Raven was awoken the next morning at 7:30. A voice called out,
"Raven? You awake?"
"I am now." She muttered, sitting up. The door opened and Beast Boy's head poked around it. He grinned.
"Starfire's going to explode if you don't get up so we can open presents. Cyborg and I wanted to place bets on how long before she actually did explode but Robin's getting kinda stressy about it."
"Fine. Give me a moment." She seized a dressing gown and pulled it around her. She tied the cord, ran a hairbrush through her violet locks and then opened the door. Beast Boy, much to her amusement, was wearing pyjamas. Mickey Mouse pyjamas. She arched an eyebrow and he went slightly red.
"My mother gave them to me."
"Hmm." Raven said, choosing not to comment further. Beast Boy grinned.
"We shall. Joy." Raven said resignedly. Beast Boy eyed her sharply.
"You're not going to be all depressing again are you? Come on, get into the Christmas Spirit!"
"…Fine. I'll be as jolly as I can possibly manage."
"That's all I ask." He held out his hand to her. After a moment's hesitation she took it.
Raven looked at the pile of unopened presents in front of her. They were taking it in turns and she was the last person to open hers.
"C'mon Raven! I wanna see!" Cyborg said. Raven picked one up. It was from Starfire. She opened it carefully and pulled out a black cloak. She smiled slightly.
"Thank you Starfire."
From Cyborg she received an assortment of gemstones.
"The guy in the store said they were useful for meditation and that's kinda your thing." Robin had given her a collaboration of her favourite poets in one large book. Raven offered them both a smile and thanks. Then Starfire proposed a group hug and they all fled.
They were halfway through Christmas Dinner when there was a knock at the door. Starfire went to answer it and was met by two men. She opened the door.
"Hello, I am Starfire! May I help you?"
"Hello Starfire. I'm Bruce Wayne and this is Alfred."
"Bruce!" Robin said, running to the door. After greetings had been exchanged Robin turned to the rest of the group.
"Guys, this is Bruce Wayne and Alfred. This is Cyborg, Raven, Beast Boy and you've met Starfire. I thought you weren't going to come!" He turned back to the guests.
"What, and miss out on meeting your friends?" Bruce said, winking. He turned to Alfred and took an enormous hamper.
"We brought snacks."
Beast Boy and Cyborg ogled the huge basket. Robin put it on the counter and said,
"Cyborg, can you grab a couple of chairs?" They sat back at the table, finishing their meal. Beast Boy was tucking into a Tofu Roast, but everyone else was enjoying turkey. When they had finished washing up, everyone sat in the living room. Bruce looked around the Tower.
"Nice place you've got here."
"Thanks Bruce." Robin said, pleased at having approval from his mentor. Cyborg looked around hopefully.
"Hey, BB, got any of those cookies left? I couldn't find them this morning."
"We just ate a huge dinner and you're still hungry?" Raven said in a voice which was either disgust or cynicism.
"Hey, I'm a growing guy!"
"Growing bigger by the minute." Raven muttered. Cyborg shot her a look and said,
"So where are they? The cookies, I mean."
"They're gone." Beast Boy said, flicking through his comic book.
"Gone where?" Cyborg demanded. Beast Boy looked up.
"I gave them away."
Cyborg shook his head.
"Beast Boy, what have I told you about giving away food?"
"Do it, its Christmas?"
"No! You don't do it!"
"Not even to a group of starving orphans at Christmas?" Raven demanded. Cyborg gaped at her and then at Beast Boy.
"You gave our cookies to orphans? Since when do you have a conscience?"
"Hey!" Beast Boy protested. Starfire said,
"I think Beast Boy is very kind to give our cookies to orphans."
Bruce and Alfred had been listening to this in amusement. Beast Boy and Cyborg were glaring at each other, Starfire and Robin were sitting together talking quietly and Raven was watching them all. Bruce caught her eye and smiled. She nodded and gave a little smile.
There was a ringing sound. Cyborg jumped.
"That's mine." He tapped into the phone on his arm and stared. "Alli!"
