A/N: Hey guys! This is for Alena-chan's challenge. I hope it doesn't suck, I'm not too good at one-shots and I hope you all enjoy, especially you Alena! If you want to check out other one-shots for her challenge or possibly write your own, then go to her forum, Heaven, Hell and Everything Inbetween. Organize the forums by the number of post or topics and it'll be right there near the top. I'm having a blast there!
By Amber Myst
The twilight was quiet, the stillness of it pervading through the tower entirely as the sun set in a fiery display of brilliance, the copious colors briefly warding off the cold and dark of the night. But eventually, as it had been doing since the world began to spin. The darkness won and claimed the sky in a triumphant display of brilliant pin points of light as the last curve of the sun finally drifted downward and relinquished its pretentious hold on the heavens.
However, a certain titan was unaware of the sun's effulgence display as he stared resolutely at a sheet of paper clutched tightly in his fist. His jaw was taut, his back teeth grinding together in frustration as he glared at the quandary that seemed to be mocking him. He erased vigorously as the pencil clutched in his hands snapped in half and he heaved a sigh of impatience at the loss of time this distraction would cause him. It was his last pencil and he looked ruefully at the haphazard heap of broken writing utensils scattered next to the puzzle that was currently driving him absolutely mad. He had exhausted his supply of pencils and he rarely used pens. Acknowledging the fact that he was not perfect, he preferred the capricious nature of lead and erasers to the finality of ink. Scribbles and white-out made paper look so unseemly. So he preferred pencils when his computer wasn't available. And in this case, a computer would be absurd. But then, he went way off topic on this tangent.
He smoothed the paper on the unblemished, chocolate-hued surface of his desk before he completely destroyed it in his annoyance. Standing up he stretched, loosening his tense muscles before glaring once more down at the jumble of confusing numbers. If he recalled correctly, there were pencils in a cup on the coffee table in the living room. He would conquer the numbers yet and he was never one to blithely ignore neither a challenge nor a mystery. Besides, he was in dire need of a break. Nodding his head in agreement, he left the glaring brightness of his room and entered the dark cool hallway.
Robin smiled unbelievingly to himself. Who knew Sudoku could be so addicting?
His steps faltered a bit as he heard the light footsteps of his quietly returning teammates. He raised an eyebrow in confusion. There were so many things wrong with that sentence that he didn't know where to begin. Quietly? The term itself could never be applied to any of his teammates. None but Raven.
He was instantly suspicious.
Upon leaving they told him they wouldn't return until 11:00, much to Raven's chagrin. He couldn't have possibly been working on the number puzzle that long Robin couldn't fathom how, but Starfire had managed to convince Raven to go out with them. He politely refused, the conundrum that was Sudoku had already sunk its obsessive claws into him and he professed to having 'paperwork' to do although a ill hidden glare from Raven proved that she was very much aware of the fact that he planned to do no such thing. He was infinitely grateful, however, that she didn't turn him in. In fact, she was the one who had given him the puzzle minutes before she had been convinced to join his friends. It was before she was even aware they had plans and explained to him the details of conquering the puzzle. She grudgingly confessed that this one was for experts only and that it had taken her a couple of hours to complete but she also claimed to have faith in him, so he was determined to prove that her faith was well placed. He felt a stirring of unknown and yet familiar emotions at the thought of Raven that he resolutely pressed away with a shake of his head. The last thing he wanted to do was contemplate the development of unsure and unneeded emotions towards the dark, enigmatic female.
Robin entered the kitchen and the flurry of activity ceased immediately, three guilty faces addressing him seemingly caught red handed at whatever they were trying to accomplish. The fourth face that was present was planted into the kitchen table, emitting soft moans of distress.
"Raven?" He asked, concern overtaking his suspicions although, it lurked right under the surface. What could they have possibly done to Raven. Her response was another discontented moan before she lurched from the table and dashed from the kitchen, her amethyst eyes wide as her hands covered her mouth.
He watched as the flicker of her clothing disappeared around the corner and he was bent on pursuing before his lips set themselves into a strict line and he turned around to interrogate the fidgeting titans in front of him. Leveling a hard glare at them, especially Beast Boy who seemed to be dancing in place with restless agitation, he voiced his concerns. "What happened?"
He knew immediately that whatever it was an internal problem, meaning that it was caused by a member of the group, or the entire group. They wouldn't have tried to hide it if it were otherwise.
