Beast Boy was, to put it mildly, bored out of his happy green mind. Cyborg was working in his lab, Starfire was visiting the "mall of shopping," Raven was in her room doing… whatever it was that Raven did in her room, and Robin, well, he had no idea where Robin was, but he guessed patrolling. Beast Boy had been left on his own for most of the afternoon, and while that didn't really bother him too much at first, the video games got old after the 3000th go-round and there was absolutely nothing on TV on Tuesday afternoons. At this point, he was almost considering doing laundry or even (gasp!) cleaning his room—even chores had to be better than sitting around doing absolutely nothing!
Well, maybe not chores, but just about anything else!
Finally Beast Boy couldn't stand it anymore. He needed entertainment, and by golly he was going to get it. All he had to do was wander down to Cyborg's lab. Even if the android Titan told him to piss off, seeing what new gadgetry his friend was currently tooling with was always worth the trip, even when it ended with some long-winded nerdgasm involving words like "molecular structure" and "particle acceleration." Heck, trying to spot the shapes in the chicken scratch on Cyborg's chalkboard was just about as fun as cloud gazing, if one was desperate enough.
Right now, Beast Boy was definitely desperate enough.
Cyborg's lab was made up of two separate yet interconnected spaces. First there was the actual lab, which looked like something out of last night's Frankenstein movie cross-bread with the set ofMonster Garage. Then, through an ominous—and always locked—red door, was Cyborg's bedroom. Everyone always made fun of Raven for her penalty of death regarding a security breach in her room, but in reality, all the Titans hoarded the privacy of their inner sanctum with an equal amount of fascism, and Cyborg was no different.
So when Beast Boy entered the unlocked lab and heard voices coming from the bedroom, he was rightly and thoroughly surprised. Not wanting to intrude on what had to be something important (why else would it be in the bedroom?), Beast Boy turned to leave.
That's when the voices became clearer. Or more precisely, Robin's voice. Curiosity had a nasty habit of killing kitties and inquisitive animorphs that could morph into them. Beast Boy crept forward and pressed an elfin ear up against the red steel door.
Cyborg. Oooooh, just like that. Mmmm,
And then a green eye flew opened wide.
Damn… you're—ah!—better at this… than I would have—nngggh—guessed.
That was all it took. Beast Boy shoved back against the door only to fall flat on his face before he could begin his mad scramble out of room. He shoved up brace himself on his hands and knees just as he began to hyperventilate. "Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!"
By the time he regained his feet he was positively twitching. Then with all the grace of an elf with Tourette's, he transformed into a green pigeon and flew out of Cyborg's lab.
Not a minute later, Raven heard a knock on her door. She opened it just wide enough to peek through, her hood hanging down to cast half of her face in shadow.
"Raven, let me in!"
"Please! I need to talk to you!"
"Not now. Go away."
"YES now! Please let me in!"
Raven growled low in her throat as her eyes glowed molten pewter. She opened the door almost half-way, but she still didn't make any moves to allow Beast Boy to enter. "You have three seconds to convince me not to eviscerate you and scatter your entrails to the four winds."
"Cyborg just gave Robin a blowjob!"
The deliberately intimidating aura that Raven had been projecting suddenly collapsed in on itself. She blinked, startled, as her eyes warmed to their normal amethyst color. Then Raven stepped back, allowing her door to fall open the rest of the way.
Beast Boy streaked passed her and threw himself down on top of her bed. Then he promptly buried his face in a blue plush pillow.
"You'd better not be slobbering on my pillow," Raven warned through grit teeth.
Beast Boy rolled over to face the empath. "Oh Raven!" he wailed. "It was awful! I went to Cyborg's lab cuz I was bored and I wanted to see if maybe he wanted to play stankball or something, but when I got there he wasn't in there but then I heard voices so I knew he was in his room instead and then I heard Robin's voice and I was curious so I listened in and—and—I heard—"but he threw his face back into the pillow again bit back a strangled cry.
Raven still hadn't moved from her position by the door. "Let me get this straight," she began in measured, frozen tones. "Youheard—"
"It was awful!" Beast Boy interrupted, his voice a muffled wail against the pillow which clutched at ever tighter, curling into the fetal position around it as he turned to face Raven again with wide and frantic eyes. "Robin was moaning and gasping and telling Cyborg what a good job he was doing, and they were in Cyborg's room—in his bedroom, Raven!" Beast Boy's lip trembled as his face contorted around a mewling whimper, but this time he didn't turn away. His bright green eyes, impossibly round and glazed over in frenzied panic, were an open plea for reassurance.
Raven just started at him, nonplussed. Her inelegant solution to the pregnant pause was a half-shrug and a slightly twisted smirk. "Well, no wonder he's been ignoring Starfire lately."
Beast Boy shoved himself up onto one elbow. "How can you be so blasé about this?" he demanded incredulously.
