The sky had never been a more perfect blue. Deep and rich, the blue faded out to a more pale, pearly colour near the edge of the dusty horizon. It was cloudless, the only thing marring the smooth expanse was the sun; it hung in the sky, a fat, sizzling yellow ball. The air was hot, but not humid. A slight breeze barely ruffled the leaves of dense, little shrubs clinging to the rusty soil. Here and there, a few cacti had made their humble home. Off in the distance, purple mountains swam though hazy heat mirages.
Cutting through the desert scene was a two lane highway, divided by faded, barely-there, yellow lines. It was quite empty, save for one lone car, a red, little convertible. The car sped along, its driver most enchanted by the scenery while the passenger seemed to care less, her nose buried in a thick book.
"I can't wait until we drive though those mountains," Beast Boy said.
"Considering how you just got your license a month ago, I can." Raven replied dryly, turning the page in her book.
"Oh, come off it!" Beast Boy grinned. "We haven't died yet."
"Only because there's no one out here for you to hit."
"Well yeah, but you gotta admit it's a nice change from Jump!"
"I'll admit that..." Raven said.
It was a nice change. Raven enjoyed the quiet nights, being able to see the stars, and most of all being away from the supercharged time bomb of emotions that was Jump City. She found that she needed to meditate less (even being on the road with Beast Boy), but she did anyway, just to be safe, and because she enjoyed meditating in such a peaceful scenery as this.
Taking a road trip with a not-even-legal, green, teenage boy had not been exactly what she had in mind when Robin asked Beast Boy and her to help a new branch of Teen Titans starting up in Houston. But Beast Boy had recently gotten his license and was yearning to go on his first road trip. After much cajoling, whining; citing that "Cyborg drove all the way out to the east coast for Titans East when he could have, you, know, just had Raven poof 'im there in a second," and "dude, it'd be a real easy way for me to get a lot of experience!", and other such prodding, Robin had relented and said Beast Boy could drive.
Needless to say, Raven was not pleased when she found out. Once all the windows in the common room had been replaced, Raven realised she had already said she would go, and she owed Robin big-time for always making him go in her stead for grocery-duty with Beast Boy. Once Beast Boy had fixed up the old junker he bought with about two years of savings —Raven had to admit, he was much better at mechanics than she thought, but that could be Cyborg's work— they set off, letting the prospect team members know their mode of travel, so they would be coming a few days later than originally planned.
They had already made their way through southern California and Arizona, and were nearly through New Mexico, close to passing over the state line into Texas. Beast Boy was sorry that they would be at their destination in about another day, he rather liked travelling. It was fun to just drive, feel the wind in his hair, go as fast as he wanted because no one was around to care, blast the radio, whatever he wanted. If he could convince Raven, he wanted to take a more scenic way back to Titans Tower, instead of rushing on this straight forward route like they were to reach Houston.
It was about two in the afternoon as Beast Boy pulled over onto the side of the road. He shut the car off and leaped out of his side of the car, then ran off the road onto the desert soil. Raven turned her head away as he found a bush and transformed into a coyote. There had not been a gas station for miles. When she looked at him again, she found Beast Boy running around among the scrubby shrubs, arms held out wide. He was out of uniform today, the white collared shirt he was wearing flapping out behind him as he clenched his toes to keep flip-flops on his feet.
"Raven!" he shouted, lifting up his ridiculously sized aviator sunglasses. "Let's have lunch,"
"Out here?" Raven raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah!" Beast Boy smiled, running up to the car and popping the trunk.
He pulled out a blanket while Raven grabbed the cooler sitting in the back seat. Beast Boy ran back out to the middle of nowhere and set the blanket down as Raven slogged over with the cooler. She was hungry. And why not eat out here? It was a chance they did not get too often, to just get out and enjoy nature. Beast Boy yanked the top off the cooler and pulled out some sandwiches kept dry in little plastic baggies, along with some bottled water.
"So you don't know anything about the new team?" Beast Boy asked Raven after they had munched in silence for a few minutes.
"No, nothing other than there'll be three guys, two girls, like our team." Raven said.
"How long do we have to stay with them?"
"I'm hoping they're fast learners." Raven stared pensively into a scraggly clump of mesquite, holding her bottle of water to her lips.
"Hmm," Beast Boy yawned and laid down on the blanket. "I could fall asleep right here. I love it out here." he grinned and put his shades back on.
"It is nice," Raven closed her eyes as she took a sip of water.
