If you want my opinion (which we all know you do), I think Narroch killed her. Shifty-eyed glances
But that's another story for another day.
Isn't it funny how inspiration tends to strike whenever I'm trying to take a break from being creative? I was just sitting down, trying to watch How Long is Forever? when BAM!
It hit me.
And I had to write this.
The blue vortex vanished almost instantly after Starfire disappeared into it. The four remaining Titans stared at the place the youthful alien had been only moments before, shrouded in darkness and silence.
"So..." Garfield said uneasily, glancing from one old friend to the other, taking even more note than he had upon arrival of the changes that the others had gone through. "What do we do now?"
"I have work to do." Nightwing's narrowed eyes were fixed on the floor, and although his words contained purpose, he couldn't seem to force himself to move.
The green changeling snorted. "I see you haven't changed."
None of them had noticed Raven had moved until she returned to Cyborg's side, the infant Warp wrapped in a section of her cloak. The shadow of her ivory hood now completely masked her eyes as she gazed at the Titans' former leader.
The silence welled up in the empty warehouse until it became overwhelming once again. Unable to withhold his curiosity any longer, and seeing as how Nightwing was still rooted to the spot, Garfield addressed the raven-haired man. "Where have you been?"
The vigilante glanced at Garfield out of the corner of his masked eye. "Bludhaven."
"Huh?" Craning his neck up to get a better look into Nightwing's unyielding face, Garfield noted that not much had changed physically about his former teammate other than his height, his hair length, his costume and that his facial features had sharpened. His expression was still an enigma beneath the omnipotent mask, his poise was still as confident as ever, and he seemed as reluctant to leave as he had over nineteen years before. "Where's that?"
Cyborg sat at the nearest desk with a groan, massaging his temple. The disrepair now was more obvious than it had been when Starfire had first seen him at the Tower upon her brief return. He shouldn't have left the Tower...he didn't know how he was going to get back now.
Her veiled eyes still on Nightwing, Raven levitated to Cyborg's side. The familiar white glow shone from her eyes and outstretched hand as microscopic mechanics on the bionic adult began to repair under Raven's careful guidance.
Nightwing took his time in answering; Garfield couldn't tell if it was because his former friend was savoring the reunion or thinking of words small enough for him to understand. Finally, he replied, "It's a city outside of Gotham. The crime there is worse than it's ever been in the state, so I went where I was needed."
"Thanks, Rae." Cyborg smiled appreciatively at the empath, whose hood bobbed faintly as her eyes dimmed, her free hand returning to join its partner in carrying Warp, who was still sound asleep in the folds of her robe. The shadow beneath the hood turned to face Garfield when Nightwing returned the question.
"What have you been doing for nineteen years? I see you've been keeping yourself as fit as ever."
The changeling's lips pursed at the cruel humor; another thing that hadn't changed about the former Boy Wonder, along with him asking stupid questions when he already knew the answers.
"As if you didn't know, Dark Knight Jr.," he retorted. "We've all had our locators with us since the Titans split up. If you cared about how we were doing, you could have come by any time to see my show."
Nightwing's calm disposition didn't change. "All right," he said coolly. "Have it your way—but I really do have things I need to get done."
He turned briskly on his heel and stalked out. A lion's snarl issued from the throat of the changeling, who remained in human form. "So that's it, then?" he shouted at Nightwing as the vigilante was about to step out of the building from the hole Cyborg had created with his sonic cannon upon entering.
Awakened by the snarl and Garfield's outburst, Warp awoke and began to cry. Raven's stern, invisible eyes narrowed accusingly at the offender.
He had stopped at Garfield's statement, but the infant's cries seemed to bring Nightwing from whichever reverie he was reliving. He sighed and continued to walk away, and the sound of a motorcycle's engine revving and then fading as it sped away was the last any of them heard of him.
Garfield's shoulders slumped in defeat. He shuffled his feet in walking back to join Raven and Cyborg, sitting on the floor beside the latter's desk.
"What's up, Rae?"
The empath's eyes were glowing again. She pressed her forehead to that of the baby's, energy flowing freely from her chakra gemstone. The fussing gradually died down as she telepathically coaxed it to sleep again, and then she looked back up at the other two. Only then did she telekinetically lower her hood.
The mens' eyes widened in unison. Garfield whispered, "Whoa."
Raven's pale skin had faded to a more sallow hue. Now her lips seemed scarlet against the near-white of her ivory face. The brightness in her eyes belied the exhaustion she truly felt. The silken violet tresses she had possessed as a Teen Titan were gone, shaved to leave only a patch of purplish fuzz along the prominent V of her widow's peak. After the other two had managed to register what, to them, was a startling change in appearance, she smile faintly and gently rocked the baby in the crook of her arm.
"Garfield...Victor...It's...good to see you again."
Beast Boy had gotten to his feet and now took a few steps toward his changed friend. "Raven, what happened to you?"
Cyborg nodded fervently, agreeing with the question.
Raven's smile faded. "...This is what I look like, Garfield...when I no longer feel emotion." Her eyes glazed over for a moment, as though with tears, but quickly cleared. "I have not felt happiness, anger, pride or lust in fifteen years."
Garfield nodded slowly, beginning to understand. Cyborg looked from one of them to the other, puzzled.
"The Titans were just making it easier for your..." Garfield trailed off, struggling for a word to describe Raven's father.
"Trigon," Raven whispered, and the Shapeshifter nodded.
"Yeah. The Titans were just making it easier for your Trigon to control you. So, in a way, the Titans splitting up kind of helped you."
Raven's eyes flashed. "No...No, it didn't..."
Crystalline tears were sliding down her cheeks now as she fell to her knees. "Garfield...I've been so lonely..."
Garfield sank to his knees beside Raven, gently removing the bundle from her arm and handing it wordlessly to Cyborg as a silent obligation to leave. The look Garfield gave him promised that this wouldn't be goodbye—not like last time, so Cyborg took the hint and left as quietly as possible, infant in hand.
Garfield wrapped his arms around Raven and pulled her to him, his heart aching for her. She hadn't felt happiness, anger, pride or lust...but she had felt loneliness. Sadness. Anguish.
She had been alone for fifteen years for the sake of...what? Whom? Hell if he knew, but she hadn't done it for her own sake. Raven had completely sacrificed everything, including virtually her own life, for something he doubted either of them could explain.
Raven was limp in his arms. She didn't sob or wail; she just leaned into him, the tears streaming down her cheeks. She didn't dare return the hug.
He didn't dare try to kiss her; tempting emotion into Raven's brain might bring on the apocalypse, for all he knew. But he didn't care about kissing her. If he played his cards right, that might come later.
For now, though, he just held her, and let her know that she wasn't alone.
So much had changed about the both of them—about all the Titans, really. Garfield was finally relenting to the feelings he never could have admitted to or understood in his adolescent years, and Raven was sitting there, fragile, broken, letting him hold her.
It hadn't been the reunion any of them had been expecting, but it was the renewal both of them had needed.
> Shut up, fools. I'm a creepy sap.
And I don't normally support this shipping, but it worked because it's canon and...yeah.
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