I think I should warn you all before you read this, that this fic almost did not get posted. It's kinda silly and loopy and I'd say both Robin and Raven are sorta OOC. I've tried to keep them in as much character as I can with the situation I put them in, but I don't think I was too successful. ((crazy grin)) This was a late night inspiration that Jurodan (my TT Beta) said could be salvaged and worked very hard to help make it postable. So, in sum, if you don't want to see a side of Raven (Robin, too, but Raven specifically) that probably will NEVER again be explored, then DO NOT READ this story. Go back! Now! While you still can!
If you've got a good sense of humor and don't mind exploring new facets of characters (that probably aren't even all that likely facets) then WELCOME! Sit back, relax, and enjoy the silliness.
I can say that I got more than one 'Oh god…' from Jurodan as he read over this, so…yeah…that should tell you more or less what this fic is like. ((goofy grin))
See below for normal A/Ns and Disclaimers and such…
"Control thy passion lest they take vengeance on thee..."
- Epictetus, Greek Stoic philosopher
Raven looked up from the intricate, albeit melting, castle-o-bubbles at what she thought was a noise in the hallway. It couldn't be, she thought. Fear immediately clutched at her…until Courage pushed her back. No one was supposed to be in the Tower, Knowledge reminded her. Not that she needed reminding, Pride spoke up.
She lifted herself so that she was sitting up in the tub and sat perfectly still, all her senses alert. She heard nothing but the occasional drip of the water that fell from her wet hair and plopped into the tub.
She started to shiver and goosebumps rose on the humid patches of skin vulnerable to the cool air above the water. She was just beginning to think that Paranoia had been acting up again and was seriously considering that another dunk into the water head and all was called for when she heard it again…
'Swish…ka-thump-klaaaaangggg' And then, 'thump-thump-THUMP'
Her heart was in her throat. 'Damn! Today of all days! Why didn't the alarm go off? Why did she insist she'd be fine? Why?'
She gasped but swallowed it and tried to not make a noise to alert anyone of her presence.
'GET. UP. OFF. YOUR. ASS. AND. INVESTIGATE. IT. YOU. WOOSE!'
Raven blinked at the clarity and strength of Courage's command.
'Ooookay, jeeze…no need to shout,' Raven answered mentally. Standing up she hoped the sound of the dripping wasn't too loud as she grabbing the terry cloth robe immediately instead of the towel. Stepping out of the bath, she listened intently for signs that the intruder had gotten closer, but heard nothing except the slushing against the porcelain walls of the tub as the water settledat her exit. She looked at the neatly folded underwear waiting patiently on the counter. She hadn't brought any real clothes with her because there was not supposed to be anyone there and now she cursed that decision as stupid. Still, she always hated having to dress in full uniform or even street clothes when she had just come out of the bath. No matter how much you tried to dry off, you always remained at least a little humid and it felt funky to have so many clothes on her skin when she still felt semi-wet. So, she had given in and walked from her room to the bathroom in nothing but a robe and her underwear, bringing only a fresh set of briefs with her. Hence, her current predicament.
'Well, it had seemed logical at the time,' she reasoned wryly. Now, she'd have to go to her room to put clothes on before she could investigate and would lose valuable time. She pulled on the robe first, without bothering to dry off the bubbles or water that still clung to her skin, sparing only a moment to hold it close to her rapidly cooling flesh in an attempt to warm herself. 'So much for a relaxing bubble bath…' she thought wryly as she pulled on the black brief style panties with the lace accents. She nearly snorted in disbelief as she realized which panties she had grabbed to bring with her, too, frowning mentally at her passion emotion. If she died and all the other Titans found when they got back the following day was her corpse, would they laugh at her choice in flimsy underwear, she wondered. Shaking off the thought of her body strewn in the hallway outside like in those Crime Dramas Robin liked to watch, she silently approached the door and pressed her ear to it, attempting to listen for signs of life on the other side.
Whoever or whatever it was, they hadn't come down the residence halls yet. The sounds she heard before must have been echoed through the Tower as they got off the elevator on the upper floor which was where the evidence room was. BeastBoy was usually the one with the best hearing among them, but it had to be echoes that she had heard. There was no sound now. They had to be at the evidence room in the floor above…it held what most burglars wanted, anyway.
