Broken Spirit

Chapter 2 - Technical Difficulties

Downtown was relatively calm for this late in the day. A steady flow of traffic coming and going as the overhead signals allowed with hardly a horn honked save for the occasional impatient motorist. All flowing with a moderate crowd of late commuters and casual foot traffic on the adjacent sidewalks. The street lamps began to hum to life as the sun was still visible but setting just enough to dim the ever present natural light of the day now gone by, beginning the transition into the night hours.

When suddenly came a commotion from the nearby museum as waves of frantic visitors burst through the main doors, dashing down the front steps and pouring into the main stream of startled onlookers and braking cars as people scrambled past startled passer-bys and recklessly sprinted into the streets. Approaching sirens could be heard in the distance as a general sense of panic began to spread like wildfire as others previously ignorant to the sudden outburst seemed all too inclined to vacate the area.

Inside the main halls of the museum, stragglers continued to run towards the nearest exit. Audible panting of those who'd been at the far side of the building, having to run longer and faster could easily be heard in force between the occasional shrill cries for help or general obligatory panic.

Contrast against this chaos a single young boy, leaning forward casually against the handrail surrounding a display in the early cretaceous period exhibit. A pair of thick headphones firmly clasped over his ears, making him seemingly oblivious to whatever uproar had been happening around him, transparent to the alarmed mobs fleeing past. He wore a tired, glazed over look in his eyes as if fighting back an overwhelming look of boredom and resisting the urge to nod off. His attention drifted between every other word of the dry historical narration as he lazily gazed up at the skeletal display of a tyrannosaur.

With a weary sigh he lifted the headphones from off his head and let the receiver fall, hanging by its wiring as it swung aimlessly against the railing. "Boring," he said glumly, resting his chin on top of his arms on the rail.

"No kiddin'."

The boy looked up to his side finding a heavyset, unshaven man with long orange hair in a dark trench coat. It looked like a somewhat causal ensemble crossed with a cosplay outfit, as highlighted by the metallic shoulder pads and hefty bandolier draped across his tight fitting beige robe.

"But, easy to fix," he announced in a devious glee.

From an interior pocket he pulled a bulky remote control, aiming it squarely on the dinosaur's skeleton. With a firm press of his thumb a small green light illuminated at the top of the remote just as a beam of bright blue energy struck the remains. A sharp crackle sounded as the field of energy pulled and wrapped itself around the inanimate frame. The field just as quickly dissipated revealing a large, living and breathing reptile. And while dinosaur like in appearance, it was clearly not in essence the tyrannosaurus form one might have been expected it to conform to, save for the similarity in size. Jagged plates lined its back down to its long tail. The creature's entirety of its being right down to its scales were monochrome, reminiscent of a classic Japanese movie monster in black and white. Its eyes snapped open, flaring its nostrils, drawing breath before cutting a thunderous, high-pitched roar.

Clinging to the railing, as the sheer force was enough to almost knock him off his feet, the boy looked back up as the monster's roar settled and it took its first few enormous movements, stepping right over the two. "Cool," he could not help but be wide eyed in awe and amazement. Now that was worth the price of admission.

Control Freak puffed out his chest in pride, hands on his hips, head held high as he poorly tried to remain humble in light of such praise.

Just then the boy's mother let out a scream in shock as she ran by, scooping up her son into her arms as she fled for the door.

"Hey!" Control Freak shouted after her with an arm raised, "This generation needs to respect the classics!" He gave a sudden pause as his face went vacant momentarily before holding his head in his palm. "Oh, god. I've become my father," he shook his head in quiet shame and revulsion.

Control Freak's remote had always been his most mainstream and more often his only necessary tool of destruction. In the past it had allowed him to impart life onto otherwise inanimate objects in the real world to bend to his will. Later, it had afforded him to pull objects and fictitious characters outright from his much cherished and preferred realms of media. But his newest modification apparently made it possible to merge the two functions into one. Now he could seemingly augment physical matter with the properties of whatever he so chose from his fan boyish arsenal without having to actually pull them from within the direct realm of television and films.

He looked back to his creation, which began to demolish the surrounding area of the museum between mighty swings of its tail and general trampling under its clawed feet. Sparingly it would rear back its head just before igniting a stream of flame from its mouth, burning whatever lay in its path to cinders.

Goosebumps lined his skin under the thick sleeves of his coat. It was like watching an old overseas monster movie play out right in front of him, only without the gaps between translated dialogue and appearance of subtitles. Which, of course, had been his intention.

