Yo. I don't own these characters. :sigh: They be long to DC and other folk w/ money and power, or some junk like that.
They all stood silently as the time portal shrank and Starfire left them for the second time; this time, forever. Of course, they had thought the last time was forever, but back then they had also said they'd be friends forever. They were too young to understand how long forever really was.
The first time Starfire disappeared through time, it had been the most horrifying thing they had ever experienced; that was the beginning of the end for the adolescent super heroes known as the Teen Titans. They began to fight among each other, ties were cut, and bridges were burned. They still kept in contact, though. But then the quakes came, and as a result of that came the sickness. Of the people of Jump City who survived, remained some of the most terrible and vile filth to have ever walked the Earth. Each of the Titans had to deal with personal tragedies as well the greater one at hand. As the years passed, all that remained of the former heroes and the city they loved was an empty shell and an echo.
With the parting of Starfire, so too Raven's sanity began to go. It happened slowly and subtly, but eventually the being that had once been Raven was not. For a little while it seemed as if she had reached a point of no return. Upon Starfire's return though, a fire inside her was rekindled. She resisted it at first, but her friend's call for help overwhelmed her own powerful will and she had the strongest urge to be reunited with her team mates. Before she knew what was happening, she was beside her comrades in arms fighting the time traveling criminal, Warp. Then, in a flash, it was all gone. Starfire had gone back into the time portal, taking the remnance of a past friendship with her. Raven was once again cold, afraid, and alone...
She turned around quickly. "Who are you?" she asked the three men standing around her. Though she made an effort to sound menacing, the terror in her eyes gave away her true feelings.
"Rae?" offered Cyborg, sounding very confused himself. He reached his arm out and took a step closer.
"Stay away from me!" she shouted, enraged. She was glowing her typical dark aurora.
"Raven, are you okay?" asked Nightwing, also moving a step closer.
"I told you to stay away!" She blasted a weak energy strike at him. He easily dodged it. "I don't know who you are or what you want."
"Raven," began Changeling, "Don't you recognize us? We're your friends. It's us; Beast Boy, Cyborg and... Robin."
She wobbled, a wave of dizziness hitting her. "Friends..." she repeated. "...No such thing..." With that, her world reentered true darkness, the kind that lived in her mind, and she fainted.
They all gasped as her body went limp and began to fall. Just before she hit the hard concrete, Nightwing rushed forward and caught her.
"Whew! That was close man," sighed Changeling.
"Her pulse is low," said Nightwing as he checked her neck. "She's too cold. She needs medical attention."
"I think I know just the place for her," answered Cyborg.
The three men made their way to what was once Teen Titan HQ, Titan Tower, and what was still Cyborg's residence. In it's decaying state, the winter twilight made it look skeletal and somewhat frightening. However, inside there lay the technology that could hopefully cure their friend.
They lay her down in her old bed in her old room. It was one of the only rooms in the tower that had remained unchanged over the years. Thanks to the tower's self cleaning system (which, oddly enough, was one of the only systems that still worked) hardly any dust had settled on Raven's possessions. Unlike Robin and Changeling's rooms (which were now being used for storage), Cyborg had left her room untouched. This was mostly because he was afraid of what he might find inside. Starfire's room had also remained the same, but that was for a completely different reason.
"How is she?" asked Changeling.
"All her vitals are normal," said Cyborg, reading the indications on the machines surrounding her. "I'm going to keep these monitors on, though. She probably just needs rest."
"What do you think happened to her?" asked Nightwing.
"Don't know. Could just be that she hadn't used her powers in so long. It might have worn her out."
"I hope you're right, man," said Changeling.
The three stood in silence for a few moments, each staring at the woman who lay unconscious before them. The only sounds present were her deep breathing and the mechanical beeping and whirring of the I.V. monitors. Finally Cyborg broke the silence.
"I'm gunna' make some coffee," he said, "Who want's some?"
"Definitely me," answered Changeling. "I really need some caffeine right now. My head is in no way straight."
The two began to walk out of the room. Cyborg stuck his head back in when he noticed the last of them didn't follow him out.
"You commin'?" he asked Nightwing.
Nightwing pulled a chair up to the side of the bed. "No," he said. "I'm going to stay here for a little while."
"Alright. We'll be down stairs."
Just before he closed the door behind him, Cyborg took one last look at the woman in the bed. He noticed that Nightwing reach out and take on of her hands into his own.
