Meag: Sorry to keep you all waiting… I got a new puppy and she isn't one to be easily ignored…
Kiori: That's no excuse…
Meag: I've also been helping out at a summer school and they treat me like a student because of my age.
Meag: Look do you want the next chapter or not?
Kiori: It doesn't matter to me… I'm just here to bug you remember?
Meag: Oh yeah! Well I guess I just have to say, on with the fic!
Kiori: But first,
Special Thanks to the BEST reviewer, Hunter, who reviewed almost everyday just to make sure I don't get all lazy, this chapter is dedicated to you.
DISCLAIMER: I've said it once but since your head seems to be so thick, I'll say it for the fifth time in a row, I DO NOT own the Teen Titans. I also do not own the poem paragraph near the bottom of the chapter.
Raven mentally cursed as her mind shut down at these five words. OK maybe it didn't shut down, it just became an illegible jumble of thoughts, words, and emotions. So to put it in other words… she was screwed. Ignoring the fact that Beastboy was still waiting for her reply she fought down the panicky feeling rising in (or at least near) her stomach, and did what she was trained to do: let her instincts take over.
Her mind wandered back to a lesson, one where Star was drilling answers to a certain situation into their minds to the point where the answers would automatically fire off in response. It just so happens that this was one of the many situations that they had been forced to practice. At the time, she recalled thinking that it was useless but now…
"And that," Starfire concluded, "Is what to do if some random maniac comes up to you and asks for a quarter. Or if you have some sort of animal with you."
'Well Ok,' Raven interrupted her millisecond flashback. 'It wasn't all useful…'
They were down in the basement where Jinx and Raven sat in a small room, located in a far corner from the entrance. It was dimly lit, with bare walls made of a smooth, cold and unwelcoming look to it. Water dripped from a slightly broken pipe that ran across the room. The water dripped inconveniently into the center of the room and so the room was sparsely furnished. In yet another corner Jinx and Raven waited at a round table while Starfire taught lessons from a blackboard on the other side.
As Star taught, Jinx and Raven couldn't help but wonder why Star chose to teach in such a dusty and dank place that gave even Raven the slight chills. They sat there patiently, but ignorantly as they tuned out whatever Starfire was saying to daydream. As Star spoke the other two would shake or nod there head here or there in an incredibly bad attempt to cover up. Hey, they were thieves, not actors after all. Well if they wanted to act they could act, but this was not one of those time where they were in an act-or-be-found-out-that-your-a-thief times, where people were unobservant. Unfortunately for them, Starfire was more observant than they had thought…
A starbolt flew just over their slouched heads, snapping them out of their dreams immediately, and scorching an area in the wall. They had taken precautions to make all the walls in the basement perceptible to their attacks, so the scorch marks could be removable but it had to be made especially on another planet. You can bet that they had one hell of a time smuggling that into the Earth…
'Star!' Jinx exclaimed. 'What was that for?'
'For not paying attention,' Starfire reprimanded. 'Oh and purchasing the way, you are owing me $20.00 and Raven you have just agreed to take me to that latest "Baby Chicken" movie.'
'I do?' Jinx asked at the same time that Raven asked, 'I did?'
'Since when?' They both demanded.
'I have stolen advantage from you both while you were dreaming of day,' she explained.
'Oh,' came her short response.
'Oh and Star,' Raven asked. 'You mean "Chick flick" right?'
'Damn. I'll be paying more attention now.'
'Good. Now prove it and do so now! Here's the situation: You are at a cafeteria or some other place of eating when a villain or police officer that you have recently, or even met before, has just approached you.
'You hit upwards a conversation when at some point the person asks "Hey, do I know you?" What is you response?' Starfire asked. Jinx stared back at their leader lazily.
'That's easy. I'd just tell the guy to get lost and then leave him in my dust.' Starfire gave Jinx a slight glare.
'I believe that would be, how you say, "harsh."' Jinx just shrugged in response.
'You asked what I would do and that is what I would do,' she pointed out. Starfire sighed in defeat. She supposed that was what she had asked.
'What about you Friend Raven? What would you answer?' she asked in Raven's direction. Raven let a small frown stain her usually unemotional mask as she thought over the answer. 'This is stupid,' she thought. 'But I guess it wouldn't hurt to humor Star anyway.' The only problem was she didn't really know what she would say.
