Beast Boy finished lacing his skates, stood up and took a deep breath of the cold city air. He blew out and watched the misty tendrils of his breath waft in front of him. The sounds of other skaters echoed from the city's outdoor rink.
"Wait a minute guys, I think I should take this slow," Cyborg pleaded. "Come on no pushing!"
"Relax Cyborg you'll do fine," Robin replied.
"Yes come let us skate together," Starfire said half laughing.
They stepped out on the ice and Cyborg's legs locked and his arms flayed out to his sides as he slowly glided forward. Cyborg came to a stop without falling, "Hah, I'm a natural at this." He tried to move his feet to regain his momentum but stumbled awkwardly. Robin and Starfire watched their friend struggle in slight amusement. Cyborg turned his head and looked back to his friends. "OK, how about a little push, you know just to get me started."
Robin and Starfire looked at each other and smiled. "Sure, a little push." Both said in unison as they glided forward towards their stranded friend. They quickly caught up with Cyborg each clasping onto one of his hands.
Cyborg's eye's flashed in panic. "On second thought, how about if I just stand here," he pleaded. "Hey wait guys, this is too fast!" He staggered as the trio picked up speed. This was too much to pass up. Beast Boy who had been watching the others took to the ice, gained his balance, then took a few crisp strides catching up with his friends and began pushing Cyborg's back.
"Now come on guys, this isn't fair!" Cyborg protested.
"OK on three we let go," Robin instructed. "One, two, THREE!"
Cyborg sped forward as the other three watched. Cyborg's torso leaned forward and his arms waved frantically as he fought to maintain his balance on his skates.
"Coming through, no brakes, watch out!" He awkwardly leaned to one side to avoid the first skater then flayed back to the other to avoid another.
"How much further do you think he'll go?" Beast Boy asked his other companions.
"About that far," Robin replied. The others smiled as Cyborg leaned too far to one side then over compensated to the other falling forward and spinning out on the ice. Starfire gasped then skated to her fallen friend. Robin and Beast Boy soon joined Cyborg scooting to a halt with a slight spray of snow.
"You all right?" Robin asked as Starfire attempted to lift her friend to his feet.
"Yea," Cyborg answered as he struggled to get his skates under him. "You guys have a distinct advantage over me, this being my first time on skates."
"Nonsense, that was a world class wipe out," Beast Boy commented, "I couldn't have done better myself."
"Ha ha," Cyborg replied mocking his friend's wise crack. "If I could stand up on these skates we'd drop the gloves and go at it!"
"Everything OK?" Raven glided to a stop in front of her friends.
"Yea, I'm good," Cyborg replied. "I can't wait until they push me full blast into the boards."
"Come Cyborg, let's skate," Starfire said. She took his hand and pulled him forward. Robin took his other hand as they slowly helped their friend around the rink. Raven shook her head as the trio slowly worked their way through the crowd of skaters.
Beast Boy paused to look over the group's dark mistress. She wore a pair of loose jeans, a baggy sweater and a small dark-knit cap on her head. This was a far cry from her usual uniform but the cold rink wasn't conductive for bare legs and a cape. She actually looked kind of cute Beast Boy thought to himself. He quickly shook his head trying to drive that peculiar thought from his mind.
"Well at least he's trying," Beast Boy said slightly annoyed.
"What do you mean?" Raven replied as she continued to watch Starfire and Robin slowly escort their friend around the rink.
"Oh come on," Beast Boy pointed down to Raven's skates which were consumed in shadow. "You're not exactly skating out here on your own."
"I chose not to fall and make an ass out of myself," Raven dryly stated. "If the rest of you want to put yourselves in traction, that's your business."
"It's not the same," Beast Boy replied. "What will it take to get you to skate without using your powers?"
"What, are you going to teach me?" she asked. Beast Boy nodded affirmative more in response to her haughty attitude than an actual desire to teach her. "All right; one week of kitchen duty."
"Deal," Beast Boy quickly replied before Raven could change her mind. "But no powers while you're out on the ice with me."
Raven sighed, "All right but if I get hurt I'm going to have your hide." Beast Boy smiled then turned around, took her arms and faced her. "You ready?"
"Ready as I'll ever be," Raven cautiously said as she lightly clasped her partner's forearms. The shadows around her skates slowly receded. Raven stumbled and pinched her companions arms in fright. Beast Boy quickly compensated and the pair regained their balance.
"Great, now the most important thing is to keep your skates under your shoulders," Raven looked down at her feet. "All right, they're under my shoulders. Now what?"
"Point your toe out slightly and push off with the insides of you skate," Beast Boy instructed. Raven attempted to follow her partner's instructions slipped slightly then regained her balance as she brought her leg back under her. The pair slowly glided forward. "Good job, now the other one," Beast Boy said in a reassuring voice.
