Disclaimer- I don't own anything.
Sorry for the late update…but here it is.
Please note that in this story the events of 'The end' take place right after episode 'birthmark'. And I have combined the three episodes- The End, July 9 2005, The End part-3
A/N- Please read the first 13 chapters as I have re written them and a few relationships between the characters have changed.
Episode- The End, July 9 2005, The End part-3
Red-black clouds sprawl across the sky, billowing in from the west. Their brassy glare drains colour from houses and trees and burnished cars in driveways, leaving neighbourhood's tinted bronze in the faltering light. The air grows heavy and the humidity presses down, suffocating. The scent of ash and fire is dark and heady. Stillness falls over the street, empty of the usual chittering of the citizens of Jump city.
The titans and the Justice league injured find shelter in the only intact building in the now burnt city, the titan tower standing in all its glory all courtesy of the fallen hero.
Speedy, his uniform in tatters and his body filled with cuts and bruises but his heart hurting way more than his body did, dragged himself to the roof where not nine hours ago he had his first kiss with the love of his life. He touched his lips falling down on his knees on the rooftop, his eyes welling up with tears as he remembered those moments and grief overtook his body.
He stood there dumbfounded feeling her soft lips on his, his mind turning blank, heart beating fast and adrenaline still rushing through his veins from the jump and now her kiss.
Slowly he started to unfreeze and wrapped his arms around her waist and began responding to the kiss causing her arms to wrap around his broad shoulders. They both were unexperienced, a little nervous but going with their instinct and finally acting on their feelings.
Both nervous, hesitant in their movements but pouring all the love they feel for each other through their movements. Slowly they synced and fireworks erupted in his heart as her hand wound in his hair and he pulled her closer. White hot electricity rushed through his veins as pulled her even closer, taking control of the kiss and deepening it.
Begrudgingly they slowly parted their arms still around each other, both breathing heavily, lips swollen and red and hearts filled with love which was not yet ready to be expressed. He smiled that heart-warming, sincere smile of his at her, only at her; while she blushed and looked down a tiny smile on her lips.
His heart elated seeing her blush, worries of the future seemingly forgotten even if for a few fleeting moments and to just stay in this moment for a few more minutes he suddenly crushed her to his chest and buried his face in her neck.
She felt his emotions, an unspoken connection between them, everything that he wasn't saying and wrapped her arms around him, trying to reassure him for what even she didn't know.
He wasn't ready to let her go and he knows that he never will be.
Tears started falling from his unmasked eyes and on the harsh unforgiving floor as he remembered the events which led up to this.
9 hours ago
The red headed hero woke up after dreams filled with the empath and the loving moments they shared, a huge blinding smile on his face as he dreamily made his way out of bed and to his washroom, quickly grooming himself, spending more time than usual on his face and hair before quickly making his way to the common room, to the girl of his dreams.
He was so lost in the blissful memories of their first kiss that he didn't even acknowledge the burning stench coming from the kitchen. He almost floated to the bar stools, his instincts guiding him to her, sighing and supporting his head with his palm as he watched the dark beauty in front of him.
He didn't even pay acknowledge to what she was doing but focused on how hair swayed as she moved around the kitchen, the same hair that he had tangled his hand into. How her eyes sparkled, the same eyes that looked at him with affection mirroring his own as they lost themselves in each other; her red pouty lips about which he had always wondered if they would feel as soft as they look and now he knew-
He was rudely snapped out of his daze when a heavy hand was placed on his shoulder, slightly annoyed he looked up and saw his mentor grinning at him mischievously and wiggling his eyebrows to which he smiled sheepishly and rubbed his neck, a blush coating his cheeks.
"If you are going to stare at her" Green Arrow said with a teasing smile and amusement shining in his eyes and continued "then it's best that you do it discreetly."
Speedy turned even redder at his words and then almost ashen when he saw where his mentor was indicating. The dark knight was sitting not a few paces away from him and giving the red head his signature death glare, protectiveness of his daughter screaming through his being making Speedy wanting to run for the hills, only he knew that nothing could save him from the bat themed hero's protectiveness and wrath where his beloved daughter was concerned.
