I present - a series of Robin/Artemis ficlets.
What You do to Me
"Get some sleep."
With only those parting words, Batman drops him off at the entrance of Mount Justice. Robin gives him an impudent wave, grinning at Batman's sometimes unnecessary paternal side and goes into the cave, hearing the roar of the Batplane fade into the distance. He does need rest though – the sun hasn't even set, but they've just come back from an emergency with the Scarecrow, a drug ring and two bank robberies, and the night before had been a late one as well.
His name and number ring out in the computerized voice as he walks into the kitchen, and Artemis glances up from the fridge.
"S'up, Wonder Boy?"
He shrugs, rubbing his shoulders where he'd slammed against a wall earlier. The smell of food fills the kitchen, as usual, and Robin notes the kitchen timer on the oven. "Same old, same old. How were your midterms?"
Artemis rolls her eyes and straightens up from whatever she was rooting around for in the fridge. "Can we please not talk about them? I still have whiplash. School's never been my thing." She nods at him, noticing his obvious tiredness. "Rough week in Gotham, hm?"
"News sure travels fast to Star City," he quips, just to make her squirm. He hops on the counter, making himself comfortable and watches her shoulders tense. He knows she was the one behind several almost-crimes they'd found already cleaned up throughout the week.
"Yeah, uh, Green Arrow told me," she says with that tone she always gets when trying to come up with excuses. He gets a kick out of it because frankly, she sucks at them. Luckily, Robin's apparently the only one who notices.
"Of course," he says agreeably, and her shoulders relax. She tosses him one of the root beers she snagged and pops the tab open.
Robin nods his thanks and pulls his open as well, the sizzling burn of the carbonation almost as good as the cold refreshing his throat. Man, so astrous. From down the hallway he can hear Superboy and Wally's yells and the unmistakable sound of the air-hockey hologram ricocheting around the field. He's betting M'gann and Kaldur are watching, and it's confirmed when Superboy grunts a victory yell and M'gann's cheer and Kaldur's chuckle echo back. He snags a cookie from the bowl M'gann keeps filled with various of her experiments, which have gotten fairly good at this point. He's looking forward to whatever's in the oven.
They sit in silence enjoying their drinks. Robin likes talking, but usually in conjunction with Kid Flash. He's far too used to Batman to mind silence, and to be honest, he likes thinking. Artemis hoists herself on the counter next to him and they sit there, listening to the sounds of the game down the hallway and sipping their root beer. Artemis rotates her ankle, clockwise for a bit and then switches counterclockwise. Robin glances at the strip of skin visible between the hem of her skinny jeans and her flats, skin that stretches over a delicate ankle bone, skin that's darker than what he's used to in his posh, old-Gotham-families school, and has that brief flash of what if?
"…I like this," Artemis says, voice quiet and surprised. "I'm not used to…" she waves her hand in the air, trying to encompass everything – Wally's taunts echoing in the cavern walls, Kaldur's avian biology book on the sofa, the TV on mute static courtesy of Superboy, and the crumbles of M'gann's cookie on Robin's fingertips. And, Robin wants to think, this easy silence between them. Robin wonders what her normal life is like. He can hack all he wants but there are some things that cameras and records can't say. There are some things he can't know unless she lets him know.
"Me neither," Robin admits. "Until I met Kid Lame and Sp—Red Arrow, I wasn't really used to anything this lively or fun. Not that being Robin isn't fun, but, well. You know. Batman."
Artemis scoffs, "Joker of the Justice League, I'm sure."
Robin freezes and turns a stern glance towards her. "Never joke about the Joker."
Her shoulders jerk in surprise at his admonition until he snickers. Then she grabs the kitchen rag between them and swats at his face. Robin snickers again and ducks.
"I meant a literal joker. You know –funny," she says, lifting her eyebrow in a vaguely teasing way. "Does Batman even have a sense of humor?"
"Sure he does. Sometimes he makes bird references about me."
That gives her pause and she stares at him as if it's maybe a revelation that Batman does have a sense of humor or— "Man, that is not called humor. Those are bad puns. You know, like every terrible supervillain out there tries to make?"
"That is too a sense a humor," Robin says a tad defensively. After all, she's comparing Batman to a supervillain.
"Right. Sure, whatever you gotta do to sleep at night." She hops off the counter and heads towards the entrance to the main cavern where the others are, giving him that little smirk that shows she knows she's won the argument. He needs to figure out a way to wipe it off her face, but then again, it looks pretty good on there.
These two. So much love for these two.