This is just a short little oneshot in response to a challenge proposed by alena-chan, so I thought, what the heck? Might as well. I don't think I'm too happy with this story, and I definitely don't think it's my best work, but it served it's purpose. You're welcome to read it, and I'd love to hear what you think about it.
Summary: Robin goes into the kitchen with the simple intention of getting a sandwich, but ends up getting much more than he bargained for when he comes across Raven reading in a chair. But what is it exactly that she's reading, and why does he keep bothering her about it? A bit of bird interaction here, but not what you might think.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans, all right? I know you're disappointed because you thought I did, but it's just not true. Oh, and there's also no Santa Claus.
Do you ever get the feeling that some things never change? That they're destined to always stay the same? Well, that's what our young hero thought as he entered the living room to once again find Raven sitting on a chair sideways with her legs dangling over the side, reading one of her trademark books.
"Will you be here for all eternity?" He asked. "Or do you plan on getting up every once in awhile to eat?"
The dark empath glanced up at her leader with an impassive expression before quickly returning her gaze to the novel she was reading. "Meals are overrated."
It was painfully clear that Raven didn't want to be disturbed during one of her favorite pastimes –a fact that even Robin couldn't ignore, –so the masked teenager simply shrugged and turned into the kitchen, visions of turkey sandwiches and Cheetos dancing around in his head. It was nearly noon, and he had skipped breakfast in order to do an early sweep of the city, making sure that everything was in order, so it was no surprise that he was practically starving by the time he returned to the Tower.
After several minutes of searching through the cabinets, Robin was finally able to collect all of the items he needed to make his much-yearned-for lunch. He had had a pretty good scare when he found out that the mayonnaise was expired by over three weeks, but that was all resolved when he found a second jar in the pantry.
Finally having his sandwich made, –sadly they were out of Cheetos, –Robin made his way over to the chair next to Raven. After all, the cushy chairs were much more comfortable than the bar stools they had at the counter. He had just taken a bite of his sandwich when–
"And his scent was like the scent of life."
Robin put down his now forgotten sandwich and raised an eyebrow at his telekinetic friend in disbelief. "Wh- what was that?"
Startled by the realization that she was not alone, Raven's eyes jerked up to face the would-be intruder sitting in the next chair. "Huh?"
With the same incredulous look, Robin asked, "Did you just say, 'And his scent was like the scent of life'? Or did I hear you wrong?"
Raven couldn't help the small blush that crept onto her cheeks. So she had been reading out loud again, huh? Whoops. She really needed to kick that habit before it got her into an embarrassing situation… much like this was turning out to be. "Um… Yes I did."
The two birds simply stared at each other for several moments, Robin hoping that she would elaborate on the subject, and Raven hoping that he would drop the topic altogether. But she was never that lucky, now was she?
"Mind telling me why you said that?"
With a mental groan and a small sigh, the empath closed her book and positioned herself so that she could better face her friend. "Sometimes when I get to a good part in a book, I read it out loud. Satisfied?"
She seemed a bit irritated at the conversation, but no way was Robin letting it go. It was so rare that Raven did anything that might be considered embarrassing, and even more uncommon that she would actually have some type of emotional slip-up. "What was so good about it?"
'Ugh!' Why did he want to talk about this? Didn't he know that it was a risk to badger her about things she considered to be private? No, apparently not. Well, maybe it wouldn't kill her talk to him about it this once. After all, it had been awhile since she had last 'opened up' to anyone on the team, so hopefully after this the rest of the Titans might give her some more space.
"It was just romantic, that's all."
When Robin merely looked at her with a confused expression, she continued. "The story is about these two people who meet and fall in love, and I was reading a scene where the guy saves the woman from a burning building and is carrying her away when she notices how passionate and powerful he is, and she thinks to herself that 'his scent was like the scent of life'. That's all there is too it."
"But what's so romantic about that? I save people from burning buildings all the time, there's not that much to it."
Raven rolled her eyes before lightly shaking her head at the colorful Titan. "Well obviously there's a lot more to it than that, but to sum it up the guy was crying because he was so scared that he wouldn't be able to save the woman in time. It was sweet."
"A hero doesn't cry! Heroes can't afford to be that emotional when on the job, it just gets in the way!"
"Well Robin, that's why this is fiction. You can't exactly expect a romance novel to be very realistic. They're supposed to be unreal."
Robin greatly regretted having just taken a bite of his sandwich, as it was now stubbornly lodged in the back of his throat, cutting off the much-needed flow of air into his lungs. Why did he have to choke? And why did it have to be in front of her of all people?
"Are you all right Robin?"
Fortunately for the Boy Wonder, he quickly managed to swallow the remaining bit of his lunch after pounding on his chest profusely with his fist, which unfortunately only served to make him look like a complete idiot to his companion.
"Sorry… I was choking."
"I could tell."
Robin took a few moments to clear his throat before deciding to address the issue that had caused him to choke in the first place. Of course, before he said anything he made a point to put his sandwich down on the table, where it couldn't possibly cause any more harm. "So, you read romance novels?"
