Disclaimer: No, I don't own Teen Titans. I do, however, own this storyline.
Summary: Sequel to 'A Stroke of Bad Luck' .Very few people look forward to family reunions. And Raven has more reason than most. When uninvited guests turn up to wish her a happy birthday, Raven realises every family has its secrets. Some worse than others.
A/N: Okay guys. Not much to say. Starts a month after the previous instalment. Oh, and this is a retake of my original sequel 'June 6th'. Thanks to everyone who's followed the series through this far. Reviews and comments are always welcome :)
Raven stared apprehensively at her clock. The little black hands told her it was only seconds till six am. On most days, she would already be moving towards the common room, up only after Robin. She'd already meditated; something she didn't have to do quite as often after she'd defeated her father. The empath knew she'd need to for today, however.
June 6th. Unlike most people, Raven hated her birthday. At the monastery in Azarath, the date had been for the Monks to remind her how much longer she and the dimension her mother had come from had left until she ended everything. For her first three years with the Titans, she'd managed to ignore the date, and then Beast Boy found out on the year the prophecy was to commence. That had been the worst year. Every year since then, the titans had planned something for her birthday, despite her protests. Raven wasn't ungrateful, but she was somewhat resentful. The day was still a haunting reminder of what she was, and of what she'd done.
The temptation to hide away in her room was all too strong.
Raven dropped the clock on to her bed with a heavy sigh, before she moved towards her door. Even if she decided to stay locked away, she knew it would only be a matter of time before her friends would come to find her. As she walked through the tower, towards the common room, Raven desperately hoped Robin had passed on her threat to Beast Boy, and that the changeling had heeded it for once.
She paused upon reaching the doors, and prepared herself for the worst, before moving forward and activating the doors' motion sensors. She quickly examined the common room, happily surprised when it resembled nothing more than a normal morning in the tower.
Robin was sat at the breakfast bar, reading a newspaper, a cup of coffee held in his right hand. He looked around as Raven walked into the room, and offered her a smile.
She frowned at him slightly, before nodding once. "Thanks." She moved to join him in the oversized kitchenette. "Does that mean Beast Boy finally took the hint?"
"Yes and no." He grinned. "Do you have anything planned with Jinx today?"
She shook her head. "No."
"You didn't tell her your birthday was coming up, did you?"
"If it wasn't for Beast Boy's snooping, you guys still wouldn't know." She smiled slightly. "Besides, it's not like she's told me when her birthday is."
"You've been seeing her for what? Three months? Almost four now, and you haven't covered the topic of birthdays?"
"I'm not going to purposely bring the topic up." Raven shrugged. "If I asked her, she'd bug me until I told her the date of mine. Now, what do you mean by Beast Boy did and didn't take the hint?"
"He came up with the idea of a picnic on Central Park. It is summer after all. A picnic isn't a party." She could feel Robin's amusement, though he wore nothing more than a small smile.
She nodded slowly. "A picnic… could be fun."
"Cyborg still baked a cake, mind you."
She smiled, before moving for the kettle. "How long do I have before we set off?"
"We're planning to leave at about ten."
Raven nodded. "Good. That gives me enough time to finish my book."
"…And eat Cyborg's delicious BBQ meat, and then the cake he baked…"
"Special to order, an' nothing too fancy." Cyborg cut in with a smile.
"…and then perhaps play the game of football." The alien finished happily as she flew inches off the ground, one of the two picnic baskets in her right hand.
They stopped in their usual spot, next to a large oak tree. The same tree Raven often met Jinx at during their dates. The titans happily moved under the shade the tree provided, pulling a large blanket out from the top of one of the baskets, and spread it across the grass, Raven pulling it flat with her telekinesis. Cyborg and Starfire put both the basks down, before the robotic teenager smiled at them all.
"So, who's up for a game of football before food?"
They all looked at Raven, and she smiled slightly. "I'll referee."
"You have had the nice day, yes?" Starfire asked as the group made their way towards the common room.
"Surprisingly." Raven nodded. "Ignoring the tofu incident." She glared at Beast Boy, refusing to show she had found it somewhat amusing.
