Raven isn't as mature as she seems.

Tell her this, and she will cover up her blush of shame with an irate glare, a warning.

But she is not as mature as she seems.

Her anger, her eye-rolls.

Just a fa├žade.

Her condescension and cynicism.

Do you really think she's so apathetic?

Tell her this, and the blood will drain from her face, and in an instant, her furrowed brow will be smoothed and blank.

A clean slate, of sorts.

An innocent face, even.

She claims she is unable to feel.

But Beast Boy, even Starfire can tell you that her emotions are palpable, if you read them right.

Her reactions cover herself up, she thinks.

That if she is angry, or rolls her eyes, she can mask the weakness she senses lurking in her veins.

Just under the surface of her skin.

Her reaction to the end of the world is not resolute.

It is her inability to cope with loss.

Her lack of experience in really, truly understanding her role as a hero.

She claims she is an expert on human emotion, seeing as though she is an empath.

But she is no manipulator.

Nor a comforter.

Nor a much needed therapist.

She cares for her friends.

But somehow, she believes that they are materialism, haunting.

Hurting.

She's afraid of pain.

And when she is struck down, she does not learn.

She does not see, despite her empathy.

She does not know what she possesses.

Her friends try to open her up.

She is afraid.

She denies her fears, denies her weakness, denies any suspicion her colleagues have.

When asked why, she shrugs and claims she doesn't need anyone.

But the Starfire and time incident!

She needs more than she dares to acknowledge.

She fears more than she dares to say.

She dreams, but her actions dissolve like smoke.

Just

Like

That.

For Raven may be powerful, but she admits to no weakness. And that in turn is her weakness.

Her pride.

Her inability to embrace life as it is.

Her futile attempts to convince herself otherwise.

But it is too late for her, you see.

The white walls, pale and smooth and endless and stretching.

The door, closing with that creak-crack-creak sort of sound.

The bare bulb flickering incoherently at her.

The cot and its simple wool blanket.

The black iron sign she sees through a crack.

"Arkham."

It leers at her.

And it is much, much too late for her to live.

Too late to comprehend her juvenile pride.

Too late to understand the significance of her actions.

Too late.

Because Raven is not so mature after all.

I do enjoy the character of Raven the most, really. But the thing that constantly irritates me about the series is the fact that she makes such a big deal out of her past and her emotions, and overdoes the sarcasm so much that you wonder what she's really hiding. Her way of coping with her past is to shut herself out, and as seen in the End, Spellbound, and How Long is Forever?, she seems to finally understand the reality of what she had too late. And later in the series, it's as if How Long is Forever? and Spellbound and some of the others did not exist at all, because she acts the same. It just really annoyed me. And how can I guess this is what she really is? Because I'm like her.