"Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos" Hovered above a floating rock with closed eyes, Raven was indulged in deep meditation. She took even, relaxing breaths, her arms held out beside her in their typical position she used while emptying her mind. Tranquil, she repeated her mantra, and the feeling of calm washed over her. She'd endured a particularly stressful day so far, and the clock hadn't even yet struck noon. The moment she exited her room that morning, Starfire was by her side, asking if Raven would sample some of her planet's delectable delicacies she had attempted to recreate using earthly elements. After having politely declined and slipping away into the main room, Raven was confronted by Cyborg and Robin, both who wanted her to join in a video game showdown with them. She turned the two boys down, stating that she just wanted to drink her herbal tea. Their yelling and over-exaggerated button mashing set her on edge, and what at last pushed her over it was when Beast Boy appeared and shoved a plate of tofu under her nose, insisting that she try it for once instead of replying with some sarcastic comment. In response, Raven promptly flipped the tofu onto Beast Boy's head without the mocking retort he'd wished to avoid, and stomped off to her bedroom. All the things she had endured were already adding up to the need for an early meditation.
Now, Raven felt none of the irritation she'd tolerated before. Despite the frustrating start to her day, she felt much calmer after a few minutes alone in her meditation mirror. She inhaled once more, the emptiness of space suspended around her familiar and comforting.
"Hello Raven!" someone greeted cheerfully. "Whatcha doing?"
Raven didn't move, blocking out all sound and ignoring whoever might be trying to get on her nerves this time. The person in front of her tilted her head with interest, and then turned around to look at a small group of others who were lingering in the background. The person shrugged her shoulders and tried again. "Meditating, are ya? That's kind of boring, don't you think?" they asked with a laugh.
"No," Raven replied brusquely.
"Aw, but Raven," the person whined, levitating and crossing her legs in the air. "Why aren't we out having more fun with our friends? They all seemed like they wanted to do stuff with us. Take advantage of it!"
"They all spent time irritating me this morning," Raven retorted, still keeping her eyes shut. "I've had enough excitement."
"But we've got nothing to do!" The person gestured to behind her at the cloaked group who was hovering nearby. "You never do anything except sit around and meditate or read anymore!" She grabbed Raven by the shoulders. "We're dying of boredom here! Help us out, Raven!"
"No," Raven answered.
"Raven, please!" the person begged, her voice layering with other, identical ones. She leaned closer with an imploring expression.
"Let me think. No."
"Come on! Raven!"
"Leave me alone."
Raven at last opened her glowing white eyes, angry for the disruption during her meditation. "For the last time, I told you-!"
In her bedroom, Raven's mirror suddenly jerked from where it lay on her dresser and flew across the room, landing face-up on her mattress. An explosion of red and black magic burst from the glass and swirled into a whirlwind until it had formed a spinning vortex. Raven emerged, collapsing onto the carpeted ground with a heavy thud, and the vortex sucked itself back into the mirror. Raven didn't move at first, just stayed still on the carpet breathing in silence. Soon she sat up, and, blinking, placed a hand to her head. In due time Raven got to her feet and swung her head around, looking at her room with wide eyes as if she was seeing something she hadn't before. Catching notice of the mirror that lay atop her bed, Raven approached with care and took the magical item in her hands. She ran her ashen thumb over the edge of mirror, a broad grin spreading across her face. Placing the mirror back on her dresser again, Raven darted over to her closet and began digging through the clothes. "Aw, what?" she sighed after a minute, stepping back. "There seriously is nothing pink in here?"
"Greetings and good tidings my friends, but has anyone seen friend Raven around recently? I would like her to try the meal which I have prepared." With a bowl of alien food in her arms, Starfire flew over to Robin and Cyborg who were both pounding on their video game controllers viciously. Robin was in first place at the moment, his red car zipping around digital obstacles on the television screen.
He shook his head. "Sorry Star, not since this morning." Cyborg nodded in agreement, taking advantage of a nearby ramp to soar over the other cars and land in a close lead just ahead of Robin. Grinning, he pressed hard on the gas, Robin's determined car right behind him. Leaving them to their game, Starfire approached Beast Boy. The shape-shifter was sat down at the kitchen table, trying to remove the clumps of tofu stuck in his hair.
