Xander looked around Raven's room. It was nearly as bare as his had been last night, having a few items of mystical study, but little else.
"It helps me stay calm and aids my meditation," Raven said, answering his question before he asked it. "Have a seat."
Lacking anywhere to sit, Xander sat on the bed. "What are we going to do on the bed?" he asked, trying to sound earnest and clueless.
"Meditate," Raven said, turning away to hide her blush. "You do know I can read your mind, right?"
Xander shrugged. "The average male thinks about sex every twelve seconds, trying not to just makes it worse."
"Point taken," Raven said with a sigh. "Most of the time that's not a problem as the majority of those thoughts take place in the subconscious. Normally I can't hear people's subconscious thoughts, but yours are... open."
"Which is the reason we are here," Xander reminded her.
Raven nodded and sat next to Xander. "We'll start with some basic meditation exercises that are designed to help you get in touch with your subconscious and learn to distinguish its effects on your mood and behavior."
"I know a bit about that already, it was necessary because of my unique situation," Xander said honestly. "If I didn't, I would have a lot more trouble not eating every herbivore I come across. You have no idea how many vegans there are until you find yourself considering them food."
"You aren't joking," Raven said, surprised.
"My subconscious labels plant eaters as prey," Xander explained. "I had no idea the human nose was even capable of distinguishing between meat eaters and food- I mean prey- erm, vegans."
A scuttling sound came from underneath Raven's bed, causing her to roll her eyes. "No eating Beast Boy," she deadpanned.
"No promises," Xander replied with a smirk, having heard movement under the bed when he'd entered the room and guessed who it might be.
A small green cockroach shot out from under the bed and zipped under the door to the hall.
Raven suddenly blushed and Xander grinned. "Pretty sure that won't occur either, he's not my type," he said, knowing where her mind had went.
"Now you've got me doing it," Raven said with a sigh.
"Let the hentai flow through you," Xander said in a mock Emperor Palpatine voice. "The more you resist the more it pulls you in."
Raven's shadow picked up a pillow and hit Xander with it, surprising them both.
"I need to meditate," Raven said solemnly. "We'll have to continue this later."
"I'm going to go. Try not to think of purple elephants," Xander told her, just before his stomach growled. "I think I'll go have lunch."
Raven frowned, her mind was now filled with thoughts of purple elephants, breaking her out of the perverted loop she was in. She'd already regained her center by the time the door closed behind Xander. "This is going to be more challenging than I thought," she admitted.
"Ahhh!" Beast boy screamed and ran out of the kitchen when Xander entered.
"What's with him?" Cyborg asked, perplexed.
"He decided to listen in on my therapy session with Raven," Xander replied.
"And?" Cyborg asked.
"He found out that I can actually tell vegans by smell and class them with herbivores, as food," Xander replied.
"You eat people?!" Cyborg exclaimed in shock.
Xander rolled his eyes. "Of course I don't eat people."
"Ahh, sorry," Cyborg said, calming down.
"As if vegans were really people," Xander said, shaking his head before frowning, "Ignore that bit, I'm still working on some things."
"You eat... humans?" Cyborg asked cautiously.
"No," Xander said, shaking his head firmly. "I don't eat anything that can talk, vegetarian or not, it's just that my subconscious mind sees plant eaters as food."
"Weird," Cyborg said, shaking his head, then trying not to laugh as he considered Beast Boy's reaction.
"And speaking of food, what do we have in the way of it?" Xander asked.
Cyborg opened the fridge and looked inside, noting a wide variety of Beast Boy's tofu meat substitutes. "What say we hit the town for some food?"
"You buying?" Xander asked. "Because Batman still has all my stuff, including almost all my road trip fund."
"Not a problem, I'm loaded," Cyborg assured him. "I was planning on picking you up a bunch of stuff anyway, since you'll be hanging around us for a while." Cyborg lead Xander down to the dock so they could take a boat to the city.
"I've already got most of it covered," Xander assured him. "Except for possibly hitting up a magic shop and grabbing some movies."
"You sure?" Cyborg asked as they stepped aboard a speedboat that started up automatically.
"Positive," Xander assured him. "Clothes, toiletries, and furniture are all good. I just need some basic magic supplies and some stuff to keep me entertained."
The boat steered itself while they talked, but since Cyborg didn't seem concerned, Xander wasn't either.
"You're a magic user?" Cyborg asked.
"No more than a script kiddie is a hacker," Xander said, knowing Cyborg would get the reference. "I can only do the most basic things that anyone can do. I can cleanse a room of bad vibes, ward against evil spirits, and make a damn good dream catcher. The only active magic ability I really have is the ability to levitate a pencil."
"I thought magic was either flying around changing people into animals or complete null with nothing in-between," Cyborg admitted.
"For every 'invent anti-gravity' scientist you have thousand upon thousand 'improve my TV reception' types," Xander explained. "Magic is the same way, except so few people get involved in it that you really don't see many of the 'coat hanger and rabbit ears' types."
"Only those with a lot of potential get involved," Cyborg said thoughtfully.
"And the ones who don't, don't make waves," Xander said. "I use it to help me get a good night's sleep and I'm working up to 'able to retrieve the remote without getting off the sofa'."
Cyborg laughed. "That would be pretty cool. You give lessons?"
"I'll teach you what I know," Xander replied, watching the approaching shoreline, "and after that five minutes is up you can read ahead."
Cyborg grinned. "Sounds like fun. Where to first?"
"It's your town, what do you suggest?" Xander asked.
"Bob's Burgers," Cyborg said confidently. "They have the best burgers in town, plus the owner's youngest daughter keeps trying to find a code on her universal remote that will allow her to control me and that's always fun."
