Notes: As usual, "Raven's Reward" comes first, and it wouldn't hurt if you'd read my other Titans fics, either. For readers of "Broody & the Beast," Shax is back.
I'm only doing this so I can say I wrote it before they put "Baby" on TV next season (I read they might at some site, forget which just now).
Summary: Raven discovers that she is not alone, while Beast Boy experiences…motherhood.
~…~ are thoughts, ~"…"~ is telepathic speech.
Will D. Beest (Will of the Beast)
A Teen Titans Fanfic by
Nate Grey (XMAN0123@aol.com)
There was silence in the T-Car.
Robin stifled a yawn as he glanced behind him.
Beast Boy had taken the shape of a cuddly koala and was draped comfortably around Starfire's neck. Both were asleep.
Beside them, Raven had her eyes closed, but Robin knew better than to assume she was asleep. More than likely, she was meditating to clear her head. She often did that after really exhausting fights, in which she'd been forced to rely heavily on her powers. It was something she simply had to do, for herself and for the team. Still, Robin often wished there was some way he could help her focus, but so far, being quiet was the only thing that seemed to work.
~"Ice cream,"~ she murmured directly into his head.
Robin tried not to look too startled. ~"Ice cream helps you focus? Really?"~
~"Of course not."~ Raven opened her eyes and glanced over at her sleeping teammates. ~"But they'll be ravenous when they wake up. You might as well get something neither of them can refuse."~
Robin grinned at her. ~"I don't suppose this suggestion has anything to do with you having a deep, hidden desire for dairy desserts?"~
Raven smirked back at him. ~"Perish the thought, oh fearless leader."~
~"Ah. So then you DON'T want anything when I ask Cyborg to stop?"~
~"I never said that. After all, since we ARE stopping, and you ARE no doubt treating like you always do, far be it for me to refuse such a generous offer."~
~"One day, Raven, I'm going to make you admit that you actually like ice cream."~
~"Until that day comes, Robin, you'll just have to keep buying my two scoops of vanilla bean."~
Chapter 1: Bundle Bearers
"Are you SURE this is a good idea? I mean, have you really thought this through?"
"How many times are you going to ask me that?!"
Had the security system been able to hear the two female voices, it would've recognized them as being non-Titans, and therefore, intruders. From there, it would've taken certain steps to remove them.
Fortunately for them, however, the security system could not hear them, thanks to a rectangular, handheld device that the blonde was holding. The other woman had her hands full with an oversized basket.
"I just want to be sure. Once we do this, it changes everything. For us, and for him."
"Can you honestly tell me you want him to grow up in our world? No baby should ever have to live through a war."
"Oh, so now he's a baby? I could've sworn you always called him 'that little monster' or-"
"Does it matter? With any luck, he won't even remember me."
"You say that like we're not coming back for him!" the blonde cried accusingly.
"Well, maybe we aren't!" the brunette snapped. "Darkstar said the Mother Box only had enough juice for a round trip, and anything beyond that was too dangerous to even think of trying!"
"I can't believe you're happy about this! He's just a baby! He can't help it if you don't like him!"
"Just because I won't cry my eyes out over him being gone doesn't mean this isn't the best thing for him! You know this is the best chance he has to grow up happy…the best chance he has to grow up at all! This world is so much safer than ours that it's almost laughable. I'd be shocked if he ever even got a paper cut."
"Will you at least wake him up and say goodbye?"
The brunette growled a warning.
"Fine! YOU don't have to say goodbye, but I will! Just…stand over there where he can't see how much you don't like him. I want his last memory to be a good one."
The two women traded objects, and the blonde carefully put the basket down on the couch. She sank to her knees and reached in, carefully drawing back the blankets to reveal a furry little head. With a sad smile, she carefully traced the baby's cheek with a finger until he yawned and blinked slowly up at her.
"Hey, Fuzzykins," she whispered softly.
The baby grinned upon recognizing her and seized her finger in a chubby fist, cooing delightedly.
"You gotta be a good boy, okay? Mama and I won't be here with you, but that doesn't mean we're not watching. You make us proud, little guy." She leaned over and dropped a tender kiss on his head.
The baby gurgled contentedly and rolled onto his side, closing his eyes.
"Bye, Fuzzykins. Love you." The blonde stood up and sighed. "Okay, we can go now."
"He will be safer here," the brunette insisted after a moment. "It's better this way."
"I know. But I'll miss him so much."
