A/N: Not the most eloquent piece of mine, but I tried to make it sound like Terra. Be warned: this is not a happy ficlet.
Her hands are so pale— luminescent grey-white, like bone under the stars. Her fingers are long, lithe, with delicate paint-brush tips. Her nails are perfect; if I didn't know better, I'd say they're manicured. In summation, they are elegant, but capable; totally perfect for handling those ancient tomes I heard her room's full of.
She's sitting on the couch across from me, leafing through on of them right now; the fingers of her left hand slide like feathers through the stiff, yellowed pages, right hand supporting the crumbling spine with splayed fingers. She reads with her hands just as much as her eyes, stroking the book's edges, tracing words with her fingertips. She doesn't move her lips, something I've never been able to do; she is wholly concentrated on whatever dead language she is deciphering, hooded eyes focused and moving slowly over the words.
Perhaps she senses me staring, because she looks ups, pegging me with violet eyes that are weirdly both accusing and indifferent; and that hurts, because it's almost like she doesn't care.
I want so badly for her to care.
Across from me, Raven blinks, and I realize that I've been gawking openly.
Involuntarily, I blush, heat rising like magma in my cheeks; I secretly bite the inside of my lip, cursing myself as I look back down at the copy of JumpLife magazine in my lap. Scanning the open pages, I try to find some intrigue in the article on display, even though I don't even read JumpLife and only picked it up as an excuse to sit near her. So maybe it's no surprise that the words and pictures blur before me and my attention is snagged by the brown leather holding down the edge of the page.
I'm always wearing gloves these days. I originally started wearing them as a kind of fashion statement— you know, "Look at me, I'm Terra, earth-goddess/worker-mutant-thing" and all that bullshit. Kinda stupid, but it's a force of habit now; these gloves are my trademark, more so than my blonde hair or so-called "sunny" smile. The only time I take them off is in the shower and when I go to bed. Beast Boy sometimes jokes that I even wear them during sex— not like he would know.
Under these worn leather gloves, my hands are nothing like Raven's. They're ugly— and if not ugly, then at least no very pretty. My palms are broad and blocky, my knuckles prominent, my fingertips calloused and rough. My skin is dry, cracked and raw in some places; scabs complete the terrain. There is always dirt under my short, square nails-- always. Despite the gloves and no matter how many times I wash them, dirt always manages to creep under them. Sometimes I wonder if the dirt isn't coming out of me— but that's going a little far.
I try to envision our hands next to each other and, if I'm feeling really brave, holding her hand. Raven's. I can't picture it, though; my mind's adamantly opposed to the image. So I try to imagine what her hand would fee like.
They'd be dry— I have no doubt about that. Raven's calm and other than a temper tantrum or two (which are dwindling in regularity) almost never loses her cool. Sliding a glance up, I see her fondle a dusty page and think that her hands might feel like that— dry, soft like moth's wings. And firm, not fleshy, bones and muscle mixed to just the right degree so that the feel of bone is dominant but the muscle unmistakable. . . .
Suddenly, like she's annoyed, she sighs with a little more than a hint of frustration; she rises from the couch in a motion that makes my stomach feel like someone dropped a 50 pound weight in it. I want to say something to make her stay, but instead I watch her leave with a kind of slack-jaw expression, just staring idiotically as she was across the common room; the hallway pulls her in, and the door swooshes closed behind her.
Grimacing, I dig around in the seat cushions of the couch till I find my iPod.
"Fuck me," I curse under my breath, putting in the earphones. Fuck me.
I guess the real issue of debate is whether they'd be warm or not.
They certainly would be now, because she's holding a warm bowl of mashed potatoes and handing it to an overly eager Starfire (seated on her left), who doesn't even bother to spoon it onto her plate but dumps a shit-load of mustard in it and begins eating it out of the bowl. Needless to say, no one else will be partaking of the mashed potatoes tonight.
Using her napkin to wipe a tiny splotch of mustard off her plate, Raven engages herself in a conversation with Boy Wonder at her right, idly picking at her food.
It's kind of unusual to see Raven at dinner. She doesn't eat a lot; her biggest meal of the day is breakfast, which is a meager amount even in my opinion; lunch never exceeds the smallest slice of pizza, and she usually skips dinner entirely. She makes certain to attend at least three out of seven times a week for friendship's sake, but that's about it. Otherwise, her spot at the table is unoccupied, an empty space that the rest of us are careful to overlook.
The conversations going on around me are all a single haze I can't make much sense of, but I single out the languid, scratchy monotone of Raven's voice and watch her fondle her fork. Really, she fondles everything, like she's getting to know whatever she's holding. She slides and rotates her fingers around the fork nonchalantly; it's such a simple, mundane action, but with her it's like she weaving a spell. And I wonder again if her hands would be warm. She's so cold, so detached from her emotions, totally latched to her passionless intellect.
