Authors Notes: Hello all and happy holidays! This is my first, and possibly last foray into the Teen Titans section. I love the show, but am way too swamped in other fics to add another one to the list. This is just a one shot, something to give you that wonderful warm, fuzzy feeling that only complete fluff can bring you. I would ask only that you sit back and enjoy the fic for what it is. Don't try to pick out all the flaws, because despite the help I got, I'm betting there are a few. So please, enjoy the read and happy holidays to you all. May they be safe and spent in the company of those you love! There will be a pic to accompany this too. Check my bio for the web page where you can find it if you'd like to take a peek!
Disclaimer: I do not in any way own Teen Titans.
AGift of Love
A peace, as quiet as the snow that fell in soft puffy flakes to the earth, filled the Titan's Tower, enveloping it's occupants who slept on, unaware of the beauty that Mother Nature was creating on this one special Christmas Eve. All, but one. And she stood, a shadow in the glow of the massive, elegant Christmas tree that both Robin and Starfire had insisted they put up.
Raven, who'd grown increasingly distressed with every hour that passed, stood before it, her dark eyes taking in every detail of the magnificently decorated evergreen as her mind wandered aimlessly. She'd mastered control of her emotions over the years and now, as a young adult, was fully capable of keeping them subdued with little effort. Tonight though…she just couldn't seem to pull it together.
Something about that tree, about the good spirits and cheer this holiday evoked…something about the fact that this holiday represented one of the most important birthdays in all history-it all had a profound effect on Raven. She felt happy and content, yet a great sadness tinged by the smallest amount of fear overpowered those sensations. So many years she'd spent detached from this holiday, choosing not to partake in the festivities because of who she was, because of her character and her inability to control her emotions if she allowed even one to slip through and be shown.
But it was different now. Now she had control, now she could truly see what she'd missed. So many years, so many Christmas'…wasted.
Heaving a weary sigh, Raven brushed her long dark hair away from a face that had become more narrow and refined over the years. The once red gem upon her forehead had also changed, spontaneously turning a deep lavender color late in the summer when she'd mastered control of her powers. She didn't know how to explain it and after several days of having Starfire fret over it with nothing untoward happening, Raven had shrugged it off. She'd never really liked the color red anyway.
She slid a fingertip over the smooth surface of the gem, then reached out, her nails brushing fragrant pine needles and a sparkling ornament. It was an emerald peacock, a gift from their local Tamaranian to Beast Boy last Christmas. She'd given them all ornaments that somehow related to who they were. Hers, a tiny crystal ball that filled with shimmering dark blue fog when disturbed, hung near the top.
She was reaching for Cyborg's miniature model of the T-car when the door slid open with a metallic hiss.
She turned at the sound of Beast Boy's voice and her breath caught in her throat. He stood in the doorway, his muscular form cast into dim shadows that the lights from the tree were unable to reach. Just as Raven had, he'd changed noticeably in the time she'd known him. He was taller, stronger, his shoulders were broader and his voice was deeper. Every time he spoke around her, Raven's insides seemed to melt as her heart picked up speed.
The first time she'd had such a reaction to him she'd panicked, confused about what she was feeling and terrified that she would end up doing something horrible if she couldn't find a way to stop it.
Surprisingly, nothing had happened. After time, she came to know these new feelings as love and lust. And although they had no potential to bring imminent destruction, they were still confusing and, more often than not, a total pain in the ass.
"Raven," the green skinned changeling repeated in that husky baritone that frazzled her nerves. "What are you doing out here? It's past two. Shouldn't you be asleep?"
Wrapping her black and violet flannel blanket tighter around her, as much to ward off the chill as to hide the black satin tank and dark purple pajama pants she wore, Raven turned back to the tree and lifted her shoulders in a tiny shrug. "I couldn't sleep."
The soft shuffling of his feet indicated that he was approaching. Risking a glance at him out of the corner of her eye, she bit back a sigh and quickly turned her attention back to the tree. Lord, he was wearing only a pair of black sweatpants that hung dangerously low on his hips. This was so unfair.
"Excited to open presents, huh?" he asked.
He was standing beside her now. She could feel the heat radiating off his body even through the thick fabric of her blanket. "I don't do excited," she replied in her usual monotone voice, although now that voice carried the smooth, smoky undertones of a woman.
Beast boy gave her a sidelong glance and smiled. "You know, I'm really impressed with you Rae."
"You are?" She looked up at him, stunned by his words.
