Chapter 10: Love Hate Relationship
This was by far the most awkward situation BeastBoy had been in today. Forget today, this was the most awkward situation he'd been in his entire life. He was alone, on a beach, and lying on top of Raven. Well…technically it was only one of Raven's emotional counterparts, but still.
"I don't believe we've been…properly introduced." She said from beneath him.
BeastBoy had been frozen in position for the last few minutes, his mind still unable to register what was going on. All he could do was look into her eyes.
"Ugh" he stammered. "I-I-I…I-I'm Be-Beas-Be…"
"BeastBoy. Yes, I know." She smiled. "It's nice to meet you."
He nervously smiled back. "You're…uh…one of Raven's emotions she doesn't let out very often." He said recalling Happy's explanation. 'Please don't be Vengeful Raven. Please don't be Vengeful Raven. Please don't be Vengeful Raven' he repeated in his head fearing what might follow.
She nodded. "And you're…warm." She gently nuzzled against his shoulder.
BeastBoy realized he was still on top of her. He sprang backwards, his face beet red. He quickly shook it off.
"I'm sorry!" He shouted, a pleading look on his face. "I just…and she…with you…and…WHAM!" he attempted to explain, his arms crisscrossing in every direction.
"Relax" she spoke calmly. "It was an accident. It's not as though you lunged at me with your tongue hanging out, forcing yourself on me. Were you?" she fluttered her eyes lashes, a small blush on her face, obviously drawing a mental picture.
'O…kay. I think we can rule out Vengeful Raven. Or for that matter any Raven with the desire to kill me' he thought.
"Ok." He stood up. "You're definitely not any of Raven's angry parts. I figured that out on my own. So…what part of her are you?"
She sat up, brushing a stray strand of hair away from her face. "A part that would be better explained by Raven herself."
"Awww" he groaned. "This is gonna be another one those things I'm not gonna get a straight answer on, huh?"
She nodded. "Sorry."
BeastBoy hung his head, giving a low sigh.
"It isn't as though I don't want to tell you" she glanced down the side of the beach. "It's just…I think it would mean more coming from her…than it would from me." She said returning her gaze to him.
BeastBoy felt a bit disappointed, but he forced a smile anyway. He wasn't sure what to make of this Raven, but she seemed very calm, very at ease. Of course all of Raven's other emotions had been very casual throughout his visit but this one seemed more balanced in terms of personality. Her smile reminded him of Happy, she had a bit of shyness like Timid yet she was bold like Brave, and she talked in an understanding almost like Knowledge.
BeastBoy looked around, quickly trying to change the subject. He didn't want her to feel bad. He was curious, but this wasn't the first question that had gone unanswered. Besides, he'd find out sooner or later. Right? If this was something, or rather someone Raven didn't want him to know about, he surely would've had a harder time finding her. Right?
"So…um…this is your place, huh?" he said taking in the surroundings. He was overwhelmed by the sheer size of this place. Everyone else's domain had been wide open to a degree, but this place seemed different. The beach was so enormous, he couldn't tell where it began and where it ended. But the sheer emptiness made it seem so small and confining. Sure it was beautiful, but with nothing but sand and ocean, it almost seemed like she was marooned on an uncharted island.
"Yes. It's beautiful isn't it?" she said looking across the ocean.
"Y-yeah" he said catching himself staring at her again. "B…but, how can you stand it here?"
She looked at him again.
"I MEAN! It's not that it's bad here." He quickly tried to recover his statement. "It's just…I don't know how anyone could take being so…alone."
"You need not concern yourself." She said holding her knees. She patted the ground beside her, gesturing him to sit. BeastBoy dropped to the sand on his rear with a thud. "It's not as though I'm a prisoner."
"It seems kinda different from the way I see it." He said.
"Well… you've got all this wide open space, but…I dunno…it feels so empty."
"I'm not held captive here, BeastBoy. I'm here because I choose to be."
BeastBoy tilted his head, confused.
"It's no secret that there are parts of Raven's personality that could do immeasurable damage if they went unchecked."
He recalled the previous doors he visited before coming here in his mind.
"Happy already explained to you why some are allowed to move about freely, while others are confined?"
"Yeah. But you don't seem like the destructive type."
"Neither does Happy. Or Brave, or Timid. But the fact is that we all might do our fair share damage. That's why I chose to be here."
"Isn't that a little selfish?"
She looked at BeastBoy, her turn to be confused.
"What about…what you want?"
She smiled. "There will come a time. For now, I just have to be patient. Besides, it isn't as though I'm locked in here."
"My door wasn't on the same side as the others. Some of her emotions are bound and some are not. I have a different arrangement than the others."
BeastBoy listened intently.
"I am allowed to move around freely from time to time, so again, I am not a prisoner. I can associate with other parts of Raven."
"But don't you still get lonely around here?"
"You'd be surprised what some emotions can endure."
"Well, what do you do around here to keep yourself from goin' all coo coo bananas?" he asked twirling a finger pointed at his head. "Even if it's only for a little while, I don't know if I could just sit around like that. Do you meditate? Like Raven does?"
"Meditation isn't necessary for us." She chuckled lightly. "I manage to find ways of passing the time. Reading for example."
She lifted a part of her cloak, revealing a large book in the sand beside her. The book was very thick. He didn't know why, but it looked familiar. Like he'd seen it before, but couldn't place it. It looked like one of the books from Knowledge's library, except slightly bigger. And the color green.
"I was reading this before you arrived." She clutched the book lightly against her chest.
"One of Knowledge's books?"
"Mm-hmm." She nodded. "I went to Knowledge's realm to ask to borrow this one a little longer." She blushed. "I just hope I didn't kick her too hard."
It took a second for him to figure out what she was talking about.
"WAIT! The sign?" he asked shocked.
She nodded, her eyes closed, and a small smile finding it's way onto her face.
From the other regions of Raven's mind, Timid looked up to the sky. Brave paused from laying into a punching bag. Knowledge pried her eyes away from her book slightly annoyed, still rubbing her side, and Happy giggled from a atop a horse on the merry go round. All of them caught off guard by the thunderous laughter that echoed throughout every realm.
