YOU CAN SUE ME LATER. READ NOW.
The green falcon dove toward the earth, droplets of water gathering on its wingtips from the fog that surrounded the Jump City docks. It slowed and flew straight through a broken window in a supposedly abandoned building, then turned into a young man. He landed in a crouch, then stood up and observed the area around him in shock.
"No way," he muttered aloud. Where there had been medical equipment and white clad goons not 24 hours before was an empty warehouse with no proof of any of the many nefarious experiments that had taken place in the decrepit space.
Beast Boy's mind raced, considering everything that had happened in the past hours. He could not erase the image of the bruises that littered Raven's body or the fear in her eyes when she had discovered some clue that he still didn't understand.
"So you came after all." The cold, metallic voice echoed off the walls and Beast Boy felt his stomach lurch. A shape stepped out of the shadows, a thud reverberating from the single footstep that chilled the changeling's blood. Slade tilted his head in a bastardization of curiosity. "I knew you would. I just keep taking your girlfriends away from you."
Red spots floated in front of his eyes as Beast Boy attempted to control himself, not to unleash the Beast.
Beast Boy turned into a rhinoceros and charged the masked figure in front of him. Slade did not react, did not move, but merely pulled his hand back as if preparing to punch the massive green animal, who snorted in disdain at such a thought. As he approached, the young man inside the animal imagined ripping out the phony vocal chords that this monster used so often to torment him. He lowered his head, aiming his larger horn at his prey…
And found that he had returned to his human form. He leaned to turn into a jaguar, but fell forward, onto his scratched face, still a human.
"What the…" he whispered hoarsely, flexing his fingers, which were going numb.
"It's a sedative that keeps you human. It'll make torture so much more enjoyable- for me, anyways."
This can't be happening.
Beast Boy awoke to a scream that echoed for a moment. He tried to open his mouth but pulled against what felt like duct tape. He could breathe only though his nose. He attempted to sit up, but was restrained across his chest, at his wrists and ankles, across his thighs, and across his waist. He moved his fingers around, trying to turn his hand into a tentacle to aid escape, but did not succeed.
Why can't I change? He wondered in a panic. He struggled more fervently against the bonds and still did not succeed in changing or breaking free. Another scream echoing off of the walls reached his ears, and his blood chilled when he recognized it as Raven's voice. He felt as though he would vomit and writhed yet again in an attempt to loose himself, again with to no avail. He felt his heart begin to race as yet another cry of pain echoed through the building. He was laid out on a table that was tilted so that he was almost upright, despite the original sensation of lying down.
He looked above him, hoping desperately to find answers in his surroundings. He saw stalactites hanging from a craggy earthen ceiling. Mind racing, he inhaled deeply to smell the air, and his suspicion was confirmed- they were in a cave on- or in- the ocean. It was a grotto, probably just off of or under the bay. He closed his eyes and tried to think really hard.
Robin said Raven's communicator read that she was in the ocean, so they must have tossed it, but if I'm right, then they didn't and we actually ARE in some grotto, which is where the GPS readings are coming from. He furrowed his brow as he considered how disgustingly brilliant it was for Slade to do that, to leave Raven's tracking device on her.
If Robin thought that the villain had ditched the device, he'd go straight to Slade's lair, right into a trap. Of course, the bastard had also anticipated Beast Boy, and set a trap for him at Chang's empty former laboratory. Beast Boy cursed his own stupidity at attacking on his own, when injured, against a psychotic and possibly demonically entrapped evil mastermind.
Then of course, there was the whole sidelined train of thought about his outburst declaring love for Raven. Not that she'd been there, but everybody else had. Had his mouth been free, he'd either be laughing or repeating the word "love" until he no longer comprehended its existence.
Beast Boy's restlessness and boredom soon took hold of him. He found that freaking out only made time go more slowly. He recognized the night approaching from the stirring of the nocturnal animals in his blood. His eyes grew used to the dark and he saw that he was not surrounded by walls but rather curtains on rods, with an IV with some sort of thick liquid pumping into his arm. His curious boredom was only his method of coping with terror, a façade which shattered anytime he heard the echoing scream that made his blood simultaneously boil with anger and run cold with terror.
It had reached the middle of the night when one of Chang's henchmen finally came into the room. He had a tray of slop in one hand and a knife in the other. Both items were set behind Beast Boy, outside of his field of vision. The man stepped forward and ripped the duct tape off of his mouth none too kindly.
