Ok, I had to post this as soon as I finished it, so I didn't really get a chance to read over it and revise it. I'm hoping I've repaired any damage I'd unknowingly done to it. I hope everyone who's read it already will read it again. I don't know how good my editing is, so forgive the mistakes I left. I should probably get a beta, but I'll worry about that later. Anyway, I'm really sorry about how out the OOC-ness and some of the behavior, but that's how it's gonna be. I had to get them to a certain point in one chapter, and it was kinda hard. But it's just fan fiction, right? Nobody's story is going to be perfect, because if it was, then it would be on television. Anyway, I hope you excuse all my errors, and enjoy the revised version.

Moocow

Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.

-William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

Restraint?

This was it. I could put up with all of their whining, nagging, pestering, and begging. I could deal with it all. Any time they asked, my will was iron, and, in spite of everything they said, I could not be bent towards their own intentions, no matter the pleading and groveling. That was all there was to it. I would never give in. They could never make me. Any day they asked, my answer would always be no. Any day except today.

I could put up with Beast Boy's stupid jokes and love of tofu.

I could deal with Starfire's Earthly knowledge (or lack thereof) and abysmal cooking skills.

I could accept Cyborg's fixation on all things technological and his infatuation with meat.

I could live with Robin's obsession with Slade and constant need to be the best.

On their own, each is bearable in his own oddities, and I can resist any and all attempts to force me into what is (in my opinion) a detestable situation. But when they get smart and decide to gang up on me, I am made to admit defeat. Unfortunately, I did not know then what I was getting into. After waving the proverbial white flag, I find myself being informed by a giddy alien princess that my torture- I mean, my 'activity for the hanging out' will be swimming. They honestly think they can make me wear a bathing suit, and in front of them, at that. I felt sorry for them, but not for long. It turned out they were right. As a last desperate attempt, Starfire, whom I had thought innocent and kind, whispered into my ear that if I did not consent, she would tell Beast Boy that I had a secret crush on him. I was appalled at the thought and quickly left to change.

A bit later, I stepped just outside the doorway of the Tower. My friends were splashing and playing in the water and had not yet noticed me. A loud sigh escaped my lips. I, Raven, resident goth and introvert of Titan Tower, was wearing a bikini. In public, no less. Deciding that I was completely insane, I headed over to the water's edge.

It took them a moment more for them to realize I had arrived, but when they did, I wanted to slip back off into my room. Even as I stood there at the water's edge, feeling all their eyes upon me, I couldn't help feeling a little satisfaction at their reaction mixed in with my discomfort. I understood why they stared; my appearance was, admittedly, quite different than how they normally saw me. I was wearing a black bikini with a blue cover tied haphazardly around my waist, revealing my smooth stomach and quite a bit of thigh. Additionally, I had been spending increasing amounts of time up on the roof meditating, so my skin wasn't as pale as it normally was, but actually a somewhat normal skin tone. For a little under a minute, nobody spoke, and I raised my eyebrows at them questioningly, receiving no response.

"Cat got your tongue?" I spoke finally, breaking the spell. Starfire clapped her hands delightedly at the sight of me.

"Oh Friend Raven, it is most wonderful that you have decided to join us for the swimming in the lake!" she squealed.

"Says the girl who blackmailed me into this," I mumbled just loud enough for her to hear. She grinned guiltily and turned back to playing whatever they had been playing before I interrupted.

"Dude, Raven, you look hot," Beast Boy informed me. I just quirked an eyebrow at him again and gave him a glare. "Hehe, I mean, uh… Nice day for a swim, huh?" he stuttered before diving under the water. I turned around and pulled the swim suit cover from my waist and set it down on one of the many rocks on the shore of our island.

I slid into the water, letting the coolness drown out the heat of the day and surprisingly enjoying the feel of the water against my skin. It had been a very long time since I had gone swimming. I dove under the surface and came up with water dripping out of my hair.

"Remind me again why I should be down here?" I asked just to be difficult.

"You're down here because we want you to have some fun with us. You spend way too much of your time in your room and meditating on the roof. You need to join in every once in a while," Cyborg said. I rolled my eyes but smiled at him all the same. He smiled back before turning to what he and Robin had been doing before my arrival. I drifted across the water with my eyes closed, just floating around on the surface. Before I heard him speak.

