I do NOT own Teen Titans
Notes and replies to reviews:
Sorry this chapter took so long. I have no excuse. :(
Phrase: 'Pretium solveretur.' Latin for: 'The price must be paid.'
Phrase: 'Pretium.' Latin for: 'The price.'
Phrase: 'Anni vitae.' Latin for. 'A year of my life.'
As for what happens to the Gentleman Ghost, read and see.
Some of the action scenes may be over the top, but I guess that's the way I like them. Nothing more than a personal preference. To those who find them a bit extreme I hope the story still has its moments and is enjoyable.
Times: A few hours later.
Clean up,... A Game of Chess,... A Game of Chest,... The Reaper of Reapers,... A Late Night Talk,...
It took a few hours to get things moving. First the rest of the team had to be called back while the authorities had to be informed that someone had exploded a ten-kiloton nuclear bomb in their nice clean city. That last part no one wanted to do, with even Boy Wonder cringing from the task. He'd tried to order Cyborg to handle it, but the titanium-clad titan had adamantly refused. One would've thought emergency workers would've come running at the not so minor bang to investigate, but no one on the team blamed them for deciding to stay away. Villains were always doing something not so nice in Jump City, and coming to see what was going on wasn't always the safest thing to do. Doing that was the job of the Titans who would then notify the appropriate people.
In the meanwhile the Gentleman Ghost had silently sat staring at Beast Boy. "So close." He would sometimes utter in a low whisper. However, without his flesh, the term ghost was no longer appropriate. The supernaturally-sharp knives forged from the enraged demon's astral energy had sliced the spectral flesh from the villain's body leaving not a shred of his ethereal energy behind. Normally such a being would heal such wounds with relative ease, but with not a speck of the ghostly flesh left there was nothing for it to regenerate from. That meant the Gentleman Ghost was now more of a Gentleman Skeleton.
The violet-eyed girl, with her hand gently resting in that of her boyfriend's, gazed at the villain she'd mutilated knowing she might've gone too far. Even for a spirit such as the villain one's power came from the body, whether it be flesh and blood or spectral energy, and she'd denied him access to a lot of his abilities by what she'd done. No longer would he be able to teleport or walk through walls. In fact he was pretty much just an animated skeleton now, albeit one that could walk and talk.
'No. Now he can't hurt Beastie.' Rage pointed out as if to a child. 'This is good.'
'She has a point.' Knowledge said, agreeing with the red-clad emoticlone of evil.
'Keep Beastie safe.' A whimper came from Timid who was adamant on that one thing.
'Things are good now.' Happy gleefully sang, being overjoyed, as they all were, at the resurrection of Beast Boy again.
"At least the bomb was a clean one." Cyborg announced, sounding puzzled.
"Strange." Robin mused. "Why use a clean bomb when he wanted to kill people." He turned to look at the Gentleman Skeleton.
"Couldn't get my hands on much enriched uranium or plutonium so I had to make do with deuterium." The forlorn figure told them. "I had capacitors charging from the city's power supply to ignite it."
"Oh." The cybernetic teen gave a sigh of relief. "That makes sense, and it's good for us. If it'd been a dirty bomb we would've been in deep trouble." He paused. "As in having to evacuate a large part of the city."
"Excellent." Boy Wonder grinned.
"Still going to have to tear the Colosseum down and pave it over." Beast Boy pointed out. "Even a clean bomb leaves some radiation and this whole area will need three feet of concrete to be completely safe." The green-skinned Titan paused. "Wow, but that's going to make one insanely gigantic parking lot for something." He shook his head. "And I though the parking lot for this area was huge before."
"Nothing needs that much parking space." Cyborg agreed. "Too bad about that giant octopus though. It would've come in handy the next time we face Triton."
"Oh. It's still there." The changeling replied, frowning slightly. "Though there's another snake form that's missing. I guess I don't lose whatever animal form I die in." The pale-faced boy gulped as he mentioned dying before continuing. "However it seems I do lose something, though it seems I can somehow choose to sacrifice an animal that isn't important. I have hundred of similar snake forms so losing one is no big deal."
"Wonder who'll be next?" The violet-eyed girl mused, moving a chess piece.
"Huh?" Beast Boy asked, eyes focused on the game where he was being soundly trashed within an inch of his life.
"What villain will show up next? If Slade and the Joker dying got their interest then what happened to the Gentleman Skeleton certainly will."
"I think what happened to him will serve as a very dire warning for them to stay away." The boy shrugged, still focused on the chess board. "Notice how the smaller villains like Adonis and Billy Numerous haven't shown their faces lately. I would say they're packing and leaving town. No one wants to end up like that."
