Alright...it's a little rough. But still, I thought y'all would enjoy, nonetheless.
Please read and review.
Flamers and Praise welcome!
It was a pair of weak legs that carried the former playboy out of bed... But it was an undeniable pull that guided him towards his girlfriend's room. After sleeping a good fourteen hours, he couldn't wait any longer to see her. Given everything they'd been through the last few days...he needed to see her.
Bruce and Alfred assessed both of them as 'under recovery'. Richard suffered from two broken ribs, a cracked collarbone, and a sprained ankle. Painful, to say the least...but nothing as far as fatal injuries. Kori was around the same status. Bruised up...two cracked bones in her shoulder...and though she had internal bleeding around her kidneys...blood-clotting medicine and saline had her stabilized. It had been a rough trip...not the first 'vacation' he'd hoped for them to share together. He thought ironically.
In all honesty...he felt happy. All this was...over. All the drama. All the stress of Kori leaving him at the end of the year. And-now that he knew what had been going on-now she was finally safe. He wasn't going to lose her... She was...his. She was all his...
With a slight sigh of victory, he turned the corner and found himself in the recovery wing...where his angel slept. In reality, this is the room he should have been placed as well. But...if he knew his adopted father-and he did-the reasoning was likely something to do with...he needed rest. And if Kori was so close to him, he'd want to be awake and beside her. He had to admit, it worked...he was well rested. Sore, to say the least. But not tired.
He eased himself gently into the seat beside her cot. ...he assumed Bruce and/or Alfred had visited her prior. For a moment, he simply looked her over...the fluttering of her lashes...her heavy breathing...he could only imagine she was still in pain. The subtle pursing of her lips. There was an unsettling jump in his heart at the thought of the agony coursing through her body. Swallowing the lump in his throat, he reached forward and took her hand gently in his.
Her eyes opened with the touch, and she looked over to him with a weak half smile. Perhaps she wasn't as 'asleep' as he'd thought.
"Richard..." she sighed, with a touch of pleasure in her voice. The relief in her gaze as she looked him over painted a slight grin on his face...it was contagious. Being in her presence after such an ordeal was, for lack of a better word, heavenly.
With admiration and the utmost care, he placed a gentle kiss on the back of her hand, and brought it up to the side of his face, cradling it softly. She couldn't help but smile in approval, and cupped his cheek with a gentle touch. Dancing her thumb along his jaw line, she studied him...part of her wanted to see how badly he was damaged. And the other part...just needed to make sure he was really there.
"Hey, Angel... How ya feeling?" he asked her, watching her calmly. She couldn't help but place a light smirk across her lips, and allowed one of her brows to raise,
"I could ask you the same question." she replied cockily. He grinned and took that as an 'I'm okay.'
"I'm just fine."
"Good." she purred, watching him as he kissed her hand again, before she pulled it back down to her chest and squeezed it. There was a moment of silence and staring at the floor, before she met his gaze again, "Richard, what happened?" she asked with a shaky voice. He swallowed and looked her over...he knew she'd be asking sooner or later.
"You did it, babe...you got 'em." he said, running a hand through her hair, and trying to hide the muscles tensing in his body. As happy as he was to see her awake and well, he had been admittedly dreading this conversation. So many different ways this could play out. So many different ways this could affect her. He bit the inside of his cheek, and fought to keep the soothing smile on his face... But the look she gave him filled him in on the fact that she was not buying it.
"No...after that." she clarified. He swallowed and looked away for s moment, "What about Kellmar?" she pushed a little further...hoping specifics would get the ball rolling a little easier. Slowly, he nodded,
"Okay...maybe I got one." he offered her a slight grin, trying to add a little humor to the mood...trying to laugh it off. But Kori frowned,
"Babe. ...what happened?" her tone was stern, and she looked him over...one way or another, she was going to get this out of him. And maybe he sensed that. He turned serious, and he looked away for a moment to gather his nerves which had scattered across the floor.
