Disclaimer: Teen Titans and its counterparts are not mine.
Reposting on my account for those that mightn't know about the contest.
Written by Kryalla Orchid
Winner of second place in the RobStar First Kiss Competition.
I dunno when it happened.
There's no defining moment. No point in my life where I can say, "Yup. That's it right there. That's when I fell in love." 'Cause there isn't a time when one day it wasn't there, the next day it was.
I guess it was probably a whatchamecallit, a slow realisation.
My name is Garfield Logan, or Gar, but my friends all call me Beast Boy. Or BB. Or Grass Stain. Or Monkey boy. Or B. Or... well, you get the picture. I grew up in Africa. I was part of the Doom Patrol, but now I'm part of the Teen Titans, and let me just say...
I love my life.
Don't get me wrong. Being a Titan is hard. There's training. Criminals. Paperwork. More training, mental and physical. We get woken up at all hours of the night because the metahumans don't run nine to five. Sometimes we work so hard there's only enough time to scoff down a bite of pizza on the way from one job to the next. Good thing is, our local pizza pallor almost always has something cooking they can give us on the run.
There's also pride, confidence, friendship.
The others, they trust me. They trust I'll do my job, be in the right place. Sure, Robin barks orders at me, but it's nothing like Mento. No, Mento used to choose my animals for me, tell me how to attack, when to attack, then get out of the way. Robin lets me get the job done the way I see fit, I even get to takedown on my own. So I can handle a couple of orders because I don't see the bigger picture.
I always failed at bigger picture stuff.
I'm in it for the now. The right here. Bigger picture is future stuff. I dunno if its animal instinct or just me, but I can only act for the now, what I see, right in front of me. It's odd and I can't explain it, because animals sometimes plan for the future. The squirrel and his acorns. Birds and flying south.
Don't confuse not being able to see the big picture with not knowing about consequences. Do something stupid, someone might get hurt. Fire going down the mountain, it's gonna get the houses at the bottom. Don't store your nuts (nuts! haha), dead squirrel.
Bigger picture stuff, though... I miss things, not so good at strategy, so getting into position of a team takedown is hard for me. I'm impulsive, I see an opening, I go for it.
Robin knows. He works around that.
I do try, of course. I never fail at trying.
My lack of being able to see the big picture is probably why I never saw it coming.
Looking back, there were signs. There's always signs I guess... what's that thing called... hindsight. Yeah. Hindsight, the ability to look back and notice moments that led to where you are right now.
If you asked me to pick the first hindsight, it was probably when she called me Gar the first time.
To be honest, when she found out my name, I was sure I was gonna be teased about it. Garfield. Like the cat.
Making friends was not exactly easy for me, especially when you're called Garfield. I got teased about it so much in primary school my parents decided to home school me. Then I got sick and school didn't matter no more. Now, I'm green and even though chicks might dig the ears, they don't exactly dig the rest of me.
Cyborg is the best friend I've ever had, corny that may be, but I dunno what life would be like without him. Him and me, we can take on anything, as long as we're together. He's like an older brother. He doesn't care what I look like. He doesn't care about the tofu and the jokes and the pranks which hide the pain. He cares about me, accepts me for who I am. And I do the same for him.
He's never called me Garfield. Or even Gar. He knows what its like to be teased, so he just doesn't.
Starfire didn't know there was anything wrong with the name. She thought it was cute and gave me a cuddle. But then, her real name's a herb. Robin didn't say a word. Not a single one. But then, we learnt later that his name's a body part (dongle, schlong, johnson, dingalingawingdong, you get the idea) so he can't talk.
Raven though... I expected it. Waited for it. Nudda.
When it came, I so didn't expect it.
It was just like every other morning. Sun's shining, I'd already crowed (no jokes about being a cock thanks). Cyborg's munching on his cereal, I'm making toast and we're talking about the impending release of Zombified. Dude, like, it was gonna be the best thing EVER! Cy and I were gonna wait in line outside the shop, we were gonna be first to play and we already had all our snacks and power drinks and everything! It was gonna be wicked and I was so excited. We'd planned our characters from what had been leaked, we'd practiced on the demo 'til our fingers bled. It was just so AWESOME. Jizz in my pants AWESOME!
So when Raven entered, I guess she could feel the excitement. She's an empath after all. She stopped at the door, closed her eyes for a brief second, then reopened them. "Morning."
