A/N: The muse did it again; she got all revved up and told me all this good stuff...but NOT about the part of the story I'm supposed to be working on. I have a bunch of stuff around the climax of The Curse of the Bat written up because she got all hot and bothered about that not too long ago...
Anyway, to answer your question, YES, I'm still working on COTB! This was just a little vacation and I promise I'm going to chain my muse to that at least until the next chapter of that goes up.
This is set in the Falling universe. If I had to put it in the timeline, it's probably between Falling and The Curse of the Bat.
More author's notes at the bottom.
Teen Titans belong to DC Comics. I'm not them, and I have no money.
Beast Boy was cold. It was the second day of spring and nearly 70 degrees outside, but he was freezing. He was freezing because the air conditioning in Titans' Tower was on full blast. But he didn't dare complain. He was the one that had wanted it turned on in the first place. Raven had suggested opening a window; it was really only a little stuffy, but Beast Boy had insisted that he was "dying of the heat." He knew that if he said something now about being cold that he'd never hear the end of it from either Cyborg or Raven.
But, he had a brilliant idea: he'd go up to the roof, morph into a big lizard and soak up some sun. His plan was so real to him he could almost feel the warmth on his back as he bound up the stairs. He grabbed the handle and yanked the door open...and stopped dead. For a long few moments he stood there stock-still, his foot hanging in mid-stride, his fingers gripping the door handle.
Beast Boy wasn't alone on the roof.
Robin and Starfire were about twenty feet from the door, not far from the edge of the roof. Starfire lay on Robin's cape, Robin on top of her. Their clothes lay around them. Starfire's arms were around Robin's shoulders and one of her legs was slotted into the small of his back. Beast Boy was struck for a moment by how pale Robin's skin was in comparison to the dark honey of Starfire's.
Beast Boy slowly lowered his hanging foot as the realization of what he was seeing sank in. He should go; that's what the knee-jerk voice in his head told him. And yet...
Something kept him rooted to his spot. There was something in the air: an odor he couldn't put his finger on, a buzz he couldn't quite hear. It hypnotized him. He needed to see this, to understand.
While he tried to pretend otherwise, Beast Boy had zero experience with sex. Mento had given him "the talk" shortly before he'd left the Doom Patrol, so he knew the mechanics, but anything he knew beyond that had come from movies and the occasional taste of internet porn. Not that he looked at it often, but, well, he was a teenage boy.
Raven had caught him looking at it once (just looking that time, thankfully) and had said: "You do realize actual sex is nothing like that." He'd laughed and replied, "Of course! But I like the fantasy." He'd considered it a good save, but Raven had shaken her head, obviously disbelieving.
His conscience once again told him to go, if only out of fear of being discovered. He was a bit surprised he hadn't already been called out; Robin had incredible ears for someone with no super powers. He'd caught Beast Boy wandering the Tower as a mouse more than once. But the rest of his brain swatted that fear aside. He needed to see this. Part of it was his teenage hormones, but mostly, it was curiosity. Not the "I've got something on you" curiosity that seemed to drive Cyborg's snooping, but an intellectual, scientific need to know, admittedly rare for him. If real sex wasn't like what he'd seen on the internet, what was it like?
Right now, it seemed like it was making out without your clothes. Robin's hips were nestled between Starfire's thighs, but neither of them were moving below the waist. Mostly, they were kissing: everything from light pecks to deep, open-mouthed necking. They dragged their lips over each others' cheeks, eyelids, chins and necks as they stroked each other's shoulders and arms with their hands. Beast Boy saw the muscles in Starfire's thigh flex as she gripped at Robin with her leg.
Robin's behind twisted a little and he looked into Starfire's eyes and said something Beast Boy didn't understand. It was soft, and Beast Boy wasn't even sure it was in English. Starfire giggled low in her throat; a sound Beast Boy had not heard her make before. She said a few words in return, her hands sliding up into Robin's hair. Robin smiled oddly; it was a cross between the genuine, happy smile he sometimes displayed around Starfire and the feral, hunter's grin he'd flash at a villain. The expression melted as Robin descended to kiss Starfire again, slowly and deeply.
