DISCLAIMER: Teen Titans, Batman, the Joker, etc. etc. are not owned by me. They're owned by DC. Or is it Marvel? No, definitely DC. *waves arms* DC, not Marvel! Mmkay? Mmkay.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Yes, I am a fan of the Robin/Starfire coupling. Just clarifying that right now. ^_^ This fic takes place after Season 1, but before Season 2.
"The Boy Blunder? An apprentice? HA!"
"Robin is quite the promising crimefighter... and he has the skills to destroy all four of the other Teen Titans. You are greatly underestimating his strength."
"Frankly, I don't see why ol' Bats chose him anyway. Well, at least he's got some smarts, sending Robin off to lead the Teen Titans, or whatever they're called. I can't believe you haven't beaten them already. Oh wait, now I know why! Because you're an idiot."
"I will not be insulted in that manner!"
"Well, I just did. Your plan to make Robin your apprentice is foolish anyway. I've got a better plan in mind, and I don't want or need your help. Harley?"
"Yes, Mr. J.?" said a woman dressed in a harlequin's outfit as she strolled into Slade's new office.
The man who had been conversing with Slade stepped out of the shadows that darkened Slade's makeshift "office", a tiny shack that overlooked a huge bay, in the center of which stood a small island with a large, T-shaped tower, headquarters of the Teen Titans. Slade, sitting at a large desk, scowled angrily at his guests, Harlequin and the Joker.
"Go ahead and leave," Slade said. "When Robin is my apprentice, the first two people I'll have him destroy are the two of you."
"You're lucky I don't kill you right now," the Joker said as he walked out of the shack with Harley. "But I've got bigger fish to fry."
(cue Teen Titans theme)
Meanwhile, in the living room of Titans Tower, Robin sat in front of the huge TV next to the wall, deeply in concentration. He was playing his brand-new video game. As he played, he heard a familiar voice behind the couch where he was sitting.
Robin gasped. A loud crashing noise emanated from the TV's speakers, followed by a loud 'GAME OVER'.
"Oh no, did I cause you to experience premature defeat? I am... sorry..." came the voice, obviously Starfire's. Robin turned around and smiled at her.
"No, it's okay, Star," Robin said. "I've still got a couple of lives left."
"What game are you playing?" Starfire asked sweetly. "I have never seen it before..."
"It's called Battle Squadron J-X," Robin said, pointing at the screen. "It's a shooting game. See, you're in a spaceship, and you go on missions, and you have to destroy all of the enemies to complete the mission..."
"It sounds like lots of fun!" Starfire said, jumping into the air.
"Well, would you like to play?" Robin asked, offering the controller to Starfire. She shook her head.
"Oh, no, no, no, that is okay... I do not know the first thing about being a space fighter!" Starfire said, pushing the controller back to Robin. "You continue playing, I will just watch..."
"Are you sure? It's a fun game, and it's pretty easy... here, I'll teach you!" Robin said. "Would that be alright?"
He sat Starfire down on the couch next to him and handed her the controller.
"Now, this is the A button... see, you fire with this," Robin said, pointing out the 'A' button to Starfire. "You can drop bombs with the B button if you're over something... and you use the Z button to fire your thrusters. You use the joystick to move... see, like this."
"So... if I press the joystick down, it makes my spacecraft go up?" Starfire said, observing the action on the screen as she moved around the joystick. "This is a curious device..."
"It's not really that tough once you get used to it," Robin said, smiling. "See, you're doing pretty good!"
"What will happen if I fly into this?" Starfire said, guiding the spaceship on the screen over to a floating golden coin and flying through it. "I scored 10,000 points!"
"Yeah, that's a Gold Medal," Robin said. "Those are pretty hard to find, you know..."
"So, I am doing well?" Starfire asked, turning toward Robin. He nodded back at her. "Yay! Thank you for helping me, Robin... this is quite a fun game!"
"I'm glad you enjoy it, Starfire," Robin said. "You don't get to play these video games very often, do you?"
