A/N Welcome to my first TT story! Please enjoy and remember, I do not own the concept, show or characters, just the story. Warning! This story contains blood and fluff and is supposed to be a one shot but I might add a chapter if the writing bug inspires me.
Finally Free to Love
I open my eyes, startled by the bright white light shining into my eyes. What happened? Where am I? The last thing I can remember is... I swallow painfully as the memory rushes back. Trigon. I was fighting him. No. He had won...I had... Oh no...
I then notice a strange, foreign sensation on my hand: warmth. Someone is holding my hand, comfortingly, gently. Things slowly come in to focus, but everything is still a huge blur.
"Hey," I hear a gentle voice soothe.
I groan, as pain shoots through my body, "Beast Boy?" I'm not sure yet if it's him, but the colour green is beginning to mix with the blinding whiteness surrounding me.
"I'm here," he says happily, "Oh Raven I thought we'd lost you!"
I blink a couple of times, "What happened?" His face is coming into view now. What is he doing? He's crying. Why is he crying? I don't understand. But at the same time he's laughing. I feel a strange emotion radiating off him but I can't decipher what it is.
"Shh," he says, "Not now." I feel him squeeze my hand but for some reason I am unable to squeeze back, all I can seem to do is twitch my fingers and that mere movement seems to be taking a lot out of me. I moan, feeling a tear fall down my cheek. It stings. Beast Boy gently brushes it away.
I am still so confused. What is going on? Where am I? What happened? The questions are quickly drowned out of my mind by sharp shooting pain in my middle and my head. I let out an involuntary cry, closing my eyes. I feel the back of his hand gently stroke my forehead and brush away a stray lock of hair.
"Are you OK? Should I call a nurse?" I hear Beast Boy ask suddenly. A nurse? Does this mean I'm in the hospital? How did I get here? Why am I here? The last thing I remember... Trigon. He took over my body. I was his vessel I was...
"No!" I gasp as the pain of the memory of what happened, what I had done attacks my brain. I felt so hot. I felt so powerful. It was beautiful and corrupted. I remember now. Trigon tried to kill me, possess me and make me kill. He won; he had me in his grasp. He had me in his power and for a moment, I liked it. But it wasn't me. I didn't want to be his. I wanted to be free of him. But it was too late... "Trigon!" I cry out loud as though saying that cursed name would cast him out of my mind and erase all the memories.
"Raven, Raven, Raven, shhhh, it's all right now. He's gone," Beast Boy soothes, putting both his hands on my cheeks. His voice is breaking. I feel his lips press against my forehead and the motion takes me by surprise. "He's gone. He won't ever hurt you again."
I open my eyes and see his smiling face looking deep into my very being. Why is he doing this? Why is he crying? Is he crying for...for me? Why would he do that? After what I had done, why is he here? Why does he care? I destroyed everything. I levelled our home into a pile of rubble. I almost killed... I almost killed him and yet... Why? "How are the others?" I ask, afraid of the answer as memories of what happened sporadically flash into my mind. In my evil rage I had attacked them... please let them be all right.
"They're fine," Beast Boy assures me. "They went out to get some grub. We haven't really eaten in three days, except for the stuff in the vending machine. None of us were really keen on leaving your side but you know, hunger calls."
I sigh with relief, "So they're...alive?"
"Of course," he grins, his eyes are still sparkling from tears of both worry and joy. "Trigon only had control of you long enough to destroy the tower, but that's OK. We defeated him, all of us, before you could..."
"I am so sorry," I feel the stinging tears fall down my face again. Damn it! I'm not supposed to cry! I don't deserve such release. After what I did, why doesn't he hate me?
As though he can read my mind he says softly, "Raven, it's all right. The Tower, all the stuff in it, it can be replaced. You can't. Everyone was afraid that we lost you." A lone tear escapes his eye, "All that really matters is that you're alive, and Raven, you're free."
His words hit me like refreshing water on a hot summer day. "I'm what?" Did I hear him correctly, or did he mean I'm free for now, until he finds me again?
"You're free. Trigon is gone. For good!" he exclaims. "You should've seen it! First he had you, and we thought you were lost to the darkness for good. Your eyes were all weird and then you destroyed Titans Tower and you attacked us. You have no idea how hard it was for us to see you so lost like that, no one wanted to fight back and just when we thought we had no choice something weird happened."
I close my eyes. I don't want to hear what happened. I don't want to hear of my crimes. I open my eyes again and see Beast Boy looking down at me, beaming with pride; he's obviously excited to tell the story.
"First you say your magic words and we all think we're done for, but your voice is normal and your eyes are white then there is this bizarre red light surrounding you and then this blinding flash. The next thing we know you and Trigon are facing each other, he doesn't have you anymore, your cloak turned white and you guys are at it head to head. At first we watched in awe, wondering what in the heck happened and then you were all like, 'This all ends now!'" he explains excitedly. I wrinkle my brow, pain shoots through my temple as I try to recall what he is saying.
