I do not in any way shape or form claim ownership of Teen Titans and affiliating characters.
Completely random story line, but it had to be written. I'm not exactly sure how Raven and all her powers work nor about the weather patterns on Tamaran, but i claim creative liscense. Read, review, enjoy. XO.
Something was going on with Raven. Her team mates knew that she was very meticulous about keeping certain points in her life constant; meticulous to the point of obsession. Everything had to stay in order; order kept her calm; order kept her powers under control.
It was only little things at first—Robin noticed that she didn't count her steps the moment they entered the tower like she usually did in her head. Beastboy noticed that she didn't seem to have her face glued in a book every second. She would drift off into small trances where she would simply stare into nothing for any amount of time until one of the others snapped her out of it. Cyborg pointed out (his intents being purely teasing) one day when the Titans were sitting around watching a movie that Raven's well-kept sense of personal space had seemed to have disappeared—her legs were unconsciously propped up on his lap while she scribbled away at a notebook in her lap. As soon as the words left his mouth, Raven's dark eyes snapped to his and held his gaze for a long while, both inquisitive, and when she finally looked back to the paper, she crossed one leg over the other and dropped her feet to the floor; Her eyebrows furrowed deeply as she stared down at her writing with attention obviously faked and Cyborg's arched—because something was up.
As the month went on, it seemed that her natural 'order' was sliding more and more from the norm. Nearly every night, one of the Titans would run into her at the late hours of the night when normally she would have been in her room sleeping or meditating. The insomnia wasn't entirely out of character for her, but it was the increasing frequency that began to strike a few bells in their minds. After so long of it, they noticed an almost bloodshot hue and dark circles beginning to plague her deep blue eyes that only became more vivid against her pale skin each day. However, the change that they noticed most was the absence of her cape—which led way to another noticeable change: her hair. Starfire and Beastboy both had, at least once, sat in awe during her ritual that had become the act of cutting her hair. She was very precise that it must be perfectly straight, without even a trace of a curl. Once it was straight, she would measure what seemed like every strand to exactly eight and a half inches from the base and then snip off the ends with more care than anyone had ever seen before. However, since about the time as the other changes, big and small alike, they noticed that her hair was wavy and fell nearly to her shoulders, flipping and curling in ways that were alien to her obsessively neat hair.
Had it been anyone else, they may have just excused it. But for Raven, it was nearly a sign of some deeply rooted wrong within the girl, one that was making her lose herself. Even though the changes could have been a try at becoming more outgoing, the fearless leader wasn't the only one completely concerned by the changes. Because as long as they'd known her, this wasn't Raven. And it never would be.
It was a night like any other that week. The rain pounded against the glass panes lining the tower with the fury of the sea and even the moon was blocked out by the weather. The strange weather patterns on Earth always left Starfire uneasy. After the last bout of lightning, she'd ran from her horrifically empty room into the Titan's kitchen and huddled in the corner with her blanket pulled over her head with only her glowing green eyes showing against the darkness.
With another flash of lightning, thunder echoed through the sky once more and Starfire jumped in fright as a scream left her lips. In the doorway from the main hall, the silhouette of a person appeared, sending Starfire into another fit of shrieks.
"Calm down, Starfire, it's just me," Raven muttered quietly. Her voice wasn't quite as monotonous as usual but hardly held the enthusiasm that seeped from the redhead every waking moment of her life. Shaking her head, Raven stepped forward and flicked the light switch above the counter on, immersing the room in light. She held her hand out for Starfire, helping her spooked friend to her feet. With Raven standing five inches shorter than herself and her face illuminated by the lights, Starfire suddenly felt vaguely silly having been scared of her moments ago. Raven picked up Starfire's blanket and handed it to her shocked friend.
"Friend Raven!" Starfire threw her arms around Raven's neck. "You have come to rescue me! I was so very afraid!"
"Calm down, it's just a storm. And I'd be careful screaming at night around here. You don't want his highness to think you're actually being attacked."
Starfire frowned in confusion. "I did not know that there was royalty here."
Raven gave Starfire a flat look. "I meant Robin. The way he's carrying on these days anyone would think he thought himself a prince or something."
Starfire didn't understand what she meant at all. Robin had never shown behavior that any prince she'd known on Tamaran would, but then again perhaps Earth royalty was different.
Raven stared at Starfire in silent appraisal and shook her head at her. "Never mind. You don't get it." The dark titan sidestepped Starfire and flipped on the stove to warm up the teapot. She then reached up, balancing on the tips of her toes, for the cups in a high cupboard. She stretched as far as she could but her fingers barely grazed against the ceramic mugs that Robin insisted on keeping on the top shelf. Her arms high in the air, Raven jumped in surprise when warm fingers danced across her bare stomach.
Cyborg chuckled and she slapped his arm. Raven pulled the nightshirt down to cover her barred skin. "Move over, shorty," Cyborg joked as he gently pushed Raven away from the cupboards. He took three mugs from the shelf and set them on the counter. With a smirk, he mussed up Raven's messy hair, moving away before she could hit him again. "How are my two favourite girls this morning?" he asked, his head sticking into the fridge.
Starfire looked out towards the window. "I am quite disturbed, friend. What is it that we have done to make the clouds so angry with us?" Cyborg chuckled.
"I'm guessing you don't have much weather on Tamaran," Raven said quietly. She poured the steaming water into the mugs and mixed in some herbs and handed a cup to Starfire and one to Cyborg.
Starfire jumped when the thunder struck again. "I am no longer sleeping because of the crying of the clouds. Why are both of you awakened when the rest of our friends sleep?" She looked between the two and tilted her head to the side, swishing the tea around in the mug.
Cyborg popped out of the fridge with his arms full of foods and his face split into a grin. "Just our normal midnight snack, right Rae?" He bumped his arm against her side in a playful gesture but Raven had stilled and all the nudge did was spill tea across her shirt. Raven posture was tense, her smile so forced it looked more like a grimace, and she just lowered her gaze, her hair spilling into her face. Cyborg spread the array of food all over the counters and smiled to the girls, looking proud of his findings. "Wanna join us, Star?"
Starfire's green eyes sparkled. "Will there be mustard?"
"Got it right here." He tossed the lethally yellow bottle at Starfire whose face split into a smile and she started pouring the mustard into her tea. "What about you, Rae? Waffles?"
Raven looked up slowly, her mind and eyes miles behind her ears. Her dark eyes were soft as she gazed at a place somewhere between the real world and the world she could see. "Hmm?"
"You know, waffles? Want to make more?" He was already attacking the multiple pizza boxes two slices at a time. He pushed a plate of cold waffles at her like it was some sort of prize.
Raven shook her head solemnly and leant against the wall with her tea. Her voice seemed to have dipped back into a whole different realm of quiet and was once again resigned. "No thanks, Cy. Believe it or not, most people have a limit to how much they can eat in a year. And after this last week, I've more than gone over mine." She smirked a little into her tea.
Cyborg waved the statement off. "No such thing. I'm starving!"
Raven's hand was shaking. She watched her two friends dig into the mustard-covered feast spread out over the surfaces of the kitchen and couldn't pull her eyes away. Somewhere deep within the recesses of her heart, she knew why but that part of her had been under lock and key since she could remember. It was for everyone's sake. So she would just stare and keep wondering.
Cyborg was on his twelfth slice of mustard-pizza and Starfire on her fourth when suddenly the tower was flooded with red warning lights. Robin burst from his room, his mask already in place and his cape flowing behind him, followed by Beast Boy who was rubbing at his eyes sleepily.
"We've got a situation," he announced with his overly dramatic facial expressions. He looked at the three titans—Raven, in only a t-shirt and her underwear, sipping on tea while leaning lazily against the wall; Cyborg, his cybernetic eye lit up and his human one wide in alarm with more pizza in his hands than anyone should ever consider eating in one meal; and Starfire who had mustard going from her nose to her chin. Robin balked. "What is wrong with the three of you? Raven—what are you wearing?"
"They're called pajamas, generally," she deadpanned.
Robin's eyebrow rose. "That's what you call pajamas? And since when do you wear anything other than your uniform?" Robin shook his head. "You know what, never mind. Just go change. Fast. And then get back here right away."
