kat8cha: (Superheroes - Roy is a BAMF)
[personal profile] kat8cha
Title: Drip/Breathe
Fandom: Young Justice DC Animated Universe
Author: [livejournal.com profile] kat8cha
Characters: Roy Harper (Red Arrow), Oliver Queen (Green Arrow)
Rating: PG-13
A/N: Written for his prompt. The OP asked for tortured Roy and Ollie saving him. If you squint, you're welcome to see Ollie/Roy in it.

Roy timed his breaths to the rhythmic drip-drip-drip that echoed through his cell. The cell was damp, and cold, and there were pipes that ran above it that rattled at odd hours. In the left hand corner across from the wall with the door there was a leak in the pipes that caused water stains and a drip.

Drip, drip, drip.

Roy breathed.

[We aren't getting anything out of him tonight.] The man who spoke was one of the men that, in the early days when Roy was attempting to keep up his good humor, Roy had named Curly. He didn't have curly hair, and the only resemblance he held to the stooge was his shaved bald head and lack of chin.

The bald head was why Roy had given him the name.

[The boss is getting impatient.] The man Roy called 'Moe' had even less of a resemblance to his comedic namesake. He was a thin man, with wispy black hair tied back in a ponytail and a scruffy goatee. When he flexed his fingers you could read a history of his brawls from the scars on his knuckles.

He was also rather good with a knife.

Roy coughed, too tired and hurt to even taunt them anymore. Tomorrow, maybe, but tonight he was content to let them do what they wanted with him. His body was their plaything, Roy hadn't done any good keeping it safe, he hadn't done any good fighting them off, the only thing his body was good for was protecting his mind and it couldn't even do that right.

[He'll crack soon.] Curly's accent was slightly different, his Russian slightly thicker sounding to Roy. Roy couldn't tell what they were saying, but he was willing to bet that Curly was Georgian, while Moe and Larry were from Moscow.

The Russian mob was deeply invested in the drug, and gun trade as well as the black market available in Star City.

[I still say we should run his prints.] Larry was nervous, with a receding hairline of fine strawberry blond hair that curled outward to touch the tops of his ears. [We'll have his name then, shouldn't be that hard to connect him back to Green Arrow.] The only two words Roy recognized were 'Green Arrow' and 'imya', the first because it was said in English the second because Roy could at least recognize enough Russian to flirt badly with a bar maid or ask for directions to the bathroom.

Robin was probably fluent.

[The minute we run his prints the Justice League will find us.] Moe snapped, the butterfly knife appearing from his pocket and sliding up underneath Larry's chin. [Do you want Superman or Batman on our tail? No, and neither do our bosses.]

When the butterfly knife came out Roy went back to focusing his breath. Drip, breathe, drip, breathe.

[We'll get it out of him.] Moe snapped the butterfly knife closed and jerked his thumb at Roy. Curly lumbered over and lifted Roy from his sprawled position on the floor.

Drip, breathe, drip, breathe, your name is Red Arrow, you have no father, you have no mother, you are nothing.

"One way or another." Quick, cruel fingers dug into hours old bruises.

Roy grunted.

Drip, breathe.

Blood splattered on the floor.


Time was a fluid thing, dark and murky, like blood on the floor of an ill-lit room. Roy was not sure if he had been there weeks or mere days or maybe even months. There were no windows, no night or day, no regular meal or sleep time. Roy's arms were almost always bound behind his back when he was left alone, the hands balled up in fists and captured in tube socks. He couldn't scratch lines in the walls or keep himself busy by twiddling his thumbs.

He coughed and spat, blood and spittle splattered on the floor of his cell, leaving an unpleasant coppery taste in his mouth.

Great, internal bleeding.

[He is of no use to our organization if he does not provide information on the Justice League, and he is expensive to keep.] Moe was getting less and less friendly the more time Roy went without coughing up anything but blood and expletives. [The boss will have our heads for this failure.]

Roy had no doubts about how long he would be alive. His body was damaged, he could be dying right then and there, and he had been missing for long enough that there was obviously no rescue coming. He had seen his kidnappers, he was a hero.

He was going to die.

[I have a girl,] Larry spoke, Roy caught the word 'girl'. [You know, my police girl, she sneaks me in sometimes for quickies, I could…]

[Yes, fine.] Moe's eyes were dark and cold. [Get ink and paper, the boss doesn't want anything cut off he may later need. I hear sidekicks go very highly in the right market.]

Larry left the room and Moe approached Roy, his eyes narrow and when he grabbed Roy by the hair he shook him, hard. "You think you're clever, but I have news for you boy…"

"You're a dead man."

Drip, breathe.

Drip, breathe.

Blood smears red and bright over pale skin, darkens the tips of bright red hair.

Drip, breathe.


Black ink dries on his fingers and no one comes.


Drip, breathe, drip, breathe.

