This is EX3451's fault. He got me talking and then… bam. This thing.
Also it's really hard to write Cyborg. But I did it to challenge myself. Ugh.
Raven blinked at her communicator. She had expected a good many conversations from Beast Boy's adoptive mother once they had announced to his family that they were dating. But nothing prepared her for the bizarre text conversation that unfolded the very next day following their little… announcement.
Hi! This is Rita.
Raven stared at the round disc in her palm for several minutes. How did she manage to get her—Oh, right. Mento. She gnawed at her lip as he fingers hovered over the keys. What did one say to the mother of-?
This IS Raven's communicator, right?
With a start, she tapped back a quick Yes.
Good. I need you to give a message to my son.
Slender digits were already typing in the obvious question when another text came through.
He set his communicator to block my calls.
One of her Poe busts turned black and made an ominous crunching sound. Oh no. He was already fighting with his mom. Was it because of her? It had to be. She pressed a hand to her chest and muttered her mantra several times until the blackness ebbed away from the statue.
Tell my son I found what he moved.
Tell my son I found what he moved. Oh, and smack him upside the head for me, will you? Thanks!
The chat feature closed off suddenly and Raven was left staring back at her confused expression reflecting off the grey screen. The empath leaned back against her headboard, still clutching the bright yellow disc. Slowly, her lips began to twitch and move skyward.
He couldn't be losing.
Beast Boy bent forward in his seat, elbows on his knees. His mouth was set in a grim line, jaw jutted forward enough to push a single fang out at the corner of his lips.
"C'mon, c'mon…" He chanted as his fingers danced across the colored buttons of his controller.
Cyborg shifted in his seat beside him, leaning a little further back into the sofa. For all intents and purposes he appeared to be calm and collected. He wore a cock-sure grin that quivered just a tiny bit at the corners.
As he plugged away at his own controller he sent a request to his processors to pump more coolant near his scalp. It would do him no good to have the changeling pick up on the scent of his sweat; a sure sign of his distress. No, the metal man had to make his best friend think that he wasn't the least bit concerned at his predicament.
More red appeared in the health bar above his sprite's head. His tapping grew more frantic, the smirk slipping away from his features. Meanwhile, his green friend's character remained relatively unharmed.
Was he actually losing?
An alarm he hadn't heard since he had finished building the tower blinked behind his left eye issuing a warning that sensors indicated that his health bar was dangerously close to total failure. He never lost. What on earth had changed? His human eye flicked over to his friend.
Ever since the little grass stain had come back from visiting the Doom Patrol he'd been different.
Normally for the first few days he was home he was quieter, withdrawn; for Beast Boy, anyway. His smiles were always a little too sunny. His fangs never showed at the corners as they did when he was truly tickled. Then gradually, the really corny jokes would return, Raven would resume her regularly scheduled portal launches into the bay, and finally, that tooth would reappear. Cyborg hated those first few days.
Today, though, he came home… different. The metal man had the GameStation already set up for his friend to help ease him back into his good mood. However, the boy had strolled in humming a song to himself. The humming itself was strange, usually not occurring for a good week after one of his little trips home. Perplexed, he called out his usual challenge to his friend. The changeling accepted with every bit of his normal sass and gusto, fang exposed and all.
And here he was, losing for the first time in years to a guy Cyborg swore could never surprise him. His face hardened into a scowl of concentration. As the last of his health bar slipped away his sensors announced the familiar signature of dark energy. He didn't need to look for her. His systems told him she was behind them, watching. The scowl twisted into a triumphant smirk. If anyone could distract Beast Boy enough to cause him to lose, it was her. And she did so enjoy his cries of outrage…
His hope turned into panic as the gauge slipped further and further into the red. Why wasn't she saying anything? Oh no, oh no-
"WINNER: PLAYER TWO"
Beast Boy leapt to his feet with a triumphant cackle. He raised his fists over his head and strutted about. One hand still clutched the controller and the cord was nearly yanked out of its port as he made a circuit around the coffee table. Raven seemed to choose that particular moment to make her presence known by gently tugging the device out of his hand with her powers and placing it on the couch. He whirled around to face the empath, an even brighter smile further stretched his features.
"Rae! Did you see? I won!"
Cyborg grunted and crossed his arms, glaring daggers at the dark titan for not helping him win. "I let you win, grass stain."
The green teen's smile fell a fraction as he turned his emerald stare towards him, brows furrowed. "No way, man. Tell me you did not let me win."
He felt the slightest twinge of remorse at the comment upon seeing his friend deflate. He opened his mouth to respond when a quiet gravelly voice broke in,
"Want to re-think that comment? I'm feeling a good bit of irritation from you… and you were definitely panicking while you were playing him."
The embarrassed flush that darkened his cheeks was real, but the bluster was not as he huffed and muttered to himself about Raven's powers being on the fritz. He was glad for him, mostly, even if bro code dictated he act like he wasn't.
