Disclaimer- I do not own Teen Titans, which makes me very sad…
A/N- Review responses next chappie. Promise.
One week later…
Beastboy stood in front of Raven's door, staring hard at the brass numbers nailed on the wood. He smoothed back his hair, which didn't do much, and looked down at his uniform with a pained expression. It killed him to have to visit her while he was wearing it, but it
was the only outfit he owned... Swallowing his pride he raised his hand to the door and knocked 3 times. Immediately there was a clatter from within, something that sounded like metal had fallen. There was a yell, a thump, then some curses. And Beastboy felt his heart stop when a male voice was heard from within.
"Is everything alright?"
"Ya I'm fine… (more curses)… damn door, who is it this time…?" That voice was recognizable as Raven's. A few moments later the door flew open.
"What do you wa… Beastboy?" Raven's voice dropped to a whisper of disbelief as she said his name.
"Hey." He replied weakly, giving her a small smile. Beastboy couldn't help but notice that she had changed. Her regular leotard and cape had been replaced by a black t-shirt, and a pair of dark jeans. She was wearing a white smock that had smudges of lilac and blue paint smeared on it and bare feet poked out from under the hem of jeans. Her hair was pulled back into a small ponytail and she held a paint brush in her hand. Beastboy was about to ask her about it when a dark-haired man appeared behind Raven's shoulder.
"I'm going to go." He said glancing at Beastboy who was currently glaring at him. "I'll be back later okay?" Raven nodded and gave the guy a smile.
"Thanks Max. I'll see you then." Max exited, and gave Raven a small wave which made Beastboy tense, before disappearing into the elevator. Now that they were alone Raven turned her attention back to him.
"It's nice to see you." She said giving Beastboy the same small smile she had given Max.
"You too." He replied stiffly not returning the smile. Suddenly he found himself wishing that he hadn't visited.
"I have to say compared to life at the tower things have been pretty dull." Raven said leaning against the door frame. Beastboy nodded in understanding.
"So am I allowed to come in or does your new place have the same rules as your old room?" He asked. Raven slapped a hand to her forehead.
"Of course. Sorry I'm not used to entertaining guests." She said turning to go back inside. Beastboy followed taking in his first view of Raven's new apartment. The walls were mostly white except for the back one which had a small patch of lilac paint and the carpet was a dark cream color. There were three wood cabinets against the wall and a fridge so Beastboy guessed that was the kitchen. The rest of the room was pretty much bare except for a table with 4 chairs and a ladder that had fallen over by the partly painted wall. As he walked further inside Raven gestured to one of the chairs at the table and Beastboy sat down.
"Do you want anything to drink? I'm afraid all I have is milk and water right now." She said opening the fridge and peering inside.
"Water is fine." Beastboy said glancing around the room again. There was an open door across the room and he could see a blue walls and the corner of a bed inside. The same bed that used to be in Raven's room at the tower. For some reason that information gave him a weird feeling in his stomach. His thought were interrupted however when a glass was placed in front of him. Raven sat down in another chair and leaned onto the table with one elbow, resting her head on her hand.
"So how are things going?" Asked Beastboy feeling awkward.
"Good but busy. I've had people in and out of here all week, repairing, bringing furniture, the usual things that come with moving." Beastboy nodded and took a sip of water. It was thick going down his throat.
"So Max seems nice." He said trying to sound casual but in reality his stomach was doing flipflops.
"He's been a big help." Raven sighed and pushed back a strand of hair that had fallen into her eyes. Beastboy's grip on the cup tightened.
"So are you two… you know… dating?" He asked kicking himself for sounding so desperate. Raven snorted and much to his surprise started to laugh. This was the second time he heard Raven laugh over the past two weeks and the whole experience shocked him so all he could do was sit there wide-eyed watching.
"Please!" She said trying to compose her face. "Is that what you've been worried about ever since you stepped inside?" Beastboy blushed and gave her a sheepish smile.
"Max was here delivering some furniture. You don't honestly believe that one week out of Titans tower would change me that much?" Raven raised in an eyebrow at him.
"Well, I mean it was sorta normal to assume that when you find a guy in a girl's apartment who says he'll come back later, that they might be you know…" Raven blushed and resisted the urge to slap him forcefully across the face.
"And since when did you have the right to assume anything about me." She asked feeling her eye twitch in irritation. Beastboy looked away. She was right, it had been wrong of him to do that.
"I'm sorry." He replied truthfully. "Can I make it up to you by taking you out for a coffee..er..tea? No offense but this water taste like chlorine." He said picking up the glass and shifting its contents around with a disgusted look on his face. Raven stiffened slightly at his offer and looked over to her half painted living room/kitchen/dining room wall. 'I suppose I could take a break…' She thought slowly. 'We'd just go out for a quick drink, not like it was a date or anything….'
