Finally got this up, thanks for waiting my lovelies. There is some violence in here, but I'm sure you're all desensitized from television anyway.
From the outside, it looked just like any other abandoned building on the outskirts of Jump. It was closer to a death trap than a traditional wedding venue, with glass peppered gravel in place of grass and piles of rusted and broken building supplies in place of flowers. Inside, however, it was a different story. Starfire's determination and sheer joy at helping provide her friends with one of the happiest days of their lives, despite it very likely also being one of their last, had transformed the interior of the old building into a page from one of her wedding magazines, all the while meeting Robin's safety requirements. It's remote location ensured that no one would suspect it as the gathering place for three dozen or so superheroes, and the fact the entire wedding party was armed couldn't hurt either.
"Do you, Cyborg-"
The hush was broken by laugher from the guests, and Cyborg grinned. The officiant paused until it died down. The people here were some of their closest friends, but no one outside the Titans would ever get to know his real name. Jinx smiled ruefully – she didn't even remember hers. Their hero identities were who they truly were anyway, and yet, there was nothing like a wedding to remind a group of superheroes that they were really like everyone else.
"Take Jinx as your lawfully wedded wife?"
"And do you, Jinx, take Cyborg as your lawfully wedded husband?"
"Then you may now kiss the bride."
A cheer went up and the crowd jumped to their feet, clapping, stomping, whistling. Bursts of light shot up into the air and lit the room with colour. Starfire meet Robin's eyes, tears streaming down her cheeks, her hands clasped over her heart. Robin felt his own chest swell with emotion, until he looked around the guests to see Raven was still missing and disappointment deflated it. He hadn't seen her before the ceremony began, but had hoped she would slip in at that last minute, or reveal she'd been standing way up the back where he couldn't see her the entire time. No such luck.
He turned his gaze back to the newly-weds, who still hadn't broken their kiss. Jinx was on her tip-toe, her other foot cocked back in movie-style bliss, arms thrown around her new husband's neck. Even through the kiss it was obvious Cyborg was grinning. Nothing could ruin the moment, not even the knowledge the world might begin it's downward slope into complete chaos tomorrow. Perhaps it even made the wedding more special for those who knew the truth. One last perfect day with friends, Robin thought, his throat a little hoarse already from shouting.
"Get a room!" Beastboy hollered next to him. The couple finally broke apart, to more cheers. Jinx's cheeks were pink, her face radiant with hapiness.
If only Raven had been here to see it. Even if it had hurt her.
He knew Raven was one of the only people on this earth who could appreciate beauty in a thing that personally hurt. It was one of the things that made her so special, even if she hadn't exactly been herself lately. All those years before Trigon, when she had watched the world and thought she would end it. All of the things she had admired, and thought she'd never have. It hurt Robin to think she'd lost that capacity to see past the human to the magic because of their actions handling Cyborg's affair. They should have expected how it would affect her. They shouldn't have thought she'd go back to being emotionless until she got over it, as if that was a healthy way of getting over Cyborg anyway.
He wondered what she was doing now. If she was holed up in her room as usual. Perhaps she was reading in an attempt to loose herself in another world, or maybe she was sleeping. Maybe she'd intended to come, but lost her nerve. Robin knew he should have insisted on waiting for her. He didn't like to think about her alone in the tower, knowing all the Titan's were here.
As Cyborg looked over the crowd he too saw Raven was missing, though he wasn't as surprised as Robin, and he couldn't even begin to describe himself as disappointed, not with the love of his life on his arm and the friends he was surrounded with. He wished she'd come, but he didn't dwell. He looked to his wife – today was their day. They would spend 'as long as they both shall live' together, happy, even if that wasn't for very long.
Though teleportation seemed to the powerless a mysterious and untraceable form of transportation, like all magic it left signs that the powerful could discern. The sudden connection from one location to another was tangible to Malchior, though by the time he reached the hallway the last lingering traces of Raven's magic were fast fading. Acting quickly before they disappeared forever, he closed his eyes and tapped into the stream she'd created when she took Brother Blood wherever it was he'd intended. When he opened them, he found himself standing outside a mansion on a very quiet street.
It shocked Malchior to find that Mansion was the only way he could describe it. Usually so good with words, the adjectives for the place eluded him. He had no idea what to call the style of decor, or the type of neighbourhood it was in. He could only marvel at the smoothness of the road it bordered, the cleanliness of the street, the uniformity of the other mansions and the unthreatening nature of the place. He had assumed that for Raven to be afraid of this church, it would be at the very least large, or masquerading as something imposing. The Mansion shocked him with it's strangeness, but then, he supposed he was used to raiding castles. He had no idea what the markers for power and danger were in the modern world.
