Alright, some of the words I typed in the last chapter didn't appear for some creeped up reason. The good thing, though, was that they were only in my A/N and not in the actual story. However I am getting the hang of this.
BrokenNevermore, you should start out with The Taking, the paperback one with the golden cover is prettier by the way. It's the one I'm reading now, and there is some really creepy stuff in that one. Another thing is that the main character is a girl, allowing us girls to connect to it more. Forever Odd's coming out in November, and I can't wait. Some other cool ones are Dark Rivers of the Heart and Seize the Night.
SpiderSquirrel, no I don't. I go to a regular public high school, and the interactions essay is for history. I had to learn all about Islam, which I had no interest in doing. munches on cookie
Moonfire of darknes, that's not very informative.
Teen Inc. is just a magazine I made up, so I do own it.
I made a mistake in the second chapter. Instead of putting 'ceased to function' I put 'seized to function.' It wasn't a grammar mistake like I thought it would be. I was thinking 'ceased functioning' would be the proper way to word it, but it can work either way.
To everyone else: You're AWESOME.
Okay, on with the rest of Breakfast's Dessert.
They were at a nice place; a small eatery with an outdoor area. Taking a seat at one of the red round tables, Beast Boy signaled a very perky waitress. Raven took her seat across from Beast Boy, placing her elbows on the table and folding her hands together in front of her.
"Hey, what would you guys like?" A brunette, looking about the same height as Raven, stood in front of them with a pencil and a writing pad.
Beast Boy looked at Raven. "Two small cones?" He received a slight nod.
"Strawberry," said Beast Boy and Raven at the same time.
"Is that all?" As silence followed, the waitress just decided to leave. "Okay, I'll be right back." And she walked off.
Stunned, Beast Boy stared at Raven, who was just looking at him expectantly. "You like strawberry ice cream?"
"Yeah, it's my favorite," said Raven, dragging out the yeah in a what's-the-big-deal way. Beast Boy smiled at her like she had just laughed at one of his jokes and called him funny.
"Cool! Mine too! I didn't know you liked something I liked. Dude, that is so totally awesome!" Surpressing a sigh, Raven tried to make conversation.
"So, what's your second favorite?"
His smile widened. "Piña colada, you?"
"Rum, for milkshakes." She cocked her head to the left in a cute little way when he stared at her bewilderingly. "Non-alcoholic." Beast Boy sighed in total relief, bringing a frown to Raven's face. "You didn't actually think I'd... did you?"
He simply shrugged. "I don't know you that well." Ouch. Did he really think she'd do something illegal? Well, she did, but that doesn't mean he had to think of her that way. He didn't know. Reaching across the table, Beast Boy closed a gloved hand around Raven's wrist, causing her to flinch slightly and her arm to tense. "But that is why we're here, isn't it?"
"Here's your-" The waitress stopped dead at seeing Beast Boy's hand on Raven's arm. "Order..." Quickly, Raven pulled her arm from under Beast Boy's grasp and reached for her light pink dessert. She sneered at it and rolled her eyes. It was nearly decorated with a whipped cream twirl and a nice, boiled cherry on top. To Raven, it looked more like a sundae than a cone. Shaking her head at the brown-haired girl, she reached into the side of her cloak and pulled out three nicely folded singles. Gently, she slipped it inside the left pocket of the waitress's apron, who in turn smiled brightely at her and whispered a small "thanks Rae" before walking away.
"Does she know you?" Asked Beast Boy skeptically, looking at the waitress's back as she sauntered off to meet a newly arrived couple.
"Who doesn't?" Replied Raven, seemingly disinterested. "Do you want this cherry? I hate these things."
"So do I. Just put it on a napkin or something. You know, it was real nice of you to tip her." 'Especially when the tip is more than the cost of the food,' he added in his mind. He watched as Raven took a napkin from it's holder. She smiled slightly and reached out a hand for his cherry. He eyed it, confused. "Anyway, what you said earlier about me not knowing much about you- oh! Here you go, thanks. I didn't know what you were waiting for- when you said that it really got to me." Raven stopped herself from rolling her eyes at Beast Boy's quick changes between subjects. "I mean, all of the Titans seem to have something they can talk to you about. Me? I'm just an impish little elf who doesn't know anything. In your eyes, at least. I want that to change."
Raven smiled. "It will." Feeling a hand on her shoulder, she turned to see the smiling face of the queen of perkiness.
"Need anything else?" Beast Boy looked at the waitress's hand. She was touching Raven. Not even he could touch Raven without making sure she wouldn't kill him first.
