It had been three days since the Scarecrow incident. The living room of the Titan's Tower was clean and back to normal. The Titans themselves were enjoying a fairly quiet day with no criminal activity to speak of. Currently, Robin was drinking his daily cup of coffee while watching the news. Starfire sat next to him, firing off questions about each news heading.
Cyborg was eating a classic meal of sausage and biscuit along with a cup of orange juice. His morning meal was disturbed as the fourth member of the quintet, Beast Boy, entered.
Letting out his usual obnoxiously loud yawn, Beast Boy turned to Cyborg.
"Morning Chrome Dome."
"Morning BB. Little early for you to wake up don't ya think?"
Beast Boy rubbed his eyes wearily and looked at the plate resting in front of his friend.
"Little early for murdering animals don't ya think?" Beast Boy replied sarcastically.
Cyborg rolled his eye and pointed at the kitchen stove. Beast Boy turned his head to see tofu ham and eggs piled high on a plate alongside a glass of soy milk. His eyes immediately little up and he hungrily grabbed the vegetarian breakfast.
Cyborg watched as Beast Boy ate the food savagely, "Wow. I didn't think you would like my cooking that much."
Beast Boy stopped his frenzy and began to speak. Unfortunately for Cyborg, the green boy's mouth was full and he instead spit chunks of tofu onto his friend. Cyborg wiped his face with a napkin and stared at his shorter teammate, unamused.
Beast Boy swallowed and then spoke, "Sorry about that. You seriously made these?"
"Well duh. Who else would be brave enough to go through the agony?" Cyborg smirked at his remark, "Don't get used to this. It's only just this once that I am cooking that sludge."
The changeling was taken aback by his friend's gift and only replied, "Well, thanks anyways."
They continued taking and eating until both were done. Beast Boy got up to put his plate into the sink and looked around the room. The scene before him was perfect. The sun shined brightly through the large window with only a few clouds drifting through the sky, Robin and Starfire were talking while watching the television, and Cyborg had begun reading on the computer.
Beast Boy smiled at the serene picture. If all the mornings in the Tower were like this, he was going to have to get up early more often. As his gazed shifted through the room, he realized something that was missing from this perfect moment. The area of the large couch that had been designated as Raven's was empty. Looking around, the empath was nowhere to be seen.
"Hey Cy, do you know what Raven is doin'?" Beast Boy asked his half-metal friend.
"Yeah, I saw her earlier this morning. Think she said something about meditating on the roof. Why?"
"Just wondern'." Beast Boy said as he left the living room/kitchen. He made his way up the stairs and onto the roof of the Titan's Tower. Just as his semi-robotic friend had said, Raven was hovering a few feet off the ground in her classic meditation pose. The empath had her back to him and seemed not to have noticed his presence behind her.
Formulating a plan in his mind, Beast Boy tip-toed comically to the girl. He then proceeded to shout a very loud, "MORNING RAE!"
Still, Raven remained in her meditation pose with her back turned away from him, not even flinching at his "sneak attack". Frowning, the young boy walked over and sat down next to her. Still she said nothing as her eyes remained closed.
"Hellooo? Earth to Raven." Beast Boy said as he waved his hand in front of his teammate.
Finally, Beast Boy was able to get somewhere as Raven opened one of her eyes and looked at him.
"I know subtly is a hard concept for you to grasp, but next time you plan on scaring someone, pick a person who doesn't have the ability to sense you before you get within ten feet," Raven said with little emotion as she continued to meditate.
"Noted," Beast Boy said, feeling a bit foolish since his attempted scare did little more than cause Raven to glance at him. After a few moments, Beast Boy realized that he was going to have to carry on the conversation, "Sooo, what'ya thinking about?"
"That silence is golden."
The green hero rolled his eyes at the remark and continued to speak, "Come on Rae, you can tell me."
His request was met with silence as Raven went back into her meditation, this time softly muttering her mantra. Now, the green boy was no Sherlock Holmes, but he did observe that the empath- no matter how much she said it bothered her- would often stop her meditation when someone spoke to her. If for no other reason than to tell them she was busy. The one exception to this rule was when something was really bothering her, in which case she would either clam up or retreat to her room.
