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            Jamison Fawkes had always been attracted to danger. As long as he’d been alive, his attraction had fueled everything he’d ever done.

            That was why he was so excited when his boss had called him up one day and said that he had a special assignment for him. The police had finally caught Mako Rutledge, and he was asking for Doctor Jamison Fawkes.

            See, Jamie had gone to school for criminal psychology, and he sometimes worked for the federal prison. He wasn’t famous or anything, though, so he was unsure of how Mako Rutledge had found out that he worked there.

            If he was honest, though, the blonde really couldn’t find it within himself to care too much. He was too excited to be able to talk to a living fucking legend of a criminal.

            Mako Rutledge had been fucking lives up before Jamie had even been born. The mountainous man had a violent twenty-eight year crime spree, only broken twice before his most recent arrest. Both times, he’d broken out, which was why they were transferring him here, to the highest security prison in America. They were too scared to transfer him anywhere else, especially since they would have to put him in either a plane or a boat, two extremely small, enclosed places, and no one wanted to be around the massive man when he felt cornered.

            Jamie had been obsessed with Mako ever since he’d heard the man’s voice on TV, muffled through the mask he had worn since his crime spree had begun. Mako had been angry, since a job he’d been working on with his old partner had gone to shit, and they’d almost been caught. He’d been a young man in the recording, only twenty-five. It was the first time they’d ever caught a recording of his voice, and the flames crackling from a nearby gas station accentuated the deep baritone growl. He’d blown the place sky high after the operation had gone south. Even as a little kid, what he said had chilled him to the core. “I’m a one man apocalypse.”

            Shortly after that, they found his old partner, wife and child all murdered in their house. The investigators had all said that it was obvious whom he had started with. His four-year-old daughter, Anna, had been smothered with a pillow, but that was where any sort of tenderness stopped. His wife had been killed execution style, on her knees, gun pressed tightly to the back of the head. His partner had been killed last, and it was the bloodiest one. Every part of his body was broken and his torso had been ripped open by the hook that the criminal now carried wherever he went. The man’s massive thumbs had gouged out his eyes and the rest of his face was just... broken. There was no shape to the thing, so blood tests were the only thing that could bring the identity back to the man, even though they’d had a strong idea about who it was.

            After that night, the man created a name for himself. He signed the places he hit, using spray paint, blood, any liquid he could get his hands on. Roadhog.

            Soon, the papers started using the name, the cops did, and Roadhog became a household name. Mako Rutledge was gone; Roadhog had killed him.

            And now, he was back in Australia, after having a long stay in America, asking for the one kid who’d practically worshipped him his entire life. It was a secret, of course, but when he really thought about it, his whole life was leading to this moment. He’d only been drawn to criminal psychology because of that one line. Jamie had gone to school for this, trained for it. He was ready for this, ready for everything the massive man had to say.

            So why was he so nervous?

`~`

            As Jamie limped towards the jail, his wide eyes took the sights of the place in with a renewed vigor. He was seeing the man who’d launched his entire career, the man who had made him who he was meant to be. He was about to meet the most interesting man he’d ever even imagined speaking to. Not only that, but Mako fucking Rutledge had asked to meet him. Demanded it, even. Jamie was nearly desperate to see inside the massive man’s head. He needed to know. He needed so desperately to understand why Mako Rutledge went from a convenience store robber to a mass murderer and arsonist.

            This was the best day of the young man’s career, possibly even his life.

            He swallowed hard as he was pat down, adrenaline raced through his body as gloved hands manhandled him, making sure nothing he had on his person could help the massive man inside escape. As if the monster needed any help from the outside.

            When he was finally outside the holding cell, he had to pause to compose himself. Rutledge was already inside, a specially made straightjacket, along with chains that hooked into the ground below him, were the only things keeping him down, keeping him grounded. Those precautions were the only things stopping Mako from ripping the blond doctor in two.

            When he entered, he quickly sat down and got out his notebook. “Good morning, Mr. Rutledge. How has your stay been so far?”

            The massive creature in front of him said nothing. His face, bare as the day he was born, didn’t even twitch. His brown eyes, dwarfed by the thick cheeks, wide nose and sloping brow, bored holes into Jamie’s, Dr. Fawkes’, forehead.

            He felt like Rutledge was rooting through his brain, trying to figure out all his secrets, and all his hopes and dreams. He didn’t like it. That was his job. Getting into peoples’ heads was his specialty.

            “How’s the food?” He laughed nervously, tenting his fingers as he leaned back in his chair. He had to project his ease, project confidence, but also vulnerability. The good doctor had to look like he was ready to hear everything, ready for the big guy to spill his guts.

            Again, Rutledge said nothing. His eyes drifted to the ceiling, now and let out a quiet groan as he rolled his shoulders. The chains that held him down clinked gently as he moved. Jamie heard two vertebrae pop, watched the way Mako settled back into his chair. He felt his heart quicken at the sheer amount of mass that the older man had just moved with the slightest movements. The action suggested he was the one at ease; he was the one who in charge. There was no vulnerability in the huge man’s blank stare. Jamie felt like a mouse dancing in front of a lion’s snout.

            “Look, Mr. Rutledge, I can’t exactly do my job if you aren’t even gonna say hello to me. Why don’t we talk about your recent arrest?” Jamie gripped his pencil with white knuckles and sweaty palms. He hoped Mako couldn’t see the slight shake he had, and if he did, he hoped Mako didn’t think it was from fear.

