This is a bit darker than my usual fare. You have been warned.
It chased her without mercy, looming behind her like death its self.
Raven could feel the underbrush press against her, scratching and raking macabre, red patterns across her pale skin. Her foot caught on a gnarled root and she had to cling to a broken branch to keep herself from tumbling into the earth. Her breath caught like steel hooks in her lungs, clawing at her and filling her with the scent of moist, decaying leaves and wet dog. Blood trickled over her pale skin and down her leg, pooling at her heel. On her right hip were three long gashes that sliced sideways from belly button to spine. It was a mark, a brand on her body that signified she had been chosen.
Raven was running from a present she didn't understand, and a future she couldn't see.
In the distance a lonely howl pierced the thick silence of the forest, sending shivers down her spine. Raven could feel panic ripple through her muscles and her feet picked up again, zigzagging through the trees. Seconds turned to minutes, the minutes faded into an hour, her muscles growing weary with every step, but the beast behind her never tired. It followed closely, matching her stride for stride. It never tired of the chase. Finally, she tumbled through the tree line, her body now subdued by exhaustion. Red foot prints followed her into the center of the field, before she collapsed stomach-first on the lone boulder standing like an altar in the sea of tall, golden grass.
Raven lay there, gasping for breath, watching the movement through her peripheral vision. Twigs snapped, and grunts and snarls could be heard in the near distance. If she moved just the right way, she could see flashes of a beast circling towards her. He was eyeing his prey, the prey that he'd already marked. It paused at her footprints, lapping at the blood and savoring the taste.
Raven swallowed her fear and turned to face it. There was a long moment as their eyes met, he bore his teeth and snarled again. Raven's heart picked up, pounding against her ribs in a frantic, unorganized rhythm. Above her, the sky cracked open in a flash of light, and the heavens opened up, diluting the scent of her blood. The beast howled, stepping toward her slowly, as if contemplating its plan. Raven grunted in pain as her body slid further down the slick boulder, exposing the backs of her naked thighs.
It took a long step toward her, paused, another, and another...
Raven's lips moved, mumbled out silent, breathless words as it moved closer to her. The beast growled and sniffed at her hair, her neck, the mark it made on her hip, and then her sex. It grumbled in satisfaction as it moved behind her. After a pause of anticipation, soft skin slid along the backs of her legs, stroking her from ankle to hips, mixing blood and water and sweat. Strong, nimble fingers explored and probed her, examining her body.
There was another low grunt before weight settled onto her back and human lips feathered across her neck, over her shoulders, and down her spine. A broad, warm tongue stroking her whenever he felt it was necessary. Pressure began to build between them, and Raven let loose sobs of ragged emotion. The sky cracked open again, and Raven let a word of affirmation fall from her lips. A disapproving growl was her response.
Raven cried again, her fingers clutching the grass, searching for anything to hold on to. The lips returned to her neck, pressing against her ear as more silent words spilled out. Raven wasn't sure if it was rain soaking her face or if it was tears. The fingers continued to explore her while the other hand stilled her movements, restraining her thrashing body against the boulder. The tongue that had tasted her was now lapping at her neck, followed by the scrape of sharp, animalistic teeth. A low, deep chuckle filled her ears before the teeth sunk into her neck, subduing her. Raven screamed, her fingers digging even deeper into the grass. She felt his broad, strong hands grip her hips, positioning her like a sacrifice on the boulder.
Raven screamed and bolted up right in bed, clutching her chest, trying to calm the rapid movement of her body and the blood in her ears. She gasped for breath, fighting for control over her body. What the hell just happened? Raven's hand slid down to her stomach and felt her muscles clench and unclench in anticipation and shock. Her body was confused, both aroused and repulsed by what her mind had witnessed, and unable to process either reaction. Still gasping, she removed the covers from her body and fell out of her bed, limbs shaking under her weight.
Raven stumbled toward her bathroom, trying to regain her mental footing on this plane of existence. The back of her head seemed to buzz with a million different kinds of energies, grasping at pictures and emotions from her very vivid dream. Raven turned on the cold water and splashed her face, staring at her sallow reflection in the mirror. Her skin was nearly translucent, and her eyes appeared sunken into her face. She took a deep breath and stepped back, calming herself. She needed to be logical and pragmatic about this, otherwise things would start blowing up and the world would tumble around her ears. Not to mention what her friends would think if they found out. Ugh.
