I don't own the Teen Titans, though I wish I did. Or maybe just a pair of hot Tamaranian Princesses. Yum-yum.
When Beastboy wins a game with Raven, he manages to convince her to taking a trip to the beach with him in an attempt to let her have fun and be normal. Not Raven's strong points. Consequently, things don't go quite as he'd oh-so-masterfully planned. First there was the arrival of his arch-rival Aqualad, whom Raven seems smitten with, which was bad enough. But that, unfortunately, was the good news. Takes place some time after the events of 'Titans East,' and prior to 'Don't Touch that Dial.' Rated PG-13 just to be on the safe side, for action violence and some sappy moments.
"Rook takes Knight," remarked the near-monotone Raven, sliding her piece along the board to its current position, removing Beastboy's white knight and placing it beside the chessboard with the small collection she'd already collected. Including a number of Pawns, a Rook, a Knight, and even one of Beastboy's Bishops. His defenses were vastly dwindling before, what he'd decided to nickname 'the black scourge.'
They were playing chess. Beastboy was losing.
Why? Therein lies a tale.
Raven had been in her room, doing what she usually did in her room. Reading a very good, unnaturally thick book with so many long words that most readers at Titan's Tower would've need a second book, a dictionary, just to get past chapter one. Beastboy would've been lucky had he gotten past the first paragraph. And she'd been in her room reading the book since she'd awoken that morning. Beastboy had taken it upon himself to form a one-man rescue mission to save her from the darkness of her room and had, with a surprisingly bright idea. Challenging Raven to a game. Not a competition of stankball or anything like that, of course. A game of chess. One of the few games the sullen and overly serious Raven actually enjoyed, even though she wasn't terribly good at it.
One hour and twenty-five minutes later we rejoin Beastboy and Raven (white and black, respectively) as Beastboy ponders his latest move, scratching his head, rubbing his chin, and being overly dramatic in his thinking as he prepares to make a move. Raven simply continues to watch the board, already thinking of her next move based on how Beastboy acts.
The other Titans were wandering about the room in a variety of other tasks. Starfire was cooking some homemade Tamaranian stew (cheerfully throwing in a number of items that would have been lethal to humans), Robin and Cyborg were playing the combat game they enjoyed so much. None of them paid more than cursory interest in Raven and Beastboy's game.
"Uhmmmmm... hmmmm... Queen uh..." Beastboy muttered, starting to move his piece forward... but stopped. Raven was watching him. He quickly slid it back into place, thus canceling his move. He hadn't taken his hand off the Queen just yet. "Uhh..."
"Sometime this millennia, if possible," said Raven sarcastically. "I'd really like to win and head back to my room."
"You sound pretty sure you're going to win," remarked Beastboy, grinning playfully, forgetting for the moment he was, in fact, losing. He leaned on his side of the table. "Why don't we make this more interesting?"
"What do you mean? A wager? You know neither of us has any money," she replied. None of the Titans were legal age to gamble either. Didn't stop Cyborg and Beastboy from trying to wager off their chores with those ridiculous racing games they were always playing.
"I know that! Just a friend little bet," he said, his grin spreading across his green face until it nearly split his head in half. And Beastboy only ever smiled like that when he had something devious on his mind. Raven inwardly groaned.
"What do you suggest?" she asked, leaning forward on her elbows, idly blowing a loose strand of purple hair out of her eyes. She didn't really care what he wagered, she was going to win. It would take a miracle for Beastboy to win now.
"You win, I don't bug you for a whole month. Honest. No singing, no telling jokes, heck I won't stay in the same room as you if you don't want me too. For a full 30 days!" he announced proudly.
Raven was so shocked her head nearly hit the chessboard before she caught herself. Was he serious? A whole month free of Beastboy's pestering and joke-telling and more peace and sanctity in her room to read her books...
... all alone...
... in the dark.
Raven shook her head, shaking off her feelings of loneliness. No, she'd be a fool not to take advantage of this. And she was so close to winning anyway! She'd done the math, all her pieces were in place. She wasn't a masterful strategist like Robin but she was a hell of a lot better than Beastboy, and she was winning damnit! She almost leapt out of her seat to accept his offer but then immediately stopped herself. An inner voice giving her warning. This was Beastboy, it was telling her. He's smirking. He's got something up his sleeve. He didn't yet tell you what happens if HE won!
