Author's Note: I am not promoting Project Gotham Racing 2. In fact, I didn't even know what the hell it was until I went on Google to find some nice racing game to put in the chapter. For those who are as lost as me in games, this isn't a made-up game, it actually exists. Enjoy!
Cyborg was a little frustrated. Well, maybe more than a little frustrated. Very frustrated, in fact. Despite the fact that he knew that this was nothing to be so worked up about, it nagged at him every day and every night, and he knew he wasn't the only one who was feeling slightly annoyed with it all. Beast Boy and Starfire seemed to be pretty affected by the whole matter as well, even though they had different ways of showing it. The Starfire way was to shoot starbolts into the wall with her eyes, while the Beast Boy way was simply to turn into a duck and sulk on the sofa.
Yeah, Beast Boy could actually pull off a sulking duck.
It sounded quite stupid when Cyborg actually thought about it, but he had to admit that it was one of the problems that he – or any other Titan – had never dealt with before.
So, here's the thing. Cyborg was quite pissed off with the newly minted Titan couple.
It wasn't that they were affecting the whole fighting-in-a-team thing. Neither were they making trainings less pleasant, or making Titan meals together awkward. In fact, they were doing the very opposite.
Robin and Raven were not even acting anything like a real couple. And that annoyed Cyborg to no end. They way they behaved around each other was always indifferent and calm, with the whole you-never-know-he-or-she-is-my-boyfriend-or-girlfriend-until-you-actually-ask attitude. In fact, Cyborg didn't learn of the fact that Robin and Raven had officially gotten together until a few days ago. This is how the epic, mind-blowing revelation went.
"Hey Rob! I have a question."
"A really personal question. You've gotta promise me you'll answer it truthfully."
"Do you promise?"
"Why the hell are you sounding like BB? Just ask the damn question."
"Do you like Raven?"
"You can say that." The answer came without a single hesitation.
Cyborg decided to venture further. "Do you think she likes you back?"
Robin calmly flipped a page of the newspaper he was holding without even looking up. "Yeah, probably."
"Sounding confident here, are we? How are you supposed to know that?"
Robin didn't bother to reply. Cyborg decided to throw another question at the leader. "Wait, are you two actually going out?"
"Something like that."
When he had decided to confront Raven instead, the demoness just affixed him with a cool gaze before turning her back on him and walking away.
So much for the epic, mind-blowing revelation. He might as well just have gotten two stones to confess that they were dating each other.
Now, Cyborg wasn't an expert when it came to relationships, but he had a strange feeling that something was wrong between the two. From all the romance fiction he had read previously (yes, he had his share of romance novels hidden under his bed), both parties should never be able to take their eyes off each other. They would always find some random excuse to be near each other; they would hold hands because they were proud to tell the whole world that they were together. They would smile immediately when their other half stepped into the room, and blush happily when they were being teased about each other.
But Robin and Raven represented a whole new definition of a couple. When Robin walked into the room, Raven didn't seem to have any visible reaction at all. During meal times, they literally never sat next to each other. As far as Cyborg knew, he had never seen the two go into each other's room for any reason apart from pure Titan business. They never trained together, unless it was for team training. When the others tried to give both of them personal space, they didn't seem to know how to use it, or in other words, they never said anything to each other even when they were alone. They never went on dates. The only times they went out together were when villains were out wreaking havoc in Jump City. Sometimes, the indifference escalated to such an extent that the two would just ignore each other even if they were in the same room.
If this was supposed to be some kind of joke, it wasn't funny.
So today, Cyborg decided to wake up slightly earlier just to check on them. It was a pretty difficult feat for him, given the fact that he treasured his beauty sleep more than any of the other Titans. Covering a yawn with the back of his palm, he walked briskly towards the large doors leading to the living room. At this time, no one should be awake apart from the two birds.
Stepping through the large doors, he immediately found Robin sitting casually on the sofa, pointing the remote calmly at the television screen as he watched the early morning news. Cyborg usually found this particular news programme ridiculous because the only people in Jump City who would wake up at such ungodly hours to catch it were Robin and Raven themselves.
