Nolo Mortem Peccatoris
Flashback, "song", thoughts
Warnings: OOC-ness, tears, fights, and the Christmas spirit!
Raven walked quickly through the streets, pulling the hood of her sweatshirt far up over her head.
She had donned a pair of jeans, a shirt, a black sweatshirt and black shoes. She was rushing through the decorated streets of Jump City, running faster with each stupidly grinning Santa Claus.
Raven quickly ducked into a store, hoping for warmth.
Instead, she found that a tinsel factory had exploded on the inside.
Snowflakes hung from every possible angle, posters covered the walls, shouting out prices and sales, trees towered towards the ceiling…
Raven took one glance around and felt the commercialism gnaw on her insides…
Where did the innocence go?
Whereis the magic?
"For Godssakes, Raven, it's Christmas!" Beastboy shouted at her, holding a wrapped gift under his arm, a hurt expression on his face.
"I don't CARE! I don't want anything; Go away!" She shouted right back at him, feeling tears threatening to fall.
Raven closed her eyes.
The memory will go away.
Don't dwell on it.
It won't bother you that way.
The charade of being emotionless was being hard to keep up. Even though her father was gone, she could still feel him pulling at the edges of her soul.
"Maybe I want you give you something for Christmas!" Beastboy said, in an obvious effort to calm his voice. "Maybe I want to show you that I care about you, and what you think. Maybe… maybe I think that you don't have to be alone- maybe I don't WANT you to be alone!"
"MISS!" An overzealous vendor shouted at her. "Are you still looking for that perfect gift for that special someone? Come with me, I've got the perfect thing to show you!"
Raven answered in a dry, breaking voice: "My special someone-" Beastboy "I… I'm sorry!"
"WELL MAYBE I WANT TO BE ALONE!" Raven roared, tears now brimming at the corners of her eyes.
The clerk stared at her, utterly confused, and then shrugged his shoulders and wandered off, leaving the girl to mourn in peace.
Damn this time of year…
"Maybe YOU don't understand what it's like to be me! You don't know what it's like! You just don't get it!" Raven continued.
Beastboy narrowed his eyes in anger and his hands were shaking. "I want to understand you, Raven! God, Raven, is that so hard to understand?"
Raven turned on her heel and rushed out the door, coming face-to-face with snow.
It fell lightly, dusting her hood. She couldn't help but feel lightened by the presence of it.
She held out a hand to the snow, and a single snowflake fell into it.
Raven watched in horrified fascination as the snowflake melted quickly.
I am a demon. And... I killed the snowflake…
But then the memory fell through and broke her.
"What don't you get?" Raven's voice was breaking, and a tear fell down from her eyes.
Raven turned on her heel and ran through her door, slamming it shut and locking it.
Raven shivered with the cold, pulling a blue scarf more tightly around her. She looked up, and saw a chapel ceiling close by.
She bolted in that direction, wanting warmth and solace…
…As long as she didn't burn as soon as she passed through the doors.
She glanced at the sign nearby: Jump City Public High School Performs, 8:00p.m. Saturday.
Raven checked her watch- it was only 7:53. She opened the door cautiously, cringing and hoping for the best.
A blast of warmth hit her face, and she unraveled the scarf from around her neck and took off her sweatshirt.
She cautiously took a step forward, expecting to sizzle and fry as soon as she approached the holy water fountain.
She dipped her fingers in it and flinched, expect to feel pain searing through her hands.
When there was none, she quickly blessed herself. Raven glanced in the back, finding an empty pew, and sat down there.
Her fingers twisted with the material of her scarf. It was Christmas Eve, her first one after being "freed" from her father. Never before did she feel so hopeless, so tainted, and so wrong.
A hush fell on the crowd as a blond woman addressed the audience, introducing the choir. She also introduced herself, the director, and the soloists for the song.
I… I want the innocence back.
She sat down at the piano and began to play- beautifully- as the soloist took the mike and began to sing.
Raven let the music wash over her; an arrangement of "Silent Night", then melding into another arrangement of "Joy to the World". She joined in the applauding.
Why did I have to say those things to Beastboy? Why? Is my charade coming to an end? Can I no longer hide my feelings for him?
Following that was a strange selection, done a cappella; her yammering brain mentioning that Beastboy would have liked that song. After that, a song named, I'll Be Seeing You.
Raven remembered, hoping that she was correct, the song was sang to those leaving for one of the World Wars. A ghost of a smile lit her lips as she thought Starfire would like that song.
