I'm kind of excited about this one simply because, for once, I already know how it's going to end. I'm not sure how long it will be, but I know where it will end and that's better than any of my previous stories. (oneshots not included)
Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans. Also, if you try to sue me, you'll pay more for your lawyer than you could possibly get from poor little me.
Chapter One: The Village on the Hill
Rays of sunlight peeked through Raven's curtains. Raven slowly got out of bed and walked to her window. She parted the curtains and peered out at the village just up the hill. Home sweet home. This thought gave her pause. Why does it feel like I've been away? I haven't left the village for over a year.
Shaking her head, Raven got dressed and went to her kitchen. She opened a cabinet and reached for a packet of herbal tea, only to find that she had run out. Great. She sighed.
A bell chimed as Raven pushed open the door to Logan's shop. She glanced up at the tiny bell attached to the wall by the door. "You like it?" Raven looked back down at the small man in front of her. Logan was slightly shorter than Raven and his brown hair was even messier than normal. Raven shrugged. "I hung it there last night. Now I can always tell when I have a customer. Clever, right?" Logan asked, smirking.
"Uh… I guess?" Raven responded uncertainly. Logan's smirk disappeared, but was soon replaced by a grin.
"So," he began, walking back behind the counter. "What can I do for my best customer?"
Raven walked up to the counter. "I'm out of tea."
"Herbal tea, coming up." Logan grabbed a bundle of herbal tea packets from a shelf and put it on the counter.
Raven arched an eyebrow. "You already had bundle ready?"
"I knew you were due to run out today."
Raven placed two silver pieces on the counter and picked up her tea. "Where did you get the idea to put tea in packets?"
Logan scratched his head. "Uh… I don't remember."
"Well it was still a good idea…"
Logan looked dumbfounded. "Was that a compliment?"
Raven paused. "…considering who came up with it."
"Wait. Was that a compliment or an insult?"
Logan looked baffled by Raven's answer. She could almost see the gears spinning wildly in his head as he tried to understand what she said. She didn't know why she enjoyed toying with him like that, but it always improved her mood.
She glanced at his shoulder. "So how's the rash?"
"Huh? Oh, right." Logan started to roll up his left sleeve. "It hasn't gotten any bigger, but something weird happened." As he pulled his sleeve over his shoulder, Raven immediately saw the problem. Against Logan's tan skin was a bright green rash.
Raven blinked. "I told you that wolfs bane was contaminated." Logan hung his head. "Come by my house later. I'll see what I can do." Logan nodded and Raven left with her tea.
"Yo, Raven!" Stone shouted as she passed. Raven turned to see the large man standing behind an anvil, waving her over. It looked like he was in the middle of making another sword.
"You don't have enough weapons already?" She asked as she approached, eyeing the racks that were bristling with every manner of weapon one could imagine.
Stone looked over his shoulder at his arsenal. "Blame Ser Grayson. He's the one who told the king I was the best blacksmith in the kingdom." Stone turned back to Raven. "His highness, King Wayne, wants me to forge weapons for his personal guard."
"An influx of gold should do the town good."
Stone nodded. "Sure will. Assuming I can get the order filled on time. Which reminds me: one of my apprentices had an accident a couple minutes ago. I sent him down the hill."
"I'll take care of it."
"Thanks. I'm gonna need him."
Raven continued down the path to her house. Sure enough, Stone's apprentice was standing outside her door. He noticed her as she approached. "Good morning, Miss Raven."
"Good morning," she looked at him for a moment. "Seth, isn't it?"
"Come inside," she said, opening the door. He complied and followed her to her living room. She pointed at a simple, wooden chair. "Sit." Seth did as he was told. "What happened?"
Seth raised his right arm. His forearm was covered in a makeshift bandage. "My arm got splashed with some molten metal."
Raven's eyes widened slightly. "Please tell me you cleaned the wound before bandaging it."
Seth looked nervous. "I wiped it off."
Raven rolled her eyes. It's a wonder some of these people are still alive. "That's not good enough." She removed the bandage and picked up a small bucket of water and a damp cloth. Seth winced as she began dabbing the wound. When she was done cleaning the wound she took the bucket and cloth into her kitchen. She returned with a few jars of herbs and plants and a fresh bandage. She placed a few choice herbs onto the burn, covered it with a leaf, and wrapped it in the bandage. "There. You should be able to return to work tomorrow morning."
"Thank you, Miss Raven." Seth got to his feet and moved to leave, but he stopped when he heard Raven clear her throat. Seth turned to look at her and was met with a fierce glare. "Oh right," he said, reaching into his coin purse. Raven's glare softened a bit when he handed her five silver pieces. "Sorry. It must have slipped my mind." Having paid for the healing, Seth left quickly and returned to the village. Raven returned to her kitchen and fixed a cup of herbal tea.
