New chapter! This features a very confused team and a very "in-denial" Raven. So what else is new? (That was my attempt at being funny). Anyways, let's start the new chapter! Also, if there are any Young Justice fans, please watch it on Netflix! If enough people watch it, it might get renewed for a season 3~ Anyways, onto the chapter!
There was something wrong with Raven. Two weeks have passed since she declared she no longer had feelings for Robin, and… that had been it. She shut herself in her room and refused to speak to anyone. All of the Teen Titans have attempted to speak to her, but she turned them away each time. With Robin, she didn't even bother to answer the door. It was frustrating, and it was worrying to all of them.
Which is why Beast boy decided to do a not-so-good thing. He transformed into the form of a fly and crawled under the door of Raven's room. Flying to the top of the room, he rested on one of the higher bookshelves, trying to rid himself of the guilt as well. He didn't particularly like spying but what if Raven was in trouble? Maybe if he had done this with Terra, he could have—
No, now was not the time to think about that.
He focused his gaze on Raven and patiently waited until she woke up. When she lifted herself out of bed and began stretching, an odd expression came over it. It was one of guilt and happiness, which was a weird mixture. Beast boy determined she must have had a strange dream.
She pulled out a book from under the covers, and Beast boy frowned in confusion. Did she fall asleep reading? That must have explained why she had a book in her bed. "Good morning," she spoke to the book, making Beast boy blink.
Oh no… Raven lost her mind.
"Good morning. I trust you slept well?" The book… spoke back? What? If Beast boy had a proper jaw, his mouth would have dropped. What on earth was going on? And why was Raven wearing white?
"I did," she smiled. "Thank you. I didn't have any dreams last night. It was peaceful…"
The way she said the last part had an edge of guilt. As though she was doing something wrong by not having any dreams.
"I told you," the book replied as Raven climbed out of the bed. "I can block your dreams to ensure your communications with him have ceased. It will give you more privacy and separation from your… situation."
"It has," she smiled only to frown. "He's really upset about it."
Beast boy sighed. Raven was making absolutely no sense. He figured it must be a magic thing that he couldn't grasp.
"He should learn to mind his own business," the book replied. "Just because the situation is there does not mean he can take advantage of it."
"He hasn't been…" Raven was about to defend whomever the "he" was, but she stopped herself. "It's fine. The dreams have stopped, so there's basically nothing left."
"I'm glad," the book stated as Raven placed it on the podium. Suddenly she took a few steps back, and the book started to transform into the form of a man! Well, not really. He was still clearly made out of pages, but he looked, walked, and moved like a person. "Are you ready to continue our training?" he was a soft spoken, British man.
Raven nodded, "I am."
Okay… so this book thing was training Raven in magic?
"Don't worry," he placed a comforting hand (page?) on her shoulder. "I have full confidence that you will one day free me from the binds of this book."
Raven blushed, "Thank you," she mumbled. "I'm sorry I couldn't do it fully last week…"
"You have done more than enough for me, Raven," his hand moved from her shoulder to her cheek. To Beast boy's surprise, Raven leaned into the touch. "You have freed me from the binds of my book, allowed me to walk, and provided me with your company. I am forever grateful to you."
Raven flushed, "You've done a lot for me too, Malchior."
As the two began to start reading books and practicing magic, Beast boy slowly lifted his body off of the bookshelf and quickly exited the room. Malchior? Is that why Raven claimed she was no longer in love with Robin? This was all kinds of wrong! Beast boy needed to report this to the team! Fast!
"Raven? In love? With a book?" Starfire burst out laughing. "You have truly become a comedic genius, my friend!"
"I can't believe you spied on Raven!" Cyborg exclaimed. "She could have killed you!"
"She's not in love with him." Robin stated confidently. "And you shouldn't spy on her."
The Teen Titans were all sitting on the couch when Beast boy quickly ran towards them and blurted out the information. He didn't even realize Robin had been sitting there. Normally the "Robin and Raven should be together club" only consisted of him, Cyborg, Starfire, and sometimes Raven. They never spoke about Raven's love life in front of Robin… ever. Maybe this was a chance to see how Robin would react on the possibility that Raven was in love with someone else?
Then again, Beast boy thought to himself, Robin had been faced with that possibility before, and he had not reacted well to it. When he lied to Robin and said he and Raven were together, Robin did not look happy. At all. But Beast boy had assumed Robin was against teammates dating teammates, and Malchior was not a teammate. And, Beast boy thought to himself, he didn't approve at all of Raven and that Evan guy possibly dating, but he had assumed that Robin disliked the idea of any of them dating civilians. Malchior was certainly not a civilian.
Whatever happened to that Evan guy?
"Beast boy! Are you listening?"
Beast boy jumped and turned to Cyborg, who was still freaking out that Beast boy dared to spy on Raven. "Um… yes?" He smiled cheekily.
Robin rolled his eyes, "She's not in love with a book."
"She is!" Beast boy exclaimed. "He was getting all grabby with her, and she was totally letting it happen!"
Starfire's mouth dropped open, and Cyborg flushed. Robin looked as though he was about to have a heart attack. "You're telling me," Robin stated slowly, rage seeping into his voice. Beast boy's heart began to race with excitement. Was he jealous? Was this the proof they needed to tell if he loved Raven back? "That you spied on Raven while she was being intimate with someone? Beast boy, that's disgusting! That's… that's perverted!"
Beast boy blinked. "Wait what?" He rethought his previous statement and flushed. "No! No! I meant like he was touching her cheek and shoulder and stuff! Not… no! Ew!"
"Oh!" Robin sighed with relief. "Good!"
"Not good!" Beast boy exclaimed. "She's in love with this guy!"
Robin snorted, "Sure."
"I doubt it."
"How would you know?" Beast boy crossed his arms.
"Because I know her," Robin shrugged, trying to appear more confident than he was. For the past few nights, Raven and him had not shared any dreams. Chances are, she discovered a way to block them dreaming together just like she learned to block her side of the bond. It hurt, but Robin was still determined to discover why she was so afraid of loving him.
Starfire tilted her head to the side curiously, "If she was in love with another man," she stated cautiously, "what would you do?"
Robin raised an eyebrow, "Why does that matter?"
Beast boy, Cyborg, and Starfire all glanced at each other. Each of their expressions conveyed the same frustration and curiosity. While they were all certain of Raven's love for Robin, his love for Raven was a little grayer. Sure, he showed signs of favoring her and seeking her company when he was upset, but he never expressed any signs of being in love with her.
"It's just… that Evan guy!" Beast boy exclaimed. "You were super upset about him, and now she's dating a new guy! Are you upset about that too?!"
"Oh, what ever happened to him?" Starfire asked curiously.
"He ended up transferring to a different college because he was unhappy with his costal, party school," Robin answered easily. "They still email each other."
Beast boy frowned. "How do you know that?"
"Didn't Raven tell you?" He asked innocently, knowing fully well that she didn't. To be fair, she didn't even tell him. It was just one of the few memories Robin was allowed access to when they created the bond.
"No," all three titans answered at the same time. In that moment, the doors opened, and the titans all turned to see Raven flying in wearing a white robe. Robin raised an eyebrow and stared at her, trying to detect any hint of emotion she might have. He was completely sure she wasn't in love with whomever she was talking to, but it still concerned him that she was spending so much time with Malchior while shutting him out.
"Hey Raven," Robin said slowly. "It's been a while."
"Yeah cause she hasn't left her room," Beast boy grumbled resulting in Cyborg whacking him on the head.
"I like your new look!" Cyborg faked a bright smile to compensate for Beast boy's rude remark.
"Thanks," Raven replied almost cheerfully. Robin frowned. Yes, she did look nice in the white robe, but there was still something off about her besides her more cheerful personality. While he wouldn't have been able to notice before the bond, it was more than obvious to him now that something felt wrong with her aura. It was almost as though she fundamentally changed something about herself…
But putting on a white robe wouldn't have done that, could it?
"So when do we get to meet this friend of yours?" He asked carefully.
Raven didn't even bother asking how he knew. "Soon," she smiled.
"That's great!" Starfire beamed, flying up to Raven and grasping her shoulders. "Beast boy has told us all about this Malchior who has been trapped inside of a book and how you have been trying to free him!"
"Now how would Beast boy notice something like that?" Raven smirked, almost playfully.
Beast boy sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck. "I might have been a fly on the wall in your room?"
As if to prove his point, he morphed into a tiny fly.
Raven's smirk widened. "Funny," she stated. "You look more like a rat to me."
Suddenly Beast boy dropped to the ground in the form of a rat, and Robin froze. On the surface, he heard Beast boy's absolute shock at being morphed by her, but Robin could barely listen. Instead he felt a wrongness creep into his soul like no other. It was a deep abyss filled with nothing, and it was slowly consuming him, making him go cold.
It wasn't Raven's emotions that he was feeling. It was her soul. A darker force was slowly consuming her…
It was dark magic.
