* It should be clear that my knowledge of volleyball is limited. I apologize if I got something wrong in this.

Just a reminder, I do something called one-word one-shots. Meaning, if you give me a single word, I'll turn it into a one-shot.

Requested by: M


Raven didn't care much for sports. She occasionally noticed practicality in it, viewing it as different forms of exercise. However, she rarely partook, opting to do mental exercises such as chess, meditation or reading instead. She also didn't have a competitive side to begin with, and she was all too happy about that fact.

Raven pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. Cyborg and Beast Boy's playful banter had now turned into arguing.

"Dude, I still don't get it," Beast Boy griped from his side of the court.

Cyborg rubbed his hands down his face. "The point system in volleyball is the simplest point system on Earth," he grumbled into his palms. "How do you not get it?"

"Because," Beast Boy hollered, putting his hands on his hips. "I spiked the ball. That gets me, like, a bajillion points in volleyball."

"No, it doesn't," Cyborg exclaimed. "It gets you one point, that is if you don't touch the net. And you touched the net!"

"So? The points I got from that spike should totally make up for it!"

"Man, are you even listening? One point, that's all you get! You touch the net? No points!"

"No points?! How is that even possible?!" Beast Boy whipped his gaze to Raven. "Come on, Rae, that was so a point! I so won the game!"

Raven's eyes were closed, and she was still pinching the bridge of her nose. "Cyborg has the most sports experience out of all of us," she grumbled. "If you have no points…then you have no points."

"Ha!" Cyborg pointed childishly at Beast Boy.

"No, that's not fair," he whined, shaking his head. "He could just be saying that to win the game."

"Hey," Cyborg exclaimed, offended. "Since when do I cheat?"

Raven opened her eyes and rested her chin in her hands. "Cyborg's never cheated any game you've played."

"He could just be saying that," Beast Boy crossed his arms, squinting his eyes dramatically at Cyborg. "For example, I used to be the king of video games. Then, as soon as I started playing with you, I stunk! It was like I didn't even have opposable thumbs anymore. How do you beat me every time?!"

Cyborg threw his hands up in the air. "You don't even have opposable thumbs half the time!"

This made Beast Boy stomp over to him, or as close as he could get with the net in the way. Raven shook her head slowly, thoroughly exasperated. The volleyball match had now turned into a shouting a match. She debated on whether to break it up or not, but decided the net in between them was doing a decent enough job for the time being.

At some point, Beast Boy shouted, "Raven, you're the referee! Do some refereeing!"

"And spoil my entertainment," she asked, deadpanned.

"Since when do you find shouting and arguing to be entertaining," came Robin's voice. Raven looked to see him closing the door behind him. He watched Beast Boy and Cyborg's antics for a few seconds. Then, he shook his head and went to sit on the edge of the roof next to Raven.

"Sarcasm," she replied.

"I picked up on that," he said with a smirk.

"And there really is nothing else to do," she said. "Now that I'm clearly not involved anymore."

Be it stankball, video games, card games, board games, or sports, it was normal for the Titans to ask Raven to referee. Her unbiased opinions made for efficient game play. She didn't mind it as much as she used to, especially given the strategic calls she'd sometimes have to make. Her friends would do all of the in-game work, and she would make sure it ended fairly.

She also knew when the game itself was a lost cause.

Cyborg and Beast Boy argued and argued with no end in sight.

There was no helping this. They would just have to get it out of their systems.

"Glorious," Starfire said gleefully as she flew onto the court. "Another game of volleying the ball!"

"Until he learns the basic rules, there will be no volleying!" Cyborg shouted.

"Great," Raven muttered. Now Starfire had joined in, getting in between them and trying to play peacemaker. Raven lifted her hand, ready to use a harmless shield to separate all three of them. She could even make the shield soundproof to drown out their relentless yelling. "Sometimes I feel like a babysitter."

"I'm the leader," Robin chuckled. "How do you think I feel sometimes?"

She lowered her hand. "That's correct." She nodded to their teammates. "So do your job, leader."

He straightened his legs out in front of him and crossed them at the ankles. "Nah, you're right. Not much else to do right now. We'll keep an eye on 'em to make sure it doesn't get out of hand."

They watched the bickering continue on. At some point while Starfire was trying to get them to calm down, her foot accidentally tapped the volleyball. It rolled, and then it jolted up and over the edge of the roof.

Raven sighed and stood up. "You'll make sure it doesn't get out of hand. I have to go make sure we don't lose the ball...again."

"Again," Robin asked.

She nodded. "Beast Boy's been working on his trick shots. And by trick, I mean a disappearing act. He flails his arms like a nutcase and flings the ball with no sense of direction."

Robin chuckled.

She pointed in the direction of where the ball fell. "If we lose that one, it'll be the third one this month."

On that note, she levitated over the edge of the roof and slowly floated down, in no rush whatsoever. As she landed on the shore, she looked around for the ball. The evening light casted dark shadows over the many rocks and boulders, making it easy for the ball to hide. She turned over a couple rocks, but so far found nothing.

