Priestess Adularia: This chapter is dedicated wholly to Umbra Puella and her spectacular fanfiction Don't Say A Word. I'm thinking of dedicating the entire fanfiction to her!
Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans or Selina. I own Alexa, who is based on these girls in school I who hate: the Freakish Four (Amanda is freakishly cheerful, Helen is freakishly political, Tillie is freakishly religious, and Kelsey is freakishly stupid)
O o O o O o O o O
"You eat birds?" Beast Boy sounded sickened.
Selina arched her brows. "What are you, a vegetarian?"
"Oh." She shrugged. "Good for you. Still, that damn mockingbird just wouldn't sing. How do you like Helena's new ring?"
Robin's look was as nauseated as Beast Boy's. "You didn't."
She fluttered her dark lashes. "Didn't what? And don't worry, I won't eat your Raven."
He flushed. "She isn't my Raven, she's—"
But Selina had caught sight of her. "Disgraceful!" she cried. "How could you let such a beautiful little girl—"she offered Metrion a momentary indulgent smile, which was met with a blank look"—dress like a ragamuffin?"
"I suppose you would prefer she traipse around in a skintight cat suit?" Robin snarled. To Metrion, he crooned, "Don't listen to the crazy lady, you're no ragamuffin."
Selina's beautiful face didn't twitch at the insult. She walked over to Metrion and didn't bend over, she crouched on all fours like a cat. "Hello," she greeted, as if speaking to an adult. And indeed, Metrion's cherub face bore the searching expression of a child perhaps twelve years old.
Then she reached up with her tiny perfect little hand and patted Selina's cheek.
With a noise remarkably like a purr, Selina rose up. "So, does she talk at all?" she asked Robin, who was giving Metrion an odd look. The affectionate gesture was unusual for her, in spite of the simple childish way she clung to him. Clearly, the others had noticed him as well.
Cyborg grinned big. "Well, if she's okay in Metrion's books, she's okay in mine!"
"She's a thief," snapped Robin, earning stares.
"Ex–thief," corrected Selina. "I'm married now, I have no time to take detours on the way to an island with a giant T on it to sneak into the house of a rich fatty with so much make-up she seems to wear icing and snatch the smallest, shiniest ring among a zillion while licking the last traces of cinnamon off my fingers and rubbing a bit of extra paprika onto my lips to give it a bit of extra red."
She flipped her hair back and laughed, and Robin suddenly noticed how deathly sharp her teeth were.
"Drama cat," he muttered.
"This from someone who once said Holy Kitten Litter."
"You once said purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-fect," he reminded her, trying to imitate her expert husky purr and sounding like he was choking.
"Well, your little Metrion—"
"Dude, he thinks you're her dad," Beast Boy reminded him.
"And she won't let go of your leg," supplied Cyborg.
Without missing a beat, Selina continued, "—looks pretty enough to have plenty of diamonds stolen for her, and she's wearing a chopped-up shirt—"
"Whatever. A chopped-up leotard held in place by…what are those straps made out of, anyway?"
Cyborg coughed discreetly.
"At the very least…"
Selina paused and glanced down at her scarf, then unwound it from her shoulders. "Will she come with me? I want to measure her."
"She won't," replied Robin icily. "She won't let go of me."
"Shame." Selina crouched down again and put the edge of the scarf against Metrion's hip, wrapping it once and placing her finger over the cloth where it met the edge. Removing it, she bit down and tore. The extra silk floated to the ground. She wrapped it around Raven's waist, pinning it shut in the back with the jaguar clip. It still looked makeshift and somewhat sloppy, but the silk skirt did give it some shape.
"You can't put her in green," snapped Robin.
"What's wrong with green?" demanded Beast Boy.
"This is Ra—Metri…her." He motioned wildly at Metrion, as if to articulate his point.
"True," replied Selina, sizing her up. "She needs contrast—black and white, maybe with blue and purple if you want color. What do you think?"
"Umm…" he wanted desperately to disagree with her, but he knew she was right.
"How about we go shopping?" she asked. "I know some great baby places, don't I Huntress?"
"Huntress?" repeated Robin. "Her name is Helena—"
"Nickname. We going or not?"
"Oh, yes!" exulted Starfire. "Let us journey to the mall of shopping, I beg you!"
Selina arched a dark, perfectly-plucked brow. "All right then…so, we buying her some clothes or not?"
"Just nothing green."
