It surprised everyone when Raven rang the doorbell.
I don't really blame them. I mean, she's a Titan. She shouldn't have to ring the doorbell. She should just waltz right in, right?
Maybe she rang because she needed the others' help.
She half-lay in front of the doors to the Tower, her cloak spread protectively over something on the ground. Her skin was paler than usual from exhaustion. When the other Titans arrived, she was too tired to stand up on her own.
Robin was the first one out the door, of course. Heaven forbid he leave a member of his team lying on the ground.
"Raven?? What happened? Are you all right?" He hurried to help her sit up all the way, then turned to scan the horizon. He thought he saw two people walking down the land bridge to the city . . . then Cyborg bumped him, and he moved aside to let the other Titans help their friend stand up.
Yeah, those two people were probably important. Never did find out who they were, though. Anyway, the story goes just fine without them.
Robin and Cy were supporting Raven as they walked towards the Tower, and Starfire was hovering anxiously nearby, asking if Raven was alright. Beast Boy . . .
Beast Boy stood frozen in the doorway.
"B? Come on, man, you gonna help us or what?" Cyborg was anxious to get Raven inside, but Beast Boy was blocking the way. Raven still hadn't said anything. But she lifted her head enough to watch the changeling . . .
The little dude sank to his knees beside the cloak-wrapped bundle on the ground. He lifted a corner of the fabric, revealing a long mess of blonde hair.
". . . Terra?"
Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared. Even I was surprised.
He pulled away more of the cloak. The blonde hair was followed by a dirty face, battered armor . . .
He gently lifted her up and held her to himself as he knelt on the ground. His eyes were closed. He rocked back and forth for a few seconds.
Beast Boy stood up, Terra in his arms. Raven's cloak still dangled from the girl's still form. He looked at the woman who had brought her back.
"You did this?" he whispered. "How?"
She just looked tired. (More like completely and utterly spent.) "I can explain later. Let's just get inside."
Her voice was rough, hoarse. No-one argued with her - they just started moving for the doors.
Okay, so you're probably wondering who I am. Right? Right, of course you are. Only natural.
Call me Dialogue. Or just D, if you want. I kinda like the sound of that. D.
I could be Monologue, I guess, but my uncle told me that when someone tells a story they're always interacting with the audience, even if they can't see or hear them. So this isn't really a monologue. It's a dialogue. You and me, connecting back and forth.
Hope that made sense.
The Titans took Terra and Raven to the med-lab. Starfire hovered protectively over the both of them as Cyborg monitored their vitals and planned treatment options. Beast Boy wouldn't leave Terra's side - he kept holding her hand, as if she might fade away if he let go. Robin watched everything from the doorway. You know, being all leader-ly.
Starfire, hesitantly, asked The Question first. "Please, friend Raven, what happened to bring our friend Terra back to us? How did you accomplish this feat?"
Raven cracked an eye open from where she lay on the medical bed. She looked at the alien and sighed.
"I was able to enter Terra's mind. I used her own powers to return her to normal. I've tried it before but was never strong enough . . . but this time it worked." The explanation over, she closed her eyes again. ( I guess she thought that made sense . . . ?)
Starfire looked puzzled. "You . . . used her own powers? Please, I do not understand." You and me both, sister.
Raven didn't open her eyes. "I was able to tap into the part of her mind that controls her geokinesis. I used Terra's own instincts and power to reverse the process that turned her to stone. It's . . . complicated. I don't understand myself exactly how it worked. But Terra's instincts knew how to awaken herself. She just wasn't aware enough to do it." She seemed content with that, and Starfire didn't question her again.
Too bad. I was still a little confused.
Robin moved discreetly to Cyborg's side. "How are they?" he asked quietly.
Cyborg 'hmmed' a moment, then replied just as quietly. "Pretty good, actually." He nodded at the two girls. "They've both been through an incredible amount of stress, but their bodies are healing well. They'll be out of it for a while, but I'm pretty sure they're both out of the danger zone."
"Really?" The leader of the Titans was surprised at the good news. "That's amazing. I would've thought . . ." his voice trailed off. He looked thoughtfully at the armor that still encased Terra. "Any idea when they'll be back on their feet?"
"Man, not for a few days at least. Raven - well, she might surprise me, but I wouldn't count on her for anything big for a week. Whatever she did, it really drained her. I'm gonna tell her to stay in bed for the next three days, minimum.
"Terra . . . she might take a month or two to really recover enough to be up and around all the time. She probably could be up and walking within a couple of weeks, unless something really bad happens.