"Hallelujah, freedom at last. You know-" he paused when the goon laid a hand on the left side of his and shocked him with electricity. The burning in his side warned him not to speak, but he did anyways, albeit more weakly, "I'm going to kill every single one of you-" another shock to the same side, this time longer. He panted, then finished his thought, "for laying a finger on her."
This time, rather than another shock to the side, he got a fist to his face and a supreme blackness.
When he awoke, a metallic taste lingered on his tongue and his side felt like he had picked a fight with an electric eel again. The time before, though, Raven had been there to heal him, whereas now….
"Raven!" In astonishment, he realized his mouth hadn't been taped up again after he'd been knocked out. He began howling her name repeatedly, saying "Raven, I'm here! I'm here, Raven, and I'm going to get you and we're going to get the hell out of her. Okay, Rae? I'm going to get you and everything is going to be alright!"
A deep voice, not one Beast Boy recognized, yelled "Someone shut him up!" and a second later, three white suits ran into the room, practically tripping over one another to get to him first. He received a shock on his right shoulder, a kick to the stomach from a booted foot, and a fist that slammed into him, jarring his head against the cold steel below him. His head swum and he closed his eyes. He listened carefully while maintaining slow, steady breaths. Apparently satisfied that they had knocked him unconscious again, the three men filed out of the cubicle they had trapped him in.
Beast Boy?The thought was startling because it had the odd sensation of not belonging to him. Beast Boy?
AHHH, WHAT THE BLOODY HELL WAS THAT? THAT WAS NOT ME! He was freaking out now, but internalized it, trying to remain calm.
It's me, Raven. I'm using telepathy. You're really here? This isn't a dream?
If it is, it's a nightmare. I'm really here, Raven, and I'm going to get you out… Just as soon as I figure out how to use my powers.
Are you not able to transform?
No! I think they're pumping me with something. I can't tell what. No idea what could do something like this. What about you? Are you alright?
I'm in pain, and whatever they were going to me has already been done, but they haven't touched me since. I got real food.
I heard you screaming.
Beast Boy, that was two days ago.
It was WHAT?
How long have you been here? The screams… I can't even begin to explain what they were doing. But it stopped.
I thought I'd only been here a few hours. If it's been two days since that, how long have you been here?
About a week.
Beast Boy couldn't believe what he'd just heard. What sort of crap were they pumping into him to have him out cold for days at a time?
Beast Boy, you have to actively think about what you want me to know. All I'm getting is empty air.
Rae, I thought I'd only been here a few hours. I'm freaking out because they must be pumping me with some ridiculous shit for me to be out for several days. Plus, I have no way to change, and I'm trapped. And even worse than all that, you've been here for a week because I can't do anything right. I screwed up, Rae, and now the team is missing two members with no leads on where we are.
Stop it. Self-pity won't fix anything. If you really want to get us out of here, I need to do something. Let me see through your eyes, like I did with Robin.
Ok, go for it.
Beast Boy felt as though he had connected brains with Raven. He felt like a passenger rather than pilot as he looked around the room and up at the cave ceiling. He had no control over where Raven looked next, but he took care to pay attention to everything she looked at with his eyes. He actually tried to see if he could recognize the substance in the IV bags- or did Raven? Were her goals leaking into his consciousness?
Suddenly, he felt as though he were alone in his head again, without the soothing presence of Raven to keep him cool.
Raven, are you there?
There was no answer, but a popping noise caught his attention. His IV bags were deflating, the liquid forming a black mass that was slowly lowered onto the ground to avoid any sort of splash. He grinned widely when he realized what Raven had done, and swore to himself that the second they were free, he was going to kiss her. Or buy her a book. Or whatever would be a significant sign of affection to indicate his supreme happiness with her.
Maybe a kiss wouldn't be a good idea, after all.
Raven! You're back! What happened?
I had to cut our connection in order to get rid of your IV's. From my experience, these idiots don't check in very often, so as long as you don't make a ruckus for a while, you'll have time to work the toxins out of your blood. From my estimate, it shouldn't take very long; when I was using your eyes, I scanned your chakras, and the energy that's built up will dissipate quickly. I'd give it about an hour.
An hour? I have to wait that long?
A little patience won't kill you.
No, but another round of electrotherapy might. What happens if they DO come in and notice the mess on the floor?
