Chapter Twenty Two: Old Truths, New Lies
"Dude, I can't believe she didn't tell me!" Beast Boy was furious. He was pacing through Cyborg's room, with the android watching him anxiously, fearing for his own life. Discovering Raven's secret sent the green boy into a fit of rage, he wasn't thinking clearly, Cyborg knew that, but said nothing; he didn't want his friend's rage to be turned at him, knowing Raven did Beast Boy wrong by not telling him.
"I mean, each time I talk to her, I spill my heart, literally putting it on my sleeve, and when she does something so meaningful, she plays all 'nothing's wrong'" the teen kicked one more can that was on the floor and then fell down, legs thrown sideways, hands grabbing his hair, he roared with frustration
"B, maybe she had a good-" Cyborg tried, but was cut short by the changeling's outburst
"Don't you defend her, dude!" he exclaimed "She knows how much Terra means to me and-" now it was Cyborg's turn to yell
"Maybe that's why she kept it a secret? Did you think of that? Maybe she doesn't want to wake sleeping emotions, know what I mean?" Beast Boy's face turned red with rage
"What Terra and I had was in the past! Those emotions are gone!" he got up and threw his hands sideways. Cyborg's human eye narrowed
"Then why did you say 'How much Terra means to me'?" the green one clutched his fists and bit his lip, eyes shut with rage. He raised one palm into the air, but then brought it down, turned and began walking towards the door
"Oh no, you don't" Cyborg shot from his seat and blocked the door with his large metallic body
"Listen here, and listen good" the human machine was raging, his nostrils were flaring, face painted bright red
"Raven is one of my best friends, and I won't let anything happen to her. If you're planning to pull a second Malchior move, you better back off, 'cause it's not gonna happen" At those words, and his friend's hateful tone, Beast Boy morphed into a green Ram and knocked the metallic man out of his way, storming out of the room.
As the dust settled down, Cyborg looked around his room; the door was torn off its hinges and thrown outside, other that that, A-O.K
"Maybe I did go a bit too harsh on him…" he told himself and set off to find his green amigo.
"Almost got it…" he muttered
A second one
"Just a bit to the left, no, no, too much left" he twisted his right arm like a contortionist, trying to break the yellow shackle binding it into place
"Take a deep breath…and kiss your good throwing arm goodbye" he pulled hard towards himself, and could feel his shoulder dislocating and bottled his scream of pain
The limp and lifeless arm fell through the bind, and dangled by his side, but he forced his palm against the wall behind him, and pushed as hard as he could
"AAAAAARGH!" his scream echoed through the stony cavern, nearly shaking it. He looked down on his battered body and charred belt
"Oh yeah, great idea tripping the power core, Einstein" he thought and swore. Detonating the Xenothium power core could've been his last dumb move ever; it could've killed him, unless of course, he was already dead.
Once getting back the feeling in his arm, he reached the left side of his belt and pulled out a small, black, pistol-looking device, completed with a red crisscross in the front portion. He didn't even bother aiming, and shot the red X at the opposing wall, using the incredible power of the grappling hook to pull himself free of the other shackle
"Free at last" came the words as he used his feet to break the impact with the wall. Landing crouched, he scanned his surrounding; a dark cavern, with only one exit, the smell of brimstone was in the air, churning his nostrils. X took a few steps into the darkness, but then bumped into something, something human
"The chick" his brain alarmed him; he jumped back into a fighting stance, but as time passed, the girl said and did nothing. Relaxing, X squinted, and took a harder look at the figure; it did look like the girl, he could see that for sure
But she was made of stone.
"What in the world…?" X mused as he circled the odd statue. The girl, Terra, as he read on the plaque that was placed at the statue's feet, was apparently a Teen Titan, but her battle dressing; X knew the styled S in the middle of her breast plate.
"Raked up first place in the bad joke contest" he muttered and headed towards the small exit; a hole in the cavern's wall, but as he did, he began hearing something. At first, it wasn't audible, but as he came closer, the voice became clearer
"My name is Terra, and I have done horrible things" X's head snapped sideways, trying to find the source of the voice
"I have sworn to the dark master" the voice continued "I obeyed his every command and committed crimes in his name"
"I have betrayed and attacked everyone who used to be my friend. One by one, I have destroyed the Teen Titans"
"Big whoop… So did I" the thief said to himself and sat on a rock near the exit. Disregarding him, the voice went on
"And with no one left to stop me…"
"I brought the city down to its knees" X grinned under his mask. Another crazy chick on a power trip, no wonder she ended up dead
"My name is Terra, I have done horrible things"
"And I have absolutely. No. Regrets" with that, the voice was silenced. X got off the rock and dusted his cape. He headed towards the exit, now walking through a long tunnel, with no light at the end. The masked teen looked left and right to see the walls of the tunnel filled with strange pictures; Beast Boy, Terra, Beast Boy and Terra. Walking, talking to each other, holding hands, hugging; the green one's arms around her, closing in towards a kiss…
"A walk down memory lane" he mused. The tunnel came to a surprised end, leaving the thief in some sort of round hall. As he looked around, he saw the ceiling was lit up by millions of small candles that spread an eerie atmosphere through the brown and black shades of the cavern
That's when he heard the footstep
Right behind him
"Who are you?" X asked. In his mind, he already knew the character's answer
"If I wanted you to know that, would I be wearing a mask?" replied the man.
