Raven woke up early, walked Titus and then ate breakfast when they arrived from their walk. Damian had not returned after his briefing, which to be frank was a rather normal occurrence- that is his absences at least. But the fact he didn't get debriefed before coming to see her was an oddity, which contributed to her worry about the danger that the earth was facing. It was the only thing that could explain his recent absences and why he left without getting debriefed.

Raven liked to think he wasn't always like this: always absent in her life, but she couldn't exactly supplement it with a memory. At this point, she was just hoping that this hasn't been the case for the past two years since she left the Teen Titans.

When Raven was cleaning the dishes, she remembered that she had made plans with Liam with Damian's encouragement. She wondered if Damian only made such a suggestion because he had to leave again last night and he wanted her to have something to look forward to today.

She sighed aloud, as she pushed away her thoughts. She seemed to be completely consumed by her thoughts these past couple of days. She hoped that her time spent at Gotham- with Liam would help her get out of her headspace.

She needed to breathe some fresh air. She knew she had to relax her mind that has been abuzz for the past few days.

Raven took a shower and tried to put her mind at ease by thinking of how happy this day would be. She had to invite positive energy into her space. She intermittently reminded herself, to enjoy herself, as she did her shower routine.

When she stepped out of the shower in a towel and walked into the bedroom for a split second, she had hoped Damian was there to welcome her with a big hug. But he wasn't here, whenever she looked for him like this, he wasn't here.

Raven recognized that she was going to bring herself into a spiral thought that she knew all too well if she continued thinking about him. She pushed back her boyfriend's absence as she walked to their closet to get changed.

She smiled at the sight of his clothes, her fingertips running through his clothes that were hanging on the rack.

She loves him so much.

Raven picked out her clothes absentmindedly as her mind drifted to when Damian and her were younger. Their first meeting, their awkward interactions, their arguments, their first date, their first kiss. For the first time in a while those memories brought happiness to Raven. Her heart felt warm as if she was being embraced by his arms.

She does love him so much.

Her eyes welled up with tears, as a droplet fell from her eye. She wiped the tear away and continued changing.

She shouldn't be upset when today will be a good day.

She wore her clothes, a simple set of jeans, a white fitted cropped tank top, her jewelry and black combat boots. She then went to her vanity and then put on her make up and dried her long black hair with a blow dryer.

Raven looked at herself through the mirror, and she thought that she no longer knew the woman who was looking back at her. She sighed and then her hand found Damian's cologne and then she spritzes herself with it. With his scent in her lungs, she looked down at what she was holding.

Damian's signature scent.

The bottle was half empty and she swirled the liquid inside as she observed the yellow water. The time of her meeting with Liam was approaching, she sighed again and placed Damian's cologne on top of the vanity, where he always placed it.

Raven got up and walked back to their closet and found one of his navy-blue cardigans and wore it. She wrapped her arms around herself, wishing for a second that he was there.

Raven then cleared her throat and focused, she had to have a good day. She then got a couple things and left to go meet Liam.

~.~.~.~.~

It was a few hours before noon, Raven was out in the park with Liam, it was their fourth stop of the day. She turned to look at Liam.

"I can't believe I've never been here!" Raven shook her head in disbelief. They were in a park located the opposite way from where she lived, so it came as a surprise to be in a different park in Gotham. Raven and Liam went to two different museums in the area and a cute little cafe.

Raven realized just how much of Gotham she had not seen, she realized how she had stuck very close to where she lived.

"And you've been here for six months?" Liam asked, glancing at her.

"I just don't go very far." She replied, clearing her throat. "I actually asked you to show me spots I could go and take my boyfriend to."

Liam looked at her and his green eyes crinkled. "You should have said that last night, I should scrap the other places and show you some pretty romantic spots."

"You'd do that?" Raven asked, quite confused at his hospitality.

"Of course, I can see that you love him." Then he hesitated. "I don't personally know you or your boyfriend but if you two aren't on good terms, you two should talk it out."

Raven stared at him and then laughed in a hollow manner. "I seem to keep getting that advice."

"I've noticed you glance at your phone frequently; you must be waiting to hear from him." Liam stated, and Raven nodded glancing at her phone again.

"I am so sorry, it's just that he came back yesterday but immediately had to leave again for work." She replied putting her phone back in her bag.

"Seems like a very busy man." Liam spoke with a little nod and Raven looked up at him with widened eyes, Liam wasn't a hero- she forgot for a moment. She cleared her throat and then smiled and then added.

"Yes, an entrepreneur." His eyes widened at her revelation.

"I can understand why he is busy then; I am working on starting my own business, working a few odd jobs to save up." He confessed, "It really is difficult."

