1Disclaimer: If I owned Teen Titans, Raven and Robin would be together, Raven's past would be televised, Starfire would take over her kingdom already and marry one of her husbands from the comic, BB would get with Terra who would be alive and Cyborg would have a cat fight over him by Jinx and Bumblebee; Bumblebee winning. If you watch the show then you know that isn't happening, so I don't own them. -sigh-
An: Hello again to another TT fic I'm crafting up. It'll be a one-shot too, but much longer because I am lazy and don't feel like doing actual chapters. I also want to say thank you to all my reviewers of the last one-shot: Lain, Dark Weezing(I will get you those reviews when my computer stops being so picky about what I can and cannot review. And sorry for the rant; had to do it.), Zero the crimson night, DarkChildOfTheNite, Luxis-lil, Aledeth, Spiderbob, and Vegiegurl. Thanks for the praises and I'm glad I could stay in character. Let's see if I can do it again? Anyho0o Enjoy!
Summary: Set after 'Fear Itself', what if Raven's powers weren't all reabsorbed back into her mind when her fear let out? Now the Titans have to face what is left after the original battle and take it down. But it won't be so easily done. This creature has a trick or two up his sleeve and he's not going anywhere until he takes all the Titans down one by one. What's the tricks? How about all Titans have to face their darkest fear, and battle the creature that Trigon created?
:To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three/fourths dead.-Bertrand and Earl Russell. (Just some food for thought for this story)
Fear? What Fear?
We all feel it at one point or another in our lives. Even the strongest, most acclaimed and brilliant people become scared. It's a natural part of life; instincts run on fears and our survival was crafted from such notions. Then why do we hide it be because we consider them to be weaknesses?...
But what is fear really? Is it the intense creeping feeling, that makes you keep looking over your shoulder waiting for something in the shadows? Lurking and getting ready to pounce on the unsuspecting you? Or the suspicion of the others around you are out to get you and any chance they see a weakness they'll strike?
No that's paranoia...
So what is fear? It's our great faulting that we don't want to see, hear, feel it happen. Wait. Let me rephrase that. What don't you want to happen to you? Lose a loved one? Get caught in an elevator and have it smash at full speed because a cable snapped? Have a poisonous spider bite you, and from that you die or go traveling across the seas in an airplane just to have it crash?
These are all things we would hate to have happen to us, or to even see for that matter. You can't fight fears; their natural. But what if you had to face these fears? Would you do it? Rescue the loved one, not go into the elevator and take the stairs, squash the spider, never travel over seas? If you had to face your fears could and would you go through with it? The other alternative would be to go insane...always afraid...
Or maybe fear is how it says in the dictionary?
:1) An unpleasant feeling caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm. 2) The likelihood of something happening.
Makes more sense now to have the scientific definition doesn't it? But what can a simple sentence say what fear is? You have to experience that for yourself in order it get the understanding of such a wonderful word...
"That is the last time I am ever fighting the H.I.V.E again!"Exclaimed Beastboy as he entered the Titans main room. All the others followed in after him, piling around the room getting comfortable and relaxing. It had been a tiring day. "My dogs are barking!"Beastboy shouted. He looked down at his feet that he could have sworn were throbbing, puffing in and out like balloons and sighed. He transformed in a dog and began to yip around the room proving his point to the rest.
Cyborg sat at the counter top, on a barstool watching the mutt run around making more noise than what he was worth. He had already had a headache; the little brat Gizmo had tried at least three different times to hack into his systems. Cyborg now had the headache the size of a meteor and the yapping noises Beastboy was insistenting on making was driving the metal man to the near point of insanity.
"Argh! Beastboy! Knock it off! Your constant barking is killing my head man!"Cyborg growled picking Beastboy up by his ear and shaking him forcefully. He began to whine as his ear became stretch to unreasonable lengths. That headache sure was killing him.
The H.I.V.E members had taken the liberty that day to do some shopping. And what was shopping without any money? So Jinx, Gizmo and Mammoth got the extremely smart idea to rob a bank. But not just one bank. No that's first year grade school; they decided to rob three banks in a row. Now that was more up their alley.
The three enemies of the Titans then set out to make up a plan. Jinx and Mammoth would cause chaos in the streets of Jump City, while Gizmo would do some computer work.
Jinx ran from building to building springing purple hexes here and there to force the buildings downward on unsuspecting bystanders. She cast spells on fire hydrates causing them to blow and seep water through out the gutters, draining the storage water for that area dry. Not to mention the fact she went around throwing hexes at unmovable cars to move and crash into either other cars or people.
Mammoth helped in ways he could. He used the beams that fell from Jinx's spell-flooded buildings and threw them high into the air. They landed with a loud thud. And most of the time bystanders broke their falls. Brick buildings that weren't tumbled by Jinx were smashed to dust as Mammoth piled through and when the cops finally started to assist the damages and apprehend the huge man, he beat them up. Piles of cops littered the streets. Last but not least Mammoth started some fires as well. And since there wasn't any water, the firefighters frantically searched everywhere for a drop of water to extinguish the fires. A chaos they had caused.
The Teen Titans were alerted to this by their alarms ringing in the tower, but what they didn't see was Gizmo's handy work. He cut the power of the banks alarms to the tower, and only kept the ones for civic problems open. All was going to plan.
The two members high tailed it out of the areas they caused a panic in and found Gizmo who was already done with two banks on his own. Quickly they headed to the third bank on the outskirts of town. But while they ran to their last job, Raven tracked them with her telepathy. The team had to find out who had caused this kind of mess, since in expectantly the computers couldn't get anything pass where the damage was. They couldn't track who did it; so Raven did.
With her mind she reached out to all criminals in the city, going through their minds one by one while Robin and Starfire blocked debris falling near her as she went into a trance. Since Slade was already gone, for now, and most of his associates left when he did, the only members left to do anything at all would be the H.I.V.E. And Raven's guess was on the head.
Robin was notified at once as she discovered where the team was taking off to. A fight ensued, the City forgotten for the moment and Jinx, Mammoth and Gizmo were beat. Hard. Only after they were in chains, and haled off to jail in a squad car, did the Titans return to help fight the fires, mass hysteria and falling objects. Only now, six hours after they rid the City of the H.I.V.E were, they getting home.
"Cyborg? I think Beastboy can get you on animal cruelty for that stunt." The leader, Robin mumbled from his spot on the couch. He was sprawled out, laying on his back looking upward, trying to fight off his drooping eyelids. Starfire sat next to him, facing the others with her chin resting on the back of the couch and her arms hanging down the back. Raven leaned against the couch, arms folded, hood down and feet lightly crossed next to where Robin's head laid. Cyborg dropped Beastboy.
"Har. Har. Har Robin. Very funny." Cyborg stated sarcastically. Robin smirked to himself at the response he got. A dry voice broke in.
"Give him a break Cyborg. It was his first try at being funny." Raven remarked dryly. Her eyes laughed lightly as her mouth remained still; but anyone could tell she was joking. Robin groaned and snorted.
"Thank Rae. Means a lot, for you to stand up for me." He said with his voice dripping with sarcasm. Raven smirked and nodded once sure Robin would see. He did. He sighed quietly. Beastboy after rubbing his head, then his behind stood up and stretched. He saw the way Raven and Robin acted and couldn't help but snicker. Everyone else caught on, just were to tired to tease.
"Friends? I am very tired, as I am sure you are as well. May we retire to our rooms for the night? Tomorrow will soon be here and it needs us in our fullest strength and glory." Starfire spoke for the first time. Her bright green eyes shone even if they were tired at the rest of her friends, pleading slightly with them. She wanted to go to bed and she wanted them to follow her so she wouldn't have to worry about them while she slept.
"Don't gotta tell me twice girl. I've got to get rid of this monster of a headache. I'm out. Lata!" Cyborg called out from behind him as he made his way to the door, hand holding his head. Beastboy yawned soon afterwards.
"Yea Star alright. I think I'll head off to bed too. I wouldn't want to disappoint my followers tomorrow if they see me like this!" He joked. He waved a goodnight to everyone, Robin waved over the side of the couch, Raven nodded and Starfire beamed. The doors closed shortly afterwards.
"Friend Robin and Raven? Are you not going to bed? I must insistence that you do so." Starfire tried to convince the two birds. Robin yawned and Raven cleared her throat.
"No Starfire I can't. Cyborg has taken to his bedroom, so I have security duty to do. After I'm finished with that, then perhaps I'll go to bed." Raven said simply. Her voice seemed more monotone, filled to the rim with tiredness. She might've been half demon, but the human half of her needed it's rest whether she liked it or not.
"Yea Star I can't either."-yawn-"I have to check the censors to see if Cy was able to completely fix the cut systems. And the city has to be looked over once more just to see if we cleaned everything up." Robin yawned once more at the ending. He made no attempt to move though. Starfire's eyes blazed dully and she sprung up from the couch flying into the air and floating there, getting the attention of her two teammates.
"We have beaten the enemy, helped the innocents, fixed the city, checked the censors when we first arrived home and Cyborg enabled them again! The security systems log on when we turn off the lights in the main room, here! There is nothing to stop you two, my friends, from going to bed. I do not know why but that is the case." She yelled her voice full of emotion. It was balanced out by another. Raven.
"Starfire, I don't want to go to bed right now. I will in due time though." She tried to talk to the girl but was visibly becoming irritated. Raven only liked to sleep when she was sure all her friends were safely inside. Her going to bed first, was unheard of.
"I do not wish to hear anymore of this. You"-she pointed at Raven-"And you"-she pulled Robin upward into a sitting positioned-"Are going to your respectable rooms now. You will not argue with me." She flew downward and holstered Robin up into a standing position this time and put a hand on Raven's shoulder moving them out into the hallway and down to their own rooms.
The lights shut out in the main room and the rest of the tower powered down for the night. A red blinking light resounded throughout the main room, bleeping and glowing brightly. A computer over towards the front of the room shone with a bright blue brilliance.
"Security enabled. Protection...enabled. All systems operative. Good night Titans." A computer like voice said from it into the stillness in the control room. Cyborg had designed it and it worked like a charm.
