Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans.
Author's Note: A revision of the original chapter. All I really did was add a few paragraphs to the last section, although some of the other chapters, namely Chinese Checkers and maybe Project Wattlebird may undergo more drastic changes. Revisions of I Spy Hanging Men will be completed either later today or tomorrow.
Part one of four: Scrabble
"This isn't criticism, but how you blow up a washing machine with gunpowder if it's wet?" Raven asked from across the Scrabble playing board.
"I don't know," Robin admitted, forcing himself to not look at her legs. Why did the washer have to blow up her cloaks? "But it wasn't gunpowder. It was a Venus Cactus Woman Spore."
Robin spelled "CIRCUS".
Raven formed the word "IDIOT" using the 'I'.
"A Venus Cactus Woman Spore," Raven echoed, disbelieving. Robin nodded.
"A Venus Cactus Woman Spore," he repeated, looking mournfully at his tray of vowels. Raven made a snorting sound.
"We don't fight plants, Robin. We leave that to the pyromaniacs... who also can find ways to ignite a washing machine with wet gunpowder."
Robin took a deep breath. This was going to be a long game.
"I told you, I'm sorry," he said. "What more do you want from me?"
"I had some of those cloaks since I was eight." She looked up at him, eyes flashing dangerously. "'Sorry' doesn't quite cut it." Ouch. Robin winced; that felt like she just stuck a knife in his ribs and twisted it a few times.
"Look. I... um..." He felt blood rushing to his cheeks as he became more and more flustered. I, um, am what, sorry? Sympathize with your loss? "Pass," he finally choked out lamely.
Raven made a vague sound in the back of her throat that sounded suspiciously like "cretin" and carefully spelled out 'SNARK', connecting it with circus.
"Is that even a word?" Robin asked incredulously.
"Jargon Files defines it as a 'system failure. When a user's process'—"
Robin held his hands up in surrender and quickly took a note of the word to use in future Scrabble games. "Never mind. I don't want to know."
A, O, O, O, E, A, U. What a lousy rack he had...
"S from 'snark', E, A," Robin said aloud. Raven nodded in approval. "Well, it's not like they offered much protection. I could get you a cloak of polymerized titanium..."
"No thank you," she interjected curtly, spelling out "BASTARD". Robin squirmed uncomfortably. Okay, so maybe that was a little low. Raven sighed. "I appreciate the offer, but your cloaks are too heavy." There was a "and I hate the texture of them" undertone in her voice.
"I've never had much of a problem with them," Robin said, trying to figure out why he got all the vowels. The odds of him picking six consecutive handfuls of vowels in a row was--
"My cloaks are longer and larger than yours are. I'd probably collapse from the sheer weight of them," Raven explained as Robin spelled out 'T-O-O'. He needed more consonants... The lack of them was making his ego look small.
"They aren't that heavy."
"To you, maybe. I'm not exactly a body builder." she said, making the word "Q-U-A-S-A-R."
Robin boggled for a moment.
"That's not a word."
"Yes it is," Raven told him, calm as always.
"What's a quasar, then?" Robin challenged her boldly.
Raven cleared her throat. "A quasar is a star like object that may send out radio waves and other forms of energy." Her voice, if possible, became even more monotonous when reciting the definition.
"What are you, a dictionary?" Robin muttered, a small smile flitting on his face.
"If I were a dictionary, I'd be flammable and would be easy to burst into flames, even if it was with wet gunpowder."
Robin sighed again. Girls, even ones who claimed to be emotionless sure did overreact a lot.
"You're going to hold a grudge all day, aren't you?"
Raven only smirked as she watched Robin struggling to make a word with only vowels. "I can hold a grudge all year."
It was the perfect plan. Blow up the washing machine while it was doing Starfire's load, blame it on Robin, watch Starfire and Robin bicker and start making out a few hours later. Walk in about an hour later and tell them it was him that brought the two together and he'd be a hero! Project Wattlebird would be a success and Beast Boy would owe him twenty bucks!
