Ten Years Later
Brandon "GoldenSama" Rice
"Rise and Shine"
A/N: Dun, dun, dun! Howdy, name's Brandon, but you can call me GS if you'd like. I'm sure some of you reading this have read my other Teen Titans story, "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere For You" (which is still ongoing!) and if you have then you already know to expect action, comedy, romance, drama and some really evil cliffhangers. If you haven't read my other story then you can expect all of those above mentioned things from this story. Oh, I should mention I dedicate each chapter to a reviewer; it's a bit of an incentive for reviews. XD. I know, I'm horrible. This first chapter is for Leftd, who reminded me about this story with their review to my other story! So thank you dude!
All she could hear at first was the soft humming of machinery nearby. She couldn't quite place the sounds, but they were all familiar. A low, mechanical buzz that continued on at the same steady pace. There was also a beeping; it seemed to be accelerating in frequency and growing in pitch. It sounded almost like an EKG heart monitor, like the kind found in hospitals.What is a heart monitor doing in my room?
Raven opened her eyes, but she quickly shut them again. During the brief second they had been open a white light coming from directly above her head blinded her. That was something new. She didn't remember installing any overhead lights in her room; only her bedside lamp and the candles she usually burnt that sat on the table beside her bookshelf. Raven opened her eyes once again and blinked several times until they adjusted to the light. Then she gasped.
This was not her room.
Her room was dark; covered in black wallpaper with black carpets and curtains pulled tight over her window. There were old bookshelves full of spellbooks, a dresser that contained her mirror and several candles, and a closet full of blue capes and black skin-tight jumpsuits. That was the room she'd gone to sleep in. Waking up, however, she was in a completely different place.
The walls were white, the floor was linoleum like a kitchen, and there were baby blue curtains drawn all around her bed. Her bed was white and so was the blanket that covered her pale body. The curtains around the bed were all on hooks and swerved on a track like a shower curtain that covered her bed on all sides in an oval. She realized right away that she was in a hospital.
She just didn't know why.
What happened? Did I get injured? No . . . I'd remember.
Raven was thoroughly confused. She hadn't remembered being injured recently. The last supervillian she remembered fighting was Mad Mod; and while he was highly annoying, Raven didn't remember him hurting her in any way; and she doubted he'd even be capable of such a feat. But that was the odd thing. Her memories were all fuzzy. She remembered last night in a haze; as if it had happened years and years ago rather than just a few ago.
Raven slid the baby blue blanket off her body and she received another shock. Instead of her usual skin-tight black suit, she wore all of the time; she was dressed in a gray hospital gown. She hated those things, they were itchy and she didn't like wearing clothing that opened in the back. It wasn't her fashion statement that struck her as odd, though. It was her body. It looked very different than the last time she'd looked in the mirror. Her skin was much paler than it had been, and it seemed poorly cared for. Instead of being creamy and soft like it normally was, thanks to the herbal lotion she put on every night, it seemed much roughed and uncared for.
That's odd. Raven thought to herself. She may not be as primpy as Starfire, but Raven liked to think she took good care of her body. How she'd let herself go like this she couldn't figure out. Raven swung her legs over the side of the bed and stood up. She walked across the room, but stumbled and almost fell over. She quickly stopped herself and levitated off the floor. Her legs seemed weak. Maybe that was part of the reason she was in the hospital in the first place?
That rose another important question; why was she in a hospital at all? They had an infirmary at Titan's Tower, didn't they? So why had she wound up here, instead of in the small, fully stocked medical room of the Tower? She'd have to ask Robin about that as soon as she found the others. Although first she'd have to find her clothes so she could get in touch with them using the communicator. Raven pulled the curtains around her bed open using her powers and looked around the room, but she couldn't find her clothing anywhere.
Damn it. Raven thought as she used her powers to open all of the drawers and cupboards and desks in the vast hospital room, looking for her things. Her clothes and her personal belongs weren't here, and that seemed very strange to her. Raven shook her head. She'd ask one of the nursing staff for them. Which reminded her, she had better call somebody.
