A/N: I'll be honest with y'all. I had this one essentially done almost as soon as I posted the previous chapter. I did. I'm sorry I didn't take it from "essentially done" to "completely done" before now. I actually (since I've been bitten by the honesty bug, apparently) kind of forgot about it. In my defense, real life has been kicking my arse and being a lawyer is a whole hell of a lot harder and takes up a whole hell of a lot more time than I ever thought. That said...
I hope you like it.
Thanks: To all the usual suspects. You know who you are. ^_^ Any mistakes are entirely my own.
Disclaimer: Not mine. No money made, no profits, etc, etc....
Instinct 2: Impulse
Chapter 10: Completeness
"The cry of my body for completeness. That is a cry for you."
-Mary Carolyn Davies
Raven had been soaking in the bathtub for about 15 minutes before she had been able to pinpoint what had changed. She still had a lingering ache, like a hunger not quite fulfilled, in the core of her, but it wasn't all consuming. She recognized that from the moment Robin left the Tower.
She still wanted him, but it didn't feel like she was suffering from an itch she couldn't quite reach anymore.
Still, she didn't realize why that was different until she sat in the warm water, staring at the cream colored tile above the chrome faucet. He wanted her. He had chosen her as surely as she had chosen him. He had said it, plain as day. If she wanted him to stay with her and give her a child, he'd do it -- so long as she told him so when she was uninfluenced by the urge to procreate.
He'd do it.
Now that she'd found a mate who was willing to give her offspring, the urgency for that offspring waned. It was as if the knowledge that she had found a suitable and willing mate made even the part of her anxious to procreate realize that she had time. She was only barely 17. Logic blossomed with reason as she was assured the right of progeny.
She'd be a better mother if she were older, more experienced, ready to settle down to a life not as fraught with hazards. It would not only make for better chances of carrying a pregnancy to term, but it would make for a better environment in which to bring up a child as well.
Yes. Now that she had chosen a mate and that mate had agreed to father her children, she could wait.
It felt as if a vise clutching at her lungs eased with that realization -- as if whatever particles insides her body that had been set into overdrive were calmed. She still wanted him -- still missed his touch and the warmth of his presence, but she knew even if he were right in front of her now, she wouldn't need to bed him. And even if Speedy or another viable physical male were to be present, she wouldn't feel the urge to have sex with them either.
She missed him and the thought made her smile.
Without further thought, Raven reached over, lifting the Titan Communicator from atop the towel sitting on the closed toilet seat and dialed up Robin's frequency. It buzzed once before he picked it up. It didn't surprise her that he had chosen to use the voice only option.
"Is something wrong?"
"Nothing," she confirmed, and although her voice wasn't altogether lacking in emotion, it was, she hoped, noticeably calm. "I wanted to talk to you," she admitted.
"Raven," he sighed, obviously wary.
"Don't worry, Boy Blunder," she said with a touch of laughter. "I'm not going to try to ravage you through our communicators."
There was a heavy pause while he tried to read her voice and she couldn't help surrendering to the amusement. "You'd be able to read me better if you could see my face and you know it," she said.
"What did you want to talk to me about?" he asked, ignoring her comment and admitting she was right.
It was her turn to pause as she thought. "Truthfully?" she asked, leaning back in the tub. "I just wanted to talk to you..." she let that statement hang in the air between them for a moment, before continuing. "But I suppose there is something we should talk about."
"Tonight?" he asked, his tone curious and careful.
"It doesn't have to be," she allowed, but I'd like it to be," and her tone was soft and almost hesitant.
"Alright," he agreed. And waited.
She sighed. "I'm sure you've noticed, but I've changed since you left."
"I've noticed," he admitted. "The question is, how deep a change?"
She wanted to laugh at his observation. It was just like him, but she didn't, because she knew he'd misunderstand.
"I'm still way more emotional than I am every other day," she explained, "but I'm calmer, too."
There was silence on the other end and she tried for a moment, to figure out where he was by any ambient sounds she could pick up, but her mortal hearing was sadly unhelpful and she picked up nothing other than the faint sound of his breath.
She lifted her legs so her knees peeked out of the water and her feet were flat on the tub and let her head rest on the bath pillow on the rim behind her. "I can't apologize for what I did with Speedy," she spoke. "Maybe I can tomorrow, but not tonight," she added. "But I am sorry if it pissed you off." She heard him exhale, and pressed on. "In any case," she continued when he still hadn't spoken. "I think I understand something about what happens to me during the full moon better, and it's all thanks to something you said."
She smirked. "What did I figure out or what did you say?"
He must have heard the humor in her voice, because he exhaled, and she could almost picture him trying to keep the serious expression. "Both."
"You said that you'd stay with me next month if I told you I wanted you to tomorrow," she said bluntly.
He exhaled. "Raven..."
"I'm not trying to seduce you, Robin," she hurried to assure him. "I'm only repeating what you said."
"Okay," he understood.
There was a pause on her end and she opened her eyes and stared at the ceiling. "Did you mean it?" she asked, and only the excellent receivers in their communicators would have caught her voice.
She wished she could see him at that moment -- she wished she knew where he was, so she could picture him. But with her lack of demonic powers at the time, she was hard pressed to even feel the link between them. She was saddened by that realization.
"I did," he answered before she could think on how the not feeling the connection between them made her feel.
"Will you take me up on it?" came his voice, just as soft as hers had been and she decided he must be somewhere private -- somewhere no one else was around because she couldn't hear anything else -- not traffic, or movement of any sort. He was somewhere alone and where he didn't have to move.
