Author's Note: Well, another one-shot I decided to make. No worries, I haven't forgotten my other fics. Just a warning for you readers, this will contain spoilers from the fic "Nightmare Moon". So if you don't like spoilers, don't read! If you're going to read anyway, then go ahead and read!aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
She held her, not knowing that this would be the last time that she would be able to. She smiled, not knowing that this would be the last time that she would smile like that again. The woman that she held onto hugged her back, giving her a sense of love and protection that she, unknowingly, would never be able to feel again.
She felt the woman release her, and felt that love when the woman gave her a smile, the last smile that she would ever seen from her again, before departing from the building.
She wasn't worried though, she would see the woman's face again within the crowd of people that would watch her perform. Still smiling, even with the woman gone, she turned around to get ready and the smile disappeared when she realized something.
She had forgotten her ballet slippers; the woman still had them.
No worries. She would be able to catch the woman outside. The idea of seeing the woman again put the smile back on her face as she headed towards the door.
As soon as she went outside, the cold night air assaulted her and she immediately hugged herself in an attempt to warm herself. Ignoring the cold for now, she chose the direction that the woman most likely went and hurried off to find her.
The woman didn't go far.
Having only walked for five seconds, the smile grew on her face when she spotted a figure that could only be the woman. Wanting to see her again, and not just to get her ballet slippers, she quickened her pace to catch up. A second person had joined the woman but she didn't think too much of it; probably just another parent that is here to watch their child perform.
It was only when she drew closer did she start to worry.
The woman she could now see clearly. But the other person, a man, she couldn't identify; he was wearing a mask.
Fear gripped her when she saw the woman struggling against the man, who seemed to be reaching for her purse. The woman managed to bring her foot up and shove it against the man to drive him back.
She was only able to stand where she was, fear keeping her rooted to the ground while she was only able to watch the struggle.
Even as the man pulled something out of his pocket, she was only able to stare with wide purple eyes.
It was only when she recognized what the man had, which was now pointed at the woman, did she manage to cry out.
There was a loud bang and the woman pitched backwards, the bullet that the man fired from the gun going right through her.aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Eyelids that had been closed for hours finally opened to reveal gray eyes that seemed devoid of emotions.
Now ending his meditation, the smell of scented candles became more distinct to Wraith as he glanced around to identify his surroundings. Instead of the darkness that would be present when he meditated, when he would almost be asleep but not, he found that he was in his room. His room was a bit…plain; containing nothing but a dresser. Instead of a bed, since he couldn't sleep and have the nightmares get him, and there were a couple of lit scented candles in front of him that he used to help bring him into meditation.
Standing up from his seated position, Wraith allowed himself to stretch to awake his still sleepy muscles. Even if he hadn't exactly been sleeping, it sure felt like he had.
A second later, the door to his room opened, and Wraith stepped out through the door before making his way down the hall. It had been a risk to come back to their base of operations, considering it was practically right next to Jump City, but Wraith didn't have much of a choice. If he had gone to a hospital, there was no doubt that the police, or the Teen Titans, would've been called in if he and his friend would somehow be recognized. Fortunately, since the Teen Titans hadn't decided to pay a visit, it looked like Gamer, an ex-member of their little team, hadn't blabbed about where they resided.
The need for some medical attention wasn't for Wraith, however. Instead, it had been his friend.
Wraith couldn't help but sigh as thoughts clouded his mind.
It was supposed to have been easy. They had the Teen Titans on the defensive and in the dark about what they were facing. They had been holding all the cards. They had a full proof plan to easily defeat the Titans.
But they didn't defeat the Titans. The Titans defeated them.
Everything that they thought would lead them to victory ended up being catastrophe. Gamer and Techy were in jail, and Catalyst had disappeared somewhere. Somehow, the last two members of their team only had one plan…recover.
Well…Astra hadn't really been in a position to agree with the plan in the beginning.
Once again, Wraith sighed as thoughts of that little event plagued his mind.
At that time, losing their campaign against the Titans was becoming imminent. And at that time, Astra had…snapped. What should've been the final battle to take out Robin and, one by one, the rest of the Teen Titans, became the knockout punch for Wraith and Astra. Astra took it upon herself to defeat Robin, the Titan she had sworn to get her vengeance from. At first, it seemed that Astra was going to have her revenge.
