Raven took a deep breath and watched the edge of the roof pool. The sun was setting and the pool was rocking back and form in a steady rhythm, lulling her into a needed meditation. So far, the day had been taxing, to say the least. The team had spent hours fighting one particularly disturbed and dangerous man. At one point she wasn't even sure they were going to save all the citizens. She tried to push the frightened child's face out of her head. Without thinking, she had placed herself between the child and the bullets being shot towards them. It was a knee jerk reaction and she hadn't had time to throw up a shield. Luckily Beast Boy had thrown himself in the way, growing his skin incredibly thick, too thick for bullets to penetrate.
She took another breath trying to also forget her sinking feeling of certain death. She had accidently let the child's fear overwhelm her and cause her to make a simple error, normally she would have been just fine with simple bullets. Her thoughts drifted to the face of the man who had saved her. He was facing her, shifting the skin on his back and using his body to cover her up. His face was inches from hers, and for a split second they locked eyes. His back was lit up with rounds, and he quickly pushed her to the ground. The boy had been grabbed by someone else, and before she knew it, she was safe with Gar pushed behind a wall. He had quickly bounced back and went back to the fighting. No one really aware of what had happened to her, things moved so quickly during fights that the small details get surpassed in the memory of it. Unless it meant something to you.
The water lapped back and forth, and she forced herself to focus on that. Trying to let it help her ease into stillness. It had all worked out in the end. And bit by bit her adrenalin was wearing off. The door behind her quietly cracked open a bit, and she could feel her teammate lightly step out on to the roof. The savior on her mind was casually strolling across toward her. He had an unbelievable ability to brush off near death experiences or tough battles and bounce back quickly into the next joke.
"Hey Rae." He spoke softly, not wanting to startle her. She glanced to her right as he walked up to her. Despite herself, her breath caught in her throat as she looked up at the bare skinned green man beside her. He had a towel draped over his shoulder and nothing on but swim trunks.
He gave her a lop sided grin and reached out his hand. "This came for you." In his hand was an ornate letter. The only people that sent letters to them like this were politicians or business owners in the city. They loved to show off their connections to the Titans in any way.
"Oh, boy" she grabbed the paper anyway and flicked it open.
"Come on, it could be fun. I went to one last month that ended up being a blast. Dick and Kori are going to this one." He tossed the towel to a chair and glanced back, "Cy is going too. It's for some broad charity we can all find purpose in. Like save the children or all the sick people." He gracefully leaned over, turned into an otter and made a tiny splash into the water. Taking his time stretching out in various forms and creatures. By the time he had come up, Raven was sitting on the edge, dragging her feet back and forth, watching the sun set. She fiddled with her fingers on her lap, making a clicking sound as she picked her nails.
"You ok?" Gar wiped his face off with his hand and crossed his arms on the pool deck beside her.
"Hmm?" She was still looking up at the sky.
"You seem a bit off. Are you ok?"
She sighed and shifted her gaze back down to him. They had grown closer as they had grown older. And she knew, despite his silly exterior, it was only a way to cope with what they had to deal with. A learned mechanism from his childhood. Even looking at him now, she could tell he was a little sympathetic to what was going on. Every now and then a fight would weight on him particularly heavy. He made his normal jokes none the less, sometimes giving the pathetic pun about good guys always winning. But if she managed to catch him that night, she was able to really see the other side of.
"Yeah," she taped her fingers on the pool deck, between her leg and his arm. "I just keep thinking about that kid. He threw me off today, I totally lost focus of the situation. I just…" she thought what had happened in her mind at the moment, but still had trouble processing it for herself. So she just finished with something she did know. "I just hate when children get involved." Gar nodded but didn't say anything. "I'll be alright. Just normal decompressing." They fell into a comfortable silence as she picked at a bump under her hand. She could tell his mind was elsewhere, blankly scanning over the pool deck. His chin resting on his arms. She let herself steal a small glance at his body. His arms were her favorite part. They had built up well over the years. In general, his whole body had grown from his awkward lanky youth. The quick flash of his emerald eyes, as they flicked back up to her face, caught her eye.
"Tell ya what." He pushed his way back from the pool wall. "How about I take you to this charity event coming up?"
She arched an eye but didn't say anything.
"Come on, gorgeous. We can make a whole day out of it. Sadly, our mail system is a little lacking. You think they would just change to email. So you got one day to figure it out." He gave her his signature grin and wink. The grin and wink that had won over many women in the past few years. It did have its appeal.
"I would hate to ruin the night of your poor super model you'll have to cancel to take me." Raven replied sarcastically.
"Ha," Gar pushed the water around, swinging his arms around him. "I sadly don't have a date to this event. But I might…" He drops his voice down low and sultry and walked closer to her, placing a hand on each side of her legs. "I promise I'll make it worth your while." He winked again. Raven raised her eyebrow and pursed her lips, trying to appear irritated by the joke. But she could feel her body warm anyway. Gar laughed, a deep rumble that sounded just a bit like a growl and bent his elbows a tad, leaning in closer. It was something he did from time to time, and each time he did Raven's breath would catch. Admittedly, it wasn't hard to see why his fan club of women desired him so. That powerful animalistic side was quite sexy, and actually a little dark. Years ago she would not have called Gar dark by any stretch of the imagination. But she could imagine him being the type to nibble, maybe give her scratches down her back. She swallowed and tried to come up with something witty or sarcastic in reply, but nothing came. She couldn't lie to herself that his flirtatious behavior didn't turn her on, but that's just how he was, it didn't mean anything. A lot of hero's had an unspoken rule not to sleep with other hero's, it just made things messy. When you had to rely on each other so heavily in battle, having an awkward or angry experience muddled things up. And he seemed to one to agree with this. Didn't mean the flirting wasn't fun.
"We could swing by the hotel's restaurant afterwards; they have that delicious chocolate pie." He was staring intently at her, his eyebrow arched in anticipation.
"Fine, I'll go…for a little while anyway." She tried to sound bored, but she knew her smile gave it away.
He gave her wild grin and pushed off the wall again, walking away from her. He paused peering behind him, "Or we could always order room service." He winked again and dove under. Raven bit her lip and rolled her eyes, knowing the effect it had on her.
As they had grown into their powers and maturity, they had all grown into their own sense of self. Mostly the little green challenging and pale demon. The other three had already seemed to know who they were. But Raven and Gar had to become comfortable in being a demon and animal in their own rights. Raven had accepted her heritage and embraced what it had given her the ability to do. And even after the news had kept antagonizing her about her father, as the team stepped into the politics of fame, she stood by who she was. This also helped her grasp the full potential of her power as she stopped fighting who she was and accepted it. Allowing her to become a very powerful young woman.
Gar also accepted who he was, and as he studied the variety of animals out there he became very skillful in his gift. And not just transforming his whole self. But tiny pieces meshed together. For example, he would often keep his echolocation on in dark rooms, or when he slept, despite being in human form. Through almost mastering his gift, he became confident, strong, and quick. And with that, and his charmingly good looks, he became quite the lady's man.