A shiver ran through Beast Boy as he processed the exchange. The looks on their faces, the warmth in their voices, even though he hadn't heard what'd they'd said... Beast Boy knew they cared about each other, but he'd never really understood how in love they really were.
Robin's hips rose and sank in a slow stroke and Starfire made a sound between a moan and a sigh. Their kissing and caressing continued as Starfire hooked her free leg around Robin's knee. Robin's hips began to undulate in a lazy, regular rhythm as Starfire slid her arms around his back and rose from the rooftop.
Beast Boy squeezed the door handle as he steadied himself in his surprise. Starfire flew while they were doing this?? Now that's something he knew didn't happen to most people.
Robin seemed unfazed as he merely wrapped his arms around Starfire's back and pulled her tightly against himself. Starfire's hips began to roll too and their kissing became more intermittent.
Their movements weren't the frenzied race that Beast Boy had seen. It was like they were...savoring it. They held each other's gaze, murmured to each other, ran their hands over each others' skin, kissed each other all over their faces and necks. Beast Boy wasn't sure how long they continued like that, he'd lost track of time the second he'd opened the door, but it seemed like a long time. And when Robin said something into Starfire's ear and her face lit up and she tightened her embrace, Beast Boy had a revelation. They weren't savoring the act; they were savoring each other.
Beast Boy's head swam at the thought. Is that what sex was about? Aside from the whole procreation thing, anyway. The idea ran counter to everything he knew or even pretended to know.
Before he could even begin to worry out that idea, Starfire arched her back and leaned away from Robin, who dragged his lips down her neck and chest and began to do something to one of her breasts. Beast Boy's eye's grew; he swore he felt his pupils dilate. Still, he couldn't see much; Robin's arm was in the way. Starfire squealed, and a warmth began to pool in Beast Boy's abdomen.
The lovers' movements began to accelerate. Robin looked up from Starfire's bosom and said something; Starfire responded by taking Robin's face in her hands and pulling him up to kiss him greedily. The rolling of Robin's hips became much quicker and more staccato. Starfire mewled with each thrust. Beast Boy could hear their breathing become labored, and his own respiration became shallow.
Starfire's wails became louder and closer together until she finally screamed Robin's name, digging her fingers into his shoulders, her leg squeezing his hips. Robin sucked in a few short breaths, groaning a release a few moments later. Starfire left a trail of welts over Robin's back with her fingernails as she loosened her grip and lowered them back to the rooftop. Robin rolled them over so that his back was against his cape and Starfire lay across his chest. They lay panting for several moments before Starfire pushed herself up and asked Robin: "Are you still chilled?"
"Nope," Robin puffed.
Starfire smiled. "I am glad."
Beast Boy found himself staring at Starfire's left breast. Reality suddenly settled back in as he realized that after witnessing what he just had, the most private thing he'd seen, anatomy-wise, was Robin's ass. But as normal function returned to his brain and the stray"Star's got great tits" thought bubbled through his mind, he also realized that his own anatomy was demanding some attention. He quickly turned himself into a hermaphroditic worm. He was hoping that not having mammalian genitalia would help him calm down.
As he squirmed his way down the stairs, he heard Starfire say, "Yr sefte, Dpi'syr Robin."
"I love you too, Star," Robin returned.
Beast Boy had crawled down two more steps before he heard Robin again. "Star, did you leave the door open?"
"I do not believe so. But it is possible."
"Well...be more careful next time. Or I might have to spank you." Robin's voice was mirthful, not a tone Beast Boy heard from him very often.
Starfire giggled but the sound was cut off. Beast Boy realized there was more than flirting going on and turned himself into a jackrabbit and sped away. He'd deal with his problem once he was alone in his room.
