Disclaimer:I don't own Teen Titans.
Author's Note:This is somewhat a change of pace for me. I usually like to write more serious minded things but I'm always up for a challenge. Besides what kind of Murmurs fan would I be if I didn't do at least one songfic? This came from a line in my fic "Someone You Should Know" so I decided to expand on that. I hope I blend humor and drama alright. One note:my knowledge of goth culture is somewhat limited. I'm a budding goth but still my inexperience will bleed through here.
One more thing:I dedicate this to a budding Teen Titans writer:Little Black Teacup. Hope I do you proud.
Let's get started.
One thing was painfully obvious:Robin was bored.
Between fighting less than cognizant opponents like Cinderblock,the living mindless monolith and Plasmus,the giant walking zit,life in Jump City was starting to become less than...ideal. Most battles of his were usually quite intense as this was due to his intensive training with Batman who fought...intensively himself.
The understatement of the year.
But every now and then he wanted to fun too. In the game and out of the game. To battle a ridicious costumed dork like Control Freak who he faced not too long ago or at least have some witty banter with his opponent of the evening. Granted he had his opening lines but that's not same.
He heard Cyborg and Beast Boy laughing.
He hated to admit it but he envied those two for their ability to laugh at anything,anything at all.
Of course if immaturity didn't appeal to him there was Raven whose occasional sarcasm delivered with her trademark deadpan made him smirk every now and then. Ok many times but the point is they get humor and he can't seem to.
'Can't or won't?'
He thought to himself. He did have a sense of humor just really rusty. Before the Titans,he associated with Batman who never laughed or smiled. Well rarely he does laugh and smile but it usually ends up being creepy than anything else.
Although that would explain why the Joker kept attacking Gotham week after week in order to get a laugh out of him. And failing every time.
But now he's in a new life and dealing with people his own age. Shouldn't that mean his perceptives have changed too along with his life?
He has to admit his life has improved since stepping out of Batman's shadow and becoming the Titan leader. It was the burst of freedom he was looking for. Freedom to rule,freedom to feel.
'Maybe it's time to exploit that and actually do that.'
Besides he stayed in this bored state he was going to go nuts. Which in this life is easy to do. And so he headed for the living room.
Robin walked in the room and found Cyborg and Beast Boy playing one of their ubiquitious video games.
"You call that a combo? You have to try harder than that green string!"
"Just watch me bolt boy."
They were playing a fighting game. Robin thought that maybe he should play with them. After a good game would help forget his troubles albeit temporary.
"Hey guys can I play too?"
"We're playing best 3 out of 5 and we started. Robin you play loser. Which will be short,green and ugly."
"Hey!" Beast Boy retorted.
'Obvious no help there.' Since Robin didn't want to wait until they finished he'd check to see what Starfire was doing.
Apparently she was working in the kitchen. Robin walked in.
"Hey Star. Whatcha doing?"
"Oh! Hello Robin,I'm cooking these muffins with this cookbook I found."
She handed him a tin full of muffins. Muffins which were strangely blue.
"Robin would you like to try one? Please?" Starfire then gave one of her 'puppy dog' looks. The one he can't resist.
He took one of the muffins from the tin and quickly put it in his mouth. The taste he would never forget as long as he lived:
It tasted like a solid pile of sludge.
He chewed and swallowed quickly. "That's a...interesting taste Star. I can guess what's in it."
"I thought since we had some extra blue furry food lying around it was important not to waste it. Food shouldn't be wasted."
While she had a point about wasting food,Robin wanted to inject that blue mold wasn't food,well actually it used to be. She interrupted.
"Did you like it? Do you want an another?" She said with a hopeful expression on her face.
'Good God No!' "No thanks Star,but maybe later. I'll leave you to your cooking." Robin said trying to spare her feelings.
"Alright. Thank you Robin." she smiled and Robin smiled back and left her in the kitchen to continue her 'work'.
'Okay strike two.' Robin thought. Wait there was Raven. 'Yeah right.' Don't get him wrong he liked Raven but he knew the girl wouldn't socialize with anyone if her life depended on it. But before he continued his train of thought Raven walked in:
Dressed a black tank top with a matching black skirt. She also had fishnet stocking covering those beautiful ash-skinned legs, 'Where did that come from?' along with big black boots ,a black leather purse,and wore a gold ankh necklace for good measure.
"I'm going to one of my clubs. Don't wait up." Raven said even though she knew no one was paying attention. 'Surprise,surprise.'
