A/N: I'd like to thank New york Mike and The Cretin for their reviews. You guys are amazing, if may be so bold.
When Raven woke up early the next morning, she knew something was wrong. There was no warm, firm body snuggled into her side. He'd used a pillow to keep her from waking up. The house was deathly quiet, and it was early, six a.m. at the latest. Gar never woke up that early without cause in her experience. Raven slid out of bed, trying to be quiet as she began to walk over the floor to look for her fiancé. Deciding it'd be best that, if he was in trouble, she had at least a spell in her, she decided not to levitate. She'd lose some of her sneaking ability, but she thought that would be better.
Raven went down the stairs slowly. She could feel the demon half of her body awakening, sharpening her senses, and there in case she needed anything. She hardly ever used the boost of power her demon half afforded her, and she'd never consciously used it. She could smell that there was someone else in the house. She could also smell that Garfield had lost it. The beasts claws had left gouges at the foot of the stairs. Those tiles would have to be replaced, as would the wood of the stairs. Mentally, she berated herself. This isn't the time to be worrying over how the damn house looks! She followed the trail of scratches toward the front door and gasped. How had she slept through this? The front door was lying all over the front lawn in splinters, the door frame was cracked. Changeling lay among the splinters, pretty beaten up but, thankfully, still breathing. Around him were three common burglars, accompanied by two pistols, one shotgun, a few bags, and a few crowbars. Standing off to the side, freshly arrived, was Amyntas.
"Holy shit…" Raven murmured.
Amyntas cocked an eyebrow at her. "Why would feces help the situation, lady?"
Raven sighed. "Never mind."
She went over to the burglars to check them over. All were still breathing. Relieved, she went to go kneel next to Gar. She trailed her fingers through his hair, and down his back and gasped. Her fingers were dark, red, and sticky. There were holes coming through his rib cage, close to his spine. He was bleeding. He had been shot. Without her realizing it, she began to growl, her eyes blazed red and each split into two, and fangs dropped down into her mouth. Amyntas grabbed her shoulder.
"Lady, stop it!" Amyntas hissed.
She shrugged his hand and turned toward the burglars. "You fuckers."
"Damn it, Raven, stop!" Amyntas tackled her. He collided with her and sent her onto her back, landing on top of her. She closed her eyes. When she opened them again, they were violet, tear filled, and shocked.
Slowly, a small smile spread across her face. "You called me Raven."
Amyntas rolled his eyes. "Of course, that would be the one thing you notice, Lady."
"You never called me that. Even as a child."
"We must call the authorities."
The situation caught up with Raven. Dark energy came and threw the male off of her. She ran into the house and nearly ripped the cordless phone off its cradle. Her fingers shook, but were fast and true as she dialed 911.
"911 Operator. Please state your emergency," came a voice over the phone.
"Someone tried breaking into my house, and I slept through it. My fiancé didn't, and he went after the burglars. They're just unconscious, not really hurt, but my fiancé… Gar was shot. More than once. I don't know when. I don't know how I slept through it. Please… Come now."
The woman's voice was less bored as she replied. "The police are on their way, ma'am. As is an ambulance. Stay on the line until they arrive. Alright?"
Raven nodded, but reached toward the counter. She picked up her Titans Communicator and sent out a message. "Gar has been shot. Burglars. Police on the way." She didn't think they would wake up. There wasn't an alarm for this kind of thing. It was only a message. She just wanted them to know.
Raven walked back outside and sank down next to Gar. She kept her ear to the phone, but pulled him slightly into her lap. She didn't know if they would be angry that she moved her.. She knew better than to panic, or start to cry. Her emotions would send everything about her powers haywire. It took five minutes for the team to arrive, against her expectations. Nightwing handcuffed the burglars and stacked them in the driveway. Star and Cyborg checked the area for any more. That took about five minutes. They were about to take Gar to the hospital themselves when the flashing lights appeared at the end of the street.
They helped get Gar onto the stretcher, and Raven hopped into the ambulance. Her eyes were wide and scared.
