They stood outside the gate of Mark Caten’s Funorium.
“I’ll have you know this is utter madness.” said Raven.
“Not at all.” Robin smiled. “As Isellta would say, this is sensible. This makes sense.”
“I’m afraid he would disagree.”
“What do you know? You don’t know him. I do. So, shut up!”
Raven sighed. Oh, why must he be so difficult? “Sir. I hate to be that person, but…”
Robin folded his arms across his chest.
“Perhaps it would be best if you…”
“If I what?”
“You might be a liability, sir. I have only one weak spot. You have two: your heart and your eye.”
“Ain’t none of your business.”
“It is my business, sir, if you’re coming in with me. I am responsible for you.”
“I’m responsible for myself.” He stepped into Raven’s personal space. “I don’t need anyone holdin’ my hand and patronizing me and assumin’ I ain’t any good. That I’m worthless. That I’m…That I’m broken. I ain’t broken. I am whole. I am alive. I have made it.” He pushed Raven. “You will not tell me I have limitations.” He pushed him again. “That I ain’t as good as you.” He pushed him again. “That I’m inferior to you.”
He reached forward to push Raven one more time.
Raven grabbed his wrists. “Are you quite done with your rant, sir?”
“Rraaah!” Robin yanked his wrists to freedom. He threw himself at Raven, knocked him down to the street, and proceeded to pummel him.
Raven snarled. He extended his claws and fought back. He didn’t pull any punches or try to soften any blows.
Neither did Robin.
They tussled and tumbled, punched and clawed, until at last Robin had the other vampire pinned to the street.
For a few minutes, neither one spoke. They glared at each other, panting hard with bared fangs.
“As you can see, I can handle myself just fine in a fight.”
“So, you can. Sir.”
Robin shuddered and rose quickly to his feet. He frantically dusted the snow and dirt off his clothes.
Raven stood and carefully examined his gloves. Tsk..
A hole punctuated each fingertip.
Well. That is the last time I fight with my gloves on. I’ll have to take it to a seamstress to…
Robin shuddered again.
“Is there a problem, sir?”
“No! Even if there were, I wouldn’t tell you. It ain’t none of your business. You hear me? Let’s go inside and take it by storm.”
I just want to rescue Missy.
Robin accidently stepped on the Mark Caten welcome blather tile.
As Mark Caten chipped and churred on about the wonders of his place, Robin’s thoughts wandered back to what he had imagined when he had Raven pinned.
Isellta lying under me, looking up at me, smiling up at me. Without any anger or fear. Just—-
He shuddered again.
I ain’t thinkin’ about it. I will not think about it.
I don’t want it.
I ain’t like that.
I don’t look at other men that way.
What makes him so special? Nothin’.
Just another fey.
And that’s it.
Mark Caten said his last line and the door swung open.
Robin shoved the other vampire out of the way and strode towards the center building with its wooden scaffolds and sea green slides.
Raven caught up to him. “Pardon me, sir, but do you know where you’re going?”
“Have you been in The Institute before?”
“Then, how do you know—”
“I know, okay? I just know.”
“Sir. Robin. I am on your side. I am not your enemy.”
“Then, stop treating me like one.”
Robin stopped. “You don’t get it. You don’t understand. You don’t…” He snarled. “I hate this place. I hate coming here. I hate being here. I hate everything about it here.”
“Then, go home.”
“No! I want to tear this place down. I want to see it burn. I will see it burn.”
“Then, set your vendettas aside and help me rescue Missy.”
“But I want—”
“You will get what you want, sir. Trust me. Missy will make this place burn.”