PLEASE NOTE: This is a brand new Chapter Twelve. I was so irritated with the "we're the Titans and now there's six of us!" ending that I had to fix it. So, after some sleepless nights and many thrown projectiles, I have started Solidarity? All over again for your viewing pleasure! Enjoy!
NEW CHAPTER TWELVE!
May 15, 2005
Richard stopped mid-step and turned to the dark girl in the corner. She was curled up in a chair, book in hand, and watching him as he walked the length of the room and back again. Any idiot could see he was anxious, frustrated, and stressed at the sudden turn of events. What bothered him, however, was that Beatrice looked as happy as a clam. It was as if she wasn't harboring any sort of nervous pretenses toward this meeting, unlike Richard.
"You're not," he responded rather weakly.
Beatrice closed her book and continued to watch him, just to make sure he didn't wear a hole through the pricey, Oriental rug. "I'm not nervous," she stated bluntly. Pause. "You look a little green. Are you feeling all right, Richard?"
"Fine… I'm just…" He stopped and looked over at Beatrice, the firelight casting eerie shadows on her face and body. "I'm just worried about how the others are going to take this whole 'lets get together and save the world!' deal. It's really not their thing…" He walked over the dark heroine and plopped into a chair next to her.
"You said it yourself: we can't beat Slade single-handedly… we have to become a team." Her gaze, although dark and cool, was still comforting. She was trying to be supportive of Richard, while still making him see this was the right way to go about things. And gods bless her; she was doing a good job.
Richard raked a hand through his spiky hair. "I know… I know."
"It's going to be okay." Beatrice leaned over her chair and into his. Her gaze caught his and held it in reassurance, calming Richard instantly. How was she able to do that with just one look?
"Sometimes I feel like your eyes are magical…" Richard whispered, his fingertips reaching out and stroking her face.
Beatrice laughed, her eyes dancing in the flickering light. "They can be if I let them." She leaned forward and pressed a quick kiss to Richard's lips.
"What in hell is going on here…" a low, deep, and very surprised voice called across the hall. "Who is this? What is going on?"
Richard snapped up from the deep chair, his face suddenly returning to a greenish shade with a dark blush. He cleared his throat nervously, and then took several steps into the shadows. After low words were exchanged, and harsh whispers thrown at one another, a tall, dark man was finally brought into the weak firelight.
Richard glanced apprehensively from Beatrice to Victor and back again. It wasn't that he was worried about the two of them getting along, he was actually more worried about the house staying in one piece. Victor had an ego the size of Gotham, and Beatrice had a temper that could blow up the whole estate.
"Bea, this is Victor… he's ah… he's Cyborg."
Beatrice let a flicker of a smile pass over her lips, as if she was trying to be polite. "Hello, Victor."
'Oh shit,' Richard through, falling into a chair and holding his head in his hands. He knew this was going to happen. He just knew it. Victor had to go and use that insulting tone with her, and now the world was going to Hell in a hand basket.
"I'm Raven. Do you have a problem with it?"
"I just might."
Beatrice's eyes narrowed. "Watch what you wish for."
"Victor! Bea!" Richard snapped to his feet and glared at both of them accusingly. "We're not here to fight each other, we're here to be a team. Victor, stop provoking her. And Bea, stop responding. We're never going to get anywhere if we can't at least tolerate each other." His eyes flashed at the two of them. Victor held up his hands and walked back into the shadows, where as Beatrice took up her chair again and brooded.
"See," Richard whispered to her as he sat down. "I told you getting together would be a bad idea."
"Why? Because Metal-Moron over there didn't have enough foresight to be polite?" Beatrice arched an eyebrow and shook her head. "That's such a good reason to let the world be taken over by a psychopath with nanobots; because Victor and I don't get along." She rolled her eyes and leaned back into the chair.
"Beatrice…" Richard rubbed his face gently, and then took a deep, calming breath. Who knew it was so damn hard to reason with a half-demon? Why did she have to be so stubborn anyway? "I think we just need to let this slide… It's going to become a pain in the ass if all of us don't agree, and then we'll never get anything done."
