Disclaimer~ Teen Titans and all other related characters and material are the sole property of DC and Cartoon Network. I do not own them nor do I claim such ownership. All new material is of my own creation.

Chapter 1: The Gift By: Ansa

The morning dew stood still in its position on the window pane of its choice, each a fine bead of memory of the night before. A light sheet of mist covered the water surrounding Titan Tower, wakes of the many passing ships crashing on the shore, silently enough to keep the adolescent avengers in their gentle slumber, well, at least one.
Raven stirred under the heavy covers that shielded her body from the slight chill that now filled her room. As if the shade in which the walls and draping were in tone to wasn't enough, not a single candle or lamp burned in her seclusion, leaving her alone in the darkness that even seemed to surround her aura. Silence also seemed to be built in; barely a sound had been heard from her once she was in her room since she moved in. A slight fluttering of eyelashes signaled her wake, her eyes opened and to her there was no change from sleep to consciousness whilst in her room. The darkness soothed her, gave her the sense of peace in awaking as it did in slumber. A single hand rose up and touched her forehead, pushing stray hair out of the way and behind one ear as she pushed her slender pale body up from the mattress. Somehow, her eyes had grown accustom to the veil of shadow that now surrounded her and she was allowed to see dark outlines of nightstands, bureaus and various mystical objects spread around the room until she found her light blue pajama top on the floor. Its twin was still wrapped around the lower half of her body; she brought the cloth up over her head and let it slide down until her hands slipped out of the small holes at the end of the sleeves. Letting out a gentle yawn she pushed her covers aside and swung her legs out over the edge of the bed, standing up, her toes felt the slight tickle of the carpet beneath with each step she took to her door, the bathroom and shower just down the hall. Fumbling in the dark, a slight hiss filled the emptiness of silence as the door began to slide open.
"SURPRISE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!" The thundering blast of sound nearly knocked her off her feet, the door not even halfway open before the rest of the titans began their great cheer, tossing confetti, silly party hats resting atop their heads.
"What?" Taken off guard, in her PJs and her hair straying in every direction, a dark scowl began to form upon her pale face.
"It's your birthday Raven." The laid-back voice of Cyborg sounded behind a massive tower of presents in his arms, peering out the side of it.
"Yes, a time where we can all celebrate with the feast of Krelnak." Almost in unison, each titan turned to the red haired alien behind them, not sure what to expect, but positive it would not be good.
"Ok Star, what's a Krelnak?" Already nauseated, Beast Boy inquired grasping the cake upon its edges.
"It is the stomach of a Krelnian desert weasel stuffed with the vegetables and grains of our farmers' greatest harvests." Subconsciously, they each groaned as the contents of their stomachs churned with the thought of this food passing through their lips.
"I don't celebrate my birthday." Breaking the awkwardness of the moment, Raven took the chance to end this charade and get back to her grooming, eager to get out of her pajamas that were now covered in several tiny bits of colored paper.
"How come?"
"I just don't." Once again the awkward silence passed between them, Raven had been them for a long time, and but this was her first birthday with them, although technically it was her third she had not spoke of it. It took some digging but finally Robin was able to find it with the aid of Interpol and other such records concerning their sullen comrade. Each of them had purchased their own gift, each had helped with the cake, and however their "cooperation" aided nothing and ended up ruining the large pastry forcing the purchase of a new one.
"Aww come on Raven, humor us, you might have fun." Raven let out a loud sigh and brought her hand up to her forehead.
"Ugh, then will you leave me alone?"

