November 25, 2014: Raven asks to meet Nightwing in Gotham and the two have a heart-to-heart overlooking the city.


A building rooftop with a view of Gotham at night.



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Mood Music:

Raven actually fits in better in Gotham than anyone has any right to. People give the city a pretty bad name, to be honest. Sure it rains a lot and it is almost perpetually dark, but when has that ever been a problem? Seated on the edge of one the tenament buildings with her legs draped over the side and her hood pulled up over her head, a pair of ear buds run down into her pocket now that Gar and Vorpal have introduced her to iPads.

The light patter of rain against the material of her jacket does not encourage her to vacate the otherwise open panoramic view of the city from on high. Nor does it do anything to give her a bright presentation as she sits almost exclusively in darkness watching the people far below her as she awaits the individual to whom she has come by to visit.

"You -had- to pick a rooftop, at night, in the rain," is heard from the shadows before the figure steps into the light. It seems that he's already dressed for his 'night job', in his black and blue uniform and high-tech domino mask. He is, however, grinning as he moves to sit next to the woman, totally comfortable with the height despite being on the edge of the building.

"Everything all right? I was wondering how you'd gotten on, if they talked you into joining the Titans…but I don't think you left me with a forwarding address…or number."

Raven reaches up to remove one of the ear buds when she hears the familiar voice from behind in one of the thicker shadows produced by a stair access down into the upper levels of the apartment building. She watches Nightwing make his way over to the edge of the building and slide down beside her and distinctly remembers moments from their youth where his absolute lack of fear of heights was a subject of much debate… or rather just curiousity, since Raven very rarely ever spoke. Much less engaged in debate.

"I did." She confirms with a nod and glances down over the city of gloom. "I did not have a regular address or number until recently or I would have left you one." Matter of factly stated as she reaches up to pull her hood back off the twists of black hair cascading down over her shoulders. "How are you?" It sounds awkward, but genuine. She has never been particularly efficient at small talk.

And Nightwing never understood why others…never understood that lack of fear. After all, he was practically born on a trapeze. He nods at the explanation, believing her. Of course, he can't help but reach over to give her at least a one-armed hug before setting her free once again. "I missed you," that much seems to be honestly stated as well. As for the rest of the answer, there's a shrug. "Things…are, I guess. They're busy, they're frustrating, and they're pretty much the way they always are." There's another smile though. "What about you? Here to stay for a bit?"

Raven always got it.

She understands people better than anyone gives her credit for because she can feel a lot of the things they feel as they feel them. She knows their emotions because they're clear to her as an open book with the pages in a big font. Never once did it occure to her that he would be terrified of something like heights anymore than she would be terrified of the depths of the abyss.

Then there's the hug. She actually glances around once to make certain neither Keith, Gar, or Roy were in sight and actually leans into Dick's armored chest. Something about a hug always pleased her, though she would never say as much. Not that she was, herself, a hugger. But when it means something, she can feel that too and Dick always meant it. She always enjoyed that.

"Things are." She seconds, settling her palms on the edge of the building and staring down into the streets below. "For now, yes. Probably not in Gotham, but certainly close. I am rooming at the Tower."

"The Tower? Did they rebuild it?" Or is this another 'Tower'? "Gotham isn't for everyone and I'd like to see you somewhere less…dark." She has enough darkness that something about her life should be bright, even if it's just the city she lives in. Nightwing also looks down at the people below, "It says something, I think. For the people who live here."

He glances at Raven for a moment before he looks back, "Some may leave, but most…even though Gotham's dark, has villains like the Joker, and has a very high crime rate, they stay. Maybe they're really, really hopeful…" he trails off before looking back. "I'm sorry…I'm just yammering."

"It has gone through several incarnations." Raven states of the Tower, "Rebuilt by magic, rebuilt into a castle. Nothing is ever boring." Even if listening to her say it probably sounds as though it is the definition of boring, what with her dull tone of voice as if it is very terribly so.

Truth is, she can feel the darkness, but it is not the way people 'see' the darkness. Gotham has its fault, most of which Dick points out, but at its heart Raven can feel something far more reassuring and almost welcoming. A promise that has yet gone unfulfilled. She has never baulked away from the city, even considering moving her on more than one occation. Perhaps she senses a kindred spirit in the city itself?

"I think you are righter than you give yourself credit for, Richard." Jutting her pale chin out towards the city. "Standing in this kind of adversity and finding a way to still come together in a time like the holliday seasons? This city has so much more to offer than people see. Something primal and deserving, just hidden under layers of dirt. Like a diamond."

"I see. Interesting." He's not too sure how he feels about there being such an obvious headquarters, but then again, he's a Bat. His isn't the outward, public sort of attention. Nightwing looks back out at the city as she indicates it and he actually grins, "A diamond, huh? Maybe a diamond still hidden under layers and layers of coal. But…I think you're right about the Holidays. It's like a layer of gloom has been lifted and everyone is trying."

