It is strange, being made out of solid rock. I used to maneuver, manipulate, and even change the properties of rock and earth. Now, I am part of it. I don't know how it happened exactly. I only knew that I had to stop the volcano, and the only way to do it was to turn the molten rock solid. But there was so much, and the eruption was so violent. I had caused it; therefore I had to stop it. I did stop it. But I threw so much of my power into the effort to make the lava solid, that it created a backlash, and took me along with it. I became rock. My consciousness merged with the stone. It was awhile before I was even aware that I could hear and sense things down in this cavern. I doubt that this will last long, somehow. I mean, how can I stay this way? I don't want to stay this way. But, for a little while, it
The first thing I was aware of was when they came. I can see, after a fashion, or maybe it is just the extra dimension of being a part of the entire cavern. But I saw them come in, and it surprised me. Why were they here? Why would they bother? I was even more surprised when I saw that they brought flowers, and a plaque. They put the plaque at the foot of where my stone body stood, and then set the flowers down there. I could hear them talking. It's funny; I honestly didn't expect anyone but Beast Boy to care at all what happened to me. Especially after what I had done to each of them, to their city, to the people of the city. I even wondered why Beast Boy cared anymore. He had been right when he had said that I didn't have any friends. What he didn't say was that I didn't deserve any friends
I had thought that I didn't care. I had thought that I was beyond that sort of weak emotion. I had done terrible things, and I had thought that it didn't matter to me at all. I had thought that I was just like Slade, hard, evil, and powerful. After all, he had taught me how to control my powers. He had taken me in as his apprentice. I didn't understand that, to him, I wasn't a partner and he wasn't my mentor. To him, I was a tool, a slave, and he was the master. And for that, I had given up a chance to have friends. I had given up a chance to belong, to have a real home, to have a purpose for my life. But I had been wounded. All right, I had been a fool, a very childish and selfish fool. I had believed that Beast Boy had told the others of my weakness. That shows just how immature I could be. Obviously, to the Titans, who were all powerful in their own right, it was clear that I had minimal control over my power. They didn't need Beast Boy to tell them that. Especially Robin, who only had to watch me once through the obstacle course to see the truth. But, in a fit of insecurity and self-doubt, I raged and blamed Beast Boy, and then ran. Slade found me very quickly, while I still nursed the imaginary hurt of my friend's supposed betrayal of my secret, he flattered and cajoled me with that velvet voice of his until I believed all of his lies. I actually thought that he cared for me, that he wanted to help me and take care of me. I believed everything he said, including how the Titans had turned against me because they all thought they were better than I was. Oh yes, I bought into all of his falsehoods, like the fool that I was.
I have no excuse for that. I have had some time to think of it, as I exist as consciousness imbedded in rock. I can't claim it was because I was an orphan, that I had no guidance. It is true that I was alone a lot; that I had to move constantly, living in caves and such because my powers caused disasters wherever I went. How can I? None of the Titans had storybook families either. But they chose to do good, to hone their powers to the best of their ability, to find something to aspire to. I just ran. And kept running whenever something hurt my feelings or frightened me, such as disclosure. I feared someone knowing that I couldn't handle what I was. Why didn't I see that they had all faced that moment in their lives? Each of them had had to choose how to deal with power or gifts that they weren't sure of. But they had faced their insecurity and moved on to learn, the right way. Not by running off to someone who only wanted to use them and what they were for his own gains.
I don't deserve their kind words, I really don't. I mean, I tried to kill them all. And at the time I really enjoyed doing it. Until I saw how twisted he had made me, until I realized that they had been my true friends all along. They had never tried to use me, and they hadn't rejected me, they had tried to help me. They had welcomed me in as a stranger and had tried to give me a home. Even Raven, who had disliked and distrusted me so rightly from the first, even she had softened and welcomed me, calling me a Teen Titan, which is even better than being called friend.
After that first day that they all came, I was startled when one day I saw Beast Boy come in alone. I had expected that no one else would come. The underground cavern wasn't exactly easy to get into. I was drifting in thought when I heard a quiet voice. Then I saw him.
"Terra, I really miss you." There was nothing joking in his manner. In fact, I don't know that I had ever seen Beast Boy so sad. Angry, yes. Hurt, definitely. Horrified, yeah, when I left with Slade. I focused my attention on him, feeling something inside of me aching. "I, um, try not to let the others see. Its not that they would mind, I think they are all missing you in their own ways. I just don't want anybody to fuss, you know. Nice as Starfire is, she can get way too...sweet. Don't get me wrong, I really like her, but she's a little overwhelming at times. Robin's the type to say just get busy and make the best of it. If you work harder, it will help. But, Terra, it doesn't help. I wish I could take you on another date. I really had fun, until the end anyway. You were so fun. It's hard to explain. You laughed at my jokes because you honestly like them. You didn't roll your eyes or make sarcastic remarks. You would be as goofy as I was. Nobody else has ever acted crazy with me before. We kind of worked well together, didn't we Terra?" He sniffed and swiped at his eyes. "Raven has been real nice. Kinda funny, huh? Raven's the one you thought didn't like you at all. But, she understands more than anybody. She knows when to just be quiet. She even laughed at one of my jokes, yesterday. But, I saw the look she gave me. It was a sympathy laugh. I don't mind. She's said some really nice things about you too, Terra. You would have been really happy. "He shuffled his feet. I always thought that made him look so cute and insecure. That place inside of me ached a little more.
"Well, I guess I better go. " He said, his eyes sweeping the cavern and then settling on my stone form. "Raven is really trying to figure out a way to bring you back, Terra. She just doesn't have an answer yet. If anyone can do it, trust Raven. When she does, I want to take you someplace really neat, so we can laugh again. You deserve it, Terra, after what you did here." He took a breath. "Anyway, I needed to see you. I'll stop by now and then, just to say hi. You're still my best friend. "
I watched him leave, walking with slow steps. The ache grew until it felt as if the whole cavern hurt. I couldn't help but remember all of those good times now. Not just with Beast Boy, although those were the most special of all. But I remembered Starfire's rib cracking hugs, Cyborg's silly pizza contest, Robin's rare but sincere compliments on a job well done, and Raven's quiet "You deserve it." when they showed me my own room in the Tower. I miss you guys, all of you. But, I don't think that Raven will find a cure for this. I believe that I am a part of the earth now for good. And I really think that my consciousness is going to fade away someday, and I will be really gone. And, contrary to what you, my sweet Beast Boy, and Raven have said, this is what I really deserve. I have no way to make up for what I did. So I am content to sink into the earth beneath the city, and to know that you are all safe and well, that I didn't destroy you. I hope that Beast Boy was telling the truth when he said that you all have forgiven me. Maybe that is why I can still think, why I still hold onto awareness. When I can finally forgive myself, I will be able to rest at last.