A/N: I'm calling this a sequel to my one-shot 'Puppy Love,' but you shouldn't need to have read it to get this one! It is, however, a cute tale of BB and Rae beginning their relationship, so you should check it out anyway.
P.S. (Spoiler) They fight a ghost wizard during this story- to see the Ghost Wizard upon which I based the appearance of this character, visit /archives/comic/11p26/ . (Also, go to the archives and start reading the comic from the beginning, because it's my favorite and entirely hilarious!) The Ghost Wizard of the comic is not the same person as the 'Aaron Burr' I reference, and virtual cookie to the first person who actually knows who that is!
P.P.S. I own neither Teen Titans, nor the Ghost Wizard from Dr. McNinja referenced in the post-script above. Plus, I borrowed some puns from the internet. Also, all ghost related lore mentioned is not true even by Supernatural standards- I'm well aware. Just… Just give me a break, okay? I like it better this way.
I Put a Spell on You
Beast Boy staggered downstairs, his mop of dark green hair messy and disheveled. It was much too early in the morning for him to be awake, but such was the price to pay for dating a girl who rose with the sun. He'd slept in Raven's room the night before- completely innocently, of course! They'd just been talking, and he'd fallen asleep on the floor. When she woke up, she'd unintentionally awoken him as well- by stepping on him. He'd rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but eventually he'd given up and slunk downstairs after her.
Yawning, he flopped down onto the couch with a groan. It was seven in the morning- he hadn't been up before nine in years. He didn't even know what was on TV this early. Or where the remote was, but that was an entirely different problem.
Maybe he could go back to sleep now, he mused, stretching out on the couch and closing his eyes. He was more comfortable than he'd been on the floor, and it was peaceful down here. Plus, he'd get woken up once things actually started happening and the other Titans came downstairs. He'd have to run upstairs and put on a shirt rather than just start going about his day, but still. This could work… He was already drifting off.
He started awake, feeling a pressure on his chest, and his green eyes flew open to find Raven slipping down on top of him, smirking slightly. She folded her hands over his chest, resting her chin on them, purple eyes meeting his. He grinned, reaching up to brush a strand of hair out of her face and then settling his hand on her lower back. She was out of uniform and cloak-less (though still wearing blue), opting instead for a long sleeve t-shirt and low-rise jeans.
"You're feeling friendly this morning," he observed, suddenly feeling giddy rather than lethargic.
Raven replaced her hands on either side of him, pulling herself slightly forward and straightening her arms so she was leaning over him, short purple hair falling out from behind her ears and narrowing both their fields of vision to only each other. "You actually got up. I felt like I should reward you."
Beast Boy wrinkled his brow indecisively, deciding whether he should do what was ethically right and admit he'd been going back to sleep, or just take his "reward" and kiss her right then.
Raven grinned slightly, knowing his thoughts (and having done this partially to keep him from going back to sleep as she'd known he was about to), and leaned in to kiss him lightly. "You should-"
"Yo! BB, are you up? I am ready to do some hard core gaming!"
Raven quickly jumped back to the other end of the couch, pulling her knees in to her chest and blushing furiously as Cyborg plopped in between them, grabbing the remote out from between the couch cushions. Beast Boy narrowly retracted his legs from the middle cushion before his partially-robotic best friend could sit on them.
"Why're you up so early?" Cyborg asked, flipping the channel and grabbing the controllers off of the coffee table, handing one to Beast Boy. He seemed oblivious to the shifter's glower and the sorceress's embarrassment. "I was planning on just getting in a solo round- maybe beatin' your high score- but when I went past your room I saw you weren't in there."
"I was, erm, unceremoniously awoken at an ungodly hour this morning. And please, like you could ever beat my high score." Beast Boy glanced over at Cyborg. "What game are we playing, anyway?"
"Wait. Are you telling me you are so cocky as to think I couldn't beat your high score when you don't even know what the dang game is?"
"Well, obviously I'm a much better gamer than you are, so…"
"Like heck you are!"
