Not sure how long this story is going to be, but I couldn't get the idea out of my head. It's Speedy/Rae since I've recently fallen in love with the pairing. I love the idea of Raven's maturity and personality taming Speedy into being monogamous.
I'm envisioning the story being a mix between the film 'He's Just Not That Into You', the film 'The Ugly Truth', and the Teen Titans cartoon series. I, of course, own none of these.
Raven frowned; she wasn't sure what surprised her more—the fact that she had been asked on a date or the fact that she said yes. Part of her chalked it up to fatigue, after all, he'd asked her after a gruelling battle against Red-X. She refused to think it was because he was attractive—she of all people knew not to judge a book based on it's cover. Still, no matter how much she tried to rationalise it, Raven was forced to—privately—acknowledge the fact that she was nervous. Even though the date was a week away. Trying to pacify her emotions proved to be no use; timid was worried about all that could go wrong, her mumbled concerns drowned out by the simultaneous revelry from hope and happy.
Raven resisted the urge to pull out her communicator and at her seldom used calendar, empty save for the weighty event marked on Saturday night. Her restraint was short lived, however, and she flipped the damn thing open, her thumb sliding over the familiar date and time. It wasn't until happy squealed at her behaviour that Raven realised she wanted—no, needed—to talk this over with someone.
She knew Beast-Boy was out of the question. He had already been gaping at her since she'd said yes to the date. No, he wouldn't be able to help her and, knowing him, he'd just manage to annoy the hell out of her about it. And she certainly didn't trust him enough to tell him what the date was—he'd be tempted to follow, especially considering how out of the ordinary it was for her. And Cyborg would encourage it of him.
She loved Cy, he was the older brother she never had. She normally appreciated his protective nature—it had only grown over the years and reflected how much closer the whole team had gotten. They really had become a big family. However, she also knew him well enough by now to know that he would be irrational about the whole thing. He was already giving her dating advice despite the fact that this whole thing happened a mere four hours ago. She smiled to herself, recalling some of his more colourful advice tips, like 'wear strong boots so you can kick him you-know-where if he tries anything on you'.
Robin would also be overprotective. He was distrustful by nature, like she often was, of people who were unknown to the team. After Malchior and Terra, he saw potential enemies in anyone who wasn't in his trusted circle and treaded carefully. She already did...and planned to take her communicator already just in case, eliminating the need for him to get involved. Not to mention, he was dating Starfire, the very definition of naive. As much as Raven liked Star, she had to admit the girl lacked common sense sometimes. Sometimes looking after his girlfriend meant that he forgot not everyone was as immediately trusting as the bubbly alien.
That just left Star.
Starfire's perky personality was often at odds with her own reserved one, however, Star did have a boyfriend. And there was the fact that Star was constantly insisting they spend more 'girl time' together. She sighed, her mind made up.
Raven wandered the twisting halls of the tower almost on autopilot. Like her companions, the tower - and the longer detour she took in an effort to elude the rest of her teammates - was familiar to her now. Sure enough, she made it to Star's room without running into anyone else. Taking a breath to brace her mess of emotions to also deal with Starfire's overwhelming happiness, she rapped on the door. The redhead opened the door and, when it slid open to reveal her best friend, she squealed in delight.
"Would you like to do the hanging out now?" she chirped.
Raven nodded, "I need help with this...date situation. All of it. I don't know what to wear or what to talk about."
Yes, unfortunately, Raven was now regretting never buying anything when she went to the mall with Star all of those times. It meant that her only non-superhero clothes were pyjamas and sweatpants.
Star squealed again, "Yes, I would be delighted to help. Let us first find something for you to wear!"
Raven followed the chipper girl into her pink room, amazed at how quickly Star had gotten to her closet. Starfire began pulling items out quickly—almost comically so—making a rather large heap of clothes on her circular bed. Roused from his nap by a few clothes that didn't make the bed, Silkie leaped from his identical, small bed to a more secure place behind Star's nightstand. Raven wished she could take Silkie's place; Star on a mission was terrifying.
Raven levitated into her usual lotus position, waiting for Star to make her selections. Though, if she was being honest with herself, she was a bit worried. Nothing from that closet looked like it remotely fit her usual colour palette of black and dark blue. In fact, all of it looked to be various shades of purple and pink. Deciding not to judge before she'd seen anything, Raven closed her eyes.
"I have it! It is glorious!"
Raven opened one eye...and was glad she was practised in controlling her emotions. She looked at the monstrosity—it was a lavender sundress with pink flowers printed all over it. The dress was perfect for Star, but the colour. She instantly knew it would make her look...well, not good. Still, not wanting to upset her friend, Raven took the dress and levitated to Star's bathroom to try it on.
