Without You, I'm Nobody

Couple: Raven/Beast Boy
Song: Nobody- Five For Fighting
Genre: Romance/Angst
One-shot

Take off your shoes
Take off yourself
Take off your rented mental health

Raven had settled down in her room one day. The rain was cold, the air bitingly sharp, and the young girl felt as though everything was falling apart. Lately it had been difficult for her to smile in front of her friends; the storm within her refused to quiet down and let her be.

She let her hood fall slowly away from her face, breathing in. Her lungs and head were throbbing; she felt as though nothing was working out. Before her eyes she saw images; her father, battle, blood.

She wanted to cry, and yet she could not cry. She wanted to scream, but she was saddled with a power that did not allow her to scream. She wanted to break down, and yet she could not. She picked up the jeweled hand mirror she kept, settled somewhere between wanting to see into her mind and not wanting to know what was going on within her. Part of her longed to find a route out, any route, but she knew that she could not.

Instead, she examined her face. Her skin was grey and drawn, and she could see the effects of nights worth of nightmares under her eyes. Her hair was a mess, drawn close to her face. Everything in her was screaming for a release where there was none.

I hate being this way, she thought to herself. I hate the person I will never be able to be.

Another, more disturbing image swam into her mind. This image, she knew, was the real reason everything was changing. It was the image of a green changeling coming to her with an armful of roses one night…

Raven had been sitting by herself that night, outside. Her cloak was drawn up around her shoulders to ward off the night air, and she wanted very little to do with anything.

But he had come anyway. He always managed to find her when she needed someone the most but wanted somebody the least. He had made a joke, which she could not recall, and then sat down at her side.

His touch on her arm had been like electricity.

"Are you okay?" He has asked, suddenly all seriousness. His eyes were unusually large, she noticed for the first time. They were not bad eyes, though. They held a concern and warmth she longed to lose herself in.

"Yes," she said shortly. "I'm always fine."

"Well, I thought you seemed a little down," he said with a smile. "So I got you something…"

How stupid am I, she had thought then, to not see him holding his hands behind his back?

He had extended the roses then, and reached for her. She knew something was wrong, that this was something she could not do, but he held the flowers out to her, letting her see them before he crushed the roses between them.

"I just want you to know, that even if I am a joker, I'm here for you," he whispered in her ear then. With the word love, she heard a voice in her head, strong and powerful, the voice of the father that haunted her past:

You will never be loved. You were not born to be loved. You will live alone. You will die alone.

"I… I have to go," she said, and ran away from him.

Take off your raincoat, settle down
Take off your nightmare and your frown
There is a place for you to go
To see another ringer in a rock show
Take off my pretense for a time…

Ever since that night, she had felt as though she were being torn apart at the seams. She had her father in one corner of her mind and Beast Boy, who she saw looking sadly at her over his shoulder at her, in the other.

She honestly felt as though her whole world was falling to pieces.

She was unsure where the sudden feelings had come from. She supposed if she was honest with herself, the feelings were not random or sudden. Rather they were intense and long-lasting, but finally to the point where she could not deal with them anymore.

She hated not being able to deal. She felt all of her false pretense coming off, all of her reasoning falling to bits.

She had to get out of her room. Rewrapping her cloak around herself, she turned on her heel. The mirror she needed, the control she felt she had to hold to herself, was falling apart. Symbolically, the mirror clattered to the floor, lying under her bed, and she refused to turn or look back.

She knew she could take no more. She felt her very identity, everything she considered herself to be- loveless, in control, focused- slipping away from her.

Instead of exiting through the tower, where she could be seen, she headed to the roof.

I'm nobody, I'm nobody
Without you, buddy
You, buddy
My long-lost friends…

Beast Boy sat cross-legged on the ground. In his hand he held a single, long-stemmed rose. The very act of touching it brought back all the pain of rejection, but lately he had refused to let go of it. With Raven avoiding him like the plague, he needed something to hold onto; some reminder of how he really felt about her.

He knew he had been depressing lately. He knew that his crush on the woman who had rejected him was beyond obvious, because he no longer teased her. Instead, he stared at her with a kind of longing. He felt a strong need for something he did not understand; an explanation, a cause, a reason for her cold rejection were all things that he desired. But he had gotten none of these.

In fact, she seemed to avoid his eyes.

He assumed, naturally, that it was because she did not feel the same. He twirled the rose in his fingers, over and over, feeling its tiny thorns scratch at his fingers. Like her, it was beautiful. Like her, it had the power to make or break him.

Right now, it was breaking him.

He did not feel like himself. He had no desire to joke or to laugh. He barely focused on video games, on battles, or even on food. The drive had gone out of him. Before, he had been able to flirt with her. Before, he had a reason to believe that she would like him back.

Now he had nothing.

And he felt like no one.

If you're not here to hear me scream
Well, am I silent, like a dream?
Where all the dragons are my friends
And each night, we meet our bitter end?
Do I need you to make me real
Like Wheeler, spinning his own wheel?

Raven stepped out onto the roof. Everything in her was raging. Had she been less distracted, less full of her personal hell- her father's voice echoing loudly in her head- She might have seen Beast Boy sitting in the spot where she intended to land. But all she noticed was the loud screaming in her head.

