After Denial comes Acceptance

A/N: Right now I'm kind of going through a spur-of-the-moment phase, so I just write about stuff randomly, about any random couple I support. I hope I made Raven Raven-ish enough!

Disclaimer: (Hysterical sobbing ensues) I-sniffle-do not-snort, sob-own-large, heart-breaking howl- Teen Titans, no matter how much I wish I do. (Promptly begins to bawl eyes out.)

The raindrops soak into the heavy cloth of my cloak, staining it an even darker blue. The rain feels so refreshing…rejuvenating…against my skin. The wetness covers my body, rivulets of water running down me in cool rivers, meandering everywhere. I've even replaced my leotard, though I suspect this might be the work of a new emotion: Insanity. My legs feel so…exposed to the whistling air that swirls around them, yet comfortable in a chilling way. My hair is now in wet sodden clumps, which I brush impatiently behind my ears, letting the cleansing liquid splash onto my face.

I don't know why I'm here, standing in the middle of a drenching downpour, swathed in only some mid-thigh shorts and a black witchy shirt. I don't even know why I changed out of my usual outfit. My mind just feels faraway and out of focus with the rest of the world. Even meditation offered little help, and the herbal tea I had just drunk swirled sluggishly in my stomach. Great. My mind is wandering off. And when your emotions could level a city if you don't keep them in check, it is frankly worrying if your mind is wandering. So I decided to phase out of the tower and just let the rain clear my head for a change, watching the foam-capped waves crash into the rocks restlessly in a steady rhythm. It actually felt…relaxing, despite the fact that this is what Starfire, the endlessly perky alien, might enjoy. That's right, Raven. Just cross your legs over again, and meditate.

'Azarath, Metrion Zinthos. Azarath, Metrion Zinthos. Azarath, Metrion Zinthos…' I feel the slap of the wind, the running of rain slowly fade away from my senses until it disintegrates completely as I enter the portal of my mind once more.

I crack open an eye almost lethargically. I was in the usual settings: chunks of island rock floating in everlasting, red-tinted space. Then the chunks of floating rock start to shift and form a crumbling path for me. I walk across it nonchalantly. Same old, same old. I brace myself as I begin to enter Happy's little world. Even though I had done this numerous times, it was still so irritating to force myself into that joyous, pink planet Happy had constructed for herself. Ick. I enter. Suddenly the sky turns a radiant pastel peach and everything is done in muted pinks and yellows. Happy bounds over to me, like an overzealous dog. "Rae Rae!" She gushes to me, pulling me into a hug. (Remember, do NOT hurt Happy. She is part of you. Maiming part of your personality will NOT help.)

"Um…hi, Happy," I acknowledge apathetically. Her cheerfulness was so enthusiastic it actually frightens me to know she's part of my mind.

"It is absolutely fantastical to see you!!" Happy cried…well…happily, I guess. "Everyone else has wanted to see for so long, you know, Rae Rae, you shouldn't keep us blocked like that all the time, you know!!"

"Yeah, right," I mutter, still in her stranglehold of a hug.

"C'mon! They're all waiting for you in my field of ultimate joy!!" Hm. Normally my emotions would never leave their own territory. Must be something big, not that I'm anticipating it much. I half-walk, half-run after Happy, her hands tugging urgently at my cloak. We soon reach a large meadow with a gigantic tree planted in the middle, its branches and leaves making a dense cover of foliage. I could see all the various sides of my personality sitting under its shade. "Hey guys!! Look, I found Rae Rae!" Everybody turns to look at me; each of their gazes different.

"Well, it's about time, you little ditcher!" Rage growled at me angrily, snarling. Her eyes flashed dangerously; and I ignore it completely.

"Yes, Raven, it wasn't very wise for you to dismiss us for such a lengthy period of time," Wisdom blinks at me owlishly, her (really, my) violet eyes magnified through those large circle glasses. A large thick book is closed in her lap.

"And, of course, you know all about wisdom, Wisdom," I retort, sitting cross-legged into the grass, which felt soft and velvety. How nauseatingly perfect. "Hey, where's Knowledge?"

"She's categorizing some files." Wisdom answers, peering at me, observing me, like I'm some kind of fascinating, mysterious bug. "So she couldn't make it."

