Categories > Cartoons > Teen Titans > Aftermath Trilogy: To Ask and Be Answered

A Shadow and a Memory

by Slades_Downfall 0 reviews

Category: Teen Titans - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Characters: Beast Boy,Raven,Robin,Starfire - Published: 2012-07-02 - Updated: 2012-07-03 - 2472 words - Complete

Chapter Three: A Shadow and a Memory

Nightwing stood quietly at the window of the newly renovated Titans Tower thinking. He was thinking about /her /of course, Slade was long gone and now there wasn't any criminal mastermind for him to obsess over. Now, there was just her for him to think about. He loved her so much, for all ten years he'd loved her, and though, she knew it, he'd told her many times, or had he told her, really, he wondered.

He'd never had enough courage to actually /ask /her the question. He wanted so desperately to say it, to force those words out of his mouth. He had the courage to take down criminals, but not the courage to ask the one he loved to marry him.

He thought it was quite an oxymoron, really; brave in the face of danger and a coward in the face of love. He would tell her soon, maybe tonight. They planned to spend the day together, she said she had something she wanted to tell him, but he didn't know what it was. Yet. He would find out tonight and confess his love for her. He'd tell her how he felt, and that part would be over with.

He walked out the Tower door, locking it securely. Frowning, he thought he saw someone moving in the shadows. He swore that it was Red X, but he hadn't seen him in years and he convinced himself it was nothing.

Walking away, he put it out of his mind. Why worry himself about Red X when he had more important things to worry about, like how to tell someone you've loved for a long time how you really feel. With this in his mind, Nightwing made his way towards the park where Starfire was to meet him.

It had been a long week for Angel Anderson Logan as she quietly cleaned the inside of her small, but tidy cafe she owned. She'd finished cleaning the tables and putting all the chairs away. Walking to the door, she began to lock up. She felt a pair of arms slip around her waist. "Hello, my sweet Angel," Gar's voice was intense and husky in her ear.

"Garfield Logan, what do you want? I thought you were at home." she said, although she knew the answer. Leaning back, she quietly rested against his strong, firm body as he held her in his arms.

"Oh you know what I want. I just wanted to come see you." His lips brushed her neck, causing her to tremble with excitement and anticipation. His hands moved from her waist to her shoulders, gently turning her around to face him.

"Do you remember the last time this happened?" he asked, his voice soft. His hand slid from her shoulders to her face, softly caressing it, he smiled fondly at the memory.

"Yes, except it was much darker," Angel replied quietly shutting off the lights.

"That's what I remember now," he chuckled quietly. He pulled her into his arms, his lips meeting hers again for the second time that day, gently running his fingers through her hair. Kissing her, Gar enjoyed it immensely; he loved her more and more every day.

Quietly, he wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer to him. His tongue gently brushed her lips, requesting entrance, she let him in and he tenderly began to explore her mouth as their tongues dueled intensely.

He noticed a change in her demeanor, gently pulling away, he frowned, concerned. "What's the matter?" he asked, still holding her quietly.

"It's nothing, Gar. Nothing for you to worry about," she lied, trying to hide something from him.

"What is it?" he asked in a soft, caring voice. "What's wrong?"

"It's just been a long day," she replied.

"It's more than that. It's months ago something terrible happened...and I didn't do anything to stop it," Angel's voice was shaking and Gar gently wrapped his arms reassuringly around her.

"It's okay, shh," he said soothingly. "Tell me what happened."

"It was the day you came in and ordered coffee, remember?"

"How could I forget? Laying eyes on you after 10 years," Gar smiled, stroking her hair. "Go on, tell me what happened."

"Well, after you left, this man came in and he robbed the store. Katie, she was one of the managers who worked here...she pulled the alarm. He saw her, and so...he shot her dead, right in front of my eyes. I could have saved her. And I failed. It's my fault she's dead."

