Chapter Three: Disbelief.
Logan blinked, and his thoughts slowly arranged themselves. Gar was in front of him.
He'd always assumed the kid was alive somewhere. He'd tried to find him, but before long his money ran out and he slipped back down to the bottom rung, and clung there. Gar was in front of him. He should probably say something.
Well, he'd never claimed to be particularly eloquent.
"No way... no fucking way..."
Clearly a family trait.
"Beast Boy? You know this guy?" the robotic teen asked.
Gar ignored him, keeping his eyes fixed on Logan.
"Who are you?" he asked, his voice shaking.
"C'mon, kid. Don't tell me you don't recognise me."
"No. No. It's not you. It can't be you." Beast Boy was backing away now, his arms held in front of him protectively. "You...you died."
"Kid, it's me. I'm not dead." Seeing Gar unconvinced, he sighed. "Okay. I guess I'll have to prove it to you.
"When you were six years old, you somehow got it into your head that there was a ramanga in the village somewhere, so you demanded that Tawaba bury his toenail clippings. He did, just to humour you."
Gar flinched as if struck. "Shut up."
Logan ploughed on. "The first time you changed your shape was when you turned into a mongoose to kill a cobra. You ate it, because you couldn't control your instincts, and threw up for hours afterwards."
"Shut up." The Titans watched, unsure of what to make of this exchange as Beast Boy grew more and more agitated.
"After the change, you wouldn't sleep in your bed properly. You would pull all the blankets into a pile and make a nest. Marie thought it was adorable." Logan's voice was as soft and soothing as he could make it, which wasn't really saying much.
"Shut up!" Gar screamed, and flung himself at Logan, throwing a wild punch. Logan caught his wrist before he could make contact, and began to hum, a strange, quiet song that none of the Titans recognised.
Robin unfurled his staff, and readied himself. "Let him go," he growled. But his threat went unnoticed, as almost as soon as the man started humming, Beast Boy went slack, and dropped his arm.
"It's you...isn't it," he said, his voice almost a whisper.
"Yes. It's me. If it makes you feel better, I didn't want to dredge all that up either."
To the shock of his friends, Beast Boy pulled the man into a fierce hug, tears running down his face. After a tense moment, the man's arms folded around Beast Boy's shoulders, and ruffled his hair.
Raven cleared her throat.
"Can someone please explain what's going on?"
On hearing her voice, Beast Boy turned to his friends. He moved his mouth, but the only sound he seemed to be able to make was a kind of strangled choke.
Logan decided it was time to be proactive. "He's my son."
"Oh, right," said Cyborg, in the tone of one who has at last seen the light. "...Wait, what?"
It was late, and Gar and Logan were on the roof, Gar dangling his feet over the edge, his father sitting against a fan unit. Eventually, Logan broke the silence.
"So...'Beast Boy', huh?"
Gar scratched the back of his head. "Yeah. Catchy, huh? ...Okay, it's a kind of a stupid name, but it wasn't my idea."
Logan gave a quizzical glance, which his son picked up on.
Gar sighed. "Look, after Africa, things...didn't go so good for me. After a while, I got stuck under the care of Galtry. He was more interested in the money I represented, and, well, he tried to kill me."
Logan's eyebrows raised. "Nick tried to kill you? ...Holy crap." Sure, the guy had been a creep, but he'd just assumed that was what all accountants were like.
"Yeah. That didn't work out for him. Since he tried to do it while dressed in some turbo-armour, he drew the attention of the Doom Patrol. After a while, I just fell in with them."
Logan sat in silence while his son's story unfolded. He'd missed it. He'd missed it all.
Nine years. Christ in Heaven, he'd missed nine years.
"...but after I met up with the Titans, it seemed like...things just fell into place. And things have been good since then, really."
Maybe it had been for the best. What the hell did he know about raising a teenager, anyway? It wasn't as if he had any prior experiences to guide him, since his own childhood was still a blank slate.
"But what about you? Where have you been these last...how many years has it been?"
"Nine," he mumbled. "I sold everything I had to get a ticket to the States, where they told me you'd been taken, couldn't find you, and spent the next eight years hitching lifts and getting drunk." He sounded so pathetic when he put it like that, but what else could he have done? He'd just fallen back into the first life he could remember.
Gar laughed, and Logan smiled to hear it. "Yeah, I think I could guess that. No offence, but you reek. And you need some new clothes or something."
"I guess so." Logan leant back, propped up against a fan, and looked up at the stars.
"Alright then. Tomorrow, we're getting some new threads."
"Hmm," Logan replied, as he drifted off to sleep.
"You wanna go to one of the guest rooms or something? They're comfier than the roof."
But Logan was already asleep.
Since I appear to be on a writing spree, and Fissure isn't an option right now, for reasons I have already stated, I thought I'd remind everyone that this story isn't dead.
And no prizes to anyone who guesses which Cat Stevens song reminded me to get back to this story.