Hey guys, thanks for still supporting me! :) I hope you enjoy! (I don't own the Teen Titans)
The walk back to the temple was silent for the most part. Only the sounds of heavy breathing and coughing circled the team and their friends. Melvin, Timmy, and Teether climbed onto Bobby for the walk over there. Teether and Timmy fell fast asleep while Melvin kept her eyes open and her mouth in a stiff line. Starfire and Robin walked hand in hand, but without looking at each other. Cyborg tried relentlessly to get in contact with Bee and the rest of Titans East through multiple means of communication that were attached to his arms. Raven walked ahead of everyone, walking quickly with her head facing the ground, her hood hiding most of her face, and her thoughts winding within each other. Beast Boy wasn't too far from her and watched her closely, trying to think of the right things to say. As much as it defeated him, he couldn't help but realize that maybe saying absolutely nothing was most beneficial.
In silence, they trudged on until reaching the temple. The sun was setting behind them and the sky's light was fading. When arriving, Melvin looked around and started to tear up. Her home was reduced to nothing but shambles and ashes, and the monks that she had come to know as her family were all gone. Beast Boy heard her tiny whimpers and turned around to lift her off of Bobby and held her tight. After all, he too knows what it's like to lose family.
Her spilling tears soaked into his shirt and she bit her lip to prevent any sobs from coming out. Her new found maturity was ironically saddening. Her attitude resembled almost a young woman rather than the child that she really was. When the rest of the team finally stopped, Beast Boy sat down with Melvin still in his arms. Her small body curled up into his chest and her little hands grabbed fist-fulls of his shirt while still barely making a sound.
Not being able to take it anymore, Beast Boy lowered his head slightly and whispered, "It feels a little better if you let things out."
"I-I- I can't," she trembled.
"Why is that Melvin?" calmly asked Beast Boy.
"Because I have to st-stay strong for Timmy a-a-and Teether," her voice very constrained.
"By allowing yourself to cry in front of them, you're being braver and stronger for them. They need someone to cry with," he comforted her.
"B-b-but that doesn't make any s-s-s-sense."
"Sure it does. You understand how much it hurts right now to hold it all in. Why would you want the rest of your team to feel like they have to do the same thing? To cry in front of someone and to open up your feelings makes you a braver person. Everyone needs to let go sometimes silly."
"Silly? You don't need to talk to me like a baby anymore Beast Boy," she said looking up at him this time, revealing her blood shot eyes and swollen nose.
"Oh, Miss Melvin over here thinks that just because she's all grown up, means that she can be a little sassy pants now, huh?" Beast Boy teased with a smile as he tickled her.
Melvin managed to laugh a little and release those hard lines that made up her face.
"Hi Melvin," said Raven in a hoarse voice.
Beast Boy stopped tickling Melvin and smiled sweetly up at Raven.
"Raven!" Melvin shouted and ran towards her as Raven kneeled down and held out her arms.
Melvin collided into Raven and sent her hood flying off of her face. Without hesitating, Raven wrapped her arms around Melvin and shut her eyes. Melvin began to sob into Raven's chest and shook with misery. Her overpowering emotions ate at Raven. Raven brushed her hand up and down her back and tried her best to comfort her.
Beast Boy, realizing that Raven isn't very good at stuff like this, walked over to the two of them quietly. He knelt next to them, put one arm around Raven, and the other holding Melvin's head.
"It'll be alright," he gently spoke to Melvin as her sobs got a little quieter.
Starfire, Robin, and Bobby watched the young girl with glassed over eyes. Starfire allowed her tears to spill over as she put her head on Robin's shoulder. Robin hugged her tightly to him and continued to watch over Melvin. His tears never traveled, but his heart ached. He was able to connect to the horrible pain that Melvin was feeling. Bobby's tears alighted his cheeks and soaked into his fur while he held sleeping Timmy and Teether closer to him. Even Cyborg stopped what he was doing and stared tearfully at Melvin.
Everyone respected her moment as she wore herself out and her sobs turned to yawns. Raven felt her body grow limp and her breathing calm down. Her voice fell to a much lower volume and her stinging eyes ceased their tears.
"I've missed you Raven," Melvin whispered drowsily.
"I've missed you too," replied Raven as she hugged her tighter.
"Thanks for saving me."
"It's the least we can do," Raven whispered.
Once Melvin's body relaxed completely, and Raven could feel her breathing regularly and deeply, she stood up with Melvin still in her arms and her head resting on her shoulder. Raven and Beast Boy got closer to the rest of the team so that they could come up with a plan.
