Notes: Some of the characters might be OOC, but it's for a good reason. Secondly, I'm sorry it took so long to get this chapter out. I've seriously been busy lately. Graduation is tonight and I start college this coming Tuesday. I'll try to update more frequently.
After Starfire's outburst, the whole city seemed to go silent. The Teen Titans with looks of astonishment on their faces and three of the four encased in the black aura brought to quiet confusion and shock.
"Beast Boy," Raven whispered, barely audible. The black aura disappeared slowly, as if not of its own choice, dropping the four to the ground. The four winced in pain, but otherwise remained silent. The girl cloaked in blue slowly and deliberately turned away from the group.
"Machine, what's going on," Aqua was the first to break the awkward silence that followed, "Who's Beast Boy?"
"Someone I used to know," he answered, "but not anymore."
"What are you talking about," Cyborg demanded, "You are Beast Boy!"
"I am confused," Starfire commented, "Who is this Machine? And why does Beast Boy not know himself anymore?"
"Star, that is Beast Boy," Robin told her, "But it's not the Beast Boy that we know."
Beast Boy looked over at Raven. Her back was still turned to him and her hood was cast down low on her face. He couldn't see one inch of her pale skin beneath, a single shine of violet from the shadows created by the fabric.
"You work with them," it was Blackjack who spoke, trying to conceal his anger but failing, "You've lied to us all this time?"
"No," Beast Boy tried to defend himself, "I really left the Teen Titans."
"But why," Aqua asked him.
"Because of me…" Raven finally said, her voice quiet and a slight hint of guilt coming through, "It's all my fault."
"It wasn't your fault," Robin told her, then turned back to Beast Boy, "For once I don't know what to say. I'm not sure I can let you back on the team."
"I don't blame you," Beast Boy said, "I don't deserve to be on the team anyway."
"Maybe not," Cyborg spoke up, "But everyone deserves a second chance. I mean, we let Robin back on after he was Red X and when he was Slade's apprentice. You let me back on too."
"Because we were doing our job," Robin told him, "To find out more about Slade, to protect the city. Beast Boy left us of his own free will."
"I did once too," Cyborg argued, "but I came back."
"And when I was going to get married," Starfire spoke up.
"And when I couldn't control my emotions or my powers," Raven said, speaking of when they faced Dr. Light, and also with Malchior, "The point is, Robin, that we've all made mistakes…"
"And we have forgiven each other," Starfire finished.
Robin looked ready to argue, but stopped when he realized that they were right. He turned to look at Beast Boy, and his voice took on a stern edge, "I'm giving you one last chance."
Beast Boy looked relieved for a moment, but his smile slowly faded, "But what about my friends?" He gestured behind him.
"We have no choice on that," Robin said, "We'll have to turn them in." Upon turning back to look at Aqua, Shad, and Blackjack, they evenly met his gaze. Blackjack's eyes slowly narrowed into a glare.
"Guys…" Beast Boy told them, "I'm sorry." Aqua and Shad's glances softened, but Blackjack's eyes narrowed even more.
"Go ahead," Raven spoke up, talking to Robin, Cyborg, and Starfire, "I need to talk to Beast Boy…alone." Her voice was deep and angry as she pulled her hood down. They led Aqua, Shad, and Blackjack away. Beast Boy dared not look up to meet her gaze, expecting a harsh word at any time.
"Raven, I'm…" he began, but she silenced him with a finger over his lips.
"Don't talk," she stated, "Just listen." He fearfully met her gaze and was surprised to find no anger there, "I'm sorry for what I said. I was angry and I wasn't thinking about my words. I didn't know it would lead to this. Now, I don't expect you to…"
"I forgive you," Beast Boy said suddenly, "and I'm sorry too. I overreacted." He could tell that Raven wanted to comment on the unusually long word he used, but instead, she just gave him the faintest of smiles.
"We both did," she agreed. A silence passed between them for a moment.
"So…" Beast Boy said with a sudden grin, "Did ya miss me?" There was another long silence.
"Maybe a little," Raven replied with reluctance, though her voice didn't hide how much she really had.