She pressed a cold cloth to her forehead and sat down of the edge of the bathtub, still staring at her reflection in the mirror. First, and foremost, she knew that her pursuer had been Beast Boy (Changeling, Garfield, Beast Man… whatever he called himself these days). And while his ferocity was startling, having him invade her dreams wasn't entirely unusual. Raven's face flushed bright red as memories of previous dreams infiltrated her senses. But all of her dreams had been slightly more conventional, with fuzzy images and awkward touching. Never had she experienced something so… primeval. Something that shook the very core of a woman's primitive nature.
The whole scenario seemed almost ritualistic. A brand, a chase, submission, and then the final act in claiming her. It seemed very ordered and particular, with each piece fitting part of the ritual. Wait… a brand? Raven pulled up her top and stared down at her right hip. There, next to her bellybutton were three light red marks sliding across her pale skin. Raven touched them, feeling a gentle heat burn underneath, as if she had just gently scraped against something. She closed her eyes, trying to remember how she had gotten them…
"Damnit, Beast Boy!" Raven barely had time to tell him to watch out before his body connected with hers. They tumbled end-over-end until finally rolling to a stop next to a cement pillar. Beast Boy grunted as she landed on top of him, her cloak sliding around both of them. He offered her a sheepish grin and moved his hands to her hips.
"Heh… sorry, Rae. I didn't mean to roll into you." His grip tightened on her hips and he slid her body off of his. Raven felt heat explode in her stomach and she stared at him, trying to remember that there was a fight going on around them and she needed to pay attention to it, and not focus on her clumsy friend. "I'll try harder not to hit you next time."
Raven rolled her eyes and stood up, dusting herself off. "Try to make sure there isn't a next time."
"Will do!" Beast Boy moved to salute her, but something caught his gaze, and color flooded his face. He stepped forward and pressed his hand against her hip again, as if trying to examine her. "Awe, man, Rae! I'm really sorry, I must have scratched you when we fell. Does it hurt?"
Raven blinked up at his face, her own face turning red at their proximity. She tried to pull away, but her back connected with the pillar and pinned her in that small space in front of Beast Boy. "I'm fine… it's just my hip, nothing to be concerned with."
His face paled suddenly and he yanked his hand back as if he'd been burned, staring intently at the three small scratches next to her bellybutton. "Your hip?"
Raven blinked, cocking her head to the side. Her eyebrows knitted together, trying to decipher the emotions running across his face. What did it matter if it was her hip or shoulder or other body part? "Yeah. So, forget about it and let's get back to the fight before Mammoth pummels our leader."
"Ah… right…" He rubbed the back of his head and turned from her, jogging back into the throng of the fight. Raven shook her head and stared down at the small, bloody scratches, touching them gingerly. She took a deep breath and began to heal herself, but the marks still felt strange, as if they were more than just an accidental injury. Raven shook off the feeling and followed Beast Boy back to their friends.
That had been last week, and despite of her intense healing abilities the evidence of the mark was still there, burning like a brand. Raven splashed her face with water again and stepped out of her bathroom. It was nearing normal waking hours, so there was so real reason for Raven to go back to sleep. Not to mention she wanted to avoid having that dream again. She stripped off her pajamas and pulled on her uniform, readying for what would undoubtedly be an interesting day.
The tower was still quiet this early. Somewhere, several floors below, Raven could hear Robin starting his early-morning training routine, but there were no other signs of life. Cyborg must have still been powered down, Starfire asleep, and Beast Boy…
Raven jumped and nearly tripped over her own feet. She hadn't heard him? He was usually as loud as a herd of elephants trampling down the hallway, how did she miss him? Furthermore, how had he managed to stay so quiet? Raven offered him a half-hearted wave, avoiding his curious gaze. "Hello."
"You're up early." He fell into step behind her, and Raven had to use every ounce of her restraint not to turn around and snap his neck. She didn't need him this close, especially not after… whatever that was last night. "Everything okay?"
