Title: Elementary, My Dear Watson

Genre: General

Pairing: Starfire/Robin

Rating: PG

Summary: Raven and Robin have a heart-to-heart on what girls really want. Robin and Raven friendship. Implied Starfire/Robin. Just a random "vent" story.

Disclaimer: Don't own the Teen Titans.

Author Notes: This came about because I was upset with someone that I care very much for (I won't mention his name). This work is not written to be entertaining or amusing or to make a statement or anything else along those lines. It was written simply for me and me alone. I'm just posting it because...well, I don't know. I wanted to, and I suppose, seeing as this is my account, I don't really need that much of a reason. By the way, if you do read it, Raven and Robin are acting rather OOC.

Oh, on another note, here's a question I thought I'd throw out there (just to see if you guys actually read my author's notes...heh): What are the reasons and/or evidence for Raven/Cyborg and Raven/Robin romances? I mean, why do people like Raven/Other TT Character romances better than others? This is meant to be a curiosity question, and not something I'm asking just so I can call people out and flame them. I can see Raven/Robin and Raven/Cyborg romances, just so you know. I actually like some Raven/Robin romance like "Childhood Games" and "Vermilion"... Anyway, I was just curious. I may put this information to good use later on, although I suppose I should ask the question in a more helpful place like...not on my account which is Raven/BB oriented.

Elementary, My Dear Watson

"Don't you ever get tired of pestering your books?"

Raven tilted her head ever so slightly at the voice, but her eyes never left the pages of the book she held in her hands. Calmly, she turned a page and replied, "Don't you ever get tired of pestering me?"

"You're my friend. Of course not."

"Okay, Boy Wonder. Books are my friends. So, no, I don't tire of 'pestering' them."

Silence.

Then, "So what are you reading?"

"Detective Stories. Sherlock Holmes. That stuff."

Another page turned.

"I always found it interesting how he could always catch the criminal with just one simple clue."

"Hm." Raven replied, turning another page. "You could learn a thing or two from him."

"Are you learning anything?"

"Like what? Detective skills?"

"Yeah."

"Of course." Raven said sarcastically. "Reading fiction is imbibing my brain with all sorts of knowledge. Now, I know everything."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"Can I ask you something then since you know everything?"

"What?"

"Why are girls so hard to understand?"

Robin knew he caught her attention when she put her book down and faced him.

"Did you get into another fight with Starfire?" Raven demanded.

"How'd you know?"

"You have 'guilty' written all over your face." Raven said, and Robin cleared his expression immediately. "Plus, Starfire came around earlier and asked me why earth men were so strange and infuriating."

"Did you tell her that it's females that are completely nuts?"

Raven gave him a droll look.

"I'll take that as a 'no', then." Robin said, hurriedly.

"So, what happened this time? I only got bits and pieces from Star."

"We were lounging around in her room, and while she was combing her hair, I was looking through her bookshelf when her journal fell open..."

"It fell open?"

"Yeah. Fell right off the shelf and open, apparently to a page that was important to her." Robin rubbed the back of his head sheepishly when Raven gave him a suspicious look.

"Then what happened?"

"I don't know. She turned on me, accused me of reading her journal, and then I was starbolted out the room. I told her I would never do such a thing, and that if she wanted to talk about it, she could always come to me later in the practice yard. Then, I tried to leave." Robin explained.

"Wise move."

Robin was about to agree, but he caught the undercurrent of sarcasm in Raven's voice and stopped.

"Well, was it?"

"No, but we'll come back to that later. What happened when you tried to leave?"

"She sounded very unhappy—did that exasperated sigh of hers—and I asked her what I could do for her. She said 'nothing'...and then I left."

Raven mulled over the information for a moment, then a small smile crept onto her face.

"What?"

"Some people are so dense." Raven shook her head.

Robin crossed his arms over his chest. "So, what did I do wrong, Sherlock Holmes? Tell me how to solve the mystery of girls. I don't understand them."

" 'Elementary, my dear Watson'." Raven replied, grimacing as she humored Robin using the familiar phrase. "Girls aren't that hard to deal with. It just takes a little wheedling and coaxing to talk with them sometimes. There are three things all guys need to learn about dealing with girls they care about. Rule one: 'nothing' never means 'nothing'."

"That doesn't make any sense. If you say 'nothing', you should mean 'nothing'. You should be straightforward."

" 'The scariest thing a woman can say is 'nothing' because it never means 'nothing'." Raven recited the quotation as if it were a well-worn adage. "I'm not saying all women talk in circles like this. Some women are very straightforward. I'm straightforward."

Robin snorted, wondering if Beast Boy thought the same thing.

