Disclaimer: Things I don't own: Teen Titans, Uno, Scrabble, and pretty much everything else in the world. Depressing, huh?
A.N. This is just a cute, fluffy little Robin/Raven oneshot. I hope you enjoy.
The sun was shining brightly and the clear, azure sky was warm and welcoming, simply inviting one and all to bask in the June rays that shone warmly down from the heavens. In the city, civilians bustled about as busily as always, eager to get from point A to point B as quickly as humanly possible. Nearer to the Tower, small fishing boats and speedboats floated lazily on the water's surface, bumping against docks to which they were tethered. The crystal clean, blue water of the bay lapped rhythmically against the shore's rocky edges in the pattern that had been in motion since the beginning of time.
The Teen Titans sat in a circle on the floor in their Tower's operations room, ignoring the lovely day outside in favor of focusing all of their attention on the square, wooden board in the middle of their circle. They sat in silence, piecing together words from their individual panel of seven tiles, eyes constantly moving from board to pieces and back again.
Scrabble. A game they all enjoyed, as it tested some of their skills that were not exercised in their daily routines. Their spelling and vocabulary were challenged as the teens left behind simple words in quest of strange, longer ones which would earn them more of points during their turns.
It was not surprising that Raven was in the lead, as she was rarely ever seen without a book in front of her face or a novel in her lap, busy absorbing the knowledge and concepts that the prose and poetry had to offer. Her mind retained nearly all of it, like a sponge, storing it away for a time like this.
Robin was in second place. His hatred of losing was quite evident now, as lines of intense concentration etched his face and his brow furrowed. His mouth opened and closed subconsciously as he formed silent words to himself.
Cyborg sat, legs outstretched, already prepared with his next move, and took the time to glance around at his friends' almost comically serious expressions. He was in third place, despite his advantage from age. Scrabble just wasn't his game. There was little action, and who really cares about intelligently fitting words together when one could be blowing up zombies or racing cars in a video game? Still, he knew the mental exercise was for his own good. Besides, Scrabble was one of the few games all the Titans could agree on playing.
Beast Boy and Starfire had been elected to team up, as only four teams could play at once. With Star's newness to and inexperience with the English language, and with Beast Boy's easily distracted, simple mind, the decision was anonymous. However, despite their double effort, Starfire and Beast Boy were pitifully lost in last place.
It was the Boy Wonder's turn, and had been for the past five minutes. The game was nearly over and the board was filled almost from corner to corner. No pieces remained in the pile of unused letters. He had a Q, a P, a U, and an S left to play. Triumphantly, he slapped down three of the pieces, turning Cyborg's word AIL into QUAILS. "Ha!" he cried smugly, and crossed his arms over his chest.
"Dude, is that even a word?" Cyborg asked.
"Yeah it is!" Beast Boy said, jumping up and changing into a quail to prove the point. The strange green bird flapped around a bit before settling back onto the floor in human form again.
"Yeah, I know there's a word quail, but isn't the plural of quail just quail?" Cy inquired again.
Raven sighed, picking up and flipping through the Scrabble dictionary. A thin finger traced down a page, landing on the word in question. "It can go either way." She said, and Robin's cocky air returned.
"Fifteen points for me," Robin said, eyes glinting proudly. "Well guys, I've only got one more tile left."
"I believe the term is 'uno,' friend Robin?" Starfire offered helpfully.
"No Star," Beast Boy reminded her, "That's in the game Uno. This is Scrabble."
"Oh," the confused alien girl replied. "It is our turn now, is it not friend Beast Boy?"
"Yep! Now watch the skill of the B-man!" The changeling plunked down an R and a T vertically after Robin's A to form the word ART. "Woo! Three points!"
"Most glorious, dear friend! That is a whole point more than we have ever gotten on a single turn!" the Tamaranean cried, clasping her hands in front of her in happiness, eyes dancing.
Cyborg scratched his head. Beast Boy had taken up a space he intended to use. Fingering a tile, he stared at the board for a moment before placing an A, an N, and an E around Beast Boy's T, forming the word ANTE. "Booyah!" he yelled, thrusting a fist in the air in triumph. "The N is on a double point thing, so I get seven total."
