Rise of the Beast
A Teen Titans Fanfic by Quill N. Inque
I do not own Teen Titans.
"The Beast will have its day."- Lord Talbot, "The Wolfman", (2010)
Chapter 1: Hunger
The moonlight cast its eerie glow over the treetops on a clear starry night, and shafts of its ethereal luminescence filtered through the barren branches, creating patches of light on the forest floor below. No birds called out their plaintive cries this night, no crickets chirruped and no frogs croaked as they normally did on such evenings. It was as if nature was holding her breath, and one could see why after laying eyes upon IT.
The dried leaves crunched like potato chips underneath the creature's massive paws as it pursued its prey, letting out a spine-tingling howl that would give even Dracula nightmares. It was a howl not heard in nature, a mournful, hungry cry that contained all the misery and suffering of the world in its haunting notes. The monster's lungs burned in its massive, furry chest as it panted for fresh air, its pink tongue lolling out of its mouth, and ever-growing quantities of drool pooled around its snarling fangs as the intoxicating, stinking scent of fear reached its leathery nostrils. That was good; meat always tasted better when seasoned with mind-numbing, heart-stopping terror. It smiled unnaturally, its eyes burning with savage, mindless hunger, and it galloped ever faster as it closed in on its prey.
The majestic stag was mercifully unaware as the creature slammed into it like a green-furred cannonball, its claws ripping through muscle and shredding through flesh as burning blood spattered its paws. With a neat flick of its wrist, the beast severed the stag's throat, and let out a victorious howl before beginning its feast, wrenching off a leg and sucking on the marrow. Everything was still fresh and warm, which was fine in the beast's mind: blood always tasted so much better when it was fresh and hot. He could almost taste the late stag's fear as it feasted under the light of the full moon, thoroughly enjoying its reward for such a long and arduous hunt. The beast bent his head-
And Garfield Logan, aka Beast Boy of the Teen Titans, woke from his sleep with a cold, unnerving sweat. He looked about wildly for a nanosecond, consumed with terror, but the fear immediately vanished as he realized he was back in his room, that it had all been a dream.
Beast Boy shook the last remnants of grogginess from his head and yawned cavernously, but he wasn't fooling himself; this was the fourth time in as many days that he'd had that particular nightmare, the one where he had once again become the creature known only as the Beast and satisfied his more…primal urges.
Beast Boy grimaced. "Stupid nightmares," he muttered. "Even when he's in prison, that Adonis still has the last word! I don't know which is worse! But at least it wasn't the one about Raven again…" He blushed just thinking about what that particular dream had entailed.
Though, to be fair, Beast Boy had been looking at Raven differently these past few months, noticing little things that had escaped his notoriously short attention span before. Like how she made that tiny smile look so adorable, the silkiness of her hair, or the way she rolled her eyes at Beast Boy's jokes. More and more, Beast Boy was starting to see Raven as a woman more than a friend, a woman who sent butterflies fluttering in his stomach whenever she got too close.
Not that he was planning on sharing this information with another living person. Cyborg , in particular, would laugh himself to pieces, and Beast Boy wasn't prepared to risk Raven's friendship by trying to turn it into anything else.
Now he sighed mournfully as he threw the covers off, striding across the room in his boxer shorts to glance at himself in the mirror.
Beast Boy flexed like a professional bodybuilder, grinning foolishly. He had filled out following the defeat of the Brotherhood of Evil, and his previous scrawniness was vanishing bit by bit; each morning, he woke up looking just a tiny bit more muscular than before. Whether it was puberty or a by-product of the chemical that had awakened the Beast in the first place, he didn't know, but Beast Boy was far from complaining as he pulled on his clothes, opening the door afterward with a pneumatic hiss and stepping into the hallway.
Robin was waiting for him. "I was just about to get you up," he said. "Breakfast is almost ready."
Beast Boy grimaced. "Is Star cooking again?"
"Thankfully, no," Robin said, returning his wince. "After what happened last time, I don't think I could handle it."
"I heard that," Beast Boy replied as they turned into the kitchen. He stopped as he went to sit down, because everyone was staring at him.
"What?" Beast Boy asked irritably. "Do I have a zit or something?"
"No, friend Beast Boy," Starfire said, putting aside her glass of mustard. "You have merely seemed troubled these past mornings. Today is no exception," she said, her eyes filling with tears. "Tell us what troubles you. Perhaps we can be of assistance."
"Yeah, man, you've been looking crummy ever since the Brain got put on ice," Cyborg added. "You're not foolin' anyone, dude."
