a.n. Hi guys! Anyone missed me?
I've been working on this for a while (on and off) and it's finally (mostly) done! Enjoy!
Raven was asleep. Her rest was relatively untroubled these days. After the defeat of Trigon he could no longer give her the nightmares that had plagued her in the weeks leading up to his ascension. She took advantage of this by allowing herself the luxury of sleeping in. The sun had been up for a little while and she was still in bed. Not that she would know how late it was as her curtains were closed. She was roused by a loud knocking on her door. She dismissed it with a small groan, No, I'm sleeping. It's warm here; I don't want to get up. She then realized it was Rude talking and got up, stretching slightly.
"What? I didn't sleep in too much did I? Are we under attack?"
It was Beast boy, "Raven, you'll never believe what's happened!"
There was silence from inside her room for a moment, "You had ham for breakfast?"
"Don't even joke like that."
She suppressed a smile. He was better at getting her to laugh than she let on. "What is it?"
"The sky's orange!"
Raven gasped, "What?"
"I know! Wait, is something wrong? It doesn't mean, uh, you-know-who's coming back or anything, does it?"
"No, it's nothing really."
"Oh, okay. Can I come in? You just sound a little wierded out."
Raven sighed, "Yeah, just a second." She grabbed a cloak, swung it around herself and opened the door, "Come in."
Beast boy entered, looking around her room in awe, "Dude, I'll never get over how your room is so-"
"Creepy? Dark?" She tried to conceal her hurt.
"Uh, I was gonna say clean."
"Oh." She paused, "The sky is orange?"
He grinned, "Yep. I thought you'd already know, but I checked anyway. How'd you not notice?" As he spoke he walked over to her window and flung the curtains open. Sure enough, the sky was orange, like twilight, except for the fact that it was ten thirty in the morning and that the orange seemed to form a fog over the city. There also seemed to be snow falling which had begun the night before. Because of the fog, the snow was a slightly muddy color as it formed on the ground.
They sat down on her bed, watching the sky, "Yeah."
"What's causing it? Do we need to worry?"
"This is totally not my fault! Robin checked this morning; it's a dust storm, which is not my fault!"
"Wow, it's even more impressive given that no one's trying to destroy the city. And you didn't cause havoc." She said it teasingly, so he took no offence.
Beast boy gave a toothy grin, "Tell me about it. Why'd you sound so freaked out when I told you?"
Ravens eyes widened slightly as she tried to think of an escape, "Oh, just, uh, surprised is all. It's not every day the sky turns orange."
Beast boy's eyes narrowed as he peered at her shrewdly, "You're lying."
Ravens heart just about stopped. No one questioned her like Beast boy did; most people would not realize she was lying, and the minority would accept that she didn't want to talk. But he did neither. "What?"
He gave a lopsided grin, "You paused; you only do that when you're lying. Plus you don't look me in the eye and you stammer."
Raven tried to look at him but couldn't. He was right; she was a terrible liar. "You know me too well."
"Hey, you can always tell when I'm lying. It's only fair it goes both ways. And another thing; when you try to change the subject it's really obvious you're lying."
Raven shook her head, raising her hood with her powers to hide the small smile on her face, I guess it was right; nothing's exploding. "It's nothing important, I swear. No evil power's going to take me over, and no bad things are going to happen that I'm withholding."
He cocked his head, "What is it then?"
She turned away slightly, "I don't really want to talk about it."
"I know you said it wasn't anything bad but… nothing's gonna happen to you is it?"
She shook her head again, a ghost of a smile still on her face, "If I tell you, will you promise not to tell the others?"
He laughed a little, "Whatever. You know you like it."
She rolled her eyes, "Sure, whatever you say." The empath paused, "You won't tell them?"
"Cross my heart."
