The New Guy
Disclaimer: If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody's around, and it hits a mime, does anyone care?
Author's Notes: Okay, simple enough. A new member is assigned to the Teen Titans, one of my two favorite characters from the Marvel Universe. I just thought this would be kinda cool. Which hero? What do you want me to do, spoil the surprise?
Chapter 1: Arrival
Robin sat in the main computer center of the Tower of Titans, finishing up his latest entry into the main database. It had been two weeks since Terra had returned and officially joined the team, and the leader of the Teen Titans had put off entering her data into the computer long enough. Robin leaned back in his seat, gave a sigh of contentment, and hit the save key.
No sooner had the "File Saved" message appeared then a communication window opened. A video transmission materialized, the header declaring that it was a priority message from the Watchtower, the orbital base of operations for the Justice League. The image of a man appeared on the monitor, but he was cloaked in shadow. Only his eyes were visible, almost seeming to glow with their own light. Twin horns topped his head, giving the specter an almost demonic appearance.
Robin just smiled. "Hey, boss man! It's been a while!"
Batman nodded in reply. "Indeed it has. I see you've made a change to the team roster."
Robin gulped. "Uhhh…that's not a problem, is it?"
"No. Terra will be an excellent addition to the Teen Titans. You made a good choice."
How could he know who she is? I just logged that report! Well, that's the boss for you…"Thank you, sir."
"The reason I called is over a similar matter…"
"Another new member?"
"Yes. Meet him on the tower roof at sunset. He will be a valuable asset."
Robin snapped off an almost-mocking salute. "Yes…" The transmission ended. "Sir."
"So, tell me again, what do we know about this guy?"
"Okay, Beast Boy. I'll tell you again. We know absolutely NOTHING! All we know is that this guy was sent by the Justice League, and they're our bosses, and we do as they say!"
"All right, all right, you don't need to bite my head off…"
The six current members of the world's greatest pre-adult crime-fighting force were waiting on the roof, as per the instructions Robin had conveyed. Beast Boy was getting impatient. After all, they had been waiting for ten whole minutes. After a few moments of silence, Terra spoke up.
"Hey, there's a helicopter headed this way! I'll bet he's on it!"
Cyborg shook his head. " Nah, that's a news chopper on traffic duty, it passes every day. There's no sign of him… but then again, we don't know what powers he has, so we don't know what signs to look for."
Beast Boy's eyes lit up. "Hey, yeah! We don't know what he can do… holy cow! I bet he's invisible! He's watching us right now!" Beast Boy whipped around, eyes wild, seeking some sign of his target. "I'll find him!" An instant later, a green bloodhound was scampering around the roof, barking madly. The dog scrabbled to a halt before the other Titans, turned back into Beast Boy, and spoke quickly. "There's no trace! Apparently he's a master of invisibility AND he leaves no scent trail…"
"Or…he just isn't here yet." Beast boy turned around at Cyborg's comment, grinning sheepishly. The other Titans looked at him with a mixture of amusement and annoyance, with the exception of Starfire, who merely looked amused, and Raven, who merely looked annoyed.
Beast Boy sought a way to take the heat off himself… and found one. "Look!" he shouted, pointing up at the helicopter. The others turned to see what had him so excited. A small, humanoid shape had detached itself from the aircraft's underside, and was now plummeting towards the tower in total free fall.
"Um…I am not certain that this action was intentional. Shall I catch this person?"
Raven shook her head at Starfire's suggestion. "If that's our man, then either he knows what he's doing or he's stupid. Either way…"
Robin nodded. "Raven's right. Let's see what happens…"
The seemingly suicidal figure plunged past them, giving them a brief instant in which to catch a glimpse of red and blue. All six members of the team leapt for the edge of the roof, but there was no trace of the stranger. Robin was trying to decide what he'd tell Batman, when a loud "Whoo-hoo!" from the other side of the roof caught their attention.
As they whipped around, they caught sight of a blur shooting up into the air. As his flight slowed, the Titans were able to see some kind of rope tethering him to the side of the building. The newcomer arced gracefully above the roof, and landed with incredible precision on the communications tower. The Titans stared at this bizarre arrival, and he studied them in turn.
Now that the stranger was close and standing still, the Titans could pick out a few details. Red and blue were the dominant colors on his costume, a tight fitting bodysuit and fully enclosing mask. Black stripes marked out a web pattern and surrounded the white plastic lenses that covered his eyes. A stylized black spider on his chest completed the look. He stared at them for a moment more, before launching into the air again and landing a few feet away from Robin.
