Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans. I still own Red-X's secret identity because it's not Jason. And I do not own Caraphernelia; it belongs to Pierce The Veil.
By the way, if anyone happens to read my previous RedxRae fanfic Fear, this has nothing to do with that. Not the sequel or anything; I finished this before I started writing Fear. But you'll still meet Matt :)
Anyway, enjoy. I hope the broken English doesn't make you vomit or anything. But in case that happens, here's a plastic bag.
"Nobody prays for the heartless.
Nobody gives another penny for the selfish."
"I'm tired, Rae," he finally uttered the honesty. He really was, and he wanted her to know. He had been holding the feeling for weeks and there was nothing that could stop him from telling her—his decision was made.
Red-X was sitting on the edge of her bed. Her back flat against her headboard, leaning against the cold metal with her arms folded across her chest. The metal's coldness must seep through her t-shirt, but he bet the coldness was nothing compared to that cold look she was wearing.
He missed the old Raven. His old, sweet Raven, who through her unspoken words and undone actions could tell him how much she loved him.
She didn't look at him—she refused to do so, he knew, while he, although his eyes were hid behind that thick mask, was staring straight at her.
"Me too," she replied quietly after a short pause in the conversation.
He sighed lowly, not letting her hear that. He knew she was—there was always that coldness between them since weeks ago, and it had remained for too long. He wondered why both of them were tired of something that they thought they would be able to overcome at the beginning, and what hurt him the most was when he wondered if what made them tired the most was actually their relationship.
He didn't know what brought him to do that, but then he crawled toward Raven who was still deadpanning, sitting next to her. He could feel her skin against his costume—his costume was the only barrier that kept them that way; so close, yet so far. But he didn't have any choice—there was no way he could risk his position. There was nothing that could assure him that Raven wouldn't love him any less if she found out who he was.
"What are you tired of?" he inquired, softly. He wanted to add "Sunshine" at the end of his question, but it seemed inappropriate at that time.
She didn't reply him immediately. Another pause. "You go first—you were the first to admit that."
He sighed, again. If it were their normal fight he would argue that ladies should go first. But that argument had gone dry, just like their passion toward each other.
"Robin likes you," he breathed. He stated the obvious—everyone knew that, and Raven, above everyone else, would be the one to see it clearly. The old fight had dampened her empathy, but the obvious attention would surely tell her the truth. "I've seen enough of his efforts to get you."
"He's my leader. Besides, you're the one who doesn't want our status to be exposed—I've told you I would face the consequences, even when my friends would hate me later. But you didn't want it. You were afraid, weren't you?" she accused. Her voice was sharp, hitting his pride.
"No," he disputed. "I just didn't want to make you choose between me and your friends—I know they're more than just friends, they're family for you. So making them hate you wouldn't be an option."
"That's so wise," she said, not showing any expression to accompany the compliment.
"Rae," he gasped. This fight had gone serious, and it scared him. He didn't want them to be broken apart just because of a fight.
Raven sighed and shook her head. Red-X loathed serious moments like this. All that he wanted to do was cuddling and exchanging quips with her. But it was surely not the right time to do that. And perhaps, even when he didn't want to admit it if he could, there would be no right time to do that anymore.
He squeezed his eyes shut for a while before deciding that he could no longer act like a kid. It was a real relationship that he was in, and if it was about to end, he would face it like an adult.
He cleared his throat. "What are you tired of?" he asked, his voice sounded casual when his heart hammered his ribcage.
"You don't trust me," she admitted. She fixed her amethyst eyes on him, and even when she just stared at him like that, he felt like she could see through his mask, scrutinizing the emotion formed on his face. Again, he assured himself that Raven was no longer an empath. "We've been together for almost two years now and I still have never seen your face. You still can't trust me with your identity, and for these past few months you kept convincing me that you would unmask yourself, someday. When's someday? It never comes."
Red-X swallowed—his throat was dry that it hurt when the fluid passed through it.
"I'm sorry about that," he apologized and he meant it. The last time he asked for one's forgiveness sincerely felt like it was long ago. "There are some things that I can't show you just yet. But Raven, I trust and love you more than anything."
"Then prove it," she said. Flat and cold. "I know I sound demanding, Red. But I've never even seen a glimpse of effort coming from you about it."
Red-X knew that, because truth was, there was no effort he could make. If he wanted to show her his face, he could right now. But what good would it bring? The person behind his mask wasn't better than the identity he was wearing right now.
He eyed Raven, and saw that perhaps nothing could save their relationship but showing his secret identity to her. And he wasn't going to do that anytime soon. He wasn't ready.
