Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans. Sadly.
Green and Purple Go So Well
"Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again."
I never really know what to think of that song. It's by James Taylor, and it was one of the songs that helped him become famous as a musician, and it's the 227th best song ever according to Rolling Stone, but sometimes I like to listen to it and sometimes I want to smash the radio into a million pieces (which would be rather easy, honestly). Maybe it's because sometimes you're only listening to the melody and the acoustic guitar, and then other times you're actually identifying with this poor guy who's gone through everything and anything and he's just kind of hoping for a little relief, just for once, anything to get away from all the shit he's had to deal with.
No, wait, that's not you, that's me. I'm sorry I imposed that on you, but my feelings are kind of all over the place. And that's not exactly a good thing for me, either; if you have chaotic, puberty-driven feelings, you can just piss off at other people and maybe say or do some things you regret, but everyone else can just roll their eyes and say, 'Teenagers, what are you gonna do?' When I have that, I need to meditate, or else shit starts blowing up, among other things. It's not easy, I'm telling you. It sucks to have a demon as a dad, really, really bad.
And this day, it sucked to listen to James Taylor strum his guitar, as I sat in my room, cross-legged on the bed and contemplating things to myself. My book sat on the pillow, curiously untouched; this was against the norm, and I would've sworn that the novel would be greatly perplexed, if it could communicate (which has happened before, believe me). But why? Why was I sitting alone, trying ineffectively to stifle my own conflicted emotions? I'll tell you why; I had a (don't mock me dear God or I will hurt you) little… crush.
There, I said it.
And with who was I infatuated? Not that dick Rorek (or, rather, Malchior), for sure; his ruse was over for good, and I would think twice before falling in love with a purportedly benevolent mage stuck in a book. Aqualad? Heh. He was attractive, yeah, sure, but Titans East had their own thing going on, and I was pretty sure he was interested in other girls. Cyborg… more of a big brother, really; and Robin was my friend. A very good friend, yes, I'll admit that, but just friends, sorry, no love involved. So who is left, hmm? Who is contestant number five, hidden behind the curtain, out of sight but not out of mind? If you say Starfire, you're really goddamn funny, but no, I'm not lesbian, so sorry.
God help me, it's the annoying green kid with a gigantic grin plastered on his face half the time; the one that makes all the worst jokes, the one that plays those stupid video games like his life depends on it, the one who eats tofu, the one who shape-shifts… yeah, that idiot Beast Boy. Figures, huh? We were somewhere in the zone of hatred when we first met, I'll admit it; he was being a dumbass for most of the time, though, so I at least have some semblance of reason. You can give me that, at least. But after venturing into my fragmented mind and saving me from a mutated monstrosity, along with some well-needed comfort after that dragon dick tricked me, we became friends. Not best friends, sure, but friendly enough.
And then I had to walk by his room this morning. Screw me and my luck, but I did, and I heard what they were saying inside.
"Dude, check out her legs!"
"Yeaaaaaaaah, she is fine, dog!" Cyborg said, ogling the picture. The Japanese chick was bent over, smiling at the photographer as she showcased her ass. She wasn't nude, no no, there were panties, but it was still a great picture, and she was probably the hottest girl I'd ever seen, despite being only a picture. "Why were you holding out, man? I didn't know you were such a…"
I shot him a look, wielding the rest of the collection with conviction (if he called me a pervert, he wasn't going to see the rest of the beautiful women I'd accumulated, simple enough).
"…collector," he finished, grinning slightly. I laughed and set them down for shared viewing.
"Check it out; I think I have a hot chick from every corner of the world, not even kidding, dude." Cyborg sifted through the photos; Russian, Irish, Chilean, and Turkish seemed to interest him the most. Personally, I find the Asian models to be the hottest, but, you know, it's all relative, really.