She looked next to her bed and found a small remote control that was connected to the wall with a wire. On it were controls to the air conditioner that hung from the window, the television on the wall, the bed, which was a recliner; and at the very bottom a red button with a white cross on it. That one called the nurse, and Raven pushed it. A moment later a voice spoke out of the speaker.
"Nursing station, how can I help you?"
"Yes . . . I need a nurse." Raven replied; and she was astonished by how hoarse her voice sounded.
"Certainly. What room are you in?"
Raven paused. She had no clue. "I don't know. I just woke up. I don't even remember how I got here." She admitted.
"Fine, I'll trac—oh my god." The nurse's voice croaked. "Room 213? Miss, please stay where you are. I'll send someone right away."
The speaker clicked off. Raven didn't like the tone the nurse's voice had taken when she read the room number. It seemed like something was up; something that Raven would not enjoy. She decided it might be best if she used the phone to call the other Titans, have them come and pick her up and explain what happened. Raven levitated over to the table and picked up the tan colored telephone.
She placed the receiver under her ear and leaned her head to the side to hold it in place between her cheek and her shoulder. She dialed the number to Titan's Tower and waited. It rang only once before a mechanical voice responded. "We're sorry, the number you've requested cannot be completed as dialed. Please hang up and dial again."
Raven was confused. Why wasn't the phone number working? Maybe she'd misdialed. She quickly redialed the number; but once again she received the same cold mechanical message. She knew she'd dialed the correct number the second time. Her mind was racing. That didn't make any sense at all! Had they changed the number at the tower? Why would they?
Before she could ponder this question anymore, the door to her room opened. Raven quickly turned around so that her back was against the wall both so that she could face the person who entered the room, and so her bare back would be hidden. Three people had entered the room. The first was a tall man with thin black hair that was receding quite a bit and a pair of thick glasses. He wore a doctor's white jacket over a tan T-shirt and gray slacks. Behind him were two women, both wearing nurses uniforms. The woman on his right was young, pretty, petite and blonde. The one of the left was older, gray-haired and overweight with a mean face and cold eyes.
"Wow, she really is awake." The younger of the two nurses whispered to the doctor.
"Are you my doctor?" Raven demanded.
"Indeed." The doctor replied in a steady voice. "I didn't think it was possible for her to wake up. Interesting."
Raven paused. The doctor had directed that comment towards the nurses, not at her. It was as if he'd completely ignored her question all together. That wasn't helping her confusion or her mood. "I asked you a question."
"So you did." The doctor finally acknowledged her. "Why don't you get back into bed? You'll be more comfortable."
"No thanks." Raven said shortly. "I have a few questions."
"I'm sure you do, I'm sure you do." The doctor said in a passive voice, as if he was dismissing the concerns of a child and not really paying attention at all. Raven was becoming increasingly frustrated by his behavior. The doctor removed a small bottle of pills from his lab coat and took two of them out. Then he held his hand out to Raven, as if he wanted her to take the pills. "Take these."
"What are they?" Raven asked.
"Medicine. Take them."
"Medicine for what?"
"If you won't take the pills, we'll have to connect you to an IV." The doctor threatened, completely ignoring her once again. That was the last straw. One of the lights on the wall was covered in a black aura and shattered a moment later as Raven lost her cool.
"Listen up, I'm not here to play around with you!" Raven shouted, which caused the doctor and his nurses to recoil backwards with looks of sheer terror jumping across their faces. "I want to know why I'm here! What's wrong with me?"
The doctor had to adjust his glasses because they'd slid down the brim of his nose as he jumped backwards. While he did so, he dropped one of the pills he'd been holding and bent over to retrieve it. As he bent forward, the bottle of pills fell out of his pocket and rolled across the floor to Raven's feet. She levitated the bottle up to her own eye level so she could read the label.
