Yo yo yo! I updated! See! For real! An update. Hang in there, team.

Chapter 11

She pretended to fall asleep and waited for him to do the same. Her head was too crowded to sleep. Instead, she watched him as she'd done before, admiring the ease of his features in the early afternoon light. Things seemed so simple like this; quiet, warm, his body next to hers. Life was worth living and fighting for at times like these. But how was she to tell him that the time she spent away was to keep things like this when telling him could jeopardize it all? How was she to explain that the tasks that kept them apart would eventually allow them to be together? At the end of the day she would have to return to the trials. The trials were necessary to achieve her goals: be normal, to lead a normal life. With him. That is what she wanted. That was what he wanted, as well.

Wasn't it?

He had been inside of her before. Not just physically, but inside her mind as well. Unlike other times when they'd made a mental connection, this time he's initiated it. He'd managed to find his way to their mental link, not simply call to her. This was almost an impossible thing for someone without inherent mental abilities to do. It meant... She wasn't sure what it meant, but surely the priests of Azarath would know. She'd ask when she saw them.

For now, she reflected on all that had come to pass. She was half way though the trials required to gain ownership of her powers. As of now, they were still accessories and extensions of her father's evil; though she herself used her powers for good, they still were tainted by that which had conceived her. She needed to get back to Azarath as soon as possible to resume her labors. Apart from the trials, there were the strange new developments in Jump City to consider. Over the years, although "home" was a difficult concept for Raven to grasp, she had come to think of Jump City as a kind of home, or at least a place where her allegiances lay. It was odd; she had never felt any sort of sentimental attachment to the city (as she couldn't feel much attachment to most things). The many times she saved its citizens or stopped villians from destroying it, she had done so because it was what her friends believed was right; she had been fighting for them more than for the city. In doing what she saw a "right" it was also her way of rebelling against her heritage of evil. She had never felt any connection to the place, it was rather the acts she performed there that had tied her to it. Yet, now in this time of crisis, she felt a new connection and obligation to Jump City and the people who lived there. One in particular.

He was reaching out to her through their link. Turning her head, she saw he was awake, his crystalline eyes locking with hers.

"You're going," he said. It wasn't a question or a command, but a deduction. The Bat had trained him well.

"Yes." What more could she say? What words could she give him that would satisfy?


"The three of you can handle the city. Emergency services are back on their feet, so it shouldn't be..."

"Raven," he interrupted, "Why are you leaving."

She turned away, but in a flash he was sitting up, in her face, not allowing her to escape.

"Raven," he persisted, a hand on her cheek, the other brushing against her hip. "Talk to me."

Part of the pact was that no mortal human could know of her trials. If she told him, she would be breaking an oath and her training would end, as would her chances of spending a normal life with him or anyone, for that matter. There was so much uncertainty in his eyes. Uncertainty about her? About himself? He needed answers. She had to tell him the truth, or part of it, somehow. She placed her hand over the one at her hip, reassuring him.

"There are things I need to do..."

"You've had three years to do them," he retorted, frustration apparent in his voice. "What's so important that you need to leave m... us again?"

Okay, she told herself, Time to do this.

"Dick, there are things I have to do in places you can't follow; it's impossible for you to do so. The thing is, I know you, and I know you have a way of accomplishing the impossible. I told you this before, but let me reiterate it: I'm not telling you where I'm going or what I'm doing for your own safety."

And the world's, she added in her mind.

"And what about your safety?" has asked. "How can you expect me to just do nothing while I have no clue as to where you are, why you're there, what you're doing..."

"Worry about your self, for once. You've saved me on countless occasions. Allow me to protect you, for once. As for sitting idly, you won't be. You'll have plenty to do.

"Really?" he asked, skeptically quirking an eyebrow.

"Yes. You'll be waiting for me."

"That sounds an awful lot like doing nothing."

"Not true! Waiting requires patience, discipline and faith. Faith is a very difficult thing to keep alive. It takes someone as strong willed and stubborn as you." She smirked as his eyes narrowed.

"And what makes you so sure I'll wait for you? Do you know how many inmates break-up with their significant others while incarcerated?"

That almost made her laugh. This discussion had finally gotten lighter.

"First of all," she said, poking him in the middle of the chest, "I'm not going to prison or anywhere against my will in any way. Second," she turned to fully face him, kneeling between his legs, "You won't simply be waiting, you'll be longing."

He smirked. "I'm pretty dumb. You'll have to explain."

"Well," she said, running her hands slowly over her body, his eyes intently following her hands, "Think about all the things you want to do to me."

"Yeah. Got it. Doing it." There was no other indication of his reaction except for a quick twitch in his leg.

"And think about how much more you'll want to do them after you haven't seen me for three months."

"Three months? Is that when you'll be back"


"Not three years?"


He locked her waist in a vice grip and pressed his forehead to hers. "You're sure?"


Letting go of the breath he was holding he also let go of her waist and fell to his back with a sigh. She was a little surprised by how well he was taking it.

"That's it? You're not going to fight me about it?"

"Would it change your mind?"

"No, but you never let things be. You always have them your way or you fight until you do."

"Things change. Like I said, I'm not the man I used to be. I used to... care too much... about everything."

This made her smirk. He was right, but she thought it would be fun to test him.

"So, you're not caring about me leaving...?"

At that he sat up and turned her chin to face him.

"There's nothing I want more than for you to stay, but I believe you when you say that isn't possible. I know you're capable of taking care of yourself. Believe me, if I didn't, there'd be a much bigger fight coming from my side. There isn't much I can do for you; I know you'll be fine for three months."

