A/N: Hello readers! I am truly sorry for the once again LONG wait. Real life obligations, same old excuse. I do plan on finishing this up (and we're very close to the end, sadly and happily!) by the start of 2014, but I can't make promises.

The song for this chapter is "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera. Great song!

Enjoy reading, take it as my apology cookies for you, and let's hope that by the end of the story everyone will have figured out what love is to them!


The greatest battle in Markovian history had just ensued. Word quickly spread on the street, and everyone was warned to stay at home and save themselves. People were already calling it the Titan-Arbitrary Blitzkrieg.

The Markov parents had escaped from the fray, but the Titans and their partners were busy fighting off the Arbitraries.

"Friend, have you forgotten about us?" pleaded Starfire, looking at the fair-skin girl charging at her.

"They can't hear you, Starfire," said Red X, holding onto Yano's long, wet tongue and swinging him out of the way. "They've all been mind-controlled by my parents."

Starfire whimpered as she watched Wednesday's skin darken. She blasted a starbolt at her, and Wednesday was down for the count.

"There are too many of them!" shouted Cyborg. "Should we fall back, Robin?"

Robin was about to answer after he knocked Leila out. But before he could reply, Slade had beaten him to it.

"No! If we fall back, the Arbitraries won't stop there now that the whole country knows about them. The Markovs will allow them to rampage the place."

Though Robin, or everyone for that matter, did not expect Slade to make that honorably heroic decision for the team, Slade was right. They had to protect the innocent Markovians.

Red X kept an eye open for his parents. He had a feeling they were not that far gone. He caught a glimpse of the gown his mother was wearing.

"I have to go after my parents," he told Jericho, who nodded. "Protect my sister, please."

Red X disappeared, chasing after his parents.

"What should we do now?" Mr Markov asked his wife.

"You're not going anywhere!" Red X shouted.

Mrs Markov mocked a laugh. "What will you do? You've always been against us! You're a disgrace to the Markovian name!"

"Don't try to use patriotism on me, mother!" Red X said, in the voice of Maximus. "You were never with me! Or Terra! You were always thinking about your disastrous experiments, and I'd rather be out of that line than have parents like you!"

"Get out of our way, Maximus! Arbitraries!"

"No!" Maximus shouted back. "After all you put me through, you'd think I despise you! But in the end, I wanna thank you, 'cause you made me that much stronger!"

A troop of brainwashed Arbitraries ambushed from behind Red X, and he had to fight them off while keeping an eye on his parents trying to escape.

"Stop!" he shouted, throwing one of his large sticky red X's at his parents, and they fell at the impact. They dropped out of his sight, but he hoped he aimed well enough.

Well I thought I knew you, thinkin' that you were true
Guess I, I couldn't trust called your bluff time is up
'Cause I've had enough
You were there by my side, always down for the ride
But your joy ride just came down in flames 'cause your greed sold me out in shame

Beast Boy and Raven had returned to the raided Castle.

"Raven! Thank Xhal!" exclaimed Starfire when she spotted her female teammate.

Beast Boy and Raven briefly examined the progress of the battle.

"There's too many of them! How are we gonna stop them all?" asked Beast Boy.

Raven shook her head when she saw an Arbitrary that Slade had knocked out get back on his feet albeit more feebly.

"That's not the issue. Since they are manufactured to keep fighting us, they'll keep fighting even past their limits until they succeed or cannot take it anymore. And I mean absolutely can't take it anymore, like what almost happened to me."

"What do we do now?" asked Cyborg. "We need to find a way to reverse the effect, but with these distractions that can't happen. And we're running out of time!"

Phobia then appeared behind Raven.

"I have an idea," she said.

Raven looked at her suspiciously. "And why exactly do you want to help?"

Phobia looked dead straight at Raven. "They're my people."

Something about her seriousness made Raven believe her. She was, in fact, originally a Markovian before being a victim of the Tarbal Avenue so-called curse. She was one of those that could still speak and escaped. Phobia then almost became Trigon's sacrifice, but she also escaped, thus leading to Raven's mother in her place. The two had faced similar struggles.

Phobia continued, "Is there a way to wear out their minds, which will slow them down but at least enough for your android friend to get to the lab and reverse the effect?"

