Disclaimer: Nothing to own.
Note: I'm sorry! –breaks down-
Hawthorne Regional Hospital
A dirty grip, a dirty touch, they are all the effect of dirty hands. How formidable this delusion of a phobia is. No one fears this filthy caress and its inhabitancy, just the infection it leaves and the addiction it feeds.
He lays there on that hospital bed, no fear of the marks of corporal suffering. The shadows of that ward substituting the pasty white walls of the cell. Indifference? Perhaps. Happiness? Guaranteed. But this happiness is much more than any other person's own. This joy is not a quick smile or a warm flushed feeling of hope; it is of sweet ecstasy and rapture. Possibly not even happiness. Possibly nothing.
His eyelids begin to tremble as he licks up the words of a bible his mother created and forced him to recite daily.
He looks up in question.
"Be happy even if you are not! And be indifferent when the uplifting of your mouth becomes sore and too much to hold. But smile, Cillian! People guess when you smile. People question when you smile. If you grow up to not believe in the almighty God, smile and you will have your own faith. Smile and be happy. Melancholy will not be tolerated! I warn you now!"
And once when he did frown, when he furrowed his eyebrows down in frustration, not even bothering to fake pleasance, his mother seethed. A firm slap to his cheek as he cried in the process of trying to smile. The pressure for this task mended his ways as he disciplined himself to never make any ugly, misfortunate faces again. And he didn't.
His mother was a religious woman as well. The only thing was that her beliefs were never shoved down his throat. She moved from France as her parents moved from the old country. Madeline, she dreamed of a child as she dreamed for God.
She lusted after the glory of a radiant halo and pitifully strived for her own angel to wear one proudly. When Cillian arrived with no dimple of innocence but a face of a beautiful tempter, a thief perhaps, she desperately made her own beam of celestial ingenuousness.
The halo strangled him at three. She shook with anger.
After that, she rarely took him to church, rarely asked he to be anything like her. His father? Madeleine had been married. An Irish man arranged especially for her. Her husband was run over by a speeding truck 2 months after the birth of their son.
They lived in poverty thereafter until Madeleine Barret married again to a wealthy member of urban society. Out of love? Of course, but not for him.
Cillian lived in ignorance for most of his life. He enjoyed such luxury and dare not question anyone. He wasn't an outsider either, because money buys happiness and sex does sell.
Of course, he rarely talked; just smiled and nodded. Women came to him for his facade, men came for his company. His mother beamed from the sidelines, the halo suddenly reappearing again in her clouded eyes.
Carl Barret was the name of Madeline's second husband. He played golf on Sundays, violated himself on Mondays, lead a double life on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, resorted to gambling Thursday to Friday, and dies a bit inside on Saturdays.
Cillian adored his replacement father like he would adore his own. All the Barretts smiled and strained themselves to appear as perfect as they could. The neighbors talked. The family fixed them. But the question still remains. How did he end up like this then? Why not a well-heeled member of society?
Because Cillian Barret is made up of two different people. All that caged unhappiness had to go somewhere, right?
Jump City Court of Appeals
Chamber's of Bruce Wayne
She glared at him, this was not the answer desired. "Ameliorating human suffering doesn't seem to affect you then." It was not a question. It was a fact. The shrewdness she always contained was being soaked up by the man across from her.
"Are the safety and elimination of it not a valid point enough?"
"What I need is a valid answer, Mr. Wayne."
"Miss Roth. This isn't some political conquest. This is about people. Human beings who are fidgety, nervous, intolerant, discriminative, and easily angered. There is no trust in my relationship with the citizens of Jump City. All we share is gratefulness. Am I to break something that took the government centuries to establish just so that someone can feel at ease?"
"Then we'll let them know of the income in something like this."
He raised an eyebrow critical and sagely. "What would we, in this case you, profit by putting a man somehow lacking normal qualities in their setting? The absurdity in this is a surprise coming from you."
Stonily she replied, "You should study harder then, sir."
There was a pause of obvious disrespect. He squinted and rigidly asked, "Am I missing something then, Miss Roth?"
"In doctoral terms my point would be blurred and bland. For you terms that are in economically and mathematical dialect would allow a mutual understanding of whom and what Cillian Barret is. Mr. Wayne I'd like to present a ratio of the criminal characters associated with this city's deceased rates."
The stale man signified his approval and leaned back into his swivel chair, his chin resting on his the knuckles of his hand.
