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All those Pesky Feelings

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            Raven had always sensed them. It was impossible not to. All those fucking emotions were everywhere. They floated off other people and saturated the air around her. It was a suffocating cloud that Raven couldn’t escape, no matter how often she had tried. It was easier to be alone. Away from all the fresh emotions that bubble off of the surface of the other Titans’ skins, Raven found it easier to breathe. Although even in empty rooms, Raven could feel the strongest, most recent emotions - which lingered on the furniture and seeped deeply into fabrics and couldn’t simply be washed out - for months.

           Starfire always produced a warm feeling Raven had come to associate with joy. It was like the first warm day of spring after a harsh winter. The cold bitter air just beginning to heat up under the comforting glow of the sun. This particular ooey-gooey emotion annoyed Raven, especially when Starfire and Robin were in the same room together. Then Starfire’s “happy” emotion would amplify and Robin’s – eww – love emotions would combine with hers to create a lethal combination that Cupid probably used in his stupid arrows.

          Robin would usually discharge a sour feeling almost like biting into an under ripe orange. Revenge, Raven had come to learn, left a bad taste in her mouth, and Robin sure did produce a lot of it. She almost preferred the sugary sweet love that he leaked when Starfire kissed him, or touched his hand, or talked to him… or really whenever they were in the same room. Raven didn’t particularly like this emotion either, but she preferred Robin’s diabetes inducing love to Cyborg’s pain and loneliness.

          In many ways, Cyborg was alone, even though he had his friends in Titan Tower, he wasn’t a human, but he certainly wasn’t a machine either. Cyborg released waves of shadowing self-doubt. And that’s what it felt like. A shadow, darkness, blocking out and overpowering that soft glow coming off of Starfire. Raven didn’t like this emotion, depression, either, although she will admit she hates most emotions. However this chilling darkness reminded her too much of her own life. It absorbed her in a pit of despair, reminding her of a past littered with shame and confusion, self-hate and isolation. Raven avoided Cyborg when he was in one of those moods. However, Cyborg was rarely in this mood, because he was mostly with Beast Boy, and in the little green boy’s presence, Cyborg was almost as warm and happy as Starfire.

        Beast Boy, well… Raven wasn’t exactly sure what to think of Beast Boy. Beast Boy felt like the sun’s warmth and tooth rotting candy and sour orange and shadows and the first step into the pool when the cold shocks you. That last emotion had taken Raven longer to figure out than she would have liked to admit. After nearly seven months of living with Beast Boy she suddenly realized that shocking, yet pleasant, cold sensation was mischief. Whenever Beast Boy wanted to play around with someone – unfortunately more often than not that someone was Raven – he would start generating that chilled feeling and Raven learned to start avoiding him before he started pranking her.

       Surprisingly that isn’t Raven’s least favorite emotion of Beast Boy’s. It used to be before she discovered what it meant, but that’s more because she hates mysteries and less because she dislikes the sensation. Nowadays her least favorite of Beast Boy’s emotions is also her least favorite emotion ever. Mostly because, well… it confuses her. Not only does it frustrate her because Raven can’t figure out which stupid emotion it is, it is also incredibly frustrating that this emotion, whatever it is, makes her … feel things. And that might sound strange, but it’s true. Raven may be an empath, but she still is first and foremost a half demon. Demon blood, by its very nature, repels all things remotely human. And emotions as a human trait, cannot be felt by demons. However, being only half demon and half human, she, naturally, only feels some of all emotions. Although those emotions are rare and far between, when she does feel one it controls her completely. The emotion ingrains itself into Raven leaving her affected for days afterwards. Raven used to feel those emotions more often because her demon blood only repels half of all her emotions. Being an empath makes her too vulnerable and her life became twenty times easier when she learned to block out most of the remaining emotions she used to experience. It makes her life convenient except for the one unexpected side effect Raven experiences. Any emotions that break though her mental barrier are so strong and intense that Raven can barely do anything except feel them and sometimes Raven fears that's worse than feeling everything she's supposed to.

      So really it is quite annoying that Beast Boy leaves her with this emotion. As much as Raven really hates to, she has to admit that a small – very, very small, minute, even – part of her likes this god-damn, awful emotion Beast Boy introduced to her. There is just something about the sensation that terrible emotion leaves behind. It feels like the most amazing thing Raven has ever sensed. The first time she sensed it, Raven had been reading a book about demonic energy in the Titan’s living room. She figured one of the Titans had gotten cold and had lit the fire place. That’s what it had initially reminded her of. The gentle heat soothing the cold out of your bones. Personal heat, crackling with life, dangerous and beautiful at the same time. Raven had only realized that she had been actually sensing an emotion after it disappeared. Beast Boy had left the living room muttering something about organizing his comic books and he took that enticing, stupid heat with him.

     Over the next weeks, that feeling surrounded Raven more and more often. The feeling intensified around Raven until one day it stuck around after Beast Boy left. It was the first emotion Raven had felt in nearly two years after the last time when she got happy – really happy – after she found her favorite flavor of ice cream (mint chocolate chip) in the freezer. Cut her a break, she was on her period and just had some serious cramps. Feeling an emotion is different than sensing it. Mostly because that feeling is about five hundred times more intense when she actually feels it. Happiness goes from feeling like the first sunny day of spring to the hottest day of the year… on the surface of the sun. It boils under her skin and makes her burst with laughter. Laughter, of all torturous things. Fortunately for Raven, the happiness only lasts three days and 9 hours. Although it takes the Titans an extra day to stop shooting her confused looks because she can’t stop smiling and Beast Boy’s jokes makes her laugh until she’s gasping for breath. This new emotion, is also more powerful now that she’s the one actually feeling it. It makes her itch. She’s still being warmed by the fire only now the fire’s inside of her instead of gently heating her. Raven can feel her insides boiling away with… with, well, something. That’s why she wants to know what this feeling is. She’s just experiencing this emotion that makes her so restless and that makes her crazy. If she doesn’t know what it is, Raven can’t fight it – and that scares her, you know, at least if she could feel like a normal person it would.