This is my first story. I like to think it isn't too horrible, and I've worked fairly hard on it. Please tell me if you like it. It's told from Beast Boy's POV, and it's a shortish little thing that I decided to write this weekend. I hope you like it!

The Moment

I suppose it was somewhat obvious from a few months before that I had a crush on Raven. Not a big one, but a semi-unconscious nice one. You know how when you were younger, in middle school maybe, you had a teeny crush on someone and they were kind of hot and you kept doing nice things to them for no real reason? Well, maybe you don't. Anyways, that's what happened to me. I guess I'd always been trying to impress her with my jokes and pranks. I'd only heard her laugh once and I craved the sound of it. I know it's lame and I know it might be clichéd, but I love to hear her laugh. So I tried to make her laugh in my way. I didn't understand her then, I couldn't figure out why she seemed immune to my jokes. I still don't understand her, but I think I may eventually. If I practice. Anyways, I'm not really on topic here. You wanted to hear this, so I'll tell it to you.

It started one morning when I couldn't sleep. It was about half past five in the morning. I climbed out of bed and trudged downstairs to get me some breakfast. Let's see, I thought woozily, tofu bacon and eggs and maybe some of that new Cocoa Bombs Sugar-Crusted Fun-real.

It occurred to me when the bacon was about half done that Raven would be down here soon. She was always so curmudgeonly before she had her morning tea and meditation. So I made her some tea and put some more bacon substitute on and made her two pieces of bacon, an egg, and some tea. She didn't touch the tofu, of course, which was fine because I was very hungry, so I ate her share. But I think I caught a glimmer of appreciation in her eyes when I gave her the tea. The sun had just risen in the window, though, and I'm sure I'd imagined it. (You know all those stories where they think they imagine something when it's really blindingly obvious that what they saw was really there and the writer is too horrible at writing to make it subtle enough to seem realistic? Well, that's not what happened. It really was the light. I asked her. Later, I mean. She said she didn't start appreciating the tea until I started adding a little less sugar to it. Anyways. I'm sorry. Gone of on a whatchacallit again. Tan-something.)

Her eyes looked so pretty that way I started rummaging around for some wheat-based cereal besides the candy I normally ate in the morning. I found an old box of Raisin Bran, and poured some in a bowl with a little soymilk. I had just started walking toward Raven with it when I went back and cut up a strawberry into it, arranging all the little red pieces around the bowl. I put in a spoon and gave it to her. She ate a mouthful then put it down. She had never had much of an appetite. She still doesn't.

Eventually I started setting my alarm every morning to make her breakfast and tea. I started drinking tea myself too, trying to appear genteel and upper-class, I suppose. I hated it. Now I drink it every morning. The bitterness makes me feel alive.

A few weeks after this started, I saw Raven meditating and sat down next to her. After a while, one eye cracked open. "What are you doing?" she deadpanned.

"Meditating." I replied in my most serene voice. "Huuuuummmmmm." I murmured tranquilly, just like I'd seen a kung-fu guy do in a movie once. It's embarrassing because I didn't mean to and it was still the closest thing I'd gotten her to laughing since that very first day we met. Raven covered the chuckle masterfully with a scoff.

"Are you kidding me? You can't even hold still for five minutes, let alone for long enough to meditate. In fact, if you can sit still for thirty minutes, I'll match you second for second playing one of your infantile video games." Score! I thought triumphantly. She sighed and went back to her chanting. Gradually my "hummmmmmmmm" petered out, and I just sat there cross-legged, staring at the wall. I was bored but I sat there anyway. I really didn't want to make a fool of myself by getting up and leaving.

After a couple of minutes, Raven sighed. "Ugh. Well, you might as well know how if you're just going to sit here next to me." Gently her floating body descended to the ground. "Close your eyes. No, not tightly. Relax. Breathe. Let go of all your tension." Her voice murmured in my ear, calming, soothing. Incongruously I imagined a mother cat. My subconscious mind gave a quiet purr. "Think of nothing. That oughtn't be to difficult for you. Stop paying attention to the material world. Nestle your mind within yourself. Retreat." I did so. It was very comfortable, even though nothing seemed to happened. Eventually I thought about nothing but the flow of air into my lungs. My mind, my center I guess, seemed to retreat into them, but then I thought about it and instantly it ended. I now realize I'd actually meditated, sort of. I think. Raven says it's a different for her because she's not a proper human, and she still can't tell me whether I'm doing it properly.

