My apologies. As with all of my stories (so far), I worry that I've takentoo many liberties with the Teen Titans characters, and that they may as a result seem extraordinarily out of character. But please remember it is rather difficult to write a fanfic about Beastboy and Raven without some form of abuse for creative license. If you dislike this work for that, or any other reason, and you don't tell me, well, that's your problem. But, if you tell me, I will take your comments into consideration for any upcoming stories.
Ah, the inspiration and um…storyline? for this story come from TrippWire's "The Price of Comfort". I recommend you read that either after or before this one. And seriously, his (or her) title is far better than mine. Mine sucks.
And, uh, I don't own Teen Titans. If I did, it would be on Adult Swim. Oh, and I don't own Adult Swim either. Or Cartoon Network. Or The Lone Ranger. Or pretty much anything else. Except these words.
The Lone Ranger. That is, the Lone Chapter.
It was calm, for once. Most unusual, for the main room in a tower home to five teenagers. Yet, the calm was not unappreciated. A dark entity, hidden from light by her long, blue cloak entered the room. Nodding inwardly in approval at the silence, she strode over towards the couch. Sitting in the very center, she melted into the cushions until the position she was in was sufficient. Content, she opened her thick tome and began to read.
Being unable to stay awake for much longer, the green teen tried to figure out where to go to sleep. Summer was beginning in Jump City, and as a result, the smaller rooms in Titans tower started to seem stuffy. This could be solved with air conditioning, but then the air had a metallic, artificial feel. No, the small rooms were out. That left the gym, the garage, the evidence room, and the main room. The gym was not an option. Beastboy had no desire to spend the night sleeping in a room that smelled of sweat. Neither was the garage. Cyborg was still working on the T-car down there, and would be for a while. The evidence room was no choice either. The items in there were far too strange, and alien for his tastes. They reminded him of battles long ago fought, of villains he'd rather not have nightmares about. That left the main room.
Becoming entranced in her volume, Raven drew her feet up under her, into a cross-legged position. Her legs had been tired of being ignored, and were cramping up. Her new position calmed her legs, and was far more comfortable, at least for the time being.
Striding to the main room, he decided to sleep on the couch. The doors whisked open, and he heard faint breathing. He thought for a moment. Cyborg was in the garage, it wasn't him. Robin and Starfire were doing…something, and he wasn't sure he wanted to know what. But Starfire's breathing was far less controlled, and much, much louder and disturbing. No, the person on the couch was Raven. Deciding that she would have no reason to disturb him if he didn't disturb her, he transformed into a cat, and walked gingerly on his four legs over to the couch. Jumping up on the edge, he arched his back, then found a good place to lay down, and curled up dreamily. He focused in on the soft, steady, breathing next to him, until it became everything, his world, his thoughts, him himself. He was in love with this breathing. And he fell asleep.
As Raven ended the chapter she was on, she couldn't control herself, and yawned. Breaking her concentration on the novel, she also noticed a new sound, penetrating the former silence of the room. It was soft, warm, rhythmic, contented. She looked around for the source of this noise, and found a green cat sleeping on the edge of the couch. Realizing with a start it was Beastboy, she tried to figure out how he could have been so...quiet, so generous not to disturb her. As she thought this, she yawned again and realized that she was really quite tired. The chapter she had finished was longer than she had expected it to be, and she was usually asleep by now. Deciding not to trudge off to her room, she concurred with Beastboy – the couch was a far more desirable sleeping medium. She had never slept on the couch before, and felt like trying something new. And besides, if Beastboy tried anything, she knew how to handle him. But she didn't think he would. If he went to the trouble of entering the room and falling asleep unnoticed, he wouldn't try to bother her in the middle of her sleep.
Crawling over to the far end of the couch, she laid on her right side, with her back to the backrest of the couch, her legs slightly bent but stretched out down the couch, and with her head on her right arm on top of the arm of the couch. Finding her new position to be comfortable, she dozed off.
