New Wings: Nightwing & Raven (MST3K 4ever & Ravenbelle)

Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by MST3K 4ever, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. Grayson

    [​IMG]

    It was just after 7pm as the steady rain beat on the roof of the taxi cab that pulled up to Wayne Manor. The driver said, “Here you go Mac. Wayne Manor, for a guy so wealthy you’d think he would’ve kept better tabs on the brakes of his Porsche.”

    The passenger, Dick Grayson, was barely even listening. He merely replied, “Somethings just get away from you sometimes, and then it’s too late.” He stroked his flowing black hair as he looked at the house that almost seemed foreign to him inspite of the fact he grew up there.


    The driver asked, “That’ll be twenty-five seventy-five. You need help with your luggage.”

    Dick reached into his blue jeans, handed him a fifty-dollar bill, and replied, “Just pop the trunk and keep the change.” Dick got out of the cab, grabbed his modest duffle bag, slung it over his leather jacket, and watched the cab fade off into the night. He then looked and waited for the security cameras to finish the sweep. It was clear Alfred hadn’t seen him otherwise the gates would’ve opened by now. He said, “Why not? Let’s see if I still got some of the training in me.” With that Dick vaulted over the wall and made his way across the estate grounds. He walked carefully being mindful of where the foot sensors were places, and hoping that they hadn’t been changed in the last five years. If they had been changed then that would’ve automatically released the Dobermans Ace and Justice. Dick arrived at what appeared to be some very thick brush, and he felt around the brush and nodded when he felt a handle that looked and felt like the brush. It was one of the hidden entrances to the Batcave and it took a couple of tugs but the handle finally moved. When it moved the brush slowly and quietly moved revealing a hidden staircase.


    Dick climbed down the staircase and into the Batcave. There were only two lights on at the time. One leading up to the staircase to the study, and another where the Batmobile should’ve been parked. The place hadn’t changed much since Dick left five years ago. There were a few new trophies and a couple of new vehicles, but the layout was still just as Dick remembered it. As he looked around Dick could almost still hear the youthful exuberance in his voice in his mind. “Holy Fastballs Batman! The Joker is gonna execute the Gotham Fireballs during their home opener!” or “The Penguin got the drop on the guards at the museum we can still catch him though!” In later years, it became “I’m not your damn sidekick anymore Bruce! In case you hadn’t noticed I lead my own team now!” And then finally that one night five years ago, “You self-righteous son of a bitch! I’ve had it with you! Keep the damn costume and go to Hell Bruce! I’m done with all this shit!”

    He bowed his head, closed his eyes, and Dick said,I would apologize to you Bruce, but I’m not sure I’d mean it. Regardless though I never thought I’d hear myself say this but…” He let out a slow exhale and said, “I’m gonna miss you. You, Barbara, and Tim. You were the only family I had left and I shoved you all away. Now I have to live with that. Wow, the more I tried to prove I was nothing like you I only succeeded in proving that I was just like you.”

    Just then a very familiar voice with a British accent said, “After all those years I thought I would qualify as family as well.”

    Dick turned around and saw Alfred Pennyworth standing there in his traditional clothing. Dick smiled and said, “Of course you are. You definitely are family Alfred.” Dick dropped his bag and walked over to Alfred. The two men embraced and Dick said, “I’ve missed you so much Alfred.”


    With a trembling voice Alfred replied, “And I have missed you as well sir.”

    Dick took as step back and said, “You look great Alfred.”

    Alfred replied, “As do you sir. I do have to ask why you snuck in through the cave?”

    Dick shrugged his shoulders and said,[COLOR=#4d4dff] “I swore when I left here I would never walk through the front door again. I’m a man of my word[/COLOR].”


    Alfred replied, "From now you are to use the front door. Is that clear Richard Grayson?"

    Dick nodded and said, “Yes sir. Gotta know something though; how did you know I was here?”

    Alfred replied, “Master Bruce had another security measure installed about two years ago when The League of Shadows tried an assault on Wayne Manor via the Batcave. Well enough chatting down here I suggest we retire upstairs to more welcoming surroundings. If you like I can fix you a quick meal? I assume you still enjoy Cheesesteaks with Mushrooms.”

    Dick smiled and replied, “You know me so well.”

    The two men settled into the kitchen as Alfred enjoyed a cup of tea while Dick had his Cheesesteak, some fries, and a Dr. Pepper. Alfred said, “I’m relieved that Mr. Kent’s alter-ego was able to find you wherever you were.”

    Dick took a drink and said, “Yeah Superman found me in the heart of an African village fixing a well for the people. When I said I was going off the grid I meant it. But, if anyone other than Bruce could find me it was Superman. Luckily he waited until I was alone before he talked to me. He’s the first person in a costume I’ve had direct contact with in five years. If anyone else, besides you had, told me what happened I would’ve never believed it.” Dick shook his head slowly and said, “Sorry I didn’t at least keep in touch with you Alfred. I needed to make a clean break from everything here.”

    Alfred replied, “I understand sir. I believe Master Bruce was hoping that I would try to find you so I could initiate a truce between the two of you.” Alfred shook his head and said, “Not this time. You both were grown men and needed to either make peace with one another or walk away. It had to be your choice.”

    Dick took another bite and said, “I can understand that. Well any day now the press is going to figure out the big secret about Bruce Wayne and the rest of the Bat-Family.”

    Alfred shook his head and said, “Don’t count on it sir. Mr. Wayne had contingencies in place so there wouldn’t be parallels between his passing and that of his alter ego. He also had them in place for Miss Gordon and Master Timothy. Mr. Kent and Miss Prince are also assisting so there won’t be any connections made. Mr. Kent wanted me to remind you that…”

    Dick interrupted, “I know the Justice League is having a private service on the Watchtower for them. I still don’t know if I’m going. I’m not even sure how long I’m staying here to be honest.”

    Alfred said, “There is something you should realize sir.” Dick stared intently at Alfred who said, “All this is now yours.” Dick blinked twice as Alfred said, “You sir, are now the heir to the Wayne Family fortune and anything else that was Master Bruce’s and his alter ego.”

    Dick asked, “What about you? Why me?”

    Alfred replied, “I’m being taken care of don’t you fret sir. In your case though, he missed you sir. His pride kept him from reaching out to you. He always thought that there would be time. He loved you right until the end sir. I know him well enough to know that for a fact.”

    Dick dropped his food and rested his head on his chin. Dick said, “I could’ve reached out to him too Alfred. When it comes to mine and Bruce’s relationship and the issues we had…” Dick looked at Alfred and said, “I’m not innocent of all charges. My sentence now is I have to live with that knowledge.”

    Alfred nodded and said, “I’m sure you will find a way to respect your sentence sir. Well if you’ll excuse me for a moment I will prepare a room for you. Will the second guest room in the East Wing suffice for you sir?”

    Dick thought for a moment and replied, “Yeah sure that’ll be fine Alfred thanks.” Alfred got the duffle bag and left the kitchen. Dick reached in his jeans and pulled out a black stone. It wasn’t just an ordinary black stone it was given to him by one of his former Titan teammates Raven. Towards the end of his time with the Titans Nightwing became closer to Raven than anyone else. She specialized in “tough-love” and gave her new ideas on how to deal with Batman. Their close friendship made Starfire intensely jealous, and drove a wedge in the group. Nightwing left the group hoping it would salvage the group, but it didn’t. The stone would enable him to contact Raven through telepathy anytime anywhere. She would hear him and usually respond in a matter of seconds. He hadn’t contacted Raven in almost six months, but he figured now was as good a time as any.

    Dick held the stone tightly and thought, “Hey, can we talk for a bit? I need a friend.”
     
    #1 MST3K 4ever, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
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  2. ((disregard the earrings)) 1464960000009 [www.imagesplitter.net] (2).jpeg

    Years of traveling the globe have taught a certain empath more than she's ever wanted to know, but that's mostly because she always ends up in the places that need her the most. Just as soon as she catches wind of the locals whispering here and there about a strange bird, an omen, a shadow...a strange, mysterious and heroic force of some sort, she disappears to someplace new. Always anonymous, blending in as best she knows how. She's known she needs a change for a long time now regardless of the fact that she no longer wears a costume, but every time she gets close to teleporting to some quiet mountain town, she gets a message or a dream or even notices something that reminds her of him, that there's always work to be done somewhere.

