Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans, but it's a nice show anyway.
The Big Fisch: Glad you think the fic makes sense! I'm working on getting them, it's quite a long download, and my ethernet still isn't up.
Change-Of-Heart2: I like Terra mostly for the same reason I like Raven. People with trouble controlling their powers interest me. Anyway, glad you liked the chapter!
Mint Dragon: It's always good that you won't kill me. I'm updating now. As for the next fic, that depends largely on when I can get a good idea to work.
Scorpio Serpent: Glad you liked it!
Wanda Magick: Thanks! Here's more now!
JakMakai1519: Glad you liked it so far, here's more.
SlayerGirl1362: Yep, things progressed. Not sure what he decided, you'll have to read the story! ;)
PuprleMusicGoddess: Keep the faith!
Dana1313: Glad you love it!
hello: I'm finishing it, glad you liked it.
Liz: Well, it was slow for me. I usually try to do one a day.
Christina: You are not stupid. I'm glad that you liked how slow it progressed, I tried to make sure it wasn't just some immediate decision. It's been a day, but I'm updating now!
Calisto: You'll have to wait and see.
TrigunChic: Glad you liked it. They are the smallest on the team, but I think Beastboy could carry Raven as far as that. She's a small girl. I don't get writer's block too often, it should be fine.
Skyward Motions: It'll keep coming!
crazyone18: Maybe he picks Raven... maybe he doesn't. You'll have to read.
TiggerLily130: Glad you like it.
Mango Sam: Read it to find out!
Pharoh of the Skies: Thanks. Here's more.
UnOrthodox: Suspense is good!
Mrs. Mystipik: I'm updating as fast as I can without superpowers!
rave-telekinetic: You don't have to wait anymore, it's here!
Cradlerobber Speedo-kun: I liked the way she lost it as well. I didn't want her to simply blow up random background object, so I used normal haunting sort of effects. Thanks for your compliments.
PurpleRave: Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for complimenting me on keeping everyone in character. Hope you enjoy this chapter as well.
WarPrince2000: Glad you like it. I'm updating now.
A/N: It may surprise you all that this is the final chapter. I simply think that this is a good place to end this fic. I might write a sequel or epilogue in the future, but I'm not sure. Thanks for reading!
An Empath's Burden
"Raven, I... I've made a decision." His voice was confident now. The decision had been made, though she couldn't tell what had been decided.
"Yes, Beastboy? What have you decided?" Raven felt her own nervousness boiling inside her, weak enough not to cause a energy release, but strong enough to be discomforting. She still stared into his eyes, awaiting his answer.
"Terra was very important to me, Raven. I loved her, no matter how short a time we had together. But..." Beastboy looked up at the statue, sadness in his features. He paused for a moment, then turned back to Raven. "She's gone now."
Raven's mind raced over the information. She knew that Terra was important to Beastboy. He'd completely swooned for her while she was a Titan. Still, she also knew that Beastboy wanted her as well. She did not, however, want to simply be a replacement for Terra. She wanted him to love her as she was.
Beastboy continued. "Still, no matter how much I loved her, she wasn't the right girl for me. When I was looking at the statue... I could swear she was talking to me. She told me to be happy, to do whatever I could to be happy enough for both of us." Beastboy smiled weakly.
"I guess it sounds stupid, doesn't it?" He sighed, his smile remaining, but looking much less forced. "Still, I need to admit to it. She wasn't the right girl for me."
Beastboy looked into Raven's moistening purple eyes, those beautiful eyes that he had loved for so long. "You are, Raven. I can't see myself with anyone but you, and I hope you feel the same way."
Raven smiled. She felt her insides melting as he stared into her eyes. He had agreed. Not only had he agreed, but he saw her as more than just a rebound from Terra. He wanted to be with her, and he wanted to stay with her for a long time. She could feel the emotions rising inside her, but she couldn't contain them. She couldn't suppress it.
