AU: No way... is it truly the end? Did I actually finish a fanfic? 7 years? Yes! I'm so sorry I almost let this story die, but I needed to finish it for many reasons. And although it's not perfect by any means, it will have a little place in my heart. For those of you who actually kept with this story, prodding me to continue, critiquing when necessary... THANK YOU. It means more than you know. I'm not trying to monologue, so please enjoy this last chapter of Eventide, and I hope it ends to your satisfaction. I'll always stand by my Robin/Raven pairing.


Raven encased them with light, calling on her new powers to open a path back to the real world. But before they were fully enveloped, Robin leaned close to her ear and whispered, "I love you."

The light brightened impossibly, twinkling like a million stars swirling into one, and he felt the temperature raise a few degrees, as if the powers themselves were blushing.

He barely noticed the ground fall beneath his feet, hardly felt the rush of power propelling them towards an unseen door to reality. All he knew, was he never wanted to let go of her hand- never wanted to let her go again. The world might not have changed, but his just did.

Chapter 20- What is more powerful?

The light dissolved away, leaving Robin blinking against the dark of the ancient temple beneath the old library. Crisp air filled his lungs but his body remained warm from Raven's energy. But she wasn't there beside him. He began to turn around, feeling the tips of panic rise, when a silvery voice whispered inside his head, "Don't worry, I'll be with you soon."

The panic drained away, and he smiled. Her soothing words wrapped him in a calm state, their bond stronger than ever, and he never wanted to shut the doors to his mind again. She was there, ever present, but not invasive. It felt like she was always meant to be there, her mind, body, and soul forever entwined with his. It was... perfect.

Robin focused on his surroundings but before he could process anything, a flash of orange and purple filled his vision followed by a bone-crushing hug.

"Robin!" Cried Starfire. "You are unharmed!"

Robin huffed out a strangled breath. "Can't breathe-"

She retracted immediately, stepping back with assessing eyes. "I'm sorry. I am just so relieved."

"We all are." Cyborg stepped up behind her, his face serious but calm.

Beastboy was at his side, quiet for once, and that somehow unsettled the Titan leader. A vision of bullets and blood flashed over his mind. Robin surveyed each of them, searching for signs of any wounds but found none.

"Everyone's okay." He stated, relief pouring through him.

Thanks to Raven. She made this possible, and seeing them all alive back in this world only made it more real.

"Can't say the same for him."

Cyborg scowled, gesturing to an unconscious Slade secured with several bands of white light. His armor was still dented, scratched, and singed, but what stood out was his half-exposed face.

Robin went rigid. How long had he imagined what lay beneath the mask? How many times had he scoured every inch of it in search for identity indicators?

Now he knew. Beneath it all, was just a man.

Unnatural pale skin stood in contrast to a long pink scar trailing from his right eyebrow down to the edge of his rough jaw. Long enough to cover his ear, gray hair struck out in every direction- wild and uncanny. His lips were swollen with drops of dried blood, and a nasty bruise was forming over the exposed eye. Raven didn't heal him.

'Good. Let him suffer.' Robin thought.

"I'm surprised she didn't kill him." Beastboy softly mumbled in wonderment. He couldn't erase the memory of Slade spraying him with bullets, vivid and painful, but a part of him knew he deserved more than a quick death.

"Raven's one of the smartest girls I know." Cyborg began. "But after all Slade put her through... I don't think I would've hesitated." He shook his head.

Starfire stepped forward, placing a hand on the half-robot's shoulders. She fixed her gaze on Coman, who stood over Slade with a face of contempt and disappointment.

"Sir Comen, what will become of Slade now?"

He took a deep breath and turned to face her and the rest of the team. "There is no prison here on earth I trust to keep Slade Wilson in check. I will give him over to the Justice League to deal with. Perhaps the weight of his crimes will land him a one-way ticket to the Phantom Zone."

Cyborg snorted. "Good."

