Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction based upon subject matter that is not my own. Pop culture references also do not reflect ownership by me. Also, BB's really bad jokes, I mean, the really, really bad ones, those are more than likely off popsicle sticks.
AN1: So very, very sorry about the update delay! I've just been so crazy busy! I won't bore you with excuses however. Anyway, here it is and I apologize once more for the delay!
Chapter 8 – Mixed Signals and Crossed Wires
Cyborg stared at his green companion, face blank. It was several seconds of staring and blinking later that he even had a reaction to Garfield's revelation. "I'm sorry, what was that?" he asked in a polite, detached tone.
"Terra kissed me." Garfield explained, utilizing more willpower than should be necessary to cease his boot scuffing.
"Okay…and what did you do?"
"What do you mean?" Garfield hedged, fighting back the need to fidget.
Cyborg frowned, "I mean, what did you do when she kissed you B." Cyborg's voice was firm and authoritative; he didn't appreciate Garfield's lack of candor on this particular issue.
"Well, I sorta…didn't." Stop boot scuffing, stop boot scuffing, stop boot scuffing!
"Didn't what?" Cyborg asked, brow furrowing and frown deepening.
"I froze man! I didn't know what to do! I mean, Terra and I didn't really date back when…we hung out a lot but we never really got to that point, you know? We almost did a couple of times but we were always interrupted and I was just too embarrassed and…well, I wasn't expecting it so I just stood there like an idiot and didn't do anything. It was like my brain was misfiring and my body was no longer connected to my head and I choked!" Garfield was pacing with his ranting and practically tugging his hair out in his frustration.
Cyborg remained silent for some time, absentmindedly fiddling with his tools. "Is that what's bothering you about it? How you didn't react when you had the chance?"
"Well, sorta I guess." Garfield hopped up on the counter next to Cyborg's workspace. He sat on one leg and kicked the other absentmindedly as he tried to put his thoughts into words. It was much harder than he'd been expecting it to be. "I mean…I'd always pictured our first kiss to be a heck of a lot different than that. But mostly, I'm just confused about why she kissed me at all. I mean, she just told me she was upset I wasn't paying more attention to her but she didn't want me coming around anymore—after accusing me of only being interested in her to hook up with her mind you!—and then as I'm leaving she plants one on me and tells me not to let the girl of my dreams hurt me! What the hell is that supposed to mean!?" Garfield demanded, arms flying about as he animated his explanation.
"Woah, woah, woah! Pump the breaks and back up B! Let me see if I have this straight, She complained about you not paying enough attention to her, accused you of only wanting to hook up, told you she didn't want to see you anymore, kisses you, and says goodbye by wishing you luck with some other girl?" he enumerated, ticking them off on his large mechanical fingers.
Garfield looked up in thought before nodding slowly, "Yeah…yeah that sounds about right."
"Well no freaking wonder why you're confused B! That girl didn't just send mixed signals, she was using a ton of different languages to do it! I'm not even sure if I'll be able to translate this one out. This is all kinds of messed up man."
"Tell me about it." Garfield grumbled in irritation, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Okay, start at the beginning and recap your whole visit. I'm going to need more to go on if I'm going to be any help." With a sigh of resignation, Garfield launched into his narrative. He largely glossed over any references to Raven since that was confusing and embarrassing and Cyborg really didn't need that to think about, nor did he ever need to associate 'Raven', 'anger' and/or 'irritation' with 'Garfield', and besides, it was really just Terra that Garfield needed to talk about. Raven wasn't the one confusing the hell out of him…not that she never confused the hell out of him, that was quite often in fact…whatever, that was off topic anyhow.
Once Garfield had finished, Cyborg sat back and placing his chin in his hand, proceeded to process everything. "Okay, now, I only have the details you've given me to go on—and I'm not stupid B, I know you haven't told me everything—but I will do my best to explain how I understand the situation. Keep in mind though B, I was never as close to Terra as you or Star were so I can't say how accurately I can interpret all this."
