WHAT BECAME OF OUR HEROES
The scene looked like it had been painted by a Hollywood designer. Crooked, bare-leafed trees swayed with high pitched winds. It was somewhat foggy because of the elevation. This cemetery was located on a slope, hidden from most views and only accessible by one road. It was considered a graveyard for heroes. Fire fighters and policemen were often buried here.
But for the first time ever, three teenagers who were regularly called heroes, were placed in the middle of Hero Cemetery. Their coffins were purposely only half buried, with a glass top so the bodies could be seen. The corpses were not rotting, nor would they ever, due to a spell casted by one of the living titans. The friends' bodies were placed in a particular way: Two, a boy and a girl, lay horizontally, with his head at her feet.
Unlike her usual manner, Starfire appeared unsmiling. She was undamaged, as were the boys, because the man that killed them did so with poisonous gas. Above her was her boyfriend, known by all as Robin. His mask remained, as did his usual disgruntled look. He had been the leader of the Titans, therefore, the most serious. Lying below the lovers, vertically, was a robotic man with only one human eye. He looked like a regular, except with metal armor. Only Cyborg never had the option of removing what he referred to as "a burden."
The titans looked like a T, or at least a small one. However, the stem was too short; it only included Cyborg.
The city has come together for the funeral. Others that showed were members of Titan's East, and aliens from the planet Tameran. Each and all of the hundreds who attended had a chance to give their blessings and sympathy. The Eulogy was delivered by a priest the Titans had been close to.
During the pastor speech, Beast Boy would whisper to a teary-eyed Raven, "It's going to be okay," or he would try to take her hand. In response, she would either snap back or turn away. Still, they remained glued to each other's side throughout the service.
After many hours, people had left. Only Beast Boy and Raven remained. To the surprise of most, they appeared in a very interesting position: The green changeling's head was rested on the blue girl's lap. Moments later, one of them spoke. "Beast Boy… I'm going to go away… for awhile." Raven slowly pushed her friend upright.
Beast Boy did not respond, but she could have sworn he winced. He turned to glare at her. She didn't like the look in his eyes. It made her feel guilty.
"I need to clear my head. My meditation is becoming harder to reach. And I'm not sure I can be at the Tower with remembering…" she didn't finish the statement, but instead continued her speech. "I'm not sure how long I'll be away. I'm not going to take my communicator, so-"
Beast Boy turned away, and Raven could hear him hyperventilating. "How can you leave me?"
"I am not lea-"
"You aren't taking your communicator! That means you don't want to talk to me. What about the city, huh? We still have crime to fight!"
Raven expressed no emotion. "I need to get away!" What else am I supposed to say?
"… You're not going to come back, are you?"
"I will!" Finally, she was angry.
The night breeze howled and moaned deeply as it inhaled and exhaled through the tree limbs.
"Have a nice life, Rae." Beast Boy turned his back to her and continued to stare at his deceased friends. He heard Raven's descending footsteps a moment later.
Beast Boy's crying had left a sound in the air, like an echoing note on a piano. "You coward," he was aware that his accusation would go unheard.
"What did you just call me?" Or so he thought.
The green teen jumped in surprise. He could have sworn Raven had already left. "Nothing." It was the dumbest, but safest, answer he could think of.
"I am no coward."
"Running from your problems and shutting out everything that reminds you of the Titans; that sounds like something I would do and you would yell at me for." At her dumbfounded expression, Beast Boy grew braver and continued, "You ARE being a coward! So just go! Hide and meditate us out of your life!"
Beast Boy found himself facedown to the soil. A bruise grew out of his skull where the rock had hit him. The stone was the size of an infant's fist, and struck him above his right ear. The changeling waited for more, because badmouthing Raven usually brought him hours of abuse and threats. But the pain he expected didn't come. When the boy turned, his attacker was nowhere in sight.
"Goodbye, Raven." Beast boy formed his words with a struggle.
Her blue robe swayed like Nature around her. Raven had run from the cemetery, furious and slightly embarrassed. By the time Beast Boy had recovered from her blow, he couldn't even see her standing by the gate. She watched him cry for a matter of minutes, thinking over what he had said. How dare he use her own words against her!