"Well, no, not really," Starfire said, continuing to play while talking to Robin. "Cyborg and Beast Boy are usually hoarding the controller, and when I ask them to let me play, they always promise that they will let me play on the next game, but then when it is time to play the next game, they tell me to wait for another next game, and then-"
"Say, where are Beast Boy and Cyborg, anyway?" Robin asked. "They should be somewhere around-"
"Duuuuuuuude!" shouted Beast Boy's loud, high-pitched voice as he ran into the room, followed by an equally frantic Cyborg. "It's the man! It's the man!"
"It's the man!" shouted Cyborg and Beast Boy in unison. As they ran up to Robin, Raven also floated into the room.
"Who's the man?" Robin asked.
"Batman," Raven said. As soon as she said 'Batman', he entered the room, seemingly on cue. Robin and Starfire gasped.
"Batman! Our humble benefactor!" Starfire said, floating over to Batman. "What brings you to Titans Tower?"
"I have some urgent news," Batman said, a scowl on his face. "It's the Joker."
"Oh my gosh, no!" Robin shouted. "It can't be the Joker, he's locked up in Arkham!"
"Who is the Joker?" Starfire asked curiously. "Is he a bad person?"
Robin and Batman nodded.
"The Joker was a criminal that both Batman AND Robin fought in Gotham City," Raven said. "He's supposed to be extremely dangerous. If he's really come all the way here, it's bad news."
"Aaaaaah!" Beast Boy shrieked. "The Joker!"
"Robin, would you come with me, please?" Batman asked. "Alone?"
Robin turned to the other Titans.
"Hey now, if it's important enough for Robin, it's important enough for us!" Cyborg said indignantly.
"That's right, dude!" Beast Boy said. "From what I've heard about the Joker, he's really dangerous, and knowing that he's nearby gives me the creeps!"
"I thought nothing gave you the creeps, Beast Boy," Raven said.
"Well, I'm just worried about all of you guys," Beast Boy said in an attempt to save face. "I know I could take him."
"If Batman has something important to say to Robin in private, then I say that we should let them have their alone time," Starfire said. "I am sure that if Batman tells Robin anything important, Robin will tell us as well."
"I'll be right back," Robin said. The two crimefighters left the living room and headed up to the rooftop.
"Dude, I still think that if they've got anything important to say, they should include us," Beast Boy said. "We're the Teen Titans, we're supposed to be a team! Raven, you've got super-mental powers, right? Can't you telepathically hear what they're saying?"
"Yes, but I don't choose to," Raven said. "You really need to calm down, Beast Boy. Like Starfire said, if Batman tells Robin something really important, Robin will let us know."
Suddenly, faint mechanical noises could be heard outside the room. Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Cyborg turned around toward the entryway to see what it was.
"Guys, I don't like this," Cyborg said.
Then, six mechanical units, about as tall as Starfire was, entered the room. The robots consisted of a large box with four thin metallic legs protruding from each side, giving the appearance of spiders. The four Titans immediately got into fighting stances.
"I can take these hunks of scrap metal!" Beast Boy shouted, transforming into an ostrich. He galloped toward the robots, but was immediately confronted by a hail of laser fire, causing him to pull back. As soon as he did, Cyborg leapt forward with his blaster and fired at the robots, but their lasers collided with Cyborg's blasts, and they canceled each other out.
"Azarath, metreon, ZINTHOS!" Raven yelled, and immediately, all six robots became darkened with a large amount of mental energy projected from Raven's mind. A bright flash illuminated the robots, and they immediately changed back to their normal color. "What the-"
"They must've installed some sort of counter-measure against your telepathy, Raven!" Cyborg yelled. "Whoever designed these robots did a good job!"
"I will try!" Starfire yelled. Her eyes glowed a bright shade of green, and she flew at the six robots, flying above the tops of them. "Take this!"
A hail of Starbolts rained down on the six robots. One was hit and destroyed, but the rest of the robots formed a clear energy shield, bouncing the rest of Starfire's bolts right back at her. The Starbolts slammed into the orange alien, knocking her into the wall.
"Starfire!" shouted Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven.
(cue commercial break)
Up on the rooftop...
