Beast Boy tore out of the school, the bright sun almost blinding him. With his eyes tearing slightly, he swiftly changed forms. Seconds later, with green cheetah paws padding across the ground, he ran through the city towards the western edge.
The warehouse that Robin's signal had come from looked like a dark spot in the bright city. He changed back into his normal form, approaching the doors cautiously. Beast Boy glanced around, unsure if this was the place or if he was too late.
A crash from within the building had his ears perking up; nope, this wasn't over yet. He burst in through the doors, gasping slightly as he surveyed the damage.
Huge chunks had been torn out of the walls, oil had leaked across the floor, windows were shattered and the floor was split with gashes of concrete. The creature stood among the carnage, his mechanical eyes focusing on the two girls that flew above him.
Starfire's eyes gleamed green as she threw bolts of fire at it, noises of anger escaping as it continued to dodge her missiles. Raven floated even higher, bringing pieces of the ceiling down upon its hapless head. It glared up at the girls, picking up a steel beam and throwing it like a javelin. It caught Starfire in the stomach, sending her and the beam into the wall with a screech.
Robin's yell had him turning, seeing the Boy Wonder picking himself up off the ground with effort. He had apparently been thrown just moments before Beast Boy had shown up. Glancing about for the other member of the team, the changeling gasped to see Cyborg pulling himself out of a shattered window.
Robin ran over to him, "Come on, Raven needs help."
The creature was throwing pieces of the floor at Raven now. She was dodging them, but only barely. Cyborg fell with a clatter next to them.
"That thing turns into whatever it's touching. Let's see if we can't make it turn into something a little more vulnerable." He grinned at the green teen.
Beast Boy grinned back, showing a little fang. He leapt into the air, morphing into an armadillo as he did. Cyborg caught him, throwing the animal with deadly accuracy. Mid-flight, Beast Boy heard Raven cry out. One of the concrete pieces must have hit her. He flinched, but there wasn't anything he could do for her now.
The creature hadn't been expected an armadillo, but it was only through quick movement that kept it from dislodging Beast Boy as soon as he landed. He elongated and thinned out, a giant boa constrictor wrapping around and around the creature. He could feel the creature trying to keep from changing, but he just tightened his grip around it.
Eventually the thing relented, it's skin rippling as it grew scales. A circle of dark power appeared beneath the two scaled creature, lifting them up. The power grew upwards, beginning to surround them.
"Get out of there." A voice growled.
Beast Boy turned his reptilian head, seeing the dark empath glowing behind him. Bruises were already forming on her face and her cloak was torn. He nodded, loosening his grip and morphing into a bird. He made his way clear, or so he thought.
A hand caught him just as he took off. Beast Boy squawked and jerked his leg out of the thing's grip. It hit him again, spinning him out of control. He managed to revert back into his own form just before he hit the wall. Sliding down it, he heard his friends call out his name, just before he blacked out.
Raven saw Beast Boy hit the wall, but gritted her teeth and ignored it. She couldn't afford to lose her concentration. She had the creature encased in a dome of her power, but she was losing energy quickly. Raven had already lost her grip on her levitation and landed on the ground, she couldn't keep him caught forever.
It slammed against her power, sending ripples of energy across the surface. She flinched, feeling the blow like a hammer across her forehead.
"Someone better call the authorities. Now." She managed to spit out, a sheen of sweat breaking out on her grey skin. She heard someone on their communicator, contacting someone who could hold this creature better. She poured more and more power into the shield, her limbs starting to shake.
Robin stood behind her, she could sense him.
"You think you can hold it?" He asked quietly.
She swallowed hard, her vision darkening at the edges, "I have to." She didn't look away from the creature, "How's Beast Boy?"
Raven nodded, feeling faint.
"They'll be here within moments." Cyborg's voice came on from behind her.
"Raven will be all right, won't she?" Starfire asked from further back. She must have been tending to Beast Boy.
Ignoring the question, Raven kept her focus on the creature. They had spent days trailing this thing, and it was too dangerous to try to catch a second time. Raven swayed a little, she felt Cyborg helping her to stand straight. A shudder ran through her and she began to feel nauseas.
"I can hear them. They've just pulled up to the door." Starfire said, concern lacing her voice.
"Just a few more seconds, Raven." Robin said kindly.
