I don't own Teen Titans. They are the property of DC Comics.
I forgot to mention this in the last chapter, but, even though I modified it a little, I don't own the prophecy either. Rights to that belong to Mr. George RR Martin.
Also, thanks be to the lovely greenbunny, who beta-ed this chapter and the last one. :D
It was an awkward silence that greeted Robin's order to begin the team meeting. With the exception of Robin and Raven, every titan in the room suddenly found their waffles to be the most interesting things they'd ever seen. Raven herself watched Robin, practically daring him to make her talk. He'd find out what would happen if he stuck his nose in her business. He briefly made eye contact with her and then looked toward the rest of their teammates. Raven smirked inwardly. Smart.
Robin continued to stare at the other three titans for several moments, but none of them even looked up, and Raven could feel Robin's irritation mounting. Unconcerned, she simply took another bite of her waffles before putting the plate on the arm of the sofa and shifting in her seat. Making it look like she was getting more comfortable, Raven leaned forward slightly so she could see all her teammates. Beast Boy, despite his earlier determination to talk, looked exactly like Cyborg and Starfire: slouched forward, staring determinedly at his waffles and only occasionally taking a bite. She huffed in annoyance. He'd been bothering her for three days, and when he finally had an opportunity to make his problems the center of attention, he clammed up. Hypocrite.
She leaned back in her seat and resumed eating her own waffles and watching Robin challengingly. However, most of her attention was honestly on her food. It pained her to admit it, but Cyborg was right. This was the first true meal she'd had since the sleepover, and it was perfection. She may not need to eat as often as her teammates, but she did relish the warmth and fullness of a good meal in her stomach. It made her feel...better. Or would have if Robin had left her alone.
She narrowed her eyes at him, but he seemed to ignore her. Instead, he gave each of them a look in turn before sighing in obvious frustration. "Alright. We'll do it like this." He put his own plate of waffles down on the table next to him and straightened into what the entire team recognized as his 'leader' stance. "Titans, three days ago, we all witnessed a vision of the future, courtesy of the Herald."
Raven noticed he didn't mention how he knew they'd all witnessed the vision, and, out of idle curiosity, reached out to feel her friends' surface emotions to get their reactions to Robin's statement. Cyborg was completely apathetic, and both Beast Boy and Starfire felt slightly ashamed. Starfire made sense, but she wasn't sure why Beast Boy was reacting that way. What did he have to be ashamed of? The girls had spied on him, not the other way around. After thinking for a second, Raven finally decided it didn't matter. She continued to eat her waffles, feeling slightly regretful that they were almost gone. She really should have eaten sooner. Ignoring his teammates' varying reactions, Robin continued to speak:
"It is my belief that what we saw has had a negative emotional impact on this team. Until it's resolved, our effectiveness as a crime-fighting unit has been compromised." He then gave them all a glare that might have chilled Raven when she was eight and practically growled his next command at them. "So talk."
The empath rolled her eyes. Talk about being overdramatic.
She swabbed the last bite of her waffles in the remaining blueberry preserves on her plate and finished her meal. She licked her lips and suddenly felt a foreign emotion jolt through her. It disappeared before she could trace what it was exactly or who it came from, but it still had her wondering. Narrowing her eyes in suspicion, she glanced at each the titans on the couch with her, but none of them gave anything away. They were all staring at their plates as though the meaning of life could be found in the patterned plastic, and all of them radiated nervousness and trepidation, most likely at the thought of talking about this sensitive subject in front of everyone. Raven knew that she wouldn't be figuring out which one the emotion came from any time soon, so she simply shrugged slightly and focused her attention on Robin. From him, she sensed annoyance, determination, and rising exasperation.
"Guys, I refuse to let this fester then come back to bite us in the ass!" the masked teen finally snapped. "No one's leaving until we fix this! Talk. What do you think we need to do to go back to normal?"
Either getting exasperated himself or taking pity on Robin, Cyborg spoke next. "Dude, I've been trying to fix us."
"You've been trying to ply us with food and cheap distractions." Robin said stiffly, and Raven smirked. Must still be miffed about the waffles.
"That's how I fix us when shit gets weird!" Cyborg insisted. He put an arm each around Starfire and Beast Boy and gave them both a shake, resulting in a surprised squawk from the latter.
