A small, dainty hand holding onto a hand laden in armor. Just as close as she would allow.
Hands made for destruction, for causing hurt to people who were out of control. Delivering pain and judgment, hands that came home battered and bruised. Wrapped up hands lying flat on a mattress, fingers clenched to the sheets.
Hands that did not touch.
After a long night of crime fighting, the youthful Nightmare found herself alone on a rooftop with her girlfriend, Charlotte Goodman.
Sapphire eyes into emerald, wanting to be more present, and despite what they shared, a twitching in the arm. A desire to reach out and protect them from the other as if it could all end in a moment. Braced for a hurricane.
A hand pressed up against a breastplate. She could only marvel at the gesture from afar, imagining the would-be warmth on her chest,
Her lips against her ears, a gentle breeze meant only for her. Knees bent in towards each other after the hurricane. A blush rose on her cheeks and if Charlotte would squint for a moment, she might see the pink flush peeking out over the crimson mask before it faded back into pale skin.
“Hey,” Charlotte said in a breathy voice, knowing it was the same warm breath that the Nightmare needed to feel. Hand lying on her chest, arching straight up the breastplate. If the Nightmare were to breathe just a little harder, she would perhaps feel the resistance pushing against her rising and falling chest.
“Hey,” Nightmare whispered softly, hypnotized by the girl standing before her, cape wrapped around the two of them in the wind. Behind the mask, a streak of blood dripping from her mouth, straight out of a Jackson Pollock painting. A thing that Charlotte didn’t need to see.
Grinding of dust, grains splitting and sliding around on the armor. Charlotte’s fingers must have shifted.
“Can we talk?”
Charlotte’s innocent question, a soft voice trying to promise her it was nothing major.
More grinds of dust split apart and crumbled off of her. A little anxious now, could Charlotte feel her heart pounding into her chest like a school bell?
“I-I-I guess,” Nightmare responded, voice cracking, eyes widening. “What about?”
Why was this happening right now? Why not through a sneaky note in study hall? A conversation with their backs bent against lockers, arms crossed coolly as freshmen skidded by.
Perhaps it was dramatic to say, but this was a conversation for Katrina Gawain, not the Nightmare, not for the vigilante dedicated to her city.
Then another voice in her ear, its rumble stiff and electronic. Her partner, X. He must have been doing monitor duty.
“Hey, do we have any units near Woodman and Strathern? I got a hostage situation going down that street and it looks like the cops are going to need an assist.”
Nightmare’s eyes widened as she checked the street way below them, looking for something. Now, a finger on her chin, gently guiding her eyes back up.
“You got something on the radio?”
Shaking, fluctuating up and down, verging on collapse.
“Yeah—but—“ Nightmare started, nodding her head rapidly, “But it’s fine, I’m here.”
Charlotte’s mouth flickered into that smile she made when she felt safe, then fell to transition with that pain that can come when confronting something.
“It’s just…we haven’t…ah…how do I say this…” Charlotte’s turn to blush. “We haven’t…you know…”
An armored hand slid onto the dainty one, gently pushing it away from the chest, their elbows hovering at their stomachs.
“Y-yeah, and—I don’t know—it’s weird to ask, I know, but—what about—are you—uh—”
A nervous, uncontrollable giggle from the vigilante. Eyebrows shot up so high that they dashed behind the mask. “Now? On the roof top?”
More uncontrollable giggles, teeth clacking against each other, a tightened face. No more words.
Oh she was in for it this time.
“Are you okay in there?”
Steely emerald eyes stared into a splash of red on her cheek, fingers carefully wiping away the blood.
“Yeah,” the Nightmare, mask now off, sputtered as she crumpled the paper towel and tossed it into the garbage. How peculiar it was to see her teenage face sticking out of the armor. Something about it made her want to avoid looking at it.
Gritting her teeth, she opened the bathroom door and looked at Charlotte waiting for her in the moonlight.
Forcing a flat smile, the Nightmare, Katrina, dropped her cape to the floor like one might a bathrobe, giving her most sultry grin an inexperienced seventeen year old might be able to manage, and swooped towards Charlotte, and curved her hand around Charlotte’s jaw, bringing the lips together.
Charlotte’s hand came up to Katrina’s and tightened around the glove, her thumb sliding against the scallops sticking out of the gauntlets.
That gauntlet was the first thing to go and Katrina soon found Charlotte’s thin thumb gliding over her palm.
Katrina slid into an armchair behind her and while holding her lips against her girlfriend’s, she kicked the toe of one boot into the heel of the other, trying to peel it off of her. It soon became a pointless affair, because her lips broke from Charlotte’s and jabbed into her cheek as her body rocked from one boot crashing into the floor.
