Edited version. Original post: 20/12/2011. Changes made due to certain aspects of this again (14/7/15). Now I'm no longer twelve years old like when I wrote this, it's enlightening to see improvement in more recent writing.
Back with a another Slade and Raven centric fic. Wrote this on a whim though, because of the Christmas spirit. Sorry if anyone's OOC.
The wind wasn't too persistent, so Raven found no real trouble in strolling the empty streets. Her cloak fluttered behind her, and she watched as the snow softly drifted onto it, melting upon contact.
No immediate emotions came to her, still numb from the chilling cold that seeped into her soul. Everyone was at home, cosied up in blankets and good company while enjoying some Christmas special on television.
Things were just so suffocating back at the tower. It was too much for Raven. All the unbridled emotion, thoughts and shouts, everything. It was giving her a headache. She'd never celebrated the occasion, Christianity didn't even exist in Azarath.
Honestly though, she was just thankful that her friends had let her escape alone, knowing she needed to cool off, or they'd be the ones to face the brunt of her anger.
Yet... they all seemed so disappointed in her actions. It was Christmas after all, and since they could afford to enjoy it, they couldn't see why she couldn't do so too.
The sorceress, however, was well aware that she was the strongest on the team, and that she had to control herself if the world's population were to stay alive. It wasn't her fault. The sheer amount of power couldn't be left to control itself, so someone had to do it. She wanted to protect them; make sure she didn't hurt them, even if it did turn out to be futile.
It wasn't like she wanted to be alone as much as she always was. She yearned to be in the presence of friends that didn't judge her too harshly, that accepted her.
Raven sighed. So much for Christmas spirit, she thought bitterly. Maybe this was how Scrooge had felt in the tales she'd endured from Beast Boy.
The voice was all too familiar. The low, deep and haunting tone, sliding out of the slits in his mask. Sometimes it manipulated, sometimes it taunted and sometimes it scared. It was Slade.
"No," she droned, too tired to fight, so she didn't provoke him. After all, none of the villains ever started up trouble on Christmas day in Jump. They were human, they celebrated it too. It was an unspoken rule in Jump City; to lay off the crime for a day. But if they wanted to cause ruckus, the teen titans would blast them into the new year.
"And why is that?" he inquired, leisurely walking beside her. He kept his distance to avoid being hit, but remained close enough so that he could be heard.
"I'm just not," she snapped. Raven couldn't talk to this, this monster that had tried to end the world. She was going to be blunt and keep her answers short. Maybe it would end their practically non existent conversation.
Quickening her pace to reach a rusting wooden door, she stepped into a small, old looking cafe. Slade followed her in, narrowly missing the wreath swinging off of the moving door as the empath tried to subtly slam it closed on him.
She glared at him, not holding back. "Shouldn't you have something better to do than stalk your enemy?"
His eye didn't move, a sadistic smirk planted on his face, shielded by his mask.
"Tell me, Raven, where's the fun in leaving?" he taunted. "Besides, my dear, you're all alone. I'm just ensuring you have company."
"Don't act as though you're actually a good citizen. You're not, Slade, and you just want to get me angry," she hissed. "Remember this: I don't need anything you have to offer."
"Is that so?" A pause. "Maybe you don't need it, but you want it."
She huffed and sat down at the table furthest from the door, hidden in the corner. It was covered in shadows, in darkness. She knew she felt alone, but sometimes loneliness was necessary, right? It was better than him.
Slade sat opposite her, and Raven sighed, attempting to channel any negativity away from herself. A waitress walked up to them, trembling at the appearance of the villain.
"W-what'll you have?" she stuttered. Her head turned, watching both anxiously. What was a villain doing with a hero? Was she even a hero, drenched in such dark colours?
Raven mentally rolled her eyes, irritated that she had to deal with another person. She touched her arm, sensing the fear, and instantly the waitress felt relaxed by the hero. The dark, mysterious empath. This was the titan people knew least about. Amazed, the waitress decided working on Christmas day was certainly worth it.
"You have nothing to worry about," Raven reassured. "He won't do anything to harm anyone, and I'll make sure of it." The waitress nodded, sending a brief glance at Slade, who in response mockingly tipped his head.
Once she was completely calmed, the telepath ordered.
"I'll have a cup of herbal tea, thanks."
"I don't need anything," Slade said soon after, in a chilling tone, once she had written down Raven's order. The waitress' shaking seemed to bring a glint to his eye.
She gesturee for the waitress to go, and figured that the masked man didn't want anything because he'd have to take off his mask to have it. Then he'd have to reveal his identity, which she doubted he'd do. Least of all to his adversary.
While keeping careful vigilance on Slade, Raven picked up a dusty book from a shelf in the cafe, beginning to read it. The waitress hastily placed her tea down on the table, backtracking quickly away.
