Disclaimer: Characters owned and operated by DC comics and 20th Century Fox, used without permission and without profit. No copyright infringement is intended.

Thanks: To Gina and Chicago for giving the story a once over.

* * * * *

Midnight Tradition
By Gen X

* * * * *

"Shouldn't you be with Lian trick-or-treating?" Dick asked Roy Harper when he opened the door. Dick's teammate entered his apartment and promptly dumped a large paper bag on the table.

"We did that. She got way too much candy and is now sleeping at home. With a very reputable baby-sitter watching over her."

"So what are you doing at my apartment at eleven o'clock? And why did you bring…" Dick paused as he looked in the bag. He frowned. "Toast and toilet paper? Aren't you a little bit old to be toilet papering houses, Roy? What do you have planned?"

"All in good time, my compadre in kevlar. Now c'mon we have to get you dressed. We don't have much time."

"Dressed for what?" Dick stepped back and took a closer look at Roy. He had a black trench coat huddled over his body covering most of his clothes. "Why do you have a bow tie on?"

Ignoring his friend, Roy moved into the bedroom and started going through Dick's dresser and closet. "Wow, and I though my wardrobe sucked." He pulled out beige jacket and blue shirt. "I suppose you could go as Brad. He kinda fits your personality. Do you still have those black rim glasses?"


"The ones you wore last time you went incognito."

"They're in the dresser," Dick said still puzzled. He dared another look in the paper bag. Rice, newspaper, a water gun. The sinking feeling he had in his stomach told Dick that part of him didn't want to know what Roy had planned.

Roy threw a pair of khakis on the bed. "Okay, Dick get dressed, we don't have much time."

"Time for what?" he asked exasperated. "Tell me what's going on Roy. It's nothing illegal right?"

"Nope. I'll tell you on the way. The show starts at midnight."


"Yah, it's tradition. You'll love it."

* * * * *

The duo walked under a banner that proclaimed "Rocky Horror Picture Show." Roy stepped up to the box office to pay. Before they could enter, they were stopped at a table. A conservatively dressed woman handed them playbills. Next to the flyers, were paper lunch bags filled similarly to Roy's bag, Dick noted.

"Are you a virgin?" a young woman in a yellow sequined outfit with a matching top hat asked Dick.

"What?" Dick sputtered.

"Yes he is," Roy answered.

"I'm not—"

His words stopped as the woman with the bad fashion sense leaned over to Dick and drew a large "V" on his forehead with red lipstick.

"There ya go cutie," she said and patted him on the cheek.

Utterly confused, Dick turned to Roy. "But Kory and I—"

"Stop! Right there! No bragging."

Dick moved to wipe the offending substance off his head but Roy batted his hand away. The red haired archer ushered his friend inside the lobby. Dick stopped and gawked at the crowd.

There were people in plain black suits. There were people in gaudy shiny outfits. There were some women with hair that looked like something out of 'Bride of Frankenstein'. Dick's head whirled as a lady in a blonde wig walked by clothed only in a white bra and slip. But even that didn't take the cake, there were a handful of men wearing black lingerie complete with garter belts. Dick threw a skeptic eye to Roy. He didn't want to know what was under the coat now.

Before the duo could find seats, one of the aforementioned cross dressers slinked up and tossed his arm casually around Dick. He sang off key, "Let me show you around, Maybe play you a sound. You look like you're both pretty groovy."

"Roy, help," Dick squeaked.

Roy just laughed and chimed in for the next lines. "Or if you want something visual, That's not too abysmal, We could take in an old Steve Reeves movie."

By this time a little group had gathered around them. A man dressed like Dick, complete with dark rim glasses stepped up for the next verse. "I'm glad we caught you at home, Could we use your phone? We're both in a bit of a hurry."

The leader of the Titans watched dumbfounded as the scene played out around him. By the time the group had hit the chorus, Dick had successfully maneuvered out of the grasp of the solo artist and was edging for the door. His friend, meanwhile, continued singing with the group.

"I'm just a sweet transvestite, From Transexual, Transylvania."

Unfortunately, Roy caught him before he could slip outside. The impromptu sing along was cut short as another outlandishly clad gent hopped onto a table. "Ladies and germs, Brads and Janets, the time has come for our pre-show. If you care to retire to the theater, we shall begin."

Roy pushed his friend inside, unsure if Dick was going to try to make another break for it. After they sat down, Dick hissed. "Where did you take me, Roy?"

"To the Rocky Horror Picture Show. You need to get out more."

"I can read the sign. But are the costumes necessary? And *what* do we need toast for?" he asked, exasperated.

"Just relax, geez, can't you have a little fun?"

"This is not a little fun! This is insanity."

"That's why it's so great!"

* * * * *

Come the pre-show, Dick was ready to kill his friend. He had thought up a nice little detailed plan even where to dispose of the body so that no one would ever find it. Roy had neglected to mention a little initiation that all Rocky Horror Show "virgins" had to go through. Dick, utilizing all the stealth skills, had almost managed to slink into his chair when the virgins were called to the stage. However his plan was undone when Roy bodily dragged him out of the chair and gave him an encouraging shove towards the stage.

After about twenty minutes of demeaning and lewd (and somewhat funny) acts he was allowed to sit down. That was worse than Blockbuster, worse than Blackgate. Richard Grayson could have easily lived without ever having to stand next to a girl who did a fake out, or having a red balloon as his symbolic cherry popped. With each humiliating act, he added another torture to Roy's growing list.

Taking his seat, Dick said through gritted teeth, "Remind me to hurt you."

Roy ignored him and shushed him as giant red lips came on the screen.

* * * * *

At first his friend's behavior embarrassed Dick. Roy shouted at the screen and with the wedding scene chucked his rice up into the air. At this rate, he no longer wanted to know what the toast was for. What amazed him even more was that everyone was acting just like Roy. Talk about interactive theatre. This was hell.

Slowly, Dick got into the tradition, he even chimed in during the windshield wiper scene, shouting along with the rest of the crowd. However, he nearly got trampled attempting to do the Time Warp.

By the time Meatloaf appeared singing "Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul" Dick was gaining an appreciation for the humor. Okay, that's a stretch, but he was no longer scared or stunned by it. He even chuckled when Roy shouted out, "It's still Meatloaf anyway you slice it!" As unhinged as the production might be, the lyrics were catchy. Although, Tim Curry in a teddy ranked high up there on his list of 'Didn't need to see'. Eventually, Dick's hostility wore off and he thanked his friend for the night out.

Afterwards, Roy and Dick walked back from the theatre singing and laughing as Roy taught him the lyrics to the songs. By three, Roy had departed, leaving a copy of the movie with Dick. Dick suited up while his computer booted up. Very wired from the production, he sang, "Don't get strung out by the way I look. / Don't judge a book by its cover, baby. / I'm not much of a man by the light of day / But by night, I'm one hell of a lover. / I'm just a sweet transvestite From Transexual, Transyl—"

"Something you want to tell me Dick?" Babs's mocking tone trickled out of the computer.

"Babs! I…uh… I was with Harper and—"

"Well, that explains it. It's been quiet, you shouldn't have a problem tonight."

"Thanks, Babs."

"No problem. Oh, and Dick?"


"Wash off your forehead, before you go out on patrol, Dr. Frank-n-Furter."