Hello again. Thought I'd try my hand at something other than fluff. Unfortunately, I still can't do much more than oneshots. However, this is my attempt at some angst, and I'd really appreciate reviews/constructive criticism. Obviously, I do not own Teen Titans or some of the dialogue I'm sure many of you will recognize.
Raven had never been to a "slumber party," nor had she ever had any particular desire to go to one, but when Bumblebee insisted on kicking her teammates out of her tower for "girl time," Starfire had taken it as an invitation to drag them both across the country. By the time they got there, the tower had been bombarded by females and their paraphernalia. Kole, Pantha, Argent, and Jinx were among the several women painting their nails and gossiping about boys. The stupidest thing they had done was start a drinking game, which revealed secrets and crushes and other things Raven wished had gone unsaid, and left the inhabitants of the Titans East tower in varying degrees of drunkenness. So far, slumber parties were unfortunately exactly like what she had occasionally read about.
Beast Boy had also read a bit about slumber parties. Or, more accurately, he'd watched a bit about slumber parties. While he hadn't expected the girls' slumber party to be exactly like those strictly educational films he only occasionally watched, especially with someone like Raven there, he was a bit disappointed in what he'd seen since Cyborg had patched the Titans Tower into the Titans East connection. There hadn't been a single pillow fight, he'd dozed through an excruciating two hours of whatever Channing Tatum movie they'd put in, and Kid Flash's bragging about how hot it was that Jinx swung both ways seemed more and more like an exaggeration. The most interesting thing the girls had done was play a drinking game where Beast Boy had learned some very interesting things about his fellow titans, particularly a certain sorceress's hidden fondness for the color green. He was still measuring the pros and cons of teasing her about it when she came home.
"I wonder what the guys are doing?" Kole asked.
"Probably the same thing we are," Jinx replied. "Drinking and bitching about stuff."
"Well, she's half-right," Speedy commented from across the country. "but most of our bitching is because Robin won't let us drink." He punched the Boy Wonder on the shoulder.
"Ow!" Annoyed, Robin punched him back before turning his attention back on the screen.
On the screen, Bumblebee, who had been lounging on the floor suddenly sat up. "We don't have to guess what the boys are doing. We can just watch them!"
"What do you mean?" Argent asked.
"What does she mean?" Kid Flash asked, suddenly looking worried.
"I mean," Bumblebee explained, "We can play around with the connection between this tower and the one in Jump and hook into their video feeds. We can literally know exactly what they're doing! Sparky showed me how!"
"Shit!" Cyborg yelled, panicked. "Fucking shit!" He bolted over to the controls as Bumblebee went to her computer across the country. Cyborg managed to turn the boys' connection off right when Bumblebee turned the girls' connection on.
"So, are they—" Beast Boy started.
"Yo, shut up, man!" Cyborg smacked the back of his head.
"What are they talking about?" Kole asked.
"Something stupid, I'm sure." Raven replied, not looking up from a book she seemed to have pulled from nowhere. Given the nature of her powers, that assumption was fairly likely. Marking her place, she looked up at the computer screen which broadcast a view of the boys gathered in the original Titans' tower. They were all silent and looked rather uncomfortable, darting looks between one another.
"Do they know we're watching?" Raven asked.
"They shouldn't." Bumblebee replied. She tapped the screen and yelled. "Yo, Sparky! You hear me?!"
None of the boys onscreen reacted. Bumblebee looked at her operating board.
"It says we've got a one way connection, and they didn't answer me. We can see them, but they can't see us."
"I didn't expect them to be this boring." Jinx commented.
"Perhaps we have caught them at an awkward time?" Starfire suggested diplomatically.
"Perhaps." Raven echoed. She was moving to pick up her book when Herald broke the silence in the other tower.
"So... you guys wanna see the future?"
"What are we going to see?" Kid Flash asked.
Herald shrugged. "Something random probably. I can only pick where the horn takes me if I go to an alternate dimension. The future's a whole different animal."
