About the Witching Hour

July 16, 2018:

Raven and Impulse return from their rotation in Hell's Kitchen to look for Zatanna Zatara in order to see to the former's injuries.

Titans Tower, New York City

The headquarters of those meddling kids.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jessica Jones, John Constantine, Papa Midnite


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

(OOC: Backdated to a week ago)

"Zee can heal."

It's one of the last things Raven recalls of the parting conversation with Jessica Jones, silently keeping the more obtrusively scathing commentary on the subject of the magician to locked away within herself under the guise of a calm and collected demeanor. Her injuries, as minor as she thinks they are, still protest; thinking she can handle it herself, she would have done so the moment she and Impulse are left alone.

Except her way of thinking and Impulse's way of thinking were on two separate tracks. Despite having time to reflect on what just happened - with the event of portals appearing where they shouldn't have been and the demonic creatures and such - she found she wasn't touching the ground any longer.

"Impulse- "

And all she sees is a blur, Hell's Kitchen blending into dark and light blotches that turn into speed lines as she's princess-carried (princess-carried) on a route leading to the Titans Tower.

The shock that builds up in her system slowly releases once she realizes they're there with seconds to spare, still pressing against the young speedster as she finally gets back to what she was going to say earlier.

" -I can stand." Brow furrowing under her now-lopsided hood, Raven slips away to find her bearings. "You really didn't have to do that."


Once the scenery stops blurring it becomes apparent that they're indoors, the air stiller, the surroundings lit evenly. Impulse doesn't even wonder if Red Robin's cleared Raven's ID for Tower entry since he figures she's part of the team already, but at least if any alarms sound, then it'll save him the trouble of looking for anyone inside.

"Oh, right. Um… But anyway, we're here!" he says after blinking a bit at Raven. Truthfully he'd been a little worried when the girl had admitted to getting injured during the attack. Things from other dimensions, do they have poison? Rabies? Who knows?! -well Tim might. Tim knows everything. And J-Jones said Zee can do healing, which Impulse isn't inclined to doubt.

"You doing okay? Zee and Double-R should be around. Maybe. …I probably should've called in first."


She is in the Tower taking a break from the relief efforts that she was helping with - it had been time for a much needed shower. It's only when she's finished sloughing away all the blood, smoke and ash that she emerges and dressed in clean clothes; while the hot water has visibly rejuvenated her a little, she looks exhausted. Then again, that isn't surprising - everyone who calls the building home has been working around the clock since the bombs went off.

Dressed in all black, and uncaring of the summer heat that is often made worse by the color, Zatanna steps out from the end of the hallway, already tugging on her fingerless gloves when she sees the commotion in the end. "Impulse?" she wonders, taking several steps over, which quickens into a light trot. "What happened, is something— "

She slows when she sees who he is with, sulfur and hellfire stinging her supernatural senses…and not just coming from Raven, but the very air clinging to her, the expended strains of something else. To her credit, however, she doesn't grimace and while it's no secret that she keeps the other witch in a wary distance, she is at least not hostile. Instead, there's an inquiring look, waiting for an explanation.


That Raven's presence in the Tower had been a source of some additional stress was one of those things that some had noticed, and some hadn't: If buying the witch off with those fancy donuts had mollified her, well, Red Robin knew better than most that Zatanna wouldn't have simply gotten over her concerns.

Especially because her concerns were anything but unfounded.

The Daughter of Darkness, nevertheless, had been given the same privileges of access to the building as the other members of the team, new and old alike. Some spaces were set up for personal privacy - everyone's individual dorm rooms, whatever lab spaces those inclined to have such things had lay claim to - but otherwise, she'd had the run of the place as surely as established members like Wonder Girl, or other newcomers like Nico.

Of course, that doesn't mean her comings and goings aren't observed. Even this is handled in an egalitarian manner, though: So are everyone else's.

The Red Knight makes no more concession to the summer heat than Zatanna does, though at least inside the Tower is air conditioned. He is, as always, in full costume, the more lightweight suit of red and black with yellow accents he wears on Titans work. Domino mask, rather than cowl. But when it becomes clear from the abruptness of the arrival that Impulse is probably carrying Raven, the vigilante pries himself away from his other work to see what's going on… Which means he shows up just in time to see the kind of awkward situation of a potential confrontation between sorceresses, and also Bart.

