TheUbu (I'd be Ubu but someone took it!)
I'm a crazy Canadian and some of my writing may reflect that. Don't be alarmed and run for the hills, I'm sure it won't hurt too badly.
Here it is ladies and gentlemen, the final chapter of It's Tough to Be Me! I'm not a great author when it comes to winding the story down and wrapping everything up but I'll do the best I can.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans; any characters contained within are not mine and belong to their respective owners with whom I have no affiliation.
Beast Boy awoke to the slight hum of the air conditioner with a splitting headache. The blinds were drawn in the medical bay but the little light that did filter through lit up the room enough to indicate it was about noon. He was glad the room was dim because just looking at all the little indirect light there made his head hurt.
He reluctantly sat up and looked to his side, Raven was in the bed next to his, and the neutral look on her face suggested she was asleep. Was she ok? What had Trigon done to her?
"Cyborg has said she will be fine."
Starfire sat in one of the chairs at the other side of the room, the expression she wore suggested she had been up worrying but was calming down now that one of her friends had awoken.
"That's good. How long have I been out?"
"Since we retrieved you both late last night. All we heard of Trigon was his cry of defeat, there was a bright flash where we found you and he was nowhere to be found." She said. "It is joyous to see that you have recovered, I only hope that Raven awakens soon as well."
Beast Boy slid out of the bed and stretched a little, that dull pull on all of his muscles was there, an unpleasant reminder of what happened last night. He wasn't really sure of what had happened but he did need to straighten things out. It sounded like Trigon had been pushed out, but how?
'If the other's weren't the ones who did it, then who did?'
"Would you like to sit with me and await for Raven to awaken? Or would you like to get something to eat?" Starfire asked, interrupting Beast Boy's thoughts.
"I think I have to talk to my emotions now and meditate, a lot… I may be back in a few hours." He said.
He brushed some of Raven's dark green hair aside and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Every fiber of his being wanted to stay with her until she woke up, but he knew he needed to find out what happened, after all, there still could be a danger in his mind that could do harm to her.
After looking at her prone form for a moment longer, he made his way to the door.
"Alright, I will tell you if she awakens before you return."
Beast Boy headed down the hall towards Raven's room. He was hoping not to run in to anyone else on the way there because of both his headache, and the fact that he felt a slight apprehension about going back into his mind. If Trigon had been beaten the only trouble he could run into would be Rage, but it felt like he should have told someone about it.
Sure, he hadn't exactly told Starfire flat out that he was going back through the mirror but she wasn't stupid, he was sure she understood what he hadn't directly said. She'd explained on more than one occasion the importance of emotions to Tameranians, maybe she thought it was something he had to do. He knew why he felt guilty though, his mind had been a very hostile place a short time ago, and it was almost a sure thing that Robin would object to anyone going back without more information about what happened to Trigon.
It really didn't matter what anyone said though, he needed to sort out everything that had happened and speaking with his emotions was the only way to accomplish that.
The door slid open quietly and he entered the dark room. The sounds outside the tower seemed to be muffled by the darkness and it was a great relief to his aching brain. He picked up the mirror from the middle of the floor where he dropped it the previous night.
'No going back now.' He thought as he looked upon the reflective surface.
The swirling vortex tugged him in and he spiraled through the dark tunnel, loosing all orientation the moment he lost sight of the room. Having not known which way was up; he landed on the hard and dusty ground in a heap. A yellow clad arm outstretched and helped him to his feet.
"Hello." Greeted Knowledge.
"Hey, what's going on here? Was Trigon beaten?" He asked.
"Yes, he has been driven out of our mind and will not be able to return."
Beast Boy let out a breath of relief, nothing like that would ever happen again; unless Rage were to try and hurt Raven that is.
"So was Rage helping Trigon?"
"Helping Trigon?" Came a voice from behind him. "No, not in the least. He fought Trigon from gaining control for the better part of eight days."
Wisdom stood next to Knowledge and studied the expression on Beast Boy's face.
"Did Rage get rid of Trigon then?"
"No and Yes." Replied Wisdom.
