What Would John Constantine Do?

May 07, 2018:

Raven takes Red Robin up on his earlier invitation, and visits Titans Tower. But Zatanna knows when she's face to face with the daughter of a demon…

Titans Tower, NYC

It's a T-shaped tower on a forested, manmade island in the middle of the East River. Full of rowdy youths.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Constantine, Dr. Strange, Giovanni Zatara, Trigon


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…


Spring is in the process of springing after a difficult winter that had let go slowly and reluctantly: The weather grows warmer, green has begun to reappear, and on the manmade island in the middle of the East River where Titans Tower stands, it's been reappearing even faster than elsewhere. The grass on the island is almost unnaturally perfect, the trees that form a kind of screen to protect the inhabitants from scrutiny showing leaves well ahead of most anywhere else. It's nothing supernatural, though, there's no sorcery or witchcraft involved, but pure science. One of the many benefits to a working partnership with STAR Labs.

And in that green, along with the chirping of birds and chittering of squirrels in the early evening air, can be heard the clatter of wood on wood.

Wearing his more lightweight Titans costume, though it's the same black and red with yellow detailing he always wears in his heroic guise, Red Robin swings a lightweight, hollow practice staff, one designed to do minimal harm when it actually hits someone… For example, his current sparring partner, a similarly armed Zatanna Zatara.

"Block!" calls the vigilante, swinging one end of the staff high. It's a controlled motion, nowhere near as fast or as forceful as he could manage if he was actually fighting… Because that's not the point. The point is to help her get used to it, to help her learn the movements and motions. They need to become ingrained, reflexive, something as natural as breathing, and with every training session he's moved faster. Swung the staff harder. Pushing her a little more. "Block!" he calls again, the other end of the staff now coming in low, towards the witch's ankles.

If Zatanna had thought that he wasn't serious about improving her more mundane self-defense abilities, well, it turns out she was deeply wrong. Besides, it's a good way to cool down from those workouts a certain Winter Soldier has been putting her through, right?

To Zatanna's infinite credit, and despite her constant bellyaching, she's not /that/ much of a novice when it comes to forms and katas. Giovanni Zatara, in his normally sensible foresight, had insisted that she take some self-defense lessons in her childhood to discourage her from relying too much of her wealth of magical talents to get herself out of a scrape - if not just because there will be situations in which that would not be an option. And because she was a good daddy's girl, of course she listened to him.

Tim ought to be a credit to his dedication to refining those skills, though she wasn't always enthusiastic about it. She goes on runs, she does yoga, and goes through the usual rigamarole of trendy diets and interval training that those in the entertainment industry typically engage in so as to keep themselves in camera-ready shape. It is /not/ the same as battle-ready shape, and while hardly a greenhorn when it comes to battles, it wouldn't be Red Robin if he didn't cover the bases, and it wouldn't be her if she didn't follow good advice. So here she is, in the open Spring air, clad in a tanktop and a pair of yoga pants and sneakers, lifting her staff to block every time Red calls for it.

The first block, she lifts the staff crosswise with both hands, one foot back and slightly to the side to keep her balance, and her body tilted slightly to the side to make herself as small a target as possible. And when he maneuvers the staff low, she blocks again by driving the end of her staff down at an angle to prevent the sweep of his into her ankles.

And as usual, while this happens, she is talking about food.

"Oh god, I want a donut." Block. "Did you hear about that Mexican donut place close to Little Italy?" Block. "They make these fresh donuts with honey lavender frosting in deep purple…" Block, block, block. "…with glitter. And you can custom make coffee drinks and milkshakes…" Block, block, block. "To go with them…."

If she sounds kind of winded, it's because she is.

She isn't exactly top-tier when it comes to superhero body conditioning.

While Spring is pretty, the onset of sunset colors is still favorable; Raven chooses the latter more for the cover of night, allowing her to be more inconspicuous with her already dark wardrobe palette. She's met her quota of stares for the day as a teenager for goth flair. The last thing she needs is more attention when she's on the move to finally travel in the direction of the Titans Tower.