He crossed his arms and gave a nod in approval. "Gotta' love the classics," he sneered.

"Ya know another word for classic?"

Control Freak snapped from his euphoric stance as beams of bright blue and green energy sailed overhead, striking the reptilian creature's broadside. The creature let out a painful roar as it fell onto its side, hitting the ground with a deafening thud.

"History," Starfire answered Cyborg's previous remark in serious fashion as both her hands and eyes still gave a radiant glow, keeping a charge at the ready should the monster rise again.

Cyborg stood beside her, his sonic cannon also charged and ready for another volley. Robin dropped down from above, beside Starfire as Raven levitated beside Cyborg with BeastBoy squatting at the ready to move between both of them.

Hardly an unexpected turn of events, Control Freak's momentary lapse in surprise was short lived as he quickly centered his sights on the teen heroes before him. "You have no idea how right you are," he grinned with a sort of over eager anticipation as only he could.

"What's your game, Freak?" Robin called out.

"Hardly your standard MO," Raven observed. Control Freak never fancied the typical villain gimmicks. Most bad guys focused on banks and jewelry stores. He favored retail stores and comic conventions. "You don't quite strike me as the cultured type."

"Hey, 'pop culture' is all I need," he responded defensively. "Sheesh, you sound like my mother."

Cyborg and BeastBoy looked between them at Raven.

"Not a word," she quietly warned, sensing a remark brewing between the two she more often than not corrected and disciplined in her own way.

"Raven's point is most valid. Why do you make trouble in the place of historical commemoration?" Starfire queried.

"Yeah. Never invited on the class field trip? Or just bombed History class?" BeastBoy remarked.

"History. Hah!" he scoffed. "Any idea who MAKES history?"

"Scholars," Raven spoke.

"Explorers," Robin added.

"The guy who invented spray cheese in a can," BeastBoy chimed in.

"No, no, and get real," Control Freak rebutted. "History is dictated by the winners. The victors. Ya know, those guys who wipe the floor with everybody else and tell other people what goes in the reference books under who kicked who's butt. And man is it BORING! I mean, you'd think they could afford to be a little more entertaining. Maybe spring for an epic narration or two. A graphic novel," he began pacing back and forth, working himself into a frenzy of personal reflection, "Reserve the right to update a dramatization with modern characters. SOMETHING! For all that hard fought conquest, doesn't exactly strike me as the spoils of victory. And THAT is why I'm here. To update this ancient relic."

"Says the guy who can't even update his wardrobe," Raven rolled her eyes, more than a few tattered holes and tears visible on his outfit.

Control Freak paused, taking a moment to more closely identify the wear and tear all too present in his attire, finding one hole in his collar big enough to fit his thumb through. A sour expression of dismay quickly turned to outward hostility as he narrowed his eyes at the five heroes with a spark of malicious intent in his eye. "Of course you realize," he said ominously, drawing his remote on them, "This means war."

Control Freak swung his arm to the left, discharging a blast from his remote, missing the Titans by a wide margin. Just as quickly, he fired again to the far right, once more missing his intended targets. Or so it seemed.

The Titans were right in between an exhibit of the Civil War, a display of each warring faction of the Union and Confederate army on either side of them. In seconds, the energies of Control Freak's remote encircled and transformed both sides of the exhibits. Gone were the old fashioned, historic blue and gray uniformed officers of the North and South. And in their place were now green and yellow clad warriors of the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps, armed with energy constructs of rifles. Instantly they drew their weapons on each other and began firing at will.

"Hit the dirt!" Cyborg shouted as he and the others dropped flat on their stomachs as energy blasts whizzed by over their heads. Inaccurate as the exhibits now were historically was no reason to assume their weapons were.

Starfire looked up to find Control Freak was fleeing from the exhibit hall as he gave a playful wave just before he made a mad dash for another part of the museum. "The Control Freak is escaping," she exclaimed over the gunfire just above them.

But the Titans were completely immobile, right in the middle of the crossfire.

Robin rolled onto his back, drawing two bird-a-rangs from his utility belt. With a swift throw they whizzed through the air towards two replica aircraft hanging overhead. The razor sharp edges of the bird-a-rangs sliced through the suspension wires that had previously kept the planes in place as they began to fall.


Both planes smashed themselves into the ground on both sides of the Titans, granting them sufficient cover from the gunfire to crawl forward, gradually making their way out of the two warring sides crosshairs.

