I do NOT own Teen Titans.
Based on the cartoons and not any of the comics.
Time: Around two months after Things Change. Excludes Trouble in Tokyo.
The Morning Begins,... Pie,... A Battle,... Another Fight,...
The hated morning came and briefly Beast Boy opened his dark green eyes before letting them close again. The light peeking above the horizon cast shadows on the ceiling, ruining the absolute darkness, and a small growl erupted from his throat before he could control the impulse. He focused on the dream. The golden hair, the blue eyes, the sound of her voice, the way she ran, ... Pain pierced his heart. The image his vision painted was nothing that an ordinary human could have comprehended. He had seen her with the eyes of an eagle. Hair that glowed with shades of gold that no human language had words for, luminous eyes that were a radiant... He twisted on the bed, trying to drive the image from his mind before he went crazy. Yet still he thought of her. Eyes that saw in the infrared giving her figure a glow that seemed supernatural...
Growling he twisted and looked at the beckoning window. The window from which she had asked him out on what he thought of as their first, and only, date. He could see her there now, amused at his antics in front of the mirror. He wanted, needed, to see her. And he could, should he so choose. Right now she would be going to school. In a few minutes she would be at its doors. Were he to shift into a White-throated Needletail he could cover the two miles to her school in a little over a minute and fifteen seconds. Should he choose to he could fly, unseen, a mile above the school and watch her as an eagle.
He hadn't done that, yet. In the two months since the day he'd learned she was alive he hadn't returned to that place. Hadn't seen her. Too do so would be to invite madness. She haunted his dreams and throughout the day his ears would imagine her voice, a scent would remind him of her, or he would see a brief instance of golden hair and be lost in thought.
Sighing he sat cross-legged on his bed and meditated, forcing his mind to clear. He had never needed any help controlling the beast that lurked inside of him, but that had changed. Unlike Raven and her mantra he hummed and let the sound vibrate through his being, bringing calmness. Relaxed he focused on picturing a white space filled with black dots. The whiteness was his mind and dots was the savage creature he sought to control. Gradually the dots moved, slowly yet steadily, into a large circle. Then he made the circle smaller and smaller until all the ferocity of the beast was contained in a small and safely contained dot. It was something he'd been doing for six weeks now and it helped. Not only that but he'd found he could access the raw primal power contained in that dot and use it when he shifted forms.
Opening his eyes he looked around, careful to avoid the window and the memories it would bring. The room was neat and orderly. A drastic contrast to what it would have been a few months ago. Should Terra's memories ever return he didn't want her to see him as the child he'd been. He wanted to be more, even if it was only for a dream he would never have. Hope alone was enough to motivate him, to drive him to be more than what he had been. Rising he went through a series of exercises before he took a shower.
A little over an hour later he was in the kitchen preparing breakfast. This too was something new. Before he had always been impatient and turned the stove up high, burning anything he'd ever tried to cook. Forcing him to settle for cereal, or wait for Cyborg. As it turned out the stove already produced temperatures higher than what the dials would indicate. He'd learned to get 400F he needed to set it to 320F. The burners were twenty-five percent hotter than what they should be. Soon a small pile of waffles appeared and then disappeared as he cooked and ate. He didn't bother with a plate. Rather he just poured syrup on each one and folded them like a sandwich.
A glance at a clock showed it to be nearly quarter after nine. He shrugged and cracked two eggs, only cringing a little as each poured forth their gooey interiors. It wasn't something he would ever eat, but he'd decided there was no need to make a big fuss over it. Turning he set the kettle to boil. Ten minutes later an egg and cheese sandwich sat on the table along with a cup of herbal tea. It was pretty minor but, he hoped, it helped to make up for the way he often annoyed Raven throughout the day. He would have prepared breakfast for the rest of the team but they would be sleep for another hour. Late nights watching movies, or playing games, didn't usually result in early risers. He was different. Not being entirely human he needed less sleep. Six hours was plenty. He took one last look at the meal he'd left for Raven before heading back to his room. Should Terra ever return he wanted to be able to do things. Like cook. It would be fun to invite her out on a picnic with a home cooked meal.