'Yay. We kicked but!' Brave and Rage chirped in, sounding bloodthirsty.
Raven shrugged with a sigh, ignoring the outburst of the two emoticlones. "I did go too far didn't I?" The girl gulped and looked away.
"If I had the power to do something like that, then I would've done worse if it was you who'd died." The words were spoken without emphasis, making them all the more potent.
"Oh." Reaching out the consoled half-demon made a move. "Check." She called out with a grin.
"Hrm." The boy's faced screwed up in an expression of total concentration. Tentatively he tried to evade check-make.
"Check." Came the same dreaded word ten seconds later.
"I feel like a dog with my tail between my legs running like this." Beast Boy admitted as he tried to evade the trap she'd carefully planned and set for him.
"Check-mate." The girl's voice held a tiny hint of satisfaction.
"Yep. I'm toast." The boy knocked his king over.
"And I do declare that the victor gets a massage." The happy violet-haired girl decided, almost giggling.
"You get one each night, win or lose." The shape shifter pointed out with a smile.
"True." Rising she placed her cloak to one side and settled down for what was pure bliss. As his hands went to work she sighed and smiled. Lucky me! She told herself as she relaxed.
'Hmmm.' The red-clad emoticlone of evil sighed in contentment as well, followed by the rest of her cohorts.
'You have another side too.' Rage pointed out hopefully.
It took the girl some time to figure out what the emoticlone meant. No! She mentally screamed. Not yet.
'When then?' Came the immediately reply in a demonic tone.
I don't know. She admitted.
'Now would be a good time.' Happy suggested. "I'm sure it would feel really good.'
Quiet! Raven told them with a gulp, knowing that the emoticlone of happiness was right; it would feel good.
'Could always suggest a game of strip chess.' Knowledge mused. 'He'd be so distracted you would win easily.'
That wouldn't be playing fair. The violet-haired girl pointed out. And if I lost ... She gulped.
'If you lost then that would be one turned-on Beastie.' Happy giggled.
'For sure.' Knowledge agreed.
'Let's try it.' Rage urged.
No! Raven gulped, wanting to listen to them. Within her something ached to do just that. A need so powerful it sent a shudder through her whole body.
"You okay?" Beast Boy asked with his hands still working on her neck and back.
"I am." The girl intoned.
The hands continued to work, and during each second the bliss and the need within the girl grew.
'Do it.' A strange voice commanded.
Who? Raven pondered, wondering if a new emoticlone had appeared. But that would be impossible. She mused, puzzled and a little worried.
'More.' The voice commanded again, with the tiniest hint of a demonic tone.
Rage? The girl asked.
'Me.' It admitted. 'More.' It demanded in a lust filled plea that the girl found almost impossible to resist.
What? She was still confused.
'Lust is one of the deadly sins, so it got tossed in with me.' The red-clad emoticlone of evil explained. 'Right now that's what's dominate within me. More.'
Oh. That she understood. There was more than one aspect to each emoticlone. Brave wasn't just courage, she was chivalry. Timid wasn't just fear, she was caution.
As the violet-eyed girl envisioned in her mind what they could do she felt a need that denied all reason. None of the others are virgins. She noted. Why should we be the only two? The girl gulped. I want this. I really really do.
"You're good with the back." Raven spoke in a voice that sounded strange.
"Thanks." Beast Boy gulped. It was bad enough to touch the smooth expanse of soft, delicate, skin of her back. But something in her voice ... He shook his head and focused on the task at hand.
"How are you with the front?" The violet-eyed half-demon asked in a sultry voice as she turned over. Her bright eyes peered up at him, filled with need.
The changeling gulped as he observed for the second time his girlfriend topless. His hands paused, as in a lust-filled shock he found himself at a lost as to what to do; his eyes never moved from the girl's breasts.
"Continue." She demanded, pulling his hands towards her and resting them on her stomach.
The shape shifter obeyed with his eyes flickering to her own beautiful violet ones and then back to the view she was presenting him with. Oh wow. He sighed. Oh wow. As he was rendered speechless.
Rage/Lust had been right. It was wonderful, and the girl moaned in pure bliss. How did a half-demon like me ever get into heaven? She wondered. Unable to control her impulses anymore she reached up and pulled him down.
For a while they kissed passionately as their hands roamed. For both it was sheer unadulterated bliss.
When Beast Boy touched the breasts of the girl he loved more than the world there was a sensation of ecstasy that overwhelmed him even as it confused him. It's just my hands I'm using, so how could this feel so much like heaven? I didn't know touching anything could be so ... incredible. He ran his hands over them, squeezing gently and was rewarded with a moan of pleasure from the girl who seemed to be as overcome with euphoria as he was. His excitement grew.