The brunette said nothing as she entered a command into the handheld device. With a blinding flash, both women were gone, leaving behind no sign that they had ever been there, save for the basket.
* * * * *
"Home sweet home!" Beast Boy crowed as he entered the living room, followed by the other Titans.
"I'll be in room," Raven murmured, retreating with her small container of ice cream in hand.
Beast Boy rolled his eyes and plopped down on the couch. It was then that he noticed the basket next to him. "Hey, somebody forget to invite me to the picnic?"
"What picnic?" Cyborg asked just before he caught sight of the basket. "Weird. Where'd that come from?"
Beast Boy reached for the basket, but Robin grabbed his hand. "Don't touch it!" he hissed
"Why not?" Starfire asked. "Do you not wish to partake of the picnic, Robin?"
"We DO have a lot of enemies," Cyborg reminded her, already scanning the basket with his arm. "There's no metal in it, and it's not a bomb. Huh. Even weirder. Maybe there actually IS food in it."
"So it's safe," Beast Boy insisted, reaching over again to draw back the white blankets.
A small, furry face with huge yellow eyes peered back at him curiously.
"…that's gotta be the ugliest roast beef sandwich I ever seen," Cyborg said at last.
Starfire gasped and leaned closer. "It's adorable!" she cooed, tickling the baby's chin and smiling when it gurgled happily. Then she leaned back and whispered to Robin, "What IS it, exactly???"
"I…don't know," Robin admitted. "It's a baby, but…a baby what?"
"I vote monkey," Beast Boy said before turning into a huge gorilla.
"Monkeys don't have horns," Cyborg pointed out, tapping the tiny little bone growths protruding from the baby's forehead. "Or, at least, what will be horns."
But the gorilla had already scooped up the baby and was combing through its fur with a large finger.
"Hey, don't do that!" Cyborg warned. "We don't know where it came from, and if you play nice with it, it'll imprint on you and-"
"Mama!" the baby giggled, patting the gorilla's face with a furry hand.
"…damn. Now it'll be heartbroken if we try to get rid of it."
"We cannot abandon him!" Starfire cried, taking the baby from the gorilla. "He is so small, and furry, and cute. Like a puppy! Puppies need good homes and people to take care of them!"
The baby cooed softly and pressed his little hand to Starfire's chin.
She smiled down at him, her green eyes shining with warmth. "Don't worry, little whatever-you-are. You're home now."
"Starfire…I know how you feel," Robin said slowly, "but I don't think any of us are exactly model parents. I mean, we don't even know what it IS yet. How can we possibly know what it needs to survive?"
"But we have to try, Robin!" Starfire pleaded. "He likes us already! You can't send him away!"
"No one's going to send him away. But…we don't know the first thing about him. I hate to say it, but he might even be dangerous. This could be some sort of trap for-"
"If this precious little thing is a trap," Starfire said softly, holding the baby closer, "then I am more than willing to be ensnared by him."
The gorilla sniffed loudly, wiping a tear from its eye before it became Beast Boy again. "Starfire…that was so beautiful…"
The baby looked up at Starfire and giggled. "Sta-fi!" it said happily.
Starfire gasped in joy. "He said my name!!!" She hugged the baby and bounced it gently. "Good boy!!!"
"How do we know it's a boy again?" Cyborg asked.
"The note says so," Raven suddenly observed.
Everyone turned to look at her. "What?!"
"The note. In the basket?" When no one replied, she sighed and read it aloud.
"Dear Teen Titans:
This is our beloved little baby. It is no longer safe for him at home, so we have brought him here in hopes that he will be safe. Please take good care of him and make sure that he grows up big and strong. We believe you are the best family he could have right now.
"Even that doesn't tell us what he is," Cyborg remarked. "So how do we find out?"
"I could keep trying different animals, see which one he likes best," Beast Boy suggested.
"That won't work," Raven replied. "He's just a baby. He'll like anything that has fur like he does."
"He's no normal baby," Robin replied. "I can't tell how old he is, but he seems way too smart. No baby learns names that fast."
"Maybe he's a genetic experiment and has a brain twice the normal size."
"…actually, that would explain why we can't figure out what he is," Robin agreed.
"Oh? I was thinking it probably had more to do with this," Raven answered, gently drawing the baby's foot out of the blanket. There was a series of black numbers etched on the sole.
"How do you DO that?!" Beast Boy asked in amazement.
"I must be psychic," Raven quipped dryly. "At any rate, we should probably put him to bed. Just remember that you all wanted to keep him when he needs changing and feeding. Because I'm not doing any of it."
