a.n. I KNOW! it's been AGES since I posted anything but hey! I just moved out AND started university, I should be doing revision for my French test next week right now! Okay, finally it shows it's ugly face, the other version of 'the portal' I actually started this one first but wanted to try a group fic, but to be honest I like this one better. See you at the other end!
"I just want this day to be over!" cried Raven. The anticipation was killing her, almost literally. She had not eaten since dinner the night before, nor had she slept. And, as if the foreboding of destroying the world wasn't enough, she had blown up at her friends. "Relax...only a few hours to go...it might not even happen." She hadn't meant to. She didn't even know why she left her room. "Focus... meditate...it'll be midnight before you know it."
Yes, midnight. The signal of the end of her birthday, the end of the terror for this year. It was getting to be a tradition really; every year, on the day of her birth, she would spend the entire day in her room from sunrise to sunset. It had always gone smoothly until today. Though to be honest she was surprised that Beast boy hadn't found out when her birthday was sooner. He seemed to have an insatiable taste for the things she didn't want him to know.
"Azarath Metrion Zinthos."
Beast boy groaned, irritated in his room. Why was Raven so angry all the time? He was only trying to make her happy; it was her birthday! Everyone loved their birthdays!
Well, almost everyone. He should have listened to Robin when he said it was a bad idea, but sometimes Raven needed a little push. He could tell, every so often she wanted to spend time with them, but her pride, her image, wouldn't allow her to just join in. So Beast boy helped out a bit. He gave her an excuse to participate while still maintaining her 'ice queen' shell. He didn't even call her on the fact that she didn't really hate hanging out as much as she pretended.
He sighed, this time out of sadness. He didn't mean to make her mad. He had thought that she had locked herself in her room out of sorrow that no one had known it was her birthday. It wasn't like she could just… demand it; she was far too shy for that. So, as usual, he did his best to try to help her. Make her feel included. But, also as usual, he messed it up.
I guess I should go apologise. I don't want her to stay mad forever.
Ravens' chanting was interrupted by a coughing fit, which caused her to open her eyes. She immediately wished she hadn't. Her room was full of flames, the mark of Scath was on her wall and Trigons terrifying voice echoed through her head.
"What you have concealed you shall become. You have no other choice. The portal must be opened!"
Beast boy knocked on her door, "Raven? Look, I'm sorry about before, I didn't mean to make you mad. Raven?"
He put one ear against her door, but all he could hear were choking and coughing sounds. "Raven, are you okay?"
No response. She could be choking. He reasoned before entering the room.
The reality was far more frightening. Raven was kneeling on her bed clutching her throat, looking around her room, petrified, as if it were full of poisonous snakes. It didn't look any different to Beast boy. "Raven?"
She either didn't notice he was there or was ignoring him very effectively. Suddenly a gravelly voice echoed through the room, "The portal must be opened!"
Beast boy rushed to her side and almost hugged her before remembering that this was Raven, and Raven didn't do hugs.
Raven came to and grabbed the nearest thing, a pillow she thought, hugging it close and closing her eyes. It was just a vision; she could stop it, right? The flames, the death, her father's ascent. What would happen to her friends? She knew the answer. They would die, and Trigon would be sure to make it as slow and torturous as he could for her benefit. It would be all her fault. She was going to kill her friends and there was nothing she could do about it.
Beast boy was frozen in shock. What was wrong? Raven was scared, and she almost never got scared. And she was hugging him.
What could have happened to make her so afraid? His animal instincts could sense fear, fear in prey; the strongest fear. He felt nothing when they were watching 'Wicked Scary'. This wasn't just a little scared, if it were he wouldn't be able to smell it. This was full out 'I'm gonna die' terror. He was startled to hear her whimpering, so quietly he almost didn't hear.
"No, I don't want to, don't hurt them, please, please, leave them alone."
Beast boy's heart almost broke. She was talking about them. No matter how much she tried to hide it, she cared about them a lot. He could see it sometimes, the fleeting looks, the way she defended them. She just couldn't show it as much because of her powers, but that didn't mean she didn't care. She must have had a nightmare. Beast boy shuddered at the thought of what kind of nightmare could have caused this level of terror. The only thing he had had close was when he dreamed Mento had put him down, when he was still a member of the Doom Patrol. He had stayed awake all night, terrified and crying.
He gently tried to return the hug but the second he moved Raven gave a muffled cry and shot away to the other side of the bed. It took her a minute to realise it was him, once she did she choked out, "What are you doing here?"
Beast boy tried to move closer to her; her distress was still obvious, "What's wrong?"
Raven looked away and tried to change the subject, "I asked first."
He moved next to her, "I wanted to apologise about before. I didn't mean to make you mad."
"It wasn't your fault. You didn't know." She didn't mean to let that slip out. Great, I try to change the subject away, and as soon as I succeed, I bring it back again. Bravo.
