Moving On

A Teen Titans Fan Fiction by Jacob McDonald

Opening Notes - Short drabble. One shot. Just trying to get my mind working for Fan Fiction again. Been very busy with other things. Sorry. I really need to get back to these projects…

Disclaimer – I don't own Teen Titans. Just writing about them.

Moving On

There was no way the Titans could have known they had an RPG. They were a simple street gang, not much in the way of funding and mostly they just fought with other gangs. They'd never robbed a bank before, and they'd never killed anyone before.

At least, not before today.

The fight had started out bad as it was. Robin had been shocked by the gang's level of firepower, with small arms for everyone and a fair few combat shotguns to go around. They had known that there was a new arms dealer in town, one who was moving heavier hardware than usual, but this was a bit out of the price range for the group they were fighting.

Civilian casualties were already above ten when Robin finally gave the order to treat them as major threats to the city. It was a simple code for go all out and use your powers to subdue them in anyway possible. That meant Beast Boy would go T-Rex, Cyborg would turn up the sonic cannon to level nine, Starfire was allowed to use her eye beams, and Raven could cut loose and really use her powers to full effect. Robin, usually right on the front line for non super-powered encounters like this one, would regulate himself to a support role, more to stay out of the way of his friends dangerous powers than anything else.

Raven's powers were truly terrifying at their full magnitude. She could move buildings, hurl city busses, stop missiles, drag people into other dimensions and at least once she had stopped time. So it was that after seeing two of their number dragged away and hung twenty feet off the ground by black tendrils of Raven's power, the rest of the gang decided it was time to pull out the big guns. Literally.

They didn't have any training, or it could have been much worse. One of them was killed in the back-blast of the rocket launcher, and the one firing it suffered a head injury when it knocked him out of the back of the truck he was standing on to fire it. The rocket itself wasn't aimed very well, and it missed Raven by a mile, but it hit the building behind her. Four more civilian deaths.

The rubble was flying through the air fast enough to crush a skull if it hit dead on. Fortunately for Raven she only suffered a glancing blow. She was rendered unconscious instantly though, and she fell ten feet to the ground. The two gang members she had been holding aloft both suffered broken legs when they too fell. With four of them down and only three remaining, the gang bangers fell back to their old ways and decided it was time to run, but not before leaving their mark. One of them aimed a handgun at the downed Raven and shouted something about wasting one of the Titans before he fired.

It was a split second thing. The man who had fallen from the truck when he fired the RPG stood up in a daze and stumbled into the line of fire. The man who was shooting felt the gun go off even as his eyes grew wide. Robin came out of no where and shoved the dazed bank robber out of the path of the bullet. There was a sick thunk as the bullet hit home, and Robin dropped to the street.

The rest of the battle was over in less than six seconds. Cyborg flipped over the truck, Starfire blasted two of the gang members off their feet, leaving nasty burns, and Beast Boy swatted the last one away with a grizzly paw. Ten seconds later, the dust and debris from the rocket explosion was clearing in a light breeze, and the California sun was shining on the street once more. The sounds of battle were replaced by quiet sobbing… sobbing that sounded suspiciously to the rest of the Titans like Raven.

They stared with disbelief as she kneeled on the ground, hugging Robin's still form to her chest, his blood staining her hands and cloak, leaking from a small hole right above his left temple. She was shaking as sobs wracked her body and muttering over and over again, "Not for me… not for me… not for me…"

Two months later there was a statue in the park, a fund set up to purchase better protective equipment for law enforcement and the mayor had declared an annual day of remembrance. Jump City was quiet, the criminal element somehow knowing that the Titans would beat them into the ground first and ask questions later if they tried anything.

There had been two funerals, a public one and a private one. All of the Titans, worldwide, had attended both. The Tower had received two packages with condolences, one from Batman, the other from Red-X. The most surprising note had been left on their kitchen counter, telling them that to honor a worthy opponent who fell not by his hand, he would never try to take over Jump City again, and signed Slade.

Raven drifted about the Tower's corridors like a ghost. She hadn't spoken since Cyborg had carried her away from the battlefield that day. Cyborg himself was working overtime to keep the city protected, as his friends didn't seem up to the task. Starfire cried herself to sleep every night still, and Beast Boy, when he wasn't drowning himself in TV and criminal background reports, was prone to simply staring off into space for hours on end.

Four months after that, things had changed very little. Raven still drifted about in her deadened state now and then, but mostly she just holed up in her room. Starfire had put her mourning behind her and was once again helping Cyborg defend the city. The criminals had come back to Jump, and he was glad for the help. Beast Boy went out when he was called, but mostly he just stayed in, still watching TV and still staring off into space, but his fervor for work seemed to have slacked off.

One particularly chilly day in Jump City, he was sitting on top of the Tower, staring off across the bay and watching his own breath mist out of his mouth. His green hands where clamped around his legs, holding his knees to his chest to ward off the chill. He didn't even blink when his com beeped. He also didn't bother answering it as Cyborg put out a general notice to all Titans in range, "Hey ya'll. I'm down in the north corridor of 22nd Street, following up on a drug related lead. I need everyone to stay on standby, just in case I need you. That's all." And the com went dead.