He won't win, she thought.
"... and if you win?" she asked cautiously, one eyebrow quirked, her face betraying none of her inner thoughts.
"Then you have to come with me to the beach for a whole day!" said Beastboy triumphantly, laying out his terms on the table. "And have fun!"
"I don't do 'fun'," she replied coldly, her eyes narrowing.
"Awww come on, it's just one day! Just one day I'm asking you to come down to the beach and enjoy the surf and turf! And wear a bathing suit! I don't want you just hanging out on the beach in your cloak reading some boring book all day."
"My books are not boring," she stated, her voice still cold. "And I don't have a bathing suit."
"Oh but friend Raven," chimed in Starfire, who'd been paying attention to their conversation. "What of that violet item of clothing you purchase a few days ago from the mall of shopping and hid in your room? Was that not what you called a suit of bathing?"
Raven's eyes narrowed dangerously, and her teeth ground down hard against one another, nearly sending sparks into the air.
Starfire noticed, and wisely backed away. "It was... uhm... meant to be a secret?" she wondered aloud.
Raven glared darkly, and Starfire wisely turned and fled back to her cooking. Then Raven's head swiveled on her neck like a lighthouse's light and she shot daggers from her eyes at Robin and Cyborg (who'd paused their game to listen in) and they quickly turned around and went back to gaming. Finally, her lavender gaze (tinged with crimson) fell on the unfortunate Beastboy, who looked on the verge of morphing into a cheetah and tearing out of the room quick as possible.
Then, she smirked. But it wasn't a nice smirk. It made Raven look downright evil.
"Alright, Beastboy. If that's what you really want. If you win, I'll go to the beach with you. I'll have "fun"," she said, making quotation marks with her fingers. "I'll wear a bathing suit that, until now, has not seen the light of day," she said with a grin, arms folded across her chest. It was quite obvious to Beastboy she thought she couldn't fail.
"Deal!" he all but shouted, reaching across the chessboard and grabbing her hand for a firm handshake, the agreed upon way to settling a bet's terms. She nodded, shaking his hand back, and returned to the game.
"So go ahead and move already Beastboy," she stated, eager to be finished and start enjoying her Beastboy-antic-free month.
"Gladly!" he dramatically pronounced, then with a flourish picked up his Queen and knocked her down a few black and white squares, passing by Raven's Black King (now was not the time) to claim her Knight, who'd been protecting the King not unlike their real medieval counterparts. A black aura engulfed Raven's Rook as it slid across the board to knock aside Beastboy's Queen, neatly snatching her from the game. She grinned triumphantly. His best piece was gone. The game was hers!
... that, however, is when she noticed the Pawn.
... that is when her vision seemed to clear, and she took a good long look at the chess board. Though there were few white pieces than black, they were arranged in a very neat configuration that, until now, she hadn't noticed.
... she'd been duped! Beastboy had deliberately sacrificed his Queen to get her attention, knowing she couldn't resist snatching it up. That and to take out the protection of the Black King! Now... oh god.
Beastboy smirked and, with a deliberate flourish, picked up the Pawn in question. No longer did he look confused, bewildered, or fearful of losing, but confident. Overly so, in her opinion. He'd had this planned from the moment he'd asked her to game. She should've sensed it but her telepathy was limited when she wasn't actually concentrating on using it. A drawback of her meditation which suppressed her powers.
The green-skinned metamorph placed down the Pawn beside Raven's King in exactly the position it needed to be, and she saw it was indeed trapped, it's escape cut off by a few of her own pieces and some of his, which she hadn't noticed until just that moment. Even before he pronounced this dreadful words, she knew exactly what was coming.
The next morning came entirely too early for Raven. Normally very meticulous in her habits she was a night owl, who preferred to rise late in the day if possible and retire much later in the evening after finishing off a good book. Unfortunately, today was the day she'd been forced to come to the beach with Beastboy for a "fun" time. She expected this to be nothing short of a disaster.