He couldn't compare past situations to what was happening now. It wasn't Cyborg loosing the TV remote, or the Titans feeding Starfire's cooking under the table to Silkie. This was three of her closest friends passing away. And she hadn't prevented it.
And now, she was about to lose her final friend. Beast Boy and her had never been close, except on a few occasions. Now, though, he was all she had. Raven convinced herself that she couldn't place such pressure on her friend.
While she wouldn't admit it aloud, Raven knew she wasn't going to return to Steele City. She would start off a new life somewhere far away. So she would never be reminded of what had happened that day.
The blue titan lifted her hood over her head. Taking one last look, Raven whispered, "Goodbye, Beast Boy."
"AZARATH METRION ZINTHOS!" And she was gone.
Months after the funeral, in a small New York apartment, blue-haired Raven awoke to the blazing ring of her home phone. Without opening her eyes, she picked it up with her magic. The receiver was cold on her cheek, awakening her with a dissatisfying jolt. "Yeah?" She was rarely so polite at 6:30 in the morning.
A click came from the other end of the line, followed by the single-toned voice of a woman. "Hello. The New York Journal regrets to inform that were are unable to hire you as one of our journalists…"
"WHAT?! WHY?" Did she just ask a recorded message?
"…However, we do have several other job options that may-"
Raven slammed down the phone, mumbling angry phrases at the agency. She wouldn't admit it, but she would have danced the polka while singing "I'm a Little Teapot" if it meant getting the spot on the New York newspaper. Crime-fighting had been an easy-choice career, considering her abilities. But now, it was out of the question.
For the first month after leaving Beast Boy at the cemetery, everything reminded her of the Titans. Small things, mostly. She had constant dreams of Robin, like reoccurring déjà vu of how he had helped her through 'The End'. After buying her apartment, she'd won a random contest, the prize being a robotic car. It reminded her so much of the T-car, and Cyborg's love for it, that she almost didn't accept. However, she desperately needed transportation. She would be reminded of Starfire when trying to meditate. They used to do it together, and without having her best friend alive, Raven's mediation had decreased from hours a day to a half hour at most. But the Titan she was reminded of the more commonly was the one who hadn't been taken from her. She expected it was guilt, considering she had left Beast Boy to fend for himself.
Glancing over at her dresser, Raven spotted a circular communicator with a bright yellow T as the outstanding detail. Against her better judgment, she had brought it to New York. "For emergencies," she told herself.
Yet, Beast Boy never called. Not once. Late at night, she would find herself staring at the communicator, growing more furious as the seconds passed and he still didn't call. A few times, Raven's frustration led her to consider throwing her only link to the past into the street, and watching early morning traffic run over it repeatedly. But never did she take action. "For emergencies!" She still told herself. Deep in the back of her mind, though, her words were becoming harder to say.
Raven sat up in bed, and brought her feet around the side. She blinked away her drowsiness, and walked to the bathroom. She took an hour to shower and dress. The thought of another day of job hunting made her to move slower. She convinced herself that a walk would cure her of her slump.
Though it was late July, the early morning brought fifty degree weather. Thankfully, the sun was shining and no breeze had begun, so Raven's blue cloak suited her fine. She took small steps as she made her way down the un-crowded sidewalk. It was strangely silent; even the streets were only a few cars short of being deserted.
Ahead of her, she noticed five gang bangers sitting against the wall of the drug store. Cigarettes stuck out of all their mouths, some with beers, some with bandanas, others with hyena laughs. A poor way to waste a life.
Raven moved to the edge of the road, hoping to pass them without being noticed. No such luck. One teenager pointed and made a perverted comment, while his friends whistled. The ex-titan clawed at her palm. 'Keep control.' Unfortunately, two of them stood and approached her. Both on the verge of intoxication.
"Hey there, Blue Babe," said the younger of the boys. "You wanna hang with us for awhile?Me and my boys wanna get to know you better." His friends hooted in agreement.
