*** DISCLAIMER: I do not own any characters associated/owned by the DC Universe. This story has been for entertainment and enjoyment.
*** NOTE: There will be mild crossover of the Young Justice Universe and Teen Titans Universe - the character's prominent memories and personality will be more influenced by Teen Titans.
This is my first Teen Titans fic, also my first published fic here on FanFiction~ My hope is that I will receive a lot of growth and encouragement here, as well as hopefully make a few friends! So please enjoy, and favorites, reviews, and ratings would be absolutely MARVELOUS!
Chapter 1 - To Reunite
Beast Boy would have thought that his first time wailing down the free-way on a rad motor bike would've been with him driving, a cute blonde wrapped around his torso, driving off into the sunset. Though he found no reason to complain now, the changeling's accommodations were not as he imagined. First off and from his position, all the young man could see square in front of him was a bright yellow helmet, something found very annoying. Why would Robin be so against a little breeze in his hair, enjoying the windy-turbo from this ride? And second off, the light fluttering sensitivity across his skin and churning in his stomach caused this normally exciting ride to turn into something a little more nerve racking. With a firm grip on his friend's red tunic (no WAY am I gonna go huggin' him! was the reason for this less-than-safe grip), spine arching as he looked up to the endless sky, the original Teen Titan couldn't believe he was going back home.
Though certainly, many things could register as home - in the Congo, with his mom and dad, or with the Doom Patrol, bickering with Rita, his other mom. Certainly two places he could sleep relaxed and contentedly, though the former Doom gang could be a bit noisy and nagging. But they were home. As his body righted itself and the driving comrade pointed a finger at the nostalgic giant 'T' appearing on the coast, Beast Boy smiled wide and had a giddy feeling tingling from his toes to his nose. Now this, this, place was certainly home. Where he grew up, where he opened up, where he broke down, and was built back up again. Jump City held the most fondest memories of his life, and some most painful, but no hero left love unscathed. And by love, he meant his time as part of Teen Titans West, heroes of probably one of the craziest cities on the coast.
And then those butterflies started up again, not aided by the fact Robin was showing off some motor skills by taking a sharp left turn.
"Dude! Hey!" It was all Beast Boy managed to say with the deafening wind, and he was sure it fell on deaf ears.
Why butterflies? Well he had been gone so long. And after the Brotherhood of Evil came and went, well, things changed. They had grown, and steps had to be made. Steps to explore, to grow, to branch-out, and to revisit. Why, if anything, Beast Boy was safe to say he felt almost guilty for taking a leave for a few years with Robin to assist the Young Justice League, though regretting it was something certain he didn't feel about his choice. But then again, that made the anticipation of reuniting with his former teammates so much more exciting.
He envisioned an all out rematch-war with Cyborg on their old games, allowing Starfire to dote on his growth and him to take in the happiness that was always her, and to give Raven a few snide jokes he had been working up just for this one special time. Though unfortunately, this one special time took a long time coming, and the green boy found himself fidgeting behind Robin. There was a pause, but more fidgeting came, and as if on cue Robin spoke in his authoritative voice inform from under the helmet, slightly muffled.
"Less than five minutes Beast Boy. I know this ride has been a bit longer then you're used to." But knowing words and actions had two different effects on the changeling, Robin stepped on the gas further to emphasize their near arrival time.
As the speed increased, the passenger's lime eyes widened, as he raised his hands and cried something that he could only say every once in a while.
"Jump City! I am HOME!" A series of hoots and hollers followed, the example of glee.
Robin, in response, could only wish he could drive faster - who said Beast Boy was the only one else excited to get back home?
As promised, the ride took no longer than five minutes before the duo was pulling up in the rocky garage of Titans Tower. Beast Boy, hardly containing his excitement, vaulted off of Robin's bike only to be greeted with wobbly legs, crouching to a knee in order to steady himself. The ride had been a long one, but the excitement had only made it seem faster than it was. Once circulation was finally flowing, the young man stood and stretched, turning to look at Robin, who had dismounted the cycle and abandoned his helmet, looking around with a stiff face.