Like most felines, his nap was, well, a catnap. He got up and stretched, clawing the sofa cushions. Then he remembered that Robin and Cyborg would kill him for that if they found out. He decided to blame Silkie. Ah well, that would be in the morning. Even if he was in feline form, he was a human on the inside, and he usually slept quite a bit. He laid back down and curled up again, only to discover that he couldn't fall asleep. He remember what he was missing – that succulent breathing. He wanted it, desired it, wished for it with his very being. But it was not there. Wait, yes it was. But it was softer, and it was muffled. He lifted his head, and his ears turned, focusing in on his life essence. His head quickly followed suit, and, not waiting for his eyes to adapt, he walked over to the source of the breathing. Now, it was louder, louder than it was ever before, and he loved every minute of it. Drinking it in, he laid down, and felt a very warm, very soft presence next to him. As warm as the night was, this newfound warmth he enjoyed immensely. And he would not give it up in a firestorm.
Her eyes slowly fluttered open. She saw the beginnings of a new day peering in through the tinted windows. Sniffing, and blinking her eyes several times to rid herself of the last vestiges of sleep, she moved to get up. But something was in the way. She became aware of an obstacle, located next to her abdomen. Looking down, she saw a cat snuggled up to her, with its back against her stomach. Looking into its calm, sleeping face, the only thing she saw was contentment. She reached her left arm to the cat as if to remove it, but instead of moving the cat, her hand stroked the feline. A soft mew escaped from the cat's lips, enrapturing her ears. She continued to softly stroke the animal, and soon it was purring. Both hearing and feeling the sensation were enjoyable, but she took the most pleasure from knowing that she was the one that caused it. Stroking the cat, she realized that it was just adorable. She let out a sigh, and smiled softly as she kept stroking her fellow couch inhabitant.
An electronic beep suddenly emanated from the entryway, and as her head automatically snapped towards the sound, the cat's did as well. Still snuggled up against her, she could feel the animal's body tense, and the cat's eyes change color to adjust to the high levels of brightness in the room. Both of its ears and eyes focused intently on the direction the sound came from. Sighing again, she gazed down at the cat, and spoke, "Cyborg just took the tower off of lockdown for the night, that's all. It's nothing to be afraid of. But he will be making the rounds to check every room."
Hearing this, the cat relaxed its tense muscles. Standing up, it arched its back and let out a silent yawn. Moving away from her for a moment, it sat down and watched as she got up. Walking over to the kitchen area, she started preparing some green tea. The cat jumped onto the top of the couch's backrest, and laid down, but with its head up and fully awake, watching the teenage girl in the kitchen. The double doors slid open to reveal Cyborg, he looked around the room, and spotted Raven. "Morning Raven" was all he said. She nodded at him in acknowledgement, and he left to continue his rounds, never noticing the green feline resting on the couch.
Her tea prepared, she poured herself a cup full and walked over to the couch. Sitting on the end, she looked around. A table near the wall lit up in dark energy, then levitated towards her, coming to a halt and easing back down next to the end of the couch. Placing her tea on the table, she picked up her forgotten book, and, after glancing one more time at the green cat watching her from his perch, began the next chapter.
The cat saw all this, and decided to have a little fun. He stealthily stood up, and walked along the back of the couch to the point that he was directly behind the girl. Stepping gingerly down to the arm of the couch, he brushed her arm, and leaned his head over the cup of tea. He lowered his head, and began to drink.
She was just beginning to remember where she had left off, when she heard a strange…lapping sound. She looked over to where the green cat had been, but it was no longer there. Turning her head back the other way, she saw it drinking out of her cup. Bemused, she watched as it drank its fill, then turned and walked in a dignified manner, with both head and tail up, across her lap. He was even sure to brush her nose with the tip of his tail. Reaching the other side of the girl, he stretched once more, then sat down, and looked at the girl.
As he walked past her, her head had swiveled to watch his progress. When he completed his journey, she gave him a disapproving look and said, "That's really quite rude. And drinking the tea was rather selfish."
In response, the cat merely stared at the girl. After a moment, he walked over to her hand, still holding the book, and licked it.
Smiling, she lifted her hand from the book, and pet the cat a few times. When she stopped, he licked her hand again and looked at her expectantly. When she ignored him and turned to the book, he brushed his head against her hand. Unconsciously, she lifted her hand and started stroking him again. He sat down, content to let her continue to pet him.