Raven cautiously stepped around them, though she knew this wouldn't stop their pursuit. She felt a tight grasp on her arm. "Come on. Wherever you're goin' can't be nearly as interesting as chillin' with us."
"Watching paint dry would be more fascinating," Raven replied bluntly. She pulled her arm away, and walked faster away from them. 'Don't lose control! You can't use your powers, whatever happens! You haven't been meditating, and you can't keep them underway!' She was content, even as the boys stepped in front of her once more. But what lit the fuse was when she felt herself being lifted from behind.
"The Blue Babe wants to play hard to get, boys!"
Raven screamed as she felt herself being carried across the street. People watched, but no one made an effort to help her. "Put me down!"
'BB,' the initials made Raven freeze in mid-shout. Though, the teenager had meant it as an acronym for 'Blue Babe', her heart stopped as she thought about when it used to stand for Beast Boy. Immediately, she pictured his smile. His stupid laugh. His squeaky voice. And within an instant, she remembered February 14th, the night before the Titans were killed.
Valentine's Day came and went like any day for Raven. Robin and Starfire had gone on a romantic dinner cruise, (their first formal date) and Cyborg and Beast Boy had slipped onto the boat to spy. Raven, to no one's surprise, stayed home to read in her room.
But actually, Raven had no intentions of reading that night. She sat outside her doorway, and sulked. She wasn't usually one to complain, but today was Valentine's Day. Another year in which she had no one to love.
When exactly Beast Boy arrived, Raven wasn't sure. She figured he had stood beside her for several minutes, watching her with her head in her hands. When he finally did speak, he startled Raven so much that she flipped him upside down with her magic.
"Whoa!" The green boy yelped as the blood began rushing to his head.
"What are you doing here?" Raven was particularly upset that he had seen her crying.
"We got caught," was all he said at first. "Robin spotted us behind the buffet and had a fit! I ran back here while he was beating up on Cy!"
Raven huffed at his lameness.
"Uh… are you okay?" He sounded genuinely concerned.
"I'm fine," she snapped, setting him down.
"Why were you crying?"
Raven ran a list of reasons through her head, but by the time she had found a good excuse, it was too late to answer.
Beast Boy fidgeted. "You know… it's okay to be alone on Valentine's Day. I was joking earlier when I said it wasn't." Raven turned to face him, planning on yelling. But he beat her to the chase: "Cy and I didn't have any dates but we still had fun!" A sweat drop fell from his head. "Until we got caught, I mean."
"But you guys have had a day with someone you've loved. Maybe not today, but at some point in your life you have. Robin and Starfire are experiencing it now. Which leaves me as the only one who hasn't been in love." Raven wondered if it had been wise to tell Beast Boy what had had been troubling her. After all, he was no Dr. Phil.
The vegetarian stared at her with complete shock.
Once he calmed himself down, he spoke in a serious tone. "Raven," the way he said her name sounded different, "What I had with Terra… Yeah, I loved her. And while you may not have had that feeling yet, it also mean that you haven't had a broken heart." He paused. "Except with Malchior."
"I wasn't in love with Malchior." Though he had left her crushed.
"It's not worth it to fall in love then having your heart ripped out. Whatever idiot said "It is better to have loved and lost, then to have not loved at all' was seriously nuts! Besides, maybe the first guy you fall in love with will be the one you spend the rest of your life with. You are 'preconsciuse', Rae-"
"Right. 'Preconsciuse'. You'll find the right guy… eventually. Maybe sooner then you think."
Wow! Raven wasn't usually impressed with Beast Boy's speeches, but this one had done well on her soul. "Thanks," she gave the smallest of smiles.
The serious moment ended as Beast Boy snapped his fingers and gave a clown grin. He lifted his feet quickly, like he was standing on hot rocks. "I almost forgot!" The teen pulled something from his pocket, immediately morphing into a puppy with big eyes. In his mouth was a badly wrapped package. Raven tried not to look as surprised, or pleased, as she was. Doggy-Beast Boy dropped the gift on her lap, tongue flopping as he watched her start opening it.
