Fourteen – You Know What They Say About Good Intentions
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: So, yeah, I suck at the whole updating thing. Sorry 'bout that. I just keep boxing myself into corners and have a hard time getting myself out again. But, here's chapter 14, hope you like!
Garfield was livid. Sure there were instances where he'd been angry before, even angry at Raven, but this? Today just took the cake. He couldn't believe her nerve. She'd lied to him. Lied to him. He couldn't believe it. Granted she hadn't come right out and said she wouldn't confront Adonis, but she certainly hadn't told him she would. That was a lie, even if only by omission. How could she have done that? And tricking him into helping her do it? All time low.
Garfield had attempted to fly back to the Tower, unfortunately his arm was a little more damaged than he had originally figured and now that the adrenaline from the fight was starting to wear off it was really starting to hurt; which of course meant that it was adding to his already stellar mood.
The familiar Titan tone rang and Garfield answered his communicator without bothering to check who was calling him, "What!?" he barked angrily. "What could you possibly need right now?" he snarled as he continued stomping down the path through the trees he was currently following.
"Uh, is this Mr. Beast Boy?" a vaguely familiar voice asked hesitantly. What?
"Nuh uh! That's not Mr. Beast Boy! Raven said Mr. Beast Boy is always nice! This guy's a grumpy stupid head!" Garfield stopped in his tracks and turned his full attention to his communicator's screen. A young blond girl was squinting into it while trying to keep an even younger red haired boy with a blanket from taking it from her.
"But he looks just like what Raven said he would." she argued back.
"I don't care! Raven's boyfriend's not a grumpy stupid head!" he yelled back at the girl who continued to ignore him. Garfield felt his ears involuntarily twitch. Boyfriend?
"Well, Raven's grumpy sometimes so maybe that's why they like each other?" The girl looked away before looking back at the red head, "Besides, Bobby says that Raven said he was a 'boy who is a friend' and that it isn't the same thing as a 'boyfriend'."
"Melvin? Timmy?" Gar asked, unsure why they were calling him. He knew their names because Raven liked talking about 'her kids' and they traded letters pretty frequently; well, at least she and Melvin did, though Melvin's were short and written primarily in crayon. But they'd certainly never called him before.
"Yeah, that's us!" Melvin smiled.
"Don't talk to him! Stranger danger! Raven said never talk to strangers!" Timmy cried twisting his blanket fitfully in his hands.
"But he knows our names!" Melvin argued. "That means Raven told him about us."
"Hey, hey!" Gar grinned tiredly at them, "You guys don't need to worry, I'm Beast Boy."
Timmy wasn't convinced, "Oh yeah? Then tell us something only Beast Boy would know!" Okay, so Timmy was a little bit of a punk, Garfield couldn't help but think as a tic in his forehead started to twitch.
"Like what? You guys don't know anything about me." he groaned.
"Sure we do." Melvin argued. "Raven talks about you all the time." Raven talked to 'her kids' about him? If he wasn't so pissed at her right now that would send him to cloud nine.
"What's Beast Boy's favorite food?" Timmy demanded, oblivious to Gar's wandering thoughts.
What would Raven say was his favorite food? Well, probably tofu; though that wasn't actually his favorite food, it was what he and Cyborg argued about the most so she was likely to have mentioned it to the kids. "Tofu?" he guessed.
"See?" Melvin smirked to her companion. "Raven says that Beast Boy always eats tofu." Timmy started pouting but he didn't argue any further.
"Okay, so, not that I'm not happy to hear from you guys, but why are you calling me?" Gar sighed, leaning up against a tree and sliding down to sit. His injuries were really starting to bother him…well, bother him more than they had been. His whole arm felt like it was on fire and with every beat of his heart it felt like someone was splashing lighter fluid into his wounds.
"Are you okay Mr. Beast Boy?" Melvin asked curiously. "Raven said that you're always smiling but you seem really unhappy to me."
"I'm fine kiddo." Gar attempted a half-hearted smile. "What can I do for you?"
"Well, we tried calling Raven but she didn't answer. Raven always answers. She said that if we were ever scared and she didn't answer we were supposed to call you." Really? That was…interesting.
