Howdy hey hey kids! 'Tis I, La Anjita, and I come bearing a new story. Well, actually, it's a sequel to 'insecurities', or, I should say, a prequel. Because this, my friends, is what transpired to bring our resident birds together.
Oh, and I don't own the Titans. They are not mine. I have no claim over them…yada yada yada.
Chapter one: A bird's resolution.By La Anjita
Robin's eyes opened slowly behind his domino mask. He blinked a few times, feeling the supple material move with the contours of his face. With a soft groan he pushed the flat of his hands against the surface beneath him and heaved himself into a sitting position. Beads of sweat burst on his forehead from even this small exertion. Why was it so hard?
Robin took the time regaining his breath to survey his surroundings. Ah, he recognised the clinical and pale cleanliness from what he had termed the 'haunted' incident. But the next question was; what was he doing in the medical bay? He looked around for some clue.
No wires or tubes, nothing to suggest he was too grievously injured, or to suggest therefore why he was in the medical bay, the emergency bed no less, judging by the position of the equipment. His arm twitched. He glanced down at the appendage. His glove had been removed and his sleeve ripped away. The young prodigy of Batman frowned in confusion and slight annoyance; why had someone felt it necessary to expose his arm so?
But then he noticed the faint pink scar that ran the length of his forearm and ended at the apex of his shoulder. No, not one, three thin pink slashes, as if someone had attacked him with claws or a big fork.
Perhaps he had upset a farmer?
Robin snorted at his own musings and glanced back down as his arm twitched once more. It was only as the trembles receded that he noticed the faint blue glow around the wound. Even as he watched the scars were fading.
Ah, so that explained everything. He was in the critical area of the med bay because he must have been brought in badly injured. He shifted and noticed the matching claw marks marring his chest - his naked chest. He blushed. Raven must have healed him, which meant that Raven must have been the one to expose his flesh like this.
He blushed harder. He may be an elite crime fighter, but he was still a teenager, and the idea of having a girl press her hands against his skin like Raven must have done was…blush worthy.
That, therefore, explained the faint scars and the blue residue, though that must be a new trick of Raven's; normally she found it necessary to keep her hands in place to completely heal the wound. He shrugged slightly at his thoughts. It wouldn't surprise him; ever since he and his team had defeated Trigon the effect of the eighth demon on Raven had diminished. Her demonic powers had weakened slightly, she now had to rely on hand gestures for everything as opposed to merely mental force, and she tired easier, but her Azarathian magicks had bloomed and her emotions had a fuller reign. Now she was able to heal entire groups at a time as long as she had contact with them, direct or no. She could even heal machinery and such, her magick returning whatever it was directed at to its original quality. As such Cyborg need never worry again.
What had happened to him, then? And why had Raven not stayed to heal him completely? It would only have taken a moment more and he would no longer be restricted to his bed for the duration of his healing. Raven was mysterious, Robin mused. Then he frowned. She was only mysterious because he had never taken the time or made the effort to get to know her.
Robin prided himself on his closeness with his team. Starfire was his closest friend since his exploits in Gotham, and he knew her cover to cover, so to speak. Her favourite earth dish was vanilla ice cream, pepperoni and mustard (the mere thought of which made him gag), her favourite colour was purple, her favourite gemstone was emerald…he could continue for ages.
It was the same with Cyborg and Beast Boy. He knew their pasts, knew how Victor Stone became Cyborg because of the car accident that killed his mother. Knew his father died after completing the modifications to his son. He knew Beast Boy had lived in Africa for some years with his geneticist parents, both of whom had died in a boating accident when he was nine. He knew also that he blamed himself for their death and masked his grief and guilt behind a veil of humour.
But Raven…He didn't even know her real name. Perhaps it was something exotic, like her background. He didn't know what her upbringing was like, who her mother was, why her favourite colour was blue. He didn't even know her age. Was she sixteen, like Beast Boy? Seventeen like himself?
He realised, with a flash of guilt that he had made an effort, but when he was pushed away, he gave up. He shouldn't have. What if she suffered from depression and her isolation worsened it? What if her lack of closeness with the team affected her psychically?
