Chapter 14: "Starlight"
It was a normal afternoon in Titan Tower. Terra and Beast Boy were playfully infuriated with each other over videogames, Cyborg was relaxing in his workshop, tinkering with the T-Car, and Robin was showing Starfire some basic escape techniques when being grappled from behind (Starfire noticed how easily she caught him and knocked him flat on his back the longer they practiced, and started giggling after each attempt). Raven, who had become quite light-hearted by comparison to her former self, while retaining her usual wry humor and rare displays of emotion, was meditating quietly in her room. No one really knew where Rith was at the moment, but assumed he was either meditating, or working on some self-assigned chore. He seemed to do nothing but chores and meditating, in fact, unless he played the sound-game with the others.
That day, however, Rith was walking up to Raven's door. He was a bit anxious as he moved with his staff, not sure if he should try then, or wait for later, perhaps when he was sure he wasn't interrupting something. The blind boy feared his courage would fail him if he let himself wait, so he steeled his nerves, and stepped up to the door. Giving himself a clearing exhale, he reached up, and gently rapped on the door.
A few seconds later, it cracked open a few inches, showing Raven, her hood down, peering around the edge. It was an old habit that had survived despite her growing comfort around the others. Seeing a gently (if not anxiously) smiling Rith at her door surprised her, and she let it open completely with a soft push of her hand.
"Hello, Raven…" Rith began.
The pale girl wasn't sure what to make of his odd mood, and so she blinked, managing, "Hi…"
His head sank with his shoulders and a soft sigh. "I'm not good at this kind of thing…" He inhaled to re-inflate his frame, and asked with a faint smile, "May I ask you something?"
Now curious, Raven nodded. "Sure."
Clearing his throat a bit, Rith took more than the usual amount of time to consider his actual question. "…I hope I'm not causing a problem by…" He exhaled with irritation at his own foolishness, and focused again, "I don't want this to make you awkward, but I feel like I have to ask. If you say no, I'll never bring it up again."
Lavender eyes blinked once more as Raven attempted to gauge just what he was talking about. He'd forced himself back to his usual confident honesty (and self-deprecating, it seemed), but she could feel the anxiety pouring off him. "Well… what is it?" she asked while somewhat helplessly raising one eyebrow.
Rith turned meek again, smiling with a faint blush as he scratched the back of his head. "…May I ask you out on a date?" His blush flared after he finally said it. His heart was already racing, and his legs were starting to feel numb.
Raven's eyes grew wide as she blushed herself. "…A date…?"
He quickly waved his hand from side to side. "Please, don't worry about it. I really don't want to make you feel awkward in your own home. If you'd rather not deal with that kind of thing, I completely understand, I just… had to… ask…" he trailed off, falling back into an adorably meek, mildly dismal stance with lowered shoulders and a dipped head, his hands fiddling with his staff.
Unfortunately for him, Raven was having a hard time comprehending everything after the word 'date' left his mouth. Thoughts and feelings were whirling through her mind like a storm. She immediately wanted to say yes, but then all her anxieties flooded in, worries about how the others would react, if she wasn't making a mistake, what on earth they would do on the date… if he wouldn't find out he hated her for some reason… In the end, she looked down, clearly agitated and adorably embarrassed as she suddenly found her own hands very interesting. "Uh… Rith, I…" Her throat was too dry, and this time her cheeks were almost burning hot.
The boy grinned, giggling a bit as he scratched at his hair again. "Oh… I've really made you awkward, haven't I? I'm really sorry. Don't worry, just… I won't bring it up again, it was probably a mistake to-!"
She cut him off with a sudden flare of panic on her face, staring up into his eyes. "N-no! I didn't… mean it like that…"
His sympathy for her overrode his embarrassment completely, and he relaxed back into his endearing kindness. "Raven… are you alright? I'm very sorry, I didn't mean to upset you…" he trailed off as she shook her head, actually smiling a bit.
"You didn't. You just… surprised me. I haven't ever… been asked out on a date before…" Her blush powerfully clung to her cheeks as she glanced down to the side again. This time, however, a little smile refused to leave her pale lips.
Rith would have blinked. "…You haven't?"
