Complicated, or Something In Common
Roleplaying Log: Complicated, or Something In Common
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Raven and Merlin find out they have more in common than they had first thought.

Other Characters Referenced: Impulse, Titans, Trigon, Belial
IC Date: October 01, 2019
IC Location: Queens, New York
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 01 Oct 2019 22:40
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

"Do you know much of magic?"

It was a simple question, one that anyone could reply with a detailed answer. Or they could just say 'yes.' Or even 'no.'

Despite its generalization, Raven knew there was something more to it when Merlin posed it. The more he asked, the more she shuttered herself off, trying to sidestep the obvious to stay within the normal circumstances of their conversation. But it didn't last too long, ending with him taking a step back to respect her supposed discomfort with the topic at hand.

She was left with a gift, however; she sat on her bed, studying the lines that formed a star-studded pointy hat drawn on the piece of paper the old man had conjured that evening.

"Hold that upon your hand and speak when and where you'd like to meet," she remembers him saying. "I shall be there."

And her brow furrows. Well, maybe she shouldn't try this here.

SOMEWHERE OUTSIDE, a darkly-clothed Raven opens a portal onto an empty rooftop, stepping out with a booted foot, wrapped in a long, hooded cardigan, and with a mind filled with thoughts she hasn't been able to sort of late. Her eyes close as she holds out a pale hand grasping the paper, exhaling a sigh as she speaks. "If it isn't any trouble, Merlin…I'd like to meet you here now. In Queens."


He had wondered if he'd hear from the unusual young lady with the strange eyes. Of course, he doesn't hear back from everyone. That's just a fact of life. People forget, or want to forget, because something is outside the norm of their reality. Or they simply have no use for an old man and his magic. Granted, some, after many years of having his contact, might assume he is no longer of this plane of existence, due to his apparent age. Of course, those are the ones who don't realize that he's not going anywhere anytime fast.

When he received the call from Raven, he had just settled to a book for the evening, in a forest outside of city. He'd set up a little tent for himself and a few candles for light. However, he did promise to be there when called. And it isn't as if he has to travel to her by foot. Magic does wonders for one's ability to travel. Exiting his tent, he conjures his staff and uses magic to make the tent, candles, and book disappear. Looking himself over, he adjusts his appearance once more to something more familiar to the girl. The white shirt, the running shoes, the jean jacket, and the blue jeans. An old hippie if there ever was one.

Nodding decisively, he teleports himself to the young lady's location upon the rooftop. "Greetings, Miss Rachel." His voice lightly calls to her, the top of his staff lighting up his location.


Raven doesn't blink, her violet gaze flicking over to where the light and the man's voice calls out across the way. In a way, she's relieved the call worked; if it didn't, she would have been standing up there for nothing.

"Just Rachel is fine, Merlin," she replies softly as she approaches the old hippie. "I hope I wasn't interrupting anything important."


"Rachel it is." Merlin smiles and nods. "Interrupting? Oh no. You weren't interrupting anything. I was just reading a fascinating book on the various types of apples." He chirps cheerfully. "Apples are my favourite fruit, you know. And there are so many different types! Tart and sweet and all sorts in between!" He pauses and chuckles to himself. There's an amused glint to his eyes. "I apologize. You probably didn't call on me to hear me talk about apples."

Gently leaning on his staff, he looks at Raven and tilts his head slightly. "Well, Miss…I'm sorry. Force of habit." He chuckles again. "Rachel, what can I do for you this fine evening?"


"Apples." The tone used for the word falls a little flat, but she isn't annoyed by the way he goes on about the topic. In fact, it's kind of entertaining to see how enthusiastic he is about things others consider trivial matters. Shaking her head, Raven tries (and evidently fails) to smile at his antics. "It's okay. You kind of reminded me of a friend right now…"

A friend who hasn't been in bright spirits as he normally is — one of many concerns on her list as time wears on.

She forges ahead, shelving that thought for a moment. "I'm sure you already have an idea," she begins plainly as she folds her arms loosely over her middle. "No normal person would ask you to meet on a rooftop where access is limited and out of the way." Unless she lived there, of course, but that's not it at all. "But…the first time we met? You asked me about my lineage. I was just curious as to how you can tell magic is involved."


"A friend? A good friend?" Merlin asks, though her furrows his brow at her failed attempt of a smile. "But a not happy friend? Or you're not happy? Something's not happy. Although, that's none of my business, unless you wish to speak on it more." With that, he drops the topic of the friend. His mind bounces back and forth between the friend and wondering why he's really here.