She pressed the button and the door swished open with what sounded like an incredibly loud hiss in the silence. Timid wanted to shut the door, lock it firmly and hide under the water for as long as her lungs could hold out, but fortunately, she managed to refrain. Timid had always been one of her stupider emotions. Even in her current state, she knew she had to find out who was in the Tower and do something about it before they got to the Evidence room and all the weapons and toys there, or not even a locked door would be able to save her or the city from any number of problems. And no matter what else was going on inside her emotionally and physically, she was after all a Titan. And Titans didn't run away and hide from danger.
She almost groaned as she realized how much she sounded like Robin. 'I'm even starting to think like him!' she thought exasperated. 'I guess all those times he lectured us, I really had been listening.' She felt the humor bubbling up in her. 'He'd love to hear that…'
'If you make it passed tonight! Focus!'
Raven started and stuck her head just slightly beyond the door's threshold and into the hallway, ready to bolt back inside should the need arise. She looked one way and then the other, her eyes straining to make out shadows in the semi-darkness. Normally, thispresented no problem for her, but tonight of all nights, she had to strain and narrow her eyes only to see absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. She strained to listen, but the sounds had stopped. So, barefoot and trying to ignore the sensations of the water droplets traveling over her body and dripping onto the floor, she stepped out into the hallway and turned to the right. Her heart was pounding in her chest but she took a deep breath and darted, as fast as her legs could carry her, towards her room.
She should have darted less and looked more because where there was only supposed to be hallway, there was suddenly flesh and Raven ran smack into it with a wet kind of plop accentuated only by her surprised "oof!" and a masculine, "umph."
The sound spurred her into action and the fight or flight response kicked in before she had even fully registered that she had knocked right into the intruder. Under normal circumstances, she knew she could do better at hand-to-hand fighting than simply dodging hands that grabbed at her. As a matter of fact, under normal circumstances, she might have seriously considered curling her hand into a fist and punching something. Under her current not so normal circumstances, however, the only coherent instinct within her was to stop the male from grabbing at her long enough to allow her to flee and the result was sickeningly familiar to what is commonly termed, 'a girlie fight'.
This almost immediate overwhelming urge to get the hell away from the intruder was, in retrospect, the only excuse she had for the complete lack of awareness of her surroundings. It was hard to realize that the hands grasping at her with the tenacity of an octopus weren't hurting her when she was fighting her own urge to scream out for help just as it was entirely understandable that she wasn't exactly paying attention to what the intruder might or might not be saying when all her attention was focused on how she could get away from him. Hence, it could have easily been minutes before, as if with a sudden pop, sound came back into her consciousness and she heard her name being called by an all too familiar voice.
She stopped cold and blinked into the whites of a familiarly infuriating mask. The breath and fight left her in the gush of a sharp exhale.
With Raven no longer struggling, Robin suddenly found himself holding both of her arms at the wrists almost spread eagle away from her body.
"What the hell?" he finally managed, exasperated at the sudden and unexpected scuffle.
"Ah…" she was blushing at her stupidity and then instantly flushing as a response to his nearness and her vulnerable position. His face went from anger and worry to clear frustration at having just had to struggle with his teammate for no apparent reason and ultimately to confusion as he finally took in the rest of her attire (or lack thereof).
Robin, for his part, was having a hard time keeping his jaw from threatening to fall off his face. He blinked a few times behind the mask and for the first time in a long time wished that his vision wasn't impeded even the little bit that it was by the material that hid his eyes from view. He had to be seeing things. He was probably lying unconscious in an alley somewhere. He might have even crashed his bike and be delirious on morphine in a screaming ambulance on the way to some hospital.
Not only had Raven come careening down the hall like a bat out of hell and run right into him, but she was doing the careening in an ankle length white robe…a robe that, in the scuffle, had fallen partly off her right shoulder so that not only was he privy to the sight of the pale flesh of her shoulder and neck, but the combination of her movements and her position as she stood with her arms outstretched and her legs shoulder width apart to maintain her balance allowed him to catch a glimpse of pale flesh interrupted only by a flash of black lace on the very edge of her thigh where the robe the bottom half of the robe had fallen back behind her legs.
