Disclaimers: Disclaimers: I do not own Teen Titans nor do I claim to own anything in this story.
A/N: Miss me? Sorry that I don't really have much to say… Maybe I'll put and Authors Note at the end of this chapter but thus far… I don't know. Whatever, anyways, I hope you all enjoy the next installment of Evolution: Times of Change.
In case anyone is confused:
"Dialogue" – Basically stuff being said out loud.
Thoughts – Mainly thoughts but will also signify the importance of the italicized word and /or display actions/sound effects.
Beast's Thoughts – This is the Beast's thoughts/dialogue with Beast Boy.
'Emotion's Dialogue' – In single quotations and italicized would be the thoughts of Raven's inner emotions: I figured they should be incorporated into this story more heavily than originally planned.
Previously on Evolution: Times of Change:
Garfield suddenly turns around and starts dashing towards the entrance of Titans Tower with Raven following suit. Garfield stops abruptly 100 feet from the towers entrance with his face fixated at the entrance. Raven stops next to Garfield and grabs onto his shoulder to get his attention. She could hear Garfield growl underneath his breathing as his gaze intensifies at the towers entrance. As Raven squints to try and see what Garfield was looking at, she gasps at the sight of a body.
As the two Titans closed the distance between them and the body, realization struck Garfield like a bolt of lightning.
What was laid before the two was a female body.
It was Terra.
And she was covered in blood.
Evolution: Times of Change – Chapter 3: Pains of the Past, Present and an Unforeseeable Future
Within the confines of Titans Tower there was a bit of chaos, a bit of confusion and skepticism but, above all was confusion.
"Well, Dick, what would you have done in my position, huh?" The green changeling argued with his fellow colleague.
"I don't know, Garfield." Replied the troubled leader. "This is just so sudden. But I can't help but feel as if…"
"As if this is more than a mere coincidence." The dark sorceress finished. All eyes were on the extraordinarily large window-screen in the Common Room. Being displayed were the various cameras that were housed within the Medical Wing and what it inhabited. Lying on top of one of the various cots that were within the room was Terra, an old friend, colleague, enemy and savior.
Many different graphs and sensors were also being displayed on their large window-screen as they revealed information in real time. As the silence deepens between the heroes, all that could be heard was the monotonous beeping emitting from the electrocardiograph.
Each and every Titan was watching the screen, intensely. No one knew what to say, what to talk about. They only know how to question their current situation. Terra showing up all of a sudden and within a reasonable timeframe to categorize it as 'too-close-to-be-a-coincidence,' was a little nerve racking. Not to mention her condition was beyond critical and the mark that was burned into her skin was enough to make each and every Titan shudder.
Garfield then slowly went to one of the terminals that was in front of the oversized display and once again, sifted through the images they took of Terra, for data storage purposes. He couldn't help but linger on one specific photo, the one with her brand.
The letter 'S' was seared into Terra's lower back.
"Sorry guys, but you'll have to excuse me," Nightwing added, "I gota think this through…"
No one had to ask as to where he was headed towards. They all knew.
"My apologies, as well, friends," added the Tamaranian Princess, "I will accompany my boyfriend in the Room of the Evidence."
With small nods from the remaining members of the Titans, Starfire joined her beloved.
"Do you guys believe Slade is back… after all these years?" Cyborg quipped.
"We have no reason to believe he isn't." Raven countered. "It does seem like something he would do; something sadistic, mental and demonic. It would seem he would not only want to leave his mark but send a message, as well."
"Yeah I know, but…" Suddenly small red strobe light started emitting from Cyborg's arm. "Her electroencephalogram test just spiked." The Titan's just stared at their cybernetic friend. "Oh, right. I hooked Terra up to an EEG machine to check for brain activity and it just spiked meaning she's starting to wake up.
"Should we tell Starfire and Nightwing that she's waking?" Raven questioned.
"We'll get them when we have to." Replied Cyborg. "I don't think we should overwhelm her with people just yet. She's been through a lot."
"That's an understatement." Garfield added.
"Actually, having said that, I believe Garfield should see her… alone…" Cyborg's eye twitched nervously from Raven to Garfield. "I have security on level nine and I can watch the feed in the Control Room so I don't interfere. Plus, I think you have a better chance at getting information," Cyborg eye's Garfield, "than all of us combined, no offence to anyone."