Of course, that was also alarming. "What's wrong? Are you hurt?" he asked, frantic panic starting to build up. He'd tensed in preparation for springing into action, though what he could do from the middle of nowhere in the forest outside Jump City when they were halfway across the country was beyond him.
Melvin shook her head, "No, we're fine. But Raven didn't answer, so we called you." Huh; he relaxed. Well Raven was probably getting patched up in Med Bay so it was unsurprising that she wasn't answering her communicator, on the other hand, why would she instruct 'her kids' to call him if they couldn't reach her. "We wanted to make sure Raven's okay." Melvin continued, her voice sounding worried.
Gar sighed, leaning his head back against the rough bark of the tree, "She's alright. We had a fight this afternoon and she getting patched up." he explained.
"But she's okay?" Timmy asked, his lips quivering.
"Yeah, she's tough like that." he grimaced at himself. He really didn't want to be talking about Raven right now. Especially to her kids who he couldn't risk saying anything against her to. As pissed as he was, he knew he'd eventually get over it and he'd never forgive himself if his temper slipped and said something nasty to these kids that idolized her. But then again, since he was already talking to them… "So, why did Raven tell you guys to call me? Why not Robin?" He couldn't help himself; Raven was fiercely protective of these kids and yet she talked about him to them. She made him her 'emergency contact' if you will, for the kids. And as long as they'd already called him, why not find out why?
"Robin's your team leader, right?" Melvin asked, having consulted off screen again to this 'Bobby' person that Garfield couldn't remember; that wasn't Teether's real name was it? He didn't think so. He nodded for her to continue. Melvin shrugged, "Raven said that Robin would probably know where she was but that you'd be nicer to us, 'cause you're good with kids." Well that was true; Robin was almost as bad as Raven used to be when it came to kids; and still was if those kids weren't her kids. "Is that the only reason?" he asked. After all, Star was good with kids too.
Timmy interrupted, "She said that you was her best friend. She said you'd be nice and come get her if we needed her." So Raven really did consider him her best friend. Not that he thought she'd lie about something like that but…He groaned, dumping his head into his free hand. He really didn't need any more reminders about how pissed he was at her.
"Mr. Beast Boy?" Melvin asked.
All Gar wanted to do right now was sleep for a week, and he was starting to feel slightly light-headed and that was a sign of severe blood loss right? "How badly do you guys need to talk to her? I'm not at the Tower right now, but I could radio Cyborg and he could get her for you."
"No, that's okay. As long as you said Raven's okay, we trust you." Melvin smiled.
Garfield looked up at the screen, what had Raven been saying about him to give them such a high opinion of him? He sighed, "I'll let Raven know you guys were looking for her." Even if he had to tell Cyborg to tell her because he was too afraid of completely losing it to talk to her directly.
"Mr. Beast Boy?" Melvin began before hesitating.
He grit his teeth to stop another sigh, or a groan, from escaping him, "Yeah Mel?" he asked wearily.
She smiled hesitantly at him before her face drooped, "Do you know why Raven's been so sad?" Her voice was soft and quiet, but he could hear the hurt in it. These kids really loved Raven; probably just as much as she loved them.
"Sad?" he asked, panicking slightly. What the hell was he supposed to tell them? Obviously Raven hadn't explained anything and it was hardly his place to do so.
"Raven's sad. Just because we're kids doesn't mean we're not smart. And just because Raven says she's not sad doesn't mean she's not. She doesn't want to tell us 'cause we're kids, but…" Melvin looked like she wanted to cry and Timmy already was. Well crap. How in the world did he get roped into this? He was still fraking pissed as hell about earlier and now he was supposed to explain Raven's issues to a bunch of kids? His musings were interrupted when Melvin sniffed, her eyes filling with tears, "Raven said in her letter that we could come visit if we wanted but when we called her last time she said she changed her mind. Why doesn't she want to see us?" Melvin asked, her voice squeaking in her distress.
