Garfield was standing next to the buffet. Gary had caught the girl's eyes immediately and now he had run of with one of them and left him all alone, and to top it of had the banquet people no vegetarian food on the list. It was all meat. Garfield felt a shudder run down his spine at the thought of all the poor animals that had to die to be eaten. He put down his plate, turned around and froze.
Koriand'r didn't know which of the three men she had seen first. It was strange and not logical. She had stood before hundreds of Tamaranian soldier ready to fight thousands of enemy soldiers and she hadn't even blinked.
But when her eyes landed on the three men her entire body was shaking. Especially when she saw the black hair boy with the sunglasses. For a moment her heart stopped beating.
Richard suddenly felt a rush of adrenalin pore through his body only matched with when he was flying through the air. He looked at the black man, Victor Stone, and felt a rush of respect. His eyes fell on the blond boy and suddenly trust and fellowship filled him. And then his eyes landed on the red headed woman. Love he didn't even know he could feel grasped his heart and made him gasp for air.
Then he suddenly felt fears cold grasp cling to him like a wet towel. One was missing. She was missing.
Victor didn't know why he suddenly thought about her. He thought it had to do with the other three looking at him. He suddenly felt a peace he hadn't felt with the exception of his deepest dreams. But something was wrong. She should have been there. She should have…
Garfield didn't know why, but when the man had uttered the name Raven he suddenly felt empty. For a second, just second, he had forgotten that she was gone. That the woman standing a few feet away wasn't here. He had forgotten her. He had forgotten her. He had…
The room started to shake, and on impulse Richard ran over to the woman and grabbed around her. Trying to protect her.
"What are you doing?"
The light fell down and Garfield threw himself down on the floor to not get hit. A picture suddenly fell to his mind of a green elephant. He didn't know why. Why would he think of green elephants when the room was falling apart? It didn't make sense.
Koriand'r looked up at the boy holding her down. If it had been anyone else she would have killed him with her bare hands, but he was different. She liked him holding her. Protecting her. She sudden felt an urge to take of his sunglasses. It was so illogical. The room was falling apart, and all she could do was take her hands up and take of his sunglasses. His eyes where beautiful, big and the colour of…
"I'm sorry to interrupt you guys but we better get out of here."
Victor looked down at the two lying on the floor. Some people had the worst timing. Just like last time.
Finally they got up and he led the four of them out of the room and into a smaller room, looking like a library or the old kind of smoking room.
"So I guess you all have that dream about her."
"Do any of you know here?"
"Never seen her in my life."
"But I have visions."
"We all have, don't we?"
"In one of mine she tells me that she is in love with a man called Beast Boy."
"She calls me Beast Boy in one mine. Does that means she is in love with me?"
Garfield suddenly couldn't stop smiling. The woman was sitting not far from him, looking up at him with a queer look. Garfield didn't know why the thought of Raven having a crush on him would make him so happy. He had a girlfriend. Terra. Raven. Garfield sat down and couldn't get the goofy smile of his face. She loved him. She was in love with him.
A scream. A scream that sent shivers down his spine.
The blond boy uttered her name, as a picture was visible for all of them. In the centre of them a woman, partly see through, was standing both confused and in pain. Looking from one part to another.
Tears were running down her face, and Victor thought this odd. He hadn't seen her cry since, since. Had he ever seen her cry?
She was crying. Before he could think Garfield put out his hand to dry them. He didn't want her to cry. As quickly as his skin touched hers something odd happened. The hand that was touching her turned green, before weird memories came and forced him to his knees.
Pictures of him with green skin, claw like hands and feet. Fangs and pointed ears. Pictures of his parents dying and other people that he cared deeply for suffering the same fate. Terra, betraying them, fighting him, sacrificing herself to save them. And something primal. A beast, lurking deep inside him, threatening to take control over his body at any given moment.
Garfield looked up at the girl, not understanding.
"Do you see why I had to do it?"
She turned her face from the blond boy and her violet eyes set on his brown.
She opened her mouth to say something more when she flinched in pain, and Victor grabbed her arm. He too without thinking and he also with consequences. His hand turned into metal, and his head was suddenly filled with images about him as a half robot something creature. The pain, the humiliation, the fear of not being human again brought tears to his eyes.
"I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry."
Her gaze landed on him, and Richard suddenly got scared of her. Of what she could show him.
Koriand'r suddenly felt weird. She was curious of what this girl could show her.
Raven just looked at her as she grabbed her hand. Suddenly another woman was standing next to her. Blackfire. Koriand'r suddenly felt fear for this woman. Her sister. Koriand'r hated being afraid. She grabbed a chandelier from the table and threw it at the woman, but it just went straight through her. Koriand'r took a step back.
Koriand'r looked oddly at her. How could she know?
To say Richard was terrified was an understatement. He turned and tried to run out of the room, but when he came to the door he stopped. She didn't try to stop him. She didn't say his name, or scold him for leaving them. She had brought them all together, and now she was just letting him walk out the door. Why? He turned and looked at her.
He was surprised about how calm she looked. Like she had seen so much pain and suffering some more couldn't hurt.
"Why did you gather us here?"
"I didn't Robin. You brought me here."
"But who are you?"
