Done at request, since one of my friends likes Teen Titans so much, I am happy to satisfy that appetite by writing a multichapter story about Raven, who happens to be my favorite character from that series!
Chapter one deals with basic background to the story and setting the stage for some of the plot, so it may be a bit slow paced for some readers. Don't worry though, the story will be more fast paced later on.
I don't want to give away too much about the plot or about how the characters interact in the story, so I'll get right into it.
Setting: The initial part of this chapter is set after Trigon's downfall and prior to the defeat of the Brotherhood of Evil.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this story (besides a couple of them!)
Feel the rage! Feel it consume you! Give in to hatred, do not quell your demon blood! Yes, my daughter. Yes! Surrender to my power! Join me so that we can conquer as father and daughter, conquer all the worlds there are to conquer, destroy all those who stand in our path!
You're supposed to be dead, came the hateful reply. I killed you! I destroyed you! You no longer hold any influence over me!
The demon's laugh was deep and filled with tremendous power. No, my daughter. I will always be a part of you, no matter how you wish it. You are a demon, spawn of hell, feared and hated by everything. The only one you can turn to is me! Submit! Submit to my will!
Never! Get out of my mind! Get out before I destroy you! The girl suddenly covered her mouth at that statement. The demon's laugh sounded again.
You are more demon than you know, daughter. Serve me, and your power shall grow tenfold. Serve me, and I shall grant you strength and prestige. Vanquish your fears, break the bonds of pitiful friendship and know the truth, the nature of your ascendancy. Come, I shall not hurt you. I shall grant you everything you want.
I want you to disappear! I want you to never return! You're not a part of me! I'm not a demon! I'm not evil- The girl gasped as suddenly, there was a deep, ominous rumble that sounded in her voice. No! What are you doing to me?! She moved around as if possessed, screaming and struggling like there was some enormous fist that was grabbing her body. She gasped as her pair of violet eyes suddenly morphed into four red ones and her teeth lengthened and grew pointier, resembling a monster's fangs. Stop!
Dear daughter, I am not the one doing this to you. You are merely revealing your true self. You can hide no longer.
She screamed as her fingernails lengthened into claws and red symbols appeared all over her body. No... No! Get out! Get out! Get out! Stop it!
"No!" Raven woke up, sweating and shaking. She breathed quickly and heavily a few times in the darkness, her room spinning around her. She blinked several times to clear her vision and sat up, rubbing the back of her neck. Just a dream... She took several deep breaths and tried to calm herself.
Getting up quickly, she put on her blue-violet cloak and pulled the hood up. I don't know what that dream was all about, but I can't just ignore it. I have to meditate. She crossed her legs and began floating.
"Azarath metrion zinthos," she breathed once. And repeated. "Azarath metrion zinthos." Slowly, the world around her faded and a feeling of peace came over her mind. No emotions, fear, nothing to bother her. She floated within a deep void, as if deep in space, with the immeasurable stars and galaxies spiraling about her, boundless peace, tranquility... Raven closed her eyes, shutting out the images of the galaxies and stars, and now there was just a huge nothingness and an infinite chill about her. She felt all her emotions fade away into the chill; a welcome sensation, since strong emotions were never a good sign for her, she thought. "Azarath metrion zinthos," her voice came back to her through the darkness, soft and soothing. "Aza-" she broke off. Something was wrong. She opened her eyes, looking around at her gloomy room.
And then fire surged up around her, setting her room ablaze. It spread around her in a circle, nearly burning her with the intensity of the heat. Raven fell to the ground and drew her cloak about her, eyes wide with fear. Four red eyes appeared on the wall facing her and a chilling laugh filled the room.
"You're supposed to be dead," Raven's voice was merely a whisper, but it was not missed by the demon.
"What made you think you could get rid of me so easily?" The demon's voice was deep and malicious. "Now, bow down to me! Surrender to my will!"
Raven's eyes closed for moment before shifting into a glare. "Never! I'll won't become your portal, I'll never serve you, and I'm not a demon! Go away!"
The demonic laugh rang in her ears. "Are you so sure, my daughter?"
Raven gasped as her pair of violet eyes suddenly multiplied into four, glowing red ones. "No..." her voice trailed off in a whisper.
The laughter continued and she thought that if it continued, it would drive her insane. "No... No! Get out! Leave! You're not a part of me!" Her only reply was more laughter.
Raven woke up, for real this time, she hoped, and sat up immediately. She took several deep breaths and touched her face, as if to verify that it was real. After a few moments, she breathed a sigh of relief and wiped the sweat from her face. So it was just a dream. Raven breathed a sigh of relief and got up. Pulling on her cloak, she walked over to her window and looked into the sky.
It was still night, but she found no fear in the darkness, only comfort in its peace and tranquility. She took in the stars, the moon, all shining with light of the purest white kind... Raven found herself distinctly jealous. She closed her eyes and transformed into her soulself, teleporting to the Titans' common room. Standing in front of the giant window, she looked out over the dark city, sighing to herself. She began pulling her hood up - then thought better of it - and crossed her legs.
"Azarath metrion zinthos." She opened one eye, as if to dare the fire to appear again. She closed her eyes. "Azarath metrion zinthos." She opened one eye again. Am I just being paranoid? "Azarath metrion zinthos." It was still.
A huge column of magma suddenly burst out in front of her and the giant demonic figure rose from within it. She leapt aside as it made a grab for her, landing on the ground uninjured.