"Right." She paused, gathering her thoughts, leaning back, resting her weight on her hands, extended behind her, "You know amongst my people prophecies are pretty common right? Well, once, when I was about six, someone prophesized that the day the sky turned orange on Earth I wouldn't have to worry about my emotions controlling my powers. At first I thought it was a joke or something, orange sky being up there with flying pigs, but it turned out to be an actual prophecy when they tested the person who said it for prophetic powers. It's not permanent, just while the sky stays this way, which should just be the one day, and I can still use my powers. It's just- I don't know, weird?"
Beast boy looked ecstatic, "So you can be happy or sad or whatever today and you won't blow stuff up? That's great! Why do you think it's weird?"
Raven shrugged, "I've never showed emotion properly before. The closest I got was swapping bodies with Starfire. Showing it now seems like it's… forbidden. And I'm not sure I should if I just have to change back tomorrow."
He nodded sadly, "I get that; it'd be like asking us to suddenly be unemotional. Just, do something for me?"
"Yeah?" Anything for you, cooed Affection inside her head. Raven rolled her eyes slightly, Shut up.
"Try to have fun today. Who knows if you'll get another chance like this. Don't waste it."
She gave a full blown smile and looked away shyly, "Okay."
Beast boy smirked playfully and quickly raised her hood, revealing her expression, "See, you're doing fine already."
Raven blushed and tried to hide her face without her hood, an endeavor that was doomed to failure. She kept the smile though. "Shut up."
He grinned as he made his way to the door, "Have a good day Raven." You're so beautiful when you smile.
Raven flopped back onto her bed with a happy sigh. This day was going to be great. She could feel whatever she wanted without having to worry about repercussions. And Beast boy was- she blushed. She didn't know why he was always so nice to her, even if he was annoying sometimes. He was always trying to make her happy though. Oh Azar, I've only been able to feel emotions properly for half an hour and I'm already acting like a love-struck teenager. Affection piped up, Well, you are a love-struck teenager. She blushed again, Shut up.
Raven hoped he didn't tell the others about the prophecy. She knew he said he wouldn't but she didn't want everyone crowding her today. Or any other day for that matter. It would be much better if she could just feel an average day as a normal person could.
She entered the living room as normally as she could, walking over to the kitchen area to make some tea. The others greeted her.
"Morning Raven" said Robin, not really looking up from the computer screen he was transfixed with.
"Good morning friend! Is the sky not extraordinary?" cried Starfire cheerfully.
"Morning Star, Robin." Replied Raven, still trying to act normal. Well, normal for her.
"Hey Raven! Want some waffles?" Welcomed Cyborg from the cooker.
"Sure, thanks Cyborg."
"Happy orange morning Raven!" Cried Beast boy from the sofa, grinning playfully at her.
Raven responded with a glare and a mental message; 'Stop trying to give me away!' He raised his hands in mock surrender but kept watching her, albeit subtly. Cyborg's eyes narrowed sharply at the byplay, but he remained silent. He plated up his and Ravens breakfasts and placed them on the bench.
"Cooked to perfection!"
She smiled slightly, trying her hardest to conceal it, "Thanks Cyborg."
They ate at the bench together for a minute before Cyborg spoke, as quietly as he could, so none of the others would hear over their chatter and the TV.
"You're cheerful this morning."
Raven blanched, "No I'm not."
Cyborg chuckled, "The worlds not gonna end is it? Last time you were this happy it was the supposed last day of the world."
"I promise it's not the end of the world. And for the record; I wasn't happy, I was pretending."
"And there's no evil dragon sorcerer hiding in your room?"
Raven's eyes widened in hurt at the memory as she barely concealed tears. "No." And she phased through the floor.
Cyborg winced and slapped his forehead, "Aw man, me and my big mouth. How could I say something so stupid?"
"You should go apologize."
He jumped as he saw the green changeling appear beside him. "How'd you know what we were talking about?"
"Hel-lo? Have you seen my ears? Go apologize; I hate it when she's all depressed."
"So why don't you go talk to her? You know you want to." He added teasingly. A few weeks previous he had managed to weasel a confession out of Beast boy about how he felt about their resident empath. Beast boy didn't take the bait though.
"Dude, you're the one who said it, you're the one she needs to see right now. Whether you like it or not."