He also realised that Robin was actually capable of sitting in that position for hours on end without moving a muscle. A potentially new yoga position?
"Oh, you're up early," Robin noted, his eyes glued to the screen as he watched the newscaster drone on and on about how awesome the Titans were for having caught yet another villain. The leader motioned towards the screen. "Control Freak. They're doing some special feature on him."
"Reporters have nothing better to do with their lives nowadays," Cyborg raised an eyebrow. "By the way, where's Raven? Thought she was an early bird too."
Robin shrugged his shoulders. "Dunno. She's meditating somewhere, I guess."
"You didn't meet her just now?"
"Nope. I was doing some early morning training, so she was already gone by the time I came into the living room."
"So you didn't talk to her at all?"
"Nope. Why should I?"
"Do you guys do this all the time?"
Cyborg shook his head in defeat at Robin's indifferent replies. Taking two quick steps forward, he snatched the remote from Robin's outstretched hand and switched off the television, ignoring Robin's indignant 'hey'.
"What was that for?" Robin grumbled, leaning back against the sofa and ruffling a hand absently through his hair. "I was just getting to the good part."
"The good part? Control Freak doesn't have any good parts. And trust me, Rob, you definitely already know more about that fat guy than the reporters do." Cyborg sighed, and placed himself on the opposite sofa. "Now we are here to discuss you. And Raven."
"Me and… Raven? What's there to talk about?"
"Did you guys quarrel or something?"
"Disagree over something?"
"Say something awkward to each other?"
Cyborg scratched his head in puzzlement. "Then did you guys do something… scandalous with each other?"
"For heaven's sake, Cy, no!"
"Then what's going on between the two of you?"
"What's going on… I don't get what you're driving at, Cy." Robin sighed, reaching forward to retrieve the remote from Cyborg's open palm. "Nothing's going on, so don't get all worked up."
"One last question. You guys are actually… together right?"
Robin affixed Cyborg with a cool gaze. "That's right. Now are you going to interrogate me further or are you up for a round of Project Gotham Racing 2? I'll give you a chance to challenge my title."
The whole Raven and Robin issue flew out of Cyborg's head as he gave the leader the deadliest smile he could muster. "You bet. I'll kick your ass anytime, man."
He lost in the end, but yeah, he never won Robin before anyway.
The next day (after he had gotten over his 45th loss against Robin for the month), Cyborg decided to talk to Raven about the whole thing instead. In those romance novels, it was usually the more sensitive female who would probably understand where he was coming from.
But alas, he was so wrong.
After lunch, Cyborg grabbed the opportunity to follow the demoness as she glided up the stairs to the rooftop of the tower for her routine meditation. He knew by now that if he did not catch her in time, she would turn into some God-knows-what six-eyed monster if he interrupted her during her meditation. You needed to be very careful with the demon girl. He had seen Beast Boy being tortured into pulp both physically and mentally one too many times.
His question, however, came back with totally useless answers. "I have no idea what you're implying," the demoness said monotonously, fixing him with those dead violet eyes of hers. "And why are you so interested, anyway?"
"Uh, you guys have been acting weird since you got together."
No readable expression whatsoever. "Weird? Meaning?"
"Like you guys don't talk to each other like couples do? I mean, if there's some conflict, you really should let us know. We are your friends after all, right?"
"I appreciate your concern, but there isn't any conflict, Cyborg."
"That's really hard to believe."
"If you don't mind, I'd like to meditate." Raven paused and looked away, arranging her cloak as she proceeded to cross her legs and levitate in mid air. "Alone."
"Uh, yeah, yeah, go ahead and do your… thing." Cyborg muttered lamely, making his quick exit from the rooftop which had suddenly gone a little too cold for his liking.
"OKAY, I CANNOT HOLD THIS IN ANY LONGER."