"We won't be affecting the future by looking, will we?" Robin asked, and Raven nodded her approval at his question.
"Everything we do affects the future." Herald replied.
"Not helpful." Robin retorted, and Herald shrugged.
"I think it's sounds awesome," Beast Boy chimed in. "I say we do it!"
Internally, Raven snorted at Beast Boy's suggestion. He would.
"I'm not sure it's a good idea..." Robin started.
"Come on, Rob," Cyborg interrupted. "He said it would be something random, so the odds of it being either important or about us are pretty slim."
"I say do it." Speedy added.
Kid Flash nodded. "Do it."
Jericho gave a thumbs up, and Mas and Menos began chattering excitedly in Spanish. Herald took those as "yeses."
"Let's do it." He picked up his horn, twisted the mouthpiece a certain way, and then blew. In front of them, a portal ripped open, and through it, the boys, and the girls by extension, could see through it. Robin leveled a glare at Cyborg.
"Pretty slim, huh?"
Cyborg just grinned sheepishly.
Inside the portal, everyone could see that a fight was going on. Though they were older, and their outfits had changed rather dramatically in some cases, it was obvious who the combatants were. Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, and Beast Boy were fighting an older Mumbo.
"Dude, Mumbo's not dead by then?" Beast Boy demanded. "We look like we're like fifteen years older!"
"I'd say ten." Jinx speculated in the other tower. She cocked her head. "And Robin looks gooood." She eyed his new black and blue uniform appreciatively.
Starfire glared at her before looking back at the screen just in time to see Mumbo throw some kind of spell. It hit older Beast Boy, sending him smack into a building, and he slumped to the ground, unconscious.
"Dude!" young Beast Boy whined.
"Changeling!" Older Starfire yelled.
"At least I get a cool, new name." Beast Boy commented as the older Starfire flew over to "Changeling" and tried to shake him awake.
"Don't bother!" Mumbo taunted. "He's in a trance! And he'll stay that way until I'm long gone!"
Angry, Starfire put Changeling down and flew rapidly at Mumbo, flinging starbolts. However, rather than following her to focus on the battle, the portal remained focused on Changeling.
"Are we just going to stare at Beast Boy's carcass until this vision thing is over?" Speedy asked sarcastically.
Though she didn't admit it (and never would), watching the older Beast Boy for the remainder of the vision didn't seem all that terrible an idea to Raven. This Changeling was taller, more muscular, and very obviously more mature. He was a man, and even in the brief moment she got to watch him fight, he seemed to carry himself with more dignity and wisdom than Raven had seen in anyone, even Robin. It appealed to her in a way that not even the handsome Aqualad had, something that both confused and irritated her. Shaking her head to clear it of the foolish thoughts, she watched the screen and was surprised to see the vision closing in on Changeling. When it got to his forehead, the scene suddenly changed, and all they could see was an icy tundra. A blizzard was blowing full force, complete with shrieking wind, and rapidly falling snow being whipped around in all directions. In the middle of the landscape, "Changeling" was hunched over, rubbing his arms for warmth and looking around.
"Nightwing?" he yelled.
"This future sucks." Beast Boy declared, and Robin tried to shush him. "Seriously! Where even am I?" He glared at Robin for trying to shush him again.
"Starfire!" Changeling called. He started walking.
"I think we're in your future self's head, man." Herald guessed.
Beast Boy looked back and forth between Herald and his horn. "You can do that?"
The Herald shrugged. "I guess so."
Changeling cupped his hands around his mouth and practically roared. "CYBORG!"
For a few minutes, everyone was silent as they watched Changeling make his way through the tundra, calling for his teammates. Once, he even turned himself into a howler monkey and let out a bloodcurdling screech that probably could have been heard for miles. He turned back into himself and called for "Nightwing" again.
"I just noticed something. How come you're not asking Raven for help?" Kid Flash asked.
Confused, Beast Boy looked back at the portal. "I don't know."