"Well..." Cyborg started almost calmly, the sweat pouring down his forehead was no where near as bad as Beast Boy's. This alone clued Robin in to the fact that whatever had happened that the changeling was to blame or at least mostly to blame. Cyborg was a lot more mature so he wasn't too sure where he stood and Starfire was too naive. He was positive she wouldn't intentionally hurt anyone but she could be easily convinced if she was assured that the person was right.
"No, it was my fault." Beast Boy interrupted, his voice a high pitched squeak. "I wouldn't have done it...if I had known...but she was so tense and sad and ...I figured she need to chill out...but I swear if I had known...I wouldn't have asked him to do it, I swear...besides, I didn't know he would give her more than one!" He defended himself, his arms waving wildly in the thick air of the kitchen.
Robin winced from Beast Boy's rambling as he tried without success to interpret his jumbled words. "Slow down, and repeat yourself." He demanded.
The green teen took his advice and took a deep breath to ground himself for the outburst that he would bet his life on that was to follow. "Well, I kinda convinced the bartender, since he's a friend of mine and everything, to make Raven's drinks not so virgin and she kinda...got drunk." After his confession he immediately dived behind Cyborg and cowered as he waited for the boom to drop.
He wasn't disappointed.
"You WHAT?" His screech even made him wince. Taking deep breaths to calm himself he repeated over and over, mumbling under his breath, 'Musn't kill Beast Boy. Musn't kill Beast Boy. Must kill Beast Boy.' As he contemplated all the reasons he really shouldn't murder the changeling, he shook his head. For some reason, the few excuses he managed to come up with seemed very paltry in light of his new misdemeanor. He was absolutely furious. Raven trusted them and he knew exactly how hard it was for her to place such a precious commodity into the hands of others and for Beast Boy to so lightly disregard that...
He swore and everyone blanched.
Robin stopped abruptly, and it had never occurred to him that he had started pacing. "Beast Boy," He said sharply in a low voice, not trusting himself to speak any higher than a harsh whisper. Hell, he couldn't comprehend how he wasn't screaming. "How could you do something like this? How dare you! I would have expected something like this from Slade, from Jinx, from anyone but you! Raven trusted you! She should be able to out with her teammates and not have to worry about something as trivial as what she's drinking! How do you think she will react now the next time you guys ask her to go anywhere with you? I know you have a brain somewhere in there, although it's probably the size of a pea, but do you ever use it!"
Stopping again, he dragged his hand through his hair. He had a few more choice words he wanted to voice but he couldn't do it now. Some words might slip out that he would regret later and he would loathe having to apologize. He was sorely disappointed with Cyborg and Starfire trying to hide it but he would deal with them later. Everyone in the room started when they heard a large shatter in the direction in which Raven had ran. He sighed deeply before saying, "The rest of you go to bed, I'll deal with Raven."
Cyborg and Starfire slinked from the room without a word. At any other time Cyborg would have flipped but he was properly chastised; however, Beast Boy paused at the entrance of the kitchen. "It's my fault maybe I should..."
Robin shook his head as an evil glint entered his eyes, unbeknownst to the changeling, but when a small grin began to make its way across his features, Beast Boy could guess that what ever was going through Robin's head would not bode well for him.
"Don't worry, I'll send you in tomorrow morning to tend to her needs."
Beast Boy paled a sickly green that was much lighter than was normal for the teen. A hung-over, pissed off Raven was something he did not wish to experience, at least until the later years of his life, after he fulfilled all of his dreams and aspirations. The protest died on his lips and he hung his head shamefully and shuffled from the room knowing he deserved that and worse for doing that to Raven. He sighed deeply. He hoped she could forgive him. He just really wasn't looking forward to her wrath...no self loving, preserving person was.
The Boy Wonder sighed, shaking his head. He still couldn't believe that Beast Boy would do that. Okay, he thought wryly, maybe he could. But that didn't change a thing and he was still furious. The sound of retching reached his ears and he winced in sympathy for Raven's dysphonic plight.
He knocked lightly on the bathroom door, "Raven?" Robin called out anxiously. "Can I come in?"
He wasn't going to ask her if she was alright, obviously she wasn't.
The only response he received was a groan wrought with suffering. Poor Raven. Pushing open the door, he happened upon Raven collapsed on the floor and leaning heavily against the porcelain toilet bowl. A strained look came over her features as her stomach lurched and this time Robin held her hair out of the way as he rubbed her back in soothing circles. She continued to dry heave as she had already emptied most of the contents of her stomach in the back of Cyborg's car. When it finally ended, she gasped for breath and stood on unsteady legs, shaking with the effort. The ever helpful Robin simply followed her, making sure she didn't fall.
