Ten Years Later
Brandon "GoldenSama" Rice
A/N: OH COME ON! Did you think I'd end the story without a big fluffy epilogue? SHAME ON YOU, IF YOU DID! XD. I was planning this as a surprise, bonus chapter. Plus, it will help set up the sequel – YES, there WILL be a sequel. Its coming soon! Hopefully this – and AFY and WOJ – will hold you over till then.
Raven sighed, but it was not a sad sigh; it was a sigh of happiness.
Barely a day had passed since Trigon's fall, and now they were readjusting to life, as they had known it ten years ago.
It was not as easy as it seemed. Robin was often seen sulking in front of a mirror, obviously disappointed by his teenage hairstyle and pining to have his long, flowing black mane of Nightwing back.
Beast Boy was shorter, skinnier, and he had lost all of his facial hair. He had tried shaving, just for the heck of it, but wound up cutting his cheek severely with the razor and forcing Raven to heal it with her powers to prevent it from scarring. Beast Boy was also saddened by the fact his bank account had gone from millionaire TV star back to broke superhero teenager. He could not even afford gas for his moped. He also complained that he no longer had a swimming pool shaped like his head, although Raven pointed out, as sarcastically as ever, that that was not a bad thing.
Starfire was the most unchanged by their rewind in time. She had lost her years as a model in New York, but the memories remained. She still had the street-wise savvy she had picked up in the Big Apple, and the naiveté alien princess was gone; although she did go back to wearing the old purple Tamaranian outfit she had worn as a teenager.
Cyborg was Cyborg, just as he had been in the future. He was unaffected by the change in time, and went back to his old duties of tuning up his beloved T-Car and beating Beast Boy in video games in his spare time. Despite the fact that four of their five had spent ten long years as adults, they were back to the teenage ways of yesterday without a second glance. Although, not everything had reverted to the way it had been before Trigon and the ten-year adventure.
The night after Trigon's fall, while the rest of the tower had slept, Raven was awake. She stood on the roof, looking out at the calm bay waters around the Tower and thinking. She had had one hell of an adventure, and she had survived. She had also learned many things about herself, and her friends. The adventure had forced her to confront her feelings for Garfield Logan, the Beast Boy, and she liked what she had found. She knew she loved him, and that would never change. She would now and forever consider him the man she loved, even if he had gone back to being a goofy teenager.
That night, as she stared at the moonlit silvery bay, she felt his presence. She felt him join her out on the roof, and then she felt her mouth twitch into an involuntary smile. She turned around and spotted him, and he smiled his goofy grin at her and walked over to her side, wrapping an arm around her waist.
"Hello Garfield." She replied, comforted by his touch.
"Whatcha doin' out here?"
"About what?" He asked her.
"I'm thinking about what I'll do now." Raven confessed.
"What do you mean?" He asked, looking up at her pale face as she sparkled in the moonlight. She was absolutely beautiful as the moonlight shined through her hair, and he was overwhelmed with an urge to kiss her. However, he suppressed that urge, more interested in what was on her mind.
"My whole life, ever since I was a child, I've known the day would come that I'd have to fight my dad. Now that day has come, and gone, and for the first time ever I'm free to do whatever I want." She whispered.
"What do you want to do?" Beast Boy asked her.
"I haven't the faintest clue." Raven confessed.
"There's nothing you really want to do?" Beast Boy asked her.
"Not that I can think of, no." Raven replied.
"Nothing?" He asked again, this time hinting with his voice. She rolled her eyes, realizing what he was getting at, and she decided to taunt him.
"Yep. Nothing at all."
"C'mon Rae, that's harsh." He complained.
"What is?" Raven teased, enjoying the way he squirmed with annoyance.
"I'm tryin' to get a kiss here, dude." Beast Boy muttered.
"SO? Rae, what happened to all those 'I love you's from the church?" Beast Boy demanded in an irritated voice.
"Just because I love you doesn't mean I'm going to go around kissing you all day." Raven informed him.
"Dude, why not? Give me one good reason why you don't want to kiss me?"
"You had my father's junk in your mouth." Raven reminded him. Instantly, Beast Boy spit on the ground and ran his hands over his tongue, scratching it as if trying to get a bad taste away.
"Must you remind me of that?" He moaned.
Raven flashed a wily grin. "Yes, I think I must."
Beast Boy glared at her and stuck out his tongue. "C'mon. Just a little kiss Rae. Then I'll shut up and leave you alone."
Raven laughed. Beast Boy raised a green eyebrow.
"What's so funny?"
"You'll leave me alone? What kind of warped, parallel universe would that be?" Raven continued to taunt him.
Garfield let out a 'hmph' of annoyance and turned his back on her. "Fine, be that way Rae. I won't beg for your affection."
"Okay." Raven said simply, and she turned and crossed her legs in mid-air and began floating quietly. Beast Boy growled, then he grumbled, then he sighed and hung his head.
