Author's Note: *reads over all the reviews she got on that last chapter and blinks* err.. one.. vote.. for Aqualad. Hey that's more than I thought I'd get for it o_O;;.... but y'all people are JUST like the people over in the Digimon section..

"What?! YOU'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE IT THE COUPLE WE WANT!!! TO HELL WITH YOU!!! *pulls out grenades*"

Eh...heh... ^_^;; ... yeah... I will let you know now that I will humor all of you and make it Raven/Beastboy.... but I WILL NOT make Aqualad out to be a jerk, a loser, or anything of that sort. I WILL make you anti-Aqualad people at least start to RESPECT him. He's a really nice guy, com'on, you have to admit that. I will prove it to you. *cackle*

Oh.. and y'all...

MERRY CHRISTMAS ^_^

Hope y'all have a better Christmas than me... we don't really have money for presents and everyone's kinda.. down around here so we don't even have the 'Christmas-is-for-the-family' thing goin' down... ^_^;; yeah... so this is my gift to you guys who take the time to read and review my stories:

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The song that gave me strong inspiration for this chapter:

~~~~~~~~~

Can you see the honest questions in my heart this hour. I am opening like a flower to the rain. And do you know the silent sorrows of a never ending journey through the pain. Do you see a brighter day for me, another day, a day? Do you wonder whats in store for me, the cure for me, the way. Oh look down and see the tears I've cried, the lives I've lived, the deaths I've died. Would you die them too, and all for me?

(You say) I will pour the water down upon a thirsty barron land, and streams will flow, from the best of your bruised and broken soul. And you will grow like the grass, upon the furtile plains of Asia by the streams of living water you will grow. Oh.. you will grow

Do you know the story from the start, and do you know me like you've always told me? Do you see the whispers in my heart against your kindness, my eternal blindness? Do you see... Do you see a brighter day for me, another day, a day? Do you wonder whats in store for me? The cure for me, the way? Oh look down and see the tears I've cried,the lives I've lived, the deaths I've died. Would you die them too, and all for me?

(You say) I will pour the water down upon a thirsty barron land, and streams will flow, from the best of your bruised and broken soul. And you will grow like the grass, upon the furtile plains of Asia by the streams of living water you will grow.

Oh.. I will pour the water down upon the thirsty barron land, and streams will flow from the best of your bruised and broken soul. And you will grow like the grass, upon the furtile plains of Asia by the streams of living water you will grow. Oh.. you will grow...

(Honest Questions - Daniel Bedingfield)

~~~~~~~~~

Raven hadn't walked out of Beastboy's room until she was sure he was in a deep restful sleep that she knew he needed. They had sat up all night talking about everything they could think of to talk about, and she found out not only how Beastboy got to be, well, Beastboy, but also that she actually had things in common with him; truth be told... she honestly did like him now. Who knew she could actually like the moron...

It was about three in the morning now, and here she was, sitting in a cold dark kitchen, the cup of tea she had made at around ten in her hands, the one she had abandoned in order to run after Beastboy. It was cold as well, and she didn't truly understand why she was even drinking it cold, but it couldn't kill her.

Deep in thought, she didn't hear the door of the kitchen open slowly, and didn't even notice anyone had walked in until the light flipped on, blinding her at the exact same time of shocking her. She jumped up, eyes shaded by a hand from the bright light above her, and focused in on who walked in.

"Ah, so we have a nightowl on the staff of the titans, eh?"

Raven sunk back down into her seat with a soft relieved sigh, and returned to staring into the cold liquid in her cup as Aqualad sat down across from her with a smirk. She looked up at him, and studied the expression on his face. He was obviously completly awake, and had been for some time. It made sense, though, that he was up at this hour. He hadn't gotten up until around noon.

"No.. I just couldn't sleep." she confessed, and slid the base of her cup on the table, causing a light skidding noise, and the liquid to swirl. "What are you doing up?"

With a shrug, he responded simply to her question. "I, myself, claim to be a nightowl."

