The darkness of his bedroom chokes the Boy Wonder as he fumbles for the light on his night stand. The light both blinds and relieves him as it shoves the shadows back into their corners. He used to think of shadows as a safety blanket, something that his mentor had taught him long ago to use to his advantage. People were afraid of the dark. Robin didn't fear that dark, until now.
Raven made him fear the dark once more.
His mysterious teammate wasn't sleeping. It was safe to assume that she hadn't slept in the week since she had awoken from her confrontation with Slade. When Raven didn't meet her basic needs, she lost control. When Raven lost control, even the slightest bit, things happened. With their bond, Robin was always knew.
These nightmares weren't just affecting Raven anymore, they were affecting him as well. This would be his third night without sleep.
Raven's hesitant knock on his door doesn't surprise him. He crosses the room.
She looks terrible; pale skin borderline translucent, circles beneath her eyes so prominent that they resemble bruises, tangled hair yanked back into a half ponytail. Her unusual eyes were rimmed in red; making her look even more demonic. "I'm sorry." she says softly.
Robin leans heavily against his door frame. "I know." he replies. Raven had come the two previous nights to apologize for what had happened. They both knew that the reason he was experiencing such vivid and terrifying nightmares was because of the bond that they shared.
"I just. I wanted you to. I am sorry." Raven stutters.
Raven almost never stuttered, she was the most articulate and direct person that Robin knew. Her thoughts were almost always together. She was scared.
Robin finds himself reaching out towards his dark haired companion, she flenches away just out of reach. He drops his hand "I know."
She turns, disappearing into the shadows that Robin now fears. He lets his door slide to a close.
She fucked up. This wasn't supposed to happen. The Teen Titans were not supposed to be bested by a couple of trigger happy punks in ski masks, and yet they almost were because Raven's powers weren't working properly.
They were speeding in the T-Car down the road towards the Titans Tower. Next to her was Robin with Starfire in his arms. The beautiful alien had been shot in the shoulder because Raven hadn't been able to create the shield like they had planned, like they had practiced, like they had preformed perfectly a thousand times before.
Way to fuck up royally. Guilt repeats over and over again.
"Dude, Raven. Just heal her already!" Beast Boy cries.
"What's taking so long?" Cyborg calls over his shoulder.
"Raven!" Robin yells.
Starfire let out a moan in pain.
"I can't!" Raven screams. The T-Car rises five feet in the air before it drops back onto the road. The windows shatter around them and Cyborg slams on the brakes skidding the vehicle to a halt.
Raven struggles with her seat belt before she half falls out of the car, staggering drunkenly away from her friends.
Robin is behind her in an instant. "What happened? What's going on?"
Raven doesn't respond, she looks at her team helplessly and runs.
She hears Robin give orders to her teammates over her shoulder followed by the sound of his heavy foot steps giving chase.
She wills her powers to work, but nothing happens. "Come on!" she begs as she pushes herself to keep running, Robin's footsteps are getting louder.
"Azrath metrion zinthos," she chants as she wills herself to fly. She feels herself begin to levitate off the ground; two feet, five feet, ten feet.
"Raven!" Robin calls her name as he comes to a stop beneath her.
She looses concentration and falls to the ground, landing hard on her left side. Robin is beside her in an instant, as he helps her into a sitting position he grabs her shoulders tightly.
"What is going on?" He demands. His grip is painfully tight and Raven can feel his fingers shake from the strain. He is furious, scared, and just as exhausted as she is. She can feel the tired feeling bleed from him like an open wound. Wow. You're just fucking your entire team up, aren't you? Guilt pointed out.
She couldn't look at him.
His gloved hand gently grabs her chin and forces her to look at him. "We have a bond. And now that bond is- it's doing things. Raven the things that you have seen." his voice cracks as he thought about a particular memory/dream that he had witnessed. All the children, the smoke, the screams. "I've seen them too. I know you. I know that these are affecting you in the worse way possible. And now you keep having these nightmares about the vision that Slade showed haven't slept in a week, and today the team paid for it."
She could feel tears well up in her eyes. She was causing more harm than good. It was like the warning that she gave him when they first met; If you knew the real me. You wouldn't want me around.
"Raven. Let me help you. Remember when you lost your powers because of your fear?"
Raven nods "This is nothing like that." she manages to squeak as she swallows a lump in her throat.
"You can't use your powers. Starfire was shot! Let me help you." he yells as he looses his temper shaking her roughly.
Tears drip from her eyes and a lamp post tips over. They both jump at the sound of the lamp crashing to the ground, but Robin pulls her into his arms. She welcomes the contact and hugs her leader back tightly as she cries.
She can feel him shaking as he sobs too. Sobs for himself, his teammates, and his own loss of control.
Through her closed eyes she sees the memory that she locked in Robin's mind slip out of its metaphorical box. In her powerless state, she knows that Robin will experience what can only be described as a flashback, she hopes that this memory won't give too much away.
It's a memory of the two of them in the living room of the Titans Tower, he has just yanked her towards him so that her forehead rests against his.
"You can control it" he whispers.
Raven doesn't respond, her eyes were clench shut trying to control her powers
"You won't hurt me."
"What makes you so sure?"
"Because I know you.
