Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans, nor "The Authority Song" by Jimmy Eat World–unless, of course, you count the CD.

Dedication: For all who still believe. .

A special thanks to Donna for the beautiful drawing. Love you.

Honesty Or Mystery

Dusky gold-rimmed clouds majestically kissed the sky where she sat at the window, watching. Watching the streetlights flicker on over the dark roads, watching the tiny motorboats churn across the water in departure for the shore, watching the soggy purple twilight melt away the day's heat. This evening, the sky ruled over all. It loomed and spread, painting lavender before the night's grand entrance. It was a testimony of its own power, a power that every soul in the city could feel, even the cool, quiet Raven, floating serenely by the immense pane of glass.

She looked out over the images before her in uncharacteristic wonder, marveling the reflection of the setting sun in the water. Tranquility ensued where she watched Jump City. There were no distractions, and there was no need to close her eyes. Though the dark girl sat atop the air in full meditation position--legs crossed, arms out, index fingers and thumbs pressed gently together--she could not bring herself to shut out the beauty of the fawning night. Here was home, despite the disruptions; and here was love, despite the chaos. Here she had found family, friends, a reason to open her door ever so slightly and let the light in. They would never know the changes they had sparked in her, the emotions they had made her feel, or the hope they had brought to her just by existing. They would never know, but that didn't mean she didn't still love them with a sort of pure, underlying loyalty that she couldn't even begin to describe.

Raven could hear the footsteps as they sounded softly through the halls, but she did not mind. Her contentment remained unbroken, even as solitude weathered away. Beast Boy's voice heaved a rather large sigh, and she could hear him collapse into the couch behind her as she continued to look placidly over the violet-hued water.

"Where is everybody?"

This seemed to free Raven from her trance, and she blinked slowly as her legs unfolded beneath her, touching the ground as softly as if she were on a cloud. The empath admitted a sigh of her own as she padded over to the sofa opposite him, taking up a small, black volume on her way. She lowered herself into the cushions and crossed her legs. "We've been through this," she muttered darkly, thumbing the pages of her book.

"Remind me."

"Robin and Starfire are out. Cyborg's with Sarah. Need I say more?"

"Aw, man!" Beast Boy flung his arms over his head, exasperated. "Not again!"

Raven shrugged stoically, not really knowing, and not really caring. She had figured what would happen with Robin and Star long ago; it had never been a great mystery to decipher what kind of feelings they had in store for one another. Oh, the joys of obvious romance, thought Raven grimly, inwardly shaking her head. As for Cyborg, he'd been bound to find a significant other sooner or later. Maybe it was just her, but things like this were so easy to predict.

Lately, with the lovebirds gone to God-knew-where, she'd been stuck with Beast Boy.


A lot.

Not that it was the most painful experience she'd ever had to undergo, but he had a lousy memory, and an endless thirst for conversation.

Raven watched with pallid intrigue as her green teammate leapt up suddenly, pacing the length of the room. He literally twiddled his thumbs, looking ahead at nothing as he jabbered away.

"Man, I wish I could give them a piece of my mind about this whole mushy love deal. They're gonna get it when they come back!"

The dark girl rolled her eyes, holding her book closer to her face. "Stop overreacting. They're happy; you should be happy for them."

Beast Boy's jaw dropped, but he continued to pace. "Okay, I'll be happy that they left me all alone to die of boredom!"

Raven smirked. "You do that."

This received her a groan from her friend, who fell listlessly to the floor, clutching his chest melodramatically. "Ra-ven! There's gotta be something we can do tonight. Don't you know of anywhere we could go?"

"Nope." Raven surprised herself with her own comfortable, almost chirpy tone of voice, and bit her lip hesitantly. Beast Boy, however, didn't seem to have noticed--in the blink of an eye he was up, grinning, index finger protruding into the air victoriously.

"I've got it! It's Ladies' Night at that club!"