"No! Get away from me! Stop following me!" she screamed out, before realizing nothing was there. She shook her head several times and looked up again. Nothing. I must be going insane. This better not be another nightmare. Raven sighed. Every single day, every single goddamn day, he shows up and tries to take over my mind. He's supposed to be dead! Why is he still here? How is he still there?
Because there is still part of you that belongs to me. Your demon half rules your mind, daughter. You are destined for power. You are destined to be evil. Your rage, your hatred, they cannot be contained.
Raven held her head in her hands, trying to resist the growing fear in her heart. The fear that she might become a demon, the fear that she actually was evil. No... no... I'm not evil... I can't be evil...
Is that why all those so called "villains" you take down are always more badly injured than the ones your friends take down? Violence is a part of your being. Your coldness towards your "friends," the way you treat them, is part of being a demon as well. Denying their kindness, your heart filling with rage at every little irritation, barely containing your violent urges... Raven's eyes gleamed red.
It's true. I treat them all like shit. Beast Boy... he only tries to be nice, he's only trying to get to know me, yet the only thing I ever do is shun him. Starfire, she tries to make me happy, all she wants is to hang out with me like a normal person, but I reject her coldly each time. I disparage everything that Cyborg does, from his car to his games, all I do is make him feel unwelcome. And Robin... I undermine his authority, I treat his team like dirt, I treat him like trash, I'm just horrible to everyone. Raven closed her eyes. And suddenly she felt angry. What right do you have to judge me? I may treat them... not the best... but I still help them with their problems, whether it's fighting villains or sometimes with their emotional problems...
Oh, really? Is that why the look away in fright every time your rage breaks loose? Because of the demon inside you? Is that why they call you creepy? A freak?
They also call me a friend! They trust me! Robin even braved the depths of hell to save me from you!
What makes you think he wouldn't do that for anyone else either? If there was a way to stop the world from ending, he would do anything to do it. You are not that special, you were just a means for him to stop me. And incidentally I am a part of you.
The Starfire girl calls you friend, but is it really so special? She calls everyone a friend, whether she knows them or not. Surely you have felt it. Her calling you friend truly holds no meaning at all, it is merely the way she addresses people she does not hate. She wants to do things with you? Go to the stupid mall? Paint your nails? She just wants something to do with another girl, in case you hadn't noticed, since the rest of the team is male. You're not special to her.
What about the others? They accept me!
Please. What makes you think the others have accepted you? Cyborg gives you room to be yourself, but he does that for everyone. And whenever you overstep the boundaries of what he deems acceptable, you have seen how he has looked disappointed in you. You have seen him threaten you.
He hasn't said anything threatening...
Actions speak louder than words, girl. All that your friends do for you, trying to "understand" you, "protecting" you from Trigon, getting you to try to socialize more, it is all so that they can protect their own world from the demon within you! You're just a threat to them! They think you must be controlled. But we shall be their slave no longer!
Enough! Get out of my head!
Your head? It paused. Your head? The voice repeated. What makes you think this is your head? I am Rage, an aspect of your personality. But I am also the Demon, the other half of your blood. And I am you. The demonic voice gradually changed and grew higher until it was exactly the same as Raven's own voice. You're just oppressing me because you can't come face to face with the truth. You are a demon.
No! That can't be true!
"Raven? Is everything okay? You were screaming..." She felt a hand on her shoulder, and there was a disturbing silence for a moment.
"Leave," she whispered, brushing the hand away.
"Raven, let me help you," he put his hand on her shoulder again and suddenly all hell broke loose.
"Get away from me!" She screamed and rose off the ground, four eyes gleaming from underneath her hood. She towered above the person who had just touched her - Robin - and bared her viciously sharp teeth at him. He backed away, visibly frightened by her, and drew out his staff in preparation for the coming fight.
The demon-Raven figure growled at him as if possessed, overwhelming Rage surging through her mind at having her struggle with Rage interrupted. How was she supposed to overcome her demon half with everyone interrupting her internal battle?
"Leave!" Demon-Raven spoke in a frenzied fervor, tentacles appearing from underneath her cloak and advancing on Robin threateningly.
"Raven!" The rest of the team appeared in the doorway and gasped as they saw her demonic form.
See? Look at their eyes. They fear you. The four Titans aimed their weapons at Raven and prepared to attack should she advance further.
"Snap out of it Raven! I'm warning you! Don't get any closer!"
They hate you. They have not accepted you as a teammate at all, merely a danger that had to be controlled. Rage was poisoning her mind.
Demon Raven hissed spitefully and was just about to attack when she let out a ghastly screech.
Get out of me! Raven's voice sounded both out loud and within her own mind. You don't own me! I'm not a demon! Get... OUT!
The demon faded and Raven reappeared on the ground, hunched over, breathing heavily. And suddenly, she was overwhelmed by a sudden mixture of fear, a bit of loathing, and an unsettling aura of abandonment. Being an empath was not easy, especially when one sensed that one's own friends were shunning her. Raven closed her eyes and pulled up her hood, and did not speak. None of them dared to approach her.
I knew it. I'm a monster. I... I almost hurt them, and they were just trying to help me...
"Raven!" Robin shook the sleeping girl awake and the four Titans gathered around her backed away as she blinked groggily.
"What happened?" She mumbled. "Is something wrong?"
The four of them looked at each other. "Do you not remember?" Starfire asked kindly.
Raven shook her head, but she sensed a curiously, and disturbingly familiar sensation of fear from her teammates.