"Aw, c'mon, Raven," Beast Boy wheedled. "Are you saying just looking at the little guy doesn't spark that warm, maternal instinct deep down inside you?"
"All he 'sparks' in me is a thankfulness that Shax virtually takes care of himself. Which reminds me, I was in the middle of sharing my ice cream with him when you all started arguing." With that, she headed back to her room.
"Uh…so we're keeping him?" Beast Boy asked excitedly.
"Well, it's not like we can put him out on the street." Robin smiled faintly as he tickled the baby's foot. "And he IS kinda cute…"
"It's official! We're with child!" Beast Boy cheered, turning into a kangaroo that hopped around the room.
"Yeah, yeah, that's just great," Cyborg said quickly. "But until I can build him a bed, where will he sleep? And what will he eat?"
"He seemed to like the basket okay," Robin noted.
"He will sleep with me," Starfire said, softly kissing the little hand that kept reaching for her face.
"…not even gonna touch it," Cyborg replied. "What about food?"
"Monkey or not, I'm betting he'd like fruit," Robin added.
"Hey, I know!" Beast Boy cried. "I could try turning into a mother with milk!"
"…oh, you have crossed a very thin line, my little green friend," Cyborg murmured softly.
"No, really! It'd be a challenge! I've never tried female animals before!"
"That's because you're a boy," Robin answered slowly.
"Yeah. Beast BOY. Not Babe. See how it works?" Cyborg added.
"I'm telling you, I can do this!" Beast Boy insisted. "It'll take some practice, but I bet I could really be his mother!"
"But Starfire's his mom."
"No, she isn't! She's 'Sta-fi' and I'm 'Mama'! You heard the little guy!"
"You are getting way too into this for me," Cyborg decided. "I'm gonna get started on a better bed for him. And if I come back to find you trying to breastfeed the kid…it's gonna be on."
* * * * *
It wasn't that Raven hated the baby. The less emotional attachments she had, the better off they all were. She would let the other Titans look after the little guy. In the meantime, she would focus on her meditation and on keeping her emotions in check. Just being near a baby was likely to be bad news for her.
She smiled faintly at her raven, Shax, who was perched atop her desk. "At least I know you'll never wake me up by crying in the middle of the night."
Shax squawked loudly and walked across the desk, stopping in front of her hairbrush. He cawed even louder and looked at Raven expectantly.
It was much more difficult to read the minds of animals, but Raven knew at once that something was wrong. "What is it, Shax? What are you trying to tell me?" She moved to the desk and started to pick up the brush, but stopped herself.
It had been moved exactly three centimeters to the left, she realized with a start. She always kept it in exactly the same place on her desk.
"Someone's been in my room." But surely not one of the other Titans? Beast Boy and Cyborg had learned their lesson from the last time, so who would…? "Maybe…it wasn't a Titan."
Shax cawed once.
"I'm right. It was no one that lives here. Did you see anything?"
The raven looked at her helplessly. He flew over to her mirror, tapped it once with his beak, and then flew to Raven's shoulder, tapping it once.
"I know you're trying to tell me something, but…are you saying I'm the one that moved it?"
Shax cawed in frustration and flew back to the mirror.
"Yes, I know. It's a portal to my mind. What does that have to do with….unless…" Raven's face paled. "Did…something come out again?"
Shax shook his head and flew to the window.
"They came through the window, without setting off any alarms. Was it…human?"
The raven shook his head again and flew back to the mirror.
"Then…it LOOKED like something from my mirror?" she guessed.
Shax cawed and nodded.
"Oh no. The last thing I need is one of my father's minions going through my things. What else could possibly go wrong tonight?"
* * * * *
The docks were completely deserted, save for one medium-sized, athletic figure dressed in a brown, tattered cloak. The figure did not move, and its eyes stayed locked on Titans Tower.
"Soon," it whispered in a deep, gravelly voice. "Soon we will meet for the first time, Seedling."
It raised a single, violet hair in its fingers and smiled grimly. "Very soon. I shall find out what it is he sees in you…and if I need to destroy it."
Next Time: Beast Boy bonds with the baby, and someone calls Raven out.
Just so you guys know, the final chapter of "Titans Revealed" is up. I posted it during a storm, so maybe you wouldn't have been notified. That happened with the last chapter of "Broody," too. Hmm…
Anyhow, what do you think so far? Keep in mind Robin may not be correct about the baby's smarts…