"Raven, are you sure about this?"
"I've already said that I am, Beast Boy. Why do you have to keep asking?"
"It's just…I can't help but think you're doing this because I asked you to."
He looked so worried that she couldn't help but smile at him, "While I admit that you asking is part of the reason, I also want to."
Putting a hand on his chest, Raven leaned up and kissed him. When she drew back, Beast Boy's eyes were soft. "I'm positive."
"All right," he took her hand. "Then let's do this."
Raven let Beast Boy lead her up the stairs, though she wasn't entirely sure why. Well, of course she knew why. She loved him and when he asked her to do this, it seemed like a small thing to do to make him happy.
Besides, she'd never ridden a roller coaster before.
She eyed the small metal seats with a little bit of concern. The pier wasn't as transitory as a carnival, but still…she wasn't certain what kind of inspections theses had to go through.
"Don't think about it, Rae. Just get in," Beast Boy said from his seat.
She joined him, stepping gingerly onto the cart. Beast Boy grabbed her elbow and helped her into the seat. Two weeks after the fight with Light and she was still feeling the aftereffects on her soul. She could use her powers now, she just got tired a little faster. But every day, she lasted longer and longer. Soon, she'd be back up to her old strength again, though she wouldn't be trying that move on anyone else for a very long time.
Beast Boy stared at her in concern. She smiled and squeezed his hand, "I'm all right."
She sat down on the seat, and looked up towards the shoulder bars that came down. She reached up and pulled them down until it locked, securing her in place. Supposedly.
It wasn't like her to put her trust in something that wasn't her own power to protect her. But, she had promised she would try.
A kid who looked younger than her came by and checked that the harnesses were secure. He went through his job quickly, returning to the podium and pressing a button.
The carts jerked forward and Raven instinctively grabbed the handlebar in front of her. Beast Boy laughed and took her hand. "Just relax. It'll be fun and over before you know it."
She was tilted backwards as they started up the incline. Raven glanced over to the side and saw the rest of the pier far below them already, though they continued to rise higher in the air. She thought she caught a glimpse of Starfire and Robin getting off of the bumper boats, but she lost sight of them as the carts got even higher.
"How far up does this thing go?" she asked Beast Boy.
He chuckled and squeezed her hand, "Just a little more."
Raven closed her eyes, counting to ten. She had felt a similar drowning of dread the morning after Beast Boy had kicked everyone out of her room. Though, to be fair, that one was a bit anticlimactic.
They had walked into the main room, hand in hand, and were greeted by complete silence from Starfire, Robin, Cyborg, and Bee. Raven knew she was blushing, but didn't let her gaze drop. Starfire and Bee both started smiling, but Raven's attention was directed towards the two boys.
Robin still looked shocked and Cyborg was frowning at the two of them, despite knowing before anyone else. She shifted a little and then Beast Boy spoke up.
"So," Robin said. "This is really happening?"
Raven nodded, "Has been for a while now. Since you sent us to look for Light."
"Honestly," Beast Boy added, "probably even before that."
Robin sighed and glanced at Raven, "I feel like I should be doing the threatening big brother thing. But it's Beast Boy. I don't think it'll have the same effect."
She smiled, "Probably not."
"All I have to say," Cyborg said, "is that if you two start doing the coupley, kissing thing in front of me, I will make fun of you."
Beast Boy glanced at Bee and then back at his teammate, "Right back at you."
Cyborg flushed and didn't comment further.
Robin broke in again, "So, you're serious? You're really together?"
"Yes," Raven and Beast Boy said simultaneously.
Beast Boy squeezed her hand and left to go and get something to eat in the kitchen. Raven went and sat next to Star and Bee, who nudged and smiled at her until she rolled her eyes.
"It's not like much is going to change, dude," Beast Boy said from the kitchen.
"Sure," Robin muttered, sitting at the table across from the girls. Starfire slid out of the seat and next to him.
"Come on," Beast Boy balanced two plates and a mug of tea in his hand and came back to the table, "You and Star are together. Bee and Cy are together. It's no big." He sat next to Raven and put a plate and the mug in front of her.
"We're still the same people," Raven said quietly, picking at her bacon and eggs.
"Exactly," Beast Boy said. "So stop freaking out."
Robin rubbed his eyes and moved over so Cyborg could sit down once he finished making his breakfast. "It's just weird, you know? You two are just two people I never saw together. But I'm happy for you and if this makes you happy then-"
Beast Boy popped a piece of bacon from Raven's plate into his mouth.
Everyone at the table jumped save one. Cyborg stood between the kitchen and the table, his breakfast spread across the floor amid shards of ceramic. His mouth hung open as he stared at Beast Boy. "Wha…?"
