Readers: This is where I need your help. This story is written word, but the world it's based on, the world it truly exists in, is visual. The only way that I would ever want to end this story is a way that is visual - a montage, played over music. Unfortunately, though I am capable of drawing decent fanart, it would take me months to put together visually what I want you to see, so for now... I need you to use your imagination.
The following passages are meant to sync with the music, but I write far too much for you to possibly read while listening to it. It might work best to read it all, and then go back, start the song, and then imagine each scene over top of it, each segment resembling a segment of the song (it's pretty clear when it changes).
One day, I will be putting together an actual montage. But this will have to do for now.
The song is "I Will Follow You Into The Dark," by Death Cab for Cutie. You can easily find it on youtube or on playlist dot com ((P.S. I don't care if you dislike the song - it's exactly the song I imagine.))
It begins with the end of the last chapter, the first paragraph written here playing over the opening melody and the first half of the verse. The second paragraph then finishes the verse. The line break indicates the start of the chorus, and the line break after that the start of the next verse, and so on... Is that clear? I... really hope this works. XD
Starfire reads softly to the boy curled up against her lap. Tears trickle down her cheeks as she grasps his hand tightly. He relaxes fully against her, eyes falling closed. He looked absolutely truly peaceful, for the first time since he'd disappeared.
Construction has begun to rebuild Titans Tower. Cyborg clutches blueprints in his hand, looking up at the tower thoughtfully. Kid Flash races by, pausing to quickly salute him, before running off again, and Tramm stops by, speaking his strange language while pointing to the blueprints. Cyborg only half pays attention. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees something fly by. A red-breasted bird, darting by, slipping between the bars of a construction crane, and flies off into the sunlight, and is gone. Cyborg watches after it, and sighes.
Rain gently drums on the heads of the silent gathering. Feet stick in mud, faces solemn and dark. Rows of mourners, bowing their heads. They do not create a sea of black, like a normal funeral. Instead, it's colorful and vibrant - a heroes funeral, attended by all who knew him, and even many who didn't, but wanted to pay their respects
A wooden casket passes them, cradled on the shoulders of those who knew him best... Bumblebee, Aqualad, the twins, one on the other's shoulders, and finally, Green Arrow and Black Canary. They move quietly as one unit, and Bumblebee does not even stop the tears from falling - it's not like anyone will notice them in the rain anyway...
The grave stone says "Roy Harper." The dates listed are only sixteen years apart. "A good son, a great friend, an even greater hero."
The Great Mumbo is attacking Jump City again. Or at least, he was. Cyborg, Beast Boy, Raven and Starfire skid to a halt, gaping in wonderment, at the villain tied up in ropes on the ground before them.
Kid Flash stands behind him, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly, as though to apologize for the fight being over so quickly. The other Titans smile and congratulate him, but it's quickly apparent that the victory is bittersweet, and the new hero isn't slow in knowing it. The Titans were happy to have him on their team, but they really just wanted Robin back.
The door to Robin's room hangs wide open. He is missing. Cyborg and Starfire scream at Superman with fear and rage. The older hero tries desperately, sternly, to calm them down and explain.
On Earth, a white-faced boy struggles in his white jacket, gripped by Batman and his old butler. An old woman frowns at them as they try to keep him under control. The boy sobs uncontrollably, hitting the ground, his lips curling back in a terrible grin. Batman looks down at him, his face determined, stubborn. But the hands clutching the thin boy shake uncontrollably.
Snow is falling as the four Titans East members stand on their rooftop. The two youngest smile and applaud, both healed and on their feet, as two new members walk up to them from the T-ship. Jinx can't help but smile warmly as she grips hands with the twins, and then Aqualad. Aqualad gives a nod, his face softening a little at her excitement. Bumblebee frowns darkly at the ground, clearly not ready for any of this. A dark hand extends to her, and she glances down at it, then up. Her eyes fall on the strong face of Herald, who smiles gently at her. She stares at him, almost transfixed, a moment
More time passes. The night is dark, thunder crashing outside. A boy, peach-faced, dark-haired, screams in his sleep, as he has for every night. He awakes harshly, bolting upright, crying, gasping, gripping his head. He tucks his knees towards his chest, and sobs into them quietly. As he calms down, he looks up, glancing around, as though something were bothering him. His eyes fall on something, and his breath catches. In the darkness, he could see a red light, blinking at him, watching him. He turns towards it, eyes wide, shining with tears. Slowly, his shaking hand reaches out towards it. It's in reach, his fingers bumping against something unseen, blocking the light out. He encloses them around the mysterious item, and pulls it toward him. Another flash of lightning outside his window illuminates it. A yellow device, with a black T emblazoned on the front.
He stares at it a long moment, as though unsure what to do with it. Finally, a small smile, a warm and gentle one, graces his thin face. He lies back on his pillow, rolling over onto his side and settling into the comfort of the large bed. The device, still clutched in his grasp, its cool surface resting against his cheek. He drifts off to sleep with that peaceful smile still lingering on his face, and for the first time in his short, broken memory, there were no nightmares to greet him... no pain... no fear... Nothing but the gentle, pleasant laughter of his friends, their faces as clear as if they were there with him. It filled him with life.
He was home.
The Last Author's Note:
This author's note comes in THREE PARTS!
2) Sequel Notes
3) PARTY! - (obviously this one is important right now)
THANK YOU! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU TO EACH AND EVERY PERSON READING THIS RIGHT NOW! THANK YOU!
You guys are awesome. You really are. This story exists because of you. If no one had read this, if no one had told me how much they liked it, how much it meant to them that I kept going on, it's likely I wouldn't be posting this today.
I quickly have to thank some people specifically, because they were instrumental in this fanfic surviving as long as it did (or, that I survived as long as I did).
First, Strgrl4eva, one of my longtime readers, closest friends, and daring betatester (yes, tester) for alot of the last chapters. You're awesome.
Next, Autumnights, for having the most creative and awe-inspiring reviews ever (guys, she wrote a death threat to me in TERZA RIMA! Do you even know what that IS?).
Third, x_rockinrobin, for being awesome and one of my first fans. She was really one of the first to really feel like I was doing things right, and has stuck it out until the end.
Lastly, Jessica, my IRL best friend who read this even though she's never really watched the Titans. :) Now that's loyalty. I love you, bestie.
Next, Sequel notes!
For now: BE SURE YOU ARE ON AUTHOR ALERT! That way, when the sequel is released, you'll be the first to know!
HECK YES MAN I'M CELEBRATING!
I mean it! I'm having a big internet gathering on ustream, where I will be drawing, talking, interacting, answering questions, and dancing like a nutball to awesomely terrible dance music! There will be a chatroom open for you all to talk to me. I will be taking drawing requests, and overall it's going to be so much fun!
Friday, August 20th, 2010, 5PM-12AM PST at - www . ustream . tv/channel/melimsah (without the spaces)
If you're a regular reviewer, you will be getting an invite through PM, to remind you! Watch for it and I will SEE YOU ALL THERE!
(The video should be saved on there if you miss it. Sorry if you do! It'll be awesome!)
Be sure to check out my profile for various updates, links, information, and other stories by me. Check out the RotJ forums. Follow me on deviantart, or twitter. :) Whatever you want! You could even not do any of it, doesn't matter to me much! I'm just glad this thing is DONE!
One last time - THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING THIS! There are not enough font alterations to truly express how incredibly AMAZING it is for me to FINALLY. BE. ABLE. TO. HIT. THAT. "COMPLETE." BUTTON. It was a heck of a ride. :) Thanks for sharing it with me.