A/N: I do not own Teen Titans. If I did, it would be an entirely different show.
I have no idea why I came up with this. I was looking at TT screenshots last night, and I thought out of the blue, "Robin hates his eyes." I came to the conclusion that if Robin never takes off his mask, wouldn't there be some deep-seated emotion behind it? I mean, it's Robin--he's obsessive, he's paranoid, and he blames himself for every single thing that he can't stop. I wouldn't put it past him to hate his own features if he wants to.
(And before you ask, I KNOW that Robin's eyes are blue. Give me some creative license.)
Robin hates his eyes.
No, he is not blind, nor nearsighted, nor colorblind, nor anything of the sort. There is nothing wrong with his eyes, if you only take physical health into account.
But they are Robin's eyes, and that is why he hates them. They are the eyes that have seen too many battles, too many car accidents, too many buildings burned to the ground with people still alive and screaming.
They are a perfect mix of his parents' eyes--his mother's piercing grey and his father's easygoing green.
When he wore white, the grey would shine though and block out the green. "He has his mother's eyes," said some.
When he wore blue, the green would stand out and smother the grey. "He has his father's eyes," said others.
When he wore black, no one saw what color they were because his eyes were too wet to tell.
Robin despises his eyes.
They saw a teen who hated to see his friends hurt because he couldn't push past his limits anymore, he couldn't take hits and stand up again because he couldn't bleed, couldn't bruise, couldn't break like they did, and that hurt more than any broken bone or torn muscle or bleeding gash. No matter how hard I try, a hundred percent is all I have.
They saw a spindly green changeling who'd gotten his heart ripped to shreds by a blonde traitor, spent his nights clutching a mirrored box and trying to pull himself back together even though he couldn't let her go. I'm not your friend anymore; you were just pretending.
They saw an alien princess who seemed naive about Earth customs, yet understood far more than anyone else. We are not okay--I fear we will never be okay again.
They saw a white-robed little girl who was terrified of facing her demon father because he'd taken away her powers, her memories, her life, and now all she had was this masked stranger who told her a story about this brave teenage girl called Raven. I'm lost.
Robin loathes his eyes.
He doesn't like to get ready for the day, catch sight of his unmasked reflection in the window and nearly attack it because oh my god, why is this freaky kid in my room--but it's only himself.
He doesn't like looking in the mirror and seeing a wiry boy who looks like he's seen too much of the world (and six of seven hells) even though he's halfway past sixteen.
He doesn't like when he steps out of the shower, gives an errant glance to the mirror and sees the eyes that witnessed his parents fall to their deaths. Mom Dad why aren't you talking what do I do it hurts when I'm alone please don't leave me, don't leave me, don't leave me...
On good days, when he hasn't stayed up looking for clues about Slade because he actually slept, he goes on the roof and looks out at the sea and he feels almost weightless. Not like the kid who watched his parents die, not like the Fearless Leader of the Teen Titans, not like the person who went through the depths of hell to bring one of his best friends back because the world was ending and he didn't want her to be alone.
On bad days, when he hasn't gotten enough sleep and he tries to forget that dream about screams and falling and oh god what happened, are they all right, why aren't they moving, why aren't they talking to me, they're gone they're gone they're gone, that's when the hate sinks in further.
He wishes he could gouge his eyes out on those days, get rid of them somehow and then he really can't take his mask off--because who would want to see the Boy Wonder with no eyes?
But he stops thinking about that, because if he had no eyes, he wouldn't see Starfire float around and chatter about how she finally understands a certain Earth custom because it's so similar to the Festival of Something-He-Can't-Pronounce.
He wouldn't see Beast Boy stand with mouth agape whenever Raven almost laughs at one of his not-so-lame jokes.
He wouldn't see Cyborg barge into the living room with a huge grin on his face and say that he's made waffles because it's someone's birthday today.
He wouldn't see one of Raven's blink-and-you-missed-it smiles whenever she stands next to him on a good day--no battles, no monsters, no Slade, no apocalypse--and feels genuine happiness spilling over from his mind to hers.
But today was a bad day. He'd woken up at 4:23 AM in a dead panic and almost crying, like he was having a nervous breakdown or finally snapped from the pressure. Crying.
