HALLOWEEN, HALLOWEEN, HALL-O-WEEN/ TIME FOR COSTUMES AND TRICK OR TREAT!/ ELIZABETH COMSTOCK WILL HAUNT MY PLACE/ GIVING CANDIES TO TREATERS WITH SUCH GRACE/ BUT COME NOVEMBER/ THE STORES WILL THINKING ABOUT DECEMBER AND FORGETTING ABOUT THANKSGIVING/ SO PLEASE BE AWARE, YOUR CANDIES YOU SHOULD SHARE ON THIS HALLOWEEN SO WELL/ OH PLEASE BE AWARE THAT BLACK FRIDAY COMES AND WE ALL BE IN RETAIL HELLLLLLLL!
"Austin should not be cursed with Raven's monstrous powers."
Raven opened her eyes and woken up from her deep sleep. It must have only been a few hours, since she had been awake, but still, she felt as tired when she woke up as she did when she first fell asleep. She stared out into the darkness and for a few seconds, believed that it all was a dream. It could have been. Maybe this was Trigon's ultimate plan all along, by giving her nightmares long after his death so she would blame then her teammates and slowly begin to lose her mind. But Trigon never foresaw his own fate, so why would he care about what happen to his bastard daughter?
Her eyes adjusted to the darkness and she could see the top bunk bed above her, remembering that she was in the Titan's defense bunker, for emergency cases when they needed to take underground shelter. She didn't think the team would ever use the bunkers again after Slade, but here they were. Luckily, she didn't have to be in the same room with Starfire or Bruce, as the bunker was divided up into different rooms.
A small whimper began to ring in her right ear, and she remembered that Austin was sleeping beside her. She reached her hand out and comforted him with her soothing touch. She realized that she had moved the bed when she had awoken up, and therefore had disturbed Austin. She raised Austin with her black energy an inch high in the air and slowly rocked him. Within five minutes or so, he soon went back to sleep and she was thankful for that much.
As he continued to float above the bed, she got up and wrapped herself with a white blanket that had fallen on the floor. She walked through the darkness and found a flashlight and her communicator that were both sitting on the desk nearby. She turned the flashlight on and pointed it at the top bunk. She found Garfield slumbering in peace with his arms wrapped around Lydia as he drooled and snored, his tired face looking toward Raven's direction. Lydia's face was turned to the other side, but her hair was all dishevel, and it had taken her about two hours of Garfield's storytelling to get her to fall asleep.
Lydia had been devastated when she came home and discovered that all her toys, her personal items and her room had been destroyed while she was at school. She wouldn't stop crying, and this cause her powers to be released, which caused more unwanted destruction to the Tower and then she would cry even harder. It became an endless cycle, until Cyborg remembered he had stock a pile some ice cream in the defense bunker. With a suspicious tone, Raven asked him later why the bunker had ice cream in it—of all things—and Cyborg had confessed he had a feeling that they might need it one day for an emergency meditation session that was not in the Tower.
Raven wondered if there could ever be a time when Lydia knew how to control her powers before they got out of hand, but then Raven would remember it was her own powers that had gotten them all into this mess in the first place. She tried later in the day to explain to a confused Starfire why she had gone crazy and destroyed their home, but Starfire was not in the listening mood. Apparently, if the Logan's couldn't forgive Robin for an accident, why should Starfire do the same for Raven? Nobody was in the mood to argue, so the two avoided each other as much as possible.
Making sure her family was all well, Raven quietly walked outside of the room, into the bunker hallway, silently closing the door, and walked down towards the bathroom. She pulled out her communicator and stared at it for a while. It had been a long time, and she wasn't entirely sure she wanted to speak to him yet, but after taking a deep breath, and slipping inside the bathroom door, she dialed the number.
She turned on the bathroom lights and looked into the mirror as she awaited her call to go through. She saw a sad, pale middle-age woman looking back at her. With wrinkles here and there around her face, heavy bags under her eyes, and a strip of grey hair among her lavender locks. Was she always this old and had never noticed? Or had time suddenly sped up while she stressed out over her last pregnancy?
After two minutes of the communicator buzzing, she lower the device, as she was about to give up and go back to sleep, until a voice cried out.
"Hello? Starfire? Sorry, my communicator was out of reach."
