Author's Note: And so it continues. Sight...from Raven's Perspective
What do you see in him?
A question she had heard many times, and asked herself twice as much.
Put simply, he was everything she was not. Over the years, so many terms had been used to describe him.
Naïve. Reckless. Prankster. Immature. Juvenile. Irresponsible. Lazy.
Words thrown haphazardly around to describe him. Some hurt more than others, depending upon whose mouth said words originated from. Mento. Nightwing. Hers. The source was varied, but the implications were the same.
What do you see in him?
If you had asked her that question the first year after they met, the words mentioned just scant seconds ago would have been the tip of the iceberg. She had a few choice ones. Imbecilic. Idiotic. Senseless. Green fool.
Those all mean the same thing.
What she saw then was a young boy who was trying too hard. A youth who was far too skinny and jovial. And energetic. He was loud, obnoxious, and annoying. But what was much louder that his pre-pubescent voice were his emotions. They were at turmoil. They pushed and they pulled at her very core. Threatening to overwhelm her. Joy. Pain. Happiness. Guilt. Compassion. He had no idea the effect he had on her. So she pushed him away. For many years, she attempted to keep him at arms length if only her own sanity.
They were in their late teens. On the cusp of adulthood.
It was over those years that a series of events made her completely rethink her opinion of him.
He was thoughtful.
On her 17th birthday he had bought her a book wrapped up neatly. She had been surprised, but nevertheless thanked him. When she opened it and read the title she looked back at him with a barely masked expression of astonishment.
"A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Husseini? How did you-"
"You mentioned you read The Kite Runner a couple of months back. I thought…maybe you'd like his next book."
Her astonishment and curiosity wasn't satiated there.
"But, this isn't officially released yet."
He smiled that lopsided grin that always made her stomach flip flop. "Dick isn't the only who has connections."
And then in a moment of bravery, he leaned into her personal space and placed the lightest of kisses on her cheek. Before she could reply he walked away leaving her with too many emotions in turmoil. Her cheek still tingling from where he had kissed her, she opened the book and found a little inscription.
Happy birthday Raven.
No one is happier than me that you were born
17 years ago on this very special day.
He was selfless.
A fight with Cinderblock is never easy. No matter how many times you fought him, he could still give you a good run for your money. And unfortunately, this particular time was one of his lucky days. Starfire had left for a few weeks on a visit to Tamaran, and Nightwing had left for Gotham on an urgent mission for Batman.
Not that Cyborg, Raven, or Beastboy were that worried. They had taken Cinderblock down before. They would do it again. What Raven hadn't counted on was being distracted with ferrying scared civilians away from their battle. While the fight raged on she blocked debris, healed minor wounds and sent one person after another as far away as possible from the mayhem.
She never heard the cry of warning issue from Beastboy's lips. She did, however, feel the sharp stab of pain from a pavement slab smashing into her head. And then the world turned black as night.
The next thing she knew she was waking up in the hospital bed in the Titan's medical bay. A dull ache reminded her where she had been wounded. A gentle probing with her fingers revealed she had fully healed herself. Thank Azar. Stifling a moan she looked around. It was night time and a beautiful full moon cast its serene light across the ocean bay and into room. The only noise was from the medical equipment that beeped occasionally as it monitored her vital signs. She moved to sit gingerly on the side of her hospital bed.
As if on cue, in walked Cyborg. The smile on his face and the wave of relief from him nearly knocked her back. He strode in seconds to her side and said, "Good morning sunshine. Glad you're awake." She rolled her eyes. "How are you feeling? Any residual pain?" he asked as he examined her quickly.
"Not too bad. Just feel like I've been hit over the head with an oversized brick. Oh wait…I was hit over the head with an oversized brick…by an oversized brick."
He laughed. Checked her some more. Fussed over her like the overprotective brother he was. She humored him if only for a few minutes. But the second she had woken up, her empathic powers had touched upon something else.
Cyborg looked at her. He knew she was being serious whenever she used his real name. "I can feel a residual aura here. You can't hide that from me. I can tell Beastboy was here too." She paused a little, giving him a chance to add to what she had revealed. When he remained silent, she continued. "What happened? Where is he?"