"Friend Beast Boy, have you perhaps conversed recently with friend Raven?" Starfire asked, stopping next to the green boy.
Beast Boy huffed, tugging a chunk of the white food off of his head. "The last I saw her, she was blowing up my breakfast in my face. Again." He winced, untangling more tofu from his green hair, and chucked it into the trash. Starfire sighed, placing the bowl that she'd held in her arms on the table. Finished with his task, Beast Boy jumped as her dish gurgled at him.
"Where can our friend be?" she wondered, resting her head in her hand. "I hope that I did not cause her to be angry with me somehow."
"Star," Beast Boy said, watching her bowl tip over and the contents gradually begin to drag itself across the table, "if anyone has made her mad, I think it'd be me. The evidence is right here." He pointed to his head, where small traces of tofu could still be seen hiding under his green locks. Starfire still seemed to be disheartened, so much that she didn't notice her meal had all but crawled away, and so Beast Boy put a hand on her shoulder. "Tell you what, Star; you and I will go to Raven's room and see if she's in there. I'll apologize for… whatever it was that I did," he said, as usual clueless to why he had made Raven angry, "and you can show her your… 'meal'."
Starfire's eyes lit up and she nodded. Beast Boy had gotten to his feet and was waiting for Starfire to find and wrestle down her dish when the one person they'd been about to go look for strolled in. Hood pulled down, Raven entered the main room, walking in the strangest manner any of the Titans had seen come from her. Swinging her arms back and forth like a child, Raven approached her teammates with a skip in her step and a wide grin on her face. Beast Boy was too puzzled by her actions to do anything, but the moment Starfire caught sight of her friend, she glided over to her with the bowl of squirming goo.
"Greetings friend Raven!" she greeted, smiling. "Would you perhaps be in 'the mood,' as you say, to try the dish that I have prepared now, or are you angry with me?"
Raven looked at her with curious interest. "Why would I be angry?"
"So… You are in the 'good mood' then?" Starfire asked, tilting her head.
"I'm in a great mood!" Raven exclaimed, floating in the air for a moment. "And I promise to try your food later, but first I want to greet my other friends!" She squealed, swooping down to join her teammates. Starfire, though having noticed Raven's behavior being noticeably lighter than usual, was just glad that her friend had agreed to try her meal.
The other Titans, however, were perplexed, not to mention a little worried. Robin and Cyborg paused their game the moment they heard Raven agree to eat Starfire's alien food. No one on the team ever volunteered to try her meals. In fact, most of the time they were finding excuses as to why they were unable to eat the food. Raven glided over to the two boys who were leaning back against the couch.
"Hi guys!" she exclaimed, grinning broadly.
Robin and Cyborg exchanged glances. The smile was strange enough, but Raven was actually greeting them? Most of the time she just walked in and out without a word unless someone else took the initiative and spoke to her first. "Uh, hi, Raven," Robin replied, cautious. "Did you just… squeal a few seconds ago?"
"What's up?" Raven asked, ignoring the leader's question and leaning backwards over the couch to stare up at the T.V. screen. Cyborg narrowed his eyes, her words having triggered a memory that he couldn't quite place. "Ooo, a video game? Cool!" Raven cried, like past few years she'd lived with the Titans she hadn't seen Beast Boy, Cyborg, or Robin playing the game station or even been aware that it was there. "Who's winning?"
"Cool?" Cyborg repeated, disbelieving that those words had just escaped from Raven's mouth.
Robin stood up, approaching her. "Are you feeling alright, Raven?" he asked, concerned. "You seem… different."
"I'm wonderful!" Raven replied joyously, throwing her arms out to her sides. "Never been better!" All of a sudden, she paused, running her gaze over Robin. "Whoa," she observed with bright violet eyes. "You're a lot shorter in real life. I mean, I know you've been taller than me, but I never realized how short I am!" She punched him in the shoulder, grinning. "Makes me wonder how either of us can get on any of the rides at amusement parks, right?! Not that I ever really go, but you know what I mean, don'tcha Robin?!" Robin blinked, unable to process what he was hearing. He was saved from having to give a response when Raven turned to Cyborg, who was sitting confused on the couch.
