Is that a chapter? Why, I believe it is!
Sorry for not updating for so long, I've been busy. But I'm betting you don't want to hear excuses, so anyway, here's the next chapter! There will only be about one or two more, so enjoy it! :D
Disclaimer: No, I don't own the Teen Titans, or Christmas, or Santa. Although I do own some very annoying homework. Ugh.
On with the story!
Several hours after her conversation with Beast Boy, Raven found herself in her room, puzzling over what to wear to the dance. Normally, the half demon paid no particular attention to what she wore to the Jump Holliday Dance. As long as it was suitably fancy and not too dark for the occasion, Robin usually let her wear whatever she wanted. No one had yet forgotten what she had done to the red Santa dress Starfire had tried to make her wear the first year.
This year, though, something was different. Raven found herself actually considering style when picking her outfit. She took a dark violet dress off a hanger, giving it a cursory glance before putting it back in her closet. No, that dress was much too depressing for the occasion, not to mention it made her look even more pale than usual. With a sigh, the purple haired teen sifted through the scant number of items in her closet, waiting for something to catch her eye. She wondered why she bothered. After all, no one ever dared to judge what she wore. And yet, just this once, she wanted to look nice.
The empath was suddenly torn out of her reverie by her hand brushing against the soft material of a dress, partially hidden at the back of her wardrobe. Carefully, Raven pulled it out of her closet. She had almost forgotten she owned something like this. When she had bought it, it had been too big, but maybe now... maybe now it would fit.
As she further examined the dress, Raven allowed a rare smile to curve her lips. Yes, this would work just fine.
A few minutes of hasty preparations later, the half demon stood at the door of the common room, only now beginning to have doubts about what she was wearing. How would the others judge her? After all, it was unlike anything she had worn before. Raven was suddenly very, uncharacteristically nervous about going into the room. Opting to enter unnoticed, the empath phased through the floor, reappearing quietly in the common room.
The sight that met her eyes would have been considered by many others to be comical, but for Raven, it was only slightly amusing. Still, the dark girl couldn't help but smile at the scene playing out before her.
Cyborg was desperately trying to get the buttons on the jacket of his tux to stop magnetizing to his computerized components, flailing around and making a royal mess of the common room. Starfire whirled on towering violet heels past Raven with a loud "Wheeee!", obviously caught up in the way the skirt of her long, purple, flowing dress billowed around her. In the middle of all this chaos, Beast Boy was chilling on the couch, reading a comic, while Robin agonized about how the green shape shifter's reclined position was wrecking his tux.
Deciding that she had let herself go unnoticed long enough, Raven let out a discreet cough. "Are we going to head out, or are we all just going to sit here acting like children all night?"
"Yeah sorry Raven, we'll be going out just as soon as I can-" Raven smiled, amused, as Robin stopped mid-sentence, gaping at her. The others were slightly more tactful in their responses, although only slightly so. Cyborg stopped pulling at his buttons and simply stared, obviously stunned. Starfire gave a squeal of delight and promptly tackled the startled empath in an over-enthusiastic hug. Over the alien girl's shoulder, the purple haired girl caught Beast Boy's eye, a question evident in her violet eyes. He simply smiled ever so slightly, and Raven knew then that all the trouble picking out her outfit had been worth it.
Starfire soon released her suffocating friend, jumping back and holding Raven at arm's length so as to better examine her. "Oh, friend Raven, you look absolutely ravishing!" The alien girl exclaimed, bright green eyes sparkling.
"Thanks Starfire." Raven replied, barely able to hold back a laugh. "You look great too."
"No kidding." Robin smiled, walking over to take Starfire's hand. The Tamaranian girl giggled, blushing slightly.
"Give us a twirl, would ya, Raven?" Cyborg asked, amused, if nothing else, by the whole situation.
"I'd rather not." Raven replied coolly, her good mood immediately evaporating.
"Come on, please?" Beast Boy asked, suddenly standing beside Cyborg. He morphed into an adorable green kitten, looking up at her hopefully with shining eyes.
Raven sighed heavily. Why the face? "Fine." She conceded grudgingly. "But only once."
"Thanks." Beast Boy grinned widely, emerald eyes sparkling.
Despite herself, Raven felt her heart skip a beat, before resuming its normal rhythm. She deliberately chose to blame it on her own self-consciousness and proceeded to spin lightly in a circle, causing the long sleeved, knee length, boat neck black dress to swirl lightly around her.
"Nice." Cyborg smiled. "Now that wasn't so bad, was it? Aren't you glad I convinced you to do it?"
"Thank Beast Boy." Raven replied drily. "He did all the convincing for you."
And with that, the empath swept out of the room, navigated her way to the garage, seated herself in the back of the T-Car, and waited for the others to catch up to her.
She didn't have to wait long. A few seconds later, a green pterodactyl swooped into the room, depositing Cyborg on the floor before resolving into the form of Beast Boy. Starfire flew in soon afterwards, carrying Robin. The remaining four Titans jumped into their seats, Cyborg put the pedal to the floor, and soon they were speeding towards the location of the dance.
As soon as they arrived at the park, Cyborg parked the T-Car and got out. The others followed, Raven looking apprehensively at the large crowd of people laughing, talking, eating, and dancing in the park-turned-dance venue.
"Please don't tell me they're going to announce us or something." The empath sighed. Azar forbid. She was already getting a headache from the overload of loud emotions streaming from the people on the dance floor.
"No." Robin smiled. "We're just here to have a good time."
"Speaking of a good time- Man, will you look at that turkey?!" Cyborg exclaimed. The half metal teen immediately took off down the sidewalk, making a beeline for the refreshments table.