As the tower stirred to live around him, he studied. Or tried to. It wasn't as bad as he had thought it would be. Ten minutes of reading or working on math problems, followed by ten minutes of running around in a circle as a dog, chasing his own tail. Sitting still really wasn't in his nature. Yet he got through the assigned problems. School was definitely a place that would drive him crazy, but so long as he could take frequent breaks he could manage the work. His parents had been geneticists who had traveled a lot. They'd always made sure he was a grade or two above where he should be. Terra was going to school, and even before that she'd been more knowledgeable than him. Both in terms of academics and in the ways of the world. He didn't want to seem like an idiot if her memory should ever return. He wanted to be worthy of her.
The work done he spent another five minutes as a dog, running and stretching, before he headed down to see what was going on with the rest of the group. He might be trying to step up a little and be more responsible, but a video game with Cyborg was always good. With eighteen waking hours a day there was more than enough time to get things done and still have fun. Too be honest, the having fun part still took up the majority of his time. He hadn't changed quite that much.
"There's been a few break-ins lately on Main street." Robin's voice came through a door. "I want you to pick someone and patrol."
Beast Boy froze, listening. It could be fun to do a little patrolling.
"I'll take Cyborg." Raven's voice answered, sounding disinterested.
"Beast Boy might be a ..."
"Cyborg is better." Raven intoned, interrupting their leader.
"Okay. Your call. In two hours Starfire and I will relieve you."
A frown appeared on Beast Boy's face as he continued on his way. Having good hearing was a pain sometimes.
"Morning, friend Beast Boy." An exuberant voice exclaimed. "What will you do on this wonderous day?"
He turned to see Starfire beaming at him. He shrugged. "It seems I will be doing nothing."
The alien frowned. "Is something wrong friend Beast Boy?"
"No." He walked past the woman. "I'm going out." He told her, giving her a fake smile. Starfire was sensitive and whatever his mood he didn't want to upset her.
"Do you wish for me to accompany you?" She rose into the air so she hovered a foot off the ground. "We could go to the mall of shopping and visit the stores of music." She suggested, hopefully.
Beast Boy couldn't resist a smile at her excitement. "I think you and Robin will be going out on patrol in a bit." He said. "Wouldn't want to miss that."
The eyes of the alien lit up at the news. "Patrolling with my friend who is a boy." She exclaimed. "I must prepare. Thank you for the good news friend Beast Boy." Turning she flew up the stairs.
Outside he sighed and wondered what his purpose on the team was. Was he really that bad? Cyborg pulled triple duty keeping the tower running, the vehicles maintained, and helping when the really bad villains ran rampant. He knew that was the only reason Robin had suggested Raven take him. Twitching his ears he reached up and felt them. He'd been hearing a lot lately. Patrolling was something he was seldom called upon to do anymore. Other than when there was a serious fight he rarely had to do anything.
The sky was blue, a gentle breeze was blowing, the sun was shining,... Sighing he sifted into the form of a White-throated Needletail and took to the air. Soon he was skimming the ocean, travelling over a hundred miles per hour. This was a good form. Other than a bird of prey in a dive, it was the fastest creature of the air there was. Watching the ocean pass just inches from his eyes was hypnotic. He though of Terra and the way she'd traveled. He pushed the image from his mind and forced his muscles to their limits to maintain the speed at which he was moving. Titan's tower swiftly vanished in the distance behind him.
"Where's Beast Boy?" Robin asked in an exasperated tone. "I sent the notice over two hours ago." He'd called the team together for a general meeting, but one of those members was missing.
"Haven't seen him all day." Cyborg replied.
The leader turned to look at Raven.
"Don't know. Don't care." She intoned in a voice void of emotion. Closing her eyes she decided to meditate until the immature Titan showed up or they decided to continue without him. Worry nibbled at her and she imagined a huge boot smashing down out of the sky to smash it into the ground. Truth be told Beast Boy's behaviour of late had her worried, but worry was an emotion and hence was something to be crushed. Soon after she had crushed it once, it started nibbling at her again.
