"Die Interloper!" roared Anger, launching herself forward, seeking to attack Starfire with her bare hands. She didn't hesitate, she blasted her full in the face with his starbolts, sending her flying through the air again. Nearby, Rage launched herself up into the air, swooping down to attack Starfire from behind. A crackling whip of black energy snaked around her ankles, however, stopping her, as the real Raven drew back hard on her semi-solid black energy and yanked Rage with it, sending her hurling in an uncontrolled pathway through the Cavern, only to slam face-first into a bo-staff that had been place directly in her line of path. So great was the force of her flight that the sudden stop by an iron staff send her hurling into a backflip and slam onto the ground with slightly less force than a battering ram. She wasn't getting up anytime soon.
"Get them! Destroy them!"
A green cheetah zipped forward, rushing past the dark forces of Raven's mind, lashing out at their cloaks and exposed legs whenever the chance presented itself. One, Fury, zipped into his line of path, preparing to stop him, but Beastboy leapt up and transformed into a great green kangaroo, landing hard atop of her with his great legs and bounding off with equal skill, leaping over and past her. She lifted her head, spitting gravel out of her mouth, and growled darkly.
Hatred thrust out her hands, powering them with crimson flames as she took aim, turning her body slowly, slowly, trying to keep aim on the quick-moving Beastboy… and… there…!
Just as Hatred was about to fire a fist filled her vision and she was sent hurtling through the air as Cyborg followed up his vicious attack with a powerful plasma blast assault that left Hatred hurling up into the ceiling to leave a Raven-shaped mark there, stuck by the sheer force of the blow.
"Destroy them!! Destroy them all!!" roared Anger, lashing out with her powerful bursts of fire, aiming at Raven and Starfire. Cyborg knocked both girl's aside, shielding them with his much tougher state-of-the-art steel body, the flames washing harmlessly over. Anger growled, increasing the ferocity of her attacks, but was cut short as a black boot slammed fully into her jaw and knocked her into a cave-wall, rendering her unconscious. Robin dropped to his feet gracefully.
"You're going back where you belong!" said Raven, leaping atop of the remaining red-cloaked Raven, that being Jealousy. Screeching like a wildcat (indeed, Robin and Starfire were suddenly reminded of Kitten) her red-cloaked emotional manifestation fought back, and the two engaged in wrestling upon the floor, each seeking the other's throat, trying to rip the other one to pieces. The other Titans watch on.
"All we need is some mud," remarked Beastboy under his breath, before he and Cyborg made their way in to separate the two warring personalities, Cyborg keeping the little red-cloaked Raven pinned.
"I will not be defeated!" she roared, her voice half her own, half her father's. She squirmed mightily but all her power was gone. She could not even get out of Cyborg's iron grip. "Rage shall consume all!"
"I'm sealing you away for good this time!" shouted Raven, placing her hand on Jealousies forehead. Exerting her full power she drew Jealousy and brought her back into herself, drawing the red-cloaked Raven into her body and sealed her away, as she'd done a year or so ago when Anger had first escaped. She repeated this gesture on the other unconscious red Raven's, sealing them away one by one. At last the final one was gone, and Raven stood alone.
No, not alone. With her friends, the Teen Titans.
"Thank you," she said simply.
"We should be thanking you," replied Robin. "If you had saved us we wouldn't have been able to come here and help you."
"It was because of Anger that you were in danger in the first place," she pointed out.
"Hey come on, all's set and done and we're still standin'," said Cyborg. "I say we just get out of here. No offense Rae but your mind ain't exactly a vacation spot, you understand?"
She allowed herself a small smile at that. "No I suppose not… alright, to the Forbidden Door, and out the way you came in."
"Good, we got one last problem to deal with then," said Robin, as they took off towards the exit.
"What is that?" asked Starfire, puzzled.
"Taking out the trash."
The trash, of course, being Brother Blood and his cronies surrounding Titan's Tower.
And "taking out" meaning activating the island security system that Cyborg had installed just last month, bombarding the psychotic teacher and his army with numerous blasters and the like until they retreated post haste. The Titans watched with smiles on their faces, seeing them abandon the island like fleas off a sinking cat, diving into the water to avoid being blasted or leaping into their ships and heading westwards, away from Titan's Tower and Jump city. They could even see the white-haired visage of Brother Blood waving his fist and cursing something inaudibly up at them.
"Wonder what he's saying?" said Robin with a grin.
"Oh the usual," replied Cyborg, who's cybernetic eye gave him a bird's eye view of his arch-nemesis, and he was dutifully translating from lip-reading. "Curse you for foiling my plans… get revenge… yadda-yadda… hate you… you know, the usual."
"Oh good, nothing to worry about," remarked Raven with a wry grin. Then she stifled a yawn behind her hand.
