DISCLAIMER: I do not own Teen Titans or any of the characters.
This is a sorta prequel to Night Moves. It hints how Raven and Beast Boy ended up on that couch.
One would think that those life altering moments hits us when we least expect it ..... they do of course , but ....
Trouble is you never see it coming.
An alert had the team out to face Adonis and his power-armor. Unfortunately it was just three of them since Robina and Starfire were in a neighboring town on a date ..... of sorts. Antiquing or something or other. Either way they weren't there so it was just the three.
After about the third trial and subsequent failure to stop the testosterone fueled criminal , Cyborg was running out of ideals. Beast Boy had tried to interject his own , but they were quickly shot down as unattainable , unworkable , or just plain old stupid. It was mostly Raven with the later opinion.
While she and Cyborg turned over strategies - i.e. waiting for their fearless leader to show - Beast Boy had tried one more time to get them to listen to him.
"Hey , how about if I ....."
Was as far as he could get before Raven would shoot him down. Cyborg , not having to talk or just fearful of interrupting the girl , nodded in agreement. Slightly fuming that he was being ignored yet again , Beast Boy gave it another go.
"Ya know I could ...." hand and index finger pointing up as to emphasize the point that yes he was talking. Raven quickly cut him off.
"Beast Boy listen ... whatever harebrained and idiotic suggestion you have would best be keep to yourself!" she glared at the green boy. Who deflated slightly and started to retreat. He started , but stopped just as fast. Squaring his shoulder and standing tall he looked straight into her eye as he spoke.
"No! You listen to me Raven! I have an ideal and I think I deserve the chance to be heard just like an other member of this team. Give me a chance to contribute to our group other than being your personal trash talk receptacle!"
Cyborg was shocked. He had never seen Beast Boy stand up to Raven like this. Usually his best bud would acquiesce and do whatever the girl told him. Or get his green behind tossed out a window or throw into a wall or .... you get the ideal.
Either way ... speaking of covering one's butt.
"Ahh .... yeah .... I'll keep an eye on old Adonis while you two work this out between yourselves." he quickly turned and followed after the rampaging criminal. Hoping for two things: 1) Raven does not actually kill Beast Boy and 2) Robin gets here fast! Hopefully in time to prevent Raven from killing Beast Boy. Just in case.
Raven blinked at the green teen standing before her equally surprised that he had said that to her and in such a tone. He never talked like that before. Especially to her. There was something inside of her that did not like it at all. One might think it was her pride that took the hit. Or she was annoyed that the boy wasn't doing what he was told as he should. She'd never admit it , but the pang of hurt his outburst caused might have been due to a certain emotion fearing that maybe this might mean that Beast Boy did not like her as much as she thought he did.
That thought ..... really did hurt.
She knew she had to maintain control. Control of the situation. Control of her teammates , so that one of them didn't get hurt doing something stupid , and most importantly control of herself. Stealing her features she spoke.
"Beast Boy don't be foolish. What can you possibly suggest that could be of any help in this situation? Huh ? Well Beast Boy?" She was practically daring him to contradict her this time.
Staring back with equal resolve the green lad stated simply.
"Ya know Raven , I was going to tell you my plan , but now I'm thinking otherwise." he mocked.
"Oh really ?" she countered.
"Really." he smirked at her expression. When she looked especially a-gassed , before she could retort he beat her to the punch.
"Yes REALLY! You know what ? It's OK. I'll go take care of the loser myself." stepping back and turning away from her and towards his target was a far as he got before she grabbed onto his arm. Pulling him back she spoke quickly.
"Don't be a fool! You cannot possibly think you're capable of taking him down all by yourself. The three of us haven't been able to , so how could you? No the sensible thing to do is wait for Robin and Starfire then hit him when the team is at full strength."
He could almost detect the scent of fear , maybe even panic , emanating from her as she spoke.
Smirking even wider he shook his head slowly , reached down he pulled her hand off his arm.
"Not to worry Raven. In fact , I'll have this whole thingy wrapped up before the happy couple arrive."
She arched an eyebrow at that. Was he being brave or stupid ? Or both? It was really hard to tell with him lately.
"Oh really ... Beast Boy don't be stupid! We have to wait for the others. Now ..."
