Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, just using them for my own twisted purposes…
Oh, by the way, this whole story takes place after 'Birthmark' so if you didn't watch it… get on that! Yea, and remember to be kind and rewind as well as review…
On to the story…
How to Heal Your Burns
Chapter 1: To Those That Are Found…
It's a bitter taste. It stays with you for days. The way it smells, the way it leaves jagged burning scars on your cheeks even when they have been wiped clean.
The mirror lies, I can still feel those teary trails but there are no lines of fire on my face.
And I scrub harder, my face, my arms, my legs, my stomach. It should hurt, burn, sting, scorch, but it's been twenty minutes now that the scrub has oscillated over my skin.
The mirror is lying again.
I can still see those fired symbols, they glow and they speak and they vibrate. I can still feel his hands on my back. His hands burning into my arms. His hot breathe against my neck, against my ear, shivers running through my body, clutching me tighter. My eyes unable to close… to close… I can't forget their…faces… and his stoned body… and their deaths…
And now my neck is cranked over the sides of the toilet, hair grazing the porcelain edges. I can't be too loud. They'll hear. And I can feel the bile and acid build in the back of my throat.
I adjust my eyes again to the blinding light of the bathroom. How did I end up on the floor? I'm losing my mind, I'm losing control.
It's burning again, the tears, as they cascade down my face. My back still flames even against the cold tile of the floor. I know they are still there, the burning symbols of my birth…
It's Friday. I wonder what other kids would be doing right now. Probably running out to go drink … or maybe they are just going to the movies. Their parents are making dinner, worrying about them. That would be nice, a warm dinner at the end of the day. Mom used to make this delicious… NO. Don't think abut them…
They're gone. They aren't coming back. Slade came back. Why can Slade come back and not them…
"You're going nuts" Maybe I shouldn't have said that out loud. God, when did I start thinking like that? I haven't thought like that since… No. No more thinking.
Wait, where am I?
Oh, I'm walking the hallways… I guess… I guess I got distracted.
This is crazy! I have to focus. I'm their leader, and I killed him but he's back again. Slade is alive. Slade is alive! Damn it!
"He's Alive!" I screamed that last part.
I didn't mean to hit the wall but it was there and it deserved it.
I think I messed up my hand though. I shouldn't do it again, but can feel the bubbling blinding pain again. No, my hand doesn't hurt. Anger, I can feel the anger, and frustration of him breathing, hurting my friends.
What he did to Raven, what he could have done. I failed, again. What kind of leader can't even protect his team? I'm not strong enough… I'll train…harder…
Enough of this, these thoughts, I am going to train and I'll be ready for him when he comes…when he comes….
And now I am jogging through the hallways that were burred before, blurred in my memories but I stop. I always stop here, at her door.
I guess just starring at it takes small pieces of guilt from my shoulders, but for some reason the load never gets lighter. I am hoping she will open it up and walk out in her usual grumpy stature with her nose buried in her books. I want her to open those doors and for life to be normal like it was. Ha. Normal. I almost forgot that normalcy is something that Titans lack. Like peace, we lack normalcy and peace. Funny how easily we fight so that they can have it, but us? No. We can never have what they have, what we protect for them…
I didn't realize how close I had come to her door. Half of my forehead and my left cheek are now smashed against the steel of her door. And I hear those sounds. It sounded like someone was sick. Was she sick? Or hurt? What if someone was hurting her as I am standing here like an ass.
"Raven?" And silence.
"Raven, its Robin… Are… You okay?...Raven?" Shit. Shit. What do I do? Why am I hesitating? I can't go in. Why not?
What if Slade is in there?
Okay, override code… 81101
The door is sliding open. The room is so dark and heavy in heat.
"Raven?" I ask quitter.
Then I see the light from her bathroom. And her limp hand on the floor.
The tiled floor was covered in towels, vomit and Raven. She lay sprawled across it like a doll. Her pale face, redden and soiled. Quaking, she motioned for the dirty towel that lay inches away. Her fingers weekly thought they had grabbed it only to feel air pass through them.
Hearing footsteps and someone softly calling her name she called back. Her mouth did not open. She felt trapped in her mind, her eyes now making out the grids the tiles formed. She could make out the soft cream of the walls. Then a shoe, a black shoe… then a pair of hands… then a chest…
Robin did not bother to take in the full horror of the bathroom. All he saw was her curled on the floor, eyes open, lost … sad eyes looking at his feet. She was naked, but her skin lost its shimmer, it gray luster. Redness ran over her entire length, some places scrapped to the point that fresh blood spilled while other areas were scabbed and swollen. Her legs, her arms, her back and her forehead all held the same punishment. All parts of her body sharing the torture her mind must have felt. He knelt down and scooped her against his chest. Pressing harder, hoping to awaken her from whatever nightmare she was living. Lifting her, she shook in his arms and her hair fell across his arms as she looked up at his face.
"Raven… God, what happened…what did you do?" She closed her eyes momentarily to let a burning tear go.
"It… wouldn't…go…away." She said in such a whispeared tone Robin held his breath to hear her, hoping that he heard wrong. Hoping that her words did not mean she did this to herself, hoping that the smell of vomit permeating in the bathroom was not from her pale skeleton.
He settled Raven into her bed, sheets were twisted and thrown off. Gently gathering them back over her body he took full lot of the injuries that plagued her skin and her sunken face.
He stood over her and narrowed his white eyes.
Turning back to the bathroom Robin did the best he could to not gag. Bloodied towels, half covered in the remnants of her meals, lay across the shower, the toilet. A blood covered sponge and Brillo pad sat on the sink. He felt queasiness over take him and he quickly pressed his back to the opposite wall, looking out over the darkness of her room. Shattered lamps, cracked furniture, all sat like grave stones on the ground. There had been a war. And she lost.