Raven looked at him again, finding his completely sincere confusion at the idea as adorable as his perpetual kindness to her. For some reason, she couldn't resist a soft giggle. "No, I haven't. You're the first…"
The blind boy's blush returned with a vengeance (apparently very annoyed at being forgotten for a brief period), and Raven heard him cough faintly as he tried to regain the use of his throat. "T-the first…?" All the imperfections in his approach flooded his mind. How rude of him to ask her like this? Her first offer of a date is from some idiot blind kid stumbling over his own words…
Seeing his fresh embarrassment had the most curious effect on Raven. Though she remained a bit anxious herself, her strength flared, seeing how vulnerable he was in that moment. He'd opened himself up to her, taken a huge risk for his own emotions, and put them at her mercy. Not only could she not bare to crush them, so sincerely offered as they were, but she also wanted to embrace them, let him know he hadn't made a mistake… that it was something she wanted, too. She even understood why he was so embarrassed again so suddenly, and it only made her smile in growing fondness. He was so cute sometimes. "I think I couldn't have asked for a better first try, though," she offered gently in a voice warmed with mild humor.
Rith stopped, his eyebrows rising over his scarred eyelids, his hands relaxing around his staff. "…Really?"
Her beautiful smile blossomed on her face as she became sincerely happy. "It sounds fun… What did you want to do?"
An astonished moue only made him all the more adorable in her eyes, and she actually had to stifle a giggle as he finally tilted his head down and quietly explained, "Uh… I had a few… different ideas… I was going to let you pick the one you liked… the most… or we could, um… try to fit in as many as we could…" He was fiddling with his own fingers while keeping his staff from falling to the floor.
"Like what?" she continued, letting her warm smile relax him.
Rith started to recover from his heart-felt shock (and relief), and answered, "I know you like that coffee shop you showed me before, and they're having a poetry recital this evening. Also, um… there are a few clubs open that you might likei-if you wanted to danceand…" He shook his head, as if dismissing one idea, "I know I had a few others. Oh what were they…?"
Still fondly amused, Raven grew a bit curious. "Did you leave one out there?"
He blushed afresh. "…Yes…"
The sense that he only answered because of a very conscious remembrance of his oath to her filled her mind. She continued to smile, though some dry humor crept into it this time. "Well…?"
Rith bowed his head, clearing his throat a few times. "Ahem, well… ahem… I thought… ahem… you andDo you really want to know this?" he tried to escape once more.
Raven smirked, crossed her arms, and angled her stance. She wasn't backing down.
Rith exhaled dismally. "…I thought you might like to just… go somewhere quiet and look at the stars tonight…" His blush spread over most of his face. "I had lots of other ideas! I swear, I just… can't remember them right now…"
Despite his attempt to recover himself, Raven's expression softened at his 'bad idea'. As she let her arms down, her eyebrows rose up a subtle amount, an almost wistful manner coming over her. "…Actually, Rith… that sounds really nice."
He froze for a heart-beat. "…It does?"
She just gave him a gentle nod, smiling.
Rith tipped his head down again. "W-well… in that case," he managed to calm his voice down at last, "would you like to go out this evening, and… finish where we can… enjoy the starlight?" His old, wonderful smile was back.
"That sounds great," she sincerely answered. "What places would you enjoy? Both people are supposed to have fun on a date, right?"
His strength was finally coming back as he kept his smile. "If you're with me, I'll be as happy as I can be."
The girl blushed gently, giggling. "The funny thing is… I really believe you when you say that."
Rith bowed to her in response, and, as he straightened, asked, "So what would you like to do for fun?"
Raven looked at him as she thought, a mildly mischievous hint in her smile. "…How about… a club, then some tea, and then we find a quiet spot for a while?"
The blind boy grinned. "Sounds wonderful. …Ever been to 'the Dungeon'?" This time his smile was mischievous.
Raven blinked, amused and surprised at once. "You know about that place? I didn't think you liked that kind of music…" her expression grew playfully suspicious.
Rith couldn't resist a half-grin. "You don't know what kind of music I like."
They both laughed, relaxing and excited with the idea at once. Raven finally nodded. "Sounds like fun. What time did you want to go out?"
Rith was grinning. "Thank you so much, Raven."
She blinked, still amused. "For what? You're the one taking me out."
"And you're the one letting me."
She could only giggle once more before they bid each other a temporary farewell, and he left her to her room again. As the door closed behind her and she walked back to her bed, Raven couldn't help smiling. She wouldn't have realized without his asking, but she'd been wanting to go out on a date with Rith for a long time.
