Author's Note: I can not claim to be very dedicated Teen Titans fan. In fact, I've only seen a total of five episodes all the way through. I have, however, ascertained two facts from watching said show:
1. Raven is the coolest.
2. The writers of the show are obviously leaning towards a Robin/Starfire couple-ship in the near future.
I have decided however, that the later of these two feels… unsatisfactory. (I felt the same about the couple-ship of Fred/Daphne on Scooby Doo). Something about 'the-popular-handsome-jock' hooking up with 'the-popular-pretty-cheerleader' just never sat right with me, as I am sure it doesn't sit right with most other females in my age group. A relationship like that seems so linear and obvious, so completely not thought out that it feels abrupt and forced. So, after watching a recent episode called "Birthmark" you could imagine how excited I was to see more interaction going on between Raven (the-strange-gothic-girl) and Robin (the-popular-handsome-jock). Although I fully realize that such a coupling is completely unacceptable to young people under the age of 13 or so, I (as a seasoned veteran of being a teenager) found that any relationship between Robin and Raven would be incredibly interesting/dramatic/out-of-the-ordinary and so here I am now, compelled to write a fiction that suits my ideals better. This is nothing against Starfire, I like her very much, thank you.
Also, I'm using the comic book Raven's physical description instead of the T.V. shows because… well, because I feel like it.
Disclaimer: I own Nothing. Nothing is a good fellow, but doesn't earn me much money. Don't sue. Also, the title comes from The Beatles song 'Blackbird'
Blackbirds Singing In The Dead Of Night
It has been two weeks, to the day, virtually to the hour, and he still has not uttered one single, solitary word about it. Not one. In fact, he hasn't said much of anything, or done much of anything for that matter.
He keeps to himself more often than not, apparently preferring the company of his expressionless bedroom walls than to that of the mindless banter of our fellow team mates… not that I can truly blame him… after all, who am I to talk? But it is still very out of character for him, and if nothing else, I can recognize dangerous ground when it's being tread on. He is acting far too much like me for my own idioms sake, and I'm sure the others would agree when I say that this tower is to damn small for two Raven's.
He's still playing the part of unruffled leader just fine, but I know he's slipping; I can see it in his subtlety. True, he may have always had a reserved temperament, but behind the façade of 'cool and collected' hero he's always had a reckless nature, stemming from what I always assumed was his younger years as an acrobat. One needs to be a bit fearless when working without a safety net, I suppose.
Fighting beside Robin long enough has made me accustomed to the atmosphere of sheer cockiness that encapsulates him in a haze strong enough to make even the most apathetic of us quite nauseous… but lately… lately that smug demeanor has been missing, it's been replaced, substituted with an emotion that our Robin isn't very familiar with… fear.
Fear of his own fragile mortality and of those he cares about; a fear that it does not take much to bring down even the most invulnerable of super hero's.
I'd tell you that I could see all this in his eyes, but it would be a lie. I suppose his mask has other uses besides his pathetic attempt to keep his anonymity. Of course the others may not know who he really his, but then again the others haven't floated through his oblique mind. I know him very well indeed… better than I let on. I know him so well I don't need to ever know what his eyes look like to know what emotions are generating from them.
The other Titans know what's happened, but they are doing there best to ignore it. They believe that when Robin needs them, he will come to them. They don't understand that he would rather rot from the inside out then go to any of them for help. Robin's independence will be his undoing. He'll slowly unravel until all that's left is a long string of memories of what use to be. I've seen it happen. Emotions are deadly things.
So now, as I watch him play with his plate of spaghetti and tofu-balls (courtesy of Beast Boy), I realize that if anything is to be done it has to be me who does it.
I slowly shake my head beneath my hood and wrap my ice cold fingers around my tea cup, I really don't want to do this.
"Hey Robin, man," Beast Boy squeaks at our captain, "you up for a hot game of 'Hot Rod 2: Burning Rubber'? Cyborg's been unbeaten so far and I think together you and I have a chance of taking him down."
Robin takes his eyes of his plate for a second to acknowledge the changeling, "No thanks, BB, I think I'm going to turn in early tonight."
Although I don't spare the others a glance, I know that Beast Boys ears have dropped, and Cyborg and Starfire probably look dejected too. It's all just reaffirming what I know I have to do.