"Whatever," Lazy yawned, stretching out, crushing the delicate flowers under her back. "Just get it over with already, Wisdom."

"Yes. Of course." Wisdom gives me a disapproving look that looks frighteningly like what an angry parent might give to a rebel kid. "Raven…you know what would happen if you refuse to acknowledge your emotions." I nod, cringing slightly, remembering the incident when I watched Wicked Scary and turned the whole tower into some psycho haunted house. "Well, I would like to acquaint you with a very neglected, very unhappy emotion." Stepping aside, Wisdom revealed another figure in a deep heart-red cloak.

"Raven, meet Love."

SRQF

I had a love emotion? Ah, yes, I did. But I've shut it away for so long, shunned it from my consciousness, she's nearly faded from my memory. But only nearly, though. Occasionally I still had dreams about that mushy side of my mind…which I always forced myself to forget, eventually. Love look at me, sniffling slightly. How pathetic. Unshed tears glimmer in her usually glazed eyes.

"Hi, Raven," She whimpered to me, regarding me with caution. "A really long time no see. In fact, you never saw me at all." I open my mouth to protest, but Love continues. "I mean, you always keep me squashed in that little corner of yours, even now!"

"What do you mean by 'even now'?" I hiss at her. Wisdom quirks an amused eyebrow at my hostility.

"You know, Raven," She defended Love placidly. "You wouldn't be so hostile if you didn't know what we were talking about."

"What are you talking about?" I try to resume my normal monotonous behavior while a bead of sweat trickles down my forehead. Wisdom's other eyebrow quirks in amusement, and all the other emotions follow her example. Even Lazy had lethargically widened her eyes at me.

"Please, we're talking about a certain teenager you have intimate affections for," Wisdom scoffed, her expression turning irritated. "Everyone is waiting for you to acknowledge him already!"

"Uh…who's 'him'?" I ask nervously, desperately trying to buy some time. Exasperated sighs all around. Happy looks at me and giggles.

"C'mon, Rae Rae, you know what we're talking about!" She exclaimed cheerfully. "You know who the lucky guy is!!"

I smile weakly, suddenly uncharacteristically quailing under the death glare of my emotions. Evil demons, I could laugh. Psycho maniacs, a petty difficulty. Admitting love? I'm like a vegetarian around beef burgers. Speaking of vegetarians…no. Stop thinking, now. "Is that lucky guy…Aqualad?" I give a feeble giggle.

Wisdom intensifies her death glare. "I don't recall Aqualad being green." She said her emphasis so obvious I flinch at her tone.

"Green? Who?" Rage glowers at my feigned ignorance, her eyes glowing red.

"How can you be so STUPID!?" She roars at me, baring her teeth in a ferocious grimace. "You blundering IDIOT. How many other GREEN guys do you know, you imbecile?" I rack my brain desperately for an excuse…er…answer.

"That Green Lantern guy from the Justice League?" Groans all around.

"She's in some serious denial," Wisdom muttered to Love.

SRQF

Ugh. I quickly jolt out of meditation, before my emotions have a chance to confront me again. It was still raining, and I was completely sodden. My garments stuck to my body, wet and heavy, uncomfortably. My hair was plastered to my head in a gigantic wet mess. The rain, which had felt so cooling before, now felt cold and cruel. Perfect. I uncross my legs and stand up, feeling my soft flats squelch into the mud. A shiver runs up and down my spine, making me cringe. Then, levitating slightly, I noiselessly phase through the door, and begin to float to my room. Cyborg was stretched out on the couch in our living room/kitchen, playing some pointless videogame which seemed to involve talking monkeys in combat. I roll my eyes. Cyborg might be a year older, but his mental capacity was more juvenile than an eight year olds. Speaking of juveniles…where was Beast Boy? He would usually be next to Cyborg, yelling some sort of obscenity at him.

I could see Robin and Starfire sitting together while Robin explained the fine points of Dr. Seuss to her. I suppress a small grin when I see them. Could those two be any more slow-witted? It this went on long enough, people would start betting when they would finally admit their crushes on each other.

