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(Flashback) After the Party... - JLA Watchtower RPG
(Flashback) After the Party...
The euphoria is wearing off. Candles and cake provided by Wally and the Allens. Apartment across the street from Grant's Gym provided by her mentors in the JSA and the Dibnys. Furnishing provided out of the attics of just about everyone. Fridge stocked courtsey of the Garricks. Everything put together by Roy, who'd ducked out early for some reason. Probably hero business.

The best gift was the guys. Even Garth managed to make it away from Aquaman's watchful eyes for a day and even did the "showers on the hour every hour," so he could stay around. They'd all come in, offered their greetings and congratulations - and now they were gone again.

Don't think about that...just be happy they were here. That they care....

The party was the day before at this new place. Robbie said they'd investigated her soon-to-be roommate, Sharron. She was 3 years older, but was also just starting college, same as she would be. Sharron was also a visual artist major. Her stuff was in another room, but Sharron herself was set to arrive in about two weeks for check in and then off. Some sort of last minute school project then off to some summer job was what was going to be keeping her away. Might as well keep the place nice in the meantime.

Was it so bad of her to miss the Tower? To miss them already? She just stared at the papers in the middle of the mess. Emancipation...

Sweet sixteen and on her own. She'd prove she could handle it. She'd make them proud as a newly minted adult. It was a gift. Really.

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arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 14th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's a knock on the front door, quiet but something desperate in the noise. On the other side Roy's bouncing on his heels, waiting impatiently. He doesn't want to be here but he wants to be out there less. He's got an excuse prepared and everything, even for the wet coat and fever.

It is May, and raining, and a little windy, and a fifteen minute walk from the subway.
middle_amazon From: middle_amazon Date: January 14th, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
She's at the door. Hair in a ponytail. Dirty shirt and jeans from cleaning and moving. How the hell did she get frosting on her cheek? She's surprised, bur her eyes light up to see him.

"Roy." she moves in for a hug. It's almost like a lifeline.
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 14th, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Roy takes the hug, even if a little hesitantly. Despite himself, he holds a little too tight, too. He forces himself to back off after a moment, just enough time to get the forced smile to look sincere. "Hey, WonderBabe. Enjoying the new digs?"

It's digging in his gut to be doing this, but he doesn't have a choice right now, and she was all he could think of. He'd ask after some chatter. Not yet.
middle_amazon From: middle_amazon Date: January 14th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
She's sensing something's up. She pushes the thought away about how nice the hug is.

"Come on in. A fever like that and you should be resting."

She's not sure how to answer the question he gave either.
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 14th, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Roy steps inside, looking around. It looks nice. Comfy. He's glad she's got a good thing going here. It means she's safe and taken care of.

"Eh, temp just dropped. Been out taking care of things, got caught in it." Well, he's not lying. He moves over to the couch, leaning with his hand on the arm rest but not sitting down. "Sorry I ducked out of here so fast yesterday-- like I said, there was... stuff."
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 15th, 2006 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
"No, no, it's cool! Just a little water." Roy rolls his sleeves all the way down now and tries to hold onto the cuffs without being too obvious. Please don't let her be insistant... please... just tonight, cut me some slack...

It might've been better if her roommate had been here. Maybe this was a bad idea. Maybe he should go. He could probably find a place for the night... the shelters downtown were still accepting, if he hurried...
middle_amazon From: middle_amazon Date: January 15th, 2006 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Too late. A blue sweatshirt lands on his head. One of his old ones actually.

"It's one of yours anyway." She smiles at him from the doorway. She digs her fingernails into her arm a little just to keep her mind going a fuzzy. "And it's not 'a little water'. Why don't you come back here and change."

::smacks self, tries not to look it, fails::

"I'll be in here..." she sys, fidging a bit then moving across the room. "Cleaning up."
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 15th, 2006 12:48 am (UTC) (Link)
"Er. Uh. Yeah. Okay." Roy pulls the sweatshirt from his head. There's the odd desire to just hug her right now and cry like a baby but he chokes it back, trying not to seem too quick for this whole shirt thing to be over with.