"Oh, that reminds me…" Raven intoned as she floated around to the changeling's side.
"Ooh, do I get a victory ki—Yeeouch!"
The metal man blinked as the empath reached up and cuffed the boy upside the back of his head. It was barely hard enough to ruffle his hair, but the little guy acted as if he'd been punched.
He clasped the back of his head and whined. "Aw, Rae, what was that for?"
Amethyst eyes held the faintest traces of amusement, crinkling just so at the corners. "Your mother said to tell you she found what you moved. She also said to give you a smack. Therefore, the message has been delivered."
His single eyebrow soared high on his head. Elastigirl? THE Elastigirl from the Doom Patrol talked to Raven? "What's she talking about, BB?"
The green teen shrugged his shoulders in his friend's direction. His smile faded and he rubbed his chin with the hand that had originally cradled his head. Green eyes swung skyward to regard the ceiling. "Moved? I didn't— OH! "
His eyes lit up suddenly as he snapped his fingers. Instantly, the thoughtful frown dissolved into a fit of giggles. Gloved hands slapped down onto his knees as he doubled over with laughter. Cyborg wasn't sure what exactly was so funny, but Beast Boy's laughter was notoriously infectious and he found his own lips inch upwards.
Raven quirked an eyebrow in his direction, her gaze seeking answers the metal man failed to provide. She sighed quietly and crossed her arms over her chest, none-too-patiently waiting out the boy's laughter. After several minutes the laughter died down and the changeling straightened, wiping tears of merriment from the corners of his eyes.
"Fang and claw, she… she thinks…" He snorted, then took a long, steadying breath to calm himself.
"Beast Boy…" The demoness growled, her patience nearing an end.
Sufficiently warned, he gave a wobbly grin that threatened to spill more giggles. "Every-Every time I go home I play a… game with Rita."
Confusion clouded her gaze. "A game? Do you play it with your communicator?"
He bit his lip to withhold a snicker but was unsuccessful and it slipped out anyway. "Hehe… no. But when she finds whatever I moved she calls me right away to yell at me."
"Moved?" Curiosity got the better of Cyborg as he set down his controller and leaned forward in his seat.
"Heh, yeah. Trophies, knick-knacks, random stuff of Rita's. One time I put all of her kachina statues in the rafters in the dining room. Robot Man swore the things were haunted and trying to curse him… so I moved them to his bedroom a few days later. Another time I put all her shoes in the pantry and all the food in her closet. Or that other time I hid those Russian nesting dolls all over the mansion. We never did find that really, really tiny one. "
Cyborg was surprised when he and Raven spoke simultaneously. "So, what'd you move this time?"
Beast Boy's grin was so wide both fangs popped out. "Nothing."
"What?" Again, they chimed in unison. The metal man and the empath exchanged surprised glances with each other.
"Hehe, that's the thing. I didn't touch anything. I just told her I did. Oh man, I wonder what she thinks she found…" Tickled at the thought, the green teen wrapped his arms around his sides as another fit of giggles doubled him over.
Raven rolled her eyes and then frowned. "Why'd you block Rita's messages if you had nothing to hide?"
The laughter subsided but he remained bent at the waist, speaking more to the floor than anyone else. "Had to…" His chest heaved as he strained to collect his breath. "Had to make her think… I was guilty. Oh man, I so have to do that again some time."
A black half-moon of energy swept up to thump the green boy in the head. "Are you telling me that every time you pull one of your pranks on the Doom Patrol I'll be getting a personal call FROM YOUR MOTHER?"
As if she knew they were talking about her, Raven's communicator chirped. She reached for her side, disengaged the yellow disc from her belt, and flipped open the cover. Her eyes slid back and forth over the letters until a slow smile spread across her lips.
Cyborg scooted the tiniest bit further down the couch, away from the empath. Obvious smiles were never a good sign with Raven.
"Say, Beast Boy." The girl intoned, her face a little too placid.
The boy in question lifted his head, fear flitted behind his emerald eyes. "Y-yeah?"
"Rita says I'm supposed to ask you about…" She paused to cast a glance at the words on the screen, then looked back up, eyebrow arched. "…Puppy teeth?"
The changeling straightened suddenly, his cheeks flaming a dusty brown at the curious words. "I uh…I…IGOTTAGOMAKEACALLLATERGUYS!"
In one swift movement Beast Boy turned and vaulted over the couch. The second his purple sneakers touched the floor he was off like a shot. A heartbeat later the doors swished open to accommodate a flash of green, and then slid quietly shut behind it.
The common room fell into crushing silence. It was in these muted moments that the metal man was reminded how much the little grass stain filled a space with his overwhelming presence. He grinned and shook his head, directing his human eye towards the empath left behind.
"I don't know." A genuine Raven-smile graced her lips. "But something tells me that this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship."