A/N- Back! *dodges various projectiles* Hah, school musical made me a bit busy. Oops. Well, at least I'm here now. General review thanks to DarkAngel620, Marro, Tortor, RobRae4Ever!, shewhowillnotbenamed, Regina lunaris, Tsuki- hime Neko, and yankeesgeek2.0. As usual, it's great to see one or two new reviewers this late in the game.
Individual review answers:
buddybuddy96- Not sure, but I felt like saying Robin was speaking Hebrew was a cool little character development. Doubt that it's true though, bit of an improvisation on my part.
morphious444- I'll be honest that I'm not quite sure how Cyborg could have screened her for rape. Therefore, I left it ambiguous and hoped no one would notice. But you did. Heh. Good for you.
Chapter 14: Closure
The Teen Titans were beginning to understand what it really felt like to be grateful; to understand how good their lives were, and how easily such good things could be taken away. In the past four days they had watched their friend's breathing even, had seen her rise from her bed on shaky legs, and finally walk quite solidly down the hall. Cyborg had gotten all of the red out of the hospital sheets. Everything felt cleaner. But Robin and Raven, although neither knew so of the other, were both still dwelling on the past.
Raven was in the control room, watching the wall in a listless silence. Her book was too far down from her eyes, so Robin knew that in no way was she reading. He too, had been gazing in a dead stare, but at her, completely neglecting the plate of food before him in the process. It had already long gone cold when he tore his eyes away from the girl and rose from his seat. He approached her.
"Raven, is everything alright?" She jumped, startled, and then averted her eyes in embarrassment, a red tinge in her cheeks.
"Um, yeah, Robin, fine. Why do you ask?"
He took a seat next to her on the couch, "You sure don't seem fine." She fidgeted uncomfortably next to him, just the tiniest bit. But of course he noticed.
"You seem jumpy," he noted. She was about to issue a standard, stiff response, but something deep in her made her decide not to.
"I'm still a bit in shock," she murmured, and he leaned in so he could actually hear the words.
"There's no need to be, Raven. It's all over." He could tell that she felt the lie. It tasted bitter on his tongue, and he watched as she breathed slowly for a long moment before responding.
"You don't really feel that way, and neither do I."
He didn't have to nod. She knew that he agreed. In a quick moment, Robin took Raven's hand, an odd frown creased on his face. Raven couldn't quite understand his expression, and that made her feel concerned. His hand was warm in hers, but she was too surprised to pull away.
"Come on. I think that there's something we need to do." He pulled her along to his motorcycle, and they departed together from the tower in silence. Even with the wind whipping by them and with her arms awkwardly looped around Robin's waist, Raven could still not determine his intention, and the feeling was bothersome. She had always read him so well.
The dread settled on her when they reached the Jump City Penitentiary, because now she understood. When she rose from the bike, her legs were trembling. To repress the action, she clenched her fists tight and gulped hard, but she could tell that it didn't help. She felt Robin take her hand again, and she didn't even object. It helped her nerves a bit, though she would never admit it.
"This is something we both need to do," he said, "And I don't think either of us can sleep tonight until we do it." She nodded her head once, and he felt her palm going sweaty in his. He gave her hand a squeeze, and they started towards the doors.
The guards parted as they passed, obviously respecting the heroes. In the back of her mind, Raven thought that that was nice for a change. They didn't seem to notice that they were holding hands. She liked it better that way.
It was getting darker, and they were seeing fewer and fewer guards. Raven's stomach was dropping hard and fast and an animal scream was blowing up tight in her throat. Robin was gripping her hand harder now, as if helping her to keep it down. A metal door was swung open, and then she saw the face. Those slate eyes, the darkened hair. And she heard his ever-present laugh. The very noise in the silent room made her spine spark. He was restrained heavily, but that meant nothing to her. She could feel a tidal wave of emotions now, crushing her under their ferocious strength, and she couldn't breathe. But she couldn't collapse. Not there. She wouldn't give that man the goddamned satisfaction.
"Raven, you look well." Beside her, Robin bristled.
