A/N: Another for the 'Poetic Series'. I heard this poem and I found it online and I read it again and again and I fell in love with the emotion behind it and I knew it was Raven and Robin, I just needed to figure out how to incorporate that into a story.

The poem is "I carry your heart" by e.e. cummings.

The Request
by Em

"La esperanza que me dio tu amor / No me la dio más nadie/ Te juro, no miento"
(The hope that your love gave me / no one else gave me / I swear, I do not lie.)
- No, Shakira

There was no return address, but he didn't need one.

Even if it had been nearly three years since he had seen it, he'd know the neat, tight script anywhere. Still, he stared at it for a few moments, standing just inside the door to his apartment.

What could Raven possibly have to say to him that she couldn't say over the phone or during their, albeit rare, encounters?

He slit the plain white business size envelope open along the side and a single sheaf of paper slid out. He could tell, even as he bent down to pick it up off the floor, that it wasn't a regular sheet of paper, but it wasn't until he held it in his hand that he realized it wasn't a piece of paper at all.

It was a page, slightly yellowed with age and jagged along one edge where it had been torn, obviously as neatly as possible, from a book.

What could have possibly prompted Raven to tear out a page from one of her beloved books and send it to him of all people?

Maybe she was in trouble and this was the only way she had to communicate?

With that thought, he unfolded the carefully creased page and searched the typewritten text for something out of place, moments going by before he even realized that what he was looking at was a poem.

Memories he hadn't thought of in years flooded his consciousness. Memories of all the different times Raven and he had sat in quiet discourse over the nuances of different poems. They rarely, if ever, agreed on meanings, Raven often wanting to stick to the face value of the poet's words and Robin, more often than not, wanting to delve deeper, giving more emphasis to the hidden meaning in the poet's choice of words and form. They hardly ever even agreed on favorite poets.

They argued, usually, on those occasions when they discussed poetry, or even literature, but neither of them had minded. He remembered. He, for one, had sought those moments out. And Raven...she sometimes found him working at the computer and approached with one of her carefully preserved, but clearly worn books, ready to point out a particular poem that proved whatever point they had argued about the last time.

It never ended with the discussion of that poem, for no matter how involved he had been in whatever he was doing on the computer, he had stopped and become involved with debating with her anyway.

How long had it been since they'd talked about poetry? Much longer than the three years since he'd left the Titans for Blüdhaven and she'd...

He was on his couch and he wasn't sure how or since when.

A poem. He read the words with care, the way he used to whenever she presented a new poem for him to peruse.

I carry your heart with me
(I carry it in my heart)
I am never without it
(anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear no fate
(for you are my fate, my sweet)
I want no world
(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

Just a poem. He recognized the poet's simplicity and rebellion against the traditional rules of grammar and poetic structure. E.E. Cummings. He had been one of the few poets they had both agreed on.

He scanned the poem a second time, and then the page, feeling the thumping of his heart the way he hardly ever did anymore, looking for some clue as to why she'd sent him this. What she wanted from him, why she'd sent it to him at all.

And there, along the bottom edge of the page, close to the corner, in Raven's neat cursive two words: a request and a command.

"Come home."


The Poetic Series So Far

1. Beacon (story id: 3352613)
2. Memoriam (story id: 3140537)
3. Interpretations (story id: 3042207)
4. Refusal (story id: 2800809)