A Changeling's Fancy
This is an enhanced version of the original story, which I think is now less sappy and better.
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It was a quiet summer afternoon in the Tower. The villains were conspicuous by their absence and Jump City was at peace. Other than Slade and the Hive-5, most of the Titans' usual opponents were safely locked away in the local state prison, which is just how Raven liked it. She was curled up on the crescent shaped couch with one of her huge ancient looking books. She could literally feel the muscles in her body relax, her stress sublimating away as she turned the page and sipped her herbal tea.
It just didn't get any better than this, she thought to herself. Peace, quiet and tranquility. And best of all, he wasn't around to pester her.
Then she heard the sliding doors open and after closing her eyes and frowning, she heaved a melancholic sigh. Nothing good lasts forever, she reminded herself as she shut her book, knowing that reading would now be an exercise in futility as she heard a pair of familiar sounding footsteps approach from behind.
As expected, Beast Boy leaped over the couch and landed next to her, bouncing a few times after he landed. He had his signature goofy grin plastered on his face, and he wagged his eyebrows at his girlfriend of one month. She acknowledged his presence with a subtle nod but her expression did not change, which is to say that it looked bland and uninterested. She glanced at her book, debating whether or not to reopen it. She decided not to do so and set it aside.
They were both 19 years old now, and Robin, who was getting ready to make his transition into Nightwing, had reminded his team more than once that they would soon be dropping the word 'Teen' from the team's name.
Beast Boy was being his usual restless self, and Raven knew that he wanted her attention, which she had to admit to herself it had become difficult to withhold as the green changeling had bloomed into maturity rather nicely. She even thought his physique rivaled Robin's. But now was not the time to ogle her beau. She did have a reputation to maintain after all.
"What do you want, Gar?" She asked him in the flattest of her monotones. "You know that I don't like being disturbed when I'm reading.
He gave her one of his winning smiles. His fang protruded from his mouth and his green eyes seemed to twinkle with mischief.
"Oh, you know."
"No, I don't." She lied.
"We talked about it last night on our date…"
Raven leaped to her feet and glared at him.
"Absolutely not! Out of the question! You know better than to ask me that again!"
The changeling feigned a hurt look.
"Oh, c'mon Raven, Please? Pretty please?" He implored her.
"I already told you my answer, Garfield. I don't want to do that."
Ouch! She only called him Garfield when she was peeved with him. He realized that this was going to take some delicate tip toeing to achieve his objective while avoiding outright disaster.
"But it'll be fun! C'mon, you'll like it. Pleeeeeease?"
Raven frowned. She knew him all too well. Much like a pit bull, once he latched onto something he wouldn't let go, and past experience had taught her that simply ignoring him wouldn't work. He was persistent, if anything.
"Look, I know this means a lot to you Gar, but I'm just not ready to take this step in our relationship."
"How can you be so sure? Lots of girls do it and they love it."
Raven sighed. He didn't give up easily; she had to give him credit for that. But sometimes she wished he was less stubborn, if just a little.
"In case you haven't noticed, I'm not like most girls."
That almost worked, as he drew back with a troubled expression on his face. Then she saw from his look that he had another idea. Raven cursed internally. In many ways they complemented each other so well. She was the epitome of methodical, of doing things "by the book" while he excelled in improvising, shooting from the hip, and right now she was secretly wishing that he didn't have that talent.
"I know Rae, but so is Star, and Star and Robin did it, and it was even before they became engaged."
Raven was quick with a counter attack.
"That was their choice, Gar. Just because they liked it and had a good time doesn't mean that we will. Why can't you be patient and wait until I'm ready? Is it really too much to ask?"
Beast Boy decided to pull out the big guns. He had done it before. Getting Raven to agree to become his girlfriend had been no small feat. It had taken perseverance and tenacity to wear her down, until he got her to finally agree to be his girlfriend. And now it was time to take the next step. He anticipated some pushback from her; it really wasn't unexpected given what he was asking of her, she being dark, mysterious Raven of the Titans, the gray demoness who had to keep her emotions in check. So he got down on one knee and did his best impression of the 'face' he could do without morphing into a kitten.
"Rae, it would mean so much to me! Pleeeeease, pretty please!"
Raven felt her heart flutter, and cursed silently about how well he knew her weaknesses. She bit her lower lip and resolved to stay strong. It was true, he was cute, even handsome, not that she would ever tell him. But in spite of all his many charms she resolved to not budge on this important issue. He was being impulsive, without giving any thought to the possible consequences of taking this step, of passing this milestone. This was not something to be taken lightly as if it turned out to be a botched experience it could possibly affect their nascent relationship, damaging it irreparably. Why were guys so impatient about this? Didn't he understand that she would eventually agree to his request?
