A/N: Not another re-write. The ideas I developed in Man with Emerald Eyes, Paradise Lost, and Four of a Kind grew larger than the 2nd draft contained. Plus the series, as a whole, wasn't nearly as dark as it could be (and should be). So, like a broken record, one more attempt at the series. It's going to be a long one, all in one story (no more individual ones).
Redux 1: The Watchman
If You Go Chasing Rabbits...
There's no way to tell when it really all began. When the Brotherhood came crashing down in Paris, we knew it was the end of an era for the Titans. By now, we'd all aged above eighteen so we decided to drop the "Teen" aspect of our name. Maybe that was fitting because we were moving into adult territory, League-level threats that would go beyond Jump City. But, not just yet, not in 2007 and, as we decided, Jump City still needed us and perhaps we needed it too. But, like any unhealthy "need", there comes a time when that very need comes back to hurt you...
2006 was coming to a close so we decided to celebrate the year we triggered the Brotherhood's collapse with a three-day weekend blowout; our fellow Titans across the globe would be coming to celebrate. Before they arrived, however, Robin suggested that we should go out on the town to have some fun as a group before Titans Tower became a noisy wreck. At the time it felt like a great idea, we hadn't been out on a full-night spree in almost two years.
By now the group had added another member making us three women and three men. While Kid Flash decided to head East to help with Titans East, Jinx remained in Jump City with us. While they remained friends after the Brotherhood fight, old habits must die hard; I heard a few rumors about Kid Flash being an open flirt and Jinx possessing something of a jealous streak. Although I was skeptical at first at having her joining our team, after a few weeks and seeing Starfire taking to having another woman in the Tower, I felt easier than our leader.
I don't believe Robin was paranoid about her, especially after her actions in Paris. I'd like to think that helping topple the Brotherhood helped smooth out the differences they shared during her time with the HIVE. After our visit to Japan, Starfire must've been such a positive influence that it even calmed him down enough to start trusting like a normal human being again. Those two try so hard to keep their relationship such a secret; it's funny in a way because it's so obvious that even Ray Charles can see it.
Something in our own relationship changed after Paris; I could see it whenever we'd discuss the way I helped rally the Titans after most of our comrades were captured. Before I doubt he would've given me the chance to lead a team like that but judging from the compliments I received afterward, he might've even be considering me as someone he could count as a leader if the situation came up again.
Truth be told, after we fought and defeated Trigon in 2005, even Raven seemed to mellow out a little. She'd still hit me for a joke or lay on the sarcasm when she got riled up but without her dad's shadow hovering over twenty-four seven, I think it really opened up her eyes to the potential she could have in this world now that she wasn't the destroyer of mankind.
We'd survived the worst Slade, the Brotherhood, Brother Blood, and Trigon could throw at us. We felt invincible, like no one could defeat us as long as we worked together… what a bunch of fools we were.
After a big-time dinner at our favorite pizzeria, we decided to crash a local warehouse rave we'd heard about a few days prior. It's always amazed me how everyone seemingly let us alone at those events. The Titans usually get swamped with the media, the photographers, the autograph-seekers whenever we make the public appearances but at the nightclubs and raves, people were happy just to buy us drinks or chat for a little while. If you consider the usual clients, however, most of these types tend to be college-aged and aren't your usual superhero-groupies, especially in my case.
I honestly felt worse for Cyborg during those times out. We had, in my opinion, three of the hottest women in the city with Starfire, Jinx, and Raven. Robin was considered something of a city-wide hearthrob and while I wasn't as popular as Rob, I wasn't without the occasional offer from girls. But Cyborg would always be singled out for being half-robot, half-human, and no matter how you slice it, it's hard to turn down a fully-human Robin in favor of a walking human robot. Then again, if he harbored any ill-feelings, he hid them well as he danced with several ladies in attendance. Vic Stone might never find himself the right woman but there will always be a part of him that will put women at ease in a way Robin never could.