"He's not an android." Raven considered it. "We could try. We'll need to do it together."

"Anytime now, ladies!" prompted Robin.

"On your count," said Phobia.

Then, simultaneously, they chanted, "Azarath Metrion Zinthos!"

Telekinetic enrgy first surrounded them two. Then, it spread all over the Castle, targeting the Arbitraries. Raven and Phobia had determined eyes, focusing on completing the spell.

One by one, the Arbitraries dropped to the ground, unconscious.

"It's working!" exclaimed Beast Boy.

"Cyborg, now's your chance!" said Robin.

"I'll need help! I'm not completely sure where it is as I haven't been there!" said Cyborg. "Jericho?"

"Jericho, watch out!" shouted Slade. He shoved Jericho out of the way right before a spiky Arbitrary dropped to the ground.

Jericho looked at Slade, and how he saved him. When he saw Slade, he saw his father. Slade helped him up.

"I'm going if he is," Slade insisted.

"We've got no time for this!" Phobia gritted.

"Fine! Brian?" Cyborg looked at the White Monster, who gave a grunt and a nod. "Alright, come on!"

Together, they rushed out of the Castle to relocate the hidden entrance. Those left at the foyer - Robin, Raven, Beast Boy, Starfire, Jericho, Slade and Phobia - were now dragging the unconscious Arbitraries to the back of the foyer, under the once grandeur staircase, now on the verge of cracking and becoming debris.

"Wait a minute," Beast Boy paused, counting the team members. "Where is Red X?"

"He is going after his parents," answered Starfire.

"And Terra?"

Everyone looked at one another.

"Yeah, where did she go?" asked Phobia, realizing her disappearance only now.

"Beast Boy, Raven and Phobia, can you guys search for her?" Robin asked.

"Okay, I do not take orders from juveniles. Secondly, my decision to tolerate this nuisance does not mean I will be her sidekick nor will she be mine!" Phobia complained, glaring at Raven.

Raven eyed Phobia.

Phobia then smiled, but more pleasantly. "But I'm glad you're alive. Now let's find that harebrained girl."

Raven smiled and they, with an eagle Beast Boy, set off to find Terra.

After all of the stealing and cheating you probably think that I hold resentment for you
But uh uh, oh no, you're wrong
'Cause if it wasn't for all that you tried to do, I wouldn't know
Just how capable I am to pull through
So I wanna say thank you
'Cause it

Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

"What has happened to our Arbitrary army?"

Mrs Markov watched in horror as all at once the Arbitraries she had summoned abruptly paused then plopped to the ground.

"Honey, we have to get out of here!" Mrs Markov screamed. Mr Markov managed to grab hold of a large shard of glass from a smashed chandelier and pierced the elastic trap with it.

Unfortunately for Red X, an Arbitrary who could willingly turn into stone had held onto his arm and became unconscious in hard rock form. Red X thought the man looked familiar, probably his old neighbor. He was struggling to set himself free without breaking him, and watched his parents free themselves and escape his sight again.

Never saw it coming, all of your backstabbing
Just so you could cash in on a good thing before I'd realize your game
I heard you're going round playing the victim now
But don't even begin feeling I'm the one to blame
'Cause you dug your own grave

After all of the fights and the lies 'cause you're wanting to haunt me
But that won't work anymore, no more,
It's over
'Cause if it wasn't for all of your torture
I wouldn't know how to be this way now and never back down
So I wanna say thank you
'Cause it

Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

"We're here! Now, let me examine this vile machinery."

Cyborg began work on a gun-like machine.

"I see that they used specific sets of electromagnetic waves under Bohr's excitation energy levels fused with a mixture of chemicals I cannot trace yet and some kond of metal alloy," he hypothesized. "Thank goodness this does appear to not function like sulfur and it is possible to reverse the effect by extracting the chemicals. Brian, can you turn into chemicals? You can 'cause you have transformed into carbon. Now let's see what we can work with this..."

With Cyborg's instructions, the two operated the machine to find a way to revert all the Arbitraries.

