He was running for his life.
He didn't know what he was running from, but it was catching up to him fast.
Dark cities seamlessly changed to dead forests and deserted beaches.
He screamed out.
"What do you want?"
There was no reply.
His whole world went black, but he somehow knew that beyond his sight, the scenery stayed the same.
He was suddenly blind.
He tried to scream again but his voice had deserted him.
He was mute.
But he was still running.
With no distractions, his pursuer's footsteps deafened him.
He tripped, hitting the floor of the abandoned warehouse with a bang.
Scrambling to his feet,s he felt rough hands grab him from behind.
Long, inhuman fingers twisted into his hair and pulled his head back to reveal the soft flesh under the collar of his shirt.
He tensed as he felt the cold steel of a knife biting against his exposed neck.
He could taste salty tears as his unseeing eyes widened in fear.
He screamed out for his daddy and was surprised to hear his own voice.
He kept screaming until the knife cut into his vocal cords.
And his world gave way to blinding light.
His silent scream continued as his body bolted upright, a sheen of cold sweat covering his skin and his face glistening with tears in the early morning sun.
It was only a nightmare.
His heart was racing; he didn't understand why he wasn't safely back on his mountain.
It took a few moments before his memory of the night before came flooding back to him. He remembered where he was: in Titans' Tower. They had all came back to celebrate their defeat of the Brotherhood of Evil.
Part of him was suddenly thankful for his muteness; his screams would have attracted the attention of the whole tower.
He took deep, shaky breaths and carefully untangled himself from the bed sheets. Moving stealthily, taking care not to wake up Herald or Kid Flash – who were fast asleep in the guest room that they were sharing with him – he made his way over to the bathroom.
He stretched his arms and grabbed a spare set of clothes. His current attire was plastered to his skin with sweat and his blond hair was a mess, matted and damp from his tears.
He really needed a shower.
He was grateful that everyone else was still asleep; his cheeks reddened at the thought of being seen like this. He wouldn't say he was vain exactly, but he did always like to look his best – especially in front of other people.
Twenty minutes later, he emerged from the bathroom, towel-drying his curly blond hair and trying to remember the details of his latest dream.
He was used to the nightmares by now, but it still shook him up every time. The scar on his neck seemed to burn every time he woke up, but he knew he had to ignore it, he knew it was all in his mind. His throat had completely healed after the 'incident' causing his throat to be slit as a child. It was impossible for it to start hurting again now.
He grabbed his acoustic guitar and headed for the roof, needing to clear his head a little. He quickly looked out of the window on his way out. One good thing about living on a mountain was that he had learnt to tell the time by the position of the sun. It was only about seven o'clock; there was probably almost no one awake at this time of the morning.
He could hear Robin training, and avoided walking near the gym. He needed time to himself right now. He loved being part of a team and making new friends, but he still needed his space. He'd lived on his own for too long to stay cooped up in the crowded tower all the time.
The tower had a perfect view of Jump City, but he hardly noticed it. He was staring out past the city towards the mountains. His legs were crossed with the guitar placed delicately on top of them, momentarily forgotten as he soaked in the view.
Slowly he picked up his guitar and started to play a simple tune, stopping to adjust the tuning slightly. He checked every string twice before he began to play a different, slower melody. The song started out quietly and gradually got louder, a soft hum echoing through the clear morning air. He closed his eyes, taking in the growing warmth of the sunny day, with his fingers automatically dancing over the correct chords. He absent-mindedly mouthed words that nobody would ever hear.
Being mute didn't bother him that much; it just made him work a little harder to get people to understand him. But there were better way to understand people then talking. It was easy to tell lies to someone with spoken words.
But he could see past people's shallow speech. He saw how they were standing, their body language, their facial expressions, even a certain look in their eye that most people didn't notice. That was always honest, that was how he got to understand who someone truly was underneath. He just wished other people could understand the same way he could.
He hadn't learnt to open his eyes until he'd lost his voice.
