The sun was sinking into the bay and the common room was filled with the warm aroma of dinner preparations. Cyborg was humming gleefully as he mashed potatoes in a pot and had gravy simmering on the stove. Starfire sat at the table, putting a bib on Silkie who had his own highchair. Nightwing entered and took a long whiff of the air. "Mmm, smells good. What's on the menu for dinner?"
"My world famous mega meatloaf," Cyborg grinned proudly. "Hope you're hungry."
"Starving," said the team leader who then spotted his girlfriend at the table. He walked over and said, "So… we're feeding Silkie at the table now?"
"Oh yes, he enjoys it very much," Starfire smiled while the larva gurgled in a pleased fashion. "He will eat dinner and then I shall give him a bath and put him down to bed. He's such a good little bumgorf," she cooed and scratched it lovingly. Nightwing could only smile even though he found her adoration of the mutant bug a little unnerving at times.
"Alright, I hope y'all are ready for the magnificence that is this meatloaf!" Cyborg announced and took out two pans with bacon wrapped meatloaf in them.
The joy of the pending meal was killed when common room doors slid aside and in came a walking argument. All turned with dread as Beast Boy and Raven entered, bringing a quarrel they'd been working on in the hallway with them. The other three teammates sighed and groaned, wondering how long this one would last. Over the last few weeks the two had been at each other's throats far more often than in the past. They were known to have a disagreement or two but recently the only time they spoke was to argue.
"…isn't like I'm asking you to strap yourself down in your bed, I would just appreciate it if-" Raven tried to finish but was interrupted.
"Hey, you don't hear me complaining when I hear the pipes flush with water when you use the bathroom in the middle of the night," the changeling countered crossly.
"Would you stop interrupting me and let me finish a-" she tried again.
"It's just in one ear and out the other with you, isn't it?" he groaned. "You think you're such a perfect roommate when you're just as annoying as any of us."
"I'm not claiming to be a perfect roommate but I think I'm pretty courteous, unlike you," she said quickly, able to finish a sentence at last. "I always do my best to be quiet when I go about the tower at night when everyone's asleep. I'm just asking that you attempt to do the same."
"I do!" he exclaimed.
"Alright, time out," said Nightwing. "What're you two arguing about this time?"
"I simply asked him to be considerate of the fact that my room is below his and when he gets up in the middle of the night, which he's entitled to do, I can hear him and it wakes me up. All I want is for him to be a little more soft footed when he crosses the floor from his bed to the door. Is that such an unreasonable request?" Raven asked.
"She's acting like I get up and stomp around on purpose to wake her up!" said Beast Boy.
"Don't exaggerate," she rolled her eyes. "I asked if you could please be a little quieter when you get up at night. I never said you were stomping around and I never said you were doing it on purpose."
"Yeah but I can read between the lines," he glared at her.
"Guys this doesn't sound like a big deal so relax," said Nightwing.
"I am relaxed! She's the one with a bug up her butt," said Beast Boy.
"The only bug up my butt is you," Raven growled back.
"Friends, please refrain from arguing," Starfire pleaded. "You must do the working out of this problem."
"I'm trying to but he's being pigheaded and childish," said Raven.
"If I'm so childish then why're you the one calling me names?" Beast Boy countered.
"Enough! I slaved over a hot stove for the last hour and now my amazing dinner is getting cold," said Cyborg. "You two wanna settle your differences then do it after we eat."
"I honestly don't even want to talk about this anymore," said Raven, walking over to the table.
"Oh sure, once again it's over when you say it's over," Beast Boy mumbled under his breath, earning a sharp jab in the ribs from Nightwing. "I mean, uh, what's for dinner?"
"Mashed potatoes with gravy, peas with pearl onions, and my infamously mouthwatering mega meatloaf," said Cyborg, quite proud of his meal.
"Meatloaf? Dude, why do you do this to me?!" Beast Boy whined.
"Don't worry, there's a meat substitute on the stove," said Cyborg, slicing up both meatloaves.
Beast Boy looked towards the oven and saw four carrots sitting in a pot, not even cooked. He growled something rather rude under his breath and went to clean, peel, and steam them up. He knew he should be grateful Cyborg even considered a vegetarian option but he also knew he was poking fun at him. Everyone else sat down and served themselves.
"Man, I'm not one to brag, but this may be the best meatloaf ever in the history of meat and loaves," Cyborg smiled.
"You're not one to brag?" Nightwing snickered.
"Truly this meal is most splendid," Starfire agreed. "Thank you so much for preparing it for us. Please, will you tell us who your betrothed is?"
"Be-what now?" Cyborg squeaked.
"Uh, Starfire, we've explained this to you a few times," said Nightwing. "Big delicious meals on Earth are just as they appear to be, big delicious meals."
"I know but I am hopeful that someday I will be right," Starfire smiled.
"Starfire, if I ever become engaged I'll break it to you with a big meal," said Raven, taking a bite of her peas.
"Oh thank you!" Starfire clapped. "But…you will employ another to do the cooking, correct?" That caused all the men to snort, though they hid it the best they could.
"Yeah, cuz no one's as bad a cook as you," Beast Boy laughed out loud.
"Thank you, Beast Boy, I needed that spelled out for me," Raven sighed sarcastically.
"Glad to be of help," he shot back with a mean smirk.
"How're your carrots coming along?" asked Nightwing, feeling that another argument was about to break out if he didn't diffuse the tension.
"Should only be a few more minutes," said Beast Boy. "Save me some peas and potatoes. I'm gonna mash them all together."
