Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans, only the plot of this fanfiction.

A/N: Yes, I know, right? I finally got this one going again. Well, all of you can thank Darklost for giving this one life again, as she has helped me work out some of the issues that I've been having with this one, and get over the major writer's block that has stumped me with this story for the longest time. So when you review, please give thanks to her as well, thanks to all who do. Now then, I'm sure everyone's anxious to read the chapter more than hear me talk, so let's get to it then!


Devoted Soul

The next night couldn't come quick enough for the two birds. Richard had spent a good part of the day planning out their date, hoping it would be to Raven's liking. Said girl was suffering from the same crisis that all women were cursed with…trying to pick something appropriate to wear for the occasion. Her choices may have been limited back when she lived in the tower as Raven hardly bought causal clothing. Thankfully, she had remedied that when she had gone shopping with Starfire that last time before they left. It had surprised the redhead the types of clothing she had chosen to try on, even more when she bought them all!

The reason she had brought them all was mainly for disguise purposes…but her real reason was to maybe impress Richard and show him her more feminine side, which she didn't like to show. But with Richard it was different. For him she wanted him to see her in that light, which was why she was throwing all her clothes all over her make-shift bedroom, trying to pick something perfect for their first date.

Close to dusk, the two scrambled to finish getting ready. When, at last, Richard left his room, he was dressed in a white dress-shirt with black jeans that had silver lining running down the outer parts of the legging, and white shoes, and finally a black leather jacket. He slicked back his hair and forgone his sunglasses. He wanted to go on his first date with Raven as Richard, not just as Forsaken, or as the ex-leader of the Teen Titans. He picked up what looked like a picnic basket and started toward Raven's room. He had just gotten to it and raised his hand to knock on it, when the door opened, and he literally felt his heart flutter at the sight that beheld him.

Raven stood there with a faint blush on her face in a dark blue dress that reached down to her ankles, but with slits running up both sides of the dress, stopping at just the middle of her thighs. Underneath, her legs were concealed in knee-high shiny, black heel boots, her hands were covered up to her elbows in dark blue gloves, and she had a see-through silk shall wrapped around her exposed shoulders and neck-line which exposed just a bit of cleavage. She left her hair alone, letting it rest around her head as she always did, but she had applied some bluish eye-shadow and a light lipstick that made her lips glimmer like silver in the light.

All Richard could do at that moment was stare in pure admiration. "…I'm blind."

Raven blinked and frowned at his response. "…What's that supposed to mean?"

He smirked at her. "It means that I'm blind…why else would I have not been able to see until now just how beautiful you really are."

She immediately looked down to hide her beet-red face, behind her, some of her belongs were sent rocketing around the room.

He reached out and cupped her cheek and brought her face back up to his. "Don't hide anything tonight, Raven. Just be yourself now, for me, please?"

She didn't realize that she titled her face into his hand as a faint blush rose across her cheeks. "…I'll try, but habits are hard to break."

He reached out with his other hand and pulled her close to him, shocking her and himself by the brave move. "Then I'll just keep reminding you until it's not a habit…"

Now the rest of her was beet red as her body started to heat up to match the warmth she felt flow from his body. He smiled down at her softly and she found herself smiling back…

She placed a hand on his chest and patted it. "Let's get going…"

He put his own hand over hers and squeezed it tenderly, not realizing they began moving closer to each other, until they were barely a breath away from each other's lips. Raven wanted to lick her suddenly dry lips, but partly feared, partly shivered in excitement, what may happen if she did. Their noses were faintly touching, as it was, and if she did lick her lips, she may accidentally grace his lips…That very idea made her shudder with excitement inwardly. But before either one could initiate what might have led to something wonderful…a loud, forceful cough echoed out and shattered the moment.

Raven immediately felt free from whatever spell that moment had created, and her timidness returned in full-force, forcing her to move away from Richard, while placing a hand over her pounding heart. Richard looked over to the room Malchoir was placed in and gave him a flat look.

"As sweet as this moment was, can you two wait to court each other properly before subjecting me to such sickly sweet tenderness?" Malchoir drawled disgustedly from his stand.

"You're right, we should get going…on our own two legs," Richard shot back, leading a glaring Raven away from the study room.

"Oh, sure. Make weak comebacks at the inanimate object. I'll just sigh all night about it," Malchoir retorted sarcastically.

Richard muttered some unsavory words under his breath at the book, as he turned away, and with Raven, made their way to Cerberus. He spent a good part of the day removed the armor-plating to reduce it to a simple motorcycle, not wishing for anyone to see them riding the armored cycle to keep their identities safe. It was a lot of work, but for this one evening, Richard toiled at the task happily. After making sure he had everything he prepared for tonight, he and Raven roared out of their temporary home, and through the tunnel systems, shot out into the cool, night air of the city.

As he drove, Raven wondered where they were going for their first date. Did he plan some fancy dinner? Going to one of the many nightclubs in L.A? She wasn't sure of it, but in all honestly, she didn't give a damn. She was with him, only him, and he wanted her. She long given up about caring what Starfire may feel if-no when she learned about her and Richard; it was pointless now.