"My turn," Raven stated, and with hardly a hesitation turned the Q from QUAILS and the A from ANTE into QUAFF.
"What the heck is a quaff, Raven?" Beast Boy asked.
"It means to drink, idiot," she sighed. "The U is doubled, and the word is worth twenty-one points." She glanced up to see Robin scowl. "And, the second F is occupying a triple word score square. I get sixty-three points." Raven tried to hide a victorious smile, but her lips curled just enough for Robin to catch. He glared at her. "And I'm out of tiles. Game over."
"I call a rematch!" the perturbed Boy Wonder insisted, bringing a fist down on the board and jostling the tiles.
"Why Robin, I just beat you by over fifty points and you're already coming back for more humiliation?" Raven asked tauntingly, cocking one eyebrow.
"No way, dudes. My brain is already fried. C'mon Cyborg, I'll crush you in a game of Turbo Rocket Smasher 8000!" he called, jumping up.
"Oh, its on, little man!" the bionic teen hollered after him, racing to get the good controller before the changeling did.
"Dearest friend Raven, I shall prepare a pudding of victory for you to enjoy!" Starfire promised, rising up into the air and gliding to the kitchen before the empath could reply.
"What do you say, Raven?" Robin asked, almost pleadingly. "Just one more game?"
Raven sighed. Robin looked awfully cute when he was begging. It wasn't like she had anything else extremely important to do. "Sure, why not?" she agreed halfheartedly, scooping the pieces up with her telepathy and landing them blank side up in the game's box which was serving as the draw pile.
Robin flipped to a new page in the notebook he had been using to keep score and wrote their initials down. "Ladies first," he announced with a sweeping motion towards the board, and Raven selected her tiles.
Robin then carefully chose his tiny wooden squares, and the game began.
Raven shifted her tiles around a few times before settling for placing the word ANTICS down from the starting square. "Eleven points, A is on a double word box, giving me twenty-two points total."
Robin scrawled down the number next to her name carelessly, not breaking his gaze at the letters before him. He turned her word ANTICS into ROMANTICS, added his points, and drew three new tiles. He glanced up at the empath. "What?" he asked her, "Scared I'm going to win because of my romantics?"
He noticed her grin and his face tinged red. "That came out wrong. I meant the word, Raven! Jeez."
She nodded and took her turn.
The game was a close one. Seven tiles remained in the draw box. Robin was winning by two points, and it was his turn.
"Oh friend Raven!" came the melodious sound of the ever-happy alien's voice, "I have finished preparing the pudding of victory!" Starfire floated in beaming, with a pot of bubbling, grayish-orange sludge. It reminded Raven vaguely of the surface of the sun she had seen during a science film once.
"I know that humans do not like Krogbax brains, so I added extra GopYorf intestines to mask the strong taste."
"Um, Star," the empath began, "It's a little too close to dinner to eat that. I'll…lose my appetite," she said, and it wasn't a lie.
Robin cast a meaningful look at her and she met his gaze. "But you know, Robin hasn't been eating much lately. I think he would like some of my victory pudding."
If it had not been for the obstruction of Robin's mask, Raven may have melted at the death glare he gave her.
"Oh, most marvelous!" Starfire smiled, "It is so nice of friend Raven to share with you, is it not, dear friend Robin?" She sat down on the floor, close to the doomed Boy Wonder. He nearly passed out from the fumes of the toxic muck she shoved in his face.
"Thanks Star, but I'll wait for dinner too," he said, suppressing the sudden urge to retch.
"Alright, my friends. I shall place this treat in the box which refrigerates foods and be back with haste!" With that, Starfire exited the room once more.
"I see how it is. Trying to kill me off so you win by default, huh, Raven?" he asked with a scowl.
"I was only sharing," she retorted, innocence shining in her amethyst orbs.
Starfire reentered the room and took a seat by Robin again. Peering at his letter tiles and the board, she whispered not so discreetly in his ear, "Kotwof, friend Robin! Spell the word Kotwof!"
"Starfire, this game only uses words in the English language," the Boy Wonder said patiently, smiling.
"Oh, I forgot," she replied shyly, smiling back at him.
