Hey, guys! :D I'm back! :P
Yeah, so this is not really another story nor is it a one shot (well actually it's more of a one shot than a story...), it's between the two, a sort of one shot in three parts and this is the first one! :D
I won't say much about the story itself here except that, as you might have recognized some plot parts from the end of The Beast Inside if you have read it and as you might have guessed from the title, it's sort of an alternate ending that I thought about writing but decided otherwise, instead keeping it for a future one shot! ;)
Now, the other two parts may be longer or shorter, depends on how much I have to say, but they should be out sometime (No idea when, I still have to write them... :P), anyways here is the first part of The Masked Ball. Hope you enjoy! :D See ya!
"So, you ready for a quick game of Hyperbot Run 2?" Asked the Cyborg, a huge smile displayed on his face, as he looked over to his green friend who was quickly finishing his breakfast.
"Ready to kick your ass when you are dude!" Grinned the changeling as he got up, ran towards the couch and jumped on it to sit next to his friend. He took the second remote in his hands and started frantically pressing the buttons as Cyborg launched the game.
The two friends were yelling and pushing at each other as the game progressed, trying to destabilize one another to gain the upper hand but unfortunately for either of them they were too experienced to get distracted so easily. Cyborg could dedicate a specific part of his CPU to taking care of Beast Boy while never losing his concentration on the game and the changeling was able to react so fast to any threats, in game or not, that he wasn't bothered by his friend's attempts. Only when Robin came into the room and turned off the screen before exiting with a scowl did they stop bickering to instead to rant at their now common enemy.
"Man, the guts of that guy! Interrupting us during a game of Hyperbot Run 2!" Exclaimed Cyborg as the doors shut behind the boy wonder, sufficiently loud so that the detective would hear it.
"Dude, I can't believe he just did that…" A scowl was visible on the green teenager's face. "He could've at least warned us a fifth time before coming in and shutting the game station…"
"Yeah… Well I was winning anyways so I don't really care much…" Remarked the half machine titan nonchalantly as he observed his nails with a grin.
"You so were not!" Exclaimed Beast Boy, standing up abruptly and the cyborg followed. They were standing so close that their noses almost touched. Cyborg noted the now not-so-huge difference in height between them. Beast Boy had grown a lot during the last months, he had also filled up in terms of muscles and his shoulders had broadened, though he still remained lean. His face was more angular and less childish and his fangs had grown, so had his claws which he now had to be careful of when he grabbed objects, following his physical change had come a psychological change. The green changeling, much to everyone's astonishment, had matured a lot in a few months, he still remained the same childish joker most of the time but he seemed wiser and more imposing. More surprising yet, he had grown a tail. That had inconvenienced him in the beginning, scaring him to no end, but he had found it rapidly to be quite natural and useful in combat. During the first few weeks after it had fully appeared he had decided, much to Raven's annoyance, to do literally everything with it, from eating and playing video games to fighting and pranking her. He now stood at a respectable meter eighty one, only ten centimeters shorter than his friend. His physical abilities had also improved along with the range of his transformations and he could now morph into a merman, a dragon or a hydra, which had proved quite useful in combat. The Beast's transformation was still a problem for him for he hadn't managed to gain control of it for long enough while in combat, always blanking out at one point, though he could resist the impulse to morph now. The two Titans met each other's eyes and Beast Boy took in his friend's appearance.
At now almost twenty two years old, the oldest and tallest member of the team had also changed a lot since the beginning. He had lost all the metal and electronics covering his body, preferring to replace them with synthetic limbs and skin that mimicked natural cells. This change had come as evidence to him after a fight where he had once more been defeated because by an enemy using the fact he was half robot against him. He had from then on decided to change his body to make it more human, true he still wasn't fully human but he now had his normal appearance back and he had hidden his electronics and vital points under layers of synthetic skin, which made it a lot more difficult for the enemies to hack into him. He had created, with the help of his father, nanobots that maintained the synthetic limbs functional and accelerated his body's regeneration. Though still at an experimental stage these nano robots were useful in a fight as permitted him to morph his synthetic limbs into sonic weapon at will. He now passed as a normal person in the street and was able to blend in without the use of a holomorphic wristband he had also developed a few years back, though if needed he could always lift a few tons to help around.
As he saw his taller friend lock eyes with him Beast Boy growled and stood on his toes to get to his height, he growled and bared his fangs but after a few seconds they started to giggle uncontrollably.
"You should've seen his face though!" Exploded the cybernetic man as he punched his leg while laughing loudly.
"I know!" Beast Boy joined in, falling to the floor and rolling while holding his stomach. "That was so worth it!" they remained like this for a few minutes, laughing for no reason.
"Haaaa…" Sighed the cyborg as he sat back down on the sofa, still trying to regain control. "So, are you ready for the big night tomorrow?" He asked after a few seconds of silence during which the green titan slowly stood up and sat back on the couch too, still trying to suppress his giggles. Beast Boy looked at his friend and thought a bit before answering.
"Well…" He paused "I found my disguise!" He exclaimed with a bright smile.
"Nice!" Smiled the cyborg. "And what is it might I ask?"
"Oh no, I'm not telling you, you'll see that tomorrow like everyone else!" Said Beast Boy with a wink. "And you? Found something?" He asked in return.
"Well as a matter of fact my friend, I'm going with Sarah." He smirked. "Though about how we will dress, well you'll see, it's a surprise too!"
"Aw man! Come on, tell me!" Beast Boy pleaded.
