So here is the epilogue. This is my first story on fanfiction and I want to thank all who read, reviewed, and/or acknowledged this piece in any way, shape, or form. I have other stories but this may be the only one I ever do for Teen Titans. Please look into my other stories, please drop me a message if you want to, please have a great day!
Oh, and enjoy!
"You're leaving too?" Robin asked quietly as Starfire's ship disappeared, the ship to take her to her home planet and away from all of us. I hadn't mentioned my resignation yet. Maybe he was being sarcastic. I knew this had to be harder on him than any of us. Robin founded the Titans. He made us all what we were today. Starfire's leaving must have been like a knife to the back to the guy.
Now Starfire's gone to her own planet, Raven and BB are going off somewhere in South America, and me… I'm going to join up with another team altogether. Maybe I shouldn't leave him. Maybe Robin needed us more than we ever needed him. Had I just realized this?
But I couldn't do that to Bee. I needed her. If I wanted to make things work, I had be willing to move the continent to do it. So I said, "Actually, yeah." I tried to make it sound as simple as I thought it was. But after a couple of seconds of watching the man's shoulders tense after every word I said, I knew there was no way to sugarcoat this. I was leaving him and he knew it.
"Sorry, man." I said after I had nothing more to say. Robin hadn't said a thing. He let me explain myself; let me ramble a little too. All I had was his back on me and his tense shoulders.
"It's ok." He began walking toward the Tower's roof door and I felt a twinge of guilt run through my circuits. Man, I hate feeling guilty. I can't do anything for him and I know he's hurting bad too.
"Is it?" He stops and turns to look back at me with narrowed eyes. Oh yeah, he's pissed.
"What do you mean? You're an adult, do whatever you want."
"Is that really ok with you? I mean, Star just took off. Beast Boy and Raven are splitting because they can't keep their feelings mutual anymore. Now I'm telling you I'm going to leave too. Doesn't that piss you off? Don't you feel betrayed?" I didn't realize I was gasping for air. Who was really the one angry here?
"Starfire, Beast Boy, and Raven can help what happened. Starfire was always destined to leave. She had a duty bigger than the Titans. Beast Boy was going to go eventually too, I could feel it." He looked off towards the ocean, his back to the city. "I'm just glad he's not going alone. They'll take care of each other, he and Raven." He grew quiet as he turned to face me completely. Before I could say anything his voice turned cold, "You want to live your life with the woman you love. How can I blame any of you for what's happened to the team?
"People come and people go, Cy. I'm not about to curse faith for the hand I've been dealt with. I can take care of Jump City alone. I'm still the Leader of the Teen Titans. There are Titans all over the world who are looking for me to lead them." I watched as the fury left him an instant later, like someone blew out his candle or something. Guilt raked havoc on me and I was close to breaking my resolve. Until Robin looked at me with dark, hard eyes, "I'll be fine. I'll survive." Then he left, his long cape billowed around his calves and ankles.
Something inside Robin snapped, I think. I'm not sure what happened exactly, I only know that the man who left me on the roof that day was no long the man I had come to known so closely. He became someone else, someone who could survive.
But that wasn't the same as the man who lived.
White gold bells chimed in the middle of the Great City's square. Thousands and thousands of my people have come to give me the blessed wishes for my happy day. And oh what a happy day this is! I am to marry the prince of the Lands Far South! Such a unity will bring great honor and prosperity to our lands. Swiftriver is very pleased with our arrangement as well. He believes in a lasting peace as much as I do, and my nanny is very pleased with my choice in suitor.
Swiftriver is pleasant and charming; he is a Royal and understands sacrifice and honor. A proud Tameranean prince who speaks the same tongue I do, he is also very diverse in his knowledge of the sections. He enjoys my stories of my time on the Seventh Section.
I could not ask for a better match, nor could I have ever hoped for one. It has been a Seventh's year since I left my friends, I do not miss them as much I thought I would. My life belongs on my planet with my people. I am to become the next Royal heir to my planet. Swiftriver is to stand at my side and rule in this moment of peace.
