Disclaimer: The only thing I own in this story is the bag of peanuts. And that's imaginary.
Raven never thought she would have to keep her door closed to keep her personal items from being eaten. Stolen, broken, or misused, yes, but never eaten.
"Silkie! Go find something else to feed on that's not one of my books!" Raven shouted at the residential pet of Titans' Tower as she attempted to salvage what was left of her fantasy book. Somehow, Silkie had wiggled his way into her room and managed to swallow it. Raven had been too busy mending one of her cloaks to notice. Now it was too late and with one final gulp, the story met an unhappy ending. Raven sighed in defeat. At least that wasn't one of her favorite books.
"Didn't Starfire already feed you today?" she questioned the larva. He seemed to ignore her and made another attempt to gorge on her collection of literature. "Oh no you don't!" She caught the mutant before he could strike with her telepathy. "I guess I'll have to get you some actual food. Come on."
Walking down the hallway, Raven made her way to the kitchen. She saw Robin in his room working on some birdarangs as she passed by and from what she could hear Cyborg was in the garage working on something while singing. Badly. The shower was running so either Beast Boy or Starfire was in the bathroom, but with all the fruity smells coming out of it, it wasn't hard to figure out it was Starfire.
Entering the common room, Raven located her final teammate. He was sitting at the counter, eating a bag of peanuts. And he was making quite a mess too. When the doors opened, he looked up.
"Hey Raven!" he said, merrily with a slight wave. He then noticed Silkie floating behind the half-demon. "What'd Silkie do this time?"
"He ate one of my books." Raven replied, opening a pantry to find nothing but a cobweb and a packet of hot chocolate mix.
"Well, you always said that books feed your brain." Beast Boy said, cracking open a peanut shell and eating the peanuts inside.
"One, it's reading the books that feeds your mind." Raven pointed out, opening the refrigerator. "And two, he'd need some sort of brain in the first place to be able to feed it." Beast Boy chuckled. "What?"
"You're so hard to understand sometimes, Raven, you know that?" he replied, eating another peanut. "You like to say that you have no sense of humor, but there you go, cracking a joke."
"I never said I didn't have a sense of humor; I just don't have your sense of humor." Putting some leftovers on a place, Raven placed it on the ground where Silkie hungrily ate it up in a time span of five seconds. Giving off a satisfactory burp, he squirmed into the living room for a nice nap. Raven picked up the plate of the floor and put it in the ever-growing pile of dishes in the sink. "Whose turn is it to do dishes?"
"Mine." Beast Boy replied, dumping another shell on the counter. Raven raised an eyebrow.
"Is that why you're not bothering to use a plate? So you don't have to wash it later?"
"No. You don't use a plate when you're eating peanuts." he replied. "You just make a big mess and clean it up later."
"I prefer to have everything clean in the first place. No mess, no cleaning."
"But where's the fun in that?"
"Food isn't supposed to be fun. It's for eating so we can survive. Ever hear of the saying "don't play with your food"?"
"Yep, but that doesn't mean I have to follow it." He held up the bag. "Peanut?"
"Yes. I ate a little while ago."
"Doesn't mean you can't have one." He offered the bag again, smiling. Giving in, she took one. Trying to crack it open, it broke in the middle, the peanuts still stuck inside. She glared at the pieces.
"I hate it when that happens." Beast Boy remarked, cracking open another shell so that it split perfectly in half. "You have to put more effort into getting them out of that shell then you need to."
"I don't mind putting extra effort into things. It's more of the frustration of not having it work that bothers me." Raven replied, tearing open the shells with her powers and popping the nuts into her mouth. She sat down next to Beast Boy at the counter and reached for another one. He smiled, glad for the company.
"I thought you weren't hungry." he pointed out, grinning.
"I'm not." Raven replied, eating the one she had and putting the shells into giant pile that Beast Boy had been forming. After a while, she noticed he was watching her, a goofy smile on his face. She frowned.
"Oh, nothing." Beast Boy said, dropping his gaze and going back to eating.
"It wasn't nothing. You were staring." Raven accused.
"Well," Beast Boy admitted, "I was just thinking about how similar you two are."
Raven was confused. "Who?" Beast Boy held up a single peanut between his right index finger and thumb.
"You and a peanut." he replied.
"If this is an allusion to me being nuts, I'm leaving." Beast Boy chuckled.
"Aren't we all a little nuts?" he asked, opening the peanut and eating it. "No, I was just thinking about how you were similar to an actual peanut."
