Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Not now, not then, not ever. Don't think I own them. But I do have fun with 'em.
Live and Love (An Epilogue)
"Show me slowly what I only know the limits of."
– Dance Me To The End of Love, Kate Gibson
For being such a dramatic culmination of love declared and accepted, life changed surprisingly little in the tower after that. Their friends, who had grown accustomed to the workmen being called in to fix any particular part of the Tower for any particular reason mostly ignored them when they came to fix the training room and replace some equipment. (The only comment being one of "Sweet!" from Beast Boy when he was told that Training had been postponed for two days while the workers were present.)
The world didn't end and none of the big things changed much at all.
They still fought villains and put away bad guys. Raven and Robin still fought in their own distinct ways. They still protected each other and their friends from harm, just as their friends still protected them back. He was still mildly obsessed with wining, still pursued leads and stayed up late sometimes when he couldn't get an idea out of his head. She still teased Beast Boy, still offered sarcastic comments, still spent a good amount of time alone, and frowned at having to referee Stank Ball.
These staples didn't change. It was the little things that changed. She still read books, but now they could persuade her to read to them. They didn't have to hold each other all the time, but Robin would be there, next to her, eyes closed as he listened to her voice. She smiled more. She shared with them more. She helped Cyborg with his toys and Beast Boy figure out cheat codes on the computer for his games (although she still refused to play herself). She might occasionally even be prevailed upon to do a few magic tricks if everyone was bored beyond belief, a feat that was unmentionable after the last time Beast Boy had suggested it during a power outage. She and Starfire went to the 'mall of shopping' at least once a week and although Raven did not return with anything out of character, she had on occasion, helped the Tamaranian position a clip here and there when the desired location was out of the other girl's reach. They also went out for long walks. Shared in coffee or tea and talked…and in all the important ways, came to an understanding amongst themselves.
And if the fact that Robin, who would never train with anyone, seemed to only train with her seemed a little strange to them, they didn't show it. If the fact that Raven's laughter could occasionally be heard in the tower surprised them, they didn't mind. They accepted it for what it was, even if occasionally it meant having to have the construction crew or electricians come around even when they hadn't been attacked.
Their friends never asked straight out what had happened between them. They didn't have to. There was never an earth shattering declaration or realization by any of them, but they didn't need that either. It was obvious to them that they were different with each other, more aware of each other and more obvious about their awareness. It was obvious they had come to some sort of realization, and even though they never knew exactly how it happened, they had been content to know their friends were happy.
But that something had happened between them no one doubted.
And while their friends might have perhaps felt slighted at being kept in the dark, it didn't last long, for in their own ways, Robin and Raven did let them know. Perhaps they had not made an undying declaration of love before all their friends and they didn't go around holding hands or kissing, but they did show it everyday. And their friends knew them enough to see it. They knew it was in the little things: how they sat next to each other on the couch now instead of at opposite ends. It was in how they spent more time together than before and were often seen talking together and in how they never felt the need to jump apart or look guilty whenever one of their friends showed up. It was how they never denied the mild teasing or obvious looks their friends shared and in how they didn't hide their almost natural gravitation toward each other. Now, even if he stayed up late researching something, often times, she was there alongside him. Now, even though she continued to meditate regularly he was known to join her and although she still drank almost unhealthy amounts of tea, he might, on occasion, make it for her. It was in their sunrise T'ai Chi sessions on the roof and in their comfortable silences.
It was in the way he sought out her eyes from across the room. It was written in the small shared touches, how if he wanted to reach out and touch her when she passed, he didn't feel he had to resist, even though the others were in the room. It was in the way she lingered a moment and didn't take her hand out of his when he did. How she was sometimes seen leaning against him as they cooked together or stood in the elevator. And in how sometimes…only sometimes, she rode the R-Cycle with him instead of the T-Car.
It was in how she had a smile that was just his.
He never pressed her for the words she found herself unable to say, but he did fulfill his promises to her. He was there as she finished meditating and he would whisper his love in her ear. He would train her in hand to hand combat and as she mastered it, he would kiss her. Eventually, more often than not, she would smile at his words; frequently, she would kiss him back. And she kept her promise to him as well, for in the end, she never ran from him again, never hid from him or turned her back on him. She never took away her laughter.
He could wait for her to realize that love wasn't a flash of lightening or a thundering bomb. He could patiently make her believe that he had loved her for years without even knowing it, and he could wait for her to realize that not only could she in fact, love him back, but he could wait for her to realize that she already did.
And ultimately, he didn't need to hear her say the words. She could say them or not say them, whenever she was ready. She never took away her laughter, and that was all he needed, after all. He already knew she loved him.
A/N: Okay, this really is the end. I don't normally do Epilogues like this, which is strange because this one just came in a rush as soon as I finished Win – Win. My style is to normally just leave it as I did at the end of Win-Win and I rarely feel the need to show this kind of moment or wrap up, but as I finished writing Win Win I realized that, "hey…she never said she loved him back!" and it was a moment when as a writer, I wanted to have it all nice and neat and write in how she replies in kind for him, but my muse refused to let me. He insisted that the way I ended it was the end and wouldn't have it any other way, but I wanted to explore why she hadn't told him she loved him back and wondered whether or not that was the end, whether or not they would act like nothing happened after that night, and hence, the short Epilogue was born.