"The ratio of casualties to purposed deaths is 6 for every 18 homicides, suicides, and murders. There are 15 mobsters in permanent residence in this city, and that's not even half of how many seek refuge here once in awhile. If you walk past 15th St. alone there is a drug ring, a brothel, and two of the black-market's most esteemed shops. Take a left and the home of Mr. Robert Porter himself, the god of all crooked lawyers, exists. In fact, this one city has 2 red-light districts."
He considered this without any thorough care. His excuse was simple. "Jump City is a project that is still in progress. This is why you and I are employed. I do realize the problem has to be fixed, but if you would like that to occur does your proposal not ruin the essence of a solution?"
"I have yet to be finished sir. The solution to these audible numbers is to be done step by step. Trust has to be broken first, second reliability. I have already accomplished ruining trust within Rancid's gang, reliability will follow shortly after."
"Then what is the third step?"
"Destroying the link."
"I suppose that's Barret, yes? What do you plan on doing? Destroying him from the inside out?"
"Is that not what you expect me to do; what you want me to do?" she retaliated.
"No one expects anything, especially from you. By this time we should've leaned away from aggressive behavior in the face of someone so unsteady."
She glared. Inside the fortress of such stoic behavior a desire to reach out and cause the upmost facial damage occurred. Raven though could not be as rash as people may want her to act. She thought too much, so she decided to scoff unpleasantly and bite back. "Lean away? Is that what you call the law's actions now? Are they really trying to lean away from their hostility?"
Wayne was disturbed by this. It did cause injure to pride when your attempts to construct the poster child of civil authority be flicked away through a window by some masochistic therapist. "Trying? No, Miss Roth, we have done it. But these efforts, as you put it, can not be succeeded when a person that involves its movement does not believe in it. You are truly sinking into the river that you have dug for yourself. This plight of unawareness is devastating your plans for a 'solution'." As he said this he stood up, his true height blaring at her like a siren. He did not need to yell. Even talking the man was angry, loud, and precise.
She stood up abruptly as he did. Raven did not yell either, she retorted, "Sinking? The only river I've been sinking into is the one you and every other associate have dug for me. You ask for a solution desperately and when I give you the only one you refuse it."
"If you truly cared for these problems you would have found a more agreeable one. But again, you do not. Your intentions are only to see this man break. You're not in this for this city; you're not in this for justice. You are only here for the sake of restitution!" His voice had been raised by every second.
"Restitution? Rehabilitation? Every day, I risk my own petty life talking to the people society has left out in the heat, then I crush them, devour their knowledge and wrap it up with a bow to deliver to you and your corporate friends who then just spit it out and force me to redo the cycle. Seven days a week, 10 hours a day, I bat my eyelashes and ask and ask fully knowing it is pointless. You tell me to alter their ways, you tell me to punish their conscience. I do so. My conscience then attacks me all night telling me, when I already know, it is null and void to do this."
"That is ridiculous. I've seen men change because they have found a reason to do so. Every single breathing red-blooded being in this world can change if you enforce a policy to make them. They are here for that small push, and to hear the person designed to give that to them say it does not exist is digusting."
"People do not change, Mr. Wayne."
"I utterly disagree. I can change, they can change, and even you, Miss Roth, can change."
"Will you approve Cillian Barrett to be released for psychiatric evaluation under the supervising of myself?"
Irritated the business man said once again, "I have said this before, no."
In a soft voice, almost, almost, sad like she said, "People don't change Mr. Wayne. Not even you."
The chances of ever seeing Gotham and Jump City's top law enforcer and business mogul dumbfounded is rare and priceless. One thing no one wants to be shown as is a hypocrite, especially Bruce Wayne. Through history he was pointed as the strongest factor in the industrialized revolution. The two cities he had gained control over even without a monarchy system acknowledged this. Without Mr. Bruce Wayne there was no money and there was no gain.
He was smart. To say he gambled with life is preposterous. He always, always, knew what to do. No second guessing. A bachelor; a prodigy. He was a god to those that had given up on a non-existing one.
A god to the republic had to always know what was best. He should be able to anticipate everyone, even Raven.
His face was smeared with blood.
He had denied change, the exact thing he had been promoting!
