A/N: Have I really not updated this since '08?
That's rhetorical, obviously, but damn. I have plenty of excuses, but I'm sure you're far more interested in reading this update. The next moment will be posted as soon as I work out a few kinks and as long as this inspiration holds. However irregularly I update, I still love TT. Read and review, please?
Disclaimer: If it wasn't mine when I started fanfic-ing in '06, then it certainly doesn't belong to me now.
With my hands open and my eyes open
I just keep hoping that your heart opens – Snow Patrol "Hands Open"
The Trip Through the Mirror
So. You and Cyborg are trapped inside Raven's head.
If Robotman was here, you're pretty sure he'd call this an "oh shit" moment.
It's beyond weird in here. There're Forbidden Doors and mazes and these freaky talking birds with red eyes and sharp teeth. Oh, andapparently, Raven's emotions are alive. There's a pink one that laughs a lot, a green one that makes you think of a cracked-out Robin, and a gray one you accidentally make cry. She offers to get you and Cyborg through the maze, but promises you won't like her at the end of it.
"He already doesn't like me," she says, and even though she's looking at you, it takes you a second to realize she actually means you.
"Hey, come on. That's not…" But Gray's already moving so you follow, feeling confused and kind of mad.
Because it's not true. You do like Raven.
In fact, you're pretty sure Raven doesn't like you.
You know why, though. It's pretty obvious—she says to leave her alone, and you never do, so she spends a lot of time being angry with you. That's why Robin keeps saying to give her space and that she'll come around in her own time.
You get why he'd think that. No matter what everyone says, you do understand the concept of personal space. Not everyone likes to be around people as much as you do, and that's cool. You even understand that Raven deserves time to herself.
Just maybe not as much as she seems to want.
Raven's not going to warm up to anyone on her own—she just wouldn't know how, not with the way she likes to stay shut up in her room. You doubt she has any books that'll show her how to let other people be part of her life, and that's exactly what she needs to know. So you try to include her, show her that she's wanted. You tell jokes, and you invite her to do stuff, like play video games or join in conversations with the team or come to movie nights and picnics at the park. Sometimes she agrees, but when she doesn't, you keep asking, and that's when she gets angry.
But she never asks why you try to hang out with her so much, which is a good thing. You're pretty sure she'd only get mad if you said you were just trying to find ways to make her happy. That little smile of hers hasn't come back very often, and it bothers you because there's been plenty of stuff to smile about lately—like having a home and friends (real friends, too, the kind that make you feel safe and loved, even when people are staring at your skin like there's something wrong with you) and helping the city. You're happy, your other friends are happy, and you think Raven deserves to be, too. You want her to be happy.
Only…you're not really sure how to make that happen. What you're doing isn't working (obviously, because you're pretty sure you've still got eggs in your ears from where she blew up breakfast) but it's not like Raven's giving you any clues to what will work. She never even looks happy doing the things she says she wants to do, which makes you wonder if she actually is. Sometimes you think she just doesn't know how to be.
The point is you do like her. You wouldn't try all the jokes and invitations and stuff if you didn't. You definitely wouldn't have ended up here because you wouldn't have bothered trying to apologize for the whole breakfast fiasco (even if you still think that wasn't exactly your fault). But trying to work stuff out is what friends do, right?
And…maybe you want to get to know her, too.
You wish she'd let you.
So, you follow the grey-cloaked Raven-clone through the maze (what emotion is this, anyway? Low self-esteem?) and listen to her apologize for a bunch of stuff and hope everything gets better or at least starts making sense soon.
When the real Raven shows up, she isn't happy. Actually, she's royally pissed off (specifically at you, which would annoy you because, dude, Cyborg got sucked into Crazy Mirror Land, too, but this is the first normal thing that's happened in hours so it's almost nice to be yelled at), and between the extremely creepy birds, the multi-colored emotions, and arguing with the very person whose mind you're stuck in, you decide this is the weirdest day ever, and you just want to go home.
Instead, a gigantic red dude with antlers appears (and what is up with that?) and snarls something about rage consuming Rae and tries to take over her head.
Raven actually looks afraid.
She tells you and Cyborg to run, but neither of you do. You're totally freaked out, and the thought that you could get stuck in Nevermore forever really is not helping—but there's no way you're leaving Raven. She's your friend, you like her, and someday, you'll find a way to show her that without causing property damage.
For now, it's good enough that you're around to catch her when she falls.
"You stayed?" Raven's voice is confused and small in a way that kind of makes you want to hug her. "But…I thought you didn't like me."
"Thought you didn't like me," you reply, and this time, it's your hand on her shoulder. Surprisingly, she doesn't shrug you off. She actually…looks okay with it.
And as you watch her take Big Red down, you think maybe you and Raven'll be okay, too.
Later, when the day is saved, and Raven agrees to have breakfast-for-dinner with you and Cy and calls you a friend and even smiles at you—yeah. You know you'll both be okay.