    It had been around six months since any correspondence reached Raven's mind through the bond connecting her permanently to her oldest friend. It was forged out of necessity and desperation, but neither of them ever discussed destroying the link and now it's so strong there's simply no psychic force capable of breaking it. The day before he contacted her directly, she'd been mid-flight away from a rescue she didn't want to be recognized for and she was forced to land the instant her mind froze. At least that's what it felt like: a swift and sudden shock of a chill that left her dazed and blinking away the residual shards of pain buried the moment they came. She considered checking in that day, but she had a feeling she should let him process such an emotional toll before she asked exactly what it was about. Besides, it would only be a matter of time before they spoke again.

    She was right, but she didn't expect the call so soon. Raven had been meditating in an isolated desert of her own choosing when he called out to her using the stone she had given him for such purposes. His voice echoed in her skull and though he was holding them at arms length, she felt his emotions in her as plainly as if they were her own and they may as well have been. As long as he's in pain, so is she. It was raw, the wound, something that would take years to scar and even then it would stay forever.
    Hey, can we talk for a bit? I need a friend.
    Raven sighed. No, this wasn't something they should chat about for a few minutes through a telepathic phone call. Gods knew heroes like him don't deserve the agony they suffer, but he has her. And that will never change.

    She appeared within the manor from a swirling black portal that swiftly closed behind her, and faced the man who had called her. She was wearing a dark outfit and a desert hood but pulled off the latter, exposing the red chakra in the center of her forehead and some of her long, nearly violet hair.
    When her endless amethyst eyes met his familiar blues, she took a deep breath, taking in the restrained emotions rolling off of him in waves. Regardless of his state of mind, being so close to him still felt a bit like coming home for the long-time wanderer.
    She wanted to greet him with an easy, witty remark, but the way he had called her still squeezed her heart, so she said nothing. They didn't need words.
    Raven stepped forward without breaking eye contact and placed a weathered hand slowly but firmly over his heart. She didn't need to vocalize it for him to know what she meant.
    I'm here

     
    #2 Ravenbelle, Jun 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
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  3. [​IMG]
    Sitting in the living room and just staring out as the rain seemingly pelted the ground. Dick was wondering at first why Raven hadn’t responded. Maybe I didn’t use it properly? Maybe she’s busy? Or what if she’s dead too? The thought of something happening to Raven wounded Dick to his soul. Was he cursed to lose everyone he loved in life? Just then Raven appeared to him in the living room. Dick saw her reflection in the window. He wanted to sprint to her and just fall into her arms, but instead the eye contact he was sharing with Raven felt much more powerful and meaningful. It was though for a moment they were the only two people on the planet. Raven feeling his heartbeat almost made his heart skip a beat.


    Dick let out a slow exhale and said, “Thanks for coming. You have no idea what it means to me.” Dick motioned to the couch and said, “Have a seat please.” Once Raven sat down Dick sat next to her and gently took her hand. He said, “Raven, so much as happened in the last 24 hours I have no clue how to say it.” Dick hadn’t said the words he was about to say since he heard the news, and it was understandably difficult. He was someone who stared the worst criminals in Gotham in the eye and beat them to within an inch of their lives, yet he was struggling to speak. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, and gently squeezed Raven’s hand as though he were drawing strength from her. Dick finally opened his eyes and said,Batman was killed last night along with Batgirl and Robin. Superman found me in the heart of Africa working in a village helping repair a water well and he told.” Dick shook his head and said, “I was in such shock I didn’t bother to ask about details or anything like that. I’m sure I’ll find out more, but anytime now word will get out that Batman is gone and every scum-ball is gonna declare war on this city.”

    As he talked Dick had no idea that the whole time tears were streaming down his face. He talked to Raven as though he was telling her about a day at the beach, but Dick’s body betrayed his emotional state. Dick steadied himself almost in vain but he tried as he continued, “Right now, I am the owner of Wayne Enterprises and the Batcave.” The phone rang and Alfred said from the other side of the house, “I’ll get it sir.” The house seemed larger and emptier than ever before. Dick realized now how strong Bruce had to be in order to stay in this place with just Alfred. Wayne Manor had everything that you could imagine for a home and for pleasure, but at the moment it felt like a ten-ton burden to Dick.

    He said, “I don’t know what to do right now. The funeral for Bruce Wayne will be in two days. Most of the media coverage is focused at Wayne Enterprises. No need for them to come to a big house and deal with a Butler with a shotgun.”

    Alfred interrupted, "And isn’t afraid to use it.” Dick looked back to Alfred who said, “That was Commissioner Gordon on the phone. He said he would be coming by tomorrow morning and joining us for breakfast. He said he had a few items to deliver." Dick nodded slowly and replied,I can’t say I’m surprised Alfred. He’s the Commissioner, but he's a cop first. He had to have known all these years who Batman was. My guess we’re getting a few new items to hang in the cave.” Alfred replied, “I suspect so sir. I will prepare display cases after the funeral.” Alfred looked over at Raven and said, “A pleasure to see you again Miss I will prepare a bed for you right away.” He looked back to Dick and asked, “By the way sir, do you and your associates have something against using the front door?” Alfred smirked and looked back to Raven and gave a slight bow to Raven as he walked away.


    Dick replied, “Oh sure, you get ‘a pleasure to see you let me fix a bed for you Miss.’ I get sarcasm. I think he likes you better.” He looked back to Raven said, “The funeral is gonna devastate him. Bruce was the son he never had. He’s helped bury the entire Wayne family. Which means about the only thing I know for sure is…” Dick shook his head and said, “I can’t leave here right now. Other than that I have no damn clue what to do with the rest of my life Raven. I feel so lost right now.”
     
    #3 MST3K 4ever, Jun 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
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  4. She felt his breath, the tension leave his shoulders, if only for an instant.​
    The corner of her lips twitched up for a second. Didn't he now by now? She knew exactly what it meant to him. And if the world was burning, she wouldn't have left his side for a moment. She followed him silently to the couch and kept close, eyes focused solely on him so not even when he held her hand did she glance down. It was yet another reminder of how much he was going through.​
    "Take your time," Raven whispered. It's what she always meant to say. When she gave him that stone to begin with, she went with his discretion when it came to any contact between them. And she waited. Being the one with the stronger mental capacities always gave her the reassurance that he was alive at least and she's always had patience, always needed it given how she always used to have to keep her emotions under lock and key. The consequences after Trigon was defeated included learning how to let them out afterward. But that never changed how much she feels from others. She wouldn't force Dick into anything in his fragile state. She squeezed his hand back and listened.
    And immediately understood his extreme reaction from yesterday. Her lips parted. It felt like the air had been sucked out of her lungs and her chest felt like a vice as she watched her best friend in the world cry for the first time in years.
    He would never see his father figure again and he was already worrying about the city?! She could feel the weight of his guilt on her shoulders; everything was hitting him all at once. She winced but leaned forward and using the hand that wasn't holding his, wiped away his tears. "Ssssh..." He was spiraling, thinking of all the negatives at one time and that's never a good idea.
    They regained a bit of composure when the phone rang and Alfred greeted her with one of his signature witty remarks, but as soon as she was aware of him coming towards the living room, her free hand tightened into a fist. He was putting on a front for their sake, but Raven felt his true feelings whether she wanted to or not. He was crushed. There was a hollowness to his eyes that made her want to isolate herself again. It had been so long since she'd been in close proximity to those she cared about so the reintroduction to her empathic abilities was taking quite a toll. She wasn't about to let it take her though. She forced a small smile for Alfred and his comment on her entry, then thanked him for the bed. She had to be the strong one around here.

    For both of them.