Two hours later, Beast Boy sat in front of the huge screen in Ops vehemently killing zombies. He'd taken care of his physical problem by turning into a protozoa for an hour and a half; they don't have genitalia at all, and when he'd turned back, his human circulation had returned to normal. He'd toyed with the idea of "taking matters into his own hands" so to speak, but he knew he'd just have Robin and Starfire in his head while he did it, and that really creeped him out.
Even so, he was still very disconcerted by what he'd seen. Was this just what Robin and Starfire did? Or was this "normal" between "normal" couples? And on top of his confusion was loneliness. Sure, he had great friends, but what Robin and Starfire had was obviously very special. Was that something he was even capable of feeling? As he dispatched a blond teenage zombie, he felt a twinge of what he had felt shortly after Terra had left. He missed her, or maybe, more precisely, he missed what they'd had, or what he'd thought they'd had, anyway. And while there was something literally magical about what Robin and Starfire had, maybe, just maybe, Beast Boy could have had something like it with Terra.
He sneered and launched a missal into a building he'd seen a couple of zombies enter. It erupted a few moments later, scattering debris and random zombie parts.
"Nice shot, Grass Stain," Cyborg complimented as he settled in beside him. The older Titan picked up a controller and paused the game, toggling it over to the menu.
"Hey! I was playing that!" Beast Boy protested.
"Yeah, and I want to play too." Cyborg set the game to two-player mode and started it again.
Beast Boy grumbled at him, but turned his attention back to the game. The pair played in silence for a few minutes, the only sound being the groans of zombies and the discharge of firearms.
"Got any plans for Easter?" Cyborg finally said as he sliced a zombie in half.
Beast Boy found that an odd question. "Just...hangin' here. Eating your Easter brunch."
"Would it be okay if I didn't make Easter brunch this year?"
Beast Boy paused the game. "All your cooking files get deleted?"
Cyborg didn't look at him. "No. I got a call from my Granny. She wants me to go over there."
"Isn't that a good thing?"
Cyborg heaved a sigh. "I dunno. I haven't talked to anybody in my family since...this..." he made a sweeping gesture to his hardware, "...happened."
Beast Boy had an odd feeling of waking up from a dream as his own troubles suddenly got shoved aside. "But isn't it mainly your dad that you're pissed at?"
"Yeah. And this is my mom's mom that we're talkin' about, so he probably wouldn't be there..."
Beast Boy shrugged. "Then why not go? You'll still be in town, so it's not like we couldn't call you. And I could make a tofu quiche!"
Cyborg looked at him for the first time. "Do you even know what a quiche is?"
"Does it matter? You won't be here."
Cyborg stared him down a minute, then smiled with relief and shook his head. "Okay. It is just across town. But only if the rest of the team says it's okay."
Beast Boy shrugged again. "Whatever." He restarted the game.
Cyborg served a big spaghetti dinner that night. Beast Boy had managed to push his questions aside after several hours of zombie killing...until he found himself seated across from Robin, Starfire at his side.
Talk was light, and Beast Boy couldn't help but notice every little exchange between Robin and Starfire. Even with his mask, Robin's little glances at her were very noticeable. He muttered at her a few times in some foreign language or another, and Starfire dropped her eyes and blushed. They were all used to it at this point, so much so that even Raven didn't even bother to roll her eyes.
But for the most part, Robin talked about the weather and how things would be heating up in town now that it was nicer. It was Raven that brought up the topic of the food.
"Did you do something different to the sauce, Cyborg?" she asked. "It's...spicier. I like it."
"Thanks, Rae. Yeah, I used my granny's recipe."
"Yeah, I noticed it too," Robin added. "Any particular reason?"
"Um...I was hoping this might make up a little for the fact that I'm not planning on making Easter brunch this year."
Everybody besides Beast Boy stopped eating. "Why is that, Friend Cyborg?" Starfire inquired.
"Well...my granny invited me over for Easter dinner."
"And you're okay with that?" Robin asked.