It hadn't only been Beast Boy who had missed home, and the studying of Robin's expression made something very clear - the last time all five were here, they were so much younger. Young enough to still be careless, and young enough to rightfully be dubbed the 'Teen' Titans. The once smooth faced and spikey haired leader doned a much more sturdy outfit, remnant of his Nightwing ensemble. Robin had been switching back and forth between these personas, and it was clear to see why. Robin was exactly much of the boy wonder he once was. Short close-cut hair, and a chiseled jaw that clearly came from frowning, worrying, and yelling durring his detective-sprees. His shoulders were broader and his height had certainly changed as well, though Beast Boy was proud to have a few inches above his friend. Last they had been here, Robin had been eighteen, Beast Boy a year younger. And now, Robin was twenty-one, Beast Boy twenty. In other words, they were men.
Quietly, the red-clad hero tapped a light knuckle on a highly recognizable blue and white car, shining to a polished perfection.
"Well, it's nice to know this hasn't changed," grinned Robin, looking the T-Car once over, obviously nostalgic from the looks in his eyes. Or, mask covering them.
"Okay, Robin," Beast boy began, turning and crouching onto the balls of his feet, looking about to jump or spring, clearly trying to hold his excitement in. "I sorta understand why Bolt-brain's car might be exciting, but how about weeee...oh, I dunno, run upstairs and see 'em for real? For real?"
Robin chuckled, his friend's enthusiasm obviously starting to become too much to contain.
"Go on, B. Boy. I'll meet you up there in a second."
But even by the time he had finished talking, Beast Boy had left.
Rampant, hurried footsteps could be heard flying up every staircase, running through every hall, though sloppy sounding it was obvious the runner knew where he was going. Suddenly, Beast Boy's butterflies and tingles didn't seem as worrisome as before because of his heart pounding in his chest. The adrenaline, the excitement, the anticipation, the blood going through his veins and rushing through his ears as he hurdled into the living room and -
- and nothing.
No one was there. Though Beast Boy's chest was rising with a huff and puff, he though maybe everyone was on a bathroom break or something, or maybe his old friends slept in. Maybe they were hiding and about to say surprise? But as he looked, the once rambunctious green adolescent was suddenly peering for signs of life. He looked, desperately - no game on pause, in fact, the TV wasn't even on. There was no food residue on the counter, and Silkie's pet bed seemed to be untouched. It was as if a wind had blown through and carried any ghost of a living being out of the tower. Dejected, and a bit worried, Beast Boy crept forward. He was so certain, so positive that greetings would be as they had in the past: big, loud, and a little bit embarrassing. He dragged a white-gloved hand across the kitchen table where they would all eat together, and not even a speck could have transferred between the two surfaces. It was haunting, for a place that was once one man's life to feel so hollow. Pondering out of concern, he abandoned the already empty main room and darted for the left hall, thinking of Cyborg and Starfire's bedrooms.
Skidding to a halt at the first room, Beast Boy was not hesitant to knock loudly on the door, pounding his fists instead of respectfully knocking.
"Cy? Hey, Cyborg? Dude? Metal-Head? Lug-Nuts? You there? It's me! The one-and-the-only!"
But there was no response.
Suddenly, the changeling's heart started beating fast yet again, but not for the same excitement of before. But with fear instead. Fear they had forgotten. Fear they were ignoring him. Fear they were gone. Fear something was wrong. And with that fear, he abandoned his best friend's door, moving to Starfire's, this time knocking like normal. Except maybe louder.
"S-Starfire? Hey! It's your favorite lean-mean-green-kitten-CHANGIN'-machine!"
And with his promise, a sudden morph and there was a small, and fluffy green kitten pawing at the door labeled 'Starfire'. Mewling with a content tail-flick, the green feline waited for her to open the door and scoop him up into one of her many bone-crushing hugs. And so he waited.
He changed back, a stunned look in his eyes, sitting on his behind with hands out in front. He stared at them, his small mind trying to figure out just what-the-heck was going on. Focused on finding at least one of his friends to talk to, the young man sprinted back into the main room and into the other hallway - where his and Raven room lay in wait. Fingers crossed that the grumpy, fowl-mouthed, wise, and depressing halfling was in her room meditating, Beast boy passed his own room, though curious to see what damage was left after his departure. It would have to wait.
