Teen Titans: Wild, Wild West
Chapter Nine: Epilogue
Sinistra250: I know the last chapter was sad, but let's see what you think of this one, it took me HELLA long to write it.
Cutter-with-a-cause: Hey now, I never said anyone is dead. That still doesn't mean anything, but if you've ever read any of my other fics, then you should know I like to throw those wonderful little loops in there!
Darkofthenight: Awww, don't cry! If you want to know if she lives, then you better hurry up and read this chapter! QUICKLY!
The Wings of a Raven: haha, 'Wondrous.' Why is that the one word that everyone always has Star say? Tee hee, I love it. Sorry I didn't update too soon, stupid school and work.
Lee21323: I hope you come back from your little delusional world to at least read this. It might make you somewhat happy...
Al the Pirate: Hahaha, yeah I got started right away on this, but I didn't finish it that quickly. Sorry bout that, life sux right now. But I do love your stories that you got going right now. I was doing the happy dance for sure during the last chapter of 'Comfortable.' YAY!
LAIN THE FLUFF-MASTA: I LOVE YOU! Your reviews always make me happy. And, ahem, I haven't exactly seen you abundantly on here lately either... just thought I would add that in there. ;-) Anyhoo, you'll have to read on to see what I had in store for the birds, and yes, of course, you can steal my little name for you. That's why I created it! Mwahahah! Hope you like this, and maybe I can update some more this week... I'm really behind...hehe.
KidFlashisHot: Gah, no more crying! If I see one more person crying then I'm gonna cry! Although I already am because this is the last chapter. Sniff. Ugh.
Bob: Well glad you thought it was fabulous... and I would have read your lips, but I could not see you, only the words coming out. ;-)
Tecna: Ouch, I didn't mean to be cruel...well okay, yeah I guess I did. :-) But no more crying! Just read on, it might surprise you.
Desanera: Hope this doesn't disappoint you, because, honestly... I'm kinda afraid of you now...
YoukaiTenshi: I updated. REVIEW NOW PLZ!
CeruleanAngel: Oh thank you thank you very much.
Tia: Haha, hopefully you got this far, because this is where I'm posting my thanks to you!
Kitsune tails: Alright already, please don't die, I'm finishing it right now. Sheesh!
Just me and myself: Good, here's the next chapter. No more waiting now!
A/N: Sniff. Here it is, the very last chapter of this beloved fic, which I have thoroughly enjoyed writing... I hope you all like it and are as sad to see this end as I am... Sigh...
Epilogue: Eight Months Later...
Nightwing sat on the same rocks yet again, staring out at the Tower, all lit up while the rain fell around him, soaking him to the bone, but he really didn't care. This was the fourth night in a row that he crouched there above the waterfall and watched the shadows in the Tower, afraid to go any closer, afraid of what would happen if he wandered in. The scenes were always more or less somber, as far as he could tell, and he hated to think he was the cause of that.
More than that, though, he was angry; angry at himself for leaving her once more, and just when she needed him the most. That right there was the only reason for him sitting out here night after night, watching and waiting and trying to get the courage up to go back to his friends. He straightened up on the rock, standing atop it and looking every bit the tormented hero that he was. Tonight was the night, he decided, tonight he was going to go back to the Tower, back to his friends, and back to her... for good.
Cyborg was shaken a little from his tinkering in the garage when he heard someone at the door. He looked down at his arm and opened up the compartment with his "watch" in it. He felt slightly miffed that he was no longer looking at real skin, but he quickly got over it as he frowned, seeing the late hour.
"That's it," he grumbled as he threw down his rag and left to answer the door. "Who the hell decides to stop by at eleven o'clock in the freakin' night? I'm gonna pummel whoever it is to a pulp."
He was still grumbling as he reached the door and threw it open to reveal a disheveled and thoroughly soaked, black-clad hero; he was taken aback as the anger flew off his face and was replaced by something of a more comforting and friendly air. Nightwing lifted his tousled head and smiled weakly at the robotic man, dazed in front of him.
"Hey Cy...," he managed to get out.
"Nightwing," Cy said, confused. "W-what are you doing here? I thought you were gone for good this time... We all did..."
Nightwing shook his head as Cy stepped back to let him inside the dry and warm house.
