Well, I don't own Teen Titans. I just watch the show whenever I remember to. This is very little as of late because I'm waiting for the new episodes. So, I don't own Beast Boy, Rave, Terra, Robin, Cyborg, or Starfire. Diemond was really just some lame idea that came to me in a dream, if anyone wanted to know. You didn't? I didn't really think anyone would... ::sigh:: I always enjoy feed back and, as this is my very first fanfic to be posted for scrutiny, I'll thank you in advance for being so kind as to review.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Screams

Sunlight, sifting through the crystalline glass, caresses her still form; the details of her face remain, as they will always remain, immovable and passive, though they are contorted into shock and grim determination. Her eyes mock me as they have always mocked me. Her open mouth tempts me, agape though eternally silent, her shouted warning lost amid the highly polished crystal whose irregular edges stab mercilessly skyward, refracting light into an array of resplendence.

It had been so quick. The rush and the fear, the sudden stillness and the beating heart captured in glass, the lungs stilled, and the brain shut off. Yes, it had been so quick and sudden. So frightful and so horrible and so silent as my breath caught in my throat though it still ripped through the delicate lining to emerge from parted lips as a scream. Your name.

Had you ever known? Had I? Before that moment, when I thought I would have eternity to tell you by way of sonnets and my useless poetry that filled the clutter and chatter of my mind?

I suppose your benediction in this entire ordeal is that you have never, and will never, age nor see the shadow creeping upon the threshold of the Tower. You'll never see the veil or the ashes.

Ever since this happened to you, I have come to visit you in your glass prison. The others had, after all, propped you up in the recreation room. It is almost grotesque. I suppose it would be grotesque, had it been one of the others. But it is you, beloved, and I hardly see it as a crime that we suffer to see your gorgeous face each day.

But your lifeless eyes are forever staring at a foe long since sentenced to the dust from which he came. You are silent and still. Had it not been for my somewhat useless efforts to clean, you would be coated in dirt. But we can't have that then, can we, beloved?

I think Robin says that I speak to you too often. But I don't think he speaks to you enough. The others don't either. Sometimes Star drops by and she cries. She doesn't know that I have heard her. She thinks she is alone when she bows her head a weeps; she believes herself to be without a savior when she does so. I have seen Star night after night after night.

Something is wrong when Star cries. I have long thought so, though I can't quite place why. Perhaps it is because she has always been bright and burning, as her namesake so aptly describes her. She used to dance and twirl for the sake of twirling and loving the way her hair whirled out to circle around her. But I think that it is the ultimate evil to see Star cry because such innocence should never be touched by such pain, by such evil as the one that not only touched you, love, but fully embraced you and locked you in your prison.

Today, in fact, marks the first day in a long line of days; the day you first saw the gun barrel raise and saw the passive future and the impossible eternity which would become your cage, your still frame.

Diemond. A name I'll never forget.

He was, as so many others were, another villain, a bad guy, a disturbed and dangerous member of the social elite having lost his multinational conglomerate corporation to another hungry multinational conglomerate corporation. He, wracked with grief and anger, slew his family and, using the diamonds that his business had mined, created a weapon that even our Robin could not fathom.

Using heating cells more advanced than the military's he could melt the diamonds and shoot the burning stream at any object or, in your unfortunate case, person that came within his range. It meant death, whether the scalding gem fluid traveled down your windpipe or whether you were spared the heat and smothered. There was no escape once crystallized in the molten diamond. No escape and no hope.

An obvious danger to the good citizens of Jump City, we, the unconquerable Titans, knew that our duty was to reach Diemond and subdue him in any ways possible.

So we, using whatever superpower or talent that we had been endowed, nay cursed with, hurried over to where Diemond had already claimed a dozen lives.

But surely, we all thought, surely we would return to the Tower unscathed and unharmed, waving and grinning triumphantly as we went. This Diemond had to be one of the many amateurs that we so often saw and dealt with. We had, after all, never been defeated in battle or even harmed in such a way that would need minimal hospital care. We were shinning examples of the superhero in his prime.

But, ah, were we wrong.

Terra, having just joined us, was excited and bright and cheerful and full of energy as she strapped her goggles onto her golden head and motioned for us to follow. Let's go get 'em, team. Bright smiles all around, Robin nodding valiantly and waving at the rest of us to hurry on, hurry on, time to fight the bad guy. Let's go get 'em team.

But, for some reason, you stayed behind, face smooth and clear of emotion as always. Impassive and cold, though your eyes burned with an intensity I have never seen in the brightest star. You murmured something under your breath, and I think I asked you to repeat yourself. You didn't hear me, I think. You didn't answer.

Did you know then? Did your gift of foresight show you your cage before you were even ensnared? A bird seeing with acceptance the bars and the shadows and the sky that vanished before it had truly been loved? Yes, that's what you are. My beautiful bird.