Silently and deliberately, Raven lowered her book as slowly as if it weighed fifty pounds--and raised an eyebrow, her stony gaze stabbing like a thousand poison needles.

Beast Boy suddenly flushed crimson, rubbing the back of his head nervously. "What? You could get in for free."

Now that Raven's trademark death-glare was really setting in, BB found himself wishing he had not mentioned the potential activity in the first place. Her eyes contained a cool sting, her cape did not flutter an inch, and the classic eyebrow remained halfway up her forehead, challenging him. "Your point?"

But Beast Boy didn't back down, and he didn't dare break eye contact. No way was she going to win this time. "Oh, c'mon, Rae, tell me you don't want to go and have some fun."

Raven fingered a crease in her page, shifting in place. She didn't like being cornered like this...it made her uneasy. Keeping her tone steady, she pretended to focus her eyes on the leather-bound tome resting in her lap. "If you want to go out, I'm not stopping you."

Beast Boy grinned. His dark eyes beckoned knowing, persuasively, convincingly. He looked so innocent, with eyes like that traveling in circles over her face, then pausing directly over hers. There was an inviting gleam in them that seemed to pull her in.

"The more, the merrier."

She couldn't believe she had fallen for it. Again.

The air was muggy inside the old building, the heat of human bodies mingling and creating invisible waves of humidity. Summer nights meant packed clubs, and Raven knew this. How had she allowed herself to be so easily persuaded?

The music was loud, and the noise was drowning. Lights danced and blinked and flickered in ever-changing patterns across the arms of the ravers, who bore vibrant neon glow sticks in hand as they danced. There were an excessive number of women in particular, and Raven knew why, but she couldn't help feeling out-of-place in this blinding world of light and life. Despite the suffocation of the oppressive air, she pulled her cloak more tightly around her body, hoping to find refuge in its dark folding shadows.

Up ahead, Beast Boy grinned and motioned for her to follow. Her pace was drastically slower than his, and as he plowed through the streaming crowds, Raven found herself unable to command as much attention. She lingered behind, stopping to pull her hood up in grim seclusion. There was no reason for her to be here, and there was certainly no reason for anyone to see her pale visage. For now, she was just trying to survive.

Suddenly, as if her thoughts of survival were proving themselves necessary, Raven found herself being pushed recklessly from one dancer to another. She was reminded without much enthusiasm of Starfire, at a club like this all those months ago, when Blackfire had come to...visit. So timid, so small and insignificant against the pressing crowd as they stepped on her feet and trampled over her mood.

But at least I don't try to make them apologize, she thought with amusement. Bravely, she held her head a bit higher and tried to regain her balance...only to have her face make somewhat unpleasant contact with someone's raving elbow.

"Hey, watch where you're going!" A young man who looked to be about nineteen whirled on her with narrowed eyes. He waved a glow stick in her face, as if daring her to reply.

Half-surprised, half-enraged, Raven clenched her fists at her sides. Her eyes were an icier blue than usual as she wondered if she should open her mouth to retort.

Yes. He deserves it, a voice in her head insisted angrily. No one messes with you like that and gets away with it.

No. Stop it, Raven. Keep your cool. No need to get frustrated. Just count with me. 10...9...8...7...

She wanted to choke the life out of that side right about now.

Just as she was about to open her mouth and shoot a stinging insult right back at the guy (whoever he was), a familiar voice reached her ears, dripping with all the pent-up anger that she felt herself, but had been half-afraid to unleash.

"Watch where you're going."

Startled, Raven looked beside her to see none other than Beast Boy, who must have journeyed back through the mobile mob. He glared hotly at the anonymous teen, seizing Raven by the arm. "C'mon, let's go." The dark girl's eyes darted across the place, bewildered at the suddenness of it all, as he dragged her through the throng toward what appeared to be a bar. Or the equivalent of one in a place like this.