A part of himself told him that he was juvenile. That he was a coward. But he didn't care. He probably was.
It's the end, a voice in his head whispered to him. He bit his lower lip.
If it was, he wanted one last kiss.
Another part told him to not do that, but another part insisted on the idea as his eyes fixed on Raven's pale lips.
He failed in holding himself back, so he lifted his mask to the bridge of his nose. He kissed her, pressing his lips against her and playing those soft lips before slipping his tongue into her mouth. It was a usual kiss, led by the expert in kissing; Red-X. But this time it was different—Raven's normally passive tongue was even more passive. It stayed there, not bothering to try kissing him back. He tried his best to lure her into kissing him back, but no matter how hard he tried, she just stayed still. Her hands didn't wrap his neck or his shoulders the way they usually would. Her body was rigid, unenthusiastic—he could feel it clearly as he tightened his arm around her hips.
Now he saw what stage of romantic relationship that they were at, even when he didn't want to ever reach that stage.
Red-X pulled himself away and murmured the question he'd never expected to ask, "Is this... the end?"
His faint voice showed that he didn't want that, hoping Raven would at least be able to trace that.
Raven stayed silent, her face didn't leak any emotion when he wished it would. Those amethyst eyes then swept his face, as if wanting to absorb as much information as they could from the skin he revealed. He felt somehow naked, vulnerable. There were times that Raven could make him feel that way even just by eyeing him. And as much as he hated that feeling, he couldn't object when it was Raven who made him feel that way.
They stayed in that position for quite a long time, more than a minute, without Raven answering his question. Silence between them was awkward.
Red-X eventually took the hint that was implied by the silence, clutching Raven's hands for seconds while her eyes were on their hands. She still said nothing.
He wanted to yell at her so she'd speak to him. So she'd tell him not to leave, because she still needed him. Because it wasn't the end.
But it didn't happen.
He insincerely rested Raven's hands on her thick blanket while he rolled his mask down, feeling the fabric as it covered his nose, then his mouth, then his chin, and finally meeting his costume, covering his exposed skin entirely.
"I've never wished to say goodbye to you, Rae," he confessed. His voice was filled with pain.
"I wish there was another way," she whispered back. Her tone was monotonous, but when he didn't expect it any longer because most of the times his hopes turned out to be futile, this time her voice leaked more. The tone, even when it was flat, was edged with pain.
He'd hurt Raven. Now his pain felt doubled when he thought it couldn't get any worse.
Another moment of silence before he decided it was time to go. He'd worn out his last welcome.
Retreating from the bed, he stared at Raven for one last time. Her pale gray skin, her amethyst eyes, her silky hair he used to play with every night. She was petite—much shorter than him that he was glad he'd never have to kiss her while they were standing up because they'd never gone to any real date. That signature emotionless face reminded him a lot of their first kiss—when that face was, for the first time in his life, no longer emotionless. Natural blush colored her cheeks and she looked embarrassed, like she wasn't meant to do that, but he assured her that she deserved to be loved.
He remembered the day he promised her that he'd keep her safe, that he'd never hurt her. That was the day that the fights between them began to be nothing but a play—Raven sometimes slipped out of control that he got really thrown against a wall by a painful blow and she had to heal him later that night, but he didn't mind. He remembered the day when he told her that he'd someday marry her, that they'd live happily until the end of their lives, with or without kids. He remembered the day when they first made love. She was nothing compared to the girls he'd ever slept with before, but he didn't care. No matter how unskilled she was, that moment was the happiest moment of his life.
But now it was the end. He couldn't do what she asked just yet—he was afraid. So he had to leave.
Red-X exhaled heavily through the cloth, feeling it was hard to jump out of the window. He knew it would be the last time he would have to go through that window so that the other titans wouldn't notice his presence under their shelter.
"Goodbye, Rae." His voice sounded frail, distant. He turned his head while the other parts of his body faced the window, ready to climb it. "I wish you well in the future."
"You too, Red," she responded, still sitting motionlessly on her bed. Eyes were focused on him and he'd give anything in the world just to know what she was thinking as she did that. Did she inwardly scream for him to not go? Did she want him to stay for another night with her? "Take care of yourself."
Red-X smiled bitterly although he knew that Raven wouldn't be able to see that. He took the last chance to peer at her, memorizing the shapes of those amethyst eyes, the curved body, the emotionless face, and the lips he used to kiss, hoping the memories would stay forever in his head and never perish. It seemed that no matter how many times he'd stared at her, it was never enough.
After those last seconds, he eventually moved, climbing up the windowsill reluctantly before jumping out of the T-tower. He left that memorable place, perhaps forever.
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