~ ~ ~
I pretend to read the book in my hands as I secretly look at him. I'm becoming annoyed at the fringe of my violet hair falling in front of my face. I continually push it back but it feels the need to be disobedient. I want so badly to shout and scream profanities at it but I don't want to have to stop looking at him. He's blindly playing video games with Cyborg and Robin. Beast Boy doesn't notice me and sometimes, only sometimes, is that okay. But most of the time I want him to notice me, which caused me to "switch up my style a little bit" as in I grew my hair out a little long then had them cut it to an "edgy-urban" cut where they added some jagged layers that frame my face. I hate to admit it but I like it. It pisses me off that I like it because it seems so stereotypical, Goth girl gets Emo haircut.
What surprised me the most was that he actually noticed. I mean I figured he might notice it but he actually complemented me on it, which is a step in the right direction. I really should stop acting so standoffish around him. I can't help it, I've bee guarded for so long I've just gotten used to blocking people out. Recently, I've been consumed with him. My thoughts have been so clouded I've been making stupid mistakes and have lost some of my concentration.
My thoughts are shattered as the red lights start flashing and the siren goes off. I close my book and toss it on to the coffee table. The boys pause the videogame and stand up. Starfire emerges from the kitchen table; it catches me off guard because she was in perfect view to catch me staring. I stand up and follow the guys out the door and Starfire falls back so she can stand next to me. I have a strong feeling she saw me and wants to talk about it. I weave through closer to the front so I'm in between Cyborg and Robin and Beast Boy is on the other side of Cyborg. I guess the good thing is Starfire doesn't know who I was starring at I just hope she knows it wasn't Robin.
The two of them annoy me. They are such a couple but Robin won't make it public and Starfire wants to so they do this cat and mouse game that just keeps going in a circle. Everyone knows they're dating but Robin thinks it would be bad of him as the leader to date her; he doesn't want anyone think he has a favorite. But that is completely stupid as well because whether he knows it or not I'm his favorite. Everyone knows it too so it wouldn't be a huge deal if he had another favorite. He listens to me more than anyone else when it comes to theories or strategies but it makes it seem that I like him, which is absurd. I would never date him. That would be like, like, like dating my brother, just wrong. My thoughts continue to bounce erratically from one topic to another.
I realize I don't know where we're going. My reverie blocked out my memory of everything after walking down the hallway. I realize now that we are in the air and flying towards the industrial part of town. We land outside of an abandoned warehouse with broken dusty windows. The sides of the building are covered in graffiti and the place is extremely worn down, which makes the new steel door at the front suspicious.
We creep around the side and Robin quietly pairs us up. Obviously, it's him and Starfire. But what surprises me, is that he has Cyborg go on his own. Usually I go on my own because I don't mind and Beast Boy hates being by himself. Beast Boy and I are paired up and sent to break in through one of the windows. Cyborg is to go through the side door and Robin and Starfire will bust in through the front door. Beast Boy smiles as we're walking toward the window.
"Wanna give me a boost?" He looks at me with that smile. Why does he have to do that? Make me feel like there are butterflies in my stomach. It's disgusting how my heart doesn't a fucking back flip just because he smiles at me.
"Uh, Sure." I sheepishly whisper back. His smile widens.
"I was just kidding. You don't have to Rae." Wow. I am the dumbest person on the planet. Oh my god I look like such a freak. And what pisses me off the most is that I care that I look stupid. Dammit, why does he make me care? And since when did he start calling me Rae?
He transforms into a bird and flies up to the side of the window but where he can't be seen. I follow and part of me thinks he's a raven. That's just great now I'm so delusional I think he's trying to send me a message, either that or he's making fun of me with the whole I'll give you a boost thing. Or that he isn't a raven because I'm just a psycho; this is definitely the most likely choice.