Robin was now sure he must be dead, or at the very lease, dying and on his way to the great beyond. He felt like laughing suddenly. 'Heaven was Raven in a white robe with black lace panties…'
Raven's empathic nature had, of course, picked up on the shift in his emotions from confused to…flushing red, she felt like sinking into the ground and phasing to another floor. Of course, she couldn't. And she once again cursed having her demon powers fade away on the day she was most fertile. 'Damn reproductive biology!' she cursed mentally as she tried to duck her face away from his view.
She probably should've at least taken a bra to the bathroom with her, Knowledge pointed out rather calmly, considering.
And of course that very same biology that for all intents and purposes repressed her demon side so that she could mate and reproduce also allowed her emotions to run free. Her empathy, on the other hand, as her one human ability, remained in full force without any of her other abilities to check it. Hence, it was a combination of things, not the least of which was the fact that she caught the change of atmosphere as he looked at her in his hold, that made her react by leaning a little toward him, a little closer…close enough for him to…
And then something inside her finally managed to break through all the incredibly prevalent mating instincts of this night to scream loudly at her; 'WHAT ARE YOU DOING!' She reacted by jumping back a few inches as if his aura had electrocuted her.
'This is exactly why we stay away from men on this night every month!' Knowledge reminded her calmly.
"Lemme go!" she exclaimed with more feeling than she normally would have as she struggled to get his vice like hands to release her.
He immediately let go as if he had only just become aware that he had been holding her at all. Raven stumbled rather ungracefully for a moment before gaining her balance (thankfully without falling) and managed to finally clutch primly at the opening of her robe, glaring at him. She could still feel the warmth of his hold on her wrists and they throbbed just a little, but it didn't hurt…not really. And that scared her too. Shouldn't it have hurt? For that matter, shouldn't she have been more insulted at being held immobile so easily?
"What's the big idea sneaking up on me like that?" she demanded heatedly, not really caring right that moment if the exclamation was out of character for her. Normally, even during this time of the month, whenever she was forced into interaction with any of the Titans (especially the males) and couldn't sneak out and be alone without causing suspicion, she had never allowed her emotions this much control. She had always managed to maintain some control of her outward appearance even if, inwardly, she was feeling and thinking the full gamut of her emotions without reprieve. She had always been able to hide those feelings, at least physically, from the rest of them. But now, however, she had passed her limit. The fear of an intruder, the surprise of finding him there, the sensation of being 'caught', and the desire to give in…it all weighed to make her irritable and unable to hold back the emotion from her voice. "You're supposed to be in Gotham until tomorrow!" she said accusingly, her eyes narrowing.
He looked embarrassed and then worried, "Are you okay?" he asked.
"Fine," she snapped. "You just caught me by surprise, that's…" and then as her eyes took in his appearance scathingly, she realized that his uniform was torn and that he was bleeding along the abdomen on the left side. He must have caught her almost inaudible gasp because he shrugged.
"Party got called short," he answered. "At least for me -- I took the call by myself and so the others wouldn't worry I told them I just wanted to come home early."
Her eyes went from worry to anger to frustration and finally to sympathy. The fact that he looked as if he were trying to determine what was causing her obvious and swift shifts in emotions only made her angry all over again. "You're so stupid!" she said, falling back into sympathy as soon as the words were out of her mouth and her eyes saw the trickle of blood traveling down his abdomen onto the floor.
He kept his face looking neutral even though she didn't need her empathy to sense the blame he placed on himself. She felt immediately sorry for having called him stupid. She knew Robin well enough to know that he was already probably blaming himself for having gotten the wound.
"The party was lame," he excused off-handedly. "For me, anyway."
Her expression was a little sympathetic, but she managed to keep it mostly clinical as she reached out to pull back the scraps of uniform to better inspect his wound. She bit back the instantaneous desire to chew him out at the sight of the messy scrap of something shoved against the wound. No wonder it was still bleeding and trailing along his side. "What is this?" she said angrily, anyway. "Were you trying to get it infected?"
