Exodus

November 2004

With you these streets are heaven.

Now home feels so foreign.

They told me I was mistaken, infatuated.

And I was afraid to trust my hunches

Now I am ready.

I know I could be mistaken, but my heart has spoken.

I cannot redirect my feelings.

The waves have parted.

Utada; Exodus '04

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Robin was in a foul mood.

He scowled at an end table beside his bed, wondering if he should just pick it up and throw it across the room.

Would the others come running?

Starfire would; that was only natural. The way things were.

Recently, however, things were beginning to change.

Pacing his room, head down, hands clasped behind his back, Robin could think of nothing that could change his current disposition. Destroying the end table would solve nothing.

It wouldn't change his feelings.

Robin groaned, frustrated, eyes flitting around his room for any sort of inspiration, anything to take his mind off her.

Robin and Starfire. That was how the story went, how things were supposed to happen. Meant to be.

And now this.

Dammit.

He plopped on the edge of his bed; he heard the faint voices of the other Titans outside somewhere. Beast Boy. Starfire. Cyborg.

Raven.

He spied a photograph of the group, set on his dresser. The sun had been bright that day, the sky a perfect blue, cloudless. The park filled with laughing, happy families, young lovers, everyday people living their lives. Good lives, for the most part. Normal lives.

They were smiling. All five, even Raven. Her lips were titled upward just slightly, but it was still a smile.

Something in his stomach twisted nervously.

This couldn't be happening.

He stared at the image of Raven, memorizing the detail. Her dark eyes, too dark to reflect the brilliant, sparkling sun. The way certain locks of hair fell over her pale face. He stared at the picture and found he couldn't look away. He didn't really want to.

Funny he'd never noticed, she was pretty in a way only Raven could be. Starfire was beautiful, commercially; Robin couldn't really explain Raven … only that suddenly, in his eyes, she was breathtaking.

Blinking, shocked at his train of thought, Robin tore his eyes away from the photograph.

"No, no, no!" he shouted, leaping to his feet. "It was supposed to be Starfire!"

And whether it solved anything or not, Robin seized the end table and hurled it at the wall.

The room around him shook; spider cracks formed at the impact point and something creaked uneasily above him.

Robin stared at the cracks for a moment.

"R-Robin?"

Starfire.

He couldn't face her.

Coward.

Fuck.

Robin remained silent; at length, footsteps moved away from his door.

It wasn't fair.

"It's not supposed to be this way."

Bitter exhaustion filled his voice.

"What's going on, Robin?"

He whirled. She wouldn't …

There she stood, her cloak falling around her, shielding her, arms at her sides, eyes narrowed at him.

Raven.

"Get out of here," he snapped, glancing down at the floor. He couldn't raise his eyes to meet hers.

Such a coward.

"You locked your door," Raven said, not moving. "Starfire heard a crash. We're worried about you."

Her eyes fell on the end table behind him.

"You can't just come in here because there was a damn crash," Robin sneered, hoping she would just go away. He wanted to grab her, kiss her, hold her and never let her go. He hoped she would leave before that could happen. It wasn't supposed to happen.

If only he meant it.

"I respect privacy, Robin." Raven sighed, her gaze wary. "But you're my friend. Our leader. I … we were worried," she repeated lamely.

Dammit, dammit, dammit.

"You don't have to tell me," Raven continued softly; her amethyst gaze fell to the floor now. "But as long as you're all right …"

I wish I hated her.

No, I don't.

Her short hair fell over her pale face as she prepared to leave. If feeling like this was a mistake, why was he so stricken with a sense of right-ness?

"Raven!"

She blinked, found her back firmly against a wall, felt Robin's lips on hers, kissing her fiercely.

His body pinned her; she couldn't breathe, couldn't think. She was frozen, trapped, his lips melding with her own.

She didn't care.

Raven had had yet to experience her first kiss; she had never given it much thought. She was not a romantic.

And yet, Raven found herself enjoying Robin's kiss; her arms developed a mind all their own and looped around Robin's neck, pulling him to her. His breath hitched when her lips parted beneath his.

She avoided physical contact whenever possible. That was known to all the Titans; Raven hated to be touched. But here she was now; she would give anything to keep things this way.

Deepening the kiss, holding Raven tightly, his hand stroked her cheek in a surprisingly gentle way, considering.

He discovered he was glad it wasn't Starfire.

Robin pulled her away from the wall, to him, enveloping her in his arms.

"Robin," Raven whispered, drawing away in order to breathe.

"Raven." He captured her lips again; she gave in without protest, returning his kiss, wanting more, wanting never to stop. This was crazy, utter insanity; but her head was swimming and her body was on fire. Raven hugged Robin to her, pressing her body to his. His response was to kiss her harder, hold her closer.

A sudden explosion behind them was hardly noticed by either Titan; both assumed vaguely Raven had blown something up. Damage could be assessed later. Didn't matter now. Only this, this moment; making it last as long as possible. Everything would be different went at last they drew apart, everything had to change. That was all right. Perfectly fine.

Robin finally had to break away; Raven blinked several times, her dazed eyes coming slowly into focus. He expected to be slapped, even if she had kissed him in return.

Instead, a faint smile surfaced on her red, slightly bruised looking lips. Robin grinned in return, in relief.

Her gaze shifted away from his face to something behind him; her eyes widened, smile dropping, unable to hide her surprise.

"Oh."

Robin frowned curiously at her expression, turning around.

Fuck.

Robin's bedroom door had been blasted off; who had done it, he couldn't say. Not that it really mattered anyway. The door wasn't what had gotten Raven's attention. She could have easily done that, after all.

Cyborg, Beast Boy and Starfire stood crammed in the doorway, not saying a word. Beast Boy looked confused, as though unsure as to what exactly was taking place; Cyborg didn't appear too surprised.

Starfire.

Her pretty face was utterly crestfallen, green eyes glittering with unshed tears.

"Uh, the door was locked," Cyborg at last explained

"We knocked," Beast Boy added slowly.

Robin nodded, unable to look at Starfire, struggling to maintain composure. He was their leader still; he couldn't appear weak. Not even now.

"We're going to order pizza," Cyborg informed Robin.

"That's fine," Robin said.

"'Kay. We'll … just, uh, catch you later." Beast Boy offered a half-hearted sort of wink.

Starfire stared at Robin pleadingly; he still couldn't bring himself to meet her eyes.

The three Titans departed; Starfire the last to turn away.

Robin, sorry as he felt for her, awful as he felt about the unfolding situation, did not feel guilty. He turned to Raven; she watched him solemnly.

"She's upset," she said.

"Yeah," Robin agreed, rubbing the back of his neck.

"You need to talk to her."

"I will."

"You and I should talk about this."

"We will."

She hesitated, biting her lip, uncharacteristically uncertain.

"Do ... do you regret this?"

Without pausing for thought, Robin answered calmly.

"No."