It probably doesn't hurt that he ups his volunteering around the Holidays as well and gets to see more of that Hope. "I'm guessing you didn't want to see me to hear me wax poetic about Gotham though. If you ever need to get away from the Tower, I have a guest room."

"Be careful, Richard. I will take you up on that." Raven counters with the very spectre of a grin crossing one corner of her pale face. Her fingers close around the edge of the building, however, as she considers what actually brought her here. That she has something to ask, that is so unlike her. That she has a question that she cannot herself answer because, as much as she understands about other people's emotions she is lax in understanding her own.

"Have you ever been in love?" It might seem out of the blue or from some strange corner, especially considering the source. Maybe made more so because she gives no indication that anything so pointed would ever be asked in the first place.

Dick Grayson's grin widens, "Oh, I hope you do! I feel like the place gets lonely since I'm not there very often." The pause and her expression cause his smile to fade and he watches, waiting for what is to come next. He's always tried to be patient when it comes to having a conversation, rare as they are, with Raven.

The question, though, catches him by surprise. "Yes, I have. Why…do you think you might be in love with someone?"

Raven is completely alien to the notion of sharing her own feelings and emotions. This is new ground, to say the least, and she hesitates in ways that seem more like a pre-teen trying to explain a playground crush rather than an adult woman trying to explain her personal desires for some other person. "I do not know. I do not know what it feels like. I have never had much use for it and certain did not feel comfortable enough to share with anyone if I did."

Her expression remains as ever, impassive. "It has been suggested that I do. That my actions are those of someone who loves someone, but I do not know if it is in jest or if I am putting off signals that I do not understand to control." Of course her intensions are to find a way to 'hide' what she feels, how would it be any other way?

"Suggested by whom?" Nightwing asks. "I mean, I think love is different for everyone, but I guess…there are some similarities." He pauses to think a moment, "Do you like being around them? When they're gone, do you miss them and when they return, does your stomach sort of give a flip-flop? Do you look at them and just sort of want to memorize how they look in just that instant…and then do you want to kiss them? And you feel like nothing in the world could touch you when you're in their arms?"

Raven considers this questions intently, analysing her own feelings very precisely. If there is any quality about her that stands out, it is analysis and this often to great effect or great deturence. "To a degree, yes. He gets on my nerves." She finally says with a dip of her head in a nod, hair falling down around her shoulders and face, "But I continue to want him to do so. I do not want to kiss him, however. Is it possible he just a very close friend? Would that too be love?"

Nighting's grin returns, "It could be that, yes. It's also love, just not…romantic love. Friendship is a form of love, sure. Do I dare ask who it is? I mean, if it's Vorpal or Gar, you're sort of out of luck anyhow because they're into each other as far as I can tell." He doesn't want to tease her too much because he knows this can't be easy for her to ask or admit…but he's very, very curious.

"Yes." Raven seems satisfied, "It is Garfield. Keith is the one who teased me about these feelings so I felt it was fair to them both to explore if what he teased was true. So that I could appropriately distance myself to not make anything awkward for them." As matter of factly as one would talk about a turn in the weather. Like distancing herself from her friends is second nature.

Gar? That certainly took Nightwing by surprise but he tries to regain his composure before talking. "Well, I mean…last I heard, Gar and Vorpal were pretty heavy into each other romantically, but…I think it's perfectly ok to see him as a friend. I know you like to distance yourself, but…Gar's a good guy." He's not going to say anything else as it -has- been a while since he's hung out with the other. "You could certainly do worse."

"Yes, they are together." Raven does not sound any particular way about this other than stating the facts. "From what you have said I believe that Vorpal was in error about my feelings, anyways." She says with a shrug, looking down over the city of Gotham without anything to her expression or tone. No regret, no relief. Just flat intonation. "I never thought it was anything to be concerned about." Which is how she would view 'love', "But a second opinion never hurts."

"I don't know all that much about Vorpal, but he sounds like a tease and he sounds like he was just trying to get under your skin. Rile you up," Nightwing points out. "Also, you said that you weren't sure about those feelings anyhow, so he probably took that and ran with it." Others, who don't know Raven as well, would probably do just that. "Friendships are good things, Raven. You should keep it, if you want to keep it."

"Of course I want to keep it." Raven says quietly, perhaps coming to that conclusion at that very moment. Though it is without a doubt that she has thought it before, nothing she does is spur of the moment, it is against her very nature. "He is a tease." Again she states this as fact, "And I will get him back for it, I think. That is what a friend would do, right? Tease him?"

Nightwing pulls one leg up to rest his foot on the ledge, "Well, that's a good thing then," he affirms. The next question has him tilting his head some, "Who, Vorpal? Yeah, from what I gather, he is. Do you want to be friends with him too? The thing is…" he shifts his position so that he's facing Raven a little more, "Real friends don't expect you to act a certain way. You don't have to do something…teasing, going places, whatever…if you don't want to, and if they're a friend, they'll be ok with that. Do you -want- to tease him?"

