Terra was asleep again.
Beast Boy's soft snores echoed through the medbay.
Raven lay still and silent beneath a pink fuzzy blanket that Starfire has insisted on bringing to her.
Starfire herself was asleep on the couch in the Tower's den. A suspiciously familiar black-and-yellow cape was draped over her.
Cyborg sat at the table, mulling over a list of trustworthy doctors for metahumans.
Robin was beside him, toying with his communicator.
They were all waiting.
Robin finally broke the silence, his communicator dropping to the table with a clatter. "We can't leave her the way she is."
Cyborg looked a little annoyed. "I know, man. Why do you think I'm looking at doctors?"
The Titans' leader shook his head. "No, I don't mean she needs treatment. I mean we need to get that suit off of her."
"Uhh . . . ok, why? I mean, I'd love to see it gone too, but why the rush?"
"Think about it, Cyborg. Slade used that suit to control Terra's body. She was able to fight him off before, but that was when she was pushed. If someone figured out how to use the suit now, while she's still weak . . ."
Cyborg nodded. "You think someone's going to? No-one even knows she's alive yet."
"I don't know. But I don't want to leave that kind of security risk in place when we can do something about it." He pointed to Cyborg's list. "Pick someone who's good at surgery, not just general care. Then let me contact him. We need to get things moving."
Robin played with his communicator for a few more minutes while Cy sorted the names by credentials.
Robin looked at the list, then headed over to the main computer. He had a call to make.
Robin and Cyborg entered the medbay. Starfire trailed in behind them, rubbing her eyes sleepily. She giggled when she saw BB leaning his head against Terra's bed, drool hanging down to the floor.
"Beast Boy is very sweet," she whispered to Robin. He cocked an eyebrow at her.
"Should I be jealous?"
Her smile turned warmer. Much warmer. "Never, Robin. I will always be yours alone."
She wrapped her arms around him, kissing him gently. He leaned into it, and Cyborg looked away, whistling innocently.
Sheesh. Kids these days.
Yeah, sure, I guess by now they've earned the right to a little kissy-kissy. Still . . .
I guess it's just hard to admit that the Teen Titans have grown up. They're barely teens at all, really. But I keep thinking that they should be kids or something.
Heck, I keep calling Beast Boy a 'little dude', and he's hardly that anymore . . .
I think he'll always act like a little dude. Growing up - even becoming mature - won't keep him from being - well - Beast Boy.
But just because he acts like a kid doesn't mean Star and Robin have to. Right?
Beast Boy heard the whistling and woke up. "Hhwha??" He blinked his sleepy eyes, then opened them wide when he saw what Robin and Starfire were doing.
Just then Robin broke away from the kiss. He smiled at Star, brushing her cheek affectionately, then turned away.
Then he realized everyone was staring at them.
He cleared his throat and assumed a more businesslike pose.
"Well. Cyborg. Do you think we can wake up Raven and Terra?"
Cy stopped whistling and looked serious again. He consulted various medical readouts before answering.
"It shouldn't be a problem. Raven's almost awake already and Terra's not in any danger, although I'm sure sleeping is doing her some good."
Beast Boy was tense. "Are we gonna have a meeting or something?"
Robin nodded. "Yes. We need to discuss a few things as soon as possible." He walked over to Raven before any more questions could be asked. Starfire joined him in gently waking up their teammate.
Beast Boy looked down at Terra. He self-consciously wiped away the drool from his face (eww) then softly laid a hand on Terra's shoulder.
"Terra. Time to wake up."
She stirred slightly, but didn't wake.
"Come on, Terra. You gotta wake up."
"C'mon, Terra," he crooned. "Wakey wakey . . . um . . . eggs and bakey?"
A smile touched her lips and she drifted towards consciousness. Her eyes slowly opened.
". . . hey, Beast Boy." She looked so beautiful; her hair spread out in a halo around her head, her clear blue eyes gazing up at him, her soft lips barely open . . . Beast Boy was suddenly very distracted.
Then her eyes opened wide, startled. She tilted her head as if seeing him for the first time. "You're big," she squeaked. "Uh - I mean, you - you're big! " She just stared, a little bemused but mostly in shock.
She had every reason to be surprised. When she'd last seen him, Beast Boy was a scrawny little runt. Now, though . . .
He was still . . . lanky . . . but he'd put on about a foot of height. His face had lengthened a little, losing its childish roundness. His hair was still as unruly as ever, but his costume was different: less goofy and more . . . sexy.
He was definitely not the runt of the pack any longer.
