Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans.
Author's Note: Since the flu weather is upon us once again, I decided to do a flu piece. And I needed something to counter the angst of "Get On With It."
Timeline: Two weeks after Haunted.
Dedication: To all the people who have and are going to get the flu and need something to get their minds distracted.
And special thanks to Dangerproneredhead for being my beta. Couldn't have done this without you.
Robin rubbed his eyes tiredly as he felt the opaque mask pressed against his flesh.
"Cold in here," The masked leader of the group known as the Teen Titans muttered as he poured down some Saffron City soda in a glass and tightened his cape further against his body. He'd rather be in the training gym but he needed to finish some overdue paperwork.
The Tower was usually empty tonight. The rest of the Titans decided to go to another warehouse party at Cyborg's and Beast Boy's request. It was their last night together for the rest of the week. Cyborg would shut down and perform his biyearly maintenance and debugging while Starfire would return to her home world Tamaran. She began to feel…"housesick" again even though they just left Tamaran not too long ago.
She originally asked Robin to go with her but Robin declined. The wound was still bone deep. He couldn't get the phrase "If you cannot be happy for me, then perhaps you should not attend my wedding." out of his mind as he originally asked her to go away with him on her wedding night.
He felt…crushed by that and now is thinking…differently towards the alien princess. He still deeply cared about her but…everything changed for him in that one statement.
'That one miserable statement,' Robin sighed.
Perhaps he shouldn't lay all the blame on her. Between Terra, the H.I.V.E., his doppelganger's return and the final act of his mortal enemy Slade Wilson, Robin couldn't budget in the time for her.
'I stared into the abyss and I blinked.' Robin coughed, and clutched his heart in pain. The bruises he recently inflicted on himself still made him quite tender. All thanks to the damn chemical reagent in Slade's mask.
'Even dead, you still make your mark, Slade.' Robin thought grimly. He quickly downed his drink and resumed his task.
A few hours later, the rest of the wayward children returned home, laughing all the way.
"Dude! Did you see the thing with the thing and what's her name?" Beast Boy remarked.
"That must have been a different kind of thing." Cyborg smirked.
"What bright festive colors!" Starfire observed.
Naturally the only one who didn't laugh or remark anything was their resident empath and glower child, Raven.
"What's wrong? Didn't like the party?" Robin asked her. He handed her a cup of herbal tea.
"Thank you." Raven said simply as she accepted the tea. "It was a…meaningless party. I wouldn't have gone if it weren't for Cyborg and Starfire's sendoff." The dark empath said sourly.
"Meaningless? What happened to pointless?" The Boy Wonder smirked.
"I refuse to say something clichéd." Raven countered as she sipped her tea.
"There are many words I could use to describe you Raven but I would never use the word cliché or hysterical for that matter." Robin gave a lop-sided grin.
"I would hope not." She sniped.
Robin gave a small smile. At least there was one good thing about Slade's final scheme from beyond the grave: it did allow Robin and Raven to become closer. But at what a price; her mind meld laid all the secrets Robin suppressed and hid away lo these many years. He felt he could hide nothing anymore.
'Bruce would never let me live this down if he knew. At least Raven knows how to keep a secret.' He smirked.
"Robin!" A familiar honeyed voice broke him from his thoughts.
"I was wondering if you still wish to return to the planet of my birth? We must make our preparations now." The alien princess stared right through him with her emerald eyes.
"Actually Star, since there is a lull on, I think…this would be a good time to catch on some undue paperwork. Haven't been able to with everything going on," Robin lied.
"Robin! You have been through too much and you need a vacation. I insist you come with me." Starfire asserted.
Robin panicked: he couldn't go back there again, at least not this soon. He scrambled to think.
"Starfire, Robin needs to rest. Those bruises he inflicted on himself haven't healed fully yet. Going to your…aggressive home world could easily exacerbate the problem." Raven intervened.
"Oh, I see. You're right Friend Raven. But I…would like to have someone accompany me. Friend Raven, would you like to accompany me?" Starfire asked hopefully.
Now it was Raven scrambling for an excuse.
"I'm afraid Raven will not be able to accompany you, Star. Since Cyborg will be offline, I'll need her help. I'm sorry." Robin jumped in.
"Oh." Starfire said disappointingly. Raven suppressed her feelings of relief but couldn't block her feelings of surprise over Robin's defense of her.
She heard a faint shattering of a window.
"You know, since he won't have his doubles partner around, why don't you ask Beast Boy? I'm sure he can use the company. Paperwork isn't his thing I'm sure." Robin suggested.
Starfire mulled it over for thirty seconds. "Oh, Beast Boy! Glorious day! I have decided to bestow you the honor of being my escort to my home world of Tamaran." The alien princess ran to him and gave him a bone crushing hug.
"First I heard…Star…I…can't breathe…Star." The emerald changeling choked.
Raven went over and whispered to him.
"Why did you do that?" Raven asked in an uncertain tone.
"Because I know you need a rest from his jokes." Robin responded coolly.
Raven was about to respond when Starfire interrupted.
"Glorious news, friends! Beast Boy has agreed to join me." She chirped.
"Really? What magic words did you say?" Raven arched an eyebrow.
"Yes. I promised him that he can have some "time of alone" with the females of my planet." Raven just rolled her eyes.
'Better them than me.'
"We will finally see the giant Porkins. And savor the Sputniks. And…" She kept going on about the wonders of her planet when Raven saw her catching her breath.
"Whoa. Save something for the next day. How long will you be?"
"About three Earth days, I will leave the frequency on the main computer should you need our assistance." Starfire went to the main console and punched in the proper frequency code.
"Don't worry, Star. We'll be covered." Robin couldn't suppress the tickle at the back of his throat and tried to hold back the head-pounding intensity of his cough.
"Robin, are you alright?" Raven beat the alien to the punch.
"I'll be fine, just a tickle in my throat." Robin rubbed his throat. Raven eyed him skeptically.
"Star, have fun on your trip. You deserve it. Tell Galfore I said…hi." Robin gave her a hug.
It felt so…empty, forced.
'Stop it!' Robin chided himself.
Starfire gave him a less of a vice grip hug than the one she gave Beast Boy. "I shall do precisely that. And you relax and stop thinking. Like…about Slade." Starfire whispered the last part.
Robin narrowed his eyes. He somberly remembered when he nearly torn Starfire's arm off in rage while infected.
"Yeah…I'll try to do that." He said pensively.
"Please do." She stepped back from the hug and tried to stare back through his eyes. Robin couldn't look at her emerald eyes without feeling rage…or sorrow.
"I…I have to check the Trident file. I want to get a beat on the older files. I'll be back." Robin excused himself out of the room.
"He'll keep obsessing over Slade will he not?" Starfire mused.
"I don't know anymore. I'll…keep an eye on him for you." Raven agreed.
"Thank you, Friend Raven." Starfire sullen, walked away.
Raven felt a tinge of curiosity about the masked leader and the alien and their relationship but quickly suppressed it.
'Time to revel in the quiet.'
After a night's rest and the hangovers to come, they gathered in the main launch pad with Starfire and Beast Boy in the reformatted T-Sub.
"That's it y'all. The drones are in place, and you're set to go." Cyborg said as he stepped down from the crane.
"Wonderful, Friend Cyborg! I am ready. Are you, Friend Beast Boy?" Starfire chirped.
"Ready as I'll ever be. I guess." The emerald changeling shrugged.
"Oh, Friend Beast Boy, I can wait to show the Fetts of Boba. And…" Starfire continued on as the hatches closed and the engines began to heat up. The rest of the Titans stood back.
"I wonder what intergalactic war will start because of this." Raven quipped as the vermillion ship launched into the air.
"Hopefully it will happen after I debug. Later y'all." Cyborg waved goodbye and left the ominous room.
"And then there were two." Robin smirked in a perfunctory scratchy voice.
"Apparently," Raven remarked.
"Shall we get started?" Robin gestured for the door. Raven tried to sense his feelings but all she could get is mysteriousness.
"I have a few hours until meditation." Raven noted and both went for the elevator.
"Hand me the Tertion separation file." Robin asked.
They were both on the couch, sorting all sorts of scattered papers and folders.
"We should have done this electronically." Raven grumbled as she handed him the file.
"True, but if you lose the computer, then that's it. You have to rebuild. Paper on the other hand can linger and even though it can be destroyed, it can still tell us what we need to know." Robin instructed as he written a note in the file.
"But at least we wouldn't be murdering an innocent forest. Just useless electricity," Raven quipped.
"Then be grateful for progress and how it will spare the trees." Robin countered.
"And pollute everything else." The dark empath barbed.
"Shut up and give me the recent Cinderblock file." He sighed as he placed the file on the couch.
Raven smirked as she gave him the file. "I'm surprised they actually separated them."
"The wonders of genetic technology, next thing you know, they'll make a Lex Luthor clone." Robin smirked.
"Umm…they already did that, Robin."
"Oh. Why am I the last to know about anything?" Robin grumbled.
Raven mentally rolled her eyes.
'I won't say it. It's too easy.'
"You sure you want to read this?" Raven asked.
"Yes. Why are you asking this?" Robin replied.
"You know who Cinderblock represents. I'm not sure that…" Raven tried to contain her small leak of concern.
"Raven, I'm fine. I'm finally letting this crap go. What do I have to do to convince you? Convince all of you?" Robin stared right through her.
Raven felt his conviction. "I believe you. But given everything, you would understand why I'd be skeptical." The dark empath apologized.
"I know. And…I don't blame you for feeling this way." Robin empathized hoarsely. Raven gave a nod in understanding and softened her expression.
"I think we've had enough. Why do we break for lunch?" Raven digressed, trying to stop the coming emotional recoil before it would spring.
