Summer Days

Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans. I merely borrow them for a while and return them a little worse for wear.

The summer sun beat down on the Tower. It was hot. The blue water of the bay reflected its light back. It was too warm for crime. The Titans spent their days at the start of the summer by relishing the inactivity of the season. Starfire indulged her fascination with the breaking ocean waves by sitting on a sandy beach and watching them by the hour. Then, unable to bear it, she would run into the water with a squeal of purely girlish delight and splash in the salty, churning foam of the wave. Cyborg loved to cook up a bar b que, be it at the park or on the roof. Ribs were his specialty. Robin found sessions of smooth Tai Chi Chuan soothing on the rooftop to counter his more strenuous martial arts exercises in the windowless exercise room of the Tower. And even Raven preferred to be outside when the warmth of the day eased what tensions there might be and made her meditations flow easier.

Beast Boy found summer this year lacking in any sort of attraction. Even the frequent excursions to the local park for a game of football and a cook out failed to stir his attention. Instead of hanging out with the others and joking around in his usual way, he faded away and ended up going back to the tower to sit down on the rocks by the gently lapping water, and to stare off into the distance, seeing the phantoms of stones skimming the surface of the bay effortlessly. He could hear her voice, see her smile. He remembered how the moonlight had reflected off of her golden hair, how her eyes had seemed like dark pools of liquid night He remembered how needy she had seemed and how he had wanted to hug her, but was afraid to. But mostly, he remembered how much he had loved being with her. Even in the short time she had been with them, she had somehow fit, at least with him she had. And now he felt a little empty. The others just didn't understand.

"People who hide things are dangerous." Raven had said in her chilliest voice. Beast Boy had glared at her.

"I am sorry, Beast Boy." Starfire had seemed to care, her green eyes sorrowful. "Our new friend will be missed." But in a cynical thought, Beast Boy told himself she was only sorry because no one else would touch her cooking.

"Hey BB."Cyborg had quickly dismissed her. "Don't let her do that to you, man. You hardly knew her anyway." Beast Boy shook his head. He did know her. He knew her well enough to know that they understood each other somehow.

"The next time someone tells you a secret that affects the team," Robin had said, a little curtly. "Tell them we don't keep secrets from each other. We were lucky no one got hurt when she lost control." Beast Boy frowned. He hoped it never came to having to choose between someone he cared about and the Team. And he couldn't really resent what Robin said. He had endangered the team by not telling them what he knew.

He tried to skim a pebble across the water. It plunked and sank, like it had that night until Terra had helped him get the angle right. He really did miss her. For once he had had someone around who had seemed to be like him. She hadn't been grim like Raven. Although Raven could get a joke, she rarely laughed. She hadn't been quite as eternally cheerful as Starfire. Nice as she was, it could get grating with the constant "happy" going on. No, Terra had seemed down to earth, no pun intended. But, Beast Boy thought with a heavy sigh, she would have laughed at that. She had liked his jokes. She had laughed with him, not at him. She had not made sarcastic jabs at his humor. She had been fun, and he had thought that she had found him to be fun as well. With another heavy sigh, Beast Boy hoisted himself up from the rock, and plodded slowly back up the path to the Tower.

It was two days later, when he had finally broken the morose mood to join the others playing volleyball on the roof, that he felt more himself again. Raven was being exclusive and deliberately baiting them, he thought, by putting herself directly in the line of fire while she meditated at roof's edge. And it worked by scaring them silly twice when the ball was hurled out of bounds by powerful blows and nearly hit her. The first time she, just to show off Beast Boy was sure, deflected the ball with her dark energy. The second time, as they all shouted warning, she just floated herself to one side and let the ball sail on by, over the edge and down to the bay. They all sighed.

"I'll get it...,"Beast Boy volunteered finally. It had to be him or Starfire. It would take way too long for Robin or Cyborg to hoof it down the stairs and back. He had just taken a step when the ball, of its own accord, arched back over the edge of the roof and bounced towards them. They all, including Raven, stared. Then, floating up and into sight, came Terra, with her big blue eyes and wind swept blond hair, smiling at them.

Beast Boy shouted her name and ran to great her. His heart lurched into a wild rhythm joy as he hugged her and she hugged back. And it almost stopped again when the little misunderstanding about her talent stifled the joyful mood. But, everything was right again when she overcame the moment, and Robin explained what he had meant. Beast Boy was wild with excitement when he watched her demonstrate her new control over her powers. Now she could stay! Now she would be a Titan with the rest of them. Now, he could be with her everyday. The summer sun ran like liquid fire in his veins. He had never been happier.

Summer now took on a new light. Where he had just been tolerating it, now he dove into the summer activities with fresh enthusiasm. Beginning with the day Raven accepted Terra into the team, and together, they saved the Tower, things just couldn't get a whole lot better for Beast Boy. He and Terra found themselves often paired as a working team when there was trouble. They seemed to work together by instinct. Terra was making herself a very important part of the team as a whole. She was also becoming more and more important to Beast Boy.

The scent of freshly mowed grass was made more potent by the warmth of the day and surrounded Beast Boy and Terra as they walked in the park. It was easy to talk to Terra, really easy.

"So, what do you think?" Beast Boy asked casually. The others had gone back to the Tower by now. It was one of the few times he had had a chance to be alone with Terra.