Then we hope you're up and running by then. I have to go, they get antsy if I meditate for too long. Meditate like I taught you while we wait; it'll leave you open to my telepathy if I need to signal you, but won't catch their attention. Be wary.
Rae, I need to tell you something, just-
Later, Garfield. We'll get out of here, you can say it then.
The empty, lonely feeling was back. Beast Boy never figured he would be lonely because he wasn't hearing voices in his head. He did as Raven asked him, and began to meditate.
Raven meditated to center herself, so she could control the energies in her body and maintain stable connections with her powers. She had taught Beast Boy how to feel the energy through his body, to understand the way his muscles moved. Doing so forced him to calm down for a long time and usually made his transitions during fighting more natural, like a reflex rather than an actively thought out plan of attack. Unfortunately, this was usually too tedious to do daily, because it required him to maintain total silence and calm, whereas his natural state was equivalent to the caffeinated state of normal humans.
There, strapped to a chair while Raven was the experiment of the devil's best friend and a madman with a feeding tube, Beast Boy had to force himself to calm down by literally contracting and then releasing all of his muscles, from his toes to his hands. He slowly did this over the course of his whole body twice, and as he finished, he felt a heaviness move out of his limbs and into his stomach. He was suddenly nauseous, but when he wiggled his finger experimentally, he was able to turn them into claws.
RAVEN, I'm free, it's not affecting me anymore. We can escape if you tell me how to get you and get us out of here.
Please, Raven, answer me.
There was silence, and rather than risking anything by escaping when they weren't ready, Beast Boy waited, hardly able to control himself. He took deep breaths until his head stopped swimming, elated to have control of his powers again. He changed his left arm to slip it free of the restraints and pulled the needle out of the other, leaving it in the sleeve of his uniform to maintain the illusion that he was hooked up to the IV, before slipping his left arm back under the restraints and settling back to listen with bat ears to everything going on in the cave.
There were footprints echoing up and down throughout the entire area, as well as splashes coming from the bay somewhere, and Beast Boy could hear several faint snatches of conversation. One was about what was being served for dinner, a second was about the Jump City Sharks winning their soccer game, but a third caught his attention when he realized it was one of the guards harassing Raven.
"Come on, the boss wants to see you."
"Why?" She sounded uncomfortable and resistant, like she was daring the guard to make her do anything she didn't want to.
"Says he needs to make sure everything is going according to plan. Now get up before I'm forced to take drastic measures." Something about the tone of his voice made Beast Boy think that the thug was probably looking forward to drastic measures.
"DON'T touch me." A small crash echoed through the cave.
"The bitch is usin' magic again, somebody come help me with her," called the male voice. Beast Boy could feel his blood boiling at that. He was distracted from his furiousness by a frantic thought in his head that wasn't his own.
Beast Boy, I need your help, we have to get out of here now. I don't think we're far apart. Hurry, I need you!
Within the time of a second, he had changed into a bat fully and was flying up among the grotto's ceiling, watching for any sign of Raven. Every division was made of curtains on rods or accordion dividers. He changed into an owl for the better eyesight, and saw Raven just as she started to throw a magical shield around her. Two of Chang's men were cornering her, and a third was coming into her cubicle with white handcuffs that Raven was glaring at with malice.
He dove toward her as a falcon and fell into the small area as a tyrannosaurus, landing with one foot on a white goon, then picking up the other and throwing him with his teeth into the third. He then changed into a gorilla and picked Raven up, crashing through curtained walls, searching for the exit into the ocean.
He kept going, hoping this wouldn't be for nothing. He had Raven cradled under him and was running with one fist and both legs at full speed, tearing through poorly plastered walls as if they were still curtains. He stopped only when they reached the exit of the cave unexpectedly- Beast Boy had been starting to think they were going the wrong way. Praying to whatever deity heard him that he and Raven would get out alive, Beast Boy waded into the water and changed into a whale, Raven following behind to quickly take refuge inside the safest place available- the mouth of the great beast.
A squad of Chang's men arrived at the mouth of the cave as well, but since their only weapons were electric gloves they couldn't use without zapping themselves, the whale was able to swim freely out into the ocean, leaving the veritable torture chamber behind him, hopefully forever.
Mwahahahahahahaha It's not done, there's so much more to come. Yeah, I suck. I'm the worst updater ever.