ABC News' Cecilia Vega reports:
"We value each other," Rihanna, 24, told Rolling Stone magazine in its new issue. "We know exactly what we have now, and we don't want to lose that."
They have been in the headlines since their 2009 split after Brown's assault on Rihanna. In recent months, their public displays of affection, steamy cellphone pics of each other and cryptic comments have sparked rumors of a reunion and a seemingly nonstop debate about whether Rihanna should take Brown back.
In December, Rihanna posted a photo of her kissing Brown's head on Instagram, her body wrapped around his. "I don't wanna leave!!! Killed it tonight baby!!!" she wrote after a concert by Brown in Frankfurt, Germany.
Now, appearing as the magazine's February cover girl, the music superstar tells Rolling Stone she's in a place where public opinion doesn't matter.
"I wasn't going to let anybody's opinion get in the way of that. Even if it's a mistake, it's my mistake," Rihanna told the magazine, out Friday. "After being tormented for so many years, being angry and dark, I'd rather just live my truth and take the backlash. I can handle it.
"When you add up the pieces from the outside, it's not the cutest puzzle in the world," she says. "But it's different now."
Yet just as she is making headlines about their relationship, Brown is making headlines of his own.
The singer is reportedly being investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for allegedly assaulting Frank Ocean this weekend. Brown was also involved in a bar brawl with rapper Drake in June and remains on probation for his assault on Rihanna at a pre-Grammys party in 2009.
Rihanna, who earlier described Brown to ABC News' Diane Sawyer as "blacked out" and with "no soul in his eyes" when he attacked her, says he is a rehabilitated man.
"He made a mistake and he paid his dues," Rihanna told the magazine. "I know that's not a place he would ever want to go back to. And sometimes people need support and encouragement instead of ridicule and criticism and bashing.
"We don't have those types of arguments anymore," she says. "We talk about s***. We value each other. We know exactly what we have now, and we don't want to lose that."
Rihanna, promoting her new album, "Unapologetic," sings a duet with Brown on the record called "Nobody's Business." She earlier told Complex magazine her decision to work with her ex was "nobody's business."
"That's just not an option," she told Rolling Stone of the chance Brown will mess up again. "I can't say that nothing else will ever go wrong.
"But I'm pretty solid in the knowing that he's disgusted by that. And I wouldn't have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility."