3/2/12

This idea has been floating around in my mind for some time now, and finally decided to come out yesterday. I hope you all enjoy. :)

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Teen Titans.

XxXxX

He noticed it soon after they defeated Trigon. Hidden beneath the neck of her leotard; the shape of a chain necklace with a small pendant at the end. He had never seen her wearing it before. Despite what many people thought of him, he did pay attention to detail. He'd done so ever since the accident. Remembering how his mother would always put her hair behind her ear before picking him up, or how his father would smile at him after he'd had a particularly bad day, just to make him feel better. Yes, detail was something he noticed when it came to people he cared about. And he cared about Raven.

This particular detail was something that took him quite a while to notice. When they first started living together, he had been suspicious of the dark, introverted girl; always hiding in her room and avoiding contact with them unless they were out fighting crime. He didn't trust her, yet at the same time wanted so badly to be her friend. He didn't know what drew him to her, only that she did. Most likely, he had told himself, it was the mystery of her. Who was she? What was she? Why was she here? She had said that if they knew what she really was, they wouldn't want her around. What did she mean by that?

However, as the months went by and he learned more about her, the mystery began to be replaced by allure. A girl with a demon father, trying so desperately to escape that part of her that she put her own life on the line to save others. To him, it seemed like a beautifully dramatic life, and he spent his time trying to find out more, though throughout their friendship her hard defensive nature kept this information from him. Every question, every friendly advance was blocked or redirected and it drove him crazy.

Then came Terra. Terra was very dear to him. They ate, drank, played video games, watched movies, did practically everything together. It was like having a female version of himself in the Tower. Raven never liked her, though. At first he thought it was because she was so much like him, but after a while he grew suspicious that it might be something else. He noticed that she would get angry whenever he and Terra were having a particularly good time together. She would glare, then growl, and eventually slam her book shut and exit the room. At first he was confused by this, but then quickly realized what was happening. Raven was jealous. Since coming together as the Teen Titans, he had spent nearly all of his time and energy on getting her to come out of her shell, to join in, to laugh, but that had stopped once Terra had joined the team and it obviously made her feel less wanted. He had felt bad and tried to pay more attention to her again, but that in turn made Terra jealous. It was a lose-lose situation.

Then Terra betrayed them.

The realization of what she'd done made him feel as though his heart had been crushed. He'd lost his best friend to Slade. Slade! It made him angry just thinking about it. He thought Terra was smarter than that. But power is tempting and she obviously wanted it, more than she wanted to be a Titan. He had tried to save her, to take back the angry words he had said after learning of her betrayal, but Terra's hate was strong; strong enough to make her kill. Thank goodness for super powers. They all survived her attacks with only mild injuries. All except Raven. Something happened between those two that had scared the usually confident empath, but what? As they lay beneath the city, recovering, regaining strength, he had taken in her appearance. Tattered, mud-covered uniform, scared eyes, shaking limbs; he couldn't quite put the pieces together, until she coughed. Muddy water mixed with blood leaked from her hand as she covered her mouth. That was the final piece. Terra had tried to drown Raven.

He remembered how angry he had been. He wasn't a violent guy, known more for his good-natured attitude than loosing his temper. But for some reason, seeing her propped against the rocky wall, shaking and struggling to breathe, something snapped. That was the first time he had felt the Beast, an animalistic fury dying to dig its claws into the target of his hate. It surprised and scared him enough to keep his rage pretty much in check, but the anger remained. He, not Robin, had been the one to rally them, to encourage them to take Terra down without mercy. He shifted into a wolf, an animal as feral as his feelings, and led them straight to her. He didn't bother shifting into any other form; the wolf would take her down like a scared dog.

In the end, though, his kind heart won out. All the snarling, growling, and biting could do little to hide the fact that it was she who was hurting him. Despite her actions, he still cared enough to try and save her one last time, and for one last time she listened. She saved the city with her life. Again he had lost her.

Time passed and he slowly recovered. He spent his days as he had before Terra; eating, joking, playing video games with Cyborg, and most importantly, paying long due attention to Raven. Their relationship seemed to go back to the way it had been and he was almost happy, but something was missing between them, something had changed. Raven was ignoring him and he was getting upset. So upset that he began casually insulting her. The effects were anything but positive. With a single word, Raven once again isolated herself, but not just out of hurt. There was another reason she stayed in her room with the door locked.

The sound of giggling and polite conversation had prompted him to check on her. He regretted his decision. Through compound fly eyes he saw Raven being wooed by what looked like a man made of paper. Malchior, she had called him, and he had called her name back just as sweetly. Instantly he hated him. He felt defensive and suspicious and hurt, though at the time he didn't know why. He decided to tell his teammates about the strange paper man and was shocked when instead of reacting as he had, they seemed happy about it. He just didn't get it. But then Malchior betrayed Raven, using her to escape his book prison and take his real form, an evil dragon. They took him down, as they did all villains, but Raven's heart was scarred.

He had felt at a loss. What could he do when he knew how badly such betrayal hurt? He figured an apology would be a good first step and quickly told her how sorry he was that her heart had been broken. What happened next shocked him. Raven opened her door and hugged him. It wasn't a quick, friendly "thank you" hug, but a tight, desperate embrace that, for once in their friendship, allowed him to feel how truly vulnerable she was. She was sad, and lonely, and wanted more than anything in that moment a friend that could understand her. Panicking, he had gently pushed her away, trying hard to understand the pounding in his chest and the blood rushing to his cheeks. Luckily Cyborg chose that precise moment to start a game of Stank Ball, giving him time to push those feelings aside to sort out later.

And sort he did. It didn't take long, even for someone as oblivious as him, to figure out what his reaction meant. He liked Raven, maybe even lov-…had stronger feelings for her. But he was confused. When he had been with Terra, everything was relaxed and he rarely got nervous. But this was different. His face was hot, his knees were shaking, and he couldn't, even after hours of trying to calm down, get his heart to stop racing. Every time it slowed, something would always bring Raven back to mind and it would start up again, like he was running a marathon.

Despite this sudden realization, he was in denial. He told himself there was no way it could be true. He couldn't be in lo-feel the way he did about her. They were just too different, they liked different things, and, hard though it was for him to admit, their intelligence levels were on opposite ends of the spectrum. He tried as best he could to repress his feelings and go on as though nothing had ever happened. This involved more ignoring and more bad feelings between them. Then they went to the lab.

It was an ordinary call to take down an ordinary criminal, Adonis. Adonis thought he was the best, strongest, and greatest guy to ever live, all because he wore a mechanical muscle suit that "improved" him. But while the delusional boy saw perfection, all the Titans saw was another half-rate villain with a first-rate ego and eagerly rushed to take him down. For some reason he was robbing an animal lab, which held large containers filled with unknown chemical fluids. In the heat of battle, a container burst and spurted said chemicals over Adonis and himself. The chemicals had a negative effect on his already unstable genes and released the Beast, which, as an animal, was unable to even fathom the act of denying its feelings, and quickly went for Raven, who Adonis sought to take as his own. In the end, Adonis was defeated, Cyborg cured him, and the Beast was buried deep inside where it would wait until it was needed. And boy would it be needed…

Not long after, Slade came for Raven. The whole team was shocked. They saw Slade get killed by Terra, forced into a pit of lava, yet there he stood. And he had powers, powers that he used to chase her down and deliver a deadly message; Trigon was coming. Of course they didn't find that out until later on, but once they had they went to extreme measures to protect their friend. Cyborg built a chamber in which she'd be safe, Starfire found ancient Azerathian symbols of protection and wrote them on the walls, Robin was on constant alert and he… Well, it didn't seem like much, but he gave her his lucky penny.

Despite all they did, though, Raven could not be saved that day, for she herself walked out of the Tower and right into Slade's grasp. The Beast had to be held down by twenty fire demons to stop him from running after her. He was furious, desperate, and above all, heart broken; his sorrowful howls carried down deep in the earth for only Raven to hear. When the demons dispersed, they raced to find her, but it was too late. She had accepted her "fate" and held them back with her energy as she ascended the stairway to her doom. She disappeared. So did his hope. Watching the girl he cared about disappear in a flash was almost as painful as watching his parents die all those years ago. Luckily, unlike when he was a child, he had the Titans to comfort him. They mourned for their friend, and vowed revenge.

Revenge came in the form of a small, child version of Raven, who, watching them fight so valiantly, finally found the courage to stand up to the side of her she hated the most. She grew in strength and conviction, and also in size, as she took the gigantic demon lord down. When it was over, they had her back. He'd never been so relieved in his life, and he'd never been more sure.

A week later, Raven began wearing the necklace. She never wore jewelry, aside from the gems on her uniform, and the curiosity was driving him nuts. Patience wasn't his forte. So a few days after noticing, he finally decided to just ask.

"Penny for your thoughts?" Raven's voice broke through his trance.

"Huh?" Beast Boy replied dumbly. He blinked and looked up at Raven, who was holding something in her fingers.

Attached to a thin golden chain around her neck, was his penny. She smiled.

XxXxX

There you have it. It kind of fizzled out at the end, but I'm still proud of this.