A/N: Last chapter. I hope we're ready.
I want to say that I appreciate everyone who read this and enjoyed it enough to review. It was much appreciated.
Most of the people on Earth are oblivious to one of the key elements of the universe...time. To Raven, time was as tangible as the ground beneath her feet and as foreseeable as the sun at dawn. It wasn't a mystery to her, it was a puzzle. She knew what it was, what it could be, and when it would be, but she didn't know the big picture. She'd spent much of her childhood with time hovering over her, counting down to some big event, and when said event came, it surprised her. Time passed so quickly, and things change so much, yet it's so unexpected when you look around and realize.
Realization was key, Raven knew. If you were aware of something, and could note its very details down to the fly in the air, then it could be taken out of time and memorialized in your head, free to be taken out and cherished at a later time, when such things could be remembered. Much of Raven's time with the Teen Titans was kept within her in such a manner. These were the times she never wanted to forget, and the people she never wanted to lose.
With such an ideal blanketing her existence within this space and time, she often took her time with things, conversations, and objectives, not wanting to lose a single detail. The others' took her silence as isolation, and often tried to draw her out. None of them realized that it wasn't her silence she held, it was their's.
As it was, when Raven woke on this particular day, a sense of urgency cloaked her mind. She didn't spare the usual moments for a mild meditation, nor did she spare time to linger in a bath. Instead, she showered and walked to the kitchen, seeking an explanation for the instincts telling her that something was going to happen today. Something bad. As the spawn of a demon, Raven usually gave her instincts a wide-berth, but she still gave them something.
The Tower was silent, resplendent in the mayhem of belongings scattered along the halls. Five years as Teen Titans, and stuff tended to accumulate; despite Robin's decree that they keep their "shit" in their rooms. There were only so many clothes Beast Boy could hide under his bed before it started to spill out of his door.
Speaking of the changeling, Raven had just started to reach up for her tea (which as a matter of course was always on the top shelf where various flying projectiles thrown in said room wouldn't reach it); a long green arm reached past and got it down for her. Raven accepted it with a small nod of thanks, and set about brewing hot water to use. Gar took a seat at the island nearby and watched as she did so.
As the water began to boil, she spared a glance at him over her shoulder. "Am I in your way?" She asked quietly, pouring a small amount of milk into her coffee cup and pushing it over by the tea.
Gar watched her and shook his head, his longer green hair falling into his eyes as he did so. Raven felt the odd urge to brush it back, and linger her hand on his cheek; said urge so unexpected that she froze immediately. It was almost as if the urge wasn't even her own, but someone else's. Raven rarely felt the urge to touch people. As an empath, it was almost always difficult to shield, but even more so when touching. A small part of her feared what Gar felt inside him. Still, the urge was there. Raven poured steaming water over the tea bag and milk, and blamed the strange air of the day on the trouble sure to come.
Gar stood and started to rinse out the kettle she'd used, starting coffee for himself and the others. Raven turned to take the seat he'd recently vacated, surprising him by staying in the same room. For some reason, today, he found her fascinating. He wasn't sure why, but it seemed almost as if he woke up today knowing something about her he'd never known before. The paleness of her skin taunted him, reminding him of the strangeness of his own. The soft violent hues of her hair made him want to touch. He blamed it on his dream.
"I had a bad dream last night," Gar thought aloud, nonchalant in the admission. Robin and Cyborg would die before admitting to trouble doing anything, including sleeping.
Raven sipped her tea carefully, setting it down before folding her hands and studying the unhurried movements of him as he made breakfast. "Would you like to talk about it?"
"It was about you," he said immediately, hesitating briefly before leaving the kettle to boil and starting oatmeal. "It was strange."
Raven stilled the small fidget that demanded she move as he turned those forest green eyes on her. "Strange dreams must be running in the Tower. I too had a strange dream last night. All of the Titans were in it."
Beast Boy nodded, sliding the kettle of coffee to a back burned to cool and turning off the oatmeal. Suddenly, he wasn't hungry or thirsty anymore. He braced his hands on the counter and didn't look at her, fearing that his next statement would be met with derision or possibly laughter (leave it to him to finally get her to laugh when he was being serious).
"Something is going to happen."
