Chapter One: Quoth the Raven: "Stay out of my room."
Robin stared at the metal of the door, nerving himself to knock. A glance and a slight jerk of the head indicated that he had decided to confer that honour upon his team mate. Beast Boy sighed, but complied. Well, this had been his idea.
"Yes, Beast Boy?"
"You seen Raven?"
"Well, she's not been seen all day, and I was kinda getting worried."
"She's probably in her room."
"For forty-eight hours? She hasn't meditated that long since ol' Red came to town."
"Have you two had an argument again? I know that usually means she has to-"
"Nope, everything's fine between us, has been for ages, thank God. I'm just worried, and only you've got the security override-"
"Alright, let's go check on her."
Beast Boy knocked on the door, with only mild trepidation. Girlfriend or not, it was never wise to interrupt Raven's meditation.
"Raven? You there? Mpenza?"
Robin stifled a grin at Beast Boy's pet name for Raven. He had to get a translation for some of the things he said to her. Being bilingual was the only way to ensure relative privacy in a tower full of very nosy and very bored superheroes. Even then, Cyborg was hell bent on finding a Swahili Language program that was compatible with his brain.
Beast Boy breathed deeply, and his eyes widened suddenly.
"What?" Robin noticed that Beast Boy sounded almost frantic.
"She's not in there, and I smell copper."
Copper. That had to mean…
Robin punched in the security override as quickly as he could, and dashed into the room. A worrying scene met his eyes, and Beast Boy swore.
The window had been cut, a circle of glass lying on the floor. There was little disturbance in the room itself, although the Tragicomedy statue had been knocked over, and a large stuffed chicken had fallen on the floor, presumably from one of the bookshelves. What was more worrying was the dark stain on the carpet, and the drips that led from it to the window. Beast Boy was squatting by it before Robin could say a word.
"It's hers." Beast Boy said, in a hollow tone.
Robin decided that he did not want to know how Beast Boy knew what Raven's blood smelled like, and began issuing orders.
"Go get Cyborg. We need to find some clues as to how this happened. I'll see if I can find anything unusual." Robin ran his practiced eye over the room. Well, unusual for Raven's room. He walked over to the dresser, and began examining some of the items. A book, padlocked and covered in evil looking runes, a wizened old hand that Robin assumed (and hoped) was a monkey paw, a statuette of a dragon, a small stuffed toy of a raven, but emblazoned with the trademark four eyes of Trigon, an unfinished cream cheese and smoked salmon bagel…and an ornate mirror.
The edging around the reflective surface was covered in runes that seemed to twist when he looked at them out of the corner of his eye, but fell still when he stared at them directly.
"Dude! Put that down!" Beast Boy screamed, lunging towards his entranced leader.
Too late. As Robin turned towards his subordinate, a huge claw extended from the mirror, grabbing him by the waist. Beast Boy clutched desperately at Robin's hand, but was yanked into the mirror along with him.
"Duude…uncool." Beast Boy sat up and clutched at his head. Robin stared around him in utter bewilderment.
"Where are we?"
"We're in…" Beast Boy paused. "Well, it's got some Azerathian name, but since Azerathian makes Japanese seem as basic as binary, I won't try to pronounce it, just in case I call it 'Son of a promiscuous goat' or something. Basically, it translates as 'Nevermore', for some reason."
Robin frowned. "That doesn't answer my question." Robin hated being left in the dark.
"It's like a pocket dimension inside Raven's head."
"We're inside Raven's mind?"
Beast Boy looked uncomfortable. "Kinda. You know how Raven can't show too much emotion?" Robin nodded. "Well, this is where she keeps them."
"Her emotions?" Robin gawked, trying to find out what exactly Beast Boy meant.
Beast Boy nodded. "She gets real mad when anyone goes in here."
Robin shook his head. "You've done this before, haven't you?"
Beast Boy nodded. "And the only way to get out is through this big swirly door, miles away."
Robin groaned. "Is this place dangerous?"
Beast Boy looked sidelong at his leader. "We're inside the mind of a half-demon. What do you think?"
This first chapter's short, I know. I wanted to set the scene before delving into the story proper. This tale was inspired by the following words from RabulaTasa's profile:
"I'm an unashamed Nevermore addict, but people really need to become more creative with how they use it. I mean, the place is crawling with possibilities, but I keep on seeing the same stale uses of Raven's lovely little lookalikes. Do something you've never seen before- it's fun!
Well, I hear and obey. And Beast Boy will speak Swahili in this story. Mostly swearing, with the occasional fluffy comment. It sounds cooler in Swahili.