Raven wanted to make herself a cup of herbal tea.
The task should have been simple. Had she been back in their old "headquarters" in the south side of Jump City she would already be in her room enjoying her all time favorite beverage. But the fact of the matter was that she wasn't in the familiar—albeit cramped and smelly—apartment Robin and Cyborg had managed to scrounge up for them; she was in the middle of the kitchen in Titan's tower, secretly overwhelmed by the sleek metal and tinted windows panes that was her new home, utterly clueless as to where her tea-making supplies were stored.
Before, the tea kettle could always be found (usually half-filled with water) on the burner, the tin box holding her tea leaves was always on the bottom shelf in the plywood cupboard to the right of the kitchenette Cyborg had installed, while her fragile tea cup with the ravens and Azarath dancers painted on it could always be found one shelf above it. Now, the only thing she could locate was the tea kettle (it was on the flat surface of their new stove), and hot water meant nothing to her if there were no tealeaves or a teacup to pour it into.
At this point, the most efficient action would have been to utilize her powers and open all of the cabinets with them, thus easily exposing the whereabouts of her tea making necessities. Only it wasn't that easy; she had enough discipline to control her powers during the fights they often had with criminals (she had been taught to remain level-headed and relatively apathetic during battle), but when it came to performing simple acts (such as opening a door, or washing the dishes) her concentration fell short. It was because of this that she spent several hours within the confines of her room, meditating, focusing her mind; which, in turn, was the reason why she was staring blankly at the cabinet-filled room before her, wondering where at least the tea tin with her tea leaves was stashed.
Maybe she should have taken up Cyborg's offer for a grand tour when they had first moved in.
"Hey, you lookin for something?"
Her hands glowed black for a second before she recognized the voice. Whirling around, she pinned the green boy standing in the doorway with a glare,
"Does the unusual pigmentation of your skin inhibit your ability to see?"
"What else could I possibly be doing? Admiring the cabinets' paintjob?"
"I dunno. You just looked kinda lost…"
She turned away and remained silent, hoping the rookie would get the hint and leave her alone .
"So…I-it's Raven right?"
Still with her back to him, she nodded and walked up to one cabinet she hypothesized (via the ever reliable eeny-meeny-miny-mo method) her tea tin might be in. He followed her,
"That's cool. My name's Beast Boy," he hopped on to the countertop beside her, "I just turned fourteen years old; I like video games, tofu and long walks on the beach. How bout you beautiful?"
Raven feigned disinterest and merely shrugged, though, internally she marveled at the boy's—Beast Boy's—age. She found it hard to believe that the twig of a boy perched on the counter top was only a year younger than her; he looked at least twelve.
She had actually met him for the first time up on the rooftop three days ago…wearing a tutu, balancing on a unicycle and attempting to belt out 'Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong' without having his voice crack. Needless to say, this was the first time she had spoken to him, let alone studied him up close (after the initiation ceremony, without the annoyance of that bright pink tutu clashing with his green skin).
When she first saw him, she had perceived him as overly confident; some punk with a hero complex, decent fighting skills and probably a screwed up pass. But with him sitting next to her—thin, wish bone shoulder blades drawn up, comically large hands gripping the edge of the counter top—she saw an insecure little kid desperately trying to fit in and play with the big boys. The electric nervousness he possessed was evident in the very way he held himself, the way he maneuvered his awkward limbs; it was an aura most would liken to a wary animal seeking approval opposed to a teenage boy.
Perhaps the most confusing (irritating) thing about this boy, though, was how he channeled this nervous energy; from what little Raven saw of Beast Boy, both today and on the roof, he appeared to use his insecurities as an excuse to make a fool of himself. To become, in essence, Robin or Cyborg's entertainment monkey. Perhaps this was why he referred to himself as Beast Boy?
"So…not much of a talker huh?"
His high-pitched voice broke through her thoughts, causing her annoyance towards the new kid to mount. She just wanted to make herself a cup of tea and be alone; was that too much to ask?
"Well, don't worry, it's all good; I can talk enough for the both of us (an internal groan from Raven). Oh, dude, I know something that'll get you talking," he began excitedly swinging his legs back and forth so that his heels pounded out an erratic rhythm against the cabinets below him, "Okay, soo…What did the ghost say to the bee?"
An overdramatic pause.
"Boo bee!" He dissolved into a fit of pre-pubescent pitched giggles that quickly died when Raven didn't join him in his mirth. "Aw, you didn't think that was funny?"
Her answer was to silently glide a few feet away from her teammate in order to rummage through the cabinet directly across from him. Again, he didn't take the hint…
"Well I guess you wouldn't like that sort of a joke…erm…like, not because you don't got nice boob—uh, I mean, you wouldn't appreciate the joke cuz yer a girl and all…right. Next joke. Oh, here's one a chic would like: Why are men like parking spaces?"
'Because you can put a car on top of them and not feel bad?'
"Because all the good ones are taken!" He exclaimed, the beginnings of a nervous laugh in his voice as he stared expectantly at the back of her hooded head.
"You slay me with your feminist humor," she deadpanned, never ceasing her search for her tea things.
"Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all night."
"Uh…so," he scratched behind his ear, valiantly attempting to throw off the heavy silence that constantly fell upon them, "you into video games?"
Almost unconsciously she grit her teeth, struggling to stifle her annoyance "…not particularly."
