Exile

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I'm one of those TT fans who got into the comics thanks to the cartoon. This is my first Titans comic fic. Be nice and review.

Loneliness. It's a common complaint among kids these days. It's a problem we all face from time to time. Nobody really enjoys being alone. Nobody likes being in isolation. But the tricky thing is that we hate being alone but like it at the same time. Human beings are half one thing and half the opposite. Ma and Pa both believe that people are good at heart. Clark does too. That's why he fights, to help everyone remember that we're all decent people deep inside. Some days . . . I dunno if I can buy that.

I am alone now by choice. I decided it would be best to take time off and stay at home. The rest of the team doesn't necessarily agree with that. They think if I shut myself off from them then I'll grow cold and distant. Even Tim thinks that and he's studied with the master of that kind of behavior. None of them see the truth though. This is not me running away. For most of my life, I haven't exactly been the most responsible person. Clark always made it look so easy. Heck, he still makes it look easy. I always felt there was something inside me that kept me from living up to that potential, from being the next Superman. At first, I just chalked it up to the fact that I'm half human. Now . . . now I know whose humanity I have. Now it all makes sense. Now I know why it's better to be alone. If I cut myself off then I can't hurt anyone. For once, I'm doing the responsible thing. I won't put my friends in danger just by being around them. I . . . I won't let myself hurt Cassie again.

Clark and the Kents think that people are decent at heart. I want to believe that. I did believe that. You always think that until you see something really ugly. You think the world is full of roses until you get stabbed by the thorns. I don't know what to think. I just know that I have to be alone. I've seen the ugliness inside me. I've seen exactly what I'm capable of, both good and bad. In the end, I'm human even though I'm half Kryptonian. I'm always going to be a Luthor. That means I'm always going to be alone. I'll just spend the rest of my life on the farm, my very own fortress of solitude. It's funny, I used to hate Smallville. Now it's good to hide away from the world in. I wonder if Clark ever feels that way sometimes. I mean isn't that why we all got into the superhero thing in the first place, because we all wanted to hide parts of ourselves?

"Sometimes we hide the parts that are worth showing the most." I should've guessed by the chill in the air that Raven was here. I'm surprised she's the only Titan who shows up to check on me. I figured Tim would come out here at least once. God knows I was there to give him the old pep talk when he quit being Robin. I get it now though. I get why Tim gave up the job. Sometimes it's better off being alone.

"I wasn't expecting you," I say as I scoot over so Raven can sit next to me on the porch.

"I thought I should drop by," explains Raven, "The others still miss you."

"I can't come home yet," I tell her sadly, "I just . . . I'm not ready."

"You're scared," says Raven, "I can feel it." I nod. Being alone is easy. Honestly, it really is. But nobody became Superman because they always took the easy way out. That's not my way or at least it's not the way I want to be. Being alone is easy because it's comfortable. As long as we don't make attachments, we don't have to worry about being hurt or about hurting others. Raven knows all that.

"I have a reason to be," I tell Raven, "You saw what happened."

"I don't say this often," explains Raven, "I've never . . . I've never had anyone I felt I could say it to."

"But now we have a lot more in common," I finish as I push my glasses up to the bridge of my nose, "Go on." I was put off by Raven when I first heard about her. Her father was the worst of the worst and I just didn't get why the Titans would take her in. I get it now though. We understand one another a little bit better.

"Nobody makes you who you are except yourself," explains Raven quietly, "Life is a series of choices. We choose our friends, our lifestyles, the people we give our hearts to. Nobody can take away your ability to make choices, Conner. Nobody."

"I know," I tell her, "I choose to stay here until I'm ready, Raven. I know everyone's not okay with that. It's my choice though."

"I respect that," assures Raven, "You don't have to be alone though, Conner. That's why the Teen Titans exist. We're here to help each other."

"I promise I'll be back," I tell her, "Tell everyone that for me. Tell Cassie . . . you know."

"You're still sorry and you still love her," finishes Raven, "I'll deliver your message."

"I'll think about what you've told me," I promise, "By the way, thanks for the whole 'soul' thing."

"I didn't do that much," assures Raven, "I just helped you find what was already there. I'm sorry this happened to you, Conner. I know how it all feels."

"Life is choices," I remind her, "We all have to deal with the outcomes." Raven nods and I feel the chill up my spine as she leaves. I look out over the fields and sigh. John Donne once said that no man is an island. I remember reading that quote during class and it hitting me pretty hard. We all need other people to be around. But John Donne never knew a Superman. Am I so much different than a man that I can survive on my own without anyone else? Am I so highly evolved that I can live without friends or someone I love? No, I'm still half human and nobody likes being alone for the rest of their lives. I'll come back to you, Cassie. I'll come back and make you proud of me again. No man is an island, not even a Superman.