"Does this Changeling not know you would help him if he asked, Raven?" Starfire asked.
"If he doesn't, he's an even bigger idiot then, than he is now." Raven answered. However, her terse reply didn't quite mask the concern Starfire heard in her tone.
"I guess he just knows Raven would smack him for getting into that mess." young Beast Boy joked, and the other boys laughed. Raven glared at the screen. She opened her mouth to let out a pointless insult, but Bumblebee spoke first.
"I think Changeling sees something."
See something he did. Everyone watched intently as Changeling quickened his steps to get to what looked like some kind of bunker. It was a rectangular building that looked to be about seventy feet long, twenty feet high, and maybe forty feet wide. The length side was facing Changeling, and he could see what looked like two metal doors in the middle of the rectangle.
"That looks like the door to the ops center." Beast Boy commented, and Robin and Cyborg agreed. When the changeling was a couple of feet from the doors, they slid open, and he rushed inside the building.
"Not smart," Robin commented. "An enemy could be in there."
"I think I'd rather fight somebody than freeze to death." Cyborg commented.
"Apparently, I would too." Beast Boy replied, watching his older self rub the cold from his arms and stomp the snow from his boots. The inside of the place looked as grey and grim as the outside, but Changeling appeared to be warming up. Beast Boy was surprised at how similar the bunker thing was to the hallway outside the ops center. Cautiously, his older self walked forward to another set of double doors. The slid open, and he entered a brightly lit room that was an exact replica of the ops center in the original Titans tower. The room appeared to be unoccupied, but when he took a few steps forward, everyone in both rooms could see the pale woman sitting on the floor in front of the couch. In her lap, it looked like she was holding a doll; a cherub-like creature with mint green skin, forest green curls, and large eyes that matched the color of her hair. The doll theory was quickly discarded when it moved and giggled loudly at the woman in front of her. It was a baby. Changeling froze where he stood.
The woman looked up, and everyone was surprised when they saw an older version of Raven. The woman's eyes widened.
"I guess that means she's not dead, then." Speedy commented.
"Gar..." she said, and Changeling looked pained. He took a few steps forward, and when he did speak, it was in a language Beast Boy had never heard before.
"Jini athmovezar qoyi ven athmovezar fini fich yera anhoon—"
Across the country, Raven let out a gasp. The girls were surprised by her unusual display of emotion.
"What's going on?" Bumblebee asked.
Cyborg nudged Beast Boy. "What are you saying?"
He shook his head. "I don't know."
"He's speaking Azarathian." Raven said thoughtlessly. How did Changeling know her home language? When did she get to trust Beast Boy enough to teach him? More importantly, why was he saying dark magic had taken her from him? She wasn't sure what she should be more disturbed by: the dark magic, it 'taking' her, or it taking her from Beast Boy.
"What's he saying?!" Jinx demanded. Raven shook her head, and before she realized what was happening, Starfire yanked her mouth to hers. Her eyes went wide, and she shoved the alien away.
"He said 'this is dark magic, like the magic that took you away from me.'" Initially, Starfire's eyes gleamed with mischief, but the more she said, the more the light in her eyes dimmed, and her smile faded. Perhaps she shouldn't have forced Raven to transfer knowledge. It sounded like they were about to hear something very personal and private, and now the girls would be expecting her to translate. Changeling continued to speak.
"fini fich yera anhoon hatif…"
"Took you from me before I could even..." Starfire dutifully translated, looking away from the seething empath next to her.
"What am I saying?! What's going on?!" Beast Boy demanded. "Why do I look like someone died?!"
"Just a sec, man." Cyborg was fiddling with the controls in his forearm and mumbling. "Sounds a bit like Sanskrit, kid Gaelic, tweak this a little, and..." A rapid translation of Changeling's words came from the speaker at Cyborg's wrist.
"Dark magic? Took her away? From me?" Beast Boy asked, confused. Irrationally, Raven was annoyed at him for practically echoing her thoughts. That reminded her of her anger at Starfire, and she glared at the alien again. She had the good sense to look ashamed of herself.