Little did the Titans know but a dark shadow slid swiftly across the ceiling. Quietly it slid down the far wall and crept across the floor moving nimbly; not getting detected by the censors in the room. It was as if it were just a shadow moving with the light. Finally it reached the door, stopped hesitantly and without another second thought it slid underneath it.
Through the dimly lit hallways, small wall lights casting eery glows around; the shadow slid silently to it's destination. The basement door. It slid under. Just as quiet as it was upstairs, it was downstairs as it stalked to the generator in the far room. It buzzed and whirled like a technical wonder as the shadow approached. Again it hesitated but threw caution to the wind.
"He'll be proud of me. That's all I need to know." It hissed in a cool, nails scratching on the chalk board kind of voice. A black tentacle shot out from the creature and hit a big, bright red button labeled 'off'. The whirling noise and buzz died down after a few moments and the whole room became silent. Then clicking could be heard into the distance; lights were giving out in the hallways and the lights in the Titans rooms died away.
"Now the fun begins." It said and receded back into the blackness of it's surroundings.
Raven closed and locked her door behind her as she entered into the dark room. The carpet and walls, bookcases and shelves all were encased in darkness and mystery; it didn't startle her. Raven felt at home and automatically flopped on to her bed gracefully. Her mind began swimming, and it was then Raven realized she hadn't meditated in a good while.
Grudgingly Raven forced her chant through her head as her body calmed and relaxed; the stress caused by the three idiots forgotten entirely. Before she could even register what she had done, Raven had fallen into a deep sleep a top of her covers with only her cloak to prove as a shelter from the cold of night. If she were awake though, Raven would have seen a dark form glide by her door, briefly stopping before moving on. A laugh resonated deeply there after.
Beastboy, unlike Raven wasn't awake. He was passed out on his top bunk bed, head slung over the edge, almost falling off and drool escaping through his mouth making a puddle somewhere on the ground. Every now and then his leg twitched uncontrollably going along with a dream that his sub-conscience was brainstorming for him; probably something with fans following his every move.
Across the way from his bed was his t.v. as usual blinking with the 'GAME OVER' signal until suddenly, it shot off. The television turned off and large pop sound followed, waking the changeling up. Ironically his teammates couldn't get him up for the life of him when they had to either for a mission, breakfast (when Cyborg cooked) or training sessions. After awhile they'd give up and let him come... when they blew a horn into his ear. Loudly.
The teen looked around, confused and still dazed from the sleep he had awaken from. His room now was as dark as sin, when before it was lit up by the t.v. and a lonely lamp that was situated in a far back corner. Slowly he got up from his bed, and tripped on the way down the ladder landing squarely on his butt. That was going to hurt later on. Quickly he rose and assist what had happened.
"Alright dude, who messed with my t.v.?" Beastboy muttered to himself and heard a scratching at his door. He stalked towards the door, extremely irritated. It didn't open right away as it should have, so he pressed in the access code to manually open it. It swooshed open to reveal nothing. Perplexed, Beastboy took a step forward into the dark long hall scratching his head.
"I know we have all night lights...or at least I thought we did." He mused still looking around dumbfound. A slight rustling behind him caused Beastboy to turn suddenly in that direction, looking around wildly.
"Who's there? Cy? You know I'm so not in the mood for this! I had a super cool dream going man!" He whispered harshly. Only silence answered him. "Okay." He concluded he was going insane and spun back to his room, not even taking a step forward yet before wind hit his neck. Someone was breathing on him. Beastboy gulped.
"I'll regret this in the morning, I know it." He mumbled and dashed off down the hall like the devil was after him. In reality, it was a minion of one of the devils living in hell. The shadow let the haunting laugh echo after Beastboy's steps.
Inside Cyborg's room, a humming sound whizzed around Cyborg as he slept peacefully. His battery was almost already done charging; a new invention on his part. Just incase they got a wake up call in the middle of the night he'd be ready to go. Although that was the case with his battery, his human parts still needed the required eight hours of sleep, it kept his mind in proper working order.
In his room, computers and consoles littered the walls obscuring the view of the actual wall behind such devices. But if you blinked you'd miss something. One by one the screens turned blank blipping off as if a remote was the culprit. Finally it reached to Cy's 'charging progress' computer and that as with the rest turned off. Cyborg's eyes snapped open.
"What the...?" He asked sounding fully rested but in real life he wasn't. Only the mechanical part of him was. His red eye gleamed in the darkness sorting through where everything was.
"Did the power go out?" He again asked the thin air. Before he could answer himself, a loud pounding came from his door knocking Cyborg's attention of what happened, to who was at the door. He briskly got up off the metal slab he called a bed, and went to the entryway to find a scared as could be possible Beastboy in front of him.
"Dude Cy! Let me in!" Beastboy shouted pushing the computerized man aside as he ran for cover into the dim room. Cyborg turned and watched the younger boy hide behind the slab he was once on, eyes shaking with the rest of his body watching Cyborg stand there utterly confused.
"Don't just stand there! Close the door already!" He whispered harshly. Cyborg did as he was told without another thought and glanced at his friend. He wanted some answers.
"Beastboy? What is going on here? Do you know what happened to my consoles?" He gently asked but underlying that was a strictness about what he said. He didn't want any jokes, one-liners or funny comebacks. He just wanted the truth so he could fix it and go back to bed.
"Not exactly dude." He continue to shake even after the door had been closed for sometime now. Cyborg just stared.
"Then what are you doing?" Cyborg walked over to the smaller Titan resting an elbow on the top of the metal table. Beastboy shot up and raised a finger into the air.
"You want the truth?" Cyborg nodded. "Good. We've got some serious issues happening through the tower man. My t.v.'s off just like your computers!" He yelled. Cyborg 'shh'ed him and clamped a hand over his mouth to signal it even further.
"Alright BB, no need to shout and wake the others. It's probably a power outage. It happens." Cyborg dismissed easily. Beastboy shoved Cyborg's hand away and bolted over to a small window on the far wall covered by a sliver curtain. Prior to opening it he called back to Cy:
"If t's a power outage, as ya say, then the city would be out too right?" Again Cyborg nodded not knowing what the boy was up to. Beastboy ripped the curtains apart to reveal the whole city ablaze with warm, cool and neon colors. Cyborg's eyes opened in shock. Beastboy's followed pursuit.
"Guess that theory's down the drain metal man." Beastboy responded half heartedly. Cyborg walked up next to him and closed the curtains forcefully.
"If it's not that, then what is it? Could it be just the generator in the basement?" He wondered outloud. Beastboy raised an eyebrow.
"You really want to go downstairs, by yourself to test that idea dude? 'Cause I'll tell ya now, I ain't goin' with ya'." He protested, folding his arms over his chest defiantly. Cyborg turned back facing him now, his face determined.
"What scared you so badly to come to my room?" It was short and clipped. There was no way Beastboy could not answer this one.
"I heard something." Beastboy prompted. Cyborg bored his eyes into him, waiting for him to continue. Reluctantly he did so. "I heard someone outside my door, I think. When I opened up my door dude, I felt something watching me from behind and I heard a rustling noise. Naturally I thought it was you, so I started But...nothing was there. Creepiness of the night so far? I felt someone breathing on my neck. You tell me if I should be scared!" Yelled a frantic Beastboy. Cyborg crossed his arms, one hand underneath his chin in thought.
"BB, you ate something before bed again didn't ya'? I told you a bean burrito and red hot peppers with a glass of orange juice like that would cause these things to happen." Cyborg said rather bored. It was beginning to look like another joke in his book. Beastboy glared; something Raven had done nothing but teach him to use.
"Cy man, I'm not making this up! I didn't even have my late night snack tonight!" He began offended. "There was something outside my room. There was also a laugh when I ran down to your room...following me!" He wiggled his fingers to move his point across. Cyborg rolled his human eyes.
"Yea. Sure. Whatever ya say B." He gave him a thumbs up sign.
"I'm being serious here! I know weird, but c'mon everyone's got their weird moments. Raven's allowed twenty a day!" He shouted stubbornly. Cyborg threw his hands up into the air, surrendering.
"Alright, if what ya say is true, then what do you want me to do about man? I'm not a priest! I can't rid the tower of ghosts!" Beastboy smacked his forehead while Cyborg just watched bewildered by his actions.
"We'll go to Rob. He'll understand and get it all cleared up." He stated matter-of-factly. He began off to the door, but Cy pulled him backwards by his own arm, forcing him to stand still.
"Nah man we can't wake him up over this stupid problem."
"Stupid problem?! The lights are out, something is walking around the tower uninvited and you say it's a stupid problem! What if it wants to eat us?" Beastboy whimpered cowering slightly at the thought of being digested. Cyborg laughed shortly.
"Then you'll be the first to go. You said it yourself, the funny one's always the first to go." Cyborg repeated remembering the last mishap they had that went on in the dark of night. Beastboy huffed and crossed his arms as Cyborg grinned. He loved making his friend all bent out of shape. A few footsteps sounded outside of Cyborg's door, causing both boys to stop their banter and to address the door. Nonchalantly Cyborg walked to it saying to Beastboy:
"You probably woke up someone else with all your yelling man. If it's Rae, you're taking the blame all by yerself." He went to punch in the access code when Beastboy shot forward, turning into a giant snake wrapping around his arm. He hissed desperately. Cyborg frowned.
"C'mon man, I wouldn't let her kill ya' Maybe ruff ya up a little, seeing as how you woke me up and everything..." Beastboy squeezed hardly, making Cyborg quirk an eyebrow.
"What is with you B?" He asked searching for answers on the snakes face. Beastboy quickly morphed back and blocked the mechanical man from the pad.
"Dude, you cannot open that door. What if it's the thing haunting us?! You really want to be killed? You know the minority is usually the second to die. You're setting yourself up!" Cyborg groaned at Beastboy exhausted.
"BB, I'm tired, it's probably one of the girls, and you're getting on my nerves with your wacked out ideas!" then as an after thought. "And the minority isn't the second to go!" Beastboy smirked.
"Watch horror movies more often Cy, it'll teach some stuff. Just do me a favor and don't open the door. If it's one of the others, when morning comes I'll take full responsibility, just don't open it. Please?!" He dropped to the floor, hands and eyes pleading. Cyborg ignored him and went to the pad anyway. His hand was mere inches from the pad when a deep and skin crawling laugh filled his ears. Both of them froze.