"Okay Raven." Beast Boy said while staring mindlessly at the screen.
Robin just stood there stunned. Raven dressing like that and leaving. Just then he had a brainstorm--'Go with her.'
'It beats what you're doing now which is nothing. Besides this could be a perfect way to get to know her.'
That's true of all the Titans he knew Raven the least and who knows? Might get him out of his rut.
Raven turned. "Yes Robin?"
"I..I..." Robin stuttered.
"Yes?" Raven said impatiently.
'Just say it!' "Can I..Can I go with you?" he blurted out.
Raven stood there slightly shocked for a minute and then asked with an eyebrow raised.
Robin thought for a moment. 'Just tell the truth. She says no,she says no. At least you tried.'
"I have nothing to do tonight. And I need to go out please?" He pleaded.
Raven thought for a moment. 'He's cute when he pleads.' Surprised by the thought,it was quickly replaced with another:'Him there with me. That sounds rather appealing. I wonder why?'
"Oh sure Robin. Why not?"
Robin nearly jumped for joy when she said:
"Dress a little appropriately. You're not going to my club dressed like that." she said pointing at his costume.
Robin quickly nodded and walked quickly toward his room.
'I hope I have something appropriate.'
Raven stood where she was and wondered.
'I wonder if I did the right thing.'
Robin returned a few minutes later wearing a white T-Shirt and black jeans and of course his mask.
"This good enough?"
"It will have to do. Let's go." They both walked outside.
"I promise you won't regret this Raven."
"I'd better not." she curtly returned.
They reached the club in a hour and making small talk like their past missions along the way...and failing at it.
The club was a rundown,decaying masonbuilld two story-bulit place. The sign read "Club 64" in pink neon.
"Here we are." Raven said.
"I chose to be here. So I'll say nothing."
"That would be wise."
They both entered the building and Robin although outwardly act like nothing happened but inwardly was shocked. The place covered in chipping black paint and the people covered in white face paint with purple circles for eyes. Not to mention wearing black leather pants and black T-shirts that said various things like "Feel The Rage.","Death to the sunshine people.","Gotta kill em all!" and so forth.
"Not quite what you were expecting?" Raven said.
"I'll say. Don't worry. I'll try not to embarrass you too much."
"I'd appreciate that."
"Hey Raven." a brunette kid in his early twenties said
"Seto. Hey." she said unemotionaly.
"Who's the wannabe?" Seto asked.
"Oh this is Rrr..." Raven panicked. She didn't know his real name or what to call him.
"Oh cool. I guess."
Raven had a surprised look on her face and admonished herself for visibly acting surprised.
Seto walked away but looked at the couple. "Raven don't forget. Tonight's poetry night."
Raven still shocked said "Rrr..right."
Robin saw what's wrong and saw a empty booth and gently guided her towards it. He then whispered in her ear:
"Yes,for the record that's my real name. Go ahead and use it,I don't mind."
Raven still shocked by the admission didn't know what to say. So she mumbled something and kept walking towards the booth.
Raven's mind went a thousand places at once. First Robin wants to go her to her club,her sanctuary from the idiocy of the world she lives and protects in. Then he reveals his first name which he never did before then. Come to think about he's as secretive as she is but he wasn't so visible or obvious about it. And lastly during the walk to the booth he kept his hand on the small of her back.
She was lucky her back was to him or he'd see a blush creeping on her face.
They both sat down. She faced the wall. A waitress wearing pink hair showed up.
"What will you have to drink?"
"Well Raven what do you recommend?"
She thought for 30 seconds and said "We'll both have a Molotov Cocktail."
Robin looked at her questionly.
"It's just a bunch of fruit juices combined. No alcohol."
Robin's face relaxed. The waitress walked away.
"So this is where you hang out. How long you've been going here?"
"Six months give or take."
"I take it this your first time in a goth club."
"Yeah,but I think I'm actually getting used to it. That's not a good thing is it?"
"Depends on the person."
"Well I should be used to it. Hell I used to live in a place called Gotham for God's sakes."
'Touche.' Raven slightly chuckled at that.
"Oh did I just make the mighty Raven laugh." Robin said in a semi-smug tone.
"It was more of a twitch reaction. Or a very elaborate tick. Your choice." she countered.
Robin said nothing and smirked.
The waitress came with their drinks. Raven searched for her wallet.