From what she recalls, Red Robin did say the tower is hard to miss. And he is not wrong. She senses nothing strange, nothing supernatural about the area as she drifts toward the entrance. Although careful, Raven pretty much takes a shortcut past the technology set, rendering herself intangible as she passes the doors.

She'll maybe trigger something. Maybe she won't. "…Maybe everyone's out," she says aloud as she wanders, knowing that if she stands still there wouldn't be any progress at all.

Indeed, while Zatanna was hardly helpless, Red Robin's view on that sort of thing was… Let's go with skewed.

Not that he was expecting her to beat up a squad of League of Shadows ninjas in a few months or anything like that, but the foundational basics can always stand reinforcement, something that was surely as true of witchcraft and wizardry as it was of martial arts. The Princess of Prestidigitation was smart, she had excellent reflexes and hand-eye coordination, and she rarely made the same mistake twice… But still, if it came down to the matter of a fight where outward, destructive powers weren't viable, she and Iso were simply the two most vulnerable of the Titans. Thus, the staff fighting. Thus, the Krav Maga and Jiujutsu lessons. Probably nobody would expect the girls to start breaking the wrists of unwary assailants, but then that was half the point.

The other half comes down to simply this: Where Zatanna is clearly winded, Red Robin neither looks nor sounds like he's expeding much effort at all.

"Train first, donut later," the Red Knight chides gently, the suggestion of a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth while he keeps putting Zatanna through drills. Blocking transitions into her turn to strike at him, and—

His head tilts, as though listening to something only he can hear… Which is pretty much exactly the case, as his suit's onboard computer remains interfaced with the Tower's custom-built mainframe. Training time was over, it seemed: If Zatanna was still swinging the staff at him, he'd simply reach out to catch it as he dropped his own practice weapon.

"Intruder in the Tower," is all he says.

It doesn't take long to cross the manmade island - even less time if Zatanna uses her magic - and cross into the foyer of Titans Tower, the ground level designed to be defended against incursions, to provide cover to anyone fighting with their backs to the elevator, while denying as much as possible to anyone forcing their way in through the front doors. Otherwise, there's planters and greenery, and a reception desk that has no one staffing it: The Tower is in fact bereft of any staff but the Titans themselves.

"Excuse me," Red Robin calls out. He doesn't go immediately on the offensive. "Did you get lost?"

It seems unlikely, given that they're on an island in the middle of a river.

But hey, you never know.

The grin was subtle but rare, and Zatanna huffs at him. "Don't judge me," she grouses. "Look it's been a while since I've actually had a donut, okay? Cravings do happen and I don't want to just magic /those/ away…."

She is still swinging the staff when Red decides to end their training lesson; there's a brief blink when he simply catches her staff with one open hand, and her brows furrow a little bit. However, before she could actually ask the question, he tells her what's up and that there's an intruder at the Tower.

"Well if whoever it is wants a fight, they're pretty ballsy just coming up to our doorstep," she says as a portal opens up before them. "Anyway, let's take a shortcut and see who's waiting for us."

The other end of the portal opens up to the front of the building, and the two Titans certainly make a contrast - Red Robin in his full costume and domino mask and Zatanna with no mask at all, and donned in black, casual workout hear. At her friend's address of the newcomer, the other witch's eyes narrow almost immediately, catching a whiff of sulfur in the air - it would be indiscernable almost, even to some experienced magicians, but this happens to be one who has spent /three months/ in Hell, dodging, fighting and killing demons.

She says nothing, for now, but to Tim, she mutters three words that he probably isn't expecting today.

"I smell a demon."

No one? No one in the immediate vicinity. Raven sighs, brushing her fingers against one of the plants as she takes one last look to make sure she hasn't missed anything - or anyone, for that matter, if they have decided to be weird enough to blend into their surroundings like a chameleon.

Maybe this was a bad idea, she thinks, momentarily pausing before she answers her own train of thought. "Too late for that now. You're here. You're going to have to see what happens."

Lo and behold, something does happen. Lifting her head, the goth in the cloak stays where she is. The tips of her fingers lightly flick the plant back to its original position.