Raven raised a brow at his reaction.
Cyborg ignored him and pressed on. "Whenever something happens that bothers all of us, usually, I make BB and Star happy again, they get you and Rae out of the dumps, and then we go kick someone's ass. It's that easy."
Raven stared at Cyborg. His corndog/waffle nonsense had a point? She'd always assumed he was overcompensating, and judging by the gaping looks her other teammates were giving the metal man, she was not alone.
"Or at least it usually is," Cyborg amended, apparently ignorant of their shock. "Usually, all it takes is a mustard cake for Star and letting Green Bean win at Street Racer 8 to snap them out of a mood, so they can take care of you and Rae, but none of the usual stuff's working this time."
They were all silent for a moment, and then Beast Boy spoke. "Wait a minute, you let me win at Street Racer 8? That's bullshit!"
Raven rolled her eyes. Of course that's all he'd get out of Cyborg's 'strategy.'
Cyborg smiled smugly. "Take the shame like a man, BB."
Smirking slightly, Raven looked back at Robin and saw that he looked a little unsettled.
"Uh... How long have you been doing this, Cyborg?"
The bionic man took another bite of his waffles and shrugged. "Since we met Slade, probably."
"But that was four years ago!" Starfire exclaimed, and this time, even Raven gaped.
"Wait, wait, wait," Beast Boy said, pushing himself away from Cyborg so he could turn in his seat and really look at him. "Dude, you mean to tell me that you've been handling me and Star the whole time we've lived together?"
"Ya'll handle as easy as the T-Car." Cyborg replied, his lips curving into another smug smile.
"Is your comparison of Beast Boy and I to an inanimate, unthinking mode of transportation meant to be an insult to our intelligence, friend?" Starfire asked coolly, her use of the word friend functioning more like a warning than a title.
Raven backed up in her seat, and she noticed Beast Boy shift into a hummingbird behind Cyborg. A second later, she felt a light weight settle on her shoulder and was mildly surprised to realize it was the shapeshifter. However, she decided not to kill him for now. For once he was only being sensible. They all knew that Starfire was naïve, and that she was self-aware enough to realize it herself, but one thing she did not take kindly to was an implication that she was unintelligent. She despised being thought of as 'the bimbo,' as she would say. As Raven prepared herself to bring up a shield if necessary, Cyborg seemed to remember that and quickly tried to backtrack.
"That's not what I meant at all, Star!" He chuckled nervously and scooted away from the incensed alien who was now sitting straight up in her seat. "All I meant is that it's easy to make you and BB feel better. That's a good thing, great even. I wish all my friends were as easy to cheer up as you guys, and then when ya'll are happy, the team's happy and—"
"Enough," Robin interrupted. He put a hand on Starfire's knee and gave her a reassuring half-smile. "I'm sure Cyborg didn't mean to insult you."
"I didn't!" he chimed in.
"He was just trying to say that your ability to bounce back from stressful situations has proven to be an asset to the team, and he's glad he knows how to...trigger it, I guess, because it helps us all."
"That is exactly what I meant, Starfire!" Cyborg replied with exaggerated cheeriness.
Raven could tell Starfire wasn't completely convinced, but she nodded anyway.
"I understand, Robin. Thank you for your insight."
Raven felt Beast Boy's relief and then saw a flash of green out of the corner of her eye. Before she could react, a green changeling landed surprisingly hard on her thighs, backside first. She glowered at him, but rather than taking the hint and getting off her lap like someone with a modicum of intelligence would do, he actually stretched out. He crossed his legs at the ankle and put his feet in Starfire's lap, resulting in an amused smirk from her, and interlaced his fingers behind his head, before leaning back against the arm of the couch. Much to Raven's disappointment, his head missed her sticky plate, and he waggled his eyebrows at her.
She shoved him to the floor.
Starfire giggled, Cyborg snickered, and Raven could see that even Robin was amused, even though the only evidence was a slight quirk of his lips. With exaggerated stiffness, Beast Boy stood up, rubbed his backside, and limped pitifully back to his side of the couch.
Raven rolled his eyes at his theatrics before narrowing them into another glare at him.
The idiot actually had the gall to wink at her!