She breathed a sigh of relief as she let Star examine her. The dress was an awkward fit at best. At worst, it was no fit. Raven, having a more generous bust than her friend, saw the fabric strain at her chest. The dress fell a few inches past her knees due to the height difference between the two of them and made her look paler than usual. The only word Raven could come up with was frumpy. Like the epitome of crazy aunt. Thankfully, seeing it on, Star could agree that it wasn't the best for her friend.
"Thanks for trying, Star but I don't think your clothes will fit me," she said monotonously, relieved she wouldn't have to try every article of clothing on that Star had piled haphazardly on her bed. They all looked the same—perfect for Star but not so much for her.
"But, then what will you do?" she asked, green eyes brimming with concern—a fact that Raven appreciated.
"I have a week, I'll figure it out, Star. Don't worry." She offered her friend a small smile and helped her to put everything back away to crowd the closet once again. How Star found anything in that mess, she'd never know. Then then, silently acknowledging that she'd gotten off easy this time, suggested they paint their nails and watch a film. Raven was grateful to find Star had purchased darker nail polish since their last spa get-together. It meant she wouldn't have to paint her nails fuschia and endure Beast-boy's parade of comments. Grabbing the burgundy—titled 'Paris Nights'—Raven got to work on her own nails, confiding in her friend over the documentary on extremophile fungi about how nervous she really was. She didn't have all that much (read: any) normal dating experiences and, as such, had no clue what she was supposed to do.
Unless secondhand experience from films and books counted...though experience taught her that they generally didn't.
After their quality time, Raven felt good that she and Star had their long overdue 'girl time', however, she was still unsure. Star's 'be yourself' shpiel worked for someone who was curious and bubbly, but Raven doubted it applied the same way to sarcastic, reserved, quiet and emotionless. She sighed; she knew who she ought to call. Who she should've just called in the first place, pride be damned. (It was easier said than done, though.)
Since the end of the world, Raven had opened up more during the team bonding activities and, by extension, the inter-team ones with Titans East. Raven recalled with a smile how he'd tried to flirt with her like all the other Titan girls. It had taken several threats, more than most people, but he laid off eventually. She couldn't say what the turning point was, but he began to act seriously around her. That's not to say he never flirted—something that would've been nearly impossible for him—but his maturity was something she respected and was grateful for. It also made it easier to deal with him when he was being childish; if she could weather the storms of his immaturity then, like the skies clearing, she'd get to see him calm and, sometimes, wise.
It didn't take long for them to become friends once they discovered the sheer amount of similarities between them. He grew up on a Navajo reservation, in a place with a very unique and, often, misunderstood culture. She grew up similarly, on Azerath. He'd trained rigorously with the Green Arrow, she'd done so with Azar and the monks of Azerath. Both had left their homes behind and picked up the superhero mantle. And, although he'd always cover this up with jokes and jibes, she could always sense his sadness when she asked if he'd ever been serious with a woman. So, conceivably, they'd both been hurt by betrayal too.
These similarities made it easier to relate to the archer and vice versa. She often wondered if she would have ended up even more like him if she hadn't needed to control her emotions. She deflected her pain by claiming she couldn't feel, but without that excuse, would she have turned to humour (specifically sarcasm, which was her forte) to deflect her sadness? Either way, she could empathise with him. Well, usually.
Though she understood the reason for his promiscuity, it still bothered her. She would often comment and that was usually the main source of friction between them. She tried to keep it in the realm of joking, however, and they usually passed without incident. After all, there was no reason he couldn't still be her friend even if he had undesirable dating habits. She wasn't dating him, after all.
Still, if there was one guy who understood what would keep a guy interested and what women ought to wear on any type of date, it was him. He probably also knew what mundane conversation topics she ought to have stored away for Friday. She sighed, hating herself for doing this. She knew the cocky archer—he would never let this go. But it was either put up with his antics for priceless information that would set her emotions at ease or risk alienating the one guy in Jump City who'd approached her for a date.
She sighed and, picking up her communicator, called Speedy. In hindsight, she knew she shouldn't have been surprised, after all, they were on different time zones, but when he answered his communicator, Raven caught a quick glimpse of another woman near him. She frowned; she hadn't considered he would be out of the tower, though she should've. It was Speedy, after all. She heard him mutter, 'Just a minute, babe' before leaving the room.
Raven was just thankful she hadn't caught him at a more awkward time. At least they were both still fully dressed. The turn her thoughts was taking caused her to flush a bit. She just hoped the darkness of her room and the shadows of her hood would hide it.
"Raven?" he asked, confused, "Is there something wrong?"
"Um, no," she answered, "I just needed your help with something. Nothing urgent, I'll call back."
Before she could hang up, he blurted, "What?"
She could see the shock on his face.
Gritting her teeth, she repeated herself, "I. Need. Your. Help."
He smiled at the strain this was giving her and replied cheekily, "I heard. But I mostly meant what did you need help with?"
