Dedication: This one shot is dedicated to all of the people who have ever said one thing and totally meant another.
A One Shot
They were working on a thousand piece puzzle together when Raven figured it out.
She didn't really have the patience for puzzles, and at this point she was willing to just throw in the towel and leave, or just use her powers to put them all together just to get it over with. But she couldn't do that, she knew that. Beast Boy would never let her live it down.
Beast Boy, however, seemed to love making puzzles. In fact he was the one that asked her if she would make one with him. It seemed easy for him he would simply take a few pieces and fit them together when suddenly he would find the right one and smile as he added it to the big picture. Eventually Raven just stopped trying and began watching Beast Boy.
When he felt her gaze on him he looked up. "What?" he asked.
"How do you do that? It only took you three minutes to finish most of that corner, and I've been working for thirty minutes at least on finding the right piece to fit this one."
Beast Boy looked at the two pieces in Raven's hand and frowned. "Raven, look at those two pieces. Can't you tell why they're not fitting?"
Raven felt frustrated as she looked down. What was wrong with them? Should she just be able to look at a few pieces and be able to tell you whether or not they fit? "No," she said, confused.
"Look, they're not fitting together because they're too much alike. See, they both have a point in the middle of the piece. Of course they're not going to fit. But I'm pretty sure that they will be close to each other. See here." Beast Boy looked around the jumbled mess of pieces. "This one and this one will go together some way, I promise."
Raven felt skeptical, but she tried to fit them together. It took a couple of times, but she eventually got them to mesh together. "See?" he said. "Now you try." She looked around for a little bit before she found a piece and that looked like it might fit with the other piece that was in her hand. She tried, but once again they didn't fit.
"Why do you keep trying to fit pieces that are too much alike together? It's not going to work." he told her again. "Look," he picked up another piece, "see? They're total opposites but it can still work," he said, looking at her. Suddenly she wasn't so sure that he was talking about the puzzle anymore.
"Yeah, maybe they do, but that still doesn't make it right. That doesn't mean things will work with the pieces. You're not thinking about the big picture," she told him, looking him straight in the face. Beast Boy had been making not-so-subtle hints about him liking her and their going out, but each time she kept rejecting him kindly and in a way that wouldn't hurt his feelings. He didn't seem to take the hint, though, and kept asking. And she just kept saying no.
In truth, she was just scared. She didn't know what would happen if she started a relationship besides friendship with Beast Boy. How her emotions would react when she let them out in the open, for one thing. What would happen to the team if ever, heaven forbid, they broke up? What would she do without him being there for her anymore?
She didn't want to find out.
"Maybe the big picture doesn't matter as much as everyone thinks it does."
"You guys?" Cyborg called across the room pulling them out of their little bubble. Evidently they weren't the only people in the room anymore, but it had felt like it. "You do know that you're talking about a puzzle here, right?" He pulled up a chair and sat on the edge of the table opposite of the side that Raven and Beast Boy were sitting on.
"Yeah," they both mumbled, refusing to look at each other.
"Let me help, BB," he told Beast Boy, who just shrugged and continued put pieces together.
"Then you should know that every single piece matters to the big picture," he said as Raven shot Beast Boy a look. "But the pieces need to fit together just right. Raven, you're terrible at that, by the way," he pointed at all of the pieces that she had bent trying to get them to fit with the wrong partner. "It's kinda like Beast Boy was talking about. Even though pieces look like they'd fit better more often than not they won't." Cyborg gave both of them a knowing look and Raven suddenly realized that not even he wasn't talking about the stupid puzzle anymore! Wasn't this what that was supposed to be about? Puzzles, not relationships, was what this conversation started at, but not evidently anymore.
"But wouldn't it be better," she argued, crossing her arms over her chest, "if they at least were similar a little bit? I mean, I know I'm not exactly good at puzzles but come on."
"No," Cyborg said. "Just because they don't look similar at first glance they're more alike than you'd think Raven. Look," he pointed to the two pieces that Beast Boy had put together before he had joined them. "They have basically the same part here, can't you tell?" He picked them up and ran his finger along the jagged edge. Raven looked closely. They did indeed have the same indention, which was hard for her to believe that she hadn't noticed that earlier.
"They have to have something that's the same for them to fit perfectly. Otherwise they might never work. Look, these two pieces over here don't look anything alike. Not even a little bit. And they don't fit together. Try," he told her. She obliged and realized that they didn't fit at all.
"Who said that the two pieces even are alike. Maybe it seems like they do, but they don't at all," she said forsaking the puzzle. They all knew exactly what they were talking about, and it sure as heck wasn't puzzles.
"Yeah they do!" Beast Boy said suddenly. "Of course they do. You're the only one that just can't see it. Maybe that's why you're not good a puzzles, Raven. You can't see what's right in front of you."