"Whatever dude, anything is better than being alone with the voices in my head." Garfield sighed, leaning back against the wall and staring down at his robotic friend.
"Well, it sounds like the girl is torn about what she wants. She likes the attention you give her, I mean, what girl wouldn't? But she also doesn't seem to want anything to do with the Titans or a potential past life. So, she likes you coming around, but doesn't like all the strings attached. It seems to me that she really was trying to say goodbye B. It might have been hard for her, which is why she seemed to jump back and forth so much, but in the end she wants you to be happy and knows that that isn't what you guys would be if you were together."
"So, she likes me, but being a Titan and superhero are deal breakers. That figures." the green skinned hero huffed.
"That and the fact that you really will always see her as Terra dude. You might grow to like Tara, but you'll always see Terra first."
Garfield heaved another sigh. "What do you think I should do?"
"That depends on what you want." Cyborg hunched forward, elbows on his knees and steepled his fingers against his mouth. Looking up at his best friend he sighed, "Here are your options as I see them. One, you can ignore her wishes and keep up this strange vigil you have in the hopes that she will eventually remember something and want to come back. Two, you can accept her terms and leave her alone and hope that she one day remembers something and decides to come back. Or three, you can say your goodbyes and let her go man." Cyborg leaned back and looked his friend in the eye, "You only have your gut telling you that this really is Terra. And even if she is, there is no way to know if she will ever remember anything; and even if she did, there is no way to know if she'd even want to come back to us. And," Cyborg looked away, "B, man I'm sorry, but even if she wakes up tomorrow with all her memories, all her powers, and the burning desire to be reinstated…I'm not sure Robin would even allow it. Not to mention the rest of the team. She hurt all of us real bad B, but some of us suffered a lot more than the rest."
Raven. Cyborg wasn't going to come out and say it but it was plainly written across his face. His baby sister would have nothing to do with Terra and if it came down to it she would fight the decision every step of the way. Garfield wasn't stupid; he knew that Terra returning was a long shot at best. And the fact of the matter was that he didn't even know if he'd be okay with her rejoining the team, let alone the rest of the Titans. He had no doubt in his mind that Terra deserved a good life and friends, but he also had no doubt that Titans West wasn't going to be the easiest, or even the best, place for her to find it. But somebody had to keep an eye out for her. He couldn't just abandon her, that's what drove her to Slade in the first place.
If he'd just pushed a little harder for her to go to Robin about her control issues in the first place, she never would have left or found Slade. Or, if he'd listened to Raven when Terra returned, he could have confronted Terra before she turned them over to Slade, he could have changed her mind. Heck, they could have used her knowledge and her 'in' with Slade to finally catch the bastard. If he'd paid more attention to her, or if he'd picked up on the signs…because there were signs, Raven saw them for crying out loud! If he'd just done something different, he could have stopped it. He could have protected her. He could have saved her. How could he just turn his back on her now, knowing that it was his fault all this had happened to her in the first place? If he'd been a better friend to her, none of this would have ever happened.
He wasn't sure if his turmoil was obvious on his face or not, but Cyborg must have known he needed something because his friend stood, looked him right in the eye, put his hand on his shoulder and said, "Beast Boy, Terra knows that if she ever needs anything, anything at all, that she has you, the team, and the Tower as an option. You've made it abundantly clear that she will never have to be alone if she doesn't want to be. But this is her choice man, and you've got to let her make it. If she wants to do this on her own, to make her own way, you need to respect that and let her do it. You aren't doing her any favors by smothering her. If she wants you to let her go, then maybe it'd be best for the both of you if you gave her what she wanted B. It isn't like you're cutting her off completely and abandoning her. The Tower isn't going anywhere and it isn't like we're exactly hard to find."
