Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans.
Wow, it's been a while since I've written one of these, huh?
Just so you know, I don't really support BBT or BBRae: I prefer it as an unsolved triangle, regardless of what was canon. This was an entry for a round I won in a contest (Last Author Standing), it's Terra-centric, and it's freakin' sad, as you should expect. I had a word limit, so if it seems off, I apologize in advance.
Please review. Tcha! (scurries off to watch anime).
: Backlash :
I love color.
Such a blessing.
At any age you can appreciate it, any time it is acceptable, and every occasion it is desired.
I have traveled often through this world, it's rolling meadows and expansive plains, the hottest deserts and coldest peaks, and for every place you go you can revel in the beauty of it. The color. Nature is the carrier and bearer of such glory. There are more than the seven shades in the rainbow, I assure you, shades and beautiful and subtle tones far past red, orange, yellow and the rest. Lavender, tangerine, scarlet and sepia, forest and gold and silver and cerulean...those are just a few of the insurmountable, never ending list of every glorious tone and hue. Color is not only a symbol of exquisiteness, but a definition; a definition for each individual person, each inanimate thing. It is an identity of the most precise sort.
And I certainly...never in my wildest dreams thought...I would ever lose something I took for granted. I was born with it, it had been a part of me, simplistic as breathing, and that's about how much you thought of it, too. Involuntary.
I really never thought one day, it wouldn't be there.
Were these my final thoughts of my life? I contemplated these seemingly random thoughts, only letting them fade when I felt the ground rise up to meet me on sickening impact.
At first I was absolutely sure the reason I could not see was because eyes were closed. Simple enough. I knew I was somewhere sterile and crisp, with a distinct feel and atmosphere of order, and when the bitter scent of disinfectant reached my nose, I wrinkled it in obvious dislike. Instead, I ran my fingers; god, they were so sore: I didn't know it was possible for fingers to be sore!; over the equally crisp, flat and cold white linen. How did I know they were white? I was obviously in a hospital, therefore, everything was white. It made no sense, now that I thought about it, why all of those things would be white when a hospital was filled with blood, the color and thing that stained the worst.
Anyway, I could feel a long, grimy tendril of hair in my face and I raised my arm to brush it away; ugh, my arm was sore too, like it had been crushed between huge boulders. My movement startled somebody–
Immediately a clammy hand slipped into mine, clutching it tightly and that someone brushed the hair away for me. I knew by the voice and by the distinct smell, even, and the touch, that it was Beastboy. I could feel his stare on me, and the tone of his voice was distraught and emotional.
I giggled. "Beastboy!"
As my cheerful greeting went unanswered and the grip of his hand tightened considerably, I heard shuffling around my bed and could only assume the rest of the Titans were standing around me, also relieved I had awoken.
And all I could do was wonder.
"Hey, are all of you guys okay?" I asked, turning my head to where I thought Beastboy was; I realized my eyes still weren't open. It was strange, I had never really had to think about it before.
"Do you...know where you are? And what happened?" Beastboy asked in a constricted voice, his hand violently shaking. Was I hurt that badly?
"In a hospital. Was I hurt bad enough to be brought here?" I inquired, a little nervous...usually our injuries were treated at home, and most of us were experienced enough to handle even the toughest things. Apparently, not this time.
"Do you remember what happened?" Robin's rough, clipped voice made me jerk in response, and it had come from the end of my bed. I could imagine him with his mouth in a thin line, arms folded across his chest, waiting for my answer. Then I heard a strange snuffling, a low, piteous moan of the utmost despair...Starfire was sobbing.
"What's wrong with St–"
"Answer my question."
"Okay, okay, geez," I snapped, and backtracked slowly, trying to remember what could have possibly landed me in a hospital bed, in this situation.
It hit me like a punch in the stomach: We had been eating lunch in the park...just a typical Saturday...all of us were watching Robin and Cyborg have an eating contest, I remembered the checkered blanket and all the black, glittering ants that Starfire insisted we feed, for they were hungry too, she had said. Then we had been interrupted by that annoying little ringtone and called downtown...it had been Dr. Light, it's always him, I swear, he needs a hobby. An easy, quick fight and back to lunch, that's what I thought would happen...but then...I remembered jerky movements, a falling sensation that sent my stomach through my throat, a sickening impact on the back of my head–
As this thought surfaced I ripped my hand from his and felt the back of my head: bandaged stiff and severely tender. "OW!"
Beastboy grabbed my hand and was squeezing it, forcefully, clinging. "You suffered a really bad concussion. You've been out for hours. We brought you here when we found out that–"
"There was severe damage to certain areas of the brain," Cyborg interjected. "They've run test after test, and told us almost everything is okay."
But I caught the 'almost'. "Almost?"