"Maybe I don't want to be good at puzzles! Have you ever thought of that?" she shot back at him, watching as his face took on a shocked look. Cyborg raised his eyebrows.
"You should practice then," Cyborg told her. "And what's a better way to practice than with a friend?" he asked her.
Cyborg had a point there. Why shouldn't she try this with Beast Boy and not someone else? He was a super hero, just like her, and they had been through a lot together, much of which had brought them closer together than she would have ever thought. But this was Beast Boy. But wasn't this exactly why they were even having this conversation at all? Because it was Beast Boy?
"Why are you just focusing on me? Cyborg has only done one puzzle, and his was really old!" she added. Raven didn't like the way they were both ganging up on her. It was almost like they had been planning this or something.
Cyborg looked at her coldly. "That's because I haven't found another puzzle to practice on. But you, on the other hand, have all of the pieces you need right in front of you."
"So you're saying that just because I have the pieces in front of me that I should just put them together or practice or whatever?"
"Yes! Of course you should!" Beast Boy exclaimed. "Why wouldn't you?"
Raven wanted to hit herself. Of course he would say that. She sighed. "I don't know. Maybe you guys are right. But what if I'm scared that I'm still not able to do puzzles?" she asked softly.
"Why would you be scared? They're just puzzles. They happen all the time."
"Oh, I don't know." She was suddenly becoming angry, and she wasn't exactly sure why. Was it maybe because they were hitting so close to home? "You two have no room to talk. Especially you, Beast Boy. The one puzzle that you had almost killed us all, and then you were still tried to put it back together again. Even though clearly none of the pieces fit! And you, Cyborg. You talk about not having the pieces in front of you, but have you even bothered to look?" Raven was getting angrier and angrier with each word that she said.
Raven sent a black aura around all of the puzzle and watched as they all straightened back up and neatly fit into each other. "Look! I did a puzzle, I did a puzzle."
"You cheated, though," Beast Boy said, frowning down at the completed picture of Jump City in puzzle form.
"I cheated did I?" she asked as she drew another black aura around the puzzle. She made all of the the pieces scatter. "There. Have fun picking up your pieces," she said as she ran up the stairs to the roof to cool off.
She could hear Starfire through the walls softly say, "Why is Raven getting so upset about a puzzle?"
Raven was angry, she could feel it as she watched the sun go down over the horizon from the Titan's Tower. She calmed herself down quickly, though, after she realized that her anger was extremely irrational and unfounded.
Even as she calmed herself down she could see the two of them telling her to try and take a few risks. Make a few puzzles, relationships, chances...
She put her chin in her hands and leans forward, sighing. What a day.
She felt a presence behind her and she knew it was him. He was the only one that would dare to come up here after she had just blown something up.
"What do you want, Beast Boy?" she asked, not even bothering to turn around.
"Look," he said, and then he paused. "I'm sorry, me and Cyborg are both really sorry about what happened back there Raven. Cyborg would have come up here and apologized too, but I figured that you wouldn't really want to see him after what went down today."
Raven didn't say anything and he came and sat down next to her. Right next to her. She could smell him, despite what she had told him when they were younger about smelling like a dog he actually smelled kind of good. His leg was so close to hers that she felt acutely aware of it and it felt like it was radiating an energy of its own.
"So... do you forgive me?" he asked earnestly, a slight smile on his face.
"Yes," she said finally after several seconds of making him wait. "I totally over reacted, and for that I apologize too."
"I know we kind of pushed you a little bit about the whole puzzle and relationship thing, or whatever you wanted to call that stupid conversation we had down there, but," he paused once again and Raven wanted to scream at him to get on with it. She could feel all of the emotions pouring out of him, and herself, but she wanted him to be the one to say it, especially after he was the one who pushed the matter.
"I really like you, Raven, and I know that you know it too. I know you're probably kinda freaked out about it though, so I asked Cy to see if he could help... I don't know. Persuade you I guess. So yeah." Beast Boy rubbed the back of his neck and looked at the sunset, as if worried about her reaction.
Raven took a deep breath. "I really like you too, Beast Boy," she told him and watched as his eyes lit up considerably.
"So would you like to go to a movie with me this Saturday?" he asked excitedly, and he grinned widely when she nodded.
"I'd like that. I'd like it a lot," she told him, and smiled gently.
"So... would you like to go finish that puzzle now?" he asked, his eyes turning a mischievous shade.
Raven smacked him.
A/N: Well, certainly not my best work, but definitely not my worst. I just needed something light right now as Raven's Smile gets ever darker. I also apologize for the length, but it was supposed to be the first in a series of BB/Rae drabbles that I was working on, but it exploded. Le sigh, my one-shots never turn out the way I want them to...