She could see in his eyes that he could tell what was happening. He pulled her close to him, holding her, trying to calm her. Her emotions were still surging, but in his arms... she felt alomst serene. She let go. For the second time since she could remember, she willingly just let go.
Nothing was destroyed, nothing was damaged. She let go of her emotions, she let herself be happy, she let herself love, she let herself smile and hold him. She felt relief, she felt joy, she felt all the emotions she had hidden for so long. Yet, somehow, incredibly, nothing was destroyed. The glass on the floor, the twisted metal surrounding them, the very statue of Terra herself... nothing was damaged. In Beastboy's arms, she was secure.
Beastboy held her for nearly an hour, as she spoke to him about her feelings, and he spoke to her, telling her about all the new things she could feel now that she was able to let go, if only when he was holding her. She felt like she was in heaven.
She had calmed, her feelings spent, and was instead simply being held, with the security and well-being that came from it. He held her, and her empathy told her that he was calm and happy as well, simply from being able to be so close to someone. It was bliss.
Suddenly, they both heard steps approaching, from behind them. Raven turned quickly, always alert to possible danger or spies. Beastboy let go of her, turning to face the person who was in such a strange location.
A tall, well-muscled man stepped forward. He was dressed as any civilian would be, nothing special or interesting. He was an older man, grey-haired, and an air of quiet intelligence about him. Something in his aura was familiar to Raven, but she couldn't trace it. He stepped forward, seemingly unfazed by their presence.
His voice was calm, his words well-planned and careful. He seemed as if he never spoke offhand. "I am not surprised that the Titans would come and pay respects to her as well."
Raven noticed Beastboy relax. He was far too quick to trust people, but she couldn't talk to him about that right now. He spoke to the stranger. "Did you know Terra?"
He nodded slowly, looking up at the statue. "She was like a daughter to me. I did many things for her, to help her."
Beastboy stood next to the man, and held out his hand. "I'm Beastboy, but I guess you know that. She's Raven. Who're you?"
The man turned towards him slightly, giving him an insincere handshake. "My name is unimportant. My apologies, but privacy is very important to me."
Raven could feel Beastboy's nervousness and distrust, but the stranger... was perfectly calm. It was odd to feel so little coming from a normal human. It took extreme mental discipline, only Robin had such ability, garnered from his martial arts training. Well, Robin was the only person she knew of, anyway.
Beastboy pulled his hand back, trying to hide his distrust. He looked back up at the statue, then sighed. "I feel bad, leaving her alone down here all the time."
The stranger just nodded, wordlessly. Raven and Beastboy both felt a bit awkward, as if they were the ones stepping into someone else's private moment. They both silently walked back to their entrance. Raven and Beastboy looked at eachother, both wondering who this man was. No answers could be found easily, however, and they both began the trek back to the surface.
He spoke, nearly silently, to the statue before him. "They are wrong; dear child, you are never alone."
Raven watched the small, green bird in front of her, as it flew through the midday air. The stranger and the sadness of visiting Terra had already been forgotten, as the young new couple flew through the air, Raven feeling free and happy, and Beastboy flapping his wings happily and he dove and circled around her.
Their flight was short, but actually fun. Raven once again held him, as he held her, on the rooftop. She didn't feel as much this time, the situation was less dramatic, but the ability to release her constant restraint... it was amazing to her. She smiled at him, happy to be able to be happy. They both heard the rooftop door open, and were apart before either of them even knew it.
"Friends, perhaps you were at... her statue?" Starfire wore an unusually serious expression. There was sadness in her voice, but neither of them expected it to last long.
"Uh... Yeah. We were just going to pay respects. It's been a month, you know?" Beastboy scratched his head, feeling almost like he was lying. He wasn't technically, but it was close.
Starfire looked puzzled. "Who is 'respects', and what do you pay him for? Is he a groundskeeper?"