Then she gasped. These were tranquilizers; and according to the label a heavy dosage. Raven narrowed her eyes at the doctor.
"Why did you try to give me sleeping pills?" Raven demanded.
"So you would sleep." The doctor replied sarcastically. The man was suddenly covered in a black aura and lifted off of the floor, he flew across the room and stopped mere inches from Raven's face.
"Don't play cute with me. I want some answers and I want them now. Why am I in this hospital?"
The doctor struggled, but he couldn't move. Both of the nurses screamed and ran out of the room, Raven could hear their heels clicking as they ran down the linoleum floors of the hallway. The doctor finally stopped struggling and looked down at Raven.
"You were admitted because you were in a comatose state." The doctor explained. "You've been like that the entire time you were here. I wanted to give you the sleeping pills to calm you down, that's all."
"I was in a coma?" Raven repeated, taken aback. "What, how?"
"I don't know. I've only been your doctor for the last three years, I didn't work here when –"
"Three years?" Raven echoed, her eyes becoming wide. She'd been in a coma for three years? How was that possible? Well, it did at least explain why her memories were so fuzzy, and why her skin looked as if it was uncared for. Though she had not really noticed it before, she could feel her hair down her back. It was much longer than she liked it to be. "I've been in a coma for three years?"
The doctor shook his head. "No. I've been working on your case for three years." He took a deep breath, as if he was preparing to dive off a diving board into a pool full of artic waters. "You've been in a coma for ten years, according to your charts. There's no reason listed. I just followed the same medication your last doctor prescribed."
Raven heard his words, but everything after 'ten years' sounded far away. That was impossible. Ten years? She could not have slept for ten years. It was preposterous; some kind of bad joke. Wait! Maybe that was the answer to all of this. Maybe this was Beast Boy's bad idea of a practical joke. She knew how stupid that sounded, since not even the pranking master could come up with something like this – and even if he could, he wouldn't have the means to pull it off.
Raven levitated across the room and looked into a mirror on the wall; then she screamed. It was obvious the doctor was not lying, as much as she wanted him to be. Her face had aged at least ten years. Rather than the eighteen-year-old Raven had seen in the mirror the last time she had been in her own bedroom; there was a twenty-eight-year-old woman she didn't recognize staring back at her.
"H-how is this possible?" Raven choked out.
"Like I said, a cause was never determined." The doctor sighed. "Can you let me down now?"
Raven turned around and released her mental grip on the doctor. She didn't bother to apologize to him; her mind was elsewhere. Ten years? She'd been in a coma for ten years and not even realized it? Was that even possible? There were so many questions. What had happened to her? Why was she at this hospital instead of the Tower?
The Tower. She remembered her failed phone call. Well, after ten years the number must have changed. But as she thought about it, she now had no idea how to contact the other Titans. Maybe the doctor would know something helpful. She was just about to turn around when she felt strong arms grab her around her waist. Raven gasped and struggled against the doctor; who was now trying to force her onto the floor.
"What the hell are you doing?" Raven cried out; she was so angry several of the lights in the room exploded.
"My job!" The doctor yelled back. A moment later Raven felt a needle pierce her skin. She realized he had injected her with something. Raven's eyes turned completely black.
"Azarath, Metreon, Zinthos!"
With those words, Raven's powers took effect. The doctor was once again illuminated in a black aura and this time he was hurled across the room and smashed into a wall. Well, he had been lying to her. Perhaps not about the length of time she had been in a coma; but for his reason for trying to give her those sleeping pills. She thought the dosage on the bottle had been strangely high. He was trying to get her to fall asleep again. She did not understand why he would want her asleep; but she did know it was not safe for her to be here.
Raven floated to the doorway and peered her head out. She wanted to get out of here without drawing any suspicion to herself; little did she know it was already too late for that. Raven heard footsteps and she turned to her left in time to see the two nurses that had run off screaming coming back – three security guards with them.
