A Raven/BB oneshot fanfiction
By Sara "Secondary Gemini" Hambrook

Usual disclaimer stuff: I don't own Teen Titans, really wish I did. I need the money, and I hate Terra and would have her destroyed in the most painful way possible. I also do not own the movie "Girl, Interrupted". That... belongs to someone else.

Notes: Takes place after "Spellbound" (original air date 10/09/2004). CONTAINS SPOILERS! Oh, and just because it is mentioned in here that BB is finding a reason to live to find a cure for Terra does NOT mean I like them being together! After this fic is over, I believe that BB's feelings have shifting to another girl.

Dedications: To my lover, my family, and my friends; to all my loyal, loving fans, who are patiently waiting for Chapter 05 of "Paths of Desire"; to anyone who's ever been broken by the actions of another. Most of all, dedicated to anyone who has ever brought themselves bodily harm to drive away the pain another has caused.


SMH, 10/12/2004

A week had passed since Raven had re-sealed Malchior into the book from which he had come, and for the most part things had gotten back to normal. While the young telepath still preferred to spend most of her time in her room, she was making a self-conscious effort to do more things with her fellow teammates. She ate dinner with the others, watched a few movies, and even went out with them one night to a downtown street party. The others were quite impressed with this attempt from her to be more social, and in response they left her alone without unnecessary interruption when she requested solitude. Beast Boy himself was the proudest of all; after well over a year of struggling to pull her from the shell she stubbornly locked herself in, it was nice to see that she was finally starting to open up. He had honestly predicted that after having her heart so ruthlessly torn in two, she would actually recede further into herself and demand more time alone than ever before. To see her out and about, slowly bleeding her presence into the others' everyday routine, was a nice change of pace. She wasn't showing any of the usual signs of depression, which perhaps came as the biggest shock to the shape-shifter; after Terra's betrayal, he himself had fallen into a deep and quite uncharacteristic slump. No amount of talking, comforting, or coaxing could pull him out of it, and in the end it had been Terra's sacrifice that had re-ignited the flame of life within him. He had something to go on for... he could continue because there was the hope that someday they would find a cure for her. Raven, however... what was keeping her going? What was keeping her from sliding so comfortably into that deep well of despair that he himself had found such twisted refuge in? He had been observing her every single day; looking for even the slightest shift of her eyes, for the barest shred of pain in her tone. A week of watching her had revealed nothing – in fact, it seemed as though the experience had actually changed her for the better. Beast Boy should have let it go – after all, Raven had expressed to them several times since the incident that she was fine – but something inside of him didn't quite believe this "new her". There was something that was just too controlled, something that was just too... too fake; and no matter what it took, he was going to find out what it was. Because he knew somewhere, deep inside, that if he didn't, it was going to destroy his friend... after all, the same thing had almost destroyed him.

-- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 --

Nightfall found the five young adults sitting in the living room, the movie "Girl, Interrupted" playing on the TV screen. It had been Starfire's night to choose what they watched, and she had been making it a point to view this particular video the first chance she got. The boys were less than amused by her choice, not interested in watching a "chick flick"; but after a less-than-gentle reminder (courtesy of Raven) of the previous movie the Tameranian had rented, they decided that maybe Angelina Jolie and Wynona Rider angst wasn't too unbearable. If suffering through two hours of a psychological drama meant no more documentaries on hotdogs, it was worth it. By mid-movie Starfire was crying, a box of tissues clutched tightly in her hands. Robin was sitting next to her, taking this perfect opportunity to play the role of "comforting male"; his arm was around her shoulders and she was leaning heavily against his chest. Cyborg had fallen asleep five minutes after the opening credits, a line of drool dribbling down the side of his chin as he lay sprawled out across half the couch. Raven was curled up against the arm of the couch, her book lying abandoned in her lap and her eyes focused on the screen. Her cloak was bunched up around her like a blanket, her hood up to cover her head. Beast Boy, who was sitting between the huddled gothic girl and the cuddling duo, was continually watching Raven out of the corner of his eye. Something about this movie... there was something that was bothering her about it. She had seemed pretty uninterested at first, keeping her nose buried in her book, but all that had changed when Wynona Rider's character Susanna had entered the mental ward. Suddenly her attention had directed itself to the movie, her body seeming to shrink into the couch. Every time Daisy came on screen she seemed to flinch slightly, pulling her cloak around herself tighter and tighter until it hid her; until it... shielded her... until she had created a physical shell of cloth to protect herself. At a point in the movie in which Lisa grabbed Daisy's arm and ripped her sleeve up, exposing fresh cuts along the anorexic girl's arm, Beast Boy watched a shudder grip Raven's body. His eyes widened and he opened his mouth to ask her what was wrong when she suddenly bolted up from the couch, eyes wide. And there was his answer, written across her face in a split-second flash of horror and pain and fear before she was suddenly emotionless again, locked away as she had been before Malchior showed up.