Great, now he had to deal with crying children. Could this day get any better? Why wouldn't Raven want to see the kids? That was ridiculous, Raven loved them; of course she'd want to see them. There weren't any particular super-villains causing problems right now, as long as you didn't count Adonis…So her powers being on the fritz had to be why. He rolled his eyes at himself, duh. Raven considers herself useless without her powers and she probably doesn't want to be anywhere near them if she's powerless in case something happens and she can't protect them. Gar resisted the urge to snort at Raven's behavior. It wasn't like he wouldn't be more than happy to accompany the four of them to a friggin' carnival or the zoo or a fair or the aquarium, or whatever for an afternoon…actually, that sounded like a heck of a lot of fun and Raven was just being her normal stick in the mud self by denying all of them a day of fun just cause she's being broody and moping. Garfield sighed, he really wasn't in the mood for this. "It's not that Raven doesn't want to see you guys, she loves you guys!" he smiled at them, mentally cursing Raven in frustration, "But there's just a lot going on right now."
"Like what?" Timmy demanded, tears and snot soaking through his blanket.
"Like fighting bad guys." he replied patiently. "You guys do know that Raven is a full time superhero don't you?" he mentally winced, knowing full well that there were so many issues with that sentence.
"Yeah." the two of them agreed quietly.
"Well, right now is just a really bad time." he tried to reassure them. "But I know that Raven really does want to see you." He was struck with a moment of genius, "That's why she's sad actually!" he continued brightly. "She's sad because she was really looking forward to seeing you guys buuuuut, because bad guys are being bad guys she just can't right now." Raven so owed him, big time.
"Really?" Timmy asked, finally smiling for once.
"I know it." Gar nodded, grinning despite himself.
"When do you think Raven will want us to come?" Timmy asked, shoving his face right into the communicator's screen in his excitement.
"Uh," Gar hedged, "I'm not sure…um, when Robin says it's okay?" Gar sighed, running his free hand through his hair, "After all, the last thing anyone would want would be for your day of fun to get interrupted right?" he coaxed. Since the kids were smiling again, Gar figured he was now off the hook. He swapped his communicator into his other hands so he could get a better look at the arm that was starting to drip.
"Mr. Beast Boy?" Melvin asked. Gar glanced at the screen and found her holding the communicator up out of Timmy's grasping reach, so he was seeing mostly just her pigtails at this point, "Do you think you might want to come too?"
"Huh?" he grunted as he peeled a piece of his frayed uniform from the congealed mess of his arm and make-shift bandage, mind only half on the conversation as his wounds were getting harder and harder to ignore.
"When we come to visit. Do you think you'd want to come with us?" she asked, smiling.
"Oh, uh…sure? I mean, if Raven's okay with it?" he fumbled, not really sure how to answer that. He liked the same sorts of things like kids would likely enjoy so he'd have no objections, but Raven was really funny about stuff like that.
Melvin and Timmy beamed through the screen, though the picture was jerky because Melvin wasn't holding it still, "Why wouldn't she be? Raven likes you." she told him simply, as if it were just a fact; a truth in its simplest form.
"I'll keep that in mind." he smiled grimly at her. Normally he liked Raven too, that didn't mean he wasn't furious with her right now.
"Okay!" they agreed happily. "I'm sure Teether will be so excited! He wanted to be awake for when we called Raven but he didn't have his nap today so he fell asleep already. We'll tell him that you're just as nice as Raven said!"
"And not a grumpy stupid head?" he asked, grinning despite himself.
"No, you're not a grumpy stupid head." Timmy grumbled.
"Okay, well, bye Mr. Beast Boy! Bobby says the monks said we're supposed to be getting ready for bed." Melvin informed him, waving goodbye with a smile.
"Okay." Gar smiled. "I'll make sure Raven knows you guys called."
"Bye Mr. Beast Boy!" Timmy flapped his blanket in farewell before Gar's communicator screen blacked out. Gar sat there, silently staring at the screen for a long while after it went dark.
Well that had been…interesting. What the hell? No really, what the hell? Gar didn't know how often Raven actually talked to the kids, but she was telling them about him? He sat and stewed over his conversation with the young heroes until he felt another presence descend nearby. Starfire had been following him since he left the police station, but she'd been staying a discreet distance back. Maybe she thought he'd passed out from blood loss or something since he hadn't taken back to the skies in…how long had he been out here?
