I do not own Teen Titans.
A young man, sitting alone in a somewhat dimly-lit waiting room, had his head cradled in his hands. I think it was because every thought racing through his head made it too heavy to carry with his shoulders alone.
I'd seen a lot of kids just like him come through the glass doors with the knowledge that the most important person in their lives, be it a friend, family member or lover, could be gone for good. Working here for decades makes a person numb to that on an emotional level. All I can see tragedy as now is just another symptom of living. It doesn't make me heartless; it helps me cope. A man can go crazy if he stops and takes the time to comprehend the horror these people are facing. It's the same concept that gives people that work in the morgue a gallows sense of humor; it's only tasteless to the spectator. To the people that have to pick up the pieces of someone else's ruin for a paycheck, it's all they have left to keep their minds in one piece.
People will do whatever they have to do just to get to sleep at night. Anyone that doesn't want to admit that is living a lie.
The fact is, this kid's girlfriend is dead. At least, as good as dead. Only alive in the most lax definition of the word. But, there's always a glimmer of hope in the eyes of every poor son of a bitch that visits this hospital. Behind this weird kid's mask, I know he has it too. I don't want to destroy that just yet.
How could this have happened?
I thought tearfully about my lover, Starfire. It was my fault that she was laying in this hospital bed right now. It was so strange, that it started out as the greatest night of our lives, and took a turn into such horror. The way she looked at me right after it happened was enough to haunt my conscience for the rest of my life. For that matter, so will the entire reason she was suffering so much right now.
We were walking in the city that night. The winter snow was all around us, covering the streets. It was in the middle of the evening, the other titans were in their rooms. I just wanted for me and Starfire to be alone together for one second. After all, when you live in a tower with three other people, you don't get much privacy. Especially if you live with Cyborg and Beastboy. We had confessed our love to each other a few weeks prior. After that, we were two of the happiest people on the planet. Nobody, for no reason, would ever separate us from each others arms.
We found a frozen pond and slid around on the ice. I slipped several times, but Star always caught me. Once, I slipped and she wasn't fast enough to catch me. She leaned down to make sure that I was okay. We looked longingly into each others eyes. It was so perfect, that moment. But as we leaned into each other, I heard footsteps coming closer. I looked over, and Slade was standing there, looking at us with his one eye. The man I hated more than most human beings could hate was looking down at us, so condescendingly. I got up, ready to fight, but Starfire jumped in before I could.
Slade raised his arm, and I saw a strange gun in his hand. He fired it at my beloved, a green beam shot out of it. It was so bright, I diverted my eyes, and when I looked back up, Starfire was shrieking and flailing around on the cold, cold snow. Slade was gone. I had no idea what had happened, or what was in that horrible green light he fired. All I knew was that Starfire was in trouble. God, I had never seen someone in so much pain before, so suddenly. Fortunately, we were lucky enough to be very close to a hospital. I knew that Starfire wouldn't live unless I did everything in my power.
Now I was sitting around in the waiting room, chin resting on my gloveless hand, worrying about whether my love would be with me another day or not, worrying about what the hell was in the light that Slade fired. My muscles tensed every time that evil man's masked face flashed in my mind's eye. I wanted to find him and tear him to pieces with my bear hands. I wanted to make him suffer tenfold for every person he's hurt or, maybe, killed. And God help him if he's killed Starfire tonight.
The doctor walked sullenly into the waiting room and motioned me over with his finger. As soon as I saw the look on his face, I felt a pang in the pit of my soul. I knew that there would be no good news. Just bad news. And I could not accept bad news.
I rushed past the doctor and ran into Star's room, but my run turned into a skidding halt the minute I saw Starfire in her bed. Her once aangelic face had now warped into an inhuman shape, her skin was charred black and I saw her eyes melted and charred. I vomited on the floor and I could feel fresh tears forming in my eyes. My beautiful star had fallen from grace.
I later found out that it was radiation that was in the green light, and while I was the lucky one, I was affected as well. For the rest of my life, every four hours, I must shit my pants. Once, this bear started laughing at me, so I roundhouse kicked his fucking head off. WHAT A BITCH