Edge of Awareness

By: Lady DeathAngel

Disclaimer: not mine, not profiting, 'nuff said.

Pairings: Robin/Starfire, Speedy/Kid Flash, Beast Boy/Terra, eventual Robin/Raven

Warnings: slash, language, sexual content, AU

A/N: I'm so excited to finally be posting this story! Firstly, thanks so much to the most awesome beta reader an author could ask for (and the best I've ever had) Neoinean!Icouldn't have posted this without her.Please, everyone, note the warnings and the fact that this story will contain slash. It is also a Robin/Raven story, though they won't get together for quite a while. This story will contain sexual contentlater on, but I'll be sure to make the warnings more specific when that happens. Also, this story is a hybrid of comic andcartoon canon and I'm anxious to see how it's received.I'll be postingchapters once a week for at least the next five weeks, probably every Friday. So keep your eyes posted and, please, read,enjoy, and review!

Red Letter Days

On September 21st, Arella Roth was gunned down just outside of her home. The story was all over the news in her small hometown, but not because anyone actually cared about her. Arella was commonly construed as odd and the rumor was that she was involved in a cult. Some even thought that she'd dedicated her soul and her daughter to Satan, though even the most dedicated of gossip-mongers weren't too sure how true that was. Still, talk of Arella was never positive and anyone who had dealings with her would often rush to the town's cathedral to be blessed by Father Tom. Rather, the story was huge, not because of the victim, but because of the boy who killed her. He was one of those "troubled" teens, the kind that wore black and painted their nails and hid evil intent behind curtains of dyed hair. He was arrested five hours later with blood splattering his shirt and a grim smile on his face.

"Just so long as it gets me the fuck away from my dad," he said triumphantly.

For weeks men and women walked the streets and shook their heads, whispering about the Troubled Boy and the Dead Woman and asking the inevitable question of 'Why God, Why?' They ignored the fact that after the woman was tucked as neatly as possible into a body bag and the boy was safely settled in a juvenile detention center, the nightmare was far from over. They ignored this fact because, for them, it was over. They could go on with life, harboring the dark secret of their sleepy town in their collective bosom, bringing it out at picnics and family reunions.

Remember the time that kid went nuts and killed the Roth woman?

She was an odd one anyway, and you know how troubled he was.

It was only a matter of time.

It would make for a good conversation starter when the air was dead and awkward and after a while it would become legend. It wouldn't be real anymore.

But for Arella's daughter, it would always be real. Painfully so.

Rachel Roth was another of those who could be typecast as the Troubled Teen. She wasn't even called 'Rachel,', the name too normal-sounding to have fit her anyway. Her strange, cult-driven mother called her 'Raven' instead and everyone else followed suit. Raven wore black and dark purple, was much too pale for a town only an hour away from the sea, painted her nails macabre colors, read too often for a girl her age, and didn't talk much. When she did it was often to say something sarcastic in big words that nobody understood. Everyone assumed she was troubled . . . if they bothered to assume anything about her at all.

When Arella died, no one paid much attention to her daughter. Raven just sort of disappeared from their regaled tales all together after a few years. Initially, according to the papers, she found her mother's body and snapped. Just went crazy and screamed and screamed and screamed until the police carted her away for an official questioning. There was a story going around for a while about how when the police accused her of killing her own mother she cursed at them and a few coffee pots and florescent lights in the building burst.

It took the custodians days to get all the glass cleaned up.

She was at the funeral, along with most of the town. Again, they weren't there because they cared. Rumor had it that Arella had been so grievously injured, the casket was going to be closed. They were disappointed to see her pointed features smoothed in death, the casket quite obviously open, their collective morbid curiosity dissatisfied by the altogether normal service.

If anyone cared to pay attention to Raven's situation after that, and only the most bored of housewives and old ladies did, they would note that the teen spent much of the next two weeks in meetings with strange men and women from out of town. Apparently she only had one living relative, a father that everyone had been told was dead. There was a distant aunt who lived in Europe, but she didn't want Raven and Raven didn't want her. Besides, Raven's father was Trent Ryder. Everyone knew he was one of the richest men in Jump City.

After plenty of signed papers the men and women left. Raven's story was too boring for even the most bored of people at that point, and the newest gossip revolved around Tracey Lourdes and the affair she may or may not have been having with the foreign exchange student Ignacio.

Without the eyes of the town on her, Raven packed up everything she thought had importance and settled on the steps of her small home one Sunday afternoon. Her gaze remained trained on a particularly boring spot of the road, the asphalt as standard as that of the expanse off to the right and that off to the left. There was nothing extraordinary about it to the casual passerby, but Raven was seeing a puddle of blood up the first knuckle of her pinky. Not that anyone could tell. Any neighbors that peered out of their windows assumed this was what all troubled teens did, staring at pavement in abject horror for hours on end.

The last anyone ever cared to hear about Rachel Raven Roth was that she made the decision to move in with her father. Not that anyone cared about her. They really only cared that her father was the Trent Ryder and that he had arrived on that Sunday afternoon in a huge, shiny, black SUV looking far too rich for such a small town.

Several people escaped the humdrum air of their homes to gawk as Trent strolled up to Raven, looking sexy and sleek, just like his car. Raven didn't look excited and a classmate whispered to her smitten mother, "Gawd, what is her problem? I'd be, like, so excited if he was my dad." Her mother just sighed as Trent lifted one of Raven's huge suitcases as if it were a stuffed animal, saying: "me too."

After a few minutes of packing away suitcases, Raven climbed into the passenger seat. Trent jogged around to the driver's side and offered a smile and a wave as he got into the vehicle. Seconds later he sped out of the neighborhood and out of their lives.