Hello again! This is my second TT fic, so please be nice. If any of you have read "Clash of Worlds", you've already read one of my TT stories.
Just to let you know, this is going to be a big BBxRae fic, with maybe a little RobxStar. So if you don't like, don't read! The story takes place about a year after "Things Change." I'm just running on the assumption that "Things Change" took place during the late spring or summer, and this story begins in February of the following year. Just one more thing, don't make too many assumptions based on the summary, since this fic will have its own share of twists and turns! Hopefully, you'll like it. Enjoy!
Chapter 1: Valentine's Day!
It was another cool, clear night in Jump City. The nearly full moon and its multitude of stars cast their soft light upon the towering spires below. Thousands of dotted lights shone from the buildings and skyscrapers, almost mirroring the sky above. Cars and buses zipped up and down the criss-crossing roads, full of busy people heading toward wherever they had to go. Like many cities across the country, Jump City was bursting with activity almost 24 hours a day. Things were no different in Titans' tower, home to Jump City's famous young heroes.
"Beast Boy, go away."
Raven turned away to head for her room. Her path was blocked when Beast Boy leapt in front of her.
"Pleeease? Why don't you wanna do it?" He gave her the best sad face he could muster.
Raven stared at him eye-to eye without a hint of emotion. "Because I have better things to do than waste my time watching stupid movies. Now move."
An aura of black energy surrounded the changeling and shoved him over to the wall, earning a painful "Oof!" from him. Not even glancing at him, Raven walked past him toward her door. She was stopped yet again when something gripped her ankle. The empath looked behind her to see Beast Boy sprawled on the floor, gripping her ankle, and giving an even sadder puppy-dog look than before.
"You are pathetic," she said in her usual monotone voice.
Fake tears were now streaming down Beast Boy's face. "Come on Rae, why don't you wanna watch a movie with the rest of us?"
"It's Raven." A vein bulged in her forehead. He still called her that, even after the countless times she'd corrected him! It was getting to the point where even death threats didn't work! "And I told you, I just don't want to watch a movie, okay? Now leave me alone!"
"But why? Why can't you just spend a couple hours outside your room with us for once?"
"Why do you care?!" Raven shouted, throwing up her arms. "What difference does it make if I'm there or not? I just don't feel like it, okay? Especially one that you picked out!"
"Exactly! I picked it out, so you know it's gonna be hilarious!" Beast Boy let go of her ankle and got to his feet before she could kick him off. "Come on, Rae-"
"Raven!" she shouted angrily. Beast Boy paused nervously as Raven gave him a look mean enough to burn holes in his forehead. The changeling backed away a couple steps and twiddled his thumbs nervously.
"Seriously Raven, why don't you just wanna spend a couple hours with us?"
"It's not that, I just want to do something else alone for now."
"But you're always doing stuff alone! You're always just sitting in your room reading or meditating or…or whatever else you do in there! Don't you ever want to have fun?"
Raven folded her arms and glared at him. "I can have fun. Reading a book."
Beast Boy mimicked her and folded his own arms. Since the pleading approach wasn't working, he thought he might try reasoning. Not something he was really good at, but what could it hurt?
"Look Raven, even after all this time you still just insist on being alone! We're your friends Raven! We just want to spend time with you! Would it really be too much to ask you just hang around with us and maybe try something new for a change?"
"Look, Beast Boy," she said a little more calmly, trying to mask her growing impatience. "I just don't feel like watching it. I probably won't like it anyway, especially after just having heard you describe it downstairs. Besides, you got Cyborg, Robin, and Starfire, whom I'm sure will be willing to spend time with you and your stupid movie." She raised an eyebrow, hoping that would be the end of the conversation.
Bored already with reasoning, Beast Boy went back to pleading. "But I don't wanna just spend time with them, I wanna spend time with you, too! Come on Raven, I'm not gonna be able to have fun if I know you're just sitting up here by yourself!"
"And that would concern me, how?"
Beast Boy folded his hands behind his back and stared at her with those wide, sad eyes again.
The mage rolled her eyes and sighed. "Fine. If it'll get you to leave me alone, I guess I can watch it a bit."
Beast Boy threw up his arms and jumped up and down in excitement. "Yes! Yes! I knew you'd wanna come!" He threw his arms around her and hugged her tightly, but pulled back at seeing the icy glare she gave him. He rubbed the back of his neck and laughed nervously. "Heh heh…so uh, let's go. Can't keep the others waiting!"
Raven groaned and followed him to the common room.
