Funny, I went out of order and did the second scene first because it was cute – don't usually do that. Had that part finished for a while and was procrastinating writing the fight scene for too long. Oh wells. :D Read and review!

Arual-san

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Just as soon as he was done doing the ground stomping tradition Beast Boy straightened into a most casual stance. He set an arm akimbo and waited as his mammoth opponent played himself up to the crowd. The alien flexed muscles engorged to the point of popping a couple veins and he gave a mighty roar that vibrated through every occupant's ribcage, which the crowd ate up with relish. The muscled beast went on several seconds longer than he needed to but when he was through he again took in puny earthling that had stomped on his foot. He closed in within inches of the boy's face and let loose another terrible roar.

The force of that roar alone made Beast Boy sway the other way but he kept himself upright. When it was over with he pulled forward from the position, in that same second shifting form to that of a velociraptor.

His opponent wasn't so confident when a sharp row of teeth closed over the hand with which he beckoned to the crowd. In that deadly lizard form that was made for combat Beast Boy unclamped his teeth and ducked when the other hand came swinging round in reflex. Now that his opponent knew he meant business he reared back and paced the ground in the circle.

Beast Boy's dagger-like feet clicked along the dirt ground as he waited for an opening. With his opponent's great girth it was almost a sure thing that he couldn't be the fastest of the combatants but one blow from one of those dinner plate-sized fists could make the entire fight slide downhill for Beast Boy fast. There weren't any teammates to rely on for those few precious minutes of recovery time needed.

The demeaning words of the alien that had held Brooke hostage came back to him, words that he was sloppy and that he could never strike it out on his own. In effort to prove otherwise to himself, Beast Boy was the first to strike when his opponent took a long stride and compromised his strong stance. He lowered his head and charged but then a sudden idea flashed in his mind. The boy gave a toothy grin and changed into a pachycephalosaurus, what he only knew as the head-butting dinosaurs.

The beast's muscled chest might've fooled Beast Boy's brain into thinking he'd missed and hit the wall instead but he kept at it. His opponent skid back several feet from the blow but stopped short of hitting the back wall.

Once they came to a stop Beast Boy knew he had to move but the pachycephalosaurus was the less speedy of the two dinosaurs. Two great hands closed around him with the pressure of a car compactor, crushing his ribs so that he went back to human out of reflex. It was all he could think about for a few agonizing seconds, that horrible squeezing pain that could destroy him. He just needed one thought away from that, one form to pop into his head before he met a grisly fate, and then it came to him. Instinct made him struggle uselessly to loosen those hands and so he used another instinct against his opponent: the one to startle back when a venomous pit viper lashes out at one's face.

His opponent dropped him with a frightened growl unbecoming of his threatening appearance and the air became dense with boos from the crowd. With its dripping fangs, the snake form could've easily kept the beast cowering in place. Bringing the fight to an end like that would've been fine in another situation when Starfire or Cyborg could've clapped restraints on a temporarily petrified opponent. Not only would that not work now but also if the fight was to end in such a way it would be a let down to both crowd and king.

If the crowd had thrown a chair at him for just being a League member on a disreputable planet Beast Boy didn't want to think about what they'd do him if he made the whole lot of them angry.

While his opponent was stalled, Beast Boy grew from a couple inches tall to several feet and he kicked a pair of long feet into the beast's chest. If the beast's roar had vibrated through the spectator's bodies then the force of his fall sent them jolting up an inch from their seats. When his opponent was down Beast Boy did what a kangaroo did best and jumped on him with the hope that enough hits would make him stay down. Every part of the beast seemed to be carved from stone but he kept at it, determined to either find a weak spot or make one.

The long kangaroo tail that was supposed to act as balance became the perfect thing for the beast to grab a hold of before he could take another hit. Though he crouched like he was hurt, the beast took great pleasure in swinging the green kangaroo in winding circles at speeds that soon became sickening. And he didn't wait so long for Beast Boy to think of his next form to take before he ended the momentum by slamming him hard into the ground.

The boy gave a low moan in kangaroo tongue but he couldn't pay a concern to his whole aching left half when the whole weight of the beast coming down on him could cripple him. He changed to human just so that he could roll out of the way.

Heavily leaning on his good side, Beast Boy limped away to get a breather but not fast enough. A hand closed over his bad foot. When he was in human form he was easily the weaker opponent and he stayed human when his opponent lifted him like he weighed nothing and hurled him across the stadium.