"BB, I can't believe you've been holding out with such good shit, man!" he cried, holding up a cowgirl sitting suggestively on a horse with minimal clothing. I shrugged, leaning back against the wall. My bedroom was where we viewed these… masterpieces; I couldn't dare to bring them out in the open, where Robin could smirk or Star could ask awkward questions or Raven could throw in a sarcastic remark. I looked up at the ceiling, grasping the innocent-looking Chinese woman in a schoolgirl uniform; speaking of the other Titans…
"Cyborg," I said, looking still up at the ceiling.
"Yeah?" he replied; I could see him studying another picture out of the corner of my eye. He muttered a little 'Booyah' to himself and picked up another.
"Do you think… who do you think is hot? Of all the Titans?" At this, Cyborg looked away from his picture, considering me with an air of uncertainty.
"Uh… well, all the Titan girls we have are amazingly hot, really. I mean… there's Bumblebee… and Jinx… and Wonder Girl… and even our own Starfire and Raven. A whole bunch of booyahs, you feel me?"
"Yeah, I guess." Silence. It was on my mind, but I couldn't bring it up entirely on my own, for whatever reason. It annoyed me and disgruntled Cyborg, I'm sure, but I couldn't bring myself to say it.
"You're crushing, man," Cyborg said finally, and I nodded sadly. I'm not much of a serious person, but I couldn't find a way to laugh at my own feelings, for the first time in my life. "Who? Star? You know Robin's got dibs like nobody's business, right?"
I hung my head. "I know that, all right, but it isn't her, man. I mean, don't get me wrong, she's good-looking, but… not her, dude. Not her." Cyborg leaned back, thought about it… I could see the thoughts running through his head, him contemplating all of the possible options… and then he popped up, suddenly alert, grinning from ear to ear.
"No way," he said, never dropping the smile.
"Way," I replied honestly.
"BB! You're screwing with me, aren't you? This is a bad joke, man, a really bad joke, you better drop it now."
"I'm not screwing with you man… this is pretty much as legit as Terra. I like Raven, Cy." Once again, neither of us dared to say anything. Was I putting him on the spot? Sure, no doubt about it, but, he was my friend, and I needed some input from someone else on how to deal with… well, myself, for one.
"Irony's a bitch," he laughed heartily. I flipped him off with the smallest hint of a smile playing across my face. "How long, BB, really? I can only assume that you're telling the truth, bro."
I puffed up my cheeks and let out a long breath. "I don't know. A while, I guess? I always thought she was hot, sure, but now I actually like her… I don't know, I think it's for what kind of person she is, you know what I mean? It's like… opposites attract, or something. She's my foil. I think it makes it more fun or something to imagine, I don't know."
"You really dig her, don't you?" Cyborg said, never dropping his smile. He was kind of laughing at me, sure, but I'd totally expected it, actually; still, like I said, I really needed to get it off my chest, and neither Robin nor Starfire seemed to have any promise in keeping my secret (no offense to either of them, but I trusted Cy a lot, lot, lot more, there, I said it).
"Yeah, man," I breathed, imagining her image onto my ceiling: her hair, violet and short and shiny… I'd always liked it; her crystal, adorned on her forehead and somehow making her all that more attractive; her eyes, purple and full of intelligence; her mouth, usually pulled into a slight frown and so goddamn kissable; her grey skin, kinda freaky but all the more what made Raven, Raven; her body, long and limber and sexy… yeah, maybe I am a pervert, but, hey, you live somewhere with someone of the opposite sex for a while and try not to start fantasizing even a little, especially when you live with what are probably the two most perfect examples of beauty (like me, ha ha) in the world. Don't shoot the sheriff, you know what I mean?
"Hey, just promise you won't slip tongue on the first date, all right?" Cy smirked, acting out French-kissing with the air.
"Aw, shut up, man! I've got to get her to go on a date, anyway; I need to know if she's… interested at all, you know? There's no point if I'm going to just end up with another unrequited love again."
"Again?" Cyborg said. I didn't want to go into it anyway, but my ears perked up; I could hear the footsteps hurrying away from the door, like someone had been listening and didn't dare to eavesdrop any longer.