            Rutledge snorted and rolled his eyes. There was that power trip again. He was the one in chains, but Jamie was dependent on everything the man did. The straight jacket even made him seem nonchalant, like a CEO staring down his lowliest employee. Jamie’s entire reason for living was sitting right there, and nothing he was doing could make him talk. Everything the man did grated against Jamie’s nerves. It sent trembles up his back, through his hands and into his flesh fingers. The robotic fingers twitched only twice as he sat there. No matter what he did to stop his body, the message was still clear as day. He was nervous, but Rutledge had no idea why, he was sure. Maybe he thought the tall, scrawny doctor before him was afraid. Jamie knew that wasn’t the case... How long would it take the older man to figure it out? Mako was much smarter than he looked. He was so much more than a human wrecking ball. He wouldn’t have evaded police for so long if he were nothing but unbridled brawn.

            “Fine. I don’t know why you bothered to call me out here if you weren’t going to talk. Let me do my job or I’m never coming back.” Jamie glared across the table. “If threats are the only thing you understand, Mr. Rutledge, then I’ll play. Please, sir, I don’t want this to have been a waste of my time.”

            His beady eyes focused on Jamie’s face. A slight glare set to his face, but his mouth opened. “Ask away.” The corner of his scarred lips turned up, a mocking smirk, and a tease for the irritated doctor.

            That voice. It was quiet, different from the recording. However, the gravel was still there, the tone, the thrum, everything about those two words made the same shiver run up his knobby spine. “Thank you. Now, Mr. Rutledge, how are you feeling today?”

            Another eye roll. “I’m fine. The jacket is unnecessary, though. A little pissed off about it, too.”

            Jamie jotted down, “irritation at straight jacket. Probably hates being held down.” When he looked back up, Mako was glaring at him. “What? I’m a professional, you know. I gotta make some notes. You’re not even allowed to have visitors. I’m special.”

            The behemoth huffed out a chuckle. “Just like yer fuckin’ father... I’m done for today, Doc. Call the CO on your way out.”

            Jamie stared at him for a while, before uncrossing his legs and leaning just a little bit closer. “Whose father are you talking about?”

            “I said I’m done. Goodbye, Doctor Fawkes.” Mako turned as far away from Jamie as he could and stared out the tiny square window. It was the only sunlight the behemoth would see for a very, very long time.

`~`

            Their next meeting was almost a month later. Mako had been moving from his regular cell in isolation to a new one in the high security wing of the prison when the fight broke out. Two inmates from rival gangs had broke out custom-made blades, and one had struck Mako in the back. In retaliation, Mako had split the fucker’s skull wide open over the railing.

            As utterly awful as the whole event had been, it made Jamie’s blood run hot in the most wonderful way. It was only self-defense, of course, but Mako was so big, and he was just so incredibly strong... he had been court-ordered to have a strict therapy regimen from now until his last day in the concrete walls. Jamie was excited, but ultimately, he wondered about what the hell Rutledge had meant about his father.

            His grandparents raised Jamison after his parents were killed in a car accident. He’d never met his father, not that he remembered, anyway. He tried to remember all through high school and college, but nothing ever came back to him. Still, how could anyone know his father?

            That couldn’t be good news. Still. He was the new, court-ordered therapist, especially since Mako threatened to kill any other doctors that dared show themselves. He had to have bi-weekly meetings with the giant. Mako was going to be forced to talk to him. It was both terrifying and incredible. The same feelings that had coursed through his mind, belly and chest were now back, tenfold. Now, though, they had everything to do with what the man had said the last time they’d met.

`~`

            Once they were back in front of each other, Mako wore a savage grin. He wore the same jacket he’d been in before, but his jaw-length hair was greasy, loose and unkempt. “Dr. Fawkes. It’s been too long. Come, sit down, let’s talk a while.”

            His voice was a little higher than it had been the last time, just a little more manic. He was clearly pissed. Jamie couldn’t blame him, after a week in a medicated coma, just to keep him still enough for stitches and another week of near complete isolation and the medications that had been pumped into his system, downers, to hopefully keep him a little bit under control. He was used to being in control, on the road, free. Now, he had even less freedoms than he had when he’d gotten in the fucking place. “Hey, Mr. Rutledge. How’ve you been since your altercation in the hallway? What are your thoughts like? I’ve heard that you’ve been running into the walls. Why? These walls are much sturdier than the ones you’ve previously broken out of.”

            Mako let out a loud groan and shook his head. “I’ve been going fucking crazy, that’s how I’ve been. I didn’t mean to kill the little fuck, but you know, when his fucking shoulder gets a nice hole in it, a guy can get a little irritated.” He slammed his back into the back of the chair, another defiant act, made to show his total disgust. The sound echoed in the mostly-empty room. “It’s the guy’s own fault, okay, that’s all there is to it.”

            Jamie was glad he’d kept himself from crying out or jumping when Mako had startled him. He just nodded. “I understand. Unfortunately, Mr. Rutledge, all you can do right now is wait it out. Let everything calm down. I’m certain you’ll be back in your old cell soon. You’ll be yourself again soon, too.”

            “Stop fuckin’ callin’ me that. That ain’t me. Nobody calls me Roadhog in here, call me my fuckin’ name!” He practically roared; massive body wriggling and straining with barely contained rage. Mako gave a brief struggle before he sat back, wheezing as he panted. Somehow, even his wheezing was intimidating, a sign of pure power. Mako tossed his head, getting some thick locks of hair out of his eyes, and between his thick lips, a single silver strand getting caught on his tusk-implants. The guards outside almost burst in, but Jamie held up his mechanical hand. They weren’t needed for this. The jacket, no matter how unnecessary Mako had deemed it, was doing its job.

            The way he glared at Jamie made the young doctor bite his lip. There was so much pent up aggression, so much rage behind that hateful glare; Jamie just didn’t know what to do. He had no idea how he could help... aside from doing his job. He wanted to do so much more, he wanted to help Mako, and there was no way he could give up the study subject of a lifetime.

