I'm back! And with another story out there for all you hopeless romantics, shippers, and just people who enjoy a good laugh. Following my last story, "Birthday Reflections" (Shameless self promotion) I was e-mailed, requested to aid an avid BB/Rae fan like myself.
Regrem Erutaerc, whom I know quite well for his involvement in "Seven Years Bad Luck in One Day", pitched me an idea for a story involving Truth or Dare, which he wanted me to write. To be perfectly honest, I was quite skeptical at first about writing a truth or dare fic, due to the fact that they're so common in fan fiction, and I really wanted to pursue one of my other ideas. However, after much thought and careful re-thinking, I'm happy to say that this idea has evolved into something I'm enjoying to write.
Chapter 1: Stormy Weather
"Good morning, Jump City!" came a cheerful voice from a portable radio on the counter of a small newsstand. "It looks like we'll be in for another beautiful day. The temperatures are expected to hit the mid eighties, and there's not a cloud in the sky."
At that moment, a clap of thunder cut off the transmission as a downpour began, drenching the streets in bucketfuls of rain. The owner of the newsstand looked out from under his stand, watching the skies become pitch black. A strong wind picked up, blowing his laid out selection of newspapers and magazines everywhere. He scrambled after them, only to trip and fall into a puddle that had already amassed itself from the rain. Getting to his feet, and attempting to wring out his shirt, he sighed, returning to his stand and shaking off the shiver from the winds hitting his wet clothes.
"Yes, without a doubt, it'll be hard to match a beautiful day like today!" the radio gargled in between the streaks of lightning cutting through the sky.
He picked up the radio and hurled it against the wall, smashing it into numerous pieces. "I swear." He began, glaring at the broken components "Does meteorologist mean liar in EVERY city?"
Across the sea, the waves crashed restlessly against the coastline, and against the island of Titan's tower. Inside, the Titans were attempting to cope with the storm in their own way.
"A little bit to the left." Cyborg instructed.
Cyborg stood in front of the TV navigating BeastBoy, who was perched on top of the television with an antenna in each hand and his arms out to his sides, attempting to adjust the position of the antennas and his posture to Cyborg's specifications. The screen was a jumbled mess of static, obviously another victim of the storm's presence. Cyborg scratched his chin, contemplating the next possible adjustment to regain reception.
"Now to the right." He pointed.
BeastBoy did as he was told, desperately hoping to restore the signal.
BeastBoy lifted his arms a few inches.
He raised his arms over his head.
BeastBoy was now on his tiptoes, straining to reach further.
"Nah, on second thought, go back to the way you were."
BeastBoy breathed a sigh of relief, lowering himself to a more comfortable position. But he relaxed too quickly, hunching over, loosing his balance. He began to drift forward, teetering over the edge.
"WAAAAHHHH!" he shouted slipping off the TV, flying towards the floor. He morphed into a turtle in mid air, pulling his arms and legs inside his shell. He hit the floor, bouncing slightly from the impact.
He grabbed onto the table, resuming human form, pulling himself up, dazed and shaken from bouncing around inside his turtle shell. "Dude!" he groaned clutching his head "Why do I have to be the antennae?"
"Cause you're closer to actual size" Cyborg smirked, tapping a few buttons on his arm trying to figure out another way to fix the reception. "Besides, you're the only one light enough for the TV to support your weight."
"So? You look the part!" he retaliated, drawing attention to his mechanical accessories and gadgets. "Hey, why are we even doin' this anyway? I thought the tower had ALL the modern conveniences."
"It does. But the storm's knocked out the cable, and it's blocking the satellite signal altogether." He explained, pushing a few buttons on a nearby console.
BeastBoy sighed, picking up the antennas to resume his place on top of the TV. He looked down at Cyborg, waiting for new instructions. While he waited impatiently, his eyes wandered around the room, hoping to find something to take his mind off the absence of TV. Starfire was in the corner of the kitchen kneeling by the oven, eagerly awaiting the completion of her latest alien dish. He'd caught a glimpse of it before she had placed it inside. From what he'd seen, it looked like a purple artichoke with some sort of pink filling in the center. His stomach tightened at the thought of being the first to taste it, like so many times before.
Raven was nowhere to be seen, not surprising. Most likely in her room, taking advantage of the rainy weather. She found the rain a peaceful background noise that served to relax her while in meditation. It was still early in the day, so she'd probably be out soon. Though once she found out what Starfire was serving, she might wish she hadn't.
