A/N: So, first of all...HAPPY BELATED NEW YEAR'S, EVERYONE! #clears throat#. Yeah, I know I'm late. But I actually lost this one-shot. I couldn't find it, and I knew I had written it. I had written it pretty much before the actual date, too, but it just sort of disappeared...or, the little Goblins that love to mess with my computer files just got through Puck's security and managed to make some mischief. And anyway, the last couple of days, I've been looking through old stuff, and viola! There it was! So, now, you get it. Forgive the tardiness?
And secondly...this kind of sucks. I like the idea of it, but it was a lot better in my head. Or, if not sucks -- because some of it is okay I guess -- it's kinda "eh".
Now, enough from me...what do you think about me? #cheeky grin#.
Mulder: The world didn't end.
Scully: No, it didn't.
-The X-Files, "Millenium"
The thing about being a superhero was you never quite knew when you'd get a day (or even a night) off.
This truth was perhaps another reason why Raven had been unable to put up much more than token resistance to the idea of getting all trussed up and attending Wayne Enterprise's annual Christmas Eve Ball.
That the city had been quiet and still on the criminal front thereby allowing them to have the rare night off on the actual night of December 24th had been a small Christmas Miracle in itself.
That she couldn't say she had a horrible time on Christmas Eve (would, in all honesty, have to admit to having had a more than decent time, if pressed) only made her consider that she might, perhaps, have preferred to be on the rooftop ballroom of the Georges Cinq Hotel, Gotham, taking furtive sips of champaign and nibbling on goose liver pate with her friends than in the less than savory part of downtown Jump City ignoring the angry glares and foul epithets flung their way by the recently captured Gizmo.
Mammoth, it was only slightly pleasant to note, remained as stoically silent as ever while he was being dragged away by the special forces police squad Robin had called once they'd been captured.
"Yeah, and a Happy New Year to you too, punk!" Cyborg called out, glaring at the techno midget.
It was always a personal thing between those two, Raven thought as she walked behind her team toward the holding vans waiting on the main street.
Suddenly, movement caught the corner of her eye and she glanced to her right, her eyes stopping on the display of plasma television screens in the window of the discount electronics store. Every tv was showing the same channel, and the camera on that channel was panning across a sea of people; excitement, joy, and no small amount of cold evident on their faces. She couldn't hear what was being said, but she could guess. It didn't take a telepath (or, it turned out, a detective) to recognize the famed Times Square in New York City.
Robin, noticing Raven stop in front of the window, stood next to her, but Raven was too enthralled by her observations to notice. And while Raven's interest was caught (as it usually was in unguarded moments) by her scrutiny of the blatant emotions on the faces of so many people, Robin was focused on the small box in the bottom right hand corner where digital numbers were counting down the minutes and seconds. At the street, the transport vehicles moved away and the others noticed that Robin and Raven had stayed behind.
When the clock showed one minute left to the new year, Robin spoke.
"Seems like we didn't miss it, after all."
With forty-three seconds remaining, Raven answered.
"Would be infinitely warmer if we'd be at home, though."
Robin laughed, and agreed, and at t minus twenty-seven seconds, asked, "Any New Year's resolutions?"
"No," she answered, glancing at him.
Robin tsked as the digital clock on the screen turned from twenty-five to twenty-four. "That's practically sacrilegious," he chided as along the other window next to them Beast Boy explained to Starfire about the reason people chose to stand in that particular square and Cyborg fiddled with his arm to pick up the audio reception from local channel 10.
"Another in a long list of holiday traditions?" she turned to him and raised her brow.
He smiled and nodded. "You need to have some personal goal to strive for during the coming year."
At thirteen seconds, she smirked. "Not if you're perfect."
He scoffed just as Cyborg managed to tap into the television audio reception and the sound of a crowd counting broke into the otherwise silent alley just in time to hear them chant, "Ten! Nine! Eight!..."
Their eyes locked on each other, neither Bird noticed.
"There's another tradition associated with the new year, you know," he said nonchalantly.
She turned to look at the television as the people on the television counted down, alternating with the view of the large glowing ball slowly dropping down the pole. "Oh?" she asked, just as nonchalantly.
"Oh yeah," he confirmed.
"What would that be?" she asked, eyes still on the screen as the ball reached the bottom, the clock went from a 0 to a flashing Happy New Year and a shower of confetti and streamers exploded around the people in Times Square, where the camera was catching happy people turning to one another, leaning in so their lips would touch, arms wrapping around each other.
The camera focused on couple after couple kissing in the new year.
Raven's eyebrows lifted, and was about to say something when Robin's gloved hand took hold of her chin, slowly turned her face to him and met her eyes.
"Happy New Year, Raven," he said softly, leaning in toward her, giving her enough time to pull away.
When their lips finally met, she felt the warmth chase through her body as she relaxed into his embrace, her right hand slipping into his left, their fingers lacing, and the song coming through the audio connection to the television Cyborg had rigged up filtered through her conscious.
"For auld lang syne, my dear, / for auld lang syne, / we'll take a cup of kindness yet, / for auld lang syne."