He mustered every bit of courage he had and smiled nervously but that faltered when he saw the bat protégé, the titan leader and his childhood friend glaring at him in a similar fashion. He looked away and engaged in a conversation with Cyborg and Starfire who had just entered the Ops room, trying to ignore the fact that he had two overprotective bats monitoring his every move. He tried to focus on the rest of the heroes filling in.
As if he just entered the real world, his senses were assaulted by the stench overpowering the kitchen and his zeroed on the burnt monstrosities still cooking. He hesitantly looked up and saw Raven standing with a blank expression and a spatula in her hand. Her eyes showed determination, making him gulp nervously.
They had to eat that, what was supposed to be pancakes and their breakfast. He looked at her again and saw her determinedly taking out the pancakes from the pan but they seemed to be stuck, she tried and after a while it came out. She gathered the burnt and sticky pancakes in a plate and turned to heroes looking at her nervously, but she didn't notice, she was too focused on making the breakfast.
She smiled one of her genuine small smiles and said offering the heroes the plate "Morning…pancakes?"
"Uh…thanks." Beastboy said confused and scared of eating the said pancakes. She turned setting the heaping pile in front of them to gather some toppings for the pancakes while all the heroes shared a look and then stared at the pancakes.
They had to eat the pancakes in front of them, they didn't have the heart to say no. Raven had made them, for the first time she had tried to cook and she presented them with so much affection that they all knew they would eat it.
Everyone sat around the table, one pancake in each of their plates. They all took a bite and an awful taste exploded in their mouth. It seemed like their tongue was on fire and that sticky, burned taste would never leave their mouths. They looked at her expectant face staring at them and very reluctantly swallowed it.
"It was nice of Raven to cook us breakfast, right guys?" Robin said nudging his team who were drowning the pancakes in chocolate syrup, maple syrup or in Starfire's case, Mustard to mask that awful taste. They all nodded and gave forceful smiles making the empath smile and return back to whatever chore she was doing.
The Justice League looked at the 'pancake' in front of them and then at each other, only Martian Manhunter and Starfire were enjoying it so naturally they quickly tossed theirs into the alien's plates.
The heroes put a smile on their face and thanked the girl for breakfast and turned leaving the titans behind. Meanwhile Speedy was confused by the empath's behaviour, she had agreed to train with Robin, paint toe nails with Starfire and play extreme stankball after their training with the Justice League.
Speedy stayed back until it was only Raven and him in the kitchen when he turned to her and said with concern overflowing his aura "Is everything okay?"
She raised an eyebrow, trying to act nonchalant and answered "Yes, Speedy everything is fine, why wouldn't it be?"
A nagging feeling developed in his mind, something was wrong, there was something that she wasn't telling him and said with hesitance in his voice "If you're sure."
She smiled and interlocked her fingers with his, leading him towards the training room, saying "Come on they must be waiting for us."
He let her lead him, the nagging feeling never leaving him and a feeling of something bad happening developing inside him.
It happened after training, the heroes were leaving the room as Batman stepped back to talk to Doctor Fate when suddenly the bright skies turned dark, gloomy, and ominous.
The ominous feeling inside Speedy deepened and it made his heart skip a beat when he heard Raven groan, his head snapped towards her direction standing next to Robin as she clutched her head and swayed, her knees bucking making her loose balance as she fell, red marking illuminating from her skin.
The red haired hero ran to the demoness who was held by her adoptive older brother. He fell on his knees next to her, his heart breaking as he saw tears in her eyes and the defeated look on her face, his attention was consumed by her that he failed to notice everyone who had gathered around them. He clutched her hand in his, refusing to look away from her as a pair of black masked hands wiped away her tears and caressed her hair.
He knew what was happening so he said in a voice not more than a whisper but with the dreadful silence around them everyone heard "Why didn't you tell us? It's happening isn't it?"
"I just wanted a few moments with everyone without my destiny looming over us." Raven replied, her eyes closing causing more tears to flow.
A few tears of his own wanted to surface but he pushed them back, knowing that he has to be strong for them today when she was vulnerable. Fear crept inside him knowing that their chance of winning is low and these might be their last moments.
