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be me at this moment.
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Robin and Raven in...
Laws of Attraction
Robin took a sip of his decaf coffee and grimaced at the bland taste.
"It's driving you up a wall isn't it?" Raven grinned ever so slightly from around the pencil currently occupying the corner of her mouth, the list in her hand resting on the table.
Robin looked up from his touch pad, the next week's training roster unfinished there blinking morosely at him to attend it, "Hmm? What do you mean?"
Shoulders shaking slightly with her quiet laughter, Raven sighed and put the pencil down beside the cup of tea, long forgotten on the table. "Jinx."
To anyone else, the young Detective would not have seemed to react at all. Raven wasn't anyone else; she was an empath and the sole survivor of a society that had stripped her, for so long, of her emotions. Seeing them affect another was something she was dreadfully attuned to, enough so that she often didn't need to extend her demonic senses to read those near her. Robin's eyes narrowed ever so slightly, his posture became more rigid, the tension in his hands jumped where he held the small touchscreen computer. Tucking an errand strand of hair behind an ear, Raven indulged in a private smile – He was still easy to read. It never failed, this always got to him, and every time, Raven took some perverse pleasure from the situation.
"Not really," he said idly, returning his attention too quickly back to the pad. "I mean, it's your life, do what you want with it. As long as it doesn't affect the team negatively, I really have no room to say anything."
"Really? Thats all there is then?" Turning, Raven took her neglected cup and settled the china into the sink, rinsing it as she waited. Her cheeks threatened to cramp from the strain of restraining her smirk as she heard the data pad clatter to the table.
Robin ran a gloved hand through his hair, longer now than when he'd joined the Titans. He was still adjusting to the new costume, the one that identified him as Nightwing, and for the time being and for training exercises he was often found wearing his old colors. He considered it a comfort zone, something it seemed he needed often enough around the empath these days, "I admit, it was a bit surprising."
Turning, her expression outwardly stoic, Raven nodded and settled into her usual place across the table from Robin. "Not only to you."
Tilting his head inquisitively, Robin favored her with a curious expression, "Oh? How so?"
"To be honest, during most of our forays against the Hive, Jinx did little more than annoy me to the point of anger," Raven recalled, folding her hands under her chin as she spoke. Memories of their previous time, those training days so long ago, hung heavy in the air between them. "Sure, it was only fitting that we face one another. Regardless, she was insufferable; always taunting, always dancing and prancing about."
"Well, if thats the case," Robin began, leaning back in his chair to stretch from his earlier position. "What is it that brought you two together then?"
Raven tapped her chin, giving the question honest consideration for perhaps the hundredth time that month. So often she herself found it to be the focus of her thoughts, and once again, despite bringing the topic to light with Robin, she found the query resetting her earlier ideals all over again. "I guess I'd have to explain a few things in detail first.
"For one, you know about how I was raised in Azarath, correct?" When her single company at the table nodded and affirmative, Raven continued. "Well, it was a bit more serious than I let on sometimes."
"How so?" Rising to get a cup of water, feeling this conversation could take some time, Robin wondered what it was that Raven experienced that over this long time even her teammates didn't know. She'd spoken about it infrequently, but even then they'd gleaned much.
Sighing, the empath devoted herself to memory, trying to express the recollections she stifled more often than not. "For one, I never allowed human contact. Never allowed to touch another, for fear that my empathy would ignite emotions I could not control at so young an age."
"All children are emotional though. How did they work around that?"
Smiling ruefully, Raven tapped the gem set in her forehead. "I was sealed."
Robin blinked, remembering the many times she'd discussed to Kori or Garfield the need for that gem, and why she was never without it. "You mean, it's not just a focus...?"
"Hardly. To contain me, they sealed all my chakra gates," pulling out a new sheet of paper, Raven scratched a rough diagram of a person, sitting in her usual meditative stance. "Forehead, throat, heart, navel, in my case the last one there is the womb."