She turned stubbornly away and looked back at Robin, but she could feel his amusement at her expense.
"Are we done trying to assault one another?" Robin called over Cyborg and Starfire's laughter.
"That remains to be seen." Raven bit out.
Their other teammates thankfully finished their...levity and nodded.
"Alright, revelations about our coping mechanisms aside," Robin continued. "we still need to resolve our issue with this vision. Besides using cheap distractions..."
"I resent that." Cyborg muttered.
"How do we resolve this?" Robin asked like Cyborg hadn't spoken. "What's bothering all of you?"
Once again, the more lighthearted titans stared at their plates as though they were the most fascinating things in the room, and Raven rolled her eyes at them and at Robin's insistence that they talk about their feelings. She snorted inwardly. Like Robin had a right to make anyone talk about feelings.
The bird in question stared at his teammates, exasperation once again taking over his features. "It's annoying when you all talk at once, guys. Really." He sighed. "Okay. I guess I'll go first. It really bothered me seeing a potential future where Raven was dead." He looked at his teammates expectantly. Only one looked back.
Raven quirked a brow at him. "So?"
Robin's eyebrow twitched. "That does it. Starfire!"
The Tamaranean jumped. "Yes, Robin?"
"You're the one who's been the most noticeably bothered by the vision. Tell us what's bothering you." After a pause, he added a 'please' to his order, but that didn't change what it was. An order.
Starfire looked reluctant, but she wasn't one to outright disobey an order. With a sigh, she spoke.
"I found the entire thing to be most distressing. I was very saddened at the idea that Raven will eventually be murdered. That was undoubtedly the worst part. However, I was also the 'heartbroken' for Beast Boy's future doppelganger, because he was clearly still suffering the loss of his mate and offspring, and also because I am aware of Raven's belief that she will never be loved romantically—"
"Starfire!" Raven snapped. Robin and Cyborg looked at her in surprise, but a glare from her quickly put a stop to that. Beast Boy thankfully didn't seem to notice, apparently off in his own world.
"I am still aware of it, and it still played a role in my distress, Raven!" Starfire retorted.
Raven snorted. See if there'd be any more of 'the girls nights' after this.
Ignoring her, Starfire continued to explain herself: "As I said, I am aware of Raven's belief that she will never be loved romantically, and it made me hurt on her behalf to know that she would in fact experience an intense and true love, only for her to be parted from it. I was also very disturbed at the realization that Raven and Beast Boy will lose a bumgorf, especially one so young. The thought of such innocence being lost to this world is most disheartening. Finally, I am very pained because I cannot contemplate a way to prevent such atrocities from happening to my beloved friends. Every time I see Beast Boy or Raven now, all of these emotions converge into a feeling of great anguish that can only be expressed through weeping." She looked around at her teammates. "That is all."
Jasmine. That had been the flowery smell in his dream.
Beast Boy realized this in the middle of the team meeting Robin had called.
He tried to pay attention to what was going on, but his focus quickly wavered and died, especially when Robin talked. So far, there had only been two interesting parts to this meeting. The first had been when he accidentally saw Raven lick her lips and had to mentally whale on his lusty primal side before she picked up anything. The second was when Cyborg admitted to 'handling' him and Star—he still refused to believe that Chrome Dome had actually let him win at Street Racer 8; he owned that game—and pissed off the pretty alien. Without thinking, he'd shifted into a bird and went to the one person who could make alien-proof shields with a thought. Raven.
However, that probably wasn't the smartest idea he'd ever had, especially since his perch on her shoulder had given him a great view of her breasts and resulted in him involuntarily comparing them to the dream ones. His attempt at distracting himself from that line of thinking hadn't been that bright either. He'd ended up with Raven's unexpectedly soft body pressed under him and her flowery, jasmine-y scent in his nose. He'd honestly expected her body to feel as prickly as her personality. He shrugged slightly. At least he'd gotten a bit of a laugh out of that whole thing, even if she did knock him to the floor.
