Robin was never one to be dramatically poetic. But once he got something into his head it was hard to get it out. And after a few conversations with Raven it was particularly difficult to get his mind unwrapped around this particular idea. The idea that discussing things with her was like...dancing. A lengthy, complex, exquisitely-crafted dance.
He had been thinking about it especially when he was separated from her. Talking to her was like an exercise routine that had certain steps, and when you didn't do this routine you felt out-of-place and off your game. With someone as reserved as Raven, every word exchanged could mean a step in the wrong direction, and he always went out of his way to make the right moves. Over time, he found the process becoming easier, but sometimes he still felt himself mentally sidestep a potentially problematic area of conversation, reminding him of the ever-present dance. Since they had been apart, he felt out of practice, and he was thankful that the team was finally home, together.
The boy wonder was enjoying a cup of coffee in the kitchen, having a short breakfast so he could get ready to check over the criminal records that had renewed themselves when the Titans had been absent. Dr. Light didn't cause that much damage, but it never hurt to check so see if there was another villain they overlooked.
But as soon as she walked in, his plans were temporarily postponed.
"Raven." He greeted cheerfully, raising a free hand to wave at her. He barely gave her a glance, but there was something about her hesitant approach that made him wonder what she had on her mind.
"Robin." Her tone gave it all away. He looked up intently, setting down his coffee without pause. She wanted to talk about something, he could tell just by the persistent sound of her voice. Now faced with his undivided attention, Raven seemed unsure of what to say. A few moments passed wherein she opened her mouth, only to softly close it shut, apparently deciding to choose a different set of words.
"I want to thank you." A purposeful yet reluctant step forward.
"For what?" A step back, not one of retreat, but one to match her motion.
"For assigning me to escort Melvin, Timmy, and Teether." A glide, smooth and graceful, that made him feel light on his toes.
A soft smile upturned Robin's lips.
"You're welcome, Raven." He motioned to the empty seat next to him for her to sit down. "I take it you ended up enjoying the mission, then? Beast Boy said you had been having some trouble."
She rolled her eyes.
"Not that he was any help. It was...difficult, to say the least. At first, I didn't understand why you had picked me to take care of...children," she said, saying the word as if it was still foreign to her tongue.
The hand guiding him was gentle but very present, and the intimacy of the dance- of the conversation- was not lost on him.
He put his elbows on the table and leaned comfortably forward, and, not for the first time, he wished that she could see his eyes beyond the mask so she can see the sincerity shining in them. But then, he supposed, she knew him well enough to hear it in his voice, observe it in his facial features. Her ability to read and understand him was something the others had yet to master.
"I thought it would be a great learning experience for you. We all need to be put out of our comfort zone every once in a while to discover something new about ourselves," he said, tilting his head apologetically. "I am sorry it caused you so much stress, though. I would've warned you, but I knew you wouldn't have accepted the mission if I had."
He matched her pace and then swiftly overtook it, the transition fluid and natural.
She nodded in agreement.
"Besides, it may seem like Starfire is the most maternal of the group," he continued, "but, honestly? I think you'd make the best mother, Raven."
And then they spun. This was the part that was unpredictable, and he did not know if he would misstep or if she would execute the whirling motion.
She blinked and raised a brow, skepticism etched into every line of her face.
"Yeah," he said eagerly, encouraged by her disbelief to explain. "You're guarded at first because you had to be, but when someone earns your trust, you'll do anything for them. You have an incredibly caring and protective nature that shows whenever we fight against Slade or The Brotherhood of Evil or any other villain. You always put the team's- your friends'- safety before anything else, and you're damn good at protecting us."
The room blurred around them into streaks of color, so all that was clear was right in front of them.
Raven's distinct face was one of surprise and a hint of enjoyment, because he knew she liked this feeling. The weightless, boundless sensation that made her feel like she was more than the prophecy told her she would be, more than she thought she would be. Since the day he met her, Robin tried to introduce her to this feeling every day, until she finally accepted that her world was the same one that he lived in- the world where hope always exists and anything is possible. Since the defeat of Trigon, Raven had welcomed the idea of this world, but adjusting to an entirely new realm of thinking was not easy. Robin saw her fall back on her old ways, her old habits, and he had to find ways to remind her of her limitless future.
Her mission to babysit Melvin, Teether, and Timmy had been one such way.
"You have an innate, unstoppable drive to protect those you care about, and you have the means to do it. You're intelligent, determined, grounded, intuitive, and you have more common sense than anyone else on this team, even myself." He emitted a small chuckle. "Most of all, you're resourceful, and you can handle any situation. I knew babysitting would be a challenge for you, but I also knew you would find a way to make it work. All of these are qualities essential to parenthood. You'll make a wonderful mother someday, Raven."
There it was, a finish to the constant motion. A low dip, dramatic without being overdone, so all she could hold on to was his neck and the earnest look in his eyes.
Something in Raven's eyes glinted, and her mouth upturned into the smallest smile.
"Thank you, Robin," she said. "That means a lot, coming from you."
A curtsy, deliberate and low.
"Of course," he replied, sipping his coffee again. "And you know, I'd love to spend some time with them. They have a lot of potential to be skilled members of the Titans. And they seem to be pretty special to you," he added, grinning. He became inexplicably excited at the mere concept of watching Raven interact with her kids, the idea sticking in his mind, inspiring and right.
A bow with a showy flourish, and a wink of promise for the future.
"They are," she agreed, her smile relaxing. "I'd love for you to meet them. I think they would like you." She stood, her cloak draping itself over her body. "I'll contact them this weekend and see when we could visit."
Robin nodded, sensing this was the end of the conversation. Raven walked back to the main entrance, and he returned to his coffee.
"Robin." He looked up, surprised. She was at the door, turned to him, her eyes locked with his.
"It's one thing to be a good leader, and another to be a good father. I know that better than anyone. Trigon showed me what a father should not be, and over the years, I have observed what one should be. Your leadership qualities are great, but being a father requires something deeper from a part of you that you cannot strengthen, cannot alter. It is a part of you that is connected to your very nature and being. Because of this, I hope you know that you are a great leader now, but when the day comes, you will be an even better father." With that, she pivoted on her heel and exited the room, leaving Robin staring at the empty space where she had been, a smile spread wide on his face.
And then the dance was finally over. As always, it left Robin exhilarated, confident, and just a little breathless.
Author's Note: I always thought it was interesting that Robin chose Raven to take care of the kids, and I wanted to write about his reasoning behind it. It's been FOREVER since I've even looked at a Teen Titans episode, so I got a little confused about the timing here because I wrote this forever ago. I assume it's set right after the end of season 5, probably Titans Together. I have a couple other pieces I worked on forever ago but only got around to finishing now, so expect more! Hope this wasn't OOC, I tried really hard for it to make sense.