Garfield's ears drooped as he looked up at his friend, the all-too-sound logic being really hard to argue against. Garfield opened his mouth before words had formed in his mind, but he never found out what he was about to say because just then the garage door started to open and Cyborg snatched him around the middle with a cry of, "It's the girls! Quick!" before he took off with Garfield thrown over his shoulder. He jumped into a closet of some sort and slammed the door behind them, his heavy breathing all Garfield could hear.
"Um, Dude, why are we hiding in a closet?"
Cyborg's panicked breathing ceased and there was relative silence in their closet. Being disoriented, not having been upright when Cyborg jumped in, Garfield felt around for a body that wasn't his and started poking. "Cut that out man!" Cyborg hissed. Grumbling a little he continued, "Think about it B, where were the girls just at?"
"The grocery store, do you not remember the fit Raven had when Robin ordered her to take an escort?"
"Yeah, I do. That's the point though! Raven just had to spend…what, four and a half hours grocery shopping with Starfire. Not only that, but I have the Titan's mainframe linked with my systems and I set up an algorithm to look for news feeds featuring the Titans and have them logged in the system. On slow days I go ahead and watch them. Guess who has been all over the news as of this morning?"
"Yeah, so? Raven predicted this, remember?"
"Just because Raven knew it was coming doesn't mean she's not going to be in a completely foul mood over it."
"Dude, you're completely overreacting…Actually, you're kinda reacting how I might react…that's so weird."
"Not the point! Besides, if we go out there now, we'll have to help put the groceries away."
"Okay, so how long do we have to hole up in this closet?"
"Just a sec." Cyborg opened a panel on his arm and light flooded their small hiding space. Seeing as how they were both rather tall, they were both comically scrunched up amidst dusty objects that Garfield didn't recognize but assumed Cyborg knew what they were for since it all looked like it belonged in a mechanic's garage. After tapping at his arm for a couple of seconds Cyborg looked up. "Okay, according to my GPS tracker, both of the girls are currently in the kitchen, which means they're probably putting away the groceries. I think, if we walk really slowly, that they'll probably finish up right when we get there."
"So, we can get out of the closet now is what you're saying."
"Yeah, pretty much." Some comical squeezing and contortion later, both boys were dusting themselves off in the hallway and making their way, albeit slowly, to the kitchen.
"So, what exactly was the news saying about Rae?"
"Mostly that it was some kind of miracle that she was up off her death bed and in seemingly perfect health. Actually, she remained perfectly polite for a lot longer than I thought she would having been the center of attention for as long as she was."
"Well that's something at least." The boys entered the common room with the usual swoosh of the door to find Starfire and Raven just finishing with the groceries. Cyborg nailed the timing.
"Look Friend Raven! Just as you predicted, Friends Beast Boy and Cyborg have arrived and we have just finished! Are you sure you do not list precognitive powers amongst your abilities?" Starfire asked from her perch at the counter, mustard with straw poking out in hand.
"Nope, they're just predictable." Raven deadpanned from the cupboard, Garfield could see her usual tea fixings arrayed on the counter in front of her.
"What are you talking about? We were just on our way here to help!" Garfield denied loudly.
"Sure you were," Raven agreed, "you just made sure to take your time so that there would either be nothing left to help with or very little. It's the thought that counts." she retorted sarcastically. Garfield grumbled before making his way over to Starfire, but was secretly pleased Raven was in such a good mood. Apparently grocery shopping with Starfire hadn't been all that bad if she was teasing him without the sharp barbs. Cyborg was rummaging in the freshly stocked fridge for a couple of not-cold-at-all-but-still-it's-soda sodas when the common room doors swooshed open once more.
"Hey guys. So, how was grocery shopping girls?" Robin asked, mostly addressing Raven, before taking the seat on Starfire's other side. Garfield was willing to bet his entire comic book collection that Robin had similarly timed his arrival to avoid grocery detail. Cyborg reached down for a third luke-warm soda, kicking the fridge closed, and passed them to his teammates before sitting next to Garfield and turning his attention to Raven.