"We all did in a way." Said Knowledge. "Once Trigon started absorbing emotions to gain their power, he separated them from all the others. This separated those emotions from you making them all nothing more than energy for him to use. Fear fled when he learned that this was indeed Trigon and not just Rage and was absorbed after he tried to defend Raven."
Knowledge took a breath and gave Beast Boy a look that seemed to tell him that he should know the rest.
Wisdom continued. "Once Fear was absorbed, all the emotions were reunited and you were essentially inside of Trigon. It was the Beast that really forced him out, but he is only able to exist when all of the emotions are together because he is you."
Beast Boy was silent for a while, mulling over all that had been said. Why had Rage fought against Trigon and how had he done it for so long? And the Beast… It wasn't just part of Rage, it was him. He looked up to both of the emotions.
"Take me to Rage."
Raven woke up to a great discomfort. Memories of the blinding agony filled her mind; there had just been so much pain… She was in the medical bay though, that meant that the others had come. Did they drive Trigon out of Beast Boy's mind? She looked around at the other medical beds but found them all empty. Where was he? Had he been hurt? How exactly had the others defeat Trigon?
Raven's world came crashing down around her at the possibility of what could be. The memory of what Fear said came rushing back to her. "I would never ask you to do this, Beast Boy would never ask you to do this, you have to tell Robin to do it. Tell him it's to protect Starfire."
No they wouldn't. They couldn't. But Robin would if it were to protect Starfire…
Just then, the door opened to reveal Jinx and Starfire both talking happily with each other.
"What happened?" Raven immediately asked.
"Cyborg said you should get some rest." Said the pink haired sorceress.
"Yes Raven, you must remain relaxed."
"Where's Beast Boy? Is he ok?" She asked, the frustration rising in her voice.
Starfire walked to her bedside and placed her hand on the changeling's shoulder, gently easing her back down to the bed she'd nearly jumped out of.
"Friend Beast Boy is fine. He's gone to speak to his emotions and meditate."
Raven's features relaxed quickly but a questioning look remained on her face.
"What about Trigon?"
"He was gone by the time we got there. All we saw was a bright flash and then found both of you on the ground." Supplied Jinx.
"Yes, everyone is unharmed. Do you wish for us to bring you some food?"
Raven looked past them to the clock on the wall, it was already three o'clock and her stomach let out a growl.
"I guess I could go for some food."
"I shall retrieve it for you!" With that, Starfire quickly left the room.
A not entirely unpleasant silence fell over the room and Raven looked at Jinx. She was shifting a little awkwardly under her gaze but spoke up.
"Are you ok? I mean, we didn't see what happened but we could hear you screaming… It sounded like whatever was happening really hurt."
"I do really hurt, but I can't describe how it felt… I'll be fine in a few days. So where are Cyborg and Robin?" She asked in an attempt to redirect the conversation.
"Boy wonder's been debating whether or not to go back into Beast Boy's mind to check and see what happened to Trigon with Cyborg for about an hour now. They're still in the kitchen I think."
'Why would they debate about going back in if Beast Boy was already there?'
"I take it Star didn't tell them he's already gone in has she?"
"Nope. I think she figured he needed some time to himself before Robin gets on his case."
Raven smiled, it seemed like Jinx was getting to know the run of the place.
The red sand and rock crunched under Beast Boy's shoes. He looked over his shoulder to the two emotions that had led him there; they'd offered to come with him, but this was something he needed to do on his own.
From the very beginning he'd thought that Rage wanted to hurt Raven, but he'd been fighting Trigon the whole time. The only reason he though that Rage tried to hurt Raven was because of what happened when he broke his chains. Was it possible that he was only trying to escape?
'Maybe he fought Trigon so he could be the one to take over my mind.' He tried to rationalize. 'Something just doesn't feel right about that though…'
The distance between them grew even smaller and he could see the chains that had bound him before held him in place. The thick shackles that were affixed to his body reflected the dusty red surroundings on their metallic surface. He was completely motionless though, not even turning his head to look at Beast Boy. When he finally stopped only feet away from the emotion, there was a slight rattle from the chain connected to the shackle around his neck and he looked him dead in the eye.
Rage was the first to break the silence. "You."
"Yes, I've come to speak with you." He said. "I have to thank you for what you did, fighting Trigon like that."
"I didn't do it for you, I did it for Raven." He spat.
