Chapter 11 is finally done! I got so much to work on and the new shift bid may allow me more time to work on these things. See, the airport I guess doesn't want us all to stay where we like so we do this "shift bid", where we all get mixed up and "bid" for other shifts in the airport. For example, working in terminal 1, depending on seniority, I can bid to terminal 2 or 3.
Point being, I will now have Mondays and Tuesdays off, Mondays with the boyfriend. So only one day is reserved to myself, and will most likely be my update day for my stories. Good news is, he starts at 9:30, I don't start until 12:30. I have to ride with him to work so I'll have about 3 hours on week days to work on my chapters! It will be a sure bet every Tuesday will have an update to this story and possibly others.
Now that I've bored you with my update, go on and read the newest chapter which I hope you all enjoy! Please leave me a few reviews to I can assess the story, and choose the direction I want it to go. Thank you!
Chapter 11: Everyone's Deep in Thought
The sky was painted red with the setting sun. The Titans' Tower had received only two calls into the city to deal with unscrupulous criminals. Only two calls was a very easy day in which they spent time together in the tower. Cyborg was at Jinx's side a lot and was slowly cracking her shell. It was taking work to get her to talk to Nightwing and the others, but as long as Cyborg was at her side there seemed to be no problem...other than Beast Boy thinking Jinx was stealing his best buddy. "She keeps hogging him!" he complained as he waved his hands in the air.
Nightwing was residing on the roof and watching as the sun slowly lowered itself into the horizon. He could hear a door closing but didn't look up once to see who it was. As Rose settled herself next to him, she stared at the sun along with him. The striking beauty of the cloudless sky with the setting red sun was a breathtaking sight. It should have made anyone feel at peace with themselves and happily forget their stresses and worries. Yet these two young heroes didn't feel cleansed of their problems. While Nightwing was concentrating on a revived hunt for Slade, Rose was concerning herself with the dream she had. That person had shaken her badly being able to read her emotions and personality so easily. As she glanced to Nightwing, she knew it would only be sooner or later he'd find out the truth. Still, she didn't feel it was time yet to tell him her biggest secret.
"Rose, you think there would ever be a chance to get our friend Raven back?" Nightwing asked softly. Rose looked at him with nothing but sympathy in her eyes. It was her personal belief that all these years living with Slade had permanently changed Raven and there would be no gain in hoping she could turn back...though she didn't want to down Nightwing at the moment.
"Maybe...if there was a way to prove Slade brainwashed her...get her to see the truth." she replied with a heartwarming smile. That answer and gentle smile caused Nightwing to give a little smile too and they continued to sit on the roof in silence, enjoying the sunset until night finally took over.
A handsome man with sleek, blonde hair and bright green eyes walked down the lit white hallway. Two guards flanked his sides as they escorted him down a few more twisting halls. The bright, flourescent lights flickered with a loud buzz as they journeyed through the maximum security prison. Cells labeled with the most brutal of terrorists and criminals lined the way. They passed Richard Reid's cell until they came upon a cell that looked more heavily guarded. The two guards in front of this cell nodded to the escorts and allowed the tall, smiling man through. They flanked him as he walked in and the original escorts took up post outside the door. It was an unusual visit. No one ever visited this person except for this particular man. They all had their suspicions and often recorded the conversations the two men had, yet nothing could be gained. They always talked in code that they couldn't decipher.
"Thank you," replied the young man as he approached the plexiglass cell containing none other than Lex Luthor. The mysterious man took a seat just outside one of the walls where small airholes were drilled to allow conversation. Lex sat by the window with a welcoming smile in greeting.
"It is good to see you again, Conscience. Have you any news of the outside world?" Lex asked kindly. The blonde nodded his head and flicked a few long strands of bangs from his eyes.
"Of course I do, as always. It seems your favorite flowers are shaking. There was an unusual chill they suffered," he answered. Lex understood immediately that Conscience had affected a particular Titan he had interest in. It caused a confident grin to surface. " I am not good with flowers...I'm sure your touch will be much appreciated. Will they allow flowers here?" the Conscience asked quietly. Lex gave a nod and then the Conscience moved on.
"I shall also daresay I visited the bird too. Without the owner's permission, sadly, but I know how you like to know how your future assets would be fairing. Doing better than the flowers. The previous owner is being stubborn, but in the end I'm sure we could strike a deal. It is a rare bird so I can see why it would be difficult for the owner to part with it," he explained. Lex contemplated the information and sat back in the chair. He glanced to the listening guards then back to his friend.
"Well, do what you can. Birds are very smart and I'm sure with a little persuasion they can understand that having clipped wings and living in a cage isn't all it's cracked up to be. Birds should be free to fly and show off their excellence. Such a beautiful, rare bird like that should be in my collection, don't you think?" Lex said with a smile. The Conscience gave a nod. The guards tapped on the man's shoulder and he looked back.