"Don't worry. I got this."
"Oh thanks." Raven said with a slight surprise in her voice.
The waitress got paid and left.
"So let's hear it."
"Well either the fact I went with you or revealed my first name."
"That's not what's bothering me." Raven said trying to covering her emotions and praying that something didn't explode.
"Please. I know body language. Your fear or surprise is written all over your face."
'He's right. Not to mention he's direct. I like that.'
"Well it's more surprise than anything else." She had fear too. Not she was going to tell him.
"I'm sorry. I know we haven't gotten to know each other."
"I'd like to change that. And since I know how secretive you are,I'll go first."
Raven looked quite shocked but more uncertain than anything else.
"The name or why I'm here."
"Like I said it's Richard but everybody call me Dick. And no it doesn't mean that."
Raven tried to surpress her half smile but couldn't.
"My first question would be why you reveal that in public. Especially since you go to great lengths to hide your identity."
"I thought it was the easist thing to do to avoid a situation. Besides I can't keep it all inside forever. Believe it or not this hair of mine does come down at night,not do I tell a lot of people that."
"Besides now that I told you,it's fine. You of all people know how to keep a secret."
"That I do. Richard."
They shared small,knowing glances.
"Now my second question."
"Why am I here?"
Robin thought an pseudo-answer but he knew Raven would see right through it. 'Just tell her the truth. Hell you already told her your real name.'
'Of course I am.'
"I guess it's because I was bored. Not just tonight but just in general. Everyone I know seems to know how to have fun and I'm completely incapable of achieving that." Robin was shocked of how the words just spilled out.
Raven inwardly was shocked by that. "Well that's not true. I've heard many of your openers. Sounds like fun to me."
"Yeah,but it's not the same as when Beast Boy or Cyborg do it. They know how to do it,even you."
"Yeah. I can't tell you how many of your observations I laughed at. At least inwardly. You should be a comedian."
"I've thought about it." Robin let out a light chuckle.
"But seriously the way you act, not giving a damn about anything. Do anything you want. I'd kill to be more like you."
"Are you serious?" Raven's emotionless,gothic image was something created by necessity not by choice. If anything she would never force this life of hers on anyone least of all Rob...Richard.
'It does feel good to say his real name isn't it?' Raven was surprised she thought that.
"Richard 'it does feel good to say that' why would you want to be more like me? I haven't heard anyone say that to me."
Robin thought long and hard especially about what will happen next.
"It's just you do whatever you want and not answer to anyone. It doesn't work that way with me. My life if anything is more based on someone's expectations and what I'm supposed to be. I'm not allowed to do what I want. Then I see people like you flouting authority or what not and I get envious."
Raven had a thoughtful look on her face. Robin kept going.
"But you have to admit this gothic,self-defeating attitude can only go so far. Sure you spare yourself some pain by not opening up but you miss out on a lot of important things." Robin wasn't sure if he wasn't saying it to Raven or to himself.
"To be honest Richard it's the only life I can really live. If they were alternatives I would've done them by now."
"I'd help you but it's not like I know much about you. Or you me."
Raven looked at him and sensed the genuine concern on his face. If anything she considered him the most genuine person she ever met. He wasn't like the poseurs or wannabes she normally associated with. Her thoughts were interrupted.
"Alright tonight's Poetry night. So come on up here and share with the world your pain."
Raven had a look of concern on her face.
"I had a poem I was going to read."
"If you have to go,go. I understand."
Raven was unsure:Go up and tell people about how life is pain or stay and talk. With Richard. Instead of her head Raven listened to her heart.
"It's alright. There is always next time."
"If you meant what you say about helping me I guess I should tell you something about my past."
"I'd appreciate that. And just to be fair I'll tell everything you want but were afraid to ask." he smirked.
"Remember what I say you tell no one."
"Who should start?"
"Alright." Raven said,touched by Robin's chivalry.
Raven began telling about her past. Talking about her mother Angela Roth running away from home and ending up a cult. About being tricked into summoning Trigon with the pretense of summoning a lover for her. About him raping her. About trying to commit suicide while pregnant with Raven. About being found by the Azarath priests and gaining a new identity "Arella". About feeling nothing for 15 years for fear of her father. Expect anger.
"Wow." Robin said in a surprised tone.
"Yes." She has to admit it did feel good saying all that.
"I never knew you had a last name."
"I kept it for honor of my mother. Just never really told anyone about it or her."