BeastBoy was lying on his back, holding his stomach, which was hurting from lack of oxygen because he was laughing so hard, his feet kicking wildly in the air.
"Y-Y-Y…YOU! HA HAHAHAHA HA HA!" he could barely speak between laughter.
She nodded once again, joining him, laughing but not nearly as loud.
"I gotta say" he began catching his breath. "I never woulda guessed."
She held the book tighter. "Love makes you do crazy things." She whispered.
"Huh?" he asked thinking he'd heard her say something.
"Nothing." She smiled warmly.
They just looked at one another in a short silence.
"Well" she began, getting to her feet. "We should get going."
BeastBoy just looked at her. "But, I just got here."
"I know." She answered sympathetically. "But she'll be returning soon. And I think it would be best for the both of us if she doesn't find you here."
BeastBoy just remained silent. What was so bad about this place?
"I'm sorry. I know you haven't been here as long as the others, and I'd like for you stay. But…"
"I…" he stuttered. "Nah, forget it." He shook his head.
She offered him a hand. He gladly took it pulling himself up. He got to his feet, but ended up pulling just a bit too much, accidentally pulling her towards him. She had only been using one hand to help him up, the other still holding the book, the shift in weight threw her into his chest.
She let out a small gasp. The two of them were now only centimeters apart, neither one even budging. BeastBoy's arms were far off to his sides, afraid she'd get the wrong idea.
"Look where my hands are! See! No touchy!" he tried to point out.
He looked at her, certain he'd see the glare Raven had made famous for these sorts of occasions. Instead he found her with her eyes closed, and her head down. She was as close to him as she'd ever been before. She breathed deeply, slowly taking in his scent.
"Uh…" he began hesitant to startle her.
She backed away slowly. "We should get going."
"R…right." He dusted the beach sand off of him.
In the midst of this, she had dropped her book. She knelt down to pick it up. She paused, taking a moment to study it. The book had fallen open and on the page was a large illustration of Raven hugging BeastBoy following the unpleasantness with Malchior.
"Almost." She whispered stroking the page.
She closed the book, placing it under her arm. "It's not far." She turned to him. "This way."
BeastBoy followed her lead, walking beside her.
After a few brief minutes of walking she came to stop. BeastBoy looked around. There was no doorway, at least not that he could see. They were in the middle of the beach still, but it was so endless, and everything looked so much the same he would've sworn they hadn't moved at all.
"Here" she said.
He still didn't see anything that resembled a door.
The emotion raised her hand, making a circular gesture. The sand on the ground below sifted into the air, swirling as if it were alive, forming the shape of a doorway. As the last grain of sand settled, the doorway glowed briefly. Shortly afterwards, the other side became visible.
BeastBoy looked deep into the doorway. He walked past it, looking at it from behind. It was formed literally in thin air. It was like a hole separating one realm from another.
"I will escort you to where you need to go. But I must warn you." She looked at him with a serious expression. "To reach the forbidden door, we must pass through…'her' realm."
BeastBoy raised an eyebrow. Her who?
She offered her hand again. "Don't worry. No harm will come to you."
He looked at the doorway, then back at her. He hesitantly took her hand, unsure what was about to happen. Though he still felt comforted to know she had such high regard for his safety.
The two walked hand in hand through door. Upon their entrance the sand fell lifelessly once more to ground from which it came.
What awaited them on the other side was far less welcoming. This new realm was a barren wasteland. Jagged rocks were everywhere, almost like a small canyon. The ground was harsh with cracks, small traces of lava seeping through in certain spots. A dingy smell of molten rock and sulfur hung in the air. The sky was black as coal. The only light was the faint red glow from the rocks around them.
The two walked a path of corroded rock leading them to the heart of the canyon. BeastBoy peered over the side of the path to find a flowing river of magma.
"Oh, yeah. Real cozy." He swallowed hard. A bubble popped in the lava below, causing BeastBoy to flinch.
He felt a hand on his shoulder.
"EEP!" he leapt into the air taken by surprise. He landed off balance, teetering close to the edge. Raven's emotion pulled him back away from the edge.
"Nothin' could drive me away." He wiped sweat from his brow following closely.
They entered the canyon, BeastBoy sticking by her after his close call.
"The door is at the end of the canyon. But we have to be quiet."
"Why?" he asked puzzled as they moved cautiously.
From ahead of them came a piercing scream, stopping both them in their tracks.
They darted from rock to rock, careful to remain hidden. The screams got louder and louder as they approached deeper into the canyon. The screams became more frequent with every step. BeastBoy peeked from behind the rocks finding the source of the screams.
"Dude." Was all he could say.
There was an enormous statue depicting the likeness of a large four-eyed demon. The same creature BeastBoy had encountered the last time he had been in Raven's mind. It must have been at least thirty feet tall, and captured his likeness right down the enraged expression on his face. At the base of the statue, there was a circular marble platform.
On this platform stood another Raven wearing a crimson red cloak. She gritted her teeth in a vicious manner, with four red eyes gleaming in pure hate. Her arms and legs were restrained to the statue by thick white chains. She pulled and yanked, trying to break free of the bonds that bound her. With each attempt, her anger and frustration grew.
This Raven was the representation of all things bad within Raven. All her emotions capable of the most damage and destruction condensed into this one being. Hate, Anger, Rage, Malice, just a few of the darker emotions that brewed beneath the surface of Raven's otherwise calm demeanor, and imbued with the essence of her father to amplify her already enormous destructive potential.
Even though in vein, she continued to struggle.
"So that's…" BeastBoy asked quietly.
"Yes. That is everything Raven wishes would never see the light of day."
Rage continued to pull against the chains, throwing her entire body against them. She swung her arms violently, attempting to rip the chains from the statue. And with every attempt, a scream triggered by the visible pain it caused. The constant jerks and tugs were beginning to tear at her muscles. It looked as if her arms would be pulled clean out of their sockets before she would give up.
