Disclaimer: Both the characters and songs mentioned here belong to their respective owners.
Beast Boy stood at the door, watching.
It didn't move. It didn't stir. It patiently waited for him, almost immune to the pain that leaked through the young man.
He let in a ragged, shallow breath, violently pushing his hair down over his eyes. It had once been an outlet for him, a small relief as he suffered through his twisted and tortured life. Over the years, he'd learn to cope with pain in different ways; Relentless jokes that never seemed to fix him completely; Mindless video games that only helped to numb the hurt, only for a while. And now the once grand instrument stood cold, alone, and forgotten.
Just like Beast Boy.
Stumbling towards the grand mahogany statue, he pried a grimy finger to an ivory key. The noise rang out through the hall like a shrill scream cutting through glass. He winced and plucked his finger back, uneasily sitting into the sagging bench. A spurt of chalky dust flew into his eyes and they began to water. Wiping the small silver tears away, he tried his best not to think about them. Them being his parents; them being Terra; Them being Raven. Them could be a lot of people.
He racked his memory in vain, trying desperately to find some torn scrap of information left in his unused mind.
His father used to teach him. He only taught him the good songs, Beast Boy reminisced with a sad smile. The ones he thought were good, at least. Mostly false-cheerful songs about happy birds and green-skinned heroes, ones he made up on the spot. Only once had Beast Boy heard him play a mournful tune. It was when he and his mother got into an argument–A window-shattering, heart-pounding, screaming fest. He had come in, wide-eyed and innocent, asking him to play the song again. His father had probably realized his mistake–He started to play 'High Hopes'–one of Beast Boy's favorites.
"But Daddy... Why are you playing this song?"
"Now, Gar," Beast Boy's father had said, laying a strong hand on his minuscule shoulder, Beast Boy's eyes large and glassy, "there's gonna be a lot of crap in your life. Now and then, you have to accept that. You might look down on life, but try your hardest not to. Always have..."
"Hiiiigh Hopes!" A puny, four-year-old Beast Boy had cried, emerald face breaking into a wide smile. The shape-shifter's father put on a false smile and ruffled his hair. From that day on, it had once become Beast Boy's dream to play the piano like his father. He had once looked so elegant, dark haired and broad shouldered, faint smile painted on his lips. Like suddenly he was a young man again as he played for an audience of one. Sunlight dappled his fading brown hair through the open curtains, eyes closed as the tan blur that were his hands spun a web of music, rising higher and higher with every note. For once, Beast Boy had his father to himself, and he was not contained to a cold, dim laboratory, hunched over and pitifully alone.
He remembered playing that damn piano until his hands were sore and legs stiff, just to impress his father, just to see a smile on his tired, worn features. But he did it. He played that piano better than the masters, so he thought. His father had applauded like he had witnessed Bach in the flesh, and that's the only thing that mattered to him.
But then everything stopped.
Beast Boy struggled to retain memory from those dark times. His mind had formed an invisible layer of tissue over that part of his brain, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to bring it back. Ripping apart wounds so great, long after they had just barely healed... Beast Boy tore his nails into the old piano, the horrid noise plaguing his ears, like the harsh whipping wind against his cheek, like the sharp, salty air of an ocean's mist, like...
A mother's scream as their sleek white boat swerved into a jagged boulder.
Sometimes, when he was alone, he could still hear the faint screech of ripping metal, still hear his parent's sobbing as they lost more and more blood, still hear the wind whistling as silence overcame his lost parents. That was what haunted him, over and over again. That horrible silence. That's why he was never quiet, that was why noise had overseen everything in his life. He had once thought enough noise could drown him in those deep, dark waters, so far enough to reach his parents. The day never happened. Ten years later, here he sat, hunched over and pitifully alone. Just like Daddy.
As the blood of a newly opened scab flowed out, so did Beast Boy's tears. The voice of his forgotten father rang out in his head, and he forced his clumsy fingers to prod out a tune.
"I-I've got high hopes, high–" His voice cracked, tears spilling elegantly down his thin face, dripping down onto the snowy keys and slipping his fingers occasionally. Beast Boy's face was raised towards the sky, adam's apple bobbing as he cried out sadly."hopes... Apple pie, w-way up in the sky hopes..."
"So anytime you're feelin' bad," Beast Boy sobbed, gently caressing the silver-soaked keys, hiccupping violently,"'stead of feelin' s-sad..."
And he went on and on, letting his sweat-stained hair brush over his emerald eyes. He didn't need to use them anymore.
"All problems are a toy balloon–They'll be busted soon," Beast Boy's choking sobs had turned into sorrowful tears, but the pain in his throat lingered. That would be gone, but this–this pain would never be fixed. "They're just bound to go 'pop'..."
His voice got low and quiet. He was no longer really playing for himself, but for his father. That's what he was--a mere shadow of his father—the real piano player.
"Oops... There goes another problem..." Beast Boy sniffed quietly, letting his hands do the talking for him. "Kerplop." He whispered, ending the song with an enormous finish, hands whirling with the emotion his face just couldn't bear to show. Exhausted, he lay his head in his hands, tears no longer flowing, but merely dripping down his sleek eyelashes. He didn't wipe them away.
A soft cry waded in through the doorway, causing Beast Boy's eyes to move a quarter of an inch, but that was the extent of his movement.
Raven stood there, thin form bent against the doorway. Blue velet hid her skin, face incrusted in shadow, though her eyes stood out. They were filled with kindness, compassion, and longing. And then they both understood.
"That... was beautiful."