A/N: Definitely more tragic than I originally intended. maybe a bit too drastic, but people do that kind of thing when they're in love.
Though this may not be the last Sick Black Cherry fic that I write, this is the one that completes the series. This is what it ends with. AND IT'S NOT HAPPY
A flurry of wings.
A raven lands to my left, about four feet from me; I don't look, but it stares at me expectantly. Like it wants me to turn and see it, is silently commanding me with its cold, dark eyes. Like telepathy. It's saying, Look at me. Look at me and see.
But I don't. I just tuck a strand of cornsilk yellow hair behind my ear, my gloved hand rough against my skin. I stare out across the shimmering waters of Jump City Bay, blinding ymself in the glare of a late-afternoon September sun. it's windy up here on the roof, and if I swing my legs and let them dangle over the side, it almost feels like I'll fall off. I almost want to.
The T Tower is high. I might reach free fall four seconds before I hit the ground.
Scooting back from the edge just a little, I bring my knees up to my chest and hug my legs. Beside me, the raven lets out a croaking caw.
Around the roof, six more black birds return the cry.
I feel my expressionlessness crinkle into a look of disgruntlement; I can't ever be alone anymore. It's bad enough with Starfire hanging over me constantly, begging for attention like some sick puppy and being stupidly cute just because she thinks it makes me smile. And, when she's not hovering over me or ushering me into her room, the guys are pretty incessant in their attentions towards me (at least, Beast Boy and Cyborg are; Robin just maintains the same respectful space he does with everyone). The roof was the only place I could be alone to think; now, it seems that even this small sanctum has been shattered.
There is movement at my side and out of the corner of my eye, I see the raven bend to peck at the hard cement with its beak.
The ravens began appearing a few weeks back, about the same time me and Starfire started "going out" (we kiss in the dark; we hold hands; she cries on my naked, narrow chest; the guys have no clue). At first, it was just one or two birds roosting around the roof. Sometimes, when the Titans, Blackfire, and I were playing volleyball up here and Raven sat down to meditate, her namesakes would take flight and swoop around her. Then, after a while, Blackfire would leave the game and join Raven at the edge of the roof. The rest of the team may have honly been aware of their own joyous shouting (and maybe momentarily at the dark-haired Tameranian goddess' disinterest); but their voices, blended together in crushing honey-velvet unison, always made me stop for a moment to watch. And every time without fail, Blackfire's hand leisurely crawled across her folded leg to touch Raven's, and the sound of their chanting voices rose up to consume me.
Above them, the ravens circled.
It wasn't until last Saturday that they began flocking they came in groups of six or seven and lit on the roof. Mostly, the did not more than watch, all their eyes fixed and unwavering on whoever happened to be there in their wake.
It annoyed the hell out of me.
Blackfire was the only one to vocally defend them.
"They're enchanting, in a severe way," she commented when Beast Boy complained about their ever-looming presence. "There are no birds on Tameran; these are quite elegant. Gravely regal, I would say."
And everybody nodded, because Blackfire is God and her word is law. But unlike God, no one would dare defy Blackfire. No one would ever want to.
So the ravens stay. They mill about, unbothered by any of us. It's gotten so that we've stopped playing on the roof; it's not really because we don't want to disturb them, though; mostly, they just creep us out.
I still come up, though. Like now. Because, even with these stupid birds pecking around, I can still think.
But this is the only place I can think; in every other moment, all that I do is based off mechanics.
For example, I don't think about it when I'm shoving Starfire against the wall of her room; I don't think about why it doesn't bother me or why it should be wrong when she nearly says her sister's name instead of mine. I don't think about it when I'm flirting with Beast Boy (albeit almost uninterestedly) in order to preserve all our secrets, all the closet-skeletons we Titans girls share. I don't think about it when we have those all-girl movie nights and, in the white-blue glow of the screen, I can see the silhouette of Raven and Blackfire, resting against one another, arms entwined; I don't think about it when Blackfire catches my eye and gives me one of her devilish smiles while tracing designs with lithe fingertips on the back of Raven's hand.
And I guess it must be pretty obvious how disconnected I am these days, because no one seems to notice much. I mean, I know Blackfire knows; she goes out of her way to brush up against me or block my path, just so she can feel what kind of damage she's wrecking, just so she can peer into my eyes and smirk at what she sees there.
Raven notices. There's no way her empathic abilities can stop from picking up the half-numbing buzz that fills my brain. But she rarely acknowledges me anymore. Even when I want more than anything for her to look at me, even when I purposely start screaming in my head when she's around, just so she is forced to hear me, she ignores me.
And is it all because of a kiss? I don't think so.
Something pinches my skin, and I look up to see a raven pecking at the back of my hand. A tiny spurt of blood leaks out of my new wound, and I bring it to my mouth and suck to relieve the pain.
My the skin of my hand tingles as I caress it with my tongue and I wonder how long it would take to give myself a raspberry and if anyone would believe it if I said that Starfire gave it to me.
And then I wonder what would happen if I could suck all my blood out. If I suck all the blood from my veins, what am I left with? Something dry, something empty. Something that lives without feeling or dealing. If I sucked all the life out of myself, what would I become? A living corpse. The walking dead.
And, strangely, that doesn't sound too bad.
Jumping, though, would be easier.
Cautiously (or maybe not so much), I crane my neck and peer over the side of the roof, and it strikes me suddenly how odd it is that there's no railing here because someone could fall off at anytime. Granted, whoever it was probably had some means of catching themself— rocket-boosters, bird-rang hooks, temporary wings, levitation powers, the like— but still. It would be incredibly easy. As I am, my weight is precariously balanced; I would only need to lean forwards a bit more. . .
Beside me, almost right in my ear, it seems, the raven lets out a low growl-like squawk, and I jerk my head back so fast that I get whiplash. And even though I'm suddenly too dizzy to think straight, I rise to my feet and place my hands at either side of me, as if to grab onto the air. Wind whips a few stray locks of my sun-blonde hair, and my stomach does a roiling flip as I look down at the ground, so many stories below, and I think that I could just sway here, let my knees buckle and slip off into the air and when I hit the rocks they won't be soft they won't be soft and they won't save me from myself—
Behind me, someone opens the door of the roof.
— and you can't save me from myself —
And my feet slip, like someone kicked them from underneath me, and I hear a scream that is not my own as I fall, tip over the edge and fall—
Fingertips reaching and desperate, brush my hand. . . .
Terra. Like a whisper-scream, so close, so far away. I blink in the whiteness. I feel warmth in my back, seeping through my shirt and hair. Such warmth. . .
And when I blink again, she is kneeling before me, eyes like a sea of misty amethyst, pale, pale beauty, lips parted and miming something that I can't hear. . . .
Everything goes black.
Your word is law; you just can't bring me back.
Above, the ravens circle.