FULL STORY DESCRIPTION:
When Raven snaps at Beast Boy, the changeling decides that it's time to grow up and into someone who can fend for himself and protect his team. As they go through several poorly timed events, they realize what means most to them. Problem is they've already locked themselves away, unsure of where to go or what to do. The world is shifting, changing, and with it comes the time to decide what step to take towards the future. As Beast Boy and Raven try to establish a steady relationship, an old foe returns to swell the chaos. While the Titans face their greatest challenge ever, a friendship years in the works will face many tests on the road to romance. Will it last, or will all of the instability of new friends, foes, and threats end it, and the Titans, prematurely?
-OC later in the story
The primary story is BbxRae, but just as life is not so clean-cut in its processes, this story will have much more to it than that.
Beast Boy awoke in a cold sweat, his breathing heavy, labored, and uneven. For a moment, he thought how curious it was - that sudden intake of breath that ripped you from a horrid dream; as if the air was the only grasp on reality, and if we didn't drink it in quickly enough it would vanish and leave us trapped in our horrors. When he caught his breath and his heart finally slowed, he was met with an offensive silence. Sweat coated his bare chest and face. His eyes darted around the pitch black room, shadowed figures jutting forwards, menacingly taunting Beast Boy's newfound paranoia. Satisfied with the emptiness of the room, he closed his eyes and rested his head on his hand. Shock and sadness from the night terror forced tears up to coat his emerald eyes and trickle down his cheek.
The worst of it was easily the lucidity of the dream. He felt somewhat in control, which is what made it all that much more horrifying and depressing. That much more real.
Slowly, he arose from his bed as the moon crept out from behind its cloudy haven. It seemed as though the moon, too, had tried hiding from its nightmares. The moonlight illuminated the entire room, and he glanced at his clock. Just past midnight. Sighing, he felt no drowsiness - only a scratchy throat and a dry mouth, accompanied by a headache.
He pulled on his favorite pajama bottoms, black with uneven green zigzags all along the sides, and made his way to the main room of Titan's Tower, walking much like a zombie, as he did whenever he awoke from a particularly exhausting dream. They may just be dreams, but that didn't mean he didn't toss and turn as though having a seizure. Opening the refrigerator, he hunted for a drink to quench the fire that was his thirst. Glaring at a bottle of Fruit Punch marked Cyborg and a can of Monster Energy marked Robin, he sighed and grabbed a bottle of water. He spun on his heels, and leaned forward, resting his elbows on the kitchen's center island. He yawned and drank most of the water bottle at once, the plastic crackling and crunching obnoxiously, before he slammed it back on the counter and sighed again.
It had been the fourteenth night that month that he had the dream. Everything started with Slade attacking the city, with his ever-expanding army of robotic drones. This in itself was bizarre, as they hadn't seen him for over a year.
The dream tended to go like this:
The Titans were being defeated viciously and without mercy. Never had Slade seemed so determined to get it over with than in this moment. No games, no taunts. Just annihilation. One by one, the Titans fell like flies, the ceaseless barrage of Slade's drones proving to be too much for them. Beast Boy and Raven were always the last two left, and every single time Beast Boy tried the same thing, hoping that this time would be different. Insanity defined. They ran at Slade, Beast Boy trying to morph into a rhinoceros, discovering with dread that his powers weren't working. A look of shock washed over his face when he reached Slade with nothing but his twiggy arms and an expression of sheer panic. Slade kicked Beast Boy to the ground and grabbed Raven by the throat. Her eyes filled with tears and she glanced at Beast Boy with a look overflowing with hopelessness. Her powers, too, had stopped working. She tried to speak, and nothing but a strained rasp came out with Slade constricting her throat more and more as each second passed. The ground opened up beside them, eager to devour whatever slipped between its teeth. Raven soon went limp, unconscious from lack of air, and Slade threw her down the hole, into oblivion. Beast Boy dove after her, only to be caught by his shirt and thrown mercilessly to the pavement. "Raven!" Beast Boy shouted. Slade laughed menacingly, diving at him…
That was where the dream ended tonight. For that, he was grateful.
He ran his hands through his hair, frustrated, sad, worried, and tired all at once. Over the course of the month, the dream had gone from being brushed off as nothing to bringing him to tears. It was consuming him.
