Sapphire Artemis: I was feeling angsty. Yup, that's all there is to it. I do not own Teen Titans.
Summary: The Titans are eighteen...but that age holds no joy for them. Told in Robin's POV, pure angst; no real romance, but has hints of RobRae. A one-shot...for now? That depends; review, please?
We turn eighteen today.
It's funny, really, how time passes so quickly. It seems like only a fe days ago that we banded together at thirteen; only yesterday that we celebrated our sixteenth birthdays. They say Time is relative; I say it just moves too fast.
I should be happy, I suppose. Isn't your eighteenth birthday the best one, besides sixteen? But as I delve deep into my heart, I can find only sadness; for today is the day.
I walk into the main room, casting my eyes around. My mind's eye sees a robot-boy and scrawny green boy battling in video games, smiles on their faces as they shout and laugh and attack each other, disturbing the peace and yet being the peace; for the noise is normal. A pale, purple-haired girl with a blue cloak and old book pretends to read; but in reality she is watching them, the faintest hint of a smile on her lips. A red-haired alien girl crashes and bangs in the kitchen, gathering ingredients to make a food we know will taste horrible but will sample anyway; because it is normal and constant, and a part of our lives.
But as I open my true eyes, pulling away from the window to my memories, I see only boxes and dull colours; gray walls and dismantled electronics. Cyborg is moving around the Tower, pulling down wallpaper and screening systems; taking apart everything...
He built the Tower from scratch, but it is really his responsibility to take it down? What kind of leader am I, to ask an artist to ruin his greatest masterpiece? But he has started the job and will not stop until it is finished, for he has never left a job undone.
His head is bowed; conceding to his fate. Now that...it's...happening, what will become of him? A half-man half-robot...who would ever love him? Who would ever accept him? We had, and Gotham City had because we had—but even if he were to stay, that acceptance would fail because we were not here—we could not stay here. None of us could.
He shoots me one glance; a glance that says nothing; no pain, sadness, accusation...but it holds so much more.
It holds painful memories; memories that shape us, shape who we are and what we do. It holds memories of fun, friendship, fights, and forgiveness. It holds remembrance...
I tear my eyes away. I can't go back. Not now. Not...today. I'll break down. Can't take it...
I look around again. Starfire is floating aimlessly in front of the window. Her frame has grown taller; her breasts larger; her hair longer. Her emerald eyes are large and sad, misted with tears. I want to comfort her; want to touch her shoulder and say it will be okay; but I cannot lie. It won't be okay.
It will never be okay.
Is this what you saw, Star? I ask silently, remembering that fated fight with Warp...Is this future you foresaw?
Almost as if s he heard me, her head turns. Tributaries of sadness course down the smooth plain of her cheeks. We hold each other's gaze, not looking away. Millions of fractured thoughts and words drown in our eyes, but only a few full ones pass.
I wish I could help you, Robin. Her eyes say, shimmering with sadness.
I chose this, Star. I reply, heart cracking. There is nothing you can do now. Nothing anyone could do.
We chose this, Robin.
I cast my eyes down, cutting off the conversation. We chose it...but...
Another look around the room attaches my eyes to a tall green male who is sitting at the table, half-heartedly eating some tofu cubes. Beast Boy is perhaps the most changed of us all. He grew taller and was still slender, but muscles outlined his body. His voice grew deeper, and he became (slightly) more mature. But the greatest change was his name. He was no longer Beast Boy. He could never go back to being Beast Boy. For he was now a man.
The removal of his name perhaps affected us all. This morning, when he announced it...I saw Starfire bite her lip and look down; Raven put her hood on; and Cyborg busied himself toying with his mechanical arm. I know how hard it was for Beast...for Garfield to announce that. It symbolised his cutting off from his childhood; symbolised him throwing away everything he once held dear.
It symbolised him growing up.
He looks at me and opens his mouth to make a witty remark, but none come out. He closes it and shakes his head, tears pooling at the corners of his tightly shut eyes. He gets up, throws away the rest of the tofu, and stands in the kitchen; head down, hands clenched into fists. I see one diamond-like tear before he furiously swipes his hand across his face and falls on one knee.
My heart splits again, and I look away, trying to conceal tears of my own wetting my mask. But my clouded eyes then land on another object.
She has changed in much the way Starfire has, physically. But her personality is so different. I am lucky if I can get a few sentences from her now, when before I could talk to her for hours about topics no one else would even dare to bring up.
She is beautiful, Raven is. I love her with all my heart. But she never noticed, I don't think. Even when I began dating Starfire in desperation for female companionship, she did nothing. I doubt she even...
