Chapter Two: And then there were two...
Raven leaned against the glass of the window, looking down absently at the passing students. The first few periods had found her numbly listening to teachers she didn't have a lot of respect for and did not learn anything new from. Still, she had tried to appear attentive like most of her peers did. She did her best to appear normal. Now without much of an appetite, the luminous girl had her arms crossed neatly at the elbow, folded against her in a posture of subconscious defense, a look of I-don't-want-to-deal-with-you-whoever-you-are-so-just-bugger-off.
It was an appearance she had pretty well mastered over the years.
Even still, gossip flew like wildfire through the hallways, as in any high school.
Female students huffed about another pretty girl transferring in and many of those same female students brightened considerably upon meeting the new male transfer student—much to Robin's vexation. Male students appraised her in ways that ranged from politely appreciative to outwardly uncouth, both extremes of which Raven ignored with ease and Robin disliked with a strange amount of defensiveness that Raven did not notice.
The day had been uneventful thus far except for the countless advances made on the boy wonder who successfully evaded each one.
Now Robin sat outside; it was lunch hour and under the guise of writing in a notebook—full of scribbles and really bad doodles at this point—he did one of the things he did best, mission on his mind at all times: he observed. His pen moved idly in patterns reminiscent of no known alphabet as he scanned the outdoor courtyard; some played frisbee while others tried to eat lunch in peace and still others stood around chatting without much point. This last one was the most popular from what the boy wonder could ascertain.
"Nice drawing," a dry voice remarked and shutting the notebook in a bit of a hurry, Robin scowled.
"I'm not trying," he said.
"I know," Raven smiled with her eyes. "Just pushing your buttons boy blunder," she added as she sat next to him, leisurely pulling out a hardcover from her side satchel.
"What's Rae Roth avidly engrossing herself in these days?" Robin asked, honestly interested and oddly glad to have a chance to legitimately speak one-on-one with the empath outside of battle, even if this was a mission.
"Magic," the voice behind the cover of the book deadpanned and Robin scratched his head uncomfortably. Perhaps when she was reading was not the best time to strike up a conversation. About to open his notebook again to continue the pretense of writing, Robin's peripheral vision caught a quick movement and his hand shot out in front of Raven to catch an empty milk carton, just as she lowered the book, a glower on her face.
"I would've stopped it," she said.
"With what? Your hands?" Robin half-teased, half-reminded her and Raven suppressed a groan. She'd nearly forgotten the 'undercover' aspect of their mission. She couldn't publicly use her psychic abilities. Bah, mortals, she huffed mentally and rolled her eyes. Robin smirked and took this as a sign of temporary yield. Deciding to ignore him, Raven lifted her book back up to cover her face, mumbling something incoherent but distinctly unpleasant that Robin supposed was directed toward him. Not the least bit put out by her familiar behavior, his blue eyes sifted through the lunchtime melee, searching for the thrower and while he couldn't be positive, his suspecting gaze landed on a group of girls who were staring at him and Raven while trying desperately to appear as though they weren't.
"Just drop it Robin. It doesn't matter in the least," Raven's voice everything but ordered and shrugging, he simply tossed it in a trashcan. No need to stir up any trouble and the girls were just foolish, immature. That's just unwanted attention, he thought, settling against the tree. His arm brushed Raven's and he felt her flinch away.
"Sorry," he said blankly, knowing how she disliked contact. Violet met blue and the crinkles in the corners of her eyes suggested a smile even though the book hid everything from below those endless eyes and down to her collarbone. Robin told himself that Raven didn't smile.
"You should be," she replied quickly and before he could push her book down gently to see if her lips really were curved even the slightest bit upward, she submerged herself in it again and he sighed to himself. Raven doesn't smile, he thought again and went back to observing, glad she was by his side.
And if he scowled darkly at the appreciative stares males were sending his teammate's way, she didn't notice and he told himself it was purely a brotherly protectiveness even as his inner voice snickered at him in a yeah-right tone of sarcasm that rivaled the empath's.
Robin did his best not to laugh. He really did.
But even leaders lose it sometimes and Raven would have stormed off if practiced years of control hadn't been under her belt. As it was, she settled for a very, very intense glare that made Robin's laughter falter into something a little more nervous before turning from him and walking straight into the kitchen, smoothing her hair as she went. The cycle ride home had been a little windier than expected and after an admittedly witty and rather dry remark from the boy wonder, they both agreed to ride home sans head gear. Now this did not ruffle Robin's feathers much, if one might excuse the phrase. Short hair didn't get very noticeably mussed from a windy ride but Raven...Raven's hair was not the same story. They'd arrived at the T Tower with Raven darkly muttering to herself as she untangled it section by section, leading them to the present. Robin was sure that if he had laughed Beast Boy and Cyborg probably would lose themselves in peals of laughter...but they weren't there...
Wait a minute...
Robin suddenly stood very still, taking in the utter quiet of the living area and surrounding rooms with consternation. Raven poked her head around the wall of the kitchen corner.
"Oh mighty leader, what ails thee?" she said dryly but her joking manner slid off her as she noted his worried visage. "Weird. It's never this quiet, don't know why I didn't notice it before," she spoke more to herself so Robin didn't reply, only running now to check all the titans' respective quarters. No one else, it seemed, was there. "Cyborg?" Raven tried to contact him through the communicator, frowning as all she got was static. "Star? Beast Boy?" Raven tried all channels only to find nothing.
"Raven," it was only her name but it sent chills down her spine as she watched Robin pick up an inconspicuous piece of crinkled paper.
It was not even a ransom note; it was just something to confirm or give the impression that yes, indeed, the other titans had been kidnapped and most likely, as both birds were now deducing, the high school gig had been a decoy. The other titans were gone, and the remaining two had absolutely no idea as to where.
-more? Reviews appreciated.