A/N: Totally about the Blight/Plunder relationship.
Also, I find it hard to believe that the Eco-villains are douchebags 100% of the time; after all, we always see them at their worst...
Many thanks to mudget for her proofreading and encouragement!
Babs relaxed a little bit more on the raft, the hot sun making her a little drowsy. She pushed her sunglasses up to the bridge of her nose to better block out the light. It was scorching outside, and she wanted to take the opportunity to work on her tan, something she rarely did nowadays. Letting her hands fall into the water, she lazily maneuvered the float towards the center of the deep end.
She wore a rather skimpy pink bikini, as she wanted as few tan lines as possible. Looten had very helpfully applied tanning oil to her back, and she grinned a little when he took his time, not that she minded. As a matter of fact, he had enthusiastically volunteered to assist with that task, and she deliberately teased him by slowly rubbing the oil onto her legs as she 'thought' about it.
This was Babs' favorite penthouse property of Looten's; his living space occupied the top three floors of the building, not to mention a separate extension built for a helipad. Although he had many similar homes, this was the only one with a private pool. Also, the fact that it was in Miami helped; the clubs, the restaurants, the cruises, Looten took her out to all of them, whenever he had the free time, like today for instance.
She had insisted that they just relax at home this time, as she sensed his energy levels were a little low after a full week of business trips and almost round the clock board meetings. He had seemed a little relieved, although she knew he would gladly take her to wherever she might have wanted to go. But she herself had a busy week; Greedly had ordered a whole slew of new machines with some pretty specific design specs, and some of those calculations had to be reworked. She was a biochemist by training, not an engineer, and although she found that she had a natural talent for it, she occasionally made errors. Those set her back, but she managed to finish by the deadline.
Babs sighed contentedly to herself, stroking the surface of the water aimlessly. She did look over at where Looten was relaxing on a very expensive sun lounger, most likely asleep. Unsurprisingly, he wore a pair of green swim shorts that reached almost to his knee, with his designer sunglasses laying somewhat crookedly on his face. She thought she heard him snore a little.
She closed her eyes again and started to drift off. The warmth was really having an effect on her-
Babs carefully sat up at the sound and looked around. She didn't see anything, but she did notice that Looten was gone. She carefully looked into the water itself; it was hard to see, as the tiles lining the bottom were rather dark. Giving up, she settled back down on the raft. Everything was silent for a few minutes.
Then she suddenly found herself underwater, shocked by the relative coldness. Her head quickly broke the surface. There was no way she had lost her balance, but she had a very good idea what just happened. She flailed around a little bit, trying to get her bearings, and her hands around his neck.
Looten was treading water only a few feet away, half of his face underwater, undoubtedly concealing a wicked grin.
She glared at him. "You!"
Then she lunged. He took a deep breath and dove downwards, easily evading her, and leading her into the shallow end.
Surfacing, he started to laugh."Oh God, the LOOK on your face!"
He laughed so hard he lost his footing in the shallows and fell backwards into the water, giving her an idea. As he struggled to get back up, she hit the water with her palms, splashing water directly into his face.
"Argh!" He splashed a little as he slipped again.
The second he resurfaced, she leapt on him and pushed him completely underwater. She wasn't angry anymore, really, but she still wanted to wreak horrible, horrible vengeance. Suddenly, she felt something was a little...off; she couldn't quite put her finger on it. Then Looten surfaced, with a smirk on his face, and her bikini top in his hand.
Something was quite literally off.
Babs stood there, mouth open in abject horror. It wasn't like it was something he'd never seen before, but she instinctively clasped her arms around her chest. He started laughing, rather maniacally.
Suddenly her expression changed; an evil grin of her own plastered on her face. Looten stopped laughing and stepped back, knowing better than to trust that look.
Arms now outstretched she playfully tackled him around the waist, knocking him back again, only this time almost to the shallow water of the steps. He seemed a little surprised at the move, and pleased, as her chest was now pressed against his. But her suspicious expression still hadn't changed, and he knew she had something else up her sleeve. By the time he felt her hands on his ribs, however, Looten knew he was too late to stop her.
"NO! AhahahahahahaSTOPSTOPSTOP!" He thrashed around frantically, desperate to get away. He was horribly ticklish, and he cursed the day she found out. Mostly.
But she used her body weight to pin him down on the stairs, and mercilessly continued with the torture.
"Babs..." he gasped. "Stop it!"
"Oh no, I don't think so." She knew she had an incredibly evil look on her face, and she loved watching him squirm, especially underneath her. But she knew his limit on this, and just as he was about to actually push her off him, she stopped. She slid her arms across his back, pulling both of them even closer. He let go of the top, and it floated away. Babs ignored it.