"Pretty sure that's wasted effort," Xander said with a snicker.
"Occasionally I pretend she gets a code right and activates something," Cyborg admitted. "She gets so excited that it's always fun to watch."
"Dinner and a show, I like it!" Xander agreed as his stomach growled.
"Let's hurry before you take a bite out of a tourist," Cyborg joked while wirelessly calling for a cab.
"Your aura looks lighter," Raven noted as Xander and Cyborg returned carrying a half dozen shopping bags.
"A combination of time away from the Hellmouth and at least three impromptu cleansing spells and one exorcism," Xander replied.
"The shop keepers trying to banish evil spirits when you entered the shop wasn't all that surprising, considering what Raven said about your aura, but when we stopped for holy water and that priest leapt out?! I did not see that coming," Cyborg said shaking his head.
Xander shrugged. "I'll take any free cleansings they're willing to give me."
"Even taking into account the fact that you've lived on the Hellmouth your entire life, your aura should not be that dark," Raven said.
Xander opened his mouth to reply, paused and checked to see if he was being influenced to answer. Raven smiled slightly and nodded, pleased to see he'd been listening to her and taking her words about mental influences to heart.
"While I don't have to answer this one, logically I probably should," Xander decided. "I've been present at some pretty major events, including the opening of the Hellmouth. I've spent a decent amount of time standing directly over it and fighting demons, so my aura being not exactly sunshine and puppies? Not remotely a surprise."
Raven nodded. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," Xander replied, unable to think of anything else to say. He turned to Cyborg. "Ready to see if you have any mystical potential?"
"Sure the metal won't interfere?" Cyborg replied, rapping on the metal section of his skull with a metal fist.
"You aren't fae and this isn't Harry Potter," Xander replied. "None of that should have any effect."
"Excellent, let's see if I can make with the magic," Cyborg said eagerly.
"What method are you planning on using?" Raven asked curiously.
"The light brite method," Xander replied. "A simple crystal focus, since we aren't checking for anything more than just the amount of mojo and a hint of its type."
"Would you mind if I watched?" she asked.
"The more the merrier," Xander said, hitting the button for the elevator.
"Wouldn't you have noticed if I had any mojo?" Cyborg asked Raven as they entered the elevator.
"I'd notice if you cast any spells," Raven said thoughtfully, "but magical potential has to be exercised regularly for others to sense it."
"Like a body builder," Xander added. "If you lift, regular people can tell, but if you don't, no one can just see the potential without the right equipment."
"A strange analogy, but it works," Raven said after a moment's thought.
The three exited the elevator and headed for Xander's room, ignoring the squeak and flash of green as Beast Boy fled.
"At least half of that is him playing it for laughs," Raven told Xander.
"I figured," Xander replied. "I was the joker for my group, so I get it."
"You were the joker?" Cyborg asked, surprised. "Seriously?"
"Yeah, I-" Xander shook his head and swallowed what he'd been about to say. "Someone has to keep everyone from snapping from stress."
Raven nodded. Being an empath she was acutely aware of how much Beast Boy's antics helped the group relax and blow off steam. She subtly increased Xander's urge to open up and make friends with them.
"Bell, book, and candle?" Raven asked as Xander opened the door to his room.
"Chalk, crystal, and candle," Xander replied as he entered his room.
The two Titans looked around his room.
"OK, I'll bite," Cyborg said, "where did you get all the stuff?"
The single bed that had been in the room had been replaced by a king size four poster bed with canopy. The simple dresser had been replaced by a pair of nightstands, a full sized dresser with mirror, a roll top desk, and an expensive looking wardrobe in the corner.
"That's... a missing Monet," Cyborg said, scanning a painting on the wall. "It's authentic!"
Raven turned to Xander. "You are amused. Despite all the effort and expense it would take to pull this off, this was just done as a joke."
"I think it's time for another lesson," Raven said. "Sometimes even when you see the attack coming, you won't be able to resist it head on, you have to learn to deflect."
Xander felt his toes curl as Raven smiled at him and laid a hand on his arm and leaned in close enough for him to look down her shirt, the slight heat he felt in her presence increased to a comfortable warmth.
"Is that an Addams Family Pinball machine?!" Cyborg exclaimed in shock.
Xander got a dopey look on his face as he slid an arm around the dark haired mystic.
"Would you mind telling me how you did all this?" Raven asked softly.
"Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin," Xander told her as she leapt back and rubbed her butt.
Raven quickly regained control over herself. "I can feel your emotions. You didn't defend against that at all. In fact, you still feel enthralled."
"I am completely enthralled by you," Xander agreed, running his eyes up and down her body, causing her to wrap herself in her cloak.
"You aren't behaving like you are," she said as he stepped closer to her.
Xander took one of her hands and kissed her palm. "Not everyone responds the same way."
Raven quickly stopped what she was doing and reclaimed her hand, pushing down her blush and preparing for him to get angry that she'd been manipulating him.
Xander blinked and reached down and adjusted himself. "Next time you test me like that... we should probably be alone." He grinned at her look of surprise and heavy blush.
"Woot! High score baby!" Cyborg cheered as the Addams Family Theme played on the pinball machine.
"I-" Raven stopped and shifted her shoulders. "How did you undo my bra?!"
Xander grinned. "OK, two active abilities."
"You aren't going to explain, are you?" she asked, sensing his amusement.
"You could always ask," Xander said, trying to sound as innocent and earnest as possible.
"I... have to go meditate," Raven said, quickly retreating.
"Multiball!" Cyborg cheered.
Typing By: Abyssal Angel