Teen Titans

By Cyberwraith9

Epilogue II

A wisp of a blonde slouched on her bar stool in a rural diner. Her sullen features nearly sank into the slice of apple pie plated on the countertop before her. She stared through the pastry with dead eyes the color of a cold morning sky.

Her waitress wandered by with a steaming pot of coffee. She offered the blonde a wan smile as she refilled the mug next to the pie. The blonde continued to stare as though veiled from the world around her. Her waitress shook her head and clucked softly as she wandered away. No creature, thought the waitress, so ever look so lost.

The blonde poked at her pie with a fork that had yet to reach her lips. Her pie suffered her listlessness as it fell into an unrecognizable mess of filling and crust. Though her stomach growled, the blonde couldn't find the effort to lift even a piece of her pie mound. Hunger and desire just could not connect with her leaden arm.

A fat, hot drop splashed on her plate. She looked down as another drop struck the muddy porcelain. Then another. And another. Her food became blurred. She pushed her plate away and planted her face in her folded arms on the countertop. The hot droplets tickled her face and arms.

She closed her eyes. A face loomed behind her eyelids, green in complexion and shamed in expression. He spoke without speaking: "I want you to go, and I never, ever want to see you again."

A dragon's roar deafened her mind.

Her shoulders shook with stifled sobs. She bit back her voice and crushed her eyes, hoping to dam her tears before they consumed her again. The pity of the diner's patrons scorched the back of her head. Humiliated, she bowed her face, sucked in a breath, and then straightened. With as much dignity as she could muster, she mopped her tears with the back of her hand, left a pocketful of bills on the counter, and walked out of the diner.

An old road stretched before her in opposite directions. One direction led into the sunset, the other, into the coming night. She didn't know which way to go.

Unbeknownst to the blonde, a single eye watched her indecision with rapt delight.

The lair stood empty, as it had for over a week. Its carpet of broken chains rusted in peace. Cogs dislodged from its walls lay buried in craters punched through the concrete floor. The air inside hung stale, glittering in the long shaft of light that trickled through a hole in the ceiling.

Then he entered. He slid down a rope fed through the shaft of light, and landed nimbly on the uneven floor. Chestnut hair fell into his face. He swept it back and surveyed the dead lair.

He circled the cavernous chamber. Chains and concrete crunched underfoot, unnoticed in his search. So, too, did he ignore the dead screens hanging from the wall high above, and the warped throne lying far from its dais. Only when he found a small, curved, dented piece of metal on the floor did he pause. The two-toned metal sprouted from chains, half-buried. He plucked it and held it at arm's length. It was a mask, beaten and broken as it was, and one he knew well.

"Your death won't go unanswered," the young man promised the mask. "I will find whoever did this to you, and I swear that they will beg me for a quick death before I'm done with them."

Curiosity overcame him. He held the mask to his face, and saw as its former owner had seen. His vision was narrowed to a single eye. Focused. So too would he now see.

His voice reverberated from the mask's grille. "I promise you, your legacy will continue. And your murderers will be ravaged in my righteousness. This I vow, father."

The creature from the stars nestled into its new home, content.

It had been ejected. Evicted. Thrust out in a wave of fire. Forced into the world at large, exposed, where the promise of a slow and painful death awaited.

But then it had been found. Then it had been saved.

Its old host had fought it. Such a fight, the creature had never before encountered. Resistance. Hesitation. Reluctance. Indecision. These weaknesses had plagued their time together.

And just when they had finally become one, when they had realized their true potential, that bitch troq separated them, leaving both halves to perish.

But then it had been found. Then it had been saved.

Now it thrived.

Its new host understood. Its new host knew the power of rage. Of righteousness. They bonded now, growing stronger by the second. Where its old host wavered, its new host embraced. Together, they would realize true greatness.

The creature from the stars nestled into its new avatar. It grew. It took. It gave.

It thrived.

The End