BeastBoy could only watch as she continued to punish herself, a hardened and enraged face tightening with every effort, and no sign of submitting to the pain she was obviously causing.
"We're in luck." The emotion spoke silently as she watched Rage. "She's distracted. Now, all we have to do is keep quiet until we reach the other side. Ok, BeastBoy?"
"BeastBoy?" she repeated.
She turned to see he was no longer beside her. She turned her attention back to Rage, only to find BeastBoy quietly making his way closer to the statue, tip toeing along the rocks.
"BeastBoy!" she whispered as loud as possible for him to hear. "BeastBoy!"
BeastBoy heard her, but continued towards Rage. He felt compelled to. Sure she was the embodiment of anger and all the things Raven feared letting loose, but she was still a part of Raven. And he refused to sit idly by and watch Raven be harmed.
Rage continued to grunt and yell, her body racked with pain, yet she still gave no visible sign of stopping. BeastBoy cautiously approached from the side. He inched closer, not making even the faintest of sounds. Suddenly, his foot kicked a small stone, which ricocheted across the ground. He stopped dead, hoping Rage hadn't been alerted by the noise. Wishful thinking.
Rage's head stiffened, her body ceasing all movement, catching the sound. She looked over, just in time to see the stone come to a halt out in the open in front of her. She scanned the area trying to pin point any movement. Her teeth were bared, giving a low growl.
BeastBoy stepped out slowly from behind the rocks into the light. It was pointless to hide. She knew someone was here. Rage's eyes narrowed as her head followed his every step. BeastBoy came to a stop only a foot or two away from her.
"Um…hi." He greeted meekly.
Rage was silent and still unmoving.
At the very least BeastBoy had bought her body some time to rest and recover from the punishment she was putting herself through.
"Ya know…y-you really shouldn't hurt yourself like that." He took another step towards her.
Again Rage gave no form of response.
He took another step. "I know there's nothing you'd like than to probably get outta here. But…maybe if you behaved…and didn't make so much trouble…" he took yet another step. "You might not have to be treated like an animal."
He was now only a few inches away. Rage just watched him. Her teeth were no longer bared, and her expression was far from friendly. But all four eyes still glowed red with hate.
"A-and…I know a thing or two about being treated like an animal." He spoke softly, his eyes pleading sympathy.
Rage's arms lowered to her sides, relieving tension to her body.
BeastBoy gave a small smile. He slowly moved his hand towards Rage's face. "I…"
Rage sprang her head towards his hand, biting down into the side of his palm with every ounce of strength she had. Her teeth dug deep into his hand, right through his glove, and into his green skin. A small amount of blood dripped down the side of his hand. Rage glanced at the pain in BeastBoy's face. He clenched his teeth, shutting his eyes tightly, a low grunt the only audible sound. Rage curled the side of her mouth into an evil sneer, biting down even harder.
And then, her eyes went wide. BeastBoy placed his other hand on her cheek. Caught off guard, Rage returned her gaze to BeastBoy's face, which was still fighting to ignore the pain. But his smile remained.
"It's ok." He whispered. "It probably helps if someone suffers with you."
Rage continued to keep hold of his hand with her teeth. But the sneer dissipated, as her face slowly softened.
"Besides…misery loves company, right?" he joked.
The glow faded from her eyes. They began to flicker, the four red eyes melding together, becoming a set of Raven's normal eyes. Eyes that still had a cold look to them, but far less threatening than the ones before. Raven's father's influence had left Rage, at least for the moment. Rage briefly glared at him coldly before turning her attention back to BeastBoy's hand. She released the hold with her teeth and then began to lick the wound gently.
BeastBoy blushed, watching her tongue move back and forth swabbing the injury.
"Don't think much of this." She spoke in a firm tone.
BeastBoy snapped back to reality at the sound of Rage speaking.
"I loathe all. I despise all." She spoke even firmer, turning her head away, her eyes closed. "I hate everyone and everything."
The hateful expression was still present. Despite Trigon's influence no longer present, she was still and emotion of anger and hate.
"But what I hate most of all!" she opened her eyes turning to glare at him coldly once again. "Is that I can't hate you." She narrowed her eyes at him.
BeastBoy was silent, locking eyes with her. Even if she was the worst of Raven, she still had eyes of the best of Raven.
"I knew it." He laughed nervously. "You can't be ALL bad."
He moved his hand to pat her on the head. But at that moment, Rage's eyes separated returning to their possessed state. Trigon's influence had returned. Rage bared her teeth once more snapping at BeastBoy's approaching hand. He managed to react in time, pulling his hand away from a second potential bite.
"But…you're CLOSE to ALL bad." He said as Rage gave a low growl.
BeastBoy slowly backed away from the statue and the imprisoned Rage, not taking his eyes off of her.
"Just…uh…remember what I said. Ok?" he smiled.
Rage continued to growl quietly. But from a distance, it sounded more like purring. At least that's what it sounded like from where BeastBoy stood. She also wasn't pulling violently on her chains anymore. She just stared, watching his every move, her eyes still narrowed in anger. As improbable and unlikely as it might have seemed, he'd gotten through to her. How long it would last would be another story.
He casually walked back to Raven's other emotion who'd been waiting from behind the rocks a few feet away. She was worried, but hesitant to approach Rage fearing she might provoke her further.
She came running up to him, relieved that he appeared to be okay.
"BeastBoy!" she came to a halt, restraining her self from leaping onto him and smothering him on the ground out of worry. "Are you…did she!" she blurted out.
"I'm ok." He reassured her. "And she's…alright too." He nervously scratched the back of his head. "I think."
"She didn't seem alright to me."
"Nah, she's ok. She's got a pleasant little snarl on her face." He grinned.
She smiled, both happy that he appeared unharmed and surprised he had been so close to Rage and managed to calm her without further enraging her. Her smile quickly faded at the sight of the injury to his hand.
"You're bleeding." She gasped spotting trace amounts of blood on his glove.
"Oh…uh…it's just a scratch." He said trying not to make a big deal out of it.
She took his hand, closely inspecting the wound. "You should be more careful here." She scolded.