"Although that may be true, I would feel better if someone were to accompany me." Garfield thought, carefully. "And no offence to you Vic, but would you mind, Raven?" Garfield looked towards the pale sorceress. "I could sure use your empathy in trying to get her to tell us anything important."
"Albeit we had our differences Terra and I, I believe that being there with you shouldn't result in any complications." Raven added. "And I do believe that Garfield's right in using my powers as a crutch as we reintroduce ourselves to her… again."
"All-righty. You two, best of luck." Cyborg turned around and headed towards the Towers' Control Room, leaving the two.
"Well, here goes everything." Garfield chided.
With a slight nod from Raven the two headed towards the Medical Wing of Titans Tower.
-In the Evidence Room-
"I don't know what to make of this!" Nightwing angrily shouted into the air. "It's been years, Star, years! Why would Slade choose now out of all the time he's been missing? And why did he have to choose her again!"
"I do not know my beloved." Starfire had her hands on her boyfriends' shoulders and was messaging them in an attempt to help relieve Nightwing's stress. "But whatever he has planned, you and I, as well as the rest of our family, knows that the moment he reveals himself, we will beat him."
"As much as I agree with you Star, I can't help but feel… scared." Nightwing looked completely defeated. "For all the time we spent protecting Jump City, he is the one enemy that is the most challenging. He excels at finding our weak spots; flaws in our strategies, flaws in our own character for Christ's sake!" Nightwing slowly walks over towards the main table in which he uses to compile all the information he has current on Slade and places his balled up fists upon it, gently.
"I do not disagree with your assessment of our nemesis," Starfire walks up behind Nightwing and gently eases him into the chair that was next to him, "but it does not matter what happens, we will always be a family." She wraps her arms around her lover and kisses the back of his neck tenderly. "There is no force alive, both here on Earth and on Tamaran, that could separate us; separate me from you." Starfire leans over Nightwing and kisses him lightly on his lips.
"I love you, Starfire." Nightwing lifts himself out of the chair, turns and wraps his arms around her waist. "Always and forever." They both kiss each other whilst in their embrace.
-In the Medical Wing of Titans Tower-
Both Garfield and Raven were sitting on a nearby cot while looking at Terra. They waited silently for her to fully waken and watched as she slowly stirred from her unconscious state.
"How long has it been, Gar?" Raven asked quietly.
"Remember when that material-adapting monster hit in downtown Jump? I would assume that would be the last time any of us acknowledged her existence. That and when she brought down Slade." Garfield thought. "I would assume a little over five years."
"I wonder what kind of hell he put her through…" Raven thought out loud.
"We're just going to have to ask, now won't we?" Garfield's face held hesitation as well as genuine concern for the geomancer. Not only did Raven notice his current behavior, she could feel it.
"Why did you pursuit her back then?" Shit, why did I ask that out loud? Raven mentally scorned herself.
"You know, in all honesty, I thought that she would still be the same old Terra. Ya know the one we first met on the outskirts of Jump City?" Garfield's gaze slowly changed from the quietly stirring blonde to the sorceress beside him. "I thought we would be able to start new and add a new member to our pack."
Pack? Raven mentally noted.
"I guess I had high hopes that we could start our relationship from scratch. Begin as friends and see where that ends up."
Does he truly believe that Terra is the only person who would return his affection? Raven thought sadly to herself. Her hands gripped the end of the cot, albeit unconsciously, as she thought about her fellow changeling.
"You know, if I didn't know any better, I would have to say you seem to have quite an affection for her… still." Raven randomly said. Garfield was shocked what Raven was deducing to.
"Listen, Rae… I don't think –" Garfield started to say.
Suddenly Terra's body started to stir and as her eyes fluttered open she squinted her eyes to the bright overhead laps.
"Oh, here," Garfield quietly stood from where he sat, "let me get that for you. Sorry if it was a little bright." After a rather audible click the overhead lamps were turned off and Terra opened her eyes to a rather warmly lit room. As soon as she blinked away the tiredness from her eyes and let them focus, only one word formed in her mind.
"Beast Boy?" Terra's voice was hoarse and a bit raspy.
"Hey, what's up?" Garfield's arm reached up and scratched the back of his head sheepishly. Raven elbows him in the side lightly at his childish antics.
"You're just going to say 'what's up' after all this time?" Raven teased.
"Raven? Is that really you, too?" Terra slowly rose from her cot and placed her un-casted arm behind her to help her sit up straight.
"Well, do you know of anyone else who has pale skin, a chakra in her forehead and a head of natural purple hair?" Raven sarcastically quipped. A small smile found its way to her face and her expression softened. "Yeah, it's us."
"Oh my," Terra gasped, "look at how much you've changed, BB." A blush formed on Garfield's face from Terra's compliment. "You're no longer that little jokester I met during my cross country tour, eh?" Terra's gaze slowly sized up Garfield.
"What can I say?" Garfield replied, his hand still sheepishly behind his head. "I went through quite a transformation a short while ago and ta da! Beast Man is now standing before you, ladies and gentleman!"
Raven lightly smacked the back of Garfield's head for his sudden outburst.
As much as his childish nature can annoy the living piss out of me,Raven thought, it surely did help lighten the mood in here. I can already feel the awkward tension between the two start to slip away into nostalgia.
Raven looked at Terra who began to laugh heartily at Garfield's sudden change in mood and can't help but feel a bit happier herself.
She may not necessarily reflect 'genius' if you count our previous encounter, but I have to admit that she is spot on, on how much Garfield has really changed. But in all seriousness and taking out the current circumstances of Terra's recuperation, she herself has changed a lot as well. Raven began to analyze the geomancer sitting on the cot across from her.
Terra's appearance does resemble, greatly, of her younger self. She still had stunning yellow eyes as well as a head full of waist-length golden blonde hair. Her height, like Raven, didn't alter too much from their youth as they are still shorter than the rest of the Titan's. Terra's body also matured quite a bit but still held that 'rockin' babe' look that grabbed young male's attention; in this case grabbed Garfield's attention instantly during their first encounter.
Raven noticing the more matured version of Terra wondered if she, herself has matured along with her body.
"Now there's the BB I used to know." Terra smiled genuinely. "But in all honesty, I like the new BB that's standing before me. You've filled out quite a bit over the years and you now stand taller than me." Terra pouted jokingly at her last remark. "But let us not forget how much you've changed, dear Raven." The sudden attention being focused on Raven caught her off guard.
"Well, not as much as you or Garfield, I must admit." Raven denied lightly while recovering from zoning out to analyze Terra.
"What are you talking about, Rae?" Garfield countered. "Although you and Terra are close in height, you are now the shortest member of the team," resulting in Raven showing her infamous glare towards Garfield, "you have grown into quite the young lady." Raven blushed lightly at the comment. "Last time I checked, you went from being the lonely, albeit self-inflicted sorceress of Titans Tower to…" Garfield paused and brought up his hand to his chin to pose his "thinking stance." "…An angel."
"My, my Garfield," Terra interjected, "you sure have grown up, haven't you?"
"Nah, I'm still a kid at heart and always will be." Garfield smiled proudly.
One small tear escaped from Terra's eyes at Garfield's whole heartedness and she momentarily lost feeling in her arm in which she was leaning on. In a flash, Garfield was there, by her side and caught her as she fell. He gently laid her back down on the cot and still held his signature goofy-grinned smile.
Raven involuntarily clutched her right hand to her heart as she felt a small pang of jealousy.
After all this time he still cares quite deeply for her… doesn't he? Raven thought to herself. Apart from Starfire, Garfield probably has the biggest heart out of everyone here. No one truly deserves him, especially me. How can a heart that's so full of light be paired with one of pure darkness?
'Simple my dear.' Love's voice rang throughout Raven's head. 'It's called balance. Yin and Yang.'
Then Garfield's face changed instantly from smiling to a face full of concern. He backed up slowly and took his place beside Raven once more.
"Terra…" Garfield started to speak but stopped. His face contorted a bit as he tried to formulate how he's going to talk to Terra. "I don't know if I can say this any nicer without sounding too forward, but…" Garfield took a deep breath before continuing. "We need to know what happened." Raven's and Garfield's hands, unbeknownst to them, interlaced themselves with one another's.
Garfield's gaze rose to look into Terra's eyes. She could literally see how serious and caring he is. Her heart fluttered a bit and she started to blush when she realized that there were people who still cared; that he still cared.
"You know, you've changed more than you let on, BB." Terra restated. She looked at both Garfield and Raven when she spoke. "You too, Raven. And I can already tell that the change was for the better." Terra hesitated before continuing.