I sigh softly and take a sip of tea, wincing a moment as the hot liquid scalds my tongue. This is your entire fault, Wayne… I think bitterly as I wrack my already tired brain for a more impressive plan than the one that I've got. I close my eyes… no, nothing else will work…I just hope he can forgive me…
Two Week Earlier
"Ring! Ring! Ring!"
I cracked an eye open as I heard the phone in the kitchen ringing. I'm not answering that, I thought as I closed my eye once again, preparing to resume meditation. Beast Boy and Cyborg can get off their butts and answer it.
"Azarath Metrion Zin-"
"-Ring! Ring! Ring!"
"Would somebody get the damn phone?" I yelled, doing my best to keep my irritation in check. Honestly, Cyborg and Beastboy were five feet away from the phone, they could answer it.
"Ring! Ring! Ring!"
Three books flew off my shelf as I jumped off my bed and threw open my door, "Cyborg! Beast Boy! Can't you hear the phone?"
No answer. Where the hell were they?
"Ring! Ring! Ring!"
Realizing that no one else had any intention on answering the phone, or at least had no indication the phone was ringing, I sighed and quickly flew down the hall to the kitchen.
"Ring! Ring! Ri-"
"Yes, hello," answered a decidedly distressed, English accented, older male voice.
An odd feeling passed through me, something's wrong. "May I help you?"
"Oh, yes. Er, is Master Grays- Robin there please?"
The way the man stumbled over Robin's real name and how unaccustomed he sounded to saying the name 'Robin' helped me to ascertain who the caller was, though I thought it would be politer to ask, "May I tell him who's calling?"
"Er, yes. Yes, of course. Could you tell him that this is Al?"
I smirked, Alfred, "Of course, Al, just one moment please."
I knew Robin would probably be in the gymnasium, because, as Red X has pointed out, albeit less tactfully, Robin has no other hobbies and was oh so painfully predictable.
I quickly flew down the hall and to the gym. As I flew nearer I couldn't help but smirk as I heard the indicative sounds of Robin grunting as he pounded away at an invisible foe.
"Gee Robin;" I said after I had opened the door and closed it again behind me, "I'm sure that if you ask politely the punching bag would gladly return the money it owes you."
Robin chuckled as he took off his wrist guards, "As much as I love your witty repartee, Raven, I'm smart enough to know that you don't bother anyone unless they have either directly bothered you, or indirectly bothered you. So which is it?"
I couldn't help but smile, "You have a telephone call, in the kitchen. A nice older man with an English accent… said his name was Al."
Robin's back stiffened and he looks me straight in the eye. He was in business mode, "What does Alfred want?"
I paused a moment as I tried to figure out what emotion I had heard through Alfred's voice. I shook my head, "I don't know Robin, but he did sound a bit distressed over some-"
He raced out of the room before I had even finished my sentence.
Stuck between my own curiosity and my deep respect for Robin's privacy, I slowly followed him out of the gym and back down the hall to the kitchen. I didn't hear much speaking and I automatically began fearing the worst. I sprinted down the remainder of the hall, but by the time I reached the kitchen, Robin had already hung up the phone and was looking, for lack of a stronger term, destroyed.
"Robin?" I ventured gently.
He didn't acknowledge me, just stared off in the distance.
I walked up close to him and placed a hand on his shoulder, "Robin what happened?"
He stood up brusquely and moved father away from me, a coldness I could not see before, followed him. "It's none of your concern, Raven, just an unfortunate family matter."
I reached out and grabbed his arm firmly, "Robin you nee-"
"-I said no, Raven, so just drop it!" He yelled and violently threw my arm off of his, before walking into his room.
His callousness would have received a harsher rebuttal from me, in fact I had planned to say one…but before I got that chance, a faint spinning in the back of my mind alerted me to one of my lesser known powers… and just as I fell on the couch, I blacked out….
