Bedroll

Bedroll

Rated G

By Telanu

No one ever shared a bedroll with Raven while on missions. It was simply understood. Wally tentatively broached the subject once, when the team was still new, but the sudden darting away of her eyes and the sniggers of Gar and Victor quickly changed his mind. The offer was never made again.

They thought she didn't want company.

She rarely did, after all. She sat apart by herself when the Titans gathered socially on those rare evenings at the Tower when their private lives permitted them the time to be together without a crisis forcing it. They knew, of course, that she cared for them—on some level they couldn't understand. She'd told them so often that she had no capacity for emotion, and by now they believed her. When they were flying home on the T-Jet after the completion of a successful mission, chattering with the semi-hysterical good cheer that comes after stress is relieved, she sat near them, but never contributed, frequently gazing out the windows instead.

So that night on the camping trip in the Rockies, towards the end of summer, when the air grew cool and the night fell Raven once again lay apart from the others. Everybody else paired up purely for warmth's sake; even Victor lay next to Gar after cracking a few nervous "queer" jokes. They all expected Kory to bundle together with Dick, especially Dick himself, and nobody was more surprised than him when she didn't. Except maybe Raven.

Instead of spooning up behind her lover, the golden alien gathered up her gear and bedroll and, sans fanfare, made her way to the side of the fire where Raven lay huddled alone. Without even asking, she spread out her roll next to the empath's, ignoring the stunned silence that had fallen over the camp. She rustled down into the sleeping bag and unzipped it from the inside before reaching out and hooking her arm around Raven's slender waist, drawing the startled woman into the cozy flannel warmth with her.

K…Koriand'r? Raven whispered.

"Cold tonight, huh?" Kory said. "Now let's get some sleep. Have to get up early for that hike."

You…but Richard… the power of speech appeared to have deserted Raven almost entirely. You do not have to…

"Ssh," Kory said softly, tucking Raven more securely into the crook of her arm and drawing them closer together. "Are you comfortable? Good. Sweet dreams, Raven."

And then, unbelievably, Raven felt the tender press of lips to the top of her head before Koriand'r settled back and fell almost immediately asleep. The awkward silence from the others around the fire disappeared, giving way to rustling noises as everyone prepared for bed, and Dick grudgingly accepted a spot between Donna and Tara.

Raven lay still, feeling the warmth from the fire on her face and from the alien woman pressing into her back, smelling the mingled scents of wood and Koriand'r's hair. Gradually she relaxed into the embrace, warmer than she had been in years. For at least an hour more, she did not sleep, but lay still, hardly daring to move, gazing at the fire and beyond, at the stars above them both.