"I can't believe I let you talk me into this," Raven moaned. Next to her, Beast Boy was laughing hysterically at the screen, rolling around on the couch with a bucket of popcorn in hand and spilling kernels onto the floor.
"Wha…what's the matter Raven?" he squeaked in between laughs. "Don't you like it?"
"I haven't laughed once throughout this entire film. What do you think?"
"But why not? It's hilarious!"
Raven closed her eyes in frustration. "Just what's so funny about it? It's pointless! I mean, look at this!" She motioned at the screen with her hands. "They're knights in the forest who just say 'Ni!' There's nothing funny about it! It's just…silly!"
"Exactly! That's why it's funny!"
Only a few feet away Cyborg was wiping tears from his eyes. "Oh man, that scene cracks me up every time!" he stammered as he shoveled popcorn into his mouth.
The room was dark; the only light coming from the TV. On the other side, Robin and Starfire were sitting together on the loveseat. Starfire seemed to be enjoying herself, but had to frequently ask Robin questions to understand what was going on or what was supposed to be funny.
"I do not understand, Robin," the alien princess asked. "What is the significance of the 'shrubbery', and why would they want one? Is it some sort of artifact of great power that will allow them to rule the world?"
Robin paused nervously yet again. "Um, no Starfire. A shrubbery's just an ordinary thing that isn't worth much at all. It's supposed to be ironic. They're evil knights, you see, so you'd expect them to want something powerful or significant. But instead they just want a shrubbery, which is the last thing you'd expect. That's what's supposed to make it funny."
Starfire continued to stare at the screen, confused. "Oh. I see." Pause. "HAHAHAHAHAHA!" Robin jumped at the sudden outburst. "That is most comical! I am very much enjoying this movie, friend Robin!" Normally a person would take that as sarcasm, but the concept was still foreign to Starfire.
"And that's another thing!" Raven said angrily. "Nobody's riding any horses! They just jump up and down while someone bangs coconuts from behind!"
Beast Boy threw her a confused glance. "Okay. And?"
"It doesn't make any sense!"
"Just wait until you see the scene with the killer rabbit."
"The killer what?"
Cyborg laughed again. "Oh yeah, that's another good one! One of my favorites!"
Raven sighed and got to her feet. "Well, it's been fun guys, but I think I'm going to go."
Beast Boy jumped up in surprise. "Wait, you're not leaving already, are you?"
Raven picked up her book. "I've seen more of this movie than anyone should be forced to see in their lives. I'm going to my room. So long." With that she turned and walked toward the doors.
"Hey, don't go yet, Rae! There's still a lot to go!" Beast Boy got up to go after her.
"Just let her go, man," Cyborg said from behind.
"But she's leaving!" he protested.
Cyborg nodded. "I know, but trust me, I think she's made up her mind. Besides, you got her to give this movie a chance in the first place. I mean, this is Raven we're talking about. I'd call that an accomplishment any day."
Beast Boy collapsed on the couch and let out a defeated sigh, though looking genuinely disappointed that she had left. "Alright."
Later on when the movie was finally done, Beast Boy stretched and yawned in typical animal fashion. "Great movie."
"That was a most unusual ending," Starfire commented, eyes still fixed to the screen.
"What next, huh?" Beast Boy asked lazily.
"I don't know. I'm kinda tired, I might go to bed in a minute," Robin said tiredly. "Besides, I gotta train early tomorrow."
"Wow! You, train? Didn't see that coming!" Beast Boy shouted, the sarcasm in his voice astoundingly plain.
"Yeah? Wish you spent a little more time in the training room, Beast Boy," Robin shot back.
"Oh yeah, you're right. Would it be better if I was like you and hung around in there until I memorized the layout of it perfectly?" he replied sarcastically.
"Alright guys, not now," Cyborg interjected. A moment of silenced passed before he spoke up again. "Hey, I just remembered!"
"What?" the other three asked in unison.
"Tomorrow's Valentine's day," Cyborg remarked as he chewed on the last of his popcorn.
"Yeah it is. So?" Beast Boy asked. He bounded over to where Cyborg sat and had an evil grin on his face. "Oh I get it. You gonna do something special tomorrow for a special someone?"
Cyborg looked down at him nervously and edged away from him. "Uh, I…no! I was…just saying."
Beast Boy laughed loudly in his face. "Whassa matter, Cy? Nervous? Come on, what's her name? Is she pretty?"