"Visiting time is over. Time to go," he informed. Conscience gave a small nod to Lex before standing and being escorted out by the guards. The two fell back a bit and gave each other quizzical looks. Lex owning flowers and birds seemed highly unlikely of him, and both felt they should inform their supervisor about these visits Lex Luthor had been receiving.
Lex Luthor returned to his bed and laid down, staring at the blank ceiling. The Conscience had been able to infiltrate both Rose and Raven's minds and plant seeds of deception in them. While Rose needed hardly any persuading, Raven proved to be another story. Her roots were so deeply sewn into her little planting pot that it was going to be difficult to uproot her. Slade had a firm hold on her emotions and decisions. If the Conscience could get Raven to believe that Slade never loved her and only seeked to control her, it would be one of the fatal blows to cause her to revert back. When she is a mess, and unable to fight back from her despair, only then will it be easier to collect her and begin his old plans.
The day was dying. All the blood of its death was draining over the horizon and leaving behind a dark and colder atmosphere. Yet the death of the day was not to be mourned as its death provided a clear view into the universe and other worlds billions of miles beyond. Raven had always been interested in the weird and darker aspects than such things as bright sunny days and carefree living. Every thought and decision had a purpose that shouldn't be taken lightly. Even now during the quickly disappearing twilightthe scent of the oceans and sound of it's rushing waves could be heard in the garden. Special flowers she had planted were beginning to bloom as the moon's light grew stronger.
While this was usually a place reserved for meditation, Raven was sitting in the garden staring into the vast and endless night sky dotted with stars. the events of the day had confused her and momentarily turned her on Slade. Was she really wrong in choosing this path for herself? In the beginning it seemed like the only option. Robin had discovered her relationship with Slade and how deep it ran. The others treated her as if she was about to set off or transform into Slade himself. Knowing this made her so stubborn in her decision to remain with Slade. All along she had believed if she taken Robin's offer and stayed with the Titans, she'd never be treated as such. There would always be a lingering doubt and accusatory mindset with her friends. Perhaps even worry that if they ever came into a battle with Slade, she might defend him and prevent their capture of him. She didn't need that. Slade embraced her "weirdness" which she knew the others had reserved opinions about. He also gave her stern training the past few years without being lenient. It had strengthened her physically and mentally beyond compare to how she used to train. There was more confidence in her thoughts and decisions. Still, aspects of the past still haunted her.
The Conscience had thrown into sharp relief exactly what her past contained that she had tried to forget. The days, weeks, months, even years they had spent trying to capture Slade who was cruel to them and used them to his advantage. The brutality he put Robin and Terra through. The way he had torn Beast Boy's heart in two by turning Terra on them. When the prophecy had begun, they all thought they were rid of Slade but thanks going to her demonic father, he was back and more powerful than ever. Slade had his sights on her then. The humiliation he put her through and the innocence he robbed by making her watch what she'd cause to this world. In the end he had turned to their side and fought Trigon, but that was his only shining moment in their eyes. Robin still wanted to exact vengeance on him and part of her did too, even if another part hoped to see him again.
Then came the time, a year later, he had kidnapped them and told them their next enemy. She had readily trusted him before the others. Now she asked herself why. One valiant moment in their time knowing Slade shouldn't have been much validation for trust. Still, she went along with it and got the others to agree. Slade locked her up like a caged animal, setting in place measures that would prevent her from using her extraodinary powers to escape or see her friends. The situation hadn't clearly sunk into her mind until Slade murdered a man right on the other side of her room's door, and that same time she figured out just why he wanted her so much and wanted to protect her from harm. After that murder he flicked the lights out and had removed his mask to give her a brushing kiss. To feel him, taste him and realize his emotions shattered the hard casing around her heart. A soft spot developed for him...and it rapidly progressed into an infatuation. A lust, a desire to have him no matter the cost. Now she did. She had him to herself. She had a life with a man who would protect her and give her anything she wanted. In turn, she fought alongside him, procured certain interests for him and put him at ease. Not once had she regretted leaving the Titans for this...not until that damned man came into her meditation. Slade had treated her so shabbily before, so why shouldn't there be a reserve of hate for him? Yet now, he treated her as royalty. Spending time with her, involving her in everything he does, sharing with her and bit by bit letting her in further in understanding him. Wasn't that trust worth anything? Everything in the world...
The familiar scent of leather and metal reached her nose and Raven looked behind her to see Slade fully clad in his outfit. The only difference was the mask was not on and was gripped tightly in his hand. As Raven stared, drinking in the sight of him, she broke into a smile and stood up. All the worries she had moments ago were quickly forgotten.
"I am going to a meeting on the docks to retrieve a shipment. Are you going to come?" he asked as he stroked her chin lovingly. There was no way she could say no to him as she nodded. Slade smiled down at her and leaned in. He gave her a gentle, lasting kiss before he donned the two toned mask. A flutter of memories and fear shot through her as she took in the whole outfit. Part of her was becoming lustful while the other more weaker part of her went on defense. This little war within herself didn't show on the outside and went by unnoticed by Slade. The couple walked back into the mansion and left the silent, beautiful garden empty to bask in the serene moonlight.