"I...think so. To tell the truth, I really miss my cousins. And my granny's the one that really taught me how to cook."
"Then you should go," Robin told him. "We'll survive for one day. And I'm not such a bad cook. I could make brunch."
"Oh yes!" Starfire clapped her hands. "Robin's omelets are most delicious!"
Cyborg snorked and shot a look at Beast Boy, but the changeling just frowned.
Beast Boy looked back to Robin, who was asking Starfire to make some zorkaberry pie for Easter Brunch. Starfire's eyes lit up, and Beast Boy knew he couldn't be here with those two without Cyborg. "Cy, you sure you want to do this alone? I mean it's been a long time...maybe you'd like us to go with you...a little moral support."
All eyes turned to Beast Boy. "Um...well..." Cyborg pondered. "Maybe that's not a bad idea. I'll call Granny and ask if she's got a couple of extra chairs."
"I don't think we should all go," Robin broke in. "Somebody's got to keep an eye on the city. At least two of us need to stay here."
The Titans looked at each other. "Actually..." Raven finally said. "If it's okay with everybody...I'd kind of like to visit Azar that day."
"Why's that?" Robin asked.
Raven sighed. "Easter is a high religious holiday. People's faith increases on that day. And I'm half-demon. I always feel like...the world is closing in on days like that."
"But you're not evil," Beast Boy pointed out.
"Yes, I am," Raven countered. "It's a part of me. I fight it every day. But it's always there. And when the metaphysical plane tips on days like Christmas and Easter, it reacts. It's not pleasant. I won't be able to feel it in Azar."
Robin nodded. "Okay. That makes sense. Beast Boy, you go with Cyborg, if his Grandmother will have you, that is. Starfire and I will stay here and keep an eye on the city."
Cyborg snorted again, but Robin threw him a look that shut him up before he said anything. Beast Boy watched the other two male Titans, his feelings split between them.
That Sunday, Beast Boy found himself in the T-Car on the way to Cyborg's grandmother's house.
"So...how long has it been since you've seen her?" Beast Boy asked as they hit the main highway.
"A little less than four years."
"That would have made you...what? Fifteen?"
Cyborg nodded, his jaw clenched.
They drove in silence for a few miles before Beast Boy finally screwed up the courage to ask the question that had been bubbling ever since the other day when he'd seen Robin and Starfire on the roof. "So, before this happened to you, did you ever...um..."
Cyborg frowned and glanced at him before returning his direction to the road. "Did I ever what?"
"Did you ever...you know...with a girl..."
"BB! Don't tell me you're askin' what I think you're askin'! Not now! Not today!"
Beast Boy shrank. "You're right. It'll keep. Forget I asked."
Cyborg shook his head and sped up.
They arrived a short time later in front of an older but well-kept house. Cyborg and Beast Boy went to the door but Cyborg paused before ringing the bell.
"Dude, it's your grandma," Beast Boy prompted.
"Yeah..." Cyborg said absently, flexing his hands. He puffed out a breath and punched the button.
A roly-poly woman who looked quite a bit like Cyborg came to the door. After peeking a moment, she didn't hesitate; she flung the door open and threw her arms around Cyborg. "Victor!"
"Hey, Granny Ess," Cyborg hugged her back.
She stood back. "I am so glad you came! We've all missed you so much! We've heard so much about you and your friends." She glanced at Beast Boy and then swatted Cyborg. "Where are your manners? Introduce the young man!"
Cyborg took a step back in defense. "I was getting' to it, Granny!" He put a hand on Beast Boy's shoulder. "Granny Ess, this is my friend and teammate, Beast Boy. BB, this is my grandmother, Esther Brown."
"Thanks for inviting me, Mrs. Brown," Beast Boy nodded.
"Call me Essie," she extended a hand with several rings adorning the gnarled knuckles. "And the more the merrier! C'mon in, you two!"
She bustled into the house and Beast Boy turned to Cyborg. "Victor?"