What if her hands were cold? I feel my brow shift in questions. What if they were cool or indifferent to their environment, like marble or dry ice?
"Ah—huh?" I snap to attention ungracefully, grunting as I pull my eyes towards Beast Boy with his puppy dog stare.
"Are you OK?" he asks, and I feel the creep of a blush.
"What?— oh, yeah. I'm good. Why— something the matter?"
He blinks. "Erm, well, you're, like, not eating. . . ."
Not thinking, I spear a forkful of green beans and stuff them into my mouth. "Dere," I heard myself say around my food, "beh-er?"
It's unfortunate that Raven chooses this moment to pause in her lazy banter with Robin and look at me, because I can feel a river of green liquid run out of my mouth and trickle down my chin.
Beast Boy gives a high-pitched laugh and I try not to give way to a furious flushing and not choke at the same time while Cyborg "pats" my back and says that there's the appetite he remembers.
Robin and Starfire both laugh lightly, but Raven doesn't even crack a smile. She's not looking at me anymore, but down at her plate, pushing around her own food with even less enthusiasm than before; the downward tip of one corner of her mouth hints at otherwise untraceable disgust. She doesn't glance up again.
It takes a couple of tries, by I finally manage to swallow past the lump in my throat.
I've decided: they're warm.
The conclusion came to me last night while I was lying sleeplessly in bed, curling and uncurling my fingers, gloves discarded on the nightstand. Warm they have to be warm.
Raven is cold. She's jaded. She is reserved to the point of apathy. All this has been well-established. But she's not completely untouchable— right? I mean, aren't we, the Titans, proof of that? We're her friends, we mean something to her. For us, she pulls down her walls; she gives us small smiles, tiny chuckles; she puts up almost lovingly with our antics; she offers her shoulders for us to cry on; she shares and carries our burdens without complaint.
Most people think that eyes are the windows to the soul. I think it's the hands.
Which is why her hands have to be warm.
And when she jerked away from the kiss that I had hastily, clumsily forced upon her pale lips, stood back and slapped me hard across the face, I found myself proven right. It was not a hand of stone or metal that met my cheek; no, her hand was all I had imagined it to be: firm, long, soft, dry, and warm, a hand with blood pulsing at its center that called the blood to rise in my cheeks.
I stood, shocked and staring at her numbly, lips pounding from the kiss. The Kiss. Oh shit.
Raven's eternal violet eyes bored into me. Their expression was surprised— totally flabbergasted. Her lips, parted in shock, were also slightly pink from my rude kiss. Unconsciously, I licked my own lips, tasting her there.
I hadn't meant to do it. But she'd been standing up here on the roof all by herself, looking ethereal in the blue moonlight and I'd been watching her so silently for so long and I knew her hands were under that cloak of hers somewhere, if only I could find them and feel. . . .
But when she turned to me I forgot about her hands entirely.
You know those moments in movies when you see the hot chick turn around and you know just by looking at her that some guy's about to kiss her? It was like that. I must have made some sort of noise, creeping up on tip-toe behind her, because she jerked sharply to face me. . . .
Surprise. She'd never looked so surprised.
I should have known better, but right then I couldn't help but think, Why am I so obsessed with her hands? The rest of her is just as beautiful. But I didn't mean to do what I did. I didn't mean to kiss her.
Like it's got a mind of it's own, I see my arm raise tentatively, my gloved hand shaking. I call out, my voice weak and cracking pathetically:—
"Raven— I. . . ."
She narrows her eyes, which have turned chilly indigo. Anger is etched in her face, replacing the astonishment in a flash. The hand that slapped me is at her side, balled into a tight fist and quivering. Her knuckles are white.
The next thing I know, she is brushing past me, her freezing hostility hitting me like a brick monolith, a wall of ice.
And now I am alone on the roof.
I look down with stinging eyes, trying not to cry. The red welt on my cheek burns angrily; there is a lump in my throat and that same old 50 pound weight has been dropped in my stomach again. My chest hurts. My hands are cramped. I feel ashamed, so fucking ashamed.
Yes, her hands were warm. But I should have limited myself to worshipping them quietly and from a safe distance. Because now, even if I somehow touch them again, her hands will be cold.
A/N: Yeah. So this is the first in a series of TT ficlets that center around the female characters and the different femslash ships. Most of them are going to be shorts; no serious stories. I know for sure i'm gonna do: Starfire/Blackfire, Starfire/Terra, Jinx/Raven, Blackfire/Raven, and maybe a Blackfire/Terra. Then I'm going to get to the guys . . . which will be fun. And i'll also do some het ships too (like Raven/Slade, Raven/Trigon, Terra/Slade, Raven/Batman).