Raven finally arrived outside the dance academy Catherine was attending. She climbed up the steps to enter the building. And once inside she slowly walked to the door to the dance room for Catherine's ballet class. She was surprised to see that at the corner of the room was Arthur.
His arms were crossed over his chest, as he leaned against the wall as he was glaring at his feet. He wore a white button up shirt with black slacks. He looked as if he was forced to be there with his brows all furrowed. But a smile tugged at the tip of Raven's lips, because to Raven, she saw Damian.
"Raven!" Catherine greeted, approaching Raven. Which snapped Arthur and Raven back to reality.
"I'm glad you haven't started yet." Raven says as she smiled politely at Catherine. Arthur makes his way to them, as the pair of ladies meet him half way.
"This one insisted on coming here." Catherine teases, and Raven just tilts her head at
Arthur, silently seeking for an answer.
"I just wanted to get out of the house." He mumbles.
"Oh, so after this we have some place to go?" Raven inquires as this wasn't discussed earlier.
"Well, if you're not busy." Arthur nervously mumbles as he rubs his forearm. For a second Raven's polite smile faltered.
"I'm always free." She whispered a little too softly. The pair of siblings wanted to ask where Raven's boyfriend was and if the couple were alright. But they couldn't impose, especially since Raven clearly did her best to keep her boyfriend's identity a secret.
"Well, then let's go out and explore Gotham." Catherine says, and Raven nodded with a faint smile. Arthur and Raven walked to where Arthur was standing before Raven entered. And Catherine started her stretches as the session seems like it was about to start.
"Where are your bodyguards?" Raven inquired in a whisper as she sat crossed legged on the floor. "I hope you brought them."
Arthur paused for a moment and sat beside Raven crossed legged.
"They are here." He quietly replies and Raven looks around seeing no bodyguards at all.
"Good, because I wouldn't want you guys to not bring them because of me." She mumbles, squinting around and even outside the big window to see if there were any men in black suits.
"They are here, I—we, didn't want to make you uncomfortable if they were really close to us." And Raven nodded, she was after all a normal civilian citizen of Gotham to the McCoy's.
Raven absent-mindedly was thinking that maybe she should try out ballet next-time. And she shook her head at the thought.
No more two-week hobbies, she scolds herself.
"I like your jacket." Arthur whispers, and Raven looks at him with a faint longing smile.
"It's my boyfriend's." Raven puts her hands inside the jacket's front pockets. And Arthur immediately regrets commenting about the jacket. Raven looked lost in thought because of the jacket, and to Arthur it looked like she had a blissful expression on her face. He looks back at the ballerinas dancing.
His sister seemed very cold and serious as she did her movements gracefully. Maybe he should try hacking Raven's phone and laptop to finally know who this mysterious boyfriend is. And this time it was his turn to shake his head.
He has to respect that. It was clear Raven wanted to keep her life private. But something was bothering him about Raven. He felt that spying on her would ensure him that nothing was wrong with Raven, but he couldn't cross that line. He couldn't betray her like that.
"I hope everything is alright, Raven." He whispers his eyes still on the ballerinas. Raven turned to him, hearing what he had said. But him acting like he didn't say anything just made her frown and then look back at Catherine.
Raven wondered if she looked unhappy about something. And she knew the answer to that question, but has it been outwardly showing nowadays? It seemed that everyone was so worried about here lately, but there was just one person she wished would notice. She felt a tinge of pain in her chest at the thought.
Two hours later, Catherine was done with ballet class. And while she was off to shower, some of her classmates flocked Raven and Arthur, well particularly Arthur. Raven made her way out of the circle and observed Arthur who was trying to be polite to the girls. He glanced at Raven, but she had pulled out her phone and seemed to have frozen for a second. He wanted to make his way to her, but Catherine's classmates were asking him questions.
"I didn't expect to see you here, you never came here before." One said and Arthur smiled thinly as he nodded, stealing glances at Raven. She notices Arthur making his way to her, a familiar grouchy expression on his face.
"It must have been awkward for you to be surrounded by strangers." Arthur says trying to start a conversation with Raven who looked lonely.
"I didn't know you were popular." Raven remarked and Arthur shook his head.
"Tsk, even I was unaware." He turns his head away from Raven to glare on the floor. Raven seems to be recalling Damian in Arthur a bit too frequently. She must really miss him.
"Well, Cath wants to go to a café and go to a park and act like normal citizens in Gotham." Raven looks at Arthur with a raised eyebrow.
"What's with the sudden interest?" She inquired and he shrugged.
"I suppose meeting you ignited an interest in how normal citizen's in Gotham live."
