More background on the lovely, not-exactly-homophobicaliens, as well as a conclusion to our loverly story. I'm actually oddly pleased with this. And that scares me. Because that probably means that it's horribly. However, it's the first fanfic of more than one chapter that I've actually finished, so that has to count for something. Despite the fact that it's only two chapters long. And I'll stop boring you and get on with it now.
Disclaimer: I think I forgot this last chapter. It isn't mine. Promise. None of it. Except the order of the words. And part of the plot. The rest of the plot came from a plotbunny ("Aliens with Scary Probes!" would be the one). So that part's not exactly mine... And I'm done now.
By Emotion Betrayed
Part Two of Two
It had been nearly a week since Garth and Roy had "escaped" from the alien ship. They had remained at the West Titans' Tower, and Roy had managed to almost entirely avoid his fellow Titans East-er, which both confused and annoyed the Atlantean. This coupled with his utter inability to comprehend the actions of their alien captors led him to take an action he normally would have avoided at all costs. He went to ask Raven for advice.
The West's resident sorceress had holed herself up in her room almost as soon as Garth and Roy had arrived. Had he not known Raven and her obsessive need to be alone, Garth would probably have been offended by this. As it was, he just accepted it as normal Raven behavior. This didn't make it any easier to approach the goth-girl.
Garth knocked on the door to Raven's room apprehensively, unsure of how he would be received. After what seemed like an eon, the door opened just a slit. An amethyst eye peered out, narrowing slightly when the owner recognized Garth.
"Aqualad." Raven's monotone echoed from the room. She did not seem surprised to see him, though Garth was not adept at reading Raven's moods. "What do you need?"
"I need help. And advice, probably."
Raven nodded. "I had assumed as much." Her eye disappeared from the door slit, and the door slid open. "Come in."
Garth's eyes widened and it took him several seconds to realize that yes, she was expecting him to actually enter and no, he couldn't just stand out in the hallway. That would be embarrassing, anyway, and Garth was all for avoiding public embarrassment when he could. Regaining his senses, he stepped into Raven's domain, her haven. The door shut with an audible click, shrouding the two teens in darkness.
"What do you want to know?"
It took Garth a moment to locate Raven's form in the darkened room. He finally found her standing near the wall several feet from him, hood pulled up over her head. Garth wasn't sure how she could see anything. Raven moved to turn on a desk lamp as Garth pulled his thoughts together. The small light did not light up much of the room, just enough for Garth to see Raven and her immediate surroundings.
"Couple of things, actually. And I think you're the only one who can help me."
"Look, Aqualad, I don't have all day: I need to get some meditating done. So just spit it out and be done with it."
"Fine." Garth sighed. "Do you know why those aliens let us go? Or why Ro-" He caught himself just in time. "Why Speedy has been avoiding me?"
Garth thought he saw a ghost of a smile slit across Raven's features as he finished speaking. But, no, he must have been imagining things. A trick of the light, maybe. Her face was as emotionless and impassive as ever. And what would she be smiling at, anyway?
"Well, obviously, I can't know either answer for certain. I'm not omniscient. I can make an educated guess, however. And I suspect that they are linked together."
"Wonderful," Garth muttered, running a hand through his dark hair. "Damn space-things…"
"The aliens, from what I can infer from your descriptions, are from a race called the klamdians. They are a species of empaths – they can sense the emotions of others."
"Yes, except they are much stronger empaths than I could ever hope to become. Anyway, the klamdians are scientists. They travel the galaxy, studying other races, feeding off of their emotions. It is how they survive, leeching the feelings from those they abduct. Almost every emotion strengthens them."
"Almost every emotion?"
"There are two emotions that actually hurt them. They are two of the very few things to which they are actually vulnerable. It also explains, I think, why Speedy has been avoiding you."
"Raven, now you're dancing around the topic. It's my turn to tell you to get to the point. You have things to do. And I'm worried about R-Speedy."
Raven sighed. "Very well. The only way the klamdians would have let you go – and we both know you didn't escape but were allowed to leave – is if you hurt them. And the only way you could have hurt them is by feeling, and feeling strongly, one of the two emotions they can't stand."
"And those emotions are?" urged Garth, impatient. "And what does Speedy have to do with them?"
"Speedy already came to ask me the same question – why you were released. I think the answer scared him. Since they let you both go, you both mush have felt at least one of the emotions."
"The emotions that hurt the klamdians are love and hate."
Garth blanched. "But – but I don't hate him."
Raven nodded. "I know. And do you really think he hates you?"
Garth paused, letting her words sink in. "Shit…" he muttered, as soon as he had processed what she had said. He paced the room, head in his hands. "Shit, shit, shit…now what the hell am I supposed to do?"
"Well, if you're asking my advice, and I'm going to assume that you are since you're standing here, I'd tell you to go talk to him. You're scared." When Garth opened his mouth to deny it, Raven shook her head. "Don't even try. I can feel it. I'm an empath, too, remember? And if you're afraid, don't you think he is, too? One of you two is going to have to get over yourselves and initiate a conversation. This isn't going to just sort itself out if you ignore it for long enough. You need to act. Now, if you don't mind, I need to meditate, and you need to go talk to Speedy."
Garth nodded and turned to leave the room.
"Oh, and Garth?"
The Atlantean froze, startled by the sound of his own name. He could hear the underlying amusement in the sorceress's tone.
"Don't screw this up."
