Hello all, and thanks for your patience. I am now releasing Dawn Child, but I am taking a different tack this time. The story is not yet complete, but I thought I would release the chapters that I do have ready, one at a time, instead of the entire story at once, as is my wont. I think it will be easier to get the story finished and posted this way. I do not have a definite posting schedule in mind. My schedule is a bit wiggy at times, but I will post as I can.
Here are the Twilight Child stories in order:
Stair Luge Samurai
He Thinks He's Elvis
Dawn Child --- in progress
Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans, Raven, or Gar Logan/Beast Boy or any of the other Titans mentioned here.
This series is based on the comic series and not the animated series, so if you have only seen the animated version of the Titans, you may encounter situations and characters with which you may not be familiar. Hopefully, though, there will be enough author's notes along the way to fill you in on the gaps between the two versions of the Titans.
The "Twilight Child" series breaks continuity with the current Teen Titans series at issue #20. Any events in the current series after that point (including Infinite Crisis and the One Year Later storylines) do not affect this arc.
This story arc leans heavily on Teen Titans history from the Marv Wolfman era to the present day. For those of you who have not read the earlier stories, I have tried to include some details in my Author's Notes at the end of each chapter. I prefer to use author's notes rather than use lengthy as-you-know-Bob explanations that would bog down the flow of the story. However, if I leave out an explanation, feel free to send me a private message via my profile. I am more than happy to answer any questions, and I love getting email. If you see anything that is wildly inaccurate (or if you just want to talk Titans), please let me know, and I will do my best to correct it.
I am enjoying the current series very much. If you haven't read the comics yet, I encourage you to check them out. I am really looking forward to the new Titans series that is due out this year!
This is the last planned story in the Twilight Child series. I don't think it will be my last story, ever. It's just the end of this particular 'chapter' in our characters' lives. I hope you enjoy it.
With deep thanks to all who have read all of the stories up to this point and to all of my friends on the RBSU Forum and on deviantArt. This is dedicated to you all.
A very special thanks to Six String Samurai for beta-reading the story for me. I truly appreciate it, and the time you are spending on it means a lot to me.
Dawn Child – Chapter 1
Raven savored the flavor of the emotion she had craved for so long. Just that morning, the hole in her heart carved by her estrangement from Wally West was filled with the lightness that forgiveness leaves in its wake. Its taste was light and sweet, like honeysuckle.
"It's not often I get a second chance at a first date." Gar's voice floated across her thoughts. Resting his chin into his palm, he sighed deeply and continued to stare at his dining companion. "Thank you."
Raven replied with a shy smile of her own as she returned her focus to the moment. Her fingers stroked the edge of the tablecloth as she watched him spear a forkful of salad. "But I remember our first date with great fondness. It was simply…interrupted."
"Ah-ha," he said with a chuckle. "So you do kiss on a first date."
"Not that I've had that many first dates, mind you." Her smile deepened as she bowed her head and closed her eyes. She opened them slowly and gazed at him steadily. "But two of them with you will do just fine."
A warm breeze ruffled the curled edges of her hair over the linen skin of her shoulders, which were bare except for the slender straps of her dress. The flickering flame of the candle reflected off the satin, giving it a rosy glow.
"How is the salad? They get kinda fancy sometimes. Do you recognize all the—"
"Yes. Radicchio. Arugula. The words are as delicious as the leaves themselves." She drew the words out, letting them roll out of her lips, as if she were tasting each syllable.
"Well, I wanted to take you someplace nice before you headed back to school next week, little miss senior. And I…" He swallowed hard before continuing. "I wanted to apologize for being such a jerk before. I never meant to make you think I was breaking up with you."
She reached across the table and stroked the wrist that was poking out from under his dinner jacket as he continued. "I was just scared, that's all?"
"Of you going somewhere that I can't follow, where I can't… I can't help you."
"Beloved," she said as she shook her head slowly, "I cannot promise that—"
Gar cleared his throat. "And I'm just glad that Chez Paul delivers. That way, there's no paparazzi underfoot."
"And you are not a 'jerk'," she whispered back.
Before he could reply, a shadow crossed the table. Swift hands whisked the salad plates away. Raven looked up at the waiter and saw Bart looking back at her, his fake mustache twitching beneath his nose as he spoke. "Eez eet good, mam-selle?"
"Ah, but for tonight, I am 'le garçon', not 'le Bart', mam-selle. Ze salade, eet eez very nice-ah tonight. " He switched to an Austrian inflection. "I'll be back." He was gone as quickly as he had arrived.
Warm summer stars winked overhead above the breeze. She glanced up every now and again at her star, the one Jimmy Red Cloud had shown her that one evening in Twilight Canyon. Its light was dimmed somewhat as it competed with the lights of the surrounding city, but it glimmered down on them nonetheless. The amber blush of the tower lights reflected off the water. The waves folded across the bay like dark silk blowing in the wind. The pair's eyes wandered between the hypnotic swells of the water and each other. Soft music drifted in from somewhere behind them.