"Rae, we'll meet you at the hospital, okay?" Cyborg was leaning into ambulance so he could look her in the eyes. The E.M.T.s were lifting Gar into the back. She nodded.
The trip to the hospital was terrifying for Raven. She couldn't heal him, she was too drained. So she was trapped in a contraption that reeked of death, looking at the face of the man she loved, while a few people moved around to make sure he stayed alive.
When they arrived at the hospital, Raven knew the shock was setting in. She felt dead. She'd been dead before, but this felt worse, like her body was there, she was there, but there was no connection. She followed the gurney numbly, and just stood outside the O.R. doors when the nurse and surgeon shouted at her that she couldn't come in. Soon, Starfire arrived, and grabbed Raven by her arm and led her away. The team was in a waiting room. Star sat her down in an uncomfortable, padded plastic chair there.
The Titans just stared at her. A painful, sad silence ensued. Not awkward, per se. They all were trying to reassemble their thoughts after the events of the past hour or so. Nightwing eventually knelt at her feet so that he could meet Raven's eyes.
His mask was gone. He was in his pajamas. For the first time, Raven looked at her teammates. They had obviously all just jumped out of bed without caring about their clothing. They were worried about their friend. Then the tears began. Raven's chin hit her chest again. She began to sob, her eyes clenched tight. Nightwing put his hand on top of her clenched ones.
"Raven, he'll make it through this. We are here. The Titans East are covering the town for the next couple of days, and a few of the Honararies came in," Nightwing's voice was low, soothing.
"We got ya, Rae. Everything will be fine," Cyborg sounded down.
Starfire was crying, and said nothing, but she nodded her head so hard that Raven could feel it, and the chair next to hers bumped into the wall with enough force that Raven was sure it would leave a dent.
Raven nodded. "I know. It doesn't make this any easier at all."
"Easy, Raven? None of us are taking this easy. None of us took the pregnancy thing, or the wedding thing easy," Nightwing was in boss mode now. "I spent the past few weeks angry, scrambling to find a way to make it, beating punks and training dummies to within an inch of their lives. Star has been eating NORMAL food. Cy's been locked in his room. None of this has been easy, but we'll make it through it, because we're a team. We're a family, and you're all the best friends I've ever had."
Raven felt a pang in her chest, but she raised her eyes to meet Nightwing's blue ones. "I know."
It took about an hour and a half for Gar to be out of surgery. They pushed the hospital bed through the halls, Raven following, up to the right floor and wing. They had him hooked up to all sorts of monitors. They were told that only one person could go in at a time, and that only family could stay longer than an hour.
"We don't want him stressed," the doctor told Raven as she tried to slide past him.
"I'm his fiancée," she hissed. She refused to cry in front of this man.
"You aren't married yet. I'm sorry."
The others went in first, to say hi to a man they weren't sure could hear them, and then went down the hall to wait for Raven to finish her hour's worth of visitation. It felt too soon when Raven joined them, angry and worried. "They said that the unconsciousness could be from a mix of trauma and his shift to the Beast. They said that he'll probably be in a coma for a few days, but if he makes it through the night, he should make it for a long time."
"Where exactly did the bullets hit, Rae?" Cyborg's voice was careful.
Raven exhaled. "One barely missed his heart. That's the worrisome one. The others… arm, leg, right shoulder. There was another that hit him on the right side of his chest, but they say that it went clean through. Didn't even hit his shoulder blade. He must have been the beast when that one hit. The one that was meant for his heart went through his lung and caught on the shoulder blade."
Everyone was silent a moment. Nightwing sighed. "Well…shit. Years as a hero, we never have anyone get shot. About a month as a civilian and here we are."
Silently, the others agreed.
"Let's go get breakfast and coffee," Cyborg suggested.
"Then we may begin taking the shifts as to who stays and watches and who sleeps," Starfire continued.
Nightwing nodded. He grabbed Raven by the hand. "Come on. We'll be back soon. The doctors know to call if there are any changes."