He cut her off with his trade mark toothy grin and spoke in manner so unlike himself.
"I said not to worry Raven. What's the matter don't trust me ?"
"Trust you to be there for the team ... yes. Trust you won't do something foolish and stupid ... no" she stated in her usual monotone.
"Wanna bet ?" his smiled widened as she searched , more like pleaded , his face for him to listen to her.
"What?" was her confused reply.
"Wanna bet that I'm right and you're wrong?" his smile growing ever wider.
"Beast Boy ...." she growled accompanied by an exasperated sigh.
"Yes or no Raven. Wanna bet I'm right and you're wrong?" that damn smile was almost ear to ear.
"Me wrong? Never." she deadpanned hoping to cover the growing dread that this was not going to end well.
"Then you have nothing to lose do you Rae?" the tease very noticeable in his voice.
She huffed and without thinking "Fine ...." before she could go any further his smile reached ear to ear. Nodding he spoke again.
"Agreed. It's a bet. Watch he'll be down in less than a minute."
Before she could tell him he was being stupid or plain old stop him , he shifted into a hummingbird and zipped away. Fearing he was going to get himself hurt or worse , she ran for Cyborg to tell him what the moron had done and command him to follow her in the obvious rescue.
When she reached Cybrog's side she notice he was gapping at something. Following his gaze she caught a sight she would not soon forget.
Adonis's armor was smoking and sparks were shooting out all over the place. He was dancing around wildly and shouting to no one in particular "Make it stop!". She watched in amazement as the frantic villain all of a sudden stopped , muttered a strangled scream while his face contort into one of shear pain. After a few seconds of this his eyes rolled into his head and he fell over.
The next moment Beast Boy appeared by the fallen criminal and was waving over a paramedic unit that was standing by since his rampage began. He spoke something into the tech's ear which she nodded to immediately. Beast Boy then , casually she might add , walked over to an approaching police officer saying something to him that made the man take off his hat and scratch his head. After looking confused then amazed he put his hat back , smiled at Beast Boy then shook his hand. Nodding in recognition to the man he smiled and walked away. Not before throwing smiles and acknowledgments to the other officers with the first. That done he strolled back to his teammates just as the Boy Wonder and his alien girlfriend showed up.
"What's the status of the situation. Report." Robin commanded in his usual leader voice. Starfire looked flustered , but calmed as she noted each and everyone of her friends was without harm.
"Well in a nutshell Adonis was causing all kinds of hell , we showed up , failed to contain him , then Beast Boy put him down in a heartbeat! Now we're waiting for the how-to's just as you all!" Cyborg shouted in a voice mixed with equal parts of shock , awe , and disbelief. Heck there was probably some downright pride in what his friend just did.
'Kick-ass. Very kick-ass indeed.' the tall teen thought to himself.
"Report Beast Boy." Robin stated again as Beast Boy walked up to the group.
"Worked just like we planned. Perfect. Just perfect." he stated with pride.
"Took him out just like we figured?" Robin asked to which Beast Boy nodded.
"What about the poison? Is he being taken care off ?" was Robin's next question.
"Poison?" Raven quirked a brow at that while Cyborg nodded obvious that was his sentiment as well. Beast Boy never used any animal that was particularly dangerous much less anything poisonous. It went against his personal code of never doing anything or anyone any real harm. Face it , if he really wanted to , he could do some real damage with some of the animals he can change into.
"Yup ... poison. Box jelly fish poison to be exact." he smiled like it was nothing. All this did was cause the others , besides Robin , to stare at him in disbelief and confusion. Luckily their leader decided to speak up at this time.
"This is something he had been working on over the last several weeks. I'm assuming BB used the plan specially tailored for Adonis. Correct ?"
"Yes I did. You see what I did was to first shift into increasingly smaller shapes until I was so small he didn't notice my approach and was therefore unable to prevent me from slipping into his battlesuit. Once positioned in the right place I shifted into an electric eel. Delivered several well placed jolts to shut down the suit."
"Wait a second. How did you know how to do that ?" Cyborg interjected.
"Cyborg , we've discussed Adonis's tech suit a number of times. Don't you remember?" Robin said.
