"Flashbacks can worsen over time if you don't address them." He said. She didn't want to admit her PTSD was getting the better of her. That would be admitting weakness. They had come so far these part eight years and on the eve of their engagement, it had happened again.
Rated M for PTSD reactions, strong language and content, sex, and violence.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a therapist or claim to know how to properly treat PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
She undid her cape and allowed it to fall where she stood. She peeled off her leotard as she made eye contact to her naked green beast who was seated across the room, his eyes intensely watching her undress. The rain was picking up outside as the candles burned in the dark purple room, the light bouncing off the tall grey creature with the athletic body.
She watched her companion sip his wine and look at her as if she were a piece of meat, but she in turn was doing the same thing. The biceps on his arms, his tousled forest green hair, his erecting emerald nipples resting on his not-so-impressive abs for a superhero—but they were her abs.
After she kicked off her shoes, she slowly walked towards the bed, her pale grey breast dancing with each step. She crawled onto the sheets, looking at her lover as if he were prey for her to attack. He in turn was about to take another sip of his wine before she took it away with her black aura and pressed the glass against her lips, sipping the last contents and throwing it across the room, hearing it shattered, but not caring.
He wasn't mad, as she didn't want him to get too drunk, but pretended to be so by clasping her breasts for revenge and pushing his tongue down her throat. She wrapped her hands around his neck, as he broke apart for moment to stare into her violet eyes. He kissed her cheeks, her neck, making his way down to her breast, her stomach, before she fell on her back from his sensational touch.
He stroke her asymmetric, lavender hair as he breathed in the shampoo she used and kissed her red chakra on her forehead, as she sucked on his long neck, ignoring the green hairs she was getting in her mouth. He may look smooth to others, but up close he had hair almost everywhere on his body, as the green hairs blended well with his green skin. He grabbed her left hand and saw the small silver ring and kissed it gently.
She had finally said yes.
After eight years of dating and with her accepting the ring only 16 hours earlier, he felt like it was their first time all over again, only with the benefit of him knowing what to do and her knowing how to control her powers.
He trace his finger on her body as she touched herself, trying to be as wet as possible. He watched her, before kissing her cheek, seeing her concentrate where her hotspots were. As she continued, he sat on her legs so she wouldn't close it when the sensations became too intense, a reflex she didn't mean to do. Seeing as she was almost to the promise land, he rubbed his own parts to prepare as well. She stopped just when she felt she was open enough and gently touch his dick to confirm that she was ready as they both sat up.
He slowly entered her, with her legs spread wide and his around her hips.
He moved carefully at first, while he kissed her shoulder. She looked up near the window, seeing her raven statue from the corner of her eye, before she closed them shut. Her vagina was nice and wide, with no discomfort in site, only pleasure. She started moaning as she continued to move in sync with her green lover, trying to think only of him in the moment so her emotions could focus on one thing and one thing only.
He breathed heavily, grabbing onto her shoulders so he could thrust up and down, tilting his head back as the pleasure grew.
It started to rain harder and before long, small burst of lightening would light up the room.
She opened her eyes, as they both started to go faster, looking at her raven statue again. The lightening lit the room and for the small moment she saw the figure of a tall man, draped in armor, with intense blue eyes and long white hair. His mouth was covered with a cloth, causing him to appear more intimidating. And he stood there, five feet away them her, his eyes smiling at her, before his image vanished with the lightening, going back to the raven statue.
"Malchior!" She cried, with her black aura covering the room.
Books flew off the shelf and were thrown at the statue as the curtains ripped apart.
The dim lights on the ceiling flickered on and off before they burst open with the glass shards falling to the floor, thankfully away from the bed. The bed sheets were hoisted up in the air with the black energy, surrounding the two in a protected cocoon as Raven held Garfield tightly.
He slipped out of her and rocked her gently, not even looking back because he knew Malchior wasn't there. She tried to hold back her tears, even though her powers were already out of control.
"You're safe, Rae, you're safe. He's not there. You're safe." He said, his heart began to beat faster. Some days were completely normal and then there were these days which Garfield dreaded the most.
"I-I'm sorry…I-I-I didn't….I did-didn't mean to-to…" She whimpered, the words caught in her mouth. She took a deep breath in and slowly let it out. "Ruin…our night." She mustered.
"I should've known better!" He said, getting angry at himself. "It was raining and with the rain comes lightening. There was lightening that night. I feel stupid!"