That left Robin, who was leaning against the windows, watching the rain beat against the glass. He looked down at the ground below amidst the heavy water running off the roof, watching the ground be transformed into a thick layer of mud. The obstacle course was completely saturated, dismissing any possibility of training for the day. His view shifted occasionally to Starfire, waiting by the oven, always somehow able to predict and catch his glances. She greeted him with a warm smile each time. He'd offer a quick smile, before clearing his throat and turning instantly back to the window. The aroma from the oven had faintly reached him, a constant reminder that the only muscle that would be insured a workout was his stomach.
"Argh! This is hopeless." Cyborg said disappointed, "We've got about as much chance of getting a signal as BeastBoy does getting a date."
"Yeah." BeastBoy nodded. "HEY!" he frowned, staring coldly at him, clearly irritated.
"Sorry, man. That was uncalled for." He apologized with a smirk. "It's Raven's job to make those kinds of observations."
"Apology accep…DUDE! Stop doing that!" he glared.
"Well, look on the bright side." Cyborg attempted to change the subject, "We've still got gamestation. Beating old games is better than nothing at all. And we do still have power, right?" he said attempting to put a positive spin on the situation.
A blinding flash of lighting illuminated the night sky from the window, and with it's passing, the lights went out inside the tower. Aside from what minor light was visible from the window, Cyborg's electronic eye was the only thing still energized in the whole room.
BeastBoy mimicked the sound of a buzzer. "Wrong answer."
At that moment, the door slid open with the assistance of a brief burst of black energy. Raven walked inside, a lit candle in hand, making the room visible once more.
"Has anyone else noticed the storm outside?" she said in her usual dry, sarcastic tone.
"The bright flashing light outside and the loud booming noises from the sky?" BeastBoy asked musingly, "I was startin' to wonder about that." He said reclining on the couch.
Raven gave him her usual passive look, holding the candle out in front of her. Robin was still by the window, not startled but more alert from the lack of light. Starfire floated over from the kitchen, opposite of Robin, looking out the window as well. Raven set the candle down on the table, making her way over to Cyborg.
"Somebody forget to pay the electric bill?" she asked.
"Can't really tell." He looked into his arm's digital readout. "Either the storm tripped a circuit breaker, or maybe it fried the power grid altogether."
"Well, whatever happened, we must be the favorites." Robin said, pointing out the window. "The city still has power." He said, observing the lit buildings across the ocean.
"Not to worry" Cyborg said, calmly checking his readout. "The backup generator should be kickin' in right…about…now."
As if on cue, the lights came back on and all other electronic equipment in the room hummed to life. Raven blew out the candle, before seating herself on the couch.
"Ya mean you're not gonna go back and meditate in this perfect weather?" BeastBoy asked, slightly surprised.
"I've had my fill of meditation…for now." Raven waved her hand, beckoning a book from a shelf nearby with her powers. "Besides, it's quite difficult to concentrate when everything around you shakes with every clap of thunder. I never thought anything in nature could irritate me on the same level as you."
"You're comparing me to a force of nature?" he asked. She turned, considering maybe her remark had been a bit harsh. "DUDE!" he said with an amused grin, dismissing Raven's brief concern. "Hear that Cy? I'm on the same level as a thunderstorm." He smiled, flexing his muscles, adapting a different meaning to Raven's remark.
"Yeah. You're just as loud without gettin' people wet." Cyborg remarked, smirking once more.
"You know i…HEY!" he yelled, catching the joke late again.
Raven rolled her eyes, and began to read the text in front of her. Robin began to move away from the window, joining Cyborg as he performed a systems check and damage assessment on the tower. Starfire returned to the kitchen, watching eagerly as the oven resumed it's cooking of her…thing.
BeastBoy frowned, still unwilling to except that Cyborg had gotten the last laugh on him for the third time. He grabbed the gamestation controller, flipping the power switch to on, putting his feet up on the table, hoping to drown his bruised ego in video games. The screen flickered for a second before the title screen appeared, instructing him to press the start button. But before he could do so, Cyborg stepped in front of him, blocking the screen. He flipped the gamestation to off, folding his arms as the screen went black.
"Dude! If you're gonna' interrupt, you could at least wait til' I'm winning!" he complained.
"Sorry, B. The backup generator was designed to only support the essential systems for the tower in the event of a power failure." He sympathetically explained.
"What could be more essential than my game?" he shrugged.
"What he means is that the sensory equipment and security system by themselves are a strain on the backup generator." Robin interjected, sitting beside him. "Which means no unnecessary use of any more power than we absolutely have to."