"Having fun, Raven?" Robin's voice was right above me. My eyes snapped open, and I was so surprised that I slipped down under the water. A pair of strong hands closed around my waist and pulled me up, where I was greeted by the sight of Robin grinning wickedly at me. I pushed away from him and glared back.

"Would you mind telling me why you did that?" I asked coldly. To my annoyance, his voice was laughing and light-hearted when he answered.

"My own amusement, perhaps?" he said. I gave a huff and turned away, intent on going back to my floating, but farther away from my leader this time. Because voices travel easily across water, I heard the whisper he spoke to Cyborg, though I doubt anyone else was paying enough attention to notice.

"God, I love summers," he muttered. I spun around and saw his eyes flit over my body before meeting my own. While he didn't look abashed in the least, I felt my own face heating up. I decided that it would be better to ignore him and go back to floating than to make him regret his words. It was too hot outside for revenge. Suddenly, Starfire's voice rang out over the water.

"Oh no! I have forgotten the screen of sun! I must fetch it immediately, so that we do not receive the burns of sun!" she exclaimed before flying into the Tower. I turned to Cyborg as he sighed, but Beast Boy spoke before him.

"Um, what's she going to get?" he asked confusedly.

"Sun screen, I think. But I'm not sure that she even knows where it is. I'll be right back, guys, I'm going to go help her," replied Cyborg. When he was gone, Beast Boy let out a forced laugh.

"Uh, I think I should go help too, you know, so they find it quicker."

"Beast Boy, what did you do?" Robin said exasperatedly.

"Dude, it was no big deal, I just moved the sun screen. It's not anything like I usually do. I just didn't tell anyone, so I'm going to help them find it," Beast Boy protested. He then ran off to the Tower.

"Do you think that's all he did?" Robin asked me.

"Not a snowball's chance in Hell. He either did something already, or he's going to. Beast Boy doesn't help for the sake of helping. Beast Boy helps for the chance to play jokes," I informed him monotonously.

"I think so, too," he told me with a nod.

"Maybe you should go back with him, you know, just to watch out for the well-being of the team as a whole. Cyborg isn't going to let him off this time," I said airily. Robin quirked an eyebrow and started wading slowly towards me.

"You know what I think?" he asked rhetorically, "I think that you just don't want to be alone with me after what I said."

"I told you what I wanted; that particular situation is just the plus side of you being a good leader and protecting the lives of your underlings," I retorted. Now he was directly in front of me. I had been so intent on my lecture that I hadn't even noticed how close he had gotten.

Crossing my arms over my chest, I glared at him uncomfortably. He lips twitched slightly, as if he wanted to smile but thought better of it. As we stood there, I wondered what the point of our little staring contest was, or if there even was one. Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore and averted my eyes. I suppose that's why I didn't see it when he leaned over to whisper in my ear.

"I win," he murmured, letting his breath bring chills to wherever it touched my neck. It was like my senses had paused for a moment and were now working overdrive to make up for it; I could suddenly feel the warmth radiating off his skin, smell his hair-gel (or what was left of it since he'd gotten in the lake), hear the slight lapping of the water against his skin.

"I wasn't aware this was a contest," I replied icily, as I tried to inch away from him, but he moved forwards as I moved away, so the only purpose this served was to waste my energy. I wanted desperately to put more space between us, but my mind once again went almost totally blank. The only coherent thoughts I could muster up were 'Get the hell away from me!' but I was having trouble making the words travel from my brain to my mouth. Suddenly my attention was brought to a male voice clearing his throat conspicuously. I jumped, but Robin didn't so much as bat an eye.

"Cyborg," I said in a voice that, to my benefit, was only slightly off key. It must have been squeaky enough, though, that my hybrid companion took notice.

"Rob, lay off her," he said to our leader, who was at that moment, grinning like a fiend because he knew he had gotten under my skin, or thought he knew, anyway. My voice had only been high-pitched because of what Robin and I must have looked like to Cyborg. Or that's what I was telling myself. At the mechanical wonder's words however, Robin cocked an eyebrow and the corners of his mouth lifted up even more. "I meant-" Cyborg tried to continue.

"He meant, leave me the hell alone, you sick-minded ass! I don't know what you think gives you the right to invade my space, but you have another think coming! If I find out that you take any comments referring to me like THAT again, I swear to god you'll regret it," I hissed at the so-called Boy Wonder.

