Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans.
Author's Note: This is something I had to write, something slushy and simple to tide people over until my Valentine's Day piece. And yes, it will be the long awaited "Vicious Cycle." Doing something different here, hope you like it.
Timeline: half hour after Titan Rising.
Thanks to fairy of irrelevence for being my beta. A real classy lady.
I still couldn't believe it. After all that hard work, they actually trust me and made me a Titan. I feel like screaming to the heavens. Instead, I just decide to stuff myself silly at Cyborg's buffet.
"Mmm…Cyborg, you should have your own cooking show," I say to him after my fifth waffle.
"Yeah, dude, you'd be the real Iron Chef." Beast Boy says, with his usual joke at the ready-I swear these two are always on.
"Oh yeah, I issue a challenge. Watashi..." Cyborg babbles in what I'm hoping is Japanese as he whips out a stick of butter and a steak knife.
Starfire just claps her hands like she usually does. She has such a happy-go-lucky way about things. I envy her…somewhat, just a bit too happy and naïve for my tastes. And then we look at the two sourpusses, the 'Birds' as I call them, Robin and Raven.
They just look at their meal like something died. I knew Raven would be a buzzkill but Robin?
"Hey guys, cheer up! We just beat Slade and saved the tower. I'd think that would be cause to be happy yeah?" I say in my best Starfire impression.
Robin looks up at me. "Yes, of course. You're right Terra, we're just…tired. It's been a long day."
I accept his reply and say nothing. But in the corner of my eye, I see Raven glance at Robin. It wasn't a line of vision glance but a knowing glance. Is there something I'm missing? She didn't act that way before. Or did she, and I didn't know it? I wonder…
"Booyah!" I turn my head and look at Cyborg raising his fist in triumph.
"Beat that, grass stain." Beast Boy hangs his head in shame.
"No fair! I…had my eyes closed." Not much of an excuse is it?
"Doesn't matter. Pay up." Cyborg is enjoying far too much.
"Dude, I don't have…" I ignore what the boys are saying and focus on the Birds. Whatever is going on with them is far more interesting than anything the boys are doing.
"I think I'll retire for the night. Terra, again congratulations and I'll see you in the morning." Raven finally speaks in that trademark depressing voice of hers. She places her plate in the sink and walks into the corridor.
"I think I'll retire too. Terra, good job tonight and see you all in the morning." Robin smiles at me (He has a killer smile) and joins Raven.
I swear from the way they're walking next to each other like that; I think…they might hold hands.
Nah, couldn't be. I don't see Raven doing anything like that. Hell, she'd rather kill you than talk to you. So I dismiss the silly thought.
"Hey, Terra? You want a…a proper tour of the Tower? I don't think you were…properly acquainted last time." Beast Boy breaks my thoughts with his cute underage voice, obviously wanting some alone time with me. At least it's nicer than "get over here, you blank."
"Sure." Why not? Might as well get familiar with the territory if I'm living here.
"Hey, what about the challenge? Pay up." Cyborg bellows as he usually does. I swear he can wake the dead with his voice.
"Yeah, yeah, tomorrow okay?" Beast Boy stalling…makes me wish I paid attention to whatever they're referring to.
"Come on, we got things to do." Beast Boy ushers me out. I say my good night to Cyborg and the alien, and off we go.
"So, where to?"
"Um…oh yeah…th-thinking." He is so cute when he stutters.
"Don't strain yourself." I couldn't resist. I think hanging around with him really ruined my sense of humor.
"That was a cheap shot."
"I know. What can I say? You bring out the worst in me." I enjoy taunting him. At least all this staying put will have some benefits.
"Glad I...can help." Good comeback.
"Come on…I always wanted to check out the T-Car." As much as I enjoy the awkwardness, need to move on.
"You know Cy is going to make me my own car. It will be way better that the T-Car or Robin's bike. It have bubble dome, tail fins and…" Him and his usual bravado, it refreshes yet…bothers me at the same time. Oh well, at least I get to look at the toys…
After my ogling of Robin's bike and a certain glance at the Titans' Mainframe (Beast Boy says he downloads the latest games from there. Cy would have kittens if he knew the truth. Have to try to remember that to tell him.), we head out to the beach of the Tower.
"So…what d'ya think of us?" Beast Boy asks as he clumsily dunks a stone into the bay.
