A/N: On the "Ask the Squishykins" tumblr, Twinings and I recently offered ourselves up for two full weeks of filling fic prompts for our readers, varying in length from a hundred to a thousand-plus words. The project has been dubbed the Free For All Fic For All—or FFAFFA for short. This is one of those stories—and this is the boilerplate author's note you'll see on all of 'em.
Prompt: Roxy Rocket and the Mime play Battleship
Notes: The first page of this story is all Twinings, right up to the line "She didn't like noise?"; the rest is all me.
Other Notes: Roxy Rocket is from the Batman: The Animated Series episode The Ultimate Thrill, a stunt woman adrenaline junkie who turns to crime because it's more…stimulating. The Mime is an incredibly obscure Batman villain whose deal boils down to: heiress with a passion for mime goes broke with her mime troupe, turns to crime as a form of protest against noise pollution, gets caught by Batman and then rescued/kidnapped/wooed by the Joker before being rescued from him by Batman and then getting tossed in the slammer. She was the proto-Harley Quinn, predating Harls by about five-ish years.
Roxy Sutton, stunt woman extraordinaire, temporarily lost her hearing at the age of nineteen while filming the exploding helicopter sequence for Lady Cop 2: Ace's Revenge. It wasn't all bad, though. One of the grips was deaf, and he took the time to teach her the basics of American Sign Language, including all the dirty words he could think of in the heat of the moment. That was her favorite part. Well, that and acting them out in the dark.
Over the next ten years, Roxy put her head next to explosion after explosion, which gave her plenty of chances to practice her finger spelling. She never lost her hearing entirely, but there came a time when she needed an IIC hearing aid to be at her best.
She never told anyone about that hearing aid, especially after she turned to a life of crime. It was her one reminder that there were consequences to a life of Blowing Shit Up.
Roxy Rocket didn't like consequences.
So one might imagine how she felt on her arrival at Blackgate's women's facility after her first capture.
Actually, though, it was pretty fun. Some big goon tried to cut her in the yard, so Roxy used the skills she'd learned for Judo Jones to flip her into an even bigger lady, who clobbered her with a ten pound dumbbell and knocked out three teeth. After that, nobody had much to say to Roxy.
Especially not her cellmate. She was the quiet type. As in, silent. Roxy wasn't going to let that stop her—she was a talker, and if her partner didn't want to do her share of the work, that was fine—but after a few minutes of trying to strike up a conversation about the guards or the state of the grub, she realized that her cellmate wasn't even reacting to a thing she said. She just kept staring up at the ceiling, looking slightly pained.
"Hey. Can you even hear me?" Roxy demanded. The other woman didn't move. Roxy tapped her on the shoulder.
Deaf? she signed clumsily. Her cellmate sat up with a surprised sort of smile.
You can sign? Roxy nodded. She was about to speak when the other woman put her fingers to Roxy's lips. SIGN, she signed emphatically.
I'm R-o-x-y. Or maybe she had signed X-o-r-y. She was years out of practice.
"I—" Camilla flinched. Roxy looked around hastily. Sorry. She signed nonsense for a second, trying to remember what she was doing. Quiet because escape plan?
Quiet for my sake. Please, no noise. She tapped her ear and made a face as if she were in pain.
She didn't like noise? To the boisterous Roxy, this didn't make any sense. Maybe she had some kind of condition. Roxy spent a few seconds trying to get her fingers to say what she wanted and then finally managed to make a sentence that made sense. What are you in for?
Instead of responding, Camilla twisted around and dipped her hand under her mattress. Out came a newspaper clipping. She handed it to Roxy, who glanced at Camilla's mugshot and scanned the print curiously.
The Mime, Camilla Cameo: CAPTURED!
The article below told Roxy her cellmate's whole life story, from heiress with a mime troupe to church bell snatching noise pollution protestor turned supervillain. When she was finished, she handed the clipping back to Camilla.
What about you? Camilla signed eagerly.
But Roxy wasn't listening. She pointed at the bottom bunk, specifically at a sheet of paper that was poking out from under it. Is that contraband?
No! For a criminal, Camilla seemed almost…insulted at the insinuation. Paper to communicate with the guards.
Roxy hopped onto Camilla's bunk with her, pulling the paper out. Pen?
Camilla shook her head and reached for her pillow, slipping her hand into the case and drawing out a crayon.
Well, that's a start. Roxy snatched it and started scribbling on one of the pages. After a second, she stopped and showed Camilla the paper, pleased with the little hangman's gallows she'd drawn. Play?
They played hangman for an hour. After dinner, but before lights out, they played MASH. The next morning, Camilla received her daily paper ration, and what she didn't use for the guards, she and Roxy used for playing games.
