The Interpretation of Dreams
(If Jung Only Knew...)
A/N Hey all. I have been reading fan fiction for a while now and while I was reading I got this idea for a story that just wouldn't go away, so here it is my very first fan fic!
Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans or the Electrocutioner. They are property of DC Comics. If I did own them, not only would I be paid to write this, but my story would have some awesome artwork to go with it!
For someone who has been taught to keep all of her emotions repressed, and told that it was for the safety of the world, feelings that normal people have are especially complicated, but that doesn't mean that they don't exist. The problem is that there are some emotions that simply refuse to be repressed...
Chapter 1: Tension and Lightning
"Azarath Metrion Zinthos," Raven chanted. She was meditating, and incidentally floating three feet off the ground, but for some reason she was having trouble focusing. Her mind kept drifting back to Beast Boy. It seemed like lately he was always around, making annoying jokes or pulling pranks on her. She didn't know if this was because he was more comfortable around her, or if she was just noticing it more these days.
So much had changed lately. A few months ago she cut her hair short and instead of wearing a leotard, her new costume was a cat suit with a emblem of a raven on the chest. She still wore her jeweled belt and cloak but now the cloak was also black. She was fully covered by the new costume, with only her lower cheeks and mouth exposed but it was skin tight and she looked both incredibly sexy and dangerous.
Whatever it is it needs to STOP, she thought, when her desk lamp blew up, plunging her room into the semi-darkness of the candles she lit to help her clear her thoughts. Raven's eyes snapped open removing any illusion of the calm that she was trying to achieve. In an uncharacteristic gesture of chagrin, Raven covered her left eye with on hand and slowly pulled it downward. Okay Raven, take calming breaths. All you need to do is find your center (and keep your mind off Him!)
As if on cue, Beast Boy cautiously knocked on the door and asked, "Raven, are you okay?" The door, slid open and he peered in. There was Raven, standing in a ring of candles casting odd shadows around the room. Her black cloak was closed and her hood was down and even with his superior eyesight, all he could easily see of her face were the reflection of candlelight in her eyes. She looked like a figure out of a horror movie. "I'm fine," she said, though her voice trembled with barely repressed anger.
"Are you sure? I mean, I heard a crash and..."
"I said I'm fine, now get out!" She yelled. She could feel her self-control breaking. The candles were wobbling and starting to lift off the floor.
"Jeeze, you don't have to bite my head off. I was just trying to see if you were ok," Beast Boy yelled back, unaware of the danger he was in. He turned to walk away.
"What's going on here. Raven? Beast Boy? We heard a crash," Robin said. He, Starfire and Cyborg were all running down the hall towards Raven's room.
Raven's anger suddenly fled and was replaced by feelings of confusion and fear. "Nothing... I was meditating and I lost control. I'm..." she stammered. "I'm... I've gotta go," she said and phased through the ceiling.
"What was that about Beast Boy?" Robin asked.
"I have no idea. I was in my room when I heard a crash and I came to see what happened when she snapped at me."
"Are you sure you didn't do anything?" Robin slightly raised an eyebrow.
"I just told you I didn't. Just because Raven goes off does not mean that it's always my fault!"
"Sorry BB, but you do get under her skin a lot," Cyborg said.
"I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!"
"Friends. Let us not fight," Starfire pleaded, clasping her hands together in front of her. "On Tamaran, we have a saying, 'Two snardlegarfs do not make a zorplux.'"
"What does that have to do with anything?" Beast Boy snapped. He was tired of being the scapegoat for everything wrong with Raven.
"Don't yell at her!" Robin yelled.
"Calm friends. All I meant to say was, do we go look for her?" Starfire asked.
Everyone looked first to Beast Boy, but when he didn't volunteer an answer, they turned to Robin.
"No, lets just give her some time to cool down," Robin said.
"Fine!" Beast Boy shouted and stomped off.
Cyborg looked at Robin and Starfire and asked, "Can somebody please tell me what just happened?"
Robin and Starfire just shrugged.
Beast Boy had gotten himself pretty worked up about everybody blaming him for Raven's outburst. He paced his room, ranting to himself.