Damn. Raven thought, ducking back inside the hospital room and mentally slamming the door shut with her powers. She flipped the lock closed and put up the chain, but she knew it would not hold them. She also knew she was in a bad situation any way it was looked at. She glanced over to the window; her only chance.
The window did not open, of course, but that wasn't much of a problem. Raven lifted her hands up in front of her. "Azarath, Metreon, Zinthos!"
The window frame turned black, as did Raven's hands, and a moment later it was pulled right out of the wall. She could hear the doorknob jiggling as the guards pulled on it from the outside and she heard a gruff male voice mutter something about getting the key. Raven dropped her hold on the window and as the black aura dissipated it fell to the floor. Raven levitated over and zipped out of the window gracefully and into the clear blue skies.
She rose higher and higher into the air, leaving the hospital far below her. However, she quickly realized this would be a bad idea. It was hard to avoid standing out in a crowd when you're dressed in a hospital gown, but even harder when you're flying. This in mind, Raven quickly flew down and landed in an alleyway in-between a small shopping mall and a gas station downtown. She wasn't even sure what city she was in, but she guessed it must be a pretty small one from the way it looked from the sky.
Raven landed on her feet and took a few tentative steps forward. Her legs shook and she had to grab onto the nearby wall to stop from falling over. Well that makes sense. I haven't walked in ten years, it'll take some getting used to again. Raven realized. She couldn't very well fly everywhere; so this alleyway would have to do.
Raven released her grip on the wall and took a few uneasy steps. After ten years in a coma, she could hardly keep her balance and she was quick to fall forward. Luckily, she stopped herself from hitting the ground using her powers and rose back up into a standing position. Taking a deep breath, Raven tried again – with the same result. On her sixth try she was able to walk down the length of the entire alley before she stumbled and fell, and by the eleventh time she was able to walk forwards and backwards around the trash can.
It took much longer than she wanted to admit, but eventually Raven got the hand of her legs again. Still, the trial and error process had worn her out. Any exercise at all was tiresome because it was her first physical activity in ten years. Raven wanted to find someplace where she could safely sleep, but she knew she had other concerns right now.
Looking down at the hospital gown, which was now quite filthy from all of her falls (she had messed up a few times and been unable to stop before hitting the ground) and she shook her head. She couldn't keep walking around in this thing. Aside from the fact she didn't like giving the entire world a nice view of her butt, it was also cold outside and she was starting to shiver from the conditions. Raven rubbed her arms in a feeble attempt to warm up and decided she'd have to get some new clothes somehow.
The problem was she had no money. Shopping malls didn't have free samples of clothing, and she couldn't very well go in there telling stories about waking up from a ten-year-coma and then running from the hospital. Being dressed like this they'd probably assume she'd ran away from some psychiatric hospital. Raven sighed, that left only one option. She'd have to steal something.
From superhero to common criminal in just ten short years; how ironic. Raven sighed once again and cautiously approached the alleyway wall on the side of the shopping mall. She phased right through the wall, disappearing into a portal of swirling black energy and then reappearing on the other side of the wall.
Unfortunately for Raven she hadn't appeared inside a clothing store. She appeared in the kitchen of a restaurant. Raven cursed at her bad luck and quickly ducked down behind several stacked boxes of unpeeled potatoes. She could see several cooks working, but they'd all been to busy to notice her appearance. Raven wasn't sure what she'd do until she noticed two things. The employee bathroom was only a few feet away from her on her right; and a young woman around her age had just gone inside.
I can't believe I'm going to do this. Raven thought to herself. She hastily floated across the floor and used the same portal technique she had outside to pass through the wall and into the bathroom. The waitress was touching up her lipstick at the sink mirror when she saw the pale girl appear through the wall and she opened her mouth to scream.
Raven quickly used her powers to silence the woman before she could yell out.
"I'm not going to hurt you." Raven said, though she kept a band of black light tied around the woman's mouth like tape. "I just need your clothes."