"Fine." She turned into the kitchen and began rummaging through the cabinets, hoping he would get the hint.
"Okay…" Beast Boy moved to leave, and Raven started to breathe a sigh of relief, when he paused and turned back to her. Raven watched him cock his head to the side and stare at her, leaning back on his heels, hands on his hips. "Are you sure? You seem kinda… off."
"Beast Boy…" Raven turned and watched a frown pass across his lips.
"Awe, come on, Rae. No one calls me that anymore. I'm too old." Raven just rolled her eyes at him and continued to rummage. Maybe if she ignored him, he would just go away. He gave her a one-shouldered shrug and started for the kitchen door. "Whatever… see you later."
"Hey." Why was she doing this? Why did she call him back to her? He paused and turned around to face her, raising an eyebrow in silent acknowledgement. Raven felt panic seize up her muscles and she stared, wide-eyed at Beast Boy. He blinked at her before raising an eyebrow. Raven cleared her throat and fidgeted with the glass in her hand. "Um… can I ask you something really strange?"
He shrugged and took a few steps closer to her. "Depends on what it is, why?"
"Ah…" Why was she doing this? Why couldn't she just leave well-enough alone? Raven turned to the fridge, shrugging slightly. She opened it up, hunting for the juice that was hiding somewhere in the back. "Never mind, it's not a big deal…"
Beast Boy gave a dramatic sigh and leaned over the fridge door to stare at her. She glanced up at him, frowning. "What's up, Rae? I don't mean to sound rude, but this is the most you've talked to me in a week. You've been darting the other way every time we're in the same room together. Not that we've ever had a deep, meaningful relationship or anything… but I thought we were at least friends."
Damnit. When had he gotten so perceptive? There were times when Raven really liked the young, prank-playing, joke-telling, childish Beast Boy. At least, he was slightly more oblivious to the world and could ignore a topic when told to. "I… Yes, we're friends… it's just…" Raven stood up and closed the fridge door, leaning against it. Did she even trust herself to ask him about the dream? What if it wasn't his? What if it was her own dream? That thought sent all kinds of strange sensations rippling down her spine. "It's kind of a weird question, and I'm not sure I really want the answer."
He shrugged. "Ask or don't ask, there is no try."
Raven rolled her eyes. There was the old Beast Boy. She stared at the floor, watching his shadow slide across the tiles. Moments passed, and his calm demeanor morphed into fidgeting. She guessed now was as good a time as any. "Did you happen to dream last night?"
Silence was her response, and Raven looked up into his shocked face. He stumbled backward a few paces, a hand over his mouth, eyes wide and staring at her. Well, there was her answer. The tension between them seemed to grow thick and uncomfortable, and Raven was forced to look away. "Raven… did you… see my dream?"
"Uhm… I'm not sure… did it involve the beast, a field, and… me?" He nodded slowly, tongue coming out to wet his suddenly dry lips. Raven shuddered slightly, taking a step back. "Then yes. Apparently you were broadcasting your dream all over my mind."
"I… I have to go now." He moved closer to the door, hand reaching out to open it. Raven grabbed the sleeve of his uniform, eyes meeting his. Why was she doing this? She should have let him go and pretended this conversation never happened! Beast Boy shifted slightly, pulling his arm away from her grasp. "Please, Raven… don't ask me about this. Anything but this."
"It's a ritual, isn't it?" Raven whispered to the floor.
He stopped again and turned toward her. "Yeah… I… the beast has to take a mate."
"A mate?" Raven picked her gaze up and looked him in the eyes. Curiosity whispered at the edges of her mind. She really needed to let it go, but the illogical part of her mind wanted to keep prying for answers, it wanted open doors to places she knew she did not want to go. "Something permanent or just to procreate?"
"Permanent… as far as I can tell…" Beast Boy rubbed his upper arms, trying to ward off a chill. He shuffled his feet slightly before picking his gaze up to meet hers. "Look, Rae… if you want to go poking around in my dreams, can you at least ask first? You weren't invited, and this conversation is super embarrassing."