"No, I finished what I needed to," he replied quietly, looking around, as if searching for something, someone. "I did what I had to, to keep everyone safe, and now... now I-I'm ready to come back. That is, if you all want me back anyway."
Cyborg just sat there, stunned, as the words fell from his lips, having a hard time believing them. "You finished what you needed to? What does that mean, Night?"
"That means that I'm done. Slade is done. I finished him and we don't have to worry about him anymore," he replied cryptically.
"You mean," Cy asked, his human eye growing larger. "That you killed him? You actually killed someone!"
Night chuckled dryly and looked at him.
"No," he replied, heading towards the living room, Cy following close behind. "Actually, I didn't. I wanted to, though, and I think I would have if he had not have beaten me to it."
"He killed himself?" Cy asked incredulously as they entered the elevator together and pushed the button for the floor of the main Titan living quarters. "I never pegged him that way."
"I don't think he did either," he said, his voice and eyes growing grave. "He just got too cocky in one of our many encounters and slipped and fell off a twenty story building, impaling himself on a construction rod on the ground floor. Pierced him right through his non-existent heart."
Cy shivered a bit at the cold and uncaring description of his death and looked at the somber old friend next to him, "So, you finally finished with Slade, and now you want to come back to the team? I... I-I don't know, man. I mean, I'm all for it, but we need to find out what the others say."
Nightwing just nodded as his stomach started twisting into knots at the thought of his friends waiting for him just a few floors above him and steadily growing closer by the second. They stood there in silence, each one merely content in the fact that their friendly, familiar bond was still there. In what seemed like a few seconds, they had reached the main living quarters and Nightwing was more nervous than he had been in years. The doors opened with a loud whoosh and he followed Cyborg out of the shaft, almost hiding behind the half-man, half-robot into the living room and to the other Titans.
"Hey Titans," Cy barked somewhat as he stopped by the couch, earning the gazes of the entire team. "We got ourselves a visitor and he wants to talk to you about something."
Nightwing could only assume they nodded as the silence greeted him and Cy stepped aside, not giving him any time to move out on his own accord. He met three surprised looks of his old friends and one scowl as he gulped and cleared his throat.
"H-hey guys," he stumbled, feeling as if he were just meeting them for the first time.
A chorus of two hellos, one nod, and the permanent scowl greeted him as he gathered up the courage to ask for the biggest thing ever in his life. He closed his eyes briefly before flinging them back open and taking a deep breath.
"I-I came here tonight," he gulped. "Fully aware of what I've done and said in the past and I am completely laying myself and my future on the line for you all to pick at." He paused for a moment and then continued. "I came here tonight to ask you to look past everything that has happened over the past few years and I want to be a part of this team again; I want to be a Titan and your friend once more."
There was a thick silence as the Titans looked to one another before Cy stepped in and glared at all of them.
"I don't know about y'all," he said gruffly, and yet soothingly at the same time. "But I think Dick's been through a lot and I'm all for giving him a second chance. What about you?"
"I think," Starfire spoke up quietly, looking very thoughtful as she held Speedy's hand tightly. "That Friend Robin has had plenty of time to decide what he has needed in his life. I also think that he has deserved another chance to prove himself of worth to us, as teammates and as a friend. I feel he has earned his place in the Titans yet again."
Nightwing smiled lightly at the alien princess and looked to Speedy beside her.
"Star has a point," Speedy said, nodding. "I'm willing to let him back."
"Yeah," Beast Boy said, piping up. "Dick here has got my vote. I missed having someone else's butt to beat on the Gamestation for once."
Everyone chuckled as Nightwing looked to the last person who had yet to speak and whose scowl was still permanently fixed on her face. The laughter died down quickly as she stood up and walked over to him, glaring at him from the other side of the couch and folding her arms over her chest defiantly.
"I don't think I'm going to be as easy to persuade as the rest," she growled.
"Well," Nightwing said, flinching a little at her strong stature. "What can I do to convince you I'm here for good this time? What can I say to make it all better, Terra?"
Terra huffed and narrowed her eyes more at him. "I don't think there is anything you can do to convince me." She paused as tears leaked out of her eyes and her voice shook fiercely. "You left us and I can deal with that. But the fact that you left her yet again is why I can't seem to find it in me to forgive you."
Nightwing hung his head at the mention of her name and he suddenly noticed she wasn't in the room with everyone else.