"…I don't believe I did," Raven replies, maintaining an even tone as she speaks up. "I knew I should have called before doing this…"

She looks harmless. Shady, but harmless.

But Zatanna isn't wrong.

Thanks to long hours of difficult and extremely esoteric training, Red Robin's memory is nearly perfect. Even when he would prefer that it wasn't.

But once Raven turns, lifting her head… Once she speaks, in that distinctive voice that carries perfectly despite being strangely whispery, he knows exactly who she is. They'd met only briefy, to be sure, and that had been in the dark, but he was too much the detective to not have made notes about everything, to have extrapolated hypothetically what the young woman would look like standing instead of sitting on a rooftop.

And she, of course, would probably recognise him despite his different costume from that night: How many people, after all, did one meet that was carrying around a second soul?

"Raven," Red Robin says in recognition when the Daughter of Darkness speaks, but of course he also hears when Zatanna mutters a four word phrase he honestly hadn't expected to hear. Not today, or at all.

Who smells demons??

Briefly, he glances to Zatanna, before he looks at Raven again. At least, that seems to be what he's doing, since nobody can see his eyes.

"Er… What?"

That, too, was surprising. Zatanna stares at Tim. "Wait, you know her?" she wonders out loud.

She should have called, she said. There's a bit of a furrowed-brow look from the magician as she looks between the two.

And it seems that Tim isn't the only one who's confused.

"Her," she says, gesturing to the other young woman. "She's a demon. At least part….and a powerful one, at that. Just who are you?" The last said to Raven, her normally easygoing tone of voice sharpening into a subtle edge.

It's probably unfair, if the other woman wanted to do them harm, chances are she would have done something else other than come up to the front door and knock, but she can't help it. Her experiences with demons are extremely specific, and she has spent the last year trying to dodge and fight certain ones who want her soul for their own. She isn't about to take any chances.

"Red Robin." The greeting runs mild once Raven matches the voice to the young man and the nesting soul. That part she can't ignore; souls are very distinct, after all, and it only confirms that she's in the right place.

But there is another presence with him - a third, if one wants to be technical. She coolly regards Zatanna as the young magician shows some confusion and some degree of hostility. This one has familiarity about her, a complex sort of magic that not many can understand unless they have studied it for themselves. Of course she would be the one to pick up on Raven's scent.

But she does nothing to stop her from saying anything further, only lifting her hands to push back her hood so that she isn't as dark and brooding as she was back up on the roof. Without the shadows, she's less threatening. More normal.

Kind of.

"Well," she says with a shrug, weaving her fingers through long black hair in an attempt to fix it. "She isn't wrong." Giving up on her hair, she uses the same hand in a supplicating gesture, letting the other rise to mirror its position. "I can be considered an acquaintance for the time being. I'm actually here concerning some business. Of the paranormal kind."

Obviously this is not a turn of events Red Robin had ever expected.

He knew that Raven was some sort of magic-user, and that was about it: The way she'd immediately been aware of the presence of Emily Montrose in the proverbial backseat of his existence, her soul contained inside the ancient relic he'd swallowed in the Astral Plane, had said that clearly enough. And as he'd said then, on that rooftop back in Gotham, there was someone he figured she ought to meet… Which had referred to Zatanna. They were both witches, they were both goth girls, surely they'd have plenty to talk about.

It's just that the Red Knight could never have forseen that what they'd have to talk about might be inflammatory. He'd had his own encounters with demons, too. Most of them had just tried to horribly murder him. One tried to talk him to death while also trying to horribly murder him. Raven was a step up.

"I met her in Gotham a few weeks ago," he explains to Zatanna. "She could sense there was something unusual on me." Not the spell Zatanna had carved into his left wrist, fortunately, nor the still-remaining signs of his deal with Wong on his right: Zatanna's concealment of those had been effective, it seemed. "So I figured you guys had, y'know, stuff in common." And perhaps that the Titans could be a healthy environment for her.

She was there on business, Raven was explaining. Paranormal business, which all things considered wasn't surprising.