"That's putting it mildly." Raven crossed her arms over her chest and narrowed her eyes at him. She felt her anger spike, and Beast Boy stumbled back a few more paces. What right did he have to accuse her of spying? And spying on his little nighttime emission dreams? Like that's what she wanted to do with her free time. She bore her teeth at him, growling low in her throat. "Look, like I said, you were broadcasting the dream all over my mind. I was there with you, and trust me… it wasn't a pleasant experience to be… dominated. And by you of all people." Okay… that was a little low.
"Wait… what?" Panic seemed to fill Beast Boy's muscles, and his limbs began to shake. "You were there? Like… as…"
"Yes." Raven snarled again, approaching him. "I wasn't just watching, I was experiencing. I was right there, running from you the whole time. Right there when the beast cornered me, right there when you touched me, right there when…" Raven's voice trailed off both her and Beast Boy were panting heavily, barely touching, staring at each other. Raven jumped away from him, her face burning in embarrassment. What was she doing? They started to fight, but lost the point somewhere in the middle of her words and moved closer to each other, as if searching for some kind of release. Raven pressed a hand to her forehead and looked away. "What is going on?"
"I… I don't know." Raven looked up to see Beast Boy suddenly crowding her space, eyes clouded, as if he was in a haze. She tried to step back, but her hip connected with the counter, and she had nowhere else to go. Beast Boy picked his hand up and touched her right hip gently, stroking the curvature through the Kevlar and neoprene. The mark on her hip seemed to burn into life at his touch, and Raven groaned in a mixture between pain and pleasure. "You have a mark here… don't you."
"Last week, when you fell into me." Raven's eyes swept up to meet his, and Beast Boy ducked his head to get closer to her mouth. His breath touched her lips, warm and moist across her skin. Raven found herself leaning up into him, and that scared her. This needed to stop, before something irrevocable happened. She pressed a hand to his chest, forcing him to move back. "Please, stop…"
"I…" Beast Boy shook his head and turned around, facing away from her. She watched as he clenched and unclenched his fists, trying to regain himself through the clouded emotions. "I am so sorry. Believe me, Rae. It was an accident! I didn't mean to! I thought… maybe if I didn't act on it, it would all go away. I could pretend it never happened."
"Act on what?" Raven didn't need to ask, the dream had already explained everything to her.
"The beast he…" Beast Boy looked over his shoulder at her, guilt lining his expression. "He branded you for his mate."
"What." The word was more of a statement of shock than a question. Raven felt her heart slam against her ribs as she stared at him. She was branded for a mate? For the beast? Or for Beast Boy? "Are you serious? Is that why I'm having your dreams?"
"I… guess… the beast…" Beast Boy touched his abdomen, looking down at his hands. Raven could feel the fear and anger pouring off him, and for the first time in a long time she was concerned for Beast Boy. He could be so care-free sometimes that it was easy to forget that he had so many evils lurking at the surface of his being. The beast was his own birthmark, his own burden to bear. "He's getting restless. He's tired of waiting, he wants action…"
That was an interesting choice of words. "Well… tell him to calm down, because he's not getting any action."
"It's not that simple, Rae! He wants to dominate you! And that means at any cost, he doesn't care if you get hurt. He just wants to possess." Beast Boy stared at her, shaking his head. "You don't understand what it takes to control him sometimes… when you're so close." He stepped up to her again, eyes turning dark. "And so warm…" He buried his nose in her hair, breathing deep. "It can smell your emotions, hear your blood… it wants you."
"Ah…" Raven tried to make some noise of protest, but the sound seemed to die in her throat. Beast Boy had taken to gently stroking her right hip, tracing patterns through her uniform. Against her better judgment, Raven closed her eyes and leaned into him. She knew this was beyond wrong, but she couldn't stop herself. For once in her life it was nice to let go of sanity and indulge in something a little forbidden. Beast Boy nipped at her earlobes.
"This is bad."
Raven gave an inelegant snort, and pushed him back a few more paces. "You're preaching to the choir." They stared at each other, blushing and wallowing in the awkward silence around them. "So… how do we reverse this… mark?"
Beast Boy shook his head, shrugging. "I don't know."
