Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans, or any of the medical jargon/conditions/procedures. I hope you enjoy the first chapter of the story.
Disclaimer II: I am not a doctor, nor am I out of high school;therefore, all theories and practices performed in accordance to zoanthropy are conjectures I have made after researching.
"The time is 11:04 in the morning. Patient 11456783 appears to have finished reading the book on tigers which was administered to him at approximately 9:00 this morning. 11456783 has begun to succumb to another apparent delusion from the reading. This marks the third such experience today."
The man gently pushed the button on the recorder and squatted down close to the bed in the corner of the room. His face was close to a foot from the young man's on the bed. Wishfully he stared through his glasses into the vacant green eyes before him. The man smiled as patient 11456783 made pawing motions with his hands and began to purr and growl softly.
Beast Boy watched in horror as Plasmus launched his leader into a steel pole. Robin's head limply fell so that his chin was resting against his chest. With a sudden rush of adrenaline, coupled with rage, the changeling morphed into a large green tiger. He vigorously slashed at Plasmus with his claws; every stroke caused another layer of his purple, gooey flesh to go flying through the air.
Plasmus reached out a newly regenerated hand and grasped Beast Boy. The creature attempted a laugh as he threw the Titan on the floor in front of his leader. Upon impact Beast Boy returned to his normal shape, but once he caught sight of Plasmus making his way towards him, the changeling once again took on the shape of the magnificent tiger.
He growled and clawed, pounced, bit, and rammed into the giant blob over and over again, but nothing seemed to work. With each attack Plasmus seemed to increase in strength and thwart the changeling's attempts. Just as hope was falling from his sight, Robin leapt from his position, and aided by Starfire, somersaulted through the air and threw several bird-a-rangs at the blob. Alongside Robin's attack, Starfire shot dozens of her green star bolts.
Beast Boy watched in amazement as the two successfully brought the purple blob down to a tiny puddle of oozing glop. With the victory, Starfire flew down to Robin and lightly kissed his cheek.
The nurse carefully opened the door to the room, and shut it equally so. For a moment she stood and gazed at the scene before her. It always amazed her just how much the doctor was fascinated by the young man on the bed. Currently the black-haired physician was squatting with his thumbs holding up his chin and his index fingers brushing his lips. Every so often he would tilt slightly backwards in order to avoid the path of the young man's hand pawing at the air.
A gentle peck on his cheek pulled the doctor from his observations. He smiled at the red-haired nurse.
"Hello there, Star."
The nurse smiled at the way he spoke her name. "Doctor Grayson." Uncertain of what to say to the doctor, she turned her attention to 11456783. "What is he today?"
Doctor Grayson raised his left index finger as a signal to hold on a second or two for his reply. He then carefully lifted up the top end of the pillow under the patient's head and extracted a tattered book. Turning it so the nurse could see the cover he said, "Tigers." Star nodded in understanding and stared, along with the doctor, down at the still purring boy.
She had witnessed many different patients during the years that she had worked in the institution, but never before had she come across a case such as this. Each day was a different "adventure," Doctor Grayson enjoyed calling it. It had become a game of theirs to find various books on animals and give them to 11456783 to read. Like clockwork, he would begin to act like the animal he had just immersed himself in information about. Eventually after a month or two of them doing this, the young man began to draw others into his hallucinations. Every Tuesday the doctor would give him a piece of paper and some crayons and ask the boy to draw. At first all he drew were the various animals, all of which had his face. But then he began to incorporate the nurse and the doctor into the drawings. He had created the characters of Starfire and Robin so that he could have a team to supposedly save the world. The doctor often admitted to the nurse that he had never seen a case involving the boy's disorder, but then again, he wasn't complaining.
"So are we on for this weekend?" Star jerked back from the sudden comment and eagerly shook her head in the affirmative. The doctor smiled, "Great, now how about we take him for a walk?"
"Where are we going? Where are we going?" The green changeling was jumping up and down with ignorant excitement.
Robin shook his head slightly and walked casually past the boy. With the option of Robin answering completely defeated, Beast Boy turned his attention to Starfire. He morphed into a small kitten and weaved in and out between her legs. The red-haired girl had to stop walking in order not to trip over the ball of fur rubbing against her calves.