“S-sorry,” Katrina muttered and bent over, pulling the last boot off of her and tossing it across the room.
“Hey, it’s okay,” Charlotte whispered, “Calm down.”
“Alright,” Katrina responded as she melted into Charlotte. Her hand rose up to hold Charlotte’s, but the fingers limply fell to her side, each separate touch an explosion of feeling that overloaded the senses.
The second gauntlet wasn’t too difficult to remove, even with her numb hands faced upward on the armchair.
Yet the armor still trapped her inside, the bulky exterior making her unable to feel touch.
The suit cracked open like an egg, leaving Katrina, the tiny little chicklet, waiting in a tank top and leggings with her hands neatly folded together, body tingling all over, both with excitement and fear.
Charlotte’s bare knee slid against Katrina’s thigh, hands gliding up her body.
Katrina’s eye wandered up Charlotte’s body; it was as if she had woken up in the body of another.
“Hey,” Katrina said, the spit building up in her mouth sticking to her lips, making her sounds broken. “Give me a second.”
Shaking, her purple knuckles dropped to the hem of the tank top, and folded upward, pulling it off of her and casting it aside to the floor. Just a lime sports bra shielding her from absolute exposure.
Charlotte’s chest was so much larger than hers; it was not the thought that was appropriate for the moment, but—
Fingers pressing little circles into her neck. Her ear folding backwards, a warm breath sweeping over it.
Charlotte’s hand dwarfed Katrina’s breast as it wrapped around the bra’s cup.
The tension around her chest loosened — the bra must have been unhooked — and she could feel it sliding away from her. It lingered there for a moment at the precipice. Eager eyes that she did not dare look into burrowed into her.
A hesitant smile and nod — and the bra found itself among the rest of the Nightmare.
When had she became so small?
The armor laid around her in a pile, calling out to her for her to crawl back into.
Her hand clawed at the chair, rough ridges of the fabric resisting her, her body rising and falling with Charlotte.
“Hey—um—ah—th—thank you,” Katrina cringed, pressing her nose to Charlotte and gently nodding. Charlotte drifted away for a moment and Katrina’s back bent from a convex shape to concave, the elastic band that hugged her hips traveled to her thighs, fighting to stay on board and conceal her legs. Leaning back into the chair, the quiet night chilled her bare skin.
When the rest of her clothes hit the floor, she looked up at Charlotte, tongue unconsciously flicking across her teeth.
As her ankles escaped the cloth, she tried to imagine what Charlotte be seeing but could not. The pieces of her body that she could see from looking down were easy to place on the flesh, but it was different in the mirror. She could not remember the last time she looked into the glass, a time when she was just Katrina Gawain, and there was something so defenseless to that girl.
The girl who was failing almost all of her classes despite her blessed strengths in academics, a girl seemingly falling from grace out of the blue, a girl who struggled to say something normal and comfortable, and perhaps letting Charlotte see that wreck of a human was important.
Steely eyes finally faltering, Katrina’s lips curled and a set of fingers intertwined with her
“I love you too,” Charlotte smiled, leaning forward.
She glided towards her, arm out-stretched, asking to hold on.
It was strange to feel something so sensitive under the cover of the night.
Bruises and cuts massaged and caressed by something so caring, hands gently pushing through the darkness to find someone.
Katrina’s hand slid across the little hairs on Charlotte’s shoulder, closing and opening quickly, tentative in its placement.
“A-a-am I—“ Katrina whispered through flushed cheeks, “Is this okay?”
“Yeah, Kat, of course,” Charlotte’s voice drifted through the darkness.
“O-okay, s-sorry, I’m just—“ Katrina awkwardly trailed on even though the moment had passed, “I just want to make sure you are comfortable…”
Silence, sheets moving, eyelids drifting shut, two legs wrapping around Katrina’s, encasing her in warmth, a hand holding another. Katrina’s fingers slowly surrendered and caved in to Charlotte’s, accepting her.
Minutes later, Katrina continuously shifted about.
Charlotte had successfully ventured into that dream land; the only dream Katrina could focus on was joining her.
“What’s wrong?” Charlotte said with the tiniest lip movements she could muster.
“Nothing,” Katrina replied as she shifted uncomfortably again, “Go back to sleep.”
“Please don’t be afraid to tell me,” Charlotte said with a sudden alertness, white eyes a dark blue in the night. The longer she waited, the brighter the white became.
“I just—didn’t think I deserved this,” Katrina said flatly.
A finger on the curve of her jaw.
Something so seen and so visible.
Charlotte’s face drew closer to Katrina’s, “I couldn’t think of a better person to be with.”