It didn't seem unheard of for a combatant to be thrown into the crowd's midst like a fly ball and so Beast Boy didn't get a soft landing into the laps of his un-adoring fans. They cleared the space and he crashed into their seats instead. He could barely breathe, barely think, before their jeering voices and foreign hands closed in and he was thrown unceremoniously back into the ring.

A feeling of panic tingled through the boy's spine when everything hurt, when he couldn't see without a hint of blurriness and when great, stomping footsteps were closing in. That panic set in and constricted over his chest when he felt himself lifted up off his feet.

Beast Boy couldn't make himself look but his other senses betrayed him in that he could feel the alien-beast's hot, pungent breath against his neck and hear its unintelligent grumbles of laughter. A victory wasn't a victory to the likes of him unless it was to the finish.

"Is this where it all ends?" a little voice chimed from somewhere inside Beast Boy's head. He growled inwardly when that snarky voice was in his voice, a part of himself. What did his subconscious know when it couldn't feel the pain of his every inhale?

But it continued, "Are you really going to go down to some no-name lowlife in the middle of nowhere? Will you let your friends keep searching the galaxy forever for whatever is left of you after this?"

"Hmmph…" he huffed to himself like an afterthought when again he started to feel the same crushing feeling he'd felt before. "Wouldn't be very nice…" he said between strained efforts to breathe, "to make them come all the way…out here…for nothing."

Beast Boy couldn't look before when he'd had doubts but he drew his head up then to glare at his enemy full in the face even as he was being slowly crushed. He crunched his teeth back into a smile and suddenly those great hands closed over nothing…seemingly nothing until the beast felt a tiny weight inside the hollow space between his palms.

Before the beast could compensate for the new empty space and destroy whatever tiny creature lay inside the color green seemed to explode in every direction. Beast Boy's opponent was blown back to the ground and with one well-placed stomp from his elephant form's front legs he didn't get back up again.

Back in human form, Beast Boy collapsed onto his hands and knees to take the biggest inhale his lungs could take. His only thought was to get his breathing under control as meanwhile the crowd sounded conflicted between cheering and booing.

He was granted a full minute of recovery time before the sliding sound of the door he'd entered from sounded from every end of the circle. In his disbelief, his head came up so fast it nearly snapped.

Eight more opponents entered the arena and every set of eyes was focused to where Beast Boy, a weakened opponent, knelt in the center…every set of eyes save the one of a tall reptilian alien that stared off into space. Beast Boy saw with relief the reason when a hand came out from behind the unconscious alien and tossed him aside: Hawkgirl had snuck into that match.

"Still alive, I see?" Hawkgirl asked, flying to the boy's side and facing away from him back to back.

"Thought you…said…they didn't gang up on us," Beast Boy breathed with a little irritation as he tried to steady himself.

"They don't off-site but as long as it entertains the big man in charge," – she gave a jerk of the head to where the king looked on in excitement – "anything goes. I'm sure they all know that being here is a guaranteed death sentence regardless but, you know…"

"It'd be something to…brag about…to their buddies in the…next life."

"There you go," Hawkgirl nodded in approval when enemies were closing in on all sides. "It would be best next time to let a person finish the guidelines of a place before you go venting your feelings in a less than appropriate way."

"Yeah, yeah," he grumbled when he knew she was right. "I got the ugly one."

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When the sun was swallowed up by the sand dunes beyond the glass dome ceiling and the ruler had at last had his fill of violence for that day even a lumpy strip of mattress slapped on a plank of wood sounded like a dream after hours of endless fighting. Beast Boy was out before he'd even hit the surface, sinking into it like a boneless mass of green Jello was the only form he could take.

"Better perk up there, kid," Hawkgirl's voice drifted in the air of the pitch dark of the cell.

Beast Boy groaned, nearly mock-cried from where he laid splayed out on the mattress. The few hours of sleep he'd gotten in had passed like only a few seconds to his overworked body. He didn't think he could coax his smallest muscle into moving.

"It looks like you have a visitor."

Suddenly it was as if his head weighed as little as Raven always said it did and he lifted it without a problem. Beast Boy saw the upside down image of a young brunette drawing nearer to the cell door. His body gave a spasm of energy at the sight which flipped him from his bed like an egg from a pan.

Anxious to recover from the less than smooth move, he forgot to be tired and scrambled up to the bars.

"Hey, Brooke." He tried to stand the cool way Robin would after taking down a bad guy in blaze of fiery glory but a tired leg muscle winced in the position and the look was for naught. "So umm…how's it going? Any interesting uh…sick people?"

The girl had since loosely gripped hold of her upper arm and rubbed it absentmindedly. She couldn't quite lock her eyes with his.

"Brooke…? What's wrong?"

