Phew! It's been a long time, hasn't it? Well, I'm back!
I'd like to thank you people for reviewing. You've all given me the strength I needed to write this chapter.
And if you have ANY suggestion you could offer me, well, offer me!
AFTERDARK, this chapter is for you! Heh, I think I'd never update it if it wasn't for the promise I made you about how no one would hear from me until I updated this story.
Love you all,
Collecting the Pieces of a Broken Mirror
' Thought '
Chapter 13: Encounter
They buried her as the sun set. Her grave had been ready since the doctors had told them she wouldn't make it, two years before. They wanted to make sure she would always be near them, and since Raven had no family in Earth they chose to bury her in their island.
The Titans were familiar with the idea of Raven's death, but it wasn't supposed to be like that. She wasn't supposed to die in the hands of one of their own. It was just... wrong!
Starfire fell asleep on the couch, exhausted after all the crying. Robin was by her side, unable to comfort his girlfriend or himself. The last two days had been a total mess in their lives. First, Raven's disappearance. Now her death. At least Slade hadn't showed up these days, which was unusual. Maybe even a villain could show some respect for the heroes' pain. Robin shook his head. Slade wasn't respectful, and knew nothing of mercy, or love. He probably wasn't human, since humans have feelings whether they want it or not.
Robin looked at the purplish sky outside. He knew Cyborg would be looking at the same sky, probably from the Tower's rooftop, alone. Robin heard someone open the Tower's front door. Terra.
"Where are you going?" he asked. She gave him a weak smile before answering.
"I'm going for a walk. I guess I don't like all this tension." she sighed "And I never really met Raven, so I can't grieve with you guys. Sorry."
Robin shook his head again. "And what about Beast Boy? How's he?"
The blonde shrugged and left.
Beast Boy was standing in front of the door, staring blankly at the letters that formed the word 'Raven'. Raven was only a word now. And many memories.
She wouldn't mind if he entered her room again, would she?
"No... she can't." Beast Boy whispered, waiting for the door to hiss open and allow him to go in.
He coughed a little because of the dust, but soon got used to it. He was the one to blame for the dirt, after all. Beast Boy inhaled, trying to smell the subtle lavender scent that was always present in Raven's room. But there was nothing left of it now.
He wanted to scream, to hit himself, maybe to take his own life. That'd pay his debt, wouldn't it? That'd make him feel better, wouldn't it?
Everything was dusty and old inside that room, and it made him sick. He'd have to clean it later. Actually, he'd clean it now.
Beast Boy walked to the bookshelf by the door and brushed spider webs away with his hand. He placed each book carefully on the floor and gave a half-hearted grin. Raven hated it when people messed with her stuff, and it wasn't because she was d-… absent he'd do it. He noticed one of the books was way less dusty than the others. That meant someone had read it not long ago. It was Rae's diary, or journal, as she always had called it. "Diary is for the innocents," she'd say.
Even though Raven was a half-demon, she had always been an angel in his eyes. Not that he had ever told her that, of course. And now he regretted it. He should have told her he loved her when he had the chance. But he had let the chance pass, stupid Beast Boy, and now he'd never have another.
He'd have to love another person. But he didn't want it. He wanted Raven, was that asking for too much?
Beast Boy dragged his feet across the room to the window, which was located behind Raven's bed and hidden under heavy, black curtains. He tied the curtains as to allow some light in. The sun had already set but the blinding neon hues of the city had already been switched on. Cars were blowing their horns. Another ordinary night in Jump City.
That night, however, the lights were too blinding and made him see things that weren't there. Like the girl standing on the island's shore. He blinked, rubbed his eyes, and looked again.
The girl was still there.
She had come that far, and was not supposed to turn back now. She didn't really want to turn back, but there was something that made her uncomfortable. Was it guilt? But why would she feel guilty?
The Titans Tower stood majestically in front of her. It was a massive building. Menacing to some and comforting to others, carefully designed to show how influent and powerful the Teen Titans were. A smart technique, she had to admit.
A green eagle landed in front of her and morphed into a green young man. She took a step back in the rocky shore, but her countenance remained cold.
"Raven...?" he asked, confusion easily read in his eyes and an uncertain smile on his lips. This was the guy he had seen before, when Slade found her. He was a Teen Titan, then. Her heart skipped a beat. He looked scared and... happy? "But... but how? I'm sure you… I'm sure I kil-"
"Killed me. I see." she said. Slade was right. They had tried to kill her. She had been stupid, she had nothing else to do there.