"Friend, are you alright? Why do you linger here?" she sounded worried alright. "Are you in need of help?" Starfire asked as she approached through the trees.
Garfield sighed, "I'm alright Star." It wasn't quite a lie. He really was alright...for now. He'd wrapped his arm with an ace bandaged that some random police officer had handed him upon his stormy exit. He'd been honestly surprised that no one had tried to stop him, considering he'd just given Adonis, a cooperating participant, a beat down. He supposed they were just happy someone else had taken care of it.
Apparently Starfire disagreed with his assessment. "You are in need of medical attention. Please, we should return to the Tower and have Cyborg attend to your injuries."
Having Cyborg patch him up was definitely on his to do list, but he was kind of hoping that if he delayed long enough, Cy would be finished taking care of Raven and he could avoid Med Bay altogether. He just wasn't ready to see her yet. Anger at her actions flared up anew, pushing his mixed feelings brought on by the phone call to the back of his mind. "Yeah, we can head that way." As long as they walked, he ought to be able to sufficiently delay the inevitable.
As Garfield led the way on foot, Starfire following after, he could tell she was working up to asking him something. They hadn't even walked a quarter of a mile before she took a deep breath, "Do you wish to talk about what occurred at the police station?" she asked hesitantly. Expected or not, he tensed at the question. He did want to talk about it, just not with Star. Nothing against Star, but he really wanted to talk to Raven. He had so much he wanted to ask. Like, what the heck she'd been thinking, first and foremost. He wanted to ask her why she'd done it. Why she lied to him. Why she couldn't just tell him what she'd had planned. Granted he would have tried to talk her out of it, but he would have...prepared for it or something. This, he'd been blindsided. One second Adonis was sniffing his socks, the next his jaws were inches away from Raven's jugular.
The whole incident was a crazy adrenaline fueled haze of fear and pain. Snarling muzzles with gleaming teeth, light refracting off thousands of glass shards, his pulse throbbing in his ears. The scent of fury, of fear, of blood. Raven crying out in pain. Raven's smell of tea and parchment and other so much stronger when mixed with her fear and her blood. The tiny space they were confined in, no room to fight and less to keep between Raven and Adonis. His own fear, which had been fighting his boiling rage, was almost a tangible force. Adonis had hurt her. He'd almost killed her. Raven could have died today. Granted their lives as superheroes weren't exactly safe, and there were plenty of close calls, but today...that had been different. Today Raven had been powerless. Today there'd been no dry-humored sorceress—muttering a lecture under her breath in an attempt to hide her fear and worry—to patch the Titans back up.
Not that that had stopped her from socking Adonis in the eye. Gar felt a feral grin tug at his lips at that. Raven might be as stubborn as a mule, but there was no mistaking her guts. Too much of a good thing in this case since it had made her brave enough to do the stupidest thing he'd even witnessed her doing. That chased his grin away. It hadn't helped that the Beast disagreed on how they ought to handle the situation.
Gar, the trained hero, knew that once Adonis was down, the fight was done. He was no longer a threat and could be confined by the local authorities. Should be confined. But the Beast, the primitive, primal part of Garfield, thought differently. The Beast wanted to end the threat Adonis posed to Raven permanently. There'd been a moment at the end of the fight where Garfield wasn't sure he still retained control. He'd been considering finishing off Adonis right then and there. He wasn't even sure how he'd managed to stop himself before redirecting his savagery on Raven. The Beast hadn't been worried at all about scaring the bajeezus out of Raven when he roared in her face. For some reason he seemed to be under the impression that it wouldn't even faze her. Thankfully for Gar, his Rae was made of sterner stuff and the Beast had been right. Not that that made him any less livid with her.
"Friend?" Starfire prompted. Oh yeah, she'd asked him if he'd wanted to talk about it.
He sighed, "There isn't much to talk about, Star. Raven did something incredibly idiotic and almost got herself killed. Seems pretty straightforward to me." he growled.
"Perhaps." she replied with a distracted air. She was fishing for a response and Gar knew that. Unfortunately he'd always been a sucker for that sort of thing.