"Fine. I'll beg. Rae, pllllllease can I have a kiss? Just one little kiss?" He transformed into a small green kitten with huge eyes, but Raven scoffed.
"What about my personality makes you think I like cats?" She asked him. Beast Boy turned back into himself, this time with a witty comment of his own at the ready.
"Well, you keep this up and you had better learn to like cats." He snapped.
"Why do you say that?" Raven pondered.
"Because Raven if you're this cold when I ask for a kiss, you're going to wind up one of those old a lady who lives alone with like a hundred cats." Beast Boy told her with a grin, and then he stuck out his tongue. Raven was far from being amused, and she smacked him in the back of the head playfully.
"You be careful with those jokes, Ball Boy." Raven warned him. Beast Boy sweatdropped and he shook his head.
"Can't we just call a truce and make out?" He asked her.
"Truce yes, the rest of your request, no." Raven crossed her arms.
"Pfft. You act like all mean and tough, but you don't fool me Rae. I know you love me, and I know you love my kisses, and I know before the night's over you're going to want one, so I can wait." Garfield declared boldly.
Raven flashed him a smile, and then she turned and floated towards the staircase that lead back down to the tower. Beast Boy froze.
"Where are you going?" He asked.
"Bed." She replied.
Beast Boy sighed, and then he called after her. "Wait! What about my goodnight kisses?"
"Tough." She called over her shoulder, then she opened the door to the staircase, stepped inside, and closed it behind her; leaving Garfield alone on the roof. He sighed and quickly set off to follow her.
Far away from Titans Tower, Arella sat in a small café. She was dressed as if a normal woman would be; she had lost the white cape and Azarathian style clothes. She sipped on a latté and looked out the window at a dark street. The door of the café opened and she heard a bell jingle, and she saw a tall man with a white beard and mustache walk in. Slade approached her table and sat down across from her.
"You wanted to talk to me?" Slade asked.
"Yes I did. It is about our arrangement." Arella said, sitting back in her chair.
"Yes . . . I believe our deal was I would protect Raven until Trigon was killed." Slade replied. "And since Trigon is dead, I don't work for you anymore woman."
Arella glared at him, narrowing her eyes into furious thin slits. Slade crossed him arms. He was serious.
"Arella, I'm a businessman."
"You are an assassin for hire." Arella corrected him.
"Semantics." He rebutted. "The point is, you gave me a job, and I completed it. Now we're even, finished, our partnership is dissolved. So if you want something from me, you'll have to hire me like everyone else."
Arella crossed her arms this time. "I want you to stay away from the Titans."
Slade smirked. "Why would I do that?"
"Well, for one thing, I will kill you if you don't." Arella said sweetly. Slade leaned forward.
"I always did like a gutsy woman." He whispered.
"Stay away from them, Slade. For me?" She whispered back, her voice barely audible.
"Fine. I'll take your request, woman, for now; but don't think hiring me is cheap." Slade warned her in his icy tone.
"I'm not going to pay you." Arella flatly told him.
"Oh I realize you won't. Not in money, anyway." Slade replied with a cold grin, and Arella returned his devious smile.
Slade Wilson, as much as he hated the Titans and wanted to go back to hunting them down and trying to destroy them, had found something he liked more than his constant matches of skill with Robin. He'd honor his word to Arella, for now. After all, it was not easy to find a good woman in his line of work.
The two stood up and left the café together, vanishing into the night.
Raven was now in the living room. Starfire and Robin sat next to each other on the couch, watching a movie, as Raven entered the room. She floated into the kitchen with Beast Boy following her, still begging for his goodnight kiss. Raven was still ignoring him as she began to look around the refrigerator for a midnight snack.
Over on the couch, Robin was kicked back with his feet up on the coffee table. He had one arm around the back of the couch, and the other around Starfire's shoulders. She was snuggled up against him, with her head tucked under his chin and her knees pulled up to her chest. They listened as Raven headed up the stairs towards her bedroom, and Beast Boy followed her, still asking for a quick kiss before bed.
"They're a trip, aren't they?" Starfire asked. Robin cracked a smile.
"So are you." He whispered.
"What's that supposed to mean? You think that just 'cause time rewound, I'm supposed to go back to the old me?" She asked him, pulling back a bit and staring at him. "Would you prefer it if I talked in this manner and stopped using slang popular to this planet, instead mistakenly thinking that saying someone is a trip refers to them leaving for another destination?"
"You don't have to be sarcastic." Robin replied.
"Yeah, but I want to be." Starfire giggled. He took his other arm off the armrest of the couch and wrapped it around her midriff. She smiled and returned the gesture by placing her hands around his neck and leaning in, giving him a small kiss on the lips. When she broke away, Robin was grinning.