Her attention had returned to the book, and by this point she was petting entirely by feel. After a stroke, she returned her hand to where his head should have been, only to hit air. She felt around for a moment, then broke her gaze from the reading to look for the cat. He was in the same area as before, but now he was lying on his back and looking expectantly at her. Snorting, she started to pet his belly. He stretched out to make the most of it, and she murmured, "You're more of a pig than a cat, you know." The next time she lifted her hand, he licked it, and she smiled. She returned to her reading, but continued to pet him every few moments. Content to just sit there are be the object of her affection, he was mildly unhappy when the door whooshed open and she stopped.
His head drooping slightly, he turned to face the opening door. But before he could figure out who it was by audile clues, Raven spoke and said, "Done already, Cyborg?"
"Sure am. I'm just going to grab something to eat for a minute, and then I'm going into town. We need groceries, the T-Car needs gas, and the laundry always needs to be done. Ugh. Hopefully the alarm will go off and give me an excuse not to run errands." He smiled coyly.
Beastboy could hear some cabinets opening and shutting in the background, and heard a banana being peeled. As Cyborg munched down on it, he heard more cabinets opening and closing, and then Cyborg said, "Wow, looks like we're out of everything but fruit. How's your tea, Raven? Want me to pick some up for you?"
"No thank you, Cyborg. I'm going out to get some on my own later today. Trying something new, you see." She replied.
"Whatever suits ya." The large teenager turned to walk out of the room, then stopped and turned back. "Oh, and I ought to warn you; Robin and Starfire had a pretty long night last night. So try not to wake them, and they'll probably be grumpier than usual." Hearing this, Raven smiled, and Cyborg left.
The blue-clad teenager returned to her novel, and the cat walked into her lap, then laid down and curled up. The owner of the lap looked down at him and spoke. "I can't really read when you're in my way there." Straightening out, he rested on the platform created by her legs, with his head right next to her stomach, staring up at her. Giving in, the girl just lifted the book over his tail, and held it there. The cat laid his head against her, and relaxed, not asleep, but resting in comfort all the same.
Once more, the doors whooshed open. This time, Robin entered. Both could tell by the smell of hair gel. The Boy Wonder looked around, and then spoke. "You seen Cyborg?"
Finishing her sentence and marking her place with her finger, she called over her shoulder, "He was in here a while ago. He left, saying he had errands to run."
Robin called back, "Oh. I was hoping he might work out with me today. There's no chance Beastboy will even be up for a few more hours, and Starfire…" his voice faltered.
"Speaking of Starfire, I hear you got quite a workout last night." She didn't have to look to see the blush rapidly spreading across his face.
"Well, I, ehr, um…I gotta go." He dashed off.
She smiled once more. Before she began to read, she looked down. Sensing this, he looked up. "Well, he is right. Why aren't you still asleep?" she asked.
He just looked at her, then slowly closed his eyes, and returned his head to resting against her abdomen. She resumed her reading. As she finished the chapter she was on, she marked her place, and closed the book. He looked up at her, alarmed. She looked down and said, "I need to use the bathroom, if you don't mind. And besides, someone drank all of my tea." He rose and sulked off, towards the other corner of the couch. She got up and placed her book on the table, looking at him once more. He began to clean himself, and she decided to give him some privacy, grabbing her cup and heading for the kitchen. She filled the kettle with water, and set it on the stove, then left, presumably to use the facilities.
When she re-entered the room, she walked over to the kettle. It was beginning to make sporadic noises, a sure sign it would whistle soon. Rather than wake Starfire, she pulled it off the stove and turned off the stove, then poured two cups of water. Reaching into the cabinet, she pulled out the last two packets of tea, and put one in each of the cups. She grabbed both, and walked over to the couch. Looking around, she didn't see him, but set the cups down. Slightly disappointed that he had left, she nevertheless regained her place and reopened the book. Crossing one leg under the other, she propped the book in her lap and began to read.
He peered out from under the table, and plotted his path. Tensing the muscles in his hind legs, he wound up, preparing to begin. At the sound of a silent 'Go!' he took off. He raced around the couch, then one more lap, then on the third ran up and over the couch. Startled at the sudden movement, her eyes narrowed. Then, realizing what it was, they softened again. She resumed her reading. If he wanted to run around, that was fine. Even cats need exercise, and in his place, she wouldn't risk leaving the room to be caught by and have to train with Robin.