"I worked with what I had," he excused defensively. "My main priority was to get back home and treat it properly."
She glared at him but his return glare stopped her from responding.
"I didn't expect to have a scuffle with a wild cat in the shape of one of my teammates." He looked inquiringly at her. "What were you doing skidding across the hallway in nothing but your bathrobe, anyway?"
She blushed, but managed to look sufficiently irritated when she glared at him. "Oh, don't you know? It's the way I get my kicks when no one is at home," she replied sarcastically. "I call it my Nakid Bathroom 100 Meter Run."
Before he could reply, she had crouched down and pulled the makeshift gauze away from the wound, none too gently. The suddenness of it made him draw in a sharp breath and instinctively, the muscles of his stomach contracted as if to avoid her touch, but that only made blood come out a little faster as the wound gaped open and closed again.
She inhaled a sharp breath through her teeth at the angry red cut. Already her mind was wondering what had made it. It was a clean cut, so it wasn't a claw, there were no jagged edges. So at least part of her infection worry was appeased. Claws tended to have more filth than anything else. It had to have been a knife or a sword that did it. She hoped it had been a sword, because those who wielded swords tended to keep them cleaner and knives tended to be less cared for, but she didn't think it had been a sword. A sword would have made the cut longer for one. Also, it wouldn't have been even that little bit jagged at the upper left edge where the attacker had been apparently pushed away. She sighed and looked up at him. "Knife or sword?" she asked.
He was clearly shocked a little at her quick deduction. "Knife," he answered. She pressed her lips together and nodded, as if it had been as she expected and bent again to look at it. He could do nothing more but stand there under her scrutiny. "An itty-bitty one, really…my own damn fault," he took in a slight breath as her fingers touched the area around it a little as if to investigate it. "I got careless."
She looked up at him and the look of accusation was back in her eyes. "You were stupid," she insisted. "You always do this," she said matter-of-factly. "You always try to take it all on yourself," she shook her head and looked at him, her mouth open and ready to continue her tirade when she realized that he was staring at her as if she had grown a new head that looked unerringly like Silkie. She clamped her lips shut as soon as she realized she had let Protection run a little too rampant. "We better get it cleaned up then," she said instead, turning on her heel and walking toward the infirmary. "Come with me."
He stood there for a moment, staring after her as if he were certain he was going to blink and realize that he had been delusional. Raven was acting decidedly different. It wasn't hard to figure out that it all seemed to revolve around her emotions and it was pretty blatant to him (and he didn't have to be the Apprentice of the Dark Knight to figure it out) that for some reason, she was showing her emotions almost as if she had no control over them. And what was even stranger…nothing had flown out of the room or blown up and nothing had taken on her dark aura…at least, not that he had noticed. He shook his head a little. Maybe he was looking too much into things?
When he lost her as she turned the corner he snapped himself out of his reverie and hurried to catch up to her. He started to wonder whether or not he had lost more blood than he had anticipated when he found himself stopping halfway to the med lab door almost hypnotized by her strut across the hall and to the door. It wasn't anything as obvious as the way he had seen girls walk when they wanted to call attention to certain parts of their anatomy. No, she wasn't shaking her hips or doing anything obviously apparent like that. She was walking as if she were floating on a current of air that kept her from the harsh and base necessity of touching the ground. But she wasn't using her powers to levitate because there was no crackle of energy in the air he always managed to feel when she used her magic around him. And this was something she was doing without any effort, almost subconsciously. It seemed as if she were just walking…maybe walking with muscles that the rest of them didn't have, but really just walking. Whether subconscious or not, whatever she was doing allowed for the robe to gape open at intervals as she moved and a flash of pale leg occasionally showed through.
'Did she always walk like that?' he wondered. And as his sight inevitably traveled along the length of leg visible through a sliver of robe, he noticed for the first time not only that she was barefoot, but also that she had left a trail of water droplets where she had stepped like Hansel and Gretel left breadcrumbs.
