Chapter 15: Answers
The sun was just coming up over Titans Tower. The garage was empty, tools sprawled out on Cyborg's work table. He'd been in a hurry to get out of there. No time to clean up. In the living room, books were left open on the floor, but most were stacked in piles of useful or not. The reading had stalled for the time being, because the readers were momentarily distracted. Robin, Starfire, and Cyborg were huddled around their kitchen table. Robin stood, arms crossed, next to Cyborg who looked stoic to say the least. Starfire sat in a chair across from the boys and next to a girl, who clung tightly to her grey cloak around her. The girl's hood cast a shadow, though the effort was irrelevant. The titans were very familiar with her face. They were not, however, familiar with seeing tears fall from the eyes of that face. A tea pot whistled from the stove, and the girl jumped a little in her seat.
"I'll get it," Starfire smiled. She poured the girl a cup of tea, while the boys continued to stare in silence. "There you go." Starfire smiled again, trying her best to hide her worry.
"Raven," Robin started. The girl did not look up. "We need to know what happened. We need you to talk to us. Where is Beast Boy?"
The girl mumbled, "Trapped. Darkness. Gone. It's all gone." She looked up then; her eyes showed a little too much white as she spoke quickly, "I'm sorry I wasn't strong enough. I don't know where he came from. I was so scared. I'm sorry, please don't hate me. I already hate myself." Her voice broke into a sob as she finished, and Starfire rubbed the girl's back wearily. This was not the first time their guest had broken down.
"Robin…" Starfire looked at him, and the two shared a moment of understanding. Something had gone terribly wrong. Robin grabbed Cyborg's arm and walked away from the table.
Cyborg said, "What's going on, man? Why is Raven crying like that?"
"That's not Raven."
Robin and Cyborg looked back to find Starfire whispering to the Non-Raven, trying to calm her. The girl was looking at her tea cup. Her body was still shaking a little.
A clap sounded above them, and this time everyone jumped.
Cyborg whispered, "Not again."
Things moved quickly then. Robin and Cyborg took off toward the door; Robin stopping only for a second to look at Starfire, who was standing now.
"Stay here!" He shouted before running after Cyborg.
The boys ran upstairs, around the corner, and down the long hallway to Raven's room. Robin and Cyborg slowed as they reached the door. Cyborg took his place against the wall across from the threshold, his arm shifting silently into a cannon. He aimed for the doorway, nodding at Robin. Robin lay flat against the wall beside the door as it opened, and Cyborg crept into the dark room.
"There's another body in here, other than that the room's clear."
Robin came into the room switching on the light, and fought to keep a composed face. The body looked just like the girl downstairs did when the Titans heard the first clap; she lay beside the dresser, unmoving. Cyborg's arm went back to normal as he picked up the green cloaked Raven. "You're not gonna believe this, man, but I think I know what's going on," Cyborg said looking down at the girl in his arms. "I know her."
Robin looked up at Cyborg, "You know she's not Raven, right?"
Cyborg still stared down. He spoke hurriedly, "No, she is Raven. Well, a part of her anyway. That's why the one downstairs looks familiar too. It all makes sense now!" Cyborg rushed out of Raven's room, Robin calling after him, "Cyborg, stop!" He ran ahead and caught Cyborg's arm right as he rounded the corner. "Explain."
Cyborg said, "All I know is BB and I saw this one and the girl downstairs when we got sucked into Raven's mirror the first time. This one," Cyborg nodded down to the girl, "is really tough. She's like the tomboy side of Raven that kicks ass during a fight. The other one is all weepy all the time. I guess she's the depressing side of Raven or something. Point is, Robin, they ARE Raven. They're just not all of her." Cyborg frowned at Robin, "I just don't know how the heck they got out."
Robin shook his head, "I don't know." He looked at the girl, "Let's hope she does." With that, the two boys ran down the stairwell.
