Author's Note: Another Teen Titans fanfic short that came into my mind. I wanted to write something a little scary. Some of the inspiration for this fic came from the TT episode, "Fear Itself". However, this story takes place way after that episode.
Disclaimer: I am only a fan and do not own anything of Teen Titans!! All characters, names and anything else pertaining to Teen Titans are owned and copyrighted by their respectful owners (DC Comics and Warner Brothers). The only thing I own is the fanfic itself. This fanfic and any of my other fanfics may not be copied, altered, edited or posted elsewhere without my permission. For those of you who may speak another language please feel free to translate my story into your native language for better understanding and your personal enjoyment ONLY, or to show to a friend that may not speak English.
Character of Nightmare created & © by me, Please do not take and use him without my permission.
Rated PG – For scary/disturbing scenes
Beast Boy walked down the hall that led into the common room. When he appeared in the doorway, there was no one there except for Silkie, who was curled up asleep on the floor behind the sofa. Beast Boy had to take a second look. Beside Silkie, resting perfectly still in the midst of the little worm's feet, was a medium sized ball. It was perfectly rounded, shiny, and blackish-purplish in color.
"Heeeey, Silkie, what do you have there?" he said, walking toward the worm. Like any pet, Silkie continued to sleep as if never hearing. Beast Boy picked up the object and found that it wasn't completely solid and had a squishy, watery feel to it—like a water balloon. "Dude, this is soooo cool! It looks like an oil balloon or something. Who would have thought that Silkie knew how to make one of these things?"
He got an evil look in his eyes and quickly glanced around him to make sure no one was coming. Seeing that he was alone, he relaxed. Walking toward the counter, he placed his new prize down and gazed at it. It really didn't have the appearance of a balloon, but he couldn't imagine what else it could be.
The swooshing of doors was suddenly heard, and Beast Boy nervously grabbed for the ball. It was too late. Everyone saw him try to hide something behind his back. A sweat drop inched down his head as he turned a grinning face towards his friends.
"H-Hey, everyone. What's up?" he greeted innocently.
"Alright, Beast Boy, what do you have?" said Robin, smiling.
"It's another one of his hideous oil balloons, no doubt." Raven slowly added.
"You can just forget it, BB, because I'm not gonna fall for your little practical jokes anymore." Cyborg laughed.
"C'mon, let's see what you have." Robin walked toward Beast Boy. The little green boy slowly backed up until his back touched the counter. Sighing, he slowly drew the orb out from behind him and let everyone see. There was a gasp heard all over the room.
"It is beautiful!" said Starfire.
"What is it?" Cyborg peered over Robin.
"I haven't the faintest idea." he answered, taking the ball in his hands and poking it a few times. "Where did you find it, Beast Boy?"
"Silkie had it." BB answered, pointing to the worm. "I just walked in here and found it lying there beside him."
"Perhaps it is some sort of alien entity from one of the neighboring planets close to Tamaran." said Starfire.
Raven slowly took the ball from Robin's hands and gently juggled it in her hands. It was clear that the ball was filled with liquid, but what it was was still a mystery none of them knew the answer to.
"I'm not especially worried about what it is," said Raven, at last, "I'm just wondering how it got in our house, knowing Silkie is incapable of laying eggs."
"Good point." said Robin.
"Computers say there haven't been any signs of intruders. Security systems haven't been triggered," Cyborg mumbled out loud, "nothing entering or leaving the tower except for us and a few ol' houseflies."
"We've got flies in here?" Beast Boy said innocently. Everyone turned to him. "Okay, forget I said that."
"So what do you guys think it is?" Robin looked at the ball in Raven's hands again.
"No clue." Cyborg returned to his place beside Robin. "Apparently it's harmless."
"At least it looks that way." Raven softly added.
"It hasn't moved yet." Beast Boy smiled. "So, can I have it back? After all, I found it."
"Sure," Raven handed it over.
"Sweet!" Beast Boy quickly grabbed onto the orb and yanked it out of Raven's hand. His grip on it caused it to explode with a loud 'splorp', sending a blue, oily, inky substance splattering all over everyone within range of it. Stunned faces could be seen as they exchanged glances with each other, not exactly sure what had actually happened.
"Duuuude," Beast Boy looked down at his clothes, "That wasn't even funny!"
