DISCLAIMER: I do not own Teen Titans or its characters, TV show or otherwise. This story is for entertainment purposes only. This is my second fanfic, and also my second yuri fanfic. It will take place within the universe of the TV series, and be after the end of said series as well as the movie Trouble in Tokyo. It will be a Raven x Jinx pairing, along with the Robin x Starfire pairing established by the series and movie. If you don't like yuri, don't read any further. Same thing if you don't like the Raven x Jinx pairing. If you don't like Teen Titans, then I have no idea how you found this story in the first place. Rated M for later chapters.
Author's Note: Chapter 1 begins shortly after the movie Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo. As noted in the prologue (as well as my one-shot "Raven's Story"), in this alternate universe it was Raven and Terra who got together during Terra's appearance(s) in the series, rather than Terra and Beast Boy. I won't explain any more, since that would introduce spoilers. Now, since I assume y'all are impatient to get to this chapter, I'll stop talking now, lol.
Nothing Is Harder Than Love
Chapter 1 - Where 'It' All Began
Three Years Ago
Although it was a bright and sunny mid-afternoon day for Jump City, and the Titan's Tower by extension, Raven's room was as dark and 'gloomy' as ever. Raven, as had become her custom after she had come out of the depression she'd sunk into after Terra's death, meditated in her room about this time. She was levitating over the exact center of her bed; the reason for this being that following her 'recovery' she had still been in a somewhat fragile emotional state and Cyborg had startled her during a meditation and caused her to lose focus and fall to the floor. She had improved and regained her normal level of focus since then, but her friends still didn't want to disturb her when she meditated - unless it was a Titans problem. Though Starfire was her closest friend since they had literally walked in the other's shoes, it had been Cyborg who had helped her through her grief over losing Terra. That journal he had given her had been a real life-saver, and though she had since filled that particular one she decided to continue writing in a journal.
Raven knew that her friends were still worried about her, and she knew they would continue to do so. She was still somewhat withdrawn from them, though not as bad as when she'd first become a Teen Titan. After the 'adventure' in Tokyo, she began contemplating what life outside of the Titans would be like. Though she hadn't discussed such a thing with the others, she knew that they would support her no matter what her decision. That idea, about 'retiring' from the Teen Titans, was one of the things she meditated on. There was one other matter that she meditated upon, one that had helped her finally move past her grief and on with her life was encountering a mysteriously resurrected Terra during a battle near a school. After the battle, she'd sought out Terra and the two had had a long conversation. Raven had let her former love go, after learning that she was happy with the life she was now living.
Sighing a little, Raven ended her meditative session a little earlier than normal and opened her eyes. The first thing that caught her attention after coming out of her trance was the same thing that always drew her eye after 'awakening' from meditating: a picture taken of her and Terra after the latter's return to the Titans. It was from their first 'official' date, and showed Raven in a rare unguarded moment. Raven smiled a little forlornly at the picture, knowing that such a moment was nearly nonexistent now. Unfolding from her lotus position, she got off her bed and left her room.
The Tower was deserted except for her; Robin, Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Starfire had all gone to hang out at the mall. Walking around the Tower, Raven began to realize that, even including her dates with Terra, she didn't really have a 'social life' outside of the Titans. Especially now. She had places she went to in Jump City to simply relax and pretend to be a civilian, but she didn't interact with anyone at those places. Terra had gone with her before her betrayal and death, but it was just to be with Raven - which Raven hadn't minded at all. Perhaps I should go to that 'coffee house' I usually went to, she mused. I have not been there since . . . well, since Terra's death. Making her decision, she went to back to her room and changed into black slacks that came down to mid-shin, a dark purple sleeveless turtleneck shirt, black ankle shoes (not her uniform shoes), and a knee-length jacket that matched her shirt. Now dressed in her 'casual' clothes, Raven left the Tower to go and be 'normal' for a little bit. Of course, she didn't know that today would be the start of something that alter her life forever.
In an apartment in a 'middle-class' section of Jump City, another pale-skinned young woman was also deciding to venture out into the city. Her hot pink-colored hair wasn't done up in her trademark style, but hung down around her neck and shoulders; she'd just gotten out of the shower and hadn't done her hair yet. Right now, wearing a black camisole top and hot pink lycra shorts, she stood scowling at the clothes she'd laid out on her bed prior to taking her shower.
"Damnit!" Jinx swore. "I don't have anything that isn't either a 'uniform' or 'Saturday casual!" She blamed Kid Flash for that second one, of course; though kinda cute, the boy had no idea what a romantic date really was. Sighing, she tried to find a combination of something that would work for just a walk through the city. In the end, she went with plain black stockings, calf-length black boots, a dark blue mini-skirt, a black tank-top, and a dark blue three-quarter length denim jacket. After working her hair up into its accustomed appearance, she added a light pink blush to her cheeks and walked out of her apartment.
Walking along the streets, and heading nowhere in particular, Jinx took a few moments to think on the mind-boggling turns her life had taken. She'd been one of the star students at the H.I.V.E. academy, fought the Teen Titans (losing a lot more often than winning), tried to become like her idol Madame Rouge only to turn on her, and left her team the H.I.V.E. Five to become an honorary Titan and help save the world. And then I dump the guy who convinced to change sides just because I only liked him as a friend, Jinx thought to herself, a small smirk on her face. Kid Flash had just shrugged and said, "Okay," as though it was no big deal. Which was only a little upsetting to her; she'd thought that she liked him. He did help me open myself up to the opportunities I hadn't known existed, she acknowledged. She still talked to him, and considered him one of her closest Titans-affiliated friends, but knew that their relationship was purely platonic friendship. Besides, he's dating that arrow-slinging girl now, Jinx thought. And she seems nice. Hopefully she'll last longer than I did! Chuckling softly, Jinx shook her head and looked to she where she was. She'd been so absorbed in her thoughts that she'd walked further than she'd intended. Shrugging, she decided to just wing it; which had been her usual method of going through life.
