Author's Note: I've been on hiatus for a while, but I'm back in full force with this MUCH angsty-er than usual one-shot fic, taking place in between Aftershock 1 and 2. Being such a huge Raven fan, I couldn't see her just taking it and not letting lose on Terra, being half-demon and all. Well, today's big news is just that I'm a freshman in highschool now, so I've got an even heavier workload, but I promise you, I won't stop writing! The sequel to Payback is about three chapters in the works now, but I'm definitely on it, so you won't have to wait much longer for it. Big thanks to Alys, pen name SageofStory, for beta-ing this. And I WILL make a second chapter to this if I get enough requests for it. And to all you at the R&B 'Shippers forum, you better review! Actually, you should all review…well, I guess…here we go!

Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans. If I did, Terra would not exist, Cyborg would have a girlfriend, Robin wouldn't be so obsessive, Slade wouldn't act like a pedophile, Gizmo would know some good insults, and Raven and Beast Boy would have multiple episodes devoted to their relationship. With a few dedicated to Robin and Starfire, of course.

(-)(-)(-)(-)(-) scene change

-------------------- flashback

Quote of the Chapter: Raven - It did happen. We cannot change the truth, no matter how much we dislike it.

Divine Retribution

a story by Mint Dragon

-------------------------------------------

"Raven."

"Robin."

"You already know what I'm going to ask you to do."

"Yes."

"I know it's hard."

"Yes."

"Will you do it?"

--------------------

The Titans dragged themselves into the meeting room. Starfire moved slowly, her inhumanly strong body battered from their battle. The Tamaranean winced as she eased herself into the chair. Cyborg was in a similar state. Much of his metal body was dented and scuffed, and his right arm sparked when he moved it. His one human eye, an ironic steel gray, stared into space with a bitter anger. Beast Boy was in a world of his own. The young hero's eyes were wide and unfocused, and he didn't seem to notice the cuts and bruises that marked his own body as he walked to his chair and sat down, a listless expression on his face. Raven sat down, but did not remove her hood. It hung over her face, producing the unnatural shadow she was known for. No one commented on the dirt and rips in her cloak.

Robin stood at the head of the table. He had apparently received the worst beating of them all. His suit was torn and tattered, and his hair was mussed and unruly. His mask concealed his face, but his stance radiated defiance and strength.

Altogether, the Titans looked defeated.

"No more chances."

Everyone glanced towards Starfire. The red haired beauty stared hard at her hands, splayed out on the table. Her green eyes shone with sadness and unshed tears, and the lingering pain of betrayal.

"Star's right." It was Cyborg this time. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat as he continued in a low voice. "We can't forgive her. Not again. Not for this."

"No!" Beast Boy leaped up, indignant. "She deserves another chance! It's Slade! He's controlling her! Terra's not the bad guy!"

His only reply was a sad silence.

"Beast Boy," Robin said heavily, "I'm sorry. We all know how you feel about Terra. She was a Titan. She was our friend. But she's evil now. We can't just forgive that."

"But Robin-" Beast Boy started again, angrily.

"Terra is not naturally evil." Raven stated simply. Robin did a double take. " But she's too far gone. She won't stop. Not now. Slade's pushed her over the edge. We can't save her now. We don't have a choice."

"How do you know?!" the green skinned changeling exclaimed angrily, his eyes wild and bloodshot and miserable.

Raven looked up at him, and he almost stepped back, unnerved. Her eyes were open, and in them, the changeling could see…regret.

"I know." she replied. And somehow, that was enough.

"Titans." They looked to their leader once more. Robin gave them a weak smile. "Get some rest. We're going to need it."

Cyborg, Starfire, and Beast Boy left first, each in their own state of dejection. Robin caught Raven's gaze as she stood to leave. They let the door slide closed, before Robin spoke.

"Raven."

"Robin."

"You already know what I'm going to ask you to do."

"Yes."

"I know it's hard."

"Yes."

"Will you do it?"

--------------------

Raven looked down at her hands. They were smudged and dirty from her battle with Terra. She remembered her own anger, let loose as her opponent goaded her into attacking. She remembered the sting of betrayal, and disappointment in herself for being fooled. And she could still feel the demonic blood within her, ringing in her ears, screaming for retribution, for revenge. She looked up at Robin with a steady, cold gaze.

"Yes."

(-)(-)(-)(-)(-)

The alarms blared throughout the halls. Robin dropped his training staff and made a mad dash to the control room. Beast Boy pulled himself up off of his bed and forced himself to go down the hall with leaden steps. Raven stood in a corner of the room, her face once more concealed beneath her hood, and Starfire and Cyborg were standing in front of the main screen. It was displaying unnatural seismic readings, easily identified as the unique geokinetic powers of their enemy.

Terra was back.

"Titans."

Over the alarms, the four young superheroes turned to their leader for instruction. Robin's heart was heavy as he spoke to them.

"Terra was a Titan. Terra was our friend." He paused before finishing, his gaze lingering on the hooded psychic, her solemn stare meeting his.

"Show no mercy."

(-)(-)(-)(-)(-)

Cyborg let out a pained grunt as he crashed headfirst into the side of a post office. The bricks fell around him like rain, before glowing yellow and arranging themselves around him in a small dome. In frustration, he began to pound at the inner walls, but to no avail.

Raven picked herself up off of the ground and looked around. The normal city street, like so many others, had become a battlefield for the Titans. Beast Boy was still on his hands and knees, muttering to himself incoherently. Cyborg was trapped beneath the dome of bricks, and Starfire was lying on her side, unconscious. Raven could see a small stream of blood running down her side. Robin was fighting Terra, and Terra…

The meta-human looked more powerful than ever. Her metal suit seemed to enhance her strength and abilities, or maybe it was a result of training with Slade. Either way, their former teammate was vicious in her fight against Robin. The leader of the Titans was starting to falter. Raven's eyes followed the battle, as Robin's fatigue became more evident. He was reacting slower, and there was less power behind his punches, which became few and far between. He was losing, and he knew it.

Terra smirked, and a small, fist-sized rock shot up from the ground and hit Robin hard in the chin, throwing him upwards. For a moment, his gaze met Raven's, and the hooded psychic understood, in that instant, what he wanted her to do. Then, his masked eyes closed, and he fell spread-eagled on the ground, defeated. Raven raised her hands, and her eyes glowed white with magic. And then, she stopped.

Terra was looking straight at her from the center of the battered street. Cars lay overturned around her, and the Titans lay scattered among the wreckage. Unwillingly, Raven hesitated.

She would never know what it was that held her there, staring into the face of her enemy. Maybe it was pity. Maybe it was the faded remnant of torn trust. Or maybe it was because Raven saw, deep in Terra's watery cerulean eyes, something human. Something good left. And maybe, for an instant, a small flicker of hope appeared to her. Maybe she had been wrong. Maybe Terra could be saved.

And then Terra's eyes narrowed, and an evil smirk appeared on her face. Raven watched in shock as the earth rose up to swallow her friends, and Terra, whole, sucking them down into the depths. The half-demon remained froze as, the bubbles of earth retreated, underground, back to whatever pit Terra had crawled out of this time. Back to Slade.

Feeling lost, confused, and utterly defeated, Raven fell to her knees in despair and stared blankly at the concrete as the dust slowly settled around her.

(-)(-)(-)(-)(-)

Robin blinked groggily, and wondered where he was. Then the pain hit him, and he let out a groan. His face hurt, and his muscles ached. His wrists were bound to what appeared to be a stone wall behind him. He tried to move, to pick himself up off of the damp, earthen floor, but found himself too exhausted. He fell back down, defeated. All in all, he felt like shit.

"Robin…?" The weak, pained voice calling his name roused him to action. Slowly, he propped himself up and blinked, looking around. He was in a cell, chained to a wall. His utility belt and gloves were gone. 'Slade…' he thought drunkenly, before he heard his name called again and his head swiveled to the side. His eyes widened.

"Star…" he croaked. His mouth was dry, and he was suddenly conscious of the fact that his outfit was almost entirely destroyed by rips and tears, and he was covered in dirt. But that was nothing compared to Starfire's condition.

His Tamaranean teammate was chained in a cell adjacent to his. In the dim light, Robin could see a large bruise on her cheek. Her hair was mussed, her body was scratched up and he could see a trickle of blood running down her side. She looked every bit as crappy as he felt.

"The others…" she said weakly, and gestured with one hand, the heavy chains clanking against each other. Robin looked where she was pointing, and saw Cyborg, bound to the wall by heavy bands of metal. He had been shut down. Beast Boy was also in a cell, still curled in a ball and muttering to himself. Robin's heart went out to him as he remembered their battle.

--------------------

The Titans arrived on the scene, falling into fighting stances as the few remaining pedestrians rushed past them. The street was in chaos. A pipe had ruptured underground, sending a geyser of cold water spraying into the air. Cars were overturned, and two giant earthen golems were proceeding to wreck everything around them. Standing triumphantly on a floating slab of concrete stood their enemy.

Terra was still decked out in her shiny metal suit. In it, she looked even more frail than she had before. Earlier, Raven had compared her to a chrome toothpick. That deadpan joke seemed less funny now, as she stared down at them.

"Well, if it isn't the Titans. Back for more, huh?" the voice of their friend taunted them.

'Not friend,' Robin forced himself to remember, 'Enemy.'

"Titans, GO!" he cried out, and they did, of course. They always did. He was asking them to fight against one of their own, and they did. He would never cease to wonder at the loyalty of his team.

He prayed, for a moment, that he wasn't making a mistake.

Then he hurled an explosive disk at the floating concrete, and Terra leapt off just before it burst into pieces. He lunged at her as she landed nimbly on the concrete, striking down with his Bo staff. She blocked, and a storm of pebbles hurled themselves at him. He dodged, and then lunged back in, engaging in fierce hand-to-hand combat. With him standing so close to her, he hoped that she wouldn't be able to use her powers on him without endangering herself, and it might distract her control over the earthen golems that the rest of his team was occupied with.

He heard a feminine scream and whirled around. "Starfire!" he cried out. The red-haired teen was lying on her side by the edge of the sidewalk, clutching her side. She was bleeding. A lot. Enraged, he turned his energies back to Terra. 'You'll pay,' he thought. 'For that, you'll pay dearly.'

"Terra."

There was a pause in their fighting, and they both turned to see Beast Boy standing in front of a defeated golem in his human form, staring at them forlornly. "Terra," he repeated, "stop this. Please. You're not evil! It's Slade! He's controlling you! You have to fight it! We're your friends, Terra. I'm your friend."

Terra's gaze remained hard. "I have no friends," she intoned coldly, "especially not you." Beast Boy's heart seemed to break at that rough comment. He fell to his knees, his eyes wide and unseeing.

"No…" he said softly. Somehow, he couldn't bring himself to give up on her. He couldn't.

"Now," Terra turned back to Robin, a ruthless gleam in her cerulean eyes, "where were we?"

They began fighting again, and Robin forgot everything except the battle until a rock shot up from the ground by his foot unexpectedly, and rammed him under his chin. As he was lifted into the air, he looked back, and saw Raven. The psychic was watching, waiting, unsure.

'Do it!' he screamed in his mind. 'Do it now!'

And then everything went black.

--------------------

He looked up at Starfire. Her green eyes were wide with pain and concern. Robin tried to smile for her, and managed to force out,

"Raven will come for us soon."

Starfire looked away.

"Robin," she said, sounding weak, "I am afraid. I fear for us, and for Raven."

The leader of the Teen Titans searched desperately for a way to comfort her, to tell her that he was here, that it would be alright. But he couldn't. Because they were here, together, defeated. If Raven couldn't pull through, there was no hope left. Starfire looked at him again, and he was struck by how beautiful she was, even as disheveled and grimy and sweaty they were. He resolved to tell her, one day, how he felt. If they got out of this place. If Raven could defeat Terra, and Slade, by herself, and free them.

His mouth was dry, and he rested his head on the cold, damp stone, wondering if there really was such a thing as hope.

(-)(-)(-)(-)(-)

Her orchid hair blew back in the wind as she stood at the edge of the roof. The sunlight was fading fast. It would be twilight soon.

'Why didn't I attack?' she asked herself again. 'I could've. I should've. I should have destroyed her, thrown her into the darkness to suffer for all of eternity. Enough innocents have suffered because of her judgment, her choices. She deserved it.'

Though she didn't want to admit it, Raven already knew the answer. Her deep blue eyes were troubled as she looked down onto the water below the tower. She couldn't have done it, even if she wanted to. She was a half-demon, always conscious of the divide between her dual natures. She was so hell bent on preserving her human nature, that bit of self-righteousness that made her who she was, that she would never do anything so demonic as kill someone.

She pushed her hair back from her face, thinking. There was no way she could take on Slade and Terra by herself.

'I could get the others out,' she thought, 'I could portal them away. But Slade knows I could do that. He'll probably have wards up, or barriers.'Steeling herself, she came to the reality of the situation. 'I promised Robin I'd go full out,' she told herself. 'but to do that while maintaining control would mean…'

Doing that would mean fully embracing the demon within me.

She thought of Robin, of her promise to him. Of his faith in her, to do as he had asked, to do what was right. Of Starfire, of her utter trust in Raven's judgment. Of Cyborg, of his confidence in her. Of Beast Boy…

She closed her eyes and clenched her fists. It was the only real option.

The last rays of the sun faded as the wind picked up, whirling around the lone, cloaked figure on the rooftop. A cloud of dark magic surrounded her. Her cloak flared, and her arms sparked with energy. The air around her became suddenly cold, and dim. A single, dark flash followed, and then it faded away.

When Raven opened her eyes, their inhuman coldness matched the twilight perfectly.

(-)(-)(-)(-)(-)

Terra sat on the floor of the cavern, her metal bodysuit reflecting the soft light of the torches that lit the circular platform with an eerie glow.

Four of the Teen Titans were bound to wooden posts at opposite edges of the platform. They were dirty and battered, their suits torn and ripped. Cyborg was unconscious, still shut down. Starfire's head hung, obscuring her face, and she looked unnaturally pale. Blood was still trickling out of her wound. Robin was awake, and glaring at Terra with an intensity she was almost afraid of. Beast Boy stared listlessly at the floor, not even trying to move.

Terra felt a pang in her heart, or at least, where she thought her heart should be. Beast Boy had truly believed her lie, that she had really liked him. On some level, she did. But he had betrayed her to the others, told her secret. She could not forgive him for that.

"Are you ready, my apprentice?"

Terra looked up, startled. As always, Slade had appeared silently. He was standing next to her, surveying the defeated Titans.

"Yes, master." Terra replied automatically, standing up and looking to him for instruction.

"Terra."

"Yes, master?"

"There are only four titans here."

Terra winced.

"Yes, master. Raven…got away. It will not happen again, I swear it."

Slade walked slowly towards the platform.

"No matter," he said after a pause. "She will come soon enough. And when she does, her friends will watch her slow and painful demise by your hands."

"Yes, master."

"Good." The masked criminal stepped up onto the platform and walked with slow, measured steps towards Robin. The boy was tied to the pillar, his feet six inches off of the ground. He looked up at Slade, his half-lidded eyes and scuffed cheeks forming into some sort of glare.

"Robin, Robin, Robin," Slade said softly. "Just look at you now. You thought you could beat me, Robin. Foolish boy." Without warning, he pulled back and struck the leader of the Teen Titans across the face. Starfire let out a weak groan of protest, but Slade ignored her.

"Do you see now, Robin?" he continued, "You can never beat me. Your pitiable team fell at the hands of my apprentice. Oh, I know what you're thinking. That pathetic little psychic is going to come and save you. But she won't. Oh, she'll try, of course." Slade turned sharply and began to walk back towards Terra, still talking. "But she won't succeed. Do you see now, Robin?"

He stepped off the platform and whirled around. There was a manic glint visible in his one good eye.