"Why... is everyone so scared of me?"
"You... Kinda attacked us Rae," Beast Boy replied, backing away from her. "Like... You actually attacked us."
Raven's eyes widened. So it wasn't a dream. Suddenly, she felt like a cornered rat, the stares of her four teammates unwelcome and threatening. "No... no..." she breathed out. "I couldn't have... No..."
Cyborg held up his right arm, which had huge gashes in the metallic portions. "Then where did these come from?" He questioned her, and sighed. "Look, Rae, we all know you're not yourself sometimes, but this is getting ridiculous. The first time, we were definitely worried for you, and we still are, but you're going to end up doing something you regret if this continues."
Raven closed her eyes. "Please... just leave me alone."
Robin frowned at her. "Raven, this can't continue on. Either you face this... whatever you're dealing with, or we're going to have to do something about it... Raven, are you even listening?"
"Leave me alone!" She lashed out them with her own powers, and suddenly regretted it as she saw the shock on their faces. Goddammit I attacked them AGAIN! How stupid can I be! "No... I'm sorry," she held a hand up to her mouth. "I'm... so sorry..." she was met with looks of confusion and disappointment. Closing her eyes, she transformed into her soulself and teleported herself back to her room.
Raven almost didn't want to join the rest of her team when the alarm sounded, but knew that she had to back them up. Nowadays, for whatever the reason, the villains were getting more dangerous, which meant that their fights were getting harder and harder. Often times, they would appear in groups of three or even more, leaving each Titan to fend for him/herself in one on one battles. Raven would've loved to sit this one out, but... then her friends might blame her if someone got injured. Besides, it was her duty.
Gathering around the computer, the five Titans studied a map of the city, which had four blinking red dots on it. Robin slammed his fist into the keyboard. "Dr. Light, Slade, Gizmo, and Plasmus all at once," he was gritting his teeth in anger.
"We'll have to split up. I'll take Slade. You guys get the others," he replied and moved to leave, when Cyborg stopped him.
"Dude, when it comes to Slade, you get crazy. He's not the best match up for you, Robin."
"Shut up, Cy! I have to face him alone!"
"Friend Robin, friend Cyborg is right. You... should at least have some help if you face him. He is... too much for you to handle alone."
Starfire's words calmed Robin slightly. Especially since he was going to get to fight Slade, at least. "Alright, Cy, come with me! You guys get the others!"
"I'll take the little squirt," Beast Boy headed off to the west side of the city.
"And I shall defeat the Plasmus," Starfire spoke next, before turning to Raven. "Friend Raven?"
No reply. Starfire persisted and put a hand on Raven's shoulder. "Friend Raven, is everything okay? Nobody blames you for what happened earlier. You were... not yourself."
Raven could tell that Starfire was not quite telling the truth. The fear emanating from the girl was enough to choke them both. Being an empath really sucked at times. But still Raven gave her a curt nod before heading off to the dot in the north, Dr. Light.
"So, the dark one has come out to play," Dr. Light turned around from a yellow orb that he had just been attaching wires to. "But you will find that darkness will be banished in the presence of light!" He fired a bolt of light at Raven as he spoke the last word, but she blocked it with her shield.
Raven's eyes gleamed from under her hood as she dropped her arms. "Do we need to repeat what happened the first time we met?"
Dr. Light laughed pompously. "Silly child, I have grown far more powerful since then. You will find that your demonic powers are no match for the radiance of Dr. Light!" He blasted at her again and again and Raven gritted her teeth with the strain of keeping up her shield.
"I'm... not... a demon!" She hissed back at him.
The villain snorted. "You're not a demon? Then what was that thing you became the first time we met? Last I checked, humans don't have four glowing eyes or tentacles or use that type of dark magic."
"Shut up!" Raven's shield wavered as her emotional state began to fall apart. Rage boiled at the edges of her mind, as it often did nowadays.
Dr. Light continued his assault and eventually, Raven's shield broke entirely. "Demon though you may be, you are weak! Light banish you to the darkness from where you came, demon!" He blasted her once, sending her flying back, then twice after she landed, and then again and again, forming a massive crater in the ground. When the smoke from his attacks cleared, he was standing over Raven's still body.
Yes... you are powerless, as he says. You are powerless without me, the demon inside you. Powerless without Rage. Raven slowly regained consciousness, but found that she could not open her eyes. She sensed that she was bleeding in a lot of places - getting hammered with a bunch of lasers would do that - and tried to wipe away the blood dripping down a chin, but a foot stomped on her wrist and held her arm to the rocks on the ground.
"What's the matter, demon?" Dr. Light seemed to be enjoying his position of power; after all, Raven had humiliated him several times in the past already. "Not so strong anymore, huh?" He stomped on her ribcage, causing her to scream and spit up a shower of blood. "Why don't you say something? Cat got your tongue?"
He stomped on the side of her head, driving her face into the ground. "Let's see you get angry now, you monster," he continued taunting her, still sore about being traumatized by Raven's enraged, demonic form. "Why don't you get mad like you did the other times? It might just save you from the radiance of Dr. Light!" He attacked her again with a powerful bolt of yellow and she gasped out once more.
You're making a fool of yourself. Give in to me. Let your demon take control. Red Raven appeared in her mind, but it wasn't huge or menacing as it normally was. It held out its hand to her, toothy grin masking dark malevolence behind it. But that darkness was not directed at her. Come, find comfort, release your emotions into me. And I can grant you power.