She couldn't say the same thing as Jinx because she agreed with Star; it was kind of rude and not only that… it would be very unoriginal. She sat deep in thought for a moment until inspiration struck her. 'I can't copy Jinx sure, but maybe I can use it as a guideline!' Turning back to Star's patient form she opened her mouth to reply, allowing the sentences to flow from her mind to her mouth as she responded…
"What type of a lame pick-up line is that?" she asked Beastboy. She smiled inwardly from satisfaction as his face contorted from a waiting one to one of confusion.
"Huh?" came his intelligent reply.
"I mean," she continued in hopes that he would catch on sooner or later, "It was bad enough with that disgusting teen…" Finally realization dawned on Beastboy's face.
"It's not what you think!" he defended, raising two hands in surrender while his face flushed.
"Right," Raven agreed in a disbelieving tone. Suddenly Beastboy's face turned coy as he thought up something. Raven decided that she did not like that look.
"And what exactly were you thinking? Would you like it to be that way?" Now it was Raven's turn to blush. It took her all 20 years of training to keep it off her face while emotions once again went wild.
"Of course not, it only confirms my theory that you're hitting on me like that teen."
"Ah, but the difference between him and I is that I stand a chance where he was already in his negatives and counting." To be honest, Beastboy had no idea what was going on. Normally the word ne-, uh, neg-, er, that minus word was just plain too hard for him to think without getting a splitting headache let alone speak without a trip to the Emerge, but now, he was hitting on some girl he had only just met. The reasonable thing for him to do would be to ask 'What the hell is wrong with me?' But… for some reason, it just felt comfortable to flirt with her…
Raven felt like giggling. Yes, giggling. How the hell did this happen. This officer was her enemy but when he flirted with her… it just felt right. However, if she did giggle she would probably blow something up. Why couldn't life be easier? Why was she so, so, doomed of a life without the experience of love? "Sorry, lover boy but this 'meeting' is over." Raven got up to leave when Beastboy's hand stopped her from getting up.
"Wait, what's your name? Can I at least get a number for my efforts?"
"Sorry, but I don't tell private things like that till the second date. Tell you what, type in some random e-mail address into the computer and if its fate, then it'll be mine." Beastboy let a rare frown wash over his face.
"But there's mil-, no, bil-, uh, tril-, er, a lot of e-mail address' out there. What are the chances it'll be yours?" he asked with his head down. He wasn't really used to rejection. It was usually the other way around, with the girl asking for another date. By the time he looked back up, she was gone but a scrap of paper was left in her place.
Hoping it was her number he quickly unfolded it to find it only contained one word, 'Fate.' Curiously he looked up only to find that she had gone, her existence only proved by the still steaming cup of tea left in her wake.
Beastboy looked around wondering if he was just desperate. 'Well at least something good came from this uncommon visit… but that still doesn't mean I'm not going to kill Cyborg when we get back…'
Robin dashed towards the men's washroom and would have to admit he was more than disappointed when he found the "Out of Order" sign hanging on the door. He cursed his luck as well as fate deciding that the whole world just might be against him. His other options for any chance of escape included him 1) going to another washroom which meant him risking going deeper into the mall, 2) him being mauled to death by Beastboy and Cyborg for ditching them in the mall because he chose this option and ran out through the nearest escape route, or 3) going into a nearby store which would be the last place rabid fans would look.
To Robin all 3 options were bad but 3) seemed slightly better than the other 2 so turning around and sighing in annoyance he searched behind him for the best places to hide. He could probably run to the three nearest shops without lingering too long for anyone to notice who he was but when Robin took a look to see what the nearest 3 shops were he felt himself pale. Her were his options:
1. The gym (where all dateless-looking-for-a-hot-guy-girls would be on the prowl)
2. Victoria's Secret (This was a self explanatory shudder) and,
3. An entrance to Safeway (Wait a sec, who the hell puts a Safeway by those two stores in a mall by the entrance. I mean it's not really bad I guess but still…)
Robin surveyed his options as if he was in the middle of a battle and his decisions were crucial to catching a villain. He HAD picked the option involving the last place he would be but that would be…
"There are not enough girls on this planet to chase me into a Victoria's Secret shop. I would rather go to hell and back or be stuck in jail with Jump's craziest madmen for 24 hours before that…" he muttered glaring at the shop. His glare and unwillingness quickly evolved into panic however when a call was heard from far off around the corner, relatively sounding like,
"Oh my gosh, did you hear? Beastboy, Cyborg, and Robin are at the mall today and everyone knows that we are totally big fans of Robin. Someone even told me that he was running off this way!" And with that Robin turned into a blur, diving into the store just ahead of him…
… Only to crash into an unsuspecting, young, redhead who had been browsing through the perfumes. Apologizing profusely he gulped as he realized that he was surrounded by models wearing lacy bra's and underwear's and stands spotlighting perfumes, and make-up, somewhere towards the back he could see a few clothing and shoes sections and he bet that somewhere in the store he could find a swimsuit model showing off one of the styles hanging off the racks. He didn't notice the flash of silver coming from the young woman's arm still laying on the ground in a slight daze because in his mind he could swear he could hear fate's voice telling him: 'Sorry, hell was busy.'