"It was fine." Raven turned to the kettle and fiddled with it. When it didn't look like she was going to elaborate Robin cleared his throat to try again.
"Um, did you get everything on the list?"
"Uh, did you guys enjoy yourselves?" Robin asked, still trying to make conversation.
Robin grunted before giving up and opening his soda, the wet fizzy noise not loud enough for Garfield to miss his soft 'Really Raven?'.
Garfield decided it was his turn. "Cy says you guys were on the news."
"Not really surprising, there were a lot of news vans." Sensing she wasn't going to continue Garfield huffed and plopped down on the counter, glaring at Raven and her lack of participation. So much for her shopping experience being a good one.
"So…anything interesting happen?" Cyborg asked.
Raven shrugged, "Not really." A small squeak to his left made Garfield turn to see that Starfire was hovering over her stool and looked almost pained trying to restrain herself. Her grin was huge but she was biting her lip trying to fight it. Raven sighed causing Garfield to throw a quick glance at her before she continued, "Go ahead Star, internalizing your excitement doesn't really diminish it so you might as well not bother."
"FRIENDS! IT WAS A MOST JOYOUS OCCASION TO DO THE SHOPPING OF THE GROCERY WITH FRIEND RAVEN!" she practically sang. Garfield stuck a finger in his ear and wiggled it around. Teach him to sit so close to Star when she was excited about something. "We walked every aisle looking at the most fascinating items for sale and I learned many new things and met many new people and the friendship between Friend Raven and myself has grown much stronger!"
"Geeze, take a breath Star." Cyborg teased.
Robin smiled goofily at Starfire, "Go ahead Star, tell us all about it."
Grin never diminishing, Starfire launched into her story and Garfield leaned back, settling in for a while. Raven turned with her steaming mug, dipping her packet of herbal tea as she leaned against the counter, apparently content to let Starfire narrate their grocery shopping adventure. "At first I was most concerned for Friend Cyborg." Starfire began.
"What? Why?" Robin asked, looking across his friends at the metal man.
"Because Friend Raven mentioned his 'separation anxiety' for the T car." Garfield couldn't help it, he spewed soda everywhere. Thankfully Raven had an uncanny ability to predict his actions and stepped safely aside. He wasn't so unaware that he missed the fact that she stepped further away from Cyborg or that she twitched her hood a little farther down in front of her face. Robin had thrown his head back and roared with laughter and Cyborg hunched over his soda, storm cloud brewing overhead.
Once Robin calmed down from his giggle fit he asked, "And what exactly did Raven tell you that meant?" Raven turned away from them, busying herself with her kettle.
"Actually, I learned that term from the television. It was used to describe the feeling small Earth children get when separated from their primary care givers. I did have to ask however, as Friend Cyborg usually refers to the T car as his baby which in this case seems to be the opposite of what the term ought to imply. But then, the T car is not capable of emotion so it does not make sense that it would experience the anxiety of separation." Starfire shrugged, not as fluidly as a true Earthling but she'd gotten much better at Earth mannerisms than she gave herself credit for, "Friend Raven told me it meant that the fondness Friend Cyborg has for his car is unsurpassed by any object of this world and to do the 'not worrying about it'." Garfield wiped his eyes, god could Raven be funny.
"Anyway, moving on." Cyborg grumbled, shooting daggers at Raven's back.
"Yes. Well, once we arrived at the store of grocery, we proceeded to walk the aisles starting from the far left of the store before methodically working our way down every aisle in a serpentine pattern towards the far right of the store before we would then approach the lines of checking out. It was quite surprising and delightful when citizens of Jump started approaching Friend Raven to ask after her well being. They seemed most surprised at her seemingly wonderful health."
"That's not all that surprising considering what has been on the news this past week." Robin pointed out. Garfield was actually glad Robin had suggested Raven be kept in the dark about that; they certainly hadn't been flattering her in their reports.