There was silence on the roof again for a solid five minutes then, before it was interrupted again. "Beast Boy…" whispered a voice, as if it wasn't used to being used. He turned slowly and stared with his mouth open at Raven, who stood behind him with a soft and openly worried expression on her face.

"You spoke…" he said, "Raven… you haven't said a word in six months…"

She nodded then swallowed hard and rasped out, "I… know. Garfield… you and I… we need to talk."

"About what?" he stood and walked to her, "What is it Raven?"

"It's not about me… it's about you." She shook her head, "About why you haven't talked to anyone about Robin's death."

Beast Boy stared at her for a moment, then spoke in a low, slightly dangerous voice, "And how would you know, Raven, it I've talked to anyone or not?"

Raven didn't reply. She just stared up at him with her depthless violet eyes, seemingly so dead to the outside world, and blinked once.

Beast Boy turned away, "Of course you know. You always know."

"Garfield, please… I think… I think it's time I talked about it too."

"I don't want to talk to you about it."

"Because you don't think I'm emotionally capable, or because you hold me responsible?"

He turned back to her, "What?"

She shook her head, "You do. At least partially, you blame me for Robin's death. I can't say that I don't feel the same way, at least a little." She looked away, "There's no way of telling, I guess, if he jumped in front of that bullet to save my life, or that of the man about to be shot." Beast Boy almost gasped as he saw a tear trail down her cheek before she pulled her hood up and turned away a little, "It's something I'll have to live with forever."

"Raven… don't be stupid… or course he was… saving…" Beast Boy trailed off. "Wait… but that's…"

"You see what I mean?" he could hear the bitter smile in her voice.

Chill wind blew past them, and they both shuddered and stepped closer to one another on instinct, just to feel warmer. "We should go in." he said.

"Yes." Raven nodded, and they walked inside.

"It's just like him, you know?" Beast Boy said as they sat down on the couch, "He goes and gets himself killed and for the rest of our lives we have to wonder about why."

Raven pushed her hood down and smiled a little, "It is a classic Boy Wonder move."

BB nodded, "I mean, if he died for you, that's all well and good and noble, but they you have to live with that grief, and the rest of us can't help but blame you a little…"

"Thanks, Beast Boy." Raven rolled her eyes.

"Sorry." He shrugged, "But then, if he died to save that guys life… then dude… he died for a guy who got out on bail, and was picked up again a week later on a drug position charge, then released from prison three weeks ago."

"You really did get into those files, didn't you?"

"I wanted to do something like he would have done…" Beast Boy looked away, and they sat in silence for several minutes. After a time, he looked back over at Raven, tears streaming down his face, "I miss him. I miss him a lot."

Raven nodded as a tear dripped down her face as well, "And you blame him."

"Why do you keep going back to that?" he sounded angry as he scowled at her.

"Because you're not healing from it. You're dwelling on how angry you are with him, and not forgiving him."

Beast Boy exploded suddenly, "And why should I?" he shouted, jumping off the couch and pacing about in front of it like a caged animal, "He died, Raven. He left us!" the green Titan stomped on the ground and morphed from a human to a bear that roared and back again, "He dodged bullets thousands of times before that! What was so different about this one?"

"If he had dodged it, it would have hit me."

"So why didn't he let the stupid fuck die?" Beast Boy screamed.

Silence rang about them for several long moments, and BB's face crumbled slowly, "Oh my God…" he whispered, "Did I just say that?"

"Yes." Raven stood up and walked to him, a strained look on her face, "Garfield, you have to understand… this is the darkest part of you. You're not a bad person, you're not going to turn evil on us. It's natural to feel like you are. Goddess knows I have often enough in the past six months."

"But… Christ… I just wished death on someone, Raven. That's not something we're supposed to do. Robin would…" he trailed off.

"Robin would have slapped you silly." Raven quirked a bit of a smile, "And you answered your own question anyway. He stepped in front of that bullet because a life, even a criminals life, was always worth saving for him."

BB nodded, "Yeah… and we can honor his memory by continuing that work."

"Yes." Raven nodded.

Beast Boy motioned and they sat back down on the couch. He leaned back and closed his eyes as the tears came again. "It's still so hard." He muttered.

After a moment of hesitation, soft hands touched his cheeks. He opened his eyes to see Raven sitting right next to him, hold his face. She smiled in a shy manner and another tear slid down her cheek, "Garfield… come here."

He nodded slowly, then just as slowly leaned over and buried his face in the crook of her neck. She wrapped her arms around him as he cuddled into her, and she too began to cry. They sat that way for and hour, until he fell asleep.

As Raven leaned back and let him get comfortable sleeping with his head on her chest and his arms wrapped around her, she pulled her cloak up to cover them like a blanket. Closing her eyes once again, she settled in for the night, "And now we can move on." She muttered, just before she too fell asleep.

Closing Notes – Please don't beg for updates to the other stories, or a continuation of this one. I just wanted to post something after so long without. I'm insanely busy right now, and I don't even have the wedding to blame it on anymore. It was great by the way. I'm married and happy. Oh… please review. Thanks!