"I cannot be defeated."

Next to him, Terra shivered. Slade might have saved her, given her control of her powers and revenge on the Titans, but the man was absolutely insane.

Suddenly, a cold wind swept through the cavern, and the torches flickered out. Slade pressed something on his belt, and four emergency lights turned on, illuminating them with an intense light. Around them, like living shadow, a pure darkness was spreading, covering the walls the ceiling, the floor. One by one the lights disappeared, and the air was cold as the oozing black consumed them all.

"What is this?" Slade hissed. Terra looked around quickly, shrinking behind him. Even though all of the light was gone, they could still see clearly. The cavern was gone. Instead, Terra, Slade, and the platform with the Titans on it were floating in a solid, black space.

Feminine laughter echoed around them, and Terra fell into a ready stance, looking warily around. She knew that voice.

'Raven…' Robin thought weakly, as he flickered in and out of consciousness.

"Child! Reveal yourself!" Slade commanded.

The laughter increased, this time a double toned, deep-throated roar, utterly inhuman. Then, a voice spoke to them.

"YOU WOULD DARE COMMAND ME?" It said, barely recognizable as Raven. "YOU WOULD DARE COMMAND THE DAUGHTER OF TRIGON?"

"C-come on out, Raven!" Terra yelled, trying to sound brave. This time, the voice was angry, harsher than its mocking tones of before.

"AND YOU, TRAITOR? YOU WOULD DARE DEFY ME AGAIN? HUMANS ARE SUCH FOOLS."

Then the Raven-voice turned its attention back to Slade.

"YOU DARED TO CALL ME A CHILD. WOULD YOU WILLINGLY INCUR MY WRATH?"

Slade began to laugh. A crazy, insane, psychotic laugh.

"I am Slade!" He declared. "I am unrivaled! Even you dare not face me! Show yourself, demon! I will conquer you, and you will be under my control!"

The maniac's cries echoed throughout the emptiness. Minutes later, Terra heard faint footsteps from behind her. Terra spun around, fists at the ready, as a lone, cloaked figure walked towards her from the surrounding shadows.

Raven stepped forward, her oceanic blue cape fluttering about her ankles. Terra clenched her fists and summoned her geokinetic powers, searching for anything, dirt, rock, sand, gravel…

Terra's cerulean eyes snapped open. There was nothing. As far as her powers could sense, there was nothing around her. No earth at all. Raven raised a thin eyebrow at her.

"Come, Terra," she said in a mocking voice, very much unlike her usual monotone, "You didn't think I'd bring you to a shadow dimension that had earth in it, did you?" Ignoring Terra again, she turned to Slade, whose fingers curled around a metal Bo staff.

"Slade," she said smoothly, "I thought you'd feel a little more comfortable, seeing me in my human form. I would prefer you be comfortable. After all, you are going to die very, very soon."

Slade snickered, and then burst into full out laughter. His laughter turned quickly into cries of surprise, and then of fear, as he looked down. The dark ooze was crawling up from the floor, onto his feet, his legs, his thighs, rising to his chest. He began to thrash.

"Terra, help me!" he commanded her. His meta-human apprentice stood frozen in place, wide eyes staring at the ooze.

"NO!" he yelled as he began to sink down, into the black. "This cannot be happening to me! It's impossible! Terra, get me out of here! Te-!" His last cry for help was cut off as he disappeared.

"W-what did you…" Terra didn't finish her sentence, staring at Raven with wide-eyed fear.

"I fed him to the darkness," the half-demon said nonchalantly, unclasping her cloak and letting it slide to the floor, where it, too, disappeared.

"The shadows liked him, you know," she said in a confiding tone. "Very warped. Very twisted. It really is amazing, where an imagination and a little bit of psychosis can get you, isn't it? Though I'm quite glad he's gone. The man just didn't know when to shut up."

Terra couldn't bring herself to answer, but stared open mouthed, as Raven looked down at herself and shook her head.