Over our communicators I hear Robin's voice say, "GO." Beast Boy busts through the window and I follow after we swoop down and corner Slade whose working on some new Doomsday device. I should have figured it was Slade. We attack from all sides but are ambushed by an army of robot soldiers. They're stronger and smarter than the ones Slade had made previously and we're out numbered 1 to 20. Beast Boy and I are doing more than our fair share. Robin is going after Slade and I can't see where he is or where he went. I'm caught off guard by blow behind my head. I'm knocked to ground and kicked several times by a robot. I block him but soon am surrounded by many others. Soon there's a clearing, I see Beast Boy knocking them back so hard that when they hit the wall their parts fall apart. I stand up and continue to fight, now avoiding Beast Boy. My side hurts immensely but I am embarrassed to admit it. I move farther and farther away from Beast Boy and most of the robots seem to follow. I'm trying to move towards Cyborg and have now lost sight of Beast Boy. I'm almost next to Cyborg when a robot attacks my aching side. I fail to control my cry of agony. I'm continuing to hold some of them off but I am outnumbered and they keep attacking my weak spot. I've collapsed and they continue to kick me. My vision is blurring and the watering of my eyes isn't helping. I feel someone pick me up. Thank god someone saved me! I feel so happy. I try to look at my rescuer and it's Cyborg! Oh, I owe him big time. I have so much to say to Beast Boy! I'm going to tell him how I feel as soon as I'm healed. My body hurts so much so I let my powers take over and go into a sleep to let them heal me.
~ ~ ~
I've destroyed everything robot in sight. I turn around to help Raven but she's nowhere in sight. Fear strikes through my veins. I look around feverishly then I see Cyborg and run to him. I whip him around and almost shout the words at him.
"What?" He must not be able to hear me over the noise.
"Oh, Sorry I couldn't hear you before. She's over there," he points toward a now vacant area, "I mean she was there. She was there just a second ago." We both look around to see that all the robots are gone. Starfire flies over and she looks confused.
"Where is Raven?" She asks the question I REALLY didn't want to hear.
"We don't know." Cyborg answers. As if on cue Robin angrily storms in swearing and cursing Slade.
"That bastard got away AGAIN," He looks around and you can see his mood change in an instant; from furious to petrified, "Where's Raven?"
~ ~ ~
I awaken by hard slap to my face. My eyes flutter open and by the pain in my face it wasn't the first hit. My vision isn't blurry anymore and I'm startled to see the face sneering back at me.
"Good morning." Slade's voice echoes.
"Where am I?" I mumble only after realizing it was a stupid question. As if he's going to answer. I also now realize Cyborg wasn't the one who carried me.
"Why would I tell you that?" He chuckles.
"Leave me alone." I shout back. Which was stupid because he then proceeded to slap me harder than the first one. This time I can taste blood in my mouth.
"Looks like I'm going to have to teach you some manners," He snickers. I try to stand up and fight him but I'm barely able to move. My powers are being blocked. I should have left that fight as soon as I entered that warehouse; I could feel my powers weaken but I didn't pay attention to it. I now look down to see shackles clamped to my wrists, arms, ankles and legs. "Don't worry, if you behave you'll get an upgrade."
~ ~ ~
"HOW THE HELL DID YOU LET HER GET TAKEN!" Robin is screaming at me for the millionth time. But it's okay I deserve it. We're back at the Tower after hours of searching the city with no avail.
"I don't know! She was being ambushed so I went to help her and when I had destroyed all of them I looked around and she was gone!" My world is being ripped apart at the seams. How could I let this happen?! I was too occupied with impressing her I didn't see her get taken. I'm such an idiot. This is all my fault.
"I partnered you with her Beast Boy so you could protect her! But you were too busy in dreamland you let her get taken!" Robin is fuming with furry but it's fueled by fear.
"I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry."
"Why don't you say that to Raven?" He whips around back to the computer and continues to try and search for her. Cyborg leans down and talks to Robin. I can hear him without his knowledge.
"Don't be so hard on him. It was trap. He had no idea that they were trying to distract him." Robin nods and says,
"I know," he turns to me and says, "I'm sorry Beast Boy."
"Don't be," The computer started beeping. We all look at the screen and see Raven's communicator blinking.
"It came back online."
"Do you think she's there?"
"Only one way to find out."
"Maybe I should stay behind to watch and see if the communicator moves." Starfire says sheepishly even though we can track it on Cyborg's GPS. She has really taken this hard so Robin agrees and the rest of us leave.
We go to the location where it said the communicator was. It was in an abandon warehouse about 10 blocks from where the fight took place. We reach the inside of it and go from room to room. It led us to a locked door. Robin broke it down. The room was actually a hallway the size of a closet and along the wall was Raven's communicator. We walk down the hallway and we start to find parts of her cloak. The hallway is long and dark. The rest of her cloak is lying in a puddle rolled into a lump. Robin picks it up and confirms it is Raven's.
We continue down the hall until it comes to a dead end. We search all over for a secret entrance. We turn around and leave the hallway to look around the rest of warehouse for any clues but we leave with only a handprint on a wall. When we return home, Starfire greets us happily at the door but turns sad from the looks on our faces.
