"Gather round team I have some news." Nightwing, previously known as Robin, stated confidently as he stood in the centre of the common room of Titans Tower. It was early morning and the Titans had just awoken, well that's not entirely true. It was now just after ten o'clock and Nightwing had been up and about for a good four hours by this point tending to his duties as well as preparing himself to deliver the news he had received last night. Nightwing was now 21 years old and had changed much in the past few years and had recently dropped the alias of 'Robin' so that he could finally start moving away from the ever imposing shadow that was The Batman. Not only had he dropped the traffic light costume to adopt a new sleek black costume with the a dark navy blue bird insignia across his now much bigger chest, but he had also grown a lot as well now standing a respectable 5 foot 10 and was now well muscled to a point that you would imagine the Batman must have looked when he was his age. He still kept the old mask to pay homage to his old persona despite Starfire's insistence that he change that as well too accommodate his now much more angular face.
Starfire had also been up for a while now, rising shortly after Nightwing had. Nightwing and Starfire had been together since the mission to Tokyo and had been sharing a room together for almost two years now, however much to Starfire's chagrin he had still not learnt to exit their room quietly in the morning so that she may sleep longer. Starfire had changed anywhere near as much as Nightwing had, her fiery red hair was still the same and your uniform had not changed at all. She had however become taller standing about an inch taller than Nightwing, something the green changeling and the biotic man found great pleasure in teasing their fearless leader about. Starfire had also filled out quite well in the last few years gaining a now much more woman like figure much to Nightwing's pleasure.
Raven, the purple haired, violet eyed half demon sorceress of the team had also been awake for some time rising promptly at quarter past seven just like she had every morning for the last few years as a Titan. Raven was now 19 and was very pleasantly relieved when she finally had her growth spurt just after turning 18. She was now the shortest member of the team but that regardless she was quite happy to now stand at a modest 5 foot 6. She had grown her pin straight hair ever so slightly over the past few years so that it now lightly kissed her neck. Despite that the only other real change to her physical appearance was her now even more voluptuous hour glass figure, not that many could tell seeing how it was almost always covered by her dark blue cloak.
Cyborg, the oldest member of the team at 22, was busy cooking is full meat breakfast in the kitchen after waking no more than half an hour ago. He had not changed at all since joining the team; well that's how it appeared to most. What you couldn't see was the millions of internal upgrades on his inside that he would constantly change, upgrade again and then replace with something even better. He was the literal definition of a well-oiled machine.
The final member of the team had only just groggily crawled his way into the common room. By far he had changed the most over the last few years both physically mentally. Beast Boy was now 19, only being 3 weeks younger than Raven. Shortly after turning 17 Beast Boy had gone through a monumental change in his life.
A few weeks after his 17th birthday after feeling very sick for what seemed like months Beast Boy had suddenly fell to the ground in the common room seemingly unconscious much to the panic of his team mates.
"Friend Beast Boy!" Starfire had yelled from the kitchen being the first one to see him fall. She had been in the kitchen with Cyborg, he had been teaching her how to cook something for Robin for when his next birthday would roll around.
"BB! Yo wake up grass stain!" Cyborg hollered leaning down next to his green little best friend. "Come on dude this aint funny! Cyborg's yelling had been loud enough to wake the dead, it was not suprising that Robin, who had been in the gym, and Raven, who had been in her room meditating, had heard him and had come running to find out what was going on.
"What's going on!" Robin demanded as he and Raven had burst through the common room doors.
"Friend Beast Boy has fallen the unconscious! He refuses to wake to our cries to him." Starfire exclaimed hurriedly, she was obvious concerned for the green changeling.
"It's weird man, I can't see anything wrong with; let me get him to the med bay so I can give him a decent examination." Cyborg said picking Beast Boy up, his limp form flopping around in his big friend's gentle grasp.
'This is unsettling' Raven thought, her face never betraying her worry.
Once in the med bay Cyborg ran test after test on Beast Boy trying everything he could think of. The others just stood around focusing intently on their prankster team mate. After staring at a readout for what seemed a ridiculous amount time Cyborg finally spoke.
"I don't believe it… he's just asleep?' Cyborg said raising his human eyebrow questioningly.