"I don't think so," she admitted. "Not the way you're thinking anyway."
"That is a change," and his voice was still wary -- as if he were still afraid this were some kind of trick.
"Well," she sighed. "It's related to the thing I figured out."
She closed her eyes again and the sound of his voice in the room with her brought her comfort -- even if she couldn't feel the connection stretch between them and if she couldn't see him. "I decided it would be beneficial for any future offspring to be born into as ideal an environment as possible," she told him, her voice so relaxed, it was almost sleepy. It had to be close to three or four A.M. by now. The other Titans would be snoring peacefully in their L.A. hotel room, having been convinced by Robin before they decided to go to the concert, that it would be too late for the long drive to the Tower after the concert.
"And raising a child at 17 or 18 while still a superhero is not an ideal environment," she conceded.
"And you didn't know this before?" he asked.
"I knew," she admitted. "But my biological imperative took precedence to that logic," she admitted. "Being pregnant now would not be ideal, but it would be better than not being pregnant at all."
"So what changed?" he asked, trying to figure it out.
"You've agreed to comply," she answered simply. She opened her eyes and looked at the ceiling again, lowering her shoulders into the water so she wouldn't be so cold. "You want me too...you'll father my children -- my biological imperative is satisfied...for now."
"I've agreed, so now you don't have to rush to find the first willing donor?" he asked, frowning.
"Yes," she confirmed.
He was quiet, but this time, she heard him shift, the rustle of fabric and she pictured him sitting up in a bed in some hotel room somewhere behind her closed lids. "So you're not..." he trailed off. "You're not needing to--" he cut himself off again. "You don't want me--"
"Oh, I still want you," she interrupted his attempts. She grinned and there was that edge of wickedness in it. "I'm still so hot for you, Robin..." her voice was low and smoky and she had brought the communicator close to her mouth.
She heard the sharp inhale of his breath. "Raven," he said.
She couldn't decide if it was a question or an admonition. "I want to see you," she continued. "To touch you..." she shifted and water splashed along the sides of the tub. "I want to feel you inside me."
She heard the rustle of clothes, wondered if he was sleeping in his boxer-briefs or if he had left his jeans on. She could probably give them both some pleasure just through their communicators -- some release, but she had something else she wanted to explain to him, something she needed him to understand.
"Robin?" she asked.
"Yeah," he answered, his voice hoarse and slightly choked.
She sat up in the tub again, the water running down her body pleasurable. "I want you," she repeated and wasn't sure if she heard him groan or not. "But I can wait." There was silence on the other end of the line and she wasn't sure he understood her or not. "Do you understand?" she asked. "I can wait," she reiterated. "Even if you were here, Robin, even if you were in front of me, holding me -- just holding me -- it wouldn't be everything, but it would be enough."
"Are you saying...?"
"I'm saying come home," she told him. "I want to see you." She exhaled. "I want to fall asleep in your arms."
"Raven, I don't know that this is a good idea," he hedged.
"Okay," she said after a moment. "That's fine. I understand."
And she did, really. She knew he still thought it was a trick.
There was silence between them, and she sighed. "I'm going to sleep now," she told him, reaching with her toes to unplug the tub. The water began draining immediately. "Goodnight, Robin."
"Yes?" she asked, finger hovering over the button that would end the call.
"Nothing," he decided. "Goodnight."
She closed the communication and, placing the small round device aside, stood and reached for her towel. She was very tired suddenly.
Raven was a very light sleeper, but for some reason, she didn't wake up until she felt the dip in the mattress behind her.
She jerked awake and turned on instinct, starting to put distance between her and whoever was crawling into her bed, but she froze at the sound of her name. Her room was dark, as it usually was, and with her still human vision, she could only vaguely make out the outline of a shape sitting on the bed. But she knew that voice.
"It's just me," he said.
She smiled, feeling the warmth of recognition flood her awareness and she leaned back on the mattress, toward his heat. "You came."
"I want to fall asleep with you in my arms, too," he admitted.
"You're not afraid I was just trying to trick you into coming back?" she asked.
"It was a chance I couldn't resist."
She was still smiling, and she reached out to touch his face, felt him tense, and let her hands trail from his forehead down to his lips. "I'm glad," she told him, leaning into him, pressing her lips against his. He responded, but let her take control of the kiss and she kept it achingly chaste and gentle. When they parted, he hugged her and she fit her head against his shoulder.
"Me too," he said, his voice low against her ear, his breath caressing her cheek.
She hmmed in the back of her throat and wrapped her arms around his torso. "I think we best go back to sleep now," she said against his shoulder.
He chuckled. "Good idea," he said, and as graceful as ever, he shifted and lay her back against the mattress and settled behind her as he brought the sheets over them both.
"Robin?" she asked.
"Hmm?" he asked.
"Are you wearing pajamas?" she asked.
He chuckled and she found herself chuckling with him, even as their hands entwined at her waist and his leg slipped between hers. "It's been a very tiring night," he answered.
She shifted until her back was pressed against his front and her cheek rested on his right arm like a pillow. "I agree," she sighed.
He placed a soft kiss on her bare shoulder and with that, they fell asleep.
A/N: As you can probably tell from this chapter, this story is nearing its end. There's probably a few things I need to wrap up, but we're getting there, kiddies, so, yeah. Get ready. If there's any of you out there still reading, that is.
Feel free to review and tell me what you'd like to see happen before it ends. I make no promises, but who knows? Your ideas / comments might very well inspire something. ::wink::