Raven only gave an indifferent nod as response.
"Huh… I never would have thought you as the type," he said, thinking about what this new information about his teammate could ultimately mean. Then something clicked. "Hey wait a minute. You read books all the time. Are they always romance novels?"
He was practically on the edge of his seat, for some reason just burning to know the answer. It wasn't very often that someone found out something new about Raven, and he just couldn't help himself from being so enthusiastic about understanding her. After all, she was the "Titan's very own mystery" as the newspapers had deemed her not too long ago.
"Pretty much. I mean, of course I read other things, but I do read a lot of romance."
"May I ask why? No offense, but you just don't seem like the kind of person who reads that stuff."
"That is such a closed-minded thing to say. I may not be a bubbly, lovesick teenage girl, but I'm a girl nonetheless. We like romance, we like the idea of a hero saving a 'damsel' when she's in distress, and we like love. Love is like chocolate; you can't get enough of it! Now if you're done with all the questioning, I'd like to get back to my book."
Without so much as a glare toward her leader, Raven picked up said book and opened it to the page where she had left off, leaving Robin only to his thoughts and his now unappetizing sandwich. Now what would he do to pass the time? He wanted to get all the Titans to go to the park today, but he needed to get them all in one place before that was possible, and the living room was the most probable place for running into the others. He just had to wait until the rest of the team came in for some lunch.
With a sigh, Robin got up from the comfortable chair, picking up his discarded sandwich as he did so, and headed into the kitchen to clean up.
Ten minutes later and Robin was standing in the middle of a now sparkling kitchen, once again with the dilemma of finding something to do until the others came in. Of course the obvious solution would be to play the Gamestation, but Beast Boy had broken that a few days ago in an 'accident' that had also somehow involved the destruction of a coffee table, two lamps, and a window.
Robin began to look around the room in search of anything that might spark his interest, when his gaze fell upon the moody sorceress in the chair nearest the door. He could always try and start another conversation with her, but since he had already interrupted her reading once today, it probably wasn't a good idea. With this thought in mind his eyes once again started to wander the room hopelessly, finally giving into defeat after a few minutes.
That was it. Villains he could handle. Death threats he could handle. Heck, he could even handle being forced to take a psychotic villain's daughter to her prom. But THIS –this he just couldn't stand. Boredom was definitely not something the Boy Wonder was trained to deal with, so he did what any other teenager would do in his situation.
Yes, he resorted to whining.
But the room remained just as quiet as it had been before, earning him no prospect for amusement, and no sympathy. Well that certainly didn't accomplish anything. What could he do now?
"Raven… I'm bored."
Alarm bells went off in the back of Robin's head as he noticed Raven's fists clench around the edges of her book as her knuckles turned white in the process, her posture also seeming to suddenly change. First she appeared to shrink as if cringing, only to then grow to an intimidating size. The normally small and 'fragile-looking' Titan now hovered over the male bird in a swirl of angry shadow, teeth bared and a growl in the back of her throat.
"ROBIN! I don't care if you're bored! I don't care if you resort to burning down half of Jump City just to entertain yourself! As long as you don't bug me!" Robin could only stare on helplessly as his teammate berated him. All he could do was stand there quietly and hope that she wouldn't be too hard on him. And as much as he tried to hide it, he still flinched when Raven opened her mouth to continue.
"Now, I'm going to sit back down and read my book! But if you interrupt me one more time, I'm going to have to send you to a dimension where you can't possibly bother me! Got it?"
A gulp and a nod was all he could manage, but luckily for him she knew he understood and returned to her normal form and quietly sat back down in her chair to continue to read.
At that very moment the other three Titans entered all at once and made their way over to the kitchen, not even noticing how their normally fearless leader now stood in a shocked stupor in the middle of the room.
While Starfire and Beast Boy were rummaging through the refrigerator, Cyborg turned to face their leader and leaned over the counter. "Hey Rob! We were thinking that it would be fun if we all went to the park today. What do you think?"
When the words finally sunk in, Robin turned to glance at Raven, who gave him a brief glare over the top of her book and what he could have sworn was low growl, but no one else seemed to hear it.
"Uh… actually Cyborg, I think a nice quiet evening at home would be better."
Robin had learned an important lesson that day –one that he never forgot. Sometimes it's better to just keep your mouth shut. Raven was definitely not one to be taken lightly, and he certainly didn't want to be victim to one of her 'fits' after making her angry. Silence is safe. That much he knew.
For anyone who was reading this and thinking, "What the heck?" –this is for you.
The criteria for this challenge was to use one of the following lines in a story (I used them all):
"Love is like chocolate; you can't get enough of it!"
"A hero doesn't cry!"
"Will you be here for all eternity?"
"And his/her scent was like the scent of life."
"Silence is safe. That much he/she knew."
And the story you just read is what popped into my head when I read those quotes. So hopefully that cleared up some stuff for you guys. Don't forget to drop a review, even if it's just one little word. I'd love to hear what you think. Please and thank you :)