"The Great Gatsby?" The masked man half asked. "It's always the quiet ones, isn't it, Raven? Romance novels-."
"You've read it?" Raven, annoyed that he had disturbed her, put her book down on the table so that she could face him. She sceptically raised an eyebrow.
"Yes," he replied. "Reading classic literature seems to be a similarity between us, is it not?"
Slightly surprised, Raven answered, "I guess so." Her face hardened at her own civil response, as if remembering the situation. "But, Slade, I am nothing like you."
He was unfazed. "That may be, Raven, but you must admit we both are alike. After all, we both served your father."
Her eyes narrowed, trying to conceal her frustration at Trigon being called her father. "I didn't have a choice in the matter. You, you chose to serve him."
Drinking her cup of tea as fast as she possibly could, she managed to relax her tense muscles. Herbal tea worked to calm her, she realised. It was her favourite drink, but not nearly as good as the imported brand back in the tower. At least now she had no excuse to stay in the cafe.
"Chose? No one defies Trigon, the incarnation of evil," Slade responded, oblivious to the musings of his companion. His own brow seemed to have risen, unseen by everyone.
Raven shook her head.
"You always have a choice. You could've defied him. Admit it, Slade, you were just scared."
"How very astute of you," he sarcastically remarked. "You haven't been very fair, Raven. I made a deal with the devil, and I quite simply had to keep up my end of the bargain, while his own creation banished him from Earth."
The half demon took on a face of disgust and disbelief for a brief second, before it vanished.
"How do you know he's not dead?"
"Capes don't murder," Slade said. "Regardless, Trigon the Terrible can't be killed. You simply repelled him, Raven. He literally is evil, and as long as evil exists, so does he."
"I know that," she replied, feigning indifference. "I'm his creation. Now, not that this conversation hasn't been nice, I'll need to be getting back now."
Standing up, the criminal left a five dollar bill, not bothering to request change. Raven groaned. He was not going to pay for her. She shoved it back into his hand, and leaving no chance for an argument, smacked down her own five dollars. The door creaked as she fled, relishing in the small victory against him.
Slowing down once outside, her lips formed a gentle smile. The snow was heavy, but caused no trouble. The whole city was white. It was dark, but Christmas lights set a blissful glow across the ground. The decorations were sparse, but they didn't lack in appearance. It was beautiful.
She heard footsteps behind her. Damn it, she thought, why couldn't he just leave her alone? Her fists clenched and unclenched, sparking with power.
Using her powers, she threw a wall of snow at him. The most was on his mask, earning a smug, satisfied smile from the Titan.
"Don't follow me."
She turned around to continue forwards. That was a mistake, as her back was pelted by snowballs. A burst of her power left her dry.
"Perhaps you shouldn't be so dependent on your powers."
Raven arched her brow, then using her hands, scooped up snow and hurled it at his chest. She didn't need her powers to beat him.
This snowball fight between hero and villain continued till they both were thoroughly soaked. It was the titan who stopped first to catch her breath.
Minutes later, served in silence, a stillness had been set between them. Raven casually looked towards Titans Tower, glistening from the water's reflection. She couldn't imagine whether they were having fun without her, or awaiting the moment she returned.
"The Titans are good people," Slade stated abruptly. The girl turned to meet his eye. "Appreciate them while you have them. Don't wallow in your own pity, Raven. You isolate yourself, and being so young, that can be a weakness."
"Why the sudden wisdom?"
There was a moment of hesitation until he had seemingly made his mind up. "Why not?" was his response. "I had my own loved ones, my own regrets."
He began to walk away.
"I won't go easy on you with the Titans," she called to the man. "Today changes nothing." She meant it. Nothing was better than the Titans' companionship, but the experience was refreshingly new.
Slade tilted his head to acknowledge her.
"Perhaps another day."
Raven strode on for a little to mull over his words, not turning back because she knew that Slade would already be gone once she did.
Teleporting, she arrived in her bathroom. She took a hot shower and changed, before making her way down to the main room.
Two hours later, after generous helpings of eggnog and christmas pudding, most of the Titans had collapsed on the sofa, fast asleep.
Raven herself lay awake, Robin's head on her shoulder and Starfire on her lap, smiling at the sight of her peaceful friends, her accepting family. It was nice to finally know she belonged.
"Merry Christmas, guys," she murmured, beginning to drift off. "Have a happy new year, too..."
Thanks for reading!
And have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! Yeah, years later and I still love your reviews and dislike this story. It's honestly still too fluffy and out of character, but no matter how many times I edit it, i'm still dissatisfied.
Have a great Christmas, and honestly, appreciate everyone while you can, even if they're annoying.
I'll be trying to be shooting more updates out soon; I just haven't been motivated.