His little personal race run, he jumped onto the top of the couch. She felt the landing, as soft as it was. However, she wasn't prepared to feel a wet nose softly touch the back of her neck. Jumping in place, she turned to glare at him. Sitting back down, she murmured, "You just better be glad I didn't have my tea in my hand when you did that…"
He sauntered closer, and walked calmly from the back of the couch onto her left shoulder. Leaving his rear in place, he walked his front around to her right shoulder, and proceeded to lie down, supported by her back and the backrest. Expecting something, but not knowing what, she maintained perfect stillness. When she realized he intended to stay like that, she leaned her head back, and enjoyed her personal neck pillow. He batted her hair with his paw, and she tilted her head forward again, back to reading once more. After a few more playful swipes at her tantalizing violet hair, he rotated his head, and looked at the book. He could have read, quite literally, over her shoulder, but at the moment he didn't particularly care to do so. Instead, he relaxed, and just enjoyed his proximity to the teenage beauty.
Time passed, but he took no notice, other than the occasional breeze and fluttering of a flipping page. However, all good things come to an end – and the same was true of this case. He looked up at her as she closed the book, and downed the last of her second cup of tea. He hadn't even noticed her drinking it. She gently shrugged her shoulders, as if to give him warning that she was about to get up, and he took heed. Feeling the weight being lifted off of her shoulders, she stood up and turned around. Eyeing the cat remaining on the sofa, she decided to do something slightly more productive than engaging in a staring contest with a furry animal.
Grabbing her book and the two cups, she walked over to the sink. Gently setting the cups down in the stainless steel basin, she looked back at the cat as if to say, "Are you coming?" and walked out of the door. He sprinted to catch up to her, slowing as she headed towards his room. Taking a detour, they went separate ways. When she got to her room, she opened the door, and then looked down at her feet, as if to see a green cat dart in. Strangely enough, she couldn't seem to find him. Giving up rather than spending an extensive time looking for him, she placed the book on her desk, and then strode out. As she walked back towards the main room, she heard a toilet flush and turned around to see a green cat standing in front of the open bathroom door. Just staring at him, she said, "Oh, you've got to be kidding me." He just gazed back, with a slightly amused expression on his face.
Walking towards the stairs, she ascended at a moderate pace. He trotted behind loyally. When they reached the roof, she held open the door for him. Quickly trotting onto the warm, sunny roof, he looked up at the sky. She watched him for a moment, then shook her head slightly, and walked a few steps. Finding a spot she deemed adequate, she started to hover in midair. Assuming the lotus position, she calmly chanted three magic words, which the green one didn't need to hear. Instead, he walked over to the short wall separating the roof from the high drop on the other side, and without a second thought, leapt atop it. Walking to the center of the wall, he turned and sat down, gazing out at the city.
She chanted the phrase one more time, then opened her eyes. Look directly ahead of her, she saw the cat curled up on the sunny ground, basking in the sun. Shortly after she had started meditating, she had opened an eye to peek at him, and saw him sitting on the wall in front of her, looking out at the city. Deciding to disturb him, since she was going downstairs, she leaned over and picked him up. Holding him close to her chest, he turned his head and looked at her. He mewed softly, then looked to see where they were going. She walked over to the door, stooped slightly and opened it skillfully with one of her hands, while still holding the cat. She walked through the portal.
She stood there, cat in her arms, as the door to the main room whooshed open. Walking through, she spotted the other three titans. Cyborg was busy stocking the fridge out of bags on the kitchen counter, Starfire was holding Silkie and the clawed sofa cushion, attempting to explain what was food and what was not, and Robin was pacing the room. When he heard the door open, he turned to look. "Hey Raven have you seen…" he began "Beastboy?" At Robin interrupting himself, the other two Titans and Silkie looked up. "Uh, Raven?" asked Robin, "Is that…Are you and Beastboy…" but he couldn't finish his question.
Raven just walked over to the couch and murmured, "Maybe…" Looking at the green cat in her arms, he looked back, and she kissed his head, softly giggling.
Hope I didn't lose too many potential fans with the ending there. Reviews are…nice…