Seeing Raven at the Gotham City gala was a surprise. Granted, the gala was held at the national museum, so it might have held some level of interest for Raven. At first, Tim wasn't sure it even was her, but the purple hair and eyes, and those deadly curves, were pretty much a giveaway.
Tim barely paid attention to the two businessmen talking to him. He hummed occasionally at the right places in the conversation but kept his blue eyes trained at the woman across the ballroom. As socialites, politicians, celebrities, and business leaders milled around the grand ballroom in their flashy dresses that would put any other MET Gala to shame, Raven was dressed in a flowing black sleeveless dress that dipped so dangerously low in her back. For a brief moment, Tim was entranced watching Raven's back enticingly move as she slipped from one painting to the next..
Raven, for her part, seemed perfectly oblivious to the whole drama around her and instead kept her focus on the priceless art pieces hanging on the walls.
It had been a couple of years since Tim had seen Raven – maybe at Dick's wedding? Most of the Titans had moved on with their lives, each taking on different paths in their superhero journeys. Garfield, Dick and Kory remained with the Titans, working to train young superheroes. Victor had been accepted by the Justice League. Raven, he heard, had moved out of the Titans and taken on a more civilian life. But he did hear Constantine and Zatana talk about her on occasion.
"So, I'm saying if we can just adjust our forecasting a little bit, we won't have to worry about not reaching our targets," one of the men droned on.
Tim paused from nursing his scotch when Raven turned on her heels and headed towards the bar. As she turned, he was 100% sure she glanced in his direction out of the corner of her eyes. A small smile played on her lips as he continued to watch her grab a champagne glass from the bar and make her way to another corner of the room.
"Excuse me, gentlemen," not bothering to wait for their replies, Tim left the small group and set to find Raven in the crowd.
He found her behind a woman dressed extravagantly in a gown that could only be described as a candelabra – it had glowing candles! As he maneuvered himself through the crowd, Tim looked up and caught purple eyes staring directly at him. It really was Raven.
"Careful," he heard her soft voice over the ambient music in the ballroom. Her eyes held an amused twinkle as she watched him squeeze through a couple of more extravagantly dressed couples. "I saw one of those dresses leak water,"
Tim chuckled and briefly looked over his shoulder at the dress in question. The woman was dressed in something akin of a waterfall with water dripping down her train. "Ah. That must not be comfortable,"
Raven took a sip of her champagne and Tim felt like she was measuring him up with her deep purple stare. Tim tried to distract himself just a little bit, by stuffing his free hand into his pocket. He's be lying if he didn't say that Raven had always intimidated and intrigued him just a bit. Her presence when they were growing up always held a deeply mysterious note on her and it always had him staring at her on occasion, wondering what she was thinking.
Tim blinked and stared at the purple haired woman. "Ah,"
Raven offered an amused smile. She extended her hand, briefly looked over to some curious women and men who watched Tim Drake talk to some random woman at the gala. "My name is Rachel Roth,"
Tim grinned. Of course. Hurriedly pulling out his hand from his pocket, his warm hand engulfed her small, soft hand. "Tim Drake," he said. "It's nice to meet you," his lips quirked and he dropped his voice just a little. "Again,"
Raven offered him a soft smile. "How have you been?"
Tim shrugged dismissively. "So, so." He said and pointed at the glass door leading to the balcony, motioning for her to follow. "It's been pretty busy at work, Bruce has been unforgiving when it comes to dishing out work,"
Raven chuckled softly and followed him out onto the balcony. She walked up the stone railings briefly surveyed the cityscape they could see from where they stood. "I'm pretty sure you're the only one Bruce trusts to do the work,"
Tim grinned and stood next to her, folding his arms over the railing and turning to her. "Am I hearing a compliment?"
