Hey guys. This story may seem kind of familiar because I posted a different version of this a couple days ago. Then I read it. I kind of wanted to throw myself off of a bridge when I realized how bad it was. Anyways, this story is an experiment because it is purely character driven. I've never done that before so I don't know how well this is going to pan out. I'm not even sure if this should be the title and summery of this story. Oh well. On to chapter 1! Wish me luck!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the Teen Titans but I am excited to hear that they may be coming back!
"It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride."
― John Ruskin
Set a couple months after the defeat of Trigon.
"Aw yeah I totally got you with that one!" said a certain green haired changeling while jumping on top of the couch. He needed to focus entirely on the game. Apparently, standing on the couch while playing helps with that.
"Don't be so sure Grass Stain! I'm still in this!" answered the half robot that was competing with Beast Boy. Cyborg decided to stay somewhat civil and remained sitting on the couch. Or at least as civil as one could remain after calling someone a 'grass stain'.
"Hey! Keep it down! I'm making a masterpiece over here!" called Robin from the kitchen across the lounge. Cyborg and Beast Boy paid him no mind as he continued staring at the meat cooking in his pan. They were going to have some decent burgers for dinner if it was the death of him.
"Robin? May I help with the cooking of dinner?" asked Starfire as she approached the kitchen counter, her eyes glowing with excitement.
"Uh, sure. Why don't you start boiling some water?" Robin answered without even glancing at her. She was not going to touch his patties of rapture. They were too precious. He did glance up at the couch when he heard voices escalating though. It seemed that Cyborg had won the round and Beast Boy was not happy about it
"No way! I totally had you at that last lap! You cheat-"
"You call him a cheater one more time and I might just start believing it." Said a bored voice as Raven entered the lounge, book in hand. The door let out another hiss as it closed and she stepped into full view. She looked terrible. The bags under her eyes were the color of her hair and it looked like it took quite some effort for her to even move. She had been up in her room meditating, away from the noise. At least that's what she said. Based on her appearance one would have thought that she had just ran a marathon after no sleep for three days straight. Beast Boy turned and was about to voice his rebuttal when he noticed her condition.
"Dude! What have you been doing the past two hours? Wrestling a polar bear?" Beast Boy yelled as he vaulted the couch in order to get a better look at her. That caught the other Titan's attention. Robin even took his eyes off of his prized burgers. Raven glared at Beast Boy and it occurred to her that she never wanted his words to become platitudes.
"Yes." She spoke seriously, "I decided to go out and tumble with 900 pound bear. You know, just for fun." She glanced around at all of her teammates. Starfire looked very confused, Beast Boy looked skeptical, Robin just raised his eyebrow in curiosity, and Cyborg was looking at her with a calm but concerned gaze.
"I'm afraid I do not understand. Why was friend Raven wrestling with such a large mammal?" Starfire looked around.
Raven thought about leaving her out to dry but thought better of it and explained. "I didn't actually wrestle a bear Starfire. I was kidding." She looked around at everyone once again, "I just have a really bad headache that kept me from meditating that's all." She finished and noticed that she had successfully diffused the situation. Robin, Starfire, and Beast Boy shrugged and returned to their previous activities.
She hadn't been able to meditate for the past week and they knew that. At first she merely admitted that she got the occasional headache. However, her condition had gradually been getting worse until she became the walking zombie she is today. Her teammates did try to help. But after an incident that involved whipped cream, carrots, and an entirely too happy Beast Boy, they all decided to back off and let her handle it. They all heartily accepted that this is what occurs when she is unable to meditate for a long period of time. That is, all but Cyborg. He gave her a look that clearly stated, We'll talk about this later, before returning to his game.
Cyborg was the one that knew her best and that was what she loved about him. Of course, she loved all of her teammates. They all had their own special parts about them that she revered. She loved that Starfire was the foil to her gloomy personality. She loved that Robin was able to stay strong, no matter what happened. She loved that Beast Boy would never stop trying to make her smile. Ever. And she loved how Cyborg was able to read and understand her like no one else ever could. Of course, she would rather die than admit this to any of them.
She really did love them. That's why she couldn't let them share the burden she bears.
"Hey all! Food's ready!" Looks like she wasn't going to be able study her book after all. It's not like she was going to make any progress anyways. Raven had somehow made her way to the far side of the couch and was zoning out when Robin made his proud exclamation. Robin approached the dining table with two plates in hand as her friends gathered around the table with as much grace as a pack of wolves trying to reach their kill. She undertook a much slower approach deciding to leave her book on the couch.
"Dig in! B your burgers are right there." Robin pointed at the few patties that looked a little discolored compared to the rest. He barely had time to pull his hand away when Beast Boy dived for the food and started devouring it like he had competition for his tofu burgers. It was not a pretty sight and she began to lose her appetite after her first burger.