For a single second, she wanted to shut the communicator off and throw it across the room, but she remained calm and took control. Just the sound of his voice drove her insane. She didn't know what she was expecting to get out of this call, but she wanted it to be said that she did try. She took a deep breath and turned over the communicator, looking down at it.
"Raven?!" He gasped, more surprised than upset.
She widen her eyes looking at him, "Robin?!" she exclaimed, a little startled by his bright wide blue eyes staring back at her. Dammit, now she had to look into his actual eyes. She had never known Robin without his mask on and this little surprise had taken away some of her confidence she had when she first began the call.
"Oh, right! My mask. I keep forgetting. Yes, well, out here, in the wilderness, I tend to take it off more. And…and well, it's….it's good to see you." He confessed, trying not to sound angry or scared, but she didn't believe him.
"I doubt that." She said coldly.
"Why? Can't we just be civil to one another?"
"I need to tell you what happen today." She said, ignoring his request. "And what Starfire plans on doing about it. That's why I am calling. That's the only reason."
"Why? What happened? What's going on?"
Starfire, for the love of Azarath! Please, tell me you at least told him!? She thought. "Well…first off, I know exactly why you don't have your mask on, but I am not commending you on turning yourself in, although, Starfire believed we would be praising your sacrifice when she told us. And that's how this whole mess started in the first place…"
She then went on to tell him in detail about the events that happened that day, excluding the little detail that Garfield and herself were busy with some other form of activity before Starfire interrupted them…
Thinking about it now, Raven wasn't completely satisfied with her 'session' with Garfield. She had heard something or someone coming from outside of the bedroom, and she tried to ignore it, but the constant banging on the door had interrupted her concentration, and with that, her satisfaction. She could still feel that lust creeping out a bit when she laid in bed without Garfield by her side, as he was attending to Lydia. Even though her mind was on other matters, she couldn't help but daydreamed about his muscular arms caressing her, pressing his well-toned abs against her own and massaging her gentle pale pink Zinthos hole with his own green electric eel, giving her sweet, sweet pleasure as she scratched his back begging for more just by saying the word 'Azarath'…
If only she wasn't talking to Robin right now. At least it kept her lust locked up.
"You what!" Robin shouted over the communicator. She wasn't daydreaming anymore.
"Easy, Robin, it's not like it's irreplaceable. We cleaned most of the glass shards out of all the rooms. We just need to rebuild a little—"
"—And you still question me why I don't want another Demon child running around the city?—"
Well, so much for 'being civil', "—Hey! None of this would have happened if you would just allowed Garfield and myself to take care of—"
"But Raven, you had years of practice, being taught by the best, and still, something as flimsy as a loud argument could send you over the edge. This is why we have to prepare and be careful—"
"—Careful?! What the fuck do you think 'careful' means? You gave my child and myself an unknown drug with unknown side effects!—"
"—I knew the risk—"
"—You did not how much of a risk! And do not bring up my past! You do not know what I had to go through! I wouldn't say it was the greatest childhood in the world, so do not use me as some saintly example!" She was breathing really hard from all the shouting and hoped against all hoped that she wasn't smashing the Tower right now with her black energy. She was waiting for Robin to make some other stupid remark to just send her over the edge, but he didn't.
She waited for what seem like an eternity, until finally, he said, "You need to calm down."
And that was the stupid comment. "Starfire is leaving us and plans to follow you—"
"—while you try to 'find yourself', but she can't, if you retrieve your position as the leader."
"Do you want me to come back?" He asked sincerely.
If it were any other day, in any other situation, in any other timeline, she would say 'yes' without a moment's hesitation. But then she started to think about Garfield, how he felt, Lydia's reaction when Robin left, Starfire's cold statement about Raven being a 'monster', and Cyborg's headaches of trying to create peace in the Tower. So, her long silence gave him the answer he didn't want.
"I wouldn't mind it." She finally said. "Although, there is still some trust issues I have harboring."
"When did Starfire decide all of this? To just leave?" He asked.
"Why don't you ask her? I was expecting you to already know. The only reason why I called was because she is going to take Bruce with her—"
"—since when have you paid any attention to Bruce?"