How dare everyone blame me for what Raven did! I wasn't even there... this time. I have been picking on her a little more often but... but I'm Beast Boy. It's what I do! I didn't know everybody took it so personally... Aww crap. The only reason I pick on her is because, unless one of us having some sort of meltdown, that's the only time she EVER pays any attention to me...
But even Beast Boy's anger couldn't sustain him long. He couldn't stop thinking about what happened. He tried to dismiss to whole incident but he just kept thinking about it. He decided that he was just going to go talk to Raven when she got back and find out what the hell happened, but she hadn't come back yet, so he decided to play some video games with Cyborg to waste some time.
When Raven still hadn't returned after three hours, Beast Boy started to get worried.
"Hey Cyborg," Beast Boy said, looking at Cyborg out of the corner of his eye. "Is it just me or has Raven been gone for a really long time?"
"It's just you." Cyborg was focusing intently on the racing game.
"But I mean, she's been gone a long time."
"Raven just does that sometimes."
"Yeah, I know. It's just when I saw her tonight something seemed... wrong."
"BB, if you're so concerned about Raven maybe you should go look for her instead of eating my dust! Booyah!" Cyborgs car just crossed the finish line, far, far ahead of Beast Boy's. He got up and started doing a victory dance around the couch.
"Hmph. Maybe I will. Who wanted to play this stupid video game anyway..." Beast Boy grumbled to himself and left the common room.
"Poor sport!" Cybog yelled. "Crap, now I gotta find somebody else to play."
Raven was sitting on top of the tower facing west. The last rays of sunlight were passing over the horizon and the sky had turned a beautiful gold, colored with orange, pink and the barest hints of blue. Raven should have been able to find her center much easier in these peaceful surroundings, far away from the distractions downstairs, but her mind just kept drifting and after spending the last three hours trying, she was feeling more than a little frustrated.
"Calm down, Raven. Just clear your mind," she said to herself. She ran a hand through her short blue-black hair.
Beast Boy flew up the other side of the building as a crow and transformed back into himself and saw Raven sitting cross-legged on the roof. He still wasn't used to her new costume.
"You know, talking to yourself is a sign of insanity," Beast Boy said, startling Raven.
"Beast Boy," Raven growled with her eyes shut. "I am trying to meditate. I really can't deal with your 'jokes' right now."
The air vent glowed with dark energy.
"Fine. Be like that. I didn't come up here to joke anyway."
"Oh Really," Raven said turning to look at him and raising an eyebrow. She was curious despite herself. "So, why did you come up here anyway?"
"I uh... I thought we kinda needed to talk," Beast Boy said as he came and sat down next to her on the roof.
"Oh..." She looked down at the rocks below.
"What happened earlier? I mean I know I annoy you sometimes but I hadn't seen you all day. You don't usually lose control. I was worried. And then everybody was blaming me and.."
Raven looked up and studied the man sitting beside her. Within the five years since they teamed up, Beast Boy had grown up a lot. He was still his carefree, seemingly immature self, but there was a depth there that people had to know him to see. And as far as looks went, Beast Boy finally hit his last growth spurt. He was now about 5'8" and though he would never be tall, he still stood about three inches taller than her. His body was lean and well muscled and he had finally grown into his features, which were almost cartoonish when they met. She thought that he wasn't bad looking, maybe even handsome – if you liked green that is. But she also knew she wasn't the only person who noticed. Girls had started coming up to him when he was about fifteen and at first he loved all of the attention, but eventually, for some reason that she just couldn't follow, Beast Boy had all but stopped dating a few years ago. She'd noticed of course, but she never really thought about it until this moment.
Raven's heartbeat quickened. "... Umm, Beast Boy," she said quietly, "you were worried about me."
"Yeah," Beast Boy squeaked, then he coughed and lowered his voice drastically. "I mean uh... Yeah."
Raven couldn't help it, she chuckled, which if it were anyone else, would have been hearty laughter. The chuckle soon died away and her serious demeanor returned "Why?" she asked.
"Why what?" Beast Boy was confused. This conversation was not going the way he had expected. He vaguely pictured them both yelling and Raven using her powers to throw him off the side of the building.
"Why were you worried about me?" Raven asked, bringing Beast Boy out of his brief reverie.