BeastBoy was tempted to argue, to fight the verdict until the controller was pried of his hands from loss of consciousness. But with the storm still raging outside, and a small part of him that knew better, he gave a heavy sigh and flopped the controller onto the floor.
"Cheer up, BeastBoy. That doesn't mean we have to sit here and do nothing." Robin attempted to brighten his disposition.
"Perhaps we could play the game of bored." suggested Starfire coming to Robin's aid from the kitchen, attempting to renew BeastBoy's spirits.
"Uh…Star? We're already bored. I don't think we need a game to heighten it." BeastBoy slumped into the couch deeper.
"I think she means 'board' game" Raven translated, not taking her eyes away from her book.
"A board game. Hey! That's a great idea!" BeastBoy perked up. "Ya know, I was just gonna plug the gamestation into Cy's power cell and use him as a human battery, but yeah, that's a way better idea." He grinned.
Cyborg just stared at him, unsure if he had actually been serious or not. BeastBoy vaulted over the couch and sprinted to a small closet nearby. He flung open the door, and dove inside.
"Okay, let's see what we got here." He began rummaging through piles of blankets, small equipment, and other assorted items stored or stuffed inside in search of anything resembling a game.
"Well?" came Cyborg, now standing just beside the closet, dodging the occasional object thrown his way by BeastBoy's search.
BeastBoy emerged with a stack of boxes. "How about…"Hungry Hungry Hippos"?" he held up one box for everyone to see.
Cyborg and Robin gave him a questionable look.
"What is this starving of hippos he speaks?" Starfire asked, floating over Robin's shoulder.
"It's…a kid's game where the object is to make the hippos eat as much as you can." He explained.
"I was not aware games on this planet encouraged gluttony among earth children." Starfire queried.
"It'd certainly explain how he eats the way he does." cracked Cyborg.
"Hey! I'll have you know this is a challenging game that builds reflexes and hand eye coordination." BeastBoy defended.
"Oh yeah. Slamming a lever on a plastic hippo's backside to eat marbles. A real brain builder." commented Raven.
BeastBoy frowned, tossing the box over his shoulder.
"How about "Mouse Trap"?" Cyborg suggested, picking up the next box from the pile.
"Dude! That's cruelty to animals!" BeastBoy said, snatching the box away.
"Man, any animal dumb enough to get caught by a trap with a triggering mechanism involving a guy in swim trunks diving into a bucket ain't worth saving." Cyborg said.
"How 'bout…"Monopoly"?" BeastBoy suggested, holding up the next box.
"Uh-uh" replied Cyborg. "I've still got hotels rattling around in my servos from the last time we played." He rotated his shoulders slightly as the sound of rattling came from his parts.
Robin folded his arms with his back to Cyborg. "I still say you cheated."
"Hey, it's not my fault you were the first one who went broke."
"You must have calculated the dice rolls. It's the only way you could've known where I'd land each turn and which properties to buy." He tapped Cyborg's computerized portion of his brain.
"Please, friends" said Starfire, getting between them.
"Besides, I thought numbers hurt BeastBoy's brain?" commented Raven, still engulfed in reading, thinking back to BeastBoy trying to count his play money and determine the percentage of luxury tax.
"Aww, didn't know you cared, Rae." said BeastBoy playfully.
Raven looked up from her book. "On second thought, BeastBoy can be the banker."
Cyborg sifted through the remaining boxes. "Well, not much else to pick from. Everything else is missing pieces."
"Think I know why." said BeastBoy, pointing a finger.
Cyborg traced the direction of his finger to Starfire's pet, Silkie, who was lying in the corner napping. "What makes ya say that?" he asked.
BeastBoy held up a board from one of the un-chosen boxes. The side of the board had teeth marks on it, looking as if a bite had been taken out of it. "Call it a hunch." he said plainly. From the corner, Silkie burped, expelling dice and numerous game cards and pieces from his mouth.
"Guess we can scratch board games off the to do list." Robin commented as BeastBoy shoveled the stack of boxes back into the closet. "Any other suggestions?"
BeastBoy scratched his head, looking up at the ceiling. Starfire watched the boys waiting for an idea to dawn on them, knowing her Tameranian games would probably be unfamiliar to them. Raven simply continued reading as if no one else was there.
"Ya know…" began Cyborg, a grin slowly growing on his face, "There's always…"
"No! Don't say it!" exclaimed Robin, reading the look on his face. "Don't even suggest it! Not gonna' happen! Not after last time!"