In the later afternoon, most of the Titans were in the living room. Raven was reading a book on the couch off to the side, Cyborg and Beast Boy were playing the racing game again, Robin was, once again, sparring quietly off on the raised walkway facing the windows on the right side of the room, and Starfire and Terra were playing the very enthusiastic audience to the video-game 'masters' as they worked. Raven couldn't resist a smirk as she listened.
"Come on, Beast Boy!" Terra yelled. "Show Cy what you're made of!"
Flushed with her support, Beast Boy pulled ahead of Cyborg on one sharp turn, making the half-metal Titan growl and focus more.
"Despair not, Cyborg! You can still defeat Beast Boy in the timed acceleration challenge!" Starfire pepped him up energetically.
The two boys shared a glare, and focused with chibi determination on a straightaway, their vehicles bashing into each other, grinding and sparking on the screen. Cyborg tried to pull ahead, but his vehicle got clipped, and twisted into the side, exploding. He face-vaulted, Beast Boy and Terra yelling as the green Titan's car shot across the finish line. Starfire pouted, patting Cyborg on the shoulder. "You raced very well, friend. Sometimes the digital vehicles explode even for the best masters."
He sighed. "Thanks, Star…"
Terra held Beast Boy's hand up in the air, an cheering audience popping up out of nowhere as she stuffed a microphone in his face. "You've defeated the amazing Cyborg, Beast Boy. What are your plans?"
"Um… get a snack… and ask for a rematch!"
The pair burst out laughing, and Beast Boy hopped over in front of Cyborg. "Whaddya think, Cy?"
Cyborg glared up at him for a moment, then smirked. "You're on." Starfire floated up and down, giggling.
Robin hopped down from his sparring. "I'll race the winner, if that's alright?"
"Sounds cool," Beast Boy replied, Cyborg giving a thumbs up as he sat back to let the greener friend get some food.
Meanwhile, Raven checked a clock on the wall with raised eyebrows. It was near eight. She smiled, closed her book, and stood up. She also wasn't surprised when Rith came walking into the living room just as she was walking for the door. He smiled happily, practically glowing with joy. "Are you ready?"
Raven nodded. "Yeah. We just flying?"
"Seemed easy enough. I could ask Cyborg if I we can borrow the T-Car, if you like?"
She shook her head, becoming more excited as she started up the stairs.
Beast Boy looked over a them, blinking. "…Where are you guys going?" The others were looking back out of idle curiosity themselves as he asked.
Raven just gave them a mischievous grin over her shoulder as she joined Rith near the doors. "Out on a date."
Slack-jawed and spinny-eyed to a person, the other Titans gawked, Beast Boy practically dropping his tofu. "A-a-a WHAT?" the shape-shifter finally managed to bellow, twitching from the disruption to the normalcy of his world.
Rith waited when Raven turned around, the blind boy blushing and smiling nervously to the others. The pale girl seemed quite amused by the others' surprise. "He asked me out, and it sounded fun. We should be back in a few hours…?" she glanced back to Rith to check. He nodded easily.
Starfire finally recovered, zipping up to the pair as she glowed with happiness herself. "How wondrous! Friend Rith finally gathered the courage to act on his affections! Oh, please have a wonderful time! Do many fun things, and when you return, Terra and I shall await your detailed report!" Hands clasped beside one cheek, feet up as she floated, the alien girl nodded rapidly in anticipation.
Rith only blushed worse at the idea of the date being dissected afterward, but Raven just giggled. "We're just going to hang out together for a while. We have our communicators if something comes up," she said, looking over at Robins specifically, Rith holding his up as proof.
Robin finally just smiled, leaning against the couch near the TV. "No problem. Have a great time, you two. Congratulations."
The blind boy grinned with embarrassment still glowing on his cheeks, but Raven actually nodded, and said, "Thank you," quite sincerely to the team leader.
Cyborg and Terra recovered at last, sharing happy smiles and each giving a thumbs-up. Poor Beast Boy was still in shock (probably because he realized Terra might be expecting another date invitation soon). Raven waved, Rith bowed, and the doors shut quietly behind them.
Still grinning, Cyborg turned to the others. "Well alright. It's about time, is all I can say."
Terra laughed. "No kidding. I think they're great for each other."
Starfire dove down between them. "It is perfection itself!"
Robin chuckled. "I don't know about 'perfection', Star, but I'm sure they'll have a great evening." Looking over to the kitchen, his smile turned a bit sympathetic. "You might want to snap out of it before your food falls on the floor, Beast Boy."