Sometimes Raven wanted to rip out the oblivious little alien's tongue. Was it actually possible to be so clueless at sixteen years old? Sure, she'd give Star some slack since she was from another planet, but a normal six year old wouldn't even need to be reminded of such simple things so often. 'Breathe, Raven,' she commanded herself, immediately feeling bad about thinking such cruel thoughts towards her friend, even if they were well founded.
But really, how could Robin possibly find something desirable in the stupid girl? Ah. That was her Jealousy emotion speaking, this much Raven knew. Intelligence kept reminding Raven that Robin was perfectly capable of making his own choices, not that it was any of her business, and she should concentrate on the game before she lost. But Lust would not let her forget Robin's sexy smile and toned body that the naive alien didn't deserve a bit. Happiness reminded Raven that she should be pleased that two of her friends liked each other, because it means they were truly happy. Anger reminded her that she didn't give a damn about happiness. Raven had to agree.
"Um, Raven? Are you ok?"
It was the voice of the traffic light colored Boy Wonder. Raven snapped back into reality. "What?"
"It's your turn," he said, staring at her, slightly concerned. She then noticed that Starfire was gone yet again.
"Right. Where did you go?"
"I connected the L from LEACH and the V from VACANCY with the O and E."
Raven sighed. LOVE. "Was that for Starfire's benefit?" she spat out, succumbing to Anger's effective persuasion. She mentally slapped herself as soon as the careless words left her mouth, but she couldn't take them back now.
He looked a bit confused. "No, Raven, I didn't spell out love for Starfire."
An uncomfortable silence fell over them as Raven looked for a place to take her turn. Somewhere, anywhere. She didn't care if she won or lost, she just wanted to get out of the room. She really needed to, before she said more stupid things that she would inevitable end up regretting later. Besides, she should leave the lovebirds to each other, and just go to her room, read a good book and detach herself from the sad truth.
"What?" she snapped. Raven was a bit taken aback by the bitter clip of her own tone.
He sighed. "You know I don't like Starfire… like that. She's my friend. You're my friend too," he said, catching her gaze and holding it with a sad look. "Why do you have to be like that? So jealous?"
"I am not jealous of Starfire's ignorance that you find so appealing, Robin!" she yelled, viciously. Raven immediately regretted speaking so loud, fearing that Starfire was within close proximity and could hear her angry words. She began again with a more hushed tone, but with the same amount of bite. "And you think I don't see your pathetic little smiles at her all the time, Bird Boy. We all see them, Robin! And how can you keep denying it? She doesn't deserve you Robin! How can you fall for such a clueless girl? Just… just go to hell, Robin." Raven finished her tirade and breathed deeply, shaking slightly from anger and shock that she had just flown off the handle at her leader like that.
Raven closed her eyes and pulled up her cowl to hide the tears that threatened to fall, leaning back against a couch and bowing her head in shame. She sat still for what felt like an eternity, just trying to get her rampant emotions back under control.
Was Robin actually still sitting there, watching her act like a fool? He was probably too stunned to speak, watching this stoic teen show such an embarrassing display of emotion.
Raven deeply regretted overreacting. After all, why did she, the half-demon spawn of Trigon, deserve Robin anymore than Starfire did? The sad truth was, she did not. But she needed his love. She needed him to return the feelings she had for him, the feelings she tried so hard to ignore. 'But he never will,' Raven thought to herself, a bitter taste rising in the back of her throat. 'I never even had a chance. Starfire is a beautiful, innocent, perfect princess, and I'm… dark. Depressing. Gloomy. Dull. She's everything I could never be.' Raven sighed. She looked up.
Robin was gone. The scorekeeping notebook and pen were gone. The tiles had been placed back into the box, except for a few that still lay on the board in a neat row. Raven wiped away the tears that had fallen trickled her face and moved over the carpet to the game board. She looked at the board and bit her lip, reading over the few tiles that remained again and again. The simplicity of the words was enough to give her life meaning.
Eight tiles were lined up side-by-side, reading I LOVE YOU.
A.N. Well, there you have it. I apologize to any Robin/Starfire fans that may stumble across this and feel offended. Overall, I'm rather happy with how this oneshot turned out. Feel free to send me a review and tell me what you think.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day.