He calmed down, her words hitting him. "There's no shame, Rae."
"Yes-yes, there is." She said in her monotone, trying to harbor her emotions back completely. "When it's-it's been more th-than a year after that night, I-I should have a clearer head by now."
"Don't say that," He whispered calmly, although his heart was breaking. "I still have moments myself where I flashback to that night. But it's just our PTSD, remember—it's normal. I know you've read the books I gave you. Remember what it says, it's perfectly normal to have flashbacks." It was the only time Garfield recommended any literature to Raven, instead of vice versa.
"H-how come it affects me-me more than you?"
He sat back and looked into her sad violet eyes. "Because." He said and without any more explanation, she understood his meaning.
She gently ran her fingers across his abs, concentrating on controlling her emotions. She was like that for five minutes, with neither of them talking. Everything that was floating in the air dropped to the floor and the black aura was gone, at least for the time being.
"We could just cuddle." He suggested.
"No…no. I don't want to keep doing this every time. He's not going to ruin our night…again. Lie back." She said, determined to finish what they started.
"Rae…" He pleaded.
"Lie back!" She snapped, causing the curtains to rip apart. Seeing this, she laid her head on her knees, frustrated. "I'm sorry. Please, please, can't we just continue…everything was going just fine, why ruin a perfectly good night. I just want…" Her words trailed off.
Garfield grabbed her hand and kissed it before lying down on his back. Raven looked up and smiled. Her fingers tracing around his thighs before lowering down to his nether regions.
She rubbed Garfield's member as fast as she could until it was nice and hard, trying to forget what happened a few moments ago. His wasn't that wide around, but it was long, forgiving its skinniness when it was inside of her. She then got up and positioned herself on top of him, guiding her pussy into his cock. She pinned his hands down, so she could feel like she was in complete control, something she needed to feel at the moment, but he didn't mind at all.
She continued where they left off. She moved up and down, focusing her eyes on him as he began to feel that familiar sensation. One, two, three, four….eleven, twelve, thirteen, the thrusts became faster and were given more force.
"Az-a-rath, Me-trion, Zin-thos…" She chanted, her words sounding interrupted each time she thrusted.
"C-come on, ma-ma!" He teased, encouraging her.
Raven stared into her green counterparts' eyes, knowing that it was safer in case the lightening lit the room again. Garfield's body was safe from a Malchior flashback.
"Az-a-rath, Me-trion, Zin-thos. Az-a-rath, Me-trion, Zin-thos…"
She let go of his hands and placed hers on the bed's headboard for support while she sped up her movements, as they were building up to their breaking point. The tingling of her clitoris felt good up against his throbbing cock, but she had to try and keep a level head, so as not to tear the room apart…completely. Their breathing began to pick up.
He placed his hands on her hips to help guide her coming down, in case she accidently slipped out by going too fast. The sound of their two wet skins slamming into each other became a sort of mantra for Raven. She closed her eyes as she listened to the joyful sound of their love, coming together after a long and hard week. The thoughts of Malchior vanished.
Years ago, both of them were afraid of taking their relationship to the next level. Neither cared about getting married first, since Raven was a half-Demon and would think her existence in the first place was a sin itself, so why worry about living in sin? Meanwhile, Garfield had watched animals do it out in the open air and saw that if they didn't need a piece of paper, why should he? He was just as much an animal as he was a man.
Marriage was definitely scarier because it was like a public announcement to the world, whom would judge them and all their faults due to their status as celebrities. They wanted to date in privacy, away from the spotlight.
Both of them were virgins the first night, although not from the lack of trying by Garfield when he was with Terra, but he knew later on that he was never close to sleeping with her. He could barely have called her his girlfriend. Raven, on the other hand, never thought she would even have sex. Not only was she the product of rape, but she thought if she experienced an orgasm that she would destroy the city. Thankfully, she was wrong on that account.
After their first time, although very painful for both parties involved and it only lasted two minutes top, they agreed that it would bring them closer together and fuck the rest of the world for judging them.
Garfield let out a soft moan and tilted his head back. It was a cue that she should go even faster and that they were almost there, the sensation building up.
"Az..aza-rath, Me-TRION, Zin-thos…"
"Ke-ep chan-ting, ma-ma…" He reminded her, she had a nasty habit sometimes of stopping her mantra, just when she needed to concentrate the most.
