Thought some of you may enjoy another chapter... Note: I know a random OC pops up, and I know everything seems random and irrelivent but I promise, things fall into place later on . . .
Also I'm sorry if they seem out of character at any time, I'm trying to keep them as much in character as possible.
Thought some of you may enjoy another chapter...
Note: I know a random OC pops up, and I know everything seems random and irrelivent but I promise, things fall into place later on . . .
Time: 11:55 pm
"Beast Boy!" I yell up into his ear.
He turns around with that damn big grin still plastered on his face. "What?"
"Why are we here?"
He laughs and turns back around.
I groan. You know how earlier, I was wondering to myself why I'm tolerating to tag along with this grinny mess of a boy? Well, standing here in the center of a fully packed, noisy, lit-up arcade near midnight while he continues to wait for the downpour of what appears to be all the tokens in the token machine, and while I continue to glare down every numerous flirty look I get from each geeky midnight gamer in here that passes my wake (including one girl, to my discomfort), REALLY gets me back to wondering why I'm tolerating this.
"Aaaaaand . . . DONE!" He turns back around to me, holding two large plastic cups filled with tokens, and hands one to me. I look up at him peculiarly, but before I can get my message across with my face he wastes no time in dragging me by the wrist exclaiming that, "We should start over here!"
We twist and turn between the numerous crowds of people until we stop in front of one of those light-y platform dancing game thingies.
"What?" I say.
Obviously not hearing me over the thousands of sounds traveling through the arcade, he motions for me to get on.
"Get on!" he yells.
I give him a look, but he ignores it completely as he jumps excitedly onto the platform and inserts two tokens into the slot beneath the screen. Immediately, the screen brightens up, asking him, "ONE OR TWO PLAYER?"
Without hesitation, he presses the button for two player.
"Come on!" He grabs my free wrist with both his hands in attempt to pull me onto the platform. I retain my position like a stone, doing this inane head shake "no" and a look of discomfort/fear on my face.
"Come on, you've never even tried it, it's fun! Pleeeeeeaase?"
The game warns him that it's about to start, and with one final, determined pull, I fall forward and stumble onto the platform next to him. He smiles widely.
"Ok!" he yells, "The object is to hit the arrows on the ground with your feet while they go across the screen, got it?"
I look down at my feet, and at the four arrows pointing forward, backward, left and right, surrounding my feet. I feel uncomfortably unfamiliar and very, very awkward. This probably shows in my face because Beast Boy touches my arm and yells, "It's ok! Just follow my lead!"
My arm burns at the point of his touch, and the look in his face is truly sincere, which bugs me on the inside to no end. What's worse is that the game is really starting.
Music starts blasting from the speakers. "ARE YOU READY?" it pronounces, just to freakin' mock me, I swear.
"HERE WE GO!"
Next thing I know, arrows are flying up from the bottom of the screen, and like any dumb schmuck I'm frozen solid in place, while Beast Boy next to me is stomping on arrow to arrow with all the energy he still has.
"What are you doing?" he laughs. I look down at my feet, then back up at the screen, then back at Beast Boy, jumping up and down and smiling. And he turns to me all smiling and for some reason my stomach melts and oh my god, here it comes . . . the Spinnies again.
I don't hear anything around me. I don't feel anything around me. And I don't see anything around me, except him to my left, and this platform, and this game in front of me, telling me personally at what a horrible job I'm doing. And I think I'm gonna fall over except I don't fall over, I move. First my left foot, then my right, stomping backwards, then my left again to my left, and my right to my right. And somehow this continues and I'm suddenly in sync with the upbeat music and the arrows on the screen, and slowly the world around me starts to murmur back. And suddenly I find myself jumping to the beat of the arrows with all my energy, in sync with the one right next to me.
"Haha, that's it, Raven!" Suddenly his voice brings the entire world back at once. I notice a crowd forming around us, but at some point I stopped caring and stopped feeling so awkward. I can't hide it anymore, and as the music gradually gets faster and faster, a small smile creeps onto my lips. Then a bigger smile. Then a laugh, which gets the attention of the one next to me, and he laughs too. And we continue jump, jump, jump, jump, jumping, and at one point our arms start flailing, like this isn't some robot dance game we're doing anymore, it's just a dance.
Then the music stops, and the screen says "CLEAR". And I think I hear some sort of applaud around us, but I can't really tell. I guess the entire world hasn't really come back to me yet. 'Cause I'm just looking up at Beast Boy and he's looking down at me, both of us breathing heavily, and I don't realize how much I'm smiling until he reaches a hand up to caress my cheek, and I read his lips say, "I like it when you smile."
