Put To The Test

Summary:
December 28, 2014: Floyd puts Lois to the test.

Needful Things

It's an antiques store.


Characters

NPCs

  • Shopkeep

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Lois was back in Metropolis. With that said, Clark probably was too. Either way, she was there and.. having moved from her old apartment since it was broken into and moving in with Clark, and having missed Christmas, spending it in New York, she figure it was about time to break out the ol' coin purse to buy that big guy a gift. And a few others.

So she did what she did second best, bought gifts. Deliving a few to Lucy, her dad.. Jimmy and Ma Kent. Chloe got a nice bang up gift, the latest software that she could buy and a days long visit, and dinner.

Clark? She really didn't know what to get him. So as she strolls down Park Ridge, and into the antiques shop, she begins to browse and caruse the sections, lips pursing as she glances down towards her watch. Maybe he's off being Superman? Maybe he's at work? She didn't know.. but if she wanted to find him something? She had to do it quick. He was a smart guy, after all. He'd know something was up.

Surely, it's a coincidence that Floyd Lawton, Deadshot, just happens to be looking for gifts at the same exact store! Not many people know of his taste for fine antiques - legitimately, he's been here before, as a collector of vintage firearms and gun-related memorabilia. He's a fairly steady customer, because the owner knows that, if he comes across just about anything, he can probably get Floyd's attention.

His being there on the same day as Lois, though, does seem to stretch credibility a wee bit. But it's nice to have cover. He sees her first, naturally, stepping behind her in an aisle and making sure she's not holdling anything fragile when he says, "Lois. Looking for a corset for your friend, Mr. S?"

Clocks. Does Clark like clocks? Did he even have any clocks? Does he even need clocks? Shopping for him was the hardest thing she had ever done, really. She was just getting down the last row of clocks, picking one up and turning it upside down, then putting it back until the sound of Floyd's voice graced her ears.

A look of wonder soon turned to a bit of anger as she turns around, hands upon her hips which soon cocks to the left. Her bottom lip is bitten, and then a sigh is given. "You're not very funny." She says plainly. "And you're obviously very hard-headed. Didn't he tell you to stay away from me?"

Floyd Lawton rolls his eyes, "Didn't you hear me tell him he's not the boss of me? Or you, for that matter, although he sure likes to act like he owns you. I thought he was going to pee on you there for a second, just to make sure everyone knew you were his. Or are you going to pretend that you two are just friends, still?" he says, lighting a cigarette. Is it against the rules? Sure. Is the owner stupid enough to call Floyd on it? No.

Floyd picks up a locket with a porcelain carving of an old woman's face, something Victorian, with a light silver chain, delicate. "This looks about his speed. Probably reminds him of his Mommy," he says, turning it so Lois can see the face, "Whaddya think? Did Mammy Superman look like this? Have you met her? Is she a puckered old prune, too?"

"Ooh.. and look what we have here? A feminist! Who would have thought, Floyd Lawton.." Yes, she knew his name. ".. protector of women's rights. Cause no man gets to tell a woman what to do. Not even him." He lights the cigarette and causes Lois to frown even deeper, those lines drawing upon her face, her gaze shot towards the shop-keep and then to the man in front of her. "Why? Why do you care about our 'status'?" She even makes the fingers, and soon her hand whips forward to try to snatch the cigarette from his mouth.

Even if she misses or not, she's walking away from him, he was starting to work her nerves and actually piss her off. "Go away Floyd. I don't have any information for you today." She calls out.
Floyd Lawton laughs, "Oh, I can tell someone what to do, man or woman, because I'm willing to make 'em do it if they decide against it. That's why you're going to walk back here to me now, because you know that, while I find yer mouthy, sassy personality amusing, if you make me waste my drive all the way out to this place, I'm going to take it out on someone. Maybe you, but more likely some poor innocent old lady who's in the neighborhood lookin' for a rocking chair Martha Washington farted on once."

