Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans
In Memory Of…
It was a cold day. The sky was gray with clouds that held no rain, but had come with the cold winds now blowing from the north. That bitter, cold wind was cutting through Beast Boy's overcoat, whipping around his legs.
"It's not fair. It wasn't supposed to be her. Not like this," the young man whispered, voice hoarse. Tears slipped down his face, burning in the cold air.
A large mechanical hand found Beast Boy's shoulder and squeezed gently. "I know man, I know. She'll be missed, but she won't be forgotten," Cyborg said, his voice cracking at the end.
"Where's Robin?" Beast Boy asked, sniffing, "I expected him here."
"He's not taking it well." There was a pause as Cyborg looked at his watch. "He'll be here on time."
When the news had come, none of the Titans wanted to believe it. Their enemies were the misguided individuals that chose lives of crime. Not their own bodies. Yet it was with a quiet resolve that their teammate and friend announced that she would fight it. None of them had doubted her ability to beat it.
Robin arranged for the best team of doctors he could find to look after her, to try and heal her. Beast Boy was at her side every day, making jokes, and holding her hair back – and later stroking her bald head - when the chemotherapy made her so nauseous that she threw up. Raven came out of her cloak of privacy, saying soft words of encouragement to them all. Cyborg filled the role of older brother, willing to listen to any of the others when they needed to talk – or cry. And Starfire tried to lighten their spirits with a variety of Tamaranian puddings and poems.
When news of her illness made the front page, a strange quiet had fallen over the city. The Hive Five were seen on several occasions stopping petty crimes. When asked why they were doing the work usually performed by the Titans, it had been Mammoth who answered. "It's not right, taking advantage of her illness."
When the cancer had not responded to the chemo, she made the decision to give up her breasts with a dignity and grace that astounded them all – later she would admit that she was as stunned as anyone at how easy the choice had been. There were tears after the surgery, as she realized what she had given up, and as each of the Titans wished she wasn't going through this. That it had been them instead.
In the end, the chemotherapy and surgeries had not been enough. All of her friends were present when she quietly slipped from this world to the next, one beautiful Sunday morning. They had gone to the park for a picnic, and she had passed in the quiet after they ate, laying in a sunbeam to stay warm. It had been her choice to stay out of the hospital those last weeks. She wanted to be with her friends, not with the antiseptic air and sterile white walls.
By the time Robin arrived the air had chilled another ten degrees, well on the way to Jump City's first freeze of the winter. Wordlessly the three male Titans turned and walked down the sidewalk past the crowds. They stopped in front of a new building adjacent to Jump City General Hospital. A pink ribbon was stretched across the shining new glass doors. The fourth Titan was waiting for them, a pair of scissors in her hands.
The pair of scissors was passed from one Titan to another. The ribbon was cut. And the four friends walked into the building, past a small plaque that green fingers caressed.
After a moment, the assembled crowd followed them into the Raven Roth Memorial Cancer Center.
Author's note – My apologies for not updating Love's Recovery yet. This story entered my head and has held me hostage. Now, maybe, it will let me get back to what I wanted to be writing.
19Dec06 - Fixed a spelling and grammar error.