"Indeed. It seemed everyone was most eager to share their wishing of well for Friend Raven! She even signed 'the autograph' for one of the citizens of Jump!"
"Wow Rae, fans mobbing you at the store?" Garfield teased, honestly glad for it. Raven didn't really have many fans, especially ones that weren't perverted teenage boys in desperate need of getting their lights knocked out.
"I wouldn't describe it like that; besides she told me you were her favorite anyway."
"What?" he asked surprised.
"Way to go Greenbean!" Cyborg cheered hoisting his soda for a salute.
"Yes! Apparently she was most impressed with Friend Beast Boy's acts of valor towards Friend Raven! She was most generous with her praise." Starfire smiled, her tone however, implied something more. He wasn't sure what it was but he definitely did not imagined Raven's suddenly tense shoulders.
"Well alright now yall! Hey Star, was she pretty?" Cyborg teased. Raven set down her mug rather firmly before turning to put all of her tea things away. Her movements lacked their usual grace; they were much sharper. What about this fan seemed to have her so on edge?
"Yes! Hannah was a very lovely girl! Her young companions were also most nice!"
"How many autographs did you sign for those boys Star?" Raven piped in, a strange leading inflexion in her tone; Robin picked right up on it.
"Boys? As in plural?" he asked, his feigned indifference would only ever fool Star, that was for sure.
"Why yes! Hannah's brother Bobby and his very best friend Thomas! They were very thoughtful as they wished to get the autograph for a great many of their friends! I was concerned however as they both seemed rather dazed, as if they were suffering from some sort of recent head trauma." Raven gave a snort which she quickly covered with an exceedingly fake sounding cough.
Cyborg laughed at a sullen Robin before grinning evilly. "Aw, they liked you Star! Was either of them good looking enough to tempt you?"
"Cyborg!" Robin yelped. The boys couldn't help but snicker.
"They were very nice for Earth boys, but I think they would be rather young for me, correct Raven?" Starfire looked to Raven with a smile, but the smile and her tone had a definite edge of teasing. She was enjoying Robin's reaction. Good for her.
"You'd be a bona-fide cradle robber Star." Raven didn't have a smile on her face, but there was a hint of one in her voice. Garfield felt his own mouth pull up at the corners.
Starfire let out a sharp gasp, "I would never! Bumgorfs are our most precious treasure! To steal one from a K'norfka would be to invite the wrath and vengeance of the fiercest of warriors and the shame of X'Hal!" Starfire cried.
"You want to explain this one Robin?" Raven asked calmly, sipping her tea, casually leaning back against the counter to face them.
Robin threw her a glare before turning to Starfire. "She didn't mean you'd literally be stealing babies Star, 'cradle robber' is something you call somebody who dates a much younger person so that you can tease them."
"Oh, how much younger?" she asked, eyes wide. Come to think of it, wasn't Star older than Robin? At least as time is measured on her planet?
"It's not a big deal, just people teasing their friends." Raven said dismissively.
"So, what else did you guys do at the grocery store?" Robin asked, clearly trying to change the subject. Poor guy, why he couldn't just suck it up and kiss the girl was beyond him.
"Oh yes! I learned many things today! Friend Raven is a most excellent teacher!" Starfire beamed. "She explained many things including how Earthlings use 'the slang' when they speak because they are the 'lazy'!"
"Hey!" Garfield protested at his violet eyed teammate. "I'm not that lazy! Slang is cool!"
"You can come talk to me about not being lazy when your vocabulary improves." she deadpanned.
"I'll have you know that my vocabulary is just fine thank you very much." he argued.
"Really?" she cocked a brow at him, a smirk on her face. He could feel his own lips twitching, wanting to mimic her. Sass was probably having a ball right now. "What does…'unequivocal' mean?"
"Uh…can you use it in a sentence?" he hedged. He had a vague idea, having come across it before, but his mind was a blank at the moment.