Raven rolled her eyes and set her mug down with the rest of the food. "Whatever you say, your majesty." She bowed mockingly to Robin and faded out with the shadows in the room.
Each Titan knew Raven's tendencies in battle like the back of their hand. They knew her every move even in the times when they were shocked by her actions, knew how she would use her powers in great danger and knew exactly what she would say when whatever attack was flung her way backfired at the assailant. They knew that her powers were the bane of her existence and plagued her every thought, always on her mind, never the backburner. Sure, her meditation had been off lately, but none of the titans had ever thought that anything could change her mind about how to react when she used them. That being said, even though they were concerned about her at home, they hadn't even the slightest thought to worry about her while they were out doing their jobs.
With Robin's yell, the team split up.
As far as bad-guys went, they'd faced worse—much worse. This time it was just a gang of normal humans. The problem, however, was that they were armed, they were holding hostages, and they would be trigger happy until they got what they wanted. So far the JC Police force had been all over the situation with absolutely no fear that they could handle it but then three officers had been shot and two had ended up in critical conditions. As the night got worse, they finally decided it was time to bring supernatural forces into the picture.
Starfire and Raven were sent to the front with Beast Boy. Raven would try to disarm the captors with Starfire as her back up. Beast boy would sneak in and get the hostages. Cyborg and Robin were going around the back where Cyborg would cut the building's security and then Robin would take out the gang in the dark. It all seemed simple enough.
Which, of course, doomed the mission before it began.
It took all of two minutes. Starfire blasted through the door and Raven used her power to hold the captors in their place, their weapons suspended six feet above their heads in a single wave. Beast Boy bolted in as a forest-green cheetah and came out with three of the wounded hostages on his back and four other following close behind with tears dripping in their wake. It had happened too easily.
And then, suddenly, in her mind's eye, Raven knew why. These captives were not the ones they were after, they were just bait and the Titans had played into it like a poor game of tic-tac-toe.
Raven's concentration dropped and the gangsters fell to the floor in a heap. Her dark eyes widened and glanced around in desperation, falling just short of the back alley entrance to the building. The dark girl's gaze danced between the door and the criminals on the floor and then her eyes hardened. She flicked her hand, sending the ten men slamming against the wall in a cloud of black energy. Then, before either Beast Boy or Starfire could blink, she had faded out of the room in a massive shadow.
"Raven!" Beast Boy yelled out.
Raven materialized in the back of the building, just outside the door that she had seen. One look around the alley told her she had been right.
Cyborg pulled a crowbar from the metal shell of leg and he fell back against the wall with the weight. Robin flew through the air and landed face down on the concrete, his head smacking audibly into the wall. The boy wonder pulled himself up feebly and wiped a trail of blood from his mouth. His mask had fallen off and there was a cut going from the corner of his eye to his temple. The man who had hit him smiled in triumph and his associate did too.
"Now," said the second man as he cocked the gun in his hand and took aim at Cyborg, "let's see just how human robot-boy here is."
Raven and Cyborg both froze. She saw the man's finger pull back and Cyborg square his shoulder and then the next thing she knew the bullet was going through flesh.
Raven's knees gave out in shock and she fell back into Cyborg's arms. Her shaking hand feathered up towards her ribs and drew back slick and dark red. Raven met her friend's eyes, himself seeming even more shocked than she, and her mouth formed a small 'O'.
"Raven?" Cyborg hadn't even seen her when the trigger was pulled and then all of the sudden she was shot in his arms? He had to be seeing things; if she really had been there, Cyborg and Robin were both sure that she would have used her power to stop the bullet. Never herself. "Shit, Raven?"
But it was her blood soaking his skin.
Raven's forehead began to perspire and she looked up at Cyborg in alarm. Her voice was full of uncertainty as she said her only explanation to what she'd done: "Oops."
Her head lolled back with her body, her eyes just milky whites against her dark lashes. And it seemed that everything exploded from there.
To be continued.
My writing's slipping so I'm gonna need to sleep on this one. But lemme know what ya'll think.