A/N: This is for Alena-chan's challenge through her forums. So, thank you Alena-chan, for finally providing me with the inspiration for a cute Valentine's Day Fic! (Also not beta'd. It seems my regular betas are mia and I don't want to bother other people with some silly little piece like this.) So, everyone, wish me luck!

by Em

"Forget love -- I'd rather fall in chocolate!"
- Anonymous

"Why would anyone associate love with chocolate?" she asked no one in particular as she investigated the ruffle and lace box in her hand as if it were something from another world. "What possible association could it have?"

It just so happened that Speedy walked into the room in enough time to hear her question and he was of an affable enough nature to feel inclined to answer it. "It's some sort of chemical reaction thingy," he answered, plopping down next to her and taking the box out of her hands, "So who was your Valentine?" he asked, looking the box over for a card or note.

Raven looked at him, "Starfire," she answered absently, "She gave them to everyone," she explained at his raised brow, "But the chemical reaction theory says that chocolate makes us feel, hormonally, the same as we would if we were in love," she countered his answer, "So why would someone who is already in love, theoretically, need to give chocolate to someone else who is loved?"

Speedy opened up the box and was looking into the box, obviously paying much more attention to choosing one than to her musings, "I don't know," he admitted, choosing one and popping it into his mouth. When he found it was one that was as tasty as it looked, he grinned, "But with the sweetness of chocolate, what does it matter?"

Raven shook her head, reaching for a chocolate and pondering it. "I don't know that it does matter," Raven admitted, "I suppose I was just curious as to what possible connection chocolate and love could have as to devote an entire holiday to it." She popped the chocolate into her mouth and chewed pensively.

He watched her chew the sweet treat and noted which of the chocolates she had gotten. Hmm...caramel filled. She didn't seem overly thrilled with it. "Too sweet?" he asked.

She made a face and nodded, swallowing, "A tad."

He chuckled, picking another out of the box, "Yeah, caramel will do that..." he allowed, handing her a peanut cluster one.

She took it and bit into it tentatively, taking only half of it into her mouth at a time, "Too crunchy," she announced, looking about for something to do with the other half.

She was about to pop it into her mouth but with nimble fingers, Speedy snatched it from her hand and popped it into his mouth instead. "Eh, I see your point," he agreed, swallowing. "Chocolate is associated with all manner of things that it doesn't necessarily have an association to," he said, returning fluidly to their previous conversation. "At least with Valentine's Day, chocolates have somewhat of an association."

"Oh yes," she said, idly looking at the lid of the box which detailed which chocolate was what, "Chocolate clearly stands for the blood Saint Valentine shed in the name of love...of course."

Speedy bit into half of a butter cream one and handed the other half to her, obviously enjoying the taste, "Well, you want a holiday that is associated to chocolate more than Easter? And what kind of connection could chocolate confections have to the death of a religious figure?"

Raven chewed the butter cream and shrugged her neutrality with it, "Not bad," she admitted, swallowing, "But Easter was originally a Pagan fertility day," she argued, "And one could at least see the relation between bunnies then, and if we stretch it, well, fertility rights were all about pleasure and lust if not love, so chocolate brought on the feeling of pleasure, right? So theoretically, it could be stretched to be that chocolate was a part of the pleasurable feasting of a fertility festival and it could just be one of those things that stuck with it, but chocolate and the Feast of Saint Valentine...?" she trailed off, biting into another chocolate and making a face to find it was coconut filled.

Speedy laughed at her face, and taking the remaining half from her fingers again, threw it with uncanny accuracy into the garbage can, 10 feet away in the kitchen. "No coconut, sorry," he told her, then at her surprised expression, he shrugged, "Not very different from an arrow..." he explained vaguely.

She shook her head, "Except that it's chocolate."

He laughed and shrugged, "Well, maybe chocolate is given on Valentine's day in the hopes of inspiring love..." he trailed off as he watched her bite into a truffle and smiled in response to the contentment on her face, "...and you know, not everyone who gives chocolates on Valentine's Day give them to people who they are already loved by, right?" he asked. "The big thing on V-day is to give chocolates to your crush, in the hopes that they will return your feelings."