Poor Robin, Starfire used to drag him onto those dance floors and whip him around in some sort of dance style only her people were aware of. To her she must've been dancing with the man of her dreams; to everyone else it looked like a woman on energy drinks flailing around a man by the arms like a child spinning in a circle with her dolls.
As for the rest of the girls, war made friends out of both Jinx and Raven, enough so that we wouldn't panic if they'd both disappear into some dark corner of the clubs. Neither really believed in the "club scene" but I know deep-down they both shared a respect in the others' ability to critique the clubbers. Part of me wishes they'd been like this since 2001, some of those nights out could've been made a hell of a lot funnier just by having Jinx and a looser Raven around.
I enjoyed myself at those events, that part was never an act. While I could always find some women to dance with due to my enhanced agility and rhythm, the issue of my pick-up lines and green skin always left me second-place to muscle-heads and other pick-up artists. There was always a part of me that felt resentfull given that we'd just saved the world from the Brotherhood and here I was being passed over for some gym-monkey or smooth-talking. But, truthfully, the real pain came from the memory of Tara Markov walking away from me even after we spent so much time building a relationship between us. Every rejection felt like another sharp reminder that for all the heroism and humor, I'd always been known as the "green jokester" and nothing more.
"Hey, you need a drink Beast Boy?" a voice called behind me. I looked back and saw a man with fake, green contacts in his eyes. Other than that, his cheesy grin and beach bum look seemed so out of place since he had a red/yellow jester hat on top of his head.
Still, no sense in turning down liquids after dancing for a couple songs. "Yeah dude, got any lemonade?"
Quick as a cat and smooth as lightning, he turned one empty cup into one lemonade drink for my hand. "Here you go my man, seventy-five cents."
Being an animal gives you a stronger-than-human sense of taste, so much so that you can appreciate things most people can't. Lemon should dance with the sides of your mouth but reveal itself through the tip of your tongue. That being said, this drink wasn't the best lemonade I'd ever tasted but for a nightclub, it was bearable. "It's a bit sugary, isn't it?"
The bastard just smiled at me "A little but that's home made and sweet, just like my babe likes it." His smile faded a bit as his eyes met mine once again. "I don't mean to be rude but you alright? You look like you got something on the mind."
I needed another sip of that over-sugared lemonade to kill the incoming thought of Terra, prick had great aim if that was his intent. "Just thinking about an old girlfriend of mine." Could I even call her an ex-girlfriend for real? We hung out a few times, true, but we never really decided to take it farther than that.
"It sucks being single, I know that first-hand. I was alone for almost three years before I found my baby girl."
Oh if only a glare could kill, he would've been down for the count. "How long has it been?"
"Four months but I think she's the one." I hoped his chair would break as he leaned back. To me this was staright gloating but the bastard probably didn't realize it at all.
Our conversation quieted for a moment after that so I turned my eyes over to the dance floor. Thankfully Robin somehow convinced Star to slow down enough for him to try and dance with her rather than being flung around; Raven or Jinx were missing, even with my sensitive eyes; and Cyborg was set up at the DJ's booth interfacing with the master turn tables. Everyone was right where they wanted to be, everyone that is except for me.
"Hey, can I ask you somethin' man?" the guy asked. I didn't want to look back but one question couldn't hurt, it's not like I was doing anything else. "What's it like, y'know, being a superhero? I always wanted to know."
I had enough for one last sip of the lemonade, enough to ponder the question I'd heard a million times. Maybe it was a gppd time to be honest with the answer instead of spouting the same, generic, media-friendly answer we'd been conditioned to tell others. "It hurts. You're always being beat up, always taking punches, getting thrown around through buildings and glass. It's like the city and all the people here love you, they admire you, respect you, but at the end of the day they don't know you. The city thanks you but they're afraid; society demands you but doesn't let you get too close. You question what you're doing somedays but other days you realize that everyone has a talent, even if they don't consider it a talent. For me, it's always been something personal since I don't need a blaster or weapons to do what I do. So I guess being a superhero's like being a force of nature, always on the move, always in the news, but never understood, and never really there long enough to be loved, only admired."
He actually seemed surprised, impressed even at that answer. He wasn't the only one, I hadn't been that honest with someone other than the Titans so telling some random citizen felt both alien and, yet, relieving at the same time. "Dude, that's some raw shit. Why don't you talk like that on tv, man, that's fucking deep!"
I wasn't about to settle for liquor being that I was too young at the time so I ended up getting yet another lemonade, at least this time I didn't have to pay for it. "Being honest with a person one-on-one builds trust but being honest with the world all at one time? That kind of trust can scare a LOT of people. It's why people like Superman doesn't just say "Yeah, I could flatten Earth if I wanted to, but I won't because I'd feel bad." It doesn't translate well on tv."
Jester clapped at my reply, then again I wondered if he really got what I was talking about or just got too deep into the lemonade himself. "Amen, brother. You can't trust people who can't trust you! Whenever someone gets too raw, too honest, society will turn it around against you. I'm glad someone around here gets that!"
I couldn't help it but that last bit of excitement from Jester cracked me out into a smile. "Well for now I still gotta do the good-guy routine to keep the kids happy. We can't all be rebels."
"For a guy who says my girl's lemonade's too sweet, you're goin' to town on it." he reminded me that my cup had been emptied again. Good eye, I can give him that.
I wasn't aware there was a poet in me but as I looked back to the crowd, I found myself saying a little diddy I'd heard along the way. "Sometimes you need a little sweetness to ease away the bitterness."
"I heard that."
As the night progressed, I found myself talking with the man I nick-named Jester more and more. I wasn't interested in him as a friend but as an intellectual, he proposed some interesting ideas about the city we lived in. These were the kind of things Robin would've handled but I did my best to be honest for discussion sake. "So what do you think of the growing gang problem in Jump City? Think the Titans will finally crack down on these bastards?" Jester asked with a cup of lemonade in his own hand.
"Right now the Titans are working on keeping Jump City clear of the bad guys in the masks. The Jump City Police Department has the gang problem to deal with, we have the criminals trying to blow up the city to worry about." Dipping into Robin's reminder of public relations, I probably sounded like a broken teleprompter but it's what I felt at the time.
Jester just shrugged off my reply, I don't think he was entiring believing what I was selling. "I get all that but the "masks" are only part of the problem. You got drug barons on the rise, you got the gun cartels, even the Chinese are getting dangerous. There's gonna be trouble if all that gets too entrenched in the city, right?"
Was it my sixth or seventh cup of lemonade? Whatever it was, I needed a refill yet again. "If the JCPD and the city needs us to get involved, we will. But if we do, that opens up a new can of shit and I don't know how everything would go down."
"You think the city can't handle it?" Jester suggested. For a bright man, he wasn't very bright.
"Six Titans vs six masks wrecks a city avenue in twenty minutes, that can be fixed in a couple days. A long war against drugs and guns, that could take years and see a LOT of bodies pile up. At least the masks stay quiet after they go to jail."
"I guess that's the problem, isn't it? You chase after the masks, the drugs get out of hand. You chase after drugs, a mask could blow up the whole city. Fuck I'd hate to be in the middle of that."
To hell with sipping the lemonade, I drank that whole cup in one sugary gulp. "You can be a superpowered God and still have to juggle between the two. And at the end of the day, powers or not, we're still human."
Before we could continue our discussion on city politics, the time had come for the party to end, at least for the Titans. The others had approached me saying they were ready to head home and not a moment too soon for my tastes. "Thanks for the lemonade and the conversation. It's been fun, man." As much as that stupid smile of his irritated me, I didn't want to just leave the guy without a proper thank you for paying for the drinks.