"Oh…well." I didn't have an answer for him. Think Markov, think!
"It certainly is interesting. I think I'll like it now that we smoothed out the rough edges." And I skip the stone with my usual grace and athletic ability.
"You used your powers didn't you?" Stupid little green goof-off.
"Now, you sure you have everything in control…oh, right. Sorry." I see a brief blush from him as he turns away, afraid to face me.
"Beast Boy…I got everything in control. Those tricks I learned since I left will make sure there will be no more calamites. Ok?" I wasn't angry, I even understood his concern but seriously; I've got it handled.
"Ok. And where did you pick up those tricks? Some of that stuff you did tonight was amazing." At least he was impressed; Raven or Robin didn't bat an eye.
"Oh…had a little old man help me out when I drifted into the middle of nowhere." I say as I stare in his awe-struck emerald eyes.
"Little old man? Seriously?" He dares to doubt me? This a recurring theme here?
"No. I realized I had to focus and went from there. I used Raven and her mediating as a baseline for that." I try to hide my rage. If even the bit players are going to doubt and question me, then what am I doing here?
Oh right. Forgot about that.
"Okay, I'm sorry but after you freaked last time, I'm not helping again am I?"
"After you're done choking on your own foot, I have a pet rock that's dying to meet your acquaintance." I use a touch of Geokinesis and toss down a few boulders to separate us.
"Terra! Terra!" He turns into a gopher and digs out in front of me. Then a puppy with the most adorable…
"That won't work Beast Boy, not in the mood. Leave me alone before I have you neutered." I storm away the opposite direction. Anywhere but near him. I hear him grumbling soon after.
"Geez, you're just like Raven and her temper tantrums." That…cut me to the quick.
I'm many things but to be like Raven and her hissy fits? Give me a break. At least I can swear without blowing up everything in a five mile radius.
Stupid lawn gnome. Compare me to the…"glower child" will he? He'll be waking in a fissure tomorrow.
I walk around most of the island. The stars give off a nice shimmering to the bay. Nice atmosphere. Never thought I'd get this far out. Doesn't matter. Not like I could turn back anyway. "Daddy" wouldn't be happy if I did that. About to skip a stone when I hear splashing sounds. It wasn't like the normal tide sounds, sounded like…a stone skipping water.
I walk gingerly and crouch behind a well placed row of stalactites.
It's Robin skipping stones. I have to admit, he has a certain grace in everything does. I noticed that when he took care of Slade's drones at the diamond mine and then tonight with the worm. Grace and that tight body of his…if Starfire is ever tired of him, I'd be glad to take him off her hands.
I notice him grabbing a stone at break-neck speed and then skipping it with such force. I wonder what's eating him. Should I make my presence known or leave him alone with…what looks like rage.
I think to approach and am getting up when somebody appears beside him. Or floats down beside him, I should say. Hmm…Raven. Looking as sullen as depressed as she usually does. Wonder why she's here.
"Certainly weren't chatty during dinner. What is the problem?" She asks…in a tender voice? Is that even possible for her?
"Well…I do have a few niggling issues with Terra but mostly him. Again." He growls as he skips another stone. God, have my work cut out for me don't I?
"At least you tried. That's all anyone can ask. You know how difficult he is when you're one on one with him." She says…in sympathy. I didn't know she could do that either.
"I know. I noticed when we all took him down back…back when I was his…apprentice." Apprentice? Interesting word.
"I still can't believe I did that. What does he have over me?" Robin closes his fist. Raven goes over and clasps her hand around it.
"Because he represents the darker side of you. You're afraid that will be you, so you resist…but you find that the only way to stop him is to become him and we all know how that went. Like you in that Death's Head get up." Death's Head getup? Hmm…obviously have to do some research.
"Yeah. I was…just…it was stupid and I'm sorry, Raye." He turns away from her.
"I still feel that burn on my mouth." Back in her trademark glower I see.
"I know but I had to…for the ruse. Still didn't work." Robin sounds like he's holding something back.
"I'm glad it didn't. I would have hated you for that."
"Because if you became that, to become your own prey…then you would have forgotten the reason you became Robin in the first place. If I wasn't there to remind you," She was trying to stare through that mask of his; I tried to do the same thing.
