The Fate of Oliver Queen

April 10, 2016:

Two old friends play on the fate of Oliver Queen.

The Red Maple


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Oliver Queen, Bruce Wayne, and Deathstroke


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The grand opening to the Red Maple was a blazing success! Gotham Gazette was all up in the business especially with Oliver Queen's announcement and bid for Mayor of Gotham itself. Now, had Melody known about him announcing for Mayor, she probably would have distanced herself far, far, far away from the poor rich dude from the first moment he asked her on for the job. But, asking her this meant giving up almost.. well, almost everything.

The properties are still in hers and some in Kwabena's name. (And yes, they're still hers.) The clinic is still going to function in Mutant Town under the Charity of the Lights and her business ventures with Morien Washington may just fall by the wayside. At least they were friends. But the stealing, everything else? She had to let it go, at least for a little while until Oliver was elected and she felt that she was.. well, not needed or being a bother. She was turning into a right vagabond, that was for sure.

And it really didn't help that since after the shootings in New York, she stayed away from her parents and was relatively, alone. Deathstroke and crew that probably hates her not-with-standing. She doesn't even know if they count.

But the Red Maple itself was closed for business, Melody filing all of the necessary paperwork as she remains in the office. Her mode of dress is a plain black t-shirt, jeans and boots. Nothing fancy. No one should be looking at her anyways. The cameras flicker just a little as she looks on to the screens, then with a shrug, she continues on.

Two-Face appears in the doorway with a flick of a zippo. He leans his head down, the shadows in the hallway behind him stygian and sinister, as if he carried menace around with him like a cloak. The ragged cuff of the left side of his suit is stained with a ruddy crimson color and the bulging eye on his ruined features has grown yellow and watery.

"Last time I saw you, kid, I thought you were runnin' away t'off yerself. Or get yerself killed tryin' t'do the same to some bastard," he says. "Next thing I know, though, yer cleanin' up yer act. Divestin' yourself of all the things that made ya special. Which means either you got a long con goin' on and you need cover…or you've gone straight."

He doesn't do anything threatening, nothing menacing. He has no need - his very presence conveys that. He reaches into his pocket and draws out his coin, letting it linger in his palm as he draws on his cigar, rolling the metal talisman between his fingers. "If it's the first, that means there's probably money to be made. Which means I want my cut. And if it's the second, well," he says, blowing out a twin plumes of smoke from his nose, like a dragon looking over a pile of gold.

"Well, that would just be disappointin'."

Maybe it was the trick of the light that does it. Or the way it flickers and then he was suddenly there. If Melody had any thought that he was supernatural, this would solidify her claims. But she doesn't. It was blamed entirely on her mood.

She does stop her filing as she hears his voice, shoving the last of the papers into the cabinet as neatly as she would, pushing it shut and locking it with a twist of the key only to turn around and lean against it as she listens.

Her eyes rest upon the coin, a little smile drawn forth as she gives a light shrug of her shoulders. "If it was a long con, I don't have everything worked out yet. Plus I gave you the cut of the coke that I lifted from Snowflame. And.. maybe I am trying to set myself right. I just don't know yet."

She moves away from the cabinet, approaching Harvey as if he were any ol' joe, which possibly speaks to her suicidal tendencies. And if he didn't move or outright punch her, she'd lean in to give him a one armed hug. "I was. Going to off myself. Was in Limbo and everything, just fighting and trying to die. Didn't work obviously." She pulls away then, moving quickly out of reach so that she could settle down into her large chair.

"Plan is still there. I guess my time has been bought with this place."

Two-Face responds first a bit sharply, his voice harsh and grating, that darker side of him coming out, "Don't tell me what I'm owed, girl. I keep my own accounts," he says.

But the voice then smooths, like a cello, still deep and resonant, but enticing, almost mellifluous. "Glad ya didn't finish the job. Suicide's a damn shame, least in some cases," he says. "I dunno Limbo. Is that the little grindhouse off the corner o' 17th and Keaton?" he says. Spoken like a man to whom the world outside Gotham barely exists.

He allows the hug, although his towering form just stays its usual stiff self, looking down at her. "Don't suppose this potential change o' heart has anythin' t'do wit' that pretty boy runnin' fer mayor?"

His little snap had her jerking just a little. His voice was like a grate on the nerves of fear and it rose up for just those few moments. "Sorry, Two-Face.." She nearly called him Harvey.

But she sighs and shrugs her shoulders. "Honestly, I'm still trying to figure out my worth here in this world so I can add some tax to it. But I see nothing. Just.. nothing. So it's not like I'm going to be a majorly huge loss." She smiles a little, then shakes her head. "Limbo is the space in between Heaven and Hell. Or.. in this ones case. Hell."

Though, his questions about Oliver has her thinking, her head slowly nodding in admittance. "It does." She says quietly, then turns her chair to face away from him, her fingers steepling. "I can't tell you why, because I really don't even know myself. But, sure. He has the money. He probably has the looks. But he could have pulled a Bruce Wayne and threw his bid in with this new government and just kept on doing business. Instead, he opens this place to help people who need it, give something of himself to people who can't afford it, and gives a.. junkie like me a job out of the blue because I had an opinion.."

She laughs a little sadly. "He's a fool, he doesn't know that I don't have much time left in this world and he hired me anyways."