"What's wrong?" he wonders. "Are you in some kind of trouble?"

The look Zatanna gives Tim could curdle milk on the spot. She has always kept an open mind - she has to, in order to do the things she does, but evil is inherent in any demon's nature and no amount of human blood would be enough to purge those leanings entirely. She knows this and if nothing else, her very first forays with her father into the darkest heart of the world they live in involved plenty of exorcisms and demon hunting. The fact that there is one staring at them from across the way is making her hackles rise.

It's Tim's team. She is hardly in the position to deny anyone help, especially someone who goes through him first, but it's plain on that pale, expressive face that she doesn't like it. There are too many variables, and while she is familiar with plenty of the game players in the world of magic, she has never heard of Raven. An acquaintance, she says. An acquaintance that may very well eat her friend's soul when none of them are the wiser, if she was that kind of demon.

But when Red asks Raven about her business, she presses her lips together and folds her arms over her chest. At the very least, she hasn't done anything destructive yet, nevermind that every instinct inside her is screaming at her to open up a portal and send Raven far, far away from here. Or lock her in a box with seven hundred seals, like what King Solomon had done in the ancient days of Jerusalem.

She could only imagine what John would say. If her face at the moment could curdle milk, imagine what his would look like when he hears she was within breathing distance of an infernal.

So she remains silent, and clearly wary.

Between the two of them, Red Robin is better about keeping himself in check than Zatanna is. Her emotions roil, contained to a simmer under watchful eyes that have seen more than anyone should have to between realms, but the experiences she has and that Raven knows nothing about justify her suspicions. Just being aware that there is a demon presence alone makes sense to stay on edge in case anything goes badly.

She lets her hands drop, allowing them to fold over one another under her cloak. Eyes stay on the magician, but she keeps her distance. Probably for the better since this meeting is not how it's supposed to go.

'Are you in some kind of trouble?'

From Zatanna, back to Red Robin, her expression changes ever so slightly. No one has ever asked her that before. Then again, she never says anything about herself. Whatever problems she faces, she deals with it on her own. But the question catches her off guard all the same.

It's here Raven averts her gaze, if only for less than a second. "No." And hopefully it stays that way. "It's more about the soul you contain. Has there been any changes since I last spoke with you?"

Fortunately, Red Robin is a naturally gifted detective whose talents have been refined over the years and through his harsh apprenticeship with the World's Greatest Detective, allowing him to discern that Zatanna doesn't like this at all.

Then again, he could probably tell that if he was a blind idiot as she gives him a look that could curdle milk and possibly melt through steel. It's the kind of glare you feel as much as see. It's kind of awkward, honestly, especially since he was hoping the two young women would find some kind of common ground and do… Whatever it is that goth witches do. Listen to sad music and trade tips for eyeshadow and conjuration? Open a portal to the Lace Dimension to craft the spookiest dresses?

Look, he doesn't know. He barely knows what normal people do together anymore.

But despite the obvious warning in every line of Zatanna, his first response is concern - not for himself, but for Raven. That something brought her out to the Tower when she didn't seem much like a joiner could mean that she was in danger. Instead, though…

"Oh… Yeah, uh, not as of yet," Red Robin admits. "Still crashing on the couch, as it were. There's a lot that needs to be sorted out before we get it back where it belongs."

There is plenty of common ground, but the 'demon' part is a gigantic roadblock that a day's introduction will probably not overcome. Though given Raven's purpose here, it speaks to her true nature that she came to check on Tim. And it's a difficult issue because she isn't sure whether her human half is influencing her consideration, or her demon half, and if it's the latter, it is hard not to suspect that there are nefarious purposes for wanting to check on the soul housed in Tim's body.

They really ough to take care of that, really, now that the danger has passed.

Zatanna offers nothing additional, though at least her crossed arms disentangle so she could slide her fingers in her exercise hoodie's pockets. She's still watching Raven with a wary eye, but that's not going to go away any time soon.

He shouldn't feel so bad. Raven hasn't had the luxury of acting 'normal.' A few occasions, maybe, but that number is in the single digits.

