Rating: T for now
Summary: Three little words can mean so much.
AN: Ha, fooled ya with that title and summary, didn't I? Just to tell you, the words "I love you" are not to be found herein. No, I'm talking about three different words… "guilty", "name", and "honest". Three one-word themes for three snippets of story, all Robin/Raven oriented (in varying degrees of innocence). Not sure if I might continue this as an ongoing thing, but crap's reeeaaaaally crazy-busy right now. But maybe. Maybe.
Dedication: To ravenslair, who has always so faithfully and kindly reviewed my crap, with nothing but good things to say, even when what I've written hasn't been your particular cup of tea. Thanks, Gerry. ) I'm your #1 fan. Keep rockin' on.
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"Maybe I'm just not seeing it, Raven," Robin's voice was tired, and he rubbed at the bridge of his nose with two fingers, just below the black mask. "You've been explaining it for the last hour, and I still can't trace them on my own."
Raven exhaled softly through her nose and rolled her head on her neck, attempting to loosen some of the tension that had gathered in the muscles of her shoulders and bunched at the nape of her neck. "You're over-thinking it, Robin. This is not complicated. Ley lines are the simplest piece of magick once you've figured out how they work."
"But I don't understand it, Raven. The location of the one you showed me doesn't make any sense to me, and I don't get how I'm supposed to figure out where the stronger ones are that pull it along to the knot." Robin scrubbed his fingers roughly over his scalp, ruffling his hair into even messier spikes as he stared blearily at the map of Jump City Raven had laid out.
She sighed more audibly and leaned over him, hand on his shoulder and arm stretching to trace one of the city's main traffic arteries. "Here," she murmured, her hair cascading from behind her ear to brush his cheek, "is one of the largest ley lines Jump City has to offer. Think of the city as something alive, Robin. I have showed you one of the small veins, and a large power artery. See if you can find the other main lines, and trace them to the knot. Find the heart."
He sat in silence, unbothered by her leaning over him, and began to mark careful, deliberate red lines on the map with his marker, finding two of the other large lines, as she'd known he would. It would be only a few moments before he found the knot.
Raven stayed as she was, bent over the curve of his back, her breath coming in time with his and her chest nearly touching the back of his shirt with each inhalation. She enjoyed a brief vision of his fingers trailing down her stomach the way they traced paths on the map.
"There. Is that right?"
His voice broke the spell and she straightened and took a step back, folding her arms below her breasts and assuming an authoritative stance behind his chair, lips tightening on the flash of guilt that always followed these thoughts of Robin. She felt as if she had taken advantage of him, as if she had actually pushed him onto the tabletop and ripped his shirt off him instead of only imagining it.
She knew she shouldn't be entertaining these fantasies. Robin was her leader, and more importantly, her friend. It was wrong. But she didn't know how she was supposed to simply stop. Her hormones inconveniently did not come with an "off" switch.
Blinking, she realized Robin had twisted in his chair to look at her, and that she had been staring blankly at the tabletop map while he waited for her to answer him. "Yes, Robin. That's right."
His mouth tugged into a proud, triumphant smile, and she wondered the shape it would take in the dark of her bedroom.
Raven smiled tiredly back, and wondered if guilt was supposed to feel so good.
He wondered, wistfully, what kind of fool he must be for willingly putting himself through this torture. Was he truly, utterly hopeless, going to such lengths as these? Surely, if the truth ever got out, he would never outlive the public humiliation.
Was it worth it? Was it really worth the lowered estimation of his character? His intelligence? His hearing?
"Robin. Are you listening at all? I've been calling you for five minutes."
Oh, yes, he thought, turning around with a bashful smile.
It was all worth it, just to hear Raven say his name.
Cyborg stared at Raven with his mouth hanging open and his organic eye fit to pop from the socket. She was moving about the kitchen in her usual morning routine, but his eyes were fixed on the one thing this morning that was not normal, the thing that had grabbed his attention the moment she set foot into his line of sight and had stubbornly refused to let go.
"Are you wearing Robin's Haley's Circus T-shirt?"
Cyborg was silent a moment while he let the answer sink in, or rather, hit him like a Mack track on the interstate at top speed. Raven, for her part, merely stood at the counter and calmly sipped her tea, watching the comical display on her brother figure's face. Finally, his wits returned enough to ask the burning, must-know question that filled his entire world since she dropped that one-word answer seventy-two seconds ago. "Why?"
Raven shrugged, set her teacup on the Formica, and added a little honey to her Earl Grey. "It was the closest thing on my floor."
There was deep, profound, stunned silence.
For several minutes.
"Well… at least you're honest."
And Cyborg lifted his Sunday paper and settled it as a screen before his face, determined to notice nothing else for the entirety of the morning. He had had enough honesty for today.
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AN: So, yeah, been MIA for a good while… but that's what happens when you make a mad dash to not be homeless and you computer commits hara-kiri. On the bright side, I am NOT homeless (at least for now), and the PC is temporarily back in service, so mayhap the writing will pick up a bit again. No promises though. But believe you me, Em is sure campaigning hard for updates on both Aphrodite's Kiss and Awkward Entanglements, so you haven't seen the end of them yet. –sigh–