            “Fine, Roadhog it is.” Jamie crossed his legs as he leaned back. He was certain that Mako could see his prosthetic. He wanted Mako to open up, so he planned on opening up a bit as well. Nothing like seeing a cripple to help put your life into perspective, right?

            Sure enough, the giant cocked an eyebrow up. “How?” He gestured with his chin. Jamie ignored how the chains jingled as he moved.

            “Oh, these? Teenage accident. Nothing too interesting, really. I’m more interested in this.” He drew a line down his own face, mirroring a huge, long scar that ran down Roadhog’s face. “You have it even in your teenage mug shots. Where did you get it?”

            Roadhog snorted and rolled his eyes. “Oh that? Teenage accident. ‘S not really that interesting.”

            “Oh, so you’re a comedian now? Well, big guy, if you have to know, I got hurt when I tried to jump a ramp that wasn’t built sturdily. It broke, and my leg broke with it. It kept getting infected, so doctors ended up taking the nasty thing off.” Jamie patted his thigh almost affectionately.

            “Why a peg leg?” Came the baritone grumble. He sounded like he was trying not to care, but the way his tone picked up at the end really gave him away.

            “I kept tripping over the ones with feet, and the real fancy ones without feet, you know the ones, made me nervous, like I was going to spring into space at any given moment. This leg is more than just a peg leg. It’s... well, it’s the best thing I ever designed.”

            For some reason, Jamie had expected some awe, especially at the fact that he’d designed the thing himself. Mako only nodded and gave him a soft grunt, like he was thinking about it. “I slipped off some rocks. Landed face first.” He didn’t blush, but the man also didn’t look at Jamie while he spoke, suggesting at least a little embarrassment from the ancient history.

            Jamie nodded, writing that down. Mako pretended not to notice. “Did anyone ever make fun of your scar?”

            “Only a few. They were stupid. They probably still are.” Mako smirked haughtily and rolled his shoulders, just like he had on their first visit. He was getting comfortable again.

            They spent the rest of their hour talking about childhood and comparing their different scars. Jamie forgot that he was supposed to be a professional and felt his cheeks ache as he grinned and laughed at a story Mako told him about how he’d really gotten the scar. His childhood friend and him had been peeking to get a look at some girls, and he’d leaned in too far. He’d fallen, and the girls had run. His friend had been pissed, but helped Mako to the emergency room in the end.

            It was ridiculous, but hilarious. It was a part of the history that Jamie had so reverently been searching for.

            “So, Roadhog, just one last question, okay? Then our hour is up. What started your journey of crime?” Jamie asked. His notebook sat on the table, the still-sharp pencil safely tucked into the rings.

            “Necessity. Never had a penny to my name. Needed food one day, so I took it.” Mako was still staring at Jamie, gaze softened into something that resembled fondness or maybe nostalgia.

            Humble beginnings... somehow it was endearing to Jamie. Underdog stories had always been his favorite. Knowing Mako hadn’t started off with huge heists driven by greed was a comfort. They were similar, in that way, he guessed.

            “Thank you, Roadhog. This session was great. Are you feeling any better?” Jamie finally picked up his journal, but didn’t take the pencil out. He wasn’t a doctor in this moment; he was just Jamie Fawkes, listening to his childhood hero.

            Mako nodded slowly. “I look forward to our next appointment, Doctor.”

            Jamie nodded, a quick affirming nod, before he stood up. “I do too. Get some sleep, Roadhog, you’ll feel better.”

`~`

            “Okay, Fawkes, tell us your secret. How’d you get Roadhog to talk? He hasn’t said a word to anyone since I sewed his his stab wound up.” Dr. Zeigler, the prison’s resident doctor and surgeon asked while they had lunch with their pharmacist and head of mechanics, Mei and Torbjörn. “And that was only to curse at the guards before he went under!”

            Jamie shrugged, picking at his food. Mako hadn’t spoken much. That was the one thing every prison in the country at said about Mako Rutledge. He was silent, but very much deadly... until he tried to break out.

            “He’s upset; pent up. I don’t blame him for it, either. I want them to take the jacket off soon. He hates it. I want him comfortable with me.” He nodded as he finally scooped some ketchup up with a French fry and popped it in his waiting mouth. “Why would he ask for me if he was going to kill me, right? They can put it on while he’s alone, but with me, I want it off.”

            All three people at the table gaped at him. “Are you fucking nuts?” Torbjörn practically screamed once the idea finally sunk into his skull. “He’s a psychopath, Fawkes! Look at what he’s done! The damage he’s caused!”

            Jamison shook his head and pointed a fry at the mechanic. “Well, yeah, I guess so, but he’s smarter than that. He’s got to have a reason for wanting me in there, of all other therapists in the world, I mean come on. Roadhog is smart. He wouldn’t want someone specifically just to kill him or her. He didn’t even mean to kill the guy who stabbed him. It was a reflex.”

            Dr. Zeigler looked at Jamie like he was crazy. Maybe he was. “Jamison, don’t you think that’s a little... unsafe? It is only his first month here, and your second meeting with him. Give him time. He will relax into the jacket. Once you truly feel safe, then perhaps you can coax his handlers into getting rid of the chains.”

            Jamie sighed. “Ah, shit… fine, I guess.” He didn’t feel like pressing the issue anymore. He already felt safe around the criminal. He couldn’t explain why, he just knew that Mako wasn’t going to hurt him. It just wouldn’t make sense. He wanted Roadhog to feel safe around him.

`~`

            At the next meeting, after a brief introduction from his head guard said that Mako was in relatively high spirits and had been very good. He was practically a model prisoner; he was quiet, did what the guards told him to and didn’t even react if other inmates tried to start shit. Jamie had known this was what would happen. Mako was on his best behavior.