He responded by raising his eyebrows again. "You take things much too seriously, you know that? I was just messing around. And besides, I think you enjoyed it." I almost couldn't take the smart-ass tone he had adopted, and seriously considered using force to make him change it. After a brief moment, I decided against it and was going to resort to verbal abuse, but it turned out that Cyborg had come out here to actually tell us something that had nothing to do with Robin's treatment of others- namely, me.

"Alright, can we stop the antagonism for a minute? I really didn't come out here to play mediator; I just thought you'd want to know that the AC was broken," he informed Robin and me.

"Beast Boy's doing, am I right?" I said flatly.

"However did you guess?" came Cyborg's reply, laced with more than a little sarcasm. "He was sneaking around the Tower, carrying the bottle of sunscreen. When Star asked him to give it to her, he said no and that it was empty. She took it from him and dumped some into her hand. I should have told her to stop right there. I mean, sunscreen isn't normally the color of rotten bananas, or smell like them for that matter. So she rubs it in, all up her arms and on her legs. The thing is, it turns her skin this nasty brown-yellow color. After she yells at him enough and starts calling him names that I'm pretty sure are a lot worse than 'klorbag' or whatever it was that one time, he caves in and spills it. Apparently, he mashed up some rotten bananas and mixed it with some food dye. He was trying to hide that bottle of sunscreen when we found him. So Star, being very out of character for a minute, chases him around the Tower with me trailing behind trying to make sure he doesn't get killed. Well, Beast Boy, as per usual, wasn't paying attention and ran straight into the air conditioner. It got banged up pretty bad."

"What's it matter? Aren't you the resident repairman? Come on, we can just fix it," insisted Robin.

"You don't get it, do you? When Beast Boy's involved, things are usually broken beyond repair, if you have a normal person's skill with tools. Thankfully though, Cyborg isn't a normal person, so it should be up and running in a few days, right?" I couldn't resist taunting just a little bit, even if it did no good or wasn't noticed- though by the immense glare I received (one that, to his credit, came close to being half as good as mine, he just needed more practice) Robin noticed.

"Sadly, you're right, dark girl. I just need a couple of parts and three days, and we're back to fully functional air conditioning," Cyborg continued, "But since it's a Sunday and most of the repair shops I can think of are closed on Sundays, we going to have to wait till tomorrow until I can start."

"Perfect," I said, receiving a couple of raised eyebrows, "That gives me just enough time to make Beast Boy regret it." I saw the boys looking at me warily. They had seen what it was like to be on the receiving end of my revenge, and I didn't think they were too eager to get in my way, even to save the sanity of their team mate. It might have helped that they were also relatively distressed over the loss of their indoor cooling and not exactly eager to save the green boy from due punishment…

Restraint Level: Satisfactory

Moocow

I lay there on the couch, staring at nothing in particular. Beast Boy and Cyborg were bickering half-heartedly until I complained loudly that it was too hot to listen to them argue; they then settled for fanning themselves with some folded up bills they found lying on the counter which I had been meaning to throw away. Star had thrown open a corner window in the naïve hopes of tempting in a nonexistent breeze. She then realized that, while the wind didn't flow into the Tower, they were high enough up that there was a slight breeze, and it increased in speed right outside of the open window. She was now sitting in front of the window with her legs dangling out of it and her head and shoulders leaning against the wall. It appeared that she had long since fallen asleep. For a moment, I felt a twinge of guilt that we could find nothing to do to fix her skin color, at least for the time being. Raven, however, was nowhere to be seen. This was not a surprise to me, considering how I had acted to the gorgeous introvert, and the others didn't notice her absence because she's always more than a little distant, unless of course she believes that it's the last day of the world and wants to make it "special" for no reason that she's willing to tell us at the time. I almost smiled at the thought of her; of how close I had gotten to her in the water; of how nervous she had looked, which was a feat in itself; of the goose bumps that had appeared on her neck when I whispered to her; of how good she looked in that bikini…

Suddenly, I realized that Raven had been gone for a long time. A very long time. Long enough for Cyborg and Beast Boy to reconcile their issues about the AC, which was no mean feat. I knew it probably wasn't in a certain changeling's best interest to leave her alone long enough to come up with a good revenge plan, so I decided to excuse myself and check up on the gothic beauty.