Once the meeting had gotten "serious" though, he once again found himself unable to concentrate. Despite the vision 'effecting their team dynamic' or whatever Robin was ranting about, nobody wanted to talk about this, especially not Beast Boy. Or, he didn't want to talk about it in front of everyone. Honestly, the only reason he'd even wanted to talk to Raven about it was because she'd had a starring role in the vision and dreams, but because he hadn't been allowed to talk about it with only Raven, and because it was taking forever to get someone besides Robin to open their mouth, Beast Boy's attention was drawn to something else.
Specifically, the scent of jasmine.
Though he hadn't noticed it, at least consciously, until a couple of days ago, there were actually a lot of smells he associated with Raven. Jasmine, which he guessed was her soap and shampoo, was the strongest, with lavender, probably a detergent or fabric softener, being a close second. Beneath those were other, more subtle, smells: old paper and leather, spearmint toothpaste, candle wax, and tea leaves, and right now, she also smelled like blueberries from her waffles. There was also her natural scent beneath the false ones, and it was always changing. It seemed to be stuck on annoyance right now though. Peppery was the best way he could describe it, and it stung his nose and made him wonder what was irritating her so much. He knew it was probably Robin trying to make them talk about feelings (a joke all by itself), but he couldn't help but wonder if it was somehow his fault. As usual.
You are sniffing her like a dog, he half-reminded, half-scolded, himself. He'd been doing that a lot lately, scolding himself. And smelling her. Usually at the same time, because he knew it was creepy, but he couldn't seem to help himself. He hadn't started doing it for any weirdly sexual reason; he'd only started familiarizing himself with her scents, because he'd been freaked out by that vision and wanted to keep tabs on her. When she wasn't willing to come out and show them she was okay, smell was the easiest way to do that. After last night's dream though, he now felt like he was doing something dirty, but it was hard to stop or even ignore it now that he'd started.
Particularly that stupid jasmine and what he now had to associate with it. A mental picture of older Raven wearing nothing but a smirk flashed through his mind, and he bit his lip.
Don't react, he told himself, desperately hoping Raven didn't sense anything. He tuned into the meeting and found that Starfire was talking about why she'd been all weepy the last few days. After about four seconds of listening to how distressing it must be for him to lose a mate and offspring, he tuned out again and went back to his own thoughts. Thankfully, the memory of naked Raven had gone away, but after a second, his masochistic brain threw another, more recent, memory at him.
Her scent when he'd gotten her out of her room.
It was part of her natural smell, but this part of it was so rare that he often didn't think to associate it with her.
Arousal. She'd been at least a little turned on when she came out of her room, and it made the primal and the pervy teen parts of his head join forces to come up with the filthiest possible explanations for it. In HD. With clear sound effects thanks to the memory "Bob/Gar" had provided in his dream.
A big bolt of lust shot through him, and he quickly put his plate in his lap while cursing his neoprene uniform. As he shifted in his seat and prayed no one looked at him right then, the smell he'd been thinking about teased his nostrils, and his eyes went wide. His gaze snapped to Raven and met her equally wide-eyed stare before she quickly turned away.
Embarrassment surged through him, and he resisted the urge to either A) groan or B) slam his head into the wooden frame of the couch until he lost consciousness. This was worse than what happened in the hall!
The last time he'd smelled this scent on her, it had only been his desperation to talk that had kept him from dropping dead in humiliation after he'd actually groaned in front of her. Well, that and the fact that she didn't seem to put together the reason for his weird reaction to her, but this time was so much worse. There was nothing to distract him from his shame, and Raven had actually felt what he was feeling.
She was turned on though, an unhelpful voice in his head pointed out.
She's a fucking empath! She reflects what others feel! he snapped back at the voice.
At least you don't need to have the plate in your lap anymore.
Well, thank GOD for that!
He squeezed his eyes shut in mortification.
He wasn't supposed to be thinking of Raven like this. Period. But he did, and now she was probably going to send him to a dimension where he'd be force-fed raw, bloody meat by half-naked, hot girls until the sight of either one of those things made his dick shrivel in terrified confusion for the rest of his miserable life. Mentally slapping himself for the ten thousandth time that day, he took his empty waffle plate off his lap and put it on the floor before tuning in to the meeting.
As an earnest Robin and a clearly half-hearted and preoccupied Cyborg comforted Starfire, Raven squeezed her eyes shut and chanted her mantra so fast in her mind, it all sounded like one word. She'd been listening to Starfire's explanation of her emotions and was feeling both touched by her concern and mildly exasperated at her for reacting so strongly, when the foreign emotion from earlier hit her senses like a tidal wave.