The sun had risen only moments earlier, casting its bright golden glow over the city of Jump and the home of its resident heroes. However, it also served to remind all of them that they were very tired from a long night battling nightmares. A very restless evening for all of them, even Raven, who hadn't had to physically awake until the very end, whereas the others had been forced to use Raven's mirror to join her in the dreamscape and battle Anger and his pseudo-minions.
"Well I'm heading back to bed…" remarked Raven, levitating off down the hallway.
"Bed?! But its morni… mornin…" Beastboy started to protest, but it was cut off by a powerful yawn of his own, his mouth opening so wide it nearly split his head in half. "Well, I guess a short catnap wouldn't hurt," he said, morphing into a cute little green kitten and heading off down the corridor towards his own room.
"I need a recharge too… 'night ya'll," said Cyborg, departing. The lights dimmed, the living room illuminated now only by the dawn's light as Robin and Starfire lingered. The pile of candy acquired from the previous evening lay nearby, but it was ignored.
Starfire was the one to break the awkward silence. "Are you… alright Robin? Did the bad dream hurt you at all?"
He smiled, shaking his head. "Nah just… just shook me up a little. But I'm fine now. Really," he added, seeing he wasn't convincing her.
"You often say you are fine when you are not fine," said Starfire. "If you are not fine you may tell me Robin. I wish to help. Tell me… what did you dream of?"
Sighing deeply, Robin sat down on the couch. Starfire hovered by the armrest, watching him quietly, waiting patiently for him to speak.
"I… dreamed…" he said, then hesitated. "I dreamed I was Slade," he finally managed to say.
Starfire gasped, placing her hands over her mouth, then lowering them. "Oh Robin I am so sorry…"
He managed a weary smile. "It's okay… it was just a really, really bad dream… it wasn't real. I'm not Slade. And I know why I'm not Slade," he added meaningfully. Starfire, confused but nonetheless pleased by his peculiar behavior, tilted her head to one side. Robin recognized this as a silent questioning of what he meant.
He smiled more sincerely then, placing a hand over hers. "Slade doesn't have any friends."
She smiled back at him, squeezing his hand tenderly.
"Fair's fair," he added, a hint of mischief in his smile now. "What did you dream about Star?"
"I dreamt that I was all alone," she said, drifting down onto the couch to sit beside him, their hands still clasped together. "That all my friends had gone away and there was… was no one anywhere," she said, shivering softly. And then, remembering her dream more in-depth, her eyes started to moisten.
"Hey, relax Star… we're not going anywhere. I promise," he said, placing a comforting arm around her shoulders.
And so the two of them lay there in one another's arms, resting comfortably on the sofa as the sun's warm rays illuminated the living room. Neither of them noticed. They had both drifted off into a peaceful slumber.
Raven took the long route back to her room, stopping by the bathroom to shower herself down and calm her nerves, which were absolutely shot. Although considering how close she'd been to death tonight (last night, it was morning) it was no wonder. Still, the steamy hot water helped to sooth her.
Thus, when she returned to her room, she was greeted with a surprise.
Beastboy was sleeping in it.
Not on her bed, of course. No, he must've realized she'd toss him out by his ear if he'd slept in her bed. And not necessarily through the door either, likely straight through the window and down into the ocean. He was sleeping at the foot of her bed in the form of a great canine, which confused Raven. He generally slept in his humanoid form, and she frowned slightly, wondering what he was up to.
A quick scan of his thoughts told her everything.
He wasn't even really asleep, just artfully pretending, hoping that she would be too kind to try and rouse him, that she'd permit him to sleep beside her bed. He didn't want to sleep in his own room because… he was still afraid of what had happened. He didn't want to be alone right now. She didn't blame him. She remember well when she'd been younger she'd sometimes done the same with her adopted mother Azar.
But still… it -was- Beastboy.
Finally, she threw up her hands in frustration. "Oh alright," she muttered, knowing full well he could hear her. Canines had sensitive ears. "But if I see so much as one clump of green fur I'm going to re-introduce you to Anger personally, got it?"
She hadn't expected a response, he was still faking sleep, but she could see his ears twitch and his body shiver at the thought, and knew her threat had gone through. Satisfied, Raven removed her cloak and lay down on her bed, drawing up her covers as she too drifted back into a more restful, peaceful sleep, free of nightmares.
Cyborg lay flat on his back in his room, recharging quietly, though he'd yet to shut down his active system. He was half-worried he'd wake up a full machine again.
But the dream had taught him something, where its creators had intended it on him or not. His real father, as well as the real Fixit, had both helped to reinforce this lesson as he thought back on the two of them. He just hadn't put it in those terms before. And he supposed, even Brother Blood had helped by showing him the negative of the lesson, with his offer to make him human and whole again. Even Atlas had helped prove a point to Cyborg during their last clash.
