Chapter Eleven – Morning
Raven had never been the type to believe in redemption. Throughout her short life, her demon heritage had always followed behind her like a shadow. Despite all the good that she tried to do, despite the life that she led as a Titan, she truly believed she was always destined to live like her father, or even worse, like her mother – locked in a tower to hide from her mistakes. At the end of the day, she had always supposed that once she could no longer use her powers to do good, there was nothing else to live for. There had never been a long-term life plan.
Alexander Garfield Logan changed all of that.
It was subtle. From the moment they took him home that afternoon, Beast Boy seemed perfectly suited for parenthood. He obsessed over Alexander, tickling him, taking him down to the garage so Cyborg could show him the ropes, letting Starfire speak baby nonsense to him. Beast Boy showed Alexander off to the world. At first, Raven was simply stunned by it all. A small little being, created by her, lying on the crib, looking at her with those eyes like hers and sucking on his perfect tiny fingers. It was so surreal that she had been able to produce something so perfect, so beautiful. She had never thought herself capable of creating love.
The first nights changed her. When she heard his high-pitched cry from his room, right next to hers where she and Beast Boy now slept, she would tiptoe out of the room and go to him. Then it was just the two of them with the moonlight, sitting in the comfy chair and breastfeeding, or else just holding him. Watching his breathing even out and grow sleepy. His fingers would reach up to play with her hair. He would watch her, which made her smile. She couldn't even believe it. This perfect little being was hers?
Pretty soon it became obvious that the child was hers and Beast Boy's. After only a few nights at home, she walked in one night to find a small green puppy whining in the crib. When she picked him up, he suddenly morphed back into a human. At random hours of the day, the Titans would find a small green kitten, duckling or cub waddling around the kitchen, and eventually Alexander's playpen became an absolute necessity. After a month, when he became hungry or crabby, small black sparks of electricity would fizz out of his hair. Raven and Beast Boy thanked God that those powers seemed to be taking longer to mature.
Their relationship had hit a new peak. Suddenly they were more than teammates – they were a partnership, attempting to raise a super-powered child. When the Titans East came over to see him for the first time, Raven held Alexander in her arms with Beast Boy's arm around her shoulder, and she beamed. She was the center of a happy family. It was more than she had ever hoped for in her wildest dreams.
Titans Tower was also an amazing place to raise a child. Cyborg and Beast Boy had never-ending stores of energy, so when running around after Alexander was too much for Raven, the boys stepped in and played for hours. Robin was a fantastic disciplinarian, and the baby grew up with a sense of propriety and justice that was absolutely absurd for a newborn. And Starfire was Alexander's second mother. Together she and Raven learned the ins and outs of breastfeeding, bathtimes, colic, and avoiding Alexander's exploding pee streams when they took off his diaper. When Raven got tired or stressed or overwhelmed, Starfire seemed to know exactly what to do. It made Raven smile to think of what would happen when Starfire became a mother.
After six months, Raven and Beast Boy actually made it through the night without being woken up once. She slowly opened her eyes, stretching her muscles out, feeling the sheets move beneath her. Then she saw the sun and realized that she hadn't seen her son in eight whole hours.
"Garfield, wake up!" She screamed, sitting straight up. "Something's happened to Alexander, we forgot to check on him, oh my God – "
"Rae. Hun." His face was firmly planted in the pillow. "He finally learned how to sleep."
"Seriously?" She couldn't believe it. She peeked into the baby's room just to be sure. There he was, a finger stuck firmly in his mouth, green hair poking up at random angles.
"Oh my God." She walked back into the room and fell face-down on the bed. "I can't believe it."
"I couldn't either. Woke up at five and did the same thing you did."
She turned her head and smiled. "I don't even know what to do with myself right now."
Beast Boy pushed himself to a sitting position. "Well, I suppose we can cuddle."
She didn't respond. A tiny smile pushed at the corners of her lips.
"Ha! You like cuddling! I knew it!"
"Shut up and spoon me."
The two of them came together again, bodies fitting together perfectly. His hands snaked around her waist and pulled her close. Raven was slowly losing all of her pregnancy fat, but since she went on less missions than before, it was a slow process. She found that she didn't really give a shit.
"Hey, Raven." His voice was close and soft at her ear.
"You know how I proposed to you the day Alexander was born?"
"Yeah, I've been thinking about that."
Why the fuck couldn't she say this? Suddenly she was shy again. She'd had a kid with this guy, for Christ's sake!
"Rae, hun – "
"Yes, okay? Yes. Let's get married. I love you. As long as we only invite Titans and have it right here."
"I can live with that," he said, gently kissing her ear.
She couldn't stop herself from grabbing her hands and squeezing him close. "Alexander can be the ring bearer. Robin can officiate. Star will be my maid of honor, Cy can be the best man. I want fucking ice cream cake – "
"Whoa, girl. I didn't know you fantasized about your wedding."
"Well, haven't you?"
"There was no point, since I never thought I'd be lucky enough to marry you," he said. "I had no idea I'd ever end up here with you."
She curled into him, a smile bursting onto her face like the morning sun over the horizon.
"Deep down," she said, "I always knew."
Aaaah yaay! That felt so good to write! Well, this is the end of 'Heartbeats', and I want to thank everyone who's come through it with me. I had no idea that a little story that I came up with a week and a half ago would be so popular! I truly appreciate all of the reviews, favs, and follows, especially for those of you who have been with it from the beginning. I'll try to go through and review some of your stories to return the favor! Anyway, please keep in touch - hopefully I will be back soon to write some more TT fanfiction, since this was so damn fun! Take care, y'all!
All my lovin, Pegelia