Merry Christmas Gweneveire! Enjoy your Tumblr Teen Titans Secret Santa present! I know I'm not nearly as good as you and everyone else with writing, but I tried =p Hope you like it!

Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans.

Sheltered Love

Beast Boy crouched down and absentmindedly started playing with a group of some of the more timid animals at a shelter he had been volunteering at. Many of them had been abused by their previous owners and were afraid of most people. Beast Boy though, wasn't most people. The animals at the shelter always seemed happy when he was around. Partially because of that fact that he could shape change and actually talk to them, but also because he was just a patient, gentle, affectionate kinda guy. He was a great help in getting the poor creatures over their fears and anxieties. He continued talking to the woman next to him.

The redheaded woman sighed deeply in exasperation. He was already going on and on about Raven this and Raven that and they had only just started tending to the animals. She smirked knowingly and interrupted the changeling. "Christ, BB. When are you just going to ask her out?"

Beast Boy blushed deeply and paused. "Actually Gwen...I kinda did yesterday."

His ears twitched as he could hear the small but sharp intake of the woman's breath. Her eyes widened slightly as she turned to look at him full on. "You're not kidding me, are you? You finally asked her out? Jeez BB, how long has it taken you to work up the courage? It's about damn time! Congrats! So, when's the date? Where are you gonna take her? Was she excit-"

The changelings ears drooped slightly as he shook his head. "She said no."

That brought Gwen up short. Raven had said no? To BB? To her funny, handsome, kind hearted friend? "Oh…"

He didn't seem to be externalizing much of it, but she knew he had to be devastated. Every day at the shelter he always had some new words of praise to shower the empath with. She knew he had been infatuated with the mysterious Titan since the first day she had met BB all those years ago when he had first started volunteering at the shelter. He had to be crushed. "Did she say why?"

"Nah...she just said no and closed her door. I don't know what I was expecting, really. Ah well. A guy can dream, right?" He gave Gwen a wide grin, but when she locked eyes with him it faltered slightly. He quickly turned his attention back to the animals and changed the topic.

She could see the hurt in his eyes, even if he was doing his best to hide it. She resolved then and there that she'd be getting to the bottom of this. From the few times that she had met Raven, it was obvious that the changeling held a special place in her heart. Raven always thought her quick affectionate glances at the changeling went unnoticed, but Gwen prided herself on being a very perceptive person. If BB wasn't going to get a reason from the empath, then Gwen damn sure was. As the hours passed, a small plan took form in Gwen's mind as the two continued with their small talk.

Stepping out of a newly cleaned kennel, Beast Boy placed his cleaning toolkit on a nearby shelf and stretched. "Alright, that's the last one. I'm off. See you all tomorrow if the city doesn't need me first." Waving to and hugging the few people in the shelter, he started to head to the front door. As Beast Boy took a step outside, he heard Gwen call out to him.

"Hold up BB!" She took a deep breath and put on her best innocent face as she approached him. "Think I could ask you for a big favor?"

"Sure Gwen, what's up?"

"Alright, so you know how I'm a Production Designer right?" The changeling nodded. "Well, I just got put in charge of a really important set, and I need some help. The whole theme is dark and mystic and well...I was you think you could get Raven to drop by tomorrow? You've said she loves anything dark and mystical when it comes to room design and being able to bounce ideas off of her and get her advice would be a really big help! If I get this perfect it could really launch my career!" Beast Boy arched an eyebrow. Gwen was always a one-woman wrecking crew of ideas and plans whenever it came to production design. She had never asked for idea help before, and brought that fact up as well. "Pleeeeeeeease?" The tall redhead batted her eyelashes and really laid it on thick. The woman could have been Starfire's counterpart.

The changeling shrugged his shoulders and chuckled. It had to mean a lot to her if she was actually asking for help. "I'll do what I can."

"Awesome, I knew I could count on you BB! See you two tomorrow!" A quick hug later and the changeling was off.

A small tap on the shoulder pulled her attention away from the disappearing Titan. As she turned around, her eyes locked-on to those of her fiancé. He was grinning devilishly and leaning against the doorway.

"New set, huh? And how have I not heard of this yet?" Gwen quickly slapped her hands over his mouth before whispering a quick 'shhhhhhhhh' and pushing him inside the shelter with her. "Babe, you know he has super sensitive hearing!"

Gwen's fiancé laughed heartily. "So what was all that about?" Gwen pecked the man lightly on his lips before sauntering away. "Oh nothing, just playing a bit of matchmaker."

Knocking on Raven's door, the changeling shuffled his feet timidly. His rigid posture gave away his anxiety. Hopefully this wouldn't be awkward. The door slowly slid open, to reveal half of Raven's body. She didn't say a word as she stared at Beast Boy, waiting for him to speak up. The silence dragged on for a few moments as Beast Boy looked like a deer caught in headlights, just staring into Raven's eyes.

Finally, Raven cleared her throat and spoke up. "Yes?"

