It's been a good while since I've updated this story. Sorry about that. Hope some people are still interested in reading it though. Cheers.
Disclaimer: The Teen Titans and associated characters are the property of DC Comics and AOL Time Warner. This story is being written for entertainment purposes only. No profit is being sought and no copyright infringement is intended.
"Well, don't just kill him!"
"He's the reason I'm in this predicament in the first place! I believe I have every right to his death!"
Beast Boy kicked his legs back and forth quickly as he found himself having more and more difficulty breathing. Raven's dark energy spiraled around his neck in a noose-like fashion as it held him high up into the air. Knowledge raced forward and grabbed Raven by the shoulders, causing the latter to lose her concentration. With nothing holding him up, the young, green man fell from the air, crying out as he hit the ground and bounced backwards.
His head pounding painfully, Beast Boy grimaced as he looked up at the two Ravens, unsure of what to make of everything. Pushing himself up to his feet, Beast Boy absently turned to his right, hearing someone else walking up. When he saw another Raven, and this one with a brown cloak, he stared at her for a few seconds before turning away. She lowered her hood and raised an eyebrow at him slightly, and he turned back to her.
"Okay," he began slowly, scratching the back of his head. "Which one are you?"
"I am Wisdom," she replied with a small smile before turning her attention to the other two Ravens. "And I would believe it wise to not try to kill yourself from the inside, Raven. It would undoubtedly make it quite a challenge to live a normal life with your knowledge being irrevocably absent, you see."
Raven, annoyed at having her own emotion correct her actions, frowned but let go of Knowledge's cloak. Beast Boy breathed out a sigh of relief while Wisdom nodded slightly. Turning towards Knowledge, she crossed her arms over her chest, frowning. "And I believe it would be prudent if you would cease your lies, and instead tell Raven and Beast Boy what they are truly in store for."
Raven turned to glare at Knowledge. "You were lying to us?"
"Not exactly," Knowledge said slowly, holding up her hands. "I can't really lie to you, per say, because I am a part of you. I do not lie. I didn't say I didn't know anything about it, I just said that I'm not quite sure of the details. All I know is that this pact involves both the mind and body, but is completely separate from the soul. This is not a full combination of you and whom you're contracted with, which in this case would be Beast Boy. You will share mental capacities as well as physical attributes, to a certain extent."
"Share?" echoed both Beast Boy and Raven. The latter looked at the former before frowning slightly. "What do you mean by 'share'? Our minds will be melded? Is he going to turn grey, or Azar forbid, me turn green? Will we begin sharing powers?"
"Not exactly," repeated Knowledge, holding up a hand for them to let her finish speaking. "As far as mental aspects go, you will each have your own minds as usual. However, you will now no longer have a barrier separating your thoughts, emotions, and awareness. While you can create a mental barrier closing off the other from your thoughts and emotions, it will be temporary, and will fall if you lose concentration with it. So, if you want to stay as private as it seems you are yearning to be, Raven, I would advise you to figure out a way to put up such a partition. Unless, of course, you would like to share your thoughts with Beast Boy. And if you would rather not hear Beast Boy's thoughts, may I suggest you counsel him in doing the same?"
Beast Boy's eyes were wide as he listened to the explanation – not that he really understood everything. He realized that what he thought would probably be heard by Raven, but…
"Wait!" he called out, calling out Knowledge, Wisdom, and Raven's attention. "You mean we're going to be telephoneticy or whatever? I can, like, think something, and Raven will totally hear it? And I can hear her thoughts, too? Dude, that's kind of cool."
Wisdom smiled at Beast Boy again, nodding. "It's 'telepathic,' and yes. The results seem equivalent to that of a telepathic link."
Raven silently looked over at Beast Boy before rolling her eyes and shaking her head. "Great. Last thing I need is to hear a 24/7 radio broadcast about Beast Boy's fantasies concerning mindless, irksome things. Sounds utterly appealing."
"Oh yeah?" Beast Boy countered, pointing at Raven. "Well, at least they're tons better than the stuff you probably think about!"
"And how would you possibly know what I think about?"
"Well, you…and you…and that…"
He crossed his arms over his chest and turned away from her, pouting. She sighed softly, muttering, "Grow up, Beast Boy."
"No, you!" he shouted back, growing irritated with her attitude. "Dude, okay! So you're mad that I volunteered us for something that has a lot of setbacks! That's cool, whatever. I get your point. But, geez, Raven! Give me a break, would you? I'm doing this for you! Didn't you hear your other self earlier? You'll die unless you do this, and it's not like you have eons! Just like a month! And then you'll be like some regular, old human that will get sick and die like, in a day."