"Well, we can take a walk around- this park is very big." Liam offered as he noticed how distracted Raven seemed, trying to move the conversation along to cheer her up a little.

"Do you want to sit and talk about it? You really don't have to tell me anything, we could just sit and breathe in the fresh air." Liam suggested as he waved at a wooden bench. Raven nodded and guided them to the bench. And the two sat on the bench with a significant and respectful distance between them.

"We don't really know each other, that isn't wrong, but he wanted me to go and make friends. I've been here for six months and I could count the people I know from Gotham with one hand and that doesn't include my boyfriend and his family." She sighed, "I don't even know why I am telling you this." She chuckled hoping that her dreary tone would be forgotten.

They were sitting in silence for a couple of minutes when Raven suddenly opened up about her lack of acquaintances. He didn't know what to tell her.

"I thinkā€¦" He looked ahead with furrowed brows and then sighed. "I think you shouldn't be making friends just because he said so. It seems to me that you don't want him to worry, but you are facing a problem that you aren't telling him."

Liam felt a chilliness that passed when he finished talking which caused him to shiver. He turned to look at Raven but she did not seem chilly at all. Maybe it was just all in his head, but she was wearing a cardigan.

"I am." She softly confessed as she looked at the tree branches across from them swaying.

"I don't know your dynamic with your boyfriend, but if you can't tell him, tell a friend." He suggested and she shook her head and laughed openly as if what he was saying was a joke. But the person she thought of was Jon, a friend she could rely on.

"Do you not think... it is a betrayal in your relationship if you don't tell your partner first- about something very important?" Raven inquired as she played with the cuffs of Damian's blue cardigan and Liam observed her.

"I guess in a way it is," Liam's olive eyes seemed to have recalled something, his gaze far as he looked ahead. "But there are some things that are hard to tell your partner because they are your partner. They are someone you are so afraid to hurt and see you as if you're a monster."

His words and terms struck a nerve in Raven, it was like he voiced out exactly what she was afraid of.

"But what if you have become a monster? So unrecognizable to yourself that-" Raven couldn't find the strength to continue on. Her chest felt too heavy.

"That is the thing though, we can see ourselves as monsters, but to the one we love- we could never be. Maybe we have become monsters but our loved one is turning a blind eye to our actions." Liam turned to glance at Raven and he could see that she was having some kind of internal conflict. "It's why we have to try and find a balance- together."

Raven looked up at him with shaking eyes. "Together?" She repeated, the words felt so heavy and, in all honesty, foreign. "A balance- together." She mumbled as she nodded.

"Thank you for the advice." Raven smiled politely and he stared back at her with a heavy heart. He seemed to see a part of him he didn't think he would see again.

"I hope you two work it out." Liam sincerely said, because even through the pain he could see how much she loved her boyfriend. "You're afraid because you love him so much." He didn't mean to say it aloud, but when Raven heard his gentle remark, she smiled thinly.

"Yes, that is so true." Her voice was stable and the wind blew strongly, drowning out her words.

Raven was surprised by how her day with Liam was rather insightful. She didn't know why but his seriousness and sincere attitude made her feel more relaxed, for the first time, in Gotham.

"Thank you." Raven smiled sincerely; Liam was right. Damian and her are a couple, they have to figure their stuff out together- not apart.

"Don't mention it, I'm glad I could help." He smiled and got up and offered his hands to her. "Let's forget the itinerary and just enjoy what Gotham has to offer, I think that will cheer you up."

Raven smiled at him as she placed her hands over his, "Yeah, I think that would be a nice change of pace." She said as Liam pulled her up and she chuckled.

The two roamed around Gotham as if they had been friends for a long time, it was quite the opposite feeling she had as compared to yesterday when she thought of their first meeting. Even though they had just met one another yesterday, hanging out with him was almost like hanging out with Jon or Damian.

When the hours passed and Raven was filled with so much smiles and laughter, Liam stared at her ruefully.

"You finally look like you're enjoying yourself." Liam smiled faintly.

"I'm sorry if I came across like that." Raven mumbled and Liam shook his head.

"I don't think I can compare to how your boyfriend makes you happy, but I am truly glad that you seem more relaxed now." Liam's tone was sincere and Raven smiled at him ready to reply but froze when she felt her bag vibrate. She forgot that she was waiting for news about Damian, but was now reminded of the fact.

She was instantly distracted and went to check her phone.

Damian: I hope you are having the best time; I love you, Babe.

Raven inhaled sharply, Babe, she read again.

"Raven?" Liam called and she looked up at him, the joy in her eyes gone.

Damian only ever used Babe when he felt guilty or bad, she didn't want to think what it meant, but she had a feeling that he wasn't going to be at their apartment when her day ends.