The screaming wanted her to talk to Beast Boy. The screaming wanted her to know love. But the screaming opposite it, the voice of her father, of the man who had created her just to have a means by which to take the world by storm, screamed just as loudly at her not to take the chance.

The voices conflicted. She dived from the building. For a moment she hated the power that held her aloft, that took her towards her destination. She wondered how it would feel to just fall, to end it in a blissful blue ocean…

But it did not end. Her feet touched the ground as though she had not been floating through time and space.

She felt herself becoming unfocused. She felt as though she was going insane. She felt as though if she screamed, nobody would hear her.

And suddenly she could not fight it anymore. A terrible sound, a terrible surge of power, came up from within her, and she cried out. The words were the most significant thing she could have screamed, given the circumstances:

"I'm so sorry!" She fell to her knees, struggling to pull the emotion back into her, to keep the burst of power from affecting her life.

"I'm sorry Beast Boy!" She thought her screams were reaching nobody. She felt empty, hollow. She felt something beside her fly up, then back down, and struggled to rein herself in.

She felt, at that moment, like nobody she knew.

I'm nobody, I'm nobody
Without you, buddy

You, buddy
My long-lost friends…

"Raven?" Beast Boy looked up upon hearing someone scream his name. There, not even a football field's length away from him, Raven lay on the ground, breathing heavily, obviously struggling to hold herself together. He could see that her face was twisted in pain.

Still clutching onto the rose, he ran towards her.

"Stay away!" She yelled. "Stay away from me before I hurt you!"

He felt his breath catch in his throat. The words hurt, but there was also something forced in them. It sounded, for a moment, as if Raven was unsure that she wanted to say it.

"I'm not staying away from you!" He yelled. "I can't, Raven!"

He reached her side, took her hand. "Beast Boy…" She said softly, rolling so that she could place her sweaty cheek on his knee. "Beast Boy, we can't do this."

"Why?" He asked her, growing annoyed. "I'm tired of the mystery. I'm tired of you being all dark all the time! I just want an answer, Raven! I want to know why I can't be with you when you're everything to me!"

Not everybody had a brain
Not everybody's going sane
Not everybody wishes well
Not everybody's heaven's hell

Sometimes there's someone to blame
Sometimes a place for shame

She looked up at him softly. Hers were the most beautiful eyes he'd ever seen. She felt that the control was already gone, that the argument in her mind had to be won over one way or the other. She summoned her father's words to her mind, trying to strengthen her resolve.

She wanted to scream, to tell him to go. But it felt right to be lying on Beast Boy, even though a part of her was screaming at her to get up.

She knew she couldn't take anymore, and the anticipation on his face was awful. "I can't love you. I have no capacity for love."

"I know you do! I've seen you smile and laugh just as much as everyone else!"

"But that doesn't mean I can love!"

"I feel like you already do," he said softly. "What, is there somebody other than me?"

"Don't be insane, Beast Boy. I wouldn't lie to you… I couldn't."

"Why?"

"I can't… I can't say it."

"Do you love me, Raven?"

"I just told you I can't love…" She looked away. Her father's voice raged in her head. Part of her agreed with Beast Boy. She was fighting to get it out, to bring back the control with which she'd lived her life.

She knew she couldn't be able to return to who she'd been.

"Yes… Yes Beast Boy, I love you!" She spat the words out, raw and powerful.

He leaned down to kiss her, and she did not resist.

Sometimes good's better than bad
Sometimes good's better than bad
Sometimes you're better than me…

Suddenly she pulled back from him. "We can't let this happen."

"Why?"

"I might lose control."

"I can wait. We can do what it takes."

"But what if I don't want to do what it takes?"

"Would we be here if you didn't?"

She was silent then. She let him ease her up off the ground and set her against his shoulder. For once, he was all seriousness.

"I just feel like I can't disobey that… monster…" She whispered to him softly, confronting her fears out loud. "How on earth can I ever get out from under a curse? I'm not meant to love. I was born to die."

"You were born for whatever you wanted to be born for," Beast Boy told her, holding her hand. "You've already kept your father out of this world, and we'll keep him out of you."

"You're so much better than me," she whispered to Beast Boy. "You're the real hero on this team."

"Don't let Robin hear you say that," he whispered. They both laughed, and Beast Boy stood, picking Raven up with him. "Let's go, okay?"

She wanted to say no. She wanted to fight it. Everything in her screamed to fight it. But she already knew she couldn't. A part of her had been awoken.

Without him, she would be nobody.

"Okay," she said, taking his hand. "Let's go.

But I know, as we go 'round and 'round
Though endings are never ever happy

It's the happy moments along the way
That in the end, make it all okay.

Raven stayed in the living room that evening for the first time in days. She smiled at everyone, and, although she occasionally bowed her head as though to regain control and at one point, after Beast Boy surprised her by grabbing her around the waist, left the room, she seemed to be doing okay.

Her father's voice still raged in her head, but there was another means to combat it; the means of a boy telling her she was born to be whoever she chose to be.

That night, she shocked her entire team. Beast Boy approached her with a controller. "Wanna play with me?" He asked.

"Sure," she said, and sat down beside him. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder while he set it up, and she let her head rest on his shoulder.

It really will, she thought, be okay somehow.

(A/n: I'm not a BB/R fan by any means, but I decided to give it a try, as per request. Thoughts always welcomed.- TGR)