"So you don't mind travelling with me?" Raven watched his grin grow wider.
"Do I have to answer?" Raven rolled her eyes.
"Yeah...! I want to know!" Beast Boy turned on his side to face Raven and propped himself up with his elbow.
Raven took a bite of her sandwich and slowly chewed, drawing out not answering as long as she could. Beast Boy waited as patiently as he could (which really was not patiently at all and entailed much fidgeting).
"It's not as bad as I thought it would be," Raven confessed.
It was true, Beast Boy was usually to busy concentrating on driving to bother her.
"Tin Can's gonna owe me money," Beast Boy giggled. "He said ya'll would have killed me by now."
Raven had to hold back on rolling her eyes again.
"Look at that sunrise," Raven said.
She and Beast Boy were leaving the small motel they had stayed at for the night. Both had small overnight bags slung over their shoulders as they stared east at the brilliantly painted sky. Beast Boy took out the disposable camera he had bought and snapped some pictures of it. Raven unlocked the car and tossed her bag in the back, then got an apple from the cooler. Beast Boy pulled down the top of the car, even though it was still cold out from the night.
When they were both settled in the car, Beast Boy took off. He expected they would arrive in Houston late in the evening. He was, truthfully, a little sad. He enjoyed spending time with Raven, just Raven, especially out here in this beautiful land. But they still had the whole trip back, which he looked forward too. And right now was beautiful, driving right off into the sunrise. Beast Boy chanced a glance at Raven, and found there was more than one beautiful thing to look at.
"What if we took a different way back?" Beast Boy blurted out.
He looked over at Raven. She did not look up from her book and merely flipped the page. He could not read her expression as she had on sunglasses.
"What do you mean 'different'" Raven asked for clarification.
"Not, not the main highway, but you know, more back roads and stuff," Beast Boy put his eyes back on the road.
He waited for her to answer for a long time, but she just perused her book. Eventually, he heard her shut it and place it in her bag by her feet.
"You're the one driving," she said.
Beast Boy chanced a look at her again. Raven was resting her chin on her hand, elbow on the door. She had her hair pulled back into a small ponytail, but many small locks of hair escaped the elastic and fell into her face. Her lips were pursed while her cheeks and the bridge of her nose were red with sun. The sun had risen high into the sky and Beast Boy could already feel his cheeks growing hot.
Today, Raven was in uniform, and so was Beast Boy, but as his eyes returned to the road he remembered her and how she dressed for the past few days: floating dresses, soft shirts and filmy cardigans. He liked them. And wished he could tell her that he did.
But what he had really liked was how Raven talked with him. They had talked more on this trip than they had at the tower. Beast Boy found Raven engaging to talk to when she actually talked, not just terse, short responses because she was expected to respond, but actual conversations, ones that winded into the wee morning hours until they realized they needed to leave in a couple hours. Neither talked much about their past, it was not needed. They found other things to talk about: God, the horrors of walking in on Starfire and Robin, why Beast Boy was a vegetarian, that video games were an art form (Beast Boy lost that argument), and other things.
Beast Boy was a disappointed when they reached Houston. He wanted to steal more moments with Raven before they got back to the tower and everything would be the same again, but he knew they would come on the way back.
"See the north star?" Raven pointed straight up with a slender finger. "It's right there."
"I still can't see it." Beast Boy squinted his eyes up at the white specks littered against the black sky.
"Look harder. It's there." Raven laid her hand back down her side.
Her hand brushed against his as she moved it back to her side. Beast Boy felt the spot her hand had touched burn. Not a painful burn, but a hot, tingly sensation that he really rather liked. He stared up at the sky. They were back in the New Mexican Desert again. Training the new team had gone well, the kids were well versed in their powers and learned quickly the finesse of bringing down metahumans. Beast Boy and Raven had stayed longer than they probably should, but they both wanted to make sure their protégés did well.
"I don't see it. I don't see how anybody can get a picture at all out of those." Beast Boy rolled on his side to look at Raven.
Raven glanced over at him. He could scarcely make out her features in the moonlight; he saw her eyes shining at him. Those eyes... they drew him in, sometimes when he looked at them he felt lost, lost against some tide, some pull, a force stronger than he knew. Against his better judgement, he leaned in and placed his lips upon hers; a soft kiss. Pulling back, Beast Boy kept silent as his cheeks burned. He waited for a reaction, stomach a twisted knot of horror now.