Heat bloomed over and over inside her like a fireworks display, leaving her sweaty and fighting to keep her breath from coming out in ragged gasps. Her body was suddenly so sensitive that the feel of her uniform sliding against her skin was enough make her shudder, and between her legs was a rare but easy to understand wetness, accompanied by an aching emptiness. The duration and intensity of the emotion gave her enough time to know exactly what it was and who it came from.
Lust, Love panted in her mind. Beast Boy is feeling lust.
What the hell?! she screeched inwardly, and she practically whirled to look at Beast Boy.
The metamorph was staring at the floor, and he was so flushed, his face was now a ruddy brown. Embarrassment and panic rolled off him in waves. Suddenly, his nostrils flared, and his gaze snapped up to meet hers. She quickly turned her attention back to Robin, but she still felt shock, another bolt of lust, and then more embarrassment. Why the hell was he feeling lust of all things at a time like this?
Alien tears make his pants feel tingly, Rude cackled, and Raven wished she was facing the emoticlone for the sole purpose of glaring at her.
I don't believe he was paying attention to Starfire, Knowledge interjected. If you think about it, you'd realize that for most of the meeting, the feelings coming from him consisted mostly of boredom and confusion until... you know.
He wants us, Rage rumbled. Claim him now!
There's no evidence that he wants us, Raven replied stubbornly. What I felt was a seventeen year old boy. Teenage boys get aroused if a breeze hits them the right way. Now, shut up. I'm trying to pay attention to the meeting.
It's a bunch of sharing and caring, hug-it-out bullshit, Rude snarled. Bird Brain needs to stop watching Dr. Phil with Space Barbie. I personally think Green Genes wanting your coochie is a bigger thing to worry about. Or at least more interesting to think about, she finished slyly.
He does have that primal thing going on, Love chimed in, her voice throatier than usual. That could be kind of hot.
"Okay, is there going to be a point to this meeting any time soon?!" Raven demanded, determined to ignore her lecherous emotions.
Robin leveled a glare at her, and she returned it with equal intensity.
"The point, Raven," he said, almost gritting his teeth. "is to get this stuff off our chests, so it doesn't mess with us later. As I've explained already." He looked over at Cyborg. "Your turn."
The half-robot groaned, but he obeyed. "Fine. Like everybody else, I don't like the idea of somebody offing Raven. I don't like future BB being all sad because of it. I'm confused and kind of uncomfortable at the idea of them being married and obviously havin' sexy time—"
I'm not! Love called out, and Raven vowed to enter Nevermore and strangle her.
"—and I don't like the idea of a baby getting killed," Cyborg finished. "But, I've been too focused on getting you guys back up and running to focus much on my own problems. I just think about how we live in a multiverse, so that stuff is probably gonna happen or is happening on another Earth."
Raven stared at Cyborg. Once again, she was surprised by his insight. She also felt like an idiot now. She'd taken Herald's vision literally, practically as a prophecy of the future, when in reality, it could be happening in another universe. In fact, it probably was happening another universe. The man specialized in inter-dimensional travel for God's sake!
Well, this is awkward, said the voice she recognized as Knowledge.
And you're supposed to be the smart one, Rude drawled.
Excuse me for being unable to remember that kind of detail in the face of emotional trauma! Knowledge snapped.
You forgot a basic rule that fucking everyone knows! Congratulations, Dumbass!
Raven felt the beginnings of a headache that she was knew was probably the result of one of the emotions attacking Rude to defend Knowledge's honor. The academic emoticlone rarely did much of her own fighting. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
"Are we done yet?" she grumbled.
"Not quite." Robin replied, looking at an oblivious Beast Boy.
After what he called the 'Embarrassing As Fuck Incident That Will Never Be Spoken Of Again If He Survived it' (he needed to work on a shorter title), Beast Boy tried to pay attention to the meeting, but he tuned in right as Raven was talking—sounding pissed—and he was once again distracted by his own fear and humiliation.
And the clouds opened up, and God said: I hate you, Beast Boy, the changeling thought miserably.