Thinking back on it Cyborg did remember all those conversations. Although they were mostly had while planning Ninja Hunter 2 & 3 , so he really didn't think anything of them. He always thought it was Robin's way of trying to distract the master games-man. Of course it never worked cause Cyborg always kicked butt in video games!
Still with that thought , all he could say was...
"Oh , oh yeah we did , didn't we?"
"If I may continue ..... with the suit down I went after the operator. Shifting into to box jellyfish I was able to deliver a few well placed injections of some very strong , very debilitating poison. And the end result ... one subdued evil dude!" Beat Boy grinned.
"Isn't that dangerous. If memory serves , that is a potentially lethal poison. That's quit the risk you took with his life." Raven said directing her words to both Robin and Beast Boy.
Robin shook his head as he spoke.
"Not at the low doses and if given the antidote quickly. When we thought this plan up I made sure to notify the police , fire , and EMT services to make sure they knew then provided them with antidote. I also checked all of our former foes prison medical reports to determine if any would likely have a severe allergic reaction. Based on that we made a list of who we would try this on and only if lives were threatened. Trust me guys I wasn't thrilled with the ideal , but if it saves lives and minimizes our risks then I was willing to give it a go." Robing stated to the group. That said he turned to Beast Boy and extended a hand which the green teen gladly accepted.
"Congrats on a successful test run." he said shaking Beast Boy's hand.
"Thanks dude. But hey I'm not the only one deserving here , congrats to you for coming up with it and working out the details."
"Thanks , but remember you're only to use this in dire situations is that clear?" Robin said in a stern voice.
Beast Boy stood full height and answered in his own serious voice.
"Completely understood. I wouldn't have tried it this time , but like the dude said he was wrecking all kinds of hell and we hadn't stopped him. It was only a matter of time before something really bad happened. I figured either we wait for you two to show or I do something about it , so I made a call."
"I understand Beast Boy and I think you called it correctly." Robin smiled back at his teammate. Looking back towards the police and the like he noticed the arrival of the chief. Excusing himself he jogged over to talk to the man leaving the group behind.
Starfire was the first to react by glomping onto Beast Boy and crushing all the air out of his lungs.
"Oh friend Beast Boy! I am so happy that you are safe and that you victorious in our absence!" she chimed happily.
Beast Boy was turning an unnatural color , even for him. Despite the compressed lungs he managed to talk.
"Thanks .... Star .... air .... be ..... issue ....."
Realizing she was doing it again she quickly dropped her friend and apologized. Beast Boy waived it off with his usual good nature.
Cyborg slapped him on the back and congratulated him on his gutsy moves back there. Again he accepted the praise in his usual good nature as he tried to rub his sore back.
Turning to Raven he smiled that knowing smile she was started to hate more than anything. Rolling her eyes and letting out an exasperated sigh , she had to relent that yes indeed he did a good job. All he did was smile back at her , but not just any smile a part of her noted. The one seemed specially reserved for her.
"Thanks Raven. Coming from you ... it means a lot to me." he beamed.
A part of Raven's mind thought he was teasing her. Taunting her. That it really did not mean anything to the boy , but still she turned and tugged on her hood. Another part ..... squealed in absolute joy because her opinion mattered to him the most. Making sure it was firmly in place to hide the pink in her checks she knew would happen every time he spoke to her like that.
The ride back to the Tower was uneventful if not quiet. Starfire broke the silence with her tales of antiquing and all the fun she and Robin had that day. Raven tuned her out the best she could. Dinner was pretty much the same although she did notice that Beast Boy was shooting her a knowing smile that she wished he didn't.
Later on in her room she was attempting to meditate when a familiar knock came. Sighing in frustration she went to her door knowing full well who was on the other side.
The door slide open to reveal , surprise surprise , Beast Boy. He was standing there with that same smile and holding what looked like an red colored booklet. Annoyed that he was interrupting her again she waited before speaking.
"What do you want Beast Boy?" she droned.
"Time to pay up Rae!" he declared happily.
"Pay up ? What are you ..." she stopped when she realized what he was referring to. Was he mad?! She never thought that he would actually take her seriously that she would do something as menial as a bet? Surely all the bad TV and video games has finally taken it's toll. So sad.