Of course, you used to lapse into these little fazes and moods, suddenly become reflective and cold, at least, more reflective and colder than normally. So I suppose I thought little of it.

We hurried out to face our foe, finding him in a main street in the heart of Jump City, blasting anything and everything that came within his gun's destructive radius. I'll never forget the stench of burning flesh and hair, the screams of pain before the silence that is worse than any shriek I've ever heard. Women were running with their children, sobbing and crying out for a Lord who did not answer back.

It is amazing, really, the sounds a human being can make when faced with a pain beyond all imagining. I saw the mangled corpses of so many who, though not struck directly with the molten diamond, nevertheless felt its heat and fire melt the clothing to their skin, burned beyond all recognition. Holes scorched through human flesh that should never be present. The thin screech of a collapsed windpipe opened to the stench of the rotting skin that sent its ungodly whistle up and up and up, carried on a gust of wind.

Star was crying with muffled sobs. Robin had brought his cape to cover his nose against the onslaught of reeking human decay. Cyborg hid his face in his huge hands, allowing a shivering Terra to hide behind is great frame. I stood in shock and horror, wishing with all the strength in my being that I could be back at the Tower playing a game or anything. Anything please God anything else, just take it all away.

I still see them. I still see their pain and it haunts my dreams and becomes my nightmares.

And you, expressionless as always, just stared and stared and stared, eyes half–lidded and face drawn as though in a great pain.

I had never, before that moment, seen that look in your eyes as you saw the dying and the dead and the pathetic bloody hands reaching up to your cloak, moaning for death and for and end to the pain.

We had to make haste. Diemond had to die.

So we went in to attack as we always did, driving our offensive right at him in an attempt to knock the gun from his hands. Cyborg hit him with all he had. Star cried helplessly as she threw fire bolt after fire bolt at his chest. Robin, carried by yours truly, threw his weight into each blow he landed with his staff. Terra, floating on her igneous friends, sent cascade after cascade of rock at him. And you, hovering nearby, sent a barrage of random, diamond encrusted objects hurling in his direction.

But we had vastly underestimated.

He dodged and he fired and he somersaulted and he rushed. He had been trained and he had been trained with deadly accuracy.

And it was only when we had tired that he finally unleashed the full power of his firearm. He loaded and he aimed directly at the closest Titan to him.

Terra could not move as the barrel stared her straight in the face, the smoke a testament to the flaming beauty that she would be engulfed in, the once delicacy and perfection of a diamond lost in the stench of singed flesh.

I don't know why you did what you did. I wish I knew so that I could weep for your reasoning and for your bravery. In my mind, you did it to be a hero. You did it because you cared for Terra as your friend and ally in the battle against evil.

But I think I know why you did it.

It was for me, wasn't it? You were sure I loved her, sure that, should she die, I would cease to be the Beast Boy that you knew and cared for. I would vanish from this world and this realm and fall deep inside myself as I mourned her passing.

So, to protect me, you saw your opportunity and your window and you leapt at it.

There was a flash of light and a cry of horror and a clattering as metal stuck concrete and a crash as crystal met the unyielding ground.

Then silence as Terra, having been pushed back, scrambled to her feet and pressed a slightly burned hand to her lips and turned away quickly, squeezing her eyes shut. Then Star screamed and Cyborg muffled a shout as we stared.

You stood there, suspended really, in diamond. Your face seemed to register nothing, eyes staring at nothing but air where Diemond had once been.

And then I think I screamed, but I can't really remember. I just remember that you were gone, though I didn't know where. If I had known I would have followed you, chasing you down until I held you and cradled you and saw your eyes looking at me and not at nothing.

Everything about you had been preserved, down to the most finite of details; the way your cloak had been swept up just a little; the way your hair had been lifted; the way your hands remained at your sides though you had wanted to shield your face.

You were perfect.

I don't know how you remained unscathed. Perhaps you used your powers to prevent the heat. Perhaps. But we will never know because your mouth, though open will never utter another word. Somehow, you avoided the heat and, instead of being a burned and scarred monster, you have become like a doll suspended in crystal.

I don't know exactly what happened in the days following, only that I screamed at Robin and Cyborg to please try to get you out of that prison. Please try, just try to reach her, get her out, maybe she's still... maybe she's still...

You had, after all, been spared the heat. Maybe you had somehow survived inside you tomb. Maybe you were screaming at us to help you, but we were deaf.

I think they tried a few times, using the advanced technology available at the Tower. They tried to drill and to cut and to saw their way down to you and your passive face and your staring eyes. But diamond is diamond and we could not break it.

They couldn't get your out. Please try again. Please don't leave her like this. What if she's till alive? Please don't give up. Keep going. Don't let her stay there. Don't leave her. Please oh God oh God oh God don't leave her.