The slyness of this character in front of him reminded him of her deliverer, Trigon. They were nothing alike of course. Trigon worked on the opposing team and even that lead him to have the most understanding of hearts… Perhaps he shouldn't say it but, something had definitely gone wrong with this man's breed. Raven was the last of the same blood. Trigon's bloodline, his legacy, would end horribly. Not even a junkie deserved a daughter like this.
Wayne needed a reply soon. There were things to do and no time to spare. He didn't, no, he couldn't say yes.
The ring of the sleek and stylish phone on his desk saved him.
With one passive look, Wayne grabbed the receiver from the base and began a seemingly interesting conversation.
Hawthorne Regional Hospital
(Some time later…)
"I'm an impulsive rat you know. I can't seem to control what comes out of my mind.."
"More like what comes out of your mouth."
He chuckled. "Yeah that's true. But is it a sin to be bold, to express your esteem?"
"No, but there's a time for everything."
"Then I must have perfect timing."
"Do you know what a fascist is Cillian?"
"Oh, so we're on a first name basis now?"
Raven avoided answering to that and continued. "A fascist is an individual who believes in a dictatorial system for a country. I'm hoping you know what that means."
"Of course. I majored in Political Science."
"Is there a lot you know about me?"
"Do you know where I went to school?"
"Do you know who my parents were?"
"Do you know my nationality?"
"Do you know what my first job was?"
"Do you know my first fuck?"
"She was a socialist."
"Audrey loved politics."
"Did you not too?"
"Yes, of course, of course. We went binge drinking with newspapers."
"It ended up killing her. Did you know that?"
"And if it wasn't the politics that killed her, someone involved with it did. The police still don't know who did it. It's a dead case. They gave up quickly." He peered down to stare at the bandages wrapped tightly around his nimble fingers.
Abruptly he looked up, in an almost child-like way. "Do you know who killed her?"
He seemed interested now. His attitude resembled something feminine. His eyes brightened, and the tips of his lips turned upward in a grin, not one of politeness but one of mock. "Care to tell?
She answered, "You did."
His grin got even bigger as he lazily romanced the thought of it. "Yeah. It was my first, maybe my best. Do you know why I did it?"
He cut her off. "She had this thing, pricy, it was amazing. Every once in a while, Audrey showed me it."
"Did you want it?"
"Of course. I envied her. But, guess what?" He paused to chuckle. "In the end-"
"You stole it."
He laughed. "I didn't just steal it Raven," he took a moment to savor the taste of her name in his mouth. He then leaned towards her and the stool she was sitting on, as if he was going to share a secret, "I touched it, I poached it, I broke it."
His leering gaze did not disrupt her. "Was it of sentimental significance towards you?"
"Fuck sentimental-it was my life! And can you imagine the value of a life?!"
She quickly jotted something down on the papers she had. "No. No, I can't."
"Yes, yes, of course you can't! Have you seen photos of those corpses? They are perfect!"
"You value them?"
"I love them."
"The thought of a death, you mean?"
"Oh yes, there's no emotional attachment to the actual person, I just have an obsession with the beauty of the canvas. It is my anesthetic."
Raven nodded still looking at her papers.
He continued his rant, dreamily. "See, that's why there is such intricacy in them. That's why every single organ to finger is polished and shaped. I could never be regarded as some sloppy pervert."
"No one figured you to be."
"You were different."
He expressed a mock offense. "Well, the more appropriate thing to say was that I cared. I cared about how those bodies looked. I cared about how I looked."
"Is this your art?"
She took a moment to write something down. After some moments, she asked, "How were you in high school?"
She wrote something again on her papers. Still looking down she asked, "Why?'
"Simple, people liked me. If you get people to like you, you can't be damaged. You should try it sometime."
"No thank you."
He snorted, "Why?"
"If you're too likeable they'll walk all over you."
"Would you describe yourself as happy?" This was a question she never truly had the chance ask anyone.
At this, the once feminine mood changed to indifference. "Hmm..happy? Sure."
She looked unconvinced.
Sensing it he said, "What? Never seen a happy guy before?"
"You were raised accordingly, I know that. Did parental support ever bother you?"
"I hate that plot line. Be a little more creative. Carl as a father was fine, he wasn't a pedophile, and he wasn't abusive."
"I wasn't talking about him. I was talking about your mother."
"Madeline?" he questioned.
"Hey, she was great. She was my mother."
She sneered, "Don't give me that."
"Then what do you want?"
"I want you to tell me why you smile, why you cry, why you steal, why you kill. Just a reason."
"And Madeline fits into this?"