"Okay." She sighed and Beastboy smiled at her warmly. "You can fill me on what's been happening at the tower." Raven added trying to make it sound that their outing would have a purpose. At her words however Beastboy's smile drooped slightly.
"Sure… you probably want to know about the others…." He said standing up, but his words were almost sad, if not bitter.
They walked over to a small outdoor café about a block away from Raven's apartment. Few words were exchanged on the way, and the air was slightly awkward. Raven felt strange in his presence, as if he were a complete stranger rather than a friend who she had spent 6 years of her life with. It occurred to her then that although she had lived with him and seen him daily, she knew close to nothing about the green boy. At the café Beastboy offered her a chair before sitting down himself. It was much too polite for Raven's taste. The silence between them was finally broken as a waiter came up to ask for their order.
"I'll have an iced coffee, and she'll have a cup of green tea with honey and two lemons on the side." The waiter nodded while jotting it down, then walked away to fetch the drinks. Raven meanwhile stared at Beastboy in shock.
"How did you know I take my tea with honey and two lemons?"
"Well after sitting with you at breakfast for six years you'd think I'd at least know how you drink it." He said smiling at her again. Raven looked down feeling guilty. She had never really noticed what he ate and drank for the most part, and the fact that he knew more about her than she did him, bothered her.
"Of course." She replied as if the answer had been obvious. Raven shifted uncomfortably in her chair. "So what's new with you and everyone else?"
"Well… a lot's happened since you left." Raven looked up, curiosity evident in her eyes.
"I guess the first thing you'd want to know is Star and Robin are getting married and so are Cyborg and Bee." Raven started at this information. She hadn't been expecting something like this so soon.
"That's great." She said forcing a smile on her lips. Beastboy didn't even bother to try.
"Cyborg's moved over to the Titan's East base. He's been there over the past couple days, but Star and Robin are still in the tower. He's been looking at houses though, as a wedding gift to her." She saw him swallow painfully and she knew it must be hard to see his past fall apart before his eyes in just a few days. Raven opened her mouth to express her sympathy but was cut off as the drinks set in front of them. She went to stir in her honey and lemon, while Beastboy sipped on his coffee half-heartedly. Silence was established once again. Raven looked over Beastboy as she sat there with her steaming tea in hand. Her eyes traveled from his slightly dirtied uniform to his somewhat pale face and tired eyes. Those eyes which had shown a bright emerald green at her surprise party, had dulled to an almost lifeless gray. It pained her even more to know she had caused it.
"How are you doing?" She asked with genuine concern. Beastboy looked up from his coffee and sighed.
"Well I can't say this past week has been the greatest for me, I mean I know I should be happy for my friends, for you, but it's hard in a way I guess. Change has always been hard for me but I know it's my fault for not seeing it coming."
'Or more like not wanting to see it.' Raven thought.
"You weren't expecting it to happen so fast." She said, trying to soothe him. Beastboy merely snorted.
"Let's face it Raven. I didn't want to grow up. I liked life as it was and I thought by ignoring the changes and blocking out the future, it would stay the same." He stared at his coffee angrily as he spoke.
"It was a rude awakening." Raven reasoned.
"More like a knee in the groin." He said bitterly, and Raven smiled inwardly, glad to see he hadn't lost his sense of humor. Raven stirred her tea thoughtfully, watching the contents form a small whirlpool in her cup. It reminded her of her life right now. A swirling mess that threatened to suck her under if she let her guard down for too long.
"What are you going to do now?" Raven asked.
"Well I'm sure as hell not going to be staying in the tower anymore. I guess I'll find a place like you did and move in."
"You'll use your government savings I take it." Beastboy's eye dropped in shame.
"There's nothing to use." He said and Raven looked up at him in shock.
"You spent your savings?" She asked angrily, glaring at him from across the table. He chuckled nervously.
"There always seems to be a lot of money until you actually need it." Raven's eyes bore into him, like a mother's whose child has spoiled their appetite by eating too many cookies before dinner.
"So how on Earth do you think you're going to buy an apartment? Sorry to break it to you but, unlike at the tower, things in the real world cost money."
"Don't you think I know that!" He spat back at her, with a venom she had never seen him use. Raven drew back, unsettled by behavior. He noticed this though, and his expression softened.
