Unchained
Roleplaying Log: Unchained
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

After fight night, Babs and Frank have some real talk.

Other Characters Referenced: Dinah Lance, Helena Bertinelli, Dick Grayson
IC Date: July 01, 2019
IC Location: Lance Household, Gotham
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 23 Jul 2019 07:37
Rating & Warnings: PG-13 for suggestive content and language
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Babs and Frank sink down together, and she accidentally presses into his bruised rib, her hand then recoiling back like she's touched something hot. "Sorry, sorry," she breathes. Then she rests her head against his own, and her eyes close as she just melts into him. After a few more breaths, a bit of laughter touches her lips. "We are… that couple." She turns her nose against his cheek, smiling slightly.

The grasp to Frank's side causes him to squeeze his eyes closed and groan in an entirely less-pleasant manner. He doesn't flinch back, however, and his arms tighten around her to keep either of them from collapsing, the two lovers clinging together with her in his lap. Frank does his best to ignore the fire in his ribs and the ice lancing up from the slash at his thigh, shaking his head, "No. No sorry." His breath expands and contracts his chest against hers, their skins playing against each other. The laughter draws his head back, and his dark eyes find her bright ones in the darkness. "What couple, Red?"

"The one that can't keep their hands off each other, even when wounded." Those words are murmured against his cheek before she is looking down into his eyes. Her forehead presses into his, and her eyes flutter closed. Then she's smiling softly as they are there with each other in this quiet, safe place. Now she leans back a bit, her blue eyes searching his in the dark. "You came for me," she says after a heartbeat of thought, brushing her fingers across his jawline. "You have no idea what that means to me, Frank."

"That surprise you?" Frank sounds amused, even his his heart still thundering in his ears and his breath coming quickly enough to put a little twinge in his side. He watches her watching him, but her statement causes his brows to furrow for a moment. "Of course, Babs." One hand comes back up to the side of her neck, his thumb stroking up along her throat. "Marines don't leave anyone behind." There's more to it than that, clearly, and he leans in to press a slow kiss to her lips, his breath coming through his nose before he draws back again, "Anyone who's with you and won't come for you… shouldn't be with you. The only," the word is fierce in the hush, "time I wouldn't come for you is if I didn't know you needed it."

Babs catches his hand, pressing it up against her skin before she glides that hand up to her cheek; she presses into it. Her eyes close as she just is for a long moment with him. The kiss is met softly, and she closes her eyes again to just relish in that delicate, fragile moment. Then she's hearing those fierce words, and her eyes open to meet his. He said he would burn the world for her, and this is just another reminder. She sinks her forehead against his, and breathes in his scent — gun oil and sweat and blood. It's a scent she finds herself clinging to. "Good thing ALTHENE is a big tattle tale." It's a teasing statement, but there's something else there — need, gratitude, and relief.

"It is." There's a pause, and then Frank makes an admission he wouldn't have expected to make to someone he's sleeping with, let alone someone he… is exceptionally close to, "You had it, Babs. You got you and Dinah outta there. I'm glad I was there," his hand enfolds her cheek, thumb stroking gently, "and I know you are too. But you didn't need me there. You had it handled." Another kiss, one that speeds his heart again for all that it's light and sweet. "You kick so much ass, Red. It's damn impressive."

She tilts her cheek into his hand, closing her eyes at the feel of his thumb. Her heart settles into an easy rhythm that doesn't match his own quickening pulse until the kiss. She settles into it, pressing her lips to his with a soft contentment. Once they lift away from the kiss, Babs presses her hand into his own cheek. "But, you still came. If something had gone sideways, if I hadn't been able to get through, then at least I knew you were going to be coming." Then she laughs in a soft, gentle laugh as she settles her forehead into his. "Does that intimidate you?"

The many connections between the two vigilantes, palm-to-cheek, their gazes, heart-to-heart, their brows, and more intimate, warm Frank, and he settles into the moment despite the ache in his ribs and thigh. "I'll always be there if something goes sideways, Red." His brows furrow just a moment — after all, he was at the carousel and it didn't help anything — but her question distracts him before he can sink into any malaise. "Naw." The denial is instinctive and immediate, but then he actually thinks about it a moment, "No. Maybe your smarts do a little. But not your ass-kicking."

All of those points of connection soothe her — warm her, the same — and she's almost reluctant to lift away from him. She breathes out a short breath as she does, leaning into him again so that they are more easily nestled. "I know you will." She presses a soft kiss to his brow then, holding his head close to her as she does. Then she settles her forehead back into his once more. The instinctive denial has her smiling a moment, but the actual response has her laughing softly against his lips. "Yeah. I get that a lot. I think even Dick was a little intimidated sometimes." She brushes her brow back. "You're always going to have better low-tech smarts than I will, Frank." Now that's a genuine compliment.

