Since their mission in Tokyo, there had not been much action in Jump City for the Teen Titans. Slade was still nowhere to be found, though Cyborg thought he had heard his voice somewhere on the streets. But when he heard a younger female voice responding to that sound, he dismissed the thought.
The lack of unethical behavior had got the Teen Titans bored out of their minds, so they resorted to trying out various new activities.
Raven took the free time to examine her team even more. But then, Robin and Starfire seemed to have nothing new to learn about since all they did was, as Starfire would call it, 'discover their romantic partner, develop mutual understanding, enhance relationship, and amorously hang out with language transfer'. Simply speaking, all they did was date and make out ever since their first kiss in Tokyo. Also, Cyborg had always gone off by himself to do things she had little interest in, such as doing sports and going to buffets.
That left Beast Boy, and she had noticed a lot of new changes in him. He seemed to have matured since their Japanese vacation. He noted that he only acted childish because he was on vacation.
One night, Beast Boy and Raven had a few hours in the tower to themselves. Well, actually, they were there to prepare for an all-Titans party to celebrate the fifth monthsary of the Brotherhood of Evil's defeat. Cyborg had ventured to Titans East to pick them up while Robin and Starfire were running last-minute errands.
Raven spent half the time for preparations, and half the time studying Beast Boy. His more mature self was attractive, she admitted.
"Beast Boy, sorry if this offends you in some way, but you have grown quite a considerable amount the past few days," she told him while she was hanging the balloons.
Beast Boy chuckled. "That's not offensive at all! Ever since the Brotherhood of Evil, I feel like a new man. And this time, a real man, not the man I was when I lost control of the Beast within."
"Good to hear that," Raven said. "Does that mean I don't have to listen to your ridiculous jokes anymore?"
"Maybe. Why, would you like to hear more? That's actually one of the things I missed the most, trying to make you smile."
Raven raised an eyebrow and faced Beast Boy, who faced her back.
"Why would you miss that?" Raven asked.
Beast Boy smiled sheepishly and replied, "Well, it's very hard for me to make someone laugh. It's like the harder I try, the worse the result."
"That may be true. Maybe you're just over-thinking your jokes, Beast Boy."
Beast Boy gave the point a carefully evaluated thought.
"I wonder why Terra likes my jokes, then," he said. Raven was surprised that he mentioned Terra so casually. That meant he had moved on. He really had changed, but she chose not to address Terra for the moment.
"What were you thinking or feeling when you told her jokes?" Raven asked.
Beast Boy blushed and Raven saw the hues of red on his cheeks. It was noticeable, really, since his green skin and red blushes are complimentary colors.
"Admiration, adoration for her, thinking that she was the one I love the most," he listed.
"Oh, maybe that's what will make your jokes funny," she pointed out.
"Maybe," Beast Boy muttered as he set up the plates.
"So...Why are you trying so hard to make me laugh again?" Raven asked, realizing that they had diverted the topic from her to Terra to Beast Boy's jokes in general.
"Well, you laughed at one of my jokes after we won against Starfire's kidnappers the first time we worked as a team. I wasn't even trying at that time, so I thought I could make you laugh again. Obviously, I was mistaken."
Raven had not given that a well-deserved thought. But come to think of it, she did laugh, and even thought Beast Boy was funny, at that time.
"What were you feeling during that time?" Raven asked. "If you remembered what inspired you to make that joke, it might still work."
Raven kept looking at Beast Boy, but he seemed to be avoiding eye contact. There was a few seconds of awkward silence except for the gentle clanging of plates that Beast Boy was placing.
"I-I was f-feeling the same way as I did w-with Terra," Beast Boy stuttered, breaking the silence.
"Feeling the same way with Terra," Raven repeated what he had stated, "Admiration, adoration for me, and thinking that I was the one you love the most."
She realized what she had just said and abruptly covered her mouth. The sudden rush of emotion caused a balloon hovering above her to pop via her powers.
"Y-yeah," Beast Boy confirmed to what Raven had said before she covered her mouth. Most of the green skin on his face was now reddened
Raven mentally repeated her mantra to calm herself down. Before Beast Boy looked at her to see why she had fallen silent, she had uncovered her mouth and tried to put on a poker face. Too bad for her, Beast Boy noticed her twitching slightly.
"You admired me?" Raven asked.
"Y-yes," Beast Boy replied. "I thought we looked good fighting together."
Another awkward silence as the two looked at each other intently.
"I still think that," Beast Boy mumbled.
Raven blushed at that and another balloon popped.
Beast Boy continued, "That's why whenever I thought things were going well, I joke around to try to make you laugh. But all I ever did was ruin the moment."
Raven recalled those moments. After Beast Boy and Cyborg helped Raven to defeat her enraged emotion, the two confirmed their friendship and Beast Boy pushed his luck overboard by asking if Raven thought he really was funny. Then, when they had the talk on the rocks after the Beast incident, Beast Boy ruined the moment with his inflated ego. And then of course, he ruined the moment in Tokyo on national television.
"You still admire me?" Raven asked and Beast Boy nodded in response.
"I think that admiration got jumbled up when I started using my brain to tell jokes rather than using my heart."
Raven then had an epiphany.
"I'm sorry, Raven!" Beast Boy apologized suddenly. "I shouldn't have made it awkward between us! I'm sorry!"
"No, it's fine. I just realized...that I like you too."
Beast Boy thought he had heard incorrectly. "Come again?"
"You made me realize how much you cared about me because you want to make me laugh. You, out of everyone, are the person that should matter the most to me."
"So...you want to be with me?"
Raven smiled, which made Beast Boy do the same.
"More than anyone else."
Beast Boy cheered and jumped around. He turned into a kangaroo and jumped from the couch to the table and back onto the floor and then turned into a raven, flying in circles.
Raven laughed softly at the irony and cuteness of Beast Boy turning into a raven for Raven.
Beast Boy resumed human form, wide-eyed and grinning, and landed inches in front of Raven.
"You laughed!" he exclaimed.
Raven blushed. "There. The point is proven. You're funnier when you're feeling admiration and adoration for me and using your heart rather than your practically non-existent brain."
"And especially when I'm thinking that you're the one that I love the most," Beast Boy added gleefully.
Beast Boy was about to pull Raven into an embrace, but he stopped halfway when they heard the door slide open.
"We're back, y'all!" Cyborg announced and behind him were Robin, Starfire, Titans East, and a band of Honorable Titans.
"We shall commence the festivity with our fellow friends!" Starfire said joyfully.
"Good job setting up the decorations, guys," Robin told Beast Boy and Raven. The two just stood and smiled.
"Well, then, what are we waiting for?" Bumblebee popped in. "Let's get the party started! Take me to the dance floor, Sparky!"
And throughout the night, Beast Boy danced like he was the happiest boy on Earth, like a positive change had just occurred that night. Raven, too, believed that things would never be the same again, that it will be different in a good way.