She leveled him with a solid gaze, and was about to say something when he continued loudly:
"Besides, Rae, you have a ton of enemies out there! Robin, no matter how much he hates it, will have to ask you to leave 'cause you won't be helping us out, and you'll have to find someplace to live where enemies don't know you. But that's like impossible with all the computers and gadgets and whatevers out there, so they'll find you easily. They'll kill you! We won't be able to keep an eye on you and everything and we don't want that. You're our friend! Sure, you're creepy, and weird, and nerdy, and scary, but you're also really, really cool, and sweet sometimes. Starfire loves you, and Rob, Cy and I totally dig you as a friend. If you die…we'd feel really guilty. We don't want that…"
He took in a deep breath after his long monologue before rubbing the back of his head again. Raven stared at him with wide eyes, feeling something within her shift slightly, and she turned her face away. She could feel her face starting to heat up from embarrassment, and she clenched her fists to keep her emotions in control. Beast Boy noted her actions and looked down the ground, an expression of sadness filtering across his face. Knowledge and Wisdom looked at each other silently before glancing back over at Beast Boy when he shifted slightly.
"Okay, so," he started hesitatingly, "maybe I'm not someone whose opinion you'll really care about, but…dude, Raven. It won't be the same without you. I mean, yeah, sure, you throw me out the window, or hit me, or yell at me, or make me feel like the dumbest person on Earth…"
Raven felt another twinge of pain within her chest and she turned to look at Beast Boy with saddened eyes, feeling guilt run through her. "Beast Boy, I…"
"But, dude…you're like my best friend. I mean, yeah, you do all that crap to me, but that's okay. 'Cause I know when it really counts, you've got my back. If I ever need to really depend on someone helping me out, I can always count on you healing me, or creating that energy barrier thing in front of me, or keeping the enemy away from me when I'm hurt. Even when you make fun of me, or whatever, you end up apologizing for it in some way. Like when you bought me a new game after finding out that you had tossed out my tofu stir-fry, or when you realized that one of your attacks had completely shredded my outfit and bought me a new one…
"They're just little things, but they mean a lot. We know you care about us, but it's not fair to hole yourself up in your room and act like we don't care about you. It's cruel. You don't want us to die, I don't think, and the same with us! It's not fair, Raven! You, can't, die!"
He walked forward and stood directly in front of her, and she realized just how much he had grown in the four years she had known him. Beast Boy was starting to grow taller, and carry a bit more muscle mass than before – he didn't look like the same string bean she had known him as at their first meeting. Raven lowered her head slightly, but was completely surprised when Beast Boy pushed back her hood.
"You, can't, die!" he repeated vehemently. "We have to do this! So c'mon and agree already!"
Despite her best efforts, Raven felt herself begin to grow emotional, and her violet eyes glittered with unshed tears. Her fists clenched even tighter as she glared down at the ground. Closing her eyes, she forced herself to gain control – words shouldn't have fazed her like this, but…she found herself feeling appreciated and loved. They were odd feelings for her; she was a demon – well, half anyway – and to be so easily accepted as she was… Raven was nothing short of speechless, and found herself lacking the ability to make any sounds anyway. She swallowed, only opening her eyes once she felt them dry up again, and then looked at Beast Boy.
"Fine," she muttered hoarsely. "I'll…completely forge the contract with you and abide by it. But only because you bugged the hell out of me to do so."
"You serious?" asked Beast Boy, hope shining in his forest-green orbs. "Sweet! Hey, Knowledge Raven chick! Did you hear what Raven said? Isn't this so awesome? She'll do it!"
Knowledge and Wisdom shared a small smile and the former turned to Raven. "Now," she murmured softly, "are you certain?"
Raven looked over at Beast Boy, who nodded eagerly, before looking back at Knowledge, eyes narrowed in determination. "Yes, positive."
"Then I will continue describing what little I know of the stipulations concerning the oath, or contract if you will. As I said, you will share thoughts, emotions, and awareness, which can help you more than you might think. However, as we have already discussed, you can temporarily block each other's thoughts when it becomes too tedious to hear everything. However, your awareness is not something you can turn off, or shut down. You may actually enjoy its benefits, as when your adrenaline levels reach a certain point, you will be able to detect it, both mentally, and physically. If someone's heart pace rises to reach a certain point, and your adrenaline begins soaring as well, both of you will glow as an indication. Mentally, you will feel something drawing you to one another. If you are far away from each other, a mental beacon will be sent out."
"That could be handy," said Raven, looking over at Beast Boy. "It would definitely help if we have to split up to handle different enemies. That way, I'll know if you're in trouble, and we can come assist you and whomever you're with."
Beast Boy grinned brightly until Knowledge coughed slightly. Both teenagers turned to look at her, and noticed her grimacing slightly. She straightened her posture a bit before backing up a few steps from them. When both stared at her completely confused, she coughed once more, and mustered a shaky smile.
"Yes, about the splitting up part…you see, there are a few physical stipulations as well. Well, yes, ah, firstly, you will share pain. Neither of you may cause pain to the other without feeling it yourself, doubly. If someone else causes one of you pain, the other will feel it."
The young Halfling looked at Knowledge, slightly annoyed. "I get the feeling that there's something you're not telling us."