He sighed, "I know. I wish I didn't have such a big mouth!" Cyborg walked off towards Ravens room muttering to himself about his stupidity.
Cyborg approached Ravens door and knocked firmly, though not so hard as to knock down her door. He had learned that lesson. There was faint music playing which promptly cut off as he knocked.
"Raven? I'm sorry about breakfast; I didn't mean to bring it up. I'm an idiot. Can I come in?"
There was a quiet 'Yeah' from inside the room, although the strangest thing was the almost inaudible sniff that followed it. Cyborg punched in his pass code and entered.
Raven was curled up on her bed in a tiny ball, her cloak draped over her body. Her hood was down and she had silent tears running down her cheeks as she tried to bury her head in a pillow.
"Oh Raven…" He said softly as he approached. She sniffed again, not looking up until he picked her up into a hug.
"I'm so sorry Raven, I wasn't thinking. I know how much he hurt you."
She shook her head, "It's okay Cyborg. I'm over him, mostly anyway. I just felt like I had to cry." She wiped her eyes, "It happens sometimes. Do you ever get that? That for some reason you just need to cry until you're empty?"
He smiled slightly as he put her down, sitting beside her, "Depends on who you're planning to tell."
"About as many people as you are."
"Then I get it a lot. 'Specially when I get this big dollop of self loathing, at being… you know, mechanical. Sometimes it sickens me, what I am. I wonder if I'm even me. Sometimes I look in the mirror and don't even recognize my own reflection."
"I hate my reflection more mornings than not. I'm the spawn of Trigon the Terrible."
He placed a hand on her shoulder, "You shouldn't."
She gave him a weak smile. "I know, but it doesn't stop me."
Cyborg paused for a moment, "So, what music were you listening to?"
"Nothing!" she exclaimed, suddenly on the defensive.
"Uh huh." He reached over to the CD player, grabbing the case on top and flipping it over. He cross referenced the number on the screen to the numbers on the back, fighting off an embarrassed Raven with one hand, and grinned.
"Never took you for a romantic Rae." He pushed the play button and the song continued from where it left off.
Blithe smile, lithe limb Don't wish, don't start
She who's winsome, she wins him
Gold hair with a gentle curl
That's the girl he chose
And Heaven knows
I'm not that girl.
Wishing only wounds the heart
I wasn't born for the rose and the pearl
There's a girl I know
He loves her so
I'm not that girl.
Don't wish, don't start
Raven was blushing madly by the end, but knew it was too late to lie to him. She groaned and flung herself backwards again, covering her head with a pillow hoping to drown out any teasing comments Cyborg might make. She was startled when a gentle hand lay on her shoulder and pulled her up into sitting position, causing her to lose the pillow.
She spluttered, bright red, "What? No, I don't- you- he- I… shut up!"
Cyborg chuckled and pulled her into another hug, "I won't tell anyone. Promise."
He could practically feel the heat radiating off her face as she mumbled something and looked at the floor.
"What?" He asked as he put her down. He had learned very early on that hugging Raven was a dangerous exercise.
"Nothing. You're just not as smart as I thought you were."
"Hey! Why's that? You're not in love with Robin instead are you?"
"No. But you haven't noticed yet."
"What?" he looked around for anything out of place. Nothing seemed to have changed in her room since the last time he had been there. The books were on the shelves, the statues in their places. He turned his attention to the girl herself. She was a mess. Her hair was messed up from burying her head in her pillow, her eyes were red from crying and there were tear tracks down her face. Her cheeks were still red with embarrassment at Cyborg figuring her out, and she had a small smile on her face from his suggestion. He frowned. She was acting different, that was for sure, but something was wrong with this picture and he couldn't quite…
"Hey! You didn't blow anything up! Have you been holding back on us?"
Raven grinned, "No. It's just for the day. That's why I was crying; it's the only day I can."
"Why today? Why isn't it permanent?"
"It's today because of the sky, there was a prophecy. And it's not permanent because life isn't fair."