She nodded pensively as she savored the chocolate, letting it melt slowly in her mouth rather than chewing through it as she had the others. "Well, that makes a bit of sense," she agreed around the chocolate.

Speedy smiled at the sight of the normally composed Titan trying to speak around a mouth full of chocolate. "Don't be so surprised," he chided, finding another truffle and handing it to her, taking a butter cream for himself.

"But I assure you that if a girl doesn't like a guy, giving her chocolate isn't going to make her like him any more," she argued, taking the truffle he was offering her and taking it into her mouth. "It's just going to make her fat which will in turn make him not like her much in the end."

He laughed in surprise at her comment and stared at her, "That's awful cynical," he chided.

"But true," she insisted, shrugging.

He shook his head, "Well, think of it this way," he went back to their main conversation, "if the poor love sick fool takes the time to know what kind of chocolate she likes and gives it to her to show how much he likes her, and she kind of likes him, wouldn't you say that the fact he gave her the chocolate might melt her heart toward him...just a little?"

She shrugged, "As I understand it," she answered, "If she likes him, even a little, any kind of show of affection from him is going to make her melt, whether it be chocolate or not."

"But especially if it's jewelry," he announced jokingly.

"Well, a diamond is forever," she deadpanned.

Speedy laughed and went back to the box, searching through it for the butter cream he had taken a liking to, and stopped suddenly as something occurred to him, "I've got it!" he told her.

"It?" she prompted.

"How chocolate relates to love!" he looked especially proud of himself and Raven couldn't help but smile, just a little.

He looked like a kid who'd just been praised by the teacher...or thought he was going to be praised anyway. "Okay..." she allowed, "I'll humor you," she told him because she really was in a much better mood than she had been since she woke up to realize it was the dread Valentine's Day. "How?"

He seemed to wait, hoping to make his announcement more pronounced by the previous silence, "Love is like chocolate," he started meaningfully, "because you can't get enough of it!" he finished triumphantly.

She smiled and shrugged her acceptance of the cherry filled chocolate he offered, bringing it to her lips, "You can't get enough of love," she corrected meaningfully, "We all know that," she chided before popping the morsel into her mouth, "I can do just fine without any at all if I so choose."

He laughed and took another piece of chocolate, "Well, saying you can do fine without love when you lock yourself away from it doesn't count," he retorted casually. He ignored her look of surprise at his flippant reference to what was a trait of her character that was normally either deftly avoided or during rare moments called her 'Ice Queen' demeanor (although never in front of or with her). Of course he knew why she was so surprised, but he never pulled punches and it wasn't like it was a secret. "And don't go with the whole, 'I can't feel' spiel, because frankly, I'm not buying it," he paused to throw away another coconut chocolate and continued speaking before she could get a word in edgewise. Just because he was forward enough to call her on it didn't mean he was stupid enough to give her a chance to get out of it, "You obviously feel for your fellow Titans and you obviously feel for other things, and besides, your father's defeated, so those excuses don't apply anymore," he told her in as casual a way as if he were speaking of the weather, "So I still say it's cheating..." he glanced at her and pretended not to notice the look of shock on her face, "It's like saying you don't like chocolate when you've never tasted it," he continued, shrugging unconcernedly. "It's a moo point."(1)

There were so many things in that whole diatribe of his she could call him on. There was even the part of her that told her that he had just taken the conversation someplace he had no business taking it to, but he had been so nonchalant about it that it didn't seem worth the effort making a big deal about it. He obviously hadn't, and what was more, he wasn't expecting anything from her about it either. So, instead of walking out or shutting down or putting up walls, she finished swallowing the chocolate she had popped into her mouth before he had shocked the sense out of her and, leaning forward to get a better look, stared at him, "A moo point?" she asked. He nodded. She wondered how exactly to approach this, and decided to wait until she knew what he meant, "I don't think I'm familiar with that expression," she prodded.

"Come on," he said, surprised. "Raven, the one who's always reading doesn't know what a 'moo point' is?" She shook her head very carefully. "Well," he paused to chew the chocolate in his mouth, "It's like a point that's not important...like as important as what a cow says...it's 'moo', get it?" he asked.

Raven did chuckle then. There were some things she could hold her humor from showing for and then there was a 'moo' point. "I think you mean a moot point."