He stared at Raven, dumbfounded, as she took off and left. He couldn't believe he had seen what he had just seen. She was... alive? This Raven was different from the one they had met in the morning. Her eyes were not as cold... and she didn't have a stone in her forehead.
Beast Boy slapped himself mentally. The scar! He had been so stupid! Raven had her chakra removed two years before, and this one had the scar. The other one didn't. The other had been a fake.
He called the other Titans in their communicators and darted off after Raven. He didn't need to be Robin to know Slade was involved.
She could go back to Slade now and expect her trust in him to grow. Because of her pride, however, she would never admit to him she had been wrong. Raven would never admit she had hoped, even a little, that he had been lying to her and that she had never fallen into a trap like the one they had set her two years before.
Of course, there were things she knew he was hiding. She wouldn't rest until she knew what they were. And then she'd leave when she was fully recovered.
There was nothing for her there.
She glanced over her shoulder to see two flying creatures leaving the island. They were carrying two people.
What were they doing? Going after her to make sure she died this time? If the Titans found her she could just knock them cold, couldn't she?
They would not find her, she thought as she landed on the garden of a house in a quiet neighborhood. Since she was probably expected to fly away, she could stay there just wait for them to get tired before she went to Slade's hideout.
Or she could go to their home and take a look inside. Raven didn't have her gem with her, and she didn't have her mirror. Neither did Slade, she supposed.
Whoever's lies were true, her possessions would probably be with the Titans.
"What a waste of time…" she said to herself as she walked away, careful enough not to fly until she was sure there was no one looking. "Going back to that place five minutes after I left it…"
Although Beast Boy could be hallucinating when he saw Raven, her death was yet to be accepted by the Titans. They clung to the hope she was alive as if their own lives depended on it. Beast Boy's hallucination or not, each one would search a part of town. Surely, if Raven was alive they would find her sooner or later. The sooner the best.
Robin landed on the top of a building and waved at Starfire. She waved back and left. Robin took his communicator and called Terra.
A minute later the blonde was already supposed to be heading to the sector assigned to her.
Terra sat under a tree in the park and relaxed. Five minutes before a lavender-haired girl had walked past her in the street and towards the Titan's Tower.
But she had to call Beast Boy before she could tell Slade was as planned.
"BB? It's Terra," she said, trying to sound as excited as she could.
"T? What happened?"
"Hey, listen, I think I saw Raven just a while ago… she was going to the Tower!"
"You- She- What? Was she?"
"Uh, I'm not really sure she was Raven, so I think you'd better check it out!"
"Wait, I'll call the others,"
"NO!" Terra shouted, her voice full of anger for a moment until she put up her act again. "I mean, I don't know if I saw it right, and I don't want them to think she's back before we're sure of it… and besides, if I'm wrong and they all go back then Raven could get away and we won't be able to do anything about it!"
Beast Boy hesitated.
"Okay, I got it," he said just before he ended the call.
Terra smiled with satisfaction and put her communicator away. The way things were going, Slade would be pleased… and vulnerable. Weren't the stars pretty that night?
The door was unlocked so she could go in without trouble. What kind of superhero would leave the door open, anyway?
The red carpet on the floor, those grey walls. Who knew how many times she had seen them before? There was some sort of warm feeling inside her, but she didn't know what it was. Hell, she couldn't even remember being able to feel so freely.
Raven walked past a kitchen and a gigantic screen. She was sure the rooms were upstairs. She walked until she found a hallway. There were silver doors on each side of it.
There was the word "STARFIRE" engraved in one of them. "CYBORG" was a little ahead.
Raven held her breath as she stood in front of a door with her name on it. There were more stairs after that, but she wouldn't use them as she wouldn't need to look further.
She touched the cold door and it opened with a hiss. It was dark inside, but she went in mechanically. It was like she already knew where everything was, though she wasn't sure of what was "everything". Stupid. She was supposed to know it, she had lived there!
Raven turned the lights on. They weren't very bright, but were good enough for her. She had never liked bright lights anyway.
The room was almost a perfect copy of the room she was given by Slade. Or was it the other way around?
She blew the dust off a stone globe she supposed represented that planet. There was a lot of dust everywhere, but it didn't seem to be two year's worth.
Raven ran her fingers through the backs of many old books, lost in thought. Where would her gem be? What about her mirror? Would they be there or were they destroyed?
She heard footsteps. Too close to the room she was in, she wouldn't be able escape without being seen.
She heard the door's hiss once again and as she turned around she saw a panting green-skinned boy standing on the doorway.