Author's Note 6/21/2013: I'm adding a note to all my fics to tell my readers that yes, all fics will be finished and I am writing. As some of you know, I had a huge health scare, and between October and February was sidetracked with that, having to have gyn surgery in January as well as some extensive medical treatment with side effects. I am now two weeks post op from sinus and nasal surgery and have had complications. It is no party. I'm not even looking forward to vacation next week, but very glad we opted not to fly, as I could not comfortably, but now face a 14 hour drive each way. Oh well, I'm sure I'll feel better soon.
So this being said, my head and heart just isn't always in my writing, and I refuse to just post something for the sake of it, but there are bits and pieces completed, including much of the rest of Double Take and Domestic, so just hang in there for me. Thanks.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans. If I did, I'd share them with Kry.
"Hey Kori, it's me."
She was trying to place the emotions that went along with the tone in his voice with only those four words. "Richard, how are you? You sound, well, I was not quite expecting a call, are you all right, is something wrong?" There was a pause and when she heard him sigh, her curiosity and anxiety pushed her to say more. "Richard, are you doing the regretting of things about the move?"
Kori hated that she mentioned the move, she didn't want to lose her resolve there, and on more than one level she certainly wanted to stay with Richard all the time.
"Oh no, it has nothing to do with the move. We decided that was best and I support you and love you."
"Thank you for your understanding with all of this. I love you also."
"And as for why I'm calling now, things may not be wrong exactly... and I know you just returned to the embassy, but..." he rubbed the back of his neck with his good hand, wondering if it was a bit too much to ask when she obviously needed some space, "um, could you come over for a while, well longer than that if you can, I need my best friend. Kori, I really need you."
Kori melted inside. It was interesting how in the beginning of their relationship that she was worried that he had only wanted to be her friend; now she was glad that they were best friends. They'd need that foundation if they were to end up working through dealing with their notoriety, his cheating, and their separation.
"Of course. I shall be there shortly."
Kori arrived to the manor within an hour of Richard's call, parking her car in the garage and letting herself in from the carport. Normally she would have waited for Richard or Alfred, but she wanted to get to Richard as soon as possible and as of a few hours before, the manor was her residence.
No Richard hadn't explained the details, but Kori believed him that this was no ruse: she was needed or he wouldn't have called. Not to say that she wasn't anxious in a way that left her vacillating between positive and negative no matter how hard she tried to clear her mind of the possibilities.
Plus his words were 'nothing wrong exactly'...
Again she reminded herself that Richard respected her decision to move back to the Embassy and something must have come up which was very important or he wouldn't have asked her to come over. Plus the tone of his voice, what was said, she knew he was sincere.
Richard was so relieved when he saw her, comfortable enough to have let herself in as she came in from the garage entrance. She looked beautiful, as she always did, dressed comfortably in brown yoga pants and a coordinating ballet necked shirt. Her expression was open: not scared or worried, but compassionate. Kori smiled and looked so relieved when she saw Richard. She blushed a bit as well, even flushing on her chest, Richard happened to notice.
But what really caught his attention was that she had a small carry-on bag in tow with her; he hadn't asked but it looked as though she was prepared to stay. Had he telegraphed that to her somehow? He had said 'a while'; he needed her then and he'd need her the next day at the hospital. She would be there for him.
Xavier stayed back and didn't crowd them as Richard and Kori quietly reunited simply holding hands, saying only a few words of greetings, allowing also for Richard to express his gratefulness to Kori for coming over. Xavier watched with piqued interest, noting how attuned they were to each other, reading each other, trusting each other. It surprised him really. A lot had changed since Karen and Vic's wedding.
Alfred took Kori's bag from her. Kori was not shy nor embarrassed and when ask responded, "Richard's room, thank you."
Kori covered her surprise well, but Xavier noticed she hadn't seen him before entering the den where he had waited by the bar.
"Hello Xavier," Kori said politely, keeping her face neutral. Maybe a bit of explanation would have been nice before she came over, but Richard hadn't expected Red to stay that long. Then again, with Kori coming over, Richard should have considered Red would want to stay. His interest in Kori never waned, much to Richard's chagrin.
"Kori, wonderful to see you. You look lovely." He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. She tried not to stiffen, but felt her personal space was invaded, and she was still unable to grasp the love/hate relationship between Richard and Xavier.
"Xavier came over for a house call." Richard said, touching Kori's shoulder and her attention turned back to him. "A ride on my motorcycle today put a great deal of stress on my hand, and it broke through the adhesions and scar tissue left from the accident, so, well, I guess I'd better have the expert tell you."
"Dick did the right thing to call me. His ride on that motorcycle to Barbara's today was a blessing in disguise." Kori stiffened and clenched her jaw, even though she knew that Richard had gone to Barbara's to retrieve Kori's letters to Richard which Barbara had intercepted, it was not something that she expected anyone else to know about, nor did she want to be reminded about it. "The stress stretched his hand and as Dick said, broke up some of the scar tissue which had set up as part of the healing after his injury. The plan is for me to go in tomorrow and debride all the scar tissue and see if we can get back more of the range of motion in Dick's hand."