He watched the city, still playing his gentle song to the morning breeze. The people were just waking up, and he enjoyed watching the hustle and bustle of the busy city.
The song ended just in time for him to hear the door opening behind him. Turning around, he saw a girl in a blue cloak staring at him.
He lowered his guitar to the floor next to him so that his hands were free to 'talk'.
"...I didn't realize anyone was up here." She stated bluntly, with hardly any emotion in her voice.
He waved his hand to show that he didn't mind. Then after a moment he pointed at himself, then at his eyes, trying to introduce himself in a way that she would understand.
"So, you're Jericho? Beast Boy told us about you." She nodded, simply introducing herself with one word. "Raven."
He nodded as he started signing to her slowly, he knew it was unlikely that she'd understand him, but he hoped that she might at least know some basic sign language.
Even before he finished signing the first word, he knew it was useless. She had no idea what he was saying, but she didn't want to make him feel bad. He lowered his hands, not even bothering to complete the sentence, and patted the ground, gesturing for her to sit beside him.
She looked sceptical at first but sat crossed-legged next to him, hovering a little way above the ground.
He dug into his pockets and pulled out a small notepad and a pen. He smiled brightly, hiding his disappointment that she couldn't read his signs.
He was used to people not understanding him.
Beast Boy talked about you all the time before the battle.
She raised her eyebrow as she read from the notepad, a smile threatening to break across her not quite emotionless features. "Really?"
He nodded, wishing he didn't have to communicate through his notebook. From what he'd heard about this girl, they could become really good friends… but he didn't like the idea of having to write down everything he wanted to say to her. But, as usual, he covered up his emotions with a cheery smile.
"You know, you don't have to pretend to be happy all the time." She put the notepad down and looked straight into his eyes. Midnight blue locked with bright sea-green. "I can tell that you're not always as happy as you make out to be."
The blond Titan's grin slipped as he turned to look back at the city, not wanting to make eye contact with her.
"I… can sense things. You're disappointed?"
He shook his head, still not looking directly at her. He pointed first at her eyes then at his own before shaking his head again, his faint smile was replaced with a neutral expression; he really hoped she could understand.
"You don't want me to make eye contact because of your powers."
He nodded, his small smile returning, and this time she knew it was genuine. He was glad she'd actually understood what he'd meant.
There was a comfortable silence between the two for a few minutes as they took in the beauty of their surroundings. She allowed herself a brief smile as he started writing in his notepad again.
Why did you come out here? I didn't think many of us would be awake.
"It's easier to meditate up here. Less likely to be interrupted."
He nodded, an understanding look settling across his pale face. He often used his music as a form of meditation; it helped him clear his mind when his double-life got too hectic as well as allowing him to him express his emotions.
Nobody knew much about his powers. Every time he 'possessed' someone, he didn't just control their body. He became a part of them. He had their memories, emotions, fears - and sometimes part of that would stay with him when he left.
It was easy for him to start forgetting who he was, especially when he was jumping from body to body quickly during battle. It was sometimes hard to separate his own personality from the people he'd been possessing.
His art was the only thing that kept him sane during those times: playing guitar, painting, writing - they all helped to define who he was.
He understood how important meditation could be, and if she needed to meditate then she'd probably want to be alone. He picked up his guitar and headed towards the door, leaving her to meditate in peace.
"You can continue playing while I meditate, if you want to."
He stopped with his hand on the door handle, turning back to study her calm expression. He was trying to decide if she was being serious or just trying to be friendly. She genuinely didn't look like she'd mind him staying with her.
He considered her offer carefully, he didn't want to disturb her meditation, but he did like the idea of spending more time with her.
He sat back down next to her as she began to chant her Marta, careful to play extra-quietly in case he disturbed her concentration. Slowly, and without either of them realising, the two sounds melded into one. Raven's chanting blended seamlessly into Jericho's music, the two of them lost in their separate thoughts but still in perfect harmony.