Author's Note: I love you all... again, much apologies for the delay, it's been done a while. Note: Yes, I stole a scene from Les Miz (hense the title of the chapter) and morphed it into my own. It's just good fun, and I was listening to the Les Miz soundtrack and it made me sad which is good cuz it's supposed to be sad. So now that all the legalities are done, enjoy and I hoped this story kept you somewhat entertained... It disappointed me, to be frank. Oh well, sorry if I got your hopes up in the first author's note, but it's not that bad. Happy reading.
Chapter 10: A Little Fall of Rain
"I wish there was something I can say to erase each and every page you've been through even though it's not my place to save you. I appreciate but can't accept this thank you note that's sealed with your last breath and I won't stand aside and listen to you give up."– The Ataris, My Reply
"Why are entire years strewn on the cutting room floor of memory when single frames from one magic night forever flicker in close-up on the 3D Imax of my mind?"– Mark,RENT!
There was a blast of white from the blackest soul and the world froze for just a moment as wickedness turned to ash and the righteous were spared as if by some miracle of God...
Only she was a demon.
That tingling of emotion burst through her like fire and gun powder. The epicenter of a grand miracle, she and Robin were the last souls alive entwined in each other engulfed by the white that they barely noticed. The power had built up for years, the power she had never trusted to do anything good was finally proving her wrong. When she gave in to herself she finally had the chance to show that she wasn't just made for disaster.
She was a key.
She and Robin had unlocked an explosive power that continued on past the Jump City boundaries, annihilating all the mistakes that they had let into the world, and demolishing Loki's army in one fell swoop.
Loki himself, indeed, felt as though he had been hit by a massive explosion of radiation. His scales were on fire with Raven's mystic napalm. Alone in a gutter, he looked up at the sky and saw the stars fading away and he thought to himself, Well damn. At least I got what I wanted. And indeed he did. His world was ending.
Starfire and Cyborg, fighting together, lowered their arms as their opponents literally turned to ash before their eyes. The dust drifted away on the winds and floated towards the sun peeking over the edge of the sea.
The call echoed across continents and dimensions, the mournful cry of one who had lost everything that had ever meant anything to him. In reality, the only thing that was his reason for clinging to the last shred of existence he had left.
It had happened so fast, he had to slow it down in his memory to make sure it had happened at all. She had left him so suddenly, she turned her back and ran, her hair flying behind her like a flag of glory. She took off from the ground in a massive leap, caught by a rock that spiraled her around the beam, lifting her higher and higher until, without hesitating, she leapt for the center of the bright beam and was magnified by shadow. Her hair flailed madly behind her like some holy Medusa.
And after a moment, in less than a second, the portal closed and the ground caved in on itself as she came crashing down to earth like a fallen angel.
As the light faded, the rains came to wash away the ash and blood that lined the streets of the city. It fell quietly and tenderly, as if knowing the sacredness of the scene it cleansed.
He caught her on the back of a pterodactyl, a creature that had died long ago as he should have done. Slowly, he landed trying to be as smooth as possible. His wings folded around her like a blanket and slowly she turned and opened her weary eyes to see his childish face, his hair wet and his cheeks damp from sources other than the rain.
"Oh God, Terra..." he whispered. "What did you do?" She moaned and turned her head away. Beast Boy trembled as he looked her up and down. "You have no fear... Why did you have to..."
"I did it..." Terra uttered, tossing from side to side in Beast Boy's arms. She tensed and inhaled sharply and relaxed. "I did it... like I said... I am not evil. I am not... Ah–" The curt cry of pain made Beast Boy gasp. He held her like a porcelain doll that might break at any second, and yet he wanted so badly to let her know that he was there by her side and would never leave. She opened her eyes, looking delirious and smiled up at him. "Beast Boy... I don't think I can..."
"Sh..." he said, hushing her. "You don't have to speak, you don't have to do anything, just concentrate on breathing... This isn't right. You just have to rest and everything will be... What's this? Terra, there's something wet in your hair..." he pulled his hand away and felt like someone dunked his head in ice water when he saw it was covered in blood. "Terra, you're hurt, you need help– Oh God... It's everywhere..."
She smiled up at him through the rain that matted her hair and thinned her blood. "You knew it would come to this..."
"But I'd hoped..." said Beast Boy, looking at her fading body. "I had dreamed that you could... you could live out your life like I never could. You had to survive this, you couldn't..."
"I had to..." she said, her voice failing her. "I finally showed them..."
"You had nothing to prove," Beast Boy spat, sounding bitter as he trembled with suppressed misery. "You didn't have to do anything. We would have found another way, we could have... Oh, Terra, I just don't want you to go through any more pain..."
