I TRAP MYSELF IN IDIOMS
WITH THE BATTLES RAGING IN MY HEAD
I CANT TELL IF I'M FALLIN IN
OR IF IM JUST CLIMBIN UP AGAIN
- Wide Awake, Kenna
The first thing Raven became aware of was the darkness. It was all-encompassing. Even though her eyes were unable to open, she could feel it. It was thick and soupy, but unusually warm and comfortable. As if she'd never had a home outside of darkness. It was known. It touched her skin and threaded through her body until it felt that she was made of darkness. That it was who she was and what she was.
Raven wasn't sure if she was floating, lying, or standing up. She didn't know which way she faced or if it even mattered. There was nothing around her. None of her friends, none of her enemies. There was nothing.
What is it you long for?
Raven listened. She didn't hear words, but the thought shimmered in her mind. It poked at her deepest, darkest thoughts hoping for a reaction. Raven kept her mind clear and silent.
Nothing. I long for nothing.
Silence followed for a few minutes before: What is it you desire?
The words came again, more persistent: What do you wish for?
Complete silence followed, and Raven thought for one tiny second that she had passed the test.
Fail. Not accepting your human side is what has brought you here. Refusing to accept your desires has brought you weakness. If you do not wish to remain here, answer honestly. I will ask you one more time. What do you long for?
Raven was determined to keep her mind from wandering into the forbidden places she kept secret. Demons hid there she didn't know how to fight. But her body betrayed her, and for half a second, the image flashed into her mind. A tall, lean body nimbly moving through obstacles and taking down enemies. A smile stern, but brilliant, and masked eyes that raised more questions than answers. Raven tried to squash the thought, but it was too late.
You long for a human. It wasn't condescending, but inquisitive. As if this were a funny joke.
Raven swallowed hard, trying to keep her heart from slamming against her ribs.
Humans are weak. They are fickle and manipulative. They are not your kind.
The darkness grew thicker, like a malignant cancer. Raven felt it wrap around her arms, tugging at her legs, the ends of her hair. It pulled and yanked, stretching her skin and muscle in every direction. Her body felt on fire, confused and distraught under the pressure. Ligaments popped and moved and sinew was pulled from bone. Raven breathed deeply, removing her mind from her body. She could feel the pain but she did not register it. It would not be a factor.
You long for what you cannot be.
What you desire is…
Robin stood there, over her limp body watching her chest heave up and down. Her uniform was pristine, clean and undamaged from the fight raging on around her. Robin blinked, and his staff dropped to the ground with an odd clattering sound. He couldn't move.
Raven just collapsed. She had been standing there, magic gathering at her finger tips, ready to fight along side her teammates, and then… nothing. Her eyes glazed over and she fell into a heap of blue and black. Robin could barely get out her name as he reached out to snag her wilted body.
She slipped through his grasp and fell to the floor, plum-colored hair spilling out onto the pavement like a pool of purple blood. Beast Boy yelled out something unintelligible, Cyborg snapped something rude, and Starfire dropped Red X, who landed with an undignified heap on the floor. He grunted in anger, and Robin saw him skitter away. But he couldn't find the energy to chase after him. It was just Red X, he would turn up again.
Robin jumped from the crates he stood on and went to Raven, gathering her frail body into his arms and cradling her against his chest. He could feel the soft, steady heartbeat pump softly against him. Her skin was unusually pale, and her long lashes looked like black crescents against her cheek.
"Raven?" Her name came out at strained whisper. "Raven?"
"Dude… is she okay?" Beast Boy pressed a hand to her shoulder, but she didn't move. There was just the steady intake of breath.
"Is friend Raven…" Starfire's words hung unspoken, like a guillotine blade, waiting to drop. Robin silenced Starfire with a frown, and the word stayed silent. He turned back to the small body in his arms. The beautiful girl he'd grown to understand and love as a sister. What had happened to her? What was wrong? She breathed, her heart pumped blood… but her body had become lifeless and still.
"Let's take her back to the tower. We'll figure something out there."
I cannot take credit for this idea. AT ALL. This idea was borrowed from Nightingale, by XSilvaStarX, who in her graciousness let me use the idea for my own story. If you want to read the original, check it out, it's a great story line and I recommend it. Thank you so much, and leave a review so I know if I should carry this onward and upward.