Chapter 14: One Small Bump in the Road

The pain was immense—her cries even more so. One particular scream almost sent Cyborg wheeling it into the curb. Thankfully he had another set of hands helping him keep the steering wheel in line while he was abruptly distracted.

Only four managed to squeeze into the vehicle along with the driver—the ones left to take another mode of transportation being Starfire and Speedy. Beast Boy rode up front—providing the extra set of hands, while the other three got crammed in back.

Robin held Raven's hand reassuringly, trying to console her during the excruciating long drive. Cyborg was gunning it as much as he possibly could—but even he couldn't control traffic.

XoXoXoXoXoX

Luna found she recognized the twisting and turning halls as she made her way down them solitarily. She couldn't sit still in the waiting room, finding herself too anxious to just sit and wait.

She didn't know why she wandered by the morgue—why she unconsciously came to visit the spirits that resided there. She could have found herself not bored at the gift shop—or kept herself entertained with trying to keep everyone else entertained while they waited—but no, she had to wander away—go to the down-right most depressing branch of the entire hospital.

Maybe it was that she had a renewed interest in trying to communicate with the deceased after dealing with spectral Robin during that time ripple; maybe she just figured she could find an interesting conversation with the dearly departed that she knew nobody else could carry. There were probably many reasons—she just knew that's where she ended up.

Luna spotted a few mourning souls here and there—with their dearly departed standing over them, trying to console them without a known presence. The tragedy of tears spilled while the ones they were shed for loomed near tore at Luna's heart. She felt sympathy and sadness—but knew she couldn't do a thing to help.

In one semi-abandoned hallway Luna noticed a translucent form of an apparition whom seemed partial to haunting that particular stretch or corridor. The form was indistinguishable from where Luna stood witness; unlike most of the others who had been insubstantial yet still distinguishable, this form let off a peculiar luminescence—she found it to be very ethereal—

Luna was drawn to the figment of radiated luminescence. She consciously pondered if the form would grow more distinct as she approached it—or if it was truly just naturally formless.

As she approached nearer—she caught the floating of flowing hair tendrils, long strands of pale straight locks framing lightly around a pallid spectral face. Luna almost had herself believing she was staring at her own spectral reflection; as she grew steadily closer, she began to realize the shade wasn't really as close a resemblance as she'd originally believed. The shade was a separate entity entirely—one that had it's own conscious.

Luna reached an outstretched hand towards the figment—watching as her approaching hand took away the apparition's luminescence little by little.

As the light faded—the form became more real, more natural. Despite the lack of a healthy complexion, the form appeared almost life-like—alive.

The newly sustained form took on the shape of a teenage girl, not much different from Luna herself. Tall, slender, blond—piercing blue eyes staring back into the curious blue eyes Luna possessed.

"You seem—familiar," Luna wondered to the figment. "Have we met—are you even real?"

"You're eyes aren't lying to you," the blond spectral girl replied back. "I'm real—and in a way, I am familiar."

"Who are you—and if you're familiar—where have we met before?" Luna asked the spectral girl.

"We didn't really meet—who you actually did meet was an imposter," the blond apparition spoke in a ringing voice. "Robin once gave the name of who that imposter resembled—that's who I really am. I'm Terra."

"What has you still clinging to this reality—why not just move on?" Luna asked.

"Because—I'm not exactly really dead," The specter Terra responded. "I'm imprisoned—displaced from my own body—but I'm not really deceased."

"Why then are you roaming these halls?" Luna had to ask. The specter looked specifically at her.

"I came—to give you a word of warning," Terra spoke very seriously. "My imposter plans to make one more strike—which I came to you to hopefully prevent."

"Did you draw me to this place?" Luna questioned the ghost. Terra responded with a shake of her head.

"No—you're just naturally drawn to this place," Terra responded. She started to regain some of her lost luminescence. "You better hurry—Raven's in danger, and I don't have long to stay and chat. I've been too far from where I should be for too long."

"What can I do? What can I tell them??" Luna exclaimed. Terra started to take on more illumination and less form.

"Just tell him to hold her hand—and not let go no matter what," Terra's substantial form became less and less distinguishable. "Hurry."

"One more thing," Luna told the spectral girl. "If you're not dead—is there a possibility that you can be revived?"

