A/N: Here's another one for Alena-chan's challenge. This one is much more angsty and again, I don't know what prompted this one either. It's a different sentence from her challenge: 'Silence was safe, that much she knew'. I had tried to work this sentence before I did Enough, but it didn't come out then. Puck wanted to inspire this one now. ((shrugs))
Disclaimer: Not mine. And even if you wanted to give me money to do these, I wouldn't take it, so ((sticks out tongue)) nyah!
"What surety is there / That we will meet again/ On other worlds some / Future time undated?"
- Refusal, Maya Angelou
Silence was safe. The silence didn't ask, prod, or demand. It just was. In the silence, she didn't have to think of anything she didn't want to think of or pretend to be anything she wasn't. She could just sit and be silent, think of nothing, wish for nothing...be nothing. Nothing was expected of her and she was under no pressure to produce anything. No one looked at her as if they didn't know how to act around her and no one wondered whether today would be the day she laughed, or cried, or raged. Silence didn't care. It continued existing.
Silence was safe, that much she knew.
For in silence, she could lose herself. In silence, she could be still and in stillness she was not the half-demon spawn who had never really been wanted, who had never fit in or belonged.
When she was utterly still and silent, all that she was and had been fell away leaving her...
There was no past to regret and no future to fear; no worry, no expectations be they good or bad. There were no emotions, no sadness or longing, no melancholy. No laughter, no tears, no screams. Not even the memory of them. In her utter stillness and silence she forgot these things existed, forgot what they were or how they affected lives.
It was like little deaths, each and every time she entered her Silence, like the death of who she was, body and soul.
And that was alright.
And everytime she came out of the Silence, it was like being reborn, becoming who she was all over again, feeling everything anew...like donning a particularly heavy cloak. She knew that one day, the Silence would claim her and not give her back to the world of sound and life. She knew that everytime she surrendered to it might be that time. One day, the Silence would take away the pain and the joy, the tears and the laughter and she would simply cease to be, know no more and be...not at peace because peace was a state of mind, she would simply not be at all. And that was alright, too.
It wasn't perfect, but it was safe.
The Silence was more than meditation.
In Meditation, she was aware, only detached. During Meditation, she thought and planned, she investigated and prodded, she was. She was still Raven, still Friend and Companion, Sister, Lover, but she was also Demon, still Outcast, Sorceress, Summoner, the One Cursed, Bringer of Ends.
And in her Silence, none of it mattered, none of it existed. It wasn't that she didn't care if she was creepy or alone, in silence, she didn't know what that was. In Silence, there was no together, no understood or misunderstood, no other...
No ashen skin, no amethyst tresses, no body.
Silence was acceptance because Silence accepted everything.
She welcomed Silence when it came and sought it out when she was on the brink.
Her silences scared her friends and their own silences bored them. They didn't see the benefits of it as she did. They didn't understand feeling as if Silence was the only safe harbor in a storm.
But she did.
She welcomed Silence and the safety it offered, she really did.
Why did she, in that moment of utter stillness and silence, find it hard to surrender? Why was she unable to sink into its oblivion?She never feared it before...never refused it before. She was never unable to forget.
So why...of all other times, was she unable to let go this time?
Why was her mind clutching to reality, noise, existence? What didn't she want the release?
And his voice, like an answer, shattered through her consciousness with recognition and understanding.
"Raven, don't let go!" he was saying, but although she couldn't shut him out, she couldn't grasp on either. She didn't know where it was coming from. Darkness was with her, offering her sweet forgetfulness, but she couldn't shut him out.
She had never had trouble shutting them out before.
"Raven don't leave me!"
And something in his voice made her curious, made her feel, made her remember.
Demon, Outcast, Sorceress...
Friend, Sister, Lover...
And there...like the beating of her heart was want...need...like pain in her chest and regret hot like tears on her face.
She knew the Silence that came for her this time was forever. She wouldn't return from it. And for the first time while on the brink of that cool and welcoming nothingness, she hesitated.
She couldn't help but think, wonder, question: would she meet them again? Would her silence ever be broken by their laughter, brash and irreverent? Wouldshe ever feel the laughter burst from her at their antics? Would her cheeks ever be stained by a look? His touch?
"Raven..." tears in his voice, "Raven I love you...Raven stay...Raven Raven..." His voice, soft and intimate against her ear, commanding, demanding, cock-sure and annoyingly perfect. Would she ever hear it again? If she gave in to the silence, would she feel his lips on hers? In what other worlds...could she be sure...?
Would she love him again?
She couldn't be sure. She would forget him, forget them, forget the tears and the pain, yes, but she would forget the joys and the laughter, the love and the warmth. The silence was safe, but in the silence there was no warmth, only the cold of oblivious darkness.
He was not there in the silence...she would lose them...and she might never regain them.
She had always been willing to make the sacrifice before of losing the good to lose the bad, and that she might never have it again was never even a factor in the equation, but in that moment...
In that moment, even though she knew what the silence promised her, the risk of what she might lose was too great...it was a risk she was unwilling to take.
So, for the first time, she found the will to reject the calm silence and push away the forgiving darkness.
For friendship and love, she would live.
The darkness faded to bright light as her eyes opened with a flutter, but she could feel him near her and didn't have to see him and her silence was broken by one word first: "Robin."
Later, when the others were summoned and the machines were checked, and her eyes were open and she could see him, she spoke again even though in the cacophony of voices and activity she didn't think they'd hear her, "I...refuse..." Nobody had asked and she knew she didn't have to say it, but she wanted to hear herself speak it, wanted to make it real.
He heard her, "Rae?"
"What did she say?" someone (Cyborg perhaps?) asked.
"I think she said, "I refuse."
"Did someone ask her something?" Beast Boy's impertinent bluntness, surely.
"You refuse what?" Robin asked carefully. "Rae?" She had closed her eyes and opened them again at his prodding. "What do you refuse?"
She smiled at him then, too weak to laugh even if she felt it inside, "Silence..." she whispered, squeezing his hand in hers, "...death."
Robin was smiling and the others had gone back to speaking, maybe speaking to her, but although she could hear them, she couldn't make them all out. It didn't matter. Robin's eyes had captured her. He wasn't wearing a mask and he was crying.
"Thank you..." he whispered, leaning down to lay his head on her stomach, "...for refusing."
She didn't have the energy to speak anymore. She didn't know what had happened and it didn't matter. She knew she had to heal and she knew she had to be silent herself for it, but so long as the others were around, the silence wouldn't claim her again...they wouldn't let it.
A/N: Probably all sorts of OOC for Robin, but oh well. Don't ask where this came from. I was looking at her forum and saw that quote, 'Silence was safe, that much she knew', the same quote I'd seen a million times before and I just had to start writing. The first half of this, Raven's thoughts on silence came before I even knew what I wanted it to be about and somewhere along that train of thought, I remembered a Maya Angelou poem I had read not too long ago and the rest of this was inspired by that poem. So, just for your own elucidation, here's the full Angelou poem, it's short: (It's called Refusal)
In what other lives or lands
Have I known your lips
Your Laughter brave
Those sweet excesses that
I do adore.
What surety is there
That we will meet again,
On other worlds some
Future time undated.
I defy my body's haste.
Without the promise
Of one more sweet encounter
I will not deign to die