Notes: Because Robin has mathlete swag, and this is My Ship.
Robin never actually asks her out; or, at least, that's what everyone else says, because though he's the one to admit casually that he "feels ridiculous amounts of the aster" when he's with her, she's the one who tells him to shut up and kiss her. To which he gets an extremely goofy look on his face, shrugs, and does just that in all his thirteen-year-old glory. And… well, he does that, but when they're done and apart they just stare at each other and he breaks out into immature little giggles and she's cackling, too, because, okay, their's is a different style of relationship that revolves more around being silly together and less around sensuality, which could totally come later and all, but apparently not right now.
Still, they do end up calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend, and at first it's For the Lulz, but later it's not, and Zatanna even ends up telling her friends at school that she's dating Robin, the Boy Wonder, and they should be totally jealous. Obviously, they don't believe her; she starts being taken as one of those secret fangirl types that's mentally dating her celebrity crush, a kind of imaginary friend that's a little more acceptable than flat-out obsession, and Zatanna even plays along because one of her friends does the same with Kid Flash and it's absolutely hilarious hearing about Wally from an outsider's perspective.
Still, even with the casualness that comes with their more-than-friendship, Zatanna can't help that she doesn't know as much about Robin as he knows about her. Which, okay, that's a given because he's Robin and he's a Bat, but it's still strange to think that he knows these little details about her like her favorite color and her favorite ice cream and even that she likes to sprinkle cinnamon on her hot chocolate, but she doesn't even know the color of his eyes or his first name. She understands; she really, truly, does, and she's not the one to get all upset over it but it does seem strange and that's why one day instead of trolling Artemis and Wally, they play air hockey—and Zatanna's totally not cheating, nope—and they play something that's sort of like twenty questions except that Robin has the right to a veto and Zatanna has the right to hit him upside the head, because when she asks if she's got the power to veto, too, Robin just laughs, and she's not sure if that's a 'yes' or a 'no' or a 'I'm Batman's partner, don't you think I would know already if I really wanted to?'
It's round three when Zatanna goes, "So this is just an antecedent to my actual question, but—"
His lips quirk upward and he speaks before she finishes: "It's your prequestion? Is it frontformation day?" She arches her eyebrows at him, smirking.
While she's distracted, he makes another goal. "Shoot," he says, laughing at her betrayed expression.
"You go to an actual school, right? Not privately tutored, or something?"
"Sure," he says, but then he looks up at her, frowning. "…Can't tell you which, sorry."
"That's not even my question," she says, shaking her head. He tilts his head interestedly, and she pushes her hair back out of her face. "So tell me,"—her voice is saccharine sweet—"what sort of extracurricular activities does a Boy Wonder partake in?"
And Robin, who turned to frowning at her sweetness, succumbs to another fit of giggles.
"The most attractive one, obviously," he answers simply, mischief plainly visible on his face when he sees the unamusement on Zatanna's face. Then, as he denies another one of Zatanna's attempts to sneak past his guard and go for another goal, he prods, "Won't you guess?"
She doesn't want to guess wrong, but he says it in such a way that it's hard to tell if he's being sarcastic or truthful or if he's just being Robin, which could just mean that he's lying, and Zatanna narrows her eyes, thinks about it carefully: what's an attractive extracurricular, and what's the least attractive of them all? Is he even in one, or is he just messing with her? If there's one thing Zatanna's learned from her time with Robin, it's that deciphering people is so much easier when you can see their eyes—but then again, what's the fun in something easy?
Zatanna recomposes herself, regains her sweet smile, and submits for reviewing: "Choir?"
And she prides herself in the fact that she catches him off with that and he's so confused by it that she manages to score a goal. "What?"
"Admit it, Robin," she elaborates, "you're probably the best tenor in Gotham."
"…Zatanna," he says slowly, "Zatanna. Low blow."
She snickers and mentally adds an extra point to her score; getting Robin off-balance is easier for her than it is for others, but it's still something to be proud about, and it definitely deserves bonus points. They're absorbed in their game for a few more scores as she tries to think of something else to ask him, but almost everything she runs through her head, she can't see Robin doing.
"Alright, fine," she says, finally, "I give up. What are you in?"
He shakes his head. "No! You have to guess. And don't try Glee Club."
"It was my question," she points out, but she knows that somehow she'll end up having to guess, anyway. She considers asking acrobatics, but that's way too obvious, right?, so she tries: "Um, is it a sport?"
"Getting warm!" he announces excitedly.
"Nope! One more try," Robin sing-songs, shaking his head.
"Sure it's not choir? You have a beautiful voice," she teases, her tone mimicking his, but at the flatness in his expression it's obvious that it isn't choir and he has no interest in poking fun at his prepubesence, so she offers this time, completely out of the blue, "…Fashion club?"
"Nope," he says, grinning, and Zatanna's amused by the idea that he's less insulted by fashion club than he is by choir. "Here, I'll give you a hint," he offers, and he flips off the switch for their game of air hockey, flips backwards twice, and says, tilting his head to the side with a bow, "Zatanna, meeting you was like a switch to polar coordinates: complex and imaginary things were given magnitude and direction."
And then there's a beat as Zatanna tries to process that, and he arches his eyebrows like, yeah, you like that, huh?, and then she bursts out laughing, because did he just use a geeky pick-up line on her?
"You're a mathlete?"
And Robin's arsenal of dorky, lopsided grins has never been showcased to such a full effect. He falls into a bow again, and answers, "Oh, yeah, and babe, I wish I was your derivative so I could lie tangent to your curves."
"Robin," she wheezes like she only does in front of him, because for some reason it's so much harder to keep her composure around Robin, but he keeps going, like he's been waiting for ages to be able to use all his geeky pick-up lines on someone, and she can't seem to find enough air to breathe, so he wins the air hockey game, too. It goes on for something like an hour, enough time for it to be elevated to inside joke level by the time they leave the gaming room and enter the kitchen area, where—surprise, surprise—Wally and Artemis are arguing over Wally's stomach, and Artemis insinuates that Wally has absolutely no class. Robin nabs two cookies off the counter, one for her, one for him, and sitting on the counter he breaks into the conversation and assists Artemis in insulting Robin's best friend.
There's a vibration Zatanna recognizes as her text alert in her pocket. She looks curiously at Robin, who turns his head slightly and motions for her to check it out, and she fishes the mobile to see that she's got something from restricted, who she assumes is Robin, but that doesn't explain why the boy has her number.
She shakes her head and checks the message:
Fact: even as a mathlete, I have more swag than Wally ever will.
She snorts, and responds:
It doesn't count when it's mathlete swag.
To which comes the response:
You know, it's not the length of the vector that counts; it's how you apply the force.