Fire and Brimstone
One-Shot AU: The Titans never formed in Jump City. Raven and Beast Boy never met the others leading Robin to form the team alone….
Beast Boy was tired. Not just tired, he was downright exhausted. His muscles painfully contracted and pulled as he forced himself to keep moving forward. If it wasn’t for his leader’s harsh voice in his ears he would have forgotten his mission entirely, choosing instead to rest his sore body. He couldn’t remember the last time he actually had a decent sleep, over the past few month’s nights and days bad began to blur together completely, creating one long nightmare. It was as if he was stuck in a loop.
“Come on Gar, hurry up.” Robin commanded, more than ten feet ahead of him. “The faster we raid this camp, the faster we can go back to base.”
The changeling moaned. “Dude there is nothing here, the Church of Blood cleared this place days ago.”
The stern leader only shook his head, undoubtedly tired of his complaining. “That’s not your job to decide. You know the drill-“
“Yaya, search and destroy any and all relics that link to Trigon, blah blah blah.” He mocked in response, “We haven’t found one piece of evidence of his existence since we started this little fiasco five months ago, why would we find something tonight?”
Robin nearly growled, halting just in front of the lush field before them. “This is your job Beast Boy, you pursued the Titans not the other way around. If you have a problem with how I run things than you can go back to the Doom Patrol.”
The green teen’s ears dropped in submission. He could feel himself cower at his unyielding leader’s venom. He allowed his eyes to drop in shame, sure that another demotion was already in his future. “Sorry.” He mumbled, barley allowing the poisoned words to pass through his teeth.
A nod was his only reply as the Titan began to move through the high grass. Garfield obediently followed, close to his heel. The lengthy pasture ticked his arms as he pushed ahead, determined to finish this minor mission without ending in the dog house completely. For a while the only sound between the two was that of their gear adjusting to their moving bodies.
The night sky was their only guide as Robin pushed forward, using it as a map. Although the newbie, Beast Boy’s animal instincts could guide them better, saving them hours of walking in circles but there was no reasoning with his leader.
Even in his exhausted state he couldn’t help but appreciate the sky. The two were so far from cavitation that the Milky Way gave way to the earth, spilling stars across the never ending blackness. It was beautiful. He willed the stars to take him away, to give him the purpose that he seemed to lack. He wished for a sign, for something to prove he was where he needed to be.
Within a few miles in the field a barn began to immerge in the distance, its torn and battered skin long forgotten to the world. Garfield could feel his body tense as they neared an overpowering force pulling him onward. The animals inside began to gnaw at his chest igniting his fight or flight reflexes. “Robin, something-“
His warning was cut off by his leader’s hand, signaling his immediate silence. The changeling obeyed, willing himself to keep close. As they began to near the building red paint became visible to the naked eye. Foreign symbols painted themselves across the walls and onto the doors, making his stomach turn in an excruciating way. “These markings are his.” Robin whispered, pulling his 9 millimeter from his belt, Garfield flinched as he followed suite pulling his own from his holster.
The new Titan felt his animals crawl under his skin at the weight of the gun. He hated the thing and if it were up to him he would solely relay on his powers but nothing was up to him. “It looks like they were trying to keep something out.” The timid changeling whispered as they neared the entrance.
“Or keep something in.” Robin replied in a hushed voice. The realization of his words hit the changeling hard, forcing an uneasy sense of danger into his stomach. His leader pulled the door handle, opening the barn to the two Titans.
The inside was dark, the only light coming from the broken windows and the torn rafters of the aged building. Beast Boy obeyed his leader’s silent command to search the left while he took the right as the eerie feeling of vulnerability began to crawl down his spine. He relied on his night vision to make his way through the barn, avoiding the occasional bull whip or farming tool. His heart pounded itself agonizingly against his ribcage causing blood to rush through him.
Suddenly his sensitive ears picked something up.
The sound of a soft whimper followed by a slow, almost undecidable heartbeat. He forced himself to push forward, ignoring the urge to tuck tail and run. As his feet dragged across the wooden floor as the smell of copper became noticeable, clinging to the air around him.
He couldn’t help but feel powerless to the power that pulled him, walking blindly towards whatever, or whoever was in the darkness. As he neared the back of the barn a figure began to emerge, its slender silhouette huddled in the black corner, burying its face into its hands. The person made no attempt to flee, only pulling its legs to its chest as some kind of self-defense.
