A/N: Wow, Well it's been a while since I've been on the Teen Titan's side of ... I've been majorly absorbed in Naruto fiction- and due to my latest completed peice of fiction being my biggest ever sucess as an author on this site I've decided to finally upload what I have of this, the final installment of my Teen Titans trilogy. This fic has been sitting half finished on my mum's laptop for the better half of a year... I think I'll have it done and dusted come Feb 2011.
Note: For new readers, please read Return and My Child first, the story would make a lot more sense if you have.
Beastboy stared at the blank wall. Occasionally he'd throw a rubber ball at it and it'd bounce right back into his waiting hand. Where was he? The training room. Who else was present? No one. Every single Titan had gone to visit Terra... even Raven. He was stuck here wondering why he didn't go. Terra was his girlfriend. They'd been together for the best part of two years... They were happy then.
"I didn't have a daughter back then." he said to himself. "That changes everything."
What should he say to her when he made his eventual visit to the psychiatric ward?
Nightwing watched as Raven stared at Terra. Both girls looked a mess to be honest but Terra looked far worse... like she was haunted whereas Raven looked like she had died a little inside. Eventually the blonde girl spoke.
"I'm sorry." Raven didn't respond. "For everything."
"Sorry doesn't change what happened." Raven stated calmly. Since the funeral of her boyfriend Jared she'd been inhumanely cold. The only time the empath showed any emotion was when she was holding her infant daughter. If Jade wasn't around it'd be like the first few months the Titans were together as a crime-fighting team. After moments of silence Terra squirmed in her seat. "I forgive you." Raven said. "But not for everything." With that, the empath left the room leaving Terra in the room with her team leader.
"What was that about?" he asked, not fully understanding the conversation the two had.
"She's forgiven me for taking Beastboy away." The blonde said, "At least... I think that's what she meant."
"From what I heard she could've easily been talking about the accident."
"We'll come by again next week. The doctor said you'll be ready to rejoin the team in a couple months if you keep making progress."
"Ok..." Just as Nightwing was halfway out of the door Terra spoke again. "Will Beastboy come?" she asked him. Nightwing shook his head.
"I don't know."
"Oh..." Terra said sullenly, "Tell him I say 'hi'?" she questioned.
"Yeah." With that Nightwing left the room.
"Thanks." Terra said. She made her way to the hospital cot that was in her single room. The mattress was stiff, thin and uncomfortable but somehow she managed to fall asleep. Her dream? That Beastboy came to visit her with the other Titans.
Raven stormed past Beastboy in the corridor. Jade was hanging off of her hips; it seemed that since the funeral that was the most frequent position he saw his daughter in. When she reached the end of the corner she stopped and paused as though she just remembered something. He watched her.
"She was asking for you today."
"Who else? Idiot."
"Terra?" How shitty did that make him feel? His ex-girlfriend who had every reason in the world to hate Terra even went to visit his current girlfriend. He didn't have a single reason to be avoiding her and yet here he was, hiding in the familiar security of Titan Tower.
"Yeah. She misses you." Raven laughed and carried on her journey, looked like she was heading down to the garage. "Raven don't be like that!" he called after her. Jade waved from her mother's hip with her one free hand- she appeared to be chewing her other fist.
"Cyborg, I need you to watch Jade for me. Raven stated.
"Sure, why?" Cyborg slid out from below the T-car with a wrench enclosed in his fist.
"Nightwing wants to talk to me... again..." the empath sighed. "He won't leave it the hell alone..."
"I just don't see why you can't-"
"You know why..." she replied. I can't just do that, I had a life out there."
"Yeah, but you know we missed ya'..." Raven looked around the garage for a safe place to put Jade. Car, rocket and motorbike parts littered the floor as well as oil stains and Cyborg's tool box with half of its contents littering the floor.
"Where should I put her? I am not leaving her on this floor while you're working on the T-car."
"Uhh..." Cyborg sat up and rested his elbows on his knees, "Maybe you could get her car seat and..." Raven sent him a circuit frying glare "Or... or we could just hang out in the front room?"
"That sounds... safe." The cyborg stood up fully and wiped his face and gear with a rag cloth balanced on the T-car's antennae. When he was clean of, as Raven called it 'that car crap', she handed over Jade who decided it would be fun to see if she could pull out Uncle Cy's robotic eye. "If anything happens to her..."
"You'll have me dead..."
"No... I'd just confiscate your game station." she smirked.
"Well you might as well kill me!" Cyborg complained, Raven left the room with a chuckle at her older brother s reaction. Despite being the oldest he was the second biggest kid... It was obvious who the biggest was.
After peeling Jade off of his replacement eye, Cyborg held her out at arms reach and sniffed the air.
