What the Lightning Illuminates
Short little story focusing on what happened after "The Quest," and the "Robining" in that episode. Strange place to set a Raven/Robin story? I know. What a rambling mind produces. One-shot? Um… possibly. Gee… don't know. Written more for my own enjoyment, I also hope it provides you with some reading pleasure as well.
Leave me a review when you're done.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. The furious noises of the thunderstorm raging outside almost completely drowned out the small ticking of the clock. Raven didn't know what time it was, but she knew it was late enough that no one should be awake.
From her meditation pose, she stood and made her way to the door, taking with her a small bundle. She walked along the halls, her feet replacing the small ticking noises of the clock that was back in her room. Finally at the two shut steel doors, Raven sank into the ground and reappeared on the other side of the doors, in Robin's room.
Lightning flashed, illuminating the room for a split-second, startling her enough that she almost dropped what she was carrying. She thought she made out a small shape that looked like a chair. Before she had gotten even a step closer, something else gave her another (and worse) shock than the storm outside.
She spun around towards his voice as a light flickered on to reveal Robin standing by his bed. She was sure she jumped, but her pride would not let her admit it.
"What are you doing?"
"Um…" her pride also did not want her to admit her plan had failed. But it was no use, she had been caught.
"Returning your clothes," she said with all the dignity she could muster and gestured at the bundle she held.
"At two thirty-five?"
"Naturally," on the inside, Raven cringed.
He reached for the clothes, but only took the shirt on top, shaking it out of its neatly folded state and looking at it.
"Why didn't you give it to me during the day?" he nodded at a pile of similar outfits, "Like everyone else?"
"I was…washing them," Raven replied. It was a half-truth. That, and she had been too embarrassed.
She looked over at the pile Robin had indicated and saw three of his outfits in poor condition. One was stretched so far horizontally that it needed two Robins to fit in it now. Another was stretched vertically about half a foot. If Robin wore that it would look as if he had shrunk overnight. The last one was hopelessly wrinkled and had several food stains.
"Beastboy," Robin said, following her eyes. "Wish he could have washed it," he added.
Raven looked at him. He was finished analyzing his shirt that she had worn. And now, he looked at her somewhat strangely. She expected him to say something about if he left again, he expected her to at least keep order and stop the others from invading his privacy by going in his room and stealing his clothes.
But instead, he looked straight at her, and said, "We're about the same size, aren't we?"
It was such an unexpected remark that she didn't know where her snide remark came from so quickly. It must have been her quick wit, a blessing, and a curse.
"Except for some very noticeable differences, yeah. Sure."
A smile tugged at his lips, and with a chuckle he folded the shirt again just as neatly as it had been. It seemed he was the only one who appreciated her humor. Raven held out the rest of the clothes. He laid the shirt on top and pressed the pile back to her.
"Keep it," he turned around.
"What?" that had almost been stranger than the first remark.
This time, he laughed openly, the added effect of the thunder making him sound completely maniacal. He turned back around, the laughter not yet gone.
"I don't know… I just… want you to have it. It fits you so well."
"O-kay. I'm giving you back the only uniform out of the four that isn't stretched out of shape and is still wearable, and you don't want it? I don't know if that's a compliment or insult."
"It's just…an impulse." The mask floated out of Raven's grasp and fell to the ground. Robin picked it up for her and placed it back in her arms.
"Maybe…you'll let me wear one of your cloaks sometime," he said in a not completely joking manner.
She looked down at the mask, then up at another mask.
He opened his mouth to say something, but she cut him off, "When you take off that mask of yours."
He made a face at her, and a ghost of a smile appeared on Raven's face.
"What if my eyes are horribly disfigured? What if they shoot force beams? (1)What if I'm really blind?"
Raven rolled her eyes. "Then you would finally have superpowers," she intoned dully.
"And I'm sure your eyes are just beautiful," she said, sarcasm lacing in her words.
Raven was suddenly glad she had turned away and started towards the door because it hid her sudden blush. She spun around to face him again, her face completely neutral. He had said it so easily. And if it had been anyone but Robin who had said it she could have brushed it off as a flirtatious comment.
Robin looked neither joking nor embarrassed. Or rather, he looked completely, normal. How could he say things so simply and without consequence?
"How many purple-haired, violet-eyed young sorceresses are there?" he asked gently and innocently, taking her look of surprise to mean she did not believe him.
She shook her head at him and started towards the door again, a little quicker. She really needed to leave before she did something completely compensating.
"Raven." He simply would not let her leave.
She chanced a look over her shoulder. He reached up and took off his mask deliberately just as the lightning seared, and knocked out the power, effectively plunging them in darkness
Raven was trembling, and her heart was racing. Her voice however, remained steady.
"When you take off that mask in the light," she elaborated.
"Hey, that wasn't part of the deal. It's not like I made the power go out, either."
A beeping noise came from below. The tower's systems were trying to restore power.
"So, the whole cloak thing… Is that a no?" he sounded just a tad disappointed.
"Robin… you try too hard." It was meant as admonishment for whatever he had done to her heart, but held a tone of endearment.
The doors opened and Raven stepped outside. They shut just as the power came back on. What is this? Divine intervention? The clothes Robin had insisted she keep became enveloped with black energy and disappeared, teleported to her room.
Raven leaned her back against the door, her mind spinning. What would have happened if the power hadn't gone out? Would he be so careless with his identity over a joke about clothes? Was he really going to show me what lay beneath that mask? Or had his eyes been closed?
She sighed, clearing her mind and stilling her heart.
"Robin… you try too hard," she whispered.
(1) A reference to Cyclops (Scott Summers) from X-Men. A mutant power instead of a super power, and a totally different show, but I couldn't resist.