"Nobody, man! Shut up!" Cyborg said defensively. He glared down at the little green shape-shifter. "Besides, I'd keep your mouth shut if I were you. Last time I checked, you don't even have one."
That one got him to stop. Beast Boy blushed and rubbed the back of his neck, as he did often when he was nervous.
"Shut up," he muttered weakly.
"Alright guys, enough. Not now," Robin said in an echo of Cyborg's earlier words.
"Oh yeah!" Beast Boy perked again, faint traces of his evil smile still visible. "So Rob, what did you say you were planning on doing tomorrow? With Starfire?"
Robin froze and sweat-dropped. "Wha-what? What are you talking about?"
Starfire's face lit up upon hearing those words. "Oh Robin, is Beast Boy telling the truth?"
"Look, Star, I-"
"Oh, this is most wonderful, friend Robin! I would so much enjoy the prospect of spending time with you tomorrow on the day of Valentines! I cannot tell how much I would love to go on an outing with you tomorrow!"
Robin raised a hand and was about to tell her that Beast Boy was lying, but he almost melted at seeing her overjoyed expression. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't bear to ruin her mood. He regained his composure and tried to sound as collected as he could. "A-actually Star, I was, but I was going to tell you tomorrow. As a surprise, you know?"
Starfire smiled so wide Robin thought for a minute the corners of her mouth were going to meet. She excitedly jumped up and down on the sofa like a child. "Oh I am so excited, friend Robin! I am most eagerly looking forward to whatever you are planning for us tomorrow!"
"Yeah, me too…woah, Starfire! Calm down!"
She laughed like a giddy schoolgirl. "I would like to spend more time with you all, but I have grown tired. I must get the sleep. Goodnight, my friends." After giving Robin a goodnight hug, she zipped merrily away to her bedroom, leaving Cyborg, Beast Boy, and a very angry-looking Robin alone.
For a moment, their leader simply glared at the green elf with arms crossed.
"That…wasn't…funny," he said venomously.
Both Cyborg and BB were trying desperately to hold in their laughter. "Oh, come on Rob!" Beast Boy choked. "You weren't going to do it, so we had to do it for you. Besides, I'm sure you had something planned anyway, right?"
"Wait, you don't mean to tell me you weren't going to do anything with her tomorrow? On Valentine's Day?" Cyborg asked in shock.
"Hold on a second! Starfire's a friend, okay?"
Both Cyborg and Beast Boy burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter.
"What's so funny you two?" he asked, now thoroughly annoyed.
"Come on, Robin! Don't even try to deny it!" Beast Boy finally said after his laughter died down. "I'm part animal for crying out loud! I have instincts, and you two definitely have a thing going on."
The boy wonder blushed and now found the floor very attractive to look at. "It's not like that," he said meekly.
"Yeah, and Beast Boy's a meat lover behind closed doors," Cyborg chided. "Come on, Robin! Anyone who has eyes can tell you two are more than 'just friends'. Besides, it's not as if you two do a good job of hiding it."
Robin seemed to be at a loss for words. He was tempted to tell them both off, to mind their own business, that it was none of their concern.
All that came out was, "Is it really that obvious?"
Both of them nodded. "Dude, even the guys at Titans East can tell, and they aren't even around most of the time!" Beast Boy told him. "I could call 'em up right now and they'd all say the same thing."
"Besides, it's not as if it's something to be ashamed of," Cyborg said, folding his arms. "It's Starfire for crying out loud! She might not be human, but she's gotta have guys all over the country who'd give a limb to go out with her! I dare you to tell me you don't think she's gorgeous. Heck, I'll say it right now if you want." Pause. "Well?"
Robin's blush deepened. He shyly put a hand to his head while Beast Boy's evil grin grew wider. "She's not bad looking."
"Wrong! Come on bird boy, be honest now!" Cyborg punched him playfully on the shoulder.
"What's the matter, fearless leader? Hey Cy, I think the robin's turning into a-"
Instead of completing his sentence, Beast Boy morphed into a green chicken and started clucking wildly.
Robin was now about to explode in frustration and started shouting before he knew what he was doing. "Alright fine, she's beautiful, okay! She's a knockout!" As soon as he finished Robin froze and put a hand to his mouth.
"That's more like it!" Cyborg said playfully.
"Right. Look uh, I gotta go." Robin was about to leave but stopped in his tracks and glared at Beast Boy.
"You are an evil, evil little man," he growled.
Beast Boy gave a mocking salute. "At your service! Now go on, shoo. You have a date to be planning, young man!"
