Author's Note: Yea, hardcore slacking on Moral Dilema. I got another great idea and just had to write it. Enjoy!
Beast Boy woke with a start. He glanced at his clock and did a double take when he saw that it read 3:41am. There were times when he woke up in the middle of the night, but he had never once woken up this late/early. Realizing something was wrong, he closed his eyes and allowed his heightened hearing and smell to figure out what it was.
In the three years that had passed since Trigon and the near end of the world, the whole team had managed to learn new abilities. None more so than Beast Boy, however. He had learned how to control The Beast and could now openly tap into both it and his animalistic sixth sense in battle. These two alone were major improvements, but his acute senses had also somehow become even better. He routinely found himself able to smell trouble before the alarm in the tower even went off. Although he rarely acted on it out of respect for Robin and the thrill he knew the boy wonder got from yelling the Titan's catchphrase. All around, Beast Boy had improved and often surpassed the goals Robin himself set for his shapeshifting teammate, an impressive feat, to be sure.
The others had improved as well, Cyborg had somehow learned how to remotely control any and all electronics with his mind. Robin had, of course, pushed the boundaries of human fighting capabilities even further in every way imaginable. It wasn't uncommon for him to move far faster than a normal human had any right too. There were even talks in the larger superhero community that Robin had finally surpassed his mentor in speed. Something that gave Robin great pleasure, even though he knew it probably wasn't true.
Starfire had only gotten stronger and found her powers less dependent on happy emotions. In fact, no one quite knew how strong the Tamaranian warrior princess had actually become, not even herself. She had surpassed the strength of normal humans before even landing on Earth. At this point, she simply aired on the side of caution, even against the strongest villain. Robin guessed she could easily lift the entire Titan tower at this point, occupants and all, but it was only a guess. And it was also a guess coming from Robin, his judgement had always been skewed when it came to Starfire.
Raven, free from her father's influence actually found her strength increase and gained access to many more abilities linked to her demonic magic. She was able to willingly call on her four-eyed demonic form to help her in combat, even though she rarely needed to. New and exciting abilities like that would often leave her teammates speechless during battle as Raven just shrugged it off and mentioned something about a 'new spell'. Raven also found herself allowed to have a little more leeway with her emotions. Although her personality hadn't really changed, she found herself able to let loose the occasional subdued laugh, or frown, or even the occasional tear. Very very rarely for the last one on that list. Raven didn't cry, of course, not ever.
Beast Boy's thoughts were broken as soon as his mind reached Raven. She was the source of whatever was going wrong.
Not wasting a minute, Beast Boy jumped from his bed, he had long since forgone his bunkbed in favor of a normal twin. He rushed out the door and made his way to her room, grabbing a shirt on the way out and putting it on as he went.
When he reached her door, he could smell the immense fear coming off of her in waves. Although he wasn't as adept and reading emotions as Raven, of course, certain ones were easy for him to sniff out. Anger, fear, and sorrow among them. He listened for a minute before hesitantly knocking.
Straining his ears he could make out a noise, it sounded like she was tossing and turning in her sheets. After giving her another minute to respond, Beast Boy turned into a fly and slipped under her door.
When he returned to his normal form, he saw Raven aggressively shaking and rolling around in her bed, clearly suffering from some sort of nightmare. Making his way to the side of her bed, he sat down on the edge of it and gently put a hand on her shoulder. Beast Boy was nervous. He had rarely been in her room, let alone while she was sleeping.
They had been fighting a lot less in the last few years. Neither really knew why, but they had found some sort of happy medium. Beast Boy would still try to get her to laugh or smile, but he toned down his antics a bit. As a show of her appreciation, Raven sometimes smiled or chuckled at his jokes and tried to involve herself in more team activities. Between that, and the shared moments they'd had over the years, comforting each other, they had quickly become best friends. Not in the traditional sense, but in their own unique way. So much so that more often than not, they'd go to each other with their problems before they'd go to Robin, Cyborg, or Starfire.
Despite all this, the current situation brought about lots of uncomfortable questions that Beast Boy didn't want to think about. Pushing them away, he focused and realized that his action hadn't changed Raven's condition at all. Seeing the pain clearly written across her sleeping face and desperately wanting to do something about it, Beast Boy lightly shook her and spoke.
"Raven?" He asked, quietly. She continued to thrash around in her bed. He shook her again, still gentle, and said her name louder, "Raven!?" Her eyes remained closed but dark energy suddenly surrounded her and a dark tendril grabbed Beast Boy's wrist, causing him to cry out. Steeling himself, he spoke again. "Raven, it's okay. It's just me."
Beast Boy gritted his teeth against the pain of having his wrist crushed. He felt a few bones crack. Knowing he had to get her to stop before she caused permanent damage, Beast Boy took a deep breath and yelled, loudly.
