A/N: Hello! So, fair warning, this was originally going to be one long one-shot, but my ideas always get bigger than their intentions. Therefore, there will be a couple more in this sequence. I started writing it as a sort of prequel to the events of A Masquerader's Ball since I'm still working on the long story that will follow it.
For anyone who's interested, the title for this, Berceuse, is from the French for a lullaby and was inspired by a song. You'll see why later on.
As always, I do not own the Teen Titans. If I did, I don't suppose I would be poor and writing fan fiction.
Raven had been listening to Beast Boy's incessant stomping and banging from down the hall for the past hour now. Her headache had reached such an unbearable crescendo that she no longer cared about the team's unspoken consensus to be especially understanding of his feelings. Almost a week ago, he had partially explained the mess with the Terra-who-wasn't-really-Terra after a stern lecture from Robin about responsibilities. The lost look on his green face had easily gained him sympathy then, but Raven's patience was quickly wearing thin.
She could barely hear the sound of her book crashing to the floor as another chorus of noise forced her off the bed and through her bedroom door. The stomping of her own feet was out of sync in their hurried pace down the corridor and the force of her knocks on Beast Boy's door sounded like the changeling's doom finally come to call.
The noise stopped and the door slid open just enough to reveal a green face.
"Oh, hey, Rae," Beast Boy greeted her.
"What are you doing?"
"Then where is all that noise coming from?"
"Oh, sorry." He reached up to nervously scratch the back of his neck. "I'll keep it down."
Her eyes narrowed. "Beast Boy, this has been going on for three days."
Raven could feel the brunt of her anger dissipating. She sighed. "Stop apologizing and tell me what's going on."
"You've been miserable ever since…" She thought for a moment, watching his face carefully for a reaction. "Since you saw Terra."
"Oh." He looked down at the ground. "I didn't mean to. Is it bugging you?"
She didn't need empathy to sense the dejected nervousness in his posture. "That's not why I brought it up."
He looked back up at her, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "Then, why?"
"Because I want to know the whole story."
"I already told you guys—"
"I mean the reason you're still thinking about it. I thought you'd gotten over her already."
He opened his mouth and then closed it again.
"Fine, at least tell me what you're doing in there. It sounds like a construction site and you're giving me a headache."
Raven could feel her eyebrow shoot up almost to her hairline. "Cleaning?"
"Yeah," he verified, pushing the door open the rest of the way.
The space inside looked as if it'd been hit by a series of explosions, suffered two earthquakes, been set ablaze in a purging inferno, and risen again, with some difficulty, from the ashes. Clothes were strewn about like a burst container of glitter. Comics, video games, and action figures were piled up in various spots on the floor. Half the posters were crumpled up next the them while the survivors hung half-heartedly to the walls. The laundry basket had been overturned and temporarily transformed into a prison for a particularly deadly looking pile of food waste. Even the bunk beds were askew. Raven didn't dare ask how or why.
"It's a work in progress," Beast Boy assured her.
"Trust me, it's getting there."
"Why are you even doing this?" Raven asked, turning to face him.
"'Cause I tripped a couple days ago and I think I sprained my ankle a bit. Then, I stubbed the other toe and—"
Raven groaned, thoroughly interrupting Beast Boy's drama filled tale of woe. "That doesn't explain why you're tearing the place apart. What on earth did those posters ever do to you?"
"I don't like them anymore."
"You don't like Ninja Warriors?" she gestured towards one of the half torn posters on the wall.
"Super Stealth Ninja Raiders," he corrected with a huff.
"I don't. Not anymore." He moved away to finish tearing the offending poster down.
"Why not?" she asked. She could feel the mixture of sadness and anger rolling off of him as he stared down at the once proud picture.
"Because things change, Rae."
Finally, she'd hit something. She could tell by the way his sudden hurt stabbed her senses at the phrase. She looked around the room carefully before turning back to him. "Let's go."
He looked up at her with that confused, scrunched up face again. "Go?"
"Yes. I can barely think in this mess and there's no clean space to actually sit."
He didn't respond and she took the silence as her cue to exit. Thankfully, he followed her out the door and up the stairs to the roof where the sun was just beginning to set. She led them to the ledge facing the city skyline and sat down. Wordlessly, he sat next to her. Neither of them spoke for a time as the colors in the sky shifted to blues and purples and the moon's silhouette rose up behind them. Raven almost didn't expect it when Beast Boy interrupted the lull of the waves hitting the shoreline below.
"I can't stop thinking about her."
Raven turned to look at him, unsure how to respond and waiting for him to continue.
"I dunno how she can just forget everything. She didn't even remember me and I'm green!"
"Is that what she said? That she didn't remember?"
He nodded. "I thought maybe, if I just jogged her memory, it would come back…but it didn't. No matter what I did or said. She didn't even like the anchovies!"
"On her pizza…They were her favorite. She said she was allergic."
"Are you sure it was really her? I mean—"
"It was Terra," he stated loudly. He looked up with a fierce confidence in his eyes. "I told you she wasn't in the cave anymore. Remember?"
He looked down at the water again. "I just don't get how she can wanna forget all that. Like, wouldn't you wanna remember if someone told you there was this whole other part of your life missing?"
Raven shrugged, "Maybe not."
He looked up at her again incredulously. "Really?"
"Who knows? If I liked my life, I might not want to go back to something else entirely. Sometimes, remembering can hold you back."
"But it wasn't all bad."
"No, but it doesn't have to be. The good things can hurt just as much if we don't let them go."
"That doesn't make sense."
She looked at him. "Yes, it does. Even you can't be that stupid."
His eyes narrowed for a moment before he shook his head and looked away once more.
"Terra's got something a lot of people would die for," Raven continued. "She gets a clean slate. I know it's not easy, but I think you'll eventually find yourself feeling happy for her."
"I am," Beast Boy insisted, "but I still miss her. Even when she got turned to stone, I could still talk to her. I thought, when she came back, that I'd really get her back and she could still be there, but now…I've really lost her. I can't even tell her anything anymore."
"You can tell me," Raven said softly, surprising herself with the sentiment. She was relieved to feel the positive spark of gratitude from Beast Boy.
"It's still Raven."
"Don't I get temporary immunity?"
"Do you even know what that means?"
"Duh," he tsked. "Zombie Hunters 4 co-op bonus level. It means you're safe."
Raven rolled her eyes. "At least something's keeping your neurons from dying off."
He laughed. It was the most genuine sound she'd heard from him yet.
He hummed to tell her he was listening.
"Can you clean the rest of your room silently?"
"Sorry, Rae. No promises." He grinned. "But I'll give it a shot."
She didn't bother to correct him again. It was strange, in a way. Raven knew better than to expect anyone to be happy all the time, not even Starfire. Still, somewhere along the way, she'd decided that the world wasn't quite right unless Beast Boy was smiling. She couldn't help but offer a small grin of her own, knowing she'd brought one back to his stupidly pleased green face.