Ficlet leading into a soon-to-come chapter story called 'Defining Raven.' I swear, it isn't as lame as the title suggests. Plot bunny won't rest so I'm writing this down. There's been a lot of senseless violence going around, some of my things being a target, and I'm just channeling my feelings. The setting is a moment after Robin and Raven visit a burnt down building used for crime. Hope that helps you get a clearer picture of what's going on. It's so damn random and all over the place, I really don't have a clue where I was going with it, but I don't care.

Afterwards, you're never the same.

Evenings spend pretending to be a hero, someone to be counted on, counted on to save lives. Not take them.

The life you knew before was different; you didn't know what you did now.

You can reason all you want…

…..but you're criminal.

-- RR --


Robin watched her eyelids slowly lower over her pupils. It wasn't even eleven yet and she was in a light sleep. Holding back the urge to shake her arm, the eighteen-year-old leaned over the bus seat on the right side of the aisle, "Hey? Hey, we're getting close."

She wouldn't open her eyes. The city bus gave a small jolt and she made a burbling noise with her throat, slipping forward, her face heading for the metal rim on the back of the row in front of her.

His nicely developed arms wrapped around her rounded shoulders, pulling her out into the next row nearby.

Robin set her down beside him, folded her arms in her lap, and brushed the stray strands of bright violet out of her oval-shaped face. His rather large thumbs grazed over her cheeks at first timid then more confident in the soothing gesture of massaging her temples.

Her body jolted forward so suddenly that Robin's razor-sharp wits couldn't stop them. With an merciless yell, she shoved him up against the glass pinning, pressing on him with all her weight and using her legs to pin his to his chest to prevent movement. Effortlessly, she did this while grasping him by the collar and holding a fist to his lower gut….almost as if a response to a memory she knew…..almost as if something meant to be in her hand.

Darker purple glare intensely into his surprised black and white mask, the look in her eyes spelled M-U-R-D-E-R.

A second went by, the spark of bloodshed died out, changing instead into abandoned horror.


The top half of her body sealed against his chest heaved once, her heartbeat picked up several notches.


Robin whispered gruffly, trying to turn his gaze from her full colorless lips hovering over his bottom lip and this weird desire to touch them to see if they were as soft as they looked, "Raven, can I have my legs back?"

She scooted away on the other end and he stretched out, rubbing his stomach, "You've got good reflexes. Never saw those before."

"Hey, you two have a problem back there?"

The bus driver growled at them, his bloodshot eyes narrowing on their image in his horizontal mirror.

Robin said calmly to the grumbling driver, "Everything's fine back here," and reached across the seat for her arm, drawing her closer. Too intimate, too soon after such provocative….

Glazed amethyst spaced out blankly, un-focusing at the candy wrapper-littered floor as he asked, not letting go, "Want to talk?"

"Need sleep," she mumbled what she thought was a sufficient enough response.

"We'll be at the stop soon enough. It's been aCRIMINALCRIMINALCRIMINALCRIMINAL


Raven sank down into the seat, screaming the same word ceaselessly into her hands, hoping that her voice would out scream her thoughts. Robin began shouting, attempting to calm her down but her name died on his lips when his nose cracked, blood quietly trickled from his nostrils.

Slightly stunned, he stared up at her with his mouth open to catch the escaping liquid. A pale hand unclenched, the knuckles beet red, and she let out a muffled gasp. The bus jerked to an abrupt stop. The bus driver stormed over to them, spewing obscenities as he came. Hot white eyes burned into him and the bus driver immediately keeled over in a stiff faint.

In the midst of it, shaky hands came up to catch the blood, letting it pool and drip between the cracks of his fingers. Raven cradled his head to her breast, touching her face to his smooth odorless hair.

"Robin…Robin forgive me…"

"I've had worse," he choked thickly.

Her insides quivered with nausea and disbelief.

'Why did it feel good………oh God someone help me…help me please……'

Robin wiped his nose with his green glove, removing once it was soaked thoroughly, and gasped, "It's okay, I'm fine." He sat up, tilting his head back, and groaned lightly, "Uuugghh…this is gonna hurt like a bitch tomorrow."

Raven got up and gently kicked the public transportation worker in the leg, "I think he blacked out." Robin looked out the bus window, "We're at our stop anyway, we'll get some paramedics to help him." As he walked off the stalled bus talking on his communicator, Raven drifted near an alley.

No more thinking. No more remembering the past. No more men in bright blue suits. No more silver doors. No more tricks.

She had the Teen Titans. She was Raven. Not Roth.


Turning away from the brick wall, Robin said from under the flickering streetlamp, "Coming?" She nodded, matching his steps as they strolled into the night. He teased weakly, "I'm not gonna get punched, am I?"

"Don't tempt me."

She didn't really mean it. He slipped a snug arm around her, letting her side fit into the curve of his, and smiled in the dark.

-- RR --

And you can't escape it.

See the button? You know you want to press it.