With a somewhat surprising flash of regret, he realized she had stopped moving and he could no longer analyze her movement. (In the hopes of figuring out what she was doing, of course.)
Raven, meanwhile, had realized that he had stopped following her and turned back to see a look of confusion on his face. "You're bleeding on the hallway, Robin," she called out, his attention immediately drawn away from his internal thoughts. His head snapped up to look at her face with enough speed, it might have caused whiplash. Refraining (through some grace of the gods) from commenting on what she had come to realize had been the previous subject of his attention, she motioned to the open door of the med lab. Once he started walking again, Raven entered the lab before him and by the time she heard him enter, she was already taking out the supplies she'd need from the cabinets.
"You don't have to do this, you know."
She stopped in her gathering of supplies to flash him a quick grin. "I never have to do anything," she corrected. She looked at where he was still standing by the med lab door as if he were wary of approaching her. She just barely withheld a snicker. "Now come on and be a good little boy," she patted the table when she brought the supplies back to it and offered him a welcoming smile. "I promise to be gentle," she teased.
The empathic part of her could feel the emotions going through him. He was blatantly shocked to see her in her robe and acting so strangely. She could tell that a thousand questions were running through his head and all so quickly, he didn't know which ones to give priority to. Her empathy couldn't catch all of them, but he was so curious about some of them, that he projected them out to her as if he were whispering aloud. Overall, he had the feeling about him as if he weren't altogether certain he wasn't walking into a trap.
She busied herself with looking for the proper size bandages and the antiseptic when she felt the weight of his eyes on her body and the feeling about him changed. He still was slightly wary of why she was acting the way she was, but now he was slightly preoccupied with looking at her body. If he kept looking at her like that she wouldn't be able to fight those damn instincts and might be tempted to take him right there on the damn table.
'Damn. Why did Robin have to pick tonight to act like a normal teenager?' she wondered. Why did he have to be the one to walk in on her of all days, on this day? She felt the pull of the instincts for about a day and a half before and a day and a half after the actual day her demon side became repressed…or faded…or just gone. (She didn't exactly know how everything happened…the Priestesses at the Temple had hardly known what to tell her about the changes her own body would be going through. She knew about sexual urges and she knew about puberty (she was 16, after all) but no one had warned her about the push to procreate her body would have even to the extent of shoving her problematic demon side away from her so that she could feel and experience emotion. And damnit it all to hell if it wasn't that day every month that she could show her emotions when she most needed to stay away from her friends who she wished to show her emotions to.
"Raven…" he spoke up as he sat on the table. "Aren't you…?"
She looked up at him, one hand on the antiseptic and the other on the bandages, and raised a brow at him in expectation. She couldn't help but notice that whatever it was he was about to say flittered right away from him as a mild sort of surprise overtook him at her stare.
'Was she really acting so differently?' she wondered, mildly amused. "Aren't I…?" she prodded him to continue his previous question.
He clearly had either decided against asking his intended question or just plain didn't remember, because for a few moments, he looked at her, slightly slack jawed. "…cold?" he finally finished.
She chuckled and shook her head walking back to stand before where he sat at the table. "My uniform covers less than this robe."
Robin swallowed and shook his head. "I…um…" he watched her as she went back to holding open the tear to better look at the wound, "…beg to differ."
And then she thought that she was glad that if it had to be anyone that found her tonight, it had been Robin. Robin, at least, could keep a secret and at least tried to behave himself. If it had been Beast Boy, he probably would've had way too much fun teasing her back or maybe even coming on to her (She shuddered to think what kind of disastrous results that would have. She wasn't altogether sure how desperate her mating instincts would get, but she didn't know if she'd end up kicking his butt for even attempting it, if Courage had her way, or if Happy had her way laughing so hard that she couldn't possibly get aroused much at all). And Cyborg…well…he probably would've run for the hills. But Robin? He seemed shocked, and surprised, and just a little bit insecure. Which inevitably kept her grounded more than any of the others might have and ultimately was part of the reason why she was able to keep even the modicum of control she was somehow managing to keep. The downside of course, was that the side of her that loved the feeling of his eyes on her melted together with the side of her that wanted to play with him like the cat played with the canary and together they decided that it was really too much fun teasing him and making him blush. "Does my attire bother you, Boy Wonder?" she asked, her voice just slightly lilting.