"…Everything okay?" he wonders. Honestly it would be nice if something was.


Raven glances back at Impulse, not bothering to fix and adjust how she looks. A slight tug is made under her cloak to keep it straightened out, but that's about all she does, letting it drape as it usually does. "I'm fine." Probably a lie, given the fact that she's still holding her arms close to her body under there.

It's not exactly like Spidey-sensing, but it's easy to notice Zatanna's own energies once she's within range. Blue eyes shift to meet the young woman's gaze, unwavering, shoulders tensing now that the dull reprise of unwanted emotion claw at the surface of her pale skin. Earlier thoughts drift back to taking care of everything before coming to Zee and Red Robin about this new issue, knowing it's too late to backtrack to that plan.

She feels a little bad now that the boys are here, though. To her, they're both good guys who want to help out wherever they can. To help whoever they can. But at least one knows of how well she and Zatanna have hit it off.

"…Maybe less than fine," she says, also answering the other Titans, trying to not sound so blunt as she speaks. "Zatanna may already have noticed this as well, so I'll cut to the chase. On top of the damages Hell's Kitchen is already dealing with, it seems the veil between the supernatural and the mundane realms has weakened." Saying that much makes her inwardly frown as much as she is outwardly expressing. "Not too far from where I was working, a portal opened up, allowing some dimensional demons through to wreak havoc in the neighborhood."


"Ooh, heya Zee! Just the person we were looking for!" Impulse chirps, waving brightly when Zatanna steps into view. Whatever's between her and Raven, it's obvious that the speedster has no clue. "-and Double-R! Awesome."

He looks just about to launch into his own and undoubtedly colorful version of what had happened but Raven in all her calm covers that for them both, on the tails of her own response to his own earlier question. He frowns a bit, brows knitting with concern behind his yellow goggles as he looks from Raven to his other two friends.

"Yeah, there was like this weird…thing. I dunno. Felt funny. Maybe like how in that movie when they say they sense a disturbance? Kinda like that? 'cept it was like vibrations. I dunno," Impulse says, deciding to embellish. "Anyway, I went to check it out and these…zombie bird things with bat wings were coming out of a portal. Raven was trying to cover Jessica from 'em- oh yeah, she was there too. From there it was a free-for-all demon bash."


A tilt of her head over her shoulder has those ice-blue eyes falling on Red Robin when he emerges from the depths of the lab in which he has cloistered himself for a few hours already. There's a small smile of greeting in his direction, but it's a subdued expression.

"Let me see," Zatanna says, when Raven admits that she is less than fine - not only to see to her injuries, but also to determine just what kind of thing had injured her. As the world is apparently not ending, she is assuming it isn't the other witch's demonic conqueror of a father that has attempted to step through. But she'll gesture for the other young lady to take a seat, and to reveal her injuries.

When apprised of the situation, she nods with a grim-faced look towards Bart and Tim. "It's what happens when a tragedy of this magnitude happens," she says, hunting down her black obelisk, pulling it out from her back pocket. "When too many people die, it puts additional strain on the avenues leading towards the afterlife. Think of it like a balloon that gets filled up by a helium tank too quickly. The veil bursts, leaving rips…some large enough for things to get through. That's what John's been doing since Hell's Kitchen happened, and a few members of the city's mystical community have been patching the bigger tears - including Papa Midnite, if you could believe it." There's a glance shot at Red Robin there. "But there's only so many of us with the expertise to do it."

At Bart's side of the story, she turns her attention the speedster's way. "Vibrations? Did you see anyone leading the charge? With the demons, I mean. See anything through the rip they came out of?"


Maybe Raven claiming to be fine when she's clearly not inadvertently summoned Red Robin, here to enforce his trademarks and copyrights.

He does, at least, give Zatanna a faint smile of his own… Though like hers, it's subdued thanks to everything that's been going on. Also because he can read the room, unlike certain people named Bart Allen.