Oh wow! The girl silently sighed as her boyfriend played with her breasts. This is ... There're no words to describe it. It's perfection and beyond such trivial things as language. "Mmmm." She finally moaned aloud as his hands gently squeezed before they moved on to pay attention to her nipples. Oh god! The violet-eyed girl arched her chest in ecstasy, begging for more. "Mmmm." She moaned again.
'Stop.' A tiny voice whispered. "Please stop.'
Raven ignored the voice as pure rapture consumed her.
'No. Not yet.' The desperate voice came again.
Timid? Raven asked even as her mouth sought that of her boyfriend's and their tongue gleefully wrestled.
'Stop. Not now' The emoticlone of fear and caution spoke in a whisper that was nearly drowned out by the intensity of the emotions the half-demon was experiencing.
Why? Raven demanded along with all her other lust filled emoticlones.
'I'm afraid.' Came the reluctant answer.
'You're always afraid.' Rage/Lust pointed out. 'If we wait it will never happen.'
'Yes it will. I want it too. But not now.' The voice was louder and more insistent despite the tremor in it.
'When? In a hundred years?' The red-clad emoticlone of evil demanded.
'No. Soon.' Came the fearful reply.
Raven felt the hands leave her, and looked up to find Beast Boy gazing thoughtfully down at her.
"You're afraid." The changeling simply said.
"Just a little. Timid is frightened, but the rest of us want it." The girl replied, aching for his touch again.
"I want it too, but she's a part of you. When she's ready, then it'll be time." Beast Boy gulped as he forced his gaze from her perfectly formed body least he give into his own lustful needs.
Raven sat up and pulled her leotard back up with a sigh. Sorry Timid. She silently intoned.
'It's okay. Not now, but soon.' Came the more confident answer. 'I'm sorry too. I know how much you wanted to.'
The girl frowned. There was something different about the emoticlone now, though she couldn't put her finger on it.
'I needed to make sure we had control. That we could say no as well as yes.' The grey-clad aspect explained. 'I'm sorry. Next time it will be okay. I love him as much as you do, and now I'm ready to trust him as well.'
Oh. Raven replied. You were afraid it would be like with Aqualad? That we would have no control?
'Sorry.' Came the response. 'I know it was silly, but I needed to be sure. Thought now I see that he accepts me as a part of who you are as well, and that he will listen to me even when I'm too afraid speak. That he will sense that I am here and understand.' There was a long pause. 'Tomorrow night suggest strip chess.' The emoticlone of timidness suggested. 'It's okay now. It'll be good and I'll be ready then. But you might want to discuss birth control before letting things get out of hand.'
Raven gulped. Birth control. She didn't even know if a half-demon like her could get pregnant. It was something she would have to look into.
"Sorry." The girl mumbled, not able to meet her boyfriend's gaze.
"For what? Because Timid isn't ready?" Beast Boy shrugged. "There's no rush. I just want the moment to be right."
"Oh." Raven looked around and her eyes came across the books she'd brought with her. She'd planned to give them to him after the chess game but ... The girl sighed. "Here." She said, pushing them towards the shape shifter.
Beast Boy looked at them and even flipped through a few pages before looking up.
"If I'm right then you should be able to draw on the animal forms you have as if they were a battery." Raven explained. "It might allow you to cast self-enhancing spells other than the one Slade taught you, and maybe even some for healing. But you'll only be able to use them on yourself, and not on anyone else."
"Oh." The boy flipped through the pages again, still looking puzzled.
"Sorry, but you're going to have to learn some latin." Raven informed him with a smile.
"So what sort of spells are in here?"
"Astral armor." The girl replied. "It'll protect you from various things like fire and the cold, as well as some forms of magical attacks. It's useful."
"Sounds interesting." The boy admitted, still looking through the pages with a glazed look.
"I'm sure you'll pick up on the latin in no time."
'He will.' Rage and Knowledge agreed. 'Our Beastie is smart.'
"You should be able to use regeneration spells." Raven added. "Basically if you're injured you can spread the damage out among all your forms." She shrugged. "Given you got thousands of them I'm guessing you'll be able to heal anything short of instant death in seconds." She smiled at him. "And as we already know, death doesn't have much affect on you."
The changeling shuddered. "The regeneration will be awesome." He admitted. "But I would prefer if you didn't mention death. Who knows how or why or what the consequences might be. For all I know I made a deal with a demon like Trigon. I mean, he did keep Slade alive when his flesh was burned off." The boy shuddered again and turned pale.
"Doubt it." Raven shrugged. "Anyway, we'll find out tonight. I'm pretty well rested and I'll watch you in your dreams again. By tomorrow morning we'll have the answers."