He briefly remembered the monks teaching her about dark magic and how it was forbidden. It tainted the soul of anyone who dared practice it for long periods of time. If Malchior was teaching Raven dark magic…
"Raven," Robin stated stiffly, and Raven turned to him. The smile that had been on her face the entire day was wiped off, and she frowned at him. Judging by how calm she appeared, Robin highly doubted she knew what kind of magic she was being taught. Still, how could she not feel it? Was she so concentrated in finding a way to avoid him that she couldn't feel the wrongness of the magic she was using?
"What?" Raven raised an eyebrow, clearly expecting criticism.
"You—" He began, but he was interrupted by the alarm. He cursed and ran over to see what was wrong. He whirled around to the Titans and stated, "Trouble. We have to go. Now!"
Still, he gave Raven a pointed look as though to say 'we will be talking about this later.' Naturally, she rolled her eyes at him.
Well, at least she responded.
It was Cardiac again. Only this time he swallowed an entire child in his main chamber, and he was clearly keeping her hostage. Robin growled, and the titans tensed. Missions with smaller children were always much harder to deal with. "Titans," he ordered. "Stay hand to hand. We don't want to hurt the girl!"
The titans nodded in response, and they immediately went after the giant heart. It was much more difficult due to the new limits they had. When Beast boy, in his hippo form, was thrown onto the street, Raven clenched her fists in frustration. Flying above Cardiac, she snarled, "This time when I break you stay broken!"
Robin, who was slowly standing up after being thrown onto the ground as well, gasped as the same feeling from before overcame him. Only this time it was much worse. His head shot up, and he stared at Raven as dark magic poured out of her mouth, eyes, and hands. It was consuming Cardiac and the little girl.
"Oh no," he whispered.
"Raven!" Beast boy cried out. "Stop!"
"I… can't!" Raven managed to scream out as more magic poured out of her. Robin growled and quickly dashed towards Raven just as Beast boy morphed into a ram. Beast boy dashed towards Cardiac, hitting him over and over again in attempts to free the endangered child.
Robin grabbed Raven by the hand and pulled her down to his level. The moment their skin touched, Raven's block on him was severed. Memories rushed into Robin's head just like they had the first time they formed the bond. This time it was only of what happened after the bond formed.
Raven was terrified of something, and she needed to distract herself… keep away from Robin. The book started talking, and he was teaching her things… new things. He made her feel safe. She adored him… not in the same way she loved Robin, but her feelings for him were genuine. He was teaching her magic, and she told him about the bond she shared with her teammate. He offered education on the bond and a means to block the dreams. He taught her magic of the darkest kind, but she was too happy to notice.
He squeezed his eyes shut. He needed to figure out a way to stop this dark magic! He briefly remembered the monks discussing opposites, how dark magic can only be stopped by the essence of pure magic. If Raven's powers were tied to her emotions, she needed to feel happy and in control. How was he supposed to do that? How could he make her happy? That's when the idea hit him.
Memories… they can share memories! That meant Robin could send her a specific memory...
While he never tried to send her any memories (or one particular memory), he knew he at least had to try. Using all of his energy, he thought of a moment between the two of them: the dance. He squeezed his eyes tighter, remembering how it felt when all of his memories exited his own mind and entered Raven's. It was when the bond first formed. He just needed to apply those feelings to this one specific memory. He took a deep breath, and he conjured a clear image of the dance in his head before literally attempting to shove it towards Raven. He felt the memory exit his own mind and enter hers. She gasped, her eyes widening as the feeling of Robin's arms around her as they danced engulfed her. How happy she felt when she was nominated for prom queen with Robin as her kind. How she thought that night would never end regardless of the realization that she could never be with him. Still, that night she felt as though she could have been.
The comforting memory almost empowered her, and she let out a scream as all of the magic that was being poured out of her body changed directions. Instead it travelled inward, and she gritted her teeth in pain. Robin shut his eyes tightly, and he tried sending emotions of comfort and encouragement to her. Finally it stopped, and Raven let out a gasp of breath.
Beast boy had finally managed to break Cardiac's walls, and he grabbed the child, pulling her out just in time before Cardiac was fully pulled apart.
It was silent for a moment as the team panted.
Raven slowly looked up, meeting Robin's gaze. His lips were parted in shock, and she could feel that he was terrified. Not of her but of what Malchior had been teaching her… of the force that nearly ripped her apart. He was scared for her. "Raven," he whispered, "what did you do?"