"No, thanks. Just the bill, please. Anything for you, Beast Boy?"
"Nah, uh, water, and uh... Raven why is she touching you?" Okay, the 'thanks Rae' was creepy enough. This... was just... WAY out of bounds. Perky immediately removed her hand from Raven's shoulder and blushed. Raven smiled at her reassuringly.
"That's alright," she said. "She's paid to be friendly. See?" She nodded to a table on the far left side of the outdoor area, indicating a light blonde waitress pratically sitting on top of one of her male customers.
"But I thought she was only supposed to be friendly like that towards the guys." 'And at Hooters.' Beast Boy's eyes widened as the two girls stared at him.
Perky then smiled slyly. "I can do that if you want."
Beast Boy put his hands up in front of him. "No! I mean, not that I don't want... I-um- I'll just go to the, um, rest... room... right... now. Hehe, be right back... Raven... And.. uh.. scratch the water." He then stood and turned around, walking into his chair and knocking it over. He propped it back up and hastily made his way towards the entrance. As he approached the door, he was unable to restrain himself and looked back, nearly crying at realizing that both girls had been watching him, both looking as if they were about to burst into fits of irrepressible laughter.
"Yep, that's Beast Boy," said Raven as soon as the indicated was no longer in her range of vision.
"No wonder Terra dumped him," returned the waitress, reaching for the cherries still on the napkin.
"Just don't say it in front of him," Raven replied with the slightest hint of condolence in her voice. "Knowing him, I'd say he's still extremely sensitive about that."
"Oh, and just how well do you know him?" The girl, no more than eighteen, took Beast Boy's seat across Raven and shot a roguish grin in her direction.
"Get. your. mind. out of the gutter, darling. It's nothing like that and you know it. We just have known each other long enough. I've lived with him for several years, so I'm bound to know something like that. Don't you have that new table to waitress?"
The girl's cheery exihibition no longer complied with the restaurant's shtick and she acted as if among longtime friends. "Kathreen is taking it for me. She's the new girl and she loves taking orders. Creep. Do you know what you're getting him for his birthday, yet?"
"I've thought about it, though I'm not exactly sure."
"Oh, well, anyways," and Raven grimaced. She knew what the young woman was going to say, and she knew the exact high-pitched tone she was going to use, too. "What happened to, 'I can't take you to see Enid tomorrow, Karyan, I've got training.' Training my-"
"Shut it. Robin decided to postpone, is all." Raven hated the high-pitched voice, especially when she was the one being accused of making a false promise or statement. Enid didn't know better, though. She did, only she didn't care, so that immediately made Raven unable to punish. Darn. She had known Enid for quite some time now, and had been friends with her since the day they had met at her 'depressing' cafe three months ago. Looking into her challenging aventurine eyes, she couldn't help but muse how Enid's name had everything to do with her. Enid, meaning quiet woman or soul. The girl's creamy, leather-brown hair shown brightly in the sun, sending glares into Raven's eyes. Enid was outgoing, but she never talked about herself or others. She was not one to gossip or state her opinions, much like Raven. She always said that her views were negligible to anyone but herself, and sharing them would only cause unwanted confusion.
Damalis, meaning 'one who gentles'. The woman was the most caring person Raven had ever come across. Sure, Starfire was warm-hearted in her cute little way, but Enid was one to nurture. She would always be playing with someone's hair or stroking their cheek as they talked. Sometimes, Raven found it uncomfortable, but Enid had gradually learned where to keep the lines. Whenever she would go to her house, Enid would pamper her, asking if she wanted this or if she wanted that. With an inward smile, she remembered the first time she had gone over to Enid's small apartment.
"Well, what do you want, then?"
"Do you have any tea?"
The girl looked down. "No, not really."
Not wanting to upset the girl, Raven decided on milk. When she received it, it was luke warm and sweetened perfectly. Enid had sat next to her on the floor, arms resting on the coffee table, and watched her. When Raven finished, she had a mustache, which Enid had wiped away like a mother cleaning off a child's face after dinner. Ha, Starfire would love her. Raven would introduce them, soon.
Finally, Stillman, meaning quiet and gentle. Enid was never one to have a temper. Never in the three months that she had known her had Raven seen Enid get mad at anyone. The girl simply didn't care. To her, as long as the other was happy, so was she. The not so good thing was, Raven had taken to saying things like 'love' and 'suave' whenever near her.
Smiling clandestinely once again, Raven said the name aloud, paying close attention as the words rolled off her tongue. "Enid Damalis Stillman." It had everything to do with calm. What a good mantra that would make.
