One Which Makes The Heart Run Over
"We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over."
rage, rage against the dying of the light...
"Raven, have you seen Beast Boy?" Raven didn't respond. Robin touched her shoulder lightly, causing her to slit her eyes open and glare at him.
"I asked if you'd seen Beast Boy."
"He's in my room."
"I'd like you to search for him in the Tower- wait. What?"
"He's in my room. He's been in there a while."
"And you didn't mention this earlier, because...?"
Raven shrugged. "You didn't ask."
Robin sank onto the couch beside where she was hovering. He ran his hand across his eyes wearily. "Raven. Why is Beast Boy in your room? One, you don't let anyone in there, ever, and two, I don't think I've seen BB in a couple of days. Has he been in there the whole time?"
"Raven, I'm gonna need some answers, here."
Raven turned on him suddenly. "I haven't asked you what's going on when Star walks out of your room instead of her own every morning."
Robin didn't even flinch. "But that's different. You barely tolerate Beast Boy. Why's he been in you room?"
Raven floated down to settle on the couch. "There's something wrong with him."
Robin raised an eyebrow. "Like what? What could be wrong with him that he can't stay in his own room?"
"I think…you'd better follow me."
Robin scrambled off the couch as Raven swept through the hallway. He stopped uneasily when she halted in front of her door. "Rae, are you sure you're okay with-"
"Just get in here."
"Um, all right," Robin said hesitantly. He edged in the door after her, wincing when it slammed shut. Raven floated lightly to the floor and walked over to her bed, where she pulled the sheet back carefully to reveal a small green cat curled up on the pillow. Robin stared. "Beast Boy?"
Raven sat down and the cat stretched and climbed onto her lap, rubbing his head against her hand, arching his back and purring. Raven pet him slowly while Robin's jaw hit the floor.
"Um. Explanations would be nice, now. "
The cat pawed at Raven's cape, mewed loudly, and settled himself comfortably in her lap. Raven placed one hand protectively over his back. "I'm not entirely certain. He knocked on the door the other night, upset, and before I could ask him what was wrong he had changed into this cat. He…won't change back." Well, he wouldn't, or he couldn't- Raven knew better than to speculate on that out loud with their volatile leader in the room.
Robin approached the bed, but the cat lifted its head and hissed at him angrily. "Whoa, BB, calm down!" He addressed Raven. "Any idea why he won't change?"
Raven shook her head slowly. "I wasn't really comfortable with snooping in his head at first; I wasn't worried enough to try until this morning."
"I know this is Beast Boy. I saw him change. But..." Raven made an uncharacteristically vague gesture.
Robin very tentatively reached out a hand towards the cat. He started to hiss, but Raven pressed lightly against his back and he calmed down to look at her. Robin lightly ran his fingers through the green fur and frowned. "He's…awfully thin."
"If he were a real cat, he would be considered malnourished."
"What happened when you tried to scan him this morning?"
Raven tilted her head up to look at him. "I got the same feeling I would get from a normal cat. Except for green fur and poor health, Beast Boy appears to be a normal cat."
Beast Boy suddenly twisted out of Raven's grasp and bit down on Robin's hand. Robin yelped and shook him off. "We should get him to the med bay, have Cy take a look at him."
"You're welcome to try," Raven said dryly.
"Huh?" Robin started to reach for Beast Boy again, then thought better off it and retracted his hand. Raven stood, cradling the cat in her arms.
She tried to set him down on the bed. He leapt up into her arms again with a frightened mew. "He won't leave. At least, not yet. Trust me- I've tried. You'll have to bring Cyborg and any equipment in here."
"Maybe not. I have an idea."
"Oh," Raven said unenthusiastically.
"You've managed to morph Beast Boy before. Do you think you can do it again?"
Raven snapped a glare at him. "That was dark magic, Robin."
He looked at Beast Boy silently, then back at her. After a long moment she sighed.
"Only because it's Beast Boy."
"All I ask is that you try."
She settled on the bed again and tried to push the cat off her lap. He wouldn't leave and she sighed again. "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!" The cat bulged in the middle, flattened for a second, and finally stretched out full-length to resolve slowly into Beast Boy, still huddled against Raven. He suddenly buried his head deeper into her stomach and curled up with his back to Robin, still mostly covered by Raven's cloak. Hesitant again, the Boy Wonder placed a hand on his back, but drew back when Beast Boy flinched.
"Beast Boy?" Raven sounded uncertain. She mimicked Robin's action and placed her hand on his back. He shuddered and went still. She glanced up at Robin. When she spoke again she sounded determined. "Get the others. I'm going to try and get inside his mind, like I did when you were seeing Slade." Robin flinched slightly. Raven hunched over and drew her cloak tighter around Beast Boy. "Go. Now."
GuardianSaiyoko: Constructive criticism is very much appreciated. If you liked this, go read ShinobiCyrus' Destiny's Thread's- 'tis excellent.
April 21st, 2008- Re-reading this to get a handle on where I'm going with the epilogue. As long as I'm re-reading anyway, I thought I would take the opportunity to go back and do some editing- primarily for typos but I'm doing a tiny bit of content editing too. If this shows up in your inboxes (I'm not totally sure if it does or not) sorry for the sudden flood.