Chapter 1: Chapter One
Taking Her Home to Batman
“Raven.” He asked hesitantly. “Are you sure you want to do this?”
“Dick.” She responded in tone of ultimate suffering. “I’m sure. I’ve made my decision, so please, stop asking. Because I love you, and if you ask me again you may find yourself on a distant plane of Azar, with no one around for light years. You don’t want that do you?” Looks like the one she was currently giving him made acutely aware of his girlfriend’s half-demon side. And reminded him why getting on her bad side was such a terrible idea.
But still, they were dating, and he had a duty to warn her.
A week ago Dick had received a phone call from Alfred requesting that he bring “Miss Raven” by the mansion. Bruce wanted to meet her and have dinner together. Bruce, his adoptive father for over 10 years wanted to meet the girl in his life. This was big.
In the past Bruce had either ignored or hated anyone Dick had dated. To such a point where he stopped writing home about the woman currently in his romantic circle. Not that there had ever been many. Often her was too busy leading the team, dealing with criminals, or moving back between Jumpy City and Gotham during emergencies. Any woman lasting a month was monumental. Until Raven that is.
Of course this was Batman he was dealing with. And Dick knew that spying was Bruce’s version of “I care about you. Be careful.” Just, you know, without the part that dealt with actually expressing those emotions. At the same time, he had known about Dick’s former girlfriends and had shown no interest in meeting any of them unless it was to make clear the facts that he not only hated her (whoever “her” currently was) but that repercussions for hurting a member of the Batclan were brutal.
Raven and Dick had been dating for a year and a half. Something that Dick suspected played a large part in the invitation they had received. Half-demon or not Raven knew messing around with Batman was a bad idea. She’d heard countless stories from villains, other super heroes, and Dick himself of just how terrifying the Dark Knight really was.
He’d told her they could say no. That she didn’t have to meet Bruce unless she wanted to. It was obvious she didn’t want to. Who on Earth would want to meet Batman? He’d told her, in all honesty, that he wouldn’t blame her for saying no.
But she knew the truth. Dick rarely saw Bruce after the move to Jump City. Raven knew that Batman had been a father to Dick ever since he lost his own. And while the road hadn’t always been smooth, Bruce had never tried to hurt Dick. He’d always tried to do right by the boy who had fallen into his life one terrible night. He didn’t have children, and was unlikely to. So accepting Dick into the family made perfect sense. He wouldn’t blame her if she said no. But in his eyes there was a small measure of pleading for her to say yes. Raven could swallow her fear for Dick. It was a tiny sacrifice when you looked at the bigger picture.
Raven wanted to go for another reason. She wanted Bruce (and Alfred) to know she was serious about her relationship with Dick. They were both in their early twenties and Raven had no intentions of staying in a long-term relationship unless it was heading somewhere. For her and Dick to head anywhere she would need Batman’s approval. And his respect.
So at 7:45 Wednesday night Dick had come into Raven’s room to find her putting the final touches on her make-up. She was wearing a floor-length sapphire gown with cap sleeves and a scoop neck that showed off the tiniest bit of cleavage. Her ears held simple diamond studs Dick had given her for their one year which was accompanied by a necklace featuring a tiny replica of the Hope Diamond which matched the color of her dress exactly. Raven’s lips were a soft pink that made him think of ballet shoes with the barest hint of dark blue shadow around her purple eyes. She finished it all with silver heals and a small silver bag that she was currently dropping her communicator into.
“You look- amazing, beautiful, gorgeous. Pick a word and it fits.” Dick was rewarded with a soft blush fanning out across pale cheeks.
“You look pretty good yourself bird-boy.” He was wearing a black suit with dress-shoes and a dark blue tie. His mask was off (he rarely wore it around the Tower anymore and never when he was with Bruce or Alfred at Wayne Manor) so Raven could look directly into his blue eyes shining with nerves. “Are you scared Bruce won’t like me?” She asked with a small smile wrapping her arms around his neck.
“No I’m scared you don’t realize what you’re getting into. He’s really intense Rae. Are you sure?” She rolled her eye smiling widely.