"Please tell me that was you doing a really bad imitation of Dracula." Cyborg asked hopefully, eyes closed. When they opened he saw Beastboy staring directly at the door, he knew his answer was in the negative.
"Nope Chromo man. What did I tell ya?" Beastboy asked voice hitching toward the end in terror. Silence reined.
"So what now?" Beastboy asked after a few minutes passed in stonic silence with both teammates staring at the door. Cyborg cleared his throat, transformed his arm into his sonic cannon and pushed the open button on the pad much to Beastboy's horror.
"We go get Robin, and if this thing wants to fight...we'll do it. Let's go!" Cyborg shouted in a shaky voice as much as he didn't want to admit. Beastboy felt the same way but decided to follow Cy's actions. Swallow your fear; and together they ran off to Robin's room.
When they rounded the corner, the shadow pushed off the wall and took shape. It looked to be a male figure, but the whole body was encased in the darkness of what shadows were accustomed to being. Again the laugh filled the air as the creature laughed at their weakness.
"This will be easier than I thought." He said in a harsh, sharp tone. He slithered back into the comforting blackness.
Starfire jumped into the air, raising her head off of the edge of her bed. Her eyes scanned the room, the brightness of the pink and glitter on the walls lit the room up much more than of what her teammates were experiencing. A chill had over taken her senses, twisting them so that she would awaken. Soon enough she had, and could feel that something wasn't right.
The young alien girl flew off her bed, over to her dresser and looked into her reflection. She checked behind her, not feeling the 'boundless confidence' she was so used to feeling when fighting. Something had her on edge. Another cold chill. Her senses were trying to tell her something, but what? 'Robin will know.' She decided. Quickly she threw her boots on and shot off out of her room, ignoring the nagging feeling inside of the back her head that going into the hallways was a bad idea.
'What could be wrong with going into the passage ways, to another friends room, in my own home?' Starfire mused drifting through the hall, a little better comforted at the prospect. As she went along, the shadow secretly followed. It liked this young teen, she was innocent; pure and untainted by the evil all around them. He could enjoy what she had to offer...what fear did she have?
Eyes snapped open. Raven sat upright at once, timid was gripping at her mind willing her to awake. Fear was slowly creeping through her veins. But why? Raven's large deep violet eyes glanced in all directions, from her sculptures, to bookcases to the wall hangings she had decided to hang when she first moved in. Nothing seemed a miss.
"What is wrong here?" She asked the quiet room. That's when something turned on in her mind. An image. A blurred image of Beastboy and Cyborg running swiftly, Starfire flying, and a laugh. Oh the laugh! It chilled her to the bone, making her visibly shudder. Then as soon as it came it was gone. Another puzzle for Raven to figure out.
"Something's here." Raven whispered, her voice oddly resembling timid. A breeze from beside her caught her attention to see her priceless book of Azar surrounded by black energy. With quick reflexes the book was settled and timid was locked away once more. Raven got off her bed and walked to her door, studding it. Her mind was made up. Something lurked in the shadows outside, wanting her to open up her door just as her teammates had. There was one though that she hadn't seen in her vision. Robin.
'He is still asleep.' Raven mused to herself. She thanked the Gods that he was safe, although it was weird to her that she would be praying, let alone for that one person in general. 'He's my leader. With him safe, we'll have a fighting chance.' She reminded herself. It was conceivable to believe, so she drop the subject with herself. Without haste, Raven teleported into Robin's room.
He was sound asleep when she arrived, and from the looks of it he crashed right after Starfire dropped him off. Raven gave a soft smile, watching the hero breath deeply. It tickled her in an odd way. Raven glided over to his bed, the while shaking her head at how empty his room looked with only the bed, nightstand, table covered with papers and the surrounding floor and the single lamp hanging above. 'I should redecorate his room.' Raven thought dryly. She nudged him.
"Robin. Get up." Upon hearing her voice Robin sprung up into the air and gave a weak smile over to Raven. He yawned and ran a hand through his hair ruefully. Raven sat down facing him, hands folded in her lap.
"Hey Raven. What's up?" He asked sounding drowsy. Raven shook her head at him. When she only stared at him with indifferent eyes, Robin became worried. "What's wrong Rae?" His once drowsy voice replaced by the leader-type tone everyone was use to hearing. Just this time, it softened a tad.
"We have a problem." She said carefully not moving, and her eyes never left his face. His eyes were still masked.
"What? What happened?"
"The others will be here shortly to explain in a greater detail than me, but...something is inside the tower." Her monotone dropped at the end replaced by a cautious tone. Robin's eyes widened in shock.
"How? The security would have alerted us!" He whispered sharply. Raven inwardly winced. This was a blow to his and Cyborg's pride that something could get into the tower so easily and not set it off.
"I don't know how, but it's here. And we have to stop it. It's evil." Raven told, demanding Robin to believe her. His eyes softened with his voice as he replied:
"We will Rave. Don't worry about it. We've done stuff like this before, we can do it again." Robin reassured her. Raven just looked at him warily.
"Nothing like this has ever crossed our paths before Robin. It's a great darkness, and I know that it will use what ever means possible to bring us down." Raven said with traces of uncertainty shining through. Robin grinned.
"You underestimate us Raven." She rolled her eyes at his confidence. Sometimes he thought too highly of himself and of what he could accomplish.
"No, I merely state the truth. I can feel a connection to this thing Robin, and I know that in it's shoes and under what ever influence its under, I wouldn't hesitant to kill." Her eyes bore into his mask ones, but Robin didn't mind that. It was the unwavering truth that was in Raven's voice that startled him. She knew something about this thing, felt something inside of it that was inside of herself, and it scared her to think of what it would do.
"Rae? What do you know? Tell me?" He asked gently, taking a hand of her and clasping it firmly. Raven's eyes wandered to it with a look of indifference and pulled her hand out. She continued on as if it hadn't happened.
"I know that the darkness it is created from is somehow related to me. I could feel it in my vision."-
"A vision?" Robin interrupted causing her catalyst purple eyes to blaze with annoyance rapidly. He smiled innocently noticing his mistake.
"Yes, a vision. Back on track, the black hole that is this...shadow form...has a relation to me. What I don't know, but it a powerful and dangerous one Robin. You have to warn everyone to be on guard, and to not let their emotions control them." She said cryptically.
"Emotions control those three more so than us, boy wonder. Not only would their emotions cause a panic inside themselves...this thing... it feeds on fear."
"And it'll grow stronger with each passing fear induced thought, I get it. Fine. Thanks for the information Raven, it should come in handy. Now do me a favor." Robin looked serious which was never a good reason to trust him like that. Raven sighed and nodded.
"Yes fearless leader?"
"Relax. Do some meditation or something because from just looking at you, this is causing way more stress than it should be." He gave her a reassuring smile and squeezed her hand again. When she tried to pry her hand out he only held tighter making Raven's brow furrow in confusion.
"Robin? What are you doing?" She asked voice even and more collected than previously.
"Just wanted to let you know that whatever this is, don't be afraid of it." She went to protest when he raised a hand to silence her. "And you are afraid Raven. We are so not going through that one again." She smirked. "And I'll protect you, like before." He whispered. Raven looked at him silently. Her face held one of a cool, unaffected mask while inside her thoughts were over running wildly. 'Protect me? Why would he protect me?' Were the thoughts that kept screaming inside of her head. Gently, Robin's pillow floated into the air, higher and higher, until it combusted. Raven gave a shy smile, then mentally slapped herself. It disappeared as soon as it had come, and Robin laughed smugly, knowing he caused the explosion. A rapping came from his door.
"Yo man, open up!" Cyborg shouted through the door. A rustle was heard.
"C'mon Robin, wake up! This is important!" Beastboy squeaked out, fear evident in his speech.
"Robin I must command you to open this door before I use force to open it myself!" Starfire almost scary like threatened. Robin looked at Raven for a spilt second, who nodded and they both got up off the bed. Raven stayed back in the shadows of the room as Robin let in the three overzealous teens. As soon as the door was open they tumbled in, apparently the door had been supporting their weight from the get go.
"Uh hey guys?" Robin stated uncertain. Starfire was the first to stand and jumped on Robin giving him a hug, and not letting go. Raven came out of the blackness and gave a hand to each of the boys, helping them up on their own feet. They stood off side, watching the two others.
"Oh Robin, I am most upset! There is something very wrong within our home and I have heard a laughing noise, only it is not full of delight. It is one of malice and evil and chills me to the very bone! Friend Cyborg and Beastboy have also heard this terrible, terrible noise. I do not wish to be left alone in here with a 'monster' as you call it roaming the tower." Starfire cried into Robin's shoulder. He rapped his arms around her and patted her back, comforting her. Banging outside the room could be heard; they became silent.
"What was that?" Cyborg asked looking over his shoulder at his other comrades who looked, oddly enough to the door.
"It came form outside." Robin whispered through Starfire's hair. Her head was buried into his chest.
"No kidding." Raven dead panned. Robin narrowed his eyes at her. He didn't know what her problem was all of a sudden but he was quickly getting irritated by it. One minute she was confiding in him, telling and showing a softer side of herself, and then just as quickly as it came, it left. Robin was frustrated.
"It sounded like something was knocked over. Should we look?" Beastboy inquired a finger to his chin.
"Are you volunteering?" Cyborg answered his question with a question of his own. Beastboy gulped and shook his head, eyes staying on the floor. Raven stepped toward the middle of the two, her body enclosed by her cape and her hood pulled up tight. 'A mysterious aura alright.' Robin thought out of the blue. He mentally kicked himself. Hard.
"No need for that. I did it." She blinked and nothing more was said. Cyborg raised an eyebrow to her.
"You did it? Is this whole thing your idea of a joke?!" He yelled at the younger girl. She didn't flinch and looked up at him with cold eyes.
"Please dude! If this is Raven's idea of a joke, I will without a doubt laugh my butt off at her prank. But considering she doesn't kid around...we're screwed." Beastboy finished lamely. Everyone else nodded along with him. Robin gathered closer to his charges and moved Starfire to his shoulder so he could see everyone better. The red hair was blocking his view. His arm slid across her waist and held her as she shook in his embrace. Raven shuddered inwardly.