"It's my name," Cyborg defended. "And I wouldn't talk, Garfield."
They made faces at each other as they followed Essie into a well-lived-in but comfortable living room. It was filled with people who were obviously all related to each other. A cheer went up and they rushed to gather around Cyborg, all talking at once.
Essie shooed them away after a few minutes, telling them that there'd be time for all their questions. She hustled a couple of women into the kitchen and everyone else settled back down.
The first few minutes were a bit awkward, but after that, Beast Boy found himself part of the family. Cyborg had several cousins that were around their age, and the lot of them were soon thick as thieves, trading stories about sports, video games and girls. Beast Boy knew Cyborg was embellishing most of what he said, and he did the same, but for the first time, he wondered if it was the right thing to do.
As they enjoyed dinner, the thing that Beast Boy noticed the most was the way the couples acted. Essie and her husband, Bill, flirted constantly. Most of it was simply cute; Bill commented on what a beautiful wife he had several times. But every so often the air would just crackle with their attraction to each other. And they were in their seventies!
Cyborg had two uncles, his mother's brothers. The younger one, Tad, and his wife Jeannie, were obviously not getting along. They snipped at each other all afternoon. While the older couple, Willie and Liz, seemed just...comfortable. They finished each others' sentences and seemed content with the other's flaws. Liz laughed about how Willie couldn't eat sweet potatoes without clearing the room a bit later while Willie sighed in mock exasperation as she told that story again.
The dinner dishes were cleared away and the family settled into tell stories and play cards. Beast Boy couldn't ever remember laughing as hard or as long. The love in this family warmed the room like a winter's fire. And nobody seemed to care that Cyborg was half robot or that Beast Boy was green.
As the sun set, people began to depart. After saying good-bye to Willie, Liz and their children, Cyborg turned to Essie and said: "Well, Granny, I'm sure we've eaten enough of your food. Thanks so much for having us."
"Oh, nonsense! I've got more leftovers than I can put in my fridge. In fact...Bill!" she called. "Get that cherry pie we didn't cut! It's on the counter by the sink." She turned back to Cyborg. "You can take it back to the rest of your friends."
"Seriously?" Beast Boy drooled. "That pie was the best!"
"Just make sure your friends get some," she smiled at Beast Boy. "And did you get enough to eat, Young Man? If I had known you were a vegetarian, I would have prepared something special for you. Somebody should have told me ahead of time." She sent a look in Cyborg's direction. He looked sheepish.
"No need," Beast Boy held his stomach. "I'm still stuffed, even though I didn't have any ham."
"Yeah, dinner was great, Granny Ess. Thanks for everything."
"You don't have to go."
"Aw, duty calls," Cyborg explained.
"I see," Essie looked a bit disappointed. "Well, you must promise to come back soon. You are welcome here any time. You always were."
Cyborg's brow furrowed in stress. "Granny, I..."
"No," she stopped him with a hand to his chest. "You don't have to explain. I understand. I do. But you're my little girl's little boy. Our family isn't complete without you. We've watched you, Victor. We are very proud of you."
"Aw, Granny..." Cyborg hugged her tightly.
Beast Boy started to get a little embarrassed, but Cyborg stepped back before it got awkward. "You come back very soon, you got that?" Essie told him before looking around him at Beast Boy. "Both of you. And bring your friends. I want to meet them."
Cyborg sketched a salute. "Yes, Ma'am."
They bid the rest of the family goodbye and headed out to the car. Cyborg stopped and looked back before opening the door.
"You okay?" Beast Boy asked.
Cyborg paused, visibly swallowing. "Yeah," he replied softly. "Yeah, I am."
"Cuz if you're not, I could drive home," Beast Boy suggested cheekily.
Cyborg frowned at him. "You are not drivin' the T-Car!"
They arrived back at the Tower to find Starfire thoughtfully pressing buttons on the microwave while Robin inserted a disk into the DVD player. "Friends!" Starfire called as she looked up. "I am happy to see your return! I trust your visit with Cyborg's ancestor was pleasant?"
