A/N: Two things: 1) It will help to re-read chapter five before reading this chapter.
2) This chapter kind of has a soundtrack, so if you happen to own the Return of the Jedi soundtrack, most of the music is from the title theme track and if not, it should be fairly obvious what's playing. To everyone else, just hope that I describe things well enough that you get a general idea. Essentially, I'm using it to give people an idea of the pace of, well, just read on...
"YEAH!" screeched Beast Boy as he bounded out of the elevator. "We TOTALLY kicked Rancid's butt!" He turned to grin at his teammates as they followed him into the living room at a more sedate pace. "And did you check me out?"
Starfire clapped her hands appreciatively. "Yes, it was quite clever of you to blind the evil Rancid!"
"Dude," Cyborg laughed. "You turned into a bird and pooped on his head!"
"And it was nasty," Raven said dryly. She emerged last from the elevator alongside Robin. The two stood shoulder to shoulder for a moment a little awkwardly before she shot him a look. Instantly understanding the glance's meaning, as he seemed to be doing even more easily lately, Robin wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
"Beast Boy, I'll give you points for ingenuity, but I really have to agree with Raven. For one thing, that was just unsanitary," Robin tried to sound serious, although he was obviously trying to suppress a laugh.
"Of COURSE you agree with Raven. You ALWAYS agree with Raven," Beast Boy pouted in mock annoyance. "But it was still pretty sweet!"
"Whatever you say, Beast Boy," Robin surrendered. He couldn't really disagree, after all. It seemed like he and Raven DID agree about almost everything. One night, a week after their April Fool's Day epiphany, the two had gotten together and sat together for hours, talking and just enjoying the time they were spending together. A few nights after THAT, they had been forced to develop a way to deal with the disagreements that would inevitably arise. In the end, they settled on talking the problem through quietly.
...For all of about two minutes. When they started yelling at each other, Raven had transported them both into the gym and started a sparring match with Robin, seemingly out of nowhere. But it had worked. By the time they had finished channeling their aggression into their fight, they were too tired to do anything but rationally talk out a solution to their problem.
Robin chuckled again. He couldn't even remember what had set them at each other's throats, but he vaguely remembered something about disliking a favorite character in one of Raven's novels, which had escalated into a metaphor for life...
He brought himself back to reality quickly as he heard Cyborg talking. "And when Wonder Boy gets his head out of the clouds, we'll be able to start. Yo, man, how come you still haven't told us what movie we're gonna be watching?"
Raven struggled valiantly and mostly succeeded in hiding her grin. She knew what movie Robin would be showing for the team's movie night...
Robin didn't even bother concealing his devious smile. "That's a surprise. Why don't we all get washed up and meet back here in a half hour?"
He watched the Titans take his advice, then turned to Raven. "This is going to be good."
She giggled slightly as she untangled herself from his embrace before floating off to her room to shower.
Robin surveyed the empty living room for another moment before departing, the grin still on his face. He'd been looking forward to this night for three weeks now.
Alone in her room, Raven allowed herself another small giggle. When nothing in her room became encased in shadow, she gave in to a moment of full-fledged laughter.
Although she would never admit it, Raven was looking forward to the movie night almost as much as Robin. Before April Fool's Day, she had only allowed herself to open up enough to make a few cracks at Beast Boy or whatever criminal de jour the team happened to be facing.
Raven was quickly discovering, though, that she had a rather wicked sense of humor. Her only regret about April Fool's Day was that she hadn't realized the full potential of Beast Boy's collar until the day was almost over. There had been so many collar jokes she could have made, too...
She had been quite surprised to discover that Robin's sense of humor ran parallel to her own. Raven would have guessed that, if anything, he would have associated himself more with Beast Boy's type of humor, given the horrible one-liners he used to torture the town's criminal element. But Robin's strategic mind could be put to work toward things other than battle plans, as both she and Beast Boy now knew. And after tonight, the rest of the Titans would as well.
As she disrobed and entered her shower, Raven remembered the hours upon hours she had spent locked in a video-editing room of the tower that she hadn't even know existed before Robin showed it to her. Neither of them had wanted the video evidence of their brilliant prank to go to waste, so for two weeks, they had thrown themselves at the task of editing the two angles of footage into a final, presentable movie.
Raven started shampooing her hair. This would definitely be worth the frustrated weeks of squinting at computer and television screens, trying to make cuts at the precise, correct moments, and picking out the soundtrack. She grinned again. Well, it hadn't been all that bad. After all, she had been secluded from the rest of the team with Robin for the better part of two weeks. Raven hastily gained control over her meandering thoughts as her shampoo bottle exploded.
