Disclaimer: Come on, if I owned Teen Titans, would I really be sitting here writing stories on FanFic?
Rating: M – MIND THE RATING! Expect a little adult content, nothing major, but adult nonetheless.
Pre-note: This story might be a LIME. I can't warn you enough. Also, if you look really (really) hard, you will notice that this story pokes a little fun at (what I believe to be) some common misconceptions of the characters in a lot of Teen Titans fan fictions. And just for a little background, it takes place about a year after Season 5.
And if there's incorrect Titans history in here, please let me know.
Even brushing past him was becoming a near-impossible feat to accomplish. Hiding her feelings was hard enough, but this? This was just getting ridiculous. And the worst part about it was that she wasn't sure if what she felt was genuine affection from deep within her heart, or a hormone-driven infatuation that would die out soon after she got her satisfaction.
Raven roamed around the tower like a hopeless nomad. It was the middle of the day; not too long after a normal lunch hour, but she had not even bothered with food today. Although no one outside the tower would ever know, she couldn't help but think that this somehow supplied to the belief that she never ate. As she passed through the lonely halls, she pondered intently. She had been doing this all morning, too, but the same thoughts raced through her mind. It was the weekend, and sometimes she would conduct mental re-caps of the week. Except this time, Beast Boy dominated this re-cap. And what surprised her most about everything that happened during the week was that every time she did as little as pass Beast Boy, the urge to lurch onto him would grow stronger. This was what caused her uncertainty: was her desire for him being driven by deep-seeded feelings… or primal lust and nothing else?
This was not a sudden issue for her, though. Her feelings for the green-skinned boy had been growing since her encounter with Malchior, the accursed dragon. It was now three years later. Beast Boy had comforted her after she had been deceived and used, and she was beyond grateful of him for that. She needed to hug him. At the time, she could not form the words to thank him, so she did what came naturally and hugged him. But during that hug, she also noted that she liked the feel of his body, despite his immediate tensing-up from her uncharacteristic move. For that, she couldn't blame him. He was warm, he fit into her arms perfectly (it helped that they were relatively the same size). He felt neither lanky nor bulky, which she decided she rather liked.
For the past three years, some things told her she was physically attracted to him, and some things told her she was emotionally attracted to him. She guessed he had grown on her. Being around him everyday caused her to get used to his presence. Completely. She was no longer aggravated by his corny antics and his pathetic attempts to get a chuckle out of her. In all seriousness, the kid's jokes were not funny by any means. Then again, that wasn't important to her; the point was that he cared enough to get her to show some pleasance. And despite all of his failures, he never gave up on her. She admired that about him. She was Raven after all, that dark Goth girl that ignores the world and locks herself in her creepy room twenty-four/seven, supposedly.
Raven sneered at the thought.
However, he was funny when he wasn't fumbling through some joke he heard or made up. During battle, he would make clever remarks that would garner a chuckle or two from her, which she always hid under the protection of her hood. Raven knew the reasons for his light-hearted and juvenile behavior, though. He had shared those reasons with her and her only. Choosing to share such confidential information with her made her feel so special and trusted. It turned out Beast Boy had a tough life of his own. The rest of the Titans knew the basic history of Beast Boy, but he never explained the details. His parents died when he was a mere child. She would never know the exact feeling of losing a parent (she was raised detached from her mother, and her father, well…), but she got a vivid idea from how he expressed himself when he told her. He was then taken into the Doom Patrol, where life was all work and no play. Little Garfield Logan never had a chance to experience a real childhood, so in a way, he made up for it in his teen years.
Raven had been lucky enough to see his calm, reserved, serious side on several occasions, as well as his angered side. The first experience with Beast Boy's primal side, otherwise know as "the beast", was a prominent example. She could see the anger and frustration screaming in his eyes during their face-off in the hallway that day. He was influenced by recombinant DNA, but it brought out his frustration in himself, of his green skin. Afterwards, she saw his wisdom down at his spot at the edge of the island. Seeing him offer so much insight about himself was a mind-opening experience, even though it lasted for but a moment…
Recently, conversation had been a normal occurrence between the two of them, and not just light banter. They would talk after dinner, sometimes for an hour or two. Although she would enjoy the value of their conversations, she would enjoy studying him too. It was during these times that she noticed how he changed over the years. The change in his appearance from when they first met to his current look was almost drastic. He was on par with her in terms of height (he just couldn't seem to gain that extra half-inch that would send her to the bottom of the height chart). The natural effect of maturing filled out his body. His body was lean, still the way she liked it. Not bulky, but defined. She would sometimes catch him without a shirt on in the gym and desperately turn away to hide the blush covering her face. The green skin did not matter to her. If anything, it enhanced his appearance. And then his face, his gorgeous face. Puberty squared out his jaw, giving him a truly manly look. His alluring emerald eyes could put her in a trance if she stared at them for too long. The skin on his face was flawless; no blemishes and always freshly shaved. His hair was long, too. It came as a surprise to her when she saw how straight it grew out. It was just long enough to cascade in the wind and flow in front of those eyes of his, causing her to gaze. She just loved his pointed ears too. She never thought they would add so much effect to his look. He was always one to try to impress the ladies, so he made an effort to look his best. That was definitely a plus. If he couldn't sanitize his room, well, at least he could sanitize himself. How could she deny it? Raven knew she thought he was cute, but as these thoughts of him filled her mind, she knew he was more than just that…
The fact that she noticed all these things about him forced her to come to terms with something: she was in fact a teenage girl and all the raging hormones had an effect on her. The effect that caused her to admire his well-built body. The effect that made her want to grab him every time he brushed by her. The effect that caused her to have those explicit dreams. Ever since the downfall of Trigon, she had been able to be more emotionally free, but still not completely (her powers were the only thing preventing this). Being withdrawn was actually a natural part of her personality, but now she felt more emotion than she had ever felt before. The one she emotion she still did not understand was lust. She acknowledged its existence within her, but sometimes it was like trying to keep an angry bear restrained to a tree with a piece of masking tape. And due to her powers, emotions could still escape her control if she let them get out of hand. Luckily, lust had not been an emotion to do that. At least not yet. Adolescence did not make a good match with her powers, to say the least.
A door swished open in front of her and she jumped in shock. It never helped to tune out her surroundings, she thought. She entered a long hallway where let the sunlight pour in through a row of windows. She could see the miniscule particles of dust floating in the air as the light reflected off them. The room was warm from the sun and it momentarily took her mind off her ponderings. She looked through the windows towards the glistening sea that extended out from Jump Bay. Despite the cloudless sky, white caps on the waves told her that there was a fairly strong sea breeze whirling past the tower.
As she came to another corridor, this time a windowless one, her thoughts returned. She knew she was physically attracted to Beast Boy. She also knew she enjoyed his company, she could start a good conversation with him, and that he trusted her. Knowing this brought on a new set of thoughts. He had trusted her with painful memories of his childhood and always offered to talk when she was feeling troubled. Was it possible he had feelings for her too? If he did, would he tell her or would she have to drag it out of him? To be perfectly honest, she was afraid of rejection. She had dealt with it all her life and wasn't sure how she would handle it from him. Maybe she really did like him, not just want him. All of these feelings were so powerful. Perhaps even more powerful than a simple crush. Physical or emotional, at the rate things were going for her now, it could turn into—
Raven caught herself this time before unceremoniously smashing right into a set of double doors. She took a moment to absorb her surroundings and finally recognized where she was. These were the doors to the common room. She stood there for what seemed like ten minutes, debating on whether she should go in or not. Would he be in there? What would she do if he was? Maybe she should just turn around right now and head back to her room to continue thinking in circles. No, she shouldn't, she reasoned. For the past two hours she had been wandering around, and chances are she'd be sitting alone for that long (if not longer) if she went back to her room. She figured she should put her thoughts aside and deal with what whatever came her way in the common room.
With a heavy sigh, she brought her hand to the identification pad that allowed passage through the doors. They pulled aside once the computer verified Raven's hand print and she stepped into what she thought would be a busy room. It was quite the contrary. Only one titan was present; the other three were no where to be seen.