This was why Cyborg's jaw almost crashed onto the floor when he saw Raven dressed only in her leotard playing Scrabble with Robin in the kitchen. Several burned and ruined cloaks were draped on the couch. He was puzzled for a moment. Just for a moment, for he realized he blew up the wrong person's laundry a second later.
"That's not a word," he heard Raven say. Her back was turned to him, and for the first time the android realized exactly how small she seemed without the cloak. Despite that, she seemed to give off an... what was the right word... ominous air.
"'Mauvais' is a word in French," Robin said smugly. His mouth was set in a jaunty, gloating sort of smile. His arms were crossed arrogantly across his chest.
"'Mauvais' isn't in the dictionary."
"It is in a French-English one."
"We don't have French-English dictionaries here," Raven said, voice rising sharply. An abandoned cup of tea began glowing black.
"You said we could use any dictionary-this includes French. If you must know, it means 'bad'. Il fait mauvais, for example, is roughly that 'there is bad weather'."
Raven took a deep breath. Obviously, she couldn't think of a reply to counter him.
"Bad weather does a lot of things to my cloaks. None of them involve blowing them up" the empath huffed.
Cyborg gulped at her acidic tone and started tiptoeing to his room. If Raven ever figured out it was him...
Robin stared blankly at the board. What other options were there? Well, there was 'Google', a word that sent the two into ten minutes of bitter feuding, 'rukia', 'xenophobia', 'mangez' and a word that looked like 'BRQYZODQDFD'. He looked up at Raven, who smirked back at him. He looked at the "word" again and pursed his lips. If he challenged her, Raven would probably give him some dictionary entry from Merriam-Webster.
"A Brqyzodqdfd is a serious eye condition in which one sees many peas and carrots. It is caused by vitamin B12 deficiency..."
There was no way he was going to let her win. With a casual flick of his wrist, he 'accidentally' wiped the entire board clean.
"Oh dear," Robin said with sardonic apology lacing his words. "Sorry about that."
Raven frowned at him disapprovingly. "You're a sore loser."
"B-R-Q-Y-Z-O-D-Q-D-F-D isn't a word," Robin said, shrugging. Raven made a face and used her telekinesis to put the board game away. "Listen... I'm sorry about the cloaks."
"I know you are," Raven murmured, making a face. "I'm going to the mall to get new ones." Her eyes flickered towards the clock. "I should've left sooner instead of spending so much time playing. The store's closing in twenty minutes."
He stared at the purple haired girl. "Why didn't you go, then?" Raven, he knew, tended to get up and leave the room at any given moment unless there was something important--or if she enjoyed spending time with the said person.
"I was having too much fun beating you at Scrabble," Raven said, a small smirk on her face. She was a bad liar, not making eye contact and her tone noticeably changing halfway through the sentence. Robin didn't say anything about it. "You look like a complete idiot when you're losing."
"...I'll take that as a compliment," he remarked as Raven got up and left the room. "Have a fun time," Robin called after her before the door closed.
He didn't bother asking if she forgave him or not. He already knew she didn't. With a sigh, he stood up and looked at the cloaks piled pathetically on the couch. The wonder boy walked up to a few of them, laying them on the floor and inspecting them a little closer. Most of them were just shreds of cloth now, although there were some salvagable scraps. He felt the familiar buzz in the back of his brain--he could make a new cloak out of these scraps!
Robin winced, remembering his Home Economics classes with Alfred. While she would appreciate the effort, she'd probably make some snide remark about how it looked like a goat.
Perhaps he could goad Alfred into fixing them for her. All he had to do was grab a few pictures, maybe a blueprint on how to make them, and then voila! Instant cloak. No more "I'm going to eat your soul" Raven.
Smirking, Robin pulled out a pair of Bat sissors and began working.
TBC in I Spy Hanging Men