Disclaimer: I don't own any rights to the Teen Titans or any characters in the DC Universe.
Chapter 1 – Friendship.
The breeze blew off of the bay; its briny aroma was strong during the hot afternoon. The seaside was calm and tranquil as the rhythmic action of the waves caressed the shoreline. The shore was lonely, its rocky edge stood in defiance to the mild waves. The only sound, other than the waves themselves, was that of a pair of feet that walked down a well worn path that led to a large, flat rock.
The two feet belonged to a young man of less than average stature. He was now 24 years old and only stood at five feet eight inches. What he lacked in height he more than made up for in physique. It was obvious to anyone that he spent a great deal of time exercising as he had a handsome build. Not a grotesque musculature, his was natural looking which wasn't surprising as he was very much in tune with nature. The truth was he could have been a male model as his facial features complimented the rest of his body. He was beginning to show some early signs of male pattern baldness but that wouldn't be an issue for at least a few years. He did have a few distinguishing features which precluded a career in modeling: he had fangs and pointed ears and was green from head to toe.
Being a model the furthest thing from Beast Boy's mind as he sat down on the rock where over 8 years ago he and Raven first discussed the discovery of his inner alter ego: The Beast.
The Beast had made several appearances over the years, and every single time he had appeared to protect Raven. The Beast had been dormant now for the past two years, and Beast Boy was glad he had stayed away, as the changeling was always unnerved by the leviathan's arrival. He always lost control of himself when the Beast showed up, and even though he knew that the Beast was a subconscious manifestation of his innermost self he still didn't like him.
Still he knew that the Beast would only appear to protect Raven from deadly danger. After failing to protect Raven from Trigon's fire demons the Beast had gone into reclusion and stayed there until that fateful day 7 years ago.
It was when the trans-substantiating creature was tormenting Jump City with its ability to change its atomic structure. Beast Boy had been derelict in his duty to the team as he single mindedly pursued the girl he believed to be Terra, and had all but abandoned the team. Eventually she rejected the green boy, breaking his heart in the process.
He had called in using his communicator, ready to rejoin his team in the battle against the strange opponent. Robin told him they were back at the construction site where they first encountered the creature. As he arrived at the scene he saw that his friends were once again losing the battle against the monster, which changed its nature faster than the Titans could adapt.
As he entered the battle scene he approached Raven who was trying to contain the creature with her dark energy and failing.
"It's about time you showed up!" She snapped at him. "Help me out here!"
He morphed into a wooly mammoth and charged into the creature, sending it flying and it landed on a pile of rebar. Raven swooped in, conjuring a large sphere to capture it with.
The creature recovered faster than Raven had expected, having quickly changed itself into a rebar monster. It swatted Raven away with its steel hands, sending her crashing into a brick wall near Beast Boy who ran to her side, leaving her dazed and momentarily unable to move. The creature picked up a long piece of rebar and holding it like a spear it threw it at Raven, clearly intending to impale her with it.
Beast Boy's eyes widened with horror, realizing what was about to happen. Without thinking he leaped in front of Raven and instantly becoming the Beast he shielded her with his own body, bracing himself for the worst. By this point Raven's vision had returned and she found herself staring straight into the Beast's face. At the same time she heard a sickening thud like sound. The Beast's head fell and it morphed back into Beast Boy's human form which fell to the ground. To her horror she saw the rebar sticking out of his back as a small pool of blood began to form around him.
Her teammates counter attacked the creature and Raven heard the familiar symphony of sonic cannons, star bolts and Robin's martial arts yells as she used her dark energy to carefully remove the rebar from the changeling's back.
"Hang in there green bean." She said in a worried voice as the sparkling blue energy flowed from her hands. The first order of business was to stop the bleeding, after which she would take him to Jump City Memorial Hospital, which was prepared to handle any emergency situations that were beyond both the abilities of the Tower infirmary and her own healing powers.
Beast Boy gazed over the turquoise colored water. He still remembered the pain of being impaled. He looked down at his hands. He no longer wore gloves, not since he was married. He slipped off his platinum wedding band. It had her name engraved on the inner ring, along with their wedding date. The ring shimmered in the sunlight. As he recalled that battle he knew that day had been a close call.
The emergency room was in a state of pandemonium. The staff had long prepared for a day like this one, hoping it would never come to pass. But it did, they had a Titan at death's door.
The Trauma center team rushed the gurney with Beast Boy's unconscious form into the operating room. He had a blood packet connected to a catheter as they were trying to stabilize him as much as possible before attempting to repair the damage, which was vast.
