|I Know the Feeling
Author: chalantness PM
Prompt #13: scar. She's a strong girl, and always has been, but he still wonders if she feels weird cleaning up after blood.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Richard G./Nightwing & Zatanna Z. - Words: 1,668 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 61 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 01-21-12 - Published: 12-22-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7662209
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: I Know the Feeling
Rating: low T
Word Count: 1,500+
Summary: She's a strong girl, and always has been, but he still wonders if she feels weird cleaning up after blood.
Prompt: #13: scars
Other Inspirations: none
Notes: This starts my 200 Prompt Table Challenge!
I Know the Feeling
His back is killing him, which should be ironic considering there's this gash in his side that goes pretty deep (at least, it felt like the blade got pretty far in) and about a dozen other places that should feel even worse, and he feels almost nothing in comparison. He's not about to complain, though, since he could be in a lot more pain than this after tonight and he isn't, and he's grateful for that.
He makes his way through the apartment, and he knows he made too much noise because the bedroom light is being turned on and there's this strangled gasp.
No amount of physical pain can compare to hearing that sound.
Zatanna is dropping to her knees as he is, right there in the bedroom doorway, and she whispers, "Dick," in that voice she gets when she's trying to sound calm even though she's anything but.
One arm hooks under his to keep him upright while her free hand pushes his aside and touches his wound. His jaw sets because it stings when she has to apply pressure, but he knows she needs the concentration when she starts murmuring quickly underneath her breath, so he swallows the groan.
There's this warmth right in that area and he can feel the pain disappearing just a little, enough to feel like he's not going to bleed to death.
He watches Zatanna while she's concentrating, mostly to distract himself from thinking about how much pain he's actually in. She gets this cute wrinkle between her eyebrows when she's trying to focus in on a spell and always licks her lips when she can't immediately think of how a word sounds backwards. It's hard to find something about her that he wasn't fascinated by, or didn't find charming and adorable.
Her cheeks are flushed a bright pink but the rest of her is a bit paler now, which always happens when she's using up too much energy at once on a spell, so he leans in and kisses her.
"Dick," she hisses and pulls back. He's already broken her concentration and the spell.
"Thank you," he tells her.
She closes her eyes, leans their foreheads together. "I wasn't even done yet. Stop being so stubborn and let me finish."
"You're going to pass out if you do." His breath is warm against her face. "I didn't come straight here so you could heal me. I came to see you and remind myself why I put up with all of it."
There's this barely-there smile on her face, and that's what he was going for. He grasps her wrist and removes her hand from his wound. It's mostly covered in his blood and he swears softly to himself. He's glad as hell that he knows this is his blood, but he hates that he got it on her in the first place because she doesn't need to know what it might look like if she was the one bleeding.
She murmurs, "I'll run a bath," before pressing her lips to gently his.
The hot water feels impossibly soothing as he soaks in the tub, and he closes his eyes and lets the steam and heat melt away the pain. He'll be sore in the morning, he knows it; but right now, he feels somewhat alright and he'll take what he can get.
He rolls his head to look at Zatanna.
She has a spray bottle of Resolve in one hand and a red-stained towel balled up in the other.
"A lot, thanks to you," he says. She gives this small smile and places the Resolve the counter, then picks up his Nightwing costume lying on the tile. She tosses the towel over the red droplets it leaves and turns on the sink, running the material underneath the water and turning it a pinkish-red as it falls. She's a strong girl, and always has been, but he still wonders if she feels weird cleaning up after blood.
He just watches her comb her fingers through the material, trying to get all of the dirt and blood out, examining tears and rips and stains as she rinses.
He really wants to say something, just doesn't know what yet.
When she's done, she wipes her hands dry on a fresh towel hanging on the rack and plucks something off of the sink, slipping it onto her finger. She wipes up the tile and tosses that towel in the sink with his costume, looking around the bathroom absently as if trying to find something else she needs to clean up. She's always capable of cleaning when she feels stressed.
She sits on the edge of the tub and places her hand in his when he holds it out, pushing his thumb against her ring like he tends to do. She's never said it, but she loves it when he does it.
He looks up at her, knowing what she's asking. "'Tanna…"
"You know better than to baby me," she reminds, and it would've come out scolding if she didn't whisper it.
He exhales and never breaks eye contact, twirling her ring around her finger with his thumb. "Pretty close, Zatanna. I thought I wouldn't…" He presses his lips together and swallows, as if trying to hold back all of the details. She presses her lips to his wet hair. "I'll come to bed soon, alright?"
"I know you will," she says. "Take your time. You know I'm not going anywhere else."
He kisses her on the lips and wonders if it's selfish that he always wants to know she'll be safe at home and waiting for him. It feels like it is.
She leaves the bathroom and he's not sure how much longer he's in there before he finally washes up and dries off. He changes into the boxers and white shirt she left for him and turns off the light when he enters the bedroom. Zatanna is sitting on the bed with her legs stretched out underneath the covers and pillows stuffed between her back and the headboard, the lamplight dimmed beside her.
He slips into the covers and leans his head against hers, peering down at the bundled-up baby with dark hair cradled in her arms, soundly asleep. He'll never get over how amazing their daughter is.
"I didn't wake her up when I came in, did I?"
Zatanna shakes her head. "No, she sleeps just like her father," she says softly, "Like a rock."
She shifts her into his arms without him having to ask and pulls the covers over them a little more, leaning against his side and pressing her cheek to his shoulder while her arm wraps around his waist. He can feel her fingering, very lightly, where his wound is, which is now sealed. The skin there is mended now, thanks to her, and she must be making sure.
"I think I got to it just in time," she mumbles against his skin. "It's still going to leave a scar, though."
"A small price to pay." She looks at him, furrowing her eyebrows slightly. "I'd rather be the one getting the scars than seeing them on you."
"No, I know."
She misses crime-fighting, he know she does, for all of the reasons they both love it: the thrill, the challenge, the sense of justice and satisfaction, knowing you're saving at least one life at a time.
But she had to settle down during her pregnancy and then the few months afterwards to get used to not having the baby in her tummy anymore. Plus, she didn't want to leave Maria with a sitter right away, so they agreed that Dick would be the only one fighting. Pretty soon, though, Zatanna would be resuming League duties with the rest of them and their friends would alternate babysitting.
He knows he doesn't need to be protective of her at all, but sometimes he wishes she would want to stay home with Maria all the time. He likes knowing she's not out there throwing herself into danger, which is stupid, because she used to do it all the time and it didn't make him nearly as anxious.
"Don't think that I'm being overprotective and underestimating you," he says, because he's not. He's pretty sure she knows this, too, but he wants to say it.
"I know you aren't," she reassures. "You've never belittled me before."
He nods. "It's just… You're one of the only two things in this universe that is pure perfection, and I don't want anything hurting you."
"Dick…" She kisses his shoulder before sitting more upright and turning his face so she can kiss him on the lips. Then she pushes a hand through his hair and peers down at their daughter, brushing back the baby's long locks. He already knows what she's about to say before she utters a word, and she must sense this because she smiles and it's the brightest one he's seen all night.
She says it anyway.
"Then we'll both have to work to keep her flawless," she says, stroking Maria's cheek with the pad of her thumb.
He smiles, too, and thinks that it sounds like a perfect plan.