    Dick's words only solidified her decision. She squeezed his hand again, knowing she wouldn't be leaving soon either. He was baring his soul to her, one of the rarest things he ever does. She wouldn't let him down. Raven grit her teeth and let go of his hand, opting this time to place both her hands on his cheeks. "Stop. Richard Grayson, you're thinking too much and you know it. Slow down...Breathe. We'll take this one. step. at a time." She let her hands fall away from his face only to take both his hands. "You want to stay? We'll stay. And you know I'll be here as long you'll have me. But that's it. That's all you get to think about. Don't get yourself worked up about the city or the manor or Wayne Enterprises or the future. Your only responsibility right now is to heal." Her right hand lifted to grip his chin so he was forced to look her in the eyes, shining with unshed tears. "Got that?"
    Raven would have given anything right then to be able to heal more than just physical wounds, or even just to manipulate emotions. But try as she might, she'd never been able to do much more than bear the pain and understand it on their level. As far as she was concerned, it was a curse wrapped in a gift box.

     
    #4 Ravenbelle, Jun 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
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  5. Grayson

    [​IMG]

    Dick had been in many relationships in the past. Starfire, Donna, and Barbara each held a special place to him at some point in his life. Raven though there was something unique about her that he really never noticed until he walked away from his costume five years ago. When she gave him that stone to keep in touch with her Dick almost pitched it. He didn’t want any reminders of his former life as he would start calling it, but it was the way Raven acted towards him that made Dick hold onto the stone. While everyone was telling him how wrong he was in the way he was acting, or they too busy trying to “fix him” Raven merely gave him the stone and told him to keep in touch. She let him be him on his own terms. For that Dick would always be grateful and he found Raven to not only be a very effective listener, but every now and then she could fire off a remark or two that made Dick smile.

    He replied, “Got it.” Dick leaned his head back on the couch a bit and said, “Healing is going to take years and years Raven. It’ll probably be that I just find ways to deal with it just like when my parents died. Becoming Robin and working alongside Bruce helped, but now though…” Dick shook his head and said, “It’s been five years since I even thought about that suit. The muscle memory will comeback overtime, but my reflexes aren’t even close to what they need to be.” Dick looked back at Raven and said, “Don’t get me wrong I have no plans right now of even thinking about putting on the suit again.” Dick leaned forward on the couch a bit and said, “In terms of my trying to see the big picture and all that….” He looked back at Raven and said, “That’s Bruce’s influence on me. As much as I railed for years about not being anything like or wanting to be like him…” Dick shrugged his shoulders and said, “I’m almost exactly like him. My first thought is to do something and not deal with the pain. Right now though, I have no choice but to deal with it.” Dick stood up and walked over to the bar. He pulled out a two bottles of water and put one of them in front of Raven. Dick opened up his and he did a bit of light pacing. He said, “I knew Bruce longer and had more of a relationship with him than I did with my own parents Raven.” Dick stopped pacing and said, “My parents died when I was nine and that was twenty-six years ago. Bruce died within twenty-six days of the anniversary of my parent’s death. One day for each year now I guess that’s the Universe showing me it’s sense of irony.” Dick took a swig and said, “Barbara, yeah we had a relationship that was more than just friends, but the timing for the most part was never right so that boat sailed. That didn’t mean I didn’t care for her though. Tim…” Dick shook his head as he said, “He had the potential to be the best of us all. What he lacked in the physical training, though he was getting better and better, he made up for with his brains.”

    Dick finally stopped pacing as Alfred re-entered the room. He said, “Excuse me sir. Miss Raven’s bedroom is ready for whenever she is ready it’s right next door to yours in the East Wing. Now if you all will excuse me I need to get some rest tomorrow morning’s breakfast isn’t going to fix itself. If you need anything…”

    Dick interrupted, “We know where everything is Alfred. Go get some rest and don’t worry about breakfast if necessary I can do it. I’ve been on my own for a while if I have to I can fix it. You take it easy, and since I am the Wayne Empire Heir that makes me your boss, so consider that an order.” Dick then smiled at Alfred.

    Alfred didn’t know quite how to respond except to with a smirk as he said, “We’ll see about that sir.” He looked over to Raven and said with a slight bow, “Miss.”

    As Alfred left the room Dick just stared at him for a moment. Yes, Alfred was keeping up his stiff-upper lip and all that, but that was because there were things that needed to be done. Dick knew Alfred was hurting worse than all of them. Dick sat back down next to Raven and said, “Alfred’s not going to be here much longer. He helped bury Bruce’s parents, he’s now burying Bruce, Barbara he loved her like she was one of his own, and Tim always kept Alfred on his toes. Alfred would roll his eyes at times with him, but I know he loved having a kid in here again to give him a sense of youthful optimism.” He looked over to Raven and said, “Now, there’s only death here and once he’s done taking care of things for the next few days he’s gonna shatter into a thousand pieces. I think he needs to move on and enjoy what’s left of his years in peace. I may have to dismiss him for that to happen.” Dick shook his head and said, “That’s down the road for now though I think…” Dick thought for a moment and said, “I think I’ll go to the Watchtower to touch base with everyone and all that. You can come with me if you want. Although I’m not sure if I want to wear the costume, but going up there as just me seems so strange.”

    Dick took another swig of his water and then just looked at Raven for a moment. Her eyes were one of the most dominant features on her, and Dick never really noticed them until she was gone. Dick said, “Thank you for coming Raven.” He let out an exhale and said, “Okay enough about me for a bit. What have you been up to?”
     
    #5 MST3K 4ever, Jun 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
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  6. Raven gave him a firm nod at his reply and let him go, repositioning herself so her side sunk into the back of the couch and her left arm tucked under her chin. She faced her oldest friend and listened once again, deep purple eyes focused on him. As distraught as he sounded, she had to admit it had been too long since she heard anyone speak directly to her and when it came to her former leader and teammate, she couldn't get enough of the sound of his voice.
    He sort of had the right idea when it came to learning to live with such loss, but she doubted he'd dealt with any other such deaths in his life in a completely healthy manner. Keeping himself busy surely helped him in the past, but she knew Dick to be the sort of person to lean toward extremes. If he found it helped to keep himself busy, he'd end up holing himself up in the training room beating out his emotions or burying himself in tasks to complete just so he wouldn't have time to think about what was truly on his mind. She'd keep an eye on him though. If she had anything to do with it, he would survive this and become even stronger than before.
    And on that thought, he mentioned the suit--one he hadn't worn in years--and Raven narrowed her eyes. Good thing he assuaged her concerns before she could disapprove of his unwise ideas because otherwise he would not have escaped one of her famous death glares.​
    The Azarathian tilted her head and let her eyes tell him she was really analyzing him before she took a sip of water and spoke softly as he paced. "You're wrong. You learned from him the same way anyone would their own father, but even if your first instinct is to avoid your emotions, you're aware that you shouldn't. It's not that you don't have a choice; you always do...it's that you're making the right one. Though I admit none of us had normal family dynamics to compare with, no child ends up exactly like their parents. In fact, you've done better than many when it comes to recognizing Bruce's flaws and correcting them in yourself." Raven would be lying if she said she'd ever cared much for the legendary Batman of Gotham, knowing the way he'd treated the man she was sitting next to at the moment, but she did recognize the way Richard saw him and thanks to her powers, empathize with what he was going through because of this loss.​
    Raven's lips sealed tight and nearly went white. She had to focus on staying strong again as his pain bled into her with every word he spoke. It almost felt like a physical force weighing her down, piling stones in her empty stomach, and constricting her lungs so she had to take smaller breaths. She concealed the effect with sips of water here and there, but when Alfred returned to the room her empathy almost overwhelmed her. She appreciated everything he was doing for her and his master's son:(for all intents and purposes), but she just couldn't manage to express that without giving away how much she wanted to run and avoid the way he was feeling.
    She managed to get her facial expression back to one of gratitude while Dick made it clear he wasn't going to have Alfred make breakfast tomorrow, but her voice was quiet when she turned toward the older man to say, "Thank you...Have a goodnight."