"Beast Boy you cannot seriously expect me to believe that was a real wager." she stated in the most even voice she could muster. Fearing that she might indeed owe this boy something. Then the thought hit.
"Besides we never said what the terms where so it doesn't count. Good night." she tried to close the door , but he was already in her room. Getting really steamed she said.
"Beast Boy get out! I'm in no mood for your antics tonight. It's been a long day and I need to relax a little. So if you please ...."
He stopped her with a raised hand and that damn smile of his. The one that seemed to instantly melt her anger.
"Perfect! Cause I have just the thing to help you do just that!" he beamed and pushed the book he was holding into view so she would read the cover.
She quirked a brow and examined the title.
'How to give a massage.'
Something stopped inside her brain. 'Was he serious?!'
Shaking her head as the shock came over her , she pushed the book back away from her person.
"No .... no way. What makes you think I would even consider such a thing?! And why do you have that?"
"Well to answer the last bit , I've been taking classes at the City Community College." he stated simply still smiling at her.
Her eyebrow went higher as she just had to ask the obvious question.
"Cause it's a new skill and it's interesting to me and I like it and you never know when it will come in handy and ..." she stopped him before he started to count off the reasons using fingers and toes. Considering his first couple of reasons where valid she still had to ask.
"Why are you coming to me with this?"
"I need someone to practice on." he said with pleading eyes and a slight pout on his lips.
"Oh no ... no ... no ... no .... not happening. Get some one else. How about Cyborg? He's you're best friend." she said quickly.
He just quirked his own eyebrow at her. Realizing the flaw in that logic.
"Point. What about Starfire? She always happy to help."
His eyebrow went higher.
"Are you kidding? Robin would skin me alive."
"Then what about Robin?" again the words left her mouth without any real thought behind them since he shot that down just as easily.
"That isn't any better. Death by angry Tamaran girl is NOT one of my life goals. Quit the opposite in fact." he lightly laughed at his own joke.
"Why not you Rae?" he asked simply.
Frantically she searched for a reason why not her. Then she remembered she needed no reason. No one was allowed to touch her. That would be reason enough.
"Beast Boy I have to say no to this. I'm just not comfortable with ... it ... the contact I mean." she stated simply.
"Awe come on Raven. People get massages from total strangers like a million times a day. "
She attempted to retort , but he stopped her cold.
"It's not like I'm asking you to be naked or anything."
"You're not?" trying not to sound disappointed. Then wondering to herself why she would be disappointed.
He made a dismissive noise accompanied by the appropriate hand gesture.
"No of course not. How dumb do you think I am? Don't answer that. Look you'll be in your uniform , minus the cloak and boots. And it's just a back massage. Nothing too private. I just need a test subject and what better than one who'd be critical of my technique. Plus you do owe me from today. Don't deny it. Come on Rae what's the harm? Help me out. Please?" he finished again with the pleading eyes and that damn smile of his.
Raven thought for a moment or two.
"Just the back?"
"In my uniform?"
He nodded again.
Scrunching her brow in thought she debated with herself. Alright first she did sorta- kind-of make a bet with him and Titans honored their bets. Or they paid the price. It might not be such a bad thing. The one and only time she did get a back massage from those little creatures she enjoyed it immensely. Plus what was the harm. She could always throw him out with the excuse he did something he shouldn't. So what the hey ?
"Alright Beast Boy .... I'm going to trust you on this , but if you try anything funny or tell anyone about this ..... they'll never find the body." she warned.
He seemed unconcerned with her threats as he smiled and guided her over towards her bed.
"Not to worry Raven I wouldn't dream of it."
"You wouldn't ?" she eyed him suspiciously.
"Of course not. I like living too much. Please take of the cloak and boots and lie face down. Make yourself comfortable as possible since this will take about 15 to 20 minutes."
Casting him one last questioning look she did as instructed and settled in despite the growing pit in her stomach. She heard him flip pages a couple times then slap and rub his hands together vigorously.
"OK let's get this show started. Like I said this is a back massage. The whole back so if my paws get too close for comfort you just tell me so. And let me know how I'm going from time to time especially if anything I do causes pain. There shouldn't be any discomfort at all."