"You hear that?" I said, rising to my feet carefully.
"Um… no?" Cy answered, clearly puzzled. I shushed him and sped toward the door, hoping to possibly catch the culprit red-handed (who could it have been? I thought Star almost immediately, no offense to her in any way). The hallway, however, was empty on either side, and I sniffed disdainfully at the air. I couldn't smell anything really, except Robin's sweat from working out in the gym (it was far away, sure, but having animalistic senses… boy, did it reek). Silently, I shut the door.
That was me. That was I. I was the one lurking at the door; I came in around where Beast Boy asked Cyborg who he thought was hot. At first… it was just to snoop so I could rib them later, if needed… then, when I realized the conversation was turning toward me, I was practically glued to the door. I thought Beast Boy was going to spill his heart out… that was why I ran off; I was trying to respect his privacy, in lieu of my previous intrusion, but, still, I was more than happy to melt into the shadows when he poked his head out the door to try and catch me. Luck, luck, sheer dumb luck.
And what were they doing presently? I didn't know; I was done with espionage, at least for the day, and my room seemed like the only refuge for my emotions. Usually, I would've been levitating, but I didn't dare to do much magic, instead chanting my mantra over and over and over again while James Taylor was allowed to tear out my heart on the radio. Why hadn't I shut it off? Too busy meditating. Meditating and thinking, very, very hard.
"Azarath… Metrion… Zinthos…" I murmured. Why am I freaking out, you say; what's wrong with having a little crush on somebody who you, coincidentally, just found out returns those very same feelings? Well, that's just it. All this time, I'd gone on thinking that Beast Boy wouldn't be returning the sentiment, really. Love/hate relationship? Sure, why not, that summed us up to a T; I certainly hadn't made it easy for me to gain his affection. But that was just how I was. Am. Whatever. To hear those words come out of his mouth, though, in the safety and secrecy of privacy with his best friend… that had to mean something, definitely, unquestionably, without a doubt, and that scared the living shit out of me, in a way I'd never known before.
I was afraid of love, more or less, and it embarrassed me to no end that I had to meditate with all my might to bring it back into balance. But don't you understand? I'd never really had a relationship before, never been able to reel in some poor bastard for a good few months of boyfriend/girlfriend bliss before one of us pissed off each other to a point where we would call of the whole thing, and here the opportunity stood, staring me straight in the face. First date? A first date? What the hell was I going to do? Say yes? Say maybe? Goddamnit, I was falling apart all too easily in the face of possible romance; it was almost disgraceful, in a self-esteem sort of way.
"Azarath… Metrion… Zinthos…" I repeated over and over under my breath. Relax, relax. Breathe deeply. Be calm… collected… cool.
He thought I was hot. Hot.
Exasperated, I elected instead to collapse onto my bed; the book I should've been reading bounced off and deftly knocked into the radio, shifting from James Taylor to the Banshees. Much more my style. What song was it, Kiss Them for Me? I couldn't remember. I relaxed against the bed; my cape was thrown onto the bedpost, hanging innocently and looking almost like it retained life by itself, while I stretched out comfortably. Was I troubled? Sure. But why not get comfortable? It was late; did I forget to mention that? I think I did. But yeah, it was almost time to go to bed, so why not just sleep off the turmoil in my head? It sounded like a good idea to me, at least. And, pretty soon, I was dozing off, the radio fading away into complete silence.
I had a dream that night; I don't have dreams that often, I don't think I have much of a capacity for the regular nonsensical dreams regular people have, but maybe it was because of the rather strong feelings I was experiencing, I don't know, either way it involved Beast Boy and me. All I know is, it started with flying microwaves and ended with him and me doing some rather adult things in a massive heart-shaped bed. I woke up blushing heavily and wishing away the image away with all my might, but it didn't work that well, regrettably. Still, there was a new day to look forward to with (appropriately) some tiny semblance of fear and anticipation. Would he make the move? I could only wonder.
