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There are very few moments in Raven's relatively young life that she can remember being truly stunned by something to such an extent that it literally changed everything, aside from one. The night she met Charles, when she was just a girl. She was shocked to discover she wasn't alone. There were others who could do things – special things – just like she could. It had given her a feeling in her stomach as though she'd been punched and had caused the world to seem to tilt a bit as hope exploded within her. Everything changed for her. It had been life-altering.

Now, however, she realizes she's going to have to add another time to that very short, extremely exclusive list. Because right now, she's feeling that same way again. Something huge is happening that is changing her entire perspective on life as she's always understood it. This time, however, it isn't because of what she can do but rather where she's wound up. Or, more importantly, when.

New York City in 2013. New York City she can handle. She's spent plenty of time in the city and knows how to survive just fine. But fifty years into the future in the blink of an eye? It's enough to make her wonder what else, exactly, is possible. Because even for someone who can change her shape to look like anyone she wants, time travel is a tough pill to swallow.

Not impossible, though. So while the situation is a heady one, it isn't enough to steal her composure for long. After a few heartbeats of staring with a somewhat slack-jawed expression at the date on the newspaper in a corner stand, she pulls herself together and turns to take in her surroundings more fully with a raised chin and speculative look. She isn't blue, as much as she longs to shed her "normal" human guise and return to her truly natural look. For the time being, though, she isn't trying to draw attention to herself. She just wants to blend in and figure out what in the hell is going on.

That's the last thought that goes through her mind as she moves away from the newspaper stand and, with her gaze still flickering from the shops to the people around her, Raven absently steps off the curb and directly toward oncoming traffic.

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The Big Applesauce

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