It is odd how much I adore peace. My people are excellent in the art of war, and I was of great use in my time as a Titan. But the idea of there never being a villain around every corner is far more appealing than I would have thought so. I am able to sleep without interruptions. There is no conspiracy or threat to the world. There is no Slade, no Hive Five, no bank robberies, no heists, no manhunts.
This is where I am meant to be.
I didn't invite my friends to the wedding. Swiftriver said he would allow those of the Seventh in our section, but I forbade it. I don't want to see their faces again. I like where I am. I like my life the way it is. I don't want to have them come in and change everything for me again.
I am happy. This is a happy day.
The streets are dark and full of deadbeats, homeless, unfortunate souls scrounging for a meal as if they were nothing more than animals. This once glistening Jump City has become a beacon for the lost and deprave. Those who could not take the in flux of refugees fled and left the city to those who know of nothing but ruin.
Villains thrive in a city like this one. Evil is like the plague, it'll latch on to a flea who will latch onto a rat who will latch onto a human, and the human dies from it. I've seen this cycle before, so many times. But there is a vaccine for this plague. I am their salvation, their beacon of hope. Here in this crumbling city, I keep those who seek the light safe from harm.
And there is so much harm in this place. Old Jump spread its decaying corpse will wildfire, until the whole city choke within its grasp. But the city is not dead, and neither am I.
Three years since my team broke apart, and I am the only one left to defend the once bright Jump City. I had never worked solo before, but if Batman could do it, then so could I. After I confirmed Maeve's whereabouts, I took a few weeks to see my old mentor. It was good to see him, to see how he'd change and how he hadn't changed at all. I got to meet his new Boy Wonder too. Tim's not a bad kid, really looks up to the old man too. But I think he's too young, too innocent to really know what he's doing. I hope the kid doesn't get hurt.
Batman let me go, knowing full well that I was going to protect Jump City all on my own. He wasn't too thrilled about it, but he let me go nonetheless. Maybe he finally can see me as a hero and not some punk kid with no parents trying to please some old man. Or maybe he just doesn't care what I do with my life.
I went to Jump City mostly because it was the farthest place from Gotham. On the other side of the continent I could get away from Batman breathing down my neck. It was selfish and unfair to all the other cities that need a hero, but I was so reckless at the time I didn't care.
Now I will never leave this place. No matter where my friends go, I will always be here. They know where to find me; they know how to reach me. None of them have, of course. The occasional postcard from Beast Boy and Raven, Cyborg will page me when he has the time, but it's like that part of our life is no longer available to us.
Surprisingly the one I see the most is Maeve. She comes in from time to time to make sure I'm still alive and healthy to "save the world." Sometimes Red-X shows up with her, though he never says anything to me. She's changed him I think. Given his life some kind of purpose he never had before.
It isn't so bad being alone. I've come to appreciate the few times to speak with my friends, but I've grown used to not having to look out for anyone. It's me with my back to wall against ten thugs with no future, and I thrive in this kind of world. Surviving has become my own personal motto. I don't need the others as much as I thought I would.
Just me with my back against the wall against a pack of thugs with no future. Surviving is my motto.
As Nightwing, I will survive.
"Maeve sent us another letter! Though I have no idea where it's from." Raven calls to me from the kitchen. She's been trying so hard to be so helpful. She cleans and she tries to cook now that we are living together. Raven never was much of a meateater before we left Jump City, now she's as much a vegetarian as I am.
The little things we do…
"What does she say?" I call from my perch on the window ledge right behind her. She doesn't jump or scream anymore, but I can see her freeze and goose bumps crawl across her skin. Her cloak is no longer an everyday wear for her anymore. Only when we do "hero-stuff" does she wear her black dress and blue cloak. Right now she wears a dark blue summer dress.
I think she does it to make me happy, which makes me very happy.
"She's doing 'well,' mentions a little something about Red-X but she's always so vague in her letters."
I nod and grab a slice of the apple she had been cutting before the mail came. "I heard she visited Robin – I mean 'Nightwing' – a couple months ago." I comment between bites. "So she can't be any where near Jump City right now."
