After being able to have a closer look at my house, I noticed that 'only one' half of my house was almost completely ruined. It had mostly affected the ground floor with the staircase being half gone. Burned food was lying all over the place after the fridge exploded in the attack, water was leaking from the bathroom, pages of books and pieces of glass from the windows were lying all over the place.
I was lucky that the house was still standing with only half of the support left, but that was obviously not a house we could live in, so for the next day, I arranged for a reconstruction team. With a bit of 'convincing', they were happy to help me.
Since I was living in America now the buildings weren't built with bricks, so the rebuilding wouldn't take too long and with my 'motivation' I placed in their mind, they were more than eager to put twice the effort into it.
Fortunately for me, this country and even the world at large was adeptly accustomed to rebuilding their houses, so even if they weren't doing their best they would still be able to rebuild it in three to 5 workdays at most.
In the meantime, I would live with the girls in an apartment. I had several assets through some criminals that were big in that business, however, since most of them lived in San Francisco they didn't have many assets here in Portland that were available.
I could make them kick out the residents, but there was no need to be an asshole and kick out a family. Since there was an apartment that was now free in Jump City, I figured that it was okay to take that apartment and spend some time in another city.
I looked at Raven who was glancing around in their temporary apartment. A book underneath her arm. She didn't bring much here and would just teleport back to our home to get anything that she needed. Though I had advised her against it, didn't want her to be kidnapped by her siblings again.
Kara was curiously looking around the place, inspecting every corner of the apartment before opening the fridge. She turned towards me, "Nate, we should get something to eat. The fridge wasn't stocked."
I thought about it for a moment, "Then let's go. We don't have much to do now anyway. Rae, you are coming with us." She looked at me shocked before nodding hesitantly. Kara raised an eyebrow as she hugged my right arm.
"Since when are you using nicknames? You didn't even give me a nickname." She pouted slightly, but I was a bit confused.
"I already gave you several nicknames, though? Like my little whor-mhm" She pressed her hand over my mouth as her cheeks turned red as she glared at me.
"I mean a public one. Not the ones we use in those plays!"
"...That's fair. What? Do you want me to call you, Karebear?" I asked as we walked out of the apartment.
"Hee? Karebear. That's not bad Nate. Don't you agree Karebear?" Raven teased Kara.
Although it was just the way we called each other, it felt like we were growing more familiar with each other. It was probably mostly because Kara was calling everyone with a nickname and us adapting to it, but still.
Kara just responded to the teasing with a stuck-out tongue before she sighed out, "Let's just go with Kar." She decided on the short version. It sounded like 'care', so it was easy to say and not a mouthful.
"But I don't mind if you call me Karebear in private. I-I mean I think it's cute." She added shyly.
"Alright enough of that. I heard that there was this pizza place in the middle of the city with a rooftop eating area. I heard the pizza is excellent." I decided before picking the direction to walk to.
As we walked on the sidewalk, we were attracting some attention, but not because they recognized us. They just hushed glances at us and I could guess why the two were very attractive even in this world where the beauty standard was a notch higher than back on my past earth.
We were all in casual clothes. Even Raven wasn't wearing her cloak. A dark purple shirt, dark blue jean shorts, and some black boots topping it off with a choker and a hat. Kara was walking around with a crop top, some tight jeans with a white belt, and red sneakers.
I was dressed casually as well. I didn't have to go out of the way to hide my tail as it was wrapped around my waist and it strangely got rarely attention.
I observed Raven who frowned at the attention she got, willing a purple jacket over her shirt. It was honestly surprising how negatively she thought of her appearance, so I pulled her closer.
I whispered, "Rae, you look great." She bit her lip and her cheeks turned red as she determinedly looked elsewhere. However, Kara added to it with a slight smile as she agreed with me, "You do look great."
Raven sighed out and glanced at us before muttering a "thanks...". While we were walking toward the pizza place that was just named "Pizza", I already ordered our food over the phone. There was some disbelief because I ordered every pizza they had, but they told me that they would get it done in an hour and a half. Pretty fantastic for the amount I was ordering.
Until that time Kara wanted to go shopping for some clothes, which Raven didn't agree with. "Can't we just sit down and read something." Raven said in her usual deadpanned voice.
