A/N- This just occurred to me the other day. It didn't really turn out at all how I planned, but I still kind of like it. I'll still be continuing all my other stories, but this just begged to be written.
It bothered her how happy he seemed when he left the Med Bay. It was impossible that he could have forgotten that pain already. She herself could still feel the bruises and bones pushing under her skin, so he must have had it much worse.
Raven looked down at her shaking hands, then stood from her bed and left her room. It felt like she got to his room much too quickly, and she looked down at her hands again rather than knocking on his door.
It opened all the same.
Robin gave her a brief nod and a half-smile, gesturing that she should come inside. Wrapping her arms tightly around herself, Raven obliged. For a moment she stood awkwardly beside his closet until she hesitantly took a seat on his bed. He looked at her intently for a moment, and then sat down beside her. She uncomfortably moved a bit away from him, and he placed his hand over hers to keep her from moving any further. Their eyes met, and he cleared his throat.
"Um…Raven? Did you want to talk to me?" He glanced down at their hands, and then, with a slight blush, took his hand away and ran it through his hair. Her response was refreshingly blunt, as always.
"Let me heal you. You left the Med Bay and Cyborg hardly even thought to look at your injuries. I know you, Robin. You're hurt pretty badly and you won't admit it."
He sounded annoyed. "Raven, you have to stop worrying about me. The reagent is completely gone from my nervous system, I'm fine now."
"Robin, don't give me any of that. Just let me heal you. You're hurt, I can see it in the way you're moving." Robin ignored Raven, and took her chin in his hand. He inspected her face, turning it side to side.
"You're hurt too. I can see the black and blue from where Slade punched me –us- and I can see the-"
She pulled her face away from him. "Don't worry about me."
He chuckled. "Now why does that sound familiar?" He ran a hand through his hair again and stretched his arm up, wincing as he pulled it completely straight. He gave Raven a sheepish grin, but she wasn't accepting it.
"Take of your shirt," she ordered.
"Ooh, Raven, I didn't know that that was what you wanted," he teased. She scowled.
"You know what I mean, just do it. Before I lose my patience." Still smiling, he obliged. Raven felt her breath catch in her throat as he put his shirt on the bed. His injuries were much worse than she had imagined. She placed her palms gently on his chest, and she heard his sharp intake of breath- she wondered if it was due to her cold hands or due to his injuries. Realizing that she had yet to start healing him, her face flushed and she let her mind relax. The warm blue aura shot out from her fingers.
It was almost done. She could feel his bones knitting together, his skin smoothing over. And then she felt a wave of unbearable pain so intense that her hands dropped from him, and she fell back onto his bed, hands clutching at her head.
Robin dropped down onto the bed next to her, putting his hands on her shoulders.
"Raven? Raven?" He shook her lightly, then when he got no response, he pulled her into a tight hug. "Raven," he murmured, and she could feel his breath ghosting in her ear, "Tell me what's wrong."
It took her a while to get the name out. "Slade."
Robin's teeth gritted and he hugged her tighter, inwardly amazed that she hadn't pushed him away. He heard a moan, and he broke away in surprise, holding her at arm's length. His eyes widened.
Raven's face was even paler than usual, and it was drawn tight with pain. Her eyes were glassy and unfocused, her hair falling in front of her face. Robin saw an angry red cut on her hand and touched it gently, realizing that minutes ago he had had the very same one.
"Oh, shit, Raven," Robin muttered, "You never told me. Why did you never tell me." He hugged her again, his hand stroking her hair. When he let go, she licked her lips and spoke in a dry, raspy voice.
"That's bullshit, Raven."
"You never told me."
"I knew that you'd never let me heal you guys again."
"You still should have told me."
She sighed and looked away from him, raising a trembling hand to press against her temple. He frowned. She made a sudden move to stand, stumbling slightly, and he stood in front of her.
"I'm going to go to my room."
"Don't be crazy Raven, you can hardly stand."
"Robin, I'm absolutely fine."
"Do we really have to keep having this conversation?" His eyes narrowed, but then softened as he saw a flicker of pain run through her eyes. He carefully took her shoulders and steered her to sit back on the bed.
"I let you heal me, Raven. I let you in. Now let me help you."
"It's not the same," she mumbled, refusing to meet his gaze. "I can really heal you. And it's my fault you got hurt so badly in the first place. I should have worked faster and linked our minds sooner so I could have seen-"
"Raven, are you insane? Making a link between our minds, it couldn't have been easy and it definitely wasn't something you should have done right away. Either way, you were the one who saved me. Now just let me help you. Come on, let's go to the Med Bay."
"I…I don't want the rest of the team to know- to see me like this." She finally met his eyes, and he was startled to see them wet.
"Just wait here a second, Raven," he said, "I have to go get some stuff from the Med Bay. I won't let anyone see me. I'll be right back, okay?"
She nodded, her muscles tensed.
When Robin returned he felt even worse. Raven was sitting at the head of his bed, knees pulled tightly to her chest, her back firmly against the wall. He thought he could hear a whimper. Robin went to sit beside her.
"Raven, I'm back."
There was no response, but she was biting her lip so hard that he was surprised it wasn't bleeding.
