A Note From Unfunny Joke:

This little story is dedicated to Starchaser over at RBSU. It was her request for the Secret Santa exchange. I would also like to thank Sora, CoH (both from the same forum) and my sister for looking the story over and letting me know what they thought.

This is a little different from what I normally write, what with the inclusion of an original character and all. All that you need to know is that this story does indeed take place in the future. The ages and overall appearances of the characters are up to you.

Now, without further ado, I give you the story.

Story: Lullaby
By: Shawn "The Unfunny Joke" Wheeler
Disclaimer: I do not own either of the characters depicted below, and any affiliations they might have.
Summary: Looking back on the past is the best way to see just how far you've come.

Raven slept.

She slept a relaxing, calming, restful and comfortable sleep.

Her dreams comforted her like they always did now. She was not scared, as they were no longer nightmares fuelled by the dread of her heritage. No, instead they were peaceful dreams fuelled by the heat generated by the body next to hers, and by the restful sighs that he made while dreaming beside her. They were fuelled by the knowledge of all that they had accomplished together.

It was the perfect night, filled with a quiet rarely broken by the occasional crash of a wave or flutter of a bird by the half open window… or by the cries of a baby girl.

Loud cries.

From a baby.

Her baby!

And with this thought process, Raven awoke. With a still young child in the house, it was a fact she was well aware of that full nights of sleep simply do not happen.

Swinging her legs over the side of the bed, she prepared to tend to her young one. But before she could reach for her cloak, a hand pressed on her shoulders to keep her from rising.

"No Raven, it's okay. I've got this one; you can grab some more shuteye."

She stifled a yawn as she studied her husband's attempt at getting fully dressed while still half asleep.

"Are you sure Gar?"

"Yes I'm sure," The green man replied before flashing a grin. "She probably just needs to be tucked back in."

"Or fed. Or burped. Or changed." She paused slightly for effect. "Or all of the above."

He only rolled his eyes in return, a bad habit he had picked up from her over the years. "Good night Raven. I'll be back to bed as soon as I'm done. Now, if you'll excuse me, we shouldn't keep our little princess waiting."

She smiled at him as he left the room, and settled back down into the warm comforter. She'd have to thank him later, she was exhausted and even just a few extra minutes of rest was a very valuable asset to have.

She had always known that children took a lot of work and effort. She had watched over Melvin and the others many times over the years, but to have a child of your own was something that neither her nor Garfield could have ever truly prepared for.

But Rebecca was worth it. She was more than worth it.

When they had first discovered that Raven was indeed pregnant, they had both come up with a mixture of worries. These, of course, were far different than the questions about one's parenting ability that always accompanies a first child. They had more unique problems than that to worry about.

The first had to do with Garfield and his DNA. The simple fact that a man with his unstable genetic structure could even have a child was a miracle in itself, but neither of them could predict exactly what affects doing so would have. Doctors were also worried that the Sakutia virus may have been passed down as well. With Garfield being the only known survivor of the disease, it was a very distinct possibility that Rebecca could have been born with it.

But luck was on their side. Rebecca had been born perfectly healthy, and with the exception of small fangs, nothing noticeable had been given to her by her father. At a glance she seemed completely normal.

Of course, there were also worries about the other half of Rebecca's heritage. Could being one quarter demon cause the same problems for her as being half demon did for her mother?

Raven and Garfield had found out almost immediately that their daughter did in fact have very similar powers to those of Raven. At first it had started with harmless balls of black energy, almost fog like in appearance and touch. As she grew older however, Rebecca had gotten better at mimicking things around her, and due to her father's influence now enjoyed making very solid animals out of dark energy.

And to think, she was only a little over a year old. But at least nothing melted when she laughed or cried. That was a blessing both parents had been overjoyed with.

Raven yawned and turned to the empty spot next to her in the bed, putting an arm out to feel the slowly diminishing warmth. What exactly was taking that man so long? The crying had stopped quite a while ago, he really should have come back by now.

She rose slowly from the bed and draped a housecoat across her back to protect herself from the slight chill of being out from under the covers. Curiosity had gotten the better of her, and Raven headed out of the room and down the hall towards her daughter's.

Her bare feet made hardly a sound as she approached the door, which she reached for. However, before entering she heard the voice of her husband from inside, and for whatever reason she decided to not interrupt and to simply listen in on the one-sided conversation from within.

"Come on Becca, go to sleep. Please? For daddy?"

Raven could hear the giggling of her daughter clearly now, followed by more whispered pleadings from Garfield.

"Why yes, your sheep are very cute. How about we count them? No? How about a bedtime story? Do you want to hear that lullaby again? You do? Fine, but this is the last time, and then you have to go to sleep."

Raven suppressed a small laugh. Leave it to Gar to bargain with an infant.

It grew silent for a short while, until finally she could hear the sounds of whatever lullaby he had been talking about. She had to strain to hear his quiet voice through the thick door.

"Our gem was born of a loving fire

Here to bring peace to all

With parent's care

That shall not tire

A flame that burns immortal"

She was standing in the room by the last line and was greeted by his large grin immediately. Before she had a chance to say anything, Raven was being motioned at to keep silent. Looking towards where Garfield was pointing, she could see that Rebecca was indeed fast asleep.

The two quickly and quietly left the room to talk in the hallway.

"Always works… after a few tries." Gar said in-between a yawn. "Now, what exactly are you doing out of bed? Didn't I say I'd handle it?"

"Yes, you did." She replied. "I was just a little curious. You were taking a little longer than I had expected."

He chuckled lightly to himself in reply. "You were right Rae, it was all of the above. But still, it's nice to know you can't go a few extra minutes without me there."

"Well, if I would have known you were reciting poetic lullabies, I would have come too." Her expression stayed soft and curious. "What exactly was that anyways?"

Raven watched as his eyes looked in the distance, not focusing on anything, with memories playing in his head.

"It's something I heard a long time ago. I didn't really like the original though, and thought it might be nice to change it into something a little cheerier." He grabbed her hand and squeezed it gently. "Now let's get back to bed before the sun decides to come up and say hello."

Again she nodded, and followed beside, quickly entering the room and once again getting under the covers. With a quick kiss and a 'thank you' which Garfield probably didn't understand, she wrapped herself tightly in the bed's warmth and once more embraced gentle dreams.

And again, Raven slept.