But as he looked at the usual stoic empath being comforted by her adoptive and also usually stoic father, he knew that there wasn't a single thing he wouldn't do to make sure that these aren't his last moments with her, that she could tug at his nose like is her habit when she is annoyed by him and that he would have a lifetime with her.
The next couple of hours flew in frenzy, with everyone gearing up for the fight and trying to keep their minds off the danger lurking just around the corner. Strategies were made and all necessary steps of protection were being taken. Raven was taken to the enchanted safe room created specially by Doctor Fate to make sure that Trigon's influence doesn't reach her there.
Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Beastboy, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Martian Manhunter were standing in front of the tower as the first and the strongest line of defence while the rest of the Justice League was assessing the situation all over the world and preparing for a contingency plan.
Speedy was making sure that Raven was settled in the safe room after that he would join the rest of the heroes to protect the world and the woman he loves with every bit of his heart.
The heroes had decided to let Speedy and Raven have a moment and had stepped away voluntarily after hugging the girl or in the case of the bat's kissing her forehead and assuring her that everything would be okay. Her protective father had also stepped away giving them a moment of privacy, for even the dark knight knew that there was no one better that the red headed archer for his daughter.
Speedy took a deep breath and walked inside the room, the doors closing behind him, giving them a reprieve from the world. He looked at the girl in front of him and felt for a moment that it was just the both of them in this world, just Roy and Raven, two teenagers who had grown up together, who knew each other better than anyone in this world and who had feelings for each other.
"It's time, I should go." Roy said softly, his eyes never moving from her. She took a few steps toward him and reached forward, gently removing the mask from his eyes and interlacing her fingers with his when she accomplished her task.
Emerald met amethyst and the empath started, her eyes never leaving his "I…..I have to tell you something Roy." He smiled, he knew what she wanted to tell him, he always did know her better than anyone, even herself and shook his head slightly making her tilt her head in confusion.
His free hand reached up and caressed her face, making her lean into it as he said "Not like this Raven, not now when…"
His voice cracked at the end but he took a deep breath and continued "Not when we don't know what will happen, if-f we will be ali- *he took a deep, shaky breath*…I need you to tell me this after we return victorious."
Her face fell slightly, tears welled up in her beautiful eyes as she nodded and looked down. He reached forward and snaked his arm, which was previously caressing her face, around her waist and pulled her forward to crush her to him.
His arms wrapped tightly around her as if their warmth could protect her from any danger and for a moment it felt that way.
And after a couple of minutes he slowly whispered in her ear "I want you to tell me when the sun shines bright again in the sky, when you are not worried about your destiny, when Trigon cannot harm us anymore, when there is joy in your eyes instead of sadness, when you smile in front of me unafraid of anything in the world…I want you tell me then."
He smiled lightly as a tear slipped down his emerald orbs as he felt her nod, agreeing with him and he slowly and very reluctantly parted from her and gave her a kiss on the corner of the lips and stepped back, his arms instantly felt cold without his empath in them but he steeled himself and placed the mask on himself.
"Be safe Roy." She called out as a tear slipped down her cheeks and he smiled at her, standing at the threshold and said "You too Rae."
But before he left, he called out one last time and said "For the record, I do too Raven…forever." She smiled as she understood the meaning of his words and his heart elated seeing her smiling face before the doors closed and locked the security mode activating.
He joined the rest of the heroes, steeling himself and preparing for the fight of his life, ready to give whatever it takes to make sure that the dark beauty stays safe.
Slade walked towards them, demanding to take Raven with him.
Seeing him made the heroes blood boil, especially that of Batman, his overprotectiveness as a father surfacing as he stood in a attacking position, batarangs at the ready; behind him all the heroes standing in similar positions.
"No way." The dark knight growled, his voice gruffer than usual and eyes narrowed down.
The villain in turn also narrowed his eyes and said "You don't have a choice…I am taking her." And with that weird fire creature surrounded the heroes, capturing them inside a circle. And with the villain's command they all attacked the heroes.
Thus, the fight began.
