Heroes Never Die

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: Don't own these characters. Since I've done a fic for every major Terra episode I had to do one for Aftershock too. Oh and I really, really don't like this "no paragraph indentations" deal.

"You were the best friend I ever had." The words echo in my head even as I speak them. It's strange that with all the cacophony around us I can only hear the sound of my voice as I speak those words. I send Beast Boy away after that. I don't really want him to see what will probably happen to me. Chances are I'm going to die. I can feel all the power inside me raging to get out. I can't let it all out through just my hands anymore. It's like my whole body is about to be ripped apart at the seams.

I have pushed myself to the edge and stared over it. There is no going back for me. I cannot simply return to the life I once led or the friends I once had. I am not Terra the Titan, simply Terra the traitor. No, I am something more now. I am Terra the martyr. If you had told me that I was going to die at age fifteen I would've laughed. Truth is, with my life I should've died a long time ago. I kinda wish I had so that way it wouldn't hurt so much to die now. I mean all the world will remember about me is Terra the traitor, Terra the destroyer, Terra the villain. They won't remember Terra the kid, the stupid kid who made the wrong choice.

When I was very young I used to watch cartoons a lot. I still love to actually although now I'll never get to anymore. I remember now when I lived with the Titans I would get up extra early on Saturdays. Sometimes Beast Boy would too so we could both watch them together. I can't say what it is about a hero that makes everyone love them so much. Maybe it's because they always do the right thing. Maybe it's because they never make mistakes and always save the day. Heroes don't make wrong choices.

I never really liked heroes like that though. They were too good to be true. They just weren't really believable, you know? No, the kind of hero I always admired was the one who made mistakes. Maybe someone he loved got killed because of his carelessness. Maybe he used to be a bad guy. Maybe something happened that turned him into a hideous monster and he was forced to always be alone. It's not really the tragedy that makes a hero like that loved, it's what their reaction is to it. They don't quit. It doesn't matter how many times they screw up or fail or lose their way. They just get back up and try again. That's what I always loved to see because I could relate to it.

So am I a hero now? Here in the epicenter of a volcano I have helped to create I ask myself that question. Here as I stand before the friends I almost helped slaughter I ponder the concept of heroism. I certainly can't see myself as a hero. No, I'm just a girl, a scared little girl who is about to take a flying leap off of a cliff and knows she will hit the bottom hard. I'm just a girl who made the wrong choices, a girl who caved in to all the dark emotions people experience all the time. Anger, resentment, fear, jealousy, are those the motives of a true hero? I certainly don't think so.

The heat from the lava scorches me now but it's nothing compared to the furnace of power burning within me. It's a power I've worked all my life to control, to bottle up and save for a rainy day. This is certainly one hell of a thunderstorm I've found myself caught in, isn't it? It's funny about control, about who has it and who just seems to have it. All my life I wanted control but I never realized I had it all along. Sure I may screw up a lot but at least I have control over what I use my powers for. But control's a tricky thing. Do you have control or does control have you? It's hard to tell sometimes. Slade wanted to control me so he manipulated me. I was always the one really in control though. He knew once I simply realized it I would be a problem so he put me in this suit. He couldn't even really control me then though, he just made me think he could. I mean if he really could control me I wouldn't be doing this now would I? In fact, I wouldn't have even fought him at all. So who was really in control the whole time, me or Slade? It's kinda confusing, huh? I try not to think about it.

So what will history books say about me? Will I be Terra the traitor or Terra the martyr? I don't really care anymore. If there was ever any moment I knew for sure what I was, it would be now. I am simply Terra: part hero, part traitor, part villain, and part martyr. For once, I'm okay with that. It's strange how calm everything can be before you die. I feel my power flow out of me and into this underground complex that will be my crypt. For this moment, I am everywhere and nowhere all at once. I can feel the cracks in the walls closing, the bubbling magma cooling and subsiding. I can feel this volcano dying and as it does I die with it.

I have no regrets in this moment. Well, perhaps one. I regret that should there be a body left it will still be wearing this damned suit. I would've preferred to be buried in my costume, my uniform that would proudly proclaim to the world my true allegiance. I would've liked to die a Teen Titan. The funny thing is that even this thought isn't really a regret. I am a Titan, always was really. It just took me a long time to figure it out. I had to make a lot of mistakes before I reached the light at the end of the tunnel. So, does all this make me a hero? Have I become like my favorite characters on those Saturday morning cartoons I watched what seems now a lifetime ago? That's for the rest of the world to say. A hero is never a hero in her own eyes. She's simply just a girl.

"Goodbye," I whisper. I close my eyes and feel myself fade away in a golden blaze of glory. This is not the end though because there is no end. I am Terra the hero and watching all those cartoons taught me a very valuable lesson about heroes. True heroes never really die.