"Something Wicked this Way Comes"

Disclaimer: Set during the current run of episodes where Slade is back from the dead and after he delivers that dire message on Raven's birthday. Written for milleniumrex's request 2/20/05 in the live journal community Fic on Demand. Features Robin and Raven, mostly from Raven's point of view. All featured and related characters belong to DCU comics, creators, and producers, and are not mine. The title is inspired but not only the darker theme of the prophecy but also from that one line from the opening scene from Shakespeare's play "Macbeth."

Prologue

She has never been much a clock-watcher, after all modern technological gadgets have a limited usefulness in her life. A modern day phiilosopher alledgedly once made a commentary that magic and science often walked hand in hand, it was just that the rules of magic or natural

Philosphy, so take your pick, had not been as clearly defined as the rules that governed sciencitifc inquiry.

It's distracting, holed up in her room in the Teen Titans's tower, reading about those things, trying to keep her mind and boy occupied and not have to watch the clock. The digital readout on the analog clock that floats beside and directly below her hovering body, the face of the clock reads 9am.

Never has she wanted this badly to have time fly by. She uses her psychic abilities to throw the book away from here as it fetches up against the far wall, coming splayed downward like a exhausted butterfly. She envies it, she's exhausted too from the amount of energy she has expended to not think about the prophecy attached to her day of birth.

Raven has anticipated this day with ambvilance. Some hope that it will turn out as bad as she expects that it will. Tomorrow is her birthday. Most teenagers would be excited and looking forward to a party, perhaps a party with friends and loved ones. Not Raven. She has dreaded this particular birthday's arrival because she knows that there is a prophecy attached to it. Dire things are supposed to happen.

A pounding on her door of her room snaps Raven out of her deep mental trance. "I told everyone, I do not wish to be disturbed!"

"Hey, Raven, come on out. I've got something to show you!" Beast Boy gushed, as he peers
cautiously around the edge of the door, half in and half out of the entry . He knows better than to rush heedlessly into Raven's room uninvited.

"See those uh, footprints on the floor."

"Yes."

"All you have to do follow them and you'll get a big surprise"

The footprints lead to the living room, the place has been decorated and festooned with brightly colored ribbons and streamers, Cyborg is delicately balancing something with multiple layers and looks like a leaning tower of mulit-flavored ice cream. She realizes with a start, that her friends knew it was her birthday and have thrown a surprise party for her. She hates to burst thier happy, cheerful bubble and tell them she is no mood for a party or levity. It would spoil her dour, dreadful mood.

Somehow, with her concious control, her power and everything in sight simply implodes including the streamers. which fall from their stays, the cake rises up and when it finally surrenders to the law of gravity, her it comes down directly on top of Beast Boy.

The awkward moment passes in stunned silence.

Raven almost wants to laugh at the image of Beast Boy covered head to foot in slowly melting icecream, but the sound of the emergency alarm interrupts the moment, and the opportunity is lost.

"Titans! Go!" Robin shouts, and the team mobilizies and faster than it takes to tell it, we lost,
and lost badly. Not something the Titans are accustomed to dealing with, but that's not the point, is it"

Later

The team agrees to split up, to scour the city for both their missing teammate and the returned from the dead, Slade. But that was only after we manage to dig our way out from under a pile of rubble. There's irony for you. I remember Cyborg saying something about being more than happy to bury Slade again from whatever rock he crawled out of.

Right now that abandoned factory and everything inside it was nothing more than a smoking pile of stone blocks, metal parts, and fused circurity.

Robin doesn't know or care what kind of twisted circumstances allowed Slade to ressurect himself from the dead. Right now that isn't his biggest problem. It's more like the Titans' stock and trade. Granted, it might be the first time that an old nemesis returned and more or less sidelined him to b-squad, but aside from the damage to his ego, he needed to focus on Slade's agenda. 'What could he possibly want with Raven? And what was up with this incessant need of Slade's to deliver a message?'

