A completely made up rumor in a tabloid brings out Raven's pissed off Toddler. Part of my Stand Still Look Pretty Series.
Author: Allison Wonderland
Summary: A completely made up rumor in a tabloid brings out Raven’s inner pissed off toddler.
Warning(s): Language, homosexuality, explicit sexual activity.
Disclaimer: If you recognize it, I don’t own it.
Taylor enjoyed those rare silences when he was all alone in their apartment. He always took the opportunity to collapse on the sofa in his old jeans – the ones Raven particularly liked because they had holes worn in several rather inappropriate places – and an equally worn tee shirt that had lost its sleeves to a pair of scissors sometime before he had left home for college. Sometimes while he was sitting there enjoying the Raven-less environment he called his mother or turned the television on to whatever ESPN channel that was showing the rodeo at that particular time. Sometimes he just enjoyed the quiet and found a book or magazine to read.
On that particular day when Raven’s inner pissed off toddler decided to come out to play Taylor had already spoken to his mother – with Raven ‘helping’ by shouting “Hi, Mama!” two inches from his ear – the bull riding championships had just ended, and he had found a back issue of Horse And Rider – one that Raven had ‘helped’ him read the first time around – to read. But he knew his quiet was about to end because Raven would be home from the park with Rox and Riley at any time.
Raven’s arrival was punctuated by a bang as the door slammed shut.
“Save the pieces,” Taylor advised. “I’d rather not replace it”
Raven did not reply. All Taylor heard was the click of the dogs’ leashes being removed and the thump of each of Raven’s shoes as they hit the hard wood floor.
Taylor winced. They had just had the floors redone. “Raven-“ he began.
“Fuck you!” Raven stormed past him, throwing something at him on the way, and into their bedroom. That door slammed shut too.
Taylor sighed. He had been hoping for more time between drama queen fits. Only that one seemed kind of…real. He glanced down at whatever it was that had fallen into his lap. And cursed.
So it was real then. Nothing affected Raven like the stories the tabloids printed about the two of them. He flipped through the pages until he found the story he was looking for, a full page detailing how Fantasticka was going under and its founders on the verge of not only bankruptcy but a breakup too. There were quotes as well, all purported to be straight from Raven or Taylor themselves. And on the opposite page was a full page color photograph of the two of them glaring at one another.
Taylor remembered that particular evening well. The two of them had gone to a movie premier – some animated thing Raven had been ecstatic to see for weeks before it had finally premiered. He had been severely disappointed and his inner pissed off two-year-old had come out. By the time they had left the movie Raven had been inches away from throwing himself down on the sidewalk and having a full blown tantrum. The photo had been taken just then, moments before Taylor had all but picked Raven up and put him in the waiting taxi but not before some reporter had gotten a quote from Taylor.
And used it completely out of context.
Still, if Taylor had to take a guess he was willing to bet that quote had something to do with Raven’s pissed off toddler side coming out.
Which of course left Taylor to talk him out of his latest little drama queen fit. Although Taylor supposed that if it were real Raven was not just being a drama queen again and he should not call it that. What he probably should do however was try to calm Raven before his not-really-a-drama-queen-fit fit got worse.
After storming past Taylor and slamming the bedroom door – which made him feel marginally better – Raven flung himself down on the bed and lay there, his face hidden in his fluffy pink Hello Kitty pillow. He squeezed his eyes shut to prevent the tears in them from escaping. He was not going to cry, not over some stupid quote in some stupid tabloid by his stupid boyfriend. He would just refuse to speak to said stupid boyfriend ever again. Raven sniffled and lifted his head to wipe his hand across his eyes. Damn it, he would not cry. He was not an ‘annoying child’ and would not be upset over something Taylor probably did not even remember saying. He turned over onto his side and curled up so that his knees were against his chest and sniffled again.
Behind him the bedroom door opened and Raven gave another injured sniff. “So what’s this all about, huh?” Taylor asked in that soft soothing voice he always used to calm Raven. He was almost sure something would be thrown at him at any given moment – it usually was – but Raven remained where he was curled into a ball on the bed, sniffling quietly.
