The Things Raven Feels

by Tabris Macbeth

rated PG

disclaimer: In the end, there will nothing but infinite and eternal darkness. Even then I won't Teen Titans.


Shower

I close my eyes as feel the hot water washing away whatever biological goo I was unwillingly baptised in earlier. I shudder to think about what- exactly- it was, and as it swirls down the drain, I'm content with my ignorance.

If only all my problems could be so easily washed away.

More than any other place, I feel most secure in the shower. My friends fret when I lock myself away in my room, but no one thinks anything of tucking myself away in the shower. It's just socially unacceptable to disturb a girl in the shower. For once, me and society can see eye-to-eye on something.

As I let the water cascade down my back, I open my eyes and unwittingly do something I'm not to terribly fond of doing: I look at my body. It's...strange, to say the least. It's not that I think of myself as a horribly unattractive little wafe no one could possibly find attractive, but...sweet Azar above, I'm small. I have such a petite frame. Starfire must have a foot or so on me.

I feel far older than I am, and I look a few years younger than I am. With my cloak on, I can at least create the illusion of being something more than a delicate little thing I'm looking at, all wet and naked. But this delicate little thing squirming around in her own skin is, strangely enough, me. I wrap myself in darkness, I know all too well that I'm a harbinger of destruction, and yet there's this absurdity. Dark, accursed me is a danty little wisp of a girl. I can only imagine how ridiculous I must look to the other Titans. I read books beyond the comprehension of most adults, yet I have to get on my tiptoes to reach anything on the middle shelves in the kitchen. It's utter absurdity that this pitifully small, frail looking creature is supposed to bring about so much suffering and destruction.

It's too absurd.

I reach for the shampoo. Strawberry scented. It's Starfire's, but she doesn't mind. She's all too happy to share it with me. Truth be told...it does smell nice...

As I lather my hair, I glance down. Even though I'm the only one who can see myself, I blush.

I suppose not all of me is that small.

There are subjects I prefer to avoid for one reason or another, such as anything with myself as the topic. Of all those things, those sacred, profane, forbidden things...

I hug my chest. I don't know if it's to cover myself from unseen eyes, or if it's out of perverted curiousity to know what my cleavage would look like if I lowered myself to the point where I would actually wear something that revealed cleavage. Then again, as someone who wears a skin tight, leg-exposing leotard, maybe I'm not one to talk...

Honestly, for the life of me, I cannot understand the obsession women have with having large breasts. Starfire once watched a show on plastic surgery, and when she asked me why women get breast implants, I could only shrug. She then asked my opinion of her breasts, and...that, obviously, lead to a rather uncomfortable conversation I would rather put out of my mind at the moment.

People can be shamefully narcissistic and shallow at times, but I seriously fear for my generation. When women- or girls, appropriately denoting less maturity in this case- of eighteen and nineteen years are getting breast implants to boost their self esteem, it's a rather disturbing state of affairs. How damaged must your psyche be for you to come to the conclusion that who you are is reflected by your breast size? It's disgusting- and even a little scary- that our society has become so obsessed with sex.

I wash the shampoo from my hair, water flowing down my violet locks. My head leans forward to cleanse the back of my head, and...I look downward...

Past my chest...

I try not to think about it. Yet, I'm still human, and the thought quietly nudges my psyche and winks suggestively.

It's rather pointless for me, of all people, to be thinking about anything relating to a romantic relationship. In fact, it sends a shiver up my spine. Someone other than me looking at this wisp of a girl, in all her nakedness. I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of being so vulnerable. My flawed little body exposed to someone else.

When I first learned of the circumstances of my birth, I dressed in layers. Many, many layers. It wasn't long before it became too uncomfortable, so I adopted the habit of putting up my hood and wrapping my cloak tight around me. I knew better, but I felt more secure. Not necessarily safer, but more secure. No one would find me attractive, so no one would want to touch me. When I was in Azarath, I was so adamant in never letting anyone touch me. That, at least, I had some control over. But...I supposed even I must admit that just because something is pointless doesn't mean it shouldn't be pursued.

Dare I say it?

I want to be touched.

I reach for the shampoo, but suddenly remember I want the conditioner. It seems more and more nowadays, I forget whether or not I've used the shampoo. I also seem to be taking a lot more showers than I used to. Well, it's not as if you can accumulate that much filth and grime from staying in your room all day.

That previous thought hasn't left my head. Maybe that's why I'm getting forgetful in the shower. I'm naked here, being cleansed and washing everything away.

Almost everything.

I want to be touched. I want someone to wrap their arms around my cold, frail little body. Maybe that's why I hugged my chest earlier. To pretend those were someone else's arms. And then I think to myself...

I bite my lip. As much as I try to just push it down with everything else I feel, curiousity keeps bubbling to the surface. What would that be like? As much as I try to keep my mind as pure as someone like me can possibly make their mindstate resemble anything close to "purity", names and pictures still tend to flash momentarily.

I remember when Beast Boy introduced me to the ever disturbing world of fanfiction. A world populated by misshapen word golems and rampant plagarism. I shudder at how many people made me romantically involved with Beast Boy. I've never seen Beast Boy in the nude, and I pray to any deity that will listen that I will never have to.

Me and Robin...that doesn't make me physically ill. He's certainly a handsome young man. Strong, just, admirable, but not without his flaws.

Me and Cyborg? He's like a big brother. Or at times, a rather large little brother. In any case...anyone wanting to be romantically involved with him...things are bound to be very, very complicated...

Me and Starfire. This one shouldn't have surprised me, but I was still taken aback that someone had been this...creative. I was firmly sobered up by Beast Boy looking over my shoulder, pointing at the screen, and going "Dude! Lesbian boobies!". Starfire...she's an alien. That's a whole other psychological package that I'm not touching at the moment.

Me and Terra. As I recall, I only found one story that involved Terra and myself...being intimate. That shocks me. It spared me from images of her using her geokinesis on me in perversely creative ways, at least. But as I looked around, I saw why Terra had so easily turned against us, and I felt ashamed of every bad thing I said to her. I'm also left wondering why the masses don't treat me with the same hatred. I certainly do more to earn it than some poor, skinny homeless girl...

The first romantic fanfiction I dared touch was an interesting one. It wasn't about me getting romantically involved with any of my teammates- and for that alone, the author has my thanks- but about...Jinx, of all people. And I have to say, it wasn't half bad. I found it interesting that someone in this world- a total stranger who I will likely never meet- actually...got me, for lack of a better way of putting it. Thanks to that story, I can't think about Jinx without my mind wandering to candy and having a girl talk session with her over tea and...whatever Starbucks calls coffee, but it was interesting. It gave me a small spark of hope, like that brave little light that shone in Pandora's box after all the evils within were unleashed. Maybe the professional thief and mercenary Jinx really isn't that bad a person. Maybe I actually am capable of letting someone close enough to touch me. And maybe...

Maybe there is someone out there that I want to let that close.

I reach for the shampoo again. I put it back just as I open the bottle.

I'm still biting my lip. I could indulge that fantasy. I could finally give in to curiousity. I could try to push aside those thoughts of Jinx, calm myself, and...

I take a deep breath. That urge goes down the drain with the conditioner in my hair. I've been in here for over fifteen minutes. I suppose I should let the others have use of the bathroom.

I turn the faucets. The warmth and sound that had envolped me quickly fades away.

I wipe the fog away from the mirror. The wisp of a girl looking back is all too eager to retreat to the security of dry, clean clothes and a good book.

Here's looking at you, kid.