"Hey, I had to try. You might have liked it!" The changeling defended himself.
"Man, no one likes your funky tofu." Cyborg shook his head.
"I like it."
"You're green. You have no opinion. And I swear, if you do that to me on my birthday, I'll kick your arse all the way to the moon and back. I'll make Rae's reaction seem mild."
The empath chuckled slightly, before stopping dead in her track, her face morphing into a glare, which she threw at Beast Boy. "You didn't."
"Didn't what?" The changeling tried to pull his best innocent face as he moved to hide behind Cyborg.
"I know there are people in the tower. A lot of people."
"It wasn't just my idea!"
Since the defeat of the Brotherhood of Evil, it had become customary for each titan – honorary or otherwise – it hold a party, and invite most members of the titan family. Cyborg and Starfire had already held such occasions, as had Bumblebee and Argent. The only difference was each titan was supposed to plan their own, and Raven hadn't, not wanting to make such an occasion out of a date she would prefer had never happened.
"Bumblebee had asked when the party was." Cyborg grinned. "We told her you didn't want one, but she wouldn't take no for an answer. We actually got outvoted on this one."
Her eyes widened slightly at that. The empath didn't really have much to do with any of the honorary titans, excluding the three children – Melvin, Timmy and Teether -, Herald, Jericho, and Argent. She hadn't expected anyone to push the matter. Especially not Bumblebee.
Cyborg pushed her forward, laughing. "We'd best not keep them waiting. Not, so you don't destroy the sofa or the TV, both of which I like very much, this is meant to be a surprise, so they will shout as soon as someone turns the light on. Try and act surprised though? Bumblebee will kill us if she thinks we told you."
Raven grinned slightly, though the others didn't see it. Cyborg continued to push the empath forward with a hand on her shoulder, stepping back once they reached the doors to the common room.
They slid open, the lights off. Raven tried to hide her smile, her eyes seeing easily through the darkness in that split second before someone switched the light on and a mass of voices yelled "Happy Birthday Raven!"
Her eyes scanned the crowed, lips twitching into a small smile as she searched for Bumblebee. Finding her stood next to Aqualad and Hotspot, she let her brow rise, silently letting her know she wasn't surprised.
The girl's eyes found the titan stood behind her. "I can't believe you told her!"
"They didn't." Raven's smile spread slightly. "I could feel you all in the tower. Then they told me." She moved away from doors. "Thanks guys."
Cyborg moved past the empath and towards the main computer, rubbing his hands together. "Let's get the music on, and start this party!"
Raven shook her head at her team mate, relieved as people started to take their attention off her. She caught sight of Bumblebee walking over, and turned to face her.
"You're only 19 once." She grinned. "Oh, and congratulations."
"For what?" Raven frowned.
"Cyborg introduced me to Jenny." Raven tried to stop her jaw from dropping open as Bumblebee continued. "Helped us set everything up while you guys were out. She's nice."
Raven searched the crowd, frowning when her eyes picked up someone with shoulder length blond hair, the ends of which had been dip-dyed pink.
"Excuse me." She muttered, before making her way over to the girl.
She stepped around Argent and Herald, offering them a smile, before leaning in close behind the blonde, and whispering, "Who told you?"
She jumped and spun around, a grin set on her currently human pale skin. Raven frowned slightly when she met grey eyes instead of pink.
"Cyborg." She answered, before quickly kissing the empath. "When were you going to tell me?"
"Never." Raven replied seriously, before leaning forward to whisper to her again, ignoring the people watching them. "Cyborg give you the holo-ring too?"
"Mhmm. I've been introduced to everyone as Jenny, the student from Jump University. Apparently I'm doing a major in Ancient History." Raven felt Jinx's amusement rise slightly. "Out of all the situations I expected our relationship to put us in, this wasn't one of them."
"You and me both. Didn't Robin have something to say about the idea?"
"One or two things. Mostly threats about what he'd do if I went fishing for into to use against anyone."
Raven laughed slightly as she pulled back. "Well, you have fans. Apparently Bumblebee likes you."
"You're finding this way too amusing." Jinx grinned. "Come on, you're ignoring your other guests."