Come What Will
Disclaimer: Don't own the characters. Yay for almost finals week and almost Christmas break. Yay for Robin/Michael. Yay if you R/R.
The night is quiet. Then again, it's always pretty quiet around here during the night. Usually everyone's out on a case or at home sleeping. People don't realize how lonely this building becomes late at night. Tonight though, the quiet loneliness is welcoming. There's been too much going on lately, too much to fully process. Although I've been semi-sheltered from on the job hazards due to the nature of my employment I am no less apprehensive tonight. Tonight has left too many unanswered questions swirling in my head. Like I said, it takes a while to process everything.
The computer seems to have little to offer in the way of grasping my attention tonight. I decide to heed the dead feeling in my legs and get up for a quick little stroll. Have to make my rounds, you know? As I wander around the deserted office, I try to make sense of all that has occurred. First there was the Inquisitor's visit. That put everyone on edge and threw everything out of whack. It's always that way when high-level guys come to town. Extra security, extra tension, extra everything. Big hassle for someone who coordinates all this stuff.
My eyes flick to the shadows, trying to catch the slightest hint of sound or image. I am no hunter but I know how to protect myself. Any other night I would feel completely safe. This building, like it or not, is my home. I know it. But tonight is different. Tonight I have a very special guest staying here with me. Although she is a most welcome guest she also brings with her some security concerns. Having the hustle and bustle of the Inquisitor's arrival was enough but now there's this stuff with Robin. Somebody out there wants to kill her, wants to so bad that she's not even safe in her own apartment. And if you can't be safe in your own home then where can you truly be safe? So that's why she's staying here and that's why I'm a little more on edge than usual. But I still can't figure out why. Why does Robin have to die? Because she's different? People are scared of difference, scared of what others can do that they themselves can't. But she's just a girl, just a kid. Sure she could hurt someone if she wanted to but she'd never really want to. So why murder her? I just don't get it.
My wandering takes me over to where she lays. There's no real bed in this place except the one I use downstairs and I don't think she'd like being alone like that. So we got her a pillow and a blanket and now she's sleeping on a bench in the main office. Pretty comfortable, huh? Yet even with the less-than-perfect conditions, she looks so peaceful laying there. As I stare at the way her golden hair shimmers in the moonlight, I can't help but think that what's happened was all a dream. She just fell asleep after working too hard, that's all. There are no mysterious assassins lurking in the shadows, no conspiracy theory. It's a nice fantasy but that's really all it is. The fact remains that someone wants this girl dead for reasons I cannot fathom.
"Michael?" Robin opens her eyes a little and glances up at me. She has such pretty eyes, such a nice shade of green.
"Yeah, it's me," I tell her as she scrunches over to let me sit down next to her.
"Good," she tells me quietly, "I was afraid it was . . . someone else." I nod and let her use my lap for a pillow.
"How're you feeling?" I ask her. I say it to dodge the circumstances but it only seems to reinforce them. She winces a little as she moves to sit up. The wound from where she was shot is still sore probably. We fixed her up as best we could.
"I don't know," she replies honestly, "I just don't know anymore. Michael, why are they after me?"
"Wish I knew," I tell her honestly, "but everything will be okay, promise. We'll protect you, Robin."
"I couldn't ask you to do that," says Robin, "You'd end up getting hurt and I'd feel terrible."
"You don't have to ask," I tell her with a little smile, "That's the beauty of it." Robin smiles a little. I take that as a good sign. In times like this it's better to have the illusion of control and security than to feel totally helpless.
"I can't sleep," she suddenly confesses, "I just can't do it."
"Well that's a shame," I tell her sarcastically, "I mean you have such lovely accommodations and all." Another half-smile from her. Good. Not only does she need to smile but I enjoy seeing her do it.
"Yeah," she replies, "At least the company is better though." Interesting comment. I wonder exactly how much I should make of it. Friendly pleasantry or something more? I mentally reprimand myself. The last thing she needs right now is me making romantic advances. Robin doesn't say anything after that. She just stares listlessly at the floor. I can see it in her eyes, the way she's feigning hope that everything will go back to normal. Her hair hangs in golden strips from the tight buns she's wound them into. A sudden thought occurs to me.
"Robin?" I ask, "Can I ask you a question?"
"Sure," replies Robin as she gives me a funny look, "What is it?"
"Why do you always wear your hair that way?" I ask out of no particular reason. Robin scrunches up her face for a few moments and thinks. It's a silly question but I guess in times like this anything is better than facing reality.
"Habit, I guess," she says finally, "I always wore it this way at the convent. I'm just used to it I suppose."
"Could you take it down for me?" I ask out of some unknown compulsion.
"I suppose," she responds. She begins unwinding the ribbons in her hair. It's an odd request. But still you wonder sometimes. You see someone day in and day out but you never really notice them. What does she look like with her hair down? It's a stupid question I know but I wonder about it sometimes.
"Well," says Robin as she finishes untying the last ribbon. Whatever I had planned to say, if I had planned anything at all, just turned into incoherent babble and went straight out the window. The girl looks absolutely beautiful, like some gothic angel from a dream.
"You look . . . nice," I tell her lamely, "I . . . I like your hair that way."
"Just 'nice'?" asks Robin with a little smile. I blush a little and smile back, not exactly sure how to react. It somehow occurs to me that there's not so much distance between us now.
"Better than 'nice'," I whisper. I feel the pull from her eyes. Her eyes will suck you into them if you're not careful. Most of the time you don't even want to be careful. You just want to get lost in them. I feel us move closer together and before I know it I feel her lips on mine. Ever since she came to STN-J I've felt something for her. I was afraid to show it but now that it's out there's nothing more I can do about it. The moment seems to last forever and I would like it to but suddenly Robin pulls away and turns her back on me.
"Robin," I breathe quietly, "Robin, I . . . I love you." I hear her sniffle a little in response. My first thoughts are guilt. I made her cry and seeing her cry puts me in more pain than I can imagine. I gently put a hand on her shoulder.
"Robin, I. . .."
"Michael, I can't do this," she says as she turns to face me, "I just. . . I can't do this."
"Robin, I know I'm not Amon but. . .," I try to tell her. She violently shudders at the name. Amon's connected to all this somehow. I don't know what the angle is but I don't think he'd ever really hurt Robin.
"It's not you," she says, "I know you love me and maybe. . .maybe I could love you too. But all this is too much. I just. . .I just want my life back." She tries to hold back the tears but her performance is poor.
"Sssh," I tell her as I wrap my arms around her, "I know, Robin. I didn't mean for that to happen just now. It just did, you know?"
"It was nice," Robin tells me as she rests her head against my chest, "It was my first kiss. I just wish I could enjoy it more."
"That was my first kiss too," I admit. She smiles at me and snuggles against me.
"I wish we could be together, Michael," she whispers.
"Robin," I tell her softly, "I want you to know that no matter what happens I will always care for you."
"I will too," she replies quietly. Nothing is said for a long time. We just enjoy each other, enjoy being close. Both of us know there's not a lot of time left. Something big is going to happen and we both have to just hang on and pray we make it back to each other. Regardless of whether we do or not I will always love her. It feels like forever before I realize that she's fallen asleep. I untangle myself from her and lay her head gently on the pillow.
"I love you, my little Robin," I whisper as I kiss her on the cheek and cover her with a blanket. She relaxes a little at the touch of my lips and sighs contentedly. As I make sure she's asleep, I scan the room again. What's it like to always have to look over your shoulder, to double check the locks on your door? I don't think I could take it.
I stare at her as she is bathed in moonlight. All this fuss over a teenage girl. I always knew Robin was extraordinary but this is a little much. If I could figure out why all the fuss then maybe this would more sense. Some things don't make sense though. Some things you have to live with, like the fact that even though we love each other we may never be together. Still though, I care for her. Maybe we will never be together but just knowing that someone else loves you is sometimes all you need. I do not know what lies ahead but come what may, come what will, I know that I will always love her and I will always be there to protect her.