Raven glanced at him with a mildly amused expression. "Well, Damian is still a kid, Jason is doing god knows what where, and Dick has his family priorities," she hummed. "You are the only one,"
Tim stared at Raven as she leaned in to him ever so slightly with a teasing look. He laughed loudly, and shook his head in amusement. People were so vastly wrong about Raven, he mused. She was full of surprises. "Hey!"
Raven wrinkled her nose when Tim nudged her shoulder with his teasingly. "Just saying as it is,"
Tim took a swig of the last of his scotch, his insides warming slightly – either from the alcohol or Raven's light teasing. He turned to her, eyeing her curiously. "How have you been? It's been a couple of years,"
She shrugged lightly and took a tiny sip of her champagne. "I'm about to graduate next week with a literature and history degree,"
Of course Raven had gone to University. That's what she'd do – always thirsty for new knowledge. Tim was impressed. "Literature and History? Wow. Must be interesting," he said.
Raven looked utterly pleased as she turned to him. "It is. I'd be lying if I'd say I didn't have a lot of fun going over some Latin scripts and early civilization records,"
Tim smiled as he watched her lips. "We have a lot of old Latin books and some other antique books at the Wayne library if you ever want to see those," he said, tilting his head in her direction.
Raven's eyes widened just a little bit and she raised a teasing eyebrow at him. Leaning in just a tiny bit into his space, just a little so she could catch the scent of his musky aftershave. Sandalwood. "Isn't it a little bit too early in the evening for you to invite me over with your library, Tim?" she teased softly, her voice holding an amused lilt to it.
Tim felt his insides warm again in a very familiar way. He blinked and felt just a tiny bit flustered but he also knew she was just lightly pulling his leg. Or was she? He refused to move out of the way as Raven leaned into his space teasingly. Two could play that game.
He sent a playful, sly smile and leaned into her space just a fraction of an inch. He met her amused stare with his own. "Never too early,"
Raven's cheeks colored slightly and her stomach warmed not because of her champagne. She watched as Tim calmly leaned on the stone railing, long hair falling into his eyes which she admittedly wanted to brush away from his face. His lips quirked into a deeper amused smile and she had to look away, lightly flustered. She smiled and looked at him through the corner of her eye as she took the last sip of her champagne. "We'll see,"
Tim chuckled an kept his close spot next to her, feeling more at ease with her. This side of Raven he liked. "I didn't know you went to Gotham U,"
Raven shook her head. "Finishing at NYU,"
Tim grinned. "Always the smart one," he paused and looked at her curiously. "So what brings you to Gotham? You didn't come here just for the gala, right? Because, I know I'd rather be anywhere but here,"
To corner of her lips raised. "Bruce leave you all alone here?"
Tim shrugged. "Bruce left for Paris this morning for a business event and had me come here. I feel like he did it on purpose," he said. He turned and looked down at her amused expression. Was she always this tiny? He tilted his head towards her again and offered a small smile. "Besides, I got pretty good company now, so coming here wasn't so bad after all,"
"Really?" he could hear the amused tone in her voice. Her smile grew just a little bit.
"Well, I guess we're lucky the ticket I bought yesterday from this guy outside the museum was legit. He looked very shifty," Raven propped her chin on her hand as she looked thoughtfully at Tim.
Tim eyes widened with amusement. "You got your ticket yesterday? From some random guy off the street?"
Raven shrugged nonchalantly. "Seemed like a good idea at the time,"
Tim raised an eyebrow and watched Raven in the soft evening moonlight. Light spilled over her shoulders, giving her a soft glow as she looked at the cityscape in front of them. He was reminded again how beautiful Raven was. Tim swallowed at the thought. "Raven?" he gently prodded as a brief silence fell on them.
"My mother was from Gotham,"
Blue eyes widened and he leaned a little closer to Raven unconsciously. He didn't know that. "Really?" his voice dropped a little lower. He eyed Raven curiously. "So you…"
Raven tilted her head in his direction and shot him brief glance. "I just honestly wanted to see what Gotham is like,"
"But you've been here before."
