She wasn't sure why, but it'd just now dawned on her what he'd said that day.
I'm not a man, I'M AN ANIMAL!
Raven looked up at her ceiling from her spot on the bed. She was concerned for Beastboy. Even looking back on the deep the talk they had, she couldn't help but wonder if that was how he saw himself.
Is that any different from how you view yourself? a voice called from the back of her mind. She let out a deep sigh.
"Now's not the time, Rage. I'm trying to think. Not really your department" she said calmly.
What's that supposed to mean?! she shouted. Raven rubbed her temples, feeling the migraine progressing slowly.
"I mean that you're not Knowledge or Wisdom. You're Rage. You have nothing to offer me in this particular situation." There was a short pause on the other end.
"Yeah, 'oh'. Now move along." Grumbling, Rage went deeper into the recesses of Raven's mind, unheard. Raven let out another sigh and began chanting. "Azarath...Metrion...Zinthos..." Soon enough, she found herself in the vast library that was Knowledge's domain. Raven made her way through the sections, searching for the educated emotion. As she walked on, her eyes wandered to the books that filled the shelves. Of coarse, she knew what each book contained. Memories.
She picked up a green book, one containing some of her memories of Beastboy. Each Titan had their own series of books of memories, ever-expanding as the days went on. She began flipping through the pages, skimming each memory quickly. Finding nothing, she placed the book back on the shelf and picked up the next. Repeating the same actions, she found nothing once again. This continued through several books before a voice broke into the silence.
"Looking for this?"
Raven turned to see herself clad in a yellow cloak, glasses slightly too far down the bridge of her nose, holding a copy of the books Raven had been searching through. Raven stood up, turning her body towards her.
"Knowledge. I assume you know why I am here?" she asked in a rhetorical fashion. Knowledge smiled slightly, pushing her glasses back into place.
"Well, I am you. I know how you think. More importantly, I know what you know. So, yes. I always know why you do the things you do." Raven looked at her quizzically.
"A simple 'yes' would have been fine..." she mumbled to herself. "Can I have the book please?" she asked, holding a hand out. Giving a curt nod, Knowledge lifted the book. It disappeared in a puff of smoke, reappearing in Raven's hand. "Thank you."
Raven looked at the book, noticing a page had a thin ribbon hanging out from the top of the book. She opened it up to the page and gazed intently at the scene playing before her. (A/N: Imagine the special pages and paintings in Harry Potter)
Beastboy'd been tossed like a rag doll into a pile of empty barrels.
"What's the matter, wimp? Don't you know how to fight like a man?" Adonis asks, walking up to the pile.
"I'm not a man..." Beastboy says, almost too quiet to hear. "I'M AN ANIMAL!"
Just as he began his attack on Adonis, Raven shut the book loudly.
"I can't bear to watch that part either" Knowledge said, in a hushed tone. Raven just continued staring at the cover of the book.
"It's like...that wasn't even him. And this part was before he had the chemicals spilled on him...It's like he really thinks he's just an animal..." She looked up to Knowledge, who looks right back at her.
"Heartbreaking, isn't it? How much one's opinion of ones self can effect those around them." Raven stared at her emoticlone.
"Yeah, it is. I want to show him that he's not just an animal, but I have no idea how. You know that I'm not so great at expressing emotion, much less cheering people up." Knowledge crossed her arms.
"I believe you're better than you let on. You've helped everyone on more than one occasion with their emotional troubles without giving it a second thought. Remember the incident with the car?" Raven sighed.
"Then why do I feel so confused? I'm not even sure how to go about talking to him..."
"Maybe it's because it's Garfield?" Knowledge asked with a slight smirk. A shiver shot down Raven's spine at the sound of her voice speaking his name. Her gaze shot to knowledge, who smiled smugly.
"I'm certain I have no idea what you're talking about..." she said, trying to fight the blush from rising to her cheeks. Knowledge lightly tapped her finger against her temple.
"I know what you know, so I will always know why you do the things you do" she repeated, then leaned closer to Raven. "Always" she whispered with a smirk.
Raven pushed her back.
"You don't know everything! Besides, why would I care just because it's Gar- Beastboy? What makes him so special?"
"You know, Raven, it's easy to lie to others, but you can't lie to yourself."
"You've been visiting Brave, haven't you?"
"We chat on occasion" she replied with a smile. Raven continued to glare at the emoticlone. who'd just stared right back. Knowing there was no worth in trying to reason with the yellow-clad clone, Raven just turned away, heading towards the door of the library of her mind.
"Well, thank you for the talk, but I must be going" she stated promptly, continuing her path towards the door.
"Just remember, I know what you know, even if you won't believe it for yourself!" Knowledge shouted to her as she made her way through the door.