"Always! He is my nephew, and I treasure him just as I treasure my own family!I can't believe you don't know that Robin. Lydia was devastated when you left, so what happens when her favorite aunt and best friend have to leave too? She was upset enough when you left; how am I supposed explain to her why they left?"
"Why, has Lydia been acting out?"
"Of course she has, her only known family is being torn apart and all I could do was consult her as she meditated."
"….meditating. Hmm." He said casually. "Sounds like a burden to have, always having to keep your emotions in check—"
He's testing me, she told herself as her cheeks colored from the anger roaming inside her. She started to take deep breaths as he continued to talk. Enough was enough. It was time to heal the wounds of the past and start over.
"Also, maybe I don't want Bruce to leave as well or Cyborg having to break up fights…."
"—Always having to make sure you don't feel too much—"
Asshole. "Robin…..Robin….Robin…" She said, trying to interrupt him. "Robin!" One of the lights shattered in the bathroom, no doubt, he saw it, but the room was not in complete darkness.
"Yes?" He asked.
She allowed a long silence to pass between them. "What did I do to you to deserve this?"
"What are you talking about?" He sincerely asked.
"It only makes sense that I did some wrong to you a long time ago, that you have not forgotten, and that's what makes you believe that my children were going to be born into full grown demons—"
"—because that's the only thing that makes sense."
"Nothing. You have done nothing to me." He sighed. He was getting tired of arguing, all he knew what he had gotten from this conversation was that Starfire was going to leave and join him. This would mean the breakup of the team…and yet he was eager to see her. Why did he not feel troubled? Well, he did, but not as troubled as he thought he should feel if this happened years ago. It felt wrong that it didn't feel so horrible.
Raven studied his face, not accepting the answer he was giving her. "Nothing?"
"In all the years I have been a Titan—"
"—no, you have not done anything to me, thank goodness. You have not hurt me or Starfire. Not even when you were first going out with Beast Boy—"
"—When? About a decade ago when I first started going out with Garfield? You had a problem then?"
"I didn't say that—"
"—but that's what you meant. I don't need to use my powers to read between the lines—"
"—no! I haven't read any of my friend's goddamn minds in years." She said, before quickly adding, "Except Garfield's of course." She sighed and closed her eyes. "Okay. I am trying not to get angry. So, please, tell me. Why?"
"Why did you have a problem with myself going out with Garfield? He's a part of the team and your friend! Would you rather I have dated someone else outside of the team?"
"You could have, I wasn't going to stop you—"
"—you're not answering the question—"
"—I had a problem with you dating period."
So, the truth was finally coming out. This news about Robin having a bit of a problem with her dating Garfield was a bit of shock to her, and at the same time, it wasn't. Robin liked structured plans and organization, although he seemed like he didn't mind what his friend's did outside of work, but of course he would never say anything about it if he in fact did mind.
She opened her eyes and looked at him. "And why?" Oh Azarath! Why was he being so difficult? It was as if she would walk through one labyrinth and discover another one behind the door of the last one.
"Raven, you have a hard life. I know you don't tell us as much as you would like to tell about your past, but I can only imagine if you were trained to suppress your emotions, learn to meditate at a young age, and of course, Trigon." He said. "I just didn't want you to complicate your life anymore by having these love affairs with your teammate. For one thing, you shouldn't date your co-workers—"
"—you should really talk—"
"—well, it's more of an exception then a rule, but it should be a very good exception—"
"—And it's not like any other Titan does this either—"
"—Okay, I get it! That was a stupid thing to say, of course most Titans date each other! But it's more of general rule in life. Also, at the time, you two were always on-again, off-again, which is what I feared from the beginning—"
"—yes, only because I broke up with him whenever I thought I was feeling too much. He never hurt me, Robin. At least, not on purpose. I was the one who was always pushing him away—"
"—Yes, but I didn't know this, and all I can go by were those occasions where you weren't talking to him or he wasn't talking to you. And I just thought you shouldn't be dating after all everything's that's happen. You should live in a drama-free world for the rest of your life."
"That world doesn't exist."