"I…" she started like her mind was fighting against her mouth to voice the words. "I shouldn't have run away back then. I've never been held h-hostage before and I…I panicked…I…"

"Hey," he softened his tone in empathy, "that's just that survival instinct kicking in."

"More like coward's instinct," Brooke murmured, not about to let him reason away the guilt she was feeling when she felt it hadn't plagued her long enough. "I shouldn't have just abandoned you like that, not when they were searching for you, when they could've done something bad to you. I…I shouldn't have just run away to save myself. I'm sorry."

"Like I said: instinct," Beast Boy repeated, getting back to what he still stood by. "Besides it's not like you could've fought back anyway." The girl's eyebrow gave an unconscious jump at that. But she gave no other reaction so he moved his hand over hers: the only part of her he could reach. "I'm really not much for keeping grudges, so why don't we just forget about it, okay?"

When her eyes could only look anywhere else before, Brooke now guided them with some hesitance to the hand that laid over hers and the green skin that contrasted so greatly from her pale peach skin. She lifted her eyes from there up to his face. She trailed her eyes over that face purposefully, taking in not only the unusual color but also the pointed tips on his teeth and ears that branded him as no normal definition of human. "Is this what you really look like?"

"What you saw before, that was the illusion," he said with a little more purpose now that she had made eye contact. "I didn't mean to lie to you but, you know. Are you…all right with this?"

Brooke startled back like the question was a bee sting. "I…y-yes! I mean, I'm a bit surprised but as you know I – I live in a well-known, villain-infested place like Gotham City and I see strange things all the time. Not that…umm you're strange but umm…I…"

She'd cornered herself somewhere that she hadn't wanted to go and wasn't sure she could escape from.

"S'okay," Beast Boy waved off easily, saving her from that uncomfortable rut. He pulled back his hands to send a critical look to the rings on his fingers. "Really isn't a point in starting up that illusion again though when the batteries will die out in a few seconds. Until my friends get here you'll just have to not to get sick up in that infirmary and I'll have to be careful not to-" – he caught himself from saying "die" when she could've taken the quip literally – "uh, get any more bumps and bruises."

"Speaking of which," And Brooke pulled back the arm he'd previously laid atop hers. She flipped it onto its underside and to the cut that Beast Boy couldn't have hoped to hide from a nurse-in-training. She frowned and went for the pack on her belt. It wasn't just a habit to relieve her personal tension on a wound that didn't need such attention like it had been on the tiny puncture wound he'd given himself on their first meeting. That larger wound needed attention beyond the cleansing of the dirty water the holding cells provided. She set to treating it but not bandaging anywhere out in the open where the guards could see.

"So the guards called you…Beast Boy?" Brooke branched out when her curiosity was stronger than her shyness.

The grin he tried to crack came out more like a grimace when she applied the stinging alcohol rub. "Yeah, that's me. Packs a little more punch than Gar, doesn't it?"

"Then…are you some type of mutant?" she said when she wasn't sure of how to proceed and what would be offensive. Gotham may have overrun with the usual criminally insane but it didn't mean that the Dark Knight didn't get thrown a few Supers now and again. "Were you possibly…" Brooke struggled over, trying to make sense of it from what she knew of superhero lore, "a chameleon that was injected with…radioactive ooze infused with human DNA…and the color-shifting somehow crossed over to shapeshifting and…?"

At the very idea one of Beast Boy's eyes squinted into a slit of its normal width and kept twitching. His ears couldn't spare his dignity and tune out the sound of Hawkgirl trying to stifle her snickers into her pillow.

"No!" he said back with a little more force than he'd meant. "That's ridiculous! I'm not some human-hybrid mad scientist experiment gone wrong, okay? It was nothing like that! What happened was…was…" No sooner than Beast Boy had let himself get carried away in a passion about the real origin of his superpowers did he realize that the truth was no less ridiculous than the tale Brooke had cooked up. Some rabid monkey that had no earthly business being green…

"Uhh…how about an asteroid?" But it was more like Beast Boy was offering a suggestion than an explanation. "Yeeeeah…there was this was this ginormous asteroid like the size of Delaware that had all this cosmic-infused super energy stuff inside and it hit me dead on, pow! But I rose from the smothering ashes reborn and-"

Stifled noises that sounded suspiciously like laughter hissed out between Brooke's teeth. She tried to smother it into her shoulder when she noticed that Beast Boy didn't continue because of it but then Hawkgirl huffed from the background, "Did I ever mention that I was born from a chicken egg hatched under a human?"

