Thirteen – For the Record

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction based upon subject matter that is not my own. Pop culture references also do not reflect ownership by me. Also, BB's really bad jokes, I mean, the really, really bad ones, those are more than likely off Popsicle sticks.

AN1: Firstly, thanks for all of the wonderful reviews! Secondly, um, fair warning, this is one doozy of a chapter…like, it's a friggin' beast it's so long which is part of the reason it took so long to write…the other issue is that Raven's a little OOC in this chapter and I had to figure out how to make it plausible. So…sorry 'bout that. But it's here now so enjoy! P.S. Not beta-ed so sorry for any mistakes!


Raven was at a loss. Granted, she knew she was emotionally and socially stunted, but surely even all that couldn't account for this. Garfield was standing there, eyes riveted on hers, waiting. What he was waiting for was unclear, but she suspected it was for some reaction from her. Of course, if she'd been unsure how to react to his selflessness of giving her a new book, how was she possibly supposed to know how to react to this? This…this outpouring of concern and care and…and…so much just for her? Her. Raven, the ill-begotten offspring of Trigon the Terrible, gem and portal for the incarnation of evil and bringer of destruction for entire worlds. Her sole redeeming quality was her work as a hero, which in essence had started as a selfish attempt to make amends for the evil and annihilation she was fated to bring about; and yet this boy, this young man, stood there and looked at her as if she mattered to him. As if she was important to him. Garfield wouldn't have been pacing the kitchen for the last two hours if he didn't care. Not that she thought the rest of her friends didn't care, but this was…different. This was Gar showing that he cared, and that it was significantly different from the way her friends cared about her.

Raven sat there, searching for something, anything to say to him, but for once, when she desperately needed them, her emotions' commentary was completely absent. Whether that was because she was in some sort of shock and was only capable of feeling numb, or if they decided this was something she needed to figure out for herself, was unclear. Raven felt as if she was standing at the edge of a precipice, balancing delicately against the pull of gravity and the buffeting of the wind, one wrong move will send her falling into the dark, rocky depth. But that didn't frighten her, what did was whether she'd be dragging Garfield down with her should she fall. He was still watching her intently, waiting patiently for her to pull herself together. She couldn't just leave him with nothing, but she wasn't sure how to express what she was feeling without taking that last step into space.

Garfield spoke in gestures. With words he had a tendency to stick his foot in his mouth, but his gestures, those were far more eloquent than his mouth could ever be. So maybe Raven was better with words…well, she had a good vocabulary at least, but this time, perhaps she could simply reply in kind. He made her tea in an attempt to soothe her; she could acknowledge the act with one of her own. Though it grated against every instinct of never showing vulnerability, Raven closed her eyes and reached up to lower her hood. Her movements were slow and she kept her eyes closed to give Garfield a chance to school his expression so he'd not come across as surprised. When her hood was fully resting on her shoulders, Raven opened her eyes and met Garfield's gaze with her own. She knew without her hood to shield her that Garfield could see exactly how much of a mess her dream had left her. Her eyes felt puffy and irritated, likely swollen and red. Her cheeks still felt tacky from the salt of her tears. Her nose was probably also red from having to blow it after she'd finally calmed down enough from her sobbing.

"Thank you Gar." She croaked, grimacing at how hoarse her voice sounded. Of course, now that she'd done that she felt like it was a wholly inadequate gesture in light of his rather astounding revelation. Thank you? Really? Was that all she was capable of after what he did? Taking a deep breath Raven picked herself up off her stool and slowly made her way around the counter. Garfield watched her round the countertop and turned to face her, but he said nothing and his face was carefully neutral. Letting that last deep breath go, Raven, very hesitantly, stepped into Garfield's personal space and eased her arms around him until she was very gently pressed up against his chest and her arms held him there. Just as gently, but without her hesitation, Garfield's arms wrapped around her in return, holding her close and secure against him.

It was only meant to be a more adequate thank you for caring so much, for being there for her, but when a soft voice whispered 'Let it go Raven.' in her mind, Raven's grip around his ribs tightened reflexively. As if that was all the signal Garfield needed, his own grip tightened as well. She felt one of his hands slide up her spine until it cupped the back of her head. His chest vibrated with a low soothing rumble as he gently tucked her head under his chin and held her there as his other arm wrapped around her shoulders, and she found herself safe and securely in his warm embrace. She hadn't realized just how cold she was until she'd become enveloped in his warmth. Her breathing hitched at her realization which prompted Garfield to lower his lips to her ear and shush her. And she desperately wished he hadn't done that as it tipped the balance of something inside her and she lost the battle with her riotous emotions; a loud, heartbreaking sob clawed its way out of her throat.

As more sobs fought past her clasping talons of denial, and traitorous tears spilled from her eyes, Garfield's arms only tightened around her. Half of her was howling in agony at the shudder inducing memories of her horrific dream and half of her was shrieking that she was behaving in an undignified and disgraceful manner that she should be ashamed of. Fine. Obviously her typical ice queen demeanor and emotional sterility were rather absent at the moment and she would be sure to be suitably horrified and ashamed in the morning. Fine. But for now that side of her could go suck a lemon because right now she didn't want to be angry.

She was so tired of being angry. Anger was easy to manipulate. Anger could drown out most other emotions but it was also easy to channel. Being angry meant she didn't have to feel hurt or disappointed or embarrassed or sad. Being angry meant she could do something even when there wasn't necessarily anything to be done. It gave the illusion that she wasn't helpless or weak. Anger let her bury everything else. But she was so damn tired of being angry.

So fine. She'd be angry in the morning. She'd exert her control over herself and her unruly humanity in the morning. Right now though, right now she just wanted to get it all out. She wanted to purge it all and banish it from her. She wanted it gone. And if the only way to get rid of it, of her emotional burden and heartache, was through the salt water running down her cheeks and soaking Garfield's black tank, then fine. He didn't seem to mind anyway.

Garfield wasn't actually articulating any words, but the low rumbling in his chest grew louder; had he been a cat she'd have called it a purr though it seemed too deep a vibration for such a cuddly thing…maybe if tigers could purr. His grip on her never slackened, but he very slowly started to rock her, holding her against his chest as he gently twisted at the waist from side to side; one hand threaded through her lavender locks and the other rubbing up and down her side though his arm was tight across her back. She could feel his warm breath stirring her hair and caressing the shell of her ear; his jaw pressing against her temple, and doing its own part of holding her close. Raven's hands involuntarily fisted the material of his shirt as her own arms tightened around him until her muscles were so taut they were shaking.

