Raven sat straight in the overstuffed pink armchair, a careful, guarded expression on her face. She hadn't felt comfortable since they walked in almost an hour ago, but tried not to let it show for Starfire's sake.
After doing some research and having a long discussion with the other bridesmaids, she had determined that Maid of Honor was a title synonymous to "bride's bitch." Of course, Starfire loved her and she loved Starfire; they were each other's best girlfriends, so when it came to selecting a Maid of Honor, Raven wasn't surprised with her choice. She just had to wonder if it was the best one.
Starfire and Robin had announced their unsurprising engagement almost five months ago, and since then Raven felt like she had had a change in careers. With the wedding a mere three months away, it had gotten to the point that she was excited when the occasional alarm rang, signaling it was time to don her cloak and spring into action as Raven the superhero, not Raven the cake-tester or Raven the flower expert. Starfire had even less knowledge of American weddings than Raven did, though she insisted on having a traditional ceremony. The internet was their new best friend.
Really though, she didn't understand how Starfire kept going with all of this. She was exhausted, and it only got worse with each activity that passed. So far they had picked a venue, ordered flowers, catering, and the cake, and enrolled the entire wedding party in dance classes, which fortunately hadn't started yet.
As the process continued, Raven's boundaries were pushed further and further. Five months ago she would never have envisioned herself sitting in a dress boutique, watching a parade of white dresses that quite frankly all looked the same to her.
"Raven?" Starfire's voice carried across the florally-scented room, pulling her from her thoughts. She was in another dress, this time a strapless number with a gigantic skirt. "Please, what are your thoughts of this one?"
Raven bit her lip. "Are you sure you can fit through a doorway in that?"
The sales associates that had been hanging around giggled obnoxiously. Raven was affronted; judging by the size of the dress, it was a legitimate concern.
Something about the dress struck a chord within her, even if it wasn't the chord Starfire wanted it to be. "Didn't you try that one on before?"
Starfire drew her brows together, a look of gentle frustration coming over her face. "No friend, this dress has been embellished whereas the other has not."
Like it makes a difference, Raven thought to herself, then felt guilty. She wasn't supposed to be slacking off in her duties this early in the game.
"I think it looks nice Star," she said, forcing the most genuine smile she could muster onto her lips. Unfortunately it only caused Starfire's frown to deepen.
"Raven, you have said that about the last ten gowns," she said softly, moving to take a seat in the armchair beside her. She looked around to the women scattered throughout the room, all supposedly "helping."
"May we please have a moment alone?" she asked kindly. Few people could resist one of Starfire's requests, as evidenced by the speed with which they shuffled out of the room. Starfire turned her full attention on Raven, who tried not to melt into her seat.
"What is troubling you?"
"Nothing," Raven rushed to reply.
Starfire studied her carefully. "Raven, I know you are reluctant to partake in such activities, but may I inquire as to why?" Raven pursed her lips. Starfire was deceptive: she was often so naïve you forgot that she was brilliant and extremely intuitive.
She shrugged in reply. Starfire continued to stare at her, prompting her to explain further. Raven reluctantly continued.
"I don't know. It's just... not really my thing," she said, keeping her answer vague.
Starfire nodded. "I understand, and I thank you most graciously for your assistance." She smiled at Raven in her signature warm, loving way. "Perhaps one day I might provide the same services."
It took a minute for her words to sink in. "Uh, I don't think so," Raven said quickly.
"Why not?" Starfire looked at her with big, genuinely curious eyes. Really? Raven wondered as she tried to formulate an answer, it isn't obvious?
"Well, I won't be getting married. And even if I was, it would be in a courthouse and take about fifteen minutes." Starfire looked appalled.
"Why have you already decided against the ritual of marriage?"
Again, Raven was shaken by the question.
"It's not anything against marriage," she assured her. "I just don't see myself getting married."
"But you and friend Beast Boy..." Starfire trailed off, looking at Raven with confusion. It was true, they had been dating for a couple of months. Raven sighed, not really sure how to explain.
"Starfire, just because the two of us are together doesn't mean we're going to get married, or that we have to."
"But do you not love him?"
Raven sat still in the chair, mouth slightly agape. She blinked at her friend, begging her mind to supply an answer. "Well, I, um..." she stuttered uneasily.
"Hmm," Starfire sighed, cocking her head to the side. "You do not know if your feelings for him are truly those of love?"
"Yeah," Raven drawled
"Well let us examine them!" she suggested happily, beginning to question her before Raven could protest. "Are you attracted to him physically?"
Raven crossed her arms over her chest, staring at the carpet instead of at her friend. "He's green." She looked up after a minute of silence to find Starfire glaring at her. "Yes," she muttered, "I suppose I am."
"And what of his personality? Does he treat you kindly?"
"Of course," Raven said quickly. "He's nicer to me than anyone ever has been." The thought lingered in her head even after she said it. He was the one to include her in everything, to make her laugh when she thought it was impossible, and to comfort her in a way no one else could. She shook her head to clear it of such sappy thoughts.
"Do you wish you were with him?" Starfire asked softly. Raven opened her mouth to answer the question, then closed it, giving it a bit more thought.
She hadn't noticed when his attention stopped being annoying and started being... kind of nice. But somewhere along the road of their friendship it had happened. Now that they were dating, his attention only increased. When she came down for breakfast in the morning there was always a fresh plate of waffles waiting for her, regardless of the fact that Beast Boy had to force himself to rise earlier than she did to make them. When she was hurt he was the first one by her side, protecting her while she recovered. One morning she even went to his room to find it completely clean, because he "knew you didn't like it messy."
Now, she hadn't simply gotten used to his affection; she craved it. Letting someone into her life always seemed frightening and dangerous, but in reality it was indescribably wonderful.
Do I wish I was with him now? Of course. She could spend hours with him, even if they never said a word. Against all odds, he had grown to be a part of her, one she missed when they were apart.
"Yes," she said quietly, deciding to keep her answer simple.
Starfire grinned at her. "What?" Raven asked, brows narrowing.
"From where I am seated it appears that you are most in love." Raven's cheeks flushed with red.
Starfire stood from her seat and walked over to the three-way mirror, examining the dress. "Perhaps you should try one on?" Starfire suggested, a smile playing on her lips. Raven smirked.
"Sorry, but white's not really my color."
"We have gowns in black," a meek voice offered from behind her. Raven turned to find the boutique staff returning. "It's actually turning into quite a trend."
Raven rolled her eyes as Starfire laughed. "Fantastic."
AN: This happened because wedding planning is consuming my life bit by bit and now it's leaked into my writing! Thanks for reading!