Dedication: This story is dedicated to the folks over at the BBxRae Shrine! Even though you don't have any idea who I am since I don't post anything on that site I have to say thank you to you guys. You people made me laugh with your epic awesomeness and made me fall in love with the Beast Boy and Raven pairing all over again. You reminded me how fun it was (is!) to be a shipper. Thank y'all! Now, on with the story!
You can't sleep.
Of course, you could sleep if you wanted to, but why would you want to? You're beginning to have nightmares again, but these nightmares are worse than the ones before, they're worse than any nightmares that you have ever had. They could even be considered night terrors except they are more atrocious than any child's, and when you wake up in the morning you always remember every single thing. Every last detail you remember, down to the last hair being out of place. They're too real, and when you wake up it takes you a few minutes to realize that your in your bed, not in your own personal hell.
The nightmares aren't about things that go bump in the night. No, they are worse than that. In these nightmares you watch all of your friends die in bloody, evil, ways and there is nothing you can do to stop it from happening. In your dreams you don't have powers, and you can't save anybody. They are all different, but always same in the most important of ways. You aren't able to look away.
It's never you; you don't ever watch yourself die, which would have at least been better for you. You could have handled that. But no, instead he sends you dreams about something that you can't handle at all.
They come randomly and you never know which friend is going to die that night, or if they are all going to die together.
But one person dies more often than the others, at least in your mind. The one person that you don't want to see die does of course. These dreams are always the worst, and these are the ones that you wake up sobbing about.
For the first few weeks of these horrors you figure that they are just regular nightmares and you ask Cyborg if he could figure out a cure for nightmares on the internet. He looks some up for you, and you try them.
But they have the opposite effect, and the more that you take the worse they get. Eventually Cyborg has to give you sleeping pills to keep you from waking up the tower from your screams.
When that doesn't work you eventually figure it out, and when you do you keep it to yourself. These 'dreams' are a gift from your father. You figure that he figured out his time well. He doesn't start directly after you and your friends defeated him, which would have been the perfect time, at least in you eyes. No, he bids his time well. He decides to send this plague after the Brotherhood of Evil is defeated, when you figure that there won't be anymore super villains to defeat and maybe you will get some peace.
You try spells on yourself, but even that doesn't work. You let these horrors become attached to your soul, and not even magic can save you.
You don't want to dream anymore, you don't want to watch your friends die. You're tired of being strong, of being the untouchable Raven that nothing can bother. The dreams are making things in room explode, and soon even that stops. Your powers are being affected now too.
You can't figure out anymore ways to make the dreams go away, you've tried everything that you could possibly think of.
In an act of absolute desperation you buy yourself come caffeinated herbal tea and hope to whatever gods are out there that this works. Your body wants to sleep, and your father is pushing you down to sleep too, but the human side of you is stronger, at least right now. Your body can't sleep with all of the caffeine that you're shoving into it.
The caffeine isn't exactly helping, it's making you jump at every noise, and you realize that your body is growing dependent on it, which is okay for a while because at least you aren't sleeping. It's making you have to pee all the time, and it begins to make you nervous. You aren't able to concentrate as well, and your stomach is upset a lot, but it's okay because at least you can hide it well.
This goes on for a while without anyone noticing, at least not until you have to fight crime again. It's only Dr. Light, which you previously could have done in your sleep (that is, if you wanted to sleep while fighting him, of course) but you're so jumpy and tired so you can't concentrate. The team defeats him, but not nearly as easily as they could have if you had helped them.
When you get back to the tower Robin asks what's the matter with you, why aren't you able to fight anymore, what's the problem? But you can't tell him, you know this time this was something that he couldn't understand, not this time. This wasn't something that he could physically fight.
So you tell him that you're a little bit overtired, and that you weren't feeling well and that you just wanted to go to your room and that no one had better disturb you. Robin lets you get by with this, it isn't exactly something that has happened to you before, but it seems understandable and you're definitely acting like yourself again.
The other three let you get by with this as well, but something on Beast Boy's face tells you that he doesn't believe a word you're saying (he always seems to know when you're lying). But you ignore him and wait for midnight which will hopefully mean that everyone is out of the living room and you can make your self some tea before you accidentally go to sleep.