The door opened, and Garth stepped out into the hall, his mind swimming with the details of his conversation. He hadn't expected Raven to be so forthcoming with her answers. He sighed and began to head downstairs – Roy had taken to hiding out in the training room in order to avoid him.
Roy was, in fact, in the training room – Garth could see glimpses of the redhead through the glass windows set in the door.
Taking a deep breath, Garth pushed that door open. Harsh German metal music pounded through the room from the stereo in the corner, Roy occasionally and absent-mindedly joining in with the lyrics.Finally I've found myself in this land
Horror and madness I've seen here
For what I became a king of the lost?Barren and lifeless the land lies!
Roy was near the back of the room, shirtless and sweaty, pounding away at a hanging punching bag. Garth's eyes followed the archer's toned form and he moved easily from kick to punch and back to kick. Finally forcing himself to move into the room, Garth approached Roy, who was still unaware of his presence. Garth tapped him gently on the shoulder, and the redhead spun around, wiping sweat off his forehead.
"You know, if you really want people to know you as something other than a Robin clone, I'd suggest coming out of here every once in a while. You're going to become just as obsessive as he is."
"What do you want, Garth?"
The Atlantean's heart flipped when he heard his name, his true name and not his pseudonym, leave the archer's mouth. Maybe he had a chance with this thing, after all.
"I talked to Raven earlier," Garth remarked casually. His comment caused Roy to freeze up. Shaking himself back into reality, Roy walked over to switch off the music.
"What did she say?" he asked as he came back towards Garth.
"Why have you been avoiding me?"
"You can never just answer a question, can you?" Roy asked bitterly, snorting.
"Apparently neither can you. Why have you been avoiding me?"
"I haven't," insisted the archer with a shrug.
"That's bull, and you know it."
Roy's eyes blazed. "How would you -"
Garth cut off his angry outburst. "Every time I enter a room, you find an excuse to leave it. When I try to talk to you, you give me some half-assed reply and run away. You avoid any and all eye contact with me. When I try to get your attention, you ignore me. You don't do it to anyone else. Just me. It's driving me crazy and I want to know why!"
"I don't see why you would care!" Roy's infamous temper was flaring, and Garth could tell.
"Because you're my friend!" Garth had begun to calm down as Roy got riled up.
"You said you had spoken with Raven. I'm assuming she told you the same thing she told me. There are two emotions that could have evoked the kind of reaction we received, and you don't hate your friends."
Garth sighed. This was probably going to be more difficult than he had hoped.
"So that's automatically the reaction you choose." He snorted. "I bet it didn't even occur to you that maybe you were wrong. Maybe hate wasn't what scared them away."
"I'm not fool, Garth. Don't treat me like one."
"Raven said that, in order for them to have released us both, we both had to be feeling one of the emotions – the two that hurt them. And you don't hate me. If you did, you wouldn't have gotten this upset."
Roy turned away from Garth, so the Atlantean could no longer see his face.
"I have no idea what you're implying," he insisted. Garth rested his hand on Roy's shoulder.
"Roy, relax. I don't hate you. I don't think I could hate you even if I wanted to."
"Then why in all nine hells did they let us go?" The archer's voice was soft, pained. Garth gently but forcefully turned him around to face him.
"You haven't figured it out yet?"
Roy's eyes widened and Garth smiled. Maybe he had finally gotten it.
"Garth, if this is a joke, then I swear to any deity that may be listening right now that I will kill you."
"I'm not going to get you to believe me like this, am I?" Garth asked, smiling all the wider. He pulled Roy closer.
"Garth…" Roy's voice held a warning tone.
"Roy, just shut up for once, would you?"
The archer fell silent. Garth's hand fell from Roy's shoulder to wrap around his waist, and his other hand cupped Roy's chin.
"It's not to late," Garth whispered as Roy's hand moved to rest against the Atlantean's cheek, "to pull away."
"Garth." Roy smirked, arm around Garth's neck. "Shut up."
Garth tilted Roy's face up and leaned down, pressing his lips to the archer's. Roy inhaled sharply, startled despite all the signs, before returning the kiss, tightening his hold on Garth.
After a few moments, Garth pulled away.
"Now do you believe me?"
Roy chuckled. "I suppose. If I must."
"Good." Garth kissed him once more. "Now go take a shower. You smell funny."
Roy stuck his tongue out at the Atlantean in astounding display of maturity before pulling out of his hold and heading to the door.
"Roy?" Garth's voice stopped him short, with his hand on the doorknob.
"I love you."
Roy smiled happily. "I love you, too." He opened the door before turning back to Garth. "Now, are you coming or not?"
Garth's eyes widened in surprise before he shrugged slightly and follow the archer – his archer out of the room. The door swung shut behind them.
A purple-cloaked figure materialized out of the shadows in the corner of the room. Raven stared at the door for several moments before smiling slightly.
"It's about time. Hey, Star?"
"Yes, friend Raven?" The Tameranean girl's voice echoed through the Titan Communicator in Raven's hand.
"Tell Cy he can take the set down. We're done here."
"Glorious! I shall tell friend Cyborg that our plan was a success! And I must say, friend Raven, your use of my people's legend of the klamdians was most clever!"
"Starfire, do us all a favor and never mention this again. Especially in front of Aqualad or Speedy."
"Agreed, friend Raven! Friend Cyborg and I shall begin the deconstruction!"
"Good. And Star?"
"Be careful. Don't blow anything up."
"Of course not, friend Raven! Starfire out!"
Raven sighed, closing her own communicator before teleporting herself up to her room. She needed to meditate.