"Hey, I think I'm going to head up to the roof. Maybe it'll be cooler up there," I said. Hook. It's almost amazing how easily I can come up with a plausible lie and then feed it to my friends, who fall for it every time.

"Do what you want man, but with the sun beating down up there? I don't think it's going to be all that cool," Cyborg informed me. Line.

"It can't be much hotter up there than it is in here," Beast Boy contributed. Sinker.

"That's actually a good point," the hybrid conceded. For a second, I was afraid I would have to carry out my lie because they might want to come with me. But my fears were unfounded; they didn't even look up as I made my way to the living room door.

I stepped out the door, let it shut behind me, and released a relieved sigh. Now I could walk to her room in peace. Sadly, that was probably all the peace I would get. It was never a good idea to interrupt the sorceress, and when she was in her room, it was even more of a sign that she wanted to be alone. Add in the fact that she was relatively angry at me already, and I didn't think she was going to take too kindly to what she would view as an invasion of her privacy. I must be an idiot for trying to find her, especially since it's hotter than hell and she was pissed at me anyway.

Then why was I doing this…?

I gave up trying to figure it out when I got to her door. Then I tried to decide whether it would be a death wish to taunt her some more. To tease or not to tease, that is the question…

And it would always be the question because before I could decide, the door swung open to reveal the reason for my battle, a very pissed off Raven.

With raised eyebrows, she regarded me silently, never moving from the doorway. She seemed to be waiting for me to give her a reason that I would be standing there. That is where my ability to formulate lies and fabricate the truth runs out. I can't lie to Raven. I don't know whether it's physically impossible, or if I just know she'll be able to see right through it. Whatever the reason, I could think of nothing to say but the truth, and so that's what I gave her.

"So, have you thought of a name for your book yet?" I asked innocently.

"What book?" she questioned with obvious annoyance.

"I was thinking '101 Ways to Murder a Shape Shifter'. Catchy, huh?" I informed her with a grin.

She glared at me for a moment, then said, "I came up with a companion book, too, you know."

"Really? And what's it called?"

"I was thinking '1001 Ways to Kill Your Leader'. I think it's going to be a best-seller."

"Your hokey scare tactics don't exactly frighten me, Rae."

"Trust me, this isn't anywhere near "hokey". And maybe you should be scared. In case you haven't noticed, I'm a bit more dangerous than your average girl-friend target."

"So I'm guessing you're not the kind of girl I'd take home to my mom, right?" I couldn't help the wicked grin I knew was spreading across my face. "That's perfect."

"I thought I said no more perverted thoughts." The look on her face was priceless. I just couldn't help but continue.

"You only said you didn't want to find out that I took other people's comments like that. You said nothing about my thoughts on your comments or my thoughts in general. Besides, Beast Boy's still alive, and I know you've heard what he says."

"Has it gotten through your thick skull that he doesn't often say these things to my face?" I chose to ignore the insult. For now.

"Do you have a point?" I asked. A sigh passed through her luscious lips. Speaking of her lips, I could easily picture them, along with their unwittingly sexy owner, bending to my will and doing whatever I asked… But it wasn't the time for fantasies; best save those for later.

"You know that game, Seven Minutes in Heaven or whatever? I can tell you right now Beast Boy would rather eat socks than shut himself alone in a small room with me. He's too scared I would pull his brains out through his nose." She had changed tactics, going for a route more heavy on examples rather than leaning on my ability to be a rational, thinking human being. "Which, I might add, would happen. I would die before I sunk down to his level." So much for Beast Boy's assurances that no woman alive could keep their hands off him. Raven had just shot that theory down without even a second thought.

"Good God, you can't take a joke, can you?"

"Not if they're at my expense."

"Look, I'll go easy on the perverted comments, okay? But honestly? I'm a sixteen-year-old guy. It's not like you should be offended or anything. I'm just like that. If you can't deal with it, then maybe you shouldn't have joined this team. You have empathy; you of all people should know that this is normal. So deal with it. But still, I know you're a little more sensitive to teasing and stuff, so I'll try to be nicer."

"What do you mean, I'm more sensitive?" Great, now she was even more pissed. What was I doing here?