"Well," he says slowly as he looks about the rooftop they stand upon. "I admit that I wasn't expecting a rooftop meeting." He agrees. "However, it is not the most unusual place I've been asked to meet. After you've been asked to meet on a small, wet, mostly moss filled island in the middle of a bog, most places seem rather a bit more ordinary."

He raises an eyebrow as he considers her enquiry. "Well, magic in and of itself lends a certain…shall we say, energy? If one is able to attune themselves properly, they can detect magic, in both its refined and raw forms." He explains. "As per your lineage, well, I'm always curious of lineage. Perhaps due to my own unusual ancestry. As such, when I come across a person who seems not to be your average person, for whatever reason, I become curious of their lineage."

"I do apologize that I asked on our first meeting. It's rather a personal thing, one's familial history. I hope I didn't offend you."


Again, Raven lightly shakes her head. "No, not at the moment," she says in regards to Merlin's surmising about her friend, Bart Allen. And perhaps about her not being happy. Which is also true, but…again, not what she wanted to concentrate on.

Although his mind is flighty in that 'old eccentric' way, she knows he's following what she's saying. To her own ears, the verbal thought-bouncing isn't as farfetched as it sounds, either. The admittance of a stranger place to meet gets a soft chuff of a laugh, even if she isn't exactly smiling while doing so.

"I feel like that's how it is for most people who are able to use magic," she agrees, looking away from the man for a pause. "Personally, sometimes being aware of its presence is a pain." Especially when the magic is raw and wild and evil. Makes everything all the more difficult to deal with. She glances back over at him, brow lifting slightly under her hood. "No, I'm not offended by it. It's just…" Raven lets her gaze drop, but she looks back up in time. "…Complicated. At best. Or at worst, if we want to go the pessimistic route."

Should she tell him? He's practically a stranger she's only met once, but for some reason, he seems…trustworthy. That's something she mulls over for the time being while gauging the old man.


"I do believe it to be important, should one make use of magic, that one be attuned to the ebb and flow of mystical energies that pervade our reality." Merlin explains. "To use magic but not be aware of nearby sources can be a dangerous thing. Although," he bobs his head lightly, "that being said, distractions may occur, of course. One must be willing to forgive themselves for missing even the obvious, if one has more urgent matters to concern themselves with."

He smiles kindly, twirling his staff lightly in place. "Ah, yes. Complicated. I understand complicated, indeed. Very much so." He nods firmly. "Life itself is complicated. And messy. Full of good and bad, light and dark." He says softly, almost knowingly.

"If it helps, my own lineage is one that is messy. Complicated. It certainly comes with its own…difficulties." As he speaks, his tone and gaze both seem somewhat far away for a moment before he snaps back to reality. "If it is judgement you fear, I hope you know that you shall receive none from myself."


There's a nod as Raven listens intently. She wishes she didn't have that much experience to that degree, but she knows what she knows. "Yes. Forgiving yourself is always hard."

Not only is it true for her, but also true of the Titans who are magically-inclined — what she's sensed around them without intruding too deeply on their personal lives and what she has learned from their personal histories.

But she watches Merlin. Watches him twirl his staff, watches him nod just so. His words speak volumes in terms of understanding what she means by 'complicated.' Silently detailed where he remains brief and matter-of-fact. She wonders where he wanders off to, even if he's still standing right there in front of her, but that distance causes her to feel concern.

What he says…everything has been honest. It's been honest. She knows he isn't lying.

"…No judgment." A hint of smile appears on her face for a second, as a means to reassure him. "Then I will not judge either."

It takes some time — minutes, maybe longer — before she proceeds with her story. "…I actually don't know how else to start this. I guess some people just…jump right into it. I'm not from here — not exactly. I think my mother was." A pause. Her mouth forms a line, then parts again to continue. "I was born and raised in a place called Azarath, and I lived there for almost all of my life. That is where I learned how to control my magic. And my emotions."

She lets her gaze fall. "The real reason behind living there was because we were hiding. My mother was naive and got caught up in some cult nonsense here, where she was tricked into marrying my father." Another beat passes. "Who is a demon bent on conquering or destroying any world he comes across."

Here, her gaze flickers back up at the man. "…As I said. Complicated."


When it comes his turn to remain silent and listen, Merlin does so without interruption. He offers a smile at the mention of no judgement from her either. A bridge has been built. Trust given. It's an important step for anyone. He knew its importance in the days of King Arthur, with the knights. It's why the round table was built. It instilled a sense of equality and trust between the knights and Arthur. Trust that was earned.