"Good idea. I'll call." Robin got up.
The rest of the morning seem to drag on as Robin filled out his reports of Brother Blood's "class project"—the ion amplifier, his newfound doppelganger, Red X, and the…trip to Tamaran. He still felt a chill and clung on to his cape the entire morning. The pain of his throat and head kept rising up for the maw inside him. Robin has handled psychotic criminals, oozing monsters, and robot commandos; he can handle a tickle in the back of his throat.
Raven realized something was amiss as they ate lunch in the kitchen. "What is the matter? You're not hungry?" She asked as she was broiling her tea.
"Not really." The Boy Wonder said nonchalant, taking a swig of cola. He winced as the drink went down his throat.
She went over and inspected him. His cheeks were flushed, and she was sure his eyes would be duller, if they weren't hiding behind that damn mask of his. She timidly laid a hand on his forehead.
"Robin, you're burning up." She said in surprise.
He batted her hand impatiently. "No. It's just cold in here."
"I hate to disabuse you of that notion but the thermostat is set at 70 degrees." She informed him, hands on her hips. "You're sick."
"It's taken you this long to figure it out?" Robin quipped, intimating Raven's monotone.
"Parodying me isn't going to help matters. You're ill." Raven glared. He was going to pay for mimicking her.
'After he gets well.'
"Raven, I'm fine, really," Robin assured.
"You're lying. Influenza is running rampant through in the city. Look at Beast Boy's cold, probably got it from him. Did you get a flu shot?" Raven questioned.
"In case you've been wondering, I've been busy. You?" He tried his best to glare.
"Yes, I did. Cyborg made me one but…he used whatever he had on me, so I can't whip up a shot for you." She said without a beat.
"Yeah, well, I just feel a little achy. But we have the weekend off. I'll be fine on Monday." He commanded in a subtle, firm tone.
The dark empath rummaged through the cabinets and found a hand-sized jar.
'Fatheads chewable vitamins, I'm going to kill Beast Boy.' Raven raged as she rattled the jar. Something rattled back.
She opened the jar, raised it and held out her hand. Two vitamins plummeted into her palm. She placed them in Robin's hand and handed him his soda.
"Here. Take this." Seeing the obstinate look in her eyes, he decided to comply rather than resist. She made him cry, who knows what she'd do?
"Thanks." He muttered as he then doused the vitamins. "Cheese flavored." He observed.
"I'm going to check on Cyborg. I'll be back." Raven instructed as she walked towards the corridor.
Robin stared at the corridor briefly.
'When did she start giving a damn?' And with that, went back to work. After 20 minutes Raven emerged.
"He's alright. I suggest you get dressed in civilian clothes, we're going out." Raven commanded.
"Going? Going where?" Robin asked with rising distain.
"To the free clinic downtown," She said.
"I'm not going. I told you, I'm fine." Robin stood his ground before going into a coughing fit.
"Fine eh? You're going." Raven chided.
"No, I'm not." Robin rasped out.
"You can go by your own free will or I drag you down there. The choice is yours." Raven's eyes began to glow ivory.
Robin didn't want to fight her nor could he. His weakened state made him easy prey.
"I'll go." He said tersely.
"Good bird." Raven levitated back to the corridor.
'I wonder if Bruce goes through with Alfred every time he's sick.' Robin mused as he walked towards the corridor.
The free clinic looked like the waiting room for hell. There were several wailing children, as well as about a dozen executive types. Robin was dressed in sneakers, jeans, denim jacket with a multitude of pockets, a white T-Shirt and a dog tag type of medallion. Raven in boots, jeans, and trench coat, color black, with buckles on her wrists and neck. Complete with a black T-Shirt with a bloody pentagram as the logo.
"I'll get you for this." Robin threatened.
"You do that. Anyway, the flu medicine will only help if you get it in the first 24-36 hours after symptoms appear." Raven stated.
"Where did you hear that?" He asked dourly.
"I researched on Cyborg's computer after I checked on him. Now stop acting like I'm dragging you through broken glass." Raven commanded.
"All I want to do is go home, crawl under the covers and die. Or sleep until Monday. Whichever comes first." The Boy Wonder griped.
"You're not dying on my watch. Your girlfriend will have my head." Raven remarked.
"She's not my girlfriend." Robin countered; he was surprised how quick he was to say that Starfire wasn't his girlfriend.
"Right." Raven hid her surprise of his admission. Then she heard something in the background shatter. She mentally sighed.
'I wish he'd stop surprising me like this.'
"I have to write a list of what to feed you. I know besides rest you will need tea, chicken soup, some gelatin…" Raven was ruminating.
"God Raven, you're acting like a mother hen." He groused.
"You see anyone else doing it?" She countered.
Robin began to open his mouth when the nurse interrupted.
"Mr. Minette? You're next."
Just as well she interrupted; he didn't have a counter anyway.
"Minette? I suppose that's fitting. But I don't think your malady is the same as your "Gauntlet" now is there?" Raven observed as they got up.
Robin just growled. All those secrets, all those well-hidden secrets…gone.
After the doctor looked over Robin and prescribed Rimantadine, they headed for a pharmacy. Being that there was a wait, Raven decided to head back home and drop Robin off.
"I don't think Cyborg would appreciate you taking his wheels." Robin chided as he looked out the window of his side of the car. Raven suddenly missed the tone of the ride to the clinic: silence.
"Why shouldn't I? I help build it. Besides, with your down reaction time, it was the only way. I've had some lessons." Raven remarked.
"Car!" Robin exclaimed as a car nearly sideswiped with the T-Car.
"I'm still working on it." Raven grumbled, "And it's not like he's going to know. Right?" She gave off a tinge of a threatening tone.
"If I weren't going to die, I would." He imitated Raven's monotone.
"You'll die, but after you get better first." She retorted.
"Stop sign!" Robin exclaimed again.
Raven stomped her foot on the break.
"I keep missing those."
After she dropped the Boy Wonder off, she returned to the pharmacy. She wondered if they had a thermometer.
'Might as well. I don't want to make two trips.' She observed as she picked up the thermometer package.
After making her purchases, she returned to the Tower only to see Robin slumped on the couch, drinking a can of soda.
"I'll take that." She said as she levitated the can from his hand.
"Bully." He grumbled.
"Best get used to it." She barbed as she brought the can to the counter. "Take this." She went over and handed him his medication and a large glass of water.
"I'd rather have my soda back. Plasmus tasted better than these things." He quipped after he placed the pills in his mouth and drank the water.
Ignoring him, she went to his room, and was halted by all the newspaper clippings.
'Why am I not surprised? I'd think Ms. Sunshine would have made him to get rid of all that. Perhaps there are problems in paradise?' She mused.
'No matter, just make him well and let her deal with him.' She resolved as she entered the bathroom.
She turned on the faucet and watched the hot water fill the tub. She opened the tiny bottles of eucalyptus, menthol, and minted oils that she bought in the holistic section of the pharmacy, and carefully poured a few drops of each into the steaming water.
After she set the tub, she went back to the bedroom and then pulled the rumpled sheets off the bed. Finding fresh ones in the linen closet, she replaced the sheets.
Robin was half-dozing in the chair, and she shook him lightly. "I've drawn a bath for you."
"Good. That should warm me up." He signed, shivering as they reaching his bathroom.
"Your fever is probably climbing, I'm sure." The dark empath worried, digging the new thermometer out of her bag. At the beep, she removed it from his mouth and read it out loud.
"102.5? Robin, perhaps we should cool this water down first."
"No, we're not. Turn around." He instructed.
"Robin, I don't think…"
"I don't feel like taking this in my clothes. Now turn around." Robin glared.
"And I don't feel like submitting to a kid who wears tights as a costume." Raven countered.
"Fine," Robin took off his shirt, Raven nearly gasped. Bruises were scattered on all his body, a parting gift from their favorite nemesis.
"Y…You should have those checked." She cursed herself for the stutter.
"I should do a lot of things." Robin said somberly. "Shall I keep going?" He tried to hide his smirk.
Raven suppressed her…wretched lust taking over her as her mind's eye removed the bruises.
"No." She nearly growled. She turned around and Robin commenced with his undressing and entered the tub. When he noticed the scents of the oils, he glared at Raven.
"You didn't put any of Starfire's girlie bath oil in here, did you?"
Raven couldn't suppress her reaction as crashing sounds in the background were to be heard.
'He gives a good quip.'
"No. It's simply to clear your chest. It's holistic." Raven stated, ignoring the disconcerting sound.
"You're sure?" He eyed her suspiciously.
She levitated a washcloth and flung it at Robin's face. "Just shut up and soak while I make you some herbal tea."
By the time he was out of the tub and dried off, Raven had heated water for tea and instant broth. She had taken a sip of the broth to check the temperature and immediately glowered.
"Uh-huh. I can do better myself. I think I might." She challenged.
Robin was putting on a red sweatshirt as he entered the kitchen.
"Better?" She asked as she offered him the tea.
"Warmer." He accepted and leaned on the counter. "What's that?" He gestured to the pot on the stove.
"Instant chicken broth we had lying around. But I wouldn't touch it; Plasmus tasted better." She informed.
"As long as it's warm." He finished the tea and started the soup.
"How can you stomach that?" She asked in wonder as she poured a cup of herbal tea for herself.
"I could say the same about you and that tea of yours, horrible. But to answer your question; it's warm and it doesn't hurt going down." Robin countered.
"I bought a small pizza for myself. I'd offer if you weren't ill. I…was taught to share." Raven tried to hide her blush.
"Thank you, no. I'm fine. You know…you don't have to stay. I don't want you getting this." Robin went into a coughing fit.
