I'm SO, SO sorry it took so long to update! I had school! curses Anyway, PLEASE review!
The final chapter, in which Robin studies resurrection. Will he come back? Or pass on?
Disclaimer: I own no one except Red, who's having fun in the Happy House.
Robin decided to listen to what Cyborg and Beast Boy had to say about Red's murder. He knew Red would have to go to court, despite his sudden confession. And he was pretty sure Red was going to get a one-way ticket to the mental institute as well. Ghosts. Ha. Those things don't exist!
Except in Robin's case. Poor Robin doesn't exist. Let's all give him a pat on the back he doesn't have…
Robin's own sarcasm was getting to him. He shrugged off all the scathing remarks and stood at Cyborg's side. Cyborg looked around and, upon seeing no one, shrugged before continuing his game. Robin watched silently as Cyborg beat Robin's high score, a small smile on his face. His words from long ago echoed off the walls. Robin remembered them clearly.
Good job, Cyborg. You beat me! Let me play now!
And, without warning, Cyborg started to cry.
Robin jumped and stared as Cyborg set down the controller and buried his face in his hands. Robin didn't know what to do. Should he tell Cyborg? Should he shake him and tell him to stop?
Cyborg growled and wiped away his tears, looking furious at himself.
Robin's eyes widened as he watched as Cyborg muttered angrily at himself.
"I shouldn't be crying. God, I'm so weak." He shook his head, battling more tears. "Robin. Is. Gone. I need to get over that. I need…" He sobbed, and buried his face in his hands, shaking his head. "I can't."
Robin felt a deep gnawing feeling in his stomach. He felt like crying. Poor Cyborg… Tears slid down his invisible cheeks, and Robin forced himself to tear away from the scene before him. He zoomed down the hall and darted here and there without any regard as to where he was going.
Eventually he calmed down, and began pacing up and down one hallway. Cyborg had CRIED. Cyborg never cried (except for the time he lost his car…). He must be completely bashed. All because Red had killed Robin.
What would have happened if Red HADN'T killed Robin? Would Robin still have Starfire? The possibilities and could-have-beens floated around in his head. Robin shook his head, and in doing so spied the door to his left. It was his bedroom door.
Could Starfire still be in there, waiting for him?
He stepped through the door and into the room. Sure enough, Starfire was kneeling on the bed with a vacant look on her face.
Robin bent over the edge of the bed and placed a soft kiss on her cheek. She blinked and sat up straight as he slid up beside her and wrapped his arms around her.
"Robin," she whispered, leaning back her head to rest it on his shoulder.
He became intangible. "Here I am."
She smiled. "Hello."
There was a long, comfortable silence.
"I was thinking… should I show myself to Cyborg and Beast Boy?"
She was silent a moment. After a while, she nodded. "Yes," she said surely.
There was a knock on the door.
"It's Raven," said a voice from the other side, before anyone could ask.
"Come in!" Starfire said cheerfully.
Raven stepped into the room, looking weary. "Hey, guys."
"You don't look so good, Raven," said Robin.
"I know," said snapped. "Look, Beast Boy and Cyborg are in the living room talking about you. I listened and started thinking…"
"Well… Robin, I think I might have found a way to bring you back."
"Do tell," Robin said eagerly.
"I can't. I don't know for sure yet."
"Let us know when you ARE sure," Starfire said. "I would like Robin back with us very much."
"Me too, Starfire," said Raven. "But don't count on anything yet."
"That's okay, anyway," said Robin. He turned invisible, but his evil grin could be seen even though it was… well… not there. "I need to have a little… chat… with Cyborg and Beast Boy."
Raven's eyes followed him as he walked passed her.
"Good luck," the girls hissed.
"Yeah," said Robin dryly. "I seem to have a lot of that lately." And he phased through the wall.
Robin floated silently down the hall, humming in his head. He reached the living room, and, sure enough, Cyborg and Beast Boy stood next to the couch, chattering away.
"I can't believe Red did that," Beast Boy was saying, nodding. "It's just… so HEINOUS…"
"Awful," Cyborg agreed. "Man, I miss Robin. A lot."
"When I find Red, he'll wish he'd never been born!" said Beast Boy aggressively, punching his open palm. "That spineless, lowly little worm…"
"I wonder why he did it though," said Cyborg thoughtfully. "Why would he lie to us all this time? Why would he kill Robin? Robin's such a NICE guy."
Robin smiled, standing in between them. He flickered to his intangible state, and waited for them to notice him.