"Ter," BB cut in, reaching out to stroke her arm. "Babe, this really isn't something you can be upset with him for, it's not our place, it's hers."
"I don't think so," Terra griped, pulling her arm away from her boyfriend and looking back at Nightwing. "You made her cry, you know that? You made her give up on life, did you know that too? You hurt her more than anyone ever has and you expect me to just ignore that you have probably destroyed my best friend and forgive you like that?"
"No, I guess I don't," Nightwing replied sullenly. "But if you just called her out here, I would gladly talk to her. I've been thinking all these months about what I wanted to say to her, what I need to say to her and then after I've explained my actions to her, then you can make your final decision."
"Well, Nightwing," she spoke scathingly. "That's all good and whatnot, but she's not here. She left. Again."
Nightwing stood there for a second, taking in her words as they ran over his brain.
"She left?" He asked, confused, his voice shaking. "But, when will she be back? Did she just go out for the night?"
"No, Friend Robin," Starfire said sadly, standing up and placing a hand on Terra's shoulder as the fiery blonde broke down and cried as BB pulled her close and held her. "Friend R-raven has not 'gone out' for just the evening. W-we thought she had passed on after you two had crossed over through the portal and we worked very hard to get her to be of life again." She paused and wiped away a tear. "She was not of the consciousness all night and so we ourselves went to bed and left her as Friend Cyborg assured us she was of the 'stable' enough for us to go away to bed..."
"No," Nightwing called, interrupting her. "I- Yo- She... she isn't dead, is she?"
"Oh, no," Starfire quickly covered. "Well, at least we do not have thoughts of so."
"W-well then, what is it?" he asked, his voice desperate.
Starfire closed her eyes momentarily and then looked back up at him, her bright, green eyes clouded in despair.
"W-we do not have knowledge of that," she answered meekly. "When we had ventured to check upon her the morning of next, w-we could not find her. She left us a note of apologies and was gone before we could see her. We do not know where she has left us for; We have tried the searching for her and she is, what is the word? Ah, yes, she is like the invisible, she has disappeared and we are unable to locate her."
Nightwing's head reeled with the news and he had to grip onto the couch to keep himself from falling. The room seemed to spin around him and Cyborg came over and placed a large, robotic hand on his shoulder to comfort him.
"S-she's gone?" he asked, his voice raspy as the tears flowed from beneath his mask. "She isn't here? I-I thought she would wait for me... Gosh, I'm so ashamed..."
"Don't blame yourself man," Cy said, trying to calm his old friend down. "Rae left of her own accord; I don't think there was anything any of us could have done."
"Yes there was!" Terra interrupted, glaring up at Nightwing. "You could have stayed! You could have forgotten about Slade and let us all take care of him. Together! You could have told her you loved her and then stayed by her side to let her know it was really her you loved."
Nightwing blanched at her tone. "What do you mean? Of course it was her I really loved! Who else would I love? Why would she think I didn't love her? I left to keep her safe, because I loved her so much!"
"Think about it man," Beast Boy said, uncharacteristically pensive. "Cy and I talked about it before, but Raven changed completely after you left. She stayed more in her room and didn't speak as much, which is nothing new from her, really." He gave a nervous chuckle and continued. "But she did it so she could train and defeat her father because she thought you left because she wasn't normal. And now, I can only guess that after Slade's creation in that alternate world, she got the feeling you only told her you loved her because she was normal there..."
BB trailed off and everyone looked strangely at him.
"Since when did you get smart?" quipped Speedy, smirking slightly.
Beast Boy just chuckled and sat back down. "I have my moments, you know. I'm not always just a big green clown!"
The entire team chuckled dryly before remembering the importance of what their comedic friend had just revealed to them. Nightwing still stood there, not knowing what to do or say at the moment. Finally, he lifted his head up and scowled at the somber room.
"I need to find her," he simply stated. "I need to talk to her and work this out. I need her."
"Then you must go and find Friend Raven," Starfire interjected, walking around the couch and placing a petite hand on his shoulder. "We have used all of the resources given to us as heroes of this town, but we were unable to locate her person. Maybe, just maybe, your feelings of deep affection for her may aide you in finding where she resides now. But when you find her, may I request a favor of you? Just one, I promise."
Nightwing nodded and waited for her to continue.
