A/N: Ah, well this is interesting. I never saw myself writing anything like this…ever. Shoot me now, I'm writing romance. (Dies and gets resurrected) I suppose since I'm doing this anyway, I might as well attempt to blackmail you people at least. So, as I say in my other stories, you review and I deliver. It all rests on your shoulders people.
Disclaimer: If I did own Teen Titans, I would be loaded. But I'm not…so I therefore don't own Teen Titans. This sucks.
Oh well, on with the show! Er…story thingy.Ch.1 Three Nights of Hell
Pity. Raven hated that word with every inch of her being. Pity never helped anyone; it only pointed out the obvious and was degrading. No one should ever display pity; at least that was what she told herself. But somehow she found that right now in this moment, she pitied herself.
Moving her fingers to grasp the handle of her teacup, Raven thought about how she got in this situation in the first place. Taking a sip of the dark liquid, she sighed, closing her eyes. Fragments from the past few days ran through her mind and taunted her, driving her to the brink of insanity.
A loud knock was heard as Raven was snapped out of her revere. She grunted, getting up from her meditative pose above her bed. She stood for a moment behind her door, composing herself. Soon more knocking was heard as the visitor was getting impatient. Allowing the door to slide open, herfriend's annoyed face was now visible. She didn't say anything, her own look of annoyance challenging the boy's.
"You've been in there all day." It was a statement rather than a question. Beast Boy was never one to get to the point, but he felt it was necessary this time. He didn't like to see Raven hiding in her room all the time, even more so these past few days. "You want to talk about it?" BB wasn't quite sure what exactly he was referring to, but he knew something was on the quiet girl's mind.
Raven looked hesitant to reply, but sighed instead. She shook her head 'no' and closed the door in the boy's face. She could almost feel BB's pout through her bedroom door. Unfortunately she knew that the drawing of a barrier between them would only hurt, not help things. Thinking about what she had just done, she contemplated whether to open the door and apologize. She decided against it as soon as she heard the footsteps leading away from her room.
Moving back over to her bed, she kneeled down to reach under the bed frame. Her fingers played across the bumps of a crumpled piece of paper, and she stopped only to take hold of it. Pulling it close to her as she rose from her position, she sat down on the edge of her bed. Violet eyes found the crumpled note and soft fingers unfolded it. It was marked with that oh so familiar 'S' that their least favorite villain used for identification. The note was informative and to the point, reminding her of her young leader.
I have an important question for you and you alone. But before I ask, you will have to do something for me. Within the next three days, my droids will strike each night, first at the bank, then at an antique shop, and finally at the Titans Tower itself. These three nights will become tests for you, helping me determine if you are worthy or not. Feel welcome to bring the other titans. I will not host an attack on the fourth night, simply an invitation. There I will be asking you the infamous question and then you may accept or decline, no repercussions.
Come to the abandoned Warehouse at 8pm sharp. The door will be open for you. Remember, come alone. If you choose to inform the other Titans on the fourth night, my invitation will regrettably be declined.
It is your choice entirely on the meeting, I'm not threatening you. You may not trust me, but I'm not asking you to. Let curiosity be your guide.
An address had been printed on the back, and she had used the main computer to find the exact location. Raven remembered the night she had found that same note sitting on her pillow and the window open. At first it scared her to know that Slade had gotten in and out of the Tower unnoticed. But then she realized that he must have been able to do that all along then, so why hadn't he before? Soon those types of questions slipped her mind as her eyes took in the note again. She read it over and over, trying to scope out any secret messages that implied he was lying to her. Unfortunately for her sanity, she found none. Running over all possible options, she concluded that she must be more psychotic than the man who sent it. She had been seriously considering accepting Slade's invitation.
At the beginning of the week, three nights ago; that's when this whole ordeal started. The Teen Titans arrived at the abandoned warehouse they were so familiar with. It was obvious who the villain they would be dealing with tonight was. As they broke the door down, Slade stood tall in the back corner of the room.
Slade watched the Titans file in and he smirked underneath his mask. "Well, well, well, if it isn't my favorite playthings. Come to play?" He heard the boy wonder's favorite phrase and soon attacks were being thrown carelessly at him. Beast Boy taking the form of a T-Rex stomped towards him with his horns. Moving through his legs, he stopped before he ran into telekinetically controlled knives. Easily dodging the green bolts and blue blasts, Robin rushed him and he deflected the attack. Blocking more kicks and punches, he didn't notice the extending of the boy's staff. He was shot backward as the end of the staff thrust into his stomach. Falling back in the shadow he pressed a button on his suit, the wall behind him opening. His mouth turned up into a smile as he faded into the room behind him. Slade pushed another button on the wall and a red light went off, signaling his droids to attack.
