She bent over and coughed. Her pale hand was stained by blood and she annoyed wiped it on a napkin. The illness made her body shake and she grabbed the counter so not to fall over. She knew it would go over, she just had to hold on. Her body was done shaking and she fell to the floor gasping for air. Raven's hand went to her bulging stomach and the life growing inside her. She didn't know if it was her father or some being just stoping the birth of another blood relative of Trigon. Raven didn't care.
She was going to die. The child inside her was killing her, but Raven's only concern was saving her daughter's life. She looked around the small cabin. Here she had lived since the titans had broken up. Here she had realised she had lost contacted with her only friends. Here she had met a ranger, Matt. Here she had loved him, and here her love had killed him.
"I killed your father Boo. I won't let you die."
Then she fainted.
Months passed with her body growing and trying to reject what was inside her. Raven spent her time resting, eating and meditating. Doing what ever she could to save the child inside her. Even her active powers where gone. The energy going to her child, not her powers. But when she was seven months on the way she knew she couldn't do it alone. She needed help, and since Victor was the one with most medical knowlegde was he an obvious coice.
She was feeling better, and was relived. She didn't want to ask Victor a favour after all that time while puking blood. She had called a head and knew he would be home and expecting her. Raven looked at the people in the elevator and thought there was something familier about some of them, but she couldn't quite put it. Before the elevator stopped at the penthouse and everyone went off. They were titans and former titans. Victor's door was wide open and people ran in and out of the apartment. She walked in without anyone seeing her, and located Victor in the kitchen. He was sitting by the table reading the newspaper and drinking coffee.
"I'm sorry for just marching in."
Victor looked up at her and his face widened into a smile.
"Not at all. I'm sorry about the people, but I told Gar about you coming to town and he insisted on throwing a party."
Raven turned pale and her stomach started to object.
"I tried to tell him you wouldn't like it, but you know him when he's gotten something on his mind... Are you okay?"
His eyes fell from her pale skin to her huge stomach. He jumped up.
"Here take a seat."
But she rushed to the sink and threw up. She had learned that it would come up no matter what and sooner was better than later. When she was finished Victor handed her a moist towel and they sat down.
"I'm very sorry."
"Don't think about it Rae. I've seen worse."
Raven looked at him and smiled.
"Was that what you wanted to talk to me about?"
She nodded again, not trusting her voice.
"You know I'm not a doctor."
"But you are the closet thing to one I know, and you have my medical history."
"I didn't know you were pregnant."
Raven looked away.
"I wanted to tell you in person."
Someone apparently found the stereo, because suddenly the entier apartment was thumping with sound. Raven felt her head ache, but she refused to complain about it. She looked at Victor again.
"Why did you lose contact?"
"Like you still have contact with Dick and Kori?"
"They got married two years ago, have a one year old boy named Howard."
Raven looked away again. Three years was a long time.
"Who's the father? Is he here in town with you?"
"He's dead. He died when Boo... I killed him."
"I'm sorry Raven."
Their eyes met, and Raven knew he was sincere.
"It's okay. I knew the risk, so did he, and we still choose to do it."
"Still doesn't make it fair."
"Garfield you said a small party. This is going to scare her away."
The two in the kitchen stopped talking when Richard and Garfield's voice could be heard from the living room.
"I don't hear Vic complain."
"And where is he?"
The door opened and Richard walked in, stopping on the spot when he saw Raven.
A half smile before he walked over to her.
"I'm glad you're back. We've missed you."
She got to her feet and he saw her belly, but unlike with Victor, Raven couldn't read his thoughts.
"This is Boo."
He hugged her. Carefully due to her stomach, but tight. Raven hugged him back and buried her face in his shoulder. He smelled of cigarett and peppermint.
"You've started smoking?"
"Just don't tell Kori."
"Don't tell Kori what husband Richard?"
Richard turned and Kori saw her long lost friend. She gave the child on her arm to her husband before hugging her. When she let go Raven ran to the sink and threw up.
"I'm so apologetic friend Raven. Are you sick?"
"Just pregnant Kori. Don't worry about it."
"You are pregnant?"
Kori turned her around her studied her stomach. Smiling wildly.
"Oh congratulations friend Raven. Who is the father? Where is he? Is he in town? Did you know this husband Dick?"
"Matt, dead, no, no."
Kori started to cry.
"He is dead. I am so apologetic for bringing up the terrible memories."
"It's all right Kori. Don't cry."
Raven looked at the child in Richard's arms. He was small with an orange glow about him and soft black hair.
"Is that Howard?"
Kori lit up.
"Yes. He is most wonderful is he not."
"He sure is Kori."
Her eyes started to grow misty. She would never know the child growing inside her.
"Friend Raven what is the matter?"
Raven looked at the three of them and realised she was showing.
"Hormons. I'm sorry."
She wiped her eyes quickly.
"You don't need to be sorry for crying around us Raven."
She looked at her former leader, but felt sick. She had thought she could do this, but now she wasn't so sure.
All the blood rushed from her body to the baby. She stumbled, but Victor caught her and placed her firmly on a chair.
"You better tell Gar the party is off."
Victor nodded and left the kitchen.
"Party's off people. Go home."
"Dude you can't do that."
"It's my home Gar, so technically I can."
The kitchen door opened and Victor came back in.
"You want something to drink? I bought some herbal tea if you want."
"Don't just walk away from me Vic."
The door slammed open and Garfield barged in. Victor just rolled his eyes and walked to the oven. Garfield passed the small group
"It's been forever since Rae ventured into town to visit us, and I want her to have fun."
"But as usual you want me to have fun by arranging things you think are fun, not necessary what I think are fun."
He turned around and looked at her.
He ran over and hugged her, not giving her time to finish her sentence or even stand up. Raven gasped as she felt his arms around her and her fists tightened. She had loved Matt, he had been her only friend up on the mountain, and even knowing who and what she was he had loved her. Matt was the father of her child and just for that Raven would love him for as long as there was breath in her. But none made her feel as much as the man before her. Her clinched fists opened and she pushed the man closer to her. Not caring that she was crying. Not caring that the moment he let go she would have to run to the sink. Not caring, simply, about anything. He let go and she rushed to the sink.
"Are you okay Rae?"
She felt his hand on her lower back and she threw up again.
"Dude I think she's sick."
"I'm not sick Gar."
She wiped her mouth and rose, exposing her stomach.
He looked shocked and, hurt? Raven wasn't sure and her powers weren't quite as they normally were. There was suddenly distance between them.
"Who's the lucky guy?"
She would have sworn there was something bitter in his voice.
"A forest ranger. Matt Tallman. You'd like him."
"If you choose him, I'm sure I will. Is he here in town with you?"
He was different. Raven was hurt, but knew how to hide it.
"No. He's dead."
"Don't be. I'm the one that killed him not you."
He looked weird at her.
"My powers killed him when Boo was conceived."
The room fell silent. Suddenly the door opened and Garth, formely known as Aqualad, popped his head in.
"So is this party cancelled or not? Hi Raven."
"Nice to see you again Garth. I'm sorry I was not aware that you were having a party. I'll come back later Vic."
"No wait. Don't go. I'll send everybody home, just don't go."
Raven looked into his pleading eyes, and had to breath to keep her stomach calm.
"I'm not in the mood for a party Gar."
"Dude, no party."
"Don't call me dude Garfield."
But the man didn't seem to care. He grinned from ear to ear before running out and clearing the flat in record time. He was still grinning when he came back.
"Okay, flat empty. Now what?"
Raven opened her mouth to tell them why she really was there, but decided against it. They were so happy, she didn't want to ruin it by telling them she was going to die. Not yet anyway.