Starfire sighed sadly, something he was not used to seeing, ever. "Will you please tell Friend Raven that we are missing her and that we all have the miss and love for her? I do not necessarily want her to return to a home she feels she does not belong of, but I would like for her to know of our feelings of family for her."
"Of course I will, Star," he agreed, smiling genuinely at her.
The rest of the Titans all said their goodbyes yet again, even Terra, as Nightwing got a few essentials and went in search of Raven, first looking for some of his old contacts who might be able to give him some clues and to see if anyone had reported seeing someone of her description anywhere within 100 miles recently.
Nightwing sat perched upon the rooftop of the bank, watching the dim lights of the library cascading out onto the sidewalk, illuminating this brief section of Bludhaven, a city that always seems to be in shadows. His latest contact had given him this address, saying that he overheard a few patrons talk of the nice new librarian that no one had ever seen before. Nightwing narrowed his eyes in frustration; so far the last twelve leads had been a dud, each one turning out to be someone else other than who he was looking for.
He scowled as he peered inside yet again, still not being able to see the librarian of whom he was told about. He had seen all the patrons come and go but he had yet to catch a glimpse of this new worker, only being able to see brief flashes of a young woman hidden behind shelves. He sighed in annoyance as he finally gave up, jumping down from the roof and landing in a perfect crouch position on the ground, before standing up and walking purposely towards the library doors. If he couldn't see this mysterious worker from afar, then he would just have to take his chances and meet her in person.
He quietly entered into the library doors, a small bell signaling his entrance into the deserted domain. He could hear some rustling from behind the bookshelf in front of him and he frowned as the person in question remained hidden, even when they were admonishing him.
"I'm sorry," the voice sullenly replied, his head snapping in the direction of the young woman. "But we close in ten minutes; unless you have something to return, then I'm afraid there's not much you can do. You'll have to come back tomorrow."
Nightwing cleared his throat and began walking in a daze towards where the young woman hid. "Um, actually, I'm not here to return something."
"Then you'll have to come back tomorrow," the voice droned, sending chills down his spine as she sounded preoccupied. "We don't check out any new materials fifteen minutes before closing."
"I don't want to check anything out," Nightwing replied, his voice sounding hoarse as he was now only a few feet from the bookshelf hiding her. "I really just wanted to know if I could have a word with you...please?"
The librarian sighed heavily and he smiled somewhat as he heard a few muttered, choice words, apparently directed angrily at him; the sound of a pile of books resounded as they were semi-slammed onto the shelf and the woman walked slowly out in the open in front of him, looking up at him and standing there, completely frozen, as she stared at him.
"H-hi," Night murmured, unsure of what to say now that he had her attention after so long. "I-I was hoping it w-was you..."
The librarian seemed to straighten up at his words and grew a cold, unemotional look on her face. "Leave. Now."
"What? W-why?" he asked, cringing at her tone as she quickly turned into a very angry person. "R-Raven, what di— "
"Just get out. Now!" she interrupted, narrowing her eyes at him, causing the now apparent glow on her face to look oddly misplaced.
"B-but, R-Raven!" he cried as she walked away, going back to her work. "I-I came looking for you. I've looked everywhere for you! I-I just wanna talk with you!"
He could have sworn that he heard her choke back a sob as she gathered her books back up and started slamming them onto the shelf in front of her. "No! There is nothing to talk about! You left, I'm here now, and you have no reason to come back, ever! You made things perfectly clear that you wanted nothing to do with me. I'll never be normal and good enough for you!"
Now he was positive that she was crying, but she hid herself well as she moved even farther into the catacomb of books surrounding her with every step he took. He chased her for twenty minutes almost before he sat down, breathing heavily, his own eyes wet and irritated at the fact that she wanted nothing to do with him and would run away at all possible chances.
"Raven, please!" he begged, hearing her stop and still longing to see her, all of her, as she had been mostly hidden by the shelf before. "Why won't you talk to me?"
"Why should I?" she asked, her tears now becoming loud and noticeable as he could hear her harsh breathing from a few aisles over. "Why should I listen to you when all you have ever done is run away from me? Why!"
"Because," he sighed. "I have a message for you. From Starfire. And from everyone else, really."
"Oh yeah," she said, sounding forlorn. "Like what?
Night shook his head, even though he knew she couldn't see him. "No way. I'm not telling you until you stop running away from me and sit down and talk."