How could this man I thought I knew
Turn out to be unjust so cruel
Could only see the good in you
Pretend not to see the truth
You tried to hide your lies, disguise yourself
Through living in denial
But in the end you'll see
YOU-WON'T-STOP-ME

I am a fighter and I
I ain't gonna stop
There is no turning back
I've had enough

"Where would Terra be?" Raven asked.

"Can't you use your soul-search magic like you did with crazy Robin three years ago?" Beast Boy suggested, being lifted up by Raven.

"I'd rather not. It could harm her, me or the both of us."

"But wherever she is, she likely went there without conscious," said Phobia. "Where would her deepest thoughts lead her?".

Beast Boy and Raven tried to compile a mental list of where Terra would run off to. But they never lived in Markovia with her.

"You have to fight it, Tara! I know you're in there. I have no idea what is going on or what you are going through, but I regret not attending the Promenade. I should have gone even without a Partner, if only to see you. Please, Tara, you've got to overpower this state you are in."

Terra, eyes glowing yellow the way they do when containing overwhelming power, was looking at Gerard with struggle.

"I... can't..." She shut her eyes, but her head was at war. The brainwash effect was fighting her own mind, and she had managed to find Gerard at the deserted Marketplace. She was not fully affected by the Azarathians' magic because she was not fully an Arbitary. She wanted to overpower the brainwash effect. She didn't want her mind to be controlled. She didn't want to be controlled anymore.

All her life, she sought control. She yearned for control because she lacked it. But that one vulnerable side of her was others' gateway to exploit her. Slade had controlled her body, making her believe it was the solution, but it was far from it. This whole time, her parents were manipulating her. She never felt like she had seized any control. Her powers, being a geomancer, could control earth, but she could not control her powers. She thought she had when she stopped using them and lived under a secret identity, but all that did was postpone her problem.

She had to fight for control.

"Gerard..." she spoke.

"Grateful decency," Gerard breathed a sigh of relief. "Hang in there, Tara."

"It's my parents," she said. "They brainwashed me. It's the milk they've given me to drink all these years that made me like this."

"Your parents?" Gerard could not fathom. "The King and the Queen? Why would they do that?"

"I... don't know.." Terra winced as she felt her senses heighten. She recalled someone expressing their suspicions towards her parents, but she could not remember who. "But I know now that right from the beginning, they never saw me as a daughter they cared about because I am their daughter period. It's only because I was their loyal lab rat. Their loyal, naive lab rat that people used so many times already..."

Beneath her glowing eyes, tears trickled down. Gerard's heart suddenly felt heavy. Terra's life had been unimaginably horrible.

"There will be people like that," he said, gripping her hands, which he felt were shaking. "But they are what makes you a fighter. You're a true fighter, Tara. Fighters like you are there to protect their true lovers. They are those who truly love you."

"Who?!" Terra cried.

"You're looking at one of them."

It then all happened so fast. Gerard pulled himself toward Terra, and their lips met.

But suddenly, the mind-control intensified. Screaming in pain, her powers reactivated.

"Run!" her true mind managed to express before mind-control took over. Gerard dodged a rock headed right for him, and he ran away. But not to his home; to the Castle. He had to find help, and Terra came from there.

You thought I would forget
But I remembered
'Cause I remembered
I remembered
You thought I would forget
I remembered
'Cause I remembered
I remembered

Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

"Oops, I think that's wrong!" Cyborg said, seeing Brian run around wildly and mindlessly.

Cyborg had correctly guessed what the source of the brainwashing and the mutation was. But his first attempt to reverse the effect was not.

"If that's not right, then, fingers crossed, this chemical rearrangement pattern is!"

He pulled some levers and poured some chemicals into a vat, and suddenly there was a quietening air.

Brian had fallen to the stone ground. The White Monster lay on the cold, hard floor, but he started glowing, and Cyborg was sure that was happening to every other Arbitrary.

And as the glow faded, the human Brian revealed herself.


A/N: Oooh we are so close to the end! Mixed emotions...

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this! What does the aftermath look like? What is going to happen next? Stay tuned!

Plus, after IWKWLI, I have in plan other stories, which I plan on writing a new one after this and after completing BBRae Madness. The title of the new story is: True Colors. No, there won't be a song feature each chapter. But I do have an interesting if not tedious method of telling this story, so watch out for that.