a.n. HIYA! I'm a kicking punching BB/Rae machine lately! Especially given that on Chrissie eve my computer got a nasty virus and my dad had to rebuild the machine and I only got it back yesterday. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!

Disclaimer: I STILL don't own TT, but when I do I'll let you know

Raven had been distant all day. Well, more distant. Only Beast boy had noticed; he had missed her sarcastic remarks and snide comments on his lack of a brain. She'd been mostly silent for the whole day, saying only a few words to any of them, and even then, only to answer. It worried him.

Beast boy was never really afraid of Raven, but he was afraid for her. She'd been through enough in her relatively short life that she deserved a few years of calm. Make that decades of calm.

The day wasn't, as far as he knew, anything special. It wasn't anyone's birthday; hers had been about a month previous, nor was it the anniversary of anything; it was another few weeks until the anniversary of Trigons ascension. They'd planned a party so Raven couldn't spend the day moping. And now she was moping early.

Beast boy sighed sadly as he climbed the stairs to the roof. He really hated it when Raven was sad. It made him sad too, the look on her face, the sorrow in her eyes, and the defeat in her voice. That was why he always tried to include her, so she wouldn't be sad.

He turned into a fly and crawled under a crack in the door to find Raven sitting cross-legged surrounded by a circle of dust, chanting. She wasn't meditating, that much was sure.

"Azarath Metrion Zinthos...Carazon Rakashas Endere...Vaserix Endrien Azarath...Azarath, Azarath!"

When the portal suddenly appeared and swallowed up the empath Beast boy gasped and without thinking, jumped through after her.

Incomprehension. Nothing was normal, nothing was even identifiable. Beast boy was stuck in a maelstrom of random colors and roaring winds, not even able to make out his teammate through the rainbow hurricane.

He hit the ground with a painful 'thump!' that knocked the wind out of him. Beast boy raised himself up to his hands and knees and looked around. Before him was a large rock which more or less concealed him from view. He looked up and gasped; the sky was brilliant gold. Looking away from the rock that concealed him he crawled to where the ground seemed to vanish, expecting some form of slope. Instead he yelped as he discovered that the ground disappeared, the golden sky continuing below.

The green teenager scrambled away from the edge of the precipice and ended up backed up against the boulder again when he heard a soft voice from the other side.

"Mother… I'm back. Again."

Beast boy peered over the rock and remembered the reason he was there. Raven. She was standing with her back to him and a bouquet of poppies in her hands. He frowned. Flowers? Raven? And what was she looking - ?

Oh my god. He couldn't form coherent thought. That was a city. Or what was left of one. More like a smoldering ruin. The remains were a few hundred meters away, towering high above them with smoke still billowing from them. He and Raven were perched on the edge of the floating asteroid. He didn't know why, but the sight of the devastation brought tears to his eyes.

Suddenly Beast boy became aware of music playing, and a voice singing.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row
That mark our place and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly

Raven was singing? She had summoned the music with her powers, and she was singing? And, though he couldn't tell from this far away, it looked like she was crying too. What could have made her so upset? What was this place?

Scarce heard amid the guns below
We are the dead short days ago
We lived felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved and now we lie

Yep, she was definitely crying. And to be honest, so was he a little. He'd only ever seen Raven cry once, and known that she had twice. When Malchior betrayed her he knew that she was crying, but she demanded to be left alone. And when Trigon had ascended, well, the world was ending. No one could blame her.

In Flanders Fields in Flanders Fields
And now we lie in Flanders Fields.

Take up your quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die

So someone had died? Who did Raven know who'd died? And why didn't she ever say anything? Did she have a sister or something? When had this happened? Was it before they had met?

We shall not sleep though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields in Flanders Fields
We shall not sleep though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields in Flanders Fields

The song came to its conclusion and Raven sank to her knees, placing the poppies before the city and crying softly.

There was nothing Beast boy hated more than seeing Raven hurt in any way. Physical, emotional, it didn't matter. But physical was easier. She could heal herself, and he could tear apart the person who had hurt her. Emotionally was a different kettle of fish.

When Raven was hurt emotionally she shut people out to protect her pride. Those were the times when he wanted to help her the most; because no matter how good her healing powers were they couldn't mend a broken heart. Only a friend could heal your heart. He sometimes wondered if she knew that.

He wanted to go to her. But he was worried it might do more harm than good; if she yelled at him and sent him away then he would be so much more distanced from her that it hurt to think about it.

He was so lost in thought that Beast boy didn't notice Raven's back stiffen as she sat up a little. She gave a minuscule sniff, "What are you doing here Beast boy?"

"Uuh," He moved into view, "I dunno."

Raven rolled her eyes and turned to face him, wiping the tears from her face, "Let me rephrase that; how did you get here?"

He bit his lip, she's gonna kill me, "Well, you were acting all weird today so I went up to the roof to see if you wanted to talk and you were all like 'Zzap!' and this portal thingy opened, and you went in, so…"

"You followed me?"