Raven just rolled her eyes as the door closed behind her. She gazed out into the land that lay before her. What used to be such a barren waste land had grown into rolling meadows of green grass. The sky, once dark and barren, now a light blue with billowy clouds rolling overhead. Her father's influence now gone, the distant migraine she'd always had was now lifted. As she walked forward, she eventually made her was to the portal back to her body. She paused slightly, staring at the swirling portal of energy before her. She'd always felt hesitant about using this portal. Taking a cautious few steps forward, she passed through. Feeling the cold rush of inter-dimensional travel, she closed her eyes and allowed the familiar feeling to move over her. Once the swirling stopped, she opened her eyes to find herself sitting back in her room, dark walls surrounding her once more.
"Great...I feel another touchy feely heart-to-heart conversation coming on...I think I'm going to throw up..." she said sarcastically. Tiredly, she rose from her bed and made her way out of her door. It closed behind her with a quiet hiss.
She began walking down the hallway, making her way to the living room, or the 'Ops Room' as Robin called it. This guy takes his job far to seriously... she thought to herself. She paused as she reached the familiar door with the green letters engraved into it. The scene of that night replaying in her mind. She stared at the door, as if waiting for another Beast to crash through at any moment. When nothing happened, she released a shaky breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.
"It's over..." she whispers. "It'll never happen again..." She continues down the hallway until she reaches the door. As it opens quietly, she steps inside. Looking around, she noticed the person she's looking for wasn't there. She raised an eyebrow quizzically.
"Have any of you seen Beastboy?" Cyborg looked up from the large TV screen where he was playing Gamestation with Robin.
"Nope, haven't seen the Grass Stain all day. I thought he might just be sleeping in" he said with a shrug, turning back to his game.
"I believe Friend Beastboy is up on the roof. I passed him earlier this morning and he was headed in that direction" Starfire said, looking up from her magazine. Raven nodded.
"Thank you." With that, she made her way back down the hallway once more. She allowed her thoughts to drift back to the green Titan her concern for him ever-growing. As she found herself before the steps leading to the roof, she took a deep breath, and began her ascent. Her footsteps echoed against the stairs as she made her way to the top. Reaching for the door, she paused with her hand on the handle, eyes widened.
"I've got nothing prepared..." she stated in shock. I've had all of this time, and I've got no idea what I'm going to say...
Suddenly, the door handle moved under her grip. She withdrew her hand in shock, gasping as the door was pulled open to reveal Beastboy, who jumped slightly.
"Jeez, Rae, you nearly gave me a heart attack!" he shouted. She just stood there, eyes still widened, drawn aback by the unexpected turn of events.
"Uh...Yeah. Sorry about that..." she said, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "I was actually just looking for you" she said, looking up into his eyes.
"Oh alright. Is it time for lunch already? Cause I-"
"No no, I just...wanted to talk" she said shyly. He smiled lightly.
"Oh okay." he stepped to the side, holding his arm outwards, gesturing towards the roof. "Make yourself at home" he said with a laugh. She rolled her eyes, a smile tugging lightly on her lips, as she walked past him out onto the roof. He closed the door with a creak. Both were silent for a moment. Raven's eyes found the ground. He rolled back and forth on his feet, his hands finding their way into his pockets. "So...you wanted to talk?" She looked up at him hesitantly.
"Yes. I'm just not sure how to word what I want to say." He shrugged.
"Just wing it" he said, nonchalantly. She sent him a light glare.
"Alright, I'll try." She took a deep breath. "Remember the...incident...with Adonis?" she asked. She noticed he tensed slightly, before smiling.
"Yeah, I'm a man now, remember?" he asked, striking the pose he'd done during their talk.
"Beastboy? Focus." She pinched the bridge of her nose. "Remember how we were fighting him in the warehouse, and when he was fighting you, you told him that you're not a man, you're an animal?" He nodded, a blank expression on his face. "Is that really how you see yourself? As an animal?" The two stared deeply into each other's eyes for a brief moment, before Beastboy looked away. Raven felt a small pang in her heart. She continued to stare, although his gaze met elsewhere. The two were silent, a certain tension filling the air.
"Sometimes..." he began in almost a whisper. "Sometimes, I don't know how to see myself."His left hand reached up, holding his right elbow. "I know I'm human, but does that really make me any less of an animal?" he asked, clenching his fists. "Sometimes, I have to fight to hold myself back from acting like one." He looked up to her, a tired look in his eyes. "Sometimes, it can just be so exhausting. So...tiring. Sometimes, I'm tempted to just let them take over..." She raised an eyebrow slightly.
"Them?" He nodded solemnly.
"Yeah, them. It's not just...him...the big guy... they all have their instincts. And if I don't let them out...at least not every once in a while..." he sighed. "I don't know what I'd do if I ever hurt one of you..." he trailed off, his gaze falling to Raven's right shoulder, that had been greatly injured during the Beast dilemma. Even after her healing trance, it still managed to bother her every now and then. Sometimes he'd catch her rubbing it unconsciously, as though she wasn't even aware she'd been doing it. He stared until her voice cut through the silence.
Raven was taken back by this. Beastboy, the jokester, was concerned about loosing control? Out of them all, he'd seemed o have the most.
"How long has this been going on?" she asked quietly. He scoffed.