The head surgeon, Dr. Eric Fontani, asked Raven to come into the Operating Room with them, saying that her healing powers might be useful. A nurse helped her into some scrubs, which she wore over her leotard, leaving her cape and hood behind with Starfire. Raven and the nurse had to run to catch up with the trauma team who were already in the OR. As they ran in she saw that Beast Boy was lying face down while Dr. Fontani examined his wound with a scope. A couple of nurses were busy cutting away his clothes and had effectively disrobed him. Raven gasped at the sight of his pale body. She couldn't fathom how much blood he had lost.
"It's a miracle he isn't dead already. He owes you his life Raven. He almost bled to death. What caused the wound?" The doctor asked.
"A piece of rebar." Raven replied breathlessly. "Will he be OK?"
"His chances are pretty good. He has some lung damage. The rebar missed his heart by inches. He would have died instantly otherwise."
Two more surgeons entered the operating room, ready to assist Dr. Fontani.
"I think we're ready to start Raven. This is going to take some time, probably several hours. You don't need to stay. We can call you if we need your help."
She shook her head. "That piece of rebar was meant for me, he saved me." She said in trembling voice.
"I understand. If you need to rest, you can use that gurney over there…"
Beast Boy finally woke up almost a week after the incident. Looking around he could tell that he was in the ICU at a hospital. He was on a ventilator so he couldn't speak as he had a tube shoved in his mouth, not that he had enough strength to utter a single word. He could hear the beeps from the ECG and saw the 12 lead cables that were connected to his skin via electrodes. He then felt the twin catheters inserted into his body, one in his arm for the saline solution IV and the other into his urinary tract, to drain his bladder when needed. It was at this point when he realized how badly he felt and how hard it was to breathe. He coughed, and felt the sharp pain in his chest and he winced, closing his eyes.
That was when he remembered what had happened. The rebar … Raven ... was she ok? He opened his eyes again and saw her and Starfire standing next to the bed, gazing at him with grave concern on their faces. As he blinked at them he saw Starfire smile while Raven stood by impassively, with no expression on her face. Starfire then ran out of the room, probably to tell the others. After she had left Raven bent over his prone figure and gently kissed his forehead.
"Thank you friend." Was all she said to him. He tried to smile, but the tape around his mouth that held the ventilator in place was too tight.
Garfield remembered that day well. It had been a turning point in the relationship that he and Raven shared. On the surface little had changed and it stayed that way for a few years. She still was distant and aloof and never hesitated to ridicule or make fun of him. But the insults slowly became less biting and the put downs were less mean spirited than in the past. At first he hadn't given it much thought, especially since at first he hadn't given up yet on winning Terra back. Eventually the blond girl finished high school and was accepted at UC San Diego, leaving Jump City for the university in San Diego's tony La Jolla neighborhood.
Her departure and their final chat before she left had left him in a depressed mood. She had told him that he shouldn't expect to ever see her again as she was not planning on returning. His teammates understood what he was going through, but preferred to pretend nothing was happening as they didn't know what to do to help. This was when Raven had surprised him. She would invite him to her room to talk and he found her to be a sympathetic ear.
He had been very grateful at the time, because while their talks didn't make the pain go away, at least he felt that he wasn't alone, that there was someone who cared and understood how he felt. She also opened up to him, sharing her own pains and self doubts. They helped each other get through what might have been an unbearable year.
As he sat on the rocks remembering the past he knew that was the first time he had a real friend. Cyborg was a pal and Terra was merely a crush. Robin and Starfire were buddies. That didn't mean he didn't love them, but he knew that deep down they didn't really know who he was. He didn't know how it happened but Raven had become his first true friend.
He stared at the ocean, pondering the word 'friend'. People spoke of friends and friendship all the time, but he wondered if they really knew the meaning of the word.
Well, this story is going to be different. As the title so eloquently illustrates, this is a story about Raven and Beast Boy. It will be one of my shorter stories and will try to focus on the dynamics of their friendship and relationship. There won't be much of a plot outside of their journey together. For those who have pointed out that I sometimes stray into OOC land I will do my best to avoid that trap this time around.
Reviews are welcome, but if you don't review I won't be surprised as this isn't going to be a fun or easy story. I have no idea if I'm any good at this genre (whichever one it is, even I'm unsure). If you ask, cajole or even threaten me with physical violence to change the direction of the story I will ignore you. Their journey is cast in stone and this story must be told.