"Oh, come on, Rae! It isn't every day that we are in Jump City." Kara said before dragging us to go shopping, not taking no for an answer.
After an hour of trying on shoes and clothes, I could confidently say that it would never be not awkward to stand in the women's bikini section, especially with the mixed stares I got. Why did they have to put the bikini section right in front of the changing booth??
I was pretty tall and my long hair was apparently attracting attention. I was usually standing in front of the changing booth waiting for them to show me their new outfit when several girls came over and asked for my hair routine.
It at least helped me distract myself a bit as Kara teased me. She didn't make it easy with her clothing choices and her presenting poses. I was threatening to brick up in public.
Fortunately, it was time to eat, so with several bags in hand, we made our way to Pizza. They really went all-in with the theme. Their rooftop was triangular like a slice of pizza and the decoration added to it as well. The owner really must love pizza.
We sat down and were instantly given the first batch of pizzas. I pulled out the first slice and saw the thick strings of cheese still connected to the other slices. I had ordered this one with extra cheese and they didn't disappoint.
I quickly began to devour the first batch. I didn't even need to wait for the next one since the staff just kept coming. I was in heaven, but all things came soon to an end.
My belly bulged almost unnaturally. Kara hadn't eaten as much as usual. Kryptonians didn't need it really, as long as they had the sun to supply them with energy.
We rested for a moment while we were chatting about some books or the new episode of a TV show that we watched together.
"Hey, Rae. After they are done rebuilding our home in Portland I will need your help with something."
She only raised an eyebrow as a response.
"I need some magical barriers around our property. Something to deter people from trespassing. You know a Notice-Me-Not charm or something."
"A what charm? Do you mean something that will hide the property from the public eye? I think I have something like that in my grimoire."
"Thanks a lot. I was also thinking about using my androids maybe we could imbue them as well..."
We chatted for a while, cooking up some defensive mechanism to give any trespassers a nasty surprise. After I noticed that the sky was darkening, we made our way back to our apartment. On the way, we bought some groceries to fill the fridge with.
On the way, we also were already discussing which movie we would watch for the night since we always took a long time to agree on one. After entering and closing the door of the apartment I got a message from the Watchtower.
Batman told every available Leaguers of a rogue gorilla that was mind-controlling citizens in Central City, but apparently, the city was now hidden, which was why we couldn't enter it.
I was in disbelief, not knowing how an entire city suddenly disappeared, but apparently, we couldn't even enter it with the coordinates since the entire city was encased with a strange energy that acted as a barrier.
Batman didn't go into the specifics but just mentioned that he might have found a clue about the source of it in Africa and asked for everyone available to head there as soon as possible.
The two girls saw I was being called again, and I was about to decline the call, but apparently Flash and Green Lantern were busy in Central City dealing with the mind-controlling incidence there. Superman was dealing with another crisis, some catastrophe in the ocean with Aquaman.
Wonder Woman, Batman, Martian Manhunter, and Hawkgirl were the only ones that could investigate the energy in Africa, which might help locate Central City again. They were probably more than enough to deal with whatever it was, especially after the trip to War World, I didn't feel like wasting anymore of my time.
The team was still new, only a month since its founding, and it would need every bit of cooperation with each other to improve, which was also why I would generally try to help out, but was this such a scenario?
I was about to ignore the call when Flash announced that Gorilla Grodd was heading towards a military base with nuclear warheads. It was easy to think about what a villain wanted to do with that. The aftermath would be a son of a bitch to clean up.
I thought over it for a moment before I sighed heavily, announcing it to the two. Kara hesitated before asking me, "Are you sure you want to go already? You must be tired. You haven't slept since you've returned."
"Even more reason to go. The others are probably tired as well, can't have them one-up me."
With that in mind, I apologized to the two girls, changed my clothes before making my way out of the apartment. I shot into the sky and headed for the coordinates which Batman had sent me.
What's up with these missions coming back to back? Hopefully, it would become quieter in the future.
It had been three long days. After having spent a day and a half in outer space, I had to deal with someone attacking Raven and Kara at my home. For the next day, I had to spend time finding a new place to crash for the coming days while arranging for my home to be rebuilt.