"None?" she queried.
"Nope .... none. Strange or odd sensations maybe , but no discomfort or pain. If you do feel anything like that you let me know. OK?"
"OK." she nodded and rested her head waiting for him to start.
"Alright then .... first we warm the muscles up like so."
And it began.
At first she tensed at his touch. That lasted for about 30 seconds. It felt great! He was surprisingly good. True to his words he kept his hands to the area of her back and to help ease her fears he spoke to her the whole time. Explaining exactly what he would do before he did it. Asking if she was alright and if his hands were getting too close to ..... places.
At first she answered in words. Then after about the first couple of minutes into it her speech degraded to loan moans and sighs of pleasure. A few minutes after that she was vaguely aware she was drooling into her own pillow. By the time five minutes had passed she was out like a light.
Waking several hours later and having one of the best nights sleep she could remember she awoke to the early morning light. Begrudgingly her mind came into consciousness. It took her a couple minutes to registered the situation and remember how she got there. Leaping out of bed she did a quick survey. Still in her uniform .... good. Checking the bed it appeared she had been covered in spare blanket she kept draped over a chair. Good. Very good.
'At least he didn't try anything funny last night.' she thought.
A voice shouted inside her head.
'You take that back! He would never do something so low!' it shouted. Ignoring her emotions for the time being she pulled on her boots then cloak and made for the common room.
As usual she found Robin sipping his morning coffee and reading the paper.
Cyborg was starting to cook breakfast.
Starfire had not risen yet , but would more than likely be along in a minute or two. Had to keep up appearances for the team's sake. Who were they kidding?
Of course her intended target was not there. Not surprising since he seldom woke early enough to have breakfast with the others.
The other two occupants took note of her arrival and each wished her a good morning. She returned it as casual she could muster without looked forced. Studying them intently she was trying to determine if they new something , anything about last night. Sensing nothing out of the ordinary she relaxed.
Starfire entered with her usual exuberance for the day. First order of business was to kiss her boyfriend then feed silkie. Training her senses on the alien she was convince she too knew nothing.
When they asked her if she was joining in on breakfast she excused herself saying she feel asleep in her uniform while reading so she needed to shower and change into fresh clothes.
Doing so she emerged from her room cleaned and refreshed. More so than she'd been in a long while. Funny considering how nervous she was waiting to confront Beast Boy about last night. Luckily she didn't have to wait long since she practically bumped into him in the hallway.
Before he could offer her greetings she dragged him into a spare room and shut the door. Locking the it after making sure they were alone she turned on him to find his expression confused and concerned.
"What's up Rae?"
"Beast Boy what happened last night?"
"I don't know what you mean .... what happened what last night?"
"We were in my room alone together and I feel asleep! That's what I'm talking about." she said plainly.
He looked confused for a bit. He seemed to think it over and scratched his head. If he was playing with her , she swore to Azar she'd kill him here and now. After a moment he shrugged as he answered.
"Well I was practicing on you and you feel asleep in like five minutes. It didn't feel right to continue without you know , you being awake , so I covered you with a blanket and left. Why? Is there a problem?" his face and emotions conveyed no lie.
She stared at him in disbelief. Amazed that he was unable to comprehend where the problem lies.
"Beast Boy you were in my room alone with me while I was unconscious. Things could have happened. You could have done something to me and I would never know." she said looking into his eyes. Fully prepared to catch the guilt she knew coming.
Instead of that he stared at her face contorted in an odd expression. Like he couldn't quit comprehend what she just said to him. The dawning was evident when his eyes shot wide and he looked totally shocked. That lasted for a moment then his expression soured and he looked ... disappointed ?
Closing his eyes and shaking his head sadly he looked up into hers and she drew back at what she saw. He was hurt. Their intensity told her he was very hurt at her accusation.
"Do you honestly think I would do something like that ? That I could sink so low ? To anyone ? .... To ... to you Raven? Do you really believe that ?" the hurt in his voice was painful.
Trying not to show that he was effecting her , just in case he was trying to cover up his lecherous actions , she shot back.
"That's how these things happened Beast Boy. You're a man. Who know's what your capable of? "
If he wasn't hurt before , he was now. His ears drooped along with his shoulders. He looked pitiful.