The blue cloaked Raven in her mind closed her eyes and bent her head to the taller, crimson one. The sanguine one moved closer, eyes glinting.
The real, very unconscious, blue cloaked Raven was limp on the ground, eyes closed and mouth slightly agape with her hood still up and cloak spread wide open. Dr. Light stood over her body, looking down with a rather confused look on his face. The girl had hardly put up a fight at all; she hadn't even attacked him once and merely thrown up a couple shields to defend herself from him. Had his taunting really done all that?
"Dr. Light!" The villain heard a shout and turned around to meet Robin and Cyborg's angry faces staring out at him.
He rubbed the back of his head. "Oh, I thought you were busy with... the others. Didn't think you'd get here so fast."
Robin threw a Slade mask down at his feet. Everyone knew that that man loved using robot clones.
"Regardless, I'm curious as to why you're not on the ground, trembling in fear," Robin meant it in jest, judging by the tone of his voice, but Dr. Light laughed a little more maliciously than either of them had expected.
"Did you really think I was the same person I was before? Let me tell you something. There are bad things that are going to happen, boy," there was a dark undertone to his voice that was not too unlike the tone Slade used when speaking. Something has happened to make him... more evil, Robin thought to himself.
"We've already been through Hell and back," Robin drew out his staff and pointed it at Dr. Light. "There's nothing you can do to match that."
"True, it is not I who will be doing that. The Brotherhood has spoken of... someone else."
"Who?" Another voice appeared behind Dr. Light and he turned around, starting to get nervous. Three one one was not good odds for him. He looked at Beast Boy and sent a ray of light at him, evading the question.
"I always knew those Hive runts were no good. No wonder the Brotherhood of Evil never recruited them," he muttered to himself.
"You are not so great yourself," yet another voice appeared above him and he formed a shield of light, blocking several green starbolts. "What have you done with our... friend," Starfire hesitated very slightly before speaking the last word.
The nervousness disappeared from Dr. Light's face and was replaced with one of confidence. He stepped aside, revealing Raven's slouched body on the broken street behind him, bloodstains covering the rocks underneath her. To the Titans, it certainly looked like she was dead.
"Raven... no... no... Raven! Raven!" There were shouts all around, but she didn't stir.
"You bastard, when I get my hands on you..."
Dr. Light formed a shield as all of them attacked him simultaneously. "What are you going to do? Kill me? Just like I killed your friend... Raven?" He spoke the world mockingly. "Funny that you guys would let a demon be a superhero. Aren't demons supposed to be evil?"
"Raven may be a demon, but she is our friend!" Starfire began pounding on the shield, hands and eyes glowing green with light.
I'm not a demon. I can't believe you would say that about me... Rage drew her closer into its embrace.
"Hah. Last I heard, your relationship with your 'friend' was not so great. Didn't she attack you or something like that?"
"That has nothing to do with you, Dr. Light!" Robin beat on the shield with his staff as well. "Our problems are ours to deal with, not for you to poke fun at!"
So I'm just a problem to him... the darkness under her cloak was ominous.
Dr. Light faltered under the fury of their attacks and his shield broke. A moment later, a furious gorilla had punched him into a wall and was charging forward to attack again. "You can't attack me if you can't see!" Dr. Light's voice sounded from the smoke and a bunch of flares appeared in the gorilla's eyes, causing the green beast to transform back into a very dazed Beast Boy. He pushed a button on his suit and suddenly flew up into the air, supported by a disc of light beneath his feet. "Now, I will be seeing you later, Titans. Make sure you take good care of your demon for me."
I... am... not... a... DEMON!
Raven's eyes suddenly flew open and a gigantic, shadowy figure rose up, four red eyes and gleaming fangs underneath the shadow of its hood. The cloak opened slightly, revealing nothing but darkness and black tendrils appeared from inside it, wriggling towards the fleeing Dr. Light.
The villain gulped and threw several bolts of light at the demonic Raven but they failed to have any effect.
"You think I'm a demon? Well I'll show you just how much of a demon I really am!" Raven's voice was harsh, frenetic, as if she were possessed by madness. The tendrils of darkness wrapped around Dr. Light and dragged him back to the ground, holding him and preventing any movement.
"Afraid of the dark?" The voice was infused with almost a sadistic pleasure, and suddenly everyone knew that something was quite wrong with Raven, wrong even for her violent demonic form.
"Raven stop! Don't do it!" The Titans came rushing at her, but she turned and hissed at them, red eyes glaring at them angrily.
"Stay out of this!" The demon hissed, and more tentacles of darkness emerged from the ground, stopping them as well. Raven gave a frightening howl and the darkness hovered over Dr. Light almost like a guillotine, stopping in midair for just a moment before piercing the man's body in several places, ending his life instantly.
The Titans broke free of their restraints and warily eyed Raven, who had grown to a monstrous size with the amount of rage consuming her. Towering well above the buildings around them, the shadowy aura around her blotted out all light, casting them into a stygian penumbra.
"You think I'm a demon?" It hissed at them threateningly and seemed ready to pounce on them at any moment. "I'm... a demon?"
"Well, look at what you just did to that man!" Robin replied angrily. "What do you think separates us superheroes from becoming super villains? We don't kill people when defeating them! If we did go around murdering people like that, we'd be no better than them!"
"Rae, this is just going too far," Cyborg shook his head at her.
"I always knew you were a demon," Beast Boy glared at her, hands raised, taking a fighting stance. "But I never thought you'd do this. To us, your friends, or to anyone at all. I thought there was more to you than that."