"What? What do you think was going through her mind when she cooked up this scheme? When she lied and tricked me into helping her, or when she deliberately goaded Adonis into attacking her? What part of any of that wasn't incredibly idiotic or almost enough to get her killed?" he growled in irritation.
"No, that was all very stupid and dangerous. I do not disagree with you on any of those points." she informed him softly.
He frowned, "Then what did you mean when you said 'perhaps'?"
"I disagree with your assessment that there is not much to talk about. I think there is actually quite a lot that could be talked about." she replied with a sidelong glance in his direction.
He felt a growl rumble through his chest, his irritation and frustration building, "Like what?" he barked out.
"Like how her injudicious actions have affected you. How they have made you feel."
Gar's first instinct was to shut down and shut out any and all thought of 'sharing his feelings'. That wasn't something he did, ever. He was the resident jokester. The clown that provided the comic relief so that the team would be forced to relax a little between bad guy battles. So they knew it was okay not to take their lives too seriously all the time. Mento had never allowed that for the Doom Patrol and Robin was in serious risk of becoming just like his old leader. Garfield didn't know what happened between Robin and...his mentor, but he suspected it was along the lines of what had happened between Gar and Steve. And Gar liked his new team; he didn't want them splitting up. So he took it upon himself to be their reminder that they were still kids and allowed to act like it occasionally. Granted they hadn't needed that last bit much anymore, but the rest of it was still just as important if not more so. They weren't kids anymore, sure, but they still ran the risk of burning themselves out by never taking the time to step back and relax.
That being said, it was more force of habit that stopped him than the desire to avoid talking about how much what Raven had done had hurt. Not that he particularly wanted to talk about that, but that was beside the point. He shrugged, wincing when it inevitably jostled his injuries, "It hurt like a son of a bitch." he informed her bluntly.
"Her lack of trust in us is quite painful." Starfire agreed.
Had it been a lack of trust that had caused Raven to act without informing them? It felt more like an act of stubbornness, the whole never-asking-for-help-from-anybody and damn the consequences. After all, Raven was the only one that would have to suffer those consequences.
But what she didn't understand was that she wasn't. Gar had honestly believed that Raven understood that by now. That if something happened to her, she wouldn't be the only one affected by that. How many times did he have to tell her she wasn't alone before she'd actually believe him?
"You think she doesn't trust us?" he asked, keeping his eyes on his feet.
"I think she trusts us with her life, but I do not think she trusts us with ours." Star murmured.
Gar turned to her in surprise, "Come again?"
"Raven is…" she hesitated, mulling over her words, "complicated." she decided. Star crossed her arms, hugging them to her chest, "She does not see herself the way we see her. In Raven's mind, she is not…as important as we are." Gar grimaced but didn't interrupt. "Raven is not afraid to put our safety before her own, however, it makes her uncomfortable when we do the same."
"You think she thought we'd put ourselves in danger to keep her safe." he mused.
"No." she shook her head. She hesitated, "Well, somewhat yes, but mostly no in this particular circumstance." She sighed sadly, "I think she knew we would try to stop her from confronting Adonis which is why she did not tell us. I find it interesting, however, that both Cyborg and Robin knew what she had planned while we did not." That was interesting, wasn't it? "Raven knows that we, all of us, would do everything we could to keep her safe, we have done so before. However, Raven also values our lives more than she values her own, which she has also demonstrated. I think…I fear, that because Raven does not place the same value for herself as she does for us, that she sees herself as…not necessary for the team." Garfield's stomach dropped and his heart clenched at her words. He didn't want them to be true but they felt like they were. "I fear that our friend has become reckless with her own safety since she now sees herself as no longer capable of protecting us."
"But that doesn't make any sense." he argued, his forehead so furrowed it was starting to hurt.
Star shot him a look, "Whom among us truly understands her, my friend?" Not him, that was for sure.
He frowned, "Raven seemed to think that something about facing Adonis would make her powers come back." he murmured, thinking aloud.
"Because in facing him she lost her powers?" Starfire asked, thoughtfully.
"No, Raven didn't lose her powers in the fight." Gar pointed out. "She lost them later, after getting upset with Robin."