"Raven? Please, Raven, don't tune me out!"
He didn't even bother to knock, though at this point it he realized it would've been wise of him to seeing as she would often beat him to a pulp in the past for lesser things. Pressing his ear against the door, he strained, he tried to listen, willed there to be some sort of noise in her sacred domain, and when nothing came, he pounded the door with expert fists.
One of the first things to pop into his head: alien invasion.
But, of course, one of his close friends is an alien, sort of ruling it out.
So then that also rules out possessed robots or inter-dimensional crazy kidnappers.
Pounding a fist to his forehead, he slowly tried to calm himself from the crazy ideas spinning in his head. He felt anger building up inside himself, disappointment, shame. That he was not there for who he cared for and they could be in some serious trouble!
What else should I do? he mused, pressing the heels of his hands into his eyes, forcing logical thought. I could go back to Robin, but that'd freak him waaaaayyy out. Besides, I haven't looked all over the tower! This could be a...a misunderstanding. A prank! Yeah, Cy tryin' to pull a fast one on me. But no dice, I know all the tricks, new and old! He'd have to chase me in order to ge-
And thus wide green eyes opened, his fingers snapping in a realization. A chase.
Or rather, in his case, a goose chase!
This time, Beast Boy had a much better idea as to where to go, and where to look. Tapping on Raven's door with a grin, almost as in for good luck, he sprinted from there, racing to the stairwell that lead up. Up to the roof! This time his feet hit the ground with an expert precision, yet barely a sound or tremble coming from his lithe body could be heard. It was quite obvious that the morpher's three years away had paid off; if he wanted to concentrate, he could pull off anything. He climbed staircase after staircase, keeping his echos dull as his shoes were made to muffle sound and send it down, releasing minimal vibrations. To him, this was classic, Cyborg and his pals trying to scare him on his homecoming day, and upon reaching the rooftop door, he instead slowed and pressed his ear to the cold metal. Initially no sound was heard, not a word, but despite his squirmy nature, sitting still was worth it if he could thwart a certain metal ding-dong's idea of 'fun'. Minutes went by, and the air hung heavy. He was quiet. Waiting. Waiting quietly. Quietly waiting. And as the time grew on, he heard just the soft, muffled noise he needed to hear.
"...is it perhaps that friend Beast Boy has no intention of visiting the top of the roof?" spoke an innocent voice lightly, whispering without much success.
"ShhhhhshshshshhhhshSH!" came yet another unsuccessful attempted whisper.
Morphing into a bright green cockroach, the bug-form of Beast Boy crawled under the slip of the door with a squeeze, popping out to the outer daylight. And there he saw each of three friends - no, four, as he counted Robin hiding near a filtering unit with a shadow. Immediately, he wanted to scream and call traitor on the hero, but thought otherwise. Continuing to crawl beyond his friends, the idea was to morph behind them into his human form, ruining their trick as their surprise is dulled with a surprise of his own. And just as he was reaching prime position for scaring, a gentle shadow fell over his insect exoskeleton. Antennae twitching, he waited for the shadow to pass.
It did not.
Peering up, he saw none other than a hooded cloaked figure, resembling the Raven he knew to a one-hundred-percent. He watched her staring without seeing her eyes, and wanted nothing more to scurry away at the terror of being trampled by her fancy blue boots. Yet as he prepped his green wings to fly, and looked away from her, the shadow dissipated, and there was not a sound of the cloaked girl revealing the bright green bug she had witnessed.
Did she know? he puzzled, momentarily losing focus as his cockroach form had been scrutinized. Maybe she's seen a green creepy roach like this before? In some weird demon spell book?
And with his final thought he sprang from the ground, high for a cockroach, before changing into himself and landing with his feet apart. And for emphasis, he placed his hands on his hips, toothy grin wider than it's ever been.
"He's tough, he's hot, and most importantly, he's GREEN - ladies and gentlemen," he paused, bowing for effect as all his friends turned in surprised, as their eyes were all trained for the roof-top door.
"I have arri-"
"YO BB! Ha-ha, string-bean!"
"Oh, Beast Boy! Splendid!"
