Scars of the Past
Elizabeth, formerly DeWitt, now Wynand, stood out on the hotel balcony looking out over Paris. After all of her trials and tribulations since leaving her tower, she was finally living her dream of going to Paris, though with a wonderful addition that she had never considered: Jack Wynand, her new husband as of a day and a half.
Elizabeth had only briefly considered romance in her life; a possibility that seemed even more remote than visiting the city of her dreams. A possibility that had utterly vanished for her when she had gained full control over her powers, and again when she had lost them and later her life in Rapture.
Maybe her omniscient self had foreseen this moment as a possibility before returning to Rapture to save Sally, but she couldn't fully remember those times, and something in her didn't want to.
Jack Wynand had arrived long after the Rapture Civil War's climax, forced to brave its terrors and horrors with naught but a false friend and a former monster as allies. In the face of the crazed atrocities that stalked Rapture's hall and corridors, he had chosen not to take all the Little Sister's ADAM and lose his soul, but to instead save them and put his faith in Tenenbaum's promise.
And that hadn't been the end of it; from Sally, he had learned of the one human being in Rapture that had protected her, and he had raised that woman, herself, from the dead. He had brought all of them, the Little Sisters, Tenenbaum, and Elizabeth, back to the surface and helped them to create lives for themselves. Somewhere along the way, they had fallen in love.
After the small wedding, attended by Tenenbaum, Jack's adopted daughters, and a set of quantum twins, they had stopped by his house long enough to change from their wedding clothes into normal wear before catching their flight to their honeymoon destination, Paris. They had slept, hand-in-hand, for the flight before arriving early in the morning. They had spent the day touring through the City of Love, visiting the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Louvre. After dinner, they had retired to the honeymoon suite at their hotel to consummate their marriage.
Paris was not the paradise that she had experienced prior to returning to Rapture, that fusion of all her childhood and young adulthood dreams of the city. It had problems, things that made it far from the ideal version her younger, naïve self had imagined it would be. Even with that, Jack's presence was more than enough to make it perfect.
"Now that is a beautiful view right there."
Elizabeth smiled and turned back towards the room. Jack stood by the doorway to the bathroom, clad only in a robe that matched hers and smiling widely. His green eyes twinkled beneath his sandy blond hair, his robe barely fitting across his broad shoulders.
"Yes," Elizabeth agreed with a sly smile. "The Eiffel Tower at night is quite dazzling, isn't it?" She closed the curtains, shutting out the night and any passersby.
"Oh, it is," Jack answered. "Not what I was talking about though."
"I know," Elizabeth said, straightening up and walking over to trace a finger around the loose knot of his robe. "I just like to hear you say it."
Jack swallowed audibly at her hand's movements before reaching up to cup her face in his hands. "Nothing gets by you, does it Liz?"
Elizabeth smiled before loosening her robe's knot. "No offence Jack, but you do let things go over your head." She shrugged her shoulders, letting the garment fall to her feet. "Though I'm very sure that you're getting the message I'm sending you right now," she purred.
Jack's eyes widened and he slowly began to disrobe. "Loud and clear, Mrs. Wynand." He had enough time before the garment hit the ground to reach over to the bedside lamp and switch it off.
~~Jack and Liz~~
A few hours later, Jack woke up suddenly. Taking in his surroundings, he remembered where he was and what he and Liz had done prior to slumber. He smiled at the pleasurable memory before a need of a different sort beneath his waist became apparent. Rolling his eyes, Jack gently and carefully disentangled himself from Liz and quietly padded to the bathroom.
Once he was done relieving himself, he tiptoed back from the toilet, a small flame flickering from his fingertips for light. If Liz wasn't still asleep and he was wearing something, the electric lights would have been on. He hated the dark; it reminded him of all the times the lights had gone off in Rapture, signaling a splicer ambush.
To his shock and dismay, the bedside light flipped on, revealing Liz wide awake and looking up at him.
"Liz!" He jumped, extinguished his flame, and looked around for his robe. "Weren't you asleep?"
"I woke up when you got out of bed." Liz was giving him a weird look. "Jack, we had sex just a few hours ago, nudity is no longer an issue."
"It's not that." Jack paused on his search for his robe and sighed before stepping fully into the light. "I just didn't want you to see, well, these." He waved a hand over his torso, over the multitude of scars that littered his abdomen and arms. The ugly, horrible scars that he covered up every day since he left Rapture to hide the most grotesque of his souvenirs.