"I bet you guys, and the rest of your team, have countless questions to ask of me. And I already know you guys expect me to give you information on Slade…" Terra paused and started to cough lightly. Upon hearing how dry her cough sounded, this time Raven got up from the cot and headed towards the sink. She filled up a glass of water half full and brought it over for Terra. Terra drank it a bit hastily and when she was finished the glass was dry.
"No problem." Raven replied nonchalantly.
"Anyways, as I was saying…" Terra continued. "There is nothing I can really do about giving you any information regarding Slade."
"In all honesty," Raven jumped in, "we weren't really expecting much information, or any for that matter, on Slade. It would be very surprising if you did since he's such a conniving, sneaky fucking douche bag.
"Touché." Garfield added. Terra laughed lightly at the two before her.
"But to answer your question, I guess I'll start off from the last time we met, BB."
-In the Control Room of Titans Tower-
Cyborg watched the scene before him unfold upon his various monitors. As he was listening intently on the conversation between Raven, Garfield and Terra, he also kept his cybernetic eye fixated upon all of Terra's vitals. He made sure he kept a close eye on her temperature, heartbeat and other various important information regarding the geomancer, in case something drastic were to happen. Knock on wood.
Suddenly an incoming call interrupted his thought process and looks down on his left arm to see who was calling. Bumble Bee's face suddenly appears on his forearm.
"Bee?" Cyborg's eyebrow was arched in surprise.
"Hey, what's up Metal-Man?" Bee enthusiastically replied.
"You won't believe the kind of… drama that's been going around the tower as of late."
"Oh? Do tell." Bee seemed genuinely intrigued by the twist of events.
"Want to meet… say in an hour? Here at the original Tower?" Cyborg hoped.
"Sure thing, Sparky."
"All-righty then!" Out of nowhere, Cyborg pulls out his white chef's hat and plops it lightly on his mechanical head. "Chef Cyborg will fill you in."
Bee's response was a very un-amused looking face as she crossed her arms over her chest.
"Heh… ok I'll see you in a few." Without risking anymore stupid moments he hangs up with Bee and made sure his sensors were all properly synced with the Towers security and Medical Wing. With having that done he hurriedly went down to the kitchen to prepare a meal for both himself and his guest.
-In the Medical Wing of Titan's Tower-
"BB, the last time we met, was what? Give or take when I was still in school, right?" Terra began.
"Yeah, you were attending Murakami High, if I recall correctly…" Garfield thought out loud.
Both Raven and Terra stared at Garfield as he was recapping events that happened over five years ago.
"…?... What?" Asked a slightly bewildered Garfield.
"Nothing." The two females said simultaneously.
"As I was saying," Terra continued, "back then, when you first approached me… I wasn't lying to you, BB." Terra's gaze slowly lowered to her lap while she spoke. "I really had no recollection of who you were when you approached me then. I swore to you that I didn't know you and I meant it.
"But after that incident my life slowly started changing for the better. At least that's what I believed at the time. About two years later and roughly two months after I graduated from Murakami High I was approached by a man with white hair that offered me a job at Jump City's Geological Preserve and Research Center, or better known as the JCGPR. Since I graduated in the top 5 percent of my class and had specialization in geology, I figured 'why not,' right?
"Straight out of high school and already I had a job offer in which people in my field would kill for. Who wouldn't? Well after meeting with my recruiter, who by the way was called Slade Wilson, we agreed that I would be working underneath him. He, at the time was the Head of Research and Development, Special Development Team." Terra looked up from her lap only to see two bewildered faces.
"I told you guys!" Terra threw her arms up in the air in a very dramatic fashion. "I had no memory before I woke up in that cave! Plus, I had to check and make sure the job offer was legit. So I checked his position and background to make sure it was on the level. I'm not that dumb." Terra pouted.
Raven lightly cleared her throat after Terra's last statement. Garfield glances over towards Raven with a small smirk on his face.
"After I did my research, I saw that everything was on the level and I accepted his job offer." Terra continued. "So after the confirmation of his legitimacy, I officially started working at JCGPR three months after my graduation. I worked under Mr. Wilson for nearly two years. I worked on everything from small side projects to multi-million dollar contracts with people all around the world. Even though we did a lot of 'public' time, he also had me working on his own personal projects.
