A/N So this is the last chapter of 'A Broken Promise'. I am going to continue with Zaven and her story but under a different title. 'Rebuilding Trust'. If I told you the details it would kill the idea. So I don't own Teen Titans and tell me what you've thought of 'A Broken Promise'.
"Here I am again, in a strange place," I whispered softly, starring up at the blue sky. A warm breeze danced across my face. "Have I died? Is this death?" Slowly I sat up.
Around me lay Azarath, restored to its beautiful image that I been forced out of. There were no people here, not this time. I stood, dusting myself off. If I was dead then I was in my own personal Hell. Here marked the cause of my journey.
"Does it mark the end too?" I wondered aloud. A rustling noise behind made my hand dart to the sword at my belt as I turned. It was a dove, pure and simple, white feathers glistening in the light coming from the buildings. I sighed and relaxed slightly. "You're going to lead me to someone aren't?" The bird cocked its head at me. "Right, you can't talk. Fly away to your master and I will follow." A flurry of wings and the bird was off. I started running.
As I ran I passed familiar places. Places that had been destroyed the last I had seen them. If I wasn't dead then I had gone back in time. But to where and for why? What was the point of putting me here, besides to torment my mind? The bird shot up the side of a building. I skidded to a stop and looked up. This one, of all places. The one I had lived in for the longest part of my life. Growling I pushed off from the ground. A shadow platform formed beneath my feet as I started to fall. Another push and I was at the top.
"Mother," I stated, gripping both sword handles. The woman with the white cloak turned. Her expression was sad, narrow face drawn in pain. A low snarl started rumbling in my throat. Mother never had time for me. She was always worried about Raven. And while Raven could have drunk in that worry and shut me out she didn't. The reason I had been so close to my sister to begin with was that.
"I knew they did not open the portal well," the woman stated. The snarl became heard. Mother didn't even flinch. In fact she looked sadder. My snarl died off instantly, confusion taking over. "The Keeper helped you out a lot."
"He did. Which is more than you can say." My tone was bitter. The abyss between her and me ran a lot deeper than the one between me and Raven. Raven had a chance of being forgiven. Mother did not. If I knew she wasn't already dead I would have killed her. "Why have you brought me here?"
"Azar wanted to talk to you." I let out a snarl of frustration. Azar, it was always Azar. If I wasn't being haunted by that night it was always her voice I heard in my dreams. What did she want with me anyway? I wasn't the one who was going to bring about the world. I couldn't, not with my luck.
"You were a descendent of the Shadow Demon," I mused, staring at the woman who was my mother. She nodded. "Even if Trigon never did rape you I was still going to be born. You refused to accept the power of the Shadow and thus I was created. I was never supposed to have a father. And Raven was never supposed to be born." Mother's face fell.
"The cult took me in because they sensed my bloodline. They knew you were going to be born. Trigon was thrown into the mix in hopes of creating you, a total new demon that they would raise and control. I didn't know this at the time of yours and Raven's birth." I started turning away.
"They got what they wanted," I answered, looking at the sky. It was still the cheerful blue. I watched another dove dive into the city and somehow I knew Raven was here. "The new demon part. No one but myself controls me though." I jumped off the edge and landed on the street far below.
"Hello?" My heart ached at the voice echoing through the empty city. Raven. She was so close to me. I could just walk right over and smack her one upside the head. No, now was not the time. Taking my revenge would prevent Trigon from taking over but I'd destroy a timeline if I did that. Sighing I turned away, listening to the footsteps as they moved through the city. Azar wanted to talk to me. And there was only one place I could think of where she would be.
I stood in front of the library door. The same door I had accidently destroyed. Seems ironic that I would come here of all places. I blinked. It had taken me a blink of an eye to get from the house to here. And the two were nowhere even close to each other.
"Ah I can teleport. But through dimensions?" I pushed open the door in front of me, stepping into the shadowy building. There was enough light to read by, that was it. I pursed my lips. It hadn't been like this before.
"It's you child," a voice said. Another familiar voice. I sighed as I turned to woman.
It's hard to describe how Azar looks. To the point I'm not even going to try. Besides the descriptions I had heard didn't even come close to what I was seeing. Did we see what we wanted or expected too?
"Yes you do," Azar said with a small smile. My hand shot to my sword. "Relax child I'm not going to harm you." Easier said than done.
"What do you mean by the lighting is me?" I asked, looking around. Just enough shadows for me to feel comfortable and others to feel wary. Enough light to read by which admittedly, for me, wasn't much.
"The setting of the library was always controlled by a strong person. As I am dead you are the strongest person here. Thus the lights turn to match your mood and comfort." I looked around and headed in the direction of the 'off-limit' books. Normally 'off-limits' meant they were in another language.
"The fact I can't read. I'm a totally new demon. I'm only able to read Demon Script aren't I?" I called over my shoulder. Azar made a small noise of conformation as I knelt by one of the bookshelves. "To bad I destroyed these books. They would have been interesting to read."
"They're not destroyed." Somehow that didn't surprise me. I grabbed one off the shelf and flicked it open. The page I flicked to had a picture of a dragon and a man battling. Oh Machlior. He was annoying. Disgusted I put the book back.
"What did you want to talk to me about?" I asked softly, no doubt in my mind Azar heard me. I was rewarded with a small noise of hesitation. My fingers drifted over another book, inviting me to read.
"You see pretty comfortable with the fact you're a demon," the woman finally said. I pulled the book off the shelf and ran my fingers over the cover.