"Yeah, I wish she would at least give me more than she is though." I love it when she frowns sometimes. Not at me, of course, but when she looks at nothing particular and frowns at her own thoughts.
"I'm sure she's be fine," I say because I know it's what she wants to hear. It's the truth, of course. We both know it. Maeve never excelled in anything like she did in playing Robin Hood. After she disappeared for four months with Red-X, she came back to Jump City to pronounce her new career: Stealing from the rich to help the needy. I could see it in the way her violet eyes lit up, she was joyful for the first time in her life.
Red-X even made an appearance to confirm in his part of her enlightenment. He didn't need to say that Maeve completely changed the vigilante, we could all tell just from looking at him. He truly loved Maeve. After Raven read into his emotions, she told me my assumption had been right. So, Red-X and Maeve had organized some kind of two-man con game that helped the little man and took down "The Man."
The decision fit well with me. Robin – Nightwing – wasn't too happy about it. But nothing seemed to make him happy these days. The guy went off the deep end and none of us could follow him. His devotion to justice was a bit of an obsession in my opinion. But since Rae and I live in Georgia, it really isn't our problem anymore. Well, for now we're in Georgia, the other week we were in Brazil, last month we were in Alaska. I thought it would be nice if Rae and I took some time off from our traveling.
All we wanted was to live by ourselves with each other for as long as we possibly could. It was a great life. Waking up to a sleeping Rae every morning, no blaring alarms in the middle of the night, no death threats every Saturday afternoon, no more fighting. It was everything I knew Raven truly wanted. As much as the Titans meant to us, we really both just wanted each other more. I would have made this decision a million times over.
"It's been awhile since she visited us." Raven says quietly as she finishes cutting the apple.
"She can take care of herself. She blends in better than Starfire did, and Maeve's been here way shorter than that." I climb off my perch and stand next to her with my hands on her shoulders. "Besides, we move around so much I'm surprised she always knows where our address is. It's like she knows before we do."
That gets a smile from her, "That's true. She says it's 'cause she's my big sister. But I'm not sure how she does it. I have no idea where she and Red-X are." I clear my throat. "Ah, right, Red Hood, I mean." She grins with teeth showing and I want to hold her so close my arms begin to ach. But Raven never was much for the touchy-feely stuff. Little things like holding hands and a small touch now and then is all she needs to feel better.
For me though, it's like I always want more.
"Yeah, Red Hood. It's weird that they picked the same name for themselves." I say instead of holding on to her like a drowning cat.
"Maeve told me it's their idea more than anything; it's not black or white. What they do isn't even considered grey in her mind. So their small organization is the Red Hood. All of their members are called that. No one man is greater than the rest." She bites into a slice of the apple and hands me another. I bite into it from her hand and she laughs.
"Like I said, she'll be fine." When the apple is finished I rub the side of my face against her neck. She ruffles my long green hair and only laughs at me.
There is nothing else in the world I would trade for this life I decided to share with Raven.
I didn't know I was capable of the act of giggling until X began dealing with the art of torture he calls "tickling." It is cruel and unusual punishment in my opinion. But he thinks it is so much fun to see me writhe in discomfort, laughing and giggling until tears stream down my cheeks. I don't recall ever having the ability to cry either. This man can do so many diabolical things to me. It isn't natural. It isn't fair.
For reasons that astound me however, I find that I can never leave him. He is now, and forevermore a part of my life. I breathe him in, I taste him, I only see with him, I live with him. It is such an amazing feeling he alone can give me. Such security I can find only in him, a security I will never understand for the life of me. Never in all my years has the need for such security ever occurred to me. But X assures me it is more than a need, it is apart of my very existence. Sometimes I beg to differ in his opinions of life, but who am I to dismiss the comfort his being provides?
Our jobs are to steal from those who steal for no other reason but to gain for themselves. I never found such fulfillment in other part of the entire galaxy. In all the sections, there was never a place for someone of my origin, of my talents, of my existence. On Earth, my home, I have come to an understanding with my place on this lone planet.
Standing next to X while we steal from the rich and give to the poor.