"Huh? Oh well, umm..." Beast Boy tried to think of a good reason to be so worried. He knew they were friends and they had been for a long time, but it was more than that. He knew he was already tempting fate by coming up to talk to her. He wasn't about to say anything about these new feelings he was developing. He decided to give her the easy answer. "We're friends, and you know... out of all the titans, I think we are the only two who understand what it is like to really lose control. We can hurt people because of what is inside us."
There was an awkward pause. Just when Beast Boy couldn't stand it anymore and was about to make a joke, Raven said, "I'm sorry. I don't know what's going on with me lately. I can't focus. My control is slipping... I'm afraid."
Raven started shaking and held her knees to her chest. Her breathing grew ragged. She looked so small, so young. It almost broke Beast Boy's heart to see her like that. He tentatively put his arm around her. She looked at him but didn't immediately pull away. He just held her for a few moments, not quite trusting himself to speak. She seemed like an animal that was backed into a corner: scared but also fierce. Luckily, he was good with animals.
"Raven, it's going to be okay. You're the strongest person I know. You face a real demon everyday and you don't let it control you. I don't know anybody else who can do that. I mean for everybody else a personal demon is just a metaforce."
"Uh, I think you mean metaphor."
"Oh yeah," Beast Boy said with a sheepish giggle. "That was it."
She smiled. It was tiny, barely noticeable, and it was gone almost as soon as it appeared, but he saw it.
She looks so beautiful when she smiles. It lights up her whole face, he thought. He was about to say as much when their communicators started blinking.
She jumped up and quickly pulled up her hood. She felt like she had just woken up from some strange dream where Beast Boy was hugging her and she was enjoying it, in ways that were a lot more than friendly.
I can't like Beast Boy like that. He's... He's Beast Boy! Stupid hormones. That must be it, she rationalized. Deep down she knew she was lying to herself, but she couldn't deal with her feelings then.
Dammit no! Don't pull up your hood. I hate it when you close yourself off, Beast Boy thought. We were so close...
Beast Boy answered his communicator and practically yelled, "What?"
"Beast Boy we don't have time for your personal issues. Someone is attacking the Fourth National Bank downtown. We need to get down there NOW!"
"Raven and I will be right there."
Raven had already started to phase down but Beast Boy grabbed her wrist. He even got a hold of it for a moment, as if she too was reluctant to let the closeness that they just shared fade away so quickly. Then Beast Boy asked, "Raven, are you sure you're okay?"
Raven yanked her wrist away as if she had been bitten. "I'm fine," she said through clenched teeth and phased through the floor.
Beast Boy pulled his hair in front of his face and said to himself, "You just had to ask didn't you." Then he changed back into a crow and flew down to the common room.
When the Titans arrived on the scene, the police had already cordoned off the area, but the criminal was in the bank.
The Titans usually arrived way before the police, so everybody was shocked to see the situation so out of control without their knowledge. "By the hounds of Blorthgar," Starfire exclaimed. Robin jumped off his R-cycle and sprinted up to the police chief, who stood outside the barrier in a black bullet proof vest, talking animatedly into a walkie-talkie. He was saying, "This psycho's calling himself the Electrocutioner. He shoots lightning or something. He shot Johnson from the seventh floor just to prove he was serious...no, I don't know. Johnson took the hit to the chest but he's still alive at this point."
"Chief Murray," Robin "What's happening?"
The chief looked at him dismissively and motioned for silence while he continued to speak over the walkietalkie. "Yeah. He had to have some sort of military training or something to make that kind of shot."
"Yo," Cyborg said running up. "What's going on here?"
The chief gave the Titans a pointed glare and said, "I have to go, the Titans are here."
As soon as he put it down, Robin pounced, "Chief, why didn't you notify us as soon as you knew there was a situation?"
The chief rolled his eyes and muttered something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like, "amateurs."
"Everything was normal until maybe fifteen minutes ago. Then all of the sudden, security cameras start going down. All hell broke loose. Someone tripped a silent alarm and people came running out of the building. We know for sure that he has at least four civilians in there as hostages. We thought he was just an average thug. It was only after he shot Johnsonthat we learned he was a super."