Knowledge stared at Raven before chuckling slightly, and shifting back a few more feet.
"There's…a slight problem."
"You see, there's a proximity limit…of about ten feet in this pact. Unless you're in a state of high adrenaline, you must stay within your boundaries or you will feel searing pain. The book you read made it seem quite unpleasant. Also, if one of you loses your adrenaline rush prematurely, the other has approximately thirty seconds to reach the parameter limits of the partner before you begin experiencing great pain."
Raven stared at Knowledge for a full half-minute before her eyes flashed red and dark power flowed around her. "What! You're telling me I have to stay within ten feet of Beast Boy at all times or else I start writhing in pain? Is that what you're saying?"
"Um…yes?" answered Knowledge meekly. "Don't become angry with me! I'm not the one who made the spell! And there's no way to reverse it, or amend the stipulations. No one in history has ever even attempted it, so I don't really know every single detail! I'm not certain if there is anything else involved – you stopped reading it before we hit the seventh chapter…"
"Well, why did I stop reading?"
"Apparently, because you found it irrelevant to your cause and felt you would rather take death than try to find someone to contract yourself with?"
Beast Boy watched Raven seethe inwardly and took a few sidesteps away from her. The sorceress tightened her fists again and glared at Knowledge. "Well, fine! Where's the stupid book? I'll just read through the entire thing this time!"
"Well, not a possibility seeing as it was destroyed along with Azarath when Trigon found the location of your mother…"
"Oh, you must be joking…"
As Raven rolled her eyes upward and began counting backwards from five thousand to calm herself down, Beast Boy rubbed the back of his head. "Okay, so, we're all good?"
Knowledge shook her head. "There's one more thing. The incantation you have already said was just for the mental aspect of the spell. There is another part: the physical aspect. Once you leave here, you will both need to say, 'Azarath Menshole Mecidaclu'. Until you do this, the spell will not be entirely complete. However," she continued, seeing Raven look at her sharply, "the mental portion is done. You will hear each other, regardless, but Raven will still die in a month if you do not complete the spell. That is how it needs to be. Also, the results will not kick in for quite a few hours, so you will not share a telepathic link, heightened awareness, and the need to be in proximity of each other until it does. I would advise you to be very careful though – if you are too far away from each other when it does…you will feel a great deal of pain. Stay cautious."
"So, we're cool now?" asked Beast Boy again, blinking several times. Knowledge nodded slightly, but walked forward and gently wrapped her hand around his forearm.
"However," she said, tugging him away with her. "I must speak to you privately. Do not interfere, Raven," she demanded, glaring at the Halfling.
Raven gritted her teeth slightly and rolled her eyes. She noticed Wisdom approach her, and she sighed deeply. Turning to look over at Beast Boy and Knowledge, she saw her explain something to him, and watched as he paled dramatically. Curious, and slightly taken aback, she continued looking at him as he turned even more pale, listened, and then fell down to the ground in depression.
"Wait," Raven said, looking at Wisdom. "What's Knowledge telling him?"
Wisdom looked back at Raven with raised eyebrows. "Do I look like Knowledge to you?"
"Yes, considering you all look like me."
"Point taken. However, I haven't the faintest idea of what she's telling him."
Raven seethed a bit more inwardly before looking back over at Beast Boy and Knowledge again. A few more minutes passed by where the two just looked over at Beast Boy and Raven, until it seemed the discussion was finished. When the green boy began walking back towards her, Raven raised an eyebrow at his pallor, wondering just what he had heard to grow so pale. He looked at her and made a big grin.
"Dude, Rae. This is going to be so much fun! You ready?"
"Utterly ecstatic, Beast Boy," she replied sarcastically. "Now, what were you two planning over there?"
"Planning?" her teammate asked. His forest-green orbs darkened slightly as he broke eye contact with Raven, and he crossed his arms over his chest. "Nothing you need to worry about at all."
Those words seemed far too sullen for an energetic, young man like Beast Boy, but to appease him, she just dropped the subject. "Fine then. Have it your way. But, unless there's anything else we need to cover, then we should be heading back. It's very difficult to keep track of just how much time passes by in my mental realm."
"One last thing," Knowledge called out as the two had turned to leave. "While high adrenaline levels will allow you to separate yourselves from one another, please do take care to remember that such actions will also cause great damage to your body. So, unless you are in battle, please don't take advantage of that loophole. Beast Boy, you are completely human, and Raven, you are half, and so neither of you are adverse to the effects. With that said, I bid you farewell."
Nodding slightly at both Knowledge and Wisdom, he turned to Raven with a small grin. "So, we heading to that exit now?"
"I would rather take the quickest route out of here," Raven murmured, sliding her hand within his. He stared at her in shock, but she merely glared while whispering,
"Azarath Metrion Zinthos."
