A/N: After 7 years, here it is! The final installment of 'The Green Album'! I doubt any of the people who used to read and review this story even use this site anymore. XD It's a sad thought, because being able to share with them this ending, no matter how how shoddily it was produced, would make me really happy. :)
Does anyone even read Teen Titans fanfiction anymore? I haven't really scoped the scene for 7 years, and once the show ended and I grew more into anime, I just...yeah.
I hope someone finds something decent in this chapter. For the longest time, I was positive that this story would lay unfinished, forever. To put any sort of ending to it feels fulfilling. Jeez, I was 13 when I wrote this... T_T
Oh, and whether Birdie was ever real or not, is up to your imagination. ;P
The Green Album
When Raven came to, she was still surrounded by the very figures that had been the source of her little foray into unconsciousness. Her hand flew to her heart and she gasped.
"I told you we shouldn't crowd her," the woman whom she recognized as her future self snapped. "Or rather, me."
"I was just doing it out of concern, you know that..." Beast Boy's voice came chidingly.
"Concert!" The little girl chirped, misinterpreting the large word.
'Concert'... The word prompted Raven to bolt upright, chest heaving. She scanned her surroundings, finding herself in what looked to be a fairly nice living room, carefully decorated and dotted with toys belonging to a preschooler. 'Concert'... The Green Day concert!
"I need to get back," she rasped, feeling around herself. She was laying on the plush red carpet, where she had first materialized in this time line, and she forced herself to her knees.
"Hold on a second, we have some questions," Beast Boy said, putting a hand on her shoulder and pushing her down until she was kneeling, ignoring the defiant look she gave him.
"Who are you?" The older Raven blurted out, and she extended her hand, fingertips brushing against her younger form's cheeks. "It's uncanny... Who could've created something this similar..."
"You think I'm a creation?" Raven laughed out. "For all I know, you two are creations!" Her eyes fell on the small child who had grown bored with the talk of adults, and was now playing with a cabbage patch doll. "And that one, too."
"All right, let's just talk this out calmly, then," Beast Boy said with a sigh, folding his arms across his chest. It was strange for her to see him in such mature-looking clothes. It was also strange to see him acting so mature in general! "It seems we're all a bit lost here."
"That's for sure," her older self muttered under her breath, brushing her hair over her shoulder. It sank down to about breast-level, a length that Raven couldn't imagine having at the point in time she came from.
"You two... are married. With a kid," Raven deadpanned, pointing at each of them.
"That's right," Beast Boy said with a smile.
"And you're... how old?" Older Raven asked, eyes narrowing in curiosity.
"I'm 16," the younger one replied.
"How did you get here?" Beast Boy cut in.
"I just... fell here," Raven explained with a shrug. "I've been spiraling through time, stopping only for a short time here and there to experience parts of your childhood memories."
His eyes widened, and then narrowed. He stroked his chin thoughtfully, and asked, "What about the day that I turned-"
"Yes. I witnessed that..." Raven said quietly. "The transformation..."
He readjusted himself, clearing his throat as the air within the room grew thick and tense.
"I also saw the formation of the Titans through your eyes," she informed him. "Throughout all of this, I was able to interact with you...I was your..."
"You were my imaginary friend."
All eyes fell on Beast Boy, except for Jayden's, as she was still pre-occupied.
"Yes... How did you know?!" Raven lurched forward, eyes wide.
"How could I not?" he questioned with a distant smile. "It was a figment within my imagination, an empty role, and you filled it. It disappeared around the time that I met you, when I had no use for such a thing anymore." He gazed lovingly at his wife, and reached for her hand, clasping it tightly. "I found something much better."
Older Raven leaned towards her husband and pressed her lips to his chastely, and her younger counterpart could have sworn she felt some sort of tingly sensation on her own lips.
"So yes... Now you know," she said, clearing her throat.
"The question is, how to get you back now," Older Raven mused.
"I knew I'd still be smart when I got old," Raven said with a smirk. Her older self rolled her eyes and swatted at her.
"How did this start in the first place?" Beast Boy asked.