    Raven took a deep breath and the last swig of her water bottle when Dick came back to her side on the couch. With anyone else, she would have kept her eyes down to hide the unshed tears in them, but especially now when he was deliberately allowing himself to be vulnerable with her, Raven didn't need or want to hide.
    For a moment, she thought she'd have to remind him to stay in the present and not think ahead, but he caught himself and she nodded with a slight smile. It was a good start at least.​
    Raven nodded and stood, blinking away the last bit of moisture in her eyes while the empty water bottle in her hand disappeared and reappeared in one of the recycle bins of Wayne Manor.​
    The shorter woman smiled gently. "You've thanked me enough. Despite the circumstances, I'm glad to see you again."
    Raven blinked. Honestly, she should have expected the question, but she hadn't been asked in so long she had no idea how to answer it. She took a deep breath as she floated to his side. Her mind went through a number of memories--some good, some bad--since the last time she'd seen Dick and she walked a few steps with him toward the Watchtower before speaking. "Well mostly...wandering, to be frank. Teleportation is a handy skill to have on Earth. I've visited some of the most extraordinary places on this planet...and a lot of the most deplorable." Her eyes lowered as she watched their footsteps and grit her teeth against some of the atrocities she'd been witness to. "I've been doing my job, Dick. I...sought out those that needed me most urgently and saved the lives that I could while keeping myself out of the public eye." Raven glanced up at his gorgeous blue eyes with a mysterious smile. "So to answer your question: not much."
     
    #6 Ravenbelle, Jun 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
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  7. Grayson

    [​IMG]

    Dick chuckled and said, “Considering your abilities staying out of the public eye shouldn’t be too hard, but it’s nice to see that you’re still willing to help out.” Dick finished his bottle of water and said, “You help out Raven that’s doing plenty. Considering the shape of the world today you’re making a difference so that counts for something.” He shot his bottle into the recycling bin on the other side of the room. Dick said, “Alfred would usually yell at me for doing that, but I think he was jealous that I could do it without ever missing, and he couldn’t.”

    Dick was lost in a thought for a moment and then said, “For the last five years I’ve been working in a Global Initiative helping underdeveloped countries throughout the world. Seen a lot of things I will never forget. It was done through…” Dick let out a sigh and said, “The Queen Foundation. I know I could’ve gone through the Wayne Foundation, but…” He looked at Raven and said, “Human pride and ego are a pain to deal with. Anyway, Ollie would call me from time to time or Roy would and they’d ask how I was doing, and then they would say something like, ‘Oh Ollie’ if it was Roy or if it was Ollie it was ‘Oh Roy’ wants to do know how you’re doing. Not knowing I usually talked to them a couple days earlier.” Dick smirked as he said, “They were checking up on me for Bruce.” Dick steadied himself for a moment and said, “He was the most bull-headed and self-righteous man I ever knew, but he was also the best I ever knew. If anyone was worth of being imitated it was Bruce Keith Wayne.” Dick actually smiled for a moment as he gave Raven a wink.

    Without even thinking about it Dick reached out to Raven and embraced her. He said, “I know you’re not a real touchy feely type, but right now I could stand to feel some sort of connection with someone, and I can’t think of another person alive that I would rather that be than you Raven.” The feel of her body pressed against his made Dick almost forget for a moment the pain he had been feeling for the last couple of days. He said, “I’m sorry I went so long without talking to you. I promise to do better.”

    Dick looked at the Watchtower transporter and said, “I know that they’re not just Bruce’s comrades that I’m friends with a lot of them too, and they’ll be as supportive as possible but…” Dick shook his head and said, “Why do I feel like I’m about to walk into a showdown with The Joker? I mean I got nothing against any of them, but not going up in a costume and they know that Bruce and I had a bad parting of the ways and were his friends more than mine and…” Dick closed his eyes and took a deep breath as he activated the transporter. He broke the embrace but held Raven’s hand in his as he said, “Let’s go for a ride. If I’m gonna move forward I need to make peace with the past and that starts now.”

    Dick led her into the transport with him and said, “I never did like this part.” With that there was a blinding light for a second and then they were standing in the Watchtower.
     
    • Thank Thank x 1
  8. Raven merely shrugged at comments on her ongoing hero antics. As far as she was concerned, she was doing the bare minimum for the world. However, it was the only thing she knew how to do. She couldn't imagine doing anything else with her life. As painful as her 'job' was, the smiles and tears of joy and gratitude that come as a direct result of her help always made the heartache bearable.​
    His free throw pulled her out of her thoughts and she smiled a little, "Glad you haven't lost your cocky attitude. And what have you been up to without the costume, hm?"

    She nodded along, listening to his answer like she already knew what he would say. She had expected nothing less; of course he'd be saving lives his own way. It may have only been super obvious to her because of how close she was to him, but otherwise she would have called him predictable. During her travels through the years she had seen all sorts of people more deserving of the title Hero. And many of them worked for foundations much like the one Dick described. After all, what's more heroic than organizing more people into helping others? The good deeds spread wider and in higher quantities than any one superhuman could even attempt to accomplish. And it was good to know that Dick had others that cared about him, looked out for him, even if they wouldn't admit it aloud. Raven knew she could always count on her old teammates, Cyborg and Garfield, but keeping in touch became increasingly difficult and now she talked to them even less than with Dick. Raven had always been the type to enjoy solitude, but never had she understood the difference between solitude and loneliness more profoundly than in the past few years.

    So when she was suddenly wrapped up in Richard's warm embrace, it took her a moment to realize what he was doing. All things considered it was kind of pathetic...she couldn't remember the last time she'd been hugged. But when he spoke, warm breath ghosting by her ear confessing how much he needed her, she squeezed him back with a fervor she'd forgotten she had. Her eyes shut tight and she held him as close as she could. She knew he had called her to the manor because he needed her help, but only now did she realize how much she needed him as well. Raven had been so alone. Had it not been for her meditation regimen, she might have forgotten the sound of her own voice. She even went so far as to nuzzle into his neck, thanking him for promising to better keep in touch. Just the thought of leaving him again caused her to inhale sharply, as if already bracing for the loss of this. And in doing so she was reminded of his scent, like worn leather and a hint of honey. For once, Raven was the one to let go last and though she tried not to show it, she missed the contact immediately. She thought she knew herself so well, but giving Richard Grayson more than five minutes with her forced her to come to terms with something she seemed to have been denying to herself for years.​
    So she took his hand with no hesitation and squeezed it approvingly. She didn't need to say anything for him to get the message.
    You're not alone.
    And with that, she closed her eyes, shivering in reaction to the strange form of transportation. When she next opened them, she stood in the Watchtower, a place she never felt she quite belonged, but she knew at least that tonight she belonged by her best friend's side.​
     
    #8 Ravenbelle, Jun 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
    • Love Love x 1
  9. Grayson

    [​IMG]

    As the hatch to the Watchtower opened Dick squeezed Raven’s hand just slightly tighter. His exterior said cool and calm, but inside he felt like he was walking into a warehouse ambush without his costume. Dick had never felt so vulnerable and exposed in his life. He looked at Raven and said, “Okay here we go.” The door opened and standing in front of him was most of the Justice League. Dick still holding onto Raven’s hand stepped out as he looked around cautiously. Superman stepped forward and said, “Glad you came Dick.” He stuck his hand out and Dick replied, “Thank you Superman, and thanks again for contacting me If it had been anyone else I wouldn't have believed them.” He nodded as he looked over to Raven and said, “It’s been a long time Raven. Glad to see you as well.” Superman motioned for the two of them to step into the main area. Eventually everyone walked up to Dick to express their sympathies or to share a story or two with him about not only Bruce, but Barbara and Tim as well. Wonder Woman and Dick talked for a moment, and Dick finally confirmed to her that yes Bruce loved her. She told him the feeling was mutual. They also took advantage of the opportunity to touch base with Raven as well. She had proven her worth on more than one occasion, and had earned the respect of those gathered.

    Time was moving along at a brisk pace. Dick’s anxiety level had decreased since he had been there, but he always made sure that Raven was nearby. More than once he caught himself looking over at her, and when he did he felt a sense of peace and hope.