'Crap! So much for this not getting awkward!' the changeling thought. "Hey Rae…Ven. I wanted to ask you something..."

The empath started shaking her head. "I already told you-"

"Nonono- this isn't about that. You remember Gwen, right? Cute redhead from the shelter?" Raven nodded slowly, confused as to where this was going. "Well, she's gotten put in charge of this ginormous project at work, and she needs help with designing a dark and mystic set. And well...that's kinda right up your alley! So we figured maybe she could talk to you and you two could share some ideas and stuff to help her out, ya know?"

Raven looked a bit unsure. "I don't know Ga-Beast Boy...Can't she get someone else to help?"

"Aww c'mon, we both know you're the best person to go to about this! You've got a great eye for gloom and doom! Err...and that's not a bad thing, just so ya know."

Raven still looked unsure, and was starting to shake her head and back away from the partially opened door. The changeling sighed mentally. 'Welp, time to pull out the big gun.' "Wait, Rae. How 'bout this. Do this for me tomorrow, and consider the favor you owe me repaid."

Raven's eyes widened. This was all she'd have to do to repay the favor? This was far less than she expected she'd have to do. She felt herself wanting to jump at the chance and scream with an emphatic 'YES!'. Instead, she paused and looked him in the eyes, and gave a small nod of agreement. "Ok. I'll do it. But this counts completely as the favor, ok?"

Beast Boy smirked. "Thanks a bunch, I'm sure Gwen will be really happy about it, and I'll never bring up the...incident…again. It's like it never happened."

Raven sent him an icy glare before muttering good and closing her door. Beast Boy exhaled as soon as the door closed, and his body seemed to droop a few inches as he relaxed. Thank god that was over with. He started walking back to his room, laughing quietly to himself as he went. He'd never understand why him catching her playing Gamestation in the middle of the night was such a big deal. Though it was and he got a free favor out of keeping it a secret, so he couldn't complain.

The Chromatically Challenged Duo landed in front of the shelter at noon. Beast Boy took a quick step to the front door and opened it for Raven, bowing slightly and gesturing with his arm for her to enter. Fixing him with a very stern 'I will hurt you' glare, the changeling hustled inside and laughed a bit nervously as Raven tried to force down a small blush.

The pet shelter was a bit busier than usual today. A large group of children were present and following around an adult Beast Boy hadn't seen before, along with the shelters owner. Spotting Gwen in the distance, Beast Boy gestured for Raven to follow and headed past the kids as quietly as he could. Right as Beast Boy approached Gwen, she turned as saw the two standing side by side.

Beast Boy spoke up in a hushed voice. "Who are all the kids?"

Gwen smirked. "It's Ms. Dino's First Grade class from the nearby elementary school. They're learning about all kinds of animals, and what better way to learn that to see them up close?"

"Oh, that's so cool! That Dino lady is one amazing woman. I wonder what they're talking about? Do you think they've already shown the kids the pets in back? Oh my god, she's got to show them Lil' BB. The guy is totally fun and awesome, and I've taught him a few tricks too!"

Gwen smiled widely as the changeling started to gush. Sliding her eyes over, she could see Raven looking with glazed eyes at Beast Boy for a moment before looking abruptly down at the floor. 'Time to get to the bottom of this,' Gwen thought.

"Well, maybe you should show them yourself, Beast Boy." Gwen's voice carried the name clear across the building. The shelter fell silent as the name Beast Boy filled the childrens ears. As though possessed, the children all slowly turned their heads towards the voice. With wide eyes a gaping mouths, the little kids seemed to be shocked motionless….for about half a second. The little children happily screamed at the top of their lungs and started barreling towards the poor green man. He glanced back at Gwen with a look of betrayal in his eyes.

Gwen almost felt sorry for the changeling. Almost. With a hearty laugh, she shoved Beast Boy hard towards the group of children. "Go get 'em, Tiger." The children seemed to overtake and envelop the green man as he fell to the ground in a massive tidal wave of adorable excitement.

Gwen casually walked away from the downed Titan with Raven in tow. They made it over to the far wall of the room as Gwen picked up a small Husky pup from a nearby cage. Turning to Raven, she handed the puppy to the empath. "Have you met Lil' BB? The little guy just loves affection." Raven lifted the wriggling puppy up to eye level and was promptly licked on the nose. Recoiling a bit, she immediately noticed the small puppy was missing his front left leg. Apparently, that didn't seem to slow Lil' BB down one bit as the puppy continually wriggled excitedly and kept trying to lick Raven's face, but only got within an inch or two of contact each time.

"He's….definitely as excitable as Beast Boy. What happened to him?" Raven asked.

"From what we were told, he was born that way. The owners wanted nothing to do with him and dropped him off here. Contemptuous bunch if you ask me. Used to be a really sad and shy puppy. Nobody could really get him to move at all until BB had a talk with him. Still don't know what BB told him, but it seemed to work. The little guy has been a ray of sunshine ever since." Gwen accepted the puppy back and looked over to Beast Boy.

