Categories > Cartoons > Teen Titans > Tales from Titans' Tower

The First Christmas

by DrT 1 review

The first Christmas in Titans Tower, and the first Christmas ever for Starfire and Raven – nothing prepared them for the onslaught of Christmas specials.

Category: Teen Titans - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama - Characters: Beast Boy,Cyborg,Raven,Robin,Starfire - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2016-05-23 - 2601 words

The First Christmas –
A Teen Titans story by Dr T

These stories are based on the 2003-2006 Teen Titans animated series, not the comics or other versions. Many others own the copyrights, not I. I’m just playing.

The first Christmas in Titans Tower, and the first Christmas ever for Starfire and Raven – nothing prepared them for the onslaught of Christmas specials. Continuity: the first season episodes ‘Nevermore’ and ‘Switched’ occur between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.


Learning the basics of a language was easy for Starfire – even if it required some up close and personal contact with a speaker. Learning the nuances took time. Learning the culture associated with the language of course took much, much longer.

The Titans had been living in their new Tower for nearly half a year when the ‘holiday season’ truly descended upon them. Starfire knew there had already been what to her was the somewhat odd celebration of the dead, with their Halloween, but apparently the true ‘holiday season’ began with a feast and ended with a party to welcome in the next solar revolution, although that celebration seemed unattached to any particular celestial phenomenon – the solstice, for example, was approximately nine days earlier than ‘New Years’.

The Giving of Thanks, however, did make sense to Starfire, especially when Raven informed her of the basic roots of the celebration in harvest festivals – many cultures had such. The celebration of a year turning was also known to her from her studies as a child. The human versions were different, but that was not surprising – humans were an interesting if odd people.

It was the remaining holiday which had confused Starfire the most. Beast Boy’s explanations of the holidays back in early October had confused her even more, while Cyborg’s seemed to mostly concentrate on candy for Halloween and feasting for the others. Robin’s explanations had been concise – perhaps overly so – and often interrupted by his other duties or, in one case, an alarm.

Starfire had therefore sought out Raven. After reminding Starfire that she was not a native to Earth either – although her home location had at that point still been unknown – Raven had given her clear definitions for the holidays, and a reminder that while she could explain the basics, they would likely have to live through the holidays understand what they might actually mean to the three natives.

It turned out that this was a drastic understatement.

It had started as the three boys lay collapsed on the sofa after the huge feast of Thanksgiving, unmoving except the odd groan and their eyes following a football game on the TV.

Starfire approached the three. “While I know there is much to learn about this season of holidays, is it true that it includes much decoration of the domicile?”

Beast Boy managed a comment. “Huh?”

“She means Christmas decorations, B.”


“We can, of course,” Robin mumbled. “We just have to be careful not to offend anyone.”

“And the giving of the presents?”

Beast Boy perked up. “Presents?”

“Maybe this year, we should each give just one present per team mate?” Robin suggested.

The teens were still just getting to know each other – their first encounters with Doctor Light and the Puppet King would happen over the next three weeks – and so limiting their presents made sense, especially since three of them – Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy – only had a small allowance from the Titan’s general fund for personal use at this point.

“So do we decorate the outside, or just the inside?” Cyborg asked. “If we just do lights outside, that shouldn’t offend anyone.”

“True,” Robin agreed.

“And no mistletoe,” Raven stated firmly.

“Are you sure?” Beast Boy said with a smirk.

“If I find one sprig of mistletoe anywhere on this island this year, all three of you get dumped in the Bay, no matter the temperature or time of day.” Starfire resolved to discover how missiles could have toes, while Cyborg and Beast Boy decided to obey the command – this year. The next year there would be mistletoe everywhere.

Turning to Robin, Raven asked, “Is it true that tomorrow is also the start of a huge shopping spree?” Now it was Starfire who perked up. Even though she could not afford much, she loved looking.

“Yeah, Black Friday, the day many store’s profits move into the black.” Starfire thought she got the basics of that, but would ask Robin later.

“Then this might be a tempting time for thievery of all sorts to go up,” Raven pointed out.

“Good point. We’ll be ready.”


Along with the up-tick in theft and armed robbery – and their first encounters with Doctor Light and the Puppet King – Starfire and Raven were overwhelmed by the holiday season, especially the movies and TV specials. Starfire had had no expectations, but Raven had been shocked at the sheer volume of the specials, especially the sillier ones. When not out on calls or training, the team was parked on the sofa (Raven usually under protest) watching special after special after movie. Even Robin was in favor; for the first time, the team ate some of their meals while seated on the sofa, even breakfast if there was some obscure special or movie on one of the cable channels that someone (usually, but not always, Beast Boy) wanted to see.