~ ~ ~
I've been chained in Slade's layer for days, or hours, maybe an hour. I can't keep track of time and it seems to be forever. I've been silent since I first woke up and Slade has been out of sight. I would try to escape but it's no use. I can only move my head everything else is strapped down. My powers are nowhere to be found. I tried to meditate but it was no use. He has me in a room where my powers are neutralized. I won't be able to use my powers until I get out of here, but I can't get out of here, on my own, unless I use my powers. So I've just been meditating so I can keep my thoughts focused and to remain relaxed but I'm done meditating. The room I'm in is basically a cement basement. It's freezing and I think it's underground. There's barely anything in here. There's a video camera with a red blinking light that is staring at me and I can see my self on one of the monitors that line the walls. There's also a new door that's randomly placed in the middle of this large basement's wall. It looks like it was recently added unlike some trash that litters the basement.
I'm currently strapped to a cement slab that has me sitting up right, which is nice, but what I'm worried about are the shackles that are a couple yards away. They're hanging down so that I would have to constantly be standing; meaning I would have to sleep standing up maybe even die standing up. That last sentence sends a shock through my system because that's the reality. They may not find me in time or at all. I could die. I could die.
~ ~ ~
Cyborg ran the handprint trough AFIS and sure enough it was Slade's handprint. He didn't just leave the handprint there either; Slade's not stupid. He planted it there for some reason. Maybe as a clue to where she is. But he could have just dragged her through there to mislead us or he could be in there and we just didn't find him. Either way I feel completely USELESS pacing back and forth through the living room. It's below 32oF outside and Rae's out there somewhere. I angrily grab my jacket and walk out. Cyborg chases after me.
"Hey, dude. Where are you going?"
"To look for her."
"I don't care what you guys say, it WAS my fault. I'm not sleeping until we find her. I can't do NOTHING! The guilt will eat me alive. I gotta go."
"It's freezing out there."
"That's why I got a jacket."
"Wear some warmer gloves."
"Fine. I'll have my communicator. Don't tell Robin 'til I'm gone." He nods as I grab some thicker gloves and leave. I walk outside and it is absolutely freezing. I walk down the pathway to the edge of the island. I look at the rocks where Rae and I once talked. I'm determined to do that again. I transform into a raven and fly over the ocean onto the pier. I transform into a cheetah and race through the streets until I finally reach the warehouses. As a bloodhound I sweep the streets for Raven. I think I caught a whiff. I run back and forth and I've got a trail. I follow it swiftly but not too fast because I don't want to lose it. After a good half hour, I realize I've just traveled in a very complicated, misleading and huge figure eight. I go back to where the fight was and I search the huge complex corner-to-corner finding nothing. I can smell where she was during the fight but as her scent leaves farther and farther from where she was it practically changes as if it wasn't Raven at all. It smells dull, no vibrancy, lifeless. I don't know how to explain it but it almost smells as if she was. I stop my thoughts dead in their tracks. There's that word again. I try to rewind and undo what my mind figured out because it's wrong. I go back to where we had stood outside. I walk back and forth smelling the animated scent of Raven. I leave after awhile and go to the warehouse where we found Raven's communicator. I traipse up and down the numerous halls and empty rooms, inspecting each one vigorously. When I finally come out, I realize that the sun is just rising which means it's about seven since it's winter. I slowly begin to walk back to the Tower. Without Raven, it'll never be called home again.
~ ~ ~
My body aches from lack of movement. Or maybe from the numerous beatings I've received. My muscles are tense and I'm so cold I keep shivering. My skin is revoltingly discolored from both the cold and the bruises. My clothes are filthy and reek. I'm only allowed one to two bathroom breaks a day, which has been more than enough since it's not the same for food. I've been feed a piece of bread and some water since I've been here which I think has been 4 days because I'm only fed once a day and I've been fed 3 times and I was declined food the other day for spitting into his face. Apparently he didn't appreciate that. When I first got here, I planned to some how escape by attacking him but I haven't had the chance. But now, I realize I'm too exhausted to do anything.
The lack of food is messing with not only my body but also my mind. My thoughts bounce from topic to topic and never seem of much importance except for one that continues to play over every once in awhile. It's the dream I had several months ago. It was a dream that Beast Boy and I were together but the reason that this stood out was that it foreshadowed many things. In the dream, Beast Boy was worried about some anime comic book that was taking over the world and a couple weeks later we were off to Tokyo for practically the same thing.