"Beast Boy," Cyborg was trying to keep his temper under control, "you faked all of that on purpose, just so you could drench us with that stupid, new whatever-it-was balloon!"
"It wasn't me, honest! I didn't know it was gonna pop and splatter oozy, gooey, icky stuff all over us!" Beast Boy reached to wipe his face with his hand.
"I got hit with it too. Do you honestly think I'd get myself with my own practical joke?!"
"Knowing how brainless you can be—" Cyborg came closer to BB's face.
"Hey, don't get personal." Beast Boy sneered.
"Alright, you guys," Robin came between the two, "I think you've made your point."
"This is so nasty." Raven stared at the stains on her cloak and clothes.
Robin sighed. "Let's go clean up."
That night, Robin woke up from dozing, thinking he had heard someone in his room. He lay still in bed and listened. There it was again. It sounded like a pattering noise over in one of the corners. It was probably Silkie. The little worm always slept in one of their rooms at night, after making his rounds through the tower. Robin shrugged it off and rolled over and prepared to go off to sleep again, but a slight whimpering startled him. It sounded like a frightened dog.
"Beast Boy?" he whispered through the semidarkness, which was illuminated by the soft, cold moonlight that came in through a crack in the curtains. Robin looked over the side of the bed and around the floor, expecting to see some species of green dog, but he saw nothing. The room was silent again. Weird! He continued to sit in bed and listened for the whimpering to begin again. It never did. Just to reassure himself, he got out of bed, turned the light on, and started searching the room—looking behind the curtains and under the bed and even in the closet. There was nothing there, not even Silkie. He was the only person in the place. Beads of sweat formed on his masked face and a shiver crept down his spine. He quickly shook it off, though. It wasn't like him to feel like that, but for some reason he did. The whole incident had to have been a dream—one of those dreams you have when you're half asleep and half awake, like the falling dream. Yeah, that had to have been it. Turning out the light, Robin climbed back into bed and lay awake, thinking everything over.
What woke Robin next was the sound of someone screaming at the top of their lungs. He jumped and nearly got tangled in the bed sheets and his cape as he tried making his way to the door. The doors opened and he ran out into the hall, hitting Starfire head-on. The alien girl was in a state of panic, so much that she was starting to cry as Robin helped her to her feet.
"Starfire, what's wrong?"
Starfire was speechless and seemed dazed. Robin latched onto her arms and gently shook her, trying to snap her out of her delirium. At that moment, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy came up to them with a curious look on their faces.
"What's going on? I could hear Star's scream all over the tower." said Cyborg.
"I think people on the other side of the world heard it." Beast Boy added.
"I don't know. I'm trying to make sense out of what she's trying to say." Robin turned his gaze back to Star. "Starfire, what's wrong? What happened?"
"My room," Starfire started, "It is on fire!"
"On fire?!?" Robin gasped.
"My tower's on fire???" Cyborg screamed, or rather shrieked. "Girl, why didn't you say so in the first place?" Cyborg pushed everyone out of the way and started running for all he was worth in the direction of Starfire's bedroom, ripping a fire extinguisher off the wall as he went. It didn't take the others long to follow, each one grabbing an extinguisher.
"Stand back." Cyborg warned when they finally reached the bedroom. Everyone stood flat against the wall, away from the door, as Cyborg punched a button. The doors swooshed open. But that was it. Cyborg turned a puzzled and confused look behind him at Robin. Both of them had expected an inferno of flames to come gushing out. But there wasn't one. Cyborg inched his head around and peeked inside. There were no flames, no smoke, nothing. The bedroom was as dark and still and silent as the rest of the tower. Silkie was calmly sleeping on the edge of Starfire's bed, drool dribbling down one corner of his mouth.
"Star, is this some kind of joke?" Cyborg turned to Star at the very back of the line. Everyone turned to look at her in silent confusion. Starfire clasped her hands to her chest and said nothing, shaking her head from side to side in a gesture of 'no'. She was still in shock, and had a hard time speaking.
"N-No, it is not a joke. I know what I saw. I-I barely made it out alive." her voice rasped in her throat. "I do not understand."
"Raven, are you scared again?" Beast Boy turned to the purple haired girl beside him.
"I wasn't, until now." she answered. "Why?"
"Just checking," he said, "The last time you held your fear in, we started seeing things."
Raven frowned at him. "So you're saying it's my fault?"
"No! I was just asking."