She bit back a growl, after all, he was taking time away from his latest conquest to talk to her, even if he was smiling like the cat who ate the canary.
Looking up at the ceiling, wishing the ground would swallow her whole in that instant, she replied, "I got asked out on a date."
"I would say congratulations, but you don't sound so happy about it."
"I feel sick," she confided, feeling her stomach lurch, her statement coming out more meekly than she had intended, "I don't know what to do. Help?"
The shock still hadn't left his face, "Why me? Why not Star? She's got a boyfriend and, y'know, knows more about girly things than I do."
"I already tried. You should've seen the monstrosity she tried to get me to wear. Besides, you go on lots of dates, I thought you might be of help."
She cringed, she hadn't meant to insult him but she didn't need her powers to feel the hurt in his crestfallen gaze. Quickly, she amended, "All I meant was you have experience in a variety of situations. It's not exactly a 'normal' date and I could really use some help."
He nodded, back to his carefree self, "Okay. Give me a bit and we'll talk more."
It wasn't until she hung up that she realised he hadn't said one teasing remark. Probably due to the shock—she was prepared to hear it when he called back though. Sometimes. Shaking her head a bit, she smiled to herself and decided to continue her book until he called back. Turning the ringer on her communicator up to the loudest level, she set it near her and began to read.
Raven jerked around, arms groping in the darkness around her as, for a brief moment, she forgot where she was. Sitting up abruptly, she could feel the crease the book had left in her cheek. With a frown, she glanced at the time on her night stand. She'd been asleep for 2 hours. Shit. She lunged for her communicator to check for any missed messages, however, she found there were none. Jerk.
Rubbing her face where the book left its imprint, Raven decided she would get some tea. Grabbing her communicator—yes, in case he called—she headed for the common room, passing Beast-boy showing Starfire the intricacies of how to play Mega Monkey 6 on the big screen that dominated the room.
"Where's Cyborg?" She asked monotonously, wondering why Beast-boy wasn't playing with his usual competitor.
"You're finally up," came the familiar voice of Speedy as he left the kitchen, carrying a mug of herbal tea. "'Bout time. I was going to run this up to you."
Her eyes widened, it was her turn to be shocked. "What are you doing here?"
He chuckled, "I offered to switch with Cyborg for the next two weeks so he and Bee can have some time together. Bee and Robin approved so I headed over."
She took the tea from him, ignoring the warm feeling she got when her fingers brushed over his, "Thank-you. But...you're a long way away."
"Yeah. And what does that have to do with anything?" he asked gruffly, hoping to put her off her next question. But, being as smart as she was, she quickly connected the dots, confusion giving way to apology.
"But, you were with...," she trailed off, eyes widening, "I'm sorry. I d-didn't mean to pull you away from that girl."
He sighed, "It's fine, there are other fish in the sea."
He could see, even with that comment, that the worry hadn't left her eyes.
Putting a hand on her petite shoulder, he added, "Really, Rae. She was nothing special, no harm done."
She seemed to accept this, nodding, "Well, thanks."
In an effort to dispel the intimate moment that had come upon them, Speedy stretched, taking his arm off her.
"I'm tired," he mumbled, "I think I'm going to head off to bed. Tomorrow we'll go to the mall and pick out something for you to wear."
She huffed, annoyed he would assume a mall trip was necessary, "How do you know we need to go the mall? I could have civilian clothes."
He grinned, "All I know is you wouldn't have had to rely on Star's wardrobe if you had one of your own."
He then turned, missing her embarrassed, angry blush, making his way to the guest bedroom he always stayed in when visiting Titans West.
"Well aren't you observant," she huffed after him, eyes rolling. It wasn't until Star's cheer of "I AM VICTORIOUS!" rocked the common room that Raven realised she had been standing there, alone since the archer had left. Glancing at her hand, she noticed she still carried the now lukewarm tea he'd made for her.
Levitating to the kitchen, Raven quickly drained the mug before retreating to her room.
The next morning, she awoke to an unpleasant pounding on her door.
"Wake up, Ravieee."
Her eyes snapped open. She didn't need to answer the door to know who it was; nobody else would dare to call her by that pet name. Before answering the door to chastise him for it, Raven rushed over to her mirror. She was surprised he was up before her, she was usually the first up. And Speedy was rarely up before noon. Not wanting to ruin her immaculate reputation as the early riser, Raven was attempting some quick damage control before answering the door.
Buying herself some time, she croaked, "What do you want, Harper?"
She smoothed down her hair as best as she could and wiped the sleep from her eyes. Satisfied, she opened the door a crack.
She quickly took in his appearance. He wore khaki trousers and a dark blue fitted. His damp hair hung over his domino mask—the fact that she knew it probably took him twenty minutes of primping to achieve the effortless look, sadly, didn't detract from how alluring it made him look. Raven did have to give him credit for always looking put together; he always wore clothes that highlighted his excellent physique and his hair was never out of place. Yeah, she would be a fool not to see that he was, well, stunning...but that didn't mean she was going to tell him. He already had plenty of women doing that and she saw no need to inflate his already too large ego.
