TRIGGER WARNING! Just to give the heads up that there is the mention of suicide in this chapter. Nothing graphic, just a mention. Yes, that means this chapter isn't as cheery as the previous instalment. (if you think it warrants the rating to be moved to 'M', let me know.)
Discb: Lmao, well done jinx.
Ahah well done indeed. Amusing, though it'll probably get her in trouble later haha
Mttmercado: oh jinx you wonderful little minx how i love you! i wish raven would have said it in some riddle or something!
She really knows how to mess with people, huh xD Could have been interesting, though it seems like BB and Cy are close to getting told anyway.
Deathnoteuser: You have no idea how happy I am right now. You really made my day with this and I don't mind going to school as much today, so thanks!
Ahah you're welcome!
Concolor44: SO GLAD to see you stirring the embers of this story again! (Well ... okay, so 'story' might be stretching it just a tad. Series of interesting events? Yeah.)
Of course it was just a matter of time until the boys (at least one of them) caught on. Can't wait to see what you have in mind for this!
I'm glad to be working on it too again. I do enjoy it, I just had little time to write something EVERY day, and keep up with everything else I'm writing! String of events. Yeah. It's got a storyline, sort of, just not an extensive one. Ahah it was. I can't wait to see what I have in mind for it either!
Juniper Night: Lol, I love it! :D The whole thing, from the idea of an annual win-a-stuffed-animal-for-Raven all the way down the page to Starfire hitting the head of the nail :)
No, Robin probably wouldn't approve... Oh well! ONE MORE WEEK TILL THE NEW TEEN TITANS! At least in the states. Not sure elsewhere, but I guess there's always youtube...
Glad you did haha. I STILL HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET (by choice) I'm waiting till I get back in England haha. Then I can call up my fellow teen titan friend and cry with her if it's awful!
: Ok this one was so funny and the others are great.
Glad you like them :)
"A Suicide Note"
The officer stared at Nightwing as they waited outside the front door of the Guerrero's house, the man not even attempting to be discreet about it. The leader of the Titans ignored him at first, studying the house in front of them instead. Detached and two stories, it was a nice house with an even nicer garden – not somewhere that looked as though it should have been plagued by such tragedy.
"I'm surprised you didn't bring one of your teammates with you."
Nightwing turned to look at the officer. "Oh?"
"You know, like Starfire. Or Beast Boy."
"Despite appearances no one in Titans West is a meta human. Besides, sometimes the last thing a grieving family needs to see is someone in the same situation as the deceased, but is doing well. It opens up unsettling feelings of confusion and even rage as they try to understand why it happened to their relation, and not someone else." He turned back to the front door. "You did tell them we were coming?"
"Of course." He nodded, before musing, "It's sad really – you'd have thought think kind of thing wouldn't happen in a community with its own superheroes. I mean what was the difference between you guys and this kid?"
"It doesn't surprise me. I remember high school. People can be vicious when they fear something."
The officer smiled slightly. "Sorry but it's hard to picture you sat at a desk, tackling math problems."
"I always did hate algebra." Nightwing allowed a small smile, before saying, "That's probably half the reason why there's such a problem in schools."
They saw movement through the glass panels in the door and both stepped back slightly. There was the sound of a lock unlatching before the door swung open, revealing a man in his forties, his short black hair ruffled and large shadows under his dark eyes from lack of sleep.
The officer stepped forward, offering the man a gentle smile. "Mr Guerrero, I'm Officer Nickels. We spoke over the phone."
"Call me Rodrigo, please." He looked at the Titan. "You need no introduction. It's good to meet you, Nightwing. Come, my wife is waiting in the living room."
Richard felt weird, entering someone's home in full costume, rude almost, but did his best to ignore the feeling as he followed the man through the immaculate hallway, the officer close behind him. In the living room, a woman – Sofia Guerrero, if the media was correct – quickly stood them, her eyes red from crying. Both the officer and the titan began to offer their hands for her to shake, but the woman ignored the gesture, instead hugging them both as though they were old friends before motioning towards the two black leather sofas.
"Please, make yourself comfortable. Can I… get either of you something to drink? Tea? Coffee?"
"No, thank you." Nightwing shook his head as he took a seat, the cop following his lead. He studied the room as the couple sat down, quickly noticing several family photos dotted around the room. He looked back at the Guerreros and offered, "You have our condolences. I can't imagine what your son must have gone through, or what you're going through now."
"Several of Marcos's classmates have been interviewed, and we've got three of them facing charges within the next couple of weeks." Officer Nickels informed them.
