He lay on the bed, warm and content. She snuggled up against him like a kitten. He murmured, and felt the sound pass through him and into her.
Everything was perfect.
As they lay on the edge of sleep, she whispered into his shoulder, "I love you, Gar."
And he whispered back: "I love you too, Tara."
He woke up to the bright Californian sun and soft cotton sheets. He stretched lazily before opening his eyes.
The space next to him was empty. It was still warm, though, and he heard quiet movements from the room beyond.
She walked in, and a smile graced her face at the sight of him. She walked over to the bed and sat down.
"Good morning, Gar."
He smiled back. It was all so calm and peaceful, and being with her was the best thing in the world.
" 'Morning, Rae."
He leaned in for a kiss. Her lips were soft under his, her breath sweet, her eyes beautiful.
As they parted, he could feel the happiness that reached to her core. She was truly joyful. And he made her feel that way.
It was magic. She was magic. He sometimes thought they were happier than they had any right to be, and wondered if she thought the same thing.
She was happier than she'd ever been. But even with the man she loved, she was still practical. "You should hurry up or you won't have time for breakfast." She reached out, ran her fingers through his hair. Then she got up and headed for the closet so she could finish getting dressed.
He grumbled a bit, but he couldn't really mean it. He got out of bed and headed for the shower.
He yawned as he sat down at the table. She grinned at him, her face impish. "Aww, did I keep you up too late last night?"
He laughed and pretended to throw a waffle at her. She just snickered and went back to her breakfast.
The food quickly woke him up. He scarfed down Soyggo after Soyggo, getting maple syrup all over his face. He reached for orange juice to wash it all down, then realized all the juice, coffee and milk were on the other side of the table, out of reach. He made an indignant noise.
She looked up from her omelette. "What, you want some of this?" She held up the juice. "What'll I get for it??"
An evil grin spread across his face. "Well, I could think of one thing . . . "
She looked tempted by the idea. But she said, "If we do that we'll never make it to work. And the chief is counting on me today . . ." She made a face.
"Aww, no fair. Aren't we due for time off or something?"
"Not for another month." She stood up and walked over to him, orange juice in hand. She poured him a glass, then wrapped her arms around him as he gulped it down. She rested her chin on top of his head and purred.
"Mmm . . . no fair, Tara." He closed his eyes as her hands traced over his chest.
"What, I can't give my man a hug?" She teased, then rubbed her cheek against his hair.
"Keep it up and it'll be your fault we don't make it to work," he said, laughing a little.
"I'm just giving you something to look forward to when we get home." She smiled wickedly, then let go of him. She stepped away and walked back to her chair, where she had left her jacket. She shrugged into it, checking to make sure her hair wasn't blocking her nametag. Departrment regulations said that metahumans on the force had to keep their identification information visible at all times. She'd told him that wasn't the main reason she kept the tag clear, though. She just liked seeing 'T. LOGAN' proudly displayed over the logo of the Anchorage Police Department.
He stood up and gave her a kiss, laughing when she came away with maple syrup on her cheek. She wiped his face off with a napkin, and he licked hers clean in return. Then they realized they were both running late, and it was time to get serious. They parted reluctantly, with promises for later.
He flew over San Francisco, making his rounds. His eagle eyes could see all sorts of people going about their business. In a way it was interesting to watch businessmen, garbage collectors, children and stray dogs scurry about the city, but his only real concern was for criminals.
So far it had been a very boring day. Hot, but boring. He landed on a rooftop and unmorphed with a sigh.
Pulling out his communicator, he sent in a routine report to the Tower. Then he just sat there, watching the city.
A sudden impulse struck him, and fiddled with the fancy phone. A minute later, she answered.
He smiled. "Hey, Rae, it's me."
The voice on the other end smiled back. "Gar."
"So, um, I was just on patrol, and I was getting pretty bored. So I was thinking, you know, maybe we could get lunch or something." He grinned. "That is, if you're not too busy lecturing newbies."
A pause. "No, I think they are sufficiently lectured for today. Lunch would be . . . nice."
