Disclaimer: Nine chapters and we still don't own the Teen Titans
Author's Note: This is the final chapter; I hope you've enjoyed reading. Here you go.
The only way to give finality to the world is to give it consciousness.
-Miguel de Unamuno-
Beast Boy couldn't believe his eyes. He tried to stand but only managed to lose his tight grip on his knees as his arms fell open. Raven was running towards him with the most determined face he had ever seen. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever laid eyes on; but in the back of his mind, the other familiar voice was still hard at work.
'She's not real, Beast Boy, you're only fooling yourself.'
As the purple-haired teen ran up to him he again croaked out her name. "Raven…are you…really here?" He gasped for air that bit cruelly into his lungs.
She realized now how badly her lungs breathing labored in the bitterly cold air, the scorching cold burning her lungs, but she ignored it as she dropped to her knees and embraced the green Titan. "Yes Beast Boy, I'm here. Really here."
Despite her own intense cold, she unclasped her cloak and wrapped it around him. "Beast Boy, we need to get out of here before we both freeze to death." The changeling could hardly make sense of what she was saying; he merely nodded his head as the world drifted in and out of focus.
"Can you stand?" She leaned in closer to him, looking directly at him, his forest green eyes were wild with pain and confusion, but they locked onto the amethyst set only inches from them and calmed.
"I—I don't know. I can try." He breathed, trying feebly to get to his feet. After two failed attempts, Raven put his arm around her shoulder, and they both lifted together, getting both freezing Titans to their feet. They took slow steps forward together, both unsteady under the weight and suffering badly from hypothermia. Raven search desperately around as they stumbled forward for something, anything with which to smash a hole in the wall, but the place was completely empty, save for the two heroes and an endless array of constantly shifting mirrors.
"Raven…what happened? One second…we were together…then everything changed…" Beast Boy gasped desperately for air as he walked.
"I'll tell you everything when we're safe. Don't talk now."
They moved on in silence for a minute, Raven trying to backtrack the way she came in, but unsure of her path.
"Raven, am I…am I a good person." His question stunned her, but her mind quickly rallied a response of sorts.
"Yes Beast Boy, you are."
"But everything I've done…" he wheezed as they staggered along together.
"You've done so much good, more than a life-time's worth."
"I can't see any of it now. All I see…all I see is the damage I've caused. It plays over and over again in my mind."
"Beast Boy, you are—"
"No, I'm not—"
"I can't be a—"
"Garfield, you are the bravest, kindest person I have ever known." They both staggered to a halt, Raven couldn't carry him any further, they both fell with their left shoulders against the cold glass wall.
"Raven, I have to tell you something before it's too late…Raven, I lo—" she disappeared from beneath his arm, her cloak, still around his shoulders, fluttered with a gust of wind.
'I told you, Beast Boy…' the green Titan suddenly found a direction to the voice that had so long tormented him, he turned his head to face it, across the narrow hallway, the image that greeted him was crystal clear, as small rays of light made the ice in the air glimmer around him, his own reflection staring back, not with the look of surprise and bewilderment he could feel on his own face, but a smirk, gloating in victory.
'…You don't deserve her.'
Raven's eyes opened as she convulsed violently on the hospital bed. All she managed to say was a loud swear as she swung her eyes to her cybernetic doctor.
"What happened!?" She demanded. She eyed the needle in his hand, now empty of its contents.
"I had to bring you out—"
"I had him Cyborg. I had him, we were almost out. We were so close." Tears streamed from her eyes as she got out the words, strangled by sobs.
"Raven, I'm sorry, but Robin and Starfire, and the others are about to lose their fight. They need our help; we can't let them die out there when we can do something about it."
"What's going on?" She asked as she slowly regained her composure.
"Every villain in the city, in one place. We need to be there ten minutes ago."
Raven swung her legs off the bed and stood up. She wiped away the tears on her cheeks and stepped closer to her metal friend. She found that she still had a reserve of energy here, and felt out for Robin's thoughts. What she got wasn't good, but it was enough to locate him. A raven of black energy lifted around the two teens and they disappeared.
The Titans had been fought into a circle, while Starfire flew overhead, still lobbing green bombs into the seemingly endless mob. The villains never worked together, and usually competed so fiercely that they would often come to blows. The heroes were able to exploit their lack of coordination and training, and initially, they were winning the fight. But after fifteen minutes of intense fighting, they were growing even more weary, and combined with the bad-guys' shear weight of numbers, they slowly closed ranks to increase their defense before they could be individually overcome.
