Rating: Strong content, not for minors. Nothing explicit, but plenty implied. Also, "PWP" stands for "Plot, what plot?" and that's pretty much what this is, so understand that going in.
A/N: Life sucks right about now, but at least this last weekend I played vegetable at home and was blissfully alone most of the day and was able to be inspired to write. The result was this, a fic I'd been meaning to write for months now, but just had never sat down and just let come. I rather like it.
Disclaimers: I own nothing that comes out in this story except for maybe the idea, and even MsLessa helped me work that one out so...
Thanks: To MsLessa for helping develop the plot AND for giving it a plot looksie and to GuardianKysra for giving it several read-throughs and answering my eternal (and yet vague) question of, "does this read right?" over and over and over again.
Hot and Bothered
"What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance."
- Jane Austen
It should be noted that the spray hose was not to blame for the incidents that transpired that early afternoon inside the tall T shaped Tower just off Jump City Bay. It was, after all, just doing its job and the fact that it had been mistreated two weeks before and its screws had come loose at that time was not something the spray hose could have any sort of control over, after all. If anything, the spray hose should be commended for holding out as long as it had.
Robin, for his part, might agree and had actually on one occasion been heard to offer to gold plate the hose for its cunning timing.
As far as Raven was concerned, she blamed no one (not even Beast Boy, who had been the one to mistreat the hose in the fist place) and nothing (not even the hose itself) so much as she blamed summer.
Raven hated summer.
Despite the common understanding that Raven did not feel enough to either hate or love anything, that she hated Summer (from mid May all the way through the Autumnal Equinox midway through September) was a little known, albeit certain, fact nonetheless.
That she hated anything, especially something that so many people looked forward to, is an absolutely crucial element to understanding the events that occurred that sweltering August day.
She hated summer more than she hated noise, or Beast Boy's jokes, or even the color pink. And well, actually, more important than understanding that she hated Summer was understanding why she hated summer.
Contrary to popular belief her hatred did not stem from the fact that it was a bright season (despite her reputation for her affinity to gloom). No, her hatred for the season stemmed from the heat. The lung-crushing-breath-stealing-sweat-inducing-all-encompassing-no-escaping-it heat. Why, one might ask?
For starters, the heat required a certain level of dishabille that Raven was not comfortable with. Sure, she customarily walked around in a leotard and boots, but her leotard did have long sleeves and she had a cloak to cover up most of the time in her uniform. During summer, even that amount of clothing was uncomfortable (especially because of the material her leotard was made of—polymerized spandex did not do well against sweaty skin). Also, the heat was conducive of nothing but lassitude. Everything went lax from school children to traffic, workers, mothers, and even the villains they fought.
Normally, she didn't care whose morals or controls went lax, so long as it didn't mean they broke the law. However, the sad, unavoidable fact was that she was no exception.
Which was ultimately, the thing that made her hate summer and its necessary heat, more than any other reason.
Something about the heat made her control over her inner Ravens tenuous at best. And if it was only her anger or humor emotion that tended to show her face, it wouldn't (perhaps) be so bad. She could live with being snappish to her friends (she would just avoid them) and she could live with laughing uncontrollably and unexpectedly and against her will at one of Beast Boy's lame jokes (her friends would get over the shock of that, eventually). But no...
Sad, Happy, Courage – they all were able to show up on her face at the most inopportune times.
And again, that wouldn't be so bad in and of themselves.
But the most inopportune of all was lust. And though at one point she might have believed the emotion which thrived during heat waves would have been Anger (in fact, at one point in her life it was), that was not the case after she reached puberty. There was, apparently, something about the sweating, the lack of clothing, the desperate need for cool air, that appealed to her more carnal emotion. She could not help but feel the physicality of everything, even her own self, while lust was so near to the surface. Lust enjoyed the heat, enjoyed the feel of the drops of sweat traveling over her skin, between her breasts and under the waistband of her jean cut off shorts. Lust prompted her to keep her hands under the cool water longer than necessary to rinse off dishes because she liked the contrast of tepid water on her heated flesh. Lust prompted her to press the glass chilled and sweating by the ice water against her throat to feel the goosebumps rise on her arms. Lust pushed primarily for physicality—it wanted to feel, experience, taste, smell, but mostly touch.
And it was so hard to fight it all the time.
When Robin had entered the common room on his way to the kitchen the day before as she had been trying to read, it was all she could do to not drool at the sight of him, sweat gleaming on hard muscles. She had used so much of her willpower to stomp down lust that she hadn't had enough concentration left to get up and walk away. Thankfully, Robin hadn't stopped in the common room but had continued to the kitchen and eventually, Raven had been able to control the desire inside her to follow him to the kitchen and lick the sweat off his body. But it had been hard. Very hard.