"Sure. Look at how far you've come. You used to meditate all the time just to keep your emotions from getting out of control. Now…you just do it two times a week and it's hardly ever over an hour. And you helped us decorate the tree for Christmas. You've never done that before. You looked like you were having fun and didn't even get close to-" He made a face and twirled a finger next to his head. Apparently, he was trying to indicate that she'd never gone psycho.
Raven shook her head, laughing softly.
"There! You do that now too!" He pointed at her excitedly, grinning as if he'd just made some great revelation. "You laugh at my jokes now. You have no idea how good that feels."
Blushing furiously, she fixed her gaze on a dangling snowflake ornament. "I've always thought they were funny. I just wasn't able to express that before," she muttered. So she was full of lame excuses, so what?
"Well, I'm glad you can now."
They fell silent, staring at the tree and its twinkling lights. Raven tried desperately to come up with an excuse to leave the room and retreat to her bedroom where she could be safe and where she wouldn't be sorely tempted to give into the overwhelming urge to pounce on Beast Boy and fulfill every fantasy that had been plaguing her mind for the past few months.
"Do you ever miss being a kid?" he suddenly asked, breaking the silence.
"Come on." He reached out, taking a hold of her hand, and started to tug.
An unexpected jolt rocked her body and she immediately tried to yank her hand free of his grasp. "Beast Boy…what are you doing?"
Instead of answering, he tightened his grip and pulled her down with him until they were both sitting crossed legged before the tree. Raven watched as he grabbed a box from the pile of beautifully wrapped presents. "This one's for you…from Cyborg." He handed her the gift, then waited expectantly, his green eyes on her. "Shake it," he finally instructed when all she did was stare back, completely confused.
Lifting the box, she shot him another uncertain look and tentatively shook the gift. There was a clunk, followed by a soft chiming noise. Immediately she knew what it was. Oriental hand exercise balls, the ones she's only once mentioned wanting. "Okay, this is officially wrong," she said, almost tossing the present back with the others.
Beast Boy laughed as he grabbed one from the pile. "Oh, come on Rae. You never did this when you were a kid?"
Her reply was a cynical arching of one delicate brow.
"Oh…right…ahh," he stammered, giggling nervously. To cover up for his little slip, he held the present to his ear and fixed a look of concentration on his face. He shook it once and frowned.
"It's not making any noise."
Raven flipped the dangling card over to read who it was from. "Starfire. It's probably a stuffed animal."
"No way! She stopped giving us those things years ago."
As he shook the box again, Raven reached for a medium sized present that wasn't for her. She felt much less guilty attempting to find out what others were getting. "I don't see how this is even supposed to work," she grouched, shaking the box a little. "It's next to impossible to guess what's in this thing just by the sound it makes."
Smiling at her, Beast Boy abandoned his current conquest and tried for another. "Are you having fun though?"
Another unexpected question. He seemed to be just full of them tonight. But this particular one she was actually willing to think about. Was she having fun? This whole concept of shaking presents was new to her and as wrong as she thought it was, she couldn't deny that it was an interesting idea. And Beast Boy was there, filling the room with his boundless optimism, sitting so close to her, giving her all of his attention and sharing his smiles with her. She was having the best time of her life.
"I suppose," she answered, visualizing love and lust wailing their dismay at her impartial response.
Beside her, Beast Boy rolled his eyes and continued digging. His fingers brushed something bristly and soft and he pulled it out. A halo of silver tinsel bedecked with a sprig of mistletoe caught the light from the Christmas tree, gleaming cheerfully. "Did you see this thing?" he asked Raven, laughing as he held it up. "I can't believe Star blew money on this."
"Well it worked, didn't it?" Raven pointed out after giving the festive headpiece an uninterested, yet slightly disgusted look.
Starfire had bought it two days ago. It was the final act of a desperate woman. After having Cyborg and Beast Boy explain to her the intricacies of mistletoe, she'd been bound and determined to find some. The tinsel halo was the result of her searching. She'd come home from the mall one day, long red hair flowing behind her as she marched straight over to Robin who'd been flipping idly through the channels on the big screen, and dropped the creation on his head.
"There, now you have no excuse. You must kiss me. It is tradition," She stated proudly while the others watched on with their mouths hanging open.
Robin, known for his elusiveness when it came to getting even the slightest bit intimate with the Tamaranian Princess, surprised them all by pulling her into his lap and giving her a kiss that made up for every one he'd denied her.
"Sure glad those two got a room," Beast Boy muttered, placing the wreath of tinsel on his head without thinking. "I doubt any of us wanted to spend the entire night watching those two make out."