"If it's not Raven, then… what?" Robin turned to Cyborg, who shrugged his shoulders in reply before turning to walk into Star's bedroom.
"I don't get it." he said, stopping half way in the room.
"Neither do I." said Robin, coming in to stand beside Cyborg. He was followed by the rest.
"M-Maybe the place is… haunted." Starfire's small voice squeaked.
"There'd better not be spooks in my tower. If there are any, they'll have to answer to me!" Cyborg clicked his sonic blaster to emphasize his words.
"Oh, that's just wrong!" said Beast Boy suddenly.
"I don't see anything wrong with him—just a lil' lazy worm sleepin' on a bed." Cyborg stared at Silkie as he spoke.
"No, you don't understand. I just passed him coming down the hall!"
"How?" Robin turned a puzzled look to the green boy, "He's right there." Robin nodded in the worm's direction.
"I don't know, but I know I saw him in the hall."
"Well, there's only one Silkie in this place," said Cyborg, "Thank goodness."
"I think BB's seeing things too." Cyborg tried to hide a grin. "Is everyone around here losing their minds?"
"I was not seeing things. I know I saw it. I was not doing the imagining." Starfire continued to shake her head wearily. "It was so real."
Robin placed his hand on her shoulder before walking on past her and out into the hall. He stopped and turned back to his friends. "I suggest that we all get back to sleep."
"How does one sleep after something like that?" Starfire looked longingly at Robin. He wished he knew how to answer her.
Needless to say, the inhabitants of Titans Tower were on edge the rest of that night, and the nights following. Each night brought some kind of new fear that always ended up being just as fake and mysterious as the fire Starfire claimed she saw in her bedroom the first night, but at the same time each one felt so real. Beast Boy had been terrified by a phantom floating candle one night and a grotesque, hooded figure that came through the wall of his bedroom the next night. And Cyborg thought he had seen a ghostly looking woman in a white robe walking through the hall and disappear around a corner. Starfire's hallucinations, after the first night, mostly consisted of monstrous creatures from her home planet, the names of which no one else could even come close to pronouncing. Raven told her friends that she had seen demonic rats and birds and other things running around her bedroom. There was no limit when it came to the fearful things seen. There were sightings of glowing eyes that peered from the darkness, shadows that walked on their own, strange shrieks and screams from unknown sources, and creeping, crawling things that covered walls.
Everyone in the tower talked to each other about what they had seen and witnessed, hoping to find some kind of clue in it all. Robin, on the other hand, was struggling with his own fears in private. He closed himself up in his room and sat huddled next to the door, his cape pulled around him. A tear trickled out from under his mask and down his cheek. Once again, he got up and started toward a step stool that was setting on the floor in front of him. He stopped. As he stared at the stool, it started changing form. At first it rippled, and then it started morphing into a furry creature with red glowing eyes and a mouth full of sharp teeth. It lunged at him and he screamed while kicking at it. When his foot came in contact with it, it was a stool again. He slipped and fell backwards onto the floor, toppling the stool over on its side. Robin's chest heaved and he breathed hard, hoping no one had heard him scream. He got to his feet and gave his injured backside a rub before walking toward the stool again. He nudged it cautiously with the toe of his boot. Nothing happened.
"Everything we've been experiencing has happened since Beast Boy popped whatever that bubble was." Cyborg was saying when Robin walked into the common room. Everyone eyed him as he took a seat on the sofa next to Starfire. Cyborg pushed the pizza box in Robin's direction as he continued talking. "So I decided to run an analysis on it. I ran it on the stains left on each one of your clothes and put it through the computer database to see if I could find a match. You aren't going to believe what I found out."
"What is it, Cyborg?" said Robin.
"Well, unless the computer's wrong—and I certainly hope that it is—the chemical components of that blue icky stuff match the fear toxins used by the Scarecrow. It's absorbed through the skin."
"The Scarecrow?!?" Robin turned a little pale.
"Yes," Cyborg took another bite of the slice of pizza he held in his hands, "The psycho of terror from your own Gotham City."
"It can't be," Robin sat in a daze, "Why would he be here in Jump City?"
"He got tired of freakin' the people out in your city, I guess."
"Wait a minute, are you saying that we've been hallucinating all of this weird, creepy stuff because some ragged scarecrow poisoned us?" Beast Boy wrinkled his nose in irritation. "Dude, it's better than a horror movie!"