Raven just smirked slightly, as if oddly amused in the way he put that, and lifted the cup of cold tea to her lips, taking a slow short sip.

"You're missing a cape."

She looked up at him again, now a clearly amused look on her face, and set her cup down on the table, shoving it more out into the middle than she had before. "He was cold." she spoke quietly, and met her eyes to Aqualad's deep onyx ones to find a look of surprise across his face.

"He? You have a lover I didn't know about or something?" he joked, the grin spreading across his face as he propped his arms over the top of the seat and linked his hands behind his head. His face soon mellowed out when a slight tinge of pink reached her cheeks, and her eyes dropped back down upon the table. He sat upright, narrowing his eyes at her. "You don't.. do you?" he asked cautiously.

"I wouldn't consider him a lover yet." Raven ran a few fingers through her hair, actually able to go completly through it without having to meet the hood of her cape down along her neck. It felt weird to not wear the deep purple piece of fabric around her body, but she figured she would get used to it. Didn't expect to have to face up to Aqualad, or anyone else for that matter, though.

"Well that's goo-- yet?"

Another tinge of pink went through her cheeks, and a faint eery sound was emitted from the potted plant behind Aqualad's head. He turned just in time to see Raven's powers be supressed and the black vanish from around the pot.

"Uh.. huh..." with the hairs on the back of his neck now standing up on their own, he turned back around to look at Raven. "So who is--" he paused for a moment. He turned his back on her for one moment and she vanishes.. it just figures. "--he.." he finshed slowly, and snorted under his breath at the kitchen door closing slowly in the breeze Raven made on her abrupt leaving. "Women."

---

Days had seemed to fly by right before all of their eyes, and one by one the dates on the simple calendar in the kitchen were being crossed out with a thick red slash by Beastboy as a morning routine. He had started it right after he had gotten back with Starfire from the Black Friday crowds in November, and the calendar had gone from a pale sheet with black numbers and a few reminders, to a mocking of a candycane with all the red slashes filling up the squares. Now only one was left to fill before the bright red circle on Christmas Day. Yeah, it was Christmas Eve now, and there were even stronger mixed emotions filling the inhabitants of the tower.

Starfire and Beastboy seemed to take on an even more child-like demeanor, and eyed the presents under the tree, even taking the time to slip down on their knees and take one with their name on it, shaking it and listening to any hints of what the gift was; something Beastboy spent a good ten minutes teaching the alien girl how to do.

Robin was still infatuated with making sure every little decoration was in it's perfect place, and everything was completly perfect in and of itself.

Cyborg was busy being infatuated with the marathons on the television of his favorite movies and shows, and the thought that they officially had the day off from any sort of 'work' for today and tomorrow. He had nothing to worry about now but what to watch between the hundreds of channels the TV gave him to choose from.

Although Aqualad and Raven had a quite different outlook; Raven sat on the couch, half-watching the shows that Cyborg was watching, but in her own usual dark sullen corner. Christmas was something she didn't feel like the others, although she had anticipated it just a bit the year before. There was something about this year that was different.. like Christmas wasn't really something to celebrate this year. It didn't feel like any holiday, it just felt like a giant rush of stress and stupidity. There were only three or four small presents under the tree for her, and they were probably just stupid little trinkets everyone picked up for her while they were out shopping for their friends that mattered. This was compared to the amount of presents the others had gotten, of course. Robin, Starfire, Beastboy, Cyborg.. even Aqualad had at least ten presents each; but what did it matter to her.. it was just a stupid holiday anyways.

Alright so Christmas wasn't really about the amount of presents under the tree.. it was supposed to be about family. Well that went right out the window as well. Her real family was on a complete different planet, and the titans, who she considered to be like a second family to her, seemed to be involved in each other once again, and totally forgot that she was even there. Yeah. Some Christmas.