We sat there chanting her mantra, in quiet warm companionship. Raven flatly denies this warm fuzzy stuff to this day. You can never tell with her, though.

The days grew into a rhythm. Wake up, hit snooze, (twice) get up. Make breakfast, sit there trying to keep it warm, make some tea, keep it on the oven warmer, wait. Pretend I had not gone through so much expense when Raven finally came downstairs at the ungodly hour of around quarter past six. (Six! I'm talking about the ante meridian here! How could she stand it?) Try to convince Raven to try, just try, a single piece of tofu, probably too small for her to even taste, just once, receive a dead look from her eyes, sigh, eat her share anyways. Smilingly offer some soymilk cereal, be crushed as she (on a good day) picks off a single strawberry piece, be crushed as she declined the rest. Finish breakfast, go to the common room, watch the sunrise. Meditate.

The other Titans started commenting wonderingly that we spent hours playing video games together. I thought I caught Raven smiling secretly as Robin remarked on this over breakfast (the late one at seven). I think now that Raven enjoyed this routine as much as I did.

This had gone on for a month until finally came That Day. It is a Day, or rather a Moment, that I swear will remain in my memories forever, cheesy as it sounds.

We had just finished meditating together as the sun came up and Raven sat in her favorite window-seat reading nook. She was reading a leather-bound, dusty book. I reached for the comics. I read them for a few minutes, then glanced up and saw an amazing sight.

She sat there, reclined on her white pillows, cowl down, legs crossed, fingering the next page, preparing to turn it. Midturn, the sun came up just behind her head and her entire body was cast in silhouette. The sun was so dazzling, it looked for an instant like her cloak was a blazing white color. She sat there, engrossed, and the sun hit her face at just the right angle, and her face was staring so intently at her book, and half of it was in the light and half of it was in dark shadow. I fell so head-over-heels in love with her that Moment that I wanted to run over, cheetah-quick, and seize her and kiss her to the other side of the world (possibly to the moon). A pathetic sort of ardor filled me, a conviction. I would swim across the ocean, trek across the desert, climb the highest mountain, fly through the darkest nights, dive to the deepest depths of the sea, where the water grew soul-numbingly cold and the pressure was somewhat like a cow sitting on your toenail. I would defend her against any creature that dared approach her, I would do anything for her, because she was my lifemate.

I gasped at the shock of it. It had come out of nowhere. Granted, I had had an inkling that I felt extreme affection for Raven, but I had not thought much of it. I'd been having a hormone surge recently (a real problem with the Beast within me) and had grown attracted to a very large number of women and girls, including, for a few hours, one particularly feminine-looking rock star with the stage name Wyre. So of course I thought nothing of the physical attraction I felt for her. It wasn't just stupidity on my part. You would have too if you'd been in my situation.

"What was that?" Raven asked absently, brows knitting together as she put down her book and looked at me.

Shit, I thought, of course -- she's an empath. "Uh, nothing," I said casually, hoping she wouldn't have recognized the surge of love I had felt for her. "I remembered I left the skillet on the flattop and I hadn't turned off the burner. So I kinda… gasped." She raised an eyebrow at me. My face felt consumed by a blazing fire of embarrassment. How foolish I must look, I thought. Normally she treated me like I wasn't very bright, but this must make it twice as bad. "Um, I'll be going now. Gotta fix the teapot on the burner, you know. Heh. Heh."

"I felt something from you," she said in an absentminded musing sort of way.

"Panic," I blurted. I ran toward the kitchen, trying to compose myself.

Before I left the room, Raven rose to her feet. "Hey. Um… Garfield," she said, with a slight uncertain edge to her voice. I turned around, still rattled. I didn't even notice she'd called me Garfield. "Uhm," she stumbled. I was surprised. Underconfidant was one of those things, like girly or sappy, that Raven simply didn't do. "Uh, I think I'm kind of… hungry," she said uncertainly.

"Icouldmakeyousometofubaconifyouwant, Raven!" I blurted. "It's hickory smoked!" I added inanely. The blush I'd felt on my cheeks, which had started to fade, returned. I must have looked like a Christmas tree. I managed, through a supreme act of will, to refrain from smacking myself on the forehead. "Um, sorry. Maybe some orange juice. Um, you hate tofu and stuff…"

"Actually," Raven said shyly, staring at her boots, toeing the floor. "Well… tofu sounds… nice."

I guess the rest, as they say, is history.