AN: Welcome to a series of song-inspired one-shots done my way. That is to say, I'm taking the ubiquitous "shuffle challenge" but putting my own twist on it. I'll listen to a song that shuffle brings me, but rather than writing as the song plays and stopping when it ends, I will listen to it in its entirety, analyze it, and write a story that fits. This is no small feat, given the schizophrenic mess that is my music library. I'm challenging myself to incorporate at least one line or turn of phrase from each song into the corresponding story, so my challenge to you all is to listen to the songs and find the bits I've borrowed.
I'll occasionally put in a frame of reference for these, but only when I feel it's necessary to establish a timeline. Also, the majority of my author's notes will be at the end so as not to spoil things. I'd much rather have you all along for the ride.
This should be updated far more frequently than most things I write; it's easier to do, and it makes for good practice. I can't guarantee I'll be proud of all of these, but they'll at least be something.
Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans or any of the songs upon which these stories are based.
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word- Ray Charles and Elton John
The ice wasn't helping.
Raven could tell that much from her vantage point on the couch, where she had been on the same page for the ten minutes her book had been open.
Beast Boy sat on the far end of the same couch with his back turned to her, an ice pack pressed against the growing lump on the back of his head. The occasional groan would escape his lips, followed by a growl as he pressed the ice against the wound harder.
It was painful to watch. The worst part, however, wasn't what she saw, but what she felt.
The emotions surrounding the green shapeshifter were jagged and sharp as broken glass, radiating out from him like a porcupine's quills to keep out everyone and everything.
Raven slammed her book shut and strode over to her teammate. "For the last time, Beast Boy, let me heal—"
Faster than she could blink, the changeling was on his feet, eyes blazing as his rage and hurt slammed against her shields. "No, Raven, I will not let you heal this! You obviously thought I deserved it, so it stays!" He winced and pressed the icepack against his head again. "It's the same sad situation every single time, Raven. I make you mad, you beat me up, you feel bad about it, you heal me. It's absurd. This time, we're both going to live with the consequences of your actions."
Mouth working as she searched for an explanation, Raven found herself staring at the ground. "I... I didn't mean for it to—"
"You threw me into a wall, Raven. You know how solid the Tower walls are, and you threw me backwards into one. There are only so many ways that can turn out."
"I didn't think—"
Beast Boy laughed, a harsh, grating sound that was nothing like the laughter that held their team together. "Yeah, that's right. That's usually my line, isn't it? But when I don't think, nobody ends up having to get their head x-rayed for fractures. And everybody thinks I'm the stupid one."
Shame poured over Raven, soaking her from head to toe in hot and cold. She wanted nothing more than to phase through the floor, but she was desperate to make things right this time.
"Look," she began, "You know I didn't mean for you to get hurt so badly. Why can't you just accept my apology and let me heal you?"
He gave her a venomous smirk. "Apology? Really?" Shouldering past her, he walked down the hall. As Raven was about to follow, his raised voice echoed back to her. "When was the last time you ever said the words, 'I'm sorry'?"
Every lightbulb in the tower flickered and exploded.