A/N: Put this directly after Spellbound.


It's been a very long time since Raven felt like such an idiot, but, as she sits here in her bedroom with her knees drawn up to her chest, eyeing the wooden chest that the thrice damned book that unleashed Malchior upon the world now resides in, she berates herself silently for her stupidity.

It was simple Latin. Every word she spoke to pull him out of the book. All of it in a language that she has more than a working knowledge of. Something she could probably recite in her sleep if she was so inclined…

Granted, some of it was somewhat perverted...bastardized, really...and there was Sumarian and several other lesser known ancient languages mixed in, but she still should have realized what she was saying. What she was doing...

Raven draws more in on herself and continues to stare at the chest, her arms encircling her knees.

Somewhere, on some level, she thinks she did understand what she was doing...only, she didn't want to acknowledge it.

The self examination that comes with that realization is horrible. She did something unforgivable…and for what?

Not for love, that's for certain…more for…friendship? Vanity? The need for someone to understand her?

With these reasons at the forefront of her mind, she feels even more like a fool. She has friends; she doesn't need anyone to tell her she's pretty or express that she's wanted…she already knows she is.

Never mind that confirmation is nice, that doesn't matter…

Never mind that Malchior made her feel like she belonged somewhere for the first time in forever…and not the kind of belonging that has the quality of being cobbled together in the interests of a common goal, like with the other Titans.

Raven looks away from the chest, pulling in a deep breath and releasing it slowly through her nostrils, trying to find the center that seems to have disappeared over the past twenty four hours. Where's her legendary self control? Where's her cool, collected self?

Buried under several layers of her first teenage heartbreak, that's where.

She hates it. She feels weakened by it. She wants to lash out at it, but can't.

Sure, Beast Boy and Cyborg pulled her out of this same funk earlier…but now, it's well past midnight and the tower is silent. There's no one to yank her from her thoughts, so she just embraces them and waits for the urge to try talking to Malchior again to pass.

An hour goes by…two…three.

The urge remains. It remains and grows stronger until she actually rises from her bed and crosses the room to stand before the chest.

She tries to rationalize why she's there and finds she can't. She gets as far as the words "I'm here because…" and nothing else is forthcoming. Logic is clearly not dictating her actions and whatever is controlling them is so foreign to her that she can't name it.

She drops to her knees in front of the trunk, her breathing slow, even, regular…as if she's not contemplating opening the storage unit for a potentially deadly creature.

Why is she kneeling here? She asks herself the question twice without speaking the words and comes up with the same answer she had for crossing the room.




There are no words beyond that one. No reason. No justification. Just because.

She reaches for the latch, flipping it open and tugging on the lid so that she can look inside…


Her fingers brush the book's cover ever so lightly…


She slams the lid shut once more, even as the voice coming from within the book tries to caress her mind into acquiescing.

She scrambles off the floor and leaves the chest behind her, fighting the desire to bite her lip or do something equally emotional and instead stands, stark and still as a statue, her posture perfect and rigid and hands clenched into fists at her sides.

She may not know or be able to name why she wants Malchior to return to her or why she's so drawn to the thing that could very well cause her destruction--but she does know why she can't set him free.

It may be nice to feel as though she belongs…it may be nice to hear saccharine sweet words and manipulations…but in the end, it's all just pretend. Every lie, every syrupy word is nothing but deception. Pretty deception, but deception none-the-less; and Raven has no desire to live in a land of make-believe.

The real world may be harsh, she thinks as she leaves her room quietly, hoping that distance will help lessen her desire for the book and the monster it contains, but at least it's real

And besides, she inexplicably smiles to herself as she passes a lump of dirty socks that a troop of flies are circling, it's got stankball…and, more importantly, people to play it with.


Afterthoughts to think about: It is badly bastardized Latin that is--for the most part--used throughout Spellbound. Based on what I know of Raven (both in comic and cartoon format)--if I could understand the general gist of the words she spoke, I can't possibly think she didn't.