I turn away to wipe the sweat off my forehead, but really just to get his hand off my face. I can't believe myself; was I actually, for a moment, enjoying what I had just taken part in?
'No,' I tell myself, 'not just for a moment.'
Ok, the entire time, whatever, my point is, that's just not me, I'm just not—
"I got all the tickets!" Beast Boy interrupts my thoughts, holding a surprisingly long tangled train of tickets in his arms. "Come on, let's go buy something!"
I follow him to the prize booth where we wait in line for some sour looking employee to count our tickets.
"By the way," he says, turning to me, "awesome job back there, I never knew you had it in you! I mean, man!"
We move forward in line. "Thanks . . ." I'm still recovering from my brief episode with the Spinnies, honestly, what am I supposed to say?
Some more geeks pass by and give me their best Johnny Bravo expression. I shudder.
Beast Boy dumps his tickets on the counter as we make it to the front of the line. The employee looks at him reluctantly before he feeds the tickets into a ticket counting machine.
"So," he says, gazing up at the vast collection of prizes, "anything particular you got your eye o—"
But I stop him mid-sentence with a sudden hit of his chest.
I see him.
No, no, no, no, NO, that CANNOT be him!
A startled Beast Boy leans down to talk in my ear. "What? What is it?"
"He's here!" I whisper frantically.
"Him, that guy over there, do you see him?" I point ever so subtly to him standing across the way but immediately drop my arm and turn away when he looks our direction.
"What, what's his deal?" Beast Boy whispers, his breath on my face now that I've turned positions to avoid eye contact.
"He's just, he's . . . that dinky café I used to go to all the time, you remember that?"
"Hmm, outrageously dark, unbearably depressing, yeah I think I remember."
"Well, he worked there and got this huge insane crush on me and started trying to hit on me at every corner and I stopped going to that place and haven't seen him ever since and here he is now and I think he saw me oh my god I don't know what I'm gonna do!"
Beast Boy laughs like this is all a joke. I scowl at him. "No worries, I'm sure it's fine, he probably doesn't even like you anymore."
"You don't know him," I say fiercely, pointing a finger at him, "he is a creep and I wouldn't be surprised if he'd followed me over here!"
"Relax, Raven, I don't even think he saw you."
The sound of his voice saying my name calms me down a bit. "You think?"
"Yeah, he's not even—" he turns his head to look at the guy, "—oh man, he's totally coming."
I look and it's definitely him, walking over to us, oh my god . . . what-am-I-gonna-do?
"Just be honest with him, tell him off!" he suggests.
"I can't, he'll make a scene!"
"Well, you're gonna have to do something!"
The cogs in my brain rattle back and forth.
"Quick, uh . . . pretend to be my boyfriend."
He laughs. "What?"
"Just do it!"
We both look up at the same time and paste the fakest smiles onto our faces (at least, I do, he's just smiling out of the enjoyment of seeing me humiliate myself.)
Gavin stands there and smiles at me for another good awkward few seconds. "So! . . . What brings you here this fine, fine evening?"
Beast Boy next to me is working hard to stifle his laughter, I can tell. "Oh, you know," I say, "We just . . . came here for some fun. Me and him . . ." I motion towards Beast Boy.
"Yup!" Beast Boy exclaims loudly, and suddenly I feel his arm reach under my cloak and rest on my opposite hip; I immediately stiffen, but I remind myself to act convincing, act like this always happens. "The two of us, here to have some fun! Here we are! . . . Twooooo . . . of . . . us."
I look up at my fake green boyfriend (Beast Boy . . . boyfriend . . . real or fake, still a hard concept to grab) and he has this glorified glow on his face and in the presence of Gavin the Creep I can't help but creep a grateful smile onto my face.
I see Gavin dart his eyes to my hip, then back up at us, then back to my hip, and I'm sure his brain is working something real fierce because it takes a while before he finally says, "So you guys came here together?"
"Mm, mhmm, yup," I nod. But does this clarification mean a thing to Gavin? No.
He takes a step forward and looks me in the eyes sincerely. "So, I've been wondering how you've been doing? I haven't seen you in ages . . ."
I stand there, as my tongue seems to be stuck to the roof of my mouth, until the owner of the hand on my hip turns to me and says very loud and clearly, "Excuse me for a bit, honey."
I freeze at the word "honey". He turns towards the prize booth, as the employee has a special sour look on his face for waiting on us for a while now.
Oh no no no no, fake boyfriend, don't leave me out in the cold! This guy's bound to strike any mo—
"So listen," Gavin starts once again, taking one more step closer, "I've been thinking, after you're done with, you know, this, we could take a walk, catch up on some things, chat, you know?" I see his eyes traveling the length of my body but can't seem to find the sense in my muscles to retreat.