"I don't have the answer to that," Terra had almost regressed fully back to the form Luna had originally encountered. "Keep an eye on Beast Boy for me." For a moment—a shimmering illumination was formed right in front of Luna—the next…it ceased to exist.

"If that's what you want me to do—I guess I'll just go do it." Luna had no reason to wait around and question the emptiness where Terra once existed. She departed—leaving the rest of the apparitions there to mourn without her.

XoXoXoXoXoX

Luna scrambled around the hallways of the hospital, asking doctors, nurses and orderlies she encountered along the way where she could locate where Raven might just be. Each one she asked pointed her in a certain direction—each leading her closer to where she wanted to go.

The doctors and nurses couldn't bother her trying to inform her the area was restricted access only; in her mind—she didn't care. All she cared about was getting through to Robin before anything else.

She pushed through one set of swinging doors, catching the attending nurses off guard and taking Robin by surprise.

"Luna—is something up?" Robin asked her.

"Can I see you in the hallway for a moment?" Luna asked him.

"Rae—I'll be right back," Robin told Raven—who was sweat drenched and in obvious pain.

"Just don't take too long," Raven managed weakly.

"What did you barge in to ask me about?" Robin asked Luna as they got into the hallway.

"I got a visit—that came with a warning," Luna explained to him. "Terra came to me—to tell me Raven's in possible danger."

"Huh? Are you sure it was Terra—and not just Raven's father?" Robin questioned her.

"Would this demonic presence—Trigon—bother to warn you about saving her life—and ask about keeping an eye on Beast Boy for that matter?" Luna indicated blatantly to him.

"I don't think he would—now that I think about it," Robin told her. He looked at her with a serious expression. "So—you really think it was Terra that came to give you that warning?"

"Or—at least—just her displaced soul anyways," Luna replied. "Apparently she's not exactly deceased."

"No—she's just imprisoned in stone." Robin looked at Luna—questioning. "What exactly did Terra say we should do?"

"Just hold onto Raven's hand," Luna told him. "And don't let go."

"I can do that." The two heard a cry coming from the room Robin had just left from. "I should probably get back in there," Robin told Luna. "Can you tell everyone that I'll keep them updated as much as I can?"

"I can do that," Luna replied.

"Oh, and—Luna?" Robin said just before returning to where he was needed.

"Yeah?" Luna said.

"You should tell BB about Terra's visit," Robin replied. "Oh—and thanks." Luna wanted to question him about what he meant, but he was out of earshot before she had a chance.

"Eh—it'll give me something to do while I'm waiting," Luna conceded, deciding not to go in and question what he meant, and instead just accepting that she wasn't going to get a straight answer just then.

XoXoXoXoXoX

He held her hand; he cleared her brow of accumulations of sweat as it formed. She continued to fight through the pain and follow the doctor's instructions as they were given to her.

At times she clenched his hand tightly—which didn't bother him or cause him to let go. A couple times—between gasps and cries made in pain—she looked to him, grateful that he was there.

XoXoXoXoXoX

"Everything went well," Robin stepped into the waiting room, his anxious friends perking up at the sound of his voice.

"How's she doing?" Beast Boy asked him.

"Rae's exhausted—but should recover," Robin stated, smiling—relieved.

"Any complications?" Luna asked him.

"Not one thing," Robin told her. "She'll be bed-bound for a few days due to all it took out of her—but I'm sure she's glad it's over."

"And the babies?" Luna said.

"Resting." He looked over his shoulder—back down the hallway he just came from. "I'm going to go rejoin her. If you want to come—come; if anyone wants to just wait here—that's fine too." He then headed back through the sliding doors.

XoXoXoXoXoX

A few days passed, and things started to settle down yet again.

Raven finally got to go home and just catch up on the rest she felt she deserved; Robin gave her that and took over the responsibilities while she recuperated; Starfire and Speedy ended up getting caught up in helping out in shifts; Beast Boy and Luna—dealt with the issues they had with her new bedroom wall décor.

Cyborg all the while just went on with his usual tasks—and dealt with the occasional fallout of everyone else's issues.

XoXoXoXoXoX

"Luna?" Beast Boy stood at the pale girl's bedroom door, knocking—waiting. "Hey, Luna—are you up here?"