He thought maybe she had left for good at his request as the silence took over and he could only hear himself breathing and the dim hum of the lights. He was about to get up and walk away when her voice startled him.
"I-I don't think that's a good idea," she finally answered, sounding so frail, fragile, and a million miles away. "It's only going to hurt both of us if you see me."
"Why would it hurt?" he asked, confused. "I haven't spent the last few weeks looking for you just to talk to you from behind a stack of books."
"I don't care what you went through," she muttered harshly. "Do you know what I've been through to try and see you all these years? And you never made it easy on me, Slade was the first time I've seen you in person in years."
"I know," he answered sadly. "And I'm sorry, I really am... I was just really confused and I thought I was only making things better by leaving everyone, especially you. I thought I was keeping you all safe, you most of all."
He heard her take a few steps closer to him, but made no move to get up. "But you leaving didn't make a damn bit of difference. We were all still in danger. I was in danger. Slade still found me, found all of us."
"I know. I didn't realize just how desperate he was to ruin my life," he admitted, hanging his head as he stood up. "And I am more sorry for that than you'll ever know... seriously Rae. I still haven't forgiven myself for underestimating him and leaving all of you. Honestly, I would have loved more than anything to stay with you. The last thing I ever wanted to do was leave you alone."
"I-I want to talk," came her response after a few minutes, sounding closer to him. "But I don't think you'll be happy with me... I don't want you to see my reason for leaving yet again."
"Please, Raven," he pleaded. "I just want nothing more than to see you again. I want to talk with you and tell you how sorry I am for all these years. And I want to do it to your face so you can see and feel how awful I feel at what I did to you. Please?"
"O-okay," she sighed sadly. "Walk straight ahead and there's a table at the end of the row. Go there."
He nodded and moved quietly, the books blurring past him as he walked towards the table, his insides twisting as he heard her move somewhere behind him. He took a seat at the table and he looked up to see her figure grow closer, walking past the books at an odd pace. Her steps slowed down, but she eventually made it out and his heart nearly broke free as he saw her tear-streaked face; and then the rest of his face dropped as she stepped out completely.
His formerly svelte Raven was clad in a light, flowing, cream dress, her long hair up tight in a bun. But it wasn't the dress or the hair that caught his eye, it was what was under the dress, something that he knew had never been there before.
"R-Raven?" he asked, unsure as she stepped a few feet closer before stopping completely. "W-what happened? I mean, I know what happened, but... I-I don't understand."
She looked nervous as she came closer, the swell of her stomach only making her look more fragile as she sat upon a chair a few feet away. She smoothed out her dress, her glowing complexion looking strange on her usually cold and calm demeanor.
"See?" she said, the tears falling yet again as she looked away. "This is why I didn't want you to see me...ever..."
"But Raven, how?" Nightwing asked incredulously, his voice sounding with extreme disuse. "I mean, you're pregnant! H-How did this happen? A-are you married now? Oh gosh, I'm so confused!"
No, I'm not m-married," she whispered, looking down to stare at the floor. "The father left me some time ago... I didn't think he would want to know what had happened that night."
Nightwing just sat there, taking in her words and after a few minutes, he was about to ask her where the father was when it all clicked in his head. The father left, he had left and she didn't think the father wanted to know, that he didn't want to know.
"Rae," he said, his voice quiet and trembling with realization. "W-why didn't you tell me? Why did you run off on your own and not tell anyone?"
She looked up from the floor and glared at him. "How could I tell you if you weren't here! How could I not leave when the last thing I wanted was to live and raise a child in the very place I had spent the majority of my life with you!"
He could see her anger and her frustration roll right off her face and her voice, something he was not used to really. He had seen it to a degree in Slade's world, but never the emotion behind the real Raven, the woman he had fallen in love with over and over again so long ago. Her anger quickly subsided and became tears as her sorrow seeped out of her pores, her brain reverting back to the fact that he didn't really love her and only wanted to be with someone normal, something she could never achieve.
No, his brain argued. Not facts. Ideas. Thoughts. Stupid and completely untrue lies.
"Raven," he spoke up in a comforting manner. "I... I'm sorry... I don't know what else I can say... except... I love you. I really do. Honestly. There's never been anyone else but you, the real you. I guess... I guess I just found it easier to say everything I've ever felt for you to a part of you that couldn't tell me no."
