Initial Notes:

1. This is a Red-X/Raven pairing. There! ((exhales)) That's out in the open now! Whew!

2. These are 100 word or less drabbles. I will post them in sets of 10 each.

A/N: So, you might notice these are kind of short. Yeah, that's cause these are challenge responses to a set of themes found on lj's (that's livejournal, for those of you not 'in the know') community called titandrabble. I briefly considered requesting the pairing officially, but I never really get good responses to my submissions on those communities, so I figured why bother? Also, Guyute24 (who, some of you might know as the wonderful authoress of The Song Remains the Same and her own set of Drabbles done for the Speedy/Rae pairing, Every Grain of Sand) informed me that the drabble community only accepts drabbles of exactly 100 words. I couldn't make myself change some of the ones with less words, so that cinched it. I won't be posting them onto that community.

You can look forward ((she says optimistically)) to three sets posted under this fic title, each set containing ten drabbles. I've got 1-20 of the themes written out, but only 1-10 actually beta'd. I did those quite a while ago it feels like now. But I promised that I wouldn't post the first ten until I had the second set of ten already written. And the second set of ten will not be posted until I've got the last ten done. What I will do is post drabbles 11-20 onto 'emsscraps' so people can critique them and help me beta them, so if you want to see them really badly (bad enough to chance seeing them in draft form) then go ahead and find them on there. (they're not friend locked)

Thanks: Specifically to everyone who commented on them at my 'emsscraps' when I posted this first set. And especially to Guyute24 who beta'd them and did a wonderful job of helping me tighten them up and make sure they made sense. And, as always, to my plot sounding boards, Absentia and Kysra.

Between the Shadow and The Soul
by Em

"I love you as certain dark things are to be loved/ in secret, between the shadow and the soul."
-- Pablo Neruda

01: Love (100)

A chemical reaction. Nothing more, nothing less. An ancient drive held over from a time when we were killed off by predators like flies and survival was everything.

Pleasure and pain are quantifiable. Love, it's just a genetic slight of hand, a biological bait and switch.

The ultimate con. One someone like me can see coming but still can't avoid.

All I'd have to do to stop these ridiculous thoughts and desires is block that part inside me that triggers this reaction whenever I see her. Simple, really.

New project: Figure out and exorcise the biological need to love Raven.


02: Hate (46)

"I don't hate him."

"What does that mean?" Robin pressed.

Raven looked at a loss. "It means, I don't hate him."

"He's a thief and a criminal. You're supposed to hate him."

"I'm supposed to be dead," she pointed out stoically. "But he changed that too."


03: Rose (99)

It was just a rose. The kind that grew in the hedges along the one particular walk of the park. He didn't even go out of his way to get it, just plucked it right from the bush as he sped by.

But he hadn't cared about the thorns or the fact he was being chased and that any minute he spent on something so frivolous could be a moment where he was caught.

It was just a frivolous rose.

But Red-X chanced getting caught to give it to her, and Raven couldn't make herself throw it away.


04: Ring (98)

No one knew how important the ring was to Raven.

When Mumbo Jumbo took it off her finger as he held them captive it was just to have a trophy, something personal from each of the Titans to commemorate that they had fallen into his trap, even though he knew they'd eventually escape.

Later, when they'd captured him, no one knew the ring was special enough to make a fuss about.

X didn't know why the ring was important to Raven either, not even when he tapped at her window, ring laid out on his glove clad palm.


05: Blue (97)

He lost her every time she wore the white cloak. He didn't know why, exactly, only that the Raven she was in the white could never be his the way she was in the blue.

He had no preference for white over blue. It was more than that. Her attitude, state of mind, thoughts, actions...they all changed when she wore the white.

He belonged with his dark beauty, mysterious and dangerous. He belonged with the Raven who embraced everything she was...

Not the one who tried to hide her darkness behind a cloak of blinding white.


06: Emotion (100)

"I don't believe you."

Raven looked into blank sockets that stood for eyes on the skull mask knew he was meeting her stare. She could feel it. "Believe what you like."

"Fine." He was laughing at her now; it was in his voice. "I'll believe that just because you don't show emotion doesn't mean you don't feel it." She shrugged almost imperceptibly. He took a step closer and chuckled. "Hell, if I can believe what I like, I might as well believe that you might like me just a little."

Before she could gather breath to speak, she was alone.


07: Cold (99)

'Keep it,' he'd said. His face had faded to sharp lines, strong jaw, deep eyes.

They had shared only minutes in the cold pre-dawn before the others joined her. She'd forgotten the details of him, even that the jacket he'd placed on her shoulders was in her closet.

She thought she'd forgotten him.

Then, X lunged at her. She ducked, inhaled...hesitated. She remembered that smell of crisp, clean evergreen. She backed away, and for a moment, they stared at each other across an expanse of blacktop.

"I have something to return to you."

"Keep it," he echoed.


08: Sleep (98)

It wasn't guilt that kept him awake nights. Before, he slept as soundly as anyone secure in their financial well-being could sleep.

Which was to say, pretty damn well.

Now his sleep was elusive, shallow...fitful.

She came at night, after all. And since he couldn't go to her, she had made that clear, he was left waiting for 'the right time '

Which was to say, when she felt like it.

That night, jolting awake and seeing her waiting before his bed, he knew she took pleasure in waking him.

He made room for her, even so.


09: Music (95)

X thinks of people in terms of music.

He, himself, is a Sonata; all inconspicuous movement, until he is inside and under the skin.

At first, he thought Raven was a concerto: Fully composed and painstakingly organized. Not anymore, however. Now he knows better.

Sheis a fugue; ever evolving, changing-- adapting. She takes whatever melodies come at her and uses them to make the song her own.

She never really understands what he means, but she takes to humming Bach's Fugue No. 2 in C Minor at odd moments, and that's enough for him.


10: Picture (100)

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Robin remembered the old adage as he stared down at the frozen image in his hands. It took a few tries to translate shapes into recognizable forms: Raven's dark cloak hiding her body though the lowered hood betrayed her identity, the red and black costumed body pressed close, the skull mask near enough to touch.

They were talking. That much was obvious.

He crumpled the picture in his fist before wondering what about. "I trust her," he answered the unasked question.

The Batman made no comment when he left. He didn't have to.