"I don't remember..."
He shrugs casually, "Oh Raven you were so cool! There was this rush of light everywhere, it was blinding. It took us a moment for us to realize what just happened but when we did, all five of us kicked demon butt!" He is excited to recap the battle that I am still trying to remember. I reflect on what he just said as his carefree, child-like expression suddenly turns somber. "Trigon fell. He's gone and for the past three days we were afraid he took you with him. At first everything was great. I remember high-fiving Cy and Robin and Star embraced each other and you... you looked shocked, you just stood there. Your face went pale, so very pale and then..." Beast Boy's voice breaks and he takes my hand and puts it to his cheek. I feel the moisture of his tears as they fall into my fingertips.
"What?" I ask. I feel so overwhelmed. Why is he looking at me like that? Why is he putting my hand to his face? Why is he kissing my fingers? Why does he look like his world came crashing down?
"Y... you fell. Your white cloak was stained with blood. At first we didn't notice it we were too relieved that you were yourself again, that Trigon was gone. But it was as though you waited until he was gone before you began to bleed, like you refused to give in to your injuries before you could beat him. You collapsed and fell into the ocean, with your father. I...I went after you, I pulled you out of the water and..." he kisses my hand again. I want to pull away from him, but I am too weak to move. The emotion he is emitting is so strange and overwhelming; it is different from the mixed feeling of joy and worry. "You weren't breathing. You were gone. You died Raven. And a part of me... a huge part of the team died with you. Luckily for everyone, Robin managed to get your heart beating again. Good ol' CPR, I'm glad he was paying attention when we learned first aid..." He gave a small laugh and a weak smile, "But even so, you didn't wake up and we were all afraid that you would never... Never mind that..."his smile grows wide as he shakes his head, "You're awake now and we can put that all behind us."
"So then, it's over?" I ask. He nods. I crack a small smile. I must have a bruise on my cheek because I feel the sharp pain in my cheekbone because of my small subtle action. "Wow. Thank you."
He swallows and takes a deep breath. "No, thank you Raven."
Huh? For what? For blowing up our home? I ask, "What for?"
"Opening my eyes," he replies sincerely. There's that emotion again. It's so powerful and yet it frightens me. It is strange, I've never been able to sense it before, and yet it is oddly familiar...
I am still confused. I feel so strange. I feel light because the realization that I am finally free is slowly sinking in, yet I feel heavy with guilt and confusion. I don't remember any of Beast Boy's tale; all I remember is giving into the darkness. All I remember is trying to kill him and trying to kill the others. I don't remember valiantly defying my father, I don't remember escaping his grasp and beating him. I wince as another attack of shooting pain circuits through my body. Beast Boy cringes slightly.
"Are you sure you don't want me to get the nurse?" he asks. "Maybe I should get someone. You look like you're in a lot of pain."
I want to find out what he meant by the last statement but I nod. There is too much to digest right now and the pain is affecting my ability to concentrate. I watch him rise to his feet. He doesn't take his eyes off me, his hold on my hand reluctantly releases and he disappears into the hallway. I close my eyes. They feel so heavy. The air feels thick and my heart feels empty. He was radiating such strong emotions, feelings I don't recognize that his absence from the room is shocking. It is like all warmth and life is being sucked out of the room with him, and only an echo of his strong emotions remains. As much as his mysterious emotion frightens me, I want to hold on to it. I want it to come back. I didn't realize how cold the room is until he left my sight.
I can sense the nurse and a doctor come in, and I vaguely hear someone ask how I am feeling. I open my eyes slowly and I blink at the sudden bright light shining into my eyes as the doctor examines my eyes. I shiver as I suddenly can feel a cold chill. I hear the sound of plastic and I look briefly to see a nurse changing my IV bag. I didn't even notice I had an IV. Slowly I feel the pain subside and I vaguely hear the two people talk to me, but I don't listen. Their voices slowly drift farther and farther away. I close my eyes and feel numb, cold and alone. Oddly enough though, as I drift to sleep, all I can think about is Beast Boy.
I open my eyes and I see him and the others standing before me. Only I'm no longer in the hospital. I'm standing on a rock, surrounded by ocean. Looking down I see that it's not a rock. It's all that is left of Titans Tower. My home. No. Not my home. It is nothing! I feel raw power, raw energy flow through my veins. I hear a voice inside me.
Kill them! They are all that stands between you and absolute power!
"Raven what's gotten into you?" Robin yells.
"What have you done to our beloved home?" Starfire cries.
"I don't think that's Raven anymore," Cyborg exclaims. The pathetic green changeling just bows his head in defeat. I laugh at his pain.