Starfire wandered around the mall aimlessly. She wasn't quite sure where she wanted to go but her body was full of energy despite how she had to drag Raven around and the thousands upon thousands of steps she had taken while window shopping. She supposed it was because she never could really take a day off from training and it bugged her that she wasn't home quite yet so that she could take some energy out on target or playing a training game with her other two friends. 'I have heard that there is a "gym" in this place of shopping. Perhaps I will dispose of some time there.'
Her steps more purposeful she quickly found the gym thanks to a map and a bit more wandering. Before she went in however she was delighted to find a next door shop filled with lovely scents and feminine products. Near the entrance lay a few sample perfumes and Starfire was only happy to stoop down to test how a few of them smelt, after all; the Earth perfumes could be quite pleasing to her nose at times. Imagine her surprise when her body was thrown onto the ground by a powerful body slam.
It was only pure instinct that made her turn and face her attacker to yell at him when she found herself looking into the masked face of the man who had given her the reason to where the stiff armor on her arm in the first place.
Dimly Starfire realized that he was apologizing repeatedly while wildly looking at his surrounding. She just continued to lie on the ground in a dazed fashion until Robin realized that he had left the poor girl lying on the floor.
"I'm so sorry miss. I was in such a rush that I didn't look at where I was running. Are you alright?" Robin questioned giving her a quick check for injuries.
"I am fine but please, why are there stars inside when they are to be hanging in the sky?" she asked her world spinning.
"Stars? You must have hit your head pretty hard to be seeing stars… but then again I can give a rather powerful blow when it comes to fighting… Are you sure you're alright?" he inquired. Starfire shook her head willing the circling stars to disappear. Sure enough, after a few moments of sitting still the glowing lights evaporated.
"Yes, I am now," Starfire reassured and looked at the officer with bright, curious, green eyes. "Please, do you enjoy looking through women's undergarments and sampling perfume scents on a regular basis or is there another reason as to why you came racing in with such eagerness?" Somehow Star still managed to make her questioning sound innocent but the question was so accusing Robin was sure his face went cherry red.
"Er, no. I was just trying to get away from some fans. I'm surprised that your not chasing me around this mall in a crazy fashion too." Starfire furrowed her eyebrows and tilted her head to the side in a confused manor.
"Why would I do such a disgraceful thing? Are you trying to infer that I am mentally unstable? I am positive that I do not even know who you are!" she exclaimed, using her acting skills to forget the person that was on her mind more and more frequently. Robin flushed.
"Uh, sorry. I just assumed that you would know who I am since just about every girl in town does. I take it your not from here?"
"Yes, how did you know?"
"Well when you speak you don't use any slang from around here. Do you speak another language?"
"Oh yes, but it is not very known to many people so I do not tend to speak it to others I do not know well."
"Oh, I see. Alright then, it was nice to see you miss…" he trailed hoping to find out the charming young woman's name. For once he actually did want to see a girl willingly; somehow she had charmed him with her innocent tone and bright green eyes. Unfortunately for him, Star was too smart to take the bait.
"It was nice to meet you as well, Officer Robin. Perhaps one day we shall meet once more and you could show me around the city. I would like that. However for now I must get going, since I have agreed to meet 2 friends that I am visiting soon." And with that Star headed out of the store… only to be blocked by a frowning Robin.
"Wait, if you don't know who I am then how can you know my name?" Starfire giggled and continued on her way but as she passed Robin whispered her reason in his ear.
"You're badge and your ID card is lying on the ground beside you." She left and disappeared into a crowd before he could protest. Looking down he found his ID card and nearby his badge.
'The one time I meet a nice girl I go and blow it by leading her to believe I'm crazy,' he thought while suppressing a groan. 'It's funny though. I didn't recall dropping anything when I crashed into her…' Alas, poor Robin didn't get a chance to contemplate this thought as his keen ears heard his most dreaded thought.
