Almost forgot to add in my "Cover My Ass" statement. Absolutely none of the characters depicted in this work are owned by me in any way. I'm just having fun playing with them a little bit. When you see good chemistry, you just know it. Anyway, on with the show.
Chapter One: Something wicked? Or just unusual?
It was three o'clock in the afternoon in Jump City, and if you asked any of the occupants of the iconic T-shaped tower if this day stood out in any way they would all likely answer in the negative. We find the team's two loudest members, Beast Boy and Cyborg, battling it out once again on the giant TV screen (equipped with the latest in gaming technology, of course) built into the window panes making up the wall overlooking the city they protect on a daily basis. The best friends' faces also set in an ordinary manner, with Cyborg smirking confidently and Beast Boy frowning in concentration. Suddenly the overly obnoxious sounds of battle are replaced by others indicating that a victor had been decided, with Beast Boy jumping to his feet in the same instant for the fifth time that day.
"Dude, no fair!" he exclaimed indignantly, thrusting his index finger accusingly in the direction of the half metal man still situated comfortably on the couch with an even more smug look on his face. "You cheated! I want another rematch!"
"No way, Grass Stain." Cyborg replied, entirely unaffected by the shape shifters' accusations. "I can only hand you your own ass so many times in a row before it starts to get boring."
"You're just afraid that I'm going to beat you this time." Beast Boy huffed, crossing his arms and turning his head the other way.
"Dream on. Besides, it's three o'clock and my baby's itching for her daily polish." Cyborg said while standing up from the couch, beginning to head out the door. "Why don't you go see what your girlfriend is doing?" he teased over his shoulder, taking extra care to drag out the word 'girlfriend'.
"Very funny!" Beast Boy yelled back, watching as the mechanic walked out of the room howling in laughter. Cyborg was of course referring to Raven, seeing as he had goaded a confession out of the green teen some time ago. As he had put it, "You don't pay that much attention to anyone else."
Not able to come up with anything else he'd rather do at the moment, Beast Boy decided to go with Cyborg's suggestion. He turned off the Gamestation and straightened up a little, figuring it would be best to give his friend time to make it a sufficient distance away so as to avoid more teasing. After a few moments, he made his way out of the Common Room and into the elevator, pressing the button for the floor housing their bedrooms.
Also within the realm of normalcy, we find the empath in question, and the resident alien Starfire, in the middle of their weekly meditation session. This, however, is where this otherwise routine afternoon derails slightly.
"Friend Raven?" Starfire prodded softly, knowing fully well the consequences of disturbing the half demon's ritual.
"Yes, Starfire?" Raven replied calmly, also knowing that Starfire would sometimes use this time as a way to have a girl-to-girl talk with her without having to ask specifically. It was akin to an unspoken agreement.
"I have noticed lately that you show your disapproval with friend Beast Boy's actions physically, while with any of our other friends you do so in a verbal manner." At this point the young alien has abandoned her meditative stature and turned to give her dark friend her full attention. "I was wondering if there is a reason why?"
"I find that he responds better to physical reprimanding than verbal." she answered without so much as opening an eye to glance at the Tameranian.
"I ask this because I recently read that young Earth girls will sometimes physically bully the boys that they have the feelings for, especially if the boy is perceived as small and weak in the eyes of the other children around them."
"Yes, but I am not an Earth girl." came her reply after a short pause, which was all that was needed to keep the doubt strong in Starfire's mind. "Besides, I don't have 'the feelings' for Beast Boy."
"Your hesitation suggests otherwise." Starfire stated in a matter-of-fact tone. "It is similar to the way that I would react when asked about my feelings for Boyfriend Robin before we started doing the going out." Realizing that Starfire was not about to drop the subject, Raven sighed heavily, placed her hands upon her knees, and turned toward the pushy alien to look her dead in the eye.
"That might be true, but the fact remains that you like Robin, probably even love him. I, on the other hand, tolerate Beast Boy, and barely at that. Besides, he's clearly not my type, hyperactive and far too needy, always begging for attention." Unable to find more ways to push her point, Starfire deflated considerably and resumed the meditative stance. Raven followed shortly after and, just as Starfire was preparing to chant in time with her friend, Raven spoke once more in a tone that clearly left no room for discussion, "Besides, there's no way he could like a demon like me."
Beast Boy turned the corner, Raven's door within sight as he strolled casually along the hallway. Just as he was raising his fist to knock, he heard sound coming from the other side. Curiosity always being his first response, he turned one ear closer to the door and took advantage of one of the few perks his curse granted him.
"That might be true, but the fact remains that you like Robin, probably even love him. I, on the other hand, tolerate Beast Boy, and barely at that. Besides, he's clearly not my type, hyperactive and far too needy, always begging for attention."
Beast Boy stumbled away from the door slightly, shock radiating through him. He had heard her say that she wasn't fond of him in the past, but something about hearing her say it even when she thought he wasn't around struck a cord deep inside him. Clearly not her type, always begging for attention? Surely he wasn't that bad. Right?
Deciding that asking himself would get him nowhere, he turned back the way he came in search of a third party. Knowing that Cyborg would probably just laugh in his face and that Starfire must have been the one Raven was talking to, he opted to seek out the team's leader, who had mentioned earlier that he was heading down to their gym to do some solo training.
Beast Boy could hear the sound of training equipment being brutally assaulted the moment the elevator doors opened. Of course, he still had a bit of a walk to go, but at least his enhanced hearing let him know he wasn't going to have to search for his target.
"Hey Beast Boy." Robin greeted as Beast Boy entered the large room and made his way right over to him. Sweating profusely and needing a break anyway, the workaholic picked up his towel and water bottle from the bench near the punching bag he had just been focusing on. Beast Boy stood before him awkwardly, staring at the ground and seeming to be struggling with himself. Noticing his friend's countenance while finishing off his water, Robin decided to help him by offering to lend an ear. "Something on your mind?"
"This might sound weird, but..." Beast Boy began hesitantly, glancing up at his leader before continuing, "well, am I always begging for attention?" Of all the things Robin had been expecting, this was not one of them. A brief silence passed between them before Robin sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose gently.
"I'm assuming you want a straight answer, seeing as you came looking for me specifically?" Beast Boy nodded slowly, already knowing that his fears have been confirmed. "Well Beast Boy, to be honest, you are always kinda butting into other people's business, even when you know that your presence will likely be more of a burden than anything else." At this, Beast Boy's shoulders slumped and his ears drooped, his gaze returning to its original fixation upon the ground.
"Oh." was the first sound out of his mouth, a moment or two later. Seeing his friend's obvious distress upon making this revelation, Robin opened his mouth to inquire as to what had made him think along these lines, but before he could start Beast Boy continued. "Thanks Robin, I just wanted to get an outside opinion is all." With that, he turned around and headed back out into the hallway, leaving Robin concerned for his youngest friend.