Raven hardly heard a word of what he was saying. She was much too busy staring at the mistletoe that mocked her from beneath the soft dark green strands of Beast Boy's hair. Her fingers suddenly itched to touch him, to bury themselves in his untamed mane. She could feel her heart racing as she thought about how easy it would be to just lean over and kiss him. She could blame it entirely on the mistletoe, carrying the guilty secret of how badly she'd wanted to with her for the rest of her life. It would be so easy.
"Can you please take that thing off," she muttered instead, causing love and lust to scream in outrage this time. "You look like an idiot."
Not the least bit phased by her mediocre insult, Beast Boy laughed, adjusting the tinsel halo so that it fit more snugly over his head. "Don't worry Rae. I know it's tradition and all…but I wont make ya kiss me."
I don't need mistletoe to kiss you. Just ask me, she thought as she tore her gaze away from him and focused her full attention on the Christmas tree.
Surprised that she hadn't come back at him with some form of smart remark, Beast Boy stared at her in confusion. It was then that he noticed it-the telltale blush, the nervous twisting of her hands in her lap, the way she avoided eye contact with him.
No way, he thought, suddenly feeling very lightheaded. He'd been hoping…no, praying, that Raven would some day feel something for him so he wouldn't feel as if he'd wasted over a year of his life dreaming about something that could never be.
Pleading silently with the fates, he reached for a small package wrapped in shimmering green paper and prepared to make the boldest move of his entire adult life. "Here," he said, handing Raven the present.
As she turned to look at him, he caught the faint flash of emotion in her deep violet eyes and relief flooded through him. Lord, he was grateful she was so easy to read right now.
"What's this?" she asked hesitantly.
"It's yours." Then, after a pause, "from me."
"Beast Boy, I'm not going to shake this thing and try to guess what you got me."
"I never said you should," he said, pushing it at her when she tried to hand it back. "Open it."
She gave him a dubious look. "It's not Christmas Day yet."
"Helloooo…it's 2:30…in the morning." Still she stared at him, unmoving. "Come on, just open it."
Rolling her eyes, Raven sighed and slid a finger under a meticulously creased flap. "Fine," she muttered, tearing through the tape. Once the wrapping was gone a small blue velvet box was revealed. Raven's fingers stilled, then, almost reverently, she opened it and a soft sigh of surprise escaped her lips.
A gorgeous silver raven, its wings spread in flight, lay inside. One dark amethyst crystal was embedded in its back and two more winked at her from its outstretched wings. It was so tiny, so fragile looking that she was afraid to touch it.
Wordlessly, Beast Boy took the box from her numb fingers and pulled the raven from its resting place by a thin, silver chain. It dangled, the crystals catching the glow of the Christmas lights.
"Merry Christmas Raven."
"Beast Boy…it's beautiful," she whispered.
He set the box aside, then grinned and quickly pulled her into his lap before she had a chance to fight him.
Too stunned by the gift and his sudden move to respond, Raven sat where she was, her heart thudding against her ribs in a frantic dance, her body feeling more alive than it had in years. Her eyes held his, violet clashing with deep green as he clasped the necklace behind her neck. Once it was secured, he dropped his hands to her shoulders and traced her collarbone with his thumbs. Her body reacted with a shudder of pleasure. "Why?" she whispered softly.
"Why are you doing this?"
Beast Boys lips, the lips she'd so often dreamed of kissing, quirked up in a slow smile. "You mean…it's not obvious?"
She shook her head and his grin widened. Moving one hand to the nape of her neck, he leaned forward, gently pulling her toward him at the same time and was rewarded with her sharp intake of breath. Did she have any idea how nervous he was? He could feel her trembling so she must have been able to feel him doing the same.
"I'm doing it because," he said, pausing to let the silence hang a moment as he collected his courage, "I love you Raven."
She closed her eyes, savoring those three simple words and the warmth they created within her. He loved her…her, Raven…the cold one, the odd, emotionless one on the team. He loved her.
"Rae…please say something," Beast Boy pleaded softly, his trepidation evident in the tremor of his voice.
Opening her eyes, showing him the tears that had collected with not a trace of shame, she smiled. "I guess you get two Christmas presents this year. I love you too Beast Boy."
He laughed once, briefly, then hugged her too him. Wrapping his arms around her was heaven, feeling her embracing him was the next best thing. It was all more than he'd hoped it would be. "Jeez, you had me scared there for a minute," he muttered, not willing to give up on holding her just yet. Lord, she smelled good-like lilac and something dark and mysterious. It was fitting.