"About what? Why are you so upset Raven?"
Raven shook her head, still not looking at him, "I can't tell you; you'd hate me."
"Don't go all grey cloaked on me. I could never hate you Raven."
She squeezed her eyes shut to fight off tears, "Yes. You could. And you will."
Beast boy tried to hug her but she fought off his embrace, "Never. You could bring Slade back to life and I'd still care about you, you could kill every animal in Africa and I'd still care about you. Please tell me what's wrong."
Raven was sitting on the side of her bed trembling, with her knees brought up to her chest, shaking her head. It broke his heart to see her like that, "It's gonna be okay Raven." He said, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder.
Raven shook her head, "No, it's not. That's the problem. It's never going to be okay again."
"Hey," he gently turned her so she was facing him, "Don't talk like that, whatever it is, we'll stop it. We always do."
"WE CAN'T!" She seemed so furious, but Beast boy could see the tears in her eyes, "Not this time, we can't, you can't! You can't stop what's gonna happen, you can't stop what I'm going to do-" She slapped a hand over her mouth; she had said too much.
Beast boy leapt on the slip up, "What, what are you gonna do?" he paused as a horrifying thought came to him; "You're not gonna…" he mimed cutting his wrists, not able to say the word.
Raven shook her head disgustedly, "I'm too much of a coward."
Beast boy forced her to meet his eyes and was surprised to see that hers were brimming with tears, "You're the bravest person I've ever met."
Raven shook her head over and over again, as if to clear it, "Please leave."
Beast boy stared in shock; it wasn't an order or a threat, she was imploring him to go. But he couldn't leave her this way. "No. I can't leave you Raven."
"I'll be fine in a little bit. In half an hour I'll be good as new."
Once again though, he saw right through her, "No, you won't. You'll act like it, but you'll be just as upset as you are now. You always bury things, but you can't hold in the pain forever."
"I have to."
Beast boy hugged her and for once she didn't fight him off, "No you don't. Just this once, let yourself feel."
Raven couldn't help it; she started crying softly on his shoulder. There was nothing she could do! Why did he have to make it so hard? She was going to kill him too. She got herself under control as quickly as she could and Beast boy drew away, though still holding her. "Raven, you can tell me anything and I won't tell anyone else or judge you on it." He paused, "But if you don't want to tell me, I'm still here. You're not alone."
Raven looked at him with some tears still in her eyes. Why did he have to do this all the time? He was so much easier to deal with when he was just annoying, but understanding? Beast boy didn't know it, but he had trapped her; there was no way she could shut him out now.
Raven drew a deep breath, "Listen, because I can only say this once." Beast boy nodded. "When I was born, the oracles of Azarath looked into my future and saw me, as a teenager, bring something terrible upon the world. Today, on the day of my birth, something was supposed to happen to indicate that it has begun." She paused and drew a shuddering breath, "When you were in my mind you saw Rage manifest as a giant red demon, remember?"
Beast boy nodded, "You said you had problems with your dad."
Raven was trying with all her might not to start quivering again, "Rage manifests as my father. Trigon."
Beast boy gasped; he knew that name from the stories the Africans told. Trigon was the most evil destructive force the world had ever known. "But how could he-?" he broke off.
"He raped my mother." Raven replied, monotone as ever. Beast boy was saddened. He hadn't meant anything like that at all. He was going to ask how Trigon could create something so beautiful, but decided now was not the time.
Raven continued, "The anniversary of my birth heralds nothing but fear for me. That's why I didn't want a party, that's why I got so angry. Just before you came in, I was meditating. I could smell smoke all of a sudden, and when I opened my eyes my room was on fire, the world had ended and Trigons eyes were staring right into me. Today is the day it begins. I'm going to destroy the world. And when I do, I'll take you all with it."
She began to cry in earnest now causing Beast boy to hug her tightly, gently rocking back and forth in an attempt to calm her down. He didn't know what to say. 'It's okay'? If it was then they wouldn't be in this situation. 'I'm sorry'? That wouldn't help her at all. 'I won't tell anyone'? He had already said that. 'Don't cry'? He had a feeling she'd been living by that maxim for her whole life.
"I love you." He mumbled. Raven made no verbal sign that she had heard him but managed to wrap her arms around him and return the hug. "I love you, I love you and I'll never leave you."
The empath finally stopped crying and looked at Beast boy. Before he could say anything else she pressed her lips against his, unable to verbalise what she wanted to say.
Beast boy jumped for a second before returning the kiss with all the passion and love he felt.
And though Raven's destiny still hung above her, threatening everything she had ever known, for a few seconds she managed to forget that, and from then on the weight had lifted because she wasn't alone any more.
She was never alone.
A.N. HIIIIIIIIIIIII! Did you like it? Is it any good at all? Should I give this up and do uni work? (Probably)