And through it, he also never felt more aware. More aware of his shortcomings as a teammate. More aware of his dependence on his transformations. He had become acutely conscious of every possible situation in which he couldn't use his powers to help his friends, and suddenly, he felt weak. There's only so much to be done when one barely fights in his natural state.
He was more aware of the fact that he needed to become better. Needed to be capable of fighting in all of his forms, capable of thinking more quickly on his feet, and capable of fighting on his own. The Teen Titans may not be around forever, after all. If he was stripped of his transforming, he had nothing. Everyone else was born with the abilities they used, save for Cyborg and Robin. Even then, Cyborg's technology was now as much a part of him as his brain, and as such he'd built so many defenses in that Beast Boy wasn't sure an EMP could shut him down. As for Robin, he was trained by the Batman for years. Nothing could strip him of that.
Beast Boy, however, contracted his powers when he was cured of a rare disease. A genetic modification, with all the potential in the world to revert to its original state.
But then, there was also Raven. Her powers had shorted out on occasion. An occasion he relived, quite vividly, every time he slept.
Weeks ago he had considered all of this, and weeks ago he had started training. Even though he had begun to improve, he still saw inexperience and dependence when he looked in the mirror.
"It's just a dream," he told himself for the hundredth time, eyes closed tight. He opened them to see nothing but blackness and moon-cast shadows. Any light that did find its way in was quickly consumed by the darkness. The steady beat of his heart seemed deafening against the silence. It felt haunted.
He chugged the rest of his water, tossed it into the garbage, and walked unsteadily back to his room. A draft kissed his face and chest, still coated in a thin, cooling sweat. He lay down and closed his tired eyes.
It had been a year since Terra's reappearance, and Beast Boy had long since accepted that she didn't remember her old life, or the pain she had gone through, or the friends she had made. It stung. He found out very quickly that being forgotten leaves an unresolvable frustration in your system. It leaves no one to be angry at, and nothing to been done to change it. All it does is ache for a while, and all you can do is feel it. Eventually, thankfully, he discovered that time was good at healing wounds. What really helped him to move on, though, instead of simply forgetting, was the help of his gothic friend. She had dealt with heartbreak before, and so she had - if only just a few - words of advice. With them came healing, and the beginnings of a real friendship.
This thought brought him back to the dream. The orchestration of events was always similar, and it always ended up with her and Beast Boy fighting together, powerless.
He had decided it was because of the way he felt about her. For a few months now, ever since she helped him move forward with his life, Beast Boy had found himself growing closer to Raven. He had taken to helping her relax and be herself around other people. She even managed to influence him as well. Around her, he found himself more thoughtful and patient. They could speak for an hour on end, feeding off of each other's differences. Once, they even found themselves, albeit very briefly, mulling over metaphysics:
"Still, it's like... How can you be sure of anything? I mean, the only real way of knowing of what is and isn't true is perception, right? But there are tons of things that can totally throw off your senses, and make you think stuff wrong! So how do we even know that we know what we know?" he rambled excitedly. "Dude, this is gonna bug me forever."
Raven had laughed lightly at his exasperation. "Welcome to philosophy. You won't find many answers here."
They really managed to become good friends. And while he never did find any answers, he did end up liking her. Quite a bit, in fact. Unfortunately, lately, things had gone south between them. Antartically so. He tried thinking about something else.
It didn't change how he felt, however, and very quickly she was back on his mind. He admonished himself at first, the rational part of his brain urging him to abandon this fruitless journey and find a more promising tree to pick from.
Still, he couldn't help himself, and his mind carried him away.
Of course, Beast Boy had always believed her beautiful, sure. That was more or less irrelevant. Beneath that, she was extremely intelligent, and funny in her own way. She made him think, he made her laugh. She was reserved, he was outgoing. They were opposites much like colours were; complimentary.
Until recently, anyway. Though, he hoped that was temporary.
They had always been friends, in his mind, and for the most part hers. In the past months, though, a thought lingered in the back of his head, constantly and persistently hoping for something more. He was delusional, sure, that much he knew. She'd proven it. But he just couldn't help but think of her as someone he genuinely wanted to be with.