"I'll be fine. Don't worry about me. My…demon half can compensate for any minor human illness." Raven said uneasily. She then went over and pressed her hand on his forehead.
"You're still hot." She said worried.
He sighed. "That's the tea. I wonder what Beast Boy and Star are doing?"
"He no doubt sat on somebody or broke his arms picking up on that chalice. No doubt something…him." She quipped darkly.
"He is his own category, I'll say that." He smirked. "I should go to bed. I don't want to infect you." He said in concern.
"We just went over this, I'm fine. Nothing better to do, want to watch a movie?" She gestured to the television.
"Feels like a date to me." Robin smirked.
"Call it what you wish. I'm watching Wicked Scary again." Raven shrugged, set the DVD player, and sat on the end of the couch.
Robin thought of the case files but felt too disoriented to resume. He sat on the couch, opposite end to Raven.
"I hope you'll be alright. I know what a mess it was the first time we watched it." Robin said in sympathy.
"I'm fine. I accept the fear and I learned to let it out every now and again before it consumes. I learned my lesson. Satisfied?" She said with rising gorge.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to throw it in your face. I'm sorry." Robin said remorsefully before he went into a coughing fit again.
Raven's expression softened; she felt his remorse. "I believe you." She turned on the DVD player.
"Let's watch and get our minds off this." She suggested.
Robin noted her digression and let it slide. And throughout the movie, they made bad puns, observations, and the occasional physical gag but the night was taking its toll. After the movie, Robin bid good night and crawled into bed. Raven on the other hand decided to take a shower.
He wondered why Raven was being so…concerned about him. She usually didn't give a damn about anybody or anything but lately…
'Well, there was my fracture from Johnny Rancid. She tried to stop me from pursuing him. Tertion, the damaged pike Cyborg threw at me and just now with the mind meld.' Robin remembered all the instances Raven saved his life.
'And now I add this. Why does this mean? When did she start giving a damn?'
'Does it matter why she is? The important thing is that she is.' His conscience countered.
'There has to be a reason. Were any one else I'd drop this but Raven? There is something deeper going on here.' He ruminated.
'Why don't you take a quote from Starfire and "stop thinking?" Now maybe, just maybe if you two become close from this, you can ask her. But do you wish her to stop?' His conscience questioned.
'No. It's…kind of nice actually. To have someone…watch over me.' Robin tried to hide his blush.
'Then drop it. You'd be dead many times if it weren't for her.' His conscience reminded.
'I see that now. And I've never given her the time of day.' Robin thought regretfully.
'So fix it. Here's your chance. You two are all alone.'
'Yeah, we are, aren't we? Something to think about besides this virus,' Robin had a small smile creep up his face as he entered the land of slumber.
The dark empath woke with a start, momentarily disoriented. She groggily stared at her alarm clock: 2:17 A.M. She got to her feet stiffly and made her way down the kitchen and heated up a kettle of water. She grabbed the thermometer, the vial of pills, and a glass of cold grape juice and went to Robin's bedroom. He was no doubt asleep but she had to wonder.
'Does he sleep with the thing on?' She smirked. She was about to find out.
She watched as he tossed and turned and noticed his mask less face.
'Well, well.' She suppressed her true reaction. She placed the items on his workbench and went over to his bed and touched the thermometer to Robin's ear. After a few seconds, it read 101.5. Not as severe but she still was concerned. She went to the workbench and returned to shake his shoulder gently and held out the prescription pills and the glass.
"Wha?" He said disoriented. He was rubbing his eyes. Raven was trying to discern the color of his eyes but couldn't because of his hand motions.
'Quit moving your hands!' She was surprised by her reaction.
"Take this and drink your juice." She said in a…near motherly tone. She was surprised she was able to shift gears like that.
"More drugs." Robin grumbled as he sat up, trying to avoid looking at Raven as she handed him the items.
"I hate grape juice." He looked at the offending glass.
"It's all we have to mask the horrible taste of the pills. Now please drink it before I decide to sentence your mind to a thousand years of your worst nightmares." Her eyes flashed a little of crimson to punctuate the effect.
"Message received. I love grape juice." Robin quickly doused down the pills. "I'm…sorry. You're taking care of me and I'm acting like an idiot."
"Haven't noticed, and I'm used to idiots. They're my teammates after all." She barbed.
Robin smirked. "Well…we all have our moments."
"Some more than others. How are you feeling?" Raven asked as she sat on the bed, her face away from him.
"Like Larry is having a party in my head." He groaned as he sank back into the pillows. "I'll…find a way to pay you back for this."
"You think I'm doing this because I owe you for some reason or want something in return? Don't hand me that. I have my reasons." Raven tried to suppress her anger but failed; a mirror was heard to be shattered. She was heading towards the door.
"Raven, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it to be like that. I'm just…not used to have someone take care of me. It's either…I have to do it by myself or I have to do something in return. I should have known better." He said reflectively.
Raven stopped. "Alright, but don't think this means I'm doing this for to make up for some imaginary score. I'm doing this since no one else is around. That's all you need to know. If your girlfriend were here, this would be her role but since she's not, I have to." And with that, she stormed out.
Robin sighed, 'Good job, Grayson.'
Both had an uneasy sleep.
Around seven, Raven got up, got dressed in her civilian clothes, and checked on Cyborg. As she entered the living room, she heard coughing. Robin was in the kitchen, getting himself a drink of water. She then turned her head to the counter; she saw scrambled eggs, herbal tea and toast with cinnamon.
"What's all this?" She asked puzzled.
"A peace offering. I wanted to say…I'm sorry for this morning. I tried to be as sanitary as I could be." Robin apologized, his cheeks looked flushed, which told Raven his fever was still running strong. The fact he shivered in his sweats was even more of a telltale sign.
"Accepted. For the record, I like poached." Raven allowed herself to show a glimmer of a smile.
"I'll try to remember that." Robin returned the smile.
"What do you want for breakfast?" Raven asked.
"Nothing except something hot to drink,"
"No, it's too cold for you. Your fever is still 102. Why don't I make you breakfast and after that we'll run you a cool bath, and I'll get us some groceries?" Raven suggested.
"Sounds good, you know, we should check on Beast Boy and Starfire while we're at it. Should have done it yesterday but…" Robin never finished as he ran to the tissue box.
"I know. Besides, it's a vacation; they need to get away from us too." Raven said empathically.
"Yeah, well, just don't tell Star. She'll worry about me and ruin her whole vacation. Alright?" Robin stared straight through Raven.
"I promise." Raven vowed and started to make Robin breakfast.
Robin entered the tub afterwards, and Raven went to the main console and typed in a few commands. Starfire's countenance appeared a few seconds later.
"Greetings, Friend Raven, we've been trying to contact you since the moon went down. Are you alright?" Starfire chirped,
"We're…alright, Starfire. How is the vacation?" Raven tried to respond in the same tone.
"Wonderful. Although Friend Beast Boy did run away from the giant Porkins, I tried to assure him it was harmless. He enjoyed the Sputniks, after I…misled him." The alien princess informed.
"Yes…I told him it was a vegetable. He accepted the…ruse? And he ate it." Starfire ended in a prideful tone.
"Really? Why the lie?" Raven said bemused.
"To experience the glory that is Tamaran you must savor the Sputniks. I didn't want to deprive Friend Beast Boy, so I thought a...minuscule, ivory deception was the best course of action." Starfire said almost sheepishly.
"You mean a little, white, lie. But…I understand. You wanted him to be happy and no real harm was done." Raven agreed.
"You do? Thank you, Friend Raven. How are Robin and Friend Cyborg? " Starfire's normally happy tone returned.
"They're fine." Raven monotoned.
"Can I speak to Robin?"
"Well…" Raven wasn't sure if she should lie and cover for him or tell the truth. She didn't want get into the middle of them.
"He's…indisposed at the minute."
"Can I speak to him soon? I hope he's alright." Starfire said in a worried tone.
"Starfire, he's fine. Just because you can't see him in the next few seconds doesn't mean he's going to do something stupid." Raven defended.
"But Friend Raven, I…don't know about him anymore. Ever since Slade pushed that final deception, I fear for him." Starfire tried her best to hide her tears.
Raven mentally sighed. She didn't want to get into the middle of this but now she had to.
"I assure you, Robin is fine. But…I do fear for him…but only when Slade is involved. Which is why we did what was best and didn't tell him about the signal." The dark empath said somberly.
"I hope that was the right thing to do. I've tried everything. I can't…smash through to him." Starfire let a tear shed.
"So far you're the only one who can." Raven said defeated.
"No…I think…you can."
"What?" Raven asked in surprise.
"He acts different with you. He acts…like he can be himself. I've noticed. Like when Friend Cyborg was infected with the virus and we captured Gizmo. And when we tried to force him to help us, you and Robin just looked at each other and you both knew each of you was thinking the same thing. You have…a connection. I…"
Raven wished she was there to feel the alien princess' emotions. Was she….letting him go?
"Even now, as Robin was cured from Slade's final deception, he acts different with you. I suppress it but I know it's there. It's foolish to deny it. You say a phrase similar to that yes?" Starfire said with understanding.
"Something similar," Raven said in her monotone.
"I think the return to my home world started the Rekmus: the departure of close friends. Certain words were said. I could not withdraw them." Starfire suddenly felt her throat being dry.
"I'm sorry." Raven said sincerely. She didn't want to hear this. She didn't want to be the reason for them breaking up.
"And we never had the time to build properly. Friend Terra's betrayal, the H.I.V.E. Academy,…Slade." She spat out the last word.
"Yes. And we're caught in the middle." Raven agreed grimly.