(Not to mention, she'd never hear the end of that one, either.)
He smiled softly, "I didn't mean to wake you up."
She huffed, letting the door open fully, "You didn't, I was already up."
His smile grew until it rivalled that of the Cheshire cat, "Is that why you're still in lingerie, then?"
Blushing she looked down, cursing herself for not bothering to check her attire. And, of course, she was in her black silky tank-top and short boy-shorts, the ones that Star had gotten her for Christmas one year. She'd claimed that Raven needed to dress up more, a fact that she should extend to both going out and lounging around. She'd never worn them around her friends but kept them nonetheless since they were quite comfortable.
He chuckled when he saw her face flood with colour; a flustered Raven wasn't something he often got to see. It made him a bit proud to know he was the source of her discomposure.
"I was meditating and forgot to change," she mumbled, looking down in a vain attempt to hide her stained cheeks, "And it's not lingerie."
"Whatever you say, Ravie," he replied casually, riling the girl up further, "Still looks hot."
Ignoring his flirtatious comment (after all, what could she say to that?), she put her hands on her hips—which, Speedy noted with satisfaction, caused her top to ride up some, exposing a bit of her flat, pale stomach—pand growled, "Don't. Call. Me. That."
He smiled, raising his hands defensively, "Okay, fine, I won't."
She narrowed her eyes, trying to find the loopholes behind the unexpected moment of kindness, "Thanks?"
"No problem, Rae," he mentioned with a wink, before heading to the common room, leaving a flabbergasted Raven in his wake. When she regained her composure, she growled at the empty hallway; she'd forgotten how frustrating it was to work with him sometimes, despite their friendship.
She turned back into her room with a huff and quickly showered before throwing on her leotard and a pair of grey sweats over it. It would have to do. Looking at herself in the mirror, she resolved to get a pair of jeans at the mall so that she wouldn't look like a bum. Especially when she was going shopping with the immaculate Speedy. It didn't help that her sweats were well worn and were a bit big, falling loosely on her hips. She was sure she was the exact opposite of him—she was in clothes that favoured comfort over style, clothes that made her look completely undesirable. Whatever, that's getting fixed today.
She made her way to the common room for her morning tea. She noticed his gaze fixated on her at some point while she was at work in the kitchen, of course, but she thought nothing of it. It was early for him, after all. However, when it lingered for the duration it took to boil the water and steep her tea, she'd had it. Turning to her companion, who was seated on the couch, she snapped "What?"
Thankfully, for Speedy, he was spared from answering that question when Robin walked into the common room, ready for his morning coffee after his usual workout. Roy silently chastised himself, this was Raven. He'd have to be more careful. As it was, he was lucky he'd survived the encounter with her this morning.
Silently, Raven floated a mug full of coffee to her leader, much to Roy's chagrin. When did she make coffee? he wondered. Though, truthfully, he wasn't all that surprised that he'd missed it. After all, he'd been spending the morning staring at her, not what she was doing. It always amused him that she never acknowledged just how beautiful she was. She, evidently, could make even sweats look sexy. The way they dangled from her hips looked tempting—one tug and they'd be completely off.
He stopped his train of thought remembering how it had nearly gotten him in trouble just moments ago. He sighed to himself—why was he fantasising about an empath? It was like suicide. He eventually came to the conclusion that this was because he'd ditched that one girl—what was her name?—last night. He needed someone to satisfy his...urges. With that, resolved to go out tonight when they got back. A quick fix was all he needed and he'd have his sanity back. After a moment, both of the birds joined him on the couch, sitting side-by-side. It was obvious from the ease of their movements that this was something that happened often and he couldn't help but feel as though he was intruding.
Noticing Speedy's discomfort, Raven focussed her gaze on him, intently reading his emotions.
"You're not, you know," she mumbled after a long moment.
"W-what?" He had meant to sound nonchalant, unaffected by the weight of her gaze and the accuracy of her statement but, given the circumstances, failed spectacularly. Though, in his defence, he was certain most men in his position would fare the same in that situation. Or worse.
"You're not intruding," she offered, "If you were, we would say something."
It was Roy's turn to flush. He wasn't used to being read like an open book—usually he was the one doing the reading. Thankfully, she hadn't elaborated and just used her powers to turn on the daily news.
Leaning back, she said, "After this, how about we head to the mall? I'd rather go before Star wakes up—I've lost all faith in her fashion sense."
Speedy chuckled, both of them ignoring Robin's surprise, "Sure, sounds good."
I'm not sure how well I've captured Speedy since it's the first fic I've written where he features as a main character...Any suggestions?
Good? Bad? Let me know!