"He started having me meet him in large warehouses across the country. That's when I started to realize that Slade was very connected because the places where I went to were not only extremely heavily secured but were mostly held underground.
"After a month or so rendezvousing in these secret locations he then asked me to meet him somewhere in the outskirts of Jump. He had me restrained as he feared that I would've retaliated. But what he did to me that day was… restore my memory; in a sense.
"He placed me in a very, now that I think about it, cliché high-tech brain-like altering machine. Like the ones you find in the older 1980's sci-fi movies." Terra paused as she slightly chuckled to herself on her bad joke. "Anyways, back on track… That night my memory was restored and I remembered everything. Everything. I do believe, till this day, that the machine also brought my powers back."
Terra got up slowly from her cot and braced herself against it as she stood. Her eyes and hands started to glow their infamous yellow aura and outside Titans Tower, a large boulder shot up from underneath the waves of Jump City Bay and hovered just mere feet outside the window of their room.
"It would appear that we would have our Geomancer back." The moment Garfield said those words, the boulder suddenly became unstable and went crashing back into the bay. Garfield's attention shot from the window to Terra and notices her panting heavily.
"Not yet, BB." Terra said in between breaths. "I may have my powers back but I'm still running on empty. Anyways besides the fact that I do, indeed have my powers back there is still a lot more you need to know.
"The instant I regained both my powers and memories, the most prominent thing on my mind at that very moment was you, the Teen Titans and how Slade used me." Terra took a few deep breaths and she slowly closed her eyes only to have tears start streaking down her face.
"I lost all sense of right and wrong at that moment because all I could feel was rage. All I felt was complete and utter hatred for that man and I used my powers to level the entire facility. After I decimated that God forsaken building and walked out of the rubble, Slade was standing in front of me… waiting for me." Terra started to sob quietly.
"I guess you can say he knew how it would turn out after the… procedure. He was standing there with a cloaked figure who held a very large rifle and hundreds of his minions. The next thing I knew was that he lifted his hand and I was shot with some kind of electricity based weapon, a Taser like device and I was completely paralyzed.
"Then he said a line I would never forget: 'Welcome back dear apprentice. Unfortunately for you I will take sweet revenge and show you the definition of pain.' As I was lying on the ground, completely immobilized, he takes out a syringe and injects something into my neck which knocked me out."
Silence fell between the three figures in the Medical Wing of Titans Tower. Both Garfield and Raven knew that the next question they had to ask was going to be downright brutal. But neither of them could escape the fact that they had to ask because if they didn't, they would never truly understand the damage that was done to Terra. They would never know how to truly help her if they didn't know what they were dealing with.
"Terra," Garfield started, "believe me when I say 'I really don't want to ask this question' because I really don't, but I have to. For us to understand what you went through and how to help you…" Garfield took a deep breath.
"We need to know what he did to you." Raven finished. Raven lightly squeezed Garfield's hand that was still interlaced with her own. Raven looks from Garfield's hand to Garfield's face, smiling a small smile all the while. She then looks back to Terra. "I know you and I have never really saw eye to eye but as Gar – Beast Boy said, we need to know for us to truly help you. And you should know more than most that we are always willing to help."
Garfield glances to the sorceress sitting beside him and gave her a small smile while giving her a reassuring squeeze back. Terra's head was tilted down and her eyes were still closed as they asked her to remember what she had experienced.
"If you must know then I guess it can't be helped." Terra lifted her head slowly to look at the two sitting before her. "But I must warn you, I can't remember it all and I will try my best to tell you what I was conscious for."
The two Titans just nodded in acknowledgement and unconsciously held their breaths.
"When I first woke up, I believe it was not too long after I was knocked out in front of the wrecked facility. I was bound and gagged to an operating table. I lied there under a surgical light and the rest of the room that I was caged in was completely dark. The only part of the room that was illuminated was where I was being bound. The only thing I could see was the overhead lamp because I couldn't move my head due to it being restrained. Slade slowly came into my field of view wearing his usual attire; half orange half black mask and all. As I watched him watch me, I could feel his cold and demonic smile spread widely underneath his mask."
Terra paused for a few seconds to clear her throat because she started to sob once again.
"He didn't say anything. He never said one word to me while I was tied down to that thing. I could feel myself slowly start to panic as he literally stood over me and watched me suffer. He did nothing to me to warrant fear but I knew to my core, I would soon be afraid for my life. Next thing I knew, he had multiple robots surround me holding trays upon trays of… objects. But what he picked up first is the one thing I will remember most vividly for the rest of my life."