Around eleven thirty you hear everyone go into their separate rooms and so you sneak out of your room and decide to make yourself some herbal tea. You realize that soon you're going to need something stronger, maybe coffee, because your body is developing a tolerance for the low doses of caffeine in the tea you drink.
You start the tea on to boil and get one of Cyborg's cups, simply because they are the largest and you're going to need as much as you can get tonight. This is your last batch and if you can't have it all before you go to the store tomorrow you're doomed.
When the tea is done you go sit on the couch and open your book, trying to concentrate on the words and drink at the same time. Eventually you realize that you can't do both and you put the book down and relax a bit on the couch. You can still rest, as long as you don't fall asleep. You need the rest anyway, and you can keep yourself from falling asleep.
But you can't, and not three seconds after you close your eyes you fall asleep again. This particular dream is worse than the others, your father is punishing you because you resisted him for so long. You can feel yourself sobbing, but you can't seem to wake up, you can't get out of your head and your stuck there just to watch and scream and cry. Finally when you are able to move you feel something warm and wet and you recognize that it's his blood...
When something cool touches your face you wake up instantly and you can recognize that it's Beast Boy even in the dim lighting. He's here in front of you, looking at you with concern written on his face, and you realize that he isn't dead. He's very much alive. The blood that you felt was nothing more than the tea that you spilled while thrashing around.
This makes you happy, and you're glad that he's there and not being eaten alive by your father's children, you're half brothers and sisters. Just thinking about it makes you retch. Nothing comes out, though, because you haven't eaten in a while and you manage to sallow the tea and bile before anything comes out.
"Raven?" Beast Boy asks, his voice soft. "Are you okay?" He's looking at you so seriously that for a second you almost consider telling him everything even though it won't do either of you any good.
So you lie. "I'm fine. I just fell asleep watching a really weird movie and was having a dream about it."
"A dream that was making you cry?" he asks, and in the moonlight you appreciate just how beautiful he's gotten. He's grown up this past year, his mind maturing with his body, and even though he still acts childish and immature (He wouldn't be Beast Boy without his stupid jokes and antics.) he can also be serious. You can't believe that you're thinking these things about him, especially at a time like this, but you can't help it. You shove the thought to the back of your mind, you'll deal with it later.
"How did you hear me?" you whisper, knowing full well that no one else would be able hear you, which was part of the reason that you started coming to the front room. You decide answering a question with a question is the best way to divert him.
"Well, when you've got ears like mine," he says with a grin, and then it fades. "Seriously though, what's wrong?"
"It was just a bad dream," you tell him, deciding not to spill anything else.
"A bad dream that has been going for weeks? C'mon, that's not normal. I would know a thing or two about not being normal."
You waver for a second, when he's looking at you like that it's hard keep it all inside. So you tell him about the dreams. You don't tell him everything. You don't tell him about how you were dreaming about him just before you woke up, you don't tell him that the dreams about him were always the worst. But you give him a watered down version.
You tell him that you're father has been sending you some bad dreams and that you haven't been sleeping well for a while, but that everything is going to be okay, you just need to meditate more. But that that's all and he shouldn't be that worried about it.
He looks slightly wary about it for a moment, but then decides to let it go and you breathe. You are glad that you were able to tell someone, even if it is just Beast Boy.
"You made the remote explode, by the way," he says after a while. "Cy isn't going to be too happy about that. But I'll just tell him that I did it. It's okay, you know, you can go to your bed though. I can't go back to sleep, I think I'm going to watch a movie, and you need all of the sleep that you can get..." he trails off.
"I'll just watch it with you," you tell him, deciding that since you've run out of tea another person and a movie is probably just about the only thing that is going to keep you awake.
He looks like he's going to protest, but then shrugs and gets up off the couch to get a movie. You probably shouldn't have told him anything, you think. He's just going to worry about you, and that's one thing that no one needs to do.
Surprisingly he doesn't pick a action movie which would have certainly kept you awake. Instead he picks a old black and white movie that you aren't even aware that he had and the volume is turned down low. "My mother and I used to watch these together when I was small," he tells you, sitting right beside you again.
You don't know what to say to this, so you just nod and begin to watch the elegant people on the screen. The lack of color and largely action filled scenes, as well as the fact that you haven't slept in days lulls you off to sleep again.
