Stuff Like That There
(Hugs)
by Em

A/N: I just felt like writing, and this visual popped into my head when I saw the next prompt for this series. What resulted was a half-assed quick little moment. Not beta'd — not even by me. I'm not sure I like it and I definitely feel rusty in writing, but hey…I'm trying. (Even, maybe, trying to work my way up to finishing up the next chapter of "Stupid Cupid" which is already started…)

And no, don't go getting your hopes up, guys. I wouldn't exactly say I'm "back". This was just a moment when everything came together perfectly and this was born.

Thanks: I don't believe that I still get reviews and favorites and follows from you guys. Seriously, thank you...for not giving up hope. I wish I could be inspired to reward such loyalty and perseverance and hope with good continuations of your favorite stories. Just know: I am not giving up.

14: Balcony

"But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? / It is the east and Juliet is the sun!"
- William Shakespeare, "Romeo & Juliet," Act 2, Sc. 2

Raven watched the sun rise over the horizon and inhaled deeply of the crisp, salty air in contented silence.

Things could've turned out so very different, she mused. One wrong move, one moment of hesitation when she should've been bold or one moment when she rushed in rather than taken her time. She couldn't trace this moment back to its defining moment…what good deed had she performed to deserve it?

It seemed to her, in the ever brightening morning, that she had gotten here (to this place, this moment), despite herself.

Had it even been her idea to come to Los Angeles?

She couldn't remember, truthfully, not right away anyway, and before she could prod her memory for more details, she felt his presence on the balcony behind her. His tread was light at the worst of times, but on his bare feet on the hard ground, he was as soundless as a cat, but she wasn't surprised when his arms snaked around her waist, fingers entwining with hers and he pulled her ever gently backwards into the heat coming off his bare chest.

"You're practically frozen," he whispered hoarsely at her ear as he nestled his chin in the space between her neck and the side of her face. His hands turned in hers and began rubbing at her cold digits vigorously.

She smiled and leaned her head back. "But it's worth it," she said softly, motioning with her chin toward the rising sun. "Look at this view."

They stood like that in silence for a few moments, watching the gulls circle their pray in the ocean or fight for whatever food they found near the shore while his fingers stroked circles into her skin.

She had never been one to feel the need to fill comfortable silence with chatter, and her silences with him had always been comfortable — what had happened the night before hadn't changed that — but still, she spoke.

"Do you remember why you came here yesterday?" she asked.

He hmmed in thought, his fingers tracing ever wider circles, his head turning just slightly to touch his lips to the side of her neck. "I just needed to get out of the city yesterday," he admitted. "I felt like I couldn't breathe there and I thought the ocean would be nice."

She turned in his arms; he accommodated her without breaking the circle of his arms. Her hands rose to the sides of his face. He searched her face for a few moments, but the light from the sunrise behind her cast her features in shadow. She ran her fingers over the stubble at his jaw and he smiled at her. She watched the smile rise from his lips to the too blue eyes and let her hands trail into his dark hair, which he'd let grow to just below his ears. She stroked the stray strands of soft hair back behind his ears and brought his head down. She stood on the tips of her toes and kissed him, softly — almost chastely — on his lips.

Sensing it was more than about physical intimacy, he let her pull back without follow his initial instinct to deepen the kiss. "What was that for?" he asked.

"To thank you," she said, trailing her hands behind his head and pressing herself against him, resting her head on his chest, listening for his steady heart beating under the skin.

He tightened his hold around her, dipping his hands under the sheer fabric of the camisole she'd put on to touch her bare flesh underneath. "For what?" he asked.

"For finding me," she said calmly, her breath tickling his collar bone. "You always find me, Robin…always."

Robin inhaled deeply and tightened his hold, wrapping his arms all the way around her slender form and holding her warm and flush against him. "Always," he promised.

x-x

A/N: So? What'd you think?