"Kellmar...went after you, once we got to the ground." he began, looking back to her to get a read on how she was reacting so far. She seemed unsurprised. Noting the 'we' he'd used... But than, she'd assumed he saved her. That much was...well, to be expected from him.
"And I got him." he continued, receiving a nod, which told him to continue further. A chill went down his spine, as he recalled the scene as if it were playing out in front of him again. Shuttering, he found himself unable to look at her, and turned his gaze back to the floor,
"And then what happened?" she urged gently. She could see that he was struggling with this... But she just couldn't let it go. She needed to hear this. ...surely he understood.
"The guards rushed in to see what happened..." he began again... Kori remained silent...watching him...waiting, with a tight grip on his strong hand. "You weren't moving...I don't even think you were breathing... I thought...everyone thought you were..." Dick trailed off and closed his eyes... It didn't matter how theoretical it was...he couldn't bring himself to say that word. ...not with her.
"Dead." she said it for him. He clenched his teeth, and continued staring at the unremarkable tile that coated the floor. Slowly, he regained his metaphorical balance and nodded,
"The referee checked your pulse...declared you were..." he paused, and stole a nervous glance at his beautifully wary girlfriend, "He told me I was free to go." he met her eyes with his...and she could see the turmoil like a flashing light... Offering his hand a light squeeze,
"And than...?" she pushed just a little further. Dick studied her for a moment. Well...he'd have to get the cat out of the bag sooner or later. Not only did she deserve to know...but she needed to. This was her business, more than it was his...though he didn't want to admit it.
"They had no leader. I told the ref I was taking your body to my lab to...take care of, properly. Gave them some bullshit reasoning that...the energy left inside you had to be gently assessed. To prevent global catastrophe." she shivered and looked away. ...she knew he had made it up as he went at the time...but it was eerie... That's just about what would happened to her, should she become deceased. Her body would form a sort of supernova. ...at least that's how the scientific interpretation and intuition had made her see it. This is why she was a threat. This is why she had secrets.
But that neither her nor there. Reality was bearing down on her like a thick lead weight.
"The Tameranian and Gordanian embassies...believe me to be...dead?" she managed... And while she was looking at him, her gaze was far past that of his face.
Dick moved uncomfortably in his seat.
"Kori...it was the only way I could-"
"No. I understand." she cut him off, and continued to stare into a daze. The gears began turning like a twister in her head... If what he said was true-no. She knew it was. He wouldn't lie about something like this. This was reality. And it was crashing down like razors. She knew what this meant. If Tameran thought her dead, she couldn't go back there. It meant she was now but a memory of her home.
But on that same note...perhaps now, she was off the ledger of the Citadel. To them, the Gordanians failed their task. They destroyed their prize. Which could either mean...she was off the hook. This sealed her freedom for eternity. Or...it could mean that the Citadel would acknowledge the lack of body found...and send out another assault to find her.
But assuming her first theory was accurate and she was now...estranged. No home. No family. No history. A clean slate. She couldn't pretend to be mad. She knew he did as necessary. And she couldn't pretend to be heart broken either. She had no family left alive... no friends there. Being royalty, led a rather isolated life style. There was really nothing she was leaving behind.
The only concern left was that her sister held the throne of Tameran. But...there was no more cause for war, when the treasured princess was no longer available for claim. And either way...there was really nothing she could do about it... Unveiling her liveliness was far more dangerous than whatever Kommand'r could reap. For now...there was nothing.
"Kor, I'm-" she stopped him by placing her fingers to his lips. Perhaps she had been lost in her thoughts for a moment too long...but his voice brought her back. She allowed herself a small moment longer to get a read on him...but when she had decided she really didn't need one, she just shook her head.
"Thank you." she spoke with a soft gaze. Richard was...considerably surprised by this. ...he knew she had a lot more on her mind than she was letting show. But...the look in her eyes was...resolved. He could sense she was shaken up by this...but he'd expected more emotion than she was expressing. She was Kori, after all... He folded his brows.