"It's ROBIN! And he's in a Victoria's Secret shop!" which lead Robin to getting his fair share of exercise as he ran desperately throughout the mall weaving through stalls and zipping past people while mentally chanting the mantra that kept him going of:
'I am so gonna kill Cyborg when we get back home. I am so gonna kill Cyborg when we get back home. I am so gonna kill Cyborg when we get home…'
Starfire watched amused from her spot at the side of the shop where she had just witnessed Robin being chased down the hall and farther into the mall by a mob of obsessed fans. When he had crashed into her earlier her first instinct as a thief was to empty his pockets and it was a good thing she had or she wouldn't have been able to cover up for her little slip up. Under normal circumstances she would have pocketed his possessions but when he got up she hadn't had the chance to grab them quick enough so she was forced to let it drop onto the ground.
Shaking her head she started heading back to their agreed meeting spot, and paused at a shop beside Safeway. She had already decided not to make pudding; she wasn't in a grocery shopping mood quite yet and had only said that to Raven to get her to stop grumbling. Peering into the shop she found a particular item that caught her eye and she rushed in to buy the object.
'This should give those boys something to ponder until tonight,' she thought, the gears of her mind already turning, as she rushed off to show her friends her purchase and explain her latest plan.
(AN: Does anybody know Jinx's last name? Or at least a suitable made up one that I can use for a later chapter?)
Jinx headed towards an electronics store. She wasn't really into computers but they might have something that her brother could use. His birthday was coming up. …How old was he turning again? She'd have to ask someone later. Even if they didn't have anything he could use, the one person in her family that was obsessed with electronics had taught her a few tricks. Then again after seeing National Treasure he insisted that he was passionate about electronics not obsessed. From what Jinx could tell, there wasn't much difference in his case.
She sighed thinking about her brother; or rather brothers. She had two of them. They weren't the greatest but… she still missed them. Shaking her head she willed herself to stop thinking about them. After all it never did her good to think about the sad things in her life when she was trying to do something happy. Too bad Jinx didn't really notice how she was already at the store and walking in…
Cyborg glanced around nervously from his position in at an electronics store, near the home security aisle. When they had come in to the mall he had caught a glimpse of a familiarlooking personand was desperate to find her again. Sure enough the figure walked in moments later, back to him in a pair of him huggers and a soft pink baby T. Her shoulder length pink hair cascaded softly down her back as she carefully looked over a few computer programs. Cyborg let a dreamy sigh escape from his mouth.
It was true that he could probably fall in love with any pretty girl in Jump City but she was something else. He was infatuated with her to the point that he almost considered her stalk worthy. True he had only seen her once before but still… Her name was Arielle Hills, and to Cyborg she was Goddess worthy. In fact Beastboy and Robin were beginning to tell him he was obsessed with her. He snorted. 'That is NOT true,' he thought defiantly as he continued to stare at her. 'It's called passionate.'
Gathering his confidence, he walked up to Arielle and tapped her on the shoulder. Arielle whirled around expectantly; effectively dropping the computer program she had been inspecting, only to become eye level with a glowing metal chest. Cyborg thought he saw disdain flit over her face but it was quickly replaced with a stunning smile so he convinced his mind that he was just imagining things.
"Hey there officer," she said politely. 'What was this guys name again?' she thought.
"Please, you can c-call me Cyborg," he replied. 'Oh, right. That was his name…'
"So what brings you to this humble store?"
"Oh I was just looking at some home security items when I saw some angel walk in and I thought I should come and say hi."
"Flattery will get you everywhere! So who broke into your house or whatever it is you're trying to protect?"
"It was j-just Beastboy and Robin-" he was cut off by an excited squeal.
"You live with ROBIN?" she asked enthusiastically.
"Uh, yeah, they're my um, roommates."
"Please tell me more…" she purred. Was it just Cyborg or were her moves suddenly a bit slyer?
"Well, I'm a little short on time but if you wanted to catch a movie with me lat-" he was once again cut off as a girl walked in, her eyes unfocused, and tripped over the program lying on the ground… and right into Cyborg's arms.
I don't think it looks good in front of a girl you like to be holding another girl in your arms… But I couldn't have let her trip! Well I could but that would be going against my instinct and my programming…
Jinx cursed the programs and its box as she felt herself head towards the ground. She braced herself for the impact and was taken by surprise when she felt strong arms keep her from the floor. Looking up she found that it was none other than Cyborg who had caught her but the look on his face was panic stricken.
"Hey you're Officer Cyborg! Is there something wrong?" she asked, not even turning around. Arielle looked between the confused girl and the panicked Officer with a look of slight amusement.