The fire creatures or demons were fighting the heroes with Batman fighting Slade. The fight seemed like it would never end, as soon as they fought two demons four more appeared. Starfire and Superman tried to use their superpowers which provided them a short reprieve but that ended when they were held down by what looked like ropes made of fire.
Batman was winning against Slade when suddenly his eye widened and a burst of fire came from him and blasted the dark knight, the energy seeping through his Kevlar suit and greatly weakening them.
The archers had little or no success against these creatures as their arrows shot through them, not harming them even a little and the situation worsened when their bows and arrows were torcher leaving them unarmed and reliant on their hand to hand combat.
One by one all the heroes were taken down, these creatures were relentless and felt undefeatable. They all stood in front of the tower, weakened when more fire demons emerged and were about to attack again when a voice rang from behind them.
It was Raven, but she shouldn't be here. Speedy thought she should be inside where it is safe.
Somebody asked in the background, but Speedy didn't have it in him to focus on who it was, he was focused on the levitating dark beauty coming towards them.
"I will go with you…..I can't hide from my destiny any longer." She said and before anybody could protect dark energy came from her and zapped in all the heroes present, lifting them slightly and gently putting them on the ground when they lost their consciousness.
"Be safe." Was the last thing Speedy heard before everything went black.
He woke up, groaning and clutching his head as he slowly opened his eyes and looked at the heroes around him, in similar position. As he came out of the state of unconsciousness everything that happened hit him with full force making him yell "Raven!"
He wished that everything that had happened was a nightmare, an illusion but not reality, never that but looking at the heroes with same expression of anguish and defeat he knew that this was reality.
While everyone was wallowing in their defeat Robin spoke up, acting as the fearless leader he is "We have no time to lose, we need to go to Raven now."
Batman placed a hand on his protégé's shoulder, both of them masking their emotions well but everyone knew their feelings well, and said "Robin is right…we don't have any time to lose." He then turned to Robin and asked "Do you know where she will be?"
Robin pursed his lips and turned to his team, they all knew where the ritual would take place and Cyborg spoke up "Where it all began…the abandoned church."
The heroes arrived just in time, fighting and removing the fire demons in front of them, giving the fight all their strength to make their way to Raven. They didn't even feel the pain anymore, consumed by their desire to stop Raven and protect her at all costs.
Raven turned as she heard commotion behind her and with a swipe of her hand all the fire demons fighting the heroes vanished.
"It has already begun and there is no stopping what is meant to be." Raven said her posture screaming defeat as she took of her hood and looked down.
"I have known my whole life that this day was going to come, I tried to fight it but…but I can't anymore."
"I don't accept it." Batman said in a gruff tone looking at the girl in front of him; his baby girl, his daughter, no he will not accept defeat and let a demon and some prophesy take his daughter away. He will fight till his last breath to make sure that all his loved ones are safe.
"You can fight Raven, you can take control." Superman said as he walked over to her and placed a hand on her shoulder, giving her an assuring smile.
She shook her head, looking down and it was Robin who spoke next "Then let us fight with you, Raven."
She shook her head and said "No, this is my fight…I have to do it alone."
Before anyone could say anything Speedy walked towards her and held her hand and said "You are never alone Raven; you are our friend, our family…let us fight for you."
She looked up at him and he thought that he got through to her but was shocked when she freed her hand from his, stepping back and casting a black shield around the heroes, to protect and contain them. "Then as my friends, my family…you have to let me go."
Speedy ran forward and hit the shield as did all the heroes behind him but all their efforts were in vain, the shield remained unaffected. "Thank you for everything you have done for me, I am grateful to have such wonderful friends and family….I love you all." Raven rasped out before turning and levitating towards the top ignoring the protests behind her.
Batarangs, laser, arrows, brute force everything was tried but the shield did not move. They all kept hitting it with everything they had until they heard Raven chanting
"The gem was born of evil's fire,
the gem shall be his portal
when he comes to claim, he comes to sire,
the end of all things mortal."
A white light erupted from Raven, momentarily blinding them as Speedy, Batman and Robin cried "Raven!"
The ceiling started falling as fire came from above and they knew they had lost when they heard a sinister voice exclaiming "The earth is mine!"
Thank you for reading.
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