|Fic -- Within These Walls
||[Jul. 9th, 2008|11:02 am]
Hail the Rogues!
Title: Within These Walls
Word Count: 990
Characters: The Top
Summary: Take a trip to Crazytown; bring your friends!
Author's Notes: We jump forward in time to sometime during Johns' run (somewhere between Flash v.2 #195 and #208). This pic is from slightly before that, but it shows the look/era in the fic. I must say I loved that they let him keep the hat, as we saw in his empty cell in #208.
The psychiatrist was wary as a guard slowly opened the door to the Top’s cell, uncertain of what they’d find. He’d been led to understand the man was mentally unstable at the best of times; but then, that was his purpose for being there. He was to evaluate the prisoner and determine his level of sanity.
The Top was sitting on the floor of his nearly barren cell, barefoot and wearing a straightjacket to keep his arms restrained. The jacket had been recommended for his own safety and that of the guards, as he was prone to outbursts of manic energy and was surprisingly fast. The guard stepped out and closed the door, and the psychiatrist placed a chair in front of the docile prisoner, who was looking at him curiously. The interviewer sat down and took out a notebook.
“How are you feeling, Mr. O’Neill?”
“I am good, thank you. Hungry for wontons. But please, call me Roscoe.”
“The name on your door says ‘Thomas O’ Neill’.”
“Yes, well, my name is Roscoe.”
“All right…Roscoe. Do you know where you are?”
“The Ritz-Carleton!” the prisoner laughed, almost tipping over backward. The psychiatrist could see the grungy bottoms of his feet.
“That’s not where we are, Roscoe. Do you know where you are?”
“Keystone,” Roscoe said brightly, which was true, although his interviewer was looking for an answer more specific than that.
“Good enough, I suppose. We’re in Iron Heights. Do you know why you’re here?”
“Yes…” the prisoner said vaguely, looking a bit evasive.
“Can you tell me?”
“I did things…”
“Do you know what you did, Roscoe?”
“…I stole the mayor’s hat.”
“Well, uh, yes, I guess you did,” the psychiatrist acknowledged, remembering the video footage of the attack on Keystone’s mayor, and noting the battered green hat on the floor next to the prisoner. The mayor didn’t want it back, and for some reason jail officials let him keep it afterwards, probably to shut him up.
“Could you put it on me, please? I want to wear it.”
“I don’t think…oh, why not.”
“Excellent!” Roscoe announced, pleased, as the other man placed the hat on his head. “It looks good on me, don’t you think?”
“Yes, it matches the rest of your clothes. Now Roscoe, as I said, I’m here to talk to you about your crimes, because we want to know if you understand what you did. We want to know if you understand why you’re here.”
“Of course I do!” the prisoner declared indignantly. “Do you think I’m crazy?”
“I think there’s a reason you’re in a straightjacket,” the psychiatrist suggested, and the inmate’s face darkened.
“Yes, because you’re all dead men. You’re dead as soon as I get out of here. You think you can lock me up and humiliate me with this ridiculous treatment? I am the Top, and I can turn your world upside down and inside out until you beg for mercy! Would you like a demonstration?!”
“No, Roscoe,” the psychiatrist said firmly, and the prisoner’s expression softened again.
“Oh, all right. Never mind,” he said cheerfully. His nose began to drip snot, but he couldn’t wipe it because his arms were restrained. The psychiatrist wrote some notes in his book, and Roscoe turned his attention to stare at the ceiling of his dingy cell.
“Say, when will Lisa be visiting me?” he asked curiously, and his interviewer looked puzzled. “My girlfriend, Lisa. It’s been a few days since she came by, and I’m getting lonely. Do I get conjugal visits?”
“I know for a fact that no one’s ever come to visit you here, Roscoe.”
“She did! She said this stupid jacket looks sexy!”
“I believe you imagined it.”
“Oh. Well that’s too bad,” Roscoe replied, disappointed. “Come to think of it, I think she’s dead.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“It’s okay. She talks to me in my dreams, at least. But it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten laid.”
“I suppose that’s a reason to stay out of prison in the future.”
“Nah, I guess I don’t really mind the lack of sex. I like getting into trouble.”
“So you do understand why you’re in prison, then?”
“Yes. You’re all jealous of how attractive I am! You want all the ladies for yourselves!”
“I think you’re pulling my leg, Roscoe. I don’t think you really believe that.”
“I don’t like adjectives, sir. Or verbs.”
“Well, if you can’t be serious or carry on a proper conversation, I guess there’s nothing to talk about,” the psychiatrist said, getting up from his chair and picking it up. His subject suddenly looked very anxious.
“Wait! Don’t go. I’ll be good! See?”
He grinned nervously at the only person who’d talked to him in weeks, but the man was not impressed.
“I think I’ve learned all there is to know about you, at least for now,” the psychiatrist replied. “I’ll be writing a report for Warden Wolfe and Ashley Zolomon.”
“Ohhhh, Warden Wolfe. He hits me,” Roscoe mumbled, rocking back and forth violently, and looking around furtively. “He should be in here.”
“I don’t think you’re telling the truth,” scolded the psychiatrist. “No one’s ever going to listen to you if you lie to them. Now, my recommendation will be that you remain here, and not be sent to a mental health facility. This is where you belong.”
“Please don’t go,” Roscoe begged, genuine fear in his eyes, and the psychiatrist momentarily reconsidered what he planned to write in his report. But the moment passed when he remembered he didn’t want anything more to do with this nutty supervillain. He was going to declare Roscoe to be faking his insanity.
“Goodbye,” the man said brusquely, cell door closing behind him, and Roscoe was left alone in the semi-dark.
“Yes, I agree,” Roscoe murmured quietly, hunched over and staring at the floor. “He certainly was a jerk, Lisa.”