"About what?" She asked with a smile that almost made him stumble.

"You know. About the whole thing. Us. Er...I mean, being a part of the team. You came back because you wanted to be part of it. Are you glad?" The words came out almost hesitantly. And once they were out he wasn't sure he wanted them to be. Was he sounding too needful? Was he being too nosy? Would she think he was rude to ask such a personal question? No wonder he'd never had a girl interested in him before, he just totally lacked coolness.

"Oh yeah. I'm really glad. And grateful. I was afraid at first that Robin didn't want me back." She gave him a shy look, her hair swinging over to cover one blue eye. "That didn't bother me, really. I just hoped you still did."

"Me?" Beast Boy swung his head to look at her. "Why would you think I wouldn't?"

"I wasn't exactly fair to you." She shrugged her shoulders. "And I'm sorry. I had to grow up a little before I could come back. I was hoping you would forgive me."

"Forgive you?" Okay, Beast Boy thought furiously, stop sounding like a parrot and repeating everything she says. Try to be halfway cool, anyway. "Hey, I forgave you before you even left. I understand." Before he was aware of what she was doing, she had grasped his hand for a moment and gave it a squeeze.

"Thank you." She said quietly, her smile as warm as the breeze that floated by them. "It's nice to have someone understand. Very nice."

"Sure." Beast Boy nodded. Any further speech was impossible right now. Her hand left his but he felt the softness of her fingers curved around his for sometime afterwards.

Beast Boy didn't realize it, but everyone else on the team was gradually noticing his state of mind. He missed seeing the eyebrow arching by Robin and Cyborg as he repeatedly whipped up gourmet tofu meals to share with Terra. He also was oblivious to Starfire's dewy eyed smile when he caught Terra after a fall and took just a few seconds too long to put her down. Nor did he notice Raven's snort of derision when he handed Terra a straggly bouquet of wildflowers for her first week anniversary with the team. He had no idea that they were all watching him with knowing amusement as he ambled along starry gazed in Terra's wake.

That summer was pure magic as far as Beast Boy was concerned. Balmy twilights that seemed to last forever as they spent time on the Tower roof to enjoy the breeze and watch the sun set and the stars come out. They would bask in the sun's rays at the beach, and join Starfire in her fascinated study of the breaking waves. Then, bolt into the waves for a water fight. The laughter, the fun, as both girls would gang up on him and dunk him in the frothy saltwater. Then he would surprise them both by turning into a dolphin and slipping out of their grasp to go leaping and surfing the waves. He loved to see Terra laugh out loud, the water glistening on her face, her blue eyes glinting in the sunlight. Then there were the days when it was too hot to venture out and they all crossed their fingers that no evildoers would dare the heat either. Then they would listen to music in the big living room that overlooked the bay. Sometimes they would compete with Cyborg or Robin on the video games. Or they would just watch something on the big screen television. Beast Boy was delighted when he found that Terra loved the same
B horror movies that he did. They would sit with the others and whisper asides to each other and dissolve into helpless giggles. Even sour looks from Raven couldn't dampen the mood.

They had more bar b ques at the park, and while Terra made major points with Cyborg by matching him plate for plate on his specialty ribs. Beast Boy didn't mind. He liked to see her get along with the others. He was glad that she and Starfire liked each other. He was a little concerned that Raven was still keeping her distance. But she wasn't openly hostile like she had been before. Robin, well, Robin tended to hang out on his own a lot anyway, but he was friendly enough, and he was always generous with praise when Terra took the initiative in capturing a criminal, yet still exercised caution. She took advise without resentment, slipping her own skills into the team mechanism with precision and care.

There was only one thing that put a very slight shadow on Beast Boy's dream summer. He never got to be really alone with Terra. The others were always there, in the background perhaps, but there. Beast Boy wanted some time alone with Terra. He just didn't know how to do it. It was awkward at best to try to get away from the others. He certainly didn't want to make it obvious to them. They were a team, after all. And he wasn't sure if it was somehow against the rules to want to be a couple within the team. Would that ruin the dynamics somehow? He wasn't sure. Some companies had policies about forbidding relationships within the company. What about super hero type companies? Would the others get mad? Would Robin make Terra leave because she was distracting Beast Boy? His mind went round and round about the subject, trying to figure out the situation. It hadn't come up before. Why did he have to be the first one to find himself in this position?

Then there was Terra herself. Beast Boy just wasn't sure how she felt. Oh sure, she laughed at his jokes. She liked his tofu. They had good times together. But, then, she seemed to have good times with Starfire too. And with Cyborg. She was fitting into the social aspects of the team just fine. Had she done or said anything that would show that she felt anything more for Beast Boy than just the usual camaraderie? Not what Beast Boy felt for her, which was growing on a daily basis. There were times when he felt that they were so in tune with each other they could have read each other's minds. But, again, he didn't know if she had felt that too. There were times when a look she would give him would seem to imply that shared sort of thought. But then she would look away and he wasn't sure that he had seen it at all. And there were times when he just plain thought that this was all too good to be true, and that sooner or later the other shoe would drop and everything would fall to pieces.

But then, the sun would shine, the warm breeze would blow, and Terra would look at him with a look so warm it challenged summer itself. And he would fall under the lazy, hazy spell of the season once more, content to be her friend for now, with the dreamy hope of being more than friends later.