"Well, not here…"
Perhaps, to him I will always be that little girl who was prophesized to end the world. The brother I never wanted. Goody. She held the communicator tight and her violet eyes seemed on fire as she looked into his blue ones. "I was never going to leave the Titans to live in a monastery if that's what you believe. How come you never said this when I was dating him?—You don't think I was saying all of these things to Garfield as well? How much I was worried how getting emotionally involved with him would, well, affect my emotions? You don't think I was thinking the same thing? Like I just decided on a whim one day, 'I wonder what Beast Boy is doing?' and then blam! We went out on a date and said that we were in a relationship? You believe that it just happen like that!?"
"Rae, please, give me some credit. Obviously, you didn't expect it to happen. And neither did I—"
"—yes! I didn't expect it as you eloquently just said. I didn't expect to have friends, to fall in love—to experience the great pleasures in life such as friendship, love, a stable home, a husband, and children—especially not children!" She felt her eyes getting watery, but she didn't care if he saw her cry. She didn't care anymore. "Do you know what it is like to spend all your childhood being told, 'you can't do this because you will bring harm to others if you do'?! And then when you finally do break those rules—all of them—it is not as bad as everybody made it out to be?...And for once, just once, you are not only happy about breaking those rules, b-but you didn't hurt anybody while doing it, so you don't have to feel guilty later! Have you ever had that feeling Robin? Because that is my life, and the stress of letting go has made me not just a happier person—but a better person." She wiped away her tears with her sleeve even though there were tissues in the bathroom near her, but she didn't care to grab them. "And yes, I let myself feel things—just because I suppress them doesn't mean I don't have any feelings period!"
"Look, Rae, I'm sorry I didn't want you to date Beast Boy. But you did anyway. So why—"
"—look for answers from the past? Because, sometimes it shapes our future. All I wanted was to know if I had ever done anything to you. And I have, but not in the way I was expecting. Now, I know, you have to make sure everything is controlled for you—"
"—no, I don't!—"
"—yes, yes, you do!" He was about to argue more, but she stopped him. "You know, I had called to try and somehow convince you to talk to Starfire to stay or for you to just apologize to me in some way and maybe I would be okay with you coming back. But, now…well, now I realized, maybe a break is not such a bad thing. Maybe I do need to explore my other options as a parent to make Lydia feel loved without having her Uncle, Aunty and cousin around. She does miss you, by the way."
"Then, if you would let me, I can come back."
"No." She said firmly. "No, because I still do not forgive you. And even if I did, I wouldn't forget. No, I think we should try out this little break for a while." She tried to quickly hide her tears as they were slowly rolling down her cheek. "Let Starfire take Bruce away and follow you to Azarath-knows-where—"
"—But then you would only be down to two Titans—"
"—No, not necessary. I overheard Cyborg talking to Bumblebee about possibly running a recruitment program, since we are getting old, and crime is happening faster then we can react sometimes. I don't think he knows I know, but I'm sure I am the first person to approve of this project."
Robin couldn't believe what he was hearing. His eyes widen from all that she was saying, trying to let her know how he was feeling, but she said everything so calmly, almost like she was happy that the team was breaking up. Or just didn't care anymore.
"Raven…I am sorry that it has come to this—"
"—if you were truly sorry, you wouldn't be defending yourself as the savior of the world who would poison an innocent child—"
"—I never said I was some savior—"
"—No….no you didn't. But you didn't have too. Your actions have said it all." And with that she snapped the communicator shut. It has to be this way, she thought to herself, although she wished it weren't so.
For months she had been struggling with how she was going to talk to Robin again when given the chance, which is why she had waited so long to call. Now, out of sheer anger, she had sealed the teams fate just because she didn't like the idea of him having different sets of standards for her then for anybody else. When Garfield was going out with Terra, did Robin say anything then? What about anytime Cyborg had his own off-again and on-again relationships? Why was it okay for Cyborg or Garfield or Robin himself to have romances here and there, but not her? And Robin was just jealous anytime Starfire dated anybody, so it couldn't have been because Raven was a girl.
Although, you didn't find out about his feelings until now, so, what does it matter? She argued with herself. Everything…Bruce will be taken away from me, and there's nothing I can do about it. You think you're the only aunt in this Tower, Starfire? But at least I won't suffer alone. You will not see Lydia either… Although, I will have to explain myself to Cyborg. What a spiteful woman I've become.
"…You don't have to be spiteful…" Whispered a woman's voice.