"That's great." Raven slid out of the small space between the counter and Beast Boy, taking a deep breath of freedom. She took a few, cautious steps toward the door, in case she needed to make a quick escape. "So, I have to carry this mark around with me for the rest of my life?"
Beast Boy cringed as if he'd been hurt. "If we don't figure out how to reverse it… yes."
"And you'll be stuck with the unwanted desire for me, right?" Raven pressed a hand to her forehead and sighed.
"If that's how you want to put it… yeah."
Raven glanced up and stared at her friend, who looked like the epitome of dejection. It didn't take a genius to figure out that something was wrong. "Beast Boy… did you choose me?"
"I… didn't. The beast…" Beast Boy opened his mouth, as if he were going to say something else, but decided against it. He shook his head and started for the kitchen door, avoiding her curious stare. "Never mind, Rae. I've got some things to do, we'll sort this out later. Promise." He offered her a broken smile and waved. "See ya."
Raven watched him leave, feeling something strange well up into her chest. It wasn't sadness, or anger, annoyance… it was pity. She was pitying him for everything he had to go through, and no way to control it. Raven had her books and her mirror to reference when something went awry in her life, but Beast Boy was the only one of his kind. Who did he have to turn to? He just had to stumble through his life, hoping he made the right decisions. It had to be a heavy burden, but he never let anyone know. Not even his best friends.
"Morning." Raven jumped and watched Robin wave at her, moving toward the coffee pot. "You're up early."
"Yes… I couldn't sleep." Raven poured herself a glass of nearly forgotten juice and turned to look at her leader. He was shuffling through some paperwork, making notes in the margins, completely oblivious to the cloud of leftover energy from Raven and Beast Boy. He hummed-and-hawed over a particularly interesting paragraph. Raven smiled slightly, sometimes it was really nice to have a leader who was so unaware to emotions. Although it did tend to drive Starfire nearly crazy.
"Beast Boy was up early too… did you run into him?"
Raven pressed a hand to her forehead, nearly throwing her glass at him. Leave it to the Boy Wonder to ruin her perfectly emotionless moment. "I did. Why?"
"He seemed upset… I thought maybe you two fought again." He sipped at his coffee, watching her out of the corner of his eyes. Raven felt the strongest desire to yank his cape over his head. "Just wanted to make sure you're not picking on him again. He likes you too much."
"No. I'm not picking on him." Raven placed her empty glass on the counter and rolled her eyes, making sure he saw. "And go stick your nose in someone else's business, Robin."
He didn't even flinch at the unspoken threat. "Just making sure."
Raven turned and left the kitchen, making way for the exit. She felt like going out today, maybe getting all of this off of her mind. It was a lot to handle, a lot to process, and a lot to take in. Why had the beast chosen her? Over all the girls in Beast Boy's life… why her? What was so special about her? What could she offer the beast that someone else couldn't? There were a million other girls who were prettier, nicer, stronger, more passionate than her… she was just a half-demoness with enough problems of her own. She couldn't handle the problems of another as well.
"Are you following me?"
Raven jumped and looked up into Beast Boy's green eyes. Great, just what she needed right now. "No… why?"
"Because I left five minutes ago and now you're here…" He crossed his arms over his chest and raised an eyebrow. "I don't really want to talk about this right now."
"I didn't come looking for you." Raven snorted and pushed past him, towards the main entry door. She stepped outside, letting the sun and wind whip around her body. The waves lapped angrily at the shore, trying to break the rock with every thrust. She heard the crunch of gravel behind her, and looked at Beast Boy, sighing. "Are you following me now?"
"I told you, I can't help myself when you're near… I just want to be close to you." Beast Boy stepped next to her, sighing. "I can't deny the beast if he wants something… it hurts."
"Hurts?" Raven watched his face contort with pain and he nodded.
"The beast isn't exactly nice, you know?" Beast Boy shifted his weight, but didn't look down at her. The waves broke against the shore, receded, and rushed again, splashing Raven with sea spray. "It gets upset when I deny it what it wants, and he'll attack me if I outright refuse." He rubbed the back of his head. "It's probably the one 'broadcasting' my dreams all over you. It's trying to lure you in and make you realize… this." Beast Boy motioned to himself.
