by Tavalya Ra

E-mail: clearbluedelphia at yahoo dot com

Rating: PG

Category: Romance

Summary: Raven finds companionship from a familiar yet unexpected source

Disclaimer: "Teen Titans" is owned by Warner Brothers and DC Comics. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Beastboy seemed to Raven always rambunctious, whether arguing over the merits of tofu waffles with Cyborg, debating Slade's next move with Robin, or trying to decipher the bizarre lingo Starfire often spouted. Always in motion, always waving his hands- or tail or tentacles or wings or antennae, whatever he had at the moment- always cracking a joke that inevitably fell flat a second after delivery.

The silence Raven heard the first time she and Beastboy were alone in the Tower was startling. She glanced up from her book, wondering if she ought to ask her fellow Titan if he felt well- yet obviously he was as he lay on his stomach, gazing out the window with a face of quiet contemplation. She resumed reading.

Moments later, she heard a soft caw and felt a slight weight land upon her shoulder. Raven looked aside to find a green version of her namesake perched by her head, its eyes moving back and forth intently as it read her text. Careful not to startle the bird, she decided to let Beastboy be and returned her attention to the book.

Though they had rarely shared time without the other Titans before, they found themselves together alone often over the next weeks. Little was said- once Beastboy inquired if she was more comfortable with him on her left or right shoulder, once Raven asked him if he enjoyed the story or thought it boring, but otherwise they were silent. The only words were those upon the page, though Raven imagined she could hear the silence speak and the sound gave her warmth.

One day, without warning, Beastboy changed from bird to snake and coiled around her neck. His smooth scales rubbing against her skin felt almost like a caress and Raven nearly blushed. She ought to warn him away from that area which she hadn't realized before was so sensitive, she thought, but when she opened her mouth to speak, other words tumbled out.

"Beastboy- why don't you just be yourself?"

Her neck became cold as he left her, springing onto the sofa beside her in changing from reptile to boy.

"I am being myself," he answered.

And then she realized he might understand her.