Eventually Cyborg and Beast Boy got tired of being pummeled in the face with dirty socks, and all three agreed to call it an overall draw (though Raven had yet to be hit by either of them). The boys were heading up to grab a midnight snack and play some video games [read: recover their manly dignity]. They invited the Stankball Queen along, but she declined, waving her very own stanky crown for them to go, saying she needed to mediate. They let her go, though the jokes they were still cracking as they left were slightly undercut by the question in both pairs of eyes: Will you be okay?

Worry about me and I'll castrate you, her own eyes replied, so the two male Titans gladly sped off down the hall, racing each other to the elevator.

Now that she was alone, Raven began to attempt to come to terms with the day; to accept what had happened and leave no unnecessary feelings to affect her in the future. Today was going to be especially difficult. The fact that she had allowed herself to be distracted by playing a game, and actually had fun was a testament to that fact. There was a lot of shame and embarrassment, and those were hard to tuck away. She had put a child in danger, put all her friends—not to mention their home—in danger, all because she had been enough of a fool to trust the flattering words of a stranger from a storybook. She burned in shame. Wasn't she supposed to be able to sense things? Shouldn't she have known he was lying to her? Was she that weak?

Which brought her to her other glaring embarrassment of the night.

She had initiated physical contact—with Beast Boy of all people—and he had pushed her away. Her cheeks flamed abruptly, and she redoubled her focus on her mantra. She could go all the way into her mind (to the place Cyborg had jokingly dubbed "Nevermore"), but the idea of facing judgment from the brutally honest pieces of herself after a day of blunders like this was too much.

She didn't have a complete handle on her empathetic abilities yet, but she had been so sure—the way he acted around her, combined with the foggy glimpses of his feelings—she had been sure the changeling felt something for her beyond casual friendship. Of course, such feelings could only end badly; there was no way she could be allowed to reciprocate, and even if she could—"Azarath. Metrion. Zinthos."—She didn't allow herself to finish that thought.

But then he had showed such maturity—and in her defense, she had been in an extremely vulnerable state—she had allowed herself to give him a little bit of hope that his efforts weren't in vain.

And he had rejected it.

But there was no reason why that should bother her, Raven lectured herself. She was a half-demon with unstable emotionally based powers, and even if she could afford to reciprocate such feelings, there was no way… Beast Boy, of all people! Her silly infatuation with Aqualad had been bad enough. So maybe she was wrong, and he didn't have a crush on her. That was fine. No, that was definitely good. The only thing that should bother her was that she had been wrong. She very much did not like being wrong, that was true. But if today had taught her anything, it was when to be humble. She had been wrong about plenty of things today, and compared to the rest, this was relatively small. So it shouldn't bother her.

But still…

it did.