Later in the dream, Slade who had returned surprised us and what do you know? It came true. It was specific too. It was all about the pier and a bomb that would blow up the foundation of the city so it would drown in water. After getting back from Tokyo, who do you think was waiting for us at the pier with a detonator? Slade that's who. The worst about these foreshadowing's is that I don't realize what they are until after it happens. Like now for instance, I remember a part of that dream that seemed so irrelevant. In the dream right before we defeated Slade, I could hear his voice in my head saying, "I'll be back for you.". My brain then went on to imagine Beast Boy's vows that he would read to me at our wedding.
The sad part about this dream is that the parts about Beast Boy and I getting together happen as well, just really understated. For example in my dream while watching a movie together, he whispers in my ear, "I love you with all my heart, don't you?" Real life, he leans over "I love this part don't you." It may rhyme but it lacks the big picture.
Now I'm trying to go through my dream to see if there's anyway I'm getting out of this. My mind tries but is easily distracted by the monitors that show various parts of the city. I see what looks to be a bloodhound around the outside of a warehouse building. I can't tell if it's night or day by the video because it's black and white. I feel exhausted and my eyelids close and shutter awake. I'm scared to fall asleep. It's so cold what if I don't wake up. I can't fight it though and soon my body wins and I feel myself in the dream again. Beast Boy is crying and looking at me he keeps saying, "It'll be ok, ok? C'mon now. You can do this. Don't give up. It'll be ok." I feel warmth come over me and I'm lost in the dream with Beast Boy.
~ ~ ~
I've reached the Tower and Robin is glaring at me. I expect him to shout and to scream but he doesn't.
"You should get some sleep." He says with his emotions hidden behind his mask. I admit to myself that I'm exhausted but I have to find her. I will find her and sleeping isn't going to help. I shake my head as I walk towards the kitchen to get a red bull.
"Beast Boy," He says sternly, "I don't care if you only sleep for an hour but you are going to help by being wired on red bulls." I haven't opened the can and I put it back. I reluctantly agree and go to sleep in my room. Just as I'm about to leave the living room, I remember to tell Robin something.
"Wake me if you find anything," I pause, "ANYTHING." Robin nods and I go down the hallway into my room. There's crap cluttered everywhere. Garbage, laundry, drawings, CDs, and even an unused bike lock litter the floor. I push the mounds of clothes off the bed and crawl in. My head slowly sinks into the soft pillow. I crack my neck and back and start to feel my muscles relax. My body is exhausted but I can't fall asleep. My mind continues to circle everything that's happened. It's been 4 days and she's still gone. 5 days tomorrow. I can't help but think about the horrible things that could be happening to her.
I awaken to Robin shaking me violently.
"What?! Did you find her? Did you find her?" I stammer becoming fully awake.
"No, not yet. But we found some more evidence." We walk to the living room and Cyborg is looking at the computer. It looks like a strand of DNA.
"What is it?" I question.
"It's a strand of DNA from a weird substance we found from Raven's cloak." Cyborg says oblivious to my frantic state. I feel like screaming, "No shit it's DNA but what the hell does it have to do with finding her", but I don't.
" I restrain myself from screaming again.
"It looks like the cloak was dragged through a chemical mixture which contains Butane, Bentonite and some other properties that are unknown. From what we have it looks like Raven's makeup and what ever she was dragged through." Cyborg replies.
"So, what you're saying
. is basically
we figured out
.she was wearing
.makeup." I'm beyond furious. I could still be sleeping. I want to be sleeping because at least in my dreams I can forget about Raven and the fact she's being held hostage somewhere and we can't do shit about it.
"Well, no, I mean sort of but not really. It shows us that's the reason why she couldn't fight back."
"Slade must have taken some of her makeup and took some of the chemicals to make some kind of concoction to weaken her powers."
"Why her makeup?" Robin and I ask at the same time.
"Because it had to be something her body was used to. He probably put it in her make up so she's been constantly coating herself with it for who knows how long now. Just long enough for him to weaken her so much she can't fight back." My heart starts to pound. I can't believe this is actually happening. He didn't just grab her because it was convenient; he planned this. He waited. He's been about 10 steps ahead of us this whole time. I feel sick and my head is throbbing. I collapse on the coach and just rest my head in my hands.