"And Cyborg! It's been too long since I've seen you, guy!" she cried, putting her hands on his shoulders from behind. "You should visit more often! It would make my day!"
"U-Uh… What?" Cyborg stammered. "Didn't I just see you this morning…?"
Raven laughed at him. "In a way." She frowned thoughtfully, as if she was trying to remember something, and then whirled around, fixing her sight on Beast Boy. Her eyes lit up. "BB!" Before anyone could react, she swept him up in an enormous hug. The air rushed out of Beast Boy's chest for a moment, and then she placed him on the ground. Not removing her arms from his shoulders, she leaned back. "I think you've gotten taller! That's great! Learn any new jokes yet?" Beast Boy's answer was to gasp for breath, his face entirely scarlet. Raven giggled at his lack of response, releasing him, and faced Starfire. "Okay Star, I'll try your food thing now!"
Her words snapping him out of it, Beast Boy placed a hand on Raven's shoulder, preventing her from going over to the alien princess, and fought the blush in his cheeks. Under normal circumstances, Raven never would have allowed him to touch her unless it was necessary, but now the girl gave Beast Boy no indication that he should remove his hand. "O-okay Raven," he said as she faced him with a bright smile, "what's the game you're playing at here? Is this to get back at us for this morning or what? Why are you being so… so…?" What was the word he was looking for? Out-of-character? Hyperactive? Juvenile? Elated? Lacking the vocabulary to come up with any of those words, Beast Boy finished lamely with…"Happy?"
"Because I am, silly!" she giggled.
Leaving Beast Boy feeling utterly baffled -which wasn't actually that unusual for him- Robin moved toward the dark girl. "Be serious, Raven," he said, faintly thinking that he had never expected to say those words to Raven of all people. He crossed his arms, analyzing the situation as only a young detective could. "You're smiling, laughing, and hugging even." He began to pace around her, putting a hand to his chin as he studied the girl. "You look the same as Raven, wear the same outfit, and your voice is even identical to hers, but your personality is entirely different." He stopped. "Who are you?"
Raven grinned, tilting her head to the side. "I'm Raven."
Cyborg fell off of the couch, drawing everyone's attention to him. He quickly stood up, embarrassed, but in too much of a rush to care. "You're happy!" he exclaimed, gawking at Raven.
"Uh, dude, Cyborg," Beast Boy interrupted, glancing at him. "We kind of already know that. We're trying to figure out why though." Raven cracked up, placing her hand on her head. Beast Boy stared at her in shock, and then everything clicked into place. Backing away, his mouth dropped open. "You are Happy!" he cried, pointing at her with his green eyes wide.
"You'd better believe that I am!" Raven, or now as the Titans knew to be Happy, hooted with laughter, smacking Beast Boy's on the shoulder fondly. Robin was perplexed.
Starfire, seeing no problem as to why "Raven" was so merry, flew over to her friends. "Would you maybe now like to try my dish, friend?" she asked, holding her bowl out. Happy was about to oblige when Robin stopped her.
Glancing at Starfire, he apologized, "Sorry Star, but we're going to need to have Raven hold off from doing anything else until this can be resolved." Addressing his other team members, he asked, "Would someone like to inform me as to what exactly is happening?"
"Naw," Happy smirked, "I like it so much better this way!" Somehow finding her words funny, she laughed, and then, making airplane sounds with her mouth, held her arms out to the sides and pretended to fly over to the couch. Robin lifted an eyebrow, facing Cyborg and Beast Boy with an expression that was plain to read.
"Explain," he stated.
