|How Long is Forever?
Author: Demons Of Doom PM
Starfire leaves. Obsolete Cyborg knows his batteries wont hold for much longer. Bald Beast Boy feels strange outside of his cage. Raven isn't sure if what's happening to her is real. And Nightwing stares at them, not quite sure what to do.Rated: Fiction K - English - Friendship/Hurt/Comfort - Raven & Starfire - Chapters: 9 - Words: 22,271 - Reviews: 38 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 39 - Updated: 01-10-13 - Published: 06-21-12 - id: 8240908
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
You will find lack of details and gramatical mistakes. I can do much better but considering the amount of reviews get...I won't bother. If you find the concept interesting and review, I will work harder.
They looked at each other uneasily, bad and good memories playing in their minds. They seemed to be leveling each set of thoughts, maybe trying to decide which was more worthy. Beast Boy finally smiled and patted Cyborg's shoulder briefly.
"How've you being, little man." The huge man answered with a smile of his own and patted the bald green head. "Being some time."
"Some lots of time." Nightwing added. He did not smile. "I've been working solo since we slipped apart."
"Heh…I kinda tried too…."
Beast Boy blushed, his sad eyes lowered to the ground.
Nightwing ignored the comment and regarded each of them carefully. Beast Boy never looked up to meet his eyes again and Raven's face remained hiding in the darkness of her hood. Only Cyborg held his gaze, and he couldn't help but notice certain defiance on the exchange.
"I don't think Starfire's visit from the past is something we should disregard. I'm not enough to protect the whole city. It needs the Titans."
"We aint kids no more."
"Yeah...how they gonna call us? The Out of Shape Titans?"
It wasn't a joke but the comment made Nightwing smile.
Raven and Beast Boy had not seen the tower in a very long time. It was definitely in ruins. The windows were broken, parts of the wall had crumbled and the smell of rusted iron and humidity was unbearable. Raven refused to enter and Beast Boy offered to stay with her. They waited alone in the snow-covered island in silence.
He soon regreted staying. He felt worse each passing second. It wasn't just the sight of the destroyed tower or the great view of the desolated city. He realized Raven's presence was unsettling. She was just standing there...but he didn't want to be near. He didn't want to talk or even look at her. A primal silent instinct seemed to be urging him to leave. At first, it was ignored…but then Beast Boy finally turned and hurried away from her without a word.
The T-Car roared back to life. Cyborg smiled. It was the only thing that functioned properly in the Tower. It was the one thing he had worked on all those years. To be able to show it off to someone again was gratifying and that choking feeling of inferiority he felt around Nightwing banished as the car glowed to glorious life.
"We'll work from my base." Robin said, closing the passenger's seat door. "It's up to date but I'm sure you'll be able to improve it once you're…better."
Cyborg sighed. The adrenaline of the fight was gone and he could feel again the metal biting on his flesh and the plastic and cables mixed with his organs. All dead weight of a machine that was slowly losing all the energy it had left. The batteries had run low after few hours of usage and days of recharging. His body was obsolete.
But his mind was mostly human. He could still learn and work. Maybe that was all he would be able to do for the team. And Robin knew it. He wasn't sure how to feel about that.
He stepped on the accelerator and rode out of Titan's Tower, maybe for the last time.
The T-Car glided in the darkness. The city was in silence, only the stray dogs could be heard, barking and howling in the night. Without the Titans to protect its streets, it had turned into one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. People were afraid to come out at night. Those that did usually didn't make it back home.
Nightwing hated this city. He hated what it had become. He felt responsible for it. If the Titans would have stayed together, how many lives could have been saved? How many criminals would be in jail instead of wandering freely on his streets?
The Titans were once again together, though. Maybe, soon, things would change again and for the better this time.
The Circus was disgusting. Majestic beasts lay crumbled inside tiny cages covered with snow. Burly men dressed as clowns and magicians patrolled its perimeter, armed to the teeth and eyeing them warily. Beast Boy hopped into a cage in a dark secluded corner and hurried back to their side with a backpack hanging from his shoulder.
Raven was staring at him and Beast Boy pointedly ignored her. They sat as far apart as the car would allow. After a while, she looked away but that unease sensation, that unbearable sadness, still squeezed at his heart. He cleared his throat.
"So, uh…Nightwing what shampoo're you using?"
"Just stop using flee-poison in your hair, Beast Boy."
"Told ya that garbage was gonna burn your hair."
The small smiles in their faces disappeared. Raven's soft voice floated in the air.
"We all should have listened more."
