Midnight, Nevermore

I don't own the Teen Titans

No, this title has nothing to do with the realm where Raven's emotions live within her mind.

Cinderella met the love of her life

At the ball

Danced the night away

Kept the glass slipper

Wearing it again,

She found her true love

Beauty saved the Beast

From his stone heart

And chilling soul

By loving him,

She stopped the last rose petal from falling

Returning him to a warm,

Handsome prince once again.

The heroine here was just like any other girl

Dressing up in pretend ball gowns

Organizing imaginary weddings for her dolls

And dreaming of the day her prince would come

As soon as her small, innocent head graced her pillow.

Seven year old Kori Anders giggled as she ran the small plastic brush through her Barbie's blonde locks and smoothed her white satin bridal gown. Kori fingered the small lace veil before gently setting the doll against her large plastic "Dream House" before straightening Ken's tuxedo. Still holding the male doll she announced in her musical titter, "I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may kiss the bride." Kori moved Ken in front of Barbie, coming closer to the female doll until the two plastic faces were pressed up against one another, in the form of a kiss.

Kori laid the dolls down side by side before standing up and smoothing out her own Cinderella wedding dress. She swayed from side to side so the full skirt would swing over her hips in a silver swirl. She giggled and reached for her stuffed green frog that had been perched on the edge of her bed. He was a rather debonair plushie, a coat of violet surrounded his green form while a yellow crown sat cocked jauntily on his head. The frog prince. Kori placed a kiss above the frog's left eye knowing that despite the fact he wouldn't transform into a prince, she could still have fun pretending.

She grows and gets married

Has children with the man she loves.

Twenty-seven year old Kori Grayson cooed to her five month old daughter Mary as her nine year old daughter Mariana reads to her younger brother four year old Ryan. Her husband Richard walks into their living room and gives her a tender kiss before waltzing over to Ryan and spins him around while having no qualms about making childish airplane sounds. Richard then gently plops Ryan on the couch before he lifts Mariana onto his back, their little girl giggling and squealing.

As Kori felt Mary shift and stretch in her arms she smiled at the scene in front of her, hoping that her fairy tale remained happily ever after.

Yet as the seasons pass

Her prince becomes colder

And more distant

Shutting the door

And burying himself in his work

Turning away from his family.

Kori knocked softly on the mahogany wood door that kept her husband from his family. "Richard, may I come in? I brought you your dinner."

"The door's open Kor," came his response.

Kori entered Richard's office and set his dinner on the space he kept empty specifically for the steaming plate of hot food his wife always brought him. Though there was a brilliant sunset outside, the room was dimly lit due to thick curtains drawn over the large window behind the pair, Richard's computer screen providing the most light. Kori moved to the window and drew back the curtains. "My what a glorious sunset," she commented as she admired the beautiful view in front of her.

Richard grunted, never ceasing his typing. "Babe, do you mind closing the curtains?"

Kori sighed, "You are becoming more and more like Bruce each and every day."

Richard smirked, "Like father, like son."

'I merely hope that Ryan doesn't grow up to mirror this behavior.' Kori thought. "Are you certain you don't wish to partake in family movie night, Richard?"

Now it was Richard's turn to sigh, "Sorry Kor, I've gotta take a rain check. Maybe next time."

"Richard you say this all of the time," Kori pointed out, growing slightly frustrated. "Rain check, next time. Rain check, next time."

"Well you know how easily swamped I get at work Kor."

"I do see this Richard, and I too am able to maintain a job while raising three children which I am apparently doing alone!" Kori shot back, causing Richard to whirl around and stare at her in surprise for she had never raised her voice at him. In a softer tone she continued, "Richard you are missing out on so much. Did you know that Mari's soccer team is going to their league's finals? Or that Ryan aced his class's spelling bee and wishes to take up the saxophone? I know you don't know Mary took her first steps this morning because you were locked up in this office at the time." She shook her head sadly, "Before you know it the children will be getting married or graduating from college and you will have missed it all."

Richard looked forlorn. He hung his head, running his fingers through his rumpled black hair and stared at the floor. "Kori you are absolutely right," he looked her in the eye. "I promise to pay more attention to my family. There has got to be a balance."

Kori smiled softly. "That is all I can ask for."

Richard looked hopeful, "Did you videotape Mary taking her first steps?"

Kori shot her husband an exasperated look, "Of course I did Richard." Richard grinned. He turned back around to save his work before shutting off the desktop. As he stood, he gently clasped Kori's hand in his own warm one.

