Everywhere around her in the darkness, was blood, her blood. Her lifeless, drained body hung from chains against the dirty walls. It looked like she had been attacked and torn apart by vicious wolves, saved, and then thrown back again. All up her arms were huge bruises of every colour, accompanied by long and short gashes, some of which were still bleeding. The skin at her wrists was red raw after endless hours of trying to break free from this prison. Everytime the cold metal of the chains so much as touched the skin, she would wince. The same went for her feet, which were brown with dirt and blood that had dripped from the cuts on her legs and thighs. Her limp head, which was facing downward, lay home to a number of healing scars and a black eye. Her hair was matted with blood stains from head wounds. Her body was basically dead, and had been for almost three days now, since the day she had been captured. Her hope of being rescued by her friends had long since died with every new face of torture she had to face. The only thing that showed some spark of life, were her eyes. The violet orbs, which were as wide as the heavens, shone with fear. Everything ached. The area around her cuts throbbed along with her weakening heartbeat. Any bones that had been broken were crying out for release of pain, but were being ignored. Every breath she took made her not want to take another one, but she had to stay alive. She didn't want her friends to find her dead.
Raven's ears became alert when she heard the sound of a rusting, metal door slam open, letting light into the small room she'd called home for days. She had no energy to jump, plus the restraints held her back. Sadly, with every light a shadow must be created, and the shadow of a man appeared over her. Slowly, the man walked into the room, a smile on his face at his capture. Using two fingers, he placed them under her chin and elevated her head to face his evil facial features.
"Hello Raven." His husky voice whispered in her ear, his hot breath tingling her senses in disgust. She didn't respond, but just looked at him with her pain filled eyes.
"No manners today?" he laughed, taking a step back and slapping her face. The sudden smack caused the chains to rattle loudly and her whole body to tense. She didn't scream at his actions, or wince when she felt a red mark forming and burning her cheek and blood slide down her face from the corner of her swollen lips. Instead, she just let a tear fall down her face and drip onto the filthy floor.
A crashing sound from outside caught the mans attention, and he looked towards the door, then back at Raven, who's head was once again facing the floor. Without a warning, he walked out of the room, slowly closing the door behind him. The creaking noise it made resembled nails on a chalkboard, and set a shiver down Raven's spine. From outside, she could hear voices.
'It couldn't be?' She thought, as she continued listening. The voices sounded like the familiar, but they were too muffled from inside the room, and she couldn't make them out. Focusing all her attention on the events away from her, she could hear a fight. Her bloodied ears picked up the sound of a heavy body colliding with a brick wall, several times, as well as shouting. Raven stared down at the teardrop on the floor directly below her, as it shrank and soaked into the dust under her aching feet. It was just like her hope… it had shrunk. Raven tried her hardest to not think about how much she was hurting, physically and mentally, but it was unbearable. All her open wounds, all her cuts and bruises, everything about her just wanted to give up.
From the outside, she heard people banging on the door, and voices. Suddenly, light poured over her weak form as the door flew onto the other side of the room. She kept looking down, afraid of what the man would do to her next. All you could hear was silence echoing off the walls, which was interrupted by gasps.
She remained quiet and still as the four shocked, worried figures standing in the doorway were frozen in their spots. They looked at the sight in front of them, and couldn't believe how much of a state she was in. The usual purple leotard they were used to seeing was ripped, and just covered her upper and lower body. The pale skin they had grown accustomed too was unrecognisable against the blood stains that covered it. The Raven they had spent the past few days searching for was found, but was much worse than any of them had imagined her to be.
"Cyborg! Cut her down!"
Cyborg followed Robin's command, and without hesitation charged up his sonic cannon and aimed at the thick chains that had prevented her from movement. As the first chain, the one that held up her right arm was sliced in half, her body fell forward and sideways as the chain holding her left arm held her weight, which had dramatically decreased. Robin stood underneath her, ready to catch her as Cyborg broke the second chain. Raven's body fell lifelessly towards the floor, but was stopped by two strong arms supporting her and extremely gently lowering her. Robin stared at his team mate, and he felt like crying as he looked into her open eyes..