So hard, that the next day, when they had all decided to go out to their various pursuits, Raven had doubled back about fifteen minutes after walking out when she had been tempted to walk into the spray of a fire hydrant some children had managed to loosen in a random street corner. While at the Tower by herself, she could lower the shields that were so hard to maintain, at least a bit.
And she hated that too. She hated having to consider having to lower her shields at all because the push to bust them open was so strong. She hated having to do anything.
So, although she didn't hate summer itself on principle, she hated having to feel this way which was brought out by heat, which came with summer. A plus B equals C. Therefore, she hated summer.
And as if that weren't enough, probably because she hated it so actively, summer days usually brought her nothing but trouble and bad luck. It wasn't superstition or her seeing into things. No. It was proven fact. The hotter the day, the more bad things would happen to her. The more her control would be tested. The more she would want to go demon on somebody or something's ass and blow up the Tower.
The day in question, auspiciously enough, dawned at 93 degrees. And by noon when she was seen standing at the sink, she had tried to walk out of the Tower (resulting in several popped fire hydrants when she resisted joining the children playing in the first one she had seen popped and spraying water for the children's amusement), she had made lunch (where the soda bottle had exploded in a wave of foam as she tried to open it and the toaster oven she had plugged into the socket had blown a fuse and refused to work so she had ended up having a cold roast beef sandwich and adding 'new toaster oven' to their list of things to buy) and she had stubbed the big toe of her left foot as she searched in the pantry closet for the mop to clean up the soda mess.
So, when Raven turned on the sink's spray-hose and the hose part popped off the sink part, drenching her with a healthy dose of tepid water, she blinked, and dripped, and never once wondered what she had done in a previous life to merit such karmic retribution.
It was summer – of course everything that could go wrong would.
She did, however, consider briefly (as she dripped on the rug with the kittens on it Starfire had insisted they buy for the space on the floor in front of the sink, which considering the current situation appeared to not have been as pointless an idea as she argued it would be) stepping out onto their lawn and let herself air dry. The water on her skin would keep her cool, at least for a few moments. Almost as soon as she considered laying out on the lawn to doze and dry off, however, she changed her mind. Best she just go and shower, lord and lady knew with the way her luck was working out that day, a toilet seat might just end up falling from a de-orbiting space station and kablooyie her considerably unhappy ass into a gazillion tiny charred pieces.(1)
So deciding, Raven walked (squished) from the kitchen to the bathroom midway between her and Starfire's room which to everyone in the Tower was known as 'the girls' bathroom'. One look at the mess of bathing, beauty, hair, and body products scattered all over the bathroom along with the mess of towels and discarded clothes bathing the muted tiles with an unhealthy amount of pink and Raven nearly wretched. There was no way she would wait until she picked up this mess to shower. No way. And certainly no way she would shower with all this in the room. She might threaten and possibly maim Starfire for leaving the bathroom in such a state in her haste, but certainly not clean it up. Not now. (Possibly not ever)
Which left her with one option left to her: Robin's bathroom.
It had been a point of contention for those of them who had cared to argue about it (Raven) that Robin was the only one of them to get a private bathroom in his bedroom. In the end, Raven had to admit that he was right and that while she and Starfire could share a bathroom, there was no way anyone could share a bathroom with Beast Boy. Just glancing at the way that boy left that bathroom was enough to induce dizziness and blindness if stared at too long. And should you make the mistake of actually inhaling while within it's vicinity, it might knock out your nasal cavities for at least a week.
She had seen Beast Boy's bathroom only once in all the time they'd been living together (Robin's showing her Beast Boy's bathroom having been what won him the argument for having the private bathroom in his bedroom as a matter of fact) and she did not intend to ever even glance at it ever again. Cyborg, of course, had a special kind of bathroom in his room as well, but no one even knew how to work the door to get in let alone consider standing naked anywhere within the vicinity of it's strange hoses and knobs.
So...Robin's bathroom it was.
A hot season; a spell of hot weather.
--Two hours earlier--
It was a little known fact about Titan Tower's architecture but there was a way to get from the garage to the Sleeping Halls without having to go through the main room first. Of course, the Titans themselves knew it, but they rarely made use of it even if they entered the Tower alone since the usual course of action of any entering Titan was to go in search of their fellow teammates. Even Raven, who was admittedly the antisocial one of the group, never really used the direct elevator to the Sleeping Hall.