"RAVEN! Wake up!" Her eyes shot open and she looked at him, wide-eyed. Raven quickly realized the situation and the dark energy subsided from his wrist. Before she could react Beast Boy spoke, again.
"Hey, are you okay?" He asked, gently, seeing the residual fear etched across her face. She looked at him for a moment, taking a few deep breaths and calming herself down.
"Yes. I'm fine." She finally said, monotone. Raven needed him to leave as quickly as possible. She had to get her thoughts and emotions together and meditate. Beast Boy had to commend her at how good she was at supressing her emotions.
"No, you're not. Your nightmare managed to wake me up. Is everything okay?" He asked, again, concern written across his face. Raven felt a pang of guilt but disregarded it.
"I said I'm fine. Why are you in my room?" Raven asked, icily. She started to get irritated at his continued persistence. Although she was more tolerant of him these days, she needed to be alone right now.
"I'm here because I'm worried about you. It takes a lot to wake me up with just emotion, especially through ten feet of solid metal." Beast Boy pointed out, gently. He could be very stubborn when he wanted to be and used that to his advantage. Raven had never been the most open person, but he knew she needed help. Bottling whatever was bothering her would cause her nightmares to get worse. He knew that. She knew that too and wondered how he managed to be so calm and level headed despite her icy responses. He really had grown more mature, she thought, briefly.
"I said I'm fine, Beast Boy. Go back to sleep." Raven said, biting her lip. She didn't believe her own words and the slight wavering in her monotone, barely enough for Beast Boy to catch on, reflected that. She knew she should get it off her chest, even if she didn't quite know why the nightmare occurred.
"You're not. What's going on?" Beast Boy continued. He often found himself helping Raven when she didn't even want to be helped. He didn't know why he did it, half the time it caused them to fight. It was just something he did. Raven relented, finally. Knowing Beast Boy was right, for once, just this once. She sighed, cursing him for his stubbornness.
"I had a nightmare." She said, slightly uncertain. Opening up and sharing her emotions and feelings still wasn't something she was completely, or even partially, used to. Although she was allowed to feel a little more since her father's defeat, she still found herself unable to let people in and tell them how she was feeling. She doubted she'd ever fully be comfortable with that. Beast Boy half-smiled at having finally gotten through to her but focused on helping his teammate. Raven still caught the smile, ignoring it. He was helping her, after all, and he'd been mature about it.
"Wanna talk about it?" He asked, gauging her face for a reaction. Raven looked at him, genuinely surprised at the level concern lacing his voice. She knew she shouldn't be, however, the two had managed to share some pretty deep moments with each other in the past. His grief with Terra and her grief with Malchior coming to mind.
She then thought about how they'd sometimes find themselves actually peacefully coexisting. Some Saturday mornings would feature Raven curled up on the couch reading a book while Beast Boy used his acute hearing to hear his cartoons, the volume turned way down, while he watched them, sitting next to her. It was more and more common in the last few years, that he would leave her alone if he felt her getting too wound up, or she would sometimes indulge in doing something with him if he seemed particularly down. She realized that they had become quite close, albeit in a roundabout way.
Shaking herself from her thoughts, Raven nodded slowly and replied.
"It was a nightmare about my past." She said, simply, the pain evident in her voice even though she tried to mask it with her monotone. Beast Boy caught on. He realized, surprisingly, that he didn't know much about her past, despite how close they had become. He knew mother died when she was a child and obviously knew about her father, but he didn't know much more than that. Unconsciously moving closer to her, he winced when he put pressure on his damaged wrist. Hiding it, he focused on helping his friend. She didn't seem to notice.
"I'm here if you want to talk about it. You know that." Beast Boy replied, smiling warmly at her. He didn't want to pry. He knew that Raven would tell him if she wanted and simply telling her that he was there was all that she needed to hear. Raven half-smiled back. Beast Boy grinned wider at this.
"Thanks, Beast Boy." She said, warmed by his words. Even though what he said wasn't any new information for her. The fact that he said it was enough to make her feel better. Half of her wanted to tell him more but the other half didn't want to bother him or cause him concern. Besides, events in the nightmare happened in the past. She felt slightly dumb for having a nightmare about them in the first place. Raven tried to hold back a yawn but it escaped her lips, nonetheless. Beast Boy grinned and stood up.
"Alright. I think my work here is done." He said, cheerily. Making Raven feel better always made him happy. Raven rolled her eyes as he left her room. She found herself able to fall asleep peacefully nearly instantly after that.
Beast Boy walked back to his room and laid down before he yelped and felt a sharp pain in his wrist. He examined it and groaned, something in it was definitely broken. He resolved to get Cyborg to take a look at it in the morning and fell asleep, feeling pleased with himself for helping Raven, despite the loss of sleep and damaged wrist.
Author's Note: I hope you guys enjoy the idea. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes!