"Fine," she replied, suspicious at his tone. "What happened?"
"A reporter called. He knows where you were this morning and what you were there for."
"What?" Beast Boy shouted. "How?"
"Someone tipped him off," Robin said.
Thinking only very briefly, Beast Boy came to the obvious conclusion. "The nurse. It must have been the nurse." He glanced over at Raven and she nodded slightly in agreement.
"What she did was professionally unethical," Robin said. It was only then that the couple realized Robin's demeanor was not cold or aloof but rather anger. "We can see to it that she at least looses her job."
"Don't bother," Raven said. "I'm getting used to my private business being public. Maybe there was a camera in the doctors office and pictures of me in the stirrups will make the internet." She shook her head. "I don't care. I really don't. Let them write whatever they want. She smiled a little at Robin. "In spite of everything, this has been a pretty good day so far."
"Yeah," Beast Boy said shyly. "I agree."
Robin glanced between them, curious. "You don't care at all?" he asked. They both shook their heads. "Ok, then I don't either." He sounded perplexed but willing to go along with them.
"Right now, I'm going to take a nap," she said. "I didn't sleep well and got up early, so I'm heading up to my room." She reached towards Beast Boy and he briefly took her hand. "Wake me up about noon or so?" Beast Boy nodded agreement and she kissed him quickly on the cheek before turning and going up the stairs.
Beast Boy turned to Robin and grinned slightly. "So," Robin said slowly, "You two are...?"
"Official and stuff," Beast Boy said. "Is that a problem?"
"No, as long as it doesn't affect the work." He thought for a moment about asking more but decided it was none of his concern. "So," he went on, "she's doing all right with everything?"
"Yeah," Beast Boy said. "She's doing fine."
Robin nodded thoughtfully. He went to the couch and gestured for Beast Boy to follow. From sheer habit, they both picked up game controllers and Robin turned on the machine. "You know," he said softly, "she's very important to me."
"I know," Beast Boy said.
"I hope you know what you're getting into."
"Better then anyone else does, I think," Beast Boy said. The game began and they both played mechanically.
"Still," Robin said, "even though she brings a lot of issues with her... I think you're damned lucky."
"And in spite of what I thought at first, maybe she is too."
"Thanks," Beast Boy said. Then they stopped talking and concentrated on the game.
Raven woke up from her nap at almost exactly noon. She could have gotten up but for some reason she didn't. Lying in bed awake was something she rarely did, but it felt good just now. After having taken off her costume, she had put on a simple pair of soft shorts and a plain tee shirt. She felt almost wantonly comfortable, covered only in a light sheet. She stretched and her hand went to her hair, mussed from sleep. She smiled and almost laughed at the memory of Gar's fascination with it. It made no sense to her, but she supposed it didn't have to. She considered letting it grow. He would like that. The thought of him running his fingers through it made her smile. He took such a childlike pleasure in it. Then, she thought of having longer hair so that she could let it fall in his face if she were above him. The thrill of pleasure she got from that image wasn't childlike at all.
Her reverie was interrupted by a knock at the door. "Come in," she called.
Beast Boy opened the door. "Already awake?"
"No," she said, stretching and yawning, "talking in my sleep." After her stretch, she fell back onto her pillow and rolled to her side to look at him. "How did you spend the morning while I was being lazy?"
"Played some games with Cy and Robin," he said. He was standing half in the door, which was still open.
"Well," she said, "at least you did something productive."
"Yeah," he said, unsure of what to do. He didn't know if he should leave or come in and shut the door. The latter thought made him a little nervous.
"I thought you might sleep some too," she said. "You got up really early."
"I drank coffee," he said. "I'm just now coming down. I may crash for a while later."
She groaned theatrically. "I don't want to get up."
"So don't," he said.
"I'll be a slug for the rest of the day as it is," she said.
"So be a slug," he said with a grin. "I could be one too."
"If you turn into a slug in my room, I'll salt you."
"As I've said before, you are a mean, mean woman."
"Am not," she said sleepily.
"Go back to sleep," he said. "I may go do the same thing."
Raven looked at him for a moment, appearing to be lost in thought. "Come in," she said. "Close the door." Beast Boy swallowed hard and did as she directed. "If you wanted to," she said diffidently, "You could," she paused nervously, "sleep in here... with me." She saw his eyes get very large and his mouth fall open. "Just sleep," she said hastily. "I just thought it might be nice," she added.
Beast Boy stood frozen for a second, a deer-in-headlights expression on his face. Then he said, "One second," turned and bolted from the room. Raven watched him go, feeling more upset then she thought she would. Was he afraid of her? It wasn't as if she was asking him to do anything besides sleep. Maybe he didn't think he could just sleep. That must be it, she thought. It was too much too soon.
After a bit she unhappily sat up in bed and was going to go look for him, but he came back in without knocking, making her jump. He was wearing comfortable clothes and his hair was damp. "Oh, sorry for not knocking," he said with a wide grin, "but if I'm invited to sleep here, I don't think that was out of line." He was slightly out of breath.
"I guess not," Raven said, sounding slightly confused. "Where did you go?"
"Quick shower and change," he said. "I wasn't nap-ready before."
Raven lay back down, leaving room and a pillow for him, and smiled. "That was a quick shower," she said.
"I can move when I need to," he said. Moving to the side of the bed he lay down carefully, being sure not to touch her in any way. He turned on his side, mirroring her posture and facing her. He realized that her bed, while large enough for two, had little extra room. Their faces were very close together.
In desperate need of something to say, which was very unusual for her, Raven said the first thing that popped into her mind, "I'm thinking of letting my hair grow."
"How come?" he asked, even more breathless then he had been form his hurried shower.
Raven blushed deeply but went on. "Because I think you would like it. Would you?" He nodded, unable to speak. She found herself blinking rapidly and unable to take her eyes from his. She felt tight in her chest and her face was hot. Her breath shuddered a tiny bit. This was too much too soon. It was too intimate, too intense. Her power began roiling in her mind and she knew she had to back off from this. She had to regain control. "I should tell him to go," she thought, "he'll understand, he won't be angry." She didn't want to do that but she had to stop this somehow before loosing control.
Taking a lesson from Beast Boy, she made a joke. "My boyfriend has a hair fetish," she said teasingly. "Freak."
"I do not," he said, his voice sounding more normal.
"I think you do," she persisted. Rolling over on her back she smiled. "It's OK. I won't tell anyone."
"Better not," he said, also rolling over and looking at the ceiling. "'Cause I'll tell about the whole ticklish thing."
"Yours is more embarrassing," she said, "lots of people are ticklish."
"I don't think so," he retorted. "Lots of people don't actually like being tickled."
"I do not!" she protested.
"I think you do."
Raven took a deep breath and felt that she was no longer in danger of loosing control of her powers. "This may have been a mistake," she said, "the whole both of us in one bed thing."
"It damn sure may have," he said emphatically.
"I think," she said carefully, "that since we both believe it may have been a mistake, maybe it isn't so much."
"That actually makes sense," he said, "in a round about way."
"But it's nice, being here together, isn't it?" she asked.
"Yeah, it is," he replied.
Robin had gotten bored and headed for the gym a few minutes after Beast Boy had gone upstairs to wake Raven. For lack of anything to do, Cyborg joined him. As always, Robin had gone there with business like purpose but Cyborg felt like chatting. "So," Cyborg said, "we seem to have a full blown couple on our hands." Robin grunted what sounded like an agreement. "Who would have thought it?" he went on rhetorically. "The grass stain and Raven. I guess opposites do attract." He waited a moment. "Weird isn't it?" he asked when he still got no response.
"If you want to gossip," Robin said in an annoyed tone, "go find Star."
"Dude!" Cyborg said in an aggrieved tone, "Uncool."
"Just calling it like I see it," Robin said, speaking only because he was in the process of changing the configuration on one of the machines.
"Don't you think it's a big deal?"
"Yes, I do," Robin said, settling into his exercise.
"I think it's great," Cyborg said. Robin was ignoring him again. He glared at Robin for a moment and then muttered, "You're no fun," he said, turning to leave and actually wondering where Star was.