Beast Boy laughed at her expression, then scratched the back of his neck, both sheepish and proud.
"Yeah, I kinda . . . grew up a little." He flexed his arms dramatically. "I may have to stop calling myself Beast Boy," he confided in a stage whisper.
She snickered. But there was still something in the back of her eyes . . . the realization that things had changed while she was gone.
"How long?" She asked. "How long has it been since . . . since . . ."
Memories flitted across her mind. She suddenly looked very serious.
She raised her arms, looked at the armor still attached to her elbows, her hands. Her face twisted with anger and she tried to pry off one of the elbow-guards. "Get it OFF!" she snarled.
Everyone in the room turned to look as she wrenched violently at her chestplate. It wouldn't come off, of course - it was surgically attached to her nervous system - but she looked about ready to rip her own skin off. Beast Boy grabbed her wrists.
"Terra, stop! You're just gonna hurt yourself!"
She panted from effort and anger. "I want it OFF. I don't want anyone to control me any more!" Her eyes glowed yellow for a second.
Then she seemed to deflate. She sighed and closed her eyes. She leaned against Beast Boy's chest, her wrists still in his hands. "I don't want to . . . please, Beast Boy, there has to be some way to get it off . . ."
Robin stepped up to her. He gently placed a gloved hand on her shoulder. "There is a way, Terra. I'm sure of it. And we'll get started as soon as we can." He paused to let that sink in. "In the meantime, I think you should get some rest."
She kept her face buried against Beast Boy for half a moment longer, then turned to face Robin. There was a bit of fear in her eyes, but she didn't turn away from him.
". . . Robin?"
He looked her square in the eyes. "Yes?"
". . . what are you going to do with me?"
He cocked his head. "What do you want us to do?"
She looked down, thrown off guard by the question.
"I . . . I don't know," she whispered. "I . . . I want . . .
". . . I want to do what's right. I just don't know what that is."
She looked back up at Robin. "What should I do? I-I guess the city will want to try me . . ."
He met her eyes, calm and controlled. "Don't worry about that now. Nothing's going to happen until you get better." He looked around at the other Titans.
Terra followed his gaze. Physically, Cyborg looked about the same as he had before. The expression on his face looked older than it used to, though. It showed compassion, but also a depth and seriousness she hadn't quite expected.
Starfire had grown up quite a bit. She wasn't much taller, but she was bulkier - stronger, more heavily muscled - and yet more refined at the same time. Her muscles weren't the only part of her to get bigger, and Terra decided that Robin was very, very lucky. Starfire showed nothing but kindness in her face. For all that she was older, she still radiated an air of purity.
Raven was sitting up in bed. She didn't look much different than she had before. Her face was thinner, more elegant, but she was still short and slim. Her face had the same composure she'd strived for when she was younger. She did look oddly expectant, though, as if she knew what Terra was thinking and feeling . . .
Beast Boy was sitting beside her, just as he had been when she woke up. His face was filled with simple emotions in complex combinations. Kindness, sadness, happiness, concern . . . she wasn't sure what else. His eyes were shining, though, and he didn't look like he was going to leave any time soon.
There was no hate here that she could see. No anger. No judgement.
Terra thought that maybe she could rest.
At least for a little bit.
". . . Thank you," she said, and Robin nodded. He turned to walk away, and most of the Titans went with him.
As Robin and Starfire walked out the door together, she turned to him and asked in a whisper: "Did you find out what you wanted to know?"
He nodded. "Yeah. I think I did."
Cyborg, behind the two, heard but said nothing.
Terra, Beast Boy and Raven were all alone in the medical wing.
Yeah, I know, the story seems pretty slow right now. It seems like everybody's tense but nothing's happening. Where's the action, the fighting, the bold decisions and the painful sacrifices?
Well, don't blame me. That's just the way it happened. Life doesn't always happen all at once.
It seemed like, though there were big problems that needed to be solved, this was a period of rest.
Whyever that was, I was glad. After spending such a long time frozen in stone, it seemed appropriate that Terra have some time to just be.
Beast Boy gently lowered Terra back to a lying position. She wanted to stay awake, but she could feel exhaustion washing over her and she decided maybe she needed to sleep after all. But first . . .
She looked up at him. "Beast Boy?"
". . . How long?"
He froze for a minute, not sure how to say it. Finally, it just came out.
Years. Not weeks or months . . . she'd been in stone sleep for years.
Sadness crossed her face. Then she looked up at Beast Boy.
Still smiling, she fell asleep.