"I meant that you are more easily offended than the average teenage girl. I actually wasn't trying to be rude on that account. Sorry if I offended you, but with the exception of you and Star, none of the girls I go out with even listen to me; they all just stare at me and giggle at whatever I say, even if I purposely say something rude."

"So you date the slutty, ditzy types?" It just got better by the minute. Now I was being stereotyped.

"Would it make you happy if I said yes? Besides, like I said earlier, deal with it. That particular decision doesn't affect you."

"I could dance for joy," she informed me in a perfectly flat voice that told me she probably felt the complete opposite. "And like hell it doesn't affect me. If I have to sit in the same room as any of them, I'd say it affects me. And I don't suppose you've realized that this is my way of dealing with it? Everybody has inborn defense mechanisms; mine just happens to be verbal abuse… Wait a minute! Were you telling me I shouldn't be on the team!" Woops. I must have said the wrong thing. Now she sounded not only verbally abusive, but like she might commit herself to physical abuse as well. "You said if I couldn't deal with it, then I shouldn't have joined. I swear, if this is your way of firing me, you're going to regret it."

"Are you insane? I was making a point. Sometimes, Rae, you don't need to read between the lines. I say what I mean, and I meant that if you don't want to deal with guys your own age, then find somewhere else to go. No offense, but I'm not changing for you, and neither is anyone else."

"Not including Beast Boy."

"Actually I was including him."

"Then you're wrong. He's already changed some, and I don't doubt that he'll continue to change."

"And why is that?"

"I already told you that he's scared as hell of me. If I threaten enough, he'll eventually bend to my will." I didn't like her wording. It was too much like my own thoughts on her for my comfort.

"And what does that mean?"

"I give you permission to take that however you want, but I'm pretty sure that you know how I don't mean it." I sighed and hit my head once against her doorframe. "Now, Wonder Boy, what did you come down here for?" Suddenly, I realized that she wasn't in her uniform. She was wearing an extremely tight tank top and a pair of shorts that I knew for certain she wouldn't wear in public, both black. She seemed to notice that my attention had wandered from her to her choice in clothing because her voice suddenly got defensive. "Hey, it's not like the Titans are doing anything today. And I usually wear less clothes than this anyway, so don't get all weirded out on me."

"Need I point out that you normally wear a cloak?" All I got in response to that was a sigh and a roll of her eyes. "Never mind, I'll keep my mind out of the gutter for a few minutes. Will that make you happy?" I questioned.

"But of course," was her sarcastic reply.

"Anyway, I just came up here to make sure that you didn't have any horrific revenge plans for Beast Boy yet. I don't think it'll be good for the team if one of our members is murdered and another one is in prison. Besides, some things, like allowing someone working for you to get killed, don't look good on a résumé."

"Don't worry; he'll live through this week. Sadly, I can't promise more than that," she said. I was a bit surprised. Raven was teasing me, right after she got done yelling at me for being sick-minded, too. Well, maybe she didn't yell. But still. I decided to play back, so I leaned against her doorway and raised my eyebrows.

"That's a pity; it was his week to do the dishes next week. I guess we'll just have to skip to you." So it was a pathetic comeback, big deal. She'd still play along. Raven enjoyed a challenge almost as much as I did, something I was definitely using to my advantage.

"Sorry, Rob, but if I'm in jail, I can't do the dishes. That'll leave you." Her attempt at teasing wasn't much better than mine, but then again, she didn't usually use her verbally abusive nature against anyone besides Beast Boy, with the exclusion of normal sarcasm.

Slowly, I slid into her room and let the door shut behind me. Either she didn't notice or (gasp!) she was actually enjoying arguing with me, something she would never admit out loud.

"Then I guess I just can't let you kill Beast Boy." If she asked what I thought she was going to ask, this was where my fun ended, and Raven threw me out the window.

"And how do you plan on stopping me?" Damn, she had to ask. All well, I'd just milk it for all I could.

Still slowly, I walked toward her until I was less than a foot away. She suddenly looked like she was hyperaware of my presence; her breath caught and she looked somewhat scared.

Looking down upon her now frozen form, I whispered, "I'm pretty sure I'll think of something." She wouldn't look me in the eye; she just stood there, staring at eye level, which happened to be my chest. I knew I was probably over that very fine line between leader-ly rights and stalker-like tendencies, but in a few seconds I'd be falling from ten stories up anyway. And I wasn't going to let it get much farther than talk; I may mess with her, but I'd never do anything physical to Raven that she didn't want me to. I hoped she knew that.