"I'm glad I don't have to beg you for kisses." He wisely observed.
"We have a lot of time to make up for." Starfire reminded him. "So you'll never have to beg."
Robin grinned and leaned forward, instigating a second kiss. This time Starfire held onto the kiss, and deepened it herself. Robin wasn't about to complain about that. The two shared a third, then a fourth, and eventually a fifth kiss. As they did, their bodies shifted on the couch so that Robin was no longer leaning against the back of the sofa, but lying flat on his own back. Starfire was straddling him, kissing him all the while; and Cyborg was watching them both without a word, a huge, mischievous grin on his face as he waited for the perfect opportunity to interrupt their magical moment.
That opportunity came when Robin's hands slid down Starfire's back and found a new spot around her waist. Cyborg grinned and leaned on the back of the couch so that he was close to where the two youths kissed.
"You seen the TV guide?" He asked innocently. In a flash, Starfire leapt off Robin and her skin turned as red as her hair. Robin, a tad flushed and out of breath from his previous engagement, glared at Cyborg with fury in his eyes.
"No, we haven't." He panted.
"Oh. Okay then." Cyborg grinned like a kid in a candy store. "I was going to watch a romance movie on HBO, but I guess with you two around I don't need TV for romance, huh? . . . Although y'all look more like a playboy movie than HBO."
Robin tossed a couch cushion at Cyborg's head, and the half-man, half-machine laughed and retreated down the steps leading to the garage. Robin glared after him and let his eyes follow his friend out of the room, and then he turned back to Starfire at length.
"He's . . . annoying, isn't he?" Robin asked, completely flustered by the interruption.
"Robin. Can we skip the awkward, 'caught-making-out' teenage moment and instead go straight back to what we were doing?" Starfire asked him bluntly. Robin grinned at her.
"Sure, Star. That sounds good."
Raven was right outside her bedroom door now. Beast Boy was right behind her. She knew he was there, and she knew he was being tortured by her refusal to kiss him. She paused at the doorway with her hand on the doorknob and then turned to him.
"Do I even have to say it?" He asked her.
"You want a kiss that badly, eh?" Raven asked him.
"Yes please." He replied hopefully.
"I don't know. I would kiss you, but I'm not sure I want to put my tongue in your mouth . . . I know where it's been." Raven tormented him.
"C'mon Rae! Nobody said you gotta tongue-kiss me, I mean, I'd prefer it if you do, but I'm so desperate I'll take anything." Beast Boy insisted.
"Gar, you don't take jokes well, do you?" Raven teased him. She took a step closer to him.
"Refusing to kiss me isn't a joke; it's spiteful and cruel." Garfield replied. "A joke is, 'knock, knock'."
"Who's there?" She asked, playing along.
"Kiss me dammit!" Beast Boy replied.
"Kiss me dammit who?" Raven took her mean game one-step further.
"Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaven." He whined.
"Fine." Raven let out a sigh, as if she was caving in, but of course, she had planned to do this all along. She leaned in and touched her lips to his. Beast Boy's face relaxed and he felt his entire body soothed over as her lips meet his. A moment later, to his enormous surprise, he did feel her tongue enter his mouth even after her earlier refusal. When she broke away, at length, Garfield grinned at her.
"Thanks Rae. That was worth the begging."
"I love you." Raven replied.
"Aww, wow, I even get an 'I love you'? Did I win the lotto?" Beast Boy giggled.
"No. I'm serious. I love you." Raven's voice took on a grimly serious tone. "You changed my life, Garfield. If it hadn't been for you, and that stupid book, I never could have pulled through. And if it hadn't been for your heroic act the other day, Trigon would have killed me."
Garfield's head inflated faster than a hot-air balloon. "So it was a heroic act now?"
"Yeah." Raven replied. "But that doesn't make biting my father's privates any less sickening." Raven added, then she turned around and went into her room, shutting the door behind her.
"She's like a double-edged sword sometimes with that sarcasm." Beast Boy commented to himself. "But I love her still."
Beast Boy smiled and retreated off to his own room, happily humming a tune.
Inside her room, Raven lay down in her bed and pulled the blanket up to her chin. Then she closed her eyes and drifted off to peaceful sleep, dreams of a green young man filling her head, and happiness filling her heart at what she had regained. It had taken ten years, and several battles, but Raven was finally back home, and she was finally happy.
Closing A/N: That truly was the final chapter. However, the sequel is coming soon. What happens in the sequel? Well, I can't tell you that; but I will say this much: Raven's powers come into play in a big way, Slade and Arella return, and they have a big surprise for Raven, and Robin has to deal with some challenges of his own when his relationship with Starfire makes the two of them a target for an evil sister and a cunning thief. They'll be a fourth couple introduced in the next story, and a whole lot of twists and turns . . . so look for it, because it is coming soon!
Goodbye! Thank you for reading; GS OUT!