"WELL MAYBE I WANT TO BE ALONE!"
Do I really scream like that?
Do I really hurt people like that?
The Jump City Public High School Choir launched into a medley of songs from the Titanic musical. It was complete with a few solos, and powerful six-part harmony. The director especially rocked; she was playing the accompaniment on the piano.
Raven didn't hear the announcement for the next song, and was taken by surprise with the powerful opening:
I'll be your bridge o'er troubled water…
As the song went on, Raven pulled at the scarf as she sat, blinking back tears, and her world began to cave in.
She was in love with Beastboy.
She hurt him, bad.
She was heartless, uncaring, tainted…
And as her mind told her these things, a senior almost blew her backwards with the voice she sang with. She cheered with the rest of them, wiping at her eyes carefully, not to disturb the mascara.
"The next song," the director addressed them, "Was written by Thomas Morley. It is called Nolo Mortem Peccatoris, and the translation means 'Not to die a sinner'; 'to die without sin'."
She walked to the piano; hit a note, another after that, and then two more. The choir hummed the notes, a perfect harmony.
They stopped abruptly as she raised her arms to begin the song.
A single note sent chills racing down Raven's spine.
The rest of the choir joined in, and the sound swelled eerily.
"Nolo mortem peccatoris. Haec sunt verba salvatoris."
They sang the line at different times, each voice part floating in and out of each other.
Raven shuddered as goosebumps covered her. Memories flooded her: of learning Latin with the monks of Azarath, learning of her destiny, meeting her friends, noticing Beastboy's eyes for the first time…
They ended the line in harmony.
Raven looked up, startled.
"I am thine only son…" the choir trailed off, and the tenors began to sing again.
"Sent down from heaven mankind to save…" The altos jumped in midway through their line, singing the same thing.
Their faces are so into the song, and the song…
Raven noticed that a boy, about her age, sat down at the same pew as her.
She was going for a closer look when the chorus sang again.
"Father, my will now all is this:"
Raven broke out in chills again.
"Nolo mortem peccatoris."
The sopranos began the next line with pain in their voices:
"Father, behold my painful smart!"
Oh, my God.
Raven covered her mouth, actually trembling. Tears began to fall down her cheeks.
She noticed that the boy looked over to her.
I can't shake this feeling…
Why do I feel pain so strongly?
"Taken for man on every side,"
I feel so tainted. I feel so… so… impure.
"E'en from my birth, to death most tart,"The altos echoed the last four words.
"No kind of pain I have denied."
Raven became suddenly conscious of the person sitting next to her. She turned her head just as the choir sang, "No kind of pain I have denied."
The green hair gave him away.
"Beastboy." She whispered, and wiped her eyes.
"But suffered all-"
"I'm so sorry."
"-And all for this:"
"I didn't mean to hurt you… I just hate this time of year…"
Another tear fell.
"I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. I'm begging you, Beastboy."
"..lo mortem peccatoris."
The waterfall effect of the soprano and alto voices, each singing different words at different times, fell on listening ears.
The boys answered them with a "waterfall" effect of their own.
Beastboy was still silent.
Is he going to answer me?
"Please…" Raven whispered, one last time.
"Nolo mortem peccatoris!" The singers' voices suddenly became much louder, and then Beastboy spoke.
"I love you."
Raven closed her eyes, and the last tear fell.
She wasn't afraid anymore.
"Nolo mortem peccatoris."
"I love you, too."
The applause seemed to come out of nowhere.
Raven joined in the clapping, her heart beating faster than she thought it could.
What's going to happen now?
"The Halleluiah Chorus." The director said with a smile. She gave the starting pitches again, then…
Beastboy slid closer to her, and kissed the side of her face.
The Jump City Public High School Chorus finished the song, and took their bow.
Beastboy held her hand walking out of the church, and Raven still flinched as she passed under the archways.
"Well, I didn't get to tell you earlier…" Beastboy said, rubbing the back of his head nervously, "But…"
He thrust a gift at her.
Raven unwrapped it, and held up a CD: Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Lost Christmas Eve.
"I know how you feel about Christmas… and I think this CD will do you good…" Beastboy looked up at her cautiously.
I think I should kiss him now…
And that's exactly what she did.
I do not own: I'll Be Seeing You, the Titanic musical, Bride Over Troubled Water, Nolo Mortem Peccatoris.
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it. To those who don't, Happy insert-your-holiday-here!