"And I'll…hear you scream again…
Black Hole Sun, won't you come
And wash away the…"
"Raven, we need to talk" the voice broke through the barrier of sound Raven has prepared. The Goth girl jumped up from her bed to see the ethereal form of Terra, standing in front of her, the blonde's legs hidden inside the violet sheets.
"Why did you leave X unwatched? You know he can-" Raven started, but was cut off
"That's exactly why" Terra said "This X guy, he's good, he's better than I thought. We only fought one time, and he almost defeated me. I had to use my soul self to-" now it was Raven's turn to rage
"You showed him your soul-self?" she yelled, her eyes flaring out sparks of dark energy "He's not ready to face your soul-self yet!" Raven was positive; Terra had gone too far this time. The soul self is the last resort of spirits traveling in the astral plain; a form of defense that releases one's inner powers and intensifies its skills by ten folds
"Providing he wasn't able to use his powers, you were right" Terra tried to reason with the raging girl, but was attacked again
"What powers? The whole concept of 'powers' doesn't apply to Red-X! He's using a suit!" Raven threw at her
"Well maybe he's gone too far" Terra's voice dropped, she sounded scared by her own words
"What if you were wrong?" she continued "What if the suit; this Red-X, didn't become a new side in his personality, what if it…somehow, integrated into it?" Raven's jaw dropped, synchronizing perfectly with the widening of the violet orbs in her eyes
"Is that even possible?" Terra shrugged and smiled awkwardly towards her
"I don't really know…I'm kinda new to this whole spirit stuff myself, remember?" the geokinetic girl looked at Raven for a couple more awkward minutes of silence
"Then… I guess I'll go now" she said and started fading away slowly. Raven stared at the disappearing body for a few more seconds and then let out a quick "Wait!" that made Terra's body resume its spiritual etherealness
"Hmmm…?" she said and stared at the half demon with two wide blue eyes. Raven wanted to lie, to say it was nothing, to say it could wait
But she couldn't
"Beast Boy…" she bit her lip "Do you still have feelings for him?" Terra gave her an odd look
"Was that all?" she shrugged and smiled "Of course I don't!" she lied "Besides, I'm a spirit now, even if had feelings for him, there's nothing I can do about it" at those words, Raven's heart missed a beat, she could feel the beating pulse in her neck
"That's…" Terra's face changed from the giddy blonde girl to full shock as that word slipped out
"That's not completely true"
"Finally ready!" exclaimed a satisfied Boy Wonder and stepped back with excitement. After five straight hours of work, he had finally done it. He carefully observed his creation; still not colored, the silvery metal glowed back at his shining eyes as they traveled across the object that was his hands work, the streamline design, the powerful engine, the handling bar, the throttle and the signature R on the back
He reconstructed the R-Cycle, all by himself
"Man, Bruce would've been proud!" he announced, taking a stroll around the bike. As he passed near the large seat from the left, he jumped on it, leaning forward, grabbing the handling bars and pretending to be driving; he shifted his body weight from side to side and made engines noises through his mouth. He was so into the experience that he let his imagination run wild, pretending to be on the highway, passing cars as he did before he used his trusty bike to attack Slade. In his daydream, music played in his head, he closed his eyes and listened carefully
"Get yer motor runnin'. Head on to the highway. Lookin' for adventure… And whatever comes-"
At that word, he let out a surprised scream and fell off the side of his bike. An amused Starfire tried to bottle her smile, but couldn't
"Forgive me, Robin. I did not mean to frighten you" she apologized. Behind the bike, Robin frowned
"You didn't scare me, I was just, surprised" he returned, but wished to take his words after seeing his beloved alien smiling even wider. Her emerald eyes scanned the metallic object and her smile grew wider, beyond human proportions if Robin dared to think
"The R-Cycle, it is complete, yes?" at that statement, Robin's head popped up from behind the bike's seat, giving a victorious grin
"Almost" he said "The bike's all around done, I just need to paint-" the alien princess jumped up and down, giggling and clapping
"I love painting! May I be of assistance?" she asked giddily. Robin, who had already got up, threw a white gas mask with two filters towards her
"You'll need this" he said. Starfire looked at the mask with disgust. She despised masks, especially white ones. At a certain moment, she could have sword the white mask looked almost like a skull
"Must I?" she asked. Robin, who already had his on looked at her
"The fumes of the paint are pretty toxic, put it on" he replied
"I wish not to" she returned and discarded the object "My body is able to withstand toxins which your body cannot" she took one spray paint gun, blasted her finger with red paint and sniffed her finger
"See? Nothing is wrong!" she announced. Robin smiled and shrugged
"You do realize that's quick drying paint, right?" he said and giggled. Starfire seemed shocked for a second, but the lit her finger with green energy, burning the red color off
"No harm done!" she exclaimed. The Boy Wonder already came over to her side of the bike and kneeled in front of it, holding a second spray gun
"The faster we'll be done, the faster I-" he stopped himself
"It's a surprise dumb-dumb! Pipe down!" his brain shouted.