But this time is different than the others. This time you don't dream at all, except for green lights shooting in front your vision every once in a while.
You wake up when you hear a loud crash coming from the kitchen and you realize that it's morning and that Cyborg's making breakfast. You've slept for at least five hours without a solid dream and you can't figure out why.
The figure on top of your head just snores and then goes back to his normal breathing habits. You realize that you have been sleeping next to Beast Boy the whole time, and that your fingers are intertwined. You jerk out of his grasp, and you realize that your head was on his shoulder and that he was leaning on you. He just falls over where you were just sitting and continues sleeping, nothing waking him up.
You feel more awake than you have in a while, but you could still use some sleep. You're afraid, though, to try and sleep again. This was probably just some kind of trick of your father's. He wants to make you feel safe even though you aren't. So you just pull up your hood and ask Cyborg if you could have some of his coffee.
Cyborg looks at you with a strange look on his face when you ask this, but then tells you that you can. He looks like he wants to say something about your sleeping arrangements last night, but he knows better than to mess with you. He will probably still rag on Beast Boy later, though, and that's okay. As long as it's not you. Beast Boy can take care of himself.
Your mind goes back you're conversation with Beast Boy last night and you decide that you probably should meditate about this. It might help, and it was the only thing that you didn't think of. So you drink the bitter coffee, and go to the roof where there is no one else around and sit down and start your mantra.
"Azarath. Metrion. Zinthos." You can feel yourself falling into yourself, but soon realize that even that's not safe for you, not anymore.
Nevermore isn't the same place that it was the last time you visited. Instead it looks more like the setting of you night horrors. The sky pure red and the grass is a dried green. There aren't any ravens here, not anymore and your emotions don't have their own separate worlds. They are all scattered throughout the same place.
Your emotions are all watching different scenes of the gruesome dreams. Happy is watching your friends get slain together. Brave is watching Robin and Starfire die. Timid is watching as Beast Boy and Cyborg are getting stabbed at the same time. Affection is watching Beast Boy die slowly, and painfully, the whole time he is screaming for mercy, for someone, anyone to help him.
They all are stuck in the same predicament that you are, they can't help and only watch. You don't say anything, but Affection turns to you anyway and her eyes are empty, the way an emotions eyes should never be. "Make it stop," she says. "Please, or else you're going to lose some of us..."
You don't say anything, you can't. There isn't anything that you can do about it, and that's the worst part of all. You just have to get out of there. You don't stop to see how you're other emotions are getting on, you don't want them to talk to you anymore so you get out of there as soon as you can.
You are losing parts of yourself to this too.
You're whole mind has been invaded and you don't know what to do. There is nothing you can do. You come out of meditation feeling worse than ever and you sit there trying to clear your mind.
You can't meditate.
You can't sleep.
If you can't do either of those things you can't do anything. Without sleep you cannot think. Without meditation you can't control your powers. You're rendered useless, but you can't tell anyone else about what's going on, and you certainly can't tell them how serious it's getting.
Even coffee stops working and soon you've moved onto energy drinks. You down the sickly sweet drinks wondering how much longer you have before you become sick.
Even all of the sugar and caffeine can't hide the fatigue that your body is feeling, and you can see yourself wasting away. You're getting thinner and everyone notices the physical changes in you. A few times you notice Starfire looking like she wants to say something, or at least take away your energy drinks, but before she can Robin shakes his head at her.
You've convinced him that this is your problem and that you need to deal with it on your own. You threaten to quit the team if he doesn't leave you alone, so he eventually does. You're glad this happened, but you're also quite anxious about it too. You haven't said anything about it, excluding what you've told Beast Boy.
When you haven't slept normally in two months Beast Boy finally says something, Robin be damned. "Raven, you can't go on like this. You're going to have to do something. You can tell me that full of bull story about how you just need to meditate more, but I know that you're full of it. You are going to have to sleep eventually. You're human. All this sugar and caffeine and tea, it's just making your body worse. Your half demon side has helped too, but eventually you're going to just pass out." He takes the large Monster that you had been downing out of your hand.
You're angry, he has no idea what it's like and he has no right to take away your drinks. "Give it back," you tell him, and when he refuses you get angry, so angry that you can't control it. "GIVE IT BACK NOW!" You're seeing red and you can feel the nonexistent wind come up as well as the extra pair of eyes.