"You sure it's safe?" Beast Boy asked in a worried tone.
"I am. Dreams can be real, but I know what to expect now. It's safe." She assured him.
Sleep? The exceedingly frustrated boy though with a sigh. How the heck am I supposed to sleep? So she could enter his dreams his girlfriend had curled up alongside him where he could now feel her snuggling against him, softly snoring in a very cute manner. Her bare legs were almost entwined with his own, creating an obvious affect on another part of his anatomy.
Sleep! Beast Boy commanded as he tried to count sheep. Only problem was in his mind the fluffy white critters became elegant legs that made him drool, or lovely violet eyes that he wished he could gaze into forever. Not going to work. He admitted. Not in a million years.
However, after a while he did manage to settle down and fell into a deep sleep with a vision of those eyes gazing into his. In his mind there was nothing more beautiful in the world, or any other, than those amazing orbs that sought to hide her feelings, yet allowed them to shine out. With that nothing else could ever hope to compare.
Slowly the half-demon girl saw her own dreams fade as once again she was drawn into those of her boyfriend.
Pleasant. Was the word she had for the scene before her. A young boy of seven or eight, with fair skin and dark hair, was fiddling with something that looked like a solar array while the man she'd seen before looked on. The climate felt and looked tropical. Africa? She wondered.
"Wrong connection, son. Remember to match colors."
"Sorry Dad. Do you know you got a lizard crawling on your head?" The boy's eyes were focused on his father.
Raven looked and gulped, Sure enough there was something small and green crawling through the man's hair.
"Jealous?" The man who she recalled was Mark teased his son. "I bet you want one too."
"Is it safe." The kid, who she knew was Beast Boy asked.
"They're harmless." Mark reached up and pulled the small animal free from his own hair and placed it on his son's.
"It tickles." The boy giggled.
"They eat small insects." The man explained. "Not sure why that one thought my head would be a good place to look."
"Maybe because you're long overdue for a bath." A woman's voice interrupted the two.
Raven could hear the laughter in the voice. Turning she saw the woman, Marie, was smiling at her husband and son.
"Isn't it set up yet?" Marie asked. "We need to get the batteries charged so we can power the lights for tonight. Gar has homework to do and he can't do it in the dark."
"So if I don't get this set up in time there's no homework?" The boy asked hopefully.
The woman laughed. "And no dessert either. So get to it."
"Ah man." The boy groaned, and began to work on the solar array under his father's guidance. Every once in a while he would giggle as the lizard crawled around on his head.
A happy family. Raven noted with a lump in her throat. It was everything she'd ever wanted as a kid. It won't last. The girl silently remarked to herself, recalling the nightmare the last time she'd visited her boyfriend's dreams.
'He would make a good father.' Knowledge mused. 'That is if he's anything like his own.'
'I think he would be.' Rage said, sounding lost in thought. 'Whatever happened between then and now he had good role-models.'
'I agree.' Happy added. 'You can tell from the way he treats us.'
'He would.' Timid spoke in a voice that was more confident than her usual tone. 'Strong, but kind.'
Okay, Okay! Raven interrupted. He would make a good father, but right now that's not why we're here.
"Ready." The boy suddenly exclaimed as he looked at some readouts. "We're getting around three hundred watts. It'll be enough for the lights." His face turned up in a pout at the last part.
"Good." The woman grinned. "Look on the bright side, at least you'll get dessert."
"What're we having?"
"You mean for dessert? Chocolate pudding. It's the last we got before we get back to civilization so you're lucky you got the power working." His mother's voice was teasing, indicating he would've gotten his share no matter what.
"Mmmm." Garfield drool with a dreamy look on his face.
He's so cute! Raven couldn't help but mentally exclaim to her emoticlones who were in total agreement.
'Cute.' They chorused. 'That's our Beastie.'
Then, before the girl's horrified eyes, the scene of tranquility changed. The solar array was demolished as a gorilla raced out of the jungle, cutting its way through it in a straight line for the small family. To her astonishment, despite the sheer speed and ferocity of the assault, Mark moved almost as fast and threw the staff he was using as a walking stick between the feet of the charging animal, sending it crashing to the ground.
No. Not it's not an animal. Raven realized. It's wielding a spear.
"Marie. Take Gar and run." The man ordered.
However the gorilla, who'd rolled to the ground, came to a stop beside the boy. His arms reached out and snagged him, dragging him closer. The ferocious creature sank his teeth into the child's tender flesh, ripping a small chunk of meat and muscle from the boy's shoulder.
He lives. Raven reminded herself. I can't affect this, but I know he lives through this somehow. Watching, her heart raced.