"Friend Raven..." Starfire looked sad for a moment and turned away, trembling. Then she turned back, eyes glowing green. "If we must fight, then I will not hold back."
The demon howled and raged at them, as if some unbearable agony was possessing its mind. The darkness spread and attacked them in spears of inky blackness. The Titans dodged around, evading Raven's attacks, then counter attacking in barrages of blue, green, and explosive devices. None of them really wanted to get too close to the demon-Raven at the moment for fear of getting dragged underneath that cloak, so melee combat was out of the question. However, all of their attacks were merely met with growls and more darkness; nothing they did seemed to be able to harm her. After throwing another couple rounds of explosive disks at her, Robin decided to try to reason with her again. Fighting wasn't going to get them anywhere.
"Raven! I know you're in there! Snap out of it! We don't want to hurt you!"
"Too late for that," the demon hissed back, and focused all of her attacks on him. Robin leapt aside and tried again.
"Stop it Raven! You might be part demon, but that doesn't mean you have to follow the same path as your father! You don't have to be evil!"
I'm... not evil... Had she said that out loud?
"You're not, Rae! Nobody ever said you were evil!"
I'm not... evil... I can't let my demon side take over. I am not a demon. Her voice grew more firm in her own mind, and suddenly, red Raven emerged from the blue one, gasping and growling.
You... rejected me, it hissed at her. How dare you reject me! I gave you power! I gave you control! You cannot hide me away forever, Raven! I am you! I am the latent energy within you! Nooooo! It screamed as blue Raven raised her hand and engulfed it in dark magic. Begone! And never come back!
The real Raven was hunched over on the ground, facing away from her four teammates. She knew that she had messed up big time, that her little display of how out of control her demon was was really going to get her this time.
"Raven." Robin's voice was neutral, but she could sense a mixture of pity, fear, and anger off of him. She didn't turn around. "Raven," he repeated, and touched her shoulder. She turned around, red eyes blazing, tempestuous fury gathered around her in an aura of dread, and
"Noooo!" Raven woke up and screamed, sitting up, eyes wide with fear. Visions of her dream still swam across her eyes and she felt her body tense up. Her hands grasped her blankets tightly and she trembled slightly, looking down at the darkness. It wasn't just a dream. I remember the day that happened. Two years ago... She lay back, looking out into the vast void that of her room. I left them behind. There was always that fear in me that they would not accept me, because I was a demon, because I was the daughter of something that would destroy the world. I... did not have the courage to face them after that. My only friends in the world thinking that I was evil, a mere demon... I could not bear that. She suddenly felt a surge of rage and she pounded her fist on her bed, face contorted with anger. And now look at me! If anyone knew I was alive, the whole world would be hunting me. Hunting the witch-devil that once nearly destroyed them. If they knew who I was...
The rage left her and she relaxed again. I can' dwell on it too much now or the demon will get out. Guess I better just get some rest. She drifted slowly back off into fitful slumber.
Raven's eyes fluttered open and met with an vast, infinite darkness. She shook her head, a little confused, and looked again. Nothing. Just darkness. She tried moving around but found that her arms and legs were bound, so the best she could do was shuffle a bit on the ground into a more comfortable position.
"Hello?" She called out. "Anyone there?" Silence.
Did someone kidnap me or something? She frowned and focused on the ropes binding her limbs together. "Azarath metrion zinth-" before she could complete the incantation, something buzzed on the side of her head, and she cried out in pain when some sort of shock ran through her head. Okay, so either these aren't your normal kidnappers, or I've been arrested by the Justice League... Now that she thought about it, there was a small device on each of her temples that was probably designed to activate every time she tried to use her powers. She sighed. So she was stuck in some sort of limbo, completely helpless and all alone.
"Hello?" She tried again, this time speaking a bit louder. "Hellllloooo?"
Hello, Raven. A voice sounded from the darkness, not unlike the demonic one of her father, but it was completely genderless and far more menacing. She froze in place and felt something stir within her chest. An emotion she hadn't felt so strongly in a long time.
Eyes wide with fear, but still seeing nothing, her voice dropped to a whimper. "Who... are you?" No reply. She backed away as she felt the presence draw closer. Her heart felt like it was going to pound out of her chest and she felt beads of sweat break out over her face.
"Get away!" She suddenly screamed. "Robin! Robin! Star!" She instinctively called out to her old teammates; they were the ones who had saved her in the past, after all. "Anyone! Help!"
Suddenly, a circle of light shone on her, revealing her very frightened face, but nothing else. Raven took several deep breaths to calm herself down before looking in the direction of the light. It appeared that she was in some sort of large holding cell, with a door and window on the wall on the far side of the room. The light came from just underneath the rectangular window, where Robin suddenly appeared, evidently staring at her with some confusion.
"Robin," she spoke to him, wondering if he could hear her. "Why am I...?"
He looked at her, baffled, before his voice sounded over a speaker. "You... attacked us... and we've been searching for you for months. When we found you, you were laying unconscious in the middle of about a hundred people. And they were all dead."
Raven's eyes widened.
"We don't know if you did it... I hope you didn't... but they had no markings on them at all. No slash marks, no gunshot wounds, no indication they had been strangled or harmed physically at all. You're the only person that I know who could possibly kill at all. I'm sorry, Raven, but we have to assume the worst. Especially considering how you acted the last time we met.