"I think…" he said slowly, reaching for the iPad lying on the table next to her bed. "…you might want to see this. It's a video extract from my cybernetic eye. I'll let you see it privately. But Raven…you should know. You've been out for almost a week."
Her eyes snapped to his. "What?" Beside her the medical equipments started to shudder in their spots. "Raven!" Cyborg called out firmly. She took a deep breath and focused on drawing her energy back into herself. She opened her mouth, about to ask a number of follow up questions.
He raised a hand halting any questions. "Just watch that." He turned around and walked away through the swishing doors, leaving her alone once again. She turned to look at the video file he had left open and after a little hesitation, pressed the play button.
She cringed a little at the deafening explosion. Cyborg loud voice and the hum of his sonic canon warming up filled her ears. The camera swiveled, bucked and ducked with the motions of the metallic man. For the most part he kept his eyes on Cinderblock but occasionally she would see herself or Beastboy in his line of vision. From there she once again heard the same warning cry from Beastboy. As Cyborg's attention turned to her she winced again as she saw the image of her head connecting with the pavement block. "Oh shit!" cried Cyborg. As Cyborg eyes turned down to the console in his arm to readjust his canon settings she could hear the primal roar of the Beast break through Beastboy's barriers.
"Shit shit shit! My power levels are low!"
Another panicked look at Cinderblock. Raven, and Cyborg too it appeared, watched in awe as the Beast charged the villain and delivered a powerful blow to his chest knocking him several yards back. The Beast back flipped easily and landed within inches from Raven. Cyborg voice was one filled with panic. "BEASTBOY!"
A car tumbled in her and Beastboy's direction, and Raven saw something that made her gasp in unison with Cyborg's. The Beast flexed his legs and just as the car appeared to smash into them, he let the brunt of the momentum crash into his broad shoulders catching over 2 tons of crashing metal into his back. With a feral roar he used all his strength to push the car away from her motionless body. And then he leaped into Cinderblocks hulking mass. And pounded relentlessly on his head. Over. And over. And over. Till chips were flying+ And a sickening crack could be heard as Cinderblock fell onto his knees. But the Beast continued his onslaught, and Raven could see in the video the red stain of blood on Cinderblocks body where the Beast's unyielding blows continued to rain down. Cyborg yelled out with all his strength.
"Beastboy!" No response.
"BEASTBOY! STOP BEFORE YOU FUCKING KILL HIM!"
Cyborg shot a warning blast just inches from the Beast. The Beast instantly turned his attention away, as a now heavily injured Cinderblock fell down with a loud thud, unconscious. Cyborg's canon flipped back into his hands. The Beast snarled and took a step back, crouching protectively over Raven's body. He continued baring his teeth. "C'mon buddy. You know she wouldn't want this."
Cyborg stopped when the Beast lashed out with a clawed hand, warning him.
"Calm down BB. Please. Take a deep breath." Cyborg took a tentative step closer, the cybernetic eye shaking just a little. "Just take it easy bro. Calm. Down" Slowly the Beast's fur receded, the claws sheathed, and the body size shrank down to the green changeling's familiar shape. Raven's breath caught in her throat as she watched his bloodied hands tenderly stroke her cheek. When he looked up, Raven didn't have to been there to feel the raw emotion that emanated from him. His stricken expression betrayed it all. "Please…help her."
The next few minutes were a blur. A mad race through Jump City on the T-Car. Beastboy cradling her head in the back seat of the car. Carrying her into the hospital wing. Watching helplessly as his injured body prevented him from offering much assistance. Fighting with Cyborg about staying up to keep watch over her. Somehow, Cyborg had prevailed and made him march to the adjacent bed and bandaged his battered hands and treat his heavily bruised shoulders and back.
Raven stopped watching. She couldn't do it anymore. Her emotions were a jumbled mess, and left her in a state of anxiousness and confusion. Why had he done that? Why had he risked everything they stood for…as heroes…as protectors…just for her? It left her angry. Angry that he would let himself lose his self-control and jeopardize all that a Titan stood for.
She was going to have a word with him. And give him a piece of her mind.
She strode with purpose towards his door, not caring that it was well past midnight and he might be asleep. She knocked loudly and incessantly and was pleased to feel the spark of annoyance from him as he rose from slumber. He opened the door with a swish.
