"Merry Christmas!" Raven greeted happily, walking into the common room. Her friends looked up in surprise and smiled back at her cheerful greeting.
"Merry Christmas," they all replied. Everyone was awake, sitting around the Christmas tree. None of the gifts had been opened yet, as everyone had been waiting for Raven.
She walked over and sat down, and everyone took that as a cue to grab presents. Beast Boy jumped in first, calling out names and tossing everyone their presents.
Once all the gifts had been distributed, they tore through the paper.
Raven opened hers eagerly. She received a book on meditation from Robin and a pair of jet stone earrings from Starfire. She looked around for her present for Beast Boy, but couldn't find any. Deciding that she probably didn't have another one from him, and knowing that he had gotten her more than enough for the past eleven days, she pushed the gift out of her mind and watched everyone admire their own presents.
She looked over at Beast Boy as he flipped happily through a joke book Cyborg had gotten him. Catching his eye, he blushed and looked away from her. He picked up his last present, the present from her. Raven watched nervously as he ripped the paper off, crumpling and throwing it unceremoniously on the floor. As he looked at the box, a large grin spread across his face.
It wasn't one of his usual goofy smiles, but one full of innocent joy. He looked up and Raven noticed, slightly uncomfortably, that there were tears glistening in his eyes.
"Thank you," he warbled. He tossed the box on the floor and jumped over to Raven, pulling her into a tight hug. The momentum from him throwing himself at her took Raven by surprise, and she struggled not to fall on her back. After regaining her balance, she returned the embrace, smiling lightly. Eventually he let go and walked back to his spot on the floor, picking up the train box.
Once all the wrapping paper had been cleaned up, Cyborg went over to the counter, making a large breakfast of pancakes, bacon, eggs, and toast. He even agreed to make Beast Boy's meal with tofu.
As Raven sat at the table, drinking tea and reading 'A Christmas Carol', Beast Boy walked up to her.
"Uh, can I talk to you? Over there?" he asked nervously, pointing over to the corner. Raven raised an eyebrow, but placed her bookmark in between the pages and followed him over, tea in hand.
Beast Boy stopped and looked at Raven. She gazed back, unblinking, and he spoke.
"Raven, I've been giving you presents for a while now, right?" he didn't wait for an answer before continuing. "And you've known it's me for a long time. Maybe since the beginning, but I doubt it. Anyway, I suppose after a while you must have figured out that I really, really like you, because it was obvious. And if not, I told you in my note a couple days ago.
"And I just thought I should let you know that I really do have a present for you today, it just wasn't under the tree because it's really something I should give to you in person. Anyway, I was kind of getting the feeling that maybe you like me too, I mean, you let me lean on you, and I kissed you without getting thrown out the window, and you let me hold your hand and…"
Beast Boy paused for a breath after his rambling speech. She could tell he was nervous as he gasped for breath, and she took a drink of her tea while he gathered his nerves. As she was taking a long swig of her drink, he quickly pulled a small box from his pocket and threw himself onto one knee.
"Will you marry me, Raven?"
Raven promptly spit her tea out. Wiping away the unlady-like tea trickling down her chin, coughing and spluttering, Raven stared at Beast Boy with wide eyes. Beast Boy laughed nervously.
"That came out wrong," he admitted, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. Raven put a hand over her pounding heart as he stood up and smiled nervously at her and their friends, who had looked over in surprise when Beast Boy had screamed out his question. Raven glanced over at them quickly, but her attention was soon brought back to Beast Boy when he spoke again.
"What I meant to say is," Beast Boy said, opening the box to reveal a ring. Raven looked at it, and decided that it was a good thing the box had been closed when he blurted out that question, or she probably would have had a heart attack. Needless to say, her heart was still pounding rather hard. "Will you accept this… promise ring? It's just to say that we'll always stick together. Maybe even… as more than friends."
Raven felt tears burning the backs of her eyes, although she blamed it on coughing out all her tea. Smiling, she nodded and held out her hand. Smiling in relief, Beast Boy pulled the ring out of the case and slipped it onto a finger on her right hand.
Raven looked down at the ring. It was made of silver-gold and had a small diamond set in it, with an emerald on one side and an amethyst on the other. Cheering reached her ears, and she looked up to see Robin, Cyborg and Starfire smiling and congratulating them. She smiled lightly and looked back at Beast Boy, who was looking up and smiling mischievously.
She looked at him questioningly and he looked back, smiling.
"Did you know that mistletoe is poisonous to ingest?" he asked. Raven raised a confused eyebrow and looked up. A sprig of mistletoe had been attached to the roof above them.
"I don't care," she replied. Catching him by surprise, she pulled him closer and kissed him. Cyborg whooped and hollered as his friends kissed, and Starfire and Robin soon took Raven's and Beast Boy's example and started kissing.
The mouth-watering scent of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and many other culinary delights floated across the room to where Raven sat, pretending to read her book. In truth, as she sat curled up on the couch, surrounded by her friends, she was too busy watching Beast Boy to actually read her book.
He had set it up within minutes of finishing breakfast, and he had spent most of the day watching it travel around the Christmas tree, cheering loudly every time a puff of steam escaped the bright red engine.
The Titans East had come over at around twelve. Robin had already stuffed the turkey and placed it in the oven by the time they had arrived, cooking it slowly so it would be juicy and ready to eat around dinnertime.