The way the battle went it appeared as if they weren't going to arrive at the answers to any of the questions piling up, if the entire building, roof and ceiling crashed down upon them.

Meanwhile

The wind shear of the speed she reaches attempting to out fly and out manever Slade's pursuit makes her eyes tear up. Her her whips around her face and gets in her eyes. Its unbelivable to her that Slade is matching her attack for attack, telekinetic force and inamiate object hurtled at him.

If she were close enough to see the expression on his face, she would have almost have termed it a smirk, a confident, arrogant, prideful smirk. And it's not the fact the he knows about the prophecy, all she can hope for right now is that none of her friends, her teammates heard him.

She can't respond to his taunts, her entire concentration is given over to energy surging within her body, and finding a way out of this current mess.

Slade finally corners her, in a deserted street, the sky scrappers, and lesser buildings silent witnesses to this deadly confronation. Slade has evaded everything she could think of to throw at him, and then some. How is it possible he counteract my powers so easily. He never had or exhibited any sign of those kinds of powers before. So why now? These thoughts run through Raven's head, as her breath comes in shorter and shorter gas, to use Robin's term, she's running out of gas, and fast.

She hears Slade utter the word of the prophecy, and a part of her concious mind hears him, and all it is white noise. She doesn't accept that her destiny is already set in stone, so it can't be true, even when uttered by someone else.

He's too close for comfort, then without warning, Slade has grasped a handful of her cowl attached to her purple cape. He tilts her head back, and stares into her eyes. "Let me show you what is destined to come to pass.

Her eyes roll back in her head, and she can barely breath. Suddenly Raven no longer is aware of her surroundings, instead in her mind's eye vision, or the twisted one that Slade is forcing to her to experience, she sees the Ttians's tower floating in the water of the of river. The sky is dark, and the entire landscape is painted in shades of red and black. When she can think clearly again, regained a measure of control, the ordinary world returns in a sudden rush. She jerks away from Slade's painful grasp on her body, thrusting away him with her hand.

"This vision, that's all it is. It's not real. And as long as there is breath in my body, I will make certain that it never comes to pass."

"Defiance is all well and good," Slade whispers. "Oh, it will come to pass."

"You're wrong!" Raven shouts.

"You must understand, Raven, that when I found out about the power lurking inside of you, I must say, I was impressed." Slade leans so close that she can smell his breath, like smog and air,

"Congratulations, my dear. You're destined to destroy the world."

"No!" Raven screams.

Conclusion Scene 6

"Raven. You okay"

"I can't walk." In fact I can barely move. That last energy blast took more out of me than I imagined.

"Your ankle?"

"Focus, here. My twisted ankle is the least of my worries right now"

"What's up with Slade?"

"It's complicated."

"You can trust me."

"The problem is can you trust me. After what I'm about to tell you, you may not ever again."

"Come on, it can't be that terrible." Robin tried for a coaxing reassuring tone, something to break the tension he could feel building up. He looked around at their present surroundings, the shell of what must once have been a beautfiul place of worship, but now was an abandoned ruin.

Through the broken windows of the remnants of the stained glass slants of light crept down, making the layers of dust gleam in puddles of rainbow colors. He turned his attention back to Raven, noticing how she curled into her body, favoring his left ankle. "You don't have to if you don't want to."

"It's my birthday. On this day, the anniversary of my birth something terrible is supposed to happen. Something about fulfilling a prophecy."

"It's not fixed in stone yet? You can still change the outcome, right?"

"That's the problem, Robin." I've always been the glass is half-empty girl. It's difficult for me to see the upside of this situation." "I'm sorry.

"Why?"

"I couldn't stop Slade. I couldn't prevent this from happening."

"Don't. It's not your fault. No one could have done more." Robins turns his face away, distracted. "Whatever happens, just now that we're for you. I'm here for you.

"I know. Let's go home. It's been a long night."