“I want to be alone” Raven said those words so often Beast Boy often joked it was her catchphrase. Raven normally relished solitude. It was a break from the constant emotional noise pollution her abilities picked up. It was a chance to put her mind in order and add new layers of control. Peace, quiet, a fresh stack of books to read, what more could demoness ask for? Thanksgiving this year meant just that. The tower all to herself. Fate had handed her exactly what she wished for.
“Alfred are you sure about this?” Robin said over his cell phone. “Yes I know it’s Thanksgiving but he has never made a big deal about it before.” He was pacing back and forth through the empty common room. “Wait he wants to meet her?” he said a touch of panic creeping into his voice. “He’s dying isn’t he?…..I am not trying to be funny Alfred, this just doesn’t sound like him. ” Robin just continued pacing as Alfred on the other end tried to help him understand. After a few minutes Robin agreed “Okay the leer jet at Sullivan field tomorrow…okay….it’s going to be good to see you too.” With that he hung up and stood there, just letting the last few minutes sink in. He was going home for Thanksgiving and the closest thing he had to a father wanted to meet his girlfriend. “This is so…normal” he said looking back down at his phone.
Starfire jumped at the chance to meet Robin’s family literally. It was a good thing they were on the roof when Robin told her because she grabbed him and leapt into the air with joy. She was fully prepared to fly them both to Gotham right then and there. Until Robin told her “Um Star my family already went to the trouble of sending the plane.”
“Oh I do not wish to be the rude. We will take the plane. Oh this is so wonderful! I feel like I am going to emfnar!”
It was a good thing that they did take the plane. Starfire packed so much Robin wasn’t sure even she would be able to carry it. She was still gushing as they left the tower, and probably all the way to Gotham city. She assured Raven as they were leaving that when she returned that they would have the “girl talk” and she would tell her everything in great detail.
Cyborg ended up visiting/rescuing the Titans East. He got the call sitting in the driver’s seat of the T-Car running another set of performance tests.
“Hey Sparky we need a little favor.” Bumblebee said through the car’s audio.
“We need? or YOU need?” He said as he was checking the computer’s diagnostics. “And you never need little favors, you call me when you need to pull off something nuts.”
“WE! Volunteered to do a charity Thanksgiving dinner.”
“That’s nice, you’re not getting Grandma Stone’s Pumpkin pie recipe” He said flatly. “That says in the family”
“Victor Stone, are you proposing?”
Cyborg looked up from the readout on the console to the small speaker glad that this was not a video call. He cleared his throat. “Cute Bee. Okay Thanksgiving Dinner, what do you need from me?”
There was a long silence making Cyborg think that the call had dropped until Bumblebee said quietly. “To cook it?” Another long silence this time it was Cyborg that had gone quite.
“Cyborg you there?”
“Let me get this straight” He stared too calmly for what he was just asked. “You volunteered to make the biggest meal of the year, for how many?”
“Maaaybe 200.” she said quietly
“and then expect me to go across the county to cook it for you with two days notice?”
“Oh course not, It’s just that…”
“What!?” he shouted back.
“None of us know how to cook! I mean we thought Speedy could but all he knows how to make is chili and hot dogs!”
“You live with these people! How can you not know if any of them can cook?” Cyborg spat out. “What the hell have you been eating all this time!?”
The augment continued. Cyborg spent the next hour explaining what they would need to have when he got there. You had never seen someone be so passionate about explaining the difference between a dutch oven and a slow cooker and insisting he would need both.
Beast Boy was going east as well to see the Doom Patrol. It was a bit abrupt. Raven had found a note he had left on the kitchen table.
The DP asked me to come home. Will be back Monday.
Sorry won’t be able to share the parade and Tofurky this year.
Raven looked at the hastily scribbled note. She could almost feel the disappointment on it. She knew that Mento didn’t ask for anything, he ordered it. That the only reason that Beast Boy followed was some sense of family loyalty and it being the holiday. Still a long weekend without video games, puns and stankball. She was going to call that a win.
By Thursday morning Raven was in an empty tower. At first it was everything she could have hoped for, the empty common room was perfect for her morning meditation. Cyborg had left the fridge full, so there was no argument what was going to be for breakfast or lunch. She was able to finish the novel she was reading and start the next book in the series. All in the most glorious quite.
“It’s too quiet” Raven said to herself as night settled in. She didn’t believe her own ears. Sitting on her bed she pushed away the book she was reading. She just re-read the same page for the 4th time. She pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around her legs. Raven’s eyes closed tight she tried to focus on her breathing, trying to slow the a new creeping panic. She didn’t understand, she had been alone before, and for much longer, just she had never felt alone here.
This was her home this was different, the Tower didn’t feel right without the familiar presence of her friends. It was cold and alien, like she was in a strangers house. It was a horrible realization that as much as she coveted solitude, there was always the comforting auras of the others nearby, now…she couldn’t help but wonder if this is what it was like to suddenly go blind or deaf. There was something missing and…
In her mind there was a sudden flash of bright green. Raven shot bold upright almost falling off the bed. Before she could process this a small envelope slid under her door and then the sound of rushed footsteps.
“Beast Boy?” she said to the empty room. He was supposed to be across the country, but it was definitely him. Raven couldn’t help it. She was actually glad that someone, even Beast Boy, was in the tower.
Raven got up quickly snatching the small square of paper. She opened it and read.