The way the man said 'super' made it sound like the lowliest, most disgusting thing that could have crawled up from the sewers. Robin's gaze intensified.
"Chief, you mean to tell me that you didn't call us out of pride?" Robin growled.
"We can take care of our own situations without destroying the city."
"Hey, we don't do that every time," Beast Boy yelled. Robin shifted his gaze towards him.
"Beast Boy. Not helping," Robin hissed. He turned to face the chief,and with barely restrained anger, said: "Chief, I know you may be new to this city, but by not calling us you may have seriously endangered those people. I will not allow it."
Starfire moved forward and firmly placed her hand on Robin's shoulder and said, "We will not allow it. This is our home and we will protect it."
Robin sprinted forward, intentionally bumping the chief to the side, and yelled, "Titans, go!"
All of the Titans ran forward into the building except Raven, who hovered in front of the chief staring at him, expressionless. The chief repressed a shudder. Then she teleported up to the building falling instep with the other heroes at the bank's main entrance.
Robin hand signaled for quiet and again for the Titans to enter in a stealth formation. They had practiced the formation before, but they had never had to implement it. They had faced danger countless times, yet this was their first civilian hostage situation. When they got into the building, Starfire quickly flew ahead to assess the situation. She came back and said, "All clear."
"Cyborg, scan for thermal signals," Robin ordered.
"Already on it."
Cyborg pointed his right arm upstairs and a small video screen popped up. It showed the temperature levels, and was thus able to pinpoint where the people were in the building. At first the screen showed only a neutral blue but when he shifted directions, intense levels of yellow and red appeared all over the screen, instead of showing faint outlines of people, like it was supposed to.
"Woah, the heat levels just jumped off the charts," Cyborg said, looking surprised. He tinkered with the circuitry on his arm for a few minutes. He looked at Robin and said grimly, "My equipment is working fine. That guy must be projecting a huge amount of thermal energy."
"We'll just have to go in blind," Robin said. "At least we know approximately where they are and how many people are up there. Beast Boy, sneak upstairs and find the hostages as inconspicuously as possible. Wait until we distract this guy and then get the hostages out."
"Got it," Beast Boy said and immediately changed into rat and ran towards the stairs.
"Everybody else, we are going to go up to the sixth floor, directly beneath those energy signals. Raven, when we get there, phase through the ceiling, grab this guy and pull him down to the next level where the team could get a clear shot."
"Mmhmm," Raven mumbled and nodded her head once. Though she seemed the same as she always did before a fight, she was much more nervous about her problems with her powers than she was willing to admit.
"Alright when we start up the stairs, we go silent. Look to me for hand signals."
When they got to the sixth floor, Robin, Starfire and Cyborg immediately formed a wide triangle around the room and Robin signaled for Raven to go up. As Raven levitated upwards, she panicked and her body wobbled. Then her control slipped completely and she fell to the floor. Luckily, she didn't make much noise. She could see the others' concern and Robin immediately asked if she was okay in sign language. She answered in the affirmative, took a calming breath and got up to try again.
This time, she levitated up and phased through the floor as planned but her placement was slightly off. The first thing she saw was a muscular par of legs facing the other direction. The Electrocutioner had his back to her. He had a black mask covering the upper half of his head and he was wearing a red and black suit, with bands at the arms and legs and what looked like four wires running from his wrists to his knuckles. What caught her eyes, however, was the nimbus of white hot energy that blazed around each hand. Fear clawed at her throat, and it momentarily paralyzed her.
About 20 feet away, she saw the hostages, one man and three women, cowering together next to a row of desks. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a green rat moving stealthily towards the hostages. Beast Boy, she thought. If he can do his job, I can do mine. She choked back the fear and reached out and grabbed the Electrocutioner's ankle. Something's wrong.
As soon as he felt her hand, the Electrocutioner looked down. His menacing expression rearranged itself into a sadistic grin. He said, "Well, isn't this a shock?" Her eyes widened as he reached down and grabbed her wrist, and instead of her pulling him down, he pulled her up and threw her on the floor.
When Robin saw Raven being pulled through the ceiling, he yelled, "Titans upstairs, Now!"
