Disclaimer: I don't own YJ
Notes: Inspired by Salvage. And rated for language and mentions of sex (oh wow, I feel all grown up saying that. Sort of.)
It wasn't supposed to be like this. This wasn't a part of the plan. It was just sex. It was something fun to do that didn't involve hunting down people or toying with the Justice League.
She usually leaves before he wakes up. It wasn't her job to explain to the homeowner why she was having sex with a man in their home and not in her own place. It wasn't like Roy was complaining either.
Every now at then, she would lure Red Arrow into an apartment that was temporarily empty for the night. It was all part of the thrill, sneaking around to find an empty home, and fucking until they're both satisfied or until the homeowner does come home. That was always her plan for her nights out with him.
Roy Harper falling in love with Jade was not a part of the plan.
"I love you," he says one night.
"Mmm," she hums. "I love what you're doing too." She grabs hold of his hair and pulls him in for a rough kiss, but the moment their lips come into contact, he pulls away.
"No, Jade. I love you."
She stops moving and sees his jaw move slightly, knowing he only clenches his teeth when he's serious. The way he's looking down at her, she wants to say that he's angry, but they're focusing on her with such placidity, she's unable to convince herself of that.
She sees the moonlight shine through the window and down his arms and bare back; his muscles are visibly relaxed. His lips part slightly and Jade waits for him to say something else – he has to say something else; he couldn't just stop there and expect her to reply.
He doesn't say anything else.
Her face suddenly grows hot. Jade pushes him off and steps away from the bed. She knows she's not blushing – she never blushes – but the realization that her body is reacting to something other than sex isn't appealing to her. She forces a frown.
"Too bad, Red. We could have been something special," she says as she throws her shirt back on and walks toward the window.
"Artemis did it," he calls from behind and Jade turns her head slightly as her one leg reaches the window sill, ready to launch herself out of the tiny apartment.
"I don't care what you and my sister do in your spare time."
He sits up from the bed and makes a face in disgust. "I mean she was reformed – came to the good side. You could do it too. You don't have to do this, Jade. You don't have to work with the Shadows; you could fight alongside with us – you could live with me instead of sneaking around into strangers' homes!"
She smirks and clicks her tongue. "Ooh, sounds tempting," she teases before pushing herself out of the apartment window.
Jade doesn't think twice about his offer, but she thinks of him too many times to count after that night. She supposes lurking around with him was more thrilling than her work, or at least, a different kind of excitement. Screwing around with targeted men during her missions wasn't as enjoyable either, especially when she'd rather be in bed with the redheaded archer.
She manages to go three months without seeing him, until one night when they coincidentally meet in Amsterdam – or not coincidental; she can't exactly cross out the thought of the League following their moves.
"Jade," he calls out to her, but she doesn't hesitate. She never hesitates when she's on a mission, and she rarely responds to that name when she wears her mask. Instead, she drops to the floor and twists her body. She watches as he dodges the sweep of her legs, but when she chucks her throwing stars in his direction, he collides into the wall in attempt to move away from them. Behind the mask, she smirks.
Cheshire stands up and walks towards the archer. She stares at him briefly, knowing that she has to return to home base soon, but instead of fleeing like she usually does, she pulls off her mask. She kisses him.
She feels him return the kiss and his arms trail down her lower back, pulling her in and filling the gap in between their bodies. There's a rush of nostalgia that tingles from the edges of her lips to the pit of her stomach to the toes on her feet as they give her the extra height she needs to wrap her arms around his neck. She drops the Cheshire mask onto the ground and within a few hours, Jade finds herself in bed with Roy in a stranger's apartment again.
Neither of them talks. He doesn't mention her avoiding him and she doesn't even bother thinking of words to say. Rather, the two lay in bed until early morning when they hear the doors open and both of them dash from the apartment before the homeowner could call authorities.
They head out in different directions, but not without a second glance towards each other. Jade easily understands the message spelled out in his eyes and within the next two weeks, she finds herself at his place.
On the contrary to her initial beliefs, sneaking away from the Shadows and into Roy's apartment at night is just as exhilarating as sleeping in a stranger's home. She muses that it must be the idea of fraternizing with the enemy that had always made things fun.
Jade wakes up feeling warm, wrapped around in his strong arms and decides that spending the night at his place isn't so bad. She eventually notices that it becomes less tiring for her this way – she doesn't have to run away from the building at the crack of dawn since the homeowner is Roy and not someone who could call the cops on her – not that the police would be able to catch her anyway.
She also doesn't have to dig into the floorboards of her apartment to get the hidden cash she needs because he makes breakfast while she showers in water that is at a reasonable temperature. He doesn't talk much and neither does she, so as soon as one person is done with their meal, he or she leaves the apartment and comes back later in the night.