"So, Robin, how's it been going?" Batman asked. "I understand that the Teen Titans have been a success."
"That's right, Batman," Robin said. "I want to thank you again for giving me and the others this opportunity."
"Well, you've done well," Batman said. "I'm proud of you, Robin..."
"Thanks, Bruce," Robin said, smiling. "So, what exactly does the Joker have planned?"
"I'm not quite sure, but I know that he's come here, and that means that it's got to be something to have to do with the Teen Titans," Batman said. "He may be coming after you, Robin."
"To try to get to you, no doubt," Robin said. "I'll be careful."
But before Batman could reply, an explosion sounded from beneath the two crimefighters' feet.
"Trouble!" Robin shouted. Batman nodded, and the two headed back down to the living room.
"Geez, don't these things ever give up?" Cyborg shouted, shooting at the five remaining robots from behind the couch.
"They're built to last," Raven said, using a shield of dark energy to block the robots' laser blasts. "But I don't know how much longer we can keep this up..."
"You won't have to much longer!" Robin shouted, leaping into the room with his large staff in hand. "Yaaaaaaah!"
Robin dashed at the five robots and spun around with his staff, smashing two robots almost instantly. As the robots sparked and crumbled, a long cable extended into the room and wrapped around the legs of the remaining three robots, bringing them to the ground.
"Get out of the way, now!" shouted Batman as he ran into the room with the other end of the cable in hand. As Robin and the other Titans jumped out of the way, the three robots detonated in a small explosion, sending parts flying everywhere.
"Holy cow," Beast Boy said, covering his head to avoid the falling pieces of metal. "Batman and Robin just kicked those robots' butts!"
"That was incredible!" Starfire said, a huge smile on her face. "I am glad that you both showed up, and right in the nick of time, too!"
"Yes... thank you," Raven said as Batman walked over to the Titans.
"Robin, I gotta hand it to ya, you learned from the best, my man!" Cyborg said, extending his palm to Batman. "High five!"
"Not now," Batman said seriously. "These robots must have been manufactured by-"
"Slade," Robin said, holding a piece of the destroyed robots in his hand to inspect it. "It says they were manufactured by Slade."
"I see," Batman said. "I've heard quite a lot about him, but I've never actually met him..."
"We have," Raven said. "Trust me, you don't want to meet Slade."
"I bet Batman could kick his butt!" Beast Boy exclaimed, throwing a series of pretend judo chops. "If Batman fought Slade, we'd never have to deal with that guy again!"
"Slade is a vicious, sick criminal," Robin said, anger beginning to appear in his voice. "And I want to be the one to take him down."
"Calm down, Robin," Batman said. "You have to always be able to keep your emotions from distorting your judgment. I've made that mistake before, and it can be a very, very costly one."
"So... we are dealing with Slade, and not the Joker?" Starfire asked. "I am... confused."
"Slade probably knows Joker's in town, so he's going on the attack," Cyborg said. "Maybe they're in cahoots."
"Batman, do you really think that the Joker might be working with Slade?" Robin asked in a worried tone.
"If that's true... we could be in serious trouble," Raven said, worry beginning to show on her face as well.
"So now we've got two evil criminal masterminds to worry about?" stammered Beast Boy. "All these supervillians are making my head spin..."
"There's only one way to find out," Batman said, picking up a piece of the destroyed robots. "I can analyze this and find out where it came from. Maybe Slade is near the source of the metal used to make the robots. If we track down Slade, we can find out if he's in league with the Joker."
"Batman, I have to come with you," Robin said suddenly. "If Slade's behind this, I have to help stop him!"
"Let us come too!" Starfire said. "We are a team, and we must all find out what role Slade is playing in all of this!"
"Robin can come, but I don't want to endanger any of the rest of you," Batman said. "Slade and the Joker might have a trap set up for us, and if we all come, someone could get hurt. You four have to stay in case something happens."
"But we must come!" Starfire protested, a sad look on her face. She floated over to Robin. "Please, Robin, explain to the Batman that we are a team, and-"
"No, Starfire. You guys have to stay here, like Batman said. What if he's right, and Slade and the Joker are waiting, planning something to use against us? Don't worry, we'll come back safely," Robin said, trying to reassure her. He took Starfire's hand in his own. "Please try to understand..."