"Well, good thing you were there," he says, including Impulse and Raven both in this. If the situation was bad enough that Raven got hurt when there was three of them there, who knows what might've happened if Jessica - or really any of them - had been forced to deal with it on her own. "Makes sense, though," the vigilante adds to the explanation of the metaphysical weight of all of this. It makes sense because he reads a lot of folk tales and a lot of fantasy (which is honestly the only reason he's been able to get any sort of a grip on some of the things he's experienced since meeting Zatanna) and also because that's probably all of Gotham.

He shrugs, faintly, at the mention of Papa Midnite, a person with whom his only encounter thus far was not great and not one he hopes to repeat ever. Especially given the circumstances.

"Better than none," he supposes, before turning to look at Impulse in almost perfect sync with Zatanna.


"She was directly in the path of the demons when they took flight, but we did what we could to keep things under control," Raven adds. Perhaps it was a way of accepting Red Robin's approval of the action taken. But the previous rigidity with Zatanna transitions into mild reluctance, another handful of seconds gathering prior to moving over to the closest chair. As she sits, the cloak and its folds relax, revealing the rest of the blacks of her own costume…which are still swallowed up by the shadows cast.

Arms rise halfway for the magician's inspection, material cut up and torn away where sharp talons have left darkening furrows. Flesh wounds. Nothing too bad. Really.

"They were fast. We divided them up to keep them from overpowering us, but they were tough," Raven explains, keeping her gaze lowered for the time being. "Impulse had the right idea of creating a diversion to send them back into the portal, and with Jessica's help we were able to get them in there before I sealed the portal."


"Whoa, that was creepy you guys," Impulse says, eyeing Zatanna and Red Robin when they simultaneously fix him with a look. Oh wait, he was asked a question. Casting a glance back towards Raven as she adds on, he begins to shake his head.

"Yeah, no- didn't get to see much through the portal. Was too busy trying to get 'em back in. But I didn't see like, any different ones leading the rest- they all looked the same, the ones that came out. Raven and Jess took care of most of the others- did you know Jess can fly? And lift buildings?" And if so why does no one tell him these things? —oh wait, don't answer that, he can take a guess.


Better than none, Red Robin says.

"They're old hats about this kind of thing," Zatanna affirms to Red, waiting for Raven to reveal her injuries. A pale hand lifts to take her forearm from underneath, the grip of it gentle, as she inspects the wounds left there on her arms.

"It's not so bad," she says. Normally she would be slapping on a purification spell before she started knitting flesh, but considering Raven's unique biology, such a thing would probably only hurt her and not help her. So she taps the tip of the cold stone instrument in her hand against the other witch's wrist. "It's not going to be painless," she tells the half-demoness quietly. "When I heal, the pain is commensurate to what caused the wounds." Another reason why fatal injuries are often trials by themselves to heal.

"Nevar laeh," she murmurs.

Damaged blood vessels and nerve endings slowly knit, and then torn muscles and bruised, bloodied pale skin. The garish color fades gradually the longer the healing spell takes effect. It takes minutes - probably ages for someone like Bart, but for regular humans, it is realtively quick. Soon, there are no signs of the young woman's wounds, though her costume could use the repairs.

Bart's description of the battlefield earns him a nod, though there's a grin quirked the speedster's way. "When I first met Jess, she could just jump really really high, and really really far," she replies. "I figured flight was going to happen eventually. She was always really strong, though." Dark brows furrow. "So just the one portal opened up in Hell's Kitchen?"


For his part, Red Robin is well aware of the sort of injuries a person can get going toe to toe with demons: The scars on his trapezius where one had attached its leech-like mouth to him the year before, while Zatanna and Constantine were missing, remain at best half-faded and a discouragement against wearing loose-collared shirts in civilian garb. It hasn't done wonders for him where beach season is concerned, either.

Though you know, he doesn't seem too broken up about it.

Still, once Zatanna starts with healing the Daughter of Darkness, the Red Knight can feel the skin prickle on his arms underneath his suit… Just from the memory of healings past. He remembers the pain, and the exhaustion that usually follows… But that still definitely beats the possibility of being crippled or killed.


"I imagine Miss Jones' powers have increased through use and her own growing confidence," he says, maintaining that essential remove. "Just like how you're faster than the first time I met you, Impulse." Though how he knows that for sure is difficult to say. Maybe he's secretly in touch with Max Mercury. "Also don't try flying," Red Robin admonishes the speedster immediately.