"I'm going to take a shower and go to bed..." she whispered, turning and heading up the stairs before anyone could get in a word as a reply. Starfire and Robin, too hung up in the movie to really notice any change in her, simply nodded a reply before turning their full attention back to the movie. Beast Boy, however, gave no hesitation in his decision to follow her, grabbing her shoulder as she stormed down the hallway.

"Raven! Hey, stop! Raven, what's wrong?" he asked, concern lacing his voice and his facial features. She shrugged his hand off and disappeared into the bathroom, slamming the door shut in his face and locking it before he could enter.

"Raven, let me in! Raven, TALK TO ME! Come on! Nothing's going to get resolved if you don't TALK ABOUT IT!" There was a noise that Beast Boy was unable to place a name to, and then the shower came on. He contemplated calling to the others, then thought better of it; when Raven was cornered in, especially when it came to any form of confrontation about her privacy, her first reaction was to throw up her usual walls and deny anyone the right to get close to her. Coaxing her out was going to be hard enough without pulling the others into the fray. So Beast Boy chose the only option left to his disposal. He sat down outside the door, leaned his head against the wall, and waited.

-- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 --

Raven had escaped into the safety of the bathroom just in time; had Beast Boy caught up with her any sooner, or had he been any more persistent, there was no way that she could of kept her control until she could be alone. By the time the door slammed shut behind her she was shaking, gulping back on the torrent of tears that wanted to come. She had turned on the shower before she even bothered to strip her clothing off, hoping it would overpower the heaving gasps that rocked her chest. She tore her leotard off quickly, biting back on the cry of pain that wanted to slide past her lips as the cuts covering her arms were assaulted, reopening from her violent action and dripping crimson liquid down her flesh. Refuge was found in the corner of the tub and she curled up under the rush of water, gripping her shoulders tightly and drawing her tiny legs up against her chest. Screams built up in her throat and she choked them back bitterly, allowing only weak, strangled whimpers to escape into the air. She had to be quiet... if she wasn't quite, he would hear her... and if he heard her... Raven halted that thought before it had a chance to complete itself and dug her fingernails into her shoulders until they bled.

'Have to calm down, have to keep control... have to calm down, have to keep control...' she thought to herself desperately, clenching her teeth together tightly as the subconscious thoughts of self-mutilation rose to the surface and swarmed into her mind, whispering sweet nothings of blood and pain and one release she could perform without fear of repercussions. She wouldn't give in, not this time... she wouldn't end up like that girl in the movie, like that psychotic nutcase who hid chicken bones under her bed and cut her arms even after she was discharged and who finally ended up hanging herself in her bathroom with the tie from her own bathrobe. Raven was hurting, more than she ever thought she could; but she would be damned if she was going to a mental ward just like Daisy had.

'... and yet... if I don't let this pain out... if I don't banish the suffering through some means... I'm going to go insane anyway, and then where will I be? I've hidden it from the others for a week, and if I'm careful... they'll never find out...' As her mind coaxed her slowly back into her self-destructive habit her hand rose from her shoulder, fingertips sliding along the edge of the shelf that held the shampoo and conditioner. She knocked over a few bottles that connected with her back and slid across the floor of the tub, but finally she felt it – the soft rubber handle of her Shick razor. She gripped it tightly and drew in a shuddering breath, pulling it down from its holder and clutching it against her chest. The shaking had returned, as it always did just before she butchered her body. It was adrenaline, thick and heavy as the blood she took from herself and running just as deeply in her veins; a drug of her soul's own making with an addiction far worse than any cocaine or heroine could ever hope to conjure. Her other hand released her shoulder and gripped the razor as well, a single finger venturing out to run itself again the blade, feeling a small squirt of crimson burst forth from the torn skin. That one move was all it took for desire to rear its ugly head, the scream in her chest echoing through her mind, demanding that she cut, ordering that she release. Raven tore the razor from its plastic base and extended her left arm, grunting heavily as the sharp metal came down again and again, leaving hot lines of strawberry gashes across her pale skin. Water rushed into the cuts the moment they formed and diluted the blood, taking it on a wild ride down the drain and filling the room with a rusty, death-like smell. Raven gagged on the scent and dropped the small item to the floor, dipping her head low so she could heave roughly, forehead pressed again the edge of the bathtub. She upchucked tonight's dinner into her lap, the foul odor filling her nostrils and causing another flow of vomit to force itself up her throat. She threw up until her stomach was empty, until dry wrenching made her ribs ache. Only then did she sit back, gasping and sweating and trembling in the folds of aftershock. She dropped completely to the smooth floor of the shower, curling in on herself completely and choking on sob after sob as regret and sorrow grabbed her body and beat her like an abused stepchild. She had given in... she had sworn to herself that she wouldn't, yet she had... and through the shame that clouded her thoughts, one sickening realization broke through; a certain part of her had enjoyed this violation, had taken pleasure in the pain. Raven closed her eyes once more, turning the shower off mentally, before she teleported through the floor and into the sanctity of her own room.

-- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 --

Outside the door, Beast Boy was slowly going insane. He had picked up on the scent of blood moments after Raven herself had, his naturally-heightened senses also detecting stomach bile and tonight's roast beef sandwich. Concern had slipped into worry and worry into full-blown panic. She was crying; he could hear the ragged sobs, the noise torturing his psyche and threatening to drive him into a screaming fit. Only the thought that he had to make sure she was alright, that he had to be there to comfort her whenever she came out, kept him from going completely out of his mind. It felt like hours that he listened to her sobs and waited, and then suddenly there was nothing – the shower turned off and the weeping stopped in moments, leaving a dead silence that terrified him even more than the noise had.

"...Raven?" he breathed, getting to his quaking feet and pressing his hands against the door. "Raven, open the door... open the door and tell me you're alright..." His voice sounded high with terror and he pounded his fists on the barrier, the panic rising higher and higher in his heart with every moment the silence continued. He gave her thirty more seconds before his hysteria won out and he morphed into a gorilla, ripping the door off its hinges and shoving it roughly to the side before he returned to human form and rushed in to check on her. The bathroom was empty, her leotard, cloak and undergarments lying abandoned on the floor.

"...where..." he choked, before his mind filled in the blanks and turned quickly, practically flying down the hall and up the final stairs leading to her secluded bedroom.

"Raven! I know you're in there, OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!" Beast Boy shrieked, making it perfectly clear that whether she liked it or not, she had a visitor that was not going to go away until they had spoken.

"NO! Leave me alone!" she replied, her voice raw from crying and still thick with tears.

"OPEN THE FUCKING DOOR OR I SWEAR I'LL OPEN IT FOR YOU!" he replied, getting ready to morph, "YOU HAVE UNTIL THE COUNT OF THREE! ONE! TWO! THREE!" On the final word his body once again transformed itself into a large gorilla and he threw himself full-force into her door, feeling it starting to give even with just the first blow. From inside he could hear her screaming again, demanding he leave her in peace. He ignored her commands and slammed into the door again, the gears and levers that operated the automatic door bending and breaking under the force. Her orders shifted into begging and her voice gave way into trembling; she was terrified at the prospect that someone knew, that someone would intervene and stop her from harming herself any more than she already had. Once again her pleas went unheard as Beast Boy slammed into the door a third time, breaking it completely and causing it to fall, twisted and destroyed, to the floor. He shifted back and rushed into her room, finding her huddled in a corner with her legs drawn up again her chest and her eyes wide, wild and terrified like a restrained animal. He approached her slowly, reaching out a hand to her.

"Raven... it's alright, Raven... it's me, it's just me... just talk to me, please... we're going to get you some help..."

"NO! I don't need help! Just get out of my room!"

"Raven, you're bleeding..." he whispered, indicating her arms. She drew them against her chest to hide the evidence, soaking the lavender shirt she was wearing in crimson liquid. He moved closer and she pressed herself further into the corner, as if trying to melt into the wall. Apparently, the only thing stopping her from teleporting away from him was the fact that her emotions were too jumbled to allow for the concentration required for escape. She was trapped, vulnerable and scared and completely at his mercy. He licked his lips and sat on the floor a few feet away from her, allowing her to eye him wearily.