She smiled broadly down at his form. "I am sorry, Beast Boy, but I can not tell you the site of our destination."
The boy changed back into his normal form and, with a heavy sigh, continued to follow the Boy Wonder to wherever he was headed. Normally the changeling would have just stayed back at the tower and played some video games, but Robin had sincerely convinced him that he would enjoy the walk and, especially, the destination. Plus, Cyborg had given Beast Boy the mission of watching Robin and Starfire and reporting any 'unusual' behavior.
Since nothing exciting was going on between the two teammates ahead of him, Beast Boy allowed his eyes to roam over the surroundings. There were a few trees with branches sporadically dotted by green leaves, the occasional shrub would sprout into the path of the boy, but mostly, there were just rocks.
A soft chanting tore the changeling's mind from the boring terrain. He smiled as he discovered the source of the melody.
The trio halted in front of the open doors to one of the various lounges in the commons area. Inside, a young volunteer was attempting a new procedure with the patients. She sat cross-legged on a table and instructed the people before her to follow suit, find their center, and forget everything else in their mind. Only a few of the patients actually tried, and even less were succeeding. A horrified scream broke the concentrations of everyone, as an older patient caught sight of the doctor.
Doctor Grayson smiled slightly at the reaction, while the nurse's mouth curved into a cat-like grin. It amused her how much this sole patient was terrified of the doctor.
The girl on the table opened one of her eyes. "Hello doctor, nurse."
"Hello, Rae. How are things going?"
"A whole lot better if you would stop scaring them." The purple-haired girl fixed the doctor with a threatening gaze. He held up his hands in a silent apology and continued leading 11456783 through the commons.
The young boy dropped to all fours, lolled his tongue out between his lips, let out a bark, and obediently followed after the doctor. He shifted joyfully from side to side as they journeyed on. Every so often he would wander over to a nurse and stand on his legs while licking their face. Each time Star would have to gently ease the young man from his latest victim and apologize for his actions. Eventually the nurse discovered that if she held onto the boy's shirt and acted like it was a leash, he would readily be led by her, thus allowing them to catch up with the fast-paced doctor.
"Dick, where exactly are we taking him?"
The doctor half-turned his face to look at her. "I want him to meet someone, and then I'm going to take him over to the lab."
"Not meaning to intrude on your professional opinion, but he's never had human contact other than us and Victor. Do you really think this is in the best interest?"
"He'll be fine."
"I know, but," Star struggled as the boy spotted another nurse and tried to greet her. The doctor reached out his hand and gently turned the boy's face in the direction they were headed. 11456783 licked the doctor's hand and continued to trot forward. Star had to jog along with the patient in order to again catch up with the doctor. "I know, but don't you think that if whoever it is he's meeting were to provoke any actions that, with his mental condition, he might lash out as something a bit more ferocious than a dog?"
Dick stopped and gingerly gripped the nurse's shoulders. "Star, he'll be fine. From my observations nothing has ever indicated that he would harm anyone. Plus, we'll be standing right off to the side so if anything were to happen we would just have to intercede and stop it. Okay?"
Beast Boy rammed into the back of Robin as the leader suddenly stopped. Turning to face the changeling, the boy smiled.
"I would like you to meet," Robin waved his hand to the right, "Terra."
A girl with long, corn silk colored hair reached out a gloved hand to the teen. "Hi, nice to meet you." The smile she flashed at the changeling immediately made his mouth raise on both sides. A million comments rushed simultaneously through his mind that he was rendered speechless and could only hold out his hand in greeting.
Terra giggled at his sloppy and tongue-tied demeanor. She then gripped his outstretched hand. "Cat got your tongue?"
Beast Boy morphed into a large-headed, green kitten and purred shyly. The girl laughed even more while she lightly patted the kitten's head.
It had taken a moment for the two patients to greet one another. At first both sat in their places and stared, then the girl held out her hand with a simple salutation. The smile on her face gradually increased while she sat waiting for the boy in front of her to say or do anything. Eventually, only after she commented on his silence, did the boy even move. He shifted so that his legs were bent up like the haunches of a cat and his arms were straight with his hands on the ground between his two feet. An almost inaudible purr came from the boy's mouth. The girl laughed at his performance and began to pet his head.