Just as the last piece of tissue paper was being pulled away, the sound of a door slam was followed with a, "BBBEEEEEEEAAAAAASSSSSSSTTTTTT BBBBOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYY!" Robin clearly hadn't forgiven Beast Boy for his spy scheme yet.
Still a puppy, the green boy whimpered. He looked at Raven, with an apologetic look in his eyes. He nudged her hand with his nose, and then fled for his life. Raven watched him change into a cheetah, and disappear around the corner.
The blue titan blinked, just grasping what had happened. She looked down at her lap, with her present visible. Raven hiccupped, which was actually a gasp. It was chocolates. But what stood out to her was the box. It was in the shape of a heart. Raven's cheeks scarletted as she opened the candy lid. She made a sour face. "How many times have I told him that I only eat dark chocolate?" She browsed the decorated sweets and picked out the ones that were the deepest shade of brown.
It was then she noticed the post-it note attached to the bottom of the lid. Raven cocked her head, and began to read Beast boy's card:
HAPPY VALINTINE'S DAY, RAE! (Hey, that rhymed!)
Raven rolled her eyes at his attempt to amuse her.
Do you like the chocolates? It was hard to find the soy milk kind, but I finally did! Tastes like the real stuff, huh?
Raven froze, staring at the sentence and reading it over again. She knew that he was a vegetarian…but Beast Boy went through so much trouble just to get chocolate that didn't come from cows?!
I bet you didn't expect me to get you enything, did you? Well, I wanted you to know that you're my friend. And that… somewhere… out there… as the saying goes… There's always someone that loves you… somewhere… there is.
Well, Happy V-day!
(End of Flashback)
By the time Raven had returned to reality, she was being slapped against the floor of an empty warehouse. She sat up and caressed her back bone, staring up at five ugly faces. Quickly, she got to her feet and pulled her hood up. "I have no time for your idiocy. This has gone far enough! Move, or I will hurt you."
She was surprised when they laughed, though she shouldn't have been.
"BB, quit the jokes!"
'BB…' Raven's anger was growing. "STOP CALLING ME THAT!"
One gang member took her arms firmly, as he leaned in to kiss her. 'Don't lose control, Raven.' She twisted away from her pursuer. Another teen grabbed her by her shoulders, tracing his other hand down her back. 'Stay calm! Control!'
"Look at her! She's scared!" Laughed one guy.
'SCARED?!' Raven had had enough. "AZARATH METRION ZINTHOS!" The two gangsters holding her were thrown against the wall. Raven lifted her hands high, pulling out floor planks, and calling the wood to orbit around her. The harassers had pure terror written across their faces. One even attempted running to the exit, but didn't even make it halfway, as he was lifted into the air and shaken like a doll. He opened his mouth to scream, dropping his cigarette. The second it hit the ground, the cigarette set the floor ablaze.
"Who's scared NOW?" Raven cackled, without knowledge that her usual blue eyes had changed to four red ones. 'Beast Boy… how could I have left you like that?' The planks that circled her stopped in mid air, and as Raven brought her fist down to the earth, the boards shot for the gang members.
The floor began to rise. The helpless teenagers started sinking into the ground, with wood beating at them viciously.
The flame had already spread throughout the warehouse perimeter. Ceiling debris fell from above, along with collapsing walls.
The group of boys had disappeared below. But Raven found herself unable to cease her powers. She shrieked in anger, re-energizing her cries for the Titans.
'Beast Boy… Beast Boy…' Raven pictured him again, and just like before, she became lost in thought.
So unfocused that she didn't see the piece of ceiling as it slammed against her head. The burning wood connected with her body, and sandwiched her to the jagged floor. It awoke her from her spell, like waking up from a nightmare to find out that you were still dreaming. She couldn't move; it hurt too much.
It was then Raven realized that she was going to die.
Beast Boy watched in shock as the communicator bleeped. She was calling him. After months. He assumed he would never hear from her again. But now…
The green-skinned boy walked across his bedroom, never taking his eyes off the communicator. 'Should I answer' he questioned for only a half second. Of course he would answer. He had been wanting to talk to her ever since the day she left him at the cemetery. He wanted to apologize. To tell her what she meant to him. That since Valentine's Day, she was all he could think about.