"Yes. Like heck I am."
"Hey now, no need to be dissing on me just because I'm shorter and skinnier than you! You're a freaking…"
The sounds of bickering and video game music faded as Raven slipped away from the scene, berating herself silently. That had been entirely impulsive, and entirely silly, seeing as anyone could have- and did- walk in on them. She and Beast Boy had been dating for nearly two months, but she was still quite uncomfortable with public displays of affection- something that she knew bothered him just a little, since he really just wanted to drag her up onto a table in the middle of a shopping mall food court, kiss her, and declare victoriously to the observing dozens that he, Beast Boy, was dating Raven.
Preoccupied within her thoughts, Raven didn't notice Starfire approaching from the opposite end of the hallway until the alien had thrown her arms around her in a hug. "What a glorious sunrise Robin and I observed this morning! You and Beast Boy are going to watch it tomorrow? It is most romantic!"
Star spun Raven around in a circle, giggling. Once she allowed Raven's feet to touch the floor again, the anti-social twenty-year-old twisted out of her grip, somewhat out of breath from the tightness of Starfire's hug. "I'm glad you had fun, Star," Raven managed, setting a hand on gently on her lower ribs, trying to figure out if she was bruised. "But the only reason Beast Boy is even up today is because I accidently stepped on him. There's no way I can get him up again tomorrow at sunrise."
Raven instantly regretted that statement, not wanting to make Star jump to conclusions over why Beast Boy had been in her room, but it went unnoticed by the Tamaranean as she became aware of Raven's clothing. "You do not wear your cloak? Your legs also look most peculiar…" she leaned over until her eyes were level with Raven's knees, peering curiously at the denim.
"I'm wearing pants," Raven replied irritably, pulling Star back upright. "In case you hadn't noticed, spandex is uncomfortable, and Robin, Beast Boy, and I have begun wearing it less and less."
"Spandex is not what you humans normally wear?"
Raven stared at her blankly. "Have you ever seen someone who was not a superhero and/or supervillain wearing spandex as their everyday clothing?"
"I have… not…"
"You have found your own answer."
"When did I lose-"
BEEEEP. BEEEEP. BEEEEP. Red lights flashed, alerting the Titans of a crime occurring within their city.
"Hold that thought!" Raven shouted, skirting around Starfire and racing toward her room. Too little time to change, but at least she could grab her cloak. And a shirt for Beast Boy, since he'd probably forget to grab one for himself.
The crime in Jump City had dropped severely over the years; the Titans' powers had grown over the years, lending strength to an already potent team-up, and they had expunged a large number of villains over the years. Perhaps they were a little out of practice, rarely fighting more than one villain a week; or perhaps this ghostly wizard "Aaron Burr" was simply extremely powerful and determined to possess the mayor in order to take over Jump City.
Either way, the Titans were getting their butts kicked.
Beast Boy dove behind an overturned table in the middle of City Hall, skidding to a stop next to Robin. "Who is this guy?" he panted, looking over at his leader. "I can't even land a blow on him. Star's bolts are barely phasing him. Honestly, it seems like Rae's the only one scoring solid hits."
"He's a ghost, Beast Boy. We're only attacking his physical presence; Star is at least messing with his energy, but Raven can attack his essence." Robin straightened slightly, looking over the edge of their table. He ducked a spell, squatting again. "Protect Raven. I'm going to find Cyborg and try to get the Mayor out of here." He leapt the table, flipping over one spell and batting a second away with his staff, gone in an instant.
Beast Boy made a more surreptitious exit, transforming into a mouse and scurrying across the floor. He followed the flow of black power towards Raven, wondering how exactly he was supposed to protect her when she was the only one who could fight the ghost wizard. Throw himself in the way of a spell meant for her?
She was in the center of the room, engaged in a furious, tornado-like duel with the ghost wizard- a long, thin, white specter with a tall, wide brimmed blue hat covered in yellow stars. He looked like the typical ghost a child would dress up as for Halloween, with blank black eyes and pure white ectoplasm. From his wispy arms- lacking defined hands- he shot bolts of various colored lights, spells of unknown origin and effect. Raven met them with her own spells, reaching deep into her arsenal and nearly launching into the next words of power before she'd ever finished the ones previous.
Beast Boy dodged a yellow beam, glancing over his shoulder to see the chair it hit pop out of existence. A shiver ran from his whiskers to his tail tip. What could he possibly do for her? Breaking her concentration would be worse than simply leaving her be.
"SORCERESS! DARK GODDESS OF MAGIC!" The wizard shrieked, throwing up a shield of energy to block a tendril trying to sneak around and grab him from behind. "YOU STAND IN THE WAY OF MY PLOT, FOUL WITCH! I MAY HAVE BEEN THWARTED IN NEW ENGLAND TWO CENTURIES AGO, BUT I WILL NOT TAKE THIS NOW! THIS CITY WILL BE THE FIRST STEP TOWARD MY EMPIRE!"
The guy- ghost- was nuts. Completely nuts. Beast Boy only hoped the thing's unpleasant voice wouldn't distract Raven. He spotted Starfire on the other side of the room, disentangling herself from a series of vines that appeared to have sprouted from the ground. The frustration on her face suggested they were stronger than the typical flora. Robin and Cyborg were slipping out a side door, Cyborg carrying the unconscious mayor and Robin shepherding a group of secretaries and lawyers and bureaucrats ahead of him. Beast Boy shifted anxiously, torn between disobeying Robin and going to help Starfire, and remaining where he was, uselessly.
He looked up, at Raven's swirling cloak and glowing eyes, and suddenly realized she was getting tired. He shouldn't have known. There was no slowing of her chanting, no slowing to her arm waving. How did he… There. That spell she blocked- one of its color, three minutes earlier, had shattered into shards upon hitting her black shield, but this one was simply deflected. She had no energy to destroy them anymore.
She needed help, but who could help her?
Beast Boy twitched his whiskers, staring anxiously at the ghost. How do I defeat a ghost? Think, Beast Boy, think! Hearken back to all those Supernatural reruns you watched on CBS last Wednesday! Was it… something to do with… slugs?
Salt! You could defeat a ghost the same way you defeat a slug. With salt. But there was no salt in a mayor's office! What else?
Iron. His eyes lighted on the big, showy fireplace on the right wall, where a long, showy iron poker hung decoratively next to the mantel. No time to be subtle. His body morphed, but his eyes stayed locked on the poker, his muscles- now lithe and feline- rippling as he sped across the room. He skidded to a stop next to it, shifting back into a human (opposable thumbs were necessary for taking pokers down from pegs) and ducking the spells suddenly coming his way.
Beast Boy's shout shattered her concentration the way Aaron Burr's yells hadn't, causing her to stutter over her spell. She ducked the spell she was then unable to block, turning to glare at Beast Boy. What was he thinking?
He tossed something long, thin, and grey towards her, yelling something unintelligibly and waving at the ghost wizard. He was caught in the stomach by a spell, breath suddenly whooshing out as he doubled over. Raven winced, praying he wasn't too badly hurt, but found herself with no real time to worry about him. She dove, both to dodge another spell and to catch the thing Beast Boy had thrown, wondering what was so important. A poker? What did he expect her to do, tend a-
Her face split into a grin, and she snatched it up, scrambling back to her feet. Her hand glowed black; the poker mimicked as she transferred a small part of herself to it. It flew like an arrow from her pale hand, skewering the ghost wizard mid-spell. He was pinned to the wall, corporeal form fading slowly. He murmured something, and Raven moved closer, straining to catch the last few words.
"Secession… isn't… dead…"
And then he was gone, leaving only a trail of destruction and an iron poker sticking out of the wall. Starfire finally freed herself from the vines, beaming over at Raven. But the cloaked young woman was not looking in her direction.
Raven threw her arms around Beast Boy, releasing a rare laugh. "You're a genius!"