"Ah, I had forgotten. You and I cleaned her room of the wreckage." Star smiled sadly.
"Yeah." he mused. Even though it had happened the next day, everybody had assumed her powers going AWOL had had to do with her fight with Adonis. But, her powers had overloaded after she'd gotten into an argument with Robin and then went AWOL. What had they been fighting about again?
"Robin felt bad about how he treated you, my friend. He did not mean for you to think he believed you would purposely harm Raven. He was just worried about her. He tends to be overbearing when he worries." Starfire said apologetically.
Him. They'd been arguing over how Robin had treated him. Raven had been defending him and getting upset over it. When she retreated to her room and Robin had left to apologize, her powers had overloaded and she woke to find she couldn't access them anymore. So, in a way, it was kind of his fault her powers went wonky.
"But why then, would she think facing Adonis would bring her powers back?" Star asked.
Gar sighed, "I don't know Star."
She glanced sidelong at him, "And what are you going to do?"
He shrugged, "Don't know that either."
"Are you going to forgive her?" Star asked quietly, almost like she was afraid of the answer.
Gar glared at the ground, "Of course I'll forgive her, Star. Just because she did something stupid doesn't mean we're not friends anymore. I'm just really, really pissed right now. What, is that not allowed?!" he barked defensively.
Starfire eyed is somewhat mangled looking forearm, "No, you have every right to be angry with her."
"But?" he prompted her.
Star shook her head, "I simply worry." She bit her lip, "I have a great misgiving, a feeling of foreboding, that all is not well with our friend."
Unfortunately, Star wasn't the only one who thought so. Gar and Star eventually made it back to the Tower, and to his chagrin, his light-headed feeling worsened until Star had insisted on taking some of his weight. That progressed until she was practically carrying him over the Tower threshold and into the common room. Their entrance wasn't enough to catch Robin or Cyborg's attention however so Gar was able to hear some of the conversation that was probably not meant for his ears.
"—liberately disobeyed me. Besides, I told her that she had to tell Beast Boy. How was I supposed to know she wouldn't?" Robin snapped as he paced like a caged tiger.
"Yeah, she should have. That's not what I'm getting at Rob. I'm saying that letting her go in there with Adonis was approved by you, which means you can't really give her a dressing down for that. Her dishonesty with BB isn't your responsibility to scold her for either. That's on him. And I told you, man, Raven didn't mean to provoke Adonis, so you can't really get on her case for that either."
"The hell he can't!" Gar snarled, trying to pull himself upright and off of Star. That didn't really work very well so he had to do his best to look intimidating while he obviously stood only by her holding up his weight.
"B! What the hell man?! Where've you been!?" Cyborg demanded, rushing over with a large white box with a red plus symbol on top. Apparently Cyborg had anticipated that Gar wouldn't want to get patched up in Med Bay. "Shit man! Look at you!" He glared at his green best bud, "You should have let Star bring you home before it got this bad!"
"Never mind that, what did you mean Robin can't get on Raven's case? She was in Adonis' face dude!" Gar hissed, as Cyborg started unwrapping the blood soaked ace bandage from his arm.
"I'm saying it wasn't necessarily Raven, that did that." he replied quietly as he carefully examined Gar's wound. I think it was Rage." He gestured to the Bay windows that Gar only now noticed was playing what looked like the interrogation room security feed. It was paused on a frame of Raven, in her four glowing red eyed glory grinning with a mouth full of razors up in Adonis' face. Huh, it had been Rage. But why would she do that?
"I'm not saying that what Raven did was right, nor smart, but I think a full lecture from Robin right now will do more harm than good." he murmured as he started cleaning out Gar's injuries.
"What did she say to you, on the ride back to the Tower?" Star asked somberly.
Cy glanced up at her, his face grim, "That she thought facing Adonis would force her powers to activate. She thought facing a dangerous, life-threatening encounter, would force her powers around her metal block and she'd be able to save herself without any of us ever being involved. I…I accused her yesterday of having something to prove. She admitted today that she did." He looked up at them, "That's why I think Robin confronting her right now would be the worst thing we could do. I think," he sighed, "I think if we say anything while she's…like this, she'll…tender her resignation from the team."