"Why would I tell you no?" she asked quietly, and he could tell he had gotten to her, but that her skepticism was a hard fighter. "You were the one who rejected me! How in the hell could you be the scared one?"
Nightwing cringed at the sadness in her tone as he stood up and tried to walk over to her, hating the distance between them. No sooner than he had taken a step, though, Raven's eyes widened and she fled backwards, hiding herself behind a bookcase yet again. He immediately stopped and glared at the books she hid behind.
"Raven!" he demanded, his urgency growing in his voice. "Why do you keep hiding from me? Why can't you just let me come near you, talk with you?"
"You can talk plenty from over there," she bit back. "I don't want you coming near me."
Nightwing blinked at her words and a lone tear escaped his masked orbs. "Why? Raven, why won't you let me back in?"
He thought she had left again as silence reigned in the library, making it seem heavy and disturbing in the dark night. He was about to move forward again but he suddenly heard the quiet noise of her muffled sobbing. His heart broke at the sound and the weight of his body was instantly too much for him to handle as he collapsed onto the floor, his face staring at nothing on the floor.
"B-because," she whispered, barely loud enough for him to register. "I don't want to hurt anymore. I-I can't handle you killing me again..."
His heart caught in his chest at her affirmation of all his worst fears and he finally lost it. Everything he had truly done to the love of his life swarmed him as he lay there on the floor on his knees, his face streaked with tears as he buried it in his hands on the floor. In his head all he could think about was how sorry he was, how he finally understood what he did to her, how much he loved her, his pain turning into gut-wrenching sobs on the library marble.
He lay there for what seemed like an eternity, not realizing where he was anymore, just the agony of his treatment towards the only woman he had ever loved.He wanted to say so many things to her right there, to apologize profusely but the words couldn't seem to come out, just the damnable sobs of him gasping for air in-between his tears. His face was hot and wet and sticky, but he didn't care anymore as he lay there.
He no longer blamed Raven for hating him, for wanting to leave. He would have done the same thing if she had treated him even a quarter of the same way as he did to her. He was in his own little world and he didn't even notice that Raven was no longer hiding behind the books; he was startled as he felt her tiny, pale, cold hands touch his hands on the ground.He didn't dare look up for fear she would disappear completely. That she would simply tell him that she was glad he finally understood her position and then say nothing else as she walked away forever.
Raven did her best to sit on the ground as she was still rather uncomfortable, pushing it back to the recesses of her mind since that was not the issue at hand. She had thought Robin would simply try to talk to her again, and so she was totally unprepared for what had happened. She was merely lying there against the books, her tears burning as they fell to the floor, when she heard it; she stopped for a moment and could clearly hear his crying mixed in with words she was almost positive he didn't know he was getting out.
All she could make out, though, were the words 'sorry' and 'love you so much' pouring out of his mouth; her heart clenched at the way he had been broken like that. She suddenly felt a change of heart, realizing that maybe, just maybe, he really didn't know what he had been doing to her on some level. He didn't realize how much she loved him, how much she had been hurt by him, until just now. She couldn't handle hearing the man she still undoubtedly loved sobbing like that and so she had managed to wobble over to him and awkwardly get on the ground next to him, laying her hand upon his own.
"Robin," she croaked out softly, her hand stroking his while her other hand found his chin and tried lifting it up. "Please, Robin, please look at me..."
"Why should I?" he whispered through his tears, the sobs slowly dying down somewhat. "Why would you even want me near you? Look at everything that I did to you! I wouldn't blame you if you just got up and walked away from me forever. I don't deserve the love of someone like you."
"Ro...Richard," she cooed, finally forcing him to look at her and wiping away his tears, trying her hardest to smile through her own pain. "Please, stop crying. For me, please..."
He quickly tried to stop at her request, sniffling like crazy to stop the tears as he sat on his knees, looking away, not wanting to see how she was looking at him. But no matter how hard he resisted, she managed to bring his face back to look at her, a small smile on her face as she cradled his face in her soft, tiny hands. They sat like that for almost ten minutes before he sprang to his feet, a panicked look on his swollen face.
"Oh, geez Rae," he spat out, worry tinging his voice. "You shouldn't be on the ground like that; it can't be good for you, for your... your baby."
