Author's Note: I've been working on a multi-chapter but I've had a few people asking about when I'll publish something new. I figured I may as well take a break and give some random thoughts a go while I remember them, so here's a little tidbit to keep you occupied. Basically it's meant to collect any random scenarios I've had involving Beast Boy, because he's a fun guy. For the lulz.
Maybe it was because he was the youngest, or maybe it was just who he was. Beast Boy wasn't sure what the reason was, but the fact still stood that he all too often got in one too many fights with Robin about his physical performance. Training day was something he loathed but knew was necessary, and as far as he was concerned, he was doing just fine. Consistent was probably the best word to describe it. Robin would have preferred improvement.
It was outside this time, on the dirt and gravel clay pigeon range. Robin stood taller than usual, not so subtly trying to belittle the green kid who had scored the exact same pigeon count as last time. And the time before that. The audience of the latest bout consisted of Cyborg and Starfire, who stood quietly to the side as Robin inflicted one of his harsher but still familiar tones on pointed ears.
It was likely that Robin wouldn't have been yelling at all had Beast Boy not instantly resorted to his "outside voice", as he liked to call it, but as it stood now, the calm morning air was filled with booming accusations and a familiar line-up of rehearsed excuses. Beast Boy enjoyed yelling, which was often his biggest downfall with the Boy Wonder. He enjoyed that it gave him attention but had problems separating the suitable times from the not-so-suitable. Additionally, Robin had a problem with not yelling back, and that was how the arguments started. It was nothing like how Beast Boy fought with Raven.
"I don't see what the problem is, I didn't get worse or whatever! I got like fifty of them perfectly! Were you not watching or something?"
"I don't care how perfectly you hit them," Robin threw back. "The point is that you aren't getting any better!"
Beast Boy threw his arms up dramatically. "What if I don't need to get better? I haven't died yet so why does it matter?"
Cyborg sighed as the two continued to bicker. He wondered how long it would take for both of them to finally settle down, as well as how long it would be before they would acknowledge each other's existence after all was said and done. Last time Robin had started to rag on Beast Boy, Raven had stepped before it could really go anywhere. She claimed she was taking no sides but the tight brow accompanying a disapproving gaze aimed at Robin had been a little hard to miss. It was complicated and Cyborg didn't really care to dig deeper. It was like a never ending cycle of hits and misses, and a pissed off Raven, who at present was safely inside the tower knitting herself a scarf.
Starfire looked a little angry, probably because she hated the simple fact that friends argued. She personally didn't understand it, and when she had tried to sort things out a few weeks ago, she'd received a rather perplexing answer to a question from Beast Boy. "Robin is your friend, correct?" and the green titan had scratched his head nervously before replying with "well, I would describe him as more of a room-mate". Unable to determine the differences between friends and room-mates, she'd left it at that. She couldn't even sway Robin to talk about it, much less apologize. It was over the course of the last few weeks that she learned the true meaning of what it was like to talk to a wall. Starfire couldn't even get Robin to talk about their own relationship problems, as strangely nothing had continued from the episode back in Tokyo and it left her a little sad. But Robin will be Robin.
"I can't believe you Beast Boy, do you really have so little respect for me? I'm asking you to do one simple little thing, but you're too busy acting like an idiot to even think about it!"
"Don't call me that, bird brain! Take a chill pill and get back to me when you pull that stick out of your ass!" and just like that, Beast Boy was gone in a swirl of feathers, probably off to tattle to Raven again. Robin was left in the dust, mouth open and finger pointing at nobody. He sighed angrily and stalked back to the tower like a kid who lost his Radio Flyer.
It was going to be a long day.
It was nearly three hours later that Beast Boy showed up at the door to the garage, where Cyborg was currently repairing the R-cycle's cracked windbreaker. Dressed in his appropriate early winter wear, he almost looked like a normal teenager. The sweater was a little too big for him but it was his favourite magenta color so he made do. Cyborg let him in and invited him to sit on his work bench and talk. Beast Boy ignored the offer and instead perched on the edge of the tool table, his arms wrapped around his knees and a dejected look on his face.
"Why do you think I do that, Cy?"
Cyborg sighed quietly before pulling up a stool. "Why do you do what?"
"You know," he twiddled his thumbs, "make a big scene at Robin and stuff. I don't get why I was so mad. It's totally stupid..."
"I dunno, B. I mean, I'm not so good at this kind of thing. Why don't you talk to Raven?"
