This is a story I have been working on for a while. It is an Alternate Universe Teen Titans. I took every spare moment for three days and wrote the whole story out… 2 years ago. I loved it and wanted to post it online, but I needed someone to Beta it. Well, I found a volunteer and her critic shattered all my confidence and I couldn’t even look at the story again. Now, I am back to it and there are parts I really like, some areas need work. I am going to post what I have, because the blog is for my work in progress. I have to keep reminding myself of that. Recommendations and suggestions are welcome.
Prisoners of War
Character List: (The Titans have many names, so here is a list to keep them straight)
Nightwing/ Richard Grayson / Dick
Flash / Wallace West / Wally
Changeling / Beast Boy / Garfield Logan / Gar
Jericho / Joseph Wilson / Joe / Joey
Raven / Rachel Roth
Starfire / Kory Anders / Koriandr’
Cyborg / Victor Stone / Vic
Wonder Girl / Donna Troy
As the months went by Nightwing sought to find his place in the new world he found himself. He and Wally were having trouble with the adjustment, while Gar and Joe seemed to have found their place.
Joe was seen most often in the garden, sketching or painting. He was also known to join Raven in meditation. Dick had given up trying to understand Joe’s quiet devotion. Then one day he found Joe painting in the garden with a young dark haired girl. She looked curiously familiar.
Joe grinned at him. Signing in welcome.
/Who?\ Dick signed back. Preferring to keep their communication private until he knew who he was dealing with.
/Rachel\, was his response.
He looked at the girl in confusion. Rachel? Where had he heard that name? It took a moment, but it finally occurred to him. Gar had mentioned Raven’s mother used to call her Rachel.
Dick signed, /Raven?\
“I know that!” the girl exclaimed. She looked at him briefly with those happy innocent blue eyes, then they were all for Joe. “That was raven.” Jericho nodded smiling at her encouragingly. “I’ve been learning to sign.” Her fingers moved in the air hesitantly. /Joseph\ /friend\ /happy\ & /love\.
Joe grinned and signed back, /Wonderful.\
A blush suffused her face and she ducked her head. She went back to her painting, but the color did not leave her face.
Dick watched Joe as the mute man looked at Rachel. That soft tenderness in his eyes.
Joseph loved her. This small innocent part of Raven’s soul.
God help him.
Joe had one little corner of this world that was all his.
While Gar, he seemed to have embraced the whole situation. Changeling now had free access to the Beast he once feared. It allowed him to move freely about the city. He also had developed friendships among the others living in the castle. Garfield Logan had struggled through French & Spanish in high school. Needless to say none of it had stuck. Who would have believed he would have a knack for alien languages. The native’s coughing growling language came easily in his Beast form. He spoke, what he called a crude universal language and a soon-to-be-extinct language he picked up from a couple fellow captives.
Though ‘captive’ was not the correct word. Apparently their planet had been at war. They had been battling in space when the planet imploded. They were just floating in space waiting to die, when something blacker than space found them. It brought them here. They looked on Raven as their savior. The two young men, Zwei & Den Onoma, were around Gar’s age and seemed to enjoy his easy humor.
Dick was still trying to understand the dynamics of the castle social structure. Their didn’t appear to be servants in the castle. Each of the other residents preformed the different needed tasks, as it suited them. They cooked, cleaned, gardened, or tended the animals. There didn’t appear to be any command structure, so arguments and fights broke out occasionally. With each man seeming to have an attachment to Raven, he had expected fierce struggles for her attention, but their was some kind of understanding of who was needed when, depending on Raven herself.
Most frustrating was that Joe and Gar seemed to understand the system, but were unable to explain it to him.
Dick remembered one day the Titans had been watching Raven deal with the local leaders. She almost always dealt with them in full demon form. The large furred creatures towered over her human form. The demon looked down on them. Unfortunately, something was said that enraged her and she attacked. Her nails raked down the body of the offending figure, leaving a bloody mess behind. Gar immediately flew into action. His hawk form brought him to the fight and he dropped the Beast on her. He attacked her and drew her attention away from the wounded man. The others gathered the bloody figure up and took it away, leaving the two combatants plenty of room. Nightwing took a step forward, but Jericho put a hand on his arm.
Joe signed, /he knows what he is doing.\
Nightwing wanted to object. The leader in him rebelled at the thought of not aiding his fellow Titan. Reluctantly, he held back and let Gar handle it.
Dick was shocked. He had never seen Gar like this. The red and green figures were holding nothing back. When Nightwing fought it was with the knowledge he would not kill his opponent. These two had murder in their eyes.
Blood fell like rain.
Gar’s fur looked brown it was so soaked with blood. They were going to kill each other.