"I'm sorry." He said looking ashamed, "Things have been rough and well I guess it gets to you after a while." Raven nodded, understanding his words fully. She sighed and looked around at the other people talking, laughing, sitting happily as they sipped their drinks. A group of friends who looked like they attended the university, were huddled around a table chatting, large smiles pasted on their faces. A few tables away a couple held hands while sharing a fancy looking coffee, each lost in the bliss of love. Every person young and old here radiated happiness, but somehow Raven felt the warmness evade their table. Instinctively she reached to grab her cloak and draw it tighter around her, cursing in her mind when her fingers closed on empty air. Beastboy noticed this and paused the chewing of his straw to look at her closely. She looked lost somehow, out of place or maybe it was just the way she looked around with an air of uncertainty and unfamiliarity. The word vulnerable came to his mind, and it scared him to know he had just put that word and Raven in the same thought. It was almost like an oxymoron to him. A part of Beastboy urged him to take advantage of such a rare event while another part wanted to comfort her and take away that feeling. Her hand was lying limply on the table just a short distance away from him, and his fingers twitched on his cup as he fought a raging battle in his mind.
'Come on, just reach out and take it. She looks so lonely and it would make her feel better to know she has a friend who cares.' He reasoned.
'What if she takes it the wrong way? What if she thinks you're hitting on her? She'd hate you, and she'd probably kick your sorry ass from here to the next millennium.' Another voice added. Beastboy sat torn between the choice of comforting the one he cared for most, and the possibility of rejection accompanied by pain. In the end concern for Raven won out. Tentatively he reached out with his gloved hand trying his best to keep it from shaking, and set it lightly on top of Raven's pale one. She started as she was shaken from her train of thought and her large violent eyes locked with his, emotions flickering through them rapidly. He swallowed the lump that had risen in his throat and tried to speak.
"Everything will turn out okay. I promise." He said giving her one of his famous grins. Raven lifted a corner of her mouth slightly in response before sliding her hand out from under his and setting it in her lap. She looked down at her tea almost shyly, another word that Beastboy would never associate Raven with. This strangeness startled him more than ever. He always looked at Raven as the solid one, the one who was never shaken by anything. She was his rock in a way, anchoring him to reality, always providing a soft tug whenever he drifted too far. But here she was, as lost as he was. They were both drifting through a fog of uncertainty, wondering if and when they would reach the end.
"There is some good news out of all this." Said Beastboy suddenly and Raven looked up, impassive as ever.
"You see, my parents…. they brought in a little more than the average income and when they d- …. Well they left me everything they had." Raven was intrigued by the sudden mention of his parents. He had never once mentioned them before, and the way he talked about them made it seem like he had loved them very much, unlike her own.
"Are you saying that because of you're inheritance, you're…rich?" She asked.
"In a sense. It makes me feel horrible though. It's almost like I'm taking money I don't deserve. They practically died to save me, and now being the great son I am, I'm living off the money they worked hard to make."
"They loved you. They would have wanted you to help you in some way since they couldn't be there for you. You're not stealing Beastboy, it's your money now, your parents gave it to you for a reason." He gave her a small smile before looking down at his coffee, which he was poking at absentmindedly with a mangled straw.
"They did love me. I miss them terribly, and it bothers me because I find myself forgetting things about them. I know it seems stupid, but I can't remember what my mother's favorite color was, or when my dad's birthday is. But somehow they knew me through and through. Even when I was 7, which was when they died, they somehow knew I would turn out a little irresponsible."
"What do you mean by that?" Asked Raven feeling confused now.
"I'm not allowed to receive my inheritance till I turn 18. It was written in my parent's will. And it was a good thing they did that. Look what happened to my other savings."
"But you're not 18 yet are you?"
"No. Not for another 4 months." He replied.
"So for now you're still broke."
"Pretty much." Beastboy sighed and glanced absentmindedly at the couple a few tables away. Raven sipped her tea, not really tasting it. She had come to a dilemma in her mind. There was the option to ignore Beastboy's predicament and let him struggle on his own for four months while she lived comfortably in an apartment that could probably house two. Or she could choose the right thing to do and let him use the apartment until he could collect his inheritance. The choice was up to her. Suddenly it struck Raven that Beastboy's visit had a little more motive behind it besides a simple 'hi' and some small talk to catch up on old times. Had he come to her looking for a possible place to stay? She stared hard at him for few moments, as if this would somehow give her the answer, but was forced to stop when he starting choking on his coffee out of nervousness. Her look often did that to people.