"You have got to be kidding me?" Raven stated mirroring Cyborgs facial expression. "This is an all new form of laziness even for him…"
"Surely that can't be all?" Robin added, in the back of his mind a niggling thought invaded his head 'If he's just fallen asleep I'm going to give him dish duty until the end of time… yer that'll teach him!'
"Nah man, I'm sure that can't be all…" Cyborg interrupted his thoughts. "Although that seems a bit strange he seems very-" Cyborg paused gears turning in his head as his team mates cocked their heads in confusion. Cyborg walked to a computer console in the wall and began tapping away researching his hunch. After a few moments he confirmed his suspicions. "I don't believe it…" Cyborg breathed a slight grin edging onto his face.
"What is it?" Robin questioned.
"Yes please friend Cyborg what ails our good friend Beast Boy?" Starfire added. Raven just looked on expectantly.
"You may not believe this but…" Cyborg began his small grin still etched on his face as he turned to face his comrades. "But if I'm right I think he's actually hibernating." The other three titans jaws never stood a chance, they dropped like anvils.
"You're kidding?" Robin asked his eyes wide and his mouth wide and his still a little agape.
"Not even a little dude. It might actually why he's been extra sluggish recently and why his appetite increased like it did… his been storing up for this." Cyborg explained.
"How long will this last?" Raven questioned, her brows ever so slightly burrowed. So slightly that only Beast Boy with his animal senses could have noticed.
"I'm afraid that I can't answer that question precisely, in fact I'm not sure that I could guess remotely accurately." Cyborg confessed raising his shoulders in a shrug as he approached his team mates.
"Please friends I am confused what is this 'hibernating' that affects our friend" Starfire enquired, the worry voice in her voice and face were still very much present.
"Hibernation is something that a few mammals go through once a year when they go to sleep for a couple of months to avoid the cold." Cyborg explained looking at Starfire and then turning his slightly to address the entire team. "Which is why I'm not entirely sure as to when he might wake up. You see hibernation is something that's only supposed to happen once a year and as far as I can tell Beast boy has never gone into Hibernation before, although he is so secretive about his past and also hates revealing any down sides to his powers that he probably wouldn't tell us anyway. Coz this is the case I have no idea if this will be a normal hibernation lasting only a few months or maybe less… or maybe even more…" Cyborg ended grimly.
"Wait how much longer could it be than that? And why can I sense dread emanating from you Cyborg?" Raven asked, her brow now furrowed enough for anyone to notice.
Ignoring the obvious out of character moment Raven was displaying by being so concerned over Beast Boy he continued. "Well think about it." Cyborg started. "Animals who hibernate have do it once a year and usually lasts a few months, according to a file I just looked up a second ago some Grizzly Bears have been known to hibernate for up to 8 months… I just don't know if BB might hibernate for the equivalent of 17 years without hibernating…" You could never tell that Cyborg had a grin on his face when he first discovered what was wrong with Beast Boy. His face was now solemn and down turned, his voice echoed his face's picture. "Guys we may have a bit of in issue here…"
"Damn…" Robin breather at the volume of a whisper, Starfire was standing on his right and quickly began tearing up rapidly before throwing her face in the crook of Robin's neck and whimpering quietly. Raven stood to his right biting her lower lip.
'Oh no…' she thought in her head, in the back of her mind she could hear Fear and Timid whimpering very similarly to how Starfire was and for some reason she could hear lust swearing loudly… 'Wait lust? How long have you been in my head?' She quickly dismissed the thought as she deemed it unnecessary at this moment. She also pushed aside the curiosity as to why Lust was so annoyed about Beat Boy's predicament.
"Hang on a sec…' Cyborg broke her out of her thoughts as he walked back over to the computer console he was at before and began typing in the search bar once again.
"What it is Cy?" Robin questioned taking a step forward with Starfire still in his arms.
"Hang on just a sec dude… huh… that makes even less sense?" Cyborg said to no one in particular.
Raven could hear Rage growling in the back of her mind and for once she was starting to see where the hateful emotion was coming from. "Cyborg no offence but these constant criptic statements you keep giving us are really starting to piss me off." Raven stated forcefully but somehow still in her deadpan. Cyborg didn't give himself enough time to be taken back by her once again different than normal behaviour.
"Ok well one of the things that we do know about BB is that his DNA structure is for some reason apart from humans is most closely related to that of cats, big cats to be precise." The look on the others faces as Cyborg still betrayed their cluelessness to what he was trying to say. For a second Cyborg could have sworn he saw something red flash through one of Ravens eyes so he figured it would be best to just get on with his explanation. "Well the thing is cats don't have to hibernate so I don't understand why BB would need to?" Cyborg finished.