"I spoke with friend Beast Boy this morning." Starfire said. "I have not seen him since."
Robin sighed. "Raven go get him."
"Why bother?" The violet-haired girl spoke without opening her eyes.
"He's a part of the team." The leader replied. "He has a right to have a say at these meetings."
"Why me?" She had better things to do than chase after some immature brat. Such as meditating. Her emotional aspects had been giving her a lot of trouble lately.
"Because while we're waiting Cyborg can work on those new security protocols he's been meaning to install and I can discuss with Starfire how kissing someone to learn a new language isn't always a good idea." The later was said through clenched teeth with a brief incensed look towards the alien.
Raven didn't need to open her eyes to hear the poor woman gulp. Maybe getting out of the tower would be the prudent course.
Half an hour later Jump City was far behind her and she still had to reach the annoying Titan. She wondered what had brought him such a distance. The arcade he usually frequented was within the city, as were all the other places she knew of where he usually spent time. Using her communicator to scan for him she found he was close. About time, she couldn't help thinking to herself.
She blinked. Not knowing whether to be shocked, or just puzzled. The sign on the place read BENS and was sandwiched between what appeared to be two hamburger buns. She checked the communicator again. Yes, he was in there. She opened the door and walked in. There were menus on the tables and looking she saw they featured meat. A lot of meat. Hamburgers with bacon, hotdogs, steaks, roasts,...
Spotting the green-skinned Titan that had brought her so far she headed towards him. Worry nibbled at her again. What could have driven the tofu-crazed boy to come to such a place? He noticed her and looked up. Her pace slowed. There was a frown on his face and his look was dead serious. One of his fingers made a slight, barely noticeable, move indicating the stool to his left.
"The usual Pam." Beast Boy said, pointing towards her.
"So what brings you to such a place?" She tried asking, only to be ignored. He had turned away from her and was looking towards his right, as if the empty stool was occupied. She watched as he slowly lifted his fork and sliced a small piece from the pie in front of him. Contrary to his usual way of eating he used the utensil to lift the top part of the crust to his mouth and slowly chewed before swallowing. Puzzled she observed as he meticulously stabbed what appeared to be slices of apple and ate them one by one, just as slowly. Then he finished off the bottom part of the crust before slicing another small piece from the pie. At least he's not eating meat, she thought to herself. That would really be something to worry about. She looked up as a plate was placed in front of her.
She had planned to just grab him and drag him from whatever place she found him at, but it wouldn't hurt to eat. Despite herself she was curious. What sort of pie could compel the anti-meat shapeshifter to enter such a place. Taking the fork she tried a piece. Despite her self-control her eyebrows rose at the taste. She noticed Beast Boy had looked at her for just an instant, out of the corner of his eyes. A slight smile had briefly replaced the solemn look on his face. Irritated she took another bite, eating as slowly as she could.
As the last of the delicious treat disappeared she suppressed a sigh of satisfaction. She would have to remember this place. Looking up she was startled to see the boy who had started before her had yet to finish. His movements were still slow and precise. His attention still to his right.
"There was a meeting." She said.
He shrugged and took another bite.
She got the distinct impression she wasn't welcomed here. That was strange. Beast Boy always made it known, often annoyingly so, that she was welcome to join in any of the team's activities. He always gave the impression that he enjoyed her company. What made this place so different? She looked around. There were several people, all eating meat. It was a place that she would have though would make him intensely uncomfortable.
"Thanks for the pie, Pam. Delicious as alway." The boy dropped enough change for the two piece of pie, along with a generous tip, and headed for the door.
Outside she summoned a black disc and stepped on it. He joined her, sitting down. She focused her will and they lifted from the ground, heading back towards the tower. Out of the corner her eye she studied the green-skinned Titan who was staring off into space.
He turned around to look at her. "When I'm there I prefer to be left alone." He said.