She wasn't going to give him up for anything in the world…and if they did fail, and her father won, she would at least make sure she followed Richard into the beyond…even if they were cast into oblivion, she would crawl and fight with all her might to stay by his side, and she knew, now more than ever, so would he. She still cared about her friendship with Starfire, but if she wanted to destroy her relationship with Richard, then the redhead would learn just how dark she really could be…She finally had someone that cared for her and wouldn't betray her, she wasn't about to lose it.

Cerberus hit a small bump on the road and it jarred her out of her semi-possessive thinking and took note they were no longer in the city, but rather out in the woods. When she was about to ask where exactly they were going, Richard pulled off the road and drove up an old trail that led to a wide clearing, next to a cliff that over-looked the city. He quickly parked Cerberus and they quickly got off. He then reached into one of the compartments and pulled out a picnic basket he had set up. Smiling, he wrapped an arm around Raven's and led her to the clearing near the edge of the cliff, and then pulled out a blue blanket and started setting up the meal he had made while Raven deep in meditation…when he should have been meditating with her.

He normally didn't break off from work that needed to done, but he wanted to make this a nice surprise for her. He figured the night-life in the city wouldn't really be Raven's wanted pass time, and also having kept in her mind her anti-social nature, he decided a simple picnic out in the night, away from people would be more to her liking. Another reason he had was that he wanted to spend their first date alone, away from anyone that might ruin or spoil it.

"I know this might not seem like the most exciting first date…but I thought you'd like the atmosphere," Richard said softly to her, as he released her arm and pulled out a navy-blue picnic blanket and started setting it down on the ground.

Once he did, Raven carefully sat down with her legs folded to one side, so as to not wrinkle her dress too much. She helped him pull things out of the basket, amazed at the variety of things he had whipped up for this night. He had a roasted chicken and vegetables, such as, buttered corn and sweet peas, and a bottle of carbonated soda, and for dessert she nearly drooled as it was half-gallon of Mint ice cream, her favorite treat, in a small cooler he had placed inside the basket.

"When did you get all this stuff?" Raven asked him.

"Heh, I made a quick trip to the shop while you were mediating. I know…I know, I should have been meditating with you, but I wanted to make this special for you," Richard said to her as she started to frown at his admittance to his lack of training.

She soon smiled softly and shook her head at him. "Just don't make it a habit. Your training is very important if we're going to beat Slade and my father."

"Yeah, I promise I won't sneak out like that again," Richard promised, as he sat down and started serving for the both of them.

They sat there and enjoyed a peaceful dinner, not once feeling the real need to talk, as just having the other's company was more than enough for them. Once they finished what they felt like eating and started on dessert, he got back up and went over to Cerberus and pulled out a small container.

"What is that for?" Raven asked after taking a bite of her ice cream.

He just smiled at her and opened the container and took out a small telescope and set it up in at the edge of the picnic blanket. "This is another reason I picked this spot…it's perfect for stargazing."

"I didn't know you were into stargazing," Raven awed, taking a quick peek through the telescope, spotting a beautiful cluster of stars just over the city. "This is really amazing, Richard…"

"I used to stargaze with my brother," Richard revealed, somewhat sorrowfully, as he recalled his late older brother. "We used to stay up at night when we were supposed to be sleeping and stargaze when we performed in a new city. That time was very special to me as I spent it with my loved ones…now I can do that again with another."

Raven had no words to say after that statement. It moved her so much that he revealed this precious memory with her, and now included her into it. She reached over and squeezed his hand affectionately and the two took turns with the telescope and pointing out the stars and constellations hey could see over the city. The only gauge of time they had was the moon as it sailed softly through the sky, still bathing almost everything in the departing full moon from the night before.

In that light, Richard admired Raven. Her skin glowed with just beautiful luminance that gave her the appearance of an earthbound goddess, the image was greatly increased from the hint of happiness that shined in her eyes as she looked to be truly enjoying herself. But what caught his attention the most was her sliver lips, heightened by the shade of lipstick she picked and the reflecting light from the moon. The faint line of a smile was edged at both corners and just the bare sight of pearly teeth could be seen past them. He must have grown too absorbed by them because it wasn't until he saw them move and found her speaking at him, that he looked up at her eyes.

"And what were you looking at exactly?" Raven question playfully, thinking he was oogling her body like most boys his age were known to do.

"I was looking at your lips," Richard admitted without hesitation, smiling as her face blushed red.

She hadn't expected that simple statement. Naturally, she expected him to be admiring her assets, particularly since this was the first time she had chosen to expose more of her upper body, than she was normally comfortable with showing; although she admitted that she wanted him to admire her, which was why she drew up the courage to wear a dress. The last thing she expected him to say was that he was looking at her lips. Richard took that moment to move closer to her and cup the side of her face in his hand and started leaning toward her face.

It was then that she realized what he was planning on, and she nearly felt her stomach flip in a complete circle from sheer nervousness. His hand helped to keep her calm as it was warm and surprisingly soft for all the martial arts and urban exploration he had done most of his life. She swooned into his hand and waited with a stilled breath as he brought his lips gently over hers and kissed her.