I was a young boy flying through the air and into my mother awaiting arms as the audience applauded me and she and us, and then death, they were stolen from me, I could have stopped it, but I didn't and now I have no one…only death……. Bruce Wayne and his big house and his bikes and how I've finally got someone to take care of me forever, someone who will never die because I made a mistake... I am Robin…to protect…. forming the Titans…to protect with company… visiting Bruce anytime I could, thanking him for his understanding of the Titans… calling him my father….the telephone call, Alfred… Alfred the butler… "Master Wayne is dead Master Grayson…he took a nasty fall while training… no bad guys to fight… no one to bring to justice… just the miscalculations of an aging man…. Please come to the funeral ….. We're planning it for two weeks from Friday… at the Manor…please come. ..We need you."
When I awoke from my vision, it was all over the television. 'Bruce Wayne died today….' 'Death at Wayne manor, news at eleven' 'the famous billionaire Bruce Wayne was accidentally killed today in his mansion after falling off equipment in his personal gym and hitting his chest against the corner of a forgotten crate, causing his heartbeat to become erratic and eventually go into arrest…' so on and so on, on every channel. Robin must be dying. There nothing I can do…he'll go to one of the others. Starfire is always chipper, he'll go to her, cry on her shoulder and then he'll be fine.
Of course things with Starfire hadn't gone as swimmingly as I had hoped. Instead Robin seemed even more reclusive after the incident. Starfire had come back quite happy with a job well done, that I didn't have the heart to tell the naive Tamaranian that in reality it hadn't really worked, and that Robin was just putting up an excellent front so that the others wouldn't bother him. And they have bought his front and they haven't bothered him too much… they just accepted that he was going through a rough patch and that eventually he'll bounce back just like all the other times.
I, as I have explained before, know better. Takes one to know one, right?
I let out a loud exasperated sigh and prepared for what would become one of the greatest upsets in Titan history. Well, here it goes…
"You know," I said as casually as I could manage, though my heart was pounding, "I never really liked Batman."
The heavy silence that fell over the room was like nothing I had ever felt before… it was thick and completely revolting. My stomach turned so hard that it took concentrated effort not to up-chuck all over the table.
"Umm, Raven?" Beast Boy ventured hesitantly.
I breathed deep and looked around at the rest of the Titans. Starfire, BB, and
Cyborg were looking at me in complete disbelief, but it wasn't their reaction I was interested in. My eyes slowly cross the table to look into Robin's, but I couldn't because he was starring straight down into his spaghetti, pretending like he hadn't heard.
You can't fool me, Robin, I can see you're angry. I watched as Robin's fork slowly bent backwards under the strain of his grip. Just a little more…
"Yeah, I never thought he was much of a crime fighter. Relied to heavily on gadgets and the like… you know, he wasn't a REAL super hero, just a want-to-be with no real super powers."
With my every word, the Titans grew more horrified and Robin drew closer to loosing it.
"Raven, I don't think-"
"Oh hush, Cyborg. Like you're much better, you're about as intimidating as the Energizer Bunny… but even he could last forever."
The hurt expression on Cyborg's face broke my heart, but I knew there was no turning back now. Please forgive me.
"Friend Raven that is enough!"
"Oh stop trying to defend them Star, at least you have powers, although, they rarely do you any good. You can fly, you have super strength, and you shoot energy out of you eyes and palms and yet you ALWAYS wind up playing damsel in distress, what's with that?"
Starfire ran from the table in tears and Cyborg quickly followed her, shooting me a clearly disgusted look as he went by. Please forgive me.
I spared Robin a quick glance to see if he had broken yet, and was quite disappointed to see he was still only on the verge. Damnit, feel you bastard, FEEL! Don't wind up like me when you have a choice.
Beast Boy stood up solemnly and looked me square in the eyes, "I suppose you'll have something to say about me next."
I smirked, "Oh no, BB. Nothing at all…well at least nothing Terra hasn't already carven in stone."
Beast Boy retreated as fast as he could, knowing I suppose, that his tears were on the verge of betraying his cool exterior. Please forgive me.
Now, only Robin and I, I turned to face the man who was my original target, only to find he had disappeared. Shit. I jumped up from the table and quickly followed the path I was certain he would take. So, back to the gym it is. A perfect place for a showdown between Titans, I thought wryly. I had a feeling blood was going to be spilt before this night was over… and if it all going according to plan… most of that blood will be mine.
To be continued!
Questions? Comments? Feel free to review!