That day, however, Robin made use of it. After all, no one else was in the Tower, everyone having gone out, so why not? Besides, he was hot and sweaty and sticky and it was making him edgy and curt and likely to react first and think later. He didn't need to be tempted to tell BB to buzz off or chance hurting Star's feelings with a curt response should they actually be in the Tower.
No, his best bet for all around was to get to his bedroom with as little fuss as possible, take a cold shower and lie in his cool, dark room, with as little on as he would be comfortable with, fan on high and hope that if he didn't move, he mightn't sweat as much.
When he lay down on top of his sheets, his skin pleasantly damp, and since he was wearing only his boxer shorts, the air circulated by the fan aimed right at him did much to cool him down and as he lay back on the nice fresh sheets, he thought --
'This was definitely a good idea.'
Of course, he couldn't know that some floors below him, Raven was getting good and thoroughly drenched.
And there was no way he'd ever guess at what that might mean to him.
"Letting off steam always produces more heat than light."
- Neal Maxwell
--Back Where We Started--
Raven had put her iPod aside after she had become drenched (yes, she did dishes with her iPod on, for although she enjoyed the silence to read, she didn't enjoy the silence when she was doing household chores—who did?) But after she had cleaned up the kitchen and come to a decision as to which bathroom to go to, she had slipped the minuscule device into her pocket and the buds into her ears figuring that she might as well keep listening to it as she gathered her things together to bathe.
Lust liked music, too.
Especially the type of music she was listening to then.
At first, when one of the sexiest songs she had ever heard (let alone possessed) started to play(2), she did nothing more than hum a bit with the melody, tapping her hand against her still damp thigh. It was a particularly good song, so before she knew it, the humming had escalated to silently mouthing a word or two along with the singer's sultry voice. By the time the chorus came in, however, she was singing silently under her breath and when she rounded the corner to the Boys' wing of the Residence Hall, Lust had taken to swishing her lips and flexing her legs as she walked in time with the music.
When the second part of the song, the part that Lust particularly liked, she had reached the door to Robin's room.
Raven should not be blamed for her serious lack of etiquette and logic concerning the actions that followed. She was, after all, pretty well under the influence of the less rational of her emotions and had lost herself almost completely to the sensual beat of the song. And she had had a rough day.
So, although she briefly considered knocking on his door, she was confident in the fact that she had seen him leave and hadn't seen him return. And, she figured, it would be entirely pointless to knock for entrance into an empty room.
So confident was she of the room's state of disuse, that not only did she not knock, she spoke the lyrics to the song as they played in her ears as she stepped into the room.
"And I'd be all wet with my tits soaking through this Spanish Fly t-shirt that I'm wearing," she half spoke, half sang under her breath as she entered. She pulled her wet t-shirt off as she walked across the room toward the bathroom, "and you would open the door and tie me up to the bed..."
So confident was she, that even as she removed her shirt, she never once glanced at the bed where Robin had sat up at her entrance. So involved was she with her music that she never heard him speak a question to her or stand up from the bed and walk toward her.
As a matter of fact, if the earbuds hadn't popped out of her ears as she pulled the shirt off, she wouldn't have heard him at all, even though she certainly felt it as he suddenly took her hands and pressed her against the closed bathroom door, holding her hands above her head and leaning in to whisper in her ear, "Is that an invitation?"
And the music sounding small and far away continued, the singer's voice floating, "You make me feel love..." even as Raven tried to fight his grip, surprise making her heart beat in her chest and fear making her weaker than she actually was.
By the time she realized that it was Robin holding her so close (all of ten seconds later), she was embarrassed beyond belief (especially since she was standing pressed against the cold steel of his bathroom door in her bra and cut offs) and so she tried vainly to flee.
"Ah-ah, you came to me, remember?" he asked, his voice still low and dangerous and still so close to her ear she shivered at his breath against the sensitive flesh.
"You weren't supposed to be here," she gasped, trying to pull back and finding only more embarrassingly that her bare flesh encountered his.
She tried to look back at him but he had his face so close to her neck she couldn't see anything other than the top of his disheveled head. "You could have knocked." There was no anger or rebuke in his voice, just that just woken up voice, and his breath against her neck.
"I didn't know," she countered uselessly, fighting off the shiver his nearness was causing her. Her heart was still beating fast, but it wasn't out of fear now.
"You could have checked," he spoke, still in that deep, guttural voice that sounded not like Robin and exactly like him all at the same time.
"I know," she said, because she really did and there was no excuse she could give. She wasn't sure she could stand for much longer if he continued to be so close, speech would certainly be a problem and rational thought was already almost gone.