He looked at her in mild surprise, "A cow doesn't say 'moot', Raven," he told her patiently, "You can ask Beast Boy."

"No," she tried to explain, "The phrase is not 'moo' point at all, it's 'moot'."

He shook his head, the patience of a great teacher still in his expression, "No," he argued, speaking very slowly as if to a child, "If I wanted to say that the point was doubtful or open to debate I would have said 'moot' not 'moo' in the first place." And as the realization that he did know exactly what the normal phraseology was, how it was used and what it meant became clear to her, he grinned and offered her a chocolate.

Sufficiently chastised for taking his intelligence for granted, Raven took the chocolate he offered and popped it into her mouth, "You're full of surprises, aren't you Speedy?" she asked after she swallowed.

"Chocked full," he agreed, still grinning. "Like a chocolate covered peanut chocolate."

She allowed him to see her smile, "Okay, enough with the chocolate analogies," she warned.

"Well, you did ask..." he said, shrugging.

"Yes, and I'll know better than to ask such an existential question when you're around next time, won't I?"

"Hopefully next time," he said the teasing tone in his voice just a little bit different, edgier, not as silly as it had been, but she couldn't tell if his face was the same because he was looking down into the heart-shaped box of chocolates and picking through the ones that were left. (Had they really eaten almost the whole box already?) "You'll just know that I'm around," he finished, choosing one and offering it to her without looking at her.

It took her a moment to realize he was offering her a chocolate because she was still trying to figure out what he meant by his statement. But when she did notice it, she figured that it might be time for her to put the breaks on this frivolity, even though she didn't know how it had started, exactly. "No thank you," she refused.

He did look up at her then, "It's your favorite," he told her, "A truffle."

Raven was surprised for the umpteenth time that afternoon. Since when had Speedy become so observant? He couldn't have known truffles were her favorite chocolate before he sat down with her. Had she been that obvious about her choices? So surprised was she that she couldn't do much except open her mouth when he lifted the truffle to her lips. And, when she found it placed against her lips she bit down into it and wondered at the strange something she felt when her lips touched his fingers as he took them away, leaving her with the morsel.

"So maybe there are certain chocolates you can't get enough of, huh?" he asked, his expression unreadable.

She took her time about chewing and swallowing, all the while keeping her eyes on the whites of his mask that hid his eyes from her, "Maybe," she admitted finally. "But only because not all chocolates are the same."

He grinned. "Okay," he agreed, finding another chocolate and chewing it pensively, "So let me amend my previous statement," he made a show of thinking, never taking his eyes off Raven, "There are some loves that are like some chocolates...and once you find the one you like, you can't get enough of either."

"I don't think that was exactly what I had in mind," Raven admitted.

He smiled and it was the secretive, 'I know something you don't know' smile rather than the 'everything's funny' smile he usually sported, "I know, Raven," he told her, nodding, "But luckily, I'm a patient teacher."

Before she could answer, he looked back down into the box and pulled out the last remaining piece of chocolate. He held it between them, "Looks like it's your lucky day, Rae," he said brightly, winking at her, "Last one's a truffle."

She offered him the barest hint of a smile as she held out her hand for it, "I guess it is."

He brought it up to her lips and cocked his head to the side, challenging her to take it knowingly the way she had taken it in shock the first time.

She raised a brow and when he simply mirrored her actions and waited, she shook her head, "You have it," she told him and stood up.

"But it's your favorite," he argued.

"That's alright," she shrugged, "just because I like it," she spoke, her voice back to its monotone, her eyes reserved and yet full of meaning, "doesn't mean I'm going to beg for it." She turned and started to walk away.

Before she could get three steps away, Speedy was in front of her, handing the chocolate out to her, "Who said anything about begging?" he asked. When she didn't reach out for it, he smiled and placed it carefully on the table next to him. He approached her and she stood stock still, not bothering to move away when he leaned close enough to whisper in her ear, even though he didn't touch her, "All you have to do is ask," he whispered in her ear, placing a soft chase kiss on the high part of her cheek, close to her ear. He pulled away before she could react and winked at her, "Happy Valentine's Day, Raven," he said, stepping around her and walking out of the Tower.

