Disclaimer: I don't own TT.
Rest in Peace
Little Tommy loved visiting Grandpa's house. He always had so many stories to share. This time was no different. Tommy climbed into his grandfather's lap and said, "Tell me a story Grandpa!"
Grandpa laughed. Grandpa was a thin yet healthy old man with sad brown eyes. His arms, once strong and muscular, were now barely able to hold the small boy. Tommy nestled in his grandfather's arms, staring at him expectantly. "Well, I not sure what stories I have left."
Tommy looked down sadly. Then he noticed something. "Grandpa, what's that?" he asked, pointing to some black on his arm barely showing due to his shirt sleeve.
Grandpa's eyes lit up. Moving his grandson slightly, he pulled up his sleeve to show a large tattoo of a great bird. It wasn't an ordinary bird, though. It looked more like the shadow of a bird with its wings outstretched. If it wasn't odd enough for Tommy to find out that his grandfather had a tattoo, it was even odder to notice that the skin the tattoo was on was completely smooth, not a single wrinkle in sight. It was as if his skin was completely unchanged from the day he had gotten the tattoo. Grandpa pointed to the tattoo and said, "That has a very interesting story."
Red X was sitting in his apartment looking over blueprints of the Jump City museum. His costume lay on his bed, and he wore a plain white t-shirt and jeans. They weren't as tight as his costume, but his muscles were still evident. His light brown hair fell slightly into his calculating brown eyes. As he was plotting his entry and escape, his room became very cold. He stood and turned around, planning on grabbing a sweatshirt, when he saw her. She stood there watching him. Her large amethyst eyes looking extremely tired, as if they were about to droop and she would fall asleep at any moment. Her violet hair framed her pale face. It seemed even paler than usual, though. Everything about her seemed paler. No, she wasn't paler; it was the white wall behind her. She was translucent. Like a wraith.
Red X's breath caught in his throat. "R-Raven?" he said, tentatively. "Raven from the Teen Titans?"
She looked as if she was about to speak, but she stopped herself and looked to the floor.
"Wait," he said, forming an idea. Anger crept into his voice. "You're spying on me, aren't you? You're in some kind of spirit form or something. Well, go away! I'm not doing anything wrong!" Red X quickly covered the blueprints with some other papers.
Raven released a laugh, a cold sorrowful laugh. "No," she said. Her voice reverberated throughout the tiny room as though they were in a grand theatre. "I could not have located you in life."
Red X gasped, and his eyes grew large. "You're a gh-gh-ghost?" he stammered.
"In a way," she answered simply.
"How?" he said before revoking his concern and saying, "Well, why are you here? I had nothing to do with your death! Go haunt someone else!"
Raven sighed heavily. "I have no wish to haunt anyone. Only to sleep. But I need your help."
"My help? Can't you get the Titans to help you?"
"No," she said. "They would not do this. They would never be able to let me go, but this form is very tiring. But I cannot sleep. Not yet. I am only partly dead."
Now Red X was really confused. "So you're in a coma or something."
"If only…" Raven stopped that train of thought immediately. "My body is technically dead, but it will not let me go. I am half-daemon. The mortal part of my body was killed, but daemons must be killed in a certain way. If I was fully daemon, I would not be dead, but because I am half-mortal, I am only bound to my dead body."
Red X swallowed loudly. "So what do you what me to do about it?"
"I would like you to kill my daemon half." Raven eyes pleaded for his consent to the deed.
Red X nearly laughed at this, though. "Kill you completely?" Raven nodded. "The Titans would kill me!"
Raven smiled slightly, the only time he had ever seen her smile. "Not with my blessing." Red X looked at her skeptically. She walked toward him. "Please. I am so tired." Her whole body practically emanated with sorrow. Her eyes shone with tears she would never be able to shed. Red X's will melt. He nodded.
Raven gave Red X directions to a park on the outskirts of town. When he arrived there, she was waiting for him. She led him deep into the forest. Red X was slightly unnerved by the absence of crunching under her feet, and the cold wasn't helping much either, but he followed. Eventually they reached a clearing. Raven's body lay in the center. Red X walked toward it slowly. If Raven's ghost had not been standing right next to him, he would not have known who it was. Blood soaked the entire body and surrounding area. Stab wounds riddled her body, and her clothes were in tatters.
"My God," he gasped. "What happened to you?"
Raven looked at her body without emotion. "I don't know," she said. "I was knocked out in battle and woke up here. It was probably a cult that worshipped my father."
Red X almost asked who her father was, but decided he didn't want to know. "What do I need to do?" he asked, almost afraid to do anymore damage to the already mutilated body.
Raven didn't answer. He turned to her. She was holding out a thick, pointed stick that mysteriously didn't fall through her ghostly hands. "Drive this through my heart."
Red X recoiled. He couldn't do that. He could never do that.
"Please," she pleaded. He looked into her eyes, and regained his resolve. He took the stake, and looked at her body. "But," he said, "there are already wounds through your heart."
"Made by metal," she answered.
Red X looked back at her body. He leaned down, ignoring the blood, and held the stake to her heart. His hands trembled, but he steadied them. Closing his eyes, he used all of the strength he could muster to drive it into her still heart.
The cold vanished and warmth seeped through the forest. Red X opened his eyes and stood and turned to Raven. She was no longer translucent, but opaque. Her eyes no longer looked sad and fatigued, but shone with happiness. "Thank you, Eric." Red X gasped. She had known his real name. Raven slowly reached out and touched Eric's shoulder. He could feel a pleasant tingling in his arm. She smiled and then turned and looked to the sky. Raven exhaled deeply and a strong wind swept through the clearing, blowing away her glowing image.
Eric stood alone in the clearing, the warmth now gone. His arm still tingled, and he looked down at it. There, he saw her mark. A large raven was on his skin. Eric smiled. "Her blessing."
"That's sad, Grandpa," Tommy said. Then his mother came in.
"Dad!" she said seizing her son off her father's lap. "You're not telling him more stories of your life as a criminal, are you?"
Her father laughed. "No. I'm telling him the story of my last day as Red X."