The memory ends, it was so similar to the position that they were in now, the conversation that they were having now. She could feel his arms around her tighten and she winces. This wasn't a memory of physical love, it was a memory of mental love. The kind that you have when you think about your first love. The one Raven felt when she remembers week she spent with Malchior. The ones that she knew Robin felt for his dead family, Batman, and Batgirl.
However, she could also feel her own troubled emotions beginning to relax. She loved Robin's embrace. Inside her head; she could hear the screams, cries and protests of her Inner Ravens begin to die down.
"This is stupid" Logic points out.
"Destroy him." her Inner Demon hisses. As the day of her birth grew closer, her inner demon was beginning to grow more powerful.
"He feels so warm." Love sighed.
Raven was beginning to regain control once again as she mentally shoved her emotions to the side. She took a deep breath, inhaling Robin's scent one last time before pulling away. Robin's release was slow, his hands sliding down her arms and cupping her own hands for a second before he too pulls away.
"Thanks." they both mutter awkwardly.
"Where are the others?" Raven inquires as they both got to their feet.
"At the Tower." Robin replies.
"I'm not sure."
Raven creates a portal. "Come on." She could sense Robin's hesitation. She didn't blame him.
"Good. He still fears you." her Inner Demon says.
"It's okay." Raven reassures him.
Robin follows behind her as they reappear back in the Titans Tower.
"Where's Starfire?" Robin asks.
"She's fine. In her room sleeping it off. The bullet entered her arm, took a chunk out, then exited. Overall, a very clean shot and just a couple of stitches." Cyborg replies.
Raven felt Relief jumped for joy inside her head.
"I'm glad to hear it." Robin spoke for both of them.
"Yo Rae, you got your powers back?" Beast Boy asks.
"You haven't been sleeping much, have you?" It's not a question coming from Cyborg. He had the entire tower wired, she knew that he watched all the footage of the Tower and had seen Raven wandering the halls at night.
Raven blushes beneath her hood and nods again.
"Then go to bed, dude." Beast Boy states.
"It's two o' clock in the afternoon." Raven points out.
"I know for a fact that your room is dark as hell." Cyborg replies.
"But what if"
Robin cuts her off and places a hand on her shoulder. "It's okay. We can handle it."
Raven sighs before flashing a ghost of a smile in the direction of her three teammates. She walks down the hallway towards her bedroom and stops before Starfire's door. She hesitates. Should she go in? She is the reason that Starfire was hurt.
She knocks on the door.
"Come in." Starfire's voice responds.
Raven slowly opens the door and stops in the doorway.
"Friend, Raven!" Starfire exclaims as she floats over to her, a hairbrush in her hand.
"I am sorry, Starfire." Raven blurts out.
"I am not mad, my friend. Your powers are complex and I understand that."
"You got hurt." Raven gestures to the bandage around her friend's arm.
"It is not as bad as it appears. Cyborg did a glorious job fixing the wound."
"It's my fault you got hurt."
"Friend Raven. You have gotten the injuries when I have made the mistakes in battle as well. That is a part of being a team." Starfire explains in an almost sage-like wisdom.
Raven is taken aback by Starfire's explanation. Relief soon floods over her body and she gives Starfire one of her rare, genuine smiles. "I am glad that you forgive me."
"There is not a thing to forgive. Back on my planet, scars are a sign of a true warrior. Now please, go take care of yourself. Your powers are not in the control right now."
It seemed like Cyborg had already filled the rest of the team in on Raven's predicament and for once she was not angry at Cyborg for butting into her business. Instead she waves to Starfire and floats out the door to her bedroom. Her bed welcomes her like and embrace and she falls asleep before her head hits the pillow.
This time, Raven's troubled mind did not wake up the Boy Wonder. He was still awake despite the late hour, after Raven's break down he was determined to find Slade. There had been no sign of him yet, but Robin was like a terrier, he would grab onto something and not let go until he got what he wanted.
Raven must know that he is awake because she does not come knocking at his door to apologize, instead the tower remains silent.
After a few more moments of contemplation, Robin stands from his desk and walks to Raven's bedroom door.
He knocks lightly, "Raven?"
The door is engulfed in black magic, to Robin's surprise it slides open for him. He steps into the doorway to see Raven sitting on the edge of her bed. He goes to her.
"Bad dream?" he asks.
She lets out a sarcastic chuckle. "At least I got some sleep."
He wraps an arm around her slender shoulders, noting the way that a candelabra tips over. "Not enough." he says as he sits down beside her, pulling her body against his.
"Better than nothing."
Robin chuckled bitterly and looks around her bedroom. He notices that the face of her clock is broken and the hour hand is stuck at 6, despite it being midnight. "What happened to your clock?"
Raven sighs. "Time isn't exactly on my side right now."
Robin squeezes her shoulders a bit tighter. "Well, do you want a cup of tea?" he asks, as he tries to get both of their minds off of Slade.
She looks up at him and smiles softly, "That sounds nice." she replies.
"Besides, I'll be your Romanian is beyond rusty" Robin teases in Romanian as he stands and offers her his hand.
"Not even a little bit" She replies in Romanian accepting his hand as he pulls her to her feet. Instead of dropping her hand, he keeps it cupped in his as he leads her out of her bedroom.