Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans. Never will.
Saving the Princess
Princess Terrianna, daughter of King Caldwell VII and Queen Aila, and future ruler of the Kingdom of Caldweilla, looked around her bedchamber. Moonlight floated through the glass balcony doors, lighting up a patch of stone floor. The rest of the room was completely dark.
She sat up, wondering what had woken her. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she was able to see dim flashes of light bouncing off random objects around the room. She couldn't see anything out of place.
A shiver ran up her back as she noticed a cool breeze blowing through the window. Having found the source of her sudden awakening, she relaxed slightly.
Swinging her feet off her bed, she quietly padded across the carpet spread out in the middle of her floor. She shivered again as she reached the end of her carpet and began to walk across the cold stone floor to the large window on the wall left of her balcony.
She closed it quickly, getting a strange sense of déjà vu, and returned to her bed. She sighed in relief as she crawled under the warm covers of her large bed. Pulling the blankets up to her chin, she allowed herself to sink into her pillow and mattress.
Two minutes passed before she sighed and opened her eyes again. Her cold trip across her bedroom had scared away any sleep that she might have had, and now she was completely awake.
She rolled onto her side and looked back at the window she had closed. She frowned.
"I'm sure I closed that window before I went to sleep," she murmured to herself. She could picture it in her head, even now.
"You did, my dear."
With a gasp, the princess sat up in her bed and looked around her seemingly empty chamber.
"Who's there?" she asked, hiding the fear she felt behind a voice of confident authority. "What are you doing here?"
"Now, now," a sultry voice replied. "Is that any way to treat a guest?"
"Whoever you are, you are not welcome," she replied, tucking a strand of golden hair behind her ear. "Therefore you are not my guest."
There was a small chuckle. "No, I suppose I am not your guest, am I?" The voice was undoubtedly male. "In fact, it is you who shall be my guest."
"Who are you?" she asked again. "Show yourself!"
"As you wish."
Slowly, a blue light filled the room. There was no one in sight. Standing up, she walked to the center of the room, ignoring the fact that she was only wearing her white nightgown. She strode over to the fireplace and placed her hand on the mantel.
"Are you some kind of coward?" she asked, looking around the seemingly empty room. Her hand curled around the handle of a sword sitting on the mantel.
"No, I am no coward," an amused voice replied from behind her. Swiftly, Terrianna spun around, preparing to strike her midnight visitor with her sword.
A handsome man stood in front of her. His piercing, icy blue eyes bore into her softer baby blues. His hair was pure white, although he did not seem old. In fact, he couldn't have been more than a couple years older than Terrianna. A smirk played across his perfect features, giving him a dangerous, yet playful look.
However, it wasn't his good looks that had stopped Terrianna in her tracks. Looking out of the corners of her eyes, she found that her entire body was encased in cold blue light.
She struggled against the blue light's hold, but she found she couldn't budge an inch.
"It's no use," he told her. "Struggling will not make my hold any looser."
"Do you have any idea who I am?" she asked angrily, finding that her mouth hadn't been frozen with the rest of her body. "I am Princess Terrianna, daughter of-" she stopped as a ribbon of blue energy covered her mouth.
"Princess Terra," he purred. "'Tis a pity you are not my main objective, only my beautiful bait."
She glared at him and he, to her indignation, laughed.
"To answer your first question, you may call me Malchior." He grinned as her eyes widened in horror, obviously recognizing his name. "And I am here for you, if you had not already realized."
She began to scream in protest, but with her mouth sealed shut it came out too muffled to be heard by anyone except herself and Malchior.
"Come, sweet Terra," he smirked. "We shall go now."
He flicked his wrist in her direction and slowly her world began to grow dark. The last thing she saw before passing out, was a large, scaly black foot.
Swinging his ax through the air, Victor Stone cleanly chopped through a thick log with a barely audible grunt. As he bent over to pick up the two halves of wood, a loud squawking sound made him stop.
Wiping a hand across his dark brow, he looked up at the tree in front of him. A raven sat on one of the oak tree's branches with something clutched in its beak.
Noticing Victor's eyes on it, the raven lifted itself into the air. Before flying away into the darkening sky, the bird swooped over the large man, dropping the item in its beak.
The item floated to the ground, and Vic quickly picked it up. It was a piece of parchment that had been skillfully twisted into the shape of a rose.
He looked at it in confusion for a moment, before deciding to take it to his master. She'd know what it was.
He quickly walked across the clearing surrounding the medium sized cottage he and his master lived in. Quietly, he pushed open the backdoor and peeked into the dimly lit room.
A small fire was the only lighting, flickering from its place in the far wall of the kitchen. There were shuttered windows on each of the four walls, and a set of stairs to his left led upstairs.