Gar's stomach flip-flopped and Star gasped, "But why!? Why would she want to leave us!?"
"Because she thinks she's a burden to the team without her powers." Robin answered, groaning. He rubbed his hands over his face vigorously. "Alright, I'll give her some time before I talk to her."
"I don't get it," Garfield muttered, "why is she doing this?"
"Because that's just how Raven is. She's always right, even when she's wrong." Robin sighed.
Gar glared, "So what, you agree with her? You think she's a burden now?!" he snarled, muscles tensing to spring. Cyborg's grip tightened painfully as he tried to intimidate Gar into backing down with his scowl; not likely.
"No, of course not!" Robin barked back. "Raven will always be a member of this team, powers or no. But without her powers…I don't think we should have her in the field, especially with her emotions being as volatile as they have been."
"But Robin," Starfire's voice quivered, "that means you will have to find another member for the team. Raven will see that as us replacing her and she will do the resigning anyway."
Robin growled in frustration, "I know Star, but I don't know what else to do!" he shouted at her.
"Well yelling at Star isn't going to fix any of our problems." Gar snapped back.
"I know that too!" Robin yelled, throwing his hands up in the air before stomping over to the Bay windows and clearing the screens so he could glare moodily out at the water.
Starfire placed her hand on Gar's shoulder, "I know Robin does not mean his tone to be hurtful towards myself. He is simply frustrated being in the place between a rock and an equally unpleasant hard surface." With that Star headed into the kitchen and started whipping up some concoction that she knew no one would eat but made her feel better anyway.
"Sorry B, but it looks like this needs stitches." Cyborg piped up as he started digging into the first aid kit beside him. "I'm honestly surprised you didn't pass out from blood loss man." Gar shrugged but didn't say anything. "So, how are you holding up Greenbean?" Cy's tone was a little too casual to be as innocent an inquiry as he was attempting to make the question sound.
"Been better." he grunted in reply was Cyborg threaded a curved needle. He shuddered, he hated needles.
Cyborg didn't meet his eyes, well aware of Gar's needle hatred, "You sure took a long time to get home."
"Got sidetracked." When Cy glared at him accusingly he huffed, "Got a call from Melvin and Timmy."
Cy's brow furrowed, "Melvin and Timmy? Aren't those the kids that Raven talks about?"
"Yeah, them and Teether." He shrugged, "Apparently when they can't get ahold of Raven, she told them to call me."
Cyborg froze before turning his full attention to Gar's face, "Oh?" he asked in a surprised tone.
Gar grimaced, "Yeah, that was kind of my reaction too."
"And how do you feel about that?" Cy asked, again too casually.
"What are you, Robotic Dr. Phil?" Gar grumbled, blushing slightly as he turned away from the bloodied needle that Cyborg started using again.
"Funnily enough, Raven called me that the other day." He kept his eyes down, but his tone was amused.
"She did?" That didn't really sound like Raven, then again, maybe it had been Sass. He liked Sass. She was good for Raven.
"Yeah, we were talking about her emotions actually." he explained, methodically stitching the gash in Gar's forearm. "I asked her if I could give her a scan, you know because she's had so many headaches and the weirdness with her emotional avatars and all, and she was explaining to me all the stuff you guys have tried and how none of it seemed to be working. She seemed like she was figuring some stuff out before she abruptly left." He frowned, "I hope being hooked up like that isn't what triggered that nightmare about Slade. I mean, the last time I had to do a full body scan like that was when we were getting rid of all those nano-probes."
Her nightmare. About Slade. About what Slade did to all of them because she didn't have her powers.
"I'm an idiot!" Gar shouted, slapping his good hand to his forehead.
"Um, not that I'm disagreeing, but why?" Cyborg asked nonplussed.
"Cy! It wasn't even two days after her nightmare that she pulled this stunt! She dreamt that Slade got us and she was powerless to save any of us. And then today she almost gets herself killed trying to force her powers to come back. How did we not make that connection?!"
Cyborg's human eye widened, "Holy crap, you're right." he breathed.
"Wait, what?" Robin demanded, suddenly right in Gar's face. "What nightmare about Slade?!"