He walked to the front door, each step jerky and awkward. His body felt stiff, as if his joints were still defrosting from a century of immobility or inexistence, or whatever it had been. Added to that was the fact he had come into earth in the same condition he had left it - not only were his hands still slick with a mixture of Rorek's blood and his own, he could feel the protest of each wound his enemy had given him each time he moved. He vaguely remembered Rorek taking a small chunk of flesh from his left shoulder, and the sting when he lifted his hand to try the door handle seemed to corroborate the memory. Luckily he was right-handed, and nagging pains only spurred the murderous urge inside him. Nothing would stop him, that he was sure of. Brother Blood and his followers could stud his body with bullets and he would continue undaunted until Sebastian was reduced to hunks of flesh.
The door was locked. It wasn't a problem. One sweep of his hand and the mental hinges were reduced to gas form. There were two men inside, but Malchior didn't take the time to see their faces. Before they could open their mouths to yell, the uncontrollable rage had resurfaced and they were dead.
While the kills were silent and satisfying, they were quicker than he would have liked. Still he was pleased to see that being in the book hadn't hurt his aim or strength. A dagger through the chest, the ease of the blade cutting through flesh and then a jolt as the tip hit bone, withdrawn and the same done to the second man. Malchior felt no guilt, only exhilaration at the feeling of movement. The men had been here, thus they'd been puppets of the church. Now they lay, puppets with strings cut, unable to put any more work into harming his precious demoness. The beast inside him wasn't nearly satisfied, but thankfully a shout from above alerted him to fresh prey.
"Intruder!" Two more men appeared, one calling out as he ran at him, the other running to the wall and smashing his hand through a small glass window. Malchior musings on why the hell anyone would wound themselves before a fight was cut short by the shriek of an alarm. He cringed, trying to shy away from the assaulting noise. He'd read about sirens of course. They were modernly used to warn of danger, and he supposed setting it off was the man's purpose in putting his hand through glass.
Relishing in the feeling of his muscles tensing and straining, Malchior pulled back his arm and threw the dagger as best he could towards the oncoming man. It sailed through the air and hit its target, lodging itself in his eye. He collapsed, either dead, crippled with pain or feigning, and Malchior ran past him on the stairs towards the second man, who was frantically trying to load his handgun. Malchior grabbed him by the neck as if he were a kitten, and hit his head against the wall, enjoying the sound of skull connecting with wood. If all the church members were like this, there would never be any need for him to transform into the Dragon, or use any magic at all. It was quite disappointing really, and though Malchior found himself grinning as he towered over the man, there was still a part of him that worried. If this didn't satiate his blood-lust, and so far he doubted it would, would he be a danger to Raven? He felt the Dragon inside of him still considered her the ultimate prize.
"Where is the demoness?" He growled. There was no better feeling than standing above a fallen and helpless enemy, using any means necessary to convince them to tell you all of their secrets. So in a way, he liked that the man refused to speak. He lent down to better look into his eyes.
"Each time I have to ask you this question I will take great joy in removing a limb."
The man's jaws tensed, but he thrust his chin up in defiance. A brave, stupid one. After a few minutes it became clear he wasn't that attached to any of his arms. Malchior would have loved to have risen to the challenge, but there wasn't enough time. Raven's terrified face was blindingly clear in his mind, so he left the man there, a nugget of a person, whimpering but otherwise silent, faith apparently binding his tongue.
With no idea where Raven was, he simply carried on the path he was already on across the landing. There was a large set of elaborately carved doors, and he almost chuckled when he got close enough to make out the picture. A fierce and delicately featured women pictured over a dearth of tortured figures. It didn't take a genius to see it was Raven. Unable to believe how easy it had been so far, he was too rapt up in his success to prepare himself for the scene he encountered once he entered the room.
Somehow, the first thing he saw was her face, despite the fact she was sitting off to the side and he supposed he should have been more focused on ensuring her captor, a young woman in revealing robes, wasn't armed. Her face was on him, as expressionless as always - except for her eyes. They met his and he could see, buried deep in the violet expanses, a burgeoning star-burst of hope and surprise. Suddenly every memory he had of her from his time in the book became black and white in comparison to the high definition that came with the possibility of touching her. A whole realm of possibility unfolded between them, hyper-real to Malchior and dream-like to Raven.