But somehow the tables had been turned, and Astra snapped. She had acted in a way Wraith had never seen her act…and she almost destroyed the whole city. Fortunately, she snapped out of it…but had been severely drained. They would've ended up in jail with Gamer and Techy if Wraith hadn't managed to escape and bring an unconscious Astra with him.
Three days had passed since then, and Astra had been sleeping through two of them. Wraith had been worried that the final battle had taken more out of his friend then he realized. Imagine how relieved the usually emotionless teen felt when Astra opened her eyes and actually spoke.
Still, she wasn't strong enough to get up and about. Wraith took the responsibility of giving a famished Astra something to eat and drink, as well as helping her remove the badly damaged armor that she had wore during the final confrontation. Wraith had watched over Astra till she had fallen asleep again a few hours ago, and Wraith had disappeared into his room to give his own body rest. It was still night out, but since he was awake, he was going to check up on his friend quickly.
However, when Wraith entered the sick bay, Astra wasn't lying in the bed where he had left her.
An emotion that he almost never felt before - worry - struck him at the discovery. He looked around the room, trying to see if Astra was still somewhere in the room. And, fortunately, she was.
Having somehow managed to make it to a corner of the room, Astra was sitting on a windowsill where was bathed in the silver light from the moon. Though clad in a clean nightdress, Astra's right arm was in a sling; and her shoulder length purple hair was a mess of tangles, a clear sign that she hadn't exactly been doing anything except rest. There were only a couple of scratches and small bruises on her body that weren't hidden by her nightdress, but they would probably disappear tomorrow; Wraith still had some bruises as well.
Wraith found himself staring for a few seconds. Despite how she would look after a shower, that didn't stop Wraith from thinking of Astra as nonetheless beautiful, the moonlight encasing her in a silvery aura.
Astra had yet to acknowledge Wraith's presence, and when Wraith finally started towards her, he could see the far off look in her purple eyes as she stared up at the night sky.
Though he couldn't remember getting there, Wraith was now sitting on the windowsill next to his friend, his gaze having not once drifted from her form. Still, despite the closeness, Astra didn't even glance his way, having become lost in her thoughts. Wraith didn't say a word, satisfied with just staring at Astra.
It was only a minute later did Astra blink, pulling herself out of her thoughts before turning to face Wraith, her purple eyes locking with his gray ones.
Again, Wraith couldn't help but stare, this time into her eyes.
Overtime, Wraith had thought of his friend as…well…more then a friend. Her simple presence would put Wraith at ease better than his meditations, or even that darkness that had once been his companion years ago before Astra entered his life. Ever since she pulled him away from the darkness, Wraith had developed a bit of affection for her. She had shielded him against the darkness, the loneliness, which threatened to become a part of his life again. Once she had even protected him from the nightmares that wanted to consume him.
He wondered if she had any similar thoughts about him. Out of all the others, Wraith was the one usually at Astra's side. He knew things about Astra that the others hadn't known about and vice versa; for example, knowing each other's real names. They knew each other's previous lives; Wraith wanting to shut himself out from the world, and Astra being a common thief that stole what she needed to survive.
"Do you ever look at the stars?"
Wraith blinked, suddenly realizing that Astra had turned away to look out the window again. Though confused by the question, Wraith replied, "Sometimes."
A small smile tugged at the corners of Astra's mouth. "Have you ever really looked at the stars?"
Another question, another confusing one. And this question caused no reply to form that Wraith could use.
Gaining only silence from him, Astra continued speaking. "I had used to look at them all day." A hint of sadness was suddenly painted on her face. "I would believe that my mother was up there, watching over me." She shrugged. "Just something I had done as a child."
Wraith was a bit stunned at that. Despite all their time together, Astra had never said anything about her family.
Astra looked at Wraith again. "Do you remember your family?"
Still a bit stunned, Wraith was only able to shake his head.
"I do. I had a father…but he left." A small smile appeared on Astra's face, and Wraith noted the sadness in that smile. "He got a bit tired of rocks falling from space and smashing his car. A few times, a room or two would seem a bit devoid of gravity and the furniture would be floating around."
