A Friend Indeed

Disclaimer: Jack owns precisely Jack

A follow-up regarding the consequences of Cyborg's latest accessory. And then some other stuff.

This is the fourth in my series, after 'A Friend In Need'. The series begins with the multi-chapter 'Beast Outta the Bag'.

Raven was fairly pleased with herself, an uncommon but welcome sensation. It had been four days since she had gifted Cyborg with the bracelet and each day he seemed to grow happier with it. On that night, she had been able to return from her meditation in time to see him present the gift to his friends.

Having just explained its function, he stood grinning but still dazed, waiting for their reaction. Starfire had reacted strangely, claiming she would 'return in great haste' and then rocketing out of the common room. Nightwing had stepped forward to shake hands solemnly with Cyborg, the latter still marvelling at the heat and strength he could now feel. Beast Boy, understanding the weight of this development had stood and embraced his best friend, trying his best to wrap his arms around Cyborg's massive frame and, to Raven's surprise and approval, eschewing the usual back-slapping and male posturing. Starfire did indeed return, a collection of different items of clothing in her arms. Cyborg looked slightly concerned.

"Uhhh, Star? I'm not sure what you're planning but-" Cyborg was shushed by Starfire. She thrust a pair of jeans into his hand and stared expectantly. "They're not really my size, Star," he said. The alien rolled her eyes and guided his other hand to the jeans, moving his fingertips across the fabric, running them down the seams. On closer inspection, he realised each garment was made of a different fabric, from polyester to cotton to silk. Starfire wordlessly handed him sample after sample, waiting patiently until he was finished examining one before presenting the next. When the pile was exhausted, she laughed happily and grabbed him in a hug of her own.

"I am overjoyed for you, friend Cyborg, more than spoken words can convey!" Cyborg accepted the hug gratefully but soon had a red tinge appearing across his flesh and blood cheek. Raven had been careful when holding his arm in the garage but Starfire, in her reckless happiness, had pressed her breasts against Cyborgs chest...

"Uh...*ahem*... thanks, Star," he said graciously, gently pushing the girl away from him by her shoulders, ostensibly so he could look her in the eye. After that, Noghtwing had the bright idea of testing his reaction to temperatures: sticking his hand in the freezer made him shiver after a while and it hurt to touch Raven's recently-boiled tea kettle. Suddenly pensive about feeling pain (bear in mind this is a man who routinely disassambled parts of himself - who knows how much that would sting?!), Raven spoke up.

"The effect of the charm only lasts while you wear it, Victor. You can just take it off before we go into combat." Cyborg looked at the bracelet, indecision in his eyes. Starfire spoke next, clasping her hands in front of her.

"It will be your equivalent of the 'suiting up'!" she cried. Cyborg's eyes widened a little, a smile growing on his face.

"That... actually makes perfect sense." With that, the next few days consisted of further explorations of Cyborg's new sensations, his construction of a very sturdy box to keep the charm in during missions and the occasional fight against crime. On the third day, Beast Boy had had an idea and had begun to change into various animals, letting his friend experience the different textures of scales, fur and hide he could offer. The exchange had been awkward at first but Cyborg's curiosity defeated the quiet voice that reminded him he was stroking his best friend's back. Any lingering tension evaporated when, after finishing the session, Beast Boy snapped back to his humanoid form, grinned and screamed:

"NO HOMO!" All of the male Titans laughed uproariously while Starfire tittered and Raven grimaced.

The fourth day brought with it a true test of Raven's ever-improving control over her powers. It had begun innocently enough. Breakfast, reading on the couch while curled up next to Beast Boy who watched TV. A brief call-out to Control Freak's latest debacle rounded out the morning. After lunch, Raven decided to meditate a little and magnanimously allowed Beast Boy to remain in her room while she did so. When she opened her eyes she remained airborne above her bed, glancing over her shoulder and seeing Beast Boy's form stretched behind her, belly up. She imagined he had fallen asleep staring at the ceiling and whispered jokingly to herself.

"Clearly the view was not stimulating enough..."

"I dunno, Rae," Beast Boy began, causing Raven to turn her head over her other shoulder to look at his face, wide-eyed. "I think the view was plenty stimulating." She then noted Beast Boy had not yet looked her in the eye but continued to stare at her back... or rather her lower back. Her lower lower back. Raven phrased her next sentence carefully and delicately in her head...

"Exactly how long have you been lying there, staring at my ass?"...then abandoned subtlety. Beast Boy shrugged, still not looking at her face.

"Pretty much since the fourth 'zinthos'. It was literally hovering right in front of me, Rae. What man could resist?" he answered. Raven, deciding not to answer, merely lowered herself back to the bed. Beast Boy pouted artfully, looking as if she'd just stolen his favourite toy... but at least he was looking at her face. Despite the warmth running up her neck into her face, Raven concluded a little discipline was in order. With a thought, a burst of dark energy erupted beneath Beast Boy's legs, causing an involuntary backward roll off her bed and into an undignified heap on the floor. He mumbled, unable to speak around the knee jammed into his mouth. Raven rolled her eyes, got to her feet and helped him untangle himself.