"Great! How about that little cafe you like, you know, the one with those funky cakes?"
"That will be fine."
"Great! See you there in half an hour, then." He almost closed the communicator, paused first.
". . . I love you, Raven."
He could feel the joy coming out of the phone.
"I love you too, Garfield."
They both disconnected. He tucked the device away, then morphed to eagle and launched himself from the roof.
He flew through the cold air, his owl wings making no sound. He saw the restaurant he was looking for and dropped down towards the ground.
He unmorphed and walked in. She was already there, sitting in a booth in the corner. He strolled over, doing his best to look strong and impressive.
She smirked at him as he sat down. "Well, if it isn't my very own Beast Boy," she teased. She was the only one who still called him that. To everyone else he was Gar, but she would never let him forget the way they were when they met.
"At your service, Rock Chick," he replied. He hadn't yet been able to come up with a better nickname for her. He'd use Terra, but how could you tell he wasn't just calling her by her real name?
"I hope you don't mind, I ordered you a salad . . . " She held up her watch. "The chief only gave us an hour, and I didn't want to spend all that time eating."
"Man, you'd thing the old geezer would be more sympathetic towards newlyweds," he said with a mock-scowl.
She just laughed. "Careful, now, he's your boss too . . ." She shook a finger at him. "We're not in San Fransisco anymore, you can't just go mouthing off about your leader. He can dock your pay, you know."
He just stuck out his tongue. "You're no fun."
She sat across from him in the tiny booth. They were farther apart then he liked, but he'd found that holding hands made the distance seem shorter.
The ramains of one of 'those funky cakes' sat between them on the table. They'd shared it, and she'd giggled when he tried to feed her a bite with his fork. It was sweet how even the simple things made her so . . . happy.
She was smiling now, and he couldn't help staring. She looked so sweet. So innocent. So . . . vulnerable.
She was making herself vulnerable to him.
They'd been together over a year - almost two - and he still couldn't get over the way she opened up to him.
So he smiled, and held her hand tightly in his own, and smiled at her smiling at him.
As the waiter came to take away their plates, they pulled away from each other just the tiniest bit. He looked up at the waiter and cracked a joke, making the other man laugh. Then they were alone again.
But she wasn't smiling any more.
She looked sad, quiet.
"What's wrong, Raven?" He reached out to recapture her hands.
"I'm just thinking."
If loving her had taught him anything, it was when and how to ask questions. "About what?"
She hesitated. But she couldn't deny him an answer. "About us. About - being so happy. About love."
"Well, that doesn't sound so bad." He was trying to draw her out, find out what was causing her pain.
"I just . . " She tried to put it into words, but it was hard. "Sometimes I wonder . . .
"How can you be with me, Garfield? How can you love me? I'm so - cold. So distant. And when I do allow myself to feel, I do bad things - dangerous things. Would you be better off without me ? . . ."
"Don't say that," he said fiercely. She didn't flinch back from him, only looked searchingly at his face.
"Maybe that used to be true, Raven. But it's not anymore. You know that! You've learned how to be happy without letting your powers get away from you. You don't have to be afraid anymore."
"I know," she said. "But I still can't help but be afraid, sometimes, that it won't last - that I'll finally lose control - and lose everything . . . lose you . . . "
"Raven." He reached out to hold her shoulder. "I love you. I love everything about you. I love how smart you are, how brave . . . I love your sense of humor . . .I love your smile, how innocent it is. I love knowing I put it there. I know it's selfish, but I love the way you open up to me, the way you're willing to risk loving me, the way I make you feel . . . happy. I love you. All of you. And I love being with you.
"Raven, if you do lose control one day - even if Trigon comes back through you - I'll always love you. I'll always be there for you. And even if one day I can't make you happy anymore, I'll still love you. And I know you'll always love me back. Because you're so - amazing.
"You don't have to be afraid. Even if the worst happens, you still don't have to be afraid. I'll always love you. And I'll always be there for you to help you be strong."
A tear slipped down her face. She allowed it, cupping her face against his hand. There was pain in her eyes, but also relief, and love, and a smile. He smiled too, and just held her.
