Third Shot: The Roads we left Untraveled
Note: TURKEY DAY 2012! WHOO! Okay, I know I said it was gonna be friday that I was gonna post this, but I figured you have all suffered enough, so I'ma posting this today! Last shot people! Takes place between first two. Warning- Has final most cliche thing you could possibly make characters do in a songfic: Sing. Sorry bout that, kinda wanted to explore the different types of songfics that are seen throughout fanfiction. Hope you'll enjoy it anyway. the focus is still on Robin's thoughts & not so much on the singing itself. Well, with that said, enjoy!
"Robin," Cyborg tries to call to me again, but my thoughts have been too unfocused to register this until now.
"Huh? Titans G-!"
"Chill man, you haven't finished your breakfast. Care to tell me what's up?" He interrupts.
"Just," I sigh, "I can't get her out of my head. I try to stay focused, for BB and Star, for Jump… for her, but she keeps invading my mind. She told us she wants us to move on, but…"
"I think you need more than just a letter."
I stare at Cy for a minute, seriously considering my mechanical friend's mental wellbeing.
"And are you proposing that she tell me herself? I'm pretty sure Star already tried 'making the contact with the world of spirits', once when Raven was here to help out herself-"
"I'm talking about something I found a little while back. Come on," he made the 'follow me' gesture and proceeded to the entertainment area, towards the computers that lined the base of the huge window that doubly served as our television set.
"When me and B were going through all that stuff for that tribute vid thing we did; you remember when we showed it during the wake? Anyways, I went over some of my memory files and found some things that didn't exactly suit the vid, but I kept 'em aside, just cause."
While he explains, he sets up the screen. It blinks to life and soon I see Raven, alive and healthy and very pissed off.
My mask widens in surprise. "What happened?"
Cy looks up to Raven's face on the big screen, he starts laughing.
"Oh man, don't worry, I was just bugging her, here, you'll see." He toys with a few more keys and things until he has the screen settings and sound exactly as he wants it.
"Cyborg, there's no way you're roping me into this," her sweet voice drifts into the Ops room. It's as if she had never been gone.
"C'mon Rae, I know you've got skills. Can't you please just play for me once?"
Her eye twitches ever so slightly at the nickname, but Cy continues without missing a beat.
"Please? I won't bug you any more about this. Just one little song, you can e-"
"If I play, do you mind if I sing a little too?" She asks suddenly, almost sheepishly, as if she couldn't believe she was going to give in to Cyborg's pleas.
"No prob! BB, Rob and Star are all out, so Silkie's the only other living thing in this Tower that'll hear you."
She smirked at his comment.
"To the Music Room, then," she says as they make their way through the Tower's corridors.
The music room had been set up some time while Terra had been around. Beast Boy had wanted to impress everyone, namely Terra at the time, with his 'mad skillz' at playing multiple instruments at once. He earned a few laughs, but Raven was the one to really steal the show when she used her telekinesis to start up half an orchestra playing some classical tune that only Cyborg really recognized at first. Cyborg had been on and on afterwards about how he was sure that she could actually play all those instruments herself, without relying on her powers. She had been doing her best to refuse him, but apparently he really had worn her down. The room had been left pretty vacant, but Star occasionally added to it when she had wanted to know of more of Earth's 'music makers'. It had pretty much been left to the dust after Raven had left, I don't think any of us had even passed by the hallway.
Raven had finally made it to the door, Cyborg's shadow is clearly seen on the door as it slides open. She starts naming off the instruments nearby as she makes her way around.
"I don't know, I really just want to hear you play an instrument yourself. It's really hard to pick just one," Cy said.
"Who said I absolutely had to play just one at a time?" She asked mischievously.
Her hand glowed that familiar black aura, and soon it detached itself from her and morphed into two talon-like hands. They poised themselves over the piano, ready to play a tune.
Raven turned back and smirked at what must've been Cy's shocked expression.
"What? The song I have in mind is best accompanied by a piano piece. It's actually quite lovely."
Cy simply shook his head, which blurred out her image momentarily.
"You really are something Rae-" she gives him a death glare "-ven."
She turns swiftly and picks up a guitar, tuning it as the claw-hands test the piano.
"Let's just get this over with. Beast Boy could be home any second, though I wouldn't doubt Star will want to be out all day, Robin with her."
When she's done tuning, a sweet melancholy melody drifts from the piano. Raven tilts her head to the side, much like the bird of her namesake might. As if she was listening ever so carefully for the changes in sound, analyzing the best response for it.
