Characters: Beast Boy, Terra, Slade
Summary: Reflections reveal far more than they should.
Timeline: during Betrayal; somewhat AU
Author's Note: This takes place during the hall of mirrors scene in Betrayal. Obviously, it's a bit AU, as some of the events that take place in this weren't in the episode, and vice versa. Also, some events are out of order; I had to alter things to fit the flow of the oneshot. Finally, this is not bashing of any character; I'm sorry if it comes across as that. Emotions were running high in this episode, and I'm inclined to think that neither Beast Boy nor Terra were thinking too clearly that night.
Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans.
Their reflections in the warped surface of the hall of mirrors ends up showing them what they really are, what they are to each other, and all the things that they never needed to see. What is revealed is unpleasant; what goes unseen even more so.
The disturbingly soft tones of Slade's voice sends Beast Boy to a miasma of burning blood turning to smoke (Finally, finally, he understands what Robin goes through every time he hears that voice), as he searches desperately for Terra. For a hint of blonde hair or the dry smell of desert sand—Terra smells to his keen nose of earth and the desert wind. Nervousness and worry becomes embodied by two words, recited over and over until they're nearly unintelligible.
And it's a valid question, too.
Green eyes dart to and fro in the darkness, met only by his own shadowy reflection. Slade came here tonight looking for Terra. What does he want with her? What's he gonna do to her? Is she okay? Where is she? Beast Boy's breathing echoes, hollow and fast, across the darkened halls.
With each mirror he looks into, he sees a different animal. An angry animal, a belligerent one, a wary animal, a fearful one. And they all wear the same face: his.
Then, he turns, and sees a young animal. A child animal. One who hasn't got a clue of what he's doing, but just tries to follow along as he goes, and improvises with everything he does.
Beast Boy hadn't realized how futile that was until he saw his own desperation staring back at him in flat green eyes.
He catches sight of a flash of gold in the gloom—or that he thinks is gold. Beast Boy follows this flash with heart pounding, screaming her name and met back again with echoes off of the hidden walls.
"Terra's not here, child."
A bi-color mask emerges from the deep shadows, then another, then another. A thousand, all shimmering mirror reflections, all but one. Slade's gray eyes stares him down in the pool of light from the fixture still working.
"And you won't see her again."
This is when rage boils over and Beast Boy sheds his skin to attack.
Faces break. Masks crack. Slade's eyes, thousands of them, stare him down from everywhere as Beast Boy shatters one mirror after another. But he won't stop talking. He won't quit staring at him, mocking him.
No matter how often the image breaks, another always seems ready to take its place.
"What have you done to her?"
No answer comes.
Flashes of violence caught in the mirrors later, red lights spark all around, and Beast Boy is down on his knees, body screaming and mind howling, before all is blackness, with only the sound of cold metal heals against the floor to sing him off to sleep.
Terra's choice to lose him is willful—she hopes to outrun Beast Boy, Slade, and everyone else here. Just run away, go so far, until there are no more choices left to make and she can be alone, and safe, and maybe happy.
Yes… And look how much help running's been in the past.
It's one face mocking her first, as she stands, immobile, shaking, in the center of a circle of mirrors, so many pairs of sky blue eyes staring back at her. The terrified reflection of one seems to have a cast of loathing to it. Terra's eyes dart around, trying to find the speaker. Should there be so many mirrors here?
You knew he'd come for you. Why so frightened?
Now another jeer rises.
This is what he told you to do. You followed orders, always happy to have someone who would accept you so long as you listened to them. Always a good, sweet little girl, weren't you Terra? Even when your powers went haywire and you hurt someone, put them in the hospital, even killed them, you were always a good girl to those who gave orders.
Where's that good girl now? Where is she?
A chorus of mockers, all wearing her face.
It's time to stop running, Terra. It's time to stop running. It's time to stop running.
All those blue eyes are staring back at her. Out of her mind with fear. Long blonde hair hanging lankly over her face, like a wild animal or a feral girl.
Terra sees it now.
Time to stop running.
All those pen strokes across her face, reading Guilty. All that fear. All that desperation. All that wild, frantic loneliness.
All come to naught.
All Terra sees is a trapped animal.
One whose legs have collapsed under the unbearable weight of her heavy heart, one whose voice is in tatters, one who weeps out all her heart and troubles on the funhouse floor.
One who doesn't at first hear the footsteps echoing as another comes towards her, on unsure, shaking legs.
"I'm not going back. I can't."
"Because she's not your friend. She's my apprentice."
Beast Boy sees it now. Terra, standing in Slade's shadow, catching all of his darkness, just as she always has.
Her in shadow, a veil of blonde hair half-shrouding her face. Blue eyes that no longer absorb the light; they just let it reflect off from the glassy surface.
She has eyes like mirrors.
And Beast Boy can't see a trace of what he knew in those eyes.
"Slade's right. You don't have any friends."
Don't turn your back on me! Terra wants to scream, but some force holds her back. All of what she wants to do—weep, cry, scream, howl, just break down and be a little girl again—isn't enough anymore. Too little, too late. Far too late.
Now, she just feels cold, and empty.
He has rejected her, just like everyone else she's ever let in. He's no better than the rest.
Terra catches the glimpse of emerald green eyes, glassy eyes now, brittle with bitterness and anger.
Beast Boy, who has rejected her, no longer has Terra in his eyes. When Terra looks at him, she can't see any of her in his eyes. Just those eyes, those drowned eyes. With no light coming from them, or through them.
He has eyes like mirrors.
And all the light is gone.
Terra sees a stranger when she looks into Beast Boy's eyes.
And as she withdraws into the shadows, heavy sepulchral hand on her shoulder, she starts to learn to forget.
Forget what she saw just before the light died.