"Kori..." he began...but she shook her head in response and offered a weak smile.
"I know. Thank you..." but he wasn't sure whether or not to take this as her final reaction.
"Than...you understand...about Tameran...?" he asked, hoping she would fill in the rest without him flat out having to say it. But she nodded.
"I do..." she paused to await some sort of reply from the young man sitting across from her. When there was nothing more than a speechless expression on his face (accompanied by a slightly open mouth) she sighed, "What did Bruce say...?" he knew what she meant by that. The nerves in her tight jaw could tell him so.
"We wouldn't have you anywhere but here." his answer was comforting...though she still held a cluster of doubt. He would tell her a based truth. ...whether that was his intention, or otherwise. She knew he tended to infer Bruce's wishes to what he preferred. She would need to clarify the truth in her boyfriend's statement.
"Can...I ask you a favor?" she asked, nervously. But his face softened, and he looked her over,
"Yeah, of course.." ...and even though it had been clarified as an open invitation...the beautiful redhead could feel her nerves itching from beneath her skin.
"Please...don't tell anyone about...me. This." she whispered...almost embarrassed to come out and say such a thing. But Richard studied her for a moment, before slowly moving down and touching his lips to hers.
"I wouldn't, Kor...not without your wishes." he assured her...watching as the smile grazed her features. His eyes locked with hers, and sent a wave of warmth and relaxation down her spine. She leaned forward and kissed him softly...holding the contact for a matter of seconds before pulling away and looking up at him with gracious eyes.
"Thank you..." she managed, before he kissed her again.
"You know I love you, right?" she smiled.
"And you know I love you." she responded, leaning up, and giving him a much longer kiss than before. She wanted to pull him into her, and hold onto him for dear life. She just...needed to know he was actually there... that it wasn't a dream. ...that all this was...really over...
"Please...lie here..." she whined sweetly, not even bothering to hide the desperation from her face. He could feel himself melt upon her request, and touched his hand to her cheek.
"You know you don't have to tell me twice." he consoled, climbing into the cot beside her-wincing all the way-and pulling her body close to his. The reuniting of her body against his after such a traumatic warfare was the most relieving feeling he'd undergone in a very long time. It was a reality check, yes. But it was...conclusion. After so much suffering and fear...he could enjoy the spoils of his victory: her. She was...safe. (Partially) because of him. It was like finally coming home after being gone for months on a grueling trip... He felt complete.
"I can't believe it's...it's finally over." she whispered, melting into him and closing her eyes to soak in the sensation. He followed her lead...it would seem they were on the same page.
The silence took over, and they found themselves lost in each other's company. They didn't notice the billionaire standing just outside the door, listening to every word, and finding himself resolved with their conversation. He tried to ignore the small smile that tried creeping across his face-mostly in means of appearing professional. ...to whom, remained a mystery. He rarely let his emotions take hold of him...but even he had to admit he was pleased with the facts at hand.
He had been stressed out over the Tameran situation, himself. Not so much for the sake of his mission. Business was business. But...he'd gotten to know her. He'd gotten to care about her. ...and he'd gotten to know the horrors of the Gordanian culture. Their ways. Their methods. And he also knew all the behind the scenes details that very few people did. The sheer terror of it all... Terror that would be ungodly for anyone to endure...but for Kori. An angel like Kori... It'd left a sickening twist in the pit of his stomach that wouldn't leave him alone.
Now that she was free, he felt a sense of...peace.
His face hardened slightly, and he pulled his phone from his pocket. There were, of course, loose ends which needed tied. Dancing his fingers along the buttons, he held the small device to his ear. Two rings...
"Mr. Wayne." a voice sounded.
"Mr. Sullivan." Bruce replied with his usual professional tone.
(A/N: If y'all remember, Mr. Sullivan was the man Kori met at Dick's dinner party...the one that was Bruce's inside contact.)