"Sorry 'bout that," he said, once they had found two empty seats along the stretching counter. Beast Boy nodded back at the incomprehensible crowd. "I know that guy. Not exactly what you'd call 'model citizen.'" He sent her a lopsided grin, then motioned to an unkempt blond-haired man behind the counter.

Raven crossed her legs and folded her arms over her chest quietly, striking the classic don't-mess-with-me pose that suited her so well. She looked apprehensively onward at the man who approached them so fearlessly. His blond hair was grown out, and hung shaggily off his scalp and around his ears. Tattoos decorated each muscled arm--dragons, thorns, cracked hearts split straight down the middle. Whatever skin was not concealed by needled images was tanned, and the man's shirt was a cool, crisp white.

Raven definitely did not belong here.

The bartender's previously sober face broke down into a grin at the sight of Beast Boy. The two exchanged high-fives. "Hey, little man, what's up? Back for another Frog In A Blender?"

"The best deserve only the best!" chimed the green boy smugly.

"Saved up enough money for that Moped?"

Beast Boy's face crinkled in a frown. "Well, uh...no, not yet..."

The bartender laughed, shaking his head in amusement. "Don't give up, man. The babes go for the hard-core ones."

As if to prove his point, his eyes darted over to Raven...he seemed to be noticing her for the first time. He began to move his eyes back and forth between the unlikely pair, a conspicuous expression of puzzlement sketched into his features. Raven looked at her hands uncertainly. From the corner of her eye she could have sworn that she noticed a flicker of something pass over his face, a tiny flammable speck of...what was it? Envy? Longing? Outright jealousy? She firmly decided seconds later that it had to be imagination. Nevertheless, she sunk further into the slim chair, sure that if she folded into herself invisibility could be reached.

Imagination...what an odd concept for someone so down-to-earth.

"And you would be Raven, I'm guessing?" The young man's grin flared with fierce unsuppressed mirth as he eyed the dark girl beneath the hood, with eyes whose color could rival the tidal wave stitched into his arm. Raven glared disapprovingly. "Yeah."

"You want one too?"


"Frog In A Blender."

Raven looked horrified.

Beast Boy giggled at the misunderstanding, directing a finger to a neon-colored menu over their heads. Encrypted there, beside a picture of what appeared to be some type of casual dessert, were the radioactive words: "Try our new Frog In A Blender, just $1.99!"


With that fire-driven smile plastered over his face, the young bartender dipped beneath the counter and popped back up bearing two large styrofoam cups. Much to Raven's relief, he then zipped past the couple, carrying his plunder, and maneuvered somewhere beyond sight.

Beast Boy propped his elbows on the counter, removing a single silver dime from his pocket and placing it on the cool surface. Blatantly, he flicked it toward her.

Raven didn't hesitate in forming a translucent black shield over the coin, and mentally sliding it back across the counter...but BB's finger was quick to counter the attack and send the small, shining coin spinning away again. Odd as it was, the two often found themselves doing things like this, just out of sheer boredom. Back and forth, back and forth, in their pointless little game that required no energy or intelligence whatsoever. It was times like these when Beast Boy and Raven really had to question their own sanity.

Their game ended abruptly as the bartender re-approached, balancing the same tall styrofoam cups, this time filled to the brim with some colorful, grainy substance. Each was topped by a modest plastic spoon and one of those tiny Hawaiian umbrellas that were stuck in beachy cocktails in surfer movies. Shoving the dime back in his pocket, Beast Boy flashed a grin that could have melted solid rock into a bubbling pool of lava.

The bartender, however, didn't seem to notice. He was beaming solely at Raven as he pushed the frozen treats over the counter.

"There ya go, two Frog In A Blenders. I mean...Frogs In A Blender...no, wait...two Frogs In Two Blenders?"

Raven stared.

She's really good at that, Beast Boy thought nervously as his eyes traveled from the dark girl to the over-enthusiastic bartender and back again. Apparently the blond man thought the same thing. A loud, apprehensive chuckle sounded from behind the counter.