Raven spent much of the day meditating in her living room. It was many hours before she heard a knock at her door. She knew who it was before she reached the door. After more than a year here, she could recognize the distinct knock of everyone in the village. "Hello, Logan," she greeted as she opened the door. "Come on in." She led him to her living room and motioned for him to sit in a cushioned armchair. "Take off your shirt." Logan obliged. Raven pretended not to notice the pink tinge now present in his cheeks.
"So did you hear the news?" Logan asked as Raven kneeled down examined his green rash.
"You mean Stone making weapons for the king's men?"
"Uh… that was three days ago."
"Does that hurt?" Raven asked as she poked the rash on his shoulder.
Raven rose and went into her kitchen. "So what's the news?"
"You know that foreign girl, Burnfire?"
"Close enough." Raven rolled her eyes. "Anyway, she got a job at the tavern yesterday and Stone and Ser Grayson decided to throw her a party."
Raven returned with a small bottle of clear liquid with leaf clippings floating in it. "Good for them."
"The whole village is invited." Raven dabbed some of the liquid onto her hand and began rubbing it onto the rash. She glanced at Logan's face and realized he was waiting for her to say something.
"Oh, come on! It'll be fun, I promise."
Raven sighed as she finished her work. "I'll think about it."
Logan smiled. "Thanks, Raven."
"There," Raven said, putting the lid on the bottle she was holding. "That should do it. I'll come by the shop tomorrow to check on it. I need to restock a few things anyway." Logan got to his feet and put on his shirt. Then he opened his coin purse. "I told you last time, Logan. No charge."
Logan pulled out two silver pieces and held them out to her. "And I told you the same thing about the tea, remember?" Raven smiled slightly as she took back the money she gave him that morning. "The party's starting just after sundown. I'll see you there," Logan said, heading for the door.
Raven's eyes narrowed. "I never said I was going." Logan said nothing as he walked out the door and back to the village. Raven turned to go back to her kitchen when she noticed something on the armchair Logan had been sitting on. It was his coin purse. He left that there on purpose, didn't he?
As Raven opened the door to the tavern, she saw that while the whole village may have been invited, very few had actually bothered to show up. Logan was there, of course, flashing a grin as he saw her enter. Starfire pretty much had to be there. It was her party, after all. Stone and Ser Grayson were there as well. Oddly, the tavern's owner was not present. Neither was anyone else. Raven sighed and walked up to Logan.
Logan turned to look at her just in time to have his coin purse shoved into his face. "You left this at my house."
"Oh, thanks," he said, taking the coin purse back. Raven turned around and started to leave. "Wait, aren't you staying for the party?"
Raven turned back around. "What party? There's just five of us."
Ser Grayson noticed that Starfire was looking very hurt that no one else had come to the party and put his hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry Starfire, I'm sure everyone's on their way. Everyone who's met you likes you and who doesn't like parties?" This seemed to cheer Starfire up a bit.
"Besides," Stone added sarcastically, "who would say no to an invitation given to them by the great Ser Grayson?" The knight in question looked at Stone blankly.
"What are you talking about?" he asked. "I thought you were handing out the invitations."
"Me? I've hardly left my anvil all day, and I distinctly remember you saying you'd hand out the invitations."
"I was out meeting one of the king's messengers today. I only got back into town half an hour ago."
"Then," interjected Starfire, "no one sent the invitations?"
Stone and Ser Grayson looked at Starfire and then each other. "Oops," they both said in unison.
Raven shook her head. Why am I not surprised?
Starfire actually looked more upbeat than before. "So no one has not come because they do not like me, it is simply a misunderstanding?" Everyone else nodded. Starfire grinned.
Raven sighed again. She was now trapped. If she left now Starfire would think she didn't like her. Granted, they had very little in common and Raven couldn't stand her sometimes, but Starfire was one of only a few people in the village who wasn't immediately put off by Raven's seemingly cold nature.
The party wasn't so bad with so few people. There were small pastries and drinks. Everyone just sat around talking. Ser Grayson thrilled them with slightly embellished tales of his more recent adventures. Stone shared some of the local gossip. Starfire shared stories of her homeland, half of which no one could really follow. Logan tried to play the jester. No one laughed until he slipped while trying to balance one handed on a chair with an empty bottle perched on his foot. As Raven sat listening to another of Starfire's stories, she leaned back in her chair and looked at her friends. A small smile tugged at her lips. It was good to have friends.
After the party, everyone went their separate ways. Raven returned to her home and plopped onto her bed without bothering to change into her nightgown. She closed her eyes and felt herself drift into sleep.