Chapter X: Seven Moons

The Titans stood silently on the shore of their island outside the Tower facing the ocean. It was the seventh full moon after Morpheus and Raven had left them. Twilight faded and the night stars shone brilliantly above them. Waves washed against the rocky shore adding a rhythmic background. Behind them the full moon slowly ascended over the city as the Tower lights shimmied on the ocean surface.

As the first moon rays touched the island shores, the Tower lights dimmed, the waves ceased and the ocean went still creating a glassy surface for the stars to reflect off of. One by one the stars fell from the sky like burning embers in front of them forming a rough outline of a gothic door just off shore. A faint sound of human voices raised in song began to fill the calm night air. The sound grew louder as the outlines of the doors solidified.

At last the doors slowly began to open towards them and the full effect of the chorus of voices poured out. Points of soft candle light filled the cavernous space behind the star doors. Outlines of robbed people could be faintly seen, their faces barely visible in the feeble light.

From far inside the cavernous space the Titans could see the candle lights begin to part; two figures were slowly making their way though the crowd towards the doors. The song ceased as the two figures exited the doors and stepped onto the rocky shore.

"Raven!" Starfire called in relief.

Raven glance to her right smiling slightly to Morpheus. He returned her smile and released his grip on her elbow as she stepped forward. Raven wore a pale robe that glowed in the soft moonshine. Green runes went up the center of the robe to her neck; her sleeves were trimmed in purple and gold. On her feet she wore purple silk slippers embroidered with gold double-headed eagles. Her long dark hair was pulled behind her ears falling lightly around her neck. On her head she wore a radiate gold crown. Her hands were clasped together under her chest. She looked upon them as the soft light from her robe accentuated her facial features and glistened off her dark purple eyes.

"My dear friends," she said in a clear relaxed voice.

Starfire sprang forward into Raven's outstretched arms, "Oh friend Raven we have missed you!" Raven closed her eyes and grasped tightly onto her friend resting her chin on Starfire's shoulder.

The two women pulled from their warm embrace. Raven looked up and smiled into Starfire's tear-filled eyes. Starfire looked down trying to flush the tears from her eyes. She gently rested her hand on to Raven's swollen belly and looked back into her friend's smiling face.

"Yes, I am," Raven said in a calm voice. "In two months my sons will be brought forth into this world."

Tears streamed from Starfire's smiling face as short bursts of joyful laughter came between brief sobs. She looked over to Morpheus who returned a broad grin assuring the children's lineage. His face was shaven and his dark hair was contained in a green-leafed crown. He wore a robe similar to Raven's with leather sandals on his feet.

Terra cautiously stepped forward and Raven turned to her, smiling broadly. Terra deflected her eyes downward unable to make eye contact. Raven stepped towards her and gently reached out and grasped her chin. She lightly raised Terra's chin so her eyes would be level with hers.

"Is all forgiven between us?" Raven softly asked her.

Terra's blue eyes peeked out from under errant strands of her long blond hair. "It always will be," her voice cracked in response. Raven gathered her into her arms in a warm embrace. Raven closed her eyes and whispered into Terra's ear. "You've got a good man. Please take care of him and fold his socks once in awhile." The two former adversaries slowly broke their embrace. Terra smiled and laughed briefly, "I know and I will. I promise."

Raven walked over to Cyborg. "Bend down you big lug so I can give you a hug." Cyborg leaned down and Raven wrapped her hands behind his neck standing on her tippy toes to bring her chin to rest on his broad shoulders. He put his hands gently around her waist to help steady her. She slowly released her embrace then rested her one hand on his cheek.

"You look beautiful tonight," he said smiling down at the young woman he befriended years ago. She looked so much older now. How was that possible?

"I want to thank you," she calmly called up to him, her dark eyes focused intently on her friend.

"For what?" he asked.

Raven's face lit up upon her reply, "For forcing me into this group. Without your persistence I would never have met such wonderful friends." Cyborg nodded in agreement. "I'll be back in time," Raven continued. "I want my sons to sample the best food on the planet."

"I'll be here, just let me know when you're coming."

"If I were you," Raven added, "I'd start looking for a date; look around, you're apt to become the fifth wheel."

"Hey, don't mess with my love life girl!" Cyborg quickly replied in mock anger.

Raven laughed and lowered her hand from Cyborg's cheek. She turned to Robin. He came forward and embraced her. She closed her eyes and pressed her chin onto his shoulder. He released her and smiled. "We kept out of you're room while you were away," he paused briefly then corrected himself. "Well, Starfire and Terra went in and cleaned it up a bit. It will always be here for you when you're ready to come back."

Raven smiled at him. She and Robin had so much in common; both had despised evil so much that they were constantly battling against it, trying to stomp it out of existence. In time she became aware that it was just a ploy to repress a part of her personality that she did not like. Raven was done with that, for her sons' sake she must find a way to coexist with her dark side. She was yin and yang, Robin had not reached that understanding yet. Maybe one day he would come to that realization and find balance and peace.

"Yes, I would like that," she said gently to him.

She turned to Beast Boy. He stood a short distance away looking down at the ground. Raven walked towards him; he slowly raised his head as a tear rolled down his cheek. He knew this was goodbye. Raven would never return to them as a hero. She reached up and rubbed the tear into his soft cheek and smiled. She had always underestimated him and for that she would always be sorry.

Raven looked solemnly at her shaken friend; he understood the moment. "Remember these two words," she said softly to him. "Keep smiling." Raven placed her fingers along the corners of Beast Boy's mouth and forced them upwards. Beast Boy relented and smiled broadly without Raven's help.

She reached out and slowly pulled him to her in a tender embrace. She closed her eyes, rested her chin on his shoulder next to his ear and took a deep breath holding in his essence. "You are my greatest hero," she whispered into his ear. Beast Boy wrapped his arms around Raven's back and squeezed her tightly. He jumped back in shock as something lightly kicked him in his stomach. He looked down and then up into Raven's smiling face.

Raven laughed. "I'm sorry; the boys are already fighting in there. I'm sure to be sleep deprived over the next two months until they're out," she reassured him.

"There's always something funny between us, huh Raven?" he asked her half smiling.

"I can only hope my sons are half as much fun as you," Raven replied. "The world would be a much better place if everyone shared your sense of humor. Take care of the ones you love Garfield."

Beast Boy nodded in approval and watched as Raven made her way back towards the star doors. She turned to look at her friends one last time. Morpheus stepped forward and gently grasped her elbow.

Both looked at one another and smiled. They then turned and walked slowly through the doors. Voices were once again raised in song as the doors slowly closed behind them. The song became muffled and started to fade as the star doors began to dissolve into the night air. The last pieces floated upwards then paused and drifted back down. Soon the joyous chorus faded out entirely and the door's last embers fell into the ocean with a hiss. The tower lights went up and the waves began to break rhythmically along the island's rocky shores once more.

The End