The Roles We Play: Mocha Revision
original story by AngelSlayer135
Beast Boy's breath came out in short, controlled puffs as his form rose and fell rhythmically in the dark. His legs were spread slightly apart, his right arm supporting his upper body as he did push-ups in the center of his room, his left arm was folded behind his back. Glancing at the clock above his door, his eyes easily picked out the time, and he saw that it was a little past one in the morning. Without pausing, he switched arms, and continued his activity. There was a reason why Beast Boy was, of all things, exercising in the middle of the night, and it had nothing to do with the usual reasons why he'd be up this late, and everything to do with the trio of lovers in the room down the hall. He could hear the cacophony they were making. All the grunting, moaning, and wet smacking sounds of colliding bodies that usually accompanied such activities, despite the supposedly soundproof walls. Worse, he could smell everything too, and he would continue smelling everything for days afterward as well. With such keen senses, he could probably even describe what was happening, as it was happening. Which was just awful, really.
Nights like this always woke Beast Boy. He could pretty much tell whenever anybody, anywhere in the Tower started being intimate, like a goddamn radar. It was pretty impossible to ignore because that type of thing activated the oh-so-aggravating part of his animal instincts, the part that told him to go out, find a likely female, and get down to business. That drive, that pressing need, was very hard to resist because it was instinctual, intrinsically part of being alive. And because he knew it would be fun to give in to. But he resisted, for a variety of reasons. He did still have a surplus of energy to deal with though, so he exercised. Probably to an excessive degree, what with all the training that he did normally, but it was the lesser of his two options.
Finally, he heard the three of them quiet down, and paused to glance at the clock again. One twenty-five AM. The one saving grace was that they didn't often take too long, but that was little solace to the changeling. He'd still be up for most of the night. With a sigh of resignation he pushed himself off the floor, and made his way to the common room to watch TV, and hopefully to achieve some semblance of sleep.
He woke to the sound of Robin opening and closing cabinets as he set up the coffee maker. He was being goddamn loud for someone who's main stich was supposed to be stealth. Beast Boy groaned, and rolled off the couch, landing on the floor with a thud.
"Ow." He mumbled into the ground.
"Oh, hey Beast Boy." Robin greeted cheerily. "Up late watching TV again?"
He replied by raising his hand in a thumbs-up.
"Got enough rest though, right? Today's a training day."
Beast Boy groaned into the carpet. Don't remind me.
"Don't be like that, training is fun!"
Maybe for you, bird boy, but for me, it really leaves something to the be desired.
"If you're not down in the training room with everyone in the next fifteen minutes, I'm going to have to assign you extra training." Robin said sternly.
"I'm up, I'm up!" Beast Boy yelled from the floor, and started getting to his feet. He peered over the couch in time to see his fearless leader walking down the hall for the doors closed.
He's rather spry this morning. Of course, if I did what he's doing every other night, I'd probably have a little pep in my step too.
The shape shifter yawned, and began trudging back to his room to change, already dreading the day before him.
Walking into the training room a few minutes later, Beast Boy saw that everyone else had arrived before him. Two years had passed since they formed the team, and everyone had grown. Except for Beast Boy. Both the girls had fuller figures, and had grown a few inches. Robin had wider shoulders, and a thicker chest, as well as having also grown taller. Even Cyborg had changed his parts. Beast Boy had frustratingly stayed almost exactly the same. It didn't help that he was also the youngest of the team, making him an easy target for all sorts of teasing.
For a moment, he wondered why they were all lined up next to the sparring mat, and then he remembered what day was. Today was Wednesday, a day designated by their fearless leader to be sparring day. Their normal routine would set them to different areas of the room to work at specific exercises, tailored to their powers. On Sparring Day, they would still do all that, but before they could, they would fight a "friendly match" first. In theory, it would allow their team to understand each other's strengths and weaknesses, and be able to compensate accordingly. In reality, it was just a way for Robin to show that he was top dog.
Robin noticed him walking in, and stepped away from Raven and Starfire. "Hurry up Beast Boy, let's get started!" He called, walking over to the mat, and motioning to Beast Boy.
Yup, just like clockwork. In the world's shittiest clock.
As he made his way over to stand in front of Robin, the girls took to the air and began their own fight, while Cyborg monitored everyone.
"Eyes on me, Beast Boy. You remember the rules, right?" Robin said as he began to circle.
"Yup! No powers, no weapons, no gadgets!" Beast Boy replied with artificial enthusiasm, not that anyone noticed. He began mirroring Robin's stance and motions, albeit clumsily.
"That's right, we need to be able to defend ourselves in case we run out of other options."
"Yeah yeah, I get it. Let's go already!"
