A Teen Titans fanfic by Lavender Gaia
Editing and Assistance by Emmi and Laine
Chapter 4: Friends
Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans or any of its characters. They are all property of DC Comics. I also don't own Winry Rockbell. She belongs to Hiromu Arakawa.
A million thoughts ran through Beast Boy's head at once: I have to go after her; should I tell the girls; what animal do I turn into? He was sure he could track her by sight, smell, probably even echo location. The green man pushed his way through the crowd as his mystery woman went into the theater.
"Move!" He told the gaggle of middle school girls who stood and giggled in front of the poster for the newest Brad Pitt movie. Briefly considering turning into a wolf just to scare them, he just pushed past them and stumbled into the theater.
There were plenty of blonde women around. None of them were his though. "I know she came in here!" He murmured to himself.
"Sir?" A cashier for the movie theater was waving to get his attention. "Do you want to buy a ticket?"
"Um…no, no thanks." Dejected, he turned to leave, frustrated that he couldn't find her. Unfortunately, no matter how famous and popular you were, it was a bad idea to turn into a bloodhound in the middle of the mall. Plus, if she wanted to go see a movie instead of trying to find him, maybe he wasn't important to her anymore.
Starfire and Raven were still in Sephora when Beast Boy met up with them. Raven was very unhappy as Starfire tried yet another color that even he could tell wasn't right for her. "Can we go now?" Raven asked pleadingly.
"Oh, yes, I believe I will pay for my purchases and then we may leave, if you wish," Starfire smiled at him and went to the counter with the saleslady that had been helping her.
Raven told him she would wait outside and he could see her glancing conspiratorially at Hot Topic through the glass window. Beast Boy leaned against the door, vaguely aware that he looked like a bored guy waiting for his girlfriend. Unfortunately, his girlfriend was dead, or the closest thing you could get.
Then he heard it: the most musical, wonderful thing in the world. That laugh. Her laugh. The only one that ever laughed at his jokes. Glancing around as if looking for a fire, he searched the crowd for the producer of the laugh and could have sworn he'd once again seen that shock of blonde. While he prepared to go searching again, Starfire approached him from behind.
"I am ready!" Her smile faded at the urgency on his face. "Beast Boy, is everything alright?"
Damn, he'd lost it. "Um, yeah, Star. Raven went over there." He pointed to Hot Topic as Starfire gained rapid interest for not only that, but two other stores down that corridor. Though there was no question in his mind that this was going to last quite a while, he did wonder one thing: Was he going crazy?
Cyborg wiped off the sweat that had accumulated on his human skin as Sarah handed out bottles of Gatorade to the kids. "Heads up!" she tossed one to him, which he caught gracefully.
"Thanks," He nodded his appreciated before unscrewing the orange top and downing half of the blue liquid.
"I should thank you for playing with the kids," she told him. "They had a great time and they're tired out. Do you rent your time by the hour?"
Cyborg chuckled. "Not exactly. I had fun, though. It's too bad you have to leave."
"Well, they have a snack in a half hour and most of their parents will be there to pick them up as soon as that's over," she explained. "But you know…if you don't have anything else to do, you could walk over with us and I'll give you a tour of the school."
He quickly checked his communicator and the recent police frequencies. "Well, everything seems quiet on the home front, so I think I have some time. I'd love to come."
Sarah smiled at him and picked up the cooler. "Great. Alright, kids, let's get ready to go!"
"Mr. Cyborg!" A little girl tapped on him lightly. "Can I have a piggy back ride?"
She was small for her age and both legs were prosthetics. He could feel his heart melting as he looked at her big, brown eyes. "Of course." Leaning down to pick her up, he settled her on his shoulders and she held on to his head to keep her balance.
It was only a five minute walk and Sarah led them through the back door because everyone was pretty dirty. The kids put away their hats and gloves and assembled in a straight line in front of their teacher. "I'm going to give our guest a tour. I'm going to put one of you in charge." Every single hand shot up in front of her. "Alright, Bobby. Take everyone into the snack room and you and Susan can hand out the snacks."
They filed out of the room towards two large doors that read: CAFETERIA. He and Sarah went the other way and he noticed a mural on the wall with the words "West Side School for the Handicapped" over it. "So, this is a school?"
"Not exactly. It used to be, but we couldn't afford to keep it that way since we didn't get any government funding," she explained. "We have tutors for the children that recently come out of their surgeries and can't return to public school yet, but that's it.