Fighting the urge to apologize she pressed on.
"You're going to tell me you weren't tempted? Had a girl all alone and helpless? Just a little ?" she questioned more to save face then to find an answer to something she was beginning to doubt herself.
Those sad eyes found hers once more.
"Of course I was tempted...."
'HA!' she thought.
"God Raven you're so beautiful. Gorgeous even ...."
'... what ... what did he just call me ?!?!' her mind reeled and she deflated considerably.
"But I respect you far too much to even consider such a thing. Respect Raven. Something I have a ton of for you , but obviously you have none for me." he dropped his head , turned , and slowly walked away from her.
She was too shocked , too stunned , to say anything she needed to stop him. It took a long while standing there in empty room gapping like the idiot she was to form coherent thought. Meanwhile in Nevermore her emotions were rioting.
Some screamed at her for what she had just done. Unintentional or not.
Others demanded she go after him and apologize , beg , cry ,whatever it took to make this right. To not let the one true friend she had slip away cause she was the idiot.
Others just cried ... because she could not.
Unbeknownst to her ... she came very close to killing one of them for good. That would have been the greatest tragedy of all.
Regaining her whits she tried to locate the green teen , but to no avail. She tried to track him with his communicator , but he must turned it off. The others sensed the disturbance and questioned her as to his whereabouts. She claimed ignorance and paid for the price for the lie when her emotions screamed bloody murder.
Thankfully it was a quiet day and no alerts sounded so Raven had been given time to fix this.
If it could be fixed.
If she could .....
Late at night up on the roof she was meditating , trying to gain the control she would need to confront him. Just when she was confident she would be able to do so providence smiled upon her. She felt his familiar presence approach. Opening her eyes and turning in it's direction she caught he green bird swoop in for a landing and shift into this human form. She made a mental note of type of bird he used , a raven.
Reaching with her power she could feel that he was still hurt and upset , but not angry. Why wasn't he angry with her? By all rights he should be furious. Steeling her nerves she stood and approached where he stood. When she got close enough she started to speak , but was cut off by him.
"I don't blame you Raven."
"What?" she blinked at him unable to believe he just said that.
"You're absolutely right. Bad things happen to women ... girls .... and its guys just like me that do them. So you're right to be careful and stuff. And I apologize for making you nervous and stuff , but I swear I didn't touch or look or anything. Promise."
She gapped at him. What was he doing apologizing to her like this? Wasn't she the one who spat on his honor and integrity ? Wasn't she the one accused him of being a lowlife sleazy scumbag without proof ? Why was he doing this to her ? Why was he being so nice ?
'He's always nice to us Raven. You refuse to see or acknowledge it.' one of her inner voices said.
Thinking on it , it was true. He was the first to offer his friendship. Even at the very beginning he was there trying his best for her. After all the times she yelled at him , threatened him , threw him out windows , and a host of other nasty things she did to his person , he was always came back to her with that smile. The first one to jump to her aid and the last to leave her side.
Still with this revelation she had one burning question about it all.
"So I'm sorry Raven. Sorry I made you worried and upset and I promise I'll never ask again. I shouldn't have the first time. It's all my fault. Please forgive me?" he said in a sincere and honest voice.
She looked at him like he was one fire.
"Beast Boy why are you apologizing to me ? You've done nothing wrong. Not remotely. I was me who was wrong in this case. I should never had accused you the way I did. I'm sorry Beast Boy. Truely sorry."
"Naw .... it's OK Raven. You don't have to cover and try to make me feel better. I know it was my fault really. You're 100% not to blame ...." he stated but was quickly cut off from Raven frantic reply.
"Beast Boy stop! Just stop it! I treated you like dirt and you think you're at fault? Why? Why do you do it?" she said hovering on the brink of tears.
"Do what ?" he said as he cocked his head to the side looking like he had no ideal what she was talking about.
"This!" she shouted.
"I treat you like dirt and you take it with a smile. I insult and threaten and criticize and hurt you and you always come back! Why?! Any sane person would have left long ago yet you always came back! And that smile! Always with that smile! Why?! Why Beast Boy ?! Why ?!" she was on the verge of a meltdown here. Fearful her powers would let lose she did not care. This was raw emotion and it felt great to finally let it all out. Damn the consequences.