"I know. Robin isn't the type to drive someone to that state. Except for bad guys." Beast Boy laughed nervously.
"You know what?" Cyborg said. "I feel like we shouldn't be talking about this, all the sudden."
"Me too," Beast Boy said, frowning.
"I mean, think about it," Cyborg said. "Robin wouldn't…"
"I wouldn't what?" Robin said loudly. He was tired of waiting.
The two looked at him. Beast Boy's mouth dropped.
"ROBIN!" Cyborg shouted. "Holy…"
Robin grinned and waved.
Cyborg struggled for words, stunned. "You're… you're…"
"A ghost," Robin finished for him, his voice heavy with sadness. His glee vanished instantly.
"Oh my…" Cyborg stumbled backwards slightly before he collapsed into the couch. He was pale… very pale… and looked like he was about to be sick.
"You okay?" Robin asked uncertainly.
Cyborg closed his eyes and muttered feverishly to himself. "I'm dreaming I'm dreaming I'm dreaming I'm dreaming…" he chanted under his breath.
Beast Boy, who hadn't said a word this entire time, sputtered and gasped, "OH MY GOD YOU STILL EXIST!" And he fainted.
Robin stared at his two friends. What a way to go, he thought sadly. Have a mental breakdown in the middle of the living room.
The sound of thudding footsteps reached his ears and snapped him to attention. He turned and saw Raven sprint into the room, looking breathless. She skidded to a halt before him.
"Robin, Robin," she gasped, out of breath. "I think… I know… I know the way… to bring you back…"
Robin felt a tiny shock of excitement shoot down his arms. He grabbed her shoulders, staring into her eyes. "Tell me."
"Step back," she ordered, her voice back to its hard, emotionless self. Robin obeyed and, though he wanted to close his eyes and brace himself, he couldn't tear his eyes away from her. She brought her hands up to chest's length, then spread them out like wings. "Azarath, Metrion, ZINTHOS!"
Robin's eyes widened as he was blasted with a ball of black magic. He was thrown backwards into the air, and then caught by an invisible force. He stood awkwardly in mid air, twitching and writhing helplessly. Wisps of black curled around his arms, legs, and torso like many vines, imbedding themselves into him. Robin closed his eyes, letting out a short cry of pain, as he and the magic became one. He didn't even know he could feel pain in this state…
Robin and the magic were nothing now but a twisting, battling ball of light and dark, their swirling colors mixing, tearing apart, and then mixing again. Slowly the glowing ball began to take form of a squirming boy, his entire body wracked with agony. The shape, now completely human, began to color itself, like a drawing in a book. A pair of masked eyes stared blankly at the ceiling, and the boy's chest rose and fell shallowly. The magic reached the end of his steel-toed boots, gave one last tiny twinkle, and was gone.
Robin was dropped the floor with a thud. He kneeled on all fours, panting and fighting back waves of nausea and pain. He stared down at his green-gloved fingers, and his arms collapsed beneath him. He stared at the ceiling through half-closed lids, fighting to see passed the haze in his mind. Darkness chewed at the corners of his eyes and the world swam around him.
And then all went black.
"Is he… alive, Raven?" Starfire asked cautiously, stepping out from behind the doorway. She looked worried, her fingers in her mouth and her eyes full of tears.
Raven watched with wide eyes as Robin lay there, unconscious. She sank to her knees, shaking her head. "Starfire…" she breathed. "Come here."
Starfire obeyed, kneeling next to her friend and looking at Robin's pale face.
"This… is what Red saw… just before Robin died…" Raven whispered, her voice heavy with emotion. "Yes, Starfire, Robin's alive… but… I don't have enough power. He…"
And before their very eyes, Robin's body arched in a final spasm, and he lay motionless.
Starfire gasped, biting back a scream. "NO!"
Raven blinked back several tears. "I… wasn't strong enough…" she said softly, her voice wavering uncontrollably. "I tried…"
Starfire scrambled to her feet, tears streaming down her cheeks. "NO! NO! NOT AGAIN!"
Raven didn't take her eyes away from Robin's face. She sighed, and even her breath shook. "I'm sorry, Robin. I tried."
The body twinkled, tiny sparks of black light shot out of his skin and buried themselves in the floor. Raven watched curiously. Robin began to fade, like a bird flying into the fog, and slowly vanished in a shower of tiny black sparks.
Starfire had taken to blasting away everything in site with her starbolts. One right after another in a rhythmic motion… BLAST, BLAST, BLAST, BLAST…
Raven reached out and grabbed Starfire's shoulder. Starfire jerked away, glaring at Raven. Raven gasped and took a step back, surprised. Starfire's eyes were red and puffy with tears, and had a glint… a horrid glint… in them that suggested she was insane.