Showing that all his fighting spirit didn't come from whatever had changed him into Beast Boy, Garfield yelled in shock but allowed himself be pulled further into the grip of the rampaging animal. The pliers he'd been using to work on the solar array suddenly appeared in the animal's left eye, causing it to screamed a curse that Raven recognized as an actual language. It let the boy go as it reached for the offending object.
'Our Beastie was a fighter even as a boy.' Brave solemnly noted.
"Agreed.' Rage fumed. 'If only we could tear that animal apart.' She added in a growl that was echoed by the rest.
Marie grabbed her bleeding son and fled into the forest, while the man rose to give them time. Raven followed the woman who carried the boy who would grow into the man she loved. Mark lives somehow too. The violet-haired girl recalled. He's there in the dream later on.
What followed was a thirty minute dash through bushes and trees, across terrain Raven thought would've given her a challenge if she'd been actually there, yet the woman never slowed. The jeep they eventually came to, obviously meant to travel on what one could hardly call a road was trashed.
For the while the woman stared, breathing hard with the boy clutched to her. "Don't suppose you know how to fix this?" She asked in a half jesting tone despite the situation.
"I doubt even dad would be able to fix that." The boy replied. "When will he get here?"
Marie was quiet as she tossed a worried look behind her.
"He will be okay? Won't he?" Garfield asked. "It had to be a mistake. We've lived close to gorillas before and they've never attacked. That one won't hurt him." He too turned pale and glanced worriedly back into the bushes. "But then none of the others ever used a spear." He added in a trembling voice.
"He'll be okay." The mother held her son. "He can handle any animal there is." She crouched down and looked at her son's shoulder. "We'll get some antibiotics on that and patch it up." She told him with a troubled smile. "When your father gets here we'll get ready and hike out. It's only a hundred miles."
"So long as dad is okay it'll be fun." The child decided, twisting his head to look at his shoulder. "It feels weird." He finally said.
"How so honey?" The woman gulped, suppressing the worry that lit up her eyes.
"It feels like the time I went to sleep to have that operation when I was a kid." He shrugged. "It doesn't hurt at all."
Now in an obvious panic the woman tore into the jeep, searching for medical supplies. Finding some she went to work on the boy.
"Sakutia." The woman uttered a short while later, trembling as tears escaped her eyes.
"Sakutia?" The boy asked.
"It'll be okay honey." The woman insisted, holding her son tightly.
Raven blinked as the scene before her flickered and changed. His nightmare, his rules. The violet-eyed girl noted with a swallow. She was now in a makeshift shelter along with Mark and Marie. There was nothing to tell her how he'd survived the attack. Garfield was on a cot of sorts looking sleepy They would've had spare equipment in the jeep. She realized.
"Don't go to sleep." The woman was urging her son, using a small needle to jab his arm whenever his eyes closed.
"So tired." Came the mumbled reply." Each time the needle slid into his flesh the small boy didn't even so much as twitch.
"It'll be okay." The woman obviously had her teeth tightly clenched to hold back the tears.
"It's our only hope." Mark said stone-faced, as he too sought to hold back his anguish. "It's not much, but it's all we got."
"We've tried it on over two hundred mice. Only one of them survived and it was changed." Marie replied with a shudder. The frantic woman closed her eyes and sobbed. "One chance in two hundred. It's better than zero. But all our samples are back in the lab."
"I brought some. I wanted to compare how the serum worked on the blood of the new gorilla species if we found it."
"Oh." The woman swallowed. "Do it." She commanded, reaching down to hold her son, no longer able to stop the outflow of tears.
In less than five minutes the man was injecting a huge syringe into the boy's chest.
"Whas tha?" The boy mumbled, unable to form the words properly.
"So much?" The woman asked.
"I added some adrenaline to help keep him awake." The boy's father replied in a sob. Reaching down, he held his son's hand.
The boy, who'd been nearly comatose until now suddenly screamed and started to thrash about.
"Sssh." The woman sobbed. "It'll be okay Gar. It'll be okay. We won't let anything bad happen to you." The woman held her son with an anguished cry of grief.
"I'll be by the jeep. If anything happens shout." Marie's husband said with his face twisted up in dread.
"Why?" It came out as a demand that asked how he could leave her at a time like this.
"Over seventy-eight percent of the mice died from heart failure. I need to rig up something in case that happens. To give him a chance." The man explained.
"Oh." The woman shuddered. "Hurry."
"I will." Her husband disappeared outside.
Raven silently watched, biting her lower lip until it bled.
'Our poor Beastie.' Rage howled in fury, futilely struggling against their helplessness.
'Beastie?' Timid simply said with anguish in her tone.
'My love.' Affection said in a tone beyond description.
