The characters depicted in this story do not belong to me. They belong to Marvel Comics, so it will be rather useless if you sue me on copyright infringement.
I hope you will enjoy this story.
I would also like to thankGruver for the beta, and the ever patient Roguestar for the edit.
I owe you guys so much already.
Is there any way I will ever repay you?
Another special thanks has to go out toFaith Barnett for the information on Irene Adler.
Lastly, I would like to dedicate this little story to `My Queen', who believed in my writing when even I, the author, did not.
Just remember folks. Lomas is a creature that thrives on feedback, so please send it to
Cries in the Night
I am woken from my restless sleep by a soft cry coming from the rest of the house. I have always been a light sleeper, and it does not take much to rouse me from my fitful doze. I shake my head slightly in an effort to rid me of my grogginess.
Once again I hear the cry that roused me from my sleep. It sounds terrified, frightened and angry, all at the same time. Pushing my hair out of my eyes irritably, I throw back the covers of the big double-bed that I share with Irene, determined on finding out what the matter is.
Once more that cry sounds, compelling me to hurry. My heart clenches at the bone-chilling sound, for this time, anger, terror and fear are gone, replaced by pure anguish.
I do not bother putting on my slippers as I rush out of the room, my feet shocked by the cold floor. All is secondary as I search for the source of that anguished sound.
It sounds once more, and this time, it mutates into a full blown shriek of terror.
I cannot help myself any longer, and I run towards the room from where it originated - the room of my only daughter.
I lock my hand around the door handle, twisting it sharply. I hardly notice the sharp snap as the latch of the closed door lets loose, the well-being of my daughter my only concern.
I hurriedly push open the door, letting myself into her room.
The room is bathed in moonlight that cascades freely into the room from the outside, its progress not impeded by the thick drapes that frame the windows.
Many poets and writers have described moonlight as soft, romantic and soothing, but as it twists around the thrashing frame of my daughter, it has none of these supposedly positive qualities. Instead, it turns the already pale skin of my only daughter into something far worse. She seems almost ghostly, even ghoulish. I am suddenly terrified of going over to her so I may comfort her from the nightmare that has her in its cold clutches.
"Don't be a fool." I berate myself. "She needs you, Raven! What are you? A coward?!"
Steeling myself, I stride resolutely over to my thrashing daughter, watching as her form wriggles under her sweat-drenched bed sheets. Her brown hair, with the distinctive white streak through the middle, is plastered to her scalp, and her skin is coated with a fine sheen of perspiration.
Her full-length silk pajamas are plastered to her body, as if to hold her fast whilst the nightmare wreaks its havoc.
She opens her mouth as if to scream, but clams it shut, a soft moan escaping from her lips instead. Her facial expression twists into one of unspoken sorrow and pain, and it wrenches my heart to see her so.
I reach out with my hand to shake her awake, only to stop mere inches from her shoulder. I try to convince myself that I stopped because I had read somewhere that it was not good to wake someone from a nightmare, but deep down, I am afraid - afraid of the terror I'd see in her emerald-green eyes once they opened
So, instead, I settle down on the bed next to her, gently taking her upper body in my arms, cradling her sweat-drenched head in my lap. At first, her whole body stiffens at my touch. I am faintly surprised by her actions, but then I start crooning to her in what I hope is a soothing voice.
My efforts are in vain as I feel her fight against me. Suddenly she lets out a gut-wrenching wail, screaming out the name of her tormentor, as if to rid herself of it.
"Ah'm sorry Cody! Ah didn't mean ta! All Ah wanted was ta kiss ya! Ah never meant ta hurt ya!"
Sobs tear through her body as tears spill over her flushed, over-heated cheeks.
For a moment I am at a loss, not knowing what to do.
In desperation, I follow my heart.
"Shhh, baby, it's okay. I've got you. There's nothing to be afraid of. I'm here. You're safe here, honey. I love you baby, so shhh, it's okay, because I'm here".
Sure enough, her thrashing subsides, and I feel some of the tension drain out of her lithe frame.
I feel myself relax also, as she relaxed further and further into my soft embrace. I smooth back some of the stray strands of hair that criss-crossed her forehead, softly tucking it in behind one ear, rocking her gently back and forth all the while.
I hear her hurried breathing slow down to a steady rhythm, becoming slower and deeper as the last remnants of the nightmare fade away, replaced by sweet sleep once more.
I feel her moving around in my arms as she subconsciously tries to become more comfortable in my embrace. I loosen my hold on her ever so slightly as she settles down, her breathing now deep and even.
I instinctively know the danger has passed, and my troubled daughter is now safe from harm. Yet, I hold her, stroking her soft hair with her head nestled in my lap. I try to imagine the pain, the terror that she was just forced to experience, but I find I cannot.
I look down on her face, and before me I see the face of a tormented girl replaced by the face of a sleeping angel. I feel the heat of my love for her, my only daughter, spread through my heart. I bend over slightly; kissing the top of her head, careful not to touch exposed skin.
How beautiful, how innocent she seems as she lies here, nestled on my lap, her breathing even, her once troubled heart at peace.
Some part of me wishes that I could keep her this way, but the hard, realistic side of me knows I cannot
She is many things: my daughter, the light of my life Nonetheless, she is so much more
I am not surprised by the stab of pain I feel, nor by the single hot tear that slides down my cheek
I look down into the face of my sleeping daughter once again, listening intently to her rhythmic breathing.
She seems at peace with the world, knowing that I was there when she needed me. She trusts me, her mother, to keep her safe, even from nightmares. She sees me as the only way to a normal life, where no one will blame her for what she did to the Robbins boy. In me and Irene, she sees family.
Then, my mind speaks, reminding me of why I took her in, why I chose her.
"Maybe I *am* her key to family, but she is also my key to power. True power. She is my daughter, and I do love her, but she is also my tool. A powerful tool that cannot be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. A tool that *will* be guided by my hand. A tool that must be used, no matter the cost.
I feel her fidget on my lap once more, a small sigh of happiness escaping from her lips.
Enjoy your sense of family as long as what you can daughter, for things will not stay that way -
I am sure of it.
Written by Lomas