"I've been dealing with it my whole life," I answered with a shrug. Rage was the demon in me, I just had never realized that she was a different demon and not some Trigon essence in my soul. That would mean somewhere hiding in my head was her true form. My true form. A ruefully smile tugged at my lips. "I just never realized until now that I was my own demon. And that's probably a good thing too…for my victims." I put the book back and stood, facing the woman again. Her image was starting to pale.
"My time here is nearly up," she said. I nodded. "And that means yours too."
"The illusion of this place is almost up."
My eyes snapped open. I was staring at the red sky again, clouded and angry. A dark, shadowy hand had laid itself on my shoulder. Confused green eyes flickered to the shadow.
"I didn't summon you," I stated calmly, looking at my shadow ghost. The black, soulless eyes seemed to cloud over with emotion.
"I am your servant. I come when you need me," he replied, turning away. When I needed him? My fingertips throbbed dully. Oh yah that. I tried sitting up but a sharp stinging pain in my stomach stopped. Confused I looked down. Bandages were wrapped around my torso and stomach. "When Tyumph started to collapse some of the pieces hit you."
"Tyumph…collapsed?" I leaned back on my elbows. While not as pain free as lying down it was easier to deal with than sitting up. The shadow nodded, grabbing something from a bag I hadn't noticed. "So where are we?"
"Just outside the Meeting Place of Worlds." I nodded. My friend didn't really like going in there. And I knew the Keeper wouldn't be coming out either. If he did…the result would mean every and any world collapsing. That had nearly happened once. "Here." I blinked. He was handing me jerky, something I ate often. With just that and water I could live for weeks. And I had before.
"Thanks," I replied, taking the dried meat. Barely enough spices to call it good but that was okay. It was better than no spices at all. My rampage would suddenly start if I did that.
For a while there was silence. A sick, ghostly sound carried on the dry wind. I frowned. While I was a demon myself I didn't exactly fit into the stereo type. I spared children, pregnant woman, and mainly targeted people who deserved it. Okay some maybe I was a demonic angel or something. At least, with my powers and attitude that's probably what people were going to label me as once I got to Earth.
"You knew I was a demon didn't you?" I asked my friend, staring up at the sky. The angry clouds seemed to glare back at me. He hesitated before give a short, stiff nod. "That's why you always came back to me right? I mean, you said I was the first to ever summon you and stuff but usually ghosts only work with someone in a one-shot deal."
"Your father had his fire ghosts that he could create millions of," the shadow answered. I turned my gaze to him. His appearance had changed to match the said ghosts. "But unlike me they do not possess any brains. They merely follow orders." This was true, so very true. "You can create them too but they're going to look a bit different. However, I possess a brain. I can create a battle plan that uses both our abilities to their max." I nodded. It was him that came up with idea of him taking on my form and me allowing the shadows to wrap around me.
"So if I go to Earth you're still going to be at my side?"
"Yes. But after you summon me I have to stay." I processed the information silently. It wouldn't be a bad thing, because then I knew I would have someone at my side forever. But I was worried about the light and stuff. I knew the Earth was warmed by the sun. And while we did need a little light, for a shadow can't be cast without it, too much would make him uncomfortable.
"Alright then. We'll work out the details later. But if you're going to be stuck with me you need a name." My friend blinked in shock and then let out the hissing chuckle that was his laugh. I smiled wryly at him and waited. He was going to have to produce a name because I was terrible at it.
"Schatten," he finally said. I raised an eyebrow. "It's German for shadow."
"German? Is that a language on Earth?" Schatten nodded. "Ah okay then. Well Schatten the first order of business is to get to Earth first. I know I can teleport from place to place but I'm not sure about through dimensions."
"The Keeper will know." I glanced to where the Meeting Place of Worlds sat. Trigon wouldn't destroy this place. It would mean the destruction of the worlds he wanted to control. And there was a certain area around the place you couldn't destroy either because one or two worlds might be destroyed. When messing with dimensions you better damn well know your stuff.
"He would wouldn't he? Will you be alright if I go in there?" Of course he would. I don't even know why I asked. Schatten smiled slightly and nodded. "Okay good." I tried getting up but more pain stopped. "Oh right I'm injured." My friend chuckled, he never laughed, and helped me up.
Slowly we made our way to the door. As we drew nearer I could see the old man waiting in the doorway. He looked a little worried at something. Probably me or some war happening in one of the worlds he looked over. I betting by how his eyes stayed locked on me it my condition.
"Here I can take her," Keeper said as we reached the door. He wrapped one arm around my waist and took my free arm around his shoulders. Schatten seemed nervous about letting me go. But he stayed at the door. I turned to him.
"I'll see you soon okay?" I promised, holding out a fist with the pinkie raised. Yes I still pinkie promised. Schatten smiled slightly and wrapped his pinkie around mine.
"I'll hold you to it," he said, squeezing my pinkie slightly. I smiled and nodded and watched my friend disappear. Sighing softly for some reason I couldn't understand I turned to the Keeper.
"Can I hop dimensions?" I asked, eyes turning to the light brown that marked my curiosity. The Keeper nodded. "Great! I think it'll hurt though with my condition." On queue a sharp jolt of pain stabbed through my brain.
"If you teleport in this state your wounds will heal but the age of your body will be reduced." I blinked. Okay so I might drop a few years. That wasn't so bad right? I mean then I could sort of start over on Earth. "And I can't guarantee when you'll end up. It'll still be Earth but the time…I don't know."
For a long time I was silent. I could go now and end up with a younger body. Add in the risk of getting there before Raven or after she died made it rather hard. But if I waited what would? Trigon could take over, the world could be destroyed and there was still the possibility that I wouldn't catch Raven.
"I'm going now."