Robin muttered something under his breath and stormed out of the common room, storm clouds following. Once he was gone, Beast Boy and Cyborg burst out laughing again and gave each other a satisfied high-five.
"Oh man, that was gold!" Cyborg said with a tear in his eye. "Did you plan that?"
"Nah, but I wish I had!" he said with his characteristic toothy grin. A moment of silence passed between them as they started cleaning the place up so Robin wouldn't tell them to do it tomorrow.
"Hey Cyborg?" Beast Boy finally blurted.
"Do you, um…do you really have something planned tomorrow? I mean seriously?"
The metal man gave a suggestive shrug. "Maybe, maybe not. And you?"
Beast Boy closed his eyes and sighed. "Nah. Nothing special. Not as if I have anyone to do anything special with, like you said."
Cyborg grew worried that he really had hurt Beast Boy's feelings. Something seemed to be genuinely bugging the green teen. "You okay, man?"
"Yeah. I was just thinking about…" he stopped.
His cybernetic friend gave a knowing nod and put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Is it Terra? I know, man. We all miss her."
"No, it's not Terra. Though…I still miss her." Beast Boy balled his hands into fists. His memories recalled that moment he met her, or at least a girl who looked, sounded, and smelled exactly like her in the school when they had returned home after defeating the Brotherhood of Evil. No explanation. No telling how she had gotten there or why. She was just there. That was the last he had scene of her since.
No, it wasn't Terra he was thinking about, but Cyborg mentioning her caused those painful memories to resurface.
"That's okay, man. She was your friend. She was our friend." He knelt down so he was eye-level with the changeling. "The important thing is whether or not you let her memory drag you down until you can't go on. All of us have bad experiences in our lives. The key is whether or not we let those experiences overwhelm us, or if we get on with them. It's like carrying a weight on your back that you can't remove. Either you give in and let it crush you, or you carry it until you grow strong enough to move on with it."
Beast Boy's ears drooped, but he felt a little better nonetheless. He didn't know Cyborg could be that philosophical. "She told me I need to move on. That I need to get on with my life and not worry about her."
Cyborg nodded. "Yeah. And let me ask you something, do you think Terra would want you to move on, or to be gloomy and mope constantly over her?"
Beast Boy shrugged. "Move on."
"Uh huh. Now do you think you could do me a favor?"
"Don't get rid of the green guy I know just yet, alright? We all love him. That was the guy Terra loved, too. We don't want to see him go away."
Beast Boy managed a weak smile. "You're right, Cy. I guess I still have things I need to work out."
"No problem, man. As long as you don't let this ruin you. Like we've said, we're all here for you."
Beast Boy's ears finally perked up again. "Yeah. I know." He turned to exit the room, but stopped and turned back to his friend. "Oh, Cy?"
"Thanks," he said with a smile.
The sun crept up over the horizon, shining light upon the sleeping city and ushering in yet another day. The light glinted off the large 'T' overlooking the bay.
Raven was tossing and turning in her sheets. She was having the most unusual dream…
Blackness all around. In the very center of it all stood a spinning wheel with five spokes. The wheel started spinning more and more rapidly. Suddenly there appeared five orbs of light, each a different color. Dark green, azure, red-orange, gray, and indigo. The orbs of light each shot forward and took a place on each spoke of the wheel, and spun along with it. The wheel then disappeared, leaving only the orbs. The orbs spun faster and faster until they became one solid circle of light. The circle of light became a column and shot toward the black sky in a dazzling display of energy. The column seemed to hit the blackness and pierce through it. Where the beam of light hit, the darkness started to peel and retract, revealing something behind it. Beyond, she could see what looked like a starry sky. It looked as if the beam of light was opening up something… like a portal to another world.
And Raven woke up. Her eyes snapped open and she was once again in her familiar, dark room. Her thoughts instantly drifted back to the dream. It hadn't been scary or ominous, just very unusual. It was also so vivid Raven wondered if it was more than just a dream. She shrugged these thoughts off and climbed out of her bed, getting ready to start her daily routine.
Meanwhile, Robin was already up and training in the gym. After going through a brief lifting routine, he went to work on the punching bag. The boy wonder threw furious punches and kicks at it, periodically giving off a shout here and there. After a while, he finished it off by giving it a kick hard enough to send it swinging far back on its chain until it almost reached the ceiling. Robin paused when he realized what today was…Valentine's Day! And he had a date with Starfire. The punching bag falling back and knocking him over was what finally snapped him out of his thoughts.