"It was great," Cyborg smiled. "And Granny sent home one of her world-famous cherry pies. I hope ya'll have room for a slice!"
"I believe so; we have eaten sparsely today," Starfire replied. "I was just doing the popping of the corn as we are planning on viewing a DVD."
Cyborg sliced into the confection and dished it out onto some paper plates. "Is Raven back?"
"If she is, she hasn't come out of her room yet," Robin said, taking a seat at the counter. "Everything go okay? Beast Boy behave himself?"
Cyborg smirked. "He was fine. It was good to go back. I didn't realize how much I'd missed them."
"And she wants us to come back!" Beast Boy amended. "She wants to meet all of us!"
"I would enjoy meeting your relatives, Cyborg," Starfire said.
"Yeah, that'd be fine," Robin added. "Around duty schedules, of course."
Beast Boy made a taunting face at Robin before diving into his pie. Robin ignored it as he noticed Starfire examining her pie.
"What is it, Star?"
"It resembles zorkaberry pie."
Robin smiled. "Kind of. It's cherry. You've had cherries; on your waffles, on ice cream."
Starfire took a bite and chewed thoughtfully. "It is quite delicious," she said finally. "But lacks the tart bite that zorkaberries have."
"Well, that's what makes it cherry and not zorkaberry," Robin smiled, pulling her onto his lap. Starfire giggled and pulled her pie in front of her. The pair began to feed each other.
Cyborg looked at Beast Boy and rolled his eye. Beast Boy wasn't sure how to react. "So what did you two do all day?" Beast Boy asked quite seriously.
Robin eyed him for a moment, but sensing no immediate teasing, answered. "Not much. Kept an eye on the city." He accepted a forkful of pie from Starfire.
"Yes, Robin checked the police frequencies several times," Starfire added, hopping off of Robin's lap to walk her dishes over to the sink and trash.
"Well, Starfire's still walking normally, so you can't have spent all day in bed," Cyborg smirked.
Something in Beast Boy's head told him he should laugh, but he realized he didn't find it funny.
Robin's relaxed face creased with displeasure, and Starfire turned, her eyes glowing green. "Are you implying that Robin would harm me? Because that is an insult of the highest order!"
"Star..." Robin reached out a hand in an attempt to soothe her.
Starfire took a couple of menacing steps towards Cyborg. "Robin is my Dpi'syr; my Soulmate. To think for a moment that our coupling is anything other than consensual and pleasurable means that you doubt our bond." Her voice was low, and the light in her eyes intensified.
"Starfire, calm down!" Robin's voice was that of the Titan's Leader now, not Starfire's boyfriend.
Starfire rose a few inches from the floor to look Cyborg directly in the eyes. Her hands balled into fists and the beginnings of starbolts flashed around them. "And if you doubt our bond, I must doubt your friendship," she hissed.
"Koriand'r! Back off!" Robin ordered.
Starfire's chest was heaving in her agitation. She continued to stare Cyborg down.
"Star, I didn't mean...I was just..." Cyborg stammered.
Robin came up behind Starfire and grabbed her elbow. "Star, take the popcorn and go back to your room. I'll take care of this."
After a few more tense breaths, Starfire's eyes returned to normal and she looked back at Robin. "I will not allow your honor as my Dpi'syr to be tarnished."
"It's okay, Star," Robin said evenly. "I've got this."
Starfire panted a couple of noisy breaths through her nose. "Very well," she finally said. She grabbed the popcorn out of the microwave and zipped off down the hall.
"What the hell was that!?" Robin charged at Cyborg once Starfire was gone.
"I was teasin', man," Cyborg defended. "I never thought she'd get that wound up over it!"