"I didn't mean to," she whispered as she stroked his hair. The fear from earlier, that persistent feeling of distress had vanished, replaced by something breathtaking, something that filled with unexplainable happiness. It was an odd thing to feel after years of keeping herself neutral to everything, but odd in a good way.
"Rae…I'm going to kiss you now, okay?"
She pulled back and stared at him for a moment, then slowly nodded. Time to find out just how much control she did have. Hearing him tell her that he loved her had been wonderful, but she had a feeling that kissing him was going to be something far more earth shattering.
His thumb and fingers rubbed her neck gently, working away the tension. "Relax Raven…nothings going to happen…I hope."
She couldn't nod. She honestly couldn't move at all. A tiny sigh was all she could manage, and then his mouth was on hers, soft and warm, just as she'd dreamed it would be. Where he took her next though was more than any thought she'd amused herself with.
He ran his tongue over the seam of her lips, then nipped gently at the bottom one. Although it didn't hurt, Raven still gasped, leaving her mouth open to his pleasing assault. His tongue and lips caressed and coaxed hers, reducing her to tiny moans as she responded eagerly, pressing her body against his.
Minutes later they came up for air, drawing shuddering breaths as they clung to each other.
"Look at that," Beast Boy said, pulling back far enough to give her a lopsided grin, "the Tower's still standing."
Just for fun and to wipe that smug smirk off his face, Raven used her powers to shatter a cheap bulb hanging from a bough on the tree. It went with a pop, the pieces of it scattering harmlessly over the tree skirt and Beast Boy visibly paled.
Unable to stop herself, Raven laughed softly. It was just too funny.
"Think you're so clever, don't ya?" he grumbled, but she could see the smile tugging at his lips.
She nodded once and he laughed, hugging her tightly. "I think I'd like to kiss you again," he said after a while.
"Well, quit stalling then," she shot back.
Beast Boy was amazed. What had happened to the cold, sarcastic girl he had once known? She'd turned into a woman, that's what. A woman who was strong and passionate and capable of giving him the love he'd been craving from her. He smiled into those beautiful violet eyes, cupping her face between his hands. "God, I love you."
She rubbed his nose with hers and gave him one of those smiles that were quickly becoming less rare. It lit up her eyes, softened her features, and sent his heart racing unsteadily. "Love you," she whispered.
Twisting around, he lowered her to the floor, laying half of his weight on her as his lips sought and found hers. Their limbs tangled as the two, bathed in the soft glow of Christmas lights, kissed and allowed their hands to roam. And although they were tempted, they came to a silent, mutual agreement that Christmas Morning was not going to be the day they became lovers. That would be saved for later, when they had a room to themselves and a little more time to get used to the idea of being an item.
Somehow they managed to tear themselves away from each other and retrieve a spare blanket and two pillows from the couch, then it was back to laying in front of the tree, sharing slow, languid kisses until finally they gave into sleep. With Beast Boy curled around her, his arm resting possessively over her waist, Raven forced her eyes to remain open a second longer as she took in the sight of the Christmas tree. It looked different to her now, but then again, everything did. She was seeing the world in a new light, seeing it as a woman in love. It was a gift-one that only Beast Boy could have given her.
Smiling, knowing what it was like to feel content for the first time in her life, Raven pressed herself closer to her love and let sleep claim her.
Not even two hours later the door to the main room slid open and Starfire, clad in her pink and white pajamas tugged a yawning Robin and Cyborg into the room. "Come friends! What a beautiful Christmas morning it is! It is finally time to see what the Santa of Clause has brought us. I-."
She stopped in mid flight, her jaw dropping when her eyes came to rest on the couple fast asleep before the tree.
"Well…that takes care of finding Raven and Beast Boy," Robin quipped, recovering from his initial shock.
"Glorious!" Starfire yelped, clapping her hands together. "Oh, friend Raven…this is most wonder-."
Robin gently slapped a hand over his girlfriend's mouth and pulled her back before she had a chance to go and wake their friends. "Quiet Star…let's let 'em sleep for a while okay," he said, wrapping an arm around her and backing out the door. "I could use a few more hours of sleep anyways."
"Amen to that," Cyborg said, smiling tiredly at Raven and Beastboy. "That's too dang cute to disturb anyway."
Following Cyborg and Starfire out of the room, Robin cast another glance at his friends and grinned. "Merry Christmas guys," he murmured, then shut the door and followed Starfire back to their room, more than happy to put off opening presents so that Beast Boy and Raven could enjoy theirs.