Look, he knows, okay?


Not many people think about these kinds of things when it comes to Raven. Then again, not many people are magic users who know what to use under the circumstances given. This is…kind of nice to hear from Zatanna, though. Straight facts without sugarcoating it, but with enough care put into the words and the actions that follow.

Understanding this, she nods. She knows she was careless in defending herself. The pain of healing the wound is nothing. Zatanna is not obligated to heal her, but she does it because she is a caring person. Not cold, she thinks. Just wary. The sting is noticeable and itchy as it closes up, her arms looking less like a horror movie and more like sleeves with Hot Topic/bad Halloween costume flair written all over them. But that can easily be fixed.

"Thanks," she half-whispers to Zatanna, running her hand over a forearm as she sees it's all gone. The look in the witch's direction is briefly sidetracked to Red Robin and Impulse for that last comment, but returns all the same. "At the time, yes. And I wish I can say that is all that will appear. But I have a feeling that won't be the end of it."

Her mouth sets into a firm line. "Thus the reason why I will be out there again to see if there are any others existing. I'd rather not leave them alone if it means more unwanted visitors are going to come through from the other side."


It's with eager enthusiasm that Impulse watches as Zatanna sets to work in healing Raven. Because Magic!! …of course with his way of processing things, even with the healing process taking only minutes to patch Raven up, it's still a tedious process to watch.

— which is why Impulse is suddenly standing there eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich he must have slapped together, time yet to spare as the last of Raven's wounds close up.

Impulse looks owlishly at Red Robin and Zee, his mouth full of a big bite of PBJ as he listens to the assessment given on Jessica Jones. "-wayf, ahr ahm?" he starts to ask, but then as he considers, he decides that it makes sense that he's gotten faster. Maybe. Kinda. How does Tim know these things? Bart'll just figure it's his being expertly nosy as per usual. He wouldn't put it past Red Robin to touch base with his mentor on matters now and then, though. Still with his mouth semi-full, he pouts at the note on attempting to fly. He wasn't going to! …probably. Scowling, he resumes stuffing the rest of his sandwich away.

"Didn't see any others, but if things might be triggered off 'cuz of the explosions, guess that's something extra I'll keep an eye out for when I'm out there," he says, nodding over at Raven before giving her a thumb's up. He's got your back, goth girl!


Don't try flying.

"At least not without a plane, Impulse," Zatanna adds, winking at Bart once Raven's wounds have closed. At the quiet note of gratitude leveled her way, she gives the other magic user a nod.

Raven's words regarding other tears and portals earns her a nod of acknowledgment from the blue-eyed witch, glancing over at Red Robin. "She's right, if there's one, there's probably more. I'm honestly surprised that only one managed to manifest." She pulls her phone out from her back pocket, calling up a text window that she always has open with John Constantine, tapping in what few details she knows as to what happened. "John'll get the word out to the rest of the mystics in the area."

She tucks the obelisk back in her back pocket, and she's already nodding when Raven declares her intention to go back out there. "I'm coming with you," she replies. "Just in case. There might be more, and in different sections of Hell's Kitchen." She checks the clock on her smartphone. "It's not that bad, yet, but we can probably anticipate it getting worse around three am."

A glance towards the hallway leading to the Tower's kitchen. "Might have to pack some sustenance if we're going to pull an all-nighter."


TITANS FACT: There are only two members of the team who aren't allowed to fly the T-Jet. One of them is Impulse.

The other one is Zatanna.

Still, the fact that there's a potential additional source of trouble on top of everything else out of Hell's Kitchen - creating the possibility that the neighbourhood's name might become distressingly literal - is another worry added onto the pile. A worry greater than what would happen if Impulse got behind the wheel of a vehicle, or tried running off the roof of the Tower figuring that he could go faster than gravity.

So Raven says she's going to go right back out to make sure none of these potential other hell portals open up, and Red Robin is about to make a (probably hypocritical) admonishment that she should rest up first instead of working herself to exhaustion, but Impulse speaks up that he'll also keep an eye out. So that reminds him to tell them not to go by themselves and instead take backup, when—

I'm coming with you.