Garfield turned and leaned back against the countertop dragging her with him. The rocking had stopped but nothing else had. Of course, now that he was leaning his weight against something, and his body angled differently, it felt like he was holding her even closer than he had before. He shushed her again, momentarily interrupting the vibrating rumble in his chest, before it picked up again. Raven let herself cry, let go of her rigidly held control and wept for herself and for her friends. Granted she knew that her torment had simply been a figment of her twisted imagination, but the hurt had been real. The pain, the terror, the emotions had been real, and as long as Garfield was willing to stand here and provide tangible proof that that was the only thing that had been real, she was willing to indulge her emotional purge. While that part of her that found her actions shameful was still displeased, she found that another part of her felt relief. As if a great pressure valve had finally been cranked and the buildup finally let out.

When her weeping reduced itself to sorrowful hiccups and Raven finally quieted, Garfield moved. He was careful to not let go, almost as if he was afraid that if he did she'd disappear, but he shifted. The hand he had in her hair slid down her back and the hand he'd had on her back reached up to her face. He eased his head back so that he could look down at her and very gently, his fingers brushed her hair back behind her ear, his thumb tenderly swept across the apple of her cheek. The vibrating purr slowly quieted and she was almost startled with the next rumbling sensation she felt when he spoke, "You don't have to talk to me if you don't want to Rae, but I think it'd do you good to tell me what happened." he murmured quietly, his fingers still threaded through her hair and his thumb still brushing her cheek. When Raven merely swallowed painfully in return, he went back to purring and resting his cheek against the top of her head, though his fingers did tighten slightly in her hair.

Raven was torn. The perpetually angry half of her that despised any sort of vulnerability or weakness wanted to vanish into the dark recesses of her room and pretend this sob-fest had never happened. The softer more forgiving side of her wanted to cling to Garfield and spill everything. The only thing she was sure she wanted was to stay right where she was, and because of that, she knew that was exactly what she couldn't let herself do...if she did, she might never let go. Taking one last deep breath, savoring the scent that reminded her of being outside and bathed in warm sunshine that was inexplicably Garfield, Raven reluctantly eased her fingers from their knotted entanglement with the back of Gar's shirt. Though his grip momentarily tightened as if he was considering not letting go, Garfield's arms slackened and allowed her to pull away from him—though he did not in fact, let go completely.

Raven looked up into Garfield's eyes, not exactly sure what she was looking for, but hoping she'd find it and it'd tell her what she ought to do. Garfield met her gaze unflinchingly, nothing but compassion and concern swimming in his emerald irises. She was being stupid. Garfield wasn't going to suddenly start being judgmental and critical and she ought to stop being such a ninny and start acting her age. Raven crossed her arms and took a deep breath, bracing herself before nodding up at him. "Okay."

Garfield cocked a brow, "Okay?" he asked skeptically.

"I'll tell you about my nightmare." she told him, her monotone more gravelly than usual due to her recent waterworks. Gar's eyes widened in surprise before his face went suddenly blank and his body stilled before he warily nodded. Garfield's face wasn't meant for emotional neutrality and she could see him fighting to keep it that way. Sighing, Raven turned to head back around the counter and the stools, surprised to find that his hand slipped into her own and kept a firm hold on hers; his intentions of retaining said grasp were quite clear as he perched on the adjacent stool.

Raven found looking up at him too hard to do while recounting…what her mind had conjured Slade had done to him…to all her friends…so she stared at their clasped hands instead. Raven was able to maintain her monotone fairly well until Slade's name came up. She felt Garfield stiffen, his hand tightening around her own when her voice cracked. When he seemed to catch on as to where her tale was leading, his free hand sought out her free hand and he made sure to hold them both firmly between them, giving her his full support; his intentions loud and clear no matter how silent. When she reached the point of Slade's big reveal her throat closed up and no air could get past let alone words. Garfield released her hands and she found herself once more pressed against him. He'd pulled her clear off her chair and his arms were like iron bars across her back. Though she knew that perpetually angry part of her would pitch a fit, Raven turned her face into his neck and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, taking deep calming breaths as she fought down the urge to break down again. She'd had enough weeping for one night already, damn it! Interestingly enough, it was much easier this time, and clinging to Garfield was having a rather soothing effect; she was already starting to calm down again.

"I'm sorry I scared you so badly." she whispered into his skin when she'd finally managed to squash her urge to breakdown once more. Raven had made her decision, the waterworks were done.

She felt Garfield stiffen before he heaved a sigh, "I guess I can't really blame you. That is definitely not a nightmare I'd ever wish to have." Gar's arms tightened slightly before he released her. Once she was re-perched on her stool he propped one elbow on the counter and started studying the kitchen as if he'd be quizzed on it later. "I…" he hesitated, "I also owe you an apology. I shouldn't have acted the way I did, and I'm sorry."

Raven felt her eyebrows raise slightly in her surprise. "I was…startled by your reaction Garfield, but I wasn't angry." She sighed, "Honestly I was trying really hard to come across as angry, only because I was attempting to put you all at ease. I didn't want you to worry." Raven's lips twitched into a wry smirk, "Obviously I did a marvelous job of it." she said sarcastically.

"You and your bravado." Garfield rolled his eyes. Turning his gaze back to her, he reiterated, "But just because I was worried out of my mind didn't give me the right to manhandle you like that, and I'm sorry."

Raven turned to study him more closely, debating whether she ought to broach the subject or leave him be. Though she had no desire to invade his privacy, she couldn't help her own feeling of concern for him. If he needed help, then it was her responsibility to be there for him. "Gar," she began hesitantly, trying to gauge his reaction, "um…"

"What is it Rae?" he asked calmly, though his own concern was at the forefront.

Raven looked away before she realized he might misconstrue such an action as shame or some other negative emotion and she didn't want him to think that. Meeting his eyes she braced herself, "Gar," she tried again, though her voice had grown softer, "how close a call was it?"

Since she was meeting his eyes she saw him stiffen in realization and his panic was pretty poorly hidden. "What are you talking about Rae?" he asked with a false smile of confusion.

"The Beast." she answered him softly. Garfield was taking this even more poorly than she'd anticipated so she mimicked his actions of comfort and took his hands in her own. "I know that my panic and fear and…hurt, call to him. Ever since he rescued me from Adonis that first time, he's seemed to feel…I don't know, responsible for my well-being or something." Looking up from their clasped hands, she met Garfield's gaze again, "And while I don't think you purposefully bring him to the forefront," she hesitated, weighing her words, "I don't think you fight him very hard when he asserts himself; at least, not when there's a battle going on." Garfield was getting better and better at keeping his face clear of emotion and it was really starting to bother her. "So I'd hazard to guess that when he asserts himself in noncombat situations, it can be difficult to restrain him."