"Basically, we're just an after school program. Children who have come to us before to get fitted for prosthetics and to get their physical therapy have a place to come after school and on weekends and vacations while their parents work. They made good friends here, and many of them don't go to school together or live near each other. It's a safe way for then to get together with their friends and their parents can be assured that they're physically active and not sitting around and playing video games all day."
Cyborg chuckled and rubbed the back of his head. "Well, uh, ya know, sometimes kids need to be able to sit around and play some video games."
Sarah winked at him. "I know. That's why some of us arranged this." She opened a door with GAME ROOM on the front, revealing a large group of kids. They were playing consul games, PACMAN machines, ping-pong, pinball and pool. A man about their age waved to them, then went back to showing one of the children how to bank a ball into the side pocket.
He nodded appreciatively. "Good woman."
She laughed and they went back down the hall. "Right now we're a summer camp for those kids. It's one of the only times we get money for our services."
"Is that why you volunteer here?" Cy asked.
"Exactly. Most of the workers here are volunteers because our boss doesn't get much funding. There's only one big donator. The owner of Shield Institute gives us a lot, but it's really not enough because most of our services are free. Our boss gets a good deal from the prosthetic makers, but the only other income she has is from her custom makes."
"She makes prosthetics?"
The blonde nodded. "State of the art mechanical ones. Kind of like yours, in fact. She uses metalwork and technology as well as the nerve ending left at the base so that the prosthetic will be exactly like a regular arm, besides for the fact that it's metal."
"I'd love to see that," he told her eagerly.
"And she's going to love to see you," she smiled conspiratorially and approached the front desk near the door. "Hey, Cindy, do you know where Boss is?"
"Exam room 2 with Ben. She should be out in a few minutes," Cynthia smiled at Cyborg. "Do we have a guest?"
"I picked up a stray," Sarah grinned good naturedly, then gestured for a pair of chairs for them to sit in.
Cyborg sank into the leather and faced his new friend. "So, this whole place only runs on one donation?"
She nodded. "Well, we have smaller donations here and there and the kids like fundraisers, but we basically run on the donation from Shield Industries. Ever since the new CEO took over seven years ago, he's been donating to us."
"Shield Industries…that sounds familiar," he quickly racked his brain.
"They're a scientific and technological development center in Jump City. A lot of people compare it to Gotham's Wayne Corps. I'm not sure if you were here at the time, but years ago the CEO and most of his family died in a car crash. His younger brother took over and the company is still working hard. They even outfit our police officers with their armor and weapons."
Cynthia waved to get their attention. "Boss is done. She should still be in Exam Room 2."
"Thanks, Cynth. C'mon, let's go meet her." Sarah knocked on Exam Room 2 and went in when a high female voice answered. "Hey, Boss, I brought you a gift."
Cyborg looked in to see a young woman—she couldn't have been older than her mid-twenties—washing her hands. Extremely long blonde hair was held back by a ponytail holder and her bangs held back by a bandana over the top of her head. She wore a sleeveless white shirt and short black skirt under her apron, and Cyborg briefly wondered why none of his nurses never dressed like that.
The older woman turned around, a bright smile that went up to her big blue eyes. "Oh. Wow." Her jaw dropped when she saw who her visitor was and she clung to one of his arms. "I have to work on you!"
Sarah snickered and Cyborg realized that she knew this was going to happen. "Cyborg, this is Winry Rockbell. Boss, this is Cyborg of the Teen Titans."
"Nice to meet you," He nodded.
"Who is your mechanic?" she asked quickly, bouncing.
"I am, basically…"
"But, if you couldn't do it, then who would do it?"
"Um…you could, if you wanted," he told her. She danced with delight and Cyborg glanced at Sarah, "You set me up."
She grinned wickedly. "Isn't it nice to know you have a fan? She would sell her soul to work on you. Work quickly and I bet you could even get her first born out of it."
"So…" Winry had finally calmed down. "What are you doing here anyway?"
"I met with Sarah and her kids in the park and she told me all about the school. I'd really like to help out in anyway I can," he explained. "I'd love to volunteer, maybe even endorse it. Except I wouldn't need any money to do that or anything."
"Like a PR stunt?" Winry raised an eyebrow and considered it. "I like it. I'm the only one running this place, so I can use any help I can get."
"Great!" the tall man brightened up considerably. "Are there any forms I need to fill out or anything?"
"Do you need school credit?" He shook his head. "Then no, just show up whenever you like. There will never be a time when we don't need you."
