She was huddled at the edge of the rooftop looking out over the sea, her knees drawn right up close to her. She didn't turn at the sound of Garfield's voice, or move at all.
"Raven?" Still nothing. "I've been looking for you everywhere. No-one's seen you all day."
He knew she liked to come up here sometimes, when the sun was going down, or after it had. Up on the tower, the hubbub of the city seemed a million miles away. It was all just background noise. Up here, in the light of the stars and the pearlescent moon, it was easy to feel at peace.
It was also very easy to feel cold. Garfield shivered slightly after the warmth of the tower.
"Raven, please... say something." He reached out with tentative fingers and touched her slim, hunched shoulder.
This elicited a response.
"Please... just go away."
Garfield paused, but it didn't take him long to make up his mind.
"No. Not until I know you'll be okay."
He sat down beside her on the concrete of the roof. Raven still had her head buried in her knees. With her hood drawn up over her head and her cloak covering her all around, it was difficult to see any part of Raven not covered by the dark blue material.
"I just want to know what's wrong."
"...Won't you at least look at me?"
Garfield thought nothing would happen again. This time Raven slowly levered up her head, turning it just enough for Gar to see one purple tear-rimmed eye.
He smiled softly.
Raven lifted her head, but wouldn't look at Garfield, casting her eyes down to the roof instead.
Garfield obliged, looking out at the sea. The sky was clouded over such that there wasn't much of a glimmer on the water.
"Been spending time alone lately?"
Garfield nodded. "Everyone needs a little time to themselves." He looked across at Raven. "Just don't take too much, yeah? It can lead you down a bad path."
"How would you know?" said Raven, shooting a look across at Garfield.
He took it apparently without offense. "I spend a lot of time with other people, but that doesn't mean I don't know what it's like to want to be alone. Sometimes, you're the worst person for deciding what's best for yourself."
There was silence. That is to say, relative silence - far across the bay, cars rumbled along the busy city streets, music thumped from a hundred downtown clubs, and always there was the quiet static hum of the street-lights.
Garfield let the words sink in. The breeze which had at first bitten so bitterly now merely ruffled his hair, as it would the long grass of a field.
"I think... Every time I think about who I am, and what's inside me, I always get really frightened that I'll fail... and that someone will get hurt, or killed... someone I care about..."
Raven seemed to draw tighter in on herself.
She was shocked to find Garfield's arm around her.
"I guess you're right. I guess that could happen." He looked at her. "But the Raven I know wouldn't let it happen without a fight."
She looked back up at him. Her eyes shone briefly as the moon peeked out around a cloud.
"We all get frightened sometimes, Rae. I may not be half demon, but I still worry about losing my friends. Including you." He smiled warmly, giving Raven a soft squeeze with the arm he had around her shoulders.
"You... You've got the Beast to deal with," Raven pointed out. She wished she hadn't when Gar's smile faded.
"Yeah, well... I try not to think about him." He looked up into the night sky ruminatively. "I guess... I guess it's just about distracting yourself. When you're on your own, it's easy to get lost, wandering around in your mind. Your friends are there to remind you of the better things; to take you out of yourself."
He held her gaze again.
"Because you know, nothing makes me happy like seeing my friends happy."
And this time, when Garfield smiled, Raven shared it with him. It was a frail thing, thinner than glass, but it was there.
"I'm sorry for being like this," said Raven, almost whispering it. "I didn't mean to worry you."
"It's okay. I'm just glad I could be here for you."
They shared a moment, resting with each other, gazing out into the night. There was nothing to interrupt them; nothing beyond the two of them, Raven and Garfield, nestled together on that rooftop.
"Do you want to come downstairs?" asked Garfield, pitching the question to the air. "Everyone else is there. I'm sure they'd like to see you."
"...Maybe for a little while. I think I'd just like to go to bed... but it would be nice to talk for a bit."
"Sure. Whatever you want."
Raven sighed suddenly.
Garfield looked at her.
"Oh... I was... well, before you came... I was thinking about running away. To keep you safe. It seems stupid now, I know, but-"
"I thought about running away once."
Raven stopped. "...You did?"
Garfield nodded, entirely solemn. "After Tara died."
"But she didn't-"
Raven saw a warning in Garfield's eyes - a subtle one, but it was there.
"I'm sorry. Go on."
"...I just kept thinking about how there was no-one else here who could ever replace her, and how there was nothing left for me in this place... I kept wondering if, maybe if I went away to another place, with other people... I could find her again. Another Tara. Another life."
He lapsed into silence, remembering that time.
Raven put her arm around Garfield.
He looked at her, startled.
She smiled at him.
He smiled back.
"But you stayed."
"Yes, I stayed..."
"...Why?" Raven searched for the answer in his eyes, but he looked away.
"I... I realised, after a time, that no-one could ever replace Tara... because she was who she was. But that didn't mean that nobody else could make me happy like she did, in their own way... in their own time."
Raven frowned slightly.
"What do you mean?"
Garfield seemed loathe to look back at Raven. But he did, however reluctantly.
"I mean that... well, I decided to stay, because..."
"Because I hoped that you could be the one."
Raven said nothing.
"Tara was special because she was the first to return what I felt. I feel for you, as well - I've always cared about you, even before we became proper friends. The real reason we argue so much is because I keep trying to get close to you, even though I know I shouldn't, and you keep pushing me away. And that's all right - you're completely right to do that if you want to, it's just-"
"Would you like to go out sometime?"
Garfield froze. "What?"
He just blinked.
Raven remained perfectly placid. "If you don't want to go, just say-"
"No, I do!" Garfield blurted out, before he even knew what he was saying. "I mean... I'd like to. If you do."
Raven smiled another of those fragile smiles. There was true warmth in it; a hint of what more there could be to come.
They simply stayed there a while longer, each one holding the other, the two of them looking out to sea.
Suddenly, Raven shivered.
"Can we go back inside?"
"I really wish I'd included leggings on my outfit."
Garfield grinned, causing Raven to look at him oddly.
"And don't think I haven't caught you sneaking glances."
"Can you blame me?"
Raven smiled back. "I suppose not. Come on."
They went inside, leaving the night behind them.
They joined hands for the briefest of moments, and then were gone.