In the bedroom he closes the door most of the way, just enough so he can keep talking to her. He's careful to move behind the door itself, stripping off the wet shirt. "Any ideas what you're gonna do at college? I know everybody's probably nailing you left and right--" His heart jumps into his throat as he realizes what he's just said, and quickly tries to save it. "With questions! I mean, y'know, uh... you've probably been asked left and right about your major."
middle_amazon From: middle_amazon Date: January 15th, 2006 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
She means to start cleaning. She keeps staring the partially closed door. she rips her eyes away and starts moving things around the table trying to ignore that weird "touched a live wire," feeling.

"Photography." She says making herself stack the paper plates with the dried icing. "You know me and that camera." Something is wrong in all this, but she can't place it. She doesn't really want to either. Roy is here. Everything turns out fine somehow when he's here.

The "nailing," bit makes her heart go in her throat a moment. She smacks it around until it goes back down to where it should be. "Not many people ask things." Which is why I love you... "They just assume I'm going to be brilliant at whatever if they just leave me be."

Is that just a little bitterness there?

"And no. No other type of 'nailing,' either."
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 15th, 2006 01:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Roy almost goes head-first into the door half-way through pulling the sweatshirt on. His was a freudian slip, hers was an intentional comment about it. He so did not need to think about Donna and 'nailing'. Jesus, Mary and Joe-Bob this was a bad idea.

His brain tries to think of something witty to say, but he just doesn't have the energy right now. He pulls the sweatshirt on, tugging it down as far as he can. He really, really didn't need to think about Donna and nailing if he wanted to keep his dignity. "Any guy at college would be lucky to have you, Donna."

Oh, he could smack himself for that one. It just gets better and better, doesn't it? "I mean-- not 'have' you, like--" Give it up, Harper. "You'll find a nice guy."
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 15th, 2006 11:23 am (UTC) (Link)
It's okay. He doesn't need the words. He prefers things without them, actually.

And she's holding him, and it's what he really needs right now, because he knows tomorrow he has to go back out there and figure something out for himself. It's so easy to slip down, but maybe if he could just be here for tonight tomorrow might be better. Roy holds onto her, holds on for dear life. It's all gonna be okay because he's with Donna right now, and she doesn't criticize or make him feel stupid or not good enough.

She knows, though. She has to know. How could she not? The funny thing is, he doesn't even care. It doesn't matter. She's still here. "Thank you," trying not to let his voice crack under the pressure. "I've just... I'm sorry I... I didn't mean to bring you into this."
middle_amazon From: middle_amazon Date: January 15th, 2006 11:32 am (UTC) (Link)
She doesn't. Even still, there are things that are more important then ridding the world of thieves and murders and all the other things being a junkie can make you.

Those things would be friendship, family, trust, and Roy.

"Whatever it is, it's not impossible. Nothing is impossible."

Except maybe this.

She looks up at him. "Especially for you. You can get through or out think anyone or anything. I know you can."
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 15th, 2006 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
He wants to find comfort and strength in her words, but he knows better. She doesn't know. Probably better. It'd be easier to believe if she knew, but then he might not be here. She might be throwing things at him. Or screaming at him. Or just not talking to him, and silence is worse.

"I know," he says falsely. "It'll blow over." It will. It'll be okay. Without them. Any of them. He'll show them. He won't screw it up. He'll do it this time. And then when everything's better, he'll tell her, not about the warm temporary cure he runs to but the contast warmth that is the thought of her. The safety he feels in the thought of her when he's getting sick on a dirty floor in an abandoned place and cold and hungry and wishing he hadn't fucked it all up. He'll tell her when it's all better and he has something to show for it all.

But for right now he tells himself he'll just keep his distance even as he's pulling her closer, tugging her over to the couch, sitting down and pulling her back against him. He fidgets for a minute, getting comfortable, and then just putting his arms around her and sitting with his head against her back, just listening. Friends sit like this. Friends do this all the time, especially when things are dark and bad. It's a friendly thing.
middle_amazon From: middle_amazon Date: January 15th, 2006 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
She traces his fingers and palm with her own. "Don't want to tell me what's going on, do you?"