"Indeed, it no longer matters…for now. Robin should be our only concern." Starfire digressed.
"You're right. Right now I should do my duty." Raven affirmed. "Robin is…sick."
Starfire looked horrified when Raven continued.
"It's just an Earth virus called the flu. He's fine…more or less. I've been doing my best to take care of him. It's…not easy." Raven said in near exhaustion.
"No…Robin is…unruly and independent, which is most…bothersome at times." Starfire said sympathetically.
"I can definitely agree," Raven smirked.
"I've found that males of any species balance their machismo with being infant-like when they have fallen under an illness. It's most…interesting." The alien princess informed.
"Actually, I just find it annoying," The dark empath barbed.
"That may be but you must tolerate. I have a recipe that will do "the deception" and heal Robin."
"That's trick and I'm quite unsure giving him alien foods or weird concoctions while he's in a weakened state." Raven said dubiously.
"Actually, I've been experimenting with Earth recipes and found a formula for a glorious essence of chicken soup. It will perfect for Robin." Starfire smiled.
"Thank you but I don't know if I'm that good a cook." Raven said in deprecation.
"You shall endure fine. You just need the right items."
Raven sighed, "I'll go get paper and a pencil."
Starfire gave off a list of which fresh vegetables to use, types of noodles, garlic and herbs.
"Now, you wrap them in cloth of cheese, and let them cook with the soup, strain them. I believe we have a strainer?"
"I can buy one." Raven felt helpless as the alien princess prattled on, half in her native Tamaranian.
"I'm transmitting the recipe. If any problems, contact me at once, understand?" Starfire asked firmly as she pressed a few button on her console.
A fax with the recipe on it was printed out of Raven's end. She grabbed it and read the instructions.
"Thank you Starfire, I hope I can do it justice."
"You will. I trust you." Starfire gave off a unique glance; as if she meant something else.
"Fortuitous circumstances with the soup. I must check on Friend Beast Boy. Keep me appraised. Farewell." Starfire ended the transmission.
Raven wasn't sure what to think of that conversation. Did that mean Starfire was giving her permission to be with Robin?
'No. She just trusted me to take care of him while she was gone. That's all.'
But the possibility still lingered in her mind.
'Stop it! Just take care of him and that's it. Everything else is between them.' She affirmed.
But the thought didn't leave her mind.
Raven was grabbing everything she could find in the supermarket.
'Me and Robin, ridiculous, he's with Starfire and that's that.'
'You really believe that?' Her conscience questioned.
'I…I don't know anymore. Why did she say that? Everything was just fine until she…Damn her!' Cartons of eggs exploded.
'Why are you blaming her? She saw what was between the lines and backed down, so that you can step up.' Her conscience said in a clarifying tone as Raven quickly made a beeline to another aisle.
'I don't get it.'
'What she said about you and Robin when Cyborg was ill. The "connection." You may ignore it but it's there.'
'I don't see it.' Raven mused in a confused tone.
'You don't? What other term would you use to explain the constant protection you give him? Tertion, Cyborg, Robin himself? You can deny the truth for only so long.' Her conscience lectured sternly.
'He's the leader, I did what I did so…' Raven rationalized.
'You're stalling. Deal with the feelings sooner or later.'
'I do not have feelings. They are pointless.' Raven said defensively as the cereal exploded from their boxes.
'If Terra has taught you anything, is that feelings aren't pointless. Unfortunately with her, she's shown you anger and betrayal. But here…'
'Here what? I fail to get the point.' She raged.
'What do you feel when you're with Robin?'
Raven reflected; she always felt comforted by his muted concern. As if…he already understood her inside and out. One glance and he knew what she wanted.
'Like my privacy. I couldn't function without it. How does he do it?'
'He knows more than he lets on. Don't let his mask fool you.' Her conscience warned.
'I won't. I'm an expert at hiding behind a mask too.' Raven hid her smirk.
'Then you agree that both of you have similar traits?'
Raven then realized the truth.
'We are similar. I don't believe it but…we are.' She thought in surprise.
'Yes. I'm sure you known that when you entered his mind.'
'I just wanted to help him. I never…I never thought I'd uncovered all that…beautiful pain within when I did it.' Raven suppressed her…elation.
'Makes the cheese a bit binding, wouldn't you say?'
'It does. It does.' Raven nodded in agreement. 'I…never met anyone with pain like that. Just like mine.' Raven nearly smiled.
'Now you know what makes him tick, how do you feel about him?' Her conscience asked.
'I…I don't know. All this time...I had a kindred spirit and I didn't even know. Now I just wished I did that on him sooner. But between Starfire hanging all over him and Beast Boy's idiotic flirting, I just…' Raven thought in regret.
'Yes…but now you're making up for it. You both are. And before it wasn't like he would show you that…true part of himself. He hid behind his mask and mind games like you did.' Her conscience observed.
'More similarities.' Raven remarked.
'And now that you know the truth…use it, but gently.'
'I wouldn't know where to start.'
'Use the similarity for you. You remember that last memory before you connected?' Her conscience asked.
'Yes. His mother and father…falling,' She suddenly felt an undertow of sorrow.
'At least one important difference between you; he had loving parents, you didn't. He knew what that type of love was like.'
'Yes. I felt underlying joy and profound sadness with them, I hardly felt it because of the reagent.' Raven observed.
'But you still felt it. Felt his pain.'
'Similar but yet different. He's just like me, except…he hides behind that brightness. It's so misleading.' Raven observed.
'He has his reasons, just as you hide behind your cloak and darkness.' Her conscience reminded.
'Yes. Perhaps, one day, I will try to address that with him but will he turn me away? I know full well how defensive people are with secrets.' Raven fretted.
'He didn't resent you being his mind. In fact the only thing he felt was concern…for you. You felt it.'
'I did. He cared more about my safety than about any of his secrets.' She thought warmly.
'In fact…that's all he ever does is care. It's not as loud as Beast Boy or Starfire but…just quieter, more graceful…just perfect.' Raven then had an epiphany.
'He is perfect. He creates the perfect combination of grace and pain.' She thought dreamily. 'And I…Oh Lord, I have fallen him for him, haven't I?' She deadpanned,
'Been waiting for you to realize that,' her conscience quipped.
'All this time, and I didn't know.'
'You did have a full plate; Slade and then his bootlick Terra.' Her conscience reminded.
'I did and that's what started this; him feeling concern about me and my thoughts about Terra. Like when she returned. He never stops.' She reminisced.
'No, he doesn't.'
'No wonder why I feel the way that I do.' She tried to hide her blush.
'Yes. And now you can take your chance.'
'With Starfire in the picture? No.' Raven said sternly.
'You heard her back down. She was the main obstacle. Now you are free.'
'And prey on him like that? I won't do that. Everyone I'd consider but him? No. Besides I'd doubt he'd feel that way toward me anyway.' Raven said negatively.
'Usually you do what you want. You haven't shown much empathy for people normally. Robin's influence strikes yet again.' Her conscience chided.
'That had nothing to do with him.'
'You lie. In your time in Azarath, were you taught to care about someone? To put their feelings and concerns ahead of yours?' Her conscience asked.
'No.' Raven thought unemotionally.
'Azar taught you to suppress and control the power but not to be a person whereas Robin…is doing just that.'
Raven couldn't deny the facts. 'He is…in his own subtle way. I mostly felt it in the mind meld and it spilled all over, but even so, over time…he's shown what it means to feel and to care. The friendship he has with Cyborg, his…relationship with Starfire, and…me. It contradicts everything I've been taught. He makes me…' Raven couldn't finish the thought.
'He makes you think. He makes you rethink about everything, because no one else wanted you to think.'
'He does. He really does. Especially now. I never thought I'd…actually get to take care of him. Certainly not like this.' Raven thought in surprise.
'The effect he has on you is strong. You can't deny this anymore.'
'I can't. It's stronger than I thought possible. Does this mean…I finally found someone that I can just be myself around? The end of the illusions?' She thought with hope, a feeling long dead within her.
'Only you can answer that. But you best make your move. Don't end up like she did.' Her conscience warned.
'But she still is his…' Raven thought in tinges of melancholy.
'She was his. She had her chance and as she said, they said things they couldn't take back, nor did them have time to build.'
'That's true. We hardly had much of a lull before then. But the true question; would he even want me?' She mused in an insecure tone.
'Good question. Ever since the mind meld, he's been acting differently towards you, even more considerate than normal. Like with Beast Boy and handing the tea?' Her conscience observed.
'Yes, he has.' Raven didn't suppress her blush.
'If you're still worried, have you seen him do the same with Starfire?'
'I…no, I've…never seen him act so courteous with her.' Raven realized.
'Then that should tell you the answer.'
'But all that could be friendship.' Raven dismissed.
'Possible. The only way you'll truly know is tip your hand. Leave no room for doubt.'
'But what he rejects me? Or worse, pities me. I…don't know how to approach this. I'm so confused.'
Her conscience gave no answer. Before she can think, she was outside the supermarket, bags in hands.
'I hate when I think too much.' She deadpanned.
The room was quiet, save for the soft hum of a ball game on TV. Robin was lying on the couch, asleep. Raven placed the groceries on the counter and put away the perishables. She pulled out a bag of warm bagels and spread two with cream cheese and jelly. She then poured two large glasses of orange juice for Robin and herself and placed them on a clean plate she found on the counter.
She went over to the couch and shook Robin gently.
"In the mood for a late breakfast?" She asked gently.
"Huh? Oh, yeah," Robin sat up, bleary eyed.
She levitated the plate and glasses to them. He reluctantly grabbed the glass as it hovered in midair.
"I have to admit, I am starving." She placed down the plate between them, grabbed her half, and ate in a brisk pace.