The Electrocutioner didn't hesitate, firing a blast of lightning at Raven. She barely managed to get her dark energy shields up, but they were weak at best and started to crack when the energy hit them. The whole time he was shooting her, the Electrocutioner was laughing manically.
"What's the matter, my dear, are we feeling a tad overloaded?"
Then a roar that drowned out any other sound ripped through the room. Beast Boy changed into a lion and lunged at the Electrocutioner. The Electrocutioner turned and using his other hand, fired another blast of lightning and hit Beast Boy straight in the chest. He was thrown back and hit the ground with a deadening thud and slid a few yards across the floor. He reverted to his original form, immobile.
"Beast Boy, NOOOO!" Raven screamed.
Slowly, she arose, her eyes blazing white, with an aura of black mist clouding the very air around her. Her face was half covered within her hood, but there were tears running down her cheeks and her mouth was set in a grim line. Her cape billowed out behind her like birds wings.
Raven lifted her face and arms to the sky. Then the head and wings of a raven of dark energy emerged from Raven's chest, flying swiftly toward the Electrocutioner. For the first time, Raven saw the Electrocutioner look afraid.
He started firing electricity with both hands at the bird coming towards him, but to no avail. The bird simply absorbed the extra energy.
As the avian slammed into the Electrocutioner, Robin, Cyborg and Starfire burst into the room. They all had varying looks of horror and shock on their faces. Robin yelled, "Raven, stop!" But their friend was no longer in control of her actions.
The bird had so much force behind it that it pushed the Electrocutioner through two interior walls of the bank, and pushed him out the reinforced windows. Once outside, the raven spread it's wings and gave a triumphant call before it disappeared. When the bird vanished, so did all of the energy keeping Raven upright and she crumpled to the floor unconscious.
Starfire immediately flew through the window after him, managing to grab hold of one of his arms as he plummeted down the seven stories to the ground below. She was able to set him on the ground safely, but it was obvious he had serious injuries. As He was losing consciousness, he looked up at her and with a broken laugh, he said...
"It seems like I have been grounded..."
Starfire, with a roll of her eyes, knocked him out with a well-placed starbolt. .
Meanwhile, back on the seventh floor, a hysterical Cyborg was hoisting Beast Boy up when he moaned and slowly lifted his hand to his head.
"Beast Boy! BB, wake up! Are you okay?" Cyborg asked. Beast Boy mumbled something that sounded like 'no' and Cyborg enveloped him in a bone-crushing hug. Beast Boy moaned again in pain and Cyborg quickly let go.
"Sorry man, I'm just glad you're still here."
When Beast Boy caught his breath, he said, "Mphh, I feel like I stuck a hair dryer in the bath tub. What happened?"
"That's what we'd all like to know," Robin said grimly.
When Raven woke up, she was in the Titan Tower's infirmary. Robin was sitting by the bed with his hands clasped in front of him.
When she saw him, she said frantically, "Beast Boy! He shot Beast Boy in the chest. I need to go back there and help him. I need to go back!"
Robin put his hands on her wrists to stop her from getting up. "Take it easy Raven. Beast Boy is fine. He's just up in his room resting. You have been unconscious for three days."
"I have? Are you sure Beast Boy is okay? I saw him go down. He looked... He wasn't moving." Raven choked back a sob.
"I'm sure. I'll get him in a minute, but right now we need to talk. What happened back there?"
"I've... I've been having trouble with my powers again. All day, I couldn't focus properly to meditate. When we got the call, I thought I could deal with it. I thought I would be alright, but when we got there, those people were inside with him. We've never been in a situation where innocent people could be killed so easily like that. I..." Robin handed her a glass of water and she took a drink. Her hands shook so badly that Robin had to help her hold the cup.
She said very quietly, "I was afraid, so my powers didn't work properly." She shuddered visibly. "He grabbed me and pulled me up and threw me on the ground. He shot at me, but I managed to get my shields up right before he hit me, but they were weak and they started cracking almost immediately. Beast Boy attacked him, but he saw him and hit him with lightning. Beast Boy didn't get up. He didn't get up." Raven's voice cracked and she was shaking all over.
"It's okay Raven, We're all fine, but I need you to keep going."
Raven swallowed and rubbed her nose. "I don't remember much after that. Just flashes."