"What hurts, when you deny it?" Raven plopped down on a rock, pulling off her boots. Beast Boy watched her, shrugging.
"Everything. It's like… my whole body just erupts in this intense pain, because I won't succumb to my more primal side… But I won't let it control me, I'm stronger than that." He cocked his head to the side, watching as she gingerly stepped into the water, splashing the water around her ankles. "What are you doing?"
Raven shrugged. "Jumping in, why?"
"Because…" He stepped closer to her, hand moving towards her hip. Raven watched as his eyes got that clouded look again, as if something was taking over his body. She moved closer to him, let his hand caress her hip, trace the brand with his fingertips. Raven whimpered slightly and reached out to touch his sternum, slowly tracing it from clavicle to bellybutton. Was this so terrible? After all, Beast Boy had matured, grown, aged… but still…
"Stop. Please." Beast Boy grabbed her hand and stepped back, frowning. Raven felt color flood her face and she yanked her hand away. What was she doing? This was Beast Boy. The silly, childish prankster who didn't know a mature emotion if it smacked him in the head. And she was just touching him like she wanted him. Raven pressed a hand to her forehead and took a few more steps back, putting much needed space and water between them.
He ran a hand through his hair and growled. "Look, Raven…" Raven jerked slightly in shock. He never called her Raven, it was always Rae, even when he was trying to be serious. There was something inside her that turned cold at the tone. He sighed. "I don't think it's a good idea that we stay alone together. I don't know what the beast will do, and I don't know if I have the strength to stop it."
"Oh." Raven stepped out of the water and pulled on her boots, feeling his eyes follow her. Something in her chest hurt and she sniffed indignantly. "You didn't have to come out here, you know. You could have stayed inside and away from me."
"I already told you, I can't deny the beast everything. If I can satiate it for a little I will." His tone was slightly acrid, and Raven stumbled back a few steps. He was angry with her, but this wasn't her fault. She didn't want this, he knew that. So, why did it feel as though he was blaming her? Beast Boy shook his head and sighed. "I'm sorry."
Raven looked up at him, watching him shift his weight back and forth, uncomfortable with the way things were turning out. Funny, how one dream can turn everything they knew and understood into a series of awkward moment and situations. She cocked her head to the side, watching him frown. "Why me?" Beast Boy didn't look at her, and she knew he was trying to avoid that question. Of course he would try to run away from more of his problems and pretend that she wasn't there for him. Like always. "Never mind… look, I'm going to go somewhere I can think and try to figure this out."
"Because I like you."
Raven felt her heart stop before jumping into her throat, beating out a frantic rhythm. She turned and looked at him, shuffling awkwardly. He picked his head up, kicking a stone into the bay. Raven clutched her chest, still staring. Why wouldn't her brain function properly? Why did it feel like her whole body had stopped working? "You… But… I…"
"Yeah, well… now you know why the beast chose you." He looked at her and shrugged, expression unreadable. "Not that it does me any good or anything."
"You never told me."
"You're an empath… I figured I wouldn't have to." He sighed. "Sorry to drop that bomb on you."
Raven stared at him, her throat tightening in fear. A million different emotions were threatening to break her resolve, threatening to tear her apart. "You don't want to reverse this… do you?"
"No." He leaned back on his heels, watching the waves rush in and out. His voice was a mixture between serene and desperate. As if he knew he was accepting a fate of unrequited love, but still held on to tiny threads of hope. "I was hoping maybe… just maybe… you could learn to love me… in time. Maybe, eventually, you would want me too."
"You…" Raven looked away, trying to calm her body and keep it from going haywire. It was no easy task. She looked back toward him, frowning. "You… selfish jerk! You stupid, self-centered, egotistical, beast." She picked up a stone and threw it at him. He cursed as it made contact with his chest and glared at her. "You did this to me? Branded me? Messed with my emotions? And just so you could trick me into loving you?"
"I wasn't tricking you!" Beast Boy stepped up to her, snarling. He grabbed her wrists tightly, preventing her from grabbing any more stones. His claws had extended, and were digging into her skin, but Raven was too angry to feel the pain. All she wanted to do was hit Beast Boy. "I didn't have any control over the beast. It did this to you, it was just going off my own emotions and feelings. I'm sorry I like you, I'm sorry the beast did this… I really am! But… I don't want to reverse it."