Richard touched Kori's elbow, bringing her attention back, making her realize that she was much like a spectator as the two men spoke to her, "Apparently I am nowhere near where I should be with my range of motion."
"Oh, I did not realize," Kori said, placing a hand over his. "I believe we were doing the worrying about me and not placing any concern about your recovery."
"No, Kori, it's not that-"
Xavier interrupted, "Don't worry about it now, Kori. I'm good and we'll fix this and get Dick his range of motion back. His strength is good and there is no need to dwell on the past."
"What is the outcome you are expecting, Xavier?" Kori asked.
"I said you don't need to worry about it, Kori. Richard is in good hands and I won't let either of you down."
Kori's eyes narrowed at Xavier but then she turned her attention back to Richard. She hated being patronized, but that was the least of her concerns. "How is the discomfort now? Is there the pain?"
"Nothing I can't handle." Richard's voice was tight, Kori was not sure if he meant Xavier's presence as part of that discomfort, but she couldn't be certain. She imagined the hand must hurt, but she hadn't looked at Richard's right hand herself.
Kori turned to Xavier, putting a polite smile on her face. "Thank you for staying so I could hear about the surgery directly from you, Xavier." Her not so subtle ability to dismiss him was likely not going to work, but she thought she would try. It was not her style either, so Richard had to do his best not to openly gape at her. There was silence so she added, "Do you have an OR time?"
"Not yet, Cu-, um, not yet, the coordinator will page me in a bit."
Dick set his jaw and there was an audible grinding of teeth. A moment of awkwardness passed. "Thank you again for coming over, Xavier," Richard exuded politeness and finesse and Kori relaxed, "but if you don't mind, I can offer you one more for the road but I'd like to talk to Kori-"
Xavier held up his hands, "Oh no, I've intruded long enough, I just wanted to be here in case Dr. Anders had any questions. It's been an emotional day from everything you've told me Dick. I'll see myself out and make sure I'm well rested for tomorrow. The coordinator will be in touch shortly with the OR time I'd imagine."
"Thank you, Xavier." Kori said, hands clasped behind her back.
"Thank you for taking such good care of my number one patient," Xavier added with a smirk. "I'll see you in the morning, Dick."
"You shall see us both," Kori added.
Kori had remained close, holding on to Richard's good hand, politely listening to Xavier's last minute instructions and a few unnecessary tips and stories, and then the three went through another round of good nights.
With a huge sigh of relief, Richard closed the door behind Xavier and pulled Kori in for an embrace. "Thank you. For everything."
"You are most welcome."
He didn't let her go, trying to convey all that he meant about everything.
"Are we to stand here all night by the front door, Richard?" Kori teased.
"Sorry sweetheart, just caught up in holding you." He pulled out of the hug and looked at her. "Do you need anything to eat or drink?"
"I am fine. Can I get you anything?"
"I am also concerned about your surgery as well and how your are doing the holding up."
"It will be fine. A bit of a shock, I'm still processing it."
"I can understand that. I am relieved that there is more that can be done for the hand, although I was unaware that it was not doing well."
"I guess I wasn't paying attention either."
"But I am also very pleased about something. You have made me happier than you realize tonight Richard."
"My moving out was meant as a way to make us stronger, not weaker. I worried you would misinterpret it. However, you needed me and called. It made me happy, not that I want you to go through something serious like more surgery, but I will be here for you this time and anytime you need me."
"Did you hesitate to call me?"
"I called Red first-"
"That makes the most sense."
"-but I called you right after I knew what was going on."
"It does show we are not completely broken."
"We aren't Kori, we aren't."
They stayed up and talked about their concerns and fears about the surgery. How he hadn't realized the limitations he could face even now, how it could impact his career. Kori shared his concern and expressed her regret in being to focused on herself; Richard remarked on how he didn't care in the beginning and how he did get wrapped up in things with her too much later on.
"We may not completely broken, Richard, but things were not the healthy between us Richard."
"No, they weren't."
"But we are going to do the fixing of it."
"From the ground up if we have to."
She knitted her brow. They had held hands, held each other, had shared a few chaste kisses – were they going back to the beginning? "Do you wish to return to the very beginning?"
He gave her a startled look. "You don't think, you don't think we need to - not the very beginning, right?"
"I cannot imagine we can. There is too much history: from before, in Tamaran, and then from this Spring and Summer."
"True. There is a foundation."
"But we cannot just do the picking up where we left off."
"Oh, no, I guess not."
"Richard, as much as I can do the forgiving, I must do as well do the understanding."
"Okay." He drew the word out so it reflected how skeptical he was of the next question, which unfortunately was:
"Richard, why did you cheat on me with Barbara?"
To be continued...
A cliffhanger... after all these months. I am so mean. I had written this a while ago and didn't get the 'why Dick cheated' anywhere near the way I want so I had to leave it here.
Not promising on updates but I am writing. I have a consult 2/19/13 with another gyn/onc to see what his recommendations are; I hope he can fix me!