Raven bit her lip, and Robin could see the fear and sadness in her eyes. He actually felt a pang of pity for her, even though she had tried to kill him the last time they saw each other.
"Can you... maybe let me out of here and at least let me shower and stuff?" Her voice crackled through a speaker into the room Robin was watching her from.
Robin shook his head. "I can't let you do that," his voice was firm now. "I don't know what you've been doing exactly, but everyone thinks you're a criminal now. None of us wants to believe it, Raven, but so far, it really would seem like you have... left behind your life as a hero. And there's nothing I can do to stop you from being thrown in prison. For that many murders, you'll probably be sentenced for life."
"Good thing I don't age," she murmured back. She looked at his confused face. "Half-demon, remember? My demon blood makes me immortal in that respect."
Robin nodded. He didn't know what to feel after seeing his old teammate like this. She seemed so... normal, well normal for Raven that was. Her monotone hadn't really changed much nor had her appearance, except that her hair was now longer. Her apathetic face was much the same as it once had been, although her eyes still shimmered when she felt strong emotions. What has she been up to? He wondered to himself. She doesn't seem like the type to be a serial killer or anything, but her demonic side... She even tried to kill us, her friends! And we didn't even provoke her. I'm sorry, Raven, but you've really just gotten out of control. Maybe we can help you once you've proved to us that you can control your inner demon. I don't think you realize this, but it hurts all of us to lose a former friend and have her attack us... All we want to do is help you. Even if we are scared of you sometimes. You know, I always thought of you as not just a friend, but-
Robin was brought out of his thoughts by a sudden scream. "Raven? What's wrong?" He looked into the window and saw her backing out of the light.
"Robin!" Raven screamed out, her voice panicked and terrified. "Robin! Get me out of here!"
Robin frowned. "I already explained that I can't do that, and you know it Rae-"
"Robin!" She screamed again and the circle of light illuminating her body went out. Now sensing that something was wrong, Robin tried to peer into the darkness to look for where Raven might be.
"Raven? What's wrong?" He tried flipping on all the other lights, but they all failed to turn on. "Raven!" His voice betrayed his fear, fear for her safety. Despite the fact that she was possibly a criminal and had attacked him, he still didn't want anything bad to happen to her. "Raven!" He repeated. There was some buzzing from the speaker, but after a moment, that went out too and it was dead silent.
And then he heard a bloodcurdling scream through the wall. Raven's. Damn it, he pounded his fist on a nearby wall and pressed the control to open the door, but nothing happened. Robin gritted his teeth and tried pulling the door open by force but found that he could not make it budge at all. He tried kicking it open, he tried blowing it up with his explosive discs, but it was impermeable. Another scream sounded, and he rushed to the window, looking out into what seemed to be an empty void. And then a red light flickered for just a moment, revealing a towering, shadowy figure that resembled Raven with her hood up, only it had a wicked scythe in its hand. And Raven was backed into a corner, the terror etched all over her face. The light flickered again and the giant shadow was closer to her. And each time the crimson light flickered it drew closer and closer until it was standing right above her.
The light went dead and Raven could sensed the scythe coming down at her body and there was nothing she could do but let out a scream, and
She screamed and sat up, breathing erratically. Sweat ran down her face and her heart pounded against her ribs. Raven put a hand to the back of her neck. Closing her eyes, she breathed in and out deeply. And then pounded a fist on her bed, teeth bared into a snarl.
"Will these stupid dreams just go away! I don't need to relive this every... stupid... moment... of my life!" She pounded her fist again and felt the building shake. Her emotions were out of control and it was causing her powers to do weird things.
Okay, calm down. No point in getting angry at this. Don't want to let the demon out again. She sat there and breathed smoothly. "Azarath metrion zinthos," she spoke softly and began levitating. "Azarath metrion zinthos. Azarath-" She bit her lip, a little too hard, and felt the blood flow down her chin. I wish my meditation would work like it used to. No matter how much I meditate nowadays, it doesn't seem to do anything. She groaned in frustration and decided to just get up, even though she had only gotten a couple hours of sleep. Pulling her cloak around her, she stood up and walked over to her window.
She had decided to relocate to Gotham after all the bad luck she had had in Jump city, and despite the fact that Gotham had one of the most powerful members of the Justice League protecting it, she felt relatively safe. The old city had plenty of abandoned buildings and a massive underground sewer system, and as long as she didn't do something stupid, it was unlikely that the Batman would ever come after her.
Right now, it was still dark outside, although the full moon did provide a bit of bluish light that seemed oddly welcoming to her. She phased through the window and landed in the street below, still looking up at the night sky. And then a shadow passed across the roofs of the buildings overhead. It looked down as it saw Raven's figure sitting against a wall, arms reached around her legs, hood raised over her head. Raven looked up right as it looked down, and they made eye contact for what seemed like an eternity. Time seemed to slow, and she found herself transfixed, and slightly frightened, by that dark gaze. Then the Batman looked away and back towards whatever he was chasing. He had sensed something... unsettling... and something familiar about that girl, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it. Maybe he'd look into her later. For now, he had to focus on chasing that weird shadow that he had seen earlier. The thing had already killed 38 people, and the last time Batman had engaged it, it had proven to have some skill in hand to hand combat. And judging by its appearance and his own senses, Batman could tell that it wasn't just any normal human; this had to be some magical creature or even a demon. It was bound to have other powers as well. But it was his job to protect the city at all costs, and no matter how formidable the enemy was, he always brought them down.