Silence. Upstairs the floorboard creaks as Cyborg begins to move around, and the happy music of Aqua echoes down the halls, waking Starfire in it's usual happy-go-lucky pop beat. Robin had surely been up for hours.
Raven stood, the chair scraping a bit as she rounded the island. Hesitating only a moment, she laid her hand on his shoulder. "I know."
Beast Boy turned to look at her, and the close confines of the kitchen put them within inches of each other. There was an edge here, a tension that had never truly been there before, for either of them. They could both feel it, but weren't sure where it'd come from. Violet eyes met jade ones, and for the first time, the sparks that flew weren't small or ignorable. They were large and blinding, blowing any preconceived notions of friendship out the door.
Even as Raven inclined her head, her lips apart as her breath rushed from her body, Beast Boy was releasing the counter behind him and slowly reaching for her hands.
The front door slammed open and they jumped apart. From the sudden silence of the Tower, came the stomping footsteps of an angry teenager, presumably a male given that all the female members of the Titans could fly and did.
As Raven returned to her seat, picking up her tea and straining for some resemblance of serenity, Speedy walked into the kitchen, his face and temperament stormy. "I hate girls!"
"Thank you," Raven muttered as she sipped her drink, breaking that so obvious tension between her and Beast Boy as he grinned and stirred the oatmeal.
Walking farther into the room, Speedy allowed Beast Boy to sling an arm around his shoulders. "What's wrong, Arrow-boy?"
"Cheshire broke up with me. Today. An hour ago. In front of her new boyfriend, Catboy."
Raven allowed herself a small smile. "Is that his real name?"
"Yes!" Speedy said between gritted teeth, still storming about. Beast Boy grinned and took his bowl of oatmeal to sit beside Raven, not showing how much the uninterrupted view of her leotard-clad body (and unclad legs) entranced him. He shook his head to rid himself of his thoughts, and vaguely noted that he should start taking vitamins.
Raven set down her tea and watched as Speedy strutted around. "The best thing to do would be to move on. Cheshire is already an adversary of our's. It was foolish to get involved with such a person anyways." Her voice was calm as she said that matter-of-factly, and some of Speedy's anger dissipated. The old flirty grin appeared as he leaned over the counter to flick her nose with his thumb (not noticing how stiff Beast Boy went at the action). "Want to help me move on, babe?"
Beast Boy's hand moved faster than any of them could see, and he was suddenly holding Speedy's wrist, very tightly. "I suggest you move on with someone else," Gar said as he calmly ate his oatmeal one-handed.
Pulling away, Speedy pouted. "You're no fun."
Raven watched Beast Boy out of the corner of her eye as Speedy walked out, presumably to find Robin and beat out his frustration on him. Rather, to engage in mutual beating of frustration released in blood and bruises.
Gar shrugged. "No problem." He finished his oatmeal, picking up the bowl to wash it, stopping only briefly to whisper in her ear. "Don't want anyone flirting with you but me."
Raven set down her tea and eyed Beast Boy. As she did so, she let herself smile, not small, but large. Her eyes crinkled in the corners, and a dimple appeared on her left cheek. Suddenly, the insistence of the day, the urge to rush about disappeared, and Raven realized for the first time just how grown up Beast Boy looked as he cleaned up his own mess. How grown up he looked, and how cute.
They sat on the round couch in silence, waiting for it to begin, or rather, to end. Raven clutched Arsenal's hand where it rested lightly on her stomach, and inside her mind she could feel the world scream as the wave of temporal energy formed over the Pacific Ocean and began to move swiftly, reshaping everything in it's path. Lives were lost and others were saved, whole buildings were constructed within an instant as the timeline righted itself, returning to Earth, nay, the Galaxy to the way it was meant to be.
She stood slowly, studying each of her friends, who in turn watched her curiously.
Nightwing and Starfire so complacent in their own relationship that they rarely noticed the other attractive superheroes who so often noticed them. They sat together now, holding hands like children, their thoughts not child-like, but their emotional attachment very much so. The first love was hard to forget, and Raven hoped that in the corrected timeline they'd still have each other.