Robin pounded his fist on the counter in frustration. "We've had this discussion before! A little ribbing now and again is one thing, but that was way out of line!" He heaved a couple of agitated breaths and then turned to Cyborg. "You really want to know what we did today? We made love. Several times. But that's what it was: making love. We expressed our feelings for each other physically. That's what we do. It's not some carnal itch we use each other to scratch. It's not about 'getting some.' It's about sharing ourselves with each other. I hope someday you'll meet somebody you can share yourself with so you'll understand. In the meantime, channel your jealousy somewhere else, got it?"
"Rob, I was just..."
"Save it." Robin turned on his heel, his cape fluttering after him as he marched off towards Starfire's room.
Cyborg shook his head. "He really is whipped."
Beast Boy frowned, his insides swirling. Robin had just answered some of his questions, and now he felt angry for him and Starfire. "You really don't get it, do you?"
Beast Boy just shook his head and turned into a bee, buzzing off through the Tower.
A half an hour later, Beast Boy sat on the rocky beach of Titans' Island, tossing stones into the choppy sea. The incident between Robin and Cyborg and left Beast Boy unsettled. While Robin had answered one question he had – what he'd seen was normal for Robin and Starfire – it still left too many. If sex wasn't some carnal itch to scratch, as Robin had put it, why did everybody seem to treat it that way?
Lost in his thoughts, Beast Boy didn't hear anyone come up behind him and jumped when that someone put a jacket over his shoulders. "I thought you might be cold," Raven's low voice rasped.
Despite it being a warm spring day, the temperature had fallen after the sun had set, and now it was only a bit above freezing. "Heh. Yeah, I guess so. Thanks, Raven." He pushed his arms through the sleeves. "How was your visit home?"
"Quiet. Just what I wanted." She paused for several moments, watching as he tossed a few more pebbles. "Can I ask what all the agitation I feel is? And why you're out here?"
"Oh...Cy made a stupid remark about Rob and Star, which got Star all fired into warrior mode and Rob all pissed off in general."
"And you're out here because...?"
"Cy was outta line. And I'm not sure how to deal with it."
Raven placed a hand on his shoulder. "You should be proud of yourself for acting maturely."
"Thanks." Beast Boy frowned. "But now they're all mad at each other."
"Cyborg will come to his senses and apologize, at least to Starfire. You know the last thing he'd want to do is hurt her. And if Starfire's happy, Robin will come around."
"Yeah, I guess." He tucked his knees up underneath his chin. "Can I ask you something, Rae?"
"Am I going to be able to stop you?"
The corner of Beast Boy's mouth twitched up in a half-smile, but his soberness quickly returned. "You can feel it...when Rob and Star..." He gestured vaguely.
Beast Boy raised his eyebrows.
Raven raised hers back.
"Oh, you're not gonna make me say it?"
"Just trying to see how mature you are."
Beast Boy scrunched up his nose at her and heaved a sigh. "When they...make love."
"See, that wasn't so hard." Raven's expression was dull, but the corners of her eyes turned up in amusement. "And yes, I can. Sometimes. When I'm not meditating." She sat down on the rock next to his.
"Doesn't it bug you?"
Raven shrugged. "It depends."
"What I'm trying to do. What they're doing. Mostly what bothers me is that I feel like a voyeur, even though I'm not trying to feel them."
Beast Boy nodded in thought. "Can I tell you a secret?"
"I'm the queen of secrets," she reminded him.
"Heh, right." He looked at her a long moment, and then back out to sea. "I...saw them."
"Robin and Starfire?"
Beast Boy nodded.
"You walked in on them?"
Beast Boy nodded again. "And...I watched."
Raven's eyebrows went up in surprise. "They didn't see you?"
Beast Boy shook his head this time. "I really expected one of them to catch me any second, but, they never did. There was this voice in my head the whole time telling me to go, but...my feet wouldn't move."
"You seem really conflicted by this," Raven observed, a crease appearing between her brows.
"It just...it made me feel weird! Part of me feels guilty for watching, but mostly it's that I...I don't understand."
"Don't understand what?"
Beast Boy flung out his arms in frustration. "Sex! Love! Whatever it is that Rob and Star have!"
