Chapter Eleven: A Victory March.


She didn't turn around. It was hard enough to stay composed as it was, without those eyes piercing her. After a few minutes, she spoke.

"Cyborg told me, you know, why you left."

"Oh." That was all she was getting, apparently.

"Beast Boy, I-" she choked on her words, but knew that it had to be done. "I'm sorry."

"What for?" His tone was mild, almost confused.

"Everything. Every time I refused to listen to you, every time I caused you physical harm for no good reason, every time I cut you down with an insult, everything that I ever did to hurt you. I never meant it."

"Not once?"

"Never." Please dear God please let him accept this.

"Then why'd you do it?" His voice betrayed a hint of pain for the first time in years. For the first time since Terra.

"I-" Raven found she had no good answer. "I- I guess that it was because you wouldn't let me be. You wouldn't let me just sit in my room and hide from the world. Damnit, you challenged my entire worldview, and I couldn't handle it. I- I guess I was jealous. I mean, you were so damn happy, while I was just the girl in the corner who no one disturbed 'cause no one knew her well enough to know whether or not she'd go psycho."

Beast Boy didn't answer, and Raven didn't turn around.

"But when you actually paid attention to me, it was wonderful and awful, all at once. On the one hand, you must have been the first person in my entire life who- who actually wanted me as a friend, and you have no idea how much that meant to me.

"But on the other hand, you were a serious danger to me. Inviting me to live a little flew in the face of everything I had ever been taught. I figured the best way to prevent my emotions from going haywire was to get you to hate me. It looks like I succeeded." Raven finished, her hands shaking and blinking madly. She was surprised when Beast Boy spoke right in her ear, directly behind her.

"Raven. I could never hate you. Not now, not ever."

"Then why did you leave?"

Beast Boy moved away, and Raven felt the aura of his body heat leave with him. He stood some distance away, staring out towards the bay.

"I wanted to get over you. Somewhere along the line I fell for you. It started when Cy and I invaded your mind. Do you remember that day? I do, well. It goes down as one of my favourite days ever, because that was the first day I heard you laugh, the first day I felt I could get to know you. It wasn't long before I got too deep. I loved you, Raven, and it damn near killed me."

Raven focussed on one word. "Loved?"

Beast Boy gave a rueful chuckle. "You called my bluff. Alright, I admit it. I'm not over you, not by a long shot. Maybe in a year, although I doubt it, but now? Not a chance."

"Beast Boy, please, come back. These last two months have been hell. Everything's been too quiet, and…sad. Everyone's been at a loose end. Please. We need you. Hell…I need you, more than I ever realised."

Beast Boy fought to control his breathing, and stared out into the distance. "Leaving…was a mistake. I shouldn't have run away from my responsibilities like that."

Yes, please yes… For an instant, Raven dared to hope.

"But it's not a mistake I intend to repeat."


"Wonder what they're talking about." Robin stared at the foyer ceiling, waiting for Raven.

Cyborg and Starfire shared a look. "Oh, I ain't telling him."


"Beast Boy, what do you mean?"

The changeling waved his arm at Star City. "Five million people. There are five million souls out there, and they depend on us for protection. I can't walk away from that responsibility."

"There are more superheroes in Star City than just you."

"Yeah. And they're all in this building. If I leave now, this team will fall apart. If Robin had left three weeks after we'd built the Tower, do you think we'd have survived?"

Raven didn't answer. She had none to give. But the look in her eyes spoke volumes.

Beast Boy saw the look, and turned away. Please don't beg. I don't think I could stand it if you begged.

"Beast Boy, I- I never meant for anything like this to happen. I never thought I was driving you away."

Beast Boy sighed. "I know. And I'm sorry I didn't realise that, that I wasn't strong enough to stay. Instead I did the only thing I've ever done, and ran. But I can't come back. People need me here."

Raven stepped closer, and put a hand on his shoulder. "I understand."

It would be so easy. Just turn your head slightly, and lean forwards…Beast Boy shook of his wistful dreams, and touched her hand lightly, sliding it from his shoulder. "I know." His voice was oddly calm, devoid of any feeling.

"I should go." Raven's voice was a handful of decibels above a whisper, and close to cracking with the weight of salt water behind it.

Beast Boy didn't look at her when she teleported away. He left the roof before the orange T-Jet roared across the evening sky. Instead, he took the elevator down to the main room.

"Hey, where've you been?"

"Oh you know, just getting some air." Beast Boy grinned widely.

"You okay?" Mary's voice was full of concern.

"Yeah, just a tiring day, is all. You guys better get some rest soon, we've still got a lot of work to do."

This was met with groans.

"I'm gonna catch some Zs. See you tomorrow."

He waved goodbye to his team, the grin still firmly fixed. It persisted as he went into his room, as he locked his door. It remained as he turned on the radio to a random station. It was still there as he turned the volume up as loudly as he could.

Juliet, the dice was loaded from the start
And I bet that you exploded into my heart
And I forget I forget the movie song.
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet?

It fell from his face as he buried his head in his hands and cried.

I can't do the talks, like the talk on the TV
And I can't do a love song, like the way it's meant to be.
I can't do everything, but I'll do anything for you,
I can't do anything, except be in love with you.

And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be,
All I do is keep the beat and the bad company.
Now all I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme,
Juliet, I'd do the stars with you any time.



Muahahahah! Doesn't this just scream 'sequel'? Don't worry, I've got one in the works, and it'll resolve any unresolved issues in this one. If you can think of anything that I haven't addressed in this story, then drop me a review, and I'll make a point of including it in the sequel. Just don't tell me about the fact that I haven't told you about the incident that sparked BBs departure. I know about that one, and I left it out on purpose.

Also, unless Cyberwraith9 decides I am unworthy, Jason (aka "The Guy With The Big Sword") will make a physical cameo early on, in all his glory. Because he's cool.