            “Good afternoon, Roadhog. I was just told that you’ve been doin’ real good. I’m glad you’ve settled in a little better. Is there anything you’d like to talk about?” Jamie asked as he sat down in front of Roadhog, his wide eyes searching for any telltale signs of discomfort or dishonesty.

            As usual, his face gave nothing away. “Been good. Waitin’ for today.” He drawled. His hair was back up in a ponytail on top of his head. He looked much more put together than he had at their last meeting. He almost looked nice, even if the gray two-piece uniform barely fit the gigantic man. It was almost like he’d cleaned up specifically for Jamie.

            “That’s great, Roadie! I, well, I mean Roadhog. I’m glad you’ve been good. So, is there anything you’d like to talk about?” Jamie looked down at his notes, trying desperately to get the heat that had manifested in his cheeks to go down. “Anything that’s happened in the past couple days?”

            “Mm, nothing really happens in solitary. Any issues I got, I work out with myself in there. For instance, the food sucks. Then, I think about all the nights on the run I didn’t have nothin’ to eat at all. Then it’s fine. So, I wanna talk about you.” Fuck. He’d noticed the blush, hadn’t he? His stare certainly seemed to indicate so. Still, he said nothing about it. Cryptic fucker.

            “Well, Roadhog, my job is to talk about you, and help you talk through your emotions. I don’t think it’s wise to break the agreement, since you’re on troubled waters as is.”

            “I have nothing to talk about. Nothing happens in solitary. I am at peace with who I am and what I’ve done. C’mon, kid. I know you’re curious. You been practically fuckin’ me with your eyes since you stepped in that door.” So, yeah, he’d definitely seen the blush... and everything else that hinted towards Jamie’s attraction slash adoration. Jamie cursed himself out in his head. If anyone heard what Mako had said, he’d be fired, and then Mako would be alone. Something told Jamie that the only reason Mako was still here and he hadn’t tried to break out yet was because of him. It wasn’t an inflated ego. Maybe it was hope; hope that his hero had taken a liking to him, even before he had met him.

            “Alright, fine. You’re wrong, though, ‘Hog. I haven’t been fucking you with my eyes. I’ve been observing you. All a part of my job.” The larger man let out a snort and a chuckle. “Fine, don’t believe me. Go ahead. Play therapist.”

            Roadhog leaned back in his chair, his invasive stare entering Jamie’s very core. “Well, how are you feeling today, Dr. Jamison Fawkes?” Again, he looked like the cat who’d caught the canary, in chains and a specially made straight jacket that made it seem as though his hands were placed over his large belly, a gesture of total ease and contentment.

            Jamie chuckled and leaned back as well, tenting his fingers over his concave stomach. “I feel great. The days where I see you are the best. You sparked my career, you know.”

            Roadhog finally looked surprised. His head cocked to the side, his features comically confused. “No, I did not know. Go on, doctor.”

            Jamie sighed and licked his lips, noting how dry they were all of a sudden. His palms went clammy at Roadhog’s genuine expression of curiosity. “Well, I saw an old recording of you, the first clip they ever got of your voice, when I was little, and I just... I needed to know what was going on in your head. I needed to know what made you go from a petty thief to a full-blown criminal. I wanted to know your stressor.”

            Mako nodded, taking in the information with a contemplative expression. “I didn’t kill them, you know. My wife and baby. Their death was my stressor.” He said. It was the first thing he’d ever said about his wife and kid. He’d never once spoken with the press, a prison guard or hell, even a lawyer. He’d never once bothered to stick up for himself.

            “So, was that why your partner’s death was the grizzliest? Did he kill them?” Jamie couldn’t stop himself from asking. As he’d just said. He needed to know. It’d plagued him since childhood.

            “Yes.” Mako’s voice had gone quiet, and the ease he’d portrayed only minutes before gone. His shoulders drooped, expression melancholy. “I loved them. He said that was the problem. He said he was doing them a favor, that his plans weren’t family friendly, that neither of us could bring our families. He had no hope of exacting his plans without me, and we both knew it. That’s why he killed them. No more strings for me to go back to if I decided it wasn’t worth it anymore. See, though, the problem is,” He let out an incredulous laugh, “his kid went to his parents, while my kid fucking died. He watched her die. He watched a four-year old die. He purposefully killed a four-year old! He shot my wife. He made my wife sit on her knees and beg for her life and then shot her anyway... and then he bragged about it. Y’know, I’ve been called a monster, but at least I never did anything like that.”

            As he spoke, his shoulders had tensed again. When he finished, he sighed, letting his breath all out, trying to relax, before he looked back up at Jamie. “So, Dr. Jamison Fawkes, is that what you wanted to hear?”

            Jamie gulped, sighing as he licked his lips once again. He’d never expected something so awful. Looking at Mako, he realized how old he looked. His hair was completely silver, he’d known that of course, but his tusks, and the slight divots they made in his upper lip made the other lines and scars on his face look like exaggerated wrinkles, combined with the bruise-like rings under his eyes, he just looked exhausted. “I’m so sorry for your loss, Roadhog. Nobody knows, you know that, right? They all think you did it.”

            Roadhog nodded. “Of course I know. I don’t care anymore, Dr. Fawkes. They don’t deserve to know. I am a monster. I deserve all the fear and loathing my profession brings. What’s another couple of reasons?” A sigh heaved through the giant’s massive body, and he returned to his relaxed position. “It is lonely, though. Though, I don’t know if I could ever trust someone so much ever again. Trust is overrated, kid. I think I’m done for today, unless you’d like me to play therapist again?”

            Despite the utterly exhausted tone the older man had taken, Jamie could hear that genuine curiosity in his voice once again. “Well, I think it could benefit you. Call it a trust exercise.” He winked before throwing his flesh arm over his eyes and giving an exaggerated wail. “It all started when I was a little boy!”