"Others speak in circles. Starfire speaks in circles." Raven said, making the shapes of lines and circles in the air as she explained. "She hides what she's really feeling behind words she doesn't really mean."

"But, why?"

"Hn." Raven paused. "There are lots of reasons for that."

"So, girls aren't that easy to understand."

"Yes and no." Raven shook her head. "I think in Starfire's case, what you need to do is ignore her 'nothing' and try to talk to her anyway. She probably is saying things contradictory to what she wants or what she's feeling because she doesn't feel safe or respected sharing her real thoughts with you."

"I told her that if she wanted to talk to me about it later, she could find me in the practice yard, and I'd be waiting."

"Right. In Starfire's case, that was bad."

"Why? I want her to talk to me if she's angry so I can either help her or fix what I did wrong."

"Well, yes, that is a good goal." Raven admitted. "A good goal for your relationship, anyway. But, don't tell her to contact you to talk about it later and don't tell her that you're doing something else in the mean time."

"It's not fair for me to waste the afternoon away waiting for her to feel better so that we can talk." Robin asked. "Why can't I just tell her that?"

"Firstly, I would guess that saying that makes her feel like you were leaving her when she was feeling hurt or betrayed."

"Of course, I was leaving her. I was going to go do something else while she vented."

Raven held up a hand and he fell silent. "Well, maybe she didn't want to be left alone."

"But she said there was nothing I could do for her..."

"Right, and 'nothing' never means 'nothing'." Raven nodded, more to herself than to Robin who was still confused and irritated as ever over the topic. "Secondly, I know you may not have this intention, but I think that implying you'll be doing something else besides helping her deal with her angry feelings towards you makes it sound like you don't really care at all about her. Like you're too absorbed in your other activities to pay a little attention to her."

"That's not true."

"I know that. You know that. She probably knows it, too, but it still hurts that you mention it."

"Well, she should just deal with it. That's the way I talk. It doesn't mean I don't care any less about her being upset. I'm just waiting until she's in the mood to talk with me about it."

"Well, that's the thing. Maybe she can't deal with your reactions to her anger just yet. It's all about compromise." Raven replied, quietly to the assertion. "Starfire can't be expected to change her emotional patterns at the drop of a hat just because you want her to. Plus, you have to be more receptive to her so that maybe you'll both come to the point where it works for both of you. Maybe she can be more open emotionally with you without feeling betrayed, and maybe eventually you can expect a better response from her in such a situation."

Robin gave her a funny look.

"I'm sorry, Robin. You're not perfect. You also need to change if you want to get her to. You need to show her that you're willing to respond to her wants when it comes to communicating, and then she may try to respond to yours. I'm not saying it's easy. But, if you do try to accommodate her a little bit, you'll be cultivating a comfortable space where she can talk to you and tell you how she really feels so she won't speak in circles anymore."

"So what can I do to compromise?"

"That brings me to rules two and three about pleasing your girlfriend."

"Which are?"

"Easy things." Raven held up two fingers. "Talk more and shut up."

"What!? That doesn't make sense at all." Robin said with conviction, going back to his original premise that girls were nuts. The whole lot of them.

"Talk more when you're having a deep, or at least an emotionally charged conversation. Shut up when you're about to say something stupid." Raven shrugged. "Simple really."

"What?"

"It's part of the communication thing. Make her feel comfortable talking. Talk more in the right places and shut up in the wrong ones. You can tease her, but don't insult her." Raven warned. "I think the biggest problem here is that she wants to be able to trust you more."

"She doesn't trust me already?"

"It's a different sort of trust. She'll trust that you will not cheat on her with another girl. She'll trust that you'll remain a decent guy. She'll trust you with her life and her heart." Raven spouted. "But, she may not trust you with the depth and veracity of her feelings. There are many different levels of trust, you know."

For some reason, Robin felt like he was being lectured like a little schoolboy.

"The way to getting her to talk with you and perhaps not to be so venomous when it comes to small things like your eyes roaming across her journal for a fraction of a second even though you weren't reading it..." Raven paused for dramatic effect. "...is just to make her feel more comfortable talking to you. She'll get more and more used to it, and then she'll trust that you won't break her heart or laugh at her feelings and then maybe she'll be a little more forgiving or a little less hesitant to talk.

Raven paused before continuing, and said in a distant voice, "I know it must hurt you or affect you in some negative way saying that she doesn't trust you with something...but that's just how she feels. And, if you're not willing to compromise, nothing's going to change, and she's just going to keep on speaking in circles and hiding from you."

Robin sighed. "Girls are crazy. Tell me again why I do these things for her?"

"Love." Raven replied instantly. "That's all."