Chap. 37

In Which Many Things Are Resolved In the Tower

"OK, so explain to me again, why did the devil let us out?" Robin asked as he sat on the Tower's couch. After the Knights and Titans had been freed, Brett suggested that they make their way back to the Tower and discuss everything there. After being in limbo for three months/ four hours, both parties agreed, happy to just be able to get to a place that was solid again.

"He has an agreement with God." Rob, the Knight of Fire explained again. He had been discussing this with Robin for the past ten minutes, since the former boy wonder's black and white perspective made what had happened seem impossible. "They both want Trigon to stay where he is, and they both want to keep the balance on Earth."

"But then why would the devil do something good?" Robin asked.

As Rob sighed and tried to explain again, Sara looked over at Starfire and said, "He hasn't changed a bit, has he?"

"Not in all the years we've been married." Star replied. "But I've tried."

"You and me both." The fox answered.

The two of them looked at each other, then laughed, as the parents went around to congratulate their children.

But while this happened, Rivers stood at the side, trying to avoid the commotion. Not that he was against it; when his parents came to tell him they were proud, he smiled and thanked them for their praise, not that it was hard to do. But the young boy kept his eyes focused on something, or rather someone else. He watched as Katie was praised by her parents and the other Knights. She took quietly, giving her sweet embarrassed smile, and softly thanking them. But eventually, she heard enough, and quietly excused herself. As she moved to a further part of the room, away from the others, Rivers saw his opening and took it.

Slowly, he walked over to her, as she sighed, and leaned up against the wall. "Long night?" he asked jokingly, as she started at the sound of his voice.

"Oh, uh, yeah." She said sheepishly. "I guess there's only so many ways you can hear 'thank you' and 'good job.'"

"You earned them." Rivers said. "Besides, I think you have to hear them at least one more time."

"From who?" she asked, smiling at it. "I'm pretty sure I've talked to everybody."

"Not everyone. I didn't get a chance to thank you." Rivers said.

"O-Oh, you don't need to." Katie began, but Rivers put up his hand. "Yes I do. You saved my life tonight."

"You would've done the same for me." Katie said.

"But I haven't lately. I've been hurting you too, and I haven't even noticed."

"What do you mean?" Katie asked, a tremor in her voice.

Rivers took a deep breath, and speaking as quickly as he could, explained. "Katie, I know how you feel about me. I know it's real, and that you've been hiding it. But Katie the thing is, well, I've never had a girl like me before, and I didn't know what to do, or what to look for. And after tonight,….. I think I'd like to learn…. With you."

At that, both their jaws fell open; Katie's because of what Rivers had said, and Rivers for the pure fact he had said it. For a moment, they both stood there in silence, too shocked to say anything. Then Katie, slowly remembering how to work her mouth, said, "Do.. do you really mean that?"

"Yes." Rivers said, as his jaw remembered how to operate. "Nothing would be better. It took me too long to realize how pretty you are, how kind and sweet you are, all those things I've missed. I want to make sure I don't miss anymore."

Katie's' face broke into a huge smile as River's did as well. For a few seconds, they looked at each other, then Rivers said, "Uh, am I supposed to kiss you right now?"

"I think so?" Katie answered nervously.

"Hey, let me help!" a voice said from behind them. Before Rivers could move, Bart gave him a slight push, and the teenage boy stumbled into Katie. She held him in place, and as they realized just how close they were, Rivers leaned down, and gently placed his lips onto Katie's. The girl's eyes widened in shock, but less then a second later, she kissed back as she wrapped her arms around him.

"To be honest, I don't know." Brett said to Beast Boy. "I mean there's still a….. what the….. oh man you better turn around!" the bat said with a laugh. Beast Boy turned around, in time to see his daughter locked in a kiss with Rivers. As Brett laughed behind him, the green one just stared, then began to smile. And with Brett laughing like a madman, the others all turned around to see. Within seconds, the room was filled with happy laughter, light applause, and from Lou, the Wolf Knight, slight howling. But none of it got through to Katie and Rivers; that is until they finally broke apart and saw everyone staring at them. The two of them instantly blushed, but seeing all their friends and family so happy for them, they really couldn't be that embarrassed.

Eventually, that spell passed, and then Greg, the cat Knight of Water said, "You know, I'm as happy to be out of the as anyone, but does anyone know what we're going to do now?"

"He's got a point. I mean, we can't all stay here." Rob added, as the others looked at him. "But we don't want to abandon you guys after everything you've done for us."

"Besides, with Slade back now, it isn't like you guys can split up and pretend this didn't happen." Dave, the squirrel Forest Knight added.

Rob nodded, and continued by saying "But we're all gonna get a new mission soon, and we'll have to leave and take Brett and the others with us."

"You can do what you want." Eddie said. "But I'm not leaving."

"What do you mean?" Rob asked, as Terra looked over as well.

"Just what I said." The dog answered. "I'm not going anywhere. I spent the last thirty-four years avoiding my responsibility. I'm not doing it anymore." Moving over to Terra, the dog put his hand on her shoulder and looking right into her eyes, said, "I am never leaving you again. You are the only reason I'm still alive."

