Author's Note: Woohoo, yippee, another one-shot. Hurray me. Anyway, go read not. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: Obviously don't own them… yet.
Robin was not satisfied.
He had done it all. He'd painted every model possible that was at least available for seeing near or in the Tower. The silent sparkles of stars and the glow of faraway planets or galaxies on a moonlit night. Every excruciating detail of the flowers and vegetation, god, could he name them all, which gathered at the base of the Tower. The soft twists of reds and purples of the reflection of the setting sun on the shimmering waters. He'd painted the hard, dry, and earthly hues of rocky caverns, every puddle that was made during a rainy afternoon. The white water splashing against the shoreline, the burn of the lights on city skyscrapers and various-sized buildings.
Still, contentment was not there for him to feel just yet.
Art was a talent, a passion, a gift. It was something you were born with, and not the kind of thing that can be learned. He was extremely good at it, along with everything else. He looked at his paintings, and they were what Starfire would call 'wonderfully perfect,' and he wasn't bragging. It was his enthusiasm, aside from crime fighting, the thing that keeps his mind from the stress of his job. When he was painting, he felt strong, himself, and at home. It might seem absurd to everyone else once they find out, but it was who he was. He chuckled quietly as he remembered what his friends thought. Contrary to popular belief, he was over that whole Slade obsession thing that everyone keeps on pestering him about. His painting was secret, something no one should know. It wasn't that he didn't trust his team, but it was just that… it was his thing. When he isn't out patrolling or beating the hell out of villains, or hanging out with his friends, he locks the door, and hides away in his room. Painting his heart out. And that was a thought the free world wasn't ready for yet.
He slipped his sketch pad under his arm, and held his pencil and eraser in his hand. He always did a light sketch first with a pencil, before he painted over it.
"Hey Rob, wanna play? BB's got a new game…" Cyborg greeted, before being cut off abruptly.
He gave the half-robot his best rueful smile, which came out looking more like a wince. "No thanks. Got work to do. My room was just getting a bit stuffy." He held up his pad as he sat down. Whenever on of his team mates catch him off guard, it helped that the pad he used was disguised at a folder, like the ones he used for crime files.
"Well, maybe you should redecorate. It must be scary to have Slade's one eye watching you everywhere you go." Another thing, Robin had made minor adjustments to the Tower's blueprints, giving his room secret panels. He never said he wasn't paranoid. "Just relax a bit. And you can start by playing this awesome new game with us called…"
The changeling was similarly cut off, this time by a glare.
"Fine. If you wanna play grown up all the time, it's not bothering me." He held up two hands. Robin almost smiled. Okay, back to business.
He tapped his pencil against his chin as he looked around the room for something he can draw. Nothing. Unless he wanted to take still life painting to a whole new level by painting the stereo, or the fridge, which of course he didn't.
Masked eyes jumped from one team mate to another. Beast boy and Cyborg's backs were turned, not like he had any intention of sketching them anyway. He noticed Starfire, bright green eyes watching the two boys play with delight. Her long red hair cascaded over her shoulders like some flowing river of blood, though the very thought of anyone thinking like that about her hair would make her sad all over again. Her great features boasted a smile, so cheerful and contagious you just had to grin yourself. She made an okay subject, he thought.
But the bubbly alien, no matter how cute, was something… someone he felt uncomfortable painting. She was like a piece of art you stop to admire for a short while, but was quickly forgotten. There was nothing worth observing in her outward beauty. No offense, to say the least, he liked her as a friend and all, but there was nothing else to her but a pretty face and her happy-go-lucky exterior.
His eyes drifted to Raven, and he literally froze. He had never seen the dark empath in this light before. Sure, he'd give her sidelong glances or brief peeks, but to gaze at her so intently was a different story. There was an open book she cradled on her lap, but there was a barely visible faraway look in her violet orbs he assumed she might be thinking or focusing on something, or maybe even daydreaming.
He smirked delightedly. He had found his model.
Robin settled himself comfortably on the one-seater sofa and set to work. His strokes were light, careful to copy the exact look in her eye, the angle her head was tilted in, the precise fall of her short lilac hair. Everything must be perfect.
Raven was meditating…
…with her eyes open. A new technique she was mastering, so she'd be aware of her surroundings. But she wasn't very good at it yet. Her book lay before her, but her eyes ran over and over the same sentence.
Nor from hell one step more than himself can fly by change of place. Nor from hell one step more than himself can fly by change of place. Nor from hell one step more…
This was going nowhere.