"Raven, you threw the Electrocutioner through two walls and out a reinforced window, on the seventh floor!"
"Did I kill him?" Raven whispered.
"Miraculosuly no. Starfire flew out the window after him and caught him. He has several broken ribs, a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder from where Starfire caught him. I know you can usually take care of yourself and you were under extenuating circumstances when your teammate was injured, but you need to tell us when you are having trouble with your powers. You endangered yourself and the team and I won't put up with this again. Do you understand me?"
"I don't mean to sound harsh, but this is important. Would you like me to go get Beast Boy now?"
Raven nodded and Robin got up to go. "Robin," Raven said quietly, "I'm sorry."
"I know," he said and he turned and left the room.
Starfire came to the infirmary just as Robin left. She gave him a shy smile as she passed. She was obviously holding something behind her back.
"Raven, I have brought you the getting well present." Starfire pulled out a bouquet of palm fronds.
"Star, do you think I am a monster?"
"No, why would you ever say such a thing?" Starfire put the palm fronds on her nightstand and sat on the bed with Raven.
"I almost killed a man. I would have if you hadn't stopped me, yet I feel no remorse. I don't feel anything."
"You are not a monster, Raven. Tamaran is a planet of war and strength and I tell you if someone hurt my Robin, I would kill them without a second thought. Defending the people you love does not make you a monster. Raven you are my only friend girl and I believe we are closer than that. I know that my blood sister and I do not get along well..."
"To say the least."
Starfire's eyes narrowed slightly. "Yes. Anyway, I feel that though we do not always get along we are... kindred. Raven, you are my sister of the spirit. You could never be a monster."
"I... uh, Thank you." Starfire leaned over and gave Raven a tight hug.
As Starfire pulled away, someone cleared his throat noisily. They noticed Beast Boy standing in the doorway. "I don't mean to interrupt, but Robin said you wanted to see me?"
"That is okay Beast Boy," Starfire said quickly getting up. "Robin said that he would take me to the Natural History Museum today so that I might understand the history of naturals. He even promised to explain to me what a museum was."
"Bye, Star," Raven said.
"Um, yeah. Have fun," Beast Boy said with a goofy grin. Waiting until Starfire was out of earshot, he added, "How much 'fun' can a trip to the museum with Robin be? Probably just as fun as..." With a swift motion, he mimed slitting his throat with his hand.. "Hey, what are these?" Beast Boy said, pointing to the palm fronds. Raven managed a small smile. She was feeling better because of her talk with Starfire.
"Oh, they're a get-well present from Starfire."
"Oh boy. You'd think after all these years on earth, she would have gotten over the culture shock already."
"Hey, give her some credit. She is doing much better. In her early days, she probably would have brought me a homemade desert, like a chocolate, mustard and jalapeño milkshake."
"True," Beast Boy said and looked at his feet for a few minutes. "I, uh, guess you saved me. Thanks." Then he laughed at himself. "Leave it to me, huh. I go to rescue you and you end up rescuing me."
"I'm just glad you are alright. Robin told me, but I almost didn't believe him."
"Meh, I'm fine. It takes more than a few thousand volts to take me down." He said thumping on his chest in false bravado.
"Beast Boy, I don't know what I'd do if I lost you."
"Awe Rae, I didn't know you cared," Beast Boy said, and then he noticed how much her shoulders were shaking. "Rae I was just kidding. I'm fine, see? That Electrocutioner guy only stunned me. I woke up after you collapsed." Beast Boy rushed up and got on the little infirmary bed with Raven and he held her stroking her hair and whispering that he was alright and that she was the reason. He stayed and held her until she drifted into a fitful sleep. Then he carefully disengaged himself from her and went upstairs to his room.
Wow, he thought. I didn't even think she liked me. Cyborg told me that she spent almost all of her energy in that attack and that she really could have died. She spent the last three days in a healing trance. He swallowed the lump that suddenly appeared in his throat. I don't know what I would do without her either. Then he wondered, Did she do it because I am her teammate or is it something more. He felt his chest swell with hope, but he quickly deflated when he realized that he honestly did not know the answer to that. I can never tell what Raven is thinking.
That was the night that Raven's dreams began.
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