X has told me of the tales of Robin Hood, a man I chose to live my life after. Although his first name is a bit of a disappointment, the ideas this legend stood for with body, mind, and soul was what I also give my breathe to defend and honor.
It took more convincing on X's part to follow me. But nobody made him do anything he didn't want to do. I didn't ask anything of him. He chose to follow me.
Which brings me back to his favorite form of torture of me. X's resolve and reputation of being a man who lived for himself was shattered by his own hand. Yet night after night, he claims it is my fault and my feminine "willies." What are "willies" anyway!
"X! Please, for the mercy of Siber, stop!" I gasp with such shame, who am I to gasp and beg? Our spacious hotel room is pre-paid for by the no good politician who embezzled money from his own staff. (I give my thanks to the poor sap.) The polished floor is cold under my back as I lay stretched out and squirming from X's devilish fingers. He no longer wears a mask, he stares at me with more joy than the man deserves at the sight of my pleading. His long, shaggy, mess of ebony hair his close to touching my face as he hovers of me to not miss a single moment of my agony.
"Say it." He demands in a dark voice that is far too teasing for the situation. After a job goes well for the Red Hood, X has begun this ridiculous game! I refuse to play! I can never win this game. X has no "ticklish spots." He is completely immune to the rules of this game. It isn't fair!
"You'll have to kill me first." I bite back. I refuse to play his game. I can't tickle him, since it has no affect on him, but there are other ways I've learned to submit this shadow-man to me. It took a whole year until I learned the secrets of seduction, but now I am no amateur to such handiwork.
Very slowly so that he doesn't notice – and as perceptive as he is, it's a very hard thing to do – I slip my bare foot up against his leg. The touch is so light he only thinks he imagining what I'm doing, after all it's near impossible for me to think a tangible thought with his wicked fingers tickling me. With my back arched and a well-placed moan of frustration that isn't too hard to conjure, I see his eyes falter in his intentions.
How easy it is to distract him! For as long as we've traveled and thieved together, I have always known and nurtured this weakness of his. X cannot think pure thoughts when he is my presence for an extended period of time. I feed this impulse of his with willingness and good-naturedly. The man will not leave me, I will not leave him, and our feelings for the other grew without either of us in terror of it.
Of course, for the first year I refused to allow such thoughts and feelings inside me. But as X later taught me, I cannot control the way I feel. Much to my chagrin, the way I feel for X is a living, breathing part of me that refuses reason and thought. As compulsive and manipulative as my nature is, on Earth it's as if the physics of my emotions are completely opposite of what they were in the other sections.
The only familiarity of my impulsive emotions is from my time in the Fifth, as wild and crazed as Fresca was. I believe it is with this background behind me I am able to cope and adapt to the whirlwind of feelings X alone can conjure.
And his bloody ego knows it all too well.
"Maeve." He growls in a warning. Once things start it's difficult to stop, as most things are when it comes to X. I only smile as sweetly as I can; he grows suddenly more suspicious. "Are you sure you want to start this?"
"Are you sure you're done asking questions?" I retort with my smile slipping and becoming the wicked grin he knows all too well. I sit up quickly before he can bicker at me and catch his lips in a fierce kiss.
I pity the Mothers of the Rokakas. They will never know what it is like to be desired. They will never share moments such as this, where the world melts away and all that's left is the two of you. The Mothers will never understand the need to have that one person by their side for the rest of their lives.
To think, not so very long ago I had been in the mindset that I would never have experienced such wonderful excitement. There is he and me and nothing else in the world at this one moment. True enough we will return to a world of greedy power-hungry dogs preying upon the meek and lost. But we will go there together.
Sometimes I feel as if the real world is a fictitious dimension and the warm moments alone with X are my reality. Perhaps it is. Perhaps I'm slowly losing my mind.
All that truly matters is that those who I cherish are safe, the world will become a better place because of me, and a man I have always wanted and now definitely need is going to stay with me for the rest of time.
I am Maeve, former Rokakas, former Teen Titan, an alien to the Seventh Section, a ragged thief and murderer, a woman who fell desperately in love with a shadow.