"Of course, she is pretty tough, so who knows? She may get better faster than that . . . " he shrugged. "I'm really not an expert. We ought to get her to a real doctor."
Robin nodded. "I understand." He stood silently for a few seconds. Y'know, doing that 'thinking' thing he likes so much.
"Thanks, Cyborg." He left to join Stafire at Raven's side.
Starfire was silent, watching over her sleeping teammate. She gently brushed some hair away from Raven's forehead, concern in her emerald eyes. (Ooh . . . emerald. How come leaders get all the cute chicks?)
"Cyborg says she's gonna be ok, Starfire. She just needs some rest."
The Tamaranian looked relieved, mostly. "That is wondrous news," she said softly. Her happiness was somewhat muted.
She clasped her hands in her lap and looked up at her best friend. "Robin . . . about friend Terra . . . "
His eyes grew hard under the mask.
"We'll have to talk about her later, Star. Right now we're just going to wait for her to get better." He reached out and put a hand on her shoulder. "Come on. Maybe we can still salvage what's left of that cake you were making." He gently led her out of the infirmary.
Cyborg watched them go, then turned his attention back to the medical computers. The back of his mind, though, was focused on watching Beast Boy.
He sat hunched over Terra, her hand held in his. His expression was an odd mix of pain and longing as he stared at her face. Aww. Troo wuv.
I know, I shouldn't mock. He really truly loved her. Sorry.
I just don't like to admit that I'm really a sucker for romance.
Cy walked over to stand behind Beast Boy. Silent, hulking, a veritable mountain of support. (Veritable. Heehee. Cool word.) He placed a hand on his friend's shoulder.
"B, man, she's not going to wake up for a few hours, at least," he said gently. "Maybe you should get some sleep or something."
"No." The changeling would not be moved. "I'm staying right here."
Cyborg sighed. "Ok, man." He patted Beast Boy on the back and went back to the monitors.
- - -
When Cyborg finally left, Beast Boy was still sitting over Terra. He had barely moved, hardly even blinked.
But a few minutes after his friend left . . .
Beast Boy crept over to Raven's side.
"Raven?" he whispered. She showed no sign of consciousness.
"Raven . . . why did you do it?" His face was a storm of conflicting emotions. Confusion, uncertainty, gratitude, relief.
"Why'd you help Terra?"
There was nothing but silence for a long moment.
Then a voice startled me. "She needed my help."
Raven opened her eyes and looked at Beast Boy. She was calm, composed. Tired, but composed.
He still looked confused. "I thought you hated Terra."
Silence. Then another measured response.
"I did, once. Not anymore.
"And even if I hated her, she still needed me.
"And maybe . . . we need her."
She gazed solemnly at her friend. I guess she was waiting for him to say something.
She didn't have to wait long.
"Thanks, Raven." He gently, quickly hugged her. Then he sat up and kept looking at her. Maybe he was wondering what else to say.
"You're welcome," she said stiffly. "But shouldn't you be over there watching her?"
He scrambled up. "Yeah. ... um . . . thanks."
"You said that."
"Yeah. Guess I did."
He walked back over to Terra's side and sat down. Raven closed her eyes again. I assume she slept.
Okay, so you still don't know who or what the heck Dialogue is. Well, I guess I could tell you a little bit about me.
My dad is The Narrator. My mom is Foley. (Okay, she's actually Onomatopoeia, but nobody calls her that.) My whole family pretty much lives for stories.
I like the Titans. They're pretty cool. Lots of fun to tell stories about, that's for sure. Not my only 'subjects,' but some of my favorites.
And no, they don't know anything about me. That's ok. It's more fun that way, don't you think?
Anyway . . .I guess that's really enough about me. I don't really like to talk about myself very much. I'd rather talk about the Titans.
That's what this story is about, right?
Beast Boy's head was nodding on his chest. Aww, cute. He stayed up all night to be with Terra.
Looks like it was about to pay off.
She lay still and silent in bed. But her breathing was starting to become fast, irregular.
Like she was having a nightmare.
Suddenly her eyes shot open and she tried to sit up. She didn't make it all the way, but she did get Beast Boy's attention.
She was gasping for breath, wide-eyed with fear. "Beast Boy!" she cried, and reached up to grab him. He held her close, trying to calm her down.
"It's okay - you're safe now - it's alright-"
"B-Beast Boy?" She shivered and shuddered in his grasp.
Gradually, she calmed down. Her breathing slowed, her tremors stilled . . . the nightmare passed.
She leaned against him, soft and warm. He stroked her hair. So soft. So alive.
"It's okay, Terra. Everything's okay now."
"Everything's okay . . . "