Beast Boy looked at him for a second, he could feel the unadulterated distained radiating from Rage, all of it directed at him.
"I know and that's why I'm thanking you. Before, I thought you wanted to hurt her but I know now that you wouldn't because I wouldn't. You hate me, why is that? What have I done to you that makes you hate me so?"
"You're weak! Only the strong survive! It is disgusting to think a creature like you can be the one who Raven loves. She needs someone strong enough to protect her from threats like Trigon."
"We defeated Trigon, Raven is safe because we did manage to protect her."
Rage's whole body tensed and he slowly pulled his arm restraints taught.
"We did not protect her, she was harmed! The only reason Trigon was defeated was because the Beast drove him out. The Beast is strong that is why it was able to protect her." Said Rage in anger.
"We were able to drive him out because we are all part of the Beast, you, Bravery, and even Fear. You and the others are me and if you want to hate them and me because you think we're weak, go ahead but know that there is not a single one of them that would not die before ever thinking of forsaking her."
The expression in Rage's face softened slightly and his pull on the chains ceased. He was looking at Beast Boy in something similar to confusion and his intense hatred gave way to uncertainty.
"They have you restrained here because they're afraid you may try to take control but I don't think you will. Raven loves me; all of me and that includes you." He looked at the many chains and shackles and directed his hands at them. "Azerath Metrion Zinthos."
The heavy bands of metal hit the ground with a heavy clatter and Rage stood dumbfounded.
"Because I trust that you would never do anything to hurt Raven, and that means leaving her loved ones alone as well." The empath replied.
After another moment's silence, Rage slowly reached his hand forward and Beast Boy shook it.
"Look, we're not going back before Beast Boy wakes up, end of discussion!" Robin finished in a disgruntled tone.
Cyborg looked like he was going to try and argue the point further but was stopped when the three female Titans entered the common room. Robin checked the time on the wall and saw that it was already 3:47PM. Had they really been arguing that long?
"Fine." Said Cyborg. "All this arguing has given me an appetite, anyone else hungry?"
"I could go for some food."
Jinx turned to the green Titan in disbelief. "You're kidding right? You just had a huge lunch only half an hour ago and you want more?"
"Well, I didn't have any breakfast this morning." She defended.
"I like your thinking Rae, late late lunch coming up."
Robin did his best to not get agitated by Cyborg's quick change of attitude but he was pretty sure that it could be attributed to the presence of the pink haired sorceress who entered the room with Starfire and Raven. The argument was still fresh in his mind and he knew that they would have to return to Beast Boy's mind sooner or later, but he didn't want to take a risk like that so soon. Maybe it would be best for him to go with Beast Boy when he woke up, he didn't want to put anyone at risk and Beast Boy was someone he could trust.
A pair of soft hands found his tense shoulders and eased him down to the couch. Starfire began to massage his shoulders and whispered into his ear.
"You are far too aggravated Robin. Please, relax and enjoy the food Cyborg is preparing."
Robin melted like butter in the flames of a blowtorch. Everything that had happened that day; his argument with Cyborg, his apprehension about putting Starfire at risk, even the soreness in his foot that lingered from when he stubbed his toe that morning was gone. How could he have gone on hiding his feeling for her so long?
He turned and gave her a gentle kiss. "Thanks Star, but I'm not really hungry. You should go ahead though, I should see if Beast Boy is awake."
"He awoke several hours ago." She whispered, still rubbing his shoulders.
"He awoke some time close to noon. He went back into his mind to speak with his emotions, I believe he is meditating on the roof now."
Robin pulled out his communicator and checked for Beast Boy's location, sure enough, he was on the roof.
"I was going to tell him that Raven is no longer asleep, but we decided to get something to eat first."
"I have to go talk to him." He said as he stood.
"No." Starfire said, pulling him back down to the couch and wrapping her arms around his midsection. "I want for you to stay with me, besides, I believe that Raven has a great deal more to speak with him about before you do."
Robin turned to the table where the others were sitting, Raven was finishing the soup that Cyborg had prepared and was making her way to the sink with the dishes.