Astra chuckled, but Wraith couldn't bring himself to smile at that; the chuckle sounded so hollow.
Once again, Astra turned back to the window. "But my mother…she stayed with me. She stayed because she loved me." Her eyes started to become glassy, but a smile stayed on her face.
"My father was gone, but I was happy with my mother. We didn't have a lot of money, but we managed." A tear suddenly escaped Astra's eye and rolled down her cheek. "And she was even able to save some money so I could take ballet lessons."
Wraith remained silent as Astra told her tale. He only listened, and felt envious. He didn't remember having parents, he wasn't even sure his mother loved him. Astra had a mother, one that loved her, and Wraith wished he had memories like that. However…the words 'had a mother' stuck to Wraith's mind and he had a bad feeling about what was going to happen next.
"I loved dancing," Astra continued. "I was happy with that life." The smile suddenly disappeared from her face. "Until that night."
The sad ending to this tale was approaching, Wraith knew it. The idea of interrupting Astra so that she wouldn't have to feel pain for telling him what happened crossed Wraith's mind. But when he tried to do just that…he couldn't. All he could do was simply listen.
"It was another performance, and my mother was going to see me dance." A smile, though smaller then the last, reappeared on Astra's face. "Though she did work a lot, she always had time to watch me perform. I was six at the time, but I had been taken plenty of lessons and practiced a lot so I thought I was pretty good.
"She left me with the other dancers and had to go outside since it would be quicker for her to get to the seats. It was only after she left did I remember that she still had my ballet slippers. So I went after her to get them. She didn't go far, so I was able to find her…and him."
As the smile disappeared, Wraith tried to force himself to stop her from going on. Unfortunately, Astra started to speak again and Wraith found himself listening again.
"I didn't know who he was; he was wearing a mask. All I knew was that he was trying to steal from my mother. I was scared and I was only able to watch as she fought back. But then the man...he…he pulled out a gun…and he…"
Astra didn't finish the sentence. The tears that had been forming in her eyes were now streaming down her face. "I should've helped her. I was scared, like a frightened little kid. I was only able to stand there and watch. I didn't have any control of my powers back then but I still should've…I should've…"
Astra wasn't able to finish that sentence either. She closed her eyes tightly, trying to stop the flow of tears. However, the tears couldn't to fall as she silently cried.
Wraith was only able to stare with slightly wide eyes. Never had he seen Astra like this. Astra had always been strong, always knowing what to do. But now, what was being revealed; was a fragile and vulnerable side of Astra. Wraith had seen this fragility before, when he watched Astra sleep. He didn't think of it much, everyone looked vulnerable when they slept.
But Astra wasn't sleeping. And now…seeing her like this…
Wraith wanted to comfort his friend, to stop the tears from falling. And before he knew it, his arms wrapped around Astra in an embrace.
Astra didn't push him away. Instead, she welcomed the embrace and clung to him with her good arm. Her face buried into his chest, and the tears started to soak his clothes. Wraith didn't care, only held her close while he smoothed down her hair in an effort to comfort her.
For a few minutes the two just sat there. Astra had ceased her sobs, but there was an occasional sniffle as she kept her head on Wraith's chest, allowing him to continue to hold her.
"I keep trying to forget," Astra finally spoke. "But I can't. When I sleep, I just remember…remember when it happened."
Wraith only nodded. He of all people knew what it was like to be plagued by nightmares, wanting to escape them. But he was able to escape the nightmares through meditations, Astra couldn't.
"You protected me from my nightmares," he said, continuing to smooth down her hair. "Let me protect you from yours, Shaye."
Despite her face hidden from him, Wraith thought he could feel Astra smile. "Of course Jaden."
It was only ten minutes later did Wraith hear the slow deep breaths, signaling that Astra slept. A couple minutes later, Wraith felt his eyelids start to droop.
And together, guarded by each other's presence, they slept in a sleep where there were only dreams.
Author's Note: Yeah, a cute little one-shot ficcy from mine and Pixie Ayanami's characters. Hers is Astra, and mine is Wraith, just in case you people are confused whose character belongs to who. Well, see ya people later!