Looking around, she noticed someone that seemed awfully familiar to her. Considering she was only seeing the back of the young woman's head, Jinx wasn't surprised that she couldn't tell who it was, though her haircut teased the back of her memory. Where have I seen that style before? she wondered. When the girl turned her head to look at something, Jinx blinked upon recognizing Raven. What's she doing here? she asked herself, feeling a little startled. Last she'd heard, from Cyborg no less, was that Raven didn't really leave the Jump City Titan's Tower much - except for missions and such. I wonder if she's still thinking about Terra? Jinx pondered; though Raven had been a constant adversary to her when she had been a villainess, she remembered hearing all about the fight that had ended up with both Slade and Terra dead and how it had affected Raven. Although she would have taken great joy in defeating Raven in a fight, she still remembered feeling sorry for the pale-skinned Titan. I can't imagine going through what she did, the ex-villainess thought. Then, a feeling of melancholy drifted over her. I've never gotten that close to anyone to wonder about the possibility of losing them. She watched as Raven headed towards a coffee shop that actually had a pretty good selection of coffee and tea flavors. Stopping at the corner across from the little cafe, Jinx actually hesitated. I know I've reformed and all, and I'm sure she knows that, too, but would she want me to bother her? she asked herself. I mean, she is Raven, after all. Torn between wanting to leave the other girl alone and a desire to sit with and talk to her, Jinx decided to do the seemingly more reckless thing and walked across the street and into the cafe.
Raven wasn't even aware that someone had entered the cafe; she was sitting at a little two-seat table that was, incidentally, as far from the door as possible. She was alternating between staring into her tea and sipping it without moving her gaze. Her thoughts weren't in the cafe; they were in the past as she remembered the last time she came in her. It had been a few days before Terra's betrayal, and she had noticed that her beloved had seemed oddly apprehensive. I know I have thought this before, Raven told herself, but I still can not help but wonder if I should have pressed her further about it. Perhaps, if I had, things would have turned out differently. Sighing, she absentmindedly took another sip of her tea.
"You know," a familiar voice said, "a face as beautiful as yours shouldn't look as sad as it does."
Looking up, Raven was surprised to see Jinx standing there, holding a cup of something. Several things threw the Titan off about the ex-villain: she was in this particular cafe, she wasn't wearing her trademark outfit, and she didn't have the snippy, biting attitude Raven was used to getting from her. "Mind if I sit with you?" the pink-haired girl asked. Raven nodded, and she sat down. "I'd give you a penny for your thoughts," Jinx asked, "but I know they're worth a lot more than that and I barely had enough money for this latte here, so I know I can't afford it."
Raven couldn't help it; she chuckled a little. This made Jinx feel better because she wanted the dark-haired Titan to at least accept her - and for some strange reason because she hated seeing the girl looking so sad. "Everything okay?" she asked. Raven sighed again, though she was in a little better mood than before, and said, "I am . . . not real sure."
"Wanna talk about it?" Jinx asked, causing Raven to look at her in surprise. Truth be told, she was just as surprised as the other girl.
"You . . . want to hear about my problems?" Raven said, a little suspicous.
"I know, I know," Jinx agreed, "it's a little weird for me. Okay, more than a little weird. But, yes, I do."
"Honestly? I'm a little unclear about that myself. Saying 'We're both Titans, and we should help each other out' is kinda true, but not, you know?"
Raven nodded; she understood exactly what the ex-villain meant. Thus encouraged, Jinx went on.
"I was just walking through town, no real reason, and saw you come in here," she said. "I . . . I wondered about how you were doing, if you were okay, if you were thinking about Terra, and if you needed someone to talk to who wouldn't judge you at all." That last part came out in a rush. Raven stared at her, and Jinx began to blush; she hadn't meant to say that last thing. Clearing her throat a little, she took an intense interest in her latte.
"Jinx?" Raven asked.
"Y-yes?" she replied, slowly meeting the other girl's gaze.
"Are you . . . are you saying . . . you want to be my friend?" she asked. Jinx nodded, not trusting herself to speak. And then Raven smiled. It was a small one, barely filling the minimum requirements for a smile, but it was a smile nevertheless. To Jinx, who had secretly crushed on Raven before the whole Terra thing, it was like the full moon appearing from behind storm clouds. To Raven, it came was as much a surprise as the earlier chuckle was; because it was the first time in a long time that she'd felt the emotions of joy and happiness.
"You know," Raven said, "there is a nice park a few blocks from here if you want to go walk. With me, that is. Or alone, if you would prefer." Raven decided to stop speaking right then; for some reason, she felt a little nervous. Jinx, too, was puzzled by the semi-rambling of Raven. Then she became aware of what Raven had said.
"Sure," she agreed, smiling back at the other girl. "That sounds like a good idea."
The two girls finished their respective drinks in companionable silence, then left the cafe and walked side-by-side to the park Raven had mentioned. Neither spoke, just yet, but neither really felt the need to. Each felt as though they had made a new, though surprising, friend, and was looking forward to what would hopefully be a long-lasting friendship.
And while every cloud has a silver lining, sometimes you still have to worry about the cloud.
Author's Note 2: First chapter is now up. I'm surprised at how quickly this one came to me, and hope it turned out alright. Read and review, please.