"Alright team, what is going on? Raven's told me something's here, but not a lot to really go on. What do you all know?" Her tried to make it sound like an order, but he was being sympathetic to everyone's troubles. He didn't want to upset anyone further. Beastboy raised a hand and grinned broadly. Smugly even.
"Dude I can tell ya exactly what's going on." His face turned from light hearted to serious in no time flat. "We're gonna be eaten alive by some freaky shadow haunting thingy!" He ranted finally finding an outlet for his building pressure of stress. Cyborg slapped a hand over his eyes to hide the embarrassment, Raven pouted and rolled her eyes, Starfire looked up at him and shuddered again being gullible and all and Robin merely looked at him like he had gone crazy.
"Beastboy? Is that really going to happen?" Starfire quietly in a mouse's voice asked. Her hands were curled up in Robin's shirt and her body pressed tightly against him. Robin eyed her a moment before glancing back upwards. He glared at Beastboy.
"Great. You scared her." Raven said for him. Her bland tone lightened up the room a bit, as difficult as it was. Robin smiled slightly at her for putting Beastboy in his place, he had visibly become smaller, but she didn't return the gesture. In fact if it were her way, he'd be on fire now at how much blazing energy was seen flickering around in her eyes. She was extremely agitated.
"Star, it ain't gonna eat us. Beastboy just being...Beastboy. Don't let him scare ya." Cyborg consoled. Robin removed his arm from her and she wrapped her arms around herself, and then sped right into Cyborg almost knocking him over, clinging to his metal form. Robin walked up to Beastboy, cuffed him on the side of the head and stood next to Raven arms crossed.
"Someone talk that isn't Beastboy." He clarified. Cyborg smirked as Beastboy muttered to himself.
"BB came into my room little earlier and told me what he had seen ... well...actually he didn't really anything. But he heard a rustling noise behind him. He turned, saw nothing. Then he felt someone breathing down his neck. He booked it outta there and ran to my room. The last thing he remembers before turning to my room was a deep dark laughter. After that, he came into my room, confided in me..."-Beastboy interrupted him.
"And you thought it was just something I ate! Then I showed you that the whole electricity had been cut, showed the city, it was lit up by the way, and we heard something outside his door!" BB yelped.
"Then Mr. Brave over there raps my arm up as a boa constrictor, and pleads with not to open the door. I frankly thought he woke up Raven and she was about to beat him down for it."-Raven shrugged, in away agreeing.-"But then I heard the laughter too. Yo man it crept me out so badly I fired up my sonic cannon just incase. Then we high tailed it here." The metal man finished. Starfire finally had stopped shaking and stood on her own now, but both arms surrounded herself calming her emotions.
"Okay, so we've got something lurking in the shadows, laughing at us." Robin concluded, studding the ground in thought.
"Swell." Raven droned out. Beastboy snorted.
"Anything else? Starfire? What did you experience?" He asked, masked eyes trained on the princess in front of him. Her bright green eyes gazed at him, then blinked and regain composure to talk.
"I too heard the laugh. But I did not see it, or feel it as Beastboy had done. I did awaken because of a 'feeling' that I got." She said, worried over her own actions.
"Feelings? What kind of feelings Starfire?" Raven asked clearly interested now. Her hostile action previously done forgotten; her whole attention was on Star.
"It was a chill, as you might call it. It struck at my soul, like it was telling me something was there. I feel most uncomfortable discussing this friends. I do not wish to divulge anymore information." She shuddered this time again. If it made Starfire that uncomfortable to the point where she couldn't 'share' like she always wanted to, the rest of the team knew it was bad.
"Alright O'Mighty Team Leader. What do we do now?" Cyborg asked leaning against the wall closest to them. His arms folded and with Starfire's eyes lighting up in that way reflected off of Cyborg giving him a deathly glow.
"First, we have to get a good look at this thing whatever it maybe. Raven's said it feeds on fear, you'll all have to learn to swallow that and replace it with confidence alright?" They nodded, Starfire hesitantly. "And from what Raven's felt about it, it won't be reluctant to kill. It's out for blood." Beastboy suspiciously looked at Raven's straight form. She, at first glance could be a statue, but Beastboy knew otherwise. She was trying to track the shadow with her telepathy, just as she had done with the H.I.V.E team. Her eyes closed and face serene.
"How does Rae know all this about the creature? What ya do Rave? Date it or something?" Beastboy teased lightly. No matter the situation, he and Raven always had a love/hate friendship. And this was just adding to it. She knew this was coming; but Raven didn't take the bait.
"No, I've never dated. This thing is from...another place. You would be too confused if I explained in further detail, just know it's not from around here. The shadow is darkness; evil. It feeds on our weaknesses, generally speaking our fear. You have to control it to win. If he reads you, and knows your fear he will exploit it." Silence followed her warning as it sank in to the teams. Slowly they digested the information. Fear? What fear?
"Alright, team you know what we have to do. We'll head to the main camera room. The cameras should give us some information about this creature. Like maybe what is looks like and from that we can see what we're up against. It can't be all that bad. Just everyone stay together and we'll get through this." Robin commanded to his team. They had a plan now. The cameras, even with the power off would have been recording up until the fatal outage. With Cyborg's power cell, they could easily boot it up and see what this creature was. But perhaps they would know soon enough?
Robin led his team over to his metal door, and opened up the key pad. He entered the password and the door's opened with a swoosh. The fearless leader took one step, Cyborg and Beastboy side by side were right behind him and Starfire and Raven brought up the rear. But he suddenly stopped. Robin stood still, unmoving and his eyes were wide with shock. Everyone peered over his shoulder to get a good look at what he was seeing.
A swirling mass of blackness contorted in front of the Titans. The shadow entity wrapped around itself blocking their only way of escape. Forget the cameras. They knew what they had to face, whether they wanted to admit it or not. The laugh echoed again and Starfire screamed in anguish; she clung to Cyborg's arm that protectively had spread outward to keep the girls behind. She shook against him in fright. The shadow leaked closer, pulling itself inward to force the Titans to retreat back into Robin's room.
"Ah don't be so frightened princess." It hissed dangerously. "I'm really not all that bad." From the sound of his voice, the others deducted he was smirking at them. It came closer, and the team fell backwards, getting in all desperation to get away from the monstrosity. Robin, like Cyborg had already done, spread his arms outward to keep his team back. There was no way he'd let this thing at them while he was there to prevent it.
"What are you? What do you want?!" Robin yelled at the shadow. It merely crept closer inching the Titans further back. Suddenly it stopped and the vortex that was it's body stopped swirling. A blink and two red, burning blood eyes were staring at the leader in charge. It had cat like pupils, and it's eyes held nothing but disdain and rage. Something he hadn't seen since Raven's freak accident with Dr. Light.
"What am I?" He asked in mock exasperation. "I am...your worst nightmare Robin." It seethed outward causing a chill to run up and down the member's backs. Starfire shuddered more violently.
"He's got my vote." Beastboy muttered but loud enough that Cyborg could over hear perfectly. The metal man's eyes widen with shock and glared daggers at Beastboy. Sometimes the boy didn't know to not voice certain opinions when emotions were being feed off of. The laugh drifted through the air lightly.
"Worst nightmare? Please! I've eaten worse things than this...this...shadow!" He hollered at Beastboy. He flinched visibly at the tone of voice from Cyborg's mouth but was meant with the same building up of frustration. Beastboy clamped a hand over the older Titans' mouth and put a finger to his own mouth before whispering dangerously low:
"You bolts for brains! Are you trying to get us killed?! Sometimes you've got to agree with the dangerous supervillian so they don't crack and come at us and kill us!" He said. Cyborg pushed him away and scratched the back of his neck in embarrassment.
"Opps. Sorry man." He stated uncertain. Raven in the backround rolled her eyes at the two. 'The world could be burning down, and they still wouldn't become too serious for the mission.' She thought resentfully. Then before their eyes, a giant breeze took up within the dank room. It whirled and howled with prestige over the others and soon enough the shadow was covered in the wind. The capes, blankets and curtains of the room whipped around making a general confusion of the rest. Just as quickly as it came, it stopped. The confusion thickened.
"Oh don't be so surprised my friends. It was a parlor trick. A simple thought and the whole room was engulfed in a wind storm."
"Why?" Robin asked the creature still undaunted by the whole experience. The rest of the team however weren't. Starfire's hair was all over her face and her body was trembling deeply. Cyborg was fixing his scanners, making sure everything was ok and nothing was put into their bodies by 'the wind storm' while Beastboy stood breathing deeply, keeping his heartbeat under critical. Raven's hood was down and her cape had drafted over her shoulders while her hair was brushed into her face. She wasn't too happy about that.
"So...I could transform of course." Before them stood an erect form encased of darkness. It had changed into it's male human form when the wind distracted them. It meant the shadow form was becoming stronger as the time went on. And the Titans were getting deeper into trouble. "But enough about me. What are you all doing on the this fine night hm?" Cyborg growled.
"We're going to stop you!" He shouted. Starfire gently let go of him and stood next to Robin grasping his hand in desperation. She needed comfort and she needed it now.
"Ah I see. Well you've done a great job so far. My friend Cyborg, what am I ever going to do with you?" He asked red eyes shining devilishly.
"I'm not you friend." He said more calm now than previously. The others remained quiet with this exchange occurring around them. They could do nothing but watch.
"No of course you're not. We will be nothing to me soon enough, but not yet. After your fear consumes you that is." He stated cocky. Cyborg glowered at him.
"What do you mean?" He couldn't possibly know what Cyborg was afraid of. The man didn't have any fears. Fear? What fear?
"You don't know? Or could this be a stupid joke on your part. But you wouldn't play any jokes, not at a time like this hm Cyborg? Perhaps I should call you Victor instead? Raven knows what I'm talking about, don't you sweet Raven?" Everyone's eyes turned to the dark mystic who just glanced at them with a bored look. She watched as if she didn't have a care in the world.
"What do you want? What are you?" She asked repeating her leader's failed ones. It laughed at her curiosity.