"Hey," Robin called, "You better find a wig before you find Star."
"What?" Cyborg asked, turning around. "Why?"
"So you can braid each other's hair."
In spite of the intensity of feeling engendered by their perhaps ill-advised choice to try sharing a bed, Raven and Beast Boy had in fact both dozed off. He woke up before her and very quickly discovered two things; first, people used to sleeping alone tend to migrate to opposite sides of a bed when they do get company and second, watching someone sleep was hugely boring. However, he could wile away endless hours lying in bed and letting his mind wander. So, when Raven came awake a few minutes after he did, she rolled over to see him lying on his back and staring at the ceiling. "Hey," she said sleepily.
"Hey," he replied, in a soft tone, "finally slept enough?"
"So I guess we should get up," she said without moving.
He shrugged. "I don't have anything I have to do."
"Me neither," she said hesitantly.
He couldn't resist smiling broadly. "How could we occupy ourselves?"
Raven laughed. It was an unusual laugh for her. It wasn't a low, dry chuckle. It was high pitched and burst out quickly. Beast Boy's head whipped over towards her and he too laughed. "You giggled!" he said happily.
She covered her mouth in surprise and said, "I did not! I do not giggle!"
"OK, whatever you say," Beast Boy said.
"I didn't giggle," she said in a tone that brought another laugh from him.
"And you aren't pouting now," he said.
"I most certainly am not," she said.
"OK," he said blandly, forcing himself not to laugh.
"Jerk," she muttered, rolling over to her side so that her back was too him.
"Don't be that way, baby," he said.
She had no options left. He had taken them away from her. She had no choice but to use her powers and pummel him mercilessly with every pillow and cushion she had in the room. He was finally able to tackle her and retaliate with the tickling he had found to be so effective. It happened that he had tackled her on the bed. In a second, they both realized where they were. They had been like kids, having a pillow and tickle fight, playing and laughing. Then, suddenly, they were two people alone and in bed, and he was above her. They both froze. He looked down into her eyes. When his gaze moved frankly down her body, she found she didn't mind.
She tried to speak but no sound came out at first. She closed her eyes and sought for some modicum of control. With a deep breath, she opened them again and looked up at him, smiling. She reached up and caressed his cheek. To her surprise, he turned his head and kissed her palm lightly. "Some day," she said softly as she pulled him down and kissed him.
Cyborg, annoyed at Robin for the two-in-one "You're a big girl and you're bald" joke, stalked down the hall thinking as he headed for her room that he was certainly not looking for Starfire. He passed by Raven's closed door and stopped in mid-stride when the noise coming from inside struck him. It was laughter. Not just Beast Boy, the sound of him laughing was unremarkable, but Raven was also laughing loud and happily. It was unprecedented. He stopped and gaped dumbly at the door. Then, looking guiltily up and down the hallway, he leaned in and listened closely. The sound of laughter died away and he heard the low murmur of voices. He was later glad he couldn't make out the words. Then he thought that maybe, just on the edge of hearing, someone that may have been Raven may have made a happy, high pitched little sound with just a hint of moan in it.
He ran away, muttering over and over, "Don't wanna know, shouldn't have listened, not my business..."
The next day the item came out in the newspaper. It made lots of implications but no accusations. The reader was left to draw the obvious conclusions as to why two young people would be visiting a gynecologist. Robin took it upon himself to respond to media inquiries, actually writing down his statement and keeping it by the phone so he could answer consistently. It read, "The member of the Teen Titans known as Raven went to see Dr. Allison Jenson to address some medical concerns. The nature of that situation is private and will remain so. The citizens of Go City can rest assured that she will still be able to make the same incredible contributions to their safety and security that she always has. On her behalf, I would like to thank those who have expressed concern for her well-being and assure them that she is well."
The only question he would answer after the statement was if he was asked about the two of them, to which he would say, "Beast Boy and Raven are involved in a personal relationship, which is why she asked him to accompany her and provide moral support at the appointment which has created this baffling interest and speculation."