The parents nodded, though it was an empty comfort. Looking at Nightwing, Sofia leaned forward and grabbed a leather album off the coffee table between them, smiling shakily as she asked, "Would you like to see some photos?" She fumbled with the pages and opened it out flat before passing the album book to the hero. His eyes landed on a large family photo. "I doubt I need to point out Marcos." She laughed slightly, the sound wet with unshed tears.
And she didn't. Among the dark skin and black hair, the toddler stuck out like a sore thumb, his skin pale and hair white blonde.
He turned the page, finding a picture of a slightly older Marcos – perhaps 5 – dressed as a pirate, another young boy with auburn hair next to him clutching a cardboard sword. Sofia leaned forward to get a better look at the photo before telling them,
"Daniel and Marcos were childhood friends. Daniel's family lived next door until four years ago, though Daniel still practically lived at our place. He used to call Marcos 'Ghost'. My little espiritu. Though Daniel would never call him that at school. It didn't matter though, the other kids found out about it somehow. Marcos used to love the nickname, before they turned it into something nasty."
Nightwing studied the photo closely. On the previous photo the toddler could have passed for any other blonde child, but this one made it clear that had just been a trick of contrast. His skin really was white, reminding him of the leader of the H.I.V.E Five, and their own Titan, Argent.
"As a child he used to saw it would be his superhero name when he was older." Rodrigo recalled fondly. "He could travel through things, you see. When he was a toddler, one moment he'd be in his playpen, the next he'd be in the kitchen. So we hid a camera and filmed him. We couldn't figure it out, you see."
"And he just crawled straight through the plastic. As though it wasn't there!" Sofia finished. "We both thought we'd have trouble when he hit his teens, that he might sneak out of the house and such, because we couldn't have stopped him, but he didn't. He was always such a good boy."
Nightwing moved on to the next photo – a birthday party from the looks of it.
"He… never quite learnt how to control it though. Occasionally he'd be holding something and it would suddenly pass through his hand, and he never quite figured out how to turn it 'on' so to speak. It didn't matter to us – he is our son – but kids at school made fun of him for it. We learnt the kids at school would lock him in the school lockers or the bike shed and taunt him. And he never said anything." A few tears dripped down Sofia's cheeks, and Rodrigo put his arms around her shoulders. "He was such a good boy – he never wanted trouble for anyone else, even for those who hurt him. We should have know."
Nightwing looked up from the album. "Mrs-"
"Sofia. Please, call me Sofia."
"Sofia, Rodrigo, I didn't come here just to offer our condolences. I know that it's too little too late for Marcos, but working with Teen Titans worldwide, we're setting up a foundation with the aims to provide information and education worldwide in the classrooms and online about meta humans, and to offer information and support to other families like yours in the hopes of ending things like this. With your permission, we'd like to name the foundation after your son."
There was a pause while the information sank in before the couple nodded enthusiastically, the woman's tears falling a little faster. "Of course!"
Nightwing smiled. "Thank you. Of course we'll keep you fully updated with developments, and would love to have you working with us, and if you have any questions…" his hands went to his utility belt and reached for the slip of paper he'd placed in one of the pouches, handing it them… "about the foundation or anything else, I don't want you to hesitated to contact us – this number will take you directly to my communicator."
"Thank you." Sofia took the offered slip of paper and stood, moving over to a well polished desk where she put it down and picked up a folded sheet of paper, hesitating before she brought it over, passing it to Nightwing. "We found it in his bedroom shortly after the police found his… his body." She watched him unfold the sheet. "He was never really a boy of many words. But even here he wouldn't tell us what they'd been doing to him. It wasn't until the investigation we knew."
Mom, Dad, I can't tell you why I did it. Just know it wasn't your fault. Don't be sad, maybe it's better this way. I love you both.
"We can't tell you how much it means to us that you're doing this. That it would mean to Marcos."
Entering the common room, Nightwing didn't get much further than the door as he stopped and looked at his teammates, each going out their own thing, and he couldn't help but think, 'it could have been any one of them. Or us.' He knew for a fact it had been one of the reasons Cyborg had quit high school and never went back. Ignorance bred fear, and fear bred hate.
Cyborg looked round from the TV, Beast Boy following his friend. "So, how'd it go?"
"Marcos Foundation it is." He smiled, moving further into the room and taking a seat on the sofa beside his friends. "We can start making this idea a reality."
"It'll take at least a few years before it begins to take any real effect." Raven murmured from the kitchen. "These things tend to work by generation."
"Well we're doing something," Nightwing told them, "And that's all that matters. Rome wasn't built in a day."