His eyes narrow. "Come on," he says, trying to sound alluring, though I'm too frozen in place to shudder, "we've got the whole night to ourselves. You can sneak away, and . . . he'll never notice."
And I swear, knowing this creep of a guy Gavin, in the next second he's about to make a grab for me when hallelujah! My savior comes in the form of a smiling green Beast Boy.
"Here you go!" He turns around and thrusts a giant, fluffy, white unicorn with pink hooves and beady eyes into my suddenly functional arms. "I know it's the one you wanted, honey-buns."
And he leans and nuzzles my cheek, actually nuzzles it, and if that doesn't get the blood flowing through my body again, the appalled look on Gavin's face certainly does.
Fake Honey-buns touches my arm and says, "Come on, we gotta try out some more games." Then he turns to Gavin with a smile and a wave and a, "Real nice to meet you!" and he sweeps me over to the other side of the room.
We don't stop walking until we're in the entire different complex of the building, the one with booths and pool tables and a bar, and until there's more than enough people separating us from where we'd just left Gavin.
I let out a sigh of relief. No, relief is an understatement.
"Damn," he says, then turns to me, chuckling. "You uh . . . you got a pretty decent guy on your hands."
I give him a flaring look. "Do not even say that, he's a creep and a stalker and a—"
"Jeez, yeah, I know, I was only kidding," he laughs, "I mean he's not ugly, you could've given him a chance, I mean come on, he just likes you a lot, who could blame him."
I open my mouth to retaliate about giving Gavin any sort of chance when I process the "who could blame him" part in my head. And I feel something inside me go hot even though I know it shouldn't. But before I can say anything back to him his attention turns towards the bar and he asks, "Do you want anything to drink?"
I look up at him. "I don't . . . drink, really."
"'Kay, be back in a sec," he taps my arm and hurries off.
I stand there for a moment until I realize I'm completely alone. Some old guys playing pool across the way are giving me some funny looks so I head towards one of the empty booths and sit down, placing my prized stuffed unicorn beside me.
I look over at the bar to where Beast Boy is chatting with the bartender. And from afar, and underneath the perfect lighting, I finally get to appreciate his body's, well, undeniably satisfying development; the toned muscles of his back visible through his tight uniform, his shoulders slightly hunched as his strong arms lean himself onto the counter . . .
It reminds me of this one afternoon a few months ago, as I was standing around making tea in the kitchen. I heard the door swish open and in came Beast Boy, hair all shaggy, with no shirt on, glistening with sweat, obviously just coming in from a work-out. I turned away sharply, as if the pot heating my tea needed my undivided concentration, and I felt him move around in the kitchen behind me and mumble a, "Hey, Rae."
I took this as a perfect time to speak. "You know I don't like you calling me Rae."
"Yeah, I know," he replied nonchalantly.
I found the strength in myself to turn around.
And I know I'm not usually the girl to think this but . . . hot damn, he has got some nice, rippling pectorals.
He took no notice of my gaze as it followed him to where he bent down to check through the fridge, and I couldn't help but notice his very surprisingly, nicely toned buttocks . . .
He got up taking a swig from a water bottle, and I felt my face go beat red, and I recall hearing a crash somewhere around the house and he made a casual point in telling me that my teapot was on fire before he headed out.
The thought of his well-shaped body hasn't crossed my mind much ever since.
Except during training.
And when we pass each other in the halls.
And . . . yeah.
"All right," he chimes, sliding into the booth opposite from me. "I thought I'd get water for the lady, since you might be thirsty."
He slides a glass of water my way and turns to smile at the unicorn sitting next to me. "Oops, I forgot to order one for our new little friend here."
"That's ok," I say, "he tells me he doesn't drink much."
"Oh, did he say that?" Beast Boy gives me a playful smile and takes another sip of some exotic looking drink that I'm probably never going to have. "What else did he tell you, then, while I was gone?"
"He said . . . he likes how you handled the creep, back there . . . and he wanted to say he's really, really thankful, that you got us out of a bad situation, and that he owes you."
He laughs. "Well, you can tell him I said 'you're welcome', and I hope he has a fair life free of guys like him."
I give him a grateful smile, also out of our new motif that our new unicorn friend is turning out to be gay.
He smiles back at me from across the table. For a moment we just sit there, soaking in each other's smiles in the booth light.
"Here's your order." A waitress suddenly appears out of nowhere and drops two plates of apple pie in front of us.
"What's this?" I ask.