"I'll say. You usually just have your tea." Robin remarked.
"We all slow down as we get older." She said in a reflective tone.
"You're not that old." Robin smirked.
"What's the adage? Old enough to know better but too young to care?" Raven took another bite.
"Actually, yes. At least you have an appetite." Robin took a few bites of his bagels.
"Your throat?" She asked solicitously.
"Yeah." He nodded.
"I brought you some lozenges for that." She got up to get them, but he pulled her back.
"It's okay…I…missed you." Robin suppressed his slight blush.
Raven drained all her mental shields suppressing her blush. "Well, after talking to Starfire, I went to market. I bought juice, fresh fruit, vegetables, throat lozenges, and…some materials for chicken soup."
"No pizza huh?" He sounded mournful.
"Not this time. This weekend we eat healthy."
"I'll be dead by Monday, so don't bother." He sighed.
'Infant-like, she was right.' Raven inner smirked. "You're not that ill." Raven mimicked Robin's earlier tone.
"Probably not," He maintained his gloomy tone. He got up and moved towards the main console. As he activated the device, the keyboard was covered in a dark energy.
"You do not need to work." She scolded.
"But it has to be done." He insisted and waited for her to drop the shield. He knew she couldn't make it last forever.
"Not right this minute." She dropped the aura. "Go rest. I'll help you with it a little later."
"All right," He threw up his hands. "You're the boss."
"Can I have that in writing?" The dark empath barbed.
"I think you've been hanging out with me too much." Robin smirked as he left the room.
Raven spent the remainder of the morning making the chicken soup. The first part of the recipe was simple enough: cut up the vegetables and put them in a giant stockpot along with a whole chicken, the cheesecloth bag of herbs, and water. The directions then read to let simmer for several hours.
"You could have said this would take forever Starfire." She grumbled.
As it started to simmer, she mixed lemonade, put some in a mug with a little bit of honey, and heated in the microwave. She…enjoyed the taste; sweeter than she remembered. Robin could have the next mug; this one was hers.
She went in to check on him. He was sound asleep. Raven noticed how peaceful he looked.
'He looks so…I'm doing it again.'
She used the thermometer and found his fever was dying down, so she left him undisturbed. She briefly checked on Cyborg, no problems. She made herself a sandwich and took a seat by the main console. Raven was aware of the workload they had and figure while she was waiting for him and the soup, she might as well be productive.
'Next file…Killer Moth and his daughter, Kitten. God must be working on overtime today.'
don't have to be this way.
Catch me on a better day.
The afternoon flew by, it was dark when Raven took a break and inhaled deeply.
'Certainly smells good.'
She glanced at the clock; more than time for Robin to take his medicine.
He was still asleep, which concerned Raven. Robin was such a light sleeper, and slept no more than five hours a night.
'At least one good…nonromantic thing about merging our minds, I know his schedule.'
'But not the same as him telling you now is it?' Her conscience chimed.
'No.' Raven thought unemotionally.
She checked his temperature: 102.1 "Blast." She muttered.
He woke up to the beep of the thermometer. "What is it?"
"Your fever is still high." She answered, "Here is your medicine." She levitated the pills and the glass of juice from the workbench.
"Apple juice. My favorite." He gulped down the pills and the juice. "What smells so good?" He wondered.
"Um…An experiment of sorts." She said cryptically. "Are you hungry?"
"Just thirsty," He slumped against the pillows. "I'm so tired, Raven."
Raven felt his true emotion. "Do you want to…talk about it?"
Robin said nothing for a minute. "Not now. But…thanks."
"I'll bring you something to drink." She demurred as she left the room.
Robin sank deeper within the bed. 'Maybe I should have told her. I just feel so…so…I don't know.'
Raven returned with the lemonade. He sat up and took a sip of the hot lemonade. "This is good. What is it?"
"Hot lemonade and honey, my…nursemaid Gayla used to give it to me when I was sick." She explained.
"Alfred did that too." Robin gave off a warm smile. "Haven't had it in years. Thank you."
"You're welcome." She hid that familiar blush again. "Anything else I can get you?"
"I hope we have some more of that bath oil stuff. It…it really did the trick. Felt better after that. And I got to get this sweat off me."
"I'm sure we have it and if not, I'll get some more." Raven offered.
"I…appreciate that." Now it was Robin's turn to hide his blush.
While Robin soaked in the tub again, she changed the sweaty sheets on his bed. Next she decided to brave the rest of the chicken soup recipe. Using a spatula and a big fork, and a little help with her powers, she managed to get the chicken safely onto a platter. Next she put a colander over a big bowl and drained the stock. However, it was scolding and she burned two fingers in the process. Determined, she then cut the chicken to the bone and thus injuring three more fingers.
'You better appreciate this, Robin or I'll stuff those tacky Birdarangs down where the sun don't shine.'
She poured the stock back into the pot and skimmed the fat. She then added part of the diced chicken, fresh chopped celery, onion, and carrots. The reminder of the chicken she placed in the refrigerator. She then added a little water to the stock and let it simmer for the recommended amount of time. She was completely exhausted when she added in the noodles.
Raven set out two big bowls and heated bread in the microwave. She tossed in strawberries, grapes, melon chunks, orange sections, and pineapple together to make a mélange.
Robin walked in the domestic scene. Robin felt a smile creeping up on him. 'But why am I smiling? Just Raven cooking. I…Hmm,'
"Is this your experiment?" Robin's voice shattered the quiet scene.
"Yes, I thought homemade would have better effects then canned." She explained; she could smell the bath oils off Robin.
'Must have added more to the punch, and I thought he hated the "girlie bath oil." Keeps surprising me,'
"So you made this? That's…wonderful." He said touched.
"I wouldn't say anything until you tasted it first." She warned as she ladled out the steaming soup onto the bowls.
Robin picked a spoon and took a taste. "This is great!"
"I'm glad you like it, I made about a week's worth." They devoured both bowls and Raven made a notion to thank Starfire for her one recipe of actual Earth food.
Once again, they passed the evening on the couch. Raven was showing him what she'd accomplished on their files. Robin never failed to be impressed with her diligence as he read the files. He barely had suggestions for improvements. Raven fell asleep by ten and Robin himself was getting tired an hour later. His fever began to spike again.
He dosed himself with medicine and was about to head for bed when he looked at the sleeping dark empath. That feeling from her cooking in the kitchen returned. He went to his room to grab a blanket that he didn't sleep on, returned, and covered her with it.
He gave her another warm smile. "Sleep well." He whispered to her, returned to his room and collapsed on the bed. The sheets were clean and fresh, he noticed as he burrowed under the covers.
Sunday, Robin insisted on working, but Raven put her foot down. They barely avoided an argument. Robin acquiesced, on the condition that Raven got out for the Tower for a while. He suggested meditating. He noted that she hasn't done that in the past few days. When she returned, she learned that he ordered pizza for lunch.
"What's this?" She asked.
"A peace offering, yet again." He pretended to be stern.
She allowed a smirk to play across her lips. "Offer accepted."
In spite of his protests to the contrary, Robin still felt miserable. He slept the afternoon away on the couch.
Raven had been irritated by the clutter in his room and so she saw her chance. She picked up all the loose papers on the floors, arranged the clippings by print date, and placed them on the workbench. She then polished his Birdarangs, spare utility belts, and his boots.
'So many scuffmarks,'
She then sent his spare masks and costumes in the wash and hung them to dry in his bathroom. After that she retrieved the vacuum and swept up the floor. Then she organized his personal crime files and the various devices in his utility belts and made the most used devices such as his discs and grappling hooks closer to reach for easy access.
She noticed several damaged Birdarangs and discs lying on the floor. 'Slob. Should fix this.'
She placed the clippings on an adjacent dresser and went to pick up the fallen, broken items. She dumped them down on his workbench, found a toolbox lying there and went to work. After two hours of curses and epitaphs, she looked back on the repaired products.
'Maybe I should quit the superhero game and just be a repairman.' She smirked, and then began to exit the room and looked back at the room.
'Not bad if I do say so myself. Gayla would be proud.' She allowed herself to feel pride.
She checked on Cyborg, put the vacuum away and went back to the living room. Robin was still asleep.
'Looking so peaceful. You would never know the trials he's been in if all you saw is this.'
Another feeling entered Raven, one she couldn't identify. It was quite similar to all the times she protected him but…stronger, amplified.
'How does he stir these feelings in me? It feels like…'
He began to stir, Raven tried to walk away out of his sight when he saw her blurred.
"Hey. I have to admit, the couch is a lot more comfortable than my bed." Robin smirked, and was puzzled by Raven's position. It looked like she was walking away from him.
"That's because Cyborg and Beast Boy are always sitting on it. Not like you would know." Raven was fortunate her back was to him. She couldn't suppress her blush anymore.
"True. Hope the world didn't blow up while I was asleep." Robin joked.
"We both know you're not the Rip Van Winkle type. Mention of Slade or H.I.V.E. or anything, you'd be up in a second." She quipped.
"Yeah," Robin's mood dropped, Raven felt that.
"But you would crush them one two three. You've did it before." She turned to him.
"No…we did. I couldn't beat Slade and his…final scheme without you." Robin gave off a knowing glance.
"It…it was nothing. You were in trouble." Raven said with tinges of nonchalance.
"You may see that as nothing. I don't." He got up and looked straight at her.
Raven didn't back down. She was trying to stare through and discern his eyes, to no avail.
"How you think of it is your business." She said in her monotone.
"You can't tell me you didn't think of that as nothing when you did that." Robin confronted.
"I can and I do." She said unemotionally. She was grateful for the earlier meditation today.
Robin was getting frustrated and he couldn't handle Raven when he was healthy let alone sick.