Garfield couldn't forget the image of his parents dying, or the pain of seeing people he obviously cared for die or leave him. Or the insecurity he had felt about having green skin and being able to morph into animals, thou that thought also thrilled him a bit. He knew it had something to do with the woman standing in front of him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen. The woman that had haunted his mind and dreams all his life.
"I was your friend. In another life, we five were different. Haunted. Heroes. Titans"
"And how come we are like this and you are…"
Victor didn't know what she was actually so his voice just died of.
"That was the deal. My life, for the life you where supposed to have."
He didn't understand. The explosion. The things his father had implanted in him. That had been real? He looked at the woman in front of him. She had been real too?
"So the dreams, they are memories then?"
Raven looked confused at her. Koriand'r was still shook up about the image, but she needed information.
"You don't know? I, we all have, dreamed of you our entire life."
"You have. You remembered me?"
Raven looked from one person to the other before landing on him. It suddenly struck him how deep her eyes where. He wondered what was behind the sadness and the calmness so much larger than anyone he had ever seen.
Her hand went to her mouth in shock and sudden understanding. Then she smiled as tears where running down her cheeks. It was the most beautiful smile he had ever seen.
She looked at him.
Richard didn't know why, but it felt right for her to call him that. More than if she had called him Dick or Richard.
"Are you happy?"
Her gaze wondered down. He had never seen anyone with so little hope as right then. Hadn't she always had hope? Suddenly all his fear was gone. Or, not gone. They where never completely gone. But another feeling was suddenly stronger than his fear. Love and compassion for this woman. He grabbed her hand, and was suddenly overwhelmed with grief as he saw his parents fall to their death.
But then he remembered something else. He remembers working with a man that made him feel small but also larger than life. He remembered the look on young children's faces when they ran over to say he was their idol. He remembered meeting four people that changed his life. Eating pizza. Working next to them. Playing in the sun. Talking. He saw and felt Starfire next to him at night. And he remembered the gentle caresses of a woman he cared very much for.
"But I was also happy before."
Koriand'r didn't know why but she grabbed the same hand that the boy had grabbed. She too remembered other things. Remembered how wonderful this planet could be. Remembered dragging the woman all over the mall. Watching television. Just hanging out with her friends. Nice.
"As was I."
Victor saw what the other two had done, and something in him made him copy it, even with the fright of last time. The first images came, as expected, but he didn't let go. And after them, below, were others. Images of him being in the park with his friends. Crushing Beast Boy in video games. Learning that being what he was didn't make him less of a man. Building a car with his own two hands, instead of just designing them.
"And so was I."
Garfield just looked at her. He grabbed her hand, and images, like they had done for the other three, came to him. Fighting with Cyborg about tofu versus meat. Training and learning he could actually be good at something more than animals. Being part of a group and a team. Hearing Raven laugh, and looking at her and feeling he loved her.
Raven looked at him and couldn't help grinning.
"Our bond is so strong, even taking away their nightmares could break it. I win, you loose, and you can go back to my father and tell him that."
Raven smiled as the smoke settled. She might not be able to take away their pain, but she should be able to give them a good nights rest. She didn't know why she hadn't thought of it before. She grabbed the dream catchers and phased out of her room. The light blue she hung over Cyborgs charging table. She saw how his vitals settled at once, and a smile form on his lips.
"Sweet dreams dear friend."
Raven phased out and into Starfires room. She wasn't there, but this didn't scare Raven, since she knew she some times slept with Robin in his room. So she just hung the yellow dream catcher over her bed and phased out. She stopped outside Robin's room and listened, not wanting to interrupt anything private. Nothing. She phased in and saw the both of them sleeping in each other's arms. Raven felt a sting of jealousy, but just smiled. She wanted them to have so much happiness as they could. When the red dream cathcher was up, Raven couldn't help herself but carefully stroke his cheek.
Before phasing out and into Beast Boy's messy room. She flew up and hung his green one over the top bunk when he stirred and opened his drowsy eyes.
"Hi Beast Boy."
"I just had a weird dream."
Raven just smiled. When they woke up next morning, they wouldn't remember a thing.
"Raven, is it true that you love me?"
"Who told you that?"
"Starfire. In my dream."
Raven swore under her breath, but didn't let him see that.
"I love you too."
She looked down as something exploded. She looked at him again and smiled. He would soon fall asleep again, and he wouldn't remember a thing.
"Go to sleep Beast Boy."
Like magic did he close his eyes and soon fell into a deep slumber. Raven smiled as she phased back to her room, looked at her purple one, and did the same.
Raven had never seen her friends so happy when each of them woke up. Robin was almost singing. Starfire was singing, and Cyborg didn't care that Starfire was singing. Even Raven couldn't help smile as she watch how they where they where acting that morning. Robin agreed to skip his morning exercise to be with Starfire, and Cyborg actually told them he had called Bumblebee that morning and asked her out on a date. And no one made fun as Beast Boy still half a sleep walked in wearing just boxers.
"Oh isn't this a most glorious morning friend Beast Boy."
"It sure is Starfire."
Even Beats Boy was happier as he grabbed his morning coffee. He turned and was surprised to find Raven standing right behind him.
"Oh sorry Rae. Didn't see you there."
He had forgotten what he had told her last night, just as she knew he would. She cupped his face and kissed him. He was just standing there, surprised, taking in the kiss. Finally she let go of his face and smiled up to him.
"I love you too, too."