The grass brushed against her back as Rachel lied down, giving her small tickling sensations while she used an old battered newspaper to shield her eyes from the sun above. It was an abnormally hot summer day. The air barely moved and sweat clung to her skin, but it felt good to be outdoors for once. It felt nice to feel the hot, slightly blazing heat on her skin as the sun made its predetermined trek across the horizon. Rachel felt alive, her very being barely contained within her. There were no walls to hold her in place, metaphorically or physically.
Today was a beautiful day. An exquisite day. A lethargic day. The perfectly, puffy white angelic clouds moved steadily across the sky; the tail's ends masterfully blended within the blueness of the sky beyond. Rachel could hear and feel the surrounding peace and happiness from other visitors to the park, from the newly engaged couple to her left to the teenager walking his dog to her right.
This was right. This was where she belonged. Rachel could feel the ever present presence in her mind hummed in agreement, the warm glow of an aurora forever giving her comfort and keeping her safe.
All of the sudden she felt someone sat down beside her on the grass, though it was not a surprise. She felt him coming from afar; he was never far from her, no matter if he was two thousand miles away on assignment.
You two share an unique bond, her mother once said. You may consciously choose to pull apart from him, darling, but you'll never succeed. The pull would be too strong.
"They didn't have any strawberry, so I got you chocolate instead," said Richard as he handed her the ice cream, his voice breaking through the hums and buzzes of the surrounding park. He was dressed in shorts and a simple t-shirt with his ever present sunglasses over his eyes. Even after he hung up his cape, Richard had trouble with others catching a glimpse of his eyes. Eyes were the windows to one's soul, Arella's voice floated through her mind.
"You had one job," said Rachel as she gave an exaggerated sigh. She lifted the newspaper away and gave Richard a mocking glare. Her lip twitched a bit from trying not to smile.
The comfort and sense of peace never failed to amazed her. Richard's emotions intertwined with hers, creating what seemed like one entity between them. The bond had suffered damage throughout the years. The abrupt formation and the utter depletion of force when her father came into being before the rigors and violent strength of Richard's love and hope restored their bond. Rachel only mistake was to break away from Richard after the incident with Slade. Richard was always first to say that it was his mistake for letting her break it off the first place. Nevertheless, it was hiding in the background, gaining strength and vigor and becoming all encompassing that when Richard came with the team to get her from the newly restored Azarath their first touch in what seemed like forever sent them both down to their knees.
"Yes. To get some ice cream," said Richard, restating her earlier demand. He sat down beside her and took the newspaper from her, giving her hand a slight squeeze in the process. "Job completed."
Rachel smiled a bit, giving in to her amusement, before sitting up and giving him a small kiss on his shoulder. Richard leaned his head toward her in response. Rachel took the opportunity to take his sunglasses off, wanting to compare the blueness of his eyes to the sky beyond, and gave another kiss to his forehead. "Thanks," she said as she took the ice cream from his hands. "It's getting way too hot."
"It is summer," stated Richard. And the reason why he suggested that they should go to the park and enjoy a rare day off. Even though they weren't out there fighting villains and saving their adopted city, they were lending their talents to various superhero groups, researching and providing direction and experience to the younger superheros. Richard had Rachel now. It was time to give the others the time in the sun.
"Obviously." The ice cream dripped a bit as she raised the spoon to her mouth. It left a little droplet at the corner of her lips.
Richard took one look at her and laughed. "You missed."
"Half of this is just ice cream soup," said Rachel, raising the desert to prove her point. "Of course it would be a little bit messy."
Richard just laughed again and leaned in to lick the ice cream off from the corner of her lips.
Rachel narrowed her eyes a bit, before shrugging her shoulders and raised the spoon for another bite. "And that was unhygienic."
Using his right hand, Richard parted Rachel's hair, before tucking the strand behind one of her ears. "People say that we are cute."
"I'm not sure whom you been talking to, but most said that we should get a room and stay in there to the end of time." This was told to her by Selina back when they visited her and Bruce in Gotham, but this was fine. Selina was just happy to see Richard back in Bruce's life after their estrangement. Rachel took another bite before sticking out her tongue at him.
