Well, this is it. This is the final chapter of Moments like This. This is a pretty big deal for me. There will be a longer author's note at the bottom, because I'm sentimental like that. All right, here we go.
Edgar H. Sutter: I can't say I'm entirely certain that I won't write anything else Teen Titans related, because I know ideas do pop out of nowhere, but I don't have any at the moment. You never know; maybe when I'm done with all this school stuff and I have time to rewatch the series, I might just get some more inspiration. Also, I just wanted to say thank you for everything when it comes to this story. Your reviews have been incredibly touching and I cannot thank you enough for your support.
1PurpleSparkles1: Well, I'm not spoiling anything, but I truly hope you're satisfied with the ending. Thank you so very much for your reviews.
UnitedDestiny: I'm so glad you've enjoyed it! Though I'm hopeless at updating at a decent time, I've adored writing this. Truly.
Shadico: Oh, I know, you people have such high expectations of me. I'm more than a little bit nervous and I sincerely hope this is good enough.
Mr. Atrocious: Well, I'm glad you think so. Thanks again for your reviews, and for your honesty. I will certainly bear all of your comments in mind as I continue to write for whatever I write for now.
Guest: Glad you think so.
MorWolfMor: I've no plans for a sequel, I'm afraid. I hope you're satisfied with the ending.
Disclaimer: Teen Titans is not any more 'mine' than it was when I started this fic.
Though he hadn't planned specifically where he had wanted to go, Beast Boy was not surprised when he found himself standing on the beach, staring out into the ocean. The sun had begun to set, casting a familiar golden glow over the beach, and he found himself flashing back to the night before. It was almost unbelievable how different the beach seemed – yesterday, moments before the confession that had obviously and unexpectedly been a major turning point in their relationship (and not in a good way), the view had been nothing short of magnificent. This evening, however, it appeared empty and sad, almost dreary (which was an odd way to describe a day of such fine weather). The waves had washed away their footprints from the day beforehand, hiding the evidence that such an event had existed at all, but, of course, the memories would not fade so easily.
Perhaps, in time, he would learn to look back on the time that they spent together fondly. For now, perhaps, he wouldn't be able to look at the beach in the same light, and maybe he would change certain things in his routine – maybe he'd avoid the Waffle House, maybe he wouldn't watch the sunset from the roof of the tower, maybe he wouldn't watch certain programmes or eat certain foods – but maybe someday soon the thought of the six months he had spent as Raven's boyfriend would be remembered with a smile on his face. Time would heal a broken heart.
He knew, of course, that this was what a broken heart felt like. He recognised it – it was similar to what he had experienced with Terra. It was similar, however it seemed to hurt more, and he was certain he knew why. He'd never deny that he liked Terra. His attraction to her was blatantly obvious to the rest of the Titans, and he was aware of that. But yet what he felt for Raven was different – for Terra, it was attraction, but for Raven, it was love. It was perhaps the most mature feeling he'd ever experienced. It was a desire to be with her, because her presence was enough to brighten his day. It was the way he cared for her – different, stronger than the way he cared for the other Titans. It was love; there was no other way that he could describe it.
He didn't regret telling her how he felt. He forced himself to think back to it, rewinding past the memory of the expression on Raven's face seconds before she flew away. It hadn't been a lie. Beast Boy might not have been marvellous with reading other people's feelings (though that had improved while he was with Raven, especially when it came to the girl in question), but he knew what his own emotions were. He was in love with the purple-haired empath, and he would never regret telling her that, even if it was the cause for the end of their relationship. It had clearly made her realise that she could not feel for him what he felt for her, and it was better that she did realise that and end the relationship than for the two of them to continue as they were, Raven oblivious to his feelings and also not reciprocating them. He was glad he had told her. Whatever her feelings were, it was something she had to know.
He thought back to their first kiss, that day on the roof, and to all the kisses they had shared after that. He thought of the sparks that had seemed to fly between them as their lips touched, and of the look in Raven's eyes when they broke apart. It caused an odd sensation in his chest, and he couldn't tell whether it was the same excitement he had felt at the time of the kiss himself, or hurt at the idea that he'd never see that look on her face again. Surely, surely she had felt something too. Maybe it wasn't love, but she had to have felt something for him – after all, this was Raven; she'd definitely not force herself to fake a relationship if she didn't feel for her partner at all. He'd have to focus on that – on the idea that, for a while, Raven had seen him as something more than just another member of the Teen Titans.
Whatever happened now, he'd always be her friend. They had been friends even before they were romantically involved with each other, and all the Titans had a bond Beast Boy was sure would never break. So he wouldn't get a chance to kiss her again, or to hold her and call her his girlfriend. It didn't matter. She'd still be there, and he'd still be there for her. Even before he had dated her, she was important to him, just like all the Titans were to each other. He couldn't help remembering the encounter with Malchior – specifically, Raven's emotional state after all was done, and the way that she had opened the door and, out of nowhere, hugged him. It was the first time she'd ever initiated any sort of affectionate contact, and it had taken him by surprise, but it was another memory that he'd think back to fondly. She'd cared for him, and he for her, even before they were together. They'd always been special to one another, and that was something that would never change, whether they were a couple or just friends.
The thought took away some of the hurt in his chest, but not all of it. Time would have to heal the rest.
There was a gentle breeze, and Beast Boy snapped out of his reverie at the sight of movement in front of him, realising quickly that it was Raven, landing gracefully on the sand. "I thought I might find you here," she said softly.
"Raven, I-" he began, but she held up her hand in the universal gesture of "Wait, me first", and he cut himself off. She didn't start talking immediately, but Beast Boy recognised the expression as the same one she had worn earlier, before she had started talking about the woman of darkness that had attacked them. It was like she was struggling for words; trying to find the right way to start.
"My entire life, I've grown up knowing that I need to keep control of my emotions," she said at last. Her voice was not its usual monotone, but similar to how it had sounded the night before – with an undertone of unidentifiable emotion. "At first, I believed I wasn't allowed to feel at all, but being a Titan made me realise that I could, as long as I meditated regularly.
"Love, however; the idea rarely crossed my mind, and even when I did accept that I did want to feel it, I didn't think that I could. It was just too... human.
"Then you decided you wanted to be with me, and I went out with you, and it was fine. I didn't lose control because of it. And then you told me that you – that you love me, and I was so afraid because I didn't think I could feel the same and I was convinced that I would hurt you if I opened myself up like that."
She paused again, and Beast Boy could see that this entire speech was a big deal for her. She had become more open to talking about her emotions since she'd started dating Beast Boy, but she'd never seemed so open and vulnerable as she did now, laying her heart on the line.
"It was why I left you yesterday," she continued after a moment, dropping her gaze to the sand at her feet. "I feared I would lose control and I took the easy option and flew away. And I did lose control, but not in the way that I expected." There was another pause, the silence broken only by the sound of Beast Boy's own heartbeat, pounding loudly in his ears. "I didn't lose control because of what I felt for you; I lost control because I was afraid of it. I let my fears and my powers control me and they came to life, but it made me realise that I could fight them. I could control them. I was so convinced that I could not reciprocate your feelings, but I can... and I do."
For a moment, Beast Boy was certain that he had heard wrong. His jaw went slack, and his eyes locked on hers, replaying the sentence in his mind. Her expression showed nothing but sincerity – perhaps for the first time in her life, she was opening herself completely and fully to emotion. She watched him for a moment, again seeming to struggle for words, but as she spoke he knew they were true. "I love you, too."
Then, the faintest of smiles, barely visible at all, playing at her lips, she stepped forward to close the distance between them, placing a hand against his cheek. Her eyes sought his, seeking confirmation, and when she found it she leaned in and gently brushed her lips against his. It wasn't filled with any more passion or intensity than any of the other kisses they had shared, but yet Beast Boy could feel the thoughts she was trying to send through it, proving the words that she had just spoken. This, Beast Boy realised, as his arms encircled her waist, this was why love existed. Sometimes it would hurt and it would seem like it only brought pain, and Beast Boy wasn't naïve enough to believe that this meant that they'd be together forever and live happily ever after. Maybe they'd fight and maybe they'd break up, eventually deciding that it was time to move on. Maybe this heartbreak he had felt would be experienced all over again. Yet in the end, it didn't matter, because all the good outweighed the bad. In the end, it was all worth it, because in love there were moments like this.
And that's it. From a silly little idea that kept me up at night, to my most popular piece of fanfiction ever. This entire thing has honestly been incredible for me. When I first decided to write it, the idea consisted of Beast Boy's confession, Raven flying away, and, of course, the last line of this chapter. That was it, and the rest almost wrote itself. I can't say this is what I expected to come out of it all, but I'm certain that this reality is far better. I did not expect the response that I received, and I truly mean it when I say I cannot thank you all enough for sticking with me through seemingly endless hiatuses.
Thank you so much, and take care.