Disclaimer: I don't own anything!
I am SO sorry about how long it took me to update! So unbelievably sorry! I've been having some terrible writer's block and some personal situations to take care of, and so I haven't been working on this story much. I promise I'll try to keep updates more regular from now on. Thanks guys for being so patient!
Note: This chapter was inspired by "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz, and therefore I had to pay some subtle homage to them in this chapter (; Listen to the song while you read. It enhances it, somehow.
This chapter goes out to coolcatjas, Brittany, and SparkyX, for being so cool.
I had to admit it seemed a bit strange to me to wake up in Robin's bed, but it was also nice in a way. Unlike my own room, I was not greeted by dark and menacing surroundings the moment I opened my eyes, but instead by the clean, somewhat sparse sight of Robin's room. Everything was always so organized, so precise, so no-nonsense in that room. A soft glow of sunlight warmed my face from the skylight overhead, making the flecks of dust in the air shimmer like fairy dust. I remembered Robin saying once how much he loved mornings, because everything felt so new and the fact that there was a brand new day to do with whatever you wanted before you made it seem almost magical. I was starting to see where he was coming with that now.
I sat up, pushing back Robin's blanket and blinking the last traces of sleep from my eyes. Robin was nowhere to be found. His room was empty, and there was a piece of paper sitting on the small table before his bed, which looked out of place because the table was otherwise empty. Shrugging and deciding that it would be alright to invade my best friend's privacy, I picked it up.
I went to Wally's apartment to go over some things about the band with him and Argent. I decided to leave you this so you wouldn't freak out when I was gone when you woke up, because I wasn't sure if you would still be worried. So don't worry, everything's fine. BB, Cy, and Star went to the movies. Hope you feel better. Get some rest, and take a shower, because I noticed that you still have some vomit in your hair. Just relax. I know what happened in the Brotherhood base was pretty disturbing, and I know that telling you not to worry is useless, but I really am fine. I promise. I'll be home later. Enjoy your morning alone, Rae.
Smiling, I left the note where I'd found it. He knew me too well. Under normal circumstances, I probably would have freaked out finding him gone, but I found that after sleeping all night, I felt much better than I would have imagined. I decided to take Robin's advice and get into the shower. Or, to be more accurate, a bath. I was far too drained to think about standing up for an extended period of time. The hallway was quiet and dim as usual, with bright, dazzling patches of sunlight in the places where it was lined with windows. It was a bit refreshing not to hear the sounds of loud yelling about who was winning a video game coming from the living room.
I reached the bathroom feeling better than when I had left Robin's room, and upon inspecting myself in the mirror, I discovered chunks of dried vomit in my hair. Feeling a bit nauseas at the sight of it, I turned the water in the tub up as hot as it would go and, leaving my clothes on the bathroom floor, I waited for it to fill, and then hopped in. I couldn't hold back a squeak of shock when I realized at first how hot the water was, but as I became accustomed to it, I began to relax. The warmth of the water loosened sore muscles and washed away aches that showers over the past weeks hadn't, and I could feel my body relaxing into liquid looseness. Normally, it isn't safe for a superhero to completely relax, just in case a sudden hint of trouble should pop up. But this morning, with my communicator within arm's reach (if I sat up, that is) on the windowsill and with the majority of the villains frozen solid somewhere distant, I forgot about being a superhero. I wasn't a Teen Titan for that relaxing, blissful time. I was just Raven, a teenager who had spent the previous night crying and was now relaxing in a tub to soothe ordinary teenage aches and pains. It had been a while since I had felt like anything but a superhero who had to be on her toes at every minute, and in my calm, I ended up dozing off in the hot water.
When I finally came to my senses, I couldn't be sure how long it had been, but even in the hot water my body was starting to shiver. Scolding myself for being foolish enough to fall asleep in the tub, I hopped out and dried off quickly. I hurried down the halls in my towel, and changed into a fresh uniform when I reached my room. There was an unused, cold feeling in the room, and I could tell I hadn't slept there. There was a cold jasmine scent in the air and the air felt uninhabited. I spent a moment looking out the window before leaving.