            When he looked at Mako, he laughed when he realized that the small smile was back on the older mans scarred face. “Go on.”

            “Well, I’ve had this, hmm, affinity for doing stupid things. One of those stupid things was lie to you. I didn’t lose my leg to an infection.” Mako’s stare again turned into a glare. “When I was ten, I stole my grandfather’s lighter and some gas from our grill. I wanted so badly to know how you’d made that gas station explode, I was gonna experiment. Well, I found out that gas exploded, and never to stand too close to a burning bottle of lighter fluid.” Jamie nodded bashfully as he bit his lip. He shifted so his side was on display as he lifted his shirt. “Scars. Everywhere. Still, Roadhog, I don’t think there’s anything more beautiful that a perfectly executed explosion. For instance, the fourth of July? Best holiday. New Years comes in at a very, very close second.”

            Rutledge let out a little chuckle. Jamie’s chest swelled just hearing it. He felt like he’d really earned it. He’d never shown anyone his scars, not willingly.

            “You’re an idiot, Dr. Fawkes, but you’re not as much like your old man as I’d thought. I’m done for today, though. Thank you for coming.” Again, with this “father” bullshit; Jamie internally groaned, but he accepted it for now. He wasn’t about to force anything more out of the giant’s mouth. “See you next time.”

`~`

            Roadhog had never, ever expected to tell another person that he hadn’t killed his wife and baby. His reputation was on the line for this. Of course, it had felt freeing to tell the young doctor everything. It had felt like a dam had broken. He was glad he hadn’t cried. He could only imagine how freeing it would be to tell him why he was being so cryptic about his father.

            When he met the kid, he immediately felt bad for him. He was so obviously excited to work on the infamous Roadhog that he could barely do his job. As soon as he opened his mouth, it was break-breakingly obvious how enraptured with the criminal the little doctor was. It was sweet, and so unlike his father that it nearly broke the massive man’s cold heart. Nearly.

            Jamie looked so much like his father that he could hardly believe the young man had never looked at a picture of his dead partner and drawn his own conclusions. Then again, his whole obsession was around Roadhog. His dead partner was only at the beginning of his journey. Even he had to admit that if he hadn’t killed the fucker himself, he’d forget he’d done it.

            Still, Roadhog found himself unable to think of anything else until his dinner was slid through a slot on the heavy metal door. It was steel, but Roadhog knew he could break through it in one or two hits. It might bruise his shoulder, maybe even break it, but he would make it out. Once he was out of the little room, he could go anywhere in the wretched place he wanted. Fuck, he could even get the fuck out. Those thoughts calmed him as he choked down his dinner. He hadn’t lied to the skinny doctor, the food in the prison wasn’t awful, but it was distasteful enough.

            The only good thing in this miserable place was the young doctor... Mako wanted to bring the man along, and for once, Roadhog agreed. They just needed to turn the littler man to see their side of things.

            If his previous behavior were any indication, it would be easier than taking candy from a baby, even if Mako felt bad about taking advantage of a kid’s misplaced adoration.

`~`

            In their next meeting, Jamie couldn’t stop smiling. Mako smiled too, the young man’s beaming turning contagious after prolonged exposure.

            “So, Roadhog, if may I ask, why do you keep mentioning my father? I’ve never met the man. How did you know him? Did you take him hostage?” Jamie asked, his rigid shoulders betraying his nerves, despite his otherwise easy expression.

            “I don’t want to talk about your father.” Mako immediately said, giving the younger man a steely glare. “Not today.”

            Jamie blinked in surprise, but forced his shoulders to relax. “That sounds fine, Roadhog. What would you like to talk about today?”

`~`

            The next four sessions were filled with meaningless chatter and long, pregnant silences. Jamie was starting to feel frustrated. It wasn’t fair. He’d been nothing but the perfect confidant. He just didn’t understand. There was still so much more to know about Roadhog, he couldn’t just stop there.

            “I’m ready to talk about your father.” Roadhog said in the next session. There were only ten minutes left of the appointment, and Jamie knew that Roadhog had planned it that way. Still, though, he breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe things were going to go back to normal. “I killed your father.” The massive man’s voice was hushed, and his face was bashful, for the first time since they’d met. Well, there went any semblance of normalcy.

            Still, though, Jamie sighed and nodded. “I kinda figured, when you were so unwilling to talk about it. Why else wouldn’t you talk about it? You told me about your family for Christ’s sake. So, did he suffer? Did you make him suffer?”

            Nonchalance was not what Roadhog had been expecting, and his normally blank face relayed that. “Um... Yes, he did, but he deserved it, Dr. Fawkes. He was an awful excuse for a human being. You would’ve hated him. You’re not like him. You’re much better than he was.”

            “Was my father your, uh, stressor?”

            Mako’s silence told Jamie everything he needed to hear. “Don’t worry, Mako, I understand why you did it. It’s a natural human instinct to want to get rid of the reason for your problems. Besides, he was right about one thing. Where you two were going, there would be no time for a family.” Jamie’s smile was sad, but understanding. Mako felt relief, not for telling Jamie, as he’d thought it’d be, but that the young man forgave him.

            Maybe it was survivor’s guilt, but Jamie finally settled into silence. Mako just sighed. “’S not your fault, you know. If you wanna be done, though...” He trailed off, and Jamie was partially glad for the silence he usually hated so much.

            “No, Roadhog, I think we can continue, for a few minutes longer at least. I’d like to put your mind at ease about it.” Jamie flashed a small smile. “My father was never a person in my house. He was a whisper, a hushed one. I knew he was a criminal. I never knew who he was; I never knew his touch, his voice or even his name. Actually knowing something about him is both awful and kind of nice.”