Peering at her for a moment, Robin tapped the point on the figure, by it's throat, "I've never seen one here," he said quietly, brows knit in thought to his meditative training with both Bruce and Shiva. To have one's chakra sealed as she put it, would drastically reduce the effectiveness of one who dealt in the mystic realm as much as she did...
"Indeed. Once I was old enough to speak, and understand speech it was removed," Raven reached up and traced a thin line just over her larynx, tilting her chin up severely. "It and my heart gem were the only two to be removed."
"I thought there were seven chakras, though?"
"For all practical purposes, yes. The crown, at the top of the head, is often described as a receptor of enlightened thought. For me, it's more of a gate to my higher mind." Seeing Robin's confusion at her phrasing, she grinned slightly and drew the outline of a hand mirror above the form on the paper. "It's a direct connection to my Nevermore, where my mind manifests in detail."
Nodding, Robin tapped the base of the figure, where it sat. "What about the root?"
"They didn't want to seal the grounding chakra, as with the others blocked, all I could do was bleed off soul energy. Leaving me with my higher mind and the equivalent to an electric 'ground', they were able to shunt my emotional states into Nevermore effectively." Smiling ruefully, she tapped that caricature of her mirror again, "Or, as Jinx has come to describe it, 'crazied me up real good'."
Shrugging once, Robin looked up at the empath with a slight grin, "Coming from anyone other than you, the idea of Nevermore does sound like a waiting room for multiple personality disorder."
"Only the voices in my head all have the ability to level cities. Each."
"There is that."
"Back to what I was saying though," tapping the heart point, Raven continued, "that one was removed when Nevermore was firmly established to contain my emotions.
"Each control that was a success, allowed me to remove a gem."
Robin considered this a moment, and circled the other remaining points with the pencil. "So you still have the mind, navel, and womb one in place? What do they... well contain?"
"Figured you'd get around to that eventually," smiling to soften her words, Raven stretched and yawned, last night's patrol reminding her she needed to sleep at some point. "The mind one keeps my logic sealed. It keeps my mind from being influenced by my father's nature, and falling into justifications of rage. It's also why in Nevermore, Knowledge is the guide and, for the most part, default leader."
"Right, the hierarchy of your internal voices we'd talked about once that incident with Cy and Gar cleared up," Robin pointed out.
Nodding, Raven tapped the gem lightly, "It also lets me focus my power easier. Logic keeps me from simply reacting and letting my power flow out in a subconcious manifestation of my desires."
Sighing, Robin shook his head slightly, "I still don't get how all this relates to Jinx, but I suppose you'll get to that when you're ready."
"You learn fast."
"I'm also housetrained."
Raven laughed, grinning a him as she collected her thoughts for the next point. "Kori will be glad to know that, I'm sure.
"Now, for the navel. You're familiar with my Soul self?"
Robin nodded, recalling the shadowy raven form his teammate often used to fly or manifest strong uses of her power. "Yeah, though you don't use it very often now."
"It's not that I don't, its more that I don't need to. The Soul self is me. Releasing it like that, puts the essential 'me' in danger. Like most demons, the fundamental thing that is me is eternal.
"Thats not to say I'm immortal, though if I became powerful enough, I could manifest via my Soul self only, and build a body like this one to contain it indefinitely, no longer really needing a flesh and bone vessel."
"Um. Yeah, that would be odd," Robin blinked, somewhat disturbed at the nonchalant manner in which she'd spoken of something so strange. "So your navel chakra being sealed, restricts your Soul self?"
Nodding, Raven doodled a tiny bird over the figures navel. "It keeps it linked to me. Otherwise I could use it like a familiar, or a body double. Or shunt it to hell like most demons, keeping their souls safe and intact while they cavort on the human plane causing mischief in puppet shells."
She turned to the previous page and scribbled somewhat there before flipping back to her diagram. "What was that?" her leader inquired, watching her blink up at him and laugh.
"Forgot to put cheese on the grocery list. Jinx gets cranky if there's none for omelets."
Chuckling still, she tapped the last point, the one below her navel with the pencil. "Figure that one's simple enough, hmm?"