Before I could leave, he tossed me a brownie wrapped in shrink-wrap. It didn't seem to be too out of place given that the guy was pushing lemonade instead of booze so I figured it couldn't hurt taking it. "Have one on me, buddy. Tonight was a slow night business-wise and you've been cool. Have a good trip, on me."
How ironic, really.
With Robin and Starfire riding hard on his motorcycle, I had ample foot room for myself in the backseat of Cyborg's car, Raven sharing the backseat to the side. Normally I'd try and call shotgun but Jinx was in a better mood than I was so letting her do the talking with Cyborg suited me just fine. While I knew Cyborg disapproved of me eating inside his precious car, I was hungry and we weren't pulling over for a snack stop so I had to make due. It tasted good for a home made; a hint of vanilla and, surprisingly, even a little hint of honey. Hell, I was so hungry I ate the whole thing in probably five bites, enough to keep the brownie a secret from Cyborg and Jinx but not the watchful eye of Raven who only shook her head as I downed the brownie. I probably told her something about a rapid metabolism and how I needed to eat but she didn't answer, it wasn't her kind of evening so I didn't push the matter. Looking back on it now, I probably should've waited until I got home but hindsight's always 20/20.
By the time I got into my bedroom, I felt my body starting to collapse. I'm no clean freak by any measure so throwing the boots, shirt, and pants onto the floor was as natural to me as putting on the same pieces when I'm going out. When I finally got on my gym pants and tank top, I figured listening to a little Pink Floyd would help lull me to sleep. When I slipped onto my top bunk, the opening bars to "Breathe" was playing but I don't remember even getting to "Time" by the time I was fast asleep.
Sometime later I awoke to the distinct feeling of a headache throbbing in my temples. What began like a migrane started to feel like a dizzy spell judging from the way tThe ceiling seemed to rise and fall on it's own but my eyes felt like they were covered in sand. I rubbed them a few times but the vertigo feeling didn't stop. It was at this point that I noticed the music and I'm not talking about the Pink Floyd album, I'm talking about the song that infamous song that would soon come to haunt me.
"One pill makes you larger..."
You ever sit in the coach section of a twelve-hour flight? You get that feeling of breathing the same air, over and over again, you start to hyperventilate because everything feels stale. Your whole perception gets out of preportion because you've been moving nonstop since departure. As I tried to shake away the hazy feeling, something in the corner of my eye commanded my attention to look towards the door. A white bunny rabbit similar to the one from Monty Python's "Holy Grail" was sitting there, staring at me. It wasn't sniffing the air, it's mouth wasn't moving, it just sat there watching, staring through me.
"...and one pill makes you small"
At first I wondered if my mind was playing a prank on me or maybe Cyborg was pranking me with a stuffed animal joke that I didn't quite get. But it's eyes were moving, very subtly, but noticeable enough to tell it was indeed alive. Bizarre but I made the "brilliant" decision to hop off my bed to investigate.
My "brilliant" decision resulted in my body hitting the floor with all the grace of a bag of bricks. My balance was shot as I struggled back to my feet. The radio, my clothes, the trash, the doorway, and the rabbit all seemed to bend and shift. Imagine tilting your head side to side, that's the closest I can describe the initial sight. I stress again that it wasn't Pink Floyd playing on the radio, it sounded much more psychedlic, much more ominous. Before I could switch off the radio, the rabbit turned on a dime, vanishing through the door. Yes, literally phased through the door like the Martian Manhunter or Raven would if they wanted to. Whatever prank this way compelled me to follow it into the hallway, it was too creepy NOT to.
"And the ones that mother gives you, don't do anything at all..."
Things became even more scary as the hallway walls began to stretch into the distance. I brought my hands to my eyes, it reminded me almost of those hypno-screens Mad Mod used to use on his takeover bids.
"Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall."