Robin turned from Slade's unconscious form to the table where Raven's body lay glowing with her powers, but still unmoving. She must still be in Nevermore, probably undoing all the damage. Myra stood by her, expression unreadable.

"Hey, are you okay?"

She squeezed her eyes shut for a moment, then slowly turned to face him. His concerned expression softened her own as she sucked in her lower lip, contemplating something.

Beastboy piped up from somewhere behind him, nudging Cyborg, "Do you think he knows yet?"

Cyborg hissed and mumbled something. Robin scrunched his eyebrows.

"Is something wrong?"

"I..." Myra scolded herself for being anxious at such a time. "I got my memories back."

Unsure why good news was marked with such odd reactions, Robin smiled anyway. "I'm glad. Are you sure you're okay?"

Even now he wasn't certain whether the magic he witnessed Myra using was a temporary bought of near-death insanity or an actual memory. It doesn't make sense, but he had to be sure.

She just opened her mouth to answer when the light surrounding Raven faded until diminishing completely.

Raven didn't want to let go of his hand, but the bestowment wasn't complete yet, leaving her standing in a blindingly white Nevermore. But she didn't have to wait long when the air around her shifted, and the presence of a tall beautiful woman manifested in front of her with clothes of golden light and silver hair that billowed about in a soft magical wind.

"Azar." Raven gasped.

The spirit smiled warmly, spreading her arms in a comforting gesture. Raven reached for her outstretched hand, and the woman cupped it.

"My child," she started, "I look upon you as a mother does to her daughter. You have always been my own, and I am proud of the woman you have become."

Raven began to smile, but it faded, feeling humbled in the spirit's presence. "I almost failed, Azar. I almost let them win."

"No." Azar's voice brimmed with power and finality. "You have overcome more plight in eighteen years, than most in a lifetime. The moment you decided to fight against the darkness and declare yourself an enemy of evil, you won."

Raven shook her head. "It wasn't all me. If it wasn't for-"

"Your friends?" Azar cut in. "Your mother? The monks of Azarath?"

The spirit smiled warmly at Raven's tentative expression, and placed her hands on her shoulders, forcing the empath to look into her eyes.

"You were never meant to fight alone, my child."

A slew of emotions threatened to overwhelm Raven's heart. Gratefulness, happiness, incredible relief, doubt, fear of the unknown future. She held up her palms, staring at them uncertainly, wondering why her new powers haven't fizzled out of control.

"What will become of me now?"

Azar stepped back, gesturing around them. The swirl of golden and white light encasing Nevermore began to disappear, flowing from the sky downward to soak into the ground.

Raven gazed in wonder as the black and red walls of her mind were replaced by a navy night sky blazing with thousands upon thousands of glittering stars. The floating chunks of barren earth fused together, creating one solid mass.

As the light dissolved into the ground, it left behind soft vivid green grass, rolling hills of colorful flowers, purple-topped mountains far into the distance, and something new- a soft violet-blue river flowing throughout the entirety of Nevermore. And although there was no sun, everything glowed in an ethereal light.

The temple was completely gone, replaced by an overflowing garden where a small elegant glass table set with three chairs occupied the very center. Sitting atop the garden vines were hundreds of silky black ravens, all peering at the girl with soft golden eyes.

Everything was breathtaking and Raven couldn't hold back her awe. One hand pressed against her chest, heart beating fast against it, as if she could hold it all back.

"This," Azar said, "is your future. Your demon heritage has been purified even beyond Trigon's influence. No longer will you have to suffer in the shadows. No longer will you bear the burden of his tainted powers. You are free, Raven."

Azar closed the distance again and placed a finger on the tip of Raven's chakra, now a pure white.

"My child, I pass to you the legacy of the Azars of the past. Now, you are Azar."

Raven gasped. "But... Azarath is gone. And it-"

"Can't be reborn?" Azar interrupted. "It's true. Azarath is gone forever. But, the spirit of your people, the monks, and Azar lives on, and now they will live on through you."