"I care 'cause you keep denyin' it. I care 'cause I like to know what I'm dealin' with. I like information, too, and since you ain't been able to come up with shit about what I asked you to find out for me yet, I figured I'll just ask a few questions about shit you do know and see if I can expand my mind a little bit. A man gets curious about a dude who leaves a mark," he says, turning his head so she can see the ghostly, purple outline of Superman's hands where they gripped his throat.

She reaches out to grip the door handle, pulling it open and.. paused. She knew damn well that Floyd wasn't afraid of death. It was just one of those feelings, plus that day he was in her apartment? He walked right into the gun that she held and practically dared her to pull the trigger. The door slowly closes shut as she turns around to lean against it.

"I never denied it." She states, her cheeks burning a little red from increasing anger. "And if you think that you're in the position to ask /me/ about Superman? You're not." She steps forward again, turning sideways to pull the handle open. "He should have snapped your neck, Floyd. I've never wished death upon another person before but I'm starting to think you deserve it. "You don't get to know about him. And you don't get to threaten an innocent person either. Not in my town."

That was it. She's calling the police.

The gunshot fills the air of the shop. People in movies never react to the sound of a gun. It's always a pop or a blam. Close up, in person, it's a roar and, in an enclosed space like the shop, it almost has a force of its own, hitting like a punch to the head. Unless you're used to it. Unless you're the one pulling the trigger. Unless you're Deadshot.

The door handle splinters off of the wood, inches away from Lois' fingers. His voice is cold now, none of the playful teasing or taunting that has been in it during some of their past interactions. The closest she's seen him Floyd like this before was on the job, torturing a man without conscience for information that didn't even mean anything to him. Just because he was that was what he'd been told to do.

"Of course I deserve to die," he says, walking slowly forward, "But deserves got nothing to do with it. I have killed, by my count, directly, if you're taking notes, Lois, and I know you always are, no less than 1,114 human beings. Most of them men, but there have been women in that number and more than one child. I'm not dead because no one has been able to kill me. Period. Usually because I make the people who threaten me dead."

Now he's much closer, although it might not seem like he walked far, perhaps a bit of daze in the aftermath of the gunshot, the echo, the tinkle of glass as a few plates fall from a table to the floor. "You've threatened me more than once, Lois. I'm beginning to think that I should stop letting you live. I know your precious boyfriend makes you feel invulnerable, but you're not. I've seen you shot and bleeding out. I saved your life, if you'll recall. So when I ask you for respect, when I ask you a question, I expect to get that respect and that question answered. Because I saved your life and I can take it any god damn time I choose."

What.. was that noise? She remembered that noise. The noise that boomed through her brain and caused her hand to shake. Her breath to stop.. her heart to stall and then race, adrenaline was at an overdrive in this moment, and she nearly overdose. From Syria, to the day at the diner, her shoulder began to ache something fierce from the memory, and her heart? It dropped in her stomach.

It was then that time stood still. And her eyes burned because of it.

The closer he had come to her, the more she began to shake. She swallowed the lump within her throat and lifted her chin, it was the force of will that caused her to do it, even though tears had fallen from her cheeks. She forced herself to breathe, not through her nose, but between trembling lips.

There was nothing that she could really say to make him back off, she was frozen in fear, but still.. she held onto her convictions just as he would have done for her.

"I will not tell you about Superman.." She murmured, her voice low. "Shoot me if you want." But she'd rather he not.
Floyd Lawton pushes the barrel of the gun against Lois' throat, just above her voicebox, pushing until she's against the wall. His eyes, blue, merciless, stare directly into hers. He's smiling now, the charming air back, except for the eyes. She's probably never noticed it before, but they're always like that. Empty. Floyd Lawton stopped feeling things a long time ago, if he ever did.

"Willing to die for him, huh? That's impressive," he says, and he cocks the gun, drawing the hammer back with his thumb. You don't have to do that on an automatic, of course, but you can, and the sound is nice and threatening, a reminder that the gun's even closer to going off, just a flick of a finger on a trigger. Floyd's hand would make a brain surgeon weep with jealousy as he holds steady.