"You're just being a wuss and backing out." Beatrice smirked lightly at him, watching as his face turned a very vibrant shade of pink.
"I really hope I didn't just hear the word 'wuss' come out of your mouth, and directed at me."
Her smirk widened into a teasing grin. "You better believe it."
"That's it," Richard said, leaning forward and letting his voice drop low in warning. "You're gonna get it tonight. I hope you don't expect to sleep, because it's not happening. No one calls me a 'wuss' and goes without punishment." His eyes flashed angrily at her, but he couldn't keep the smile from passing over his face. Just the thought of "punishing" Beatrice made all of his nerves scream for contact.
"Am I supposed to be frightened by this?"
"You should be…" He smirked.
"Dude… what's she doing here?"
Richard, for the second time that evening, snapped to his feet and turned around sharply. A green skinned boy stood in the center of the library and stared at him with a strong amount of incredulity. What was Richard doing with his ex-stage manager at a top-secret meeting for superheroes?
"What's going on?" His gaze snapped from Beatrice to Richard and back again.
"That is Raven," Victor piped up from is dark corner across the room.
Garfield's gaze snapped around to look into the shadows and see Victor standing there with a sullen look in his eyes. He actually looked angry about Raven's appearance, and even more so that she was flirting with the Boy Wonder. This wasn't supposed to be a frolic of raging hormones; it was a meeting to discuss the future of Jump City.
"Are you kidding me?" Garfield turned back to Beatrice and arched an eyebrow. "How come you never told me?"
"It wasn't exactly on my list of priorities to tell a talking plant my secret identity." She shrugged slightly. "Besides, you never told me you were Beast Boy."
Garfield grinned broadly, a sly glint shinning in his eyes. "If I did, you would have to fight to keep your hands off me."
"Stop flirting with Bea," Richard said quickly, his voice holding a tone of warning. "We're here for a reason, remember?" He took a possessive step toward Beatrice, whose face was now fighting to remain placid. She actually found it quite humorous that Richard was upset over Garfield's harmless flirting. That was just the way he was; cocky and flirtatious.
"Fine, fine." Garfield waved a dismissive hand. "Don't get your panties in a twist because I'm flirting with your girlfriend." There was a pause as his eyes darted around the room, as if he were looking for something or someone. "Hey, where's Kory anyway? I thought she would be the first one here. You know, so she could paw all over you and everything."
"Hmph!" Beatrice snarled suddenly and turned away from Richard.
He rubbed the bridge of his nose slightly, trying to ease an oncoming headache. Just the thought of Beatrice and Kory in the same room was enough to make him sick. "Don't talk about you-know-who. Bea and she don't exactly get along…"
"That's putting it lightly." Beatrice snorted indelicately and took a few steps across the room. Richard shrugged slightly and turned back to Garfield.
"I think she's jea-"
"If you say it, Richard, I will kick your ass so hard you'll end up in next week." Beatrice snapped her teeth viscously at them, as if saying 'just try it'. Richard and Garfield exchanged nervous looks and slowly backed away.
"Scary…" The green one commented.
"Try living with her." Richard chuckled with Garfield, but the laughter was short-lived as a large-print, unabridged edition of War and Peace came hurling towards his head, missing him by mere millimeters. He turned around to see Beatrice standing next to a bookshelf and smiling coyly at him.
Richard looked up and faced Alfred standing in the doorway. The older man looked a bit exasperated, and highly irritated. "Hey, Al. What's the matter?"
"Miss Kory has arrived." He rolled his eyes to the ceiling and let out a sigh. "She wants you to come and escort her to the library."
Garfield snorted as he noticed the expression on Richard's face. He looked like someone had just sentenced him to ten years of torture, followed by a long and painful death… which might actually happen. One could never tell where Beatrice was concerned. "Go forth and rescue your princess, oh knight in shinning armor."
War and Peace suddenly had a change in it's flight path, and was directed toward the green one's head. "Gah! That's not funny, Beatrice!" He ducked under a coffee table and waited until the book clattered to the floor.