"Well, no sense in maintaining this form if I can't at least be comfortable," she said to herself, and snapped her fingers. The shadows from the floor crept over her, and then disappeared. Her usual outfit was replaced by sandals, a pair of tight jeans, and a black tank top.

"Spandex can get so uncomfortable, don't you think?" She asked Terra, looking back over her shoulder to examine the back of her outfit.

"You…you…" Terra was still in shock.

"Killed him? Why yes, I suppose I did, in a manner of speaking." Raven said brightly, rummaging through her pockets. She smiled, pulling something out.

Terra blinked. It was a paperclip. A perfectly ordinary paperclip.

The orchid-haired girl brought the paperclip up to her face and examined it, flicking off some pocket lint.

"Did you know that there are one-hundred and seventy-nine ways to kill someone with a paperclip?" the pale girl said matter-of-factly. "It can take months, if done properly."

"You…What are you?!" Terra demanded. Enough was enough. This was insane. This didn't make any sense at all. This was Alice in Wonderland gone horribly awry. The orchid-haired girl, monster, or whatever she was, hadn't even spared a glance towards her friends, who were still bound to pillars on the sacrificial platform.

"Who, me?" Raven looked up from the paperclip, looking wide-eyed and innocent. "Well," she scratched the back of her neck, looking off into space, thinking. "I guess I'm a demi-demon-god. Say that eight times fast!" she joked, as if they weren't floating in the middle of some strange, shadow dimension, that she wasn't really some demonic, horribly powerful creature, that she hadn't just killed one of the most powerful people on the planet, that they were two normal teenage girls, discussing something mundane and boring and gossipy. Raven continued in a disturbingly valley girl-ish tone, picking at her fingernails.

"See, there was this whole thing with my dad, who's this huge, mega-powerful helldemon bent on taking over the universe-slash-verses, and he raped my mom, who was this way lost teenager, and then, well, I was born." She looked up and smiled at Terra.

"Have you ever died, Terra?" she asked, and then continued, answering her own question. "Well, of course not, I mean, I guess mortals don't follow exactly the same rules as demons. I died once," she said, as if reflecting on a particularly fond memory, "it wasn't very fun. Hell in general isn't that much fun of a place. I mean, the heat? My skin nearly peeled off. Well, if souls have skin, anyway. And there was all the sulfur. The place really reeked. Have you ever read Dante's Divine Comedy?" She asked quickly. Terra shook her head numbly. Raven sighed.

"It's a Renaissance novel. Dante was absolutely crazy, mind you. Had nightmares about Hell even before he went there. Anyway, he describes Hell as a series of concentric circles. The farther in you go, the harsher the punishment. Anyway, in the middle, frozen in a block of ice, is the Devil, a three-headed monster with drooling fangs and all the clichés. His mouths are the punishments the very worst sins. In the middle mouth, it was…oh…what was his name? The guy who betrayed Jesus. Judas! That was it, Judas. Anyway, it's kind of ironic, isn't it? The worst spot in Hell is reserved for traitors. Guess that doesn't bode well for you, then. Traitor until the end."

"You killed my master!" Terra started, jolted out of her shock. "You killed hi-!"

"Oh, shut up, you stupid bitch." Raven interrupted her, sounding annoyed. Her voice returned to its usual monotone.

"I should kill you now." Terra gulped and took a step back, frightened. "I could, you know. Kill you. I could rip your soul from your body, killing you instantly and sending you to burn in Hell for all of eternity. I could kill you slowly, keeping you alive for months, maybe years, until you were begging for death. Or I could tear your soul to shreds. I could even kill you and send your soul to wander along the astral planes for all of eternity. I could leave you here for all of eternity. Which, mind you, is a very, very long time.

"One thing you don't seem to understand very well, Terra, is that I am a god. I can do anything I want, and more."

"Then why join the Titans?"

Raven blinked, and then sighed.

"It's not all that simple, Terra. You see, my normal, human side is very much a pacifist, and remains in control most of the time. Most of my power, however, is tied to my demonic half. So you see, to use all of my power, like I am now, would me embracing my demonic half, violent urges and all. I doubt I'll ever do it again in my life."