"Ow, shampoo in the eyes," she groaned. She had just given herself a painful but necessary reminder that she still did not have perfect control over her emotions, not even her positive ones, although she was gaining more control daily. "Confront and control," she murmured to herself.
Idly, she realized she had been in the water for quite a while. "I'd better hurry. Don't wanna miss any of this..."
Quitely, Raven placed her hand on Robin's shoulder as he stood in front of the rest of the team, already firmly ensconced on the sofa. "All right, guys. One of the movies is pretty short, but it's a really good comedy. The other one is a great action flick." Before anyone could object, Robin rushed on. "So, we're going to have a double feature, tonight. Everybody settled? Okay, Raven, hit the lights."
The couple moved over to the space waiting for them at one end of the curved sofa. Raven used her powers to flick the lights off as Robin placed the first of the movies into the DVD player.
The Titans were met with a black screen. Slowly, yellow writing scrolled up from the bottom of the screen as music began to play in the background.
What you are about to see has been filmed on location with the men and women of law enforcement. The following has been recorded without the consent of the parties involved. Any resemblance to real individuals is not coincidental.
Cyborg and Starfire watched the screen curiously, randomly grabbing junk food. Beast Boy recognized the song and the way the disclaimer had scrolled from his favorite television show, but he watched the screen with a sudden, strong premonition of impending doom. He opened his mouth to protest, but looked over at Robin and Raven and realized that objecting would do him no good. Instead, he did the next best thing.
He stuffed a pillow over his head and turned into a turtle. He SO knew what was coming next; he just couldn't believe those two were so evil.
The lettering scrolled off the top of the screen, and gradually the audience became aware of a vertical line of light that was growing wider with each passing second. Beast Boy morphed into a human again and peered over the top of his pillow in a sort of fascinated horror.
After the camera had adjusted to the influx of light, the Titans were able to discern the interior of Beast Boy's room. Seamlessly, the music became much lighter as the camera panned slowly around the room. Beast Boy wondered if he could distract the others. He looked over at Cyborg, who was being quietly questioned by Starfire. Unfortunately, they both seemed intrigued by the "movie."
Suddenly, the door to the room swished open. The music took a more upbeat and confrontational turn. The angle switched and the camera zoomed in on Beast Boy, then focused on the monkey he was cradling in his arms. Swirls of a sinister theme played in the background.
As the Beast Boy on screen hugged the toy monkey and the music became sentimental, the Beast Boy in the living room turned into an amoeba and attempted to sink through the sofa cushions in embarrassment. But he knew his mortification was only beginning.
Onscreen, Beast Boy seemed to be holding an inner conversation with himself. The ever-varying moods and themes of the music, from dark to flutteringly light, supported the assumption.
Human once more, couch-Beast Boy winced in sympathy as film-Beast Boy hopped around the room, holding his butt in pain after the doors closed on it. The other Titans, who had been merely chuckling before, burst into raucous laughter. He scowled at the screen. Even the music seemed to be laughing at him.
As the music—and Beast Boy's pained contortions—died down, hints of the sinister theme subtly crept into the soundtrack. Couch-Beast Boy transformed into an emu and stuck his head between the couch cushions. Seconds later, he turned into a human again. It was no good; he didn't want to look, but he couldn't stop himself—
The monkey began its normal speech and the Titans collectively shuddered as they remembered how it had scared them the last time they had heard it. Abruptly, the theme gained power as the monkey began to move and talk of its own accord. Starfire gasped, and Cyborg watched the screen with an expression of extreme awe. Beast Boy turned into a dog and whimpered.
The music complimented the conversation between the two green beings as it continued. As film-Beast Boy ranted about the future, the music mocked him, rising to whimsical heights. Slowly, it faded into a darker theme once more as the monkey began to speak.
In the dramatic pause before its grand message, Beast Boy again turned human and chanced a look at his teammates. He was taken aback slightly by the identical looks of almost predatory anticipation gracing Robin and Raven's faces. He quickly turned to Cyborg, who looked like he was going to hurt himself from holding in his laughter. Starfire seemed to be on the edge of her seat in suspense.
The sinister theme abruptly reached its crescendo as the monkey gave its dramatic proclamation. As film-Beast Boy turned into frog, four Titans laughed uproariously.
The music became tense and soft again as Beast Boy heard and began to investigate the noises from his closet, only to again delve loudly into the sinister theme as an abrupt camera change brought the audience face to face with the two glowing-eyed, closeted Titans who had triggered Beast Boy's fainting spell.