Raven was going to kill him.
He took a breath and let it out in a long sigh. Honestly, that was starting to sound more and more appealing. He really wished he hadn't been all "full-steam ahead!" when Herald suggested showing them the future. Now, he was having weird dreams and thinking weird thoughts and feeling weird stuff, and...
He morphed into a cat and let out a startled yowl before returning to his natural form and falling onto the couch. Clutching his chest like it could calm his racing heart, he looked at his teammates.
Starfire and Cyborg were looking at him like they were in on a joke he wasn't, Raven was glaring at him, and Robin was pinching the bridge of his nose in exasperation.
"Dude!" he yelled at his leader, obviously the source of the...surprise.
"Care to tell us what it was Cyborg just said?"
"Well, uh..." Beast Boy nervously scratched at the back of his head. "Why do you need me to tell you? Weren't you guys paying attention?"
Starfire was the only person who didn't roll their eyes at his reply.
"That's what I thought." Robin said, shaking his head. "What Cyborg was saying, that obviously wasn't important enough for you to pay attention to—"
Beast Boy huffed.
"was a very good point about how we shouldn't be bothered by this vision. Herald specializes in inter-dimensional travel, and since we live in a multiverse, it's probably more likely what he showed us will happen on another Earth. He did say it was random after all." Robin finished.
Suddenly, he felt like a complete moron. Of course this vision thing was probably happening on another Earth! It will probably never have anything to do with them!
But what about the dreams? a small voice in his mind asked.
"Basically," Robin was saying, "what Herald showed us was disturbing. I'm not downplaying that. However, it's statistically unlikely it'll happen to us or even happen in this universe. For the sake of our sanity, I believe we should treat what we saw as similar to watching a sad movie. Nothing to worry about."
"Great. Glad that's settled." Raven said curtly. She picked up her empty plate and stood. "Now, I'm going to meditate."
"Wait." Beast Boy said. He spoke quietly, but it was still loud enough for his teammates to hear.
Raven turned quickly and hit him with a glare that made Robin's 'Dark Knight Special' look like a 'come hither smile.' He cringed noticeably, but he wasn't ready to back down. His other friends looked at him curiously.
He sighed. Moment of truth. "Guys, ever since Herald showed us the future, I've been having weird dreams. Every night." He looked around at all his friends. Everyone looked thoughtful except Raven, who kept glaring at him.
"Are they the female horses of the night?" Starfire asked kindly.
After taking a second to decode 'Star-speak,' Beast Boy shook his head. "They aren't nightmares. Not really. Just...weird."
"Weird how?" Cyborg asked.
"Uh... in the dreams, I'm me, but...I'm not."
"That doesn't tell us anything." Robin said bluntly.
"But that's what they're like!" Beast Boy insisted. "In these dreams, it's me, like I look like me, and I can feel myself and my animal forms in my head, but it's like someone else is there in my head too, and they're the one in charge."
"Like you're possessed?" Raven demanded harshly. She wasn't glaring at him anymore, exactly. It was more like she was glaring at whatever might have a hold of him. It made sense that she'd be kind of sensitive about someone being possessed when Beast Boy thought about it.
"No. Not exactly. Or at least it doesn't feel like how I would imagine being possessed would." he said quickly, before Raven could set up a full-scale exorcism. "It's weird. I'm totally aware of what I'm saying and doing, and I can feel things just fine, but I'm not the one telling my body to say and do these things. The...other presence in my head is the one telling my body to say and do these things, and I can feel his reactions and feelings about these things right along with my own, and I can see hismemories. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like I'm going through the motions of someone else's memories, but...not, 'cause it's my body. It's weird." he finished. He looked around and saw that all of his friends, even Raven, looked thoughtful. The latter even had her head cocked and her eyes narrowed, studying him.
Before he could say anything, Raven cleared the distance between them in a few strides and placed a glowing, blue palm on his forehead. In his head, he felt a kind of slithering, shifting sensation.
"There's no foreign presence in your mind." Raven announced a second later.
Beast Boy swatted her hand away. "Dude, it's private in there!"
Raven stared at him incredulously, and he guessed she was outraged that he technically hit her. She continued to stare at him, and he resisted the urge to fidget. After a second, she finally spoke again, this time through gritted teeth: "As I said, you don't have a foreign presence in your mind. Nothing's making you have these dreams. You're welcome."