But after three months of peace, Roy begins to pester her with the idea of being in an actual relationship. She doesn't respond, but she isn't thinking of an answer either. He reaches out and grabs her hand after several minutes of silence, preventing her from using her fork to eat breakfast. Jade looks up and smiles at his impatience. She decides to toy with him and accepts his coffee date.
When they arrive at the café, they sit in the corner away from public eye. Jade rolls her eyes at his questions, feeling like she was a criminal being interrogated, but nonetheless, she answers his questions.
"You've never actually been on a date, have you?" He asks her.
She raises an eyebrow at the accusation. "I've been on plenty, Red."
"Really?" He places his coffee cup back onto the table and gives her a smile that is uncomfortably charming. "Then why do you sound like you're trying to seduce me?"
Jade smirks and leans in closer towards her date. "I thought that was the idea." She follows by pulling her body back so that she could get a full view of his reaction, but frowns when the man in front of her seems simply amused by the whole ordeal.
She waits for him to snap out of his delusions and drag her back into his apartment bedroom, but he ends up talking about his interests instead – the ones that don't involve her or archery. She responds by turning her head to the side and glance out the window. His words go through one ear and out of the other. Occasionally, she looks back at him, intrigued with something he says, but she spends the majority of the date not listening to the details.
"Meet you here tomorrow, same time?" He suggests and Jade almost laughs at the idea, but upon seeing the rare grin on his face, she agrees.
She spends the next three dates ignoring what he has to say, uncaring for his life story. Towards the end, she can tell that Roy is giving up, finally sitting back and enjoying the silence with her, but by the fourth date, he asks about her. The questions aren't the same as the ones he asked her on their first date; they run deeper, digging into her personal life that only she knows about.
Jade glares at him at first, silently telling him that he's gone too far, but he clearly has no intention of giving up. She sighs and answers one question, but then he responds by asking another.
His eagerness isn't surprising to Jade, but his genuine interest in her life does. Soon, Jade finds herself making conversation with him, and it actually makes her feel guilty about not listening to him in the first place when he seems to try to connect with her on every level.
Finally, she gets up from her seat and says, "Right, well this has been fun, Arrow," she purrs, "but I'm afraid our dates are going to have to stop. Wouldn't want the next thing we do to be cuddling instead of fucking, now do we?" She's about to push the door open when he calls after her.
"This isn't a game, Jade."
She turns to him and his expression is grim. Again, she gives him her sly smile. "See you tonight, Roy," she says before leaving. She starts heading back to her apartment and spends her entire day there, tracking the Shadows' whereabouts; she hasn't responded to them in almost two weeks. She still doesn't contact them.
Later that night, she goes back to Roy's apartment; he's given her a spare key, but she jimmies the window anyway. Jade takes off her clothes, despite Roy not being home. Lying on his bed, she waits for him to come back. Unlike Roy, Jade had much more patience.
As she waits, Jade turns to the side and stares at the half empty bed. She realizes that there are now two pillows instead of one and wonders when he had bought that second one and why she didn't notice it earlier.
Looking up, she studies his room: it was plain and simple, no personal belongings taking up space other than his phone, which she plucks from the nightstand. She taps onto the screen and the phone illuminates the room. Above the caption, slide to unlock, Jade sees a photograph of herself. In the photo, she was wearing one of his shirts, standing by the sink and washing the dishes – it was an unspoken rule between the two: he cooked and she cleaned.
Her face twists in a scowl at Roy's idiocy of taking a picture of an assassin on his phone. Not only that, but she was a trained criminal, taught to be fully aware of her surroundings and yet he was capable of taking this photo without her knowledge.
She puts the phone down and turns to her other side to face the alarm clock. Roy still isn't home even after two hours of waiting. Jade considers going out and searching for him, curious as to if he had gotten himself into trouble, but as she is deciding this, she pulls onto his blanket and wraps it around her naked form. She falls to sleep.
When she wakes up the next morning, there is a heavy weight on her chest: an arm. She turns her head to the side and discovers the sleeping archer, snoring lightly. Gently, Jade moves his arm aside in attempt to get out of his bed and go home, but she hears stirring.
"Mm, not yet. Just got back." He yawns and grabs hold of her waist before she could get away; he pulls her back to his side. "Just a few more hours. Need sleep."
Jade doesn't understand why she has to stay when he is the one who needs to sleep, but instead of fighting her way out of his grip, she stays lying next to him.
Several nights after, this event repeats. Jade finds herself waking in his arms, fully clothed. She smiles at his remarks, and one odd morning during breakfast, she says, "Tell me about yourself, Roy. The things you said when I wasn't listening."