One of the reasons these fights never lasted long between them was because Robin was forcing Beast Boy to learn his style. Thus he always had the upper hand because the changeling was still learning. Or something like that. Within minutes the Boy Wonder had the shape shifter in a neck hold, and was forcing him to tap out. He had to get some sort of high for making him do that, because he always tried to end the match that way.
"That was good, Beast Boy. Not quite good enough, but I've been doing this for a while." Robin said, trying to hide the smug smile growing on his face.
Well if that's not just about the most patronizing thing I've ever heard…
"Thanks." He replied smoothly.
Robin was already walking over to watch the girls finish their match. Cyborg read out the results of his observations as they gathered around, and then they split to do their own exercises. From the obstacle course on the far side of the room, Beast Boy watched as both of the female Titans could barely concentrate on their own activities, too busy watching their secret lover flexes his muscles. He snorted disdainfully, but quietly, and started his work out.
"Okay Titans, our priority is keeping the civilians safe, so I want Starfire and Raven to clear the area, and secure the perimeter."
The five of them stood on top of the mall, watching through the skylight, the noon sun directly overhead in the clear sky. Below, two dozen or so humanoid figures made from electrical appliances wreaked havoc in the shops.
"Smart." Raven commented, her eyes thoroughly glued on the masked hero.
Beast Boy glanced at her. More like obvious.
"Then, while I find the source of this, I want you and Beast Boy engaging those creatures down there, and buying time." Robin said, pointing at Cyborg. "The girls can come and assist me after making sure everyone is safe."
Next to him, Cyborg slammed one fist into his open hand. "Aw yeah! Now that's what I call a battle plan!"
"Hell yeah!" Beast Boy yelled, and pumped his fist. "Let's get in there!"
Seriously, we've wasted enough time out here. People could be dying.
They opened one of the windows and jumped in. Their entrance was immediately noticed, but he and Cyborg were able to take the brunt of the initial attack, allowing the others to go about their tasks. The air was heavy with the sounds of destruction as they laid about themselves with almost wild abandon. Beast Boy was able to see Raven and Starfire zipping about, either aiding civilians or containing the enemy. As he smashed another enemy, he saw Robin dash into a store, presumably to engage the main villain.
This isn't working, we're going to be overrun. We need to retreat
It was obvious now that their efforts in fighting the army of drones out here were pointless. If they didn't destroy a piece of electronic completely, it would just reanimate and attach itself to a new creature. And they were increasing in number. Beast Boy did a quick scan of the surrounding area, but could find neither Raven, Starfire or Robin. They would have to do something quick, or he and Cyborg would be overwhelmed. Gritting his teeth, he transformed into a mammoth and charged forward, swinging his massive trunk into the gathered enemy forces.
Hopefully Cy will take advantage of the distraction, and get to a better position. We can't hold out here on the ground floor.
Like he'd expected, the makeshift robots abandoned the smaller target for the larger one, and he was quickly surrounded. The woolly coat that covered him provided ample handholds, and soon they were crawling up his sides, and on his back. The weight soon brought him to his knees, and then he started receiving shock after shock of electrical power until his concentration relented. Beast Boy reverted back to his natural form, the robots that had been attached to him falling to the ground all around. He struggled to his feet after a moment, the enemies around him beginning to move as well. Then they fell apart, the source of their short-lived lives defeated. He assumed.
Beast Boy sat down on the floor, and sighed with exaggerated relief. He went to Cyborg who was making his way over, shuffling through the debris and scattered parts.
"You okay man?" His friend asked him.
Beast Boy made the A-OK sign with his hand. "I'm better than okay, I'm 'ex-static'!"
The cybernetic man gave him a sickened look. "Please don't." He groaned.
"Oh come on, that was gold!" Beast Boy grinned.
Cyborg simply shook his head.
"Everyone okay?" Robin shouted from across the mall. He stood with the two lady Titans fussing over him, Raven healing a cut on his brow while Starfire hung from the opposite arm.
I can't believe Cy doesn't see what's right in front of him. It's so painfully obvious they both adore him.
Popping up to his feet, Beast Boy cupped one hand around his mouth. "I'm better than okay! I'm–"
A metal hand clamped over his mouth before he could finish.
"We're fine!" Cyborg shouted back. "Everyone's fine!"
The culprit behind everything at the mall turned out to be Overload, who escaped from containment and had been trying to build up his power. Robin, with the help of Raven and Starfire, managed to subdue the artificial being, thus neutralizing the army. Soon afterwards the police and media arrived. Of course Robin received most of the credit for taking down the villain. His being the leader automatically put him in the public eye, and he often spoke for everyone. It was upsetting, however, that Robin didn't pass some of the credit onto his team. The Titans left the scene, and returned home shortly thereafter.