The girl looked at her, confused, but immediatly brushed it off. "That's my name, don't wear it out." Raven raised her eyebrows.
"Don't you think that's a little trite?"
"Sure it is, but that doesn't mean I can't use it. Anyway, I think I see why Robin postponed your little training session today." Seeing as Enid's eyes were staring right past her, Raven turned to look behind her. Inside the glass windows of the café across the street, a spiky-haired teen sat talking to a red-headed alien. "I knew they'd get together... publicly at least," she added, eyes still focused on the couple. "They look so cute."
"Just because they're out for iced cappuccinos doesn't mean they are together publicly," said Raven. "That just means they're out for iced cappuccinos."
"Yes it does."
"No, it doesn't. I've been to the movies with Robin before. Does that mean we are together?"
"No," said Enid in response. "There was some stuff in Teen Inc. about it though." Raven opened her mouth to say something, but Enid instantly cut her off. As if in secret, she whispered, "Look, the paparazzi. Assiduous, aren't they?" Raven looked and there was a white 1999 Chevrolet Astro Van parked in front of the café. She could see two photographers, no doubt working for Teen Inc., busily taking pictures of the two oblivious targets.
"You had better watch out too, Raven," the girl continued. "I know there'll never be anything between you and Beast Boy, but they don't." She was right. Raven knew the incognitos were not ones to draw pretty symbols on their vans and carry mics. To the people of Jump City, which hosted one of their many locations in California, they were known as the 'masters of the smokescreens'.
"We are superheros, NOT mooovie staaarss," Raven growled through gritted teeth.
"You might as well be. These people follow you guys around everywhere. They might know better than to ask you for your autograph or bother you while you're out, and some of them are even used to having you around, but that's about it. See?" With her eyes, she pointed to the inside area of the luncheonette, indicating a simple fan girl snagging pictures of her and Raven. "Ha-ha I'm right!"
"Beast Boy's aura is approaching," said Raven with a smirk. Enid frowned and got up, taking one last look at Raven before dropping her gaze and walking away. Raven knew why; Enid hated it that she and the others needed to be kept secret from the other Titans. She knew it was for her own good, but it still hurt her that she couldn't trust Raven's friends. But the Titans had two choices; the law and the crime. It was either one or the other, and they had chosen the law. It seemed, though, that one of them had chosen the crime. 'It's not a crime,' Raven tried to tell herself. 'It's family.'
Looking to the door leading inside, she could see Beast Boy as he held it open for a young couple with a child. The little boy suddenly screamed, shocking Beast Boy out of his skin. Having been trained for unexpected danger, Beast Boy immediatly began to look for the source of it, as did Raven.
"Look, mommy, it's Beast Boy!" The boy squealed in delight.
Raven exhaled loudly. Go ahead, just scare the crap out of her for absolutely no reason. She won't mind. No, not Raven. Even though they were out of earshot, she could tell the boy's mother was admonishing him for his little outburst. She could almost hear her saying it was rude to point. She saw Beast Boy kneel down before the child, comming face to face with him. That one smile, so true and honest, almost made Raven smile herself. The boy laughed as Beast Boy morphed into a parakeet, it's dark green feathers looking relatively normal, and started pecking carefully at his ears and nipping lightly at the collar of the kid's solid orange tee shirt. The boy jumped as he saw a giant doberman leap off his shoulder and land in front of him, chasing after his tail for a few moments before changing into a small kitten. More intently, Raven watched as Beast Boy leaned over to the child, human once again, and whispered something in his ear. Eyes instantly brightening, the child spoke back excitedly, but low enough to have his parents whisper to one another, wondering. She could hear the boy squeal again as Beast Boy's form grew.
Raven almost laughed as the green deinonychus growled, the boy instantely behind his mother's legs. Beast Boy hurriedly changed back, striped tail remaining a few seconds longer. He was so considerate; so well with children. She smiled; if she got close to any child, save Karyan, they'd probably mistake her for a monster. Finally, Beast Boy was handed a notepad and a pen. So, they know better than to ask for signatures? Raven smirked.
As he came back, Raven was still thinking. Intrigued, really. How could he be so good with kids? He made it seem like an easy task. If she ever got close to one of them...
"Hey, Raven...?" The teen turned to face him, eyes completely void of all emotion. "I went ahead and paid the bill inside. You wanna get going? Practice starts in about a half hour, so..." She just sort of stared at him. "Uh... Raven?"