Verifying the team was free of injury, Robin turned to face where Control Freak had fled. "Titans, GO!" he shouted, leading the charge to continue pursuit.

Starfire stopped short, looking back at the peril they'd escaped. "What of the green and yellow warriors?"

Indeed, the two sides were so locked in heated combat with each other they hadn't made the slightest attempt to chase after them. So preoccupied in fighting each other they were ignoring the Titans completely.

"They don't seem to mind us sittin' out the rest of the war," BeastBoy observed.

"We take down Control Freak, we take down both sides," Robin rationalized. "Let's keep moving." And with that they vacated into the next section of the museum.

Control Freak skidded across the hall, coming to a sudden stop at the atrium before taking off once more down another corridor into the next exhibit hall, panting and wheezing as he wiped a bead of sweat from his brow. Standing his ground against five heroes with an arsenal of otherworldly and fictitious weapons and creatures was one thing. Staying ahead and trying to outrun five heroes in peek physical condition with a mostly sedentary lifestyle of TV marathons and Internet blogging was another. He needed to buy some time.

He pulled the remote from his pocket, quickly discharging two more blasts as he ran past the next exhibit.

Mere moments later the Titans filed into the atrium, scanning all possible entry points where Control Freak could have gone. Several open doorways, each leading to a different exhibit hall.

"Where'd he go?" Raven asked, eyeing the possible escape routes.

Robin studied the multiple doorways as well, but found no evidence to suggest which way he'd fled. "Any way to track him?" he queried, turning to the others.

Cyborg tapped a few commands onto his forearm only to be met with a slew of beeps and error messages. "He jammed up the motion sensors and disabled most of the security systems before he started this little party. Can't locate him on any of the building's networks."

Quickly BeastBoy morphed into a bloodhound, pressing his ultra sensitive nose to the ground and inhaled with a deep sniff of the floor to pick up his scent. "BLEGH!" he gagged, resuming human form with a cough. "Dude was here maybe a minute or two ago."

"That is all you can decipher?" Starfire asked somewhat surprised at the lack of details his heightened animal senses could normally deduce.

"Cheese doodles and B.O. Some tracks are better left un-followed," he waved a hand in front of his face, waving off Control Freaks pungent odor.

Robin eyed the nearby directory, following the trails highlighted on the map from their current location. All the passageways diverted into separate segments and exhibits of the museum, but mostly circled back to their present position. Save for one that led to the main hall at the far North side of the building. From there, it was a straight shot to the exit. "This way," Robin pointed.

Cyborg stepped into the hallway, a shoulder lamp flipped up, illuminating the poorly lit corridor, as they pressed deeper inside. His sonic cannon aimed and primed as he swept the hallway for any sign of Control Freak. The other Titans followed close behind.

Left to right Cyborg's lamp panned like a search light against the bronze plated décor of the hallway with hieroglyphics painted on the walls. Scrolls of ancient text and stone tablets were showcased and large banners of the pyramids and desert sands hung overhead.

The walls soon expanded outward as they stepped deeper into the ancient Egyptian exhibit, lit only with dim lamps on the opposing sides of the room, mimicking torches to give off the impression of an underground archaeological survey inside one of the pyramids.

"See anything?" BeastBoy asked quietly.

Cyborg's cybernetic eye blinked, finding no certain trace of Control Freak's presence. Only picking up minor interference, most likely put off by that supped up remote of his. "Nothin' so far."

Steadily and silently they continued forward, passing by a large sarcophagus.

Suddenly there came a creeping patter of soft footsteps across the floor.

The Titans froze, keeping still, listening for additional sound.

"What was that?" Starfire turned with a whisper, holding out her arm, her fist giving off a green glow of energy building in her palm that lit more of the surrounding area like a small lantern. She slowly moved her arm from side to side, lighting bit by bit of the showcases and various ancient trinkets around her.

Robin extended his staff.

Raven gathered a mass of dark energy in her hands.

BeastBoy morphed into a tiger, searching the surrounding area more thoroughly with his enhanced feline eyesight, almost that of night vision.

Starfire turned.

BeastBoy circled.

"EEK!" Starfire shrieked as she confronted a pair of burning green eyes, releasing a barrage of starbolts.




Cyborg turned around, shining his lamp behind him, finding the source of the disturbance.

Starfire huffed lightly, clearly startled with her arm extended with another bolt of energy at the ready. A foot or so in front of her, several blackened marks on the floor where her aim had no doubt sent an array of star bolts, cracking and breaking up the tile floor. And just past that was BeastBoy, arms and legs open wide, leaning backwards, teetering to keep his balance, having just narrowly avoided being blasted at close range by his teammate's misguided shots.