"I don't think you need to translate, Star." Bumblebee said tactfully. "Sparky's got us covered."
Raven glared at her and glared at Cyborg as well. Changeling spoke again, this time a small, bitter smile on his face.
"Maybe I'm dead, and I just don't know it yet. Maybe I am with you in the Night Lands." Cyborg's gerryrigged translator supplied.
"Wait a second, does this mean she is dead?!" Speedy asked. Despite his usual "cool" demeanor, he looked disconcerted at the prospect, as did some of the other boys.
Night Lands?! She'd actually told Beast Boy about where her people believed they went when they died?! What was happening?! Raven wondered. She watched as her older self smiled slightly before replying in the same language.
Robin noticed that when Raven spoke the strange language, she spoke more quickly, and her voice took on a slightly higher pitch, while losing its raspy quality.
"Guys, I think that might be Raven's native language."
"Or maybe I refused to enter the Night Lands without you," Cyborg translated. "Maybe I told the Great Mother to go fuck herself and came back here to wait for you."
"Or maybe not." Robin amended, raising a brow at the reply. Meanwhile, Raven was actually blushing. Cyborg's cheap translator was unfairly accurate. In the portal, Changeling let out a soft, but genuine, laugh.
"That sounds like something you would do." he replied, and Raven shrugged, looking down at the baby in front of her.
"She wouldn't have been the first celestial being I've said something like that to."
"No." Changeling agreed. He took another few steps forward and sat across from Raven. He looked pointedly at the baby before locking eyes with Raven, a questioning expression on his face. Raven raised an eyebrow at him.
"No. I found this green infant. The fact that she acts just like you and I was pregnant when..." She trailed off, and both of them looked pained for a second, but she quickly finished. "when we last saw each other is a complete coincidence."
"No fucking way." young Beast Boy breathed. He had a baby?! With Raven?! Part of him wanted to rebel at the idea of having a child with the prickly sorceress, but the thought of just having a child overwhelmed that. He'd wanted to have a family of his own someday, but he had given up the idea a long time ago. He thought his DNA was too unstable.
Raven just stared, goggle-eyed, at the screen. She'd always been told she'd be barren. "Cursed" womb aside, basic biology told her that as a hybrid species, no one's DNA would complement hers. She wasn't sure how she felt about Beast Boy's being able to.
The rest of the titans in both rooms just looked back and forth between the portal and their friends, varying expressions of shock on their faces.
"Ha ha." Changeling replied sarcastically. He looked down at the baby again, a tender smile on his face. "What's her name?"
Raven smiled slightly as well. "Angela Marie Logan."
"My little Angel," Changeling grinned at the little girl. "Because I know how much mama loves irony."
Raven, both of them, huffed at the comment, but didn't say anything.
Carefully, as though he was afraid she would disappear, Changeling held out a finger towards the baby, and let out a choked laugh when she gripped it. He looked up at Raven.
"I can feel her. She's real." His voice had taken on a ragged quality that made of most of the men, especially Beast Boy, uncomfortable, and made most of the women's heart's break. Starfire was already sniffling. The poor man sounded like he was going to break down any second.
Changeling blinked rapidly and then turned his attention back to the baby. He trailed a finger from his free hand down her petal soft cheek, under her chin, and back up. He tapped her nose lightly, making her giggle. He wrapped one of her curls around a finger before letting it go to trail his finger down her chubby arms, over her belly, and down her legs. He gripped one of her toes and gave it a good shake, making her laugh again. All the while, he stared at her like he couldn't believe what he was seeing.
"She's real." he breathed again. He looked up at Raven and reached for her, but before he touched her, she backed away. He pulled back, hurt evident in his expression.
"If you touch me, I will crumble." she said, without looking at him.
Changeling took her hand anyway. He moved his thumb in circles over the back of her hand. "Did you know that when I lost you, I didn't do all the 'usual' stuff people do when they lose someone they love." He gave her hand a squeeze and let it go before moving his hand up her arm.