It all seemed so much at once. She'd been fighting since the day she was born, and it's been relentless. The very thing she'd even dared to dream all her life is finally a reality and the prospect of living forward without looking over her shoulder for once felt surreal. She didn't dare rejoice in fear this was all a dream, some kind of trick ready to shatter at any moment. But it didn't.

"Raven," Azar smiled, "do not fear. The fight with your demon heritage is over, but you still have a job to do here, because the war against evil is still raging."

Raven nodded. "As long as I'm living, I vow to always fight. Robin taught me to never give up hope."

Azar's smile widened. "An ability I'm sure he truly learned from you."

Raven's mouth opened, but no words escaped. Azar was looking into her very soul, hearing every thought, viewing every memory of her time as a Teen Titan, feeling the unbreakable bond with Robin, leaving no secrets hidden.

Azar tipped a white finger below Raven's chin, lifting her face up.

"Do not fear. What you have always desired to become, so are you now. The greatest power in the world does not come from magic, but love, and you're free to do what you will with it."

Raven glanced down at her hands again, the edges of a happy future beginning to come into focus. She can still be a Teen Titan. She can still help protect the people of Jump City and beyond. She can stay with him.

Then Myra's face floated across her mind and she grew determined. Her first order of business back will be to find her a wonderful home. It's the least she can do after everything Myra has been through.

Azar made a soft sound like a chuckle. "You've helped that child more than you realize."

"She deserves a happy life too." Raven said.

"Yes," Azar nodded, "a happy life alongside her parents."

Raven blinked back, stunned. "You know to whom she belongs?"

Azar made a slight shrugging motion, eyes alight with something Raven couldn't place.

"Your bond with Robin is not the only force linked to your soul."

Unsure what she meant, Raven automatically focused on it. A sudden crescendo of flowing water filled the air and she turned toward the crystal river.

Upon a closer look, the cause of the strange violet color resulted from two distinct cords of blue and red light, interweaving through the water. Robin and Myra's bond swam with vigor and stretched into an unbreakable rope of power.

Azar stepped up beside her.

"Do you understand?"

Raven pressed a hand to her chest, brows furrowed in concentration. Then, with a sharp gasp, she twirled to face the spirit with wide eyes.

"How can- is she- I mean... I see it, I feel it but-"

"It's okay, Raven." Azar soothed.

"All this time," Raven breathed, "I never thought I'd be able to have a family. How? How is she here?"

Azar drew a straight line in the air. "When you used your pure form to purge this dimension from Trigon, it tore a rift in time. Your powers grasped the nearest of kin to you, and trapped Myra here."

Raven stared at her hands again. She's managed time before- freezing it by accident during their first confrontation with Slade back from the dead. Since then, she's let time alone, unwilling to bend it to her will like her father would. Now, not only can she stop it, but she can move it?

"She has to be sent back to correct the timeline. I've never done that before." Raven said.

Azar smiled knowingly. "Time is tricky, my child. Messy and dangerous. But you now hold the pure powers of the Azars, and with them, you can do miracles."

Raven smiled, awe filling her heart with warmth and fresh excitement. Deep down, amidst the bottomless-pit of her powers, she felt the weight of its strength and possibilities- a new confidence of her abilities. Time is quite literally at her fingertips.

Azar stepped forward, placing a hand on top of Raven's head, much like she did when she was a young girl. "It's time to return to your friends, my child. My parting words are this: be wise, be forgiving, and never forget who you are, for you shall be the greatest of us all. And remember, love is the foundation of all human emotion."

The spirit leaned forward to plant a light kiss on her chakra, and with a swell of energy and golden light, Azar faded away with a smile.

"Thank you," Raven whispered. Turning back to the river, she closed her eyes and concentrated.

It fell silent behind Robin, the ethereal light now gone. He leaned forward, feeling Raven's bond still open and strong, and touched her hand.


Her eyes fluttered open and settled upon his as if she were seeing him for the first time. Robin let out a breath full of relief and smiled warmly. The ghost of a smile played on her lips as she continued to look at her actual soul mate in complete awe.

