Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans.
Tea for Two
He didn't know if she would come, but he took a seat anyway. It was a tiny table for two, tucked away in the back of the new café that had taken over the old pizza joint. He breathed in the smell of wood and coffee beans, marveling at the way Jump City had changed, transformed into a landscape that was so different from what he'd remembered it as a kid.
His green tea soy latte arrived, and he smiled wryly at its shade of green. So familiar, and yet, so long ago…
When the shadow fell across the table, it wasn't surprise that gripped him, because he'd sensed her presence the minute she'd entered the doors. Rather, he felt a dull ache in this chest; it was the last thing he'd expected to feel.
He was proud of himself. No cheesy 'You came', 'You remembered' lines. Just something plain and simple, something mature.
Because that was what they both were, now.
"It's… good to see you."
If he was thrown off by the sentimentality contained in her reply, he did not show it. She slid into the seat opposite him, and he caught the faintest whiff of perfume, of the intoxicating scent of flowers that only bloom when the moon is full. And then the scent dissipated, and he found himself looking at her.
"Your hair… it's grown."
"Yes." A pause. "I haven't cut it since we… since the Titans…"
"It suits you."
He looked up into her dark eyes and saw curiosity. A split second later, she masked them, but by then he'd already seen the question in her gaze.
"You can ask," he said gently.
She shot him an apologetic look.
"What happened? You're… your skin… it's… normal."
"They found a cure, a few years back. Metropolis. I was living there by then, so… it was easy."
He watched as she took in the enormity of what he was saying. Her eyes widened by a fraction, but for her, it was enough to show that the news had shocked her.
"So you're… you don't have your… powers anymore?"
She frowned slightly.
"You look as pale as ever. Do you sleep well?"
It came out before he remembered that she hardly ever slept when they were younger. She just sort of hovered around and meditated.
"I rest enough."
"That's good. Oh hell, I'm sorry – do you want a drink?"
"It's okay, I don't drink coffee now…"
"You can have tea. I'm having a green tea soy latte."
She smiled ruefully, and for a second he wondered if she really was the same girl he'd grown up with, he'd fought alongside, and who had made nothing but snide remarks about him the whole time they'd lived in the Tower with the others.
"All right, I'll have what you're having."
They sat staring at each other until her drink came, and then he shifted his gaze and stared at the hot vapours that rose from her mug. By then, his own drink had become lukewarm. She raised the mug to her lips and sipped the tea gingerly. He peeled his eyes away from her mouth and cleared his throat awkwardly.
"So, uh… you still doing your chants and magic stuff?"
"You know what I mean."
"I'll always have to meditate, Beast – " She stopped, then corrected herself quickly, "Logan. It's what keeps the demons at bay."
"No one calls me Logan now," he said. (It was a lie.) "I'm still Beast Boy at heart, really."
"But you're not a boy anymore." She smiled again, and this time she did not bother concealing the sadness in her eyes.
He looked away and brushed an imaginary speck of dust from the tabletop. After all these years, he still found it impossible to look into her eyes for long.
"Things change," he said simply.
Somewhere near the front of the café, a table of young students burst into raucous laughter. And suddenly he felt suffocated, by the four walls of the café, by the all too small table they were at, by the whole setting. He needed to get out. He wanted out.
She raised the mug to her lips and drained the last drops of tea, then wiped her lips with the thin paper serviette lying next to her mug.
"I'm done. We could… talk a short walk if you want."
It was as if she'd read his mind.
He'd forgotten she could do that.
Out in the street, she pulled her navy coat closer around her, and wrapped her arms protectively in front of her chest.
They stood on the sidewalk for a while, unsure of where to go.
"The park?" he suggested.
She gave a slight nod, and they turned to walk in the direction of greenery.
"So," she began lightly, "I hear you're married."
He almost stopped walking. It took all of his willpower to keep one foot moving in front of the other.
"Yeah. Yes. I am. How… how did you find out? Did Cy tell you?"
"Mmm," she evaded his question with one of her own, "what's she like?"
"Oh, Theresa? She's… she's great. She's got a kind heart, and a wonderful smile."
"Does she know about..."
"The Titans?" he jumped in. "No. Bless her, she doesn't know a thing about… my past."
She cast a glance in his direction, and for a moment he cursed himself for not having let her finish her sentence. Perhaps she hadn't meant to ask about his past, but about something else…
"And your…" there was a moments hesitation, "children?"
He wondered, not without a slight amount of irritation, where she'd gotten her information.
"They're good. Take after their mother, mostly. They have her fair hair."
They'd reached the park, and the sun was beginning to set. The trees around them cast thin, dying shadows on the gravel paths. He half expected her to pick a bench to sit on, but she kept on walking, and so did he, jamming his fists into his pockets.
"So," he ventured after a bout of silence, "are you seeing anyone?"
She made a sound that sounded like a sigh. "Yes. Max. He's a journalist."
"I see. That's nice."
"He's usually overseas working on a beat, so, it works out. I get my space."
"You always needed your space."
If she took offence at his remark, she did not show it.
"I'm having a baby."
It clicked then, for him, and he wondered why he hadn't realized it sooner – the soft roundness of her features, the tentative way in which she held herself, the passing remark about coffee, her slightly oversized blue coat. Or maybe he had noticed all these, but had not wanted to believe it.
"I… That's… Congratulations."
She stopped walking, then, and turned to face him.
"We've really come a long way, haven't we?"
He did not know if she meant her and Max, or about the two of them, her and him.
They were so close. He could have reached out then, brushed aside the stray tendril of hair and tucked it behind her delicate ear. She could have brought a slender hand to his mouth and smoothed away the frown lines that were beginning to show. He could have pressed his lips to hers, like how he'd always dreamt of doing a long, long time ago, and she, resisting at first, would slowly relent and allow the kiss to deepen.
But she had Max to think about. And he, Theresa and the kids.
No, things weren't that simple anymore.
They were no longer teenagers, no longer Titans.
"I enjoyed the tea," she finished his sentence for him.
"And the walk," he added.
"And the walk, yes."
"If you like, we could meet sometime again. Just to catch up, you know. Have tea again."
The sun sank further down in the horizon, and a soft breeze scattered the fallen leaves around their feet.
She smiled at him again, suddenly, painfully.
"I'd like that, Beast Boy. I would."