When she realised that Raven was not in her room, Starfire turned to leave, but noticed that Raven's desk lamp was still switched on. Not wanting to waste energy, she floated over to turn it off. But the open pad on the desk caught her eye. She gasped, lifted the pad and flew to the common room.
"Eat that, Tin Can!" Beast Boy yelled, fingers flying over the buttons.
"Oh no you don't grass stain!" Cyborg retorted, stabbing the buttons viciously.
"I've got news for both of you: you're both crap!" Robin shouted as his car overtook the other two and crossed the line first.
"YES!" he shouted, hands in the air. He turned back to the other two boys.
"And that, gentlemen, is why they call me the Boy Wonder." He said proudly, leaping up and standing on the sofa victoriously. Cyborg raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah? And this is why WE call you Boy Blunder!" he shouted, and grabbed hold of Robin's leg, pulled it, and sent him crashing to the floor, landing unceremoniously on his rear end. Beast Boy started laughing, clutching his ribs, at the sight of Robin's surprised face.
The door whooshed open and Starfire flew in happily.
"Look friends! Look what I have found in Raven's room!" she beamed, setting the pad on the coffee table for them all to look at.
"You took this from Raven's room?" Robin asked slowly. Starfire smiled at him.
"I went to turn her light off and saw this. I looked through it and it is simply marvellous! You must see!" she said happily.
Beast Boy opened the sketchpad to the first page and gaped. It was a beautiful drawing of a city, buildings made of white and sand-coloured stone. A large temple was central on the page, with tall towers and ornate pillars at the top of the stone steps. It had no colour; it had been drawn with just pencil, delicately shaded, making everything realistic.
"This must be Azarath." Cyborg said quietly. He turned the next few pages and they saw that they were all drawings of parts of Azarath; buildings and landscapes. Robin turned to the seventh page. It was the first portrait that they had seen in the book.
And it was Beast Boy.
He was sitting at the breakfast table, tofu bacon and eggs in front of him, a glass of soy milk at his side. His mouth was open as though he was talking animatedly with someone across the table. Every facial feature, every expression line was drawn perfectly, and captured Beast Boy's lively personality.
"This is good." Cyborg said quietly. Beast Boy shook his head.
"No, it's brilliant! Who knew Raven could draw?!" he said, turning the next page.
The next picture was Starfire, and this image was taken from, the boys assumed, one of Raven and Starfire's girl nights. Unlike Beast Boy's portrait, which was upper body, Starfire's was full body. She was wearing a short nightdress and her hair had been curled. She held a hairbrush in her right hand and looked as though she was singing into it. Her eyes were bright and a large smile was on her face.
The real Starfire blushed at her picture and turned the page.
This page had a sketch of both Cyborg and Robin, playing on the Gamestation. Cyborg had that intense look on his face when he was determined, and Robin was standing up and leaning forward, his hands looking as though he was punching the buttons ferociously.
As the Titans flicked through the book, many pictures held their gaze for several moments. Beast Boy laughing and clutching his ribs, tears running down his cheeks; Starfire smiling, her gaze fixed on an oblivious Robin; Cyborg in the garage with his 'baby'; a cute kitten; a cheetah; Robin in a fighting stance; an eagle.
"I think the animals are you, B" Cyborg said, nudging the changeling with his elbow.
"Cut it out! No they're not." Beast Boy said in denial.
"But where else would friend Raven get the picture of these animals in her mind?" Starfire asked.
"Um, the internet, maybe?" Beast Boy retorted. Robin shook his head.
"Have you ever seen Raven on the computer?" he pressed.
"No." Beast Boy muttered. "But she knows what the animals looked like. She drew them from her memories."
"But she knows what we look like, and she drew memories of us, very well. And the positions we were in were real…" Starfire said. Cyborg grinned.
"You mean you normally dance around in your pyjamas singing into a hairbrush?" he asked. Starfire frowned at him.
"Of course." Her serious reply refrained Cyborg from laughing.
"Anyway," Robin continued. "The animals must be you. There's only three of you in your normal form, the rest are just us and some animals. They are you." He concluded.
Cyborg nudged Beast Boy again.
"Raven likes you likes you!" he joked.