"Oh. Well that's what I went to go do right after we finished yelling but she didn't look so good so I thought maybe I shouldn't. I think she has a cold."
"Well... that isn't good," Cyborg replied.
The two sat in silence for a moment, neither of them quite sure what to say. It wasn't that Cyborg didn't want to help his friend, but he had a hard time with comfort small talk. A victim of rash decisions himself, he didn't see himself as the righteous informative type. He cradled his chin in his large hands and wished he could come up with something helpful to say, but it just wasn't happening.
"You know," the bulky titan began, "I wish I knew what to say but I just don't. I got nothin'."
Beast Boy smiled, albeit a little sadly. "That's ok dude, no problem. Maybe I should just go keep myself busy and forget about it. I mean, it's not like it happens every day, right? Maybe it's not that bad."
But his eyes betrayed his words as he leapt down from atop the table and headed for the door. He gave a final wave to his mechanical friend before shutting the door and running off to who knows where. Cyborg remained in his chair, thoughts straying to his little green friend and his strange habits. Beast Boy was just the kind of person people like Robin didn't get along with. He didn't like to think of it as toleration, but as of late it had come pretty close. Right now they were tolerating each other. Right now Raven was tolerating that they were tolerating each other.
Hopefully by the end of the day Beast Boy would be back to his usually fun-loving and happy-go-lucky self. He had a way of bouncing back faster than anyone could expect, and Cyborg figured it came from hanging around his purple-haired girlfriend too much. Cyborg had a few memories regarding that particular occurrence. Most vividly he recalled the day Beast Boy had strutted confidently into the common room and declared that he was tired of being a stringy little punching bag, and would much prefer being a stringy little punching bag with a girlfriend. Raven had actually laughed (at him, not with him) and told him that she agreed and maybe it was time for a change of pace. As surprised as everyone had been, Cyborg had soon realized that maybe it wasn't as far out there as he assumed it would be.
Another memory flashed through his cybernetic mind, picture perfect and clear as day thanks to his internal memory system. He had been in the kitchen one afternoon making himself the mother of all afternoon sandwiches when Beast Boy had pranced through the hydraulic doors holding something gathered in his shirt.
"Hey Rae, wanna see this thing I can do?"
Agreeing warily, she sat next to him at the island counter on the spinning barstools. Cyborg had heard the soft clink of aluminum meeting the table and turned to see what exactly it was the green boy was up to, only to witness him casually crush four pop cans between his palm and his forehead in a tidy order. He lined them up on the table proudly and gave Raven a huge smile. She smirked a little before picking up a flat can and placing it against her own forehead.
Using her powers, she pulled the top of the can away from her head and popped it back into shape. Beast Boy sat there looking nothing short of amazed.
"Awesome!" He yelled, flinging his lanky arms up above his head. He was utterly thrilled. Raven was good at making him utterly thrilled.
And just like that, the memories ended and Cyborg recalled the reason why he was remembering them. He stood up slowly and placed the stool back against the wall. The R-cycle needed a new windbreaker and Robin wouldn't be happy if it didn't get finished. Briefly, something Beast Boy had once told him flashed through the human half of his mind.
"Everyone has their own mountain to climb," he had said mysteriously. Or maybe he'd heard it on TV. He momentarily pondered on why the quote came out of the blue before making his own connections. Maybe Beast Boy had two mountains to climb. At the top of one mountain were Raven's expectations, and at the top of Everest was Robin's. And Cyborg was pretty positive he could guess whose opinion Beast Boy didn't give two shits about.
A little later in the afternoon, Starfire arrived in the kitchen hoping to find the remains of last night's steak barbeque (during which Raven had stealthily stolen Beast Boy away to help her buy groceries) but instead found herself staring at the mess of green hair visible just over the top of the couch. He was quiet, which meant he was probably concentrating on something, a task that was legitimately difficult for him. Red hair flowing gently behind her, she glided silently toward the back of the couch until she could see over the back of it. Beast Boy's brow was furrowed and his nose didn't even twitch as it often did when he smelled something familiar enter the room. In his lap was a book that Starfire recalled Raven had recently read.
She stopped herself before she could ask him about Robin. Though apology seemed like an obvious course of action to Starfire, she remembered that humans generally had difficulty saying sorry about anything, even if it was nobody's fault in particular. She hadn't seen Robin since the incident. Absently she noticed Beast Boy's foot begin tapping the ground.
