A/N: Okay. Before you begin reading, check out two things: (1) The shipping; and (2) the genre. Ya. It's an angsty Rob/Rae. And this is Eve Royal who once swore to never read a Rob/Rae fic. Well, things change I guess.

Contest: Anybody who can tell me which song every chapter title comes from will get a dedication! And the person who gets the most will get a virtual cookie! And a hug from Beast Boy ('cause there's no way Robin will hug any of you. I'm sorry).

Disclaimer: I don't own any titles or any characer. Teen Titans is not, and never will be mine. Title comes from "Make Damn Sure" by Taking Back Sunday.

how close is close enough?

you slip your hands inside my pockets

tell me nothing else would do

without me, you can't live and

you slip your heart inside my chest

they both become one of the strongest pairs

when strangers come

and darling

this thing that breaks my heart and


you break my heart each time you-

"And Darling" - Tegan and Sara

pull me out from inside

Slade's back. Taunting him, mocking him, luring him in deeper, and deeper – a cat and mouse chase going around in circles until the trap is sprung and the game is over.

But Robin's not surprised; he's always known that Slade would return. His ending has always been too anticlimactic for Robin, for the battle between Robin and Slade could never end by Terra's hand. No. The villain had to return to finish it properly. Both parties demand closure.

And Robin is determined to end this for the last time. He will win, and with his triumph, escape from Slade's ghost.

. . . . .

He says that Slade is back; insists upon this disturbing statement. But Raven isn't as confident as her leader. She has facts trying to add up in her brain, but the sum never agrees with Robin's. It doesn't make sense.

She knows Robin. She knows how obsessed he can get, has gotten over Slade. There's a regular pattern of over-reaction and loss of mental sanity.

She also knows how fragile he actually is. They've all gotten glimpses of it, no matter how he masks it, but she knows, knows without a doubt. Slade can break him. And this terrifies her.

. . . . .

Rest: the result they hoped for.

Turmoil: the result they have received.

Even now, as heavily sedated as he is, his heart races (like he was running a marathon), his breath is shallow (like he's fighting a nightmare), and his limbs spasm sporadically-

(like he's struggling to escape).

And they don't know what to do. For there is no Slade (they all agree here), yet their leader, fearless and rational to the point of insanity, has no doubts that there is.

So they wait, praying that when he awakens he will be well again.

(They all know he won't be.)

. . . . .

He is running, running fastfastfast with no real destination to guide him. He only knows he has to get away, away from this madman and his evil device-

(he cannot endure any more)

so he runs and crawls and limps; it doesn't matter how he moves so long as he is moving, moving away from him, away from them.

They don't believe him. Just because they can't see the monster doesn't mean he isn't there. He can cloak himself-

(but somehow he can see through it)

He isn't crazy! He's there. He knows it. And Robin has to get away.

. . . . .

He is missing, lost among the hidden passages of their Tower while they are locked in a room, unable to help.

Raven can hear Starfire's anger, feel the anxiety radiating from Cyborg, sense Beast Boy's fear. She is running through all the options she has, the many different ways she can help. They are dwindling, disappearing as the need for action grows. She is finding herself with the most severe choice, the one she knows Robin will hate the most

She must enter his mind and see things as he sees them. It's time to find Robin and save him.

. . . . .

She releases her soul and it travels, searching for a home, a warm heart. It finds a frantic heartbeat and a chaotic mind. When her soul presses softly against the barriers of his mind they fall and she is allowed in. His mind opens to her, one door at a time.

Further and further she goes, past the Tower's basement, through a hidden cavern, forced to watch a sacred vow and the free fall of a pair of shadows; and through it all is his voice begging her to run to safety. But it's too late; they are tied together.

. . . . .

She's here; and he finds himself relaxing, his pulse slowing. Her voice is calm, emotionless, and to his fried nerves this is the perfect balm.

She wants to see what he sees. She wants to show him the truth.

And she bring such peace that he lets her inch into the forefront of his mind. He closes his eyes and when he re-opens them, he feels her. It's as if she is a part of him. For a moment, he believes her. Maybe there is no Slade.

Then he appears, punching them, and Raven and her steadying presence is lost.

. . . . .

His heartbeat is now an echo of hers. It drums within her mind and she focuses on it, knowing it will connect her to Robin. She needs to watch him, needs to protect him, needs to save him-

But from what? From a man Robin only imagines is there? From a ghost?

But her jaw is still smarting from the blow that Slade landed on them, and she can still feel his adrenaline gushing through his lean, exhausted body, and she can sense his spirit failing. It doesn't matter what's real or not; Robin is falling. And they cannot help.

. . . . .

They say he isn't real. That Slade isn't there. But he can feel him, see him, hear him...

And he is terrified. Terrified beyond all belief.

Because if they are right then that means that Robin is insane; that he has lost a hold of himself; that he has lost control; that Slade has won.

But even as he lies on the floor, gasping for life, he watches as the lights blink on and off and Slade flicker in and out of existence. Maybe they are right. Maybe he is wrong. And maybe they are strong enough to save him.

. . . . .

It's over. Robin's safe. Everything's fine.

She repeats this over and over, trying to calm herself. But nothing's working, and she can feel anxiety threatening to overtake her. She has to control this, she has to-

The lights clap on and her head snaps over to where Robin's standing in the doorway. He shifts awkwardly, avoiding her gaze. "I... I don't think he's gone yet. I'm... I'm hearing voices..." he mumbles.

She feels fear grip her heart. This is the make-or-break moment. "Robin. I don't think that's Slade."

She hopes he'll find it in himself to forgive her.

- To Be Continued -