When he was finally done, Robin showered and changed into a fresh uniform. He then decided to head to the kitchen and grab something for breakfast. He wondered if the others were awake yet, and the commotion coming from the kitchen answered his question. As he neared he heard what sounded like yelling. Over the commotion he distinguished two voices. One was a distinctively feminine one. Raven. The other was a masculine, yet young-sounding one. Beast Boy. The two were going at it again.
"Here we go again," Robin grumbled as he swung the door open to the kitchen. Near the entrance stood Cyborg with his plate of bacon and waffles in hand.
"Eh, give them a moment to finish," he said nervously to him.
Robin rolled his eyes behind his mask. "What now?"
"Beast Boy spilled soymilk on her book."
"It was an accident, OKAY?" Beast Boy shouted, throwing up his arms. "And I said I was sorry! It's not like I did it on purpose!"
"Well, maybe if you actually watched what you were doing and not be such a clumsy idiot, it wouldn't have happened!" Raven was standing on the other side of the counter across from Beast Boy, looking daggers at him and carrying a wet book in one hand. Starfire was standing nervously next to the sink, intimidated by the shouting.
"Well, maybe if you didn't carry those things around with you all the time and not read them at the table they wouldn't get wet!" Beast Boy retorted.
"Oh, so it's my fault now? Is that it? Just because you're too clumsy to even pour yourself a glass of milk without screwing it up!"
"It was an ACCIDENT!!!"
"An accident that could ruin one of my books!" she shouted, holding the soggy item up in front of his face to drive the point home. One of the light bulbs in the common room shattered. Robin thought that would end the argument, but his hopes were quickly dashed.
"Oh, I forgot! How could I ever do anything to damage one of your precious books? They're the only things you care about, after all! That's all you ever do! You never do anything else except bury your face in one of them!"
"It's a better way to spend one's time than playing videogames and watching movies not fit for a five-year-old!"
"Most people find the movies I watch funny! Your problem is you just refuse to smile at anything! Maybe you're afraid you might break your face!"
Raven opened her mouth to shout something back, but didn't have the chance.
"Alright, ENOUGH!" Cyborg roared. He had now moved over to their spot and stood over them. The entire room went quiet at last. The large teen folded his arms and glared at the two arguers. "Geez! Like you guys don't find enough things to fight about already! You know, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you two were arguing like a married couple!"
Beast Boy stuck his tongue out. "Gross!"
"Don't even suggest that ever again," Raven growled.
"Besides, if I did get married, it'd be to someone a little nicer than Raven!"
"And if I ever did, it'd be someone a lot smarter than Beast Boy."
"Alright, enough, please," Robin groaned. "We don't need this right now."
Raven sighed and rolled her eyes. "You're right. You're right." She turned around and headed for the door. Before she could make it three feet Beast Boy was already blocking her path.
"No! Forget it! You're always the one going to your room! Today, I'll be the one to go to my room!" He turned to the others. "If anyone needs me, I'll be in my room! Pouting!" With that he spun around and stomped out the kitchen. An awkward silence hung over the room for a moment.
"Well, good think that wasn't weird," Cyborg mused as he started wiping up the spilled soymilk.
"Yeah, he handled that well," Robin added.
Raven sighed again and sat down. Starfire finally stepped away from the sink.
"I do not understand, friend Robin. Why must married couples argue?" she asked. "Is it earth custom for married individuals to argue constantly in order to maintain their state of marriage?"
Raven groaned and rubbed her temples.
Robin let out a brief sigh. "No, Star. It's just an expression. A figure of speech. Sometimes people will argue a lot even though they're supposedly in love, like married couples. It's just an ironic joke."
Starfire nodded, though still looked slightly confused. "Very well. Though I am sorry friends Raven and Beast Boy must argue so frequently." Her cheerful expression quickly returned soon after she finished. "But I just remembered! Today friend Robin has agreed to take me somewhere special for the day of Valentine! I am most excited to see what we shall do today!" She shot Robin an almost scarily-cheerful grin. "Now if you all will excuse me, I must go to select something to wear for the going-out!"
She waved goodbye and flew out of the room. Raven's eyes widened and looked at their leader.
"Did I miss something here?" She noticed Cyborg stifle a laugh.
"Nothing much. I'll be taking Starfire out today for Valentine's Day. Beast Boy suggested to her that I was planning on taking her out last night, and she got really excited," Robin explained.
"And were you, or did you decide to do it just so you wouldn't disappoint her?" she asked while sipping her herbal tea.
