Chapter 9: Raven (Teen Titans)

Ben Tennyson gave a sad smile as he gazed at the horizon from the roof of a very unique T-shaped building, the setting sun giving off numerous hues of red, orange, and gold.

Had it really been a year already? One year since he was sucked through a wormhole and flung into an alternate reality, one where he and the ones he loved did not exist, and the entire galaxy, not just the Earth, was different. New aliens, new cities...

New heroes.

After being unceremoniously dropped off into a place called Jump City, and a small skirmish with the local superheroes (he had been winning, a fact he used to humorous effect to this very day), he had finally been able to make complete sense of his situation, and, with little to no other options, was inducted into the team of fellow adolescent heroes, the Teen Titans.

And, after a small amount of time, he came to see them as a new adopted family, growing attached to them for a variety of reasons.

In Robin, he encountered a fellow leader; a man who cared deeply for his teammates, and who accepted the burden of responsibility on his shoulders. While he could be too serious on occasion, the Boy Wonder knew how to have fun and how to lead his Titans into numerous successful battles.

In Beast Boy, he found someone he could just relax and have fun with. Hang out in Ben's room and come up with corny jokes to make Robin and Cyborg roll their eyes? Engage in friendly competition in who was the better shape-shifter whose primary color was green? He could ask for no one else (though he would never conform to Beast Boy's love of tofu; that stuff was just gross).

In Cyborg, he met someone who bore so much and yet so little similarity to Kevin that it was scary. A big guy and tech geek who was technically only half-human and shared the same love of video games and sci-fi that Ben did? Just like Kevin. Always supportive, willing to compromise, and able to find alternate routes other than violence to solve a problem? Not so much.

In Starfire, he found a sweet and charming sister-like figure who was so innocent in her lack of understanding of human culture that it was hilarious. However, she was definitely a force to be reckoned with when angry (especially when other women flirt with Robin; take cover!). Not to mention that she shared Ben's love of smoothie flavors that others would consider odd.

And Raven...

At first, he wasn't sure what to think of the sorceress. They shared almost nothing in common, they barely interacted with each other socially, and they both became awkward and silent when near each other. To any casual bystander, it seemed that the two simply didn't like each other.

It was only much later that they realized the exact opposite was true.

If Ben were to be honest with himself, he found Raven attractive the moment she pulled down her hood to reveal her flawless pale skin and large violet eyes, while also taking note of her curvaceous body that her leotard barely hid.

Raven, on the other hand, admired Ben's muscled appearance, handsome face, and pure heart (she could sense such things using her empathic abilities), which quickly grew into pure attraction the more time she spent living with him.

This cost them five months of awkward exchanges and strange interactions, until one fateful day...


The teen was snapped out of his thoughts by a very familiar voice, turning around to see Raven walking towards him, a hint of concern on her face as she stood beside the wielder of the Omnitrix near the edge of the Titans Tower roof.

"Hey, Rae," he said, smiling warmly at her.

"Are you alright? The others were wondering where you were."

"And they sent you to find me?" he smirked.

Her ensuing blush was adorable. "Maybe."

The shape-shifting teen chuckled as he wrapped his right arm around her shoulders and pulled her close, causing her to smile and close her eyes, leaning on her boyfriend's chest and enjoying the warmth of the sun.

"Hard to believe it's been one year, isn't it?" Raven asked.

Ben blinked in surprise and gazed down at the sorceress, who gave a tiny smirk.

"What? You expect me to forget the day I first met you?" she teased.

"I seem to recall you throwing a car at my head that day."

"You were transformed into Humongousaur, and therefore looked like a rampaging monster. Completely understandable."

"And what do I look like now?"

She gazed up at him, her beautiful violet eyes locking onto his emerald ones. "I won't give you the satisfaction of an answer."

Ben gave a cocky grin as he leaned down and captured her lips with his, allowing her to wrap her arms around his neck as his own grasped her hips. A few seconds of heaven later, and he pulled back, that insufferable smile still plastered on his face.

"And now?" he offered.

Raven narrowed her eyes at him. "You look like a really good kisser," she conceded.

Her boyfriend gave a smile of victory as he kissed her forehead, right on her gemstone.

Ben then rearranged their positions, standing behind Raven and pulling her close by wrapping his arms around her stomach, allowing him to rest his head on her left shoulder.

"You know, I was thinking about the first time I asked you out," he admitted into her ear.

Raven smiled as the memory came back to her...

A simple accident started it all: Ben had a smoothie gripped in his hand as he hurried down the hallway, eager to get to Cyborg so they could collaborate on ways to upgrade the T-Car. As it turns out, Grey Matter and Jury Rigg could provide numerous ways to make Cyborg's baby better than ever.

He was in such a rush that he accidentally bumped into someone, sending the contents of his cup flying into the air.

A few seconds later, he realized that he had run into Raven, and his smoothie had splattered all over her leotard and her new book.

Bad bad bad bad bad. You never messed with Raven's books if you wished to live.

Needless to say, this enraged the teen sorceress, her eyes glowing, hair flailing wildly, and fists glowing with dark magic.

"Uh, hey Rae," he offered in a vain attempt to calm her down.

Her response was to bare her teeth furiously and lift her fists as if to hit him.

"Hey, how about I go out and buy you a new book?" he suggested.

She still looked angry.

"And I'll get it autographed by the author!"

She hesitated.

"And I'll take you out to dinner!"

The dark magic ceased, her hair returned to normal, and her eyes stopped glowing, showing them to be wide and full of surprise.

"Go on," she grumbled, folding her arms over her chest as she seemed to tower over him, even though she was nearly a foot shorter.

So, Ben suggested that he take her out to the nicest restaurant in town, a fancy Italian place that required a very early reservation, along with dress attire and a lot of money.

In the end, Raven accepted these terms and walked away without beating him to a bloody pulp.

That counted as a win, right?

Ben noticed his girlfriend was quiet, and nudged her gently with his hands, still resting on her stomach.

"You awake?" he teased.

She was silent for a moment, and then she spoke. "If you could go back home, to your world, would you?"

The jacket-wearing teenager could be dense sometimes, but he could hear the slight tremble of fear in Raven's voice as she asked that question.

Knowing that lying would get him nowhere, he shrugged and answered. "If you had asked me that a few months ago, I would have said yes. No question. But now, I have a new world to take care of, a new family to live with, a girlfriend I can trust with my life and who can protect herself from danger."

He paused, then continued. "But I wouldn't mind being able to visit my folks every now and then. See Mom and Dad and Grandpa Max. Not to mention Gwen and Kevin."

Raven cocked her head. "Do you think they'd like me?"

"You kidding? They'd love you. Mom and dad would chat your ear off while telling embarrassing stories about my childhood. Grandpa would cook you some of his dung beetle stew, and Gwen would probably ask you to be the maid of honor at her and Kevin's wedding."

The sorceress gave a small laugh.

"Yeah, you'd fit right in with my family."

Raven could sense Ben's underlying message: Some day, you'll be part of it.

For anyone else, this moment would be the perfect time to say those three special little words.

For these two, no words needed to be said.

They knew already.

Whew, this was a popular request. Not sure if I did it 100% justice (Raven might have seemed too in touch with her emotions; this is explained in Part 2, I swear!), but I feel happy with this.

Next chapter is the big 10, so I need to do something special.

Maybe a harem chapter?

Reviews and requests are always appreciated, as are favorites and follows.