Unfortunately, the shape-shifter finally keeled over from the shock. Terra pouted and hurried over to help him, the others sighing and amused. "Too late," Robin muttered, he, Cyborg, and Starfire sweat-dropped.
Upon stepping through the doors under the large black-light sign 'The Dungeon', Raven looked up amid the pulsing music and uttered one simple word. "Cool." Raven smiled to herself as they walked in, seeing a small ocean of dancing people having a wild time to the rapid, industrial, trance-techno music blasting the large warehouse building. Booths and tables were arrayed around the sides, and the DJ was over in the back, jamming to the tunes he was using. Raven idly wondered if he even cared if anyone else was there.
The multi-colored lights, foggy ceiling, and dark nature of the building's interior all struck Raven the right way. Some called it creepy, but to her it was just a certain, gritty catharsis she enjoyed every so often. As she walked further in with Rith, however, she glanced to him considerately. "Are you okay in here?" She could barely hear herself over the music, her body feeling every beat quite clearly.
Rith grinned. "If it doesn't surprise me, I can handle quite a bit. Thank you very much for checking though."
She just smiled back, noticing that she heard his voice perfectly well. Rith followed her lead for a while, and she led them to a booth right beside the dance floor. "The music is good tonight. Sometimes they get a little repetitive here."
Rith shrugged easily. "Trance does that sometimes."
"Aptly named, I guess," Raven offered, and Rith agreed before they shared a light laugh.
Raven casually glanced across the dance-floor as the song playing started to end. Many people were exhausted, and so the floor cleared a bit. Rith tilted his head faintly. "I do like the music here. Excellent for sparring."
His companion gave him an amused smirk. "Is that the only good part to you?"
"Well what's the good part to you?" he retorted in kind.
"The release… I always feel like I can vent through the music… let my emotions out safely…" She had lowered her voice, completely inaudible normally thanks to the loud music as another song started up, but she knew Rith heard her.
Rith smiled. "I agree… Do you dance? Even just sometimes in your room, or wherever you listen to your music?"
Raven blushed a bit at the idea. "Sometimes, only alone though. I'm not really good at it…"
As the song built up, people really started dancing again. Rith nodded out to them. "I don't think anyone here is professional. Would you like to try?"
Normally, she would have refused, happy to listen and chat for a while, but this time she felt strangely energetic, the music very much tempting her to just get out there and follow its lead. Though she still had a light blush on her cheeks, she nodded. "Sure."
Her date smiled, and hopped out, taking his cloak off, wrapping it around his staff, and resting them in the booth. Then he offered his hand to her. "Have fun, Raven."
Her beautiful smile reformed as she gripped his hand, and slipped out onto the floor with him. The pair quickly ran right into the midst of the teeming mass of dancers, and Ravengiggling at herselfstarted to dance, swinging sharply left and right, her hair flying around as her cloak twisted around her body. Once she found her rhythm, scarcely believing she was dancing along with so many complete strangers able to see her, she looked over and saw Rith. She paused a bit, quite astonished at how well he danced.
The boy was practically flying. His arms coiled and writhed as his body spiraled, legs trading foot for foot over and over, some part of him snapping out or twisting with each beat, and the beats came like the drops from a rain-storm with the speed of the song. Raven fell back into her own dancing, a faint smile lingering on her face as she let loose, however subtle the emotional release really was. The more she moved, the more energy she found to use. It was as though her body had been waiting for some kind of physical expression to her emotional relief after defeating Trigon. She just felt good.
She looked over as she spun around, her arms trailing, and saw Rith just drifting to a stop in a wrapped-up pose. "Want to use a little power?"
With anyone else, she would have worried, not sure if they knew the risks, but with Rith, she could relax. She nodded. The blind boy immediately uncoiled, waves of concentrated sound pulsing toward her. Raven flowed back, her arms and legs moving around as her soulself gently grew out, grasping the 'hardened' sound and pulling it into a new dance all around her. Not just her body, but her very power itself was dancing. Rith danced into rapid yet smooth gyrations, generating more and more waves of sound for her to catch and use.
People began to spread off the floor, watching and marveling at the display, some clearly pointing to Raven and talking to their friends or dates, undoubtedly recognizing the Teen Titan.