"Azerath Metrion Zinthos… Azerath Metrion Zinthos… Azerath Metrion Zinthos…"
The familiar monotone chant echoed it's way down the stairs through the open door at the roof. Raven used the handrail because her legs, along with the rest of her body, hurt far too much to make it the whole way up unassisted.
She was curious to know what had actually happened but she was also wanted to know if Beast Boy was alright. Starfire seemed to think he'd been meditating for a couple hours already, so he should have at least gained enough control to carry out a short conversation with her.
As she got to the roof, she saw that her pale love was not in his usual place of meditation, he was right beside the doorway lying against the open door. He wasn't floating or sitting in a meditative stance, but with his legs outstretched in front of him and his arms to his sides. It was a relief to see that he did look calm but she would have to break his reverie sooner or later, she opted for the former.
"Beast Boy." She said, bending down to shake his shoulder.
A jolt of pain shot up her back and she fell to his lap.
His eyes opened and he blinked a few times before saying anything.
"Rae?" His confused facial expression changed the second he said her name to that of concern. "Are you alright? What did Trigon do to you?"
She tried to pick herself up but Beast Boy's arms had a firm hold around her waist.
"I… I really hurt. I don't know what he did to me but it hurt more than anything I felt in my life…"
His grasp around her tightened and he pulled her back to his chest. His head leaned gently on her right shoulder and she suddenly got a full breath of his scent. It eased her discomfort slightly.
"He's gone now and can never come back. He won't be able to hurt you ever again."
A warm feeling came over her whole body and she felt all the pain leaving her, every aching bone, every sore muscle was releasing it's irritation.
"I… I really hurt. I don't know what he did to me but it hurt more than anything I felt in my life…"
He could feel the truth of her words, she was distressed and must have felt far worse than he did. He pulled her to his chest and placed his cheek against hers.
"He's gone now and can never come back. He won't be able to hurt you ever again."
It wasn't unbearably hot, but he left the door open so that some of the towers conditioned air could cool him off a little. The sun was shining brightly on the ocean and it made the horizon look more like a sea of sparkling diamonds than water. The whole scene was just so idyllic, the villain was defeated, and the hero got to have a happy ending with the girl. Even before the switch he was cynical about the idea of a happy ending but this seemed to be it.
Beast Boy focused his thoughts on the blue glow from the center of his body, only this time, he wasn't going to focus it to his hands, it was going to be all over. He may not have known what Trigon did to her, but he would at least try to take her pain away.
His pale skin began to glow a faint blue and he imagined all of Raven's pain flow into him where their bodies were touching. He felt something, it was small but quickly grew into a searing pain that he knew would hurt for a long time to come.
After a few agonizingly long minutes, the painful flow ended and he rested some of his weight against her. His panting breath drew in the wonderfully sweet scent of her hair and skin and the pain seemed to be a little less prominent.
"Beast Boy! You don't have to take all that pain!" She said in a clearly chiding tone.
"I do Raven, because I'm not going to let you hurt when you don't have to."
She turned her head to face him and brought her hand to his cheek.
"I just… I want you to be okay."
"I will be."
Raven leaned forward slightly and kissed him.
And so ends the story! If you desire more of this story worry not, for it will be continued following a much shorter road trip story (I still haven't come up with a title).
I'm not exactly sure I'm pleased with the way this chapter came off but I guess it can't be helped. As I've said before, resolution chapters are really not my cup of tea. I do have to give credit to Calliope for her suggestion about the comic lines, such a momentous occasion deserves more than the eleven words I quoted but I think they work.
This chapter took four cans of Coke and about a quarter can of Pringles. At this point I'm going to kindly ask my doctor and anyone who may be faint of heart to not read this number: tallied up, this story took 59.12 L. That's 72 355mL cans and 4 2L bottles. What scares me is that the number is similar to the gas tank capacity of my father's van… In any case, I'm still kicking and have a pleasant lack of ulcers so Coca Cola can continue to fuel my writing!
I'll be doing a proper editing job for this whole story over the next week and a bit, then I'll start work on the next story. It should be interesting to see how this turns out because I'm still having a little trouble transferring my real life experience to an interesting Teen Titan story (The main problem being the lack of conflict)…
Again I must thank all those who read and gave input, were it not for you, this story could never have gotten as far as it did.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story!