"This is bad," Abed noted calmly.
"Heads up!" Ron yelled, flinging a handful of gold coins at Dr. Fate's head while diving to the side, snatching up a jewel encrusted mace while flipping back to his feet.
Dr. Fate's head snapped back, his helm ringing, but he still managed to gesture with his left hand, causing a number of heavy gold necklaces to weave themselves into a rope that bound the shocked Annie in place.
Gwen took cover behind the couch. "What do I do?!" she yelled.
"Exactly what you're doing," Ron said, as he leapt forward with the mace held high, forcing Dr. Fate to block him with a golden shield.
"Silver ropes please," Abed calmly requested as Dr. Fate gestured at him with his off hand, binding him in heavy silver jewelry next to Annie.
"Why?" Annie asked, as Abed bumped her so they both fell down.
"We are no longer targets nor distractions," Abed replied, "we are now safe as is possible to be in this situation."
"I think we'd be safer elsewhere," Annie whispered, flinching back from the blinding flash of light Ron caused when he shattered Dr. Fate's mystical shield.
"Pretend you're a caterpillar," Abed told her and started wriggling for the door.
"I'm going to get stepped on," Annie worried as she copied his motions and the two made an impressive crawl for freedom unnoticed by everyone else.
Dr. Fate recreated his shield, his motions hesitant as he seemed to fight against himself before the flames flared and he threw a bright yellow blast of pure power that Ron barely dodged, melting the door to the bathroom.
Dr. Fate stumbled back as a heavy gold plate impacted the side of his helm, thrown by Gwen who ducked behind the sofa once more.
Ron kicked a golden goblet towards Dr. Fate's groin with his foot while cartwheeling out of the way of another blast of golden power that sent gold coins flying everywhere.
"Would yelling 'fight it' help?" Ron asked as he found a polished silver shield that apparently did nothing as Dr. Fate blasted him into the wall.
In the hall
"What is going on?!" the building superintendent demanded.
Abed and Annie looked up from the hallway carpet, relieved to see a possible source of salvation.
"Funny," said the four-year-old girl as her mother set her down between the two tied up students.
"Cursed board game is controlling Dr. Fate, Ron's fighting him," Abed reported before the little girl grabbed his nose.
"Honey, you wait right here with Annie and Abed," the woman ordered. "Mommy has to go and kick… some hiney."
"Yes, Mommy," the little girl agreed as she pulled on Abed's cheeks.
In the apartment
Ron pushed forward against a continual beam of force that sought to pin him in place while Dr. Fate split his attention trying to capture Gwen who was dodging and throwing whatever came to hand at him.
"This would be the perfect time for those powers I'm supposed to have to manifest!" Gwen yelped as she kicked a summoned snake back at Dr. Fate.
"Takes… training," Ron grunted out in a guttural tone, his clothes slowly beginning to come apart as his muscles swelled and he fought against the beam.
A blast of green fire impacted the coffee table, making the game board scream and driving Dr. Fate to his knees as he clutched at his helm. No longer being held back, Ron launched himself across the room, slamming into the wall and destroying his clothes. He stumbled back in only his boxers with a heavy silver shield twisted around his arm.
Dr. Fate rose to his feet, the glow of power almost blinding as he turned and cast multiple bindings on the game board, chains of golden power wrapping the coffee table like a cocoon until it finally vanished in a burst of light, the treasure and damage to the apartment vanishing with it.
"A little early for partying, even on a Saturday," the superintendent said as she let the green flames on her hands die out.
"Morning Shelia," Ron said, "It was a cursed board game."
"And despite it fixing everything, you still end up in your boxers," she said with a chuckle.
"Story of my life," Ron said. "Excuse me while I get dressed."
"He was not this muscular five minutes ago," Gwen said, eyes glued to his backside.
"A side effect of the power he was channeling," Dr. Fate noted. He turned to Shelia. "I'm surprised to see you here."