Frank's eyes close for a moment as she lifts off him, and then he embraces her, one hand at the back of her neck, the other around her back. The indirect comparison to Grayson causes him to smirk just a little, but he nods — only to shake his head slightly at her statement, "I got more experience than you, Red, and I've got military training, but you're the smart one. You know things, I just know how to do things." He shifts a little against the metal bars of the headboard, and then he chuckles dryly, "But yeah, I get what you're sayin'. And I'll always tell you if there's an easier way to do somethin' without usin' an AI or super-tech or somethin'. And then you can tell me how to do it better with all that shit."

"I like it when you talk dirty," Babs teases as she settles in to press a kiss against those chuckling lips. Then she nuzzles her nose against his, and she sighs out a breath. "I need something to eat." She always needs something to eat. "There's some leftover lasagna downstairs. Interested?" Her lips quirk. "I'll bring it upstairs if you want to see me wander out in just your t-shirt." She sinks a little bite to his jaw before she starts to lift away from him.

Her teasing draws another short laugh to Frank's lips, and he shakes his head in amusement — only to have the motion stilled by the press of her lips and the brush of her nose. The claim of hunger brings that laughter back, and he reaches up to frame her features with his hands, "Sounds good." And then she sweetens the offer, and his brows lift, "Hell yeah. My shirt smells like the sewer though, and you just showered." His grin curls up at one corner for a moment before it fades away again, "Where's the skull shirt?"

Barbara is off the bed, turning toward him with a tilt of her head and warmth of her smile. Her own laughter returns as she tuck as a bit of red hair behind her ear, and then she's crossing to her drawers, tugging out a black t-shirt. She shakes it out, showing it off to Frank with the white skull. Then she pulls on the shirt, shaking her hair loose so that it falls about her in disorganized waves. Then she steps forward to plant her knees back on the mattress so she can meet him with a kiss, turning her head into that press of lips with a low, deep heat.

Frank shifts on the bed as she lifts off of him, watching her cross the room and dig into her drawers with a grin. He's about to comment, but then she's returning to the bed and pressing the kiss to his lips. He lifts into it, bracing himself with one hand to keep from hurting his ribs too badly, and then sinks back against the headboard. "How the hell is that so hot, Babs?"

"I don't know." Then Babs is slipping away, eyes lingering on Frank before she turns away. The shirt is just long enough to be borderline indecent, but Helena is out of the house and Dinah is passed out downstairs, so Barbara doesn't sport the usual awkwardness as she flits out of the room and down the stairs, walking just a bit gingerly to fetch them both some lasagna. She even grabs two bottles of gatorade.

Frank watches her depart with interest, his eyes on the little sway of the shirt's hem. He takes the time to gather pillows that were pushed aside or rolled over, tucking them up against the headboard and looking down at the bruises scattered across his torso, then shrugs a little. By the time she's back, he's actually drawn a sheet over his lower body, and he pulls it aside to welcome her back to her own bed, "See? Smart. Thinkin' ahead. No AI involved." There's another thing he's done: set the chain with his dogtags and ring on the bedside table.

When Babs gets back, she has the two gatorade bottles tucked under her arm while balancing two plates of microwaved lasagna with two forks pinched between her fingers. She kicks the door closed, balancing her way to the bed before she sets everything down on the bed. She doesn't take off the shirt as she settles in beside him at his invitation. She curls her legs up so they're criss-crossed. Her eyes flicker over to him as she hands him the plate and lets him choose between Red Flavor and Blue Flavor gatorades. Her eyes flick to the chain with its ring and dogtags, and then she settles down beside him with a breath. "You've been taking those off more," she says quietly.

Smoothing the covers over her crossed legs, Frank leans forward to start gathering up the food, pulling it closer to them. He snags the Red Gatorade, but that's actually just because it's closer to him. The question about the chain causes him to pause a moment, looking over at the coil of metal, then up from there to her eyes. There's a little furrow between his eyes, and he shakes his head just a little, "Probably a bad idea to have Pete Castiglioni carrying Frank Castle's 'tags, or a ring with the name Frank on it." His fingers twitch on the bottle, and then he twists it open, "But there's no place safe for me to keep it." He hesitates for a moment, looking toward the door, then back to her, "Unless you got a good place, Babs?"

Babs collects the Blue gatorade, and she settles back into the mass of pillows and so her shoulder rests into his. She cuts at the lasagna with her fork, taking a bite as he asks his question. She looks over at him with a tip of her chin, and her smile has an uncertain edge to it. "That makes sense." Her eyes flicker over the chain again, and then she takes another bite. "I don't know… there's no perfectly safe place. There's always the Belfry, or the greenhouse." She leans her head back, her eyes now focused on him. "Or you could take the tags off. The ring is less conspicuous."