Suddenly, the shadow disappeared from his vision and he looked around, body tensed, ready for a fight. He jumped up as a dark hand appeared out of the building beneath him and kicked back at it. The... whatever it was... snarled and began rising out of a pool of darkness, a figure in a dark cloak, with a scythe in hand. Is this that girl I saw earlier? They certainly look alike. Then Batman found himself staring up into a figure that towered to maybe twice his height, something with many red eyes peering out from the darkness, and a vicious mouth filled with sharp teeth snapping at him from under the hood. Just kidding. He prepared himself and dodged the next scythe blow before kicking the thing's hand that held the scythe and kicking it backwards once again. Again they engaged, and again the Batman beat it back easily, although it seemed unfazed. But if that's all it's got, I'll be able to beat it easily and discover just what this thing is.
Another engage, and this time the shadowy figure broke away, visibly hurt. It clutched its arm and roared at him before plunging its scythe into the building. It used it to tear open a dark streak on the roof, a portal to somewhere, and several other identical figures rose up, all brandishing their scythes at him. Batman gritted his teeth. Dodging this way and that, he counterattacked whenever he could, driving a couple of them back. This was going to be a long, difficult fight.
Raven sensed the portal open from her place on the ground not too far away. She stood up instantly, tensing up, recognizing the power behind the portal. It was the same one she had sensed when she was imprisoned, that demonic presence that seemed somehow akin to her father's power, but not quite the same either. She focused her powers further, and she could sense Batman's determination not too far away. Around him she could sense the power in several other beings, beings filled with... fear? Not just fear, a strange emptiness inside of them, a void filled with nothing but fear and obedience. She shook her head. Well, whatever these things were, even if they gave off the same power signature as the thing inside the portal and the thing she had encountered before, they were a lot weaker. The Batman could handle them. Besides, I don't want to get involved with him, or things could turn out ugly. I'm still not ready to die yet.
She hid deeper inside her hood, feeling nothing but dread in her heart. She just wasn't used to sitting idly by as some supervillain was terrorizing people. Despite her demon background... I still feel compelled to help people. With great power comes great responsibility, isn't that what they said? I'm responsible for saving people. After all, it's the least I can do to atone for what I've done to this world before. Besides, it does feel good when I help people. I really should try to do more to help. Although the person in question this time is Batman... won't he just lock me up? She stared at her pale grey hands. I am a demon after all... She touched her forehead to her knees and curled up into a ball.
Raven focused harder on the fight and found that she could make out the little details as well, seeing images in her mind of Batman ducking under a scythe swing and kicking one of the ghoulish figures back, jumping another one and slamming two of the shadows together... Determination and strength practically radiated off the man. Well, I've grown a lot stronger these two years and that does affect my empathic powers, so of course I'd be able to sense his emotions more. But still, this guy's willpower is ridiculous. Even without superpowers or anything, he's willing to dive fearlessly into a bunch of demons that he knows nothing about, just to protect his city. I wish I was that brave... A sudden twang of pain in her mind drew her out of her thoughts and she focused in on the battle again. Images of more portals opening flitted through her mind, and suddenly she stood up. The Batman... the Batman... who she had thought was invulnerable or something, had been wounded. She focused on the battle again. It had just been a slight wound on his arm, but now there was an ever increasing number of those shadow things. And Batman had no means of closing those portals. She knew it. Something tore at her heart, a unbearable pain that was driving her to go help him, to fight evil as she once had, to try to regain something similar to what her life had once been. But her feet would not move. She struggled with herself, standing very still in the moonlight, head bent down towards the ground. She sensed Batman break a hole through the circle of shadows surrounding him and run past them before turning to face his adversaries. Is he insane? A chance to get away but he turns back to fight instead? He knows he might die!
And then she felt her own fear rise as she sensed the creatures draw up some otherworldly power in themselves... they're preparing for some type of huge attack. He's going to die if that hits him! I have to...
Batman sensed the creatures draw up some sort of power inside themselves, but was too preoccupied with fighting off the ones that were still battling him in melee combat. He gritted his teeth and beat them back in a flurry of punches and kicks before ducking under another scythe blow. And then his eyes narrowed as he saw the shadows release some sort of black energy beam towards him. It absorbed all the creatures that happened to be standing in its path and Batman knew that if he was hit, it was all over. Grunting, he punched away another couple creatures before trying to leap aside, but found that they had grabbed a hold of his ankles.
Suddenly, a huge wave of dark energy blocked the path of the beam and the girl he had seen earlier appeared out of a black portal behind him. She raised her arms and dark energy encased the creatures holding him down, tearing them apart. They made eye contact, and he knew instinctively that she was not a threat like these demonic beasts, no matter how dark or powerful she seemed. He turned back to the creatures and leaped into the fray, his determination unwavering as he took them down. The girl behind him shielded his body in her dark energy as he fought through them, preventing any injures, before rising into the air, hands charged with blackness.
"Azarath, metrion, zinthos!" Beams of her power flew down towards each portal and they began to close, causing the shadowy creatures to roar at them. Her voice seemed very familiar.
Now she was fighting beside him, tearing the things apart with her powers while he guarded her back, and eventually, they were all gone, destroyed without a trace of anything remaining. Her dark energy left his body - he was grateful for that, it had felt quite cold and had a disturbing feel to it - and he turned to face her. But she was gone. He smirked. He had placed a tracking device on her cloak when she had first appeared. Perhaps he would pay her an unexpected visit in a few minutes, after he had finished searching the area for anything useful.