"How do you do it, Beast Boy?" He looked at her, confused and chagrined. He had done something wrong, hadn't he? Was it about the little incident from earlier? Had he embarrassed her in front of the waitress?
"Deal so well with children." His gaze never leaving hers, he sighed in relief. Still, deep befuddlement was spelled out all over his face in big bold letters. A mocking, bitter smile broke out in Raven's face, sending him even more into mystification. "If I came close to any child, they would probably run away screaming."
Beast Boy comtemplated this for a moment, or seemed to at least, until finally speaking up. "It's your hood."
"What do you mean?" She had been expecting him to say it wasn't true, that she'd do great with children. She had already prepared a scornful remark.
"You look so pretty with it off, yet so intimidating with it on, because you can still see your eyes," he replied with confidence in his voice.
"Oh," she replied, flabbergasted. He hadn't thought on that, yet he had the answer on the tip of his tongue. Maybe it was true, then. Wait! Did he just call her- "Pretty?"
"Uh... Yeah." He offered a small, bashful grin, causing her to turn away, blushing slightly. Suddenly, her face darkened. 'He didn't mean it, and I'm not going to let the dog bite me twice,' she thought, and stood up quickly.
"Let's go." Her voice was a sound monotone and he could tell that his little comment had bothered her. Why, though? Whatever it was, even Beast Boy knew that now was not a good time to ask.
"Midnight. Yes, midnight." Then she had seemed more inclined to open up than to shut herself off. He quickly pushed back thoughts of Robin as they appeared.
"Hmm?" Raven looked to Beast Boy.
"Oh, nothing. Just... talking to myself. We didn't get much talking done, that's all. But I guess we could do that later." He instinctively put a hand behind his neck, as he always did around Raven. She had never noticed that he mainly did it around her, and if she did, she'd just think it was her intimidation. Raven looked up into the sky and began to climb towards it. She was upset with him; he had lied to her. No one deserved that, not even her. He might have done it just to make her happy, but it was still wrong to elude her that way. She looked down at the bustling Jump City streets. None of them were innocent; not one. In the distance she spotted the tower and raced towards it anxiously.
The common room door opened. Cyborg and Beast Boy played videogames, as always, whilst Starfire cheered them on. A knowing smile came to Raven's face, for she could tell Starfire was secretely hoping Cyborg lost. She always played winner and Beast Boy was usually a much easier opponent to handle. Shaking her head unapprovingly, she made her way to Robin, who was sitting on the yellow and gray booth by the stereo. She held back a snicker, for she could tell the boy was deep in thought. Her lips close to his ears, she prepared herself not to laugh.
"Robin!" Her voice was quiet but forceful, knocking the masked Titan out of his trance with a jolt. He turned back to her with a glare.
"Yes?" He managed to grind out.
"I ran out of my special tea today, so I'm going to go ahead and shop in Cyborg's place. Marty-Mart doesn't carry the Celestials anymore, so I'll have to run over to Jackson's to get some. Go ahead and have pizza while I'm gone, and I'll just stop by in a café along the way. Give me your list." Robin just stared at her for a while, wondering how she could have made his job easier ten-fold. Aww, but he wanted to hear her complain. Brushing it off, he grinned maliciously as he reached into his pocket for his incredibly evil list.
"Cyborg already has the rest of them. Thanks, Raven, we'll be sure to save you a slice."
"Alright, see you later then." Raven placed a hand on his shoulder as a goodbye and went ahead to retrieve the lists from Cyborg. Starfire sat next to the tin man, busily pressing buttons. Determination flashed across her eyes as she fought for first place. Raven stood next to Cyborg on the other side of the couch and directed her gaze to Starfire. She focused her eyes on the girl's hands. Suddenly, the buttons Starfire wasn't paying attention to with her eyes started to glow black. She had learned this trick from Robin once by watching him play, and if she could just do it right. Seconds before the finish line, Cyborg's opponent zoomed ahead of him, taking the lead and the win.
"You passed me? How'd you pass me?"
"Woohoo! Go Starfire, go Starfire! Iiitt's your birthday."
"Indeed, friend Beast Boy, it is my day of birth." The smile on Starfire's face couldn't have been brighter.
"Alright, Star, you win," Cyborg admitted. He only did this when Starfire won, for if it had been anyone else, he would've demanded a rematch.
"Yeah, Rae? Where've you been? I haven't seen you all day."
She shrugged. "Just in my room. I need your lists. I'm going to get the groceries today since I need to get something, so you'll be able to play more videogames."
"Thanks, Rae. Here you go." Cyborg opened up a compartment in his chest a took out three neatly folded lists. He stopped to look her over while she took the papers from his metal hand. "You okay? You don't look too good."