Garfield looked away, his ears drooping slightly. Raven absentmindedly rubbed her thumbs along the back of his hands as she considered how to explain herself better. Garfield's attention was suddenly riveted to her thumbs so she made sure she kept at it as she pondered what to say. "Gar, I know you're not overly fond of the Beast, but he has saved my life a number of times now and even though he makes you act in ways you normally wouldn't, I would just like to say…thank you. To him, and to you. While I'm aware you aren't two separate entities, you treat him as if he is, so I'm going to do the same in this moment." Raven looked up at his eyes and she could almost see the wild instinctual side of Garfield looking back out at her; just as she saw it back in the hallway outside her room when Gar's fingers were attempting to burrow into his own skin. "Thank you for your concern, for caring for me and…well, I guess…" Raven struggled, not sure how much was getting through to him, not because of his lack of intelligence but because of her lack of articulation. Garfield's hands squeezed her own and she felt less embarrassed about what she was trying to convey. "Just thank you." she told him as sincerely as she could.

Garfield smiled, his head canting to the side in a very dog-like manner, "You're welcome Rae."

"I owe you my gratitude as well Gar." she continued. "How long have you been waiting for me in here anyway?" she asked, struggling for her usual monotone as she cast a glance around the kitchen.

Garfield gave her a wry smile, "Since I was able to finally extract myself from Star's grasp." He looked back at their clasped hands. "The others debated whether they ought to try to talk to you about it or let you have your space. When I told them I was going wait up for you, Star suggested that the rest of them head to bed. She seemed to think that if you wouldn't talk to me you wouldn't talk to them either."

Raven felt her cheeks flush, "Starfire, smart, beautiful, and kind-hearted; a true triple threat."

Gar grinned, "You forget her ear tugging abilities, way more of a threat than her pretty face, trust me on this one."

Raven's lips tilted up at the corners, "Regardless, thank you."

"Anytime Rae, I mean it."

Raven squeezed Garfield's hands, "Thank you." Looking up at Garfield she saw the same expression on his face that she saw before the alert startled them in her room…how long ago had that been? Clearing her throat, Raven looked away. "Anyway, thanks for the tea and hearing me out. I'm going to try meditating and see if that'll help me sleep."

Garfield was silent for long enough that Raven looked up to see if something was wrong. Catching his eye, he smiled quickly before nodding, "Okay Rae. I'll see you in the morning, alright?"

"Thanks Gar." Then, before she could lose her nerve, Raven swooped in and gave him a peck on the cheek; reminiscent of the one he'd graced her forehead with at the very start of her emotional problems. Garfield looked floored, and Raven swept from the room, a tiny smile on her lips.

Raven still felt as if she was standing at the edge of that precipice, balance still precarious. And while she still felt that fear of falling, and of dragging Garfield down with her, she also felt a strange sense of exhilaration. She couldn't step back onto solid ground, that would negate any kind of progress she'd made, but she was also too afraid to take that last step forward into the void. And though she knew she couldn't just stand on that edge indefinitely, somehow…it felt like if the conditions were just right, when she took that last step…she might not fall so much as fly. And as long as she wasn't falling…maybe dragging someone after her wouldn't be such a terrible thing?

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"Do you think it'll work?" Raven asked with some skepticism, eyeing the vial with some rather misplaced ire.

Cyborg frowned, "To be honest? I have no idea. I thought the last 'cure' was going to work and seems to be I was wrong." Cyborg sighed and rubbed his face with his large robotic hands tiredly. Apparently he got about as much sleep last night as either she or Garfield did; which was to say very little. "The only way to know for sure would be to shoot Adonis up with this latest compound and see if he goes berserker when exposed to BB's scent."

Raven frowned, "You can't be suggesting we put them in the same room together."

Cyborg shot her a disgruntled look, "Do I look psychotic to you? I'm not crazy or stupid, putting those two in the same room together is likely the worse thing we could ever do."

"So what are you suggesting, sticking Adonis in a room filled with Beast Boy's dirty socks?" Raven suggested, crossing her arms and cocking a brow.

"That would be an acute form of torture Raven," Cyborg grinned, "and I'm not the sadistic type."

"Yes you are." she bluntly retorted.

Cyborg's grin morphed into a smirk, "Well, at least I keep you company." Raven rolled her eyes, though her hood hid her own answering smile.

"Anyway," Cyborg continued, turning back toward the vial containing his 'Feral Anti-Beast Boy Bad Guy Cure 2.0', "like I said, the only way to know for sure that this works is to test it."

"Well, we know one way to test it." Raven offered, her hand subconsciously reaching up to brush the back of her hood covered head.

"Don't even joke about that Raven." Cyborg growled, his eyes narrowing dangerously.

Raven paused, attention caught by an errant thought. "Maybe…maybe I'm not joking." she mused.

"Good, 'cause it ain't funny." Cyborg growled.

"No, I mean, we'd know for sure if he was going to turn or not. I'd rather have conclusive proof one way or another." Raven rebutted, considering the point.

"No." Cyborg snapped, turning away from the empath.

Raven couldn't help but respond with a sarcastic, "Well you seem rather emphatically against this."

Cyborg whipped around and reared up to his full height, "When you're talking crazy then yeah! I'm 'rather emphatically' against it!" he growled, air quoting her words to further illustrate his disdain for the idea.

"Alright," she agreed in a reasonable tone, "can you provide me with the reasoning behind your—"

Cyborg erupted, "Reasoning? Cause it's frickin' crazy suicidal that's why!" he snarled down at her.

Raven felt her brow twitch, fighting to dip into an angry scowl. "Cyborg, I would like to point out that facing down villains is something I've had a lot of experience with."

Cyborg's thunderclouds made no move to disperse, "Yeah, and if you were at full power I'd say 'Go for it' but you're not, so I'm not." Well, she couldn't say she was surprised that was the problem, but that realization did little to dispel her own irritation with her current limitations.

Part of Raven simply wanted to blow up in anger and argue that she was perfectly capable of handling herself and she didn't need them coddling her. Unfortunately, that wasn't entirely true and she knew it; that didn't mean she was happy about it though. Bitter self-disgust bubbled up from her belly and threatened to choke her. Turning away from Cyborg she stomped over to the infirmary window, planting her hands firmly on the sill as she hunched her shoulders and started moodily through the glass, fighting down the urge to start screaming. She was so sick and tired of being a burden to the team! Figuring out whether Adonis was truly resistant to the cure compound or not was important, damn it! And they needed to find out for sure. Since it wasn't fair to use Gar since they couldn't guaranty that the Beast side of him would take it well, she was their next best bet. And yet because she couldn't get her act together they were going to have to use Gar. She was worse than useless; she was now actively a hindrance to the team! She wasn't just not helping them at this point, she was now hurting them.

"Rae?" Cyborg's questioning tone broke through her distraction.

"Don't call me that." she bit out, not because he was using the diminutive of her name that she'd usually protest, but because she couldn't stand the feelings behind it. She didn't deserve his regard for her right now.

"Raven," Cyborg retorted, "talk to me girl. I can't help if I don't know what's wrong."