As far as she can tell, Red Robin has a strange sense of humor with enough sensibility and trust to distinguish between friend and foe. Zatanna will be a harder sell, but direct persuasion may not be the best option to take.

Raven furrows her brow. "Good. That's good to hear. How much planning has gone into the process?" A pause. "Between the two of you, I mean. Or with anyone else who knows about it."

This is awkward, Red Robin thinks to himself.

But, true to form, he doesn't really show it. There's still a definite possibility that a magical throwdown is going to happen, if Zatanna decides that Raven's demonic-ish nature is too much of a threat, or if Raven gets upset at the stinkeye she's getting from the Mistress of Mysticism. It is, on the whole, not the kind of fight he would want to be in the middle of.

"I'm not really involved in the planning there," he admits, which is at least sort of true, because: "The magic stuff isn't my area of expertise. I'm just the cargo carrier for the time being." It isn't distrust of Raven specifically that leads to him compartmentalising information. It's just his nature, one that he occasionally has to work against. Right now though, letting unnecessary details slip would probably set Zatanna off.

"Personally, I just hope it's soon, it's a lot weirder than the kind of weird I'm used to dealing with." Also he hasn't been able to pee standing up for six months because he has a woman in his head. He avoids mirrors. He showers in the dark. Emily Montrose was usually asleep, but usually was not always.

"Are you worried about me, Raven?" he wonders. "I appreciate it."

It is super awkward.

But at least Zatanna has yet to do anything overtly hostile, like shackling Raven to the ground while chanting latin words backwards in an effort to expel the demon out of her while her head spun around in 360 degrees, spraying pea soup everywhere. Having performed her share of exorcisms, however, she knows it's not that simple - or stereotypical.

Tim's being truthful at least. He's not lying when he says that it isn't his expertise, or that he isn't involved in the planning there, not really. But at least he's not telling a half-demonic stranger what all of that is connected to.

But when Red asks Raven whether she's worried about him…

"So what's your deal?" she wonders, gesturing to Raven. "Half-demonic children don't exactly come about by accident, usually it's by design."

Tune out the awkward and it will be fine. That is what Raven is doing. It's sort of working.

But what she needs to hear and what she wants to hear are technically on the same level. Asking too many questions leads to greater suspicion, and they've only just met. So long as there aren't any abnormalities out of what has been considered normal for a vessel, there is still time to handle it properly.

Here, the corner of her mouth tugs into a smirk. "I get that," she says with a nod regarding Red Robin's situation. "Like possessions, being a vessel can make life a little more…interesting. For lack of a better word."

The smirk then pulls into a line, fighting to bring her face back into that resting neutral look she always wears. She takes the time to think about his question, wondering if she really does worry about this guy. If she worries about the soul he swallowed for safekeeping.

Does she worry about other people? Rarely. This, however, is an exception.

All she can give in return is a look, one that's both conflicted and reluctantly accepting of the appreciation of Red Robin's well-being. Zatanna's own wondering graciously distracts her from admitting anything else, allowing her to recompose and withdraw. "-Oh. That." Her whispery tone holds onto some form of bluntness, but it's not directed at the magician. The topic is just…well. It's not one that's brought up in casual conversation, that's for sure. "This might sound cliché, but let's just say my family history is really complicated and leave it at that."

It turns into a kind of unintended good cop/bad cop routine, with Red Robin taking the more politic route of the pair.

Which is not normally what would happen. Zatanna was, in his experience at least, a warm and mostly even-tempered young woman. As long as nothing set her off - at which point everyone in the vicinity would be reminded that she was Italian - she was the sort of person who could find a way to get along with nearly anyone. To Red Robin, that says that she has genuine, serious concerns about Raven. He trusts Zatanna implicitly, after all. But still…

So what's your deal? he hears Zatanna say, after she'd previously contented herself with a clearly unhappy silence and a watchful eye on the Daughter of Darkness.

