Edge of Awareness
By: Lady DeathAngel
Disclaimer: Still not mine.
A/N: urgh, late again! Anyway, finally we meet Dick/Robin as well as Kory/Starfire (sorta) and Garth/Aqualad. I like this chapter quite a bit, actually. I've got one more chapter after this finished, but if I don't finish seven soon the regular updates may come to a halt, but I'll know for sure by next Friday. It's just a heads up of a sort. Also, please leave me a review if you're reading this! I'd like to know what you think. Hope you enjoy this chapter!
Raven's last class of the day was the only one she felt comfortable in because it was the only one in which no one bothered trying to hide their aversion to her. Kory Anders, the redhead from her first period, made a valiant attempt to smile at her when she walked into the room, but Raven ignored it and headed straight for the empty seat in the back.
"I don't think so, Girly," a beefy looking guy told her with a glare.
She took a step back so that she could glare up at him and not at his chest. His hair was brown and curly and he had on a letter jacket. His hands were thrust deep into the pockets and he was standing protectively over the seat. She raised an eyebrow and made a big show of examining the desk around his considerably girth.
"Yeah, I don't see your name on it. That makes it fair game." She left off the 'so back the fuck off' that hung on the tip of her tongue.
A guy off to the side chuckled.
"Dude, lay off. She's quiet. She won't bother us."
She glanced off to her left and recognized the speaker. He had shoulder-length black hair and the darkest pair of eyes she'd ever seen. His name was Garth and she had fifth period art with him, Bart, and Gar. They'd told her he was pretty popular with everyone but only hung out with jocks and had dated at least half of the female population at San Paulo by his sophomore year.
"Roy likes to think he's a player," Bart said with a smirk. "But he's not pulling like Garth. That dude's an Adonis of Greek proportions. I'd do him."
Gar grimaced and Raven did a double-take, wondering if he was serious.
"Between you and Roy," Gar said with an eye roll. "You'd do the entire coast if anyone'd be up for it."
Raven regarded Bart with wide eyes.
"Horny, are you?"
Bart just winked at her.
"I'm a growing boy," he said. "It's only natural. And anyway, Garth is sex." He nudged Gar with a grin. "Even you'd do him if you didn't hate his guts."
Raven's quizzical look inspired story-time and she learned that Garth and Gar had been wrapped up in a rivalry since their freshman year. There was no real reason for it, apparently, except that they were fairly competitive with each other in classes, gym especially. Raven just shrugged because she didn't quite understand it. She wasn't terribly competitive. She was more intellectual and preferred reading to running and didn't care much for trying her best in anything that involved a lot of energy output.
Her gym class back home had been fairly uneventful anyway since most of the other girls shared her dislike of all things physical. Mostly she'd sat off to the side fielding off glares from the girls who were gossiping and turning the frumpy, baggy gym uniforms into midriff baring distractions for the boys who were trying to look macho and sexy. She was glad she could avoid P.E. here if for no other reason than that the west coast seemed to breed athletes. Even Gar and Bart, who looked as un-athletic as Raven herself was, weren't completely useless on a sporting apparatus. Bart ran track, and was apparently very good at it, and Gar was flexible enough to keep up with most of the jocks, even if he didn't play an organized sport.
Garth was, according to Bart and Gar, a swimmer, and a damn good one. He was dressed casually in a collared shirt and jeans, and she noted that his own letter jacket was hung on the back of his seat. She took another look at Big and Beefy in front of her who snarled in her direction before settling into the seat in front of her. She sighed and set her messenger bag onto the desk, glancing over at Garth who was now busy flirting with some brunette who'd sauntered over.
Raven sat down at her desk and watched him out of the corner of her eye. Pulling out a notebook and pen she imagined the conversation. Garth was probably suave and charming, slick like an eel, and the girl was all smiles and giggles and boob jiggles. He'd say something witty in greeting and she'd laugh and say, "oh, Garth, you're so funny!" in a shrill voice. He'd say something even wittier and then the girl would comment on how weird Raven was and how she would never wear the color black ever. And Garth would grin and wink and tell her she'd look good in anything.
Raven made a face at her desktop and groaned quietly.
"Gag me," she muttered.
"What did you say?" Big and Beefy demanded, turning around with narrowed eyes.
She looked up and held her hands out in front of her body.
"Nothing. Just talking to myself. You know."
He very obviously did not know and was going to let her know how much he didn't like not knowing when there was a ruckus at the front of the classroom. He spun around and Raven lifted her eyes to watch as a tallish, thin boy with black hair spiked to perfection pressed a kiss to Kory Anders' pouty pink lips.
"Get a room!" someone yelled and there were chuckles all around as the boy just lifted his middle finger high into the air.
They kissed for another ten seconds before parting. Kory simpered something that Raven couldn't hear and the guy chuckled, low and deep. Then he started walking toward the back corner of the room. The brunette Garth was chatting up hopped off his desk and nodded at the dark-haired guy.