"Tell me about it." He paused for a moment, a mischievous thought occurring to him, "So, if your powers are under control today, does that mean I can do this?" he asked, quickly tickling her sides.
Raven gave an undignified yelp before shooting across the room faster than one of Speedy's arrows, "No. You can't. Don't even think about it"
Cyborg chuckled. He had first found out that she was ticklish when they were working on the T-car together after it had been junked the first time. He had accidentally prodded her side while he was getting the configuration disk and Raven had almost hit the roof, she'd jumped so much. Cyborg thought it was the funniest thing ever that Raven, cold impassive Raven, was ticklish, but when he tried to tickle her more she had accidentally blasted him into the wall on the opposite side of the room. She had apologized profusely, and he knew she didn't mean to, but he never told the others the truth about why he needed a new arm.
Cyborg approached her slowly, a mischievous grin on his face. Ravens eyes widened as she tried to back up even further. She was obviously hiding a smile though. "Cyborg, don't."
He laughed at her expression, "Come on Raven, don't you think it'd be fun?"
Her back hit the wall, "No. You'll lose another arm if you're not careful." She warned, grasping at straws.
Cyborg faked hurt, "You wouldn't damage me on purpose, would you Raven?"
Raven faltered, "Uh…"
He grinned, "Gotcha."
Raven yelped again and tried to run, but Cyborg was too fast. He quickly grabbed her, wiggling his fingers over her sides. Raven immediately dissolved into laughter and fell to the floor, too late thinking of phasing through it. She tried to talk but didn't manage very well.
He smiled down at his adoptive sister teasingly, "Yeah?"
She gave up trying to talk and attempted to push his hands off, still not succeeding. Cyborg grinned at the sight of her, half curled up on the floor, a huge smile on her face, eyes squeezed shut, laughing and giggling as she tried to squirm away. She looked for once like a normal girl. Happy. He always thought of her as his little sister but she rarely acted like it, it was nice. Raven almost never smiled or laughed, he could in fact count the times he had heard her laugh on one hand, so it was good to see her finally relax.
Raven couldn't form any coherent sentences through helpless fits of laughter, but deep down she recognized that she was having fun, which was not something that happened every day. Cyborg was like the big brother she never had, and she really liked spending time with him, whether helping him with the T-car or playing chess. She also hadn't laughed this hard in, well ever. Laughing so much released endorphins which made her feel happier; this in turn made her laugh more. It was a vicious cycle, not that Raven minded that much.
Cyborg finally let up. Raven lay giggling on the carpet for at least a minute before getting herself under control. She sat up, giving him a playful glare causing him to laugh again.
Raven tried her best stern face and held it for a good three seconds before she smiled again, "Yeah, thanks. But never do that again."
Cyborg gave an evil smirk, "Oh, you know I can't promise that… Well, I might be able to if I could tell Bea-"
"Don't you dare."
He faked innocence, "Why not?"
Raven rolled her eyes, "He's been trying to get me to laugh for years. If he knew it was that easy he'd never leave me alone."
"What, you're telling me you don't like it when he follows you around like that?"
Raven blushed brighter than Happy's cloak, "Would you stop it? It's not that I don't like spending time with him, but this'll only last a day and he always seems to set me off! And not always for the reasons you think." She added, "I don't push him away because I don't like him. I push him away because I'm afraid I'll hurt him."
Cyborg was saddened as he realized something, "You don't stay locked up in your room 'cos you want to do you? And we only make it worse when we try to make you come out."
She nodded unhappily, "You don't know what I'd give to be able to just hang out like you all do, to just… feel."
He placed a hand on her shoulder, "You can today. So don't spend it all depressed, or else…" he trailed off mock threateningly.
"Oh please no." she responded monotonously.
Cyborg chuckled quietly and made another grab for her sides making Raven squeak and jump away, another smile already growing on her face. She was about to phase through the wall to escape when the alarm sounded.
a.n. What you think? Good or not so good? I'm going with the latter :P Hopefully see you in the reviews (hint hint)