“What did I tell you about asking me that question?” The empath asked softly. “I’m not going to change my mind. Yes I want to go. Yes I want to meet Bruce and Alfred. And yes I’m fully aware of how intimidating Bruce can be. I handled Trigon. I’m sure I can handle Batman. Now are you ready?”
“Yeah, let’s go.” Since the Titans were trying to Do Their Part To Save The Environment they would be using Raven’s transport abilities to get to Wayne manor. Dick knew Alfred would approve and privately thought Bruce would as well.
‘Here we go.’ Dick thought as Raven’s magic enveloped them.
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Taking Her Home To Batman
Raven had teleported them right to the door of Wayne Manor saving them the long walk up the hill. Clutching Raven’s hand tightly Dick rang the doorbell and tried not to fidget. Less than a minute later Alfred appeared at the door and ushered them inside.
“Miss Raven.” He greeted her warmly with a small bow. Raven smiled back as warmly as she could manage. “And Master Richard.” Dick let go of her hand to embrace Alfred. He’d let the older man go and was holding her hand again when Alfred continued. “You should know better than to ring the bell.” The old butler admonished gently. “This is still your home, sir.”
“Sorry Alfred.” Raven watched in amusement as Dick blushed under the Englishman’s disapproving glare.
His face softened a moment later as he motioned them through the hallway and further back into the house. “Master Bruce is waiting in the dining room. Dinner will be in a few moments and then you can retire to the parlor.”
‘Parlor?’ Raven mouthed at Dick in something very close to alarm. Dick smiled and shook his head giving Raven’s hand a reassuring squeeze.
They followed Alfred silently until they reached the dining room. The room was huge. Raven wasn’t sure what she’d been expecting; it was a mansion after all, but not this for sure. Columns that seemed to be part of the very walls supported a high vaulted ceiling. A huge window was covered by dark red curtains that spoke both of age and elegance when they rustled gently in the breeze of the open window. The table looked like it could set at least 30 people though only the first three spots sported table settings. Raven reminded herself of the great temples on Azar and tried not to gape.
Bruce was sitting at the head of table, but he stood to greet his two guests. Like Alfred he greeted Raven first firmly grasping her hand before gently kissing it with a small inclination of his head. Raven inclined hers in turn with a small smile playing on her lips. Then he turned to Dick.
He seemed surprised to find his adoptive son at his eye level but he smiled widely. “Dick.” he said pulling the boy into a hug that was gladly returned. “How have you been? You’re taking care of yourself?” Dick nodded embarrassed. “Let’s sit down and eat.”
Raven raised an eyebrow in wonder. This was not the Bruce Wayne she was warned of. She was surprised – and suspicious.
Dinner not only passed enjoyably, it was delicious. Alfred had truly out done himself. Some of the talk was lost on Raven with the two Gotham citizens discussing people and criminals she wasn’t familiar with. But for the most part Dick made an effort for Raven to be able to take part in the conversation. After desert (bananas foster – one of Raven’s favorites) Bruce stood ushering everyone into the parlor where Alfred gave the two men coffee, and to Raven’s surprised, offered her a cup of her favorite tea.
After a period Bruce said “Dick, I almost forgot to tell you. Barbara sent you a package. It’s in the study,” Something about the way he said “study” made Raven think he really meant “Batcave”. “You should go get it. Goodness knows what she’s managed to sneak past the post office. There’s also some new things for your utility belt.” ‘Definitely the Batcave.’ Thought Raven.
“Thanks Bruce, um Raven?” he looked at her uncertainly. Raven saw Bruce open his mouth to reply but she beat him too it.
“I’ll be fine here Dick. If you happen to see Alfred tell him I send my compliments. Dinner was wonderful.” he looked wary but he also knew better than to try to and argue with Raven when there was obviously no point.
Raven waited until she was sure Dick had left. She decided to continue being politely oblivious until he mentioned their relationship. “Your house is absolutely beautiful Mr. Wayne.” the empath said obviously meaning the compliment.