Realizing that this was serious, whatever this was, Beast Boy decided to watch the sunrise in silence. No matter how hard it was to keep his mouth shut. As he observed the morning sky, his thoughts turned to the nightmarish reality of the fear toxin.
That was the first time Beast Boy had seen just what his primal side was capable of. Sure it was only a dream enhanced by mind-altering hallucinogens, but the green teen couldn't shake the feel that, to a level of degree, his primal side was a separate entity and yet it still was holding a degree of control over him. The Beast was separate because it tried to implant ideas that were completely against his moral code, but he was still compelled to fulfill the ideas. The nightmare was just a glimpse of what it wanted to do. This worried the green teenager greatly. How long could he fight off the creature inside? How long would it continue to chip away at his resolve until he caved in?
Shaking his head at the complexity (and maturity) of the situation, Beast Boy decided to deal with the issue like he did anything else- try to make someone else happy. This choice turned his attention back to a certain unhappy telekinetic sitting next to him.
Having deemed himself patient for giving Raven plenty of time to talk, Beast Boy decided to take matters into his own hands. Smirking the changeling devised a plan to get Raven to acknowledge him and to embarrass her.
He scooted closer to Raven, stretched out as if preparing to take a nap, and lay his head down in her lap. The results were exactly as he had planned. The empath immediate stopped hovering and fell on her bum. Her eyes opened wide and her pale cheeks turned a subtle red.
Looking at him with a glare that could make Superman's laser vision feel like a flashlight, she hissed, "What, in the name of Azar do you think you are doing?"
"Just trying to get you to talk Rae-Rae," Beast Boy said, not at all alarmed by the very girl who had driven a man nearly over the edge of sanity only three days ago.
"The only thing you're going to get is a one-way ticket of the side of this Tower!" Raven then promptly stood up and allowed the green Titan's head to hit the floor. She turned her back and headed toward the exit.
Beast Boy gulped nervously, the dark girl had thrown him out of windows before… Still he got up and pressed on.
"Out of all the times of sitting alone up here or in your room, when has it actually solved the problem?"
"Leave me alone."
"That isn't an answer."
"Ugh. Fine. It hasn't."
"Exactly. Hiding from the stuff isn't going to make it disappear. Hiding from me- us- won't help either. God Raven, why do you have to be so stubborn?!" Beast Boy stopped his rant and stared at the back of the empath. He may have gotten out of line with raising his voice, but he was tired of going through the same problems with his dark friend.
Raven's head dropped and she rubbed her temples. Turning around, she looked at Beast Boy with a seemingly blank expression. However, due to the changeling spending so much time with the empath, he knew how to read her. He could see the faintest glistening in the eyes, he could see the worry lines on her forehead, and he could even see the faint twitching of her lip.
All of these facts allowed him to draw one conclusion. She was scared. Scared of what happened and what could happen. Scared of herself and scared of the power she possessed.
Sighing, the girl began to speak, "Look- Garfield, Scarecrow's toxin reminded me of what I am. Daughter of Trigon. The person that nearly caused the end of the world." Beast Boy opened his mouth to say something, but Raven held up her hands in a stop motion and continued, "I know, I know. We stopped Trigon before. Together. And I know you four will always be my friends, but the toxin did more than just dig the past back up. It reawakened the part of me that wants to finish what Trigon started. It showed me a future where I did destroy the world, on my own. What I did to Crane- that was just a glimpse of what the darker half of me wants to do to everyone."- Raven observed as Beast Boy opened and closed his mouth, as if search for something to say- "Forget it, you wouldn't understand…"
Beast Boy grabbed both of her shoulders and looked at her square in the eyes, "Raven, you have no idea how much I do understand. Living with a monster inside your head- that describes me exactly. The Beast, it- it plants these… urges inside me constantly. But what keeps me fighting is knowing that the Beast inside is not the real me. Just like that dark voice inside your head isn't really you."
For the first time in a while, Raven was genuinely surprised by Beast Boy's words. She knew that her green friend had issues with his powers too, but she had never suspected that the Beast was a constant problem.
"So what you are saying is that I should start looking at my Trigon-half as another person?" Raven found this situation peculiar- since when did she ask advice from Beast Boy?
"Well, not exactly…" Beast Boy scratched his head, trying to piece together what to say next when he suddenly remembered a type of disease Cyborg was telling him about once.