"I think it might be easier to list what isn't wrong with me." she muttered.

Cyborg grunted tiredly, "Is this about last night?" he asked with some hesitation.

Raven threw a glance at the clock. It'd taken him a whole twenty-two minutes to bring it up. She was impressed. It'd taken less than twenty-two seconds for Robin and Starfire to corner her in the kitchen this morning. "It really was just a nightmare Cyborg." she told him dismissively.

"And nightmares are sometimes indicative of problems that are praying on one's mind. I happen to know that the worst nightmares are those that depict our deepest fears. You think I'm not affected the next day when I dream about the complete and total loss of my humanity?" he questioned her, his voice a quiet rumble. Raven hesitated before she turned to look up at him. Cyborg solemnly stared back at her. "Believe it or not Raven, sharing our fears with our friends can help to remove the claws those fears have dug deep into us. I'm here for you if you need me, and I'm not going anywhere."

Raven heaved a sigh of resignation. She couldn't really blame Cyborg for worrying. In fact, she ought to be grateful that he cared so much. "I dreamt that there was an alert, just after I'd lain down to sleep last night. I went to check in with the team and Robin didn't answer. I tried all of you before Beast Boy's com finally got through." Taking a deep breath to reassert her calm she continued, "Slade answered." Cyborg's eyes widened but he remained silent. "Slade informed me that all of you were…hurt badly and because I'm currently powerless there was nothing I could hope to do to save any of you."

"Why do I get the feeling that you're giving me the PG version of this dream?" Cyborg grunted.

Raven scowled, glaring up at him. She snapped, "Then he showed me what he did and even if I'd had my powers there hadn't been enough of any of you left to save." Cyborg blanched. Well, he was the one that hadn't been satisfied with the PG version.

"I—I'm sorry Raven. I just, I shouldn't have pushed, but I stand by what I said. Talking about it can help establish that it isn't real, and it won't happen. I mean, Slade's gone." he smiled, though it looked a lot closer to a grimace to her, in an attempt to cheer her up.

"As far as we know. He's come back from the dead before." she growled.

"Okay, bad example." he allowed before rallying again. "But, you and I both know that while he's a sick, sadistic, sun of a gun, he's not really into…that sort of thing. He likes his mind games sure, but I don't think even he's capable of…that." Raven disagreed, but she remained silent for Cyborg's sake. "Besides, I don't think that was the point of your dream. I think it was more about your fear of being powerless." he pointed out sagely.

"You don't say." she snarked back at him.

He grinned, "Yeah, I do say. And yeah, I assumed you'd picked up on that already. And I'm also sure that that has something to do with how you reacted when I called you suicidal for wanting to face Adonis while powerless."

"Got it in one." she quipped drily.

"I get it Raven, I do. I don't blame you for getting peeved over this, but I think you're taking it too much to heart." Raven felt her brow crook upwards almost of its own volition as she silently started Cyborg down. "We're not going to think of you any differently just because your powers are on the fritz."

Raven's temper peaked again. "That's a load of bull and you know it! You're all already treating me differently!"

Cyborg hastily attempted to backtrack. "Okay, that was poor wording on my part. What I meant was we all still love you." Judging from the look on Cyborg's face, Raven suspected her own was quite a terrifying sight. "And by that I, of course, mean that you're still a valued member of our team and we—"

"Cyborg," Raven interrupted, breathing deeply to keep from exploding at him, "I think quitting while ahead is the better part of valor right now. You need to know when to stop digging because right now you're just getting deeper." Her voice had started out alright, her usual gravelly monotone; it was more of a growl by the end though.

"Look," Cyborg sighed, "I get that you're frustrated, but I think you're really blowing this out of proportion." He hesitated before musingly saying, "I mean, I don't think your powers are as gone as you might think they are."

Raven cocked a brow, "Oh?"

"Well, it's just, um…" Cyborg was twirling a pen in his fingers and his eyes were riveted to it as he studiously avoided her gaze.

"Cyborg?"

"I think it might just be a psychological block that's keeping your powers dormant." he blurted out in a rush.

"And?" she prompted him.

"And?" he repeated, confusion furrowing his brow.

"Well of course it's a psychological block Cyborg." she frowned. "What else could it be? My problem is with removing the block or finding a way around it."

"Wait, so you've known all along about using your powers subconsciously?" he asked her incredulously.

Raven turned on him sharply, "What are you talking about?"

"Starfire said you used your powers at the grocery store twice that first week your powers went AWOL. I've witnessed you using them since, so have Robin and BB."

"That's impossible." She argued.

"Nope." Cyborg shook his head. "Star said you pushed back a crowd of reporters and exploded some camera lenses. I saw you short out some light bulbs, Robin saw you levitating some books, and BB said he's caught you levitating while meditating on the roof with him."

Raven was dumbfounded. "How come none of you have said anything?" How had she not noticed?

"Well, we had a pretty intense argument about it but in the end, we figured that it might stop you from using your powers at all if we pointed it out, should it be a psychological block. But, you even think so, though how, without knowing about the unconscious use, I don't know."

"It's the only thing that makes sense." she replied absently. All this time and she'd had some sort of unconscious access to her powers? "You guys should have told me." she grumbled.

"Well, for the record Star and B wanted to, but Robin and I did some research on it and thought it'd be detrimental. Obviously we're not properly certified to make that kind of decision and we should have gone to a professional. Sorry 'bout that."

"Well," she hedged, angry but not wanting to make him feel guiltier, "I understand why you did it and it probably wouldn't have made any difference anyway, but you guys still should have told me."

"Yeah, sorry."

Raven sighed, "It's fine."

"All I'm trying to say is that your powers aren't gone, at least, not permanently. The team knows that, you know that, and everything will be fine so there's no sense stressing about it."

"But my powers are gone for now, and for now that bothers me." she grumbled.

He tried to reassure her, "It's temporary." he reasoned.

"Well, my temporary uselessness is quite the comfort."

Cyborg groaned, "Come on Rae—ven."

Why were her powers on the fritz at all? It wasn't like they were really gone if the others had witnessed her using them. They were there, just out of her reach. There had to be a way to get past the block, or maybe to force her powers past it. "How confident are you in your serum Cyborg?" Raven asked suddenly, inexplicably seized by the makings of a plan…a stupid and dangerous plan…but a plan; which is more than she'd had before.

Cyborg's brow furrowed, "Um, I dunno."

"Give me a percent." she insisted.

"Uh," he looked up as he did some calculations, "I'd say approximately 83.2%. Why?"

"That's good enough for me." she told him as she turned to leave.

Cyborg turned to follow, "Wait, what? What's good enough?"

"I'm going to give Robin the game plan. There's roughly an 85% chance Adonis won't attack me." she told him, speaking calmly, matter-of-factly.