Her brow rose even higher and her smirk widened, "That, Beast Boy, would be cheating. Using the context of a sentence to figure out a word, while resourceful, would negate the whole point of the exercise."
"Okay, so I'm a little hazy on some words, that doesn't mean I'm not smart!" he pointed out. He really did recognize the word; it just wouldn't come to him at the moment. Crap. Now he was going to have to go look it up or else it was going to bother him all day.
She frowned, "I never said a word about your intelligence. In fact, requesting I use the word in a sentence was rather clever, and someone who wasn't very smart would more likely have responded with a huff and a boast rather than thinking of a way to get around not knowing the word off the top of their heads. I have no doubts about your intelligence Beast Boy, when you apply yourself you can accomplish a great deal. Any lesson that could be taken from this situation however," she added as she made her way from the kitchen towards the common room doors, "might be that you could benefit from applying yourself a little more often."
Raven was almost to the door when he called out, "Wait! What does 'unequivocal' mean?" He still wanted to know, but it would be less work if Raven just told him.
She turned back, eyebrow cocked once more, before she shook her head with a small, almost-not-there smile. "I suppose asking someone does count as applying yourself since you could have just let it go…'Unequivocal', to have a clear or definite meaning, allowing for no room for misinterpretation. I hope my thoughts on your intelligence have been expressed unequivocally." With that, she left the room. Garfield wasn't left to his thoughts about Raven's opinion of his intelligence for long before Starfire caught his attention again.
"Friends!" she cried, but in a subdued tone. She wanted their attention but she was containing her volume, why would she do that? "I have most interesting news to share with you that I was afraid to discuss with Friend Raven still in the room!" That definitely caught Garfield's attention.
"What is it Star?" Robin asked. Garfield could just see his 'leader mode' wheels starting to kick into gear.
"Friend Raven used her powers today, twice! And she did not even seem to notice!"
"What!?" Garfield was fairly sure that all three of them had asked that simultaneously.
"Yes! The first time was when we were surrounded by many reporters of the news from many news reporting stations. They would not stop asking Friend Raven questions that were making her uncomfortable such as 'Since she is half-demon, where would she go if she really did die' or about her relationship with Friend Beast Boy or—"
"Woah! What?!" Garfield interrupted sharply.
"Yes, Friend Raven used her powers to create space between them and ourselves. They were very much doing the 'invading of our personal spaces'."
"No, I mean, what were they asking her?" Damn them! Damn them and that stupid 'Fair Rights Information and Disclaimer Bill. The public didn't need to know their origins or species or whatever to know they were being protected. That damn law required them to all disclose extremely person information, just about everything other than their secret identities if they were human, and the backlash from finding out Raven's heritage had been astronomical. What did it matter who her parents were when she risked her life every single freaking day to protect this city an all the people in it? Why couldn't they just leave her alone?!
Starfire turned to him, visibly drooping at the remembrance of her friend's discomfort. "They were very much the 'not nice' to Friend Raven. The reporters of news, however, were much more tame than those PopRocksies without news affiliations."
"PopRocksies? You mean paparazzi?" Cyborg asked, brow furrowed. He was just as pissed as Garfield about them targeting Raven.
"Yes." Starfire recounted sadly. "The PopRocks—Pop-arazzi, were wanting photos of 'the candid' and were saying some very not nice things to Friend Raven. I did not understand what they were trying to ask of myself either." Starfire told them, her brow scrunching in confusion. At this point Garfield couldn't see much besides red.
"Cy, you said you had an algor-dohookie that watched the news. What were they saying about Raven?"
"There wasn't anything bad on the news. They didn't have any shots of her losing her temper or using her powers. Most of the shots were from across the street, there wasn't anything about them asking questions directly. I mean, you could clearly see that she was irritated by them but she was keeping it together in all the shots they showed."
"That's probably because of the 'No unauthorized interviews' rule. They couldn't legally use any of that up-close and question filled footage without the Titan's coming down on them. They wouldn't waste future interview opportunities on shots of an irritated Raven when most of their footage was probably her denying everything they'd been saying for the past week."
