A Penny For Your Thoughts

Fandom: Teen Titans
Character: Raven
Word Count: 2,199
Warnings: None

All of my life I have tried to keep my heart hard. I have tried to keep it in the darkness and never let the light of love touch it's fragile surface. Because as hard as I tried to make it, it remained as soft as ever. But then I meet the others. They warmed me with their kindness and their patience with my ways though they must have seemed so strange to them. My stolid expressions and cold attitude should have pushed them away. But it didn't.

"Raven. It's time for training."

Raven snapped her book shut and stood at the sound of Robin's voice. She followed the others out to the training field and stood to the side as they took their turns. Cyborg elected to go first and she watched as he approached the edge of the obstacle course. She and Robin stood side by side at the control panel watching him take the course with apparent ease.

Robin was always there by my side. Wanting to help. Wanting to be supportive no matter what the situation was. He always had hope and courage and plenty of strength to share even when I had none. He made me look up to him. He was like...a brother to me. An older brother. I admired his strengths both physical and emotional. I always wished that somehow I could be like him one day. Open and optimistic. But I must remain closed to everyone. My emotions must stay under control at all times. I could never approach him and tell him the way I felt for him.

"Yo, Rae!" Cyborg called happily.

"What?" she groaned, letting her book fall to her lap.

"The T-Car needs some repairs after that last battle." he said, with a huge grin. "I sure could use an assisstant. What'd ya say?"

Raven sighed and put her book on the couch as she stood to follow him to the garage. She handed him tools and watched him work with a smile in her heart.

Cyborg was one of my best friends. When Beast Boy and Star Fire would bother me he would always know when enough was enough. He always knew when to back off and let me be alone. But he also knew when I needed to be bothered. He had this inexplicable ability to hide his pain yet leave his depth open for me to view. I know the others had all suffered before but they hid it so well it was easy to forget they ever did. Star Fire with her sister. Robin with his parents. Even Beast Boy. But Cyborg didn't hide his. He simply accepted it and lived with it as though it weren't a burden at all.

"Raven!" a happy voice cried from the other room.

She knew it was Star Fire before she entered the room and she was met with a sour face. The frown didn't seem to phase Star Fire however.

"Raven. Do you wish to partake in the braiding of the hair?"

"No." she replied shortly.

"But...Perhaps we could journey to the mall of shopping?"


"Oh." she whispered, eyes saddening. "Well, then, perhaps I shall search out Beast Boy and ask if he wishes to visit the mall of shopping to...'pick up the chicks'

"Star Fire.

"Yes Raven."

"If you promise not to say that again I'll go with you."

"Oh! I promise!"

Raven smiled at her overjoyed face and let her take her arm as she lead her from the room, bouncing up and down excitedly.

Star Fire was very alien to me at first. I didn't understand her and I resented her cheerfulness in a way. I was only jealous that she could be so happy whenever she wanted while I had to remain stolid and appear creepy in the eyes of the others. Then, when our bodies were switched, I came to better appreciate her friendship. I came to understand her and even to love her like the sister that I never had.

"Heeey Raven."

She slammed her book on the coffee table as Beast Boy came up beside her. He was a little too close for comfort and he didn't seem to realize it as he smiled at her

"What do you want?"

"I know how much you like your creepy old books with words I don't understand in them so...here!"

Raven's eyes widen slightly in shock and her lips parted wordlessly as she took hold of the book that Beast Boy had thrust at her. It was truly old, dust still covering parts of the cover, and when she opened it she found it to be in Gaelic.

"So...?" Beast Boy urged. "You like it or what?"

"Thank ... you. It looks interesting."

"...Really?" he asked, looking over her shoulder. "Cause I wasn't sure if you could read this or not. What is it anyways?"

"Gaelic. How did you pick this out if you can't read it?"

"Oh." he answered with an embaressed grin. "I just told the book keeper guy thing what you were like and he gave it to me. Looks like he's a good judge of ... books and...uh... character or something."

Raven couldn't help but smile at the grin on his face and he smiled back in return, happy to know he was able to put that expression on her face.

"Thank you Beast Boy." she repeated.

Then there was Beast Boy. Of all the others I know I appeared to like him the least. Therefore of all the the others I love him the most. I love him as more than a friend or a surrogate sibling. He always annoyed me. Always made me so angry with his ignorance and stupidity. Yet somehow it was a very comforting anger. An anger that seemed to wane and grow into love without my ever noticing it. It hurt me so when Terra arrived and made him fall in love with her the way I knew I never could. It hurt me even more when she broke his heart the way she did. She betrayed us all but it was Beast Boy who suffered the hardest blow and my heart went out to him. Even though he hurt I was happy to have her gone. To have her away from him. It's a scource of great guilt in my mind even now. To know I still feel that way after she gave her life to save us all. But his heart seems to have healed and I still hope that one day he'll have room in it for me.

Raven sat on the roof of the tower meditating early in the morning as she always did. She knew that below her most of the others probably hadn't even risen yet with the exception of Robin. The sun drew her shadow far across the roof as it rose to greet the day and she managed a smile at its arrival for once. One hand rested on her knee, empty. In the other a small mundane object that held such meaning for her shone in the new light. A penny for luck. And she was lucky to have so many friends.