He was not how she'd imagined. For a start, he was not physically the Malchior she had first met. She supposed that made sense, because the Malchior in the book had really been Rorek. The skinny man with the long white hair and the scarf obscuring half his face was long dead without ever knowing her. The dark-haired man who had just burst into the room was a stranger to her, yet he could be no other man than Malchior. She couldn't work out how she knew that, but she did. Her confidence in his identity only increased when he spoke, and out came the silken British accent that made her shiver.
"May I suggest," Malchior found himself saying, slightly hoarsely. "that if in your next life you try and hide someone, do not hide them behind a door carved in their likeness?"
He directed his comment at the woman, somehow finding the will to tear his gaze away from Raven's motionless form. Everything else seemed slightly blurry now, his eyes straining to move back to her while his mind struggled to keep them on the present danger. It was almost as fierce a battle as that between Man and Dragon in his mind.
"Who are you?!" The woman asked fearfully. It was then Malchior decided not to kill her immediately. She was clearly not armed, or able to physically overpower him. She was the sole church member looking after Raven for some reason other than protection.
Her voice seemed to trigger something in Raven - she stood as if electrocuted, as if compelled by a higher power.
"Never mind that." Malchior said quickly. The sudden movement of Raven's got him thinking of what it would be like if she collapsed into his arms. "We're leaving."
"We can't." Raven said. He almost flinched at her voice, emotionless and regretful. "I can't. Not until I'm married. My magic is being suppressed."
"Brother Blood will be here any minute." The woman said, half to herself. She seemed intensely relieved, as if she had forgotten Raven was imprisoned herself.
"Let her out." Malchior ordered, through gritted teeth. Now that he was more focused on freeing Raven than Raven herself, he could sense the barrier too. Some seriously dark magic had gone into it. That would make it harder to break, but not impossible. However, he had no idea how much energy he could afford to expend at the moment. He knew he was still bleeding - he had been since he'd escaped the book perhaps thirty minutes earlier. The wounds Rorek had inflicted on him would be causing blood loss that would have any normal human out cold by now. Even though he didn't even feel slightly dizzy at the moment, using powerful magic he hadn't practised for a thousand years couldn't be the best option right now.
"I would never." She hissed, nostrils flaring. "I am to marry the Gem to Brother Blood tomorrow night, hopefully while she is already pregnant with his child."
This was the wrong thing to say. In less than a second she was pinned against the window that spanned the length of the room by her throat. Malchior had no problem killing a woman, though the thing he was currently choking could hardly be called a lady. The thought of someone violating Raven settled into him, like poison.
"Then I guess I will have to kill the celebrant." he snarled.
"I can't let her free even if I wanted to!" The woman gasped. "Only Sebastian can do it."
Malchior let her fall to the ground just as her eyes rolled back into her head. She wasn't dead, but now there was no point. She was useless.
He turned to see Raven looking at him intently.
"I told you I wouldn't let anyone hurt you."
"But you hurt me. And yet you're here."
"I-" Malchior meant to say he loved her, but somehow the words wouldn't come out. It was almost like telling her that now would be an admission of defeat. One of the last things she would ever hear, or something like that. Love was reserved for safe times, when adrenalin wasn't pumping through them. "I told you that was a mistake. I wasn't trying to trick you."
There was silence, while she considered this.
"You look different."
More silence. Malchior had no idea what to say - in truth, he had no idea what he looked like. The last time he'd seen his reflection, he'd been about eighteen, and that had been over a thousand years ago.
"We'll wait for Sebastian." He muttered finally. "Once he gets here, I'll kill him."
"That won't free me." She shook her head. "He didn't cast the spell alone. And the elders can elect a new Brother Blood to take his place, if they have to."
"I''ll kill everyone else who cast the spell then too."
"They'll overpower you."
"You can't fight a hundred men at once. Not without practice. Not with me standing here, vulnerable and useless." Raven added bitterly.
Malchior could see her point. The dizziness from his blood loss felt like it was setting in. Turning into the Dragon was not an option, not with Raven here. She'd end up in the pile of corpses. He had to break whatever magic held her here before he became too weak.
Footsteps on the stairs alerted them to visitors, and before Malchior could gather himself Raven was at his side. Not touching him, but close enough. Staring into his eyes imploringly, uncharacteristicly afraid. Resisting the urge to put all his energy into kissing her, he closed his eyes and put all he had into destroying the magic that imprisoned her.
I haven't really read over this, So I'm really sorry if it isn't up to scratch. I just didn't want to wait another few weeks to find the time to do some proper editing.