"Oh God! You're okay!" he cried out. And before Raven could say anything more, he wrapped her arms around her in a tight hug that would have rivaled Starfire's. Raven was glad he held her because the wave of relief and happiness that swelled up in him would have brought her to her knees. Whatever angry statements she would have made died on her lips because right here. Right now. She understood how worried he had been. How fearful he was for her well-being.
For now. Only. She would hold her tongue.
"Yes…yes," she replied in her flat tone, patting his back. "I'm fine. Can you let me go now? Thank you very much."
He loosened his embrace but didn't let her go. He looked at her with eyes that shone with uninhibited affection and concern. "You scared the shit out of me."
"That is not a pleasant thought."
"Damn right it isn't! You made me ruin a perfectly good uniform!"
She crinkled her nose. He looked at her apologetically but his eyes now glinted with that spark of mischievousness the years didn't seem to dim. "Too soon for jokes…okay. Sorry. I'll do better next time."
"I was going to yell at you for what you did to Cinderblock…" Beastboy's ears wilted a little and Raven ignored the feeling of hurt and guilt that twisted around his aura. "…but I figured getting a car thrown at you earns you a little forgiveness."
She ran her hands gently on his shoulders. Her eyes glowed white as she viewed him from an astral plane. His aura was laced with pain. She wasn't surprised. She blinked and the white orbs became amethyst coloured again. "You're hurting. Still."
"I'll be fine."
"I'll heal it for you."
"No Raven, you don't have-"
"I wasn't asking." With that she strode into his room. She heard him sigh with defeat as he closed the door shut after her. Turning to him she said in not so flat tone. "Take your t-shirt off so I can see the damage." He hesitated just a little. "Raven, I really don't think-"
"Please." This was soft. Gentle. A request on her part.
He let out a huff. "Fine." He pulled his desk chair and sat down reversely. He pulled his shirt off and Raven caught the gasp before it came out. The bruises on his back and shoulders were turning from black and blue to yellow. It looked wrong against the olive shade of his normal skin tone. She could see the new scars where the metal had torn into his skin days before. She could tell from the swelling that he had strained the muscles to keep that car from smashing into her. She felt a stab of guilt that he had to suffer simply on her behalf. It was a foreign feeling…one she swallowed with great difficulty.
She placed her hands gently against his back and she let her healing power flow into him. It twisted and swirled inside his body, probing, searching, and mending strained muscles and tendons. Leaving the slightest of scars as she sealed his semi-healed wounds. Her powers stretched across his arms and healed what she knew were his aching hands.
"There. All done." Her hands lingered a little longer than usual on his shoulders.
"Thank you" he murmured softly. His own hand moved to give hers a gentle squeeze.
He stood up and turned to face her, still holding her hand. That disarming lopsided grin crossed his lips, and his fang poked out ever so slightly. She swallowed a little, trying to push back that blush that suddenly crept up her face. Why was he looking at her like that?
"You.." he said lowly, his vice deep. "Need to be more careful."
She narrowed her eyes at him, but her hands didn't move to let his own ones go. "You shouldn't have let you anger get the better of you."
"You shouldn't be in in the way of a 450 pound pavement block."
"You don't need to prot-"
"DON'T." he growled. The anger in him swelled up suddenly. "Don't even think about telling me not to protect you."
"You nearly killed him Gar!" she said, her voice rising.
"He could have killed YOU. So don't tell me I shouldn't be preventing that. I've lost too much family before. I'm not going to lose you."
She pretended those words didn't move her. "Garfield. You put everything at risk. If he died, you could have removed from the Titans, you would have gone to jail. Why would you risk so much for me?"
His features softened as she asked him that question. A look of slight embarrassment flashed across his handsome green face before a sad smile tugged at his lips. His fang poked out a little.
"Oh Rae. Can't you see why?"
She swallowed. She would be lying if she said she didn't suspect. Hadn't felt the light tug of his longing when he looked at her. Catch him doing little things that made her happy. Feel his warm hand give more than the usual squeeze on the shoulder or arm. Her mouth opened to answer but all the came out was more silence.
"Here," he said softly, one hand placed itself on her hip, the other on her neck, cradling her cheek. "Let me show you."
And he tugged her forward and kissed her fully.
And at that exact moment, Raven's eyes truly opened, and over the course of the next few months she saw him for everything he was.