"Raven. I am the darkness of your mind child. I am created from you. I am a part of you. You must remember me, you know that I am...a manifestation of your fear." Raven's eyes widened in horror. How could that be possible. She had destroyed him before when she let her fear get the best of you.
"Who sent you? What do you want from me?" She asked angrily. Her anger was slowly seeping out but she remained in control. She couldn't let this get a hold of her anger as well as her fear.
"Someone very special to you Raven has let me continue to haunt you, even after you tried to reabsorb me back into that dark and horrid place you call a mind. Two words. Daddy Trigon." Beastboy and Cyborg both jumped at hearing the name.
"Daddy? Why did you father send a monster out of hell to eat us? Couldn't he be like other dads and send presents to their daughters or sumthin'?" Cyborg asked agitated. Beastboy nodded along with him. Raven shook her head in a vain attempt to clear it. She had seen this darkness go back into her mind. She had done it herself. How had it come alive again?
"Yes daddy. He sends his love sweet Raven. Why couldn't you have just merged with your father and let him take you over as a host like any other good little girl?" He asked already knowing th answer. Raven boiled.
"I will not join my father!" She screamed in anger. This guy had hit a sore spot. Starfire squeezed on to Robin tighter as her friend let her powers out, turning over Robin's bed.
"No, of course. He knew this Raven. That's why he sent me to you. From the connection you two share, he could see when your fear was released. He was impressed to say the least. Why couldn't you ever let your anger shine like you did your fear hm?
"Stop this? Why did he send you?" Raven shouted. Her confidence was slowly slipping.
"To destroy you and your mortal friends. He would rather have a dead child than one who used his powers for good. It seems you've made daddy quite upset with all your hero work Raven. So he let me out. He used his own powers and through your mind blocked me from your spells. He let me live as long as I killed you and your friends. Fair no?" He walked closer to the teens, but they couldn't move any further back. They had to endure this thing for a little while longer.
"Don't you dare touch them." Raven threatened. The monster smirked, his eyes crinkling again. His eyes burned into hers.
"Now where's the fun in that Raven? I want to finish my job for your father...–"
"He is not my father." She breathed out. The shadow not clearly expecting that stood stunned for a moment before continuing.
"You might not think that dear Raven, but he is. You can't chose your relatives now can you? But don't feel so bad...I won't hurt them too badly..." He trailed off. The wind came again more powerful and the air colder. Robin stopped a moment and thought over the creature. 'If Raven said it can't do anything but feed off our fear what happens when he does?' Then it all clicked inside of his mind. The shadow, the entity was feeding on their fear. Being in the same room, he was preparing to take them down and strike.
"Titans! Move out! Now!" He ordered clinging on to Starfire's hand and pulling her out through the doorway. He had gone straight through the demon and Cyborg holding Beastboy's arms followed. Only Raven stayed behind. There were questions that needed answers.
"How did he let you out?" Raven asked coldly. The shadow seemed to shrug, the others forgotten for the time being.
"You should know that answer. He didn't. You did. When you let your emotions run wild, he pushed out his evil influence to put a barrier around myself, cloaking me from you and your spells. Then when the time was right he sent me a message to attack. He thought tonight would be best. The tiredness inside of your body was weakening you more than anything else. When else would we get such a good chance to hit you with a deadly blow?"
"You can't be alive! I have no emotions, there is nothing inside of me. How could you manifest from nothing?!" She demanded forcefully. The bed was picked up and thrown into the wall creating tiny pieces of wood on the floor.
"Oh but there is something inside of you Raven. Believe it or not your emotions might be manipulated easily to control, but your heart and fear cannot be. Somethings you can fight, those two you cannot. I still don't understand why you couldn't have let anger roam free for a while. Everyone would be impressed with you then." He thought out of the blue. Raven narrowed her eyes.
"I will not let you control me. You will be defeated and you can't stop us."
"Oh but I already have. I already know your fear, and your friends. Maybe you should take care of yourself and them, instead of worrying about me."
"What do you mean?" She asked timidly. Then it all clicked once for her. He had read them. He had gotten his information. He knew their fears, and her own. He used the wind as a distraction while he probed their minds like she was so used to doing. If he was apart of her then he could use her powers, only on a smaller scale since he wasn't as powerful...yet. Now he was. What had she done?
"You've figured it then?" It asked amused by her antics. He was a sick thing to get enjoyment out of the immense displeasure of all around him. No wonder he was locked away in her mind for so long.
"I don't have my powers..." She whispered mostly to herself. She stared down at her hands, disbelieving any of it. But it was true. He spoke with a credence and she could tell. The bed was in pieces but nothing else was smashed; and her emotions were overrunning her.
"Yes... you don't. You don't have them. That is your fear Raven, or at least one part of it. You fear being defenseless in the face of danger, become dependent on those around you...to be less independent than you are. You fear the control of your emotions over you...and that's what is happening now! Your emotions have no blockade, they're pleased to come and go as they wish, but the bright side of it all? You have no powers to defend yourself!" It hissed at the loathed half breed. Her eyes were tearing up...she really was facing her deepest fear.
"No!" She yelled forcefully. Tears leaked out of her eyes and she ran out the door with that horrible laugh echoing after her footsteps. She had to get away. She had to find the others; make sure they were alright to see if they still had a chance for survival. Maybe they had gotten away just in time?
She reached the corner turn to the camera room and could see the door jammed open. Although it would cost a lot to the team later on, it was a great relief to see it. That meant Beastboy had rammed it open, or Cyborg had pulled it apart. It meant they still were intact. Raven ran into the room only to be stopped by Cyborg's full fledge human face. She looked ay him baffled. He was all human, not just a half of him; but all of him. He wore the outfit from when created the persona Stone, and his face was determined in a sad way. He was realizing his deepest fear as well.
Cyborg's fear had to be, becoming his human self once again. Sure he wanted nothing more than to have blood running through his veins instead of the cyber knowledge he knew he possessed. He wanted to actually feel another's body heat not read about it in his scans and he wanted to be all human. Not only half. But it was his fear as well. If he was human, he wasn't a Titan anymore. If he wasn't a Titans anymore than he was nothing. He couldn't regain his former glory that he was when he was a high school football star, or go back to school for that matter. He couldn't help and protect those he cared about. He was nothing when he wasn't a Titan.
Raven looked at him with sorrow written all over her features. It was something else to gaze at her most trusted friend, go through a major transformation such as this. That was his fear, to be human. Who would have thought? Her eyes scanned the rest of the room and found Beastboy sitting at the base of a wall, head back against it looking up into the sky, staring blankly at the ceiling. From where she was, and even in the dark, she could see he wasn't green anymore.
Beastboy, had like Cyborg gone through a transformation. His skin wasn't green but a olive complexion and his hair wasn't green either; it was a deep dark shade of brown almost black. The bottom row of his teeth were protruding from his ,mouth, but were straight and hidden inside of his mouth. The only thing that told others he might be the same teen was his deep jaded green eyes that looked blankly above. Raven's stomach clenched.
His fear was similar to Cy's. Without his powers he was no body. He had to be feeling a new sort of feeling; self pity. He knew he didn't have anymore followers if he stayed like this. He knew no one would care about him if he just up and died someday. Not when his was another everyday human. He had lost the only good thing to himself. His identity as did Cyborg. Raven couldn't bare to keep looking at him and followed the computer console to find Starfire sitting upon it.
Her eyes were that same bright lime green she had grown fond of seeing on the girl. Her hair was still long and cherry, and her skin was the same orange color posting her of her homeland heritage. But was so odd about the girl was her face. It wasn't scared, happy, sorrow-filled. Nothing. It was blank. What did that shadow do to her?
"Starfire? What happened?" There were many questions underlying that one simple one. She was asking why, when, why them, why couldn't she have sensed him, why couldn't she have stopped it. What did Star do to deserve that lost look on her face.
"What happened Raven? I don't know." Her voice was so bland and unfeeling that Raven wanted to break at hearing it. Her emotions really were taking over her. It was a cursed blessing that she didn't have her powers; the team would be dead more sooner that thought.
"Star. What did he do to you?" She asked walking closer to the young girl. Cyborg let her pass, and watched the conversation. Beastboy after hearing Raven's voice looked at her and followed her with his eyes. He was good at the depression he was feeling right then.
"He read us Raven. I guess my fear is to not feel anything. To lose my emotions, because without them I am nothing. I can't feel joy...happiness...anger...sadness...love? I'm sure this is a feat worse than death. As you would say I got the short end of the stick I believe." Raven stood in front of the girl and looked deep into her eyes. What startled her was she saw nothing back looking at her. There wasn't anything there. Was this what everyone saw when they looked into her own eyes.
"Your fear was to become me wasn't it Starfire?" Raven asked hesitantly. Starfire didn't smile to make the empath feel better, she let her eyes say the truth. She was.
"Yes. I was afraid to be like you. Uncaring and unemotional towards others." She said simply with no energy in her life. Then Raven thought of something, she had too. If she actually listened to Starfire she would surely break down and cry her heart out. She didn't know that Star's biggest fear was to be like herself.
"Starfire, without your emotions...you don't have your powers do you?" She asked looking collected when her eyes were filled to the rim with tears of pity. But she pushed them back. She never wanted pity, she didn't want to do it to her friends.
"No, I believe not. I cannot feel righteous fury, therefor I have no starbolts. I can't feel boundless confidence, so I do not have my strength. And I cannot feel joy so my mental pictures of kittens or puppies would do nothing for my power of flight. I am without a means of defense." Her voice was so desperate and lost...Raven wept on the side for the princess. Starfire didn't deserve this, none of then did. She had to snap her out of this. Raven looked for Robin, the one person that could get Star to do anything.
She moved her purple orbs around the dark room and found him leaning against the far wall watching and observing. He didn't make a sound and normally Raven would know he was there, but without her telepathy she had no way to sense him. She was lost without her powers. 'Damn that shadow' she thought when she saw Robin's form move closer to her. He locked eyes with her and she spoke first:
"Robin! You have to snap Starfire out of this." Raven demanded of Robin pointing to a zoning out Starfire. Cyborg walked next to Starfire and sat down. Her put a hand on her shoulder, almost like a foothold to reality while she zoomed about in fantasy. His expression was one of deep sadness, he felt responsible just as Raven did. He couldn't stop it. Beastboy rose from the floor and walked to the side of Raven and Robin listening in on the exchange.
