes down the tubes mighty fast in my book.

“Come on man, can’t you cut a guy a break?!”

Yawn. I’ve had a lot of guys beg me for mercy. Hell, I even let a guy go once just because I liked his acting so much. But between this guy’s lukewarm performance and the gorgeous pay awaiting me, I just kept my route; dragging him down through the scummy, fetid alleyways of Gotham by a rope I had generously applied to his wrists to where the Penguin had my pay waiting. Does it sound shallow, me dragging this guy by his wrists and forking him for cash? Yeah, at first glance it probably does. But hey, I’ve got my reasons. Besides, maybe the penguin wouldn’t rough him up.

Well, that badly.

I kept my route, and after a while learned to drown out my guest’s blabbering. Until he said something that REALLY made me frothing mad;

“Cassius, I’ve got this gorgeous daughter-“

He didn’t have time to finish before the backside of my fist found his jaw. NOW I was annoyed.

“NEVER use your children. EVER.” I spat at him. He’s DAMN lucky I let him off the hook with just that. A mouth full of loose teeth and bloody lip convinced my prisoner to keep his trap shut the rest of the walk, but one we got closer, he tried to tug and drag away. Ah, those last futile moments. The begging then came back full swing, eventually devolving to just “I’ll give you anything!” over and over as I opened the back door to the Iceberg lounge, where the Penguin ruled the roost. Again I considered mercy, but his previous comment and the thought of being paid by the penguin shot that down fast. Hey, getting on the bad side of the guy dragging you off is a pretty poor idea.

And the fat, proboscis- endowed penguin wasn’t difficult to find. Surrounded by the finest floozies money could buy, I rather inelegantly dragged my man up to him and dumped him at the Penguin’s feet.

The Penguin peered down at the man with an uncomfortable sneer. Hell, even I think he’s a little creep, and I’m under the impression I’m pretty scary myself.

“Well now mister Raul, aren’t you happy to see me again?” The penguin said with a particularly snide voice. “Please, don’t kill me penguin! I swear I’ll change!” Raul begged. And man, he’s BAD at it. “Now now, I’m a compassionate man.” Pft, let’s be real, we all KNOW that’s a load of crap. “But, you DID cost me ten thousand dollars I don’t have back yet. I’d wager taking it out of your hide ought to be fair, don’t you Cassius?” Penguin asked. Guh, I hate it when they try to involve me. I like to get my job, finish it, and go home with a pudgy pocketbook. I just kept my blank emotionless stature, and after a few seconds Penguin gave up and went back to Raul, whose face was white as snow by now, Yeah, he knew what was coming, and I know just as well as he does how crappy is night is going to be. As if telepathically, two BIG- like, staring at ME on an even plane kind of big- guys hoisted Raul up by his shoulders, dragging him out the door we came in, to much kicking and screaming that was drowned out by the bad club music.

I cleared my throat and peered at the penguin out of the corners of my helmet. He knew what I wanted. “I know I know…” Penguin said irritably shoved his grubby hands in the confines of his coat and procured a nice wad of greenbacks. It seemed overkill to hire me for such a low level assignment as busting some deadbeat, but if he was trying to send a message or something, hell if I’m going to argue. “Here you go. Ever thought of working for me full time? Could use some real muscle like you on my payroll, you know.” He asked, as he handed me my wallet’s rations. Wasn’t the first guy to try and take me on full time. Twoface, Bane, even scarecrow tried it at some point or other. But I knew what happened when a guy got a little to close to men like them- they tended to end up having their secrets found out, so I’d like to keep THAT from happening.

Besides, I rather enjoyed the freedom of working just for the highest bidder and nobody else, save myself. “Just call me if you need me.” I said disdainfully as I shoved the money in the confines of my armor. It was obvious the Penguin was mildly annoyed by my inelegant refusal, but he knew better then to try something fresh on me, much less when there were his women that needed company.

I don’t care for these big noisy clubs, so I made my way out the way I came in, brushing past those big guys from earlier. Huh, must’ve nailed Raul quicker then I thought. Sure enough, as I stepped out into the alley there he was. He was a much more humble man, short a few teeth, a non- blackened eye, and by the looks of it un- busted ribs. To top it off, he had a lovely fat lip and bloodied face. I couldn’t help but wonder if that was mine from earlier or the result of Penguin’s recompense. I was sure Raul was messed up in other ways, but what won’t kill you makes you stronger and all that.

But I’m not COMPLETELY without pity, and I couldn’t help but procure a fifty from my payout and shove it into the pitiful sight’s pocket. He looked at me like I’d given him a new car, but didn’t (or probably couldn’t at the moment) say anything, and frankly I didn’t WANT to say anything anyways to him, his attempting to use his own family as a bargaining chip still seething and for a second I had half a mind to take it back, but I looked at the sorry wreck and decided to cut him an easy one this time.

I made a hasty exit from the stinking alley and meandered down the dark roads and crevices of the city to, what was to me, one of the greatest bars in Gotham. The Black Swan, made great by that it’s run by none other then one Ernesto Montoya, better known as Ernie the bartender. I truly envied how the man put up with so much crap- mainly from me- and kept his sanity. But today wasn’t a trash the bar kind of night, tonight was just a grab a beer and go home night.