Apparently the light from Starfire's hand had reflected off BeastBoy's feline eyes, giving off the appearance of intimidating, 'burning' eyes. Though to be fair, a tiger's gaze in the dark might've made anybody a little trigger-happy.

Robin just shook his head in relief that no one was hurt. Cyborg on the other hand couldn't help but give a small chuckle as Raven helped BeastBoy to his feet.

"Friend BeastBoy," Starfire began, somewhat embarrassed but still concerned, "You are uninjured?"

BeastBoy looked himself over, finding no cause for alarm much to his relief as he glanced at the blast craters on the ground. Had he been in a smaller form he might've been a less fortunate target. "Yeah. Good thing I didn't turn into a rabbit. Otherwise we mighta' been lookin' at four potential key chains."

From behind there came a heavy thud.

"Huh?" Cyborg stood at attention at the sound of grinding and chewing in the immediate vicinity. And this sudden weight he felt on his back.

He looked over his shoulder, his lamp redirecting itself behind him. There, in its field of light was a disfigured and decomposing mass of what appeared to be the remains of a human male clinging to his back. It's skin pale with blotches of discoloration, hinting at its flesh beginning to rot as small gaps and openings made visible its bones and dried out organs and various innards. Tattered bandages withered and fell from around its arms and torso, most likely another transformation of what was perhaps a mummy of the surrounding exhibit now morphed into a more modern day…


The undead creature looked up with a snarl, one of its eyes starting to loosen from its socket, as it clawed its way up Cyborg's shoulder and opened it mouth wide as it bit down onto his head. And in doing so, chipped half of its already frail and decaying teeth on his reinforced metal plating. Never had he been so glad to be half metal as the soulless creature still made a vain attempt to bite into the cybernetic teen.

A nearby sarcophagus between Raven and Starfire burst open, revealing another similar grotesque inside, reaching and wailing for the two. Starfire shrieked in startled surprise, leaping backwards and well out of reach.

Raven on the other hand remained un-phased, staring blankly and uncaringly at the mindless zombie who continued to grab for her, its decrepit fingers drawing closer

With but a wave of her hand the side of sarcophagus became engulfed in dark energy just before it slammed shut right in the zombie's face with a heavy CLANG!

The burial container rose into the air, now completely aglow in Raven's energies. Her hands clenched, the sarcophagus then began to shake violently. Up and down, side-to-side, Raven shook the container like a martini shaker. Gargled yelps and groans accompanied the frantic knocking and banging from inside with every shake. Settling near an open pit in the display the sarcophagus opened, dumping the tumbling remains of the creature's now separated and broken limbs and body into the makeshift grave. Shaking the final remnants of the departed into the hole, the coffin flipped itself up and drove itself into the ground, corking the burial site.

"YAAAAGGHH!" Cyborg flailed and twisted, trying still to remove his unwanted passenger. Despite the fact that the zombie couldn't hurt him, it didn't make it any less distressing that an undead creature was using him for a piggyback ride while trying to make a meal of him.

Finally, Cyborg was able to grab hold of one of its arms, reeling back and throwing the creature off of him. It landed in a heap; flat on it's back. Quickly Cyborg took aim, firing off a few bursts of his sonic cannon. The energy blasts severed an arm, removed a chunk of its torso, and split its left knee. But still, the zombie quivered and moved, trying to sit up.

Cyborg slowed his breathing, calming himself, but still grumbled at his loss of composure. He'd seen so many horror pictures and still he'd neglected the one quintessential rule of zombie movies. The only sure fire way to put down the undead? Headshots only.

He took aim once more, waiting for the creature to sit up, giving him a clean shot.

The zombie's one good knee bent upwards as his arm reached back, pushing off against the ground, his back starting to rise.

Cyborg briefly lowered his arm cannon, a vacant look of confusion on his face.

There was an alarming vacancy between its shoulders. The creature's head was gone.

Immediately he scanned the floor by his feet, searching for any place it might have rolled free.

"Uh, Cy?" BeastBoy asked with a hint of concern.

Cyborg turned to face him.

"You uh…. Got a little somethin'…" he trailed off as he gestured with a hand waving around the back of his head.

Sure enough, still attached to the back of Cyborg's head was the missing zombie's cranium. Its jagged and cracked teeth stuck into the metal casing, still trying to gnaw into the sturdy exterior of his cybernetic bits.