After a week or two, prison was turning into a slumber party more than a punishment for Roxy. Though she missed talking aloud throughout most of the day, she could spout insults and make noisy comments in the yard and at mealtimes all she liked, so long as Camilla wasn't within earshot—but that was rare. They spent more and more of their 'free' time together outside their cell. It was good to have someone to count on inside the pen, who didn't demand cigarettes or sexual favors just to watch Roxy's back.
When hangman got boring, they moved on to tic-tac-toe. When that got boring, Camilla taught Roxy how to play Consequences and make an Exquisite Corpse. Roxy liked the Corpse-y one best. Camilla would draw something—often beautifully artistic—on one half of the page, fold it so that most of her drawing wasn't visible, then pass it off to Roxy to let her continue the image however she chose. Roxy usually drew something obscene or suggestive and Camilla usually blushed brightly. That part was Roxy's favorite.
When that finally got monotonous, Roxy suggested they draw grids and play Battleship. That game lasted them all the way up through the week leading up to Roxy's first parole hearing, when they threw aside a half finished round of Battleship and finally, after a lot of hinting around, engaged in something else to occupy their time that didn't involve paper and crayons at all.
Roxy had a really hard time staying quiet for that.
Since her crimes hadn't been violent, Roxy was given time off for good behavior and released on three years probation. On the day she left, she took the stack of Exquisite Corpses with her and kissed Camilla once on the cheek, promising to visit as soon as she could.
"As soon as she could" turned out to be the very next week. The ceiling of the mess hall fell in right around dinner time, the assailant hovering above on a rocket. Pandemonium followed as prisoners made a break for it through walls that had started to crumble, and prison guards did their best to hold back the chaos.
Camilla stood in the middle of the mess with her tray of prison issue meatloaf, staring up at Roxy Rocket in confusion.
"Hiya, babycakes!" Roxy shouted, swooping down and grabbing Camilla up by the waist. She unceremoniously flung her over the back end of the rocket and they took off with a roar. Camilla kept one arm tight around Roxy's middle and flung the other over her head to block out the noise, but there was no need. Once they were clear of the penitentiary area, Roxy tossed a pair of shooting range headphones at her. She caught them and put them on. Everything went blessedly silent.
Camilla's now free arm joined the other one around Roxy's abdomen. She could feel from the vibrations under her hands that Roxy was talking to her—shouting at her—but she couldn't hear a thing.
"—so I sold 'em!" Roxy cackled, though she knew Camilla wouldn't hear her. "You have any idea what art by two supervillains goes for in this town? A load, that's what!"
Camilla rested her chin on Roxy's shoulder and looked down at the city below. They were approaching the airport, she could see. Roxy wiggled her eyebrows at her and without warning, the rocket dropped out of the sky, hurtling towards the earth.
They pulled up at the last minute, with just enough time to spare that they didn't become pancakes, and slowed to a stop on one of the air strips.
With a spring in her step, Roxy hopped off the rocket. Camilla didn't move. Her hair stuck up all over, her eyes were wide and round, and her hands stayed suspended in front of her body, still clinging to the air where Roxy had been a moment before.
Roxy grabbed her and pulled her down the runway, toward a small charter plane that was waiting for them. "I bought us an island!"
After a few steps, Camilla stopped in her tracks, unwilling to go any further. Roxy turned to look at her, confusion on her face.
"What's the matter?"
Camilla pursed her lips and signed. Noisy!
That's what your headphones are for.
Camilla shook her head. No. You are noisy.
Roxy blinked a few times, trying to figure out why this wasn't working out the way she wanted it to. Not all the time.
Could you really be quiet? Forever? Camilla asked. Roxy frowned but didn't answer. Could you really give up that noisy rocket?
I'll build a stealth model, Roxy signed stubbornly. I can— Camilla took her hands, stopping her words, and shook her head again. More slowly; more sadly.
It won't work. She looked toward the little charter plane. You have to go. You broke parole. Roxy sighed. Camilla shrugged a little and signed with a bittersweet smile, We'll always have Blackgate.
After she had gone, Camilla walked up to the nearest security guard and slugged him. She was back in the joint before dawn.
The next time Roxy was caught by Batman, more than a year later, she wound up right back in prison.
She and Camilla finished the game of Battleship they'd discarded before Roxy's misbegotten parole that very night. They picked up where they left off elsewhere, too.
Please note: this story is not intended to insinuate that Roxy and Camilla are only into each other in prison because there are no men—which is a negative trope/stereotype about the prison system. They're into each other because they're into each other. Opposites attract, after all. Additionally, Roxy's feelings about her diminished hearing making her less than her best are her own and do not reflect the views of the authors.