"No children?" Robin hazarded, a slight raise of his shoulder.
Tilting her head slightly, Raven shrugged and nodded, "More or less. Also seals my body's hormone levels, keeping me from wanting sex as well." Smirking slightly, she caught Robin's slight posture change and laughed. "Yeah, are you starting to put the math together?"
"You've gotten around almost all of them."
"Uh-huh," grinning at him, she scribbled something on a blank page and tore it out, handing it to the confused youth. "You win a cookie."
"We need to get you a hobby," the black haired Titan said, laughing slightly at his 'cookie'. "Though, despite all this, I still don't get how it relates to Jinx."
Nodding, Raven smiled and leaned back in her chair again, laying the notepad down on the table. "For one, she was really the first person to be brazen enough to push past my cold exterior and get under my skin enough for me to be unable to ignore her."
"What about Beast Boy?" Robin asked, remembering all the attempts he'd made to break into Raven's stony shell and find the girl he said was underneath, waiting to jump out and embrace him. The imagery made Robin laugh as Raven prepared to answer, prompting her to raise a brow. "Sorry, remembering Garfield's wording about some things."
She shook her head slowly, remembering those moments as well. "Stony shell, jumping girl again?"
"He really needs better analogies."
"Indeed. Anyway," shaking her head, Raven sighed. "To be honest, it wasn't so much that he failed, as there was still too many controls in place for me to feel anything for him. Also, there's a vital difference between the two I'll point out later."
"Alright, I feel that maybe that'll clear it up for me," Robin said, hoping it would. So far, he was just slightly confused by all the information Raven was pouring into him, curious why she'd go into it so in depth with him. It just seemed unlike her.
The dark Titan took a deep breath, settling her thoughts before continuing. "So, I'd broken more controls down over time, seeing that I wanted to really live despite all the warnings I'd been given." Waving out the windows, she smiled. "Then after Trigon's defeat, I had little other than myself to worry about."
"But you two were together before that."
"Somewhat. I still had my doubts, reservations. All people do, when they just start such things, I believe."
Nodding, Robin conceded the point, "Sure, makes sense."
Leaning over the table, Raven spoke with a glint in her eye, something that took Robin by surprise, unused to such intensity from the girl. "Jinx has something special. That luck thing of hers, it operates by altering probability, right?" Waiting for Robin's affirmation, Raven smiled slightly. "Not only that, but there's two parts you have to understand, which took me a little while to get.
"First, there's her active, hex-bolt use. Mucks up the probability of things they hit, introduces decay into the systems and generally makes things fail in some way."
"Right, we're used to that one. I always wondered why it was pink though..."
"I refer you to Toho academy and their study on the nature of evil and it's fractal manifestation."
Robin blinked, and shook his head a moment. "Er, what? Jinx is evil?"
"Put simply, true evil is so concentrated it forms subtle distortions in the fabric of time-space. This distortion takes on a fractal nature and the resulting material forced to occupy the space and give it form becomes 'fuzzy'."
Robin blinked slowly as what Raven just said sunk in. "You're saying, real evil is fuzzy?"
"Right." Shaking his head hard, Robin tapped the table once. "Why pink? I thought that was what you were getting into."
"Oh, right," grinning, Raven laughed quietly and shook her head. "Doppler effect on light forces it to shift to either blue or red, based on the momentum shift of the motion." Raven went to the refrigerator and pulled out a bottled water, twisting off the cap with a flick of her wrist, "Basically, her probability affects air like a neon light.
"Particles are accelerated and excited by the energy, and bleed it off into light. The passing force of her probability shift also shunts the light generated into Doppler red slightly, from the entropy bleed effect of her power."
Closing his eyes tightly, Robin nodded. "Ok, I get that. But why the lecture on fuzzy and evil?"
"Have you ever felt my cloak? Reeeeally fuzzy."
"... You're trying to give me a headache aren't you?" the Detective asked, rubbing at his temple slightly. "And this still doesn't explain why. Why Jinx?"