The old sorcerer lets the silence between them sit. He doesn't push. Nor does he instill a sense of urgency. He has no more important place to be. For now, this is the most important place and patience the most important virtue. She will speak on her own terms, and he will be there to listen.

"Azarath…" He murmurs, nodding. "It sounds familiar." Whether he's been there or not, he doesn't state, though he has been to many places and dimensions.

"Complicated? Perhaps, yes." He agrees. "Such a life for one so young. In Azarath to hide, from a cult that your mother had joined. Hiding from your father. And that was where you learned to hone your skills, you say?" He considers her for a moment, letting her story sink in. "Yes, you have lived a complicated life for one so young."

Taking a deep breath in and sighing softly, he takes a moment to really take in the words. "It would seem," he starts slowly when he speaks once more, "that we might have something in common." He gently taps the side of his staff as he says, "My mother was a human, from Earth, and my father was a demon from another dimension."


She may have arched a brow at his murmuring, a look that may have inquired him to repeat himself. Instead, she shrugs a shoulder, one hand busy tugging on her sleeve as he reviews her background. "I don't even think I've told my group of friends about this," she adds quietly. "Not everything. What they know is sort of like the Cliffnotes version…"

And then Raven's train of thought is derailed. Whatever aloofness she's been displaying promptly shifts for a second. Those violet eyes, however, remain a bit wider than they previously were as they stay locked with the older gentleman's gaze.

"What."

One word and it drops like a small stone from a loosened grip. But that's not all. Her hands and arms have freed themselves from their crossed stance, halfway out to either side of her body as if to keep herself steady.

"You're joking." Beat. "You're not joking." Another beat, and a quick breath is drawn through her nose. "What….are the chances of that particular combination happening again?"


"Cl…cliffnotes?" It takes a moment for Merlin to put two and two together but once he does, there's recognition in his eyes and he nods. "Ah, the shortened version. Yes. I can see how that might be easier." He tells her softly. "A life such as yours, there are not many who could fully comprehend the rather perplexing nature of it. Certainly they could be supportive. But there is a difference, I suppose, between being supportive and comprehension."

He offers a smile as she has her moment of 'You're joking/you're not joking'. He can understand how something such as this would come as a shock. He lets her have a moment to absorb the information before speaking again.

"It is very much the truth. My father is, indeed, a demon. I assume he's out there still." He has had plenty of time to ponder and gain knowledge of his 'other' family as he sometimes calls them. "Honestly, I do not know how often this happens. Perhaps it's more common than we're aware of…or perhaps, we are the only two human-demon children. I can't say for certain."


Raven does absorb it; she does it enough to let her eyes narrow down into nearly a squint. Pale fingers tap her chin as she sets her other hand on her hip. "…True." She nods slowly, remembering that her father has sired many children and none of them (to her knowledge) are born of human mothers. "If it is, then it wouldn't be so difficult trying to find them."

Although she hopes there aren't anymore. They don't need to endure the complications she and Merlin already share.

A quiet sigh escapes her, allowing her posture to relax again. "This goes for my father as well, unfortunately. Him being out there somewhere in another dimension far away from Earth." The hand that rests on her chin drops down to mirror the one resting on her hip. "And, to be frank, I want keep it that way."


Fingers running idly through his beard, Merlin ponders the common thread that binds the two of them. Two seemingly opposites: One a centuries old magician who wonders Earth; the other a young woman who's life has seemingly just begun. Pondering aloud, he asks, "Might I be so bold as to inquire after the name of your father? It seems such coincidence that we should be the only two children of demons and humans."

Untangling his fingers from his beard, he continues. "Of course, my father may be different from yours. Who knows, however? There might just be a connection laying in wait for us to find out, no?" He chuckles softly, "For all we know, we are siblings separated by many, many years. What a thought that would be, eh?" He shakes his head in amusement. "Or, perhaps, we are cousins?"

He lightly taps the bottom of his staff upon the ground. "Forgive my chattiness. There is just so much to take into consideration." He takes a deep breath in. "So…your father. Do you mind giving me his name?"


Raven tilts her head to one side — a gradual tilt, one that lends physical form to her thoughtful expression. He is curious. Rambling, but curious in wanting to know if he recognizes a name that seems to resonate with many who delve into the demonic side of the occult. If she was in his shoes, she would probably do the same on a less entertaining scale.

The hesitations lingers in her voice, but her words are strong enough to stand on their own amid the city's nightly ambiance.

"His name…is Trigon."

Inwardly, she can feel herself cringing. She doesn't believe saying his name will summon him on the spot. If that's the case, then why does she feel like he can appear when she least expects it?