The newest addition to the Teen Titans straightened, adjusted the duffel bag slung over his shoulder, and met Robin's gaze eye to…mask to mask. After a moment's hesitation, he stuck out his hand.
"Hi. I'm the new guy."
Robin grinned, and shook New Guy's hand. "And what's your name, O Maker of Incredibly Cool Entrances?"
"Well, I've been known to some as Spidey, Wall-Crawler, Web-slinger, and that freaky bug guy in the mask, but I'm just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man."
During all this, Beast Boy looked almost ready to pop. He finally snapped, and ran up to Spider-Man. "Dude! That was so awesome! You were, like, falling and stuff and we thought you missed and splatted on the ground but you didn't and…"
Spider-Man glanced at the others. "Is he always like this, or did he chug a bag of sugar?"
"Both," Robin sighed.
"C'mon, man," Cyborg said, walking toward the door that led within. "We'll show you to your room."
"Hey, nice digs," Spider-Man said, as they passed through the living room.
"Saving the world may not pay well, but the perks are excellent!" Robin laughed. "Your room's down that hall, fourth on the left. Check it out; drop off your bag. We'll be out here."
Spider-Man thanked him and disappeared down the indicated hallway. After he had gone, Robin turned to his teammates, silently questioning.
Cyborg grinned. "I think I'm gonna like this guy."
An hour later, the members of the team were spread throughout the living room and kitchen. Robin was explaining what an average day as a Teen Titan was like, what was generally expected of a team member. Cyborg and Beast Boy had quickly lost interest in the conversation, and resumed some sort of grudge-match they had going on their Gamestation. They perked up, however, when Terra asked "So what was that rope thing you were swinging on?"
"What spider is complete without a web?" To prove his point, Spider-Man raised his right arm. He made a slight gesture with his hand, and a blast of gray goo shot out from his wrist, solidifying into a natural rope before snagging a bag of chips on the counter. A slight jerk, and the bag was in his hand. "Tostitos, anyone?"
Starfire was studying the thread of webbing. "And you trust this 'web' to support your weight?"
"Sure! It's been proven that spider web is five times stronger than a bar of steel with equal diameter (True science fact, kids! Use this fic as a study guide!). I'm not sure, but I think mine may be even stronger."
Robin nodded. "Webs, jumping really high, anything else we should know about?"
"Remember how I said I was called 'Wall-Crawler'?" Suddenly, Spider-Man wasn't there anymore. He was clinging to the ceiling. Not from a ceiling light or air vent, to the smooth, painted surface of the ceiling itself. He dropped back to his seat. "Enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, and agility. Not only that, but I have a sort of sixth sense. I can see a punch coming before the guy knows he's gonna throw one. Even from behind me, or far away."
"That sounds like a useful skill."
"Yeah, it's saved my butt more times than I care to remember," Spider-Man answered. The masked hero's hand seemed to twitch. He took a sip from the can of soda that had suddenly appeared within his gloved grip, raising his mask enough for the can to reach his mouth without revealing any part of his face. "Thanks, Cyborg."
The other Titans stared, eyes wide. Cyborg, in a fit of mischief, had tossed a can of soda at the back of Spider-Man's head, hoping to put the newcomer's claim of prescience to the test. Without missing a beat the arachnid had reached behind his head and caught the can out of midair, all in one smooth motion. His move had been too fast to track with the naked eye.
"Uhhh…nice catch, dude." Beast Boy said, first to recover.
"Um…sorry, man. I just wanted to…"
"No problem. I'll just get you for it later. Oh, yeah, and Terra, before you even ask, you're holding up three fingers."
An hour or so later, Cyborg and Beast Boy were still playing video games, while Robin and Spider-Man were swapping stories about their heroic careers ("Dude, there's no way the Lizard was as bad as the Man-Bat.") The girls were listening and commenting as they chose. All was at peace.
And then suddenly the peace was broken. "BOOYAH! Who da robot? I da robot! Who da robot?"
Beast Boy leapt out of his chair. "I demand a rematch! That was a fluke! I was blinded for a second there by your shiny bald head!"
"Ha! Excuses, excuses. Just admit I'm better, furball!"
"Sorry, my momma didn't raise a liar. If you're so much better than me, then you won't be afraid to play a rematch, Tin Man!"
"Bring it on, meat!"
"I'm going to make tofu out of you!"
