*steps out of hole i've been hiding in*...what year is it?
surprise? heh...it's been quite a while hasn't it? i bet a lot of you had given up on seeing anymore of this story, frankly so did i. but every so often i would get emails telling me someone favorited the story or that someone was following me. i recently read a couple of the reviews you guys sent me, and i have to say that i was touched to see that this story is still being enjoyed and that people really want to see it finished. so thats what i am going to try and do for you guys! im sorry if its not that great, i havent written since the last chapter i submitted, so im a little rusty. but i really hope everyone enjoys what i have coming, i have a general plan. ive always known how i wanted the story to end, i just had trouble deciding how i wanted to get there. anyways! sit back and enjoy! i really hope you like it!

Chapter 25

"So did you find anything? Did your hunch pay off?"

The boy wonder trudged slowly through the room, sliding off his helmet and tossing it across the room and sighed,

"No." he ran his fingers through his hair in frustration "There was nothing at the spot where the signal disappeared." The tired teen slumped onto the couch next to Cyborg, his robot eye flickering slightly.

"It doesn't make any sense! There was literally nothing, I thought that maybe from the direction they were going they were heading out of the city…but it's strange, the signal disappeared about a mile into the water, and there was nothing in the surrounding area…it's just undeveloped plots of land."

The half robot raised an eyebrow "maybe they were underground, he's done that before you know."

"I had considered that, with Terras earth moving abilities it would be simple. I did sonar mapping around the area and nothing came up on the scans. I suppose it's possible that the tunnels are too deep for my scans to pick up." Stated Robin, tiredly pinching the bridge of his nose, "without knowing where to start it could take weeks to locate a tunnel, and that's if that's even how they're moving."

"How else would they be traveling?" asked Cyborg, "Raven told Beastboy she was somewhere extremely dark, they cant have been flying. Underground is the only option that makes any sense."

It had only been a day since Raven had gone with Slade to save Beastboy. Robin, still tired from staying up late studying Ravens' books, left to look for her right after breakfast. It hadn't taken Cyborg long to lock onto the communicators signal before it had jumped. Robin had been gone all day, gathering what information he could about the area and anything that looked remotely suspicious, but still returned to the solemn tower empty handed. The metal teen knew this was just the beginning of an unhealthy habit of his, Robin didn't know when to listen to his body and stop. Something that had caused harm to him and the team in the past, but it was going to be hard to argue with him in this situation. Cyborg himself had spent the day digitizing all of Ravens' books, anything and everything that looked like it would give them any sort of hint as to what would be happening in less than two weeks.

"So how is it going on your end? Did you find anything that may help us?" questioned the leader.

Cyborg groaned "dude, I haven't even gotten through a fraction of the material and I already feel like my head is going to explode. I don't understand much of this magic and supernatural stuff. I'm more of a tech and science guy."

Robin shot him a tired glare.

The half robot shuffled uncomfortably for a second. "I just finished digitizing like an hour ago, so far I've been doing searches that involve trigon, there's more material on him than Raven let on."

Robin sat up slightly "how much? "

"To keep it simple, there are several books dedicated to Trigon alone. He is discussed or mentioned in at least a dozen more."

The boy wonders eyebrows shot up "what?"

Cyborgs eyes were troubled "Why would she hide all of this information from us? There has to be something useful here…why wouldn't she want to use it to save everyone?"

Robin sat with his fist against his mouth for a second, "send me the files, I want to read them all." He narrowed his masked eyes. "This doesn't feel right and I want to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible."

For the next week most of the titans were busy researching Trigon, Beastboy was the only exception. He had insisted that if there had been something in the books that would help them defeat Trigon Raven would have told them. Instead the changeling headed over to the edge of town every morning to dig. He was aware that the chances of finding the tunnels Slade used were extremely slim, but he had to try. If he did nothing he would surely go crazy, even if he did believe there was something in those books, he wouldn't be able to concentrate on the pages long enough to absorb any of the information. So he chose to dig. And dig he did, day after day, he would start a new tunnel and would not stop until night had fallen. He would be so tired after coming home that he would fall straight to sleep, which was a very big part of why he chose to dig in the first place, it did a pretty good job of occupying his mind while also tiring out his body. The less he thought of what was and might happen, the better. Beastboy staggered through the halls of the tower, exhausted by his day of work, but he didn't stop at his own room. He continued on down the hall to Ravens room, he slept there every night. He knew it was counter productive in making him not think of her…be he was so comforted being surrounded by all of her things, it was like she was still there…he plopped down onto her bed, breathing in heavily and closing his tired eyes.

"hey, Gar…what do you think you're doing here? If you don't leave soon the others will know you stayed here last night." Her breath tickled his ear.