Now not only did it stretch into the distance but up into the air. I remained the same height but, then again, maybe I was the one shrinking! Back in the distorted void of my perception, the rabbit stood again, always watching me. It didn't change it's form in the slightest but those eyes never left me. Damn thing was like the devil, it had to be. And yet, even as it ran off, I found myself still following behind it. No matter how many times I stumbled and fell, which was frequently, I still got back up until the room began to roll like a ship. Crawling on my hands, I reached out for the rabbit who never seemed too far away but always beyond my grasp. Where was I going? I didn't understand what was happening, why it was all going down, the whole thing felt like a terrible dream I couldn't wake up from. The only thing pushing me forward was that compulsion to catch the rabbit, it consumed me.
When I made my way into the main living room, everything changed. The music cut out, chasing the rabbit away as another song burst into my fragile eardrums, the song I later found out happened to be a Led Zeppelin track. The track was "Rock and Roll." As it played my heart began to pound in my chest, throwing me down to my knees while clutching my chest. The stagnant air was difficult to breathe, each beat burned holes in my green heart. In that maelstrom I couldn't tell if I on the floor or the couch, maybe even the table or the stove? There was a window to my left but I didn't want to look. The beating in my chest grew louder and louder, the pain becoming unbearable, and as Zeppelin came roaring to life, I found myself screaming aloud in agony while Robert Plant wailed in ecstasy.
In my memory I can see Raven and Robin dragging me off the floor and onto a couch. At the time I saw Robin as a red-eyed, snarling hell-bird and Raven as black-eyed, hissing blood-bird. Those are not technical terms but for fuck's sake they looked like birds you'd find in Satan's birdcage. Eventually Cyborg had to come in to subdue me but I screamed bloody hell in my lungs, struggling like a mad man. I couldn't help it, I had to get away from these demons, especially the one clad in gleaming, silver armor and a blue skeleton were the silver armor didn't cover.
And still the music didn't stop but now the sound of Robert Plant replaced itself with Cream's single called "Crossroads." Always pounding, swinging like a wildman, I wanted to get away from the demons but I couldn't move. Black fire surrounded me and no matter how hard I struggled, it wouldn't fade away. Their demonic eyes were wild, on fire, and seemed to go on forever. Nothing lasts forever though; there was a feeling of silence and eventually nothingness as the one in armor placed a needle into my skin.
Some time later, I woke up in the medical room with the foggiest brain I'd ever had until that point. Barely conscious enough to make out the room, I was thankful that what I could see wasn't distorted. Outside of a splitting headache and a head full of fog, everything was seemingly ok. When my friends entered, I felt better just to see them. They weren't demons, hell-birds, and evil spirits, they were my family once again.
"Beast Boy, can you hear me? Hey, how you doing man?" Robin asked me.
"I feel dizzy as all hell and, yes, I can hear you." Maybe the sarcastic reply wasn't necessary but given my condition that night I think they understood.
"You're more than just groggy. For the past two hours you've been hallucinating; we had to sedate you after you kept struggling. It took Raven, Cyborg, and myself almost fifteen minutes to keep you down long enough to use the needle." Robin was concerned but in that way a leader worries for his troops. At the moment I hated it because what I wanted was worry from my friend, not my leader. Given that no one else was looking more upbeat only made my heart feel worse.
"Wait, hallucinating? What's happening to me? I didn't do anything, I was just sleeping!" I was honest when I said I didn't know why I was tripping out, I figured only junkies, shamans, and crazies did that but not me of all people.
"Your blood shows signs of some kind of substance that's causing the hallucinations. Whatever it is was ingested rather than inhaled so it's taking longer for your body to fully process the drug." At least Cyborg kept his professionalism to a minimum, I can always count on him to be serious and yet reassuring like that.
I stumbled on my response while I tried to sort it all out: Substances meant drugs, drugs that had to be eaten, and edible drugs take longer to digest. "You mean I've been drugged by something I've eaten?"
"Beast Boy, you were speaking about a rabbit." Raven asked, bringing my attention to the right. "Some sort of rabbit with bleeding eyes?"
