HOLY COW. This is the absolute longest chapter i have ever submitted for a story. Please read and review. I will most likely be bending the laws of teen titans for this one... And if you have read some of my other stories, I would like to apologize, I know I haven't been updating constantly, but I am in the process of writing a bunch of really long chapters so that I can post them all at once. AU.

Alone. Rachel sighed. Of all of the things she was feeling right now, loneliness was the strongest emotion. At the same time, however, she also felt a small pinch of happiness. But, as we all know, we cannot have happiness without pain.

Rachel was happy because, for once, her father was at work, and would be, until 4:00pm. She turned and glanced at the clock, wincing at the horrid pain that slashed at her well being. She rolled her black sleeve up and checked the bandage. It was leaking again. Dang. She ripped the blood stained gauze off of her albino skin and threw it into the trash at her feet, trying to think back to the night before. She had no memory of what had made her father do this, but it didn't matter, he needed no excuse to hurt her. Rachel looked down at her arm, already scarred with thin white slashing lines from previous times. She glanced at the puckering, angry red lines that now covered it, still seeping blood. Her father had not always been an abusive drunk, he had only changed after her mother, Arella had died when she was five. She sat there as the memories from the previous night crashed down on her like a tidal wave.

Rachel had gotten home late because she'd had to pick up her check from the Café. When she opened the door, her father had been home. Early. Her father only expected a few things from her, granted they were important. 1. The house was to be clean when he got home. No exceptions. 2. No noise. 3. Half of her money was to go to him when she got her pay check. The last was a silent expectation; she was to tell no one of the abuse. She wouldn't dream of it, no one would believe her. When she got home, the house was as it had been when she'd left for work that morning. She retrieved her paycheck and went to her room, immediately hiding more than half of it under her mattress as she always did. Just as she came out of her room and into the kitchen, her wrist was grabbed from behind. Trigon Roth slammed her arm, facing palm up, onto the counter. She would never forget the gleam of wickedness in his eyes as he brandished a butcher knife. She remembered the fear flooding her, making her struggle against his grip. Trigon had only laughed. He slowly shoved the tip into the flesh of her forearm, still laughing. "You know," he'd said, "I don't think you clean these well enough, there's always a little dried blood on them." He continued to drag it further and further down her arm until he came to her palm. "How about an initial?" He carved a bloody R into her palm and dropped the knife to the floor. Blood stained the linoleum. "Now GET TO WORK!" He yelled angrily, and exited to drink his life away, as he did every night.

Rachel shuddered and felt the searing pain in her arm as if it remembered everything clearly. Despite how often she had to deal with it, blood still made her nauseous. She looked at the clock. One hour, nine minutes of freedom left. She couldn't ignore the wetness on her arm. She got up and went to the bathroom. Crap, they were out of gauze. She grabbed the roll of toilet paper and commenced mummifying her arm, while trying not to breathe in through her nose. She concentrated on the cold tile floor beneath her feet. An angry ding reverberated throughout the house. She jumped. The blood on her arm still soaking through the thin material. Rachel waited for the person at the door to give up and leave, but the door bell continued to ring consistently. She sighed in defeat and walked to the door, reminding herself to be on her guard; her arm remained hidden behind her back. Grabbing the door, she swung it open to see a boy of about 18 or 19 standing patiently at the porch.

"Hello?" Rachel asked warily. The boy in front of her shifted his weight, as if nervous.

"Hi, guess I'm your new neighbor." He proffered his hand for her to shake. She stared at it, then took it languidly, with her unhurt arm. He stepped back and ran a hand through his reddish- orange spikes. She lifted her eyebrows, slightly annoyed.

"Wally." He said. She nodded her head.


"Well, that's a first."

"What?" she asked skeptically.

"You didn't make fun of my name."

After a moment of awkward silence she looked at him, vexed. " Well? Are you done, cause I'm busy... so..." Rachel put her hand on the door knob, but Wally's eyes narrowed and he put a hand against the wood of the door. Rachel grimaced slightly, she could feel a small drop of blood run down the length of her arm. Don't fall, please don't fall. She prayed silently.

"Is something going on that I should know about?" His head was cocked to the side, ever so slightly. Rachel bit her lip nervously. Crap, he's onto me. That's when she made the mistake of taking a step back. He took a step towards her. A drop of blood escaped onto the wooden floor.

"Bye." She tried to push the door closed, but it wouldn't budge. She glared at Wally, who was staring at her, as if trying to place what was wrong.

"You're only using one arm." It was a statement, but also an unspoken question. His eyes seemed to be drawn to the drop of blood on the floor. So fast that she didn't realize what he was doing, he reached around her and yanked her arm out from behind her back. She suppressed a scream from pain. The wound had reopened, blood leaking out from the jagged lines on her forearm. This was bad. Wally's eyebrows shot halfway up his face.

"Care to explain?" He tapped his foot patiently. Rachel glowered at him.