Drip, breathe.


There's shouting, so much shouting, but Roy doesn't hear it.

Explosions, a handful, loud and raucous, strong enough to rattle the pipes above the room and cause the leaky one to rupture, water spilling down the corner of the wall and puddling, pooling, spreading across the floor to dampen his bare feet and his tube-socked hands.

Drip, breathe, drip…

Thundering footsteps, gunfire, shouts. Familiar voices, Russian and English, echoes and a scream.

The door is flung open, it grinds painfully across the last 25% to slam into the wall, but people spill into the room, unwilling to wait until the door even reaches 50%. Familiar colors and faces.

Larry falls onto the ground in front of Red Arrow, babbling like the water as he floods the room.

Breathe, breathe, breathe.

"Please, don't hurt me, don't kill me, I brought you to him!" A man knocks a sharp arrow under Larry's chin and glares. Larry begins to babble in Russian.

The stink of piss fills the air.

"You're not worth it." The man kicks Larry in the head, cutting off the Russian. There are hands lifting Red Arrow carefully, soft hands, careful hands. Not the hands of the man with the arrows, but the hands of a familiar face and a deep soothing voice.

"It's alright."

Drip, breathe, drip, breathe.

"You're safe now."


Voices again, more voices, they get louder as time goes on. Touches too, not like Larry or Moe or Curly's, but soft, careful. Cooling, soothing touches.

Red Arrow is awake, he is seeing everything. There is a man in green goggles with a crescent moon on his cowl. There are others, though the man is the center of Red Arrow's limited attention. He's the one touching Red Arrow, asking questions that Red Arrow doesn't answer, taking notations and then administering lotion and bandages and medication. A sharp pinch of pain and firm pressure on Red Arrow's shoulder.


Red Arrow lays down.

He sleeps.


There isn't any dripping anymore, only an insistent electronic beeping.

It's irritating.


Roy opens his eyes.

The room he is in now is cold and sterile, the sheets are soft but the bed is obviously hospital standard. Well, standard for a space age hospital anyway. Roy shivered and pulled on the soft sheets. He was cold, thirsty, and his head hurt.

He was tired.

There was a soft whooshing sound, and then the soft pad of footsteps. Roy clumsily pushed himself up on one arm.

When had the other one been broken? Roy stared down at the arm caught in a sling across his chest. He flexed it and his nerves lit up with pain.

He hissed.

"Red Arrow?" Goggle man, no, wait, Doctor Mid-nite. Doctor Mid-nite?! Then he was… Roy breathed a sigh of relief. He'd been…


He almost wished he was dead.

"Hi, doc." Roy swallowed his throat tight with tears and rough from thirst. "Can I get a class of water?"


The glass of water was appreciated, the food was not. Roy's stomach was tight and he was nauseous, the food was bland and unappealing. Roy pushed it around his plate and waited for someone to come in and take it away.




Roy couldn't look up at Ollie, he didn't want to. He was such an idiot, going solo and getting himself screwed over like that. Roy froze and stared down at his spoon.

"So it's the silent treatment?" Ollie whumphed as he flopped onto a harsh, unforgiving metal chair by Roy's bedside. He straightened up almost instantly. Roy could imagine the pained expression on Ollie's face… "Not even a thank you?"

"…thanks." Roy muttered, sounding even more like a sulky child. He didn't want to be a sulky child, he wanted to be an adult. "I had it under control."

"Under control-!" Ollie cut himself off, an arm rose and Roy knew that Ollie was stroking his beard. He did that sometimes, when he was angry or thinking. "Roy, you were… you can't imagine the state I found you in. If you'd found me hog-tied in some dingy factory basement, all beat to hell…"

"You wouldn't be there." Roy shoved the tray away, it rolled about a foot away from Roy's bedside before the slow wheels squeaked to a stop. Dammit, that was not satisfying to him. "You never get yourself tied up and held captive and tortured for…"


"…for two months." Ollie's hand on his shoulder and Roy couldn't take it. He flinched. "Roy, please. Once I realized you were gone I… we looked. I canvased Star City from top to bottom. They took you out early, the first day I think, took you to Coast City and beat you." Unconsciously, Ollie's hand tightened, at Roy's pained gasp he let go in a hurry. "I'm sorry Roy."

"Say the word, say the word and I'll kill them."

It was surprise that drew his eyes to Ollie's face, pure bafflement that made them stay there, stubborn determination that made him frown back at Ollie when Ollie started frowning at him. "Hell no." Roy snorted and lay down on his propped up pillows. He squirmed.

Ollie, dutifully, fluffed them.

"I haven't paid rent in three months, I've definitely been evicted. If you get arrested I'll have to go live with Canary or GL and neither of them can cook."

Ollie's laughter was spontaneous but long-lived. The sound of it followed Roy into dream land.

Dream… breathe.


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June 2012

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