Raven glared at him. "Thanks."
"No, I meant, you look sad." Raven indeed did look a bit gloomy. She just couldn't get it out of her mind. Pretty? Who was he trying to kid?
"I'm not. Just a little spent from training is all. Besides the fact that I now have to go all the way to Jackson's, nothing is bothering me." Her monotone seemed tired.
"If you're sure. Congratulations on advancing a level." Beast Boy's voice floated over to them in an annoying way, preventing Cyborg from studying Raven any longer, much to her relief. She hated being tested.
"Cyborg, hurry up. The Secret Life of a Middle-Aged Woman is on!" Raven couldn't help but wonder if her teammates were really right in the head. She could understand Starfire's interest in the personal life of regular earthlings, if that show could even be catagorized as such, but how many teenaged boys would want to watch a forty-five year old tackle life in her own unique little way? On the screen was a man of about forty with a woman no more than thirty-five, no doubt not the main characters.
"Creep," insulted the man.
"Jerk," the woman retaliated.
"You don't look so good in those pink pijamas."
"You don't look so good at all."
"Short, heartless beast person!"
"Gullible, over-emotional, gay person! You make me nauseous!"
"You make me sick!"
Raven rolled her eyes. How they could stand such things, she'd never know. She couldn't even take it and she was a girl. Feeling a tug at her heart, she walked over to the huge window that covered most of Titan's Tower. Did they even see her as a girl? 'Shh... Just don't think about it.' And she disappeared into the afternoon sky as a black ball of energy taking the shape of a bird.
Raven pushed herself through the flocks of people, eager to arrive at her destination. She stopped in front of a dark alley to look around and, making sure no one was looking, she hurried in. Little did she know, however, that there was someone watching as she went in through a side door.
As she shut the door behind her, the familiar sound of a bell rang through her ears. It had been annoying at first, but now it was just expected. The space was void save for the rusted chain, which jung three feet from the ceiling, that she knew would be there. Reaching her hand in front of her, she gave it a slight tug. The lights flickered on and a familiar voice drifted to her.
"Must you ask me this every time?"
She heard the click and opened the door, shutting it quickly behind her.
Robin stood, shame-faced, as he stared out the window at the busy city below.
"Is something the matter, Robin?" Starfire's sweet voice drifted to him over the loud noises of the televesion, which was now portraying music videos with vulgar lyrics and dry sex. Beast Boy and Cyborg jumped on the couch, dancing to the beat.
"Yes." Starfire's eyes widened. He never actually admitted it when something was wrong, and she usually had to pry it out of him. Taken aback, she pressed forward, thankful that her job had now been made easier.
"May I ask specifically what it is?" He turned to face her.
"It's no big deal."
"It obviously is, Robin, if you are to be this way because of it."
Standing behind him, Starfire placed a hand on his shoulder. "It's Raven."
"Yeah. I got mad at her this morning and ended up doing something I shouldn't have done. Now I feel so guilty."
"What did you do to her, Robin?" He could sense the repressed agitation in Starfire's voice. To her, nobody messed with her friends, not even other friends.
"Nothing yet. I just made a list of things for her to buy."
"And why do you feel this way?" She demanded.
"Because the list is way too embarrassing, and knowing the public, they'll probably excoriate her for weeks on that. Raven keeps her vows, Starfire. She will buy them."
"Strange. What could Raven buy that would make her 'ruin her rep' with the public eyeball? I know what our vows were, Robin, but do you think she will actually keep them in a situation that could do such damage to her?"
"Because of Beast Boy, we have to buy everything that's on the list. He made it into a whole big thing and now it's paying."
"And what could be on the list that Raven might not want to buy?" Robin turned to her, eyes cast down to the floor.
"Snorfgahs." Starfire's eyes widened once again as he grazed past her. How could he do such a thing to friend Raven?
Smooth darkness brushed against her eyes. She stood still for a moment, inhaling the familiar scent of an old, dusty basement as it drifted past her nose in the air. She counted three steps ahead of her, as if following directions in a treasure map, and climbed carefully down the stairs ahead. After thirty-seven steps, her boots met level ground. Down the hall she could see a small flicker of light, and she knew better than to knock on the door once she reached it. Instead, she kneeled down, opening the small pet door at the bottom. She reached forward, her fingers coming in contact with the string hanging from the ceiling. Lightly, she tugged on it.
Nothing happened. She tugged on it twice, barely hearing the ding of the bell two rooms over.
Nothing. Once again, she tugged.