Everyone blankly stared in his direction.
"So what must we do to turn ourselves back to the normal?" Starfire's voice had a hint of nervousness in it.
"There's nothing we can do. It'll wear off when it decides to." Robin replied. "But until then, just remember that anything we see that's out of the ordinary is not real no matter how real it seems."
"How do we know the Scarecrow is behind this?" said Raven. "All we know is that this bubble was filled with something highly similar to what the Scarecrow uses. From what Robin has told us of the Scarecrow in the past, this isn't his style."
"Raven's got a point." said Cyborg. "If it's not the Scarecrow, then it's someone just as dangerous. Who knows what he, or it, is planning as we speak."
"It must be of the cunning type, for it got into our home and left without us knowing." Star said.
"Who says it left?" All eyes turned to Raven. "For the past few days, we've been so busy running around afraid of the things we've been seeing, we haven't even noticed much else. This thing could still be here somewhere. It wouldn't come in here and plant that bubble and leave. It would more than likely stay around for awhile to watch the show and gloat over the chaos it's caused."
"I almost hate to say it, but she may be right." Robin's eyes were wide at the thought. Beast Boy's form suddenly melted away into a green bloodhound. He started sniffing around the room in various places.
"Do you smell anything?" Starfire broke the long silence. Beast Boy lifted his dog head and shook it sadly. He turned back and sniffed around Silkie, who was spread out longwise on the floor in front of him, fast asleep as always. Beast Boy stopped, snorted, and continued to smell around.
"I suggest we search the tower." said Cyborg, getting up off the sofa. Everyone followed his lead, Beast Boy turning back into his human form. Robin was the last one to leave the room. Before he walked out, he turned and looked directly at Silkie. He couldn't explain why he did so, but something seemed to prod him. Just as his eyes landed on the sleeping worm, Silkie awoke and stared back at him in a way he had never seen before. Robin closed his eyes and shook his head. When he opened his eyes again, Silkie was gone. Startled, he looked around the room, but the worm was nowhere to be seen. With a shudder, Robin turned to follow the others.
The Titans searched the tower from top to bottom, but there was no sign of anything anywhere. Everyone claimed to have seen Silkie at least once, but that was about it—nothing out of the ordinary. By the time the search was over, it was late and time for bed. So the Titans split up and retired to their bedrooms. The tower was quiet with not a sound to be heard. And then, from the depths of somewhere, a dark, maniacal laughing could be heard. It was low at first, but then it started to grow louder and louder and wilder and wilder until it seemed to fill the entire place.
Robin shot up out of his bed, his eyes growing wide, and made his way out of the room and started running toward the common room, where the voice sounded like it was coming from. He met the other Titans there once he came through the doorway. They were standing still, their backs toward him, and were looking intently at something on the floor. He followed their gaze to Silkie. The little worm was standing up on his back legs while laughing loud and insanely. Everyone was speechless. As they continued to look at Silkie, the worm's form started growing and morphing until he wasn't Silkie at all. It lifted itself up into the air and continued changing into some sort of man, or a man shape. Once it was finished, everyone gasped in horror and awe. The being had a triangular shaped body that was the same blackish-purplish color as the bubble Beast Boy found, and it had white gloves on its hands. Its long face was pale and was painted like a pantomime. The flame orange hair on its head flared out as if blown by an unseen breeze. But the oddest part about the specter was the fact that it had no legs. Where there should have been legs, its body dwindled down into a squiggly, ghost-like tail, and the whole creature moved about by means of hovering.
For several minutes the Titans locked eyes with their intruder. Robin drew forth his bo staff, Cyborg's arm opened into his sonic blaster, Starfire's eyes glowed as well as her hands, Beast Boy transformed into a tiger, and Raven hovered into the air, her hands ready to throw dark blasts.
"Who are you? And how did you get in here?" Robin asked at last.
The creature went into more laughter as if amused. "I am Nightmare, and how I got in here is none of your concern. I have my ways."
"I say it IS our concern!" Cyborg lifted his blaster into the air. "This is our house and you're what is commonly referred to as an intruder."
"And we don't like intruders." Robin sneered. "Titans, GO!"
At Robin's command, everyone flew into action. Beast Boy lunged and reached the specter first, but the intended target disappeared into thin air and appeared on the other side of the room, all the time laughing insanely as if the whole incident had been fun. The Titans turned stunned faces toward the being.