Doctor Grayson nudged the nurse with his elbow as they watched the girl pet 11456783's head. Star leaned close to the doctor's ear. "I think he likes her."
Dick brushed his lips on her ear. "And vice versa."
They continued to watch as the girl talked and talked about various things including sports, music, and geology. During her soliloquy of the last subject, she pulled a pair of beaten up goggles down over her eyes and proceeded to wave her arms about while moving small pebbles on the floor with her feet. After her demonstration she flashed another smile at the boy.
"What do you think of my powers?"
Even with the question open for his answer, the boy only smiled and nodded his head up and down.
"Do you have any powers?"
Again 11456783 nodded his head and then lay flat on his stomach. Very slowly he swayed from side to side. As he began to move soundlessly across the floor he lifted his feet into the air and shook them vigorously while he made a rattling noise with his teeth.
The girl laughed at the boy's "powers" and clapped her hands in amusement. 11456783, encouraged by the attention, proceeded to become a mouse, porcupine, and wallaby. Only after the last one did he stop his show due to a slight embarrassment as he noticed the nurse and doctor staring intently at him. He attempted to flash them a smile, and then turned back to the girl. She reached out her hand and began to pet his head.
"Terra, who's this new friend of yours." A young nurse with blonde hair bent down next to the patient.
"His name's Beast Boy."
"That's a nice name." The smile on the nurse's face fell as she looked up and saw Doctor Grayson standing off to the side. Her eyes widened slightly as the realization hit her of who the patient was. She held out her hand to Terra. "Come on now, Terra, we have to go."
Dick rushed forward at her comment. "Why does she have to go?"
The nurse fixed the doctor with a cold stare. "She has an appointment."
"Can't it wait a few minutes, we're not done here."
"Her doctor gave me direct orders that she is not to have intimate contact with any of the patients, especially yours, Doctor Grayson." The nurse cocked her head triumphantly to the side with a slight smirk playing on her lips. "Come on Terra, Doctor Wilson wishes to see you."
The girl leapt to her feet and happily took hold of the nurse's hand. Right before they left the room she turned back to the boy still sitting on the floor. "It was nice to meet you Beast Boy."
Beast Boy sat in shocked silence as he watched the girl walk away from him. She was the most amazing, beautiful, and interesting person he had ever met. Not to mention that her powers were pretty awesome. A wanton sigh escaped his lips as he placed a hand on his head where the girl had pet him.
A hand on his shoulder broke his love-struck reverie.
Robin smiled apologetically at the changeling. "Sorry about that, BB. I promise that tomorrow you'll be able to see her longer." The changeling's mouth curved instantly into a euphoric grin at the notion of spending more time with Terra. "But," Robin's voice took on the tone once more of a commanding leader. "That won't happen unless you come with me to see Cyborg."
Beast Boy stared confused at the undertone of Robin's comment. "Why do we have to see Cyborg?"
"Nothing much, really. Just a few tests," the Boy Wonder lazily commented as he began to walk away.
"Tests? No way am I going to sit through more of his stupid tests!" Beast Boy stood up and jogged after Robin, flailing his arms.
Robin sighed and turned his face so that he was staring Beast boy in the eyes. "One, they are not stupid tests. They are used to make sure that everything is running fine and normally in both your body and your mind. Second, if you refuse to undergo the tests, I'm sorry to have to say this, but you won't be able to see Terra tomorrow."
The Boy Wonder had just delivered the lowest blow in the history of all the low blows the changeling had ever been dealt. The two continued to walk in the direction of the tower, Robin indifferent to the surroundings, Beast Boy pouting and sighing incredulously at his side. After a few minutes the green boy searched their surroundings for their alien teammate.
"Uh, Robin, where's Starfire."
Without breaking his stride or the agnostic look upon his face, he replied: "She went to talk to Raven."
They arrived at a large metal door with a single window slit gracing the top portion. Doctor Grayson opened the door and had to grip the patient by the collar of his shirt and pull him into the room. Inside at a desk sat a tall, large built African American man wearing a standard issue white lab coat. At the sound of the door he averted his eyes to see who it was.
