DISCLAIMERL: I do not own the Teen Titans or the characters presented here-in.
This is a sort of companion story to my fic Future Visitors. I shows the evolving relationship between Beast Boy and Raven.
Over the last several weeks things in Titans Tower had not been good. Tempers were flared and tensions were high. Not due to any criminal activity , but mostly due to a single dark empath.
Raven was totally on the warpath. She jumped and snapped at anyone who got in her way. Even poor sweet innocent Starfire was not immune to the wrath of Raven. For the most part the Titans decided to just leave her alone. Hoping whatever mood Raven was in would just go away.
To Raven there was nothing odd about her behavior. The others just didn't get it. How could they? No one was like her. They couldn't phantom the depths of her dispair. She was alone in this world. A world she was becoming more and more disgusted with each and every passing day. It just seemed to be slipping deeper and deeper into darkness. No matter what they did nothing was going to change that. The Justice League and the Titans were fighting an uphill battle they could not possibly hope to win. So what was the point of it all?
It was late night after spending near three days alone in her room. Raven was once again in the throws of grief and dispair. She was slipping further into a funk she could not see a way out of. Worst of all she felt so alone. Even with her friends around she never felt lonelier. Mostly because she believed none of them could even comprehend what she saw in the world.
She was sitting in the middle of her room trying to understand it all. It was times like this she wished her father had succeeded and destroyed the world. It deserved to end. She wanted her own life to end. That way she wouldn't feel like this anymore.
The tears were coming again. She didn't really understand where they came from , but they came none the less. Once again she was sitting there alone in the darkness crying for reasons she couldn't quit grasp.
"What am I to do? It's all just so ...." she choked between sobs.
"You could always try talking to your friends." came a soft voice from the darkness.
Startled Raven's head shot up and she scanned the room for the voice. Although she didn't really need to do this since there was only one person that was crazy enough or dumb enough , depending on how you looked at it, to invade her sanctuary.
"Beast Boy get out!" she screamed into the nothingness.
Of course instead of leaving like a sensible person would Beast Boy walked into view to stand in front of a distressed and very angry Raven. Sitting Indian style in front of her showing that he had no intentions of leaving. He spoke softly "Raven what's the matter with you lately? You've been so off and now I find you like this? Crying alone in the dark? Please tell me what it is that's bothering you. Please .... let me help."
Even through her anger she could hear the sincerity in his soft words.
"You can't help me. No one can. Now get out and leave me alone!" she hissed at him.
Slowly he shook his head 'No'. "Not until you talk to me Raven."
"Beast Boy I'm warning you ..." Raven was getting even more upset. The tears were beginning to fall.
Still Beast Boy stared at her with those soft eyes of his. "Raven you can threaten all you want. I'm not leaving until you talk to me. Please Raven, talk to me."
Raven had enough "Fine! You want to know what's going on? The world is a shit-hole Beast Boy! A shit-hole that's getting worse every single day. All that we do .... it doesn't mean a damn thing! It's not going to get better Beast Boy! It's just all so hopeless!" she sobbed the last bit.
There was a long silence between the two. Then Beast Boy slowly shook his head before finally saying "No Raven you're wrong. Things might not be at their best today , but there's always tomorrow. Things will be better tomorrow if we believe they can be."
"How can you say that? Are you a freaking idiot?! Things aren't getting better Beast Boy! They're getting worse! And there's nothing we can do about it! Nobody can ..." she sobbed even harder.
"No Raven you're wrong. Things can be better. They will get better. We just have to work at it a little harder. We just have to believe." he said with a light smile and a softness in his eyes she swears she never saw from anyone before.
"Moron." disbelieving what he was saying. "How could you possibly know that?" she practically spat at him.
Beast Boy stood abruptly as Raven just glared at her floor hoping he was getting up to leave. Instead she heard something fall onto the floor in front of her. She blinked at the object a couple of times before realizing they were his gloves. Startled she looked up to find him starting to pull his shirt off. She gasped at his actions.
'What in Azar does he think he's doing?'
"Beast Boy " she growled "what in the world are you ..." she didn't get to finish her sentence.
There was Beast Boy shirtless in front of her. He was looking down at her kneeled position with a face she could not find the words to describe. Much like what she saw standing in front of her. His face might have been steel , but it was his eyes that got her attention. They were so determined yet so very sad.
In the dim light of her room her own eyes began to wonder over this naked torso. Without realizing it she brought a hand up to her mouth to cover the gasp she tried to keep down. His body was covered in scars. All over his torso, his arms and down to his hands. Azar! His hands! They were larger than normal for a person his size. And they to were covered in hideous scars. His fingers were long and thick ending in impressive claws.
'No wonder he always wore those gloves. Hands like that would scar anyone. Even me.'
Raven found herself staring at his chest once again. The multitude of scars had been there for a long time she figured. She wondered what could have happened to cause so many. Putting two and two together she realized , with much disgust, someone gave them to him. She had to wonder how he could have lived thru such a thing.