"Dude, the nightmare. The one that had her screaming bloody murder? Yeah, because she saw the aftermath of our bloody murders!" Gar was still kicking himself. He'd held her while she'd cried her eyes out about going through that and he didn't see this coming?
"She didn't tell me or Star what her nightmare was about. If I had known, I never would have agreed to this stupid stunt." Robin growled. "It makes so much sense now. Why she was so adamant that she had to do this now and not wait until her powers came back. She thought this would somehow fix her problem with her powers. Being without them is making her paranoid that something only her powers can fix is going to happen and it is seriously messing with her mind."
"Now that we understand the motivation behind her actions, how does that help us help our friend, and more importantly, how does that help us to prevent her from doing something so dangerous again?" Star asked, stepping out of the kitchen with a giant mixing bowl and spatula.
"I don't know, Star." Robin admitted tiredly, running his hand through his gel-spiked locks. "Nothing we've said or done so far seem to reassure her that her powers aren't what it is that we care about." He shook his head, "It's like, without her powers, she thinks we won't care about her anymore."
"No," Cyborg argued tying off the last thread and finishing off the sutures, "it's like without her powers she can't be part of the team. We'll still care about her, sure, but she won't be able to contribute, or protect us." He eyed Gar's arm meaningfully, "She won't be able to heal us." It all came right back down to her valuing her friends more than herself. If she couldn't take care of them, then what use was she? The whole idea made Gar's blood boil. "Look," Cyborg spoke up again, his face looking haggard, "I've made Raven promise not to leave Med Bay without my say so, so we've got a little time to figure something out. I think all of us could use a good night's sleep before we try to figure anything else out."
"Cyborg's right. Let's head to bed, Team. We'll pick this back up in the morning." He threw a glance in Gar's direction, "I won't let her resign Beast Boy," he promised quietly, "not because of her powers." Gar nodded but didn't say anything.
Starfire and Robin left together and Gar thought Cyborg was going to follow them, but instead, once he'd cleaned up his triage mess, he sat down next to Gar on the couch. "So," he started, "you still mad at Rae?"
"Hell yes." he seethed, crossing his arms and hunkering down. His bandaged arm twinged in anger at his rough treatment but he ignored it.
"Good." Cyborg grinned.
Gar cocked a brow, "Why is that good?"
"Because Raven messed up, big time, and she'll never learn her lesson if you're so quick to forgive her all the time." he explained. "She needs to understand that what she did was not cool and she's going to have to work at it if she wants back on your good side."
"Wait, you're on my side here?" Gar blinked in surprise.
"Of course I'm on your side B! Raven almost got herself killed!" Cyborg gave him a 'duh' look.
"No, I mean, you're wanting me to stay mad at her?" What was up with 'Big Brother Cy' here? He always chose the girls over him in Robin in an argument.
"Of course." Cyborg nodded. Then he gave him a look, "But she'll be trying to make it up to you and you're going to have to stay strong and not give in immediately. Especially now that you've figured out that her intentions were mostly noble, no matter how stupid her follow through was."
"You want me to hold a grudge?" That was the part Gar was having trouble wrapping his mind around.
"No," Cyborg said hesitantly, "I just don't want you to let her off too easy is all."
"And why exactly is it that I get to be the one that has to…punish her like this?" This whole plan sounded like a bad idea.
"Because your opinion is going to matter more to her than the rest of us." Cy explained in a patient tone.
Gar frowned, "Why?"
Cyborg rolled his eyes before sighing heavily, "Because you…got hurt." he explained resignedly.
"Oh, that makes sense." Gar nodded, unsure why Cyborg was grumbling under his breath. "Hey Cy?" he asked, looking down at his freshly bandaged arm.
"Yeah?" he grunted.
"Thanks, dude." he admitted quietly.
Cyborg smiled, "No problem, man."
AN2: So, probably not worth the wait, but it's what I got. I've already started on Ch 15 so hopefully it'll be posted without a huge delay, but no promises. My new job is kicking my ass. Seriously, mandatory overtime almost every week. Let me know what you thought about this chapter! More drama ahead as Raven tries to get back on Gar's good side and he has to resist giving in! Stay tuned!