He grabbed her breast as she arched back. Their breath was panting, eyes closed, and loins happily wet and tingling. She put a finger in his mouth, he sucked it as she tried to remember to chant and breathe.
"AZA-RATH, Me-TRION, ZIN-THOS…"
"I g-ot ya!" He shouted, taking the finger out of his mouth and wrapping his hands around her tightly so she wouldn't resist it.
"I lo-ve y-ou!"
"ME-TRION!…OH!..." She could feel it—coming to its end goal. Her eyes glowed white, feeling herself release onto Garfield's groin, sticky to his thighs.
The candles were put out by her black aura that surrounded the room, but with her release came a sense of calm and only the poor curtains were once again torn, their remains scattered across the room. At least, that was the only damage in the room, but Azarath knows what kind of damage she did to the rest of the Tower.
However, they continued because it was Garfield's turn.
"Just…a little…more…" He encouraged, closing his and allowing his mouth to hang open. Empaths were the best sex partners, because she could sense where the hotspots were from Garfield's emotions. His increase pleasure told her where she should keep hitting and when to stop, if necessary. "I love you!"
"I love you! I…" He shouted, as he felt his warm cum seeping inside her. Both of them came to a stop, breathing heavily, as Raven collapsed onto his stomach. She stared into his soft green eyes, as he ran his hands through her frizzled hair.
"Beast Boy." She whispered his team name. Although she had been calling him by his real name for a few years now, she called him Beast Boy whenever she was around the others or when they were in bed and she thought he was showing his more animalistic side to her. She turned her head to hear his heartbeat and he kissed her head.
He gently grazed his finger against her skin. He was proud of her for overcoming the slight setback they had earlier. He was eager to cuddle and whisper sweet nothings in her ear, believing she had successfully fought off her panic attack, but as he stroked her face, he could feel her cheek become wet with tears.
Knowing she wasn't in the mood for small talk, he decided to hug her tightly and stay quiet. But as she silently cried, he allowed his own tears to drip down his face as well.
"No." Raven said, continuing to read. "I'm not going to recount my memory, it will only get worse."
They were in their room the day after, most of the mess was cleaned up, but they held back from buying any new curtains or light bulbs, in case the flashbacks were going to continue for a while. In the meantime, it was their day off, after a week of fighting and failing to catch the same criminal, over and over again, until finally he was promptly caught by the five of them.
The two were on the floor, sitting down on opposite sides by the window, with their bare feet rubbing up against each other. Raven was sporting a grey sweater with blue leggings while reading Crime and Punishment while Garfield had on his lazy day outfit of a purple T-shirt and jeans while he read PTSD: The Trauma and The Treatment. He pulled it out after it had sat on the shelve for five months. This recent panic attack was such a strong reaction, he knew there was more to it than the standard 'I'm fine' reply from his companion.
"I know it won't be easy. But you have to try." He said, almost pleading with her. "Please, even if your powers weren't controlled by your emotions, I would still beg you to try. Now, even more so. Your job is to be in the line of fire, what if you freeze up again when you are having another flashback? You'll be putting yourself in danger."
"You're not even a trained therapist, what if you do something wrong? It could be dangerous."
"There is no therapist—"
"—there isn't any therapist—" She interrupted.
"—who will see you. They know who you are, they won't risk it."
Raven looked up. "And there isn't any insurance company that will cover the cost anyway. Not after what happened last time. I'm too big of a risk. I'm a danger to others."
"Don't say that—"
"—that's what you were hinting at." She said sharply.
"No, no, no." He corrected. "I'm saying they will think you are, but you aren't. No, you're not a risk, you'll create a mess, but nothing too big to clean up. But you wouldn't hurt anybody. Not if I'm there."
Raven's cheeks colored, but went back to reading. She turned a page. "You think you can contain the demon that's inside me?"
"I know so. You've said it yourself before."
"Yes," She paused, she had remembered saying so on more than one occasion to him. "But that was before Malchior, when were just…starting to date. The point is moot since a therapist won't see me within a 100 mile radius." She pretended she was reading, but wasn't really paying attention to the words anymore. "But you're doing this on your own, I think this is too big for you."
"Bigger than Trigon? Because you were able to take him down single handedly. With our support."
"I had been mentally prepared for Trigon all my life," She lied. "I'm sure I'll get over this in time just like I did with Trigon. I overreacted last night, that's all."