"I know. I know. Serves me right for talking to other people's emotions right?" he joked.
She waved her hand over his injury. A blue aura began to illuminate from her hand to the wound. BeastBoy felt a slight numbness in his hand. He no longer felt the stinging sensation throbbing from the injury.
"Cool trick." He complimented. "Nice special effect too."
"It's only temporary. Abilities such as healing only work a fraction as well on others in here." She withdrew her hand to her side. "But it should be enough to relieve the pain until it can be properly treated."
BeastBoy looked at his hand before looking back to the emotion that stood before him, still perplexed as to who she was.
"Well…uh" he began.
"Come on." She took him by the wrist of his other arm. "It's not far, and she'll return shortly."
She led him towards a clearing, leaving the realm of Rage behind them. It was still a ways away, but he could make out the forbidden door from here. It wouldn't be long now.
The T-car came to a stop, parking in the garage below. The doors opened as Cyborg and Raven exited the vehicle.
"Made it." Cyborg acknowledged with a smile. "And just in time to start the party."
Cyborg closed the door with Raven trailing behind him. She didn't want to seem too anxious to arrive home.
"Everything's all set." Robin said making his way down the stairs to greet them with Starfire beside him.
"All we require now is whom the party honors." Starfire said in her joyous tone.
"Yeah. Where is the birthday boy anyway?" Robin asked.
Cyborg shrugged. "Beats me. Raven was the last one I saw near his room and…"
"I'll get him." She said dryly moving past them.
The three watched her leave.
"Is it just me? Or has Raven been acting a little…strange today?" Robin asked furrowing his brow.
Raven's casual pace quickened as soon as she was out of view, not wishing to let on about what had happened. She was now flying at a considerably high speed whizzing down the hallways and corridors towards where she had last left her green friend. She came to a halt in front of BeastBoy's door. She was breathing heavy, partially from the speed of getting there, but also from the thoughts of what might have transpired in her mind to cause such emotional spikes throughout the day. She hesitantly reached for the door.
The door hissed open, revealing his room to be in the same state as when she left. The mirror lay on the same pile of clothes it had fallen into from her sudden departure. She picked it up, relieved to find no cracks, scratches, or any other abnormalities from possible damage. She closed her eyes, concentrating her powers on the mirror.
"Azarath Metrion Zinthos" she chanted.
The glass began to resonate. Raven's eyes opened, giving off a white glow. She knew that it would take too long to go inside and find him. She concluded the best possible way would be to extract him from the outside. The party would start soon, so she had to act fast. The glow of her eyes reflected onto the mirror, searching for BeastBoy through the corners of her mind.
Meanwhile, BeastBoy had finally arrived at where Raven's emotion had been guiding him. He stood before the forbidden door, the gateway that separated Raven's mind and the real world. It seemed much bigger than he remembered.
The doorway appeared inactive. He had only seen this door once before, but he distinctly remembered when he and Cyborg passed through, there was a large swirling vortex similar to the one that had pulled him in. There was no such thing. No light, no vortex, not a single hint of activity. The doorway was inert.
BeastBoy approached, pulling his hand in and out of the doorway. He walked through, and then back. Nothing happened.
"So…what? Is there a key under the matte?" he asked confused looking up at the door.
"The door can only be opened by Raven. It helps ensure that nothing…unpleasant gets out."
"So what do we do now?" he asked turning to face her. "Click our heels together and say there's no place like home?" he said jokingly, clicking the heels of his shoes together.
At that moment, a blinding white flash came from behind them kicking up a strong wind. BeastBoy raised his forearm over his eyes, caught off guard by the sudden jolt of activity. As the wind slowly subsided, and the light dimmed, BeastBoy cautiously lowered his arm to view the swirling vortex in middle of the forbidden door.
Wide eyed, he looked from the vortex to his shoes. "I thought that just worked in the movie." he said surprised.
"BeastBoy" came a voice from the vortex.
"BeastBoy, can you hear me?" the voice called.
It was Raven.
BeastBoy slowly took a step towards the doorway. There was no denying it. Raven was definitely on the other side, even though he couldn't see her. He turned to face the emotion that had brought him here, still unsure of what to make of her.
"I…I guess that's my ride, huh?"
She nodded. "Just step through, and you'll be back where you belong." She told him giving a smile. She turned and began walking, back the way she came.
"Hey! Wait!" he called.
She paused, turning halfway to face him once more.
"Um…I…uh" he mumbled. Pressed for time, and with the way home he'd been looking for all this time directly behind him, he was scrambling for the right words to say. "Could you…uh…do me favor?" he asked nervously.
"Such as?" she asked gently.
"Well…two things." He said. "First, could you tell Raven's other parts that I had fun? Ya know…if ya happen to see them?"
She nodded again. "And the second?"
"Uh…well…seein' as how I don't know if…or…when I might be back, do you think maybe…you could tell me who you are?" he asked hopeful.
She was silent, just looking at him. He had a point. This could be the last time he might ever be brought into Raven's mind, intentional or not. She might never have a chance like this again. Maybe that was why it hurt so much.
She began to walk back towards him. BeastBoy watched the purple clad emotion advance, doing his best not to blush. She stopped in front of him, less than a few inches apart. She looked deeply into his eyes, presenting him with the same warm and gentle smile as when he first arrived. She placed both her hands on top of his shoulders, and pulled herself closer to him. She rested her forehead against his, her eyes closed, drinking in the moment. BeastBoy's arms were out in front of him, rigid and stiff, unsure of what to do. He looked at her serene face, unable to hold back the blush that was now setting his cheeks on fire. Should he put his arms around her? Should he hug her? Should he gently move her off? What if Raven was watching? What should he do? He never got the chance to make the decision.
Without hesitation she pushed BeastBoy backwards, shoving him into the portal. He fell through the swirling white vortex, drifting towards the outside world. She watched as he disappeared from sight, feeling a longing sadness for not being able tell him what she wanted so desperately to say.
"Some day." She whispered, turning once again to return to her domain. She stopped after a few steps turning back to watch to vortex close, sealing the doorway once again. "Maybe sooner." She said with a faint smile.
Back in BeastBoy's room, Raven continued her chant, still attempting to locate him through the mirror.
"BeastBoy!" she called into the mirror. "BeastBoy, if you can hear me…"
"WAAAAAAAHHHHHH!" he yelled as he was launched through the mirror toppling onto Raven. The glow from the mirror dissipated, sealing the portal shortly after he was ejected.
"Ugh" he groaned rubbing his head. "I'm definitely rackin' up frequent flyer miles today."
"Ahem." Raven cleared her throat in familiar tone of annoyance.
BeastBoy looked down to see that he had landed on her, sitting across her mid section.
"Oh, sorry." He smiled getting off her. He didn't seem embarrassed as he normally would. Why would he be? After all, he'd been crashing into Raven all day.
"A little warning would've been nice" she replied sitting up.
Dry sarcasm, monotone, blank expression? Yup, this was Raven alright. BeastBoy leaned over offering her a hand. She grabbed a hold, pulling her self up. She noticed him wince in pain slightly as he helped her up. Looking down, she noticed an injury resembling a bite mark on his glove.
"You're hurt" she said, a bit of concern in voice.
"It's nothing to worry about." He replied sheepishly, hiding his hand behind his back.
"Give it here." She said grabbing his arm, pulling it out for her to look at. Taking his hand gently into her palm, and placing the other over the wound, both hands began to glow. Within a matter of seconds the wound was completely healed. The bite marks were gone from his skin and even the tares in his glove were repaired. "There" she said releasing his hand.
"Didn't know you could sew too." He said rubbing his glove. "Thanks."
"You're welcome." She said reverting back to her normal tone. "Now, care to tell me how you got that?"
He thought for a minute. How do you explain something like this?
"Well, first there was this big space. And then everything was all gray. And your weepy side was all shy. And then there was this huge gym and your tough side threw down and she was all like HOO-WAH!" he explained mimicking a martial arts pose. "And then there was this gigantic library and…" he stopped seeing Raven's dull expression, unsure if she was bored or just plain annoyed. "Uh…long story short? Your angry side kinda' bit me."
Her eyes went wide.
"Didn't mean to though." He put his hands up.
"I don't even want to think about why you were within reaching distance of THAT part of me." She narrowed her eyes. "What were you thinking? You know what she's capable of! You saw what happened the last time! Forget your hand, you're lucky she didn't bite your whole arm off!" she fumed.
BeastBoy shrank back. Raven quickly caught herself, taking a deep breath, regaining her composure. She breathed in and out, slowly calming herself.
"What were you thinking?" she asked more calmly.
"Well…I…" he began. But then a thought crossed his mind. "Hey! Wait a minute. Why am I the one on trial here?"
Raven raised an eyebrow, curious as to what he was getting at.
"You were the one who ambushed me. You were the one who sucked me into the mirror." He pointed out counting with his fingers. "And then, you just left me in there. I'm the one who should be mad."
Raven glanced off to the side. It looked like he realized what she was hoping he'd forget.
"Look, about that…" she started.
She looked at him, surprised, thinking he was going to read her the riot act. Or at least as close as someone of his line of thinking could dictate.
"I mean, it's not like anything really bad happened, right?" he twiddled his fingers avoiding eye contact. "I wasn't bored. I got a lot of exercise, I had fun, and besides your angry side's overbite, I wasn't hurt."
Raven continued to be surprised. He was acting very mature, especially considering what he'd been through, and how easily he could have berated her for her actions. Maybe his age was starting to show through, being that it was his birthday.
"Besides…I did get to spend the better part of the day with you. Or at least…the fun parts anyway. I…" He realized what he'd just blurted out. "Oops."
Spoke too soon.
He turned slowly, hoping Raven had been distracted or possibly didn't hear that last remark. No such luck. Raven glared at him, her eye twitching in annoyance. This was by far the scariest look she'd given him all day. Compared to the way she was looking at him now, Rage's stare seemed like a friendly glance.
"W-wait! I didn't mean that the way it sounded! I just…you're not…" he backed away slowly.
Raven looked like she was going to pulverize him. She'd probably use her powers to stuff him in his closet, and not let him out for two days. Maybe she'd tie him up in his dirty clothes, and throw him out the window into the ocean. BeastBoy could only imagine what unthinkable things she'd do, and that was quite a lot. For the first time ever, he'd wished he hadn't seen so many horror movies.
And then, just like that, nothing. Raven took a deep breath and calmed herself. "Relax, BeastBoy. I'm not going to hurt you." She said exhaling.
BeastBoy looked at her optimistically, hoping she wasn't just saying that to lower his guard. But her expression seemed genuine.
"No. I'll simply credit that last remark to the 'traumatic experience' you endured today. You weren't thinking straight. Not that that's a stretch for you." She lightly mocked. "After all, I was the one who sent you into my mind, and it would be unfair to punish you for something I'm responsible for."
He breathed a sigh of relief. "Hey, why did you send me in there anyway?" he asked.
Raven felt a blush creep across her face once again. She turned quickly, trying to act serious, clearing her throat. "Well…you see…I…" she said nervously.
Suddenly the door opened, revealing Cyborg wearing a party hat.
"There you are!" He grabbed BeastBoy in a headlock. "Where ya been, man?"
"Well I was…" he began with a grin.
"He fell asleep." Raven cut him off.
He looked at her questionably.
"He fell asleep, and…seeing as how it was his birthday I figured…he…could sleep in." she finished.
Cyborg looked at Raven then back at BeastBoy. "Well c'mon B, the party's startin'!"
BeastBoy grinned as Cyborg escorted him out. But he gave a quick confused look at Raven. Why didn't she want Cyborg to know? Didn't the others know where he'd been?
Even as the two exited the room, Raven could still feel his confused eyes on her. She couldn't help but feel guilty. But it couldn't be helped. She couldn't afford to let on about what had happened.
"Yo, Rae! You comin?" came Cyborg's voice from down the hall.
Raven hurried out of BeastBoy's room, following after them.