Suddenly she was brought back to the day Robin had apologized, for once, to Beast Boy. It was during a meeting about the basics of drug trafficking, an annual event the Titans were forced to sit through because it kept the police department happy. Robin had his back to the team, who were gathered around a circular table. He was using a laser pointer to indicate the most common drug trade alleys and clubs, while Beast Boy was busy thumb wrestling himself. When Robin turned around, he had instantly assumed that Beast boy was playing idiot again and had literally told him he was grounded. Nothing short of baffled, he'd burst out laughing before reciting the entire lecture and claiming that elephants never forget. It was mostly the fidgeting Starfire remember though, the inability to focus on things. Things that mattered, in particular.
She'd actually gone so far as to ask Raven about it, and the sorceress explained that Beast boy more than likely had something akin to ADHD. He didn't actually have a disorder, Raven had said, more like it was the thousands upon thousands of different animal instincts coming together to create a similar situation. If he was interested in something enough, he could do it for hours. For example; playing video games, looking at comics, or staring at Raven. He was definitely trying very hard to become interested in the book.
"Friend Beast Boy?"
"Gah!" he shouted, sending the book flying out of his hands and face down on the coffee table. He whipped his head around in a brief episode of panic before realizing it was just Starfire.
"Geeze Star, you scared me! Don't sneak up on a guy like that, ok?"
Starfire giggled. "Apologies, but you looked rather lonely. I was just wondering if... everything is the okay?"
Beast Boy stood up and went to retrieve the book, chuckling quietly as he did. "Everything's fine, Star. Don't worry about little old me."
He sat back down and returned to the novel, but quickly paused again to rapidly scratch himself behind his ear. Starfire remained behind him for a few moments before floating back into the kitchen. She could tell he was still upset but she wasn't sure what to say. If Raven was around, she'd know exactly what to say to make Beast Boy feel better. In fact, she could probably just walk into the room and that would be good enough for him. And she'd probably find a way to make them both apologize, too. As she opened the fridge, she silently wished that they would both come to their senses and realize how stupid the whole thing was.
Raven groaned in her bed as she heard a swift knock on the door. Her index finger and her thumb pinched the bridge of her nose and she sighed deeply before turning over and trying to ignore the interruption. Unfortunately, Robin was just as persistent as Beast Boy, but for all the wrong reasons. Sleep had been feeling so wonderful, too. She clenched and unclenched her fingers before pulling herself into a sitting position and leaning against her headboard. The knocking began again and Raven rubbed her eyes in a pitiful attempt to wake herself up.
"What?" she droned, sickness evident in her voice.
"It's Robin. Are you sleeping?"
Her purple gaze narrowed and she frowned at the door.
"Good. I need to talk to you."
Raven sighed once more as she lifted her hand and used her powers to open the door. Robin walked in, all business, and pulled up the chair from her desk as if it were his. He paused momentarily, having not often seen the inside of the sorceress' room. The book shelves were stacked thick with tomes and collections, and he had a feeling that the Star Wars collectibles didn't belong to her. Raven herself was half under three layers of blankets, which were also obviously Beast Boy's doing. He supposed it wasn't often that Raven was sick and he preferred to ignore the relationship part of her relationship. Which was pretty stupid, if you think about it.
Raven raised an eyebrow as Robin sat in the chair and still said nothing.
"So, did you actually want anything or are you just here to keep me company?"
Robin blinked himself out of his thoughts and cut straight to the point. "I need you to talk to Beast Boy."
Raven, unsurprised, crossed her arms. "Are you going to tell me why?" Of course, Raven knew exactly why.
"He picked another fight with me today. Decided he wasn't going to listen and that he doesn't need to improve his field performance at all."
"So you want me to tell him he's not good enough when he's actually doing just fine. Right."
"No, Raven," Robin persisted, "it's getting to be a real problem. I figured you of all people would realize that. You've seen how he acts on training day."
"Realize what? I'd say it's pretty clear that I'm missing something. Oh wait, now I remember. You tell him he isn't doing "X" well enough and he tells you to pull the stick out of your ass, and you threaten him with plots "A" through "Z", he leaves and neither of you say anything to each other for a week."
Robin stared, mouth open again and searching for something to say. "I don't threaten him."
Raven sat tiredly, expression unchanged. "Last week you told him you'd take him off missions for two weeks if he didn't come within a minute of your completion time in the battle sim. Which we all know is impossible anyway."
"Well I wanted to challenge him. I challenge everyone at some point."
"Then why didn't you just tell him that?"
"Okay, you know what?" Robin stood up rather suddenly. "I can see where this is going. I'm wrong and he's right. Don't worry, I get it."