Raven bit her tongue against the impulse to use her powers to violently displace her teammate from her bed, where he was suddenly lounging, as though he actually belonged there. Grudgingly, she admitted that this situation warranted the benefit of the doubt. Besides, it would be much more satisfying to exact her revenge in other, much subtler ways. Thus she merely arched an eyebrow.
"It's hardly our place to dictate who our friends can, er—"
"Suck off?" Beast Boy spat out his helpful hint as though it was made of animal meat.
The vein in Raven's temple throbbed. Of course Beast Boy would make her pay for her attempted discretion. She briefly clenched her fists as she strove for calm. "If Robin and Cyborg can be happy together, then who are we to stop them?"
Beast Boy spluttered. "But—but—"
"And I'm surprised at you, Beast Boy," Raven interrupted with an evil smirk. "You of all people should be rather open-minded about dating within the team."
"But—but what about Starfire? She'll be crushed!"
"That's between her and Robin."
Beast Boy was sitting up now, the pillow completely forgotten. "Don't you remember how jealous she got of Kitten during that prom thing? How the heck do you think she'll react when she learns Robin passed her over for another Titan—for a guy Titan?"
"You're assuming that Tamaran has similar taboos about such things. Maybe they embrace homosexuality on her world."
Beast Boy shuddered all over. "Ewwwww, Raven! Don't do that!"
Raven enjoyed a moment of private satisfaction for having broken Beast Boy, but outwardly she was frowning. "Though it wouldn't be hard to believe her people are more open-minded than a certain green shape-shifter I know," she reproached.
Beast Boy balked at that. "Dude, you think I'm homophobic?"
Raven merely glared.
Beast Boy forcefully swung his legs over the side of the bed, righteous indignation propelling him to his feet and giving him the courage to stare Raven down. "Hey I'll have you know that I don't really care who Robin sleeps with—though personally I was kinda rooting for Starfire—and I don't care who Cyborg sleeps with, either—though I coulda sworn he had a thing with Bumble Bee—but that's not that point! Whoever my teammates sleep with I don't want to accidentally walk in on it!
"Yeah and if you heard two of your best friends going at it you'd be squicked, too. I'm, like, scarred for life now." Beast Boy shuddered for emphasis before abruptly sighing. The fight seemed to drain out of him then, and he sat dejectedly on the edge of Raven's bed. "Robin's always been the king of secrets, so it isn't all that surprising coming from him—though it throws his time with Batman and Slade into entirely new levels of contemplation that I so could have lived without." Beast Boy shuddered again, squinting hard against the mental images. Then his shoulders slumped, his head bowed, and he wound a twitchy green hand through his mop of untamed green hair. "But… Cyborg's like, my bestest friend on earth. We know practically everything about each other. Even—" Beast Boy sucked in a ragged breath, either stalling or mustering his courage. "Even our real names."
Raven almost felt sorry for her teammate then, as that pained declaration echoed through her room. She almost said something, too, but Beast Boy, oblivious, found the words to continue on his own.
"I seriously woulda thought that he would have told me something like that. I mean, if I can accept him for being a half black-half titanium jock-nerd-carnivore, I think it's a pretty safe bet that I wouldn't have any problems with, you know, that."
Raven considered her green teammate for a moment with veiled sympathy and grudging understanding. "Maybe this is a new thing for him?" she offered at length. "Maybe he'll tell you when he's ready?"
Beast Boy snorted. "Or maybe Robin won't let him tell me."
Raven couldn't deny the plausibility of the statement, at least in theory.
"Seriously though, someone should tell Starfire."
"That someone should be Robin."
"Yeah, well, you've seen how good he is with sharing his feelings. In some ways he's even worse than you."
Raven's eyes strobed dangerously for a moment; the only thing that kept a more visceral reaction in check was the simple truth of Beast Boy's statement. Thus—after a tense moment—Raven let it go. Then, after a few calming breaths, "it's not your place to interfere."
Beast Boy sighed. "Yeah, I know." Then he stood again. "Well, thanks for not gutting me like a piñata or anything. I think I'm gonna, um, go watch TV or something."
Raven opened the door for him, instantly aware that whatever he was going to do next, TV was just his excuse to leave her room. The animorph probably wanted to be alone right now.
"I'll… I guess I'll see ya later."
Raven was silent as the door swished shut behind him.
The next morning at breakfast Starfire was showing off all she had purchased at the "mall of shopping" to a disinterested Raven, who sat on the couch sipping a mug of herbal tea. Meanwhile Cyborg was manning the stove, flipping pancakes, and Beast Boy was standing beside him, passing him the various ingredients and striving oh so valiantly to be casual.
"You know," he said with forced ease, "I think Starfire's really pretty. She could, like, be a model or something."
"And I think Raven could stand to spend a few hours in the sun," Cyborg answered. "Is there some reason you feel the need to state the obvious this morning?"
Beast Boy simpered. "I just think… Well, she could easily have any guy on the face of earth—any guy in the galaxy, really."
"If she tried, sure. Butter?"