Just then he started to move. Slowly he turned around to give her a look at this back. Again she gasped at what she saw. Now both hands were covering her mouth. She thought the ones on the front were bad. In truth they were nothing like the ones on his back. Large thick deep overlapping scars everywhere. They even formed a kind of pattern. Almost like .... like he was whipped! Like someone would whip a beast! She couldn't believe it. How could anyone do such a thing to a person. Wait a minute. These too were old. So Beast Boy got them when he younger. When he was a small child? Someone did that to a child?!
'He had to endure Azar knows what when he was a little child.'
Her hands pressed harder against her face. Trying to keep the tears back and the bile down. She wanted to cry. She couldn't understand it , but Azar help her she wanted to scream so badly at that moment.
Beast Boy turned around again and was now kneeling in front of her. He leveled his eyes to hers. Again he had that look in his eyes. Serious and sad.
"When I was in those cages. When they did those things to me. Yeah I got angry. Yeah I was mad. But you know what? It didn't do me any good. Cause the next day I was still in that cage. Still at their mercy." He looked away for the briefest of moments. In that instance he must have relived those horrible days. The look upon his face tore at Raven's heart.
After a small shake of his head he returned his gaze to hers then he continued.
"So know what I did? I decided that today would be the last day. Tomorrow would bring a better day. And if that didn't happen then when tomorrow came it would be the last day , the next day would be better. So that's what I told myself each and every day. It was what I had to do to survive it all." He finished with his trademark grin.
"But how ...? How could you ...? How could they do this to you ?" Raven voice was quiver with shock and horror. She could not tell which. She was trying so hard to understand what was she was being told.
Beast Boy smiled again and shook his head back and forth before answering. "Raven .... that's the point. No matter what happens today. Tomorrow has the promise of being better. That's what gave me hope. That is how I made it through. It's amazing what you can do with a little bit of hope. And you know the secret , hope is something you give yourself. You don't have to wait for it to come from anywheres else."
"Just look at me. I said tomorrow would be a better day and look at what happened. One day I was alone and the next I found four great friends. I have a roof over my head and food in my belly. I have a totally awesome job where I get to help people and make a difference in the world. And the best thing ever ..." he reached over and gently with a claw under her chin lifting her head to look at him in the eyes. Those emerald green eyes. Using his thumb to gently wipe the tears away. "I get to see your beautiful face every day." Again he smiled , but not just any smile. He beamed her the kindest most sincere and warmest smile one could imagine. It was the type of smile that could warm a person's soul. And it did just that.
"So trust me Raven when I say tomorrow will be a better day. You just have to believe."
The last thing he did was to cup her face with the palm of his hand and nod all the while still smiling at her. She could help but think how wonderfully warm his hand felt against her skin. He stood up, gathered his garments and left her room as quietly as he entered.
Raven was just too stunned to move. She was still trying to process all that transpired in her room. So much happened in such a short amount of time. She was sitting there trying to wrap her brain around it all. Finally the emotional damn broke and she was crying again. This time it was different than the last time. For she realized that she was crying at what might have been the most beautiful thing she had ever experienced.
The next day Raven woke late morning , almost noon. Unusual for her , but given last night's events she was drained both emotionally and physically so she figured she deserved to sleep in. Showering and getting dressed she headed to the common room to find all her teammates there. Cyborg was playing a video game. Robin was on the couch reading the paper. Starfire was seated right next to him with her head on his shoulder. Raven had to smile at the contented look on her friend's face.
After a minute she found the person she was looking for. Beast Boy was in the kitchen preparing a large salad. 'Must be his turn at lunch.' That was not a bad thing since he did make awesome salads. Even Cyborg couldn't gripe save for the lack of any meat.
She quietly made her way over to were he was. Before she got within a few feet he turned and beamed that smile again. "Hey Raven , glad to see you're up. Feeling better? I got your stuff ready if you want some tea."
All the others had turned to look at her when they heard Beast Boy's greetings. Feeling a little on the spot she did her best to hide the blush forming on her face.
"Yes Beast Boy I am feeling better. Much better. Thank you." In her usual monotone voice.
Seeing that she was her usual self the others turned back to what they were doing. Raven went over to the stove to prepare her tea. She cast a glance towards Beast Boy and he nodded with a knowing smile on his face. Again she had to hide a blush.
Fixing her tea she waited for it to be ready before pouring it into her cup. Checking to make sure the others weren't looking she moved behind Beast Boy. Using his body as a shield from the other's view she wrapped her arms around his waist and pressing her face into his back. Then she proceeded to give him a gentle hug.
With her face still buried in his back she muttered in a low sincere voice "Thank you .... Garfield."
Beast Boy did not to tip off the others as to what was going on. He simply reply in a whisper "You're welcome Raven. Anytime."
'Maybe today will be a better day.' She thought as she went to get her tea cup. Casting a look back to Beast Boy to catch his warm smile yet again.
'Definitely has the possibility to be a great day.' she thought before sitting down at the table to have lunch with her friends .... her family.
AN: So what do you think? This is my take on their evolving relationship and how they made their way to each other. As always comments are appreciated. If you don't have anything nice to say and you keep it to yourself, that is greatly appreciated as well.