A/N: I've got about 10 pages worth of this so far. I know more or less what I want to do with it and I know it isn't going to go for very much longer. It's going to have a few chapters, but only because the chapters are short, so I'm warning you about that now. This first Chapter is about a page long and that's it. Some of the others are a little longer, but not by much. Also not beta'd.

Home: Chapter 1
An Invitation
by Em

"The way back home is always long / But if you're close to me I'm holding on..."
- Shakira, The One


"Well, what?"

He exhaled, "Are you busy?"

It sounded, even to Raven's ears, as if Robin was asking her out. "On Saturday?" she asked, raising a brow. Best to be clear...

He smiled a little, but it wasn't completely happy or cocky and it made Raven realize that he wasn't exactly happy about Saturday...whatever it brought with it. But he nodded, "Yes, Saturday."

She narrowed her eyes and lowered her book, giving him her full attention, "That depends..." she said, her voice never changing, but Robin could probably already tell that she was interested. She didn't have to tell him on what it depended. Robin was a smart boy, and he knew her better than she liked to let on she was aware.

He chuckled and this time it was a real smile, a real laugh and the heavy feeling in her chest lightened just a little. "I got a message from..." and here he paused and the silence was pregnant with meaning, but Raven couldn't quite decipher it. "...an old friend..." he finished, exhaling as if the very act of speaking those words had caused him great trouble. "A very old friend," he said, shaking his head. "And they need my help..." he continued. "And they asked me to come on Saturday, but I ca..." he stopped and there was that pause again, only this time Raven recognized the determination in his jaw, the stress on his shoulders: he clearly didn't want to speak of this, but he was forcing himself to. His hand on his knee clutched into a fist, "...I can't go alone..." he shook his head.

"Did they call for Richard or Robin?" she asked, her voice soft.

He looked up and met her eyes, and she could feel the weight of them even if she couldn't see them, "Richard," he answered. Something went on just underneath the surface then, and she could tell the exact moment he came to the ultimate conclusion, the final decision to tell her everything, "They called for Richard," he repeated, "The last remaining Flying Grayson."

Her eyes opened a little in surprise, whether at his admission or at the fact itself, she wouldn't know. He kept her gaze, and eventually, her eyes went back to normal. She had known some of his past, not a lot, just enough. Enough to not be surprised at who he was and enough to know that he was asking her to come back to the Circus with him on Saturday. She nodded, "I'll go," she said, leaning back against the couch and lifting her book. Out of her peripheral vision, she caught his smile. "But if you expect me to get on a trapeze, you've got another thing coming."

His laughter came in a sharp bark of surprise. "I didn't know you were afraid of heights, Raven," he countered.

She scoffed, or as close to a scoff as Raven ever got, which was nothing more than a sharp exhale through her nose. "It's not the height, boy blunder," she said, looking at him over the top of her book, "It's more like the colors of your costume I'm allergic to."

"Hey!" he said, sufficiently offended.

She shrugged and lowered her eyes back her book, satisfied that she had chased as much of the shadows out of his eyes as she could.


A/N: So...sound promising? Expect another chapter up tomorrow night. (I start a temp job tomorrow, so probably not until late at night)