Title: The Way They Are

Category: Teen Titans

Summary: 100 Themes challenge. Robin and Raven and the way they are.

Pairing: RxR

Disclaimer: I own nothing.


Introduction

Raven was alone and scared when she first met him, the one they called the Boy Wonder.

She was alone, frighten and terrified.

She likes to believe that she can handle herself and be her own protector. But, deep in her heart, she knows that she can't do this herself. She needed him, even though she didn't know it at the time or even wanted him.

(That's a lie. She will always need him. She will always want him. She was just too stupid and slow and dumb to realize it then.)

It was raining, like a cliché, and there he was, the boy underneath the streetlight. The glow of the yellow beam unveiled a hidden shadow, making him a speck of light born from eternal darkness.

He was dressed in a simple shirt and jeans. Nothing special. Nothing unusual. Just a boy.

An extraordinary boy.

Raven remembers the first thought she had about Robin: beautiful. He seemed to take the burdens of the planet on his shoulders, being Atlas and holding the world up.

(And hers.)

She could see pain and sadness in his eyes. The boy who have yet to hide behind the mask of Robin. The boy who was still Richard.

(Her Richard, even before she became aware of her possessiveness of her classification of him belonging to her.)

But, when he first laid eyes on her, Raven saw something changed. There was no more pain and sadness encroaching on his reality, spinning deep into his soul. Instead, she saw the beginning of conviction and resilience chasing away the mortality in his eyes.

Even before he crossed that street, before words were even spoken, and before he extended his hands to hers, Richard permitted and allowed her access into his soul. He saw in her something she had yet to see in herself. He saw her as a pathway for his redemption.

(Hers as well.)

And, believe it or not, she let him in.

This is the beginning of a long list of unexplained and unexpected things that Raven would allow Richard to do. When she looks back upon all of this a few years down the road, she will mark this as the commencement, inception or whatever of their vow with each another.

Even if it was one-sided at first.

He bought her to Bruce that night, asking Batman if she can stay. Richard said that he will take care of her. Make her safe. Make her feel like she was already home. Make her feel like she belonged somewhere and to someone.

Raven is still amazed that Bruce allowed her to stay, even after she finally had the courage to tell the Dark Knight why she was here on Earth in the first place.

She wanted to escape her faith. She did not want to be anyone's pawn. She wanted to be her own person.

She wanted to get to know the place her father deemed insignificant and therefore important enough to takeover and start his reign. She wanted to know why.

Of course, Raven did not tell Batman all of this. Just the important bits. She was lost. She was from another planet. She had nowhere to go.

Not until she met Richard.

His beauty is not because of his appearance. That is not why she thought of that word when she first saw him.

Raven could already feel from his presence from across the street that his view of the world is unblushingly hopeful, even before the sadness was chased from his eyes by the sight of her. He was literally the light at the end of her tunnel. At the end of everyone's tunnel.

She needed that. She needed that unrelenting hope. She needed someone to feel for her when she couldn't herself.

Richard also trusted her. He even said that as he tried to persuade Bruce to let her stay. He allowed its easy passage from his lips, saying the sentence that so few heard before and even fewer were the object of.

"I trust her with my life."

He trusts me.

She didn't trust him, not at that moment. Richard could sense that, even back then. Even young, he still have the skills of a trained detective.

Stubborn, too.

He didn't stop trying to get her to trust him. Not even when he became Robin, Batman's sidekick, nor when he became the leader of the Teen Titans.

He wouldn't stop trying. He wouldn't let her go. He wouldn't let her be.

This is what she thinks as she watch her friends try to save her from becoming the portal. They are here for her. They want to save her.

She doesn't know how she gotten this lucky. Oh, so very lucky.

She was born from darkness, and here they were. They want to be her light. They want to chase her demons away for her. They want to travel to the end of the world with her and for her.

And that boy. That extraordinary boy.

Raven makes eye contact with Robin. He can sense that she is about to let go. He can feel his heart ripping into a million of pieces as she said, "I'm sorry."

I'm sorry.

Suddenly, her world bursts into white light and flashes of memories explodes beneath her eyelids. Memories of her friends, of her surrogate city, of her teammates, of him.

And then she feels it. His emotions.

Despair. Anguish. Love.

Hope.

There is still hope in him.

How is it that there is still hope in him?

In a time in which all hope was lost, all light extinguished, and all speck of good was gone, there is still faith from him in her.

Raven sees it. She feels it with every fiber of her being. The reason why he believes in her. The illogical reason why he always stand by her side. Always by her side.

It takes the end of the world for her eyes to be opened. And, of course, like another cliché, her heart.

Rationality is thrown out the window.

It is time to be irrational. Preposterous. Absurd.

Be herself.

Believe in him.

Richard.

Not as the masked leader of the Teen Titans, but as the boy who saved her that night.

Richard, the one who've always been there for her.

Richard, the one who is always there, even now when the world had ended.

Raven has trust in him to bring her back. She finally gives into the possibility that someone can save her. She wants him to prove her wrong. She wants him to show her that there are such things as happy endings.

Raven finally believes in Richard. It just took her too long to realize it. Or, maybe she has always known.

But, now...

Save me.

I know you will.

I'm here. I'm always here.

...

I love you, too.