Raven offered him a small smile. "Maybe I just wanted to see Gotham through regular eyes?" She said. "I've been going to some places my mother liked when she was growing up here. I wanted to see Gotham through her eyes,"
"That's beautiful," Tim stared at her, taking in her bittersweet smile. A slight breeze swept over them and he watched her short purple hair tickle her chin. He felt like he found more than her story beautiful.
Raven's cheeks colored slightly and she looked at Tim. "The museum has been closed since I got here and I'm leaving tomorrow evening. Getting into the gala was the only way for me to see the museum,"
"Always the one with a smart plan," Tim teased. He chuckled when Raven rolled her eyes at him. "How do you like Gotham?"
Raven looked thoughtful for a moment, trying to think of an answer. "I like it," she replied. "It's a really busy city but also a lot quieter than New York or Jump. There are so many things to discover in the city and everything seems to be surprisingly well curated. It's a bit more mysterious with its secrets,"
Tim looked at her impressed.
He briefly looked at her lips and suddenly had a deep desire to be closer to her. He shifted closer, his elbow brushing up against hers. He leaned into her a bit more, he faintly smelled her soft perfume of vanilla and fruits. "So, uncover a few more secrets while you were here?" he asked.
Raven looked at him and felt herself warm again at the sight of his amused blue eyes. She felt the warm push of Tim's emotions against her own. Glancing briefly at the amused smile on his lips, she stared into his blue eyes and shot him a rare smile. "Maybe."
Tim smiled. Pushing himself away from the railing, he stood up straight and smoothly plucked Raven's empty champagne glass out of her hands. He met her raised eyebrow with a smooth smile. "I know it's not Gotham's most important sight to see, but, would you want to leave this place and get some coffee?" He paused. "Or tea?"
Raven felt her face warm as she stared at Tim. She thought of her options and faintly wondered what would happen if she left the party with him. A small smile grew on her lips as her body warmed at the possibilities. She cocked her head a little and nodded. "Okay,"
Tim's smile widened and they stepped away from the railing. "Let's go." His hand slipped to the small of her back, fingers fanning over the naked dip of her back. The touch sent tingles down his arm and he briefly glanced at her.
They weaved their way through the crowd. A few curious glances shot their way. Slipping out of the back entrance of the museum, they headed towards Tim's car. Raven lightly teased him for not having a driver around ("How very un-Wayne of you.") to which he laughed loudly while fishing for his car keys in his pocket. Raven decided he had a nice laugh.
"Any preference?" he asked while pulling on his seatbelt.
Raven settled into the passenger's seat and shrugged. "Surprise me,"
Tim hummed thoughtfully and pulled out of the parking lot. The drive was mostly comfortably silent, with Raven just asking for the names of places they drove by.
They soon found themselves a little way out of the city center, at a small café with colorful tapestries and trinkets. The doorbell tinkled as they entered and they shared amused smiles when they earned curious stares for their full gala attire.
Raven slipped ahead of him, her hand briefly touching his elbow, and he watched as walked up to the display counter. Tim will admit that he fell back just a little bit, to admire Raven's slow walk towards the counter in her gown. She looked absolutely stunning. He faintly wondered what he was doing with her now – and how an utterly boring evening gala turned into an evening of coffee with one of the Titan's strongest heroes.
"Coffee, right?" Raven asked, when Tim stepped up next to her with his hands stuffed casually into his pantsuit pockets.
"Right," he answered. He pointed at one of the Ethiopian brews and asked for a slice of cake for them to share. Raven got a cup of tea.
They shuffled their way into one of the empty corners of the café and settled next to each other. Raven looked around the café, before crossing her legs and allowing one of her hands to drop on the table while they waited for their drinks. "This is a nice place,"
Tim tried to not stare at her thigh that peeked out of the long slit of her gown as she crossed her legs. "They serve pretty good coffee,"
Raven titled her head. "Interesting turn of the night,"
Tim turned his body just a fraction of an inch closer to hers. He felt like there were a million and one ways to answer that statement, each one more dangerous than the other. He wondered if it was the right time to do so. "Better than at a stuffy gala,"
Raven smiled. "Better,"
Their orders arrived and they thanked the waitress. "Do you still see the others?" Tim asked after they each took a sip of their drinks.
