[An hour later]
Edward had finally emerged from his healing trance, but, it had taken longer than he had estimated. As David had projected, he was hungry and looking starved.
His eyes opened slowly and he looked around, trying to get his bearings. He snarled as he righted himself.
"Easy, hon," Raven called up to him, "It's all right."
"What happened?" he said.
"You were caught in an avalanche, remember?" she said.
He shook his head, trying to clear it and remember as well.
"I'm sorry," he said, "I seem to recall only fragments of that. I remember climbing the mountain, then a rumbling noise. After that, nothing."
"I'm not surprised," Dog said, "Your earth moving friend had to dig you out and clear your nose."
"Terra?" Edward replied, "The team was here?"
"They were, love," Raven said softly, "Terra did move everything to get you out. But, Starfire and I were also helping."
"That must have been when I blacked out," Edward said with a sigh. He looked and saw Beth and Lyssa there.
"You women all right?" he asked.
Lyssa replied, "A little shaken, I think, but, physically, we're OK. You gave us a scare."
"We owe you our lives," Beth said, "It's something we Chapmans take seriously."
Edward smiled as he reverted to his human form.
"You just keep putting those bag guys in jail who need to be, and showing the Love of Christ to them," Edward said, "That's all I ask in return. Rae will tell you that I don't hold people to a life debt for long. Terra will attest to that as well."
"He's right," Raven said, "When we worked to free Terra, he was willing to call the debt paid a month after she was freed. Heck, after that adventure on Starfire's planet, Star was beside herself with worry. She had to use her starbolts to keep Edward from something he might have regretted. Star was worried that Edward would hold a grudge."
Edward snorted, "Don't remind me. Starfire's an honor sister, and it's a title that she earned with me. She was horrified of what I might have done and she felt forced to fire on me. She still considers Blackfire to be her blood family and that took precedence. Since then, Starfire was waiting for a chance to apologize in the only way she knew how.
"Right before the wedding, we took down a kid and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend, well, he's half human and half spider. He was able to paralyze me with his venom. Well, Starfire used her version of a massage and accu-pressure to help me regain movement faster. From what Rob…I mean Nightwing told me, she did that out of duty as well as honor. He told her that I'd consider any debt repaid. Which is totally true.
"Starfire's a great gal and, well, I did tell her that if she felt that she didn't have a choice, that she could use her powers against me if the greater good was served."
"How was it served?" Dog asked.
"In that case," Raven replied, "Edward is, well, temperamental at times. Blackfire had made several mistakes and Edward was forced to open up a can of whoop-ass with his lightning breath. Tamaranians are hardy enough to withstand space or she would probably have been killed. Star, however, used her starbolts to distract Edward. It was bad enough that Edward and I almost had a huge argument over treating her."
"That is something that I still regret, Raven," Edward said, "I know that there will be many times we disagree, but, that first time…"
Raven said as she hugged her husband, "Honey, you know I've already forgiven you as I know you already forgave me. Let it go."
Edward sighed, then, his stomach betrayed his other pressing need.
"We owe you a dinner anyway," Beth recalled, "for renting the gear for us."
Edward did a facepalm, "Dammit! That stuff's probably destroyed."
"Fraid so, big guy," Lyssa said, "I think that the rental place can get replacements anyway."
"True," Edward said, "But, we should at least let them know." It was obvious that the mountain would remain unchallenged as there was active steam vents opened.
They walked to the equipment rental place and informed them that the stuff was trashed. Edward paid for the lost equipment, of course. Even though the folks were willing to eat the loss, Edward would have none of it. He was actually tiring of people handing him things due to his status. Before he "came out", he had to work hard for a living and nothing was handed to him. In the last few decades, once folks realized he was in their midst, they wanted to let him take what he needed, no questions asked. At first, he enjoyed it, but, now…it grated on him. He could buy things that he needed and he felt that it was the right thing to do.
The rental shop relented and allowed Edward to repay them for the lost equipment.
"Well," he said, "That was fun." Everyone looked at him like he was nuts.
"I'm kidding," he replied, "How could being caught in a landslide be considered fun?"
Raven playfully slapped him as they headed for the shuttle to head back into the city.
"Forgetting something?" Dog asked.
Edward's stomach betrayed what he was going to say and Beth laughed, "Come on, you got some eating to do!"
Edward felt his arms grabbed one side by Raven, the other by Lyssa. Edward allowed this and he was pulled towards the SUV that the Chapman family used.
"The PerpMobile?" Edward asked with a chuckle.
"Yep," Dog laughed, "You can get in front, Edward."
Edward shrugged and after he was released, got in the front seat.
[30 minutes later – Dog's house]
The gang pulled into the driveway and saw that there were other vans there.
"Damn!" Dog said, "The new show's camera crew is here. Is it all right if they film you two?"
"It's fine with me," Edward said.
"I guess," Raven replied.
"Hon," Edward said, "If this isn't want you feel comfortable with doing, the camera crew will just have to wait a day."
"Its fine," Raven said, "It's been a long day and you need to eat something."