Beast Boy stared at her quietly all though her rant. When she was done he looked away for a moment and turned back then shrugged his shoulders as he answered her.
"Cause I love you."
For Raven ... the world stopped. Everything stopped. All sound. All sensation. All thought.
It all ground to an immediate halt.
Even her varied emotions had ceased to exist to her.
Well maybe not all .....
Utterly shocked all she could say was.
"I love you. Have for a very long time now." he said looking into the shocked blank face.
Again her mind came up with the one thing it could.
"I'm in love with you. Have been for years. Even before Terra. Convinced myself I could forget you with her." he laughed at that.
"Didn't happen. But don't worry , I know you don't feel the same way. I know it's that unrec ... unrecorded ... no ... un remark ... "
"Unrequited?" she whispered still unable to form more than a single word at a time.
"Yeah ... that's it. I think. If it means it's a one way street then yes. That's it."
She continued to stare and blink at the green skinned teen as he barred his soul to her.
"Yeah that's it unrequinted ... or like that. hee hee Anyways , I know you don't feel the same way about me , but I can't help it. I love you Raven. I will always be there for you. And no matter what that's not going to change. Like I said don't worry about it. Not you're problem. It's mine." he snickered at that last bit. Looking up to check her reaction he wasn't surprised she was staring at him with a blank expression.
'Figures she's so angry she doesn't know what to do. God I hate myself.' he thought bitterly wishing he was some one else. Some one she could love in return. Some one who could make her happy.
Looking into his eyes she saw the truth behind his words. There was no malice. No deception. No lie. He loved her.
Someone loved her.
Somewhere tucked deep in her soul a spark flared back to life. Good thing too ... it wasn't going to survive much longer.
"How ... I can't .... I'm not allowed to feel Beast Boy. I can't love. I don't deserve it. " she said quietly. Saying those long feared words. Dreading what they meant for her.
"Bullshit." He replied.
"I said bullshit Raven. Anyone can love. Everyone deserves love. Especially you. Look at you. You're a beautiful young woman who's smart and caring and an all around great person. Who more could deserve to be loved than you ?"
That was it. The tears were flowing. She could feel their warmth as they traveled down her checks.
Beast Boy stepped closer and raised bother hands to cup her face gently. Using his thumbs to carefully , tenderly, wipe away the tears. He smiled his special smile.
"Say it. I'm beautiful."
She shook her head no and tried to pull away , but he held fast.
"Say I'm beautiful." he pushed.
"I'm beautiful." The way you look at me ... I believe that I am.
"Say I'm smart."
"I'm smart." Although I'm nothing compared to you. I finally understand that phrase from that movie you like so much 'There's a difference between knowledge and wisdom.'
"Say I'm caring and an all around wonderful person."
"I'm caring an all around wonderful person." When I'm with you I know I can be all that , but I will never be as wonderful as you are now.
He smiled brighter.
"Now say I deserve to be loved more than anything."
"I deserve to be loved more than anything." But do I deserve your love ?
"Don't you ever forget that Raven." he smiled again then dropped his hands away from her face. Turning slowly he walked away across the rooftop then disappeared down the stairs into the Tower. Leaving Raven alone on the roof.
Alone with her thoughts.
She stood there for what seemed like an eternity. His words echoing over and over again.
'I love you.'
'You deserve to be loved.'
Over and over they turned. A warm feeling spread over Raven. For the first time she could remember she felt good. Given all of today's events , she felt great! As the warmth spread through her being , she didn't care how or why.
She was loved! That knowledge stoked a fire deep within her.
But what to do about it?
Over the next several days she tiptoed around Beast Boy in all things.
He had forgiven her that night. She had yet to forgive herself.
She watched and studied him any chance she got. Waiting for just the right moment to mend the broken friendship and start their journey back to one another. She had almost ruined it before it began. This time she was determined to protect what they had and nurture it along to something more. He had been patient with her for a number of years , therefore , she would return the favor.