"I found this weird incense in his room, and I smelled it," Raven told him with a shrug.
"Weird incense, huh..." He got a strange look on his face, and then it looked as though he had been struck by an epiphany. He jumped to his feet, and then looked down at them, saying excitedly, "Wait here!"
He disappeared from the room, leaving the two women (or one woman?) to exchange puzzled looks. When he returned, he was clutching a long slender box, and he lifted the top and tilted it down so that Raven could assess the contents.
"Is this what you were talking about?" he asked.
She leaned forward and inhaled deeply, eyes fluttering open and widening. "Yes! This is it! What is it?!"
Beast Boy took his seat next to Older Raven, handing the teenager the box to examine. "It's just something I found when I was a kid in Africa," he said. "Some witch doctor told me that it had powers, so to be careful where and when I lit it. Of course, I didn't believe him."
Raven lifted a stick of the incense and sniffed it. "Yes, this is definitely it," she said. "Do you think that if I light this, I'll get sent back?"
"Who knows," Beast Boy said. "I can find some matches if you want to give it a shot."
She sat in impatient anticipation as he got up again and went into what she assumed was the kitchen, rummaging in a drawer loudly. He returned looking triumphantly, holding up a tiny pack of matches.
"Found 'em!" he cried.
"Oh, thank God," Raven whispered, standing and taking the packet from him. She looked up at him and smiled wistfully. If this was what her future held, she didn't mind at all. Without warning, she lunged at him and wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug.
Beast Boy chuckled, patting her on the back. "Love ya too, Rae," he said teasingly as she pulled back.
She was blushing as she turned to her older self, and hugged her as well. "I always wondered what it'd be like to hug myself," she joked.
Older Raven smiled and pointed across the room. "I think someone else wants to say goodbye to you, too."
Raven swallowed and stepped across the room, crouching down and patting Jayden on the top of the head. "Bye, Jayden," she said gently.
"Bye, other mommy!" she responded, turning to face Raven with a gap-toothed grin.
The adults burst into laughter, but Raven sat there blushing with a feeling that she couldn't place. What would it be like to have a child with Beast Boy? She supposed she'd find out soon enough.
She stood and stepped out into the hallway outside the living room, eyeing the front door. She waved to everyone and then pulled the door open, closing it shut behind her.
Raven fumbled with the incense and set the box down at her feet, and then proceeded to fiddle with the matches thereafter, struggling to light them. Once a flame was struck, she quickly set it against the incense stick, and held her breath.
"Please work," she whispered. "Please, please, just take me home. I want to see my Beast Boy."
Smoke curled from the stick between her fingers, and she shut her eyes, exhaling shakily and allowing the fumes enter her lungs at will.
Before she knew it, she was back under again, with an elated smile etched across her face.
This was the last time she ever wanted to wake up wondering where she was. She sat up, rubbing her head, and inhaled. There were still traces of the incense, but there was something else familiar hidden beneath it. Her eyes widened and she sniffed again.
Scampering to her feet, she spun on her heels and saw the tower behind her. Unable to hold back the grin that spread across her face, she dashed down the walkway to their front door. Flinging it open, she released a squeak of joy upon realizing that she must have returned to her time period, because she recognized the pair of shoes that Starfire had gushed over buying with Robin last week sitting by the coat closet.
"Guys!" she shouted. "I'm back!" She realized how uncharacteristic it was of her to yell like that, or even talk much at all, but she couldn't help but feel the need to let everything out. She stepped down the hall and poked her head into the main room.
"I think I heard something," Cyborg said in a low, serious voice, waving the others over.
"I heard it, too!" Starfire whispered loudly. "It did not sound like it was mad, though!"
"You guys just stay here, I'll figure this out," Robin said, resting a hand on Star's shoulder as he walked out to investigate. He paused when he saw Raven's head, and his shoulders sagged in relief. "Good thing you're here, Rae. Did you hear a strange voice a minute ago?"
'Strange voice'? Seriously?
"Hm, now that you mention it... I didn't," she responded sweetly. "And I didn't know this was how you all would react to my being happy for once." She rested her hands on her hips. "Kinda sad, don't ya think?"