He fell asleep grinning, imagining them together. Raven was smiling ear to ear, not a single thought lingering on her father or keeping distance between herself and others. He wanted to make her smile like that.
Raven awoke early, as usual, from a rather unsatisfactory slumber. She stretched quietly, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. With a yawn, she got up and went to take a shower. When she was done, she dried herself off, and put on her leotard, hooded cape, and boots. She left her room with a book, and walked to the main room of the Tower. She hadn't been out of her room, lately, for anything but missions or early morning cups of tea, which assured she wouldn't see Beast Boy very much. She had given up on it a couple of days ago, her anger having subsided, but still she never saw him. This made her sad, regardless of what had happened two weeks prior, as they had only been good friends for a little while. She poured a small cup of herbal tea and sat at the table. Flipping open her book, she began to read. Memories of what happened flashed through her head, and she felt horrible for how she had treated him. It was just an accident.
Two weeks prior...
It was early afternoon, and Beast Boy and Raven were the only ones home. Cyborg had gone to get parts for the T-Car, and it was known that it would take hours, if not all day. Robin and Starfire had gone to the mall to hang out and get some new clothes. Beast Boy sat on the half-circle couch watching a comedy special, and Raven was preparing some tea, a book next to her, deciding to read at the table. This had become a routine for the few days that they had off.
Beast Boy found himself to be thirsty, so he got up and walked over to the fridge. He grabbed the jug of soy milk and a glass from the cupboard. He poured himself a glass, sat on one of the stools, and turned back to the television, taking a few big gulps.
"Hey, just let me know if you need me to turn it down or anything," he said, glancing back.
"It's alright. I'm used to tuning out bad jokes," she said, unable to keep a smile at bay.
"That's rude," he said, turning back to his program. After a pause, they both laughed.
Raven's tea was ready, so she went to grab a glass, leaving the pot on the edge of the counter.
The comedian told a particularly hilarious joke pertaining to children and their incessant need to know "why?" which caused Beast Boy to explode with laughter. He fell off of the stool backwards, grabbing for the counter to slow his descent, as Raven poured a cup of tea. His hand flew up and it hit the pot and cup out of Raven's hands, sending boiling hot tea all over her, her book, and her costume. Beast Boy got up off of the ground to see a burned, drenched Raven glaring at him with such a fiery rage that his glass of soy milk exploded in front of him, along with the toaster behind him. He realized what he had done, and immediately began to try and fix it.
"Raven, I'm so sorry! It was an accident! I-"
"Beast Boy, you-…" She flinched, the pain and fury cutting her short. When she opened her eyes, they flared red for a moment. Groaning, she found her words again. "Learn some self-control, you moron! You're like a four-year-old!" She grabbed her book, now ruined from the tea-splosion, and stormed out of the room, shoving past him and leaving him alone. He stared at the doorway, her anger and his regret sinking in. His ears lowered the way they always did when he was sad, and he began to clean the mess he had made.
Why am I so stupid? It wasn't even that funny! God, she probably hates me...
He sighed, bathing in his melodrama. He finished cleaning, walked back to the couch, and watched the rest of his program, not laughing again.
Raven quickly entered the bathroom and turned the shower on. Locking the door, she stripped off her clothes and jumped in, the cold water biting at her and making her flinch away. It warmed a bit, soothing the burns on her arms, legs, stomach, and neck. Luckily, the tea hadn't burned her considerably, and she healed herself fairly easily. That didn't mean it didn't hurt, though, and as such she was still very, very angry at him. She exited the shower, dried herself, and teleported back to her room. She stayed in her room for most of the day, trying to calm herself down.
Beast Boy found himself mowing over the situation in his head, giving himself a mental beating for hurting Raven. Guilt slammed against him in waves.
And yet, the worst was yet to come that day.
Raven sighed. He's probably over it by now; he'll come through that door and go back to being normal, happy Beast Boy. But then, I wouldn't be surprised if he never spoke to me again, regardless. This whole situation is a mess. The tea incident was enough; why did he have to pull that, too? Why now, when our friendship was best?
Still, he didn't mean to destroy our friendship, so why is it?
She sighed again. "I just hope we can be friends again," she said to the empty room.