"Oh lord you smell nasty!" he exclaimed, "Raven! You left me with a stanky diaper!" But she was far gone by then. "Fu- I mean frick my life." Yes, 'frick' was a suitable replacement for 'fuck'... damn children with their spongy brains. Best he played on the safe side... As far as he knew, Raven didn't approve of cursing around Jade, with his sailor's mouth it would be far too obvious who Jade picked up cursing from.
"That's my final offer Raven." Nightwing said. Crime rates were rising, Terra was currently unable to fight with the team and the Titans needed at least five members to work efficiently. For the past half hour he had tried to convince Raven to rejoin them.
Each time her answer was no.
"Well I'm not taking it. I have a daughter 'Nightwing' and she needs to be protected and be able to have a normal life, she can't have that if both of her parents are superheroes." The dark haired girl said. This irked the team leader more and more.
"Don't you care about the civilians?" he accused.
"I care about Jade more."
"Raven. I've tried the nice way. I've asked you. Now I'm telling you. Join the Titans." he ordered.
"In that case we'll just have to lock you away." he said. "Identity fraud is a crime Raven."
"If you do that to me what would happen to Jade?" Raven asked.
"She'd go into care... or stay here with Beastboy and Terra raising her." Suddenly the air got tense.
"What?" Raven hissed. She glared at Nightwing with such malice, "Don't you dare do anything like that to my child." She pushed her chair back from the table giving off a hell of an annoying screeching sound. "I'll join the Titans. If Jade gets hurt, you're next." With that she strode out of the room, but the menace still lingered in the air.
A certain Nightwing was regretting playing the baby card.
Jade giggled as Beastboy blew raspberries on her belly on the couch. She was very ticklish and loved the noise he made as well as his one-man-zoo trick. She even gave him a round of applause. The changeling was swelled with appreciation for his best friend and said best friend's date. Kida 'persuaded' Cyborg to leave Jade with Beastboy so that they could have some 'father- daughter time'. Time with Jade was definitely what he needed to keep his mind off of the Terra situation.
"Ahh, you're a cutie in't ya?" he said tickling her sides with his gloved fingers. Jade kicked out with laughter catching him in the chin. He flew back with a yelp. "I was not expecting that." he said while Cyborg and Kida laughed at his reaction.
"Hahaha! Your face!" Kida howled with laughter. Her body was aching from laughing- hell, her diaphragm was killing her, she was leaning on Cyborg for support, he was doubled over holding onto his knees and whooping like a madman. Beastboy scowled. "C'mon! It wasn't that funny!"
The light atmosphere was shattered when Raven hastily headed towards the windows carrying a dark cloud that they could all feel. What surprised them all was that Raven was in her old Titan uniform.
"You're back then?" Beastboy asked. Raven grunted in reply. "Oh-Kay then." He rolled his eyes and carried on the playing with his daughter until Kida's phone alarm went off.
"Oh no! Elmo's world? Where's the remote? Me and- I mean- Jade is gonna miss today's episode!" The platinum blonde scooped up Jade and sat with the baby on her lap as she changed to abc kids. They just about made the title sequence. While the red puppet entertained Jade and Kida for half an hour Beastboy was spying on Raven... meaning he'd stare at her until she noticed, look away and then when the coast was clear continue staring.
"Stop staring at me." she ordered. "It's unnerving."
"I can't help it. You look different." The changeling whined.
"Well done Beastboy. Go have a cookie."
"Can't... they aren't made vegan-friendly." he explained.
"Sucks to be you then." Raven countered.
Azarath, Metrion, Zynthos.
Azarath, Metrion, Zynthos... It seemed as though it had been a lifetime since Raven had said those three magic words. Slipping into lotus position in the front room, just at sunset seemed like meditation couldn't have gotten better. Well... maybe it could have, it would have been easier for Raven to enter her mind without Elmo yelling in a high-pitched voice about how he loved his goldfish: originally named Goldfish, or his crayons and maybe if he should draw Goldfish with his crayons. It would have been easier to remain in her trance if Beastboy hadn't been staring at her. Once she entered her mind she'd noticed it had changed over the past two years... not drastically, but it had changed. She couldn't quite put her finger on it but something was different.
Walking through the portals to each dimension was exactly the same. Happy was still in her flowery field with pink sky. Timid was hiding in her maze- as usual. Bravery was travelling through the realms looking for fights and ways to prove her bravery. Knowledge and Wisdom were in the library of her mind. Rage was locked up... or rather separated in her own dark world. Those annoying little birds were still there saying 'Turn back' before attacking intruders. It all seemed exactly the same but something was not right. Reaching what she thought was the portal leading out of her mind, Raven entered a new realm. It was a lilac coloured room. In it an emotion with a matching cloak was comforting Timid, and baking cookies for Happy.
"Eh?" Raven asked herself. "The hell are you?"
"She's Affection!" Happy squealed. "She takes care of all of us." the pink emotion smiled away before continuing to down the fresh chocolate chip cookies and warm milk. After Happy's joyous little outburst the new emotion noticed the baffled Raven.