"Hey! What's up, I thought you were coming over?"
"Well… that was the plan. But you know how the tower is on an island and everything? Well, I can't fly."
Cyborg suddenly remembered what it was he was supposed to do. Organise a way of getting Alli onto the island… damn. He jumped up, blushing.
"I'll be right over." Beast Boy snickered as Cyborg ran past him. Everyone laughed at the poor teenager as he prepared to start up a boat to get across to the mainland. Raven rolled her eyes and went to make tea. Beast Boy watched her go.
Starfire watched Beast Boy carefully. A coy smile crossed her face. She leant forward and whispered to the Changeling. Beast Boy's eyes widened in delight. He jumped to his feet and dashed across to the kitchen.
"Hey Raven." She smiled slightly, putting the kettle on. Beast Boy watched her spoon tea into a mug. He stood to one side, considering her for a moment. That lock of violet hair was falling into her face, just as it always did. How comes he never noticed that before? And the way her brow was slightly creased as she concentrated on what she was doing? And she was doing that thing with her nose. The cute thing. She usually only did that when she was irritated, but she was doing it now, as she concentrated on making her tea.
He took a deep breath. He had to do it now or he'd lose his nerve.
"Yes?" She turned to face him. In a single fluid motion, he put hi hands on her shoulders, pulled her towards him and pressed his mouth to hers.
And for a few moments nothing happened. He pulled back and stared at her. She was gaping at him.
"Mistletoe." She looked up and frowned.
"There isn't any mistletoe."
"I know. I just wanted an excuse to kiss you." He grinned in a way he clearly thought was charming. Raven just stared at him. She didn't know what to say. Beast Boy swallowed hard and rubbed the back of his head.
"You know what'd be good right now? If you said something."
"I… Beast Boy…"
"Let me redefine what I just said. It'd be good if you said something that made a vague kind of sense." Beast Boy smiled. Raven felt her stomach turn over. She knew what she should say. Sorry Beast Boy, we can't do this, it's too hard, it's too dangerous, blah blah blah…
But for some reason that wasn't what she said. What she did say was,
"Beast Boy. You don't need an excuse to kiss me. You just need to ask." And then she picked up her tea and returned to the living room. Leaving Beast Boy extremely confused.
He was about to follow her and demand an explanation when Cyborg burst in, excitedly.
"Guys! Guess what! It's snowing!"
"That was a quick game." Raven commented. Robin looked around.
"Cyborg, where's Alli?" Cyborg stared at him for a second, swore loudly and ran outside again. Starfire clapped her hands.
"Glorious! May we now partake in the fights of snowballs and build humans?"
"Sure, go grab a coat!" Robin said. He turned to Bruce and Alfred.
Raven sat down with her tea as they all went outside. Beast Boy paused.
"Yes, Beast Boy?" she asked without looking up from her book. He bit his lip.
"Um… If I get some mistletoe, would you kiss me again?"
He looked disappointed. Raven got up and walked over to him. He looked at her slightly nervously. She said quietly,
"I told you, you didn't need an excuse. You just have to ask."
"So… you mean, if I asked you to kiss me, right now, you would?" she didn't reply, but merely arched an eyebrow. Beast Boy grinned.
"If this doesn't work, I'm going to be severely irritated. But… Raven, can I kiss you?"
Beast Boy looked rather surprised at how easy it was. But he didn't bother pondering it. He was more interested in actually carrying it out.
Raven sat inside, reading. She could hear the shouts of the others, playing in the snow which had fallen quickly and heavily. She was tempted to go outside and join them. She got to her feet and walked over to the door, peering outside.
They were engaged in a snowball fight, with various snowmen dotted around. Starfire's was obvious, since it had three arms and two heads. Well, you couldn't claim that she wasn't imaginative. Raven watched them fondly as they threw frozen missiles at each other. Alli and Cyborg were a team, as were Starfire and Robin. Bruce and Alfred were watching in amusement.
Starfire looked up and caught sight of her friend in the doorway.
"Raven! Come and join us!"
