He could feel his heart hammering an angry rhythm as he walked down the hallway. He had precious little time to work with; every minute that passed was an opportunity to be discovered doing what he had ached to do since he'd overheard two of his teammates three months ago. One of them let slip that deep within a locked trunk, under old manuscripts and dusty tombs was a very particular book, one he had a deep interest in.

He passed Starfire's room.

She was out flying, as was her custom every afternoon at this time. She wouldn't be back for at least another twenty minutes, judging by the fair, windless weather they were having. With her, however, he could easily make some sort of excuse up if he was caught halfway to his own room.

He passed Robin's room.

Undoubtedly, the leader of the mismatched bunch of teens would be out on the roof, sparring, or perhaps running laps, doing pushups – waiting, or course, for the beautiful alien to return from her flight. That gave him at least thirty minutes, since anything involving the two of them immediately gave him an extra ten minutes.

He passed Cyborg's room.

It just so happened that this weekend a local university was holding an exclusive demonstration of the latest in land-to-water vehicles, something his tech-savvy friend, who rarely missed a chance to improve the automobile of his own design, wouldn't miss if he could help it. He wouldn't be returning until sometime near dinner, as he'd told everyone in the tower that he'd stop by and pick up dinner.

Along with Raven.

How Cyborg had convinced his quiet, introverted friend to attend what would surely be a busy, crowded event was beyond him, but Beast Boy had never been so thankful for the brother-sister bond that his two teammates shared until now.

Finally, he stopped in front of the last room on the left.


The bold type clearly warned him who the room's normal occupant was, causing a moment's hesitation despite his resolve. This could potentially end badly, after all. Shrugging off any anxiety that may have touched his mind momentarily, morphed into an ant and crawled under the heavy door, avoiding any potential alarms that may have sounded (not that he thought Raven was that paranoid, but hindsight is 20/20 they say; he'd rather not be proven wrong). Once he was inside he resumed his human form and looked around.

The room was, as expected, dark. Everything from the simple, austere bedding to the intricately carved masks adorning the wall were a some variant of black or blue, but Beast Boy didn't let himself get caught up in the décor; time was scarce and this needed to end. Using his enhanced vision, he navigated the dark room, past the formidable looking armoire and the queer, avian-shaped bed to the trunk pushed against the southern wall.

The wood was dark (Big surprise, he thought absently as he knelt down next to it) and it was large enough to fit almost the entire contents of the dresser and closet, he'd guess. It smelled of pine, mint, and (much to his amusement) Big Red gum.

He'd have to figure that one out later.

He tried the clasp and, to his great surprise, it sprung up silently. He wasn't sure if this meant that what lay within had either not needed a lock to keep someone from seeking its contents or if the trunk was opened frequently enough that a lock was more of a hassle.

He hoped it was the former.

After a moment of rummaging he found was he sought, buried at the bottom where (much to his relief) it was obvious no one had disturbed it in quite a while. It was hard to mistake; he'd seen it on several occasions, memorized the cracked leather bindings and faded title. Grabbing his prize, Beast Boy quickly reorganized the books to their former position and shut the lid, making sure that no one would be the wiser to his thievery.

Because, his conscience told him, that's what this was.

It was promptly ignored.

Out the door and back to his own room as fast as he could without running. It would not bode well if he was caught now. The door opened with an audible swoosh but it was lost on him as the blood pounding in his ears drowned out the sound of all else. He could feel the hot emotions inside, seething, tearing at his stomach until he was near fit to burst from the fierceness of it all. Three months of knowing that this book – and thereby the filth it held- still existed had been an absolute torment. He'd lost count of the dreams he'd had of himself doing just as he was about to do, doing what should have been done when the prisoner within the tome had finally been reincarcirated.

The book naturally fell to a page somewhere in the middle and he immediately saw a pair of icy, inhuman eyes staring back at him and he himself felt his own humanity begin to slip away.

"Hello Beast Boy," said a cultured voice from within, "I see you've finally found me."