"Let's play a little game, shall we?" Nightmare clapped his hands together playfully. His body rippled and started copying itself into—one, two, three, four—more that looked identical to the original.
"Now there's one for each of you!" he chuckled in an eerie manner. Each Titan ran toward one of the specters in a fit of rage. Robin struck his with his staff, but it didn't even come close to fazing the creature. Instead, Nightmare only laughed harder.
Raven concentrated and waved her arms, causing part of the ceiling to turn black and come loose as she directed it towards her enemy at remarkable speed. The Nightmare clone was buried under the rubble, assuming to be defeated, but then he appeared again, laughing all the while.
Beast Boy clawed at his clone with his tiger claws, but seeing it wasn't doing any good suddenly changed his form to that of a T-rex and roared loudly before chomping at the being.
Starfire shot hers with starbolts and eye beams, and Cyborg blasted his with sonic blasts. Nothing worked. Nightmare laughed harder every time one of his forms was hit, as if it did nothing more than tickle him.
"Why don't you give up, kids," all of the Nightmare clones spoke in unison, "I'm too powerful for you and you know it."
"We'll never give up!" growled Robin, throwing a few of his birdarangs.
"If you won't give up, then why not have a taste of FEAR?" Nightmare dodged Robin's birdarangs and put his hands forward. Huge bubbles, identical to Beast Boy's, appeared in mid air. With a flick of his hands, Nightmare controlled, or rather threw, the bubbles in several different directions. One of them managed to catch Robin in the face, the bubble's fear causing contents exploding all over him. Raven raised her hand up and stopped the one coming toward her and maneuvered it out of the way. Seeing that one was headed toward Beast Boy, she quickly turned and threw a shield over him, the bubble popping when it came in contact with the outside of it. Becoming a bit agitated, Raven turned glowing eyes toward Nightmare.
"Azarath! Metrion! ZINTHOS!" she shouted as her cape flared behind her, and she threw her arms forward, her hands beaming with her power. Immediately, a black, clawed hand, like a bird's foot, came forward and toward Nightmare in an attempt to snatch onto him. Raven controlled the hand's movements with her real hands. But it was no use. Nightmare refused to be captured even by her remarkable abilities.
Meanwhile, Robin was cowered on the floor as the Nightmare clone he had been fighting towered over him. The bubble had taken effect on Robin almost immediately, and he was frozen in complete and utter panic. Instead of the Nightmare clone, he was seeing a horrid creature with a skull for a head and boney, leathery bat wings. It came towards him with an opened mouth full of sharp, needle-like teeth and flaming eyes. Robin screamed and covered his head, attracting the attention of Starfire, who was fighting nearby. She turned in his direction and, seeing that the clone was closing in on Robin, shot a few starbolts towards Nightmare to get him to back away. The clone did so.
Another spray of bubbles came from one of the clones and flew through the air toward the Titans. Raven stopped the one aimed towards her again and, using her telekinesis, threw it back toward its maker. The bubble hit Nightmare in the face and the creature screamed in terror. It staggered back as if stunned. Right then, all of the Nightmare clones around the room vanished in a puff of purple smoke. The one Raven had hit was the real one. Nightmare shrank to the floor while keeping his eyes fixated on Raven. She flared her cape a little more and came toward him. Nightmare trembled in fear and started screaming for her to stay away.
"Defeated by his own power," Raven said, staring at the pitiful being. Starfire helped Robin to his feet, while the others came closer to Nightmare for a better look.
"Boo-yah!" shouted Cyborg, giving Beast Boy a high-five. "It looks like the tower is ours again!"
"Nightmare," Robin faintly got out, "looks like you're under arrest."
Nightmare only shuddered as he turned his gaze from Raven to Robin. At that moment, Silkie—the real Silkie—came crawling through the doorway and into the common room where everyone stood, while making his gurgling noises. Starfire at once flew over to him and scooped him up in her arms to give him a hug and nuzzle, fearing that her little precious pet had been lost forever.
"I TOLD you there was something weird about me seeing two Silkies!" Beast Boy scowled at his friends.
"We're sorry, Beast Boy," Robin smiled, "the next time something like this happens, we'll believe you."
"Let's hope there won't BE a next time." Cyborg added before bursting into an amused laugh. Everyone followed in his lead and began to laugh too.