            Mako nodded and his tongue just slightly poked out, licking his thick lower lip, just pausing a bit at the thick scar. “I’m glad to help.” It came out as more of a question.

            Jamie sighed and nibbled his bottom lip. “Look, ah, Roadie, get I get disgustingly sappy and a little too personal? Because, well, to be frank, I’m going to be anyway. I have studied you my whole life. I have fucked up my body trying to copy you. I just want you to know that... as your therapist,” he winked, “is there anything I can do to help you? Anything at all?”

            Roadhog chuckled, and that spark bloomed in Jamie’s chest again. “Not now, Doctor, but I am a patient man.”

            Now what the fuck was that supposed to mean?

`~`

            “Have you ever considered that you’re ahem, a little close to Mako Rutledge? You always seem a little happier whenever you leave that room.” Dr. Zeigler had grabbed him on his way out. “Are you okay?”

            “I’m fine, Angela. I just enjoy my work. He’s a very interesting man.” Jamie tried not to sound overly excited about working with Roadhog. “I just really enjoy helping men like Roadhog. He’s an incredibly interesting case. I can’t give away too much, confidentiality and what not, but he’s incredible, with an incredible mind and an incredible outlook on his life and his crimes. He’s not a true psychopath, like everyone seems to think. He’s a criminal, but he’s not a monster.”

            Zeigler just started at the taller blond. “Are you sure you’re okay working with him like this?”

            “Angela, really, I’m fine.”

            She didn’t seem too convinced, but she left him alone for the moment.

`~`

            Their next few sessions were back to their easy pace. Roadhog didn’t really know all that much about psychology, but he was starting to learn, and Jamison didn’t seem to realize it.

            Then again, the kid might’ve been a little more receptive if he wasn’t hanging on Roadhog’s every word and staring at him like he hung the fucking moon.

            “Men like me are dangerous for men like you.” He grumbled once, secretly mirroring what Fawkes Sr. had said to him once, hoping to unsettle the young doctor just a little, exactly as it had when the kid’s father had said it to him, so maybe he’d stop staring at him like that. Only, Dr. Fawkes just smiled that brilliant, dazzling grin and retorted, “Good thing danger’s me middle name, eh ‘Hog?”

            Roadhog may not have known the proper names, studies or terms for everything, but he knew when someone was attracted to him, which was as weird as it was intimidating. Dr. Fawkes was definitely attracted to him, though, and the older man didn’t really know how to take that. Obviously, he’d been admiring him for an extremely long period of time. He didn’t seem to care about the many, many violent crimes that Roadhog had committed, and Fawkes was definitely not like his old man. The overabundance of manic energy, sure, and the intelligence underneath it was definitely inherited from his father. Maybe Jamison’s father would’ve turned out different if he’d been even half as inspired as his son was.

            Hell, maybe Mako would’ve turned out different is he was half as inspired, half as driven.

            Maybe Mako could use the kid’s morbid fascination to his advantage; it would be easy, almost too easy. Still, though, that didn’t seem right. Roadhog was all about getting what he wanted, but he didn’t purposefully hurt kids. He didn’t torture ‘em either, and even though Jamison was hardly a kid anymore, it didn’t sit right with him to even think about hurting the scrawny little brat.

            If he asked for something, though, he was sure Jamison would make it happen, if he could.

`~`

            They had been talking for six months. It was the longest anyone had ever managed to keep Roadhog incarcerated. He was a patient man indeed.

            Jamie had requested that Mako’s jacket be removed whenever he was in the holding cell with his therapist. Today, it was being done.

            The young doctor seemed more excited than Mako did, but Mako had expected that. “So, ‘Hoggie, how’s that feel?”

            Roadhog nodded and stretched a bit, the handcuffs on his hands and waist tinkling merrily. “Good. Better. Did you ask for this?” He watched as Jamie nodded enthusiastically, his hair flopping into his eyes with the motion. He chuckled and shook his head. “Thank you.”

            Jamie just about swooned. “Next month you should be in a regular cell. Do you think you’re ready for that kind of responsibility?”

            A silver eyebrow slowly crept upwards. “Responsibility?”

            “Yeah, mate, bein’ around other inmates, hearin’ ‘em all act like assholes. Think you can handle it?” The doctor would be more than happy to recommend anything else if Roadhog didn’t think he could handle it. Prison wasn’t for comfort, they both knew and understood that, but for the sake of the prison’s other inhabitants and Roadhog’s safety, anything was up for grabs, if the doctor asked.

            Well, anything but living with the beast of a man.

            Their sessions were recorded, but by law, the prison wasn’t allowed to take audio recordings, so anything they actually said was protected, unless a lip reader was sent in, but the video was so grainy anyway, it didn’t really matter.

            That being said, there was no plan for escape, not yet anyway. Roadhog had expressed displeasure at staying in the prison, obviously, and had finally confirmed everything Jamie had been hoping. He really was staying for Jamie, and the scrawny doctor was the only reason he hadn’t been violent towards any other prisoners, even when given the chance. In fact, he had said that he liked Jamie so much; he even wanted to have Jamie along with him when he broke out.

            And, well, that had just made the younger man break out into exuberant giggles.

            Today, they were going to discuss a plan.

            “I think I’ll be fine, Dr. Fawkes. In fact, I think it’ll be nice to be around the others, especially during outside block. We might have to fix our schedule though, I think I’d like to meet you after being outside.” Despite everything going against the possibility that their conversation would be listened to and their plans thwarted, they still spoke in slight code. Nothing that wouldn’t seem normal until after they’d already succeeded, and Roadhog was back out and with Jamie.