With that, she turned and started to walk away.
"Raven!" Robin called when it became apparent she was trying to leave the living area.
"What?!" she snapped, turning around.
"Our meeting's not over yet."
"The meeting was to discuss our issues and reassure ourselves that this vision isn't real. Looks like your mission is accomplished." Raven replied, putting an extra dollop of sarcasm on the last few words.
"It is for everyone else. You however seem exactly the same as before," Robin said sternly. "Talk."
This glare made the one Raven gave Beast Boy a few minutes before look nice, but Robin didn't even flinch. He continued to stare her down, his jaw clenched. After staring at each other a moment, Raven was the one who broke the silence.
"Fine. I was disturbed by thoughts of my death and possibly causing the death of a child," Robin opened his mouth to say something about that, but Raven plowed on, flicking a glance in Beast Boy's direction before looking away. "I don't even want to discuss the thought of me and Beast Boy ever being in a romantic relationship, because it won't happen. Ever."
Beast Boy huffed. Fine. That goes double for me!
"However, as Cyborg pointed out, it's likely that all this is happening in another universe, so there's no point in worrying about it." Raven finished.
Robin gave her a considering look for a minute before relaxing and nodding. "Fair enough. The meeting's dismissed."
"Thank you so much, Fearless Leader." Raven snarled, prompting another glare from the masked teen.
Honestly, Beast Boy wasn't sure he felt all that better.
"Uh... guys?" he said, and Raven and Cyborg glared at him. He ignored Cyborg and decided to run from Raven later. "What about my dreams?"
"Raven said there was nothing outside of your mind causing them," Robin said shortly. "Strange dreams are a normal reaction to weird things like this, and as long as they're not keeping you from sleeping, there's nothing to worry about."
Rationally, Beast Boy knew Robin was right, but part of him was annoyed that he could dismiss this so easily. They felt so real. The annoyed part suggested mentioning the contingency plans he'd heard in last night's dream, but he quickly shut that part down. Again, there was no way Robin had plans to kill his friendssocked away. It was ridiculous.
"Okay." he said reluctantly.
With that, Starfire grabbed Robin's hand and began pulling him out of the room. Raven began to walk out as well.
"Come on, BB. Let's play!" Cyborg said, picking up a game controller.
"No thanks, dude." Beast Boy replied. He turned and started to follow his other friends out. He had other stuff on his mind.
Cyborg snorted. "You're just scared to play me now that you know you only win when I let you."
Beast Boy stiffened. He turned slowly to look at Cyborg. "Excuse me?"
Cyborg practically reeked of smugness. "I said: you ain't got the balls to play me no more, because you know you can't win on your own."
Beast Boy jumped over the back of the couch and landed next to his cybernetic friend. "Dude, it is so fucking on! I will destroy you!" He picked up the other controller and watched as Cyborg started up Street Racer 8.
For a moment, Raven watched the boys, having been briefly distracted and (as much as she hated to admit it) amused by their argument. Cyborg had gotten some good insults in on Beast Boy, and the latter wasn't exactly disproving the former's theory that he was as easy to handle as the T-Car. Now, both of them were furiously battering the buttons of their controllers and staring intently at the TV screen.
BB's so cute when he's all intense like that, Happy gushed.
Shut up, Raven replied.
Crushy crush crush-crush-crush! Rude and Brave chanted obnoxiously.
He is pretty cute when he's all focused, Love added unnecessarily.
Yeah, Raven agreed sarcastically. He's so focused he doesn't even notice that he's practically wallowing in filth. She eyed the sticky forks and plates surrounding her two friends, annoyed that everyone had left them there, before using her powers to pick the dishes up and stack them on top of the plate in her hand.
"Thanks, Raven!" Beast Boy called without looking away from the screen.
She was surprised and maybe a little happy that he'd noticed what she'd done (of course, Happy squealed joyfully at a lot of things), but that was quickly replaced by mild annoyance. He could have done this himself!