She reached up and held his cheek. "Don't worry, Beast Boy, I don't feel any pain..." she whispered to him. "A little fall of rain can hardly hurt me now. You're here... That's all I need to know." Beast Boy smiled to give her hope and stroked her hair tenderly, speechless. She looked up at him trembling, her eyes as blue as oceans as they sparkled in the dawn. She was out of breath but smiling up at him regardless. "And you'll keep me safe. And you'll keep me close. And rain will make the flowers grow..."
"You'll be OK, Terra, oh God!" Beast Boy panted, his heart heaving. "If I could save you with anything I had... I don't know what to do, I wish you could just have what I never could..."
"Just hold me now, and let it be..." Terra said, soothingly, grasping his hand and pulling it tighter around her. "What's done is done. So shelter me... Comfort me..."
He tried to warm her with his body since he could find no blanket to shroud this dying miracle. "You would live a hundred years if I could show you how," Beast Boy said with a desperate smile, trying to hold her closer without putting her in pain. "I won't desert you now..."
"This rain can't hurt me now..." said Terra. She looked into his eyes, her deep blue orbs peering endlessly into his shallow dead ones. "You'll see, this rain will wash away the past... And you'll keep me safe. And you'll keep me close. And I'll finally sleep in your embrace..." Terra coughed and shook her head, trying her hardest to stay conscious and aware, wanting to see Beast Boy one last time... She ran her hand through his hair, her fingers cold and trembling, broken and sore. She looked up and though the sky was blurred behind his head, she could see a light shining through.
"The rain that brings you here is heaven blessed!" She reached out towards the sky, looking beyond him, acting wildly delirious. "The sky begins to clear, and I'm at rest. Beast Boy... A breath away from where you are... I've come home... from so far." And Beast Boy pulled her into a tight embrace as she shivered in the cold, her head lolling on his shoulder and he trembled as he held her then. She played with his hair with bloody fingers. There was no where in the world she'd rather be. She leaned in close to his ear and began to whisper.
"So don't worry, Beast Boy, I don't feel any pain..."
"Hush, Terra..." Beast Boy whispered into her hair, breathing her in, his eyes closed as he imagined a part of her glory entwining itself with his soul. "You won't feel any pain. I promise. Just relax and soon, it'll all be OK, you'll see. This rain can't hurt you... Not while I'm here..."
"That's all I need to know..." Terra laughed. Beast Boy laid her down on his lap and took her hand tightly in both of his.
"Just relax, Terra," he said, kissing her forehead sweetly and then her cold lips. "And soon... you will be where I am..."
"Just stay here..." Terra whispered, hallucinating. "Please, that's all..."
"I'll stay with you until you're... s-sleeping..." Beast Boy promised with a whisper. The words had been hard for him to say.
"And rain..." Terra breathed, barely getting the words out.
"And rain..." Beast Boy repeated, his voice barely audible as he kissed her cheek, his heart threatening to tear lose from his eyes.
"Will make the flowers..." Terra's breath shook but it rang in his ear.
"Will make the flowers..." Beast Boy nodded, whispering into her hair. Terra took in a sharp breath and went rigid and then limp in Beast Boy's arms. Beast Boy quivered a moment. "Grow..." The word was mouthed, barely uttered at all and he felt the tears white hot in his throat, trailing down his cheeks. He had lost her again. And he had sworn history wouldn't repeat itself. She had betrayed them and redeemed herself all over again. It was too much for him. He hugged and kissed her, desperately hoping she was still there. But he knew better.
It was too much. Even if he had lived, he wondered how he would have faced the horrors of what life brought. Demons was one thing. Heartache was something else. He looked up at the gray clouds which continued to pour down their unforgiving tears. No light at all. Not without her.
He stood then and dried his eyes only to notice that the streets around him were deserted. He had barely noticed. When Terra died, that had been all that had mattered. But now, he wondered what had happened to the battle that had raged so mercilessly around them. Where were the soldiers? Had they won?
He wandered about aimlessly hoping to find a sign of life. Finally, he came to a street far away from where Terra's body lay. A mass of people were crowding this one thing in the center, but Beast Boy couldn't make out what was going on as he looked on, blankly. For the first time in his afterlife, everything felt so surreal, like he didn't belong, like he never had. He looked at his hands. They were translucent. He was fading and he was smiling.
The triumphant call had come from that champion of souls, the balance, the one who kept them all together, even when they were falling apart. Slowly, Beast Boy turned to greet him, giving him a faint smile as he was enveloped in metal and flesh, a triumphant embrace from an old friend.
"Damn!" Cyborg exclaimed excitedly. "Did you see that? Rob and Rae took 'em out, took 'em all out just like that! One big blast of white and like an a-bomb they all dropped dead. All but us, I mean."