"I trust you are calling in regards to the princess." the man spoke with an edge to his voice. The last news that had been transferred between the two was that of Kori's return to Tameran. One could only imagine the 'edge-of-your-seat' sensation driven with such a predicament.
"Indeed, I am." Bruce spoke, calmly.
"I'm all ears."
"I need you to do something for me."
"Release an article to the Wyicle galaxy... Princess Koriand'r was killed in a duel on Tameran." ...there was a moment of silence. It was to be expected. Kori was the most valued prize in that side of the galaxy... For her to be declared terminated...would affect a mass number of political standpoints.
"Is this true, or is it for security purposes?" the other line rang after another short moment.
"The less you know, Mr. Sullivan." Mr. Wayne assured with an ease to his words. It wasn't as if he didn't trust this man... He did. But given light of the severity surrounding his mission...it was safer to keep it as strictly 'need-to-know' information.
"Very well. It shall be done."
"Pleasure doing business with you."
"We'll be in touch." and with this, the call was ended. The billionaire put his phone back in his pocket, and turned his attention back to the hospital room where his son and house guest were resting. He assumed he'd granted them enough time to wake and catch up on their own details. It was his turn to check in. He took a slight peak through the door to make sure they were decent-hey...they were teenagers, after all-and stepped through it.
"Hey, kids, how we doin?" he asked, looking at the battered kids as they lie together comfortably.
"We're fine." Dick said, simply. It was obvious he just wanted to be left alone with his girlfriend. Well...that, and he wasn't exactly eager to face the consequences of stealing his father's jet. Now that the 'are you okay?!' worry had worn off, he knew the scolding and punishment had to be coming soon after.
"Hi, Bruce." Kori spoke with a light smile, fighting to sit up for the sake of being polite. Bruce nodded to her,
"Welcome back, Korina." he replied gently. She looked down at the tile for a moment, before she met his eyes once more.
"I can't thank you enough...for all that you and Alfred have done." she told him sweetly...and he couldn't help but smile.
"You're more than welcome, my dear." but-as touching as this conversation was starting to become-Dick wasn't patient enough to deal with the small talk right now.
"So does...this mean your mission is concluded?" he asked, pulling a slightly confused reaction from his beautiful girlfriend. She wasn't aware Bruce had told him quite so much on the topic of their arrangement. ...though, given it was all said and done, it didn't really affect her anymore. But she watched intently...finding herself a little curious...
"As far as official business goes, yes. I've got all the paperwork signed and ready. So, Korina, as long as you don't mind being cooperative a bit longer...you'll be off the record within the next two or three days." he explained, looking her over. She nodded,
"I'll do whatever is necessary. If there's anything you need from me-"
"Actually, there is." he cut her off before she had a chance to finish her offer of willingness. Curiosity struck her again, and her brow began to hover with a mind of its own.
"Yes..?" she asked, warily...trying to piece together what his request could be...
"I need you to study up. You've missed quite a few days of school. It's starting to reflect poorly on my parenting." he finished, as the warm grin spread across his broad face. She could feel the pleased relief spread across hers, and mirrored his smile.
"As you wish, sir." she told him happily, watching her boyfriend study her with satisfaction written all over him. She couldn't help but stare at him for a moment... She got to stay with him... She couldn't be more pleased. "Thank you, Bruce." she added in, angelically.
"You're welcome, dear." he replied, pleasantly. Dick looked at him for a moment, somewhat thankfully...and than back to Kori with a loving gaze. Bruce could catch the drift.
"Rest up, you two. Monday morning is coming before you know it." he said...and with that, he left silently. Upon his departure, the redhead looked up at her handsome boyfriend cutely.
"Does this mean...I can stay?" she asked him, looking his face over for the reaction she hoped for. He smiled and cupped his hands to her cheeks.
"I told you. We wouldn't have it any other way." and with she, she smiled widely, and pulled him into a hard kiss.
Alright...I know it's a little rough. But I hope y'all weren't disappointed.
I hope to hear what y'all thought!
Please let me know.