"I can't. I've already tried. She seems to be too far gone to get back. We can only get our Star back by defeating that shadow form." He spoke thoughtfully. Raven sighed deeply and Beastboy held downcast eyes. This was without a doubt the most distressing news the team had ever gotten. Face the demon of your fears to save a friend. Hard choice.
"How did this start? When?" Raven prompted. She wouldn't dwell on what she couldn't fix right then. If she knew when it began to could finish it.
"When we first ran away. We were nearing the first corner, and Starfire wasn't as scared as she was inside my room. Then we get to the wall and she just wasn't shaking, in fact her whole face was apathic. Cyborg then turned right before our eyes into his human self, followed by Beastboy. It happened way to fast to do anything about it." Robin explained. Raven nodded and crossed her arms thinking it over.
"How did you break in?"
"I still have a few small explosives in my belt. I jammed the door open and with Cy we carried Star in."
"Weird thing is I don't know what that shadow thing did to me. I still have my mask, my gadgets are still here and working, and for the most part everyone is alive. I can't figure out what he did to me." Robin pondered outloud. Raven eyed him warily and Beastboy looked up finger on his chin in thought.
"Well dude what ya afraid of?" He asked bluntly. Cyborg shifted his attention from the dead looking Star, to the other three occupants of the room.
"Fear? What fear? Since when do I have to have a fear?" Robin asked defensively. Something wasn't sitting right with Raven over that.
"Yea man, a fear. We've never seen you get scared over anything. Sure there was that time you got all obsessive and psycho with Slade, but really you were just doing your job and wanted to put him away like the rest of the crime lords in Jump City. You have to admit a fear, any, so we can see what he'll use against us." Cyborg tried to reason. Raven nodded again in agreement with Cyborg. Everyone was beseeching Robin to tell them his fear; but how would they respond to it?
"I'm not scared of anything." Robin said quietly looking off into the darkness, arms folded. Raven groaned and sighed. It was a funny sound.
"Robin. Look at me." he did so reluctantly. "We need to know what it is you fear. I've become defenseless, I no longer have my powers and my emotions are giving me a headache. Starfire has be reduced to nothing but a shell of what she was, and has no powers either to protect herself. Cyborg and Beastboy have be returned to their prior selves, when time was simple, unadventurous, and they didn't belong anywhere like they do here. Here they had a family, unlike before. You have to tell me what you fear otherwise it'll come back at you and I won't have any more of us put into danger over your pride." She stated passionately. It caused a few eyebrows to be raised but nothing was said. What can you say to calm down a half demon anyway?
"You want to know my fear Raven?" He asked, challenging her to say the answer he despised. He glared behind his mask. Her eyes burned.
"Fine. I fear that I won't be able to protect...you." He said it so evenly that he acted as if it was common knowledge to everyone around him. But it wasn't.
"What?" Raven whispered holding her shock inside. This was too weird for words. The boy was her leader. Of course he was afraid he wouldn't be able to protect a friend, but why her out of the rest? It didn't make sense.
"Yea, Rae. It's true. I am afraid that when you get hurt I won't be able to heal you, or when you fall I won't be there to help you up. You're my greatest weakness." He shrugged as an afterthought. Cyborg looked over at Beastboy and jerked his head in the opposite direction, towards the back. Beastboy shook his head. Cyborg glared. Beastboy surrendered and did as he was instructed. Cy knew that Raven was going to blow.
"You are afraid that you can't protect me?" She asked, the end hiking upward sharply. The calm before the storm in so many ways. "Robin...I don't need your protection. I can take care of myself, I've been doing it for awhile now. I don't need you taking care of me, healing my wounds, catching me when I fall. I do not want to depend on you to make all the bad scary things in life to go away. I can handle it just fine on my own!" She seethed angrily. She might have been angry on the outside, inside was different. An ambivalence was taking place inside of her mind.
Without the powers as a threat to her emotions, her feelings had free run of her body. They were fighting it out, more specifically hate and love were. Most of them had remained dormant inside of Raven's mind, but no looming consequences to feel they fought. One hating Robin for his admition and loving him all the same.
"I know you can take care of yourself Raven, but what can I do? Tell my feelings that just because you have powers, nothing will hurt you? It doesn't work Raven because I've tried. I've tried to dismiss them, thinking they were only my hormones and spent more time with Star but...it's not just hormones. I feel something for you, and it would kill me if something ever happened to you." Robin stated with credence. Raven was beside herself.
"Tried harder." she replied coldly. It didn't push him away like she thought it might. Robin merely glared at the empath.
"You have to."
"Why is that? So you don't have to go through life thinking if you feel the same way or not? If I love you, what business is it of your's?"(1) Raven stopped dead. He had just said the 'L' words hadn't he? Oh no, this wouldn't work at all.
"Robin....stop now. Not only are you probably saying things you can't understand, or it's part of the shadow's tricks or you can't bear to imagine what this is doing to me...but" she let her voice trail off. She collected herself and said "What about Starfire?" She asked in a ordering tone of voice. Robin blinked, with the switch in subjects.
"She'll be fine. We will defeat that little dark black hole and get our Star back just like before, I promise you that." Robin comforted. Raven gulped and said in a small voice:
"No, I don't mean that. I mean what will she think when she comes out of this state of mind? You, me, Cyborg and Beastboy have all seen her...affections for you. You can't be blind to them." Beastboy bit his lip watching the duo. He would have never guessed Robin's fear would revolve around Raven; Starfire seemed like a safe bet, not Raven.
"I honestly don't know." Robin said wondering himself. Starfire never really figured into his equation of whether or not he and Raven would be together. 'And I thought I only had her powers to get around...'He absently thought. Cyborg cleared his throat gaining their attentions.
"Guys, I don't know how long we can keep Star in this state. If this is her fear, not to feel–"
"You mean, to be like me." Raven interrupted dejectedly. Cyborg offered her a kind smile before continuing.
"And to be stuck in between what's real and what isn't, we might not be able to get our Star back fully. We have to come up with a plan and soon to destroy this thing, 'cause if we don't our fears will eat away at us too." Cyborg spoke with such knowledge it was hard to forget he was previously a half computerized man. But he spoke the truth as well. While they each had to face their fear, prolonging it would cause major stress on their bodies, always living in fear...
"You're saying if we don't slay the beast and soon, we're all going to end up like Star?! How is that anyway close to being fair!?" Beastboy screeched.
"Similar, not the same. But yea anyway." Cyborg responded sagely, yet tiredly. This whole night plus what happened in the afternoon was wearing Cyborg out thin. The others were showing signs along with Cyborg, BB's eyes were drooping and his smile and antics weren't fully developed, Raven's body looked beaten and worn and Robin looked just as tired as Cy felt. Starfire was the only one that didn't look as beaten; she just looked so lost. Beastboy looked at Star, directly in her eyes.
"Man, I wish I could be her beckon back here with us." He said wishfully, everyone silently agreed.
"Guys, if Star's on a time limit then we've got to get moving. Raven and I will go off and try to find the shadow, and defeat it. You two stay here and try to get Starfire back. Try talking to her or something, anything. We'll be back quickly as possible." Cyborg nodded and Beastboy saluted. Raven's eyes widened but she kept her mouth shut. They had to help Star, and themselves before worrying over their 'love lives'. Robin led the way out of the room, and Raven followed in hot pursuit of the shadow form.
"Do you think they'll really kill the thingy haunting us or not Cy?" Beastboy asked watching the last bit of Raven's cloak twirling into the darkness. Cyborg gazed at the younger boy and shrugged.
"They better, or we don't have a fighting chance."
"So...we're hunting shadows in a pitch black tower. That's ironic." Raven said sarcastically creeping through the tower with Robin beside her. He rolled his eyes at her comment, but didn't stop to address her. They were walking through the hallways, where the shadow was probably lurking waiting for them again as he did earlier that night. Problem was it was pretty hard to find a shadow in the dark.
"It would seem so." Robin replied, thoughts elsewhere. Where was the monster? Didn't he want to finish his job?
"We'll find him." She stated with more confidence than her leader was feeling. He kept his mask eyes trained open to watch for anything that moved; he didn't want his own fear realized anytime soon.
"Looks like you're getting control over your emotions." They pushed onward, eyes scanning every nook and cranny.
"I suppose so. I guess everyone is born with emotions and the control to handle them. But in my case, I never got the chance to experience them and learn control, it was all about suppression from the beginning." Raven told with unwavering truth. She was opening up. Robin stopped dead.
"What is it?" She whispered, unknowing what was ahead of them. Another reminder that without her powers, she had to depend on others.
"Were we just having a moment? I could of swore that was a moment." Robin prompted slightly grinning to himself at the prospect. Raven frowned.
"Yes. Is there something so unbelievable about me sharing an intimate detail about my life with another?" Raven put her hands on her hips under her cloak; her hood was up and her eyes glowered in the darkness. Robin smirked and turned back to face her.
"A little." She narrowed her eyes. "C'mon Rae, you know you don't open up easily. I think I deserve some le-way about questioning you on it." Raven merely rolled her eyes at him and began walking ahead of him. Robin's smirk turned into a smile, wide and undaunted by her actions. He jogged to catch up with her fast pace.
"We have to find this thing that Trigon sent and stop it soon Robin. Let's push our little talk from earlier behind us and forget what I just said. We'll need our minds clear to battle this thing and to win." She trudged on and Robin shook his head.
"You're a paradox."
"And you're an imbecile." Silence reined afterwards. Quietly they slid about the halls and couldn't find anything. With a mutual agreement they went down to the control room. Metal doors went 'swoosh' but nothing was there to greet them so they began to search once more.
"Do you see anything?" Robin asked looking around the bar stools were that afternoon Cyborg sat, beating Beastboy up.
"So...Star? Remember that time when me and Cy were fighting in the gym? And you saw him punch me into the wall, so you flew right into him thinking it was a clone and not really your Cyborg? Then you stopped only after I let you throw him into the wall? Remember?" Beastboy asked recalling the past events over the years. Cyborg sat idly by seeing if the stories told had any reaction within Star. They didn't.