Robin widens those masked eyes in shock. "God, you're right. I just can't…Oh, damn him! And damn me! I can't believe I lost sight of that already. I…lost everything that I am to try and get him and I still failed!" He screams as he flings the stone in the bay. Wish I knew what was going on.
"You didn't lose everything; you still held on…to the team…and myself or we wouldn't be here talking now." Raven drops her glower, to…one of the softest tones I've heard in my life.
"I…I…" Robin says nothing; just hugs her and they both fall to the ground. I could see the tears shine in the moonlight as they bleed off his face. Raven hushes him softly and even runs her fingers through his onyx mane as he cried further.
Tears always remind me of moonstones, useless. I always wonder why no one bought them; they have prettiness to them but nothing to diamonds, amethyst, and emeralds, far rarer and beautiful than a moonstone.
I suddenly feel jealous; not only of Raven's oddly beautiful amethyst hair and the way it…glistens in the light but of Robin's onyx hair too. So exotic as opposed to me…dull old gold leaf, have to get some dye later.
"Richard, you had to try. You couldn't let what happened to you happen to anyone else. You're the only one who can stop him but…you can't let yourself get sucked into the darkness he creates in you. You walked from it once, when we…I thought you lost forever." Raven says in her ever depressing voice, gently pushing away to gaze through that mask of his with those amethyst eyes. Jealous of those too.
I know these two are different from most people I've come across but I never realized how different until tonight. I never met anyone who hides behind such elaborate facades of mystery and illusion as them. They'd even put Slade to shame in terms of mysteriousness. I first think they remind me of a diamond; harsh yet beautiful but…that's part of their masks. Their true selves, underneath the mystery and putdowns, looks like they're crafted from pure gold.
Gold. It represents purity and goodness but in its pure form, incredibly fragile, easily bent, and easily broken and based on what Robin and Raven would talk about later, I realized they've been broken for far too long.
"I did it once but…I don't know if I can do it again. He keeps hurting people and using everyone for his own goals, and I…I'm…too weak. I can't do this but…no one else can."
"You have to keep going Richard. Think about all you'd abandon if you did. You know you can't walk away. As much as I…wish you could." She assures him, wiping away the moonstones.
"I know. Be so easy living a normal life wouldn't it? But…giving up being Robin? It's the only thing I have left to remember them by." Them? What am I missing here? I heard that Robin…Richard was with Batman but didn't sound like he was talking about him. It didn't add up until Raven began to speak. I swear I could hear thousands of explosions in the fading background.
"Richard, I know it hurts. But no matter what happens, they're still smiling on you from heaven and you continue to make them proud, that I'm sure of. You've grown up into such a handsome, intelligent, and strong young man who would make any parent proud." She holds him close to her. "I can feel from you that they loved you very much. I wish…I knew what that was like."
To quote an old book I read…"curiouser and curiouser." Now Robin has a tearful smile on those killer lips, and wipes off his tears.
"Raven, don't let your parents and their shadow get in the way of your life. You're away from them and making an honorable name for yourself and…you have me." He whispers to her tenderly. "I love you; I always have and always will. And the Titans love you too. We're your true family, just like…you all are mine."
I blanch as Raven hesitantly smiles and throws her arms around Robin's shoulders, and see a moonstone cascading down her cheek yet despite the crap she's given me…I smile. I see that the tear isn't the pale white of the solemn moonstone but full of…glittering joy, like diamonds, and it finally came to light as they both pull away, their lips meeting only briefly but falling nothing short of the most passionate kiss I've seen in my life.
I don't believe it. I couldn't believe it. They honestly and truly love each other.
Robin runs his hands through Raven's amethyst hair warmly and slowly takes off his mask and I see the brightest shade of amber. So fragile…how fitting for him.
"I love you too Richard." She whispers, Raven actually admitting love? Wonders never cease.
The rest of the conversation became lost to me as Robin and Raven kiss again, snuggling (never thought I'd use that word with them) down into the warmth and I just…sit heavily on the ground.
How could I be blind to this? Those two have…no, that witch has it all. Every precious stone I could think of belongs to her! A miserable, sad freak like her, it isn't fair.
She had amethyst. Her shimmering hair and those eyes with beautiful quartz skin to match, all for Robin. She herself is a beautiful, shimmering, elusive jewel and what did I have? Hair the color of gold leaf (a lie) and eyes the color of a polluted ocean, certainly not sapphires. Robin's amber eyes and onyx hair are also hers and my face grows emerald as I watch his gaze through the clear glittering jewels set into Raven's quartz skin, and run his hands through the silken amethyst adoringly, cascading through his gloved fingers like liquid mercury.