"Yoohoo! I won! Uh-huh!" Cyborg cheered, against Beastboy who was sticking his tongue out.
"Hey Rob, wanna play? BB's got a new game…"
And she knew that Robin had entered the room. His presence was overwhelming, suffocating, making it harder to concentrate. She wondered a herself why exactly Robin was having this effect on her.
"No thanks. Got work to do. My room was just getting a bit stuffy." Were the last she heard before she drowned everyone out.
'Azarath Metrion Zinthos,' she chanted in her head. A couple of minutes went by undisturbed for everyone. Even Cyborg and Beastboy had quieted down a bit. Kinda.
"In your face, tin can!" Beastboy yelled.
Shaking her head, she would've proceeded back to meditating, when she felt someone's gaze boring into her. It was Robin.
At least, she thought it was. You could never really tell with that damn mask of his. It looked like he was writing. Probably that. Why the hell would he stare at her?
Robin added the finishing touches to the sketch. He grinned widely.
"Perfect," He murmured to himself as he admired the drawing. He glanced back at Raven, who had barely moved an inch since he began. But now, there was a slight smile on her face he hadn't captured yet.
He roughly erased the frown on her mouth and replaced it, the grin copied without any fault whatsoever.
He closed it and stood up; smoothing the crinkles on the surface he had just recently sat on.
"I'm going back to my room," He announced, and without waiting for a reply, left.
Robin knew full well that he couldn't paint the drawing in front of the others, and just proceeded to copying the colors using a photograph of Raven he had in his room. It was a solo picture, like the ones he had of the others on the walls. It was a candid shot, unexpected, and again, perfect. Obviously he had taken the picture himself. The light, the detail, and the mood was ideal, just the right thing for the dark bird. In this photo, her slender legs were crossed in the lotus position, hands on her knees, sitting on her cloak, with one eye opened just in time for camera to click. The others had given time for him to get away with it, with Raven on his heels. She went after him for a week or so, then surrendered on the promise that he wouldn't give it to any member of the press. And Robin being Robin, she knew he had to keep it.
So there he was, with the sole picture of Raven taken in the history of mankind. He furiously mixed the purples and violets on his palette as he copied her coloring, which was mostly all the dark, cool hues. The pale, white skin blended well with the shadowy corners of the Tower it was taken in, mixing in ironic contrast. The cloak that was a deep, deep blue, azure as that of any ocean, lay beneath her. The midnight leotard covered only the necessary parts, stretching across her arms and ending only at the thin slits that were her fingers. A lock of lilac hair was strewn over her face, exquisitely high cheekbones setting it about delicately. What stunned him the most about her were her extremely expressive amethyst eyes, hiding layers upon layers of mystery written there, what emotions she couldn't show displayed and seen if you bothered to look.
He'd painted every sparkle, every hue, every swirl of violet-ish lavender, bluish purple, he'd detained it all. A few brushes of indigo and navy shadows, and the painting was done. Flawless, and as magnificent as the moon herself.
He signed his name with a fountain pen at the bottom right corner, in beautiful calligraphy. He blew a kiss towards it and left it on his easel. A glimpse at the clock and then…
"Three hours? It took me three hours?" He asked himself incredulously. "7:00. They must have ordered dinner by now."
He left the room in a hurry, running a green gloved hand through his hair.
"Hey, Raven, it's Cy."
Said Titan rolled her eyes. "You don't say. I don't get why you have to beep me. We are in the same building, you know."
It's been two hours since she left the rec room to go to her own room to meditate.
"Yeah, I know. I just feel a little tired. Listen, you and Rob are in the same wing of the Tower, so can't you just call him up for dinner? Oh, and you too. Come here. We're having Chinese." The metal man clicked off.
"Yipee." She said sarcastically. Just as she closed her door, Robin had entered the rec room.
"Hey, Robin. I just beeped Rae to call you."
"Then call her off."
"Nah. She'll figure it out. You gonna use chopsticks or not?"
Meanwhile, back at Raven's…
She knocked on her leader's door with her knuckles. Three more times.
'If he's not here in one minute, I'm leaving,' she decided.
A minute passed.
'O-kay. Two minutes.'
"Robin? Robin, are you in there?" Panic seized her heart. Did something happen to him?
She instinctively phased through the wall. He wouldn't mind. She did have a good reason to go in.
As she went in, she stopped in her tracks. One wall was covered in numerous landscape paintings, all gorgeous and even jaw-dropping, like it was made by some of the masters.