"Witness the miracle, ladies and gents, Raven has admitted that I have a degree of intelligence," Beast Boy laughed, kissing her lightly.
She quickly disengaged, cheeks turning pink. She caught the brief flash of disappointment in his eyes, but it was quickly replaced by their typical sparkle.
Further awkwardness was saved as Robin threw the door back open, staff extended before him as he prepared to fend off spells. He straightened, realizing the fight was over. "Good work, Raven," he stated, grinning at his purple-eyed teammate.
"Your praises belong to Beast Boy, Robin," Starfire informed him, solemnly, stepping carefully across the broken wood and pieces of rubble created by the battle. "Raven has even paid him the compliment of intelligence for his help."
"Really?" Robin turned to Beast Boy as if appraising him, grinning still.
"No need to sound so surprised," Beast Boy sniffed, stepping around him. "I'd like to go shake hands with the mayor now."
Raven covered her smile with one hand, imagining the look on the mayor's face as Beast Boy asked him questions along the lines of "Do you know where Area 51 is?" The old mayor had grown used to it, over the years, whenever they'd come into contact with him, but this one was new. Unused to Beast Boy's antics. Tall, serious, with blue eyes magnified by extremely thick glasses lenses- in other words, not the kind of person who would know who the Powerpuff Girls were, much less what their phone number was so Beast Boy could prank call them.
"We should… follow him…" Robin muttered, thoughts obviously following the same line as Raven's. He appeared less amused, though.
"I don't understand why he wouldn't come get pizza with us," Beast Boy complained, allowing Raven to steer him out of City Hall by the elbow. "I only asked because he looked hungry!"
"You asked him if he considered meat to be murder and then offered to buy him the super-special vegetarian deluxe pizza to convert him into vegetarianism." She deadpanned, pulling him down a side street.
"I swear it must be enchanted, it's addictive!" Beast Boy protested, speeding up to keep up with her brisk pace. He looked around, suddenly becoming aware of his surroundings. "Hey, we're not headed to the pizza place. Or back to the Tower."
"I know." Raven glanced over at him, a smile hovering at the edges of her lips.
Beast Boy raised an eyebrow, meeting her eyes curiously. "Then where are we going?"
"I… honestly don't know," she admitted, ducking her head slightly embarrassedly. "I just thought we could get some time alone. Maybe go to a-"
Beast Boy slid his elbow out of her grip, spinning around to face her, walking backwards. "I have an idea. You trust me?"
"That depends," Raven said, slowly, not quite trusting the grin on his face, "on where you plan on taking me, and whether or not I'm going to enjoy it. I will not go to a skating rink with you."
Beast Boy laughed, grabbing her hand and dragging her along behind him. "As fun as that would be, I do not intend to embarrass you. The place I have in mind is very peaceful, rather secluded- you're not going to feel out of place."
Close to wherever he was leading her, he slowed his pace and set a hand over her eyes. "I feel like this should be some kind of reveal," he laughed, guiding her around the last corner. "I kind of doubt you even know where we are, but I actually come here a lot. Or, well, as much as I go anywhere that's not the Tower. But it's very beautiful, and it's better at twilight, but it's still great at this time of the day, and-"
"You're rambling," she told him, grinning as she knew he couldn't see it, feeling him at her back.
Beast Boy laughed quietly, dropping his hand from her eyes. "Here we are."
"We… are at a park?" Raven looked over at him and saw the excitement on his face. She refrained from further comment, not wanting to insult his choice of venue but wondering at it anyway. It was a nice little park, with a bench on the far side and a small koi pond, and she did have to admit that she hadn't known it was here. But it wasn't quite… where she'd expected him to take her.
"We are at a tree," Beast Boy corrected her, "with a very nice view of the park and placed just so that you can see the sunset through the buildings. Admittedly, I normally come here to throw things at people and/or eat without Cyborg stealing some of my pizza, but it's something I've noticed. Come on." He nimbly climbed up into the tree, turning to offer her a hand and pull her up.