"What was that?" Raven asked, a hint of warning in her tone. The green man stood and made a show of dusting himself off.

"Totally worth it!" he repeated. She rolled her eyes again but didn't resist when he pulled her into a gentle kiss. The kiss grew more heated, their hands roaming a little. Going by Raven's Roadmap, he had been given new permissions yesterday but with precise guidelines. He was now permitted to touch her skin underneath her clothes as long as his hands stayed away from her underwear so, as their kiss deepened further, he pushed his right hand underneath Raven's hoodie and t-shirt, pulling her to him with his hand on the bare skin of her back. He had also been permitted to let his hands... wander lower but only above her clothes and only at the back. So he slid his left hand slowly, to let her know what he was doing, down from her right shoulder to her waist, then on to her hip and then finally - gloriously - around to her backside. He squeezed gently and heard her moan into his own mouth, swearing he could feel tears of happiness behind his eyes. Seriously, if his mouth hadn't been occupied there was a fifty-fifty chance he might have made a speech, recited poetry or broken into song all about his long-anticipated contact with Raven's posterior.

He liked her butt, is what I'm trying to say.

Raven reciprocated with shaking hands, moving beneath his shirt and grazing his abs with her fingernails. The reaction had been instantaneous and surprising. His stomach twitched and he involuntarily jerked away slightly, laughing into the kiss. They didn't even break contact and she moved her hands and placed them flat against his chest, feeling the heat of his skin. They continued for another few minutes and then, with a reluctance they were both depressingly used to, they parted. They had reached the limit. They stared into each other's eyes, clouded with lust and, with a heroic effort, Raven calmed her heart and emotions, leaning back in to kiss Beast Boy lightly on the cheek. He sighed and, with a wry smile, kissed her on the forehead, just above her chakra. They looked at each other again with warm cheeks and tiny smiles... this had been a good day. Raven moved her hands from his chest his back and embraced him closely... then her eyes snapped open, smile absent and cheeks redder than ever. Beast Boy's eyes were closed but he had also stopped smiling and now winced slightly.

"Garfield... 'something'... is poking my stomach," Raven said slowly and carefully, tone flat. Her companion laughed self-deprecatingly.

"Well, Rae... it was gonna happen eventually. I'm surprised it took this long, to be honest." Raven quickly backed away, blushing brighter than ever and unable to look at him. She had known this would happen. Hell, she wanted it to happen and someday she wanted to...to...

*SPLAT*

The sound jerked Raven from her train of thought just before it derailed and she peeked through the door into her bathroom. Her shampoo bottle had exploded. She sighed and ruthlessly controlled her emotions, slowing her breathing. Before she had opened them again...

*KNOCK KNOCK*

"Rae?" Cyborg called through the door, sounding unusually timid. "Rae, I need to talk to you." The demoness automatically moved to her door but was stopped by Beast Boy's urgent whisper.

"Rae! Don't open the door! Ya gotta 'port me to my room first!" she turned with a question in her eyes, apparently choosing to block out the last minute or so.

"WhyyyyyyYYOH, AZAR!" Raven's eyes had drifted south mid-sentence. Beast Boy's embarrassment grew as he found himself having to spell things out for her.

"I need to uh..*ahem*... take care of this." Not even looking at his bright red face, she barked out a slightly deranged laugh and waved her hands, sending him to his bedroom. She stood for a moment, head in hands until a second knock reminded her of Cyborg's presence. She opened the door and spoke in an admirably even voice.

"Victor. Can I help you?" The man nodded wordlessly and shuffled into her room, fidgeting with this fingers. Once inside he reached out to the door controls and sealed it shut... then lowered the second, sound-proof door (the walls were already sound-proofed). Raven watched curiously, waiting for him to speak.

"Rae, this charm," he held out the bracelet on his wrist. "I can't thank you enough for it... but I have a, uh... a question." Raven sat at the end of her bed but Cyborg declined her invitation to join her, choosing to stand.

"Go ahead, Victor" Cyborg inhaled deeply and stared at the wall, thinking before he spoke.

"I know it lets me feel things as if I were human. Well, organic anyway. I was wondering if it would work on any... additions I might make." Raven was still a little confused but tried to answer.

"If you mean weapons like those rockets that pop out of your shoulders... I don't know. It might even hurt." This clearly had not been what the cybernetic man had meant.

"No not weapons... I want to know if it would work if I added a... new component. For fun." Raven shook her head, totally bemused.

"An extension? You know, Rae...? An "extension"?" he tried, growing more desperate, even making the inverted comma gesture. She still wasn't getting it. He though if anyone in the tower could do subtlety it would be Raven. He stood straight, arms at his sides with eyes closed and gritted his teeth. For the second time today, someone was going to have to spell things out for Raven.

