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To sleep

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Despite her physical strength and the cutting glares that she has at her disposal when using her starbolts would be overkill, Kory is soft all over.

At first glance, the muscles in her broad back and strong thighs make Kory seem more like a wall, like the kind of person you'd hide behind when you're in need of protection. Her temper and the glowing green of her bolts make her seem like someone that doesn't play around.

However, Kory is more than her muscles and her starbolts.

Far more.

She's someone that always has a kind word for Raven or a soft, sweet kiss for her cheek or forehead. Kory can toss a man through a building without breaking into a sweat, but those same strong arms give the best hugs that Raven has had in her time with the Titans.

Sometimes Raven forgets that Kory's strength isn't limited to physical displays, but Kory's always happy to do a little reminding.


Raven can't sleep.

She's tried everything -- from meditating while floating above her bed to counting the ceiling tiles -- and nothing works. Nothing even makes her yawn and she even resorts to going over Robin's notes from their most recent mission in an attempt to simply bore herself to sleep with endless empty details that she already knows by heart. Finally, Raven drags herself from her warm bed and shrugs on the long black robe hanging off the foot of her bed.

If sleep won't come to her in her dark room, maybe the tower itself will hold something to distract her from her wakeful state.


At three in the morning, the tower is silent and still.

Raven walks through the usually lively hallways, padding barefoot over cool tile that remains scuffed despite their best attempts at cleaning it. Raven doesn't know if everyone else is asleep or at least recovering from their day in the privacy of their rooms, but the quiet feels disquieting when she compares it to how lively the tower usually is during the day.

That Raven has to reach out with all of her senses to pick up on the snores and other sleepy noises of her team mates is worrisome.

Sighing, Raven hugs herself tightly, rubbing her hands up and down her arms through the soft fabric of her robe's sleeves as though to warm herself. The tower is usually so loud and Raven finds it difficult to adjust to the difference. Walking through the tower with only the pale blue lights from Vic's nighttime programing and the subtle glow of the moon outside, Raven feels as though she's in another world set apart from the noise and bustle of the tower in the daytime.

Usually, when Raven can't force herself sleep, she stays in her room and meditates until dawn comes or she passes out from exhaustion. Wandering around the halls like this is something new. It's something that causes Raven to experience a pang of some twisting emotion in her chest.

Raven is so busy trying not to think, that she doesn't realize where her feet are taking her until she feels grass tickling the soles of her bare feet as the rich, sweet scent of pollen reaches her nose.

"Oh," Raven breathes, eyes widening as she looks around the endless green landscape stretching out around her as far as her eyes can see without her stretching her senses. "Kory's greenhouse. How did I wind up here?"

The paths through the augmented reality of Kory's greenhouse are clear and well-kept with dark gray stones set deep into the loamy earth so that even Vic's heavy feet can't come close to crushing Kory's precious plants. Driven by curiosity and the sort of anxiousness that comes from spending so much time awake, Raven starts down the path closest to her, wondering idly about what sorts of plants Kory has liberated from the planets they've visited together in the past few months.

At first, everything in Kory's garden seems as still as the rest of the tower. There are a few night-blooming plants that tilt in Raven's direction as she wanders along the path, but for the most part, all of the plants are curled up and dark in the middle of the night.

Raven is all set to turn back and return to her bed when she hears it -- a song being sung in Kory's familiar, husky voice. The words themselves hold no meaning to Raven whose grasp of the Tamaranean language is rudimentary at best, but the sound of Kory's soft singing is what calls to Raven.

"Kory --" Raven calls out, hesitating to raise her voice in case her interruption causes Kory to stop singing. Picking up her pace, Raven makes her way along the path, moving closer to where Kory's singing is coming from as she feels a small smile settle on her face.

Raven finds Kory laying in the middle of a small clearing surrounded by large white and purple flowers that bob their heads to Kory's singing as they shed their petals. Already, a light blanket of petals covers the path and Raven starts to float above them so that she doesn't crush them underfoot or disrupt Kory's peace with the sound of her footsteps.

Without opening her eyes, Kory turns her face in Raven's direction and smiles at her. "You couldn't sleep either?"

"N-no," Raven breathes, stumbling over the words as she touches down on a clear space of grass-covered dirt near Kory's toes. "Y-you couldn't either?"

Kory sits up in the grass and starts brushing petals out of the way, making a space for Raven to sit down beside her. When the grass is sufficiently clear, Kory turns her brilliant green gaze up at Raven and smiles.