From behind the featureless white lenses of his domino mask, the Red Knight watches a brief moment of conflict disappear, subsumed by the more typical stoic look on the half-demon's pallid face. The direct, pointed question puts paid to any other demonstration of emotion from Raven, it seems, though what it earns is a kind of non-answer: What information she does provide hints at some unpleasant possibilities, given Red Robin's own limited experiences with demons, and the way Zatanna asked.

"Yeah, that's pretty much all of us," is his response to the idea that her family history is 'complicated'.

She claims that her family history is complicated. "It must be," Zatanna tells Raven, taking a few steps towards the other goth girl - who is a few inches taller than her, so she has to tilt her head back and look her in the eye. "Like I said, most half-demon children come about by design, not accident. The movies get some of that right." You know which ones. Omen. Rosemary's Baby.

After a pause, she speaks up again. "I'm not much older than you, but I have a lot of experience in these things and I understand that you wanna help my friend with his soul problem. But if you're gonna help, you're gonna have to come clean about the details of what your deal is because I'm not about to let you get near the issue unless I know more. For example, it's extremely important for me to know just how much you've got a lid on your other half. That kind of thing."

She presses her lips together. "I think you mean well, but demonic natures are powerful, no amount of human blood will quell the urge completely, and Red's a good friend of mine. I'm not about to let someone who's even just a little bit infernal poke at souls without knowing more."

Her frown deepens. "I know it probably sounds needlessly hostile to someone standing in your shoes, but I'd be being super irresponsible if I didn't lay out for you what has to happen if you and Red are going to keep having conversations about the soul inside him."

The balance between Red Robin and Zatanna makes sense to Raven. He's honestly doesn't specialize in magic. She does, and she has all the more reason to ask the questions she's asking. If this was anyone else, there would have been more of an attempt to keep dodging the subject. Secrets, history, all of that stuff can either be kept locked away in a proverbial vault or spilled like a bag of dried beans all over the kitchen floor. The last thing Raven wants to do is continue to keep the magician on her toes, and the last thing she needs is more prodding into her own background.

Raven draws in a sharp breath. "Again, straight to the point," she says, keeping her gaze leveled with Zatanna's despite the minor difference in their heights. The dryness sneaks in on that note, soon overtaken by the seriousness that's still in play. "But I get it. Taking precaution is something people should exercise more often. Unfortunately for us, they don't, but this at least shows me there are still responsible people around." And it should be fine, keeping it between the three of them. As she closes her eyes, she becomes more aware of the tension she's holding in her shoulders, allowing them to relax a few seconds later. Once that's done, she slowly exhales.

"…Years ago, a woman named Arella was 'chosen' to bear a child for a demon who went by the name of Trigon. Once she had conceived, she tried to escape his grasp, fleeing between dimensions to keep her and the unborn child safe. And they were…until Trigon found them again." Her brow creases. "He had plans for the child. Out of all of the children he sired, this one was able to open dimensions for him to further his conquest of all existing worlds…"

She trails off to let it sink in. "But I ran," she then adds, blue eyes opening once more to look the two Titans in the eye. "I didn't want anyone to get hurt. I didn't want to be used. So I ended up here, far from wherever he is, so that his plans will not unfold. And I have no intention of carrying out anything more than what needs to be done."

It gets more awkward.

Implication becomes clearer as the two young women talk, Red Robin hanging back while Zatanna confronts Raven more directly. It's his turn, now, to fold his arms across his chest, though the posture is more… Considering, than anything else, accompanied by a slight, almost birdlike tilt to his head. He observes, as is so often his nature, rather than interacting, rather than foolishly trying to interject himself into what is at the moment a matter between sorceresses.

Besides which, he knows what Zatanna is doing. That she's demonstrating protectiveness, and in particular an attempt to protect him. The idea grates against certain parts of his masculine pride, at least a little bit, but it would be awfully hypocritical of him to get upset at her doing for him what he so often does for her.

And then, he watches tension ease out of Raven's stance.

And then she tells them.