Slowly, over the course of less than an hour, the boy's eyes started to turn green while his complexion changed.
So this is how he gained his powers. The violet-haired girl gulped, watching the transformation that was ripping her would be boyfriend apart as it changed him on a genetic level. Oh Beast Boy. Unseen, she wept along with the child's mother.
"Mark!" The woman screamed, suddenly letting the unconscious boy fall back on the bed. Her shaking hands moved to check his pulse. "Mark?" She screamed again.
Not the same as last time. Raven realized. Either the dream isn't constant, or he came close to death more than once. Heart pounding she watched.
"Mark?" Came the frantic cry again as the woman started CPR.
The girl froze for a brief instant, and then swiftly moved to stand to one side despite the desperate need to be near the one she loved. He's dead. She realized as she watched a grim reaper of souls appear. Glancing back and forth she kept her eyes on both her loved one and the deadly scythe that'd caused her so much pain the last time.
"Mark!" The woman cried, pushing on her dead son's chest and then breathing for him. His body remained still.
With dreadful fascination, knowing she was powerless, Raven watched the scythe that blazed with the brightness of a star rise, and then pitilessly plunge down to pierce the heart of the one she loved. On the dark face of the demigod of death a confuse looked appeared. Once again the weapon of the remorseless figure rose and fell, only for the look to turn to disbelief. The dark figure took a step and vanished.
He followed Beast Boy into his Nevermore. The girl realized as she automatically stepped forward and was somehow there too.
In the void that was her boyfriend's Nevermore there were only two people other than herself. The boy she loved, and the reaper of souls. Before her astonished eyes they moved faster than she could follow, with the boy running and the demigod chasing. His realm, his rules. The half-demon realized. Here he has no physical form, and need only think of what he wants to do. But then if it were any other way he would already be dead. Nothing physical could hope to match a god. The girl paused in thought. For that matter, nothing not physical should be able to either. Strange. Holding her breath, she watched.
For what seemed like forever the chase continued. The god was tireless, but the boy wasn't. Eventually the scythe rose and started to fall.
"No." The small figure who would one day be called Beast Boy screamed, denying what was about to happen. His trembling body that should've been held unmoving by the power of death rose to launch itself at the being whose sole purpose was to send the child to the realm that lay beyond life.
A kid, not even five feet tall, should've been powerless against the twelve-foot supernatural being, but as his hands grazed the darkness Beast Boy took on his first form. The shape of a demigod.
For a second the two stepped back. The boy in confusion and the god in disbelief. Then two scythes rose and clashed with a fury that forced the girl turn away least even in the dream the sheer power disrupt her soul once again. It was an impossible fight no mortal could've hoped to win, yet the dead child held his own.
In the real world it would be over by now. Raven realized. He would be dead and gone ten thousand times over, but this isn't the real world. Here he can move as fast as thought. Even so, it's still impossible. Eyes closed, only able to follow the battle from the blinding flashes of light that seemed to pierce her whole being, she gave it some thought even as she was frozen in awe.
Fast as thought. The answer came to her. But what're his thoughts? It's to be faster than what he sees as the monster that's after him. Since that's what he wishes for then that's what's real here. The violet-haired girl tilted her head to better shelter her eyes from the light of the two scythes clashing. There's no reason for him to tire except that's what he expects. And he'll win because in his heart that's what he needs. His one true desire is to be back, safe and sound, with his mother and father. Death stands no chance.
Still the battle lasted for what seemed like forever. The grim reaper of souls had never been thwarted before, and the concept of having met its match came slowly to it. Eventually it stopped its attack to stand back in shock.
"Pretium solveretur." The defeated being stated as if in awe.
The boy tilted his head, apparently fully understanding the words. "Pretium." He slowly spoke, as if deep in thought. "Anni vitae?" He added, looking confused yet hopeful.
It's as though in that form he understands the language. Raven noted, realizing the Beast Boy had just offered a year of his own life as a price to satisfy the demands of the demigod of death. That dreadful being she knew required some sort of payment, else it would be forced to continue the fight. And it's fair. The girl reluctantly admitted. By offering a single year he gets the rest of his life back.
Before her eyes the view of her boyfriend's Nevermore changed. The shape of a demigod took shape below, surrounded by a shield that pulsed darkly with just a hint of green. Above them, ruling over the solitary creature, there appeared the form of the shape shifter.
That's how he can be resurrected. Raven gulped. His real form to him is nothing more than just another shape, albeit the one that governs all the rest. When it's destroyed in the real world he can just use its essence here to create another body. So long that part of him isn't harmed then he can never die. He'll just keep forming a new body of flesh and blood. The girl blinked as she realized her boyfriend was for all practical purposes immortal. But then I already knew that. She silently mused. If he can survive a nuclear explosion there's not much that can hurt him.