Raven pursed her lips. "What Robin and Starfire have is pretty special. It's been touched by Tameranian magic, which is something I haven't dared examine closely for fear of contaminating it. But I can tell you that I have felt similar things from other couples. Not as intensely, but it is possible to have something like that without being watched over by a magical alien beast."
A surge of hope rushed through Beast Boy. That meant that maybe he... "Wait. You can feel other people when they're..."
Raven closed her eyes and nodded. "Sex is powerful stuff. So is love."
Beast Boy shivered. "Ewww." He paused. "I don't know why I find that disgusting."
"Because you wouldn't want somebody doing that to you. Trust me; I wish I could shut it off sometimes."
The logical part of Beast Boy's brain started to work. Slowly, he concluded: "So...you've felt lots of different people doing it?"
Raven nodded again, her lips tightening into a straight line.
"Then maybe you can answer another question for me," he looked at her hopefully. "If sex isn't this animalistic urge, then why does everything on TV seem to say so?"
"First off, not everything on TV treats sex that way, just the crap that you watch," she lowered her eyelids in annoyed gesture. "Secondly, sex does have that aspect; the urge to procreate is a powerful biological need; that's why sex feels good, so we'll want to do it. But if I've learned anything from being bombarded by the emotions of an entire city, it's that sex that caters just to that biological desire and doesn't have an emotional interest is hollow, and most people wind up hating themselves after they do it. But people who make love to express their feelings make each other happy, even if the actual act itself isn't physically satisfying."
"Like Rob and Star."
"So...sex without love isn't worth it?"
"Not if you have a human brain," Raven replied evenly.
"Hey! Is that a dig?"
"No. Just an observation. You have a human brain. Most of the time."
Beast Boy grinned. "That was a dig!"
Raven's lips twitched in what almost could be described as the briefest of smiles. "Maybe a little one."
Beast Boy laughed. "Thanks, Rae. I wasn't sure I'd be able to talk to anybody about this." He heaved a sigh. "It's good to know there's at least hope that I'll find somebody who I can love the way Rob loves Star. Even if I am green. And you too," he touched her knee briefly. "Even if you are creepy."
"I wouldn't worry about it," Raven said, annoyance crossing her face. "Robin and Starfire found each other very young. We've got time."
Beast Boy nodded absently, remembering Cyborg's grandparents. "Even old people can feel like that." It was an observation.
"I actually feel it more often from older people," Raven said.
They sat in silence for a minute, listening to the waves. "Maybe they've got it right," Beast Boy finally said. "Rob and Star, that is. Maybe we need to look at a teammate." He waggled his eyebrows at Raven.
"Unless you've suddenly turned gay and are planning on taking up with Cyborg, I wouldn't count on that."
"Aw, Rae, you're no fun!"
I have NO idea where this came from. I had the idea for the argument between Robin and Cyborg a while back, and while I liked it, I had no idea where or if I'd ever use it. Then, last week, I had this flash of Robin and Starfire on the roof, one of Starfire's legs over Robin's back. (I really wish I could draw; I see so much of this stuff in my head before I ever write it down.) Then I had the weird idea of BB seeing them like that...and how it affected him. And here we are.
That whole thing with Cyborg's family started out as an excuse to get him out of the house so he could come back and ask Rob and Star what they'd been up to. And then I realized I couldn't just send him over there without some kind of closure. It turned out to be a great excuse for BB to watch couples other than Rob and Star.
This has been a really interesting exercise for me, writing an entire story from Beast Boy's POV. I really hope I got BB's character right; this is the most I've written from his POV. The end scene especially lacks the goofiness that makes BB so much fun, but he's got major character growth going on in this, so, I hope...Be sure to click the link below and tell me what you think!
That's all there is to this one; it's a one-shot. It was actually only supposed to be about half as long, but, well, the muse likes zorkaberries....
We now return you to your regularly scheduled Curse of the Bat installments....