Raven was relieved to finally get the chance to meditate, the events of the past 24 hours having played havoc with her emotions. They had managed to imprison Trigon once more in the void and had even managed to trap Doomsday there as well, thankfully before anyone was seriously hurt. Afterwards the team returned to the watchtower to get aid for the injured and enjoy some much deserved R&R.
Now, Raven found herself in the barracks in deep meditation, sorting out recent events and finding her emotional center. At least that was what she had hoped to do. Instead she found herself racking her brain for what exactly she was going to say to Beast Boy. She knew she loved him, but as the day's events had shown, being close to her was dangerous. Despite her feelings, his safety was above all her number one concern. She just couldn't jeopardize his safety for her own desires.
The sudden appearance of an unmistakable presence behind her caught her attention.
"I don't suppose you're here to apologize," said Raven flatly without turning around.
"No," replied Batman, stepping deeper into the barracks.
Raven frowned as a moment of silence passed between them.
"Though I was partially wrong about you," he added.
Even though Raven was truly shocked to hear an admission of error coming from Batman, she didn't show it. Instead she remained silent with her back turned.
"But just some words of advice," he said. "I know from experience that trusting others with your secrets, with your safety…even with their own safety…can be difficult, but if they truly care about you, you need to take that risk."
Raven's eyes softened slightly at Batman's sincerity.
"But you can't wait forever to start trusting people. Learn to open yourself to those who have done so for you. Otherwise, you may wake up one day to find you can't."
Raven's mind processed what she had just been told and she knew exactly what she had to do. She turned to offer a "thank you" to Batman for his honesty, but found no one there.
"Are you sure there's nothing I can say to convince you to stay?" said Superman once again as the Titans stepped onto the teleporter pads.
"I'm sorry, Superman," said Nightwing, turning to face the man of steel. "We were honored by your offer, but the Justice League just isn't for us. Besides we've been away from Jump city for too long."
As Nightwing talked with Superman, Beast Boy suddenly felt a hand on his arm. Turning he saw Raven standing by him.
"Hey Rave," he said smiling. "Where have you been?"
"Just doing some thinking," she replied.
Superman suddenly caught the pair's attention.
"Well I can't thank you all enough for everything you've done. The League would at least like to know if it can call on you for your assistance in the future."
The team looked at one another for a moment.
"You can always count on the Titans," replied Nightwing confidently.
"Well if there's anything I could do for you…" he began.
"Actually," interrupted Beast Boy. "Since you offered."
The alarm of the electronics store blared loudly as the pint-sized electronics genius known as Gizmo made his escape. The metallic spider legs of his backpack made a crude drumming noise as he laughed maniacally.
"What a haul," he boasted out loud, looking over the various pieces of high tech equipment he managed to get away with. "I can make all kinds a stuff with this. Maybe I'll build a giant bomb and hold the sludge-suckers of this city ransom."
Gizmo was yanked from his planning when two crimson beams suddenly shot from the sky, obliterating one of his spider legs and sending him crashing to the ground."
"Alright," he shouted after clearing his head. "Whose the dead crud-muncher who…who…"
The sight of Superman hovering in the sunlight above him made the vertically challenged supervillain go numb.
"Hello, I'm Superman. The Titans are on vacation this week, so I'll be filling in for them."
"Oh sludge," squeaked Gizmo.
"Man, it sure feels good to be home," exclaimed Cyborg as he led the rest of the team into the common room.
"Amen," said Beast Boy. "The universe was saved, but more importantly, we got us some guilt free time off."
"Speaking of which, now I'll finally be able to put those new spoilers on the T-car. I'll see ya'll later," said Cyborg, exiting the room.
Meanwhile, Starfire had picked up the newspaper and had been studying the movie section.
"Oh, there is a new movie of the romantic comedy variety showing at the local movie theatre," she said excitedly, turning to Nightwing. "Would you care to see it with me?"
"Sure, Star," replied Nightwing smiling, though secretly he was loathing having to sit through another awful Mathew Mcconaughey movie. But if it made Starfire happy, he was willing."
The pair quickly exited, leaving just Raven and Beast Boy.
"I guess that just leaves us," said Beast Boy, scratching the back of his head.
"Yeah," said Raven quietly.
"Raven, I-" began Beast Boy, but he was cut off when Raven suddenly moved across the room and stopped just in front of the coffee table.
"I think we still have a game to finish, Garfield," she said with a smile.
Beast Boy blinked in confusion before realization struck him. In all the excitement of the day he had forgotten all about the chess game that had seemingly started it all.
"That's right," he said slyly, taking his seat in front of the game board. "And I think it was your turn."
Raven studied the pieces for a moment before a devious smile spread across her face. Picking up a piece she swiftly made her move.
"Check mate," she declared.
"What?" exclaimed Beast Boy in disbelief. Getting on his feet and shoving his face into the game board, he scrutinized the layout. After a few seconds, he realized she was right. He'd lost.
"Now what was the agreement?" asked Raven facetiously as she stood. "I believe if I won, you'd have to leave me alone for an entire month."
Beast Boy had yet to take his eyes off the board as Raven made her way past him. He couldn't believe it. He had invested so much time in this plan, and he had lost.
"You know, Gar, I'm going to be really honest with you right now," said Raven from behind him.
"Yeah?" said Beast Boy dejected.
"Yes," said Raven, who quickly spun the changeling around so he was facing her. "That's a really crummy prize."
Beast Boy barely had time to register Raven's words when he felt the empath's lips press against his own, and her arms wrap around his neck, seizing him in a kiss so emotionally powerful, he nearly lost the ability to breath. After a few seconds he wrapped his own arms around her waist and did his best to return the kiss with just as much passion.
After what seemed like and eternity, their lips parted.
"I love you, Garfield," said Raven breathlessly.
Beast Boy smiled in pure joy before bringing Raven back to him in another deep kiss. When it ended, they rested their foreheads against one another's.
"So," began Beast Boy. "Where did this sudden boldness come from?"
"Is there something wrong?" she asked.
"No, no, not at all. I love it. But I'm just wondering."
"I got some good advice," said Raven.
"Batman of all people."
"Really? Well that's a relief."
"Now I don't have to hit him. That guy's scary."
Raven only rolled her eyes.
Author's Note: Well that's it. Thanks to everyone who read or left a review. I'll be back soon with another fic that will be a little more on the lighter side. Till then...