She didn't bother to nod or make any sign that she heard him. It was now only Cyborg that was holding her up.
The doors sprang open and a bunch of police came in, holding steel beams wrapped in some sort of fabric. They were moving quickly, but Raven wasn't sure if it was going to be quick enough. Her eyes began to close, but she forced them open once more, running on pure determination. The men had two sides of the cage up already.
Her shield flickered and the creature reached out to swipe at one of the policemen. Raven snapped it back up, and she felt a trickle of blood seep out of her nose and ears. There was a top and a bottom of the cage on now. Only two more sides to go.
It flickered once more, but she brought it up again. Blood dripped onto her leotard and then onto the floor.
"Come on, Rae…" Cyborg said quietly.
One more side to go. Just as they were about to lock the final one in, Raven's shield dropped one final time. There was no way she could get it back up. The creature's hand shot out, catching her across the jaw. There were screams and the sounds of Cyborg's cannon and Starfire's bolts, but then there was only darkness.
Raven groaned, her head was pounding painfully. She didn't open her eyes yet. Instead she took stock of her injuries. Usually her magiks would have healed them already, but she could feel her reserves of strength just barely beginning to renew themselves. It would take concentration to heal herself, and then she would be spent once more.
Aside from her head, her entire body ached. The concrete that she had been unable to block had caught her mostly on her left side and sent her into the wall. One rib was cracked, but the rest was just bumps and bruises. Then there was the weakness.
She had rarely allowed herself to use so much power that she would run out for a while. It had always seemed too dangerous. She still agreed with that idea, but there had been no alternative. Nothing else could have held the creature for as long as she did. She gasped, her eyes flying open.
She hadn't held it long enough, though. She knew her shield had failed the moment she blacked out. She sat up, ignoring the dizziness that threatened to overwhelm her.
Raven was in the med room in Titans Tower, lying on one of the five beds. She looked around, breathing a sigh of relief. It was completely dark out; hours must have passed since their encounter with the creature. If she was back here, that meant that everyone was okay. A noise from her left had her turning.
Almost everyone was okay.
Beast Boy lay on one of the other cots, eyes closed. He was breathing, so she wasn't too concerned. Raven was about to lay back and try to heal herself when something on the edge of her awareness caught her attention.
Sensing emotions like she did, Raven could tell that Beast Boy's were a mess right now. Anger, guilt, fear and sorrow were all foremost in his mind. What the emotions were didn't bother her so much, as what they were doing.
She sat up straighter, holding her side and looked at the changeling. The emotions she had sensed had been strong at first, but now she could feel them fading. As if Beast Boy's mind was starting to shut down.
With a muffled curse Raven stood, muttering to herself. "Idiots. Letting him sleep with a concussion."
She staggered over to his bed, placing her hand on his head. She ignoring how much she was shaking and pushed back the little voice that told her this was a bad idea after everything else she had done today.
Gently, Raven probed Beast Boy's mind, finding the edge of the darkness that was started to consume him. Luckily she had noticed this quickly, otherwise there might have been permanent damage. She tried not to pay too much attention to Beast Boy's feelings, but some of them were unavoidable.
Terra was foremost in his thoughts now. The negative thoughts she had sensed earlier were all focused around her. Raven felt her own little stab of anger, but decided it could wait for another time.
For some reason, Slade was also a large part of Beast Boy's anger. Raven was so startled to see him in Beast Boy's mind that she gasped, almost losing her concentration entirely. Despite beating him multiple times, she harbored a deep hatred and a small fear of Slade, especially after the incident with Trigon.
With care, Raven burned away all the darkness creeping up on Beast Boy's mind. As the last bit faded, she felt him wake up. She left his mind gently, her consciousness returning to her own beaten body.
Green eyes found hers, "Raven? What's going on?" He asked.
She tried to turn back to her own bed, but found her body wasn't responding. She crumpled to the ground, feeling a little shame that she couldn't even stand. Maybe she had pushed her self a little too far again.
"Raven?" Beast Boy said, his eyes wide with worry. "Are you okay? What can I do?"
She tried to answer him, tell him that it was natural and all she needed was sleep, but her mouth didn't move at all. She felt her eyes roll up in the back of her head and was annoyed that this was happening again today. Beast Boy's worried voice chased after her, into unconsciousness.