"Truth is, he's not worth it. No one is. Everybody dies alone, no matter how many leakin' brats or aunts or cousins they got at their bed to watch 'em dry up like old fruit. You can't die for anyone else. Everybody's gotta do their own. You think protecting an invulnerable man from a guy who's just a good shot is worth getting your head blown off? That seems like bad math to me, doll.":'

The click of the hammer causes her eyes to finally snap shut, the stream of tears whetting her cheeks, her teeth gritting all the more because of it. She couldn't tell what she felt, fear.. or anger. Whatever it was, it started to roll through her in waves, and it made her all the more bolder in her convictions. She made a promise, after all. Many times over.

She does note the look in his eyes, in contrast to what she felt and what he may see in hers. Faith. Where some would have lost and told tales to save their own skin; where some showed fear and mentally said their goodbyes.. she looked to tomorrow.

"That's the difference between me and you, Floyd." Her hand slowly reaches up, she doesn't wrap the hand around the gun, but presses the back of her digits against the side in the gentle attempt to push it away.

"I'm well aware that.. one day, probably today, probably now, that I'm going to die. I could walk outside and be hit by a car, I could go to the hospital to have surgery and die on the table. But I know for a fact.. he's with me." She would continue to push, if he allowed it.

"I'm not going to die for him. I'm going to die for the promise that I made him, because I am a person of my word. I made him a promise, that I'd stand by him, thick and thin. No questions asked. And I'm going to see to it til the very end, Floyd. Don't.. don't you have someone like that for you? Don't you /want/ something like that?"

Floyd Lawton stares for a long, long moment, Lois' hand on the back of his. She can't move it, of course, the shooter steady as a rock, just pure instinct and training making it impossible to knock the man who doesn't miss off target. He's the one who seems frozen, though, for a moment, almost confused. Finally, he answers, his voice a low whisper as he leans in to spill it in her ear, "Can't always get what you want. Sometimes even if you can, you can't keep it 'cause it ain't yours and it's not for you," he says. Images in his mind - his son, his daughter, neither of them seen in years. Better for them. That's what he tells himself. And he's probably right.

He doesn't think about them. Ever. So, now that he has, that momentary crack in his ice falls open to turn into cold fire. His other hand comes back to Lois' face and push roughly along her cheek, wiping away her tears as he pulls his head back.

"You lie to yourself all you need to, Lois. Most people got to if they wanna lift their head off the pillow in the mornin'. Me, I'll stay in the real world," he says, bringing the hand up and sucking the tears off the tips of his fingers, like he just ate something tasty.

"I think you've answered enough of my questions for today," he says.

She thought that she was going to bite it; bite the bullet and die a life unfulfilled. She had plans too, plans that involved growing old with a certain someone, building a life and a family. Doesn't matter where, she was just going to do it. She flinched a little as he leaned him, his words.. drawing a frown upon her face as she shifts her eyes towards him. She even flinches as he wipes away the tears from her face, even though more fall in their wake.

"Did you even try?" She asks, her voice no longer a tremble.

She does shake her head sadly as she slides away from the door, her hands shoving immediately into the pocket of her jeans as she tries to take a breath.. and hold herself together.

His last words had stung, however. She didn't know how to feel about that.. did she just tell all without saying anything to begin with? She didn't know.. but she had a feeling.

Floyd Lawton pushes past Lois on his way outside, looking over at her for a long moment. "I did. They deserved better," he says, simply. It actually wouldn't be that hard to find Floyd's family, at least part of it. His first marriage is public record, his son by her has his name on the birth certificate. His daughter would be harder, born of a hooker and moved to suburbia with Floyd's stash when he found out. Neither kid probably remembers him. The girl barely saw him once.

He doesn't talk about it. And now he leaves, because if she keeps reminding him, he's going to shoot her in the face just to give him something else to have in his mind.


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