A/N: ::helpless shrug:: I posted this onto my 'emsscraps' before posting it onto here and asked for some advice as to whether this was worth posting, what it was they were talking about, etc. And although I was provided with lots of good possibilities, it occurred to me that, as newpoint pointed out, I don't need to state what exactly prompted this moment between Raven and Speedy. (Yes, it's a Raven/Speedy one-shot)
There is the possibility that this could be converted into a longer, multi-chaptered piece. The idea of how to carry it out is there, in my head, and thanks to all the people that commented on my 'emsscraps' for helping me develop it and for Absentia for placing some more seeds of thought in my head regarding it as well. But I don't know if it will ever be written, simply because I've got so much on my plate right now...I want to finish the two multi-chapter fics I'm so close to finishing before I start posting any other multi-chaptered fics.
So yeah. Warning: Angst-City. Dead ahead.
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Now, shoo.
A Thin Line
"It's a thin line between love and hate..."
- The Pretenders
"I can't believe you're actually being defensive about this," he ground out.
"What did you expect?" she asked, crossing her arms and looking at him calmly, "For me to roll over and beg forgiveness?"
He laughed, but there was no humor. "You're not even going to pretend to be sorry for this, are you?"
She swallowed visibly. "What good would it do?"
"Well," he scoffed, "it wouldn't hurt."
"It would me."
He narrowed his eyes at her, "I think a little hurt's your due, don't you?"
"I didn't do anything wrong, Speedy," she asserted in the no-nonsense tone of voice that made him want to shake her. "I did what I had to do."
"No, you didn't, Raven, you didn't have to do..." he faltered, unable to say it for some reason. "You didn't have to do anything."
"Just because you were too much of a coward to--"
"You cold hearted bitch," he interrupted, his tone low and hard the way she had never heard it before.
She couldn't meet his eyes, so she turned and gave him her back, shrugging nonchalantly. "You say that as if it's news."
Behind her, Speedy visibly fought with himself not to reach out and turn her around to face him. Finally, he turned around, holding his arms to his side stiff, almost shaking. "Fine, Raven, if that's the way you want to play this, then I guess..." his throat constricted around the words that would end things the way he knew they had to be ended, but he didn't know why. She obviously didn't care, if her actions were anything to go by, she didn't care about...
He stopped, realization dawning. He didn't know what he saw that made him realize it, but it was suddenly there and he knew exactly what she was doing and why.
"You know what?" he asked, turning on his heel and facing her again, even though she was still turned away from him, pretending to search through the kitchen cupboards for a glass. "No," he said, closing the distance between them in long strides. "I won't let you."
"Let me what, Speedy?" she asked, her voice absent, as if she had already dismissed him.
But he was watching and he saw the way her skin reacted as soon as he was behind her, seconds before he touched her and he felt the immediate tensing of her muscles the moment he did. He turned her around and held her chin so she had to look at him.
"I won't let you hide behind that cold facade anymore," he told her, his tone still half angry. "I won't let you push me away just because you're afraid."
She scoffed, "Afraid of what?"
"Of feeling," he told her and he was suddenly smiling. Not tenderly the way he had before, not even in the flippant, offhand way he did usually. This was a different smile, knowing and a little sad. "I make you feel, don't I?" he asked. "I make you feel amused, maybe angry sometimes, maybe even love, I make you feel something and you are just so afraid you can't stand it."
"Don't try to force excuses on what I did because you can't handle the blunt truth of what I am, Speedy," she said coldly. "I don't need you to excuse me because I did nothing wrong and I don't need you to forgive me because I--" she paused for a moment and he wasn't sure if it was because he held onto her too tight or something else, "--don't care what you think about me."
"I believe that you don't care what I think about you," he told her. "I believe that you don't care so long as you are protected and don't have to face the fact that I make you feel anything so strongly you don't know how to deal with it."
Raven moved, tried to get out of his grip, but he held tight.
"I'm right, aren't I?" he asked.
"No," she answered.
"Just let me help you," he tried, his voice tender, his eyes pleading.
"There is nothing to help," she insisted.
"Damnit Raven!" he exclaimed.
"You're not listening," she said bluntly. "I do what I must for this team and I don't regret what I do and I certainly don't do anything to either attract or push you away. That would be utterly illogical." She met the whites of his mask. "I did it because I had to and you are the one that can't seem to deal with the fact that I feel nothing about it." She glared at him. He seemed like he wanted to argue so Raven shook her head. "I'm sorry if I've broken your perception of me." She didn't sound apologetic, but not angry either. She sounded as if she were merely stating a fact. "I'm sorry if you thought there really was some feeling, tender girl under this rough and cold exterior, but there isn't." She waited a moment to see if he was listening, if she was getting through to him. She could still see he didn't believe her, she could feel it. "What we had, that was just a way to pass the time," she offered him the blankest, most unemotional stare in her repertoire. "You were a good fuck, Speedy, I'll give you that," Speedy flinched, but didn't let her go. Her expression changed just the slightest bit and it was cold, warning. "But I assure you that your talent in bed will not stop me from hurting you should you not let me go right now."
Speedy thought about it for a split second. "No," he answered, without a hint of doubt in his voice.
And before she could even think of a retort, even start to retaliate, he leaned in and kissed her, roughly, passionately, demanding that she respond. Before she could even think of doing anything other than protect herself from the onslaught of his emotions pressing against her as passionately as his lips, he pulled away.
"I'll never let you go, Raven," he said, pressing her against the cabinets at her back, leaning in so close she could kiss him if she tried. "Not until you convince me that I don't mean anything to you, that I don't make you feel."
For a moment, Raven had absolutely nothing to say to that. Then, her expression hardened and Speedy had a glimpse of what her enemies might see. "That's a mistake," she said, more warning than statement before with the rising cold of her power, she was gone.
A/N: I expect you might have question: What did Raven do to piss him off so badly? Well...I don't know.
I've never really written a Speedy like this before. So, what'd you think? I'd appreciate any and all comments, crits, etc.