The episode couldn't have lasted for more than a few minutes. Beast Boy had heard, during a tragedy, minutes have a way of pretending to be hours, but he'd never believed it until then. Raven eventually stopped shaking; however she did not wake up. Beast Boy did the only thing he could think off. He kept moving. It's remarkable, the determination you get when you really care for someone who needs you. It's that same determination that let's ninety pound grannies lift massive cars to save their grand-babies, and allows Beast Boy to get Knowledge, Raven, and Rude on his back in the form of a tiger. Beast Boy glanced back Raven with his tiger eyes. 'Please wake up, Rae.' He thought, before he raced off again. He hadn't been running for long, but The Gateway was in sight now, and Beast Boy felt a leap in his stomach. Somehow he just knew that everything would be better once they were both out of Raven's mind. 'Not to mention, I haven't gotten a chance to use the restroom in a really long time,' he thought. And that did it. Once he thought about how bad he had to go, it became impossible to hold it in any longer. 'Damn it!' Beast Boy halted, and looked back again. 'Well, they are all still asleep. Maybe I can just go here and run away real fast. She won't notice later, right?' Beast Boy swallowed hard, lifted his back right leg and—
"Don't you dare."
Beast Boy let out a little tiger yelp and froze. Slowly, he looked over his shoulder. Raven glared back at him, with only one eye open, which was impressive. "If you pee right now, I swear I'll find the strength to kill you."
Beast Boy hung his head and lowered to the ground. Raven slowly crawled off of his back, pulling Knowledge with her, who groaned. Beast Boy shifted quickly back to himself, catching Rude in his arms. He laid her down beside Knowledge, and looked at Raven. She was still frowning at him as she sat. Beast Boy opened his mouth to explain, but Raven held up her hand, silencing him. "I don't want to hear it. My head hurts and I'm tired." She sighed and looked ahead toward The Gateway, "But at least we're close." Beast Boy sat down beside her to rest, and Raven looked at him and then at her hands in her lap. "Beast Boy, I...It was smart of you to keep moving. Glad you didn't screw things up anymore than you already have."
Beast Boy smiled a little, "Is that your way of saying 'thank you'?" Raven continued to stare at her hands, suddenly uncomfortable, and Beast Boy's smile grew, "You're welcome, Rae."
"Whatever," she grumbled, trying to stand. Beast Boy moved quickly, grabbing her hand to pull her up. "I could have done it myself." She glared at him.
"No you couldn't." He frowned.
"It's okay to accept help sometimes, Raven."
"You would say that, considering you can't do anything on your own."
"Oh, like how I saved your butt back there?" Beast Boy yelled. "I could have just left you to your little seizure and gotten myself out. I didn't have to carry your unconscious body all the way over here."
Raven let her anger fill her. She liked the comfort she found in the heat. "Well, sorry for being such a burden to you." Raven retorted.
"Will both of you shut up?"
Raven and Beast Boy looked down. Rude was lying on her back, rubbing her temples. "Jesus, what a headache. What are you even arguing about?"
"Nothing." Raven and Beast Boy said together.
"Didn't sound like nothing," Knowledge murmured, sitting up.
"Welcome back, Sleeping Beauty," Rude said.
Knowledge ignored her, looking at Raven and Beast Boy, "How long have we been out for?"
Beast Boy answered, "I don't know really. Not that long I guess. Long enough for me to get you guys here." He gestured behind him, then looked at Raven. She avoided his gaze.
"The Gate, huh? Good job, Short Stop." Rude smirked. She looked at Knowledge, "End of the line, huh?"
"I'm afraid so." Knowledge stood, "It's up to you two now. This is as far as we go." She held her hand out to Beast Boy, who shook it. "We wish you the best, Beast Boy. Take care of her."
"I don't need taking care of." Raven stared at Knowledge. "I'll be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, I'm telling you to gather everyone and stay together. It'll be easier to keep everyone in check that way. I don't need any more fights in here. Is that clear?"
Rude and Knowledge said, "Understood." Rude sat up, "Beast Boy," He looked at her. "Don't screw up."
He smiled, "I'll try."
"Raven," Knowledge said, "You realize you must tell the Titans what is happening. That Malchior has escaped, and what he has done." Raven nodded, hovering above the stone path. Beast Boy shifted into an eagle. Knowledge said, "Godspeed."
Beast Boy cawed and flew off toward The Gateway, Raven trailing not far behind.
Author's Note: I'm sorry for such a short chapter. I'll try to get another one out as soon as I can.