She realized that she was hoping that he would be back when she returned.

"Well, where to next?" Raven turned to Liam with a smile and a gust of wind blew past them, tucking her phone away without giving Damian a response.

It was around 3pm when Raven finally felt like she had explored Gotham enough.

"I think we've weaved through a significant part of Gotham already." Raven looked at the streets. "I really can't believe that I didn't know this part of Gotham."

"I am very surprised too, are you sure your boyfriend is from Gotham?" Liam asked cautiously and Raven laughed.

"He was raised outside the country, and he found out his father was from here and so he came here." Raven explained with a faint smile.

"And an entrepreneur, since he came from outside the country his business must extend outside of Gotham. I completely understand why he's busy now." Liam nodded making his own conclusions, his expression showed he had great respect for Raven's boyfriend. And Liam wasn't completely wrong in his guesses.

"My boyfriend really commands respect even when people haven't met him." Raven couldn't help but remark as she saw Liam's expression, she chuckled at the thought.

"It would be so nice to meet him, I could ask for pointers." Liam said with twinkling eyes.

"Maybe one day you will." Raven smiled politely.

The two then decided that it was time to part ways, they said their goodbyes. Raven mentioned to Liam that she would be quite busy with some things for the coming week and that she probably can't go to the gym anytime soon. To which Liam replied that he completely understands and said that he had hoped he had helped her even just a little bit by showing her the city.

Raven quietly got a cab back to her apartment building and wasn't expecting much. For the first time in a while her mind was quiet.

She opened the door to her apartment not expecting Damian to be back or wishing he was there. She actually felt alright with the fact that she wasn't searching for him.

Raven opened the door while looking at the floor. She truly felt at peace at the quietness for the first time.

"Raven, hey." Damian's voice entered her ears and she looked up confused.

"Damian, I didn't know you'd be back." She heard herself reply in confusion and the fact she sounded confused, made her even more perplexed.

Shouldn't she be happy that he's here?

"I wanted to surprise you." He said as he walked towards Raven, the smile on his lips faltering. Raven opened her lips unsure what to say. "And you didn't reply to my text, so I figured you were having a great day and didn't notice that I texted you."

Raven did not move nor reply to him.

"Have I been gone that long?" Damian spoke gently, more of a question to himself than to Raven but remained silent.

Raven's eyes flickered at him, he wore jeans, a grey V-neck shirt and studied his face. She didn't know what she was feeling at his sudden presence.

The door closed behind her and she was startled by the noise it made. She turned to check who had closed the door to find that it was her own self.

"Raven." Damian called out again this time standing in front of her, he looked extremely worried.

She had so much things she wanted to say- things she has been strugglingly to tell him.

"I just feel so exhausted from roaming Gotham on foot, I'm sorry love." Raven replied as she stepped forward and embraced him. He embraced her back and inhaled her scent.

"Oh, you really love my cologne, don't you?" He chuckled and she was startled. Raven pulled away and looked him in the eye with love.

"I just can't help myself." She chuckled and he leaned his head against hers and he smiled at her.

"Well, I have asked Pennyworth to check Gotham University for you." Damian said as he pulled away, holding her hand and pulling her to the counter. "He has compiled the curriculums they offer for each possible history major the school offers."

Damian patted a folder on the marble counter with his phone beside it and she smiled. Damian then sat on the high bar chair facing her.

"Oh, I forgot about this." Raven admitted, and he glanced at her worriedly.

"Beloved," he said, pulling her into his arms. "How long have you been having these nightmares?"

"Just recently." She replied not even looking at him. Instead, she had opened the folder and tried to take a peek of the front page.

"Raven." Damian softly but firmly called her name as he placed his hands on her jaw and she looked at him. "How bad are they?" His voice sounded like it was close to cracking.

Raven blinked at him quietly, looked down at his chest and placed her hand over his heartbeat. With a sigh she hugged him, resting her head against his beating heart.

"I don't have them when you're here." She confessed quietly as she closed her eyes. She felt him freeze-up with her confession and she pressed her lips. His arms around her waist squeezed her tightly.

"I will try and be here more often." He said and she could tell that he was containing his disappointment with himself. She didn't need to have her empathy barrier undone for her to know such a thing. She gently shook her head as best as she could even when her head laid against his chest. Damian placed his arms over her shoulder as he embraced her again.

"No, you know you can't do that." She pulled away to glance at his face for a moment. "You need to defend the earth." She added and rested her head back against his chest.

"But you are far more important." He replied quietly and Raven rubbed his back. She wanted to tell him no- she wanted to yell that: it isn't the case, she shouldn't be more important, but Raven only sighed.

"I'm a civilian now, by protecting the world, you're protecting me." Raven stated, quietly and Damian sighed.