"Come on," he said. "Let's go watch our baby begin to walk."

Promises are broken

Tears are shed

Bitter words are flung around

And still she stays.

Kori stormed into Richard's office at Wayne Enterprises without any means of pretense. Richard had looked up at the sudden sound of his door being slammed open. He stares in surprise at a disheveled Kori whose hair is matted from rain and wind. The evening gown she was wearing was drenched and plastered to her tan skin. But what was most surprising were her eyes, no longer were they the sparkling emerald that he loved, but a dulled bottle green, puffy and red rimmed, her cheeks stained with rivers of tears that had long since dried.

"Kori….. What…?" Richard wasn't quite sure how to voice his question.

"Richard," she began in a low voice. "What is today?"

He swallowed, "Thursday?" He answered uneasily.

"Yes, what is the date?" Kori asked tersely.

"The twenty-fifth…of April…oh God…" Richard breathed. "Our wedding anniversary. I said let's meet at Tavern on the Green didn't I? I completely….Kori, honey, I'm so, so sorry. How long were you waiting?"

"Three and a half hours, it's eleven thirty at night Richard." Kori leaned against the large window, staring at the still falling rain. After a moment of heartrending silence Kori whispered, "You lied to me."

His voice never went above hers. "What?"

She turned to pin him with her furious gaze. "A year ago you promised me that would endeavor to spend more time with your family. Forgive me for being selfish enough to include me in that equation and foolish enough to believe it!"

Richard opened his mouth to speak but Kori didn't gift him with an opportunity to do so. "For the past month and a half Ryan has been coming home to me in tears because of his classmates' relentless teasing due to his struggles with dyslexia. No matter how many times I've approached his teacher, the teasing does not cease. I'm in the midst of negotiating with his principal in getting him switched to another class.

"Mariana suffers from peer pressure and crushing on boys. Her grades are fine, but she's an emotional wreck. I've caught her trying to stick a toothbrush down her throat in order to make herself vomit!" Kori swallowed thickly, trying to prevent more tears from escaping her eyes. Her voice became quiet again. "Mary's begun to speak and do you know what her first words are?" Here, Kori's voice began to break. "Where's Daddy? She asks that almost everyday." She looked up at her husband who had turned stark white. "And do you know what causes the biggest break in my heart? I don't even know if you care."

Silence hung heavily in the air. With a hiss that sounded like a quelled scream, Kori brought her hand up to strike Richard across the face but froze, slowly curling her fingers into a fist and pulling to her chest. She shook her head slowly, a ragged sob escaping her lips. Kori turned and quickly fled the office.

Richard stared in shock after his wife. How could he have missed so much? How could he have possibly not picked up on any of the emotions surrounding his family? Richard gasped as realization hit him with the force of a sledgehammer, Kori had lifted her up left hand when readying to slap him but her wedding ring wasn't there.

Kori's nails bit into her soft flesh as she fisted the gold band which was a symbol of an everlasting promise made between herself and Richard. A promise which should have a greater strength than steel seemed to be breaking so easily. She placed her palm on the cool marble kitchen countertop, the small ring seeming to sear both her palm and her heart.

She peered in each of her children's rooms, not entirely surprised to see Mariana, who so fiercely tried to prove that she was mature cling to a stuffed bear as she slept. Wearily, Kori trudged into hers and Richard's bedroom. She placed her ring in its customary safe spot, inside a jeweled box she had passed down to her by her mother which she kept in the drawer of her nightstand.

Kori turned to her dresser and stared at a photo of Richard and herself taken in a photo booth. Richard had surprised her with their first kiss. They had been so happy and so in love. Now she had no clue as to what they were. 'Oh Richard, I miss you so much. I miss the man I gave my heart to. I don't even though this person you've become. And no matter how many times I've thought about leaving…..I just can't.'

Averting her eyes, Kori gently lays the framed picture face down and climbs into bed, longing for the innocent dreams that once danced through her head.

How she wishes to flee

That she never romanced this addicting poison

Her heart tells no

She her wants nothing more than to

Let that glass slipper shatter

She crouches,

Trying to protect the

Delicate bloom

Of pure rose red

From harsh cold

And howling, unforgivable


Her efforts are futile

As the Winter's heartbreak

Causes the final petals to fall.

She wishes that the clock

Had never struck midnight.

Well, this is definitely not like my usual romance Rob/Star stories. I was thinking of making this into a two-shot but I wanted opinions on it first. I hope people at least like the poem.

And Tavern on the is not mine. Fancy place though.

Read and Review please.