She catches him looking at her when they’re alone, when the day is over and all that’s left to do is wind down.
It’s not to say that he never looks at her – sometimes he glances at her in times when his focus should be elsewhere – but there’s something different in the way he looks at her now.
She sees him eyeing her when they’re resting in bed together, when he’s sitting with his back against the headboard and she’s laying her head on his pillow.
“What happened here?” asks Bart. He looks specifically at right arm, focusing on her exposed shoulder and bicep.
Rose knows what he’s looking at. That one shoulder of hers had not been particularly lucky over the years.
“A bunch of things,” Rose explains to him. She sits up a little bit and tugs some of the shoulder strap of her tank top back, exposing the scars on her skin. She points to them with her finger – the indents on her shoulder and the line more on her torso – and recalls each story accordingly.
“Bullet... bullet... sword.”
“Ouch,” Bart reacts, his voice sounding soft and worried.
Rose is not up for letting him pity her. So to shut him down, she says: “It’s just a part of life.”
She rests against the pillow again, letting her bare legs shift against the softness of the sheets. Her toe grazes his calf playfully.
“Name one person who does what we do without getting a few scars,” Rose brings up. She then gives him a smirk. “I mean, one person without a freaky healing factor like yours.”
For added emphasis, she playfully punches him in the shoulder.
Bart lets out a chuckle. “Hey, just because I heal fast doesn’t mean nothing hurts.” He adjusts his position in the bed until he’s laying down next to her, resting on his side to keep his sights focused on one thing and one thing only. “If I could forget every second of what it’s like to get shot in the knee, then I would.”
“That’s not the same as getting scars,” Rose points out.
“Yeah, I know,” Bart admits, nodding his head. “But it’s the closest I can get.”
Rose has seen enough of him to know that he doesn’t scar the way that she does. He heals way too quickly to sustain even a scratch.
On the other hand, Rose has it differently. In fact, her shoulder isn’t the worst of it. There’s a circular blemish on her stomach from a mook with a pistol, along with a nasty, discoloured patch on her leg from a motorcycle ride gone wrong.
Despite that, Rose wears her scars with pride. She sees no point in hiding them. It would be like wearing a mask for your flaws, pointless and bound to fail.
“You what sucks about having a supercharged metabolism?” Bart asks, changing the subject.
Rose shakes her head, his words having brought her thoughts away from her scars. “What?”
“I can’t take any meds,” he explains simply. “Y’know, I had a migraine yesterday, but I couldn’t take anything for it because I’d burn through the painkillers. It happens with everything, anesthesia, caffeine. I’m pretty sure I can’t get drunk either.”
Rose lets out a chuckle. “That’s unfortunate.”
“Maybe,” Bart says, shrugging his shoulders. With the way he says it, there’s a chance that he doesn’t think it’s a bad thing.
“You’ve been getting migraines a lot lately,” Rose recalls. Mindlessly, her hand reaches over to him and starts to play with the locks of his hair.
Bart lets out a sigh. His demeanor shifts and things suddenly get a little more sad.
“I know. I think it’s stress,” he tells her. “I got one this morning, I can still feel it now.”
“Poor you,” Rose whispers, leaning in close. She plants a kiss on his cheek, then trails her lips around until she can place another on his temple.
Bart starts to grin, keeping his eyes closed in bliss. “Kiss it better?”
“Maybe,” Rose teases, the sound of her voice tickling him. She moves down a bit, now nuzzling his neck. “We’ll see.”