"Yeah, c'mon Rae!" Cyborg called, waving to her. Raven hesitated. Beast Boy stepped forward.
"Can't start without ya, Raven."
That broke her. A smile rose up and she stepped forward. Robin grinned.
"OK guys, who wants Raven on their team?"
"She's on my team." Beast Boy said instantly. He grinned at her and she smiled back, feeling her heart give a little flutter. It was rather irritating actually. But she ignored that fact for the time being. Beast Boy took her hand.
"C'mon Rae. At least give me a kiss for luck." He leant forward but she placed a pale finger to his mouth. He stared at her.
"Don't… call me Rae."
And then she kissed him.
That evening they sat in the living room, listening to Christmas songs and playing games. Robin said,
"OK… Cyborg, top three Christmas moments?"
"Easy. The time Mom, Dad and I went to France and went skiing and I fell down the mountain. That was funny. The time I got Zombie Survival 4 for Christmas. And this Christmas, when I met Alli."
"Suck up." Alli laughed. Robin turned to Raven.
"Raven? What about you?" Raven considered carefully for a moment. Everyone watched her. After a moment she looked up,
"The first Christmas with the Titans, when Beast Boy got hold of Cyborg's underwear and hung them from the top of the tower." Beast Boy grinned at that memory.
"The second one would be when that Old Lady in town made us all uniforms entirely out of wool, because she thought we'd get cold running around in spandex." Bruce snorted into his eggnog, as did Alli. She wiped her face and looked at Cyborg for confirmation. He nodded.
"Poor dear thought we were gonna catch a cold."
That brought a second bout of laughter. Starfire looked across at Raven.
"And your last moment?" Raven looked at Beast Boy who was sitting next to her. He smiled and squeezed her hand.
"My best Christmas moment… was last night." She murmured. Everyone looked puzzled. Raven looked around at them.
"Last night… I told Beast Boy why I hate Christmas. I'm not going to go through it all again. But he showed me how wrong I was. So my best Christmas moment was last night, in the town centre when Beast Boy showed me that Christmas is worth celebrating."
The other Titans didn't need to say anything. They didn't ask for more details. Because it was more than obvious that something had changed inside Raven. Something that didn't need explaining. Something good. You could see it in the way she was holding hands with Beast Boy. In the way that slight smile graced her lips.
In the way they loved each other. The kind of love that doesn't need words. Where you don't have to write "I love you" or even say it. You could see it in a look.
In the way they were looking at each other right now.It's Christmas time
There's no need to be afraid
At Christmas time
We welcome light
And we banish shade
And in our world of plenty
We can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time…
Just a couple of little notes to make. First of all, thank you SO much for all the reviews! I both read and appreciate every single one! It's one of the best Christmas presents I'm getting this year (Which isn't hard since none of our presents have arrived yet! Stupid postal system!) and I hope I've made someone else happy by writing this story. I would love to name everyone who reviewed but we'd be here all day and it's only a few hours to Christmas!
Several people mentioned something which really irritates me a lot. How materialised Christmas is. It is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I could rant about this for hours, but don't worry, I won't! Lol. I am gonna say, if you get a chance, just say a little thank you to the big guy upstairs. Because he rocks beyond all belief.
The other thing is about charities. A lot of them need money, not just at Christmas but at the rest of the year as well. And there's a whole load of charities out there. Please donate to them. Most of them don't get government grants and are depending on people like us to make a difference. And if you can't decide on a charity, the other thing you could do is buy the Band Aid 20 single. I know lots of people don't like it, I personally love it. But even if you don't like it, buy it anyway. It's money well spent, and to be fair, it's not a lot of money.
OK I lied, those weren't little notes. Lol, never mind, I needed to say it.
And finally, I'm going to say thank you again. I've received over-whelming support on this story and I'm incredibly grateful. And, if you've read this story, I'm presuming you're a BB/Raven fan. If so, go to my profile and have a look at the board I've linked to. The BB/R Shippers United! It's a great board and it's fun, so feel free to join up.
So don't forget to review on your way out and have a Very Merry Christmas!
Lotsa luv and huggles