"What?!" Cyborg yelped. "NO! That is not what I said and I never agreed to that!" he practically shouted at her as he scrambled to get between her and the door.

"What, you don't have any confidence in your abilities, Cyborg?" she questioned him, being deliberately obtuse.

"After what's already happened? No!" he yelled down at her.

"We're not sending Gar in there." she informed him. "We'll have you or Robin take in something with Gar's scent after Adonis has been dosed. If nothing happens, I'll go in 'marked'. If it looks like Adonis is going to start sprouting fur I'll get out of there. We'll take precautions. Despite what you think, I'm not suicidal." she told him drily.

"No. If it's that important to you, we'll just have BB 'mark' Robin or something." Cyborg countered.

Raven's brows rose in disbelief, "You don't honestly think that's going to work, do you?"

"I don't care Raven." Cyborg snapped.

Raven rolled her eyes, "The whole point of testing the 'marking' is so that the next time Gar tries to be cute I don't end up with a snarling Beast in my face. It's supposed to represent a 'claim'; Adonis' Beast isn't going to react the same way if it's another male that's been 'claimed' and you know it."

"Then we'll have him mark Starfire." Cyborg growled, crossing his arms in defiance.

"Gar has already explained why Star won't work Cyborg." Raven grit her teeth at her teammate's obstinacy. "I can do this Cyborg."

"Why this sudden determination to do this? And when did BB suddenly become Gar?" Cyborg argued. Raven froze. Had she been calling him Gar in front of Cyborg? "This is stupid Raven. Stupid and unnecessary."

"No it's not Victor." she snapped back. "I'm tired of being useless. This is a way I can do something important for the team."

"Important like get your butt kicked?"

Raven's eyes narrowed in fury, fire flashing in their depths, "Who says it'd be my butt getting kicked?"

"If he turns then it will be! In case you haven't noticed, there's a reason it's always BB that takes Adonis down! And there's a reason he's the Beast when he does it! Granted, Adonis doesn't have BB's training or experience, but he doesn't really need it when he's the Beast because he's stronger, faster, and nothing slows him down!" he hissed. Raven felt the memories from her fight with Adonis' Beast flash through her mind. Just as quickly she shoved them aside.

"You're not talking me out of this Cyborg." she told him firmly, resolve absolute.

"Well, lucky for me, I don't have to. All I got to do is convince Robin."

Raven smirked, crossing her arms, "And Robin will side with me. You know he will, once I lay out all the facts and my argument." Cyborg scowled, his own fury building before a sly smirk took over and his face abruptly cleared. "What?" Raven asked suspiciously.

"There's no way BB will agree to this. I mention one word and he'll flip his lid." Cyborg barked out a laugh, "What am I even freaking out about?" he grinned. "All I got to do is let BB know your plan and he'll argue for me." Cyborg stared down at her, smug in his seeming coup.

Raven scowled, "Robin will order him to do it."

Cyborg's grin widened, "And BB will tell him where to shove those orders and you know it."

"This is important Cyborg!" Raven growled.

"Not more important than your safety Rae." Cyborg retorted calmly, his smugness dissipating and his tone serious. "There's no reason it has to be right now. We can wait until your powers come back."

"Why waste the time?" she argued. "We should find out whether it works or not now, so you can start working on a new serum if it doesn't work."

"What's this really about Rae? What, is it that you're trying to prove?"

As much as Raven didn't want to admit it, there was something. She was sick of being a burden. She was sick of the media speculation. She was sick of not being herself. She felt incomplete, listless, and first and foremost, useless. She hated feeling useless and that was exactly what she was at the moment, with no foreseeable end. She was sick and tired of being in this limbo, of being a sorceress without any sorcery. Raven was tempted to just explain everything to Cyborg, explain how she thought she might be able to use the situation to her advantage. Before she could open her mouth however, righteous indignation welled up to choke her. How dare he anyway? So what if her plan was a little dangerous? She was a superhero for Azar's sake! And wasn't he being just a little chauvinistic about the whole thing? Last time she checked, Gar was the only one younger than eighteen, which meant she was fully responsible for her own self. How dare Cyborg try to undermine her like that!

"You don't get it!" she snapped at him, her temper swelling.

"You're right, I don't." he deadpanned back. "So why don't you explain it to me?" he reasoned, crossing his arms and waiting.

To hell with being reasonable! "Never mind! I'll just bring it up to Robin myself!"

Cyborg frowned, "You were going to do that anyway." Raven didn't respond, she just went around him and stomped her way down the hall.

"For the record, I hate this plan!" Cyborg called after her, though he made no attempt to follow her.

She felt…odd. She didn't want to fight with Cyborg, and he was being reasonable, so she wasn't sure why she'd suddenly lost her temper. Granted, she was beyond frustrated at the whole situation and she didn't enjoy having to defend her decisions, but…she shook her head. It didn't matter. All she had to do was convince Robin she was right. He'd balk about her putting herself in danger, sure, but he was just as pragmatic as she was and he'd see why it was important to be absolutely sure.

She was right. Robin flat out refused at first. He'd laid out perfectly reasonable objections, but Raven was able to dismiss them all with her ever present logic. He didn't want to agree, she could tell, but he did. The only downside to his agreement, however was when he smiled, "Alright, we'll do it your way…but you have to convince Beast Boy."

Damn it all to hell.

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Okay, so maybe Raven should have thought this through a little better. Gar was beyond pissed, as was Cyborg. Robin was angry that she'd…not lied exactly, but stretched the truth almost beyond recognition, and as soon as Starfire was caught up on the situation she was doubtless in for one of Star's heart-to-hearts. None of them understood though. Well, Robin came close; he was a heck of a lot more insightful on the subject than she'd expected being powerless himself, but it wasn't the same. She'd been without her powers for over a month. A month. She'd never gone that long before and nothing was helping. Not her meditation, not letting her emotions have control, and not her stupid nightmares. She needed to do something, anything. Something that could jumpstart her powers working again, and what better way than facing down a villain? So maybe putting her life into a potentially fatal situation wasn't the best way to test the theory, but if it wasn't real it certainly wouldn't work and it wasn't like she was going out looking for street thugs all by herself and in the dark. Her friends were going to be right there and if she got into trouble and her powers didn't come back she could scamper off with her tail between her legs and they'd handle it just as they've been handling everything in the past month…without her. So maybe her plan reeked a little of desperation, it didn't matter. She was going to go through with this if it killed her…okay that was a poor choice of words; the point was that she needed to do this.