"And don't tell us you're fine when you clearly are not," Raven drawled. "Robin has a bad habit of doing that, and we don't need you starting as well."
Robin glared at her, but Raven merely shrugged. "Well, it's true. I think this is what Bumblebee referred to as a 'stupid guy thing'."
Beast Boy tried to grin reassuringly, but couldn't quite manage it. "I just haven't been sleeping well," he said, blushing furiously again as the memory of his Raven-oriented nightmare thrust its way to the surface of his mind. "I…uh…think it'll be better soon."
"You have a fever or something?" Raven asked, not looking up from her ancient book. "I could probably help with that, you know."
Beast Boy shook his head, but in all honesty he wasn't entirely opposed to Raven's hands on his body. "No, it's not that. Don't worry, guys, I'll be fine in a day or two."
Robin shrugged. "Suit yourself," he said, as he handed his friend a bowl of tofu with milk. Beast Boy licked his lips hungrily; his dream had, it seemed, whetted his appetite. He picked up the spoon by his hand, turning it over-
And saw the Beast's reflection in its shiny surface, its fanged mouth moving while its voice echoed through his mind.
"Let me out," it rasped.
Beast Boy cried out in surprise, falling over in his chair in his haste to discard the utensil, dropping it as if it were a handful of plague virus. The unfortunate chair splintered in two, and Beast Boy's chest heaved and his heart pounded thunderously in his chest as he sobbed for breath.
All too soon, he became aware of his friends' concerned and worried stares, and Beast Boy excused himself hastily, stumbling over his shoes as he fled the dining room.
"I'm going to go take a shower," he muttered to Robin, who edged away slightly at Beast Boy's approach.
"Yeah…you do that," the Boy Wonder replied. "Take your time."
But Beast Boy didn't hear him as the doors closed in his wake.
Minutes later, the changeling slammed the bathroom door bad-temperedly, whipping the faucet on and turning the temperature freezing cold. He bent his head, splashing his face with the icy liquid in a vain attempt to clear his mind. Beast Boy blinked the water out of his eyes, lifted his head-
And nearly fell in the toilet as the reflection of the Beast copied him in the mirror's glassy surface. The creature didn't move as Beast Boy muffled his cry of terror and confusion, but its catlike eyes followed his every move.
"Go back in your box," the young man said through gritted teeth. "Why are you showing up now, of all times? Why can't you just leave me alone?"
"I am always with you," the Beast replied. "I am every primal emotion and urge in your body. I am every carnal thought that flashes through your mind when you look at Raven. Try as you might, you will never be rid of me, Garfield. I will lurk in the darkest corners of your mind until the sun grows cold."
"Go away!" Beast Boy yelled.
The Beast tapped a claw on his chin, pretending to think about it. "I think…not. I will say it again. Let. Me. Out."
"Never," BB snarled back.
"Who do you think you're fooling?" the Beast laughed gruffly. "You may not want to admit it, but at some level…you enjoy being me, Garfield. You find exhilaration in the power and strength I wield. Deep down, you want it as much as I do. Just like you want the girl, I imagine. Well, what's stopping you? Set me free and make her your mate! You know you want to!"
"The question is, does RAVEN want to?" Beast Boy replied quietly. "I will NEVER do anything to hurt her. I don't even know if she feels the same way, and if I took advantage of her like that, she'd never forgive me."
The Beast snorted. "Details, details, Garfield. Why don't you grow a pair and ask her out on a -what do you humans call it?- a date, already? The sooner you do that, the sooner…"
Beast Boy slammed his fist in the mirror. "STOP IT!" he roared. "Raven is not a sex object! She's my friend!"
"Look at you go!" the creature chortled merrily. "If only you pursued Raven with the passion you defend her."
"Just leave me alone," Beast Boy sobbed, sinking into the tub.
"I will not rest until you give me that which I desire," the Beast said firmly. "Sooner or later, I will be free, Garfield, though by your doing or mine remains to be seen. And until you grant me liberation, until you let me feel the wind in my fur and the grass in my paws, you will see me every time you close your eyes. See you tonight," it said, grinning ferociously as the Beast faded away.
Beast Boy glared at the now-empty mirror. "You're not going to win," he said firmly.
But in his heart, he just wasn't sure.
A/N: So, here's my latest fic! I've been wanting to do something like this for quite some time now, and I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed typing it! ^^ Chapter Two will probably be up sometime this week, though exactly when is hard to say, due to the rather annoying interruption of the educational system. XD Rest assured, I will try to have the next installment up as soon as time permits.
Your humble servant,
-Quill N. Inque