Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans.

Thunder Horses


Raven sighed with pleasure as the raging storm outside made the tower shake. She'd always loved thunderstorms. She liked the sound the thunder itself made, the sight of lightning shooting from the sky. The tower was very dark and quiet, only occasionally illuminated by the clashes of lightning. The storm had blown the power out, and it was rather late at night. Robin had gone to bed and Cyborg was working on the T-Car with help from the light on his shoulder.

In other words, Raven felt peaceful.

But at the same time, worry flooded her mind. She hadn't heard from Starfire in a while, and she figured the Tamaranean would be afraid of the loud thunder.

Raven slipped off of her bed and took the short walk to Starfire's room, her blue cloak trailing after her like a second shadow. She knocked twice and heard a thump from within. Starfire rushed to open the door. She looked frumpy, as if she'd fallen off of her bed, which Raven guessed she had.

"Did I startle you?" Raven asked, trying to keep her tone kind. Starfire shook her head, her eyes wide.

"The storm is unsettling," Starfire admitted. "I am a little afraid, but I can manage."

"Are you sure?" Raven said, her face betraying her mild surprise. Starfire nodded.

"I am alright. But..." Starfire faltered, looking back at the window. Her expression was meek when she looked back at the Azarathean, who waited patiently. "Could I trouble you for the light of flashing?" Starfire whispered. Raven smiled.

"Beast Boy has one. I'll borrow it from him. He should be asleep now anyway, so he won't need it."
"Thank you. Will Beast Boy not mind this intrusion?"

"I'm sure he won't mind," Raven said absentmindedly. "I'll be back in a few."

"A few what?" Starfire muttered curiously, her eyes gleaming slightly as lightning lit the tower up again.

"Minutes," Raven replied, turning away with a roll of the eyes as soon as her back was to Starfire. She left Starfire standing in the doorway with a look of realization on her innocent face, and headed toward Beast Boy's room.

Raven stopped in front of Beast Boy's door and suddenly realized there wasn't a foul odor leaking out through the cracks between the door and its frame. She cocked her head thoughtfully and knocked very gently, in case he was sleeping. He wasn't.

"Come in," he called weakly, and Raven was instantly alert, her violet eyes wondering what caused Beast Boy to sound so quiet. She opened the door and peeked inside, her short hair falling to mask her left eye. She pushed it back impatiently.

"Beast Boy?" she called quietly, insistently. A moan from Beast Boy's bed made her blush as she figured she must've woken him.

"Sorry to bother you so late, but Starfire wanted to borrow a flashlight...wait." Raven put a finger to her mouth and bit back a laugh. "Why can't she light the room with a starbolt?"

"She's confused," Beast Boy's voice said shakily. "She's a little unnerved by the storm, so she forgot her powers. It happens to her sometimes."

"Oh...then I'm sorry I woke you," Raven sighed, inwardly cursing Starfire's naivety. She made to leave, and Beast Boy spoke up again.

"Don't leave," he said quietly, the terrified tone making Raven stop dead and spin around.

"Beast Boy?"

"My battery went dead," Beast Boy said, his voice like that of a frightened child's. Raven shivered and sat on the edge of her friend's bed. He was curled under the covers in the lower bunk, she noted, almost like a cat. Raven wondered briefly why goofy Beast Boy was hiding under his covers like a child who's afraid of the dark, but then it dawned on her.

"Beast Boy, are you afraid of the thunderstorm?" Raven murmured gently, her eyes soft, though she knew Beast Boy couldn't see them.

Beast Boy whimpered his response, and Raven bit her lower lip, unsure of how to help.

"I'm sorry," she said finally. "I didn't know..."

"It's okay," Beast Boy whispered. "I just didn't want you to find out...I thought you'd think I was a coward."

"Being afraid doesn't make you a coward," Raven said. "Do you notice that my monsters aren't flitting around the tower during this particular storm?"

Beast Boy let out a nervous chuckle, and Raven smiled. The statement wasn't meant to be funny, but she was glad Beast Boy had laughed. He shifted under the bed as the silence between them was broken by another clap of booming thunder.

"Raven, are you there?" he groaned, and Raven felt something inside of her churn at the helplessness in his voice.

"I won't leave if you don't want me to."

"Thank you..."

"Y'know," Raven said thoughtfully, gazing around at Beast Boy's slightly messy room, "I was afraid of thunder and lightning until a few years ago."

"Why aren't you afraid anymore?" Beast Boy's voice was still quiet, but held a curiosity that made Raven look back at the lump under the covers that was her friend.

"A little while before I joined the team, while I was still homeless, I was trapped in a thunderstorm that truly terrified me, but I couldn't be afraid of it. But then I saw something very strange in the sky."

"What?" Beast Boy queried persistently. He tensed at another boom, and Raven sighed.

"There were horses in the sky. There always had been. I was just too afraid of the storm to look at the sky until that night. The horses were strange, running through the sky, very slowly, as the clouds swirled. They had lightning manes and hooves, and bodies made of black storm-clouds. They were beautiful, and the thunder came from their hooves as they ran."

"Thunder horses," Beast Boy said.
"Yes," Raven said, fondness in her voice. She glanced out of the window and saw, through the sheets of rain, her horses, running, the lightning manes almost invisible. Beast Boy didn't budge.

"Beast Boy," Raven said suddenly, her eyes fixed on the horses. "Please look at them with me."

Beast Boy stirred and went still for a few seconds. Then, he emerged, his hair messy and flat on his head, and his eyes dull with fear.

Raven turned to him with a smile that immediately faded and she looked away hurriedly, blushing fiercely.

He wasn't wearing a shirt. Absentmindedly, Beast Boy looked down, but then he crawled across the bed to sit next to Raven. He was wearing Scooby-Doo boxers.

"I see the horses. They're...incredible."

Raven snapped back to him, gazing into his emerald eyes. They were illuminated momentarily by a flash of lightning, but Beast Boy didn't flinch. His eyes were more beautiful, Raven thought, than the thunder horses themselves. They were thick with emotion and hope. Raven couldn't help but smile, but still turned away.

"I'm sorry," she said.

"It's okay," Beast Boy replied, taking her pale hand in his. He wasn't wearing gloves either, and Raven's heart fluttered at the skin-to-skin contact. "Fair price to pay...I see your horses, you see this," he giggled, pointing at his bare chest. He looked back to the horses. "They're amazing."

"Yes," Raven whispered, staring into Beast Boy's eyes. "They are."

They stayed there for a long time, and eventually Raven leaned her head on Beast Boy's shoulder and fell asleep, lightning lighting them both up every so often. Every clap of thunder made Beast Boy smile as he stroked Raven's hand gently. He wasn't afraid anymore. And neither was she.


- Raye