I clopped inside and took my usual seat. The other patrons of the bar either gave me a wide berth or were too involved in their own business to care. But I didn’t want any company tonight anyways. Ernie came and didn’t even bother asking what I wanted- I got the same thing every night, a nice [i.e crappy] beer. Namely because I’m too much of a penny pincher to get anything with some kind of taste.

What is it about beer that kept me coming back anyways? It certainly wasn’t the taste. In fact, I doubt anyone would drink it if it was ONLY the taste going for it. Maybe it was just nerves, like how some people eat when they’ve got a full mind. Maybe it was the novelty of alcohol, try and get some of the stress from a long night’s work out of my head. Maybe I just like crappy beer after all.

Could be any of those really.

I tossed my drink back in silence, savoring the dreadful taste. For once, it was a quiet night, save a couple of Falcone’s boys in the adjacent booth tossing back maybe one drink too many. Their yakking on about nothing in particular laced the sounds of city from the adjacent window- the occasional nut yakking about the end being near, the metronome of police sirens, ladies of the evening trying to sell their wears… it was racket by anyone’s standards, but here it felt almost homey, and I enjoyed my bottle of sewage to it.

But I can only take the sound of drunken Italians and police sirens and the taste of cheap beer for so long before it gets old, so I paid for the swill I just drank and made myself scarce from here also. I felt all empty inside, leaving the Swan without causing some property damage, but I only wanted to get home at this point. Maybe my ass is getting too old to be staying up this late.

Or maybe I just need to knock it off with the fifth- rate booze.

I made my way down familiar streets, past the usual slew of bums, deadbeats, beggars, and people that fake it as I often did on my daily commute. It was pretty bad to say, but I kind of got used to the sight of them. It was kind of homey for me. And no, I don’t give them any cash. I gave one some once. Ten minutes later I saw the bunghole driving down the street in a Mercedes, laughing his way to the bank. Why didn’t I think of that…

I wasted no time in clamoring up to the door that had that familiar third story apartment I called home, go in, and bolt the door and savor the bliss of true privacy in my crummy, third rate and hardly furnished apartment. It was a royal dump of a complex, but folks knew better then to come poking around each other’s door- never knew what cuckoo you’d find behind the door, and anyone with sense in this city knew to just keep your nose where it belongs. Besides, the landlord here didn’t ask questions as long as you paid the rent, which suits a guy like me- with more history with GPD and Batman then I care to divulge right now- Just fine.

You probably think by now that I’m a real piece of scum. Hell, I KNOW you’re thinking it. And you’re right; I ain’t going to lie to you, I’m a miserable, drunken curmudgeon of a bounty hunting man. But would you believe me if I told you I have my reasons? Would you believe me if I told you my ill gotten gains weren’t getting me drugs, bad liquor and women?

I made sure everything was closed down for the night, put away, and the money locked up tight. Then I made my way into a particular room at the end of the hall. No, not mine.

But my daughter’s room. My DYING daughter’s room. She was fast asleep in her bed, as she had been most of the day. She was only awake for a few hours a day before even being awake was an intense strain for her, and when she was awake she’d only ask me to quit getting into so much trouble with the law, but in that diabolically cute, sick kid way. And I’d probably get a real job if we hadn’t come to Gotham on the run in the first place. Or didn’t need the money like, yesterday.

The machines strewn about the room, plugged into the organs that kept her alive, wouldn’t keep them going forever, and I couldn’t afford the surgery to save her. Yet. When I lost my son, I swore I wouldn’t let her down like I did him. I swore I wouldn’t be the useless man I was then.

I brushed a strand of sand colored hair out of her practically comatose, pale face as she slept silently, dreaming whatever it is kids these days dream of. Yeah, I’m a crappy person. I know I’m a crappy father too. But I’m HER father. And as long as I’m that, I’ll do whatever it takes to see her healthy and happy again. Even if it means I’ve gotta get knee deep in arrest warrants first. Even if it means selling my blood and sweat to turkeys like the Penguin and clowns like the Joker. Even if I’ve got to flush my own morals in the toilet in order to get the money in time. Even if it means I’ve got to become just another cretin for batman to hunt down.

Even if I’ve got to hell and back, chugging awful beer all the way, I’ll do it.


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Re: Walk a mile in another man's armor

Post by Rinisa on 12/23/2011, 10:37 pm

A real entertaining read and ride into the life of Cassius. You have some great similes and metaphors in there, and I smiled throughout reading. Cassius is a naturally funny character with such a wise cracking demeanor, and I liked seeing this side of him.

The ending was great, too. I didn't expect you to bring in Cyrah like you did, and that final line of "Going to hell and back" for her really clinched the story for me.

Well done~

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Re: Walk a mile in another man's armor

Post by redeagle321 on 1/2/2012, 12:28 pm

Heh thanks, glad you liked it =D

I had a lot of fun with this one, due to it being one of my first attempts in first- person. I enjoyed the more personable perspective I could put Cass in and I'm psyched beyond psyched that you seem to think it turned out good!

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