Stuck in a car halfway down the street from the bank and Beast Boy was going crazy, knowing he couldn't help. Maybe he should have stayed at home.
He was almost standing up in the backseat but he couldn't see anything as his teammates went to deal with Dr. Light. Then he saw the top of Raven's hood as she levitated, saw her facing off against – something – and then there was a series of light flashes and an explosion.
He saw Raven flying backwards, attempting to raise energy shields before she struck anything. He saw her bad landing and her rolling to a stop. Then not moving.
He forgot Robin's orders the instant she hit the ground. As a matter of fact, he forgot Robin.
By the time he got out of the car and ran to where she was laying, Raven was trying to rise. One arm was stretched out awkwardly, her cloak and hood destroyed. As he tried to help her sit up, Beast Boy noticed the scent of her blood and saw rivulets trickling down the side of her face from a long, nasty scrape. He breathed deeply, catching the coppery tang that mixed with smell of incense from Raven's clothes. The scent of her pain. Her fear.
A burst of energy flared in his chest.
Raven said something but he couldn't make out the words, everything drowned out by a constant, low growl. His body shook with it. As carefully as he could he removed her cloak and wadded it up, placing it underneath her to cushion her head as she lay back.
He knelt beside her, hating himself, remembering what he had said to her in the dream. There's nothing skinny little funny joke Beast Boy can do to make things better for you... there's nothing...
The scent of Raven's blood drifted past him again. And he decided.
There's one thing.
One last thing.
The Beast roared.
Let me out!
Raven was still trying to tell him something. To get back in the car, probably. He smiled at her and gently touched her face. And rose to his feet.
The noise diminished enough that he could hear her say, "You'll get back in the car..."
Beast Boy turned back to her, still smiling, loving her even more in that moment. "No," he said. "I'm going to kill him."
The growl thrummed in his body as he walked down the street toward Dr. Light. He felt more awake, more alive, than he had ever been. The Beast hammered against his heart, against his ribs, and screamed, Let me out!
He laughed, raising his arms as if the energy pouring through him came from the bright blue morning sky instead of from some endless place deep within his mind. Between one step and the next he changed, surprised at how effortless it was. It felt... completely natural. Twelve feet tall. White-eyed. Tasting every scent on the air and hearing the faintest sounds.
Finally, completely, himself.
Four figures were fighting on the sidewalk in front of the building. One – the Beast sniffed – was the man he was going to kill. The other ones looked familiar. A blue and white figure who seemed to be partially made of metal noticed him first as he padded silently toward them. "Oh, sh – Robin! Robin!"
A slighter green and yellow man turned and saw him. "Beast Boy! No!"
He ignored them; they were not his prey. He wanted the black and white man, the one who seemed to be too scared to run, the one who didn't even resist as the Beast lashed out and grabbed his arm in one huge fist, raising him in the air.
The Beast brought the man near his face and snuffled. Fear and the ozone-laced metal smell of the thing that had hurt his Raven. And – the Beast wrinkled his muzzle – another, acrid, odor. The black and white man had wet his pants.
How will I kill him?
He felt a stinging on the back of his neck and looked over his shoulder. An orange woman was flying at him and shooting green things that tickled. "Beast Boy, stop! You must put him down!"
He ignored her.
The blue and white metal man grabbed the arm that held the black and white man and tried to pull it down. He failed. Desperately he shook the Beast's arm. "B! I know you're in there! C'mon, damn it!"
The Beast looked down at the blue and white man, eyes narrowed. He did look familiar... Memory sluggishly returned. Cyborg. That was his name.
The Beast looked at the man he was holding, who appeared to have fainted. Dr. Light.
He glanced around. Robin. Starfire.
They won't like this. They will hate me. I will go to prison for the rest of my life.
I don't care.
He grabbed Dr. Light's other arm and slowly lifted him, preparing to tear him in half. Starbolts prickled against his shoulders and the back of his head. He felt Cyborg punching his arms. Robin kicked at his legs, trying to make him fall. It didn't matter.
A tiny, Beast Boy-shaped part of his mind thought, Raven wasted two weeks of her life. All that time training me and it didn't work. She worked so hard. What a waste. Just like the rest of my life. A stupid waste.
"Of course it worked."
The voice – a weak thread that only faintly brushed his mind – nevertheless stopped him completely. Raven? Are you all right?
"I'll live. But I won't visit you if you go to jail."
The Beast smiled mirthlessly at the man who flopped limply in his hands. It's too late. I couldn't stop the change. Everything you did was for nothing.
Raven found enough strength to reply sharply, "Do you ever pay attention? Listen to yourself. You're thinking. You're considering consequences. You're Beast Boy. You're you."
But I -
"You're a different shape. So what? You are you. And you are not a murderer."
The Beast snarled. He hurt you! He made you bleed!
"I promise you. If you kill him you will hurt me far worse. And I will not forgive you."
Frustrated, angry, scared of what he had almost done, the Beast let out a roar that rattled nearby windows. There is nothing I can do for you! I can't help you!
"Just stop -" already faint, the voice was fading further. "Just stop. And come back."
The Beast lowered Dr. Light (uninjured but terrified) and handed him to Cyborg. Then he went back to Raven.
Dropping to his knees beside her, he saw that her eyes were barely open and she was trying to smile at him.
I can't change back.
"Don't be stupid," she said weakly. "Of course you can."
The Beast rested his fists on his thighs and lowered his head, closing his eyes. His chant filled him with a familiar, restful energy. The growl ebbed away. He felt a hand touch his knee and opened his eyes to find himself again in his human form.
Raven blinked at him sleepily. "See?"
As carefully as he could, he helped her sit up, leaning close, preparing to morph to something that could lift her and take her to the T-Car and from there to a hospital. But he had to tell her something first. "Raven – I'm so sorry – "
She shook her head and winced, regretting it. "You got it under control. I saw. I told you. You have a strong heart."
He froze, staring at her. She looked back at him, no hood to hide her eyes, no cloak to hide in, still half-smiling. He stuttered, "But that was a dream -"
"No. The two of us shared a vision."
"Then I –" he had to swallow to get the words out, and they ended on a squeak anyway - "I kissed you."
His face was so hot, he was sure he was blushing vermilion. "Then I'm really, really sorry –"
Raven reached out with her good arm and pulled him closer, looking into his eyes as he had looked into hers before. She raised her mouth to his and suddenly they were kissing again. He was gentle because she was hurt, and careful because of the rage that had threatened to engulf him earlier, and tender because his heart was overflowing again and he almost couldn't stand it.
After an eternity or so she drew away and said, with a ghost of the old snap in her voice, "You should be. I'm not sure I'll ever get over it." Now she really did smile. "We'll just have to find out."
Thank you everybody who read and reviewed and commented. I am not confident at all about my fiction writing abilities. Your kindness was so wonderful. Thank you thank you thank you.
If you have story ideas please feel free to PM me.
I am in your debt.