A green hand reached across the table and wrapped around her tapered fingers. "Another advantage of being here is that we have our own personal dance floor. It'll be a few minutes before the main course comes out. Would you…can you…would you like to dance?"
The warmth in her violet eyes flickered in the candlelight for the briefest of moments. "Yes," she replied. "I can dance, a little."
He lifted their joined hands over the candle and led her to the small space between the table and the edge of the balcony. She began to extend an arm out for a waltz-like stance, the one that Jericho had taught her long ago, but Gar gently grasped her arm and tucked her hands behind his neck. His fingers found their way to her shoulders and made slow trails down her back to her waist, and his arms pulled her in towards him. His cheek brushed gently against hers as he whispered into her ear.
"This is smooth jazz, baby." The envelope of his warmth folded around her as his arms held her close. His words were low and husky. "Close dancing is required."
The music danced on the breeze: the scratch-scratch of percussion, the low crawl of bass, the soft random tinkling of piano keys, and then the soft crooning of a woman's voice, earthy in their ears. The gentle beat shuffled their feet from side to side.
"You're certainly happy," he observed.
"I have not felt this well since I first left Azarath. Since I was much younger."
"You are younger again, that's the beauty of it." He gave her a firm squeeze. "You get to live those years again, pain-free, thanks to your grandfather."
"At least for a little while," she replied as she rested her cheek on his shoulder. The coarse fabric of his jacket rustled around her face. "But let us speak only of happy things, just now."
"Well, I certainly want to keep you happy. You kind of glow when you're content, you know? It seems to just leak out of you. It's a wonder the whole city doesn't see it."
"It is easy with you, beloved. To be happy."
Her eyes drifted closed as she allowed him to sway her in a slow circle. The gentle sea breeze tickled her shoulders as she cuddled closer into his embrace. She tilted her head slightly to let his warm wet-dog scent curl around her face.
"This keeps getting easier," she mumbled into his shoulder as their movements to the music became smaller and smaller. "I don't think I have ever been so… blissful, blissful like this."
Another chorus of the song drifted by, and she couldn't remember the last time her feet had moved. The dance was inside her head, now, warming her mind and filling it with drowsy, cozy thoughts.
"I can tell," he whispered, each word softer in volume but more intense in feeling. "You don't resist me when I hold you any more." His arms slid up to her shoulder blades, and he cupped them in his palms. "I know you feel it. Feel how I want you with me at night, all night." His lips rested against her cheek. "Like then. And I want you to know I—" He hesitated. "I've thought about our questions, the ones that we talked about that morning at Charlie's. And how to get them answered. I'm going to answer a few. Tomorrow. I'm going to S.T.A.R. to find out. Tomorrow."
Her head drew back from his shoulder, and her wide eyes searched his. Her lips parted to answer, but no words came. He kissed her again, closer to those open lips.
She could barely hear his next words above the salt-laden wind. "I want to find out if I can…if I can make love to you. Without hurting you."
"Garfield, I—" His name managed to sneak its way through her vocal chords, but the rest of it disappeared as the last strains of the song faded into the night.
"It's all right, baby. Not until we're both ready. I remember. I want it, but I want it right. I just… just want to know. They almost made me wait a whole month, but they managed to work me in tomorrow."
The words skipped down her spine as his hands inched their way back down to her waist. But the chill that she felt was a luscious one. Her aggressive side stirred deep within her, coiled up, ready to argue with her shyness, her fears, but for once the argument never came. It was drowned out by his lips slipping over hers, by his tongue sliding across hers, by his breath rising over her face. Then he held that kiss there, lingering, until she returned that intensity to him. His kindness and tenderness flowed around her as her mouth pushed into his… and her shivering stopped.
The sound of a clearing throat shook them. "Zee din-air, eet eez read-ee!"
"Thanks for the help tonight, Bart," Gar said as he folded the tablecloth over his arm. "It means a lot to me to be able to do something special for Raven without a lot of prying eyes."
"Hey, always happy to help," Bart replied while he peeled the fluffy faux facial hair away from his upper lip. He waggled his eyebrows. "Good luck tomorrow, by the way."
"Tomorrow? You heard what we were talking about?"
"Oh," Gar sighed in relief.
The thought of Bart pretending to be a French waiter just cracks me up. I can just imagine him with one of his old picture-thought-balloons, with a picture of a snail (a la Gary from Spongebob) with a circle with a line through it, as he thought about escargot.
There are multiple references here to the events depicted in Coyote, including the references to Raven's grandfather. He saved her life and ended his own by absorbing all of her pain. The exchange of energy caused a landslide the destroyed the cave where they were at the time. His body was never found.
Gar feels like he was a jerk due to the happenings in Nadir, where he was arguing with Raven about the plan to contact Jericho while he was trapped on the disk.
Back in the Wolfman-Perez days, it was mentioned that Joey had taught Raven how to dance. Off-panel, though. (snap) That would've been a cute scene.