The interest died down quickly as other nonsensical "news" distracted the kind of people who were interested in such things. Raven was very amused that the local interest in her and Gar was supplanted by Lindsay Lohan once again exposing herself.
Days passed and a sense of normalcy was restored to the Tower. The tests at S.T.A.R. were taking longer then expected, so Raven waited as patiently as she could. After a few days of gentle teasing, everyone became used to the mild displays of affection the couple engaged in, which were limited to the use of their carefully selected nicknames for each other and a little physical contact. They were not the kind of people to be tongue kissing in the common room or cooing baby talk to each other. More precisely, Raven wasn't that kind of person and Beast Boy got the hint quickly.
Robin observed them carefully in combat. They did tend to watch each other more carefully and respond more quickly if the other appeared to be in trouble but it wasn't really disruptive so he let it slide. The involvement with Raven seemed to have settled Beast Boy a bit, which Robin considered a good thing. The younger boy was also sticking to their agreement about extra time in the gym. Robin had already gotten several extensions on the arrangement as Beast Boy needed further loans.
Cyborg stuck to his resolution to treat Raven and Beats Boy's relationship with respect. He was spending less time with his best friend but he understood completely. When he was able to play games with Beast Boy all evening while Raven sat nearby and read, he knew that things were largely back to normal. It took only a week or so, which was less time then he had anticipated.
Starfire very nearly drove Raven insane with magazine quizzes to determine if you have the ideal boyfriend; an increased number of requests "to do the girl talking"; and the romantic, dreamy sighs Star would give every time she saw the couple. Beast Boy had gotten in the habit of telling Raven to calm down when annoyed at her, reminding Raven that she was just happy for them and wanted them to be happy. It quickly got to be enough of a habit that he could could get the message across with just a look.
As for Rae and Gar themselves, they found that they were surprisingly well suited to each other but that living in the same place wasn't easy. The stress of small annoyances could build up and finding time apart actually took effort. They had their first real fight about a week after the news story appeared. It had started with Gar spending a good deal of time in her room. They weren't sleeping together, even just to sleep, after the afternoon nap but they had developed the habit of her room being their default place to be. She liked that and enjoyed having him there but she did not care for the number of his belongings that were accumulating. He had pouted and gotten snappy when she asked him to take his things back to his own room. She had been annoyed and surprised at his reaction and so didn't control her initial response. It snowballed from there with shouting, recriminations and minor property damage. Starfire was upset at the way they stomped around the tower ignoring each other but as Cyborg predicted, they made up quickly.
It took almost a month before they heard back from S.T.A.R. labs. It was early in the morning when the fax machine beeped to announce an incoming message. As it happened, it was Raven's turn to clean after the meal. Beast Boy was sitting at the table sipping coffee, which had become more of a habit with him. He was chatting idly with her as he skimmed the paper. Neither of them realized how familial they appeared.
Robin had seen the S.T.A.R. logo on the cover sheet and had stood impatiently by the machine. He was able to fight the nearly overwhelming urge to glance at it.
He carried the results to Raven in the kitchen, sat them on the counter, and quickly left the room. She looked nervously at the innocuous seeming document and carefully dried her hands before she picked it up. Beast Boy stood and moved behind her. She flipped past the cover sheet and with a deep breath read the contents. "Well, there it is," she said.
"Yeah," he replied, watching her carefully.
"Now we know," she said. He nodded. She threw the fax in the garbage and turned back to the task of filling the dishwasher. He watched her, unsure how to respond. After a moment, he sat back down.
"What now?" he asked.
She shrugged. "We'll deal with it." She sighed again and turned to face him, leaning against the counter. Her voice became cold and even so he knew she was working hard at maintaining control. "You've made this all easier for me. I wanted you to know that. Thank you."
"You're welcome," he said, his voice breaking. "I wish..."
She cut him off with a gesture. "I know, but it is what it is." Taking an odd comfort in the simple act, Raven refilled Gar's cup from the coffee maker and turned back to the sink. "Gar?" she asked after a few minutes, not looking at him.
"I love you," she said in an utterly deadpan tone.