Feeling the combined glares of almost all of her friends at her back, even Garfield's though she didn't look to see if his back was still turned or not, she took a deep breath and exited the small observation room that looked in on Adonis. He'd voluntarily taken Cyborg's cure, even if he was derisive of its ability to do what it was supposed to do, and he hadn't reacted when Robin presented a pair of Garfield's really ripe smelling socks other than the usual noises of disgust and accompanying scathing remarks. So now was the test they'd all actually been waiting for, whether they wanted to admit it to themselves or not. Would he react to Raven smelling like Garfield? Quite personally Raven thought this whole situation was ridiculous. Adonis was nothing but a villain to her, someone it was her job to put a stop to. However, because of his weird 'animalistic instinct' connection to Garfield, she was now caught in the middle. Regardless, this was an opportunity to see if she could trigger her powers that weren't 'functional' but apparently still there.

Raven stepped past the police officers guarding the door to the interrogation room currently holding Adonis, and eased the door open. "Another test?" Adonis called out, though the door was blocking him from sight. Once Raven was all the way in the room the police officers pulled the door shut and Adonis' tone changed completely. "Whoa, they sent you in? I heard on the news you died or something." Funny enough he didn't look all that upset about the news of her supposed untimely demise.

"The rumors of my death were grossly exaggerated." Raven deadpanned, crossing her arms and stepping just in front of the two way mirror, as close to Adonis as she was willing to go unless she felt her powers spike. Now that she wasn't faced with a snarling muzzle in her face, she was able to notice how much Adonis had changed. Though he'd been a gangly teen in a suped-up battle suit before, he wasn't so gangly anymore. Whether it was being in prison or something to do with Gar's DNA, Adonis had in fact bulked up quite a bit, even more so than Robin or Garfield had in the years since their first encounter with him.

"Let me guess, you just couldn't stay away?" he smirked, purring at her.

Raven felt her nose scrunch as her face distorted into a disgusted expression, "Please don't flatter yourself or insult me. I'm here for one reason, to see if my presence sets you off."

Sleaziness oozed off of him as a smug smirk stretched his lips, "Hey Baby, if you want to know what gets me off, bring your pretty little self a little closer and find out." he waggled his eyebrows insinuatingly.

"How is it that you have no idea how repugnant I find you? I'd rather not revisit what I had for lunch thanks." Raven bit out, fighting back the urge to vomit.

"What's the matter, afraid you couldn't handle a real man?" he asked, leaning forward over the table he was handcuffed to. He didn't seem to be reacting to her presence in any unexpected way, maybe Cyborg's serum worked this time? Raven felt a little disappointed that she wouldn't find out if her powers could be jumpstarted. On the other hand, just in case her powers couldn't be jumpstarted, as least she didn't need to face the embarrassment of needing to be rescued.

"Okay Raven, I think we're good." Robin's voice crackled through the PA system, signaling her time with Adonis coming to an end.

In light of Robin's announcement and the fact that Adonis' smartass remark only elicited an eye roll, he scowled. Before Raven had a chance to turn to leave, he apparently had an epiphany. Adonis' expression cleared and his smug smile was back in place, "Or maybe you've already found a man and you're just afraid you'd leave him for me? I mean, just look at the guys on your team. Except for the one made out of metal, the other two are downright scrawny. Like the little green one." he scoffed condescendingly.

Caught completely off guard, Raven felt Rage inexplicably rear up and seize control. Without her permission, she stepped forward and slammed her hands down on the table; getting right up in Adonis' face she felt a feral grin stretch across her lips, "If memory serves, 'the little green one' has kicked your ass in every encounter between the two of you." Raven was now way closer than she had ever intended to get and it was going to cost her.

Adonis had flinched at the sudden slamming noise, but when he met her eyes in the next moment his nostrils flared and pupils dilated before shrinking drastically, "This is going to hurt." he growled as reddish brown fur burst out all over his body. The next split second there was a snarling snout and gleaming fangs lunging for her and if she hadn't already started to recoil as soon as Rage had let her grip on Raven slip her throat would have been ripped out. As it was, Adonis's cuffs snapped and he sailed over her head, slamming into the glass and sending a multitude of cracks spider-webbing across the viewing window while she landed on her rear. She scrambled under the table to pop out on the other side. Unfortunately that now put Adonis between Raven and the room's only exit. To her flabbergasted surprise, Adonis reached over and crunched the door's handle, effectively necessitating the door to be kicked in to even open. What happened to being an instinctive creature without higher cognitive functions?!

This is exactly why her friends hadn't wanted her to go through with this while she was powerless. Now her bullheaded stubbornness was very likely going to get her killed; by the time her friends got from the viewing room to this room he'll likely have managed to gut her. Scooting for the corner farthest away from Adonis, Raven meant to keep the table between him and her. It might have worked if he hadn't decided to flip said table sending it crashing into the wall followed by it practically disintegrating into thousands of jagged splinters. Fantastic.

Just as Raven was sure death was stalking towards her, the viewing window shattered, spewing glass across the interrogation room and a snarling mass of green fur was now standing between her and Adonis. What was it that she'd been thinking about not needing to be rescued? And of course Gar was going to be over the moon about it as soon as he got a chance to really speak his mind after this.

'Well, on the upside your chances of dying via Adonis went drastically down, on the other hand, your demise via a Garfield 'I told you so' death glare is likely imminent.'

Shut up, you're not helping! Raven mentally snarled at an all too pleased Rage, it was a surreal feeling to have paired with that particular emotional avatar.

'Hey, I gave you fair warning that I'd make your life hell from now on. Don't know why you're so surprised. Just because I'm the embodiment of rage doesn't me I can't do subtle. I've been on a slow simmer since I first concocted this plan while you were arguing pointlessly with Cyborg. It wasn't even that hard to push you into manipulating your friends. I'll get what I want one way or another Raven.' Laughter echoed through her mind, 'Enjoy.'

Before Raven could think of scathing rejoinder, Adonis launched himself at Garfield and the fur started flying. It might have been the close quarters, it might have been because Garfield was especially pissed, it might be because Raven was all of three feet from two raging, snarling brutes, but this fight was savage and vicious and Raven wasn't sure if she'd actually manage to come out unscathed after all. Between the snarling, scratching, biting, and tearing, it was all just a blur of green and reddish-brown fur. Raven couldn't tell where one Beast ended and the next began let alone who was winning.

"Raven!" Robin shouted. Turning towards the broken out window Raven found Starfire and Cyborg training their sights and respectively glowing arms on the wrestling beasts and Robin carefully removing the jagged glass from the bottom of the window. "See if you can make it over here!" he ordered, hands wrapped in his cape as he worked to clear the glass so she could safely climb through. Before Raven could try however, a black talon tipped hand wiped out and clipped her shoulder. She cried out as fire sliced through her left upper arm. One of the beasts, likely Garfield, roared in outrage and Adonis was slammed up against the far wall. Before Raven collected herself enough to make a dash for the window though, the beasts rolled back her way, crashing into the wall just a handful of steps to her right, between her and the window. Hot blood flowed down Raven's arm and she felt her pulse quicken even more as her heart kicked into overdrive, adrenalin swimming in her veins.