The next thing Beast Boy knew, he and Raven were materializing outside of the mirror and back into Raven's room. Looking around, he grinned happily and threw his hands up in the air excitedly. Then, after turning to look at the window, his hands quickly dropped as he realized the time. Raven followed his gaze and narrowed her eyes slightly at the setting sun.
"We were in there for far too long," she muttered. "I'm pretty sure that Robin is trying to send out a signal for us, which means we don't have much time to complete the contract."
Turning to her partner, – that sounded way too wrong to her – her eyes narrowed further. She nodded slightly. "Just repeat after me, Beast Boy: Azarath Menshole Mecidaclu."
The young greenling straightened his shoulders even more than usual. "Azarath Menshole Mecidaclu."
The two waited for a few seconds after saying that and were quite surprised that there wasn't a sudden rush of power, no special effects, no whirling lights…just nothing. Beast Boy quirked one eyebrow in disbelief, and reached up to rub his nose. Raven, herself, flipped her hands back and forth, unwilling to believe that nothing had really happened. The two looked at one another, neither really sure of whether the spell had worked, before Raven quickly remembered that the spell wouldn't kick in for some time.
"We have a few hours," the Halfling said assuredly, crossing her arms over her chest as she looked at Beast Boy. "That gives us some time to tell the others about our problem, and–"
A loud alarm blared suddenly, with Raven's entire room flashing red intermittently.
"…Or not," she finished lamely, narrowing her eyes. "Okay, Beast Boy, whoever this monster is, we've got to beat it within a few hours, before that contract kicks in."
"No joke, dude," he agreed exuberantly. "We're going to be in a shitload of pain if we're still separated by the time it activates. You sure we have a few hours?"
"Not at all," Raven answered, "so let's scale that down to an hour, just to be safe."
Both Titans jumped in surprise when their communicators began sounding out their theme song, or so Beast Boy had dubbed it as being. Raven looked briefly at hers before turning to Beast Boy, and allowing black energy to flow from her to encompass the both of them. The latter looked around hesitantly – no matter how much of a friend he considered Raven, he still considered her energy to be the creepiest thing he'd ever dealt with. Beast Boy felt a sudden shift and almost panicked when he saw his feet sink beneath the floor. Raven glared at him from under her hood and he stopped squirming, grudgingly. Luckily for him, she didn't seem particularly angry at that moment, but rather slightly perturbed and apprehensive.
As soon at the two dropped into the living room, they found they could see nothing amiss, but both were wary of checking their communicators. Beast Boy looked at Raven with large, pleading eyes and she rolled her own, quickly flipping open her communicator. Almost immediately, Robin's face appeared in the small receptor, and she could tell he was very, very ticked off.
"Where have you been!" the young leader shouted at Raven, not caring whether she was still injured or not. "We have been fighting these guys for the past half-hour and haven't beat them yet! I don't know what is going on, but get down to the center of the city now!"
His image faded to black within the blink of an eye and Raven calmly looked at Beast Boy who was cowering on the other side of the room. She sighed softly, clicking her communicator shut.
"As you could probably hear," she calmly spoke out, "His Highness desires our presence. Immediately."
"Dude, you go. I am so not gonna deal with his emo, egocentric, bossy butt after that!"
She tilted her head at Beast Boy's response, and nodded slightly. "'Egocentric.' Good word."
Beast Boy sighed softly, stretching his arms above his head. "All-l-l-l right. Center of the city? Yeah, I'm on it. I'll meet you there, Rae."
As soon as he was about to take off and run out the main entrance, he felt black energy surround him and tug him back towards Raven. The changeling looked down at her with disbelief. "Oh no, Raven! You want to take me? Right here? Right now? But…I'm not ready! I'm a virgin still!"
Her eyes widened perceptibly and she immediately dropped him, her face flushed a deep red.
"You-! Argh, I don't even have the words-! You just-! How dare you-!"
"Love you, too, babe," he said, wriggling his eyebrows at her, and causing her to blush further. "So, you wanna hop a ride together? I can…sit on your lap if you like…"
The next second, he felt himself being blasted across the room and five feet into a wall. He was aware of the pain etching its way around his spine and the young man let out a small gasp. Beast Boy fell down to his knees and crawled out of the hole, staring across at an empty room. Apparently, Raven had left him behind.
"Guess…the spell…hasn't kicked in…yet…" he muttered, forcing himself to his feet and towards the main entrance.
As soon as he walked out of the tower, he noticed Raven standing in front of him, eyes narrowed dangerously. Taking in his entire appearance, she walked towards him, and formed a large energy disc underneath both of them. When the disc began levitating quickly, Beast Boy wheeled his hands in large circles, surprised at the sudden speed. Glancing over at Raven, he chuckled slightly, shrugging his shoulders.
"Hey, about earlier…sorry about that. Shouldn't have said all that."
"No, seriously. I'm totally sorry and–"
"Just, forget it," Raven muttered, focusing her eyes out on the horizon. "I shouldn't have lashed out at you like that, especially before battle. I apologize."
