Disclaimers: I do not own Teen Titans or any of its characters.
Notes: Slade torments Robin. Beast Boy overhears something.
The Masks We Wear
Robin sat on the cave floor, staring up at the familiar face before him. Terra. She had been a Titan, an ally and a friend. Her
betrayal had stung as harshly as a knife in the gut, but she had sacrificed herself for them in the end, had given her own life to
save the lives of others.
However, mourning her was not the reason Robin had come here before the light of day. No, this was where he always found
himself after one of his nightmares. No, after one of his memories. Terra was the only one he felt he could confide in. True
she was cold, trapped in a form of stone. But that didn't really matter. What mattered was the fact that she had been Slade's
apprentice as well. It left Robin wondering if she had been treated in a similar manner as Robin had been.
"Did he hurt you, Terra? Did he touch you?" Robin thought aloud, pulling his knees to his chest and resting his chin on them,
his arms twisted around his legs. Of course, he didn't expect an answer to his query. She was lifeless. But she was someone
Robin felt he could talk to, the only one he could talk to. They were the same. They shared a commonality. Slade had
tormented the both of them.
Terra was the lucky one in this. She didn't feel anything anymore. She was free of the pain, of the memories. Robin wasn't
so fortunate. All he could do was remember. He couldn't forget. He constantly felt as if he were being watched, as if Slade
was standing right behind him waiting to grab him, to try and take control of him again.
"I envy you, Terra." Robin frowned, gazing up at the immobile stone. "You're free. I wish I could be free." He shuddered,
bowing his head, a strangled whimper forcing its way from his throat as the memories assailed him once more.
He buried his face in his knees, digging his nails into the flesh of his legs as he pushed back the urge to weep. Yet, a few stray
tears managed to escape him. And that was enough to open the floodgates. Despite his attempts, his body began to shake as
sobs fell forth, his tears freely running.
Why couldn't the pain stop?
Beast Boy frowned as he stepped into the cavern. He was just coming to say hello to Terra, like he did every now and then -
usually before the others woke up. He hadn't expected to find Robin there. Nor had he expected to find his friend crying on
the floor. It was a sight that left Beast Boy feeling disturbed. And Robin's words - what he had said to Terra - Beast Boy
couldn't get them out of his mind. Why? Why would he envy Terra?
He took a step forward, only to freeze in place as he considered his actions. True, he wasn't great at thinking things through
ahead of time. But this was a special circumstance. His friend was obviously hurting. But would Robin really want him nosing
into his business?
Beast Boy didn't think he would. Biting his lip, he backed away, retreating behind some boulders as he continued to keep an eye
on his friend. He wouldn't bother Robin now. The timing wasn't right. He didn't need Beast Boy forcing answers out of him
at the moment. Robin was kinda quiet, a loner really. He wasn't one to share feelings.
However, that didn't mean Beast Boy would keep his mouth shut forever. Perhaps, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on
Robin for a while. Maybe Robin could work through whatever demons were plaguing him by himself. If not, then at least
Beast Boy and the others could offer support. He only hoped Robin would be able to come to one of them if he really needed
them. Only time would tell. For now, he would return to the Tower. He'd keep his mouth shut about Robin's tears and the
words he had spoken ... unless he saw the situation continuing or worsening.
Starfire was there to greet him when he stepped inside. "Salutations, friend! How are you on this glorious day?" Her smile
was bright, as always. She was so full of life and mirth, it was difficult not to smile in return.
"Ehh, you know how things are. Same story every day." Beast Boy went to the fridge and rooted around inside, not really
finding anything of interest.
Starfire hovered just behind him. "And Terra? How did she look today? Is she still stoned?"
Beast Boy froze a moment before letting out a breath. He closed the fridge and turned to face her again. Starfire was just so
literal about everything that what she said was often amusing. Beast Boy's nature made it difficult for him not to laugh.
Instead, he smiled at her. "Yeah, still rock solid! Probably will be for a long time ... maybe forever."
Starfire actually looked disappointed. "That is too bad. Despite her choosing an incorrect path, I believe she behaved as a true
Teen Titan when the time came." She tilted her head and regarded her green friend. "You are usually away for longer, though.
Is there something troubling you?"
Beast Boy really wanted to tell Starfire everything, knowing that she would want to comfort Robin, but he didn't want Robin to
know that he had seen what must have been a very private moment. Despite his usual happy-go-lucky nature, he cared very
deeply for his friends. So he shook his head. "I'm fine. I'm just thinking about my visit to Terra today." That wasn't a lie, not
really. He wasn't the one in trouble. Robin was.
Starfire pouted a little. Then the door opened and the expression literally melted from her face as the only other female member
of the team walked into the room. "Raven! Perhaps we should partake in the human female ritual of mall hopping. We could
go trolling. Are there many trolls to catch at this place known as the mall?"
The dark girl paused, lowering the book she had been absorbed in to give Starfire a dubious look. "I don't shop. And there are
no trolls at the mall. Plus, we would stand out like a pair of sore thumbs."
Starfire seemed to ponder those words. "Yes, I can see how thumbs that have been injured would be out of place. Especially
if it were just the thumbs." She wiggled her own thumbs as she spoke, looking at them, then looked back to Raven. "Perhaps
we should find these thumbs you speak of. They must cause a great upset. And if there are no trolls at the mall, how can one
Beast Boy chuckled as he made his way back to his room, leaving Raven to try and explain things.
To Be Continued ...