Thankfully that adrenalin made her alert enough that she saw the claws coming the second time and she was able to throw herself out of the way; that didn't stop her from rolling through the broken glass and splintered table remains, but that was still infinitely preferable to the razor sharp claws actively trying to kill her. Both of the beasts were bleeding at this point; though Raven only caught glimpses as they rolled past or an arm lashed out, there was plenty of it on the floor. Garfield was doing his best to keep Adonis away from her, but for some reason Adonis seemed to care more about hurting her than Gar.

For a moment, just a brief split second, Adonis seemed to get the upper hand; he leapt over Gar's head and dove at her. Raven scrambled away with far more enthusiasm than grace as salivating jaws zeroed in on her. Just when her back collided with another corner of the room, negating any further attempt to flee, gleaming teeth snapped just inches from her face. Adonis was yanked violently away from her and just before he was thrown, she saw that Garfield had actually dug his claws into Adonis' shoulders and judging by the long bloodied streaks hadn't managed to get a good grip on him until almost his elbows. Any further and Adonis would have reached his goal. Adonis knew it too. Howling in outrage at being denied his chosen victim, he turned on Garfield once more.

Teeth and claws clashed. Limbs crashed into each other. The noise was almost unbearably loud, though unsurprising given the two leviathans in the tiny space of the room. Robin, Cyborg, and Starfire were all attempting to help, but their voices got lost in the growls, snarls, and howls coming from the combating creatures. If there was ever a time that Raven could use her powers, now would be it. She could pull the two apart, heal the wounded, and clear the debris from the completely wrecked room. But she felt nothing.

Another pained snarl startled her, and as if being woken from a dream, or in this case a nightmare, Raven shook off the distraction. The two beasts were as far from her as they were likely to ever be, which is to say a good five or six feet, so Raven knew her window of opportunity wasn't likely to last. Ripping off her cloak, she wound it around her still aching shoulder, hastily wrapping it around itself and tucking it in to keep it in place. Just as she was about to dash across the open space, a green blur appeared in front of her and a howl of pain split across her awareness.

Gar was on his back with Adonis bearing down on him, his arm firmly clamped in the other beast's jaws. Rather than trying to pull his arm out, he grasped the back of Adonis' head with his free hand and it looked like he was trying to roll Adonis away from her. Which likely meant he'd wedged his arm, inviting the possibility that it could very well be torn off, into those glistening teeth on purpose. Red hot fury shot through her veins and her vision went red. Though no power came to her call, that didn't stop her. Rearing back, thanking Azar her wounded shoulder was her left, she swung, turning her whole body into it, sending her fist directly into Adonis' eye, within easy reach since Gar was still on his back.

Shocked at the strike coming from the least expected direction, not to mention getting socked in the eye probably hurt no matter how enormous and vicious you were, Adonis reared back, his hold on Gar loosened enough that he was able to pull free. Garfield brought his legs up and sprung them into Adonis' abdomen, launching him across the room. With a sickening crunch, his head smacked into the wall and he crumpled. With a groan he lost consciousness and reverted back into his human form. For a moment it looked like Garfield was going to move in to finish the job, but giving himself a firm shake he held his ground. That is, until he whirled around to face Raven and bellowed out a roar of his discontent in her face.

"Guys! Are you alright?!" Cyborg shouted, climbing through the window regardless of the still present jagged shards. He was followed by Robin and Starfire, however as Robin moved to check on Adonis and Starfire automatically followed to provide backup Cyborg was left alone to check on his teammates.

Said teammates had undeniably seen better days. Gar's breathing was ragged and he was definitely still bleeding. Raven's shoulder felt white hot, the pain throbbing in time with her heartbeat. She tried not to flinch as Gar leaned in closer, his fury with her obvious despite his current inability to speak. It certainly sounded as if he were giving her what-for for all the snarling at her he was doing. She had to admit, though he'd never given her cause to fear him, right now he was pretty intimidating. Under different circumstances she'd stand up and shut him down, but…well, today she kind of deserved it. Taking another glance at his multitude of bleeding wounds, wounds she didn't have the power to heal, she really deserved it.

"Raven, everything okay here?" Cyborg asked warily, eyeing the snarling Beast that wasn't turning back into his best friend.

"We're fine, could you just…give us a moment?" she asked, unsure if it was wise to attempt a conversation with a clearly still irate Garfield.

"Uh, okay, as long as you're sure." Cyborg shrugged, eyeing the cloak she had awkwardly wrapped around her shoulder as well as the tears and scratches that adorned much of Gar's arms. He backed off to give them some space but he made sure she could see him keeping an eye on them.

Raven ignored him, focusing on the green leviathan before her, "Look, you have every right to be angry with me; I certainly don't blame you. And though it doesn't mean much to you right now, for what it's worth, I'm sorry." Raven crossed her arms and ignoring the flair of pain that caused, hugging them closely to herself as her shoulders hunched inward. Shame reared up at her as the full consequences of her actions started sinking in. "Not only was it wrong for me not to be up front with you about what I had planned today, my plan was stupid, selfish, and a bad idea to start with. The fact that I knew you'd be against it in the first place should have told me all I needed to know about how idiotic it was to begin with. But I did it anyway. I not only manipulated my teammates, I manipulated my friends. I put all of you in danger, and you got hurt because of me." Raven shook her head, "And even after all this, it didn't make any bit of difference. My powers are still gone." Her hands fisted in her frustration, and though she wouldn't let them fall, angry, helpless tears made her nose tingle and her eyes feel hot as water built up in them. "I'm sorry Garfield." she all but whispered.

Raven could feel it, all of it; everything he was feeling in that moment. Granted the intensity was blunted somewhat due to the fact that he wasn't in his human form at the moment, but it was still there. He was angry, first and foremost, but anger she could deal with. It was everything else he was feeling that really hurt; mostly because that was the second most intense emotion he was feeling. He was hurt that she'd lied to him, manipulated him. Hurt that she'd used him. Hurt that she'd betrayed him. Raven had never believed herself capable of it, but that's what she'd done; with her actions, she'd betrayed her friends.

For a long moment the Beast just stared down at her coldly, before, with a huff, he turned and stalked off. Reaching the door, he smashed through the crushed nob and shoved it open. He shifted back into his human form, and then he was gone, calling out behind him that he was flying back to the Tower on his own. Great, he was still so angry with her that he didn't think he could stand the car ride back with her. Robin's voice cut through Raven's pity party, "Starfire, follow him." When Starfire frown at him he modified his order, "Discretely, of course. I just want you to make sure he doesn't go looking for trouble in an attempt to blow off some steam." Starfire nodded and took off. Turning to Cyborg he continued, "Cyborg, take Raven home and get her cleaned up. I'll address everyone after I get everything around here straightened out." Robin deliberately turned his back on his teammates in dismissal and Raven felt even worse than before. He wouldn't even talk to her now.