The open common room and the outside of the Tower had both certainly taken on a holiday theme – thousands of lights blinked on the Tower, while their common area not only had an overly-decorated tree (with the mandated maximum of 20 presents under the tree by December 20), but garlands and lights and dozens of holiday-themed knickknacks, although Robin had refused to allow Cyborg and Beast Boy to set up a fake fireplace so they could hang stockings. He had, however, agreed they could discuss it next year.

Raven and Starfire had discovered neither liked Egg Nog, and although she thought them ‘oh so very cute,’ Starfire did not think much of the decorated sugar cookies or most of the other sweet cookies all three boys seemed to crave. Raven, observing everyone else’s disappointment that Starfire thought their cookie offerings a bit on the bland side, had finally purchased pre-made gingerbread dough (Raven knew she was good are heating things up, not making things ‘from scratch’). She had then mixed spices (ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and a dash of curry powder) into a tin of vanilla frosting in almost equal parts. Although it smelled nice, the resulting iced cookies were far beyond what any normal human palate would enjoy (as Beast Boy and Cyborg had discovered, despite her warnings). Starfire, however, had proclaimed the result ‘most marvelous.’

Finally, however, it was Christmas Eve. Although it was only getting on for 10:00, the team had been called out for an armed robbery which had turned into a hostage crisis late that afternoon. They had just finished watching a special none of them had seen before, and would likely not want to see again, when Beast Boy piped up, “What’s on next?”

The remote flew into Raven’s hand. “Enough. Or at least that’s more than enough for me. I don’t mind watching holiday special after special, but they at least need to be decent ones. I looked; there is nothing on we haven’t seen at least once, if not twice or even more times than that. If you want to watch more, go ahead. I need to meditate and then get some sleep.”

“Wait, does that mean you enjoyed some of the specials?” Beast Boy asked.

“Of course,” came the voice, tuned to an even more monotone than usual. “I especially enjoyed seeing them with my team.”

“May one enquire as to which one you liked best?” Starfire asked.

“Hey, if we don’t watch something, maybe we can each guess what the others liked best!” Beast Boy suggested.

“That would be a pointless contest,” Raven stated.

“Why, because yours would be too easy to guess?” Beast Boy teased back.

“No, because I already know which ones we each enjoyed best, as well as the one we were most deeply affected by. Hence, guessing would be pointless.”

“But we can guess yours at least, before you tell us ours,” Cyborg suggested.

“Too easy,” Beast Boy stated.

“No, it wasn’t ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’, although I did enjoy it.”

“Yes, I saw the smile many times on your face, not only during the first of the showings we viewed, but during the subsequent three showings,” Starfire agreed.

Raven ignored that. “Nor is it any of the many, many, many adaptations of ‘A Christmas Carol’, although I did enjoy the Bill Murray version.” She was not about to admit that while she had enjoyed ‘Scrooged’, the version that had affected her the most of the dozen or so they had watched was the Mister Magoo version – the songs, especially ‘Alone in the World’, had affected her so much that the distraction had allowed Rage to escape when Doctor Light had angered her later that day.

“Tell us ours then,” Cyborg challenged.

“Yours and Beast Boy’s are the same – ‘A Christmas Story,’ and that was Robin’s second favorite. Beast Boy also had a clear second favorite, that awf. . . well,” she decided not to deride Beast Boy for his preferences, no matter her opinion, “it was ‘Santa Claus Conquers the Martians’.” Robin and Cyborg made faces that echoed her opinion of that film. Starfire merely wondered why humans thought that Martians looked or acted in the manner shown by the film. “Cyborg, you really enjoyed a lot of the others; I could not detect a clear second favorite. Robin, your favorite is the black-and-white version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.” Robin was impressed she could even tell he slightly preferred the original version to the colorized one.

“Starfire had the clearest favorites, and the first one was the animated version of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’.”

“I did not think I would enjoy such a story from the title, but the viewing of it proved me wrong,” Starfire admitted.

“’A Charlie Brown Christmas’ was a close second.”

“Together, they well illustrated the dichotomy between the spiritual and secular aspects of the holiday,” Starfire stated with a nod.