"Oh, yeah. S'cool." He glanced over at the young woman beside him as they soared over the city. Cracking his knuckles one by one, he asked tentatively, "So, you aren't tired? I mean, I can totally shape-shift and head up there faster, no problem."
"True," Raven conceded, meeting Beast Boy's gaze, "and we should still have time before the spell kicks in. I suppose it would be better to get there as fast as we can as opposed to worrying about something we're not quite sure over yet."
The young, green-colored man clenched both his fists and gave her a large grin. "Great! So let's get this train on full-blast, yo!" he shouted out, flipping back over the discus and shifting into a peregrine falcon as he fell down through the skies.
The young sorceress spared her teammate a small grin before the discus faded into nothingness and she was racing through the air right behind the green bird. Looking down, Raven checked on area damage as they got closer and closer to the center of the city, but it was mostly minimal – surely nothing a good work crew couldn't deal with in few days or so. A loud squawk from her companion sent her racing out of her thoughts and she quickly focused in on the massive destruction directly down below them. The Halfling frowned slightly, and barely nodded her head towards the green, wildly flapping bird before he fell into a dive.
"I need power," she murmured, calling the black energy around her as she sank down towards the city. Briefly, Raven wondered why she now felt little to no pain although the last time she had fought, pain had been racing through her like fire. Could it have been due to the spell she and Beast Boy had cast, although the effects weren't due to take place for hours even?
Touching down on the ground, Raven looked around herself carefully, noticing that none of her teammates were anywhere to be seen. She frowned slightly, narrowing her eyes as she continued peering around her. She glanced at Beast Boy briefly as she looked around, still wondering where all their teammates were. Beast Boy tapped her on the shoulder, saying,
"No one's here. I've looked everywhere within like half a mile of here, but nothing. I don't know where they are."
"That's funny," she muttered. "Robin's signal came from this area somewhere."
"Maybe they beat the guys before we got here."
"Probable, but not likely."
"You have a better idea? What, did they just pop off the edge of the Earth and go floating in space?"
Raven turned to glare at him, opening her mouth to make her opinion of his statement clear when without warning, the ground underneath both of them began trembling. Both she and Beast Boy looked down as the rocks and rubble on the concrete street began bouncing up and down, emitting small clacks every time each one hit the ground. The two Teen Titans took a few steps back apprehensively, half expecting an earthquake to wrench the ground out from under them.
"Hey, Raven," Beast Boy began hesitantly.
She casted a quick glance at him, frowning. "What?"
"You think…by any chance, the reason they're not out here is because they're–"
His sentence was left unfinished as the concrete street bubbled upwards and erupted, sending the two superheroes flying. Raven mentally willed her power to stop her in mid-spin, her cape flipping over to cover her head as she stared straight at the ground. She felt inertia attempt to force her into another spin, but calmed herself down with quick mental chanting. Beast Boy, on the other hand, crashed through a store window, rolling across the floor through the glass and into several clothes stands. He laid on the floor motionless, glaring up at the ceiling and cursing his horrible luck.
"Sometimes, I really hate my life," he grumbled out, rolling over and pushing himself to his feet.
As the changeling cleared the broken glass and hopped back outside through the broken window, he looked to his left with an inquisitive frown on his face and shrieked, hopping back inside the store as a foreign object zoomed straight past where he had been. Beast Boy poked his head out of the window again and saw the whole Teen Titan in action: Robin was jumping and flipping around two big, metal robots; Cyborg was cannon blasting the titanium steel, looking for a weak point; Starfire kept zipping back and forth, shouting a war cry and she slammed her fists into each robot, and Raven had taken control of two dump trucks and was slamming them the legs of the robots.
Slamming his right fist into his left hand, Beast Boy grinned, jumped out of the window and charged straight for the nearest robots. He liked robots, he decided as he shifted into a Stegosaurus and tore down the road towards the enemy. Robin and Cyborg, both seeing him come straight at them, jumped out of the way right as he passed them, his speed sending dust and dirt soaring past the both of them. Hitting the first robot with a head slam, Beast Boy wheeled around and smashed his tail straight into the nearest one, sending it straight at the other robot, morphing back into his normal self directly after. The green teenager drew in a fist as he grinned unabashedly at the destruction he'd caused.
Robin's eye mask raised slightly to show his appreciation as he let out a soft whistle. "Good job, Beast Boy," he complimented, grinning himself and taking out a Birdarang. "But don't get too comfy – the battle's not over yet!"
Beast Boy pouted slightly as Robin ran past him, and stuck out his lip even further when Cyborg gave smirked at him. "Man," he complained, helplessly holding out his hands. "Can't the guy ever just give a compliment without saying anything else?"
"Where's the fun in that?" asked Cyborg with a small chuckle. "Come on, we've got work to do, BB."