"Everyone did really well today, but of course there's always room for improvement." Robin said, addressing the team around the table. "Starfire, you were excellent today in placing your shots, the best I've seen yet. Raven, you were very efficient in removing the citizens from danger, keep it up. Cyborg, you need to figure out a way to handle big crowds like that. Beast Boy, you can't go charging into crowds like that, it's incredibly reckless, and accomplishes nothing."
I beg to differ, Boy Wonder. If I hadn't done what I did, Cyborg and I would've been defeated, and then they would've come to reinforce Overload, effectively tipping the scales of your fight in his favor. But you didn't notice that.
"Got it." Beast Boy said with a nod.
"Another thing I noticed is the fact that the civilians are often in the line of fire. As such, I want to work on accuracy, so we can be confident in our ability to deal with threats without harming the citizens. It's back to the training room."
With a healthy amount of complaining, the Titans made their way back to where they started the morning. When they got there, they went to an area that was set up like a firing range. As everyone else began going through the drill, Robin took Beast Boy, and led him to another area.
"You don't have any ranged capabilities, so I want you to train your hand-to-hand skills."
Beast Boy saw where they were going, and hesitated. "Oh come on! I already did that this morning, and everyone knows I'm not really suited for martial arts." He complained. "Can't I just, I don't know, go a round or two with the training bots?"
Robin shook his head. "Sorry, but no. None of us can afford to be completely reliant on our powers or gadgets, and I don't want anyone singling you out."
Right. Because poor, small Beast Boy is obviously the weak link.
They came to a punching bag, and the younger hero reluctantly took a position across from it. He eyed it warily before turning back to his leader. "Seriously?" He whined.
"Think of it this way, green bean!" Cyborg jeered from where the others stood. "When you punch the bag, it's less likely to punch back!"
Was that a smirk he saw on Robin's face? Yes, yes it was, though the masked hero was trying, and failing, to hide it.
"Look, if you go at it for the next twenty minutes you can pick the movie tonight. Deal?" Robin bargained.
The changeling just looked at the bag with obvious trepidation.
"It's okay, Beast Boy! Just try your hardest!" Starfire yelled encouragingly, and he had to hold back from shooting her a withering glare.
"Get on with it already." Raven droned, though she was clearly irritated. "I have things to do, so I'd rather not be held up in here. Again."
With everyone practically hell-bent on getting him to do this, Beast Boy sighed and took up the stance that Robin had practically forced him to learn. Robin had already left him to it, smug satisfaction written on his face at the team jumping in to help him assert his authority. Typical. Beast Boy attacked with the techniques he'd learned. A straight left jab. A right hook. A roundhouse kick. Simple stuff. Easy stuff.
I can't be the only one who sees Robin's constant one upmanship. It's like he needs to be the center of attention at all times. And it's totally intentional that I'm the one he singles out, seeing as how Cyborg is easily three times his size, and he's fucking the other two. Not that the others seem to care.
As the thoughts in his head fueled his frustration, Beast Boy stopped using what Robin had been trying to teach him, and reverted to older techniques. Techniques he had learned before. He attacked at a furious speed, delivering lightning-quick blows that would be lethal on a living target. Adrenaline thrummed in his veins as he let loose, no longer entirely aware of his surroundings.
Beast Boy was something of an enigma to the empath. Raven could sense robust enthusiasm and energy from Cyborg, determination and confidence from Robin, and flowery joy and compassion from Starfire. All she could ever detect from the resident changeling was… radio silence. The absence of something she knew should be there, but simply wasn't. This wasn't a new occurrence though. After they had formed their team, she had become aware of it because of how easy it was for him to catch her off guard. It was like she had a permanent blind spot to his presence, and that was extremely disconcerting. But try as she might she couldn't figure out why this was, and eventually gave up trying to find out. After all, Beast Boy wasn't something to be concerned about. She can safely ignore him.
And she was, so when a dark emotion suddenly settled over the training room like a storm cloud, Raven was nearly floored by its intensity, causing her to nearly drop the object she was holding with her powers. She turned around slowly to survey the room, thinking that maybe they were in danger, and her eyes eventually came to rest on the green shape shifter in one corner. He was next to the practice bag like Robin had instructed him, but he wasn't using the style that they all had been taught. Attacks flew out of him at inhumane speeds, with more ferocity than she had seen from anyone. A quick glance around the room informed Raven that no one else had noticed his strange behavior, and she stopped what she was doing to slowly make her way over to the changeling.
When she reached him, that dark emotion pervading the air growing only heavier, she went to grab his shoulder. He spun around before she touched him, grabbing her wrist and jerking her forward, off-balance. His other hand was raised not in a fist, but with fingers splayed, and bending forward, clawlike. Raven realized that she had never actually seen him without his gloves on before, but even so, that gloved hand looked very dangerous. Even more concerning was the look in his eyes. Cold, distant, and detached. Like he wasn't even really seeing her.