The bright morning sunlight glittered on the soft blue waters of the bay, and the distant city's windows glinted. Something about the scene made me feel good, and when I reached the empty, sunny living room, I was in higher spirits than I had been in for quite a while. The room was peaceful, everything left just as normal, and that was when I realized just how much I enjoyed living here, how much I enjoyed being a Titan. I couldn't recall ever enjoying my life in Azarath as much as the life I had found with the Titans. There was just something…innately good about being a superhero, about helping people, about living with the other Titans, exhausting though it may be. I sat on the sofa pondering life for a while, and then meditated using the good things I felt to propel my thoughts to heaven and beyond. This went on until I was shaken out of my reverie by the sound of a knock on the front door.
I paused, cracking open on eye, still in my comfortable position hovering a few inches above the sofa, waiting. The knock came again, and I became certain that it wasn't just something imagined. Wondering who it could possibly be, I came back down to the floor and strode over to the door, pressing the button to allow it to open. Whoever was here had to either have superpowers or be an extremely talented swimmer, which was why we rarely got visitors we didn't know.
"Can I help you?" I started to ask, but my words stopped abruptly when I caught sight of the person standing on our doorstep, looking just as natural there as any of us would have.
She was dressed in simple, normal loose jeans and a simple, normal Gorillaz t-shirt, not looking at all out of place in my little super-powered world. Her long blonde hair was shoved back behind her shoulders to get it out of the way like it always was when she was eating. Her large blue eyes were watching me nervously, one peering out from under a strand of hair that hadn't quite made it out of the way. "Hi, Raven," she said quietly, letting the words settle into the small, uncomfortable space between us.
"Terra." it wasn't a question, it wasn't a greeting, it was just a statement, just a test to see how her name felt in my mouth after going unmentioned for so long. I paused, watching her warily, unsure of exactly what to say. "…come in."
She followed me into her old home, into the depths of Titans Tower's living room, as I walked like a robot, trying to sort things out inside my head as I moved. I settled myself on the sofa, and she followed suit, sitting down in her old favorite spot a few feet away, shifting uncomfortably for a moment.
"So, where's the schoolgirl uniform?" I asked, not exactly the perfect remark to make when she was already so uncomfortable. I have to admit now, I am quite a bitch when I feel like being one.
"It's a weekend," Terra answered softly, uncomfortably. And then instead of speaking immediately again, I let the silence settle between us like a large, awkward sheet. It didn't bother me, but I could tell it had her positively squirming. And I enjoyed it some level. Because, although I had spent so much time trying to find a way to reverse what had happened to her when she had defeated Slade, it had all been for Garfield. All because he had wanted her back. And a part of me was still pissed off as hell at her for how she had hurt Garfield…the first time, the most recent time, and all the times that might have happened that I didn't know about in between. Part of me enjoyed sitting here and seeing her being this ferociously uncomfortable.
But part of me wasn't that bitchy.
"So, why are you here?" I broke the uncomfortable silence.
Terra appeared to be gathering herself. I waiting patiently, watching the subtle expressions that came over her face. Deep down, I really didn't have anything against Terra, but on the surface, I was still hiding behind my anger at her so I wouldn't have to face the reality that she was actually back. It was something about me that I was having trouble with, especially around that time; facing problems and uncomfortable truths directly.
"Well, to tell you the truth…I guess I wanted to come here and tell you guys that I'm sorry," she explained. I watched her, not giving her any comment for the time being. "I'm sorry for everything I did to you guys. Siding with Slade was stupid…I shouldn't have ever done it."
"Why are you apologizing to me? Beast Boy is the one who really got hurt by it," I told her, a bit of snide bitchiness managing to find its way into the edge of my voice. I could tell this cut her a bit, and immediately I could feel the metallic taste of guilt working its way up my throat.
"I'm sorry, Terra. That was… a terrible thing to say," I managed to say quietly through my growing guilt. I dropped my eyes to the floor to avoid her stare.
"It's alright. It's true," her words were like needles tinkling delicately to the floor in a quiet room. The silence stretched for a another few minutes before I spoke. Only this time it wasn't because I felt like being a bitch. It was because I had nothing to say.
"Maybe it is, but it's in the past. It's not really any of my business what happened between you two. I shouldn't be sticking my nose into your life." I really was starting to wish I'd been able to control Rude's impulses now.
"It is your business," Terra said, very, very quietly.
"How's it my business?" I wasn't trying to be irritating, I genuinely wanted to know.