Finally, she takes a breath, and her voice is absolutely astonishing.
Weep not for roads untraveled
Weep not for paths left alone
It was as if she were singing directly to me. Not merely singing the words as she knew them, but her voice carried with it all the tenderness of one who knew what it meant to let an opportunity pass, a mistake to take over instead of letting it go.
'Cause beyond every bend
Is a long, blinding end
It's the worst kind of pain I've known
I know this pain she's singing of. I've felt it in the past days and weeks, even in the months prior to the incident. She had been projecting it onto us without even realizing it, and it still lingered here, seeping into our daily routines and causing us to suffer all the more for it.
"This was fairly recent, wasn't it?" I try to ask, but Cy shushes me.
Give up your heart left broken
And let that mistake pass on
But, I can't give you up, Raven. I won't let you pass. I need you and your memory here. It's too important to me. You want me to let you go, but you don't realize how hard that is for me. I can't forget things easily, and I'm too stubborn to let it all slide.
'Cause the love that you lost
Wasn't worth what it cost
And in time you'll be glad it's gone
She starts in a vocalization that melts my heart. I never knew she had such a set of lungs on her, but it's all so beautiful.
I reflect on the last lines. How can one be glad that their lost love is gone? Maybe for a breakup, that would make some sense that way, but in this context? How can we be happy that our friend has left us? Was she saying that she wasn't worth that time? That effort to become friends? It makes me suddenly think of the old adage: Time heals all wounds.
I want to tell her that while time may heal the wound, if it was deep enough, it'll leave a scar. And while scars too can be healed, some of us wanted, or needed, the reminder.
Her guitar playing interrupts my thoughts, but it's superb, not a single note was missed. Almost too soon, she quiets and starts on what must be the final stanza for the song, even the piano playing has slowed dramatically.
Weep not for roads untraveled
Weep not for sights unseen
It stops completely as Raven looks Cyborg seriously in the eye. It feels as though she's looking into my soul, telling me to pay special attention to her next words.
May your love never end
And if you need a friend
There's a seat here alongside me
She dives right back into her vocalization like before, she plays her heart and soul out on that guitar. And for this time only, I saw a side of Raven that no one was meant to see. There was pain in her, but also this passion. A burning passion and love, for the music, for her friends, for herself. She may have been taught to be emotionally restrained, but through music, she redefined her own character and showed Cyborg, and now I as well, how emotionally liberated she truly desired to be, how unrestrained she really could be, how amazing she actually was.
When she finally finished, the last note had long vacated the room, and a dead silence hung in the air. She began to get agitated by Cyborg's silence.
"Well don't just stand there with your mouth open," she reprimanded.
"Don't," she raised a hand to stop his thought. "Doesn't matter. You got to finally hear me play, now you can't bug me about it anymore."
"You should show everyone!" he attempted to sway her.
"I'm not some trick pony, Cyborg. One time thing, take it or leave it."
With that the talon-hands dissipated and she placed the guitar gently back in the stand. Cyborg watched her leave, never once turning back. The last image showed her head bobbing around the corner into the hallway, presumably heading to Ops.
The screen grows dark.
I hadn't realized tears had slid past the protective covering of my mask until Cy hands me a tissue.
"I just miss her so much."
"We all do man, but we've got our job to do. Like you told us, we can't stop being the Titans simply because of tragedy, it should motivate us to do more. And so far with how you've been handling this, I think she'd be proud of all of us."
I do not reply to this. I think to myself how much those words must've meant to the team, which was exactly why I said them. We needed to keep the team together. But just because I seem to speak with conviction, it didn't mean that I had ever convinced the most important person: Myself. Those seemed like the right words, I knew that they'd unite us, but I didn't believe them. The whole world shouldn't still be moving. Where was that pause in the universe, that moment where everyone realizes that an important part of us is gone, missing, and never coming back? Where's the justice?
Cyborg continues, the mask that I hide behind always works to my advantage in more ways than one.
"She just wants us to move on without her, and that's what I want from you too. Robin, you're hurting, we all are, but we're here for each other. You're not alone in this."
He pats me gently on the back and leaves. I pull up the video and watch it a second time, just to see her face again.
Time will heal this wound, but for now, I wallow in the pain, in my misery, and allow it to consume me. Maybe someday soon, I'll move on. It's a selfish hope, but a hope all the same.