They walked out together, and she stole a kiss from him under a nearby tree. He chuckled, holding her in his arms.
"I love you, Terra," he told her, feeling the same flush he had when they were both younger. Only now it was better, because it wasn't just a crush, and it wasn't a young love. It was love that had had the chance to mature over the years.
She had been smiling and happy, but that faded a little, and she looked solemn.
"Beast Boy . . ."
"What is it?"
"I . . . " She turned away, gathering her thoughts, then looked back up at him. "I just feel guilty sometimes, I guess."
He held her close, wanting her to feel his heartbeat, his support. "Guilty? Why? Is there something I should know about?" A teasing scowl was on his face.
She punched his shoulder. "I'm serious, Gar." She frowned. "I still . . . I can't forget what I did to you. What I did to everbody. . . . maybe I don't deserve happiness like this. . . . how can you love me, after I betrayed you?" She looked up at him, her normally cheerful face haunted by old doubts.
"Tara . . . That's all in the past. You can't change it now. You don't have to keep feeling guilty for something that happened years ago, and you'll never do again . . ."
She leaned against him. "You're right. And I know that, really I do. I've even mostly accepted it. But . . . I still feel terrible about what I did to you." She searched his face. "Is it terrible of me, that I can forgive what I did to the City and the other Titans more easily than what I did to you?"
He smiled and brushed her hair away from her face. "I don't think so."
"But you still need to remember . . . I forgave you a long time ago. You need to forgive yourself, now.
"I'm not going anywhere, don't worry! I won't suddenly decide you're some evil terrible witch." He made a face and she giggled.
"I love you, Tara. I always have and I always will. I won't abandon you, no matter what.
"You're the best thing that's ever happened to me."
She leaned up and into him and for a few moments, he forgot about the rest of the world.
As she said goodbye, he impulsively swept her into his arms. He looked down at her, marveling in her beauty.
"I love you, Raven," he whispered. "You're the best thing that's ever happened to me."
She leaned up and kissed him tenderly, wrapping her soul-self around them both. He was lost in her . . .
"Yo, Beast Boy!!!"
He jerked up from his slump. "Huh?? What??"
Cyborg was standing beside him. It looked like he'd been trying to get his attention for a while.
"Man, you were really out of it. Are you okay?"
He looked around the island, wondering how long he'd been sitting by the water. It looked a lot later than it had been when he'd come out here . . .
"Yeah, I'm fine." He rubbed his neck. It was sore from slouching over for so long.
"Dude, what were you thinking about? A meteor could've fallen on your head and you wouldn't have noticed."
He knew that Cyborg had his suspicions, but he was asking anyway. He was a good friend, too nice to come right out and suggest that he'd been fantasizing over a girl.
"I was just . . . trying to figure out who I am," he said.
This threw his teammate for a loop. "Huh?"
"I mean," he said, starting to ramble, "am I Beast Boy or Garfield?? Who am I? Although -" he was suddenly struck by an idea - " I guess it doesn't really matter. I mean, either way I'm still Gar, right?"
Cyborg just stared. "I don't know what the heck you're talking about. Are you sure you're okay, B?"
He nodded absentmindedly. "Yeah. I'm fine." He walked away, back to the Tower, leaving his puzzled friend behind.
Gar stood at a crossroad in the corridors. If he went left, it would take him to the medical wing, where Terra was recovering from the surgery that removed Slade's armor. If he went right, it would take him to Raven's room, where Robin and Cyborg had ordered her to rest and regain her strength.
Left? Or right?
He honestly didn't know.
He realized that it did make a difference whether he was Garfield or Beast Boy. It made a huge difference. His whole life would go one way or the other depending on what he chose. He just couldn't for the life of him figure out which choice was best.
Right? Or left?
He stared at the floor, waiting for the answer to magically come to him.
A nexus. Two futures trembling on the edge of reality. A cosmic coin-toss.
Beast Boy went left, Garfield went right,
toward Terra, toward Raven,
and Gar found