"You wasted no time, uh?"
"Time is too precious to be wasted, Cyborg."
Nightwing stated firmly as he led them through a long dark corridor. The lights came to life and died again as they moved. It was cold in there and every step they took caused a metallic echo around them. It was a far cry from the warm home the Tower had once been.
"Kinda miss my cage." Beast Boy murmured. They glanced at him. "Well, 'cage', right? Kind of a backstage, really."
They finally reached the main room, where several computers beeped and hummed on the walls. A huge screen was the source of the only light illuminating the room. In front of it, a single black chair.
"You were a freak in a cage, Beast Boy." Cyborg grumbled, glancing around. "And I'm starting to feel like a burnt up toaster in a Microsoft-display."
As if to mock him, his robotic eye started flickering and a small alarm beeped. The blue glow of his mechanical parts flickered and died.
"I need to re-charge. Now."
Robin pressed a button in the wall and two panels slid open, revealing the circuits hiding under the iron. Cyborg approached and examined the connector before him. Like everything in here, it was far too advanced for his old circuits. An adapter would allow him to plug in, but to prevent his organic parts from frying; he would have to get disconnected.
"I won't be around for a while."
It was all he said, before connecting the cable into his circuits and the wall- connector. As the energy flood into him, awareness slipped and his body slumped slightly forward. The red cybernetic eye flickered one last time and went dead and his human eye glazed over. The only sound coming from him was produced by the raw sizzling electricity feeding his circuits.
"We all should get some rest." Nightwing stated. "I just have one bed. Raven can use it. You and I will sleep on the ground."
"I do not need a bed."
Raven said and walked away from them towards a secluded corner in the back, where the light of the screen did not reach. Her body merged with the darkness and they could see her no more.
Beast Boy's body changed and shrunk. Nightwing found himself in the company of a small green cat.
"I don't need a bed either." It said and hopped into the chair, purring. "I can use the chair."
It was a pleasant surprise to hear him speak in animal form. At least, he had improved at something. Nightwing glanced at Cyborg and then at the dark corner where Raven had disappeared, and sighed.
He couldn't sleep. There were too many things in his head and even though he tried to hide it, all kind of emotions were boiling under the cool composed exterior.
He had learnt to deal with their loss but now, Starfire's sweet voice, the way she speak, her beautiful face, her vibrant eyes…it all burnt in his mind with renewed power. Sending her back had beenthe right thing to do…not that it made him feel any better. It angered him that after so many years, he once again laid awake because of her.
There was a noise in the corner and he turned to look. Two circular white lights were fixed on him. Raven was awake. She was talking…but he realized the words were not meant to be heard. Those eyes did not see and just happened to fall where he lay. He rose to his feet. The sudden movement seemed to startle her. The glowing eyes disappeared and all he could see was darkness once again. He sighed and turned. It startled him to find another set of eyes watching him quietly from the dark. Those, however, were not intimidating. They irradiated fear and revulsion. The fur of the green cat was on end. It morphed and took the form of a fat small man. Beast Boy's eyes remained in the darkness where Raven hid and his whole body shuddered.
"Can't sleep. I feel weird." His stomach growled fiercely. "Or maybe just hungry."
"We could use some breakfast. It's just a few hours before dawn, anyway."
Cyborg stirred. His circuits went back on line. His battery was recharged. As his awareness returned, he felt the pain first, then the nausea and that burning sensation on the pit of his stomach. It always happened after a burst of raw energy. Before he opened his eyes, his nose caught a sent. An aroma he had not smelt in years. It brought a torrent of heart-warming memories. His mouth watered and his eyes opened to the world once again.
There was a small table in the middle of the room. A single white light washed over the plates saddled with fried eggs and the glasses filled with orange juice. A mountain of waffles stood proudly on the center.
"Oh, my God…"
"Morning." Robin said with a smile.
Beast Boy gestured at the served food with a broad fanged smile.
"Man…I hope those eggs ain't that tofu crap…"
"Robin didn't have any. But don't need to worry, I'll get some later."
They smiled almost timidly at one another, a bit embarrassed by the strong feelings dancing in their chests. Robin walked further into the room and faced the impenetrable darkness laying passed any light.
"I bet you're hungry. Would you care to join us?"
It seemed his offer would be ignored but then a white figure slowly emerged from its dark refugee. Raven stepped into the light and stared in disbelief at the table.
"A favorite!" Robin stated with a smile and grabbed her hand. "Come on."
He led her to the table and they sat. They ate in silence, but for the first time in a very long time, they were happy.