Aqualad had about the same outlook on it, although he didn't have the thought in the back of his mind about the presents. He had no real family to spend Christmas with, but he did keep in mind that none of the other titans did either, it wasn't something he was facing alone. But he did agree with Raven, who brought it up at the breakfast table that morning, that it didn't feel like any sort of special holiday to him either. The only thing different now from any other day was the acumulation of lights and decorated trees, and the change of music on the radio.

Now he was sitting on the edge of one of the many tables in the lounge-like area of the tower, casting a glance now and then at the titans to see what they were up to at the current moment. Cyborg was still watching television, Starfire had snuck back to her quarters to attempt to complete the wrapping-presents process, Beastboy was almost face-first in the plate of gingerbread cookies that were made, and Robin was attempting to pull the plate away from him. His eyes drifted over to Raven, exactly across from him sitting at a table, but instead of a book of poetry, she held a pencil and a small sketchpad. He had to admit, his curiousity did have a way of carrying him in places he shouldn't go, and this time wasn't any exception.

He slid off the table, casting a glance around at the busy boys to make sure they wouldn't catch him in the act, and walked across the walkway to the table where Raven sat sketching, and slipped down into the seat next to her, looking over her shoulder to see what she was drawing. Faintly drawn on a background of clouds and stars was the figure of a floating young woman, long dress and hair flowing in a wind that was evidently there. Raven currently had a purple colored pencil in her hand, and was adding small tints of color the skin of the woman. Aqualad eyed the creation over a moment before saying anything, and smiled. It was a beautiful picture, and he had no idea that Raven had the ability to create something like that. He continued to watch her color in the eyes a solid purple, and the hair flowing around her figure a deep purple as well. Then his eyes caught the one part of the picture that made him understand the method to her madness. The small gemstone in the middle of the woman's forehead, tinted red from the colored pencil sitting on the table. Now that it was coming together with color, he understood just who she was.

"Is that was you look like with your cape off?" he joked quietly, and she looked up at him, not at all startled by his presense. He just figured she knew he was there the entire time.

"Not.. entirely." she motioned to the billowing piece of fabric caught up in the wind as well behind the girl. Aqualad nodded.

"Ah.. but she is you, right?"

"Yeah.." she said quietly, and added a few more details to her picture before tearing it off the pad and lifting it up a bit, signing the bottom of it and placing the date. She held it in her hand a moment, eyeing it over, and snorted under her breath. "Although it's hideous."

Aqualad raised an eyebrow and caught her glance, smiling. "I think it's gorgeous."

"Thank you." Raven said blandly and took the other side of the picture in her opposite hand, ready to crumble it and toss it aside, but Aqualad's hand grabbed the top of it. She looked up at him curiously, and he gave another smile.

"If you don't like it, I'll take it off your hands."

Raven studied his expression a moment, then shrugged and let go, letting him lift it to his own hands to examine close-up. "Suit yourself." She slid out of her seat and began walking towards the staircase leading up to the roof, grabbing one of the multiple jackets flopped over a large chair as she walked by. "Think of it as an early Christmas gift or something."

Aqualad looked up and smirked, and pulled himself out of the U-shaped seating as well, following close behind. "My first gift.. from Raven of all people." he mused, plucking the black leather jacket from the chair.

Raven stopped and looked back at him, eyebrows raised. "Following me for a reason? If there's any chores you want me to do, they'll have to wait. I have more important things to do with my time."

Aqualad stopped with a confused look. "Uh.. no.. I was just going to talk to you.. that a problem?"

"No." Raven responded cooly and continued her walk.

---

The wind was a cruel reminder that it was winter as they made it up to the top of the building, where the helicopter pad and other such things were located. Aqualad hoped the others wouldn't miss them too badly and come looking for them, because it would make an awkward moment; Raven didn't really talk to anyone willingly.

"You have something you want to ask me." Raven said sharply, causing him to be quickly shaken out of his thoughts. "You would rather be with the others than up here with me in this cold air, so what is it so you can go back to the ones you enjoy."

Aqualad opened his mouth to begin, but it suddenly hit him just the way that Raven had spoken those last words. They were much softer than the sharp, caustic ways he was used to her speaking in, and were barely audible with her head hung just slightly and her back to him. He took a step towards her and put a gentle hand on her shoulder, causing her to turn around slightly to look at him.

"Now com'on.. you all are like a family to me now. That makes you like, my sister or something." he said simply, so simply in fact it made Raven smirk. "I'm serious." he added at the smirk, causing her to even her tone of emotion out and turn completly.

"A sister.." she said softly, as if trying to make herself understand it, and she smiled gently, shaking her head. "I haven't heard that one before." With that she brushed the snow off a crude cement bench and sat down, pulling her legs up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them.

Aqualad followed suit and sat down beside her, leaning forward to look her in the face. "I'd believe it, but you are. That's not a problem, is it?"

"No.." she answered quietly and cast a look out onto the snow-covered landscape of the city, then sighed. Despite that comment, and the boy who said it still seated right beside her, she still felt that gaping hole in her being; the feeling she could only describe as the feeling of being alone. What if she felt like this for longer than just Christmas? What if this was permanant... it had grown so much stronger in the past few days... almost to the point of being completly unbareable. She actually had hopes for last night, and the possibility of beginning a relationship with someone, like Robin and Star had, but it hadn't happened.

Aqualad leaned forward even more to capture the look on her face, and frowned. "Enough with what I was going to ask you.." Raven's attention diverted his way. "There's something wrong, and I mean seriously wrong."

She just sighed once more and refocused on the skyline, glaring hard at it. "Com'on Raye..." Aqualad's voice said in a baby-ish tone, playing with the irritating nickname they had created for her. She rolled her eyes and looked his way.

"You ever feel like you're completly alone, although you're not?" she asked sharply, and he blinked at her twice. She just snorted and pulled her knees closer to her chest. "Yeah.. that's what I figured. Don't bother with me, Aqualad, you don't understand."

"You mean that feeling where you feel like you're getting sucked into a dark hole and no-one cares about you so they just leave you to die? Like you call out for someone to love you but they completly ignore your presense and go about with their happy lives?"

Raven opened her mouth to respond, staring at him, startled; but he continued, his voice growing a bit more gruff with every word he spoke.

"And that feeling when you're trying to make it on your own because it seems to be the only thing that works, and yet it seems to just kill your spirit twice as much with every step you take? Or how about--"

Raven hand flew up to his mouth, cutting him off from continuing. "Yeah... that one." she answered softly.

Aqualad didn't seem at all phased, and waited until her hand lowered before speaking in his normal cool tone. "So you're feeling that one now?"

"Sounds like you have battled it before..."

"A few times." he ran his fingers through his thick black hair as he spoke. "But I got through it just fine."

"How? How could you fight through this?"

"I found a girl." he said with a gentle smile, and immediatly Raven's heart sank, and she looked the other way.

"Great.. you found love. Should've figured I'd be stuck in this for awhile." she said coldly, and Aqualad's gloved hand grabbed her chin, turning her head to look at him.

"Don't give me that. You have the ability to love, and don't tell me anything else, because it'd be a lie."

"But--"

"No buts. You have someone right here who loves you, and I'm not talking about me." with that Aqualad stood up, letting go of her chin, and began walking back towards the staircase they came from.

Raven stood up sharply, eyes wide in his direction. "You.. mean Beastboy, right?"

Aqualad smirked. "No, I made that last part up about me knowing who it is... but you asking that shows right there that you yourself know who he is."

Raven stared harder at him, then hugged herself gently from the cold wind whipping around her, and turned bright red; the small light on the side of the building above her turning a black color.

"Uh.. Raven..." Aqualad pointed upwards towards it, and then spoke gently, "... and you know what to do about this to make it better.." he finished before darting inside, out of the blistering cold, and Raven cast a glance upwards, quickly surpressing her mind powers before the light exploded.

