This was not how Raven had planned spending her summer. Summer was many things, but freezing was not one of them. She shivered and pulled her cloak tighter around her, wishing now more than ever for a fur lining to keep the cold out. Next to her, Robin seemed to be fairing no better than she was. Raven looked around at her surroundings, longing for the beautiful visage that the Titans' Tower had to offer. If she closed her eyes, she could imagine the softness of the grass; the brightness of the sun warming her body; the crystal clear ocean that crashed lightly against her feet as she stepped on the edge of it. She could even imagine the thrill that she got whenever the alarm sounded, signifying trouble.
But there was no alarm here. There was no sun to keep her warm or ocean to dip her feet in. The Titans' Tower was her new utopia; something that she was unsure she would see again. Maybe the heat of flames would be better than the freezing icicles that surrounded them, but somewhere deep down Raven knew that it would be her worst nightmare come to life. Flames reminded her of her heritage, the one that she so desperately wanted to escape; but the icicles were just as dangerous, especially on unsteady ground.
Raven slid down on the icy ground to sit close to Robin, wanting more than ever not just feel his body heat, but the feeling of safeness. She'd only been this close in proximity twice; one when she was sent flying into his arms by a villain, and once when he'd rescued her from Slade. Robin took one look at her shivering form and wrapped an arm around her, pulling her close to him. Raven stilled, unsure if this was really happening or not. Ever since they'd formed that bond, Raven had started to develop feelings for her leader. Admitting this to herself was hard enough, but she didn't think she'd ever be able to admit it to Robin. He most likely didn't feel about her like that – he probably considered her as more of a sister than anything. The thought made Raven look down, away from Robin. He was purely trying to keep her warm, nothing special about it.
Meanwhile, Robin was having the same thoughts. He'd always found Raven to be attractive, and dare he say it, a nice body. She covered herself up though, unlike Starfire, who didn't mind strutting around in her very revealing outfit. There was something about Raven that made him feel different though; made him want to share a pure love with her. Raven knew him better than anyone else, and she had admitted to him the same thing. He had a connection with her, one that he couldn't ignore even if he wanted to. He could feel her shivering in his arms, and he pulled her even closer, unaware of her current confused and emotional state. Before he knew it one of the large icicles that had been above their heads exploded, showering them with ice. Then another, and another, and after a few more, Robin finally found out why they had started bursting into small pieces. It was Raven; as usual her hood was on, so he couldn't make out her face, but he could tell that the shivering of her body was not purely from the cold.
"Raven," he said softly. As though her name had been magic words, the icicles stopped exploding and she let out a gasp of surprise.
"Did I just? Sorry…" her voice seemed more husky then it usually did, yet another sign that something was wrong.
"Don't apologize… what's bothering you?"
Better to be straightforward with Raven, as she liked to avoid questions whenever she could. He felt her tense up in his arms, but she didn't say anything.
"Raven, I know that something is wrong. Just tell me, and I can help you."
"No," Raven sounded amused, but in the kind of way that you knew bode ill, "you wouldn't be able to help me. The only person who could help me is myself."
"Raven, let me in. You know about me, I know about you, but this is something different. You have your own life now, your own destiny. You're not plagued with the heritage anymore –"
"I know," Raven cut him off quickly, her voice sounding thick, "but you wouldn't understand. I barely understand it myself."
This was new – now Robin definitely knew something was wrong. A sudden thought came to him… no… an alien thought. It was Raven, she was projecting her emotions unknowingly through their bond. Whatever was bothering her was letting her guard down, distracting her.
"Is it me?" he asked, though he already knew the answer. Raven's hooded head shot around to face him, and he could feel the surprise and – was that anger? – emitting from her. "Is it something I did?"