"Then you're lucky. Nothing gets to you. My life would be much simpler if I acted like you." Robin said honestly. Raven felt a harsh blow from that.
'He thinks I'm lucky that I feel nothing?' Raven still suppressed her reaction. "Yes, aren't I fortunate? You're lucky that your hypothesis has truth in it because I suddenly just had the urge to slap you."
Robin's glare spoke for him. Raven had to end this before the recoil would damage them both.
"If you're done with your boilerplate analysis, what do you want for dinner?" Raven digressed.
"Not really. But I am hungry. I would like some more of that chicken soup." Robin backed down.
"No pizza?" She said bemused.
"Hey, what happened to "we're eating healthy" this weekend?" Robin smirked.
"Nothing, but…I could bake us a couple of apples." She hinted.
"Just like Alfred used to. With ice cream?" He inquired hopefully.
"So much for healthy," She deadpanned.
Robin helped her in the kitchen. He knew he didn't have to help her but it was the least he could do. But it was marred by the arguing of whether Robin should go back to work on Monday. Raven handed him the doctor's note.
"May return to work when without a fever for 24 hours," He read aloud. "So?"
"So…100.9 is still a fever." She waved the thermometer at him.
Robin muttered something under his breath but couldn't think of a counter.
"Then I win." She allowed herself to don a smirk for him as she joined him at the opposite end of the counter. They ate leisurely, suppressing their argument. They worked in sync as they cleared the table and loaded the dishwasher. Raven cored and stuffed two apples with nuts, brown sugar, butter, and oatmeal, topped with cinnamon and nutmeg and placed them in the oven to bake slowly.
"I'm…sorry that I said you feel nothing. If that were true you wouldn't be doing all this for me." Robin apologized.
Raven eyed him cautiously. Should she tip her hand? 'I don't know. Could be a waste of time and more than that…be a total embarrassment. No choice but to play this out.'
"I accept your apology but I hope you finally learned not topresume anything about me." She glared.
"I know. But considering we hardly know each other, what choice do I have?" Robin said with confusion.
"You know that's no longer true. I think…Slade's final trick finally shattered that." She said in an as-a-matter-of-fact tone.
"You're half right; you know everything about me but I know nothing about you." Robin observed.
Raven knew Robin was right: she blocked her own secrets while learning all of Robin's. It wasn't equal.
'Damn it.' She sighed.
"It wasn't…It wasn't…intentional. It was…" Raven was afraid to say.
"What?" Robin exclaimed.
"It was…my fear." Raven downed her head in shame.
"Fear? I don't understand."
"Fear of showing my secrets. Hiding is who I am. And to have someone know everything about me…frightens me to death." She sat down, her head still down.
Robin softened, "I certainly empathize. As you can attest to, I'm sure. The odd thing? It wasn't as…damaging as I first thought. It felt…nice to have someone knows everything about me and...I can be myself for once."
Raven looked up. "You mean that?"
"I wouldn't have said it if I didn't. I think…the problem here is a matter of trust. It's one thing when someone you don't know or care about knows everything about you; it's another when it's…someone you trust." Raven's eyes widen.
"You…trust me?" She said with a tinge of surprise and something else…
"I do. I trust you with my life for one thing. And that's where it counts. Don't think I haven't noticed your rescues. Because I have," Robin looked straight at her.
"You're my leader. I had to…" Raven rationalized.
"That may be but you hardly ever go out of your way to save Beast Boy or Cyborg or Starfire. That's means…I mean something to you." Robin observed.
'Damn him!' They suddenly heard broken glass in the distance.
"Don't flatter yourself. You're the only one on the team who has no powers. Someone has to look after you." Raven said defensively.
"That's a good reason, until the…mind meld. You're so…guarded about yourself I'm surprised you did that, and for me no less. How could I think of you as anything else other than trustworthy?"
"You're the only other sane one here. Can't let you go crazy on me." Raven said in her monotone.
Robin gave off a small smile. "I'd do the same for you."
Raven eyed him suspiciously. "You would?"
"I would but…I wouldn't look at your secrets…unless you trusted me enough to." Robin looked away; he didn't want to look at her reaction.
"I think…I think…that I do." She turned away too. She couldn't let him see her blush.
"I'm happy that…you finally feel that way. I was always afraid that I'd…never get through those walls of yours. But that's…my own fault. I never went out of my way to talk to you, see how you doing after a battle, see if…you were hurt. I…failed not only as a leader but as a person. I haven't been much of one, have I?" Robin reflected, and was nearly on the verge of tears.
"True. But…it's also a good thing. You didn't go out of your way to get to know me, yes, but…you actually trusted me enough to give me the privacy I need and to let things alone. Without it, I can't live. I can't. It's the only thing that helps me…deal with the inanities, Beast Boy's god-awful flirting, but more than that: the draining of my control. If I didn't have your gift…your trust in me…I don't know what would happen." Raven felt Robin's emotion and nearly succumbed to weeping herself.
"It's the first time…doing nothing helped out in a big way." Robin noted as he turned to her.
"Yes. But…to be fair…I did want to try to get to know you. But with…Beast Boy…and Starfire, I was paralyzed. That's not an excuse though." Raven said in her melancholy voice.
"Yeah. Got dealt with a bad hand all around, but…making it up now right?" He said optimistically.
"I think so." Raven said unsure.
"Never thought I'd be so grateful in being sick and finally deal with all this. Life is a funny old dog ain't it?" Robin gave a lop-sided grin.
"Actually…I agree." Raven relaxed.
The oven timer rang. The duo got up and walked towards the kitchen.
"Raven, now that…we establish that you trust me, you think…you can tell me something about yourself?" Robin hid a tinge of hope.
Raven looked at him: she did say that she trusts him and she meant it. And she knew everything about him so couldn't she return the favor at last?
'I can't think of a reason why I can't.' Raven mused in surprise.
"Why don't you get out of those sweaty clothes, eat our apples and take it from there?" She digressed in a suggestive tone.
Robin was a little disappointed but was hopeful: she didn't say no. He left the room to change while she rescued their apples.
Robin listened to the soft clinking sound as she put the clean dishes in the cupboard as he was walking away from his room. He was astonished by the tidiness. Starfire tried her hand but ended up making the room duster. All of his clippings, crime fighting devices, even his boots were completely organized. The aroma of apples baking added to the homey scene.
When was the last time he felt like this? He closed his eyes. Too many years to count. Not during his time with Batman. Granted, Alfred tried his best but…it wasn't the same. And the grueling training he had to endure blocked all those feelings anyway. When he was a child, before his parents were taken away from him? Or perhaps he never stopped long enough to be content. That was the word: Pure contentment. Robin realized another important thing about this weekend: Raven had this incredible capacity to nurture.
'You'd never know from looking at her.' He said bemused.
Granted, Raven always hid from the outside world within her hood and cynicism, but when push came to shove, she would unmask herself and truly shine. And be vulnerable like the best of them. Robin saw that with many times; his own dark trial as Slade's Apprentice, Terra, even his own body.
'I can't seem to handle…anything without her.' Robin reflected somberly.
Robin resented relying on others as part of his training but…with Raven…he didn't object, even when she was in his mind.
'It's the damnest thing. She just acts and handles with a…unique grace. I've never seen anything like it. Or anyone, as opposed to say…Starfire.'
The alien princess seemed like the reverse; clumsily, happy-go-lucky, rolling along. A bright flame to counter Robin's darkness, but at times, it seems….too intense. Robin tried his best to deal with the constant brightness but in the end…
'I can't keep up with her. She's just…too strong. If…if only she'd just tone down. Mute it.' Robin thought remorsefully.
'Why can't she be…just like…Raven?' Robin had an epiphany.
'I…I…want her to be like Raven.' Robin realized.
'No…I…don't see myself with her. Only with…no…she…' He denied.
'You both let each other go. If you wanted to be with her, you should have made the time. You can't go back in time.' His conscience noted.
'The question now is: do you want to go back?'
Robin thought long and hard. He deeply cared about Starfire but…he couldn't see himself resuming with the alien princess, her intensity was too strong, too powerful. And as far as he was concerned, he felt her cut ties back on Tamaran.
'If she didn't say that then…no, she made her choice and so have I. Either way, I have to live with it.'
The Boy Wonder then thought of her counterpart: Raven. After this weekend he learned many new things about the dark empath.
'I never thought I'd think this way…does this mean…that I should be with Raven?'
'Well, let's see: you trust your life with her. More than that, you trust her with your secrets. Would you have given Starfire that level of trust?' His conscience asked.
'I…no.' Robin…liked her but he didn't trust her. She just couldn't understand the inner darkness that runs rampant through him.
'But…Raven does understand. She's living darkness. If there was anyone would understand, she would.'
'Another thing that binds you to her,'
'Binds?' Robin questioned.
'Your similarities, your protection, even your minds…don't you see it?'
'I…I think I do.' Robin mused in surprise.
'Much to my chagrin, her and me makes more sense. But…can I love her?' Robin thought.
'If Raven has taught you anything, things can't happen overnight, it takes time. The proper question is; do you want to?
'I…' Robin sensed the wonderful aroma again. He suddenly thought of his mother and some of her meals. The way Raven acted…almost a parallel.
'I have to admit, after this weekend…I miss her less.'
'Because of Raven,' His conscience stated.
'Yeah. Could that be what I need? I've been fine without her.' He shrugged.
'That may be but have you been happier?'
Robin thought long and hard. Raven this weekend gave him feelings he long buried. Feelings that made him feel…loved.
'She gave you a taste of what you've been missing since they went away. The question is…do you want more?' His conscience went to the heart of the matter.
