Author: soraoathkeeper
Type: A Teen Titans drabble.
Pairings: Platonic BB/R.
Author's Note: These get more and more cliché the more I write, and seem to get closer to my mock-deadline. Would have been up the twenty-fourth, but I was occupied by Christmas affairs. Again, I am sorry for the increasingly poor quality of the drabbles, and please accept my apology for the late-ness of this. Thank you, and as always reviews/critiques are the best presents ever.

"What are you reading?"

"A book."

"Ha ha. Very funny. But seriously, what are you reading?"

She rolls her eyes, and inches the book higher over her face. "If you must know, it's called 'Allies of the Night', the eighth book in the Cirque du Freak series, by Darren Shan." Her voice is terse and on the edge of outright annoyance, but he blunders onwards, oblivious.

"Is it creepy?"

She blows a strand of hair out of her face. "Yes. Very creepy." She bites off the ends of the words, and hopes he will get the hint to leave.

He shuffles around a bit, and hops from one foot to the other. Just when she thinks that, wonders of wonders, he will give up and leave, she hears him sucking in his breath, and blurts out.

"Will you read it to me? Please?"

She sputters. "Beast Boy, you're nearly fifteen. If you want to read it that badly, I'll lend it to you."

He avoids her eyes, and she catches a whiff of deep deep embarrassment. She sighs, irritated - she's never going to get back to reading now that she's curious. She closes the book, and folds her arms over her chest. "Spill."


"I said, spill it. What's making you so embarrassed?"

He looks at her with wide eyes, then drops his gaze and mutters something to his shoes.

"I'm sorry, the floor didn't hear that. Would you mind trying again?"

He speaks, louder now, though she has to strain to hear him, even in the silence of the living room.

"I said, I can't read."

He might as well have said that Robin had decided to give up pursuing Slade for good by the way she reacts. "But...you read comics."

"Look at the pictures mostly. I can recognize a few words and numbers, but not enough to really understand a novel."

She gapes at him. "But...how..."

He sighs, and flops down on the couch, still not facing her. "Where I grew up...well, there weren't any schools around, and I was too...preoccupied to be able to attend even if there were. And the Doom Patrol was more concerned with the Brotherhood than education. I mean...Elasti-Girl tried to home school me, so I learned a little from her, but we were always rushing to save the world..." He trails off, his cheeks darkening and shame deepening.

Guilt sinks down to her stomach. She had been privileged enough to have been educated by some of the finest scholars in the multiverse...and she had always mocked his choice of reading. She never knew it was because he didn't know how to read anything else...

She clears her throat and opens her book. "It was an age of war. After six hundred years of peace, the vampires and vampaneze had taken up arms against each other in a brutal, bloody battle to the death..."