Robin clenched his jaw. He would find out about her. He would bring the real Raven out into the open, not just the mysterious sorceress the rest of the world knew. He owed it to her to have a closer relationship with her than the rest of the world did.
There was a soft step at the door and a slight gasp. Robin looked up…and felt an inexplicable surge of disappointment at the sight of the purple clad alien.
'Friend Robin!' She rose from the ground almost immediately, looking in danger of bobbing along the ceiling, such was her joy. Robin felt rather flattered that he mattered so much to the pretty girl.
'Friend Robin! It brings me unbridled joy to observe your return to consciousness! Do you feel healthy?'
Robin smiled at her antics, unable to find her speech anything but adorable. 'I'm feeling fine, Star.' He leaned forward slightly, hugging his arms to his chest to try and hide his indecency.
'Uh…Star, what happened? I don't remember anything…' He trailed off, cocking his head as Star's smile faded and she sank to the floor once more.
'Oh, Friend Robin, I do not know.'
Robin frowned. 'But, how could you not -?'
'I was not near you when your injuries occurred. It was Friend Raven who cushioned your fall; it is she who will be able to tell you what you wish. I do know, however, that we were fighting a group of…um…I do not know the correct pronunciation. They were strangely clad men with long curved swords.'
'Yes! I believe that is the name Friend Raven said they possessed.'
'Oh. Right then.' Robin rubbed the back of his neck, a nervous habit of his he'd been meaning to break. It gave enemies far too much warning of his emotions and thus gave them weapons.
'Uh, could you go ask Raven to come see me? I'd like to know what happened. I hate being in the dark like this.'
'But, is it not light?'
Robin smiled amusedly. 'It's an expression, Star.'
There was silence for a moment. 'Star…Raven? Can you-?'
'Oh! My apologies, dear accomplice. I momentarily forgot. I will find her now.' She turned to leave, then turned back around.
'I seem to be forgetting much today. I have brought you lunch, but in my joy in seeing you conscious it flew my mind. Here, and do not worry; it is not Tamaranian cuisine there.' Robin blushed slightly. He was doing that a lot lately. Starfire was obviously less naïve to the team's opinions of her home cooked meals than they gave her credit for. She continued after she smiled knowingly at him. 'Raven prepared it, she felt you would need something filling.' Then she turned and disappeared through the door.
Robin leaned over towards the tray of food, apprehensive of what lay there. He vividly recalled Raven's last attempt at coking. He shuddered. Here, however, there seemed to be a very normal and edible looking plate of eggs, bacon and sausage, complete with the usual condiments he used. A fresh wave of guilt passed over him; she obviously knew things about him.
He sighed and reached for the cutlery.
'Feeling wistful, are we?'
Robin almost jumped out of his skin and sent his fork clattering to the ground. He turned towards the door and saw Raven's cloaked figure leaning against the doorframe. Though she wasn't smiling, there was softening around her mouth that suggested amusement.
Robin huffed. 'Don't sneak up on people like that, Raven.'
She raised an eyebrow. 'Perhaps you would prefer it if I donned a collar and a bell?'
Robin blushed slightly. Why was he so easily embarrassed today? Raven smirked.
'No? Would you not want to hold the lead attached to it? You'd know where I was then.'
Robin turned, if possible, redder. 'Do you enjoy tormenting the sick?'
'Oh yes. Did you not know that I'm a notorious sadist?'
Robin grinned; he always enjoyed exchanging witty banter with Raven. She had a comeback for every occasion.
'And what if I'm a masochist?'
Perhaps not every occasion, he thought smugly, as her cheeks gained the slightest of red tints.
'What, no comeback?'
Her eyes hardened and robin realised with a surge of disappointment that she was closing herself off. Right, that was aim number one; he had to get her to open up, even if it was to tease him. He'd need to compile a list.
'I assume you wanted me for something other than sexual related barbs?'
Robin sighed. 'Yes, though I have absolutely no objection to a merely social visit.'
She raised her eyebrow again. 'You know I don't do socialising.'