Raven's palm met her face. "Your inability to communicate astounds me, Robin. Honestly, you're in here complaining about Garfield and you're acting like a five year old. I'm asking you actual questions. People usually answer questions, you know?" she said, sounding exasperated.
"I expect a lot from Beast Boy," Robin stated. Raven hid her surprise at the comment behind an impassive front.
"He used to be on the Doom Patrol. I know what they're like, how they work. He's obviously capable of more than what he's doing. I know he can do better."
Raven nodded. "I'm a little surprised that you expect so much from him, but I think you've already stated what needs to be said. He used to be on the Doom Patrol. He's not anymore. Now he's just Garfield."
Robin folded his arms, still standing. "Beast Boy and Garfield are the same person."
"Actually, they aren't." Raven countered.
"Beast Boy is the Titan who can turn into animals and defeat the Brotherhood of Evil with a group of heroes that have never met before. Garfield is the boy who likes to stick chopsticks in his mouth and pretend he's a walrus," she said, a smirk forming on her gray lips. "They might share the same body but Beast Boy has never had the chance to be Garfield before."
Robin looked down. "I'm not sure I follow."
"I think you don't understand because you're Robin all the time. Never Richard Grayson."
Robin's head shot up. "How do you know my"-
"Shut up for a second, will you?" Raven interjected. "For fifteen years of my life, I was the bane of Azarath. I was Raven the demon, Raven the portal. But Garfield gives me the chance to be, well... my name is confidential information. But I think you might still see my point."
Robin nodded. "I think I do, a little. But I still think he could stand to improve."
"Maybe, but I think you both need to accept that you won't always see eye-to-eye. And it's not just you. Garfield needs to understand that you will always prefer Robin over Richard."
Both Robin and Raven turned towards the quiet voice and found Beast Boy lingering outside of Raven's door. Raven felt his mind shake a little. "You aren't interrupting anything, Gar. You can come in."
He walked in slowly, his claws picking at the fabric of his magenta sweater. He took a seat on the edge of Raven's bed and his gaze remained on the ground.
"So how much of that did you hear?" Robin asked him.
"Uh, mostly the last part. About who we really are and stuff."
Raven smiled a little. "Do you understand, Gar?"
He looked up at her and smiled back. "You know, I think I do. Honestly I totally do feel like two people sometimes. It's kinda weird and stuff but I think I get it." He finally looked at Robin, who's mask was blanker than ever. "I'm... sorry dude. I guess I just act like Garfield a little too much. Need more Beast in the boy, you know?"
Robin nodded, but said nothing. He was in the unfamiliar position of being required to apologize.
"I'm sorry. But try to... work on your training a little more, okay?"
"Yeah, I guess," Beast Boy said, slightly disappointed that he didn't have anything to add to that.
There was a clap from the head of the bed, and both boys turned to see Raven's now smirk-less face. "Well," she began, "now that we've all made up, can I go back to sleep? Unless you'd like to stick around to see if I throw up on you."
Beast Boy made a face and Robin, predictably, did nothing. "Ew, Rae, that's gross!" Beast Boy laughed, his attitude doing a one-eighty.
"Right," Robin said, "sorry for interrupting."
Beast Boy, smile plastered across his face, launched himself from the foot of the bed directly at Raven. She made an odd sound before arms wrapped around her neck and pulled her in for a not-so-quick kiss, her arms finding his back and hugging him to her. Robin turned away briefly, more because of insecurity than public displays of affection. Satisfied, Beast Boy hopped off the bed and skipped happily toward the door.
"Get better, Rae!" he said. Raven waved at him as Robin followed him out the door and shut it behind him. She sighed and sunk deep into her mattress. Azar, what a day.
Outside, Beast Boy was about to head for the common room when a gloved hand landed on his shoulder. His ears folded back as his "I'm about to get scolded" reflex kicked in. But instead of harshness, Robin's voice was that of curiosity. "So... what is Raven's real name?"
Beast Boy smiled devilishly. "Wouldn't you like to know."
"Do you think there's any way I could find out? I'm just wondering... you know, in case it's anything embarrassing." And a ghost of a grin crossed his face.
"Haha, you're sick dude! But seriously, if there's anything life's taught me, it's that mountain climbing isn't really as hard as it looks."
And, as Garfield, the green boy grinned and laughed and then ran down the hallway as fast as he could, and for no other reason but why not.
So there you have it. Just a little thing. It was nice practice. As always, point out any problems you may have seen.