"Ra…. ven?" Beast Boy's heart stopped as he looked at the tiny screen. There was fire. Falling ceiling. Smoke. And Raven, lying near unconsciousness.
"Beast Boy," her voice was more cracked then he remembered.
"Raven! What happened? Where are you?"
The female coughed, puffing out her cheeks as she gasped for breath. "It was my… my fault. I couldn't," she paused to choke, "… without saying good-bye."
The changeling's heart caught in his lungs. "No!" He glanced at the tracker on his communicator. She was in New York. Not too far away. "I'm coming for you! Just hold on!"
"Beast Boy, I'm sorry. For everything."
"I'm gonna save you! Hang on, Raven!" With that, the titan transformed into a hawk and flew from the tower, with a determined heart and one mission: to save Raven.
Sam Blinde, 48, popped open the lid on his third beer. He sat in a yard chair, his hunting rifle on the ground, and his hat leaning over his eyes. Besides being drunk as a skunk, he was also ticked off. He had been fired that morning, and whenever Sam was angry, he felt like shooting something.
The man sat quietly for an hour, waiting for something to come his way. Finally, a doe appeared from out of the forest. She tilted her head back and forth, finally deciding that it was safe to come out of hiding. She took a few steps into the open, and began to eat some wild grass.
Blinde gave a missing-tooth grin. He silently lifted up his gun and took aim. "Ain't you a beauty." Because of his intoxication, the hunter's arms wiggled and threw off his fire. When he pulled the trigger, the bullet missed the deer by several feet. She immediately looked up, and then fled into the trees.
Sam swore as though it was the doe's fault he'd missed. He shook his fists, and spoke of revenge. Finally, the man once again began jugging down his beer…when he saw it. A beautiful hawk soaring across the sky, it's loud cry echoing through the mountainous terrain.
"Wow. Wouldn't he be a prize?" Sam eyed the bird as though it was gold. The hunter noticed it's coloring was off, but convinced himself this made it special. With more determination then with the deer, Blinde held the gun high above his head. Focusing hard, he placed the bird in range, and confidently fired.
Beast Boy heard the crack below, but the sound didn't register until he felt a pain explode in his chest. He screeched as his wings gave out, and dived through the air, finally smashing beak-first to the muddy field.
With the little energy he had left, Beast Boy morphed back into his human self. He grabbed at his wound, trying to keep the wind from burning it any more.
The Teen Titan opened one eye to see an aging man wearing a camouflaged outfit. He bore a stupid, dumbstruck expression on his face. "Oh, god!" He was clearly more concerned about his own fate than Beast Boy's condition.
The boy moaned, hissing through his teeth. His shooter spoke: "Are you gonna be okay?"
"Gahh!" The pain was unbearable.
Sam Blinde froze, then, shrieking in fear, turned and ran as fast as he could. 'No one can pin me for that kid's death!'
Meanwhile, Beast Boy pulled his left hand from underneath his leg, and reached for his communicator. "Raven…" Static could be heard, but no voices. The blue girl was barely breathing, and would have killed herself trying to use energy to speak.
"Rae, I can't make it. I'm so sorry." The green male gulped and he felt another shock of pain stab him. "But I'll see you soon. We'll be together again, along with the other titans. It'll be perf… perfe.. ect. I'm sorry… I failed… you." Beast Boy couldn't say anymore. He had used up his last breath on her, and now, all he could do was die.
A black glow surrounded the teenager's corpse, and soon, teleported him to a cemetery he was very familiar with. He was placed in a see-through coffin below his best friend, Cyborg. The blood stains vanished, as did the hole in his chest. He would rest in peace.
Three minutes later, the final Teen Titan appeared below him, in her own capsule. Her burns evaporated and her look of pain relaxed. After all, Raven was finally with the ones she cared about.
These five friends knew they would always be together. Not even death could separate them. Not for long, anyways. They lie as a T, to be forever honored and loved by fans.
And that is What Became of Our Heroes.