"She'll be okay," Robin reassured Raven, picking up on the worry in her face.
"I hope so," said Raven quietly so not to wake Melvin. Who knows how long it's been since she's had any sleep.
"I think you need to give her a little more credit than that, Rae," interjected Beast Boy as he put his arm around her shoulder and smiled.
"Thank you Beast Boy… for helping Melvin. I don't think I could have done that without you," she thanked, but too bashful to look up at him.
"No problem," he smiled.
"Look guys, not to cut things off, but we've got a mass of problems back at home. I haven't gotten in much contact with Bee, but I know from the news that whatever happened in Jump City got pretty bad," notified Cyborg angrily.
"We've got to come up with a plan, and fast," ordered Robin.
Starfire lifted her head from Robin's shoulder and said, "What shall be done with the children?"
"I'm not sure," sighed Cyborg.
"Could they not stay with us?" asked Starfire.
"Absolutely not. With Slade targeting Raven and our city in shambles, our tower is no place for children," warned Robin.
"We can't leave them with the Titan's East. They were beaten pretty badly it looks like, and honestly, we may need their help," added Cyborg.
"Whoever we ask to do the baby sitting must be able to fight off any villain and we must be able to get to them quickly," informed Starfire.
Raven involuntarily squeezed Melvin a little tighter from worry. Beast Boy looked at her and suddenly came up with an idea.
"I can call Elasti-Girl and Mento," smiled Beast Boy.
"Rita and Steve? I haven't seen those two in ages," Cyborg said confused.
"Look, I know it's been forever since we've seen them, but I really trust them. Elasti-Girl was basically a mom to me and Mento, I mean, once you get passed his arrogance, he's a great father. I think for the time being, they would be perfect to take care of Melvin, Timmy, and Teether," encouraged Beast Boy.
Once the Brotherhood of Evil was defeated, the Doom Patrol no longer had any arch enemies to take care of. It took the team a while, especially Steve, to come to an end. They were all getting much older and without the Brotherhood of Evil running loose, there wasn't much for them to worry about. The team split soon after and tried everything in their power to live normal lives. Rita and Steve both dropped their hero names of Elasti-Girl and Mento, which Beast Boy was still trying to get used to. Beast Boy knew Rita enough to know that if she had the opportunity to do anything for him, she would do it without any questions. If Steve was still the same Steve, he wanted in on the action and if he knew that he was helping to protect three children with unnatural abilities from an army of sinister villains, he would be all over it. Overall, Beast Boy really counted on them and he hoped that the team would too.
"Beast Boy, are you sure that the two of them are up for something like this? They retired a while ago," reminded Robin.
"Sure they did, but do you remember what they said to me when they announced their split? They said that they would always be there if I, or anyone else on this team, ran into trouble. Besides, Elasti-Girl loves kids," Beast Boy added enthusiastically.
"But how long can either of them get here?" asked Raven doubtfully.
"I'm sure that if we explain that it's an emergency, they will be here as soon as possible," he assured her.
"If Rita and Steve can handle it, then I say we go for it. I mean, what else are we gonna do?" claimed Cyborg.
"I guess you're right, but are you sure this is a good idea?" asked Robin before handing over his communicator to Beast Boy.
"Come on, they took care of me for years," reflected Beast Boy.
"Yeah, and look at just how great you turned out," Raven rolled her eyes.
"Exac- heyyy!" he whined.
"Alright, that's enough. Just call into Rita," Robin gave in and handed his communicator to Beast Boy since his was still broken.
Beast Boy smiled and called into Rita and Steve. After half of a minute that felt like half of an hour, Rita answered. On the screen, traces of old age spotted across her façade. Her hair had a bit of grey in it and her mouth was starting to wrinkle at the corners. However, her youthful, vibrant eyes made up for the years.
"My goodness! Gar! It has been so long since I've seen your handsome face," her voice chimed.
"Hi Elasti-Girl," greeted Beast Boy eagerly.
"Garfield, I told you to call me Rita," she giggled.
"Okay, fine! How are you Rita?" he exaggerated.
"Steve and I are doing very well, thank you. How are you and the Titans?" she sweetly asked.
"We're fine, but we have a bit of a problem that I hope you and Steve can help us out with."
"Of course Garfield, anything," she said willingly.
"Well, long story short, we ran into some problems with Slade again, and he held Melvin, Timmy, and Teehter hostage. Don't worry, we saved them and they're here with us, but we have to go back to our city and their home is destroyed. We need somewhere safe to keep them with some safe care-givers. I have a lot of trust in you and Steve, so I was hoping that you guys would be up to helping us," he explained.