~ ~ ~
It takes me awhile before I finally realize I'm awake. My mind moves so slowly from lack of nutrition. My eyes flutter open and shut because I don't know which is my nightmare or which is my dream. I crack my neck and look around. I look down and there's a thick blanket on top of me. My hands stick out and the tips of them are numb. I can see them though and they seem fine. I wiggle them to get the blood flowing. I realize that there's a thicker blanket under me. It really is quite warm. Part of me wants to go back to sleep but I'm not even sure if I'm awake right now. I stay propped up and look at the monitors. My face is on one of the screens. My face has dirt and dried blood smeared on it as well as in bedded in my greasy hair. I look terrifying. On the inside, I feel scared and tired; I've given up. On the outside, however, I look angry and bitter, like a force to be reckoned with. I look strong and brave. I wonder if this is the face I front all the time. It's only then that I see Slade sitting in a chair looking at the computers.
"Good Morning." He mentions with his back towards me. Part of me really just wants to scream and shout profanities but it's hard to win a shouting match when you're the only one shouting. What the hell am I saying? That doesn't make any sense. Damn. Now, I'm having conversations with myself.
"Morning." I say trying to keep from going insane.
"You look filthy."
"Thanks." I snarl back but it's not like he's wrong. And I'd rather him insult me than assault me. He stands up and walks toward me. I'm expecting a slap across the face or for him to kick me in the stomach again. Part of me wants to cringe away from the blows about to come but there's a bigger part of me that wants to look him straight in the eyes. I'm caught off guard when he squats down so he's eye level. He pulls something from behind his back. It's another pair of restraints except they look sort of like ordinary handcuffs just thicker and wider. He clips them to one of my hands. He then stares at me long and hard. He slowly unlocks my left hand so it's free. Before I react, he as handcuffed it to the secured hand. He then moves to my feet and does this same, except this time he's quicker. I am now no longer secured to the ground. I'm about to jump up and do my best to kick his ass but I'm really weak. As if he read my mind, he pulls a cattle prod from the desk. Shit.
"I don't want to use this but if you misbehave you're going to make me have to." I listen as he leads me over to the desk. He has me sit on the chair. He takes a black piece of cloth and wraps it around my eyes. It smells musty but not dirty. He leads me away from the chair and I hear a door open and close. We walk about 40 steps until we stop and another door is opened. I hear a loud lock. He leads me about 3 steps until my shin softly bangs into a cold step. I hear the rattling of chains and clinking of locks. I feel a new pair of icy cuffs clipped onto my wrists as well was my ankles. My blindfold is taken off and I realize I'm standing next to a shower. It has long chains attached to the ceiling and floor. He turns the knobs and water starts coming out. I can see the steam rising and the goosebumbs on my arm raising. He walks back towards the door. He turns back around.
"I have some errands to run. Don't even think about trying something. I'll be back in about an hour. I'm guessing you know how to bathe yourself, correct," I nod in disbelief, "good. And remember don't make me do something I don't want to do." He waves the cattle prod and I can see the electric currents running across the top. He shuts the door and I hear about five different locks click into place.
I look around the room. It has no windows and only one door. It's literally a box with a shower tub and chains. I'm able to move around and get undressed. I step into the running water and feel the hot water run down my back. I'm shocked to see a shower curtain. I pull it so it surrounds the tub and I have privacy for the first time in 6 days. I see the almost black water circling the drain. I let the water soak my face and it's amazing. I scrub my face with my palms to get the dried blood off. I find a bar of soap lying on a crumbling ledge. I realize for sure I must be dreaming. But I as I wait to wake up I continue to feel the hot water. I scrub my body and wash my hair with the soap. I start to feel stronger and happier. I scrub a little too hard on a couple spots on my body where the bruises are and there's a sharp pain but what I realize is that most of them are yellowing. I let the hot water run down my back for a couple more minutes. I lean over the side of the tub and grab my leotard and socks. I wash them with soap and hot water and then hang them up over the shower curtain rod to dry. I imagine what it would be like to come back home to the Tower. I miss my room. I miss my hot tea. I miss my books. I miss the loud sound of Cyborg fixing up the T-car. I miss the numerous thuds coming from the weight room as Robin works out. I miss the horrifying smells that come from the kitchen when Starfire cooks. I miss the background noise of Beast Boy's videogames. I miss the way Cyborg and I used to tease Beast Boy. I miss Starfire annoying me to go the mall with her. I miss Robin. I miss Starfire. I miss Cyborg. But most of all I miss Beast Boy.
~ ~ ~