Soon the party was underway. Music played through the speakers around the room as Cyborg flipped a switch on his arm. Small ports opened on the ends of his robotic fingers, spraying streamers and confetti into the air. Robin and Starfire helped to layout the food on the kitchen table. Raven just floated above the coach, watching the others enjoy themselves. Or from Raven's view, act like fools.
Cyborg, BeastBoy, and Robin were lined up, playing a game of pin the tail on the donkey. However, the board Robin had put up had Slade's face superimposed over where the donkey's head would be. Robin felt he'd have a psychological advantage if he knew what he was trying hit.
Blindfolded, Robin stumbled forward dizzy from being spun around, sticking a bird-a-rang with a tail attached to it on what he thought was the board. He quickly removed his blindfold to see how he did. Imagine his embarrassment when he discovered he'd missed the board completely, instead pinning a wanted poster of Slade on the opposite wall.
Starfire, Cyborg, and BeastBoy laughed. Even Raven cracked a smile.
"Right target, man. But wrong rump!" Cyborg teased.
"HEY! It's not as easy as it looks!" he fumed.
"You're pinning a tail on a piece of paper. How hard can it be?" he mocked.
"Fine" Robin smirked. "It's your turn then."
Robin blindfolded Cyborg, and then proceeded to spin him like a top.
"YAA-YA-YA-YAA-YA-YA" he shouted whirling in a circle.
Cyborg came to a stop, but far more dizzy than Robin. He stumbled back and forth with the bird-a-rang in his hand. But Cyborg had an advantage. His sensors kicked on, estimating the distance to the board, and calculating the most probable angle from how he'd been spun. He steadily moved forward, smirking at how bad he was going to show Robin up. His sensors beeped, instructing him to stop, and place the tail directly in front of him.
"BOO-YAH!" he shouted triumphantly thrusting the bird-a-rang into the intended target.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!" came a high-pitched shriek.
Cyborg quickly removed his blindfold to find he had punctured Starfire in her behind, sending her high into the air. Robin reacted quickly, running underneath her in time to catch her.
Robin plucked the bird-a-rang from her posterior, as she let out another yell of pain. Starfire rubbed her bottom.
"I am…the winner of this game?" she asked innocently.
"Uh…sorry, Star" Cyborg scratched his head. "My circuits must be on the blink."
BeastBoy was laughing hysterically. Neither of them had come even close. Raven couldn't help but smile. It was mildly amusing. And it was good to see BeastBoy cheerful again.
"Oh, friend Raven! You wish perhaps to join in the game of poking land creatures?" Starfire asked hopefully floating beside her with the blindfold and bird-a-rang in hand.
"I'm not much of a party gamer." She said dryly, but just enough so as to not hurt her feelings.
"But it is most fun. Please, you would do well to enjoy yourself." Starfire replied placing the tail in Raven's hand, beaming a smile.
Raven looked at Starfire's puppy dog expression, then at the others. This was a party. And everyone had been good enough to go through so much for her party, why ruin someone else's?
"Fine." She sighed. "But just ONE game."
Starfire blindfolded Raven with glee, putting her entire alien strength into spinning her. Raven came out of the spin, eventually, but just continued to hover in the air. All eyes focused on Raven. The bird-a-rang in her hand floated up in front of her, surrounded by black energy.
Suddenly, BeastBoy felt a strange feeling come over him. He closed his eyes, rubbing them. When he opened them again, they were a shade of violet, similar to Raven's. BeastBoy turned, looking at the board. The bird-a-rang began to drift towards the board, following the course visible from BeastBoy between Raven and the board. Raven was seeing through BeastBoy's eyes in order to hit the target.
The tail landed on the donkey, or rather Slade's backside. A perfect bull's-eye. BeastBoy shook his head, feeling Raven's influence leave him. He couldn't believe Raven cheated to win what she no doubt would have considered such a petty game. Raven looked at him, placing a finger over her lips, gesturing him to keep quiet. Apparently no one had noticed and she wanted to keep it that way. He was having more of an influence on her than he thought.
He simply smiled and nodded, leaving Cyborg and Robin to feel out done. Starfire cheered, clapping her hands over Raven's victory, smothering her in a hug. Raven sighed, looking as though winning has its downside as well.
Just then, the lights dimmed. Cyborg came out of the kitchen, carrying a large cake. It was least two inches thick with white frosting and the words: HAPPY BITHDAY BEASTBOY spelled out in green icing. Several candles burned brightly, as he made his way towards BeastBoy.
"Okay, BB! Make a wish." He smiled.
BeastBoy thought for a moment, shifting into several thinking poses, trying to think of what to wish for. Cyborg watched impatiently as minutes passed.
"On second thought, just blow out the candles before you hurt yourself." He joked.
BeastBoy glared at Cyborg momentarily, but quickly resumed his cheerful disposition, taking a deep breath. Right before he exhaled, he morphed into an elephant, sending a blast of air through his trunk splattering large gobs of cake and frosting into Cyborg's face. Cyborg wiped a large mass of frosting from his eyes.
He licked the edges of his mouth, sucking up the frosting around the rest of his face. "Coulda' been worse. Mighta' been tofu icing." He smiled.
The others laughed at Cyborg's pleasant attitude about the whole thing. Starfire then pulled a gift box with a bright pink ribbon from behind her back, standing before BeastBoy.
"Friend, on this, the celebration of your birth, I present to you my praise in gift form." She smiled wide, holding out the gift in front of him.
"Gee, thanks Star." He smiled taking the present from her. He held it to his ear, shaking it. "I wonder what it could be?"
But as he shook the gift, it shook back. Followed by a slow moving trail of green slime oozing from the bottom of the box.
"I know how much you enjoy animals of all kinds, so I have gotten you the traditional Tameranian pet of new birth. A symbol of joyous upbringing and new life." She beamed with pride.
"Uh…gosh…thanks, Star." He said trying to sound grateful. A tentacle burst from the side of the box, making a swipe at him. He grinned nervously, nudging it under the couch. He'd figure out how to deal with it later.