"I realized a lot of things while I was gone," Beast Boy told her, being serious again, "You really do care, don't you?"
"I do have feelings," she answered, "I just can't show them. Not unless I want someone to get hurt."
Their conversation was interrupted by the distant sound of thunder. Rain drifted lazily from the sky. Raven turned her head up to examined the dark clouds coming in.
"Raven," Beast Boy asked, and she only nodded in reply, "You could never hurt me." She then faced him, more than a little shocked by his words.
He took a step closer to her, raising his hood to cover his face. Reaching his hands up when he stood about a few inches away, he brought her own up.
His hands still gripping the cloth of her hood, he slowly slid them down to the sides of her pale face. The feeling of her smooth, warm skin beneath his fingers made him forget all about the rain around them. He wiped away the cool droplets of water gently. Then without thinking, he leaned forward, brushing his lips lightly against her own.
When she didn't respond, he pulled away a few inches. Her eyes were full of shock at his actions. Then, slowly, she allowed a warm smile to appear on her face. This time she initiated the kiss, with more feeling that Beast Boy knew she had within her. After a few seconds, she pulled away slowly.
"Beast Boy," she asked.
"Yeah," he replied.
"You ever run away again, and I will hurt you," she told him, a joking tone to her voice.
"I wouldn't think of it," he answered.
"I feel pretty, oh so pretty," Beast Boy sang out for his initiation. He wore the pink dress and wig, while dancing around with the rubber chicken, serenading it with his song. As he did so, he caught Raven's gaze. She was laughing, indeed a rare sight to see, which made him sing louder and dance crazier.
As he finished, the sound of laughter and clapping entered his hearing.
Robin stood up and approached him, "Welcome back."
Beast Boy grinned, "Thanks." He took a bow and then went to sit next to Raven.
"You know," she said, "Pink's not really your color." While she said it in a monotone, he caught the humor in her words.
"And black's not really yours," he replied. She blushed slightly at this, "There are so many other colors in your world."
"It's good to have you back," Raven told him with a small smile. Starfire grabbed him from behind suddenly, lifting him off the ground. Cyborg joined in, taking Starfire and Raven along with him.
"Come on Robin, join the group hug," Starfire said. Beast Boy smiled at the reluctance of his face as he tried to sneak away.
Was he really a part of the team, he asked himself. No, he was a part of a family.
Soraoathkeeper – Yeah, I finally finished it. I hope you enjoyed it and I'm sorry that it took so long.
Snow Werewolf – I'm glad that you understand. Hope you loved the final chapter as well. I wish I didn't have to end it so soon.
Carrot The LuvMachine – Hey, it's cool that you could imagine the past in the last chapter. That was good to hear.
Geodesic – I'm glad that you like the story. And obviously, you know what happened to everyone. I know it's not really punishment, but to me, wearing pink anything is torture enough. ; )
Mew-xena – I don't know what BB wrote…or rather, didn't know what to make him write. Feel free to use your imagination on that one. Yeah, go BB/RAE!
Copy write – Ok, I'll never hear from you again. But if you ever want to give any 'helpful' advice, feel free.
CRiTiC123 – You think it's wonderful? Thanks. I really appreciate hearing that.
New Shoes – Ok, I updated…finally. And yes, I know that it's good. I'll see you tonight at graduation, okay?
Veral42 – Glad ya like it. I updated it as soon as I could. It's good to get a review from you. Thanks.
DigitalGlowStick – I'm glad you like it. I agree, it is better than the other one, but that'll probably be the one I'll update for a while. And thank you, for thinking my b/f and I are good writers. He writes his own stories on here too. He's 'A Pair of New Shoes'.
Goth-Girl04 – I apologize to her a lot for not updating sooner. I really meant to , but life gets in the way. Hope that this chapter made up for the wait.
LuNa FuTuRe FuTuRe TiTaN – It ruled? Yeah, it does, doesn't it? ; ) Yeah, I'm proud of my work.
RavenOfAzarath – Ok, I hope you liked that chapter.
TheAlabamaKid – Yeah! You love it! It is kinda funny, isn't it?