"True," Edward said, "That's settled, Dog. Let's go in."
They got out of the SUV and headed in. Soon as the cameramen saw Edward and Raven, they actually refrained from filming.
Dog went and got the director and quickly brought the guy up to speed. He got the release forms and within a few moments, those were signed and the camera crew started filming some "B roll" footage. Little did they know, though, that in post-production, the producers would want to center an episode on Edward and Raven.
But, as Beth and Lyssa teamed up to make the dinner for the gang, Edward and Dog had a chance to chat. The cameraman followed them as well.
"I'm grateful that you and Raven captured some punks that we were looking for," Dog said, "From what I understand, you had to rescue a woman as well?"
"I couldn't ignore the scream the victim let out, and, I wasn't going to let her be raped or worse," Edward said, "I was dismayed when the police said you were looking for them. Duane, I have the utmost respect for you and your family. You risk being killed every time you go to bring someone to justice and it's not much different than what we do. Our villains happen to have meta-powers at times, while yours may resist in more conventional ways. That's why you earned my respect."
"After today," Dog said, "You and Raven are family. I'm thankful that God put you and Raven in our lives today. Beth and Lyssa would have been killed in that landslide. Between us…I don't think I could bear to have lost them both."
Edward knew what Dog was talking about: The day before Dog and Beth married, one of his daughters was killed in Alaska.
"I appreciate that," Edward said, "I know how close you are to Beth and your children and grandchildren. I know it's very belated, but, I want to offer my condolences anyway."
Dog sighed, "Thank you. Losing Barbara was tough on all of us."
Edward said, "I know that feeling, all too well. I've lost a lot of friends in my long life, and those I called family, well, those hurt the most.
"But, to lose a child the day before a wedding…" He trailed off there, wondering what else to say without really offending Dog.
"It is tough," Dog replied, "But, we're a strong family of faith, Edward. We couldn't have gotten through that without God's help."
"Agreed," Edward said, "That's another reason I respect you guys. You're not afraid to show the world that you are believers. I always say a silent prayer before going out on a mission, to be honest."
Dog grinned, "Glad to hear that, brother!"
The conversation went on for a while, until Beth said, "Dinner's ready." The gang all gathered around the table to see some good Hawaiian food sitting there. Edward smiled as he sat down and took a good long sniff of what there.
Dog said a quick blessing on the meal and everyone dug in.
"Beth, this is quite good," Edward noted after taking several bites of the dish. She had made Chicken Teriyaki with a side of noodles as well as a salad. Most of the folks had some soda, but, the kids were enjoying some milk and Raven had lucked out as Beth had some herbal tea that she hadn't had before.
"Thank you," Beth said, "I take it you've done a lot of cooking."
"That is an understatement, given my age," Edward replied with a chuckle, "And, yes, I'm usually the chef for the Titans. It prevents problems."
"Yeah, it keeps Beast Boy and Cyborg from fighting all the time," Raven said in her usual near monotone.
"Why is that?" Lyssa asked.
"Well, Beast Boy is a vegetarian," Raven replied, "Cyborg is a serious meat lover."
"I see," Lyssa replied, "Edward, how come you enjoy meat, then? You can also morph to different animals."
"I don't see eating various animals, like this chicken, as cannibalism," he replied, "My body requires the higher proteins in various animal products. However, I do enjoy a good vegetarian meal like everyone else…except for Cyborg.
"Heck, I still recall him losing a sparring match against me. He hated that Beast Boy chose a place called the Vegetarian Palace and we had to practically drag him kicking and screaming to the place. It actually took me to threaten to pick him up in one hand and physically kidnap him. The food was actually quite good and eventually Cyborg admitted that it was a good choice. Don't tell him, but, I think he might eat more vegetarian meals at times.
"And, before you ask, yes, I can do the vegetarian thing with the best of them. That's something that Beast Boy appreciates as well. The team enjoys my various meals and, well, they always rave over my homemade pasta sauce."
Beth said, "Mind if I get a copy of the recipe, then?"
Edward smiled, "Not at all. I'll write it down before we leave. But, I tend to make enough to feed a small army."
"That's fine," Dog said, "our family is pretty big, so, it's not a problem."
The conversation turned to crime fighting, obviously after that, which pleased Edward greatly. He found that he enjoyed the company and that his respect was, indeed, well placed with Dog and his family.
Raven also was enjoying the downtime as well after that close call on the mountainside. She wouldn't say anything in front of their hosts, but, Raven had been frightened when Edward took that hit to the side. Even with his scales, he had been badly injured. She knew that he'd recover after a while, but, hearing that thud of a 2.5 ton boulder smacking Edward would have frightened anyone else. She was lucky that Beth and Lyssa took charge afterwards, as well as grateful for their efforts.
In fact, they ended up staying several hours as it was an off day for Da Kine, so, what started off as a chance encounter evolved into a fast friendship and bond between Edward, Raven and the Chapman families.
