The green skinned changeling stood at the window in his room in the T shaped building, and looked across the bay at Jump City. Dominating the view was a park that had been set aside at the shore. The bright sunlight, and warm temperatures, of early spring, drew out groups of people enjoying the weather that he could see there.
Unconsciously, a list of creatures that he could change into, that would enjoy the weather, ran through his head and he sighed heavily when he wondered why he didn't do exactly that.
Giving himself a mental shake, he confirmed to himself that, despite what his friends thought, he wasn't brooding. No, make that most of his friends, as he knew of one that knew better.
Turning from the window, he went over to his dresser and looked at the collection of framed photos he had arranged there. There was a group shot of him with the Doom Patrol, a similar one of him with the Titans, and a couple of him with a blonde haired, blue eyed girl. With another, softer sigh, he picked up a photo that showed just the blonde from the shoulders up, smiling hugely at the camera. A red marker had been used, and a big red heart had been drawn in the lower right corner and inside it the words; 'To Beast Boy, my first best friend, Terra' had been written, with an XOXO below it.
"Now I am brooding." he muttered, then turned when someone knocked at his door. He crossed over to it, thinking that a certain one of his friends had knocked, because either Robin or Cyborg had decided that he had been alone too long, and wanted to get his mind off that way that things had changed.
Steeling himself for a "joyous" greeting from his visitor, he unlocked the door and opened it. He stood there for a long moment, surprised beyond words at who was standing in the hall.
"Can I talk to you?" Raven asked.
"Ummmm. . . Sure, come on in." Beast Boy answered, stepping back so Raven could enter the room, wondering what the dark Titan wanted to discuss with him.
Raven watched as he put the photo he had been holding in a dresser drawer and closed it. She could feel his apprehension, at her presence, and she found herself wishing that he was more at ease around her.
"So they sent you, instead of Star this time, huh." he said, turning to face her.
"No. . . .I could feel that you wanted to be alone, so I convinced Starfire to take Robin and Cyborg to the mall," she answered. "There's a concept car display in the parking garage to keep Cyborg busy for a while, and a martial arts demonstration by the food court, that I know Robin will want to watch and, of course, where Robin goes so does Starfire." she explained. "Beast Boy, what I wanted to talk to you about is, well. . . . .us."
"You and . . . .me?"
Raven saw her friend grow even more surprised when she smiled softly and chuckled. "That would be the two people that would be us." Just as quickly as it had come her smile left, and she grew serious. "I've seen a change in you, Garfield. Yes, you're still the jokester that you've always been, but you've also grown more serious since. . . ."
"Since Terra," he finished for her, surprised at Raven's using his given name without picking on him.
"Yes," she said and lowered her gaze. "I haven't said this to you before, because I didn't think you were ready to accept it. I'm sorry Beast Boy. Sorry for what she did to you."
Beast Boy was puzzled for a moment. "You mean for her breaking my heart, like Malchior did yours?"
"No," she said, and saw him grow even more confused. "Malchior broke my heart, yes, but what she did to you was to rip it out, stomp on it, then kick it in the cutter."
"You never did like her."
Raven sighed softly, but kept her gaze on Beast Boy's. "I won't deny that. I respect you too much to lie to you like that. No, I didn't like her, but I also realized how much you liked her, and how much she meant to you."
Beast Boy was silent for a moment as he thought over what Raven said. "Why the change, Raven?
The dark Titan sighed softly. "A conversation Starfire and I had, shortly after she and Robin had gotten together. Garfield, I have known that you've had feelings for me for quite a while, but I couldn't return those feelings because I couldn't afford to feel anything."
"And what changed that Raven?" he asked, then a look of realization flashed across his face. "When we defeated Trigon!"
Raven nodded, "When he used me as his portal, I was. . . .changed, as you saw when Robin brought me back, and his defeat in this dimension changed the core of my power. I'm only now getting used to the idea that I can express my emotions now."
"I would have thought that you would have had feelings for Robin, seeing as you have a bond."
"As I told Starfire once before, I may have a piece of his mind, but she has his heart and soul." She was silent for a moment, then looked down for a moment. "I'm going to tell you something, and I don't want you to freak out on me, okay?" Beast Boy nodded, so she went on. "You know the bond, between Robin and I, formed when I had to go into his mind when he was under the influence of that dust on Slade's mask, right."
"Yeah, you tried to make him see that it was all in his mind."
Raven nodded. "There's. . . .someone else I have a bond with. Someone who doesn't know." She almost smiled at the look that washed over Beast Boy's face.
"No way! You can't be serious!"
"I. . . .I know I should have told you before, but I wasn't sure how you would take it. It formed when you and Cyborg entered my mind, the day after that battle with Doctor Light.
"So you've got one with Cy too?"
"No. Cyborg's mind is. . . . .different. The same thing the kept Brother Blood from controlling him prevented it. To be honest, I can't read him, either."
Beast Boy was silent for a few moments, thinking. "Ya know, you're not the first one that has noticed a change in me. I mean Robin's been treating me a little differently lately. Any idea why?"
Raven looked at him in surprise for a moment. "Garfield you still don't realize just how special what you did was, do you?" she asked, then went on after getting a confused look, "You took the lead after Robin was captured and took four Titans, that had never worked together before, came up with a plan to rescue everyone, and defeated the Brotherhood of Evil," she listed, "And your using my telepathic powers to coordinate with Cyborg and Starfire surprised even me," she added, then was silent for a moment.
"I only did what had to be done," Beast Boy said, "There wasn't anyone else around."
"But you didn't quit, even when your team wanted to," she told him, "Haven't you wondered why Cyborg, myself or Starfire didn't do anything before we heard from you?" she asked, and Beast Boy shrugged his shoulders, "Because we had given up hope. After Robin was captured, we figured that if they captured him, the best of us, how could we stand a chance of winning against them. You showed us how. That's why I have a hard time now, calling you Beast Boy."
"So you really like me?" He looked over at Raven and saw that she had closed her eyes. Suddenly, memory fragments started flashing through his mind. The hug that he had gotten from her after he told her she wasn't alone, after Malchior had betrayed her, and broke her heart, along with Raven's emotions behind that hug. Next was how he had protected her from Adonis, when he had changed, into a primal animal, and attacked her. How he was the only one who stopped to ask her if she was okay when Malchior had trashed her room when he revealed his true self to her. The final scene was his ecstatic antics, at her return after Trigon's defeat.
As the images faded he blinked a few times, and found that Raven was looking at him. "I'm sorry that I did it that way, but I don't know how else I could convince you on my being honest with you." She was silent for a moment as she looked into his eyes, trying to get some glimmer of what his response was going to be. Her own emotions were interfering with her empathic powers at the moment. "If you want, there is a way that I can break the bond." She waited a moment then turned to leave. She was surprised when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
Raven turned and looked at him, puzzled. "Don't?"
"Don't leave. Don't break the bond, and don't think that you aren't capable of being held like this." Raven was surprised for a moment as he pulled her into a hug. Not the bone crunching type or even the kind that he gave her after Trigon was defeated, but rather a gentle hug that conveyed his acceptance and appreciation of her, and the feelings they shared for each other.