"I'm going to bed." Raven stated abruptly as she got up with a little wobble and began to drag herself toward the door without another word. She could feel their concerned stares as she walked through the doorway but she tried not to dwell on them. They didn't need to worry about her, she could handle herself.
The door shut with a hiss yet again and she started making her way down the hall toward her room. She made it to the end of the corridor when the room started to spin and she almost got to know their new flooring a little better.
Now, Raven has experienced mind splitting headaches, shattered bones, and has endured more pain than she thought possible. But, she has never, ever, been dizzy enough for her not to know which way was up. For a split second, a split second, she panicked. She quickly regained her composure but the damage was done. She could feel the glass raining on her head from the shattered light bulb above. Great.
That was another one of the symptoms of her, *ahem* problem. Raven was struggling to control her powers. It made her feel like a child all over again. She could practically feel Azar's disapproving gaze on her back, but that was the least of her problems.
Even though her self-control was back, the lightheadedness did not go away and she had no idea how to get rid of it. There was one thing she did know for sure though, she could no longer stand on her own. She stretched out her hands until they found purchase on the wall and she quickly leaned against it.
"You know, if you wanted a hug, you could've just asked." said the wall. Wait, what? Raven promptly jerked away. Looks like she was going to get to know the floor after all.
When she landed, she looked up and realized it wasn't a talking wall that spoke to her. Well, at least she wasn't going crazy too. "What are you doing out here?" She said to a very blurry Cyborg.
"Am I not allowed to come check the hallway when I hear glass breaking?" He raised an eyebrow inquisitively and extended his hand toward her.
"I think I'll stay here on the ground." She scowled at him and attempted to slap his hand away. She missed by a good foot.
He grabbed her by the shoulder anyways and hoisted her up into a standing position. "No, you need to go lie down and get some sleep." He moved to pick her up when he saw the look on her face. It may have been unfocused but it got her point across. The, you-touch-me-one-more-time-and-you-die look was plastered on her features.
"Okay fine. Then how are you going to get to your room? Teleport?" He stepped an arm's length away and folded his arms.
She gave him a sideways glance. "I'm fine. I don't need to teleport." She tried to stand without giving away that the floor seemed to be shifting beneath her feet.
"More like you can't." He gave her a look that dared her to contradict him.
She was starting to get annoyed at his perceptivity. Of course she can't teleport. If she even tried in the condition she was in then she could end up halfway across the world for all she knew. Her pride wouldn't let Cyborg know that though.
"No. I just don't wa-" The floor gave an unusually large tug and she had to lunge at him for support. She cringed when she was stable again because she knew she'd lost.
"That's what I thought." He looked down at her."C'mon. I'll just be your crutch."
She silently thanked him but gave no outward indication of what she felt other than slight irritation. "Fine." She grabbed his arm and they started walking.
The walk to her room was silent other than their quiet footsteps. Her vertigo was not getting any better and she started to become even more irritated. She had to reign the emotion in when she noticed that her powers were slipping through cracks in her defenses like sand escaped through fingers. Luckily, nothing broke, but she did get a taste of Cyborg's emotions by accident.
She normally allows her empathetic powers sovereignty, but she couldn't afford it at the moment. In her weak state she wouldn't be able to separate her emotions from anyone she was near. The emotions she would receive from only a few people could easily rip her apart. Everyone always feels more than one emotion, all the time, no exceptions. No one could feel so much at once without going clinically insane.
She'd accidently let in a couple people's emotions when she was a child and she didn't think she could repeat it without losing her mind. It was like climbing a rope that would get longer each time she reached the top. Every time she would find purchase on one emotion, she would lose it and fall into the abyss of another and have to try and make her way back to reality all over again. A never ending cycle that she let slip through her defenses for mere seconds, but it felt like years. It was like nothing she'd ever experienced before or since and she refused to repeat the process.
Cyborg's emotions where, to say the least, bright. His emotions had a sharp undertone of worry while contentment, curiosity, and pity were floating around like bubbles around him. They were like fireworks on the Fourth of July and she only had a taste of it.
Raven frowned when she recognized one of his emotions. Pity. She didn't need any of that but she couldn't blame him for feeling it. She decided not to comment on it because they were nearly at her door.
She punched in the code and the door opened. Without a word, she tried to detach herself from Cyborg but he wasn't having it.
"We really are going to talk about what's going on." He looked directly at her and she couldn't hold his gaze. "Soon." She'd never noticed how fascinating her doorframe was.
"Whatever Cyborg." He let her go this time and she stumbled into her room without looking back. Her door closed and Cyborg was left alone in her corridor, the silence pounding in his ears.
Good? Bad? Do I actually need to throw myself off of a bridge this time?
Please inform me if you see any mistakes. Thanks :)