"You can't say it's too big one minute and then not a big deal the next." He pointed out and she couldn't think of a comeback. He went back to his book, flipping to a familiar page he highlighted. "Flashbacks can worsen over time if you don't address them." He read.
"It wasn't that bad." She argued.
"Therapy will help us to think about or imagine the traumatic event in a safe environment, and we can gradually expose ourselves to those situations that remind us of the event. Inevitably, thinking and talking about the trauma may be upsetting at the time, but it will reduce the overall distress and help resolve the problem."
"A few hours of meditation can work as well instead of talking about it."
"Although it is important to seek professional help—"
"—A loved one or a friend can just be as important." He paused to look up at Raven.
She was getting weary of his reading. "Isn't there a chapter that states if your love one does not want to talk about it, he/she doesn't have too? And that you should respect it?"
"Well…yes." He said, sheepishly.
In her clear monotone voice, she said, "I don't want to talk about it."
With that, she won the argument. Garfield went back to his book and read quietly.
While he wasn't going to push it anymore as she used his book against him, he certainly wasn't going to drop the subject completely, as it would always be hanging in the background for these coming months as they planned their wedding.
He remembered the smell of the wet, dirty street and tasting the blood in his mouth. The rain falling on their bodies and the lightening striking in the distance. The smell of the street and the taste of blood was a big trigger for him. The lightening was hers. He knew she had others, but she wouldn't tell him. He could guess what those others could be, but for now, there were times she could have a flashback while having breakfast on a sunny day in their kitchen.
Five senses that could trigger his flashback, he could name. The sounds. The smell. The sight. The touch. The taste, what was she tasting at the time? Her own blood as well or her own salvia? Day after day, he repeated what could trigger him. Since he couldn't talk to his lover about it without it triggering it for her too.
For months, he talked to a therapist after the event, until he felt he was able to properly do the breathing and talking exercises himself without the need of a therapist. Raven tried the therapist a few times, before accidently setting the office on fire one day and decided she was done.
Their insurance refused to cover Raven anymore without costing a leg and an arm and the other insurance companies in the city follow suit. If they sought out help, not only would they have to pay it themselves, but also cover the cost of any damages she might cause. It wasn't fair, he was so angry when he found out what the city had done, but she wasn't anxious to start the therapy process again, so he let it go.
He could have some command over his flashbacks, it wasn't always perfect and pleasant, but he could at least get through them safely with little tricks he learned. He could help her if she had a flashback when she was with him, but anytime she was alone…he was afraid to leave her alone too often and that was kind of hard to do sometimes for someone like Raven, who preferred the quietness of her own thoughts sometimes.
A few days later, it was the night of their engagement party, which was two months away from the actual wedding and twenty people had come to the Tower. It originally was fifty people, but Raven managed to talk Starfire down to twenty.
The invitations had gone out, only twenty-five people including two members of the press and the mayor of Jump City were invited. It was going to be on the rooftop of the Tower with a small reception. Starfire and Robin's wedding was three times the size of the Logan's guest list and venue, but Garfield wanted it as quiet as possible.
Garfield was putting on his purple three piece suit and matching bowtie while Raven zipped up her simple long navy blue dress with long sleeves.
"I wish you would wear a shorter dress to show off your legs." He teased.
"Not for a formal occasion."
"It's not that formal. It's only our friends."
"I'm comfortable in this. I hate having to dress to impress anybody, I wish I could just wear my uniform." She looked in the mirror sitting on the dresser, staring at the figure who looked alien to her in that outfit.
Garfield saw her expression. "You know you can wear your uniform, it's a night to celebrate us, not other people."
"Starfire had told them it was a formal event, what would it look like if I came out with my uniform on while they're all wearing suits and dresses?"
"It's not her party."
"But she planned it. And the wedding. No, no, it would look like I didn't try." She looked back at him and put on a smile. "Let's just go and get this over with."
"I told Starfire not to throw this party." He stood up and put his hand on her shoulder. "We don't have to go."
"Yes, we do. It will look bad if we don't. As long as you're there, I'll be fine."
They put on a smile at the party and tried to mingle as much as possible. They ate and went along with most of Starfire's games that she made to the point that almost made Raven have fun. Everything was okay, if not great, until…
"So, marriage after how many years? Are we to expect a little green bean anytime soon?"
"When will you guys start to think about having kids?"