"I can try to come tomorrow," he suggested when his arm sounded. "Excuse me." The video screen came up. "Cyborg here."
"Cy, it's Robin. Donna and I are waiting by the car. If you're busy, she can get us home, but…"
"Oh, sorry, man. I'll be right there. Just give me a few minutes." He hung up and turned to the girls. "I have to leave. I'll do my best to come tomorrow, but I don't usually get to choose what times I have to work."
Winry nodded. "Alright then. Thank you."
"I'll walk you out," Sarah offered and waved to her boss as they left the exam room. "I should be here tomorrow, so find me if you come, ok?"
He grinned at her. "Of course. Thanks Sarah, I'll see you later." He nodded to Cynthia as he left through the front door and jogged to the T-Car in the park. "I'm sorry, were you waiting long?" Cyborg asked his teammates.
"Not at all," Donna told him, giving Robin a playful glare. "You really didn't have to come. I could have flown back."
"It's no big deal. Hop in." He climbed in the front seat, raising an eyebrow as Robin climbed in the backseat with Donna. "So, what were you two up to?"
They exchanged a look. "Nothing."
"Um, where were you, Cy?" Robin asked, blushing as he attempted to change the subject.
"I met some new friends. Lots of friends, actually. Hey, Rob, did you know about the West Side School for the Handicapped?" The Boy Wonder shook his head. "Well, it's a school for kids with prosthetics. I told them I'd help out anyway I could. Volunteer, do PR stuff, fight any baddies that came their way."
Donna smiled at him. "Cyborg, that's wonderful. Maybe I should do something like that. Adopt a cause or something."
"We all should," Robin nodded. "I'll talk to the rest of the guys later. We need to have a meeting anyway."
Cyborg tensed a little as his friend once again took something that was supposed to be his and made it into a Robin thing, but curiosity took over at his friend's cryptic tone. "Something happen?"
"I'll explain later, I just have to keep telling myself that running away to Canada is not a good thing. Hey, Cy, you wanna be trade? You be Robin. You've had experience before," he offered.
"No, thanks, man. I'm good." He smiled lightly after realizing that he really was good; he hadn't just said it to get out of whatever Robin was afraid of.
"Just think, Dick, it could be worse," Donna said as she got out of the car.
Robin gave her a look. "Oh, yeah? How?"
"Bruce could be here teasing you about it."
He stopped dead. "You're right. It could be worse. It could be much, much worse." The three went upstairs and flopped on the couch.
"Hey, where're BB and the girls?" Cyborg asked.
"Raven called to say that they went to the mall," he checked the time. "They should be back in a half-hour."
The half-man nodded. "Ya know what? I'm in such a good mood, I'm gonna drive downtown and pick up pizzas for everyone. Donna, you like anything special?"
"I'll eat whatever," she grinned. "Thanks for thinking of me though."
"No problem, girl. I'll call and drive over. You two can…do whatever you want to do," Cyborg waggled an eyebrow at the pair before walking away to leave them with whatever show they were watching.
Donna leaned against Robin's side and he wrapped an arm around her shoulders. Somehow, holding her in the middle of Titan's Tower was a lot different than it was in the park. Sure, she was still beautiful and sweet, but he felt like a kid in the cookie jar, as if he was doing something wrong.
"I'm heading out, guys! See ya soon!" Cyborg called to them before going down to the T-Car.
Robin relaxed knowing that they were alone. He pulled her closer, enjoying her little purr of contentment. Donna smiled up at him and he kissed her again. It was soft and sweet, and he could feel all of the burdens of being a superhero melting away.
Then the door opened and Beast Boy's loud voice greeted his ears. The Boy Wonder pulled away quickly and stood to greet them, causing Donna to yelp and topple on to the floor. "Hey, guys," he greeted them. "Have fun at the mall?"
"Oh, yes!" Starfire beamed at him. "We saw House of Fleas and went to the Sephora and other stores! It was wondrous."
"I'm glad you had a good time, Star," he smiled at her, then looked at her companions. "What about you two?"
Raven glared at him and Beast Boy just sighed. "Great."
"Ow?" Donna said from the floor, attempting to get his attention.
"Oh, I'm sorry," He helped her up and they sat back on the couch with the mall trio. Luckily, she didn't rest against him again; somehow she understood him without the need for him to do anything and he loved that about her.
When Cyborg returned they ate their dinner until Robin called a team meeting. "While we were at the park today, Donna and I ran into someone." He shuddered lightly. "It was Kitten. She probably got out at the same time Killer Moth did, but just recently showed herself."