"Password," came the voice, bored as ever.
"Just open the stupid door."
"Yes, ma'am." The voice answered quickly, having the slight quality of fear in it's timbre, and the door creaked open. "Hey, Rave." The door opened to reveal a young man, around Raven's age, with dyed red hair that was almost pink. "Hey, Dirk."
"Zack and the others are waiting for you in the usual room. I've got shift until seven today." Raven nodded and walked past him, but the boy held her back. Feeling a warm hand wrap around her upper arm, she turned her attention back to Dirk. "Karyan hasn't been eating much lately. You should know the reason. Careful." Raven had become used to being touched by Dirk. He didn't mean to seem so intimidating, it was just his way of being. He would often place a hand on Raven's shoulder while talking to her, and no matter how many times she shrugged it off, it always wound up there again anyways.
"Way to make me feel guilty. I just think she needs to be hanging out with people her age; teenage emotions are too much for her." Dirk took his hand from Raven's arm and placed it on her shoulder. He offered a nod and knowing it was of gratitude, Raven turned and continued. She reached the other side of the room, the filthy green walls no longer sickening to her. It was empty except for the desk in the corner that had once been white. Dirk took a seat in the chair beside it and went back to his shift. Still iffy about touching the door with her hands, she used her powers to open it and crept inside, quickly shutting it behind her. This room was dimly ilumitated, with huge beanie chairs and dirty matresses spread all over the place. A few teenagers sat lazily, scattered around the room. Many were either indulging in conversation or had headphones and were listening to music. In the corner, a girl of about seven fained sleep in a green beanie.
"Hey, Rave." At this, the little head shot up. Blue eyes followed her skeptically as she made her way towards the possessor of the voice.
"Hey, Zack. What's going on?"
"Nothing much," Zack replied, inky black hair completely hiding one eye. His hands, stuffed into his pockets, revealed how callous the boy really was. Cryptic in every way, the mascara in his lashes still making Raven uncomfortable, he held a hand out to her. She took it, giving it a light shake. "Pity we have to greet like this."
Surpressing the urge to roll her eyes and walk away, Raven removed her hand from his. "How have things been going? I heard about the break in."
"Yeah. The police found out about our other base in Steel City. What sucks is that I'm already seventeen but have to stay here with Karyan to take care of her."
"You make it seem like she's a hindrance."
"You also make it seem like she can't here us." Zack quickly turned to look at the little girl just in time to see her look away.
"The kids in Steel escaped. All except one. A thirteen-year-old boy was captured and is now being questioned. What sucks the most is that he also has a little sister, eight I think, depending on him. They were taken to Springwell, just south of Steel. Police think they've headed north, past LA, but there are still some looking even around here." Zack studied Raven's face as she dropped her gaze to the floor. He knew she felt guilty about keeping quiet, but there was nothing he could do. "Raven, I'm sorry." She looked up to him, nothingness in her eyes. "I know you're afraid that your team might find out you've been helping us, and I know you've been feeling guilty for doing so, but I'd just like you to know we all really appreciate your help." Raven offered him a small smile before turning towards the girl in the corner. She walked forward a few steps before the girl shot up and ran over to her. Kneeling down, she opened her arms just in time for the girl to shoot into them, her own tiny arms holding Raven as tight as they could.
"Karyan, how nice to see you." The girl pulled back to look Raven in the eye, keeping her arms tight around Raven's neck.
"You don't think I'm a hindrance?" Raven turned to glare at Zack, who literally felt himself shrink under her gaze. Not one to show feelings, he simply shrugged.
"Of course not, Karyan. Are you okay?"
"If you don't think I'm a hindrance, Raven, then I'm fine." She smiled softly, shiny black hair falling over her right eye sleekly. Raven was starting to wonder if that was genetic. The kid's attention was aroused when she reached into her cloak.
"Look at what I got you..." She held out two closed fists. "But you have to guess which hand it's in."
The girl smiled brightly. "Okay, it's in this one." She pointed to Raven's left hand, which was crossed over her right one.
"Darn. Why do you have to be so lucky?" She asked, and the girl giggled. "Alright then, let's see." Uncrossing her hands, she held her left fist out in front of the girls face. The child held out her hands to catch whatever was going to fall but was surprised to see nothing when Raven opened her hand. Confused, she leaned her head to the side.
"Where is it?" Raven smiled.
"You have to look closer." Karyan leaned in to look at Raven's palm from below, and just when she got close enough, a tongue went out and licked her cheek. Startled, Karyan jumped back. She smiled like a child does when they receive a present they don't understand but know it's going to be good.