"Okay," Cyborg began with a glance at Raven who was now inspecting the video game controller with excitement, "so you know that time we disappeared into Raven's room for a few hours several years ago?" Robin nodded, recalling how impatient Starfire had been to check on Raven during that time to see if she was alright. He'd certainly been shocked when Raven, along with Beast Boy and Cyborg, had emerged from her room. While years had passed since that day, the leader had never been told what occurred amongst the three, though he had noticed a bond form between the trio afterwards. He didn't ask why; he wasn't one to pry into other's business unless he felt it was necessary. "Well," Cyborg continued, exchanging a look with Beast Boy, "when we were in her room, this guy right here accidentally got us pulled into a mirror that was a portal into her mind. We found out later that she uses it for meditation." Robin lifted an eyebrow, following so far despite the enormity of the information. "Inside, we met several versions of her that weren't really Raven; they were different versions of her. Her emotions. We met four face-to-face, but I'm sure there were a lot we hadn't encountered." Cyborg pointed to the emotion who was on the couch. "That one is Happy. When we first met her, we were… upside-down you could say. She acts like a hyper child all the time and likes to make jokes. Kinda like Beast Boy," he smirked, elbowing the frowning shape-shifter. "We also saw Timid, Brave, and Rage."
Beast Boy shuddered at the last one. "You don't want to come cross Rage in a dark alley."
Cyborg scratched his head, thinking. "The way you can usually tell them apart is by their cloaks, which were different colors when we met last time, but I'm not sure why Happy isn't wearing pink right now."
Robin was trying to understand the facts they were giving him. "So, they are all parts of Raven's personality?" Cyborg and Beast Boy nodded. "Then what is this one doing out here?" he asked, jerking a thumb at Happy. The two boys shrugged, causing Robin to frown. "Could it have to do with the mirror that you mentioned?"
"Mirror?" Everyone jumped when Happy popped up from behind the Titans without warning. She looked at them curiously, the bright light in her eyes never fading. "Why do you want to look into the mirror? I can tell you how you all look right now without using that old thing!" she said, giggling.
"Where's the real Raven?" Robin demanded.
Happy pouted. "You're no fun when you're all serious, Robin. That's why this guy's funnier!" She crossed her arms and leaned on Beast Boy's shoulder, poking the tip of his ear with her index finger. Beast Boy ran a hand through his hair, flushed.
"Come on, Happy," Cyborg urged. "We just want you to tell us where the real Raven is. That's not so hard to do, is it?"
Happy shrugged, thinking it over with the ceaseless smile still on her face. "I guess not!" She levitated, crossing her legs in the air. "The mind of the original Raven is in her mirror, but I'm the one in control of her body right now."
"And how do we get her out?" Cyborg implored, trying to get more information out of Happy before she was distracted again.
"Aw, but there's no fun in that! You'll just make everything go back to normal, and I won't get to stay out here anymore! I never get the chance to just get out and actually feel the world! Like that couch!" Happy gestured to the sofa. "I never knew how soft it was! I'm surprised Raven doesn't sit on it more! Or those controllers! Those things are so cool, but she never plays those things! Or that counter! It's so… counter-y!"
Robin sighed, putting a hand to his forehead. He felt like he was dealing with a clone of Beast Boy. "Can you please concentrate here? How do we get Raven out?"
Happy frowned thoughtfully. "Well, you could always go back into the mirror to pull her out, but that could take a long time." She shrugged. "But that's the one way I can think that might work, so that would be your best bet!"
Robin nodded, grateful she was at last focusing. "Good. So we all go in and get her out."
"Ehhhh," Happy said, doubtful, and Robin turned his attention to her. She grinned. "I think that only one of you should go into the mirror. There's a lot of stuff going on in here," she stated, tapping her head, "especially since I'm in control of Raven's body entirely right now, and if too much changes, the mirror might crack and then you would never get out! Besides, you'll need as many people as possible to watch over whoever else is going to show up throughout the rest of the day!"
"Hang on," Cyborg interrupted, stepping up to her. "Whoever else is going to show up? What do you mean?"
Happy laughed. "Well, I'm not going to be in charge of Raven's body all day! There are other emotions brewing in her head, and they all want a turn to get out! This kind of opportunity doesn't come up for us much: never in fact! So, during the day you'll probably be encountering most of Raven's other emotions; like me, except not as fun! Especially not Rage," she giggled. Beast Boy's ears drooped at the conjured image in his head of Rage escaping into the Tower and destroying everything. Everyone's sleeping quarters, the main room, even the island itself might be wrecked. The only good thing to come out of it would be if the training course was demolished; Beast Boy hated exercising on that thing, especially since Robin continued to make the team practice with it during early morning hours. Still, bad things would happen if Rage was in control of Raven for a long time; Beast Boy had seen it before. The only difference would be that they couldn't just snap her out of it because Raven wasn't there to restrain the angry emotion. "Raven's not going to be back in control for a while either. Unless something happens, of course," Happy smiled.
