Welcome to Mating Season 2.0! Please Enjoy.
Disclaimer: During the time I was gone, I still was not able to come into the possession of the rights to Teen Titans.
The first thing Beast Boy became aware of as he opened his eyes was that it was still somewhat dark outside. A glance toward his clock confirmed that it was still rather early in the morning, and with the confirmation came a sense that something was off. His thoughts were still somewhat muddled due to his grogginess, and whenever he almost had the answer it slipped through his mind. It was almost like trying to keep water cupped in his hands: no matter how hard he pressed and concentrated it still found a way to slip through.
After shaking his head and deciding that he'd figure it out eventually, he rolled out of his bed and stretched a few times as he yawned.
'I haven't been up this early since…WAIT! THAT'S IT!'
Now wide awake, he dashed over to his Clash of the Planets calendar and gave a whoop as he noticed the date.
"Finally, it's spring!"
His excitement was well deserved. Every winter, he always grew increasingly lethargic. He slept more, ate less, and the energy that he nearly always seemed to posses disappeared. The change in behavior was so sudden that the first time he had gone through a winter with the Titans they had become worried that something was wrong with him. For the first week Cyborg, Robin, and Starfire had said nothing, hoping that whatever was causing him to act in such a way would work itself out.
On the second week, however, Raven had voiced her concern. Even though she stated many times over that her concern was purely for his health, it wasn't hard to see that even she was beginning to miss Beast Boy's presence. The other three knew that if Raven was worried about the lack of Beast Boy's company, then something needed to be done. He could still remember how they had visited him one at a time, each asking if he was depressed or feeling sick. After having to explain three times that he wasn't at all depressed or sick, he impatiently told Raven that he had no idea why he was feeling so tired and drained, but that he would appreciate it if they would stop asking him so that he could go back to sleep. She had immediately taken him to Cyborg and demanded that he run physical tests. After several hours, he had finally come to the conclusion that Beast Boy's animal DNA was causing his body to undergo a type of hibernation.
He glanced at the clock again and ran a hand through his hair.
"It's still pretty early though…the only ones up now are probably Robin and Raven."
Of course there was little chance that he would see either of them for at least another two hours. Robin would no doubt be in the training room, while Raven was probably meditating in her room. That meant that he had plenty of time to go down and make a meat free breakfast for himself before Cyborg got a chance to tease him about it.
He quietly made his way down the halls of the tower, envisioning the tofu eggs and bacon that would soon be waiting for him. It had been too long since he'd last eaten a full breakfast. His mouth began to water as he imagined the delicious smell…
Wait a moment…that wasn't his imagination. And it wasn't tofu bacon or eggs either.
He stopped for a moment and took a deep sniff. It was vaguely familiar…he was sure that he'd smelled it before. But he was fairly certain that it had never been this strong, or overpowering. It was taking over all of his senses, even to the point where he could taste it.
He wanted more.
Without his fully realizing it, his feet carried him down the hall.
"Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos."
Raven hovered in front of the window that overlooked the ocean, her low whispering the only sign that she was still breathing. The view was truly beautiful, with the sun just beginning to rise over the water and glistening in such a way to make it seem as if the entire ocean was glowing. It was for this reason that she had chosen to meditate outside of her room for once: while the silence and darkness of her niche made it easy to attain a calm presence of mind, there was also something to be said of the peace that could be felt while viewing the best that nature had to offer.
Her energy flowed around her, invisible to all until she called upon it. She took in a deep breath, and suddenly the swirling energy rushed into her being. She held it there for a few seconds, feeling the power course through her as she did her best to contain and control it. Then she exhaled and the energy shot outward, soaring throughout the entire Tower. It was something that she did every morning since the night Terra had let the Slade-bots invade their home. The routine served two purposes: it would alert her to any intruders, and it also gave her a way to know that her teammates—no, her family—was safe.
Her power swept past Starfire's room, and Raven instantly felt a surge of bubbly warmth in her heart. The girl was no doubt still asleep, and judging from the warmth, probably having a pleasant dream filled with colorful things, mustard, and Robin.
Cyborg's room was next. His presence was always the hardest to locate, given that his brain was as closely linked to machinery and technology as was humanly possible. The data running through his brain always acted as a sort of filter, interfering with her ability to exactly locate him. She could just feel a slight tingle run down her spine, almost like a tiny electrical zap. This led her to believe that he was in what Beast Boy had termed 'sleep mode', during which the activity of his body and brain slowed almost to a complete stop.
Robin was, unsurprisingly, in the training room. She didn't even bother to try and delve any deeper into his thoughts. Sometime during his life he must have been taught to resist any mind reading abilities, given that his thoughts were always locked tightly shut. It was for this reason that she was glad to have Starfire on the team. The Tamaranean had the uncanny ability to read the Boy Wonder, and made sure that he was letting out his thoughts and feelings in a constructive way.