"I'm sorry." She could tell he genuinely meant it.
"My turn,now Ms. Roth." she smirked over the use of her surname.
"My real name is Richard Grayson and I was..."
He in turn told her about his days at the circus. About the day of sabotage. The day when his parents fell to their deaths. About when he was adopted by Batman and eventually became his apprentice. About not feeling or showing true emotion for fear his opponents would try to exploit that. About wanting to break free from Batman's vast shadow.
"It seems I'm not the only one with a dark past."
"No you're not." Robin said in a defeated tone.
"I'm sorry too." She said in a genuine sorrowful tone.
"Thanks. This is depressing. Want to talk about something else?
"I've noticed that that Seto guy seems to want you. Any sparks?"
"Lord no. I consider Seto more an annoyance than anything else. But he won't leave me alone."
"Okay since we're on that topic is there anybody? Anybody on the horizon? You certainly don't have to tell me anything if you don't want to." Robin was relieved she didn't like Seto. He wasn't sure if pushing Raven about her potential crushes was a good thing but he did establish a trust/rapport with her or beginning to. Maybe if he found out what kind of guy she liked he could try be that guy.
Raven thought long and hard. 'It would be nice to let these feelings out in one form or another.' "It's alright. There is someone. But I doubt he would go with someone like me."
"We seem so different. He seems so bright and I'm so...so dark. Not to mention my powers."
"Why do you say this guy so bright? What's so great about him if you don't mind telling me."
"Well,he seems to genuinely care. He's compassionate. Warm and friendly. Intelligent. Everything I'm not."
"Don't put yourself down Raven. You're capable of being all that. It's just with your past and all you can't seem to make a connection just yet. But I know you will."
Raven acted surprised. "You think so?"
"I know so. You can do anything you set your mind to. That's what I admired most about you."
Raven allowed a blush to seep through.
"Thank you Richard." said in a awed tone. Robin smiled back.
"There is something else I've wondered. If we're together I fear he might want to change me. To make me less gothic,less dark but that's who I am. I can't deny that ascept of my personality."
"Well Raven if that guy would be hellbent on changing you then he doesn't deserve you. If you were my girlfriend I wouldn't change anything about you. You're perfect."
Raven looked really shocked. "You think I'm perfect?"
"To me you are."
'I can't believe he said that to me. Is there any wonder why I feel this way about him?' Raven introspected and she might have heard something explode in the background but did not care.
"Since you're talking about changing images and all. I'll throw you a reverse question:Would you want to change the guy? For him to become more gothic?"
Raven never thought of that. Would she change him? 'No. I don't want him to become like me. Our differences is why I like him so. Besides he has a darkness all to his own already. Which might be why he understands me.'
"No. Not if I can help it."
"What about your goth friends? I don't think they would like seeing you with a 'bright' type of guy. You might become an outcast among the outcasts. Do you think it will be worth it?"
"For him yes. Those who wish to be my friends will understand and support me. Those who don't...well I don't need them."
"He must be worth it for you to risk all that."
"Does he know your feelings?"
"Are you going to tell him?"
"I..I'm not sure yet. I want to. But I.."
'How does he do that?' "Yes."
"Well Raven how are you ever going to find out if you don't tell him?"
"Don't worry Raven. One day you'll get your chance."
"There is another complication. He may be seeing someone else."
"I'm really sorry. Serious?"
"Not sure yet."
"Well Raven my advice is make your case before it's gets too serious and go from there. But remember don't sacrifice his happiness just for yours."
"I'll remember that. What about you? Is someone on the horizon for you?"
"Well you showed me yours and I'll show you mine. To answer your question yes."
"Not sure yet. And to be honest I may stop it before it gets too deep."
"Really? May I ask why?"
"Well it's more like..." Robin took a deep breath. "...I like her but she doesn't do it for me. She's lacking something."
"A certain amount of...depth."
Raven outward and inwardly acted surprised. 'I wonder if he's talking about Starfire.'
"The whole thing seems more fun and games. Don't get wrong I like that but at the end of the day I need something complex and...deeper."
"And she doesn't provide it?"
"No. Besides I kinda have my eye on someone else."
"Really? Like who?"
"That would be telling. But she does possess the amount of depth I need."
"Yeah actually. She's very mature,very cerebral,and has a exotic,unique type of beauty. Nothing I've ever seen before."
"She sounds perfect." Raven said in a quiet almost regretful tone.