"Anything for you and the Teen Titans. I've already got a lock on your location and we can get there by tomorrow late afternoon. Does that sound okay?" she promised.
"We'll be waiting," Beast Boy said a little more seriously.
"Okay, I'll get Steve and we'll head out," she concluded.
"Thanks a lot Rita," smiled Beast Boy.
"Not a problem Gar," she smiled back motherly.
Beast Boy smiled to himself after the screen went grey and he handed the communicator back to Robin.
"So, they're coming?" asked Raven.
"Of course they are," Beast Boy continued to smile.
"Beast Boy, if the city is really in that much trouble, I don't think we can stick around here for another day and a half," Robin stated.
"But we have to find a place for the kids," Beast Boy stood his ground.
"I know that Beast Boy. You and Raven are going to have to stay here while Cyborg, Starfire, and I get back to Jump City," he planned.
"No," Raven narrowed her eyes.
"We don't have much of a choice here," reminded Robin.
All it took to convince Raven otherwise was a glance at Melvin still sleeping in her arms. "Fine," she sighed.
"Okay, you six stay here and wait for Rita and Steve and then have them get you back to the tower so that you're not wasting too much time," declared Robin.
"The rest of us, let's get started to the T-Car," directed Robin.
"Hold on a sec," Cyborg reached into his arm and pulled out his communicator. "I have another one built into my arm and since both of y'all broke yours, you should take mine."
"Thank you," said Beast Boy grabbing the communicator.
"If you guys run into any kind of trouble, just call us," Robin's mouth hardened and Raven could sense his worry.
"Robin, don't worry about us. We will be fine," Raven assured him, but still in a monotone.
Robin got a little closer to her and said urgently, but on a low volume, "Stay safe… Please."
"Oh c'mon man! You can trust us," Beast Boy said smugly.
Robin's eyes narrowed beneath his mask in Beast Boy's direction.
"Uh- I mean," Beast Boy snapped into a military pose. "Sir, yes sir! Staying safe sir!"
"Yeah, just keep an eye on all of them," Robin sighed and looked at Raven.
"Sir, yes sir," said Raven mockingly without cracking a smile.
"I'll see the two of you soon," Robin smiled back meekly.
Raven nodded and shot a small smile to give him some sign of hope.
"Goodbye friends! Please keep safe!" called Starfire with her wariness collecting in her throat.
"We'll be fine Star," Beast Boy said relaxed.
"Just hang in there guys," Cyborg smiled.
"Aye-aye," Beast Boy saluted his best friend.
Cyborg walked away laughing and led Starfire and Robin to the T-Car.
Beast Boy, Raven, and Bobby watched as the three of them turned to dots on the horizon in the almost completely dark sky. They almost looked like the stars that were just staring to become visible in the sky.
For the first hour, Raven, Beast Boy, and Bobby stayed relatively silent. Beast Boy and Raven sat down in the grass back to back with the kids and, eventually, Bobby sleeping next to them. They both had thousands of questions to ask, but even more thoughts to organize and even more tension to overcome. To Raven, the thickness of the air was heavy with confusion and remorse. Every instinct told her to just get up and walk, but she didn't want to leave her sleeping children. Although Beast Boy glowed with pride in his ability to entertain kids, Raven wouldn't give him the responsibility so easily.
"So, uh, creepy stuff back there, huh?" said Beast Boy suddenly becoming uncomfortable in the silence.
"Yeah, sure was," said Raven grumpily.
"Any plans?" he asked.
"No," she responded sharply.
"Do you need help with-"
"Raven, would you just let me-"
"Alright, alright, whatever. I get it. You'll figure it out by yourself. I don't know why you act like you're so alone all of the time," Beast Boy said with a hint of frustration.
Raven sighed deeply and rolled her eyes.
"I mean, we're all here for you, ya know, the team and me," he continued while fumbling with his fingers.
"and I," she mumbled.
"Oh sor-reey!" he responded angrily.
"You know Beast Boy, maybe I prefer to be alone," she challenged.
Beast Boy now turned his body in her direction. "Maybe you do most of the time, but everybody needs somebody."
"Yeah you do. Underneath that real tough exterior, I know you need me- Us! You need us," he quickly caught himself.
"Yeah, whatever you say," she said in a tone that was dethatched.
"C'mon Rae, you know I'm right. Obviously, you-"
"Beast Boy, we can either make this next day really easy, or really hard," she almost shouted with her back still to his face.
Beast Boy smirked. "If talking to you means that it has to be really hard, then I guess we'll go the hard way."
Raven groaned in frustration and dropped her face into her hands.