Robin's cheeks turned a light shade of pink. "I uh…well, um…that's none of your business!" He went over to the pantry and grabbed an energy bar out of it. "I uh, gotta go."
"Aren't you gonna have some breakfast?" Cyborg called.
"See ya!" With a swoosh, he flew out the doors, leaving only the mage and the bionic teen alone. For a while, the only sound coming from it was Raven sipping her tea and Cyborg chewing on his bacon. The metal man was the first to speak again.
Raven glanced up at him. "What do you think? One of my books now smells like soymilk."
"Okay, sorry. Just asking." He got up to wash his plate. "By the way, how did he do that anyway?"
Raven rolled her eyes. "He was trying to tell me one of his lame jokes, and he got the bright idea to get my attention by trying to pour soymilk with his feet."
Cyborg did a double take. "Are you serious?"
"As incredibly normal as that sounds, yes."
"Man, what will he think of next? I swear, it's like he's trying to make a side job out of trying to impress you."
"I'll say. I wish he would just leave me alone."
"Do you really? Come on, Raven. Don't tell me you aren't at least somewhat grateful for all the company he gives you."
The half-demon said nothing. "Not if you mean his jokes, that's for sure."
"You don't have to answer if you don't want to. But even you gotta admit he spends more time with you than anyone in this tower. Except maybe Starfire."
"Well, she's my friend."
"And Beast Boy's not?" She was silent again.
"Look Raven," Cyborg said as he approached her. "I know Beast Boy can be hard to deal with sometimes."
"Try real hard."
He chuckled. "Yeah. Anyway, Beast Boy doesn't do it just to get on your nerves. He does it because he's your friend. He just wants you to be happy. It matters to him. And dare I say it, he does it 'cause he cares about you."
Raven had stopped drinking her tea and was finding the kitchen tabletop very interesting for some reason.
"Well, don't you think he could show how he cares some other way?"
Cyborg laughed. "I guess. Look, I'm no psychologist, but I think he just wants you to like him. He wants you to notice him, and I think he believes if he just stops trying, you won't notice him anymore. Don't ask me why he cares about that so much."
Raven finally glanced up at her friend. "Maybe you're right."
"And he's had a lot on his mind these past several months. Especially after that thing with Terra. He's had a lot to deal with. I mean, the guy barely talked for nearly a month! He even stopped bugging you with his jokes. And if I recall correctly, you were the first person to really try to get him to open up again."
Raven frowned. "How could I forget?"
Beast Boy lay on his bed, tossing and turning. It was something that had become almost a daily routine ever since that encounter with Terra. He thought after nearly a month he'd be over this, but he was wrong. In some ways, he was getting worse. Now, it seemed like he only came out of his room when he had to eat, go to the bathroom, or help the Titans fight crime. And his teammates surprisingly were of little help. Everyone seemed so worried about giving him space and time to think that they seemed to almost ignore him. Even Raven had gone from yelling at Beast Boy for everything he did to almost avoiding him entirely. After the first couple weeks, they had occasionally tried to talk to him, to get him to cheer up or just open up again. But Beast Boy would almost always shun them or shrug them off.
Not that it mattered. He doubted they could make him forget. Even after all this time, Terra's words still echoed in his mind.
"I hope you find her…The girl you want me to be is just a memory," she had said.
'What if I don't find her Terra?' Beast Boy thought sadly to himself. 'Why couldn't you just be that girl?'
A soft rapping came at Beast Boy's door and awoke him from his daydream. He turned over in his bed, thinking maybe if he ignored it, it would go away. Didn't happen. The knocking came back a little louder, this time accompanied by a feminine voice.
"Beast Boy? What are you doing in there?" Raven called. "Let me in."
He didn't answer.
"Look Beast Boy, I just want to talk to you. Please open the door!"
He still didn't answer. He didn't feel like talking to anyone, least of all Raven. But apparently, she wouldn't be defeated so easily.
"Beast Boy, just open the door. Either you can do that, or I'll phase-shift through. But I'm talking to you either way."
Beast Boy finally rolled off his bed, slowly went over to the door, and opened it. There stood Raven with arms folded.
"What do you want?" he asked bluntly.
"Are you okay, Beast Boy?"
He glared at her. "What do you care?"
Raven glared back at him. "I care because I'm your friend. We all care because we're your friends."
Beast Boy gave a little snort. "Funny. You never seemed to care before."