All I care about now is power. All I can feel is hate, and rage. I don't care what they think. "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!" I yell, sending them flying over the cliff and into the water. I laugh. I feel giddy with power. The sensation is amazing. It is so strong, so beautiful so corrupted. I look over the horizon at the city before me just beyond the waves. The pathetic, hateful, unsuspecting city is mine for the taking, or destroying. It's up to me. I am in control now. All my life I have fought for control and it is mine.
No! A part of me screams.
I twitch. What am I thinking? Of course it is mine, all of it. Everything. I never realized how freeing hate and rage could be. I scowl when I see the stupid, ignorant little redhead carrying her self-righteous boyfriend back on solid ground. I see the abominable robot-boy being lifted by the worst of them all. The changeling. The stupid, pathetic little boy who just couldn't give up on me. Ha! He doesn't know anything.
"Back for more?" I ask, raising my brow in contempt and cockiness. Oh how I loathe them.
Get out! Leave me alone! A part of me begs, the annoying, worthless part of me that I hate so much.
"Shut up bitch!" I snap at myself, mentally attacking the fraction of my mind that is still pure. Purity is for the weak. Power is all that matters. Rage is freedom. Pure, placid goodness is slavery. I have never felt so alive!
Cyborg raises his arm, charging up his sonic cannon. I laugh, "You think that's going to stop me?"
"Cy no!" the green changeling begs, stopping him.
I raise my arms tauntingly, ready to send my godlike power through him. "What's the matter Beast Boy? Don't want to hurt me? See, that's what separates the winners from the losers. The winners take without mercy, the losers give up too soon."
"Raven, listen to me!" Beast Boy begs, "Come back to us! This isn't you!"
"That thing isn't Raven," Cyborg says. Is that sadness in his voice? "Like you said, he has taken her from us. Raven is dead. I hate it as much as you BB, but this monster has to be stopped."
"No!" Beast Boy cries.
"We have no choice," Robin shakes his head as he embraces a weeping Starfire. "That's not Raven."
"It's Trigon," Cyborg says carefully, trying to remember the name that I once dared not to mention. "She's... she lost to him. It's not her." He fires his blast at me but Beast Boy pulls him back. The shot fires harmlessly into the air.
"This is just priceless," I spit wickedly. "Listen to your worthless team mates Beast Boy. The bitch you once knew is dead."
"No!" he insists, "Raven, I know you're in there! Fight it!" He takes a step forward.
"You asked for it," I shrug, "Azarath..."
"Come on Raven!" he takes another step, defying the imminent blow.
"There has to be a part of you still in there that's good. I know you. This isn't you. Come on Rave, fight it. You can't let that demon win," he begs.
"That part is gone," I insist, lowering my arms, "there is no goodness left. That is what makes us weak."
"Then why haven't you said Zinthos?" He raises a brow and stares at me defiantly. "If you are all evil, what is stopping you from finishing what you started? We all know how powerful you are. You could've killed us with that first blow. Look what you did to our home with such ease? You didn't even break a sweat. If you're all evil now, why am I still here?"
I blink and realize he's standing directly in front of me. "I...I just want to see you suffer before the real killing starts."
He takes me and everyone else by surprise and embraces me, "I know you're in there Raven, let me help you fight it." He's trembling. He's afraid. No, he's terrified. He's weak. He's... he's... what is that strange emotion? Is that... is that...love? Love. The foulest and most painful of all emotions. Love is loss. Love is pain. Love is...pure.
I stumble back, "No!" I scream, "No!" I feel myself fall to my knees. Everything is spinning. Everything. I look at Beast Boy. I glance at Robin, then Starfire, then Cyborg. They all look concerned... for me. Why?! I back up again. White stars are clouding my vision. Beast Boy and the others are drifting farther and farther away in my mind, but I can still feel him, this time he is holding my shoulders, keeping me on my feet.
The evil part of me screams, "Azarath..." as I push Beast Boy away from me, sending him flying into the others.
The good part of me screams, "Get out! I will not give into you!" as I back up a step.
The evil part cries out, "Metrion..." as I wave my hand in the air.
The goodness within me reaches for a sharp scrap of sturdy metal that was once part of the Tower. "You cannot win! This ends now!!" I shout as I back up another step.
Simultaneously my evil sides shouts "Zinthos!" as my good side thrusts the shard of metal into my gut and whispers, "Goodbye," to my friends as I back up another step.
"Raven!" I hear Beast Boy cry as my evil attack dissolves into nothing.
I can feel the life being sucked out of me as I take out the metal shard. Blood is pouring from my wound. Crimson light encircles me as Trigon's evil life force retreats from my dying body. Trigon stands before me, he has a fatal wound identical to mine, but his blood is black and is pouring from his wound like oil. He may have escaped my body, but I feel a grim satisfaction in knowing he is unable to escape my... our self-inflicted wound. My cloak becomes white and I look up in fear at my father's angry and dying face. I double over, I feel light. My vision is darkening. Everything that is real is drifting farther and farther away. Trigon hisses something I do not understand. I can taste the metallic flavour of blood in my mouth as my world begins to spin.
