Beast Boy was not handling this well. He was in Terra's old room, kneeling on the floor next to her bed, his head in his hands as he mourned his loss afresh. He was not crying now. He had used up all his tears long ago.
I thought I was over her, he thought. I thought I was reconciled losing her. Then I see this girl, and it starts all over again. I guess I'm not as over her as I thought. But that had to have been Terra. After all, her statue's not there anymore, and why else would Slade send a bot after me to discourage me?
These musings were interrupted by a soft, gentle knock on the door. Beast Boy heard, but ignored it. He was in no mood to be comforted at present. Until . . .
"Beast Boy?" came the familiar voice, low and emotionless, yet soft as velvet. It was a beautiful voice, Beast Boy thought, and even now in his misery it made his heart leap into his throat.
There was silence. Obviously his visitor was waiting for an answer. He wanted to tell her to go away. If it had been anyone else he would have. But he couldn't tell her to go away. That was something he'd never be able to do.
He slowly got to his feet and made his way over to the door and opened it to find her standing there. Aside from a general air of concern her face as as emotionless as ever. Classic Raven.
"Yeah?" he asked.
"Don't you think you need to come out of there? I know you're hurting, but you can't stay in there forever. You need to come out and join the rest of us. That will help you."
"Raven . . . it was her. It was really her," he said.
Sighing, Raven entered the room, sat on the bed, and patted the spot next to her. Beast Boy accepted the invitation.
"Why are you so sure that was her, Beast Boy? She didn't remember you. She didn't have any powers. She had a home and friends and a life of her own, and they didn't include us. It was probably just some girl who looked and sounded a lot like her."
"No, it was her," Beastboy insisted. "Don't you remember when we first saw her how that big boulder flew in? And her statue is gone, Raven. It's not there anymore. She came back to life and that was her."
Raven honestly didn't know how to answer him. She considered the possibility that the statue had simply somehow been destroyed in the time they were away fighting the Brotherhood of Evil, but thought that would not be the best suggestion to make considering Beast Boy's current state of mind.
"Well, suppose you're right," she said. "She obviously either doesn't remember, or else simply wants to start a new life without us. If that is so, then I think you should respect her wishes and just be grateful that she's back and has a normal life." Which makes no sense if she was just a stone statue until a short time ago, she added mentally.
"Then why is Slade after her?" Beastboy asked. "He told me to stay away from her! He said she doesn't want to remember me! How can I just forget about her when he's out there somewhere?"
Raven thought very deeply here. She and the other Titans didn't quite know what to make of Beastboy's claim of a fight with Slade (who turned out to be a Slade-bot). They weren't even sure he'd seen Terra, much less had this apocalyptic personal battle with their long-disappeared arch nemesis.
"Maybe he's not after her, Beast Boy. So far as you know, has he hurt her in any way? Did 'Terra' have any feeling that she was being followed or persecuted in any way by a madman?"
"Then why . . . why . . . ?" And the tears, so recently used up, began to flow again.
"I don't know, Beast Boy. I don't know," Raven confessed. "I only know that Slade is still out there somewhere, and if he ever shows up again we will all be there to stop whatever he tries to do. We always have and we always will. Until then, you'll just have to accept that this girl is either Terra and wants to start life anew, or is just someone who looks like her. Meanwhile we'll be here to protect her and everyone else in our city from Slade and whatever else is out there."
Beast Boy took a few minutes to get his tears back under control then looked up at her. "Raven, why does everything have to be so different?" he asked her. "I was so happy when we defeated the Brotherhood of Evil and had that big victory party with all our new friends, but then when they left and we took a walk everything had changed. The video store is gone. Our favorite shopping mall is gone. And Terra's gone now too, wherever she is. It's like I was so looking forward to things getting back to normal, and it's like nothing will ever be normal again."
Raven put her arm around the sad green boy's shoulder. "That's the way things are, Beast Boy," she said. "Things change. They always have and they always will. But you know, not everything has changed. Some things are what they have always been and will always remain so. Look," she continued, "we're home, Beast Boy. HOME. All of us. All five of us. The Brotherhood of Evil is finished for good. And we're back in our tower in our city. Cyborg is busy making another T-Car. Starfire is happy as a lark since being reunited with Silkie. And Robin is back in obsessive leader mode since you told him about that Slade-bot. We're still the Teen Titans, the guardians of this city. We even managed to beat that thing after you rejoined the fight. Robin told me something when he came to get me during the time my father was ruling the earth. He told me 'we're still here; still fighting; still friends.' And if our team could survive the end of the world, you know it can survive a few inevitable changes in the urban landscape."
These words had an effect on Beastboy that were pure magic. It wasn't just the words; it was who was speaking them. Who was sitting next to him. Who had her arm around his shoulder. The little elf turned to her with his eyes shining through the drying tears and asked her one more question.
"Then we'll always be friends forever? That will never change, right?"
"Yes, Beast Boy. Just like we all promised Starfire when she got back from the future. We'll always be friends. Forever."
Beast Boy buried his face on Raven's bosom. And contrary to what might be supposed, she enveloped him in an embrace of comfort and total acceptance.
Beast Boy beat Cyborg at every video game they played that night.