(Disclaimer: I won't even bother trying to list them all, there are so damn many of them. I don't own any of them.)
-Chapter Four: On Crossovers-
Robin strode into the main room of Titans Tower at around nine in the morning, unforgivably cheerful for someone who had stayed up until five obsessing over the latest villain to threaten Jump City. He made his way into the kitchen to get some breakfast, greeting his friends and teammates as he did.
"Good morning, Starfire."
"Pleasant day to you, friend Robin!"
"Hey, man! Help yourself to some eggs!"
"Morning, Beast Boy."
"Good morning, Raven."
"That's an oxymoron, and you know it."
"Morning, random Japanese kid."
Robin went to grab some toast, but then stopped and mentally replayed the last few seconds in his head.
"Wait a minute…random Japanese kid?" Robin asked nobody in particular, then rounded on the boy. "Alright, who the hell are you, and what are you doing in our kitchen?"
"You know, I was kind of wondering that myself, but apparently I have no initiative of my own," Cyborg said. The Japanese boy calmly swallowed his mouthful of scrambled eggs.
"I apologize. My name is Uchiha Sasuke, and to be honest I have no idea how I got here," he said. "The last thing I remember was doing my ninja training under Orochimaru so that I might become powerful enough to defeat my evil brother, and most likely murder all my friends along the way, knowing Orochimaru. Then poof! and here I was. Thank you for breakfast, by the way."
"So you're sure you don't know how you got here?" Robin asked incredulously. "And did you say ninja training?"
Yeah, he's all dedicated and stuff! Just like Robin! And his hair is kinda the same, too! They should be friends!
"Um…did anyone else hear that?" Cyborg asked.
"Yeah…who said that?" Raven added.
"I think it was probably the author," said Rukia.
"Oh," Raven said, then frowned. "Wait, what?"
"Well, you see, we exist in a sort of fictional space bounded by the confines of this story," Rukia explained, complete with visual aids drawn in what looked like a school notebook. "This story is in the process of being created, or 'written', by the author, who, since he has total control over this story's content, can interject whenever he sees fit."
"Okay, fine, but that still doesn't explain two things," Raven said. "First, who the hell are you, and second, why the hell is this 'author' represented in your drawings as a cartoon panda?"
"My name is Kuchiki Rukia, I'm a Shinigami, and…uh…I just kind of like pandas…" Rukia replied, her voice trailing off a bit at the end in slight embarrassment.
Rukia's smart! So is Raven!
"There's that damn voice again!" Robin cried. "What the hell is this? Is reality going haywire?"
"Yeah, I know," Beast Boy added. "What's with all these Japanese kids? And I don't even know what shinny-whatever means."
"You and me both, kiddo," said Morph. Beast Boy nodded for a moment in agreement, but then turned sharply to look at the albino shapeshifter and screamed in surprise, turning into a turtle and hiding in his shell. Morph screamed back, and turned into an umbrella.
Hee hee hee! Shapeshifters are cool!
"This is just too weird," Cyborg muttered.
"I concur. I find these mysteriously appearing people most confusing," Starfire said, her brow furrowed with worry.
"I get confused a lot, too," Inoue said, suddenly popping into existence beside Starfire. "Want to share some of my peanut butter, tofu, and wasabi sandwich?"
"Another Japanese girl?" Robin shouted.
"Dude, she can't be Japanese!" Beast Boy exclaimed. "She's got red hair, and big boo…"
Rukia tactfully interrupted Beast Boy's ranting about comparative anatomy with a sharp blow on the head with her sword scabbard, then turned to Inoue.
"Inoue-san! What are you doing here?" she said. Inoue put her forefinger to her lips in an overly dramatic thinking pose.
"I'm not sure. Last I remember, I was coming to rescue you with Kurosaki-kun, Ishida-kun, Sado-kun, Yoruichi-san, and Ganju-san, and then we met up with Yachiru-chan and some other people, but then I was here, and I don't remember how I got here," Inoue replied, impossibly, all in a single breath, and nearly had to sit down she was so light-headed.
"Um…yeah, same here, except I was just about to be executed," Rukia said, then looked down at her clothes. "I don't know how I got back in uniform, either."
Wee! It's a mystery! Inoue and Starfire should cook something together! And since Rukia and Inoue are already here, Ishida might as well join in, too!
There was a small popping sound, and yet another Japanese boy, wearing glasses this time, came into existence. He looked confused for a moment, then spotted Inoue and Rukia.
"Hi, Ishida-kun!" Inoue called with a wave. "We don't know where we are!"