She only chuckled dryly as he bent down to help pick her up, careful not to grab her around the waist. Raven closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of being this close to him yet again. When both of them were completely off the ground, they simply stayed there, wrapped in each others arms; Nightwing's arms wrapped around her waist, with hers resting lightly on his shoulders, their eyes locked, their breaths intermingling.
The rain could be heard coming down outside and it wasn't until a streak of lightening lit up the sky behind them that they even recognized where they were. Even then, though, they still didn't move, content to just stand there in each other's warm, comforting embrace. Nightwing lost himself completely in her violet orbs, which seemed quite a bit brighter now, for some reason, and they fit perfectly with the new glow her skin seemed to possess.
Raven found her arms snaking up to his shoulders and then eventually around his neck, merely holding onto him in case this was all just a horrible, sickening dream. Her eyes seemed to look past his mask and deep into his true soul, the swell of her belly resting lightly against him, a strange energy invading his body where they touched.
He knew, in an instant, that the energy he was feeling was partially his own, as in the baby inside of her, his baby, their baby. He smiled to himself at the thought of what their love had created, they made something that was a little bit of him, a little bit of her, the perfect combination as far as he was concerned. He absentmindedly leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her forehead.
"I love you, Raven," he whispered, leaning his head against hers, paying little attention to the small gasp she let out. "I always have. I always will. I'm sorry for everything I put you through, I really am. I wish I could make it all up to you somehow."
"You can," she whispered back, clutching onto his shirt collar around his neck.
"How? Anything! I'll do anything for you, Raven!" he exclaimed, pulling back slightly to look her in the eyes again.
She smiled softly. "Stay. Just... stay... with me. Don't ever leave me again. I don't think my heart could take losing you anymore."
Nightwing didn't even hesitate as he nodded, breaking out into a grin. "Of course, Raven. I don't think my heart could take leaving you again."
Raven's face lit up in a huge grin, a real smile, something she hadn't done in a few years. A few tears found their way out of her eyes and fell down her porcelain skin as his hand reached up to brush them away gently.
"No tears," he said softly. "No more crying. Especially over me."
"Don't worry, these are tears of happiness. Really, they are," she said, half-crying, half-laughing.
Nightwing laughed back as his own happy tears escaped from behind his mask, as Raven stood up on tiptoes and kissed them away, his cheek tingling where her lips were. His hands flew up to her face as he cupped her cheeks, growing closer with every second. She looked up at him with eager eyes as he drew closer, their breaths intermingling as her eyes closed of their own accord and his lips brushed against hers. She couldn't take it anymore and closed the minute gap between them, sighing heavily into the kiss as their lips pressed deeply into each other.
Nightwing deepened the kiss as he held onto her tightly, her own hands entangling in his shirt and his hair. He moaned quietly into the kiss, their real, truly first kiss ever; it was more perfect than it ever could have been and he found himself wanting to stay like that forever. They finally pulled back after what seemed like an eternity, each one smiling, each one full of love as they just stared into the other's eyes.
"Wow...," he breathed. "That was... amazing."
She just chuckled and nodded her agreement as she backed away, taking his hand in hers as she led him to a small couch nearby and they sat down, their hands still intertwined as she rested her head on his shoulders, content to just sit together in silence. They sat like that for a few minutes while Nightwing placed a hand on hers and they rubbed her belly, feeling their unborn child inside of her. Suddenly, his head snapped up as a thought overtook his senses and pushed its way up front.
"Hey, Rae?" he asked, frowning as his eyebrows furrowed. "Can I ask you a question?"
"Hmm? Sure, what is it?" she responded, her senses on alert at the tone of his voice.
"Now, don't take this the wrong way or anything, but," he sighed. "How are you pregnant?"
Raven just shifted to stare at him, one eyebrow cocked in that infamous way of hers.
"Are you kidding me?" she droned, sounding like his old Raven. "Well you see, Robin, when a man and a woman really like each other, maybe even love each other, the— "
"No!" he chuckled, stopping her. "That's not what I meant! What I was trying to say was... how are you pregnant... in this world? I mean, everything else went back to normal the second we crossed through the portal. Cyborg even told me that the bullet had disappeared from inside of you by the time they had you back at the Tower. So, if that's how everything went, then how did you get, or stay, pregnant when everything else went back to normal?"