Raven slowly padded down the short set of stairs before the main floor of the common room and made her way over to the counter at the kitchen. She sat herself on one of the stools and rested her elbows on the countertop. As she did so, she studied a very occupied Starfire. Dinner the night before had been more like a Tamaranian banquet, minus the bizarre delicacies that could only be considered as such on Tamaran. So naturally, a mass of tableware was left behind. Hence the problem: no one had a clear idea of the dish-duty schedule anymore. When it came to domestic responsibilities, the Titans were just like any other lazy teenagers. Today, however, Starfire had taken the liberty of washing the endless amount plates, bowls, cups, and utensils that sat haphazardly stacked in the sink. The girl was quite good at washing; she seemed to be getting some joy out of it also. Tamaranians descended from a feline-like race, according to Starfire's knowledge of her ancestry, so cleaning came as a natural habit for her.
Raven made a note of Starfire's apparel as she made repeated journeys from the sink to the dishwasher. Because they were in the sanctity of the tower, she wore a pink camisole with a single green flower that matched her eyes placed on the center of her bust. The tight top stopped at her belly button, showing off her slim midriff. From there she wore a pair of light-blue hip-hugger jeans that seemed like a second skin until her lower legs where they widened into a bell-bottom. The whole outfit suited her, Raven thought. Starfire really was a beautiful, petite thing. Raven actually admired and envied the alien girl's natural beauty and ability to wear such clothing without looking cheap.
Raven looked down at herself. She remained in the same blue cloak and black leotard she had always worn. Beast Boy, Robin, and Starfire had all started wearing normal clothing more often, but Raven denied the chance to change her look. She wasn't sure why, but she felt like she needed her current outfit; as if without it, she wouldn't be Raven anymore. However, she was always intrigued by what her friends chose to wear.
It was then that Raven started wondering whether she was invisible or just extremely inconspicuous. She had been in the room for about five minutes already and still Starfire had not acknowledged her presence, strangely enough. If her wish to become invisible finally came true, then it was a couple years too late. So she did the logical thing to do… she spoke.
"I was wondering when you would speak, friend Raven," Starfire said, but she did not take her visual attention away from her precious dishes for a second.
"Sorry," Raven responded, "I guess I'm a little out of it today." Internally, she was saying 'she expects ME to start a conversation?'
Starfire was nonplussed. "What are you out of?"
"It basically means I'm having difficulty paying attention to my surroundings."
"Hmm, that does not seem normal. Is there something that troubles you?" she inquired kindly.
"I'm probably just tired," Raven reasoned. It was true, for the most part. She had been thinking about the same thing day and night for the past week. Sometimes her thoughts kept her from falling asleep. It was proving to be impossible to get him out of her mind, although she wasn't complaining about that all the time. In the middle of her frustration, there were some thoughts that were… well, enjoyable.
There was more silence. And for once, it was making Raven uncomfortable. So she brought up the next topic in her mind.
"Where is everyone else?"
Starfire paused from her work this time and put the plate and over-used dish rag down. She turned to face Raven.
"Well, it is in my knowledge that Cyborg is doing the recharging." She lifted up her index finger to represent their robotic friend. "Robin is out doing the running of the errands. Although he did not specify which errands, Robin said they needed to be done." She counted off the next finger. "And Beast Boy is… um, I truly do not know where our friend has gone. He is not present in the tower though. This I know."
"Figures," Raven muttered. She was actually relieved that Beast Boy was out, but she just had a reputation to keep up, so she remained stoic. If he was around, she wasn't sure how she would react. She was afraid to find that out. She avoided long and close encounters with him throughout the week, because if brushing past him triggered that much of a craving in her, then being around him for a while could be disastrous.
"Why do you wish to know the whereabouts of our friends, Raven?" Starfire asked.
It took a moment for Raven to formulate an answer because her current thoughts refused to let her mind process other information.
"It has been unusually quiet around here today. And that's coming from me. I wasn't expecting everyone to be out doing something," she explained.
That was partially true also. She wasn't completely making up an excuse; it just wasn't the whole reason. She really wanted to know just where Beast Boy was, but she had to cover up that curiosity from Starfire.
Starfire pondered. "Yes, it has been quite lonely. I have been doing the dishwashing for some time now, and I have not heard from anyone. You are the first person I have made conversation with today."
"One of those days, I guess," Raven offered.
Starfire nodded. "One of those days indeed." And with that, she went back to scrubbing the scum off the plates. Except with this one, she worked more vigorously to remove the grime. It was obviously one of Cyborg's plates.