Beast Boy obliged, even as he said, "I just think she deserves someone nice, ya know? Someone who'll be upfront with her about his feelings and won't—um, won't keep her in the dark all the time about his personal life."
Cyborg finally looked up to make eye contact. "Just what are you driving at, little buddy?"
Beast Boy laughed awkwardly, embarrassed. When he didn't say anything Cyborg returned his attention to the griddle. Then Beast Boy sighed heavily, as though he'd just concluded some sort of inner battle.
"Look, Cyborg, we're best friends, right?"
Cyborg nodded. "Damn straight."
"And as best friends, we can tell each other anything, right?"
For some reason that question set Cyborg's teeth on edge. "Uh hunh…" He shot a sharp glance towards said best friend. "What's gotten into you today? Why all the touchy-feely all of a sudden?"
Beast Boy fidgeted, awkward and tense. "Well, I kinda sorta have a…" and he suddenly grew very interested in his shoelaces. "…a confession to make."
Cyborg's befuddlement lasted barely a minute before it finally clicked. "Oh, damn!"
Beast Boy's face flushed as much as his green skin would allow. "I'm sorry! I—"
"Oh man! You've got the hots for Starfire!"
Beast Boy gasped and began frantically waving his arms, trying to signal Cyborg to stop without the aid of his voice, which he was suddenly choking on.
Cyborg was too busy grinning like the cat caught the canary to be paying much attention. "That's great man! Way to rebound after Terra!"
Beast Boy's verbal protest finally emerged in something of a pained squeak. "No, you don't understand—"
"Have you asked her yet? Whoa—have you asked Robin yet?"
"Please, friend Beast Boy—"
"Dah!" Startled by the all-too-familiar voice, Beast Boy leapt nearly three feet into the air—as a bright green kangaroo—and whirled around, arms (and legs, and tail) akimbo before crashing unsteadily back to the floor as he reverted back to his normal self, only to find himself face to face (or more aptly, face to chest) with Starfire.
"Is Cyborg correct in saying that I am causing your body temperature to elevate?" Starfire reached out and placed a hand on Beast Boy's forehead before he could stop her. Her pert little Tamaranean eyebrows drew together into a perfect image of Tamaranean concern. "You do feel rather elevated. Are you jogging a fever?"
Beast Boy's complexion grew a few shades greener as he practically withered under her mothering touch.
"That'srunning a fever, Star," Raven corrected with a smirk. Cyborg snickered in a very un-Cyborg-like manor.
A puzzled frown wormed its way onto Starfire's fretful expression. "If a Tameranean virus has indeed struck our green teammate we must make of the haste to examine him in our infirmary. Beast Boy's bodily functions must be closely monitored, as such microbial transference would not have been genetically possible without the unfortunate aid of our friend's own abnormal DNA."
"Relax, Starfire," a humored Cyborg reassured her. "Beast Boy isn't really sick. Just love sick."
Beast Boy winced, mortified. "Cyborg—"
While Starfire painfully gasped. "Is there really a Terran illness that affects the wondrous emotion of love?"
"We should be so lucky," Raven deadpanned.
Beast Boy finally recovered himself enough to speak. "You guys, please. I need to talk to Cyborg," he begged in an all-out whine.
Then suddenly the elevator dinged.
"Good morning, Titans."
Everyone turned sharply around to see their illustrious leader, freshly showered, exit the elevator.
"Oh, and thanks again for the massage, Cyborg," Robin said as he casually made his way over to the coffee machine. "I haven't slept so well in weeks. Who knew you were such a fine chiropractor?"
Beast Boy's eyes bugged out of his head. Raven dropped her hood so as to hide her blossoming smirk.
"Heh, no problem," Cyborg dismissed. Then he grabbed Beast Boy by the scruff of the neck ("Dah!") and bodily planted him in front of Robin. "Go ahead, BB. You'll never find him in a better mood."
"What's going on?" Robin asked, slightly suspicious.
Beast Boy though was a stuttering, gibbering mess, and couldn't quite respond.
"He wants to ask your permission to ask Starfire on a date," Cyborg answered for his stricken friend.
Starfire squealed ("EEP!") and Robin's eyebrows shot up above his mask.
"I… I…" Beast Boy stammered.
Recovered, Starfire gently put her hand on Beast Boy's shoulder. "I am honored by your feelings, friend Beast Boy, truly, but I must confess that my love for you has always been platonic in nature. Indeed, you are as a little brother to me." And she kissed him on the cheek.
That did it. Beast Boy passed clean out… and tumbled forward into Robin.
"—the hell?" Robin awkwardly caught the animorph before they both landed in a heap on the floor. Then he eased Beast Boy to the ground. "Okay, will someone tell me what's going on here?"
"Go look up "imbroglio" in the dictionary," Raven directed. "And then blame Beast Boy."
Robin blinked and swept his gaze between the unhelpfully unconscious Beast Boy and the equally unhelpfully confused Starfire.
Meanwhile Cyborg frowned. "That's not exactly fair, Raven,"
Raven smirked. "You have no idea."