Robbing Rick's Waffle Emporium

Summary: Raven wasn't kidding when she said that she loved waffles more than life itself. But really, this was a bit much.

Pairings: None.

Warnings: Raven acting like a drug addict, except, you know, with waffles.

"Oh! You know what'd be fun? Let's all go out for waffles! Raven, you like waffles, don't cha?"

"More than life itself."

~Season 3, Episode 30, "Crash"

People assumed that Raven didn't like anything. They were wrong, but it was a completely understandable misconception. After all, she dressed in dark colors, spent a lot of time alone, and when she wasn't being sarcastic, she was pretty emotionless.

She liked many things. She liked reading and studying languages and learning spells to help her control her powers. She liked her friends, including Beast Boy, which might have come as a surprise to some. She had even started to develop an odd sort of affection for stankball.

Yes, all these things were important to her, however, there were few things that compared with the pure ecstasy of eating a waffle. She couldn't think of any right now, but she was sure that there were other things that she cherished. Of course she cared for her friends, but she couldn't eat them.

That thought wasn't nearly as disturbing as it should have been thanks to memories of Cyborg's food-crazed rampage around town.

Raven suppressed the amusement that threatened to break free at those particular thoughts. She heard a giggle echo through her mind. Today Happy had been much more present in her emotions than usual. She supposed that was because she would finally get a chance to eat waffles again.

It had been pure torture, going through her day to day life without the sweet relief of a good waffle. Heck, Raven would have taken a bad waffle right now, she was so desperate.

And that was why she was currently standing on a roof in the dead of night debating on whether to go through with this ridiculously foolhardy idea.

She could not believe that she was even considering this.

She was going to rob Rick's Waffle Emporium.

Her eye twitched as she realized how desperate she really was. Had she really sunk so low as to break into a waffle store?

She thought about it for a moment and came to the conclusion that, yes, yes she had.

It wouldn't actually be stealing though, because she was going to pay for it. She wasn't a crook, even if she was behaving like one. She felt for the bag hanging from her waist. Good, it was still there. If she had lost it, Rage probably would have taken over for a while.

In that small pouch, there were hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. That was enough money to pay for her waffles. Her sweet, delicious, waffles with such a heavenly aroma –

She shook her head, mentally chastising herself for going off on a mental tangent like that. There would be plenty of time to drool over her waffles once she actually had them and was back in the Tower.

She paused. Was she really going to go through with this? Raven suspected that was Wisdom talking.

She thought about it carefully for no less than 2.8 seconds and decided that she couldn't afford not to. She needed waffles. She needed them with a burning hunger that she had been suppressing for weeks.

And why couldn't she just walk into a store and buy them like normal people?

Well, really, there was a simple reason for that. That would be weird.

And this wasn't?

Not in the same way. Breaking into a waffle store was different from just walking into it when it was open and buying them.

That's right. The difference was that one was illegal.

Really, Raven rationalized, it was better for everyone this way. Her cravings would go away, and the waffle store wouldn't lose any money because she would pay them back.

She just didn't want people to know that she had such an obsession with waffles. It would ruin her scary, emotionless-girl reputation.

Yes, it would, and there was nothing wrong with not wanting people to learn about her love of waffles.

Then why was she trying so hard to justify her actions?

Raven didn't have an answer for that.

The reason, Wisdom said, was because she was insecure. She didn't want her friends to think that she was weird, which was patently absurd. After all, her friends were quite odd themselves. They wouldn't think any less of her because she wasn't the cold, emotionless person she made herself out to be. The fact that Raven thought differently showed some serious trust issues, which was to be expected, but still –

Raven cut her off. She'd think of this later, when she could fully understand the implications of what Wisdom was telling her. Right now, she had waffles to attend to.

There was a door to her left, leading down to the Emporium, she hoped. It had a very large lock attached to it. That didn't bother her though.

"Azarath Metrion Zinthos," she whispered. Her dark Energy surrounded the lock and broke it. She'd have to pay for the damages. She sighed. It was going to have to come out of her waffle budget.

She set the useless piece of metal down on the roof and opened the door.

Getting to the Emporium's main room was easy. Not for the first time, she was very glad that she was able to fly. If she hadn't been able to do that, she would have had to waste precious time walking down all the stairs. As it was, she was able to fly down past the stairs in record time.

Soon, she found herself outside of the main room. A flare of dark Energy later and another broken lock was falling to the floor. She winced. These locks were starting to pile up. As she opened the door, she absently wondered how much they would cost.

Any stray thoughts about locks fled her mind as she gazed at the sheer beauty before her. Before her eyes there were row upon row of waffle boxes, stacking to the ceiling, stretching out as far as she could see. So many different types, shapes, sizes!

She'd only been here once before, when Starfire had dragged her out for a girls bonding day. She had managed to get Starfire into the store by making an offhanded remark about the different kinds of waffles that they might sell there. Unfortunately, Starfire realized very quickly that this store didn't sell mustard-glazed waffles, and dragged her back out of the store. However those few glorious minutes would remain forever engraved in Raven's memory.

Although, she thought, as she looked at the vast expanse of mouthwatering goodness in front of her, her memories of this wonderful place were slightly flawed. She hadn't been doing it justice before. It was so much better than she remembered, and she knew that no matter how many times she saw this place, she would never get used to the wonder of it.

Raven blinked and realized suddenly that she didn't know how long she had just stood there admiring the place. She needed to get this done, and quickly, or someone might notice that she was missing. It was still night, true, but one never knew when Silkie would wake Starfire up, wanting a midnight snack. Robin was also in the habit of working on cases long into the night. She needed to get started.

She walked into the nearest row and considered all the choices. Hmmm…no name or name brand? The name brands did taste better than the no names, but the no names were cheaper. Decisions, decisions.

In the end, she decided to go with the no name, choosing quantity or quality. She needed waffles, and she needed lots of them.

According to her estimations, she had enough money to buy about seventy boxes of waffles. If she subtracted the cost of the locks, assuming each lock cost about –

Oh! Was that a sale? Buy one, get one free? It certainly was. Alright, she was getting that brand.

She opened a portal that led directly to her room and started levitating boxes into it. She was thankful that she knew how to create dimensional portals; they were so convenient for things like this.

This was a bit enjoyable. Moving boxes around was soothing in its monotony and she quickly got into a routine for transporting the waffle boxes. She began to hum quietly.

A whisper floated through her mind. It was little more than a malicious idea, barely formed, but Raven heard it as clearly as if it had been screamed.

She'd make a good villain.

Raven faltered, losing control of her Energy. The boxes fell to the floor with a muffled thump.

Shut up.

Rage snickered. Daddy's little girl.

Shut up.

This time, she exercised years of mental training and forced Rage away. She turned back to her boxes, but her good mood was gone. She hastily finished, before leaving a wad of cash on the now-empty display.

She wrote a short note, explaining what she had done and apologizing for it, taking specific care to mention how much money she had left. She thought for a moment, and added that she would know if someone pocketed even the smallest amount of the money. After all, Raven couldn't be sure that the person who found the money would be an honest person.

Not that she was one to talk about honesty.

Not now, Wisdom!

She needed to meditate soon, she thought, as she stepped into the portal. Her Emoticlones were far too close to the surface for her liking.

Traveling through her Energy was always disconcerting. A brief sense of upside-down-sideways-wrongness in the absolute darkness and she was in her room.

"Dude! Raven, why's your room filled with waffle boxes?"