"Normal citizen…" Raven couldn't help but mumble. Those words truly foreign to her.
"I just moved here a few months ago, I don't think I'm the best chaperone." Raven looks at Arthur in the eyes, he had a very interesting set of grey-blue eyes. But it wasn't the green that she loves looking into.
"Well, she should finish showering soon." Raven mumbles as she looks at the door waiting for the head of a familiar blonde. She felt her phone vibrate in her pockets and she just clutched it.
"Yeah." He mumbles as they both look at the door waiting for Catherine to enter.
They waited for Catherine silently, both individuals lost in their own thoughts. And eventually Catherine entered the dance room. She was in casual wear, in light denim pants with a white plain crop top with a pink leather jacket. She had light brown boots with three-inch heels. She carried a pink duffel bag over her shoulder. Her blonde hair pulled back with a black headband. Seeing her looking so preppy with an expression that said 'don't touch me', Raven couldn't help but smile in amusement.
These two kids, somehow gave her something to look forward to. And again, there was a knot on Raven's chest, as the thought crossed her mind.
"Raven, is everything okay?" Catherine called out to Raven, as she stood in front of Arthur and Raven. She had noticed Raven's gaze turn dark when she was walking towards her brother and Raven. And it worried her. In fact, this was why Arthur and Catherine wanted to go out, they had noticed Raven's gloomy state. They simply wanted to cheer her up. And it was Arthur who had actually opened up to Catherine about the matter first.
"Of course, everything is okay." Raven said with a faint smile on her lips. It was actually a response she was quite used to answering with. Catherine and Arthur stare at one another quietly for a moment.
"Well, now to a café ,Raven!" Catherine says cheerily as she hooked her right arm on Raven's left arm. And Raven smiled, for a moment her thought had drifted to holding Damian in the exact same way. How long had it been since she had held his arm like this?
She realized how her mind had drifted and she shook her head with a smile, and reached out for Arthur with her free hand.
"Then why don't we all hold hands and go?" Raven say teasingly as she held onto Arthur's left hand.
"How childish!" Arthur quickly responded as his left hand twitched against Raven's right hand but does not pull away. Catherine playfully rolls her eyes and she began to drag Raven out of the studio room.
"Let's go walk there!" Catherine says and Raven's first reaction was to look displeased. And before she could voice out her worries about their safety, Catherine quickly adds.
"The bodyguards will be following us from behind, don't worry." Raven could just sigh in response.
The café was a few blocks away, giving Catherine the time to talk about the most random things. And it was something Raven appreciated, it made her mind forget what she has been thinking and feeling. Arthur would just follow them quietly. Sometimes he would say a word or two, but his eyes seem to keep a steady watch on their surroundings.
When they arrived at the café, Catherine wanted to sit down on a table on the street, but Arthur strongly disagreed. And since Arthur was unwilling to sit outside, they took a seat inside the shop. While walking to the café, Raven had finally noticed their guards who were in civilian attire following them from behind at a safe distance.
The trio were waiting for their orders quietly on the café, and Raven's eyes flickered to a couple from across the room. The bodyguards strategically took their seats, some were outside, others in a table almost near the trio and others by the general area.
"Raven." Raven snapped out from her reverie and turned her head at Catherine who was frowning. Catherine followed Raven's gaze as she said.
"I've been calling you for about the fifth time." And when she saw what Raven was looking at, her eyes wavered. She looks back at Raven with a sad expression and with pressed lips.
"I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't impose, but is everything alright with you and your boyfriend?" She asks cautiously and Arthur turned to his sister who was beside him with a glare. They had discussed this before and said they wouldn't impose, of course Catherine would give-in and be the first to back-track.
Raven who was across from Arthur was surprised at the question and at that moment a waiter arrived with their order. The waiter set their drinks and slices of cake and other desserts down as the trio remained in silence. And it continued so, for a few minutes after the waiter left.
Raven rotate the metal straw around her drink as she allowed herself to think. Arthur nudges his sister by the leg, giving her another glare.
"We're good, it's just that his busy." Raven mumbled her reply. And Arthur and Catherine looked at one another surprised at even getting a reply.
"Really?" Catherine says quietly. Raven gave a short nod as she tucked her hair behind her right ear as she looked away accidentally at the direction of the couple from before.
"Then why is it that you seem upset recently? And why does it seem whenever the word 'boyfriend' is mentioned you clearly look upset." Arthur points out and Catherine kicked her brother's foot from under the table. He doesn't even look at Catherine, but kept his eyes on Raven, it was almost a glare in fact.
Raven turn her gaze back to her front and was surprised to see Arthur looking visibly upset.
