Chapter 5: Aftermath

Raven slowly opened her eyes. She looked up into a thousand stars that flickered above her. She drew a deep breath and groaned in pain. Gregory had worked her over real good. She tried to sit up but her stomach cramped angrily at this attempt so she rolled over and pushed herself up slowly to her knees. Beast Boy was kneeling several yards away staring blankly at the book of the dead that he held in his hands. Steam gently rose from his sweaty matted hair.

Raven gingerly crawled over to him and grasped the book with her hand. He resisted her at first but eventually relented and let her take it from him. Beast Boy let his hands fall to his knees but his eyes continued to look blankly at the space that had been previously occupied by the book.

Raven opened the book and quickly inspected it. It appeared to be whole with no pages missing. She was going to have to find a safer place for it. "Where's Gregory?" she frantically asked him.

"You abandon me," Beast Boy replied distantly in a weak voice.

Raven shot her partner an annoyed look. He had not answered her question.

"You abandoned me," Beast Boy repeated as he turned his full attention to her. "I had to fight those things by myself."

Raven remembered what had happened in the cemetery. She now felt a tinge of guilt for leaving her friend to face the images of his dead parents.

"I knew I had to go back; you were in trouble. When I got back up there you were laying unconscious on the crypt. Gregory was going to sacrifice you. I jumped him and I had him pinned down but then he just disappeared," Beast Boy explained.

Raven looked down. She had been wrong about so many things tonight; the strength of her opponent and now how much heart Beast Boy had for her.

"I'm sorry."

Raven looked up at Beast Boy as he slowly rose to his feet.

"I'm really, really, really sorry," he continued. "I'm a lousy friend. I almost got you killed," he paused then let out a small sigh. "But I couldn't help it." Beast Boy turned away from her, folded his arms across his chest and looked up at the setting moon.

"He brought them back," he whispered turning his head to look at her. "My parents, he brought them back," he turned his head back and glanced up at the moon once more. "You know, I've never really thought about them much. They died when I was little," he paused then looked down. "All this time and I've hardly ever thought of them, never visited their grave...nothing." He turned and fixed his gaze on her. Raven watched Beast Boy's eyes glistened softly in the moonlight. "Funny, huh?" he let out a short laugh then turned back to the moon. "But he brought them back," Beast Boy's faltering voice whispered. "They were there; I saw them, felt them, now I can't get them out of my mind," he paused again. "I needed that book. I needed to talk to them, to let them know I'm OK."

Beast Boy turned his head back to Raven. "I can't now, can I?" Raven drew the book close to her chest and slowly shook her head no.

Beast Boy looked down then turned to the cemetery and scowled in anger. "WHY DID YOU BRING THEM BACK!" he shouted towards the empty graveyard. His last words echoed slightly. "I BURIED YOU!" he shouted defiantly as he raised his fist towards the grave markers. Beast Boy was breathing heavily pushing out clouds of mist into the cool night air. "But you came back," he said in a low tortured voice. "Why did you have to come back?" Soft sobs started to fall out of him. He curled his hands into tight fists by his side. "WHAT KIND OF SON AM I?!" he screamed into the night desperately seeking a reply. Only silence ensued; no spirits would answer.

Beast Boy fell to his knees and pounded the ground in frustration. He opened his fists then clasped the grass and savagely ripped it from the ground then fell forward sliding his face across the cold wet grass "What kind of son am I?" he whispered. Great sobs soon overcame him as he rose back up to his knees and wailed in agony.

Raven watched her partner sobbing in the moonlight. She cautiously stood up and slowly walked behind her grieving friend. Beast Boy's entire body heaved in misery. What could she possibly offer him? Instinctively she placed her hand on his shoulder. Beast Boy retracted slightly and ceased crying. He sniffled briefly before he was consumed by another round of sobs as he shivered harshly in the cold night air. Raven knelt down behind Beast Boy and wrapped her arms around his chest gently resting her chin on his shoulder. Beast Boy continued to weep under the shelter of Raven's cape.