I was only able to go out shopping and eat with the girls before Batman called for every available Leaguers to assist in finding a hidden city. Good thing I just went to Central City with my ki sense and arrested that criminal gorilla before he fired those nukes. Would have been even more tiresome to deal with that aftermath.
Subconsciously, I had flown towards my home in Portland and figured since I was already there I could take a look at how far they were with rebuilding it. The night was pleasantly quiet and I felt myself relax a bit. The last few days had been tiring. Physically, I was more than fine, but I needed sleep and some time to relax my mind.
I glanced over the construction my house was going through and determined that everything seemed to be coming along decently. I had already ordered some furniture and some new books to replace the destroyed ones in my former library.
It would only take maybe another day before we could move back in. With that thought in mind, I slowly flew towards Jump City. The sun rays warmed up my back as I flew towards Jump City with the sun rising behind me.
I closed in quickly, even though I wasn't flying fast. Strangely, I could see a weird T-shaped metal construct on an island near Jump City. It looked alien.
This wasn't there yesterday, I concluded while I sensed for Raven's life force that was heading towards the apartment.
I entered the apartment shortly after she did. The lights were still off, but I still saw Raven's casual boots that weren't moved since I left 8 hours ago.
She probably went out to patrol. I decided to ignore it and went to the room in which Kara was sleeping. I just wanted to jump into the bed and crash for a day, having only slept 3 hours in the last 3 days when I was inside the Green Lantern barrier as we flew back from War World, did make me want to forget everything and just sleep.
As quiet as I could I entered the room but before I could sneak myself into the bed. Kara lifted the blanket and invited me to lie with her. Her super-hearing made it difficult to surprise her but she had already grown used to it over the several months on earth.
I had already told her some meditative techniques to block out the strong senses or even suppress them and it had helped her a lot, I noticed. That she was being stirred awake by me quietly entering the room, showed how lightly she slept tonight.
I wrapped myself in the blanket and Kara snuggled into my chest while using my arm as a pillow. I kissed the top of her head before whispering to her, "Sorry I made you worry."
"You need to get some rest." She quietly responded.
"You are right, thanks." I saw the corner of her lips curl upwards at that.
"That's right. You have to reward me with some spanking."
"...You have some weird perception of a reward." She only chuckled slightly at that before her breathing eased again as she fell asleep.
The next morning I felt refreshed but also very hungry. The bed next to me was empty and I could hear Raven and Kara talk in the kitchen. I got up and freshen up before wearing some clean clothes.
I could already smell the scent of food, so I directly headed towards the kitchen. A table with lots of varying dishes covering it in the dining room.
Kara glanced over to me, giving me a smile as she added another plate to the table, "Hey, you sleepyhead. You are finally awake."
"...I see you have cooked something." I sat down at the table, the saliva already gathering in my mouth. Raven stepped into the dining room with a plate in both her hands as well.
"No, Rae did most of the cooking, I only helped." Kara said as she sat down as well. I looked at Raven who gave me a big smile but ended up looking rather awkward and forced.
"You cooked?" I scrutinized the food on the table and it all looked alright. My nose also told me that it was all more than just edible. Raven's smile twitched as she saw me investigate her food.
"Yes, I figured you were too exhausted to cook, so I did it for you."
"Thanks, I appreciate it. Enjoy your meal!" I called out and dug into the pancakes with some syrup. I was pleasantly surprised to find it decently. It had only been a week since the monstrosity she had cooked up the last time, but this was truly not bad.
"This is good. Nicely done!" I gave her a thumbs up and her smile turned slightly more natural than the one she put up beforehand. I had the feeling she had something to say afterward. Kara picked up on it as well, but we kept eating for now.
After we had eaten our fill, the atmosphere was kind of somber. Usually, after a meal, I was the most relaxed, but now with the anticipation of bad news I couldn't really relax as much, so I decided to not drag it out any longer.
"What do you want to tell us?" Raven's mouth opened before closing again. Her lips thinned, clearly hesitantly to tell us the news.
"...I will be moving out in a week."
I suppressed the why as I knew that she would explain it.
