Author's Note: It had just stopped raining and I missed my streetcar so I had to walk to school and the stores I passed inspired this.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans, or any of those stores, which kind of don't exist but were inspired by real stores.
Beast Boy got a job.
'Why' was not the big question that everyone had in mind. The poor boy was now 18 and still had yet to get any vehicle of any kind. He had gone through a lot in the past couple of years including having his heart broken several times, leading a great battle against the Brotherhood of Evil, having his long overdue growth spurt and maturing, just a little, although clearly not enough, and still he walked or flew from the tower to the city.
For his 16th he asked for a moped. The next year an electric scooter, that Christmas a bicycle, then on his 18th, a regular scooter would have made his day. It was always the same shit from Robin, 'You can fly Beast Boy'. The same old reply for Cyborg, 'I don't have the time to build you anything, BB.' Even if Robin developed his own mechanical wings and Cyborg had the time to play video games, slaughter animals and consume them, and squeeze in a 'check up' on Titans East. Filthy liar.
Asking for a car was too much, so he decided to do it all himself. He bothered Raven for weeks to take him to the DMV after she got her license. She gave in after he offered to do her chores for a week and not tell a single joke for a month. Even so, Beast Boy failed 3 times.
The fourth time was lucky number four, he studied his little head off to get that initial license and bribed Cyborg all sorts of nonsense to let him use the T-car as a practice car. Cyborg never let him. He settled for playing at the arcade for hours on end and wasting hundreds of dollars worth of game tokens 'practicing' and praying to God the instructor was in the same hurry as the people in Crazy Taxi. He failed that twice.
But now, he was fully licensed and could drive without a designated adult. Yep, he was a man. A man without a car. So his reasons as to why were plain as day, he was saving up for a car.
"Hybrid of course," he'd tell Raven who looked as if she could care less, "with a sunroof. Probably have the sickest sound system in it too, you know like in Pimp My Ride? Oh! With a Gamestation in the back!"
Raven would just sip her tea and flip a page of her book, Beast Boy would leer and go on.
"It's gunna be orange, I think orange goes well with my skin…?"
"Orange would look hideous."
"Black it is. And I'd like to be a two-seater, so I don't have to drive people around. You know, unless they asked nicely… Uhm, you could always get a ride Rae…ven!" He caught his mistake when he saw that she stop in mid-sip.
She sighed and turned to him, "Garfield." Uh oh, she only used his real name when she was serious. Beast Boy inched away from her, "Do you have any idea how much a car costs?"
He looked at her dumbfounded, "A lot Beast Boy, a lot."
"But I've been saving, you know! Odd jobs, Christmas and Birthday money, not to mention that Bar Mitzvah we save last February!"
She shook her head, "You may have enough for a second hand car, but what about maintenance, and gas?"
With that he decided to get a job.
'How' was not a huge surprise either. After deciding that he would get a job, Beast Boy scoured the city. Heading in an out of all the retail stores and fast food joints as fast he could leaving his resume to any store that looked like it needed help or restaurant that looked under manned. This would be easier with a car, he thought panting, oh yeah, that's why I need a job.
Being rejected by all the stores along Main street as well as the Upper Jump Mega Mall, Beast Boy persistently pressed on for weeks. He even tried pulling strings to get a job with the city.
"You ingrates!" he yelled outside of city hall, "With all I've done for this city you should make me mayor!" They weren't exactly impressed by his resume, a single real job at a fast food joint and 'superhero'. They tossed him out.
Albeit a few places did hire him, none of which he stayed at for long. It was always one complaint after another, either from the managers or Beast Boy.
"They slaughter cows for that meat!"
"He can't work a register."
"The hours are too weird."
"He's taking too many days off trying to 'save the world' or some lame excuse."
"That really doesn't pay enough for the amount of work I'm doing, I have half a mind to call child services."
"The green skin is really freaking the children out."
"The girl in the booth next to mine smells, how am I supposed to work under these conditions?"
"Beast Boy," began Cyborg, "How are you supposed to earn up enough money for a car if you can't even maintain a steady job?"