"BB? What do you want?" Luna asked, opening the door.

Beast Boy hesitantly looked over her shoulder—glancing quickly at her musical wall mural—specifically at one in particular that was larger than the rest. He cringed, looking away from that particular poster and trying hard to focus solely on the pale girl's face.

"I come—with a peace offering," Beast Boy replied, trying to avoid any eye contact he could with that one poster. "I'm sorry for—being a spy fly on your wall." He offered her up his peace offering—in a small wrapped package.

"What's this?" Luna looked at him questioningly.

"Something I hope will make up for my mistakes," Beast Boy replied. "Take it."

She took it. She removed the wrapping oh so carefully—her eyes widening as the last piece of binding came undone from the package underneath.

"Oh—thank you BB," Luna beamed. "Thank you, thank you—thank you!" She hugged him unexpectedly. "I've always wanted an IPOD!!"

"So—I take it you like it?" Beast Boy asked perplexingly.

"Yes," Luna replied.

"Enough to take down that one unnerving poster of that music idol of yours?" Beast Boy eyed the poster in question, unnerved just from looking at it.

"I'll have to think about it," Luna stated. "Thanks again BB—I really love this." She kissed him quickly on the cheek as a sign of her gratitude—nothing more. "Now I have to go convert all my CDs over to mp3s so I can go listen to them on this thing." Before she headed off to look for her CDs and an available computer console, she looked directly at Beast Boy. "Oh—I thought you should know that your past girlfriend Terra isn't actually dead. I had a little chat with her in the hospital morgue the other day."

"Huh?" Beast Boy exclaimed, dumbfounded. "If you chatted with her in the morgue—how can you say she's not dead?"

"Because BB—she made it clear to me herself that she isn't." Luna backed up into her room, where he dared not follow her. "If I intend to get my collection converted and onto this thing before dinner—I should probably get to work on it." She grabbed a large CD carrying case holding her entire collection in it—and started hauling it with her down the hall.

She left Beast Boy standing there, blinking and confused.

"Here's hoping that Robin and Raven were right when they thought this would be worth her while enough to get her to remove that unnerving poster from her wall," Beast Boy muttered to himself as he stood there—uneasily staring at the unnerving poster in question.

The one of Luna's favorite band—larger than life—the only poster in the whole room that left most of the rest of the team feeling awkward in its presence.

XoXoXoXoXoX

The pieces were all starting to fit together.

Raven was alone in her room—only in the company of her two children. She couldn't help but feel that the uncompleted puzzle was starting to have the pieces fall into place; the puzzle picture was clear before her—only needing a few tweaks to be complete.

She was examining the dress she'd wear for her walk down the aisle, second-guessing it and reassuring herself it was the right choice. She of course hardly ever thought of herself dressed in something white and fancy—but for this occasion, she couldn't expect it to be any other way.

The day had been set—the invitations were out, and the details being hammered out to fruition. Unlike most other women, she wanted to limit her role in the decisions—for the sake of keeping her sanity and her stress levels from hitting their max. Unlike other women—she had a limit to her emotional expression. Whether it was seen as a drawback or a bonus by anyone else—she saw it as something that set her apart from other women.

Her main sole interest had been detailing what centered on her most in the ceremony itself—what she'd wear. That had been all she wanted to be picky about; as long as Robin was satisfied with most everything else—she'd be satisfied.

The picture was near complete—the only piece really missing was the ceremony itself, and all that came after that.

She couldn't help but wonder—as she examined the dress one last time—what would have become of her if the outcome had been different.

If only time had never been played around with—if only they had never gone through all that they did during that time blip—if only they hadn't been able to fix what was broken—

She then reproached her own thoughts, finding herself disapproving with her own words.

"If only we could have learned even more from this experience than we did," she found herself correcting her thoughts aloud.

"If only—"

Thus be the conclusion to this particular little tale. After a few years of sitting, just waiting around to be tweaked and overhauled, this story has finally come to its full conclusion. For all that have commented,m and all those that will in the future---even after this is through---Thanks. I hope this story was enjoyable to say the least.

I've got another RobRae in the works, which I'll probably get up once it's complete. Again---Thanks, and I hope this conclusiopn was good to all who got this far.

~Mara