"I have met some other heroes that want to make a difference here in Jump City and form a team. I want to join them."
Maybe it had been a mistake to move towards Jump City. I had known that the Teen Titans were depicted as being active here, but I didn't think that Raven would want to join them. Given it was not a long time, barely a week, since she moved in with me, but I thought we bonded nicely, at least I knew that Kara and she did.
It felt like something was pushing things in a certain direction, though maybe I was being paranoid. It definitely didn't help that I knew Destiny as an actual entity was a thing. I was about to respond, but I suppressed my initial reaction. She wasn't cutting ties with us, was she?
"I get why you might want to join them, but what has that to do with moving out?" I asked calmly as I grabbed Kara's trembling hand and squeezed. It was clear that she couldn't join the Justice League, so her wanting to join another team was understandable, though she could have formed a team with Kara.
"I-I realized that I wouldn't grow in Portland. The criminals are united and practically worship you because of that weird deal you have with them. Even when we went out to patrol there was barely anything to do.
After a few days of training, I feel stronger already, but I want to make a difference. I don't want to stay with you to twiddle my thumbs. I can't grow as a person with you two protecting me. As much as I wish it to be, I am not your equal. Maybe I will never be if I follow you and hide behind you."
I thought over it for a moment and I couldn't help but smile wryly, "It seems some of my lessons got through to you. I am glad that you are going to choose your own path trying to improve yourself in every way you can. Fortunately, your decision to move out didn't stem from feeling unsafe with us anymore after what had happened."
Raven's eyes widened at my last sentence, "No! That's absolutely not it! Even with the ambush, I still feel the safest with you two around, but I want to make a difference where I can and I think I won't be much help to you both."
I guess that was fair. There was always a lot to do, but they were mostly League missions and I wasn't too comfortable to expose her to them, though now that she wanted to join the soon-to-be Teen Titans, it would attract Zatara's attention. I would have to inform them one day or another, but before she was discovered, I was going to keep the League in the dark.
Besides, that had been an important reason for her to become a hero, to make a difference. From her perspective, she truly was just relying on me. True, I could argue with her that she had saved Kara from Metallo, but that was an exception, not the norm.
I had told her she would have to wait for me to find her siblings and let her fight them, which still hadn't happened yet, while I was out with the Justice League or having duty on the Watchtower frequently. The rest of the time I spend training.
This wouldn't change in the foreseeable future, so of course, she was eager to jump on an opportunity that would fulfill her desire, though it felt like that wasn't the only reason she wanted to leave.
There was something to how she avoided our gazes that made me believe she had another reason that she didn't want to tell us, but maybe I was just thinking too deeply into this.
I turned to Kara who had tears in her eyes. Kara couldn't hold it anymore and blurred over to Raven, dragging her into a bear hug. Raven groaned slightly as she was lifted by the stronger Kryptonian. Kara wiped away her tears on Raven's shirt as she sobbed, "W-we are still best f-friends, if you n-need something come to us, we will hel-help you..."
She took several sobbing breaths as she was uttering her support for her, which made Raven teary-eyed as well, she also looked guilty as she returned the hug. Seeing this I couldn't help but tear up as well before getting up and dragging the two into a group hug.
It took them a while to calm down again, "Although you won't live with us anymore, you will always have a place in our house, and don't forget that you are still going to be training with me regularly." I quietly added.
"That! That's right. Even if you are in another city you still have to train with us." Kara fiercely agreed, glaring at Raven with such an intensity that made Raven know that she couldn't say no to it.
Obviously, there was no need to convince Raven. I doubted that she wanted to discontinue training with me since she was still improving. Now that she was moving it would only mean that we spend less time with each other and her abilities would only improve with the criminals she soon would fight with, though that was probably exactly why Kara was saddened by her moving out.
Raven smiled happily at us, "Of course. Thank you."
It had been barely a week since she moved in with me, but it already felt like she belonged to my house, so when only Kara and I returned to Portland a few hours later, I couldn't help but feel something was missing.
The house was dark and felt empty. The floor was repaired and all the furniture was still wrapped in plastic wrap and placed at the wall, making the entire lower floor feel extra empty and uninhabited.