Throwing knives created from darkness shot out of Raven's palms, showering around her target. She cursed as Slade disappeared into the darkness, and gritted her teeth when she dropped gracefully to the ground. Her eyes scanned the area around her, looking for any traps. As soon as she saw the droids spill out from the corners, she took to the air once more. She charged the enemies, clawing her way through with dark energy. She turned to see her other teammates using their own skills to defeat the many swarms of 'Slade's'. Her feet touched the dirt beneath her as she stood in between the broken robots. She had unknowingly backed into the corner the real Slade had disappeared into. She felt the solid wall behind her suddenly give way as she fell back into a dimly lit room.
"So, the Raven's first on the list is she? This should be interesting." Slade pulled out his staff and threw it at the girl on the ground. He glared as it was reflected by a black shield covering Raven's small form. Knowing she could only keep it going for so long, Slade took the opportunity to get some of his discs out. Once the shield dropped, he threw the explosives at her, and she attempted to dodge them. Although he missed, he took note that her cloak was slightly singed because of the fire. Where the explosive had hit the wall, there was a small black mark, nothing more. He smirked as this fascinating fact seemed to hit Raven as well. "Facinating room, is it not?"
"Slade!" Raven found her teeth gritting once again as she looked into Slade's one teasing eye. The annoying mask alone was aggravating the teen to no end as it taunted her. She let out large blasts of dark energy on her opponent, hoping to at least injure him. She was getting easily frustrated with his constant dodging and evading, and ripped the ceiling light out of its socket, throwing it at Slade. She huffed and dropped down to the ground as the light burst into pieces and the room went dark. Immediately she cast a bubble around herself, shielding her from any attack that might have come. She went into a meditative state, slowly letting the force field down. Something in her mind clicked as she blocked a punch to her right, preventing Slade's attack.
A look of shock crossed his face when Raven blindly defended herself from his incoming strike. Then suddenly pride flashed its way across his features as he punched and kicked, each one being blocked. He went faster, but each attempt was stopped early. Increasing his speed once again he found an opening in the girl's defenses and took it. He himself had trained in the dark before, and was used to using different sounds to locate a person's whereabouts. Next he heard a cough out of his enemy and an all familiar thud. He didn't bother striking Raven, pleased with how well she had defended herself in the beginning. "Hm, such power, I would hate to see it go to waste. Perhaps…I won't kill you after all." Detaching a smoke bomb from his belt, Slade smirked underneath his mask. "Until next time, Titan."
Covering her eyes, raven pulled up a small shield around herself. Once the smoke cleared she lowered her defenses, staring ahead at the open door that revealed the exit. A small amount of light from the main section of the warehouse poured in, illuminating the once dark room. "Damn it!" There were no traces of Slade left, and Raven felt like she should go find him and rip him to pieces. She no longer wondered why Robin was always so crazed when it came to the two toned villain.
A sniffing sound was heard near the doorway and a green dog popped into view. He turned his head to see his friend standing in the middle of the now faintly lit room. "Raven! There you are! You ok?" BB returned to his normal form and smiled as he ran over to Raven. As soon as he saw the glow of the girl's eyes, he backed up slightly, giving a nervous laugh. "Hey guys, she's in here!"
One by one the other Titan members filed in, each with their own sigh of relief. Each kept their distance from Raven, well except Sarfire, but that was to be expected.
Starfire took no regard to the fact that Raven didn't look pleased, and threw her arms around the other girl. "Oh glorious, you are unharmed! But where is the evil Slade which we have been pursuing?" Starfire had lit the fire without even knowing it and Robin seemed to want to know the same question.
Raven growled low, shaking Starfire off of her. She started to move to the exit of the room, but didn't leave before saying, "Gone". Her cloak tailed behind her and her hood was drawn up, leaving behind a small trail of dust as she left her friends standing there. She knew that they were following close behind, but she didn't turn to them once.
Back at the Tower, Raven had gone straight to her room. The night's events were buzzing around through her mind and refused to let up. After the whole deal with her father and Slade, she had been hoping he would try and torture someone else for a change. Tonight she found that she had no such luck. It pissed her off to no end that he had been persistent in trying to gain her power, and now that Trigon was gone, she didn't know what he was after.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a consistent knocking at her door. It was loud, hard, continuous, and annoying. Once she let the door open, she was greeted by a very worried Cyborg.