When they crashed to the ground in front of him he was horrified to see Raven’s nails protruding through Changeling’s back. He in turn had his jaws around her throat. They stilled as their blood soaked the ground. Their lives slipping away with each drop. Slowly they both shrank back to their human forms. Gar collapsed, his head resting just below Raven’s chin. She reached up one bloody hand to hug Gar’s head to her. Raven’s eyes closed and she seemed to shimmer. Gar’s wounds disappeared before his eyes and appeared on Raven. For a moment she looked dead, with hers and Gars wounds crisscrossing her face. Then all of the wounds disappeared completely. She passed out. Gar stood, except for the torn clothes and blood, he looked like nothing had happened. He gently picked up Raven’s limp figure and carried her away.
Dick turned to see Joe watching him intently. His eyes seemed to ask, now you understand?
Nightwing gave a shaky nod. He really hadn’t understood what Gar meant about having a beast inside him. He never would have believed Gar was as powerful and destructive as Raven.
It had forced him to look at Gar differently.
Dick was saddened to admit to himself, if he had seen this part of Gar on Earth, he would have distrusted him. He would not have believed Gar could control that creature and the shape shifter would have been a danger to everyone. But here… Here Gar and Raven balanced each other.
He asked Gar a few days later what had Raven done before the Titans came here. The look in his green eyes had been very sad. “She killed people.”
He realized Joe and Gar, in their own ways, each felt they were saving Raven. Dick could not get past the destruction she and Trigon rained on Earth. So many people had died. When they left home the planet was half destroyed. It could recover with time, but it would forever bare the scars of its almost doom.
He missed home. Flying through the streets of his city Bludhaven, Kory, Bruce, Titans Tower. Only once in his life had he felt this lost. The night his parents died. His life had ended but his heart still beat. Batman had given him a new direction and a reason to keep living.
Now he had to find his own way.
At least for a time Wally was just as lost.
They had been there for approximately six months, when the attack came. The red suns were blotted out by 9 large space ships. No contact was made. The ships arrived and attacked. Raven’s people responded. Using their physical abilities and gifts they were able to bring down one ship, it crashed to the surface. The rest were absorbed into Raven’s Soul Self. The last ship disappeared and the people cheered.
Their god had proven herself again.
As her soul self returned to her body, Raven collapsed. Flash caught her just as she started to fall. To the crowd it was like she just leaned back into an embrace. They could not see the shaking of her limbs or her pale exhaustion.
“Raven?” Flash asked.
“My room.” she whispered.
Before she could close her eyes, she felt her bed beneath her.
He watched her with concern, she looked so young and weak. “Raven?”
Her tired eyes opened and looked at him. “What happened? You were not this weak on Earth.” Wally asked.
She licked her lips and spoke quietly. “Trigon and I feed off each others power. Together we are much stronger.”
“Then why do you live so far away if he makes you stronger?”
A stubborn look entered her eyes. “Trigon would use me like a weapon. He sees me as only an extension of his power.” Her eyes closed, “I will not be used.” .
He almost missed the breathy whisper that seemed directed more at herself than him. “I will be myself.”
Wally just watched her breath. His whole life he had struggled with living a normal life and being the Flash. People kept demanding he use his power. Forcing him to be a hero. When all he wanted was to be left alone. Just a college kid, just a man.
She opened her eyes seeing him watch her.
“Do you need anything?” he asked.
She gave a tired nod. “Sleep and ” It came out slowly with a long pause. “please send someone to hold me.” Her eyes closed again.
He didn’t move. He couldn’t move. Something inside him wanted to stay.
An indeterminate amount of time passed. Finally her eyes opened again. They were full of a hopeless emptiness.
“Would I be enough?” he asked.
The look in her eyes eased and she nodded.
He climbed in next to her. He lay her head on his chest and she fell asleep.
Later, when the nightmares struck, he held her tight. He whispered to her, promising to protect the woman in his arms. She calmed and slept.
After that day, Wally seemed to be more content with his situation. He found a place for himself.
Dick was still struggling. He had to do something with himself.
He found Raven in the library. She looked up from the book she was reading. “Hello, Richard.”
“Raven, those ships that attacked. Who were they?”
“They are enemies of Trigon.”
“Will they send more ships?”
“Do you have any defenses? A warning system?”
“No,” she responded. “My people are not technologically advanced. We have look outs, who keep an eye on the skies and I have a magic shield that warns me of an attack.”
“You need something that will detect them before they come in close enough to attack.”
“We don’t have any way of doing that.”
“That ship they brought down. It has technology, it could be used to create a defense system.” Dick urged.
“Are you asking me something Richard?”
“I want to go to the ship and harvest what tech I can.”
“Okay.” She said looking back at her book.
“That’s it? No warning not use it to flee the planet.”
She didn’t look up. “We both know why you won’t do that.”
Nightwing left, frustration vibrating off him.