Beast Boy was no longer buried under the pile of children. Instead, he was shifting from form to form and letting the children interact with him as they ooo'ed and aww'ed. He was practically glowing. He always did love playing with kids. "Beast Boy really is a great guy, isn't he?" Keeping her feelings in check so as not to tip off Raven's empathic abilities, Gwen glanced over and watched Raven from the edge of her view. She had that unfocused, glazed look on her face again.

"He is." Raven finally replied after a long silence.

Gwen smirked that devious smirk of hers. That was all she needed. Now to go in for the kill. "So, when are you gonna take him on a date? I know that look when I see it, you're not fooling anyone. You've got it bad."

Raven took a half step away from the redhead and drew in a sharp breath. She looked like she had been slapped in the face. "Did Gar-"

"Yea, he told me how you shut him down. What neither of us could figure out though, is why. It's pretty obvious he's had a crush on you for a long, long time now Raven. And I know you have feelings for him too. Why'd you shut him down like that?" Gwen held Lil' BB to her chest to calm the puppy down as she waited for an answer. The empath seemed to be struggling with herself, her mouth twitching and eyebrows scrunching. An answer didn't seem to be coming anytime soon.

Gwen sighed, exasperated. "Look, I don't know why you told him no...but I do know he's in love with you. Don't you think he at least deserves to know why you said no?"

Raven finally spoke up in a very small voice. "It's….better this way."

Gwen scoffed. "Better this way? I know you're an empath Raven. I can't be the only one that sees how desperately he's trying to hide how hurt he is right now. How can this possibly be better?"

Another long pause followed by an even smaller voice. "He deserves better. Someone without so much baggage. Someone that can make him happy."

Gwen laughed out loud at that and did a half-assed attempt at covering her mouth to stifle the noise. She then turned around and put the puppy back in his kennel to try and hide her smile. Raven spun to look at the redhead and scowled deeply. Dark energy traced up her fingertips and her eyes started to glow white. "How dare-"

"Stop." Gwen said with a hint of disappointment. Raven's powers calmed themselves, and her eyes no longer glowed, but the scowl was still firmly in place. Gwen shook her head and looked to the ceiling as though she we're begging some god for an ounce more of patience. "Can't you see? He's always so happy around you. He talks about you every day as though you're the sunshine in his life. He's head over heels for you, has been and probably always will be. How can you say he'd be better off without you? Shouldn't he be able to decide that for himself?"

"I don't…" Raven paused. What was she going to say? What could she say to that? It was true that she did harbor deeply romantic feelings for the changeling...but what if he changed his mind? She couldn't bear the thought of being hurt like that. "I'm...afraid."

"Hun, please. We both know BB is one of the most caring souls this side of the Pacific. You're the empath, you know plain as day just how deep his affection for you runs. You have nothing to be afraid of. Nothing." Gwen locked eyes with the empath. Raven looked as though she were about to say something dismissive in return until Gwen crossed her arms and cocked her eyebrow as though saying 'Puh-lease'. Raven closed her mouth and looked to the floor. Her shoulders relaxed and she was quiet for some time.

Gwen laid a hand gently on the empath's shoulder. "It'll be ok. Give him a chance."

Raven looked up, some new emotion flickering in her eyes for just a moment. "...I'll think about it."

Her tone of voice gave it away though. Gwen smiled widely and gave Raven a quick sisterly hug before releasing her. "You won't regret it."

Raven shook her head slightly, as though to clear her thoughts. "Well then. All that aside, Beast Boy told me you needed help with some set design?"

"Oh, that?" Gwen turned and started sauntering towards one of the kennels. Waves of emotions were rolling off of her strongly. Mischief. Contentment. Sass. "Yea, I lied to him. Just needed to talk to you."

Raven's mouth dropped just a bit. This was all just one big ploy so Gwen could talk to her about Beast Boy? Of all the dirty, underhanded-

Doot doot do de doot doot do dee dee~~~

Raven glanced down. Her Titans Communicator was ringing. She looked over to Beast Boy who was walking over to her. She flipped open her communicator to reveal Robin's face. "Raven. Beast Boy. Trouble downtown, Cinderblock's escaped. Sending you the coordinates now."

Raven nodded. "We're on our way."

Beast Boy turned around and said his goodbyes to Ms. Dino's class, and to the amazing teacher herself, before walking with Raven to the front door of the shelter. As the two walked out front, Gwen hurried to the door and held it open just a crack to listen in. Right before the two flew into the sky, she heard Raven speak to the changeling. "So Gar….about that date. A cafe would be nice." Beast Boy took off in the form of a raven, squawking happily.

Gwen let the door go and stood a bit straighter than usual, her smile beaming. As she turned around, she once again saw her fiancé standing behind her, devious grin on his face as usual. "So, spyin-" Gwen grabbed at his shirt and pulled him into a fierce kiss. Letting him go a minute later, the man looked up at her with half lidded eyes and a dopey grin. "Mmm…yes please," was all he could say. "Damn right." Gwen replied.