"Uh...right...well, I uh...gotta go. You know, people to tend to, music to request...heh...see you dudes later then, huh?"

He didn't wait for a reply before pushing off the counter hurriedly, and bouncing with unmistakable haste to the opposite end.

Frog In A Blender. The perfect twist of lime and mango slush, terraced with layers of creamy, soft-serve vanilla ice cream. So cold it tickled the nerve endings in her teeth, so sweet she let it linger in her mouth as long as possible before sensibility forced her to swallow. It tasted like summer.

"Good?" Beast Boy interrogated eagerly. His eyes were bright, and Raven knew he was trying to please her.

"Yeah," she answered truthfully, seeing as there wasn't much she could do beneath his expectant gaze. Her spoon penetrated the soft, mellow mixture that was Frog In A Blender as she prepared to add a negative touch to the comment. "Don't see how you can stand this place, though."

BB's eyebrows furrowed, and he shrugged. "I like it here."

When she did not reply, he added saucily, "I don't see how you can stand being alone all the time. I mean, don'cha ever get bored?"

This time, it was Raven's turn to shrug. She raised her voice a notch so he could hear her over the blast of the music. "Not really. As long as I have something to concentrate on. That's why I like my room; it's quiet." Her eyes traveled to the side and moved up and down the room, obviously indicating that this place was not her idea of...quiet.

All the same, there was a momentary silence between them as the music filtered into the conversation and wrapped itself around their senses. Beast Boy's face peered over the top of the styrofoam cup, eyes shining with mischief. He shoveled a bite into his mouth and cocked his head innocently.

"So...what do you do in there all day?" he practically whispered, as if it were some great mystery, a dire secret that must be kept from the world.

"Oh, nothing...work on my secret codes, test torture devices on small animals, come up with new hexes to hatch my plan for world domination. The usual."

Beast Boy stared in horror. "Okay...that's...scary..."

Raven shook her head impatiently. "I'm kidding, Beast Boy."

"I know. That's what scares me."


"Well, you never joke around. I think we should tell the DJ to announce it over the speakers." He grinned.

Raven's eyes narrowed in aggravation. "Just because I don't go looking for attention doesn't mean--"

"Are you saying that I go looking for attention?!"

Raven raised an eyebrow, amused by the baffling ignorance of her teammate. "I never said you did." Slowly, she scooped up a sweet, frozen mouthful of her slushie, swallowing thoughtfully. "But now that you mention it..."

Beast Boy abandoned his own dessert and crossed his arms over his chest. Using his foot to propel his chair in a circular motion, his face was sunken as he spun restlessly from side to side. "Well, yeah, okay, I like it sometimes. But everybody does. Everyone likes knowing that people are seeing them. I mean, come on, it's like a human...instinct...psycho...thing."


"Yeah. That. Anyway, everyone wants to be noticed."

Raven looked onward at him, a doubtful expression plaguing her features. At her unknowing countenance, his jaw dropped.

"Don't tell me! You mean...you don't like being noticed?" The impending question was followed by a loud slurp, indicating that he had already tunneled through the entire Frog In A Blender. He continued to watch her at an angle, wide-eyed.

Beast Boy observed with distant reverence as his female teammate rearranged her position, tucking one hand beneath the crook of her right knee, the other remaining perched over her styrofoam cup. She looked away to the side, thinking. "It's...not that I don't want to be noticed. You make it sound like I'm diseased." She glared.

"Sorry," he chirped automatically.

Ignoring him, she continued, contemplating carefully her own words. "I just don't like it when everyone is looking. I'd rather...blend in. I like being different, but not when it means making a big deal out of myself."

Realizing that she was actually talking--openly, freely about herself--Raven's words got caught in her throat, right at the very bottom, before they could continue to form. She turned a brief shade of pink and waved a dismissive hand in the air. "That's what sucks about fame. It's not my thing." She looked back at him to see if he was listening.