He chuckled. “Please Raven call me Bruce, everyone else around here does. But thank you. This house has been in my family for decades.” she looked over at him just in time to watch his face change.
His eyes seemed to darken, his jaw became more angular, and his face more menacing. The oddest part was it didn’t seem to be a conscious shift, but much more of a natural instinct. “I understand you and Dick have been dating for a little over a year and a half?”
Raven nodded meeting his gaze dead on. “20 months on the 22 nd .” She confirmed.
Bruce nodded in return. “Where exactly do you see this relationship going? If you don’t mind my wondering.”
“Any father would like to know.” Raven said softly glancing at her clutch as she spoke. “Honestly Mr. Way – Bruce, I see my relationship with Dick going as far as he wants to take it. We’re both in our early 20’s and we both live dangerous lives. I see no point in having a relationship, especially when it can be so trying with my powers, if I don’t plan on going somewhere with it.”
“You're right, you both live extremely dangerous lives. Have you given any thought to how you would react in the field should Dick be hurt? How he would react? What it would be like to watch your own partner die?” they were hard questions and he knew it. He meant to stop her, to make her think Dick was just too dangerous. That their relationship was too dangerous. She’d show him.
“Of course I’ve had those thoughts. But Dick and I have been dating for over a year now. We’ve worked together on missions and in battles. And, unfortunately, we’ve seen each other go down in some of those same fights. However Dick is not one of our medical aides and will not come to me if I’m hurt, and I’ll only go to him if he is on my half of the field.
“Obviously we’ve both been doing this long enough to know that some of our friends may die. That we may have to watch someone we love dearly die. But let’s be honest. No civilian could deal with what we do, nor would it be fair to ask them too. If I can ask Dick to let me risk my life for other people, he has every right to demand the same of me. Regardless of the potential consequences.” Raven hated to think of those what-ifs but she had to. It was stupid to think neither of them could or would ever be hurt.
“I assume you know of Dick’s family situation?” Bruce was still staring at her in a way that sent shivers down her spine, but she could detect a small amount of pain in his emotions, if not his face.
“I know his parents were killed when he was 12, yes. I also know that since then you and Alfred have been taking care of him. And I know that he loves you both more than anyone else. Is that what you meant by ‘family situation’?” Raven injected a hint of her famous ice-queen tone into the question.
Bruce nodded his head as if acknowledging a hit. “Might I ask what exactly it is you see in my son?”
“The things I’m attracted to in Dick are the same things that make him a complete jack-ass sometimes.” Bruce raised one eyebrow but said nothing. “He’s got a hero streak a mile wide. Anytime there are casualties, regardless of how many other people we save; he beats himself up about it. He drills us to perfection running the same practice routines over and over until they become instinct. He’s constantly after Victor to update our security, Kory to scan the skies, Garfield to run around the city, and myself to mentally search for criminals who are on the loose.
“Basically,” her voice got softer. “Everything that makes him near impossible to live with is what I love about him. Because it shows just how much he cares about what we do. I can only assume where his technique came from but he does it well. We rarely loose to human opponents and always find them when we do. He would give up anything to keep our city safe. And that speaks volumes about him.
“Could I ask you a question Bruce?”
Bruce looked a little surprised but nodded in consent. She couldn’t believe she had one question and she was going to waste it on this. But Raven had to know. “ What, ” her voice was sharp and a little pained. “Are the X shaped scars on his chest and back from?” she had seen them while healing a broken rib once and asked him about them. Dick however had refused to answer. Bruce looked more surprised than ever. “I know, it's a silly question, but he won’ tell me and all I can tell is that the memory is painfully scary for him. Nightmare standard of scary.” Raven stared at the Dark Knight praying for an answer.
To her surprise Bruce looked troubled, and even a little ashamed. His voice remained expressionless though. “The Joker caught Dick once.” he said quietly. Raven could feel a mixture of his emotions bubbling up inside of him. Bruce looked straight at Raven. “It wasn’t for very long. Less than an hour. He - ” the dark man stopped for a second before forcing himself onwards. “He was going to drill straight through Dick’s chest. Right below the collarbone. It would kill him eventually, but only after vast amounts of pain. He had just made the cuts on Dick’s chest that would serve as the entrance as exit points for the drill when I got there.” his eyes almost seemed to be begging Raven to blame him. As if he knew he was at fault but wanted to hear it from someone else’s mouth. As if he wanted someone to get angry and release their fury at him.