Even with his face half obscured by his domino mask, even with his eyes hidden behind featureless white lenses, the expression on Red Robin's face is visibly surprised as he turns to look at Zatanna. This is progress, though, right? Probably? Zatanna isn't trying to put herself in a situation to quietly dispose of Raven, she wouldn't do that.

"Why three a.m.?" the vigilante wonders instead, because that's very specific. "I've got some high-energy food you guys can take. Power bars, smoothies…" Zatanna knows what smoothies he means. She knows.


As the others speak, Raven finally stops checking her arms for phantom scarring, wordlessly 'replacing' the sleeves with a quick turn of her hand. The white of her skin is covered in black and given a once-over to make sure all is well before dipping back into the confines of her cloak.

"The witching hour," comes Raven's succinct answer to Red Robin's question as she gets to her feet. Her gaze, however, falls on Impulse, then Zatanna, when they both volunteer to come with her to do portal duty. There may have been a faint smile for that, if only for less than a second. What even. "Paranormal activity tends to escalate during that time, so it's good to keep it in mind."

Still, sustenance in the form of power bars and smoothies sound practical. Good and practical. "Good idea. We can take some of it along with us." Not knowing what those smoothies are made of, but surely they're not harmful.


Sometimes it's fun just to see Red Robin's reaction just sitting in the cockpit of the T-Jet. Which Impulse will do from time to time. When he's super bored. But he's pretty sure he can figure out how to fly the thing if he's just given the chance. They'll not speak about the time he took off in his classmate's dad's car with his classmate in it, without a driver's license and without proper instruction. To be fair he'd thought he'd been doing a pretty good job at not hitting things. It was just the driving off the cliff that had been a problem…

"Three?" the speedster asks, echoing Red Robin as he looks between the two girls that have suddenly decided to team-up. Which is perfectly fine and to be expected because they're all a team here, right? Right??? Raven explains, and he takes it for what it is. He doesn't even seem surprised that it's a real thing. But really, what isn't?

There's no hiding the shudder at the mention of smoothies. With Zatanna going to the kitchen, Impulse starts to trot after her. "I'll help! And if we're low on anything, I can make a quick store run." It's always a possibility, considering how much Impulse and Caitlin can put away. "Not coming with us, Double-R?"


The witching hour, Raven explains. Zatanna nods in confirmation from somewhere to the side of her. "The veil during the witching hour on Samhain is particularly weak," she adds, if not just to increase Red Robin's working knowledge of the occult - or at least the warning signs that something supernatural may be afoot. "During Dia de los Muertos and the Obon Festival, also, and other like feast days."

Mention of the smoothies, though, has the witch giving him a look, though there's a quirk of her lips at that. She's taking a few steps towards the kitchen before the speedster joins her, offering aid - expected, also. Nothing catches Bart's attention faster than food.

"Red?" she wonders, at the tail end of Impulse's question. "Some air and moonlight might do you good."


The witching hour.

Which honestly is only creepier when it's said in that strange whispery voice of Raven's, that carries perfectly despite how quiet it is. It's enough to make the little hairs on the back of Red Robin's neck stand up, a feat all the more impressive considering he didn't really believe in magic less than two years ago.

Zatanna backs up the other sorceress on this one, and he supposes if anyone would know about the witching hour it would be, well, witches. It produces a faint frown on the vigilante's face, because in his experience, 3 a.m. is mostly the best time to really scare the crap out of some criminals due to the human body's peak levels of melatonin production, and…


Ghosts and stuff would probably contribute, he guesses.

Though Raven is about to be an innocent victim of extremely healthy smoothies, Impulse and Zatanna have other ideas, with the speedster first wondering if Red Robin is coming along… And then the Princess of Prestidigitation also asking, but in one of those ways that isn't actually asking and instead a suggestion that would make him look rude if he refused: She was clearly just looking out for his wellbeing.

It's possible it's not even a conscious effort on her part, no intentional attempt at manipulation or the like, but reading conversations like that had long since been ground into Red Robin's psyche.

Besides, she was right.

"Yeah, good idea," he says after only a moment's hesitation, shutting and locking the lab before he moves to follow the others.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License