Disclaimer: I don't own the characters you read before you. All rights belong to Warner Brothers, and all that.
Author's Note: I'll spare you the long exposition that comes from a 100th fic. Since Robin/Raven got me to here, they should get another banter spotlight. Besides the personal angle and yet another Lisa Loeb song title (do not ask about song lyrics — not worth it), what I plan to address in this story is a concern I had in the Trigon arc.
Beta: Still looking.
Timeline: Post "The End".
'"Not everything is so cut-and-dry, Robin."'
Slade's private remark lingered within Robin's mind. The recent demise of Trigon now aside, there was finally time to contemplate it all. With every jab at the gym's punching bag, another one of his synapses sparked.
'While it's good to know the answers behind Slade's resurrection, many questions still remain. I couldn't do anything before, as I had to focus on his return and the impact upon Raven first. Now, I can't stop thinking.'
Padding his perspiring temples, his brow creased.
'Why did Trigon pick Slade? Was it opportunity, or was it because of Slade's involvement with us? From Slade's monologue, it sounds like anyone could have fit that role. I'm probably thinking too much again.'
He kicked a steel-toed boot in.
'Too bad I can't get it straight from the horse's mouth right now, but I can go for the next best thing: Raven. But is that wise? If there is anything I took from her this year, it's sensitivity regarding her father. And if I learned my lesson from Slade's chemical reagent last year, it's better to sometimes let sleeping dogs lie.'
Suddenly, he was in a beeline to Raven's quarters.
'Since when did all that apply to me, anyway?'
There Robin was, poised to knock on Raven's engraved metallic panel.
'Why am I so afraid? I wasn't even this afraid with Gotham's criminals.' He rapped warily onto the door.
'Don't tell me she isn't here.' The entrance clicked to life, only the boarder's cloaked eyes were visible.
"I thought we could talk. You got a minute?"
The opening expanded. "Alright, come in."
He immediately scanned the room's gothic theater design. 'It's exactly how I pictured it, too.'
She lowered her hood. "If you're done gawking, what do you want to talk about?"
He clutched the base of his skull. "Sorry for staring; it's just I've never been in here before."
Her lips pursed. "I'm not in the mood to conduct a tour."
"So, how are you?"
The sorceress glowered. "Meditating. Robin, I'm not someone for small talk, so say what's on your mind."
A smirk formed. "What if I want to make small talk?"
"I know you better than that."
"Fine, this is Titan-to-Titan, here. It's a concern I have about Slade and your father."
She scowled. "What about them?"
"This is for my benefit only, but one of the things I never fully understood of Slade's role with your father was…, 'why him? Why was he Trigon's messenger?' I thought that maybe you would—"
"You thought wrong. Until our recent encounter, I've never seen my father. I certainly wouldn't know why he did what he did, or why he went with the company that he kept."
"Raven, from what Slade told me, anyone could have fit that. No, Trigon must have chosen him for a reason. Other than his relationship with us, that's the only connection I could see."
"Mystery solved, then."
"I don't understand. You vaporized Trigon before our eyes, and yet, you're still defensive about him?" Robin gesticulated emphatically with his hands.
Her grimace intensified. "Why do you need to know? It's over, and we lived through it — isn't that enough?"
"I'm fine with the outcome, but I still need to know, so I can use it for next time. We both know Slade's still out there."
She pointed her index finger directly at him. "You could have caught him."
"Normally, I would have, but the situation—"
"Robin, if you really wanted to, you could have gotten him beforehand."
His nostrils curved. "First, that would be hard to do when your target was presumed dead — and he was. Secondly, you're avoiding my question."
"I'll talk slow for you. I really don't know why Trigon chose Slade to be his errand boy, I don't. I'm sure there was an actual reason, but he's dead, and I'm not about to revive him to ask."
The Titan leader drooped. "Oh. Fine, then, I'm sorry, but with your…omissions, I really wasn't sure."
Her eyebrows elevated up to her forehead charka. "What do you mean by that?"
'I came so close.' "Well…, between what you said and what really happened, sometimes, things got blurred."
"You know why I held back."
"I do, but I thought we finally had a measure of trust."
Raven's arms were akimbo. "Like you and that Red X business?"
He clasped his gloved hands. "That was different. That was me being obsessed with Slade, and I said my regrets."
"You had your reasons for yours, and I had them for mine."
"But the ends don't always justify the means, either. Any way you call it, a lie of omission is still a lie."
"If I had told you about Trigon from the start, what would you have done in all honesty?"
He cocked his fist. "I would have supported you and fought him to the bitter end."
"Despite any issues or lack of trust you'd have for me? Sorry, but the days of the Good Samaritans have past."
Robin smiled somewhat. "I wouldn't say that, for time is funny in that way, Raven."
"It sounds so easy now, doesn't it?"
"No, but it can block the will to go on. My case, we just caught it early."
"Then, there was the traitor in our midst."
They both sighed. "Yeah."
"For what it's worth, I am sorry you didn't get your answer." Her voice harkened back to her original melancholy timbre.
"Maybe it's for the best. The more I dig into Slade, the more I don't like. Or maybe I was annoyed that…you and your father stole my villain before I got any closure."
Raven snorted mildly. "That's an interesting twist."
"Yeah, and before that, Terra did it. It's like what I went through with the chemical reagent: it deals with my sense of purpose."
Her body wriggled slightly. "I think your sense of purpose is just fine."
The Teen Wonder's eyes lit up. 'Why is she fidgeting now? Is there something else she's hiding?' "Hm, we'll see."
"Isn't closure's a myth, anyway? Besides, you'll get your chance, as he'll no doubt pop up sooner or later."
"And we'll be ready. But, before that happens, is there anything else I should know about him, your father and all this?"
She gazed southward. "At the moment, no."
"I think I learned all that I needed, thanks." He sauntered his way out.
"Ask me later after mediation, and see what kind of reaction you get." The plate sealed shut.
'That could have gone much worse; she's mellowed.' He loitered in the passageway.
Inside, the demoness hovered in mid-air, legs in Indian style. 'Azarath Metrion Zinthos. Azarath Metrion Zinthos. Azarath Metrion Zinthos. Azarath Metrion Zinthos.
'I can't avoid this any longer — I have to tell him the truth behind Slade's reagent. As he says, "a lie of omission is still a lie." Why do I feel so compelled to want to tell the truth around him? What is the spell he has over me? I should have snapped at him more, but I didn't. Maybe I have finally mellowed. Oh, super.'
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