Both of them slowly proceeded as a crowd of skaters circled past them. Raven looked down as she alternately pushed off with her skates and eventually gained a little speed. "Keep your eyes up," Beast Boy instructed. Raven brought her eyes back up to Beast Boy's. "Why?" she questioned. "So you can see where we're going," Beast Boy continued. "I've got my back turned and you have to let me know if we're going to run into anything."
Raven shot an annoyed look at her partner then tilted her head to the side to inspect the area ahead of them. "Well, we're going so slow everyone's passing us."
"Oh is that so?" Beast Boy replied devilishly. "Well I can change that." Beast Boy suddenly released his grip and circled behind his suddenly frightened partner. He firmly grasped the back of Raven's arms then began pushing her forward.
"Wait, what are you doing? This is too fast, I'm gonna fall." Raven protested.
"Come on, you wanted to go faster." Beast Boy countered. The pair weaved through the crowd as Raven held her breath waiting for the inevitable crash.
"OK, I'm going to let go." Beast Boy said as his skates cut crisply into the snowy surface. "Remember, keep your skates under your shoulders." He gave her a slight push forward. Raven let out a small frightened shriek as she glided solo. She went forward several feet unescorted with her arms stiffly held out to her side. "Now push off." Beast Boy called out.
Raven did as instructed and pushed out with her skate. It scraped the surface pealing off a small amount of snow. Her edge got caught on the ice surface and she spun around awkwardly. Beast Boy closed his eyes not wanting to watch the unavoidable crash. Raven let out a slight scream, deposited herself on her rear end and slowly spun on the ice until she was facing back towards Beast Boy. She pulled her hands off of the cold ice surface and folded them across her chest then shot him an angry look of disgust.
Beat Boy slowly skated over to her. "Um, the second most important thing is to fall forward."
"Thanks for that piece of advice," she replied in an agitated voice. "Some teacher you wound up being. My butt is killing me."
Beast Boy gently lifted her up to her feet and then instinctively brushed the snow off Raven's back side. "It looks fine," he said without thinking. He quickly blushed after he realized what he said. "I mean, umm, that is," he said flustered. Raven shot him an icy stare. "There's no way I'm going to be able to take that back is there," he said meekly. Raven slowly shook her head.
"Coming through," Cyborg announced. He had formed a small train with Starfire and Robin pushing him through the crowd. Beast Boy saw his chance and turned Raven around then quickly pushed her forward to join the others. Raven grabbed Robin's waist as the group briefly accordioned together then slowly spread back out.
"Whoa, hold on guys this is too fast," Cyborg complained. Beast Boy dug his skates hard into the ice pushing the others in front of him at an even faster pace. "I can't steer," Cyborg said as his skates went out from under him and the other Titans tumbled over him in a laughing heap.
Starfire and Robin slowly worked their way to their feet then helped Cyborg back up. Beast Boy stood up, brushed the snow from his legs then helped Raven to her feet. She was smiling this time as he took her hand. The other three picked themselves up then resumed skating. Raven and Beast Boy paused the began their slow jaunt around the rink. Other skaters passed by the couple as Beast Boy continued to encouraged his partner. Raven methodically worked her way around the rink under Beast Boy's instruction slowly gaining some confidence.
They skated around the rink and finally caught up with the others. Starfire was sandwiched between Robin and Cyborg. Robin looked back as Beast Boy and Raven approached the trio.
He flashed a devilish grin and grabbed Beast Boys hand. "Crack the whip Cyborg!" he cried as Cyborg laughed then dug his skates down into the ice and pulled the others around. Starfire screeched as she was quickly swung around. Raven's eyes opened wide in horror as Robin and Beast Boy fought to hold their grip. Starfire tumbled roughly to the ice dragging Robin down with her. Beast Boy released his grip on Robin trying to avoid being pulled down by the stumbling duo. He lost his balance and released Raven's hand. She cried out as she went careening out of control towards the boards.
Beast Boy caught an edge on the ice and fell forward on all fours. Raven raised her hands up trying to catch herself as she crashed heavily into the boards then fell backwards on her rear end and leaned back on her hands.
Beast Boy quickly stood up and skated over to where Raven had deposited herself. Robin, Starfire and Cyborg were laughing uncontrollably.
"Raven, are you OK?" Beast Boy asked anxiously.
"Yea, I think so," she replied half heartedly.
"Hey, that was great," he said.
"What do you mean," Raven replied as she struggled to her feet.
"You didn't fall down," he said trying to suppress his laughter.
"Very funny," she countered. "The next thing you have to show me is how to stop."
"Hey, I can do that," he replied relieved she was unhurt.
Raven's communicator beeped rhythmically indicating trouble. "Looks like we'll have to try that some other time." Her skates fell under shadow.
"Hey wait a minute," Beast Boy protested. "You promised not to use your powers on the ice, remember?"
She frown momentarily considering their agreement, "OK, but you have to help me off the ice," she lightly grasped Beat Boy's hand as they made their way through the crowd of skaters.