"B, it's not working." Cyborg said exasperated. Beastboy's grin fell from his face.
"I know. But hey, I can always be naive can't I?" He asked folding his arms and leaning against the console on the opposite side of Cyborg and Star.
"Just like Star." Cyborg mumbled absently. Beastboy grinned thinking about the young princess. She always had no care in the world. They had to fix this.
"She will come out ok right man? I don't think I could live with a sulking Raven and Starfire. That wouldn't be cool." He said his whole face serious. Cyborg just had to laugh outloud at that.
"Yea, man I know what ya mean. But Rae and Rob are both on it. They should get to the bottom of this and save the day. They always do." He added thinking his friends over. The two dependable ones were in charge of saving Starfire; he wasn't worried.
"Yea and let's hope desperation and hormones don't get in the way." BB muttered. Cy eyes him curiously.
"What y'mean elf?"
"I mean...well you heard what Robin said. He likes Raven...not Star. Ya honestly think he won't get a little too out of it when he's alone with the object of his affection in a dark room with no cameras on and the thrill of danger around the corner?!" Cyborg reached across Starfire and slapped Beastboy. Hard. His head whipped to the side, and he came back rubbing his cheek.
"You were getting out of it there Beastboy. Had to do something." They nodded in agreement.
"At least it wasn't a metal hand that slapped me." As soon as it left Beastboy's mouth he wished he could have taken it back. Cyborg looked down at his own hands and sighed, deep in thought.
"Oh! Sorry man. Didn't mean to bring that up." He tried to apologize. Cyborg let a small smile appear on his face while dismissing Beastboy's words.
"Nah man it's alright. I always knew this was my greatest fear."
"Cy, dude, don't take this the wrong way or anything but, why is it? I mean you've always wanted to be human again and feel what you've lost. Why fear it?" The younger boy asked, eyes and ears wide open for the information.
"Well B it's kinda hard to explain really. Ya see, I've always wanted to be human and feel and see like another everyday human but...I don't know. It's kind of what I don't want at the same time. When Brother Blood tried to take me over, he easily controlled my human half. It was my computer half that didn't allow it and stopped his influence on me. Without that, I would have totally defeated you guys, my friends...my family." His eyes looked off into space. Beastboy raised an eyebrow.
"But chromo man if you were human then, all human, you wouldn't have been with us to begin with."
"I know that. And all the good we did together probably wouldn't have happened. I wouldn't have you guys with me, and I wouldn't have been a computer. But if I stayed human and that accident never took place...I'd be a regular joe. No extra-ness to me, just normal everyday joe. But I'd also be stuck with my father and mother."
"And you didn't like them?" Beastboy prompted. Cyborg smiled ruefully.
"I loved them. They gave me life. My mother was always there for me and my role model in some respects, unlike my dad...we really never got along to tell ya the truth B. He spent most of his time in his lab, then one day somethings happened and I became this kick butt robot. Well not anymore."
"Whoa...I didn't know that." Cyborg acknowledged this, Beastboy had his mouth dangling open in awe.
"Now ya do man. But I want to know about you too. Why do you fear being your former self?" Now it was Beastboy's turn to be a little uncomfortable. But hey if Cyborg could open up, then so could he.
"Honestly? I fear being myself. I...wait that didn't come out right. I like myself, but I didn't like myself when I was younger and didn't have my powers. I didn't fit in with anyone and only had my parents in Africa. I like being a superhero; I don't only get to save and help people but I belong somewhere. I belong with you guys. I think my greatest fear is not fitting in here..."
"And that means you're reformed to your past body shape, I gotcha. Not so easy to admit your fears huh man?" He asked, his mouth in the shape of an oncoming smile. It was contagious. Beastboy found himself fighting the urge to smile too.
"No dude it's not."
"No." Raven stated evenly. Her big purple eyes scanned what they could of the darkened room; it was a bit brighter than the hallways given the huge front windows let in the moonlight. Robin growled in frustration.
"You'd think this thing would attack already, if it was so adamant about killing us and being free once and for all from your mind." Raven spun around to face him and glared.
"Ever heard the expression: 'Ask and you shall receive.' Robin?" He nodded, which caused her to rub her eyes with her fingers, pinching her nose. He was giving her a headache. 'Wow she's irascible.' He thought laughing silently at her disgruntled form.
"What about it?" He asked after he had regained his composure.
"Use you're brain Robin. You're going to jinx us."
"I'd rather be fighting her now, than this thing."
"Me too." Oddly enough Raven said. Anyone could she and the hex mistress were never on good terms, but given the circumstances Raven was praying to fight Jinx. Robin walked over to her form, and leaned on the back of the couch she was positioned next to.
"Anywhere else it might be Raven?" Robin asked in a bored type of tone. Raven leaned next to him, cape enclosing her whole body.
"I can't think of any other places. The lower levels are empty, bedrooms are as well, and now the main room. Perhaps he's waiting for us."
"Would make sense. He wants to catch us off guard." Robin thought. Raven nodded along with his assumption.
"But when we do find it, how do we stop it?" She questioned staring at the ground as if it had said something to offend her. Robin rubbed his jaw.
"I've been thinking that over. Maybe the only way for us to actually kill and defeat this thing is to conquer our fears." He said as if it were the most obvious answer to all their troubles. Raven stared at the boy wonder incredulously.
"I know. But you have to wonder if all those cheezy lines are the truth or not." Their conversation died, both working up possible solutions. Raven's eyes trailed back down to the floor while Robin's gazed out yonder. A light breeze tickled Raven's neck. Without looking upward she responded with:
"Robin. You're too close. I can feel your breath on my neck."
"Uh Rave? It's not me." The birds looked directly into each others eyes before turning around to peer over the couch. Nothing was there.
"Man I am so bored! Didn't they get it sent back to whatever hell it came from yet?" Beastboy whined. He was sitting in front of Starfire, the girl hadn't moved since when Robin and Cyborg had sat her down after her transformation. Every few seconds she would blink, that was the only sign that she was still alive. Cyborg sat next to her, sometimes just trying to get her to look at him, poking her to move her and get a response or dealing with Beastboy's comments.
"If they did, we'd be back to normal by now! Quit buggin' me Beastboy." He growled out frustrated. Everything that night was just wearing down on his patience. Beastboy only shrugged at the older teen and twiddled his thumbs. His friends might have been off, trying to save another friend, but still it was a lot of waiting; and Beastboy was not one to wait. He needed a distraction.
"Cyborg...I am very cold." Starfire whispered out. Both boys jumped into her face and stared at her with relief but an underlying of sadness in the mix. Why was she cold?
"Star? What's wrong? Why are you cold?" She only stared back at Cyborg with hollow eyes. He put a hand on her arm, trying to see if she was really cold. Without those scanners, he had to be like everyone else and feel her skin temperature. Funny thing was, she wasn't cold to the touch.
"Cy? Is she really cold?" Beastboy squeaked out. He shook his head in disbelief.
"No, she isn't."
"Then what...? Why did she...?"
"Because...she meant on the inside. Her emotions are being killed one by one. She wasn't just kept from feeling,... because she's being exposed to this for so long...her emotions are dying." Cyborg spoke timidly and in full doubt. It couldn't be possible...
"Oh my God..." Beastboy clamped a hand over his mouth and his face became one of a strict sickness. Starfire looked at them without really seeing them. She saw their pain and worry but couldn't bring herself to feel that. Was this how she was supposed to go through life? Never to feel anything, or to experience new sensations? To always be a shell? The questions ceased to flow into her mind..her curiosity was lost.
They stared out into the darkness and couldn't see anything. The breeze had been there, there had been a presence...so where was it? Raven 'huffed' and folded her arms and her brow furrowed. This whole night was getting on her last good nerve.
"I know I felt something there. I know something was breathing on me." She wondered thoughtfully. Robin raised an eyebrow over at her.
"You sure it wasn't your imagination?"
"I don't have an imagination." Robin made a silent 'oh' gesture with his mouth and let the topic go. At the same time the birds turned back to their previous position. Something was there waiting for them.
"I was wondering when you'd turn back around." The black shadow figure hissed out repulsively.
"Oh. There it is." Raven muttered half-heartedly out of the side of her mouth. Robin got into defensive position in front of Raven's form, protecting her.
"So, the two birds are here to fight. Charming." He walked closer, energy crackling around his body and the dark tentacles spread and whipping under his feet with each passing step. It showed how strong he had become; their fear was suppling him with enough energy to power an arsenal.
"What? You were playing hide and seek and forgot to tell us?" Mocked Robin distastefully. The skin crawling laugh resounded through the control room, making the two teammates shudder and wince uncontrollably.
"Hiding? Me? Oh not me dear Robin, I was merely staying in the dark watching you...and feeding off of your friends fears. You would have never thought they could supply me with so much of it in one course. Starfire...she did a lot more than those two I'm afraid. There's really not much left of her mind now..." Robin reached into his belt and pulled out his retractable bo staff.
"Stop it! There is! We can still save her by destroying you!" He charged forward, swinging his bo staff like a pro and swung deep in the shadow's form. It cut through him like he was nothing but air. Robin retreated a few steps in stunned silence.
"Not expecting that were you little Robin? Here this is how it's really done." The shadow shot out a black energy tentacle and wrapped it around Robin's leg. He brought the boy wonder high into the air and threw him into the wall, crashing his head into it first. He crumpled to the floor, still conscience but dizzy. Raven watched horrified.
"Robin!" She leaped over to his side and gently shook him. Slowly his eyes opened and a soft smile graced his features. She returned the favor, only slightly and looked back over to the shadow that stood there, arms folded in mock annoyance.
"I thought you couldn't love Raven? Did Daddy lie about that?" He asked, tone dripping in disgust. He walked right over to the two, and Robin jumped up, a little woozy from the crash landing and blood dripping from the side of his head where it connected with the wall, but otherwise fine. He became the blockade between Raven and the entity.
"No, he didn't. I cannot love with my powers on full alert, but you freed me from that curse. I don't think neither of you expected that." She pressed against the wall keeping her distance from the shadow and Robin brought his staff up again in defense. The shadow glanced down at the bo staff and yanked it out of Robin's grasp,. But he wouldn't let go without a fight. He tumbled forward on to the ground, making a clear cut access to Raven.