"Yes, I think I do." Raven does not smile or grin in this regard. In fact she says it rather like a robot, perhaps she already has a mind for how to do so, "I do want to be his friend. I just do not understand him. Even less so than everyone else. He is alien to me, after so many years trying to figure out human emotions, his are very chaotic."

Looking back out at the cityscape, Nightwing is silent for a moment as if considering her words and the fact that she's talking about this with -him-…and what it could mean, if anything. "If you -want- to tease him, then by all means, do it. Maybe you should tell him this though? That you want to be his friend but you aren't sure how to understand him."

"I believe that he would take it as an excuse to try and get to know me." Raven clearly doesn't understand friendship all that well. Or rather, has a very specific understanding of it as it relates to her specifically. "This seems the best way. Show him that I am okay with him and that I do not want to kill him."

Nightwing actually laughs at that, "Yes. Letting him know that you don't want to kill him is always a positive step towards friendship." He then waves a hand, "I'm sorry. Yes. Definitely let him know that you don't want to kill him and I think that if you approached him with friendship, he'll probably respond in a positive manner. Most people do."

"I do not know how I could be more positive in this regard." Raven actually seems exasperated about this particular point, even raising her hands in a shrug, "I offered to be the one to stab him with the magical sword. I was certain that this was a clear indication of my desire to be friendly."

There's a brief cough before Nightwing manages to clear his throat, "I'm sorry, but…why did he need to be stabbed with a magical sword? Was this something life-saving? I mean, call it crazy, but I've found that most people don't consider being stabbed as friendly overtures."

Raven tilts her head at Dick, "I am hardly a murder, Richard." Said in a hushed tone, "Of course I intended to save him by stabbing him with a magical sword. What other possible reason could their be?" As if. Certainly she has to know this right?


Nightwing just holds up his hands, "I have no idea, Raven. No idea. I don't have much experience with magical swords. I know you're not a murderer." What goes on with the Titans seems to stay with the Titans. "Look, I don't know what goes on over there, but I know I'd trust you with my life. I'm sure Vorpal will be thrilled at your offer of friendship, but maybe you should come out and say 'I'd like to be friends'. Sometimes us guys can be pretty dense."

Raven presses her lips together into a fine pale line, "That is a fact." So blunt, but still. She seems content. Far more so than she was several minutes ago, though nothing outward has changed about her expression. Just seems more loose. "Thank you for your advice, Richard."

"Any time, Raven, you know that," Nightwing looks back out at the city, "In fact, I'm rather honored that you came to me with this question. I think, when you're in love, you'll realize it. It's like friendship, but so much more. I hope you get to experience it one day."

Raven considers that statement for several extra moments, staring down into the orange glow that dots bits of the distant city below them, "Me too." She finally says, though she is uncertain that she can ever allow herself that. It isnt' that she doesn't ''want'' to feel these things, just that she's afraid of what it would mean if she let into them.

There's another stretch of quiet before Nightwing offers, "It's not like what they say, you know…at least, not -real- love. You know that they say that you sort of lose yourself? I haven't found that. I find that when it's real love, you are more of yourself. You're just…enhanced…and you enhance the other. Just thought I'd put that out there."

He's quiet another moment before he gets to his feet, standing at the ledge of the building, "I should start my patrol. Interested in coming along…for old-time's sake?"

Raven lifts her head, and her expression, out of the darkness and nods once. "That is acceptable." With a twist she stands up from the ledge and dusts off her hands on the legs of her ratty black jeans. Then whips up her hood over the length of black hair. In the center of her forehead flashes a bright red for a moment, then fades into the shadow created by the hanging hood. "I will adapt my costume to suit Gotham's particular flare." That is, she'll keep it simple. Her jacket becomes more like a cloak over the Misfits hoodie she's wearing beneath, doc martins, and sleek black jeans rather than the ratty affair she was wearing previously. "Are you certain it will be okay?"

"I think you might be surprised," Nightwing points out with a hint of a grimace, "We have all sorts running about Gotham now. Caped, magic…it's not just us. I suppose it's a good thing since we can't always be everywhere, but sometimes it's just damned frustrating. Too many fingers in the pot, if you know what I mean. But it's definitely ok." After all, she's with him! A grapple-gun is pulled out and aimed at a couple of rooftops over, "Shall we?"

Raven slowly rises up above the ledge where they've been sitting, a fine purple shimmer radiating around her as she takes flight, "Gotham has certainly changed, then." She remembers the days where fear of the Bat kept most heroes away, but times change. People change. Is she different, she wonders. Can she change? Can she let someone in the way Vorpal said? Fall in love? It is a question for another time, as her eyes settle down on the streets below. Darkness waiting for them to intervine on behalf of the ray of hope that the masked vigilantes represent.

The masked vigilantes and, for one night, the daughter of a demon.

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