A continuation of "Bigger Secrets"

"Noted." The eerie silence continued on for a bit, neither teen breathing. Finally Garfield spoke up again. "Is… that all…?" He felt a little rude for asking this, but he honestly wanted to know; did she have any other bombs to drop?

"Actually, no. There's more." The girl wouldn't meet the changeling's inquisitive eyes and it was driving him crazy. Was she scared? Sad? Angry? He just couldn't tell. "My—my name. It's not really Rachel." Garfield stood, simply waiting patiently. "My name is Raven."

More quiet.

Raven eventually found the courage to raise her head and saw that although Garfield was looking at her, he wasn't focused on her. It was as if his brain was off in another part of the earth, not sitting comfortably in his skull. His usually bright, impish eyes were glazed over, staring straight through her. It made her feel vulnerable and very much like a child; a feeling she did not care for at all. "Um. Garfield?" He moved, barely at all, but Raven knew the gesture meant he heard her. "Do you… do you hate me?"

She tried to keep the sorrow out of her tone, tried to keep the pain away—emotions she shouldn't even feel, the girl scolded herself—but she failed miserably, and Garfield noticed. Her eyebrows were low, her voice strained. When she had yelled at him the truth about her parentage his heart had cracked a little, he wouldn't deny it. And now, learning that she had lied to him about her name as well, something he found so trivial, a deep crevice was slowly gnawing its way to prevalence in his tender green chest. Yes, it was true that he had hid his superhero powers from the girl; but that was for her sake, to keep her safe. What reason did she have for not telling the person who cared for her that she was a half-demon? When he obviously had problems himself?

But at least all of it now made sense. Why she was outside that particular bookshop the first time he met her. Why her hair and eye color were so odd. Why, when he made a fool of himself at that sub shop, no one had noticed. Why she seemed to appear out of nowhere. Why she didn't find him as strange as others did. Why she had such a creepy but attractive air about her… The dots were all connecting, the puzzle was coming together.

"No." The single word was accompanied with a deep sigh as Garfield readjusted his gaze so he was looking at the ground. "I don't hate you. I mean, you obviously had a reason for hiding your identity." At that Raven's eyes went stricken and dark, her overall demeanor going defensive and frightened. "I don't know what that reason is… but it's yours to tell. I won't pry. I'll just be here—to listen when you're ready." Garfield knew this would be difficult. He had dealt with Martians, Atlanteans, a variety of other aliens, magicians, and the Batman; but demon lore was something totally out of his comfort zone. One doesn't just become friends with a demon, half or no.

…But he was determined to try.

"Thanks, Garfield," Raven said, her voice sounding just a bit happier. "I'm not ready. Not yet; but I promise that when I am, you'll be the first person I come to."

Garfield smiled at that, looking forward to when she could part with all her troubles. A certain rush of excitement suddenly flew through him next, and he felt empowered, ready to start this new relationship; but he knew, that for now, being Raven's best friend was the best thing for her. She was off-limits until she trusted him more, was ready to put him in danger. Until then, he would just be her confidant, her go-to pal—and he was content with that. After all, he was only thirteen. They had a lot of time to grow into something more.

"Good. I mean, what the hey. It's not everyday you get to meet a half-demon, right?" he replied, grinning widely. "Now, I have one more thing to ask you…" Raven offered him a small smile.

"Yeah?"

"…Can you get us back to Gotham…?"

Raven just laughed and grabbed his hands. "Of course I can. I've got quite a few powers."

"Noted."

Author's Note: Just friends… FOR NOW. I've got a bunch of ideas lined up until another BB/Rae chapter, so you'll just have to wait to see how they grow next. It's killing you, I know.

So yeah. Hope you enjoyed! I love you all more than Double Rainbows All the Way. Please leave a review…

Cordially,

LadyFrederic