Beast Boy must have realized what he was doing because he dropped her wrist like it had burned him. He stepped back, the humanity returning to his eyes as he glanced about at the others.
"Is everything al–" Raven began asking.
"Fine! Everything's excellent, actually. No problemo." He said, his eyes flicking towards the damaged equipment he'd been using. "Man, Cyborg should really upgrade his gear if even I can do this much though, ha ha. Anyway, it's been twenty minutes, so I'm going to hit the showers. See ya!"
And then he made a swift exit, all but running through the doorway. Blinking in mild confusion, Raven walked over to Cyborg. "Cyborg, has Beast Boy seemed weird to you lately?"
The half metal man stopped working on his arm to look up at her. "Beast Boy being weird? Sounds pretty normal to me."
"Hmmm." Raven hummed in reply, looking after the green shape shifter.
Beast Boy spent the remainder of the day in his room, venturing out only once to make himself food before quickly retreating back to his sanctuary. Thankfully there were no more incidents that day, and he was allowed to spend it in peace. Peace, he was beginning to realize, he very much needed. What with his nocturnal exercise routine, battling his animal instincts, and his frustration with the team, he was getting worn out. The stress was only added on when he could only properly sleep when Robin had to go out on patrol. Luckily, tonight was one of those nights, and Beast Boy wanted to take advantage of that as much as possible.
There was a knock at his door, and he got up from his desk chair to go answer.
"Yeah?" He asked when he opened his door to reveal Cyborg.
"Let's go man! It's movie night!" The older man said excitedly.
"Uh, actually Cy, I was planning on hitting the hay early today." The changeling said. "But you guys go ahead and watch something, I'll just wait until next time to pick."
Cyborg studied him closely for second. "Okay, who are you, and what have you done with BB?" He asked suspiciously.
Beast Boy laughed. "It's me, I swear. I'm just really tired today. I'll be fine. You should let Starfire pick, I'm sure she has lots of suggestions for a movie tonight. Particularly of the romance variety."
"Well, anything is better than your particular brand of comedy."
"Sure, you say that now, but twenty minutes into one of her movies, and suddenly slapstick doesn't seem so bad."
"Keep dreaming man."
He laughed again. "Have fun." Beast Boy said as he closed his door.
He heard his friend trod away towards the common room with his metal feet, and then making sure he was alone, Beast Boy made his way to his bunk bed. He flopped down on the bottom bed, and promptly fell asleep. It felt like only seconds had passed before he was waking to the insistent knocking of someone at his door.
"Who is it?" He called from his bed.
"Friend Beast Boy, it is I, Starfire! Robin wishes for everyone to gather in the room of OPS for an announcement!" The alien Princess's cheery voice carried through the metal door and grated on the changeling's sensitive ears.
"Uh, okay, I'll be there in a few minutes." He told her.
He waited until he heard her footsteps fall away and then, with effort, Beast Boy dragged himself out of his bed. His body ached all over, sore from the day before, and his mind felt sluggish and clogged. Funny, how sleep could do that to you, especially after you haven't properly rested in a while. He was of course the last person to arrive, and he took his place next to Raven as they gathered around Robin.
"Okay guys, a little while ago I received a call from the police chief and the director of the local branch of FBI. They've been chasing a serial killer, and they believe he is in the area. Since they'll be operating in our territory, they have asked for our help." Robin said. "I want everyone to be ready within an hour so we can go meet them and be briefed on the operation they plan on conducting."
Beast Boy blinked, seeing the rest of the day unfold in front of him. He withheld the grimace that wanted to spread across his face, and instead turned from the room, walking out with everyone else to get ready. If the situation turned out to be as predictable as he expected, then he definitely needed more sleep.
So I've been struggling with my stories a little, trying to write and come up with ideas, but also just having the discipline to sit down and put pen to paper. Fingers to keyboard. Whatever. I'm hoping by taking on yet another story I'll be able to write more often, since I'll be following somebody else's story and not trying to come up with my own plot. Though I'm going to try not to straight up plagiarize. Case in point, in the original first chapter of this story there is a scene near the end that I like a lot, but I've ended up cutting out of my version. Upon looking at it I realized that doesn't seem to serve a purpose other than making Beast Boy look like a badass. I really do enjoy that scene though, so I'm going to see if I can add to it in later on. Another thing that I want to address though is that there will probably most definitely be some Robin bashing. I normally don't hate Robin, but after reading halfway through Force's Carved in Stone, well… Follow, favorite, and leave me a review! Also be sure to check out my other stories.