"It's kind of like cancer cells," he explained, "They came from a part of you, and they live inside you; but your body still rejects them because they aren't natural and only cause problems. The thing is, you can't fight a cancer off by yourself- you need help. The same is true in my case and yours."
Beast Boy stopped and stepped back from the empath. He scratched the back of his neck and smiled sheepishly, "Well, I guess that's all I've got to say."
"Beast Boy, I- uhh, I…" for once, Raven stuttered and wasn't sure what to say, so she decided to start of simple, "Thank you."
She hugged him (this time the changeling saw it coming and hugged back) and cleared her throat to keep from getting choked up at her friend's sincerity, "What you said- I've never heard anything more eloquent."
"Oh, ok. Thanks."
Raven then stepped out of the green Titan's arms to look in his eyes, "You're right, I can't deal with it on my own. And I- I'm going to try and talk if any more issues arise."
"That's what being on a team is all about." He said as he felt the joy of being able to help someone else with their problems.
A few seconds of awkward silence followed before Raven spoke, "I guess I'm going to see what the others are doing."
"Okay I was planning on going to the comic book store for a little bit."
He turned to transform and fly off before Raven grabbed his wrist. He pivoted back on his heel and looked at her raising an eye brow at the fact that she was making a face he had never seen before, "Yeah…?"
Raven said nothing, she simply leaned up and planted a small kiss on his cheek before promptly phasing through the roof and out of sight.
The green changeling stood there for a moment before he touched the spot where the kiss had landed. He then looked at the morning sun and smiled. All in all, life was looking pretty good.
A/N- *Sniff**Sniff*, what? No, I'm not crying! That's it though for this story. Stay tuned for my next one. I'm already bouncing around ideas. Thank you to all those that have stuck to the very end and I wish you all the best. Peace out.
Dr. Crane sat on his cot and stared down at the floor of his padded cell. Powers of the raven. Powers of the raven. Powers of the raven. The same sentence continued to run through his mind. The doctors had gotten him to the point where he could formulate sentences again, but that was about all he could do. His movement was sluggish, he could barely hold a glass of water without shaking so bad that it all spilled, he was paranoid, and his mood changed at the drop of a hat.
Suddenly, his cell door hissed open and Bill – the guard- entered, "Looks like another doctor is here to see you Crane."
A man followed behind the guard and entered the room. He wore a black trench coat and fedora, which he took off. This allowed Scarecrow to get a better look at his face. The man had dark black hair with streaks of grey on the side. A well-trimmed beard adorned his chin and an eye patch sat where his right eye should be.
"Good evening Jonathan. My name his Dr. Wilson." The man had a firm yet smooth voice.
"Hello," Scarecrow replied as he already started formulating how to drive the man to insanity, "Before we begin, may I state that the last three doctors that visited me were institutionalized."
"Oh, we won't have to worry about that." The mysterious person said.
Suddenly, the lights went off and alarms started to sound throughout the halls. The guard checked his radio and listened to what was being said. The emergency lights came on, bathing the room in yellow.
"I'm sorry Dr. Wilson, but we are going to have to evacuate you. I'm getting reports that multiple low-class patients have been released. It should be dealt with quickly but we still need to be certain all staff are accounted for."
"No need Bill. The only staff that is going to be hurt around here is you."
"Wha-" the guard began to ask before two gloved hands grabbed his head and pulled, snapping his neck.
Slade watched as the body crumpled to the ground and then turned to Scarecrow, "I believe I have a deal for you."
Crane looked at him intently, "What is your offer."
"Freedom, in return for the formula to the fear toxin."
Scarecrow chuckled, "I don't need your help to break out of here. The only reason I haven't left already is that my experiments have started. I couldn't bear to leave them behind. Besides, I don't want to give you the formula. A magician never reveals his secrets."
Slade considered killing the man for not giving him what he needed, but the villain knew that would get him nowhere. He donned his hat and turned to leave, "Good by Mr. Crane."
Scarecrow thought for a moment- maybe this man could serve a purpose for him, "However, I am willing release the location of a stockpile of my work."
The eye patched-man stopped and turned around, "In return for?"
"Information on the Teen Titan called Raven."
Slade smiled sinisterly, "You're in luck, I happen to know her father."