He was talking about the dark magic. Raven immediately felt what it was the moment she uttered the new, foreign words to stop Cardiac. She shut her eyes tightly and disappeared into the night, ignoring the shouts of protests from her teammates and the overwhelming emotions from Robin.
She needed to talk to Malchior.
Raven burst into her room, squeezing her palms shut. Malchior was already in his mostly human form, and she marched up to him. "Dark magic," she spat out. "You've been teaching me dark magic!"
"I have been," he admitted calmly. "I did not expect you to have such a hateful attitude towards it."
Disbelief overtook Raven. "Why wouldn't I? It's dark! I know what it does to people!"
"Weak people," Malchior corrected. "I doubt the monks taught you the true nature of dark magic. It is a powerful source, but for some, it is too much power for them to handle. It overtakes them, and it destroys them. For strong individuals, like you and me, it has no effect. We can use it at whim!"
"Why didn't you tell me?" she whispered.
"I thought you knew," he answered. "I thought you would know the feel of the dark arts and that you accepted it."
"I—" Raven began but stumbled. It was true that she should have felt it, but she had been so convinced that she needed a distraction she ignored any faults that distraction exhibited. He could have been teaching her anything, and she would have followed him because at least she was staying away from Robin. Shame filled her body, and she crossed her arms over her chest. How could she have been so stupid?
"We only have to do a little more for the spell to free me," Malchior pushed. "Shall we?"
"I don't know," she squeezed her eyes shut. "I've been taught all my life that dark magic was forbidden."
"Come now, Raven," Malchior softly grasped her arms, "I understand you. I'm the only one who does. Do you truly want to be alone for the rest of your life?"
Raven shook her head, "No," she let out a tiny whisper, but she knew that she would be. Her father would come, and he would destroy everything. She would be left alone, burdened with the guilt of bringing the end to the world and to her friends… and to Robin. Avoiding them, avoiding him, was her way of easing the pain. "Alright," she whispered.
"Let's get started."
The block had been shattered. Even as Raven disappeared into the night, she had been so distraught that she forgot to block him once again. That meant all of her emotions were flooding into his system. Judging by how distressed she was, she didn't even notice his own worried emotions pouring into her. Still, Robin could feel her vulnerability, and he knew what kind of person Malchior was by the memories Raven accidentally shared.
Which meant he had to get back to the tower now.
"I don't get why we are rushing!" Cyborg complained as they sped through the streets. Robin was on his motorcycle as Cyborg drove the car. Starfire was flying with Beast boy at her side in the form of a bird.
"Just trust me!" Robin shouted back.
As they pulled up to the street against the ocean, they all stopped in shock. The sky had turned a foul green color, and the clouds were swirling Titans Tower. Lightning started to strike, and thunder boomed over them. "What the heck?" Beast boy breathed out.
"Is that Raven?" Starfire placed her hand on top of her mouth.
"No," Robin stated. "Not all of it."
Beast boy frowned. "Malchior?"
"Let's take him down."
Raven gasped as a man began to step through the portal, but there was something off. When she had began the spell, it felt almost right. She was freeing an enslaved man from a terrible spell. Now though… everything about this screamed wrong. Malchior finally stepped out of the portal, staring down at his hands with an excited look in his eyes. "Malchior?" she questioned uncertainly, slowly approaching him.
"In the flesh," he smirked only reach out and grab her hair. She yelped in pain as he held her up. "Thank you."
"What are you doing?" Raven demanded.
"Oh child," he smirked, "you have much to learn about the ways of the world. The dragon was not the villain in the story. I was."
Her eyes widened with shock, and Malchior suddenly released his grip on her hair. Instead he moved his hand to slap her, causing her to hit the ground with a grunt of pain.
"That dragon was protecting a village filled with riches," Malchior continued. "And I wanted to take it for myself. The dragon of course had a duty to protect the citizens from my magic, so I fought the dragon. Unfortunately, the mages of the village realized what I was doing, and they entrapped me in that book. So I changed the words, made it sound like I was a great hero, so one day someone would be foolish enough to free me. Thank you, Raven, for your kindness." He laughed.
"No," she whispered, holding her bruised cheek in shock. It couldn't be...
Slowly Malchior descended to the roof, laughing as he did so. Raven remained curled on the floor, eyes wide with shock.
Why? Why was her destiny to only create devastation in the world?
The door to her room slammed open. "Raven!" Beast boy shouted, but Raven could barely hear him. She vaguely felt arms around her, trying to shake her back into sense. "Raven what's going on?"