Raven accepted, following him up into the branches. He was right, though- it was beautiful, and peaceful, and the leaves blocked them just enough for her to not feel like they were on display while still allowing them to see out. He sat on a large branch of the tall oak, a few feet above her and slightly to the right. "I like this place," he confided to her, sounding slightly smug- obviously having come to the conclusion that she liked it, too.
"Does it make you feel in contact with your primate self?" she asked, drily- no need to let his ego to inflate too much.
"Maybe," he grinned, not one to be easily dissuaded. "Or maybe I just like the fish over there in the koi pond. They're very… fishy."
"Which is very rare for fish."
"Absolutely, yes. Hey, do you know why Cinderella was thrown off the basketball team?"
"How did you get from koi fish to Cinderella?"
"It was a process. And Cinderella was kicked off the basketball team because she ran away from the ball." He beamed down at her, immensely proud of himself.
Raven sighed, shaking her head. "I don't know why you insist on making such terrible puns."
"Because a good pun is its own reword," he responded, smirking slightly and settling back the tree trunk.
Raven laughed despite herself, climbing up to sit in front of him, leaning back against him and pulling her knees in to her chest. She did it on an impulse, wanting to be closer to him, and felt silly for a moment as she felt him freeze. But after his moment of surprise he placed his arms around her, shifting to make her more comfortable. "You're still feeling friendly, then," he laughed.
"You're my boyfriend, should I avoid you and be moody instead?" Raven fired back defensively, blushing deeply.
"Hey now! I was making a comment, not insulting you. Nor implying that you aren't friendly on a regular basis, although let's face it you aren't."
Raven bristled, less out of offense (because let's face it, she wasn't a friendly person) and more from jealousy. Jealousy perhaps didn't seem the right word, but that's what it was; it wasn't a jealousy of any person in particular (though perhaps his past crush, Terra, featured largely into it), but of other girls in general. If he found her to be so unfriendly, what would stop him from moving on?
Beast Boy squeezed her arm lightly, sensing her distress, and continued. "I like that about you, Rae. You don't take to people for no reason, so it lets me know that the people that you like- they're the good ones." He leaned in a little closer, murmuring in her ear, "Which makes it seem all the more incredible to me that you've found yourself willing to put up with me."
She was blushing again now, but in a happy sort of way. "Beast Boy-"
"Ah, ah, ah; I'm not done. You're quiet, which means that what you have to say is important, and you're sarcastic and funny. Which, you can probably guess, is something I value- being a hilarious guy myself-" Raven snorted. "Shut it, I'm complimenting you. You're intelligent, and powerful- you could totally kick my butt in a fair fight- and you have such incredible willpower that I can barely comprehend it. I'm not the most… controlled person, and I find you awe-inspiring. Where I yell, or lash out, or do something else incredibly stupid, you pause, and take it all in, and you do the right thing." He paused and she could nearly hear him grinning. "Plus, you're both mysterious and incredibly hot, which are both major turn-ons."
"Beast Boy!" Raven elbowed him, though she couldn't help but grin. She shifted onto her feet, carefully, and turned slowly. He kept his hands poised to catch her, nervously watching her progress (and extremely unsure of what she was doing). She sat back down, facing him with her knees on either side of him. She met his eyes, smiling in that small, sincere way she had, and leaned forward to kiss him, one hand on the side of his face. His hands slid to her slender waist, holding her close. She pulled back, leaning her forehead against his, and murmured, "Thank you for saying all of those things."
"Never doubt the way I feel about you, Rae," Beast Boy told her, returning to his serious demeanor. "And don't underestimate yourself- I know you do, sometimes. Now, it's your turn." He smirked. "I'm dying to hear what semi-polite things you can stand to say about me."
"Well, I would say you were funny, but I'd never hear the end of it, so I won't."
Raven turned her face, staring down at the little pond, not wanting him to see her face as she spoke. It put too much pressure on her to say the right things- and jeez, she might be twenty, but she'd never really had a boyfriend. (He'd never really had a girlfriend, either.) How was she supposed to know what to say?