"Rae…we're worried about ya, why don't you come out? Please?" Cyborg rested a hand on Raven's shoulder, his face begging her to comply. As the girl looked hesitant, he added in another 'please'.
Raven sighed, stepping foot out of her doorway and letting the door slide closed behind her. She put a hand over the one on her shoulder and nodded reluctantly. Raven figured that as long as he wasn't asking her to talk about what happened she couldn't refuse the boy who had become her older brother.
So that night, Raven sat with the others. The boys played the Gamestation, and Starfire made a Tamaranean desert for everyone. Well, she made it, but they only claimed to eat it. It seemed as though everyone had forgotten about the encounter with Slade only earlier that night. And Raven had almost forgotten, at least until she found a folded note with the familiar 'S' imprinted on it.
The three nights that followed had gone exactly as said in the note. The first night at 6 pm the Titan alarm had gone off and everyone assembled in the main room. Four figures stood behind Robin, awaiting orders from their appointed captain.
"Team, there's a robbery at the bank. Cyborg and Beast Boy, take the T-Car. Starfire and Raven, you fly behind us. I'll take the R-Cycle." Once his orders were given, Robin led the team out of the room and to the garage.
Raven was hesitant in moving as the other titans hurried to their vehicles. She was bothered by the fact she had not warned Robin of the attack, the night before. Her head hurt as she heard the words 'traitor' and 'betrayer'. She looked in front of her to see Starfire waving to her.
"Come friend, we must hurry!" Starfire floated over to Raven, tugging at her cloak. All day today Raven had spent in her room; Starfire wasn't sure if she even came out for meals. Her friend's recent hibernation was bothering the girl. She had seemed fine last night, but it was only today did she feel her friend was avoiding everyone. As she felt no more resistance to her pull, she led Raven to the others.
When they arrived at the bank, it wasn't exactly what they expected there were police cars there, but the area was completely dark. Starfire lit the way into the bank, and it appeared the same as the outside, dark. There were no flashlights, the only light came from the bubbly Titan's hands. On the floor, in the corner, were unconscious police officers, no flashlights in sight. Soon they heard the deep voice of their most feared enemy, Slade.
"Come to stop me Titans? I think not." Slade grinned behind his mask, knowing every one of the Titans had come, including his new favorite. He could feel the hostility of each individual in the room, and it only increased his excitement.
Robin's head snapped in the direction of the voice, and he raised a fist up in the air. "Titans Go!" He wasted no time in running to where he knew Slade was. He sped ahead blindly, trying to avoid the various attacks of the quickly multiplying Slade Bots. He took only a few moments to attack anything that was in his path and mow through it. He would get to Slade if it was the last thing he did.
Raven felt her breath get caught in her throat as she heard the smooth voice of the man that haunted her. She turned in a circle, snapping her head in every direction possible. Biting her bottom lip, she cursed as the source of the voice could not be seen. Then suddenly something clicked. She remembered how she fought Slade in the darkness before, and the note she found on her bedspread. This was her first test, but why would he make it so easy? Then a second realization dawned on her, it made it more difficult that she had to avoid the people on the floor, and her own teammates while she fought. But then where was her opponent?
That question was answered all too soon as she felt a pain in her side. She collapsed to the floor and raised a shield to be her defense. The pounding of her field of energy from all sides, let her know that her attacker had been a Slade Bot. Soon enough they had broken through the shield and she let out blasts of energy. A green bolt of energy whizzed by her head as Starfire's aim had been reduced to nothing. Another set back, she had to now defend against her friends attacks as well. Deflecting a kick to the ribs, she tripped over an unconscious officer on the ground. Scrambling to her feet, she was hit by a staff and heard a 'Raven? Sorry' from Robin. Sorry her ass, the other Titans would catch hell for this later.
Getting an idea, Raven laid on the ground, blending in with the bodies. She closed her eyes, muttering 'Azarath Metrion Zinthos' as quietly as she could. Once her friend's yells were blocked out, she could focus on the footsteps of her opponent. 'There!' Her arm swept out to trip one of the Robots. She heard the resounding clunk of the bot falling to the earth. Springing up, she stomped on it's head, rendering it immobile. She turned as she was pushed forward by another Slade Bot. She blocked an incoming punch and countered it with her own.
Taking to the air she surveyed how her companions were fairing. Cyborg seemed to have better aim than Starfire, and was currently taking care of most of the remaining robots. Beast Boy was currently in gorilla form; throwing the rest of the bots into the walls nearest to him. Starfire mainly ended up lighting the building from her many failed attacks. A faint green glow lit up Robin and the Real Slade for a split second, and Raven took off.