"Why did you run?" Raven froze and pulled up her hood as she heard the voice behind her. It was low and hoarse with a dark tone about it... Batman! She didn't respond.
"Who are you?" She felt his presence behind her draw closer and she shivered. The Batman really was quite intimidating.
"Why do you need to know?" She murmured.
"I need to know when a powerful magic wielder enters my city using magic similar to those shadow things that have been killing Gotham's citizens."
"I'm not associated with them. I helped you fight them off, didn't I?"
She sensed him nod. "But that's not enough. You may not be a threat now, but I can't risk the chance of you becoming a threat later. You will tell me who you are."
Raven didn't move. I wonder if I can take him in a fight. I've always held back before to prevent my powers from accidentally killing anyone, so I don't really know what my true strength is. Maybe if I can just tie him down with energy and escape... But he somehow tracked me here, so he'd only come after me later. I'll have to search my clothes later.
"I can tell you are thinking about fighting," came the dark voice from behind her, and she nearly jumped.
"Empathy is supposed to be my power, not yours."
Batman didn't reply. Raven sighed and turned around, violet eyes gleaming at him from under her hood. He looked at her carefully, as if judging her.
"I remember you," he spoke suddenly. A small smirk appeared on his face. "Robin told me all about you."
Raven tensed, but sensed only amusement from him. He didn't intend to attack her. She relaxed, but still backed away, just to be safe. He didn't seem to care, and simply moved closer.
"Next time you pick a disguise, you might want to do more than just change the color of your cloak, Raven. For someone who's supposed to be so intelligent, that wasn't so smart."
She shrugged. "I didn't intend to be seen by anyone who might recognize me. So... what are you going to do with me?"
"As much as I'd like to tell your team that you're here..." he could see that she was visibly frightened by that statement, "I won't. I heard you... aren't exactly welcome there at this time."
She nodded meekly and he was puzzled that she looked ashamed as well.
"How are you reading my emotions so easily?" Raven demanded. "My team was never able to do that so well."
"How are you reading my thoughts so easily?" He retorted. "You shouldn't be trying to get into my mind in the first place."
She blushed slightly. Batman sighed. "Regardless, I'm willing to offer you a place to stay. You'll probably find it much more comfortable than," he gestured around to her dirty room, which was in the middle of an abandoned building, "here."
"To keep an eye on me."
"So you are as sharp as Robin said you were," he replied nonchalantly.
Raven shrugged, but then narrowed her eyes at him, faintly suspicious. "He told you what I was, didn't he?"
Batman nodded. The purple haired girl sighed, but gave in. "Whatever. Lead the way."
"Eat. You look like you haven't had a good meal in months."
Raven stared at the Batman, who had his arms folded and was staring back at her from across the floor of the Batcave. "That's because I haven't," she replied, before taking a bite of chicken. "I had to manage money left in my accounts after I left the Titans. There's not much left anymore. Besides, where are we?"
"My home base," came the reply.
She rolled her eyes at him. "Obviously. You can't tell me more than that?"
"My secret identity wouldn't be so secret if I did," he smirked at her. He waited patiently for her to finish eating, and after she had finished half of what he had put in front of her and pushed her plate away, he walked forward. "Done already?"
"Never really been a big eater anyway."
He nodded. "Well, I'll bring a bed for you. However, you are not allowed to go exploring. There are cameras all over this place, and if I do happen to catch you... Well, you understand, don't you?"
Raven nodded. There was an awkward silence in which she stared up at him, an unspoken question in her eyes. Batman waited for the question to come from her mouth, but patience was not something he was known for. "Well?"
"So... does this mean that I can go out and fight crime with you?"
Batman's eyes seemed to pierce into her soul. There's no way this guy's human, Raven noted quietly to herself. There's no way anyone could be so... intimidating. Or have such willpower.
"I am human, thank you very much," he noted with a small smile on his face, guessing at what she was thinking. He had heard that many times from all the other metahumans he had met. "But I suppose you can. You've proven yourself to me once."
A ghost of a smile appeared on Raven's face - the first she had made in a very long time.
So she's finally shown her face again. And in Gotham of all places. It's a good thing I still have intelligence there, if no real influence anymore. Doesn't matter now. I wonder how Robin will react when he hears who his new friend has been consorting with. The eye behind the black and orange mask narrowed very slightly, indicating amusement from the man. I suppose I shall give Robin a call, but only after I am done here. He turned and pushed a button, blowing up a bridge behind him. Several cars fell off of it, including an armored car with Prison Transport marked on it. The man walked over to it and kicked open the back doors, revealing a man sleeping on the floor, a gigantic stone creature, and what appeared to be a simple computer chip. Shaking the sleeping man awake and reactivating the computer chip, he now had a gigantic purple goo monster and an electrical one facing him as well.
"Well, you know the drill," he waved a hand at Plasmus, Overload, and Cinderblock, who all rose up with roars before thundering off to wreak havoc in the city.
Ah, it's great to be alive. Now, time to tell Robin about his old friend...
A/N: Again, I apologize for the slow start, but I swear it'll go faster later on.
On a side note, I haven't really decided any pairings for this story, so everyone is welcome to suggest parings in reviews, and I'll probably consider the one that makes the most sense or is most convincing for this story (except BB/Rae, which is one that I don't really like) (And no matter what it may seem like, Batman is not hooking up with Raven, I just felt like they had similar personalities)
Please leave me your thoughts and hopefully I will update soon if I can get down to writing the next chapter.