"You just don't understand, do you?" Me, not understand? I don't think so. I knew perfectly well what I was doing. Or so I thought. (AN: Pardon the cliché, people. I just couldn't think of any other way to convey that point.) "This isn't a game any more. I put up with you in the lake, but you can't just keep on. I can only handle so much. I'm going to be a little out of character for a minute, and ask nicely. Stop, okay? Being teased and taunted and jerked around isn't my idea of fun. Don't flirt if you can't handle the consequences, Robin."

"What do you mean 'if I can't handle the consequences'?" What did she think I couldn't handle? Besides, we were just having fun… right? I didn't really care, did I? I decided to leave that particular time-bomb unanswered; either way, I was going to make her mad.

"I meant… Never mind what I meant. Just get out now." She finally lifted her eyes to look at my face. Her gaze conveyed more feelings than I had ever seen them show before; uncertainty, annoyance, sadness, and… there was one more thing… I couldn't figure out what it was… Wait! I knew that look. I used to see it in Starfire's eyes every time she was alone with me. It was hope… But what was she hoping for?

I sighed deeply, careful to observe her reaction. I was rewarded when I saw the most minute of shivers pass through her. So she did enjoy my attention! I wasn't going to act upon this now; I knew she had had too much and that I needed to take it down a notch. Well, I probably needed to take it down several notches, to tell the truth. But what to do about it later…

"Alright, I'm going. But only because you asked nicely."

"Thank you," she said, in what was more of a monotone than she had used during our entire conversation. Raven stepped away from me and opened her door with her powers. I walked over to the exit and paused. Raking my hands through my hair, I considered my options briefly. I could walk out of there, unharmed and uninjured, or I could turn around and do what? Something, but then I ran the risk of bodily harm. For some reason, I chose Option B.

I turned around and saw Raven standing with her back to me, staring out the window with one hand hanging loosely by her side, the upper arm of which was being held by her other hand.

"Rae," I said quietly. Her shoulders stiffened, and her hand fell back down to her side; it appeared that she hadn't realized I was still there. So that was what Raven looked like when she was relaxed? I preferred lounging on the couch, but to each his own…

"What?" She didn't turn to look at me. I figured she thought she had seen enough of me for a while. Strangely though, I couldn't think of anything to say to her. But what was there to say? At first I thought I wasn't concerned with what you thought because I just wanted to mess with someone, but now I think I might actually care how you feel? Yeah, not something you should say to any girl, let alone one with enough power to send you to Hell and back.

"Uh, just leave out the death threats next time you want something."

"Whatever."

With a sigh and that oh-so-pleasant good-bye, I made my way to my room, where I would hopefully be able to sort out what exactly had taken place while I had been in the stunning telepath's room.

Restraint Level: Waning

Moocow

What was wrong with me? I had let him in my room. I had let him get close… much too close. I had even let him get under my skin. And all I could come up with was some wimpy You-don't-know-what-you're-getting-into bullshit! What was wrong with me? I'm the ruler of sarcasm, the Ice Queen, the Titans most likely to bite your head off if you even came near my room. So why had I fallen for his ignorant flirting, even for a moment? Was it because, deep down, I wanted someone I could talk to? Or was I just having a heatstroke and losing my good judgment because of the high temperature? The second seemed more likely, given who I was. I was probably having this conversation with myself for the same reason. All well, I guess I'm fine after all, any heat strokes excluded.

With a relieved sigh, I left the confinements of my room and began to wander the halls of our beloved tower. I let my feet carry me, thus allowing my attention to wander aimlessly. Why had he gotten so close to me? Now that I had decided that it was a medical problem that resulted in allowing him near me, I wondered what his motive had been. He couldn't actually care, or he would have done what I asked him long ago. What was his glitch? Why wouldn't he just go away and leave me alone the first time?

I found myself up on the roof before I had even realized I had stopped. Strangely enough, it was much cooler up here. I vaguely remembered learning something about wind pressure being stronger when it passed over something tall, and I was thankful, both for that and for no one else knowing that.

Unfortunately, it turned out that I was wrong on one account. Robin knew, and he had apparently planned on taking advantage of it. He didn't even notice I was watching him until he was upon the edge of the roof.