"What is it?" He asked somewhat alarmed. Raven gave a small shrug and turned away, aware that she had left Beastboy completely confused by her behavior. Slowly she mulled over the pros and cons of her dilemma, weighing the consequences for each option. 'If I let him stay, he would probably drive me up the wall, and it would be very awkward living in such close quarters. He messy to boot, obnoxious, annoying, and what would happen if he wanted to bring a girlfriend over?' She chewed her lip in thought. 'Although if I did let him stay, it would help me adjust better probably, it would give me some company, he could help out around the place, and he would owe me big time for a favor like that.' Raven liked the sound of that last thought. She glanced over at him again sharply. Her eyes ran over him harshly, analyzing everything, from the way he was chewing at his straw to the constant bouncing of his foot against the base of the table. She saw his messy attire, his childlike manner, even the way he sat bothered her. She could also see he was trying hard to ignore her stare, looking off in the other direction determinately, but even so a small bead of sweat trickled from his hairline. As it slid down his face slowly and steadily, it occurred to Raven with a pang of guilt that she always saw his imperfections, his flaws. She never had truly looked at him with the intention of finding good. It had always been for criticism. Closing her eyes briefly, Raven tried to purge all the negativity from her mind, taking a deep breath and letting all out in a soft almost inaudible sigh. Then she opened her violet eyes and looked again. He was still Beastboy, still the same person she had saw before, yet different somehow. She looked again, but softer, more gently. First thing she noticed was the color of his skin, a smooth creamy green that catching to the eye, almost giving off a glow of its own. She saw how his hair, although messy help accent his face, a darker green that his skin but contrasting nicely. She traced his profile, smoothing over his forehead to his nose, to his lips. He was a good looking guy, Raven had to admit, but she was searching deeper. She saw the way his eyes softened as he looked at two little kids a few tables away, a brother and a sister laughing. Raven knew that Beastboy had a good heart, and good intentions although often enough he failed to express them in a way appreciated by others. He had tried more times than she could count to do something nice for her even if it did usually only serve to aggravate her but Raven had to look beyond that. And now the least that she could do was repay the favor one last time.
"You can stay with me." Raven's voice shook ever so slightly as the words passed her lips, but it was too late to swallow them now. Beastboy looked at Raven confused.
"Excuse me?" He asked out of disbelief.
"You know what I said so don't make me repeat it. Now accept the offer before I take it back and kick you out on your own." Beastboy gaped for a full minute before standing up, knocking his chair over in the process, and walking over to stand next to Raven. She looked on in horror as he went down on one knee and took her hand in his before staring up at her with large green eyes that almost knocked her over from their sudden return in color.
"Raven…" He asked, "Will you be my roommate?" There came a giggling from behind her and she looked over her shoulder to the group of college girls whispering and pointing exciting at them. Blushing Raven turned to face Beastboy again.
"For God's sake get up off the ground! I already told you that you could stay with me so there is absolutely no need to make this any harder than it needs to be!" Raven whispered at him urgently.
"Only if you say yes! It has to be official you know." He wiggled his eyebrow at her and Raven blushed even harder.
"Fine! YES! Now get up!" The giggling from behind was getting to be more than she could handle.
"YES I ACCEPT!" She yelled and then suddenly applause broke out around them. Beastboy stood up grinning, still holding on to her hand. Raven meanwhile had her other hand to her face which was positively glowing a cherry red knowing that everyone around them thought they were to be married.
"Kiss kiss kiss kiss." The people chanted and now she found herself placed in an even more awkward situation. Before she could make a plan however, Beastboy pulled her to her feet so their faces were inches apart.
'O dear o dear o dear o dear...'
'Shut it Timid!'
Beastboy drew closer to her now, a grin still spread across his face. Raven in the meanwhile was paralyzed from head to toe. He was too close now, there was no doubt in Raven's mind they were about to kiss, her lips even parted slightly in expectation. Closer…closer…then….
Suddenly a hand which had somehow found its way onto her hip, spun her around so that now she was side by side with Beastboy facing the café, an arm around her shoulder.
"Sorry folks, it wasn't a proposal of that kind." He said waving at the crowd. The peoples' faces drooped and a few boos came from some of the tables, but Raven was oblivious to it all.
'What the hell just happened to me.' Raven thought dizzily.
'I believe you have just received a rush of adrenaline along with what appears to be the side affects of a hormonal chemical released into your bloodstream.' Stated Knowledge very matter-of-factly.
'Huh?' Asked Raven, still dazed.
'Don't listen to Webster. It's called lust babe.' Interrupted a seductive voice.
'And I believe that would be your field of expertise?'
'You got that right sugar. And you see that green hunk dodging Styrofoam cups to your right? Well he's my newest obsession.' Lust purred. Raven's eyes widened.
'Huston, we have a problem…'
TADA! A very bad place to end, I know but….
Review now please!
I sacrificed a fair amount of sleep to get this chapter up. So goodnight peeps! Until next time!