“Hey.” Beast Boy found himself whispering as he closed his distance, instinctively he knelt low to the ground trying to gain the persons attention. He placed his gun on the floor as his gentle hands reached out, “Hey are you-“
“Garfield don’t!” Robin barked from behind, nearly blinding him as he flashed his light onto the figure. Instantly the Titan obeyed orders, pushing away from the figure and landing on his bottom a few feet away. It took a few seconds but once he recovered from the initial shock Beast Boys eyes began to adjust to the stream of light that shone through the darkness.
That was when he saw her. Her starving figure frightened him, reminding him of death itself. The tattered and torn clothes she wore hung loosely from her body, its fibers drenched in blood. The pale skin she bore was almost black, covered in a mixture of dirt and bruises. Her violet hair matted against her head clumping together in awkward places.
Everything about her was terrifying, but the one thing that would forever haunt him was the collar she wore, its short chain nearly pinning her where she was. “Robin.” Garfield called, gathering himself from the floor. “Robin, I don’t understand.”
“We don’t need to understand.” The Titan leader replied emotionlessly, pointing his gun towards the young girl. “You know our mission, find and destroy.”
“No you can’t!” Beast Boy found himself screeching in protest, “Look at her, she is no threat!”
“You can’t be sure of that.” Robin replied sternly, “You know what Trigon is capable, anything we find on this land belongs to The Church of Blood and that means-“
“What do you think she is?” Garfield hissed, feeling the push of his animals against his psyche. Without his consent his body put itself between the barrel of the gun and its intended target. He could feel his body shake with anticipation, unsure if his leader would pursue his mark.
“I. Don’t. Know.” His leader bit, dropping his gun slightly. “Obviously she is important, look at where she is!”
“Yeah look! I mean really look, she is chained to the wall! God, she is starving and covered in wounds. She needs our help!” He pleaded, “We are heroes and we are supposed to help those in need.”
“And what if she is dangerous? We don’t know who or what she is!” Robin snarled, advancing a few steps towards his team mate. “She could murder millions. Are you willing to take that chance?”
“We aren’t killers.”
“She could be the link to Trigon, if we let her live-“
“Then we can learn from her. We can find a way to defeat the Church and prevent him from ever coming. If you kill her, then we lose everything that she knows.” His reasonable words took both of the Titans by surprise. Beast Boy watched his leader sway for a minute as he contemplated his next actions carefully.
Time slipped passed them at an agonizing rate, all while the young girl never made a sound, her face still buried in her hands. All Garfield could think of was her, it seemed that the beast that resided within him as well as his internal animals agreed on one thing. He needed to protect her.
Robin grumbled a slew of profanity as he holstered his gun. “She is your responsibility!” He yelled harshly towards the changeling earning him a stern nod. Robin then pulled his yellow communicator from his pocket and dilled base.
“Robin.” A concerned female voice replied from the device, “What is it?”
“I need the T-Ship sent to our location. Wake Cyborg, we are going to need immediate medical care.” He commanded, turning his back to his team mate.
“Are you hurt?” The woman’s voice strained, “Is Gar-“
“We are fine. We found something.” Robin’s rude tone fell on deaf ears as Beast Boy’s focus turned to the girl in the corner. He removed a blanket and his lock pick from his gear before moving closer to her tiny form.
He reached out to her, softly grazing her bruised skin. Instantly her body pulled from his touch, forcing her even further against the dirty corner. A small whimper escaped her as she began to shake uncontrollably. “It’s okay, I’m not going to hurt you.”
Her head lifted at his gentle tone, causing the air in his lungs to disappear. Her indigo eyes pierced into him with such force that he had to fight back tears that threatened to break through. Even under all of the dirt and grime he could see her beauty. “Here.” He managed to whisper, fighting back the sudden bubble of emotions. Gently he wrapped the blanket around her shoulders, pulling it tightly against her. She accepted the kind gesture, adjusting her legs from her chest.
“I’m going to get that thing off of you okay?” He cooed, showing her his lock pick. “We are going to take you away from here, give you the help you need.” She didn’t answer, all she did was stare at him with her stunning eyes.
As he began to fiddle with her collar the question that was at the tip of his tongue slipped out, “Do you have a name?” He expected no answer, unsure if the girl even knew how to speak.
“Raven.” Her broken voice answered cracking with every syllable, “My name is Raven.”