She contemplated the fact that given what he said she probably could command that he loved her and he more than likely would. As tempting as that was there was no way she'd degrade their relationship like that. They were young. Thankfully she had time.
The others noticed the change in her behavior not only toward him , but her general outlook as well. Inexplicably some of the darkness she used to emanate had dissipated. She smiled more , which wasn't hard. She was more tolerant with everyone she dealt with especially BB. Most notable , if not most disturbing , she seemed happy.
The others asked and pried as much as they dared , but received little more than a shy smile and awkward glances to the changeling as an answer. One of Robin's suspicions was confirm unwittingly by Cyborg when he had the misfortune to pick on Beast Boy within Raven's earshot. It didn't phase BB much and he laughed it off , however , once he left the room Cyborg was quickly pinned upside down against a wall not facing the TV. There he stayed until Beast Boy returned and was mysterious dropped before he entered the room. Cyborg would have asked 'what the hell' , but decided he liked living too much. From then on no one really picked on Beast Boy.
It had been almost three weeks before her opportunity presented itself. It was almost serendipitous.
He had returned to the Town late one night apparently returning from one of his classes. Ensuring she was able to catch him alone in the hall she took a deep breath , stood tall , squared her shoulders , and pounced.
"Hello Beast Boy. Welcome back."
"Gee thanks Raven. It's nice of you to say that." he smiled as he stepped up along side her. Gesturing with a free hand he indicated he wished for her to walk with him which she gladly accepted.
Feeling nervous as they traveled together in the Towner halls she decided it was now or never. Fortunately her emotions urged her on in a good way.
"So ... umm ... what was tonight's topic?" she asked as nonchalantly as she could muster.
"Oh ... tonight was feet." he smiled while rubbing the back of his head. He was obviously embarrassed to talk her about the subject.
"Feet?" she quirked a brow. Even to her this sounded a little .... strange.
"Yeah ... feet. We learned about the aches and pains people get in their feet and how to relieve them via a nice foot message. The instructor said women are common suffers of foot related problems. Plus the ladies love a good foot message. He also said it's very good for a pregnant woman. " he stated with a shy smile.
She blushed and looked away when he said pregnant. Why? She had no ideal.
Quickly composing herself , she had something to do. So she would do it now.
"That's interesting. Very interesting." she stammered.
He nodded and said "I thought so. Fascinating stuff. Can't wait to try it."
That was the break she was waiting for.
"Really?" she asked trying not to sound too interested.
"Yup really. Instructor said practice makes perfect. So practice when we can he said. Although ... " he stopped and looked away. She knew what he was thinking about.
"Practice huh ?" she replied quickly. Deciding it really was now or never.
"Still need someone to practice on Beast Boy ?" she asked carefully looking into his eyes.
"Umm yeah ,,,, but you don't ..." he started to say before she cut him off.
"Then I would like to volunteer to be you test subject." she said plainly. Hope filling her being. The time he took to answer was agonizing.
"Ah no Rae .... it's ok. I know you don't like people touching you." he smiled that smile.
"It's OK Beast Boy. I would like to help you in this. Let me help you ..... please ?" she said in a sweet and honest voice. Her insides pleading that he accept her offer. Cause if he did ....
He looked shocked for a moment or two then his eyes brightened considerably. Those brilliant emerald eyes. He beamed that smile she was beginning to realize how much she needed to see from him. The joy was plain in his voice and mannerisms as he happily replied.
"That would be great Rae! Thank you ... for giving me a second chance. " that damned smile of his reached ear to ear. What's more it reached all the way into her soul.
"Don't mention it." she said. Although what she really wanted to say was ....
'No ... thank you for the second chance. I know don't deserve it , but I swear some day I hope I will.'
The pair walked off .... together into night. Into the unknown. Into the unseen future together.
AN: Here's alittle something I thought of before I wrote Night Moves. This had started off as an attempt at humor then turned into something a little more serious. Night Moves can about as a sortof chapter to this , but I decided to make it a seperate story. I'm actually thinking of doing this a trio of stories bases on the same topic and events leading into each other. Truthfully I'm not happy with the begining or ending , but it was the best I could come up with. So like many times before ... here it is.
Please read and enjoy. Is so inclined then leave a review. Thanks for reading!