"Beast Boy, I'm your friend, okay? Of course I care. It's not like you to be locking yourself up like this-"
"Don't give me that!" Beast Boy snapped unexpectedly. "You ignore me completely for weeks then just show up asking if I'm okay? I thought of all people you'd be happy I wasn't around!"
He was expecting her to get angry, or at least to yell back at him. But she didn't. She actually seemed taken aback by his response. Sure, he could see anger in her eyes at his comment, but only a little. Her expression seemed to show something else…could it have been hurt? Beast Boy saw this and instantly regretted what he had just said.
"Raven…I…" he started, but she interrupted him.
"Look Beast Boy," she said a little more quietly. "I admit, I haven't been the best of friends to you lately, especially these last few weeks. And I'm sorry I've made you think that way. But when you came back after encountering Terra, we all thought that it'd be best to let you sort this out on your own. I wasn't sure what to do, so I just went along with it, which I admit wasn't the best choice. But Beast Boy, you need to understand that we weren't just ignoring you, and we certainly weren't doing it because we didn't care. We just thought you needed time to yourself. And even though we aren't always the best at it, we are your friends, and we don't like seeing you beat yourself up over this."
Beast Boy tried to come up with something to say to that. All that came out was, "I'm not beating myself up."
"Yes, you are. You're not fooling me. I'm an empath, remember? And you're letting this whole thing with Terra eat you alive."
"It's not like this is some little thing I can just shrug off!" he snapped. "So what do you want? Should I just forget about her?" he said defensively.
Raven unfolded her arms and looked straight in his eyes. "I'm not saying you should forget about her. I'm saying you shouldn't let this ruin who you are. It's been weeks since we got back and you've barely said anything to anyone! The tower's been practically lifeless, and do you know why?"
He simply shrugged. "Why?"
"It's because everyone's worried about you. For weeks nobody's yelled at Cyborg over eating meat, nobody's complained to Robin about having to train, nobody's been helping Starfire take care of Silkie, and nobody's been hanging around me trying to get me to laugh. You haven't even been eating with us half the time! It's not normal, Beast Boy! It's not you! We're all scared you've gone over the edge, or something!"
Beast Boy's ears drooped. Fresh tears now started forming in his eyes. "I'm sorry, Raven. I didn't mean to worry you guys, really! I'm just still messed up over this thing."
Raven's expression softened a little. "You're not messed up, you're just a little overwhelmed." She lowered her voice so she wouldn't intimidate him. Then, in something very un-Raven, she put a hand on his shoulder. "And I know you might think you're alone here, but you're not."
'Déjà vu,' Beast Boy thought.
"We're all here for you, Beast Boy. Trust me, I understand what you're going through. I've been there before. And I know it hurts now, but it gets better. Remember what happened with Malchior?"
How could he not? Beast Boy recalled the incident with the dragon who'd tricked Raven into believing he really cared for her only to break her heart. Raven was so hurt by it she locked herself up in her room with no intention of ever coming out. That is, until Beast Boy had come to her.
"It was you who came to me first before anyone, remember? You were the one who told me how much you and everyone else cared. You were the one who convinced me I wasn't alone. You don't know how much that meant to me. To be honest, there's hardly a day that goes by when I don't think about it. I haven't forgotten, Beast Boy, and I don't want you to forget, either."
Beast Boy gave a weak nod. He did remember. And now, it was like their positions had been reversed in the same situation.
"Look Beast Boy," she continued. "Things change, but some things don't have to. You don't have to suffer this alone. We're all here for you. If you ever want to talk to anyone about this, don't be afraid to." She paused. "Me included. If you ever need me, I'm always here for you."
Wow, was this really Raven talking? Beast Boy nodded again, barely able to keep his tears from falling. He honestly wished he could throw his arms around Raven and tell her how grateful he was, how great a friend she was, and how much he truly appreciated her being there. But he contended himself with a soft smile instead.
"Okay," he said weakly. "Thanks, Raven. Really. And I'm sorry for snapping at you earlier."
"Um, no problem." She finally withdrew her hand. "So, are you going to be okay?"
"I will be, now," he said softly. "Thanks again, Raven." Raven nodded, paused for a moment, and turned to leave.
She stopped and turned around, almost expectantly. There was a pause, and suddenly their seemed to be a tension between the two.
Finally, he muttered, "Tell Cyborg I'm coming down for breakfast, so he can't hog the stove."
Raven gave the faintest trace of a smirk and nodded. "Okay."