"Oh… You're up here, too," he stated. I barely kept myself from rolling my eyes.

"Obviously," I muttered. He seemed not to have my restraint because he openly glared at me.

"Don't be a smart-ass," he said.

"Oh, and I should do what you say why? It's not like you respected my wishes by leaving me alone!" I exclaimed in a very un-me-like fashion.

"I'm the leader. That means you have to do what I say. Besides, I was planning on apologizing after dinner." I couldn't believe the words coming out of his mouth. Did he know how he sounded? I meant to tell him as much.

"Hypocrite," I hissed.

"It's not like you even gave me a chance. I mean, come on, Rae! What if I actually liked you, huh? What then?"

"Are you saying you don't like me?" I asked, hoping that he wouldn't notice my lack of an answer. No such luck.

"That's not what I meant, and you know it. Now answer the damn question, or keep your smart-ass comments to yourself." He was a lot more assertive about the issue than he had been downstairs. I found myself hoping I could somehow get him to let that anger ebb away.

"Look, if I thought you were sincere, then I might have given you a chance. But you weren't, plain and simple." Perhaps telling him what he wanted to hear was the answer to my dilemma.

"Liar." Perhaps not. "It wouldn't have mattered if I had yelled out that I loved you for everyone to hear, you wouldn't have done anything nicer than roll your eyes, would you?"

"Of course not. How could you expect anything else? Of all the Titans, I am the least experienced in that department. I've never- No one's ever- I just- Oh, never mind! You're right; are you happy? I'm actually admitting that I wouldn't have spared a thought to it, that I'm so romantically undeveloped that I wouldn't have even have cared about your feelings on the matter. There, I've said it. Not that it matters, really. You never really liked me like that." I needed to stop talking. I was getting too emotionally involved in the discussion to speak like a reasonably sane person.

"Why would that make me happy? Just because I'm right doesn't mean I like the answer. I had almost convinced myself that you weren't so bad, that I actually wouldn't have a problem going out with you instead of one of my usual mindless, giggling sheep. But you know what? I think I changed my mind." For a minute, I thought I had gone into shock. Robin, the man of a million women, had just said that I was date material. Let's just say that didn't happen to me everyday.

"Robin?" I asked as he turned around to go back into the tower.

"Yes?"

"You can stay out here if you want. It's probably hotter in there than down here." And just like that, things were back to normal. I don't know how, but it was true. He just turned around and sat on the roof's edge as if nothing had happened. We were content to sit in companionable silence and enjoy a somewhat-cooler, Beast Boy-free hour. I spent the time wondering what would happen now. Would he bring back up our conversation? Somehow, I didn't think he'd need to. We had reached an understanding, of what, I didn't know. But I'd worry about that later. Right now, it was more important to enjoy the breeze. Tomorrow we wouldn't get to sit up here. Cyborg would get the parts he needed and spend the next few days trying to fix the AC, and since the roof was where it was located, everyone but Cyborg and possibly me would be forbidden from coming up here.

Much like a good story, all things must end. So as we heard Beast Boy bumbling up the stairs, we smiled at each other, a silent good-bye of sorts. I mostly tuned the green changeling out as he mumbled to Robin about some video game or other. I heard the words "You're on" and "Five minutes" before he retreated once more down the stairs. I turned around, expecting no one and yet seeing Robin waiting for me, a small smile on his face. I gave him a questioning look as he opened his mouth to speak.

"Just promise me one thing," requested the Boy Wonder.

"What might that be?" I asked. He grinned again before answering.

"Give somebody a chance one day. You might just be surprised." So he had had one last thing to say. Well, Wonder Boy, maybe I will give someone a chance. And I think I know the perfect first choice… I just hope you're willing to give me a chance in return.

Restraint Level: None

Moocow

Okietay, peoples! Hope you liked that. It was hell to write. I just kept getting stuck the characters are messed up. And school starts tomorrow so I'm pretty damn stressed out. You can tell because normally I don't cuss in fics, but right now I just can't help it. Anyway, this is a one shot, so no more chapters. Please don't ask because then I'd be tempted to continue. I swear, writing is like a drug to me. I'm addicted. Anyway, I gotta go.

Ciao

Raven-Angel-of-Darkness