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.
This little ficlet is dedicated to Kayasuri-n, a great writer, and an even greater friend, on the occasion of her birthday.
Raven glared at Beast Boy. "I want you to know that I hold you totally responsible for this." The hard tones of her angry voice reverberated in the hallway on the top floor of Titans Tower. "Even if he did all the damage."
"Why me?" the shapeshifting boy said defensively. "You're the one who saved him in the first place. I mean, not that that was a bad thing to do."
"And you're the one who told me we just had to bring him back to the Tower with us," she retorted.
"Well, we did! I mean, he almost got crushed when Johnny Rancid attacked us with that mechanical monster of his. You were barely able to pull him out of the way in time."
Raven shook her head in exasperation. It was impossible to argue with him when he was like this. "Granted, I didn't want to see him hurt. That doesn't mean I wanted to adopt him. He's nothing but trouble."
"Aw, how can you say that, Rae?" Beast Boy admonished her. "I mean, look at that face!"
Involuntarily, she looked down at her feet, and into the adoring eyes of the tiny mixed-breed puppy that laid there, looking up at her. The pup was mostly white (well, when he hadn't done something that resulted in him being dirty, he was mostly white,) with black markings covering his eyes and slightly too-large ears.
She had to admit, he was very cute.
Pulling her eyes away from the dog, Raven sighed. "Listen, I can appreciate you wanting to help an animal, Beast Boy. But, look at what he's done over the last week. He got into Starfire's zorka berries, and spent a day vomiting all over the place. He got into Cyborg's garage and chewed on the wiring on the T-car. And he peed on Robin's boots."
"Several times," Beast Boy added helpfully. "I don't think he likes Rob."
"All that, I personally couldn't care less about," Raven continued. "But then, I came home today, and walked into my room. Through the open door of my room." Raven could feel the vein in her forehead beginning to throb.
Beast Boy swallowed heavily. "Ummm, gee, Rae... are you trying to imply something?"
"I won't bother to. I'm just going to ask why you went in my room." It was taking every ounce of her self control not to use her powers to grab some random heavy object, and strike the green boy repeatedly with it.
"I umm, uhhh... well you see... ummm," Beast Boy was definitely floundering now. "I just wanted to play with the puppy. And he only sleeps in your room-"
"-And I'm just thrilled about that, by the way," she interjected. "I just love being woke up by my face being licked."
"Well he likes ya, Rae. You did save his life, after all. Anyway, he was in your room, and I just wanted to play with him, so I went in."
"And judging from the horrible mess you two made in there, I'd say you had a good time. I'm happy for you." Raven was definitely seething now.
"Look, Rae I'm sorry. Things just got a little... out of hand..." the changeling said rather lamely.
"'A little out of hand?' Is that all?" The half-demon girl could feel her rage reaching a peak. "Let's see, we have a broken lamp, an uprooted potted plant, one blanket clearly shredded by puppy teeth... shall I go on?" She was almost shouting now. "And on top of all that, little bits of torn paper, scattered everywhere. Little bits of paper with writing on them. Writing as in books, Beast Boy. You let that little monster destroy one of my books, you blockhead!"
Beast Boy was clearly terrified of his teammate's fury at this point. "Listen, Raven... I'm really sorry about all the mess."
"Beast Boy, you know how much I care about my books, how could you let this happen?" She knew her eyes were glowing crimson now.
"It was an accident, I swear!" Beast Boy maintained. "I was, ummm... looking for something to help clean up the mess, when puppy knocked over my glass of soda, and... well... I was looking for a towel or something, and I thought you might keep them in that old chest over by the wall. I mean it was unlocked and all, so I didn't think there'd be any harm in-"
"W-wait. A chest?"
"Yeah, old wooden one on the far side of the room. Anyway, all I saw in there was this old book, so I just sorta forgot about it. I must've left it open accidentally or something, and the little guy must've got in there and tore your book up. I'm sure he's just as sorry as I am."
Raven suddenly realized something. "This book, did it have a white leather cover?"
Beast Boy nodded. "Yep. I didn't bother looking in the book. You know me and books don't get along too well," he said with a nervous little laugh. "I'm sorry if it was a favorite of yours..."
Raven took a deep breath. Suddenly, she didn't feel so angry any more. "It's... it's quite alright Beast Boy. That particular book was... eminently forgettable. And I'm sure you didn't mean for it to happen. Accidents happen, after all."
Beast Boy looked hopeful. "Does this mean you forgive us?"
"I forgive you... this time."
"Oh, ok. I'm glad. Nothing special about this book then?"
"No, not a favorite of mine at all." No, she definitely wouldn't miss that particular volume. "Look, I probably shouldn't have yelled at you. Just... tell me if you want to play with the puppy in the future, ok? No more breaking into my room, alright?"
"Fair enough!" Beast Boy replied cheerily, clearly happy that his teammate's temper had improved. "I could help clean up the mess, if you want. Least I could do. I just have to take the little guy out for a walk first."
"Very well, then."
Beast Boy whistled, and the puppy got up and dashed cheerfully to his side, panting with eagerness. Beast Boy turned to leave, but then hesitated, and turned back to his teammate. "Hey, I was thinking... it's starting to look more and more like we'll never find this poor guy's owner, so... maybe we can adopt him for good?"
Raven looked at the tiny creature dashing back and fourth at the young boy's feet. She felt herself smile, just a bit. "That's very possible."
"And, you know, we haven't really had any ideas for a name for the little fella. I was wondering if you could help me pick out a few possible ones? We could talk about it while I walk him, if you don't mind tagging along."
"I'd.." she paused. "Yes, I think I'd like that very much."
"Great!" Beast Boy said, beaming. "Meet you downstairs in a bit, then." Beast Boy led the puppy to the elevator, and waved to her as the doors closed for their descent.
While on the way down, Beast Boy looked down at the pup, and smiled. "Well, that went well, didn't it?"
The puppy looked back at him, and let out a gleeful yip.
"Thanks for helping me out there, couldn't have done it without ya, lil' guy!" Suddenly, Beast Boy chuckled rather evilly. "I owed ya that one, Malchior!"
Raven walked around her room, pieces of the shredded paper and leather from Malchior's book, depositing them in a trash container for disposal later. Raven had thought about destroying the bothersome book herself on many occasions in the past, but, part of the enchantment surrounding the cursed tome prevented it from being destroyed by human -or humanoid- hands, so she probably wouldn't have been able to anyway. However, it appears that the author of the curse hadn't counted on the destructive power of a tiny mongrel puppy.
Using a tendril of black energy to pick up another piece of paper and depositing it in the trash, Raven couldn't help but smile, just a bit.
Wow, for a silly little fic, this sure went through a lot of different variations. I had to re-write this thing quite a few times, for some reason. Special thanks to my good friend and fellow author CalliopeMused in helping get a few bits just right.
Why a puppy? That's an inside joke between me and Kayasuri-n.
Less serious than my usual work, to be sure. But, I like it, and I hope the birthday girl does too.
24 June 2006