Raven seemed unperplexed by the question as she carefully chose her words. "You know, I thought about that a lot after I found out I was with child. The only thing that seems to make sense is that it was my powers. I found out shortly after I left the Tower that the only reason I was alive was because something in my powers had kicked into overdrive and helped me heal faster. When everything went back to normal, the new life inside of me, regardless of how young it was, tapped into my powers apparently to keep itself from disappearing like everything else."
Nightwing took everything in slowly, processing the possibility of what she was saying, nodding the entire time.
"So your powers were able to protect the baby, even at the early stage, keeping it alive as you crossed the portal?" he asked, merely repeating her words.
"Yep," she replied. "Now, I know it sounds crazy, but it's the only thing I can think of. I don't know how else to explain it."
"No, no," he said, shaking his head. "It does make sense, it really does. I guess I just wasn't expecting to find you like this... I thought everything had gone back to normal. Not that I'm complaining or anything, because now... now, not only do I get you to love, but now I get our child to love as well. I couldn't be more happier, really."
Raven smiled and leaned forward to kiss him softly, something he knew he could never get enough of. At that he stood up, bringing her with him and making her face him again.
"Raven," he said, hesitating a little bit. "W-when I left the Titans, Starfire asked me to tell you that they miss you and they all care about you... even though they didn't say as much, I think they want you to come back. I-I asked them and they let me join the team again, but if you don't want to go back then I'll understand. If you want to stay here, then I will too. I'll do anything if it means being able to be with you."
Raven thought about it for a minute, making him smile at her scrunched up face while she pondered what it was she truly wanted.
"Ro-Richard," she answered at last. "I only left because you weren't there. But... if you want to rejoin the team, then... I would love to go back to the Tower with you. I really miss everyone. I care about them so much and I've hated my choice so much these past few months. I would do anything to see my family again."
Nightwing couldn't believe his eyes as he laughed, gently picking her up and spinning her around, being careful not to hurt her or the baby. He was so happy that he didn't even know what to do as he kissed her passionately. He loved her, she loved him, they were going to be together for a long time, and she was pregnant; as far as he was concerned, there was no way life could get any better.
Raven's arms wrapped around his neck as she deepened the kiss, gently pushing her tongue inside his mouth as his hands gently rested on her waist, savoring the wonderful taste that was Raven. The rain outside lightened up just a tad as the lights dimmed as well, being on an automatic timer, and making the library seem somewhat creepy, somewhat romantic with the storm outside the glass walls.
Raven pulled away for a second, gazing lovingly into his face as she reached up and discarded his mask, tossing it across the room. Her eyes locked on his deep, amber ones as she smiled, tracing his jaw-line with her finger.
"I love you, Richard," she whispered. "Forever and always."
"I love you too, Raven," he whispered back, smiling. "With all of my heart and all of my soul."
She smiled as reached back up to kiss him, the now gentle rain outside giving the distinct sound of a far off waterfall as the two birds sealed their love that night, promising to spend their eternities together. It was if the past was completely dissolved in their kisses, both of them content to just live in the future now, waiting until tomorrow when they would pack up and head back to where they both truly belonged. Back to their home with their friends, their family, and to raise their own children in a place where they would always have someone to love and to be loved by. Somewhere far, far away from anywhere even remotely resembling the Wild, Wild, West...
A/N: Alright. Here it is. Another one has come and gone. Damnit! Oh well, sorry about the corny ending, it probably doesn't do very well, but I felt like I needed to finish it already seeing as how it's almost been two months since I last updated. Ooops. Anyhoo, I hope you all still liked reading this as much as I liked writing it. I consider this one of my starter babies and I'm extremely sad to finally see it go.
As for the ending... I know it can be continued, but as of right now, it's not. There might be a sequel... key word there, MIGHT. I have WAY too many ideas in my head right now that are taking precedent over that so, you can request it, but I may not get to it. But don't worry. Eventually there WILL be a baby fic with them. And knowing me, there'll be LOTS of good ol' angtsy too!
Alrighty then, It's about one a.m. at the moment so I'm about to get going here. Thank you all for reading this. And I might post my replies to your reviews in another chapter after this if I get the time, so if I don't then this will serve as my big thank you page.
THANK YOU EVERYONE! I LOVE YOU ALL! BIG VIRTUAL HUG!
L8R Daze... SCP!