I palmed my face with both hands, closing my eyes in some attempt to focus. That was too much to absorb this late at night and all I wanted to do was curl up and sleep it off. "I saw it in my room; it was sitting there when I woke up. Things got hazy but I started to follow it. There was the craziest music the whole time too, it would go from guitars to Zeppelin to rock and back and forth. I'm just glad it's over now."
Robin, always the bringer of "good" news, spoke the awful truth. "It's not over, Beast Boy, the drug hasn't finished digesting yet."
When I opened my eyes I could tell he was right. The rabbit was standing behind them, staring at me once again. And this time, instead of eyes looking back at me, this time it's eye sockets were bleeding. Just like I said: Empty sockets with blood oozing out like fountains. My friends turned confused, staring at the floor as my world turning to black.
I don't remember what happened after that but from what they told me, I stood up and kept looking at the floor behind them. But what I can recall was the music.
"And if you go, chasing rabbits..."
My head snapped towards the window like a predator watching fleeing prey. Before they could stop me, I was running for the window in the shape of a warthog.
"...and you know you're going to fall..."
They told me I changed into a vulture and flew off in the distance.
Faint memories, almost like still-frames in my mind. I remember a tv glowing in a TV store, later a garbage can with a cat hissing at me. The rabbit ran across the roof tops with me hot in pursuit. Of course I didn't have the communicator on me, I wouldn't know if the Titans or the Gods were calling me. I was on the loose in Jump City, probably looking like a frothing, raving monster chasing after an imaginary, blind rabbit with bloody eye sockets that only I could see. No one knows the things I got into that night but maybe the angels helped Raven find me while I dug a hole in the park.
My return was badly savagely ruined as I broke free of Raven's magic once we arrived in the tower. I can clearly remember Starfire's face and those green eyes of her's staring in shock as her friend roared in anger, tearing away from the group. The rabbit was ahead of me once again I pursued like a bat out of hell. Down the hallways which started to rain crimson blood, past wide corridors built of rusted steel and obsidian flesh. The music growing louder and louder, the sight of demons, birds, skeletons, and aliens inspiring me to run ever faster. Through all the doors I passed I could sense where the rabbit was leading me. The smell had given it away even before I got there; the smell of rancid food and unwashed laundry. The rabbit was leading me to the one place I could call my home in this Tower.
When I got into the room or what I thought was my room, I knew then and there that I was in deep trouble. The lock was engaged on the door, the Titans were kept at bay for the moment. But as the bloody walls and decaying bits of flesh vanished behind me, the sight before me was terrifying enough to shock me into temporary sobriety. My room had become a gothic nightmare of a graveyard marked by headstones, dead trees, iron fences, and lightning in the dark sky above. It was like the night I first watched Tales From the Crypt and had nightmares for weeks. I could see the evil rabbit in the distance standing a hundred feet tall but only an outline seemed visible in the darkness.
What appeared to be stone-cased versions of pizza boxes and flowers in the shape of wrappers and candy started to sprout up from the blackened grass. For the first time since I laid my head on the bed, I honestly felt full control of my body. Some part of my mind realized I was merely standing in my room while my hallucination felt as though I moved across the cemetery. The smell from each bit of rotting food and dirty laundry filled the air with the scent of decay and death while ashen mud fell from the sky. I fell to my knees, covering my eyes with dirty hands soaked in wet Earth as the ground around me filled with this vile substance. What the fuck was that drug trying to say?
"Garfield..." it couldn't be.
"Gar...field.." no... not those voices.
"Gar!" Like ghosts... they were ghosts. Like wraiths in the night, fog-like and wispy. Risng from the tombstones, they stood side by side with skeletal faces but voices of humans I'd not heard from since I was very little.
"Mom.. dad..." I walked, dear God did I walk towards the ghosts staring down at me, towards that bloody rabbit, towards the darkness without end past rotten corpses and gray skulls filled with worms wriggling out of the eyes.
I could hear the Titans behind me but I couldn't turn back. No, nothing could've made me look back at that moment. I could feel my entire essence crashing down on me like the drain at the bottom of an emptying bathtub.