"You seem to want him with you." Arthur said the words she could never ask Damian. And her eyes twitched. The pair of siblings watched Raven move in slow motion in reaction to what Arthur said. The twitch in her eyes, how she closed them to hold back tears, and how she pressed her lips together in desperation.
And when she opened her eyes again, Raven said, "Yes, I do want him with me, but I can't ask something like that to the person I love. Especially when I know how important his work is to him."
Arthur looked like he had something to say, but from under the table Catherine grabbed his hand tightly. Silently telling him not to say anything.
"When you two fall-in love with someone, the way I do, maybe you will understand me." Raven smiled at them faintly. "There is no doubt, that I love him so, so much." And there was that longingness on her face that the pair of siblings have seen quite often.
Arthur opens his mouth to which Catherine squeezes his hand tighter, but he ignores the pain she was inflicting on him.
"If you love him so much, then why are you so upset." He stated so clearly, Catherine's death grip on her brother loosened as she held her breath and observed Raven. Raven's eyes had flickered and for a moment it seemed to have become unbelievably dark, but it was such a quick change that Catherine chalked it up as her imagination. But Arthur took note of that change.
"There is no doubt that I love my boyfriend. That has never changed in the span of years that we have been together." Raven replied even clearer than Arthur's statement. Her eyes were stern and unwavering, and Arthur wanted to press the matter even more, but Catherine slapped his hand from under the table.
"I'm so sorry, Raven. We are imposing way too much. We do not doubt your affections towards your boyfriend. We were just worried about you." Catherine cuts in with a gentle voice and Raven's violet eyes look at Catherine quietly. "We are not trying to butt into your relationship with your boyfriend. We were worried that he might have caused you some unhappiness, and it is clear he has not." Catherine gave a thin smile towards Raven, her mind on high alert.
"He has never given me unhappiness." Raven replied with a polite smile but her heart felt like it was being squeezed.
Arthur just gritted his teeth; his sister clearly gave him a warning. He sighed and apologized for his behavior and Raven mutters that he did not do anything wrong.
"I hope that you two won't misunderstand my affections towards my boyfriend again." Raven quietly added, the two McCoy siblings stared at each other before looking at Raven and giving a slow nod.
Catherine tried her best to lift up the mood and as they ate their food, it got better.
"Let's have a walk on the park after." Catherine suggested with a carefree smile and Raven couldn't help but smile back at her.
"Yeah, that would be fun!" Raven says and Arthur nods as he chewed his cake.
And they continued on their day as if they were normal citizens. And as if Raven wasn't even their chaperone. She enjoyed her day as they laughed and talked. It was also as if the three had not had a difficult conversation at the café.
They even made time to go to a museum for technology, and Arthur would look at each exhibit thoughtfully. When it was nearing four in the afternoon, Raven decided that it was time for the two to go home. And they begrudgingly agreed, but also begged Raven send them back.
Raven laughs as she looks at the kids. "Of course, I will."
Catherine and Arthur stared at one another and smiled. They were delighted that she agreed. And as they travelled back to the McCoy's in their private car, Raven recalled the conversation they had in the café with a frown. She stares at Catherine and Arthur who stared back at Raven worriedly.
"I like to apologize about what happened at the café." Raven says with etched eyebrows. The siblings stare at one another and Catherine shook her head.
"No, Raven, we are sorry for that. We were overstepping." Catherine cuts in and this time Raven shook her head.
"It's just that, I get protective over him." She mumbles and then sighed. "I get put on edge whenever it is about him. I love him a lot, that has never changed. And you two questioning that fact—" Raven squeezed her eyes and sighed again, and she felt a hand over her right hand. She looks at her hand and she see Catherine's left hand atop her right hand.
"We understand, Raven." Catherine looks at Raven gently and she turns to her brother for a moment and returns her gaze at Raven. "We truly understand, you do not need to explain yourself. We are deeply sorry for questioning you like that."
"We were out of line." Arthur added and Raven looks at him. "If it isn't clear, we are rather attached to you. And we just want you to be happy."
Hearing that made Raven smile genuinely. "I understand. Thank you for the concern, I really do appreciate it."
"I think you should take a few days off; we've discussed it with our parents. They will formally inform you later this evening." Arthur tells Raven and she nods in response.
The three looks at one another and somehow, they felt that their bond had just strengthened. Raven hoped that her relationship with these kids would not fade or be ruined. The car stopped at their designated parking spot.
"Well then, I will walk you two to the elevator, your body guards should accompany you to your apartment." Raven says as she steps out of the car and the two agreed. Before they stepped inside the elevator Catherine gave Raven a hug.
"Thank you!" Catherine says and Raven squeezes her back tightly.
