A/N: Last chapter. Read on!
Disclaimer: See previous chapter.
Raven felt a cool breeze brush lightly across her cheek. She stirred, trying to pull her covers up against her, but was confused to only feel her cloak serving as a blanket. She painstakingly opened her eyes, bewildered to see that she was more or less sitting on a concrete ground. Hazy eyes glanced about her more to discover that she was actually on a rooftop.
Trying to discern just where in Jump City she was, Raven sat up straight to try to find a landmark of recognition. She instantly regretted the movement, choking out a groan of pain before falling backwards into her former position. She hit something soft, yet firm, and it groaned as well.
"Take it easy, kid," Red X told her, placing one arm around her waist to still her movements.
"Where am I?" Raven asked, turning her head to an angle of which she could see him. His skull mask had been partially cracked off on the lower right side, which matched a gash in the head of his suit that ran at an angle up the same side of his face. A small patch of blondish hair peeked out from the ripped suit.
"Not with Slade anymore," was his answer, making it clear that he wasn't too keen on talking. Feeling quite exhausted herself, Raven didn't complain as she just leaned against him. She must have fallen asleep again, because the next thing she knew, the sun was shining in her eyes.
She groaned, pulling her arm up to block the obtrusive light. Behind her, X shifted and sat up somewhat. She was forced to sit up too, making her groan louder. Her fingers ran across the x that was still on her forehead, trying to peel it off.
"Don't do that," X complained, pulling away her hand. "You'll break it."
"That's the point," Raven muttered, now pulling at the x with the other hand. "It's blocking my healing ability."
X pulled her other hand away from the device and reached up himself. She felt him fiddling with it for a minute and then the evil piece of electronics popped off her forehead. She breathed a big sigh of relief as she tested her powers, trying to rid herself of pain in her wrists where they'd been bound for the last few days. It tingled as the wounds healed themselves at an accelerated rate, but it could have stung to high heaven for all Raven cared, as long as it healed.
"Just don't try to go anywhere," X warned her, looking around.
"What could you possibly want from me now?" Raven asked rhetorically, now turning her attention to the various scrapes and wounds on her legs.
"I'm going to exchange you for my payment," X stated simply. Raven froze, turned around so she was facing him and looked at the mask that covered his eyes. X chuckled quietly. "You didn't think I stole you out of the goodness of my heart, did you?"
Her hand came up to the side of his face that had the wound and he caught it, jerking his head to the side somewhat. Unexpectedly, the wound stopped throbbing and he felt an odd tingle along the line of the gash.
"No, I guess not," Raven said as she continued to focus her healing on his face. He finally let go of her hand, and she reached behind her to grab some of her cloak. She used the half tattered item to wipe away dried blood from his wound, revealing a thin, pink scar where the gash had been.
A gust of wind from behind her made Raven look back, very surprised to see Robin standing there. X stood up, pulling her with him and facing her towards Robin.
"One Titan successfully stolen," X announced, pushing her forward. Robin took her hand and tossed a gray utility belt to X, followed by two red vials.
"Payment as promised," Robin agreed. "The original utility belt and its reserves."
"Robin, what's going on?" Raven asked, somewhat confused.
"Then our business here is done," X concluded, then took a step backwards onto the ledge and jumped off. A few seconds later, a tether line being shot could be heard. Raven stared at Robin, still confused and searching for an explanation.
"Sometimes you have to do something you don't want to, in order to get what you want," he said, putting an arm around her shoulders and leading her to the other ledge of the building, from which she could see the Tower.
"We wanted you back," Robin elaborated, blasting his own tether line and jumping off of the building, pulling her along with him. At the base of the building, Robin's motorcycle sat idling. "The Titans, East and West, wanted to fight to get you back. Even come face to face with the reality that we might lose our lives to get you back."
Climbing onto the back of the bike, Raven looked at the ground. In truth, she didn't want him to see that she wanted to cry. She didn't want any of them to see that, even though she knew it to be the truth. And the same went for her for any of her friends. She'd unquestioningly lay down her life to save one of them. But for whatever reason, to hear it said brought her close to tears.
"Everyone was willing to do that," Robin continued, heading the bike in the direction of the Tower. "But I knew…somehow I knew that this time, it wasn't going to be enough. I knew that in order to get you back, we'd have to be willing to do something we didn't want to."