"You always say that." He replied, squeezing her tighter because Raven's head was against Damian's chest, Damian was not able to see the confusion on her face.

She always says that.

She has been running away and hiding from him for how long?

"Well, regarding my birthday, my father said that we should stay at the mansion before the party to bond with the family." Damian opened up and Raven smiled as she pulled away from his chest.

"That would be great, I'd love that." She replied, the confusion previously on her face completely replaced with a reserved smile.

"And I will discuss with you my plans for the party." Damian said, his mind going through the plan.

"Later." Raven replied in a whisper but Damian glanced at her in confusion and worry. "Let's spend this time together."

He smiled at her, "How was your day?" He asked, his eyes bright with love.

Raven smiled back and recounted her day with Liam, minus Liam's advice. After Damian's birthday, she will talk to him about everything. But not now, not when his birthday was coming up. At least, this is what she swore to herself this time around.

"Will you be staying here long?" Raven asked carefully, afraid that her boyfriend would somehow leave again, an odd fear she recognized.

He shook his head lightly and Damian caught her sad expression, "I tried to ask for a week off, but I can't." He licked his lips feeling guilty but Raven tried to smile reassuringly at him but failed.

"I got three days off though." He whispered to her and she looked at him as if she was going to cry.

Raven broke into tears as she nodded. "Three days? Okay." Raven smiled as Damian wiped her tears.

"Are you that happy?" Damian asked, the guilt clenching his heart. She nodded as she hugged him tightly.

"You're mine for those three days." Raven mumbled as she sharply inhaled against his shoulder.

She heard him chuckle, his chest vibrating against hers. "Yes, completely."

She was happy, but Raven also knew that she would feel guilty if she took that much of his time. But for right now, she shouldn't feel bad for taking her boyfriend's time. She thought that she would worry about it later, when the guilt feels extremely heavy. But right now, the guilt isn't that heavy.

"Where is Titus, Damian?" Raven pulled away and wiped her tears.

Damian reached out to her face to help her wipe her tears, "I sent him back to the mansion so that you and I can spend time alone."

"Oh, okay." Raven mumbled and Damian sighed.

"Have I really been gone that long?" He asked, this time a question truly more for himself than her.

Raven shook her head, "You wouldn't be this busy if it wasn't important."

Damian gazed at her seriously and sighed in defeat, "Babe," It was the word she had come to hate and she braced herself. "We have plans to go off-planet."

The thought of asking him if he was staying with her for three days to make up for this off-planet trip did occur to her. But Raven just pushed the thought away, not now, she won't let herself worry about that.

It didn't matter. At least for now it shouldn't because Raven wanted to enjoy the time, she has with Damian more than anything.

"Do you know when?" She asked and he shook his head, his green eyes looking on the floor. She cupped his head and he looked at her violet eyes, she smiled softly.

"It's what you do- it's what heroes do." She reassured him but her heart ached badly. "Is the threat that bad?"

Damian hesitated, his brows etched together and then finally sighed and cupped both her cheeks saying, "Don't worry about it, you're a civilian now, that's what you wanted. I will do my best to make sure you get to live this life peacefully."

I am certain Damian is working extremely hard in order to make sure you don't end up being called for backup.

The words of Jon echoed in her mind, and all Raven could think was how Jon was right about it. She wondered if Damian confided in Jon instead of her for a split second. If Damian did so, it didn't matter, there were things she hadn't told Damian yet, she didn't have the right to complain if Damian indeed confided in Jon and not her.

"A hero saving a damsel." Raven chuckled as she admired his beautiful green eyes. "Who would have thought that Damian Wayne, an Al Ghul, would be that sentimental." She couldn't help but remark in a playful manner.

Damian's thumb rubbed her cheek and she closed her eyes as she immersed herself in his show of affection towards her.

"Who would have thought I have such a big weak spot." He whispered and Raven's eyes opened.

In the tip of her tongue, she wanted to tell him not to say that. She wanted him to take it back. She didn't want to be his weak spot; she didn't want to be a hero's weak spot.

But Raven just closed her eyes and leaned against his forehead in silence, thinking: Please don't say that.

A hero cannot have a weakness. She knows that quite well, after all she was a hero too.

~.~.~.~.~.~

Author's Notes:

Okay, the next chapter will feature a sex scene, and since has some rules, I need you guys to tell me if you're alright with me posting explicit stuff.

And yes, I changed the rating due to the sexual scenes.

With that said, if you guys aren't comfortable with the scenes, I can omit it and just write "and they did it" here. For those curious about the smut, you may check out my a03 account.

Also, in the way I wrote Damian, does it appear like he doesn't know Raven's internal struggles?

Ao3: Eleanore_Delphinium