A/N: This was written months and months ago and I put it up on my 'emsscraps' journal, but I never put it up here cause the other one really angsty one Memoriam was mostly ignored. Anyway, I was cleaning out my files and thought I'd post it up since it was ready to go. Oh yeah: you all have GuardianKysra to thank for this.
Disclaimer: Do not own the characters and do not own the poem. The poem is You by Peter Davison.
"You have been drifting for so long / I know you don't want to come down / Somewhere below you, there's people who love you / And they're ready for you to come home / Please come home"
– Drifting, Sarah Mclaughlan
"I've been reading your books you know," he said softly, fingering the leather bound tome in his hands absently, as if only half of his attention were really on the book. "I know you probably wouldn't want me to be in your room and I didn't mean to invade your privacy like that," he admitted, "but I went in there hoping to find something for you..." he faltered momentarily and glanced at her peaceful face, but looked away again quickly. He hated looking at her like this, but he couldn't seem to bare being away from her, so he held her hand mostly, or just talked to her. "...I don't know, for you to hold," he finished his explanation, running a hand through his disheveled hair, "...or something..."
He shook off the thoughts that tried to intrude into his conversation with her, he shook off the despair. He didn't want her to feel that despair coming from him. "Anyway, I stayed in there because...well, because I suddenly realized that I didn't know what books you read and I figured I might as well bring something to read while I'm here with you...and I honestly tried to find the book you were reading before..." again, he faltered and closed his eyes tightly, taking deep breaths, "...before..." he swallowed passed the lump...he couldn't say it. "Before," he said conclusively, "so that I could keep reading it to you, but I couldn't find any book read mid-way," he glanced at her, "I know you were reading a book, weren't you?"
But of course, she didn't answer.
"You're always reading some book or other..." he shook his head, "Anyway, I asked Beast Boy to look for it, but meanwhile, I picked up this book of poetry that called my attention..." he fingered the book again and brought it up next to the bed, as if she were awake and could just turn her head and see it, but of course...she couldn't. He smiled, but it had no joy in it. "I didn't know you liked poetry," he told her, "Not this kind, anyway...I thought you'd only read that dark, Sylvia Plath kind of stuff...but..." he looked down at the book, "This isn't like that..." he had to take a few deep breaths to keep his voice from breaking.
It was getting harder and harder to do that lately. "Anyway, I started reading it the other night and I found a poem that reminded me of you, so I thought..." he looked at her and extended a hand to her cheek, gently caressing her skin, cool to the touch. He knew she didn't like people touching her, and he had heard Beast Boy wondering how he could touch her when she felt so cold, but when Robin touched her, she felt more alive than if he didn't. When he touched her, he could feel her life force running just under the surface of her skin, he could feel her dreaming.
And so he continued to talk to her and read to her, hoping his voice would someday bring her back.
"It's called, You by Peter Davison," he told her, opening the book to the bookmarked page.
He cleared his throat, "From beyond the borders of memory you seemed to gaze," he paused and glanced at her, "enfold, clothe me," he sighed, "lift me:" he didn't think reading it to her would be hard that he couldn't get through the first stanza without having to stop for fear of breaking. He had thought his breakdown after he read the poem had been enough to purge them from his system...at least for a little while, "I was held, washed, fed," he continued, his voice tight. "On unsprung legs I swayed and tottered." How could he not read those lines and think of Raven? Not think of the way she had supported him throughout his toughest moments? "Your smile urged me into walking." He swallowed the lump in his throat, and blinked his eyes to clear them enough to continue reading the words on the page, "Your words urged me out..." he looked at her and leaned closer to her, willing her to listen, "into worlds," he whispered near to her ear.
Raven had opened up whole worlds for him "Your scowl stunned and guarded me," he told her, looking at her placid face but remembering the times she had frowned at him and spurred him into movements, the times she had calmed him with a glare or protected him with a scowl. "You taught," he nodded, as if someone were asking him to confirm it, "scolded, attended." He felt the tears finally flow down his cheeks, burning at his eyes, but he continued: he didn't need to read the book to know the next line, he knew this part by heart: "And now," he said nearing her, " you vanish," he emphasized the words, speaking so close to her he could see her skin's automatic reaction to his breath. "What dark seas must I canvass to un..." his voice broke and he had to take a moment to swallow and breathe, to clear his throat and gather his voice again, "to undrown you?" he asked, reaching out and touching her again, the tears falling like little puddles on her still hand, "How far have you drifted, castaway?"
He had to stop and wipe at the tears from his eyes and he did so exasperated that they had interrupted him, but it was really exasperation because she didn't respond. "I yearn across pathless waterlands for a whiff of your remembered fragrance," he inhaled and caught the scent of her, the scent that stayed with her even under the normal scents of soap and shampoo, "a waft of warm arms," he trailed his fingers lightly over her arms, ignoring the marks of the tests and the machines that had helped her breathe for what had seemed so long. He had never felt her warm arms except for brief moments that were never forgotten by him but had been made to seem trivial by her, "the flick and murmur of your speaking," He missed her voice so much that it ached. He sometimes dreamed of his quiet conversations with her but could never remember what they had been speaking of when he woke, "the fall of your soft song," he almost smiled in remembrance...he had caught her humming to herself once or twice. "the hushed kisses of your mouth."
He looked at her lips then, for he'd only ever felt their touch once before. An impulsive kiss she had gifted him with and he had treasured, but they had never spoken of. So many unspoken words, "Who could have thought you would ever so..." he took a shaky breath, a look of pleading on his face, "so immoderately disappear?" he asked, the feeling behind the words as true as if they were his own...as if he were asking her and she were fully awake. "Or imagine that, no matter how ha..." he couldn't finish and hit the arm of the chair in pain and anger.
Why didn't he know more about their bond? Why hadn't he tried the meditation techniques with her and Starfire? Maybe then he might be able to use that bond to reach her? Maybe...he shook his head and forced himself to continue, "no matter how hard I haul on the ligaments of our fateful connection," he swallowed in an attempt to moisten his suddenly dry mouth, "you could never possibly...re...turn," he shook his head and felt the despair wash over him again, and he couldn't seem to garner the strength to push it away, "never," his voice was shaking and unsteady with the effort of continued speech, "respond," he looked at her hopefully, begging her silently to prove the poem wrong, wishing she would wake up suddenly, making fun of his tears or rolling her eyes at his drama, "never speak," he didn't need the book anymore, and was too preoccupied with touching her lips, tracing her face with his gentle fingers, "never..." his voice was barely above a whisper, "know me?" He finished, resting his head gently on her side, clutching her hand in his.
"Tell me it's not true, Rae," he whispered to her, "Tell me you do know me...tell me you will return...you will respond." He could barely hear her heart beating. "Don't go yet, Raven...I need you," he spoke against her hands.
He closed his eyes and tried so hard to call up the feeling of unity he remembered from the time she had entered his mind, trying once again to duplicate it from his end, but he felt nothing except himself and saw nothing except his memories.