Before he could finish his lengthy and dramatic introduction, immediately there was a crushing hug from the Tamaran girl, her golden skin contrasting Beast Boy's own. Her soft cheek pressed to his as she smiled, threatening to possibly get her expression stuck that way. Her hair was now more curly than it had been before, getting caught between her and then young man's embrace. And as if an alien's super-strong hug wasn't enough, a second pair of arms wrapped around Starfire and Beast Boy, much bigger, longer and...cold! Cyborg, always ready to get in with some action, whatever it may be, joined in the group hug. He lifted the gold and green bodies off the ground with his massive bear hug, laughing out loud in the breathy way he did.
"Hoooo boy, Beast Boy!" he called out to the sky, before releasing the two and ruffling the forest-green hair more than it already was. Starfire too released her embrace, but stayed close to her old friend, attempting to fix the hair that had been carelessly tousled. Cyborg snorted more to himself before clasping a large, steely hand around his closest friend, "Boy, you have no idea how much we missed you. I mean, you COULD not believe just HOW different things got! But you're here now, so I say it's time to PARTY! Boo-YEAH!"
And Beast Boy, couldn't help but keep smiling, for once speechless as his deprived eyes took in the images of his friends so missed. As he correctly assumed, Starfire's long hair was now sporting a curlier look, draping over her back in a fiery cascade of ripples and curls that seemed to match her blazing personality. Her skin had turned more golden, as appropriate for her people, but it complemented her and her dazzling emerald eyes. She had evened out in the waist, her curves definitely more profound than three years ago, though her chest still modest. But as Beast Boy shot Robin a daring glance, he knew "boy" wonder wouldn't want her looking any other way.
Cyborg, on the other hand, had somehow gotten bigger. Though not too long ago Beast Boy had been gloating over the few inches he held over Robin, Cyborg held what looked to be a whole foot over Beast Boy. He was broader, and certainly stronger, as the circuits glowing pulsated with the power he had tamed to life over the years. His red, electronic eye, seemed to have not changed, which was a comfort - Beast Boy saw his friend in that face and eye, even if he had aged.
"Oh yes," Starfire nodded, pulling and laying the green hair where she thought best, using it as a way to stay close to her dearly missed comrade. "I do very much agree that some festivities shall be quite proper in commemorating this joyous return of our dearest friend, Beast Boy! Do you not agree, friend Raven?"
Beast Boy, who had been quite content basking in the attention he was receiving, turned on heel to face just who Starfire was addressing. His smile fell as the hovering form brought back memories of fights, screams, him running for what sometimes seemed his life, and hundreds of attempts at jokes that went unnoticed and without a smile. Yet Raven made no move to threaten him, mock him, or anything worth his worried thoughts. She just, floated. The changeling could not see her, for all he saw was a cloak, which had hardly changed from its appearance three years ago. It seemed longer, floating in an ethereal manner about the girl's hovering feet, the only piece of her body that could be properly seen. The hood rested in a widow's peak fashion, the center of it's opening dipping down in a spike that covered her nose. It was reminiscent of a beak - a Raven.
"...I guess," she muttered to Starfire, demeanor as careless sounding as usual. But this response only triggered a smile from Starfire, as expected.
Raven, instead of retreating back to background bliss and going unnoticed, hovered forward to the guest of honor. A navy gloved hand parted her cloak to reach out and offer a shake to beast boy, her arm hardly extending outward.
With a quiet voice, her murmur sounded near nonexistent, but Beast Boy's excellent ears picked up the sound just fine.
"Welcome home, Beast Boy..."
With a huge smile, and a gentle grip, he shook her hand with understanding that her tolerance for hugs and loud greetings was limited. But as he shook her hand, it felt almost non-existent.
"Oh! Hey, so Raven, what did one b-" he started, his expression excited and teasing.
"No," she chided, glowering and retracting her hand, turning and drifting to a rambunctious Starfire who had begun to descend the tower.
Beast Boy only chuckled and smiled.
Yup, same old Raven.
Raven eternally debates her emotions on the return of Beast Boy, reflecting on the past three years of her life without him. But when he suddenly comes to her for all the answers, she doesn't know how to treat him - can someone who had been dear to her and then disappeared still be considered a friend? And when he asks her to assist with the possible "threatening" task of unpacking his room, what will she do?