Cyborg looked up wearily from his position on the sofa to look at Beast Boy, who had decided to stand on the couch to make his announcement. "Don't stand on the couch, B – "
"We have a very serious issue here! A life or death situation!"
"BB, I said don't stand on the cou – "
"Am I the only observant one here who realises that Robin and Raven are a couple?"
"We all knew that already. Now get off the damn cou – "
"You knew? YOU KNEW! AND YOU MEANIES KEPT IT FROM ME?"
"Are you going to get off the couch?"
"NO!" Beast Boy faltered as Cyborg shot him a death glare nearly comparable to Raven's. "… I mean, yeah, I was going to."
As Beast Boy sheepishly stepped off the sofa, a thought occurred to Cyborg. "Hold on, if you didn't know they were together, what have you been sulking about all this while?"
Beast Boy's frown deepened. "It was World Animal Day one week ago and all of you didn't even remember it. Bitches."
Cyborg slapped a hand to his forehead and ignored the green changeling, who had gone back to sulk. The little green bitch.
Raven sat at the kitchen table, her cup of tea sitting on the table in front of her, her fingers drumming the surface of the table impatiently.
Okay, she wasn't impatient. She was just, well, waiting.
She thought she actually did a pretty good job of not showing anything in front of the Titans, and she could see that Robin did too. It was pretty much a mutual thing. They had never actually talked about how they were going to announce it to the others, but somehow Cyborg was smart enough to find out first. To avoid making things awkward between them and the titans, both of them had naturally gone back to behaving as per normal when the titans were around. Robin had told her that Cyborg just hazarded a guess at their relationship, and Robin himself affirmed it for the machineman.
However, maybe they hadn't made it clear enough. Cyborg's weird questioning earlier in the morning made it seem like he thought Robin was lying about their relationship. Did they not talk like other couples did?
Hold on. How exactly did normal couples talk? She was going to have to read up about that.
Just as she was pursing her lips in thought, the doors hissed open and in walked the very person she had been waiting for. All thought flew out of her head, but at least she remembered to maintain her normal monotonous expression instead of giving a girlish smile. Demons don't do girlish.
Robin automatically walked towards the kitchen where she was seated. They didn't greet each other normally with a 'hi' or 'hey', because they could never seem to make a habit out of it. Since the first day they met Raven couldn't seem to recall him saying a single 'hi' to her before.
"Having diluted tea again?" Robin asked, casually positioning himself on the seat opposite hers.
Raven rolled her eyes at the remark. "It's the only drinkable thing around here."
"Which you deplete in a matter of hours," Raven said matter-of-factly. "And considering the rot Beast Boy and Cyborg pile up inside the refrigerator I don't exactly want to touch any of the drinks in there."
Robin laughed. "No one's dead yet. Shows that the stuff in there can still be consumed."
"Cyborg has a stomach made of iron for all I know."
"You've got a point there."
Raven smiled. It was common for both of them to have simple conversations like this which could be about anything under the sky. It seemed that he could connect with literally everything she wanted to talk about, and that made moments with him all the more pleasant.
Then she remembered what she had been thinking about before he came. "You know, Cyborg asked me a pretty strange question today."
"Strange? How strange?"
"He asked me if we were fighting or something."
Robin smirked. "That sounds kind of familiar. He cornered me in the hall this morning to ask me whether we were going through some trouble."
Raven raised an eyebrow. "You too?"
"Yeah. He sounded as if he doubted this… thing between you and me."
Raven couldn't help but give another smile. "He told me we weren't behaving like a normal couple would."
"So what, we're abnormal now?"
Raven's hands went up in mock surrender. "Ask our dear friend."
The leader watched her for a while, before getting up from his seat. Raven held her breath as he leaned over the width of the table to plant a firm kiss on her mouth.
Okay, she was not going to blush. Demonesses don't blush. What a childish way of showing your affections.
Robin went back to his original position and poured himself a glass of water. They sat in silence for a while, each one suddenly engrossed in the drink in front of them. Raven's thoughts were still in mild disarray, so she didn't want to let herself break the silence. She never knew when she was going to break something on accident again.
"I just realised something," Robin started, his hand swirling the cup of water in front of him. "We had to deal with a hell lot of assholes this week."
Raven looked at him questioningly. "We deal with a hell lot of assholes every week."
Robin's face had gone into expressionless mode again. Raven couldn't seem to decipher what he was thinking. "Yeah, but what's the probability of us meeting another villain today?"
"You'd never know. Villains don't exactly follow a timetable as far as I know."
"Yeah. But let's say you can give it a percentage. What're the chances?"
Raven contemplated that for a while. "Well, since we've got quite a lot of villains locked up recently, I'm going to guess that there's a pretty low chance we'll have to fight someone today unless we are really unlucky. Maybe a ten percent chance?"
"Ten percent chance, huh." Robin stood up, putting his palms flat on the table. "Then that means we are going to have to rely on luck to get that ninety percent then."
Before Raven could ask him what he meant, he had already walked over to her side. In one swift movement, he leaned down and kissed her, his warm lips gently caressing hers. But this time, he didn't pull away.
Her thoughts flying out of her head again, Raven responded without hesitation, her arms finding their way around his neck as he deepened the kiss. His hands looped around her waist and with hardly any effort he lifted her up into his arms, allowing her to wrap her legs around him as he walked slowly over to the sofa.
Ever so gently, he placed her on the sofa, his mouth never leaving hers. Both of them were quick to remove their capes, which had become a pretty annoying hindrance. Raven could feel her heart leap in exhilaration and happiness at the feel of him. She wondered if she could maybe try a sneak attack on him and remove his mask. It would be a challenging endeavour, but it might actually work…
The hall doors hissed open suddenly, and the two hardly had time to break away before the other three titans came into view.
There was a huge pause as the others stared wide-mouthed at the sight of the two dishevelled titans. They looked like Slade had just come into the Tower selling cookies.
Cyborg was the first to recover first. "Ah, um, I think we'll just, ya know, go back and…"
"Did you guys just make out?" Beast Boy asked excitedly, cutting off Cyborg's lame efforts of salvaging the situation.
Raven struggled to suppress her laughter. She could see from the corner of her vision that Robin was smirking slightly too.
Cyborg whacked Beast Boy on the top of his head with a palm. "Shut up."
"What is the making of the out?"
"That's alright, Star, you don't really need to know," Robin coughed.
Cyborg cleared his throat. "I just realised I forgot to get something from my room, so I'm gonna go back and grab it. BB and Star, you guys too right?"
"No, why the hell would we miss out something – " Beast Boy started, but Cyborg quickly clamped a palm over his mouth.
With a sheepish laugh, Cyborg exited the room with a protesting Beast Boy in one arm, Starfire gliding confusedly behind him. As the doors closed, Raven could vaguely make out Beast Boy's angry protests that went something like, "No fair! We were just going to get to the good part! It's like watching those chick flicks where the guy goes, 'yeah baby' and the girl goes 'bring it on, biatch' and they have this awesome make out session…" His words were quickly followed a large 'thwack' sound and both Raven and Robin flinched as they tried not to imagine what Cyborg just did.
Both of them stood in the hall awkwardly, their outfits in a mess. Robin cleared his throat. "Now that went pretty well."
Raven burst out laughing. "Yeah, at least Cyborg has nothing to worry about now."
Robin smiled widely. Without hesitation, he looped an arm around Raven's waist and brought her close to him, burying his face partially in her lavender hair. "That reminds me," he mused. "We could always try doing what normal couples usually do. Like dates or something."
"Yeah, we go out to the movies, grab some dinner, shop, whatever."
"Am I hearing myself correctly? The great Boy Wonder suggesting we take a break from work?"
Robin flicked her nose with one finger. "Get used to it, Roth. You are going to have to handle this Boy Wonder for some time to come."
Raven smiled again. "I think I can handle that."