It was a simple lesson.
No matter the outer form, the heart never changes.
Cyborg smiled and closed his right eye, de-activating his right so it no longer fed his brain information, and initiated shutdown. He wouldn't sleep long, but he needed a little rest right now. When he was recharged he'd work on cleaning up the Halloween decorations from outside, the jack o' lantern's which had by now probably lost all light, the candles having burnt out. It wouldn't take long but it was something that needed to be done.
Deep below Jump City there lay a cavern, formerly the hideout of the notorious Slade and now a monumental grave to him and to his former Apprentice, the Titan known as Terra.
Frozen in stone during the final battle, using her the last of her power and strength to seal away a triggered volcano, Terra stood there, having stood there for the past few months and weeks and days, and likely would continue standing there for years to come, unless a cure was found. For Terra was not truly gone, was not truly alive or dead. But a spark of life existed past the cold stone that was her face, her thoughts were still sensed by Raven, the Titan's telepath, who could tell that the once-and-again Titan was indeed still alive.
And someday, she would be returned to life.
Until then, she dreamed. She could no longer interact with the real world, all her senses were frozen in stone that made up her current form. She had no sight, no smell, no touch, no taste… nothing. But her mind was intact, and she could still dream.
And in her dreams she wandered the world as she had before she'd met the Titans or heard of Slade. Utterly free to do what she pleased. But now, her encounter with Anger's nightmares had left her with something else. Well, two things really.
One, a sense of fear, that her dreams were not to last eternally, that someday she would be restored to life and forced to answer for everything that she'd done, willingly, as the Apprentice of Slade.
And the other, a gift from Hope…
He was only a dream, the Beastboy at her side, sitting on the rock that she rode through the clouds with. But he was by her side and kept her company, and they laughed and talked. He was only a dream, and she longed for the real thing but… for now… it helped make her happy.
Brother Blood was heading west, which is near as I can figure the way out from Jump City towards the ocean. Obviously this'll lead into his location in 'Wavelength.' The final scene with Robin and Starfire was inspired by a piece of artwork called 'Slumber Time' though I can't seem to find the artist who made it. Terra's final dream-sequence is going to hopefully lead into either the animators bringing her back (they'd better) or, if I need to take measures into my own hands, -me- bringing her back. After seeing 'The Beast Within' I think its safe to assume at least one of Beastboy's biggest fears is turning into an animal, though it also seems I may need to change from a Beastboy/Terra supporter back into a Beastboy/Raven supporter. Le sigh. Hope you all enjoyed, see you next fic!
Oh yes, and have a pleasant All Hallow's Eve!
Yomiori-wolfdemon: Hey, its better to know your bad and work to improve, than think you're good and suck. You'll see why soon enough why people hate Terra. Specifically, I think 'Aftershock part I' will show you.
Ray1: Chipper indeed. And its above, Happy-Raven's (the authoress) story 'Raven of a Different Color' introduces us to Love-Raven, Lust-Raven, and Hippie-Raven. It starts out silly but it's a cute idea.
Crystal Renee: Glad you liked the photo album idea, I plan to bring it back in a future story if I ever get around to it.
Spazzfire: Nah, my ego's got super-powers too, and its my arch-enemy villain. I think it escape a while back and its plotting vengeance… or something.
ViciousAssassin: I did the same before I started this, to make sure I had the nightmares as close as possible to what would really happen if the writers of the show did this. Glad to see its been enjoyed. And yes, you just answered your own darn question. Good, eh?
Raidersrule76: Well we don't know, you might've come up with some ideas I might've missed. That's why I love , it allows for so much creative input.
Nariko: Well a little luck never hurts, I suppose.
Rose: Wow, no really its okay you don't like Terra but diz-zam you reaaaaallly hate her, don't you? Wow. As for Raven, everyone has a little prejudice inside them, even if they never really show it. Or jealousy.
Soon to be the World Renown Gracie: Didn't I already? Raven has a link with -all- her friends, and Terra's still alive in that statue. That's where this has led.
Tigress419: Well I didn't use the he/she/it in some dreams because Hope was in a girl's body, it was mostly to emphasis how peculiar it is, with a girl's spirit/voice/eyes in a guy's body. Trust me, I'd think that's peculiar. Glad you enjoyed Hope though. The mirror indeed. I love that thing.
Catty Engles: I know what you mean by monotomous, which is why I generally avoid stories like these. But glad you're enjoying it. Thanks for the advice but seems my post went up right as I planned it.
InnoscenTorn: Oh don't feel stupid, I always do that. I tease and I trick and I manipulate the audience. Its just my way.
Dragonblond: Now you know how we feel when your stories come to an end! Haha! And I understand busy schedule, just hope you're still making time for 1000 Words.