Robin nodded, looking down at his knees. 'Yes,' he said softly, 'I know that.' He looked back up as blue filled the left side of his vision. Raven had a hand raised, fork floating serenely in a black bubble, and was not looking at him. Robin smiled, watching her antics; he loved the way she could move things like that. It was just so…cool, for want of better word. Robin followed the fork with his eyes as it came to rest upon the tray it was originally brought in on. He looked up at her as she turned slowly towards him, as if emerging from deep thought. She always seemed to be in deep thought, probably why she was so intelligent.
'Transfixed by my eyes, Boy Blunder?'
Robin's eyes gained their focus once more. 'Sorry, I was just' he paused, 'thinking.'
Raven nodded, then sank into the chair beside the bed. 'I suppose you want to know what happened, then?'
Robin nodded. Raven leaned back slightly and crossed her legs. A lock of purple-blue hair fell in front of her face. She pushed it aside and behind her ear before beginning.
'The Samurai were on a revenge mission. They were brothers. You remember the Japanese villain we jailed a year and a bit ago? Yeah, well he was the father of the three that attacked us yesterday. It turns out that he was a samurai and had been training his kids since they were three. They knew who it was who jailed their dad and came over from wherever they were staying to avenge him.'
She stopped a moment to breathe. Robin sat back. 'Right. So, how did they get past my defences?'
Raven raised a thin eyebrow. 'How long have you been able to fight like you do?'
'Nine years. But I don't see-'
'The samurai were twenty thee and twenty five years old, two were twins, how experienced does that make them?'
Robin's shoulders dropped. 'Oh.'
Raven nodded and continued. 'Two we dealt with easily, but the last and oldest was fighting you. He was testing a new type of sword, a samurai sword with three blades. Your staff didn't stand a chance. He was holding two of them, one sliced through the middle of your staff and continued on to your chest. The other sliced your arm; you were out cold from blood loss within minutes. I caught you as you fell from the building you fought on.'
Robin stared at her. 'I…thanks, Rae. You…what happened to the samurai?'
Raven blushed very slightly and looked away. 'You're a member of my team, Robin, a leader and a friend. I didn't take lightly to such an attempt on your life. Settle for the fact that he won't be wielding any sort of weapon any time soon.'
Robin nodded and said nothing more on the subject. Instead he took a bite of the egg on his plate. He twisted his features into a surprised expression that wasn't completely put on. 'Wow Raven, when did you learn how to cook?' He winced inwardly as soon as he said it. Way to go, birdbrain, because that's going to get her to trust you more. He looked up at her, but instead of the insulted expression he was expecting, her lips were quirked in an amused smirk.
'Why Robin, you must be assuming that I haven't poisoned it.' Robin chuckled and cut himself another bite.'And in regards to my culinary skills,' she continued, 'I decided to watch a few cooking programs since the pancake fiasco.' Robin snorted and winced at the memory. Raven nodded in agreement and an awkward silence ensued. Raven looked around and then sighed, standing.
'Well, I'd best get going, books to read, grass stains to avoid.' She said as she headed towards the doors.
Robin called after her. 'Wait!'
Raven turned swiftly, eyes wary. 'What? What is it?'
Robin blushed and sought for something to excuse his outcry. His masked eyes settled on the pink wounds on his arm. 'Erm, could you…I mean…would you heal my…my…' he gestured vaguely to his chest and arm. He continued hurriedly as she furrowed her brows. 'It's not that I don't appreciate your new healing trick…thing, it's just that I'd rather get moving and do stuff rather than sit here healing.'
Raven opened her mouth and then closed it again. She strode forwards, pushed him back into a horizontal position with a burst of black energy and pressed her cool hands against his chest and arm. He blushed, feeling the soft force of her fingers, and thought he saw a tinge of pink suffusing her cheeks also. A soft bluish-white light surrounded his wounds and then it was over and she was moving towards the door, hood up, the pale light dissipating swiftly.
Well, that's chapter one, folks. Please review; it's nice to know that I'm appreciated. Right, so, as I previously said this is before 'insecurities' but on the same…well…wavelength, I guess. It's how the two got together. If the two act out of character, or you see anything that could be improved, then please tell me. Politely, if you can. I don't take kindly to scathing remarks.