Rith leapt into the air and spun like a top as he angled toward the ground, a small storm of sound pouring toward Raven. She just flowed back, trading from leg to leg with smooth spins as she pulled the sound into a whirling ballet of shadowed waves, her hair sparkling around her cheeks.
Finally, Rith landed, but kept spinning around, lashing waves to Raven with each turn, as if he was throwing them out of his open palms just for her to catch. It was controlled, disciplined, but it was still a release, a wonderfully exhilarating use of skill and ability.
The music started to fade, and Rith saw Raven slowing to a graceful stop, her arms flowing down through her own cloak as her hair dropped along her cheeks. He spun to a smooth stop himself, their powers fading. Both were breathing heavily, flushed with exertion, but were smiling as they finally faced each other, the DJ shifting to another song.
Abruptly, half the crowd burst into applause, several men whistling in appreciation, and Raven blushed with a light laugh, letting her cloak fall around her again. Rith walked up to her smiling. "Enjoy yourself?"
"Actually… yeah," she answered happily.
Her date grinned, and they walked back to their booth. Rith was still sweating a bit, so he didn't put his cloak back on right away. Raven caught her breath more smoothly, and sat back, giggling afresh. "I can't believe I did that."
"You're a very good dancer," Rith replied with his usual sincerity.
The pale girl softened her smile and glanced down, a mild blush returning to her cheeks. "…Thanks for taking me out, Rith."
"Believe me, madam," he began happily, "it's my pleasure."
Less than a half-hour later, they were just sitting down in the much quieter café with a steaming cup of tea each. People were gathered near the small stage, listening to poetry (generally dark and dreary), but the pair of them were quite happy in the small booth near where they'd sat before. Raven sipped her tea with closed eyes and a soft sigh as she let it back down. "So peaceful… A girl could get used to this," she muttered with subtle humor.
Rith shared it fondly, and sipped his own tea. It was so wonderful to sense the happiness on her face. Though he could scarcely believe it, she was even more beautiful than before, her inner peace letting her true purity shine through all the better.
Raven glanced up at him gently, recognizing the wistful smile on his lips from long experience with him by this point. "Rith, I wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me."
His eyebrows rose as he focused on her words, raising his eyeless gaze to her own. "Raven, you don't need to thank me for anything…" His attempt at his usual kindness and gratitude only met a gently amused smile from the young woman.
Shaking her head, Raven continued, "When we first met, I was really suspicious of you," she felt his desire to interrupt, but he didn't let himself, which she appreciated, "however justified it was," she conceded for him anyway, "and yet you were always very polite and kind to me. You actually defended my behavior to my friends, at your own expense. You never tried to take the easy way to trust." She flashed a brighter smile, "You almost dug your own grave you tried so hard not to."
Rith could only give an anxious smile, self-consciously scratching his head as he blushed a bit.
The darker Titan continued, "After we helped defeat Dr. Gear, I knew I could trust you… but when I realized you were willing to die for me in that fight with Slade…" she glanced down. "No one deserves that kind of devotion, Rith…"
"I know," he answered smoothly, calling her eyes back up to his face. He gently smiled. "I give it freely and happily."
Her expression softened with concern. "Why?"
"Because I think you do deserve it." He leaned onto the table with a calmer smile. "From the moment we met, I could sense a deep pain in you. I always want to help people, but I knew you were more than capable of handling yourself. If it had you worried, my capacity to help was doubtful. So I determined that the best way for me to help you, was not to get in your way, support your efforts if at all possible, and simply be a friend to you. You already had so many," he laughed faintly, Raven smiling a bit, "but you still seemed very…" he winced a bit, not sure how to say it.
"…Lonely?" Raven offered with a mildly dismal turn to her humor.
Rith tipped his head. "And that concerned me. Your friends truly loved you, I could tell very shortly after staying with you in the tower, so they wouldn't push the issue, whatever it was that was hurting you. You wouldn't let them, either. I could guess why, but I lacked the facts."
She looked at him with concern again. "…So when you did find out?"
He nodded. "I knew I would do anything in my power to help. That included convincing you that you weren't doomed. True convincing, however, is only done by the person in question. Only you could believe that, come to believe it. I could only supply the information."
Though she was smiling at his devotion, she still shook her head. "But why put so much effort into helping me? I was a total stranger to you, Rith…"
He gently shrugged. "I knew I could… and I wanted to. Your smile was so beautiful when I saw those little hints of it, after all," he finished with a humorous giggle.
