Out of Focus

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: Don't own these characters. Been awhile since I did a Titans fic. R/R if you like it.

Focused. It's an adjective often used to describe me. Of course, there are a lot of words used to describe me, some of them only uttered under hushed breaths or not even spoken aloud at all. But whatever anyone says or may say about me, I am focused. It's an odd adjective. Being focused means narrowing your attention down to one thing. You have one goal, one drive, one passion. You put everything you have into that one thing because, to you, it's the only thing that really matters.

Being focused isn't always easy. Other things distract you and keep you from what you're focused on. You get sidetracked or caught up in other things and you forget what's important, what drives you. You lose your focus and you lose your way. But I often ask myself a simple question. Is it a good thing to be so focused on one thing? Is it a good idea to have just one thing driving you? I suppose that depends on what the things is. I've been called determined but I've also been called obsessed. It comes with being focused. What drives you sometimes blinds you. You stop seeing other things because all your attention and perception is focused on the one thing. But sometimes, well, you need to take a step back and adjust the focus on the lens of your perception. Perhaps there are other more important things to focus on than whatever it is that now haunts you instead of driving you.

When I first formed this group, I had a plan. We would be the heroes of this city. The Teen Titans, the most beloved crime-fighters in all of Jump City. No villain would dare challenge us. It was a noble goal, one that drove me to lead the team and defend the city. But that goal, that idea that I was so focused on and driven by, turned into a nightmare. I remember how for a long time I was obsessed with Slade. I was so focused on stopping him that I neglected everything else including my friends. Worse yet, I neglected my own integrity by dressing up as Red X in an attempt to unmask Slade. In the end, my focus turned to obsession, an obsession that almost dragged us all down into utter defeat.

After I freed myself from Slade's apprenticeship, my focus changed. I reverted back to my original motive of protecting people, not just the people of this city but my friends as well. I don't have a real family so the Titans are the closest people to me. If anything should happen to them, well, I don't know what I'd do. So my main focus for a while now has been trying to protect them. Lately though, something else has been getting in the way. My focus is starting to shift. It's not just about protecting my friends or the people of the city anymore. It's about trying to protect her, trying to protect . . . Raven.

I don't really know when it started, this change in my focus. It just began to happen. Certainly she needs to be protected. She's had to carry so much on her shoulders. The dark cloud of the prophecy that went with her birth looms over her, enshrouding everything else about her. She shouldn't have to bear such a burden alone. She and I have always been close. We know more about each other than any of our teammates do. But it's little things that suddenly keep drawing my attention to her. When Beast Boy and Cyborg are goofing around she tries not to smile but a little one dances at the edge of her lips. When you walk into her room, the first thing you notice is the lilac-scented incense that's always burning. Whenever she's in a really bad mood, she always listens to the same CD. When we come back from a really hard fight, she always asks me specifically if I'm okay.

My thoughts turn more and more to her every day. But I can't lose my focus. I have to protect the city, protect my friends, protect her. I can't forget that. But the shift is already happening. I am focused and determined but only on one thing: her. I find my perception narrowing and zeroing in on her and blocking out everyone else. It's a bad thing, letting everyone else fall away and only thinking of her. I almost lost myself to obsession once; I can't do it again no matter how intoxicating the idea might be. I can't love her. It would distract me, make me lose my focus.

But still, I can't help thinking about her and wanting to be around her. I take a step back from all this and try to regain my focus. I zoom out to get the bigger picture. I have to protect her even if it's from myself. So I try adjusting my focus, trying to make the picture as clear as it used to be. I touch up the blurred edges and trim away all the excess. Everything comes into focus now, a sharp and narrow focus. It's crystal clear that I love her and for the first time in a long time I'm not seeing things out of focus.