"Ew, man, you're gonna mix it all together?" Cyborg grimaced. "That's practically baby food!"
"Don't knock it 'til you've tried it," Beast Boy shrugged. "And it's not like baby food. It's just a big mashed lump of goodness. Anyway it's not as gross as your loaf of ground up animals."
"Hey no one can say that my meatloaf is gross," said Cyborg, very serious. "Can I get an amen?"
"Amen," said Nightwing and Raven.
Beast Boy sighed and said, "How come when I cook dinner for everyone no one preaches?"
"I wonder," Cyborg said under his breath.
"I enjoy when you cook, Beast Boy!" Starfire raised her hand. "Please feel free to share your meals with me on any occasion."
"Hear that, Raven? Starfire will eat my food before she'll eat yours," Beast Boy smirked.
"You realize you're proud of the fact that an alien who likes to drink mustard and combine pickles with frosting finds your cooking delectable, right?" Raven asked.
"Still one more than you," said the changeling.
"Guys, cut it out," Nightwing said firmly.
"Seriously," said Cyborg. "You both seem to be looking for a fight."
"I'm certainly not," said Raven.
"Oh and I am?" asked Beast Boy.
"Stop!" Cyborg and Nightwing demanded together.
"Please, no more mean tones towards one another," Starfire begged. "You are friends!"
"If you two won't cut it out you'll both be in trouble" said Nightwing. "It's normal for people who live together to argue from time to time but you two are fighting over every little thing."
"Yeah and we're pretty sick of it," said Cyborg. "Either start getting along or don't talk to each other."
"I'm trying to get along with him but he turns every conversation into an argument," said Raven.
"I do not!" said Beast Boy. "You purposely start conversations that will make me argue with you."
"That's the most asinine thing I've ever heard," Raven huffed.
"Enough," Nightwing said crossly. "If you two can't get along then I'm going to have to step in. Is that what you want?"
"Please do," Raven begged. "If you can make him stop I'll be forever grateful."
"You're the one who needs to be stopped!" Beast Boy shot back.
"Guys chill out," Cyborg groaned.
"Is there nothing we can say that will put an end to your arguing?" asked Starfire
"I've already said that I don't want to argue with him," said Raven, growing frustrated. "He's instigated every fight we've had."
"That's a lie!" Beast Boy snapped back.
"Alright that's it!" Nightwing shouted and stamped his foot. "You want me to intervene? Well I'm intervening. Let's go!"
Both Titans looked at their leader strangely. "Go where?"
"Nope, no questions. Just move," he ordered and pushed them out of the common room. Cyborg and Starfire gave each other a look before quickly following after them. They certainly didn't want to miss what was happening! And once they were gone Silkie happily helped himself to the rest of the meal, flatware and all.
The team leader led the quarreling Titans and the onlookers down to the basement door. The basement was large and housed a treasure trove of things from extra parts to personal belongings to supplies they'd stocked up on. There was a constant hum from the various systems keeping the tower running. Cyborg often spent at least an hour ever week down there doing diagnostic checks and updating software. But the others very rarely went so far down in the tower.
Nightwing opened the door and said, "In."
"Excuse me?" Raven replied.
"You heard me, get in," he demanded.
"Why?" asked Beast Boy.
"Because as leader I'm ordering you to," he said firmly.
After a moment the empath rolled her eyes and began walking down the steps. The changeling followed after her, though not without dropping his shoulders in a huff. They reached the bottom of the stairs and looked back up at their teammates.
"Alright we're in. What now?" asked Raven, crossing her arms.
"You two are going to stay down there until you work things out," said Nightwing. "I'm initiating the lockdown sequence for the basement."
"You're what?" they exclaimed.
"The entire perimeter will be triple locked and, with the suppression spell engraved on the outer walls, there's no way either of you will be able to leave," said Nightwing, typing a code into the well near the basement door.
"What?! Dude, you can't do that!" Beast Boy objected.
"You've forced me to do this," Nightwing frowned. "I'll be back in one hour."
"Good luck," Cyborg called down to them with a wave.
"Please do not do the killing of each other," Starfire waved as well.
"Wait!" the two shouted together and flew up the stairs. But before they could lay a hand on the doorknob the sound of dozens of mechanisms interacting at once filled their ears. The lights went dark, aside from a few emergency bulbs, and all the sounds coming from the basement ceased. They tried to open the door but it wouldn't budge. She tried to open a portal but one would not manifest thanks to the spell she herself had placed on the outer walls.
"I can't believe he did that," he said. "He actually initiated the lockdown sequence."
"He did indeed," she replied.
He turned and gave her a large smirk. "Just like you said he would."
She turned to him with smug eyes and a small grin of her own. "I know that man better than he knows himself."
"So," he said, reaching over and wrapping his arms around her waist, "we can't get out, they can't get in, and thanks to my hacking the security cameras they can't see down here either."
She gently placed her hands on his chest and said softly, "Looks like we've got one hour of uninterrupted time alone together."
He hummed with pleasure and kissed her. "You were awesome today. Can we fight or can we fight?"
"We do have it down to an art form," she admitted a bit proudly, trying not to melt in his arms to quickly.
"I gotta admit, there were at least three times when I wanted to just jump you," he chuckled into the crook of her neck, sending a shiver through her body. "I love it when you rile me up."
"If they knew that fighting is like foreplay for us they'd die of shock," she breathed and moved her hands around his body to feel up his back. "The things we have to do to get some privacy around here."