Raven couldn't resist giggling as well, blushing gently as she held her tea with both hands on the table. "So all of this just to let me smile?"
"In a manner of speaking," he answered both in good humor and with infinite sincerity.
The girl playfully sunk her shoulders. "I guess that's as good an answer as I'm going to get."
Rith reached over, and gently rested his hands over hers. Raven looked at his kind face, and turned her hands over inside his, their palms meeting. She could see how much it affected him, to be welcomed close, it was written all over his face. The pale girl gently wrapped her fingers around his hands, and only then did he do so as well. He always seemed content with her presence, but his appreciation for being allowed closer always flowed out of him like fresh water. In that moment, their hands gently held together on the table-top, Raven just closed her eyes and drank it in. So quiet, so gentle, so kind. So much of what she'd feared she'd never have was right there, holding her hands.
Swallowing carefully, her eyes still closed, Raven whispered, "I love you…" Her blush grew, but she didn't hesitate.
Rith let the words wash over him. Holding his hands as she was, Raven could feel how powerfully it affected him. It almost emptied him, yet he was brighter and happier than ever. Then he calmed, focusing again, and she heard him whisper back, "I love you, Raven."
She finally opened her eyes with a soft smile, almost in tears, but so happy. "I know you do…"
He blushed deeply, but his expression and smile remained so endearingly gentle. Treating her hands like precious flowers, he let his thumbs just caress their backs. Raven dipped her head down adorably at the contact.
"Thank you so much…"
She looked up at him with soft surprise. "Why are you thanking me?" There was gentle humor in her question. He always seemed to do this.
"For this time, for spending it with me."
Her wondrous smile returned. "I'm happy to…"
"All the more reason to thank you for it."
Sharing a gentle laugh, they finally let their hands apart, and enjoyed the rest of their tea.
(Under the Stars…)
When they were done, they left the café, flying up into the starlit sky, with hardly any clouds blocking the sparkling view. They found a small ridge outside of the city, with soft grass, and just high enough to give a full view of the sky, as if they were still floating in it.
They landed together, and sat down facing back to the city, Rith on Raven's left as their legs dangled over the edge, Raven sitting on her cloak, Rith placing his staff down on his other side. It was a bit chilly outside, and Raven tried to cover up her legs, but Rith pulled his cloak off, and offered it with a gentle smile. Tipping her head in pleasant silence, she spread it over her legs, and they simply sat there, looking up at the stars.
Raven gently looked at Rith as he sat beside her, the boy smiling warmly, his head tilted down. "…You can't even see the stars, but you want to sit here and look at them with me?"
"I can tell you appreciate them, and that is a very beautiful thing to sense," he answered with a faint turn of his head toward her.
Raven reached over, and gripped his closest hand with her own. Their gently clasped hands rested between them as she leaned over, resting her head on his shoulder with closed eyes. She could feel him relax, and he softly let his head tilt down, resting it just on her own as they sat together under the stars.
Gaining a mildly amused hint to her smile, Raven spoke softly, "You sure know how to make a girl feel special…"
"You make it easy," he answered in kind, but was completely sincere as well.
They laughed together in the gentle silence, and then Raven pulled her head up, looking into his eyes. He turned his face to her own, and she knew he was perfectly happy right there, as they were. It was so safe with him, so peaceful. She wanted to thank him for offering such a beautiful experience. She smiled, blushing a bit, and pushed a little closer to his face. His expression softened before he reached to meet her in response. They kissed, their lips gently caressing, like their held hands on the grass between them.
Parting happily, they shared a loving smile, and then Raven rested her head on his shoulder again, and he rested his over her own. She could see the stars, so close to someone with whom she felt at peace, and he could sense her, so close and comfortable, her beauty flowing out of her heart each moment. It was perfect.
I sincerely hope this ending is satisfactory. Trigon/Slade defeated, Malchior gone, Terra recovered and back on the team, and Rith and Raven share their first real kiss. Thank you, everyone, for reviewing this piece. You really did help this story get finished. Honestly, I couldn't add any more without writing a completely new story (sequel), so I believe stopping here is the best spot.
The story is complete, and so are the revisions. If you spot any problems, just let me know. I wanted to get Raven to a place where she felt good being who she is, without the fear of ruining the world or hurting her friends. For myself, I feel happy with how the story has turned out, and I can only hope you do, too. Again, thank you for all the reviews, I hope you enjoyed the story as a whole, and found the ending satisfactory.