"No, thank you." She replied and urged Arthur to join their hug. He reluctantly embraces Raven and Catherine.
"Really, thank you, you two." She restated and after they let go of one another and they parted ways. Raven waited for the elevator to indicate their floor before she left the building.
She took her time to walk back to her apartment building. She needed the time to think. Her resolution had solidified even more. She knew she had to tell Damian and she felt even more ready to confront him over the matter.
She was certain now that she will do it.
Raven realized she was in front of her apartment door. She took out the key quickly in hopes Damian would be home by now. She had to tell him. And when she opened the door to be greeted by emptiness, she felt that she went ahead of herself.
She had forgotten that he was MIA due to a mission.
Her resolve went to the back of her mind as she took a step forward and sighed. She closed the door with a soft bang. Titus comes walking out of her bedroom, she smiles at him.
"Hey, there boy." She says as she knelt down and ruffled his head. Raven sits on the floor and hugs him quietly and Titus whines to try and comfort her. But there were no tears in her eyes, she just looked tired.
When the room was filled with an orange hue, that was when Raven snapped out from her empty thoughts.
"He still isn't home." She couldn't help but say as she stood up and patted Titus' head.
She walks to Titus food and water bowls and refilled it.
"Let's watch another movie after I shower." Raven says as she walks into her bedroom and hops into the shower not even closing the door of her bedroom.
It was about midnight when she finally felt like checking her laptop for messages. She had completely forgotten that she was suppose to wait for the McCoy's confirmation of her time off in the coming days. And she did confirm that Anastasia had said that she can have the week off.
Raven thought that maybe Arthur and Catherine convinced their parents that she needed time off. Her mind has been elsewhere. She sent out a quick reply and thanked them.
She looked at her dark bedroom, Titus by her side. She had silently hoped that maybe Damian would return any minute now. But that was always the norm nowadays, just waiting for him in an empty space.
She wondered how Jon was and checked if he had reached out to her. It was no surprise that he did and it was time stamped at about eleven am.
Jon: Hey, I hope you're feeling better. I still don't know where D is, but I guess it's safe to say it isn't something world threatening because the JL hasn't said anything. But anyways, I'm leaving for Metropolis in a few hours, my offer still stands. We could even go fishing with my dad.
Raven recalled her stay in Metropolis and the fishing trips she had with Jon's family. It was actually very fun. Of course, it was still one of her many temporary hobbies, but she did enjoy their company. And that one-time Damian was with them—a happy memory became stale again.
She gave a quick reply, 'Thanks Jon for the update. I might take you up on that offer, I will see if my schedule clears up.'
Even though she knew her schedule was cleared for an entire week, she still wanted to wait one more day for Damian. She desperately wanted to use the opportunity of buying a phone to have a date with him.
Just him and her.
She sighed aloud at the thought. It isn't easy dating a hero especially when they have different affiliations and responsibilities. But she also understood his position because she used to be apart of that world. But the dates that get cancelled, or the dates cut half way or the absence that seem to scream at her. Those things were also making Raven feel like she couldn't breathe.
She felt like there was no place for her to really breathe.
She hears a ping and she realized that she was staring at the wall blankly. She brings her violet eyes toward her laptop on Damian's desk.
Jon: Alright. I will be here if you need me for anything Rae.
And she smiled, close to bursting into tears.
She felt that Jon was more with her than Damian was in the past two years. And she was unsure if her mind was playing tricks on her. Making her forget if her boyfriend was comforting her. All she knew was that, it seemed like it was always Jon who was around to comfort her. And it was driving her nuts.
Everything was driving her nuts.
Raven's fists her at her chest and the flickered with a dark purple hue. She noticed what was happening and she slowed down her breath to try and keep calm. Eventually it disappeared and she sat there looking at Jon's reply.
Raven: Thanks, Jon.
With that she closed her laptop screen not even bothering to turn the thing off. She just wanted to sleep.
"Sleep with me tonight." She whispered to Titus as she rubs his head again. And Titus jumps onto the bed, on Raven's side and she smiled.
"You know I want to sleep on his side of the bed, huh?" She mutters approaching Damian's side and getting settled in.
Tomorrow, if he returns, they really need to talk. She swore to herself when her returns they really have to talk.
For sure this time. She will do it. She kept repeating until her mind went dark and her lungs was filled with his scent. Her arm wrapped around his favorite pet.
'I really miss you.' She whispered.
Sorry for the wait, enjoy!
I will try and write this slowly with all my other DamiRae fanfics. I have so much planned fanfics for DamiRae, it's why I'm taking some time.
Checkout my DamiRae Collections if your interested, thanks for reading!