Raven remained at her seat, but she entered somewhat of a trance. She stared down at the counter, a distant, glazed look in her amethyst eyes. In her ever busy mind, she debated on what to do. It was an unusual day, so in accordance to that, her usual activities didn't seem appealing. She didn't want to make tea; she wasn't thirsty. She didn't want to read; she had been reading so many books anyway. She didn't want to meditate; it simply wasn't needed. The more she thought about it, the more she realized how little she actually needed to meditate nowadays. But whenever she did, it was because it was a nice way to relax, whether her mind was troubled or not. Meditating to control her emotions was becoming a thing of the past.
Then she thought about what her friends usually did. She wouldn't mind working on the T-Car with Cyborg, but unfortunately his baby doesn't need to be worked on all the time. Besides, Cyborg was "asleep" anyway. Go to the mall? No, she didn't even want to think about that. Feeding Silky was a no and she really wasn't in the mood to do chores either, namely washing grimy dishes.
She was about to think of what Beast Boy did routinely, but she quickly decided against that. She needed to take her mind off him for a while. Doing what he did would certainly not help.
That left Robin…
After some thought, something clicked. She hopped off the stool and rushed out of the common room, leaving Starfire behind with her hopeless task.
Raven came to her bedroom and entered hastily. She felt excited; this was going to be just what she needed. It was good for her too, no doubt about that.
She needed appropriate clothing, so she scavenged through her dresser. She was able to keep most of her clothing, all sorted and folded, in one dresser. Unlike Starfire, she didn't own too much. She rummaged through her bottom drawer where she kept her pants until found what she was looking for: a pair of grey sweatpants. She threw them onto her bed before continuing. She skipped over three more drawers (the first containing a small assortment of shirts and the other two containing her leotards and cloaks) to the one at the very top. She pulled it out, revealing her socks and different varieties of undergarments. She decided not to wear any socks or shoes; barefoot was the way to go. She then moved to her bras. The generic were in the left pile, in the middle there was lingerie (even Raven could not overcome her curiosity), and on the right were sports bras. Reaching a hand in the right pile, she went through several before picking out a simple black sports bra. Even though Raven chose to wear her uniform most of the time, she still had clothing that was necessary to any other girl.
Satisfied with her selection, Raven unhooked her belt and cloak and set both of them on the edge of her bed. She reached behind her back and unzipped her leotard and retracted her arms through the sleeves. It peeled off to the waist, revealing her bare torso. As her body began to develop, she learned that the tightness of her leotard made wearing a bra under it uncomfortable. Then she slid it down her slender legs and around her feet. She lifted it to her hands so she could fold it and set it on top of her cloak.
Raven reached for the black sports bra and put her arms through the holes and delicately lowered it over her head until it rested at the top of her chest. She slipped the garment over top her bosom and adjusted it to make sure she was comfortable before grabbing the sweatpants and stepping through the legs. She jumped slightly to pull them out from under her feet and up to her waist. Finally, she pulled the strings tight so that the pants hugged her hips.
She had almost forgotten how comfortable normal clothing was. This reminded her of the philosophy that beauty is pain. As long her clothing was comfortable, she was fine. That's another reason why she liked her leotard so much; it felt good against her skin. If it hadn't, then she wouldn't wear it. But what she wore now was light and breathable; perfect for what she was planning to do.
And besides, Beast Boy had commented on how nice Raven looked in whatever she wore on several occasions, so apparently pain was no object for her. He made her feel good about herself, which was a contributor to her feelings toward him. When it came to the pleasant things like this, she let her mind roam around thoughts of him. If he could make her feel good about her looks, she wondered how else he could possibly make her feel good.
Raven walked out of her room smiling and headed down the hall in the opposite direction of the common room. After a few turns she came to another set of double doors with small windows in them. After completing the identification, the doors opened to a large gym. She first headed over to the stereo and picked out one of her CD's from the CD rack and put it in the player. The whole gym was wired with a surround-sound stereo system, specially designed by Cyborg, along with its high-tech training equipment. Music was always helpful during a workout, especially her music. She hit the play button and the strums of guitars started blaring out of the speakers located throughout the complex.
She was already feeling pumped as she walked over to Robin's station in the gym. Raven approached a punching bag and started bouncing on the balls of her feet in time to the fast-paced song. She needed a good workout. It was the perfect way to spend her time on a day like this and get away from the usual.
Raven inhaled deeply and released the breath in a yell as her fist made contact with the defenseless bag…