"You mean like I would rather meditate or read than be annoyed so often?" She asked, keeping all hint of emotion from her voice.
He shrugged. "There's a difference. I go there, eat a piece of pie, and leave. I don't try to spend my entire life there." He turned back to staring into space.
She opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted.
"But if that's what you want then fine. I won't bother you when you're in your room anymore. And when you see me in that place you leave me alone."
She gulped, unable to control the sign of emotion. Inside all her emotional aspects stirred, and she was forced to concentrate on them. In truth she did prefer to watch a movie with the other Titans, or even sometimes, more rarely, read with the sound of Beast Boy and Cyborg arguing over a silly video game. But it took an invitation to make her, a half demon, feel comfortable joining them. To make her feel like she was welcomed. And he was the one who did that. Even Robin left her alone in her room. She tried to think, but was forced to focus on the disc and the emoticlones raging within her.
They were nearly back to the tower when her communicator began flashing red. If she let her focus on the disc fade they would drop into the ocean. Well she would. Beast Boy would probably just change into a bird. And if she moved her attention away from the emoticlones who knew what would happen. She couldn't afford the effort to answer the device.
Looking around the green-skinned Titan noticed the flashing communicator and the look of concentration on the violet-haired girl's face. He pulled out his own communicator. "What's up?" He asked.
"Where's Raven?" Robin's voice came from the device, sounding stressed.
"I think I made her mad again and she'd trying to keep from ripping my head off." He answered, giving the girl another brief glance.
Unintelligible mutterings came from the communicator. "Is she there?" Their leader's annoyed voice asked.
"Yeah. She can hear you."
"Big problem. There was a riot at the prison and several prisoners escaped. Cinderblock and Billy Numerous were seen heading towards the edge off the city where you two should run into them soon. Keep them busy while we deal with the other escapees and then we will join forces to take those two down."
"Okay." Beast Boy replied and looked up to Raven. She seemed to be having trouble. "You okay?" He asked.
She mentally groaned. 'STOP IT!' She roared at the emoticlones. 'If I die, then you die too. All of you.' The rebellion subsided some. What set them off, she wondered with pain spiking through her skull. Closing her eyes she rubbed her temples.
"You okay Raven?" The green titan looked at the girl with worry.
"Shutup." She snapped before regaining control. Her eyes closed she didn't see the hurt look on her friend's face, or even realize how harshly she'd spoken. Opening her eyes she looked around. "Just how do we go about finding them?" She asked, trying not to sound sarcastic.
"Just take us up high." Beast Boy replied, voice neutral.
She gave a slight nod and the disc they rode lifted for the sky. The rebellion was over for now and the pain in her skull was just a memory. She could focus once again. As the disc reached an altitude of a mile or more she wondered just how high was high enough. The answer came before she could ask the question as the shapeshifter changed into an eagle and peered at the ground. After a few seconds he reached out his head, using it to point. Taking the hint she let the disc drop towards the indicated direction. Soon even she could pick out the huge form of Cinderblock. Briefly she wondered if it and Billy Numerous were working together or if it had been merely chance that had taken them in the same direction during their escape. Rubbing her temples again she changed the directions of her thoughts to the coming fight. Her internal struggle had her exhausted.
"Beast Boy." She said, with tiredness making her tone sound harsh. "You're going to have to help here more than usual."
He heard her tone and recalled that only this morning she'd claimed Cyborg was better to patrol with. In a form that couldn't show a frown he nodded and lifted for the sky.
Watching him leave she wondered where he was going. He was heading away from the two villains. Then a small car came at her and she had no attention to spare. The disc wove around the projectile and she reached out to infuse a part of soul with a bus that she sent slamming at Cinderblock. He went flying, but stood back up. Without a full team this was going to be hard. She wondered where Beast Boy had gone.