"No," he tells you firmly as if you're just a toddler having a tantrum and you can't control what happens next. Every single electronic device in the kitchen, from the small egg timer to the stove, explode in a huge flame of black aura and for the first time you see fear in his eyes.
You're scared too, at what you just did, and you don't know how it happened, you had never done something to that magnitude before. "Sorry," you mumble before rushing to your room. You curl up in a ball and let a few tears escape before wiping them away with a rough hand.
Crying won't help anything, and you don't cry. The only reason that you're crying is because you're so emotionally overwhelmed and tired and you don't know what's happening to you. You just used up huge amounts of energy, though, and you can feel the fingers of sleep tugging at your mind, and no matter how much you fight it sleep is stronger and he pulls you down with him.
This is the worst dream yet, and you can't even describe it when they ask you about it later. This time it's so real you can feel your muscles burning and the anguished screams of those being tortured. You watch your friends dying one at a time, slowly and painfully over and over again. Trigon seems to have gone to extra lengths and brought the tortures of hell with him. They are worse than anyone can emotion, and when he gets to a certain green skinned boy he seems to save his best for last. And then it rewinds and comes back again.
So you watch him die. Over and over and over again.
While in the back ground your father laughs.
You can't wake up, you can't help, you can't do anything... Until you feel that certain cool hand on you again and you bolt up.
You realize that you're in the med bay, and sitting next to you is Beast Boy looking worse than you have ever seen him, but yo can't concentrate on him. You're dehydrated because of all the screaming and when you see the glass of water without thinking you gulp it down and are still thirsty.
When you drink all of the water that your stomach can hold, since you find a pitcher right next to the glass, you take a nice long look at Beast Boy. His hair is greasy and matted, and he has dark green bags under his eyes. He looks exhausted and his eyes seem glassy. But he's watching you without comment so you decide to say something. "Are you okay?" You ask him this because you have never seen someone look less okay in your life.
He smiles for a little bit. "How can you even ask me that?" he asks you, and you're shocked when he looks angry. "No, Raven, I'm not okay. At all. I've watched you scream and cry and thrash around for two days. That's how long it was, two days. We couldn't wake you, we tried everything. It was like you were in some kind of coma or something, but people in comas don't act like you did." He shudders, lost in thought. He doesn't even realize that you're in the room anymore. He's looking as though he's looking at something far away. "Cyborg even tried some of your spell books to see if they could help, but they didn't obviously. Eventually the others left. They couldn't handle it anymore. Your screams were echoing off of the walls, and you were crying and screaming so much that we were going to have to stick an IV in you, if we could keep you from thrashing around so much. I'm supposed to call the others when you wake up."
You look at him for a long moment. "The others left." He nods. "But you stayed." He nodded again.
"Why didn't you tell us that it was that bad?" he asks. "We wanted to help you. I was afraid that you weren't going to wake up. We were so scared. You can't do that to us again, Raven. You can't do that to me again, ever." He looks so worn out and tired that you want to comfort him, to tell him that this probably won't happen ever again, but you can't because that's probably a lie. You don't know what's going to happen anymore.
"What were they about?" he asks suddenly. "The dreams, I mean, what was so bad that you couldn't tell us?"
You open your mouth to give him the watered down version again, but you can't, not this time. You begin and when you do you can't stop yourself. You're on a roll and the intensity of his concentration keeps you going. When you stop he puts his head in his hands and he doesn't say anything for a while. "Why was it worse," he asks, "when they were about me?"
You consider lying, but after everything that you told him you can't. "Because I love you," you tell him simply and then something in your mind breaks off and you realize what's happening. Your father's hold on your mind is slipping, because you've finally admitted that you love something, and that's something that your father's brand of magic can't handle. He's lost his control over your subconscious and when Beast Boy leans in to kiss you, you let him.
Because you know that with him there with you, you won't ever have another nightmare.
A/N: Wow, look at this monster! This totally didn't go as planned (Second person wasn't part of the plan at all.), but that's okay. So, thoughts, comments, anything? Do you think that Beast Boy was a little bit OOC or what? Also, if you want a link to TBRS (the site I mentioned in the beginning) I have one on my profile under the Insomnia section.