A/N:Every full line in italics is from the poem. This is the newest addition to my "Poetic Series". Wrote it and I'm very tired and sleepy, but I figured if I didn't do it now while inspiration was flowing, I might forget or lose the inspiration and not write it. Posting it, because if I don't, I'm likely to forget about it just the same. So, do forgive any glaring errors, yeah? If you feel so kind, let me know what they are, and I'll fix them and repost. (I might repost anyway once I read it again with a clear head).

White Desires
by Em

"…the white desires of my heart / They are acquainted with you."

She read a poem once. (She liked reading poetry, once). At the time, she had dismissed it as saccharine and overly emotional (she hadn't known him then — not really). She hadn't really thought about that poem again, though, since she read it and dismissed it, but in that moment when she accepted the reality of her destiny, when she knew she had to walk out to meet it and protect her friends any way she could from the end of the world as they knew it, the memory of it came back to her.

Surprised that she could remember it with such clarity, she recited it to herself as she walked with Slade toward her father.

"There is a strong wall about me to protect me…" she recited in her mind, like a mantra. "It is built of the words you have said to me."

She remembered his words, remembered him assuring her they would stop Trigon, assuring her they'd protect her and she felt her head rise a little. All the words he said to show he believed in her made her stronger, even if just strong enough to face her end with dignity.

"There are swords about me to keep me safe," she remembered the next lines of the poem. "They are the kisses of your lips." She felt her heart constrict as she realized she'd never know what it felt like to be kissed. But even if she didn't, she had felt his concern for her, in a way, his love, and that was enough. He couldn't keep her body safe, even though he tried, but he could keep her safe — who she was inside was safe thanks to the knowledge that he was out there and he would do everything in his power to save the world and protect it from Trigon's wrath. She knew that, with all her heart. And that knowledge kept the human part of her safe and protected and untouched by the horror facing her destiny might otherwise cause.

Her memory flashed on that moment Robin stood before her, arms akimbo, between her and Slade, willing to fight the unwinable fight just to keep her safe and the next words of the poem manifested in her mind as if said by someone else. She said them silently, just the same. "Before me goes a shield to guard me from harm," she closed her eyes and saw his face, remembered the times he'd held her safe from harm. "It is the shadow of your arms between me and danger."

She called Slade a fool, called him insignificant, felt the rise of her father's anger inside her, and the connection with the lava soldiers flare to life all as if she were watching a movie through her own eyes, separate and apart from who she was. Raven herself wasn't saying those things; Raven was thinking, "All the wishes of my mind know your name," and feeling how true those words were. How each and every part of her that had hoped for a future, had hoped for a future alongside him. She wished only to be near him; to have more time with him. But sometimes, she couldn't deny she desired him, too. "And the white desires of my heart, they are acquainted with you."

When she heard his voice call her name, even as she was about to step onto the pedestal, her heart (traitorous thing that it was) leapt into her throat. She turned, that part inside her that was human reaching out for him, the rest of her keeping her from stepping close.

The touch of his hand freed her from her hesitation and she pushed away, stepping back away from him, knowing if he kept speaking, if he kept trying to hold on to her, she would surrender to her weakness. She raised a shield to keep him from touching her again and to protect them as much as she could from what was to come, but she heard it when he pounded on the shield, the pulse of his panic (and yes, love) resonating through the part of her she'd left behind to protect them. Her step almost faltered, but then she remembered the end of the poem, reciting these lines aloud.

"The cry of my body for completeness, that is a cry to you," she told him, even though he couldn't hear her. (She could still feel him pounding against her shield, desperate to get through.) She heard his voice call out her name, and her heart responded with his. "My blood beats out your name to me," she said as she climbed the steps to the top of the pedestal. "unceasing, pitiless…" she felt the tears sting her eyes and tried to block out his aura, beating against hers down below and the echo of his name ringing inside her head, but cherishing it just the same, "Your name, your name."

When she reached the top, all thought left her, the control of her body surrendered to the greater will of her father and the words that escaped her lips were those of the hated prophecy. Still, inside, a small fledgling part of her held on to his name, echoing it like an incantation.

"Your name, your name."

x-x

End AN:The poem is "Love Song" by Mary Carolyn Davies, and there is one line in there that has been part of my "favorite quotes" list since I was in high school. (many years - refuse to say how many b/c I refuse to age incriminate myself...LOL)

The Poetic Series So Far:

1. Beacon (story id: 3352613)
2. Memoriam (story id: 3140537)
3. Interpretations (story id: 3042207)
4. Refusal (story id: 2800809)
5. The Request (story id: 3612411)
6. Don't Go (story id: 4972475)