Flying over to where her leader and Slade were currently battling, she looked around, unable to track the exact positioning of either. Suddenly the room filled with smoke, and Raven covered her mouth with her gloved hand. Her eyes stung as she desperately looked around for the source.
A calm and calculating voice rang out in the distance, "Sorry Titans, maybe next time." Then it faded away with the grey smoke.
The room cleared and the lights came on, Slade nowhere in sight. Once again, the man had escaped with what he came for. But in the back of one of the Titan's mind, they knew the real intent of the attack. This was the same intent behind the next two attacks they knew were to come.
The following two night's hosted attacks by the same super villain. Each attack was one hour after the previous nights. The confusion was evident with all of the Teen Titans except for one. But no matter how much she wanted to warn her friends, she couldn't bring herself to do it. She persuaded herself that it was her problem alone and that she didn't need them to get caught up in it. But she knew that was a blatant lie, it was obvious that her teammates had been caught in it from the beginning.
The second night, Raven found her test to be slightly easier than the night before. This time she merely had to avoid damaging any of the antiques. It was more of deflecting attacks then actual evasion this time. The lights were on and that made it slightly easier. It was mostly work with her powers and was slightly more draining than the previous test.
Her comrades didn't have as much patience and resorted to just killing everything in their way. Robin seemed to be the only other one concerned with the artifacts. This time, Slade had not made an appearance, only his robots. Raven figured he was somewhere watching this whole scene play out. She found herself envying his disappearing skills.
The third night consisted of an attack on the Tower itself. It was obvious to Raven that Slade wasn't out to kill tonight, simply to scare. He failed in that aspect thanks to the informed girl. The gang had gone out to a movie, but Raven opted to stay behind. She said she would watch the systems and inform them if there was any suspicious activity. They hesitantly agreed, slightly worried about their introverted friend.
Raven knew fully well that an attack would take place, but she had no intention of alerting the other Titans. If Slade was out for her, she would comply. She could, and would take him down alone. At least that's what she told herself as she stared out the window, watching apprehensively for Slade.
Hearing noises outside of the tower, Raven turned into a bird and phased through to the roof. She figured if she could stop the attack from the outside, she wouldn't have to defend the inside. Looking over the edge, she found Slade Bots scaling the walls of the tower. She sent streams of dark energy down upon the robots. She took no time cleansing the tower of the imposters, watching them crash to the ground in pieces.
As soon as there were no more bots visible, she phased back into the main room of the tower. There was no sign of Slade, but she went and checked each room just incase. As she reached the gym, she heard noises inside. Opening the door, she wasn't shocked to see Slade moving equipment around.
Pushing the punching bag over to the wall, Slade looked over his shoulder to see Raven standing in the doorway. "Ah, I see you got rid of any distractions. Or possibly…their hiding?" He chuckled, looking around the room and shrugging. He soon noticed that Raven looked all but amused as she took a step forward. "All jokes aside, your test will be against me."
Nodding, Raven had no idea why she had just agreed. Wasn't she supposed to be disregarding his tests and calling the Titans? Wasn't this possibly the worst case scenario? She was alone, with Slade, and she felt like an idiot. Raven tensed, dark orbs appearing in her hands.
"No magic." Slade cracked his knuckles, waiting for the girl to run at him. She looked confused for a moment, fighting internally whether to listen to him or not. It looked as though she had convinced herself, and the magic orbs depleted. Slade grinned under his mask; this may be easier than he thought.
Raven let out a deep breath and sped toward him, whipping out a kick when she was close enough. He blocked it easily, his metal bracers deflecting it. She relinquished a stream of attacks, only landing one or two. All the time she was on the opposing end, Slade simply defended himself, not once did he strike her.
Slade took her attacks one by one, occasionally letting her get a hit in. This was all a bit on the boring side; he quickly noticed that her combat skills weren't nearly as up to par as her magic. He wasn't saying she was completely useless, no, she was very good. But, she wasn't good enough. Letting out a sigh, he blocked the last kick to his head. "My turn," he said in a lazy drawl, now turning the tables on Raven
Barely blocking the first attack, Raven crossed her arms in front of her, hoping to block the next one. Slade's attacks soon became a pattern, and she memorized it quickly. Suddenly his attacks got faster and she missed blocking a punch to her stomach. Flying across the room, her back slammed into the wall painfully. She staggered back to a standing position, wiping a small amount of blood off of her chin. "Shouldn't have done that, Slade."
Smirking, his eyes widened in satisfaction as the girl stood up strong. She charged toward him in fury and he grabbed her fists. His face was inches from hers as her eyes glowed red. "That's it, get angry." He pushed her backward and let her attack him. Her fists collided with his bracers once again and she tried again for a different spot. "Faster!"