O o O o O o O o O
Robin's immediate reaction upon going to the mall was that it was a mistake. The noise made Metrion cringe and cuddle against him, which while admittedly something of an enjoyable sensation wasn't a very enjoyable sight.
The other Titans weren't helping. They were trying to help, but it wasn't helpful.
"What about this?" asked Beast Boy, holding up a white t-shirt with animals embroidered all over it.
"Would this look nice?" asked Cyborg skeptically, inspecting a silver bracelet.
"Would this not suit our friend Raven so well?" Starfire requested, showing Robin a plum sundress.
"I like this," protested Beast Boy, who had an azure skirt with a pattern of leaves.
"But this actually fits!" Cyborg motioned to the black turtleneck with its silver embroidery.
"This is exk-i-zite!" (Mispronunciation of 'exquisite') Starfire was talking about a skirt with layers upon layers of amethyst satin, each half an inch longer (remember, she's still a kid) and two shades paler than the one above it.
But Beast Boy preferred a cerulean coat with images of lions and tigers with their cubs.
Then Cyborg came forward with a black belt that had strings hanging from it.
Still, Starfire thought the best was an old-fashioned dress of white lace, with full sleeves and a floor-length skirt and flowers embroidered on the bodice.
Robin thought his head was about to explode. Selina was watching with detached interest, perhaps sustaining a grudge from his refusal let Metrion come near her. Just when he was about to go insane…
"Excuse me, can I help you?"
The voice was insanely cheerful. They turned to see a woman looking just as cheerful. She had shoulder-length brown hair, smoke-green eyes, and a cross necklace.
"I'm Alexa Hudson," she chirped. "And what a cute little angel!" She reached out to touch Metrion, who recoiled and grabbed Robin. Pointing at Alexa, she made scared desperate noises like she was about to cry.
Oblivious, Alexa rambled, "How about this lovely shirt? It's red! She would look beautiful in red. She should die her hair red. Purple is out this season. And it supports Bush! Republicans rule! And maybe a cross like mine? She's Christian, isn't she? It would be a shame for such a sweet little child to serve the Devil."
At this point, all the Titans (even Starfire and Beast Boy) except Metrion were glaring at her as if she was Trigon himself.
"I heard the apocalypse was going to come soon, but of course it'll be a while because Christ hasn't taken me to heaven yet. But it may be soon, so you ought to look good when Jesus comes."
Metrion was sobbing now, as was Huntress. Alexa was going on about salvation and the antichrist and how holy she and George W. Bush were (I want to make it perfectly clear before this goes on that I have nothing against Christians or Republicans) while grinning like there was a light bulb attached to each of her slightly yellowed teeth. Robin was gnashing his teeth so hard he felt they may break. Cyborg was beating his metal fist against his palm. Starfire's hands were glowing. Beast Boy was growling. Selina was searching through her purse for something or another.
"So, you want the red Bush shirt and a cross? Real gold? I know it's expensive, but it would really be worth it, don't you think?" Seemingly taking their glares and the baby's crying as consent, she shot them another beam. Why don't I help you find a skirt to go with—"
Selina found what she was looking for.
She staggered backwards, clutching her face. Between her fingers, blood could be seen.
Selina had found her claws and slashed them across Alexa's face.
"I'm not beautiful anymore!" Alexa wailed. "I'm going to become a martyr!"
She ran off.
O o O o O o O o O
After that, everyone seemed to loosen up. Robin allowed Selina to take Metrion to the lady's room and try on the clothes she found.
They ended up buying several articles of clothing, each in three sizes to accommodate her rapid growth. They had also gotten Helena a new dress. She was giggling happily and dancing around, tugging everyone's hand or leg or skirt in a plea for attention. Metrion was sedate. She was growing up so fast already.
It was almost sad.
She looks so much prettier than Helena thought Robin. Or she would, if she smiled and laughed like a regular kid instead of a miniature Raven.
It made him think of something Cyborg had told them about from when they were in school, before he was Cyborg. He was just Victor Stone.
A boy, Nathan, had gotten the second highest score on a huge test—six out of seven, a B. Nathan had whooped and clasped his hands over his head. People slapped him on the back, congratulated him, and asked how he did it.
One of the girls, Sophia, had gotten the high score on a project—eight out of seven, an A. Sophia had taken the results, put it in her backpack, and returned to her book. People rolled their eyes, muttered 'as usual,' and forgot about it.
Robin glanced down at Raven and tried to imagine forgetting how angelic she looked. He couldn't.
And, he supposed, he never would.