Beast boy gulped at the disbelieving note in her voice. "Uh huh."

"Do you have any idea how dangerous that is?"

"Yeah, I- what?" It wasn't the statement that surprised him so much as the tone of voice she used. She sounded… concerned.

The empath closed her eyes momentarily and looked away from him. "You could have been lost so easily. For that to be my fault too…" Her eyes fell once again on the remains of the city.

"Raven," He sat beside her, gazing upon the ruins, "What happened here? What is this place?"

She was closing in on herself the way she did when she was upset. "This place is nothing. Not anymore." She squeezed her eyes shut but couldn't prevent two more tears escaping and she knew that Beast boy noticed. After a few minutes of silence she relented. "This was once called Azarath."

Beast boy frowned, "Isn't that the first word in your spell thingy?"

Raven nodded, "Yes, all the words in my mantra mean something to me. Everyone's mantra would be different if they took the time to work it out. Metrion is what I would have been named if I was a boy, and Zinthos was the name of the priest who trained me, along with the Azar."

"What's Azarath?"

Ravens face showed inexpressible grief. "Home."

Beast boy looked up sharply, "Raven, I'm so sorry." He tentatively placed one arm around her shoulders and to his surprise she didn't push him away.

She shook her head, "Again, you didn't do anything. You've got nothing to apologize for."

"I'm sorry that it happened. And that we couldn't stop it. I'm sorry you didn't trust us enough to tell us."

"I-it's got nothing to do with trust Beast boy. I just… I didn't want to burden you any more than I already have."

Beast boy released her and crossed his arms bitterly, "Why do you always think you're a burden Raven? You're our friend, and you have to put up with our stuff. You can't even bring yourself to tell us your home was nuked."

Raven hung her head as she realized what he said was true, "I'm sorry." Well, except for one detail. "And Azarath wasn't nuked."

"What happened? D-did anyone survive?"

Raven clenched one fist around a small protruding rock until it cracked and shook her head robotically. "It's my fault."

"I know that's not true."

Raven remained silent. In her mind it was her fault; Trigon destroyed Azarath, and he wouldn't have been able to escape if not for her.

"You blame yourself for everything, unless it's actually your fault. Like when you blew up the game-station last week."

She glared, "That was your fault. If you hadn't-" She broke off realizing she had just proved him right.

Beast boy smiled affectionately but it faded quickly as his gaze fell again on Azarath, "What happened?"

The empath squeezed her eyes shut to prevent further tears and whispered, "Trigon. H-he destroyed Azarath, killed everyone here. The Azar, the people," She drew a shuddering breath, "My mother."

Oh my- "Raven…"

"It's fine." She replied. Though her voice was steady she felt tears well up in her eyes again. "I never got to spend much time with her anyway."

Beast boy placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Why not?"

A single tear escaped. "I cared about her too much. I wasn't allowed because of my powers."

"Oh." Did that mean she didn't care about him?

Raven sniffed and almost smiled. She could feel his emotion over her previous statement and guessed what was bothering him. "I had to acclimatize to you and the others. It took ages."

Beast boy frowned and thought back. It was true; when they had first become the titans Raven had spent most of her time in her room. Slowly but surely though, she began to come up for air from her isolated pool, spending more time in the common room, meditating there instead of her room, and generally being more friendly. For Raven anyway.

"Bet you didn't know that."

Beast boy pouted, "I thought I was getting somewhere trying to get you to come out of your room." Now it turned out he was just annoying.

A half smile graced her lips. "You were, just not in the way you thought. I didn't need convincing so much as… reminding."

The green boy frowned. "What do you mean?"

Raven shrugged. "I knew how to improve, and I was trying, but sometimes I wondered why I was trying. It seemed easier to just not bother." She paused and shot him a sideways smile, "I have no idea how, but whenever I was thinking like that, you'd come hammering on my door and end up making me come out."

He grinned himself. "Animal instincts. I can tell when people are upset, I can smell it."

The young witch cocked her head curiously. "What does sadness smell like?"

"Uuh... sort of minty. Loneliness is kinda like salt water."


Beast boy smiled fondly. "I came to get you when your room smelt like toothpaste in the ocean."

Raven smiled a little. "Is that why you followed me?"

"A little. The scent thing's best for when I can't see you." He tentatively put one arm around her shoulders. "I know you Rae, when you're upset I can tell."

She blushed a little at the embrace but didn't push him off. The companionship felt nice. "I sometimes wish you couldn't."

Beast boy frowned and felt a little hurt.

Raven then hugged him back properly. "But then Rage gets locked up again and I'm glad that I'll probably never be rid of you."

Raven was the only girl he knew who could make that sound like a good thing.

a.n. Has anyone else noticed that my ff's seem to be like AC/DC's songs? Meaning that they're basically all the same. Or am I imagining it?