Rating: M, because some of this stuff will probably get up there.
Pairings: Multiple, but mainly Raven/Robin, Raven/Red X, and possibly some Raven/Speedy
Genre: We'll be running the gamut, but there will be romance (or the seeds of) in most. Others will include Drama, Tragedy, Humor, etc.
Author's Note: A collection of my unfinished fanfictions that I never bothered posting, and otherwise might never have bothered posting. Some of them, despite that I might never return to them, I really enjoyed, and decided to share. :) I hope you enjoy my broken off chunks, random scenes, idea pieces, and unanchored beginnings.
Summary: This installment was an AU idea set in a world without superheroes or demon daddies, where our Titans are all regular people living nonetheless interesting lives. Try not to lynch me for the unexpected infusion of Bruce/Arella. ;p Our Heroes are in there, I promise.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of this. Also, the title of this one, "A Sorta Fairytale", is borrowed from a song by Tori Amos.
It began with a love story.
He, the handsome businessman, traveled far to the land of the rising sun to endorse his most recent investment venture, and also to meet with a dear, old friend.
She, the mysteriously beautiful mystic, had set aside three months to learn with the masters and find her center in the sage dojos and ancient temples of Japan.
He came to visit with his old friend, the aging master who had taught him many things some years ago, and came into the beautiful garden. She was there, seated at the master's feet as the old man related philosophy and balance.
And so the unlikely pair met.
For the two weeks remaining of his stay, they were inseparable, matching wits and skills, sharing painful pasts and the whys and hows of the present. When the time drew near that he would have to leave, he asked her to come with him. As his wife.
Delighted and in love and happier than she had been in many years, she accepted. They were married in a lovely ceremony, made plans for the future, and set out on a plane, intent upon making a happily ever after.
It was blissfully, perfectly romantic, with all the promise of a great love story.
But theirs is not the story you are about to hear.
The story you will read below is the story of two people who did not know of this romance until the "happily ever after" began to be written. Two people whose story begins where the love story ought to end.
Raven Roth jerked a pair of cargo pants over her hips, hopping a bit so the hems cleared her heels. Cradling her cell phone between shoulder and ear, she began fastening the waistband.
"Tell me about it, Jinx. Arella never comes home early from these trips. I'm actually kind of worried."
"Maybe she reached nirvana ahead of schedule? You know how your mom gets sometimes when she goes on these kicks of hers; she's totally unpredictable."
Raven paused a moment before she answered, dragging a black scoop-neck long sleeved shirt over her head and fumbling to keep from dropping the phone. Thrusting her hands into view through the overlong cuffs, she blew a lock of short violet hair away from her mouth and replied, "I know, but usually she ends up being away longer, not coming back sooner. It's unusual behavior."
Jinx—Raven's particular nickname for Jennifer Hexler—paused a moment, considering. "Well, maybe it's something completely harmless. I mean, it doesn't have to spell doom and gloom every time your mother acts out of character, Rae."
The ironic lilt at the end of her friend's voice made Raven frown. "Maybe not doom and gloom, but it's never good news." Sighing inaudibly, she sat on her bed and began tying the laces of her black ankle boots. "I have a feeling that something big is about to happen, and that I'm really not going to like it."
"You don't like much of anything, surprises especially." Jinx sighed as well, with much gusto and dramatic flair. "Oh, Rae, you didn't have another of your weird dreams again, did you?"
Raven's frown became a scowl. Jinx always spoke as if she were teasing and derisive, and though Raven knew her friend very much believed in Raven's dreams and feelings, the tone and attitude grated no less. "No dreams, just a… an instinct. A foreboding feeling in the pit of my stomach, if you will."
"Mmm, that's probably last night's cold pizza and herbal tea." There was a pause, as if she could see the tightening of Raven's jaw, or the roll of her lapis eyes, and then Jinx laughed. "That's a weird combination and you know it. You drink tea all the time; it can't be healthy."
"Healthier than your sugar addiction."
"I have a sweet tooth, so sue me."
"Oh, if only I had the legal grounds, Hexler…"
"Ah, shut up and go meet Arella at the airport. Call me back when she drops the bomb."
"Of course; I'll need you to bail me out after I kill her."
"Nah, I'll let you rot."
"Who would put up with your pink-haired skinny ass then?"
"My harem of lovers, of course."
Raven chuckled softly and rolled her eyes. "Later Jinx."
"See ya, sweetie."
Raven flipped the phone shut with a shake of her head and stuck it in the clip on her hip, hiding it when she pulled on her navy blue jacket.