"Shh, now, it's not your fault she died." Gar held her quietly. It was time he told her the truth about that. "You remember that I was Changeling then, right?"

"Yes, and I hated you for it," Angel replied, quietly leaning against him.

"I sent that man to rob you. I didn't know that was you because you changed your name and acted normal. I thought it would be easy for him, but it happened. It's not your fault Katie died, it's mine."

He felt her sobbing in his arms. He felt guilty again. Not for the first time, of course, there had been many times he'd wake up from a nightmare about his past in a sweat, and sometimes he'd let himself remember that old life, although for the most part, he had moved on from it.

"You have a right to hate me, you know," he whispered. She didn't say much for a long time.

Finally, she looked up at him. "Who was he?"


"Who was he, this man you sent to rob me, who murdered my friend?" her voice was a quiet, shaky whisper.

"His name was John Thomson. He was a petty thief that I convinced to join the Iron Fist when I was Changeling. He was supposed to steal the money and bring it to me. It was a way for him to make up for some of his failures, but then he shot your friend and complicated things."

"What did you do to him?" she asked, not really wanting to know the answer.

"I killed him. You were there, you remember, you saw the whole thing with your own eyes in the wilderness reserve."

"I know; I don't like to think about it."

"You have nothing to worry about from him. He will only haunt your dreams now. So…are you angry with me?"

"In some ways, yes. You stole my friend away from me!"

"I know, but…do you forgive me, Love?" he asked, not sure if he should continue holding her. He felt her tense up angrily, he was about to pull away from her when she quietly whispered in his ear.

"I…I don't know Gar, it's very hard."

"I know. You don't have to forgive me. I understand if you hold that against me."

"I miss her."

"I know. And she didn't deserve to die. I wasn't who I am now; I didn't care about anyone but me." Quietly, he sighed, wishing that this conversation were over.

"I forgive you Gar, but why didn't you tell me earlier?" Angel asked him, staring at him through teary eyes.

"I haven't thought about it for seven months, honestly," he replied. "Are we settled on this? Are you at peace now, Love?" Gar stroked her hair, running his fingers through the soft lavender tresses that hung in front of her face.

"Yes, yes, I suppose so," she replied as he wiped the tears from her eyes.

"Come here," he said soothingly, taking her in a warm, comforting, yet passionate embrace. Holding her there in the darkness, his gently pressed his lips to hers, becoming more and more fervent and insistent as they kissed longer.

To his surprise, she pulled away. "Hey," he said, astonished. "Why are you pulling away from me?" his voice sounded hurt.

"It's not that, Gar…It's just there's something I have to tell you." Angel looked a little nervous.

"What is it?" demanded Gar, a little taken aback, his shock slightly turned to anger. He grabbed her shoulders, not as gently as before and shook her slightly. "What is it? What happened?"

"Gar…I'm," she began to stutter.


"What?" Gar didn't know whether to be angry or concerned.

"I'm pregnant," she finally managed to whisper. She looked at him and he knew that /he /was the father.

"Now when did /this /happen?" he asked slyly smiling.

"I think it was when you seduced me on the couch a few weeks ago," she smiled.

Gar quietly ran his hand along her stomach and abdomen, smiling to himself. "Well, well," he chuckled. "Me, a father, what do you know?"

"Mmm," Angel murmured quietly, she moved his hand to her side and he wrapped it around her. She looked up at him. "You'll be the best there ever was."

"I love you," he kissed her again. Quietly they left the café. Walking close together, they talked of the future.

Dick Grayson arrived promptly at the park, and saw the love of his dreams sitting on a park bench waiting for him. He quietly rested a hand on her shoulder.

"Hello Kori," he said, smiling.

"Dick, just on time as always," Kori Ander smiled at him. He loved her smile. It lit up her eyes and made them glow with a warm emerald sparkle. He had always loved her, he thought, and now he was going to tell her.

"So do you want to go for a walk?" he asked, offering her his hand.