Your presence is requested in the ops room for a Thanksgiving dinner.
Formal dress is not required but will not be discouraged.
Raven looked at the invitation. “Garfield Logan?” She asked herself. It was not often that she heard his real name. She knew that he didn’t really care for it but looking at it on the paper it wasn’t a bad name. This wasn’t like the scratched out note he left when he left, she could tell he tried to make the letters neat, he even spelled ‘presence’ correctly.
Raven looked back and forth between the note and her door. Wondering if this was some sort of elaborate prank. I mean this was Beast Boy. But curiosity got the better of her, and it led her out the door to the ops room.
“What is this?” She asked as she entered.
The couch was pushed over to one side. In its place was a long table set with a white table cloth In the center of the room. There were several covered dishes and a basket of bread, Two place settings in the middle of the table across from each other. The biggest surprise was Beast Boy himself.
He was wearing a white button down shirt, with a black vest and dress pants. He had even tried to run a comb through that mess of green hair. He looked up at her from arranging the different dishes.
“Happy Thanksgiving.” He said softly not sure how she was going to react.
“Beast Boy, what are you doing here?” She approached the table. “What about the Doom Patrol?”
“I changed my mind.” he said sheepishly and quickly turned his attention to the food. “ We got a ton stuff here I hope your hungry.”
She could tell he was holding something back. Despite the smile on his face he wouldn’t meet her eyes. Still this was quite a feat to set this all up on his own. The food, his look, setting up the room, then Raven remembered the invitation.
“Will all this keep for a few moments?” Raven asked, referring to the table.
“Ah Yea.” Beast Boy said, slightly confused.
Raven quickly left to go back to her room. Leaving Beast Boy to fiddle with the table not sure what was going on. When she returned she was waring Deep blue sleeveless floor length gown. Her hair was pulled back, and she wore small gold and ruby stud earrings.
“I think this feels more fitting.” She said as she came back into the room.
“Wow.” Beast Boy breathed out his jaw hanging open.
“Don’t get used to it. ” She glanced at him “But since you did put in the effort. ”
“I just didn’t think you had anything in your closet but blue capes.” Beast boy said unable to take his eyes off of her. It was Raven. The dark blue the way the dress flowed like her cloak even in the red accent of the earrings, it was still her but she was breathtaking.
“Starfire found this for me, under the mistaken impression that there will be a ball sometime soon.”
Shall we eat?“
"Ah,..Yes..ya” He said, pulling out the chair for her.
They were both seated.
“So where do you want to start?” Beast Boy reaching for a one of the casserole lids.
“How about with the truth?” She said folding her hands together. “Beast Boy what are you doing here?”
“Eating sweet potatoes?” a stiff smile on his face.
“Empath. Beast Boy I know there is something your holding back”
Beast Boy sat there looking at her chewing on his bottom lip. His eyes met hers again.
“You sure that we can’t just eat green beans and not talk about this?”
Raven just sat there and stared at him. She knew that her patience would win out over his impetuous nature. They sat there looking at each other for a few moments. Or for 26 years depending on the perspective.
“The house was empty.” Beast Boy whispered.
He picked up his fork needing to do something with his hands. “The mission comes first.” The words came out practiced. As if he had said that phrase a thousand times before. “I got to the Manor and no one was there. The place was dark, I found a note on the door. It said I was late. Something came up in the Andes. ”
“Beast Boy I-”
“No, you know what’s really funny, I thought it was a joke, like a surprise party or something so I went in anyway and ran over the whole house calling them, checking every room. They were gone the jet was gone. ” A the moment she could see him trying to hold back the tears. “But the best part, the fridge was empty! No Turkey defrosting for the big day, no potatoes, just some bread a peanut butter in the pantry.”
“So you came back here.”
“I made a sandwich first, but yea.” He wiped his eye with the back of his hand. “Thanksgiving is supposed to be about family and I wanted to be with family, they knew that and used that to get me to come home, and put me to work.” his eyes fell to the empty dinner plate in front of him.
“I am sorry Beast-” her voice froze for a moment. “I am sorry Garfield.”
This snapped his attention back to her. He had gone years without hearing his real name. He remembered hating it, but in her voice, it was different.
“Rae, I am the one that should be sorry. I mean I know you were probably loving having the tower to yourself.
I half expected you to see all of this, ask me to stay quiet and go back to your room.”
“Too much of anything, even quiet and solitude is not a good thing.” I guess I have gotten used to this place, the people in it.“ She looked up at him. "I missed my family. Thank you for coming home.”
The blood rushed up into Beast Boys face. This was like a dream, she looked amazing, and she was here with him, alone.
“Well we have food. Oh! there is a replay of the Parade on Tv we can watch, or we co-”
Raven reached across the table and put her hand on top of his. “We could just talk some more?” She said.
The both stared at each other until for a moment. “Yea okay…I would like that.” His voice shook a bit. Raven puller her hand away, he Immediately missed it.
“Where is the tofurky?” she as she cautiously started to take the lids off the dishes.
“Avoid the brown one on the end.”
They ate, and talked, and talked some more. It was one of those conversations that took on a life of its own. It was early Friday morning before they gotten up from the table and he walked Raven back to her room.
So its July, how about a Thanksgiving story? This was in the draft pile asked my wife to pick on and this is what she picked. Besides some Fall would be welcome with this 100+ degree heat.