    Dick stared out at the observation window and was looking down at Earth. He had forgotten what it was like to enjoy this view. Just then Guy Gardner approached him, and Guy was far from sober at the time. He said, “Hey sorry for the loss Grayson, but I guess we found out that tall, dark, and pointy-ears has his limits.”

    Dick turned to Guy and replied, “Say what?” Dick could feel his pulse quicken and his fists slowly begin to clinch.

    Guy said, “Face it Grayson. They guy relied on tricks, gizmos, and theatrics. I’ve got no clue why everyone was so intimidated by him. It’s not like he had any super-powers I mean sooner or later someone was bound to get the drop on him. Not to mention he took a kid, and a total babe in Batgirl with him. What a waste. The guy was so over-rated by everyone here.”

    Dick took a step towards Gardner who said, “Drop it Grayson. You ain’t nearly as big and bad as he was, and this time you ain’t got him to save you if you get in over your head.” Flashing his power ring Gardner said, “I’d hate to embarrass you in front of the real heroes.”

    Dick just looked a little closer at Guy and said, “You can hardly see it.”

    Gardner replied, “What?’

    Dick smirked and said, “Where Batman broke your nose.”

    Gardner snarled a bit and said, “Lucky shot. The fact is though I’m still here and he ain’t neither is the rest of the bat-wannabes. You're the only one left out of them, so why don't you go on back to the cave and leave the work to the real heroes who are still here. Oh but your friend yeah she can stay.”

    Dick closed his eyes for a moment. This was the first time someone outside of his inner-circle had said it; he truly was alone and the feelings of being vulnerable resurfaced to the point of being almost paralyzed. Dick took a step back as he could see Superman starting to make his way over.
     
    • Love Love x 1
  10. Raven reciprocated his touch and clasped his fingers tighter as well. His nerves were contagious, especially to her, but they both kept their composure and she nodded back up at him with reassurance in her eyes. They could do this. Together.
    Neither of them even attempted to let go of the other even when Superman himself came to greet them. When he met her eyes, she returned his nod with gratitude for doing what he did for Dick. Sometimes delivering such news is almost as much of a burden as receiving it. "Likewise."

    Once they stepped into the main area and met up with the others, it wasn't long before Raven was forced to let go of his hand. She didn't want to leave him alone for long, but he deserved his privacy, especially when it came to the subject matter at hand. It took a bit of concentration considering the varying degrees of grief in the Watchtower, but she did her best to check in on his emotions in particular whenever she could. So when she conversed with a few of the heroes around her, listening to some stories about Bruce before the subject turned to her whereabouts during the past years, she didn't sense the nuances of caution towards her. She didn't need her powers to know it was there though. She was sure one of the main reasons she wasn't invited to join the official Justice League had been because of the fact that her powers come from a demonic entity. Not that she blamed them for feeling that way; they still respected her and that's more than she could have asked for. However, her apparel at the moment didn't help.
    She had never been comfortable in social settings like this and the emotions she felt from everyone were starting to take a toll, but she trusted those around her, and she was here for Dick so she wouldn't dare let him down. Especially when it came to drunken idiots badmouthing him or his adoptive father at a time like this.

    At least, she assumed that's what was going on when she felt the jolt of aggression and pain from his direction by the window.
    "Please excuse me." she mumbled to the heroes she'd been listening to before stalking toward Guy Gardner and his emotions blurred by alcohol consumption. Figures. She only caught the end of his stupid spiel, but Richard's state of mind told her more than she needed to know and she wouldn't stand for it. In fact, she floated, towering over Gardner so she came protectively between him and her best friend.
    "Oh his friend can stay? Is that so? Funny, you'd choose someone born with dark powers over one who trained, fought and succeeded in becoming a better hero than you could ever be. What are you without that tacky ring? A stand-up comedian with too much to drink and a penchant for offending those he shouldn't?" she hissed, all too aware of Rage boiling in her chest and tinting her eyes completely black. A part of her she was struggling to contain inwardly laughed at the twinge of fear she felt coursing through his veins behind all the false bravado amplified by his drunken brain. He should be afraid. Anger is both a strength and her greatest weakness when it comes to her self control. And anyone who knows Raven (pretty much only Richard Grayson) knows that when she gets honestly mad, she doesn't shout or even change her facial expression all that much. She lowers her voice.
    [​IMG]
     
    #10 Ravenbelle, Jun 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
    • Love Love x 1
  11. Grayson

    [​IMG]

    This situation was exactly what Dick had been hoping to avoid. Just like the old days of Batman having to come in at the last second to save Robin, but this time it was Raven bailing him out. Dick wanted to believe that he could handle this himself, but in his current frame of mind he wasn’t thinking clearly at all. Once Raven lowered her voice Dick knew that she was on the verge of going ballistic. While he appreciated the help in this situation Dick felt it had gone on long enough. He took Raven by the hand and said, “Let it go Raven he ain’t worth it.” Guy chuckled and said, “Aww ain’t that sweet Robin saving his girlfriend from getting a world class ass kicking from a guy with the most powerful weapon in the Universe.” Guy looked at Raven and said, “Hey sweet cheeks, if you ever wanna be with a real hero and not some third rate Batman wannabe you know where you can find me.”

    Guy took a step back and then came to a dead stop when he realized he backed into something. He turned and saw that something was the Man of Steel. It wasn’t often that Superman glared at someone, but when he did it was not a pleasant sight to behold. He said with great anger in his voice, “I know you and Batman had your issues, but to bring them up here and now is uncalled for Guy. Not to mention you addressed Raven like she was a lesser. In case you forgot we are the Justice League not the Super Powers Team. I suggest you leave now.” Superman’s eyes began to glow red as he said, "If you ever speak to another member of the League like that again I will go to OA an personally speak to the Guardians about you losing your ring."

    Guy shrugged his shoulders and said, “Whatever.” With that he encased himself in a green bubble and phased through a wall and was gone. Superman looked to Raven and said, “I’m sorry about that.” He turned to Dick and said, “No one in this organization looks down on Batman. He represented the best of humanity to all of us in many ways. He was a valued member and he will be missed. We will be there for the memorial for Batman, Robin, and Batgirl tomorrow at 12:30.”

    Dick replied, “Thanks Superman.” He looked at everyone and said, “Thank you all very much.” Dick took Raven’s hand and said, “I think it’s time to go.” Dick led Raven to the transporter and they were back at Wayne Manor in the blink of an eye. Dick walked back over to the couch and sat down. He waited for Raven to join him and once she did he took her hand again. He said, “Thanks for your help back there.” Dick shook his head and said, “This apparently is gonna be tougher than I thought.” Dick leaned in and put his head on her chest. He said, “I wish I knew what to do next besides grieve Raven.” Dick could almost hear Raven’s heartbeat as he closed his eyes for a moment and said, “I never thought in a million years I would be the one who turned out the lights once and for all in the Batcave or Wayne Manor.” He let out an exhale as he said, “If Gardner had kept his mouth shut I might be in a better frame of mind. Right now, I don’t know. Sleeping tonight is gonna be a challenge that’s for sure.” Dick raised his head up and looked into Raven’s beautiful dark eyes and gently touched her cheek. He said, “I’m glad you’re here. I wish it was under better circumstances.”
     
    • Love Love x 1
  12. Just that one touch, his hand around hers, calmed her somewhat and redirected her attention to the only person who mattered right now. Raven instantly felt her feet touch the ground again and she backed away, glaring at Guy until she was back beside Dick. A black aura of energy coated her hood and brought it up to hide her face while she proceeded to ignore the drunk idiot before her, since Superman clearly intended to handle the situation. The hand that wasn't in Richard's tightened into a fist. Too much...too much...She couldn't take how helpless he was feeling, how lonely. Not now. Not on top of the grief of every real hero in the room, the secondhand embarrassment, and her own shame at how quickly she'd reacted without thinking. She'd accomplished nothing by making a scene and further hurting her best friend. Her breaths remained shallow and her eyes stayed trained on the ground, though she tried to nod in Superman's direction to thank him as they headed back to the transporter. How could I have been so stupid?!