"Which means that one of us has to go in your head," Robin deduced, tapping his elbow with a finger as he thought. He paused. "But won't we have to worry about your powers running amuck throughout the day?"
"Nope!" Happy replied, adjusting her position in the air. "We -each emotion- are ourselves when we're in control, and if I'm Happy, then that's who I am. My power can't get out of control if I don't have any other emotions to feel!"
"That makes some level of sense," Robin said, adding beneath his breath, "I guess." He continued, louder. "At least that's one more thing we don't have to worry about."
"That doesn't mean we can't use our powers though," Happy reminded, pointing at him. "It's just more of a matter of choice now! We can still make stuff explode if we want, and not all the emotions will be as cooperative as me!" She giggled, a small puff of magic shooting up from her palm in the form of a mushroom cloud.
"This is cooperative?" Cyborg asked himself.
"Great," Beast Boy muttered. He was always walking on a thin line when it came to Raven wanting to destroy him normally; what would it be like if he upset an emotion like Brave by accident? Or worse, Rage? His friends wouldn't even be able to find the leftover ash from his remains. Then again, he noted with a small blush, Happy seemed to have taken a liking to him. Maybe he would have a better chance than the others if he went in Raven's head in their place. Beast Boy snapped back to reality. Robin was asking who thought they should go in the mirror.
"I wish to go into the mirror to rescue our friend Raven," Starfire volunteered. She wasn't exactly sure what was going on, but she knew that Raven needed help and the alien princess was more than willing to go into danger for her friend's behalf.
"No," Robin said, knowing how little Starfire understood, but respecting her selfless bravery to help her friend. "It's too dangerous. I'll go instead," he offered, stepping forward.
"No way, man," Cyborg vetoed, cutting Robin off. "I think in the very least it should be someone who has gone into her head before. Meaning me. Someone else might get lost or confused." He looked at Robin, and the leader nodded, seeing the logic behind Cyborgs words.
Beast Boy had just tuned in. "Whoa, dudes, what about me?! I want to help Raven too!" The Titans exchanged glances, doubtful. Beast Boy had a bad habit of breaking things, and while toasters and T.V. remotes could be fixed without much of a problem, damaging someone's mind could be fatal. Beast Boy recognized their reluctance and threw his arms out to his sides with frustration. "Come on! I'll be super careful! I went into her head before and she was fine!"
"I'm sorry, Beast Boy," Robin sighed, placing a hand on the shape-shifter's shoulder. "I know you just want to help, but I don't think we should take the chance. Someone's mind isn't something you can mess around with." Cyborg and Starfire nodded in agreement.
"Bu-but I won't mess around!" Beast Boy promised, putting his hand over his heart. "I'll be a big help! Come on!" When he saw the hesitant expression's on everyone's faces, he cried, "At least can we put it to a vote?! All for me going into the mirror raise your hands!" He threw his hand in the air. His heart sank when no one else corresponded, and, dropping his arm, mumbled, "I'm not even going to ask who's opposed." Robin, Cyborg, and Starfire each gave him apologetic expressions.
"I am truly sorry, friend Beast Boy," Starfire expressed her regret, "but Cyborg does seem to be the better choice."
Cyborg smirked. "You'll be able to hang out with her all day here until I get back anyway, man. Besides, how do you think she would like it if you went into her head again without her permission? I think she'd be more forgiving to me than you." Beast Boy grumbled as Cyborg faced Happy. "So, is there anything I need to wear for protection before I go in the mirror?"
Happy had been watching the whole discussion without a word, though the wide smile never left her face. She put a finger to her chin, thinking. "Oh yeah, there is one thing!" she recalled. "You'll need a sparkly pink cloak to enter the mirror." When Cyborg looked at her, disbelieving, she shrugged. "Don't believe me? Well, go in if you want and explain why you didn't wear it to the guardian statues," she smirked, cracking up with laughter. After a minute, she calmed enough to explain herself. "It's got to do with the cloaks, big guy. Just trust me on this."