"Bother me?" he asked, his voice raising a little squeakily so that he had to stop and clear his throat. He tried to pretend he didn't notice her fighting off a grin at his reaction and hoped she'd let him play it off. "No." He shook his head a little and once again thought that perhaps he had lost more blood than he had originally thought because his head swam just a little. "I wouldn't say that…" he trailed off as he thought and a realization occurred to him, "…define bother?"
She laughed and he found himself smiling at the sound. "Well," she motioned to him. "Why don't we get on more equal footing, then?" she asked. He looked so shocked that he might just have fallen off the table. She couldn't help but grin. "The top, take it off…I need to access the wound."
He gulped…visibly. "Uh…" She could clearly read the questions going on through his head, he was projecting so hard. 'Why didn't he want to take off the damn shirt? She was just trying to help him.' "Can't you just…you know…?" he motioned vaguely.
She grew serious. "No," she said softly. She placed her hands back on the tear in the costume, holding it away from the wound. "I can't."
He opened his mouth to ask why not, immediately concerned at the tone, but he got no further than the intake of breath when suddenly her hands tugged on either side of the tear and with a satisfying, rriiiiip, the top half of his uniform was torn right apart.
'Well, that's one way to change the subject,' she thought, pleased. She grinned and it was only slightly this side of wicked as she let the scraps hang off his sides. "Better," she said, reaching for the disinfectant and cotton.
Now that the front part of him was bare before her and she could see the wound, she absently pushed his legs apart so that she could scoot closer to the wound.
He was gaping. And she was grinning even wider. "Sorry, but you wouldn't take it off…" she shrugged. "Not that you could've salvaged that uniform anyway."
There was something decidedly different about her tonight, he decided, nodding to himself like an idiot.
He had to resist the urge to press his legs closed, catching her between them. His legs were strong enough to hold her there, he reasoned absently before realizing just what it was he was considering. He tried not to blush but did anyway and hoped she might chuck it as a reaction to his wound or the heat or just about anything except what it was he had actually been thinking. He felt her cool fingers on the flesh around the wound and he immediately tensed even though he had been on the receiving end of more than a few cuts to know that they rarely hurt. Still, he glanced down at her instinctively and then immediately up again as he realized exactly how much the robe gaped in the front. He thought he heard her chuckle and couldn't help but look down at her as she stood up and reached for the supplies she had placed alongside him. He watched her carefully and decided that it indeed was the ghost of a smile on her lips. He frowned. "Are you sure you're okay?"
She wet the cotton with the disinfectant and looked at him innocently. "You keep asking that…don't I look fine?"
"You look…" he cut himself off from spilling the first thought that had come to his head but was unable to stop himself from looking her over again. He swallowed. "…fine…" he said instead, hating that his voice was a little hoarse. He cleared his throat. "But you're acting a little…" he realized she was looking at him, fully expecting him to finish the thought, but he didn't know exactly what to tell her about the way she was acting. 'Loopy?' he tried mentally. 'Emotional?' None of those seemed to be options that he wanted to try when Raven was within easy reach of medical supplies and one of his wounds.
When it was obvious to her that he wasn't going to finish the comment, she shrugged as she bent back to work at wiping the blood away from the area surrounding the actual wound. He reacted automatically at the cold of the liquid on his flesh, but her touch was feather light and gentle…and he was still looking at her, even if her head was bent to the wound.
"Just that time of the month, I guess…" she answered, half under her breath as she looked at the only area left for her to clean…the actual wound. 'This would be the bad part,' she thought, looking at the angry gash.
'That time of the…?' he thought then realized what she meant and flushed as the regularly accepted meaning to the common colloquialism finally sank through his brain. 'Shit!' he realized, his pulse almost immediately racing. 'She's hormonal!' he exclaimed mentally, with a sinking feeling of dread as he wondered how exactly he should respond to such a comment verbally in the best way to bring him the least amount of pain. What could he do? What could he say? He might have been raised by a man, and he might have not had too many girlfriends, but he had been around women long enough to know that when a woman was having her time of the month you didn't really mess with her.