His eyes were burning and his chest was unbearably tight, like it was caught in a vice. But no matter how hard he shut his eyes or how slowly he breathed, it just wouldn't stop, and his eyes kept burning and he still couldn't breathe and why was he acting like some little kid who'd just had a nightmare? He's Robin, he's the leader of the Teen Titans, he shouldn't wake up afraid to move because of some half-recalled dream from his childhood.
Beast Boy and Cyborg got into yet another argument, Starfire was tying to force-feed them Pudding of Friendship, and Raven wasn't even awake to cow them all into silence.
No, Raven had fallen asleep on the couch fifteen minutes ago, with her cloak draped over her like a blanket. Star, after noticing that it was just one of the usual fights to claim the remote, had stopped attempting to feed them Pudding of Friendship and was instead drinking mustard. Beast Boy and Cyborg were still arguing, but in hushed tones because even the remote wasn't reason enough to wake up Raven and possibly have her go four-red-eyed on them.
And the Boy Wonder? Well, he was sitting in the hallway, bored out of his mind and wishing for something to do besides getting a fork and prying his eyes out, because if there was trouble in the city, Cinderblock or some other superpowered criminal, then he wouldn't be stuck here with no one to talk to and only the ever-present loathing of his--
"Raven! Is that you?" Shocked out of his thoughts, he turns to see Raven, with slightly messy hair and a barely rumpled cloak.
"Yes, fearless leader, it's me. Ra-ven," she enunciates clearly, as if teaching him how to talk properly. She sits next to him, levitating five or six inches in the air as she tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. "Will you tell me why I woke up wanting to gouge my eyes out with something blunt?"
"'Cause I hate my eyes," he blurts out, then winches and waits for either an "I'm sure they're not that bad"--or worse, a "You don't deserve to hate yourself like that."
Even though it's Raven and she doesn't do sympathy.
For a moment he thinks up an excuse--he could say his eyes were annoying him to hell today, really dry for some reason, and he's never had a problem before so that's why he said... But he gives it up as Raven gives him one of her looks. Of course she wouldn't believe it--they have a bond, and coupled with Raven's empathy, that doesn't give him much room for lying.
"Because they're mine and I'm sick of them," he admits.
"...You want a second opinion?"
Robin doesn't say anything for a few minutes; that was definitely something he didn't expect her to say.
"I'd like an answer before next year, oh Fearless Leader."
"Sure..." His hand hovers over his mask a moment; he's never taken off his mask in front of anyone before, still can't get rid of the paranoia about his secret identity, and what if she says something cliché or tells the others what color his eyes are or God help him, what if it's just a prank to get him to take off his mask...?
No, he forces his thoughts to stop. This is Raven. She doesn't do jokes and you have no right to be paranoid around her.
After several more moments of steeling himself to just take off the damn mask, he almost rips it off and feels his fingers give a reflexive twitch. His face feels almost cold without it on, and he forces himself not to close his eyes as Raven peers at him, without a single reaction he can see or feel.
Don't close my eyes, Robin reminds himself. Why is she still looking at him?
"I don't think they're anything to mope about," Raven says finally. "They're all right."
Silence. He's starting to feel on edge now, with Raven still looking at him without his mask--why is she still looking at him?
"Is... that it?" Robin asks, putting his mask back on and finally losing the feeling of being too close to something large and dangerous. "You don't think--"
"Yes, that's it. You wouldn't believe anything else I say." She straightens her legs and stands up, heading for the door.
"Raven..." He stands as well, half-reaching to make her stop before realizing he's done so.
She stops. "What?"
He shifts his weight awkwardly; he doesn't know what to say.
Ever since that talk with Raven--since he first took off his mask in front of someone, someone besides Bruce or Alfred--he feels that part of the hate has left him; only the smallest fraction, but he still feels it.
He's going to have to get used to this feeling--this feeling of lessened hate, of not-quite-blind loathing. Nobody, not even one of his best friends, will be able to change how he feels in a single day.
Robin still hates his eyes.
But that doesn't mean he still wants to.
A/N: I had the WORST time trying to wrap up this fic without giving in to my Raven/Robin impulse, and I still don't like that ending. It's all right, but it feels horribly unfinished and the Raven/Robin impulses are NOT STOPPING!
I went through at least three different Robin/Raven endings before just plunking down in front of the computer and pulling random sentences out of my thoughts.
So, tell me what you think of this drastically unfinished fanfic.