"Morning!" I said brightly, fetching her cup for her. Nothing was gonna get be down today, not even snarky comments, but it doesn't hurt to get on her good side. The pot was already warm from Robin's coffee earlier. I plunked Raven's cup on the bench, fetched her herbal tea and placed it beside the cup, then grabbed the pot. No one makes her tea for her, she's very particular about it all.
"Thank you, Gar," she said and wandered off to talk to Starfire.
It wasn't until much, much later that it clicked she called me that.
Second sign was definitely scent related. I'm an animal, after all, don't you think I'd sniff people? Wait... No! Not like that! Gross!
Cyborg smells like grease. Grease and bacon fat. Grease and bacon fat and waffles. Grease and bacon fat and waffles and meat. Grease and ... you get the idea.
Robin smells of sweat. No, seriously, what'd you think he smelt like? Paper?Latex? Ink? Hair gel? Nope. It's not the nasty B.O. unless he's been training all day and then he's usually on the way to the shower anyway. He just smells like plain old human sweat.
Starfire smells of zorkaberries, that alien berry (she's not allowed to feed Silkie with it anymore) which is tart and sweet at the same time. So there are days I can't stand being close to her, and others where I have to be so close we're touching. I usually do that in catform though, 'cause there glares from Robin that burn holes in the back of my head. Most days, its sort of in between though, she goes through cycles. Of course, sometimes Robin and Starfire smell like each other, but we don't mention that.
Terra smelt like wet dirt just before the storm hits.
There are the obvious cliche smells. Bumblebee smells like honey. Speedy does smell like hairgel. Aqualad smells of fish. The twins smell cheesos. Jericho smells of wood. Kole smells like candy. Gnaark smells...
Raven smells like jam. I dunno why. I would've thought by the amount of herbal tea she consumes she'd smell like lemon and honey. But no. Good ole raspberry jam.
So, when she started smelling of catnip, of course I took notice.
She didn't say anything. Not a single thing. Not even when the feline in me curled up in her lap while she watched a movie. Not a thing. Just shifted her legs until they were crossed and I could curl up in the hollow they created. She didn't even say a thing when I started purring, she even gave me a scratch behind the ears.
We must have stayed there the entire movie, me half asleep on her lap, purring myself silly, Raven with one hand on my back. When it ended, I expected her to dump me on the floor with some snide comment and vanish in a swirl of black. But she didn't. She calmly picked up a book and started to read.
Me, I was lost in a haze of scent, kitty drugged up. Burying my nose in her knee wasn't doing it. When I tried to bury my nose in something else, she just picked me up, turned me around and said, "That's inappropriate, Gar."
No blasting. No throwing out the window. No smacks upside the back of the head.
Comic books are my lifeblood. I don't read real books. Raven snarked at me once she was surprised I could read when she found me in the common room with the latest issue of "Shadow Rider". Peering over my shoulder she rolled her eyes and said, "No wonder. There's no text in there."
I laughed it off at the time. I always laugh her off.
Our local mall has the biggest bookshop sans newsagency sans comic book store you've seen. Their motto is 'If its on paper, we've got it'. The Titans make a trip there at least once a week. They've got the whodunits for Robin, the Mills and Boon for Starfire, Cyborg's mechanical and computer magazines, Raven's poetry and HP Lovecraft (he's a romance writer too, right?) and my comic books. I could spend hours there flipping through the stacks and carefully selecting my comic book for the week, but often I don't have that sort of time.
This one time, I'm looking at the superhero comics (really, is a crime to think the 'Ratman' comics are cool, even if they're based on Batman?) and I smelt jam. I stiffened and jerked because Raven's right behind me. Like right there, inside my personal space. I can handle her teasing in the Tower but it bites when it's in public. I plastered a smile on my face, "Hey."
She glanced at me, then at the stack of comics I was looking through. "What would you recommend for a novice comic reader?"
At first, I thought she was yanking my chain, so I laughed. "Nice one, Raven."
She gave me that look that can shrivel bone.
"Would I be here if I wasn't?"
She looked at me for a moment, then prompted, "I like horror. Any horror comics?"
"Um... depends. Do you like vampires and werewolves?"
"As long as they don't sparkle and keep their shirts on."