I was going to make the move. I'd woken up that morning knowing it, I'd put on my outfit knowing it, I'd looked at my reflection in the mirror knowing it, smiling and nodding to my own reversed image. I didn't know how I knew, but I knew that this day had the prospect of a yes to my all-important question; I knew this day would be mystically-inclined towards the blooming of romance… that or I was just a goddamn fool. But, hey, I could work with that; I was being a giddy dumbass that morning, my heart was beating hard with expectation, and the possibilities of what could happen during the date were swimming in my head.
But how? How could I approach her? It wasn't like we held many of the same interests (or any at all, sadly enough); I couldn't even dare to attempt planning a date while playing video games or anything remotely that geeky, because I had absolutely no doubt she would deny me faster than France surrendered to the Nazis. Maybe trying to just talk to her would work. Oh, you know, the usual casual courting: "Oh, hey Raven, I didn't see you standing there! How are you? Good, good, me too, me too… um, hey, Raven, I was thinking… I mean, I don't know if you would want to… I don't know, um… maybe, sort of… if-if you wanted to… go on a little… um, go on a little date? Yeah, you heard me right, a… a date. You… you can stop laughing now." That giddy, unrealistic feeling of being so confident she would say yes flew away very quickly, I'm sad to say. But, still, I'd committed myself to finally getting enough balls to ask her, to actually say it instead of just imagining the situation, to go for broke and see what could come of taking that crucial chance. No backing down now.
And I hadn't even left my room. Am I bit fanciful? Sure, why not. I slid the door open, strode out into the hallway humming happily with my eyes closed, and accidentally walked into the wall heading toward the main room; luckily enough, nobody was there to capture my idiocy, but, still, I nonchalantly walked in on everybody in the main room blushing lightly and trying desperately not to reveal my own embarrassment. It was the usual stations for everybody: Cyborg, racing digital cars on the screen with wild abandon, absorbed in the video game; Robin sitting nearby, checking maintenance on his weapons and gadgets (kid never could get his mind off of work, Jesus); Starfire, floating about and tending to Silkie (I think it was a good thing for her that I stole it away with me, don't you?); me, of course, up way later than pretty much everyone else; and Raven, absorbed in a book and obscured by her hood. She looked calm and composed, as always. Her legs were crossed, resting nakedly on the coffee table, and even in the early rays of sunlight in the morning, I couldn't help but think she looked stunning, honestly. But I needed to be calm… smooth… casual. I played at looking for food in the refrigerator a bit, electing to pull out some tofu bacon (ah, the wonders of vegetarians finding ways to replicate food are endless and delightful for me) and chew on it thoughtfully. I plopped on the couch next to Cy, sinking into the cushions.
"Astro-Racers III?" I said, eyeing the TV screen. Cyborg lifted up the controller with the movements of the car, totally engrossed.
"Yeaaaaah, buddy! The real-time mechanics are phenomenal, bro. You want to co-op?"
"Nah, I'm good, man," I replied, trying to sound cool. Why? Who would care? Raven wouldn't, for sure; she was captivated by her book, never even daring to so much as throw me a look when I'd plunked down on the couch. I was being incredibly stupid, and I knew it… but, then again, I'd always been that way, so what was the problem, really?
I bit into the tofu bacon, regretting not running it through the microwave but refusing to rise from my spot. I was going to figure out how to approach Raven, one way or another. Like that Blondie song! You know… one waaaaaay or another… I'm gonna getcha… no? Sorry, my bad.
"Good morning, Friend Beast Boy! I did not see your entrance, so busy was I with my bumgorf," Star said, hovering off and smiling warmly. Silkie wriggled in her arms; he was… I don't know… our mascot? Either way, no one could resist his babyish cuteness; even Raven had I soft spot for him… I think.
