"Now that's settled, we can finally get to what's been bothering me." Jade drawled, her amused smirk returning to her face as Roy looked up at her in confusion. After they'd put Lian to bed for the night, she had run down the details of Speedy's location with him, and he was feeling pretty exhausted. So what could she possibly want to argue with him about now? "Someone needs a haircut."
"Are you kidding?" He half-growled, subconsciously running a hand back through his long, messy locks. He had never let it get this long before, that was true, but he had more important things on his mind than visiting a barber.
"And a shave, but you can handle that bit on your own." She was not kidding, despite the bemused expression on her face. He had learned a long time ago that was pretty much her default expression. "The hobo look does not suit you, Red."
"You're one to talk." He shot back, feeling more than a little testy, even though he knew she was giving him everything he had been searching for…well, and a lot more besides. "Look at that mane of yours."
Jade wasn't rattled. "My hair is immaculate." She replied smugly, flipping her wild locks over her shoulder in a saucy way that brought a brief, nostalgic grin to Roy's lips before he remembered to scowl. Jade winked to let him know she'd seen it anyways. She disappeared out of the bedroom momentarily, and returned twirling a pair of scissors on her fingers. Roy leaned forward instinctively, blocking the little nest Jade had somehow constructed out of her baby-backpack for Lian in case her fingers slipped, but Jade just rolled her eyes.
"I'm not going to impale our daughter." She said before she moved behind him, kneeling on the bed to reach his matted locks, snipping with what he could only describe as reckless abandon.
"Who's going to look after her while we're in Tibet?" He asked, glancing back at the little girl, all bundled up and cozy beside them.
"What do you mean, who? Us, obviously. She's coming with us." Jade said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, and he jerked involuntarily, turning around abruptly to look at her.
"We are not bringing a baby with us on our covert, highly dangerous rescue mission in the middle of nowhere, Jade." She knew he was serious because he used her name. "What if she gets hurt? Or we get captured?"
"She's not going to be hurt. She's been fine on all my missions the last few months-"
"All your what? You've been taking our daughter along to assassinate people? Have you even heard of daycare?" He looked at the precious little girl next to him, only now realizing how lucky she was to have survived the last few months without him. She'd never have to worry about that again.
"Daycare? Are you insane?" She hissed, also glancing at the baby to make sure Roy's rising voice wouldn't rouse her. "What if my enemies found out about her? What about your enemies? What about…random acts of violence? I can't protect her if I'm not there!" She shot back, there were too many risks, and Jade didn't trust anyone to be both willing and capable of protecting her.
"What about Artemis? She'd look after her if you asked." Roy suggested, and Jade scoffed.
"Have you forgotten about Sportsmaster? He's probably watching her. And my mother. He tends to hold a grudge, and he wouldn't think twice about taking it out on her." Or worse, he could decide to raise her, like he had with Jade and Artemis. "Besides, you know that guy she's dating. You really want to trust him around your baby?" That brought a bittersweet smile to his lips; Wally wasn't exactly Roy's ideal babysitter, either. "I can't trust anyone, Red."
"So…the last few months…you've never let her out of your sight?" Roy asked, only now noticing the shadows under her eyes, and Jade gave him a look that said something along the lines of 'well, duh.' Managing a career as a master assassin, tracking down information he hadn't been able to find in five years of searching, and taking care of a newborn all on her own, and she was still in better condition than he was. He would never admit he was impressed. "We still can't bring her to Tibet. It's way too risky, and even if you're willing to bet you can protect her, I'm not."
"But I won't be the only one looking after her. You'll be there too, Red." Her voice lowered to a sweet, alluring purr, and she lifted her hand to his neck. "Once we get you back into fighting form." Because no way was she going on a mission with the emaciated husk that her husband had somehow deteriorated to in the year or so she'd been gone. If she'd known this would happen to him, well…no, she still would've left. She'd done this for him, for them, for Lian. This was best for her. "Besides, it's going to be a long journey out to the fortress, and she needs her parents. They say the most important bonding is in the first few months, and she's missed out on her daddy enough." She added, her voice still seductive in the way that had drawn him to her in the first place. He could feel his resolve breaking, and he wondered just how Jade had learned how to do that.
"Whose fault is that?" He tried to stay angry with her, so he wouldn't give in, but even to his own ears he could hear himself faltering. Jade knew when her prey was weak, and now was the time to go in for the kill.
"She's here now, and so are you. Don't waste it." She murmured, turning his head away from her again so she could resume shearing off his unruly locks. He looked down at the sleeping baby next to them while Jade finished up, letting the red strands fall to the floor and onto the bed without much care. Once she was done, she pressed a soft kiss to his neck, just under his ear. "Now go sleep on the couch. You smell like week-old garbage, and I'm not sharing a bed with you until you shower."
"But it's MY bed, Chesh!"
"Shower or couch." She pushed him off the bed roughly, and he stumbled slightly, shooting a glare at her that was only returned with a taunting smirk before he headed into the bathroom. "Don't forget to shave!" She called after him before he slammed the door, and he could hear her laughing outside.