Raven willed her fists to move faster and her kicks came out with hellish intent. She was moving Slade back into a wall, but he stopped her before his back touched it. Glaring, she let out a black stream of energy, throwing Slade into the wall in front of her. She found her lips twitching up into a smirk as a small crater formed around his body.
Falling to the ground, he turned on his stomach and lifted himself up. His head snapped up first as he looked pleased. "You cheated!" He watched the girl fold her arms, and he stood up completely. Robin's voice could be heard yelling Raven's name and he sighed. "Ah, our time is cut short. So sorry my little Raven, hopefully this won't be the last time."
Raven shivered as she knew exactly what he was implying. The next meeting with him was going to be completely her decision, and she didn't like that fact. She watched as he bowed and simply backed up to the window. Her eyes widened as he waved and fell out backward. Running over to the window sill, Raven poked her head out, looking for the psychotic man. Once again she was left looking at thin air as he was nowhere to be found.
Robin's voice now found its way into the gym as he stood in the doorway watching Raven. He stared at the back of his friend, wondering why she hadn't answered. More importantly, why in the hell was there a hole in the wall? "Rave-"
Robin was cut off by Raven collapsing to her knees. He ran over, pulling her up by her waist. She didn't dare look at the boy, but instead muttered something to him. "My room." It was a simple direction, and Robin didn't dare disagree. He supported her and made sure she got to her room safely, not asking any questions yet. Once they arrived, he moved her over to her bed, where Raven sat down by her pillow. She hadn't realized how taxing this whole ordeal had been on her body, she was ready to go to sleep for a few days.
"Well, are you going to tell me what's going on, or will I have to drag it out of you?" Robin stood tall in front of Raven, wondering what in the world had been wrong these past few days. He tapped his foot impatiently as the girl remained quiet. "Well?"
Raven sighed and repositioned herself to lie on the bed. She crossed her arms and closed her eyes. "I'm just tired is all. These past few days with Slade's appearances, have really been wearing me down. I suppose my body just caught up with me."
Robin seemed content with this answer and nodded. Brushing a strand of hair out of Raven's face, he turned to leave. "Get some rest Raven." The door closed behind him, and Raven felt a surge of relief wash over her.
Getting the note out from under her pillow, she glared at it and crumpled it up. Throwing it under the bed, she decided to ignore Slade's request. It was for the good of her sanity.
Unbeknownst to Raven, that night Robin was up late. He sat in the surveillance room, pulling out the tape of the Gym while they were gone. Something just didn't seem right to Robin. Most of his suspicion came from the giant fracture in the wall and the fact that Raven had been all to eager to avoid them lately.
He typed in the access code to watch the video, and blew it up to fit the whole screen. At first the room wasn't occupied, but Robin fast forwarded it until it showed a figure climbing up to one of the windows. The person got in by simply breaking the locks with brute force. He watched the figure crawl into the room and wave at the camera. Robin was rendered speechless as the camera showed Slade standing there. Suddenly the video cut off and the screen turned black. Pressing the fast forward button again, the screen remained blank until it showed Raven staring out the window.
Robin sat back in his chair, trying to refrain himself from hitting something. He played it back to the part with Slade waving. "What the hell?"
And here she was, now watching the clock as yet another hour passed. She sat quietly, her tea was now long since finished and she was finding it hard to think of anything other than Slade. It was 45 minutes past 8, and her hands shook with anticipation. Hadn't she decided against going? Where was her sense of wrong or right? She knew that black and white was now grey the moment she withheld information from her teammates. The thin line between good and evil had been erased and Raven found herself trapped. She needed an escape, and Slade had given her a window of opportunity.
She released the piece of paper she had been holding for so long, dropping it carelessly on the floor. Raven rose to brush herself off, pulling her hood up around her face. Kicking the offending wad of paper under her bed, she closed her eyes and turned into a large, black bird. Soaring out and away from the tower, her mind was made up.
Robin felt he had done an excellent job of containing himself all day. So many questions had been buzzing around through his head lately. Finally he was given the opportunity to confront Raven about yesterday, after he tried and tried to get her alone earlier. He walked down the hallway, feeling a bunch of emotions rushing him at the same time.
Standing in front of Raven's doorway, he cleared his throat and knocked. No answer. So once again he knocked, but this time slightly louder. Still no answer. Robin sighed and took the liberty of opening the door himself. "Raven, I need some ans-" He stopped as he stared into the empty room, no Raven to be found.