Wiping at her mouth with the back of her right hand and flushing the toilet with the other, she stumbled to the sink without any help and proceeded to wash her hands and her face. Sipping the water from her cupped hands, she rinsed the sour taste of vomit from her mouth.
Turning around swiftly, which caused her world to shift and tilt dangerously, she regard her 'savior' with heavy lidded, red-rimmed eyes before closing them against the brightness of the bathroom's florescent lighting. The bright light seemed to be driving pins into her sensitive eyes. "What happen'?" She asked him uncertainly, her words slurring as she stumbled forward and would have fallen if it weren't for Robin's strong arms suddenly embracing her. "Did everyone forget me?"
"Beast Boy happened and no, no one forgot you." He told her softly. "If it makes you feel better, he did it to improve your mood."
She laughed harshly, flinching at the grating sound. "Knew he hated me."
"No he doesn't. His brain just doesn't function on the same level as everyone else's. In his own twisted little way, it shows he really does cares."
Her head drooped and connected with his shoulder as she muttered incoherently, seeming to disregard his words. "Everyone hates me..."
Robin drew back gently, appalled. Is that really what she thought, or was she too drunk to know what she was saying? Grasping her chin lightly he looked into her liquid, tired almost abject eyes and couldn't help it when he heart thumped painfully in his chest. "That's not true Raven," he admonished her gently. "You should know better."
Guiding her from the bathroom with her arm wrapped around his shoulder and his arm around her waist, he helped her into the living room and placed her on the couch. "I'll be back. I have to get you some coffee."
Going through all the motions of getting the coffee together he contemplated Raven's words. She didn't mean that, she couldn't have. She knows how much they cared, all of them. He bit his lip in consternation. Maybe they didn't include her in as many things as they could but they always ask her first, right? That had to account for something. Besides, most of the time she refused. When she did accompany them, it usually wasn't under her own free will.
But as a leader and a friend, maybe he should have tried harder? The last thing he wanted Raven to feel was rejected, especially since the feelings he felt for her certainly weren't rejection. Lately his feelings for the resident empathic female have blossomed into something he didn't even want to contemplate but left him up late at night. He poured her cup of coffee, adding milk to dilute the strong, bitter flavor. His fingers paused above the sugar dish before he shook his head. She didn't take any sugar in her coffee. He sighed deeply, as he shoved the thoughts into the deepest corner of his mind. He would think about this later. Raven was waiting for him.
When he re-entered the room, Raven wasn't where he left her and instead was standing against the window, staring into the night. She looked so forlorn and...beautiful that his heart ached. The moonlight shimmered across her features, lighting half of her face and yet leaving half of it in darkness. The shadows caused by the prominent features of her face made the glowing pallor of her face seem even brighter, making her ethereal beauty even more pronounced.
Settling his burden down onto the table, he approached her slowly, enthralled; he didn't approach her as one would a wild animal that couldn't be trusted, but as if she were a earth bound goddess and he wasn't worthy of her celestial attention.
That's when he noticed a sliver of brightness slip down her face, the reflection from the moon and stars making it look as if a precious gem was trailing down her face.
"Raven, a-are you crying?" He asked, appalled and worried at the same time, his eyes widening dramatically as a million different thoughts ran unbridled through his mind. He couldn't handle crying women very well to begin with, but Raven crying was a completely different scenario. It was infinitely worse because then one knew it had to be something terrible. He wondered briefly if it were snowing in hell.
She jumped, startled as her head whipped around to face him, her body following suit far too quickly. In her inebriated state, she couldn't keep her balance and she fell. "Ow." She muttered almost comically as she glared down her face at her nose, rubbing it to remove the sting from slamming it into the floor. Pushing back her cloak with her unoccupied hand, she rolled over and folded her legs in front of her.
Raven was still rubbing the offended area when Robin lifted her in his arms and placed her down on the couch. "Why were you crying?" He asked her gently, his voice soft as he brushed the tear away with the pad of his thumb.
Sighing she looked at the moisture on his hand with a pensive, grave look on her face before hiccupping, ruining her almost serious moment as she suddenly grinned ruefully at him. "I know, a hero doesn't cry."
The Boy Wonder shook his head as he knelt in front of the couch so that they were eye level, his fingers itching to brush away the tendril of purple hair that fell into her face. "No. That's not what I mean. What has upset you?"