The woman's eyes widened in confusion, but since a stranger with bizarre powers was making demands of her, she decided to comply. The woman stripped and tossed her clothes in a pile next to Raven.
Raven exchanged the hospital robe for the jeans and tee shirt the woman had been wearing. Luckily, they were a close enough fit that they would work for Raven. The shirt was a bit big, and the pants a little baggy; but it was better than a hospital gown. Raven turned to the frightened woman and sighed.
"I'm going to go now. Don't make a scene." Raven requested of the woman, with a 'or else' tone in her voice. She wasn't going to hurt the poor woman, of course, but she had to make the woman think she would. Raven didn't want her making a huge scene the second she left and getting people after her. Raven phased back through the wall and back into the alley.
She mentally made the energy around the woman's mouth vanish once she was outside, and then she made her way out of the alley and towards the sidewalk. She was still walking very slowly, because it was awkward to walk, so she stuffed her hands in her pockets and kept her head down to look inconspicuous. As she stuffed her hand in the right pocket she realized she had the woman's wallet.
Raven, a former superhero, felt like garbage stealing from that innocent waitress; but what choice did she have? If there was a time when murder can be justified by saying it's for a greater good, then surely theft can also be defended when there's no choice in the matter. Raven shook her head, deciding not to get philosophical today. She walked down the street as the sun began to set, and she wondered what she'd do now.
Where were the others? Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Beast Boy. Her stomach tightened and her heart clenched up at the thought. It had been ten years, but to her no time had passed at all. She felt especially bad because the last time she could remember going into her room and going to sleep she had been angry with all four of her roommates – Beast Boy in particular – and she'd shouted at them and made a spectacle.
Now she'd do anything to see them again. Raven sighed and turned her eyes to the windows of the various shops she was passing by. She needed to clear her head; she needed to stop thinking about all of this.
As she walked by the Barnes and Noble bookstore, however, she saw something in the window that made it impossible for her to clear her mind. There was a large display of a new book that had just been released, a book with a red cover and black jacket. On the front of that jacket, written in large yellow letters, were the words "From Superhero to Superstar: My Life, by Garfield Logan" and beneath that was a picture of a man with pointy ears, a large nose, and green skin.
"You've got to be kidding me." Raven said aloud as she recognized not only the name, but also the coloration. Raven blinked just to make sure she wasn't going completely crazy, and then she entered the Barnes and Noble. She walked quickly to the display table and grabbed a copy of the book. She almost tripped and fell from going too fast, but she caught herself without making a scene.
Shaking her head she walked up to the counter and set the book down in front of the cashier, who was a middle-aged woman with curly red hair and thick horn-rimmed glasses. She looked down at the book Raven had set there and her face lit up.
"Oh, a Space Trek fan, huh?" The cashier asked as she zapped the book.
"A what?" Raven replied.
"You must be a Space Trek fan, right?" The cashier asked. "$19.95 honey. I mean, why else would you be buying Garfield Logan's book?"
Raven wasn't sure if she should be insulted or embarrassed, but neither emotion showed up on her face. "What's 'Space Trek'?"
The cashier stared at Raven as if she was completely insane. Raven had a bad feeling about this.
"It's the single greatest sci-fi television show in history." The cashier replied, clearly insulted by Raven's ignorance on the subject. "The original was cancelled years ago, but then a few years ago Garfield Logan restarted the new series and it became a hit. He's the executive producer, writer and the star; and a complete sci-fi genius!"
The cashier was speaking about Garfield Logan as if he was a deity of some kind. If not for the fact they were talking about a green-skinned man who apparently worked on a Sci-Fi TV show, she would have sworn it couldn't have been the same person she once knew as 'Beast Boy'.
". . . Right." Raven replied. "Can I have my book now?" She asked as she took a twenty and a one out of the stolen wallet and handed them over. The cashier still seemed annoyed by Raven's lack of Space Trek knowledge. She handed Raven the book inside a bag, Raven started to walk away when the redhead spoke again.
