The First, the Hint, the Clue, the Surprise, the Choice
Nothing happened between us; not then.
My emotions were straight-forward, broad, but hardly ever did I allow them to be deep.
Every feeling I ever felt was just one face of a die, constantly rolled, re-rolled, racked for safe-keeping. One moment I was calm, the next angry, the next accepting, maybe I was even tender. Once or twice. It's possible.
And he was always rolling that die.
We were dimensions apart, mentally. But we were friends. Of all the people I'd ever known, he was one of the closest. I wish that had been enough for him. (I wish I hadn't said his jokes were funny).
But then he was just a kid. Over the years I saw him conquer traitors and beasts. He's fallen and risen. He's given hope, freedom, and pennies.
But then he was just a kid.
Nothing happened between us; not then.
There's a lot more of us now. "Heroes" that is. We've saved the world a couple times now. But there will always be Us, the originals. I said I could be tender. And I felt tender that day, when there was the five of Us and the rest of them.
This was a couple years into it all. Time never ceases to amaze me. I should have prepared for it better. Cyborg's not much of a Teen Titan anymore. It's painful to see him accept this fact. Pain—that's new, I guess. The way I feel it now. Deeper. I've learned that deep pain results from sympathy.
And jealousy. I'm not shy with the word. I did say I was straight-forward.
Robin and Starfire are still together. And that's how it should be. But I can't help but feel tight and empty at seeing them together; they complement one another, they enjoy one another. There is something there, something so innocently and dangerously inviting. Surely, it is too strong of an emotion to logically want or need, but it's an emotion that I've longed to feel (again).
Then, there's the boy in question. He's become increasingly irritating because I can no longer call him 'boy.' I hardly ever have to scold him as much, or ask him to back off or be quiet, or anything. We're not dimensions apart anymore, and that's frightening.
I had a nightmare. It involved vulnerability and an improbable situation involving a green-skinned comrade.
That following day was a slow one. I managed my way into the Titans Tower Central, and I cleared away the nightmare with hot tea and a good book. Actually, I don't remember what the book was about, but it was dark and distracting.
When he came in, I didn't feel a thing. Relief.
He didn't notice my eyes, looking precariously over my book, as he came in, grabbed something to eat, and left. (He didn't greet me as much anymore, didn't ask me to go to gaudy events or listen to stale jokes).
What was it, about his walk and his smile, that made me feel more deeply than I usually allowed? I wasn't sure what I was feeling exactly, but it was a deep feeling all the same. My emotional roll could be summed up as: ?
And lately, the die he was rolling was filled with ?'s.
It happened. It. I didn't even know I had been bracing for It. But it came.
I was having real conversations with him now. They were sparse, but they were real. I finally accepted that he had grown up, and that acceptance left me with a sad smile across my—what? My soul? Did I have one of those?
That's the idiotic question that started the…mess. Somehow, I had gotten myself into a deep conversation with the normally light-hearted coach potato. And he surprised me with his answer, and I wasn't prepared for it:
"Raven, of course you have a soul. You're human, just like us, remember?"
His words seem so simple on paper! Do you realize what impact they had me?
I looked into the face of a young man who held the green, ever-shifting DNA for hundreds of thousands of animals. Animals. And he looked at me, with the confidence he had earned, with a smile that was genuine, and he told me to remember that he had a soul, and so did our alien princess and our brave leader and our half-machine genius and our daughter of a demon. In less details, in less words. But I'll never forget them, for they made me shudder. I realized many things that day.
This time I knew what was coming. I'd made a decision. I couldn't help but think of what might happen after the words had been said—what feelings I might become prey too, what time might do to whatever would bloom from the encounter. But I had matured over the years too. I had learned how to take risks.
I came to him, alone of course. My palms became slippery.
"Beast Boy," The name doesn't really suit him anymore—the tall, confident young man who has been proven a hero.
"Raven," he was solemn. I had predicted a smile, some sort of amiable mood I would have to break down. I should have expected that he'd know what I had come for. The past few days, the past few years had not passed without the first signs, the subtle hints, the tangible clues, the messy surprise of emotion.
I felt deep doubt. Questions I hadn't thought of suddenly barraged my mind; questions about Terra, about his preferences, about his plans. I was speechless, vulnerable.
"Hey Raven, I've got a new joke," He said suddenly. I couldn't look at him. He told me the joke anyway. It was predictable, but I enjoyed his voice, his attempts. I looked up slowly; I returned a smile to his soft expression.
"You've loosened up over the years," he said simply.
Suddenly, I told him things, lots of things. Much less calmly than I'm used to, than he's used to. They don't go according to plan, but they were real words and they were deep emotions.
I remembered an irritating kid, and almost smiled. I remembered the comrade that is difficult to call 'boy.' I remembered the passerby that gave me nightmares and made me feel new things. I remembered the friend who revitalized my soul.
Then I looked into the eyes of the man I ultimately fell in love with.
Out of all the people I have ever know, he knows he's one of the closest.
He took a step towards me. I sucked in a breath, and didn't get a chance to release it. His lips were over mine; my first kiss. It's not like I open myself up to 'love' or 'touch' very often.
I've learned that deep vulnerability results from ecstasy.
I allowed him to continue anyway.
Whoah, BBxRaven. I have to say—I like this one. It was very difficult to keep Raven in character. I hope things didn't get too cheesy, but even if it did, I'm okay with that. Love can be cheesy.
I really tried to develop this story; I started from where they were in the series, to after the series finale, and then years later when they're young adults, let's say.
Honestly, I support the BBRae coupling 100%, but I don't think they had a relationship or true romance during the show. There were hints, and clues, and there is definite potential, but that's it. And that's ok. I just always assume that BB and Rae will start a relationship when they are older, "less dimensions apart." And that is what this fic was for. And I'm proud of it. Of course, critiquing and whatnot is welcome. I hope you guys enjoy it!
P.S. The 'title' at the beginning refers to the 5 different sections of Raven's emotional development, and how she comes to love and choose Beast Boy. So the first section is called "The First," and the second is "The Hint," and so on.
And I'm super tired and I did a couple of spell, grammar, and sound checks, but if I missed something, point it out and refrain from shooting me.