Raven had fury all right. But not for the man sitting across from her. “That bastard. ” she spit out struggling to keep near-by furniture from blasting apart. It was probably worth more than Titans Tower. “He’s lucky he sticks to Gotham. If he ever came to Jump City I’d blow him apart with energy and I’d make sure he’d feel every piece of his body separate.”
Her fury subsided slightly. “How did he ever go back out there?” she asked a bit awestruck. Raven knew the kind of bravery it took to go back into the field after being hurt like that. At such a young age . . . She couldn’t imagine it.
“I didn’t want him to.” Bruce admitted. “But you obviously know Dick. The second the wounds were healed he was begging to get back in the field. I was afraid that if I left him he’d sneak out.”
“Understandable. He almost did when he broke his arm and had to stay back on missions.” Raven rolled her eyes at her boyfriend’s heroics and Bruce fought back the urge to laugh.
“I must say I’m impressed.” her eyes snapped onto him. “I suspected you’d take the opportunity to ask me a question about myself. Test my worth, after I so clearly tested yours. Instead you proved yourself once again and took the opportunity to learn more about Dick.”
“Dick trusts you.” she answered simply. “That was enough to secure my high opinion of you. I trust who he trusts.”
“Who exactly do I trust?” Dick asked walking through the doorway laden with cookies.
“No one.” Raven replied smoothly eyeing the tray. They smelled delicious. “Did you give Alfred my compliments?”
“Yes and Alfred in return had me take these back up here for everyone to enjoy. Actually, he wanted me to help bake them, hence why I was gone so long. That’s what I get for eating cookie dough from the bowl. But anyway, who do I trust?”
“It’s not important Dick. Thank you for passing on my message.” Raven said kissing him on the cheek and grabbing two cookies off the platter, offering one to Bruce who took it with a smile. Dick carefully set the dish onto the table and sat down next to Raven. The empath watched Bruce as he watched their hands join almost immediately.
“Have you checked your communicator?” Raven asked squeezing Dick’s hand. He nodded immediately and she smiled at him. “I figured I would have felt it go off but I wanted to be sure.” she could faintly sense Bruce wanted to talk with Dick so she turned to her boyfriend.
“Could you point me towards the kitchen? I wanted to thank Alfred personally for dinner. After so much of Cyborg's meat and gravy cooking tonight was delicious.” Raven gently extracted her hand and stood smoothing her dress with one pale hand.
“Go down the stairs at the end of the hall. When you reach the bottom turn right and the kitchen will be two doors down on the left.” Dick’s forehead furrowed. “Do you want me to take you? I’d hate for you to get lost. This is a big house.”
“I’ll be fine Dick.” she said laughing. “Don’t worry about me. I’m sure I can navigate the house.” Leaning down Raven gave him another soft kiss on the cheek. “I’ll be back soon kid.” She whispered softly. “Bruce.” Raven said straightening. “It was lovely talking to you. If you’ll excuse me though I’m off to find tonight’s chef.”
“Of course Raven. The pleasure was all mine. Careful in the hallways.” Raven smiled as she turned, leaving her boyfriend to talk with his surrogate father. If she could withstand the inquisition into their personal life, so could he.
“Thanks for the exploding batarangs Bruce. I really needed those.” ‘Oh yeah.’ She thought. ‘He’ll be just fine.’
Raven wandered down the hall keeping Dick’s instructions in mind but admiring the decorating as she went. ‘ This may be Bruce’s house,’ She thought. ‘ But I’m thinking Alfred does the decorating. There’s a certain English undertone to it all.’ Raven also just couldn’t see Bruce caring all that much what the house looked like. The walk to the kitchen was a bit long but she was so engrossed with the artwork, statues, and suits of armor that it surprised her when she arrived in the kitchen.