His master sat hunched over the kitchen table, where a large pot and several herbs and bottled liquids sat arranged around an old book. Upon closer inspection, Victor realized that his master had fallen asleep with her arms folded over her book like a pillow.
He smiled. The "all-powerful Sorceress Raven" didn't look all that threatening curled up over her book and emitting soft snores.
The sorceress Raven had only lived in Tamborinia for a few years. Her arrival had been quiet, and she had lived in the city for a while, doing odd jobs for anyone willing, or wealthy enough to pay for her efforts. When she had been found out as a sorceress, however, she had been met with a cold reception. People fear what they do not know, and they didn't know much about Raven. She had started out as a quiet, young peasant girl and had, in their eyes, turned into a dark and reclusive magic user.
After packing up all her things (that, of course, is just a figure of speech. She had always kept all of her things in a plain leather bag that she never left alone), she disappeared into the darkness of the forest. Using a combination of her intelligence and her powers, she was able to build a house and keep herself fed.
After a while, a few of the braver Tamborinians would ask her for a potion, to rid someone of an illness, or make their crops grow, or other random things. She would make their potions for them, asking for nothing more than a few coins. She would use this money on her few trips into the city, where she'd buy anything she couldn't get for herself in the forest.
Victor could still clearly remember the day he had met Raven. At the age of fifteen, he had been one of the youngest members of the King's guard at the time. He had received a message that his father was ill and been given a week off to visit his parents.
The moon was just beginning to rise when he reached his parents' home on the outskirts of the city. As he drew closer to the cottage, he could see that the wooden door had been kicked in. Jumping from his horse he raced into the house, heart pounding loudly in his ears.
Chairs had been thrown across the room, chests had been smashed open, and his mother's favorite dishes were nothing more than shards of clay underfoot. He looked around the single room of the cottage and paled. His mother and father were sprawled out in the middle of the room, a pool of blood beginning to form around them.
He crossed the room in two large strides and kneeled down by his parents, turning them onto their backs. He knew immediately that his father was dead. Blood drizzled out of a deep wound in his forehead, and his body had already gone stiff.
Victor turned to his mother next. Relief spread through him as he saw that she was still breathing, and had only a few bruises. However, his relief was short lived as he looked down at her stomach.
For the past eight months it had been steadily growing larger, as a new life began to grow inside. It appeared undamaged, but who was he to know whether or not the child inside was still alive or not?
Pushing aside the fear he could feel beginning to grip at him, Victor gently lay his mother back on the ground and ran out to his horse. Jumping onto his steed, he raced off in the night, a plan already formulating in his head.
It didn't take him long to reach the house of the sorceress Raven. He hesitated as he walked up to the door, unsure of what to expect from the witch on the other side. Still, despite his uncertainty, he knocked on the door. He had heard of her phenomenal powers; surely she could help his mother and unborn sibling.
He had just lifted one of his large hands to knock on the door, when it opened up, revealing a hooded figure.
She was shorter than he had imagined, but then he was quite large for his age. She wore a plain black dress, the only color being those of her royal blue cloak and the matching ribbon laced across the bodice.
"What do you want?" she asked in a harsh tone, glaring at him from the shadows of her hood. "You have no right to disturb me at this time of night. If you really want a potion then you can return in the morning."
Before he had the chance to get a word in edge wise, she was already closing the door.
"Wait!" he called out. The door was already closed, but he continued, knowing his voice would carry through the thin wood. "I really need your help! My mother is dying!"
There was silence on the other side, and Victor wondered if she really had heard, or if she even cared, and with a melancholy sigh, he turned to leave.
He was just mounting his horse when his ears picked up the sound of a door opening. He looked at her questioningly, and she simply motioned for him to lead her.
Slowly, he turned his horse and began to head in the direction of his parents' house, making sure to keep the pace slow enough that the girl walking on foot behind him could keep up. She surprised him when she spoke.
"You say your mother is dying, and yet you're going so slow. Are you an idiot?" she asked accusingly.
"No, I just…" Victor hesitated. "Why don't you just get onto my horse? That way you won't fall behind."
"No," she replied. "I'm not getting on your horse. Just go, and don't worry about me. I can keep up."
Frowning, but not daring to contradict the sorceress, Victor leaned forward in his saddle and spurred his horse faster. Soon the horse was speeding through the forest. He only risked looking back once, and found his eyes widening in surprise as he saw the girl, dark blue cloak and plain black dress fluttering in the wind as she flew behind him at a speed as fast as his horse.
When he reached his house, he leaped off his horse and ran back in. Kneeling by his mother, he sighed in slight relief as he saw that she was still alive. Her breathing was even shallower than before, but she was alive.