He smiled warmly at the doctor. "Hey Dick. What can I do for you today?"
"I was wondering if you could run a PET scan on him, Victor."
"Of course I can." The technician stood from his seat and proceeded to grab a hypodermic needle, a manila folder labeled "11456783," and a small bottle of 6-F-dopa. He turned towards Dick. "I assume you want the dopamine levels measured?"
Doctor Grayson smiled at the man. "Correct."
Victor nodded his head and walked towards a door at the back of his little office. "If you would kindly follow me."
Beast Boy reclined comfortably on a couch with his head placed in a little donut-shaped contraption. He tapped his foot nervously against the edge of the sofa while his eyes darted from side to side. Robin and Cyborg stood a short distance off, conversing jovially amongst themselves. The only thing about the situation that worried the changeling was watching as Cyborg filled a needle with some solution that looked like water.
"So, what's that for?" The green boy questioned while pointing at the needle in Cyborg's hand.
"This?" Cyborg squirted some of the fluid out of the tube in order to ensure that there was no air left in the needle. "Well, I'm going to inject you with this so that we can scan the activity of communication between your brain cells and measure your dopamine levels; that is, if you have a brain."
Robin glared at Cyborg and then placed his hand gingerly on the boy's shoulder. "Don't worry, all it'll feel like is a bee sting."
Victor allowed Doctor Grayson to inject the patient with the radioactive pharmaceutical, while he set up the machine to show the results. After administering the scanning agent, Doctor Grayson removed several pictures from patient 11456783's folder.
"Are you ready over there Victor?"
"Ready when you are."
Doctor Grayson nodded his head and placed the pictures in the patient's hands.
After ensuring that the scan was running smoothly and the data was being accurately and consistently measured, Victor wheeled his chair around so that he was facing Doctor Grayson. "Did you ever think that you might be, oh I don't know, encouraging his behavior by giving him those pictures?"
"Yes, I've considered that possibility," Dick answered monotonously. "And before you comment again I have tried giving him other things, such as a joke book. Do you want to know the result of that?"
Victor lazily placed his hands behind his head and smiled widely at the doctor.
"Our little 'zoan' here decided to set up one of the various jokes from the book, and ended up dumping a glass of chocolate milk on Star's head."
"That was him?" the technician asked incredulous. Dick nodded his head. "And here I thought you were the cause of her irritability that day. Man, this kid has some skill."
Dick shook his head at the enthusiastic technician and casually walked over to the computer. He scanned the data streaming across the screen and nodded his head in affirmation of his suspicions.
Beast Boy heaved in a sigh of relief as his head was gently removed from the donut-shaped machine. He stretched his arms out and swung his head from side to side before getting up off the couch and wandering over to Robin and Cyborg.
"So, am I good to go?" The changeling smiled in a hope to encourage the response he wanted.
Cyborg placed a metallic hand on the green boy's shoulder and slowly shook his head from left to right. At this motion Beast Boy turned his pleading eyes to Robin.
The Boy Wonder answered the boy's look: "Unfortunately your levels of dopamine are off the scales…"
"…Which means I'm going to have to try an increase in the dopamine antagonists administered to him." The doctor explained to no one in particular.
"Now before you go off and do that, you might want to keep in mind that various tests have shown that there is a 6 increase in the risk of developing breast cancer in the wake of dopamine antagonists."
Dick shot the grinning technician a glare bubbling with venom before grabbing the collar of the patient's shirt and leaving the lab.
When the two Titans reached the door of the changeling's room, Robin held out a thin book.
"Thought you might enjoy this," he explained before walking off to his own room.
Beast Boy opened the sliding doors and stumbled tiredly into his darkened room. He flopped down on the bottom bunk of his bed, for he lacked the energy to climb up the ladder to his normal perch, and cracked open the book Robin had given to him. A smile played across his lips as he began to read about the extinct Tyrannosaurus Rex.
AN: So what do you think? This is my first venture into prose fanfic, and only my second fanfic; so, any advice is welcome.
I hope you enjoyed this, review if you want, and hopefully I can write up the next chapter soon.
Thanks for reading it.