"Kill it!" Cyborg shouted. "Kill it with fire!" He jumped behind the couch, peering over the top with eyes filled with fear.
"Raven!" Starfire cried gleefully. "This is wonderful!" She ran over, arms outstretched, and took the girl into her arms. "You are not acting gloomy and intimidating!"
"Yeah, I guess it is wonderful..." Raven mused distractedly, patting Starfire on the back halfheartedly.
"What's going on?" Beast Boy's voice came from behind them, as he came up from behind her. "I heard a lot of noise coming from in here, so I wanted to check it out."
"Beast Boy!" Raven cried, unable to contain it. To the surprise of everyone else, including Beast Boy, she threw herself at him, clinging to him tightly. "I'm so sorry! We can go to the concert! It's not Gay Day, it's Green Day!"
Beast Boy stared at the others blankly, not bothering to return the embrace. "What the hell is going on?" he asked, deadpan.
"We have no fuckin' clue!" Cyborg yelled from behind the couch. "It's like she got a little bit too tipsy!"
Raven pulled back and smiled at Beast Boy. "I realized, it was wrong of me to treat you so badly all of this time. Now, I understand everything you've been through... I feel like such a bitch..."
The rest of the team coughed loudly.
Beast Boy stared at her, eyes wide. "Raven... You were in my room, weren't you? I knew it!"
She frowned at not getting the response she had so desired, and nodded slightly.
"You messed with my incense, didn't you? You dropped the box on the floor and made a mess of my comic book collection!" He cried, breaking free of her hold and flailing his arms wildly.
Raven raised an eyebrow, her heart thumping loudly in her ears. "What do you mean?"
"I think you must have inhaled a little too much of it or something... I mean you had dropped all this stuff like a gingerbread trail," he explained with a snort, conjuring the ruby that usually stuck to the clasp of her cloak. "I don't know what kind of trip you were having, but it must've been a good one."
She backed away, gasping. "So...when I woke up outside... I had really..."
"Come to think of it, I thought I heard the door slamming about 15 minutes ago," Robin said quietly.
She clapped her hands over her mouth. "Beast Boy! We need to talk!"
"Yeah, we do," he said, rolling his eyes. She seized his wrist and dragged him away from the group, down the hallway and into her room.
"I swear, it wasn't some kind of trip! Whatever your incense is, it has POWERS!" Raven hissed at him.
Beast Boy stared at her, and then burst into laughter.
"I saw it... I saw when your parents died! I saw everything!" she went on, growing hysterical.
His laughter died, and he stared at her. "You...what?"
"I saw us...the future... Our daughter..."
His eyes broadened and then he glared at her. "What are you on, Raven?! What's wrong with you?!"
"I don't know!" she shouted. "I thought coming home would solve everything!" For the first time in years, she felt close to tears, tears of frustration.
"Why were you thinking of me?" Beast Boy asked.
"Because I love you," Raven whispered. "It's hard for me to show you without acting like a jerk..."
He stared at her as though she had grown two heads and shat a rainbow piano. "You love me?" he repeated.
"I'm sorry I've treated you so badly," she told him quietly, slowly turning around. "It won't happen anymore. I'll stay out of your way, if you want."
"Raven... I...I don't know what to say..."
"You don't have to say anything."
"I've loved you, too. For a long time."
She looked over her shoulder at him, her eyes sad and tired, yet glimmering with relief. "You have?"
"Yeah," he said softly. "Why else would I act out so much to try and get you to notice me?"
She turned around and closed the distance between them, cupping his chin. "Oh, Gar..." she whispered.
"Ooh, I like the sound of that," he murmured in a low, rumbling voice, his hands falling to her waist.
It took a moment to summon the courage, but she angled her head and leaned in slowly until their lips brushed together, and then sealed them. The kiss was long, they simply stood there embracing each other and enjoying the new bond they had created.
When they parted for breath, Raven rested her head on his shoulder, smiling to herself.
She wanted to paint that future that she had seen, it had been too real to have been fake. There was no way she would let it slip through her fingers, she would definitely make it happen.