“Any disagreements?” Raven asked.

Cyborg jumped into the short silence. “So what are yours?”

“Actually, ‘A Nightmare before Christmas’ probably was second,” Raven mused. “My favorite, however, was an older movie, although not as old as Robin’s.”

After a short pause, Robin tentatively suggested, ‘’’Miracle on Thirty-fourth Street’?” Raven merely shook her head.

“’Meet Me in St. Louis’ is older than ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ isn’t it?” Beast Boy mused. Raven, Robin, and Cyborg were impressed he knew that.

“I believe it is,” Raven stated, agreeing with Beast boy. “It’s one where a team comes together to work out something of a holiday miracle.” Silence. “Granted, it starts off as a single person, then a partnership, and then four principles. . . .”

“’White Christmas’?” Robin asked.

Raven merely nodded. She would never even hint that she especially liked the romance aspects. “Good evening all.” She turned to go to her room.

“Raven.” Robin’s voice stopped her in her tracks. “You said that you knew the ones we liked best, and you proved it. You also said you knew the one that affected us the most. The same one?”

Without turning, Raven nodded.

“What was it?”

“Do you really wish to know?”

All four of the teens affirmed their need to know.

Raven turned around. “The stop-motion version of Rudolph.”

After several seconds of confused silence, Starfire partially understood first. “NO!” she cried, standing. “No, none of you are the misfits!”

“That’s true, and that’s part of the point,” Raven stated. Seeing the unasked questions, she continued, “We’d all say the same thing – ‘none of you are misfits’, not ‘none of us’. Not one of us consider any of the others misfits, not even Beast Boy.”


“But we all think of ourselves that way?” Robin asked.

Raven nodded. “To be fair, you consider yourself that way the least. However, one scene hit us all the same, and it hit us all very hard.” After a moment, Raven told them, “The Island of Misfit Toys.” After another pause, she asked, “What was the alternative name for the island?”

“The Island of the Unwanted Toys,” Starfire slightly misquoted in a whisper.

“Unwanted, where the unwanted and unloved toys of the world were gathered. Misfits or not, we all have strongly felt unwanted, unloved, and even to a degree, misfits.” Robin and Beast Boy, orphans, partially raised by hard-nosed and unloving if not uncaring heroes; Cyborg, mutilated by an accident, estranged from his father, and unwanted by his former friends; Starfire, turned over as a hostage by her family to forces which tortured her in medical experiments; Raven, raised as an obligation by monks who tried to force her emotions into submission with a harsh, uncaring regime.

Raven turned to leave her friends to their sober internal reflections, but she stopped after just a few steps. Should she say anything more? Would it reveal too much?

Yet, these four had shown more affection and respect to her in under a year than she had been shown the rest of her life, and she suspected she was merely the worst off the group, not unique. They cared for her, and, to her shock, she had come to understand over the previous weeks that she cared for them. She owed it to them, she owed them the respect and honesty they had earned, even if the Prophecy was still likely to come into being at some point. She turned back to her friends. She was not surprised that they were already looking at her.

Raven gestured at the tree. “I am certain that tomorrow morning, I will appreciate the gifts each of you chose for me. I am sure you will each feel the same to some greater or lesser degree for each of the presents. I do, however, want to leave you this evening knowing this: no matter how much I appreciate, no matter how much I even enjoy, your presents, the gift of your friendship, taking in this unwanted . . . this unloved misfit, will forever be the best Christmas gift you could give me, and I truly thank you and appreciate the gift, and each of you. Sleep well . . . friends.” Raven finally was able to make her exit.

Silence again reigned over the remaining Titans. Finally, Cyborg could only say, “Well damn,” in a somewhat awed voice.

“Who would have guessed Raven would have understood the Christmas spirit better than we do?” Beast Boy told the other two boys.

“H’mph!” Starfire snorted. “You boys have grown up with the Christmas, perhaps that is why you were surprised. Raven has indeed understood, at least as I have understood, the primary lesson to be learned.”

“What’s that, Star?” Robin asked.

Starfire floated up towards the ceiling, and, altering one word, reminded them of the lesson she had learned from her favorite Christmas special by quoting,

“Maybe Christmas,” they thought, “doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”

Starfire floated across towards the exit. “I also thank you for taking me in, friends. May you have the most pleasant of dreams.”


The End

The final quote, of course, is a slight variation from Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.’
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