It was a Connection

Mirror and Image

It was a connection. Much the way Raven and Starfire had finally connected through meditation together, Beast Boy and Raven had finally found a way to cross the chasm of differences that they had. It had happened soon after Robin's incident with Slade's mask. The young shape-shifter had gotten a really bad cold from being out in the rain for so long, and could barely get from his room to the kitchen; he had been so tired and achy.

So rather than crawl back to his room, he had curled up on the couch in a long-haired kitten form, basking in the sun, and sniffling. Since it had been a calm day to begin with, the others had spent it lounging around as well. Robin and Cyborg had played video games, Starfire had been fixing some sort of cold remedy in the kitchen, humming happily to herself, and Raven had sat beside Beast Boy, reading.

Naturally, a calm day couldn't continue, and the alarm had gone off. However, seeing that it was only simple gang activity, Robin, Cyborg, and Starfire had been the only ones to respond. Beast Boy had been too sick, and Raven hadn't wanted to leave her book for crooks that the others could easily handle.

It hadn't been much. The dark girl had read her book silently while the green cat snoozed by her side. Somewhere in the course of her reading, though, Raven had stretched out a hand and stroked Beast Boy's soft fur. He naturally purred in appreciation. Thus a connection was born.

This wasn't to say the connection happened as regularly as Raven and Starfire meditating together. Raven still preferred reading in her room and Beast Boy still preferred hanging with Cyborg. But there were times.

Whenever Raven had a book and was reading in the common room, Beast Boy invariably changed forms to a long hair cat and purred contentedly while she stroked and petted him. Once in a while, when he was feeling like he wasn't getting enough attention, he would be a dog of some kind, so that he could rest his head on her lap. And, once in a very rare blue moon, Beast Boy would stay in his human form, lying down by her and she ran her hands through his hair.

It wasn't a connection that needed words necessarily. It was a sense of just being together in friendship. That didn't mean that they didn't talk. Occasionally Beast Boy would ask about Raven's book. While he didn't have the patience to read the books himself, he did provide interesting takes on the characters from what Raven told him. He especially loved debunking any animal behavior in the books, with far more personal experiences, offering insights to the book and himself for Raven to see.

Always fascinating conversations. Never so far beyond the changeling's comprehension; never so base as to annoy the dark girl. But they were far and few between. Generally, they just enjoyed each other's company, Raven stroking Beast Boy's fur.

Beast Boy had been in his human form one day, contentedly purring as Raven's had stroked his hair as she read a particularly good book when Speedy had visited on some business. Speedy, like the rest of the Titans East were used to seeing Raven and a cat shaped Beast Boy sitting and reading from their video link on less business-related calls. The same way it was common to see Raven and Starfire meditating in the background, or Beast Boy and Cyborg arguing over some video game.

Evidently, however, it was Speedy's first time seeing Beast Boy in his human form with Raven running her hand through his hair. He immediately started to tease the two of them in his usual tactless way. Beast Boy didn't say anything, shifting to a long haired cat. Raven, however, wasn't pleased in the slightest.

It was okay for Beast Boy to be an animal and get such attention, you don't say anything; but as a human, it was suddenly seen as a way to get a girl and tease him? It was okay if Beast Boy was treated as a pet as long as he stayed in a pet's form, but once he was normal it was somehow different? Beast Boy was Beast Boy, no matter what form he was in. His intelligence or instincts didn't change with his form, he was still himself. Starfire took up the speech after that, despite Speedy's numerous attempts to apologize.

That day, Raven and Beast Boy had their moment on the roof. Speedy did eventually get his chance to apologize, which was heartfelt in his tactless way. The green shape-shifter thanked Raven for her words. It wasn't a prejudice that many picked up on outside of the Titans, but one he greatly appreciated the support for. Raven understood. Being a demon's child also had its own subtleties that not everyone necessarily understood. Beast Boy nodded.

Shortly thereafter, a small, poorly wrapped gift was in front of Raven's door. It was a silver bookmark, designed to bend out from the pages over the spin, with a little silver raven hanging down, wings outspread.

Yes, it was a connection. A very good connection. And the chasm of differences didn't seem quite so large any more.

The End

Author's Note: So many Beast Boy/Raven fics end up in some sort of dramatic confession with lots of angst and tension. (In fact, a lot of fics seem to go that way...) This, however, is a more realistic look in how two people might get closer. It's not romantic or dramatic, it's actually very understated, which is how relationships really start.