Robin stopped the bike in front of the subterranean entrance, letting the bike idle as he finished his explanation.
"I didn't want to do it, but I knew the only way we were going to get you back was to have Red X steal you back," Robin admitted quietly. His tone of voice had changed and Raven could tell that this was bothering him. "The other Titans didn't see this, so it meant that they weren't willing to go that far…so I didn't tell them."
Raven's eyes widened, surprised that he would keep something from his friends again.
"I came up with a plan that seemed feasible to get you back," Robin explained. "I even brought in the East Titans. I wanted it to look like we were doing everything we could to get you back. And as I let them become fooled by the idea that this plan would get you back, I contacted Red X and set up an alternate plan."
"Robin, why didn't you tell them?" Raven whispered, watching the young super hero hang his head in shame.
"I know that the last time I did this, when I created the suit for Red X in order to catch Slade, it was wrong," Robin acknowledged. "I should have let you all know what was going on in the first place instead of lying to you. I learned my lesson. But this is different."
Robin paused, seemingly to collect himself. Raven was taken aback to see Robin in such an unsure state.
"I became the bad guy again," Robin concluded. "So no one else would have to."
"Robin," Raven whispered, still digesting all that had been divulged unto her.
"I'm telling you this because you were awake when I made the exchange," Robin told her. "If you would have been unconscious, I would have told you the same thing that I'm going to tell the others. That on my way back to the Tower, I found Red X and was able to get you back from him."
"Robin, you are not a bad person," Raven reassured him, but he shook his head, putting the bike in gear again.
"Just please, don't tell the others," Robin pleaded as he slowly rode the motorcycle through the tunnel that lead to the Tower's sub basement. "I want them to think that no matter what, if you fight the good fight, you will get what you want."
Ahead, at the end of the tunnel, she could see her friends waiting for her. The motorcycle had barely stopped when she was plucked off of it by Starfire, who was not trying to squeeze the life out of her for once. Cyborg and Beast Boy were next to nearly attack her in their joy to see her. The East Titans had their fair share of hugs and back slaps waiting for her as well.
"It's good to be back," Raven told them, gracing them all with one of her few and far between smiles.
Raven woke to the feeling that someone was in her room again. She sat up quickly, watching the long curtains that shielded her from the morning sun waft forward slightly, pushed by a light breeze. Knowing that she had not left the window open the night before, she quickly scanned the room for an intruder. She saw no one, but given the events of three days prior, she wasn't about to let her guard down so quickly.
Forgoing the cloak, she climbed out of her bed and headed straight for the door. She did not make it before she was grabbed from behind; her attacker had apparently been hiding within the curtains. She would have screamed, but a hand clamped over her mouth before she could draw enough breath.
"Not this time," a familiar voice whispered. Raven froze, recognizing Red X's voice instantly. Though her body was still tense, she stopped struggling, surprised that the young thief had come calling upon her again.
"I just wanted you to know," he whispered, so close to her ear that she could feel his breath through his mask. "I just wanted you to know I'm a bad person."
"You're a bad person," Raven repeated, once he'd removed his hand.
"Right," X agreed, still whispering in her ear. Irritated at the thought of being held by him again, she fazed through his grip to face him.
"You came here and broke into my room again just to tell me that?" she reiterated, crossing her arms in annoyance.
"Yeah," he affirmed, though his voice sounded unsure.
"Well, you did," Raven observed, crossing her arms. "Now you can go."
He shrugged, then turned around to exit the same way he'd entered. Raven followed a bit behind, planning on closing the window after him. He stopped at the ledge and looked at her again.
"Not that it probably matters to you," he began, "but I promise not to do it again."
"Do what?" Raven asked. "Break into my room?"
"I promise not to steal you," Red X said. "That's what I really came here to tell you."
He jumped out the window after that and Raven closed the window, making sure to lock it this time. She didn't know why, but she believed what he said about not trying to steal her again. She shook her head and decided to get cleaned up for the day. The East Titans had finished helping with the Tower repairs and were heading back to Steel city. She was half way to the shower when a thought occurred to her.
"He never said anything about not breaking into my room again," she muttered to herself, and resolved that the first order of business once she'd said goodbye to East Titans was to get Cyborg to redo the security in her room. If that pain-in-the-butt thief thought he was going to continue to break into her room whenever he felt like it, then she was at least going to make it harder for him.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed it. As always, feedback is desired.