"They are just jealous," replied Richard, daring Rachel to say something more on the matter.
Rachel just rolled her eyes in response.
Richard used the lulled in their conversation to leaned back onto the grass as he closed his eyes against the glare from the sun. He snuck a peek at Rachel before closing them again. "So," started Richard, his voice slightly lowered as he dragged out the word a bit. "Bruce called."
Rachel shook her head. "No." She would not entertained the idea, even from Bruce Wayne himself, if it was anything like the last suggestion.
"He just wanted to suggest…"
"Richard." But he was Richard's adopted father, the one who raised him since his parents died and the one who always came running no matter if he and Richard hadn't spoken in a few years. This was what family supposed to do. Rachel always wanted that. She placed her now empty bowl beside her and sighed. "Fine," she said, giving in to Richard's silent retort.
Richard smiled a bit, knowing Rachel's reaction to the name Bruce suggested, before uttering, "Bartholomew."
"You gotta be kidding me." Richard was just trolling her now. Or Bruce. Or them both. She wouldn't put it passed them.
"I swear on my life," said Richard.
"That's even worse than the one last time." Rachel pulled her knees up and under her chin as she regarded the man lying beside her.
"You know Bruce. He's eccentric."
Rachel rolled her eyes again. "You mean insane."
Richard smirked. "He's family."
Rachel raised one of her eyebrows. "You rejected Kori's."
"It was not even a word, let alone a name!" said Richard, his voice raised and his hands were in a fist.
"She's family," said Rachel, repeating his word back at him.
"We're never going to decide of a name, huh?" asked Richard.
Rachel stretched out her legs as she leaned back to lie down beside Richard. She intertwined his hand with hers, before saying "I won't say that. We came up with Silky's name."
"An alien worm."
"And Piggy's," continued Rachel, ignoring Richard's little statement.
"A weird choice for a dog," said Richard, before frowning. "And a golden retriever at that."
"And let's not forget Beaky's."
"Which we gave to a turtle and not, let's just say, to a bird, which would had made more sense," retorted Richard.
"So this dilemma we currently having is really not a dilemma at all," said Rachel.
"They were all terrible names."
Rachel laughed. "Tell that to Piggy. He seems to enjoy it."
Richard turned his head so he was looking at her. "She is up to anything as long as you give her bacon."
Rachel shrugged. "You say tomato and I say tomahto."
"You were the one to name them," stated Richard.
"And you empowered me with the decisions," countered Rachel.
"I had no choice in the manner. You gave me an ultimatum." Richard sighed, before continuing, "At least we have awhile to go."
"I'm thinking Maximilien Robespierre," replied Rachel, smiling.
"Ivan the Terrible."
"Now you're going too far," said Rachel. This time she was the one who was frowning.
"And all the ones before that was not?"
"Well, if we were to used any of them, I think Victor will throw a fit, Bruce will never talk to us again, and Kori will be eternally confused."
Richard widely smiled. "Hey! At least they will leave us alone." Richard closed his eyes and leaned in a bit toward Rachel. The connection between them flared a bit, sending a warm sensation throughout their respective body.
"I always wanted to start a super villain group. We know all the superhero's dirty little secrets," whispered Rachel. She moved a bit closer to Richard and closed her eyes as well.
"Bruce will definitely not speak to us again," replied Richard. "I'll go with Maximilien. We can shorten it to Max and no one will have to know."
Rachel softly laughed. "Choosing a name should not take this much time and effort."
"At least we have six more months," said Richard.
"At least we have six more months before the little guy comes into the world."
Richard nodded his head in agreement before placing his hand on Rachel's stomach. "It could be a girl."
"Oh god," said Rachel. "Don't even get them started on girl's names."
Richard didn't respond. Instead he snuggled closer to Rachel before bending his neck and resting his head against her chest.
This was a beautiful day. An exquisite day. A lethargic day.
No, this was a perfect day.