Fair-Weather Friends

Do not own, do not own, do not own, do not own do not own, do not own, do not own, do not own, do not own, do not own, do not own, do not own, … ::Continues for about eighty more lines::

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"Why did they desert me?"

The concrete blistered with the intense heat of the sun beating down on it. There were no clouds, no trees, nothing to block the harsh rays beating down on Raven's unprotected form. Even her cloak no longer offered protection against the pounding rays… it had been torn, shredded, by her long-gone enemy's attacks.

Her enemy was gone. As were her friends. She had called to him- had though she called to them- but they had not answered. Had they been struck down as harshly as she had?

The sun burned angrily into her eyes- she shut them against the bright blaze, but the phantom glow remained. Helplessly infuriated by the glow in her eyes, she turned her head away from the light above- and an involuntary whimper escaped her throat as the movement of her body excited her wounded muscles.

Her skin felt burned, scratched, as if it had been rubbed down by steel wool or sand paper. The muscles underneath her flesh felt just as scratched and twisted- not so much tight as torn.

And her friends… where were her friends? Raven tried to raise her head to search for them, but could not lift her head too high. Were they alright? Why weren't they helping her? They had always come to her aid before and certainly now, more than before, she needed their help…

The sun was far too bright- the light burned well past her skin, now, into her flesh, into her bones, into her soul… it was much too bright, too bright…

"Beast Boy? Robin?" Raven called, her voice too slight, too silent of a whisper to be heard over the horrible beating of the sun. "I… help…" she whimpered weakly.

Still they did not come. And Raven slowly began to feel afraid- why had they deserted her? What had she done to them that they would leave her alone, unassisted, when she was obviously hurt so badly? Each breath hurt more than the last. Each thought was infinitely more painful. She could not bear the treachery of her friends… they had abandoned her…

Raven coughed, warmth flowed up into her throat, and she coughed again to clear it. It trickled from the corner of her mouth, and she was able to gasp in another ragged breath… blood? It did not matter. It was a hot drip of warmth, and she felt so cold, so chilled…

…now the sun was dimming, when she suddenly felt she needed its warmth more than before. She peered upwards, squinting, at the sun- it was still straight above her, still lone monarch in a cloudless sky, but was no longer so bright, so hot… she closed her eyes, feeling even more betrayed. First her friends deserted her, now the sun no longer warmed her body.

Her throat began to fill again; she coughed violently as it swallowed her throat, and then began to choke. Raven's body moved of it's own volition, a powerful surge of energy dragging her on to her side- she spat out a mouthful of blood, but felt no better… she still could hardly breathe… each breath of air stuck in her throat. It *hurt* to breathe… hurt as much as her bones hurt, hurt as much as her very soul…

…and still the accursed sun only dimmed, and still, her friends did not come…

Raven laid her cheek against the concrete- the concrete felt incredibly warm against her skin, warmer than the blood once again filling her throat. She tried to spit out another mouthful but could not bring forth to effort to do so- her throat convulsed but nothing more. Her mouth welled up with blood, slowly draining from between her parted lips, slowly filling her lungs… but she did not care.

Her friends had deserted her… nothing else mattered.

Now the sun's light and warmth had all but deserted her as well. The world was slowly turning gray, black and white- color as fleeting as shadows. Her eyes drifted lazily shut… she was so tired, her eyelids so heavy, it was too much of an effort to keep them open…

"Raven?"

Her name was whispered quietly, gently, into her ear. Raven slowly forced her eyes open… and there were her friends, her allies, standing around her, Beast Boy kneeling in front of her.

"Raven, we're here," Beast Boy said.

A faint smile traced Raven's lips… that was all she had wanted…

…sun, sight and hearing faded away… everything faded and disappeared…

…but for the first time in her life, Raven was happy…

~~fin~~