No one answered and I ripped my hand from Beastboy's and clenched my fingers; why were they all so silent and afraid to say something? Why was Starfire still sobbing quietly, and no one was comforting her and no one would ask if she were okay? And why, why the hell could I not see?
I tried to open my eyes–
They opened. They must have. I felt the crisp air sting them, eyelashes pulled apart and the disgusting crust in the corners and I blinked. I blinked again.
Black. Just resolute, total, blackness.
I let out a quiet scream and rose my hand to my face, waving it desperately in front of it, holding up fingers for numbers and squinting, searching for anything, anything, even spots, specks, zigzags, god, anything. There was no gray, no white, no light. Just. Black.
"Erm, Robin? May I speak with you?" A light voice, littered with the familiar tone of bearing not so good news, asked. Robin probably turned on his heel haughtily and left, but then I heard Cyborg's metal feet move, then boots, and presumably they all followed their leader out the door. Only Beastboy remained, holding my hand, silent.
I opened my eyes wide and jammed my finger against the soft, squishy organ. Pushing it in and around, pressing until it hurt, that normally would cause swirling colorful patterns to form and dance, like closing your eyes after looking at the sun. They were there. But they couldn't see.
"Truthfully, she's very lucky that is all that she suffered," the doctor said stoically, trying to keep his voice with a caring tone. Other patients, a long past lunch break and a million papers to sign tugged on his spotless coat and slacks. "And there is a very slim chance she may eventually regain some sight." The tone told them not to expect much.
"But it's for certain?" My leader asked in resigned concern.
"I'm afraid so. Terra is blind."
I was numb.
It was so final. It had to be a joke. And he didn't sound like he even cared.
Everything is so pointless.
I should just claw the damn useless organs out, because they don't do anything except look pretty and blue, swimming like cerulean waters, just like everyone continues to tell me, as if it actually matters. Days blur like smothered chalk, into the next, and eventually I've lost count.
Okay, so it's only been minutes and hours, but already I am treated like the epitome of invalid. Excuse the drama
I can't see the food I put in my mouth. I can't see the soap lather that I wash myself with. I can't see streetlights and fireworks or moonlight or water or shadows. I can't see the sun rise, or set, or blue, or green, or anything in between. It's low, it's worthless, it's black, no pun intended.
It's only the next day, and I've never contemplated dying, ending my life, starving myself, anything of the sort so much. Not even before, under the ruthless control of Slade, not even when I was wandering this world with nothing left. I always had to believe, over that next horizon, there was more, something better.
Even if there were, I can't see it.
I am curled up in a thin comforter in a ball, facing the wall, while Raven is dragging me, and yes, I mean that literally as possible, off the bed and onto the floor. As I hit the floor loudly, I do not speak, instead feeling the anger radiating as she seethes, obviously loathing her job as it is. I lack motivation or will. Her face must be severely contorted, ready to fling me with the blanket out the nearest window, but instead she sighs heavily and begins to stomp around my head.
"Look. I have something to tell you," she began bluntly. "About yesterday's appointment." We haven't been getting along anyway, but this, I'm sure, just makes her day normally spent meditating and reading books and acting her typical self. Yeah, they filled me in, about what happened during the time I had been...away...but frankly, I only have the energy to spare on my own pity, my own suffering. I'm still exhausted from the accident, but I don't want to have everything done for me.
Oh, yeah, I had therapy, a waste of time that I did nothing with anyway. I don't listen to what the doctors say, since it's never anything very optimistic.
I never thought one little incident in the span of twenty–four hours could turn me into such a wet blanket on life. But I guess it did.
"For someone who insists she's not an invalid, you're really not helping yourself," Raven said monotonously, nudging my unresponsive body with her boot. "Did you hear what they said, yesterday?"
Before I could answer, she continued. "No, probably not. I'll get to the point. They said there is a good chance of you being able to see, somewhat, again."
That made me listen, a bit. I didn't want to seem too eager or hopeful. "Great."
"If you work on it, you could be able to see again. In fact," she added, almost hesitantly. "I didn't want to tell you this, and if I do, you have to promise you will not do anything..."
I became angry and glared at her from the floor. At least, I hope it looked like a glare. "Anything what?"
"You can be headstrong, foolish, in decisions."
I sat up, mouth falling open in outrage, but she ignored it and continued–
"The injury was not as bad as originally thought. At the rate you're healing, you will be able to see. Hopefully this pulls you out of your pity party," she added.
I was silent for a moment. "I really can...one day...see again?" I was having such a hard time imagining the rest of my life without color. I wanted to see soft blue waves and white, frothing sea foam and bright skies and grainy, brown dirt of all shades and–
"But don't rush it. That would be the worst thing. The worst thing. Let Beastboy help you, let all of us help you, and hopefully...everything will work out."