"Does she know?"
"No. I'm afraid to approach her because rejection but more important than that I'm afraid I'll wreck our friendship."
'So he's friends with this girl.' "Well Richard to quote you--"how are you ever going to find out if you don't tell her." she smirked.
"You're paraphasing but you're right."
"When are you going to tell her?"
"When are you going to tell him?"
They replied "Soon." They smiled.
Robin looked at his watch. it's 11:00 "Wow we talked for three and a half hours now."
"Where did the time go?"
They silently chuckled.
"Well,I really am enjoying myself here Raven."
"And I as well. I must be losing my edge."
"You want to stay or go?" Raven asked.
"Don't want to go home and the night's still young and so are we."
"That we are."
"I have to go to the restroom then we'll go."
Robin left and left Raven to her thoughts. 'He's right. I should tell him. Particularly before his relationship with Starfire gets any deeper.'
As she was ruminating Seto showed up and sat where Robin sat.
"I missed you. I thought you were going to read a poem tonight."
"I changed my mind. It's wasn't ready yet anyway."
"You sure it was that and not the wannabe?"
Raven was getting slightly irritated.
"I don't see how it's any business of yours."
"Come on now. We both know he doesn't belong with you."
"Really now? And who does belong with me? You?"
"Oh please. Richard's ten times the man you'll ever be. Now I'm warning you. Leave me alone."
she said as her eyes slowly glowed white.
"Come on Raven we both know that he's fake dressing up like that."
"I disagree. He's genuine. You're not. Dwayne." she growled.
"Hey that's not cool. You realized if you hang out with him then you can't hang out with us."
"Isn't that a shame."
He grabbed her shoulders. "Raven you're getting delusional. He's just being your friend to slime his way down into your panties." Her response was something no one expected including Robin who came out.
She slapped him. Hard.
"If you value your mind and your life. Stop making fun of Richard and leave me alone." she walked away and found Robin.
"I'm ready to go home Richard."
Robin looked at her with a concerned look and a scowl for Dwayne and left.
Robin and Raven were in the bay walking towards the Titan tower.
"I must admit I really enjoyed tonight. More than I thought I would." Raven said.
"Well then I'm really glad I went. That makes the night worth it." Robin said.
Raven gave a half smile.
"Umm...When are you going to tell this guy your feelings?"
"Very soon. My problems are time and my fears. I fear it may have ran out for me."
"Raven you shouldn't let that stop you. Take it from old 'Love em and lose em':You don't want to spend the rest of your life thinking about a chance you didn't take."
'That did it.' "Thank you Richard. I hope you take your own advice. You deserve to be happy." she said in a soft emotional tone.
"Thank you and so do you. You deserve a happy ending more than anyone."
"You're right and it's time I got started on that." And she did something neither expected.
She grabbed his head and kissed him on the lips. Hard.
Filled of passion she had surpressed over the past year.
After a minute they separated. Robin stuttered.
"I..I think you can call me Dick now."
She did something else neither expected.
She grinned from ear to ear.
"I hope you do that more often."
"Before I always needed a reason to smile. Now I finally have one."
She then held his hand and they both walked toward the concrete tower thinking the approaching ugliness ahead:The emotional Starfire,the dark battles with Slade,the coming to grips with both their dark pasts. But more important than that:they'll have each other. Two children of darkness bound by the night forevermore.
Man that took forever. The situation may have been done before 'Robin going with Raven to a goth cafe and talk' but I wanted to expand on that as best as I can and it worked out alright. To be honest I was being surprised by the way the dialogue flowed and didn't know what would happen next. I was originally going to leave it open but decided to go for the slush ending because One)I didn't do anything for Valentine's Day and Two)To put aside my doubts as a Robin/Raven romance writer. This was a one shot but if's there is a big demand for it I may do a sequel of sorts. My take on how they get together won't come until later in the year. Besides I've two major Robin/Raven fics being done and they're already in a relationship in both of them. Two more things:One)Seto is NOT based from the goth kid in "Sisters" but you want to put him in fine. Two)I don't like the song "Genius" but I thought the lyrics fit Raven well so I used them instead "Misfit" one of my favorite Murmurs songs. If the lyrics were off I apologize. I don't have a copy and everytime I search on "Yahoo" my computer becomes virus-ridden. Which is a pity because it's the best search engine there is. Well I hoped you all enjoy it. Particularly to the Robin/Raven writers.