Her shoulders lifted in a flash of movement and she shook her head, mumbling words under her breath. The titan leader thought he heard something along the lines of 'no one' and 'love' but he wasn't too sure.
Robin lifted an eyebrow in question before handing her the mug of coffee. Raven slurped it noisily before immediately spitting it back into the cup.
"Raven!" Robin exclaimed. He knew it wasn't too hot.
The empath flinched away from the sound of his voice before turning narrowed, reproachful eyes to her beverage. "It's not chocolate."
He was surprised and it knew it showed on his face. "I didn't know you liked chocolate."
She rolled her eyes and sighed, as if she didn't know how she put up with Robin's stupidity. "Everyone likes chocolate," she informed him with a swaggering air, almost as if she was proud that she knew something he didn't. "Just can't put it down. Especially that Willy Wonka guy. I love that movie. The Johnny Depp version was okay, but not as good as the original. Except Depp's like a bazillion times hotter. Shouldn't he be fat from eating all that chocolate?"
Robin's eyebrows disappeared into his hair. Raven was tipsy as hell. Beyond tipsy. If it weren't so serious and she had done it under her own volition, it might have actually been amusing. Even though he kept telling himself this, he couldn't keep a small, amused smile from curling onto his lips.
"But anyway," she shook her head to focus herself, her eyes dazed as she became lost in herself or the affects of the alcohol, he didn't know. "Love is like chocolate, you can't get enough of it." She said staring into his mask. "One can never have too much chocolate or love." Her hands began to twist together in her lap, as she directed her gaze at them, her voice becoming smaller, softer. "Loves suppose to make you feel good, like chocolate but I wouldn't know. I don't have either at the moment." She shrugged, hunching in on her slight form as if it were suddenly too cold. "That's what I heard somewhere anyway...probably read it."
Her eyes flickered up to his face, a strange look in them and before it even registered in his brain that she was in motion, she had pushed herself off of the couch and impetuously planted her lips on his. He hesitated, his arms going loosely around her waist as her arms wound tightly around his neck. Her lips were petal soft and he could taste the underlying sweetness of her mouth under the bitter taste of alcohol as her lips parted briefly. The taste reminded him of dark chocolate. Her head tilted to the side as her eyes drifted close, her eyelashes sweeping lightly against his cheek as her silky strands of hair slid along his face and brushed teasingly against his jawbone. With a tantalizing sweep of her tongue, as if tasting him, Raven pulled back slightly, her breath puffing lightly against his sensitized lips as her own curved upwards ruefully. A small giggle escaped her as her fingers indolently traced his still parted lips and her eyes followed the movement intently. Her head tilted slightly to the right, her hair falling to one side as she regarded him. "Funny...I thought that you would taste like chocolate."
"Huh?" He was usually a lot more articulate than this. Honestly.
"Love is like chocolate," she huffed, upset at having to repeat herself.
Robin was silent. He didn't know what to say to her. His heart was screaming at him to responded, to say something, anything but his mind was in an inextricable state of shock, unable to think past the fact that Raven had kissed him. And he had enjoyed. And possibly wanted to do it again. Well, definitely wanted to do it again. And she said he should have tasted like chocolate.
Robin gulped. Did she love him?
Did he love her?
His thoughts flickered back over the last couple of weeks and the feelings that were slowly, but steady developing for the dark female. They were spending more time together and he was positive she smiled more around him. And it was breathtaking.
On the rare occasions he made her smile, his breath caught in his throat and he couldn't for the life of him remember why she was smiling. The only thing that seemed to matter was the fact that she was and he was the reason. He was so surprised and pleased he could coax such a small piece of heaven from the girl that every time they were alone together he would try again, just to see if she would bless him with another glimpse that mortals were simply not meant to see. At least not until they died.
He could always lose himself in her eyes. They were a beautiful violet, and he never tired of them. Meticulously watching, and yet never revealing her emotions, they told him everything and yet revealed nothing. It was so frustrating, he wanted to scream. Sudoku could never even begin to match the challenge he saw in her brilliantly hued orbs. Robin never turned away from a mystery and it seemed as if Raven and her enigmatic, endless eyes was the one mystery he would never in his meaningless existence solve. He was probably destined from the beginning to fail. But that would never stop him. He had a feeling that if he looked long enough, she'd gift him with peek into her soul.
That alone would be worth every single breath housed in his body.