She bit her lip and if he hadn't been so preoccupied with the fact that Raven had just admitted to having her time of the month as casually as if she were saying she had a headache, he might have taken it as a sign of what was to come. As it was, he had no idea what she was going to do as she inhaled and pressed a fresh cotton with disinfectant right onto the three inch long wound.
Robin reacted immediately as the blinding white pain coursed through him by throwing his head back, clutching at the side of the table, and taking in a sharp breath through his teeth to avoid yelling.
She winced sympathetically, and couldn't help but admire the way he didn't cry out. When she thought it was enough for the first wave, she pulled the cotton away, and tried not to be affected by the blood that clung to it. She put that one aside and grabbed a fresh one with more disinfectant, then set about to helping him get over the pain the only way she could without her powers.
The pain washed away with a cool, comforting breeze and when he could focus his eyes and look down it was to realize that Raven's calm face was bent very close to the wound, her lips a mere inches away from it, puckered and gently blowing soft, cool air on the stinging cut.
He hadn't had anyone blow on his wounds since he was a child.
The pain receded and as soon as she realized the tension of pain had left his body, she brought the cotton back to his wound, gently working on cleaning it by alternating between pressing the disinfectant onto it and when his body tensed, blowing on it to ease the pain.
It was the most surreal experience he had had in a very long time.
'That time of the month…' he remembered. He had been around her before when she was having that time of the month…he could always tell. Living with two girls, you got to tell when their moods tended to change and when they started acting just slightly out of character. Raven controlled it better than Star, but not by much. But tonight…it seemed even more drastic.
And as he looked down at her, he was once again made glaringly aware of how very little that robe actually managed to conceal. 'More than her uniform, my ass,' he thought, trying valiantly and honorably, to keep his eyesight from trailing to inappropriate places. 'Lucky thing I'm a gentleman,' he thought. If it had been BeastBoy or one of the other guys here instead of him, why they'd be…
He blinked. They'd be with Raven instead of him…watching her clean his cuts and blow on his wound. (Okay, and occasionally peeking at the gaps between terry cloth.) 'What was she thinking?' he wondered, 'walking around the Tower…the Tower that had glass for walls, no less, in nothing but a terry cloth bathrobe!'
He found himself crossing his arms across his chest. "You really aren't cold in that?" he asked, his tone curt.
She looked up at him, mild surprise on her features. "Not particularly," she answered, tossing yet another bloody scrap of cotton.
He looked her over critically and realized what one of the other guys would see if they looked at her. A beautiful girl, still wet (or at least humid, even if she mostly air dried and was no longer dripping) from a bath or shower, her regularly lavender colored hair darkened to a sort of dark plum in the spots where it hadn't already dried and pushed haphazardly back away from her face. "If you keep parading around with the wet hair without fully drying off, you're going to catch pneumonia," he announced, his tone no-nonsense even as she worked at wiping the caked on, half coagulated blood around the wound.
"With a three inch knife wound to your abdomen and you dare to lecture me about walking around in a bathrobe with wet hair?" she asked surprised as she looked at his face for a moment.
"It's not the same thing," he countered defiantly.
She raised her eyebrows before bending back to continue cleansing the wound. "Yeah…I won't die from a cold."
"I'm just worried that you might be standing here cold just cause you think you need to clean me up," he finally managed something that made some sense of logic.
She glanced up as she threw away yet another bloody piece of cotton and smiled a little. She brought a clean gauze to his wound, this time, without disinfectant and stood a little as her hand pressed it there for a moment. "I disinfected it the best I could…" she announced. "Whatever clotting you had started to do I had to wipe away in order to disinfect it, and although it started bleeding again, it's slowing down now and it can start to clot healthily," she told him, shaking her head. "The cut's not very deep, but you still might need stitches, and I can't do that," she admitted.
Something about the words, 'I can't do that' coming out of Raven's mouth rubbed him the wrong way. "Are you actually admitting that there's something you can't do?"
