[Three days later]
Raven spent a long time trying to assess all the damage Malchior did to her mindscape and realized that it might take weeks, at the least to fix all the damage Malchior caused to Nevermore. She refused Edward's request to help, saying that it was her problem and she'd fix it. Edward walked away puzzled.
"Dude, don't let that bother you," Beast Boy had said, "Raven does that when things have gone south. She tends to retreat to her room until things have settled down."
"How do I get her to open up again?" Edward had asked the younger changeling.
"Give her time and space," he said, "She'll open up to you when she's ready. In fact, she may open up to you before she opens up to the rest of us. We're actually used to this side of Raven, dude. She'll be fine."
"Should I try to…" Edward started to ask. BB cut him off.
"NO! When she says she needs to be alone, she means it. She tossed me out the window once for eavesdropping and didn't speak to me for over a week except for missions.
"Word to the wise…When she's ticked, she can override my shapeshifting abilities, she can probably mess with yours as well."
Edward took the advice to heart. He did check-in via the link, though.
[What?] she had replied.
[Just checking in with you for a moment to see how you're doing. I am worried about you,] he said.
[That's sweet of you, dear. But, I need to be left alone for a while. I love you and don't want to hurt you emotionally. Please, give me another week or so. You can bring me meals, but, that's it, OK?] she stated matter-of-factly.
He sighed and said, [All right. At least I'd be able to see you see a few moments a day, that will suffice. BB told me about leaving you be, so, I'll do that for you.]
She said, [Beast Boy can be sweet when he wants to be. He's known me far longer than you, and, he's right. I'm making a partial exception for us to have a little time together, but, the damage is…bad. The emotions and I are slowly fixing things, but, I need to do a lot of meditation. Before I close the link, though, thank you so much for helping me to meditate again and to face those fears.]
He replied, [Rae, dear…you didn't have to thank me, but, you're welcome regardless. It's part of having each other's back. You were hurting and needed to lean on me…and Starfire. I hope she was able to help.]
A smile through the link, [She helped a lot. She just listened. Sometimes, Starfire can get me to open up more than anyone else on the team. We have a special bond. Why do you think she's started calling me her sister?]
[I completely understand, dearest. I'll leave you to meditation or whatever you're doing. Love you!] he said.
[Love you, too,] she said and the link went silent.
He was surprised she even talked as long as she did. He knew in his heart that she was fine and resolved to leave her alone.
Over the next week and a half, while there were some small missions, Raven was allowed to skip those. Edward's abilities made up for her absence, as did Terra's.
Raven did actually accept her meals and allowed Edward to bring her tea as well during the day. Most of the day, though, the link was quite silent.
Finally, though, Raven recovered enough to end her enforced isolation and rejoined the team, much to everyone's surprise.
She even went over to Terra and thanked her for her role in getting rid of Malchior with a brief hug. The two women had patched up their differences months ago, so, there was little friction.
She was still having nightmares at times and while they were not as aggressive as the initial one, she was coping. She would accept Edward's reassuring calmness through the link after each one occurred, though, even if she woke him up during the night. But, then, if she was in enough distress, it bled through their bond and woke Edward. He didn't mind. He knew she was at a most vulnerable point in her life and needed the help. He'd give her as much dignity as humanly possible, though, and not mention much to the other Titans.
Raven, for her part, leaned on Edward less and less as time went by. It took a month, but, finally she told Edward that she was sleeping through the night and that she would welcome him back into her room.
"I told ya, dude," Beast Boy cheered, "She needed the alone time, but, I'm glad that she didn't kick you completely out of the picture while she healed emotionally.
"I'm glad Malchior's buried, though. He can't hurt her again. And, I'm sorry."
"For what BB?" Edward asked.
"I'm sorry for threatening you and comparing you to Malchior. I was out of line," Beast Boy held out a hand.
"Apology accepted," Edward said, shaking his young friend's hand, "You had every right to be distrustful, though. I am a Dragon and while Raven and I didn't plan to be a couple, especially since her first 'boyfriend' was another dragon. I had to be sure her feelings were true, as she needed to be sure about me."
Edward Barnes writes…
Raven's recovery is going well and for that I'm very grateful. While I can't take pleasure in the death of a dragon, what he did to my girl is going to take a long time to forgive. The invasion of her mind and damaging Nevermore almost killed her. Rae's nightmares, once happening every time she closed her eyes to sleep have trickled down to what's normal for her, maybe once a week. But, I think Starfire has a lot to do with it as well. Rae and Star are close friends, and, well…Rae needs female friends as much as she needs me. The Tamaranian princess is always welcome wherever Rae and I could end up if the Titans should ever disband.
But, for now, it's time to close this diary entry and look forward to whatever the Fates have in store for the Titans…
The End (for now)…
Thanks for reading, folks. I know this isn't as long as the initial installment, but, this particular story was one that needed to be written. Next story may be a few days in coming, though. I need to help take care of some things in real life.
Thanks to those who decide to favorite this, put me down for an author alert or just a simple review. No pressure at all for any of these, obviously.
Until next time!