"Trigon?" The name spoken, pondered. He nods solemnly. "Well, I dare say we're not long lost siblings, neither are we cousins. Oh no." He raises an eyebrow. "An unusual relationship I believe ours to be." He stares up to the stars. "Could this really be the case?" He sighs softly, letting his gaze fall once more upon the young woman who summoned him here.

"You see, Rachel, my father's name is Belial, he is the son of Trigon. Which, in due course, makes him your brother. Or rather, half-brother. This makes me," He pauses for a moment for dramatic affect, "your nephew. And that means you are my aunt. Aunt Rachel."

His eyes seem to twinkle with a mixture of amusement and curiosity as he takes in the fact that he's many, many centuries older than his own aunt.


In a way, something similar to relief settles on the Empath, lifting some of the weightiness of the silence that has crept in between the pauses of the exchange. At the same time, there's another unspoken item waiting to break the mild tension, hidden among Merlin's musings as she quells the need to brace herself for the unexpected.

This leaves her unmoving, her arms now slack at her sides as he says a name. Belial. Yes, out of all of the brothers she remembers, she knows who he is.

And her half-brother had a son.

Her nephew?

Her expression fails to change, but she's aware of the low thrum of confusion now churning inside of her consciousness.

"…Magic," comes a rasp, a comment that seems to not make any real sense within its present context. "I feel like I should apologize."


It is certainly a lot to take in, for both of them. Merlin, for his part, gives Rachel the time she needs. After all, until this moment, as far as she was aware, all of her relatives from her father's side were fully demons. She had no way to know that she was related to another half-demon half-human. In fact, neither of them knew.

Closing his eyes, he lets out a slow breath. "I understand." He says softly. "It is a lot to take in. I can understand why there would be a…a…" He opens his eyes as he raises a clenched fist up to forehead. "A swirling of confusion." His hand opens and he lets it drop to his side once more.

"Magic." He repeats, a little smile on his face. "Magic." He says once more, nodding. A word doesn't always need to make sense in its present context as long as it makes sense to the people who are talking.

"Apologize? No. There's no need to apologize. What would you even be apologizing for?" He looks at her, confused.


Is she projecting? Or, being family, is he able to pick up on things just like she does? Raven reins it in so that Merlin doesn't feel any more of the extension of her current state of mind. Her breathing is normal, channeling into the mantras she's known for years to keep her cool.

Her brow furrows. "I should apologize for the experience of being a part of Trigon's family," she explains. "For anything Belial may or may not have done to your mother and to you." She's serious — but when is she not?

To that, she adds softly, "I also apologize for not telling you my real name." A minor detail, but one he should know. "My name is Raven. Rachel is what I use out in the general public."


"Oh, oh no. You shouldn't be apologizing for that. It is not your responsibility what our family has done. You are not to be held accountable for the actions of Trigon, Belial, or any of the others." Merlin speaks softly but firmly, sincere in his words. "Their actions belong to nobody but them. That you would feel the need to apologize to me? Oh…"

He approaches slowly. "If anyone needs to apologize, it is myself. I should have kept track of our family and…" He tries to smile, though it doesn't really work. "I am truly sorry that I did not know about you until now. If I had, I would have endeavored to help you in any way possible. I only hope that you can forgive me."

At the mention of her real name, he smiles. "Raven. I like it. It is a good name. Ravens are known to be quite intelligent, did you know?"


Raven stays where she is, letting the man approach as she closes her eyes for a few seconds. "…You didn't know either. I wouldn't hold that against you."

This she means. That sincerity echoes, the unknown now known.

She opens her eyes, her nose wrinkling as a sign she's trying to smile back. "I may have read about that somewhere."


"I may hold it against myself for a while, but I'll possibly come back around again. We'll see." Merlin tells her, a tiny smile on his face. "You know, there's an upside to all this, in a way." He leans on his staff and says, "We have family again. Family outside of our demon half."

He tilts his head slightly. "Of course, family can take many forms, including a group of friends we become close to. We can have family not of lineage, but of who we wish to spend our time with." It's more of an afterthought than anything.

"I'm glad you called me tonight, Raven." He's sure to use her actual name. "What magic it was that brought us together."


We have family again.

A family outside of the Titans, who have been the initial group she can trust outside of her demonic roots. But now, another family — one that is still attached to the demons, but one that is different from them.

And she is okay with that.

Raven quietly agrees with Merlin's sentiment. "Magic really does have its own way of doing things. And…I'm glad it revealed as much as it did. For both of us."

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