    Back at Wayne Manor, Dick went straight to the couch and Raven's chest tightened, feeling everything ripping through his aura at once, not to mention Alfred's at a distance. Her feet lifted from the floor for half a second but she decided her powers had caused enough trouble tonight, so she walked over to the couch and squeezed his hand when he took it. He thanked her for her idiotic actions and she sighed, about to apologize before he went on and she felt it would be better just to listen for a moment. He wouldn't have to think this way if it wasn't for that ignoramus! She sighed, unable to hold onto any form of anger even if she wanted to, drowning in the way she felt seeing her best friend in so much pain while she felt it herself. Reminded once again of how deprived she'd been of physical affection, her hands came around his neck as he rested his head on her chest. She breathed slowly, gritting her teeth as her eyes grew misty once more and her fingers gently brushed through his hair. She simply couldn't hold back anymore when he met her eyes again and his fingers touched her cheek. Raven leaned into his hand and as her eyes closed, a single tear streamed down to her chin, one from each eye. "It's been too long." she nodded, sniffed and avoided his eyes. "I suppose being alone has made me weaker rather than stronger in ways I didn't predict. You've known me to be a rather solitary person for most of my life, but lately I've been learning the consequences of isolation can lead to a rather unexpected loneliness..." she breathed, looked up at his eyes which had been masked to her for so long in the past that they still felt like rare gems to gaze upon. "I apologize. I came here for you and so far I've behaved like an impulsive child, making things worse rather than improving anything. I'm so sorry." she winced, releasing one last tear before gathering her own determination from under all his grief within her. Taking his hands, she brought their foreheads together so she could feel her chakra pressing softly against his skin. "However, I won't leave you alone in this. And I won't make the same mistakes twice, I promise. Because I'm the only one who can say I truly understand how you feel. The only difference is that I can think around it." Raven pulled away to meet his eyes again. "I know it hurts to feel like you're the last one, but that means you carry their legacy, their memories. It may feel like a burden now, but think about what they would want. You know better than I that they only wanted your happiness in anything you pursued. So do I. Stay focused on what brings you joy and peace as often as you can." Again she brought one hand up to his heart. "And when you can't, you know I'll be right beside you."
     
    #12 Ravenbelle, Jun 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
    • Love Love x 1
  13. Grayson

    [​IMG]

    There were many things Dick missed during his time off the grid, and that was a feeling of human connectedness that came from being intimate with someone. It wasn’t sexual energy or anything like that, but just a feeling that someone was looking inside of you and seeing things that no one else could see or understand. He had something like that with Barbara once upon a time until he felt like she was more siding with Bruce against him. Starfire as well but her jealousy over his and Raven’s evolving friendship destroyed that. There were other women along the way as well, but Raven had a way of seeing him that no one else could.

    He briefly touched her hand, and then removed it from his chest. Dick pulled her into him and just let her lean against him. He was realizing that Raven was dealing with loneliness issues as well, and she had been dealing with them longer than he had. He replied, “You have nothing to apologize for at all. I hate think what might’ve happened tonight had you not been there at the Watchtower. Not to mention what I would be like right now without you here. I know that you’re dealing with your issues in terms of loneliness too. Maybe together we can overcome them.” Dick closed his eyes for a moment and just let the moment of him sharing time alone with someone wash over him. He began to stroke Raven’s hair gently and said, “You are not weak Raven in fact you’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. You at least are willing to admit your weaknesses and your flaws, and that makes you stronger than just about anyone I know.”


    Dick opened his eyes and said, “What brings me joy is knowing I’ve made a difference for someone. Whether it’s helping fix a water station in some part of the world Google can’t even find, or seeing the look on someone’s face just after they realize that Two-Face or The Joker are no longer a threat to them. That they’re going to live to see another sunrise.” Dick moved his left hand picked up a remote control. He pressed it twice and the lamp on the nearby table turned off and the fire in the fire place cut on instantly. Dick pulled Raven a bit closer and said, “Raven right now I don’t care about the current situation, what happened at the Watchtower, or the last five years. Right now, I just want to be and enjoy sharing this time with you. Everything else can wait until tomorrow morning. We won't get too many more moments like this for a while, so I say we enjoy it while we can.” With that Dick felt himself relax and just taking in the peace of the moment that was being offered to him.
     
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
  14. She blinked up at him worriedly as he pulled her hand away from his chest, but instead of pushing her away, he pulled her in. She could not underestimate how much strength that takes, especially for him. He'd learned so much since they'd last been side by side. So had she, but she had time to ponder that some other day. Now, she let herself relax against him, holding him close as his emotions settled and warmed in each other's company. For the first time in a long time Raven relaxed and closed her eyes without being constantly on guard or alert.

    She knew she could have handled the situation at the Watchtower in a more effective manner, but she was grateful that he was past it and he would rather she had been there than not. He needed her and she wasn't going to go anywhere anytime soon. She wished he wasn't so observant though, because knowing that she needed him as well might've just put more pressure on him to heal her when he needed to be healing himself.
    However, there was nothing she could do about that now and as his hand caressed her hair so gently she couldn't bring herself to worry. She just listened to his voice rumble in his chest before the words were spoken over her head and tightened her hold on him when he told her she was the strongest person he knew. She couldn't let him down. She wouldn't.

    He was taking her advice as it came, which she was grateful for, but as he spoke about what made him happy, her heart clenched with fear. Part of her was glad he hadn't changed, that he found more joy in the joy of others than anything else, but it scared her too. Some heroes live their whole lives sacrificing their precious time on this earth for strangers and she had never wanted that for Dick. If he recklessly threw himself back into his work she wasn't sure she'd be able to convince him to do otherwise. She sighed, again deciding to leave that fear for another day as the lights dimmed and the fire started, reflecting the warmth they built between each other. ​
    That she could definitely agree with. So she nodded softly against his chest and breathed, slowly and calmly. There was no place in the world that felt better than in Richard Grayson's arms as they held each other in the near-darkness and she had been almost everywhere.​
     
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
  15. Grayson

    [​IMG]

    The next morning Dick bolted downstairs and was surprisingly well rested. He didn’t know how long he and Raven held onto one another on the couch, but he was pretty sure it was close to 1am. Knowing that Raven was nearby helped Dick get some rest, and with the emotional toll of the day to come he knew he was going to need it. Try as he could the smell of bacon and eggs told him that Alfred was downstairs cooking. He entered the kitchen shaking his head and said, “I told you to rest up.” Alfred replied, “And I told you we’d see about that. If you like you can assist with the making of it.” Dick said patting him on the shoulder, “Far be it for me to interfere with the Master in the kitchen.” Dick made himself a cup of coffee just as the doorbell rang. He said, “I got this one Alfred.”

    Dick made his way to the front door and opened it up to see Commissioner Gordon standing there. Jim Gordon looked like he had seen the end of the world. Dick said, “Hi Commissioner come in.” Gordon entered carrying three boxes and said, “Nice to see you again Grayson.” The two men just looked at one another for a moment and then Gordon finally spoke. He said, “I’ve always suspected who Batman was but I never acted on it. I didn’t want the burden that the truth brought with it.” Shaking his head slowly he said, “I wish it was still a burden, because it would mean that they were alive.” Gordon bowed his head and Grayson put a hand on his shoulder. Dick said, “I’m sorry for your loss sir. Barbara was a good friend and a good ally.” Gordon looked up his eyes swimming in tears. He said, “When Batman first appeared I had no clue how we could work with him, and now I wonder how we can survive without him. Tim proved to be a more than worthy asset for us, and he was a fine young man. I’m sorry for your loss as well.”

    Gordon nodded and pulled out a thumb drive and gave it to Dick. He said, “Here’s the video footage of what happened. I followed them that night with a strike team it was The League of Assassins, but there was something different at play here. I can’t quite figure out what it was. From what I’ve seen first-hand I’m not sure what can stop them, so there isn’t much to go on at this point. I saw it all Grayson I saw my daughter die in front of me. Tim was literally torn apart he never saw it coming, and Bruce…he died in my arms. He smiled as he drew his last breath, and I believe it was because he saw Thomas and Martha. I did everything I could to make sure their identities were safe.”

