Disclaimer: If I owned Teen Titans, I wouldn't have canceled it, now would I?
Well, first time in Teen Titans section…lemme know if it sucks. And pardon my Spanish if it's wrong, I only know a phrase or two and I googled the conjugation.
As for having Beast Boy talk to Raven over anyone else, I needed the childish attitude. Starfire would need too much explaining, doesn't have the human background to respond like Beast Boy. Robin would be more forceful. Cyborg would be too serious. I needed the balance, and he seemed like the best. –shrugs- Plus, I find the friendship adorable.
They had been called to put out a fire at about eight a clock. They weren't sure who was inside the large apartment building/, no face was sticking out the window, but the screams cut easily through the roaring flames. In fact, there wasn't much they knew about her at all. Her screams were in Spanish, but one could deduce she was a mother to the two children below, being pulled back by the police and the fire department, screamed for "Mama! Ayuda tú mi madre!" and clutched to Robin's cape. They tugged and cried, and Robin (understanding with his limited knowledge of the language) told one of the Spanish speaking policemen to let them know that their mother would be fine, and they would get right on saving her.
The five ran forward to the burning house, Robin after a bit of delay, having to untangle himself from the children's gasping fingers.
Raven, however, stopped suddenly at the rocks they'd set up, eyeing the ring of open scissors, the ring of stones, and the ring of salt with wary eyes. It was a circle, three circles to be exact. How she hated that holy shape. True, she never had tried to break through a circle, any more than she had tried to walk into a church. She was never one to take avoidable risks, being a hero and being a half demon witch as she was. Risks were something that could end the world, or, at the very least, send it into chaos.
There was someone inside the slowly burning house (she could only count her blessings that the house wasn't solid wood, but made of many more unnatural slow burning materials, and that the house was so sturdy) that needed their help…but maybe not her help, not with four other superheroes running in. She was quite sure she was unnecessary. She would wait beyond the rocks, could wait behind the rocks, the scissors, the salt, and muse on the irony that someone so religious had their house destroyed by hellish fire they were so eager to take away.
It was not four rushing, however, it was three, because Beast Boy was inquisitive. His ears were changing between perking up with interest, and flattening against his head with fear. His voice, when he spoke, was more of a nervous inquiry than a curious question. "Raven, why are you standing out here?"
"There's a circle," she tried to clarify.
It didn't quite get through, as one would typically not connect a circle with some kind of preventative measure, not unless one always thought in a mystical context or was highly intelligent (which, sad but true, Beast Boy was not) and they both stared at the circle on the ground, one feeling hopeless, the other as baffled as a baby with a square peg and a round hole, until Beast Boy finally blurted, "I don't get it."
"I'm a demon," she clarified further, ripping her eyes from the circle to look into his. "Even if it's just by half, I'm still a demon. Anything protected by a religious symbol, a religious notion, is supposed to keep me out. If I go through, even if it is to help her, I'll catch on fire."
"Like if you…walk into a church?" He asked carefully, one ear now perked forward while the other was back, showing she had his attention. "But if…Raven, I don't think you're evil, so you can walk through, right?"
"No," she denied firmly. "I was born evil. Your belief can't change what's in my blood, Beat Boy."
"But what about forgiveness and all that? Religions, all different religions say stuff about forgiveness so…you're forgiven! With the power invested in me, I now pronounce you fully un-demon-ified except for your creepy powers!" The green boy grinned and grabbed her hand, giving a gentle tug as he leaned back, a suggestion for her to come in, not a demand. He wasn't forcing her. She was glad enough for that.
But she was not glad enough to move. She shook her head at him, wondering how the boy could be so foolish. "That's for humans, Beast Boy. I'm a demon, see that difference? I was born evil."
"Was not!" He shot back enthusiastically, grinning even wider at his knowhow of angels and demons and all the things in between. "Know what a demon is? My parents told me back in Africa! It's a fallen angel! See, Raven? You're just born an angel, and the human in your keeps you stuck on Earth! And humans are half chaos, half holy, so you're three fourths holy and one fourth chaos! See, you're better than us, Raven! You can walk through the circle! You can probably make the circle holy! Isn't that amazing?"
"About as amazing as you doing math." She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest. "Beast Boy, what you said is ridiculous. You blended who knows how many religions to make it work for me. You have to choose one."
He dropped her hand and crossed his arms. "Then so do you! You say that any religious symbol will mess you up, any! So what if I make my own? What if I decide the Chicken Dance is holy? Are you not allowed to do the Chicken Dance now?"
"Beast Boy, why would I even want to do the Chicken Dance?" She retorted.
"That's not the point and you know it!" He fumed. "Either my way works, or you have to decide on a religion. I'd choose Greek or Roman mythology because it'd by funny and really screw people up. We could pull a lot of pranks with that if you're into pranks, which we both know you secretly are-"
"Of course," she agreed with another roll of her eyes.
"But, you've got to choose, one religion, one symbol, one church, one idea. If it's the one where circles are holy, then that's fine. But you've got to choose. That, or just agree with my idea of the hundreds of religions in the world."
"And how do you know either of the things you said is right?" She asked, surprised that she was actually feeling persuaded to follow the innocent eyed lad past her fear, her triple jeopardy fear, to something beyond which was hardly more pleasant, something she was hardly eager to walk to. Judging by the time that had passed, time she was sure was passing much quicker than she imagined it to be, the mission to save the woman was no walk in the park.
He beamed. "I don't. No one knows anything, not really. You just believe, not know. So, what do you want to believe, Ravey?"
She considered for a moment, biting her lip then slowly held out her hand. "I don't know."
"That's the spirit!"
"But I do know I do not enjoy the name Ravey," she told him, giving his hand a warning clench as he spun from her, giggling and making that gentle tug of a suggestion to walk forward.
He walked her through the circle, not as a leader, not as a teammate, but as a friend who was willing to listen, as a friend who was willing to help. Perhaps it was because, despite the rumors his of what he had seen and done and had done to him, there was genuine innocence and hope in those eyes that she was so able to believe him, and be glad when she did, for she did not catch on fire. She felt no pain. There was no thundering, angry voice of God or gods or goddesses or lightning cast down from the sky or chains of hell emerging from the Earth to drag her down. Though her heart rate did leap when she realized she was getting hotter.
"Beast Boy, I…I feel hot," She said, swallowing nervously. "My hands are getting sweaty, Beast Boy. Oh, oh God what if you were wrong and I-"
"Raven, we're walking towards a burning house," he interrupted with a chuckle. He gave her hand a final squeeze, then changed into something too small to be seen, probably to dart through cracks to find the woman the rest of the team seemed to be having trouble finding.
Meanwhile, Raven waited outside, as this was her place for fires, so she could gather up a mound of dirt and hold it over the house, prepared to douse when the rest of the team came out, Spanish speaking mother safe in their arms and ready to be returned to her two, frightened, loving children. And what she was supposed to do was what she did, for now was no time to be messing around, to be fixing fears, or to be discussing the choice of religion.
The dirt was lifted with the dying grass above, and she carefully removed the bicycles, the toys, and all the other things that would be more of a risk than a help to dousing the flames. She would have to sprinkle it down, something that was not an easy task that she had practiced for quite a while before this day, but was only now getting the opportunity to use it.
And, standing there with nothing to do but concentrate, she decided that she quite liked irony, and shaped the dirt into a flat disk, more commonly known as a circle.