"Aw, well that's too bad. Cuz there's this really awesome game that just came out, Mega Monkeys, and, oh man, it's sooo awesome! There's, like, this one level where—oh yeah, you're playing monkey characters in here by the way—anyway, there's this one level where you have to get the Sacred Banana which is at the center of this alter at the temple but just as you're getting there your partner Monkina betrays you! And then the evil dude, Lord Sladator, who's really a tiger pops up and is all like," he paused and cleared his throat before a distinctively tiger-esque roar rumbled from his thin chest,
"And then you're all like, 'Oh no you didn't dude,' and you go totally ape on his butt, like..." Again he paused, this time fully morphing into a small green monkey. At the sound of the animalistic chattering, Raven finally gave in and turned to look at him, though her expression remained stoic even when faced with a small, green monkey jumping up and down excitedly on the counter top,
"Well. That explains the name."
The monkey ceased its noise and—its small face momentarily creased in concentration—changed back into Beast Boy. He grinned,
"Yep; I can turn into any animal known to man."
"Super." She turned her attention back to the cabinet she was searching.
"How bout you? Are you called Raven cuz you can, like, talk to ravens or something?"
"….interesting theory. No."
"Oh. Guess that makes sense, I mean, Robin's called Robin and he can'ttalk torobins or anything like that, heh." He giggled, probablyat the image of their masked leader summoning a flock ofbirds with open arms,
"But any way, what can you do then?"
She didn't respond, fed up with his pointless chatter and overly intrusive questioning. If the annoying bugger wasn't going to leave, she just had to pretend he wasn't there.
"Okay, what is your deal? Did I, like, piss you off somehow earlier?"
"Do you have a thing against vegetarians or something? Or maybe you don't like funny guys? Do you just hate guys? Or do you just not like the color green?" In the middle of his sudden barrage of questions he had hopped off the counter and was now poking accusingly—annoyingly—at her back.
A brief pause was the only warning she gave before she turned fully on him, slapping his gloved hand away while trying to stop her eyes from glowing white with emotion. She answered his questions in a dry, curt tone,
"Surprisingly no. I didn't know—nor do I care—that you are a vegetarian. I would not place you under the 'funny guy' category, only you, and I have no hatred for something as mundane as a color."
She gave an exasperated sigh then walked pass him to open yet another cabinet (this one had over a dozen cans of Spam, macaroni and cheese boxes and the top half of a tiki torch to rummage through),
"You've never had an intelligent thought in your life, have you?"
He gaped at her, "Dude. Did you just straight up call me dumb?"
"No." She pushed aside a few more cans of Spam and, finding nothing, moved on to the next cabinet.
"Oh. Cool. Uh…so, are you calling me cute and funny, then?"
This time it was he who heaved a frustrated sigh, his voice cracking slightly at the end, "What do you think of me then?"
"I don't know you," she turned to face him, though her own was hidden within the shadow thrown by her hood, "But at the moment I find you to be an aggravating, immature ignoramus."
The tips of his ears flushed red with, what she could only assume was, indignation, "Oh yeah? Well you…you're just some wanna-be, creepy goth thing like Robin and Cyborg said you were."
Her hands balled into two fists at her side; why had those words stung her?
"Did they really tell you that?" she asked tonelessly.
He hesitated, looking down at his hands before glaring defiantly up at her, "Well no, but—"
She slammed the cabinet shut
"I think we're done here."
And before he could resume their pointless argument Raven turned on her heel and walked away. She could feel her cloak billowing behind her (the edges were licking at the back of her calves) and could sense Beast Boy's eyes following her, but she chose to ignore this and concentrate instead on keeping the new tower from imploding with her magic.
Now would be an excellent time for her tea things to show up.
"Oh yeah! Uh Raven?" His voice caused her to grimace; she had been so close to the door!
"Robin told me to tell you if I saw you that he packed your tea leaves and tea cup in a box that should be in your room by now."
Her body convulsively tensed, her hands now fisted so hard her nails made half moons into her palm,
"And you didn't tell me this earlier WHY?"
The end of her question was punctuated by the thunderous slam of every single cabinet in the kitchen being flung open at the exact same time.
It was only after Raven had willed the black energy still engulfing the cabinets back within her, after the echoes of her vented irritation and frustration died down, that Beast Boy dared to speak, his voice soft with awe,
"Dude….you totally jacked that from the Sixth Sense."
She tossed a glare over her shoulder and swept out the door.
A/N: Oh gosh. This little piece was just one massive headache; I've revamped this two times and still I'm not satisfied with the end result. Ah well, here's one a of six piece one-shot collection. I wanted to show how utterly at odds the pair are with each other, you know with Raven wanting to be alone and Beast Boy seeking companionship; I also wanted to show how immature both of them are, and how they both jump to conclusions in regards to one another. I may (and probably will) revise this when I'm done with the whole collection, try to make it a lot more interesting. I wanted to get something out before I leave to go camping though, so here you go, I hope I succeeded somewhat at portraying the rocky start of the Beast Boy and Raven relationship.
Oh, also, I apologize for the lack of fluff/funny-ness; I haven't really been feeling funny lately (darn you AP scores) and also fluffy-ness just wouldn't fit in at this point of their lives. Beast Boy's a bit tooimmature and isn't as skillful at hiding his insecurity,while Raven (the way Iperceive her)hasn't had much love and affection, let alone playful banter, in her life,and is focused wholly on controlling her powers.I consider this chapter more of an experimental character study than a real one-shot, though I do guarantee that there will be fluffy-ness coming soon; I just like a good build up.
Standard disclaimers apply, and flames will only be used as ammo for my flame thrower. Leave a review if you're feeling gracious.