Coming Home

Prologue: Replacement

I know, I know. I'm so bad, starting yet another story. But this just popped into my head and wouldn't leave me alone! I am working on Whale Invasions and Shrinking Towers, and Memories. It will be a while, though, as I can only get so much time on the computer, what with my sister and mom and all.

Before Raven even considered leaving the Titans, they knew something was wrong. She was more reclusive, never going out with them unless it was for a mission. She never ate with them. Not that she had ever done all of this on a regular basis in the past, but now her anti-social habits were growing ever worse.

They wondered what was wrong with her. They thought it was depression, but she seemed to be perfectly happy. They tried to talk to her, to get her to tell them what was wrong. She wouldn't. Raven just stayed locked up in her room with all of her overly-large, dusty books.

Then one day, she didn't show up for a mission. They all went up to talk to her, and found her door unlocked. There was no trace of Raven. All of her books gone, all of her clothes gone, and her communicator as well. She had left her locator on, they saw, but it gave off no signal.

Then they saw the note on the bed.

Dear friends,

I had to leave you and I'm so sorry. But I'm needed on Azarath. It is my duty to help rebuild the world that my father destroyed. I'll come back someday. But I don't think you'll need my help much in battles, though. You'll be just fine, I'm sure.

I'll use my communicator to contact you in a few weeks.

Your friend,

Raven

Nothing was quite the same after Raven left. There was no one to stop Beast Boy and Cyborg from fighting, no one for Robin to have an intellectually stimulating conversation with, and no girls for Starfire to socialize with.

And Raven had been wrong. They did need her help–more than any of them had realized. Ever time one of them got a slightly serious injury, they expected Raven to cure it. But Raven wasn't there anymore.

They just barely managed to keep the crime under control, with the help of the police.

Slowly, they began adjusting to life without Raven. Life without their dark friend.

And then, as she promised, she sent them a message using her Titan communicator.

"Friend Raven!" Starfire yelled happily. "We all miss you so. Will you not come home?" Raven sighed, her face looking tired.

"I will. Not now, but after we can get everything stabilized again. We have to form our entire government all over again, and that could take some time. But yes, Starfire. I will come home." Raven answered. Starfire beamed.

"I understand, Friend." The red-haired girl told her dark friend. Raven talked to the other three, having a similar conversation with each before ending the transmission.

She called every other week for three months, and then once a month. And then the calls started coming less, and less, until they finally stopped altogether.

The Titans wondered for a while, before something else took their mind off of Raven.

A group of scientists in Sweden had found the cure for Terra. She could be released from her stony grave now. She could be free.

All of them were there the day that she was released, and they all voted her back as a Titan. They barely noticed when she asked where Raven was.

Everyone quickly forgot about Raven, the dark enchantress. They had Terra. What else did they need? The Teen Titans were once again five, and more powerful than ever.

And no one missed Raven.