It had been a mistake to allow the walls that kept her emotions safely tucked away to come down, even if it was difficult to keep them up because of the heat.
And then he licked her, not a long lick, just a short sampling of the flesh at her neck, but all rational thought vanished, like mist in the sun.
"You taste like coke," he said, amused and bent to lick her again.
Her knees buckled before she could answer that it was because of the soda bottle that had exploded on her and he had to put one leg between hers to help keep her up. Lust roared to the surface like a tsunami crashing through everything in its path and when she struggled then, it was definitely not to get away.
She wanted to see him, to look at his face, to see what he was feeling right then and maybe find an answer as to why he was doing this out of the blue. But he had her trapped and there was no way she could use her powers to turn around. He let go of her wrists and she tried to use the leverage to turn, but before she could do much more than place her palms on the bathroom door, he had pressed his hands against her shoulder blades and pushed gently.
"Let's see what else you taste like..." he said, and then she felt his lips kiss the base of her neck while his bare hands against her bare back kept her immobile. She remembered only then that she had pulled up her hair because of the heat, but by the time his tongue had found the spot between her shoulder blades that thought, like all the rest, was gone.
His rough, calloused hands followed the curve of her shoulder to the center of her back, then further south, tracing the planes of her back until they dipped at the dip of her waist. "I've always loved your back..." he mumbled half under his breath as if he never intended for her to hear him at all. And even though she did, she didn't know what to answer him. Wouldn't have known what to answer to something like that even if she would have been in her right thinking mind.
Which she wasn't.
If she would have been in her right thinking mind, there was no way she would have allowed herself to moan as his lips touched the small of her back, right where the waist band of her jean shorts started.
He went completely still at the sound and unconsciously, completely instinctually, she arched her back, pressing her skin more fully within his reach.
Meanwhile, the song had started again, the fall of the player having apparently stuck it on repeat and the beginning lyrics were the only sound in the completely silent room except for the whir of the fan somewhere to their right. "You make me feel like splendor in the grass where we're rolling..." And Raven was finally able to turn around. His hands trailed across her flesh as she moved, never moving away but not stopping her. "Damn skippy baby"
He had crouched by then, to be better able to reach the parts of her he wanted and when her eyes finally fell on him, he had to look up at her. Their eyes met over the mounds of her bra clad breasts and the flat of her stomach, he was that close.
Nothing that had happened that night so far had surprised her as much as the sight of his naked blue eyes staring at her through strands of mussed black hair.
And through the fog of her thoughts, she realized that he hadn't had to let her see him maskless. That he could have put it on before he came to her, that he could have very easily have kept her facing away from him, that he could have turned away when she did turn around – any number of things, but he hadn't. He had waited for her to meet his eyes. What did that mean? She didn't know, especially not right then, when it was all she could do to keep from reaching out to tangle her fingers in his hair and pull him forcefully up to her lips.
And she somehow managed to realize that although she would have the excuse of the heat and her runaway emotion to blame come morning, he had nothing. She knew better, even in that state. She knew that even if her lust emotion running rampant might have prompted her to allow this little trist, lust had never been tempted by any one else in the Tower except for Robin. So yes, she could blame lust in the morning as to giving in to the desire, but never for the desire itself.
'What about Robin?' she wondered. What excuse would he have in the morning.
And then his thumbs were tracing small circles on the flesh just under the bottom of her ribcage and she realized it didn't matter. It didn't even matter why he had decided to start this now, today, like this. He could blame the heat too for all she cared.
He was waiting. He knew she wanted this as much as he did and yet he waited. He touched her so that she wouldn't forget what he was offering, but he waited just the same. He could have pushed her, could have taken the decision out of her hands, but he didn't and she was forced to decide whether or not she wanted to be the responsible one.
So she let her hands caress his cheeks first, then his hair, her fingers splaying against the back of his head so that she could raise him to her lips. And although he raised his face in expectation, he resisted her desire to pull him to standing and remained crouched down in front of her. His look of expectation turned mischievous as he grinned. "Oh, no...I'm not done down here yet..." he spoke.
Her need to taste his lips overpowered her confusion so she bent close to him, pressing her lips against his smirk and kissing everything except the taste of her away. When he finally broke the kiss, it was to raise his hands from waist to shoulders where he gently pushed her back. She gasped involuntarily when the bare skin of her back came into contact with the cold metal door, then gasped again as his lips found the sensitive, soft flesh of her belly.
"So many sensitive spots," he spoke between alternating soft nips and licks.