"What?"

"I heard you tonight. I waited too long to hear that word. I want to hear it every day for as long as I possibly can." Eddie said.

"You know, I think he's on to something." Sara said suddenly. "I don't want to leave either. We've all missed time here Brett." She said, looking at her husband. "I don't want to miss anymore."

The bat was silent a moment then said, "I don't either. How long has it been for us guys? We've been jumping through time for a while now; it's been what, a century for us? Maybe it's time we split again."

At that, the other Knights looked at each other, and then Alex, the falcon Kngiht of Wind came forward. "You know Brett," the bird began. "I was gonna say the same thing."

"Me too." Lou said. "I'd like to do some traveling again by myself."

"Well then, let's decide like we always do." Brett said. "Put it to a vote; who wants to split up for ten years?" One by one, the Knights raised their hands. It was a complete shut out. Brett smiled, and turning to the New Titans, said, "Looks your teachers are gonna be staying around a while longer."

Of course, this was followed by much applause and happiness. But eventually, Brett raised his hand and said, "Hold on guys. I still have one thing left to do before you are officially Titans. I still have to pick a leader." With that, the bat drew his word and said, "All right guys, on your knees."

But the New Titans merely looked confused. Sighing, Brett said, "God, didn't anyone read about King Arthur?" At that comment, Bart smiled and walked in front of his grandfather and kneeled. Having a visual example, the others quickly followed suit kneeling nest to each other. Bowing their heads, they awaited the bat's decision.

Slowly, Brett moved up and down the line, moving his sword above the heads of the group. Occasionally, he would begin to drop the sword down, only to pull it back up and keep moving. But finally, he stopped, and stood between Martin and Katie. The bat moved his sword to the left and began to drop it down. For a second, the leader seemed obvious. But then, just as the blade was about to touch, the bat stopped, and pulled it over to the right. It touched the shoulder, and the bat said, "Rise, leader of the New Titans."

Katie stared up at her grandfather, her eyes wide with shock for the second time that night. She looked to her sides, expecting to see a row of jealous faces. But instead, she saw that everyone around was smiling at her, happy at her selection. "Grampa, I-I don't understand." She said. "I'm not a leader. I haven't done anything to earn this."

"Yes you have." The bat said. "Katie, you have been the one that kept this team together. You've been the one who's settled arguments, who's done everything to keep the team together, who's been utterly willingly to throw herself into danger for the sake of her teammates. And tonight, you did the one thing that every leader needs to do, something I forgot to do. You knew when to think with this," he said as he put his finger on her forehead. "And when to think with this." He said, moving it down to her heart. "I thought with my head and I almost ended it for everyone. You thought with your heart, and you saved us all. You earned the mantle of leader tonight."

Katie was quiet, as everything washed over her. In one night, she had gained love, admiration, and now, one of the greatest honors she could think of. It was a lot to absorb, but Katie had grown more in the last three months them some people do in their entire teenage years. She rose to her feet, and said, "I'll do my best."

Brett smiled, and hugged the girl, as the other New Titans followed in a group hug. Of course, once that ended, Raven and Beast Boy hugged her. But finally, Katie got enough space to breathe, just in time to see the other Knights staring at her with smiles on their faces.

"What's with you guys?" she asked.

"Well, we kinda realized we need to do something before we leave. And we're gonna need you, your brother, and Terra for it." Greg said.

"We're going to put you three through the initiation ceremony of the Elemental Knights." Lou explained.

"Good idea." Eddie said, as Terra and Bart came over to stand by Katie. "I'll get the goat and quarts of elephant shit."

Thankfully, that part of the ceremony was merely something Eddie made up to frighten the children. After some time, the Knights did initiate their new family, and the New Titans became the full-time protectors of the city. Brett, Sara, Eddie, and Terra remained in the Tower, as support to the group while they lived with their parents as normally as they could. Over the course of the next few years, Owl led the New Titans on several adventures, when she wasn't going out with her honor roll boyfriend. Bart and Martin developed a friendship that rivaled the one between their fathers. Lisa got back on the softball team and eventually led them to the State Championship, which she won with Robin and Bruce Wayne watching from the stands. Terra kept in school and when she became number two in the class, Eddie wept with happiness. Many other things happened, some happy, some funny, some sad. But they are too many to tell here, so I will simply say this…

A hero's work is never done, another story will be spun

I can't say when it'll be, or what kind of action you will see

But rest assured my loyal friends, the New Teen Titans will rise again

THE END

Wow, after all these months I'm finally done. I want to offer my most sincere thanks to everyone who was kind enough to review, espically acosta perez jose ramiro and RealityBreakGirl who both remained loyal and dedicated readers for the whole of the story, and TGD3RD who kept reading after Black Rose. You guys have made this the most reviewed story I've ever written and I am unbeliveably grateful. I wasn't going to write a sequel originally, but your loyalty have inspired me. Once I get my Avatar stuff done, I'm going to sit down and write a sequel for you guys. Thank you, for making me believe that I can write a story that can entrance people and make them feel something.