"Nope, you won't tell me, I'm not telling you either!" Cyborg exclaimed, still smirking.
"Please?" Insisted the green teenager though he knew it was useless.
"Well Robin and I are going as James Bond and Jessica Rabbit if you wish to know!" Starfire's overjoyed voice echoed through the room as she walked towards the kitchen, her hand full of bags, to search for a glass. The Tamarean had grown a bit and stood at a reasonable meter eighty seven, six centimeters more than her green friend, and had also filled her uniform in 'quite a pleasant way', as Robin had dared way when he had thought they were alone. Her hair had grown even more, now descending almost to her knees, and had changed her uniform a few times to suit her new curves and her new taste. It still covered very little of her generous forms but it was much more flexible and resistant, allowing her to engage in close combat and to replenish herself with solar energy when needed. She smiled brightly at her two friends.
"Oh, hey Star!" Exclaimed Beast Boy with a smile as he stood up. "Hadn't heard you come in. You and Rae found stuff at the store?" He asked with a smile. Starfire emptied the glass of water she had just poured herself before smiling widely at her friend's question.
"Hey Star!" Greeted the cyborg as he walked towards her to give her a hug. "So yeah, tell us about shopping, Raven didn't send you to another dimension did she?"
"No friends, she did not." Answered the fiery redhead with a wide smile. "I have found the most wondrous dress for tomorrow, it is perfect for my disguise!" She exclaimed as she brought a bright red dress that was almost the exact replica of Jessica Rabbit's at the exception that it opened on both sides and therefore would expose both her legs. Not that Robin would complain… Smirked both friends as they saw the alien show them her findings. She spent the next hour exposing them the details of the shopping session and how she had found almost all accessories she required at the exception of the mascara but she would ask Jinx if she could borrow hers because it would fit. When she finally caught her breath Beast Boy was almost snoring and Cyborg had a far away look, they both stirred back to life as she quieted down.
"Wow, what and adventure Star!" Commented Cyborg who was quietly reviewing the last minutes from his database.
"Yes, you could say that friend Cyborg!" Shouted Starfire as she clapped in her hands excitedly. The former tin man was about to ask about the dark sorceress's shopping trip, though he really hesitated seeing as Starfire's tales always extended to no end, but he didn't have the occasion to as the said sorceress came in and walked towards the kitchen.
"I can see sleeping marks on your face BB…" She simply said as she walked past them to make some tea. Beast Boy's eyes went wide and his face red, he quickly looked at Cyborg and they exited the room prematurely invoquing some business down in the garage and disappeared as quickly as one could snap one's fingers. The dark Titan had also grown quite a bit though, and much to Beast Boy's pleasure, not as much as the green teenager for she had stopped at a respectable meter seventy nine. Her body, on the other hand, had filed very nicely, more so than Starfire's from some point of views (a few redheads speedsters and a certain green skinned man's to be precise) and even under her cloak one could make them out. That was also to Beast Boy's great pleasure, though he would've never said it aloud or even thought it in her presence out of fear. the witch herself did not find them pleasant on the other hand, her new body required a few changes in her fighting style for she had to adjust to those 'generous curves' that regularly got in the way. The sorceress had also let her hair grow and they now descended almost to the middle of her back. She had retained the same dressing code as always, a dark leotard and a cloak, though she was also sometimes seen with some variants of that outfit and even, some rare times, without a cloak. Right now she was wearing the usual cloak and leotard pair but her hood remained down, exposing her pale features and her long dark hair.
A few instants after the doors had closed and silence had fallen in the room Starfire started putting her dress back away in her plastic bag with a huge smile. Raven poured the boiling water in her mug and joined her at the table, sitting in front of her, a smile playing on her lips too.
"I take it your story telling went well." She said in her monotone, though if one had known her enough one might have detected a faint trait of playfulness in her tone.
"Oh yes, you should have seen their faces Raven!" Exclaimed Starfire. "They were so bored, they seemed on the verge of fainting!" She exclaimed with a laugh. Raven, not even forcing the extremely rare display of emotion, chuckled at the alien's words as she drank a sip of her tea.
"I think I know what you mean Star. Though I must admit your art of telling such long stories about frivolous things like this has always impressed me very much!" Starfire giggled at Raven's comment.
"I do have the art of 'the extended story telling'…" Replied the alien with a wink, using the awkward word phrasing she had been speaking naturally with for so long. Of course she had picked up on the customs of the human language since her arrival to earth but she still enjoyed playing the air head to her friend's expense, toying with them whenever she wanted. Only Robin and Raven had picked up the trick but they had said nothing, relishing too much the fun they could make of the poor Cyborg and Beast Boy, colluding with the alien to make the two pay for all those pranks they had pulled all over the years.
"I still do remember Raven. An underestimated foe is most dangerous." The redhead added with another smirk.
"So, what did you tell them exactly?" Asked Raven, seemingly a bit more serious.
"Well, they did ask about you but I only had the time to explain how I found these 'marvelous shoes' and those 'wondrous earrings', they did not even let me finish with the 'exceptional dress' and the 'amazing make up' I also found!" She laughed again, imagining the faces the two would have pulled at the mention of more story telling. "And of course i dare say Robin will be thrilled with all these tales I saved especially for him!"
"Do not worry my friend," Added the alien, becoming a bit more serious, with another knowing wink. "your secret is safe…" Raven Simply nodded in reply, smirked at her tall friend. Indeed, they must not know. Not yet. She thought, still smirking.