"Um…right," Ishida said.
"Seriously, what is it with all the Japanese kids?" Robin asked, apparently still holding out hope that someone might provide an answer.
"I told you, dude, that girl can't be Japanese, she's got big ti…" Beast Boy began, but was cut off again, this time by a casual backhanded slap from Raven.
"Do you have a problem with Japanese people?" Sasuke inquired darkly, his hands folded in front of his face.
"What? No, I…"
Oh! Speaking of Japanese people…
There was another popping sound, louder this time, and suddenly the room was considerably more crowded.
"What the…Hey! Where'd Tsukasa and Subaru go? Bear?"
"What has happened? Aku?"
"Wah! Nono is lost!"
"Where am I? Sasuke? Sasuke-kun!"
"Miroku? Is that you?"
"Shippo? Are the others here?"
"Tidus? Are you there?"
"Shippo! Miroku! What happened?"
"Hey, what is this, dattebayo?"
"Kagome! I smell a demon! No, wait—a half-demon!"
"You smell a what?" Raven asked.
Inuyasha and Raven are the same! They should go out or something!
"What?" Raven and Kagome said in unison.
"Uhhh…" Inuyasha hesitated, unsure of what to do next—naïve as he was about romance, he knew one thing for certain: girls tended to injure him when he said something wrong in delicate situations.
"Inuyasha! You were considering it, weren't you!"
Inuyasha hit the ground with a thump, sending pieces of floor tile everywhere. Raven idly wondered if she could somehow figure out how to do the same to Beast Boy. And Robin, and Cyborg—any other boy she knew, really.
"What is going on?" Robin muttered hopelessly to himself, putting his head down on the kitchen table.
"Mentoc knows! Mentoc knows all! Oooweeeoooo!" shrieked a strange green man with a goatee.
"Honestly, where does this author get off sticking me with some complete stranger just because we're both half-demons?" Raven asked rhetorically. "Is his concept of true romance really that shallow?"
"Oooh, sprechen Sie Sexy," drawled a boy dressed like some sort of bird-related superhero's sidekick, but with a pink cardigan overtop. Raven frowned irritably and, without even looking, used her powers to fling her empty mug at the boy's groin at a fair fraction of the speed of sound. He gasped, wheezed a little, and then fell over.
"No love for Peanut…" he groaned from the floor.
"Ha ha ha! Nut," exclaimed a man in a tuxedo who was wearing an eye patch.
Now it's time for the North Americans! Yay!
"Who dares interrupt the plans of the amazing ZIM!"
"Where the sitch are we?"
"KP! Language! There are children here!"
"Right, like we wouldn't hear anything worse than that in kindergarten. Besides, I live with the physical incarnation of death."
"Back off! I'll make you teensy!"
"Ooooh, scary man."
"Back off yourself, shorty, or I'll sic Bitey the Vampire on you."
"Oh, Deeexteeeerrr! Wheeeeeerrrre aaaaaarrrrreee yooooouuuuu?"
"Blossom! Buttercup! I think the creepy mean one with purple hair sounds like me!"
"We'll see about that!"
"You'll what?" Raven asked. "Seriously, does the author have it out for me or what?"
And now for the Internet! Hooray!
"Not more…" Cyborg said, putting his head in his hands.
"I know! This weird little fox kid won't leave me alone!" Beast Boy whined.
"I vastly enjoy utilizing obscure words in a facetious manner," said a man in a blue shirt who had just appeared.
"I don't know what that means!" an anthropomorphized grey cat cried excitedly.
"It means you're an idiot," said his companion, a similarly upright feline who was an unlikely shade of pink.
"Oooh, furries. That's kinky—Peanut likee," the boy in the bird suit said, apparently fully recovered.
"I'm going to start wounding you now," growled the pink one.
"Ha ha ha! Deviancy," exclaimed the man with the eye patch.
"This is insane!" Robin shouted. "I can't take any more of this!"
But I can keep going like this all day! I haven't even started in on Gundam, or Kenshin, or Ghost in the Shell, or Spongebob Squarepants…So many choices! So many characters! I'll put them all in! Like…like…every obsessive perfectionist! And then every incredibly perky girl! And then every silly comic relief guy, and then every depressed sarcastic girl, and then every anime girl with purple hair ever! And then…and then…and…and…and…yhnbgbnhgvfcunyhjb7m kyhbnnnnnnnnnngu67777777777777777777777777777777777777v bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbgg
"Umm…hello? Is anyone there?" Robin asked. "Guys, I think the author has had a stroke or something and fallen on his keyboard."