"Well..." Keeping an eye on her, I flicked through the comics. "Um... there's 'Sword'. It's about a half vampire that fights other vampires. Or maybe, Witchknife, about a woman with this magical bracer that can turn into weapons. She fights against supernatural bad guys. There's some pretty wicked fight scenes in that one." I dragged it out so she could look at the cover. "There's this one comic, where the witchknife turns into a huge sword and slices through this wall she needs to get through, because there's a bomb on the other side and she wants to rescue her sister. It's kick ass."
"Nice art. Where's her clothes?"
I looked at it, then blushed and averted my eyes. "Um... she's usually more dressed than that."
"Let me guess, you read it for the stunning art," Raven said with a roll of her eyes.
"Um... no... actually. I read it 'cause she's like me."
Raven shook her head as she eyed the comic. I was surprised it didn't burst into flame. "How could she possibly be she like you?"
I dropped my eyes and put the comic back into the stack. "She's cursed with something she can't control and she makes the best of it."
The hand on my shoulder was a surprise. It was warm and soft and gentle. "You're not cursed."
"I'm green. That's not ever going to change."
"I like that your green."
I started at her, sure she was making fun of me. But she wasn't. She just picked up the Witchknife comic out of the pile and said, "What else?"
Excited about sharing this with her, I mean, c'mon, no one has every asked me about comics before, I grabbed her hand and pulled her over to some of my favourites to tell her about them. It wasn't until later that I realised she never let go.
I guess it was about here that I realised something was happening. I didn't know what, because there wasn't like lots of things had changed. Just the little things.
She was still snarky, made the comments when Cyborg and I spent hours playing Zombiefied. She was quick to roll her eyes. But it didn't hurt quite so much as it used to. She smiled at me more, just a little curling of her lips and I'd smile back. She sat next to me during movie night instead of next to Starfire. She went to the comic shop with me and we'd go out for tea and smoothies after and talk what we'd thought about story lines and art and powers.
And sometimes, as we strolled down the mall and we'd go into the incense shop to pick up her candles, a place that makes my eyes water and nose run, she'd take my hand and our fingers would curl together and I'd feel like warm butter inside.
"So, B," Cyborg said one day, as we sat in the garage, me sitting on my hands on a stool several feet from Cyborg watching while he worked on the T-Car. "What's up with you and Raven?"
"Sure, little man." He chuckled. "Ahh, young love."
"Love?" I squeaked. "What?"
"She's diggin' on you, B."
"No, she isn't."
"She is. Can't you tell?"
I shook my head.
He laughed again and picked up a wrench. "Whatever you say. Maybe you should ask her out sometime."
I frowned. "We go out."
"On a proper date. Dressin' up. Dinner. Movies. That sort of thing."
I made myself smaller, not really wanting to talk about this. "I dunno how."
Cyborg lifted his eyebrow at me. "You and Terra dated."
"Raven's not Terra. And Terra... Terra..."
I couldn't really explain it. With Terra, I just knew that I liked her. A lot. I knew that I wanted to be more than a friend, I wanted to kiss her and hold her hand. With Raven... I didn't... know... what I wanted... "It doesn't feel the same."
"It's not supposed to. Do you like Raven?"
"Yeah, I like her."
"More than a friend?"
I scrunched up my face in thought. "Terra... she was like... I knew I liked her, right from the beginning. Raven... do you really think she likes me?"
"Yup. Has for some time now."
Cyborg put down his wrench and wiped his hands on a cloth. "B. Piece of advice. You don't have to know, you just have to see the possibility. Raven's pretty, right?"
I smiled. "Yeah. She is."
"Nice to spend time with?"
"Yeah. She's smart and funny too."
"And you like holdin' her hand?" he asked me with a sly grin.
I grinned, sheepish. "Yeah."
He laughed. "Dope. It's a start. Ask her out. See what she says."
The fifth sign was definitely a kiss. Definitely.
I did what Cyborg said. I went to Raven and knocked on the door. I scuffled my toe into the ground. I hopped from foot to foot. I rehearsed my words in front of the mirror for ages and I still screwed it up when she opened the door.
"Wannagooutwifme?" I blurted the instant the door opened.
Raven blinked at me, Starfire peering curiously over her shoulder. They'd been meditating, I could tell by the scent of candles in the air. Shoot. Starfire's presence completely derailed me.