So it was she stood in the hallway at six in the morning, her blue cloaked wrapped tightly around her body to prevent a glimpse of what she was wearing underneath, and a pair of sandals on her feet. She'd agreed to the pact and was honor-bound to fulfill it to the letter, and thus she'd dragged the bathing suit out of her drawers and changed with great reluctance. She was waiting for Beastboy, who'd woken her up them promptly forgotten half of his things and had to rush back to his room to retrieve them. Honestly, the metamorph gave new meaning to the term scatterbrained.
Finally, Beastboy was there again, with his arms laden with all sorts of beach-related equipment. Folding chairs, beach ball, umbrella, beach towels, and more. He was barely able to hold it all and still maintain his balance.
"Oh!" he said suddenly, just as Raven was about to teleport them. She lowered her hand and glanced at him in frustration. "Forgot the suntan lotion... one moment Rae," he said, dropping the rest of his gear and shifting into a bird, making his way back down the hallway to his room to get it. Raven sighed, tapping her sandaled foot, and waited impatiently for him to return.
"This is going to be pure hell, isn't it?" she muttered to no one in particular.
Just herself and Beastboy on a remote beach several miles off the coast of Jump City, on a tourist attraction island few visited. Too expensive. But of course nothing was too good for the cities resident superheroes, and they'd been given special permission to use it for a day. No one to bother them. Had Cyborg, Robin, or Starfire been coming along, Raven might've felt reasonably better. As it was, Robin and Starfire had a date of sorts planned for the day, and Cyborg claimed he didn't care much for beaches. Though his state-of-the-art titanium was waterproof it didn't take well to sand in his joints, they'd break him down like so much scrap in no time. Thus, only Beastboy and Raven were attending her beach trip from hell.
"Pure hell," she repeated.
Beastboy picked up the suntan lotion (a must, if Raven was along. That pale skin of hers would burn in seconds if he wasn't around to help her) and made his way back down the corridor towards the main doors when he could've sworn he heard laughter coming from the nearby room of Cyborg. Pausing, he glanced inside, to see the Mechanical and Boy Wonders talking and laughing.
"Oh come man, no way she'll last that long," said Cyborg. "Beastboy'll be done in an hour, tops!"
"No way. She won't do it out in public, she'll wait until they get home. I guarantee."
"Bet?" asked Cyborg, offering his robotic arm. Robin clasped it in his, and shook.
"Betting how long it takes me to get Raven to smile?" asked Beastboy, interrupting their conversation. Both teens glanced at him, a little surprised he was still here, and awkwardly shook their heads.
"Uhm, actually Beastboy," explained Robin. "We were betting how long it would take until Raven killed you."
Beastboy felt a shiver go down his spine. Then, with a frown, glanced over at Cyborg.
"Thanks for the vote of confidence rustbucket!" he called out, turning back to head back and re-join Raven. He'd show them. He'd make Raven smile, damnit. They'd have fun. And she could stop being so insufferably depressed and creepy all the time.
"I'll be certain to send flowers to your funeral, saladhead!" Cyborg called out as the door slid shut.
Arriving at the beach was little trouble, Raven arranged for a short teleportation jump, and the two of them were on the beach in mere moments. And what a beach it was. Even the normally quiet and stoic Raven took a moment to let her mouth hang open in awe.
The tiny island of Mofire was several miles of the coast of Jump City. By peculiar luck it was small enough to not attract too much attention, yet large enough to house a working tourist attraction. People from Jump City (generally those who could afford it, travel to and from the island could become expensive) came here to enjoy the beaches. And with good reason. No hard, rocky black beaches like the sort you usually found in parts of California, but a fine, ivory white sand tinted with gold that stretched out as far as the eye could see, the sea-blue waters splashing against it with a soft rhythm that was at once alluring and peaceful. Just past the beaches itself, the island was a tropical paradise with palm trees and the like. The hotel and accommodations usually used by the public were on the opposite end of the island, and of course the mayor of Jump City had requested that the resident heroes be given their privacy for this days outing. Beastboy's plans.
Now that they were here, Raven allowed a tiny smile to touch her pale lips. It was very peaceful. Very soothing. Despite her initial thoughts she might actually enjoy herself over this day.