Cyborg sat alone, his thoughts kept to himself. He was so often alone in this world, misfit in a way she herself was often misfit. His first love had abandoned him long ago, moving on to more "normal" pastures and a loving husband. Raven knew that that was the reason he didn't begrudge Sarah her choice. She'd taken a path she'd felt right, and she was happy with it. However, Cyborg had yet to find a place in the world, and someone to share that place with. It was Cyborg more than any of the others that Raven wished she could see the future for. That she could find the woman, or man, who'd make him happy. The Tin Man had a bigger heart than anyone thought him capable, and it was easily broken.
Arsenal was his same interchangeable self. Always at odds with his outsides, his serious thoughts were what had drawn her to him. With a ready smile and an ease of spirit, his inner feelings were at odds. Sure, he flirted, and sure, he kidded, but unlike some others, he knew when to stop and when to be serious. Even now, he watched her like a hawk, and Raven felt his love from where she stood near the windows, watching in the distance as a strange shimmer enveloped the horizon. It was coming.
There was only one more merry member of this band, Changeling. Raven watched in the reflective window before her as he shifted uncomfortably. He'd never been comfortable in Titan Tower, especially after Raven and Speedy had started dating, off and on until finally it was on permanently. It wasn't specifically Speedy that'd done it. It was the change in atmosphere. Suddenly, the Tower had been a bit more serious. They'd begun to take their responsibilities closer to heart, and they'd grown up, where as Beast Boy, the youngest member, had felt left behind. In the end, he'd left before he'd had a chance to mature like the rest of his friends. Still, when a situation got dire and lives were lost, even Raven missed the quip of a little boy who used them to hide his pain.
Raven refused to contemplate herself, having self-analyzed for years and given up any thought of ever understanding her own motives in life. The temporal wave, made up of massive Chronin radiation, the same used by Father Time nee Kid Flash. However, instead of creating rips in the vortex by which can be traveled, this radiation was completely reworking this time and space, changing it radically where needed and not at all where not.
Suddenly, Raven turned to look at her friends, a smile on her face as she thought of a way to distract them from the suddenly distorting wave that drew unbearably close. In her head, she could hear nothing but static as the world froze in it's place. "I'm pregnant."
The Titans gaped at her, Arsenal smiling and leaning back like a man, forgetting the huge shimmering wave only yards away. Before anyone could speak, however, the temporal distortion was upon them, and everything froze.
To some on the outside looking in, it would seem like the realignment of the timeline happened within seconds, and looked simple to accomplish. However, in truth, the correcting of a badly corrupted timeline was finite, and all depended on attention to detail. Details and small things are what makes the world. Never the big things. Never the catastrophes or the disasters. It's the people and the memories that make the world right. The distortion took it's time in fixing this mess.
When everything was set right, the distortion degenerated, leaving only a small smattering of scattered dreams to mark the once-existence of a totalitarian Justice League and an outlaw Titans. In its stead, the universe marched on, this time, to the right beat.
Raven shook herself out of the trance, staring at her teammates as they stared at her, shock on all of their faces save one. Ignoring the vague niggling that she'd forgotten something, Raven held out her hand to her husband, smiling as he came to his feet to join her.
Robin grinned and leaned back, while Starfire beside him jumped up and down in happiness. Cyborg threw his arm around his fiancée, Sarah, and allowed himself a small grin as well.
Raven linked hands with Changeling, nee Beast Boy, and smiled at them all. "I shall repeat myself once, and only once. Gar and I are going to have a baby."
Gar smiled, and wrapped his green arm around his wife's waist, leaning in to kiss her cheek. "Yeah, I'm virile."
The four that watched laughed as Raven turned mock-angry eyes at him. "I hope you're referring to being like a virus when you say that."
"Baby, we've been together for five years. I'd hope I wouldn't have to explain such a simple concept to you," Gar replied, so serious sounding, yet still maintaining the cheeky humor that made her love him.
Raven resisted the urge to throttle him. "Explain to me?"
"Sure!" Gar said with a smile. "See, I'm a man, and I'm a man's man..."
Raven interrupted him. "Well you can sleep your man's man's ass on the couch."
The Titans roared with laughter as once again Raven got the best of Garfield. It was the way things were meant to be. It was the ways things usually were.
Once again, all was right with the world.