Ecstatically, I stood a bit wobbly, since I was usually used to seeing where I was; I couldn't really tell if I was up or down or in what direction I was facing. But that didn't matter. I would be able to see. I wasn't an invalid, it was just temporary, that was all.
"I mean it, Terra. Be careful."
I smiled wide. "Got it!"
But I totally didn't get it.
So now, here I am, arm entwined with Beastboy, my temporary guide as we weave our way through the semi–lit streets; it is a festival. As Starfire would say, 'glorious', and it certainly was.
I could have squealed; the scents of food were intoxicating, the sounds of games and the laughter of people rang in my ears, eager for the normal sounds, and I swear, just once in a while, that faint colors swirled past my eyelids. Of course, when I concentrated on it, it would leave, leaving the darkness as empty and impassive as before, but just the thought...or maybe my mind was just too ready to be able to see again.
Either way, we wandered, and although riding on my favorite rollercoasters wasn't recommended, for the injuries or the condition I possessed, I had fun all the same.
Even though a couple of times, I wanted to let go. Float in space and pretend that I was all right.
Beastboy would playfully scold me, but he meant it all the same. Be careful. As if Raven was sitting around in my mind, she too repeated these words like her mantra and it was annoying. Right, but annoying.
"So what should we do now?" Cyborg asked the group at large, and immediately Starfire had an answer. As Robin began to, typically, weigh the options, although giving in under the alien's 'puppy face', they fell into a conversation that even Raven went into. And eventually, Beastboy chimed in noisily, leaving me silent, thoughts wandering...
And the utter want of drinking in more just too inviting...
His arm hung loosely around mine, and I moved a little at a time, as not to alert him quickly. Other arm out, waving in space, I could feel the heat of other presences, hear the lights and the sounds, and taste on my tongue the buttered popcorn.
My foot lifted–
My arm slid out of his grasp–
I was fine. I wasn't a child. I could see.
That's what I told myself as I took another step, and then another, and while I swayed I felt an adrenaline rush so enticing, like ecstasy, and I wanted to feel the rest. There was more, I just had to go for it, and so I stepped again, and again, arms waving wildly out into space.
You make foolish decisions.
Oh, hush, I told myself. This is wonderful. I'm no invalid, and I didn't need help. Because now I could begin to see...
The faint outlines of the world were blurry, yet were music to my ears and filled me with such happiness that I couldn't remember feeling, not for a long time. I laughed loudly, the sound lost in a whirl of giggling children and calling vendors and machinery parts and footfalls of the people. The warm air hit my skin and made me laugh again, and I stumbled a few more steps and drank it in. I wanted nothing more but this. Everything I would eventually get back soon. I was fine.
Beastboy's panicked voice cut through the intoxicating sounds and made me immediately blush in shame. I had been wrong to leave him, but couldn't he see I was fine?
"I'm sorry, Beastboy," I said, feeling a flush streak across my face. "I won't do it again."
With a strange roar, the sounds of the festivities seemed to fade away...as if going through a tunnel or tube, so the air left and stole the noise with it. Balance wavered; suddenly there was no up or down and my mind was spinning with dizziness...yelling came from far away, but it was barely heard over the murmurs in my head.
"Terra..." Like a whisper from underwater.
I turned this way and that and fell to my knees, raising my head in the direction I thought Beastboy was in...I saw him, a slightly brown, fuzzy outline, waving his arms like a windmill, beckoning. Thank goodness. It was a twisting blob, brown on black, but I could see it, if barely. Thank god, the best possible time for it to come back. Or at least, begin to.
Stumbling and swaying, I began to make my way toward the still dancing brownish black figure. I squinted, desperately, perspiration dotting on my face as I struggled. How far had I wandered?
My question was answered as I heard high–pitched screaming and my name echo in the mulling murmurs of far away people, and I was frozen, paralyzed, my eyes still fixated on that far away blob, that figure, that I thought could help me–
Footfalls echoed in my ears so loudly–
I could hear the tires lock and screech, and when I turned toward the sound, I saw another color. Would you believe it? A glorious, blinding color...white.
One day you will be able to see again. But don't rush it. That would be the worst thing. The worst thing.
I ignore these thoughts and instead focus on the new ones as I slip to unconsciousness, completely numb. Immune.
I had wished so badly to see the joys of the world again, so eager, that I had ultimately stolen the chance from myself.
I knew what betrayal was, and in the end, it was happening all over again. With something that I couldn't fix this time, as I had redeemed my mistakes before.
I had used to love colors.
But they had betrayed me.
And as I was held in shaking, tight arms I let my head fall back and opened my eyes that had closed upon impact.
And that voice had been Raven's.
That was Beastboy's.
I decided in the infinitesimal moment before I left...
That I hated colors.
Fate hated me, I loathed it more,
So hit the unforgiving floor.