There's a weird disconnect going on. She can feel his body, his breath, the fever, his heart beating just a bit faster. She feels hers doing and feeling a million little things she wishes it wasn't. At the same time, she's outside herself, looking at these two people who are very much alone right now and it's more than a little sad.
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 15th, 2006 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
"It's stupid," he replies quietly into her hair. It made no sense when he thinks that she even smells safe, but he supresses the urge to laugh at himself. His hands are still a little cold and hers are warm, and suddenly he's snapping his hand back away from her because down that road leads badness. Or goodness... oh, knock it the hell off.

So he just moves his arms around her waist, not that that's really any better or any easier. He leans into her, and the thought occurs to him that maybe he could be safe here, for a while. Maybe they could just spend a few days together... Yeah, being awkward and falling all over yourself. That'll be great, y'frickin' genius.
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 15th, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Roy's eyes lock with hers, one hand gripping the bottom hem of his sweatshirt. He could still run away if he needed to... if he wanted to. And he couldn't go back, there was too much pride in the way, too much arrogance, and maybe too much belief that he was unsaveable anyway.

In one quick motion he rips the shirt over his head, tossing it to the floor. He won't be obvious about it, he won't point it out. Maybe she'll just see, and... and then he won't have to say anything. There's a traffic jam of words in his throat. He couldn't speak if he wanted to.
middle_amazon From: middle_amazon Date: January 15th, 2006 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
She just stares at the track marks for a good long time. Slowly, she reaches out to touch them, with her hands shaking. She holds onto his left elbow and lets her thumb run down the length of them as if hypnotized.

She's seen him with less clothing. She knows he's more naked then he's ever been to her.
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 16th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)
He swallows, but still doesn't say anything, shutting his eyes as tight as he can as she touches him. He wants to rip his arm out of her reach but he doesn't, staying as still as he can and trying not to see her fingers on him. The area's still a little tender, maybe more psychologically than physically.

He's biting down on his bottom lip almost enough to bleed. Any minute now the screaming will start, and maybe even the hit, like Ollie. He couldn't complain, though. He should've known better. Him, of all people. He should've been smarter than this.

Oh, God, and it's right there again. Lurking, like it always does, until he's weakest and can't tune it out anymore. He breaks flesh on his lip, not pulling his arm away but curling inwards nonetheless, his breathing starting to race.
middle_amazon From: middle_amazon Date: January 16th, 2006 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
She remembers a boy with red hair and eyes that sparkled. She remebered countless fights and savoring the feeling of him holding on to her when flying. He's saved her life so many time she's lot count. He's probably lost count of the times she's saved him. She remembers pillow fights, and being taught how to skate, and sitting in diners with bad coffee having conversations about everything that stretched for hours.

Somehow, that boy grew up and gave up everything they fought against. She wants to ask why and then he starts shaking. She leaps to her feet and holds onto him tightly.

The why can wait. Her friend Roy - the man she loves so very much and has since she met him - he can't wait and needs her to hold onto him through a different battle.

"Shhhhhh....." she whispers in his ear. "No hate....only love..."
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 16th, 2006 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
He grips her shirt in his hands and pulls, tugging her closer, burying his head down into her shoulder. He doesn't want her to see his face and see how scared he is, even if it's already obvious. But she's not running. She's not kicking him out or throwing things at him or screaming at him.

His fingers dig into her back as he holds her tighter, trying to stop the shaking and the panicing and the frenzied breaths. "Don't leave me alone," he finally says, looking up at her, eyes watered and red. "Please. I don't want to sleep alone tonight." And it's not even about the sex anymore, it's just her being there, and he's hoping she knows that and understands it because the words are clogging again.
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 17th, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
He won't tell her that for the longest time, that was his hope. It still is, somedays. It's especially bad when he slides back, pushed back to square one by his own weakness. Two weeks, four weeks, a month... down the drain. It scares him that he's almost become complacent with this prospect. One of these days, it would kill him. Or a disease would, or dealing with the wrong person.