"GAH!" he yelped. "Get it off! GET IT OFF!" Cyborg swatted with his arms, attempting to knock it loose.

Robin took his staff firm in hand, pulling back before firmly swinging in baseball fashion, knocking the head clean from Cyborg's.

The zombie head whizzed through the air, narrowly skimming past BeastBoy just before crashing into the wall where it dispersed into ash.

Cyborg gave a much-needed sigh of relief. "If he scratched the finish, I'm gonna' be ticked," he rubbed the back of his head, glossing his fingers over the teeth marks as Robin gave a reassuring smirk at his teammate's well being.


All eyes turned to BeastBoy, who was in a near panic.

"Dude. DUDE!" he cried, "It got me!"

The others gathered around him as BeastBoy presented the side of his arm, revealing a tear in his uniform where it looked as though the previously airborne zombie's teeth had grazed him. "Bit. I'm BIT! How deep is it? Am I gonna' be okay? Tell me I'm gonna be okay. I'm doomed aren't I?!" His breathing began to quicken, clearly dread beginning to sink in.

Anyone who had ever seen a zombie movie plainly knew the slightest bite or tiniest scratch was all that was necessary to spread the undead infection. And no one was more keenly aware of this than BeastBoy.

Starfire gasped. Cyborg swallowed hard. Neither of them prepared to accept their friend as another nameless horror like the ones they'd just encountered. Robin tried to investigate the severity of the wound, but BeastBoy was clutching it too tightly for him to get a good look. He made an effort to take a closer look; But BeastBoy was far too preoccupied with thoughts of dread and panic to hold still, sporadically pacing back and forth.

"BeastBoy, calm down," Robin tried to coerce him into holding still long enough to get a better look. "Let me see."

"Calm down?" He jerked away, keeping his distance. "Dude! THIS is as CALM as ya can get when the living dead get a nibble outta' ya!" BeastBoy turned to Raven who stood idly by, not even the tiniest change in her outward demeanor.

So many thoughts, so many things he wanted to say. But how much time was left?

Raven still gave an empty stare.

He took a step toward her, but backed away just as quickly, clearly having second thoughts. "I'm gonna turn. I know it. It might come on slow. It might happen fast. But…"

She tilted her head to the side slightly.

"I'm not gonna be the same ever again. I just know it!" He was near hysterical. "It's all over. I'm… I'm gonna' go full on Romero. Turn into a drooling, mindless dead head."

Knock Knock Knock

BeastBoy shifted his eyes to the side, finding Raven lightly rapping her knuckles against his skull, producing the most amusingly hollow sound in response.

"We're too late. He's already gone," she casually remarked, verifying the mindless aspect to have already taken effect.

Visibly caught off guard momentarily, Robin seized the opportunity to grab hold of BeastBoy's arm. Looking closer for only a moment before he quickly released his teammate's appendage. "It's okay, BeastBoy," Robin assured with a sigh of relief. "It didn't penetrate the skin."

BeastBoy looked down, peeking through previously shut eyes not wanting to bear the sight of his own infection, only now taking the time to visually analyze the extent of his supposed injury. And sure enough, it had just skimmed the material of his uniform, piercing only the fibers of his sleeve and not so much as a scratch on his skin.

"Uh… eh heh-heh," he let out a small embarrassed chuckle.

Starfire and Robin started back down towards the next section of the museum.

Cyborg gave a firm pat on the back of his green compatriot. "Nice to know you'll still be among the livin', B," he gave a teasing smirk at the drama that had preceded his imaginary injury. "Ya probably woulda' given him indigestion anyway."

BeastBoy coyly rubbed his arm, anxious to put that little false alarm behind him.

Raven walked past following the others.


She looked back over her shoulder, finding BeastBoy making as subtle a gesture as he could to quietly garner her attention. He was clearly still embarrassed about his earlier misunderstanding, but seemingly still wanted to talk about something. And for BeastBoy getting attention quietly wasn't exactly a regular occurrence.

Raven looked back to make certain the others were well out of ear shot before she gave a partial nod, seemingly granting him an audience for whatever was on his mind. She hung back a few steps to allow him to catch up alongside her.

Quickly getting the message of consent he jogged over to her, matching pace with her as they walked at a slightly lesser pace so as not to fall too far behind from the rest of the Titans.

The two walked side by side for a moment or two as BeastBoy took a moment to gather himself.