"Don't you even get started with that tofu junk!"
As the verbal battle raged and the two combatants got in each other's faces, Robin sighed. "Y'know, I have yet to find a good way to break up one of these fights."
Spider-Man stared at his teammates as they bickered over their game. "So this happens a lot?"
Starfire smiled, closed her eyes, and recited from memory. "In a moment, they will change their topic from dining preferences to a 'Who Screwed Up the Worst' contest. That will last for a few minutes before…"
As if on cue, Beast Boy could be heard to say, "Well, what about that time you…"
Starfire continued. "…They begin arguing over who has lost the most items. One of them will likely say something that makes one of us wish to cause them bodily harm in the near future. "
"…My CDs, the remote, that block of cheese we found under your bed two weeks later, Raven's diary…"
"I didn't lose that! I put it back to save your lousy butt!"
"What did you just say?!"
Star waited for Raven to finish hurting them before resuming her narration. "Once they recover, the fight will degenerate into name-calling and what Robin calls 'one-upping'."
"Bolts for brains!"
"Oh, you're one to talk…"
Spider-Man shook his head. "I'll take that as a 'yes'. Would you like me to…?" He trailed off, waiting for Robin's permission to…do whatever he was planning.
"Be my guest."
Spider-Man rose, and said in a patronizing tone loud enough to be heard over the shouting match, "Oh children, If you don't stop fighting, you'll get a time out." Beast Boy and Cyborg paused and stared at Spider-Man like he had grown an extra head, then resumed their "discussion".
Spidey glanced back at the other Titans. "I tried to be nice."
He bounded into the air. His leap carried him clear across the room, to land seated on the sofa. As he descended, he spread his legs into a split, and snapped them together upon landing. The scissors kick caught both Cyborg and Beast Boy behind their legs, flipping them to fall over backwards. As they fell, Spider-Man's hands shot out and caught the pair on their backs. A slight push, a flick of the wrist, and the errant Titans found them face down with their backs against the ceiling. Before they fell, a spray of webbing snared them both in place. "Can't say I didn't warn you."
The arachnid avenger turned and gave a small bow as Robin, Terra, and Star laughed and applauded. Even Raven was unable to conceal a smile.
Beast Boy was continuously changing forms, seeking a quick escape from the adhesive strands, but to no avail. Cyborg tried a different approach.
"Okay, man, we get the point. We'll quit. Now let us down, alright?"
"Sorry, did I forget to mention? That stuff is too strong for even me to rip, not fresh. Don't worry, though, it'll biodegrade enough for you to tear free in a few hours. And on that note, who's ready to hit the sack?"
"Y'know, it is getting kind of late. Maybe we should go to bed."
"Aw, man, not you too, Rob!"
"Have, a pleasant night, friends!"
"Star, c'mon! You can't just leave us here!"
Beast boy stopped swapping forms and looked to his crush and foil for aid. "Terra, Rae, c'mon! You'll help us down, right?" He morphed into his most sickeningly sweet kitten form, hoping "the face" would win them over.
Terra giggled. Raven merely sighed. "If you two can't rip that stuff, what makes you think we can?"
Cyborg was alternating between yelling insults, threats, and pleas as the non-webbed Titans passed the doorway leading to the bedrooms. As they disappeared through, Cy could only think of one last thing to say.
"Yeah, you better run!"
And then a shot of web zipped through the door and sealed Cyborg's mouth shut with pinpoint accuracy.
A/N: Couple of clarifications: I'm using a fairly generic Spider-Man/Peter Parker, mostly based on the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. This means that he's about 15 or 16, but there is one major difference: he has spinnerets in his wrists like in the movie, as opposed to home-made web shooters. I just like that better. One other difference, which won't come into play for several chapters: I'm using the cool armored Green Goblin from the movie, but it isn't Norman Osborn in there. It'll be a disgruntled scientist from Oscorp. This will just cut down on later complications.
Another thing: In this fic it may seem that Spider-Man is taking over the Titans. Y'know, always saving the day, never fouling up, all that. Well, that's because he's the star of the fic. I don't intend him to be the best, or infallible, it's just that he's central to this story. If I had a good, long idea that didn't require Spider-Man, it would be it's own separate fic. Besides, do you think the show includes every fight or mission they go on? Neither does my fic. Stuff happens, Spidey saves the day, fouls up, isn't around. I just don't include those times.
After the first few chapters, the stories will become as separate as episodes on TV. Okay, now go and review. Thanks!