"I'll get to the real bottom line soon. But as for her powers, it helped her." Recalling that fateful day where she'd taken the thief back to her apartment after a disastrous accident, Raven smiled. "It also works as a field around her, improving her own luck. Probabilities shift in her favor. She has a subconscious bit of precognition that lets this work, but I don't mention it. I don't want to ever see her in a turban, playing up the fortuneteller shtick."
"I think I see. So when you helped her, it kicked in... "
"... and started shifting my own tendencies, to be closer to her. Right!" Robin jumped as the girl across from him clapped, startling him. "Also, the longer we were around one another, the more emotional I could be. Her little luck trick bled off my excess energy so I could be openly emotional without something imploding or the world ending."
Leaning his chin on a fist, Robin nodded slightly and considered all she'd said up to this point. "So, being around her basically worked for her advantage, by altering your ability to feel emotions, and by shifting your attention to her, because you showed her compassion and her subconscious latched onto that.
"Her subconscious is a manipulative little bitch isn't it?" When Raven started laughing, he joined in quietly. "So that kinda settles things. And you're ok with this? Being manipulated like that?"
"Well, you also have to take into consideration that for the longest time, I couldn't, wasn't able to feel any emotions. Being able to suddenly do so, was like a drug. One I'm still happily addicted to," Raven smirked, sighing as she tucked her hair behind her ear where it had fallen forward. "Sure, realizing it now, I guess it does seem that way. But she wasn't actively doing so. My subconscious would run amok and drown the world in blood if I let it. Hers is tame and cute in comparison."
Blinking, Robin regarded his teammate for a moment. "So, you hadn't worked out precisely why you and Jinx happened when you started this conversation?"
Smirking openly, Raven shook her head. "Nope. I figured if I threw out enough information, that brilliant mind of yours would help me sort it out."
"Remind me never to let you go rogue, it'll be the death of us all," Robin muttered, shaking his head. "But you did say one thing, that I swore you meant. There was one thing you kept mentioning that would make it all make sense."
Raven set a cup of coffee in front of the young Detective, grinning the entire while. "Oh that."
"Raven, you know I started drinking decaf the other day."
"Actually it was three weeks ago. You've just had a lousy time remembering small details. My fault really.
"And the main point?" Leaning in and grinning at Robin's confused expression, which was turning more and more suspicous by the moment, Raven whispered the one thing she did know for a fact, that did as she said, tie it all together.
"I like boobies."
And with that, like the previous days she'd spoken to him to work through her own issues, she slipped into his mind and erased the conversation. It had taken a few weeks off and on to get all the points to make sense, starting from analyzing Jinx's powers with him on the Titan's mainframe, to explaining her own chakra issues and the minutiae of her life in Azarath. But in the end, with his help she'd sorted through it all and come to a real conclusion.
Well, other than that she liked boobies. That was a given.
"Thanks, boy wonder," clasping his shoulder, she gave him a small shake to rouse the now-stunned youth from his stupor. "Hey, your coffee's getting cold."
Robin sipped his rich Columbian blend and winced as his head flared, a headache erupting behind his eyes. "God, this caffeine is killing me these days. Remind me to switch to decaf tomorrow, ok Raven?"
"Sure thing, Robin," she answered in her usual stoic tones. Robin smiled slightly behind his cup. Just another typical morning in Titan's Tower. His brow knit for a moment as he looked over at the notepad, discarded on the table. An errant thought darted through his mind and he looked up to see Raven leaving. "Hey, ah. I was thinking... would you mind talking with me about this thing between you and Jinx sometime? Just so I know how it is our stoic Raven fell for the Queen of Quirk."
Raven regarded the Boy Wonder for a long moment, before shrugging and turning to leave. "Don't really feel like talking right now, actually. Maybe some other time."
"Ah. Well sure. Just remind me when you want to."
Smiling slightly, Raven pulled her hood up and phased into a shadow, on her way to wake a certain pink-haired Thief. "Sure thing, Robin."