"What is it?" Raven's smile grew and she pointed her palm towards the unsuspecting Karyan, who's eyes widened just as a soft, heavy marble-colored cushion collided with her chest, sending her backwards into the huge beanie. Regaining her senses, Karyan shot up, wrapping her hands around the wiggling cushion. Wait. Wiggling... cushion? Turning innocent eyes towards the thing, she saw two eyes, holding the same characteristics, staring back.
"A puppy!" Effervescent, the girl hugged the dog close, grinning brightly at Raven.
"It's a golden retriever." The puppy yawned, keeping it's eyes on Karyan, no doubt unsure of what to do. Raven stood up and walked over, kneeling once again in front of Karyan. She reached out and stroked the puppy's fur. It looked at her and stopped, as if in a daze. It's okay, said a voice in it's head, and he relaxed, breaking out of his dream-like state. Turning to Karyan, it jumped up to lick her face. The girl giggled.
"I love it. Is it a boy?"
"Yep. And you can name it whatever you like." The child's eyes widened.
"Hum-hum," Raven nodded.
"How about... Gunnar?"
"It means bold warrior," she said confidently, scratching the puppy behind it's ear.
"I know, but how do you know?"
"Someone wrote it on a wall. I saw it when I was running from the police. 'Gunnar- Bold Warrior'."
"Oh. And why call it that?"
"Because it will protect me like our parents never did." Seeing that the girl was not looking at her, Raven looked to her left to see Zack kneel down beside her.
"Oh..." She reached out to cup the child's cheek with her palms. "You know, just because your parents put you up for adoption doesn't mean they wanted to."
Karyan frowned, the puppy jumping off her lap to explore it's new home. "How do you know that?"
"No one wouldn't want to be the parents of a girl like you." Smiling slightly, Karyan jumped into Raven's arms, laying her head on her chest.
Intimidation crept into her nerves as the girl snuggled against the warmth that she supposedly had and, blushing, she looked down. Doing the only thing she could do at this moment, she carefully placed her arms around the small child, holding her loosely. The girl's lips were curved upward, her cheaks flushed. Her eyes closed, she looked so content just to be in Raven's arms. But why? What was so special about her? Maybe that she was the only one who cared. She was going against everything she stood for to help this girl out. But then again, Raven was one of three teenaged girls that Karyan actually knew, and the other two paid no heed to the growing soul. It was out of gratefulness and as soon as the girl was out of trouble, she would turn her back. She might not do it intentionally since she was only a child, but all Raven could think of then was that one single line. I really apreciate all that you are doing for me, Raven.
Zack, deciding it was time to save Raven, spoke up.
"Now Karyan, you know the rules. I let Raven get you a puppy, but that means you're going to have to feed it, take care of it, clean it, yada yada yada. I do NOT want any 'presents' on the floor whatsoever. This place is dirty enough. Whenever that thing has to pee, you're the one who has to take it outside. Deal?"
Never showing the tiniest signs of action, the girl mumbled, "Deal. But you have to buy the food."
"Whatever." Karyan released Raven to go chase after the puppy, who was currently exploring the inside of a beat-up matress. "She really likes you," said Zack as Raven stood up from her kneeling position. "I wouldn't know what would be of her if you hadn't shown up. It's not true, though."
"What's not true?" Raven questioned, watching as Karyan tried to pick up Gunnar, who only kicked her and scurried away. Her faded and torn blue jeans, to big for her own good, caused her to trip and fall over into a large purple beanie. She simply smiled and went after her new friend again. That's what he would be to her, her only friend, besides Raven and Enid of course.
"Karyan was too young to remember." She immediately turned to face Zack and he could tell she was worried. "I was almost eleven when my father put me up for adoption. My mother was too drunk to care. I've always thought Karyan didn't need to know, but sooner or later I'm going to have to tell her."
"Just not now." Raven said, and it sounded more like an order to Zack, who looked at her with emotionless eyes.
"Are you okay?"
"People who care are weirdos. I can't change what happened, and I couldn't have possibly chosen which family I was born into. But I'm glad it all happened."
"I'll tell you some other day. Now it looks like your friends are trying to reach you." He indicated the clip on Raven's cloak, showing that it was blinking. Raven went over to the nearest corner of the room and pulled out her communicator.
"Hey Raven it's Robin," came the voice over the communicator.
"Yeah, the smell of gel can't give it away from here. Unfortunately, I can still see porcupines."
"Nice to see you too, Raven. Listen, you can do me a favor by disregarding my list. You can do me another favor by not reading it."