I float past them and continue down the hallway, trying to squeeze the water out of my hair, leaving small puddles on the floor. For Azar's sake, why had I done such a stupid thing as to go out in the heavy rain? Even Starfire's staying inside today, and she usually dances in the rain. Dances. My nose tingles, and I stifle a large sneeze. Just my luck to get a cold the one time I do something foolish. But I guess people from Azarath lack the immunity to small diseases from rain like Tamaranians do, if the fact that Starfire has never once gotten sick from her rain dancing proves anything. I float a little quicker, frantic to go into my room and wrap myself in my usual nice warm leotard before I completely freeze over.

The door slides close behind me automatically as I tug on fresh clothes and a new cape. I leave my sopping wet clothes in the bath tub to drain. Then a gigantic sneeze erupts from me. Damn it! I curse under my breath discreetly, and wrap my cloak around my body tighter, hoping to block out the cold. Then, gliding out of my room again, I start to head into the kitchen, until I collide with something.

"Oof!" Beast Boy grunts audibly as he is thrown to the floor. I stop floating.

"Sorry," I mutter, averting my gaze. Oh no. How did Love escape from that cage I put her in?? 'Talk to him,' She urged. 'You know you want to…' I block her out almost automatically, cheeks a furious red.

"Hey, Rae?" I give him my death glare I spent so much time perfecting. "Rae-ven. Raven." Beast Boy corrects himself hastily, instantly recoiling from my look. "Why are you wet?" I follow his gaze to my still dripping hair and damp appearance.

"Nothing. I just…went out to check the rain. I'm fine." I answer back darkly. However, my dignified air was ruined by a poorly timed sneeze. "A-ACHOO!" I sneeze so hard I could hear something explode and rocket backwards into the wall. Then—

"Okay, y'all, 'fess up, and tell me WHO THE HELL MADE THE MICROWAVE EXPLODE!?" Cyborg's angry voice.

"That doesn't sound fine," Beast Boy says. "Anything that makes you destroy something is definitely not good. Remember what you did to the frying pan last week?" His chuckle dies down as I sneeze again, making a deep crack in the wall.

"Whatever," I say dismissively. "I was just going to heat up some herbal tea." Perhaps the contrast of flavors; sweet and bitter in my favourite drink could help me. 'What are you doing!? Don't let Beast Boy leave!' Good bye, Love. I throw her in a deep pit mentally. But Beast Boy grabs my arm just when I'm about to leave. I look at him. "Why are you touching me?" I ask him icily.

"Herbal tea isn't gonna help you, Rae," Beast Boy stares at me straight in the eye, until he flinches when I give him my 'don't-call-me-Rae look.

"I think herbal tea will be just the solution I need," I retort, my face a wintry glare.

"No!" Beast Boy puts his arm before me, warding me off, his face defiant. Hm. I've never noticed how his nose wrinkles up when he's rebelling…it's so—

'Cute? Adorable? Unbelievably hunky?' Love cooed. Wait. How does she keep coming back? 'I'm part of you, Raven. If you feel me, here I am!' Wow. There's a stalker inside my head. 'Hey! I heard tha—'I quickly block her again.

"If I can't have herbal tea, Beast Boy," I say frostily. "Then what should I have?" Just humor him. Then he'll leave you alone. I hope.

"Duh! The most awesome drink man (A/N or woman. Even though I'm a feminist, I guess I have to try be like an ignorant person of the battles of genders) has ever known!" Seemingly from nowhere, he whips out a thermos and unscrews it, thrusting it directly under my nose.

"Hot chocolate?" I can't help sneering in disdain.

"With mini-marshmallows!" Oblivious to my reaction, Beast Boy pours two cupfuls of this cavity-inducing 'treat' and offers one to me.

"No thanks." I refuse, staring at the swirling brown liquid. The tiny marshmallows, little blobs of melting angelic white, bob innocently among the rich-smelling swirls. 'Have a drink with him…make small talk…who know where it'll lead?' Either Love's on steroids or she's feeling particularly assertive today. Whatever the reason, she's bugging the hell out of me. Almost as much as Beast Boy.

"Aw, Rae! Pleeeeeeeeease…" That's it. I'm giving up on the 'don't call me Rae' campaign. As long as it's not 'Rae Rae', I'm happy. Beast Boy pouts when I give him my stony glare, and then gives me his famous puppy-dog look. Particularly enhanced by turning into a whimpering canine with huge, mournful eyes. I promptly look away, though the smell of wafting chocolate keeps on circling enticingly around my nose.