With a last glance around the spare apartment with its half-unpacked boxes and blank white walls, she exited the living space that would never get a chance to be home and walked with a growing sense of dread into the future that lay before her.
"You got married?" Dick Grayson could feel his jaw hanging somewhere level with his belly button, and his eyes were so wide they felt liable to pop right out. He knew he looked stupid, but some situations threw "cool" out the window.
Such as your guardian of eight years suddenly coming home from Japan—with a ring on his finger.
Bruce Wayne smiled cool amusement at his adopted son's comical expression and jerked on the lapels of his designer blazer to get the cloth to sit just right across his broad shoulders. "Don't be juvenile about it, Dick. I'm a grown man. I'll make whatever decisions I choose."
Dick found himself making meandering hand gestures in the air, as if his hands were trying to pick up the slack in expressing his shock that his words weren't apparently conveying. "But you… you got married. You were in Japan less than a month, Bruce! How the hell did you get married?"
Bruce gave him a dry look and reminded him of his rule about asking stupid questions. "We stood in front of an altar and made vows and exchanged rings, and there was a kiss and a certificate involved as well." He blithely ignored the flying middle finger the younger man shot him. "We fell in love, Dick. It happens."
"Not to you," Dick protested. "Hate to break it to you, 'Pop', but you're kind of what the girls at school call a 'manslut'. You're not really… the most committed kind of guy, you know?"
Bruce wore an expression that could almost be called making a face, on someone less dignified and charming, of course. "I raised you the past eight years, and I'm the CEO of my own Fortune 500 company. How is that not committed?"
Dick scoffed. "Do you remember that time you made five dates for the same night and forgot about two of them?"
Bruce waved a hand dismissively. "That's in the past. Arella is…" Dick felt his insides quiver at the soft, adoring expression that briefly overcame Bruce's feature, "special." He looked at Dick and smiled, ignoring the perturbed look he wore. "When you meet her, you'll understand what I mean. I mean to have this woman by my side for the rest of my life, Dick. And she's willing to be there."
Dick's mouth flat lined, his eyebrows drawing down moodily over his eyes. "Sure she is. Have you considered maybe this is some opportunistic money grubber latching on to the Bruce Wayne?"
Bruce shot him a dirty glance and straightened his cuffs. "I'm not exactly an imbecile. I know a gold digger when I see when. I've had plenty of them throwing themselves at my for years. Money is not one of Arella's concerns."
"No?" Dick asked skeptically. "What, she's got her own billions and doesn't need yours?"
Bruce shook his head, surreptitiously smoothed his hair in the hall mirror. "It isn't like that, Dick. Trust me. You'll see once you've met her."
Dick pursed his lips sourly. "And when will that be? Why didn't she come home on the same flight with you? You two being newlyweds and all."
Bruce checked his watch, nodded to himself, and bent down to pick up his briefcase. "She came back to the states on an earlier flight a few days ago to get her affairs in order. She needed to see to her previous situation, of course, before she moved in here with us."
Dick paused, feeling slightly queasy inside. Despite that he was slowly coming to grips with the idea that Bruce had gotten married, it had somehow not occurred to him that his adoptive father's new wife would be living with them until this moment. This was going to be weirder than he'd thought. "So, uh… when's she coming here?"
Bruce gave him a look like he expected better from him and started walking towards the front door. "Put two and two together, Dick. You think I made you dress in your good clothes because I like the way you look in them? We're leaving to pick her and her daughter up from the airport in just a moment."
Dick stopped in mid-stride, his mouth gaping once again. "Wait, what… what the hell? He daughter? There's more to this crazy fairytale?" Approaching wit's end, he began massaging his temples. "Some impulsive new wife is bad enough, but a whiny kid in the picture, too? Bruce, are you nuts?"
Bruce looked at him with a mix of impatience and a wiser-than-thou sagacity. "Love frequently makes people do things that seem insane to others, but no. And anyways, I doubt Arella's daughter would appreciate being called a 'whiny kid'. She's about your age, you know." Bruce suddenly turned round and leveled him with a stern stare. "And I expect you not to make things unnecessarily difficult, Dick. Try and make them both feel welcome, understand?"
Dick closed his mouth with a decided click of his teeth, and deliberately gave Bruce's turned back his "model student" smile, a mutinous ember of discontent at all these sudden shock and changes foisted upon him beginning to burn behind his breastbone. "Sure. Just think of me as the chief executive of the welcoming committee."
AN: ) Hope you enjoyed. Drop me a line, and look out for the next bit of unfinished business. It will be out... rapidly. ;)