Where to start? That seemed to be the question at hand. It wasn't unheard of for Raven to make light of any scenario where he was in the wrong or over exaggerating. Especially over exaggerating. But somehow, under the circumstances, it seemed far more callous than he was used to. Especially under the impression he genuinely believed himself to be in imminent danger. Regardless of whether or not it was accurate, just the fact that he was so certain should've warranted some kind of emotional leniency. Some manner of concern or at the very least some reassurance that his fears were unfounded. But then again, she always did have a far keener perception of things than he did most of the time.

"Secret relationship aside," he began quietly, "Ya think maybe you could… I dunno'… not get so 'emotional' over me potentially dying? Or 'UN-dying' in this case?"

The sarcasm was mild, but ever present over her less than frantic response to his brush with near zombification.

Raven rolled her eyes lightly. She figured as much. Why else would he bother to point out something so blatantly awkward on his part so soon after it'd happened?

"So sorry. My brain was struggling to cope with the feasible and all too real inevitability of death by zombie," she said expressionlessly. "Rest assured, should the moment arise, I'll be at your side ready to give the obligatory poke with a stick."

How touching that she would afford him the same courtesy as road kill. But then again this was Raven. Deep displays of certain reciprocated emotion didn't just come on a whim. In terms of outward sentiments, Raven was still on her training wheels.

"I'm not sayin' I expect a funeral speech on command," he shrugged. "Maybe just a tear or two. A dragged out, panicky scream of, 'NOOOOOOO!' Or maybe how bout one of those mushy, tender moments where you take my hand and go on about, 'Oh! Oh, BeastBoy," he quietly feigned a hand against his forehead in hammy, overacting fashion as if playing an overly dramatic version of Raven mourning with forced back tears in between short sniffles. "S-So many things unsaid. So many smacks I never gave you. And now? The thought of life without you? It cuts me so deep I might totally never love again." He concluded the impression by pretending to blow his nose on Raven's cloak, to which she forcefully tore it from his grasp.

"And you wonder why it's so difficult to take you seriously because…" she let the question speak for itself.

"Really?" he glanced over at her, eyebrow raised, "You and me are taking the whole cloak and dagger approach to dating, and you got doubts about takin' me seriously?"

Raven looked at him, about to make a counter point to his argument. Except… there was none to be made. She merely narrowed her eyes straight ahead.

She always hoped this endeavor would provoke a little forward thinking and common sense that would rub off on him. But not to work against her like this.

"Raven, I don't always expect you to take me serious. Heck, most of the time it'd be a nice change to get ya to act a little less serious," he scratched behind his ear. "And I know ya got the whole, 'feelin' feelings makes stuff go boom' thing in the back of your head. But… sometimes just a tiny little bit of concern might not hurt."

She looked off to the side.

It wasn't as though she was oblivious to what he must have felt at her lack of emotional response to him being in his own self-believed jeopardy. But she also knew he had long been aware of her own limitations, particularly on outward expressions of an emotional nature. That didn't mean that she didn't care. She just knew him well enough that he was prone to that kind of behavior. And in a real life or death occurrence, she would act far more tactful in her response.

"Raven, BeastBoy," Robin called. "I think we're getting closer."

Raven gave a nod in response as the others became increasingly more cautious as they pressed further into the next hall.

"All I'm sayin' is…" BeastBoy said as he pulled his gloves tight, "It'd make me really happy to know ya worry about me once in a while. Ya know?" And with that he quickened his pace to catch up a bit.

Raven exhaled with a soft sigh. She was ready to file this as another conversation to be continued later. A clarification or two needed to be made but for the most part she could tell he'd spoken his peace. And it was somewhat reassuring that he wasn't keeping things from her. That was after all a part of what this entire trial relationship was about. Moving forward and examining all prospects about each other as they were.

He knew that she cared. She knew he knew that she cared. He just wanted her to show it a little more from time to time. And really, that might not be completely out of the realm of possibility.

"Note to self," she straightened her cloak, pulling her hood a little lower over her head, "Next time BeastBoy has a close call? Treat it like a close call."

She followed close behind.

"And depending how close, remind him you'll always be there to offer a swifter end," she whispered to herself with her usual dry humor.

Okay, that last bit was the agitation of the moment talking. Quite common whenever she couldn't be mad at anyone but herself. Especially when BeastBoy managed to coax previously dormant feelings in her. But it was nothing that couldn't be more properly discussed and smoothed over later.

After all, it wasn't like BeastBoy was going anywhere.

To Be Continued…