A sudden crash grabbed her attention, and she glanced over her shoulder at the green-skinned metamorph, who had been trying to set up the beach chairs and the umbrella to keep the worst of the sun's rays off of them. And had somehow managed to wind up in a position that could only be described as pretzel, wedged halfway between a chair with a umbrella wedged between his arms. He looked remarkably uncomfortable, and as he turned to see she had spotted him, equally embarrassed. He rubbed the back of his head nervously.
"Uhm... little help here?" he asked.
Pure hell, she thought, rolling her eyes. Then, she waved her hand in an absent-minded motion, and the chair, umbrella, and Beastboy were engulfed in a black aura and hurled into the air... and allowed to gracefully drop down into their appropriate positions, the chair, then the umbrella behind it, then Beastboy himself, landing right into the chair.
"Woooh... nice!" he shouted, smiling over at her with his lopsided grin. Then, without wasting another moment he tore off his shirt and kicked off his sandals, stripping down to his bright purple bathing trunks (normally would never have worked on any male individual, but Beastboy's unusual pallor helped him pull it off) and ran down to the water with his arms waving at his sides like a six-year-old, diving head-first into the icy cold waters and swimming out a little ways.
"Such a child," she half-muttered to herself, taking her sweet time and lying down on the beach chair, watching Beastboy with only a passing interest. After all, with no books there was little worth doing at the moment.
And Beastboy was hardly any child. He was nearly fourteen, after all, but apart from his size he looked far older. He barely came up Raven's chin (and Raven was on the smallish side herself) but his body was lean and sculptured from half a decade of battling crime and preparing to battle that crime. He did not work out as constantly as did say, the Boy Wonder, but he certainly kept in shape. And now watching him, seeing his green skin so wet, his short green bangs clinging to his forehead...
Raven angrily pushed down those emotions, sealed them up back in her mind, and tried to focus herself. What was she thinking anyway? Beastboy wasn't cute, she told herself angrily. He wasn't even funny.
In the back of her mind, Raven knew she was lying to herself. But she'd been living a lie for so very long, out of necessity, that the lie had become believed by the one who had made it.
Sighing, Raven folded her legs underneath her and placed her palms on her knees, facing up, closing her eyes. Doing her best to ignore the sounds of Beastboy enjoying the water and just focused on the water itself. On the soothing, steady rhythm of the waves. And tried to meditate.
Raven sighed inwardly, allowing a single eye to pop open to spot Beastboy, waving excitedly.
"Come in and enjoy the water!"
"... later," she managed to say, when she could think of an appropriate response. If at all, she added silently.
"Hey come on you promised!" he said back at her, wading his way back towards the shore and shaking off droplets of water like a dog... not even bothering to metamorph into one to complete the illusion. "You said you'd come here and have fun!"
"Our definitions of fun have entirely different meanings," she replied, closing her eye again.
"Well at least get into your suit! You promised me that much, at least!" he retorted, standing in front of her.
Raven sighed again, this time outwardly, and realized she'd never have peace until she complied. Without hesitation she stood up, barely three feet in front of Beastboy, and reached up with a quick, angry motion towards the clasp of her blue cloak. Beastboy, mistaking the angry gesture for an attack, stumbled backwards and fell onto his butt in the sand, peering up at Raven. She undid the clasp angrily and tore off her cloak, hurling it aside with a single gesture, and allowed Beastboy to see her as she'd been most of the day, concealed by her cloak.
Raven was a bathing suit the color of crushed grapes, a dark violet that seemed to perfectly match her hair. Despite Beastboy's profound hopes that Starfire had convinced her to buy a two-piece thong bikini, the suit was a one-piece that covered Raven almost as completely as her regular sorcerer's clothes did. Only this suit allowed her arms up to her shoulders and a portion of her neck to be visible, as the suit plunged down low, though it stopped a good ways above her developing teenaged bosom. Her make-up was gone, even Raven seemed to realize that it would be ruined in the water and salty air, and the only mark on her face now was the red charka gemstone on her forehead.
Beastboy hung there with his mouth slack, and peered up at Raven in surprise, shock, and awe. She looked... totally different. If not for the somewhat dour expression on her face he could see no similarities between the sullen sorceress at Titan's Tower and the girl standing before him.
His plan was working. Now if only he could make her smile.