"He's right Beast Boy, a car requires a lot of responsibility," added Robin. Starfire merely watched the conversation as she had no clue as to what a license was or why Beast Boy wanted a box on wheels.
Raven never looked up from her book. "Let him quit all his jobs. He's too immature for a car anyways, only real men can handle that responsibility."
With that, Beast Boy searched for the perfect job and found it. Which is where he works now. Now that was all the green man did; wake up in the morning, shower, eat his waffles and drink his orange juice, train, fight battles, lunch then go to work from four in the afternoon 'til closing, which was ten thirty. He worked there now for 3 months and needless to say all the Titans were surprised by his determination. All except for Raven of course who didn't even seem to notice.
No, it was none of those questions that baffled people the most, it was the 'what' and 'where.' Beast Boy now worked at Bump, a maternity store along Old Queen street. It was a quaint little shop beside the Metro Dry Cleaners and across the street from the little pastry shop named, The Little Pastry Shop. Everyone was baffled as to why of all the jobs that he could have accepted with included working at the arcade, which paid much too little, and the Highway 5 toll booth, which was really boring, he chose working at the maternity shop.
Bump was a hip new store owned by a few nice people that lived in the apartment upstairs. It was started when Mrs. Crosby wanted to keep her 'young look' even when she was pregnant, now 2 twin boys later they had a clothing company. The store itself was very bright and modern with high windows and pastel colored walls. They also sold baby clothes and toys as well as a few 'designer' strollers, baby blankets and cribs.
Beast Boy seemed to enjoy working there enough. He took his breaks, allowed fifteen minutes every hour and a half, as well as his thirty minute long dinner at seven thirty at The Little Pastry Shop across the street. He made friends with the teen boy that worked the same shift across the street and they often battled on the Gamestation at the work room during dinner. Sometimes he would take walks along the street, seeming to be waiting for something, reaching a spot before turning back. He was paid well, well above minimum wage. Mrs. Crosby was very kind, often joking with him about his adventures and 'adorable' tint of green, about the same time that tint would turn pink at his cheeks. If there were battles during work hours, she allowed him to go saying, "Well who'll do it if not you? I can handle selling shirts for a few hours while you're gone." She never took it from his pay, but he often would put the money back.
The team heard of his new job. They teased him about his job for a month, until he brought home his first paycheck. That silenced them for good. They visited once, after the laughter died down, claiming to have been shopping along Old Queen street before 'dropping in'. Starfire was absolutely engrossed in the 'cuteness of the tiny clothes' and nearly killed the Crosby twins. Robin had commended him for stepping up and finally maturing and Cyborg patted him on the back, chatting with him custom changes they could make to his future car. Oh great, NOW he has the time. Beast Boy rolled his eyes and shook his head.
Raven wasn't there that day the team visited, but she did come in once before they did. She didn't act surprised or laugh at his choice of occupation. She merely walked up to the counter, rested her chin on her fist, leaning against the counter squinting at him. He mimicked her and squinted right back. She switched arms before speaking.
"Congratulations, Garfield," and gave him a small smile before standing up fully and turning to leave.
"Wait, Rae-ven!" he called to her forgetting the rule about her name again. She whipped around and gave him a questioning look. "Uh-uhm… erm, do you want a coffee? Or, uh, tea? It's almost my break-"
He was interrupted when she shook her head, "Sorry Beast Boy, not today. Maybe another time."
Beast Boy sighed as he watched her leave that day, which was the day he decided to start taking his evening walks.
Now that has most people's questions answered, what, where, when, why, how. But the only one that mattered to Beast Boy was the one no one ever asked.
What people never realized was who helped him the whole time, who he was trying to impress, who he was trying to get to notice him. He watched her walk away from him more than once, but she said gave him hope, maybe another time. He was trying to impress Raven.
He wasn't sure why, at first it was trying to prove her wrong. He just wanted to shut her up for once and show her he can be mature. Then he decided a car would be perfect. He tried to impress her by showing her how much he knew about cars, he tried to show her he was responsible enough. That 'why' he wasn't sure of at first, then it hit him, well actually a pole did.