"Because you…care for Beast Boy. Probably more than I ever did. Even when he and I were…you know…together….I could feel it. Your feelings for him always outweighed mine. Maybe that's why I agreed to go out with him in the first place… because I knew if I didn't, you two would choose each other, and I'd be alone again…" Terra was starting to shake a bit, barely noticeable, but my enhanced demon vision was able to detect the slightest movement from her.
"What do you mean, my feelings for him?" I tried to pretend I had no idea what she was talking about. But it was useless. I had never noticed it, but I suppose to others who had romantic feelings for Garfield, I was as transparent as glass. I suppose that for Terra, who also had feelings for him, my cold act toward him was as easy to see through as anything. It was about then that I started to feel completely pathetic. "I don't have any…feelings for him."
Terra gave a small smile. "Of course you do, Raven. Maybe even you didn't realize it back then, but for me, it was obvious. And that's what it's always been about, even though I doubt either of you have ever even noticed it. It's always been about you two choosing each other. It's what it always comes down to."
"I…" I was a bit nonplussed by this. Words became fat and thick in my mouth and were too heavy to slide out between my lips.
"It's okay, Raven. I already know you like him. Denying it isn't going to change that."
"But I.." I trailed off. That look on her face told me that there was no way I was going to get out of this one. She had changed in all the time since I'd seen her, but she still knew me. And so I gave it up. I'd come to find that giving up was easier than fighting when I was talking to one of the Titans (and I suppose Terra still counted as one, since she had, of course, been one of us). "Okay, maybe I do. But how did you…know?"
Terra grinned. "You always looked at him with that certain look on your face, and no matter how hard you tried to pretend that you hated him, no matter how cold you were toward him, no matter how many times you pushed him away, there were those little moments where you let your true feelings show, and it was pretty obvious."
I groaned, shaking me head. "I was that obvious? I didn't even think I had feelings for him back then."
"Just a little obvious," Terra told me, and we fell to silence again.
"So did you seriously come just to say you were sorry?" I asked her. She was picking at the sleeve of her t-shirt, and looked up when I spoke.
"Pretty much. I've been feeling really guilty ever since I… came back."
I nodded. And then I gathered myself. "I'm sorry to bring this up, Terra, but why did you pretend to be someone else when Beast Boy saw you?"
Terra was pulling at a thread on her jeans now, a sure sign of discomfort, but there was no way I was going to let her get out of this one. I sat in silence and waiting with relative patience for her to answer. It took her a moment to collect her words. "I guess… it was just easier than… dealing with it. It was easier to pretend it wasn't real and try to push him away again than to actually deal with everything that it made me feel, all the memories that seeing him brought back. It was easier to hide than to let it all come back." she looked troubled. I realized about then that we had more in common than I had ever noticed.
"I understand," I told her. "Sometimes it's easier to push everything away and deal with it…" I took a moment to think. "But it doesn't mean it's healthy."
"I know," Terra sighed. "But sometimes it's just so hard to want to deal with anything when you can just run away… but I guess you've got to face everything sometime." she was picking at her clothes again. I'd never really noticed her do it before today. Maybe she'd developed new nervous habits since I'd last seen her. She did seem different, in some subtle way, as though going through everything she had gone through had left its faint mark on her. She was less effervescent, a bit more withdrawn, quieter, more cautious with her words. She just sat there, pulling at the fabric of her shirt, pulling off imaginary specks of lint. After a while, when I thought the discussion was over, Terra spoke again. "So…you seriously don't hate me?"
This caught me a bit off guard. "What?"
"After all I've done…after I screwed so much up for you guys…and you're not acting like you hate me…it's hard to believe."
I sighed. "I don't hate you, Terra. Sure, some part of me still wants to be angry at you for hurting Beast Boy, but I guess we've all got to let go of the past sometime. What would I gain out of hating you?"
"It might make you feel good?" Terra suggested.
I shook my head. "True, it might, but there's no point in hating someone because of the past. I've got to stop being so damned immature, anyway." a pause. Terra looked a bit skeptical for a moment, as though maybe she shouldn't believe me, and finally she seemed to come back to life after a moment of dead silence.
"So…friends?" she asked, holding out a hand. It took a moment for me to determine that she was serious, and when I did, I hesitated quite a bit before shaking it.
"Alright, then. Friends."
More soon! (Hopes the Terra hates are recovering well from their spasms of loathing and gives them hugs).
"My dreams, they have to kiss me, 'cause I can't get sleep." -Feel Good Inc.