Cyborg, Starfire and Beast Boy came running over and knelt beside the two birds. Concern radiated off of their bodies. Starfire used her eye beams to break the two chains holding Raven's feet to the wall, finally freeing her completely. She took one look at her best friend's condition and cried. Beast Boy, knowing that only Cyborg and Robin could help Raven now, held Starfire as she cried into his chest.
"Cyborg! Please tell me she isn't…"
"No. She's alive."
Robin breathed a sigh of ultimate relief, and tears threatened to fall from beneath his mask. He looked Raven up and down, taking a mental photo of every wound and scrape that was engraved on her body. Judging by the amount of torture she'd obviously been through, he was so happy that she was alive. But that didn't for one second stop him from worrying about her safety.
Cyborg felt tears also brim his human eye, but didn't dare let them fall. She just lay there in Robin's lap, her eyes open and her chest moving up and down slowly. It was like she was sleeping but with open eyes. He was relieved that they'd found her, but was overcome with guilt that while they were looking, Raven, the gothic sorceress that he'd adopted as his little sister, had gone through so much pain. Holding in his feelings, he used his scanner to check all her statistics.
"She's still breathing but her pulse is slow. A number of her bones are fractured and broken, and she's lost a lot of blood due to the wounds."
At Cyborg's analysis, Starfire's heart went cold. Beast Boy was stinging with regret as he looked around the room and for the first time noticing the pools of fresh and dried blood around them. Robin looked up at the green changeling and the shaking alien before grabbing Raven's hand carefully and intertwining his fingers with hers.
"Raven? Can you hear me?" Robin asked, hoping that she would give a response. Raven slowly turned her stiff neck round so that she was facing Robin completely, and she shook her head.
"Don't worry Rae. You're safe now. We're gonna get you back to the tower." he smiled, hoping it would reassure her that she was going to be alright. Raven blinked a few times and turned her head back around.
"What's wrong with her?" Robin asked worryingly to the half man, half robot kneeling beside him.
"She's in shock Robin. We have to get back to the tower now!" Cyborg replied. He leaned forward and picked up Raven's light body as carefully as he could, anxious that he would inflict more harm on her. He walked at a fast pace to the T-Car and lay her down on the back seat. Raven looked at him as he climbed into the front seat, closely followed by Robin. Starfire and Beast Boy were flying ahead as ordered by their leader. He told them to prepare the infirmary for the empath's arrival. Cyborg drove away quickly as Robin contacted the police to collect the villain who was at that present moment lying unconscious outside Raven's chamber. Robin checked Raven on the backseat, and smiled when she looked at him.
"You're going to be fine." he smiled, reaching for her hand again to give her comfort. But she pulled away, leaving Robin looking overly anxious and concerned. Why wasn't she in pain? Why wasn't she talking? All these thoughts raced through his mind as the T-Car pulled in the garage of their home. They rushed out of the car and Cyborg carried Raven in his arms to the infirmary. He lay her down on one of the beds and told everyone else to stand further back so that he could help her.
"Rae. Just rest. Close your eyes and it'll all be over." Raven's eyes remained open at Cyborg's advice. But they fluttered open and closed, and eventually closed all the way when Cyborg injected her with a sleeping sedative.
"You'd better leave here you guys. I'll call you immediately when I've finished treating her wounds." Cyborg told them, and although they hesitated, Starfire and Robin left the infirmary. Beast Boy remained behind.
"Cyborg? Why isn't she speaking?" Beast Boy asked, worried.
"She's been through a lot BB. This is all evidence enough that she's suffered. She'll talk to us when she's ready." he replied, indicating all the major wounds on Raven's body. Beast Boy sighed, and Cyborg lay a comforting hand on his shoulder. Beast Boy left the room, leaving Cyborg to help Raven and think.