The green youth continued pouting more when Cyborg ran away to join the battle again, and when he noticed Raven and Starfire take flight, he sighed. Changing into a tiger, he burst into action, running again at the rising robots.
Starfire floated high into the sky, closing her eyes shut tightly and drawing back her fists; then, as a gust of wind encircled her, she launched her hands out in front of her, palms open and sent a shower of green energy raining down on the robots. The energy dented the robots in various places, but seemed to do no more damage than anything else she'd previously tried. Muttering the words "righteous fury" over and over again aloud, she drew back her right fist, her left hand open and aiming tightly at the monster. Green energy flickered into existence around her fist, the shades of green darkening as her energy continued growing denser and denser.
"Friends! Please clear the area!" she yelled out, thrusting her fist forward hard only when she noticed each Titan back away far enough.
"Take this, fiends!" she belted out, pushing a beam of energy so powerful out of her fist that she went flying back as a result.
Each Titan watched carefully to see if Starfire's energy had done the trick. When no sounds came from within the cloud of dust and dirt, each Titan relaxed slightly, each one thinking the battle had come to an end. Just when even Robin was ready to call it a day, a large, long mechanical arm burst out of the cloud, wrapping its clutches around Starfire high in the sky.
Surprised, the Tamaranean let out a small shriek, and struggled hard against her binds, her eyes glowing a bright green in the process. Her teeth shone vividly, grinding against one another while her muscles trembled as she fought for her release. The arm shook her slightly, making her lose her concentration and then wheeled itself in quickly. Starfire screamed loudly as she whirled down towards the main body of one of the robots.
"Star!" Robin yelled, watching helplessly from the ground as he watched his girlfriend zoom straight down towards the titanium metal of the robot. Swiveling around quickly, he shouted, "Raven!"
Raven's eyes were already glowing a fearsome white as she pushed her arms straight out. "Azarath, Metrion," she began, black energy projecting from her palms and racing straight for the robotic arm, "ZINTHOS!"
Just as her energy was about to reach the arm, the other robot jumped into motion, sending its own robotic arm and ensnaring Raven in its grasp. Her concentration breaking abruptly, Raven's black energy faded and Starfire slammed against the metal, her body almost sinking into it before the robotic arm set her free. She let out a soft gasp as the pain riveted through her body and she plummeted down towards the ground.
"Starfire!" yelled out Robin and Raven simultaneously.
Robin leapt forward, racing to catch the alien while Raven slammed a fist down on the arm clutching her. Her eyes glowed a bright white as she struggled to push the claw open with her power. It, in turn, shook her back and forth enough to dizzy her and then slammed up and down against the ground. Her gasp was enough to elicit Cyborg's anger, and the large half-robotic, half-human man sped towards Raven, a fist slamming hard on the robotic arm. The arm lifted up, spun around a few times before rearing back and crashing into Cyborg with amazing force. Raven, completely dizzy and disoriented from the spinning, couldn't protect herself at all when the arm slammed into a building and sent her flying.
"Starfire! Cyborg! Raven!" shouted Beast Boy, horror apparent on his face. "No! Don't hurt them anymore!" he screamed out, letting out a fierce growl as he changed quickly into his most powerful form – the Beast.
The green Beast gave a powerful roar, expelling out all of his anger. Lowering onto all fours, Beast Boy ran straight at the robot, jumped into the air, and swiped a claw at it. His claws scratched off the surface, and he slammed down on the ground, baring his teeth at the mechanical enemy. The green changeling turned around for a second go at the robot but he, too, was caught by a robotic arm. Like everyone else, Beast Boy worked hard to get out of the grasp, but to no avail.
Looking far away to check the condition of the fallen Tamaranean, he was pleasantly surprised to see her stand, leaning hard on Robin's shoulder as she did. Sweat seemed to pour down her face as she endeavored to stay conscious. Robin's eyes were narrowed dangerously, but he was too wary of leaving Starfire by herself to try to help Beast Boy, and Beast Boy completely understood those sentiments.
Seeing that those two were in somewhat okay condition, he checked back over at the building for Cyborg and Raven. Cyborg had a hand placed against the building's side as he glared over at the robot. The cybernetic man met Beast Boy's eyes, nodding slightly to show he was fine. While Cyborg may have been fine, Beast Boy quickly realized, Raven on the other hand, was in less-than-stellar condition. She was breathing deeply as her eyes shot daggers at the robot, one knee down on the ground as she fought to get rid of her disorientation. Seeing how she looked, the changeling continued fighting against his binds, but roared out when the claw began squeezing him.
"Beast Boy!" Raven shouted out, forcing herself to her feet. "Hang on, I'll help you!"
She pushed forward her arms, reading to shout out her mantra, when she noticed her skin glowing a pale brown. Looking at her hands with surprise, she whispered out, "What…?"
"Raven, stop looking at your hands and help BB!" yelled Cyborg, knocking her out of her thoughts.
"Damn it," she cursed, concentrating her energy again. "Azarath Metrion Zinthos!"