Starfire gasped, but giggled as Beast Boy passed out. The camera zoomed in slightly on the Titans as they stepped out from under Beast Boy's immense pile of dirty laundry and glared down at him. As one, they looked up at the camera.
The music became lighter and faster, reminiscent of the music which had accompanied the disclaimer, and the screen switched to black. Credits for the editing and the music rolled onto the screen.
All of the Titans blinked as the lights came up. Beast Boy tried in vain to distract his teammates by crying out in mock pain. "Ow, my eyes!" Unfortunately, the plan backfired.
All four of his teammates swung their heads around to look at him, varying looks of amusement playing on their faces. Beast Boy gave a small "Eeep!" and turned into a hummingbird. Robin and Raven looked downright triumphant, while Cyborg seemed to be trying not to roll on the floor in laughter. Starfire was also amused, but looked like she had several questions about the jokes.
"Well, guys, what did you think? Good comedy?" Robin questioned.
"Good? GOOD? Man, that was brilliant! How on EARTH did you guys come up with all that?" Cyborg shook his head in amazement. "That's the funniest thing I've seen in—well, since even before Raven slapped that collar on BB!"
"Truly, the video was most amusing. But I do not understand, how was it possible for the stuffed toy of the monkey to be the father of friend Beast Boy?" Starfire questioned.
"Well, he wasn't Star, that was just part of the joke," Robin grinned.
"Oh," Starfire frowned, then brightened. "The movie was two digits raised!"
"Two thumbs up?" Raven clarified after a minute, and was rewarded with a beaming grin from Starfire.
"Well, I didn't think it was funny! You guys are always picking on me!" Beast Boy complained, turning human.
"Well, true, but you play jokes and pranks on us all the rest of the year. I think we should get one day where the opposite is true," Raven replied swiftly.
"Come on, guys, let's not fight about this. Beast Boy, we just wanted to show the others the rest of the joke," Robin tried to smooth things over. "Here, we'll start the other movie now." He ejected the well-made home movie and placed the action film in the player.
Just after the previews were over, Beast Boy declared war. "Oh, yeah? Well, just you guys wait till next year!"
Ok, for the first part of the "movie," I was listening to the main theme as the disclaimer screen scrolled by. On the Return of the Jedi soundtrack, the music just goes right into "Approaching the Death Star," which I chose to have next anyway. For the few hints of lighter moments, like when Beast Boy is talking, I had parts of "Tatooine Rendezvous" in mind. Obviously (I hope), the "sinister theme" is the "Imperial March." The last bit, right when he's looking in the closet, is mostly from the Imperial March again. Pretend the Imperial March goes right into the credits. And I really hope that I didn't overdo the music stuff in this, but I was trying to convey the pace of the film.
Holy crap, it's done! I hope this chapter lived up to expectations. I want to thank all of my wonderful reviewers again for their indispensable support! Thank you guys so very much!
Amber Myst (I'm loving Emotions and Hell's Fury, by the way!)
for all of your continuing encouragement, support, and love for the story!
Xyteron: Thank you so much for such a helpful and well thought-out review! I absolutely LOVED your Travelogues! Of course, I'm enjoying the heck out of the sequel, too! Your wonderful compliments mean a lot to me since I admire your writing so much.
I started to notice just how many prepositional phrases I used after you commented on it. I had no idea...damn you, Latin! Nothing like a foreign language to screw up your writing style, let me tell you. From now on, that will go on my list of things to automatically check for when I'm proofreading my stuff. I'm also glad that my sort of writing-off of the whole Starfire issue didn't seem to adversely affect the story's readability. Part of the problem was probably that I didn't think about it until that chapter...
My ability to write Beast Boy frightens me sometimes. I don't know if I want to be able to think like him! Oh, and the collar joke reference... XD
mysti-eyed: Hee, hee, I was just trying to find a way to work that phrase in there...
Broken Outcast: Well, since the monkey was lying to BB, maybe he's telling you the truth! Monkeys from the future could be cool parents. And by the way, for an unparalleled (although incredibly happy) shock, there's nothing like trolling through a favorite's list and suddenly finding stories by me on it! Thank you so much!
hafewolfdemon: O.o Are you psychic? Nice job figuring that out!
alena-chan: Hey, I'm thrilled that you delivered a new chapter of Waiting! I totally understand how life can get. I'm very glad that you enjoyed the story, and that my attempts to make all the relationships work out actually did work. My story's all wrapped up now, but I'll definitely be enjoying yours! XD