Full of Hope

August 21, 2018:

Ice tea spillage leads an act of kindness which turns into hope for a potential date before ending in ice cold rejection.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It's a beautiful day, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and children are playing hopscotch or skipping rope or making chalk drawings on the sidewalk. It's almost enough to make anyone watching smile and forget their worries and troubles and Billy Batson, chosen Champion of Earth, AKA Captain Marvel (or Shazam for those not realizing that there's another Captain Marvel out there) or as his enemies describe him "The Big Red Cheese", is no exception.

He stops at a cafe just in the Greenwich Village and takes a seat at a patio table, ordering an ice tea.

"…And I think that's it."

Raven brushes back the longer strands of black hair that have decided to fall in front of her face as she straightens back up from looking into the display counter of one of the local bakeries, checking over the bags full of boxes next to the cash register. It's not every day she tries to pick out things for the Titans crew to eat, but it's a first.

One would think a black coat is too hot to wear in the daytime (in the summer), but she doesn't seem bothered. Everything else looks fairly normal on her…if wearing black on black on black is what normal people do on a regular basis. But, y'know, preference.

The muted exchange between her and the cashier leads to a nod of thanks as she grabs the bags, hauling them carefully over to her side of the counter. And with a breath, she begins to make her way down the street, eventually crossing the cafe and the patio table Billy has settled into.

Billy looks up right as the black on black on black clad person starts to pass by his table and blinks, "Golly, aren't you really hot in there?", he asks. He starts to stand up and as he does, he accidentally bumps the table and sends his ice tea flying… to accidentally splash the front of her coat. He gasps and says, "Holy moley! I'm so sorry!" He frantically waves his arms as he grabs napkins and tries to clean up the mess he just made.

She barely registers the fact Billy is asking her a question. The moment it's asked, she takes a second to process it. "Like that's a new question," Raven finally responds with, her voice barely above a whisper as she turns to look his way…

…Only to be met with ounces of cold ice tea that runs rivulets down onto the pavement and into the closest bags at her side. Her expression, however, is less than surprised; her brow lifts the red diamond-shaped jewel on her forehead, then furrows in annoyance now that she has one more thing to deal with.

"No," she says with punctuated resignation, "it's fine." Sighing, she sets the bags down on the open chair, waving the young man off as she tries to shake off the excess.

Billy continues to try and wipe up all the ice tea and finally stops as it's a losing cause. He hangs his head and mutters under his breath, "I'm such a square…" He then looks up and gives a contrite, but hopeful, look and says "Can I at least pay for your dry cleaning bill? Or failing that, a drink as an apology? Gosh, I really am sorry about this, I'm not normally this clumsy!" At least, not when he's in his hero form, as plain old Billy he's still just a gawky teenager.

Pale hands check over the fabric, giving it one last smack in vain. "It's already soaking in," Raven murmurs. An observation already made obvious at this point. Blue eyes glance up at Billy, remaining calm despite the circumstances. "Like I said, it's fine. Don't worry about it." It's an old coat, but one that has been well-worn. Maybe she can get another one later. "You really don't need to buy me a drink, either…"

Billy looks a bit distraught at that, "Oh please! At least let me do SOMETHING to make it up to you!" He exclaims, "I really do feel bad." And he does, only a normal teenaged boy wouldn't care and think that an empty gesture and apology would be appropriate, Billy however isn't that sort of teenager though.

If there's one thing that can get to Raven, it's people being genuinely honest about feeling the way they do about what they did. She knows because she can tell he's not just doing it for show. And it's starting to exhaust her.

A hand goes up to stop him. "Okay," comes an awkward slip of a laugh under the facade of indifference she casts. "Just…help carry some of these bags. And be careful with them."

Billy flaps his arms in agitation and says, "Sure! Gosh, I can do that! They look really heavy anyways!" He reaches down and carefully picks some of them up, the heavier ones at least and grunts a bit, "Golly, they are!" He then smiles at her, not at all fazed at the fact that Raven is totally Goth and indifferent seeming… nor that she has a big red jewel embedded in her forehead.

He continues, "I'm Billy… Billy Batson, and you are?" If you follow WHIZ Radio or read the WHIZ website, you might recognize Billy as one of their reporters/bloggers with a decent following.

"Cakes." Raven sums up the contents in one word. She allows her mouth to twist as she shrugs. "Mostly cakes. I underestimated how heavy all of it can get."

