respectthegun: (focused)
“Floyd Lawton.”

He was sleeping, and it's harder then he'd like to admit, getting to sleep in the rooms above the bar without a warm body next to him. If his door doesn't come back soon, he's going to see about picking up one of those women he keeps seeing in the bar. One of them  has to be willing to take payment, right? Right now, though, he's tired and grouchy and doesn't appreciate being woken up in the middle of the night.

His beretta is pointing at the shadow before he's at full wakefulness, and recognises that damn shape. In the twilight of his room, there's not a lot to make out about the figure; just a dark shape vaguely humanoid, the silhouette mostly obscured  - except for those ears. Taller than Blake's, and just as ridiculous.

Him.

“Heard you were dead,” Lawton remarks. He doesn't lower the gun.

“You never attempted to verify that.”

Lawton doesn't answer. At one point he'd have a quick rejoinder for that. Now, he just doesn't think it worth the effort.

“Is that because you were afraid of what you'd find or ashamed that it wasn't you in the end?”

Nuts to this. Lawton keeps the gun pointed at the Bat as his other hand gropes on his bedside table for his cigarettes. He fumbles onto the bedside light and lets that on to help him with the cigarette search. And not, in any way, because it'll illuminate the Dark Knight.

When the light floods the room, he frowns. That's the cowl, alright, but it's not quite at the right height; Lawton came up against the Bat regularly in his turn as Gotham City vigilante, and a couple times since. He knows the man's height, posture and jawline, and this ain't it.

The gun shifts imperceptibly, the aim moving six inches along the target's body. Lawton hardly even notices; to notice would be to admit he's shifting from a wounding aim to a lethal one.

“What's up, Floyd? See something you didn't like.”

There's something even more wrong here; for a start, this is someone else who Floyd heard was dead; he even visited the gravesite to check; but even if he was alive; he shouldn’t' be standing at the end of his bed. That means, he decides, it must be a dream.

This is not a relief. In a dream, he doesn't have the defences he carefully built up for himself in the waking world.

“Dad.” is all Floyd says.

“Disappointed that I'm not the Batman?” Mr Lawton, snr, sounds amused, spiteful, about this. But it's also not the same voice as the one in the dark. Not the same person.“Why would he come and visit you, boy? You were nothing to him.”

“Wasn't much more to you, was I, Dad?” If Floyd hadn't already been woken – if you can call it that – by the Bat, he'd be able to dismiss the weird father ghost more casually. But he's annoyed at the man, and for once, it's showing. “Not until I put you in that wheelchair. Where is it, by the way?”

“I don't have any need for it now, Floyd,” his father tells him. “That's the thing about Hell – they keep healing me up so that they can torture me fresh each time. It sucks, by the way.”

“It's supposed to do that, I hear,” Floyd replies. “Being Hell. What're you here for, Dad? To give me a warning so I can change my ways and stay out of it?”

“Why would I do that?” George Lawton says, with what sounds like a chuckle. “I want you down here, Floyd. If anyone deserves what they do to us down here, it's you.”

Man's got a point there. Floyd, who has kept his gun hand steady, unflinching, looks again for his cigarettes and scowls when he can't find them. “I know that, Pa. You didn't need to come here to tell me that. Just gives me another reason to stay up here, doesn't it?I know where I'm heading same as anyone in this world.”

“But you had that card. I know you had it. Everyone down here knew you had it. Why'd you give it up.”

Floyd looks steadily at his father's face in the bat mask.

“Maybe I figured I didn't deserve it.”

“You gave it to that woman. Did you think it'd make her sleep with you?”

“Man, Dad. You came all the way up here to show me that you don't understand nothin' about me?”

“He doesn't, does he?” The face under the cowl twists into a smile, and one gloved hand reached up to push the cowl up, and back over the man's head.

Floyd splutters, losing his cool and letting the gun drop to the bedsheets. “Eddie!”

Edward Lawton smiles dryly at his brother. “He doesn't understand, Floyd, because he doesn't understand love at all, does he? He doesn't understand family.”

“Eddie.”

Suddenly everything Floyd had built up around himself; every wall, defence and tightly sealed barricade starts to crumble, as he stares into the face of the one person who never knew the monster Deadshot.

Eddie's smile stays for a second, before it goes.

“But you understand. You get it. So why do you pretend not to?”

“Eddie...” he realises what a moron he sounds like, but he can't break through it somehow. “I killed you.”

Eddie nods. “Yeah. You're right. I guess you never really understood family, either. Just another Lawton.”

“No, Eddie...” Floyd splutters, before he realises what he's doing. “I was trying to...”

“You were trying to what? Shoot me in the arm? Or in the back like you did Mom? Who cares what you were trying to do? You were the only thing I had in that fucked up family and you killed me.”

Floyd is silent

“You killed me,” Eddie repeats. “And then you couldn't even kill the Batman. You betrayed me, Floyd.”

That, at least, they can both agree on. Floyd stares at the apparition, unable to speak for a second.

He wants to dismiss the whole thing with 'I know'. He wants to tell him to shut up and get out of here. He wants to be Floyd Lawton and blasé about the whole thing until it goes away, but he finds he can't. This is Eddie.

“I couldn't kill him,” he says quietly, pleadingly. “I couldn't kill him because he's you, Eddie.”




“That might be the single most moronic thing you've ever said, Bro.”

Floyd shrugs, helplessly.

“I'm sorry, Eddie.”

Eddie shrugs. “Apologies mean fuck all to me, Floyd. There's someone who'd want to hear it, though.”

It seems like Floyd blinks and the Bat costume disappears, leaving the room empty. Silence sits heavy, interrupted only by his heartbeat, until he sits back, turning the light back out.

“Daddy?”

Lawton freezes, unable to even turn the light back on again, in fear of what he might find. He doesn't even say anything.

“Daddy?” The voice repeats, and he feels the bed covers shift, as a boy of about seven pulls at them. “Is that you?”

“Yeah, Eddie,” Floyd manages. “It's me.”

He's shocked to hear the choke in his own voice; to realise he's crying tears he hasn't cried in decades, tears he never shed when Eddie died. “How're they treating you?”

“I don't like it, Dad,” little Eddie Lawton confides in his father. “I miss Mom.”

“Course you do, kid,” Floyd says. “I'm sorry, Eddie.”

Sorry for everything that touched this kid's life, from his own fucked up family to what happened at the end, and Floyd's failure to stop it.

“Don't be.”

Something cold touches Floyd's head in the dark, and he realises instantly that it's the tip of his own pistol.

Fucking irony.

“At least I didn't die a virgin.”

The shock yanks Lawton out of sleep.

He sits, smoking in bed, for the rest of the night.

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October 2010

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