The camera crew knew not to get in the way without having to be told, as well. They stayed to the sides as much as possible and let the folks have their chat in relative peace.
But, something was bothering Edward as well. He had erupted on a couple of so called reporters for being morons and forcing Raven to intervene, and not 24 hours later, he had consented to being impromptu guests on Dog's new TV show. Little did Edward realize that this would be a rare thing as their new should would not be like "Dog, The Bounty Hunter" based in Hilo and going to different parts of the Island state or the excursion to Colorado. Then again, Edward was dismayed hearing that there was bad blood between Dog and Bobby Brown. The show had driven a monetary wedge in a long time friendship, if Edward remembered right. He hadn't gotten the whole story and his instincts said "Let that one go."
He had read Beth's Twitter feed regarding it and she vowed to block anyone who even mentioned Brown's operation.
[I know you're curious, dear, but, listen to your gut,] Raven suggested.
[Can't get much past you, can I, Rave?] he quipped.
[You know she's right,] a cautious voice said as well. It was Knowledge, of course.
[Not worth the hassle, actually,] Edward said in agreement.
Well, Edward and Raven ended up staying with the Bounty Hunters for several hours that day, enjoying the company and the friendship. However, as the day wore on, the visit had to end sometime and that was when Edward got a call on the cell phone from Clark.
"Excuse me, I need to take this," Edward said as the phone started ringing.
"Not a problem," Dog replied. So, Edward pressed the talk button on the touch-screen.
"Edward?" Clark asked.
"Yeah, Clark," Edward replied, "What's up?"
"We need you at the beach, ASAP," he said, "the NTSB changed their minds and they need to talk to you and Raven."
"Did anyone explain to them that I'm on my honeymoon?" Edward said calmly.
"Doesn't matter," Clark said, "The lead investigator says that if you don't appear and soon, they may seek a warrant for obstruction."
Edward sighed, "Whoever is making that threat best be aware that they are intruding. However, the law is the law. We're on our way."
"They are aware of your earlier objections, but, they have some pressing questions that won't wait until you get back to the mainland," Clark said, "I'll let them know to expect you and Raven shortly."
Edward hung up after saying good-bye.
"We need to head back to the beach where that plane is," Edward said, "Sorry to cut this short, though. You folks are welcome to stop in for a visit at our hotel room of if you're ever in Jump City, save your hotel fees. I'll talk Nightwing into allowing you folks to stay with us."
Raven smiled and said, "No need. He already extended an invitation. While you were recovering, dear, Nightwing offered."
"Good man to have on our side, then again, the entire team are good folks," Dog replied as he led Edward and Raven to the door.
"You come back soon, you hear?" Beth said.
"We'll have to come back," Raven said dryly, "The court will need us for that guy we took down. Hopefully, that won't need to happen for a while, though."
"Well, they will have a bond hearing and a probation violation hearing in the next 10 business days, according to state law," Dog said, "You may be needed for the probation violation hearing at least."
Edward nodded, "Reasonable enough. But, we do need to get going. Lyssa, anytime your girls want to come over to the hotel for a visit before we leave, just let either Rae or I know."
That got a cheer out of her daughters and a stunning smile out of Lyssa, "Count on that," she said.
Maddie said, "Thank you for saving mom's life and grandma's."
Edward bent down and said, "Sweetie, it was my pleasure. Raven's as well." Both kids got a hug and Dog said a quick prayer of thanksgiving and to ask further blessings on everyone.
"Rae, would you do the honors?" Edward asked. A moment later, they were encased in Raven's soul-self and teleporting to the beach.
Sorry for the super long delay in writing stuff. Been taking care of business (including trying to overcome a serious case of writer's block!)
Originally, I planned for a cameo with the Dog, the Bounty Hunter family, but, I needed them a bit longer, obviously. I know that some folks may be atheists or of other religions. I need to ask your indulgence as I do portray Edwards as a Christian (even an Immortal Dragon does want to have a higher power than himself to believe in) and, if you've watched "Dog, the Bounty Hunter" or their new show "Dog and Beth on the Hunt", you know that they do say prayers. So, I have to keep them in character.
I do want to take a moment, though, to address something that bothered me. I was going through older reviews and noticed a gripe about chapter length (or, the LACK therein). It needs to be remembered that as the writer here, I have to determine a suitable stop point for chapters, lest they just run on and on and on. Yes, I do try to have a "lower limit" to chapter length, and, the upper limit is HIGHLY flexible. Some chapters, depending on the flow, may only have 1250 words or might have upwards of 5,000, especially if I am not hindered by writer's block.
Updated info..."Terra's Story" is at a brick wall. It might end up on indefinite hiatus. I'm also struggling a bit with the "Tiny Titans" story, but, have a few ideas for getting the team back to normal. And, I'm toying with a Hulk crossover, but, NO PROMISES on this idea. I don't want to paint myself into a corner :)
Oh, side note on Teen Titans GO! Terra's certainly back! Looks like my conclusion from Tara Strong's Vine a few months back was right on the nose.
That said...I'll catch y'all later on.