It has the weight of a secret, the shape and dimensions of something that shouldn't be spread around. Red Robin knows secrets, they are in many ways his stock in trade, something he's been handling with care since he deduced Gotham's greatest secret at the age of nine. The question, then, is whether the secret is also the truth. He wants to extend his trust to Raven, but he does trust Zatanna. Surely, she'd know whether this sounds plausible. Surely, she'd know what this 'Trigon' is, but…

"Your father, is he likely to find you here?" he wonders. "Are you in danger?"

The idea of being the responsible one makes her groan a little bit, but when stripped to the bolts and nuts of it, there is no denying who Zatanna is: the daughter of Giovanni Zatara, mystical defender, scourge of a thousand apocalypses, who has been protecting their reality before Dr. Stephen Strange was even potty trained. She has to be, not just because of the legacy, but also because it isn't just anyone who is involved. It's Tim. And some half-demon girl wants to poke and prod at the soul he's carrying and will have to be granted access to his if she wants to do that.

It might not even happen anyway, either, because she doesn't even want to picture John Constantine's expression should that come to pass.

When Raven's tale unfolds, a chill runs down her spine. There is no satisfaction in that she is right about how movies got some of it right, she was only stating a fact. But the series of goosebumps that mottle her skin come from the mention of Trigon's name, and for the life of her, she doesn't know why. All she knows of him is that he's a demon that makes it a point to conquer worlds - what Raven basically tells them.

But could they trust the word of a half-demon? Red's probably got a bunch of lie detectors programmed in his domino mask, and she has her obelisk…

The idea that a human being could be a gateway to some other entity into another world is disturbing, to say the least and she already has enough problems with what the Brujeria is planning to even fathom another world-ending event. From where she is standing, there are only two options - kill Raven and render the possibility of Trigon entering their world moot, or keep her safe and figure out how to deal with the worst case scenario should it ever happen.

If she were Constantine, she wouldn't hesitate at all.

But she also recognizes that if she looks at the world wondering WWJCD, she can also make things worse.

So what now?

There is a glance at Tim at that.

This is why she is alone.

She is the cause to an effect that can happen at any given time if she isn't careful. Deeper connections with people who can be considered friends will eventually put them in the path of destruction, should it ever come up. No matter how capable they can be in fighting something greater than they are, it's something she doesn't want occurring on her behalf. That's where Zatanna is right. It would be easier to kill her than to protect her from her own father.

Despite telling them and knowing that option is available to take while she's careless to protect herself, she can see and sense the conflict from Red Robin and Zatanna going over her story. Compared to Zatanna, Red Robin is steel, not even hinting at the fact that he has any other thoughts about Raven's predicament.

"I'm not in any danger - not at the moment. And I haven't felt his presence among the people of this realm. Without my ability to travel through dimensions, he can't go anywhere." A frown crosses her features. "But I can't guarantee he's sealed away forever. So…I understand if you still can't trust me."

There's no hint of those sorts of thoughts from Red Robin for one simple reason:

He doesn't think them.

He has, in the past, in shameful moments of weakness given in to anger enough to feel the temptation to kill. The immediacy of rage, the cold burn of fury… But he's never done it. Never crossed the line. And especially not in calculation, not in thinking that the world would be better off if someone was removed from it. The idea just doesn't come up. Maybe it's the Rule, maybe it's whatever human decency hasn't been scoured out of him by the life he's led in the shadows and gutters of Gotham City.

But also, the fact of the matter is that the way Raven's situation is presented to him places her in a different category anyway. She may indeed be someone who is potentially a danger… But she is also someone who is in danger.

Zatanna glances at him, a 'what now?' look on her expressive face. Fair enough, he was the one who was supposed to be in charge around the Tower.

So… What now?

"I restarted the Titans to help people. Young people who had problems the rest of the world couldn't help them with." True, mostly. The inciting drive behind restarting the Titans had been Zatanna herself. Knowing that she feared what she might be, that the costs of magic didn't seem to apply to her. Hoping that creating a power bloc of extraordinary young people would give her something else stable in her life. "Raven, you definitely qualify. I believe what Zatanna says, that your heritage could make you dangerous, but I don't want to condemn anyone for the circumstances of their birth. If we can help you, we will."

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