"Since I got my powers... Ever since then, I've had to learn how to control it all. It wasn't hard to figure out. It's just tiring to do all of the time." Raven continued to stare, before walking past him, sitting herself down on the ledge of the roof. She patted the spot next to her.
"Sit." He followed. "Good boy" she teased. He sent a glare her way. "Now, all joking aside, let's talk about this. What exactly is going on?" He took a deep breath, staring at the massive drop before them.
"It's hard, Rae. I know you've got all of the Ravens up in your head, but with me, it's all of the instincts of every animal that I can turn into all fighting each other." He looked into her eyes sadly. "It's the predators that're the worst. The thoughts they give me..." he shuddered.
"Raven...I don't really wanna talk about it..."
"Look, you can't keep telling me to open up more, then close yourself off like this. I'm here, reaching out to you, you could at least give me something to work with..." she said sharply, obviously uncomfortable with all of the soft-talk. He sighed.
"They want me to hunt... If I see anything they like, they...bully their thoughts into my head...bad ones..."
"And you said you need to...let them out every now and then? Does that mean you-"
"No!" he shouted in defense, looking at her with a hurt expression. "No, I'd never do that...I couldn't..."
"Then how do you deal with it?"
"I hunt. Not for a kill, but for the rush. I stalk, I chase, I ambush. But that's it. I don't kill. I couldn't..." he rubbed his hands on his legs, a nervous habit he had. "I always feel bad, though. I know what it's like to fear for your life...but it's different to make someone else feel that way... Sometimes, I feel like a monster..." he said, turning his gaze to the ground below. She nodded, even though he wasn't looking. She remembered when she'd "cooked" Doctor Light. Sure, he was a bad guy, but none of the villains they'd faced had been put through that. She knew the feeling all too well.
"I know what you mean..." she said solemnly. "But these things don't make you an animal, they're just a complication that comes with your powers, like how mine are controlled by my emotions." He simply scoffed.
"Raven, I understand your struggle, really I do. But there's a different between emotion and instinct. You think with emotion. With instinct, you just do. I'm not saying your problem is easy..." he looked down and sighed. "But it's not the same. It's easier not to smile than to stop a lion's roar." He looked up to her with a forced smile. "You know what I mean?"
Raven stared at him, off-set by his seriousness and wisdom. She felt that strange pang in her heart again. Looking down, she saw his hand resting on the rooftop. Cautiously, she grasped it with her own. Looking back into his eyes she spoke, almost in a whisper.
"Yeah, I think I do." Beastboy gazed deeply into her deep purple eyes, noticing a faint blush come to her cheeks. Both shyly broke each others gaze, staring out into the bay, a blush reddening their faces. Silence fell over them comfortably as they held each others hands. Beastboy was the one to break it.
"Hmm?" she asked, turning to him.
"Thanks. This means a lot to me, you reaching out like this." He smiled, his fang showing through his lips. She shrugged, acting like she wasn't touched by his words.
"Someone had to do it. Otherwise, who knows what could happen?" she asked with a smirk.
"Gee, that makes me feel better." His expression dropped slightly. She felt that reoccurring pang in her heart once more. She felt slightly guilty for upsetting him. She was just joking, after all.
Now look what you did said one of the emoticlones, in a tone Raven wasn't accustomed to.
Which one are you? She asked as a thought.
Don't be silly, Rae-Rae. I'm Love the voice spoke back, calmly and soothingly. Raven's eyes widened slightly.
What are you doing here?
Why, you brought me here. She could practically hear the smile in her tone.
Feeling me. She replied casually.
Feeling you? But I'm not-
In love? Then why are you holding Garfield's hand? Love asked mockingly. Raven looked down on her hand, her fingers woven gently between his. Tell me again you aren't in love...
But...how? I never even knew...
You don't need to know you're in love, to be in love, deary. Love spoke with a gentle tone.
"Well...I guess I'll be going, then. Don't wanna bother you too much, Rae" Beastboy said, breaking her conversation with herself.
You're missing a chance, Rae-Rae. Don't let him go...
As he made to take his hand, he felt her grip tighten around it.
"Wait..." she spoke softly. "Don't go..." her eyes widened as she heard the words leave her mouth. She barely even realized she'd said them until they'd already left her lips. He raised an eyebrow to her questioningly.
"Because...I don't want you too..." she said honestly. "Look, I'm sorry I upset you. It's just...you know how my humor is." She looked up to see him on his knees, looking ready to stand. He smiled slightly before taking his place beside her again. "Beas- Garfield, I know it's hard to do, controlling the instincts, but if you'd like, even though it isn't exactly the same as my issue, you could join me for my meditation sessions..." she said shyly. He grinned widely, eyes twinkling.
The two of them spent the rest of the afternoon up on the roof, just enjoying each others company, hands never separating from one another. If either had payed close attention, they would have noticed the roof door open a tiny bit, green eyes watching through the crack. The Tameranean princess giggled softly at the scene, quietly pushing the door back into place.
"I knew it. Cyborg owes me ten jars of mustard" she whispered to herself, pumping a fist into the air.
Just another thing I thought up. Tell me what you think. I'd love feedback on this one.