Raven shook her head, not irritated, but not surprised either. "Beastboy simply means that we went to honor her. It is simply an expression."
Starfire smiled, always glad to learn a bit of Earthen lore. "Then it is good that someone paid him. Please, come in. Robin has prepared a lunch for all of us, and he hopes that we will all partake."
Beastboy grinned, holding out his arm for Raven to take. Raven gingerly put her hand on his elbow, and allowed him to walk her in. Starfire didn't seem to understand the significance of the act, but smiled at them anyway. They all continued down the stairs and through the hallways, towards the common room.
Raven pulled her hand away from Beastboy's arm as the common room door slid open to reveal the other two Titans, Robin was making another sandwich at the counter, while Cyborg was taking large bites out of the six-meat sandwich in his hands. Robin grinned at the people entering the room.
"Hey Beastboy, this one is for you. Found some fake bacon in the fridge, so I made a BLT for you. Hope you like it. Raven, yours is coming up as soon as you tell me what you want." Robin seemed to be in a good mood, glad to have all the Titans back in the same room.
Raven's dull expression didn't change. "Ham and turkey. Lettuce, tomato-" She could feel Beastboy's disgust at the meat. She sighed. All relationships took comprimise, and she supposed meat would be an easy enough one to make. "Actually, the last time I tried something new, it worked out well. Perhaps a fake bacon BLT would be nice."
Beastboy grinned at her as he took a bite of his sandwich. He gave a thumbs up to Robin as he continued eating. Robin grinned back, working on another sandwich to give Raven, putting Starfire and himself at the last of the group. Starfire was still smiling at Raven, however.
"You are perhaps referring to my Mango soup? It was good?" Her voice was so hopeful that Raven didn't want to spoil it by telling her what she had actually meant.
"Yes, Starfire. Your mango soup was actually very good." It wasn't a lie, but it also wasn't the latest thing she had tried.
Raven meditated, floating gently above her bed. It was already evening, and the stars outside were shining brightly. She didn't see them, however, wrapped in her own mind, calming herself and repairing the recently broken shell around her emotions. Dating Beastboy, despite the calming effect he had on her, would be difficult.
She'd manage, however. The way she had felt today, being held close and wanting it to last forever... she wouldn't give that up no matter what the cost. She had someone to lean on now, and she had someone whom she could console when he needed her. She had someone to need her. She smiled, despite her meditative trance.
It would be difficult, but it would be wonderful. There would certainly be disagreements, there may be problems, there could be any number of setbacks. Her first kiss may end up levelling a building, but she would still be happy.
She had spoken to her emotional personas, once again, during a short trip through her mirror that afternoon. They were all as calm as an emotion could be. Happy was more subdued, yet also more prevalent. Timidity was bolder than normal, and Raven had even heard her laugh, though Timidity immediately apologized for shocking her. Knowledge had been daydreaming, laying her book down long enough to stare into space, thinking of Beastboy. Wisdom had simply nodded, as if she had never expected any different outcome.
Raven's mind was calm and serene, she was perfectly under control again. Everything was fine. She felt strange though, as if some long-empty void in her life had been filled. She felt complete. For the first time in her life, she wasn't alone.
She would never be alone again.
A/N: It's a shorter chapter than normal, and it's the last one. Thanks to you all for reading this story, and I'll post another as soon as I come up with a good idea. If I can't get a good one, I'll settle for an unsual one. I have a few fic requests to look at as well, and I'll be seeing if I can get them written properly before I go and commit to them. Anyway, thanks again for reading, and please review nicely. If I get another 10 reviews, which is few for a chapter of this story, then I'll have passed my most-reviewed other story. See you guys (and gals) again next fic!
A/N/2: I'm sure you can all guess who the stranger in Terra's grave is. It's as obvious as I could make it, without simply stating. I'll give you a hint, starts with "S" and rhymes with "made". See you all next fic. (He's not dead, read the episode summaries for next season)