And her laughter was amazing too. While Starfire's ubiquitous laughter was light and airy, like the chime of bells in a gentle wind, Raven's was seemingly the opposite. It was a husky and sensuous timbre, sending chills down his spine, the shadows in the sound enticing him to darker places. It was definitely unique, another rare thing he loved about her.
Robin's eyes widened impossibly more. Another rare thing he loved about her? Then did he love her? Well, the better question was, was he in love with her?
He was certain he loved her as a friend, but was the feelings he held for her deeper than that? He didn't know. He thought so, and was so sure that they could grow beyond the simple affection held for a friend or even a crush if given half the chance.
Did he want that chance?
A smile sudden appeared on his face. What kind of question was that? Hell, yeah he did!
Before he knew it he lips were upon hers and he was experiencing the sweet taste of Raven once more. The loose arms around her waist tightened immediately, pulling her flat against his body as he pressed her against the couch at her back. She gasped and sank into his embrace like chocolate in the blistering heat, her fingers dancing through the stiff locks of hair at the base of his neck.
Eventually, however, the thought occurred to his oxygen-deprived, passion clouded mind that he should come up for air...soon.
"Robin..." Raven muttered against his lips once he pulled back from her just enough to inhale some much needed oxygen. "I...I don't feel so good."
Throwing herself away from him and scrambling to her feet, she raced to the bathroom.
He winched again as the disagreeable sounds of retching reached his ears and he shook his head. The fact that she was drunk completely slipped his mind.
That was when the doubts began to surface, restless and venomous, waiting to sink their teeth into the piece of happiness he just found.
'What if she didn't remember in the morning? What if this was just the alcohol talking? What if-'
"Stop!" He demanded of himself out loud. If she was didn't remember in the morning then he would have to remind her. And if it was just the alcohol talking...well, he always enjoyed a good chase.
Once it stopped his useless worrying, he got to his feet and followed her into the bathroom. Raven was sprawled out on the floor. Her back was flat against the floor and her were legs bent, resting one side on the floor, one top of the other. One arm was limp, fully stretched above her head, ending in curved fingers and the other resting against her stomach. Her flushed face was facing the opposite way of her legs and pressed against the cool, ceramic tile her hair fanning out around her face as to find relief from the blistering heat encompassing her.
Even in her sickly state she was beautiful and alluring.
She let out a pitiful moan of misery before turning to face him. "If I ever go near a bar again, do me the favor of threatening me with a week of Beast Boy's jokes. I think that would be enough to scare anyone straight." Her mumbling continued as her eyes drifted close slowly, as if against her will. "Remind to murder him later."
"No problem," he nodded a small, solemn grin on his face. In fact, he was planning on going with the Raven to help her out.
After a few more seconds, her breathing deepened with the onset of sleep, as her features went slack.
Sighing, he lifted her into his arms once more that night and made his way to her room. She was really too light. As he looked down at her pale, beautiful face, starlight dancing joyously upon the delicate surface from the passing windows, he couldn't really say he didn't enjoy her there.
A soft smile curved its way onto his lips as he cradled his precious cargo against him, her head lolling against his shoulder so he could open the door. His legs swallowed up the length to Raven's bed in quick strides before he placed her gently upon it. She groaned slightly, as she shifted to find a more comfortable position, her legs drawn up against her stomach. Pulling the side of the blanket she wasn't sprawling across, he draped it over her body.
"Robin..."She murmured, her fingers reaching out for him. "Don't forget about me come morning."
'Such an odd request,' he mused, as his own fingers met her questing ones and curled around them. Hell, he'd almost certainly dream of her. He had been doing it for the past couple of weeks anyway. "As if I could ever forget." She was addicting, dark and smooth and surprisingly sweet...like chocolate.
§ Leaning down, he placed a gentle kiss against her lips,whispering, "Sweet dreams."
Of course they would be, little did he know, she would be dreaming of him. Smiling against his lips, she responded sleepily, her eyes opened half way. The amethyst, depths spoke volumes that made his heart sing and thrum with the decadent promise he found in the eternal depths.
A/S/N(after story notes): If you guys see where there is an § sign, Robin place a gentle kiss on her lips. As in very, very little pressure. As in just a touch of lips, nothing more. I just thought I'd mention that because someone noted that it was gross for Robin to kiss Raven after she threw up. I'm not mad or anything but I just thought I should say that. It's not like a big, huge spit swapping kiss, that would have been disgusting. There. No more mentioning of that.
That's it! Please review and tell me what you think!
Spread your wings and fly...Butterfly