Disclaimer: I DIS-CLAIM what I am writing. I do not claim Teen Titans. I don't even own the title; it was going to be used as an ep title.
NOTE: Everyone is now referred to normally.
Chapter 21: Rewind, Play, Fast-Forward
Robin still sat by the bedside waiting.
The girl was gripping dangerously at the blankets again. Robin had noticed she did this rather often. Carefully he uncurled her fingers so she wouldn't leave deep half-moon imprints on her palms.
The medic room was empty besides them. The rest of the Titans were downstairs working on cleaning the last of the damage from the attack.
It had been days since the attack. Starfire had been stitched up and was healing nicely. It had only taken three days before she demanded to be let out of bed to help. After a small bout of pouting, Cyborg could only laugh and allow her the freedom.
Starfire came to check up on him often. She had taken over much of Raven's care since no one else could figure out just how to get Robin away from his stake out. He had sat beside Raven's bed for nearly five days now. It was his fault she was so deep in sleep, so he refused to move.
Starfire took his arguing with stride and simply pushed him from the room scolding him that she needed to get Raven into a new set of clothes. Robin couldn't find a good enough defense for that.
Almost everyday Starfire would hover into the room to insist Raven needed a change of clothing or bathing. There was just no use arguing, Robin simply got up from his chair every time she entered.
Speaking of that… Robin glanced at the wall clock that had been recently re-hung. She was due any minute.
The boy sighed in a tired manner. He wondered just how long Raven would sleep on. Cyborg was already contemplating a feeding tube, but they were holding off unless it was absolutely necessary.
"Robin?" Starfire appeared at the door. She gave him that same strange smile he had been seeing all week.
Robin pushed himself out of his chair, smoothing the blankets around the dark girl.
"Oh, no, I wish to do the talking with you." She motioned for him to sit back down, at least that what he assumed her strange hand motion was for.
Robin shrugged and sat back down feeling tired. Sleeping in a chair for a week was hardly comfortable. His joints were stiff, having gone so long without rigorous exercise.
Starfire hovered near Raven's bed and sat down on the edge. "How are you?"
Robin's eyes flicked to her face, she was looking at him earnestly. "Okay."
"I am worried for you." The Tameranian looked down at her lap flattening out her skirt gingerly. "You refuse to leave this room."
Robin said nothing. This was not a conversation he wanted to be having. Instead he shifted uncomfortably in his chair.
"Why do you stay beside her?" Her green jeweled eyes looked back up to him.
"It is my fault she's here, as the leader I intend to make sure she's okay until she awakens." Robin had practiced this line many times. Both Beast Boy and Cyborg had already asked similar questions.
"It can not be your fault." Starfire started softly. "Did she not choose to help you?"
"If I hadn't brought these villains into the tower she wouldn't have had to."
"Then we would still be in the other's body."
"At least then she wouldn't be comatose!" Robin yelled. Only after it escaped did he regret his outburst. His eyes darted to random objects across the room, his hands tightened in his lap.
Starfire was taken aback by his tone. A strange thought had slithered into her mind and it refused to leave. All week when she had looked at him it had pushed at her thoughts. She would have never considered such a thought but…
Starfire was unable to ignore the way he looked at her. It was only there maybe a second but with all the time she had been around the boy…
All the times she'd tried to catch that expression aimed towards her…
The girl got up abruptly. There were still remains of adoration for the boy in her stomachs. It burned and she felt the need to get away. Her feet stayed in place. "Why Raven?" Her voice was small, if the room hadn't been completely silent Robin would have missed it.
Robin looked up abruptly. Her eyes were wide and watching him with some kind of curiosity. "I don't know." Robin felt a beast grab his throat and restrict his speech, his throat was dry.
Starfire nodded her head, a few strands of fiery hair fell across her face. Robin suddenly stood up and stepped forward to envelope the girl in a hug, weary of her injury.
"You will tell her I hope." Starfire murmured to the boy before she pulled back. There was that strange smile on her face again. Robin had a feeling Starfire was putting everything together even faster than he was.
"Starfire," Robin's throat was scratchy, but the word came out clear.
"Do not worry about me." Starfire leaned over to give him a quick peck on the cheek. It was chaste and she pulled back giving him a more authentic smile. "Please tell her when she awakes." Starfire was already starting for the door.
"Starfire." Robin called again, this time trying to stop her retreat.
Starfire stopped at the door and gave him a glance. "We did not work, you cannot hold that against either of us." Her eyes were glossy but she shook it off. "Talk to Raven."
Robin was nodding, more to himself than anything. He watched her leave before plopping down back in his seat. Things ran through his mind like wild fire.
Starfire was naive at times, but she had a great knowledge of relationships. He blamed that on the passion of her people. But maybe she was right.
He knew he was stubborn. But maybe if she was okay with it…
He shook his head to clear away the mutinous thoughts.
How could he talk to Raven about something he hadn't the words to say?