"Hey, Dick," she said in a soft, husky voice.
"Hey, Mary," he said with a grin.
She nodded at him, winked at Garth, and went to sit beside Kory. Raven watched all this from her desk and tucked her hair behind her eyes as he drew closer. God, he looked so familiar. She couldn't quite place it, though, and she knew that if she'd ever seen a guy this gorgeous back home she'd remember it. He knocked knuckles with Garth and the guy in front of her whose name was Matt, and glanced at Raven.
She very audibly gasped at the sight of his eyes and turned her head to the side, gazing intently out of the window, willing herself to disappear. She did know him and she doubted he'd recognize her, but there was always the off-chance that he might and if he did . . .
"Who's the new girl?" Dick asked.
"Dunno," Matt answered. "She just decided to sit back here."
Dick didn't say anything else about her and immediately and he, Matt, and Garth began to engage in Jock Talk, none of which Raven could quite catch and some of it (mostly the parts about cheerleaders) she didn't quite want to. She was happy when the bell finally rang and she could stop gazing out the window and turn to the front of the class. There was a frazzled looking woman at the front holding a clipboard to her chest.
"Mrs. Lourdes won't be here today," she said. "So you all have a study period. I'll be up here if you have any questions and please try and keep it down, okay?"
There were few murmurs of assent and more whoops of delight as students turned to their neighbors and began to talk rather loudly. Raven rapped her knuckles on the top of her desk in annoyance. She'd only been at the school for one day. She didn't have anything to occupy her time in a study hall. She could always draw. Her art teacher had told her it would be easy to catch up on points so long as she did one sketch a week, but Raven wasn't much for art. She could barely draw stick figures that were discernible as sticks.
She was pulling out a notebook to stare absently at and possibly doodle in when a note landed on the top of her desk. She frowned at it and flicked it to the floor.
"That was rude," Dick said.
She glanced to the side to see him, chin nestled into his palm and elbow perpendicular to the desk, staring at her. She swallowed hard and shrugged.
"What if whoever sent it had something nice to say?"
She raised an eyebrow at him and bent at the waist to pick up the piece of paper. She unfolded it and showed it to him.
"'You are a freak,'" he read, looking up at her with a grin. "Okay, so I was wrong."
She sighed and crossed her arms, leaning back in her seat.
"And to what do I owe the pleasure of this conversation?" she asked, wondering why the hell he was even looking at her.
"Do I know you?" he finally asked, still staring.
She glanced away and shook her head.
"I doubt it."
He straightened and sighed.
"You just look so familiar I thought maybe I'd met you before."
She fixed her gaze on the bridge of his nose to give the illusion of staring at him without actually doing so.
"Well, this is only my second day in Jump City."
He made a 'hmm' noise in the back of his throat and against her will, her eyes met his. He lifted an eyebrow and the corner of his mouth quirked upward.
"Ever live in Gotham?"
The look on his face and the sound of his voice indicated he didn't honestly think she had, and there was no way she was telling him that for two weeks she had, in fact, called Gotham home. She wasn't telling him that she knew exactly who he was, exactly what he was, or that she still dreamed about him, sometimes, either. Instead she twisted her lips into what she hoped was an apologetic smile and shook her head again.
"Too bad," he said. "You'd have fit in there," he added softly.
"If you're done flirting," Garth said loudly, cutting into their conversation. "Kory's paging you."
Kory Anders was, indeed, waving Dick over, but her steely green eyes were settled on Raven, glaring at the dark-haired girl. Raven fought the urge to flip her off and watched, instead, as Dick got up and jogged over to her. She felt Garth's eyes on her and raised an eyebrow at him.
"You know," he said conversationally. "He does shit like this all the time."
She frowned at him and thrust her hands into her hoodie pocket.
Garth just smiled.
"Look, he'll be nice because that's who he is. Richard Grayson, patron saint of lost causes. Just don't take it personally. And don't even think about falling for him. Kory and Dick have been together since way before you came around, and if you think of trying to change that, things are gonna be way harder for you than they already are."
Raven wasn't much for nervous lip-biting or looking bashful, so she settled for lifting her eyebrows, her mouth settling into rueful lines.
"Patron saint of lost causes? Sounds catchy." She shrugged and leaned back in her desk.
Garth rolled his eyes and made to turn in his desk. The sound of Raven calling his name stopped him and he turned to face her, eyebrows raised.
"I've never loved anyone in my life," she told him. "And I don't plan on starting any time soon, least of all with someone who thinks I'm a charity case, so don't worry about it."
Garth nodded and the look he gave her was appreciative, but Raven didn't care. She just turned her gaze back down to her blank sheet of lined paper and then reached up to pull her hood over her head. She pulled back into it and forced herself not to think about Dick Grayson's electric blue eyes and the first time she ever saw them.