Wow. He has changed, she thought. He looked a bit defeated, though. She thought he needed some cheering.

"I wouldn't say there's nothing you can do for me." As she spoke, she slowly stroked his member. This made him smile.

"So, you just want me for my body, is that it?"

"Who wouldn't?"

"Good point."

Ah, but ever arrogant and cock-sure, literally. "Brat," she teased him.

"Witch," he quipped back, devouring her in kisses.


An hour later than she intended, Raven left Robin's bed. He lay on his back, still naked, his hands behind his head in a relaxed manner. He watched her as she dressed, a sedated smile on his face. There had been silence for longer than she was comfortable with, which surprised her since she usually liked silence.

"Well," she said as she finished zipping up her costume, "That only undid all the recovery you may have made."

"I wouldn't be surprised if it sped the healing process," he drawled with a lecherous grin.

"Don't be so sure. You'll probably be feeling the residual effects of that black magic for the next few weeks."

"You forget I'm stronger than most guys."

"Yes, but your still human," she responded wither her hand on her him. Briefly, she saw something flicker on his face and drift through his thoughts but it disappeared before she could tell what it was. He had moved on from whatever it was.

"So, by the time I'm better you'll be back. Good. Then you won't need to go easy on me. Don't think I didn't notice you were holding back this morning."

He actually made her blush.

Has he no shame?

She headed for the door so he couldn't see the reddening of her cheeks.

"What? No good bye kiss?"

"What was the past hour?"

"Jeez! If that's what you call a kiss then having sex with you might actually kill me."

Shaking her head in resignation to his quick wit, she opened the door. She didn't even bother refastening her cape, instead holding it folded over her arm. "Good bye, Nightwing."


The dip in his tone made her stop and turn around. He was sitting up now, back ridged and eyes stern.

"Stay safe."

She nodded for she couldn't form words. As quickly as she could, she left his room, shutting the door firmly behind her, knowing that if she hadn't left then, she wouldn't have left at all.

Raven hadn't taken more than two steps into the hall before she bumped square into Cyborg.

"Oh, sorry Cyborg," she apologized before continuing past him toward her room to collect some possessions she would need for the next leg of her trials.

After she'd taken a few more steps down the hall, she was stopped dead by Cyborg's words.

"I hope you know what you're doing."

At first she wasn't sure he'd said what she thought he had.

"What did you say?" she asked, turning back to face him, half challenging his intentions half actually unsure of what he'd said.

"I said, 'I hope you know what you're doing'."

"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked, trying to keep calm, though she clenched her cape in a fist.

"Whatever's going on between the two of you, I hope you know what you're getting yourself into."

"And what exactly do you think is going on between us?"

Cyborg sighed in frustration. "Nothing fair." At her blank, questioning stare, he continued. "Can't you see what he's doing? He's just using you to get over his bull-shit Lolita obsession with Starfire.

"How can you say that?"

"You know him as well as I do, Rae. He can never forgive himself for what happened to her. Why do you think he lost it after you left. Or did you not know that either? It was like it was happening all over again. All his feelings for her came back to haunt him and were amplified by the fact that we'd lost you, too. He blames himself for it, just like he secretly blames himself for the death of his parents, just like that fucked up foster father of his."

"Shut up," he murmured, her mouth going dry and her vision clouding.

"He thinks that if he can replace one obsession with another he'll be free of her forever. Forever is a pretty long time, and sooner or later he's going to snap back into his brooding, narcissistic psychosis."

"Shut up," she said again with more force.

"I care about you, Rae. I don't want to see you get hurt. Just know that he can never completely love you because he hates himself and never got a chance to love her."

"Shut up!" she yelled, the faint glow of a second set of eyes appearing on her forehead and a distinct black static covered her hands like boxing gloves. For a second, the building shook. At this point, Nightwing's door slid open with Nightwing rushing past the threshold in a pair of loose sleeping pants.

"More aftersho..?" but he didn't finish his sentence when he saw stance of the two people outside his door. "What's going on?"

Raven left her cape on the ground and flew away at breakneck speed to her room, passing straight through the door to enter. Summoning the few items she needed, she left to Azarath, without a second thought, pushing all her memories of the past five minutes out of her mind for the next three months.


"What the fuck just happened?" Nightwing demanded of Cyborg.

"I don't know."

Cyborg began to walk away, but Nightwing ran in front of him, blocking his path.

"Vic, what did you say to her?"

"I don't really think that's any of your business."

"I'm making it my business," he replied in a menacing tone.

"You know," Cyborg began, almost laughing, "Three years ago, before you ran scampering back to Gotham, that might have worked. But you know what? You're not the leader of this team anymore. You're not the leader of anything. There is no team. So, get down off your high horse of 'making it your business' when you don't have the power to do so."

With that, he continued walking down the hall. Just then, Changling marched off of the elevator.

"Oh good. You're both here. Have either of you seen Raven?"

Cyborg continued walking as if he hadn't heard the green man.

"She's gone," proclaimed Nightwing with a scowl on his face before re-entering his room and shutting the door instantly.

Changling was stayed alone in the hall before he could process the moment that had passed.

"What the fuck just happened?" he demanded of the empty hall.

Oh snap! Wha the fuck just happened? Cyborg: where the hell did that come from? Nightwing: such a man-slut. Changeling: clueless as usual. Raven: the most sane character of this chapter.

This was shorter than I would have liked, but I had to give you guys something. I've been horrible!

Don't worry. This is all going somewhere.