[Chapter 2: Enemy]
Raven waved her hand. A violet-edged sphere formed over her bed and moved her comforter into position. Maybe using her power uselessly would drain some of it? But no, the power still jarred within her, aching to be free. She placed a hand over her heart. Why did she have to feel this way? Why did she have to like Starfire? It didn't make any sense, it wasn't… natural, and yet, when she thought of the green-eyed goddess, the power inside her calmed for a moment. Of all the men in the world she could be attracted to and her thoughts dwelled on a woman. And not just any woman, Starfire! She scowled.
"Perhaps some tea would help," she whispered.
Meandering downstairs to the kitchen, Raven filled a pot with water. Instead of turning the burners on she grasped the solid metal structure with both hands. The water boiled, a sharp whistle piercing the air. Raven flicked open the top, ceasing the sound. At least this newfound extra energy had one good use. She opened the cabinet, rifling through the medley of tea she had collected over the years, and selected an herbal white. Lifting a glass cup from its holder beside the sink she placed it on the granite counter. The cup shattered, spilling pieces onto the counter. Shards tinkled to the floor.
Raven's eyes widened. What the hell? She scooped a shard off the floor then jerked her hand back, letting it fall once more. The glass felt freakishly hot. Raven glared at her hands. Her palm shimmered as her powers ebbed outward. Of course, there were downfalls to the energy as well.
Raven selected a ceramic cup from the holder and repeated her movements. This time, the cup didn't break. Breathing a sigh of relief, she dropped the tea bag in and poured the boiling water on top. Steam drifted from the corners, carrying a soft hint of rosemary. Raven grabbed a cup cozy from the cabinet and wandered into the living area. She plopped onto the couch and sipped the hot tea, wrapping herself up in her cloak.
The muscles in her neck unknotted, her shoulders relaxed. Mornings. This was the time she loved most. The quiet of the Titan Tower, the quiet of the city, no one else moved. The snake certainly didn't. Raven's fingers slipped, the cup nearly fell from her hands. She shoved it onto the counter. Her powers had never been that ruthless before. That out of control. Her frown deepened, worry creasing her forehead. How could she be so out of sync with herself? It was unnatural, just like her attraction to Starfire.
A rustle whispered behind her. Raven smirked. "Beastboy, you're not trying to sneak up on me, are you?"
Huffing a disappointed sigh, Beastboy leapt over the couch and landed next to her in a heap. His black sparring outfit clashed horribly with his green skin. "How can you be always so alert?"
"I have to be." She twirled the tea bag, watching the white foam curl at the edges.
He poked her shoulder and gave her a toothy grin. "One day I'll be able to sneak up on you."
"I eagerly await that day's coming." Raven sipped her tea, the liquid burning her tongue and throat.
Beastboy opened his mouth to retort, but a warning beeped on his wristwatch, ending their conversation. His piercing gaze darted downward as he flicked open the Teen Titan communication band. Raven did the same.
Robin's face appeared on the screen. "Mammoth escaped from the prison, but Cyborg and I are caught up keeping the remaining prisoners contained. Can you three handle it?"
Beastboy nodded, rising from his seat. "No problem."
The communications band detailed the coordinates of Mammoth then went black. Raven set down her tea and rose as well, intending on calling for Starfire to join them. When she turned, though, Starfire had all ready floated into the common room and balled her hands into fists, beautiful even now. The familiar wave of emotion kicked Raven's gut. She averted her gaze.
"Are we ready to leave and fight the enemy? I am prepared, are you?" Starfire's voice rose an octave, like it always did when she was ready to fight, but, when Beastboy didn't answer, Raven faced Starfire. Brilliant green eyes stared back.
Realizing the question had been directed at her, Raven cleared her throat. "Yes, I'm ready."
Starfire floated away, heading to the stairs that led to the ground floor. Beastboy charged after her. Raven took a single moment to compose herself, then followed her team outside. Flying in practiced precision, Raven in the lead, Starfire shockingly close beside her and Beastboy taking up the rear. Every time Raven turned, her arm would brush against Starfire's. Heat radiated upward from even that slight a contact. Raven tried to keep her distance but with the narrow streets and necessity to fly low, the contact seemed inevitable. She kept her gaze trained to the pavement.
It was a childish error.