The world around her changed as the newly born shape shifter fled his Nevermore only to reappear again in the makeshift shelter with his mother screaming frantically over him.
"Mom?" The boy whispered. "What's wrong? Why're you crying?" Too exhausted to move he didn't try to move from where he was resting.
Raven studied him. His eyes were now fully the green she knew so well while his skin had taken on its new tone. But that's just the outward changes. He's still being altered by whatever they gave him. And he's still in pain. The girl silently stood beside the boy's mother and rested her hand on the woman's shoulder, knowing it was futile; it was just a dream in which she could only stand and watch. Within her she felt her emoticlones screaming with the need for action. Quiet! She commanded. There's nothing we can do.
"Gar." Marie whispered. "Oh god. You're still with us." Holding him she sobbed.
"What's going on mom?" A shudder ran through the small boy's body. "It hurts." He whispered.
"Sssh. I know honey." His mother held him. "It'll get better soon." She promised.
Raven realized the woman's words were a lie as time passed in steps for her, and though soon in the nightmare it was the next day the boy was still in pain. It was then she recognized the same scene she'd seen before. The boy's heart stopped and the smell of burnt flesh filled her nostrils as his father tried to restart it with a car battery. Once again a grim reaper of souls appeared only to be thwarted as he was forced to follow his prey in that pocket-dimension the shape shifter held in his mind.
The violet-eyed girl follow him, and saw this time that the scene was different. Beast Boy ran from the hunter of souls, but with a purpose. The boy aimed directly for the sphere that held the first of his forms and became it. Turning, he faced his chaser who stood back in surprise.
Not the same one. Raven realized. This one ... There's something about him that's different. He's more powerful. The reapers she knew had seven ranks. The first one must've been the lowest while the new one was just a step above it. Having failed once the powers that be had sent a more fearsome hunter into the fray.
But those powers had failed to consider the determination of a boy whose only desire was to be with his parents. A desire that existed in a space where his power was near absolute. Once again the battle lasted a long time, but eventually even the new foe had to admitted defeat. The changeling had simply stolen its strength by touching it, enabling him to change into the more deadly supernatural form. With both now physical equal the boy's determination had won the day.
"Pretium solveretur." The demigod simply stated, staring at the boy who'd humbled it.
This time there was no exchange of a year for his life, as the changeling instead offered the form of the weaker grim reaper of souls as payment. It was a deal that the new demigod of death seemed only too willing to accept. It took but a second but where, during the course of battle, two dark forms had been trapped in glowing spheres there was now one.
'Our Beastie traded up.' Knowledge noted.
'Good for him.' Rage demonically agreed.
"Ya Beastie." Happy shouted in a voice that spoke of relief.
"Go Beastie.' Timid dared to add.
Whew! Raven sighed. She'd known her boyfriend would win, but watching the savagely brutal battle had been nerve-wracking. Neither side had been willing to give less than their all, and even at the speed they'd moved she'd been able to tell just how ruthless they'd fought each other. It'd been beyond anything physical flesh could've endured.
There were seven levels to the demigods of death, and as the next few days passed in the nightmare that was the number of times the boy died horribly, screaming in sheer agony. Each time he fought a more competent foe, only to steal its form and become its equal in physical power. Once he managed that the battle was always his. At the end of it all the form he commanded was not that of one of the lesser demigods of death but one of the seven who stood above all the rest.
Might've been useful when we were facing Trigon. The half-demon mused. Oh well. Things turned out well.
"Happy Birthday Garfield." Marie told her restless son. "You're pretty much all better now." She smiled at him. "The change is complete and you're well enough to get up for a while. Want to go for a walk?"
The now green-skinned and green-eyed child nodded eagerly.
Hrm. Wait. Raven thought. His birthday is the day we played that spin the bottle game. Wonder why he was so down that day? After the game I know, but why before?
The violet-eyed girl had her question answered less than a minute later as there was the sound of howling outside and a silver metal spear hurled through the door of the makeshift shelter to pierce the boy's mother through the heart. Her eyes instantly glazed over as death took her. This time Raven could see the grim reaper of souls clearly, and there was no confusion on its face as it reaped the dead woman's soul.
"Mom?" The boy uttered the words in shock as her blood spilled over his face and ran down his throat to cover his chest. "Mom?" He whispered again, eyes wide.
Run. Raven wanted to scream, knowing it was useless.