Actually, that hot chocolate did look quite tempting now, though not as appealing as my long overdue herbal tea. I imagine the calming, steaming beverage, a clear, fluid yellow-green with small bunches of leaves and flowers floating soothingly across the lapping surface…damn…Beast Boy's waving the stupid hot chocolate in my face again. It sloshes dangerously near my clothes.

"Stain my cloak and you pay for its dry cleaning." I say in a deadly voice, attempting to pass.

"Please…?" Ugh. I can't stand it when he grovels. His lower lip juts out and wobbles and his eyes turn glassy and large and his nose twitches in a annoyingly cute manner. 'How can you resist him?' Note to self: try to get rid of Love permanently, if able. How did I banish Lust again? I can feel myself…weakening…great…Beast Boy's showing that dimple he has… "Whatever. FINE." I say dejectedly. Beast Boy perks up almost instantly and eagerly shoves the cup in my hands.

I moodily give it a sip, but I (secretly and surreptitiously) brighten as the warm, rich, creamy chocolate tumbles down my throat, making my taste buds tingle with delight. The marshmallows melt easily on my tongue, and I swirl the candy liquid around my mouth. Beast Boy, however, is less delicate. He gulps the whole thing down in about three long draughts. I thought he might have even accidentally inhaled the cup if he wasn't looking. Wait—he's taking a deep breath, please tell me he's not going to do—

"BUUUUUUUUUUUURP." He did it. I can hardly believe how the greatest male figures of history—Einstein, Galileo, -- have been degraded to burping contests and bad jokes.

"How invigorating," I say sarcastically to him. "Extremely enlightening." Beast Boy blinks once, twice.

"Um…thank you?" I don't even know what he's more confused about: whether I was using sarcasm or those big words. I decide it's both. "Hey, at least you're feeling better!" I reluctantly, albeit silently, concur. The hot chocolate was now running warmly through my blood comfortably. I open my mouth to answer…

Only to be interrupted by a gigantic sneeze, my biggest so far. "AH-AH-ACHOO!" Snot runs unattractively down my chin, my eyes squint together, my hair frizzes into a hideous dandelion puff. It was probably one of my most undignified, ungraceful moments of my life. No, scratch that. Of anyone's life. Also, anyone else wouldn't blow something up when they sneeze. I hear Robin and Cyborg yell, Starfire shoot a star bolt, then Robin's confused voice:

"Why the heck did the fridge explode?"

"Yes, it has covered us in the most unpleasant blue fungi from its explosion."

"Yo, this stuff is disgusting, man!"

"Wow." Beast Boy glances nervously back to the kitchen/living room. "I am so glad I wasn't there to experience that." I reply by shooting him my well-known death glare.

"The 'most awesome drink known to man (A/N must dismiss all feminist tendencies…)' failed." I satisfy myself by coldly saying to him.

"Yeah, I guess it did." Beast Bo awkwardly scratches his head. "So I guess I'll have to use 'Plan B'."

"Pre-planning?" Thank god for sarcasm. "That must be a first." Wait, I can sense nervousness in his aura, what the hell is his 'Plan B'? Before I can question him, he suddenly stands on the tip of his toes, leans towards me…

And kisses me lightly on the lips.

Wow. Complete. And. Utter. Shock. I can feel the blush suffusing my cheeks, and Beast Boy's green skin isn't green anymore either…cue the embarrassing silence that only happens after the kiss. "So—that was a cold cure?" I manage to croak, while Love goes crazy inside my head. 'You go girl! He finally kissed ya!' Sounding like an annoyingly perky cheerleader.

"Uh, actually, I didn't even know it cures colds," Beast Boy mutters, staring at his scuffed shoes. "I just wanted to do that for a really long time…sorry, please don't kill me!" He flinches, and I smile, slightly amused by his fear. I touch my lips, still fizzing pleasantly.

"Don't be." Smirking, I kiss him on the lips again, and then glide back to my room, leaving behind a completely shocked changeling.

Inside my head, Wisdom and Love lean back, satisfied. I hear Wisdom's all-knowing voice say to Love: 'I told you she would snap out of it sooner or later'. I don't correct her.