|The Corpse Bridesmaid
Author: WitchGirl PM
Robin is lost in a swirl of nightmares and he cannot tell reality from dream. He has to rid himself of this affliction before he loses his life, or worse, his sanity. A PG13 ghost story with what I call a conveniently obvious twist ending.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Supernatural - Robin & Raven - Chapters: 12 - Words: 25,990 - Reviews: 45 - Favs: 24 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 10-31-06 - Published: 10-20-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3206201
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Robin awoke under a gravestone. He sat up. His neck was stiff. In fact, his whole body was stiff. The night was dark around him, but the stars winked at him from their place in the firmament. Opening his mouth, Robin felt his chapped lips tear apart. He licked them in a futile attempt to sooth them. He yawned. His throat was as dry as dust. Robin stretched and sat up and leaned against the headstone.
His communicator was crushed by his side. As he picked it up, it fell apart. Well, so much for calling his friends.
Every memory he had lost came flooding back to him. Of the dreams. The nightmares. Every word that was spoken to him, every terror he endured. It still made him ill to think about it. Raven had said it came from his own mind. Did he really have such horrible ideas lurking in his head? Robin knew it was true. He knew that if he hadn't realized that it was all his ideas, that she was drawing from his power, then he would never have been able to summon the gun. He would never have been able to defeat her.
He wondered vaguely who she was. She'd said that she used to be human.
And then Robin remembered that he was in a graveyard, leaning against a headstone.He turned. It was an old gravestone. Covered in moss and chipped away. But he could still make out the name.
Beloved daughter and wife
Curiosity pushed Robin further and he uncovered the grave stone next to hers.
First execution by electric chair in California
On the other side of Delilah's grave was another name that caught his eye, though Robin did now know why.
Beloved husband and father
Ricocheted bullet pierced him straight through the heart
Robin wondered if these graves had any meaning. He supposed he'd never know. But if they did, then Raven was wrong. Not all of his nightmares had come from his
Some of them were from her after all.
A song began in his head. He didn't know why. An old Irish funeral hymn. The summer's gone and all the roses dying. 'Tis you, 'Tis you must go and I must bide.He imagined a woman now, standing where he stood, with long blonde hair and electric blue eyes. She held a bouquet of lavender. She sang softly as she kneeled on the grave and traced the name.
But come ye back when
summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
And I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy I love you so
But if he come and all
the roses dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
He'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an ave there for me
And I shall feel, though
soft you tread above me
And then my grave will richer, sweeter be
For you will bend and tell me that you love me
And I shall rest in peace until you come to me
Despite everything, what she'd told him, she had always loved him. And that was why she'd been the maid of honor for his wife. That was why she was the midwife at their child's birth. That is why they continued to have an affair until her husband shot him in a jealous fury.
The wind played with his hair for a moment. He felt it swirl around his neck. He thought he felt the hint of someone there. But when he turned, he saw nothing. It was just the dead leaves at the base of the oak tree, rustling in the wind.
Robin smiled weakly. His eyes were dry. He took off his mask, initially to rub them into wakefulness. But as he looked at the world without the mask as a filter, he felt a better connection with this person. Delilah.
He ran his fingers across the top of her headstone. Then, he replaced his mask and turned his back on Delilah. It was the longest chapter of a book that had finally closed and Robin did not think that he or anyone else would ever open it again.
He walked all the way home from Greenville Cemetery on the city's outer limits. He did not arrive at the Tower until the sun was beginning to rise.
He didn't know how he ended up there. But it was a different kind of not knowing then before. This time, he had just let his mind wander, and let his feet carry him wherever they wanted to go. His feet wanted to go to Raven's room.
He knocked quietly on the door. There was no reply. He knocked a little louder. There was a shuffling sound and a tired groan.
"Raven?" Robin said, his voice too dry from him to go above a raspy whisper.
The shuffling stopped. All of a sudden, the door whizzed open and there stood Raven. She had bags under her eyes and one of her hairs was sticking up in the back, but she stared at him in utter shock. Slowly, a wry smile spread across her features.
"I knew you'd make it," she said, nodding proudly. "If anyone could, it would be you."
Robin nodded. "It's good to see you too."
She didn't hug him. He didn't touch her. They just stood there, watching each other, for a full minute, until Raven finally decided it was time to tell the others.
It took no effort at all to wake up Cyborg and Starfire. Cyborg was just rising anyways, and Starfire could never sleep when she was upset. Beast Boy, however, was convinced they were a dream.
"No more tofu burgers for you," Beast Boy muttered, turning away from Raven, who crossed her arms.
"Beast Boy, didn't you hear me? Robin's back."
"Tell him I'll paint his sandbox in the morning…"
Cyborg shook his head and smiled. He shrugged. "What can I say, that boy would sleep through a tornado."
Robin smiled wearily and kneeled next to Beast Boy's bed. He put a hand on Beast Boy's shoulder. "Hey, Beast Boy," he said quietly. "I missed you."
Beast Boy's hand dragged itself across his chest and ended up on top of Robin's. He open one eye and gave Robin a toothy grin.
Seconds later, Robin was on the floor and a green Labrador Retriever was licking his face. Soon enough, he was a boy again, and his arms were around Robin's neck.
"I missed you too, Fearless Leader."
Robin looked at Raven over Beast Boy's shoulder. "Not so fearless anymore."
"I'm sorry," he said, "but that's it. He's gone."
Starfire's weeping intensified. She tried to speak through her tears, but no one could make it out. Cyborg looked to Raven, but she only had eyes for Robin's waking corpse. She hadn't stopped looking at him since she first saw him in his catatonic stupor. He looked back to their leader, eyes wide open but oblivious to everything. He wondered what they would do now. He supposed he would need to call Jump City Psychiatric Institute. Again.
He shook his head to clear it of those miserable duties. "Damn fool," he said. "Stubborn as a…" He sighed and looked away. "He should have taken the medication."
Beast Boy stopped pacing and shook his head. "And I was too damn scared to just go in his room and tell him…" he trailed off. But Raven finished his sentence for him, her voice cold and dark, her eyes still never leaving Robin's blank stare.
"Tell him to please, just stay with us."
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