"Congratulations guys! I shouldn't asked, but since you've been dating so long, are you by any chance getting married because you have a little bun in the oven?"
"So, do you guys want kids?" Bumblebee asked plainly, as she sipped her drink. Raven's eyes widen and Garfield saw her discomfort. It had become too much.
"Well, you know, we haven't thought about it." He quickly said. "We want to take things slow, one step at a time. We're just focusing on our wedding right now."
"Excuse me." Raven muttered as she walked away and started heading towards the hallway, away from all the people.
"Oh, she has been complaining about this horrible headache tonight." He tried to explain for her. "She's had a little too much to drink, excuse me."
He followed her out into the hallway and closed the door. He could see her emotionless face, staring into the abyss, wanting to cry.
"Are you alright?" He asked. She looked up to him and saw the ghostly figure with white hair and blue eyes, hovering right behind her green lover.
"Garfield!" She screamed as she closed her eyes and began walking backwards. The ceiling light above them burst open. "Azarath, metrion, zinthos…Azarath, metrion, zinthos." She muttered as she tried taking deep breaths in between to calm herself.
"Are you having another one right now?!" He asked, racing towards her.
"He was right behind you!" She exclaimed before she continued to chant her mantra.
"Okay, okay…let's just…let's go to our room. Come on, take my hand…and we'll walk there."
"All our friends are here! What if I destroy—"
"We're not going to think about them right now." He tried to say calmly. "Just…focus on your breathing."
"Azarath, metrion, zinthos…Azarath, metrion, zinthos…"
As they started walking down the hall, making their way to their room, Cyborg opened the door to the hallway and found them.
"Yo, Starfire was wondering—what's going on?"
"She's having a flashback!" Garfield exclaimed sharply, almost angry. "Tell Star we are done for the night, just make up any excuse to everybody who came. She can't be alone right now!"
"…Azarath, metrion, zinthos. Azarath, metrion, zinthos…"
"I can take over for you or Robin—"
"No!" He shouted. Cyborg was taken aback by his tone. Garfield soften his expression. "I'm sorry, Cy. It's just that…I know how to handle this. I read the books and I know what she's seeing and hearing."
Cyborg looked on to his grey friend and saw the dry tears in her eyes with her hands over her ears to drown out their talking.
"…Azarath, metrion, zinthos. Azarath, metrion, zinthos…"
"What should I tell people when they ask where you are?" He asked.
"Just…just say that we were both either so tired or drunk that we fell asleep in our room…and…and you didn't want to wake us up." He grabbed onto his lover's hand and she squeezed it tight.
"...Azarath, metrion, zinthos. Azarath, metrion, zinthos…"
"B, you really can't have this on your shoulders alone! You need help! She needs help! Professional help."
"I know," He said, looking into her violet eyes, now wide open. "But who would see her like this?!"
"We'll find someone!"
"No, we've looked all over. Every last one of them won't see her, nor will they come here for their own safety. Plus, if she doesn't want to talk about it…I'm not…I'm not going to push her!" She tighten her grip around his hand.
"…Azarath, metrion, zinthos. Azarath, metrion, zinthos…"
"Then let one of us help her; you were also there, what if her flashback triggers something in you? What if you both have panic attacks at the same time?! You can't be this irresponsible with both of y'all's health! Stop thinking you can solve everything on your own! You can't!"
"I don't care!" He snapped, looking at Cyborg with fury in his eyes.
He was tired of constantly being told by the others what to do, like the two of them hadn't tried everything three times the team had suggested. The anger was building up inside of him, he could feel his hands twitching as his instinct was telling him to change form.
Raven saw his fingers slowly transforming into claws and growing slightly bigger, she laid a palm on his head and turned it towards her.
"…Azarath, metrion, zinthos…Please…Azarath, metrion, zinthos…" She chanted, shaking her head. He let go of his anger.
"Okay." Cyborg said, seeing that Garfield's hand change, knowing it was time to leave them alone. "I'll let Star and Robin know. But if it becomes too much for you, just get one of us. You know we're always here."
"I know," Garfield confessed as he continued to look into his lover's eyes. "But it's something I know I can handle."
"Raven? You know we're here for you too?"
She nodded, but continued to stare into Garfield's eyes. "...Azarath, metrion, zinthos. Azarath, metrion, zinthos…"
"Okay, let's continue walking." Garfield said calmly, as Cyborg left.