Disclaimer: The Teen Titans and associated characters are the property of DC Comics and AOL Time Warner. This story is being written for entertainment purposes only. No profit is being sought and no Copyright infringement is intended.
Dedicated to a wonderful friend, on her birthday.
Of all days to get this call, why today...
Raven was unsure where the thought came from. It was unlike her to be this way. Such... whining was out of character for someone who should have been used to such hardships as this. And it wouldn't even be terribly great of a hardship, at that. Just a small matter involving Dr. Light, nothing terribly world-shattering.
Still, she was annoyed that the call had come on this particular day.
This was her day.
Sighing, she reached up to adjust the clasp on her cloak so that it wouldn't jab her in her neck. However, before she could do so, a pair of hands slipped around from behind her shoulders and did it for her. She smiled a little as she felt the intruder lean close to her and whisper in her ear; she already knew there was no cause for alarm, from this particular interloper.
"You shouldn't leave your bedroom door unlocked... almost anyone could get in..."
She turned to face the speaker. "Point taken, Garfield."
Garfield Logan smiled at her, then brazenly looked her over as he she stood before him. "My, my, my, you still look hot in that costume. We should do this more often!"
Raven returned the look. "You've gained weight," she said with characteristic bluntness.
He made some show of looking down at himself in his body-hugging costume. The only weight he'd gained was just a bit from filling out as the years had went by; he was still whip-thin. It was hard to put on too many pounds on his strict vegetarian diet. But he looked up, and smiled, clearly recognizing the joking tone of her words. "Is it starting to show? I have your cooking to thank for that, of course. It's forced me to a dependence on junk food for nutrition."
She shook her head. "We'll stop this now, I'm feeling too charitable to engage in a battle of wits with someone unarmed. Anyway, we have a villain to stop, remember, Garfield?"
Gar made a face. "Yeesh. If you can call Dr. Light a villain. He's strictly JV."
Raven nodded, as she adjusted her white cloak one final time. "Yes, but the Justice League is spread pretty thin right now, with all the shenanigans that Luthor's been up to lately. So, they're down to reservists, and J'onn remembered how much experience we'd had with this particular criminal, and so, he called us on it."
"Couldn't he have called Dick and Kori? They still do this full-time."
"No, Nightwing and Starfire are on assignment in Africa with the rest of the Outsiders. So, right now, we're it."
"Swell," Gar muttered. "Remind me to pound Light extra-hard this time, for deciding to do this today, of all days. I mean, I have a half-made cake downstairs, and everything."
Raven picked up her communicator from out of the chest where she kept her costume and equipment, and slipped it in her ear. The tiny discreet communicators the League used were definitely superior to the hand-held units the Titans had used.
Thinking about those days brought a small smile to her face.
"Um... earth to Raven?"
She looked back at him, shook her head. "Just reminiscing, Beast Boy."
"Ahem... that's Changeling now, Miss," he said with mock indignance. "I gave up the whole -boy thing when you made an honest man out of me." He held his left hand up and made some show of wagging his ring finger, wearing its plain gold band.
She looked down at her own hand, which wore the ring's mate. "Yes, I suppose. But, you're always going to be Beast Boy to me. I mean, I am still taller than you," she said pointedly. "Anyhow, how long until Victor gets here?"
"About 20 minutes, I'd guess. He was dropping off Jinx when I called. He said he'd be happy to watch things around here for us, but I still feel bad for pulling him away from his girl, and all."
"Eh, that's why he should just make things official with her. That way, he can just bring her over too."
"I don't think Jinx is suited for house-sitting for a pair of semi-retired superheroes." Gar said. "Besides, I think he's still kinda worried how the other people in our profession will react to him having a relationship with a not-totally-reformed ex-villain."
"He worries too much. Since he's showing up, he could finish the cake for you, y'know."
"Yeah, that'd be nice. Just so long as he keeps it vegetarian, that is," Gar said as he slipped his own communicator in his ear.
"The cake isn't really for you, y'know, it's not your birthday," Raven pointed out
"Yeah, but, I want some, anyway."
She laughed in spite of herself. "Whatever. I guess we're ready, then." She turned and regarded her reflection in the bedroom mirror. "Aren't we getting too old to dress up in silly costumes and play good guys vs. bad guys?"
He came up beside her and put an arm around her. "Hardly. We're not even thirty yet. I think we still have a few adventures left in us, before they put us out to pasture."
"I hope so." She looked at the clock on their nightstand. "If we do this in quick enough, we can be back in time to have some kind of party for her. Where is she anyway?"
Gar paused a moment, seeming to cock one pointed ear up. Then he smirked and slowly crept over to the bedroom door, making as little noise as he could. Then he suddenly took the knob in his hand and pulled the door open, leaving a small girl in a pink dress standing in the entrance, in a rather comical pose, as the door she had had one ear pressed to was suddenly gone. She looked back at him rather guiltily, her emerald-green eyes wide.
Gar looked down at her with a quizzical expression on his face. "Care to explain, little lady?"
"I thought you were talking 'bout presents," the child said in a piping voice.
Raven joined her husband. "No, dear. All the presents are safely hidden. You won't get them until tonight."
"But, will I still have my party, mommy? You and daddy are going to go away..." The child looked quite upset.
Gar picked up his daughter and held her closely in his arms. "We'll only be gone for a couple of hours, honey. An emergency came up that me and your mom have to take care of. We'll be back in time to help you blow out the candles. All five of them."
"Six, daddy," the child corrected seriously.
Gar gasped theatrically. "Six! Really? You're getting so big!"
Raven smiled at her family. Garfield Logan was still in many ways the same boy she had met years ago in Jump City. Indeed, he was still a child at heart. Perhaps that's why he was such a wonderful father.
Raven continued to look at them, suddenly feeling reflective. She had never celebrated her own birth as a child. Indeed, she had been always been told that her birth was nothing for anyone to be happy about at all. And, with hindsight, Raven would admit that not having those memories of friends and family gathered together around her on such days left a rather large hole inside her.
Which was why this day was so special to her. Sharing in her daughter's joy more than make up for the things that she missed out on.
And if she did happen to miss out on this because of Dr. Light... she'd make sure he regretted it.
She roused herself from her reverie, and reached out and stroked her daughter's unruly green hair tenderly. "Mommy and daddy have to be going soon. You be good for Uncle Victor, okay?"
"Okay mommy!" The child climbed down from her father's arms, and scurried away. Before leaving, she stopped at the doorway and turned back to her parents. "Happy birthday, Mommy!" she said enthusiastically.
Raven smiled at the beaming little girl. "Happy birthday to you too, dear."
The former Beastboy stood to the side, a rueful expression on his face. "Y'know, it's strange how the universe works. My daughter and my wife sharing the same birthday and all."
"I guess that if there is some sort of supreme being, he has a sense of humor."
"I think he wanted to give you a reason to celebrate this day, that's all." He walked over to her, and gave her a gentle kiss. "I'm afraid your present will be late. I had to scramble to find all the things the kid wanted, after all. I'll find something for you next payday. Working at the zoo's fun, but superheroing pays better."
"That's alright, Garfield," she said, looking back at the doorway her daughter had left through. She put her arms around her husband in a tight embrace. "You've already given me the greatest gift I could've asked for."
Yeah, it's fluffy. Y'know what, who cares? I had fun writing it, and I hope you had fun reading it. Plenty of time for serious stuff later.
Hope you liked it, Lambbaby. Happy Birthday!
5 May 2006