An uncomfortable silence fell upon the room before in complete unison all four members of the team sighed heavily together.
"Cy I need you to spend some time trying to figure out if you can wake him and if you find out that you can then I want you to see if it's safe to do so. In the meantime I'm going to have to do something I really don't want to." Robin breathed another long sigh before looking up again. "I'm going to have to find a temporary replacement for Beast Boy until this thing is over."
Everyone understood why Robin had to do it but that didn't mean they had to like it.
The hibernation that Beast Boy went through thankfully only ended up lasting a little over 4 months, but they were still 4 months of worry of boredom. None of the team really seemed to notice how important Beast Boy was to the morale of the team until he wasn't there, but the most shocked out all of them was Raven. She couldn't believe how dull peace and quiet could be. It was strange and she had to find a way around it. She decided that she would do something that she knew enjoyed but could also maybe be beneficial to Beast Boy. She read. But she read out aloud to Beast Boy who slumbered absolutely silently in the med bay. Everyone was very aware that Beast Boy had quite a bad snoring problem and were all equally quite perplexed as to why right now he was slumbering so silently. Cyborg theorised that it may have been a defence mechanism, he was sleeping silently and unmoving so that he wouldn't attract the attention of predators had he been in the wild. So Raven read to him, and these weren't kids' books oh no, these were heavy material books the kind that Raven enjoyed. Her hope was that perhaps when he awoke that maybe he might have learnt a thing or two by subconsciously listening to her read. To her immense joy, well just because she can't show her joy doesn't mean that she doesn't feel it, the first thing Beast Boy did when he awoke was thank her. It turned out that somehow Beast Boy heard every word that Raven had said, but for some reason he couldn't remember ever hearing anyone else's voice even though he remembered every word that Raven had spoken to him and could probably recite the whole 4 months word for word if you asked him to. This had drawn Raven and Beast Boy much closer together and had now become best friends, and to repay Raven's kindness during his ordeal he swore to do whatever he could to help Raven feel her emotions whilst trying his hardest to stop annoying her as much. Which he did and everyone was thankful for that.
The reason for Beast Boys hibernation became very apparent the second he stood out of the med bay bed that he had spent the last for months occupying. At first he was greeted with the shocked faces of his team mates. Beast Boy had gone through some immense physical changes. The hibernation was actually a form of second of puberty which is something that some big cats do go through and the reason he had to hibernate through it was because took such a large amount of energy that he could not have been awake through it.
Beast Boy now stood half an inch over 6 foot making him the second tallest of the Titans over after Cyborgs very impressive 4 foot 3. His shoulders and become much broader and his muscles seemed to have developed as well. He was nowhere near as big as Nightwing in muscle but his chiselled and defined muscles seemed to hug his now broader frame very nicely, well that's what a certain half demon thought not that she'd admit it to anyone. His changes didn't stop there however, his lone fang that used to protrude over his top lip now locked perfectly into place with his three new well developed fangs none of which protruded through his lips and did not give the savage and dangerous look that he was concerned he might. His claws had also become much sharper and longer after his hibernation, and for a little while he tried filing them down until they became too strong to continue filing down. He had also grown his hair out slightly so that it now slightly hung down over his left eye. But his biggest change was something that took him ages to stop despising and trying to hide. After about two months of his team mates trying to convince that he wasn't any more of a freak than he thought he finally embraced the fact that he now had a tail. That's right a tail, a long green monkey tail that protruded from… well funnily enough his tailbone and could stretch up above his head by a few inches. He had to order a new uniform because he could not fit into his old ones anymore and he'd need some way for his new tail to poke through. He spent hours arguing with Mento, trying to convince him that he wanted a completely different uniform that didn't represent the Doom Patrol as he was no longer apart of the team. Mento completely refused and Beast Boy gave up and just gave his new measurements so that they could send him a new Doom Patrol uniform that was monkey tail friendly.
Slouching over the back over the couch Beast Boy joined the other Titans in front of their leader to hear the news he had to give. Nightwing was smirking cockily as he eyed his team.
"Team last night I was contacted by the Justice League. They made us an offer I think we're all going to like…"