"No, stay away from her!" He shouted in protest. It fell on deaf ears. The black energy crept to Raven and encased her torso with it's magic holding on to with a iron grasp. The shadow looked at her, staring into her violet orbs with his bloody ones.
"You may have been strong with your powers Raven, but you aren't any longer." It breathed out into her face. She tried to wiggle free, but it was in vain. The hold was too tight. Raven started to notice something; her breathing was becoming strained. She looked down and sure enough she could see the tentacle squeezing tighter and tighter with each passing moment.
"No!" Robin yelled. He lunged into the air, but crashed right through the energy. He couldn't figure it out, how was he to fight something he couldn't touch. Then it dawned on him. 'Conquering our fears...'
"Raven! Tell him what you're afraid of. You have to admit it!" He hollered, his hands cupping his mouth to make it echo. Raven looked at him and glared.
"We've already tried that last time! It didn't work!" The hold squeezed harder and Raven groaned in pain. Robin's mind became overrun. 'She's getting hurt...I can't stop it...I can't protect her...What can I do?'
"No, face your fear! You hate to be dependable on others. It's feeding him, making it so he can't be touch. You haven let me help!" He yelled again this time louder, more desperate. His own fears were catching up with him too.
"Bird boy's right Raven. As you keep telling yourself, you can handle it on your own, it's pushing him further away. He can't lay a hand on me with you chanting to yourself I can do it." The male shape whispered into her ear. She gasped. She was causing this. Because she was being stubborn, she was keeping this thing alive. Raven closed her eyes and concentrated on her thoughts. 'I need help. I need someone to save me. I'm not invincible, I need to depend on Robin. He has to save me!' She thought over and over again.
"Robin! Try now!" She shouted weakly. Her breathing was ragged and her head was spinning. All her efforts were being pushed into the thoughts of her weaknesses. She never dwelled on them, but there was a first for everything. Robin nodded in acknowledgment and ran after the creature, picking up his bo staff in the process. The shadow had little time to react as Robin came flying through the air, and drove the staff through the mass of black. Raven fell to the ground, choking and weezing for air, willing the oxygen in faster.
Robin dropped his staff, seeing the creature had remained still on the ground and was at Raven's side in an instant. He cradled her, as she took deep breaths, and he himself swallowed mouth fulls after mouth fulls of air. He had almost lost her. Suddenly the creature rose it's ugly head and growled:
"How dare you think I can be defeated so easily. I have your powers, your weaknesses, your energy on my side! I will not be stopped!" The swirling mass underneath him propelled him towards the duo. Quickly they cartwheeled in opposite directions, getting out of harm's way. Raven landed on her knees while Robin was in a crouching position.
"You said I had to face my fears. I am afraid to become dependable on others, to lose my powers and to feel with no control over my emotions. But I am also afraid of something else. I'm afraid to be alone in this world, creature. And I will not let you take my friends...or Robin from me." She announced standing up straight. There was a gleam in her eye, and the shadow hesitated at seeing her so...full of power.
"What do you mean? There is nothing you can do Raven. I'm unstoppable. I wouldn't have come back so many times if your tries weren't useless." Raven stalked forward and Robin silently crept closer on the other side of the creature.
"No, they weren't useless. Everyone here had to face their fears. Beastboy and Cyborg did, I'm sure of it. Starfire was the first to, she had told me once I laid eyes on her and you've just heard mine. Robin faced his while I was in your grasps, stopping him from helping. We all have weaknesses, but there is one strength I have over you." The shadow lunged at her, but she dodged and landed next to Robin's side. Without a second thought he grabbed her hand, pulled her to her feet, and put a protective arm around her waist. The dark form turned back to them and asked hostilely:
"And what would be this great master strength dear sweet Raven?" It took two steps towards the birds, but they paid him no attention; their eyes were locked in a deep gaze.
"The strength over you is the opposite of fear. Knowledge. And with knowledge comes power, right Rae?" Robin spoke for her a small smile displayed at her. She nodded, never breaking eye contact.
"Knowledge? What knowledge?" The baffled minion of darkness asked. Raven let her eyes briefly stray to his form before responding:
"The knowledge that I know Robin and my friends will never leave me. The knowledge that Cyborg is a great man as a computer and is accepted for it. The knowledge Beastboy will always fit in and belong with us. The knowledge that Starfire could never be like me and stop feeling. And the knowledge...that Robin won't have to worry that one day I'll end up dead and there wouldn't have been anyway he could have protected me." He smiled at the ending of Raven's speech as she looked back at him. The shadow's eyes clouded over in confusion. There was no way to defeat fear; it was in everybody. You couldn't suppress it or conquer it. You could only embrace it; was that what she was doing? Was she really going to be depending on...Robin? Letting him help her and protect her...? No! Impossible!
But it wasn't so impossible. With the powers gone, Raven let her emotions free. And in that time she embraced the feeling she had long forgotten about for Robin, they were only reawakened when she knew of his untold fear. Now there was no stopping her to be with him...except her own fears.
"No! This can't be!" It shouted in disbelief. This wasn't supposed to end this way, he was to be the victor, not them. Where did he go wrong? He glided forward only to be met with a sight he was sure would have never happen. Robin leaned forward and captured Raven's lips with his own. Gently Robin kissed Raven, she was after all new to that form of intimacy. Slowly the fear disintegrated in the thin cool air and the shadow's power held no more. Within a few seconds it screamed in agony, and disappeared completely gone.
The two heros continued to kiss even after the creature had left their presence. But with the monster gone, the fears were lifted and so Raven's powers were reenacted, and the front two windows blew open. They pulled apart and looked at the gapping hole in the wall.
"Sorry." Raven mumbled her face slightly burning with embarrassment. Another vase broken into tiny pieces. Robin pulled her closer, and only smiled down at her.
"We'll work on that." He said his voice light, and unaffected by the breeze drifting through. Rays of the sun sprinkled into the room, lighting up the black area with a bright glow.
"...and then the shadow kind of went poof into the air, while me and Raven...y'know." Robin retold the events that happened a few moments earlier, to the rest of the team. He signaled the ending with a flip of his hand, and glanced over at Raven who looked elsewhere. Her hood was up and her cloak encased her body as always. The members were situated on the couch, Robin stood in front explaining what happened in vague detail.
It was only a few moments after the shadow was destroyed, when the rest of team came barging in to see Robin and Raven in an embrace. Everyone was back to normal, Cyborg was his metal self, Beastboy was green, and Starfire was smiling when she entered. But now she wasn't so much, when she had found out how the creature was vanquished.
"So..." Beastboy drifted off looking between Raven and Robin trying to clue them in to what he wanted to say. Neither got the point.
"So?" Raven asked, turning her head to stare at Beastboy. Cyborg laughed at the way Beastboy squirmed under the intensity of the gaze.
"What he wants to know...what we all want to know is, is the birds, finally lovebirds?" Cyborg asked, a big grin plastering his face. Starfire's eyes were trained on the two. Raven and Robin looked at each other, and rewarded the other with a soft smile. Robin shrugged. That was all they were going to get out those two. Beastboy and Cyborg just groaned good-naturally at the display and raced off to the kitchen unit. They needed some food.
"So, that would mean you two are a couple then yes?" Starfire questioned softly, a little disappointed sounding. Raven bit her bottom lip and Robin sighed. He knew this was coming; he just didn't know what to say to make her feel better about the situation. He sat down next to her, on the opposite of Raven and smiled kindly.
"Star? Are you alright with this?" Softly he asked. Starfire cleared her throat and thought. Was she? This was her boy after all. She was the one he took care of, helped, looked out for, and taught her earth ways. But then something odd struck Starfire. All those times he helped her out, he would have done for Raven and more. He looked on her as a best friend and from the tone of voice and eyes he was begging her to give him her blessing.
While Star thought, Robin became nervous. He loved Starfire, as his little sister, but Raven was something else. Some other feelings were connected to her name and appearance. He could only help she would take it lightly. Raven put a hand on Starfire's shoulder.
"Starfire? Are you alright?" She asked monotonously. Star snapped back into reality and beamed at Raven with delightfulness.
"I am fine, Raven. I'm glad that Robin and you could 'get together' as you would say. If I may say so myself, you fit quite nicely with each other." then in a quieter voice she whispered to Raven: "And if there is anyone I would want Robin to be with, I am overjoyed that he could be with my best friend." She patted Raven's hand that was on her shoulder and took to flight to join Beastboy and Cyborg. Strangely they weren't in a battle of tofu and meat; they were too tired to care anymore.
"Guess she's ok with this." Robin stated, watching Starfire go off. Raven nodded once.
"It would appear so." She said evenly. A few moments went by in silence. Then Robin stood up and extended his hand to Raven.
"Want some breakfast?" He asked gallantly. Raven took his hand and smile lightly at him,, holding on to his hand into the kitchen unit.
An: And there you have it. I like the way this came out, not overly done but enough. Had to put the kiss in, just had to. This actually would have been posted on oh say...Thursday but I had a bit of a problem. I didn't get the idea for this until Tuesday, the day I had off; a brain burst after I just wrote about fear. Then I wrote 19 pages and was going to finish it that night, but it was too late to keep going and I still has school the next day. Wednesday I wrote 10 more pages, went to watch Teen Titans on cartoon network and it 'accidentally' got deleted by my sister. All ten pages. Yea. Sure. I was depressed over the whole thing all the rest of Wednesday and Thursday, cause I wrote it sooooo good, it was my hardest work; that's saying a lot and I couldn't remember what exactly I had written. I was in the zone. But then Friday came, I got sick, stayed home and wrote about 15 more pages. Then today I finished it up, coming to a grand total of 45 pages, so now you all get it. Happy?
Oh and about the rushed relationship. You have to read into some of it. Parts are explained, others are not. I'm leaving this open to everyone's imaginations out there; think whatever you want!
(1) The quote: If I love you, what business is it of yours?- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe. I think it fit well coming out of Robin's mouth; he was emotional, it works.
Now that ya' all read my one-shot, drop me a few words of encouragement please? It would be the greatest present of all time. Thanks in advance!