"Likewise," she replied but only after he had gone.



(1.) This concept and explanation is not mine. It's from "Friends". Joey says it, as you can imagine.

A/N: This came out a lot sillier than I thought it would. Well, frankly, I didn't think about it much even while I was writing, I just had fun with the conversation between Speedy and Raven. Does it show? You might think I was high on chocolate myself at the way this conversation came out, but I wasn't, I swear. I've been very firmly on the diet wagon and haven't fallen off since...oh, last week. (Although this fic sure made me want to have some chocolate...damnit...) So yes, I realize that some of the conversation starts and stops and doesn't go in a fluid manner, but I kept it that way on purpose because I figure that this is the way casual conversation really goes between two people who don't have anything in specific to talk about and are just talking. So...um...yeah. Okay.

Thanks: A general thank you to everyone whose been reviewing my short stress-induced one-shots and a big thanks to everyone who reviewed last time's Burn. Individual thank you's are going up on my livejournal up to the moment this gets posted. (Anyone who reviewed after I posted this will have to wait until I get to the next one-shot or whatever.)

Challenges: Like I said, this is in response to a challenge by Alena-chan through her forums on fanfiction dot net. You can go check it out and cross your fingers for me. BUT, sekai no yakusoku has a forum through her account that allows for people to set up their own challenges to others. I added one and I'm offering a prize for the best story. So far, only Alena-chan has accepted, so maybe she'll win, but anyway, go check it out, submit your own challenge, accept mine or one of the others, just go and have fun. It's fun to write based on a challenge. Here's the link (remove spaces, obviously): http/ www . fanfiction . net / fr / 380118/7592 / 75682 / 1 / (My challenge is somewhere down there, I don't know that I can link you directly to it.)

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Oh yeah...I'm adding some 'outtakes' to my 'emsscraps' journal you guys might find amusing. It was a moment of madness and hilarity that inspired me to show the gang on the gondola ride after the end of Burn...you guys might find it comical. (It sure as hell won't see the light of day otherwise...)

Special A/N: So, yeah, it seems Puck just wants to inspire me to all sorts of pairings, doesn't it? I'm going to have to get back to writing Rob/Rae soon or I might start to suffer withdrawal...although Rae/Speedy is pretty fun! Which reminds me...I need to get back and finish the second theme for 7snogs...hmmm...

Oh yeah, there was actually something I wanted to say here...which was...um...oh yeah...I set up a forum here through my fanfiction account. (http / www . fanfiction . net / f / 803999 /) It's set up so people can be nice enough and post links to what they consider to be good stories. I'm still looking for them, but the thing is, I think I've pretty much decided to create a list and post the list somewhere. I know there probably are other lists around out there, but this is going to be one where I will decide if it's good or not (And I know it's very subjective, but I promise not to just make it about story plots that I like ot read or anything) My hope is to make this list about stories that are well written with proper grammar, good spelling, good structure and flow, not too many plot holes, that the way it comes up on the screen doesn't hurt my eyes (i.e. That it isn't messed up format wise) and above all else, that it is COMPLETE. I'm only going to put stories on this list that are DONE...FINITO. Anyway, mostly the list is going to be for myself. I'll post it somewhere just in case people want to see it and make use of it, but it's not a big deal and no one's getting prizes or anything for best fic or any such thing. So yeah, subjective, but what the hell? It is for me primarily anyway.

Oh, and the pairings I'm willing ot put up there are all pairings with Raven (obviously) but I'll accept Raven with Speedy, Red-X, Robin, and even Aqualad. I'll accept love triangles, I'll accept any kind of subject matter from comedy to angst, to fluffiness to tragedies. Action, adventure, future fics, pretty much anything. The pairing doesn't even have to be the major part of the story, but I would like it to have some sort of pairing. I'll accept AU's although they're not really my favorites so I can't help it if I'll be tougher on putting those on my list. Oh, and nothing personal, but I don't particularly care for Shonen-Ai stuff, so that's why I don't have any of them up in the pairings. Oh...one more thing: even if the story isn't on fanfiction . Net, if it's up somewhere else, that's fine too, just give me the link.

Whew...those were a whole lot of announcements, huh? Okay, I think that's it.