"Yeah, but there's nothing keeping the paparazzi from using any shots they took." Cyborg pointed out.
"Actually, they probably do not have any photos of Friend Raven. As I have said, she used her powers twice on our excursion. The second time was on the Pop-arazzi. She drew back her hood and revealed untold horrors. When she did so, all the Pop-arazzi cameras were damaged."
"And Raven didn't say anything? She used her powers and just didn't notice?" That couldn't be right. Raven was really worked up about her powers. She said she couldn't feel them anymore. How could she have not noticed if she'd used them?
"That is what I find most alarming. Friend Raven has expressed concern for the absence of her powers and yet did not seem to notice their return."
"Maybe she never really lost them? Cyborg, you said you couldn't find anything physically wrong with Raven?" Garfield could almost see the wheels turning in their leader's head.
"Nope. Physically she's all healed up. I've never been able to get a read on her powers, though. I've always just taken her word on it. The girl ought to understand her own powers. What do you think this means? She can still use them but doesn't know that?"
"It might be that her powers being gone are just psychological, like before, after that movie. She doesn't 'feel' them anymore so she assumes she can't use her powers."
"But she can't." Garfield argued. "I've watched her try. She can't summon even a flicker of her dark energy, no matter how worked up she gets." After all, if she could, Rage could have done some major damage and Affection would have been able to fix it…hopefully.
"But she could push back a press of reporters when she was uncomfortable?" Cyborg asked, brow furrowed.
"Subconsciously." Robin answered, deep in thought.
"Friend Robin, please share your theory with us." Starfire prodded him when he didn't elaborate for several moments.
"It's something Raven said, right before the backlash of her powers. We were talking about the differences between the conscious and subconscious minds." Only Robin and Raven could have arguments punctuated by psychological discussions. "She mentioned something about a block between the two and how she had the power to remove it. It would make sense then, that she also has the power to put a block in place. That would explain why she can't feel her powers; she thinks she lost them, but they're still there. She can only access them subconsciously, when she doesn't realize she does it."
Okay, this conversation was striking a little close to home. What exactly were Raven and Robin talking about that would mention psychological blocks and lead to Robin apologizing to him? Garfield did not like the implications. "Okay, so she doesn't realize at the time that she's using her powers. Why not afterward? Why doesn't she suddenly realize that the press didn't back off voluntarily and it wasn't the wind that smashed the paparazzi's cameras?"
"I don't know. Maybe it's some side effect of the block? The point is, Raven still has her powers." Robin's smile was triumphant.
"But she can't consciously use them." Cyborg argued. "Can't really fight crime if all you can do is hope your subconscious reacts how you normally do in battle."
"Raven said the subconscious relies on instinct." he explained, smirk never diminishing. "We all rely, at least a little, on instinct when in battle. This might be the key we need to unlock the block in her mind." So their discussion involved psychological blocks, talk about instincts, and led to an apology to him…now he was really not liking the implications.
"But Robin, that doesn't make sense in the second incident. Friend Raven very purposely removed her hood for the Pop-arazzi. Perhaps the cameras were damaged accidently, but she very clearly meant to scare them with her powers."
"Wait…" something was nagging him in the back of his mind, something to do with Raven's subconscious and her powers. "Star, did Rae seem emotional to you? I mean, different than usual."
Starfire looked up in thought, "Nothing unusual, she seemed most displeased by the actions of the Pop-arazzi but she did not seem more or less unlike herself than usual." Suddenly Star's face lit up in excitement before her buoyed feelings lifted her off her stool. "But we did have a most marvelous time talking of the Shakespeare and going to the theater and how she is working on her emotional control with Friend Beast Boy, and of Tamaran, and she told me a wonderful childhood memory of her time on Azarath!"