He streaked upward, wings grabbing the air to propel him higher and higher. Lately he'd been doing more than just walking into a fight and using whatever he found appropriate, whether it be tooth or claw or tail. He'd watched the way Robin fought. Each movement the basis for the next. A series of individual steps that became a dance where there was no beginning or end. Each flowing into the other without hesitation or pause. Much different from his own style of fighting. When he needed strength he became an elephant or a great ape. When he needed speed a bird or one of the great cats. He shifted form effortlessly to suit his purpose, but only for the purpose at hand, never thinking ahead to the next. He'd tried to incorporate the team leader's grace in battle into his own style of fighting. To make combos he could use and to move from one form to the next, anticipating the need, not just reacting.
Billy Numerous had appeared and, seeing her desperate struggle against Cinderblock, had joined in on the fun. A hundred of his clones were busy grabbing objects to charge her with while Cinderblock was busy throwing every vehicle he could find. She'd been forced into the air to avoid Billy Numerous and spent most of her effort tossing cars back at the concrete block. Still, she was in no danger and could manage this for a while. She was, however, irritated at the disappearance of Beast Boy.
He saw the battle below and turned into a Peregrine Falcon. He dove. As an elephant he could charge at a mere fifteen miles per hour. Strong as the beasts were they just weren't meant for speed. A lucky charge could knock Cinderblock off his feet, but did no damage. On the other hand the form he now possessed was speed incarnate. He plummeted towards the ground at an ever increasing velocity. Soon he hit two hundred and forty miles per hour. He reached for the raw primal power of the beast and waited. Just before impact he switched his form to that of an elephant, shoving a tiny amount of that power into the transformation. Rather than the normal five tons of an immature elephant the power altered the transformation to eight tons.
She infused her soul with another car and levitated it, swinging it in a circle. It knocked over a dozen Billy Numerous clones to the ground before she flung it at Cinderblock. Then a shockwave crashed out from the concrete beast, sending dust flying into the air, along with thirty to forty of the clones.
As soon as he impacted he switched his form to that of an amoeba. To take the full impact as an elephant would leave one very bloody, and probably dead, Beast Boy on top of the stunned formed of the concrete giant. An Amoeba on the other hand would be rapidly slowed by air resistance and the shockwave that would have ripped an elephant apart could be better absorbed by a creature that was practically nothing more than a drop of water. Just as quickly he switched to a T-rex and charged the clones he saw.
Picking up another car she used it to start battering the remaining Billy Numerous clones. Between the ones she'd knocked down before, and the shockwave, there weren't more than twenty left. She wondered about that shockwave. It had to have been caused by Beast Boy, but how? Then the twenty became a hundred.
He saw the telephone pole a group of clones was trying to use to charge him with and switched his form to that of a great ape, pushing a bit of the primal power of the beast into the transformation. He took the pole and started spinning it.
She could see the fight was over. Sure there were a hundred of the clones left but she was out of reach, using a car as a weapon. And Beast Boy was swinging a pole that forced them to keep their distance. They fell by the dozen and soon, as their ability to create more clones reached its limits, formed back into a single Billy Numerous who was unconscious. Cinderblock had not moved since Beast Boy had hit him with ... whatever he had hit him with. She relaxed and started to drop back to the ground.
"Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos," She intoned over and over. There was no sign of the rebellion her emoticlones had launched at her earlier. Focusing on tranquility and peace she intoned the words again. "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos." Opening her eyes she looked at the time. Nearly ten p.m. At any moment Beast Boy would knock on her door and invite her down to watch some dumb movie. She waited. At a quarter after ten the knock still had to come. At ten thirty she knew it wasn't coming. She knew she was welcomed to join them but... She went back to her meditation.
The attack was swift and brutal. As one her emoticlones rose and struck. She gasped and grabbed a pillow to scream into. She entered battle, confused and feeling betrayed. Rage was there, but so was Happiness and Bravery. Even Timidity was struggling against her. For so long. other than Rage, they'd remained content within Nevermore. Why would they fight her now? What had happened? What had changed? Had Rage somehow corrupted them? They struck at her and she struck back. On the floor her body thrashed as she warred against herself.
End of Chapter.