Letting her self-conscious go Rachel dipped into peace, quiet, and tranquility. Her mind warped into the fabric of space, an array of stars surrounding her in the pitch black sky. With crossed legs she sat upon a floating rock. Finding her center she chanted her mantra; Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos. Relaxation spread across her body and she was filled with content.
That is until a football crashed into her skull.
Blown away from the sanctuary of her own mind Rachel Roth was forced back into reality and out of her meditative state. Face down in the grass Rachel lifted her head up, violet eyes glaring at the pigskin in front of her.
"I hate sports."
"Rachel, you okay?" Garfield asked, running over. Not far behind him was Victor, Kory, and Dick.
"I'm fine," Rachel hissed through gritted teeth, slamming the ball into Garfield's chest and glaring at him. "No thanks to you and your stupid ball."
"Well you're referee," Garfield countered as he rubbed his chest. That one was going to leave a mark. "It's your job to look out for this kind of stuff. Like coach always says," Garfield puffed out his chest and in a deep voice he mocked the coach from school, "keep your eye on the ball. Besides, it's your own fault for doing yoga-"
"My meditation is Zen, not yoga. I'm seeking enlightenment. Something you could use more than me."
"What you're doing is being lazy."
"And what you two are doing is separating," intervened Kory quickly, putting a hand on the two's shoulders and pushing them apart before an argument broke out. "Come on, Rachel, I'll fix your hair."
As the two girls wandered off to their picnic area located under a shaded tree, Garfield poked out his tongue at Rachel, causing Victor to yank him by the collar and pull him away along with a snickering Dick who followed.
Sitting down besides Rachel Kory wandered among the contents of her bag looking for her brush. Finally locating her favorite necessity Kory ran the bristles through Rachel's short violet locks. Naturally Rachel was an ebony haired girl, but Rachel was anything but natural. She was her own person who had a creative outlook on life. Using that creative outlook she styled her own hair; she dyed it purple and cut her mid-length hair into a shorter do. Her hair didn't reach her shoulders and it was uneven, having been cut shorter in the back and longer in the front, but it fit Rachel perfectly.
"Can you believe Garfield?" Rachel vented. "Of all the hypocritical things I've ever heard, this takes the cake. I mean, he's the one who falls asleep in class, not me, and he has the nerve to call me lazy. It's absurd."
"Uh... yeah," Kory replied awkwardly, glancing away.
Rachel spun around to face her, "What is that supposed to mean?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
Rachel rolled her eyes, "The awkward response and looking away, it's a dead give-away," her eyes widened a bit. "You agree with him don't you?"
Kory felt uncomfortable under Rachel's intense stare and she fiddled her fingers, "Agree is such a strong word..."
"You do! You do agree with him!" Raven crossed her arms, feeling deeply insulted. "You think I'm lazy."
Kory continued to fiddle her fingers and she bit her lip nervously, "Lazy is such a strong word."
"I can't believe what I'm hearing."
"Don't take it personally! It's just... Well... You could be a little more active."
Rachel rose a brow.
"Just a little!" Kory added quickly.
Rachel crossed her arms and turned the other way, eyes shut. She was agitated now, deeply upset because Kory had sided with Garfield.
"Just let me explain," Kory requested in a soft voice, a wavering voice, a voice that attacked Rachel and made her feel guilty. The voice, Kory's weapon of choice used in desperate situations to get what she wants.
"Oh crap," Rachel rolled her eyes and faced the doe eyed Kory, a special maneuver along with a quivering lower lip that made people crumble. "Fine, say what you have to stay. Just please stop it!"
Kory smiled and ceased her attack, "Okay, so it's like this; I have my cheerleading, Victor has his football team, Dick is apart of martial arts, and Garfield is in the drama club. We're all active in our own way, you know, with the extracurricular activities and all. All of us but you that is."
"FYI, I used to be in the poetry club," Rachel pouted and crossed her arms, eyes narrowed in bitterness. "... Until the school's budget was cut and they ended it. Bastards..."
Kory's eyes shined. An idea had suddenly come to her, "That's it! I know just how to make you more active!"
Another roll of the eyes and a weary sigh. Rachel's next words dripped with sarcasm, "Gee, I'm just itching to hear your brilliant plan."
"For you not to be lazy-"
Rachel narrowed her eyes, a warning Kory would be wise to take.
Kory took the warning and coughed awkwardly, "Ur... I mean, to get you more active," Rachel nodded her head in approval and Kory continued on with a smile. "All we need to do is get you into a club."
"Wow...," Rachel wasn't impressed. "That's... Not gonna happen."
"Kory, I need to get back to my meditation."
"Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!" Rachel's eyes were squeezed shut and she spoke rather loudly, hoping to drive Kory away and end the conversation.
Kory took the hint and rose to her feet. She began to walk away, but stopped and paused. Spinning around, she had some few choice words for Rachel, "You know, you can only hide behind meditation and Shakespeare but for so long."
And with that said Kory left to go join the boys, leaving Rachel to contemplate on her words. Rachel paused in her mantra, mulling over what Kory had said to her. Could Kory be right? Would some unknown force tear her away from books and meditation, forcing her to the world that was composed of extracurricular activities?
... Nah! As if that could happen!
Rachel dismissed the thought and continued her mantra, "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos."
It wasn't until later that the issue of 'being active' popped up in front of her again...
It had all happened so abruptly. Rachel found herself in her gym teacher's office, tapping her thumbs together out of nerves. It wasn't often that Rachel was called by teachers to discuss her grades. Her grades were always spick and span. For crying out loud she was in the honor roll! What could possibly be wrong with her grades?
"Rachel, I'm so sorry I kept you waiting," said Ms. De Mille, walking into her office. She took a seat opposite of Rachel. "Your classmates can be a handful."
An awkward chuckle escaped Rachel's lips, "Yeah... So, uh, what exactly is it that you wanted to tell me?"
"Well, as you already know, I wanted to discuss your grade for this class," Ms. De Mille closed her eyes, shaking her head in disappointment. "Rachel, I'm surprised with your performance in class. I know you have potential but you never show it."
"I... don't know what you mean."
"Well, let's recall the game we played in class last week," Ms. De Mille was referring a game of capture the flag. "If I remember correctly, you dismissed yourself from the game to go mediate. Then there was another incident in which you volunteered to be referee instead of playing."
"If you want me to participate more then I assure you it's no problem, Ms. De Mille," Rachel responded quickly. She would say or do anything if it meant saving her grade.
"I wish I could believe that, Rachel, but it's far too late for promises. The only way to save your grade is if you agree to join an extracurricular activity that's a sport."
The look on Rachel's face was priceless, "You can't be serious."
Ms. De Mille narrowed her eyes, "I am very serious. Now if you want to save your grade then I suggest you search for a sport team to join. If not I will be more than willing to fail you."
Rachel released a defeated sigh and reluctantly agreed.
And so, with her grade hanging by a thin thread, Rachel set off to find a team to join. But she wouldn't be alone on this journey, oh no, Ms. De Mille would be tagging along as well. Ms. De Mille had a few suggested teams for Rachel...
The first one being archery.
"Archery helps relieve stress," said Ms. De Mille as she escorted Rachel to the archery team, showing her around.
"Hmm...," Rachel had to admit; the archery club didn't seem all that bad. Mainly because there wasn't much work involved. All she would have to do is point an arrow at a target. How hard could that be? Besides, Roy Harper and Karen Beecher made it look easy.
It was at that moment that a rogue arrow shot in the air and rushed past Rachel, just barely missing her shoulder.
"Whoops," called out the kid who fired the arrow. "Sorry!"
Archery was definitely a no.
The next team Rachel was escorted to was the cheerleading squad.
"The cheerleading squad is a great way to be sociable," said Ms. De Mille.
Rachel glanced at the field the cheerleaders were practicing on. She noticed Kory along with Lucky lifting Donna Troy into the air. From where she was standing that didn't seem to hard. Rachel was never one for cheerleading (in fact she thought it was the foundation of evil in high school) but she would be willing to give it a try.
And that's when Rachel saw Kitten get dropped to the ground.
Rachel winched as Kitten began to wail in pain. Man, oh man, did that look painful!
Cheerleading was out. Definitely out.
After that Ms. De Mille introduced Rachel to the track team.
"Track is great exercise," said Ms. De Mille.
"I don't know...," the idea of being on the track team was very appealing to Rachel. It looked easy. All she would have to do was run, that wasn't so hard. "Maybe I could give it a shot."
Rachel, however, changed her mind when she saw Wally slip on a puddle and crash face first into the ground.
... Track was overrated anyways.
Rachel's next stop was martial arts.
"Martial arts is a positive way to release negative energy," said Ms. De Mille.
Rachel glanced inside the martial arts room. She immediately noticed Jason and Dick practicing some punches. Her eyes then settled on Jade Nguyen who had just kicked a wooden board, cracking it into two pieces.
Rachel gulped. There was no way in hell she was going to do martial arts!
Right after martial arts came football.
"You can become a legend by being the first girl in the school to join," said Ms. De Mille.
Rachel looked at the field the football players were practicing on. She spotted Victor getting tackled to the ground by three boys. Rachel looked back at Ms. De Mille with a dry expression lining her features, "I don't think so."