He had ruined it, ruined his friendship with Raven, all in a few seconds. Raven did nothing for a while, leaving Beast Boy in agony as he wished he could take his last action back. Soon, however, he felt a soft, cool hand on his cheek.
"You worry too much. You're giving me a headache." Raven said.
She trailed her fingers down his cheek and brought her hand back to her side.
"You're not mad?" Beast Boy could not help but ask.
"You're not as dumb as I thought." Raven smirked.
"I take offence to that!" Beast Boy was indignant.
Raven smirked again and got up. Beast Boy called out to ask where she was going but she did not answer. He scrambled to his feet and dashed after her. When Beast Boy reached Raven, he fell into pace beside her. They walked in silence for a few moments, the only sound was the crunching of the soil beneath them..
"Where are you going?" Beast Boy asked.
"You'll see." Raven answered.
They kept walking, and Beast Boy was vaguely able to make out that they were steadily climbing higher. He lost his footing several times. Beast Boy was about to ask Raven how much the hell longer this was going to take when she stopped. He ran into her.
"Uh... sorry I can't see you very well. It's a lot darker out here than the city." he apologised.
"Just sit." Raven commanded.
"What? Why?" Beast Boy looked down at her as she sat in her familiar lotus position.
"We're going to watch the sunrise."
"Oh," he plopped down next to her. "how far away is that?"
Raven did not answer, she had already begun chanting her mantra. Beast Boy sighed and leaned back as comfortably as he could. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. He could smell Raven, she smelled like lavender, bergamot, and some other herbaceous smell he though could be lemon grass. Under that he could smell the smells of the desert: the fading smell of hot, baked earth; the deep, weedy smell of the plants; and the heady smell of some night-blooming flower.
It almost felt like a dream; with the cool breeze blowing tickling his face as he lay, swaddled in the desert scents, listening to Raven's soft voice. Beast boy laid there for an indeterminable amount of time, in that strange, dreamy, near-sleep state. After maybe hours, or maybe years, he felt the touch of Raven's soft hand on his shoulder.
"It's coming," she said.
Beast Boy opened his eyes, stunned by the sharp relief of everything around him. Near the horizon, tinged with rich warm colours and a streak of green, he could tell the sun was about to peer above the rusty earth. Raven had floated down from her half-lotus position and was looking more refreshed than he had seen her in a long time. When Beast Boy turned to look at the sky again, he found that the first, buttery rays of sunlight were starting to set foot upon the soil, casting weak, watery light across the desert.
"I almost don't want to go back." Beast Boy said when the sun was more sure of itself, throwing out stronger rays of light.
"I dunno," Beast Boy had to think for a second. "I want to go back... because I don' know anything now but how to be a superhero. I guess it was nice to be something different for a while."
"Do you ever want to be something besides?"
"Dunno. Sometimes I just get wanderlust or something, and try being different. But I don't 'cuz I know in the end I'll probably end up being Beast Boy again." he answered.
Raven shrugged. "You could learn something from it."
"I could," Beast Boy paused, "but right now I think I'd rather look at the sunrise."
Raven looked at him curiously for a second. Beast Boy wondered if maybe she thought that she had taken the trip with the wrong person, he knew he was showing her a side of his personality he did not let out much. But he wanted to show her that he did not have to be the annoying, loud, attention seeking kid all the time any more; that he was able to realise when he needed to be a mature young man. Raven turned her head back to see that the smeary, sherbet mist of the sunrise had dissipated, with the sun now fully risen.
"When we go back, things will be the same again," Raven's voice seemed steady but contained a question, smothered under the flat tone.
"They could be, but why would they have to be," Beast Boy looked sidelong at her, "didn't you just tell me that I could learn from trying new things? I think I'd like to learn with you. Be Don Suavé."
Beast Boy felt something in the pit of his stomach. Was he pushing it?
"Beast Boy, Don Juan seduces women, then leaves." Raven had her eyebrows raised at him.
"Oh. I won't leave."
Raven hesitated for a second, then slipped her pale hand over his. He looked at her hand, such a bright contrast to his, and then enclosed her hand in his.
mhmm... no plot/climax whatsoever, and much ambiguity. Loosely based off Lobo's Me an' You and a Dog Named Boo. Probably not very in character with the show, but I like writing about more mature characters and not the exaggerated ones present on the tv show.
Be kind with grammar mistakes, it's late.
Maybe some bbrae fan will enjoy this.