'Never knew Robin was an art collector.' She mused.
She went closer to peer at the name of the artists.
What? It couldn't be. Robin couldn't have made these!
She reread the signatures. There were cursive and elegant, but the writing was unmistakable. The name was there again and again, taunting her and making her believe.
She went closer to look at the painting that was still drying on the easel. What she saw surprised her more.
It was a painting of a girl, with violet hair and gleaming purple eyes. She wore an ebony black leotard, and what skin wasn't covered by it was pale and white. The blue cloak confirmed her suspicions.
The girl in the painting was none other than Raven herself.
The realization forced a gasp out of her lips, and it made her step backwards. The paint still looked wet and damp, so he must have done this recently. Like three hours ago, when he left the rec room. So that explained the firm gazes he gave her awhile ago. And he must have used pencil first, because he didn't bring any paint with him. Of course she was only pondering these facts to lure her thoughts away from the truth: Robin had used her as a model for a painting, and he had almost made her appear…
The painting was as realistic as a painting could be, the brush strokes were even and careful, the colors accurate and swirling all over the canvas, lovely and soft, and the detail was superb. In short, the painting was… perfect.
But there was more to the image than the color and features. The steady look on her face, the slight furrow of her brow, the twitch of her mouth in a smile, the tip of her head, the swish of her hair, the curve of her fingers, the emotions captured in her eyes were raw and precise; it seemed like he had poured out his entire soul, his whole being, into that single work of art, and he had given it life.
"What are you doing here?" Came the Boy Wonder's voice. Raven turned around and blushed, having caught sight of him.
"I… uh…" She stammered. What was she supposed to say? I went into your room without any permission and discovered your secret hobby, hope you don't mind? Doubtful.
"Well?" He raised an eyebrow.
She took a deep breath. "Your paintings are incredible… amazing." She said instead, hoping to divert the conversation.
He looked startled for a second. "Yeah? Thank you." But he still pursued the query, much to her dismay. "But what are you doing in my room?" It's been thirty minutes since he left, and was alarmed when he realized she must have gone in and discovered his confidential talent. Naturally, he was right.
"I went in to see if you're in here… hey, wait a minute. You drew me without asking for my permission." She said. Seemingly so, he was now caught in a trap.
"You… you saw that?" It was he who was stuttering now. "Well, I couldn't find a decent subject…"
"Thank you," Said Raven quietly.
Now Robin was confused. He was expecting a rampage, or maybe even just a sarcastic comment. Was this really Raven?
A hand motioned to the easel. "You… you made me look beautiful, even though… even though I'm not." Her eyes softened. She bowed her head.
He took a step towards her, taking her hands in his. "I draw what I see, Raven."
"You are beautiful."
Her head shot up at that, and her eyes met his. It felt so good to just stand there and smile shyly at each other, but of course the enchantment had to end. She broke off, unfamiliar to the pressure that was building up inside her, tying impossible knots in her stomach.
Sensing her discomfort, he wrapped his strong arms around her and pulled her into a hug. She instinctively tensed for an instant, then, deciding that she liked the sensation, relaxed, and sank into his embrace, enjoying the feel of his warmth pressed against hers.
"Thank you… again." She whispered.
"No problem." He replied breathlessly.
She drew back and mutely headed towards the door.
"Hey, um… Rae?"
She turned her head.
"I'm sorry… you know, about drawing you without… um… asking? I really didn't mean to…"
"It's okay. Really. I'm honored." Was that a smile playing on her face?
"And Raven? You won't tell the others… right?"
A few light footsteps, the closing of the door, and she was gone.
Robin looked at his paintings, and grinned widely. His secret was safe… for now.
Author's Note: Robin, the multi-talented guy. Pretty much how I think of him. So… now what? Inspired by an experience. No lovey-dovey scenes here, as I got kinda tired of 'em… for now. For those who read my 'death' robrae fics and asked how I came up with those, no, I did not lose any particular loved one. I just have a very active imagination. And for those who asked for happier fics, this is it… kinda… anyway…
Oh yeah, I'm pretty sober today. There's nothing to make me hyper. Just a typical, ol' boring day.
Btw, the phrase 'Nor from hell one step more can fly by change of place,' was Taken from Paradise LostDon't own it!
If you want a sequel or a second chapter, tell me. I know I made it look like the start of something, but I have no idea what else. I'm all open for suggestions. Bye! Oh, and, uh…