Before either of them could speak a word, a rush of bodies crowded around Robin and Myra.

"You're back!" Cried Beastboy, trying to shove Cyborg out of his space. The half-robot ignored him.

"I knew you had it in you, Rae." His bright smile and brotherly tone sent a thankful feeling through Raven's heart.

Starfire beamed from Robin's right. "I am the so relieved that you are okay, dear friend."

There was forgiveness in those shining emerald eyes, so caring and compassionate that it dispelled all feelings of guilt left in Raven. She never wanted to hurt her best girl friend, nor anyone, but she still vowed to make up for it.

Robin squeezed her hand. "It's over, Raven."

Raven turned her head to gaze at Myra, a deliberate smile growing on her porcelain face. "I have a feeling," she said, "that it's only beginning."

Myra stared back and knew. Raven knew. She had felt the re-connecting and refortifying of her bond between them so hard it made her dizzy. It now opened freely with Raven, but her guard was still up against the other recipient- uncertain of her right to reveal her secret. But the reassuring look in Raven's eyes pushed the doubts away.

Robin pulled Raven into a sitting position and tried swallowing a flush of desire when they were nearly pressed together. He didn't miss her blush, though, sending her a small cocky side-grin.

She chastised him through their bond before turning to the girl, whose eyes were lidded with tears. Raven slid from the bed, bent down and took both her hands, studying them with an odd softness.

"I'm not really good at this stuff," she began, "and I'm not sure what to say."

Myra bit down on her lower lip in an attempt to stop the tears, but she couldn't hold it in any longer. She burst forward, wrapping her arms around Raven.

"Mother." She whispered low enough not to be overheard.

Raven hesitated a moment before tentatively returning it. Knowing she was holding her future child made her insides knot up in a mixture of emotions she's never come up against before. But it felt right. Everything now made sense.

"Oh come on." Beastboy groaned, raking his fingers down his face. "The suspense is killing me! Tell him already!"

Robin shot him an odd look. "Tell who what?"

Before Beastboy could answer (or accidentally give it away), Raven released Myra and stood to face him.


Her calm voice mirrored the feelings she was sending him. She glanced down at Myra. "It's okay. Go ahead."

Robin's eyes bounced from one girl to the other. He tried searching Raven's link for clues as to this obvious mystery hanging in the air, but she wasn't allowing anything to be prematurely found out. He'd just have to wait.

Myra fully faced him, took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. It took a few moments before it hit him.

Like a flame rekindling a fire, the bond between Myra and himself suddenly roared to life. Her essence poured into his soul with as much strength as Raven's, and it anchored there with an eternal lock.

Visions rode on the back of every emotion she possessed, filling his mind with pieces of a story that he realized has been connected to his all along. Not only did their bond solidify, but he clearly saw the same powerful link between her and Raven. They were all connected, and now he knew why. Her appearance, her demeanor, her powers... everything made sense.

The bonds settled. No one made a sound. No one moved.

A shaky hand clutched at the space above Robin's heart as a new purpose bloomed within him. The very feeling itself threatened to bring him to his knees.

All this time...

Underneath the costume, he was still just a teen trying to make the world a better place. And because of his past, with crime-fighting molded into his sense of purpose, he never allowed one thought to stray to a normal future. One with a normal job, a normal home, a normal family. Why would a 17-year-old dream of such serious plans? Why would he dare to dream of anything normal?

Now, it doesn't have to be a dream. It doesn't have to be a silly notion drop-kicked back into the deepest corners of his heart. No. He can dare to plan. It may not be what most people would label as "normal," but he's absolutely okay with that.

He slowly rose his eyes to Myra, who stared back in a soft apologetic but empathetic expression.

"Myra..." he couldn't find the words, so he chuckled. Raven caught his eye, and she never felt more love coming from him.

He closed the distance and swept her up in his arms, embracing the daughter he never believe he'd have. After setting her down, he took hold of Raven's hand and squeezed it tight.

"You know," Myra began, looking to both of them, "my name isn't Myra."