"Sure," she rose to her feet. "Besides, there is something I have to tell you."

"What's that?" Dick asked.

"It can wait until later," she replied. Taking her arm in his, they began to stroll about the park. Their conversation turning to the memories they'd had in that place. They walked for a long, long time before they sat down at another bench.

"So, what did you want to ask me?" Dick Grayson looked at Kori Ander, anyone could see his eye burned with adoration and love as he gazed at her quietly.

"Have you ever…fallen in love before, Dick?" she was asking him a sincere question.

"Once or twice," he smiled at her, "Maybe once, for the first time."

"Have you ever wanted to tell them how you felt, but you could never seem to get it out?"

"Yes," he whispered, his hand unconsciously moved to take hers. She looked down at him, a frown crossed her face, but quickly changed into a smile.

"So what did you want to tell me?" he asked, moving closer to her. She turned her face up to his so that their eyes met.

"I love you, Dick Grayson, Nightwing. I've always loved you ever since we met…all those years ago."

"Starfire…Kori, you don't know how much this means to me." Dick gently pulled her closer to him. "I've always wanted to tell you…that I love you."

Understanding filled her eyes. Love as well, and gently she placed a hand on his shoulder. "I wonder why it took us so long. Look at Gar and Angel, how long it took them…"

"Maybe it was because we were always in denial about it. Though it did show, on a few occasions."

"Remember Kitten?" Kori asked. They both laughed.

"You were so jealous, I remember. You were fuming while I danced with her." He smiled again and never took his eyes off her.

"You were just as bad, Dick, remember when I was betrothed to Gigrrisklechhh? I wasn't the only one who was jealous when you or I were with someone else."

Quietly, Dick slipped his arms around her. "I don't know why it took me so long to say it, but, I love you Kori Ander, my beautiful Starfire." She reached up and put a hand against his cheek. Smiling, he bent his head down to hers and their lips met.

They enfolded each other in a passionate embrace as the sun set beautifully behind them. This was the greatest day of his life, Dick decided. He had everything he could ever want. The woman he loved had finally told him how she felt.

Meanwhile, someone else had watched this touching scene from the shadows, and was seething with jealousy. Red X glowered at Nightwing and Starfire in disgust. /He /should be kissing her, not Nightwing. He didn't deserve her, he wasn't man enough for her.

It didn't matter though, in good time the Titans would be destroyed and he could have whatever he wanted, even Starfire, no matter what it took, he'd get her, no matter how bloody his hands would be by the time it was over, he would have her.

Even if it meant destroying the person she loved the most. He watched them part ways and he stepped silently from the shadows, walking in the other direction.

Nightwing stopped and turned, he thought he saw someone out of the corner of his eye, looking he saw no one, but just for a second he thought he saw a familiar mask with a red X. All he saw was a man walking in the opposite direction, unsuspecting that Red X was plotting his demise as he walked away from him.

Sighing, he headed back to the Tower. Tomorrow, he be back working again, and he needed to rest.

Arriving at the Tower, he unlocked the door and went inside. After securing everything, he went to bed. Little did he know that life was going to get very rough for him an Kori Ander. Very rough, indeed.

Arriving at their house, Gar opened the door. "Go on in, Love, I want to stay out here awhile and think." She went in and he began to pace around the porch.

John Thomson, he was surprised she had wanted to know who he was. He wondered why she had felt the need to bring it up. He was dead, long gone. The police had picked up his body. He was six feet under in the cemetery, so why was he worried about a dead man?

He frowned as he noticed a young man walking the streets with a hood up over his face. His sensitive animal nose caught a scent he knew well. Gar shook his head, trying to clear it. He knew this scent, but it was the scent of a dead man! John Thomson's scent filled his nostrils as he breathed in the fresh air.

Gar used his eyes to look at the young man without seeming to look at him. As he passed under the lights, he caught a glimpse of the young man's face. His heart stopped, it was John Thompson, alive and well. And looking for him.
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