    Alfred entered the room and said, “Excuse me Gentlemen but breakfast will be served on the back deck.”

    Dick replied, “Thank you Alfred.” They walked out to the back deck and sat down as there were now three places set with coffee. Gordon asked, “Company Grayson?”

    Dick replied, “A friend and a colleague helping me along the way.” Gordon replied, “Good to hear. Bullock and Montoya are helping me along. I’m about to reveal my own secret no one knows it, but they soon will.” Gordon took a sip of his coffee and then said “I’m retiring in one week. I’ve seen and experienced enough, and lost enough, and the short notice forces them not to have one of those God awful retirement parties and retrospectives.”

    Dick nodded as he took a drink of his coffee as well.
     
    • Thank Thank x 1
  16. Despite sleeping at a relatively late (early?) hour, Raven has always been an early bird and she woke a few minutes before Alfred to meditate on the roof as the sun rose. She would have offered to help him in the kitchen, but she would be a better help to him and Dick if she could control herself, so she focused on her own mental state and its stability despite the roiling emotions of her new roommates. Not to mention that she'd have to bear the grief of many of the heroes she saw yesterday again, but this time stronger. So she prepared herself, levitating on the roof in a pair of jeans, a black tank top, and her same hood and shoes from the day before. It may have looked strange to wear the hood that looked more like a scarf when it wasn't pulled over her head, but she'd always felt more comfortable having one on, even if she didn't use it.
    Once she felt sufficiently stable enough to weather the coming day, Raven teleported briefly to her self storage unit (from which she'd retrieved her outfit) not far from Jump City and pulled her dusty skull and crossbones tea leaf container off the top of one of her bookshelves with a nostalgic smile. She hadn't tasted her brew in far too long and thanks to the container, which had been spelled to keep the contents fresh, the leaves didn't smell the least bit stale. So she gathered a pinch into the tea ball sitting at the top and closed the container before teleporting back to the Wayne Manor's kitchen. As soon as she stepped in, she was assaulted by Alfred and Dick's simultaneous dread and subdued grief at once, but it didn't feel nearly as overwhelming as last night thanks to her focus on empathy this morning. Before he saw her silent entrance, Dick left to open the door for Commissioner Gordon so Raven opened some of the cabinets, looking for--
    "The tea cups are right over there. I boiled a pot for you, Miss. We have a wide selection of tea bags to choose from." Alfred said without even having to turn his head to know it was her. Raven smiled softly and sidled over to the hot teapot sitting by the stove, placing her full tea ball on the counter. "Thank You, Alfred. You have an impeccable memory." She gave him an appreciative nod and started pouring the hot water into a waiting black tea mug. Alfred turned his head to her with a wry smile she saw out of the corner of her eye and said, "I'd have to. Otherwise, none of the items lost in this mansion would ever magically turn up where the inhabitants could easily find them again."
    Raven blinked down at her full mug for a moment, knowing firsthand exactly what it was like to help others anonymously for years...She looked up to meet his eyes, but he had already lowered his to his task arranging the food, now near ready. "Breakfast will be served on the back deck, Miss. Now please excuse me, I must inform the gentlemen."
    She meant to stop him as he left, but thought better of it and let her tea ball sink to the bottom of her mug instead. Though she knew it had been difficult to work without recognition, she also knew it was something she enjoyed. She imagined those who didn't know or couldn't empathize with Alfred would assume he was underappreciated in this household. But it wasn't that anyone ever forgot to thank him, it's that he rarely allows them to. And that's only one of the qualities she deeply respected in the man.
    So once the taste was infused to the hot water in her mug, Raven stepped out onto the back deck and walked toward the seat that was missing a beverage with a polite "Good morning." as her otherworldy eyes met first Dick's, then Gordon's.​
     
    #16 Ravenbelle, Jun 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
    • Love Love x 1
  17. Grayson

    [​IMG]


    Gordon stood up and said, “Morning Raven. Clear to see that Grayson reached out to the right person to help him along the process.” Gordon sat back down and took a drink of his coffee. The conversation was basically non-existent until Gordon asked, “When Bruce died within two minutes Superman was on the scene. I have to know how did he know so quickly?” Dick replied, “Each utility belt is equipped with what is called a bio-beacon. If the pulse drops below a certain number a distress call is sent out to a relay in the Batcave. It then goes out to everyone on the emergency list. Since Barbara and Tim we’re already there the next person on the list was Superman. As much as Bruce was frustrated by his ‘boy-scout sentimentalities’ as he called it there was no one he trusted more than Superman.” Gordon nodded and said, “He did a lot to ensure everyone’s identity as well, so I’m grateful to him.” Dick nodded and the rest of the meal was eaten in silence. The grief was almost tangible coming from Dick & Gordon both of them wanted to wail and curse at God for this, but they knew that wouldn’t do them any good. Once Gordon finished he said, “Please tell Alfred thank you it was a wonderful breakfast.” Dick said, “I will I just wish our meeting again was under better circumstances.” Gordon replied, “So do I Grayson so do I.” He looked at Raven and said, “Nice seeing you again Raven.” He looked back to Dick and said, “I’ll see myself out.” Gordon left and Alfred was out almost immediately clearing the plates.

    Once it was time to go Dick was wearing just a leather jacket, T-shirt, and jeans. He drove the Ferrari and noticed the traffic getting into the city was at a standstill and Dick said, “Wow, Bruce would be…” looking at Raven and smirking he said, “Really embarrassed. He really would be wondering why everyone was making such a fuss over him. Well looks like we’re stuck here.” Just then a familiar gentleman in a navy blue suit and glasses walked up to the car. He said with a smile, “Looks like you two could use a lift. Go back about two miles to that dead end road and just hold on.” Dick did as Clark said and within seconds the car was airborne. Before they knew it they were on a side street and Superman said, “I did a quick check and there were no cameras watching us. I’m here not only as Superman but Clark Kent covering the event for the Daily Planet.” Dick said, “You really shouldn’t have Superman. It would’ve been okay.” Superman replied, “Dick if anyone has a right to be here seeing this within the city limits it’s you. You’re about two blocks from Wayne Towers. I thought that might be the right place for you to watch from. Take care you two.” Dick watched as Superman took flight and said, “No matter how many times I see it it’s so amazing to watch him take off.”


    Dick drove to Wayne Towers and used the secret garage and entrance. He said, “It’s one of the privileges of being a family member.” He took Raven’s hand and he could feel his anxiety level slowly rising. Dick said, “We can watch from Bruce’s private penthouse.” They took the private elevator and within seconds they had a breath-taking view as they entered the Penthouse. Dick said, “If you want anything just grab and have at it.” Dick sat on the couch with a bottle of water. He cut on the flat screen and turned to GNN. Dick bowed his head and said, “Okay just get through this one.” He raised his head and waited for Raven to join him on the couch. When she did Dick knew he wouldn’t let her hand go the whole time.
     
    #17 MST3K 4ever, Jun 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
    • You Get a Cookie You Get a Cookie x 1
  18. Raven gave the commissioner a grateful nod for his compliment, then sat with the gentlemen for a rather quiet breakfast. She'd never been a big breakfast person either way, but the emotions of the three men churning within her didn't help her appetite. So she finished her tea, but mostly stuck to eating the sliced fruit on her plate among the rest. At one point Dick answered Gordon's question about how swift Superman was in getting to the scene of the horrific crime, but other than that, there wasn't much conversation in the Manor, even after Batgirl's father had left. She felt a little bad about being glad that he'd gone, but the weight of losing his daughter was heavier than she could stand for so long.

    Just to be safe, Raven did a little extra meditating before she left, but not long after she'd headed out with Dick in the driver's seat did they get stuck in incredibly heavy traffic. ​
    Dick seemed pretty nonchalant about it, but she was a little worried that the person most deserving of a good view might be denied at the last minute. That is, until Kal-El arrived ad offered to help them out. Raven let out a small sigh of relief once they were in the air, though she found it a bit strange to be so high up without using her own powers of levitation.​
    Raven shook her head at Dick's unwavering downplay of how pivotal his role was in all this, how important his grief, especially as the last of the Bat heroes. She would have said something about it, but Clarke phrased it well enough and she hoped Dick got the message. And then they were alone again and she looked up at Dick before he said​
    Raven raised an eyebrow and floated back to his flashy car with a teasing "And what am I, chopped liver?"