I see blue and green light striking Trigon. Everyone is throwing everything they have at him and the next thing I know he is falling into the waters below. I feel my last breath of air escape me and I take one last look at my friends. They're celebrating and I am finally at peace. I feel myself falling over the edge towards the ocean. My bleeding body submerges into the water and I feel a rush as my head hits a rock deep below the surface. I'm instantly torn from reality as I finally allow myself to die.
Everything turns black.
I am swimming in darkness. Drowning in pain.
I open my eyes and I'm back in the hospital. I inhale but for some reason I can't exhale. I'm flooded with a panic I never felt before.
"Shhh, it's all right, it was just a dream," I look towards the sound of the voice and see Beast Boy sitting beside me, holding my hand. I let out a sigh and settle into my pillow.
"No, it wasn't just a dream," I whisper, "I remember." I glance around and see Robin, Starfire and Cyborg in the room with us, they are fast asleep and I realize that some time must've passed since Beast Boy went to get help. "How long was I...?"
Beast Boy smiles, "You fell asleep when the doctors were checking up on you. You've been out for several hours now. Dude, you should've seen everyone's face when I told them you woke up. They were so happy!" He pauses, "So you remember huh?" He looks worried.
"You lied to me," I say. "I didn't heroically fight off Trigon and save the day. I went evil and then I killed myself."
"But you did," Beast Boy assures me, "you sacrificed yourself for us. You had everything and you... you killed yourself to protect us. Your father had tempted you with everything and you gave it all up for us. You fought your evil side and you won. I'm sorry I wasn't entirely truthful, but I didn't...I..."
"You wanted to protect me from the truth," I must have regained some strength because I squeeze his hand and pull his close to my heart. I can tell Beast Boy is blinking back tears. There's that radiating emotion again. Funny thing is I feel it too. "It was really you who saved us all. I... I..." I stop, I can't bring myself to say it. I want to, but I just can't. Instead I sigh, "Your love conquered my hate."
Beast Boy relaxes, "I just couldn't let you go. I couldn't let you fall to evil. I just wish that there had been another way to save you."
"Killing myself was the only way to defeat him," I mutter contemplatively. "But Beast Boy I couldn't have done it without you."
"I don't know if I should be glad or guilty," he smiles slightly, "I mean, being the reason someone killed themselves isn't exactly something to be proud of."
I do something I never freely done before... I giggle softly at the ironic truth, "I guess not. But when it was to save the world... Beast Boy, it was your love that brought me back to life. You saved me. You rescued me from death and evil when I didn't deserve it or even want it. I owe you everything."
Beast Boy glances away. It is clear to me that he is deep in thought. "But Raven, you are my everything."
My eyes widen in surprise, "What?"
"You have no idea how much it tortured me to see you succumb to the darkness your father brought you," he says softly, "when you finally overcame your dark side and killed yourself, my world came crashing down. When you went over the edge into the water, my reason for breathing went down with you. Raven you mean the world to me and when I thought I lost you forever... nothing mattered anymore. I love you. I didn't realize how much I loved you until I lost you. And when you were lying here, your life hanging by a thread I thought I was going to go mad. I was angry. I had barely found you and you were slipping away. I don't know why or how you came back, but you did. It was a miracle really. I can't bear the thought of ever losing you again."
I blink. A part of me denied it and refused to accept it. How could any one love me? Look what I did to him, look what I did to our home! I am not worthy of anyone's love, I never was. I was born of evil. And yet the plain and simple truth is that he does love me. It doesn't matter to him if I deserve it or not. It's unconditional. His love for me is the reason I'm alive. His love is the reason I'm free. It still frightens me. I'm supposed to be able to read peoples emotions and yet I never felt this love before, but something tells me that deep down, he has loved me for years. On the other hand though, I wasn't capable of recognizing such a pure emotion to its fullest extent until I was freed from the hate within me. What frightens me the most is that I feel the same way, I just didn't realize it until now. "I..." I start. I swallow hard. I feel the sting of my tears fall down my face again. I can't say it. I can't. But oh! I want to.
Beast Boy nervously kisses my cheek, "I love you Raven. I always have and I always will. Thank you for opening my eyes and helping me to see it."
I take a deep breath, and at last the words simply flow.
"I love you too."
A/N Sorry if Raven seems OOC, but remember we're sort of reading her thoughts as she thinks them and seeing things as she sees them and she's supposed to be a little out of it. This is the first time I've written in the first person POV in the present tense, so I hope that it worked, I'm attempting other styles. Well, I hope you all enjoyed. Please review, and remember Constructive Criticism is my friend.