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The Raben Project 11

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Dec. 6th, 2010 | 12:49 am

Title:
The Raven/Robin Project

Genre:
Friendship/Romance

Pairings:
Raven/Robin, RaeRob

Summary:
A drabbles series of every RaeRob moment I could find in the show.

Notes: 
Original piece: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Note: This is set directly after Apprentice II, and is a sort of alternative to How Long Is Forever.

 
The Raben Project

It was awkward when Robin returned home.

Of course, they were all happy to see him, but the exuberance displayed so thoroughly at his return party was just as much of a self-distracting front as it was genuine. With the exception of Starfire, who had confronted her remorse on this issue, and Raven, who had felt no need for justification, the three boys had kept all of their own ill feelings – the guilt, the anger, the apologies – pride-fully locked within them.

Outwardly, their behaviour had not changed much, but there was nevertheless an undercurrent of uncertainty, of tension, within the tower. All three were civil and careful, their previous banter replaced with distant smiles and friendly nods. They had returned to walking on eggshells.

Raven didn't think they had realised, but more and more they began to rely on Starfire to communicate with each other. As of now the resident alien was out on a personal crusade, and the boys (and herself) had remained where she had left them, in the confines of the common room.

It was silent.

Not a true silence. There were tinny sound effects coming from the television as Cyborg and Beast Boy played. They spoke occasionally, in low, muffled tones. Robin flicked through the pages of a modestly sized novel, and the kitchen clock ticked in the background, but those hushed noises made the quiet more obvious.

Raven had not engaged her empathy since the finish of their ordeal. She had found the events, and their emotional effects on the others, too draining. However, she did not need it to evaluate the situation here.

Cyborg (who Raven had realised was the most emotional of the Titans) was annoyed at himself for doubting his friend, but angry at Robin for putting him in that position of doubt, and currently unable to reconcile the two. Beast Boy (who Raven discovered was naturally and minutely empathic; his ability stemming from an emotional sensitivity, and augmented by his animalistic instincts) had sensed the growing tensions and, not willing to disturb the balance between the two, had kept his council and his feelings to himself. Raven also suspected that his small idolisation of Robin made it harder for him to approach the Team Leader about their mistake.

Raven glanced discretely and disinterestedly at Robin himself. He was seated across the room from her and reading leisurely, which had surprised her, even though since Slade was defeated there had been little activity to occupy himself with. Perhaps he needed an escape from the memories of that event, but Raven suspected that his reading was more for the benefit of the other Titans in the room rather than himself, as he tried to show them that he could exist beyond the hunt for justice.

A soft click from the direction of the television distracted her, and both she and Robin looked over in time to see Cyborg gathering an ejected game from the machine. He moved slowly as he put it back in the case, then rested it atop the table.

"Want to play something else?" Beast Boy asked, looking over.

There was a short pause before his reply, "Nah."

The beat of silence continued as Cyborg looked ahead at the blank screen. Beast Boy took in the set of his friends large shoulders, the blank expression on his face, before he tentatively enquired, "Cy?"

Cyborg turned to look at him, and then said, "Cyborg."

"Huh?" Beast Boy replied, summing up the opinion of the two onlookers in the process.

"Cyborg," the larger teen repeated. "Why Cyborg?"

"Why what?"

"Why did I decide to call myself that? Out of all the names I could have chosen, why pick something as unimaginative and predictable as Cyborg?"

And I always thought Robin was the unimaginative one, Raven (thinking of Robin's 'Red X' attempt) wanted to interject, but didn't.

"Dude, who cares?" was Beast Boy's bewildered reply.

"Well, it's limiting. Your name is meant to be representative of who you are, not what you are. It's like my entire being is summed up by this one word, this thing. That's me, that's what I am – but it's not me, not who I am."

Beast Boy remained silent.

With a frustrated huff, Cyborg continued, "It's the same as if you were called – ", then paused as he looked down blankly at Beast Boy.

"If Raven were called Goth Girl," (Raven instantly hated the moniker and being categorised as such), "or Robin was called 'Fruit Loop' –"

"Hey!"

"- It's not a name." He ended. "It's an advertisement."

Robin put his book aside for the first time. "I wouldn't worry about it so much, Cy. If everyone were named self-descriptively, then I'm pretty sure you'd be called 'Tin Can'."

Cyborg glared at him a long moment, before letting out a solitary, sarcastic, "Ha."

When his gaze turned to Beast Boy, the green teen ducked his head to hide the smile. "I thought it was funny." He mumbled sheepishly.

Cyborg's attention returned to Robin.

"Seems a funny thing to be coming from the sidekick of a man who dresses like a giant bat."

Robin frowned, and Beast Boy blinked as the tension suddenly crystallised. Robin raised an eyebrow as he said snarkily, "Well at least he wears clothes."

"Dude! Ew! Don't tell me that."

But the attempt to lighten the mood was ignored.

Cyborg suddenly loomed over the still seated Robin. Raven, alarmed, moved to stand before she had even realised it.

"You wanna say that to my face?" Cyborg growled.

Robin stood. "I just did."

The emotion she had experienced on that night with the Puppet Master, that same indefinable clench, blossomed as Cyborg raised his hand.

Something on her face, in her eyes, some expression or emotion, must have slipped through, because Raven somehow caught Robin's attention enough to make him glance over.

And Cyborg lowered his hand.

And grabbed Robin's.

And shook it.

Robin looked as shocked as Raven felt, as Cyborg solemnly looked him in the eye, shook his hand with an impatient, solid grip – more of a squeeze – and said, "Victor."

At any other moment Raven might have commented on this boyish way of avoiding outright apology, because although it was unspoken, all the things Cyborg was trying to say were perfectly clear.

I'm sorry.

I was wrong.

I trust you.

Cyborg and Robin stared steadily at each other before Robin nodded faintly, and their hands unclasped. Cyborg turned his gaze to the rest of the room, to Beast Boy leaning, mouth agape, over the couch, and briefly to Raven who was still standing with one hand partially raised, before turning and heading toward the exit.

It would have been a very dramatic exit indeed, if at that moment Starfire, laden with shopping bags and with a leek obscuring half of her face, had not whisked in through the doorway, and stopped.

She took in the shocked expressions on the other Titans faces. She took in their various placements and the tableau which they spelled out. She took in the utter silence, before joyously exclaiming, "Glorious! You have made up!"

----

Next Chapter: the-agent-x.livejournal.com/4763.html#cutid1

Previous Chapter: the-agent-x.livejournal.com/4301.html#cutid1

First Chapter: the-agent-x.livejournal.com/1393.html#cutid1

 

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Comments {2}

cartooncarro

Fabulous, as usual~

from: neoxpuff
date: Dec. 5th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
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Oh, Star, so adorable XD

This was a fantastic read :D I love your insight of all the characters <3 It's been a while since I watched the end of The Apprentice, but I think this brought back all of it x3

Are you using this as an alternative to How Long is Forever? because of a lack of something shippy? 'Cause I'd have to agree with you there XD But you're finding way more things to reference than I ever could woosh.

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★Raven

(no subject)

from: moonrise
date: Dec. 5th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
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Im not sure if I would even consider this an alternative to How Long Is Forever... I mean, it works, but it also feels like it couldve happened and that the resulting episode was too boring to air by audience numbers. It wouldve been a somber episode that kids wouldnt have understood but it feels like it couldve happened.

Edited at 2010-12-05 03:58 pm (UTC)

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