"Once in a while. I saw Dick and Kory last month. And few months ago I helped them out with work," Raven shrugged. "I stay in touch mostly with the old team. I barely know the new kids."
Tim nodded. "So you graduate next week. And then?"
"Yeah. I might want to travel a bit and then look for a job. There are a couple of universities that offer some research posts that I'd like to try out," Raven explained.
"Gotham University has a pretty solid history department," Tim grinned.
Raven laughed. She propped her elbow on their table and placed her chin into her palm, sending him a teasing smile. "Are you trying to make me stay?"
Was he? He felt his insides flip again, silently amazed to see this side of a playful Raven. Perhaps he did want her to stay. She always did intrigue him. Chuckling, he fluidly leaned closer. "Maybe?" He heard her inhale softly and his gaze briefly fell to her lips. He dropped his left arm behind her chair, trapping her between their table and his personal space. "Do you want to?"
Raven would lie if she would say she didn't want to. As she stared at Tim, with her emotions purring inside of her, she embraced the soft, now familiar push of his emotions. A sly smile slipped on her lips, and she stared into his eyes as she leaned away. "Maybe."
There was a pregnant pause and they both stared at each other, knowing that they had slipped into something dangerous – but undeniably welcome.
Tim smiled, looking a little bit satisfied and he pulled out of her space. He pulled his arms back to him and picked up his coffee mug for a drink. "Good."
They slipped into an easy conversation until they finished their drinks and polished off an excellent slice of cheesecake. Raven decided to call it a night once the barista started cleaning the display counter and they were the last customers in the café. Tim led them back outside, hand still easily sliding down to the small of her back, guiding her towards the door. Raven leaned into him slightly.
Once they settled back into his car and Tim pulled out of the driveway, he cast her curious glance. "Where are you staying?"
"At the Grand, down 5th avenue,"
"Okay," Tim took a turn and they fell into a heavy silence. Tim glanced at her out of the corner of his eye and tapped the steering wheel thoughtfully. He wondered if he'd see Raven again.
The car stopped at an empty stoplight. Raven turned to him, feeling his emotions push against her. She smiled as he turned his head curiously. She titled her head, eyes dancing. "Do you think I could see the Wayne Library?"
Heat dropped into his stomach and Tim fully turned to her. His grip on his steering wheel tightened. Did she? He swallowed. "The Library?"
Raven laughed, leaned into his space just a little bit. "You said it had old Latin books. I'm curious." Her purple eyes sparkled as the stoplight turned yellow.
A wide smile grew on Tim's lips. "And it's not too early in the evening now to invite you over?" he teased.
Raven rolled her eyes and she pulled away with a chuckle as a car behind them honked loudly. The stoplight had turned green for a while now. "No, it's just the right time."
Tim let out a soft laugh and quickly turned back to the road. "Okay," he whispered, a smile on his lips as he took a turn towards Wayne Manor.
They were silent for the rest of the drive. When they arrived at the manor it was past midnight. Tim led her through the maze of hallways, silently wondering how the evening was turning out – and how it could potentially turn out. He gently took her elbow and guided her into the last room, pulling her into the giant library. He stepped away from her, mumbling he'd be right back, and turned to switch on the lights.
"Oh," he heard Raven breathe as the library became alive with lights. He had left her in the middle of the library, standing right under the grand chandelier. She looked breathtaking, bathed in the soft yellow glow of the library in her gown. Tim had to stop and admire her – one of the many times that evening.
"It's beautiful." Raven looked around her, taking in all the grand bookcases that lined the walls.
"Yeah," Tim stared at her.