Then the boy's father, one arm badly savaged raced into the room. Seeing his wife with the spear through her chest laying atop his unmoving, blood-covered son he froze. "Marie? Garfield?" The words were a barely whispered sob of heart-wrenching anguished. Then his eyes went blank too as another of the crude weapons ripped through his chest, leaving a gaping hole the girl could clearly see through for a split second before blood gushed out and the man collapsed.
Another one of the gorillas, one of the six the dazed girl could see, rushed into the small hut. Seeing the boy start to move another spear leapt from its hands to try to send the boy once again into the realm of the dead.
In the place that was his Nevermore there was no hesitation. The changeling took on the form of a God of Death and turned to face the six equals who'd come to claim him this time. In desperation to return to the real world to help his mother and father the devastated child knew no mercy as for the first time he was the one to start the battle that followed.
He faces the other six Gods of Death; those who stand at the top. Raven realized in panic as she gulped. Painfully, with her eyes burning from the blazing clashes of the Gods' weapons she watched.
In fury, giving his opponents no reprieve, the boy push his limits as he whirled the scythe in such a manner that it became an impenetrable barrier that protected him. Several times the girl watched the others try to get close only to have the deadly weapon slice through the darkness of which they were formed. Even they could be hurt by such power when wielded by another God; especially in this place where that being knew no physical limits. Whatever they were composed of wavered each time the fierce light of the boy's blade ripped through, and each time they drew back in pain and shock.
Driven by an insane, desperate fury the boy knew no bounds as he marched against them, causing panic in the six who'd thought themselves unopposable. Much sooner than in the other battles the fight ended. Five of the supernatural beings fled while the remaining one stepped back. "Pretium solveretur." It stated with shocked awe in its voice. Its dark eyes never left the child who didn't flinch.
"Anni vitae." The boy spat as like before he seemed to know the proper words. With his Nevermore empty of all but two shapes he had none to offer in exchange, which left him no choice but to give up another year of his life as a sacrifice.
The defeated God nodded and stepped backwards, disappearing. For a while the boy stared, and then he too vanished.
Silently, with her heart broken, Raven watched as back in the ravaged hut the one she loved more than life itself slowly tried to open his eyes. It took a while as first the sobbing child had to reach up and peel away the blood that had dried on his face, creating a gruesome mask. Able to see, the youngster called Beast Boy looked around at the brutally murdered bodies of the two people who'd been his world.
Raven's violet eyes flickered as the nightmare ended, and she awoke to find herself gazing into the green ones of her boyfriend who'd awakened at the same time.
"Wow." Was all she said.
"I've dreamed that nightmare each night for years now." The changeling replied. "But parts of it were always missing. I never saw those where I was in that place." He sighed. "So much power and it's denied me unless I'm dead. The animal shapes I can use as flesh and blood, but that form isn't flesh. Unless I'm a spirit like it is then I can't use it."
"You remember everything now?"
The boy nodded. "I think knowing you were along with the ride helped. I always knew I died that day too, but I guess maybe I was too afraid to face it. Losing my parents was bad enough.
"Sorry." The girl replied, reaching out to gently caress his face.
Beast Boy shrugged. "It was a long time ago, and I'll always know they loved me and I them. Even though they died while I was young they're the ones who made me who I am." The boy paused. "And I don't mean this." He pointed to his green skin. "I mean what is in here and here." He pointed to his heart and head. "They gave me the values by which I live, and I'll carry on their memory until the day I finally do die. Then, if I should happen to see them again I hope they're proud of me. Even gone they're a big part of my world."
"They will be." Raven assured him. "Kind and strong. Who wouldn't be proud of a son like you." The violet-eyed girl smiled. "I hope our children turn out just like you."
"Our children?" Beast Boy blinked.
"In time." The girl smiled. "I want at least three, or maybe four."
"That would be nice." The boy admitted. "Though I hope they turn out like you too. Strong and courageous."
'Now.' Timid whispered in the mind of the half-demon. 'Now.' For the first time in her existence the grey-clad emoticlone spoke in a demanding tone that couldn't be denied.
'Now.' Lust agreed in a demonic voice.
'Now.' The others chorused.
Raven leaned forward and kissed her boyfriend gently, yet passionately.
The boy looked back into her eyes and saw the need as well the readiness. He reached for her and drew her into his embrace.
End of Story.
Mostly Beast Boy and Raven this chapter. Sorry not much interaction with the team, or Robin and Starfire.
We've seen all three villains and they've been utterly and totally defeated.
On the wiki for Teen Titans the Logans were with a group of other people when Gorilla Grodd attacked. In this story I had them alone.
This is the last chapter. Beast Boy and Raven are pretty intimate now; in fact he's about to get very lucky. The answer as to what his first shape was has been answered along with how he can survive dying. Many thanks to those who read and reviewed. The comments certainly helped my motivation. :)