Starfire nodded meekly.
"Let's go, Robin," said Batman. The two crimefighters ran out of the room, leaving the other four Titans back in the tower.
"Dude, this is lame," Beast Boy said. "Now that Batman's back, Robin probably thinks he's too good for the Teen Titans."
"That is not true!" Starfire shouted. "Robin is merely concerned about our safety, that is all! I am just worried if he will be alright..."
"Eh, don't sweat it. Batman's the man, remember?" Cyborg said nonchalantly. "You saw how he trashed Slade's bots! He can trash Joker and Slade too, and with Robin around, there's no way he can lose."
"I'm not so sure Slade and Joker are working together in the first place," mused Raven. "I've seen footage of the Joker's escapades, and the Joker seems a lot more... laid-back than Slade. He takes a casual, fun approach to crime. With Slade, it's all business. I don't think they'd get along at all."
"I hate that Slade!" Joker said, banging his fist on a table. Joker and Harley had broken into an old warehouse on the bay overlooking Titans Tower, which they were now using as a makeshift hideout. Several of Joker's hooligans were milling about. "Who does he think he is, anyway? Robin, an apprentice? Bah!"
"Maybe he thinks he's Batman, Mr. J.!" Harley said, giggling. "Wouldn't that be a hoot?"
"You know, Harley, you've got a good point! The next time we see Slade, he'll be traipsing about in some bat costume, flapping his cape like a lunatic!" shouted the Joker, before bursting into laughter.
"Uh, boss, you might wanna see what's outside," said one of the Joker's men. "I think it might be-"
Then, the man was cut off by a large robot, the exact same kind that Slade had sent into Titans Tower, jumping on top of him. Five more robots entered the room and began firing their lasers, knocking the guns right out of the hands of Joker's henchmen. He let out a loud yell.
"Whose idea was it to attack ME with robots?" Joker shouted. "Harley, to the back room!"
"You mean to get the-"
"Yes, the Jokermech 1.0!" Joker shouted. "Hurry!"
As the six robots advanced on Joker and Harley, the duo ran into the back room of the warehouse. When the door opened again, Joker had entered the cockpit of a large, humanoid robot that stood about fifteen feet tall. A large likeness of the Joker's face was painted on the chest of the robot, and Joker worked the bot's arms and legs with the various controls inside the cockpit. As the Joker's mech stormed toward Slade's six bots, the lasers fired at it bounced off, some of them hitting Slade's bots and short-circuiting them. The Joker began to laugh hysterically.
"You go, Mr. J.!" Harley shouted, jumping up and down behind Joker's mech. "You show those puny bots who's boss!"
Joker smiled and pressed a button on the inside of the mech, sending several large pies flying at the smaller bots. As the pies hit, they exploded on contact, quickly blasting the rest of the bots into pieces. Joker laughed triumphantly and hopped out of the mech, landing next to Harley.
"Well, you know what they say," Joker said. "He who has the biggest bot laughs last!"
"What about, 'I like big bots and I cannot lie'?" quipped Harley. Joker began to laugh again.
"I bet I know who sent those robots," Joker said. "It was the Teen-"
"It was Slade," Harley said, picking up a piece of one of the destroyed robots. "See here, it says 'Manufactured by'-"
"Argh!" Joker shouted, smacking the piece out of Harley's hand. "That dirty, rotten... well, I'll deal with him later. Like I said, I've got bigger fish to fry, and the Jokermech 1.0 will help me do it. To Titans Tower!"
Ignoring the henchmen who had been knocked out by Slade's robots, Joker and Harley rode the Jokermech into to a waiting motorboat. Then, they climbed in and zoomed off toward Titans Tower, unseen by Batman and Robin, who were a few hundred feet away, close to the shack where Slade was currently located.
"I know why you attacked the Titans, boss," said one of Slade's henchmen. "But why the Joker?"