He was.

"Are you serious? Oh man, I love being famous! All the fan mail, and the photo shoots, and the hot chicks--" he stopped in mid-sentence, looking at her in fascination. "You're, like, my polar opposite."
Raven smirked warmly. "You're just figuring that out?"

He shrugged with an adorable obliviousness, grinning sheepishly. "Guess so."

"You're painfully slow."

"Faster than you!"

"I meant mentally."

"...Oh. Well...yeah."

A certain pink-cloaked alter ego of Raven's giggled outrageously in her head. He's such an idiot, she thought fondly, pricking indents in the side of her cup with her thumbnail. The fluorescent dance of lights punctuated the darkness of the building, and they flickered over her, glowing omnisciently across the skin of her face and legs and fingers. Her ears were now accustomed to the music, her eyes adjusted to the lighting, and her taste buds in full awareness of the smooth tropic Frog In A Blender. She could sort of understand why he liked this place. It wasn't so bad.

Beast Boy appeared to be distracted, his empty paper cup sitting forlornly atop the counter like an abandoned child. He was looking at something far across the room. Raven's brows knitted as she followed his gaze, squinting past the blinding laser lights that twitched over the walls. Sure enough, a gang of tall, blonde women raved there, rolling hips and weaving their arms in figure eights. Raven sighed in exasperation. What was it with guys and blondes?

Just as she was about to drag him back to reality, there was a change in the room. Ravers' arms fell to their sides and they laughed in grand resignation, taking the hands of friends and significant others. Glow sticks were plunged into pockets or strung on cords around their necks. And, most noticeably, the music had changed. Instead of the shrill, pounding dance beats that had previously consumed the room, there was now a warm, rhythmic, swaying tune. A light guitar, a hint of percussion. The kind of tempo that was neither angry nor soothing, neither lovesick nor heartbroken. The sounds filling the building were calm and soft and steady, yet mobile, contented, simple. A bit like an easy 50s swing combined with a modern rock song. It did not sound like something they would play at a club like this.

She listened as an equally warm male voice sprung in to accompany the tune.

It's how the hustle goes,
See what the jukebox knows.
Put my last quarter on,
I play "Authority Song."

To Raven's dismay, Beast Boy was standing in front of her.

Her eyes darted from his face to his empty chair in puzzlement, as if trying to decide exactly how he'd moved without her seeing. Raven was normally very attentive; not much happened in the world that didn't rest beneath her watchful eye. How had he...?

Just as she opened her mouth to ask, he extended both hands eagerly, grinning with an elfish sort of evil. His eyebrows jerked up and down in mischievous invitation. "You wanna?"

Bewildered, Raven raised an eyebrow, though it was impossible for BB to discern beneath the shadow cast by her hood. She glowered ominously. "What?"

He beckoned impatiently, nodding towards the bobbing, swiveling, swaying bodies of the crowd behind them. His smile was broad and toothy and inviting, his hands floating aimlessly in midair in expectance of hers. Though Raven pretended otherwise, she knew very well what he wanted her to do. He wanted her to cast her reputation through a side window, forget about emotional inhibitions, stop trying to repress her smile, and dance.

The prospect was terrifying.

Raven forced herself to maintain eye contact. There wasn't anything to worry about. As long as she remained cool, collected, and certain, he would wave her off and push through the crowd to dance on his own. Or with someone else...one of those blondes, maybe. This wouldn't last long. All she needed was to pace her breath, calm her mind, slow the heart that was jumping and thrashing fitfully in her chest. All she needed was never to let him hear it.

Her lips hardened into a thin line. "I can't," she spoke firmly. "You know that."

Undaunted, Beast Boy continued to grin. "Yeah, but you never know what you can do until you try," he lectured childishly, a little green sage. Without another moment's hesitation, he took the girl's hands in his and gently pulled her from the stool.