A sense of unease went through him as he shut the door.
"Hello?" Raven called out to the endless darkness. "Is anyone there?"
A cod wind bit through her cloak. She did her best to pull the fabric tighter around her body.
Raae-ven, called a sing-song voice from the darkness.
"Yes! Who's there?" she asked anxiously.
"No Please, come back! I don't want to be alone anymore..."
Raven sat herself on the ground, huddled her body into the shape of a ball.
"I don't want to be alone anymore," she whispered, tears beginning to form in her eyes.
There was still no answer that came from the void.
Just as she began to cry, she heard the voice again.
Are you sure you're ready to rejoin that world?
"Yes!" she shouted in a choking voice. "Please! I want to be with them."
Don't you remember?
"... Sometimes I do."
Before you can go back you need to remember.
"No! I don't want to... There's a reason I made myself forget; all that sadness and
so much... so many other... emotions."
But you must. Either you remember and return or forget and stay forgotten inside this nothing.
Raven seriously weighed both options. After a moment she took a deep breath.
"Alright!" she called out. "I want to go back. I want to remember."
This is your prison. You created it. You know how to escape it.
"But it was so long ago. I don't remember how..."
Yes you do. Maybe you just don't want to...
"No! I want to remember! I want to remember."
Raven closed her eyes and began to concentrate. She began to utter two chants simultaneously. The first was the one that had always served her true. She said this out loud; "Azarath. Metrion. Zinthos." The second want through her head; "Remember. Remember. Remember."
Her life flashed before her eyes, though it felt less like death and more like birth. Images and memories came flooding back to her. Starfire slipping through Warp's portal, Beast Boy's wild temper in an argument, Cyborg trying desperately to preserve the group of friends, and finally the quiet, brooding member of the group, that is, the one besides herself.
"Robin," she whispered.
She felt a great wind rushing around her as those memories then fled back into the recesses of her mind, like retreating wave. Then, a new light passed before her eyes.
Raven was awake.
"Robin," he heard her whisper.
Nightwing had begun to drift off into sleep but physically jolted to attention at the sound of her voice calling out his former title.
"Raven?" he asked, again clasping her hand. "Raven, can you hear me?"
Suddenly her lavender eyes opened.
I know this place, she thought as she sat up. The dark room was oddly familiar. Though her memories had returned, only the skeletal work of the past's events were present in her mind. Details such as exact words and locations were still fuzzy, details like this room.
"Raven?" she heard someone call. Someone was holding her hand. She turned to see who it was. When she didn't recognize the face she snatched her hand away and leapt to the other side of the bed.
"Who are you! Get away!" She raised her hands to defend herself. She winced in pain, though. Looking at her arm she saw the tubes and wires. "What is this?"
"It's an I.V. Raven, and some sensor pads. Calm down," said Nightwing, climbing onto the bed to try and calm her. He reached out and took her wrists.
"Don't touch me!" she shouted. "Who are you! Where am I!"
"Raven, look at me!"
"Who are you?" She had grown hysterical.
Nightwing pulled her toward him and tore off his mask. He grabbed her face so that she would be sure to look at him. "Raven, look at me!" he said a bit fiercely. "Look at me! It's Robin! Remember my face."
She had calmed down and looked at him, trying desperately to remember.
"I don't know you..."
"Yes you do! I'm Robin! Try harder!"
"I don't know..."
"Please Raven." He sounded as though he might have been crying. "Please try harder. Please..."
A gasp escaped her mouth as it hit her.
His eyes grew wide. "Yes!" He became overjoyed. "Yes, Raven!" The tears were freely streaming down his face now. She cupped his face and wiped away the tears. It did not lessen them though; instead it brought more to his eyes. In a very maternal way, Raven took his head and laid it on her shoulder. Instinctively, he wrapped his arms around her. She rocked him and stroked his hair. He convulsed against her as choking sobs shook him. Once his tears had died down, he pulled away and spoke.
"What happened to you? Where have you been? You just stopped... I thought..."
"Shh... I'll tell you everything. Right now I need some sleep."
He mutely nodded as she wiped away his last few tears. Slowly, he got up. Putting his mask on, he walked out of the room, leaving her to rest.
As soon as he left, Raven laid her head upon the pillow and fell into a deep slumber filled with (for the first time in years) pleasant dreams.