"If you're not with me, you're against me," Slade said coldly. "I never trust anyone."
"Not even Robin," came a voice from just outside the shack.
"Who's there?" Slade shouted, rising up from his desk. Just then, Batman and Robin entered the room.
"Slade, we know it was you who attacked us!" Robin shouted angrily. "And we know you're working with the Joker!"
"I'm not working with the Joker," Slade said. "Didn't you hear me before? I don't trust anyone. Destroy them!"
Slade pointed at Batman and Robin, and the four henchmen in the room quickly leapt upon the two crimefighters as Slade burst out a window and ran off.
"He's getting away!" Robin yelled.
"Follow him!" Batman shouted, running toward the four henchmen. "I'll handle this!"
"Batman, no," Robin said. "I detest Slade, but I still have to help-"
One of Slade's henchmen quickly struck Robin with a kick to the head. Robin stumbled back, then took out his staff and slammed one of the ends into the henchman's stomach, knocking him out instantly. As Batman and Robin quickly cleaned up the remaining henchmen, Slade disappeared into the night. When the duo finally dashed out of the shack to look for Slade, he was gone.
"NO!" Robin shouted. "He got away!"
"I told you to go after him," Batman said. "Why didn't you?"
"I guess I was worried," Robin said regretfully. "I thought you were one of my teammates, and-"
"Well, it's over now," Batman said. "At least we know Slade isn't working with the Joker. Let's head back to the tower and tell the others."
Meanwhile, back at Titans Tower, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Cyborg had just finished cleaning the living room.
"Well, all done here!" said Beast Boy, throwing the last pieces of scrap metal from the robots into a trashcan. "I'd say this room looks pretty nice, wouldn't you?"
"It sure does!" Cyborg said. "Hey, now that that's over with, maybe we should start cooking something up for dinner. I'm starving!"
"No!" Starfire shouted. "We must wait until Robin and Batman return from their spree of crimefighting before we-"
Just then, the Joker's loud laugh sounded from the entrance of the room. As the Titans glanced toward the entryway, they could see the Joker inside his towering mech, standing before them. Harley sat in the cockpit at his side.
"So this is Titans Tower, huh?" Joker said. "Hmm... it could use a little bit of redecorating! Well, let's start with that wall right over there, shall we?"
The mech pointed its arm at the wall and fired a huge '8 of Spades' card at it. When the card hit the wall, it sliced clean through, creating a huge gash.
"Hey!" Beast Boy shouted. "Nobody messes with our tower and gets away with it!"
Beast Boy transformed into a giant ape and lumbered toward the mech. He punched it in the leg, shaking the huge bot and almost causing it to stumble.
"You won't make a monkey out of me!" Joker shouted. The giant mech kicked Beast Boy hard in the face, knocking him back and causing him to detransform.
"Azarath, metreon, zinthos!" Raven yelled. As the giant mech began to lift into the air, Joker frantically worked the controls, trying to break free of Raven's telekinesis.
"What's she doing?" Harley yelled. "This is bad, Mr. J.!"
"And this is worse!" Cyborg shouted. Cyborg and Starfire began to assault the levitated mech with a series of laser blasts and Starbolts, and Joker worked the controls of the mech even more.
"Can't... hold on... much longer... urgh!" Raven yelled, losing her telekinetic control of Joker's mech as the huge machine's struggles finally proved too much for her to handle.
"Now's my chance!" Joker yelled. He pushed a large, red button on the control console, causing the mouth of the giant Joker face attached to the chest of the bot to open, sucking up all the laser blasts and Starbolts. Joker pressed another button, unleashing a huge blast of energy at the exhausted Teen Titans.
"Look out!" Starfire screamed. But it was too late. The huge blast of energy hit all four of them, knocking them all to the ground. Starfire, who was the one closest to the blast, fell unconscious, while the other three Titans slowly got up and shook their heads.
"He's too strong..." Raven moaned, rubbing her head. "We have to get out of here..."
"Everyone, to the emergency exit!" Cyborg shouted. As the three Titans who were still conscious dashed out of the room, the Joker began to order the mech to chase after them.
