Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen titans. If I did, by chance, why would I spend my time writing fanfics?


Raven lay on the cold hard ice. She had her eyes closed tightly, as if doing that would somehow close her off to the pain searing throughout her battered body.

She breathed slowly and softly; trying not to ignite the excruciating bursts of agony that racked her body whenever she dared take a deeper breath. She pressed her cheek against the cold ice, feeling it numb her face and through that; her pain.

A shout, a clang and then a thump as a body hit the unforgiving ground hard. Raven shivered, not only from the bitter cold, but in fear and exhaustion as well.

Her father's cruel and ruthless mercenary, their greatest enemy, powered by fire and was naught but bones. He was literally the undead. And no matter how many times Robin dealt a blow, fatal to any normal mortal; he wouldn't even flinch. No matter how many times Starfire blasted him in all her fury, or Cyborg pummeling him to what would be pulp, or Beastboy's unrelenting animal attacks…. No matter how many times; he would not fall.

Raven's whole body shook violently. She was tired of people always getting hurt because of her. She was tired of fighting Slade. She was tired of fighting her father. She was tired of fighting her emotions and her destiny. She was tired of fighting.

She wanted to rest; to be able to sit back and just relax, with a cup of herbal tea and her friend's by her side, without having to worry about anything at all.

She was so drained. It had been so long since they'd been able to chill back at the tower. She grasped fruitlessly at the memories of warmth; and the taste of Beastboy's bland tofu, at the laughter they had shared. She couldn't remember what it felt like anymore. That's how long it felt. That's how long they'd been fighting. How long she'd been fighting.

Her hand was numb with the cold; she couldn't feel it anymore. She couldn't feel anything anymore. Just the bitter cold sinking into her bones, and into her blood… spreading like poison. She sighed ever so softly, a wisp of mist escaped from between her chapped and bleeding lips, curling and unfurling into the air. Its smoky tendrils faint as it reached towards the heavens and slowly faded.

She wanted to sink into the coolness of the ice; to sink in and let her worries seep away. To be nothing. To worry about nothing. To escape from reality. To be free for once…

But not even Death would release her from her father, she realized, just as it's stifling and long fingers started to wrap around her soul; extinguishing the little life that was left in her.

She would never be free until her father was dead. Even if she did defeat him though; there would still be scars of his memory, she thought; she was barely conscious.

A body hit the ground beside her. A gasp of pain disturbed her almost peaceful journey to the void. With great effort, she opened her eyes… and saw nothing but green.

A hopeful smile stretched across her face, straining her sensitive and torn lips; but healing her bruised and broken will and clearing the fog from her muddled brain. She couldn't give up. She wouldn't give up. There were too many people depending on her. Too many who would suffer and die if she let go.

And she couldn't leave her friends. The four people who stood by her side through all times, the good and the bad, by her side in battle and at home. She couldn't leave them and betray them.

Then a voice, cool and clear cut through the howling wind. " Raven? Are you alright?" he whispered to her, laying a hand upon hers.

She nodded weakly, wiping the trickle of blood from the corner of her mouth; a new resolve and strength burned; flowing through her veins like some revitalizing magic potion. Pushing herself to her feet, she swayed a little as she stood beside him.

She would live; and she would fight… because that was what she did. It was what she was.

A fighter.