"Happy Birthday, BeastBoy." Robin smiled handing him his gift. Considerably smaller than Starfire's but he knew there was less to fear of his present being alive. He opened the box, revealing a long thick green sweater. Again he gave a nervous grin, trying to seem appreciative.
"You can wear it in the winter when we train. I figured your uniform doesn't offer much insulation."
"Thanks." He said a sweat drop forming over his head. "This is…way better than a video game." He quickly stashed it under the couch. With any luck, Star's gift would eat Robin's gift, and expire shortly after.
Cyborg approached him next, only empty-handed. " BeastBoy…I…uh"
BeastBoy looked at the glum expression on his face, but remaining cheerful due to the remnants of cake and frosting on the sides of his face.
"I had planned on…that is until…" he continued to explain.
At that moment, the view screen on the Titan's mainframe computer came on.
"Yo guys? Anybody there" came a familiar voice.
The Titans all turned their attention to the view screen. It was Speedy of the Titans East, with his fellow Titans Aqualad, BumbleBee, Mas, and Menos behind him.
"Hope this isn't a bad time." He said.
"Not at all." Robin replied. "What's up? Trouble?"
"No, nothing like that."
"Well what can we do for you?"
"First and foremost, we wanted to give BeastBoy best birthday wishes." He grinned. "Sorry we can't be there in person little guy, but you've got your city to protect and we've got ours."
"Thanks." He smiled. "HEY! WHO YOU CALLIN' LITTLE?"
"I'm sure he appreciates it." Robin nodded graciously.
"And…" Speedy continued.
"And?" Robin repeated.
"I wanted to thank Cyborg for bringing something urgent to our attention." He said now in a serious look.
Robin looked at Cyborg, who shrugged, clueless as to what he was talking about. "How serious? A possible jailbreak? Brother Blood making an escape attempt?"
"Far more serious." He said looking down at an envelope, his fellow Titans sharing his concern. "I had no idea you looked so good in a mini skirt!" he grinned before breaking out into a hysterical fit of laughter. A digital image flooded the screen of Robin in Starfire's outfit. The very same image he was certain he had destroyed.
Speedy pushed the image off to the side of the screen, allowing the other Titans to be seen showing their expressions of laughter. Mas and Menos were holding one another, laughing over each other's shoulder, zipping around the room imitating Robin posing in the outfit in between laughs. Aqualad was on the verge of tears, and BumbleBee was kicking her feet in the air. Their laughter could've probably been heard even if they turned off the screen.
"Ya know, I would've thought you didn't have the legs for it." He paused, breathing heavy. "But…YOU SURE PROVED ME WRONG!" he fell over laughing once more.
"CCCCYYYYBBBBBOOOOORRRRRGGGGG!" Robin screamed at the top of his lungs.
"Now hold on a second, man. I didn't have anything to do with it." He said trying to explain himself. "You know better than any of us you destroyed the last copy I had."
"Apparently I should've destroyed SOMETHING else along with the pictures!" he said under his breath, drawing his bo staff in one hand and several exploding discs in the other.
"Oh, and don't worry, Cy. I followed your instructions to the letter." Speedy said wiping a tear from his eye.
Robin halted his advance on Cyborg. "Instructions?"
"Enclosed with the pictures were two separate mailing addresses, and the instructions were to send copies to those addresses." He merrily explained.
"Who?" he raised an eyebrow.
The screen split in half, as a second transmission came incoming.
"Excuse me, Mr…Robin?" a man in a security guard uniform asked.
"W-we…uh…have a transmission that…has been requested to be sent t-to you" he stuttered in between chuckles. "Do…D-do you accept?"
"Um…I guess so." He responded.
The guard was quickly replaced by a number of recognizable individuals. Mad Mod, Control Freak, The Amazing Mumbo, Cinderblock, and various other criminals the Titans had incarcerated. It didn't take long for them to realize the call was coming from a block of the maximum-security penitentiary.
"Ello' Robin, old boy." Came Mad Mod forcing back his laughter. "Oh, can't really say that ny' more can I!" he laughed waving the picture.
Mumbo quickly grabbed the picture, pushing Mod out of view. "I've been in the market for a new lovely assistant. Interested, kid? How's three nights a week sound at five dollars an hour?" he cackled.
Next, Control Freak took hold of the photo, dangling it in front of him. "With this, I shall saturate the information super highway, so that you shall know fury and vengeance of Control Freak!" he boasted before giving into his laughter.
Cinderblock picked up the photo. He simply pointed and laughed, before falling over crushing the other villains, who still continued to laugh despite the pain of being crushed under his massive size.
Robin was on the brink of sheer death by embarrassment.
"If one address was for the men's cell block of the prison…" Cyborg began, scratching his chin.
"Then the other must've been for…" BeastBoy continued.
"Oh no." Robin gulped.
"Oh, ROBBIE-POO!" came a high-pitched voice, causing Robin to quiver.
The screen was now split three ways. Popping up from the bottom of the screen was an assortment of female criminals. One of the copies had found it's way to the women's section of the penitentiary. Among the group was Jinx, a number of former H.A.E.Y.P. academy female students, and Kitten, Robin's former prom date of disaster.
She also had the incriminating photo in hand, waving it teasingly at him. "I SHOULD still be mad at you for locking me up in here." She started. "But how could I stay made at a guy whose both good looking, AND…in touch with his feminine side." She giggled. All the other girls broke down into giggling fits as well, pointing and laughing without restraint.
Robin fell to his knees as all three sections of the screen, the Titans East, the male villains, and the female villains laughed in unison. Robin, with what little motivation he could muster, hurled a bird-a-rang, severing the power cord to the main computer leaving everyone in an awkward silence. He just sat there on the floor, taking in the humiliation and self-pity all at once.
"Robin?" Starfire asked from behind him.
Robin thought the worst was over. Unfortunately he'd completely overlooked one factor he'd been trying to avoid the whole time. He turned slowly, looking up at her.
"You have…dressed in my outfit of clothing?" she asked slightly confused.
"Starfire, I…" he hung his head hoping an explanation would present itself.