She narrowed her eyes at him, obviously realizing he was teasing her. "Well, now that you mention it," she started, her conversational tone belying the warning in her eyes. "I only say that I don't know how because I've never had to try." She turned back to the medicine cabinet. "I could look for the stitching needle and thread and try it out on you?"
He blanched a little. "No, that's alright…" he managed.
She grinned. "Okay, then the other option is for me to bandage it up and tomorrow I can…" she trailed off and mimicked his earlier vague motion, "…you know." She raised a brow. "Or I can call Cyborg and get him over here to try and stitch you up."
"I'll wait until tomorrow," he decided.
She grinned. "I thought you would."
She reached over and took his hand. Surprised, he didn't resist as she took it away from his side and placed it on the wound. "Hold that," she told him. He tensed his hand to hold the gauze there. She reached for the bandages; her movements efficient and graceful as she tore the sterile packaging open and removed the large square self-adhesive bandages. She worked around his hand, shifting it this way and that, until she had attached the bandage onto the wound.
Once she was done, she looked up at him. "Any other wounds I should know about?"
And suddenly, he wished he did have another. But he didn't. A few bruises, sure, but nothing else she could do. "No," he admitted.
She nodded. "Okay," she set about cleaning up the area and putting away things, moving as gracefully in the robe as she did in her uniform or any other clothes he had ever seen her in. And still, he watched her.
And it suddenly occurred to him. "Thank you," he spoke as if he had just realized that he hadn't said it before.
She closed the cabinet and grinned at him. "My pleasure."
He found himself grinning back.
And then she was walking away. "You better get some rest and don't move around too much or it'll just start bleeding again," she told him as she walked to the door.
"Aren't you going to help me back to my room?" he asked before he could help himself.
She looked at him and for a moment, she was tempted and kicking herself that she hadn't even offered. Then, she saw the look on his face. She shook her head and chuckled. "Now you're pressing your luck…" she stopped at the door and turned to glance at him. "Don't go and bleed to death now, alright?" she asked and before he could think of what to say, she was gone and walking back down the hall.
A/N: Okay, if you're still with me at this point, I commend you! ((throws out cookies, just because you deserve it)) The inspiration for this fic came from a comment Jurodan left in his review of Lift Me Up, the other one-shot I did a while ago that got me thinking and chuckling to myself. Puck ran with it and this was the result.
This fic, for being such a silly little piece of work has gone through a few drafts. Mostly, because my first draft was written amidst chaos and mostly because I wasn't taking myself seriously when I wrote it. I was certain, even as I sent it to Jurodan for Beta-ing, that I wouldn't post it. (I just kinda wanted him to confirm that it was crap) He said it could be salvaged and set about helping me do that, so, MAJOR PROPS go out to him. He actually even inspired some more of the little scenes in here with his comments to the first draft!
Oh, and some of you might recognize the concept of once a month loopiness with a half demon character. It was sort of inspired by Inuyasha's human transformation on the new moon. Well, not really inspired, but kind of based on. Anyone who knows Inuyasha knows that it's not exactly the same.
Anyway, for those of you interested, Part IV of It Only Takes A Moment is over with Jurodan for Beta-ing as we speak.
I kept telling myself that I shouldn't continue writing this one-shot even as I was writing it and then I kept wondering whether or not I really should post it at all, so if I can beg you all to be kind, at least for this one? I know the characters are OOC. I'm posting it as a kind of lark, a spoof…a funny! Ok? ((grins hopefully))
Anyway, be kind and review as to whether or not you think it worked, k?
I'm not the best at comedies, I fear.
Disclaimer: Not mine. At the moment, I don't even have my own shower…have to share it with my brother…((mumbles incoherently))
Thanks: Again, I'd like to thank Jurodan for his wonderful work editing this sucker. If it hadn't been for him, it probably would've stayed collecting virtual dust on my hardrive. Also, a BIG thank you to everyone whose been reviewing my other stuff either after it's been finished so that I can't respond individually or to the one-shots that I've done. ((GRIN)) Thank you so much!