----

Darkness had taken over the tower, and everyone had keyed down a bit, the Christmas spirit finally dawning on them all. It had been a decent dinner, and the first night that Cyborg and Beastboy created something delicious while working together, and even the tofu creations were edible. All of the titans were pretty much full, and most of them were huddled around a video game that had been dragged out for play for the rest of the night until they decided to go to bed. Surprisingly four controllers weren't needed, as Beastboy agreed to let Robin teach Starfire how to play the game; so with Starfire in his lap, and speaking the instructions gently into her ear, their two fighting characters proceeded to lay hell down on Cyborg's butt.

After a few minutes of play, Starfire caught on, and burst into a giggling mess at just how well she was playing. Robin stared down at his controller, then back at the screen in shock as the victory music suddenly started playing.

A loud shrieking gasp came from Starfire's mouth, with another giggle. "I won?"

Cyborg, Aqualad, and Beastboy stared as well, and Raven, sitting in a chair a ways behind them, gave a low chuckle. "Uh.. yeah." Robin stated slowly. "You beat me."

"She beat you bad too, man.." Cyborg commented, causing a side-glare from Robin. "She totally wiped the floor with you!"

Starfire gave another giggle at the remark. "Cyborg, that's silly. Robin's sitting right here under me.. I did not 'wipe the floor' with him."

The boys rolled their eyes, and Raven chuckled again, causing Beastboy to cast a glance back at her. She was seated in one of the black couches in the back, reading one of her usual books. He turned around just a little bit more to watch her, with a soft smile across his face. She sat in the glow of the large Christmas tree which was placed behind her, her skin to look a warm peach tone, and her hair to sparkle.

The feel of eyes upon her caused her to look up to the grouping of titans on the other side of the room, and instinctively, her eyes raised to meet Beastboy's. Both turned bright red, but didn't look away for some odd reason that neither could explain.

Beastboy mouthed the word 'hi', causing Raven to give a warm smile and return to reading her book, sinking into the couch a bit more. He took a deep, yet airy breath and looked back at the TV screen, thankful that the others hadn't caught that little moment.

Beastboy sat a few more minutes, watching the others play the game like nothing was wrong, but he soon grew antsy. He felt that.. that click when he looked back at Raven and she looked at him. It was there, it was something he couldn't deny now. He needed to take a moment and think about this without all the noise. He took a deep breath, and stood, feeling the others' eyes fall upon him immediatly. "I'm going to go hang in my room for a bit.. all this cheering's givin' me a headache."

The others just shrugged and continued watching the TV, although Raven's eyes stayed upon him, much to his pleasure. He stepped around the couch and walked towards the hallway, right past where the girl sat, and her eyes followed him seemingly discretely, over the top of her book. The hallway doors closed, and Raven cast a look over to the group of teens. They seemed pretty distracted... they might not realise her leaving. She stood up slowly, laying her book down upon the couch where she had been seated, and slowly snuck out of the room, disappearing into the hallway herself before anyone noticed.

Aqualad looked back at the sound of the doors swishing closed yet again, thinking it was Beastboy coming back in for something, and smirked when he realised no-one was there, and that Raven was also missing from her usual place.

----

Beastboy looked up sharply from his dresser when Raven walked in abruptly. He hadn't locked it, so the doors were free to enter and exit out of, but still.. seeing her.. there... it was weird.

"Yeah? Something you need?" he asked quietly.

Gathering all the strength she could muster, and supressing her powers down to a dull roar, she took a few quick steps in his direction. "Yes.. something I need badly."

Before he could even react or ask her what it was that was the need, he found himself against the wall beside the dresser, and caught up in the most glorious feeling he could've thought of feeling at the time. Raven slipped her lips off of his slowly, and breathed her words. "You.."

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Author's Note: HA!! I DID IT!! And just in time for Christmas. No, I'm not NEAR done with this story.. but I got that part of it done!! You guys like? I hope so!! ^_^;; *blares "God Is A DJ" by Pink when it comes on, conveniently right when she finished writing the chapter*. Tell me what y'all think, and once again: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.. all that jazz. ^_^