Raven's eyes were wide and wary as he coaxed her forward, pulling her into the separate world of hazy daydream that was the dance floor. There was no stopping it. There was no question in her mind that she had just doomed herself for all eternity by standing up from that wiry chair. Beast Boy stepped backward carefully, talking nonstop, assuring her that it was easy. Raven couldn't say she was really listening. She was far too deafened by the warm, steady strum of guitar, the rhythmic beat of drums, and the heart pulsing with rapid profusion in her own ears. At this rate, it was sure to hammer a hole through her chest.

There was a sudden clearing in the mass of people, and Beast Boy maneuvered into it eagerly, still clutching the cool, pale hand of Raven. She looked so nervous...he drank in that expression as enthusiastically as if it were soymilk. A nervous Raven, something so rarely witnessed, was absolutely priceless.

As she allowed herself to be led to the break in the crowd, managing to preserve her tranquil exterior despite the condition of her insides (which were squirming so fiercely, she was half-afraid she'd jump out of her skin), Raven heard only one thing that he said. Beast Boy wore an expression of cocky victory, insane glee, and obvious confidence--all rolled into one.

"Just follow my lead."

At first, she rolled her eyes, her natural sarcasm surfacing. "Oh, please. Beast Boy..."

Her voice held a tone of warning, but she trailed off abruptly, and her eyes quickened over the room in pure alarm. She had sounded her last desperate attempt to refuse, and it had not worked. This could mean only one thing.

She was going to have to dance.

Here she was, Raven of the Teen Titans, meditative and cool and sedate, always casting the color blue wherever she promenaded. Raven, hater of attention, lover of solitude, companion of darkness. The devil's daughter, the enemy of emotion, the crowned queen of sarcasm and stoicism.

In the middle of a jam-packed club, surrounded by hundreds of multi-colored dancers in the dense moisture of a summer night...about to dance with her half-crazed, loud-mouthed, deadly persuasive teammate, of all people.

Raven had barely finished the thought before a whirling feeling launched over her, as if the ground had dropped from beneath her feet. She suddenly ceased to think. But she felt everything.

She felt the soft slide of her hood as it slipped back from her head in the swiftness of the motion, exposing her face to the view of the world. She felt the faint tickle of her hair where it brushed her cheeks, the light feeling her body possessed as she was guided unstoppably over the floor. She felt the warm pressure of her friend's hands in hers. Raven could not believe anything that was happening, exactly. She found it overwhelming that she didn't have to think or concentrate on anything to know exactly what she needed to do.

Above all, Raven felt the music...music that was nowhere remotely near her own style. But it was music, all the same.

Honesty or mystery?
Tell me, I'm not scared anymore.
I've got no secret purpose;
I don't seem obvious, do I?

A voice very unlike the one emitting from the jumbo speakers tore her from her trance.

"Told ya it was easy! You're a natural!" Beast Boy said, beaming with a fun-loving, nonchalant aura all about him. Raven could almost see it.

"I'm not doing it," she said quietly, catching his eye as he clutched her hands, leading her on.

"Yeah you are. Stop being so modest."

"No, I'm not. Seriously."

And she was right. It was a simple movement, improvised, spur-of-the-moment, carelessly constructed from an easy rhythm and a couple of recklessly drumming hearts. No experience required. Raven treaded the floor without having to do anything--it was more like she'd fallen into something beyond her control, something warm, fluid, sweet.

I'm here, that means something, doesn't it?
Oh, won't you dance with me a little bit?
You don't notice 'cause the music's too loud...

Beast Boy clicked his tongue. "Well, whatever. Lie to yourself all ya want. I know the truth! You're good!" He grinned haughtily. "Almost as good as me. And that's saying something."

Raven, who simply wanted to beat the egotism out of him, settled for shooting a menacing glare. Apparently, Beast Boy had developed an immunity to it; it had no affect on him whatsoever. She wondered if she should use that thing more sparsely.