I touch her shoulder, unspoken words clambering through my eye-lids and trying to get out. She looks at me coldly before reaching up to remove my hand. I grasp hers and stare deep into her violet eyes. She glares back, but makes no move to pull her hand away.
We are so close, but I cannot hug her. Cannot kiss her. Cannot begin a relationship at the end of friendship. Cannot do anything to remind her of what we once had and what could have been. Cannot remind her of youthful love.
For youth is no more.
She moves her eyes, and I let go. Who am I to open fresh scabs? She has chosen a life of solitude.
But I could have prevented her from that. I could have broken down her barriers, if I could only have broken down my own barriers of fear and apprehension. But I didn't...and thus, I damned her. Damned her to a life of hell.
And what would happen to her when her destiny caught up with her? When she woke up screaming in the night from fearful memories of her father and personal demons, who would come in and help her through it all? Who would convince her that she could open up and talk about her feelings?
Who could ever love her like I do?
Cyborg steps up to me, gesturing to the boxes. I nod and turn to the Tita...to my friends.
I cannot say it; I merely bow my head and turn it to the side.
We're not drifting apart, Starfire. We'll always be together.
Beast Boy...no...he's not Beast Boy anymore! He is Garfield. Garfield gets up from his position in the kitchen, moving to the main area of the main room. I look at him; at Star; at Cyborg; at Raven.
What will we all do now?
I had been accepted to a martial arts college, though I really didn't know what to do. Cyborg was attempting to build enough courage to apply to a technical arts college. Garfield was applying to several different colleges, dabbling in different areas such as zoology and CGI.
When I asked her a few weeks ago, she actually answered me.
"I don't think I should be around so many people...not with..."
My heart broke for her right then and there. She was fighting a battle with her father; with herself. And she was losing. She knew she was losing. It was limiting her ability to be around people.
Her ability to live.
She could control herself around us, since we were her long-time friends. But we could not stay together. We weren't...we weren't...we weren't us anymore. We had known this day would come, and we had accepted it. No turning back now. But what would happen? That question kept coming back.
Would we stay in touch?
We are not...
Would we talk?
Would we have good lives?
Would we fit in?
We will always...
Would we find love?
I had read It, by Stephen King, a few months ago. The ending almost made me cry. How could you forget the very friends that had shaped your childhood? The friends that shared it with you? The friends you went through so many troubles with? The friends who...you loved?
I do not wish to change anything about us. I want to be able to walk into the Tower and see the scene I can still picture in my mind's eye. But I want to be in it. I want to experience that scene too, so that I will not forget as the kids in It did.
I spin around and stalk off, up the stairs, for one last look around the Tower. There is the weight room; my room; Cyborg's room; Garfield's room; Raven's room. So many memories reside within these walls. Suddenly overcome, I turn and walk back, blinded by tears. I cannot think about all these memories. No use tearing open my heart on purpose.
As I emerge back in the main room, we grab our bags and start down to the ground of the land outside.
This is the last time we will ever walk this path.
We set down the luggage. A boat has arrived to take Cyborg and I to the mainland. It is shrouded in darkness, since the moon is non-existant tonight. Raven and Starfire could fly us, but that would be normal.
We are not normal. Not anymore. Normal was what we were before.
Isn't that ironic? None of us were normal, and yet that was normal to us. Perfectly normal for a cyborg, a telepath, an alien, a shape-shifter, and a physically enhanced boy to be together. Now, we were not normal because we were not together.
Raven turns and starts to fly off. I start to speak, and she hesitates. We wait for an eternity, each waiting for the other to say something, anything...
I look to the side. She does the same, and out of the corner of my eye I can swear I see tears. She flies up to the black sky, disappearing into the night...forever.
My last chance...
I could yell.
I am damning her to a life of solitude. I am damning myself to a life without love. I am...
I am cold.
Garfield looks after Raven, but when he changes, he flies in the opposite direction. It is too hard. I almost fall to my knees and shout, come back! Let's all stay together! We can't...
We can't drift.
But we are.
Cyborg, without a word, picks up both our bags and starts towards the floating machine...a machine like himself and yet so different, because Cyborg can think, feel, love, regret...
The darkened, shadowed boat honks.
Starfire looks at me, eyes wide and fearful.
She grips my shoulder.
"I'm sorry, Star." I whisper. I gently remove her hand and turn, walking away into the darkness.
Sapphire Artemis: There! Pure angst! I wasn't really depressed when I wrote it...just...feeling...different. For those who don't remember, the "rahkmas" are the demons of close friends drifting apart, as Starfire explains in "How Long is Forever?"
And "It" really was sad. My greatest fear is change. The ending of "It" did make me cry. And I don't cry. Ever.
This is a one-shot...for now? Enough reviews may change that...