"Good morning, Starfire... and Silkie. He's looking lively today, isn't he?" She nodded happily and clutched him closer, like a mother would her child. "Oh, hey, wait, I've got a joke for you, actually; why is a raven like a writing desk?"
She floated in the air for a few moments, thinking hard and looking up at the ceiling like it held the answers, before she turned back to me and shook her head slowly. "I do not comprehend why a raven compares to a desk of writing, friend."
"Because they both have inky quills!" I finished, grinning toothily. Starfire paused for a moment, contemplating the answer in her head, and then giggled uncontrollably, causing even Silkie to mimic her laughter. She never had any idea what any of my jokes meant (and that one was really a riddle), but she always laughed anyway. I never thought it was all that forced, either; it was her way of making me feel good, that was how I always saw it. Robin threw a blind glance up from his gadgets for a moment, then immediately went back to work, and Cy merely kept his attention on his video game. Raven, however, had lowered her book, and I could feel her gaze on me. Trying to be as blasé as possible, I "by accident" caught eye contact with Raven and found, surprisingly, that she seemed to be smiling the tiniest bit.
"What?" I said, sounding somewhat defensive on purpose, but in a humorous way. The tiny almost-smile managed to stay the same even when she spoke.
"I know where that's from." Raven's voice was monotone and gravelly all the time, something I'd learned to get used to after spending so much time together as a team, but, still, it had the tone of subtle wonder.
"Oh, yeah?" I replied, turning my body so it faced towards her, almost expectantly. This was at least getting somewhere, right? I thought so… hell, I felt so.
"Yeah. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter Seven; Mad Hatter says it to Alice. You should've said 'I haven't the slightest idea,'" she said, folding her hands over her book. Was that it, sitting right in front of her? I couldn't see from my angle, sorry to say; still, I smiled wide and put my hand behind my head coyly.
"Yeah, I guess so, huh? I'm not being true to the source, hahaha," I laughed. She blinked, and the little smile increased the tiniest bit, I'm proud to say. She said nothing in response, though, and the conversation died too fast to be even remotely fair. What could I say? How could I do this? I never thought about talking usually, it just sort of fell out of my mouth like a waterfall, but with the ulterior motive in my head, I couldn't find words. It was an alien experience, very confusing, very frightening, and I needed to break it as soon as possible. Before Raven could get her hands around her book and disappear back into it, I cleared my throat. Again, she caught my eye. Hers were so beautiful.
"Hey… Rae?" I said. I knew that Robin and Cyborg were definitely too involved in themselves to be listening, but Starfire was liable to be snooping, if only a little bit. I tried to guard my voice, but it had shakiness to it, it revealed too much. Her face was unreadable. What was on her mind? I didn't know, couldn't, not even if my life depended on it.
"Yes, Beast Boy?" Again, monotone, indecipherable; Raven probably held the title as the most mysterious person I'd ever met in my entire life.
"I—" I started. And you know what happened? Guess my luck, try it, please, because it tortures me to no end; that stupid alarm blasted off. The red lights started turning. We had to go and save somebody's sorry ass from God-knows-who, another one of those criminally-inclined freaks from our expansive rouge gallery. Couldn't have chosen a better time to decide to rob a bank, huh? Well, I knew what I was going to do to whoever decided to break our crime-free streak of vacationing; I was going to kick… his… ASS. Try getting beat up by a green gorilla, it is NOT fun, I know how powerful being one is and I can tell you that already.
I would have to find another way to ask her out. Perfect, just perfect.
I had a feeling he was trying to catch my attention. Just a gut feeling, you know? Why not humor him and respond, give him a chance to ask that all-important question? I'd been waiting for it rather eagerly until the alarm sounded off, drawing us all away from our morning routines (and the one relatively promising exception). Who was it? Our friend Johnny Rancid, that motorcycle-riding asshole, who was apparently now demon spawn (oh, Larry, you and your reality-bending finger). He was doing something that related to blowing up a bridge, something like that; frankly, I didn't care enough to bother, instead focusing on beating him down to a point where he could be incapacitated by the police force.