“Did you get lost Miss?” Alfred asked, as proper as ever. He seemed to be just sitting down to his own dinner.
“Oh.” Raven was startled for some reason to find him eating by himself. “No, no. I know Dick already passed along my compliments but I wanted to thank you personally for such a wonderful dinner. It was some of the best food I’ve had in a long time.” true she had won over Bruce, and now she wanted to win over Alfred but the food had been good.
Alfred gave a small bow smiling. “Thank you so much Miss. I trust you enjoyed the cookies as well?”
“Absolutely delicious.” Raven said wishing she’d had more than one. Dick could eat an entire tray by himself, just like any normal 23-year-old guy.
“I’ll make sure to send some back to Jump City with you and Master Richard tonight then.” Alfred smiled and Raven hoped he was taking a liking to her.
“I also wanted to thank you for the tea. It was so kind of you to have my favorite drink here.” Alfred waved away the compliment looking a little please under his English reserve. “Do – do you always eat dinner alone?” Raven gasped one hand flying to her mouth as her cheeks colored slightly. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to be so rude. But I know Dick misses you just as much as he does Bruce and I’m sure you would have been lovely to have at dinner.”
Alfred laughed softly. “Thank you for the concern Miss, and please have no fear you were rude. Indeed I often dine with Master Bruce, and on occasion Master Richard when he sees fit to visit.” Raven flinched mentally and made a note to get Dick out here more often. “But Master Wayne’s – nocturnal activities - ” Raven could hear a fathers concern, slight disapproval, and incredible pride, slipping through his words. “Often leave me on my own for dinner. And tonight was about Master Bruce getting to know you. He was rather eager, as I confess myself to have been as well. And you certainly lived up to Master Richards talk.” Raven blushed bright red.
“Am I right in thinking you’ve done the decorating?” she asked hoping to change the topic. “The house is absolutely beautiful and in great shape too. It’s so old but in an elegant way. Not at all like a decrepit mansion that can only speak of past beauties.” Raven turned to find a bemused looking Alfred.
“Do you enjoy architecture Miss?” Alfred asking looking around the kitchen with the pride of someone who has obviously put a lot of work into something.
“Oh, no. Not really. But I grew up on a planet called Azarath that was filled with temples. I’ve rarely seen comparative beauty since but this house definitely qualifies.”
“I thank you again Miss. You’re very kind.”
“You can all me Raven if you like.” she offered. Being called Miss made her feel like the master of a house that wasn’t even hers. But Alfred shook his head before she had even finished her sentence.
“That’s very kind of you Miss, but I must refuse.” Alfred’s face was kind but said this wasn’t up for discussion. “I’m afraid I wouldn’t feel proper. Master Wayne is my employer and the head of our household and Master Richard will one day be. So long as I remain here, any guest in the Wayne house will receive nothing less than a top-notch reception.”
Raven nodded. “Of course.” obviously there was no changing the man’s mind. She glanced at the clock. 9 o’clock. “Oh goodness.” Alfred looked at her concerned. “Doesn’t Bruce usually leave for patrol in a half hour?” the butler’s eyes widened obviously surprised she knew.
“Why you’re right Miss. We’d better go collect the two Masters.” Raven and Alfred walked back to the parlor with Alfred occasionally giving Raven interesting bits of history about the décor around them.
They walked in on the two men to find them bent over what looked like blueprints. “Sir?” Alfred raised his eyebrows.
“Alfred, Raven!” Bruce stood up coming to stand in front of the blue prints. “We were beginning to think you’d gotten lost Raven. I’m glad to see you were merely in Alfred’s company.”
“Sir,” Alfred repeated. “It’s 9 o’clock.”
“I know Alfred. I was just showing Dick some of my plans for tonight. No worries I won’t be late.”
“What precisely would those plans be sir?”
“I’m going into Arkham so I can question the Joker about three recent homicides. It’s looking like he ordered the deaths from the weapons used and the cause of death. Dick wanted to see the new blueprints that included Arkham’s updated security.”
