Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans.

Author's Note: Something of a delayed response to Gertrude's—that is, Menamebephil's—story "Overprotective."

It is the habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not desire.
-Thucydides


Objective

You had not expected Earth to be this loud. Not even taking into account the barrage of emotions you are being assaulted with by the inhabitants of this city, the sheer volume of background noise is almost overwhelming. Honks and beeps and roars and thumps—both rhythmic and arrhythmic—make you momentarily consider the possibility that you will bring your father into this dimension in a desperate bid for peace and quiet. And this is nighttime! You press your hands to your ears and grit your teeth.

An hour later, you're walking down the street with a horrifyingly sweet—yet strangely delicious—pink concoction called a "strawberry milkshake" and feeling as though you have a pretty solid grasp on how this exceedingly strange place works.

That, of course, is when the alien shows up. The explosion when it—she—lands startles the city into silence. It also knocks you flat on your… posterior… and spills your milkshake all over the ground. No use crying over spilt milkshakes. You get back to your feet and investigate.

Long story short, you help your newfound acquaintances (They cannot be friends. Friends do not kill friends.) save the redheaded alien from the lizard aliens without once even acknowledging the thirteen year-old girl inside of you that wants to grab Robin's… posterior. You even agree to live in their structurally questionable building and protect the people of Jump City.

It is not even worth dwelling on the irony in that.

As hard as you try, however, you cannot avoid finding that you have things in common with these people you live with. Everyone, that is, except him. The shapeshifter is simply too baffling for you to even begin to understand, much less find common ground with. So, in the interest of fairness, you begin to study him.

It does not even occur to you that he is doing the same until he winds up inside your head. Gaze long into the abyss, and all that. You are surprised that he is surprised to find that you are surprised that he does not not like you. And vice versa.

You also begin to notice that he is behaving strangely protective towards you in combat. You are not certain why—you can honestly say, without bragging, that you are the most powerful member of the team—until the day you notice him take a three round burst from an AR-15 that was meant for you. It is only reasonable for him to interpose himself like that, as he is much more able to withstand an attack like that than you are… which makes you immediately suspicious, because nothing he has ever done has ever been done for reasons which made the least bit of sense to you.

Then she shows up, and your previous understanding of your green teammate gets rattled. He all but completely abandons his study of you, to which you react by doubling yours of him. It briefly occurs to you that he may have been flirting with you… a thought which makes you immediately disregard, if only for fear of the possibility of it being true.

In the end, Terra removes herself from both of your lives, for better or worse. You make a note that she is the only person who has made you threaten someone's life and actually mean it, and you do not know if that action can be chalked up to your demonic heritage or your human heritage. You find that you do not much care.

Perhaps you are getting too close to the subject. It would be best to re-establish some distance between the two of you.

It should not bother you so much when he calls you creepy. And then, of course, you find your own "distraction." The fallout from that kills off any chance of re-establishing that distance you had planned on.

Not too much later, he starts behaving like an absolute… posterior… and you begin to question much of what you had learned about him in the last two and a half years. The one thing that has not changed, it seems, is that he is still incredibly protective of you in combat. Considering how he recently behaved towards you outside of combat, that makes very little sense. That makes two things that haven't changed, then.

You have a moment with him. The fifteen year-old girl inside you is being giddy, and that terrifies you a little bit.

They all take the news that you are going to end the world rather well. You did not expect that, although you did secretly hope. Beast Boy does not even blink, making you wonder how well you actually explained the whole "end of the world" aspect of the prophecy.

A penny. Three years ago you would have made a comment on how currency does not a magical talisman make, especially against a foe such as your father. Today, you cling desperately to the copper-plated zinc disc as the portal tears you apart, piece by piece.

You are somewhat disappointed when it is Robin who appears to pull you out of the depths of Hell. You decide that you have finally found common ground with Beast Boy, as you are now officially as insane as he is.

You tell him he isn't funny. He hugs you because of it, and not in spite of it. It makes no sense to you, and all is right with the world once more.

Heh… Garfield.