Of all the places I could have gone, I ended up in the basement. I'm not sure how I got there. I remembered the ride home, storming out after the fight with Gar, and then walking for a long time. I suppose it made sense though; the basement was dark, quiet and cold. Comforting, in an odd way.
I sat with my knees to my chest, turning my wedding ring over and over again around my finger. It was a slow, methodical movement, not at all an anxious gesture. I had this cool, neutral, hazy feeling around me, like it was only me and this basement in the world. I knew that if I opened the door at the top of the stairs, all hell would break loose: the world would come crashing in on me in it's overwhelming, horrific glory. So I kept it shut.
It vaguely occurred to me that Garfield was probably looking for me. Not that it mattered, as he was the last person I wanted to see right now. Images from earlier floated through my mind like ghosts: Garfield screaming at my emotionless face, the tears that fell down his cheeks and the dryness of my eyes, and the anger that rolled inside of me. It was still inside of me, tangled in frustration and grief.
It wasn't supposed to happen this way. But I guess things never work out how they're supposed to.
I could count on my fingers the number of times I've been truly, blissfully, entirely happy in the course of my life. The moment I realized I was in love, the day my goddaughter was born, surrounded by our family of Titans, when I walked down the aisle and married Garfield Logan, and the day I came out of my bathroom carrying a pee-coated stick with two lines, crying over our success after so many months of trying.
The funny thing about this day was that I had never cried. Not a single tear. Not when the doctors told us in their pitying voices that there was no longer a heartbeat, not when Gar held my hand as he drove us home, and not even when he broke down in our living room, radiating tortuous sadness from every pore. But when I remembered the day we found out, when I knew that I was going to be a mother, I started to lose it.
One tear finally spilled over, tracing a curve down my cheek. I had never even wanted kids. It took one niece and months of persuasion from Gar for me to consider it. But then it happened: the test was positive. We were having a child.
I shook my head as another tear fell and my breath hitched in my throat. People said that the maternal instinct was strong, but I was thoroughly unprepared when it hit me. All of a sudden there was this thing, this person growing inside of me. And suddenly my life revolved around it.
I was going to be a mother. I had the most beautiful, most precious thing growing inside of me, and that was all that mattered. Garfield and I were having a baby. He was there at every step and I had never loved him more. He would help me up stairs even when I was perfectly fine, watch me discretely out of the corner of his eye everywhere we went, and plant kisses along my stomach when we slept in on the weekend. It was perfect.
It was gone.
I clutched my arms to my knees as I choked on the growing flood of tears. Somehow my hand made it to my stomach, whose small bump was obscured by my sweater. My hand tangled in the fabric, frantically clutching it as I gasped for breath.
It was irrational and illogical, but I was furious at him. When tears rolled down his cheeks, anger boiled in my gut. When he tried to comfort me, I couldn't help but pull away. He acted like he was just as hurt about this, but how could he be? He didn't have the feeling of death inside of him. He didn't have the attachment to this child, to my child. Somewhere in what was left of my rational mind, a voice said I wasn't being fair, that I wasn't making any sense. But right now I didn't want to make sense. I just wanted the horrible feeling inside of me to stop.
Suddenly, my body stiffened. I felt him before I heard him. When the almost imperceptible squeak of the door echoed through the room, it wasn't a surprise. There was a moment of hesitation when he scanned the room from the banister, but as soon as he saw me, curled up pitifully against a pile of boxes as I bawled my eyes out, he practically ran down the stairs.
"Please, please just go away." I held up an unsteady hand in warning. "I want to be alone."
He sighed, crossing his arms over his chest. I couldn't bring myself to make eye contact with him. The doleful look I knew was there just filled me with unjustified anger. Instead I watched him from underneath the hair I let fall forward to hide my face.
He didn't say anything. There was this boiling tension again, like before our fight earlier, that grew between the two of us. I tried my best to keep myself under control, managing only to not make a sound as hot tears poured from my eyes.
Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I looked up, letting every feeling transfer through my glare.
"Damn it Raven!" he shouted, his tone startling me. "Why? Why do you think you're the only one that has a right to be sad?"
"I'm sorry!" I choked out in reply, matching his volume. "I'm sorry. What do you wan't me to say? I know you're supposed to be just as upset but I just—I can't. I can't take you like this! I can't. I can't." I repeated it over and over, choking out tears in between and hating the way my voice broke and squeaked. "I lost my baby Garfield. I lost it."
In my peripheral vision I saw him slump to the floor, taking a seat a few feet away from me. "It's just... gone. How are we supposed to try again? How am I supposed to do any of this? To get up, to watch Starfire play with Mar'i..." I rambled on, knowing my words were incohesive but not even caring.
"I know Rae," Gar said softly. "You don't believe me, but I know. It'll get better Rae, we just need time."
I almost choked at his words. "How is it supposed to get better?" I spit at him. "How am I supposed to get over the fact that I'll never meet my baby?"
"I didn't say you were supposed to!"
"You might as well have!"
"Raven I am trying to be strong for you but you're making it so Goddamn difficult!" he roared. "What do you want me to do? I tried to understand you but you're not making any sense! For God's sake you didn't even want a child!"
The words hung in the air, almost tangible. I could feel regret come from him as soon as he said it, but we both stayed still, frozen in our places. Neither of us said a word until a box came flying towards him, covered in dark energy.
"Shit," he muttered as he dodged it. "Raven, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it."
"Get out!" I screamed at him. I could feel the glow of energy in my eyes. Fortunately for both of us, he obliged, moving swiftly up the metal staircase. I bit down on one of the knees clutched to my chest to keep silent as he walked. He paused at the top of the stairs, but before I could yell at him again he spoke.
"By the way, the doctor called," he said quietly, voice echoing through the stone room. "I thought you might want to know that the baby... it was going to be a girl."
The metal door swung shut behind him.
~For the daughter I'll never get to meet, but will always keep in my heart~