Liz sat up in bed, letting the bed sheets slip off and he had to make an effort not to stare. She walked up to him, studying his scars as she approached. When she was close enough, she brushed her fingertips over his chest, feeling the flesh furrows that criss-crossed over him like a patchwork quilt of ugly. All the same, he shivered lightly from her touch.
Blunt trauma injuries from brute force attacks. Bullet-holes and grazes from near misses. Burns from both fire and electricity. Holes from thick icicles turned into projectiles. Track marks from the massive ADAM and EVE needles. The massive scar on his throat from the Big Daddy voice modification (that she already knew about). And worst of all, the fusion of burn and slash wounds courtesy of the spider-splicers' hooks.
His body was well-formed and functioned perfectly, but the abuse it had been put through in Rapture had rendered the outside ugly. Back before he and Liz had started dating, he had been worried that she would one day realize just how far off from humanity he was and lose any desire for any kind of relationship with him. Now, he knew that love was beyond such pettiness, but that didn't mean he wanted his best friend and now wife to see the ugliest physical part of him.
When Liz bent down and kissed one of the circular wounds left from a Rosie's rivet gun, he jumped and stared down at her.
"I felt these earlier," Liz said softly, kissing a burned slash scar next to the first before stepping closer and embracing him. "You didn't need to hide these from me. There's no part of you that needs to be kept from me."
"I knew that in theory," Jack admitted, "but I didn't like the idea of you seeing these… these disgusting things."
Elizabeth was silent for a moment before unleashing her embrace and turning around, sweeping her hair (which according to her was as long as it used to be) over her shoulder and in front, giving him an unobstructed view of her back.
Jack couldn't help but suck in a breath when he saw the huge, round scar on Liz's upper back. He reached up and gently touched the skin bordering the scar tissue and the healthy tissue.
"Fontaine or Comstock?" he asked quietly, anger sparking deep in his chest.
"One of Comstock's doctors," Liz answered. "He was planning on killing me during a procedure and making it look like an accident."
"What happened to him?" Jack said, rubbing the flesh around the scar carefully.
"I opened a Tear to a Kansas tornado, sucked him right up," she answered matter-of-factly. "He died instantly, which was far more than he deserved."
"No argument here," Jack said, nuzzling the back of her head.
"So, is my scar disgusting?" Elizabeth asked.
Jack was silent, then leaned down and kissed it like she had his.
"No. It's your scar, a reminder of your terrible past." He sighed heavily before wrapping his arms around her in a backwards hug. "You were just a kid," he whispered softly.
"We both were," Liz murmured. "We were the tools of two evil men, who used and abused us for their own ends, denied us lives of our own, before we even knew it."
"And yet we beat them in the end," Jack said, turning her around to face him. "We're free of them, though our bodies and minds still bear witness to their mistreatment."
They were silent for the longest moment, just standing there, drinking each other in.
"What woke you up?" Liz broke the silence at length. "Bad dream?"
"One of the Little Sister ones," Jack answered. "Though instead of a Little Sister to be rescued, it was you. As soon as you were safe, you dropped your clothes right in front of me. I was so surprised, I woke up."
Liz couldn't help but giggle. "Speaking of being naked," she pulled out of the hug and looked down at Jack's lower half. "There was a gene tonic in Rapture prior to the War. It was for male sexual enhancement, called 'Longer n' Harder'." She glanced back up at him in genuine curiosity. "Did you come across it, by any chance?"
Now it was Jack's turn to laugh. "Madame," he said in mock offense, "I will have you that my manhood is completely and absolutely one hundred percent natural, no splicing there."
Liz laughed at his faux offense and hugged him again. "Well, my entire body is one hundred percent natural. Beat that, Mr. Wynand."
Jack snorted and then glanced at a clock. "We're too awake to go back to sleep and it's late to be up and about." He glanced back down at her and a husky tone entered his voice. "However will we spend the time until morning?"
Liz smiled sensually up at him and ran a hand through his hair. "I have several ideas," she said. "The light is staying on this time though. I want to see you making love to me."
Jack grinned down at her. "Not as much as I want to see you."
Their lips met in a very unchaste kiss, a symbol of their defiance to their old masters.