'It's been so long. I don't know…' He thought fearfully.
'In time, you'll see what you want. But don't wait forever, lest you lose her like Star.' His conscience warned.
Robin took the lesson hard. 'I don't know. What about Raven? I know how emotionally inexperienced she is. I don't know if she'd even consider it. Besides I've seen those looks Beast Boy gives her.'
'Starfire has said this many times: you deserve happiness too. You've learned to let go of Slade, so now it means you can let go of this fear.' His conscience pressed on.
'And what fear is that?'
'Fear of opening yourself up and taking the chance.'
'I…' Robin couldn't deny the facts.
'I wonder if she'll make me happy.'
'What do you think?' His conscience reminded.
'I think…she is more caring than she'll ever let on. I must…feel something for her if I'm having these thoughts. And…it would be nice to be with someone who…understands me.' Robin reflected warmly.
'Maybe then you'll stop wearing your mask all the time.' His conscience chided.
Robin ignored the remark. 'Considering Raven wears one as well, it will be a challenge.'
'You've dealt with worse. And…wouldn't be worth it if you help her take off hers as well and then…both of you would be happy?'
Robin smiled how concerned and warm Raven was this weekend.
'I'd…like her to act like that some more. I'm afraid if I get well, she'll go back into hiding behind her books again.' Robin thought somberly.
'Then act. Don't let the window close on you, like Star. With her…not only can you recapture some of Mother's grace but…the sky's the limit.'
'With her? I actually believe that.' Robin's smile returned.
'Then get on with it.' His conscience ordered.
'I wonder if I am ready to tell the truth. I wish I knew what was inside his head. Wait, I know what's inside his head, just not anything new.' Raven deadpanned.
'Oh God, I'm babbling. Damn him and his concern for me. That's what started this.' She grumbled.
'Yes, it's all his fault for caring about you.' Her conscience quipped.
'It should be. If he'd just stay with his alien then I wouldn't feel this way.' Raven tried to suppress her anger and spare the plates from her rage.
'Whatever happened between them happened. It's pointless to fret about it.'
'I know, but damn him.' Raven raged.
'Don't blame it all on him. It's takes two to tango. You knew that as you saved him so many times. Put yourself out there…just for him.'
'I did. Why couldn't he be like Beast Boy and when I did save him, I wouldn't care?'
'But he's not. He's Robin and you have to deal with the feelings but…don't blame him for feeling the way that you do.' Her conscience warned.
'Why shouldn't I? I was perfectly content until he…cared.' Raven felt a flurry of rage and depression.
'Content but not…happy or anything for that matter.'
'No.' Raven thought somberly.
'But…being with him, would that mean I can finally be…happy?' She mused.
'Until you hear from him one way or the other, there is no way to answer that.'
'I know, but I wonder…what if we make each other miserable instead?' Raven mused sadly.
'That is always a possibility but, are you going to let the negatives stand in your way of what can be a very fulfilling relationship?' Her conscience asked direct.
'Seeing that negative is all I am, I can't say no, can I?' Raven dripped with venom.
'True, but you can't keep using that excuse forever. As the others have tried with you, you have to learn to accept positives, like this can easily be.'
'It sounds so easy. So easy just to open like…like Starfire. But it's just not me. I'll never be like that. All I'll ever be is…me.' Raven tried to suppress her self pity.
'You know that's not true, look at Robin.' Her conscience pointed out.
'Haven't I thought about him enough?' She grumbled.
'You're letting self-pity cloud you.'
'Why not? I've been feeling emotions today that I thought I long suppressed, so what's another?' She deadpanned.
'Exactly, all because of him, yet unlike you, he can feel. He can shift. He can be anything he wants to be. Unlike you, who can go only two ways,' her conscience stated.
'Yes.' Raven suppressed her…envy.
'How does he do it? He can feel pain and be miserable like me yet he can change emotions and even feel like…Starfire? What is the secret?' Raven ruminated.
'One possibility is he had a happy childhood, albeit brief. He had a definition of happiness, you never had one.' Her conscience mused.
'Could that be it? He can act that way because he knows what it was like to be happy?' Raven asked in surprise.
'It's the most likely scenario, lack of any other evidence.'
'Only thing I can do short of asking him, is feel his emotions. Maybe then I'll find the secret.' Raven planned.
'As long as you don't make finding out his secret the only issue,' her conscience warned.
'I won't.' She said in determination.
'The only other time you felt that was getting retribution on Terra. Seems like the only time you feel emotions in a positive light is when Robin is involved in some way.' Her conscience noted.
'Yes.' She thought with…happiness? Raven couldn't identify the emotion.
'At least it's positive. I think.' She deadpanned.
'I wonder if this feeling will return.' She mused.
'That depends on how much you tip your hand to him. If at all,' her conscience stated.
'I still don't know. I want to but…the fears. Seem too strong. I can't afford the risk. I…' Raven thought melancholy.
'You afforded the risk before when you saved him…from himself.' Her conscience pointed out.
'Oh. That was different, he was dying. How could I do anything else?' She shrugged.
'In one situation you threw away the fear, yet in another you cling to it.'
'My heart and well-being weren't involved in saving his mind and his life. Just focused on him and ignored myself.' She countered as she retrieved the apples from the ovens and placed the tray on the counter.
'If you can keep up that mentality, then you can overcome the fears and take the risk.'
'I'm not sure if I can do that.' Raven said dubiously.
'If not, then all you could do is think about what might have been.'
'I don't know. I…can't but I can't drop this. Feels so…right, but I don't…'
'The answer will come in time. But remember Starfire's words: the two of you have a connection. Use it. For the good of both of you,'
'But I'm afraid I'll damage it. But…after last night, I can try it. He can always tell me no. That's why I usually do.' Raven schemed; she then realized the underlying emotion within her.
'I felt…is that hope?' She asked confused.
'I don't know. I never felt this before. This has to be him. It has to be. No one else makes me feel this way. Whatever this is,' Raven fell into deeper confusion.
'Maybe…I can do this. I just don't know how. Yet,' Raven allowed herself to feel her new feelings of hope and then suppressed them. He gave her this feeling but she wasn't going to let him know that.
'Yet,' Raven flashed a spilt second smirk.
She quickly rummaged through the cabinets.
'Where the devil are you? I swear everything is mocking me. Even the food,' Raven grumbled.
A bag of flour exploded. Flour snowed all over Raven and the kitchen.
'I can't wait for him to get better so I can have the pleasure of killing him.' She raged and the cookie jar exploded.
'Damn it! Damn it! Damn him!' The egg timer exploded.
'Azarath Metrion Zinthos. Azarath Metrion Zinthos.' She closed her eyes and repeated the mantra in her head. The oven door rattled.
'What can I do? I have to calm down and I can't let Robin see this mess.' She panicked.
"I thought winter was supposed to come from outside." A male voice was heard.
Raven immediately turned and saw Robin smirking at her. She immediately hid her expression.
"I was practicing my ghost makeup for Halloween." She said nonchalantly. Robin gave a raucous laugh.
"Halloween isn't for eleven months." Robin smirked.
"Never hurts to plan ahead." She deadpanned.
Robin gave her a warm smile. Even in embarrassment she always kept her dignity. 'I always admired that about her.'
"Come on, I'll help you clean up."
At least the flour was good for one thing; it covered her face and her blush.
'What is it about him and his smiles? Just cuts through me like a knife through butter.' Raven mused.
Robin got the paper towels and planned to wipe off the floor.
"Do you think that's a good idea? You are still sick. I don't want you to exert yourself." She reminded.
"You can't do this by yourself. You can't always shoulder the labor alone Raven." Robin shot back.
"For someone who goes off on his own tangents and ignores everyone for the sake of one of his crusades, that's hard to swallow." She bent down to join him.
"Yeah, I know. But…I've been reexamining a lot of things lately." Robin reflected.
Raven felt…something hiding within him. She couldn't identify his emotion. "Good. You should learn to put things in proper perceptive. I wish you did sooner but…I'm…glad you're doing it now." Raven gave off a whisper of a smile.
Robin caught it. "To quote Beast Boy: "Just finally got my head out of my butt." is all."
Raven's smile grew slightly. "A crude way of putting it but I'll accept it. I better go and change and stop looking like a poor woman's Casper the Friendly Ghost." She gestured about herself.
"I think you look fine. It's…quite becoming." Robin smirked.
"You lie. Take that back or…" She levitated a container of maple syrup above his head.
"You have a new proxy for whatever it is you call hair gel." She menaced.
"You're lucky I can't get to the nutmeg in time. You win. I take it back." His smirk grew even wider.
"Okay." She placed the container on the counter. "Now I just have to rescue and fix the apples." She bent to open the oven door.
"I thought they'd be burnt. To work then," She inspected the apples, placed them on the counter and began to rummage through the cabinets. Robin placed his hand on her shoulder.
"Why don't you go ahead and clean up? I got this."
Raven was surprised by her behavior; anyone else who touched her like that she would have blasted them to kingdom come.
In response, one of the cabinet doors flew out of its hinges and landed on the couch.
"I…" Raven couldn't think. 'Blast!'
"Go before all that flour sticks to you. The apples will be safe with me, I promise." He vowed with a warm smile.
'Damn him!' "Alright, they better be." And with that she teleported out of the room.
Robin finally let out the laughter. 'She looked so…cute!' Robin finished cleaning up the floor while descending into giggles.
"Now for the apples," He reminded himself.
Raven melted as the steaming hot water poured all over her flesh. 'How does he do it? I was full of rage before but now…I'm calm. How is this possible?'
'All part of the effect he has with you.' Her conscience chimed in.
