Disclaimer: I own Robin…he just doesn't know it yet. However, I DO NOT OWN THE SONG REST IN PIECES, BY SALIVA.

One week. Seven days. One hundred sixty-eight hours. Ten thousand eighty minutes. Six hundred four thousand, eight hundred seconds. And counting.

Robin stared over the edge of his coffee cup at nothing in particular. His friends thought all the caffeine was to keep him awake and alert with little or no sleep, but that wasn't why he drank it. The coffee gave him something to do, something to look at, something to distract himself with. And maybe, somewhere in the back of his mind, he hoped that downing cup after cup would somehow fill the void inside him.

Look at me, my depth perception must be off again

An uncomfortable silence settled over the breakfast table, Beast Boy's jokes slowly dwindling to nothing, but Robin hardly noticed. There was plenty of noise in his mind, memories becoming more and more persistent, try as he might to quash them. They had been playing in the background for far too long.

"You…you what, Robin? Would you please repeat yourself? I did not understand."

Saying it once was hard enough, saying it twice was sheer torture. "I…I think—no, I know that…Iloveyou." The three words tumbled out of his mouth in one breath, blended together and barely understandable, but full of emotion all the same.

Starfire remained confused. Then her face lit up. "Oh! You said you love me! Thank you, friend Robin! I am sure that I am feeling 'the love' for you also!"

Robin cringed at the word "friend" as though it was a knife in his ribs. This wasn't working. She just didn't understand. "No, Star. Not that kind of…I don't think of you as…I just…I just love you." Saying it three times brought a scarlet flush to his cheeks and a lurching sensation to his stomach.

Starfire frowned. "I do not understand. You are my best friend, Robin. Of course we love each other!"

"You idiot! You just had to open your mouth! Now you're stuck, and you can't take it back!" He swallowed, his mouth dry as dust. "Have…have you ever heard of someone having a…girlfriend?" He thought the word would make him explode with humiliation.

"Of course! I am your girl friend, and you are my boy friend!" Star fell silent as she saw the look on Robin's bright red face. Suddenly, her eyes grew wide. "You…you mean…people that do… 'the kissing'?"

Robin would have liked nothing better than to sink into the floor and stay there, never to be looked at again. He didn't dare look at her face, so he kept his eyes fixed on his shoes.

"Oh…Robin…" There was a hint of pity in her voice, mixed with sorrow. "I…I am sorry."

Robin took a huge gulp of his cold coffee, almost choking as he swallowed past the lump in his throat. This was the part he hated the most.

"I…how do you say it? My heart is otherwise engaged."

Robin's face turned a ghostly white, his stomach twisting as though he was going to be sick.

"I still care for you, Robin! You are my best friend, but Beast Boy—" Starfire stopped abruptly. "Oh, I am sorry, Robin! Please have a nice day!" With that, she retreated into her room and shut the door in his face.

He stood there, staring blankly at the door for what seemed an eternity. Then, ever so slowly, he walked away, movements jerky and unnatural, to hide his shame in the darkness of his room.


He jumped, almost spilling his coffee. Starfire was staring intensely at him, face full of concern.

It has not healed with time
It just shot down my spine

"We are going out for a day of buying! It should be quite fun, for the mall is having a discount! Please, will you not join us?" She worried about him, she pitied him, but she did not love him.

"Thanks-" He cleared his throat, and started over again. "Thanks anyway, but I really don't fee—" Robin's voice died in his throat as Beast Boy slipped his arm around Star's waist.

You look so beautiful tonight

"I…" he stuttered. A voice in his head was howling "NO NO NO!" as the room grew hot and began to spin. "I…I don't…I really have to…" He gulped, his coffee cup shaking in unsteady hands. "I have work to do." It was a lie; there had hardly been a whisper of crime all week. At a time when he needed a distraction, a purpose,the most, his enemies deserted him, leaving the Boy Wonder with nothing to numb his pain.

Remind me how you laid us down

"Oh, come on, Rob! You're such a work-a-holic! Do you ever get your nose out of the books long enough to actually have fun?" Beast Boy's arm was still firmly around her waist. "Maybe if you'd relax a little, people would like you better."

Robin could no longer feel anger, only pain. He abandoned his mug, tripping over the chair leg as he stood. "I'm sorry" he mumbled, not looking at her, not looking at him, and not looking at his arm wrapped around her waist.

And gently smiled

"Are you quite sure, Robin? We would lo…enjoy your company!"

"Not as much as Beast Boy's" he thought bitterly. "I'm fine. Go. Have fun."

Starfire opened her mouth to protest, but Beast Boy was already steering her towards the door. "Come on, Star. Leave him to his note cards and newspaper clippings", he muttered, loud enough for Robin to hear as they left, arm in arm.

Before you destroyed my life

"Hey, lay off the coffee, ok Rob?" said Cyborg, gripping his shoulder momentarily.