"Well, Cyborg I'd hate to interrupt your little moment with your girlfriend there, so I'll be going. That movie did sound nice though, so I'll catch you another time. Later!" she called exiting the store and not even giving Cyborg time to explain.
"Thanks a lot. You just ruined my chance at a date with that girl, miss," He scowled, dropping her like a toy onto the ground without noticing. "Hey, what are y'all doing on the floor?"
"You dropped me here remember? Thanks for catching me from the fall but no thanks for dropping me back onto the floor for a pleasant little chat." Cyborg reached down and helped the girl back up.
"Sorry, I guess I got a lil upset that my chances with the girl of my dreams just went down the drain. Are you OK? I bet the fall from heaven wasn't as bad right?"
"First of all, that has got to be the oldest pick-up line in the book. Second of all, you'll NEVER get a date with that girl if you're hitting on me and Third of all yes I'm fine, considering you dropped me!"
"Look, I said I was sorry alright! 'Sides it was only a half hearted attempt and you can't blame a guy for trying. Can I at least get a number? You seem to know what you're doing with the advice thing. I would really appreciate it if you could help. I'm desperate!"
"No kidding, but no. Forgive me for not giving my number to some guy I just met in a random store," she said sarcastically. "Dial some random number and if it's mine I'll help. If it's not then go to some high price professional." Cyborg's jaw dropped.
"But there's got to be over trillions of numbers out there! And I'm looking for 1!"
"We'll call it tough love, but it really was nice to meet you. I have to run but good luck on your future 'date!'" she wished before casually walking out, heading towards their meeting spot. Cyborg just shook his head realizing he didn't even know this girl's name and gave a half hearted glance at the clock.
"Oh shit! I'm gonna be late!" he cried and ran out to the auto shop in the mall.
Starfire waited patiently for her other two friends. Jinx arrived a few minutes later and Raven returned a short time after.
"Friends, I am having a most wonderful idea to be giving our officer friends to think about until our little fun tonight. It all involves my purchase of today and this is all we have to do…"
By the time Cyborg got to the auto shop he found a very sleepy looking Beastboy and a Robin who was wearing now tattered clothing and panting as if out of breath. He gulped as he noticed to tired, but meaningful, murderous glares he received from both his friends and he rushed into the safety of the auto shop. Moments later he walked out and as soon as Robin and Beastboy saw them they took off at a sprint for there car, dragging a dazed Cyborg behind them.
The ride home was a fast one, filled with a debate over what Cyborg's punishment would be. Cyborg of course thought of every possible reason of why he shouldn't get a punishment, which Beastboy and Robin ignored without a second thought. By the time they got back home Beastboy and Robin had decided, (much to Cyborg's displeasure) that he would have to go a week of eating Beastboy's tofu breakfast's and 2 weeks of no meat.
Grumbling about over reactive friends the three of them dragged their feet up to their apartment. About to unlock the door Robin stopped.
"Robin, what's wrong? We all know you're tired so just open the door or I'll break it down!" Beastboy complained. A glare from Robin silenced him.
"Just look at the door Beastboy," he commanded patiently. Beastboy shrugged and looked.
"All I see is wood, beige, somenumbers in a polished bronze metal…"
"Not the actual door you idiot!" Cyborg exclaimed exasperated. "The paper on the door!"
"Well it's not like you were specific," He replied with a glare. "So there's a paper."
"Then go read it!" Cyborg yelled.
"Why don't you?" he countered. Robin, tired of their little argument yanked off the piece of paper and read aloud: (whapping both Beastboy and Cyborg on the head to get them to pay attention,)
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster, till his songs one burden bore,---
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Can you solve this riddle before we meet again tonight Officer's? One of our codenames can be found out through this… Three guess is all you get tonight!
See you later,
The trio of thieves
"Back to mud again," Robin muttered after finishing the note. "I guess we can't get a break," he said out loud, unlocking the door and heading to his room. It was going to be an even longer afternoon.
END OF CHAPTER 5
Meag: Well that's it for today.
Kiori: Took you long enough.
Meag: Shut up! I had to take care of a puppy…
Kiori: Excuses, excuses.
Meag: Anyway thanks to all reviewers. I can't answer your comments today but if you want me to next chapter just put the word URGENT at the beginning of the review. Which you are going to give.
Kiori: Right, in your dreams!
Meag: …That was lame. Anyway see that 'GO' at the bottom of the page? Click on it when the bar is on 'Submit Review' and send me a nice comment OK!
PS. Can you figure out who wrote the poem, which girl's codename they're giving away, and the name of the poem? Good luck!