"Ok Raven, time for the presents!" Raven sat in the center of the couch, arms folded across her chest her hood fixed in place with her trademark monotone look upon her face. Next to her Cyborg reached over to the center of the coffee table and brought forward the first gift. "This one's from me." Her rested the small package on her lap, and soon the carefully wrapped silver paper surrounding it was tore into, tiny shreds fell to the floor as the bare white box was revealed and opened.
"'Super Mega Death Fighters Plus'?" Raven lifted the thin cartridge from the oversized box, she might have been disappointed if only she had been excited to begin with, but this of course, was not the case.
"YEAH!! It's the latest one in the series, which allows you to customize your own characters and." As Cyborg snatched up the cartridge and continued with his excitement, Robin leaned in and offered his own gift.
"Uh, here's mine, I hope you like it. I kinda had a hard time picking it out though." The red and green wrapping paper added a tacky touch to the average sized gift, topped with a yellow bow. Slowly, the paper began to give way to her prying fingers and nails until what was inside was revealed. Again, the results were not too pleasing.
"Dungeons and Dragons Players Manual?"
"Yeah, I know you're into that kinda thing so I thought we could all learn and play." Even under her hood Raven still managed to give a slight display of disgust.
"Now friends it is time for my gift to Raven." Sitting up from her spot next to Robin, gleefully Starfire reached behind the couch and placed her gift before the dark maiden, poorly wrapped of course. Due to its sorry packaging, it didn't take long for Raven to rip trough the paper and get to the rectangular clothing box beneath. Opening it so that the top covered her face, there it stayed for a good ten seconds as Raven peered inside. Slowly, the cover fell to show her eyes in a state of both amazement and repugnance.
"You've got to be kidding me?"
"I spent the longest time trying to find the right one, I hope it fits, I learned your size when we switched bodies last time." The others looked on, curious as to what she had received, as once again Raven peered inside the box, still in shock as to what she was expected to wear.
"Well, what is it? Don't leave us hanging." Cyborgs parted from his game cartridge long enough to lean in and try to discern the mystery present. Immediately Ravens face flushed red and slammed the box shut, shooting up out of her seat before heading for her room.
"This party is over."

The night sky surrounded her every being, all that she was, was now cloaked in the serenity of dusk that had descended upon the city and Titan Tower. Raven sat upon the edge of the roof, her legs crossed, each arm stretched out so that her hands rested upon her knees as she tried to settle the days aggravations over meditation. She did not celebrate her birthday seeing as she saw now reason to do so, and now that she had she found another reason to never celebrate it again. It was quite obvious from each of their gifts that neither of her team mates knew anything about her. Video games? D&D? And then there was Starfires gift that still left chills down her spine. Perhaps it was her own fault, she thought, maybe she had shut herself out for too long? The thing that hurt the most was that for a single moment, she actually felt the excitement and joy one was supposed to feel at that time, but only found disappointment. But never again would she leave herself susceptible to pain and disappointment anymore.
"Raven?" Without even hearing the door shut behind him, or open for that matter, Beast Boy's timid voice brought her back to reality and out of her thoughts. She sent no response to encourage him to disturb her further. Most likely he had come about her party with some sort of peace offering or something and she wasn't in the mood for anyone at the time, especially if it had to deal with the events of this morning. "Listen, I know it wasn't exactly the best party in the world but." Beast Boy scratched the back of his head, the butterflies in his stomach fluttering up his throat and trying to escape through the mouth, the tension even getting to them. "We just wanted to show you we care you know? I mean, we know you like you privacy and you like being on you own but we just want you to be apart of our lives more." Again no answer came, Raven had heard every word, she could have tuned them out but she hadn't something about the sound of his voice made her feel that it was sincere and almost want to go join them in the living room. However moved she was by these words, she did not stir from her spot, not did a single eye pry open. Then something unexpected happened, and the sound of a solid object being place behind her replaced Beast Boys nervous voice. "You left before I could give this to you."
Beast Boy turned from his spot, his gift lying upon the cold floor beneath him and his spirit totally shot from this one-sided conversation. So badly had he wanted her for once to be apart of their fun, to be apart of his fun. The animosity between them troubled him so; he had a hard time dealing with those who did not seem to like him much.
"Scripts and Spells of Ancient Egypt." Beast Boy turned fast to see Raven standing in front of a pile of wrapping paper, grasping a large worn book, reeking of ages of dust, a book which she felt great intrigue for. "Where did you get this?"
"You like it? I found it at this old shop downtown, it's a little hard to find but if you know where you're going it's not so tough." A slight smile grew on his face; it seems that he had been able to succeed where the others had failed her. Raven rose her hand and pulled back her hood so that her eyes might have a better look at the text in her hands. Each page was filled with secrets of the society that had once ruled most of the world, spells, incantations, sacred rituals, there was not a page that excited her less then the once preceding it. Slowly, a smile began to form and she turned to the one next her, the only one who was able to understand her on this day.
"Thank you."