"Raven, I have a question." Still no answer. He began to unroll the gauze. She eyed it warily. "Actually, I have two questions. Why do my injuries seem to hurt you more than they were hurting me? And why won't you tell us when you're in pain?"
She cautiously stretched out her leg, and Robin began to wrap a huge incision on her ankle. If he remembered correctly, it was caused by broken glass. He ran his finger over her leg gently, feeling the raised bruises with a morbid fascination. He remembered himself then, and hastily looked for the other injury he knew to be on that leg. He was surprised when she spoke.
"Physically, Robin, I'm much weaker than you. When I drain my powers to such an extent when I'm healing someone, it weakens my defense against injury. Normally it isn't such a big problem because I don't heal so many injuries that are so devastating all at once. And usually, I get affected by the injuries of others in a lesser way. Slade planned that I wouldn't."
Robin glanced at her, and saw that she hardly seemed to know what she was saying. Her eyes were squeezed tightly shut, and her breathing was a bit unsteady. He came closer to her and gently unclasped her cloak. Rolling up the sleeve of her leotard, he took a deep breath and applied pressure to a freely bleeding wound. She winced, but continued.
"I don't want you all to see me as weak."
"But Raven, we would never-,"
"I don't want everyone to worry about me and change how they act around me. It's pointless, and I'll still heal faster than they would if they still had the injuries."
Robin said nothing, tightly wrapping the gauze around her forearm. He rolled up her other sleeve then, and looked at the arm for a minute, trying his best not to make a noise of disgust. The bone, shockingly white against her pale skin, was sticking out at an awful angle.
"Take a deep breath," he warned, "I'm going to have to set this."
She nodded briefly, and he saw her left hand tighten into a fist in anticipation.
With a sickening crunch, he popped the bone into place, and Raven couldn't repress a loud moan. He decided not to say anything, knowing that she would rather not acknowledge it. He took the sling that he had brought and gently placed her arm inside. He didn't think he would have to worry about her moving it much. He hated himself for making Raven go through all of this, and hated Slade even more for making it worse. But for now, all he could do was try to help.
Robin hesitated, then asked, "Raven. Could you, um, take off the top of your leotard? I, um, need to, um, get to the injuries on your back." She could tell how furiously he was blushing, and if she hadn't been trying so hard to keep back noises of pain, she would have laughed. With a trembling hand, she pulled down the zipper that started at her neck all the way down to the small of her back, revealing creamy skin marred with what Robin knew should still be his.
But it was too late to take back his injuries.
He could see the strap of her dark bra, but he wasn't stupid nor suicidal enough to touch it. He tried to focus on the burn in the middle of her back, tried to feel for where the broken ribs were hiding, although the latter was near impossible to tell from his position. He treated the burn first, taking a salve from his bedside table and rubbing it gently into her wound. She made a quiet noise when it made contact, and Robin was pleased when he felt the muscles in her back relax just a little bit. But as he was treating the burn he noticed raised scars both under the burn and across Raven's entire back. He traced a large one gently with his finger, and he felt her shiver. They were too pale, too organized, too faded to be from Slade. She seemed tense again.
"I don't want to talk about it."
Robin bit back his response and felt her back carefully for any spine misplacement. She seemed to be okay.
"Um, I want to check your ribs for fractures. Could you-?"
Wordlessly, she pulled down the front of her leotard, and Robin moved to sit in front of her. He could tell how uncomfortable she was, but he couldn't help it. He just did his best not to look at her cleavage and he put his hands on her abdomen, lightly feeling for damage.
"Your hands are freezing."
Robin looked up at her and saw sweat standing out on her forehead. He sighed and finished his inspection, managing to find three broken ribs and one cracked one.
"We're almost done, I promise." He took thicker gauze and began to wrap it around her abdomen tightly, doing his best to ignore her muted exclamations of pain. He closed off the gauze neatly with a butterfly clip, then looked at her again. Raven's eyes were squeezed tightly shut, and he knew that she was still awake.
"Raven, I'm going to go get you some aspirin." She didn't answer. He put down the salve and gauze and clips in his arms, thinking for a moment.
He gently pulled back the blanket on his bed, then scooped Raven up into his arms. There was little protest save her fists lightly hitting his chest. He laid her back down and pulled the blanket over her body, shocked at how little room she took up in the bed. She had never seemed this small to him before. For a second he just looked at her, and her body seemed to relax a little bit. She was definitely sleeping now, but there was still a sheen of sweat on her forehead. He frowned. Maybe she had contracted a fever in the rain. He laid the back of his hand on her head. Yes, definitely.
Robin knew he should go tell the other titans, but he suddenly didn't want to. After all, how often did Raven keep secrets for him? And he was never exactly forthcoming with his injuries either.
She had always healed them too, even with this as the price. He hated himself for never noticing it- but then again, reclusive behavior after a battle was not out of the ordinary for Raven. He wished she didn't heal all of him. He could still see the pain on her face, he knew that there were numerous injuries that he hadn't treated at all. He felt too good right now for her to be feeling this horrible.
Now he was just feeling guilty.
Robin bent over the bed and gently kissed his friend on the forehead, pushing a strand of hair back from her face. She had a problem even worse than his own pride or obsession.
She just couldn't let anyone know how good she really was.