"I find it highly amusing." Beatrice staked her claim on the over-stuffed chair again, and she plopped down in it. Richard shook his head and glided up next to her.
"Don't kill him while I'm gone, Bea…" He pressed a kiss to the top of her head.
"Oh, I wouldn't be worried about him being killed." Her smile was shrewd, and held a strange emotion that Richard did not like seeing in her eyes. "I'd be more worried about yourself, if I was you. Touch her and you will die a long, horrible death…"
"Is that a threat?"
"Yes. So be wary."
"I'm strangely turned on by this."
Beatrice let out a laugh, and turned her face towards him. "That wasn't my intention, I hope you know."
"Oh, I know." With another sly smile, he turned on his heel and stalked out of the room into certain doom.
Beatrice looked up at the dark man hiding in the shadows. "What?" She questioned, still a little sore about the way Victor had treated her.
"I've never seen him so happy." Victor came back into the firelight and took the chair next to Beatrice. He watched her for several moments, and then shook his head in amazement. "I mean it. I've known Dick for a long time, ever since his parents died, and I've never seen him like this. I've never seen him be… playful."
Beatrice flushed red and turned away. "It's not like I do anything spectacular."
"Vic's right." Garfield warily poked his head out from underneath the coffee table. "Dick acts different around you. Like he's happy. He's always kind of been distant with everybody, but not lately. And especially not with you."
Beatrice drew her knees up to her chest, and turned away slightly. She knew that Richard's parents had died; he told her himself. But she didn't know that he had been as withdrawn as the others were saying. To her, he was always very friendly and open. There was never anything lacking during their relationship, and Beatrice thought that was just who he was. But maybe there was a lot more between them than she perceived.
She looked up at the two men and let a small smile pass. "Thanks."
"I'm going to shoot her. I really am." Richard raked his fingers through his hair as he started falling into his habit of pacing the room. "I hope she doesn't expect me to be nice to her tomorrow."
Beatrice laughed lightly as she stripped off her sweatshirt and began looking for a tank top to wear to bed. "Come on now," she teased, pulling on the dark red shirt. "Just because she came here late, forced you to escort her to the library, and then declared herself too tired to do any sort of planning, doesn't mean that you should kill her. Maybe a stern talking would do the trick?" She couldn't hold her laughter as she watched the field of emotions run across Richard's face.
"You do realize that by saying she was 'too tired', she was insinuating that she was going to sleep with me." He cocked an eyebrow at her.
"But she's not, is she?" Beatrice stepped up to him and wrapped her arms around his neck.
"I should think not!"
"Good…Then come to bed. After all, I distinctly remember you telling me I was to be punished for calling you a 'wuss'." Beatrice nipped at his lower lip and smiled seductively at him.
"Ah… yes… that's right." Richard grabbed Beatrice and threw her onto the bed in an unceremonious heap of sheets and laughter. "I remember now. I had informed you of the rule that no one calls we a 'wuss' and goes without punishment." He leaned forward and suckled gently on her neck, dousing himself in her sweet scent. "Your punishment…" His hands slipped up the bottom of her shirt. "Will have to be going without sleep tonight."
"Is that so?" She grinned playfully at him as he pulled the shirt off over her head. "What am I supposed to do if I don't sleep?"
"Oh… I'm sure I can find something for you to do…" he lowered his head to her breast, feeling very pleased at the cry that erupted from her lips. "I just might have to think about it for a while."
Richard shot up, knowing that sweet, innocent voice didn't belong to Beatrice. He cringed slightly as his girlfriend's angered expression told him all that he needed to know. There was a third person in the room. He pulled himself off Beatrice, feeling very bereft as he did so, and turned around to face Kory.
So, there you go! Plenty of wiggle room for me to write something better than the previous ending. I hope you enjoyed it, and will enjoy the next chapter as well! So, PLEASE REVIEW! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! It only takes a few seconds and it makes me feel so SPECIAL!