Raven was startled by the sound and more so by the message. She was afraid to turn around or even look in the fogged up mirror in front of her, but she slowly turned around towards the door. She dropped the communicator when she looked upon a slender, wither old woman in a white robe. The woman had lavender streaks in her mostly grey, straw-like hair, she had wrinkles around every corner of her face and her lips had grown thin, but her violet eyes had not changed.
"M-Mother?!" Raven exclaimed. She could not believe her eyes, what was she doing here? Arella vowed never to return to Earth because she believed Azarath was the only safe place. Unless… "Arella," She said, pausing as she looked closer to the woman in front of her. "You're not really here. You can't be."
The woman stood motionless and continued to stare at her startled daughter. "Why do you fight so much?"
"You were taught to have peace within yourself, child? And yet, I see you are much troubled by some recent events." Raven gave her a cold glare.
"There's a reason why I haven't visit you in a while, Arella, I don't need to listen to your nagging and constant…." She went to pass Arella and open the door, so that she could get out of the room, but as she brush up against Arella, Raven noticed her shoulders went right through her mother's skin. It felt colder in the room. "Mother…" She began when she had seen this as she looked up into her mother's eyes. "Mother…you really aren't here. Are you?" Arella didn't say anything at first, but just continued to stare.
"What do you think?" She asked.
"I'm just talking to myself. Nobody is really here. I am just imagining you."
"Of course you are just imagining me." And with that, Arella had vanished just as quickly as she had appeared and all that remain was the wall that Raven was facing and talking too now.
"Arella? Arella?!" Raven shouted, looking around the room. But all she could see were shadows that were caused by the dim light. "Is this some trick? Are you just projecting yourself from Azarath to scare me?! Answer me!"
There was only silence in the room. She stayed in the room for another few minutes before deciding that she was just very tired and was seeing things. Maybe her powers were playing tricks on her? As she matured to middle-age, maybe her powers matured to do such elaborate tricks as well. She picked up the communicator that she dropped, and dragged herself to lumpy bunk bed with little Austin by her side.
The next few days felt like a bad dream and she prefer not to pay much attention to what was happening around her concerning Starfire or Robin. She would get up, help Lydia get dress for school, care for Austin as much as she could, before she would help Cyborg, and some of their friends from out East, rebuild the Tower.
The days felt short when she was working and longer when she had to interact with Starfire for anything. By noon, she would take a break and hope that crime wasn't running the streets and take both Austin and Bruce out on a play date at the local park. She hated the park, especially since it was outdoors with the noisy public who were all pretending not to stare at her, but she knew toddlers love to run and Austin had to see the sun every once and a while—if just a little more sun block than normal. There wasn't much of argument when Raven said that she would take Bruce out on play dates with Austin. After all, Starfire had spent plenty of time with Lydia after school, and if Raven couldn't take Bruce with her, then she would have to forbid Starfire from seeing Lydia. It was a malicious thing to do, but everything was about to change, and Raven hated to make these changes.
"Aunty Rawin!" Bruce screamed out as he collapsed on the grass next to her, while she breast fed Austin with blanket to hide her open shirt. Bruce still had trouble pronouncing his 'v's and 'th's because of his lost teeth. "What's my future?!"
"Future! Future! Lyd-ah said you are a witch and can tell me my future!"
"Well, not quite…."
"Future! Future! I want to know future!"
"Okay, okay, hush now." She said, looking below to see if Austin was still sucking. "Give me your hand." She couldn't really predict the future, but she had read up on some palm reading techniques, even though she didn't believe in them since the Monks kept on telling her as she had grown up that she would bring the destruction of the world. Foreseeing the future was not something she really wanted to do. "I see a young boy, who feels sad that he is not special like others. But for what he lacks in super powers, he will make up for it with his intelligence—I mean, smarts—his bravery, and his honesty." She said, trying to be as generic as possible.
She thought he wouldn't buy it or believed it was a lame palm reading, but his wide eyes looking up at her told her the opposite. "Really?" He asked, his voice, full of wonder.
"Really." And who knows, maybe it will be true.
WORK, WORK, WORK, WORK, SCHOOL, SCHOOL, SCHOOL, SCHOOL, GRAND THEFT AUTO 5, NOW BACK TO WORK, WORK, WORK.