At the same time, Raven wondered briefly if she should stop. Her head spun with color and sound, her heart thudded with surges of uncharacteristic delight. She felt dangerously happy. Not contented, not satisfied, not quietly glad behind her impenetrable wall of solitary existence. Happy. Raven was no stranger to the itch of a repressed smile or chuckle...but this was different. This scared her. She should never have allowed herself to get so close; physical contact could kindle random emotions in anyone, and she was no exception. Then there were the factors of the music, the crowd, the lighting...and the fondness she felt for one of her best friends.

As soon as the fear had come, though, it began to dissipate...the singer's voice subsided in the backdrop, letting the rhythmic sound of the music flow on its own. The warm, swinging contentment in the tune flooded the floor, skirted the walls, rose to the rafters. It had a magic that seemed to be concentrated in the places where their hands touched.

Suddenly, in a whir of motion, Raven felt herself being flung outwards. She held her breath--she was abruptly and unpleasantly aware that there was no warm pressure on her hands, no dark gaze looking up at her expectantly, no happy grin leading her on and pulling her in. For a moment she spun in the crowd as one of them, with no guidance in this strange world she was so unaccustomed to. She felt her body moving on its own.

"Go Raven!" Beast Boy cheered rampantly, waving his arms at her in triumph. "It's all you! Can't stay in denial now, can ya!" And he continued to dance, laughing blithely while he swayed against the noisy throng.

In a single breath Raven ricocheted back to her teammate, eyes burning with anger and fear and she-didn't-know-what. It was only a brush of luck that brought her crashing into him again, rather than one of those crude, selfish ravers. Grinning, he took her hands dutifully and ushered her round in simple movement.

"Stop it," she hissed, still angry at his casual, careless demeanor, which had discarded her into the spirited mass of dancers alone. "You know I can't--"

"What? Can't let go of me?"

He regretted the words the moment they flew out of his mouth. Why had he said that?

"I mean...heh, that's not what I meant, you know...don't mind me, just, uh...oops."

Well, he'd really done it now--Beast Boy bit his lip and cringed, waiting for her to kick him across the room. Or mentally throw him against the wall, hearing with satisfaction his howls of pain. Or, worst of all, break away and pull her hood up and glide silently to the exit.

But nothing of the sort happened. He was pretty sure he wasn't feeling any pain or rejection, but then again, could he be sure? Maybe she was numbing him out of sympathy while she beat his body into a bloody pulp.

Cautiously, Beast Boy opened one eye. There she was, still accepting his hands, still so shamelessly close to him, wearing an expression of undiluted shock. For once the dark girl looked completely confused, as if she were unsure about what to do. And he adored that look on her face. That feeling of knowing that he'd shaken her up, given her a taste of his insanity. Maybe, just maybe, the prospect of forgiveness was parading behind those eyes, and he would be spared...

"I hate you."

Her voice was certain, but her eyes begged to differ. Beast Boy grinned with relief, sinking back into the easy harmony of the music. They began to move again.

"I know."

Honesty or mystery?
Tell me, I'm not scared anymore.
Say anything you want
Already, I'm not scared anymore.
Honesty or mystery?
Want something else?
Just tell me;
I'm not scared anymore.I've got no secret purpose;
I don't seem obvious, do I?

With that, all conversation ceased to exist, save for the indomitable noise of the crowd around them. The two friends danced, lights blemishing their complexions, deafening music plaguing their ears--and as they did, they found themselves sucked into some other world far from the one they knew. Opposite poles in the same direction, they moved easily together amidst the sea of people, unnoticed by any bystanders. In their own dimension, honesty twined with mystery, and they were the only ones who existed. The outside world seemed to fade away before their very eyes. No statement was made about the joy of this, the comfort of this, the absolute wonder of all the things flying past them and before them. Nobody knew.

From the corner of her mouth, Raven smiled. Nobody would ever have to know.

The End