"Whatever." she grumbled. She levitated all the dishes to the sink and left the room. She needed a nice, long meditation session and felt like going to the roof. She considered teleporting but decided it was better to walk. She did admittedly feel better as a result of the meeting, not that she would ever tell Robin that, but she was still probably a bit unstable, and it wasn't wise to overexert herself when she felt that way.
She was almost to the stairwell that led to the roof when, as she passed the evidence room, she noticed light coming from it. Curious, she looked inside and was mildly surprised to find Robin sitting at his computer. A tentative nudge with her empathy told her that, once again, he was brooding. She shook her head. Their "meeting" didn't seem to be helping him much. She walked into the evidence room.
"I thought you were with Starfire." she said by way of greeting.
He didn't look up. "I was, but then I realized the quarterly reports came in."
Raven couldn't resist rolling her eyes. "And how did Starfire take you passing her up for budget reports?"
"These aren't budget reports," Robin said stiffly. "They're more like...status updates. It's a program Cyborg developed. It tracks sightings of our more notorious criminals and villains and compiles the data into reports for me."
"That didn't answer my question."
"Starfire understands how important it is to keep track of villains." He was silent for a moment. "And I told her we were going to Bianchi's later."
There it was. Raven smirked slightly. "Fancy."
"Is that what you're brooding about or did your meeting not help you as much as it was supposed to?"
"I'm not brooding." Robin replied, almost petulantly.
"Not about the meeting." Robin amended.
"So, what is bothering you?" Raven asked.
"I'm not bothered. I'm... confused." he finally admitted.
"Almost all our major villains are either in jail or still frozen with the Brotherhood, but three are still unaccounted for."
"Are they particularly dangerous?"
"Slade is." Robin replied, a hard edge to his voice.
Raven sighed. "Who are the others?"
Raven rolled her eyes. It had to be Robin's sore spots that were missing. She almost missed the third name.
"And Doctor Light."
"Doctor Light?" she repeated, surprise creeping into her voice.
"Yes. This is actually the fourth report in a row that hasn't given me anything on him."
Raven's surprise increased. The fourth consecutive quarterly report?
"So, he hasn't been seen in a year?"
"Over a year," Robin corrected. "Not since every titan and honorary titan we know ganged up on him."
"Is there even a jailbreak in your data?"
"No. He made bail." Robin said, grimacing slightly in disgust.
"Who'd bail him out?" Raven asked, also disgusted. She personally found Doctor Light pathetic and couldn't care less if he was out as long as he wasn't causing trouble, but there were...rumors about Light that made her prefer the idea of him being in prison.
"He did it himself. Used one of the properties where one of his lairs were. Before you ask, he did jump bail, and the property is now no longer his."
"Maybe the fight with all the titans was enough to scare him out of Jump City?" Raven guessed.
"Maybe, but he should still show up somewhere," Robin said.
"How extensive is the network that collects the data?"
"I can see around Jump, surrounding towns, and along the California border."
"Impressive." Raven admitted.
"It would be if he'd shown up in any of those areas. It's like he vanished."
"Like Slade and Red-X."
"Yes." Robin gritted, and Raven could tell this was getting to him.
"How long has it been since you got anything on the other two?"
"Slade: not since Trigon, so...almost two years. Red-X: not since Ding Dong Daddy. Almost eighteen months. And now Doctor Light of all people has been gone a year."
"What are you going to do now?" Raven asked after a minute of slightly awkward silence.
"I'm going to put some feelers out, see if Titans East or any of the honoraries have seen him." Robin sighed and stretched.
"He's probably just laying really low since our last fight with him." Raven said. She hoped it was reassuring. "Doctor Light isn't exactly someone like Slade or Red-X."
"No. He's not." Robin admitted, and Raven could feel that even though he didn't like not knowing, he felt better knowing it wasn't someone too dangerous who'd gone missing.
"Don't you have somewhere to be?" Raven asked, hoping he wouldn't waste too much time and energy on someone like Doctor Light.
"I do have a date with my kinda angry, alien girlfriend that I should probably keep."
"You think?" Raven asked, smirking again.
Robin chuckled. "Yeah."
With that, he shut down his computer and began clearing up the workspace.
Shrugging slightly, Raven left the room and finally made her way to the roof. Taking a deep breath, she felt her body begin to calm, and she began to levitate in the lotus position.
"Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos."
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