"Oh, Robin! This is most wonderful!" she hugged him. "We can go to the mall of shopping together, and perform the trying on of outfits together, and perhaps perform maneuvers on one another's hair, and also…" she carried on. Starfire seemed enthusiastic about the prospect of her and Robin dressing up.
Robin just slumped over, as Starfire held him tighter. Cyborg and BeastBoy just laughed all the harder. But BeastBoy noticed out of the corner of his eye Raven sneak off. Ceasing his laughter, he slinked away as well, leaving Cyborg to continue laughing.
BeastBoy made his way up the stairs, having a hunch where he'd find Raven. He opened the door from the stairwell, stepping out onto the roof. Sure enough, there she was sitting on the edge of the roof with her feet hanging over the side. He slowly approached her, standing beside her.
"Um…" he said nervously, scratching his head.
She scooted over, offering him a seat. He sat beside her, dangling his over the side, swinging them back and forth.
"So…tell the truth. You had something to do with THAT didn't you?" he asked with a toothy grin.
"Mm-hmm" she nodded looking straight ahead into the night sky.
"Heh heh" he chuckled. "You've got a mean streak in you."
She still just looked out into the horizon.
"Why did you send me in there." He asked making reference to the mirror, looking across the ocean. "You don't seem like the kind of person who'd just let somebody, let alone me, just wander around inside your head." He tapped his forehead.
"I had my reasons." She responded, still no change of expression.
"You must've had something you wanted to talk about. At least, until you had to leave."
She looked off to the side.
"And…now you're not gonna tell me, huh?"
She was silent.
He sighed. "Oh well. It wouldn't be the first time today I've been kept in the dark." He pulled his feet in, holding his knees. "When you're ready…you'll tell me."
She looked at him surprised he didn't whine, pushing the issue further.
"So?" he tilted his head. "I earn that kiss yet?" he flexed his eyebrows, grinning.
She raised an eyebrow. "You've earned this." She said dryly. She quickly pecked him on the cheek, getting up to leave.
It happened so fast, he didn't even see it coming. He just blushed, turning to look across the ocean again as he listened to Raven's footsteps become distant, thinking back to reflect on everything that had happened.
"This is on credit." He heard from behind him. He turned around, as Raven leaned in kissing him full on the mouth. Wide eyed by the sudden shock, his body was petrified, taken completely by surprise. He gradually relaxed, slowly closing his eyelids, his arms going limp against the ground.
After what seemed like a moment frozen in time she reluctantly broke away, a hint of smile on her face. BeastBoy remained leaned over, suspended in position, until he fell flat onto the ground after gravity regained its hold on him.
"Dude." He said dreamily.
Raven's eyes were shut tightly, fearing what her powers might have done. She knew the danger, but she felt she owed him at least this much. She had sent him into her mind for the day, left him there, and she never even got to tell him what she wanted to say. And who knew when she'd find the right time or work up the courage again to say it.
She opened one eye, scanning the roof. She opened the other, looking over the side of the tower. She then looked across the ocean at the city. Not a flame, not a single trail of smoke, no mushroom cloud of destruction. Everything was as peaceful as it had been before. She looked back at BeastBoy relieved, letting her smile show a bit more.
"G-go boom" he said still in his dreamily state, laying flat on the ground.
"No, BeastBoy. Nothing went boom." She rolled her eyes.
"BB…g-go…boom" he said like a child stirring in his sleep, referring to his fall on the ground, still stunned from the kiss.
Raven did her best to conceal a faint giggle. She helped him up, watching him shake off the dazed look in his face. "Any calls while I was out?" he joked rubbing his head.
The two of them walked back inside, returning to the main room. As the doors opened, they stopped cold at the sight before them. The main room was a mess. The furniture was in complete disarray, broken dishes and other forms of debris strewn about, and black marks all over the walls and the floor. It looked as if a bomb went off.
Cyborg was motionless on the ground, giving off faint signs of life, twitching like he'd hugged a bug zapper. Robin and Starfire were beside one another, lightly groaning at most likely the same thing that had befallen Cyborg. All three of them were covered in black soot, lying on the floor.
BeastBoy stared in shock, perplexed at what had happened. He hadn't heard anything that resembled an explosion, and the alarm certainly hadn't gone off.
"What could've…" he turned to ask Raven who was blushing, feeling slightly embarrassed. "Uh…must've been another one of Cy's gadgets on the fritz again."
Raven looked at him.
"You know how he can't resist messin' with stuff…right?" he questioned.
Raven smiled. Touched that he was covering for her. She nodded. "So, what should we do?"
BeastBoy looked up at the clock, which hung crookedly off the wall, but one of the few things still in tact. "Well…it is still technically my birthday. And they were the ones who set up the party. Let's leave'em in peace to clean it up." He suggested with his trademark toothy grin.
Raven shifted her head slightly. "You know…for a guy with a slow leak in his head? You think pretty well sometimes." She smiled. And with that, they turned to leave, the door closing behind them.The End
Author's Note: Well, there it is. It's over. I realize this chapter was my longest by far, but I just got into a serious groove when I started writing this, so I just kept going. I would've liked to continue this even farther, and I know there are those who wrote saying they'd never like this story to end, but there are so many other projects I'd like to either finish or get started on. I have a number of other stories planned, so hopefully I'll be writing more soon.
My thanks to everyone who reviewed, taking the time to encourage me to keep this story moving along. I was given such inspirational words of encouragement. I tried to keep the characters true to the show, as well as evenly balance the funny stuff from the romantic elements. I purposely didn't mention the identity of the second to last emotion (the purple one) for two reasons. First off, most people who've read similar stories or are avid BeastBoy/Raven fans such as myself, already had a good idea. Secondly, I like leaving just the right amount of freedom for people to draw their own conclusions. I also appreciate all the pleas for continual updates.
"Why are you still reading this when you could be updating?"
To me, these are the signs of a story people enjoy reading more of. Again I really appreciate all the support. It's because of such readers that made this story as much fun to write, as it was to read. I really enjoyed writing this, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed it just as much. Thank you.