AN: This was my sole contribution to CyBB Week on Tumblr. It is, to put it mildly, not happy. If you have trouble dealing with tragedy of any sort, please don't read it. There is also some language; these situations tend to bring it out in people.
From here on, there is only pain. Godspeed.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans, and after this story, I think we can agree that's a good thing.
There are certain things you can never joke about with Beast Boy. The list is short, but it's an important one: drowning, putting a collar on him, Raven being a witch, Starfire being ditzy, and Cyborg being just a robot.
As Beast Boy stood frozen in shock at the sheer reprehensibility of the words that had just come out of his laptop, it occurred to him that he needed to expand that list.
"Robin," he said, trying to keep a snarl from creeping into his tone, "You really need to get back to Jump, or at least hang out with someone other than Batman. That joke is not funny. At all."
The mask on his video chat remained stoic. "This isn't a joke, Beast Boy. I just got the news from the Martian Manhunter. The Justice League were observing the battle in case the Titans needed backup with the two of us gone. It happened less than half an hour ago."
Cold panic seeped into Garfield's chest, compressing his lungs, until it occurred to him just who was on the other end of the conversation. "Oh, I get it. You're trying to get me to freak out and feel guilty that I didn't stick with the team after you left for Gotham. I told you, man, the Doom Patrol needed me—"
"This is not some guilt trip. This is real, Beast Boy. It happened. Cyborg—"
"Shut up!" the changeling roared. "Just shut the hell up. It's not funny, it was never funny, so stop saying it!"
"You think I could joke about something like this?" Robin's emotionless facade melted, and a grief-stricken young man was left behind. "He was part of our family. And now he's gone."
"No," Beast Boy murmured. "No, if there's anyone who's guaranteed to live through anything, it's Cy. I mean, worst case scenario, he might lose his body, but not his brain, and that's half cybernetics anyway. Just stick him in a new shell and he's good to go."
Robin shook his head. "EMP plus a flamethrower. Brother Blood orchestrated the attack with him and only him in mind. There was nothing to save, Beast Boy."
The utter impossibility of such a thought sent it straight out of the shapeshifter's mind, and he sought a replacement. "Vic's there right now, isn't he? He put you up to this." Despite the situation, he forced a tiny smile. "I don't know what kind of dirt he's got on you, but it must be big. And now he's listening in, waiting for me to crack. Well guess what?" His lip quivered. "…You got me, Tin Man. Losing you would break me… but I thought you already knew that." Garfield looked down, and when his gaze returned to the camera, his eyes were streaming. "There ya go: tears, just for you. Now talk to me, man, cause you're ripping out my guts right now."
"Beast Boy, he's—"
A pair of green fists slammed into the desk as Beast Boy loomed in on the camera. "You shut your fucking mouth, Grayson! The only voice I wanna hear right now is Victor Stone's, got it?"
Silence stretched through a span of time defying even quantum physics, carrying Beast Boy's temper alongside. Finally, the rubber band snapped. "Goddammit, Vic, what the hell do you want to hear?" he screamed. "You win, I give up, uncle, I'll eat a raw T-bone steak, just answer me, please!"
Garfield stumbled back against the wall and slid down, disappearing from the webcam's view. Claws dug deep into his knees, but the pain couldn't wake him up, couldn't distract him, couldn't do anything but force bitter, stinging reality into the wounds. Sobs wracked his body for minutes, hours; he couldn't be sure.
When the tears had all but dried, one last desperate glimmer floated in front of the changeling. "I love you," Gar whispered, raising his head from his forearms. "I love you," he repeated, loud enough to be certain his microphone would pick up the words. "We don't tell each other that often enough, but you know I do. You're my best friend, my partner in prank, the one I go to whenever something's too important or too stupid to tell anyone else. You're everything to me, man, and there's no way I can lose you. That's how I know you can't be dead: cause I need you too damn much for you to be gone. Okay?" The shapeshifter sniffled and dragged an arm beneath his nose, composing himself enough to rise to his feet and look straight into the camera. "So I'm just gonna say this one more time: I love you, Vic. Now please, just… say something. Anything." He bowed his head and strained his ears.
Emptiness settled around Garfield Logan, a void the likes of which had not been felt since the world began.
It was only appropriate; his world had ended.