Beast Boy watched him go, an immensely annoyed expression on his face. "I swear he has no respect for animals whatsoever." The green jokester sauntered after his friend, grumbling under his breath about animal cruelty.
Raven smiled with slight amusement at his departure. As flighty as he may be, the youngest Titan certainly was certainly very single-minded in trying to get his meat-loving friend to stop his carnivorous ways.
Raven suddenly felt a gentle tap on her arm. She turned to find Starfire practically bursting with excitement. "Come, friend Raven, let us go commence the dancing!"
"I'm not really much of a dancer." The half demon apologized. Upon seeing the excitable girl's dejected expression, though, she decided her answer was in need of modification.
"But I guess I could learn." The empath watched with amusement as Starfire squeaked elatedly and zoomed onto the dance floor.
"Shall we go?" Robin asked, holding his arm out to her formally. She ignored it and chose instead to proceed at a comfortable pace towards the dance.
For almost an hour, Raven allowed Starfire to teach her how to dance. The girl had a surprising amount of knowledge on the subject, especially considering she had been raised on an alien planet. No matter how much the empath protested, Starfire continued to instruct her on the finer principles of dancing.
Just when Raven thought the torture would never end, a slow song came floating into the cool night air. "Hey Star, do you want to dance?" Robin asked, motioning towards the middle of the floor with a blush.
"I would love to!" Starfire smiled. She turned hesitantly to look back at the purple haired teen, who had chosen to take a seat at one of the tables at the edge of the dance floor to rest. "You do not mind, do you, Raven?"
"No, of course not." Raven replied, forcing a smile to reassure her friend. "Have fun."
Starfire just had time to smile at her gratefully before Robin pulled her onto the dance floor.
Raven watched as nearly everyone divided up into couples for the slow dance. Even Cyborg had found a pretty brunette and was dancing with her near the middle of the crowd. Despite how hard she tried to convince herself that she was fine here alone, Raven began to feel loneliness gnawing at the pit of her stomach. She couldn't help but wish that she at least had someone to talk to.
"Hey dude, what's up?"
The startled empath fell out of her seat at the unexpected sound of Beast Boy's voice next to her. He caught her seconds before she hit the ground, helping her back into the safety of her chair.
"Careful." He chuckled.
Raven blushed hot with embarrassment, immediately wishing she had a hood she could hide behind. Instead, she simply fiddled with the raven pendant that hung around her neck.
"Thanks." She replied shyly, not looking at him.
"You're welcome." The empath could tell he was smiling without even being able to see his face. She heard him shift beside her, before continuing with the conversation.
"So, why are sitting here all by yourself?"
"It's a slow dance, and I don't have anyone to dance with." Raven blurted. She blushed even harder, realizing just how sad that sounded.
"Not that I would care." She added hastily, with a weak stab at her usual indifference. Raven glanced at him quickly, wondering if he had bought her story.
"Mhmm." He hummed, obviously not believing her in the slightest. "I think you care more than you're letting on."
Raven sighed heavily. Her patience and her pride were both running thin. "So? What do you think I should do about it?" She snapped.
He simply grinned at her, completely unfazed. "I'm sure there's more than a few guys who would love to dance with you. And even if not, there's got to be someone you want to dance with."
The purple haired teen felt her breath hitch slightly, her heart speeding up despite her attempts to calm it. "Well, there is one person." She murmured almost inaudibly.
"Then why don't you ask him?" Beast Boy questioned. "The last dance is coming up."
"Because he would never want to dance with me." Raven sighed.
"I'm a half demon, a witch, an emotionless Goth who just reads books and does boring stuff all day!" Her voice had started off quiet, but the empath soon found herself whisper-shouting, the tears streaming down her face despite herself.
"No one would ever want me. I'm so... creepy!" The tears fell harder as Raven sought to explain herself.
"I'm such a freak." She finished, her voice barely a whisper.
She didn't know how much longer she could stand being so alone. Raven longed so much just to be wanted, for someone to care about her. All her life, she had been insulted, put down because of who her father was and what she was destined to do. No one had ever bothered to judge Raven Roth simply by who she was, and it had broken her.
"And I'm not?" Came the soft, unexpected reply.
She looked up, startled, as a pair of gloved hands gently brushed away her tears. The smile Beast Boy gave her then was so gentle that it melted the last of Raven's resolve. So when he wrapped his arms around her, she did not push him off.
They simply stayed there for a few seconds before the purple haired girl heard the song change. "The last song is starting." Beast Boy commented quietly, his breath tickling her ear.
Raven nodded, finally pulling herself out of his embrace, standing, straightening her dress. "I should be heading back to the T-Car." She turned quickly and started walking, trying desperately to quell the immense sadness and disappointment that was welling up inside of her.
"Raven, wait." He called.
The empath turned back toward him, doing her best to keep the hope that was blossoming inside of her out of her eyes. "Yes?"
"Do you want to dance?" Beast Boy smiled, something in the way his eyes sparkled knowingly telling Raven that he finally understood her.
She couldn't help but smile back as she took his hand and led him onto the floor. "That would be... nice."
They made their way across the dance floor, walking until Raven stopped and placed her hands on Beast Boy's shoulders formally. He laughed lightly at her slight unease, slipping his hands around her waist and resting them on her back. After a moment's hesitation, Raven slid her arms around his neck, her heart beating faster as she realized just how close they were. Together, they swayed to the music, simply enjoying the moment.
And as she danced in his arms, Raven thought that maybe there was someone who cared.
Well, that ending was interesting. Sorry if Raven got a little OOC towards the end of the fic, but she did just have a bit of a breakdown. Thank you all for reading, and please review! :)