"mmmm…." He sighed. "let them talk, I don't care…"

The changeling felt her move towards him, "you better, if they start making a fuss I might decide to you need to sleep in your own bed tomorrow night." She started nibbling at his neck, he smiled and cracked one of his eyes open,

"if you really wanted me to leave you wouldn't be doing that."

The half demon chuckled lightly and pulled away slightly. "alright, if you really want me to stop I will." She smiled down at him and kissed his nose.

He propped himself up on his elbow and cupped her face in his hand, and for a moment he just stared at her, soaking up the way the morning light hit her pale skin. "you...are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You are the most brilliant, beautiful, terrifying person I have ever met. And I am so glad…that you picked me."

The violet haired girls lips curled upwards, "am I really that scary?"

He laughed slightly, "only when I do something stupid. Is that really all you took away from that statement?"

Raven rolled her eyes and settled into the crook of his arm, laying her hand on his chest and intertwining her legs with his.

"I'm glad too…that you let me." She lifted her amethyst eyes to his. " I love you Gar…but you have to wake up now…"

"I don't want to. I cant leave you ." he whispered.

"You have to. You are so close to finding that tunnel, all you have to do is keep trying! " She was silent for a moment, fiddling with his shirt.

"Gar?" Raven whispered, eyes cast down. "Do you really think this is how it will be? That we will just wake up happy every morning with warm light sparkling around us? These fantasies aren't healthy…what if I don't come back? "

The changeling gently stroked her hair "don't even think that way! I will find you and I will not stop until I do! No matter how long it takes…you will be here with me again." The half demon smiled slightly, a little sadness was in her eyes.

"Will you be back tomorrow?" Beastboy asked.

Raven lifted herself from his side and slid to the edge of the bed. "I don't know if I should...this isn't good for you. You should really go now…"

"But Rav-" the changeling started.

"If you won't leave then I guess I will…promise me you'll keep looking for me ok? Bring me home." She gave him a sad smile.

Beastboy sat up as well, " I will, I promise."

The green teenager cracked his eyes open, the scene reality had for him wasn't nearly so pleasant. He almost wished he could stay asleep forever, but he knew dreaming wouldn't bring Raven home. He got up and walked over to the window, drawing back the dark curtains, the sky was angrily gray and thick with clouds. He sighed to himself, rain would not make digging tunnels any easier. The universe was obviously testing him, and damnit all if he wouldn't pass with flying colors! He huffed at nothing in particular and prepared himself for a day of digging in October rain.

The first few minutes of the fly over to where he had been tunneling had been fine, he even started to think that maybe it wouldn't start raining for a while. But of course as soon and the thought left him he felt the first fat droplet hit one of his wings. The changeling groaned internally and cursed himself for jinxing it. There was suddenly a vicious onslaught of water, coming down in sheets over him. He transformed into a pterodactyl and pushed through the waves of rain. It had taken him twice as long, but he finally reached the outskirts of the city. The green dinosaur stood there for a minute looking at all the holes that he had started in the past week. Starting a new tunnel when it was raining as hard as it was wouldn't really work, he'd just be making a puddle and drowning in said puddle isn't very conducive to a successful search party. He transformed into a badger and hopped down into one of the holes, shuffling down through the tunnel he made, he would simply continue where he left off. It had been about an hour before he finally reached the end of the underpass, he really had no idea quite how deep down he was, just that it was dryer than I was on the surface and very cold. He shivered slightly and started to dig.

"Star, Cyborg…come to the main room, I need to talk to you."

"Have you at last found something that we may use Robin?"

"Shouldn't we get Beastboy too? If you found something he'd want to know."

"No, let him keep digging…just hurry and get here ok?" the leader of the titans had a grave tone, it made the others fearful of whatever news he had to bring them.

"Robin?..." Starfire whispered as she flew into the main room, Cyborg swiftly stepped in beside her.

"what is it that you have discovered? You sound quite unhappy, will your findings not help us defeat the Trigon?"

it was then that they had seen an expression that they had never seen on their leaders face before, it sent a pang through each of their chests.

"What is it?" asked Cyborg almost breathlessly.

Robin highlighted a paragraph of one of the books that the half robot sent to him. "Read." He stated in a hollow voice.

The redhead and the metal teen hesitantly scanned the paragraph, their eyes slowly widening as they moved through sentences.

"Xhal…" gasped Starfire.

Cyborgs eyes flew back over the text in a panicked flurry "This can't be possible! There has to be something we're misunderstanding here! That can't be what is going to happen!" his human eye began to sting. "There has to be something we're missing!"

Robin clicked through a couple more files and highlighted another paragraph. "This is from a completely different book, different authors and everything…it's the same." He turned to face the disbelieving teens, "…we can't tell Beastboy…".