The villains had pressed in around the circle, they were tightly packed, but kept a few yards out of reach, and the Titans, all in need of a rest, refrained from provoking the second attack, as happy as the mass of villains to get a respite, however short.
The mob of criminals could sense their victory was at hand. They could almost taste it, it was so close. Finally, the Titans would be gone, and the city in their control. Nothing could stop them now.
"Robin, where's our backup?" Aqualand panted, clutching a slowly bleeding gash on his right side, the water from the hydrant had stopped flowing, due to either a total loss of pressure, or some enterprising criminal shutting off the source, he had resorted to hand-to-hand combat; which was better than most, but not his specialty, and it showed in his extensive wounds.
"Cyborg can only travel by his car; it will likely take him ten minutes or more to reach us this far from the tower." Starfire stated as she landed next to Robin, not a hint of remorse in her voice.
"Then it looks like we're fighting to the end here, even if he does come, it won't be enough." A battered Speedy glanced toward Robin, grin crossing his lips.
"Yeah, it looks that way." Robin said, returning the grin almost madly, he grabbed Starfire's hand and they looked at one another for a moment that seemed to last an hour. "Ready?" The teen super heroes, including Starfire all shouted their resolve. As he drew in another breath, black energy coursed in the middle of their circle, and two Titans appeared as it dissipated.
Robin paused a moment longer as his grin widened and he looked two his two friends, both ready for combat.
They all dove into combat, Starfire and Robin working in tandem as they knocked back waves of enemies. Bee was providing withering amount of fire as Herald stunned them with a blast from his horn.
Cyborg was clearing out whole legions of Billy Numerous as he drained his energy into his sonic cannon. Speedy, Aqualad, and Mas Y Menos work all working off a plan they had perfected together; with the twins forcing groups of villains together, as Speedy removed them all from combat with expert marksmanship, while the teen prince used what little water was left to distract and confuse the baddies not yet caught in the trap.
Raven was using throwing everything she could pick up into the crowd, trying to pick out the much more colorfully dressed, usually super powered enemies.
After only a few short minutes of the most intense fighting the streets of Jump had ever seen, the Titans were being forced slowly back into an ever shrinking circle. Cyborg was now locked in hand-to-hand with Mammoth, while Speedy had finally run out of arrows, using his bow to block his enemies blows, and strike back.
Starfire was now fighting Plasmus on her own, as Robin engaged a revived Cinderblock only a few feet away. The Titans fought ferousicly, but were still being pressed backwards with every passing moment. It was all Raven could do to keep a shield holding Adonis at bay while still trying to hurtle heavy objects at the armor-clad criminal.
The Titans all jumped backwards at a command from Robin; they were now all back to back. The word tired no longer meant anything to them, they were beyond exhausted. They were bruised, and scraped. Things were broken and dislocated; and long and deep wounds were bleeding. They readied themselves for the final attack. For the end. The villains all paused a moment before the final plunge. Their numbers thinned by huge percentages, but still outnumbering the Titans nearly forty to one.
They didn't say anything to one another. They didn't have to, they all knew.
A cry all at once emitted from every Titan, each almost inhumanly loud, and terrifying. The villains responded and dove in for the kill.
Impossibly, things began to slow, coming to an almost complete halt. Raven looked around, she was the only one still moving at a normal speed. It was like everyone else was on pause. She looked at all her friends, the grim resolve in all their eyes; their expressions blazing with fury. One by one the common criminals began to disappear, while the super villains remained, but were all being quickly encased in what appeared to be power-appropriate restraints or cells.
Her first thought was an explicit question of how, but her immediate response was simpler.
"Oh thank god." She breathed.
There was laughter behind her and it sent a chill up from the base of her spine She spun to face it, and was met with a tall man in a nice pin-stripe suit, as pale as she was, his jet-black hair slicked over to the right. "No, no," he laughed again "on that you're quite wrong."
"I take it you did this?" Raven collected herself quickly and turned a skeptical eye on the unknown man.
"Yes, you'll find all the criminals have been safely returned to their cells, with all the bars and walls repaired, and as you can see, the rest here are neutralized as well."