The boy turned back to his cellmate but he couldn't make a cutthroat gesture, shake his head, or otherwise outright tell her to stop cramping his style when Brooke would see. Beast Boy could play the superhero card once. That one time was all it took to lay down where he laid on the scale between the big name powerhouse heroes and the wannabes that could barely make the list.

The face he ended up making to Hawkgirl was more like asking a favor than anything else.

She gave a half-hearted sigh and made the most minimal effort to close her eyes and feign sleep.

"That uh…wasn't supposed to be funny but whatever," Beast Boy said as Brooke moved onto another injury. "Anyway," he started, puffing up his voice, "I'm a part of this totally sweet team called the Teen Titans, fighting bad guys, saving the world, and – and-" But right in the middle of his thought it was suddenly like he was seeing Brooke for the first time. "And how on earth did you get in here anyway? Seriously? I know they don't bother with guards but to get this deep into the cells you would've had to have gotten through at least three sets of bars just like these. How did you-?"

"All finished!" she stated with a little fake cheer, patting the boy's newly bandaged ankle and making him yelp. Brooke overlooked both his question and his head to Hawkgirl. "Shall I patch you up as well, ma'am?"

Though her eyes were closed, Hawkgirl wasn't close to sleep when the two were still talking. "I'd rather not get up right now after today unless it's absolutely necessary. You can just leave the supplies here and I'll find somewhere to hide them later."

How Brooke had managed to get in so deep into the cells by herself was still a nagging concern but Beast Boy pushed it aside when only one word in Hawkgirl's reply registered in his brain: hide…hidden…his communicator was still safely hidden back up in his former quarters up above and still very functional. Though Hawkgirl was proud, he could see the toll that the endless fighting was taking on her. The same applied to him too. It was just asking too much of any one person to stay in those games for very long, enough for him to consider a possibly more dangerous option.

"Brooke," Beast Boy said to her, coming to a decision in that moment, "if you're so good at sneaking around then it should be a pinch for you to get into the guy's quarters. I need you to get my communicator for me. It's yellow and as big as your palm. I've got a bottom bunk, row six, number twenty-one…twenty-seven…ugh…well it's the empty one and it's hidden under the mattress."

"Well, okay. But you can't possibly get any reception…"

"Not in this building anyway."

"Wait, do you mean…?" But Brooke didn't need him to say the words when everything in his face confirmed it as true. "Oh, oh, we're escaping now, aren't we?"

"Good on you, kids," Hawkgirl contributed from the background. "I figured we'd have to give it a shot sometime soon. Better to make an attempt when the odds are stacked against us instead of holding out to the point where we've become too weak to fight."

"Then you'll need some sort of distraction, right?" Brooke continued on when she had a position in another part of the palace that they did not. "Umm…how do I go about starting a riot, Beast Boy?"

He was plenty ready for that and winked. "By doing everything your professors, nannies, and butlers ever told you not to do."

Brooke gave a delighted clap of her hands just at the thought of being able to do things far worse than her usual mischief of blowing bubbles in her chocolate milk at the dinner table. She wasn't quite sure how to get into real trouble but the cogs would be rolling in her dreams all of that night.

"I'll do what I can on this side and try to meet up with you at that place where I hid you with the vase." Beast Boy lowered his voice when he thought he heard someone from a neighboring cell toss in their sleep. "No promises though. Supers might be favorites for the ruler here but after this I don't know. A lot of this is probably going to come down to luck."

Brooke had been a little giddy on her knees in excitement but that came to a halt. "You might not be able to meet me at the rendezvous point? What about Benji and Hawkgirl?"

"It's all about luck." And the soberness that overtook his voice was direr than hers. He knew plenty from experience how badly a simple plan could go astray and make things worse off than they were before.

Brooke bit her lip as if in thought. She gave a slight shake of the head as if deciding something. "Then…" she said quietly, leaning in closer to the bars, "I'll just have to give you a little extra luck."

Before she could lose her nerve, before he could tell what she was thinking, Brooke turned the boy's head to a side and planted a kiss on his cheek. It only lasted a couple seconds but when she pulled back she was blushing.

"See you tomorrow then, Beast Boy," the girl stammered, though she also smiled at the same time. After brushing imaginary dust from her skirt to spend some nervousness, Brooke was quick to get onto her feet and march to the exit. And for his part, Beast Boy fell back on his palms from where he sat on the floor, a little shell shocked. The ghost of that kiss still burnt warm on his cheek and, as he reached up to touch it, he found his lips drawing up to his ears in a dopey smile.

If ever a person could bottle luck, a kiss from a pretty girl had to be part of the formula.