"Please tell her…"
The words were watery and shifting around her. She could feel a presence, but she dared not open her eyes. It was someone familiar.
Raven tested her fingers first. They felt something warm and soft. She knew what it was, but a proper name would not come to mind. Her stomach felt hallow and tight. Had she not eaten?
Her mind was chaos. She hadn't the strength to try and do anything about it. The girl felt like she'd been bulldozed, run over and fallen off the tower roof…
That thought had raised red flags. What happened? Where was she?
The presence got closer once more. She felt someone unclench her fingers, they were warm. The stranger's aura was alluring her. Fingers wove between hers resting on the blankets.
She wanted to talk to this person. Surely she didn't know anyone with such an aura…
This was a different voice than what she had heard before. She knew them, they were calling her. The mystic tried to speak, the desert that was her throat was incapable of speech.
Robin had been thinking the day away. It was strange of Starfire, he wasn't sure what to think of it all.
He was watching Raven breathe deeply in sleep, his hand in hers to keep her from re-curling her fingers. Her skin was slightly cold in his grasp.
"Raven…" He muttered simply wishing to call her back. He couldn't stand any more of her cataleptic behavior. The boy was never a particularly patient male.
She breathed on still as ever. Robin narrowed his eyes almost angry she didn't try to wake up. She didn't have to heal him, he would have been fine on his own. She shouldn't have done this to herself.
There was movement from the girl. His foul mood dissipated instantly and he sat forward. Her lips were moving as though she was speaking. His grip on her hand had tightened as he got up to lean over the bed.
"Raven?" He called again, his voice was soft and daring him to hope for her revival.
Raven was being called again. The person was so close now, their warmth was just hovering over her attempting to pull her out of herself.
She had to open her eyes, she needed to know who it was.
Her voice returned before her sight. "Yes?" It was an atrocious croak of a sound, but it was something.
And then her muscle movement fully returned. She could feel her body stiff from resting. There was a stale taste on her tongue…
The girl opened her eyes and was instantly blinded. The darkness she had been resting in for so long was obliterated by the white that instantly eroded away her senses. She groaned and attempted to cover her face, this didn't work seeing as something was still closed around her hand.
Instead she quickly turned away from the light to shield her face into the pillow.
This caused Robin to be jerked forward and nearly fall onto the bed. She had curled up against the light, away from him. His hand was still caught with hers nearly underneath Raven.
He inclined a little further to whisper into her ear. "Raven?"
There was irritated mumbling from the girl, a smile spread across Robin's features. "Wake up." His breath rustled the hair around her ear. He had hoped the effect would make her release his hand, it was a rather awkward position to be stuck in.
Raven was pitifully predictable. She came to herself at once and released her grip on him, turning back around.
She now sat up with an air of elegance and glared at him, her cheeks flushed a light rose color. Her limbs felt heavy but the mystic was stubborn enough not to give him any satisfaction. "What's going on?"
Her voice still sounded like rust. She raised a hand to her throat, trying to massage the sore vocal cords.
"I'll get you some water." Robin added and rushed to the basin.
It was a day later before Cyborg agreed to letting Raven out of the infirmary. As much as she had insisted her condition was perfectly normal the boy had insisted on going over her blood samples and checking all her vitals.
Robin had agreed with Cyborg and neither were being detoured by her glares.
"By the way," Cyborg started, looking across the information that had come back. "Where'd you put Mad Mod, the penitentiary wants him back."
Raven looked up from her seat on the bed. Her eyes widened as the memory dawned across her conscious. "Umm." She waved her arm quickly, "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos…."
Black magic sputtered from her fingertips and fell like a liquid to the floor. Robin stepped back to keep it from his shoes.
When enough had collected, a shape formed. It was vaguely human, covered in black. Satisfied, she pulled the energy back with a swift pull of her arms.
A man, disheveled and shivering was left on the floor. His hair was mussed and grimy but still distinctly white in color. He was murmuring something, rocking ever so slightly.
"Mod?" Robin asked, bending slightly to get a better look. Wide, bloodshot eyes looked back at him. He turned to Raven, she was looking smug.
"I might have cast him into a shadow realm."
"Raven…" Cyborg groaned from his perch over her papers. The poor man was almost pitiful the way he sat there. He was shivering more noticeably by the moment and… was that the fetal position?
She raised an eyebrow. "What's the verdict?" She was motioning to the result papers, unconcerned about the traumatized man.
"Perfect." The tin man sounded exasperated now.
"Told you." She smirked before gliding out of the room. Cyborg shot Robin an annoyed look.
Even through all her sarcastic and otherwise grouchy demeanor since awakening Robin had stayed cheerful. She was awake.
He shrugged at Cyborg and followed her out of the room to leave Cyborg to deal with the mentally shaken villain. "I'll catch you at dinner." He threw back.
Cyborg shook his head while piling the medic papers. When the door closed a smile twisted at his lips. They were quite the pair.
Seeing the way Starfire had been acting recently, he hadn't been the only one to have noticed. There was something between them, barely noticeable, muted even. Starfire seemed to be backing off. She was some gal.
Cyborg placed all the papers in a folder and locked them in one of the recently repaired metal file cabinets. Maybe he should go see her after he took Mad Mod to prison.
He paused a moment. Maybe a mental institution would make more progress.
"Sit down." Raven commanded. She was sitting on the edge of the tower roof, bathing in the last fading rays of the sun. Robin had followed her up there to attempt at some kind of dialogue. Since her awakening the two hadn't exchanged five words.
He obliged, taking seat beside her.
"Thank you." Robin spoke after a moment of silence.
Raven nodded beside him. She waited a second. "It's been a strange few weeks."
"You could say that." Robin could no longer see the sun. It had fallen between the sky and the deep fathoms of sea. Raven's hair drifted in the breeze, ruffling it.
"Do you regret it?"
Robin tilted his head toward her. She was looking out over the ocean, defiantly avoiding his gaze. Which was she talking about?
It was impossible to tell. He still regretted nothing. "No."
"That's good." Raven whispered, unable to quell the feeling that pressed sickly at her stomach. It was ridiculous how lax her control on emotions had become. She hadn't had time to meditate with all the chaos.
They were still persistently bothersome.
"Should I regret something?" Robin did not understand her sudden change. It was almost foreign to her nature.
"Do you want to be here?" The mystic countered with a question, flattening her cape that had begun to drift in the persistent breeze.
"Should I stay here?" Robin caught the tip of her cape that had escaped her grasp and flattened it to the roof top in the space between them.
"Maybe I do as well." Robin leaned closer to her, barely being brushed by violet strands.
Raven didn't notice. She was very intent not to look his way. "I don't suppose either of us should be here."
"But we are." Robin swallowed with some difficulty, wishing she'd do something other than stare at the damn sunset.
"Yeah…" She finally moved a hand to tame her hair. "How odd."
"Should we leave?" Robin suggested, not knowing what to do.
Neither moved. Raven detached her gaze and turned to him ever so slightly. Her eyes looked puzzled, slightly slanted. Robin must have mirrored her expression. "We can't." She added.
"I know." Robin leaned closer.
"Ever." Raven still watched him.
"You're right." Robin had leaned so close to her and the girl hadn't withdrawn. She simply looked at him with a confused, but contained expression.
"I'll go." Her lips barely moved with the words.
"Good bye." Robin went to pull back away from her.
Raven placed a hand over his gloved one that rested between them. His eyes flickered to the strange motion and then back to her face. Just as quickly as she had, she removed her hand as though it had betrayed her. "Robin," She shook her head.
"Raven you live but once." He sighed, having pulled completely away from her.
"And to think I was planning on eight more." Her sarcasm was back. Robin straightened his back looking up into the darkening sky. It was going to be a lovely night.
"You wanna go get some coffee?" Robin asked all of a sudden, standing back up and stretching his arms.
The girl looked up at him. "Robin-"
He held out a hand to her. "Or tea? I know this great place." There was a smile on his lips, ever so drawing.
Impulsively Raven grabbed his hand and rose to her feet. "Fine."
Cyborg had joined Starfire at the large tower windows. It would take only a moment to observe what both were so keenly watching. Two figures had just mounted a motor bike at the base of the tower.
Cyborg wrapped a large arm around the shorter girl's shoulders. "You okay?"
The bike started up and crossed the land to skim just above the water. In the darkness that was blanketing only the headlights and taillights were visible.
Starfire looked up at the older boy, a small delicate smile in place. "It does not hurt so much." She reached a hand to her chest for emphasis.
Cyborg squeezed her shoulders with affection. "You gave him the okay?"
Her head bobbed ever so slightly.
"You'll find someone." Cyborg whispered now, catching the last of the taillights fade away into Jump city.
"You think I did the right thing?" Starfire was murmuring, leaning against the tin man for comfort.
"Do you think you did?" Cyborg reversed the question, knowing she wasn't hard-headed enough to continue to venture for his answer.
A small silence stretched before a slight movement overtook Starfire. She pulled slightly out of the boys embrace and stood tall. She looked stronger suddenly than Cyborg had seen her in some time. "Yes."
"That's my girl." Cyborg grinned and pulled the girl into a hug. "Now how's about some gaming?"
And then the two were racing for the controls, butting Beast Boy out of the way ever so suddenly.
Hope everyone enjoyed it, this was such a hard chapter to write. And Cyborg/Starfire friendship, because it's so darn cute. And not too much Rav/Rob because that wouldn't fit considering the circumstances. But I liked their interaction nonetheless, it's the small things that are stuck in everywhere.
I may not be around on this sn writing for a bit, I'm working on a Halloween story under another name. And yes, I have been working on horror there too, guess it carried over a little.
Love to my beta, Sara Cabbage Patch.
Please review and let me know if ya liked it.