"Raven... wow... you look..." he started to stutter out.
Beastboy and Raven's head snapped up nearly simultaneously and directly to their right, both shocked beyond belief they'd been surprised by the newcomer in their midst. Neither of them had sensed him coming, not heard so much as a footfall in the sand.
The newcomer was a young boy not much older than Raven or Beastboy, perhaps sixteen at the most, with long black hair that was perpetually damp with water and clung to his head and down the back of his neck. His eyes were a curious white on black that gave him an exotic, alien look, which was complimented by the strange uniform of blue top and black trousers, gloves, and boots he wore, separated by white jagged lightning bolts. A closer look confirmed an initial guess, the uniform was made to resemble fish scales.
Raven and Beastboy both relaxed somewhat. They jogged over to meet the stranger. Who, in actuality, was not so much of a stranger to them.
"Aqualad... what brings you here?" asked Raven, ignoring his comment on her attire for the moment. If Aqualad had left his watery home there might have been trouble for the Titans, particularly if he'd contacted them.
"Just in the neighborhood on a routine patrol and I happened to sense my green-skinned buddy was in the area," he said, giving a nod of his head to indicate Beastboy.
"Is that normal for Titan's East to patrol this far?" asked Raven, quirking an eyebrow in curiousity.
"Well normally no but I took some time off to go patrol my homeland," he said. "Plus, I had to get out of the Tower. Speedy and Bumblebee arguing for leadership rights of East again. I needed some breathing space."
"I hear that," said Beastboy. He didn't know either of the Titan East co-leaders very well but he knew how egos could sometimes clash. Whenever Cyborg and Robin had an argument (getting more frequent these days) he also tended to go out on a random patrol or for a walk to get out of the Tower.
"Anyway, though I'd drop by and see if you needed a hand, but looks like I'm not needed here," concluded Aqualad.
"Nah, just takin' some time off," said Beastboy, placing both hands behind the back of his head non-challantly.
Aqualad took another look at Raven, giving her a once-over. Raven, despite herself, felt her cheeks grow hot at his look. "So I see," remarked the dark-haired Atlantean. "Well I've no pressing matters down below at the moment... you two care for company?"
"Uh..." started Beastboy.
"Uh..." started Raven.
"Yes!" they said simultaneously, then glanced at each other in surprise. They started talking practically at the same time, leaving Aqualad confused as he glanced between them, trying to listen to two sentences being hurled at him at once.
"There's really no need..."
"Oh you'd be more than welcome..."
"... really you should head back below..."
"... we'd be glad to have some company..."
"... meet up with your fish-buddy Tramm..."
"... really we'd love for you to stay!"
"... really there's no need for you to stay!"
A full minute passed, during which time Aqualad shook his head, trying to decipher what had just been said, glancing between Raven and Beastboy. Finally, after a full moment he caught up and offered a smile, directing it at Raven.
"I'd be glad to stay for a while," he said generously, speaking to her.
Had she been an animated cartoon character, little pink hearts would have started floating above Raven's head at that moment. Her cheeks were burning crimson against her pale flesh. "T-Thank you," she managed to stutter out, politely inviting him over towards the beach chair and umbrella they'd set up. A quick flick of her TK powers and the second chair they'd brought along joined the first. Aqualad offered some sort of comment concerning Raven's attire, and she responded with another blush and a small laugh. None it was heard by the third member of their clique, who was still standing exactly where he was, a short distance away.
If Raven had little cartoon hearts floating above her head, Beastboy had fumes coming out his ears.
How dare he! This was supposed to be my time alone with Raven! My time to make her smile, damnit! And Aqualad pops up out of the blue (literally) and steals it all away from me?! Not on my watch. Beastboy trudged back towards the chairs to join them, his mind already formulating a new plan.
One doomed to failure.
No real comic references to the story yet, save the name-calling between Cyborg and Beastboy (apparently they did it all the time in the comics). This is my first attempt with a love-triangle so I humbly apologize if it turns out to be less than garbage in the eyes of many. This story was primarily inspired by the events of 'Deep Six,' where we see the first signs of Raven having a crush on Aqualad and Beastboy being Aqualad's rival. Next time, things really start to go downhill.