Lust was in sensory heaven while Raven was in a pleasurable hell. She ached and needed and strained seeking out things she couldn't exactly name. She enjoyed what he was doing to her, but she wanted more and didn't know how to even begin to ask for it. The word 'please' froze on her lips as even in this state she couldn't allow herself to beg with such abandon. Especially when she didn't even know what she was begging for. She swallowed the plea back and alternated between pulling at his hair still between her fingers and pressing herself closer to his mouth, not caring if she wasn't being as gentle as he was being with her.
But he would not be rushed. He took his time tasting her like a fine dish, distinguishing between tastes like a connoisseur, pausing every time she gasped or he raised involuntary goosebumps with his ministrations as if he were taking the time to mentally catalog the exact geographic spot, what he had done, and what the reaction had been. As if he had taken it upon himself to find each of the sensitive spots on her anatomy. And as he worked his way up her body with laborious deliberateness, she shivered with the complete certainty that he did indeed have every intention of finding and exploring each one.
It reminded her of learning to play an instrument by touch: figuring what sound each chord would bring and which when strung together made the loveliest music.
Yes, she decided as Robin found the ticklish spot just by the third rib of her left side that made her gasp and laugh at the same time and instinctively pull back from him, Robin was not only learning how to play her, he was quite an adept.
As for her, well, it was driving her quite mad.
Finally, as he had worked his way to her collar bone (having skipped her breasts by necessity since they were still covered by the neutral colored microfabric) she could take no more of his particular brand of torture and taking a fistful of his hair in her hands, pulled him away from her. He winced slightly, but the expression on his face was far from one of pain. She let her fingers fall out of his hair and travel down to his bare shoulders.
Since he was standing at his full height, she was forced to raise up onto her bare toes in order to reach, and holding on to his shoulders for balance, she brought her face up to his, her eyes never leaving his until the final moment when their lips met. His hands, so busy caressing and exploring, circled her back and pulled her into his embrace as he deepened the kiss. Her hands, no longer needed to keep her balance on his shoulders, wound around his neck to hold herself closer to him still.
She couldn't understand it exactly, but the longer they kissed, the more the tightness that had been building inside her during his exploration increased and the weaker her legs seemed to be until by the time they had to come up for air, he grinned at her. When she tried to pull back, however, he shook his head and tsked chidingly. "Do you think we're done yet?" he whispered, nearing her and almost kissing her again.
She held her breath in anticipation. "I just came to use your shower," she half mumbled against his lips.
He pulled back to look at her and laughed. "Is that so?" he asked. She smiled sheepishly and nodded. "Well, then..." one of his arms let go of her and pushed the button next to the door at her back and before she knew it the door she was half leaning against swooshed open, nearly making her lose her balance. He held onto her and before she could completely regain her balance, he was walking forward, forcing her to step backward. Soon, the warm wood of his bedroom floor gave way to cold tile and she knew he had walked them into the bathroom.
She met his eyes in surprise. "Robin?"
He chuckled and reached out behind her and she heard the shower turn on. She had no idea they were so close to the shower already. "Far be it from me to keep a girl from her shower."
His arms were gone front around her, never abruptly, but slowly, as he trailed his hands down her sides to rest once again on her hips, half on her skin and half on the jean material of her shorts. "I can use a shower too," he told her, meeting her eyes significantly from mere inches away. His hands, meanwhile, were tracing the waistband of her jeans the last few inches to the front of her body. "You wouldn't deny a guy the use of his own shower, would you?"
Raven had a moment of lucidity and wondered how in the seven hells she had gotten herself into this predicament. Wondered whether or not she might have fallen on the linoleum of the kitchen tile when she had been cleaning up the watery mess and was not really passed out from a concussion, maybe bleeding slowly from having hit her head against the counter.
But then she felt his warm fingers make quick work of the button and zipper of her shorts and slip under the waistband to lay flat between her underwear and skin and she couldn't seem to care. Lust was back full force and she didn't particularly care about the details only that if Robin managed to slip off her shorts and underwear (the way he was apparently working quite adeptly at doing) he himself was way too dressed for the occasion.
And when it was his turn to gasp as her nimble fingers took hold of the elastic waistband of his boxer shorts and tugged downward, she smirked right into his surprised sultry eyes. "I wouldn't dream of it," she answered.
(1) This was my nod to Showtime's defunct (and Sci-Fi Channel's Re-aired) Dead Like Me and if you don't recognize it and haven't seen the show, then what the hell is wrong with you? It's on Tuesdays on Sci-Fi, right before Eureka.
(2) Feelin' Love, Paula Cole