I hope it settled well in your minds, dear readers, and that you're satisfied with it! After all, it really has been all of you that took me on this exploration! I would've left it at Tried and Tested if it hadn't been for you guys insisting that you wanted to read more!
So, thanks. Really.
:hugs and cookies to all:
Jurodan: Okay, twisting and turning like in a good way? Or so bad that you just couldn't take it and continued to read it only out of a desire to not give in. :laugh: I have a very thick skin, so I take very little personal. Plus, your reviews always have good constructive criticism attached, so I always appreciate those. (I was an English Major, so my skin was thickened with countless critiques of my writing. Heheh…) I only ever feel stupid if it's a stupid mistake that I should've caught and didn't for whatever reason. (Which has happened to me more times than I'd like to admit, trust me. :P ) And yeah, I checked the words you said were being crushed together and yeah, it was doing it when I looked at it, but my document was fine, so I suppose it was FF.N that was spazzing. I also changed the "bow" to "bo". My word program didn't recognize "bo" as a valid word and kept automatically changing it to "bow". It was very frustrating when I was trying to just write it out. I went back and changed them, but I guess I missed a couple. I've changed those now, too. So, thanks! I'm so glad you brought out the thing with the clip. It was funny because it was something that got added in during editing. It wasn't part of the original idea. But during editing I had her run her hands through her hair and it was just natural that the clip had to fall out. Then, I wanted to have him ignore it, I would've had him ignore it, but it was a moment when the character took over and said, "Nope…I wanna look at that clip!" so what could I do?
Thanks for telling me that FFN is banning the song-fics. (don't get me started on THAT btw…I'm so pissed.) But anyway, I thought I'd just leave them up and see what they tell me, but I ended up moving them to mediaminer. I already had a few stories up there but people there tended to ignore me, so I didn't use it too much. In any case, I've moved all my 'song fics' onto there, as well as this one (just in case), even though I'm posting the Epilogue in the new account. We'll see. If by the time I come up with a new TT story, they haven't taken this one down or threatened me or anything, I might leave it.
Thanks again for all the wonderful praise:grin:
Anotefromtheotherside: Thank you very much. I hope you reached this far!
Maiathestrange: I go to Loyola University Law School. (Yes, I'm about to graduate with a Juris Doctorate in Law. O.o ) I'm very excited, but I'm also worried, cause…here comes the real world! I actually got my BA in English Literature, too! So I totally understand about the whole how something is written affecting my desire to read it, so the fact that you enjoyed my story means double to me! I think we have a lot in common! I've been meaning to pick up a volume or two of Neruda's work, but I can't decide if I should pick it up in English or Spanish. I can read Spanish (since I'm Hispanic) but I've been speaking, reading, and writing English so long I consider it my first language even though the language I speak at home is Spanish. Anyway, I think I might pick it up in Spanish…just to read it in the original language. Thanks so much for your wonderfully kind words. I feel very honored that you would consider my story a short book! Honored and flattered! I hope you enjoy the Epilogue.
Alena-chan: Hiya! I'm so glad the description of the combat read well. I was mostly worried about that because I feel that one of my weaknesses is combat writing. Don't worry about any of that! I'm just glad you took the time to review at all! You live in Germany? That's so cool. I've never been there but I've always wanted to see it. I hope you enjoyed the Epilogue.
Dragon Huntress: Sorry it took a while to get it up to you. FFN didn't let me upload stories until tonight. Hope you enjoyed it!
Cherry Jade: All these compliments are going straight to my head, you know that, right:grin: This has been one of those stories that I can't really tell you where it came from. All I know is that it started with an image of Raven beating the crap out of a punching bag to Three Doors Down's Kryptonite. From there, I thought it would be cool if Robin were watching, and then it just turned into Robin and Raven having a sparring match and it just grew from there. But I really would've left it as a one-shot if it hadn't been for you guys that wanted me to keep going. Then my muse just started thinking as to what the next part should be and how it should start and we took it from there. Like I said, I get A LOT of inspiration from music. Usually some particular lyrics make me think of a scene in my head and then I take it from there. I wasn't altogether sure this story was going to have a plot, and I guess it doesn't have too intricate a plot, but it's got something of one, doesn't it? Most of my stuff is character driven, where I want to explore a particular aspect of a character or see how they would react in different situations. Thank you very much for all the compliments and for reviewing. I hope you enjoyed the epilogue!
Water81: Like I said in the email, it's short. I hope the epilogue wasn't disappointing. But wow…10,000 words each chapter? Dang. I hadn't even considered that. I can tend to be a little long-winded. And thank you for such a thoughtful, wonderful review. I'm very glad you enjoyed the story. And could I ask that you let me know if it was what you thought it was going to be or if it wasn't? I'm curious whether my epilogue was predictable.
Kumori Sakusha: Thank you very much. :blush: I hadn't originally meant for it to be intense, and I'm afraid I fought the muse a little on this one, cause I wasn't sure I wanted to keep it that intense, but if you guys liked it, then, I'm glad I gave in to the muse and did as he instructed. :grin: Thanks for reviewing. I hope you like the epilogue.