"Shut UP!" Beast Boy yelled. "The animals are not me, Raven doesn't like me, she can't like me cos she can't FEEL!"
"They are you." Came a quiet monotone voice behind them. The four Titans froze and turned around as if in slow motion. Raven was standing behind them. When she realised they were all staring at her, she pulled her hood up, but not before the others noticed the look of hurt on her face. She raised a hand and used her power to levitate the sketchbook away from them and into her arms. She clutched it to her chest, turned round and left the common room.
Silence fell upon the others. Beast Boy looked like he was going to kill himself. At least, before the others did.
"How could you say that about friend Raven!" Starfire said, with what some could say was actually anger. Then she turned and left too, leaving the boys on their own.
"Hey, think they're both PMSing or something?" Cyborg laughed. Robin frowned at him.
"If you hadn't have irritated Beast Boy, he wouldn't have shouted that out, and Raven wouldn't have come in and heard it." He said, keeping his voice level.
"Don't blame ME!" Cyborg said loudly. "I didn't actually say it!"
"You're right. You didn't. It was me." Beast Boy muttered, and sloped off.
Beast Boy reached Raven's room, took a deep breath, then turned into a fly and squeezed through the gap under her door.
Once in, Beast Boy sat on the wall, watching Raven, who was at her desk. She was looking at the pictures herself, a pencil in her free hand tapping hard on the desk.
"How stupid can I be?" she muttered angrily. "I should know better than to leave personal things lying around." She turned to a clean page and began to draw.
Beast Boy flew over to her and sat on the hood of her cloak, peering over her shoulder and watching. And to his relief, he went unnoticed.
Raven's pencil skimmed across the page, lightly sketching rough outlines. Appearing happy with those, she went over them harder, fixing them and adding detail.
Half an hour later, she put the pencil down, finally finished. She stood up and went towards her door, and Beast Boy flew from her shoulder and landed on the desk. Once the door closed behind her, he morphed into his normal form and sat on the chair, admiring the picture with his normal eyes.
Raven had drawn Beast Boy again, this time he stood beside Raven herself. They stood together in the middle of the page. On Raven's side of the picture were drawings of Azarath, little snapshots of different places. Beast Boy's side of the page was a menagerie of animals; an elephant, T-Rex, pterodactyl, tiger, cheetah, snake, dog, and the cute little kitten.
"Like it?" came a quiet voice behind him. He whirled round in surprise and found Raven standing there, cradling a cup of tea in her hands.
Not trusting himself to speak, he simply nodded. Finding courage deep within him, he started to apologise.
"Raven, I'm sorry for what I said, I didn't mean it. I really didn't."
She put her cup on the desk and went over to her bookcase. Using her powers, she pulled another large sketchbook from the top shelf and levitated it over to him. Beast Boy laid it on the desk and opened it.
The first page was him playing the Gamestation; the next was him lying in the sun by the pond in the park.
As he turned the pages, he realised something.
There were no other Titans in this book, no landscapes.
Raven sat quietly on the end of her bed, looking at the floor. Beast Boy turned to her.
"These are me." he said simply. She nodded.
"But, they're ALL me." she nodded again. Beast Boy frowned.
"Was Cyborg right about what he said earlier?" he asked curiously. Raven caught his gaze for a second, then looked back at the floor.
"Yes." She said quietly. Beast Boy nearly fell off the chair in shock.
"You… like… me?" she nodded.
"I wouldn't draw you that much if I didn't." she muttered. "And the animals are you. I drew them because the book in your hands was the one I finished first. That's why there are hardly any animals of you in that one." Beast Boy grinned.
"You like me!" he said happily. Raven rolled her eyes.
"I thought we'd covered that."
"Can I…" he started, motioning to the book of drawings with him. Raven smiled slightly.
"You can have it if you like." She said.
"Thanks Rae!" he bounded towards the door, the book in his arms. Once at the door, he turned to face her.
"For what it's worth, I like you too. Wanna go get pizza later? Just us?" he asked. Raven looked at him, to see if he was serious. When she knew he was, she allowed her smile to get a little bigger.
"I'd love to." She replied. Beast Boy winked at her then left. Raven fell back on her bed.
"If I knew that was all I had to do to show him my feelings, I would have left that book out long ago."