Once again, she was back in the crowds

I DO NOT OWN TEEN TITANS…though I wished I did…

THANKS AGAIN TO MY WONDERFUL BETA!! YOU ROCK!!

Now, here is chapter four…

Chapter 4: Wondering

xXx

Once again, she was back in the crowds. In the heart of the city she floated along the people, knowing that at any moment one of her father's "associates" could catch sight of her.

But she didn't care.

If she had to work at a diner all her life, she would. If she had to leave this city and go to another, she would. She tried to get out of her element, and look what happened--she made a fool of herself to a boy in a circus.

A circus, for crying out loud!

Hot, angry tears streamed down her cheeks. She was alone; she was foolish; she was trapped. In her heart, she was trapped.

With a start, she realized that she was standing in front of her home. Well, one of them. This one was her father's way of saying, "Here, stay away from me and your mother, we don't want you around."

It was given to her two years ago.

As she entered—wiping away her tears—the doorman smiled at her. "We haven't seen you for a while. Welcome back." She politely returned the smile and stiffly entered the elevator. Raven entered her apartment and the tears came cascading down once again.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Two days later her house phone rang. "Hello?"

"Miss Roth, we have delivery for you," the desk clerk stated, "Shall we send it up now?"

"What is it?"

"A bouquet of flowers." Raven paused. Who would send her flowers?

"Oh...okay, yes. Send it up, please." It couldn't hurt to receive mysterious flowers, could it? The delivery boy handed her the bouquet, then scrambled out of there. It was a tiny arrangement; a dozen red roses and baby's breath, but it was pretty none the less.

She put it on her table and went back to her meditation pad. Taking a deep breath, she pushed her fingers together as hard as she could. Her eyes scrunched shut, and her lips tightened. Seconds later she was levitating.

Her mind widened, and she felt everything in the room, it's energy, it's heat, life...things that inanimate objects shouldn't give off.

Wait.

No, that wasn't the room itself...that was something in the room. She focused, squeezing her eyes even tighter. Her energy flickered, and the last thing she saw before she lost her concentration was the flower vase.

Slamming down, she broke her position and lay sprawled on the floor. But Raven wasn't stupid. Something was giving off a very powerful energy flow, and it couldn't have been the flowers. Cautiously she crept towards the table. And that's when she saw the fuzzy green caterpillar.

"Changeling?" Raven furrowed her brow.

The caterpillar innocently crawled up the leaf before transforming into a butterfly. The emerald butterfly flitted up in front of Raven, and then changed into a grinning Changeling. "Don't be mad, Rae. I had to come see you. You wouldn't believe how much flying I did to find you. And what do I see yesterday but you, buying fruit at a stand. And then I see you waltzing into this apartment complex as if you owned it...and after a bit of research, I find out that you do!"

"My father does." Raven glared at the green teen. Who did he think he was, following her around and then sneaking into her apartment?! She could've been dressing or something! "And I'll be mad if I want to. Who do you think you are? You can't just follow people around and expect to be welcomed with open arms! I could have been changing!"

"Oh, Rae, we're past that now. You've seen me change tons of times." He smirked.

"That's different. Quit calling me Rae. My name is Raven."

"Raven Roth, of all things."

"Yes. Raven Roth, of all things. Spend two days in my shoes and you'd want to live in a run-down circus the rest of your life too." He scoffed, and something in his eyes was hard.

"Oh, yeah, I'd just hate to live in my own apartment and get money from Daddy, and be pampered. 'Would you like your flowers sent up now or do you want to wait for your masseuse to bring them?'" He mocked the doorman's raspy voice.

"It's not like that! You don't know where he gets that money. I only take enough to live."

"Oh, what, he gets the money from showing off his abilities too?" Raven froze. He'd seen her levitate. For the millionth time that week, her usually dry eyes filled with tears.

"He doesn't have abilities. I'm the freak. I'm the freak of the family, okay?!" Changeling's brow furrowed, and he frowned.

"You aren't a freak, Rae."

"Oh, what would you know? You sneak into my apartment then act like a jerk, and now you're trying to placate me? Just stop it and go away!" She smacked his arm again and again, trying to push him towards the door.

"Okay, I'm sorry. Raven." He turned and held her arms down by her sides. "I'm sorry. I just don't get why you aren't living it up here, why you want to join Cald's Circus, of all places." He gently let go of her arms and caressed her face. "Don't cry." Her heart started to beat fast as he leaned down...

And then she turned away.

"You wouldn't get it. Not even if I told you. Now leave."

"Rae."

"Raven," she icily corrected. With a longing look he turned towards the door. As he shut it, he threw behind his shoulder his parting words.

"I got you a job. We'll be here for two weeks."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

That night she tossed and turned, thrashing her sheets around with her legs. Finally, although she was tired, she got out of bed, got dressed, and locked up her apartment.

She walked the cold streets, aware that she might be in danger, but willing it away from her mind. She didn't know how much time passed before she found herself gazing at the circus grounds. She found his tent, and crept through the shadows to let herself in.

The night owls wouldn't catch sight of her, she knew. He was awake, sitting up in his bed and writing in a notebook. He looked up, alarmed, when his tent flap opened, but then grinned when he saw her. She shrugged her shoulders.

"I couldn't sleep."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The next day shone bright and much too early for Raven. She pushed the sheets back and sat up on the cot. Changeling whistled outside of the tent. She wearily let him come in.

"Sleep well?" he asked as he handed her a coffee. She nodded.

"You?"

"Well, it wouldn't have been comfortable in human form, but as squirrel, the tree was good to me. At least for the first hour or two. I didn't want you to be alone, so I fell asleep outside the tent as a dog."

"Oh..." Raven should have known he'd do something sweet like that. "Thanks."

"So," Changeling grinned, "You ready to clean those porta-potties?"