"I'm not going to hurt you... or send you away... I just wanna talk, Raven..." he soothed, sitting back on his haunches to show that he wasn't going to invade her space anymore than he already had. "I know you're scared... but you can't hold this in any longer. It's destroying you, and you're destroying yourself as a result... it's okay to grieve, and you don't have to grieve alone... you're never alone while I'm around..." Raven sniffled in reply and closed her eyes, struggling to calm her racing heartbeat.

"... he told me I was beautiful..." she finally whispered, tears pouring over her cheeks and running down her face, "He told me I was beautiful, and special... I loved him, Beast Boy... he understood me, he KNEW me... I trusted him, and he took my trust and used it against me. What kind of person am I? I let him manipulate me, hurt me... he tried to isolate me completely from my friends, and I willingly let him do it... how can you stand to look at me?" As she spoke her voice cracked heavily and slipped into despair, her body collapsing and shrinking into itself, "he told me I was beautiful, and I BELIEVED him..." Beast Boy gulped, moving a bit closer to her and reaching a hand out to touch her face, brushing her damp, disheveled hair back behind her ear.

"Then he was right about one thing..." he replied gently, giving her a weak smile as she opened her eyes to look at him, "because you ARE beautiful, Raven..."

"No, I'm not... Starfire is beautiful, Beast Boy... I'm just... just creepy..."

"Starfire is beautiful too, but in a way that is far too common. There are too many girls who look like her... just like there are far too many girls who are beautiful like Terra. You... you're beautiful in a different way, a unique way... a way that only gifted people can see; because in order to see your beauty, people have to get to KNOW you first – and that is the best part of all..." Raven stared at him in shock for a long moment, slowly bringing her arms away from her chest. He had called her beautiful... he had said she was pretty, and he had meant it. Another sob ripped itself from her throat and she lunged at him, throwing herself against his chest and gripping at his shirt as she started weeping hysterically. Beast Boy let out a long sigh of relief and wrapped his arms around her, stroking his hand along her back in wide, arching circles and resting his head against hers.

"You're not alone... you're never alone, Raven... for the love of God, please don't ever forget that..." he whispered, tears breaking out of his own eyes as well. He glanced over at the door as the others rushed in, the commotion from earlier having drawn their attention.

"Bring me a first aid kit..." he whispered before directing his attention back to the bawling girl in his arms, allowing her to bury her face against his shoulder and cry herself dry. There were no objections from the others as they left the two alone, knowing that questions could be answered at another time. For now Beast Boy had things under control, and that was good enough for them.

-- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 --

Hours passed before Raven finally calmed herself enough to allow her companion to clean and dress her wounds, her violet eyes observing his movements with a sort of child-like fascination. He handled her injuries with all the tenderness of a lover pleasuring his partner for the first time, his hand gently sliding down the bandages on her arm before his fingers intertwined with his.

"Why?" she finally whispered, her voice soft and strained from crying. He smiled and leaned forward to kiss her forehead, pressing his temple against her own.

"Because I've been there, Raven..." he replied, stroking her cheek tenderly as he spoke, "because I suffered when Terra left, and I'll be damned if I'll watch a friend suffer through the same thing in silence." She nodded in understanding and dropped her forehead to his shoulder, her eyes sliding closed.

"I'm exhausted..." she whispered, accenting it with a yawn. He chuckled lightly and slid his arms under her, lifting her light body against his chest with ease.

"You haven't been sleeping well, have you?"

"No... I've been alone since Malchior was destroyed, and I miss having someone to talk to as I fall asleep... even if his physical form was nothing more than shreds of paper from an enchanted book, he was still there... and I've been lonely..."

"It's alright now... I'll stay with you as long as you need me to..." he soothed, settling her down against the sheets of her bed and watching her relax onto the mattress.

"Will you be here when I wake up?" she whispered, her voice already starting to slide into an exhaustion-induced drawl. She was hovering on the edge of sleep, her tensed shoulders quickly relaxing as her breathing slid into a deep, calm rhythm.

"I'll be here forever, if that's what you need..." His tone was soft and calming as he slid into the bed next to her, one arm snaking out to wrap around her thin waist as the other one slid below her pillow, supporting her head. The last of her energy was spent as she moved closer to him in the dark, her forehead pressing against his chest.

"Did you mean it?" she breathed, her eyes fluttering open for a moment before closing for the final time that night, "did you really mean it when you said I was beautiful?"

"With all my heart...." he replied, smiling, "sleep now, Raven... just sleep..."

And she did.

-- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 -- 8 --

And when her eyes opened late the next morning, her shattered heart having finally started to heal itself, he was still there. And that was enough.