She does wait for Billy to carry everything. He wants to make himself useful, so she'll let him do it for now. "Rachel," she says as she walks, definitely not sure if she's heard that name somewhere. "Do you always do this?"

Billy has them all, balancing them carefully, and then blinks at Raven, "Huh? Do I always do what?" He then smiles and says, "Nice to meetcha Rachel!"

"Ask to do something to make up for the blunders," Raven replies without missing a beat. "Surely you don't go out of your way to do so with every person you meet."

Billy starts to walk and says, "Which way are we going…" To her question he answers, "Well… yeah, gosh doesn't everyone? I mean, it's just the right thing to do when you make a mistake or do something wrong, try to rectify them as best you can right?" He shrugs and he's completely sincere about it too.

"This way." As Raven looks on ahead down the street, she listens to his explanation. No mild interjections are made, no preliminary judgements have been decided on his demeanor and his sense of personal values. "…Not everyone shares your perspective," she answers quietly, seeing the naivete in his earnestness. "Some people figure an apology is more than enough. Others barely even begin to think they're the ones who made a mistake in the first place."

He follows her and says, "Golly, I can't speak for everyone, but I was brought up that when you make a mistake or do something wrong, you do whatever you can to make it right." He smiles, "Maybe if more people thought like me, there wouldn't be need for heroes or things like the Avengers, Justice League, Young Justice or the Teen Titans." He shrugs, "It's one of the reasons the Wiz… I mean, one of the reasons I'm special."

Still naive, but very true. "There is wisdom in that statement."

Raven can tell he means every word Billy says. She sometimes wishes she can still think the same way he does. Different situations lead to flourish or decay, and this one, this teen, is more of the former.

A sidelong glance is given his way. "…That's actually a nice thought," she comments. "Idealistic, maybe. But it would be an improvement."

Billy smiles back at Raven and says, "I know the world isn't as I see it, I just like to think that despite all the bad stuff and darkness around, there's hope and that if I, even just a little bit, can make it better and brighter… well, gosh, then I can be happy." He pauses and looks forwards again, grunting as he shifts the bags slightly to get a better grip and to relieve his shoulders a bit and then gives a bit of a sly smile, "I also have hope… … … that if I asked someone as nice and pretty like you out on a date, that they'd say yes…" Did he just ask her out?

Raven nods. "Optimism is rare, but it's a welcome change of pace…"

He has an idea of what's going on, so there's less for her to be concerned about if she really wanted to know more about his business. But the pause in their conversation takes that shift, veering into a more personal direction - one she doesn't hear very often. One she needs to do a mental doubletake at.

She stops, fluidly turns on a heel, placing her hands on her hips. And stares at him.


Billy stops as well obediently as she does, "Golly, I thought it'd be obvious? I mean, you're a girl, you're pretty, you're kind because you could have told me off after I spilled my drink on you, you didn't reject it out of hand… so that must mean that there's hope, right?"

Although her expression remains emotionless, there is a coolness reflected in her eyes. "I see."

Wordlessly, she extends her hands out toward him. It's done in a manner to clearly take the bags off of his person. "While this makes sense, you were quick to assume as much."

He sighs a bit, but hands them over, and smiles, "I guess not… I'm sorry if I offended you." He steps back, "You didn't actually say no though…" He still holds out hope, even if he's just crashed and burned spectacularly.

"Apology accepted," Raven says, her tone running cold where the warmth should have been. "But if you really want to know the answer to your question, I'd say it would be obvious at this point despite my lack of saying it aloud."

Which is a no, for sure. He can probably feel it in the weight of her words.

Without hesitation, the goth makes it a point to continue the rest of the way without him. But she takes a moment to cast a glance over her shoulder. "…Also, some advice? Don't let people take advantage of you."

With that, she goes, baked goods and all, shifting her way through the light crowding like a shadow.

Billy shrugs to himself, he tried, he can take some solace in that fact at least. He calls out, "Thank you for the advice, I'll keep it in mind." He sighs and scratches his head and mutters, "Well, that could have gone much better, at least I didn't get slapped." He turns to head back into the city slipping into an alley before calling out his magic word, "SHAZAM!" and as the magical lightning bolt comes down and changes him into his hero form, Billy leaps skywards and flies off into the sunset.

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