So it was real. Taylor had seen tears in Raven’s eyes quite often before, when they were watching a movie or when he was overwhelmingly happy. But he could count on the fingers of one hand – and still have plenty left over – the number of times he had seen his boyfriend really cry.
“What’s wrong, Raven?” he persisted.
Raven broke his vow of silence long enough to say, “Not talking to you.” He went back to ignoring Taylor. Ignoring. Not annoying. Horrible boyfriends and their horrible horribleness. He made a face at the wall.
That was hardly a new development. He had heard ‘I’m not talking to you’ and ‘I hate you’ and all manner of other unpleasantness from Raven when the blonde was in one of those moods. The second the mood passed he would be wriggling into Taylor’s lap asking if they could please go for ice cream now and most definitely not hating him.
“Why not?” Taylor asked just for the hell of it.
“Mad at you,” Raven replied without realizing he was speaking to the object of his – albeit temporary – vexation.
“Yeah, I figured,” Taylor admitted. “But how about letting me explain what happened?” When Raven did not respond he took that to mean he would not be interrupted overly much if he did. “Remember the premier we went to?” he asked. “The one where that picture was taken?”
Raven hesitated a moment before nodding once.
Taylor pushed Raven’s shirt up and began to rub his back. He took it as a good sign that his boyfriend only stiffened up but did not move away. If Raven were really pissed off he would have pulled away and sat glaring at Taylor instead of the wall. “And you were disappointed because the movie didn’t live up to your expectations,” he continued as his hand moved up and down Raven’s back.
That was an understatement. Still, Raven refused to respond.
“And when it was over you were acting like…” Taylor paused. The phrase he had started to use was ‘annoying child’ but his use of those particular words had started this whole thing in the first place.
“Like what?” Raven asked, breaking his vow of silence again. “An annoying child?”
“Well, yes,” Taylor admitted. “You can at times.”
Raven uncurled himself and aimed a backward kick at Taylor. His foot never connected. Instead he found one of his boyfriend’s legs pinning both of his own to the bed. Taylor was not even holding him particularly tight but he knew that he could not get free no matter how hard he might struggle.
“Whoever that reporter was, she got it wrong. I did say you were acting like an annoying child.” He continued without giving Raven time to respond. “But she used it out of context. Do you want to know what I really said?”
Raven had no interest in what had or had not been said but he knew he was going to find out anyway so he stayed silent.
“What I really told her was, ‘he’s just acting like an annoying, spoiled child again but it’s actually kind of refreshing that Raven is so childlike. Most people in the fashion industry today are just career oriented and obsessed with finding the next big thing that they don’t take time to let their inner child out.’” Taylor leaned closer to Raven, so he was speaking almost directly into his ear. “And then I said, ‘that’s partly why I love him.”
All of Raven’s determination to hate Taylor leaked away. When he felt his boyfriend’s arms come around him he did not protest. “I’m sorry,” he said softly. It was not something he often said.
“I know,” Taylor assured him. “I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have said that. At least not to a reporter.”
“I’ll forgive you,” Raven said easily. “On one condition.”
Taylor knew that now was the time Raven would ask if they could go for ice cream. “What?” he asked anyway. It was really too late for ice cream as they had to be in the office by 7:00 the next morning to make final arrangements before the launch of their makeup line tomorrow night but if his boyfriend was going to make a big deal out of it
Instead of replying Raven reached over his boyfriend and picked up a book on the nightstand. He handed it to Taylor. “Start with the Jabberwocky poem,” he demanded. “Then read the part with the caterpillar.”
Not really surprised but rather relieved that they would not be going for ice cream when they had an early morning tomorrow, Taylor let Raven snuggle close to him again. As the book fell open to the most often looked at page he began to read…
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought
And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
"And has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
Taylor never got to ‘the part with the caterpillar’. Somewhere in the middle of the poem Raven became still and silent except for his deep, even breathing. A moment later when Taylor laid the book down so he could turn the page with one hand – his other arm was holding Raven – he discovered why he had not been interrupted the usual four or five times. His boyfriend lay curled up against his side exactly the same way he had been since handing Taylor the book, sound asleep, long dark eyelashes resting against porcelain pale skin.