"Why didn't I have to wear one when I went inside before?" Cyborg asked, still skeptical. He didn't want to wear anything pink if he had to, not to mention if it was sparkly. Maybe he should let Beast Boy go instead of him, he deliberated.
"Those statues attacked you then, didn't they?" Happy reminded, playing with her cloak absentmindedly. "You can take the chance to encounter them again without the right outfit if you want, but Brave might not be there to save you this time!" Cyborg swallowed and, facing Robin and Starfire, headed off to find a pink, sparking cloak that was sure to make him the laughing stock of the Titan's Tower. As the robotic teenager set off to do a task that he looked forward to with much distaste, Robin explained the situation to Starfire. The alien princess was more than confused to what was happening, and Robin couldn't blame her. While the three Titans were distracted, Happy approached Beast Boy who was moping in the corner of the kitchen away from the others. He had really wanted to help Raven, but none of the Titans trusted him enough to go into her mind. Could he blame them though? He was accident-prone half –if not most– of the time. He doubted he would even let himself into his own head if the opportunity came up. Beast Boy was trying to figure out if that was ironic or not when Happy suddenly grabbed his hand.
"Come with me, BB," she whispered, her playful smile widening. Before Beast Boy could object, she pulled him out of the main room, and within moments they were standing inside of Raven's bedroom. Happy released him, approaching her dresser. "I was thinking; if anyone is going to have to go inside of Raven's head, the best choice would probably be you," she said, picking up the small mirror in her slim hand.
"Uh, what?" Beast Boy asked, dumbfounded.
She laughed at him, glancing over her shoulder. "You look so funny when you're confused, BB. But of course!" she continued, facing the shape-shifter straight on. "You're more fun than the rest. I think the other emotions will have a lot better time with you than they would with Cyborg."
Beast Boy's brain at last caught up with what she was saying. "You're sending me instead of Cyborg?" Happy giggled in response, nodding. "But what happens if I break something by accident?! I don't want to crack Raven's mind or anything! I'm really good at messing up!" he insisted.
Happy smiled, playful. "But you're good at fixing it, aren't you? You won't break anything," she assured, shoving the mirror into his hands.
A thought crossed Beast Boy's mind. "Wait, don't I need a cloak before I go in?" he asked quickly before anything could appear to pull him into the mirror. The statues had been more than terrifying the first time, and Beast Boy didn't want to face them again unless he had protection, no matter how sparkling or pink it might be.
Laughing, Happy shook her head. "That was just a little wild goose chase for Cyborg to go on. It won't do anything except give me a good laugh," she admitted. Beast Boy cracked a smile, thinking that the Raven he knew would almost never do something like that. Even with her new joyous attitude, Happy still had Raven's cunning. Happy grinned at him. "You'll be able to get out the same way you left last time, but you'll have to find Raven first," she advised Beast Boy. "She is the only one who is able to open or close the gateway."
Beast Boy looked at the mirror in his hand and then back at the emotion standing in front of him. "Thanks," he acknowledged her. "I promise I'll be careful. If I'm lucky, this will only take a few minutes." Of course, it was rare that the Titans were lucky when it came to unordinary situations like this.
Happy winked at him. "Have fun!" The mirror in Beast Boy's hands glowed red, and a large black claw extended from the glass, snatching him up and pulling the alarmed shape-shifter through the portal into Raven's mind. All was quiet in a moment, and after placing the mirror back on the dresser, Happy turned her head to the door where she knew the three other Titans would enter through soon. She couldn't wait to see how happy they'd be once they discovered that Raven's mind was already occupied by a certain green hero instead of a sparkling pink Cyborg.
Hi everyone! This story is a result of the voting of a poll on my page. I don't know how much longer the poll will be up there, but keep voting while it is! I might start another Teen Titans story while working on Mood Swing depending on if I get more votes.
Please review! I'd like to know what you think of this chapter, and if you have any ideas or suggestions for future chapters, I would really appreciate them. Thanks!