A mysterious boy contacts Beast Boy asking for help. But his request opens up something Beast Boy thought he had buried long ago. BBxRae (non-romantic) pairing. Some crude language, violence and mature content.
Chapter 1: The Meeting
Beast Boy perched calmly on the roof of the dark dilapidated row house. His green eyes focused intensely on the residence directly across from him. The street was enshrined in shadow. Not surprising since most of the street lights had been shot out. Beast Boy paused then looked back down at the dirty envelope that had been left for him that afternoon. In it he found an old photograph of a young couple that looked hauntingly familiar. The note accompanying the photo was equally mysterious. On it was an address, a time and instructions to come alone.
The night was cool and the quarter moon was rising. Beast Boy shivered. He had been watching the place for over an hour. No one had come or gone. He was wary of a trap but his curiosity finally overcame his sense for safety. "If I get in trouble I can always change into something and get away," he tried to convince himself.
Beast Boy leaped off the roof and morphed into an owl. Swooping down from his safe perch he sliced through the night air landing in front of the entrance to the house he had been casing for the last hour. The door was slightly ajar. He took a moment to look over the place. Most of the windows had been broken long ago. The remains of a moldy couch occupied the porch. Beast Boy gingerly made his way to the door trying to avoid any broken glass or used syringes. As he grasped the door knob he noticed a small crumpled piece of paper taped to the door. It flapped lightly in the night breeze. Beast Boy reached up, plucked the paper from the door and tried to angle it into the moonlight to read the message written on it.
"Please come in. Welcome and thanks," Beast Boy read the note aloud to himself. "Well if it's a trap, they sure are polite." Beast Boy grunted as he pushed hard on the front door. It gave way grudgingly. He wedged his leg inside then used his hands to pry the door back further. Beast Boy could hear the scrapping of debris lodged on the other side of the door as he pushed his way into the house.
It was nearly pitch black inside and a musty odor permeated the building. Beast Boy waited another moment for his eyes to adjust to the dark. Trash was strewn all over the floor. He stood in a large receiving room with a curved staircase leading up to the second floor. At one time this place was a grand home with many people but that time had passed long ago and all that filled this place now was probably a couple of pigeons and an odd stray cat.
Beast Boy looked down and noticed a small candle burning on the floor; next to it was another small crumpled note. He bent down to read it under the candle's feeble light.
"Take me and follow the happy feet." Beast Boy quickly looked around. The house was quiet except for a faint scrapping sound coming from the back end of the building. This didn't seem like a trap. He cautiously picked up the candle then looked down at the floor. On it he found small foot prints that glowed lightly in the dark. They led down the hall to the back of the house. Beast Boy thought he could see a faint light ahead of him. He carefully proceeded down the darkened hall clutching his small candle and looking down occasionally to make sure he was still following the foot prints on the floor.
At the end of the hall and to the right was a small room that occupied the back half of the bottom floor. The room was filled with soft candle light. A lone figure with his back to him was sweeping debris from the floor. Beast Boy could see a stained mattress with a rolled up sleeping bag in one corner of the room. The figure paused sensing another presence in the room then turned to face him.
"Beast Boy you came!" a boy's voice emerged from the figure. Beast Boy estimated the person turning towards him was in his early teens. He had long dark hair that fell chaotically around his narrow face. He wore a white T-shirt that covered his sleek frame with dark jeans and black leather boots that appeared several sizes too large.
"I w-w-wasn't s-sure y-you'd come," the boy's face contorted as he stuttered though his words.
"Yea, I'm here," Beast Boy replied unsure what else to say.
"I'm just t-t-trying to clean up." The boy looked around then swept some more debris out of the middle of the room. "It's not p-p-pretty b-b-but I've been in w-worse."
"This place is yours?" Beast Boy inquired.
"N-no of c-c-course not," he nervously replied. "I j-just need a place to s-s-sleep."
Beast Boy took a closer look at the room and took pity on the boy. "I can't believe you'd stay here. Where are your parents?"
The boy looked down and took a couple of feeble strokes with the broom. "I d-d-don't have any," he replied.
"Hey, I've got this great place with plenty of room. You're more than welcome to come back with me," Beast Boy offered. "I'm sure my friends…"
"N-N-NO!" the boy quickly interrupted. He looked terrified at the prospect. "Y-your friends w-w-will m-m-mind when they know what I-I-I am."
Beast Boy was puzzled by the boy's response; he continued to stand in the room looking down hugging the broom stick close to him. After a moment he looked up into Beast Boy's eyes.
"B-B-Beast Boy, I need your h-help," he gently pleaded.
"Sure, anything, um," Beast Boy paused trying to extract the boy's name.
"Gregory," Beast Boy continued. "What can I do?"
Gregory paused unsure how to put forth his proposal. He took another stroke with his broom and knocked an empty glass bottle across the floor. It rolled into the corner and clacked loudly as it struck the baseboard.
"Where do I start?" the boy nervously laughed as he clutched the broom handle and looked vacantly into the corner where the bottle had come to rest. His voice started as a mere whisper. "I-I-I'll always remember that day. It's played in my mind a million times." Gregory looked back at Beast Boy brushing the hair from his eyes, his voice was suddenly calm and distant. "I was a kid, maybe six. I came home after school," Gregory paused a his face contorted as the source of his grief all came back to him. "The front door was open. I walked in and called out for my parents. Everything was all messed up inside. I found them, my parents," he paused again trying to compose himself. "They must have been there when the guy broke in. One of my neighbors found me in my mother's arms the next day." Beast Boy struggled to piece together the scene Gregory had just described. "They eventually found the guy who killed my parents; some crack head looking for easy money. He was probably so high he had no idea what he was doing. He's upstate serving life or something. I really don't care what happens to him." Gregory closed his eyes and his head slunk down a little.