"It's not?" Cyborg quickly jumped in. She shook her head.

"Because I lost all my memories, Slade gave me that name." She twirled a piece of dark hair around her finger.

"My true name is Marella. After my grandmothers- Mary and Arella."

In wonder, Robin and Raven exchanged looks. How odd and perfect it sounded to them. Their daughter. Their future.

Speaking of the future...

"My- Marella," Raven started, face falling somber, "I'm afraid we can't- well..."

Marella put up a hand, sighing. "I know. I have to go back."

Robin frowned, stepping up to them. "She has to go so soon?"

"To her own time." Raven nodded, looking uneasy. "As much as we want her to stay, it's dangerous to keep her here any longer than necessary."

She looked at him pointedly. "It's not a good idea to ask too many questions about our future."

She had practically read his mind, and although he didn't like it, he knew she was right. But suppressing his natural instinct to extract and dissect information, especially information pertaining to his own future, was causing a painful throb in his head.

"This is just plain freaky." Cyborg shook his head. "I mean, who knew you two would end up together."

"Yeah," Beastboy piped up, "we always thought it'd be you and-"

He stopped short as he glanced at Starfire, whose cheeks were tinted red. Great, he said something stupid again.

They turned to regard her, an awkward feeling settling in the atmosphere. But she put up her hands and smiled sheepishly.

"Do not worry, friends," she said, "I truly am the most happy for Raven and Robin, for you two have been my dearest friends since coming to this planet. I only wish for your happiness."

"Thanks, Starfire." Robin gave her a soft smile, and Raven was still determined to make sure her best girl friend found her own happiness in the future. Also, it wouldn't kill her to go to the mall once in a while and dabble in some glittery girly fun... maybe.

Marella walked over to Starfire and took her hand. "Don't worry, auntie, you'll still be a part of their lives when I come around."

Starfire blinked at her in surprise. "I am now the auntie?"

Marella giggled. "Well that's what I always call you."

A squeal of joy escaped from Starfire's mouth as she clutched the girl to her chest and spun her around shouting strange words in her native language.

"Can't breathe!" Marella gasped as the others chuckled.

The moment Starfire finally released her, Beastboy was in her face bouncing on his toes.

"Hey what about me? Do you call me uncle or something?"

Marella laughed. "No, I just call you Gar. But you have many other nicknames that I'm... not suppose to say."

She glanced tentatively at her parents, who wore matching expressions that hit her with a strong slap of nostalgia.

Meanwhile, Beastboy began ranting about secret identities, and respect, and the usual script of what a man is, until Cyborg knocked him upside the head.

Marella turned to the half-robot, her laughter falling into an apologetic smile. He caught her eyes and held up a hand.

"Nope. I don't even want to know."

She nodded, chuckling, and faced her parents again. The ache in her chest remained, and as much as she wanted to stay with them for a little longer, she'd already been absent from her own time for too long. She knew her future parents were anxious for her return (already knowing what had happened).

As if reading her thoughts, which wasn't hard from the bond, Raven stretched her hand out to her. "I think you've been away long enough, Marella. I'm sure our future selves are waiting for you at this very moment."

Marella took a steadying breath, tears welling up but not allowing them to spill over. Robin and Raven embraced her together, their bond full of love and strength.

"It's not really goodbye." Raven mused. "We'll see each other again."

Before Robin could stop himself, he asked, "and how soon will that be?"

Raven shot him a reprimanding look with the slightest hint of a smile, no doubt a little curious herself. Marella just smiled knowingly. "I was born in the spring."

It was all she offered, and Robin took it, trying to hide the blush that crept over his face at the implications.

"Ready?" Raven asked Marella.

Before the girl could answer, a figure stepped into their vision and held up a hand. "Wait a moment," Coman said, "I need to express my apologies to all of you."

He settled his dark eyes on Marella who stared back with a hint of weariness. He placed his hand over his heart and bowed slightly.