"I trusted him," she whispered. "I trusted him, and he used me."
"Please," she shut her eyes tightly, "get out of my room."
"No!" Beast boy gripped her arms tightly. "The titans are fighting him! Robin's fighting him! You have to help. You're the only one who understands magic!"
"Get out!" Raven shouted, and Beast boy flinched.
"Fine," he slowly released her. "I'll go."
Raven listened as he dashed out of the room, probably trying to fight off the evil she released into the world. Shutting her eyes, she curled up, trembling as she did so. Never had she ever felt so pathetic… so used… so…
Raven gasped, quickly sitting up. This whole time she had not noticed that she was not blocking Robin. That meant he knew how she was feeling, and he was furious. Blood boiling anger filled him, and Raven had never felt such rage before. She shut her eyes tightly, trying to calm him down, but he was hell-bent on beating Malchior for the pain he bestowed on her.
He was going to kill himself trying to stop Malchior.
And she was not going to let that happen.
Robin screamed as he attempted to hit Malchior, but it was futile. He was both stronger physically and magically. Still, that didn't prevent him from trying. Starfire, Cyborg, and Beast boy were all attempting to attack him as well, but their attacks were even less effective. Malchior appeared almost bored by fighting with them. That only further angered Robin as he tried to hit him.
"So you're the one," he commented casually as Robin sprinted towards him.
"Yeah," Robin spat out, "I am."
"She was very easy to manipulate."
Robin clenched his fists and dashed towards him, trying to land one hit on this guy. Malchior laughed and grabbed his wrist, throwing him back. Robin hit the ground with a loud thud, and he silently cursed himself.
"You are weak," Malchior stated, standing above him. "No wonder she preferred me to you."
Both men gasped and turned around to see Raven standing there. Robin's eyes widened. In her white robe, she almost appeared angelic. Malchior narrowed his eyes and faced her. "Come now, love, you aren't really going to hurt me, are you?"
"You want to test me?" Raven spat, and she held up the book Malchior was previously enchanted in. "Next time you get free, you might want to take this with you."
"No," Malchior whispered, dashing towards Raven, but it was too late. She opened the book and began speaking. Robin couldn't understand what she was chanting, but it was having an effect on Malchior, who appeared as though he was being pulled into the novel. He was shouting curses at Raven before his entire body was hurled back into the novel that Raven promptly closed.
She flew to the ground and almost instantly collapsed onto her knees. Robin quickly rushed over and caught her before she hit the ground. Wrapping his arms around her, he held her close, and for the first time in a long time, she accepted his comfort. She wrapped her arms around him as well and leaned into him.
"I thought..." she whispered hopelessly.
"I know," he whispered back.
"You don't need to apologize."
As this was happening, the two appeared to have forgotten about the other titans, who were watching them.
"Um…" Beast boy blinked. "When did that happen?"
"I don't know," Cyborg sighed. "Robin doesn't tell me anything."
Starfire titled her head to the side, "So are they… together?"
Beast boy snorted. "Doubt it. They're probably just being all huggy now because they nearly died. Tomorrow they'll be fighting like cats and dogs… again!"
"I don't know," Cyborg observed. "It seems different this time."
"Ten bucks says they'll be fighting tomorrow."
Cyborg smirked, "You're on, little man. Now come on. Let's give them their privacy."
Beast boy nodded in agreement, and the two of them turned around to exit the roof. Neither noticed Starifre, whose eyes lingered on Robin and Raven for a few moments longer. Quietly turning around, Starfire trailed behind Cyborg and Beast boy, who were actively conversing as though a powerful, magical wizard hadn't just tried to take over the world.
"Rae," Robin whispered, eventually breaking the moment. Raven jumped a bit, and she slowly parted from him; however, they still gripped each other's arms.
"I'm tired," she mumbled. "I'm tired of avoiding you."
It was true. She was exhausted of trying to stay away from Robin. Of all of the fighting as a result from it. Of knowing he loved her back but being unable to be with him. She was so tired.
"You don't understand," she shook her head.
"Because you won't tell me anything," Robin mumbled back.
"Alright. I accept that you can't be with me and that you won't tell me why," Robin conceded. "But just stop avoiding me. Let's figure out this bond. Together."
"Yeah," she mumbled. "I missed you."
"I missed you too."
It was a rough start, but at least now they were finally back. That made the stressful few weeks almost worth it. There would definitely be complexities ahead, but at least for now they knew they were in this together.
That was all that mattered.
I hope you guys liked it! The next chapter should be up before the end of the month. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you thought!