The battle raged around him, guns firing, swords clashing and powers coloring the sky, blowing up rocks and whizzing past him and yet he didn't react, he seemed unfazed by the turmoil going on all around him. It wasn't that Beast Boy couldn't move, true he was a bit beaten up, a few cuts ran down his flesh and his suit was almost in pieces, but apart from that he wasn't hurt that much. He didn't want to move, or rather he didn't have the motivation to. He was still trying to process the fact that she was gone, that he would never see her again because she was probably… He tried to shake the sense of dread that was taking over but with little success. He had felt so helpless as he had seen the dark girl being thrown against the wall like a rag doll by the powerful dragon. He lifeless body slumping down back to the ground and he hadn't been able to do anything. Then to top it all Slade, their arch nemesis and greatest foe, had come himself to take her away with Malchior. The green teenager had felt rage surge through his body, he had jumped at the tall villain with a defiant roar and then everything had gone black. He remembered the pain of the hits he had taken, the metallic taste of blood in his mouth and the evil laugh of Slade fading away in the distance.
When he had woken up there had been no trace of his comrade except a small pool of blood where she had fallen after taking a heavy hit. Both the dragon and the villain had left him there, unconscious and beaten up. He had wandered from the spot where he was, on the edge of the forest, to the battle field itself but his legs had failed him and he had found himself kneeling on the ground, unable to move. Beast Boy was replaying the scene over and over again in his mind, trying to find out what he could've done to save her, blaming himself for every little action that had led her to go out there. He couldn't forgive Slade for what he had done but neither couldn't he forgive himself for his incapacity to help his friend when she most needed him. He cursed himself mentally, not even daring to hope she was still alive, for if she was not he would not be able to stand living anymore. She was the only reason he had stayed in the first place, he had sensed from the first day that she was not as strong as she wanted everybody to think, on the inside at least.
Not to be confused, her powers were unimaginable, heck she would probably be able to teleport anyone at the other end of the universe in a snap of her fingers. But on the inside he had seen her afraid and scarred, and he couldn't stand to leave her like that. He just had to try to make her smile, to make her happy, for reasons beyond him he couldn't stop himself from bugging her to make sure she was always included to the group. Over the time he had grown quite fond of her angered frown, he had never been more happy than when he saw her crack a smile, of course it wasn't merely as large as his, but it was genuine and that made his world brighter, if only just a bit. He could hardly take his eyes off hers when she looked at him and cursed himself each time for the half-second too long he lingered into the violet deeps, hoping she hadn't noticed.
He knew when she was sad or distressed, he could smell those sorts of things just as she could feel them and, in these situations, he tried everything he could think of to take her mind off of whatever made her unhappy. Over the time she had come to accept him a little, not being as harsh in her responses or in the beatings she inflicted him when he irritated her too much. It was a very slight change but the green teenager had noticed it, welcoming the fact that she opened herself a bit more to her friends with great joy. Well, concealed great joy of course, or so he hoped. In fact, if you had studied him a bit more closely as you asked him what she represented to him you would have felt the slight acceleration of his heart beat, the slight reddening of his cheeks and the ever so small intake of air he breathed in each time. And if you had been able to read his mind as he answered that she was 'a very good friend, one of his best actually', you would've heard him simply say 'Everything'.
But that of course he would ever say out loud to her, out of fear that she would beat him to death or simply disintegrate him, or worse, distance herself from him, reject him. He would have never had the insane idea to simply admit that maybe he felt more than friendship towards her, that maybe he yearned for something more. Never would he have seen himself pronouncing those three simple words, for they would either mean his instant death or his heart breaking into a gazillion pieces. Never. Well until that precise moment that is. Now that she was gone it was all he could think. I'm sorry Rae, so sorry… He felt a tear roll down his cheek. I'm such an idiot… How could I have not have had the courage to tell you when I had the chance?! I- He paused mid thought, realizing that if he finished it he could never go back, if he formulated that thought he would have to live with it for the rest of his life with it in his heart. Maybe for the best but, he was sure, mostly the worst… But his heart swelled and he felt it crawling up his throat with cascades of tears. No, it doesn't matter now, she is gone… I can't change that and it's no use torturing myself with all these what ifs when I know it would never happen, even if she was still here… He couldn't help the feeling he had she was gone, forever gone, and yet he couldn't stop hoping either. It wasn't overwhelming but he could feel it, deep in his heart, a small tinge of hope that maybe, just maybe, she was still alive somewhere.
These two contradicting feelings destroyed him. He couldn't let her go, accept that she was dead, just like this. But neither could he act on his desire to find out, he was trapped in his own body and it was unwilling to move. That was when he knew. He couldn't help hoping, hoping that the girl he was continuously annoying and that kept beating him up both with her powers and her harsh remarks was still alive. He had somehow known it for a long time now but it had taken him her disappearance and to almost formulate the idea to understand it. He was sure of it, what she meant to him and why he refused to let her go. But not yet, he couldn't say it yet, first he had to find her, then he would take his chance, whether it meant instant death or not...
As he was lost in his thoughts the green teenager hadn't noticed his half man half machine friend kneeling next to him with a comforting hand on his shoulder. Neither had he heard his words which Cyborg wanted reassuring, he had been so preoccupied by all that was going in his head that he had occulted everything around him. But as soon as it resounded throughout the battlefield, it filled his ears and he couldn't not notice it. The heart ripping sound echoed through his whole body and through his mind, and Beast Boy suddenly felt intense anger growing inside of him, he felt rage make his blood boil and he finally made sense of his cyborg friend's words.