Raven shook her head at the memory. Not out of regret, but because it was a moment that had meant a lot to her and Beast Boy, and they both forgot it so often. Even she had to admit that over the years she and Beast Boy had gone from being practically enemies to close friends. Raven knew that deep down, while she might not have liked his jokes, she at least appreciated the company he gave her. It was probably his own way of showing her he cared – and that she was not alone. But even with that, they still fought so often, and sometimes over the silliest things.
Cyborg smiled at her. "Look, 'sis', I know it can be hard to be patient with him, but you know his heart's in the right place. He'd never do anything on purpose to hurt you."
Raven nodded again, eyes cast downward, feeling now slightly guilty for yelling at him earlier. Cyborg patted her on the back.
"All I'm saying is…don't be too hard on the little grass stain, okay?"
Yet another sigh escaped her lips. "Okay, Cyborg."
"Atta girl." Cyborg put his plate away and made to leave the kitchen, but stopped. "Oh, I almost forgot!"
"You got a package today."
"What? Me?" Raven looked thoroughly confused. She almost never got mail from anyone, aside from the occasional book order coming in or the occasional fan mail which she rarely looked at. "What is it?" she asked curiously.
"See for yourself." Cyborg led Raven over to the closet. "I didn't mention it earlier because I figured you'd want this to be private."
Private? Just what did she receive? And why did it come so early? It had to have been a special delivery. Cyborg opened up the closet door, reached up, moved something out of the way, and grabbed something off the top shelf. Raven could hear the crinkling of plastic or tissue paper. Finally Cyborg emerged, and to her utter amazement, he was holding a rather large, neatly-wrapped bouquet of flowers.
He practically laughed at the expression on her face. She looked dumbfounded. He could tell this was the last thing she'd expected. "It came this morning. I had to sign it off myself. There's no return address," he told her. "But there's no mistaking who it's for. Happy Valentine's Day."
In a rather extravagant fashion he handed her the flowers with a huge grin on his face. Raven slowly took it out of his hands, and for a moment, all she could do was stare.
It was beautiful. Even she had to admit that. There were roses, tulips, and others, and they were obviously dyed to look blue and violet. The thing was held together in a dark blue foil, as if the person who sent it knew which color was her favorite.
"And don't ask, because they're not from me. And no, I don't know who sent them," Cyborg told her before she could speak. "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone. Heck, I'll pretend this never happened if you want."
Raven took a breath and inhaled the sweet, refreshing scent. She noticed a purple tag attached to the flowers, and she carefully reached down and unfolded it. On the inside was a message inscribed in neat, purple handwriting:
"To the greatest girl in the world."
Raven couldn't stop gaping at it. She was so shocked she didn't even notice she was blushing, nor could she stop the dumb look of awe that spread over face. At least she had her hood up.
"So, should I throw them away?" Cyborg asked.
Raven looked up at him in shock. "What?"
"Well, should I? You never seemed to like flowers, and I know you hate Valentine's day. Plus, you never were one to appreciate fan mail, especially anonymous ones. Maybe I'll just throw them in the incinerator before-"
"No!" Raven said, a little louder than she'd meant. She paused, gathered herself, and said in a calmer voice, "Maybe later, but not now. Um, whoever did this went through some trouble to send it. While it's a little corny, I admit, and I don't care much for it, it'd be rude just to throw them away so quickly. I think I'm just going to keep them in my room for now. Just for a little bit until I get rid of them."
"Oh, okay," Cyborg nodded. With that, Raven turned to leave, flowers in hand.
"Oh, and Raven!" he called. She stopped and looked back at him.
"You're a terrible liar."
The mage shot him a dirty look and phased to her room before anyone could see her.
There it is! What'd you think? I hope you paid attention to the dream scene! BTW, credit goes out to "Moving On" by toxic-dreamer-2, as the flashback scene was inspired by a scene from her story. (Hope you don't mind, toxic-dreamer-2!) Check out her story too if you have the time, as it is a very good BBxRae fic. BTW, I know Robin and Star got together in the movie (which I never saw) and that the others probably already knew, but I just changed a couple things for the sake of this fic. Hope you don't mind.
Just one final note, the biggest decider of whether or not this story's going to continue is probably reviews. While I know it sounds selfish, with a schedule like mine and how long this fic's going to be, I can't really afford to write a lengthy story if people aren't even going to read it. Sorry! And just in case you were wondering, anonymous reviews are accepted. The next chap should be up in about a week, two weeks at the most. In the meantime, let me know what you think so far and thanks for reading!