Author's Note: Special thanks to Xaphrin & Stormy-chan, for their excellent work, input & insight. I've you & all my reviewers to thank for helping me to better myself as a writer, even if some consider fanfiction to be a waste of time (cough, my family, cough) . I have all of you to make it worth it. Big thanks to those who do review, Songbyrd47, EmailGoose, Nkcandygirl, ScarredSkull, Tearsofthelost, you guys make my day, I love reading your input before I have to face another dreaded day of school, you guys get me through it!
So happy I got to mention Silkie in this, normally everyone forgets bout the little bugger, but I love him too much to not mention him at least once! Also, did anyone notice what I did when I mentioned him? No? Well, I accidentally added in 'living thing', the title of the album this fic was inspired by. Totally not on purpose but I'm glad things worked out that way. I love it when little things like that happen.
Now for the why of all of this (I know you've all been waiting on the edge of your seat for this): It was a nice day, we had just gotten out for Thanksgiving Break last year (2011 for the people of the future that may be reading this a billion gazillion years from now) and it was the wednesday right before Turkey day. My mom just took me & my sis to go see the newest Twilight film, no one was even in the theater, surprisingly, so we half enjoyed it/half made fun of it. I got a brilliant idea for a totally unrelated fiction piece right after- for Percy Jackson, it involved a child of Hades sensing a death or something, but I later realized how ominous this should've been, the thought of death on my mind when i should've been fangirling it up. But back to my story... so I'm riding the bus to school that monday morning back from Break, listening to U2's 'Beautiful Day', totally pumped up & ready to tackle the monday head on. I walk into my usual morning hang out, & everyone I know is looking super down. I'm the semi-jokester/ hyperactive person of my group, so I quickly get to work trying to cheer everyone up. Then I hear the news... A kid in our grade, a kid who I went to elementary school with, had committed suicide over the break. While I was enjoying a movie with my family, this guy had just... And I didn't even know until THAT morning. I couldn't listen to U2 for that week, I couldn't stand 'Beautiful Day' for the next month. I listen to U2 still, I love that song, they're a good band, but I still think back to that kid I barely knew when I listen to them now. And why had he done the deed? Bullying. Some past girlfriend had been pissed off & got a bunch of people to torment him & call him gay & do stupid stuff like that. It's so asinine, but it happens so often & people don't do anything about it & now he's just another statistic to the rest of the world. But he meant something to my group of friends. He meant something to a lot of people. We live in a rapidly shrinking world, and we still treat each other like shit- pardon my french (or German according to my language-conscious Irish friend).
So this fic is for him. This is for every lost soul out there who just couldn't find another escape. This is for all the people they left behind, even that random, quiet, know-it-all girl who they knew went to school with them, but never really talked to. This is for those who didn't even know they could be affected by the death of a classmate that they hadn't known well enough to know that their circle of friends just so happened to mingle with each other.
I hope you pause a moment (or pray if you happen to be religious like that, I personally am not & I will not force my beliefs onto you) to remember someone you may have lost, someone you knew very very well or someone you just heard in the evening news that died randomly today. We barely know people in our own neighborhoods, sometimes, yet we all live within such close proximity of each other. Our worlds' population is only increasing, which means the death toll is only going to rise as well. Depressing, I know, but soon I'll be forgetting I even wrote this down & you'll be on your way to the next fanfic or sleeping or going about with the rest of your life. Hope you enjoyed this anyway, sorry for ruining your day.
Also in the spirit of Thanksgiving, tell me what you might be thankful for! Yes, I know you've already done this a million times in the past month & all today, but it'd be nice to hear all the same! What I'm thankful for: Teen Titans Go! in 2013. After all these years, we've almost got a season six! Sure, it's not gonna be like the show was before, but kudos to Sam Register & all the people working on it for getting the original voice cast back together! I miss Tara Strong's voice so much, I'm thankful that she'll be back doing Raven's voice, where she really belongs.
Leave me a review, what you liked/hated. Tell me to be more optimistic, tell me you relate to my spontaneous pessimism, whatever suits you. Tell me your own story if you've gone through something similar. Reviews make my day, even if they're bad, at least you took the time to tell me something, so thanks in advance.
See ya in the next fic, check out my other works, etc., also be appreciated if people checked out my forum (there's a link in my profile), it needs a little love. Hope you have a great turkey day despite this... Buh bye.. Alice, out...