Raven's dark blue eyes rested on her friends.

"But I needed to do what was right."

Walking over to them, past the stunned, Terra, she walked first to Cyborg, releasing his bonds and lowering him to the ground gently. Next, she moved quickly to Starfire. Releasing and laying her on the floor as well, she swiftly placed her hands over the Tamaranean's wounds and healed them. The red-haired girl was left lying on her back in a deep sleep.

Robin looked up as Raven approached him, healing him and untying his bonds.

"Raven," he began, but couldn't find the words to finish. Feeling tired and weak, he fell to his knees next to Starfire, and watched as Raven unbound the last member of the team.

Beast Boy was silent, his now-alert green eyes following Raven warily as she untied the ropes binding him to the pillar and caught him gently as he fell to the ground. Gently moving out of her hold, he turned his head to towards Terra. The orchid-haired girl watched silently as they exchanged looks. Then, Beast Boy turned away, his eyes meeting Raven's for a brief instant as he walked towards Robin, Starfire, and the inert Cyborg.

Raven's clothes flickered black, and then returned to her usual uniform, cape included. She turned to Terra.

The blonde haired girl cowered visibly under her former teammate's unreadable gaze. Slowly, Raven raised one hand, and her eyes began to glow white with magic. Terra squeezed her eyes shut as Raven spoke in a steady, measured tone.

"Azerath. Metrion. Zinthos."

OhmygodI'mgonnadieI'msorryIdidn'tmeanitohmygodI'mgonnadieI'mgonnadieI-

(-)(-)(-)(-)(-)

Raven stood in her doorway, facing the inner darkness of her room. Beast Boy stood behind her.

"What you did back there-"

"Cannot be changed."

"I know. 'We cannot change the truth, no matter how much we dislike it.' You told me that once."

She was silent. He took in a deep breath and continued.

"You became a demon."

"Yes."

"To save us."

"…Yes."

"But you couldn't do it to her."

--------------------

Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, and Raven stood in the entrance hall of Titans' Tower. Raven's hood was up, her face once more concealed by its unnatural shadow.

Starfire was the first to speak.

"Terra…"

"Is gone." Raven's voice blank and monotonous as she continued. "Her memories, the world's memories of her, have been wiped clean. I stripped her of her powers. She retains no memory of them, or us. She is no longer a threat."

They were silent.

"So…where is she now?"

Raven turned to Beast Boy, her face still hidden, her voice still in its usual monotone. "With her family."

"I shall go check on Cyborg," Starfire said weakly, and flew out of the room. Beast Boy, Raven, and Robin were left, standing in the twilight's shadows.

"Raven…" Robin began. She looked up at him, and her gaze met his.

'Thank you,' he thought. 'Thank you for your sacrifice.'

Without speaking, Raven turned and began to walk up the steps towards the main part of Titans' Tower. Moments later, Beast Boy followed.

Robin waited until the two had left, thinking to himself. Then, he too left, to join Starfire and see if she needed help with Cyborg.

They were his team. They had followed him into battle, followed his commands, and come out scarred. And they would do it again, because he was their leader, and they trusted him with their very souls. They trusted him. Now he had to learn to trust them.

The door slid shut, leaving the evening shadows to rest on the empty hall, where five heroes had once come together in the joint pursuit of justice, and hope.

--------------------

Raven paused, and not turning back, said quietly to Beast Boy,

"I could've killed her. I could've done that to her.

"I couldn't have done that to you."

The door slid shut, and Beast Boy was left staring at it, solid gray emblazoned with five mysterious, beautiful letters.

RAVEN

END

I know, I know a little off of the beaten track for me, but hey, why not, right? Good ideas come in all forms. Even creepy nightmarish-ones like the one you just read. So…if you liked this fic, go check out Seth Turtle's (May he live ten thousand years, or at least until he runs out of fic ideas) fics, which are listed under my favorites, SageofStory's fics (especially Hidden Flame) and if you're in the mood for some humor, you can go check out my stories Payback or Pink and Blue All Over. Well, until next time, keep reading! (and reviewing!)

-Mint Dragon