"In what way?"
"Just think about it." he said. "A peanut spends most of its life in a shell. How does the world know what's inside? Well, you think that's a simple answer, right? Just open it. But that's the problem. Some people who can't figure out how to open it may just toss it aside and forget about it." He threw the peanut over his shoulder and it landed on the floor behind them. "Those people never get the chance to see what was really inside and miss out if it was a really good peanut." Beast Boy grabbed another one from the bag and placed it on the counter between him and Raven.
"Then there are some people who try to open the peanut, but just can't." He poked the nut repeatedly, only sufficing in moving it around the counter. "They at least try to get to the peanut which is a lot more effective than the people who just toss them. Now there are other people who try the forceful approach." Squeezing the peanut with all this might, it cracked and broke under pressure, sending shell and nut pieces everywhere. It really made a mess. "After all that effort to try to get it open, what are you left with? Bits and pieces? That might as well be peanut butter.
"Some people know that they don't need so much force just to open the peanut." Beast Boy continued, getting another one. "They may think that they're going to open it, but like you did before, it might break in half and that's not good either. But what if it doesn't break in half? What if you do manage to chip it open? The peanut might break inside, but at least it's not in a thousand little pieces, right?" He held open his hand where a peanut lay in three pieces, the broken shell in pieces. "Wrong. The nut that was once inside the shell that everyone was wondering about isn't the same one as you see. It's broken. Sure, you could piece it back together, but it'll never be the same again. You can see the lines, the scars where it was busted open." He held the nut back together for Raven to see, the small lines where he had broken it slightly visible.
"There's really only one way to get a peanut out of its shell: You have to find exactly where to push it so that it will crack open and nothing inside gets damaged." Looking at the nut in his hand, Beast Boy turned it in his fingers until he got it in a position he liked and gently applied pressure. It split in half vertically, and there lied the peanuts, both unharmed.
"Now exactly how does this refer to me?" Raven asked, feeling as though she had just wasted several minutes of her life.
"Like I said, you're like a peanut." Beast Boy replied. "You have your own shell, a barrier almost, where you push people away and keep them out. There are some people who don't even try to get close. Some who try and fail. There are people who try forcefully, pushing everywhere at once, usually making you explode in an angry sense. And even those who manage to get in, but hurt you when they do..." He paused for a moment, reading Raven's face for any signs of discomfort or wanting him to stop. There were none.
"But if people do want to get to you," Beast Boy continued, "they have to know how. They have to know exactly what would make you open up so you don't break. You're too good of a person to have anything happen to you. And I'm sorry."
Raven shot him a confused look. "Sorry for what?"
"Sorry for trying too hard to get close. I annoy you, I bug you, heck, I even prank you!" Beast Boy exclaimed, throwing his arms up into the air. "I don't want you to break, Raven! I just..." he trailed off in mid sentence. There was silence for a moment before he said, "I just want to know how I can get to you. Without you breaking. That perfect place on a peanut to squeeze and have it open. I—" Raven held up a hand, silencing him.
"Beast Boy, stop. Just...stop. Now, for one thing, I am not a peanut. I don't break that easily. I am a tough person. Another thing, why?"
"Why do you want to get close?"
"Why wouldn't I want to get close? Raven, you're smart, you're beautiful, and you're an amazing person." He sighed. "I really like you Raven. I have for a while but I don't always know how to show it in a way that won't get me sent to another dimension. What makes you open, Raven? I want to know. Please?"
The dark teen looked into his emerald eyes. They looked so sad yet hopeful at the same time. He really did like her. Raven bit her lip.
"Beast Boy..." Just by the tone of her voice Beast Boy knew what she had to say wasn't in favor of him. "I'm not like a peanut. I can't be opened, it's just not possible." He made a motion to speak but she cut him off. "No, just listen. I am a closed person. You can't get me out of my shell. It's how I was raised and need to be. I need that shell to function through life." She paused, looking at him. All hope that had once shimmered in his eyes had diminished while the sadness remained.
"But..." He ears perked at this.
"But?" She gave him a soft smile that caused all the hope that had disappeared before to flood back, overpowering the sadness and washing it away.
"But even though I can't leave my shell that doesn't mean I can't let people in." Beast Boy smiled.
"Raven?" he asked.
"Yes?" He grasped the end of her cloak.
"Can I come in?" She nodded and he pulled her cloak around himself. Together they sat, wrapped in one cloak, finishing off the bag of peanuts.
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