"You're charming," she murmured, sliding her fingers through his. "You're trustworthy, and loyal, and you have this natural, friendly demeanor that I envy sometimes. I don't warm up to people easily, and when I don't open up to them immediately they assume that I never will, or that I'm not a nice person. No one ever has that kind of doubt about you- you and your large green eyes and goofy grin, people just automatically like you. We're so opposite, you and I," she sighed, straightening to meet his eyes again. "You're open and funny and caring and impulsive, and I admire as much about you as you seem to about me. This might be nearly the only time you hear me say it, but I do."
"I don't mind." He kissed her again, pulling back to beam at her. "With you, actions speak louder than words. Unless those words are a spell, in which case I'm screwed."
"You can never leave a good moment be, can you?"
"I refuse to, in fact. Along the line of ruining a good moment, can I ask you where you got this shirt from?"
"I… wait, what?" Raven frowned at him, pulling back slightly to inspect the t-shirt in question.
"This shirt. You gave it to me this morning, before we went to fight the ghost wizard. You were walking out of your room, fastening your cloak, and you tossed it to me while I was running past to get to my room. But you hadn't really had time to go to my room before I got there; I wasn't that far behind you." He was genuinely curious, and she blushed deeply under his gaze.
"Oh… well… it got mixed in with my laundry a few weeks ago, and I just sort of… kept it."
"Well, well, well." There was a mischievous spark in his eye as he leaned forward, pushing her backwards until her back hit the branch. He set his elbows on either side of her head and hovered above her, smirking. "Do you mean to tell me that you've been sleeping in one of my old t-shirts?"
Raven rolled her eyes- though her blush told him he'd hit the mark- and shoved him irritably. She gasped a moment later, rolling over and looking down anxiously- having hit him just as she'd been shifting, she'd sent him tumbling from the tree. Beast Boy lay flat on his back, unhurt though distinctly disgruntled, and had just opened his mouth to complain at her when his stomach let out a loud, lengthy growl. Raven let out a loud, genuine laugh- and the angry retort withered under his ecstasy from making her laugh.
Beast Boy beamed up at Raven, watching her slip down nimbly and extend a hand to help him to his feet.
The young Titans joined the other members of their team at a pizza parlor downtown, accepted into the conversation immediately as they took their seats. It was a simple scene; of friendship- perhaps love, between certain members. This was a peaceful time, in their lives.
It wouldn't last.
Another scene unfolded, somewhere within Jump City; this was not one of friendship or loyalty, but of mystery, and fear. A man, tall and pale and emitting an otherworldly sort of presence, glowered down at his underling from cold, lifeless black eyes. "We have been betrayed by one of our number?"
"Y-yes, sir," the man- no, not a man, a ghost, revealed by the flicker of his spectral form- stuttered, looking up. "He deceived us all, pretending he was loyal to our cause but eventually abandoning us for his own agenda. I think, however, sir, that there is a strong possibility that his defection might play to our advantage in the coming weeks." The ghost rushed on as his master's eyes flashed with black flame. "These Titans are as formidable as rumored; the power of the purple-haired one is unquestionable, and the others- though largely ineffective against a spectral being- will be more of a problem as our army finds its vessels. But we know what we contend with, now, and- whilst they were distracted, with two rescuing a group of humans, a third trapped in vines, and the sorceress still embattled- I marked the green one. He is trusted but not respected entirely by all members of the team, though his powers are still formidable. He would be the perfect choice of vessel for you, sir."
The master's face, cold and calculating, had grown only stonier until that point- but it softened, slightly, with dark pleasure. "And they did not think to wonder where our late friend Aaron Burr had crawled out from?"
"It did not cross their minds, sir."
"So. Our enemy is familiar to us, but has no idea of our existence. I myself will ride into battle wearing the face of their friend." The man turned, clasping slightly translucent hands behind his back, and stared off into the shadows. "There is nothing more demoralizing than fighting one whom you hold dear, Lieutenant. You have done well.
"Now… tell me more of the green one."