"I'm sorry. If I had known who you were- no. That still does not excuse what I have done. My curiosity kept you in the hands of Slade for so long, all because I allowed myself to believe one small sacrifice was for the benefit of the future."

Raven felt his sincerity and immediately felt the warmth of forgiveness expand from Marella's bond and reach out to the older man. He sighed when it wrapped around his heart, chipping away more of the ice around it from losing Azarath. She smiled at him in return.

"Okay," Cyborg cut the silence and gestured toward Slade, "so we know the lovebirds' future, but what about his?"

Every eyebrow rose in thought, thinking the same thing. Robin nodded at Marella when she looked at him for reassurance. It felt so natural, a strong pang of longing shot through him abruptly and he struggled to reign in his feelings. Raven sent a calming wave to him and he was grateful. She really did know exactly what he needed.

Marella stared hard from Slade's unconscious form to Coman. "Don't worry. His future is full of darkness and despair."

Cyborg made a waving motion. "So we don't have to worry about him anymore!?"

Marella turned to Robin. "The Justice League will sentence him to the Phantom Zone. He will no longer cast a shadow over the Teen Titans, or anyone, anymore."

Well, that was a relief. No, relief was a huge understatement. No other villain was as cunning and as dangerous as Slade- not even Brother Blood. And to finally win against him, to know for certain he won't be a menace to their lives for a long time- possibly forever, felt like an earth-sized weight being lifted off their shoulders. But Robin wasn't an idiot. Slade imprisoned in the Phantom Zone didn't mean he wouldn't haunt him in his nightmares from time to time.

He tilted his head to Raven, watching the careful way her face scrunched up on the subject of Slade, her amethyst eyes serious and determined. She softened when she turned her attention to their daughter. Even just thinking the name 'daughter' ignited that longing sensation again, warming his soul and melting away any negative thoughts.

With Raven by his side, and Marella to come sometime in the future, he found a renewed strength of hope and he knew nothing could ever take this feeling away. He'd fight for it everyday if he had to.

'Robin, it's time.' Raven's silvery voice seemed to sing in his mind. He acknowledged it with a warm smile, something he felt he'd be doing a lot now, and gave Marella one last hug.

Everyone stepped back to make room as Raven called up her new powers, bathing the dark ancient cavern with white shimmering light. Her arms stretched out, eyes closed in concentration. She had no idea how to open up a door to time, but she didn't have to dig too deep before the answer came floating into her subconscious, surfacing as if it had been there all along, just waiting for the proper moment. She sensed it would take a tremendous amount of effort to bend time again and for a moment she doubted she could do it.

A comforting tendril of warmth soothed the doubts away, as Robin reassured her through their bond, filling the last bit of confidence she needed.

"Azarath... Metrion... Zinthos." Her usual mantra eased her into releasing the precise amount of magic. It burrowed through the supernatural barriers, streaming through space, winding around equations that lock time into place, molding itself into the perfect key to unlock the unseen door. She calculated each breath, focused intently on every magical atom, and finally asked time to bend for her.

When she felt it respond to her request, a spark of triumph swept through her core, but she didn't let it knock her out of her delicate state. She pushed harder.

"Open... open... open!" She cried as the last key of her powers turned the lock and an unnatural wind roared through the space. A large span of fast moving colorful lights, like watching traffic at night on extreme fast forward, phased in front of her, expanding to each end of the huge room to disappear into the walls.

Raven heard a myriad of gasps and exclamations as time became a visible entity. Ever moving, ever powerful, forever existing right before their very eyes. Time was always an evident thing, in fact, isn't everything built around it? Dependent on it? People live and die for time. It's familiarity should be welcoming, but it still remains the biggest mystery of all- and the unknown can be quite intimidating.

Amidst the rushing lights, a portion of it began to curl and bend until it resembled a door. It flashed white for a moment before becoming pitch black.

Raven lowered her arms but maintained a steady stream of magic flowing through her fingers to keep the door opened. She had done it. And she'll probably never do it again.