Raven paused and looked over her shoulder, catching Tim stare at her. Her heart beat against her chest. What was she doing? She smiled at him. "Where's the Latin section?"
Tim blinked and blushed, slightly embarrassed for having been caught staring. "This way." He led her to one of the bookcases in the other end of the library. As they walked, he smiled at her wonder. "I like spending time here when I visit the manor,"
"It's amazing," Raven whispered, her hands sliding over all the spines of books as they walked through the bookshelves.
"Here." Announced Tim, making them both stop in the Latin section. He waved at the books at either side of them. "All Latin text,"
Raven smiled, stepped past him, her hand resting briefly on his bicep before touching some of the books in front of her. She pulled out one of the books and leaved through it curiously. She closed the book and pushed it back into its space on the shelf. She eyed other titles above her. She raised her hand, trying to reach one of the titles above her head. "Some of these are so hard to find."
Tim chuckled at her excitement and watched her hand glow with her dark power and the book above them gently fell out of the self and into her waiting hands. He casually stuffed his hands into his pockets and leaned against the bookshelf, watching her leaf through the book. "Enough to make you stay?"
She stopped leafing through the book in her hands, purple eyes wide and a soft blush slowly blossomed on her cheeks. She breathed in deeply, again taking in his familiar scent of sandalwood. She closed the book and allowed it to float back to its spot above them. She smiled. "Maybe."
They both chuckled and felt the mood between them shift. Tim pushed himself away from the bookshelf and took a cautious step towards Raven. She smiled and turned back to some of the books in front of her, but allowed Tim to crowd her space.
Purple eyes looked up at him, and he felt his insides warm. Pulling his hands out of his pockets, Tim threw caution into the wind and caved into the dangerous games they had been playing for a few hours now. His warm hand held her forearm, stopping her from pulling another book out of the bookshelf next to them.
"Can I kiss you?"
Raven looked up at him, his hand practically burning into her forearm. She embraced his emotions as they spilled into hers and she allowed herself to step a little closer to him. Her emotions purred.
Like the trained superhero he was, his movements were swift. A long sigh escaped his lips and Tim's hand slipped up her naked arm and held her chin, and in one fluid motion, he dipped down and his lips found hers. They were soft and warm and he drank the soft sigh that escaped her lips at the contact.
Raven felt his emotions crash heavily into her own, and she sighed at the warm contact. Her hands slid up his strong arms, one curling tightly around his bicep for balance as his (or her) emotions sent her into a blind, dizzy spell. Her right hand curled into his long hair, pulling him closer. She moaned softy at the contact and felt herself being pushed into the bookshelf.
Tim felt her body arch into his and he pushed her into the bookshelf roughly as their kiss deepened. There was no getting out of this. He felt her warm body push against his own, pulling him closer and he let his right hand slide down her back slowly, relishing the feel of soft skin. He groaned softly when she opened her lips, giving him more access. He swiped his tongue against hers and he drank her moan greedily.
Tim cradled her head as their kisses deepened. He could feel Raven's own emotions push against him – perhaps because she was an empath and he groaned as she whispered softly his name against her lips. Taking a step closer to her, he pushed himself further onto her and relished the feel of her body against his. His lips kissed the column of her neck and both his hands slid over her tiny waist and rested dangerously close to her ass. He felt her breathe heavily against his neck as she toyed his hair.
They both wanted this.
Tim straightened slightly, his hips pushing into her own and they both sighed softly at the contact. Tim kissed the underside of her jaw and pushed himself further closer to her. "Will you stay now?"
Raven let out a breathy chuckle and both of her hands slid down his back. She slipped them underneath his black coat jacket and teasingly dipped her fingers into the back of his pants.
Tim grinned against her neck, his teeth grazing against her pulse which earned him a throaty moan. With one swift motion, he bent down and picked up her left leg and pulled it around his hips. Tim pushed himself into the new warm space between her legs and they both moaned at the delicious contact.