"I didn't drink, or do drugs, or sleep around. Instead, I would just sleep. I'd go to bed early, and I'd sleep late, and if I couldn't sleep, I'd wear myself out until I could. I was able to forget you were gone when I was sleeping, and the hours didn't seem to drag by like when I was awake. Whenever I finally woke up, I'd feel this weird pride that I'd managed to survive another ten, twelve, fourteen hours without you." His hand stopped at her shoulder, and he gave it a squeeze.
"The problem with that though, was that when I'd wake up and realize you weren't laying there next to me, I'd feel my heart collapse in on itself all over again." He caught her chin with his thumb and forefinger and gently turned her head to face him. He leaned forward, so his forehead was pressed to hers.
"Please let me have this." he finished in a whisper.
At that, Starfire let out a loud sob, her heart breaking for her friends, even if they were just older doppelgangers.
She was far from being the only one affected. Raven was the only one in the Titans East tower who wasn't a bit teary eyed, but she was sure that was only because of years of meditative suppression. Inside though, she felt hollow, like she had lost something she didn't even know she'd needed or even had.
Across the country, the boys were noticeably affected as well. Tears flowed silently down Jericho's cheeks, and even Kid Flash and Speedy, the ones most likely to mock Beast Boy for showing the kind of emotion his older self was, looked grim. Beast Boy himself had, deep down, viewed this vision as something like a movie when it started. It wasn't real. However, his older self's description of his grief was beyond accurate. He had done something similar when Terra died, napping often, so he could forget for a while. It made him realize, quite painfully, that this was him, and he would be experiencing even more pain and loss.
In the portal, older Raven gripped the wrist of the hand holding her chin and leaned into Changeling. Just when it looked like their lips were about to connect, the baby interrupted with one word.
"Tay?" she asked before proceeding to babble the seemingly nonsensical syllable over and over again, bouncing for emphasis. Raven closed her eyes tightly, and Changeling looked confused.
"What's she saying?"
Raven opened her eyes.
"I think," she said in English. "that she's asking if you'll stay."
Changeling's jaw tensed, but he took a deep breath and relaxed.
"I don't know," he admitted. "Am I dead, Rae?"
"I don't think so. This," She pulled back from Changeling a little to look around the room. "isn't death. This isn't where we were." She gestured between herself and Angela.
Changeling cupped the back of her neck and pulled her back to him. "What is it, then? Where am I?"
"It feels like a dream," Raven answered in Azarathian. "Your dream, my dream… I don't know. All I know is that if this is a dream, I'll kill whoever tries to wake me."
Once again, Changeling angled his head to try and kiss Raven, but before he could, he heard a sound.
"Changeling!" It was faint, but it sounded like Nightwing.
"Come on, man! We need you!" That one was louder and sounded like Cyborg.
"Wake up!" Starfire's shriek sounded like she was in the room with them, causing Changeling and Raven to break apart in surprise.
"It's your dream then." Raven said. Her face had taken on the usual deadpan expression it had sported in life. Changeling just stared at her like the world was falling apart. She pulled her daughter into her lap and angled her head towards the doors. "They need you."
Changeling's expression went from heartbroken to grimly determined in an instant. Before Raven could stop him, he grabbed a fistful of her hair and yanked her mouth to his, kissing her hard. She struggled for a second before shoving one hand through his hair and kissing back with a ferocity that surprised their audience, especially Raven. They broke apart, breathing hard, and when Changeling spoke again, it was in English.
"I am coming back to you," he swore. "I promised you I wasn't letting you go, and I meant it." Raven nodded quickly before gently pushing him away.
"They still need you."
"You need me."
"Yeah, but I can wait. Our friends can't. Go."
The changeling gave her another quick kiss before standing up. "I'll find you again."
"Don't sleep your life away." Raven ordered as Changeling turned away from her.