"Cyborg, I'm not sure-"

"If I build myself a new penis, will the bracelet work?" he asked, slightly louder than necessary and sporting his own blush. Raven's eyes widened yet again, her head falling into her hands once more.

"Azar... the charm is designed to make you feel like you're human as far as your physiognomy matches. So you can't feel like you have toes, for example. If you add... anything that matches human anatomy I think it should work." Cyborg cleared his throat a few times and Raven remained silent.

"Uh... right. Thanks, Rae. I guess I've got work to do, huh?" he said, trying to break the tension. Raven only whimpered into her hands. He chuckled shyly and, wisely, let himself out without another word. Raven sat still for a long while, mortified. Today's examples had shown just how far there was to go before she and Beast Boy could... y'know. Her musings were interrupted by a knock at the door. She opened it with her powers and Beast Boy walked in, still rosy-cheeked but very... relaxed. The words spilled from her mouth before she could stop herself:

"Did you wash your hands?" Beast Boy froze, not expecting the blunt question.

"Yeah... yeah, Rae." She nodded at his answer and steepled her fingers in front of her mouth, considering something. Beast Boy had learned to remain quiet during these times. Without warning, she slid off the bed and marched to her door, sealing it again. She turned to Beast Boy, all business.

"Take off your shirt," she ordered. His eyes nearly popped out of his head but she raised her hand to prevent questioning. "We're not going to do anything, Garfield. I think it'll help if we spend time together... like that." He nodded and removed his shirt, hanging it over the back of her desk chair. She allowed herself to stare for a few moments, then smiled at him, gratefully.

"So what are we gonna do, Rae?" asked Beast Boy. He suspected it was too soon for them to snuggle while he was half-dressed.

"I need to meditate a little more. You're welcome to stay and... observe." Beast Boy was pleasantly surprised. After her earlier session she knew what he would be observing... and she was telling him it was okay. "Give me a second to change," she said, sweeping into her bathroom. He raised a questioning brow... why did she need to change? He let the question go... he felt oddly... naughty. He knew it was puerile but, as he reclined, shirtless, on Raven's bed he couldn't deny it felt... good. The bathroom door opened again and Raven appeared. Beast Boy's heart very nearly smacked into Raven's ceiling.

"R-Rae?!" She still wore the plain t-shirt from earlier, though the blue hoodie was gone. It didn't matter. What did matter was that Raven had replaced her light grey jeans with a pair of black short shorts, most likely used as sleepwear. Her legs, lost to him since her costume change, were before him in their pale, flawless, slender perfection. She was barefoot as well and, though he wasn't sure why, that made her even more alluring. His heartbeat quickened as she took her usual position and began to meditate. She faced away from him and he could see the small of her back above her waistband. He stared and stared at her legs, first as a whole, then, after getting to his feet, at each detail: her slim, athletic thighs; her tiny, fragile-looking knees; the gentle curve of her calves and her dainty feet. He was faintly creeped out by his own train of thought but he just couldn't stop staring. Finally his gaze returned to her face: she was so beautiful! Rather than lie on the bed, he pulled the desk chair to him and sat in front of her. He watched her face as she chanted, eyed the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed and, every now and then, allowed his gaze to roam over her wonderful, exquisite legs. He knew what she was doing. After his hasty exit earlier, he had been hit with the same realisation: there was a long way to go. She was trying to speed things up and that thought was humbling, frightening and unquestionably, incandescently hot. So he did what she wanted. He sat there and lusted after her, not even trying to hide it. He let it wash over him and knew she could feel it too.

Raven sat on the knife-edge. On one hand, she worked to calm her emotions and on the other, she allowed herself to bask in Beast Boy's aura. It was bright with love, which made her giddy and filled her with an innocent happiness... and it was mixed with heavy, almost suffocating desire. The happiness she got from that was anything but innocent. As she meditated and he stared, each wanting the other like they had wanted nothing before, they controlled themselves with the knowledge that, sooner or later, it would finally happen. That didn't stop them from thinking the same private and darkly humourous thought:

"I wouldn't complain if it was 'sooner'..."

Well...that got a bit steamy, didn't it?! I sort of had the idea to make things a bit more 'hot and heavy' between BB and Rae but hadn't originally planned to put it in this story. This was going to be a second chapter, if you like, to 'A Friend In Need' but, seeing as I'm probably gonna rate this one as 'M', keeping them separate allows me to keep the first bit rated 'T'. If anyone's curious, I doubt I'll write a full-on lemon - I just don't have it in me - but I might take the story right up to that limit before copping out with 'then dey totes made sex!' Still, far to go for the couple - this is their reaction to her wearing shorts... Poor BB's gonna asplode if she ever gets nakies lol! Lemme know how I did :)

P.S. If you want to continue this story, read the multi-chapter 'Heat In the Dark'. I should warn you that story is rated M and does contain lemons.

-Jack