Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans.

Fate, or Something Else

Perhaps it was fate that threw them together. Perhaps it was only time, after so much of it as teammates and friends, that they learned to love each other. Neither of them expected it, but so gradually did it come on, that it did not surprise them as much as they thought it would.

-0-

"Dude, I just figured something out!" Beast Boy bounded into the Titan's living room.

"What is it, Friend Beast Boy?"

"We're not the Teen Titans anymore!"

"No, really?" Raven's voice dripped sarcasm.

"Gotta agree with Raven there, BB. None of us have been teens for three or four years now,"Cyborg informed his friend.

"I know!" Beast Boy jumped up down. "So I figured out our new name! We're the Twenty-something Titans!"

A measurable silence followed this outburst as everyone stared at him.

"Friend Beast Boy is correct. Oh Robin, can we be called this now?" Starfire gave Robin her best puppy-dog eyes look.

"I think we ought to stay with our name of the Titans."

"Agreed." Cyborg and Raven said quickly and in unison.

Robin smiled brightly. "Then it's decided. We've voted, and by a margin of three to two, we will remain the Titans."

"Awww man! Wouldn't Twenty-something Titans be cool?"

"No." Raven's voice cut through the air like a knife.

Beast Boy stuck out his tongue. "Party-pooper."

-0-

He understood her better than the others realized. While their tastes weren't exactly the same, they shared some attributes. A need for privacy while working on their own personal projects, for one. He could joke with her, but he knew when to stop, and when she just wasn't in the mood. Sometimes she envied his ability to kick back and enjoy himself.

-0-

"Happy Birthday dear Starfire, Happy Birthday to yooooouuuu" The Titans sang.

Starfire took a huge breath and blew out the candles.

"Yay! Cake and presents time!" Beast Boy cried, dancing around the table.

Stafire cut the pieces and distributed them to her friends. Beast Boy and Cyborg devoured them in ten seconds flat. Raven stared at them, shocked, her first bite halfway to her mouth.

"Dude, that was great! Can I have some more?"

"Why don't you wait until everyone has finished their first piece?" Robin suggested.

"Honestly, I can't believe you guys still act like this" Raven began, looking at Cyborg and Beast Boy. "At least Cy acts like an adult most of the time. You're twenty-eight years old, Beast Boy. Maybe it's time to grow up?"

"You know you love me like this," the green man replied cheekily.

Raven snorted. "In your dreams," she drawled.

-0-

As time passed, their frienship grew. Once, when no one else was available, he asked her to help repair his car. Reluctantly she agreed. To her surprise, she enjoyed it. Thereafter, she would periodically come visit him while he was working on his "baby".

-0-

"Do you, Richard Grayson, take this woman as your wife?"

"I do"

"And do you, Starfire take this man as your husband?"

"I do."

"Then I pronounce you man and wife."

The small crowd cheered.

XXXXX

A few hours later, Cyborg spotted Raven lurking in a corner of the room.

"Come on, Rae, want to dance?"

She glared at him half-heartedly. She wouldn't admit it to anyone, but she was enjoying herself. "I don't dance."

"Don't give me that. It's a wedding, it's okay to have a little fun."

She said nothing and looked pointedly at the wall behind him.

"Besides you're depriving Beast Boy," Cyborg said slyly. "It's his one and only time to see you in a dress."

"I was Star's bridesmaid. He had ample opportunity to see it then."

"Well, if you won't dance, do you mind if I join you for a few minutes?"

"Of course not. Unless you've brought Beast Boy with you."

Cyborg leaned against the wall next to her.

"Beast Boy's not so bad."

She gave him a look.

"Okay, so he is that bad. But his heart's in the right place. He really likes you, you know."

"I know. He's an okay guy. If you ever tell him I said that though, I'll deny it. I wish he would move on. I've made it very clear that I'm not interested. He's been pinning after me for sixteen years. Terra gave up on him years ago. Why can't he do the same with me?"

Cyborg shrugged. "He's had girlfriends. But he's an eternal optimist."

"Couldn't you set him up on another blind date or something?"

"Do I detect a note of desperation in your voice?" he teased.

She hit him lightly. "You're my friend, you're supposed to help me."

"He'll grow out of it eventually... I think."

"That's very reassuring. Let's change the subject."

"Okay. I still can't believe that Star and Robin are finally married. I was beginning to think he'd never ask her."

"Indeed. Maybe turning thirty this year finally spurred Robin into action."

They watched the couples on the floor for several minutes.

"I suppose I might be able to tolerate a dance, just this once," Raven admitted grudgingly, a smile tugging at the corners of her lips.

Cyborg permitted himself a small grin, bowed, and offered her his hand.

-0-

She spent more time with him after their friends married. The dynamics of the team changed. The team was as good as it had always been, but the married and unmarried were split. Almost unconsciously they developed a routine. She would rise early for her cup of tea. A little later on, he would come to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for everyone. They would share a comfortable silence, or on occasion, conversation.

-0-

"Game OVER! I win! I win! In your face, in your face metal man!" Beast Boy sang. "Uh huh, who's good, who's good, who's good?"

Cyborg muttered something under his breath.

"Man, this is just my day! I have a hot date at eight, and I've beaten you three times in a row in Super Smash Wallop Demolition Derby Melee 3!"