"Well, whatever. I'm going to the Space Trek convention in Los Angeles next week. The entire cast is going to be there celebrating their hundredth episode. Even Garfield Logan's going to be there."
Raven, who had hoped to get out of the store without hearing anymore, stopped abruptly and turned around.
" . . . and if someone went to this Sci-Fi convention, they could see Beast Bo--, Garfield Logan?" She asked.
"Oh yes. He loves hanging out with the fans. He's a real sucker for praise." The woman giggled.
It's Beast Boy alright. Raven decided. This day was getting crazier by the minute. She'd woken up in a coma, and now it looked like she was going to have to go to a Sci-Fi convention. She never thought anything in the world could convince her to go to a Sci-Fi convention; but apparently, she was wrong.
That settled it. She'd have to go get airline tickets for Los Angeles.
The doctor whom Raven had knocked unconscious had been found and revived by the nurses and security guards. He ordered that they go search for Raven, and notify the police that a highly dangerous mental patient had escaped. Once he'd finished with his orders, the doctor stole his way into his office and opened his desk drawer. He took a strange black stone out of the drawer. It was round and smooth; and inside it seemed to swirl with white clouds.
The clouds parted, and four eyes appeared gazing up at the doctor.
"What is it?" A terribly cold voice asked.
"Sire, I apologize, but Raven woke up today." The doctor stammered in a fearful voice.
"I am aware. I have felt it." The eyes replied through the stone. "You know what you must do; whom you must call."
"Of course, my master." The doctor replied. "I'll see to it right away."
"So be it. My daughter must not be allowed to learn the truth about ten years ago. Do whatever is necessary to get her back. Do I make myself clear?"
"As crystal, milord." The doctor said.
"I was not speaking to you, human." The eyes snapped back angrily. "Dispose of this insolent being."
The doctor was confused at first, then he heard the sound of something moving behind him. It was the last sound he ever heard, as a second later his neck had been snapped by the second person in the room – the person he hadn't seen or heard.
The second person picked up the glowing orb where the dead doctor dropped it. "I will contain the problem, Lord Trigon." He said to the orb.
"You had better." Trigon the Terrible replied; then his four glowing eyes vanished from the black stone and the white swirls once again covered its center.
The man holding the stone quickly exited the doctor's office; he had to find Raven and take care of this incident, and he had to do it now.
The Next Day
Sleep hadn't come easy to Raven her first night out of the hospital. Raven had, after leaving the bookstore, hurried to the local airport and purchased a plane ticket to Los Angeles, California. She'd also learned that she was currently in Maryland; meaning a long plane ride from one coast to the other. Raven had decided to stay at a Holiday Inn across the street from the airport. She purchased her room and then gone inside, locked the doors and attempted to sleep.
It was a lost cause. She couldn't get to sleep no matter how hard she tried. The idea that she'd been in a coma for ten years kept her awake with haunting significance. She was afraid that if she passed out, she might not wake up again for another ten years. She knew how stupid that sounded; but she could not shake that fear out of her head.
After a restless night, she headed over to the airport early in the morning. She never did like big crowds of people, and even though her flight left very early in the morning she still had to fight the lines to board the seven-forty-seven that would take her to L.A. Sighing happily when she finally got to board, Raven took a seat near the window just above the right wing and leaned back. She cast her eyes out the tiny oval shaped window and began doing something she'd done a million times since she woke up.
She started thinking about that day. That crazy day ten years ago, that was responsible for this entire incident . . .
A/N: There you have it! The first chapter of "Ten Years Later!"
I'm sure it's a bit weird right now, and I know you probably all have a million questions, but let me assure you they will all get answers as time goes on! The next chapter is coming soon, and it is going to be a flashback to ten years ago and it will set up the actual story. Until next time, I hope you enjoyed reading this – and if you haven't, go check out my other Teen Titans story "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere For You"; you'll love it, I promise! Remember, reviews are the lifeblood of any fanfic; without them the story shall wither and die, so make sure you keep it alive!