The world spun in that moment. His lips sent a sensation she could never describe with meager words. It was everything she had ever dreamed her first kiss would be, and more! It was mind-blowing and so sensual. She could not compare this with anything, and really…she didn't want to, this was too wondrous. For the first time in her life she swooned as she started to deepen the embrace. They were far enough from anybody to keep her powers from causing any problems should her control start to lapse. Yet as she continued to kiss…nothing happened. The only thing that came out of that moment was the first free, spontaneous thing she had ever done that did not cause something to blow up or melt down. Well…not outwardly.

Inwardly, she was feeling an explosion of pleasant sensations and she felt so happy. She always wondered what it felt like to share a loving moment with someone you cared so deeply for, to actually love someone, and they loving you in return. Now she knew and she would never forgot how it felt. She slid in closer to Richard and he took her into his arms and held her tenderly against him, keeping their lips locked just enough to enjoying the sensation of feeling the other's lips. He knew pushed it further or cared to make it go. Just being here with Raven was all he wanted, all he knew he'd ever need.

Their moment came to an end but both pulled away with a warm smile on their faces. He ran his fingers over her cheek and she leaned her face against them, closing her eyes and sighing lovingly, then said affectionately, "This…was the perfect first date."

"I'm glad that I managed to make it perfect," Richard smiled and leaned in to kiss her once more, which she gladly accepted.

They kissed longer this time and then settled in to each other's arms and watched the moon sail through the night sky for some hours. Only when they were both starting to get cold and tired, did they move reluctantly apart and cleaned up their picnic, then got back on the motorcycle and made their way back to their hideout. They rolled easily back into their hideout and Raven gave him a quick kiss on his cheek before getting off Cerberus.

"Thank you…for making me feel like a normal person, Richard," Raven said endearingly.

He got off Cerberus and smiled at her. "You were always normal to me, Raven…"

She felt her face heat up as something stirred deep inside her and she let herself be drawn back to him and kissed him quickly, then dashed away with a soft giggle under her breath as she wisped quickly to the train to take get cleaned up and then head for bed. Richard watched her float away with a warm look until she entered the bedroom cart. He sighed contently and started to put away the picnic basket, and with some thought, went to make sure Malchior was okay. The cursed dragon had been oddly quiet when they returned.

He went to the stand they left Malchior and found the book right where they left him. "You're pretty quiet right now, what gives?"

He didn't get an answer right away, but soon Malchior chose to speak after Richard started to leave him along again. "…She was smiling happily, wasn't she?"

Richard paused and looked back at the book. "Yeah, all night she seemed like she was enjoying herself."

There was another long pause and then Malchior said, "Keep it that way…she deserves to be happy."

Richard stared at the book for a long moment, waiting for him to explain what he meant by that, but the book spoke no more. Seeing he wasn't going to get anything else from him, Richard left Malchior alone and made his way to the train to freshen himself up and then head for bed. He had just caught Raven sneaking into the bathroom with only a towel on, and she paused as if sensing his eyes on her and turned to look at him. She gave him a long, warm look and then did something completely impulsive. She started to move into the bathroom slowly while swaying her hips and just as she started to close the door, she let her towel start to fall off her body.

She had her arm placed strategically to cover her ample chest, but with the angle of the door and how her body was positioned, she let Richard get a nice view of her bare hip and leg and winked at him slyly before closing the door, leaving him staring like a fool and totally red-faced. He stayed like that for a full minute, his mind burning with the image of Raven's naked hip forever into his brain, then gleefully smiled like a fool as he made his way to his room and started getting out of his clothes and setting up his sweatpants and towel for himself to use when she got to get a shower. He just hoped that Raven took a long shower because after what little stunt she pulled, he'd need a private time now…

Sometime later, Malchior was just starting to mentally relax when some of the furniture around the place started to break apart as silver lines cut through them like a hot knife through butter…his stand included. He fell right on the front of his cover page, which pretty much was like landing right on his face. "I loathe you, Richard…"


Deep in the tunnels that connected to the old train station, something began to stir in another forgotten station that was abandoned over time. Candles as red as crimson stood on their posts, half melted suddenly were lit and pools of hot wax began to drip down, leaving a trail of red down their poles and collecting down at their base, as if leaving a mockery of split blood. Resting on an alter that was very foreign to the old station, laid a coffin made of the blackest wood and golden edgings and hinges were craved into it. The coffin creaked opened, letting a puff of cold wind out and leaving frost where it touched the floating dust, making them fall like snowflakes. From the opening of the coffin, delicate, pale fingers began to curl out from the darkness inside the coffin, not caring for the icy surface caking the lip of the coffin.

The lid began to open further and a feminine beauty began to sit up and opened eyes that shined like dark rubies in the candlelit place. A slight snarl curled over her lips as she turned her gaze toward one of the tunnels that led out to her underground domain. Something had invaded her territory and they somehow got past the protective wards that she had placed to keep out the commoners and the weaklings that plagued the surface. How they got this far into her realm without her realized it baffled her…and this angered her greatly. Whoever…or whatever…these invaders were, they were soon going to regret venturing into her world and it would be paid in blood…