Marella stepped forward and turned back to all of them, several emotions passing over her small face until it became a grateful smile. Excitement twisted her stomach in knots at the realization she was officially going back home. The stories she will tell- well, the stories her future parents already knew. Time really was strange.

Robin gestured to the door, a melancholy face behind the mask. "Remember, this isn't really goodbye."

"Yeah," she agreed, "it's more like 'see you later.'" The others nodded.

Suddenly, a thought struck the girl and she quickly raced towards Robin who bent down as she closed the distance. She leaned in to whisper something for a few seconds before straightening up with a new sly smile. Robin followed suit and twisted his head to look at Raven, sporting an arrogant smirk.

Raven eyed them suspiciously and even reached into their bond to find out what that was about, but they veiled it well, smothering the secret with feigned innocence and aloofness. She'll get Robin to talk soon enough, but she couldn't concentrate on that and keep the door to Time open.

Marella faced Raven one last time, the slyness in her smile already gone, replaced by unconditional acceptance. "Don't worry, mom. You do a much better job than you think."

Raven blinked back surprised at the unspoken little fear shaping in the back of her mind since finding out Marella's true identity, but couldn't help feeling thankful. Maybe the future didn't have to be a big mystery- something to be feared, but respected.

Her life felt like it was just beginning. And watching Marella slowly disappear into the door of Time, solidified her resolve. She will become the mother her daughter deserves, and she will never leave Robin's side again, or ever doubt their connection.

Speaking of connections, the moment Marella went through the door, their bond with the girl also left. Robin clutched his chest and he moved reflexively forward, as if his soul couldn't bear to be cut off from his own, and searched desperately for it again. Raven had felt the strong sensation as well, like a piece of her own soul had been ripped away, leaving a vacuum effect that had her knees almost shaking.

Of course. Marella didn't exist now, not yet, so their bond with her wouldn't exist either. Now the longing sensation grew overwhelming, and they each wondered how much time will pass before feeling her soul again.

The door glowed bright and faded back into the zipping lights of time, leaving no trace that anyone had tampered with it's delicate balance.

Raven let go of her powers, allowing time to blend back into everything around them. Her legs felt hallow and she collapsed- not surprisingly- into the arms of Robin, who had felt her exhaustion and anticipated her reaction. If they weren't in-tune before, they sure were now, like they were one person.

But even through the exhaustion, she lifted her eyes to his, finding too many emotions to take down all at once but feeling them equally through their bond.

"So, what was that all about?" She murmured, referring to his and Marella's little exchange.

Robin chuckled, leaning gently down to whisper in her ear. The intimate way he was holding her sent a shiver through her, heating the palms of her hands and flushing her entire face.

"She said you had the "hots" for me first." He leaned back to examine her face and laughed.

She was scowling at him but failing as embarrassment took over.

"Apparently," he added, "it's an ongoing argument between you and I in the future."

Raven snorted, wishing she had enough strength to smack him over the head, but found herself a bit too giddy at the image of them playfully arguing while cooking diner, or folding laundry, or doing some ordinary chore together as their daughter giggled at their antics. Perhaps something like that did happen- or is happening- or whatever. She truly hoped it would someday.

Robin wrapped an arm around her waist, pushing down another flush of desire, as he lifted her up and faced the rest of the team. "I think it's time to go home."

Each of them agreed whole-heartedly. The thought of their own beds, safe and relaxed after this entire ordeal, gave them all renewed strength as they descended the giant stone hand and exited the old library- for the absolute last time.

Once they settled a good distance from the entrance of the library, Cyborg activated his canon. He reduced it all to a huge smoldering pile of rubble in just a few minutes. He let out a small grunt of satisfaction before dismantling his canon.

"Now we never have to come back here again. Ever." His voice was resolute and hinted at pain. The past few days were as trying as the Trigon incident, maybe even more in some ways, and the scars of this battle will always be just below the surface. However, none of them despaired, knowing that there was a future somewhere out there, and it was still worth fighting for.

The smoke from the rubble curled to the south as a brisk early morning breeze blew in from the north. Dawn, with it's orange and golden tendrils, stretched over the eastern horizon.

Raven stared at the beautiful sight, and fully understood why Robin loved sunrises so much. It really was the promise of a new day, of a fresh start, of an opportunity to hope and live... and love. She felt her hand being squeezed and she looked at her best friend, who was grinning down at her, his entire face bathed in soft golden light.

She matched his smile and nodded towards the horizon, inhaling deeply when his love enveloped her entire being, connecting her soul in every possible way.

"I get it now, Boy Blunder," She said, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "Dawn, the rising sun, is just like you. Bright, happy, certain, loyal, calming, and... no matter how bad the night gets, you always rise above it and overcome. Kind of charming in a way." She felt her cheeks redden again, knowing how cheesy she just sounded.

But Robin didn't mock her, instead, when she peered into his eyes they were sparkling, determined, and filled with an emotion she couldn't quite pin down.

He lifted a hand to her chin, masking its slight shaking, and tilted her head up gently. He leaned down and pressed his lips tenderly against hers.

A fire, much more intense than before, ignited everything; his soul, his heart, his mind, his very core. He felt their bond pulse and envelope them in a euphoric bubble as she responded back, pressing harder into his body as their lips continued to convey a passion nothing in existence could ever douse. She was everything to him. She was his. And through their bond, he knew perfectly well how she felt about him. He was hers.

After several blissful moments- the best of Raven's young life- they parted from each other slightly, their hearts in frantic rhythm with their breathing. Under half-lidded eyes, heavy with desire, Raven smiled up at him wondering why she had kept her feelings hidden for so long and why she had even been afraid in the first place.

Robin placed a tender hand on her pink-tinged cheek, feeling as if he were looking at the world for the first time in his life- feeling as if he never really had a sense of purpose until now. Love truly is powerful.

Under his intense gaze, Raven let out an uncharacteristic giggle and didn't seem to care. Although her old ways tried to excuse it as a result of exhaustion, she quickly reminded herself that she didn't have to live by her old ways anymore. That she was free to feel. To love.

Her thoughts were scattered when Robin leaned back in and rested his forehead atop hers, thumb caressing the side of her face. A smirk pulled at the corners of his mouth.

"You always so cheery this early?"

Raven couldn't help but smile at his teasing. Leave it to Robin to remember things she said a year ago. It was incredibly endearing, but there's no way she was going to admit that out loud. His head might burst from all the ego he stores up there.

She heard him chortle as he saw her thoughts clearly through the bond. To make it worse, he lowered his voice and said, "Oh come on... you know you love me."

Her eyes widened, all mischievous thoughts falling away. It was one thing to feel someone love you, and she could easily see it through their link, but to hear him say that word out loud, like he'd been saying it all his life, was like a punch to the gut- in a good way of course. When he whispered it in Nevermore, she thought she had imagined it, but now she knew.

Instead of a snarky comeback, she simply replied, "You know, I think I do love you."

She secretly enjoyed the way those words slipped so easily over her tongue, and was almost a bit dazed by it.

"You think?" He feigned mock hurt, but failed horribly when he couldn't let go of his arrogant smile.

She rolled her eyes and thumped him lightly on his chest. "Okay, I know. Without a doubt."

He seemed satisfied, and his face softened into that incredible loving way again. He kissed her, leaving her breathless and completely okay with staying in his arms forever- which is something he wouldn't mind as well.

"I love you too. Without a doubt."

And they lived happily ever after?...? Perhaps they did. I like to think so. Well- it's my story I can do whatever I want... so yeah, they do. It's not fairy-tale perfect, but it's their own, which is good enough for them. :)

It's the end! I can't believe it... I hated and loved writing this story. Thank you everyone... all of you... thank you.

I feel like I should say something very smart and philosophical but it's almost 3am and I just want to go to bed. I love you all, and thank you so much again.

Review this story for the last time, tell me all your thoughts... all of them. It's time to pursue other adventures now...