    ~~~

    Thankfully, they got to Wayne Towers easily and inconspicuously (an apparent perk of of her best friend being a part of the family). Though she was rarely a fan of such extravagance, she did smile at his casual use of the term family without the accompanying pang of pain she would have expected. However, he did hold her hand again, and it made her only that much more aware of his increasing nervousness.
    Once they were up in the penthouse, Raven took a good look at the view, somewhat regretting her actions from last night again since she'd had little to no chance of appreciating the view outside earth. But she returned her mind to the present as the TV turned on and Dick sat waiting for her on the couch. She sat close and her hand was wrapped in his again. She knew it was just because he needed someone to hold onto in his grief, but she couldn't help wishing she could let herself get used to it. Regardless, Raven wouldn't let go throughout the entire memorial service.

     
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
  19. Grayson

    [​IMG]

    It had been more than a few hours since the service had ended, and the sun was slowly setting in the sky. Now there was the coverage from the cable news outlets to deal with. Some of the “experts” said that the deaths of the three Gotham heroes should send a message to the police. That they needed to stop relying on the “costumed freaks” to do their jobs. Others said that this sends the message that when it’s your time it’s your time. Some sickos online already started a “Dead Pool” as to which one was next to die. The odds on favorite was Superman to which Dick said, “The man has gone above and beyond for this planet and this is how they treat him? Sick jackasses.” Then there was the one that struck Dick hardest. They talked to a child on the street who asked, “If they can be beaten then what hope is there for us?” Dick had no answer for that one, and he knew that Bruce wouldn’t have one either. Dick said, “I think we should stay here for the night.” Looking out the window he said, “The traffic is just a nightmare right now, and frankly…” Dick turned back to Raven and said, “I’m not up for going back tonight. I don’t know why. We got all the luxuries of Wayne Manor here well except for Alfred. Speaking of which.” Dick called Alfred and explained they wouldn’t be home that night and to get some rest.

    Dick walked over to the flat-screen pulled out the flash drive from Gordon. He looked at it for a second and said, “That’s odd.” He showed it to Raven and said, “There’s a League of Assassins insignia on this.” Dick’s curiosity was suddenly going into overdrive. He put the flash drive into the TV and sat down. Dick was stunned to see the image of a weathered and worn out Talia Al Goul fill the screen. She said, “Hello Richard. If you are watching this, then my servant was able to do his duty before he died. I had him switch the flash drive Gordon had with this one. I knew it would only be a matter of time before you notified. I saw you at the airport, and make your way through the grounds at Wayne Manor.” Dick sat on the couch and leaned forward as images of his arrival and entrance to Wayne Manor were shown. She continued, “Your mentor, my beloved, were killed by not only the League but any alien species as well. For some time, there had been a growing displeasure with my father and his leadership within the League. They felt he had become too old and weak. Just before the death of your mentor and his associates my father was killed.” The image that Dick never thought he would see in a thousand years filled the screen. The great and powerful Ras Al Goul was beaten and on his knees. One of the men in a hood said, “For failure and incompetency, your sentence Ras Al Goul is death.” A whistle of wind and a flash of steel went by the screen as the head of Ras Al Goul fell backwards. Followed by the screams of Talia Al Goul. She continued, “I have also included the footage of you mentor. My advice walk away Richard, and never look back.”

    Dick was ready to stop the video, but then he stopped himself. He took Raven’s hand and looked at her. Dick said, “I have to know.” With that the video rolled forward and the images of Robin laying on the ground convulsing, Batgirl screaming in agony, and Batman struggling to reach his feet only to be beaten down were almost too much for Dick to take. As he began to shake and struggling to close his eyes but he couldn’t. Dick saw something that caught his attention as he stopped the video and rewound it slowly. He said, “Raven, Robin’s insignia it’s moving almost. Something is going on here.” Dick paused the video, walked over to the TV, and magnified the image. He looked at it and then at Raven as he asked, “What the Hell is that?”
     
    • You Get a Cookie You Get a Cookie x 1
  20. Raven had once again migrated to the windows as Dick got himself uselessly wrapped up in the news coverage following the service. She heard the TV and Dick's occasional comments, but didn't let her eyes stray from the setting sun and the outline of the glowing city. She was hoping her best friend would follow her example, but realized the subtle effort was futile until a child's voice said, ​
    Raven turned, registered the ambivalence with which Dick reacted and sighed as he came to join her by the window. She watched his reflection instead of the setting sun for a few minutes before meeting his eyes when he turned to her. Raven nodded when he decided to stay here, she'd do whatever made him more comfortable at the moment. While he made a quick call to Alfred, Raven grabbed a water bottle and meandered back to the couch, pulling off her boots to curl up on one side of it. Then she sensed a strange anxious dread and found Dick looking a flashdrive he was apparently going to attach to the flatscreen. She wasn't sure what it was, but if it was making him feel that way she definitely wanted to know before he viewed its contents. However, when he told her of the insignia printed on it, she furrowed her eyebrows and decided not to prevent him from using it. This could have to do with his safety and she was grateful he was willing to let her stay in the room to figure out what it could contain.

    Once the single file on the drive loaded and began, her astonishment and Dick's started in tandem and Raven grit her teeth, narrowing her eyes at Talia before short clips of Dick's arrival played and her anger and concern sparked and burned slowly hotter as the video continued. She committed the words to memory, knowing the message to be important enough to take lives over. However, Richard wasn't the only one entirely shocked to watch the death of the former leader of the League of Assassins. She shouldn't have been so stunned to find that a flashdrive with that insignia would contain graphic content, but she would never have expected to witness this chilling death in particular. If Ra's Al Ghul was considered too old and weak, who could have possibly taken his place? She didn't have time to put much thought into such a question before Talia's words refocused her attention to Batman's remaining son.​
    Raven immediately reached for the remote to stop it before he could torture himself further after the memorial service, but her hand paused when Richard reached for it himself. She thought for a moment that he would make the smart choice and not push his limits; she should have known better and when the file kept playing, she grabbed for the pause button again, but Richard stopped her, meeting her eyes as the footage began to roll and squeezing her heart painfully:​
    He was right, in a way. She couldn't take this choice away from him and he might not get the closure he needs without this, but did it have to be today? Like this? Raven winced as his internal wounds ripped open within them, but she did what she always does when he needs her. She stayed right by his side, keeping a tight grip on his hand even when he began shaking. Raven had been witness to more painful deaths before, but nothing was more painful than Richard's reaction to them.
    Her only reprieve came when the sounds from the TV stopped and Richard's grief gave way mostly to curiosity and confusion. He stood and she followed, blinking the tears from her eyes to see the frozen image on the screen more clearly. The screen didn't show a very clear picture though, as the fighting had ensued in near perfect darkness. Without the lights provided from various gadgets of the Bat-family as they desperately fought for their lives, it would have been tough to record anything that happened. The shape Richard was asking her about was definitely there, but she couldn't make out any distinguishing features.
    "I'm..not sure. I see what you're talking about, but I can't identify it..maybe it's the alien species Talia mentioned." Raven took a deep breath and looked up at her best friend. He had that analyzing look on his face, trying to mask the worlds of hurt under his skin. He was a detective through and through, but this wasn't a mystery he should be solving right now. "You can ask Superman tomorrow if he's seen anything like this, but for right now, there's nothing you can do. You should get some rest. It's been a long day, Richard. Take a break; get some sleep." She murmured, turning off the TV so the room's only light came from the city, lit up like the stars above it. Only then did she finally let go of his hand so she could place her palm on his cheek and stroke it softly with her thumb. Raven would stay if he asked her, but she knew he had a lot to work through. She just hoped he would take her advice and find some peace before he slept tonight.
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    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 1