"Of course not! You just want to dominate me!" Raven pushed herself forward and growled at Beast Boy. Her emotions were threatening to get the better of her, and if she didn't calm down, something would happen that she couldn't stop. "You didn't give any regard to how I would feel, to how I would react. You just wanted me for some giant, breeding, whore. You silly animal." Too late.
"Animal?" Beast Boy threw her to the side, and her body connected with a swell of a wave. She lay in the water, soaking wet and staring up at him. His fangs were fully extended, his eyes red with emotion, and his hands shaking with the desire to dominate. "Do you want me to be an animal, Raven? Because I don't need your consent to claim you. I don't need you to satiate the beast inside me, I can just use your body." He stood over her, letting the water run over his legs. "I'm stronger than you think."
"Beast Boy…" Raven began to see her mistake in taunting him. The beast was so close to the surface, trying to find its way out. She tried to move away, but another swell of water pushed her back to him. He still straddled her, staring down, condescending. "I…"
"Shut up." He knelt down, grabbing a fistful of her hair. He pressed his mouth greedily to hers nearly sucking the breath right from her lungs. His lips bruised her, demanding a response rather than commanding it. Raven raised a hand to hit him, but he stopped her, sliding his free arm around to pin her own arms to her side. There was a gasp of ragged breath, and his lips eased their pressure and the fingers in her hair loosened their hold. Beast Boy pulled away, pupils dilated with a million emotions Raven couldn't place. "I'm sorry. I didn't… I mean…"
"I taunted the beast." Raved touched a hand to the sore spot on her scalp, rubbing gently. She looked up at him, knowing full well that he could see the fear in her eyes. He winced and looked away.
"That was awful, Raven… please… don't ever let me do that again." The red in his eyes had faded, and his fangs receded into his gums. Raven watched at he collapsed on the pebbled beach, clutching at his stomach as if he could still feel the beast there. His gaze was desperate as he looked up at her, trying to understand what just happened. Both their worlds had crumbled and reassembled in just a matter of moments. "Please, Raven… Please, stop me from doing that again."
"Beast Boy…" Raven pressed a hand to her head, fighting the tears that were forming in her eyes. Both his emotions and her own were threatening to break down her resolve. "I can't do this. I can't be your mate… I'm sorry. But this is never going to work, we have to reverse this."
"I know… I know…" Beast Boy held his head in his hands, gasping for air. "But I don't know how much longer I can keep the beast at bay. It's at the surface every moment, waiting for you… it will not stop until it has dominated you."
"I'm fine." Raven highly doubted herself after that last display, but what could she tell him to calm him down? She very well couldn't tell him that the beast scared the living daylights out of her. He would freak out even more. "I can hold my own against the beast, I'm a big girl and I've dealt with worse problems…. I'm worried about you though… your body can't take much more of this. The beast is so close to hurting you." She put her hand on his shoulder and Beast Boy looked up at her, shaking his head.
"I'm fine." Beast Boy took a slow, shaky breath and let it out slowly. "I promise…" He stood up and looked at Raven, wincing. "I bruised you right here…" He lifted his hand and gently touched the reddish-blue mark next to her lower lip. His eyes searched her for a moment and Raven knew what he was going to do, but had no desire to stop him. Her eyes closed as she felt his warm, velvety tongue on the mark, tracing the shape. His hands slid into her hair, gently massaging the skin he had damaged, desperately trying to make amends.
Raven felt her hip burn with ferocity, and her eyes opened in near pain. "It hurts…"
"What does?" Beast Boy pulled away suddenly, putting space between them.
"Your brand…" Raven touched the mark gingerly, careful not to put pressure on it. "It burns."
"I… I think we need to reverse this soon." Beast Boy put more space between them, rubbing the back of his head. "Before either of us do something we regret."
So, this was supposed to be a one-shot… but it would have ended up like 20,000 words and that's just too long for a one-shot. So, I imagine it'll be about four or five chapters. Please leave a review and let me know what you think. Thanks!