They couldn't get you, Rae. They tried, but I think that even if you are screaming in your little prison they can't hear you and neither can I. I tried. I tried. I'm so sorry.

So they propped you up in there as if you are some trophy of sorts. She sacrificed so much, Robin would say, to save a fellow team mate. We should honor her.

Terra doesn't like to see you. She avoids coming into that room at all times, choosing instead to wander Jump City until the wee hours of the morning when sleep forces her to close her eyes so that she cannot see your face.

She blames herself, you know. Thinks it's her fault, but it isn't.

So I would come in there every day to see you, to stare at you and to try desperately to see anything in the violet depths of your eyes.

I never noticed how beautiful you are until I stared at you fixed in diamond, at your unseeing eyes and silent scream.

I don't understand why Robin and Cyborg insisted on putting you in the recreation room. You never liked that place; the big screen T.V. and the booming stereos just added to the noise that you despised and, I'll wager, still do despise. I tell them every once and a while to turn down their music or video game because I know it gives you a headache.

I told them to put you on the roof. You loved it up here. You meditated up there almost every day, and I came up to bother you all the time. I would make some stupid joke and you would narrow your eyes and tell me to bother someone else. But I could always see the laughter, the joy that entered your eyes when I stopped to talk to you.

But Robin said that the elements would get you. It sounded like he wanted to preserve you in your glass case, a doll on display until the end of time. If he had his way you would become another artifact in his evidence room, surrounded by all manner of ungodly instruments used by only the seediest of villains. I think he wanted to keep you intact for future generations, future Titans if ever the case would be, so that they would gather around and hear of you bravery.

I knew you'd hate that, spreading death around as a message of hope. Propaganda you told me once as we watched the news. You hated war propaganda. You said the government was always so eager to put words in the mouths of the dead. That they could always cheer on wars because of the noble dead.

You would have hated it.

So, I've take it upon myself to bring you up here myself.

They've gone into the city, the other Titans. I decided to bring you up here, beloved, to celebrate your anniversary with a gift. If course, by the time they get here, I'll have already given it to you.

So here we are, Rae, on the edge of the Tower overlooking Jump City at its finest. Your favorite place to be. I've made it up here with your coffin. The sunset looks gorgeous on you, if you don't mind me saying. The oranges and reds reach through the diamond and touch you. I hope the sun warms you. I was always afraid you would be cold.

Oh, if only you could smell the wind, the salt carried from the sea that laps at our shores. The breeze feels heavenly today, and the evening has brought out only the bravest of stars, shining faintly through the veil of light from the sun. I hope you can see this, if you could never see my face or anything, then please see this.

Rae? I don't want you to be in this case any longer. You have suffered in silence for a year, and I can't bear the thought that you may still be in there somewhere, crying for us to find you and rescue you. So please Rae, just close your eyes and take a deep breath where ever you are in there. Surely you are in there. You wouldn't leave me. You have to be in there, Rae, so please don't be afraid.

Ah, and there are our comrades. Robin's in the lead, as always. He's screaming for me to stop, but I'm afraid that won't be happening. We're already on the edge, and there's nothing out there but air and nothing, like what you stare at ever second of every hour since you became trapped.

Star's behind him. She's got her hand outstretched. Wave goodbye, Rae.

Cyborg's in the back. His face is contorted in fear and disbelief. Cy, you've been such a great friend.

And there's Terra. She always thought I loved her, but I didn't. Still, a blown kiss to you Terra. Keep entertaining that dream of yours. Let it grow and fill your mind ad wrap itself around your brain, let it fill every crevice and ever nook within you. Water it daily and try very hard to keep a straight face when you realize that it is a lie.

Well, time for the plunge, Rae. Time for the rush and the blood and maybe, just maybe, you'll see the ground rise to meet you. I know I will. I figure you'll shatter on impact, but I'll just be something gooey for them to scrape off the pavement. Maybe I'll see you standing before me as I land. Maybe you'll just spring free and laugh with me and we'll laugh and laugh like we never could before.

On the count of three, my love.


B.B! No!


Please Beast Boy! Let me try to make amends-


I love you!

So sorry Terra. But I've just jumped with my love, and we're sailing to Earth and to a release from the prisons, so I have to leave-

And then the ground greets me with a cruel slap and I am staring, with failing eyesight at your splintered body, at the shards of diamond that glitter perfectly in the vanishing light of dusk. But for some reason, you aren't standing there like I hoped. The diamond shattered, and so did you. Everywhere there is glass that is violet, the color of your hair, and black, your leotard. Blue, your cloak.

But there I see a splinter that contains your eyes. And your eyes stare at me for the first time in a year and I know what true peace is. I've opened your cage and you are free.

Fly away little Raven, fly away.