Hours later, Cyborg was sitting in the main room surrounded by the others. He was filling them in on the seriousness and extent of Raven's horrible injuries. Luckily, she would recover, and he hoped that her healing abilities would speed up the process. Everyone could breathe a little easier now knowing that Raven would be okay, and that she was now safe with them watching over her.
Over the next few days, Raven had awoken and was doing well in the infirmary. She was never left alone, and one of her friends would stay with her while she ate or read. At the moment, Starfire was sitting with her.
"I am so happy that you are making a steady recovery Raven. I was truly scared for your well fare." she smiled at her. Raven was looking so much healthier than in the condition they'd found her. All the blood had been cleaned away and her wounds had been treated. Her body was covered in scars, which she was told would eventually disappear. Of course, she was still weak, but everyone was happy with her progress. Hearing Starfire's loving words, Raven turned her head and acknowledged her, and then turned away again. Starfire sighed.
"I'll be right back Raven. Do you want anything?" Starfire asked. Raven didn't say anything. Sadly, she vacated the room and went in search of the others. She found the boys in the training room, and walked up to Robin.
"How's Raven?" Robin asked her as she walked towards him with a sad expression on her face.
"Robin. I am very worried. Raven hasn't said one word since we found her. I think something is awfully wrong with her." she explained. By then, Beast Boy and Cyborg had come over.
"I noticed that too last night." Beast Boy added, remembering back to the night before when he was keeping Raven company. She hadn't said a word.
"Look. We're all concerned, but I think it's just the stress her body's been through." Cyborg stated, not utterly convinced with what he'd just said.
"Yes Cyborg. But she didn't show any sense of pain. Surely with all those lesions she would have reacted?" Starfire continued.
"I'm going to talk to her." Robin said, wiping his sweaty face with a towel before leaving his friends and making the short journey to the infirmary. As he walked in, he saw Raven trying to get off the bed.
"Raven!" Robin shouted as her knees buckled beneath her. He caught her before she could hit the ground, and helped her back into the bed.
"What are you doing Rae. You know you shouldn't even be walking around." Robin sighed. Raven just looked at him emotionlessly.
"Raven. I know that what you've been through is tough, but we're all worried about you. Please, say something? Anything?" Robin leaned forward and stroked her arm in a friendly manner, urging her to speak. The only way she communicated was by letting a tear ride down her cheek. Robin grabbed both of her hands and gently squeezed them.
"Please Raven. What's wrong? You can tell me." Robin asked with trepidation visible in his voice. Raven just stared at the boy wonder and squeezed his hands. Robin let go and sat back in his chair. Together, they sat in silence.
'Oh Raven. Why aren't you speaking?' he thought to himself as he looked at Raven, who redirected her attention from the ceiling to him.
Robin snapped his head up and looked at the door. No one was there. That meant that it had to be Raven…
"Raven?" At the call of her name, Raven just stared at him blankly. Robin was confused, but finally thought…
'Our bond! Raven? Are you okay?' he asked the empath telepathically, thanking the lord that their bond had been established some time ago.
'I'm fine Robin. Now I am.' she replied in her head.
'Why aren't you speaking Rae?' he asked. Raven hesitated for a while.
'That man… he took everything from me. All my emotions were released as he attacked me. I…'
'What?' Robin questioned, seeing it was hard for her to continue.
'I didn't want him taking the last thing I had… my voice.'
Robin stared at her in shock as a tear escaped her eyes. Robin reached forward and wiped it away.
'Raven. You don't need to hide away anymore. We found you, and I'm so sorry that it took us as long as it did. But the man's in jail, and he won't ever hurt you again. You don't have to stay locked in your mind. Please… speak to me.'
All that greeted him was silence, both in the infirmary and in his mind. After a few seconds, he was still in the same atmosphere. He heaved a heavy sigh, and placed a hand on Raven's shoulder. Then, he released her and looked down.
Robin looked up and saw a sight he had been waiting to see. Raven lay there, with a small smile on her face. She had finally spoken.
"You don't have to thank me. Just hearing your voice is thanks enough."
Well, that's the end of my second one-shot. I really hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading, and please review :) xxx