She leaned forward even more, their noses almost touching. He seemed entranced by her. Her wet hair was plastered to her face, and she knew her scar wasn't showing. But he suddenly lifted his right hand and brushed the platinum lock away with his thumb, tucking it behind her ear. Looten never said anything about how she hid almost half her face on a daily basis, but she knew that sometimes he wished she didn't. Babs never understood that, honestly, as she was still very self-conscious about it, and she found it hard to imagine why it didn't bother him. As a matter of fact, it had never seemed to bother him, unlike other men she fleetingly dated in the past. All the rejections based on what she considered superficial hurt her a lot, although she was very loathe to admit it.
At times, it seemed as though he actually liked it.
The blue pigment in her left eye had been darkened by the chemicals, although she retained her normal sight. Babs always thought it was ugly, uglier than the scar, and even if she did see a plastic surgeon about the rest of her face, her eyes would always be mismatched.
"Why do you do that?" He returned the embrace, locking the both of them together.
"Do what?" She knew exactly what he was asking.
"Hide like that." Looten had a slightly concerned look on his face, although everyone she knew swore he was incapable of that emotion.
She sighed. "You know why."
"Yeah, I know why you cover it up, but why do you hide it from me?"
She raised both eyebrows, the question surprising her. "I..I guess I don't want you to have to see it."
He smirked. "Like I am right now?"
Looten just looked at her.
"Why do you want to see it so badly? It's horrific looking, for God's sake!" she blurted out, turning her head away.
"Babs..." he began.
"I just can't fathom how you can even stand it when I can't," she said, more softly this time.
He unclasped one hand from behind her and gently turned her head to face him. She couldn't read the emotion in his eyes.
He shook his head."It's hard to explain."
She sighed, and pressed her forehead against his. "I want to know."
"Let me ask you something first."
"If it bothers you so much, then why don't you have something done?"
She drew back a little. "I have a few reasons."
He nodded. "I thought so. What are they, if you don't mind me asking?"
Babs shut her eyes for a moment. "I don't want to forget him." Then she opened them, her expression hard. "I want to look at myself in the mirror every damned day, so I don't forget about him. Those bastards will never kill that."
She slumped over a little, putting her head on his chest.
"What else?" he gently prodded, resting his chin on her head.
She didn't answer for a while, content to listen to his heartbeat.
She said finally, "I don't want to forget what they did to me. How they made it a part of me. Removing the scar won't make it go away. It never will." She felt her eyes fill with tears. "That's why I don't get rid of it. It just doesn't matter if it's visible or not."
She heard him sigh deep within his chest. "If it doesn't matter, then why do you hide it?"
"Because I still hate it." He gently rubbed her back.
She spoke again, "And I keep it as a test."
"I want to see if people can look past it or not. They usually don't."
He sighed again.
"Except for you. You don't care about it. You never seemed to care."
"Babs, when I first met you, I knew there was something that had happened to you that you couldn't fix. It clearly shaped who you were. And if I couldn't completely accept you, then how could I possibly expect you to do the same for me? Scars are going to be a part of you, as incredible fashion sense will always be a part of me," he joked.
She laughed loudly at that and pulled back again, looking him in the face. "That and bad ponytails."
Looten actually looked a little hurt. She grinned. "I'm kidding. After all, they're really useful for things like this," she tugged it back, tilting his chin up a little.
Tenderly kissing his throat, she shifted both arms up to the back of his neck. Babs felt him relax. She hadn't realized how tense he had been until then, although she doubted it was due to their conversation. She slowly made her way up his jawline, heading for the very sensitive area behind his ear. He groaned a little, and she felt his hands travel down to the small of her back, pulling her in even closer.
"That's...cheating..." he said thickly. "So...evil."
"Maybe you shouldn't flip people's rafts." She lightly traced his collarbone with her finger. "Would you like to go inside to discuss this further?"
He didn't verbally answer, simply responding by picking her up in his arms and stepping out of the pool, quickly heading inside.
She giggled. "I'll take that as a yes."
Argos Bleak had a long day, and he was eager to get home. He first had to land the chopper at Plunder's place to get to his car which was parked there.
Bleak carefully touched down and ran a systems check before he shut down the craft for the night. Yawning, he walked towards the elevator door, the path taking him parallel to the pool. It was evening, however the pool lights glowed brightly.
He cast a casual glance to the side, and stopped when he saw something floating near the surface, illuminated by the glow. Curious, he crouched down and fished it out.
He sighed, rolled his eyes, and tossed the discarded bikini top back into the water.
He really didn't want to know.