Dick had worked his way over to Raven. He wanted to go. She’d been afraid of this when she first agreed to come. Dick loved leading the Titans but nothing could compare to swinging around Gotham for the boy who loved this city and it’s people. Raven was terrified he’d get hurt but she knew the fear was irrational. He was probably safer with Bruce watching his back than anyone else. And the desire to help was spilling off of him.
“Do you want to go with him?” she asked softly, nearly laughing when his eyes widened in surprise. Sometimes it was like he forgot she was an Empath. “Do you?” Raven prompted. Neither noticed that Bruce and Alfred had stopped talking to watch their conversation.
“Kinda.” ‘For a team leader,’ Raven thought resisting the urge to roll her eyes. ‘Dick can be one of the most child-like people ever when it comes to asking for what he needs or wants.’
“Dick, do you want to go?”
“Would you mind?” he asked his eyes slowly filling with hope.
“Not at all. Do you have a costume here?” Raven really didn’t feel like teleporting all the way back to Jump City just for the boy wonder’s costume.
“Yeah, I keep a few extras in my room.” ‘Of course he does. This is Dick after all.’ He was smiling now.
“Be careful.” Raven commanded staring at him dead on. “Promise you’ll keep your communicator on. I know you’ll be fine but if anything happens - ” Dick cut her off with a kiss.
“I’ll be careful. I promise.” his brow furrowed, he’d get worry lines soon. “How will I get back home tomorrow though?”
“How about this.” Raven proposed having already thought this through. “Go with Bruce tonight, be careful, and then just come back here when you’re done with patrol. Spend tomorrow here with Bruce and Alfred, visit, catch-up, whatever you wanna do. And tomorrow night I’ll teleport back here to get you. Okay?”
“Are you sure Raven? What if something happens back in Jump City while I’m here?” he was such a worrier.
“If something happens we can’t handle then we’ll call you on the communicator. Just like the rest of the Titans would have if something had gone wrong tonight. Don’t worry about us Dick. We’ll be fine for just one day.”
“Bruce?” he looked up quickly at his guardian. “Would you mind if I came on patrol with you tonight?”
“You’re always welcome on patrol Dick.” Bruce was doing a wonderful job of pretending he had not just listened to their entire conversation. “As long as your team won’t miss you too much I’d love to have the extra set of hands. You know how the Joker can be.”
For the first time Raven could detect the slightest flinch in Dicks thoughts and eyes when Bruce mentioned the Joker. Bruce seemed to know this as well. He placed a hand on his ward’s shoulder and smile comfortingly. “Come on, we need to get ready.”
“Okay, just a second.” de turned to Raven and hugged her tightly burying his head in her shoulder for a minute. “I love you.” he whispered softly.
“I love you too,” Raven said as his head came off her shoulder to meet her gaze. “Be careful tonight. You’ll be fine but be careful. Now give me a good-bye kiss and go with Bruce and do what Gotham needs you to.” the kiss wasn’t long but it was heartfelt and Raven felt that happy mixture of emotions come over her as he pulled away. “Bye Dick.
“Thank you once again Bruce for having me over. Everything was lovely. Take good care of Dick.”
“It was nothing Raven, you’re always welcome here. Don’t worry. I’ll keep my eye on him.” he ruffled the younger man’s hair before dodging the halfhearted punch Dick sent in return.
“That was very kind of.” Alfred said after the two men had left.
“What?” Raven was confused.
“You knew he wanted to patrol tonight and you let him, even though it will undoubtedly make you worry. Don’t, Miss. I’ll let you know if anything happens.”
“I know you would Alfred. I’d like to thank you again as well. You went above and beyond tonight, with dinner and everything.”
It was nothing Miss. As Master Bruce said you’re welcome here anytime. Now, would you like some of those cookie to take home to your friends?”
“That’d be wonderful.” Raven said with a smile happy to bring home something even Garfield could enjoy. She followed Alfred out the same door Dick and Bruce had left but headed a very different way. For tonight at least.
I hope you enjoyed this! I'm thinking about writing a longer series about their relationship one day, but who knows. Feedback is much appreciated!