Raven raised an eyebrow. "Uh.. I'm not asking."
"Good." He smiled. "Robin out." Just before he put the communicator down, she could here him say, "phew, that went well." Hmm...
"Robin?" Raven turned around to look at Zack.
"Yeah." She felt tiny hands wrap around her left leg and looked down to see Karyan's deep blue eyes staring back at her. She offered her a slight smile.
"Do you have to go?" Zack asked.
"In a few. You know that if I'm gone too long, they'll be wondering." Pouting, Karyan pulled back from Raven and ran to the nearest matress. She quickly sat down and pulled her knees to her chest, her forehead resting on her arms. Raven knew the girl only had herself to hug at times. She walked over to her and sat down, her own knees touching in front of her while her feet went out past her hips.
"Don't you have to go?" She said bitterly.
"Not without a goodbye." There was a momentary silence until...
Raven sighed as she placed her hands on her knees. "Listen, Ryan, I know you don't like the fact that I'm not always there for you, but you have to understand that if my friends find out about you I wont get to see you at all. We have a duty, and that's to stop crime. By being here with you I am commiting a crime. I just wish you could understand that."
"But you're the only one who cares about me, Raven."
"That's not true. Zack cares about you. I know he might not act like it, but he does. He just has a little problem with showing emotion, that's all. You're just not old enough to understand, but he acts the same way I do when I'm around my team."
"So you don't like your team?"
"No. I love them. It's just that when I came into the group I was one way, and I sort of feel like I have to be that way because that's the way they expect me to be. Like I said, you wont understand because you're too young."
"I just wish my parents were here." Karyan's voice was full of longing for something she couldn't have, and something told Raven that Karyan shouldn't really wish to her parents back. Raven got lost in her mind trying to figure out what cruelties Zack's parents might have done to their children when a sweet voice broke her train of thought. "Raven?"
"Well, you're my favorite friend, and I was just wondering if, since you're a girl and all... All I really want is a..." She trailed off, not sure if she should tell Raven something.
"Spit it out, Karyan."
"Mommy?" Raven's eyes widened. Now what was she supposed to do?
"Karyan, I can't be your mother. To you I might seem old, but... I'm only a child like yourself." Raven tried to sound as caring and understanding as possible through her enduring monotonous facade.
"I know, but only for a little while..."
Raven just looked at her. It wouldn't hurt to let the girl call her mommy until she found someone who could actually raise her.
But the girl was giving her no time to think. She couldn't think under pressure like this. What am I, Beast Boy?
"Pretty please?" There goes that word again.
"Yesss!" Karyan exclaimed, jumping up from her sitting position and separating Raven's knees so she could climb into her lap.
"But only on one condition," said the teen, not really liking the idea of having a child running around calling her mommy. Still, Karyan needed her elusions right now. After all she was only a child.
"Don't call me mommy, call me mother."
"Because that's what I used to call my mother."
"What happened to her?" Karyan asked, curious eyes preparing for a story. Raven raised an eyebrow.
"You ask too many questions." Karyan continued looking at her before Raven finally realized she had been there too long. "Now get off my lap so I can go."
"Did your mommy not like you too?" She asked. "Sorry," she quickly added.
"But I do like you." The girl's happiness radiated off of her, and Raven smiled. "My mother liked me, but I'll tell you about that later."
"Okay." Karyan climbed back onto the floor and stood, lending a hand and helping Raven up. She gave her new temporary mother a loving hug. "Are you gonna hug me back this time?" Raven smiled and kneeled down, embracing the sweet child in a loving hug.
"Bye Rav- Momm- Mother." Raven looked at the girl. What had she done?
Raven, you're terrible with kids. Leave them alone. Okay, so I took an extremely long time. At least I got an A on my physics final. Go me...
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Voice your opinion about the Titan's show being canceled by sending letters to this mailing adress. You can also help out by leaving your tvs on while the show is on and playing online games. Buy some of the Titan's merchandise, but be sure to send your letters because as far as I know, there hasn't been much help in that territory.
Now, let me explain the delay in three simple lines:
Just got home from school and walks in room to see it completely turned upside down. Turns out parents were remodeling.
Me- "Where is my green notebook?" The one with Only at Midnight in it.
Parents- "Oh, the torn up ugly one you've had since freshman year? We threw it away."
Okay, so that's not a good reason considering I typed this chapter in two seconds, but at least I updated, right? Right? yawns 9 AM, time for bed.
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h t t p // w w w. fan art - central . net / pic- 233663. ht ml