"Gar you're embarrassing both of us. Now get up while you still have some dignity left."
Beast Boy now got down on both knees. "Rae, I'm begging you. Don't you love me?"
Raven felt the indignation swell in her chest. She couldn't believe that he just tried that old saw with her. Of course she loved him! What kind of question was that to ask? For a split second she debated whether or not to break up with him right at that moment. Of course that wasn't possible and she knew it. Instead, she chose to forgive him for the manipulative remark. Well, sort of … he would pay for it later, she would make sure of that.
"That's not going to work Gar, so stop it and get up! Just because I'm saying no today doesn't mean I won't say yes in the future. You're just going to have to be patient!" she said in a clearly annoyed voice. Beast Boy saw that he was finally beginning to make some headway. It was time to circle in for the kill!
"But I'm your boyfriend Rae, how can you say no to me?"
Now he did it and Raven was pissed that he would try to pull that on her.
So you want to go nuclear, huh? She thought to herself. Well, I can also play that game!
"Ok, how about we make a deal?" she replied in her deadpan monotone. Inside however, she was practically giggling and she knew that somewhere in Nevermore one of her less used emotions, Sly, was grinning ear to ear. He'll never go for this, not in a thousand years, she congratulated herself for her cunning.
"A-a-a deal?" he stammered back, unable to hide the concern in his voice. Raven could see that he was already beginning to panic over what she was going to demand in return.
"Yes Gar, a deal. You know what a deal is, right?"
He gulped and nodded his head.
"For you Rae, I'll do anything."
Raven gave him a sinister smile that sent a shiver down his spine.
"The Jump City Opera season starts next week. Will you take me to all 6 operas? And dinner before each performance and I pick the restaurants. Oh, and you have to pay for everything. I'm your girlfriend now, so you can forget about going Dutch." She challenged him.
Beast Boy rose from the floor and stared at Raven. He blinked repeatedly as he pondered the offer. The opera? She knew he hated the opera or anything to do with classical music.
"Well?" She asked him in a sweet yet dangerous voice. "Oh, and you'll also have to dress up nice. You can't go in your Doom Patrol costume."
"What do you mean by … nice?"
She narrowed her eyes slyly. The last time he saw that look was years ago, when she picked up the stank ball that Cyborg had blindsided him with and proceeded to give the tin man a whuppin' that he had still not forgotten.
"A tuxedo is considered proper attire."
"A tux? Oh come on Rae, you gotta be kidding…"
"That's my offer, take it or leave it."
Raven was feeling very smug at the moment. She managed to scare him off and didn't even have to use her powers to accomplish the feat. She was feeling in control and was enjoying it, that is, until he replied.
"Ok, it's worth it. You're on! Deal?"
Raven was unable to hide the look of horror on her face. He called her bluff and she was beginning to panic. It was too late to back out now, if she tried to do that he would have every reason to be angry with her, maybe even break up with her and go back to … no, she couldn't allow that to happen. And she knew that Terra would take this step with him in a heartbeat.
"OK, deal." She said with a tone of regret in her voice.
Beast Boy kissed her to seal the deal. He looked jubilant and even danced a little victory jig.
"Rae, I promise you, you won't regret it!"
"I already am regretting it. How did I let you talk me into this?" She moaned, turning to the other 3 Titans who had been present the whole time. Cyborg had a happy grin on his face, while Starfire happily clapped her hands while she also smiled.
Raven looked at Robin, who looked pleased with himself. How dare he? Just because he and the princess had already taken that step so cavalierly gave him no right to judge her! She gave him one of her signature glares, which just made Robin smile even more.
"Oh come on Raven." Robin interjected, "I think that you'll really like it. Just give it a chance."
"Friend Beast Boy is right, it is not even necessary to be the boyfriend and girlfriend to enjoy it. It is a healthy and pleasant experience." The Princess added.
Raven turned to Cyborg, and glared at him. He continued to grin happily.
"So what do you have to say about this, Victor? Do you also think it's a good idea? And please don't say 'it's about time' or I'll send you to another dimension, one were everything made of metal rusts."
Cyborg snickered at first, and then pumped his right arm in a triumphant gesture.
"Boo-yah!" He cheered. "It is about time … about time The Teen Titans went to Disneyland!"