"What are you talking about?" Beast Boy asked faintly, vaguely aware of Cyborg's touch. Cyborg pulled away and looked at him, grinning. He didn't seem to notice Beast Boy's transparency.
"Look around you, man!" Cyborg said. "I don't know how she did it, but she was right, she was right. It all worked out in the end, just like she said it would. They're gone, all of them, all the demons that should have never come to this world. It's over man... It's over." He frowned and looked Beast Boy up and down. "Hey, dude... Where's Terra?"
His heart screamed in his chest but Beast Boy was silent as he stared up at the sky. "She's gone," he said quietly, looking at the rain clouds. "I told her I'd catch up with her later."
"She's missing one hell of a celebration!" Cyborg roared.
He ushered Beast Boy through the crowd to the center of everyone's attention. To Beast Boy's mild surprise they made a path for them as they walked to meet Robin and Raven in each other's arms and Starfire embracing them both. Upon seeing her friends, Starfire took to the air and nearly knocked Cyborg off his feet, laughing with mirth.
"We have defeated the armies!" she cried exuberantly. "We have saved the world! Chrona is thrilled! She was always on our side."
"I'm sure she was," said Cyborg, laughing himself. "I'm sure she was."
Beast Boy approached Raven and Robin who were smiling at Starfire and Cyborg's elation.
"So you two did it then, together, just like Karen said, eh?" he said, dully.
"You mean you knew what she meant too?" Raven asked, exasperated.
Beast Boy favored her with a toothy grin. "Of course. It was obvious."
"Yeah, I guess we did," Robin said, watching Raven inscrutably a moment.
"Now what are you two gonna do?" Beast Boy asked. "Go to Disney Land?"
Raven cocked an eyebrow. "Hardly," she said.
Robin shrugged. "Well, we did promise Raven we'd leave her alone when this was all finished."
"That was back when I still hated you," Raven pointed out. She bit her lip and was quiet a moment. "But I don't know... I suppose now that we've saved the world, anything could happen."
Robin pulled her close to him and smiled at her. "I don't know. I was hoping we could go home, relax, do some crime fighting every now and then, get Cy to watch the kid."
Raven's eyes doubled in size as she laughed. "Kid? What kid, I never said anything about any kid."
"You're right," Robin nodded. "Shoulda said 'kids.' We should have at least three, don't you think?"
The smile left Raven's face. "I hate children."
Robin kissed her. "We'll fix that."
"Three cheers for the Champions of Ragnorak!" called Josh out of the crowd. And they all responded, shouting cheers of respect in all their different languages and the city was roaring with celebration.
Beast Boy turned his back on the crowd and began to walk away.
"Yo, Beast Boy, my man!" Cyborg called after him as he reached an alley way. "Where are you going?"
Beast Boy stopped a moment and then turned to face his old friend. "I'm going to see Terra," he said simply with a strong smile. And as he walked into the shadows of the alley, he disappeared until all that remained was the echoes of his footsteps.
Cyborg walked over to Starfire who had separated herself from the celebration. "What's up with you?"
She smiled sadly and shrugged. "I am glad that Loki was defeated," she said. "But I still feel as though I have suffered a great loss."
"You have," Cyborg reminded her. "And it's OK to grieve that loss. And I have to tell you, Starfire, I really admire you. No matter what the situation is or how many gray areas there are, you always seem to do the right thing."
"Then why does this feel so... wrong..." she asked painfully.
Cyborg embraced her and kissed her softly on the forehead. "You'll be OK in time. You have a good heart, and a heart like yours won't be lonely for long. Trust me."
Starfire pulled away and smiled up at him. "You are truly a good friend, Cyborg," she said to him.
"So what are you going now that this is all done?" he asked.
Starfire shrugged. "I believe I shall go continue my apprenticeship with Chrona. She still has much to teach me about being a God. This may be the last time you see me, but do not think that I will ever stop looking after you."
"Believe me," said Cyborg. "Even when you disappeared, I had no doubt you never stopped doing that."
He put his arm around her as they watched the armies of the Triad of Light celebrate. Josh and his father, who had obviously reconciled were hugging and Louis ruffled his son's hair as though Josh were a child. Robin and Raven were laughing and enjoying being in each other's presence. An Azarath demon and a Australian soldier popped open a bottle of champagne a Lorethelian wizard had conjured. People were happy. The world continued to spin. And, at least at that moment, it looked as though it would continue to do so for a while to come.
Starfire looked at Cyborg. "And what do you believe you shall do to occupy your time now that you have saved the world?"
Cyborg looked at her with a wry smile. "I guess I'll just wait," he said, "until I have to save it again."
Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.
For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise.
They will live again in freedom
In the garden of the Lord.
They will walk behind the plowshare,
They will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken
And all men will have their reward.
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes...
-- Les Miserables, Finale