"Everyone has to be somewhere and Ron convinced me and my hubby to give this place a try," the green skinned former villain replied.
"And you guys fit right in," Ron said cheerfully, returning wearing a pair of blue jeans and buttoning up a flannel shirt.
"The crazy things the students get up to keep me endlessly entertained," Shelia agreed.
"Giddyup!" came the voice of a young girl as Annie and Abed returned, wiggling their way in the door with the young girl riding Abed like a horsy.
"Looks like you two have next year's tuition covered," Shelia said as she retrieved her daughter.
"Green!" the little girl cheered, her skin changing color to match her mother, green flame dancing from her hands.
"No flames indoors, sweetie," she said, tickling her daughter and distracting her from throwing plasma around.
"Is it gone for good?" Ron asked Dr. Fate as he helped Annie and abed onto the couch and started untying them with Gwen's help.
"I have the spirit contained," Dr. Fate said, "It will trouble no one ever again once I am through with it."
"Won, Won?" the little girl called out eagerly, reaching for him.
"Princess!" Ron said cheerfully, taking her from Shelia.
"I have to go take care of it," Dr. Fate said, "think you for your assistance." A large golden ankh formed and he stepped through it and vanished.
"It's nice to have a villain who cleans up after himself," Ron said. "Even if it did destroy my clothes and coffee table."
"I have about ten pounds in gold chains and assorted jewelry," Annie said, "Not counting what's in my purse."
"In your purse?" Gwen asked.
"Oh yes," Annie said. "I stuffed it full when the treasure appeared."
"I filled my pockets and fanny pack," Abed offered, making a pile of all the treasure he'd saved.
"Shield, mace, and whatever didn't fall out of my pockets," Ron offered, gesturing to the pile of torn clothing.
"Boots and pockets," Shelia offered. "Didn't have a lot of time."
"And I wasn't smart enough to grab anything," Gwen groaned.
"You were busy saving my hide," Ron said, "you get half my haul."
"I'll toss ten percent your way for helping," Abed added.
"Sounds about right," Annie said. "I'll give ten percent of mine to Shelia for her part."
"Do things like this happen often?" Gwen asked.
"Not remotely, but you learn to think on your feet around here," Annie said cheerfully.
"Besides epic paintball games, class elections, and campus wide 'the floor is lava', there are classes for just about any strange idea you can think of," Shelia said.
"School is actually fun here," Ron said with a grin.
"So, what do we do first?" Gwen asked eagerly.
"Bag up your treasure and turn it over to me," Shelia said, "I have contacts that will let me get top dollar for everything."
"Some of it probably has historical value," Abed noted, "Possibly not from this reality, but from actual myths and legends."
"Teach your grandmother to suck eggs," Shelia said with a smirk, "I got it covered."
"Why would anyone's grandmother need to have that skill?" Abed asked. "I have never understood that phrase."
Ignoring the strange discussion that had sprung up, Ron turned to Gwen. "We will run by a bank, hit Gotham for your clothes, and to pay off your contract, and then we'll buy another coffee table."
Gwen bit her lip. "I hope Lady Tristan isn't mad."
"If so, it's on me, not you," Ron assured her. "I'll toss in another fifteen grand for the disruption as an apology."
"Sure you want to pay fifty thousand dollars for me?" Gwen asked nervously.
"You are worth it a dozen times over," Ron assured her. "Wait, that's only six hundred thousand and you are worth a lot more than that."
Gwen just stared speechless for a moment as she realized he really did mean what he said and a smile slowly overtook her face as he grabbed a calculator and started trying to calculate her worth.
Shelia picked up her daughter and gestured for the others to be quiet as they gathered the treasure and tiptoed into the hall.
"He's buying her?" Annie asked Shelia.
"Superhero relationships are strange," she replied with a shrug. "And he's buying out her contract, which is something different."
"Contract?" Annie asked.
"Their business, if you want to know more you'll have to ask them," Shelia said. "Nice to see he's finally moved on from Kim," she muttered as they headed for her apartment.