Beast Boy kept his eyes on his plate, but Raven saw the smirk that spread across his face.
The smile from her memories vanished as the roller coaster paused. She blinked, realizing just how high up they were and her fingers tightened on Beast Boy's.
"You ready?" he asked with a huge grin.
She clenched her jaw, "No."
"Hey," he said, drawing her attention.
"Everything's gonna be fine, Rae. It's just a ride."
"I know you know," he told her. "But trust me."
Raven blew out a breath at his plea. She swallowed her fear with years of practice and managed a smile. "Okay."
"Okay?" he repeated.
She smiled, "Of course, did you think I was really going to say no?"
"Well…kind of, yeah."
She didn't know whether to be hurt by that or not, so she frowned and faced him.
Beast Boy rubbed the back of his neck, "I don't know. But it's your room. I wasn't sure if you were going to be okay with the idea of…"
"My boyfriend moving in?" she summed up drily.
He didn't say anything, but his eyes danced a little.
"We already live together. And we've shared a bed before. How is this different?" she asked him.
"Because it's your space. And the place you go to be alone. If I moved in here, I might bug you. I don't want to take away your space," he told her, shifting on his feet.
She smiled, "Well, you recognize that. So I know you know me better than anyone else. And you also know that I wouldn't be shy about asking for time alone if I needed it."
"…and my stuff?"
She smirked, "We can negotiate."
He raised a brow, "Negotiate, huh?" He glanced at her headboard.
Raven took a breath and blew it out. This is what living with each other would be all about. Oddly, the idea of getting rid of things that really bothered him didn't bother her as much as she thought it might. "Yes."
"So I can really move in here?"
She rolled her eyes, exasperated, "Yes."
He scooped her up in a hug and made her smile. "Love you, Rae."
"I know. Now go get your things and we'll start making this official."
The roller coaster dropped.
She squeaked, not entirely a scream, but definitely something close to it. They plummeted down, the wheels on the track sounding like thunder in her ears. The people in front of her were yelling and had their hands up in the air. Beast Boy was laughing at her side.
Once she got passed the fear, the instincts in her body that said dropping at speeds like this wasn't supposed to be fun, she realized that it actually kind of was. The speed, the thrills, and twists…it was like flying, though she wasn't in control. Slowly, she started to enjoy herself. Then she saw the loop up ahead.
Her hand tightened on Beast Boy's fingers and he squeezed back. "Keep your eyes open!" he shouted.
She pressed her head back against the seat and kept her eyes open. The horizon tilted and went underneath her, making her stomach jump in a fairly pleasing way. She couldn't help a little laugh escaping as they righted and bent through a few more twists and turns.
When they pulled up at the boarding area again, she was still laughing. Beast Boy watched her with a smile, "Not so bad, huh?" he asked.
Their harnesses jumped an inch with a click, releasing them from their seats. Taking her arm, Beast Boy helped her out of the seat and onto the platform. She took in his laughing eyes and windblown hair and wondered, with all the horror of the past year, how she had ended up here?
He took her hand with a grin and they exited the ride. Even though she walked a little slower, he never let her go to run off on his own, or pull her any faster than she was capable of going. He just walked at her side, sometimes leading and sometimes following. All this while, he chatted with her, smiled at her, and kept her firmly engrained in the moment.
Raven listened to his voice, waving as she caught sight of Robin, Star, Cyborg and Bee at a booth up ahead.
"So, what do you wanna do now?" Beast Boy asked her.
She smiled and glanced back at the roller coaster, then back at him.
His face lit up, "Really? You sure?"
Raven turned back to the entrance and walked with Beast Boy back to the roller coaster. "Positive."
He squeezed her hand gently as they got back in line. It moved quickly enough back up, getting Raven and Beast Boy back into the seats within just a few minutes.
Helping her in again, Beast Boy dropped a kiss on her cheek. He plunked down into the chair next to her and the harnesses clicked down. Once more, he took her hand and they stared at the track ahead of them.
Conscious of the hand in hers, Raven found herself smiling. Against all odds, here they were. Together. Healthy. Happy.
"I told you it was fun," he told her as the boy running the ride finished the checks.
She laughed, "You're right. It is."
The roller coaster clicked into motion.
I know, long time coming and I'm sorry. :(
I hope this is all right. If you're looking for a bit more, check out my series of one-shots, Moments in the Aftermath. It's a sort of sequel to this and hopefully it will just be updated as thoughts come to me. I am working on a longer fic, but I'm trying to get more of that typed up before I start posting it.
Thank you so much for all of you who read, who reviewed, who pestered me into writing faster/more. :) I really do appreciate it.
So, this fic comes to a close. 300+ page monstrosity. Holy cow. Thanks for sticking with me.
And, of course, thanks for reading.