Raven didn't answer him. Robin wished that he could see her facial expression – as though hearing his wish, a sudden breeze whipped the hood off of her head. Despite the anger that he could feel coming from her, he could also feel something else… something that he'd never felt from her before. He couldn't quite place what it was, but for some reason it seemed to strike his heart. Her violet eyes were shining as she looked at him, her face more emotional then he'd ever seen it before.
Something had taken a hold of her – one of the sides of her. Then he knew what it was; the anger coming from Raven wasn't directed at him, it was directed at her, raging at her. She lifted a hand, despite the cold, and brushed Robin's cheek. There was a sort of wonder on her face, and her lips were curved up slightly.
"Robin, I –"
"There you are!"
Raven's hand quickly dropped and she pulled the hood back over her face. Robin felt irritation flood through his body, despite the fact that only minutes ago he'd been wanting to hear that same voice – the same rumble that signified that the T-ship had been found. They both looked over and spotted Cyborg, wearing a smirk that Robin didn't think belonged there in their present situation. Starfire was in the furry arms of a giant green gorilla. Despite himself, Robin felt worry – but it wasn't the worry that he'd usually feel for her. This time it was purely worry for her as a member of the team. Just like the rest of the Titans, she hadn't been dressed to crash-land on an ice planet.
"It's… nice to see you all again…" said Robin, putting on a fake smile. Raven wasn't looking at any of them, her mind was frantic with emotions. That was it, Raven thought to herself, I was going to tell him how I felt.
You always have next time, said Love, her sweet voice filling Raven's ears.
You should be angry at them for interrupting, said Anger, and automatically Raven felt the other sides of her start to clash with Anger.
'You don't even know what love is'
'All you care about is ruining her soul'
'Let her make up her own mind'
'You're not welcome here anymore!'
'Go back where you belong!'
"Raven?" Raven was interrupted from her slight-meditation at the sound of Robin's voice. He put his hands on both of her arms, crouching in front of her. "It's time to go home."
'The others are distracted if that's what you're worried about!'
Robin looked over at the other Titans, giving them a nod. Cyborg looked between the two, and a comprehension dawned on his face.
"Come on, Raven and Robin will be here soon," said Cyborg to the rest of the team.
Starfire was too busy trying to keep herself warm in Beast Boy's arms to argue. "Besides, it's nice and warm in the T-ship."
That got them going.
"What were you going to tell me?"
Raven looked up at him, keeping the hood on her face. He couldn't see her features, but he could see her eyes – they looked like they had moments ago before they'd been interrupted. "You know that bond we have?"
Robin wasn't really sure where this was going. "Yeah?"
"Well I… I mean I think… I think it brought us closer together…" she was hinting at something, but for the life of him Robin couldn't guess what. Then he remembered the look on Cyborg's face, and it all clicked together. "You love me?"
Raven looked away from him, and Robin couldn't help but to smile slightly. He grabbed her by the chin gently, and took the hood off of her face. She stared at him, looking worried.
"I know why you feel like you couldn't tell me," started Robin. Raven looked at him in confusion. "Because I love you too."
He thought he'd never seen Raven look so happy – it was a good look for her. A sort of wonder crossed over her features, and the words slipped out of her mouth before she could stop them. "Is this real?"
Robin grinned, cupped her cheek, and pushed his lips against hers… they were very smooth. Raven didn't kiss him back at first, and after a while he pulled away, confused. Once the shock wore off, she gave him a mischievous smile, and then lifted herself up onto her knees so that she was the same height as him. Robin wrapped his arms around her, and she kissed him. This time Robin didn't pull away, it was Raven who did. She was smiling, and despite the cold, he saw her cheeks warm up as a blush took over her features.
"Ready to go home?" he asked, grinning.
Raven pretended to think about it, "You know, maybe we could stay here for a little longer…"
They both laughed at that, and Raven found that she enjoyed it. She enjoyed laughing with Robin. Robin was the only person that could make her happy, and love like she'd never felt drifted inside of her. "I love you."
And those words made Robin feel as though he'd never been happier. "I love you too."