dedication: to v for the encouragement, and mori because if you think you will win this battle of pain you are wrong
notes: HOWLS INTO THE VOID
notes2: im seriously so confused why raven/wick when raven/murphy
title: learned behaviour
summary: Kiss me, you savage. — Raven/Murphy.
Her nails leave deep red welts on his skin, and there is no remorse in her face.
(He should have expected this.)
"Clarke's gone, Finn's dead, and you—you have the nerve to come back?" Raven says through her teeth, tearing her way through him like he's nothing. He's wounded all over, blood spreading in a slow dark ooze down his side, but she's seen worse. She's lived through worse; he'll be fine.
"Like I had a fucking choice," he snarls around the pain. Raven can't sew to save her life, and there are other doctors who could probably do this better, but she's the only one who'll touch him.
Rather, she's the only one he'll let touch him, and maybe that's the distinction.
"No anesthetic," she says, and her voice would almost be cheerful were it not for the wash of fury thick on her tongue. "Fuck you, I hope this hurts."
The needle through his shredded skin is like fire. The stitches won't be neat, but better they're there than not: his guts aren't going to fall out of him on her watch, not today, not ever. Raven is a lot of things, but she's not kind enough to let John Murphy die clean. Clarke's gone, and her morality with her. She would have said good riddance, but Clarke was—and is—her friend.
"Fucking Christ, Reyes," he says, and his head snaps back against the pillow, neck corded out.
She's fascinated, presses her thumb to his thundering pulse. The flutter of it keeps her attention for a full two seconds, beat one, beat two. The thing about Murphy is that he's all muscle, fast and hard and strong. She knows all about it, has to wonder if the Earth has hollowed him out and left his soul bird-bone light the way it's done to her. There are only so many times you can watch the only family you have bleed out at your best friend's hands and come out of it okay, and Raven's already spent her allowance this lifetime.
"Nique ta mère," he says, gasping.
"Va te faire foutre," she volleys back like it's nothing, like everyone sounds so graceful when they're telling you to go fuck yourself, like French isn't his mother tongue. The stitches are uneven, and she bites through the thread with her teeth.
His eyes go dark watching her, and Raven smirks: yeah, that's what I thought.
"Who taught you?" he asks. There's sweat glistening in the hollow below his Adam's apple, and it's all wrong against the sickly pallor of his skin. That's the thing about pain—it saps a person of everything they are until there's nothing left but a wide grinning skeleton with holes for eyes.
Idly, Raven wipes it away.
"Finn," she says. "He picked up languages easily. It… helped."
She doesn't say that she was good at it, too, that Portuguese and Spanish and French are more alike that people really think. She doesn't say that she was learning Italian, that she likes the old Mozart operas, that she'd always wondered what could move someone to write something so beautiful. She doesn't talk about the stars outside of the Ark, or spacewalking, or how she and Finn had once made a bet to see who could swallow the most tabasco sauce without throwing up.
She doesn't say them because they are not things John Murphy needs to know.
"Why did you come back, Murphy?"
He twists to spit to the side, dark red, and she watches her messy stitches stretch with the movement. They don't snap, which is good because she wasn't planning on sewing him up for a second time tonight.
"We found it," he says.
Raven inspects him, the clench of his fist into the med bay cot's bedsheet so tight he's white-knuckled. The air is heavy with the electricity that precedes a storm, and she can feel it prickling along the nape of her neck; her hip aches when the weather gets like this, has been aching for days, and she's left wondering about old wounds and scar tissue.
He's got scar tissue, too. Torture does that to a person.
If Earth hasn't left him hollow already, Raven thinks, then in its place, she absolutely will. She's going to take him to pieces, dissect that awful smirk, those wide-set eyes. Viciously. Violently.
"Don't be crazy," she tells him. "Did the desert fry your brains? Oh wait, the acid fog already did that."
He stares at her, level-gazed, and something inside Raven goes tight and hot. He doesn't say anything, just keeps staring. Abruptly, he rolls away, reaching for his shirt. The lamp throws his scars into high relief, and Raven—Raven is having none of it.
(Or at least, she'd be having none of it if she could move like a person with two working legs.)
She rises unsteadily, balanced but only barely, and curls her hand into his hair. He stills, back pressed to her stomach, and it's like a close circuit, the way all her blood lights up and starts to sing. She doesn't even like him, not really, but he's a good lay and for once, for once, she feels less like a fuck up than someone.
"You need a haircut," she says, unnecessarily, yanks. His neck cracks sickly.
"Hands off, Reyes, do I look like your little boyfriend? Oh wait—" and she can almost hear the sneer. "—Griffin ended that pretty good, didn't she?"
"You think you're so mean," Raven says, laughs a little bitterly. "But you kinda suck. Stick to killing, Murph, you're better at it."
He turns his head, and she catches his profile: long nose, depression of eyes, sharp jutting jaw. He's not beautiful, not the way Finn was, but there's something there that isn't entirely awful. Raven curls her hand around his chin, tips his face up to look at her. He has to move with it, but it doesn't seem like he minds.
"Reyes—" he says. She can see the rest of the words forming behind his mouth, and he's probably going to say something stupid or something nasty or something that'll make her want to hit him, because he's said all those things before.
She doesn't give him the time to get it out.
It's not so much a kiss as it is a clash of teeth and skin. She tastes blood, which no matter what anyone says about metal, tastes like blood. Blood and apples, crisp red and creamy white, and a tiny sound escapes the back of her throat.
She didn't think growling would do it for her, but the sub-vocal vibration has her slick between her thighs and grasping at his shoulders. God, she wants—she wants—
"Fr—ick!" and Raven topples.
He catches her, and that's more embarrassing than anything else. Her knee wrenches, and there should be pain but there isn't—fucking Murphy and that fucking gun—she yowls regardless.
"You okay, Reyes?" he says, breathing hard, watching her like he might watch a wounded animal.
"I'm fine," she says, looks him up and down, and then says, eyebrow raised, "So are you gonna drop trou, or what?"
"Kiss me, you savage," he says, deadpan, and pulls her down.
notes3: translations oops also guess which movie i referenced just guess
o1. fuck your mother
o2. go fuck yourself