'I didn't think it included this; this…tranquil effect he has on me. I feel…I feel…' Raven was trying to grasp on this emotion she elicited from him.
'What is it? Happiness? Understanding? I don't know…but I like it. More than I should.'
'That could be the answer; with him you can indulge in emotions yet not lose yourself.'
Raven had another epiphany. 'I can, can't I? Well…if let's hope I can read between the lines properly and…take a chance.'
She quickly changed in a black shirt that said "Only Happy When It Rains." and black sweatpants.
'My emotions couldn't have waited until after the apples were done and served. My timing perfects.' Raven grumbled as she walked back to the living room.
She came back to find the kitchen completely devoid of the effects of her recoil and the two apples covered in vanilla ice cream and drizzled in caramel for added measure.
"That was fast. I didn't know which favor to get you so I chose Vanilla. It's simple but elegant, you know?" Robin's voice was heard as she turned to find him by the couch.
"I never thought of it that way. Oddly enough…it is my favorite. I thought you would have eaten yours already." Raven noted.
"It is proper etiquette to wait for the hostess to eat before you eat yourself." Robin gestured to the counter.
"How…thoughtful even though you may ruin the meal by doing that." She observed as she walked to the counter.
"Without manners, we'd still be stuck in the Dark Ages." Robin countered as he joined her.
Raven gave him a knowing glance. "Touché."
They sat adjacent to each other and commenced eating.
"I never knew you were such a domestic goddess." Robin commented.
"You should better than to think such things, silly bird." She quipped.
"Certainly fooled me," Robin smirked.
"I didn't know you liked the Harriet Nelson type." She returned the smirk.
"I don't." Robin said coolly. Raven felt his deception.
"Right. Well, enjoy it while you can, for come tomorrow, this domestic goddess is turning back into a Titan." She smirked.
"That's a pity actually." Robin remarked somberly.
"Why?" Raven was quite curious. She wouldn't suppress the emotion.
"Well…" Robin was afraid. 'What if she doesn't feel the same way? Is it worth the gamble?' Then he looked at Raven's eyes.
He saw fragility, tenderness, a deep ocean hiding a secret. Someone should be a nurse or a mother than living the costumed life.
'She deserves a chance to show that. Any guy who gets to bask in that…warmth and tenderness is the luckiest man on Earth. Like I've been. But…would she continue to share that with me? I can't live without it. I thought I could but I can't. I need it…now more than ever. I have to take the chance.'
"To be honest…I rather like you this way." Robin suppressed his blush. The faint shattering of a window in the background was heard.
"Y…you do?" Raven admonished herself for stuttering.
"Yeah, I do. It's been a long…rather long while since I've been so taken care of." Robin took his empty plate to the sink and not had her see his blush.
"That was because I…because of friendship." The fear still lingered and she loathed herself all the more for it.
"Ah. Well, I'm certainly appreciative." Robin hid his disappointment. He thought she'd tip her hand by that…but no.
'I'll keep pushing until I know one way…or the other.' Robin affirmed.
"You're the leader. Can't afford to have you ill," Raven compensated.
"I suppose but you didn't lift a finger to help Beast Boy when he was sick." He observed.
Raven scrambled for an excuse. "I figured if I took care of him, I'd end up beating him to death with a bedpan."
Robin smirked, "Fair enough but I have to admit, I always thought you two had a love-hate thing going on."
Raven simply reacted with a high pitch of laughter. Robin remembered that laugh. She laughed just like that years ago when Cyborg and Beast Boy were hanging around her room.
"You think me and him? Please. I can't stand those rancid jokes of his, let alone his…immaturity." She spat out the word.
Robin perked up after hearing that. "Given everything, you can understand why I jumped to that conclusion."
"I don't blame you for thinking. I wish he'd stop. Although I admit having male attention isn't so bad…just…I wish the males who gave me attention weren't idiots." Raven deadpanned.
"Or in my case, psychopathic," Robin chimed in. Raven gave off a small laugh.
"Well, I wouldn't call Starfire that." Raven defended, Robin inwardly tensed up.
"Yeah, she's in another league alright." He masked his crestfallen mood.
Raven felt his deflated emotions. "That doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement." Robin said nothing for a long time as he played with his apple.
"No." Robin finally said sullen.
'Obviously Starfire's words are ringing true but what if he still feels for her? I can't tell. But either way, I won't push myself with him. I won't prey on his feelings. I…care for him too much.' Raven affirmed.
"If you wish to speak about it…" Raven said cryptically. She wondered if Robin would take the bait.
Robin wasn't surprised by Raven's tone. She said just enough to show concern but not enough to tip her hand.
'Her trademark, what is she up to?' Robin ruminated. He glanced at her briefly to watch those deep amethyst eyes again.
'I trust her. I'll bite.'
"Well, it's just…ever since we went to Tamaran, everything changed. We argued about the wedding, and we said certain words…words we couldn't take back." Robin reflected somberly.
"I'm sorry." Raven said sincerely. Robin looked up and saw concern etched on her face.
"I know. And thank you." Robin tried to smile but couldn't.
"I wish I knew how to fix this for you." Raven didn't bother to hide her sorrow for him.
"I know you would because you do care…for both of us. But the wedding wasn't the cause, it was just the catalyst." Robin ruminated.
"Catalyst?" Raven asked confused.
"Yes. It jumpstarted and amplified all the problems we've been having. The timing, the busywork…the obsessions, she couldn't keep up. And neither could I." Robin said remorsefully.
"I didn't know things are that dire between you two." Raven observed.
"Neither did I. One day, you're crazy kids in love and then the next day you're hardly speaking to each other." Robin said grimly.
"Love…one of the few emotions that always seems to have that rapid turnaround. At least that's what I was told." Raven remarked.
"Exactly, sometimes you wonder why you bothered in the first place." He mused.
"Is that how you feel now?" She asked.
"Honestly? Maybe in some ways, I just…can't figure out what I saw in her."
"Maybe…what you saw was different than what was actually there. That…what you were chasing…was an illusion." Raven reflected.
"I think you're right. When I first saw her, she was bright and bubbly and just…a perfect counter in every way. And I thought that was enough." Robin mused.
"Well…what do you do think she lacks?"
Robin thought for a minute. "She lacks…grace."
"Grace?" Raven asked confused, Robin saw his chance.
"Yeah, grace. The kind of grace needed that knows how to stay the whole weekend, checking on me to see if I was alright, taking my temperature, and nagging me to drink lots of fluids." He hesitantly took her hands and held them palms up. "The grace needed…to make a nurturing person. And it takes a nurturing person to make chicken soup from scratch, cutting and blistering her hands in the process." Raven couldn't suppress her blushing anymore.
"I see these hands doing much more than weaving a spell, or stopping psychopaths. I see them…I see you for the first time. It took me until now to see that part of you. The part you keep hidden," Robin whispered.
Raven was caught completely off-guard. "I…I…I did those things because…I care about you. I want to say love but…" She trailed.
"I know. I feel the same way." Robin gave off a small, knowing smile.
Raven perked up. "Y...You do?"
"I do. It's just…I was afraid. Afraid because of the guilt, afraid of rejection, afraid of myself but one thing kept me going."
"What?" She asked with bated breath.
Robin sucked in a breath. "The fact that I haven't felt this loved in a long time."
Raven felt his emotions. "You really feel that way," She stated.
"I do. The question is what about you? And should we…" He couldn't finish the question.
"You stir many things inside me, Robin. Emotions I never thought existed and I don't know how to...deal with them. Like now, I never thought I'd ever be called nurturing and you…brought that out in me. And I don't know how you're able to do this to me." Raven said with rising emotion.
Robin said nothing, just absorbing her words.
"And...Just as you trust me with your secrets, I trust you with my…emotions. And with you, I can be free to feel." Raven suppressed the urge to cry.
Robin held in her hands in a light grip. "And with you…I can be free to feel love. The type of love I thought I didn't need."
"Do you think…you want to try? I do." Robin stared into those deep amethyst eyes again.
"I…I do too. But…what about the…" Raven trailed off.
"I know Cyborg will understand and support us, Beast Boy is more in love with himself so he won't care. Now, Star…" Robin reasoned.
"I don't think she'll be a problem. She…trusts me. Just like you do," Robin gave off a small smile.
"You realize with this…influx of new emotions, I have to take things slow, quite slow. I wish it didn't have to be this way but…" Raven informed.
"I know. And I understand. And I'll be here. I'm not going anywhere." Robin affirmed.
Raven gave off a small smile. "One thing, I worry about is if I turn you away because of the waiting."
Robin gave off a chuckle. "I waited this long to feel like this again. I can wait. You know, this flu bug wasn't such a bad thing after all. Wouldn't you say?"
Raven's smile slightly grew. "Of that I agree. But I don't care how recovered you feel, you're not going to work tomorrow."
"I wasn't thinking about work. I was thinking…about getting to know you." Robin took her hand and led her to the couch.
"Oh?" Raven said bemused, arching an eyebrow.
"Seeing that you know everything about me whereas I…" Robin smirked as they sat down.
"Don't worry. I'm in a mood to talk. Where should I start first Robin?" Raven assured.
"Before we start, you might as well and call me by my real name. Everyone calls me Dick."
"I'm not everyone. Richard is fine." Raven's smile kept growing.
Robin countered with his own smile. "My mother was the only other one who called me Richard. I…like that."
"Then get used to it. To start, I was born in a place called Azarath."
Side note: This was a teleplay of sorts from a Law and Order fic called "Feed a Cold?" by JC4ever. It was always one of my favorites as a nice little love story. I've altered plenty so there is hardly any resemblance to its ancestor. Law and Order fans here should check that out.
Other than that, leave a review on the way out and see you in the funny papers.