"No promises." he called over his shoulder. He made it to the double doors, and when they slid open, the baby started to cry. Everyone in both rooms cringed at the broken expression that flitted across Changeling's face, but he squared his shoulders and kept walking. When he made it to the second set of doors, they slid open, and suddenly, everyone was watching the battle between the older Titans and Mumbo.
Starfire was trying to break free of several layers of super strong magic scarves, Robin, or Nightwing as he was eventually going to be called, was stuck in a box about to be sawed in half, and Cyborg's parts had been flipped and switched by a vanishing cabinet until he looked like a futuristic Picasso painting. Mumbo himself was standing on several bags of cash, laughing maniacally. At the sight of him, Changeling bared his teeth, and with a roar, he transformed into the Beast. He charged at the magician, knocking him off his money before he'd even had time to draw his wand. The Sasquatch-like creature yanked him up by the lapels and slammed him hard against the side of a brick building.
Beast Boy winced at the action and felt shame at Changeling's brutality, at his brutality.
Mumbo weakly put up his wand, but before he could say anything, the Beast caught it between his razor-sharp teeth and bit it into three pieces. The enchantments on the other titans ended, and they quickly went to Changeling.
"Changeling..." Cyborg said cautiously.
The Beast looked away from his prey to Cyborg.
"It's us." the metal man said, "It's okay. Put the stupid magician down."
The Beast took a deep sniff of the air and let out a growl, but he didn't do anything else. Instead, he began to shrink, until all that remained of the creature was a furious changeling in a torn uniform.
"Where did you send me?!" he demanded, slamming Mumbo into the wall again.
"Changeling!" Nightwing reprimanded.
"Where did you send me?!" Changeling yelled again, ignoring his leader.
"It wasn't supposed to send you anywhere!" Mumbo cried, "It was just a spell to put you in a trance! I swear!"
"Changeling, stop this!" Starfire ordered. Cyborg and Nightwing moved like they were about to stop him.
"I WAS WITH RAVEN!" Changeling bellowed, causing his teammates to freeze. "AND THE BABY! I could see them, touch them, I even..." He trailed off, and a tear finally fell down his face. He turned his attention back to Mumbo, yanking him off the wall, only to slam him into the street. "WHERE ARE MY WIFE AND DAUGHTER?!"
Mumbo curled into a ball and whimpered, and Cyborg grabbed Changeling's shoulder, yanking him away from the villain while Nightwing and Starfire got him ready to hand to the police.
"You need to calm down." he told his friend.
Changeling just looked back at the magician, his breathing rapid.
The green man looked back at his friend, seeming to see him for the first time. "I was with Raven." he said quietly.
"It was real."
"It was just a spell, man."
"He knows where to find them."
"Gar. They're gone," Cyborg said, placing a hand on each of his friend's shoulders. "They're gone, and we took care of who did it, remember? It was just a spell, and Rae wouldn't want you torturing yourself like this, okay? Calm down."
Changeling looked up and took several deep breaths before he finally appeared to calm down. Cyborg took his hands off his friend's shoulders. He gave him what he hoped was a comforting smile.
"Sounds like you've had a hell of a mission."
Changeling closed his eyes. "You have no idea. Let's go home."
With that, the portal to the future closed, leaving most of the occupants of both rooms slack-jawed. None of them had been prepared for that level of emotion or any of the revelations that had come with them.
On separate sides of the country, Raven and Beast Boy, different as they usually were, were having surprisingly similar thoughts. They were getting married some day? Having a baby? Raven was dying? How? Why? Who did it? Would this change the way things were between them now? Neither one was sure how they'd look the other in the eye again.
"Well..." Cyborg said. "That was unexpected."
Thoughts? I'd appreciate them. Too mushy? To melodramatic? I wanted to explore my inner sadist and rip hearts out, not annoy people with a soap opera? Did I accomplish this? Tell me in the reviews!
Obviously, I don't own Game of Thrones either. I would have said it in the first note, but I was kind of worried it would spoil the story.