All Terra did was pull her long blonde hair from her back into a ponytail and placed it on her chest. She slowly turned around and they saw what she meant.
"He branded me." Terra chocked out. "He took a blow torch and heated the metal 'S' until it was glowing red and flipped the table over. Apparently the table had a section cut out of the back in order to be able to reach my back. As I screamed in agony, I could literally smell my own skin and flesh burn. He fucking branded me with a fucking metal rod!" Terra's explosion didn't surprise the other people in the room. Both Raven and Garfield waited patiently and empathetically for the geomancer to calm down.
"After he finished assaulting me with the branding iron he took a scalpel and slowly started to cut into my skin and drag it across my entire body. Not lifting it once, he made intricate cuts into my skin and I had to bear the pain as he slowly covered my entire body with cuts produced from his scalpel."
-In the Evidence Room of Titans Tower-
Both Starfire and Nightwing were slowly sifting through all the paperwork that was stacked on the desks. Nightwing was reading and trying to find out more information on the whereabouts of their nemesis but to no avail. Starfire was just trying to organize the papers into category specific piles; one pile was for information that pertained to Slade and the other was for anything else that didn't involve Slade.
"Hey Star?" Nightwing called out.
"Yes, beloved?" Replied Starfire. She didn't look up to respond to her significant other as she was busily working on her tasks.
"Thank you." Nightwing slowly stopped shifting through the paperwork he was working on and looked up towards Starfire.
"For what my dear?" Starfire questioned, genuinely confused, slowly looking up from her work to look at her beloved.
"For being you." Nightwing smiled. Starfire just blushed in response. "Anyways, I think we should take a small break and maybe check up on Cy. He's been alone in the Control Room this whole time and we can catch up on the progress Garfield and Raven are having."
"Very well, Richard. Let's go see what our friends are up to." Starfire floated over towards her lover, took his arm in hers and they both left the Evidence Room to head towards where Cyborg should be residing.
When the two lovebirds made it to their destination they were surprised to see that Cyborg wasn't at his assigned station. But that wasn't the main thing on their minds as they paid more attention to what was being displayed on the security's monitors. As the two sat down and listened to Terra's recollection, all they could do was hold each other's hands and listen with pained hearts.
They listened to how Terra was tortured over and over, day after day. Terra remembered, vividly, how needles were placed underneath her fingernails and being skinned alive. She not only had to endure the pain of the removal of her own skin but also of experimental medication to recover what was lost. She was subjugated to extremely brutal beatings that resulted in broken and fractured bones, as well as loss of consciousness. She recapped on how she would be starved and then have her body be used as a punching bag which resulted in her dry heaving the contents of her empty stomach and much more.
The horrifying images being portrayed is enough to make one sick to their stomach, which is an understatement for what the Titans were experiencing. Starfire and Nightwing could feel complete sorrow and pity for what befell Terra. As Nightwing glances over to his lover, he could see traces of where tears fell freely from her face. He ungloves his hands and brings them up to help dry her face.
"Everything's gone to shit." Nightwing voiced emotionlessly. "Everything that has happened up until this time; Slade's disappearance leading to the assumption of his demise, the low-level amount of crime activity in the past few months and the much anticipated return of our fellow teammate… it went from good to bad, to better to worse. What could possibly happen next?"
"I do not know." Answered Starfire. "You are right to think that the past events are quite suspicious. But who are we to question what's going to happen next?"
"You're right, Star. But I can't help but feel as though something big is going down. If Slade's involved, we can be positive that it'll involve everyone; us, the citizens of Jump and possibly everything else in between. But all we know for certain is that our pains, both past and present will only help shape the unforeseeable future."
"How wise you are, my beloved." Starfire cooed. Nightwing chuckled at her lightheartedness.
"But all I know for certain," Nightwing said whilst clenching his fists, "is that whatever Slade is planning, he will never see it through and he will pay."
Beside him Starfire acknowledged what he said and knew to her very bones that she wouldn't let Slade get away with what he had done. Not now, not ever.
-In the Medical Wing of Titans Tower-
As Terra concluded her story, she slowly slid back into the cot from exhaustion. She slipped the covers over herself and she drifted into a dreamless sleep.
