Notes: There are no couples.  Maybe there should be, but there aren't.  Sorry.  At best, you might call this a buddyfic…but since it's about Raven and Robin, it's not, really.

~…~ are thoughts.

Summary: Robin has a surprise for Raven…whatever could it be?

Raven's Reward

A Teen Titans Fanfic by

Nate Grey (XMAN0123@aol.com)

Robin glanced at the clock on the wall and nodded to himself.

1:45 AM.  Perfect.

He had been putting this off for some time now.  Perhaps it seemed too much like something Batman would do (had he been leader of a team, anyway), yet it still needed to be done.  He could worry about how similar he was to his former mentor later.

Robin quickly made his way to the roof, determined to do it before he lost his nerve.  Why he should be nervous was beyond him.  She had, after all, accepted his offer to join the team.  Why wouldn't she accept this as well?

As he stepped onto the roof of Titans Towers, a cool blast of wind hit him, tossing his cape behind his shoulders.  He squinted and was able to make out a lone figure at the edge of the roof, shrouded in darkness.

~"How fitting,"~ he thought to himself, before realizing how many times he and Batman had done the very same thing.  Robin forced the image away and strode forward with purpose.

She did not look at him as he stopped beside her, but the shadows did recede a bit, revealing her hooded face and her lips, which were drawn into a thin, straight line.

"Raven," he said in a neutral tone, his voice betraying nothing, accompanying the greeting with a short nod.

"Robin," she answered in much the same tone, minus the nod.

He paused for a moment, uncertain of how to continue.  "I…wanted to thank you."

Within the darkness of the hood, one curious eye opened.  "For?"

"Joining the team, mostly.  Other things, as well."

"You're welcome," she said simply.

"There's…also something I want…no, I need…to give you."

Perhaps sensing the importance of the moment, Raven reached up and drew back her hood. 

Robin swallowed and stretched out his hand, revealing a round badge with a silver letter T on the front.

Raven's eyes widened in surprise.  "Isn't that…?"

"Yes."  Robin resisted the urge to smile.  "Take it."

She did not.  "Robin," she said slowly, as if afraid he might not understand, "this is…"

"I wouldn't offer it to you if I thought you didn't deserve or couldn't handle it."  He waited exactly three seconds, and then repeated, "Take it."

Hesitantly, she accepted the badge, the gleam from it flashing across her face briefly as she stared at it.

Robin was about to leave her with her thoughts when she spoke again.

"…do I have to wear it?" Raven asked in a small voice, half-joking and half not.

He grinned at her.  "No.  But based on that question, I assume you don't want me to announce your promotion to the others?"

She frowned, as if she didn't prefer his choice of words.  "No.  Cyborg might be jealous, and Beast Boy…"

"What about him?"

"Well."  Raven shrugged a little.  "He WOULD be jealous.  I'd rather not tell them at all…unless it came to that."  She gave him a significant look. 

"I don't exactly plan to get killed or otherwise occupied in the near future.  But I need to know that if something did happen, someone strong enough would step up and pull the team together."  He smirked.  "Even if they had to use telekinesis to do it."

"Your humor has been noted," Raven remarked in a dry tone.

Robin took that to mean they were done, and turned to leave again.

"Aren't you going to shake my hand…or something?  To make it official?"

"Do you need me to?" he asked over his shoulder, knowing she would be able to sense him smiling.

"No," she muttered at once.  "But that doesn't mean you couldn't do it, anyway…"

He shrugged and faced her again.  "In case of my absence, disappearance, gruesome death, or being declared unfit to lead the Teen Titans any longer, do you swear to do everything I would do and ram my rules down everyone's throats?"

Raven frowned.  "Of course not."

"Well, in that case…congratulations!  You are now my second-in-command!"  Robin reached out to shake her hand, then changed his mind and clapped his hands on her shoulders, clearly startling her.  "I have complete faith in you, Raven, and I'm glad you're on our side.  Never forget that."

"Sure," she murmured as he let go.  Then she titled her head slightly.  "What do you mean, you're glad I'm on your side?  Are you implying that under other circumstances, we would've been enemies?"

"All I'm saying is that I'd hate to have to fight you…and not just because I know you, either."

Raven stared at him for a long moment before replacing her hood and turning away to stare out over the city.  "I'll take that as a compliment."

"I was hoping you might."  Robin gave her shoulder a slight squeeze (he decided not to press his luck any further than that) and said, "Goodnight, Raven," as he left her alone.

"Goodnight, Robin," she replied softly, and then, under her breath added, "and thank you."

He stopped at the door and looked back at her one last time.  The shadows had drawn up around her again, and though he couldn't be sure, Robin thought she stood a little taller than before.  But then, shadows often made people look more imposing, and he would've known.  He ducked back inside before an image of two figures could superimpose itself over Raven's profile.

Unfortunately, it still did once he was inside.  But there was a difference this time.  Before, he had always seen himself, standing faithfully in Batman's shadow.  This time, there was little change in scene, save that it was himself and Raven now.  He found it striking that neither of them shadowed the other, and that they appeared as equals.

~"Maybe,"~ he thought, ~"just maybe, escaping the Shadow of The Bat won't be as hard as I thought…"~

The End.

It's over, there's no more, don't bother to ask for it, get away now.   _

Comments on characterization would be GREATLY appreciated, though.