Take a Bite of My Heart

Jericho's stomach teetered nervously as he anxiously peered over his sketch book at the Titan's common room. Raven was seated before the large window looking out on the river, floating in the air as she chanted her traditional mantra. He was seated, also crossed-legged, on the couch with his sketchbook in his lap, the paper suspiciously empty despite the pencil in his hand. The only other person in the room was Nightwing, who was doing cool-down exercises in the open space in front of the TV. The blond Titan made a few vague sketching movement on the paper; anticipation and nerves kept him from actually drawing anything. Even if his muse were coperating, there was only one thing he would be sketching anyway.

Finally the masked crimefighter in the other end of the room gave a satisfied sigh and waved goodnight to Jospeh, who waved back. Still, the mute waited until he heard Nightwing's footsteps echo all the way up the stairs before moving. Even though he, and everyone else in the tower, knew about his love affair with Koriand'r, Joseph wasn't sure what the leader's reaction would be to another possible relationship within the team. After allowing for a few more minutes to pass, he stood up, leaving his sketchbook on the floor as he walked to where Raven floated.

What Raven's reaction was going to be, he didn't know. In public, she'd treated him with the utmost professionalism, as a team mate to work with in the dangerous job of disabling the world's most dangerous criminals. In the tower, she'd been more open, sitting with him occasionally, critiquing his paintings, listening to his music even when he was playing for nobody. She was always more of herself without the public watching, something he could sense even though her emotions have always been strictly mashalled. In private though, he'd seen so much more of her. He had seen her cry, plead with him not to touch her, seen her so vulnerable that it was hard to reconcile the two pictures of her. The dark Titaness had let him into her world, but only when no one else could witness it, when what had happened could be denied. So he was really taking a shot in the dark in the lion's cage when he walked up beside her and kissed her.

His kiss was as gentle as the skin of her lips; he knew quite well what Raven could do to him if she took offense to this. But even the threat of what could result wasn't enough to make him kiss her on the cheek or forehead instead. The influence of hormones was white hot and his own lover-boy nature whipped him on. She was not a fling. She was not one of the casual lovers he's had in the past. Jericho wanted Raven, but not just whenever he happened to visit the Tower. He wanted her so long as he was breathing, so long as they were alive. And all of these feelings he channeled through his lips for her to understand, the words he couldn't say turned into the feelings she could pick up on.

He pulled himself from her before she could possibly respond and knelt before her. His hands, which had been on either side of her face, slid to her shoulders as he stared into her blue eyes, wide with shock and emotions he couldn't read. He simply remained there, mute as of course he was, green gaze staring honestly into her face: not hiding what he felt or wanted, offering up what he was for Raven to take or reject. He silently offered her his heart, to break or hold as she saw fit.

And at least to Jericho, Raven wasn't half the monster she thought she was when she returned to the floor and kissed him back.