That left only the green titan. If Cyborg and Robin were the hardest to locate and read, then Beast Boy was definitely the easiest. Like the boy himself, his psychic 'aura' was bright and loud. It nearly screamed to be sought out and felt. She had never sensed anything else quite like it; and she was, in fact, a little jealous of Beast Boy at times. His mental signature always had an underlying feeling of wildness. But it wasn't wild in the way of being reckless or dangerous: it was the carefree wild, the wild that was free and beautiful and knew the secret to unbridled contentment. She couldn't help but wonder if it was how he always felt: if it was the reason why he was always happy and carefree. Maybe he just wanted to share it.
Her concentration was slightly thrown when her power rushed through the changeling and she realized that he was awake. It was unusual for him to be up this early. Even when it wasn't winter, he was still usually the last one to wake up.
She regained her focus with another whisper of her mantra. She would never say it aloud, but she was somewhat happy to know that he was up so early. It was a good indicator that his 'hibernation' was over. Over the years, she had come to miss the green titan's presence whenever winter came. His attempts to make her laugh were a constant in her life, something that she could always count on to be there even when she didn't want them to be. It let her know that things were normal and okay, much like Robin obsessing over outsmarting villains with Starfire trying to make him relax, or Cyborg playing the 'big brother' and making sure they all stayed calm in times of chaos.
Something was off, however. She could usually know exactly what Beast Boy was feeling at any given moment. Right now though, his emotions were oddly subdued. There was barely any trace of emotion at all, actually.
She let it go for the moment, rationalizing that he might still be groggy or half asleep. After having been sleeping for such a long period of time every day, it probably took him a while to fully regain his energy. There was no reason to worry over something so incidental right now. Besides, she could always just look out for any further unusual behavior. If something alarming came up, then she would take the steps to find the cause. Content with this plan, she cleared her mind once more and let her energy swirl back around her.
Beast Boy continued down the halls in a sort of trance, not fully realizing that he was moving. A tiny voice whispered that something was wrong, but the wonderful smell increased in its intensity and the voice was completely forgotten. It made him want to run and go nowhere, to fall and never hit the ground.
His legs only stopped when the door to the main room halted his movement. His hand automatically reached out and placed itself on the scanner that Cyborg had installed to grant access to most of the rooms in the Tower. The action didn't faze him in the least. It didn't matter. The only thing he knew was that the smell was coming from the next room, and he needed to get to it.
A low growl of approval sounded in the back of his thoughts, but through his muddled thoughts he neither heard nor acknowledged it. As soon as the annoying obstacle slid aside, he moved inside and was immediately assaulted by the intoxicating scent.
His head snapped toward it. He froze.
Raven was floating silently in midair, her robe drawn around her with the hood down. The ocean beyond the window reflected the sun's rays, and seemed to cast an unearthly glow around her dark form. The smell hit him strongly once again and he realized that he was finding it rather hard to breathe. But yet, his heart was beating rapidly, and every thump felt like a hammer to his chest. Warmth that had started in his face bloomed around his body as it raced through his veins. He felt incredibly healthy and at the same time deathly sick. He had never felt so alive, and never felt so close to death. He was sure that any more of this would kill him. It was thrilling and terrifying and lovely and terrible all at the same time. He wanted it to stop but was terrified of the notion as well.
Then suddenly, it was as if he was looking at her through a magnifying glass. He could almost count single strands of her hair as they shifted slightly from her breathing. A single bead of sweat traveled down her neck slowly until it disappeared beneath her cloak. It's path glistened faintly from the moisture left behind, and he became aware of how achingly dry his lips were. He imagined running his lips along the skin, imagined feeling the heat and claiming it as his own…
And then the spell ended. Raven lowered her feet to the ground and began to turn back toward him. A sudden panic shot through him and the euphoria of whatever had just happened was torn to pieces. She was an empath. She must have known exactly what he was thinking about. She was going to kill him.
His animal instincts took over and he did the first thing that came to mind.
She turned around to find that he was nowhere to be seen.
'What was that?' She thought as she rubbed her temples in an attempt to ward off a growing headache.
Her confusion only grew at his disappearance. She had felt him come into the room, but then his aura had completely frozen and she could have sworn that she felt him staring at her. His mental signature had disappeared for a split second, and she almost fell out of her meditation in shock. But before she did, his aura flew into a frenzy of activity. She had been bombarded with so many different emotions at once that she almost had an overload. By the time she had control of herself the only emotion he was broadcasting was panic.
'What in the world did that to him?'
Unbeknownst to Raven, Beast Boy's thoughts were not all that different from hers.
"What happened?" he mumbled to himself as he lay back on his bed.
His thoughts were still somewhat fuzzy. He felt like he had run Robin's training course fifteen times in a row without a break. He was sweating and shaking lightly, his breath coming out harshly and unevenly.
He vaguely recalled moving toward the main room and opening the door. But it was almost like he hadn't been in control of himself. Like he was just watching a movie of himself walking down a hallway.
He pushed himself from his bed and brought himself up to his mirror for inspection. He was still sweating and shaking, but he also noticed that he looked somewhat pale. His pupils were dilated past their normal size and his lips still felt dry.
"What the hell is happening to me?" he whispered to his reflection.
Well…there it is. I've decided to keep up the old Mating Season for comparison. Now everyone -including myself- can see how my style has changed. I hope that you enjoy the new version. Till next time.