"I thought the warehouse, but we all know it's gonna get burned or raided some time, right?" Frank shrugs a little, taking a sip of Gatorade, twisting the cap back on, and then going for his plate of lasagna, "I thought the boots you got me, but even good boots get trashed." He considers her suggestions, all three of them, and perhaps his answer to the last one is at least somewhat an answer to the others, "Don't really need the reminder. Don't really think you do either. Not the Belfry."

Barbara nudges around the lasagna on her plate, looking down at it. She takes a breath, her shoulder shifting slightly. "Frank," his name is soft, almost whispered. "I'll never forget about Maria, Frank." There's no bite or reproach in those words. "And I don't think you will either." She traces her finger back behind his ear like she might be tucking away some hair. Then she smiles softer still, and she slides her fingers down to collect his, squeezing gently.

"Neither of us needs to forget." Frank's cheek jumps a little, a tiny tic. He draws in a breath, rubbing one hand over his face and then letting it drop away, turning his head into her hand, then looking back to Barbara, squeezing her hand in return. "But I don't think you need the ring smacking you in the face either." He takes another slow breath, then starts to gather up some more of the lasagna, "The fact we aren't gonna forget is exactly why I don't need to wear the ring every day."

It is hard not to laugh just a little bit when he mentions the ring smacking her in the face, and she turns her forehead down just enough to press it against his shoulder. "Alright." Then she lifts her eyes to meet his, and her smile has taken on a lightness. "As long as you're sure." Then she squeezes his hand again before she lets it go so they can eat. She settles into quiet for a long moment before she offers, "I don't know where you should keep it, but you should keep it close." Her eyes flicker up to his.

Frank leans his head down to press his head to hers when Babs tucks close, then shrugs slightly with his free shoulder, "Think so." There's a pause, and then he adds, "Yeah. And not just 'cause it's smart." He starts shoveling food into his mouth, glancing over to her as she looks up to him again. He chews, swallows, looks past her to the chain, then back to her, "Safe is more important than close. You be okay if I put it in the greenhouse?" It's not safe, but it's safer than any place either of them is actually staying regularly.

It is an awkward, unsettling moment for Barbara, but she wears a mask of certainty while she fumbles through her feelings. All she's ever assumed is that her place in Frank's heart would never take up the same amount of room as his love for Maria. No matter the logic, she feels a bit of guilt settle into her chest. She bites into the lasagna, chewing through it. When he mentions the greenhouse, she nods. "It will be safe there," she promises. Then she looks down at her plate while she eats.

Frank shovels down food, looking over to Barbara and weighing that quiet. He pushes around the last bite of lasagna, then looks up to her again, "Babs." He stops, looks down, looks up again and starts once more, "Barbara. I know they'll be safe with you." Not just the ring, the dog-tags are important too. "And you know I don't do shit halfway." He shovels in the last of the food, then pushes the plate away, leaving him with only the Gatorade bottle to toy with. "You got me, Barbara. And I got you."

The use of her full name always draws her attention to him more readily than any other nickname. She sets down her fork on the plate as she turns toward him. Her smile is soft. "I know." She sets down the plate too, with just a couple more bites of lasagna on its surface. The redhead turns into him, settling against him despite their bruises and aches. The words have underlying meanings to Babs, and she presses her lips against his cheek with a soft kiss. "Yeah. You do."

Frank nods at the Solo-ism, opening up one arm for her to settle close. He grimaces a little and shifts, then finds a place that's comfortable enough. The meaning is there in his words, waiting for Babs, and he closes his eyes under the press of her lips to his cheek, his other hand rising up so he can take a sip of Gatorade before he turns into her, his lips touching her brow gently. "Bets on who wakes up first this time?"

"I bet we sleep in until 8 AM, and then you try to seduce me like you like to do most mornings, and then you take me out to breakfast because the idea of cooking sounds like too much work." Then she turns her lips against his with a soft kiss; that kiss deepens just for a moment as she sinks deeper into the pillows, inviting him to sink with her — after he closes the lid on Gatorade.

Frank tucks the bottle between his knees so that he can screw on the cap, "That sounds pretty…" and then she's kissing him, and he grunts painfully as he curls down with her, crouched low over top of her as he indulges in that soft kiss that drags him down into her arms, to see if they can manage the wonderful plan she's outlined. The Gatorade bottle, half full of red, rolls away unheeded.

"Great," she murmurs through the kiss, finishing the thought. Then she settles in with Frank, rolling up against him so he can rest on his back and save his ribs. "Now, get to sleep," she encourages him with a kiss to his forehead.

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