"Wait!" Harley yelled. "Look, Mr. J.! They forgot someone!"
Harley was pointing at the still-unconscious Starfire, lying on the ground, motionless.
"What's so great about her?" Joker asked. "Let's just stomp her and-"
"I managed to lift a few stills of battle footage from Slade's hideout," Harley said slyly. "This girl's awfully close to Robin..."
"So you're saying that if we can't get the Boy Blunder..."
"His little girlfriend is the next best thing!" Harley squealed. "We can use her to capture Robin, and then-"
"Use Robin to capture Batman! Capital idea, Harley!"
"Glad you like it, Mr. J.!" Harley replied. "It's absolutely fiendish, isn't it?"
The mech's large arm picked Starfire up off of the ground. Then, Joker and Harley piloted the mech back into the boat and sped off, Starfire in tow. A few minuteslater, Batman and Robin flew up in the Batplane and landed next to the tower. They climbed out and ran into the living room, where they saw the carnage that had just occured.
"Oh no!" Robin shouted, looking around and seeing the half-destroyed living room.
"What happened here?" Batman said, in shock. "Where is everyone?"
Meanwhile, in the basement of the tower, Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Raven are preparing to enter the emergency exit.
"Wait," Raven said, looking around. "Where's Starfire?"
"Don't look at me, I thought she was with you!" Cyborg said.
"Starfire?" Beast Boy said, starting to look around. "Starfire?"
The three Titans dashed back up the stairs and ran through the tower, calling for Starfire the whole way. Finally, they met up with Batman and Robin back in the living room.
"Oh, thank goodness you guys are okay!" Robin said, smiling and running up to Raven and the others. "Wait... where's Starfire?"
"Uh oh," Beast Boy said. "This can't be good."
"What happened?" Batman asked. "Did Slade come?"
"No," Raven said. "The Joker."
"STARFIRE!" Robin shouted frantically, looking around the room. "STAR-"
Suddenly, the large TV in the living room switched on.
"Hello? Hello? Can you hear me now?" came the voice from the TV. As Batman and the Titans, minus Starfire, looked over, they could all see the Joker, staring back at them. "Yep, we're coming in live and clear! Hello, Teen Titans!"
"Where is she, Joker?" Robin yelled, running up to the TV. "What have you done with Starfire?"
"Oh, is that her name? Car Tire?" Joker said, starting to chuckle.
"Her name's Starfire," came Harley's voice from behind him.
"Oh yeah, that's it," Joker said. "Silly me. And I was just getting to that part, Robin."
Joker stepped away, and as Batman and the Titans saw Starfire, they gasped in horror. Starfire was strapped to a large table that had been stood upright so that the camera that Joker was using could get a better view of her. A thick white cloth had been tied over her mouth, muffling her loud cries.
"JOKER, LET HER GO!" Batman shouted, and Robin immediately entered a protest of his own.
"JOKER, IF YOU DON'T LET STARFIRE GO RIGHT NOW, I SWEAR I'LL-"
"Tut tut, you'll get your chance, Boy Blunder," Joker said. "In fact, that's why I abducted Starfire in the first place, so that you and I can get a one-on-one showdown. It seems that you've become quite the crimefighter now that old Bats has cut you loose, so here's the deal. The old warehouse by the bay. You will come alone. If I see anybody else, like your teammates or old Bats, well...."
Joker pointed a large pistol at Starfire's head, and the red-haired girl began to tremble fearfully.
"She might have superpowers, but I'm pretty sure this gun at point-blank range should be able to do the job rather nicely... IF you don't come alone, that is," Joker said. "I'll be waiting!"
And then, the Joker laughed triumphantly. The TV flashed off.
Teen Titans, let's go!
Teen Titans, let's go!
Teen Titans, let's go!
Teen Titans, let's go!
Teen Titans, let's go!
Teen Titans, let's go!
(cue next week's episode preview)
And that's it for part 1 of "It's No Joke", my idea for a Teen Titans episode guest-starring Batman and the Joker! Part 2 will be here, same time, same place next week, so check it out! And please review, mm'kay?