Her energy flowed out of her body, heading right for the robot slicing through the robotic arm. To everyone' s relief, the arm broke apart cleanly and Beast Boy fell to the ground. He climbed out of the claw, reverting back to his normal form. Clenching a fist, Beast Boy glared up at the robot, turning to look at Raven when she came to his side.
"You all right?" she asked, hurriedly making sure of his status.
He gave her a thumbs up, a quick grin, and turned to Cyborg. "Its claw is gone, so its defense has a hole, literally. How about getting some sonic cannon up in there?"
"Way ahead of you, BB," Cyborg agreed, charging up his cannon. Raven stood beside the robotic man, putting her arm forward.
"Allow me to help," she said determinedly, her hand teeming with black energy.
"All right," Cyborg muttered, seeing his cannon fully charged. "Ready, FIRE!"
Raven's black energy swirled around Cyborg's blue beam, heading straight into the hole where the robot's claw had been. A moment of silence passed before red flamed burst out of the robot and it completely exploded.
"Yes!" shouted Beast Boy. "One down, one more to go!"
He looked over at Raven and Cyborg, a grin still upon his face. "Let's finish this, you guys."
Turning to stare in the direction of the last remaining robot, Beast Boy exhaled slightly, enjoying the feeling of his heart beat rising. Clenching his hands into fists, he looked down at them, noticing that his skin was glowing a pale brown color. Making a quick glance over at Raven again, he noticed the Halfling also glowing readily.
Uh oh, was the first thought to come to his mind. Deciding there wasn't much time before the spell was going to set in fully, he drew in his fists again and ran over towards the robot, his speed picking up into a heavy charge. The shape shifter jumped up high off the ground, quickly spiraling through the air as a raven, and making an oblique as soon as he reached the enemy. Then, as sudden as his previous oblique, he angled up towards the sky, flapping every so often to gain more and more height. As soon as he had reached his desire height, Beast Boy changed back to his normal form, giving himself an extra push in to the air before he started to fall back down.
"Raven!" he yelled out, crossing his arms in front of his face as he sped down. "Give me some speed!"
Raven had hardly heard him, but reached deep within her for power sleeping within. Concentrating deeply, black energy whipped around her from her feet up, spiraling quickly and growing in more and more density. She raised her hand up towards the descending Beast Boy, yelling out a harsh "Hah!" before black energy bolted out from her palm like a whip of lightning.
Seeing the energy zipping straight at him, Beast Boy tucked in his legs and torso, using his momentum to send him whirling into rapid somersaults. When the energy struck and encased him, Beast Boy morphed into a pachycephalosaurus, pointing his head down at the robot. The greenling noticed a claw reach out to get at him, but quick movement from an utterly exhausted Starfire kept the robotic arm from getting anywhere near him.
"Beat him, Friend Beast Boy!" she yelled out, the muscles in her arms trembling from trying to keep the arm at bay. "Defeat him!"
"Get him, Beast Boy!" shouted Robin. "Finish this!"
"Come on, BB! You've got this!" yelled Cyborg in addition.
Seconds before he made contact with the robot's exterior, Beast Boy's eyes met the glowing white ones of Raven, and he spared her one more grin. He noticed her slight nod of affirmation, and that was all it took to restore his courage, despite the oncoming pain he was sure to feel.
Beast Boy impacted the robot's exterior with his hard head with a force unrivaled by anything else, his power highly accentuated by the force of Raven's power helping him. First came a dent as he continued pressing in on the robot, until it gradually caved in more and more before heaving in completely. The green changeling sank deep into the circuitry, and then all was silent.
All of the remaining Titans gathered together, staring up at the robot, waiting for something – anything – to happen. Nothing but dead silence occurred for several moments, and even Raven swallowed tightly, unsure of what was going on in the robotic enemy. Then, without warning, the robot shifted slightly, and all four Titans readied their battle stances, thinking Beast Boy to have failed in taking down their enemy.
When the robot simply crashed to the ground, no longer moving even an inch, and a green boy came tumbling out of the robot's interior, none of the Titans knew what to think. First the robot had moved, but then it fell, and then Beast Boy came out…was everything over and done with, or was there more ahead? When Beast Boy stood up once again, he turned to the group, his face smeared with black, and gave them all a big thumbs up. Each Titan felt their heart rates slow down as the excitement and exhaustion took hold.
Beast Boy held his hand up towards the dark sky, looking at them with furrowed eyebrows. "The glowing is gone…" he said in an awed tone.
Raven looked at her own hands, realizing he was right. She had her suspicions, but if that was the case…
Coming to a quick realization, she quickly looked over at Beast Boy, eyes wide. "Beast Boy, get over here!"
He looked back at her, blinking. "What?"
"Get over here now before we–!"