"Oh dear! Sit down. Would you like a cookie? Milk? Orange juice?" Raven just went along with the fussing emotion and in the end sat with Happy at a table probably long enough to seat all of her emotions, good and bad, waiting for 'Affection' to present her with cookies and OJ.
"How long has she been here?" Raven hissed across the table. Happy put her finger to her chin and started tapping while her eyes roamed the top of her head.
"I'd say about a year and a bit... She used to just be 'Affection' but then we-I mean you had a baby and she was like 'whoosh- metamorphosis'... now she covers love and stuff too."
"Ok. That's enough for today, I'm leaving." With that Raven brushed past her emotions and entered the final portal that lead to the outside world.
When she opened her eyes Beastboy was there waiting. The sun had just set. He looked at her pleadingly before finally asking her the question he had obviously held in while she was meditating- at least he hadn't disturbed her like he normally would've.
"Can Jade sleep in my room today?"
"No!" This carried on for about half an hour, Beastboy didn't look like he was ready to give up yet and Raven looked as though she would snap his head off if he asked one more time. Beastboy and Raven's childish argument was also starting to irk the other Titans and Kida. Finally Kida took Beastboy's side and ended the argument.
"FOR CHRIST'S SAKE RAE LET HIM HAVE THE KID FOR ONE NIGHT!" Raven pouted in a very un-Raven way. She crossed her arms and stared into space.
"Fine." she said glaring at Beastboy as he did a Victory dance around the front room.
Two hours later Raven was somewhat glad that someone else was caring for Jade while she got to do things she wanted to do, for instance, she was able to take a long bubble bath with Radox lavender oil, she read through her favourite book of short Victorian Gothic stories and managed to end the day with some light meditation. The empath was just drifting off to sleep. It was her alien friend.
"What Star?" she said rubbing her eyes.
"Um.. I believe Beastboy is in need of assistance." The alien princess stated. Raven sighed- she knew it was too good to be true- slipping on a pair of slippers that matched her pyjamas she headed down the hallway. She heard a particular wail and knew exactly what Beastboy needed help with.
Beastboy was pacing the room trying to sooth his crying daughter. He tried funny faces, stories and funny noises. Everything made it worse- he was beginning to doubt his 'awesome skill' of understanding children. Jade's cries got louder and louder, her little face got redder and redder, but he wasn't about to call Raven and let her see how horribly he was handling the situation.
"Looks like you need help." The very girl he wasn't very pleased to see said.
"Oh my God. Were you watching us? You have a camera on her don't you!" he accused. How did she know Jade was crying so badly? Raven sighed and muttered 'idiot' under her breath but he still heard her.
"No. Starfire told me you were having some difficulty."
"I'm doing fine." Beastboy said haughtily- his pride wouldn't let him admit he was clueless to this woman. Raven silently observed him for a moment or two while Jade continued to yell and scream in his sensitive ears. "Ok. Help me out here. The funny faces aren't working."
"That's because she's tired." How stupid did he feel? That would be obvious. "Lie down on the bed." Raven ordered him. When he did so she placed Jade in such a way that the little girl's ear was just above her father's heart. Soon Jade's cries were nothing more than whimpers as she listened to the calming heartbeat lullaby. "Now rub her back like this." Raven said demonstrating. Jade let out a small yawn and closed her heavy lids. "and let her hold one of your fingers or your thumb."
Beastboy took over and Raven watched Jade's face. Already being so relaxed from her early 'me-time' she found it easy to fall asleep in Beastboy's room. Soon mother and daughter were asleep and Beastboy turned to smile triumphantly at Raven only to notice her slow breathing and closed eyes.
"What, is everyone but me tired?" he asked himself.
It was nearing midnight when a nurse wheeled Terra to the psychiatrist s office. The girl could walk but they didn't want to 'put a strain' on her. Dr. Clayton often conducted their meetings at around midnight. Terra had a feeling the man was nocturnal or something.
"She is here sir." the nurse said after making sure Terra was seated on the chair facing the doctor's desk. On her way out she turned off the main light. A red glow came from the jewel that Dr. Clayton was always swinging on a chain.
"Hello again Terra." he said in a deep voice. His obsidian eyes penetrated her sapphire ones and soon she was under a trance.
"Master Blood." Terra said in an alien voice.
"Tonight will be one of our last sessions." he said. "Do you remember what you must do?"
"Find the Gem."
"Bring her to you."
A review I received from an anon. reviewer in the story before this sort of shook my confidence as a writer. It made me doubt my writing a little, I'm not going to lie, so instead of reviews, I would like to ask everyone reading this to take the time to give me some constructive criticism. It'll help me grow and improve as a writer and also hopefully make the story I'm telling easier to comprehend/enjoy/etc.
Remember: if you have read Return and My Child this story will make more sense to you and I won't have to explain backstories and such.