A bright yellow hunk of metal careened towards her, swamping her field of vision. She swerved, and only just missed being hit, tumbling in the airwave of the attack. The car door flew behind her. It landed with a crunch on the pavement, folding over on itself, but Raven gave it no more thought, turning back to the one who threw it.
Mammoth. He hunched down, leaning over the yellow van to rip off another one of its doors. The car shuttered. His bulk had cratered the roof. Raven drew the powers inside herself up, condensing it into a ball in her right hand. She hurled the sphere at him.
Mammoth held the door up like a shield, but the blow knocked him off the car. Starfire zoomed down and kicked the shield away. Mammoth stood, catching Starfire by the leg and pulling her down. She crashed into the pavement.
Anger sparked through Raven. Windows beside her shattered. She hurled herself at Mammoth, punching his jaw. He stumbled. Raven prepared another attack, ready to rip the idiot limb from limb when Beastboy charged, a great green hulking elephant, right into the enemy. Mammoth grabbed onto Beastboy's tusks, but couldn't help sliding backwards. Occupied and exposed, perfect. Raven fueled her anger. Filling herself with her power, the energy ripping through her, Raven let it all out. She blasted him with one steady energy burst. His grip ripped free, and he flew away from Beastboy. She arched her next blow and slammed Mammoth into the ground. He stayed there.
Beastboy changed back into his human form, pumping his fist. "Wow, Raven, you pummeled the crap out of him. I thought that was supposed to be my job." He transformed into an elephant once more and trumpeted, then transformed back, a huge grin splitting his face. Starfire flew down and slapped his raised palm, smiling.
But Raven wasn't done yet.
She still raged, power coursing through her. She couldn't control it. Her powers lashed out, slicing the yellow van in two before moving onto the light posts until they, too, fell over. A fog of rage wrapped around her. At herself. At her cowardice. At her own mixed up feelings. She darted upward, desperately trying to get away from her friends before something terrible happened. She only got a few feet into the air when Starfire flitted in front of her, ceasing her ascent.
Worry creased the sides of Starfire's eyes. "Raven, what is wrong?"
You, Raven wanted to say. You're wrong. You're not the person I'm supposed to fall in love with. You're not the person I'm supposed to want. Instead she glanced beneath her, saw only pavement, and unleashed her anger in one powerful stroke. The blast dimpled the pavement, cracking it in half, then ricocheted off into an office building nearby.
Raven heaved with the effort. Everything she had went into the blast. She drifted downward onto the ruined pavement. It wasn't enough. Power still jerked inside her. What would she have to do in order to stop it? Starfire landed next to her. She placed a soft hand on Raven's shoulder, but Raven couldn't look up. Finally, after a few breathes, she met those bright green eyes. Raven's breath caught. The all too familiar wave boiled inside her, crashing through her, it would carry her away if she let it. They were so close. Close enough that if she leaned in, she could kiss Starfire. Raven almost did when a cry from Beastboy shook her back into her senses.
He knelt beside a figure prone on the floor just inside the office building. Dust fell around them, still descending from Raven's attack. He waved them over. "Guys, come quick, Raven–"
They flew over. A woman lay next to Beastboy. A cut lip bled onto her chin, darkening her pale skin. The sleeve of her blue blazer tore free of its stitches, displaying a reddening bruise on her shoulder. Dust coated her matching pencil skirt and one black heel had been knocked off to the side.
Starfire knelt beside them and rested her hand on the woman's forehead. "What is wrong with her? Her wounds are not terrible, why is she in distress?"
Beastboy's gaze met Raven's, his dark eyes widening then darting back down. "Raven's power hit her in the head."
Raven backed away. Her powers did this? Hurt an unarmed woman? Her heart pounded in her chest, her vision blackened around the edges. She did this. Raven shook her head. Her legs tensed, wanting to run away from this horrible accident. But she couldn't. No, she had to fix it.
She strode back to them and knelt, placing both hands on the stranger's cheeks. Slipping into a trance, she gently eased her darkness out of the woman, lifting the veil shutting her out of the world, and brought her back into reality. The woman's hazel eyes fluttered open. After a quick intake of breath, the woman feinted.
"Call an ambulance," Raven muttered, tilting her gaze to Starfire, who followed her command. "She'll be fine."
Beastboy gave her a lopsided grin, but fear still quivered in his eyes. "Of course she will."