"Starfire…" Raven began.
"SHUT UP!" Starfire screamed. The starbolts that had been in her hands earlier had vanished, and she sank to her knees, sobbing. "JUST SHUT UP!"
Raven knelt beside her, unsure of what to do.
"I… I know you t-tried, Raven," sobbed Starfire. "I d-do not b-blame y-you…"
"I understand how much pain you must be in," Raven whispered, patting Starfire's back. "It's okay to be upset."
"N-No," Starfire said, shaking her head. "I-I must b-be st-strong for h-him…"
"No," Raven murmured gently. "You've been strong enough. You've been stronger than all of us. You loved him. You can cry all you want."
And Starfire did.
Starfire, exhausted from her roughly three hours of tears, floated weakly back to her room. Her power shorted out repeatedly, meaning she would drop awkwardly to her feet, then slowly get back up. When she finally reached her room, her knees were buckled from falling. She stepped through the door and gasped. Standing in the corner of the room was Robin.
"ROBIN!" she gasped.
"Starfire," he called. His voice was weak, strained. It sounded as if it came from a long distance, echoing and faint. He held himself tiredly, slumped and shaking. Every part of him was pale and faded, like a picture through thick, dirty glass. Every once and a while a tiny tremor went through him, like an electric shock.
"Robin… what is wrong?" she asked, stepping into the room and letting the door close behind her. Robin wavered again. He reminded her strongly of an old radio, fading in and out with the wind.
And his voice rose and fell in such a way too. "Starfire… get the others. Hurry."
Starfire turned on her heel and sprinted out of the room. About halfway down the hall her legs pumped air, and she was soaring through the air at top speed. She zoomed into the living room, coming to a dead halt in the middle.
"ROBIN!" she shouted. "ROBIN IS STILL HERE! HE REQUESTS TO MEET YOU ALL NOW! NOW!"
"Where is he?" Raven demanded urgently, helping Beast Boy to his feet.
"In my room," Starfire said quietly. When she spoke again, her voice had regained volume. "Hurry!"
The four Titans rushed to Starfire's room, where Robin stood. He smiled weakly at her. "I knew you would pull through for me, Star," he gasped, his voice even more faint than before.
Cyborg and Beast Boy stared, wide-eyed. Raven bit her lip.
Starfire stepped forward several times until she and Robin were face-to-face. "Please don't leave me," she whispered, her voice shaking.
"I… I can't stay," Robin said. "I want to… but I can't…"
Starfire reached out and placed a hand on his cheek. What she felt was cold, unreal. She shivered. Robin reached up and slowly took off his mask. Starfire smiled, staring deep into his beautiful eyes.
"Robin, your eyes… they…"
"I'm sorry," Robin croaked, cutting her off.
She blinked, a few tears sliding down her cheeks. "Robin…"
He shook his head. "Promise you'll keep the team running, Star," he whispered. "Don't let them break apart."
"I will not," Starfire assured, her voice barely above a whisper. She leaned forward, closing her eyes. But her lips touched air.
He was gone.
"He passed on," Raven whispered after a long, long silence. "We won't be seeing him again for a long time."
Starfire, on her knees, shook her head. She had cried so much that day she could cry no more, but every inch of her face was etched in utter anguish.
"What do we do now?" Cyborg asked, his voice soft and full of disbelief.
"We start over," Raven said. She glanced at Starfire. "All of us."
Starfire rose to her feet. "I cannot believe he is… gone…" she murmured.
The crime alarm went off, signaling them to get on the move. Raven looked up, then smiled gently at Starfire. "Starfire, I don't think he's really gone. Not completely. No one is ever gone until they are forgotten."
Starfire nodded, steeling herself for battle. She glanced out the window, where the musty, humid streets could be seen. A thin veil of drizzling rain turned the entire city gray. It matched Starfire's mood almost perfectly. She followed her friends to the door, where she would once again face battle.
Only this time, she would do it without Robin.
And she would do it with strength.
Very faintly, as the Titans headed out into the city, a shout could be heard.
Author's Notes: (sniff) Okay. I'm crying. That was hard to write. Seriously. Hope you liked it… it… sobs uncontrollably WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Star: What a wuss.
Jade: And to think SHE wrote this…
Sorry… Sorry… (sniff) I'm better now. Please review. And just so you know, don't destroy me for nor bringing Robin back. I did. For a second or too. evil grin