With football out Rachel was introduced to the volleyball team.
"Volleyball is lots of fun," said Ms. De Mille.
"I'm not a volleyball fan," confessed Rachel. "But I can learn how to-Ow!"
"Sorry, Rachel!" called out Tara Markov, one of Rachel's closest friends.
Rachel rubbed her head as she tried to ease the pain," I don't think volleyball is for me."
The next team Rachel was introduced to was the wrestling team.
"Wrestling helps build your strength," said Ms. De Mille.
A large wail filled Rachel's ears as she watched Rosabelle Mendez flip Baran Flinders to the ground, grabbing him in a headlock.
"Admit defeat to the Pantha!" cried Rosabelle as she twisted Baran's arm.
"The Mammoth never admits defeat!" Baran cried, throwing Rosabelle off of him. The two shared a stand still moment before quickly tackling each other.
By that time Rachel had already ran as far away as possible.
It was right after that incident that Ms. De Mille had decided to introduce Rachel to the swimming team
"Swimming is very refreshing," said Ms. De Mille. She glanced at Rachel with narrowed eyes. "It's also the only team with an opening so try to give it a chance before you dismiss it."
Ms. De Mille pushed the doors to the swimming area open and the smell of chlorine filled Rachel's nostrils. A large rectangular pool filled with crystal clear water graced her eyes. A diving board was located next to the pool and the pool was in the middle of two sets of bleachers. Some students littered the pool area; boys flexed their muscles as they tried to impress bikini clad girls.
Rachel zipped her navy blue sweater up all the way. She didn't like exposer, "I don't think this is right for me."
Ms. De Mille took her hand and lead her closer to the pool, "The swim team can be a rewarding experience if you just give it the chance. Just let me introduce you to the top swimmer on the team. Garth! Garth Curry!"
A boy poked his head out of the water. Grabbing hold of the edge of the pool he hoisted himself up. Then he turned around, allowing Rachel look at his body fully...
Hot damn! This boy was an Adonis!
Garth's tall body was dripping with water. His broad shoulders and toned chest shined in the light. His long black hair stuck to his forehead and reached his shoulders. Rachel could feel herself blushing. If prince charming really existed she was looking at him now.
Finally, after what seemed like slow motion with music in the background, Garth reached Ms. De Mille and Rachel.
His dark eyes twinkled and he smiled kindly, "Good afternoon, Ms. De Mille. What brings you here?"
"Well, Garth, I'm glad you asked. The answer to your question is standing right next to me. Her name is Rachel Roth and I'm trying to convince her to join the swimming team."
Garth smiled at Rachel, extending his hand, "Hi."
Rachel smiled back at him, taking his hand.
"Oh snap," Garth pulled his hand away, much to Rachel's disappointment. "I'm sorry. I'm all wet. I wasn't thinking."
"It's okay, really," Rachel said quickly, missing the feel of his soft skin. Lord almighty how she would love to just grab him and never let ho. How could one person be so attractive?
"Listen, I have to finish my laps but...," Garth winked at Rachel, making her heart soar. "I hope to see you around, Rachel. It would be great to have you on the team. I would love to spend some time with you."
Was he flirting? Rachel sure as hell hoped so. She smirked at him, "Likewise."
Garth smiled one last time before making a dash for the pool and diving in.
"So, what do you think? Want to give swimming a try?" asked Ms. De Mille.
If it meant seeing Garth more often...
"Yes," Rachel answered. "I think swimming is perfect for me."
Although she would miss her leisure time, Rachel knew she was making the right choice. And besides, who wants to be a sloth when you can ogle Garth Curry.
AN: Characters used in this chapter are as follows... Rachel Roth is Raven. Garth Curry is Aqualad because in the comics his name was Garth and Aquaman's last name is Curry, so I combined the two names. Laura De Mille, aka Ms. De Mille, is Madame Rouge.
Rosabelle Mendez is Pantha. Baran Flinders is Mammoth. Donna Troy as Wondergirl. Jade Nguyen as Cheshire. Tara Markov is Terra.
And everyone knows Jason Todd is Red X. Kory Anders is Starfire. Garfield Logan is Beast Boy. Victor Stone as Cyborg. Dick Grayson as Robin. Kitten Moth as Kitten. Lucky Diaz is Jinx. Wally West is Kid Flash. Karen Beecher as Bumblebee.
I'm so extremely and truly sorry that this chapter took so long. I had tons of school work I needed to do and catch up on. Please forgive me!
I hope this chapter was enjoyable to read and that everyone is satisfied with it : ) Review please!