"Do you ever wonder what's out there?"
Raven's face fell and she looked over at Beast Boy, lifting an eyebrow as his boyish, lopsided smiled filled his expression. It was like there was light emanating from deep inside his soul, bursting out of every part of him until he banished the shadows she lived in. She knew his light was what drew her to him, and she wondered how much longer she could have lived without his brightness. She'd been hiding in shadows for so long that she had nearly forgotten what it was like to bathe in his light.
Her lips twitched and she looked back up at the sky, watching meteors fall from the heavens, their tails streaking across the heavens before disappearing. "We know what's out there." Raven's voice was calm, almost stoic, betraying none of her emotions. She licked her lips and glanced back at him. "It's an alien princess with an oddly unquenchable desire for mustard."
Beast Boy chuckled and glanced over at her. "Nah. You know exactly what I'm talking about, Rae… not necessarily what is out there, but more like… what's out there? What more is there that can be hiding far away from this earth? What am I missing out on because I'm here?"
Her lips twitched again, and Raven's hand fell from its resting place on her stomach to the grass beneath her. Subconsciously, she felt her fingers wiggle and move, as if searching for something next to her. Seconds ticked by in silence before her pinky brushed up against the side of his had, barely touch his skin. Her cheeks flushed in embarrassment, but Beast Boy's fingers tangled in her own, and he offered her an almost blinding smile as he looked over at her.
"I know one thing."
Raven swallowed her nervousness and tilted her head towards him. "What?"
"I know that no matter what is possibly out there, Raven… none of it can compare to you."
Her face fell, and Raven turned her head to look back at the stars, laughter and chuckles escaping her throat in a cacophony of noise. Her lips spread in a smile and she shook her head, her fingers tightening in his own as she pulled his hand closer to her. "Stop being such a dork."
His smile brightened. "Yeah, but I'm your dork."
He pressed his forehead against her own, hands trailing up and down her arms, watching the paths of her tears dry with each passing breath. Beast Boy curled his fingers underneath her chin and lifted her face to meet his own. There was a brief pause as he kissed both her cheeks, tasting the salt on his lips. Raven shivered, but she didn't pull away from his stare, not yet.
She nodded, her teeth catching her lower lip as she took a shaky breath. Her hands twisted in the front of his uniform and she stepped closer. Beast Boy pressed a kiss to her forehead and wrapped his arms around her, drawing her close to his chest.
"You can't keep everything in all the time, Raven…" His voice shook just a little, feeling her pull closer to him. He nuzzled her temple and let go of a soft breath. "…I know it's hard, but if you need me… to talk or listen or anything… I'm here."
She nodded and looked at him, wiping slowly at her eyes.
"I'm always here for you, Raven. Always."
Beast Boy liked watching her when he knew she wasn't looking. He liked to see those moments when her guard was lowered and her mind was far away from the world. She looked almost peaceful, as if she didn't carry the weight of the world on her shoulders. That was something, at least, and he found himself wishing he could do so much more for her.
But he didn't. He never did. He could never find it within himself to be more of the man he wanted to be, and so he kept that space between them. Distance was easy, known and perfectly acceptable. They weren't exactly friends, just teammates, so that distance was expected.
But he wanted so much more. He didn't want the barriers between them anymore. He didn't want that space. And yet even though he yearned to be close to her, he knew he'd never make that first move.
So, for right now, he was content to watch her in these little, quiet moments. And maybe one day, he'd find the courage to get closer.
Raven glanced up for her book, her eyes meeting his for a brief moment. "I'm going to make tea, did you want some?"
He blinked, his cheeks darkening. "Um… yeah. Sure?"
He watched her move toward the kitchen, feeling his heart thump wildly in his chest, like a bird trying to break free. Maybe, if he was lucky, he wouldn't have to make that first move. Maybe she would make it for him.
Request: Could I request this? Rave is pregnant and Gar is super duper overprotective.
"I have eaten everything in the fridge."
Gar opened the door and made a sort of shocked squeak through his nose. "Yeah, I see that. Even my leftovers from last night? You must have been hungry if you wanted to eat tofu."
"He's going to kill me with his appetite alone. It's like you and Cy are living in me, trying to eat everything I can see."
"Well, at least we know you're healthy, right?" He pulled back and looked over the top of the refrigerator door and watched her pull her favorite, fluffy blanket around her bulging stomach. She shuffled through the adoption paperwork for Melvin, Timmy, and Teether, trying to sort out what last few things they needed for the application to go through.
Gar smiled softly, and he closed the door before leaning against the counter. His heart swelled up just looking at her, sending warmth and happiness flooding through his chest. Everything seemed to fall into place, and he couldn't help the smile that split his lips. Getting to this point had been hard, but there was something about it that made it even more amazing. This life was theirs - without question.
"I'm still hungry though…" She glanced up at him, expression apologetic. "Did you want me to-"
"No." His voice was firm and he started for her side, moving closer to her. He reached out and rested his hand on her plump little belly before plucking the papers from between her fingers. "You're going to put your feet up, rest just a little, and watch bad TV." He paused and handed her the remote. "I'll go grab take out. Shrimp fried rice? Or pizza?"
Her cheeks flushed and she fiddled with the remote still resting on her belly. "Both?"
Gar laughed, that warm feeling in his chest spreading to every part of his body. He leaned over her and pressed a kiss to her forehead, pushing her hair from her eyes. "Alright, Rae. Both it is."
It had taken a little bit of time, but Raven had some how managed to trick herself into believing that the whole reason she was checking in on him this afternoon was because it couldn't be healthy that he was holed up in his room since last Thursday. She had also tried to pretend that the whole reason she avoided him was that his room likely smelled of dirty laundry and half-eaten meals left out on the floor, but that one took a little more convincing on her part. After all, she had barely seen him in a week, and judging by his sunken eyes and gaunt expression, it was likely he hadn't eaten very much in the past few days.
Raven sighed and shifted a little, staring at the nameplate on his door.
She knew that all of of this was stupid. Trying to think that the whole reason she was here was because of some sort of convoluted, skewed moral obligation with him as a teammate. She knew the truth. The disgusting, horrible, earth-shattering, frustrating, angering, stupid truth:
She was here, standing outside his door, because deep, in a hidden corner of her heart, tucked far away from everyone in her life, she knew that she cared about him.
But no matter how much she cared for him, she couldn't help but admit that this distance between them hurt. It was as if there was a vice around her heart constantly, squeezing and tightening it with every twist of the screw. It became so painful and taught, that Raven could not longer pretend it away. She had to see him, if only to ease her own suffering just a little.
Beast Boy was hurt, still reeling from everything that had happened just a few days ago, and he had slunk far away from his friends, trying to hide as he licked his wounds. Raven couldn't blame him for wanting to try and process what had happened, or to heal from the horrible battle where they both had to make terrible decisions, or even just to close his eyes and pretend that the world outside his room didn't exist. Raven couldn't blame him for any of those things. But she wished and begged and prayed that maybe - just maybe - he would let someone in for once.
Maybe Beast Boy would give her the opportunity to help him heal.
She raised her hand to the door.
Raven closed her eyes, listening to the blood thudding through her ears, bounding and rushing as her cheeks flushed and that vice around her heart twisted again. Seconds of torturing silence stretched out before her and she knew that she should feel indignant for his behavior, but she couldn't blame him. After all, hadn't she been in his exact spot? Hadn't she tried to shut him out when Malchior had betrayed her?
And yet he was persistent, annoyingly so.
So, Raven refused to give up.
She rested her hand against his door and closed her eyes, feeling his emotions bubble and fizzle just behind the barrier. Everything inside him was warring and fighting, not sure if he wanted to try and follow the light she offered, or stay wrapped within the comfort of darkness. It was so easy to stay in the dark, so easy to stay away from everyone to keep his mind safe. And yet, there was a sense of trepidation, as if he wanted to reach out and touch her, to take her symbolically offered hand and wrap his arms around her.
He wanted to cry.
He wanted to be held.
He wanted to find some solace and comfort in those around him, but he just wasn't sure how. Not after this. Not after what had happened.
Raven closed her eyes and she heard the words fall from her lips, barely above a whisper, but lout enough for him to hear.
"You think you're alone, Beast Boy, but you're not."
There was a heartbeat.
And slowly, very slowly, she heard him stirring just beyond the door.