Garfield got up from the cot in which he was sitting on and pulled up the blanket a little higher to make sure Terra was completely covered. He leaned down and placed a light kiss on top of Terra's head.
Raven observed silently as Garfield affectionately tucked Terra in. She could only sit and watch as her emotions stirred quite the commotion within her.
'Why must it always be her!' Rage bellowed. 'How can he still feel anything for Terra, especially after what she's done to him!'
'Yeah?' Agreed Jealousy. 'Why is he only like that when he's with her? Why can't he be like that towards us?'
'He does act similarly towards us.' Added Affection. 'Just because he's acting openly towards Terra now doesn't mean he hasn't ever acted like that towards us. And that certainly doesn't mean he's in love with her.'
'Really?' Interjected Jealousy. 'Well I don't know about you lady's but everything we see now begs to differ.'
"You're safe now, Terra." Garfield quietly said to her. "You're with friends and people who care and love you."
That was the catalyst for Raven's emotions. Raven suddenly shot up from where she sat and left the room quite hurriedly. She needed to be alone and meditate to at least think straight after that display.
Raven's sudden actions caught Garfield's attention instantly and he quietly left the room to catch up to Raven.
"Yo Raven!" Garfield called out after the doors closed behind him. "You ok?"
Raven slowed her walking until she came to a complete stop. Garfield walked in front of her but she turned around the instant he did. Her back was still to him when she spoke.
"You love her, don't you?" Raven deadpanned.
The question caught Garfield completely off guard. He didn't expect her to ask that question, not now at least.
"How can you even ask that?" Garfield asked defensively. "Of course I love her. I'll always love her. Nothing will ever change the fact that she will always have a soft spot in my heart."
Raven slowly turned around and Garfield saw the tears that were gathering in her eyes, threatening to flow down her pale face. Garfield's slightly angry face fell when he saw this. He rarely ever saw Raven express emotions and the last time he did was over five years ago.
"Go to her." Raven said harshly. "She's going to need you more than you think." With having said that, Raven stormed passed Garfield.
"What?" Garfield was dumbfounded to say the least. "For an empath, you are truly blind."
"Excuse me, Garfield?" Raven stopped dead in her tracks, pissed.
"Yes I love her, Raven. But not in the way you're probably thinking." Garfield retorted. "I love her as one would love a relative, a sibling. Just because I said 'I love her' doesn't necessarily mean I meant it in a romantic type of way. I would've assumed you of all people should see that."
"Whatever." Raven spat. "I don't want to hear your lies."
"What's wrong with you Raven?" Garfield said softly, his shoulders slumping a bit. "Why don't you believe me? Why can't you see what I truly feel? What has your judgment so clouded that you can't even notice that what I feel for her is completely platonic?"
She turned around and became determined to return to the confines of her room. The amount of emotions she was feeling and expressing was well outside her comfort zone. The fact that Raven now has the ability to express and experience emotions doesn't necessarily mean she's comfortable with it. Raven in her current situation was one of those times where she has no idea what to do or how to handle it.
Garfield watched Raven storm away from him and gained a sense of deja vu.
"No." Garfield said darkly. "Not again." I am not letting this happen again. I'm not going to let her lock herself up in her room right when I'm so close. He became resolute.
As Raven reached her room she punched in her entrance code. The moment her sliding doors opened with a slight hiss, she felt Garfield grab her shoulder firmly. Garfield pulled on her shoulder which made her turn around to face him and before she could protest, she felt the hand that was on her shoulder reach behind her head and Garfield's lips crash onto hers.
I was planning on delivering this chapter much earlier but was again assaulted with writers block. Not only that but I was completely unsatisfied with the first draft of this chapter and had to go back and redo the entire chapter because of how it first came out. Hopefully I did well in fine tuning this chapter and I want to give a personal thanks to my good friends Ian and Matt, for they helped me greatly on this chapter as well as the entire story, thus far.
I also hope that no one was confused with the added special quotations that were used with Raven's emotions. I figured that they needed to be part of the story as much as the Beast is.
Anyhow, I'm sorry for posting a rather dark chapter before all of you but believe in me when I say whoever's quote this is, it's entirely true: It's the darkest before the dawn. And ladies and gentlemen I do believe that the next chapters will be much brighter and full of… stuff. Especially for those who are BBXRae shippers, like myself.
That is the only hint I will leave. 'Till next time!