She took one last glance around the area. That's when her eyes caught the movement of a white speck floating on the water. The warm red sky reflected off the surface of the bay, making the volleyball stand out as it bobbed up and down.

She headed in the direction of the shoreline. Calmly and without pausing, she created two platforms upon approaching the water, and walked towards the ball. The platforms took turns disappearing and reappearing beneath her feet as she went. She could've just as easily flown, the wind that surrounded her when she flew was always invigorating. However, the breeze that currently swept over the water, brushing at her hair and cloak as she walked, was quiet and serene. It simply felt nice and she was enjoying the moment of peace.

When she stopped, she pushed her cloak out of the way some, wanting to get as least wet as possible. She knelt down. Plucking the ball out of the water, she gave it a jostle to shake off the remaining moisture. As she headed back to the shore, she noticed a familiar shape lounging on the shoreline.

"You left them to fend for themselves," Raven asked as she approached Robin, who was sitting by the water's edge. She tossed the ball to him.

"Kinda," he said as he caught it. "They stopped arguing over volleyball and agreed they needed to settle it like men." He began idly bouncing the ball up and down on his fist. "They're inside right now having a pie eating contest. But there's a catch…They have to use the ones that Starfire was making before she joined all of us on the roof."

Raven grimaced and shivered dramatically. "Ugh. Do they want an early funeral?"

He smirked. "Oh, that's the challenging part, to see how long they can hold out. Cyborg and Beast Boy get to be competitive, and Starfire's happy that her cooking is being involved for once. Everybody wins." He bounced the ball higher, sending it in Raven's direction, which she expertly caught. "Bounce it back," he encouraged.

She tucked the ball under her arm. "I observe everyone's competitive habits. I don't contribute to them."

He snorted.

"I have to take this back up to the court before we lose it again. You coming inside?"

He shook his head. "I think I'm gonna stay out here a little while longer. The sunset's nice today."

"I thought you were all about sunrises," Raven asked with a hint of her usual sarcasm.

"Sunsets are okay," he shrugged. "The day is over and it's okay to relax. At least that's what it feels like, and it's always a great feeling." He looked away from the sun to smile up at her. "But I still prefer sunrises. Something about them always seems…brighter."

Perhaps it was the way he was smiling at her, or the way he said that last word. Either way, for some reason she couldn't help but glance away from, hiding a small smile as well as the warmth that spread over her cheeks.

"Yeah," she muttered as she tried to make herself look casual by staring at a random spot on the tower. "Brighter." Eventually, her gaze drifted to the window of their living room, where the pie eating contest had more than likely commenced. She gave a longsuffering sigh as she finally looked at Robin.

"I have to go put this ball back," she said. "And they're more than likely going to want me to referee the contest."

"They didn't say anything about you on their way downstairs," Robin said. "I think you're off the hook for this one." He paused. "It's nice to see how involved you are with their games. I mean, after that whole stankball thing, you've always been involved to some degree. But now so more than ever it looks like. I know they really appreciate it."

"I just appreciate the fact that they've stopped trying to force me to be involved," she said. She scowled slightly at herself. "It…took me a long time to want to be involved, I know."

"And it took them a long time to realize that you do things on your own terms, and that you'll be as involved as you wanna be," he added. "All three of them don't exactly have the most patience. Cyborg maybe, but even he's fast-paced at times."

Raven nodded. Then, a thought came to mind. "How come you've always understood it?…Me?"

Robin, who had been leaning back on his elbows, pushed forward a little to sit up straighter. "Um," he started, almost looking a bit flustered. "Well… I had been doing hero work on my own for a while. I was just getting used to it. Then I met you guys. I think I understood you right off the bat because…I knew what it was like to be alone and to enjoy it. Being alone means you do things differently as opposed to how you do things with people around. There's a sense of freedom with that, and it's jarring when people try to mess with it. That's why I was so set on going at it alone and…" He trailed off, rubbing a hand down his face.

When he looked at Raven again, it was with a shy half-smile. "None of that really makes sense, though."

Raven smiled back. She sat down next to him, and looked in the direction of the setting sun. "It does to me," she murmured.

Robin looked at her, and then at the sunset. "Not going to watch the contest," he asked.

She shook her head. "They have this one handled." She fidgeted with the ball. "Besides, I finally found something better to do." She smiled at him briefly before returning her attention back to the sunset.

They watched as the sun slowly sank below the horizon. When stars began dotting the darkening sky, Robin sighed.

"We should probably make sure that ball gets back to the roof," he said, but neither of them made a move to get up. "And to make sure the kitchen hasn't been destroyed. Knowing them, they probably didn't stop at just pie eating."

"Hmm," Raven hummed. "Probably."

Robin just barely caught the ball as Raven bumped it towards him with her fist. Robin stared at the volleyball in his lap, and then at Raven. She didn't acknowledge him, just continued to look peacefully at the sky.

Robin chuckled lightly. He started spinning the ball on his finger as he also focused on the sky. It was now completely dark out, the moon reflecting brightly off the surface of the bay.

They both still preferred sunrises, but sunsets were nice as well.