Author's Note: Teen Titans is usually a pretty lighthearted show- but I think at some points it really begs for a more mature interpretation, so my stories always end up coming out darker. This short story is an exploration of Beast Boy's painful relationship with Terra after the series finale. Not finished yet, but I'd like some feedback before I go any further.
And, of course, I don't own Teen Titans.
Outside the wind was blowing with a baleful howl across the slick, frozen streets of the city. It lifted the hair of the few who populated the sidewalks; it brushed flecks of ice against store windows and dusted them with tiny shimmering flakes. Beast Boy watched from the other side of the window as the snow settled on the drifts and was picked up again by another gale. The glass was cold against his head- the icy sensation pierced his thick hair straight through to the scalp. He took no notice of it, as numbness now pervaded, and focused instead on the lone slice of pie on the table in front of him. Over and over he prodded it with the fork, cracking the crust and sliding the tines underneath, only to lower the fork and turn back to the window in disgust.
He saw a thin blonde woman leading her little daughter down the sidewalk, struggling to keep her own balance on the ice while she kept the girl steady. The girl clutched her mother's coat in one hand, a pink stuffed bear in the other. She was crying. The mother shifted her grasp, trying to comfort her daughter as she led her down the slick streets. Instinctively he tilted his ear to the glass.
"Come on, Catherine, we're almost there."
The girl sobbed. Her mother shifted again and patted her shoulder.
"I know, I- shit! Careful, honey, it's all ice."
The mother stopped to adjust the girl's hood; then they continued their slow, staggering trek down the frozen sidewalk. A moment later the last strands of blond hair, still flailing wildly in the fierce gale, disappeared behind the corner of the bar.
Fate had been cruel to him, he mused as he turned away from the window and resumed prodding at his pie. It had allowed him to make his trip to the restaurant without interference; it had left the front counter unoccupied, prompting him to shuffle past the PLEASE WAIT TO BE SEATED sign to a booth in the back; it had interceded to ensure the beautiful blonde and her daughter walked past his window at exactly the time he decided to look. It had conspired to make sure he saw them. He was meant to be reminded of her.
He sighed heavily. What did he think would happen when he came here? Why did he come here at all? Did he, on some level at least, want to be reminded of her?
He threw down his fork in disgust. He hadn't been here in over a year. He thought he could handle it, eating here again. But he hadn't anticipated the awful loneliness; he would never have believed it would return and seize him as completely as it did. The realization crept up on him, that whether he waited a week or a year or a lifetime, she would forever occupy this restaurant. Even in the warm, tired faces of the waitresses, he would always see the shining blue eyes of the girl who wanted him.
He looked down. The pie lay there on his plate, mangled from his prodding but still in its entirety. The memories intensified. In that instant he relived the night when he declared this exact dish "the best pie in the history of…pie." It was an instance of awkwardness at its worst, and he'd expected her to laugh in his face like he knew his teammates would have, had they been there. But she hadn't. She had simply smiled and agreed, and he remembered then that she was different, like him, and he knew he loved her.
"We'll be closing in about ten minutes, sir."
It was the lone waitress, snapping him out of the lonely reverie which he savored. He sat back, turning to look once more out the window into the blankets of snow upon the city. He loved her. He still loved her.
He still loved her, and it was simultaneously comforting, frightening, and utterly depressing. Frightening in that, even in her absence, she could so deeply enthrall him, and he knew he would never meet anyone else with that kind of fire. Depressing because, even though he could not fully admit it, he knew she was gone; yet this piece of her remained, sobering him, preventing him from reverting to his old ways of flirting with every dime-a-dozen diva he encountered.
But it was also comforting, to think that if she had impacted him so deeply, then maybe he had left a part of himself in her as well. To think that on that night, they had indeed completed their union, and he had given her something she could conjure up a year afterwards, just as he did. Maybe she was even thinking of him now, nursing the memory deep within, guiding it like a little Catherine alongside her.
"Is there something wrong…?" the old waitress began, and for a moment he admired her for not speaking to him through the apron, but rather as another individual, one who existed outside of the restaurant. But her face contorted and she coughed horribly- no doubt the effect of years of smoking. She completed her sentence.
"Sorry. Something wrong with the pie?"
Right. The pie. He glanced down at it for the final time, mildly relieved at being able to see it not as "the best pie in the history of…pie," but simply as a pile of food he didn't want.
"No. It's great."
He laid a five on the table and walked past the waitress to the door. He paused for a split-second, choosing an appropriate morph, then pushed through the door out into the frigid streets.
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