While we had returned, Raven was arranging her stay with the other members of the Teen Titans as they were rebuilding that T-shaped alien construct that was left behind by the alien invasion the night prior. She would return a few hours later. She still wanted to create that Notice-Me-Not charm around my property and spent the week with us until her accommodation would be ready..
"You know you could have said used the fact that she was the one that had protected our home against Metallo to dissuade her from leaving." Back then it was Raven who had managed to hold on until I could arrive to save the day. Without her, Kara would have been in a bad spot.
"...I know. But...I could understand from where she was coming from, which was why I admired and readily accepted her decision. She is really amazing." Kara said after we entered the house and were arranging the furniture back to how they were before, "I don't think I would be able to do that. I know that this would be the best decision for her but... I mean, I knew that there wasn't much crime to fight in Portland, but I never thought of moving. I was content spending my time with you and not improving being a hero."
"She just has a different goal than you. You can't compare yourself with her. Her evil demonic father is still lingering at the back of her mind and she thinks that she and everyone else would die the moment he enters our dimension. You have all eternity ahead of you. Go at your own pace. I will support you and push you when I see that you need it, but in the end, it is your step to make."
She frowned as she fell deep in thoughts. "I-I don't want to be left behind. You are already growing far beyond what I imagined to be possible. I don't want to be a burden- And there is so much that I want to learn and see..."
She went on what she was hoping to experience, from food to clothes to popular planets and civilizations. Raven's little break-off seemed to have ignited her motivation to improve and experience the world and the wider universe.
If I was being honest I was relieved. I loved her being with me all day, but I also noticed that she didn't really have a drive for anything that wasn't concerning me. She mostly trained with me for the past week because she would be able to spend more time with me and Raven. That she was improving was just a pleasant side-effect.
I didn't need her to hustle and train every day, but I wanted her to be able to look forward to something else than me. That was why I had pushed her to make some friends in the first place. Sitting on her ass all day watching some inane TV show wasn't a life to aim at. It was nice to use it to spend some time with someone and relax, but that couldn't be all that she inspired to be.
Even a job that she was passionate about would be more than enough. Fortunately, she came to the realization that there was more to life than me. Maybe some 'players' would call me dumb for making her less dependent on me, but I loved seeing her grow as a person.
After making the house feel more homely again, we cuddled on the couch in the living room before I swept the lower floor and the entire property with my psychic energy. Going into every nook and cranny. Even the hidden vents of my underground Hyperbolic Time Chamber, the floor, and even the furniture weren't spared as I looked through everything.
I wanted to make sure that Batman or anyone else for that matter hadn't secretly placed some bugs in my home through the several workers that I had hired. I had already 'reminded' the one that was supervising the project and some of the senior workers to keep an eye on everything suspicious. They hadn't informed me, but better be sure than sorry.
I would read up about electricity and drainage for the next time something was destroyed. I was determined to repair anything on my own in the future. It took me almost an entire hour to analyze everything on my property to find eight bugs that were quickly destroyed.
Afterward, I made a request in the name of Westmob to my scientists to create a custom device that Raven could use to call me in case she was in danger. Something like that was already long overdue, especially with some of my friends being normal humans.
Nick would have needed something like that as well. I sighed out at that thought, but there wasn't much I could do to change it now.
It was in the moment that I was prepared to go into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber with Kara to train for several hours that a person-sized portal appeared right in front of me in the middle of the living room, surprising Kara and me.
A wounded Maxima fell out of the portal without saying a word. Collapsing to the ground while the portal behind her vanished.
A/N: I will be taking a break on 25.04 and will come back on 02.05.
I know some of you will be getting pressed regardless, but here is the other reason for Raven leaving.
Obviously, the reason I stated in this chapter is also valid, but the other reason for her wanting to leave is because she cares for Nathan and Kara. She didn't want to jeopardize their friendship by staying with them.
She knew she was developing feelings and if it wasn't for Nathan's lesson, she would have suppressed or just not acknowledged them like she used to do. However, now that she realized her emotions and remembered her teachings, she acknowledged them and decided to leave before she did something stupid. She decided to create some distance and hopes that her feelings would vanish with time as she focused on something else like that was going to work.