Annie almost stumbled as she caught Shelia's last comment.
Right this way, sir," the butler said, waving for the pair to proceed him into Lady Tristan's office.
"Miss Tristan," Ron said politely, offering her a briefcase.
"I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage Mr-" she fished as she opened the briefcase. "And a nice sized advantage at that."
"Roberts will do, though that isn't my name," Ron replied. "I am here to pay off my friend's contract and have included a little extra to cover for any disruption this might cause."
"In my line of work few people use their real names," she replied unconcerned before turning to Gwen. "Is this something you're interested in?" Lady Tristan searched her face for any signs of stress that might indicate she wasn't making the choice of her own free will.
Gwen beamed. "He wants me to attend college with him and I've already met some of his classmates."
"Frat house?" she asked cautiously.
"Student dorms," Gwen replied, "Co-ed."
Lady Tristan's smile almost matched Gwen's own. "It's so nice to see one of my girls land on her feet." She turned back to Ron. "Consider the contract paid in full Mr. Roberts."
"Thank you," Ron said, relieved everything had gone well and unsure of what else to say so he simply stayed silent.
"I'll have Sheldon help you pack and you know the girls will want to see you off," Lady Tristan told Gwen.
"Do we have time?" Gwen asked Ron hopefully.
"Of course," he agreed. "All I have scheduled for today is buying a coffee table and doing some research, and we can put that off till tomorrow, spend time with your friends."
Gwen squealed and gave Ron a kiss on the cheek before rushing off, leaving a blushing Dread Pirate Roberts behind.
Lady Tristan smiled. 'Young love,' she thought to herself, it never got old.
Later that evening
"I'm going to miss that place," Gwen said as they departed Lady Tristan's with a steamer trunk and two suitcases.
"I kept feeling like they were sizing me up," Ron said, rubbing his rear which had been pinched a number of times.
"I'm sure it's just your imagination," Gwen lied, grinning at how even Cindy had given her a thumbs up for her choice when Ron had bent over to get something she'd 'accidentally' dropped.
A limo pulled up in front of the two and the driver got out. "Get in," Selina said.
"Pop the trunk," Ron said, not surprised to see her.
"You expected me?" she asked.
"It's kinda obvious, Batman set you on me when he found out why I was in Gotham," Ron replied, "so naturally you'd show up again to make sure I'm not… making a mess in your territory."
"Essentially correct," she decided, popping the trunk for him.
"And you are?" Gwen asked suspiciously, claiming Ron's hand after he'd slammed the trunk.
"Catwoman," Ron replied, opening the door for Gwen.
"Oh," Gwen said, surprised.
"Relax, kitten," Selina said with a confident smirk, "this is business, not pleasure."
Once they were on their way, Gwen asked, "So why are you escorting us?"
"I know Lady Tristan's and the museum Ferret is planning on robbing," Catwoman replied, "naturally I was asked to lend a hand by Nightwing who was too busy to attend to the matter himself."
"And him owing you a favor or two is certainly worth a little effort," Ron said, finding his arm around Gwen who was leaning against his side.
"And more entertaining than what I had going on for the weekend," Selina said. "So… how are you planning on robbing the museum?"
"We're robbing a museum?!" Gwen exclaimed, wide eyed, turning to Ron.
"That seems to be the plan," Selina said, eyes meeting Ron's in the rear-view mirror, "but I haven't caught him casing the joint or even doing any basic research on his target, so I am at a loss on what he has planned."
Ron merely smirked.
"You are not one to second guess," Selina admitted. "Even the Joker has a pattern to his insanity, but with you… I'm supposed to assist you and I have no idea what you plan on doing so I'm simply going to ask."
Ron grinned. "Funny you should say that…"
Typing by: Abyssal Angel
TN: I too would like to know where that phrase came from. 'Grandma sucking on eggs'? I almost don't want to know… *shudder*