"Yes? What is it?" she asked, kneeling beside him, also holding a spray gun
"Nothing" he replied. "Come on, let's do it"
With that, they started painting the R-Cycle, the process was not too long, but through which, Starfire started having a strange feeling in her head, it felt…
And with no apparent reason, she started giggling, without any power to stop herself, the giggles just flowed out of her mouth. It took a while before Robin noticed that, but when he did, he turned towards her
"What's so funny?" he asked. That only made Starfire's laugh grow faster. She reached with her index finger and touched the masked boy's nose
"Your nose" she said. Robin raised an eyebrow
"My nose? What's so funny about my nose?" he asked, not realizing his companion's condition
"I have it" he finger was followed by her entire palm, closing in front of his face and returning closer to the girl's body. She opened her palm and discovered to her surprise that it was empty
"How did you do that?" she asked in a dazed voice and giggled again "Oh, I see it now. You're cheating!" she pulled off his gas mask, as she did, he gasped in stun, and started feeling light headed as well
"No I'm not" he said, fighting for grip "I think this paint mix is a bit too intoxicating" as he finished his sentence, Starfire exploded with laughter
"What? What did I say?" he cried.
"You said Imroglimazing!" she said and laughed again, holding her stomach with both hands. Robin slowly joined her, going quickly from small giggles to complete hysterics. After a while, the laugh died down, but Robin kept giggling, quietly
"What?" Starfire's dazed voice asked, he raised his head towards her
"Look at my finger" he said and raised his index finger in front of her face. After a few seconds of staring, he poked her right in the middle of her forehead and dropped to the floor, banging his fist on it. Starfire's surprised look changed quickly and she joined Robin in his laughing. And so they sat there, laughing with no apparent reason, they seemed to be laughing just for the sake of it.
Once done, Robin put his head on Starfire's exposed leg, the alien did not respond as she was well asleep, he felt drowsy as well, all that laughing took much more out of him than he thought
"Now I know what the Joker's talking about" he said to himself "Laughter CAN kill you"
"Okay…I've been trying to go easy on you, but now I'll start fighting for-" not even done with his false threat, X took a painful knee to the stomach that sent him rolling to his left, coughing sheer pain
"Don't waste your breath" spat his opponent and walked towards the mass of pain, formally known as Red-X. With a single hand placed under X's chin, the suited opponent lifted the thief and looked at him, masked eye to masked eye. The man was wearing a skin tight jet black suit with a red screaming bat shaped sign in the middle. Ears pointed upwards and two white slits that pierced right into X's soul. As the man's grip turned slowly into a chokehold, he grinned
"It's over now, you know it" he said. X's palms faintly tried to grab at his enemy's forearms, with a very loose grip. The man chuckled a sadistic laugh
"Don't bother, your belt is history, and so are you" he said. With a last effort, X's eyes narrowed
"Two words: Breath Mint" he said and used every last ounce of his strength to send a kick, right between the man's legs. The purpose of the kick was fulfilled as X was dropped face down to the cold floor, colliding with a faint cough of pain. Dazed, but not out
Ok, I'm sorry, I can't do this anymore.
My apologies to all of my readers, everywhere. As you have seen for sure, my last few chapters have been filled with nothing but pointless fight scenes and going nowhere fluff. The reason is simple: I'm all out of thinking.
I truly tried to figure out what to put in this chapter, and not making it a filler one, but as you have read, I failed, badly. So, as from now on, or at least until I come up with a descent idea, Tales of the Closet is officially on ice.
Feel free to flame me, I know I would. Heck, I'm doing it right now.
One final request. I know there are a whole lot of authors reading my story, so if you can, please give me some ideas, PLEASE!