"Come on Rae." Cyborg told her softly, ushering her out the door. Raven reached back to tug her hood up before realizing she was wearing her cloak as a tourniquet and couldn't use the hood to shield herself from all the accusing stares. And that's what it certainly felt like. Everyone in the police station seemed to stop what they were doing to turn and stare as they walked by. Never before had Raven felt so deserving of their ire. The walk back to Cyborg's car was a silent one. Only once they were buckled in, and Cyborg had the car headed for home, did he break that silence. "So, you going to explain what happened back there?"

"You were there; you saw what happened." she murmured quietly.

"Yeah, I saw you provoke Adonis into attacking you. At least, that's what it looked like. Of course, you had four glowing red eyes and a jaw full of pointy teeth at the time, so maybe what I saw and what actually happened aren't mutually inclusive." he retorted drily.

"I did?" she asked surprised.

"Well, you had your back to us, but I was linked into the security feed, and one of the security cameras in the room was pointed in your direction so it saw you just fine. So I ask again, what happened in there Raven?" Cyborg was being surprisingly patient with her and he wasn't nearly as angry as he had been before she went in to see Adonis. She couldn't help but wonder why. She deserved it after all.

"It was stupid and selfish of me to insist on going in there. I just…I was hoping maybe being in a dangerous situation would kick start my powers and I'd be able to use them again." Raven explained, turning her focus to her knees so she wouldn't have to look at Cyborg. She decided to leave out Rage's part in the whole thing. It would sound to the others like she was trying to make excuses and talk her way out of getting in trouble for her actions. Besides, Rage was a part of her and as much as her emotions seemed to love reminding her, they were a part of her. Therefore it was a part of her that had acted stupid and selfishly. It was she that put her friends in danger…it was she that betrayed them. "You were right. I put the entire team in jeopardy so that I could have a chance to prove something. Well, I proved something alright." she growled, her own fury at herself growing.

"You thought facing Adonis would make your powers come back?" Cyborg asked incredulously.

Raven nodded, "A psychological block. I thought a dangerous enough situation would unblock my powers and when was I going to have another opportunity to face a dangerous situation in such controlled circumstances? Adonis would be chained to a table in the middle of a police station and the entire team would be on standby ready to intervene. It shouldn't have gotten so out of hand."

"Did it ever occur to you that if we'd known that was what you had planned, that we might have been able to help you?" Cyborg asked, fighting to keep his voice even and not let his anger break through. He needn't bother, Raven could feel it radiating off of him.

"You mean, I wouldn't have had to manipulate any of my friends, betraying their trust and putting them in danger?" she asked sarcastically. "Gee, why didn't I think of that?" Raven scowled, "You and I both know that Robin might have gone for that but you and G—Beast Boy never would have."

"You seem awful sure about how I feel about things." he grumbled, though he didn't deny she was right.

"I'm an empath." she shrugged. As jokes go, it was supremely lame, but it did make Cyborg smile.

"You know this means you'll be confined to Med Bay." he warned.

Raven made a noncommittal noise before she remembered Garfield was hurt too. "What about Beast Boy?"

"Well," he hedged, "assuming he'll even let me look at him, I really don't think he'll stay in Med Bay." His tone said it was likely due to the fact that Cyborg didn't think he'd be able to make Beast Boy stay rather than he didn't think it would be necessary.

"I would have thought his arm was too wounded to fly back to the tower." Raven ventured, hoping Cyborg would disagree.

"I would have too." he agreed. "That might be part of the reason Star was supposed to follow him. Bring him home if he can't make it on his own." And just when Raven thought she couldn't feel any worse. Cyborg heaved a sigh, "It'll be okay Raven. He'll be mad for a while, but he'll forgive you. He always does." Okay, surely now she couldn't feel any worse.

"I don't think it's going to be okay Cyborg." Raven answered him, her tone defeated.

Cyborg gave her a look, "Don't be like that Raven. So you screwed up, we all do from time to time. Maybe now you'll be more likely to listen to me when I tell you something's a bad idea." he told her meaningfully. "BB will get over it. But, if you're looking for ways to get back on his good side faster, well, I might be able to help with that."

"What, learn how to play Mega Monkeys Turbo?" she asked, smiling softly despite herself.

"Well, that'd be a good start actually." Cyborg mused, her sarcasm lost on him. "And you can never go wrong with food bribery. Granted you'd have to make everything Greenbean-friendly, but if you can get used to using that fake-egg stuff, the deserts aren't half bad."

"Beast Boy got you to try his cooking?" she asked surprised.

Cyborg grimaced, "Don't you dare tell him I liked it! He'd never let me live it down, but the little guy is actually a pretty good cook."

"You do realize who you're talking to right? Starfire's the only one in the Tower that actually likes my cooking." she grumbled.

"Okay, so you need some work, but that doesn't mean Big Brother Cy can't help a girl out. As long as you've got me to supervise it'll turn out alright." he smiled warmly at her.

Raven's brow furrowed, "Why are you so willing to help me? I mean, aren't you angry? I did the exact thing you didn't want me to do."

"Yeah, and I am angry with you. But just because I'm mad at you doesn't mean I'm going to suddenly give you the cold shoulder. The others have got that pretty covered." he grimaced. He turned a stern look her way, "Don't get me wrong, you're several washing and waxings of the T car away from being back in my good graces, but I really don't think I can stand to see you and BB fighting." He shrugged, focus once more on the road, "Besides, I already told you, I'm here for you and I'm not going anywhere."

Raven felt her heart swell with something besides the ever present anger. How on Earth had she ever gotten lucky enough to find not only such friends, but a family? "What do you mean you can't stand to see us fighting?" she asked, her mood lifting a little. "We might not have been fighting lately but Beast Boy and I are usually at odds."

"Maybe, but I think the entire Tower can agree we prefer the two of you getting along. You can't sit there and tell me you like being at odds with BB." he pointed out, crooking an eyebrow at her.

"No, I really don't." she answered him, being perhaps the most honest she'd been in quite a while.

"Don't worry Raven." he assured her. "It'll take some work, but BB isn't the type to hold a grudge. I mean, look at Ter—ah, I mean, um…oops." Nope, now she couldn't feel any worse.


AN2: Want more BBRae but don't want to wait the eternity it'll probably be before Chapter 14 is up? Check out my latest oneshot, Raven's Intervention, up on my profile right now!

P.S. So…did you like Chapter 13? Let me know then! Also, a reminder, I do post progress updates on my profile, for those who want to know how long it's been since working on a chapter or if I'm making any progress, I post those at the bottom of my profile page. Now, leave me some fuzzy love if you please!