"Why did you help us?" This man was starting to get to her, not because his energy or emotions were strong, but because he had none. It was like nothing was where he was standing. She couldn't even feel Speedy, who was standing only a few feet behind the man. He was a black hole.
"Well, you did help me a couple years ago. I don't enjoy being indebted to people; but I dislike competition even less."
"What do you mean?" Raven was guarding herself now, but she got the strong feeling it wouldn't help her even if she needed.
"This world is mine, and I don't like intruders. So consider all of this" he swept his left hand in front of him as he looked around and then focused back on the unfrozen Titan "a payment, for 'services rendered'." He disappeared and Raven found the world moving again. The other Titans all stopped in their tracks after a single step, this time in shock.
"What just happened?" Cyborg asked, as he turned towards the group when they all realized the threat was gone.
"Where is friend Raven?" Starfire asked, noticing the purple-haired teen's absence.
"Beast Boy!" Cyborg cried, hating himself for having forgotten his friend's plight during the pitched battle. "Starfire, I need to get back to him, do you think you can fly me?"
"I am very weak at this moment, however I can attempt it."
"There's no need." Herald said as Starfire began to tug on Cyborg's arm. They all looked over as he blew on his horn and produced a glowing portal.
Raven flew as fast as she could. She no longer had the energy to teleport, so she poured all her concentration into flying towards the tower. 'I should never have left him.' 'I didn't have a choice.' 'But I should have refused, and stayed.' 'No, who knows what would have happened, everyone else might have died.' 'I'll never forgive myself if...'
She came to a screeching halt in front of the common room window, and without a moment's hesitation, she obliterated it and flew inside. The raced down the hall and landed in front of the medical bay's swinging doors. She stepped inside and saw that everyone was standing around a bed.
'How did…or, right, Herald can control portals, I should have remembered.' Then she realized that they were simply standing over Beast Boy's bed, all of them trying not to look at her as she entered, save Robin.
"Raven, he…he must of died some time during the fight." Raven knew the words before her leader spoke them, but they hit her harder all the same. It wasn't just a fear now. It was reality. Her vision brightened intensely and blurred. She no longer felt connected to her body as she walked over to where everyone was gathered:
Around a teen hero, his shirt splayed open from medical attention, his lips growing darker, his chest failing to rise with breath.
Raven felt herself kneel on the bed, which had been lowered to a normal height when she had desperately tried to heal him. 'Heal him. Heal him!' She screamed inside her head, and she threw her hands over his chest and dumped energy into him.
Cyborg put his hand on her shoulder "Raven—" she shook it off and continued, expending every drop of energy she could find within her body. It was like a nightmare she couldn't wake up from; worse than the one's before, worse than all her other fears. She wished she could just undo the last hour, back to before she had first woken up.
"Raven, he's gone." She shook her head at this, tears flowing freely from her eyes. He power failed and she fell on the bed beside him, one hand still on his chest; he was cold. 'oh god he's cold.'
"Beast Boy," she cried, as sobs racked her body. "Beast Boy wake up." She was cradling his head in her lap.
The other Titans didn't know what to do but watch. The room began to shake.
"Beast Boy, damnit. Wake up." 'Wake up' Her world was collapsing around her and he wouldn't wake up.
"Beast Boy…please wake up." Objects not bolted down began to swirl and twist around the room. The lights overhead dimmed and brightened rapidly. 'Wake up.'
"We saved the city," she sobbed
'so you can't die now.'
"Garfield, I'm begging you…please wake up." 'Please wake up.' Her world was collapsing. It was collapsing because of him, because he was dead. 'Raven, please wake up.'
'God please wake up.'
'—live without you.'
'—please wake up.'
Raven's eyes shot open, and she found herself staring into Beast Boy's, tears streaming down from their corners. They were both extremely shocked, and exclaimed simultaneously "You're alive!"
Raven leaned up and threw her hand around to the back of Beast Boy's head and kissed him.
Beast Boy was surprised, but returned the kiss without a moment's hesitation.
The eight other Titans, haggard and wounded from the fight for the city stood silent. Their expressions went from somber to mystified to astonished in a matter of a few seconds. After a few long moments, someone coughed loudly. The two teens regretfully broke their kiss.
"I love you."
"I know." She leaned up and kissed him again.