"Truth…or Dare." Cyborg finished, smiling.
BeastBoy's face lit up. The perfect party game, totally befitting of him. Starfire's eyes sparkled with wonder. She had only heard of this Earth game, but had never actually participated herself. And Raven…just sat there continuing to read.
"Forget it." Robin said. "The last time we played, you and BeastBoy relentlessly humiliated me." He told them, shivering mentally from the remembrance of some of their choice dares, too sickening and too heinous to describe.
"Well of course you're not gonna wanna play if ya only remember the bad stuff." Cyborg said, putting a hand on his shoulder in the hopes of swaying his decision. "But this'll be different. A level playing field, no gangin' up on anybody…and" he drew closer, whispering, "we'll get Starfire to play." He said almost baiting him.
Robin slowly turned to look at Starfire who was listening intently to BeastBoy as he explained in detail about the game. He swallowed hard, turning back to Cyborg. "You've got to SWEAR." He pointed, gesturing Cyborg to raise his right hand. "No turning everyone against me? Dares within reason? A fair game that won't require arguing, fighting, or therapy afterwards?" he interrogated.
"Cross my heart and hope my batteries die." He smiled assuringly. "I'm telling ya, you've got nothing to worry about. Just good clean fun for the whole team. We'll even get Raven to play. Right…" he turned to ask, finding the spot on the couch empty, "Raven?"
He looked to see Raven walking quietly with her book under her arm, making her way to the door. She apparently had sensed it was her cue to leave.
"Hey, Raven!" Cyborg called, drawing everyone's attention to her almost unnoticed attempt at escape. "How 'bout you join us?"
"Pass." She said stopped, but not turning to face him. She began to take another step.
"Come on, Raven. One game?" BeastBoy asked hopefully.
Once more, she stopped, but this time turned around to reply. "No."
"Please? Just once?" he asked more pleadingly, leaning over the couch.
"No." she responded again, no different from her last answer.
"You sure I can't convince you?" he flashed his eyebrows, morphing into a puppy going wide-eyed, attempting to guilt her into submission.
"Let me think." She held her head in her hand, pretending to actually consider his request. "No." she repeated.
BeastBoy returned to human form, still determined to change her mind, one way or the other. "Come on, Raven. Do it for me." He folded his hands, asking sweetly. "I wouldn't want to resort to 'other' methods." He grinned slightly.
Raven raised an eyebrow. Under normal circumstances, she would've assumed he was bluffing, or at least trying to egg her into it. But something about the look on his face made her question his intentions. "What in the world could you possibly do to get ME to change my mind?" she asked taking two steps towards him, a doubtful expression on her face.
BeastBoy smirked. "Hey, Star!" he called, "Come here a sec, would ya?"
Starfire flew to the side of her green friend. "Yes, BeastBoy? How may I assist you?" she asked in her joyful tone.
BeastBoy clasped his hands over Starfire's ears. "Okay, Raven." He turned to face her, "Either you agree to play Truth or Dare with us, or I'm gonna tell Starfire you've got a pink cloak in your closet." He warned her with a smile.
Raven took a step back. It wasn't true, not in the least. But if Starfire thought that Raven had anything of that nature in her possession, she could only imagine how Starfire would react. Always after her to go to the mall, getting accessories for her, picking out clothes for her, and that was just what she could think of off the top of her head. She would not rest until she and Raven shared such experiences.
"You wouldn't." she stared blankly.
BeastBoy closed his eyes, still smiling, releasing his hands from over Starfire's ears. "Why, Raven." He began, his head tilted slightly towards Starfire, "What was that in your closet the last time you kicked me out of your room?"
Raven took another step back. She pictured Starfire's eyes twinkling at the very mention. There was a chance he was still bluffing, right? She could probably outrun her, RIGHT?
"If I didn't know any better…" BeastBoy continued.
He wasn't bluffing.
"I'd swear it was a p-MMMPH!" Raven clamped her hand over his mouth. Just in time too.
"Let's just get this over with." She walked past him, releasing her grasp of his mouth.
BeastBoy smiled, laying back into the couch, kicking his feet up onto the table and resting his head against his arms folded behind him. Cyborg and Robin looked at him, surprised at his achievement. He cracked open one eye, acknowledging them. "What? I can't help it if I'm irresistible."
Next Chapter: Truth or Dare is the name of the game, and the Titans try to make the best of the weather. But will the game be more worrisome than the storm? And what results will it yield?