"What?" Raven asked.
I laughed, grinned, my hand to my neck. "Nuffin'. I was... just... ah... passing by... and... um... um..."
Raven looked more and more confused with every word, while Starfire started to smile. She bounded out of the room. "Friends," she said joyously, floating down the hallway and waving. "I must find Robin, I have just realised he promised to help me with... Silkie... and Silkie's bath... bye!" We heard her giggle as she rounded the corner, leaving Raven and I staring at each other.
Raven lifted an eyebrow. "Gar?"
"Um... wanna go out?"
Her nose crinkled and I found that cute. "Are there new comics? I thought we were going tomorrow."
I scuffled the floor with my toe. "No... um... as in... a date..."
"A date," she deadpanned.
"Yeah... with me..."
She didn't say anything.
"Um... it's cool if you don't want to," I said, babbling now. "We don't have to, I just thought... you know... I like you and... well... um... it's fine. I shouldna said-"
Her lips were on my cheek. Just pressing lightly and I completely froze.
"I'd like that," she said.
She smiled. "Really."
Well, that was a kiss too. Which, I'm happy to say I initiated. Yay for me. We'd been dating maybe a month. And things were great, they really were. I think that was a surprise, because... it's Raven.
Not that it couldn't have been great because it was Raven. It just... I never saw it coming. Bigger picture stuff again.
Like I said before. I'm impulsive. I see an opening, I go for it. Which is what our first kiss really was.
I mean... I thought about it before. I'd get a funky feeling in my stomach right before each one of our dates, but I never planned for it.
We were walking in the park, just talking and chatting and having some fun when I caught the scent of wet dirt before the rain. My head flicked around and there's the girl who says she's not Terra. And she's standing there, watching me and Raven as I hold Raven's hand and there's this really odd expression on her face.
I can't define it. I don't know. Regret? Jealously? Happiness? I have no idea.
I stopped dead and stared. What do I do? Do I approach her? Pretend I never saw her? After all, she's the one pretending not to remember. I have the right to move on, don't I?
"Gar? What's wrong?" Raven asked and followed my gaze. A moment later, she'd dropped my hand with an, "Oh. I see."
She might, but I sure as hell don't.
There's a flash of something in Terra's face. Again, I don't know what. And... I don't care. Very deliberately, I placed my hand on Raven's back and turned away. "Are you thirsty?" I asked as we walked. "'Cause I am. Smoothies?"
Raven stared at me. "Don't you... want to go talk to her?"
"Is gone. That's the way she wanted it."
"But you still feel something for her," Raven said, turning her eyes down.
"Yeah. Not gonna deny that, not with an empath for a girlfriend." I smiled. "And my empath of a girlfriend should also check what I feel for her."
"Gar, I've been trying not to-"
"Go ahead," I said. I put my hand on her shoulder and stopped us walking, making her face me. "Nothing to hide."
She got a faraway look in her eyes before they briefly flashed. Then her whole face changed. Her mouth dropped open, her eyes glazed and she looked beautiful. I guess I must have had some whopper feelings for her because she flushed. "Really?"
"Really." And I kissed her. Just like that. She was beautiful and we were there and I wanted to.
She tasted like raspberry jam.
It was the best thing ever.
This was the last sign.
The one I knew for sure I was in love.
It wasn't anything special. Nothing specular. There was no declarations, no death and glory. It just was.
We were in the comic section of the book store. Raven was searching for the latest issue of Witchknife. I was hunting down Ratman, there was supposed to be a graphic novel of it just released and I was having a hard time finding it. I think I had even started muttering under my breath, wondering where it could be.
Behind me, Raven laughed. "Gar."
I glanced over my shoulder, expecting to see her holding Witchknife, only to see her holding the graphic novel. Not only that, it wasn't the regular one. No. It was a signed by the writer copy. Personalised by the writer copy. It had my name on the plastic.
Raven had ordered it in especially for me.
I picked her up and spun her in a circle and said, "I think I love you."
And it was the truth. Completely and utterly.
She smiled at me. "Really?"
I laughed. "Yup. Really."
"Good, 'cause I think I love you too."
Who said comic geeks can't get the girl?
So, we do a RobStar contest and give away BBRae prizes. That makes sense, right? Beast Boy's POV is hard.
Hope you enjoyed that Ravy-rah!