Robin jerked his head in consent, praying that they would all leave soon. He couldn't hold out much longer.

"...Hey, uh…what Starfire did—"

Would you find it in your heart
To make this go away
And let me rest in pieces

"I don't want to talk about it, Cyborg."

Cyborg frowned slightly, looking at his little buddy with a twinge of sympathy in his gut. "You sure?"

Robin laughed, but stopped as it made him feel like crying. "Positive."

"I don't have to go, you know. Starfire will probably just drag us around all the toy stores—" He stopped, silently cursing himself for mentioning her name. "If you want me to stay-"

"No." Robin stood and spoke as though merely out of habit. His mind was far away, beyond the reach of his large metal friend. "I'm fine. Go. Have fun."

Cyborg sighed, nodded, and patted Robin on the back before following the two "lovers" out the door. Three Titans down, one to go.

"Would you like to stop lying now?"

Would you find it in your heart?
To make this go away
And let me rest in pieces

Robin didn't bother to look up, just stood, hunched over and staring into space. There were dark circles under his eyes, his clothes were rumpled, one shoe was missing, and his hair looked like he hadn't combed it in days. He looked like a child, lost in a place too big for him and desperate for someone to tell him what to do and where to go. Raven felt a hollow ache in her heart, and at the same time, a burning hatred for the one whobroke him pulsing in her veins. "Do you want something to eat? A person can't live on caffeine alone."

"Raven, I'm fine. I don't want anything. You should go with them, have some fun." He knew that his depression was dragging down the team, but he just couldn't seem to shake it. The last thing he wanted was for Raven to be forced to endure his company because she felt it was her duty.

Raven raised an eyebrow. "Since when do I 'do' fun? If it makes you feel better, I'm staying because I have no desire to be dragged around Teddies 'N More by Starfire and Beast Boy."

Robin tensed at the sound of their names. His hands were twitching restlessly, as though he didn't know what to do with them. The idea of Beast Boy and Starfire, tucked away on some secluded bench in a rarely visited corner of the mall brought the nauseated feeling back in full force. There was nothing to say.

Would you find it in your heart?
To make it go away
And let me rest in pieces

Raven frowned, trying not to show how concerned she was. If there was one thing Robin hated, it was pity. "So…I would offer you some tea, but I imagine you've had enough liquid for a while?" Her words were horribly inadequate, but comforting was hardly something she was good at.

Robin just stood there like a zombie, a painful scene playing before his eyes like a silent film. He would have given anything to stop the reel, but all his efforts were in vain.

Look at me, my depth perception must be off again

Raven sighed. "She's not worth it, you know."

Robin didn't trust himself to speak. As it was, he was barely holding himself together. All he could see were her gemstone eyes, her long red hair, her innocent smile… Who was he kidding? What would she want with a loser like him?

You got much closer than I thought you did

"Thank you, friend Robin!" … "Oh…Robin…" … "I…how do you say it? My heart is otherwise engaged." … "Maybe if you'd relax a little, people would like you better."

I'm in your reach

"Robin?" His face turned gray as he swayed, stumbling forward, all the strength gone from his legs. Raven caught him awkwardly, hiding a blush as she pulled his arm over her shoulders and helped him to the couch.

Robin wanted more than anything not to think, not to feel, not to love. But Starfire had all of him. And with a careless flick of her wrist, she had crushed him into oblivion.

You held me in your hands

"Listen, I know it seems horrible now…" She stopped, choking on the pain emanating form her broken leader. Slowly, struggling for every word, she tried again. "But in time, it will fade." Raven curled her fingers around his hands, nervously twisting in his lap. "It will heal, Robin."

That was the last straw. Every ounce of dignity and self-control he had vanished, leaving him exposed and unprotected.

But could you find it in your heart?
To make this go away
And let me rest in pieces

Raven stared in horror as he curled up on the couch, face buried in his knees, violent sobs shaking his body until she thought it would break. His pain was unbearable, welling up in her chest and departing in the form of vain and pointless tears, spilled in the loss of a friend.

Every thought, every tear, every stab of agony, it all poured from him in one torrent of misery and salt water. He was slowly being ripped apart, shred by shred, dreams and hopes and secret longings crushed and scattered in the hellish gale. He was lost, lost and alone and helpless in a world too big for him.

Through the howls and screams, he felt her gentle touch, her peaceful scent surrounding him, her tears falling with his own. No…he was afraid of the pain, afraid to let her in, afraid of being hurt again… But then he heard them, words as soft and quiet as starlight, as mysterious as the moon… "I know."

Slowly, hesitantly, he emerged from his weak shell of protection, and allowed himself to be pulled into her comforting embrace, crying his heart out on her understanding shoulder. She wept with him, ached with him, loved with him.

Would you find it in your heart?
To make this go away
And let me rest in pieces

"Raven…Thank you."