"I went to my aunt's after my parents' funerals. I was inconsolable; constantly asking for my Mom and Dad, wanting to go home, running away whenever I had the chance. It drove her crazy. Eventually I went to foster care but I didn't do any better there and wound up in a boys home," Gregory let out a short burst of laughter. "Hated it, so I just took off, didn't look back. I've drifted from town to town, staying in places like this. Always longing to be with them. That's when I took up the dark arts, to try and contact them." Beast Boy shuddered as the room suddenly became a lot colder and darker. "They call it necromancy; do you know what that is Beast Boy?"
Beast Boy shook his head no.
"It's the study of the dead. I've drifted here and there trying to piece together the spells of this lost art." Gregory slowly put down the broom and took a step towards Beast Boy. Beast Boy took half a step backwards trying to keep a safe distance from this dark soul.
"P-p-please, don't leave," Gregory halted aware of the dread he had suddenly created. "W-w-we have something in common."
"What?" Beast Boy replied fearing Gregory's response.
"Y-y-your parents died when you were little too."
Beast Boy frowned and looked away quickly feeling violated by Gregory's revelation. "How do you know?!?" he sneered.
"I-I-I know," Gregory whispered. "It's OK; it's not your fault."
Beast Boy clenched his fist at his side and closed his eyes as a sudden rage swirled inside him. This person had found that dreaded hole in his heart he thought he had covered up long ago.
Gregory cautiously approached Beast Boy and lightly clasped his arm that held the crumpled envelope and gently took it from his clenched fist. "I found this picture; do you know who these people are?" Beast Boy kept his eyes pinched shut and nodded affirmative. "They were good people Beast Boy," Gregory tried to console him. Beast Boy slowly opened his eyes and looked at the old picture of his parents Gregory held in his hand.
"I-I-I want to show you s-something." Gregory turned and went to his mattress and pulled out several unlit candles. "Afterwards y-y-you can decide if you still want to help me."
On the floor was a large circle with a five-point star contained within it. Gregory placed a candle on each point of the star where it intersected the circle. On the point between him and Beast Boy Gregory place a large red candle. The other four he lit with a lighter. He sat cross legged in the middle of the circle facing Beast Boy.
"P-P-Please come sit with me," Gregory beckoned him forward. Beast Boy held fast unwilling to come forward for fear of what other ghosts this young man could conjure up. "I-I-I promise this won't harm you," Gregory tried to reassure him.
"Just l-l-let me show you this. Y-Y-You can walk out of here afterwards and owe me nothing," Gregory pleaded.
Beast Boy reluctantly came forward and sat down in front of him. His eyes narrowed in distrust and anger.
"L-L-Light the candle," Gregory gently instructed. Beast Boy took his candle from the entrance area and touched the burning end to the unlit wick. The flame dimmed then took hold and flickered to life. Beast Boy pulled his candle away and looked up into Gregory's pale face.
Gregory placed the photo on the floor in front of him then pulled a small penknife from his boot and unfolded the blade. He quickly sliced the blade through his thumb and pressed several drops of his own blood onto the photo.
"I-I-I'll need some from you," Gregory said firmly. Beast Boy hesitated again. "I p-p-promised you that you wouldn't be harmed. This will hurt a little b-b-but not harm you." Beast Boy held fast not sure if he should cooperate. Gregory's eye's glimmered in the soft candle light. "P-P-Please," his voice barely rose above a whisper.
Beast Boy stared into his dark eyes then put his candle down, took off his glove and offered his hand. Gregory took it gently; his hands were ice cold. He first put the blade in the large candle Beast Boy had just lit and slowly rotated it in the flame. He centered Beast Boy's hand over the picture, cut a small slice in his thumb with the blackened blade and squeezed out several drops of blood onto the photo.
Gregory released his grip and Beast Boy pulled his hand back to his side. Gregory folded the blade and put it outside of the circle next to Beast Boy. "So y-y-you know I'm unarmed. It w-w-won't matter anyway because I'll b-b-be real out of it when this is over."
Gregory looked up into Beast Boy's cold stare. "Are you afraid?" Beast Boy shook his head no. "Good, y-y-you shouldn't be." He smiled slightly then picked up the picture being careful to keep it level as he raised it over the red candle's flame. He tilted it so that their blood slowly ran down the photo. It clung to the bottom of the picture forming a drop that was poised to fall off the edge. Gregory lowered the bottom of the photo with blood drop into the candle's flame.
Beast Boy looked into Gregory's face; his hair hung down partially obscuring it. Gregory's eyes rolled back in his head. Beast Boy looked back down at the photo Gregory held as the candle flame dimmed. The blood drop slowly sizzled as the flame began to consume the photo. The room suddenly became very bright driving away the darkness.
"The dead lights," Gregory whispered as his mind careened beyond the Turtle and towards that special place of insanity.
Beast Boy squinted as he stared into the bright light. In it he saw two silhouettes. Their outlines roughly resembled the two people in the photograph. As his eyes adjusted to the light their features became more clear, their eyes fell eerily on him blinking slowly. Beast Boy felt the presence of his long dead parents. He tried to call out to them but his voice failed him. The light began to fade as a cool wind wind hit his face carrying with it the sweet smell of decay. He desperately reached towards his parents as the last light faded casting shadows across their faces before they disappeared.
The darkness returned. Beast Boy sat in the musty room with his hand out stretched in the air. Gregory's head had slumped forward. The smell of burning flesh filled the air; he had not dropped the photo even as it burned his fingers. Beast Boy reached through Gregory's dangling hair and gently clasped his chin. He raised his head up to face his. Gregory's eyes were closed as he drew quick short breaths.
"W-W-Will you help me?", Gregory said in a desperate voice.