"No, I don't, it's none of your business, and I'd be happy if you would leave, now-" He grabbed her uninjured arm and pulled her out the door.

"HEY!" She protested. She kicked and fought as he practically dragged her down the steps. She went boneless.

"Come. On. This doesn't. Have to be. Difficult. Unless you make. It difficult." He tried to drag her down the side walk, but she was like deadweight. He let go, and she sighed. Suddenly, the world tilted on it's axis as she was thrown over his shoulder.

"Put me DOWN!" She yelled. "HELP! THIS GUY'S TRYING TO KIDNAP- Mpphhhhhhhhhh!" His hand clamped over her mouth. She saw the ground change from concrete to wood. He set her down and closed the door. She scowled at him as she was ushered to a folding chair. She took a second to look around. Rotting walls, one bed, a slightly leaky roof, and two folding chairs. Very homey. He walked out of the room, and before she could jump up to make a run for it, he was standing in front of her, holding a roll of gauze.

"Give me your arm." It was an order. She reluctantly held it out to him, and winced as he commenced wrapping it.

"Now," he said as he finished, "what's going on?" She fished around in her brain for a logical explanation, and then looked at him seriously.

"I'm emo." His eyes were glued to her face. He shook his head sadly.

"Nice try, I had a friend that was emo, and I know that you're not. I just know."

She tried again. "I accidentally cut myself... doing the dishes." Wally grabbed her hand and held it up, even though it was wrapped in gauze, he had seen the mark.

"And, if it was an accident, it would make an R?" She gave him the silent treatment. He sighed and stood, walking to the folding chair that was across from hers, gracefully sinking into it.

"Fine, give me the silent treatment, but I'll let you know, I can sit very still, for very long." For a while they just stared at each other. Then, he made the mistake of relaxing, which she took advantage of. She bolted up, faster than he thought she was, and overturned his chair. She smiled at the look on his face. Total What-the-heck?. It was priceless. She rushed for the door, managing to get it open. Rachel was halfway through it when Wally tackled her like a linebacker. She ooffffffffed as her body came into contact with the floor. Rachel hooked her fingers around the top porch step as Wally grabbed her legs and tried to pull her inside.

Outside, Mrs. Lazowski, the tenant of the third and final house in the small group of three houses was watering her flowers. She was an old woman, from way back when WWII occurred. She had old-fashioned hearing aids in both of her ears, and they were turned down all of the way. She looked up to see Rachel, making a commotion on the steps next to her house.

"Hello dear!" She called. She saw a young man trying to pull her back inside the house. She shrugged. "Kids these days, always up to their games." She said to herself.

"Mrs. Lazowski, help!" Rachel panted. She felt like she was in a horror movie, being pulled into the darkest place. Wally's consistent pulling was starting to pay off, Rachel's grip was loosening.

"CRAP!" She yelled as her fingers broke free of their hold. She was dragged backwards. The sound of a deadbolt rang through the air. She was flipped over, and Wally straddled her, holding her hands down.

"DUDE? WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU? I'M TRYING TO HELP YOU!" His leprechaun like hair was disheveled, and he looked like he was sweating. They sat there for a moment, panting. She couldn't help it when her mouth quirked up a little.

"What?" Wally demanded, slightly annoyed. Rachel suppressed a laugh. "What?" He thought he was missing something. "Did you jack my wallet or something?" He felt his pockets. Rachel exploded in laughter, her body shaking. She hadn't laughed in so long, she'd almost forgotten what the sensation felt like.

"Your face earlier. Priceless!" She laughed harder. It took awhile, but she finally stopped laughing. Though, she couldn't help but grin stupidly. She shoved his chest.

"Get off me."

"Not until you tell me what happened to you." She stared at him incredulously.

"Do you tell complete strangers about things in your life?" Rachel looked at him like he was crazy. He smiled.

"Sometimes. That depends on what's right, and what's wrong."

"There's nothing right about my life, it's all jacked up." It was barely audible, but he had caught it. His hand cupped the side of her face, and she closed her eyes.

"Sometimes, it doesn't seem like there's a solution for something, when, really, the answer is right in front of us." She sighed.

"Now, will you tell me?" Without her meaning it to, a small tear traced it's way down her cheek. His gaze softened, and he wiped it away with his thumb.

"What's wrong?" He asked, confused.

"It's just, you're the first person who's wanted to help me and-" Her eyes widened as fear consumed her.

"What is it?" Wally asked.

"What time is it?" Her voice quivered.

"Oh, I don't know, four maybe-" She sat up quickly, throwing him off of her.

"I have to go!" He grabbed her arm.

"Wait, when will I see you again?" He seemed to be concerned about something.

"I don't know. I'm sorry, but I have to go!" He could hear her as she ran out the door, " I am so screwed, so SCREWED!" she seemed to be laughing hysterically. He was confused, what was she so afraid of?

Rachel ran up the porch steps that led to her old, rickety house. "Please don't be home, please don't be home!" She prayed. But it was futile...

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