With Friends Like These

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: Don't own these characters. This is the other side of the ending of the 'Terra' episode. Little bit darker than the other one.

He lied to me. I can't believe he lied to me. I made him swear not to and then he goes and tells Robin. He promised he wouldn't, promised me he'd never tell. I guess a promise doesn't mean very much to him. It does to me.

I should've guessed. Nobody likes me unless they can get something out of me. It happens all the time, practically everywhere I go. People use me and lie to me to get what they want for themselves. I try to be good but someone always has to want something from me in return for their supposed kindness. I try to make friends but they all turn on me in the end and leave me alone. Why should this time be any different? Why should I have expected them, the so-called saviors of the city, to be any different than the rest of the world? The Teen Titans. Maybe they're not so good and righteous after all. Maybe Beast Boy's not the guy I thought he was. Whatever, I don't care anymore.

My feet have carried me far away from the city and into the dusty desert and winding canyons where I came from. My legs are tired and I decide to give them a break by sitting down on a large rock. I stare out into the distance, away from the city. The desert's beautiful at night. Out here, it feels like I'm the only one on Earth. Out here I'm truly alone and right now I wouldn't want it any other way. I don't need them; don't need anyone. I've survived by myself okay so far. Forget all this personal attachment crap. All it does is get someone hurt in the end. I don't need any friends.

I absently pick up a rock and toss it into the air before catching it again. I repeat the process as my mind drifts back to the Titans. Beast Boy. I trusted him. I liked him, really liked him. Why couldn't he have just kept his big mouth shut? He promised he wouldn't tell and I believed him. God, I'm such an idiot! I throw the rock in my hand on the ground and feel my eyes begin to water.

'It's okay, Tara,' says a voice. I hear a voice in my head sometimes. It's a nice voice, a friendly one. It talks to me when I'm sad or tells me what to do when I'm angry or in a jam. I don't really know whose voice it is. It sounds different from my regular thoughts so I know that's not it. I used to think it was the ground talking to me but I don't really know for sure. I don't question where the voice comes from very much because it's been good to me. Sometimes I think it's my only friend.

'Of course I am, silly,' chides the voice, 'Haven't I always been there for you?'

"Yes," I reply aloud. Since I'm alone most of the time I have this habit of talking to myself or answering the voice aloud. That's another habit I don't question very much.

'See, you don't need anyone else,' assures the voice, 'especially not them.'

"But they were so nice to me," I tell the voice, "I really wanted to be their friend."

'I know,'replies the voice sympathetically, 'They always seem that way at first though, don't they?'

"Yeah, they do," I agree sadly. I feel a twinge of anger rise in me. Why? Why am I doomed to live my life alone without anyone else in the world to turn to? I start to get mad but then I quickly stop because I'm afraid to lose control again.

'It's okay to feel angry, Tara,'the voice tells me, 'It's perfectly healthy.'

"But I hurt people when I'm angry," I tell it, "and I don't wanna lose control." I hate it that I can't control my powers. No matter how hard I try it just never seems to help.

'Tara, it's not healthy to hide your feelings,'explains the voice, 'You know that.'

"Yes," I reply quietly, "Yes, I know that."

'And you should be angry because they hurt you,'says the voice, 'Just like everyone else does . . .except for me.'

"No, you'd never do that," I tell it, "You're always there for me."

'Yes, I'm always there for you,'replies the voice, 'You're angry at the Titans. You should let me handle it, Tara. You should let me have a few words with them.'

"No, I . . .I don't think you should," I tell it in a worried tone. Whenever I get mad or lose control it's like my real self is suddenly replaced by someone else. It's like I can't handle all the stress so I let someone else do it for me.

'Yes, I should,'replies the voice, 'Do you remember that time in Gotham, Tara? Do you remember what those nasty men tried to do to you?'

"They," I choke, "They chased me into a dead-end alley. They . . .they put their hands on me and tried . . .tried to . . .." I feel the tears start to come as I remember that night. The filthy scene replays itself in my mind and I feel the familiar rage bubble up inside me like hot magma. How dare they try to do that to a sixteen-year-old girl.

'Yes,'agrees the voice, 'How dare they. And do you remember crying out for help? Do you remember asking me for help?'

"Yes," I reply tearfully, "There was no one else around to hear my pleas except you."

'I helped you, Tara,'says the voice, 'I took care of those vile men for you, didn't I?'

"Yes," I repeat.

'I made them scream and beg for mercy just as they had tried to get you to do. I made sure they never laid a hand on anyone ever again,'continues the voice, 'I always take care of you, don't I? I always know what's best for you, Tara.'

"Yes," I repeat again. I can remember watching that night as the ground beneath their feet swallowed those men whole, burying them alive. Their screams were like music.

'You're angry at the Titans and you should be,'the voice reminds me, 'No one should treat you that way.'I feel the ground start to quake. No one should use me. I'm sick of it. Everyone lies to me, everyone. I hate it!

'You should hate it,'says the voice, 'Get mad, Tara. It'll feel so good to let your anger out. You know you want to. You know you want revenge.'

"Yes!" I shout. I feel the earth tremble and moan beneath my feet. It rocks and shakes and rumbles with all my fury. I hate them, hate them all. I tried to be their friend but they couldn't accept me and he couldn't keep his promise. I wasn't good enough for them. I'm never good enough for anyone! I feel myself start to slip away. Suddenly I am watching all these things happen as if I am a bystander and not an instigator. I see myself lose control out here in the middle of nowhere but it doesn't feel like I'm in the driver's seat. Then as quickly as I realize I'm not in control, the anger subsides and the tremors fade away.

'That felt very good, didn't it?'asks the voice, 'You feel much better now.'

"Yes," I reply, "Much better." I do feel better. Sometimes it's okay to lose control, to lose yourself in something. We all need a release once in awhile. You can't bottle it up and store it inside you forever.

'You know who the enemy is now,'says the voice, 'You know what you want.'

"Revenge," I reply coldly as I stare towards the city, "I want revenge."

'See, Tara,'the voice tells me, 'I always know what's best for you. Aren't I such a good friend?'

"Yes," I reply as I feel the bitter rage begin to gnaw at me, "You're the best friend I could've asked for."

'That's right,'agrees the voice, 'And not only am I the best friend you have, I'm also the only friend you'll ever need. All you have to do is listen to me and everything will be fine.'

"Go ahead," I reply as I feel another round of tremors starting in me, "I'm listening."