He felt, rather than heard, Raven's presence behind him, and he looked up at her pleadingly.
"Please," he begged. "You have to help her. And the baby."
She looked at the woman at her feet, and a frown crossed her hidden features.
"She is on the edge of death," Raven told him. "And I can sense that the child is as well. It will take much of my power to heal them both."
"Please," Victor repeated. "I'll do anything. Just save them."
She thought for a moment. "You understand that I put myself in grave danger using so much of my energy at once. I could die from it. Therefore, I do not think it is too much to ask for a year of service for my deed."
Victor paled. An entire year of service? To the witch, no less! He clenched his jaw. This wasn't about him, he reminded himself. He nodded.
"Agreed," he replied. "I will give you a year of my service if you save them."
Raven studied him carefully, before sighing and nodding. Falling to her knees, she leaned over the mother and unborn child. Her eyes began to glow white, and Victor backed away, suddenly doubting if this was really a good idea.
"Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos," she chanted. A soft blue light surrounded her hands, and she held them over his mother and sibling. Slowly, she moved her hands from the bump where the baby lay, and up to his mother's pained face.
He watched in amazement as slowly his mother's face turned tranquil, and Raven pulled her hands away. Raven was panting heavily, and even in the combined darkness of the night and the sorceress's hood, he could see that beads of sweat had formed on her forehead.
He smiled as his mother's eyes began to open, her long lashes fluttering lightly.
"Victor," she whispered. "What happened? I remember… the door crashing down… a group of bandits…" she stopped and paled. "Your father!"
"He's gone," he informed her solemnly. Sorrow marred her motherly features and she looked down at the bump of her stomach. She smiled sadly as she felt a small kick.
They sat in silent remembrance for a few minutes, before Victor remembered his promise. He looked up, and saw that Raven was already at the door.
"When do you want me to…" he trailed off. He couldn't say it out loud. Not yet.
Raven paused for a moment and looked back at him.
"Never mind," she told him. "Stay with your mother. She can't raise a baby alone."
And with that, she disappeared into the night.
A week later, he had returned to her house, insisting on paying his debt. He told her that his mother had made arrangements to live with her sister in the city, and he was now intent upon keeping his word.
She had refused many times, but eventually his stubbornness had paid off and she agreed to let him give up a year of his life doing odd jobs for her.
That had been three years ago.
Back at present time, Victor smiled lightly and sat down at the table, nudging Raven's elbow. With a surprised intake of breath, Raven lifted her head. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she looked over at him.
"What is it?" she asked. "Finally decided to go home?"
He grinned. She asked him that everyday, and each day he told her no. They had become friends over the past years, and he didn't really want to leave their peaceful lifestyle. He was allowed to come and go as he pleased anyway.
"No," he replied. "I had just finished chopping wood when a bird came by and dropped this. I think it's for you."
He handed Raven the paper rose and watched in confusion as her gray skin paled even more at the sight of it.
"It can't be," she muttered, taking the rose. She ran her hand above the twisted parchment and it unfolded itself. Just as she had suspected, there were loops of ink on the inside. It was a note.
You have not been the most sociable girl lately, have you? You will not return my letters, you refuse to meet with me, or talk through any other method I might think of… one might think you wished to be rid of me.
No hurt feelings though. Someday you will wish to be my bride. All you need is a little convincing.
Speaking of which, I have a small proposition for you. I have a very special guest residing in my castle at the moment. Her name is Princess Terrianna, I assume you've heard of her? I believe you should come for a visit. Perhaps she can help you see the light, and you will see why it would pay to marry me.
All my love,Malchior
Raven dropped the note and looked up at her friend.
"This isn't good."
Yeah, the title isn't the greatest, but perhaps after a while you'll be understand why I went with it.
I'm not too happy with the flashback. I mean, it came out fine, but I just didn't want any flashbacks in this story. But oh well, it's not a big deal. It didn't sound right when I tried writing Victor's little background story without making it a full blown flashback, and I always feel like Cyborg doesn't get enough attention in my stories anyway.
I don't know if it will seem like it, but this is quite possibly the most complicated story I've ever thought up by myself (which is kind of sad, really), so if there's anything that doesn't make sense at any point, just ask and I'll be more than happy to answer.
Oh, and one last thing. For anyone that hasn't read Cinderaven, Tamborinia is a kindom I came up with (big surprise there, I know). In this kingdom, and all other places that will be brought up during the story, things that may seem strange to us (i.e. Purple hair and green skin) are completely normal there. And to those of you who have read it, don't expect this to be the same. All the roles have been changed and messed around with. Gar isn't a prince, Raven's not a scullary maid, etc.