Raven doesn't need any actual encouragement to sit on the ground after that.

"I needed to sing to the Sala flowers," Kory says, looking at Raven as though it makes perfect sense to be sprawled out amidst a group of seemingly sentient flowers in the middle of the night in underwear alone.  "It's tradition to sing to them in the darkest part of night when their blossoms are supposed to droop. I didn't want them to go through that alone."

Kory is so sweet. She can burn down cities if her anger ever becomes that great, but she'll forgo sleep in order to comfort flowers from her home planet.

Raven smiles and hides it behind the fall of her chin-length hair. "Do they enjoy your singing?"

The tawny skin between the round dots of Kory's red eyebrows wrinkles with a mild frown. Kory looks at where pale new petals are already appearing around the deep purple centers of the Sala flowers. "I think so," Kory says in a thoughtful voice. "I imagine that we would know if they disapproved."

"We would?" Raven blinks twice in confusion. "Why?"

"Simple," Kory says with a wide smile. "The Sala flowers spit acid when they're displeased. As we both still have our skin and the new petals are coming in, I believe that they do enjoy my singing." Raven doesn't know what the look is that settles on her face, but Kory laughs a moment later and rises to her feet. Holding out one big hand for Raven to take, Kory hauls her into a standing position and then squeezes her in a tight hug.

"Come back to my room, Raven," Kory says with a smile that makes Raven's cheeks warm from the implied intimacy. "I have some tea that may help you fall asleep fast."

"Does it spit acid too?" Raven asks, feeling a bit of a mischievous spirit take hold of her.

Laughing, Kory wraps one strong arm around Raven's shoulders and gives her another one of spine-cracking hugs. "Not anymore."

Raven allows herself a little humming sound of amusement and lets her head rest on Kory's shoulder as they start to float upwards above the plants. "Then yes," Raven murmurs. "I'd like that."


The steam coming off of the tiny cup of tea that Kory presses into one of Raven's hands possesses a deep floral scent. When Raven dips her head to breathe in the steam wafting atop the deep blue liquid, she feels her head become heavy with a sense of weariness.

"What's in this?" Raven asks, stopping before she can lift the cup to her lips and drink deep of it.

Kory shrugs her shoulders and sits down near the head of the bed, stretching out until her polished purple toenails nudge against the side of Raven's thigh through her robe. "In english, I believe you would call them Moonflowers. They only produce pollen when the moon is full overhead."

Peering closely at her tea, Raven reaches out with her senses for one final test. Finding nothing more than the parts of various flowers that undoubtedly come from Kory's garden, Raven takes a sip of the tea, ever aware of Kory's gaze weighing down on her skin like an actual physical touch.

The tea is good. Sweetened with a small bit honey the way that Raven takes her tea usually, the tea trickles down Raven's throat and leaves a floating sensation behind to make her head loll to one side. All of the plants in Kory's garden serve some purpose. Some of them are guard plants that can defend themselves or the garden itself. Others have healing properties that help to keep Robin out of the infirmary. This tea already has Raven ready for rest and she's only had a small sip of it.

"Maybe I should --"

Raven thinks about standing and going back to her quiet room at the far end of the hall. However, a large yawn forces its way out of her mouth and leaves her flushed and embarrassed, ever aware of how the sleep that had eluded her for hours has resurfaced in full force.

"You should stay the night," Kory says with a knowing smile on her face. "My bed is large enough for the two of us and I'll make sure that no one wakes you." Kory takes the cup from Raven's hands and then hugs the other woman tightly before easing them both down onto the soft mattress.

It's the sort of hug that leaves Raven wanting to wind herself around Kory's body for an eternity. Raven settles instead for leaning into the curves of Kory's body and sighing as Kory starts to play with her hair.

Raven yawns again and rubs the side of her face against Kory's skin. "Sometimes I think you're too kind to me," Raven admits as exhaustion and the tea combine to make her lips loose. "You didn't have to make me tea or let me stay in your room."

"There's no such thing too kind," Kory says as she strokes her fingers through Raven's hair in a way that winds up with Raven shifting against her. "And you don't let me spoil you properly as is."

Feeling herself start to drift to sleep, Raven sighs and lets her fingers splay across Kory's stomach. "I can try," she murmurs. "But I'm not promising a thing."

The sound of Kory's low, pleased laughter is the last thing that Raven hairs before she finally succumbs to sleep.