Without warning, Raven felt a searing pain race through her body, sending her falling to her knees and crashing down onto the broken pavement. Beast Boy cried out in agony when the pain hit him, and he slammed down onto the ground, clutching at his head. The muscles in his arms tensed violently as the pain continued to build from within him, and he shifted his head around to look in Raven's direction, noticing her in the same state as him. Then, as more seconds passed by, he felt the pain began to worsen, and he and Raven cried out, unable to do much else.
Robin, Cyborg, and Starfire stared at their friends, unable to understand what was happening to each of them. Robin clenched a fist and turned to Cyborg.
"Get Beast Boy! Those robots must've had something to do with this! We're getting them to the tower before their situation gets worse! Go now!"
Cyborg gave a quick nod, and raced over towards a now screaming Beast Boy. Robin instructed Starfire to head back to the tower ahead of them, and moved to grab the now trembling Raven, whose eyes were tightly shut from the pain she was going through. However, as soon as Robin caught up with Cyborg, their screaming abruptly halted. Robin and Cyborg looked at one another, confused. Starfire, noticing the silence, peered down at her teammates, blinking tiredly and confusedly as she watched Beast Boy jump off of Cyborg and Raven remove herself from Robin. Completely bewildered, she touched down on the ground beside Robin to stare alongside him and Cyborg at the no-longer-in-pain-but-seemingly-in-pain-five-seconds-before duo.
"Holy crap," yelled Beast Boy, staring at his hands. "Was that what the hell that girl had meant? When she said pain, I thought it'd be like, you know, 'ow, I just fell down the stairs' kinda pain, not, 'FUCK, SOMEONE IS TAKING OUT ALL MY ORGANS WITH A PLASTIC SPOON!' kinda pain."
"Didn't I say to come towards me?" Raven spat out, glaring dangerously at Beast Boy. "Didn't I say, 'get over here now'? If you had just listened, then we–"
"Oh whoa! Don't even try to pin this on me! How the heck was I supposed to know the spell had somehow started up?" shouted Beast Boy.
"Knowledge said we'd start glowing! Didn't you listen to a single thing she said?" yelled the Halfling. "If you had paid more attention, then we wouldn't have had to go through all of that!"
"What, so now it's my fault?"
"Of course it is! Who else's could it possibly be?"
"Look, even if roles had been reversed, and I'd been the one to tell you, we probably still would've gone through that because I bet there's no way you would've listened to me!"
Raven swallowed her next words at his retort, gritting her teeth and jerking her line of sight to looking over a building. Beast Boy clicked his tongue angrily before crossing his arms over his chest and turning his back on Raven.
Robin frowned, the top of his eye mask furrowing down as he narrowed his eyes. "What's going on? Who's Knowledge? What do you mean by glowing? And what the hell just happened with you two? I want answers, now."
"It's her fault," Beast Boy muttered. "Ask her."
"My fault!" Raven questioned, spinning around angrily. "You're the one who signed us up for this! I didn't even want a part of this, remember?"
"If you knew the spell had activated," Beast Boy said with angry undertones, "then why didn't you just come towards me, instead of trying to make me go over towards you?"
That was the second time in less than five minutes that Beast Boy had succeeded in undermining her argument, and it was enough to royally infuriate her. "Well fine!" she shouted. "So I'm not perfect! What else is new?"
"Now who needs to grow up?" Beast Boy asked as one final counter.
Before Raven could say anything more, Robin stepped in between the two of them, slapping a hand on both their shoulders. "Enough!" he barked. "What is this spell you're talking about? I want answers…and I don't mean tomorrow or next week… I want them NOW.
"But first," he continued, glaring at Beast Boy who met his gaze defiantly, "we're heading back to the tower. I don't want it made public that the Titans are fighting about whatever ridiculous thing the press makes up. Everyone back to the tower, NOW."
Beast Boy and Raven gave each other one last cursory glance, and she gritted her teeth. "Let me explain everything. Don't say a single word."
He simply turned around and was about to head back before he returned to her side. Raven glared at him again, asking, "What?"
"I don't know about you," he muttered, "but one bout of pain was more than enough for me."
She looked at him, gaze unwavering, before sighing and opening a black disc of energy beneath them. Beast Boy looked down the energy and promptly sat down. Raven watched him kick his legs over the side of the disc as they flew through the air and sighed once more.
"You were right," she said grudgingly. "I should have realized there would have been no way for you to realize what I was referring to. I should have done as you had said, and gone to you instead."
Beast Boy grimaced slightly, remembering his words. "I shouldn't have been stupid enough to put all the blame on you. You were right, too…I was the one who started this whole mess. What the hell have I gotten us both into?"
A small moment of silence grew between the two, before Raven cleared her throat slightly.
"Regretting your decision, Beast Boy?"
"As if," came his reply. "Saving you like this was the only thing anyone could do. I don't regret it. I just wish it didn't cause so many other problems."
"Well, get ready," Raven murmured, seeing the Titan Tower in sight. "It's all about to get much, much worse."
Completed: 8/17/2011 3:57:54 PM