Cyborg laughed good naturedly. "I guess the luck is going your way today, buddy."

"Thanks! Aw man, I gotta get ready!" Beast Boy turned into cheetah and raced out of the room.

"You know, that was quite a mature response," Raven's voice floated over from the kitchen.

"Thank you, mother dearest," Cyborg replied. "I do try." His attempts to keep a straight face failed miserably.

Raven strode over to where he sat, a mischievous grin on her face. She stopped in front of him and put her hands on her hips. "Now, it's time to clean up. Have you eaten your vegetables and washed behind your ears?"she queried in her best mother-voice.

"Aww Mom, I want to play some more" Cyborg pouted and quickly yanked on her right arm so she fell onto the couch next to him.

She shoved him. "No. You've got a big day ahead of you." She stood up.

"I'm going to my room to mediate for a while," Raven informed him in her normal voice. "Then I'm going to bed. I'll see you in the morning."

-0-

After so many years, they felt entirely comfortable with one another. She allowed him to hug her, and to have normal physical contact with her, such as might be expected between friends. With their green friend dating again, he slowly increased the frequency of contact between them. Neither of them noticed it, though the others did.

-0-

Raven stood, bemused, watching Starfire prepare a traditional Tamaranian dish. Cyborg came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her shoulders.

"Hey Cy," she whispered, not turning her head.

"Think you could drag yourself away from Star's culinary escapades to help with the problem with the second floor doors?"

"Sure. I'm not really certain I want to know what is going into this after all."

At that moment the alarm went off.

XXXXX

"Man, I'm getting too old for this stuff." Cyborg threw himself down on the couch.

"Nonsense, Friend Cyborg. You are thirty-four. That is not old at all."

"No, Star, too old for crime-fighting. The bad guys just don't let up. Sometimes I think they're smarter than us. The older ones send out young minions to do their dirty work."

"I don't think I could ever stop this work. When I'm old and grey, I'll still be fighting crime."

"We know that, Robin. The problem is, we probably won't live to be old and grey. Historically, heroes go down in a blaze of glory. Few of them make it past fifty." Cyborg commented.

"Now you're starting to sound like me." Raven replied with a touch of humor in her voice.

"I don't think you're right, Cyborg." Robin frowned. "There are plenty of retired heroes still around. Batman, for one."

"Exactly. They're retired, man. You do hero work long enough, and it'll kill you."

One year, on his birthday, she kissed him on the cheek. Sometimes, when they stood close together, he would wrap his arms around her waist, and she would lean back into him. When he was frustrated beyond belief, she would place her hand over his and squeeze his reassuringly. Years of experimentation and practice had allowed her to control her demons most of the time. When they did break free, he would stay with her until they were tucked safely away once more.

"I hate to say it, but maybe we should consider retiring, or at least going into semi-retirement." Beast Boy said reluctantly.

"What?" Robin exclaimed.

"Robin." Raven sounded weary. "Let's face it, we're not in our teens or even our twenties. We're fighting villains who are half our age."

"She's right, Rob." Cyborg held up a hand to keep his friend from interrupting. "We've done a lot for Jump City. We've also paid the price for it. There are others who will rise to take our place. A body can only take so much punishment. It's not as though we have no skills other than being superheroes. We'll be able to do other things."

"But—"

"Look at me," Cyborg commanded. "Look at all of us, Robin. I know this isn't easy for you. It isn't easy for any of us."

Robin looked at his friend, noting the scar that crossed his cheek, the two on his arm and one on the top of his head. His gaze moved to Beast Boy. He had lost his boyish looks and seemed to be progressing quickly into middle age. Robin turned his attention to Raven. Thin scars were visible on her arms and neck. Her hood was pushed back, and he noticed, with a start, that her purple hair was liberally sprinkled with grey. Finally he looked to Starfire. His beloved sported a small scar of her own, and bandages over the serious burns she had received in a recent battle. He swallowed. Twenty-five years of fighting crime had aged them beyond their years, and he believed, for the first time, that it might indeed kill them if they kept doing it.

"I... I suppose you're right." His voice was barely above a whisper.

XXXXX

"Star and I have decided we will split our time between Jump City and Tamaran."

"I'm not going anywhere for the time being, since Emily and I are engaged." Beast Boy announced.

"Of course, you've got a lot to plan. You'd better come back and visit after your wedding. Just 'cause you're going to be a married man doesn't mean you can abandon your friends."

"Duh, I'll always have time for you guys, Cyborg!"

"I'm staying." Raven announced.

"As am I," Cyborg stated.

-0-

They were both too wise to be concerned about their respective appearances. When they kissed for the first time, it was nothing spectacular, just a gentle kiss.

XXXXX

Now her hair is almost completely grey, and he has aged too. They share a room most nights, taking comfort in being near one another. Their friends visit less frequently now. The alien princess and her husband are busy raising their child. Their green friend and his wife are busy with their own lives.

XXXXX

Perhaps it was fate that threw them together. Perhaps it was only time. When they were young, no one would have guessed that they would someday love each other. But they do.


Author's note: I hope you enjoyed this. This is my first Cy/Rae romance piece. I wanted to try a pairing that I don't normally write. Please review and tell me what you liked/didn't like.

P.S. If you were wondering, Emily is the same person Beast Boy had the "hot date" with.