Raven's lips return the feeling, as it pours to her fingers, probing all over him. I'm not sure how much I can watch, Raven's head turns to my direction.
"I sense another presence here."
Robin quickly puts on his mask and I turn and run like a bat from hell. I hear them shouting, I was afraid of turning for they might spot me and so I run and run, all the way to my new room.
I take five minutes to catch my breath. Never run so fast before in my life. Not even from the giant scorpion. Two minutes later, I hear a knock.
Raven? Must be psychic.
"Terra." All business. Goody.
"Raven. What's up?"
"I think there is an intruder here, have you seen anyone?" Those amethyst eyes start to probe me.
"No. Haven't seen anyone, been in my new room the whole time." Go ahead, probe my mind. You'll see nothing…wait.
After thirty seconds Raven relents. "If you see anyone, Robin and I will be conducting the search."
"Right, go get them tiger." Tempted to shut the door in her face but I didn't. I stand completely still for only a moment before collapsing to my knees, feeling the sickly limestone green of envy spreading through me.
What is happening? How is it possible for the limestone to turn into malicious malachite so fast? Why are the gemstones plaguing my mind? Is it that they represent something I'm missing in my life? But what?
A knock on the door breaks my thoughts again. "Look Raven, I…" It's Beast Boy.
"Raven? I don't see Ravens here." I give an empty chuckle. I'm not in the mood for this.
"What is it Beast Boy?"
"Just…how is your first night of being a Titan?" A simple question, too bad I can't give a simple answer.
"Oh…nothing like I thought it would be."
"Well, some of us are going to this warehouse party tomorrow night. You wanna come?" He asks with those emerald eyes, but…doesn't have that glitter that amber does.
"Maybe. Why some? We're not all going?"
"Well, Raven and Robin are staying behind to do paperwork. I mean come on! They're young, they should live their age. Plenty of time to do that boring stuff when they're adults," You wouldn't say that if you saw what I saw tonight.
"Hey, it's their lives. If they want to be boring, then they want to be boring." Great, now I'm defending her.
"Better them than me." I think I get why I'm feeling this way.
"On second thought, I'll go." I don't want to stay here alone with them. Feel the malachite taking over me.
"Sweet! I mean…that's great, Terra." Overcompensating,
"Might as well. Have to get used to this place."
"Is it like the other places you've been?" He asks with such curiosity, I wonder how much I should tell him.
"No. Definitely not,"
"Well, I'm glad you're staying." I wonder he'll kiss me. I wouldn't mind but I know it won't be like…their kiss.
"I am too. And it's been a big day, going to go to bed. I'll see you in the morning." It wasn't a lie; I am tired.
"I'll be warming up the Gamestation."
"Should be a full, rich day tomorrow, good night Beast Boy." Hope he wasn't expecting a kiss or a hug.
I go to the bathroom and stare at myself in the mirror. The true color hidden to me by a white blindness, imperfect and as far from crystalline as possible quartz shield, a common stone that blinded me from the truth. I need more, I need some precious stones in my life and the dull emeralds and my own dull sapphires aren't enough for me.
I want amethyst, diamonds, onyx, and amber, not because of beauty but for…purity; like the ones that belong to Robin and Raven.
Robin's amber eyes were clear and innocent and they would stare at nothing but amethyst, setting them close to the gold bangle that was his heart and Raven setting amber in hers. Despite the clashes in color they compliment each other, like a beautiful ring that needed both stones or else the beauty would be simply lost in the violet and mahogany flare that resulted from one of the gems.
And my sapphire would glow alone, lost in a sea of a common metal longed to be gold. Maybe be with emeralds but…not the same as amethyst and amber.
I go to my laptop and turn it on. I know I see the email in my inbox, but my mind's eye keeps turning to that kiss of the Birds, filled with tenderness and love and I close my eyes and I know what I want.
I think I'll write that letter now.
This was a teleplay of a Pokemon fic I always had a fondness for. "Precious Stones" from Mystic Vaporeon. Wonderful reading. Decided to try a narrative. Other than that, leave a review on the way out and see you in the funny papers.