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Torture

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Beep.

“Never thought it’d end like this.”

“Neither. Wait, how do you mean?”

Beep.

“As in us side by side united against our foe-?”

“I meant dying like this but sure, that too.”

Beep.

“It’s been good fighting with you.”

“Likewi- Wait, ‘with’ as in ‘beside’ or as in ‘against’?”

Beep.

“First one. FIghting with. Right here, right now. An’ how’re y’ still breathin’-”

Beep.

“-’nough to talk?”

Beep.

“Spite.

“Figures.”

Beep.

“Any last words?”

Beep.

“I can think of a few.”

Beep.

“Running out of time.”

Beep.

“I know. But I think I can get what I wanna say-”

Beep.

“- out in time.”

Beep.

“Be quick.”

Beep.

“I will.”

Beep.

“Sam Scudder- “

Beep.

“You-”

Beep.

“- are a friggin’-”

Beep.

“-asshole!” Len shouted breathlessly as he collapsed on the ground, crude hand gesture held high and defiant.

“And time!” Sam shouted, clicking the stop watch. “Ten minutes and seventeen seconds,” Sam announced. “Roscoe, that means you technically won as Len stopped running to salute me,” Sam said, waving a hand vaguely in the direction of the man kneeling over Len’s wheezing body.

“I think he’s got heatstroke,” Roscoe frowned, touching the backs of his fingers to Len’s forehead and burning cheeks.

“And you accuse me of being a drama queen,” Sam mused into his martini class as he peered over his shades at the pair. He wave a nonchalant hand again as he leant back on the sunlounger. “Give him five and wave a cold beer under his nose and he’ll be fine in no time.”

“Asshole,” Len huffed at his fellow Rogue as Roscoe helped him up off of the ground and all but carried him over to the single patch of shade in the garden where the other Rogues had collapsed. Sam watched the pitiful display, stirring his olive around his martini with a slow, disapproving shake of the head.

“Can’t believe you made us do the friggin’ bleep test,” Len panted.

“In the middle of the day,” Roscoe added, sitting down and stretching out his legs with a groan.

The Top glanced at his companions sprawled around him. Piper’s usually pale face was an angry red, the combination of sunburn and overexertion drowning his freckles in a deep, sweaty red. Mark was sat with his back propped against the tree shading the group, plucking at his shirt in an attempt to fan himself, his eyes glazed over. Digger, Roscoe was certain, had passed out a good few minutes ago when he’d dropped out of the race. Mick was sat quietly beside him, frowning at nothing as he pulled in slow, deep breaths through his nose only to exhale even slower. James had survived Sam’s gruelling pacer test better than the rest, his athletic build lending itself well to the quick sprints back and forth. He’d dropped out only a minute or so before Len and he had, but now he was staring at the garden hose with such longing that Roscoe couldn’t tell whether or not he was going to drink from it or spray Sam.

The derisive snort from Sam pulled the men’s eyes to him, all glaring as he teased the olive off of his stirrer between his teeth.

“Look, if we’re out on a job and we get jumped by the Flash, I can leave through the shine on the Flash’s boots if I so wish. You lot can’t.” He drained his martini glass and smacked his lips, making an approving noise.

“We’re never gonna outrun him,” Mark grumbled. “What’s the point of this?!”

“You still need an edge,” Sam drawled, dropping his stirrer into the glass with a clink. “Reflexes. Response times - dodging the cops if nothing else!” He checked his watch. “Now come on,” he said sharply, clicking the timer on again.

“Next round!”

Roscoe watched as James’ hollow focus slid from the hose to Sam.

Beep.

James’ eye twitched.

Beep.

“Oh, I don’t think we’re running in this round,” Roscoe smiled as he lay down in the cool grass and stretched with a groan.

“Oh really? And why is tha-- AAH!”

“That,” Roscoe said happily as he closed his eyes to the sweet sound of Sam screaming, “is why.”