"It's about goddamned time!" Raven yelled. "I don't think I could take the addition of any more characters that are marginally similar to me in some incredibly obscure way!"
"No kidding," Beast Boy agreed. "Who knew there were so many goofy comic-relief guys?"
"Hey, at least you got some similar characters," Cyborg complained. "I got squat!"
"Yeah, I noticed that," Robin said. "You lucky bastard."
"Tell me, Robin, is this compulsive addition of characters to this story evidence of some sort of psychosis on the part of the author?" Starfire asked.
"I dunno. Probably," Robin replied with a shrug. There was a moment of uncomfortable silence, broken only by a cry of "I am ZIM!" Cyborg cleared his throat.
"So, uh, what do we do now?" he asked. Starfire got a big smile on her face.
"Ooh! Ooh! I know!" she cried, excited beyond any reasonable limit. "Dance break!"
Everyone, even the minor characters that nobody cares about, stared in horror as Starfire began flailing around spastically in an unsurpassable failure at 'Earth dancing'.
"Everybody have fun tonight!" she sang. "Come on, friends, sing along! Everybody Wang Chun tonight!" The crowd of unnecessary characters gave a collective shudder.
"Yay! We're doomed!" screamed a small fluorescent green dog.
"You took the words right out of my mouth," Raven muttered.
Author's Note: So yeah, I don't much like the crossovers either. They can be done well when they're focused on some particular character interaction for a reason that isn't completely superficial, but those are rare. Take the abundant Titans/Inuyasha crossovers, for instance—just because Raven and Inuyasha are both half-demons they're suddenly made for each other? I don't think so. What I hate the most, though, are the crossovers that follow the old "everybody suddenly likes a crossover character" format. For instance, in the Titans/Inuyasha example, Raven getting paired up with Inuyasha (or Sesshomaru, or both), Starfire with Miroku, Robin with Sango or Kagome, and then Cyborg and Beast Boy have to draw straws for who's left or something. Let's think about this in the sense that the group of characters who are crossing over are kind of like tourists—if I go to, say, Japan, on a vacation with a bunch of my friends, we don't all forget about our pre-existing relationships and pair off with Japanese people. We might make new friends, sure, but barring some earth-shattering event I'm not going to break up with my girlfriend or something to pursue some Japanese chick just because I'm in Japan. In the same way, if the Titans somehow find themselves deposited in feudal Japan, Robin probably isn't going to ignore Starfire (or Raven, depending on your leaning) in favour of some girl he's never even met before. At least, not without a very good reason. Please note: this does not amount in any way to me advocating so-called 'pairings' within the team, or in any other context—this is purely a 'how would people really act' issue. I know this isn't what this chapter is really about, but I honestly can't say this enough: God dammit, I hate pairings. Just tell the story, don't tell me who ends up with who right from the start!
Bah, I'm ranting again. I started out pretty lucid, I think, but it all went to hell when I mentioned pairings, as usual.
Oh, and a cookie or something for whoever can figure out all the characters I used!
To My Reviewers:
Silverchild of the winds: Hmmm…I'm actually not quite sure what you're saying, but I'm glad you're laughing.
darkchildlover: "Dudette"? Maybe I shouldn't have taken my sex down from my profile. I'm a guy. Yes, some of us do care about our grammar, but it might be a mistake to take me as being representative of my gender, if for no other reason than that I don't drink myself stupid whenever I get the chance.
i feel awfully random: Ah, but you see, then it wouldn't be you anymore, it would be your clone. Even if your clone has all your memories, can we really say it's you? Or if you gradually replace your entire body with organ transplants, are you still really you? Ah, the mindfuck that is personal identity. Don't take philosophy, kids! Or drugs. Although if you take one, you might very well want to take the other.
Lavender Gaia: Yeah, Rogue is a mutant on the edge. I don't read the X-Men Evolution fanfics—how many Jean-kills is she up to? And the Titans appear sane? I'll have to fix that. Nobody who prances around in spandex can be sane.
Overactive Mind: Everybody does love pie. It's true. Those who don't love pie are freaks of nature! Mmmm…pie. Oh, and VG Cats is awesome. You might notice a guest appearance, actually…
Mint Dragon: You feel old? Seventh grade was nine years ago for me. Take that, young'un! And I think it's a safe bet that pretty much all fanfics that revolve around vampires are morbid and ridiculously angsty. Seriously, are there no happy vampires?