"All she wanted to do was make me happy. That sure sounds like a senile old hag to me." He grinned.
"Give me the definition of happiness."
"Uhh, happiness is being content, having pleasure, and being in the state of good fortune?" He watched as she hurriedly recorded all of it down.
Looking up she said, "Yes, well happiness to me is showing someone their selves. Is that one of you definitions?"
"Well, it's what you think is go-."
She interrupted him. "How happy are you?"
He sighed absentmindedly, "I'm 100 percent happy. I've got sex, I've got pleasure. I have a roof over my head, and I have a hobby. I'm not just peachy, Raven; I'm in love with life!" He laughed eccentrically to prove his point. A high, rich tone that pulled at everything around him was present. He seemed so sincere adding color to the paleness and plainness of his surroundings. It would have been perfect if he wasn't so apathetic in his actual attitude. Did he really care so much?
After his laughter ended Raven continued. "What did Madeline tell you happiness was?"
"She told me happiness was smiling, faith, and enjoying stuff." he paused, a little baffled at her questions. "Look, where are you going with this? I'm in a hospital bed castrated and you're playing mind games with me?"
She ignored his question and shifted in her seat. "All I'm trying to do is point something out. Perspectives are our reality. Madeline was a distraught woman. She wanted you to be happy so she could be happy."
"Are you saying this smile on my face is a lie, doc?"
"Mr. Barett, I know your smiles are genuine-"
"Just like your frowns, Fortuna."
She scoffed at his reference to the Roman goddess. "-but I think your happiness is exaggerated."
He leered at her, his eyes resting on the nape of her neck. The mood in the room evenly turned serious. Raven noticed it, of course she did, but she flat out ignored it.
Deciding to break this, she asked, "Describe your sexuality."
He seemed to question this turn of events. "Straight. I don't play on that other field."
"Have you ever raped someone?"
Her casualness seemed to amuse him. He answered, "Nah. Where's the profit in that?"
"Most of the time there is always a profit."
"Like I said before, I have sex."
"Audrey is dead. Your other women are locked away from you as well."
"True, but I always have my ways, Raven." In a seductive passion, he smirked. His next words were directed at her. "Keep the fence up, don't open your legs, and remember not to fall."
"I won't. That presents a problem for you, I hope."
"Well, look at the bright side."
"There is no bright side."
"The glass is half full, Raven."
"The glass must be half emptied to be half full."
"Ouch. Positive things happen to positive people. (Sarah Beeny)."
"Where's the hope for the negative then."
He laughed. "Normalcy isn't required for you, I guess."
"I'm pretty normal. It's you that isn't."
He shifted and pulled the bleach white comforter of the hospital ward closer to him. Grinning he said, "Yeah, I guess. You know, I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their character and my enemies for their intellects." (1)
"And you, Raven, you could quite possibly be everything…" He smiled at her in a beautifully cohesive way.
"I am nothing. Not to you, not to anyone."
"It would be best if you believed I did not exist." She rose up from the stool, binder in hand. The session had been completed. "Tomorrow, you will be out of the hospital's custody and into mine. You are a study, a guinea pig, for something extremely confidential; something that requires you to go beyond emotional value. Be prepared for the public. Be prepared for spite."
He smiled sincerely. "Lovely."
"Yes. Yes, it is."
"So what do I have?"
She gave him a confused look. "Expand that."
"Do I have a disease? Or am I even sick at all?"
"Of course. I don't waste time."
"So what is it?"
"Yes." With that she walked out of the ward.
Red X smiled.
Ok, so sorry. :( I suck, I admit it. I tried hard. I really did but America's economy and stupid technology strikes again. My inbox cannot be read. Sorry to many late replies. You know what it is, computer viruses, virtual bitch fits, etc. So yeah, bought a laptop. I'm on the road again hating myself. Sincerely sorry! I suck. This chapter might stink but my top priority is school right now. I care about both of you though, so have a cool mindset and review! Also next chapter includes Robin, Slade (hopefully), and some serious one-sided romance. So, if you like to see Raven sexually uncomfortable, review!
(1) Quote from Tuli-Susi (love you) which is from Oscar Wilde. Thanks!
I'm dead tired right now. I'll apologize again and thank you as well for your reviews... Happy Valentine's Day, though. Enjoy it guys. Thanks for your support Poison's Ivy. Vote in the elections 18 and older people! Just vote!