Since then, everyone had been enjoying each other's company. Earlier that evening, BumbleBee, Robin, Cyborg and Aqualad had gone into the kitchen to make the rest of Christmas dinner, being the best cooks.
Raven walked over and sat down next to Beast Boy, who was currently setting up an extra tunnel.
"I see you're enjoying your present," she said casually.
"I see you are too. You haven't put down that book all day," her replied, looking up at her and smiling. He was exaggerating to be sure, but Raven felt no need to correct him, or inform him that if she had actually been reading it she would have been finished by now.
They sat in silence, watching the train go around the tree and under the newly constructed tunnel.
"So, umm… did you read the note last night?" Beast Boy asked, feigning casualness. Raven looked over.
"No, I couldn't find one," she replied, suddenly very curious. "Why? What did it say?"
Beast Boy blushed lightly and turned back to the train.
"Uh, it's not important," he told her, running a hand through his green hair.
"Well, obviously it was, if you asked. And you're blushing," Raven replied, looking at him closely. He smiled.
"Okay, so maybe it is pretty important. No, scratch that, it is really important, but I don't think I have the guts to say it out loud. Not yet."
Raven nodded, looking back at the train as it did another loop. She wondered how Beast Boy had spent almost and entire day watching a toy train go around in circles. He was usually so impatient, always bouncing off the walls. Raven doubted even she could sit still for so long.
Then again, he had taken a few breaks to talk to everyone and play some of his new video games. And, truthfully, the train just wasn't as important to Raven as it was to Beast Boy. Not to say it wasn't important; she just wasn't very interested in it.
Raven shifted slightly to look into the fire. Cyborg had installed the electric fireplace about a month ago, insisting it was a 'babe magnet'. Robin had argued a bit, until Starfire came into the room and he suddenly saw the possible advantages of a girl-attracting fireplace.
"Dinner's ready!" Bee's voiced drifted across the room easily, and in seconds all the Titans were seated at the large table. Ten plates and several utensils had been set up in front of every chair, and a tablecloth festively decorated with poinsettias had been draped over the table. Once everyone else was seated, Bee carefully carried the large turkey over to the table, and placed it down in the center. Robin and Aqualad followed, carrying mashed potatoes, gravy, warm buns, cranberry sauce, corn, chestnuts, and several other dishes, all balanced precariously on silver trays.
Cyborg trailed behind them and walked around the table to where Beast Boy was sitting. Carefully, he placed a dish with a specially prepared tofu dish in front of the changeling. Beast Boy grinned excitedly at the smell emanating from the spices and sauces used in the tofu.
"Dude! This looks awesome! Thanks!" Beast Boy exclaimed, trying not to salivate on the tablecloth.
"Don't get used to it," smirked Cyborg. "Cause the only time I'm ever touching that nasty stuff again, is to either dispose of it, or maybe as a special treat next Christmas."
Beast Boy laughed, and everyone joined in, enjoying the light-hearted banter. "I wouldn't have it any other way, Cy."
The dinner was delicious. Raven made a mental note to change her New Year's Resolution from, 'Try not to throw Beast Boy and Cyborg out the window' to 'Learn how to cook'. Not that she ever kept her resolutions.
Once dinner had been heartily consumed, followed by a large dessert of pie and fruitcake, everyone made their way over to the fireplace. They spread out in front of the warm flames. Starfire and Robin had curled up together on one end of the couch, while Cyborg and Bee had claimed the other. Aqualad sat in the middle, smiling contentedly.
Speedy had stretched himself out at the foot of the couch, propping his head up lazily on his hand.
Mas and Menos had their arms slung over each other's backs in a brotherly gesture and were whispering peacefully in rapid Spanish, and were sitting on the floor to the right of the couch.
Then, there were Raven and Beast Boy, sitting on the carpeted floor in front of the fireplace.
Beast Boy was leaning against the coffee table, one knee raised slightly, arms wrapped around Raven. Raven sat between his legs, leaning against his chest and leg. Her skin prickled deliciously as she sat there, watching the flames dance merrily in the fireplace.
Raven looked over at Beast Boy, who was looking at the flames as well. The light flickered across his green face, making his eyes of jade sparkle with his ever-present joy.
Smiling contentedly, Raven turned back to the fire, dozing and talking in quiet tone with her friends.
Crawling under her covers, Raven closed her eyes. The image of Beast Boy's face, lit up by the fire still lingered wonderfully in her mind. She wondered how she had ever gotten so lucky as to fall in love with such a wonderful person, and to have him care for her as well. Smiling at her girlish/ romantic thoughts, she opened her eyes and took one final look around her room. She was about to turn off her lamplight, when she noticed a note on the floor.
Picking it up, she realized it must be the missing note from the other night. Sitting up in bed, Raven opened it and read it.
I love you.
Raven looked at the note and smiled. She placed the note on her bedside table and turned off the light. Lying down, she closed her eyes and let a peaceful sleep take over her.
That's it. That's the end of A Partridge in a Pear Tree. I'm really pretty sad that it's over. I know I'vesaid thisalready, but I had so much fun writing and posting this story. I'm really glad so many of you enjoyed it. I was slightly overwhelmed by the all the positive reviews I got! I hope this chapter was to your liking; I really wanted to go out with a bang.
I just want to say one more thing. The holidays should be spent with friends and family. Let your loved ones know they're important, and have fun this season.Whatever you celebrate(if anything), I hope you enjoy it.Now, I've got to go before I start sobbing like a baby. You've all made my Christams extra special. Thank you all so much.