Eventually, Jade grows comfortable with her new lifestyle.
Coffee dates become a regular activity, and Roy commends her for being able to talk without trying to seduce him during one – she scoffs at him, but her cheeks are flushed.
He lets it slip during one of these dates that he loves her again, and Jade watches in amusement as his arm instinctively reaches out for hers, as if to prevent her from leaving. She doesn't leave, but doesn't respond either. Roy telling her that he loves her becomes routine too.
The league does find out of their relationship not too long after and Jade feels offended when she runs into her sister and is told that Roy is incredibly overprotective of her. She does, however, smirk when she finds a hidden camera with a bat symbol on one of her shirts and ends up sticking it in the middle of the wall of their bedroom, knowing full well that baby Bat would stop spying on them once he learns of their nightly activities.
Once or twice (or maybe three or four times; she has stopped keeping track of things), she rescues Roy from a fight when he's on patrol, which allows her to be on Black Canary's good side – Green Arrow is still relatively possessive of Roy, siding with Batman on the whole trust issue.
Jade doesn't mind it when water-boy comes to the apartment, but is incredibly peeved when the Flash copycat barges into their home and takes food from the fridge before addressing either of them. Nonetheless, she accepts them to be another modification to her life – though teasing the mini Justice League is quite entertaining: "Ooh, a redhead. It must run in the family, sis – I wonder how he is in bed compared to Roy…" – Kid Flash stops coming to their home much to her delight.
Her knowledge of the Shadows remains secret to the League, but she knows that anything she tells Roy would hit them sooner or later. One day, she explains to Roy one of the Shadows' plans and it ends up saving his friends' lives. When he comes home, he thanks her by softly kissing her lips and promises to take her somewhere nice that evening. Jade smiles and tells him honestly, "I can't wait."
She dresses up nicely for the occasion and makes sure her hair isn't as messy as usual, despite Roy telling her he likes it that way. Duty comes first, however, as their date ends abruptly due to a robbery.
When they arrive at the scene, Jade hears the criminal yell to his comrades, "Run, it's Red Arrow and Cheshire!"
Her body stops moving entirely and she questions how long Red Arrow and Cheshire had been a thing in the superhero community and how blind she must have been to not know about it herself. Suddenly, she hears Red Arrow's voice and turns around to face him – clearly he had handled the robbers by himself.
"You okay, Chesh?"
Despite her mask, Jade knows he can tell how she is feeling at that moment. She doesn't respond to him verbally, and he doesn't say much else either. Instead, she feels her arm being grabbed and fingers intertwining with hers. The shock factor of being a hero disappears from Jade's system with ease.
"Sorry our night out got ruined," Roy says as he yanks off his mask with his free hand and Jade does the same with her mask.
"Oh I'm sure we still have plenty of things to do tonight, Red." She grins at him and watches as he returns the smile. But before she could lead him back to their apartment, Roy tells her something else.
"Actually, there was something else I wanted to do tonight."
Before Jade can ask him what, Roy is gone from her view – he is down on one knee. She watches in shock as he pulls out a ring that could have paid several months' rent and listens as he asks her the question.
"Will you marry me?"
Her brows furrow in disbelief and she only responds to him by staring, knowing full well that he hates it when she doesn't answer him right away. She starts walking backwards when he speaks up again.
"You have to stop doing that, Jade. You can't run away every time I tell you I love you or when I tell you I want to marry you. It's just a yes or no, simple as that."
Jade continues to stand motionlessly on the rooftop, flustered at the fact that Roy thought something like this deserved a simple answer. What he doesn't understand was that this wasn't a part of the plan. Standing across from a kneeling man who had the ability to make her blush and whose eyes could calm her with one look – the man who smiles at the sight of her regardless of her past and baggage, and whose arms make her feel safe. Here is a man who had somehow convinced her to move in with him, quit the Shadows and get her to fight on the good side without her even realizing it.
This was never a part of Jade's plan: falling in love with Roy Harper was not the plan.
But the longer she stares at him, the more she sees the expression painted on his face: the softness in his eyes, the gentle smile that's graced his lips, the crinkle in his brow that tells her he's thinking about a hypothetical future for the two of them – the face of someone in love. And as she walks back to him, eyes never leaving from his face, she wonders if that same face that he has when he looks at her is also on her face when she looks at him
She thinks it is, even if it wasn't a part of the plan.
I really hope I didn't mess up their characterization too badly.
And in my honest opinion, I feel that in Roy's and Jade's relationship, neither would admit loving the other, and they'd just have this mutual understanding or acknowledgement type thing, but for the sake of this fic, I just made Roy say it.
Please review :)