And when that wretched feeling ended, the vision of the graveyard vanished into a field of complete fire. The Inferno consumed all, the trees and skulls bursting into flames while blank, inky smoke filled the sky. To my knees I fell, coughing and gagging on the soot and ash all around me. Looking ahead, I could see something far away emerging from the blaze. Rearing up high into the sky, the shape of a massive scorpion's stinger took to the air. Pincer claws followed suit, an angry demon proclaiming it's hate to the universe. No way to move, no place to run. This was it. This was how it was all to end. Burned alive in a field of fire while scorpions marched in rage and skeletons burned. Not just burning either but now those bony figures began to dance in the flames, raising swords and spears into the sky far above. Teeth chattering, they laughed a sickening cackle in unison, their unseen eyes filled with blackness like the inside of a light-less cellar. Decaying ravens flew overhead as the fire began to burn blue rather than red, hellish wraiths appearing from the center of the skeleton dance. What kind of damnable, evil drug was this and what kind of sick, twisted psychopath could create it?
And as I watched, the entire scene turned to black embers. The skeletons screamed in terror, the birds falling from the sky, the wraiths tearing apart. The black flames consumed all, casting away the blue fire. In the middle of this wave of black energy appeared a bird with white feathers, glistening as it approached me. But unlike the prototypical image of a dove or eagle that appear so commonly in stories, this bird was an albino Corvus, a Raven sent from Heaven to save what little sanity I had left in my head.
Now the vision of the graveyard faded to black, returning me once more to my cluttered abode in Titans Tower. How I returned was beyond me, all I could do was cry; I cried much harder than I had in years after my parents died. Everything was coming out from the torture I'd endured in the wake of their death to the pain suffered during my time with the Doom Patrol and even from all the racism and rejection I found in Jump City but most of all Terra refusing to come to grips with our history. And while I sat there that night, I had been wrapped up in the ashen arms of my friend and teammate Raven. She offered me what assurance she could, promising me that it was over, and that everything was going to be ok. So unlike the cold, emotionless soul we'd all come to know, she was showing me the sight of a mother consoling a frightened son after a hard night of night terrors, one that she probably never thought she'd ever get to show us.
The next day I sat on the edge of the roof, staring at the city we called home. I just sat there, staring like a statue but unable to move. Raven had helped suppress the drug in my blood but the damage had been done. Residual traces could be found in my brain and spine, a potential flashback could be triggered from anything as simple as a smack on the back or even stretching too hard. Raven offered to stay up all night to make sure I didn't have a relapse and while I should've felt relieved to have a friend, all I felt was helpless. I felt helpless, like a little child that needed to be babysat in case I threw another a tantrum and, bluntly, it pissed me off to think I had to be in that situation. The knowledge that I had not only been drugged but I'd been talking about this very issue no more than a day prior was enough to make me want to take to the sky and burn every last drug den down as a dragon, punishment suitable for the poisoner of men.
There was no going back. Whether or not it was intentional, the drug cartel had involved me. Someone would have to answer for this and Robin would be upset to hear what I was going to ask of him. He'd say what I wanted to do was entirely spur of the moment, that I hadn't planned it out enough. Too bad. Sometimes things happen to you that are so powerful, so life-changing that you can't plan for them and you can't predict the outcome. Was that one of those moments? I've come to believe so.
They had me chasing rabbits... now I'd be the one chasing them.
A/N2: Introduction is done. Yes, I moved the series to 2006. After thinking about it time and again, the gap between 2004 and 2006/7 would be too great. Gar wouldn't wait to strike back, he'd do it as soon as possible. Now an older, 19 year old Gar is niave and looking for trouble. Never Fear is coming (and I have NOT been fair to Scarecrow, he's no-where near scary enough in my stories.. yet).
- References to "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane throughout the intro.
- "Breathe" and "Time" both appear on Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album.