Cyborg smirked knowingly, but Starfire was concerned. "She does not wish to take Silkie back, does she?" she picked up the larva and hugged it.
"No," he grumbled and Raven swore that she heard him mutter 'I wish' under his breath. "She wants me. Now, it's probably just a fangirl obsession, but we should all keep on the lookout for anything suspicious from her or her father."
Wonder Girl sighed. She had no idea what these people were talking about. She felt for a second that she didn't belong; this was Dick's world and she was intruding. And what was that thing?
Raven glanced over at Donna, who was staring in shock at Silkie. "Something wrong?"
"Um, no, no, it's just…what is that?"
"He is Silkie, my bumgorf!" Starfire hugged him protectively.
Cyborg rubbed the back of his head. "He, uh, used to be a moth larva under Killer Moth's control until BB here adopted him."
"You don't like Silkie?" Beast Boy wasn't sure if he should feel hurt or offended.
"Oh, he's…adorable!" She reached over and scratched it under it's chin. "Good…bumgorf. It's nice to meet you, Silkie."
"Alright," Robin looked around at his team. "Since it looks like we might actually have a light night, we should go down and do some training. Donna, you wanna join us?"
"If you give me a minute to change, I'd love to." She flew off to her room.
"Alright, just meet us downstairs." Robin and the girls left, but Beast Boy asked Cyborg, "Hey, can I talk to you for a minute?"
"Sure, Green Genes, what's up?"
Beast Boy bit his bottom lip. "First of all, you have to assure me I'm not crazy."
"I'm not supposed to lie, what do I do?" Cyborg joked before realizing that his friend was serious. "Hey, I was just kidding. Course you're not crazy. What's wrong, man?"
He put his hands over his face and took a deep breath. "When we were at the mall, I…I thought I saw Terra. And then I thought I heard her laugh, and…"
"Are you sure it was her? I mean, she isn't the only blonde girl in town."
"Dude, I'd know her anywhere!" His voice cracked slightly. "I know Terra. She's...I…It's Terra. Trust me, it was her."
Cyborg considered the facts. "I hate to say this, but…Terra's dead. Or the closest thing to it."
"I know that, I know. So…am I crazy then? I'm finally losing it?"
"I'm not saying that!" He put a hand on his friend's shoulder. "Listen, it's still us, so anything could happen. If we have time tomorrow, you should go, I dunno, check on her or something."
He nodded. "Yeah…yeah, I think I'll do that."
Donna came back in at that moment, dressed in her wonder girl outfit. "Are we ready to go?"
Cyborg smiled at her. "Yeah, let me show you where the training rooms are."
"Give me a minute," Beast Boy told them. "I'll be right down." He went down the hallway and opened the door to Terra's room. It hadn't changed since she'd left all that time ago, and most of the time they did their best to walk past it without even so much as a glance at the door. "Terra, please…" he whispered to no one in particular. "If you're out there, somewhere…come back to us."
Then he left, letting the door shut behind him.
A/N: The West Side School for the Handicapped was also in the comics. I think I made it different just to fit the television series. Winry Rockbell is from the series Fullmetal Alchemist; I just thought that the character fit great for here.
Questions, comments, reactions and reviews are greatly appreciated.
Bree-2006: I'm glad using Donna is so original; I really don't see why more people don't use her, she's an original Titan and it's been said many times that she's probably the woman that Dick loves most in the world, even over Babs and Kori (though I think the writer of the new Donna Troy series forgot that, since he has all of two lines).
Kay jolyn: I loved writing that X-men reference; the Star Wars one was actually from the original comics. I always thought he acted like a little brother towards them all (even though he continuously hit on Donna and Starfire in the comics). Yes, it is supposed to be Robin and Starfire. I'm honored that you like She Will Be Loved as well. Thank you!
DOJ: Of course you have permission to smack Robin. Smack away. I think BB takes pleasure in tormenting all his friends (except maybe Starfire; that would feel like kicking a puppy).
AnnMari123: If you'd like to convince Robin to choose Starfire, be my guest. I'm happy you liked it though, thank you for reading.
Deadlyabyss12: You can call me babe if you want. I don't mind. Thank you for reading and reviewing.
SuperrachiE: Just the idea of Robin "macking face" with anyone makes me laugh. I know it's supposed to be Starrob, don't worry so much!
AvePlateada: Well, at least Star doesn't know that they're making out…yet.
MyMonkeyIsOrange: Thank you very much.