"Don't you dare speak to her!" he shot out. Slade merely raised an eyebrow and observed the intertwined hands.
"My, my, seems we've found a spark of romance. Always need someone around to fuck, hmm, Raven?" His voice was cool, and much too calm. Robin, however, was another story. He rushed forward and picked the man off of the ground by his collar, slamming him into the wall.
"Don't you dare. Think about it, Slade. We won. You just can't stand it, can you?"
Slade laughed, "My dear boy, look at the lovely woman beside you. I can hardly say that you won." Robin pressed Slade up against the wall harder, but the man showed no signs of pain. That only angered Robin further.
Throughout this dispersal of dialogue, Raven had been fighting a deep swell in her stomach. He was looking at her so intently, almost as if he could still see her as she lied unclothed beneath him…no, that thought was unacceptable. She felt as if the scars open her body were twisting and reopening and spelling out sickly red words. It was only as Robin spoke that the black power sprung to her fingertips, and then, oddly enough, Raven smiled. It was a cruel smile, yes, but a smile nonetheless.
"Leave him, Robin. Let him go."
"Raven?" Robin looked up in surprise, "But Slade, he was the one who-,"
She rose up a hand in interruption, "I know what he did." She leaned close to the man. "Slade Wilson," she whispered, "And, yes, I do know your name- You will be sorry for what you did. But I'm not going to make you sorry myself. In fact, no one on my entire team will do so." She continued, obviously pleased with his confusion. "Just take a minute and think about your situation. You've marked me, but I can move on. You, however, are not being convicted only of rape, but also fifteen counts of first degree manslaughter, five counts of second degree manslaughter, as well as multiple counts of fraud. Shall I go on? There's much more, as I'm sure you know."
The villain seemed dumbfounded, and without his mask his face seemed quite small. Robin noticed that Raven's face seemed drawn, and her fists were still tight, but he thought nothing of it.
"I can move on from this. I will forget all about you, until I cease to care and you cease to exist. But Slade, whether you're stuck in this box or convicted to Death Row, I know that your life won't go on. And that makes me satisfied enough."
With that, the girl strode from the room, Robin quickly following behind her. He was impressed by the way that she had handled things. It was very mature, and very confident.
However, those perceptions were shattered when he walked outside. Raven sat hunched on the bench across the street, head in hands. He ran across the road and sat by her side. Gingerly, he pulled her hands from her face. Her eyes were reddened.
"I'm sorry, Robin," she immediately said, voice thick with tears, "I tried so hard to make my words true, but I don't think that I can do it. I said that in a fit of rage, but I don't really care what happens to Slade, as long as he gets put away forever. I'm just afraid that I can't move on. When I saw him sitting there, Robin, I thought I was going to explode. It all hurt, it hurt so much." The boy wonder gently wiped at the corner of Raven's eyes with his finger, and she blinked in surprise.
"Raven, you really need to stop apologizing." And then he hooked his hands under her chin, the pads of fingers stroking her cheeks ever so lightly. Raven felt a fluttering in her chest. Robin leaned in, and finally captured Raven's lips with his own. It was a passionate kiss, but contained and sweet.
As they broke apart, Raven seemed amazed. But then she muttered, "Robin, I don't know, I'm worried, he hurt me so badly, if you get close to me I…," she stopped and really looked at him, and then at the prison they had just left behind. This was Robin. He had searched for her, loved her. He would never do anything she wouldn't ordain. "Okay." She issued a rare smile. "But for now, very slowly. Let's just take it one step at a time."
A/N- Oh. My. God. It's over. More time to work on my other fictions, I suppose. There may be a sequel to this, but I highly, highly doubt it, so don't get your hopes up. Thanks to all of my lovely reviewers for helping me get this far.
This story began: August 2, 2009
This story ended: March 8, 2010
My speed= horrible, but my success= high. Thanks to everyone! Check out my other fictions, all being updated besides Predator (which I may continue soon anyway) and the oneshots.
Until next time,
Ignite The Airwaves