Two-Face snorts, "I knew he was good-lookin' - didn't know he was -that- good-lookin'," he says. "Trust me, whatever he does, he's got reasons for it an' they ain't all selfless. Ain't no Jesus in Gotham - nothing but devils far as the eye can see," he says. "Even the ones who wear tights are just a different kind o' demon. This place is cursed, kid. My Daddy told me as much growin' up and, while he might've been wrong about plenty o' stuff, on that account, he was shootin' straight," he says.

"Only way you become a king in Hell is by becoming Satan. If he really is an idealist like you say, he's gonna find himself on the hard end fast enough. There are plenty of people in government here got no interest in cleaning up the city, 'cause cleaning it up would take money out of their fat pockets and make them sit on their bony asses and actually work," he says.

"Not to mention me an' mine an' all the others in this town got a bad habit o' puttin' wanna-be saviors in the ground. Hell, nobody knows better'n me what happens when you try to save this city. Tell me," he says, moving closer to Mel and leaning forward, "How do you think Oliver Queen would look after a face full of acid? Do you think he'd still be a hero?"

"I can't argue with you on that." Melody murmurs. "I don't know if everyone knows this town could be saved or not. Batman has hope, at least I can give him that. That if he puts enough of them behind bars that the sun would actually shine on this city." She frowns a little. "Present company excluded of course."

"But there has to be a way that.. maybe if I just stick around a little bit longer, he won't have to become Satan, you know? Maybe he could actually get people up and off of their asses and do what's right, with little regard to the money they make by doing nothing at all. I don't know. I just don't know."

As Harvey leans in and poses the question, Melody frowns completely. She knows that it was all metaphorical, so she wasn't going to admonish him. It was a question, that was all. "I don't know.." She lifts a hand to rub at her face, really thinking. What would happen to Oliver Queen if he suffered Harvey's fate? "I.. guess it's a hope game. The hope that, maybe on the inside, he isn't all that horrible." She quickly changes gears. "Not that you're horrible, Harvey. I actually like you." To a point. He scares the shit out of her.

Two-Face smirks, "Two aren't mutually exclusive. You can like me. But I am horrible," he says. "In the most classical sense, I inspire horror. Or would that be horrid? It's been a while since I went to college," he mutters.

"Hope," he says, reaching into his pocket and drawing out a flask. He takes a long draw, swallowing visibly and making a hissing sound as he screws it back on, the sharp, pure liquor stinging at his perpetually wounded throat. "Hope is a myth. The Batman thinks he inspires hope, but he just gives people something to be scared of. Sure, some of 'em are bad guys, but I guarantee half the people he keeps in line don't do so outta hope - they do it out of fear. Fear of what he'll do to 'em if they step outta line. That might work, but it ain't the same thing as hope," he says.

"As for the golden boy, Mr. Queen, well…I've known plenty o' rich boys in my day. Bruce Wayne, for one, but more'n just him. From law school on and they all have one thing in common," he says. "They're soft. Whatever they are on the outside, they're soft in the middle, little doughboys. Eventually someone's gonna turn up the heat on our boy and make a nice loaf, ready for the slicin'," he says. "Maybe it'll be me."

"I'm horrible too. What's your point." Melody deadpans. Though, now she was thinking about that as well, leaning back within her chair to stroke her chin. "You don't inspire horrid. You inspire horror because you're horrible. I think that one is cut and dry."

She begins to straighten out her new desk, reaching out to tilt the picture of her parents forward so that it rests face first onto the oak. Her jaw tenses slightly, her voice quiet. "Hope is all I have left here.." It was a small confession, reluctant, but something that she needed to say. Something that needed to be spoken about so that she herself could really believe it.

The threat though, it was real. That is one that she takes seriously. Serious enough for her to actually look Harvey in both of his eyes, her brows lowering, the certain coldness that was about her before ever more prominent. There wasn't even a laugh, even a smile. But there was a dull red glow that flashes and disappears within that very moment. If she wasn't as suicidal before?

Wait til you get a load of this.

"Flip for it."

Two-Face watches that expression and slowly begins to smile. He takes out his coin and looks at it, "Nothing could be more fair than that," he says. He strokes his scarred finger along the beveled edge, closing his eye. He knows the coin utterly, intimately. Better than the back of his hand, which changes as he re-awakens the scars and torments himself for asymmetry's sake.

He flips it in the air, end over end, meeting Melody's gaze as he does. He doesn't have to watch or follow it. He knows its path before he even puts it up, before it's left his hand.

And then the other snatches it from the air, slapping it down onto the other hand. Slowly, he raises it, looks at the result. His face goes still and blank and then he rolls it into his palm and drops it in his pocket.

"Be seein' ya, kid. Watch your little butt out there. Wouldn't want ya to get burned," he says.

Melody was tense. Her fingers lowered to rest upon the arms of the chair, waiting, watching. Wanting to catch a glimpse of the way the coin landed so that she could prepare. But not here. Anywhere but here. This place was growing on her by the moment and it probably was going to be a home for her in the next few coming months. The flip of the coin itself seemed to move in slow motion, but her eyes never stray. She holds it with Harvey as long as she could, until she catches a glimpse of his fingers closing. And she says nothing. She doesn't even move.. she was quiet.

Quiet until he finally leaves the space is when she allows her shoulders to slump and her hand to lift and rub at her eyes.

Just.. what in the fuck happened?

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