Wait, what? "What did she tell you?" Garfield asked in a little alarm. That was an awful lot of sharing for one afternoon, especially if Raven was in a foul mood.
"Yes! It was most joyous! Friend Raven said that once she is ready she would seek my aid in the control and understanding of her emotions like Friend Beast Boy is already helping! She then asked after my K'norfka and how life on Tamaran proceeds. She was most distracted on the drive home and she informed me it was because she was conversing with her emotions. She said they were encouraging her to share a story with me as I had shared with her!"
"Say what!? She was driving my baby while distracted?!" Cyborg snapped, the others largely ignored him.
"She told you about her life on Azarath?" Garfield couldn't believe it. That was something no amount of wheedling had ever gotten her to open up about before, at least with him.
"Well, it was more just one memory, but she said it was what allowed her to eventually come to Earth and become a Titan." Starfire was elated. Garfield hated to admit it, but he was jealous. Raven had shared something really personal and private with Starfire and he really, really, really wanted to know what it was.
"So uh, what was the memory about?" he asked, feigning indifference, much more effectively than Robin he'd like to point out.
"It was a memory of a childhood adventure in facing her fears and standing up for what she believed in most strongly." Starfire answered, tactfully avoiding giving away any details that Garfield hungered for.
Before he could question further, Robin interrupted. "What has that got to do with Raven's powers? I know her powers are based on her emotions, but I fail to see the connection, Beast Boy."
Garfield clutched at the thought of wringing more details out of Starfire before heaving a sigh and letting it go. They needed to worry about Raven's powers and helping her right now; he could worry about her memories and how to get her to share them with him on his own time. "It's just that, yeah, I've been helping Raven with her emotional control and I've noticed that sometimes her emotions take control. She reacts to it so I know she's aware that it happens, but that's when she's actively releasing her grip on them. Maybe when she subconsciously does it, she doesn't realize that one of them has acted at all?" The hood trick would be right up Rude and Sass' alley.
"Hmm, a good theory Beast Boy." Garfield hated that he perked up at the praise. He really didn't need to feel like a 'good puppy' because his leader acknowledged his contributions.
"We've all witnessed the freakiness that is Raven's different emotions talking through her." Cyborg shuddered at the thought. "What I want to know is, why is it happening?"
"It must be connected to her battle with Adonis. None of this strangeness occurred until she awoke from her healing trance." Starfire pointed out.
"She did take a nasty blow to the back of the head." Cyborg conceded.
"Raven told me about her mental shields being down. She said she didn't have control of her powers after she was injured. We're all really lucky Beast Boy got her away when he did. Who knows what could have happened." Beast Boy was a little worried about the intensity of Robin's comment. It sounded like he meant it to be an offhand remark but that there was nothing offhand about it to him. Garfield's curiosity was raging.
"Even though he broke protocol?" Cyborg asked, brows raised.
Robin set his eyes on Beast Boy though he addressed Cyborg, "Sometimes circumstances negate protocol." He turned away, "Just don't make a habit of it." What was that about?
Cyborg glanced at his green buddy before addressing their leader. "So, A) we think Raven still has her powers but she has no conscious control over it. B) Her powers are influenced by her emotions, and currently they're running amuck inside her head. C) She's working on controlling her emotions but they have a tendency to control her. And D), now we suspect that her emotions can use her powers without her even knowing. Does that about sum it up?" he asked, having ticked each point off his fingers. Everybody exchanged glances with each other before nodding at him. "Well, alright then. Who wants lunch?"
AN2: So, this wasn't originally where this was going but I think this will be much better for moving the plot along…yes, there is a plot here. Granted this fic is mostly character driven, but there is an overarching theme even if I don't really emphasize it as much as I could. I'm shameless however when it comes to favoring character driven stories rather than plot driven ones. So anyway, I probably don't deserve it, but reviews? I could really use some fuzzies to get me through my presentation on my preliminary thesis data…even a small fuzzy? Just something to let me know you guys are still out there? Please?