Three months back he'd gotten stabbed in the leg for 'shopping' in the wrong neighborhood. Alliances had shifted, as they tend to do on the streets, and names had gotten around. What had been Rique's toss-around girl the last time around was now Boss Hank's trophy ho, and thus off limits to Roy's white-boy eyes.

Two months ago it had been an infection because his hands had been shaking too much and he'd forgotten to sterilize a needle thrice-used. A month ago on the last trip he'd woken up bruised and robbed, caked in filth and his own blood behind a laundromat parking lot. It'd get him eventually, somehow. He made no mistakes about that, but he had no real answers for her. And somewhere in there, there was a rage for her even asking. "Oh, no, I don't fuck everything up. Pure coincidence I've been shuffled from the reservation, and Ollie's, and the Titans. You got an answer for that, too?"
middle_amazon From: middle_amazon Date: January 17th, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
The passion in her eyes might very well frighten him.

"Yeah, I do." She's out of tears otherwise they'd come back. "What do you call a kid that was never claimed by anyone and wishes she had half the guts you do? Who just smiles and nods when some deep sea asshole leaves bruises all over one of the only people she really cares about? Who's stood by for years and didn't notice this happening to her boyfriend?" She holds his elbow. "Who skates by on her powers until some of the 'we know better,' squad decides to gets her a life that scares her to death as some consolation prize for having the people that matter in her life ripped away? At least you're trying, Roy! At least you would have told Ollie to fuck himself on the way out to make this screw up life you've got! Think any of the rest of us would fair any better out there? We'd crawl back to someone in a week and take what they offered like good little kids!"

It's the first time he's ever heard her swear. Ever.

The wind deflates from her. "And you wouldn't be scared to death for me in your shoes either. You'd just look at me, tell me I'm Wonder Girl and I can kick it's ass. And excuse me while I find someone attractive to go have fun with because I shouldn't be scared or reluctant about that either!"

She slumps and the top of her head hits the wall. "And you haven't fucked this up. I'd believe in you all the way to the gates of hell if I have to."
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 17th, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Roy's expression softens, and he stares at her for a very long time, saying nothing. He had told Ollie to fuck himself, in so many words. He'd thought plenty of times about crawling back. When it was dark and cold and he was hungry and felt like his guts were on fire, he was sure that he'd have the energy for nothing less than making the distance on his hands and knees if he thought he'd be accepted. And he probably would be, but when it was all said and done, by the end of it, he'd be reminded of it. He'd constantly be reminded of what he'd screwed up, and how much help he'd needed to undo it. No. Screw that.

He feels Donna's anger keenly, though. He knows how sharp and raw it is by the tone, the words; the cursing, something Donna never did. But to hear her say that, to hear her say she'd believe in him down to hell... His head was pounding. He leans down, putting his head in his knees. "I want to sleep, Donna. I want to sleep now and later... I dunno. I can't think. My head's going to explode if I think anymore." The tears have returned, framing the edges of his eyes. "We can-- tomorrow-- I know you can help me-- I know if nobody else... I just can't think anymore tonight."
middle_amazon From: middle_amazon Date: January 17th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
She manages to swallow through the lump in her throat. She runs her shaking hand through his hair and brushes the tears away again, ignoring her own.

"Then, don't think," she sighs. Her voice is brittle when she asks. "Do you still like flying with me, Sunshine?"
arsenal_arrow From: arsenal_arrow Date: January 17th, 2006 11:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
She gets a little smile at that, and he tries not to think about how warm her fingers feel against his face. "Always, Wonderbabe," he says softly, pulling her close. He kisses her forehead, then her nose with a more genuine smile than he's shown all night, and finally, a very soft brush against her lips.

"If you... if you still want me around, maybe I could..." Roy fidgets a little, staring down at his hands. "Maybe I could stay here, with you, for a few days? We can... we can talk, and I'm due for another check at the clinic, and..." And I don't want to go alone is what he doesn't say. "Maybe I can't do this, so maybe we can, if you... I mean, if you have things to do, I don't want to be... this is my problem, not yours, I didn't want to drag you into this..."
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