"I asked a waitress to order us some of this while I was at the bar. These are the best, they come from the same guy that works at the one diner just out of town."
The one diner out of town where Terra took him to.
He looks at it longingly, takes a bite, savors it for a moment, then takes another bite.
I look down at the pie in front of me, then back up at him. The smile has completely faded from my face.
He's still in between bites when I ask him, "Beast Boy . . . what are we doing here?"
"We're eating pie. Trust me, it's amazing, I've only had it once before this . . . but trust me, it's amazing."
"No, Beast Boy," I take on a serious tone, "I mean, what are we doing? Tonight? Here? Us? What is this?"
He swallows. "What, aren't you having fun?"
I sigh and look at some spot on the table. "It's just that my brain has finally been ticking and I don't understand what this is all about."
"What what's all about?"
"This . . . thing, this whole night, really Beast Boy, I just . . ." an image of Terra flashes through my mind, and the two of them laughing, and winning large stuffed animals, and eating pie, and her death anniversary being today/yesterday. I make myself to stand up out of the booth, but he stands up with me and blocks me from moving anywhere forward.
"Raven, what's wrong?"
"It just doesn't make sense ok? I mean tere I am lying calmly on the street after a fight and then all of a sudden you just drag me into this seemingly-endless night of events, I mean when have you ever done that?" I don't know where this temper is coming from, but pat myself on the back, I've just diminished that smile of his that I was just savoring a minute ago.
"What are you trying to say?"
"I'm saying . . . why? I mean what is this for? Do you have alterior motives or something?"
"Alterior motives like what?"
"Like . . . I don't know."
"No, enlighten me, I'm dieing to hear." I can hear the temper rising in his voice. That's another point, for Raven.
"Like, hmm, maybe, some long planned practical joke of yours? Or, you're trying to butter me up to confess something that's bound to land you in the barbeque?"
The main one crossing my mind though was something along the lines of, "using me as an excuse to create an endless night to help you finally get over someone," but even I'm not heartless enough to throw that one at sensitive Beast Boy.
"Why would you think I would do that?"
"I don't know, maybe 'cause you're Beast Boy?"
He looks up at the ceiling and I see his jaw clench. I've definitely hit some nerve right here.
"If you're not gonna tell me why," I say, "then I'm just gonna go—"
I make to turn around to leave, but I feel a tug on my arm and hear a "Wait . . ."
I turn to meet his honest, green gaze.
He sighs. ". . . I'm sorry if, this whole thing came on as a surprise to you. I mean, I could understand why you'd be thinking why the hell you're here."
I look at him. "Then why am I?"
". . . Because, maybe, all day, I've been thinking . . . 'Hey, I know this great part of the city that no one on the team knows about, and I've never shared it with any of them' . . . and, I saw you lying there on the street, tonight, and thought, 'You know, I could show Raven around town, I should take her. No one else. Just the two of us. I bet she could really enjoy herself.' . . . And so I asked you . . . well, more like dragged you along,"—I snort at 'dragged you along'—"but, I took you out here just to have a little fun, Raven . . . no other reason."
He smiles down at me as I look into his gazing, sincere emerald eyes. And all remnants of Terra have left my brain as I'm thinking how that's actually real thoughtful, and sweet.
"I mean, I figured you have been, up until now," he says.
I look down, then around, and back up at him. I don't say anything.
"Come on," he sits back down in the booth, "let's finish our pie."
I follow his lead and sit back down, next to our gay unicorn friend. And as he sits across from me attacking his apple pie once again, I'm racking my brains for something to say to him, this sweet, thoughtful friend of mine, who I may be pissed off at for being hung up on his rocky blonde ghost of the past, but who also knows how to handle Gavin-leveled creeps and who orders me a drink when I don't ask for one.
"So . . . The two of us, here, having fun . . . Twooooo . . . of . . . us," I imitate the line he used back as he was being my pretend boyfriend.
"Yup, that's the plan!" he exclaims with cheeks full of pie.
Someplace deep inside me suddenly feels a shock of excitement . . . with the fact that the night still feels young, and I'm here with him to pull me along, wherever he may like, just the two of us.
But at one point, some Almighty Being decided to change that, because next thing I know I'm looking up at these three well-known good friends of ours, and they're staring down at us in each of their own individual ways that I can't even explain if we are in trouble or not.
"There you guys are! We've been looking for you two all night!"
To be totally honest I typed this all up in one night, and I'm deadly tired and in no position to be judging it a well-written chapter or not, buuuut I'm trusting my instincts and uploading it, just as it is.
Feel free to share your thoughts, if you please . .