            Now, it wasn’t a subtle plan. There was nearly nothing subtle about sneaking a 7”3, 550 pound man out of a prison. In fact, sneaking was not something easily done, not when trying to sneak out of a prison, anyway. The basic gist of the plan was for Roadhog to be outside at the designated recess area, and for Jamie to be close enough to pick him up after he burst through the fence. There wasn’t much to it, really. It would work, too. They might not even realize that Jamie had helped, especially if he showed up for work their next meeting day. How easy it would be to just say, “I was running late last week and there was a roadblock there to shut me out! Then I hear Mako’s broken out? Who did this? Who let my patient escape?” He would get all hysterical with the act, too. He would punish them for allowing his beloved subject to escape, all the while; Roadhog was in his home, probably laughing at their stupidity as they ran around like roaches with their heads cut off.

            Briefly, Jamie felt bad about the mental image that had formed, but in his musings, the guards were the tall, faceless men who frisked him just slightly too enthusiastically, nearly tossing him around while they took his body apart, making sure he had nothing inside to aide a prisoner’s escape. He knew they had names, but he didn’t know them, only distinguishing them by their voices and smells. He knew Jack, Dr. Zeigler’s husband, still worked there, and he would never let that happen if he knew, but he refused to think of Jack while thinking about the headless guards. That was wrong. As strict as Jack was, he was still a good man.

            Speaking of strict, Roadhog would have to look up at the guard towers while he was outside, to see how much movement there was as the prisoners were out to play. Jamie estimated three to a tower, while Roadhog estimated five. Roadhog might know prisons a little better than Jamie did, but Jamie knew this prison. He happened to know that there were less faceless guards on patrol lately, some of them going back to their normal positions in their usual places of employment since Roadhog didn’t seem to want to cause anymore trouble. He knew that if he noticed, though, Roadhog had noticed weeks ago. The man was sharp as a fuckin’ whip, he was.

            “Well, Roadie, I’m glad you’re thinking about these sort of things. Means the therapy’s workin’.” Jamie smirked at Mako, and gave a little wink. The older man scowled at the gesture, but the way he huffed afterwards showed the younger that he was only playing.

            God, Jamie would miss being able to see Mako’s face once he put the mask back on. He wasn’t sure how he’d get it, but Roadhog needed his mask. Mako had told him not to worry about it, but Jamie would always worry about it. In fact, it was the only part of their plan they didn’t have planned out. That stressed Jamie out. Mako didn’t seem to care about the mask, but Jamison cared. The mask was a part of Mako’s life, his persona. The mask made Mako into Roadhog. Jamison wanted to please Roadhog. He had to please Roadhog. He owed the giant everything, everything he had, everything he ever did was because of Roadhog, and Roadhog needed hi-

            “Breathe, Fawkes.” A gentle grumble from Mako brought Jamie back down to earth.

            Eagerly, Jamie sucked in some air, not even noticing that his face was going red and his vision was starting to swim with tears from lack of oxygen. “Sorry, mate, was just havin’ me some thoughts.”

            Mako’s eyebrow inched upwards, a silent offer to play therapist again, but Jamie shook his head. “Nah, don’t worry about it. Just a passin’ thing. Anyway, ‘Hog, you’re soundin’ pretty solid to me. I can’t wait to see you next time.”

            The giant didn’t seem convinced, but he let it go, giving a slow nod to the doctor as he left. “I can’t either.”

`~`

            The day of the escape, Jamie was almost too excited. He almost forgot to sound sick when he was calling in. Officer Reinhardt didn’t seem to care, though, and just wished him well, with his big, happy voice. Jamison felt bad about deceiving Reinhardt, since the older man’s happy demeanor would vanish as soon as Roadhog burst through those gates.

            He sat for almost two hours out in the woods, his rented van chugging just slightly as it sat amongst the trees. It was blue, dark blue and windowless, and a molester-van if he’d ever seen one, but when you were smuggling a giant man, you needed a lot of space and a lot of privacy.

            Jamison was early, he knew that, but he couldn’t help himself. He was prepared, overly so, probably, but he was still twitching with anxiety as he sat there, waiting, hoping Roadhog would make it there.

            They hadn’t moved anything in Roadhog’s schedule, so maybe it would look like Mako was pissed off that Jamie hadn’t showed. That was risky, they knew, because they wanted to write Jamie off as a possibility, but they also didn’t want too much attention to be drawn to the doctor, so nobody would look too far into Jamie’s involvement in Mako’s disappearance. The last thing the duo wanted was to be surprised before Jamie was ready.

            See, Mako had realized something before Jamie did. The younger’s behavior was changing. The more time he spent around the older man, the more he seemed to “let go” of his professional persona. The man Mako had known, Jamie’s father, seemed to be coming out in Jamie. ‘Hog couldn’t explain it, and Jamie didn’t really want him to. Maybe it was because his life’s work was coming to a close, maybe it was some sort of mental illness that Jamie had inherited from his father, but the young doctor really didn’t care as long as he was around Mako.

            Mako didn’t mind either, since Jamison was much different from his father, he didn’t worry about anything the kid did. Unlike his father, Dr. Fawkes was fiercely loyal, maybe to the point of obsession. Roadhog didn’t mind. That kind of focus, even when it was interrupted, was always appreciated.

            The plan had been Jamison’s, after all, and so far, it was working. He saw the blue van in the distance. The dogs were too far behind, too. They’d never catch him, and their handlers would never even see the van. Because of that, as soon as he hopped in the van and closed the sliding door, he kissed Jamie on the cheek, before slamming the van into drive, and manually turning the doctor’s head to look at the road before them.