I don't know if it was machination by Beast Boy or somebody else (I don't really think so, nobody's that conniving on the Titans), but when it came time to select who would wait around with the unconscious bastard, it was me and him who stayed behind, the rest of our friends running off to do what as they pleased. Rancid moaned from the ground; I kicked him in the side apathetically.
"Quiet, you," I said. Beast Boy laughed at this. Good, good, breaking the tension was good.
"Don't you think they should find something better to do with their lives?" Beast Boy said, smiling at the horizon. I looked in that direction, as well; it seemed cop cars were arriving, although they were quite a bit far-away from where we stood.
"Villains? Yes, I believe so entirely. They only come around to bother us, it seems."
"Hahaha! Yeah, that's pretty much it, Rae. How sad is that? We're the reason they have anything to do during the day."
"Rather sad, actually," I conceded. Was he trying to get me laugh? He wasn't telling me jokes the way he usually did. I liked his jokes… I mean, yeah, I always ribbed him for his crummy jokes, but it was that aspect of his personality I liked the most. I kind of hated myself whenever I put him down for it, truthfully, but it was a vicious cycle I couldn't remove myself from. Still, I had to remain calm; all this self-examination was raising doubt, and I really didn't want things to start spontaneously combusting, especially at what could be such a crucial time. Plus, the silence was unsettling. Last time, I'd left him up to breaking it, though. I figured it was my turn this time.
"Beast Boy." He turned from the horizon, looking at me. It looked like his eyes were shining, foolishly enough of me. "Weren't you about to say something to me before we had to beat him to a pulp?" I gestured toward said victim, who dared not to become fully conscious in fear of what we would do to put him back under.
"Huh?" he said. He looked like a deer in headlights. "Oh. Oh! Yeah, I remember what you're talking about. Um… I don't know if it lost its significance or not since, but… do… I mean, you like books, right?"
I nodded pleasantly, never breaking eye contact. He couldn't tell that my heart beat fast in my chest, and neither could I, really; immediately my mind responded, chanting furiously my mantra to quell the rising power flowing through my body. It worked, yes, but it was dangerous, to a point.
"Well… well, I know this café. It's book-themed—kinda Barnes & Noble's, but not really, you know what I mean? I figured, since you like books and I like coffee—"
"You like coffee?" I interjected. Slightly confused, he nodded his affirmation. Then and there I made the mental note to remember.
"I was just wondering if you'd like to go sometime… like maybe tonight or something, I don't know. My treat!" He added the last sentence maybe to try and convince me, but it was superfluous, I can tell you that.
"Well, my schedule is booked with meditation, but I think I could squeeze it in." He hung on the words expectantly, and at first looked highly shocked, before his mouth twisted into a disbelieving smile.
"You just made a joke! And said yes! Holy shit," he said, chuckling to himself. I dared a smile, and he grinned even wider. His composure suddenly turned rigid, however. "Wait. Do you consider this a… a date?"
I rolled my eyes. "Sure, why not. Just don't advertise it to the team, okay?" His sunny smile once again spread across his face; it made me feel happy just to see it so nakedly.
"No prob! I wouldn't dream of it, I swear." The cop cars rolled even closer, the lights flashing ostentatiously in the full sun of perfect noon. A date at a book-themed café? Cheesy somewhat, sure, but amazingly thoughtful, and full of… prospect. He laughed to himself, and I raised an eyebrow inquiringly.
"I wonder if people are going to make a big deal about us, alone together at a café. It's not like we can blend in or anything." I let out a tiny laugh, something that seemed to bewilder Beast Boy's ears.
"Who gives a rat's ass about what they think? I intend to enjoy it."
"Heh heh, yeah," he said, and his eyes practically glazed over as he visibly retreated into his fantasies, whatever they entailed. I could only hope I would eventually end up meeting his expectations. That would be… nice.