He ran into a pole once walking around the city one day and Raven came to see if he was okay. She cradled his head on her lap until he came to. It was a very comfortable and oddly romantic position; she ran her hands through his hair trying to wake him. Slapping him slightly on his cheek calling his name, then resting that hand on his forehead healing the bump that was forming. He awoke and looked up at her, her hair falling over her face and a worried look in her eye. He liked Raven.
And now he was trying to impress her, suppressing those jokes and pranks so that she would take him seriously. Reading up on classics so they'd have something to talk about. And now working here. Now you may wonder how working at a maternity shop would impress Raven, bottom line was: it didn't. But another thing people failed to notice was the store right next to Bump, on the other side of the Metro Dry Cleaners, diagonally across The Little Pastry Shop. A book store called The Great Escape. The very Great Escape that Raven often visited, right across the street from The Little Pastry Shop that she would sit at, on the sofa by the window, to read her new acquisition.
He'd see her pass by, sometimes walking, sometimes floating to head into the store; Bump was conveniently between The Great Escape and the Tower. His own walks, often in vain, were hoping he would run into her and he could casually ask to buy her coffee, or at least walk back with her to the store. He would watch as she sat, drinking tea and reading at The Little Pastry Shop, her lithe body lying against the sofa. She looked so relaxed, so peaceful. He knew she went there to get away from the tower, away from the tower but closer to him. She knew he was watching, she had suspected it once and caught him, leaning both elbows on the counter, staring from across the street. She rolled her eyes and went back to reading, dismissing it as boredom.
"You like her," stated Mrs. Crosby. He looked up to see her watching over his shoulder, cradling one of the twins. It wasn't a question.
"You know I suspected it, I would watch you kids on TV. She's very sweet, and pretty too. But of course you knew that." He blushed and pushed off from the counter. He pretended to busy himself with folding.
"It's okay you know," started Mrs. Crosby again, "Go talk to her." Beast Boy turned to her with a look of fear on his face. She just laughed and walked over to him cupping his cheek and turning his face as if to inspect him.
"You are a sweet boy, a nice boy with a good heart. What could it hurt, hm? Go on, consider it a break." The worried look didn't vanish, he was terrified. But as he looked back at Raven from the shop window Mrs. Crosby repeated herself, "What could it hurt."
A lot, he thought to himself, a few broken bones and bruises to say the least. And that's IF she's in a good mood. Mrs. Crosby tsk-ed at him and shoved him out the door.
Before he knew it, he was crossing the street, dodging cars a few of which honked at him. Raven watched as his made his way over, an eyebrow raised in suspicion. He entered with a ding-dong of the chimes and waved at the guy behind the counter before standing next to Raven.
"Hey," he said. She looked up at him and retracted her feet indicating he could sit, "Uhm… uh… So, whatcha readin'?" Stupid dumbass! He scolded himself.
"Nothing you would be interested in," she replied coldly. He glanced at her empty cup.
"Can I buy you a new drink?" he asked, a hint of nervousness in his voice. She squinted at him and eyed him steadily before nodding.
"Sure." After that they talked. He convinced her to put her book down and talk to him. It had been thirty minutes and Raven sat on one end of the three-seater couch with her legs up, crossed under her and him leaning back on an arm, one leg on the couch his arms over the back of it. He laughed often and she smiled once. Not once did he crack a joke, not once did she mock him.
"So, how do you like your job so far?" she asked. He glanced back at Mrs. Crosby across the street, baby still in her arms, the other playing now on the floor. She smiled and winked so obviously at him, and motioned for him to stay.
"It's actually great."
Raven scoffed and sipped her tea, "I never thought I'd see this day, you're all grown up with a steady job. Kind of makes you wonder…"
"'Why?'" he offered.
She shook her head, "I was thinking something else, but for now 'why' will do…"
A/N: Yea, those stores exist. Except the bookstore is down the street from the Pastry Shop (actually called that) and the maternity store (I'm actually not sure what it's called) is further down the road. These are stores I pass on my way to school, on a quaint little road in an older part of my city, Toronto (if you must know, but may already have known). That Pastry Shop is a hangout my friends and I used to lurk at, they make great pie! The sofa is really comfy and we'd often just watch people passing by.