            After months of no contact, lingering gazes and agonizing silence, the kiss had almost been enough to weaken Jamie’s knees. When his eyes found the dirt road in front of him, though, he remembered the plan, and punched the gas, at first, riding fast and hard, only slowing once they got to the main road. For the first time in Jamison’s short life, he felt fulfilled.

`~`

            The first few days were the hardest, since Roadhog made Jamie drop him off at an old steel factory, and just leave him.

            He had to lay low, he knew that, and he was glad that Roadhog wasn’t there when the police came to his door and looked in his small apartment for the fugitive, but it was torture to only have one kiss, and only to the cheek!, after so long with nothing.

            Still, though, it was torture to sit there and be interviewed while Mako sat in an empty factory, waiting for the investigation to move elsewhere. It sucked, to think of Mako, doing whatever it was that fugitives did when they were laying low.

            Soon, not soon enough for Jamie, but soon enough for Mako, they had a tip from someone up north, and Jamie was off the hook. He took two hours to make sure he wasn’t being followed, and then ran straight to the factory.

            Finally, he was able to break the cuffs off Mako and eagerly, even a little awkwardly, Jamie embraced him. It was awkward, anyway, until Mako’s massive hand rubbed his back, giant hand nearly wrapping all the way around Jamie’s tiny waist. “Missed me, big guy?”

            Roadhog grunted and gently led Jamie’s body away from him. “Well, what’s the plan now? You wanna ride with me, you gotta have a plan.”

            “I don’t know yet, I’m just happy to see you and be able to touch you without a fuckin’ camera pickin’ it up, you know?” The doctor gave him that fucking look again, and Roadhog looked away from that stupid dazzling grin and his fucking earnest expression.

            “Yeah.” He admitted. “Well, we need a plan. Until you got one, I’m stuck here, and I don’t wanna be stuck in one place for too long. People see shit.” Roadhog ground out his warning.

            Thankfully, that happy, earnest look disappeared when he said that. Instead, Jamie started pacing, the click of his peg leg filling the mostly empty factory. “Okay, well, just hear me out, mate. Why do we need a plan? Let’s just fuck shit up. Take what we want and fuck everyone else? Why the fuck not, Roadie?”

            His brows furrowed and he gave a slow nod. “That’s a plan, I suppose. What do you want to start with?”

            A sudden rush of bravery and a little bit of stupidity made Jamison cross the room and stand on his tip toes, leaning on Mako’s belly to press his thin lips to Mako’s thick ones. “You.”

`~`

            After that first night together, they tore through the small town the prison lay right outside of. They blasted through one of the walls of the prison, and Mako retrieved his mask and hook, letting out a deep, rumbling laugh as smoke filled the place. People scrambled for their guns, but Mako got to them before they could react. Jamison grabbed some more things, things he thought they would need, and he was relieved to see that Jack wasn’t there, and neither was anyone else he knew. The only people who were there were the faceless, angry guards.

            Once they were done with the prison, they broke into other places to gather their supplies, including a pharmacy for Mako’s meds. It was quick and easy. Once they were done, they were on the fucking road, gone, off... together.

            The first major thing they hit was a lawyer’s office. It wasn’t for money, it was because of the way the sign flickered as they drove by it. It pissed Jamie off, he was driving and he wanted it taken down. It was stupid and petty, but it was what he wanted, so it was what he did. Mako laughed as papers flew and Jamison felt validated in his choice, even though it was an incredibly indulgent one.

            “Thanks, mate. I owe you one.” He mumbled once they were back in their new replacement van. He was sleepy, from driving for four hours beforehand and then the adrenaline high from their first big heist together.

            Mako chuckled and nodded, mask off once again, so he could focus on the road. “Go to sleep, you little rat.”

            Before Jamie ever realized he liked that, liked the nickname, he was asleep, and Mako rode silently through the rest of the night.

`~`

            It wasn’t all big heists and robbing from big name places, though. They started out small, so Jamie could get a feel for what he liked to do, and how he liked to do it. They robbed gas stations, Jamie shoplifted from grocery stores; he figured out that he liked to take things because he liked to hold them.

            In fact, despite the fact that his hands were smaller than Mako’s, he had sticker fingers, and found more places to shove the items, whether they be food, drink or money, when they stole money.

            He also figured out that he wanted a flashier entrance. It was time for him to start messing with explosives again. He would be more careful now, he assured Roadhog, who seemed to soften when Jamie flashed him an assured grin. “Fine.” He ground out, the warning there, but Jamie knew that Roadhog trusted him, at least a little. It was a nice feeling.

            For a venture that relied so heavily in selfish wants, they made sacrifices for each other. Jamie chose bombs with shrapnel in them, just pieces of junk that sprayed around the room and ripped everything else to shreds. He did it so Roadhog didn’t have to spend as much time fighting, so he didn’t have to leave the place exhausted and wheezing. Jamie hated that wheeze. It scared him, especially when the big man slept.

            Roadhog was much more patient than anyone had ever given him credit for. He remembered things where Jamie was starting to forget them (something else he recognized from his father), he reminded Jamie when the kid was overwhelmed, and most importantly, he gave Jamie a nickname.

            Rat was a good name, he had to admit. He certainly acted the part, but it seemed empty somehow, like that wasn’t completely right. It was missing some key ingredient.

            Luckily, the rest came to him soon after that. It was something Roadhog had said, of course, and the blond held fast to every single word. “Put down the junk, Rat, we have company.” He’d been making another bomb on the fly, and only stopped when Roadhog spoke.

            The first time he ever wrote Junkrat, was in blood. Some rich guy had been snobby, or something, Jamie didn’t really remember the details, and they’d jumped him. They stole some gas from his expensive car and painted the brick wall with it, “Junkrat and Roadhog”. When they left, they called the cops and set the painting on fire. What a beauty.

            They were back in business, and business was, well... booming.